Monday, December 12, 2016

America in Mary's Embrace: The Virgin of Guadalupe

When the image of the Virgin appeared on the tilma of Juan Diego, it was the prophecy of an embrace: Mary's embrace of all the peoples of the peoples of the vast expanses of America — the peoples who already lived there, and those who were yet to come. 

Mary's embrace showed what America — North and South —is called to be: a land where different peoples come together; a land prepared to accept human life at every stage, from the mother's womb to old age; a land which welcomes immigrants, and the poor and the marginalized, in every age. A land of generosity.

Pope Francis, General Audience, December 11, 2013

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tonight's Bible Study: "Imagine" is a silly song

'Way back in the early 1970s, John Lennon wrote a song that was the pinnacle of his career: It's called "Imagine." While lovely in tone? It's stupid. Wait…parenthetical comment coming up…

(Please pray for the happy repose of the soul of John Lennon, and for all the souls in Purgatory. Yes, this is the last day of November — the month dedicated to the Church Suffering — but you can still, of course, pray every day for them! In fact, we're supposed to! You might have your own ways of doing this, and I hope you do…but maybe you'll find this prayer helpful.

"Almighty Father, I pray for all the souls in Purgatory. Especially for the most abandoned souls. Then, for the souls of the extended members of my family. And then, for all those souls You have allowed to touch my life, in any way, and will. In the name of Jesus. Amen.")

…anyway, "Imagine," while an earthly hit, is really a stupid song. I mean, the music is nice, but the lyrics…well, they…uh…are stupid.

Because we don't have to IMAGINE anything!

Which is what we mostly concentrated on in tonight's session. Ah, Isaiah!

Last week, someone suggested that many Jews have been convinced that Jesus is the Son of God…simply by prayerfully reading Isaiah! I haven't found evidence for this, but I believe it.

Tonight, we simply wallowed in this Sunday's First Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10. Talk about back to the future! The images invoked by this passage are so delicious? We ate them up. We didn't have to "imagine" what life was like at the beginning of God's marvelous creation, nor what it will be like when Christ comes again…it's all here! If you weren't there, or aren't familiar with the passage, read this and enjoy! (You're allowed to weep with joy!)

As you probably know, Advent is divided into two parts.

The first two weeks are concerned with Jesus' coming as judge of all at the end of time. The second two weeks serve as preparation for His coming in the flesh — His birth as a human being! Both parts are glorious!

Regarding the integration of these two parts, a friend suggests a wonderful book by Madeleine L'Engle called "Dance in the Desert." I never heard of it before, but it sounds wonderful. Find more about it here.

It was a blessed session. We also, of course, reflected on the other readings for this Sunday — especially the Gospel where the extraordinary Saint John the Baptist minces no words. If you want a copy of the notes, shoot me an email.

We started the session with the Angelus — and ended it with a prayer for you.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

"OMG [sic] and Why Jews Got the Message Clearer Than Christians

I see it, I hear it, every day. In texts and on social media: "OMG!"

On the street, in everyday conversations, I hear it: "Oh. My. God!"

And every time? I wince. Why?

Because this is clear violation of the Commandment of the Lord.

"Thou shall not take of the LORD thy God in vain." 

Can't be any clearer.

Did you know that, in Hebrew, there's no word for "person?" And so we use the word "name" instead. (I'm not telling you this so you can show off your knowledge at your next party, by the way.) :-)

So. When you say -- say after finding that dress you've been looking for, or after Brady throws a touchdown, or whatever awes you on Planet Earth -- "Oh my god" (and yes, I put the "g" in lower case, for your benefit) -- you're taking the Name -- the Person! -- of God in vain.

What does "in vain" mean? 

Check out the dictionary! "In vain" means: "without success," or "with no result." "Vain" comes the Latin vanus, which means "empty, without substance." Yes, from the Latin, I said!

So when you casually -- or semi-emotionally  (Sorry, but I can't bring myself to call your favorite haircut, for example, a truly "emotional experience") use the name -- the Person, the Very All Eternal Being -- as if He's an empty nobody?

I get upset.

There's some reparations for this.

When you hear the Holy Name used casually -- in vain -- say to the Lord (or, heck, say it out loud!): "Blessed be His Holy Name!" Or something equally reverent.

Many Jews don't even write the Name of G-D!

They generally write "G-D.  Why?

From Judaism About:
The custom of substituting the word "God" with G-d in English is based on the traditional practice in Jewish law of giving God's Hebrew name a high degree of respect and reverence. Furthermore, when written or printed, it is forbidden to destroy or erase the name of God (and many of the stand-in names used to refer to God). 
There is no prohibition in Jewish law against writing out or erasing the word "God," which is English. However, many Jews have afforded the word "God" with the same level of respect as the Hebrew equivalents detailed below. Because of this, many Jews substitute "God" with "G-d" so that they can erase or dispose of the writing without showing disrespect to God.  
This is relevant especially in the digital age where, although writing God on the internet or computer is not considered a violation of any Jewish law, when one prints a document out and happens to throw it in the garage, it would be a violation of the law. This is one reason most Torah-observant Jews will write G-D even when they aren't intending to print a document out because there is no way of knowing whether someone might eventually print the word out and deface or throw away the document.

So. No matter the reason, Jews and Christians can agree on one thing (actually, we can agree upon many things, and, please Abba, that we may be one!): it's not cool to to vainly, casually, use the Holy Name of God. In prayer? Oh yes! Call on Him always!

But don't use His Holy Name to comment on the skirt you just bought, okay? :-)

May God continue to bless you!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dear ISIS: Believe it or not...

Saints Joachim and Anne

Dear ISIS,
Believe it or not, I'm praying much harder for you than for the Servant of God, whom you murdered, Father Jaques Hamel. He has earned his place in Heaven. You, on the other hand, have not. In fact, if you don't repent immediately, I shudder to think what will happen to your souls. Please do NOT tell me you represent Islam. Please do NOT bother to tell me you're "Muslims." Because you're not. You are, in fact, cowardly, and, to quote Pope Francis, "absurd." Absurd, cowardly, and a shame to God's creation. Which is why I'm praying for you with much more vigor than I'm praying for Father Hamel. You need prayers much more than he does. Here's a tip: repent...and quickly. May God continue -- and, incredibly, He does, and may I, through His grace, emulate Him -- show you mercy.

In the Name of Jesus Christ,


Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Inappropriate Behavior. (And no, I'm not talking about these job-seekers.)

See these people? They're looking for a job.

In my many years in business, people have looked to me for a job. Some I've hired, and gladly. Some I've hired..and maybe not so gladly, but I figured, let's give 'em a chance.

Some I've said: "No, but thank you for asking.

Never have I said: "No, because you're a @#$@@, a @#@&, or a @##*&." Nor have I ever said, to them to or to others: "Hah! She's got wrinkles!" Or "Hey, he's got weird hair!"

Here are two people who are asking you for a job. And yes, it's an important one. You have the choice of saying "yes," or "no thank you."

You also have, because this is (still) a free country, to tell either one to go bleep themselves.

I hope you don't, though.

I hope you examine each of their assets. Each of their liabilities. I hope you keep in mind that — no matter how you feel about either one of them — each one really wants this job.

And I hope that you'll give both of them the courtesy of considering their applications with all seriousness, with all thoughtfulness....and above all? With all charity.

Will you hire either of them? That's up to you. You don't have to hire either one. Don't you get it? You're in charge here. If you'd rather pass on both? That's you're prerogative. Don't let anybody tell you that not to hire one, is to hire the other one. That's bull.

You have the right to, for example, write in someone else on hiring day. Do you understand that? I hope so.

Now let's get to the point.

You do NOT have the right to be unkind — whether on social media, or with your children, or with your friends, or with your family — to either one of these people. You may think you have the right to do so, but you don't. You, believe it or not, are not perfect. [Gasp...yes I know...but it's true. Live with it and try to improve yourself before trying to do so to others. You know...the splinter? The plank? Hey, I knew you'd get it!]

You can do this...I know you can.

Whatever your decision? You can pray for each of these candidates.

And you can refrain from the unkind things you may have been saying about either one. And don't tell me, fellow Christians, about the spiritual works of mercy, okay? I'm very familiar with them. If you think one or the other or both is sinning? Why, for Heaven's sake, tell them so! With charity...not with hatred.

Okay, so you've had your spanking...

...and trust me: it hurt me more than it hurt you. And do you know why? Because I've been just as guilty as you've been!

So let's make a pact here:

Let's get about the real business of living in this world. Let's work really hard to get each other into Heaven!

May God continue to bless you!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

"Why are Your Teeth So Crooked?" (the other way I prayed Vespers tonight) :-)

So, anyway, as I was walking home tonight, I distinctly sensed there was rain in the air. As is my habit, I muttered to Jesus: "I'm going to grab a bus. And I'll pray Evening Prayer on it."

As is NOT my habit, I also distinctly heard an answer: "Oh, you'll pray all right!"


I climbed on the bus and was greeted by the cutest little girl and her beautiful Mom. "Hey! I remember you!" the kid cried out. I didn't recognize her, but gave her my most (or so I thought) dazzling smile. And opened my breviary (on my phone) to Vespers. This wasn't going to happen.

Little Girl (hereafter known as "Kid," turning and smiling at me...she couldn't have been more than five): "Hey! It's ME!"

Me: (recapturing so called dazzling smile) "Oh yes! How are you"! [leave me alone kid]

Kid: "You remember me, right?"

Me: "Oh, of course!" (?)

Kid: "Well, I have a question!"

Me: [As. Kindly. As. I. Could. Get.] "Oh! Sure, what is it?"

Kid: " Mom here has a beautiful smile. Daddy always says so. Why are your teeth so crooked?"

[Picture, if you will, said Beautiful Mom, wanting to drop into a hole somewhere.]

Me: "Uh...well..(thinking frantically for an answer...yep, got it!)...well, when I was a little girl, a bit older than you? I disobeyed my Mom and Dad and didn't wear my braces!"

[Which was, o' course, a damn parents couldn't afford braces.]

Kid: "Oh. But why do you have that brown thing on your tooth?"

[Damn tea, black coffee, and that Saturday Night Cigar, anyway!!!]

Me: "Oh! Well! It's from -- hey, what's your favorite soda?"

Kid: "Oh, I love Coke!"'

Me: [after a brief prayer of gratitude] "Me too!'d better watch out. Too much sugar, Cokes, candy, and all that other stuff? It'll make a stain on your tooth!"

Kid: "But that's what my MOM said!"

[insert beautiful Mom offering me a glance of supreme gratitude]

Kid: "But why are you so skinny? My Dad thinks my Mom is beautiful!"

Me: [kinda warming to this] "Because I Didn't. Eat. My Fruit. And Vegetables!!!"

[Another lie, but what the bleep...blame it on Jesus! :-) Also I got another grateful glance from the Very Well Built Mom, so hey...what harm?]

Kid: "Oh. But I don't like vegetables. I like fruit though."

Me: [warming more to my nonexistent subject] "You only think you don't like vegetables. Actually? They make you beautiful!"

Kid: [evidently bored with the dietary conversation]: "Is that JESUS on you???"

Me: [stupidly looking down on my sweater] "Why...yes, this is a `crucifix.'" [I'll show her!] "Do you know what a `crucifix' is?"

Kid: "Yes, yes, yes! I have one of my own, right Mommy?"

Mommy: "Yes, baby."

Kid: "I'm NOT a baby."

Mommy: "Show the lady your Crucifix."

And she did! With a dazzling smile!

Me: [suddenly welling up with tears]: "It's beautiful. Thank you for showing me."

Kid: "Oh, that's okay. I love you. Do you love me?"

Me: [about ready to lose it]: "Yes, very much. I...oh, gee, I've got to get off at the next stop."

Kid: [tears also welling up] "NO! I'm having FUN! You CAN'T get off now!"

Mommy: "Let the lady go, sweetie."

Kid: "Okay, but can't we go home with her?"

Mommy: [looking apologetically at me] "Not tonight, hon...maybe some other time."

Me: [thinking what the bleep? I WANT to take them home....then I came to my senses] "Okay, guys, time for me to get off."

Kid: "Bye! Thanks for talking to us!"

Me: "Bye! Don't forget to say your prayers!"

Kid: [rather scornfully, I thought, but maybe not]: "Don't YOU forget!"

~ ~ ~

The bus driver let me kiss them both good-bye before I got off. And I think I heard Jesus say, very quietly..."nice prayer!" :-)

Monday, June 27, 2016

Let us be ONE!

As I was busy at my desk last Saturday evening, trying to catch up on work after dinner, I heard the ladies next door— they belong to the AME (African Methodist Episcopal) church —listening to hymns. I tried to concentrate on my work, but "How Great Thou Art" captivated me. And then? I heard the strains of the music to "The Lord's Prayer." Turning off my computer, I padded across the lawn in my robe and slippers and joined them as they sang. They were probably as surprised as I was but really? None of us cared...there was too much joy to care. Afterward we laughed and wept and laughed some more. 

Lord? If You can do this? Then You can answer my prayer (which, by the way, I didn't invent...I learned it from Your Son!) "Let us be one, as You, and Your Son, and the Holy Ghost are One. Amen."

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dedicated to My Daughter Barbara with All My Love (another poem by my Mom)

"My Special Gift"

I have a special memory,
That goes back quite a way,
It's of a special present
That I received on Christmas Day.

My daughters were quite young that year,
And funds were very low.
But Daddy took them shopping
To the "Dime Store" they did go.

Each picked out their "treasures"
For Gram and Gramps and me,
And they all came home elated
About their shopping spree.

They hid their gifts so carefully
So no one else could see.
I could not imagine
What these gifts might be!

And then came Christmas morning
And we gathered 'round the tree,
To open up our presents
And hear the shouts of glee.

The girls were quite excited
About the gifts they got
They weren't that expensive,
But to them, they meant a lot!

After all the gifts were opened,
I heard some little cries,
They were coming from my youngest,
And tears rolled from her eyes.

I took her up in my arms
And held her close to me,
And asked her, why the tears,
What could the matter be?

With tear-stained cheeks,
She looked at me
And sobbed:
"I lost your special prize!"

I hugged her close
And held her tight
Then gently
Wiped her eyes.

We all began to look around
For that grand specialty,
Into her little room we went,
And just searched frantically.

In dresser drawers
On tops of shelves,
Until at last we found
A tiny little box, all wrapped
And neatly bound.

"That's it, that's it," my daughter cried,
And brought it straight to me.
I hugged her right, as I sat down
Upon her little bed,
And opened up the little box,
That held a spool of thread.

No gift of gold or silver
Could replace this gift of love,
And I thanked the Baby Jesus
Who smiled from up above!

Marie Kelly, December 27, 1993

Daughter's note: Oh gosh! How I remember this! My sister Buzzy (the one on the right -- Barbara to others)  -- bought my Mom a spool of thread for Christmas...and then lost it. And was devastated by the loss! (She was maybe, I don't know, maybe 4 or 5 years old at the time.) My sister Sharon and I had bought "cool" gifts...and for the life of me, I can't remember what we bought.

I learned something that long ago Christmas. A spool of thread from a loving daughter is worth more than...well, anything, really. It was, as my Mom remembered, years later? A gift of love. Which is the most important thing.

I could've posted this on Christmas but it's my little sister's birthday -- June 24 -- and I think she deserves this gift of love from our Mom.

I love you Buzzy!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

"To My Husband Jim, Whom I Love Dearly" A poem to my Dad by my Mom

If in the morning hours you stir
And the light from the sun
Illumes your face

I see there
The little boy
Who romped in free abandon
Without care
And swatting at the air
Became all things
That dreams are made of:

The Pitcher
The Catcher
The Star on Ice
The Hoop
A crowd, roaring with delight.

Dream on sweet boy, dream on.
Savor every moment of ethereal delight.

For all too soon
It ends with break of day
And you must revive the mask of morn
And show it to the world!

They cannot be— these dreams
They are webs of wonder, threads of nothingness.

You have fought a war.
And saw men die.
You have tasted
The bitter and the sweet.

You have loved, and lost
And loved and won...

...And held a tiny babe.

You have faced as many challenges
It makes you want to weep.

But You're a Man!
(and men don't weep...that is reserved for little boys.)

Dream on, sweet one, Dream on,
And be a boy again!

Marie Kelly, sometime, maybe Father's Day, to my Dad
Daughter's Note:

I remember this. Not the poem, so much, but certainly the sentiment. My Dad—God welcome him into Your arms and quickly if You haven't already—fathered three girls. Our boyfriends loved him! Often (and sometimes, to our dismay) they crowded around him to hear his advice on everything from sports to cars to girls to sports to cars to girls to sports...and other things my sisters and I didn't hear. (Actually, I did. To my shame, or maybe not...I eavesdropped.)

My Mom understood him more than I ever did. My sister, Sharon, understood him more than I ever did. My sister Buzzy understood him more than I ever did.

Why? Because I always wanted to be "his girl." The one he took out for ice cream. The one who held my hand. The one who bought me clothes, brushed my hair...and looked sternly at the guys who dated me. 

His real girls understood that, beneath that manly countenance? He sometimes longed to be the boy he once was. They got it, 'way back when. Now?  I'm started to get it.

I love you, Daddy. And I'm so grateful that you had Sharon, Buzzy, and, especially Mom, to understand you more than I ever could...or would. Dad? Remember were always, and still are, my hero. Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Donald Hammond 1933-2016: Requiescat in pace (and get to know him!)

Donald Hammond, RIP. My friend Colleen Hammond's Father-in-Law

Please pray for the happy repose of my friend Colleen Hammond's father-in-law Donald Hammond. Of course my prayers — and I'm sure yours — are raised not just for Mr. Hammond, but his wife, Suzanne, his son Dennis (Colleen's husband), his daughters, Erin and Jeni, and all of his grandchildren and great-grand children...and his many friends.

I'm posting this because I'd like you to, after praying, pay a visit to Mr. Hammond's obituary.

God does incredible things for us. Introducing you and me to Mr. Hammond, in my opinion, is one of them.

Well played, Mr. Hammond...very well played indeed! (And hey! I'm a Michigan fan!) :-)

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord! And let Your perpetual light shine upon him! May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

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.