Monday, May 30, 2016

"Why Me?" (A Memorial Day poem by my Mom)

"Why Me?"

Row on row of crosses
Standing side by side.
Men who are remembering, marching
Some with sorrow, some with pride,
Torn by much emotion
Recalling those who died!

Flags unfurled and flying
Some held, some hung.
People using and abusing them...
They, who search for reason
That they should kill or die
For a cause they feel
Each day you you hear them cry:

"Why me, Lord, why me?"

Another Cross stands lonely
In a building called a church
And the Man Who died upon that Cross
In agony and shame
Waits patiently and hopefully
For those who carry theirs alone
To come to Him, and taste of Him
And share with Him their pain.

But they turn instead
To man-made things
Of which they closed their minds,
And try to drown away their thoughts
Until there's nothing left.

"Give us peace, oh give us peace,"

They cry to empty air.
Forgetting that this Man came once
Upon this weary world.
And out of Love
He give His Life
And once cried in despair:

"Why Me, God, why Me?"

Now when all else is tried and lost
And His children weep alone
Will they still not see
That building called a church
And the Man who hangs alone
Upon that heavy wooden Cross?
Does He wait for them in vain?

He is the Answer
To the world
To all the cries of pain:

"Why me, Lord, why me?"

Marie Kelly, Memorial Day, 1970

Daughter's note: Like most, if not all, sensible people, my mother hated war. And, like all loving people, she sought to assuage the pains of those victimized by war...which includes everybody. This poem, written during the horrors of the war in Southeast Asia, is her effort. I believe it still stands up today. To all those who have died in battle, requiescant in pace. Mom? I love you. Keep praying for us.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

To my nephew Jeff Ball, from his Grandmother (and my Mom)

Today, May 29, is my nephew's birthday. Is it possible that he's 35? My Mom wrote this poem to him when he was three months old. Happy Birthday, Jeff!

"To Jeff (Our First Grandchild)"

Oh what a joy it is
To see a baby smile.
To see two tiny eyes light up
Makes all of life worthwhile!

To hold a tiny body close
And feel the warmth within,
A tiny head, two little arms,
Repose against your skin!

I feel so very close to God
In tender moments such.
To bless us with such happiness?
He loves us very much!

Marie Kelly, August 1981

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

My Baptismal Anniversary! May 10!

Celebrate with me! Today is the anniversary of my Baptism according to the rite of the Roman Catholic Church, by Reverend Joseph Zalibert at Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, Detroit, Michigan (the church moved to Sterling Heights, Michigan, in 1971.) I thank my parents, Leo James Kelly and Marie Victoria Ulanowicz Kelly for giving me birth, my godparents, Vincent DuRocher and Angeline Ulanowicz DuRocher, and most of all, my God Who claimed me for His own.

And I joyfully renew the vows made by my parents and godparents on my behalf!

I reject Satan, and all his works, and all his empty promises.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.

"Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Matthew 28-19

Sunday, May 08, 2016

My Mom's Poem: "Dedicated to My Daughter on her Sixteenth Birthday"


Sad is the time
when the age of innocence is past
and the eyes of the child
who looked upon the bird and the flower
with wonder and pleasure
and who put a tiny finger
into the water
to watch a ripple
form and fade,
and the tiny hands
feeling the velvet of the dewy grass,
and finding comfort
in arms that cradle her,
as soft as petals of a rose
close over them,
and she sleeps the sleep of Angels
and awakens to new wonders
to explore
and feel
and pleasure,
listening for sounds
of love and softness....

She does not know
What pleasure she gives
To those who love her.

Sad is the time
when the age of innocence is past,
and the eyes of the child
become the eyes
of a girl-woman.

Still trying to see the world
bathed in the cloak
of happiness.

Trying to blink away
the sounds of reality
as if they were not there.

Trying to understand
the new emotions within her
and yearning still
for the love and comfort
and softness
of her innocence.

And trying to conceal
her heart from
disappointments and fears.
With too much talk
too much laughter
too few tears.

And she looks tenderly
upon those who sleep
the sleep of Angels
and are cradled
in the arms of love.

Sad is the time
when the age of innocence is past!

But, from the experience of sadness
comes the experience of joy
in finding that God
has blessed her
with the capacity to love
and to be loved.

In finding that life
holds many challenges
and the rewards
are gratifying.

In finding that all the fears
and frustrations of youth,
are but a stepping stone
to a more mature
understanding of human nature,

And in finding
that the beauty
of God's creations
can be felt
with her heart
as well as
with her hands.

~~ Marie Kelly

Monday, April 25, 2016

Officially off the list..."Boston Catholic Insider"

There was a time I really thought a blog like "Boston Catholic Insider" was necessary.

Actually a blog like Boston Catholic Insider still is necessary.

Only not the current one.

Please pray for the folks who administer it. And don't expect to find a link to it on this blog.

May God continue to bless you,


Saturday, April 09, 2016

Charcoal Fire

Charcoal fire.
You are burning.
I'm afraid.
Charcoal fire,
Warm me, save me.
I'm afraid.

I don't know Him!
Never seen Him!
Charcoal fire.
Just don't burn me!
Only warm me!
Charcoal fire.

Charcoal fire.
Don't desert me!
I'm just trying,
just to save me!

Charcoal fire!
Keep on burning!
Keep me safely,
Without burning.

. . .

Charcoal fire!
What have I done now?
What has He done now?
Charcoal fire?

Charcoal fire?
Where has He gone now?
He Who had loved me?
Charcoal fire?

Charcoal fire?
Where have you gone now?
Where has He gone now?
Charcoal fire?

Charcoal fire!
You have left me!
I have left Him!
Charcoal fire.

Charcoal fire.
You have left me,
cold and lonely.
charcoal fire.

. . .

Charcoal fire!
You are burning!
I can see you!
I am turning!

Charcoal fire!
Somebody made you!
Someone's waiting,
Waiting for me...ME!

Charcoal fire,
Don't go out now!
Let me reach you,
Let me find you!
Charcoal fire.

Charcoal fire?
It isn't you, now,
Only Who tends you.
Charcoal fire.

Charcoal fire,
I said no, no, no!
Charcoal fire
No warmth was had by you.

No fire needed by you!
Charcoal fire!
Charcoal fire,
I'm just a little child,
Looking for Him, my friend so mild.

Charcoal fire.
Scared as I was, the hateful rood,
Now you exist to give me Food.

Charcoal fire,
I said Yes, Yes, Yes!
And want to follow Him.

Charcoal Fire?
Where you and I first met?
Jesus has decided to forget.


Sunday, April 03, 2016

In tribute to a priest: Father Steven Koehler

(My Mom, Marie Kelly, wrote this on November 19, 1995. She was a parishioner at Saint Vincent Ferrer Church in Madison Heights, Michigan.)

"A Thanksgiving Poem for Someone Special: Our Father and Our Friend"

He wears so many faces
This man who leads us now.
We are his sheep
and he, our shepherd.

To take the road to Heaven
And not to go astray --
Because there are so very many
Who need to find the way.

Another thing this father does
is beg for all the poor,
to nourish and to clothe them
and give them shelter, too.
Who never hesitates to ask
For help from me and you.

A smile and hug, this father gives,
to all who come his way.
He always tends to all their needs --
no matter, night or day.

A special gift this father has
of speaking from his heart.
He always knows just what to say
and knows just where to start.

And when he shares the Eucharist
he and God become as one.
His voice is soft and reverent,
his face shines like the sun.

We are so very thankful
to have this father here,
this man of many faces,
to us, is very dear.

God, keep him in Your loving care,
don't ever let him leave!
We couldn't do without him,
our precious Father Steve!
Dedicated to Father Steven C. Koeler, Paster of Saint Fincent Ferrer Church, Madison Heights, Michigan.

[I understand that Father Koehler is now pastor of Saint Rene Goupil Parish in Sterling Heights, Michigan.]

Saturday, April 02, 2016

The Words of a Saint: John Paul II

Eleven years ago today, Pope Saint John Paul II left this world into eternity.

His last words have been reported by many, including:

"Read me the Bible."
"Let me go to the House of my Father."
"Amen, Amen, Amen."

Beautiful words to end one phase of life. But beautiful and joyful, also, are the first words the Holy Father said upon his election to the Chair of Peter:

Praised be Jesus Christ! Dear brothers and sisters, we are still all very saddened by the death of the very dear Pope John Paul I. And now the most eminent cardinals have called a mew bishop of Rome. They called him from a far-away country...far, but always near in communion of faith and the Christian tradition. I was afraid in receiving this nomination, but I did it in the spirit of obedience to Our Lord and with total trust in His Mother, the Most Holy Madonna. I don't know if I can express myself well in your — in our — Italian language. But if I make a mistake, you will correct me. And so I introduce myself to you all, to confess our common faith, our hope, our trust in the Mother of Christ and of the Church, and also to begin again on this path of history and of the Church with the help of God and with  that of men.

Saint John Paul II, pray for us. And? Keep those eyes of yours ever upon us!

Friday, April 01, 2016

Good Friday and the Feast of the Annunciation. On the same day.

Generally....pretty much always...the Feast of the Annunciation -- the conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary -- is on March 25.

Not this year. This year, it fell on Good Friday. On the day Christ's conception is usually celebrated? Instead we celebrated His death.

When I realized this last week, I thought I'd discovered something amazing...and I did. But poet John Donne was 'way ahead of me. Enjoy.

"Upon the Annunciation and the Passion on the Same Day"

TAMELY, frail body, abstain to-day ; to-day
My soul eats twice, Christ hither and away.
She sees Him man, so like God made in this,
That of them both a circle emblem is,
Whose first and last concur ; this doubtful day
Of feast or fast, Christ came, and went away ;
She sees Him nothing, twice at once, who's all ;
She sees a cedar plant itself, and fall ;
Her Maker put to making, and the head
Of life at once not yet alive, yet dead ;
She sees at once the Virgin Mother stay
Reclused at home, public at Golgotha ;
Sad and rejoiced she's seen at once, and seen
At almost fifty, and at scarce fifteen ;
At once a son is promised her, and gone ;
Gabriell gives Christ to her, He her to John ;
Not fully a mother, she's in orbity ;
At once receiver and the legacy.
All this, and all between, this day hath shown,
Th' abridgement of Christ's story, which makes one—
As in plain maps, the furthest west is east—
Of th' angels Ave, and Consummatum est.
How well the Church, God's Court of Faculties,
Deals, in sometimes, and seldom joining these.
As by the self-fix'd Pole we never do
Direct our course, but the next star thereto,
Which shows where th'other is, and which we say
—Because it strays not far—doth never stray,
So God by His Church, nearest to him, we know,
And stand firm, if we by her motion go.
His Spirit, as His fiery pillar, doth
Lead, and His Church, as cloud ; to one end both.
This Church by letting those days join, hath shown
Death and conception in mankind is one ;
Or 'twas in Him the same humility,
That He would be a man, and leave to be ;
Or as creation He hath made, as God,
With the last judgment but one period,
His imitating spouse would join in one
Manhood's extremes ; He shall come, He is gone ;
Or as though one blood drop, which thence did fall,
Accepted, would have served, He yet shed all,
So though the least of His pains, deeds, or words,
Would busy a life, she all this day affords.
This treasure then, in gross, my soul, uplay,
And in my life retail it every day. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Top Ten Reasons I Didn't Take Down My Christmas Decorations Today!

Number 10: 
Because, piously, I consider the Presentation of the Lord the end of Christmas. Which isn't until February 2.

Number 9:
Because, piously, I observed Advent as Advent...not Christmas.

Number 8:
Because, piously, I didn't send out Christmas Cards, but rather, Epiphany order to piously not interrupt my holy contemplation of Advent.

Number 7:
Because, piously, I waited until after Midnight Mass to set out our Nativity Scene.

Number 6:
Because, piously, I didn't put the tree up until Christmas Morning.

Number 5:
Because, piously, I invited our Christmas Day guests to decorate our tree.

Number 4:
Because...well, gee. It looks so nice!

Number 3:
Because...okay, I kinda like it.

Number 2:
Because...all right. It's cold. The decorations sorta warm the house up a bit.

And the Number 1 Reason Why I Didn't Take Down the Christmas Decorations Today?


Number 1:
Okay, bleep it! Because I'm bleeping LAZY, all right? :-)

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Moveable Feasts, 2016: Plan your calendar!

Know, dear brethren,

that, as we have rejoiced at the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ,

so by leave of God's mercy

we announce to you also the joy of his Resurrection,

who is our Savior.

On the tenth day of February will fall Ash Wednesday,
 and the beginning of the fast of the most sacred Lenten season.

On the twenty-seventh day of March you will celebrate with joy Easter Day,
the Paschal feast of our Lord Jesus Christ.

On the fifth day of May will be the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ.
On the fifteenth day of May, the feast of Pentecost.
On the twenty-ninth day of May the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

On the twenty-seventh day of November, the First Sunday of the Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ,
to whom is honor and glory for ever and ever. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

"Rejoice!" (And that's an order.)

Guadete Sunday. It's not all about getting all giddy about the holidays. In the readings, we're told — and quite sternly — to, bleep it, REJOICE!

This is not a suggestion, like, you know, "hey, cheer up" is a suggestion.

It's an order.

As Father Greg Staab, OMV, said in his homily today:

"Rejoice. It's a commandment!"

Now our good friend Zephaniah isn't one of your more "merry" prophets. In the same chapter today's reading comes from? He calls Jerusalem "rebellious and polluted" and isn't exactly spreading holiday cheer all over the place.

Yet he, through the Holy Spirit, commands us to "rejoice!" To "shout for joy!" Hey, they're not my exclamation points...they're the Lord's!

And Isaiah — while a terrific guy, I'm sure — wasn't exactly Good-Time-Charlie. Yet, in today's Response we, through God, hear him exhort us to "cry out with joy and gladness!"


"For among us is the great and Holy One of Israel."

Paul — a Pharisee who, at best, manages to keep his moanings and complaints within reason — tells us today (not once, but twice...he felt, through God, the need to repeat this):

"Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again: rejoice!"

These guys Are Not. Kidding.

Neither is God.

"But, gee, Kelly! We've got troubles galore!"

Yep, I know. Right here in River City and throughout the world.

But we've been given a command. To rejoice. And whether we're Jews or  Christians, we've been given our orders.

So do it! Rejoice! Even if you don't feel like it? You've got to. We, you and me, have been commanded to do so.

Hey, even if you're not in the mood? Maybe this will help.

May God continue to bless you!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

He's a Muslim. He's my friend. Try not to be stupid.

My friend, Ahmed El Abany, lived in our house while studying to be the great pediatrician that he is today. He posted this on Facebook yesterday. It's worth sharing with you.

We've reached a point when we hear of a terrorist attack on the news, certain thoughts come to our mind : 
1- the hope that the suspects aren't muslims or carry an arabian name.
2- the certainty that a militant group who are islamic extremists would be responsible for such a tragedy.
3- the sad feeling you get when the muslims living around the world who will be affected and mistreated with this terrorist act.
4- the flairing of racial responses and fascist ideas towards islam and muslims from some well known individuals.
5- the greater responsibility to prove to the uneducated how Islam, like any other, is a religion of peace.
6- a prayer to god to save his humanity from the lunatics who disfigure the image of religious beliefs.
The hearts of muslims all over the globe are ached everytime they see or hear about a deadly act.
Media is a fraud. Know islam from the person in front of you and not from the screen.
Religion is your connection with God. Manners is how to connect with human beings. Do not mix them up. To know a muslim, talk to one.

Can you imagine living like this? Imagine it. To know a Muslim, talk to a Muslim. Get to know a Muslim.
Stop the stupidity. Instead, oremus pro invicem. (Let us pray for each other.)

Monday, December 07, 2015

Dimmer Switches and the Holy Spirit: Let There be Light!

From Father Greg Staab, O.M.V., in his Sunday homily, Sunday, December 6:

"Ask the Holy Spirit to shed light on your conscience, so that you may better see the sins you might have otherwise missed."

Okay, are you like me? 

(Then, for Heaven's sake, DO something about this to correct it...and quickly!)

Where was I? Oh yes...about dimmer switches.

Dimmer switches are exceedingly cool inventions.

Say, for example, you go into your kitchen, and you realize -- yikes! -- there's some cleaning up to be done around here!

A dimmer switch lets you blithely lower the lights in the kitchen, and — voila! — those crumbs on the counter? Gone! (Or, at least, you can't see them anymore and may virtuously go back to that book you were reading.)

'Course a dimmer switch switches both ways.

Say you want to clean that kitchen. Well, you'd better be able to see those crumbs and such, so all you have to do is to turn the switch the other way. Light up that kitchen! Holy bleep, not only crumbs, do you see, but, among other things? That stain on the floor (to say nothing of that gunk on the oven range.)

Every single piece o' dirt is suddenly glaring at you, pleading at you, saying "for Heaven's sake, DO something about this!

That's how the Holy Spirit works when you "turn Him up."

You're examining your conscience, right, and you see the big lumps o' dirt. Fine. But crank up that Holy Spirit light switch, and you suddenly see dust, like, for example:

  • that jerk you muttered at when he cut you off in traffic the other day
  • that cashier you rolled your eyes at when she made a mistake in the checkout line
  • that rather sarcastic comment you made to your spouse yesterday
  • that juicy piece o' gossip you...just happened to pass along
  • the fact that, while examining your conscience, you're still identifying the guy who cut you off as a "jerk"

And so on and so on and guess what?

The brighter the light, the clearer the dust in your soul, the easier it is to clean it up!

And the better your confession will be.

Ask the Holy Spirit to light up your mind and soul...the better you see the gunk? The easier to get rid of it!

May God continue to bless you!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Because women aren't good enough to be named "Woman of the Year?" Huh? :-)

Kathy Schiffer nails it.

And if you, dear ladies, don’t find it insulting to think that a women’s fashion magazine which depends on women’s subscription dollars can’t find a single female on the planet who is a better “woman” than a cross-dressing, physically mutilated and psychologically stunted man, then I can’t imagine what could possibly get under your skin. 

Read the whole thing here. And be kind...she's frustrated. :-)

May God continue to bless you,


Thursday, October 01, 2015

October's Universal Papal Intention: Ending Human Trafficking

That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.

What is "human trafficking?"

It's the exploitation of God's children, no matter what their age. It involves forced prostitution or sexual abuse of the most vulnerable among is. Victims are transported across borders, national and international. They become slaves, and are generally forced into unsanitary and stressful conditions, receiving little — or no — basic, to say nothing of healthcare services. They are restricted in movement, their personal identification is withheld, and most experience physical, emotional, and psychological violence. Escape is pretty much impossible, although if escape is achieved? Melding back into society is excruciatingly difficult, due the the shame, trauma, and threat of retribution these, our brothers and sisters, have experienced.

"Couldn't happen here in the good ol' U S of A"


Anyway, it doesn't matter where this atrocity happens. What's important is that it ends. Now.

Pray that it does so.

May God continue to bless you.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How God through Sirach is helping me clean up my mouth

Do not accustom your mouth to coarse, foul language,
 for it involves sinful speech. Remember your father and mother
when you sit among the great,
 or you may forget yourself in their presence,
and behave like a fool through bad habit;
then you will wish that you had never been born,
and you will curse the day of your birth. Those who are accustomed to using abusive language will never become disciplined as long as they live.Sirach 23: 12-15

So anyway, I was pretty much relaxed before Confession yesterday. Just two sins, that I could remember. I wasn't exactly proud of them, in fact I was ashamed and was sorry and all that stuff. But after all, I hadn't killed anybody, hurt anybody, cheated anybody. Just a couple of vulgar words — yes, shouted in anger — but that was about it. I mean, hey, I was sorry, but nobody's perfect, right? God's big deal. In and out and I'm home free, completely absolved, right?

I was actually pleased that I wouldn't take up a lot of time in the Confessional! (Give those real sinners some more time. I actually thought that. Sheesh.)

Wrong, Kelly!

After confessing my two — two — sins, I sat back, waited for my penance, all set to make A Good Act of Contrition. Sheesh, I was almost feeling smug.

Until my confessor opened his Bible, thumbed through it a bit, and read the following. (It bears repeating.)

"Do not accustom your mouth to coarse, foul language,
 for it involves sinful speech. Remember your father and mother
 when you sit among the great,
 or you may forget yourself in their presence,
and behave like a fool through bad habit;
then you will wish that you had never been born,
and you will curse the day of your birth. Those who are accustomed to using abusive language will never become disciplined as long as they live."

And I felt as if this gentle guy had just gently slapped me in the face. 

[insert reminiscing harp music here]

I shivered because I was remembering something that happened years ago. I was a very young widow. I was the darling of my family. I could do no wrong.

I was a spoiled brat.

Since, or so I thought, I had suffered a tragedy — and the death of my young husband Bill was a tragedy and more to the point (this was my take on matters) the fact that I was left alone at such a young age was an even greater tragedy. Others seemed to agree with me.

I was a spoiled brat.

Anyway, to make a long story bearable? Here's what happened once, shortly after Bill died. I went home to see my parents in Detroit. I had it all planned. Bill's friends and I were going to spend a lovely summer weekend at my mother and father-in-law's place in upper Michigan. It was all planned.

Except Bill's friends were all busy that weekend. Apologetic, but busy.

And when I was finished with the phone calls, I let loose a string of words that would make a sailor blush. I had the right to, you see. I was a Poor, Young, Widow, and People Had Let Me Down!!!

My mother burst into tears.

I figured she was feeling sorry for me and Bravely Keeping My Sobs Under Control, got up to tell her not to feel so bad. (What a bleeping saint I thought I was!)

Turns out? Mom wasn't feeling sorry for my "plans." She was ashamed of her daughter.

My Dad set me straight, in no uncertain terms:

"You make my wife, and your mother, cry one more time? And you're outta here, you got that young lady?"

I was always Daddy's Little Girl. I felt like I'd been slapped in the, scratch that. I felt I'd been judged and found really, really wanting.

That was a long time ago...but after hearing Sirach's words? God's words? Seemed like yesterday.

Taking the Lord's Name in vain is really bad. But so is coarse, vulgar language. I'm trying like bleep to avoid it...because of my Mom and Dad.

But even more? Because of my Heavenly Father and Blessed Mother.

May God continue to bless you. (Thanks for your ear!)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Responding to "Shout Your Abortion:" The 12,345,546+ ways pro life people screw up

So big, frigging deal. Some poor souls have started a social media hashtag called (no, I'm not going to actually post it, but without the spaces, it's called "Shout Your Abortion."

Okay. Fine.

Some women, poor ladies, have, for reasons of their own, have decided to pretend to brag about how having an abortion has Improved Their Lives. Okay. Yes. I understand. This is Not A Good Thing. Satisfied?

Not, evidently, are the so called "pro lifers."

Why do I say this? Because I've seen these Brave, I'm Better, So Much Better Than You posts, such as:

The so called `mother' is condemned!
You're going to HELL!
No mercy for YOU!

And on and on...

Folks. Try very hard to use that God-given brain you were given. In other words? THINK!

As usual, you're trying to beat God. You're trying to play God, and you know? You're losing.

Yes, this movement is sad. Evil, even, I'll buy that.


Instead? Shut the bleep up. That's good. quiet.

And pray. That's what your job is. Your job is NOT condemning people. You got that?

Because if you try and do that? You're actually condemning yourself.

"But it's so frustrating, Kelly!!!!"

Deal with it. Shut up and pray. And quit your idiotic and futile attempts at assigning people to Hell. That's not your bleeping job.

Your job is to shut the bleep up and pray. Period.

Sheesh. When I was 16 years old? I had an abortion. If I believed in you folks, instead of my most Merciful God? I'd be dead by now.

Okay, you've had your spanking. Now shut up and pray.

And may God continue to bless you.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Please pray for the cure of Father Greg Staab, OMV (and the holiness of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary)

Heavenly and almighty Father,
I thank You for the gift of life, and for the newness of life in Christ Jesus.
If it be Your holy will, I beg you, through the intercession of Venerable Bruno Lanteri, to heal your servant, Father Greg Staab, O.M.V., and to increase the holiness of his brothers of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary. (Abba? Father Greg kind of insists on this second request.)
This I ask as I do all things, through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Who, with You and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
Our Lady, Health of the Sick, ora pro nobis!
Our Lady, Mother of Sorrows, ora pro nobis!


Father Greg with Father Bill Neubecker, O.M.V. Suffering from an incurable genetic disease, Father Greg strives to celebrate daily Mass from his hospital room.

Father Greg Staab insists that all prayers for him include the request for the holiness of his order, the Oblates of the Virgin Mary

Monday, September 14, 2015

John 3:16

Monday, August 17, 2015

Teach your children well…or, when life gives you lemons?

It was really hot today. As I walked up my block on the way home, I felt I heard the answer to my sweaty prayers!

"Hey, lady! Lemonade! LEMONADE!"

Ah, the old lemonade stand…whatever happened to them? Didn't matter to me at the time, because, holy bleep what wouldn't I have given for a nice, cold glass of the fragrant beverage. And! Hurray! I had exactly fifty cents in my pocket.

"Oh, no, lady…it's FREE!" 

I looked at the young boy as if perhaps he'd lost it a bit in the heat. Happens all the time. Plus, his cardboard sign clearly said: "Lemonade! Fifty Cents a Glass!!!"

Anyway, I followed him to his stand -- noticing his parents and young siblings watching him proudly -- and proudly plunked down my last two quarters.

"Fill 'er up!" I said, smiling.

There was a pause. I was hot. And in no mood for pauses. I Really. Wanted. Lemonade. What was the problem?

As nicely as I could -- which, given the temperature, probably wasn't as nicely as I could -- said: "Huh? What's the problem?"

"It's FREE, lady! You can take your coins back and here (the little munchkin said proudly as he carefully poured a rather generous glass), this is for YOU! ENJOY! (I swear the kid spoke in capital letters.)

And there it was…just for me. For ME!

Accepting it with thanks, I looked up at the two grownups. They both smiled at me, while I tried very hard to smile back before guzzling the (FREE) glass of nectar.

The Man: "Gotta teach our kids to learn how to make a living."
The Lady: "Gotta teach our kids to learn how to share!"
Me: "Huh?"

And then they explained. Seems that some guy came along about an hour before I'd arrived, plunked down a ten-spot, and told the kids to offer the lemonade gratis -- that would mean FREE -- to any and all who wanted it.

"Why, that was nice," I gushed. (I just wanted to gulp down the stuff, but, to my credit, I DID leave the two quarters on the table.)

"Damnedest thing you ever saw," the man continued. "Some guy paid for the whole inventory, provided our kids offer the lemonade for free."

"Really?" I replied. "Well, that's nice…"

"Yeah, but sheesh, how are the kids going to learn how to earn their own money?"

His wife interrupted, albeit graciously…and lovingly, I thought, her eyes looking back and forth from husband to kids -- the latter who were hustling like crazy to GIVE AWAY (sheesh, I've caught this capital letter thing) FREE LEMONADE to all the sweating, time to go home, next-year-for-sure-we're-buying-an-air-conditioner walkers.

"Yeah," said the dad. "Guess you're right at that." He smiled at the mother of his children (all of whom were still hustling what was left in the great big jug…not a lot, but still) and I walked home thinking "there's going to be some good lovin' in that house tonight."

And smiled. A LOT!

Entering our house, I offered my husband (who was sweating over his computer) a swig of my FREE LEMONADE and told him how I got it. And then? I heard a voice coming from upstairs. It was Mark…a man who's staying with us while studying at a local college.

"Was there any left in the jug?" he called down.

"Hardly any," I had to admit.

And then Mark smiled and I knew then -- and know now, because he admitted it -- HE was the ten-spot guy!

CAPITAL LETTER to you, Mark o' mine! Well played…very well played.

Sometimes I think I live in a rather poor neighborhood. Sometimes, like today? I realize I'm totally wrong. I live in a rich, RICH place, after all!