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 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'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.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019


What joy to see BOUND on the shelves of my library!!! Of course, I'd be even happier if it were checked out. My friends, spread the word. I have prayed that BOUND may find its way into the hands of young women and men, and parents of special needs children, and especially those who really need to read it, who will be transformed by it. I am no marketeer, but a simple writer. Please help me. Ask for it at your library because self-published books will hardly ever get on the radar of librarians. Recommend it for your classroom (13+) or book club. Invite me to come speak with you about it. If you loved it, share it with a friend, write a review. And my heartfelt thanks to all who've done so much to promote it already. It's been nearly a year since I published it and although I told myself I would learn to market, it is a painfully slow process. I did a few experiments in advertising but I don't know what I'm doing. And I confess that I would rather write new stories that are roiling in my head.

I feel an urgency about getting BOUND in as many hands as possible because it is unabashedly pro-life. And we need the ordinary people to stand up for these most vulnerable amongst us--the babies. I've been so thankful to see many states passing "heartbeat" laws to protect babies and their mothers from the horrors of abortion. But other states, Democrat-led, are enshrining abortion as a fundamental right and go as far as to advocate infanticide. However, most people oppose abortion during the last three months of pregnancy when the baby can live outside the mother's womb. I find it strange that people try to make exceptions for rape or incest. Abortion punishes the baby, not the rapist. Of course, it's a great burden upon the woman to conceive a child in this way and carry it to term. Ryan Bomberger has written a very cogent argument for preserving life in all cases: I am the 1% used to defend 100% of abortions.

This is why I wrote BOUND. I took one of the worst-case scenarios and made a case for the dignity of the human person because each of us is fearfully and wonderfully made. We each have a unique role to play. 

Consider that 71 million baby girls have been aborted in China and India since the 1980s simply because they are girls. These missing girls are now missing women, women who would be wives, mothers, teachers, doctors, artists, etc. The men are already feeling this loss. In the US alone, we are missing over 61 million children since Roe v Wade (1973), some of whom would be middle-aged by now. These are our brothers and sisters, our aunts and uncles, our friends. And the carnage continues at the rate of about one every 30 seconds. Worldwide it is a staggering 1.5 billion. I know this is too big a number to comprehend, like numbering the stars, but every one is utterly unique and irreplaceable. This is a huge loss of life--it is unjust, like slavery, like the Jewish holocaust. We must end it.   

This is the season of Pentecost! Come Holy Spirit and enkindle in us the Fire of Thy Love. Send forth Thy Spirit and renew the face of the earth. Listen to this beautiful Gregorian Chant: Veni Creator Spiritus


Monday, June 3, 2019

Letting Go, Moving on

Our priest gave a wonderful homily for Ascension. The Risen Christ was with the Apostles for 40 days and He prepared them to receive the Holy Spirit. We, too, shouldn't feel abandoned by God. He is with us! Here in the Church, in the Eucharist, and in the Holy Spirit. 
This Sunday, he preached on letting go. We have a tendency to stay in our old habits and old ways. My life for the past two decades has been dictated by the needs of my family. No longer can I use them as an excuse for procrastinating and not writing the stories God has placed upon my heart. Our younger child is moving on...we wouldn't be here without the help and prayers of faithful family and friends and teachers. Thank you, one and all.



We love you so much Dagny and are so very proud of you! I can't wait to see what God accomplishes in your life. I want you to always remember that true happiness will lie in surrendering to His Holy will. I let go of you a couple of years ago and into the hands of our Blessed Mother and now I especially ask her most chaste spouse, St. Joseph, to guard and protect you from all evil. God bless you in this next chapter of your life! For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart. ~ Jeremiah 29:11-13