Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The End Times: It's a Luxury Not to Know When it is!

Whenever we're expecting guests on a certain date, my sweet husband Alden (jocularly, I hope) always says the same thing: "Thank God! Our house will be clean!" [Sheesh.] And he's right! It's time to dust, to vacuum, to change the sheets…all that stuff.

It's a luxury NOT to know the Day of the Lord!

Why? Because if we don't know, we'll always keep our houses — our souls — clean, in anticipation! And it's a joy, or should be, to do so!

What a cool bunch of readings this Sunday!

The parable of the talents is wonderful. Reminds me of the verse of "To Jesus Christ, Our Sovereign King":

"Thy reign extend, O King benign,
"To every land and nation!
"For in Thy Kingdom, Lord Divine,
"Alone we find salvation!"

How are we helping to extend the Kingdom of God? Through our Talents!

And we all have them. Okay, maybe you're not created to run off to Calcutta and teach and feed and live with the poor. So what?

"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing."

"In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love."


Both these quotes are from Saint Teresa of Calcutta. We all have the capacities — the talents — to love. To extend the Kingdom of God.

Enjoy the luxury of not knowing when the end is near...and keep up the cleaning! :-)

Friday, June 23, 2017

"My Brother's Keeper" by Bill Kassel (hint: read the book!)

I could say that Bill Kassel’s novel is a “can’t-put-down” opus. I mean, it’s got everything a good read should have. Suspense. Humor (and I’m talking about laugh-out-loud humor!). Tragedy. Sorrow. Joy. Education (you really learn stuff you didn’t know before). Even a bit of romance. And more. It’s got everything a can’t-put-it-down can offer. And yet…

I put it down. Reluctantly, but often. Why?

To pray.

Because “My Brother’s Keeper” – a novel told from the point of view of Saint James the Just – is more than just a novel to revel in. It’s a work to pray over.

I found myself laughing, crying, and praying with this book. I stopped in my reading and gazed on – oh well, many things. A crèche I keep in my reading room. A crucifix, of course. But also some wonderful mind-images of a laughing Mary with her Son. A painting of Saint Joseph, foster father of Jesus. That wonderful picture of Elizabeth greeting Mary by Carl Heinrich Bloch (you know the one I mean).

Unapologetically Catholic, the novel nevertheless is equally unapologetically Jewish.

How can this be, you ask? Kassel so sensitively and deftly weaves the similarities between the two groups — there is no question that Jesus lived His life on earth as a devout Jew, as did his family members and followers — that this reader, anyway, was left deeply pondering the pointlessness of the separation between Judaism and Christianity.

And echoing the prayer of Jesus…

“Father, that we may be one.”


Thank you, Bill Kassel, for your amazingly beautiful perspective. I’m greatly anticipating a sequel from you!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Learning a lesson in simple kindness. (I coulda stayed on the damn bus!)

So anyway, it was raining so I hopped on a bus on the way home — from Mass, no less!

An elderly man — and when I say "elderly," I mean someone older than I am — struggled on. I hopped up and gave him my seat, and he thanked me, saying something about how "kind" I was.

I blushed (I hope) a bit and brushed it off. He asked me my name, and whether I was married. I told him I was, and went into a long spiel about how my second husband and I ended up together as man and wife. He seemed to enjoy it.

Did I mention that his name is Larry? No, of course I didn't. His name is Larry.

Larry gets around with a walker. He's a very nice man, very courteous, and  very funny. We had some fun trading jokes on the bus.

Then Larry told me about his wife, Anita.

Anita. That's her name. Dear God, please at least remember that I remember her name!

Larry began to tell me about how he became a widower. How he went into their bedroom one day and found Anita looking as if she were asleep. He shook her, trying to wake her up. Only he couldn't, because Anita had died.

And I looked up and saw...yep, my stop.

Had to get off the bus, I told myself. It's my stop I told myself. I kissed Larry on the forehead, promised prayers for him and for Anita...and got off the bus.

Dammit! I could've stayed on the damned bus!

That Larry needed — not wanted, but needed — to talk about finding Anita, to talk about Anita herself, to just talk to someone who'd listen? It was as obvious as the rain falling down.

Only I "had" to get off the bus.

On my short walk home, I prayed for Anita. I prayed for her husband Larry — a guy who deserved a much better fellow rider than me.

I could've easily stayed on the bus and listened to Larry...listened to his memories, his — who knows, tales about his children? Grandchildren?

I could've been a Christian.

Instead? I got off the bus.

May God have mercy on me. And, not that I deserve it, but Larry and Anita do. May You shower Your love on them. And teach me how to emulate Your Love. Amen.


Sunday, March 05, 2017

No, Pope Francis did NOT "urge less children to make the world more `sustainable'" sheesh

And again, under the "fake news" department:

The lie:
Pope Francis has urged families to have fewer children to make the world more sustainable, it has been reported.

Peter Raven, a panelist at a Vatican-run workshop on “how to save the natural world”, was speaking at a press conference when he revealed the comments made by the Pope.
The workshop included a range of experts and the solution was presented by Mr Raven, a botanist and environmentalist.

“Pope Francis has urged us to have fewer children to make the world more sustainable,” Mr Raven said, according to LifeSiteNews.

"We need a more limited number of people in the world."

The truth? 

Actually, the truth is important, but even more so is what my friend Chris Muldoon did...he asked the source. (Duh...what a concept! Asking the source! How weird when it's so much easier and. to the weird, more fun, to find the devil in places where he doesn't hide, rather than looking, perhaps, in the mirror, where he might.)

Anyway, Chris wrote to the reporter asking:

"A couple questions based on published reports. Were you accurately quoted? What is your source for Pope Francis's thoughts here?"

The reporter, Peter Raven, answered Chris immediately:

"No, not an accurate quote. He and his predecessors have called repeatedly to have only the children they could raise properly which is a very different thing."

To it's credit, LifeSiteNews (nope...not going to link 'em) "corrected" their article.)

Um...I'm not here to teach you how not to conceive or give birth. You already know that, right? (Here's some hints: Artificial conception? Wrong. Abortion? Wrong. Have you got it yet?)

May God continue to bless you,

Kelly


Monday, February 20, 2017

The Blessed Sacrament is NOT a liturgical hors d'oeuvre

For the umpteenth time today, I sadly watched a priest chase down a guy with the Sacred Host in his hands...a guy with evidently no intention of consuming the Sacrament at the altar. (Or, as he said to me later: "Why should I? I wanted to wait until I was in my pew! What difference does it make?")

It makes a LOT of difference.

Priests and other ministers of the Blessed Sacrament are...well, they're blessed. But these days? They're also -- and I suspect unwillingly -- given the job of being Guardians of the Blessed Sacrament from Those Who Are Really, Really, Stupid.

"Kelly! You just called me `stupid'! How dare you!"

I dare because you're stupid, and I love you, only you're stupid. You -- and if you're the one whose offended by this post -- I'm talking to you.

Here's the thing: we're talking about Jesus. Jesus! He' not a canapé. You got that?

How to receive the Most Holy Sacrament. (For my friends who don't get this? Here's how to receive GOD!)

I'm not going into the stuff about being in the state of grace, about being Catholic, and all that stuff the bishops have gone into over and over again.

I'm talking about bleeping common sense!

And courtesy. And faith. And knowing Whom you are exactly receiving at Communion!

Okay. Here we go. In 1969, Catholics were given the indult to receive Jesus in the hand. (Don't ask my why...google it yourself.)

If you take advantage of this indult (and interestingly enough, autocorrect keeps making it "insult" but pay no mind to that), terrific. Just do it right. Which means:

DON'T grab the Host and saunter down into wherever you're going. Accept JESUS with both hands -- one behind the other (like a throne as Saint John Chrysostom wrote) and consume the Host right then and there, facing the Holy Altar of Sacrifice. Do this so that you are SEEN doing it. Cross yourself, if you like, and return to your pew, glorifying the fact that you just received JESUS!

If you're receiving on the tongue (and good for you if you are) then for Heaven's sake, OPEN YOUR MOUTH! WELCOME Him! Don't slit your silly lips and expect the priest to play a slot machine game with you. COOPERATE!

If you know someone who doesn't know how to receive Holy Communion? Please share this. Because I'm so very tired of the abuse -- whether intentional or not -- of my Dearest Love.

One thing? He loves you far more than I do, and I love you a lot, so that means something.

Receive Jesus with all the respect and love you can muster up. I promise you. You'll be rewarded.

May God continue to bless you.