Thursday, April 29, 2021

Books, books, books!!!

It feels like Christmas! I was writing up some book reviews for our parish newsletter and visited Tan Books to get links and I knew it'd be dangerous territory because there's never anything that I don't want. They had amazing deals, $5 books, and I a big way. I dare you to check them out and not have something in your cart. 

I've been reading out on my back porch, taking in the scent of jasmine as it wafts on the breeze. But I really should finish those book reviews. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Growing, growing, strong!!!

My children with their friends at a formal dance. So lovely! Most of them have spent a spring break or two with us. Max et. al. will be starting a new chapter in their lives.  Oh, may the good Lord direct all their steps. What a terrific foundation they have received at Ave Maria University. Deo gratias!

Friday, April 16, 2021

Caroline: Little House, Revisited

Every once in a while you come across a book so exquisite, words fail you. Today I started reading Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller and I am in awe. She is a beautiful writer, a bold one, taking on the voice of her character. She inhabits Caroline--Ma Ingalls--of the Little House books so perfectly, I'm lost in her. If you loved the Little House books, you will love Caroline.

I learned about Sarah when she used to hang out on the Blueboards, a generous contributor. Sarah's first book was Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller in Annie Sullivan's voice. I loved Helen's autobiography so it was a joy to read from Annie's POV. This is Sarah's strength--to immerse herself completely in the person she's writing about, truly bringing history to life.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Divine Mercy and Strawberries

Divine Mercy image in Vilnius
Eugeniusz Kazimirowski (1873-1939)

On this eve of Divine Mercy and our 12th anniversary of reception into the Church, my heart overflows with gratitude for all the blessings and so I share a prayer to three united hearts that resemble strawberries.

Heart of Jesus, I adore Thee.

Heart of Mary, I implore thee.

Heart of Joseph, pure and just,

in these three hearts

I place my trust.


For the Sake of His Sorrowful Passion by Meggie Daly has beautiful meditations for praying the Divine Mercy chaplet. And Fr. Gaitley's book on 33 Days to Merciful Love is embracing our own littleness and brokenness like St. Therese and trusting and allowing Jesus to make us saints. A must-read. 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Happy Easter!!!

Christ our Passover has been sacrificed. For this He was born and for this He died. Easter Vigil was so beautiful, listening to salvation history, and then celebrating the entry of the newest members of our family. Truly, it's like being at the gates of heaven. We had a beautiful High Mass for Easter Day--first time ever. We must do it again! Deo gratias!!!

Our citrus flowers--lemon, tangerine and grapefruit (ready to burst open)--are all so fragrant. Love them. A blessed and beautiful Easter to all. He is Risen! Alleluia!!!

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Holy Saturday Musings with Links and a Poem: LIMBO

Jimmy Akin has an interesting piece about pinning down the date of Jesus' Crucifixion
Descent of Christ from the Cross
 ~ Jean Joseph Weerts (AD 1847-1927)
and it's April 3, AD 33.

Saturdays are devoted to Mary. If her greatest joy had been to hold the baby Jesus, then the greatest sorrow occurred when she held the dead Body of her Son on Good Friday. Yet, she in her sorrow had the fullness of the faith even though everybody had lost it--the Apostles and holy women did not expect the Resurrection even though Jesus Himself spoke about it! There is a beautiful and more thorough explanation here from which I quote: "It is precisely the day that reminds us of the tragic hour of doubt and abandonment... Until the triumph of the Immaculate Heart comes we are living a great Holy Saturday in which one would say that everything we love lies in the grave without balms and in disorder, contempt, hatred and abandonment." 

I've been spending a lot of time with St. Joseph and it's clear that his greatest sorrow was knowing that the beautiful Child would one day suffer and His Mother will share that pain and sorrow and he would not be there to protect them. And so I repost: In the Apostles Creed, which we recite daily, we speak of Jesus descending into hell. This is not the hell of the damned, but simply the abode of the dead, before the gates of heaven were opened. And here's a beautiful poem about it:

Limbo By Sister Mary Ada, OSJ
The ancient greyness shifted
Suddenly and thinned
Like mist upon the moors
Before the wind.
An old, old prophet lifted
A shining face and said:
“He will be coming soon.
The Son of God is dead;
He died this afternoon.”
A murmurous excitement stirred
All souls.
They wondered if they dreamed –
Save one old man who seemed
Not even to have heard.
And Moses, standing,
Hushed them all to ask
If any had a welcome song prepared.
If not, would David take the task?
And if they cared
Could not the three young children sing
The Benedicite, the canticle of praise
They made when God kept them from perishing
In the fiery blaze?
A breath of spring surprised them,
Stilling Moses’ words.
No one could speak, remembering
The first fresh flowers,
The little singing birds.
Still others thought of fields new ploughed
Or apple trees
All blossom-boughed.
Or some, the way a dried bed fills
With water
Laughing down green hills.
The fisherfolk dreamed of the foam
On bright blue seas,
The one old man who had not stirred
Remembered home.
Andrea di Bonaiuto (AD 1346-1379), Descent of Christ to Limbo

And there He was
Splendid as the morning sun and fair
As only God is fair.
And they, confused with joy,
Knelt to adore
Seeing that He wore
Five crimson stars
He never had before.
No canticle at all was sung
None toned a psalm, or raised a greeting song.
A silent man alone
Of all that throng found tongue –
Not any other
Close to His heart.
When the embrace was done,
Old Joseph said, “How is Your Mother,
How is Your Mother, Son?”

Friday, April 2, 2021

Good Friday Reproaches

I learned about the Reproaches only a couple of years ago when our choir director started singing them during the veneration of the Cross. They are powerful--Christ crying out to His people from the Cross. My favorite version is the chant alternating with polyphony composed by Victoria

My people, what have I done to you
How have I offended you? Answer me!

I led you out of Egypt,
from slavery to freedom,
but you led your Savior to the cross.

My people, what have I done to you?
How have I offended you? Answer me!

Holy is God!
Holy and mighty!
Holy immortal One, have mercy on us!

For forty years I led you
safely through the desert.
I fed you with manna from heaven,
and brought you to a land of plenty; but you led your Savior to the cross.

Repeat "Holy is God..."

What more could I have done for you.
I planted you as my fairest vine,
but you yielded only bitterness:
when I was thirsty you gave me vinegar to drink,
and you pierced your Savior with a lance.

Repeat "Holy is God..."


For your sake I scourged your captors
and their firstborn sons,
but you brought your scourges down on me.

My people, what have I done to you?
How have I offended you? Answer me!

I led you from slavery to freedom
and drowned your captors in the sea,
but you handed me over to your high priests.
"My people...."

I opened the sea before you,
but you opened my side with a spear.
"My people...."

I led you on your way in a pillar of cloud,
but you led me to Pilate's court.
"My people...."

I bore you up with manna in the desert,
but you struck me down and scourged me.
"My people...."

I gave you saving water from the rock,
but you gave me gall and vinegar to drink.
"My people...."

For you I struck down the kings of Canaan.
but you struck my head with a reed.
"My people...."

I gave you a royal scepter,
but you gave me a crown of thorns.
"My people...."

I raised you to the height of majesty,
but you have raised me high on a cross.
"My people...."

Another favorite is the Taize chant: Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom. I was so honored to lead it off because it is a prayer I make many times throughout the day. I heard it the first time when we were entering the church and I cried and cried because this was my desire, coming home to my Love, may we never ever be separated from Him ever again. I love how we pray not just for ourselves and but for the whole world. Our pastor gave a beautiful homily on why our dear Jesus had to die on the Cross. Here's the link to our Good Friday liturgy. Tonight, we watch The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson.