Friday, July 12, 2019

Ghost Cat by Kevan Atteberry

Kevan Atteberry's newest picture book, Ghost Cat, is one that'll I'll keep close to my heart. I choked up reading it because I miss my old cats so much (I have two rescues but they have mental issues so let's just say it's hard not to feel deprived at times...) and I have felt like the boy in the book so many times. Kevan captures that unmistakable feeling of the presence of a loved one, gone but not gone from your heart. I have woken up so many times with the sensation of my cat next to me but it was a dream. Sigh. Simply told and illustrated, it's a book about love and loss and loving again. I'm getting multiple copies to give to friends, young and old. See for yourself the opening pages. 




These are the ghosts in my life. What about you? 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Blessings, Blessings, All Around

 
It's been a strange and difficult couple of weeks with medical problems but even so, blessings abound. Look at all these beauties! The flowers cheered me up immensely as did the books and bounty from the garden. I missed the July 4th celebrations at the park but loved the impressive lightning storm from the porch. I was able to attend the National Right to Life Convention with my sweetie, a former fetus! We learned so much and will share some of it with you.

We also enjoyed eating out and so happy that Dashi now has a brick and mortar restaurant. We went to their opening last night and what a transformation of that space--I used to drive by it (on the corner of Remount and Murray) every day when the kids were going to Divine Redeemer Catholic School. It's clean, bright and cheerful, and the expanded menu exceptional, the service courteous. I had their duck ramen and all the flavors blended so well, from the soup stock to the kimchi. I think it's the first place Max will want to go when he comes home from DC. Soon, soon. I love seeing creative people succeed doing what they love. God bless you and all the different works of your hands.


  
 

Monday, July 1, 2019

One Year Book Birthday Sale


I published BOUND one year ago! What a journey it's been--exhilarating at times, equally frustrating at other times. I've learned so many things and still have so much more to learn. Thanks to all my early readers and supporters (you know who you are) who read the book and shared it with friends and corrected my typos. Thanks to all who reviewed Bound. Thanks to the numerous interviews and discussions. I am so blessed to have this writing life. To celebrate, I'm holding a sale: 99 cents for all e-book platforms and $10.99 for the paperback from July 2nd-7th. Luckily, this anniversary coincides with the annual National Right to Life Conference and it's held in Charleston this year (July 5-6). Perhaps I'll see you there!!! Please share!!! 


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Beautiful Carolina

These three are off on a camping trip in the mountains--Table Rock. And thank God, Michael is there to take care of all their needs, keep them safe. He's one of the most patient people I know. I'd wanted to make a retreat with Dagny before she went off to college, and it may still happen, but this camping trip couldn't come at a better time for both of them. Work can be a grind even when we're grateful for it.

 

As for me, it affords more time to pray, read, and write. I want to get my historical novel ship-shape. I never, ever get tired of being home alone--I will clean house, take care of the pets and plants, and not give a thought to meal preparation with all these garden goodies and more on the way! What a blessed writing life!!! I've always been so grateful to stay at home with my kids and even now, as they fly the nest. God go with them.

  



Monday, June 24, 2019

Singing, Summer Solstice, and St. John the Baptist


Today we celebrate the birth of St. John the Baptist. I love that in the middle of summer we get a little foretaste of Christmas because St. John prepares the way for our Lord Jesus. Our little Latin choir is named for him and yesterday's High Mass for Corpus Christi, followed by a Eucharistic process and benediction, was so beautiful. I believe the angels always come to assist us. I took this picture during Adoration--I love how the smell of incense reaches into the choir loft, the gold vestments of the priest and deacon, and all the candles. Our priest didn't preach because St. Thomas Aquinas already did so beautifully in the Lauda Sion Salvatorem sequence. Our organist always makes such lovely worship aids--I've been saving them for the past two years. I started taking notes during the homily in a little notebook but I ran out and started scribbling on the worship aids. Plus, sometimes I wonder what will happen if we ever have to go underground...like in the time of Byrd. Below, I made some mehndi art--I clearly need more practice!



In Church, all the feasts of the various saints are actually their death days because it's their heavenly birthday. But we celebrate three birthdays on earth--of our dear Lord Jesus (Christmas), of His blessed Mother Mary (Sept. 8), and of St. John the Baptist (June 24). Both Mary and John were sanctified before they were born. "Do not be afraid Zachary, your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John; and he shall be great before the Lord, and shall be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb; and many will rejoice at his birth." ~ Luke "Before I formed you, I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you." ~ Jeremiah. St. John leapt in joy in his mother's womb when he felt the presence of Jesus in Mary's womb. I always marvel at this scene, two little babies, leaping and tumbling for joy and two mothers rejoicing! St. John's birthdate makes sense according to Scripture because when Mary conceives Jesus, the angel tells her that her cousin Elizabeth is in the 6th month. And Mary stays for 3 months with her cousin.  I love how John's birth falls right after the summer solstice because after he baptizes Jesus, John says, "He must increase; I decrease." And he does, just like the days begin to get shorter after the summer solstice. And then comes our dear little Jesus, the Light of the world!!! Right after the winter solstice. I am so grateful St. John allowed me to make him the patron of my little blog. Pray for us, St. John. Five years ago, I posted a novena to him.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Practice Makes Perfect

But let not perfection be the enemy of the good, both in writing and music or any art. We are a small schola but enjoy practicing so very much and always pray Gloria Patri


 

 
 


 
 
Ah! The good life!!! We had stormy weather during our practice but the next evening, the ocean was the calmest, the waves gentle. And I practiced there too :)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Feast of Corpus Christi

I've often mentioned how much I love the Easter Season. About five years ago, something clicked in my brain and the way the liturgical calendar is organized with all its feasts and fasts throughout the calendar year made sense (I must be very slow because it took me 5 yrs to get it). We've been praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in preparation of Pentecost and then to celebrate the Holy Trinity, I had no words. My heart overflows with gratitude for all the blessings, I simply fall to my knees in Adoration.

We sing about "owning the mystery" but every explanation is a poor approximation. I am very conscious of having a relationship with each Person of the Holy Trinity. God the Father feels distant to me, probably because my earthly father was largely absent from my life. Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity is my BEST Friend. It is truly through Him that I even have a relationship with Father-God (Jesus gave us the Our Father prayer and Pope Francis is messing with the translation...here's a very good article on why we should keep it just as it is. Thank you, Msgr. Pope. I'd love for him to be the Pope so that we could call him Pope Pope--and yes, I know I'm being very juvenile). The Holy Spirit is depicted as a dove but to me He is breath. I probably ask Him over a dozen times each day to come take His rightful place within my poor heart, bringing with Him all His gifts, Light and Love. I wish the new calendar wouldn't call it "ordinary" time but time after Pentecost. It preserves the relationship. 
 


Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi (the link has the fascinating story of how it came to be) and we'll celebrate it on Sunday with a High Mass. It's so nice to have all the music organized, thanks to Post-Its (link has the story of its serendipitous discovery). We'll sing Mass 1, Lux et Origo, composed in the 10th century. I feel such a connection to all those nameless monks from so long ago, and all the way back to the apostles. St. Thomas Aquinas composed many of the hymns for this Feast in the 12th century. I marvel at his poetry; it's packed with theology. Ex., this Sequence Lauda Sion Salvatorem. I'm picking up enough Latin that some verses give me pause--here's the translation copied from Wikipedia
Latin text English translation
Lauda Sion Salvatórem
Lauda ducem et pastórem
In hymnis et cánticis.
Quantum potes, tantum aude:
Quia major omni laude,
Nec laudáre súfficis.
Laudis thema speciális,
Panis vivus et vitális,
Hódie propónitur.
Quem in sacræ mensa cœnæ,
Turbæ fratrum duodénæ
Datum non ambígitur.
Sit laus plena, sit sonóra,
Sit jucúnda, sit decóra
Mentis jubilátio.
Dies enim solémnis ágitur,
In qua mensæ prima recólitur
Hujus institútio.
In hac mensa novi Regis,
Novum Pascha novæ legis,
Phase vetus términat.
Vetustátem nóvitas,
Umbram fugat véritas,
Noctem lux elíminat.
Quod in cœna Christus gessit,
Faciéndum hoc expréssit
In sui memóriam.
Docti sacris institútis,
Panem, vinum, in salútis
Consecrámus hóstiam.
Dogma datur Christiánis,
Quod in carnem transit panis,
Et vinum in sánguinem.
Quod non capis, quod non vides,
Animósa firmat fides,
Præter rerum ordinem.
Sub divérsis speciébus,
Signis tantum, et non rebus,
Latent res exímiæ.
Caro cibus, sanguis potus:
Manet tamen Christus totus,
Sub utráque spécie.
A suménte non concísus,
Non confráctus, non divísus:
Integer accípitur.
Sumit unus, sumunt mille:
Quantum isti, tantum ille:
Nec sumptus consúmitur.
Sumunt boni, sumunt mali:
Sorte tamen inæquáli,
Vitæ vel intéritus.
Mors est malis, vita bonis:
Vide paris sumptiónis
Quam sit dispar éxitus.
Fracto demum Sacraménto,
Ne vacílles, sed memento,
Tantum esse sub fragménto,
Quantum toto tégitur.
Nulla rei fit scissúra:
Signi tantum fit fractúra:
Qua nec status nec statúra
Signáti minúitur.
Ecce panis Angelórum,
Factus cibus viatórum:
Vere panis filiórum,
Non mitténdus cánibus.
In figúris præsignátur,
Cum Isaac immolátur:
Agnus paschæ deputátur
Datur manna pátribus.
Bone pastor, panis vere,
Jesu, nostri miserére:
Tu nos pasce, nos tuére:
Tu nos bona fac vidére
In terra vivéntium.
Tu, qui cuncta scis et vales:
Qui nos pascis hic mortáles:
Tuos ibi commensáles,
Cohærédes et sodáles,
Fac sanctórum cívium.
Amen. Allelúja.
Sion, lift up thy voice and sing:
Praise thy Savior and thy King,
Praise with hymns thy shepherd true.
All thou canst, do thou endeavour:
Yet thy praise can equal never
Such as merits thy great King.
See today before us laid
The living and life-giving Bread,
Theme for praise and joy profound.
The same which at the sacred board
Was, by our incarnate Lord,
Giv'n to His Apostles round.
Let the praise be loud and high:
Sweet and tranquil be the joy
Felt today in every breast.
On this festival divine
Which records the origin
Of the glorious Eucharist.
On this table of the King,
Our new Paschal offering
Brings to end the olden rite.
Here, for empty shadows fled,
Is reality instead,
Here, instead of darkness, light.
His own act, at supper seated
Christ ordain'd to be repeated
In His memory divine;
Wherefore now, with adoration,
We, the host of our salvation,
Consecrate from bread and wine.
Hear, what holy Church maintaineth,
That the bread its substance changeth
Into Flesh, the wine to Blood.
Doth it pass thy comprehending?
Faith, the law of sight transcending
Leaps to things not understood.
Here beneath these signs are hidden
Priceless things, to sense forbidden,
Signs, not things, are all we see.
Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine,
Yet is Christ in either sign,
All entire, confessed to be.
They, who of Him here partake,
Sever not, nor rend, nor break:
But, entire, their Lord receive.
Whether one or thousands eat:
All receive the self-same meat:
Nor the less for others leave.
Both the wicked and the good
Eat of this celestial Food:
But with ends how opposite!
Here 't is life: and there 't is death:
The same, yet issuing to each
In a difference infinite.
Nor a single doubt retain,
When they break the Host in twain,
But that in each part remains
What was in the whole before.
Since the simple sign alone
Suffers change in state or form:
The signified remaining one
And the same for evermore.
Behold the Bread of Angels,
For us pilgrims food, and token
Of the promise by Christ spoken,
Children's meat, to dogs denied.
Shewn in Isaac's dedication,
In the manna's preparation:
In the Paschal immolation,
In old types pre-signified.
Jesu, shepherd of the sheep:
Thou thy flock in safety keep,
Living bread, thy life supply:
Strengthen us, or else we die,
Fill us with celestial grace.
Thou, who feedest us below:
Source of all we have or know:
Grant that with Thy Saints above,
Sitting at the feast of love,
We may see Thee face to face.
Amen. Alleluia.