Saturday, December 29, 2012

Litany of Christmas Thanks

Litany of Christmas Thanks

(Response: Baby Jesus, we thank you.)

For the Blessed Virgin Mary your Mother who said "Yes" to the angel. R/
For John the Baptist who leapt in the womb of Elizabeth his mother when you visited him in Mary. R/
For Joseph your foster father who trusted the angel instead of heeding his own doubts. R/
For the donkey that carried your expectant Mother to Bethlehem. R/
For the neighbor who led your holy family to the stable. R/
For the manger in which you were placed as if in the first tabernacle. R/
For the animals who were there in the first moments that you were adored. R/
For the angels and their song that led shepherds to your stable. R/
For the shepherds who worshiped you and then proclaimed the Good News like priests. R/
For Simeon who all his life had been waiting for you in the temple, longing to hold you. R/
For Anna the prophetess who proclaimed you to all those looking for deliverance and peace. R/
For the star that led the Magi to your manger and your Mother. R/
Loving Father,
all of these Christmas gifts
symbolize how much you love us
with the supreme Gift of your Son, Jesus Christ,
born for us this Christmas day.
We give these gifts to one another to express
how grateful we are for your unfathomable generosity
and to show how eager we are to share that goodness with one another.
Bless these tokens of love and caring.
Never let us get attached to material things,
but rather let the joy flowing from these presents
strengthen our bonds of love, deepen our relationships,
and move us to be more thankful, selfless, and giving all the days of our life.
Thank you for the birth of Jesus,
our brother and our Savior.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning,
is now and will be forever.
by Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P.)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Mom, the Religious Ed Teacher


Dear God, I want so much
To place my trust in you --
But there are times, dear God
I know not what to do.

I feel such pain, and loneliness,
I fear the long dark night --
I wish that I could keep Your face
Forever in my sight --

Then, I'd remember how
Your Son did suffer too,
And how in fear He was
And how He prayed to You.

For He was human as am I,
And knew He'd have to die
He put His trust in You
And never questioned why.

Please, let me be like Him
And follow in His way
I'll place my trust in You, dear God...

...and never cease to pray.

Marie Kelly
Written for my C.C.D. class
November 16, 1987

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Santa Claus: pro-life, pro-woman, pro-Jesus

'Course, maybe like you, I've known Santa Claus since I was a kid. I used to see him a lot, but lately? Only a few weeks before each Christmas. Still, it's always good to see him.

For the past few weeks he's been hanging around the Prudential Center of Boston, directly across from the post office and a few steps away from Saint Francis Chapel.

I've tried to pop by to see him whenever I could...sometimes—often—he's busy with little kids, patiently listening to them. If we can't chat, we manage to blow kisses to each other (often, alas, to the dismay of the photographer who has to take the picture over again.)

A couple of weeks ago—on the eve of his namesake's day (that would be Saint Nicholas)—we spent a half an hour or so together, talking over old know. We posed for a photo, which was fun.

And, somewhat to my surprise, he asked me what I wanted for Christmas!

He: "Kelly, come on. What'd you like me to bring you this year?"
Me: "Santa, you come on! You know I've got everything I need and I'm not a kid anymore."
He: "Sure you are don't be silly, there's got to be something."

As it happened, I had in my hand a gift request from the annual Saint Francis Chapel Giving Tree—a wonderful effort by some good pro-life folks to help unborn babies and their parents to warm up Christmas a bit. So...

Me: "Okay, Santa. What I'd like is for the Chapel Giving Tree to be a great success!"
He: "Giving Tree?"
Me: "Yeah. You know. Moms. Babies. Folks in need."
He: " Jesus and Mary and Joseph?"
Me: "Well, yes, actually."

Then I kissed him goodbye and hurried off.

Today I found myself in an impossibly long line at the post office. I needed to mail two letters overseas and the auto-machine thing wasn't working. Since I'd just been to confession—top story: Kelly Was Impatient—I tried to ignore the line and make cheerful talk with my fellow queue-mates. It worked, actually. In the middle of one conversation, a nice looking lady came into the crowded area calling out:

"Excuse me, is there a Kelly here?" I looked around, and since nobody else claimed the name, I pleaded guilty as charged.

"Oh, good," she said. "Santa sent me to ask if you'd be good enough to stop by and see him...if it doesn't make you late for Mass, of course."

Gamely trying to ignore my slightly flaming cheeks (along with the sudden hush in the post office...I mean, how often does a 50++ woman get publicly summoned by that Little Round Elf?) I assured the lady I'd do my best, and hey presto! Suddenly I was at the counter!

In no time, my transaction with the grinning post office lady done, I rushed across the aisle and sank into Santa's sofa. He said:

"Kelly. Forgive me for taking so long. Here. Take this for the Giving Tree. And the babies. And the moms. And for Him."

After staring at the wad of bills he thrust into my hands, I threw my arms around him and dashed off to the Chapel Office minutes before Mass started, and gave the money to the receptionist. "It's for the Giving Tree," I explained.

"Great timing!" she said. "They're on their way to pick up the stuff. Thanks, Kelly!"

"Don't thank me," I mumbled. "Thank Santa Claus." But she only smiled.

I entered the Chapel praising God...and giving thanks for a very giving man.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The dead in Newtown, CT, 12/14/12: please pray!

Please pray for the souls of those who suffered a violent death in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, December 14, 2012, and for the consolation of their loved ones.

The children

Charlotte Bacon, age 6
Daniel Barden, age 7
Olivia Engel, age 6
Josephine Gay, age 7
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, age 6
Dylan Hockley, age 6
Madeleine F. Hsu, age 6
Catherine V. Hubbard, age 6
Chase Kowalski, age 7
Jesse Lewis, age 6
James Mattioli, age 6
Grace McDonnell, age 7
Emilie Parker, age 6
Jack Pinto, age 6
Noah Pozner, age 6
Caroline Previdi, age 6 
Jessica Rekos, age 6
Avielle Richman, age 6
Benjamin Wheeler, age 6 
Allison N. Wyatt, age 6

The adults

Rachel Davino, age 29 
Dawn Hochsprung, age 47
Adam Lanza, age 20
Nancy Lanza, age 52
Anne Marie Murphy, age 52
Lauren Rousseau, age 30
Mary Sherlach, age 56
Victoria Soto, age 27

May God continue to bless you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Threaten marriage?" Go 'way to the back of the line, ladies

There's a meme traversing social media networks that uses these two old ladies (below) brandishing their "marriage certificate," courtesy of the state of Washington, to challenge those of us who doggedly persist in believing that marriage is a union between a man and a woman on our "feelings of threat."

Makes me laugh out loud...or perhaps cry.

Because these two old gals, of course, have about as much "threat" power as did a wandering ice berg had after the Titanic sunk.

The threat began—let's face it, folks—long before the notion of same-sex "marriage" ever entered the picture.

And when did the threat begin?

Gee. Probably forever. But for purposes here, let's just start with my lifetime. (It's my blog.)

How 'bout when among Catholics of The Greatest Generation, after reading Humane Vitae, (clearly limning the dangers of artificial birth control), a sudden rash of "irregular periods" infested women...a "disorder" obligingly "cured" by The Pill?

Or maybe when the divorce rate overcame the 50% mark?

Or when "wife swapping" became vogue in suburbia?

Or when "open marriage" gained popularity as a means to "keep the zip" in marriage?

Or when the "sexual revolution" opened the doors to premarital sex, abortion, and all sorts of nice stuff like that? And the ladies and gentlemen of The Greatest Generation had no problem with taking their daughters to the friendly neighborhood gynecologist to be either fitted for a diaphragm or prescribed The Pill?

I could go on, but you get the picture.

Dearest ladies, you couldn't cause a threat to traditional marriage if you tried. Because you, and the "activists" who are using you, have missed the point entirely.

You're not a threat. You're merely a result.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Happy New Year!