Thursday, January 05, 2017

A New Grandson! (Warning: Gushing Grandma Words and Photos)

The breathtaking beauty of new life. And when it's your grandson...add euphoria.

 This was part of the group waiting and supporting Esther in prayer as she worked to bring Joey into the world. I think Elle took the picture.

Here's Elle with two sis-in-laws. So exciting to be awaiting the arrival of new life! A new member of our family!

Uncle Jim entertaining nephew Blaise. Soon Blaise would have his first boy cousin...and first cousin at all on our side of the family.

And here he is....Joy! No other word....

                                                         Joey with Aunt Anne...

Blaise meets Joey!!!

Look at this face! Cuteness!!!!
The little Christmas baby!!!!

                                             Mother love. Her heart is forever changed.

                                                                   A family!!!!!
He holds her finger. And she holds him in her heart for all eternity!!! God is so good. Another miracle.

Monday, January 02, 2017

A year and a few days ago I became a grandma! Words cannot describe the joy that has been added to my life.  Now the Little Man is turning one.

Is he not the cutest little guy you've ever seen. OK, I may be a little biased.

When your birthday corresponds with New Year's Eve, there will always be a party to go to. Nice.

Blaise with his godparents....Auntie Mary (my daughter) and Uncle Ian (his father's brother).

I hear the the only thing better than being a grandparent is being a great grandparent. Here is Blaise with his great Grandma! (Blaise is blessed with two other great grandparents too!)

The theme of the New Year's Eve/Birthday bash was "Time flies!" Perfect!
And isn't that the truth!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Below is the table set with my mother's fine china and a mixture of her crystal and mine. My mother left this world more than 11 years ago but it still pleases me to see some of her things on the table, a reminder of everlasting life and of her love that endures. (Photo compliments of my daughter Mary.)

We started the celebration early since my oldest daughter, a nurse, had to work the afternoon shift. While watching the parades on TV, we had the following hoers oeuvres. Mary made the lovely cheese trays with grapes. The stuffed mushrooms were my mother's recipe and we have them at every important holiday.

There were ten of us together. Mary, again, kindly took the picture. Feeling very thankful that so many of us are living nearby. No one on the other side of the country anymore, no one across an ocean...

My oldest son, who lives in Indiana, is awaiting the birth of his first child and so was not able to travel home for the holiday.

So Mike and I traveled to visit them on Friday, bringing along our leftovers. We watched the Michigan/Ohio State game at a local restaurant where this father-son photo was taken. Feelings were strong in our family about this game. I am a Michigan graduate, as was my father and grandfather, as is one of my sons. One of my daughters is a current student. (I will leave commenting on the fairness of the reffing for another time. Ahem.)

Prayers appreciated for my son, my dear daughter-in-law, and soon to be born second grandson who will be born in December.

I hope you all had a thanksgiving celebration as blessed as ours. God is good.

Monday, October 10, 2016

You Are Not Truly Pro-life If You Think Abortion Should Be Legal

This image is from the Priests for Life website.

The personally-opposed-but-pro-choice position is logically inconsistent or an example of barbarism. It must be one or the other.

Here's why: If a person believes that human life begins at conception, then the unborn are individual human beings deserving of rights and protection equal to that of a human being already born. If one recognizes that reality, then one cannot also say that it should be legal for people to kill those human beings. The unborn are not entitled to rights and also not entitled to rights.

The question is not a matter of making an individual choice that belongs to another. No. Some choices are allowed by law. Other choices are not. When a law forbids a particular action, that is not a matter of making a person less free. All of law limits behavior based on our collective agreement of what is right and wrong. To say that the unborn are human beings is to say that their lives must be protected just as all human lives are protected by law.

If one believes that the unborn are human beings, as is the case with declaring oneself pro-life, and to also believe that a mother ought to be able to legally choose to end that life, is to embrace barbarism. If one is pro-life, an unborn baby is no less human than a newborn or a person of any age. To say that it ought to be legal to kill another person, of any age, is barbaric. To take that position is no different than proposing the legality of killing newborns. Remember we are talking about people who describe themselves as pro-life, believing that human life begins at conception. You cannot believe that the unborn baby is a human person and also believe that it should be legal to kill that person without embracing a certain barbarism.

That being said, let's remember that the waters of this discussion have become very muddied. Those who support abortion so-called rights have wrapped the issue in questions of freedom, personal autonomy, and medical privacy. These are all smokescreens that have caused a great many people to become confused about the sanctity of human life and our responsibilities as moral beings. I believe many people have not really given the issue much thought. It's a very important issue. I pray for the day that the clouds will be lifted and people will actually think this through and see the issue clearly. The biology is obvious. The unborn are human individuals and their lives must be protected.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Feast of Saint Matthew!

Today is the Feast of Saint Matthew, an apostle of Jesus and the author of the first Gospel.

Matthew was a tax collector, an occupation despised by many because it allowed for great profit at the expense of others through extortion.

As quoted in today's Magnificat, Saint John Chrysostom says of tax collectors:
The pursuit...was one full of all insolence and boldness, and a mode of gain whereof no fair account could be given, a shameless traffic, a robbery under cloak of law: yet nevertheless he who uttered the call was ashamed of none of these things.
No, Jesus was not ashamed of Matthew. In fact, he called him to be one of his Twelve.

According to Francis Fernandez in his wonderful series In Conversation With God, Volume 7,  despite the scorn given the position of tax collector:
It is an attractive post, however, due to its great potential for acquiring wealth. A tax collector seems to have enjoyed high social status, since Matthew made Jesus a great feast in his house; and there was a large company of tax collectors and others sitting at table with them. (Luke 5:29)
So Matthew threw a party for Jesus and many other people, prompting the Pharisees to accuse Jesus of keeping company with sinners. Jesus, of course, responds that it is the sick who need a doctor and not the well.

I don't think Jesus went into that party, sat down and started telling all the guests why and how they were sinners. No, I think he sat down and loved them. I imagine he looked into their eyes and asked about their lives, their families. Had he been giving them a lecture about their failings, perhaps he would have gained the Pharisees' approval. He had only that day called Matthew to be an Apostle.  And Scripture does not recount Jesus telling Matthew all the sins he would have to abandon in order to follow him. Matthew didn't need that. I imagine he looked into the eyes of Jesus and already knew.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wedding Photos-- The Ceremony and After!

 Is this not adorable? Zach and Blaise wore matching socks. And great socks they were!!!

 OK. These aren't in order. Jim and Elle chatting with our longtime pastor Father Ed, after the sacrament and before the pictures! We love Father Ed.

 Jim and his groomsmen! Three from grade school and high school. Two from college (University of Dallas! A great school!)

 The wedding party!! Two of my daughters are among the bridesmaids...

 My Boys!!! Three sons and one son-in-law!!

 My children (and grandson!) Three sons, three daughters, two daughter-in-laws, one son-in-law, and one grandson!! God is good!

 OK. Back to the Mass... Here is Jim waiting for his bride....(with Father Phil, his spiritual director, a wonderful priest!)

 The vows....

 Our whole family!!  God is good!  All the time!

 Our extended family, including my sister and her two sons, Matt and Luke, my brother with his daughter Monique and son Mitch, and Mike's brother Jeff, with his son Anthony.

It was a wonderful day, where the grace and glory of God was all over everything.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Wedding Graces-- The Rehearsal Dinner!

Yikes! Just realized I haven't posted in about a month! Family events are the reason. In short, there's been a wedding in our family!!!

Such a time of grace and joy!

On the day before the wedding, the morning began with Liz organizing the creation of the bouquets, boutonnieres, etc.

Liz and Esther, the architects!

My friend Chris, who has had a lot of experience with these endeavors, volunteered to come help.
Wow. What a gift!
There were a few other helpers but these three are the ones who really pulled it off.

Then....rehearsal dinner at Paesano Restaurant. (Warning: large number of pictures :-)

My son Jim and his lovely bride Elle!

That lilac dress. Exquisitely beautiful and her favorite flower!!

Jim's shoelaces matched the color of his pants. Nice. Loved it.

Daughter Anne with her husband Zach and their son Blaise, the love of my life!

The outside patio provided lots of entertainment!


And... Blaise, again! Of course!

Daughter Anne and daughter-in-law Esther!

Jim with Father Phil his spiritual director who would be the celebrant at the wedding!

Son Mike with his wife Esther!
Jim and Father Phil!
Daughter Mary with her godson BLAISE! (Can't have too many pictures of Blaise.)

Yours truly with my husband Mike...
Daughter Liz with her longtime boyfriend Jonathan..

 My son John who would direct the music at the wedding the next day...

Elle's parents, two delightful and thoughtful people. Hope to get to know them better!

Father Phil with his dessert!

Jim with his best man!

The soon to be bride and groom with Zach and Anne and, of course, Blaise...

I think the beauty of weddings starts at the Rehearsal Dinner. For me, that is when the celebration begins.  We all come together. Everyone is smiling. Eyes are relaxed. Smiles are warm and genuine.

I've been told that there is a great grace on weddings. Of course. There must be. And that grace seems to descend starting at the Rehearsal Dinner.