Monday, October 30, 2006

Urgent Prayer Request for my father

Well, just as my sister predicted, my father went into the hospital yesterday. My son was home from college for the weekend and we all went up to see Grandpa (except for my oldest daughter who had to work). He seemed so sick, even further debilitated than before, and said he felt like he was losing his sense of balance. We took him to the ER and they admitted him for tests.

This morning they told me on the phone that his condition had changed and he was being admitted to intensive care. He had gone into respiratory failure and they put him on a ventilator. I just got back from the hospital. He is pretty stable in other ways and could respond a little. I'm not feeling very hopeful about his recovery although his doctor thinks he will come through this.

Thank you for all your prayers. Please continue to pray for my dad. May he be fully prepared for the journey home when the Lord chooses to call him. May the Lord lead me to plan where to be when, arranging for the kids, being at the hospital when He wants me there, etc. and may the doctors have wisdom, and may the Lord give my dad all the grace and peace he wants him to have at this crucial time. My Lord and my God, your kingdom come, your will be done... Saint Joseph, please pray for my dad.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

So sad for the Tigers

I'm so sad for the Tigers. They played so well during the season and then just really seemed to choke during the World Series. I'm sure there will be much speculation about why they could not have been coached/managed better psychologically. They're still a great team and I look forward to next year.

Yea, Tigers!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

More Advice to Myself

Do not, I repeat, do not try to do what is humanly impossible . You will fail and there will be a price to pay.

On a day, or during a week, when emotions or difficulties are weighing heavily on your heart, schedule fewer commitments than usual and strongly resist adding extras.

Concentrate only on what the Lord may want (and remember he is not an unreasonable God.) Do not let perceived reactions or judgments of others distract you. You are here to do God's will, not anybody else's.

Ask for help when you need it but don't take it personally if people seem unwilling. They don't know what's on your heart or how full your plate is. Give the benefit of the doubt. They may be dealing with more than you are. God will provide what you need-- as long as you're not an idiot about it.

When there is a great need for my time in more than one location, I can still only be in one place at the same time. I know that this is laughably obvious, but somehow I still don't seem to get it. Accept the limitations of the physical world and pray for God's wisdom in discerning His priorities for my time.

Yes, now if I would just follow my own advice......

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I love my blogging friends!

I'm tired today and feeling somewhat overwhelmed. I've talked to my brother and sister about my dad. I'm really worried about him. He's declining so fast. I'm glad my sister will be up here in a week. She thinks he will be hospitalized before that. She may be right.

But he is watching the Tigers tonight and seems engaged in the game. Course, so far, they're doing pretty well.

My life has been so enriched by this blog and all of your blogs. I have a whole new circle of wonderful, faith-filled friends. It's so nice to sit down and just touch base with everybody (no baseball pun intended.LOL) Thanks you for all your prayers, hugs, and support.

Go Tigers!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Prayer Request-- My Father

My father has not been sounding well lately. He has been losing muscle strength at an alarming rate over the last year. He's been a cardiac patient for a number of years and is on a lot of meds.

I went to see him tonight. (He lives about 50 miles from us.) I thought it would be good to see him and be reassured because surely he would seem better in person. My reaction was just the opposite. He seems much worse and I'm really alarmed. He has always kept his medications very organized and could always tell you what he was taking what for, etc. Now he's getting them confused. In his organizer I could see that he hadn't taken his pills last night. This is so uncharacteristic. I think he needs someone with him all the time. He doesn't want to go to a nursing home and he won't move down here. He's 82 and does not have dementia so it really is up to him. He's lost 3 pounds in the last ten days and has been steadily losing over the last year. He does see doctors regularly and no one seems to have a diagnosis.

Please pray for him and for wisdom and guidance for me and my family. (He's seeing a neuromuscular specialist next week.

Thank you all so much.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Happy Birthday Mike (DH) and John (DS)

According to my husband Mike, the best birthday present he ever got was his son John. Yup, they share the same birthday and it's today. I tried to post a picture but I just can't seem to make it work even with different approaches. I'm thinking it's because I'm using dial-up. I'm trying one more time so there may or may not be a picture with this post.

What I really want to do is post an audio of John's piano playing but that may be way beyond the capability of me and this pokey dial-up.

Happy Birthday to the man and the baby-man (17yrs) LOL

Monday, October 23, 2006

1968 World Series-- Tigers v. Cardinals and "Roley Poley Mickey Lolich"

I realize I'm dating myself.

I vividly remember the 1968 World Series when the Tigers played against the Cardinals, so this World Series is a trip into nostalgia for me. I was in seventh grade and my brother was in eighth. We were good buddies and he was an avid Tiger fan. Under his influence I knew all the players' names and shared in his excitement at the World Series.

Denny MacLaine (sp?) was the Tigers' star pitcher and had even broken a record for wins that year. But when the World Series started, he had an injury or had blown out his arm from the season, or something. He may have won one of the games, but for the most part the Tigers relied on Mickey Lolich. Lolich had been an average pitcher during the season. He was like the Tigers' second or third best pitcher.

The Tigers were losing three games to one when they headed to St. Louis. It didn't look good. But Lolich went on to pitch three of the four winning games!!! And in what I believe was the last game, Lolich came up to bat. Had less than a .200 batting average and the sportscasters were all commenting on how they were surprised the Tigers had not put in someone else to bat. According to my brother's memory, they were still talking about what an unusual decision it was to put the pitcher in to bat himself when Lolich hit a homerun with men on base. His homer helped win the game!!!

Mickey Lolich became Detroit's beloved hero. He was just an average player and even a below average batter. He didn't look like an athlete. He had kind of a pudgy build. But he did better than his best and, more than anybody else, brought World Series victory to the Tigers. Someone wrote a song about him called "Roley Poley Mickey Lolich" that detailed his achievement. He was the unlikely guy who rose to stardom when it really mattered to Detroit. Lolich made Detroit's victory all the sweeter.

Perhaps the lesson to be learned is that we all have more in us than we think.

Go Tigers!!!!!!

Friday, October 20, 2006

The joy of motherhood-- a lost concept??

I read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today about how women in Estonia are being paid to bear children. In 2001 it was predicted that Estonia would lose half of its population by mid century. Actually today Japan, Italy, Germany, and South Korea have an even lower birth rate than Estonia.

But the government of Estonia decided to do something about it. Even with the subsidies the birth rate is still not at replacement level.

The part of the article that really struck me, though, was the explanation for why birth rates have dropped so low.

--greater economic opportunities for women
--advances in birth control (their words)
--"the spread of ideas about individual freedom and happiness that are hard to reconcile with caring for a large family."

Individual freedom and happiness are not compatible with caring for a large family??Clearly such an idea was not formed by talking to people with large families. Shall I be blunt? Yes, if you need live a selfish, egocentric life in order to be happy then, no, you would not be happy raising a large family. It is so very sad that people believe these lies. Happiness does not come from individual self-
gratification. Does the general population really believe that loving, caring for, and nurturing one's own children does not bring happiness??? Come on!! What does then? Big houses? Powerful positions? Lots of money? Self indulgence? The freedom to never have to sacrifice anything that I want? Where did an understanding of the joy of motherhood get lost? Children are a gift from God. Satan has led people to believe the most ridiculous things. And they themselves suffer as a result. Lord, have mercy.

Apology

I must tell many of you that somehow either I'm not reading Bloglines correctly, or I've accidentally deleted some blogs from my list, or I'm not reading Bloglines correctly... the long and the short of it is I've discovered that many blogs that I want to read regularly have been listed as not having new posts when they actually do! I kept thinking there sure are a lot of people getting too busy to write. Then I went to one directly instead of through Bloglines and realized there were lots of new posts that I hadn't read. If I used to comment on your blog and haven't in a long time that is probably why. I'm so sorry. I seem to have lost a lot of them. I don't know what I did. I'm now trying to resubscribe to ones I think are missing. I don't even know how to get Bloglines to show me a list of my subscriptions. I'm sure it's very simple. (smile) I sure learn this computer stuff slowly Any suggestions? Again, I'm sorry. I feel like I've really missed out.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thomas Dubay on venial sins

I should point out that yesterday's post was entirely from my retreat notes-- the thoughts of Thomas Dubay, primarily. I'll try to make that more clear.

Father Thomas Dubay says:

"Even though they are not colossal, they remain disorders. [venial sins] They cool but do not extinguish the love relationship with God and our neighbor. Ordinary gossiping and overeating are examples. The reader should note that when we speak above about 'willed venial sins' the first adjective is important indeed....

To snap at a person usually is a free action and thus with guilt. We ordinarily can control what we say. If one has the habit of snapping when annoyed, he ought to work at getting rid of the habit. Another example: it is not a sin to feel grouchy-- after all, while we cannot control how we feel, we can make an effort to be pleasant even on a hard day."

OK. Here' my reaction:

At first reading, my reaction to these passages was an awareness of my own guilt. As I read it again I'm wondering about his use of the word "ordinarily." Are there times, then, when overeating, for example, might not be a sin? I'm sure that there are. When it's compulsive behavior it may not be willed with complete freedom. How about his "We ordinarily can control what we say." Does this allow for times when there really is a certain lack of control? I'm hoping. LOL I must say there are times when I am really upset that I feel it's five minutes later that I truly find out what I just said-- as I replay it in my head and gasp... Maybe this is rationalization. There is certainly some guilt in this area in my life.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Thomas Dubay: Deep intimacy with the Trinity requires deep conversion

Deep intimacy with the Trinity requires deep conversion. This was the focus of my retreat this past weekend with Thomas Dubay, author of "Deep Conversion/Deep Prayer," as the retreatmaster. The retreat was based on the book.

Father Dubay pointed out that everyone has a consuming concern. ("I live for this.") He noted that Dostoevsky said that man cannot live without kneeling. You will worship something. He said that, in reality, there are no atheists, only idolaters.

What might even professed Christians actually be living for? Money, pride (I just have to dominate.), lust (opposite of love), etc.

The first six recorded words of Jesus are, "Be converted and accept the Gospel."

A baby is completely egocentric. Some people never get over it.

Dubay says, "Perhaps the most all-embracing trait of the original wound...is omnipresent egocentrism....Yes, my thoughts and desires and inclinations are spontaneously focused not on others but on myself: my conveniences, my pleasures, my preferences, my possessions, my prospects, my plans, my sufferings, my desires, my aspirations, my reputation, my freedom....
The fundamental conversion is therefore the renouncing of this pervasive egoism and the turning to an altruistic love for objective truth, goodness, and beauty.

Yeah. The list of "my's" is all too familiar among the things my thoughts are frequently directed towards. May my heart, mind, and soul always turn to objective truth, goodness, and beauty. (Even when I'm picking up towels from the bathroom floor? LOL)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Touchdown Jim!!!

I had a wonderful, relaxing, restful, and inspiring retreat. I will be writing more about Father Thomas Dubay and his very practical and helpful advice in pursuing a life of virtue.

But, first, I must write about a very exciting event that happened while I was gone. My son Jim's junior varsity football team has won their Catholic League championship! The team with the best record wins and even though they have one more game, no team will top their record because they are undefeated. They have a wonderful faith-filled coach who requires that they attend Mass together the morning of every game day. They also pray together on one knee in the middle of the field after every game, and they invite the other team to join them. The other team always does and it's a very moving sight to see. So congratulations Irish!!

And guess what happened at the game Saturday night?? (The game I missed because I was on retreat-- sad face) The put Jim in, gave him the ball, and he ran seventy yards to score a touchdown!!! Yes, SEVENTY YARDS!!! According to my husband the team went nuts, jumped all over him, everyone complimented him on the run, people asking who is that kid?...etc. He has not played much for most of the season so this was a huge, personal victory. I'm so proud of all the work he has done, learning to be a good football player (and not only just skilled on the field), persevering, developing self-discipline, being there, etc. I am so very happy for him.

One more game and I will certainly be there. So glad we let him play football. (I still pray before every game that he will not get hurt.) God is good!!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

I'm substitute teaching in a fourth grade classroom at this very moment. The kids are all at art and I'm blogging on the classroom computer. It's much, much faster than mine. I love it. They've been pretty good today. Funny how the more experienced I get as a substitute the better behaved the kids seem to be. (smile). I've learned what I call the don't-mess-with-me demeanor. Serious face, stand tall (even though I'm quite short, only a little taller than they are), etc. I actually enjoy it.

Anyway, I'm going on reatreat this weekend. The retreat master is Thomas Dubay, author of "Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer" which I've written about a few times. I've been reading the book as a preparation for the retreat. I should be relaxed and really looking forward to it, but there's so much to do before I leave that I'm still focused on all those tasks. I'm not even packed and I won't be home until almost five.

Oh well. I'm sure it will be wonderful and I plan to get plenty of sleep!! I won't be posting again probably until Sunday or Monday. (Unless I get to the library during my son's piano lesson-- could happen. There's a library nearby.) If I do get back on a computer I'll probably try to catch up on reading all of your blogs which I'm still a little behind on.

Enjoy your weekend, all!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Today we had the strangest weather. It was very, very cold with gusts of wind and snow(!!) that did not stay, fortunately. The kids were all underdressed. Then, between the snow gusts the sun would come out and there would be blue sky.

I have not been getting enough sleep lately. The other day I fell asleep sitting up in the waiting room of the dentist's office. I'm able to sleep when given the opportunity. I just have not given myself enough opportunities. So... on that note. I'm going to bed to give myself the opportunity to sleep. Good night all.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The phone is finally fixed!!

I actual blog using a dial-up internet connection and for the last 3 weeks or so we've been having trouble with our phone. There has been a lot of static on the line and the computer has been miserably unhappy about it. The speed was about a fourth of the usual slow speed and everyone was frustrated. It was taking the kids a lot longer to do their work and so the computer was free less time. Then when I could get on, it was so slow that I got way behind in reading my favorite blogs. If it seemed I dropped off on my commenting, know that I will be catching up now. Hopefully it's fixed. We had service people out here 6 times!!

It was an opportunity for me to practice patience. Hopefully, I didn't squander it.

The queenship of Mary (and my birthday:-)

Fifty-two years ago Pope Pius XXII proclaimed the queenship of Mary on this day.


Ad caeli Reginam
Encyclical of Pope Pius XII on proclaiming the Queenship Of Mary, 11 October 1954.
Excerpts from sections 1-40.
From the earliest ages of the Catholic Church a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they placed in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus Christ; nor has that faith ever failed by which we are taught that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, reigns with a mother's solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen.
From early times Christians have believed, and not without reason, that she of whom was born the Son of the Most High received privileges of grace above all other beings created by God. He "will reign in the house of Jacob forever,"[5] "the Prince of Peace,"[6] the "King of Kings and Lord of Lords."[7] And when Christians reflected upon the intimate connection that obtains between a mother and a son, they readily acknowledged the supreme royal dignity of the Mother of God.


It also happened to be the day I was born. I believe my mother named me Rosemary for this reason. Mary for her queenship declaration and Rose because it was the month of the rosary.

I had a wonderful birthday. The second graders whom I work with showered me with attention. (They sang Happy Birthday three times-- all smiles.) Cards, gifts, great food, Mass, confession... it was a great day!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Body Piercing

OK. While I'm on a roll of superficial topics...what about body piercing?

I draw a distinction between pierced ears and other kinds of piercing. I don't know if that's because pierced ears are so common or if it's because I know that a pierced earlobe is much less likely to get infected than pierced cartilage, etc. I have pierced ears myself. My daughter has an additional hole up higher in the cartilage which I don't especially like. (my adult daughter) It did get infected several times before it healed, by the way.

But tongue piercing, nose piercing, nipple or navel piercing (!!) these I put in an entirely different category. These acts seem like mutilation of the body to me. Lip piercing!! Yuk! They are also, I understand, rather dangerous because of the risk of infection. But medical issues aside, what is the appeal here? Is is a mark of personal courage? A demonstration of the ability to endure pain? I can kind of understand what they're saying, if that's the case. But why is there a need to communicate such a message? Is it a mark of the suffering times we live in? I personally find viewing bodies that are pierced to be an unpleasant, jarring kind of experience. Maybe others do not have that reaction. Maybe they think it's handsome.

Incidentally, don't get me started on Notre Dame, but I have never seen a Notre Dame student with body piercings other than ears. Why is that? Because of my personal prejudices I like to think it's because they're all too smart for such things. My daughter says it's because they're just kind of a preppy group. :)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Is bald beautiful?

Where did bald men get the idea that having no hair at all was more attractive than having a little hair. I'm wondering if younger women think differently about this than I. I just don't get it. How could that shiny cue-ball looking head be more attractive than one adorned with at least a little hair? If slightly balding is not attractive isn't completely bald even worse? I guess I don't think totally bald men look good at all, and I'm wondering why a lot of men apparently do think they look good completely bald. Is it to show they don't care that they're balding? (yeah, right.) Sort of an atitude that says....I'm so tough that even though I 'm balding I'm going to show the world I don't care by shaving all my hair off. I bet I'm over analyzing this. My 21 year old daughter says some completely bald men are more attractive than they would be if they were just partially bald. This is particularly true, she says, if the guy is quite young and starting to bald. Anyway, how's this for a trivial post. LOL

Friday, October 06, 2006

Enduring tears and pouts

Just because someone is angry does not mean that I have done something wrong. Nor does it necessarily mean that they think I have done something wrong.

My child crying does not mean I have made a parenting mistake or sinned. Sometimes my child is crying because I did the right thing. I set appropriate limits or denied permission for something they really shouldn't be allowed to do. I must judge my actions based on what I really think is right and not on the reaction of others, even my children.

By nature mothers try to keep their children happy. But when a child is crying because I did the right thing, I must try to simply endure the awful feeling of observing my child's distress and not try to fix it. I think this enduring is particularly difficult when the "child" is an upset teenager. Teens are so good at manipulating and justifying their behavior or their requests. As a mom, I then start to question my judgment. That's when I pray for wisdom that I will decide what God, wants even if it is not what my teen wants.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Spiritual Illuminism

Thomas Dubay in "Deep Conversion, Deep Prayers" writes on "spiritual illuminism".....

"On the supernatural level this disease shows itself in the conviction that 'I have a special light from the Holy Spirit; you do not. Therefore I am right and you are wrong.' I like to call this form of the aberration the priveleged-pipeline-to-God idea. One can present to this person objective evidence from reason, Scripture, the teaching Church, brilliant theologians, and, once again, no dent is made on the illuminist's mind. The reaction is the same: 'I know better; you are wrong.'....It is clear that disagreements with an illuminist's spouse, relative, friend, coworker or parishioner will go nowhere until humility enters the picture-- and that requires conversion."

I assume that Dubay is talking here about opinions where there is not an objective right or wrong, situations where our reasoned judgement is required. Questions such as what is the best course of action here? What is God's will in this particular situation? How should our parish handle this? and so on... Do I think that there are some people who have nothing to teach me? Is my mental default position that I am always right? Sometimes, I'm afraid it is. May I always acknowledge that there is no one from whom I might not learn. And may I always remember to look to God and ask for answers, knowing that my own brain, my own wisdom, may own abilities to discern are pathetically limited.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Illuminism-- a blind adherence to one's own opinion

In Thomas Dubay's book, "Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer," he writes:

A seldom noticed root of conflict "is called illuminism. As far as I can tell, the idea is practically unknown in secular circles, and yet the reality is not rare. The word, illuminism, comes from the Latin for light: lumen. this illness, and it is part of the original wound, comes in two forms. On the natural level it is the conviction of some people that their ideas, their opinions, their preferences are automatically superior to those of others. When one talks to an illuminist, evidence contrary to the latter's view has little or no effect on his conviction. Even if the evidence is compelling, it does not penetrate his mind or will.

I found this passage very interesting. Could illuminism be the explanation for why abortion advocates are not interested in pre-natal development, or rather, why they act as though such information is irrelevent to the discussion? Is it because the evidence doesn't matter? My opinion is my opinion no matter what evidence you present, no matter what the truth might be? I understand that Dubay is saying that such attitudes stem from the fall, but what is the motivation of a person who maintains such a belief, I wonder. Is it egoism? Pride? Perhaps self-defense if facing the truth might just be too painful? I think when I was younger and really quite stupid I was indeed guilty of this. I hope I am not now...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Happy Birthday Jim!!

Happy Birthday Jimmy!!!!
Today is my dear son Jim's 15th birthday ( The unborn baby of several posts ago.) I can't believe he's fifteen and in high school, for heaven's sakes. He's taller than I am. (Course, those of you who know me know that's not saying much.)
Jim has a heart of gold. He would do anything for anybody. I've never seen a child so self-sacrificing. He frequently gives up things for others, without anybody even knowing it. I've actually had to talk to him about the importance of also treating himself well. And this from a teenager!!
Must be all those prayers from his godmother, Patti Anne!!
Oh Lord, please bless this child in a special way on this his birthday. I thank you for the gift of being his mother. May he be your good and faithful servant all the days of his life. May Your grace and Your peace always be upon him.
If my daughter helps me, I may be able to post a photo of Jim and me tomorrow. (As the mom makes little tiny incremental baby steps into technology. LOL)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Prayer for Robert, an abortionist

Please pray for a man named Robert who performs abortions. He used to run an abortion clinic right around the corner from my house. For years many people prayed it would close, both onsite and off. Finally, with permission, the exposed Blessed Sacrament was brought in front of the clinic for a prayer service. Robert actually invited some of the people praying to come in and pray with him!!

His clinic closed recently but he opened another in an adjacent town where numerous prayer vigils and protests have taken place. A friend of mine has been talking to him. She told him that Jesus has mercy and forgiveness even for him and he started to cry. At the end of their prayer he made the sign of the cross. When my friend asked him if he had been raised Catholic he acknowledged that he had.

Please pray for this man who, in spite of the horrific acts he is committing, is nevertheless a precious son of God. Oh Lord, please soften this man's heart. We thank you for how you seem to be working in his situation. Please close his clinic, Lord, and please bring him back into union with your Church. May all of heaven's angels and saints pray for the Lord's grace and mercy to fall upon this man. Shall I ask for more? Lord, please bring him into the pro-life movement.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Speak up for the Unborn!!

Suzanne invites all you pro-lifers to join the BigBlue Wave Pro-Life Blogburst today. Write 2 or 3 paragraphs on the rights of the unborn or the morality of abortion on this, the day of the Life chain. In case my link above doesn't work you can link to Suzanne at bluewavecanada.blogspot.com.

It's time to speak up for those who can't speak for themselves. Think of those utterly innocent, incredibly beautiful little humans that some would have us believe are nothing but a blob of tissue! Let's speak the truth!!

BigBlue Wave Pro-Life Blogburst--Rights of the unborn

Satan has so clouded the truth about the humanity of the unborn that what should be simple biological facts are now twisted with empty rhetoric about rights and freedoms. Freedom is always limited by our collective sense of what should not be allowed because it is wrong or impinges on the rights of others. These are laws. The proponents of abortion want to skip the discussion of the morality of abortion. All living things belong to a species. The unborn are alive. They belong to the human species. They are entitled to human rights. It's that simple.

The experience that most impressed upon me the humanity of the unborn was when I thought I was in the process of miscarrying my fourth child. All the signs were there. I was sure he was gone. Tearily, I went in for the ultrasound. I looked at the screen only to see my fully formed baby of 7 weeks gestation turn two consecutive full somersaults. He then continued to move so much it was almost impossible to measure his heart rate with the cursor. I was dumfounded with joy.

In two days that 7 week "fetus" will turn 15. He's a freshmen in high school and plays junior varsity football. He's one of the fastest guys on the team. Why am I not surprised!! I can't help but think of all the would be high school football players whose lives were taken before their birth because so many people will not acknowledge the simple truth of when life begins.