Friday, September 24, 2010

Lustworthy Clothing

If trustworthy means being worthy of, or warranting trust, I think I can coin a new word:

Lustworthy: worthy of, warranting, or inviting lust.

Why, oh why, is it so very difficult to find dressy clothing for teenage girls that is even reasonably modest or worthy of the dignity to which a young girl is entitled? Why is nearly all of it "lustworthy?"

For some time I have blamed the fashion industry. Last night I had a different idea.

I went to the mall to look for homecoming dresses for my girls. I am not exaggerating when I say that nearly 100% of the dresses we looked at did not express the dignity I want my daughters to have. It was very difficult to keep saying no and to put them in the position of being able to find NOTHING that I thought was suitable for a young girl to wear. Well, OK, there was one dress that was OK and maybe one other. That's it.

I sat next to another mother outside the dressing room, waiting for our daughters to model dresses. Her daughter came out in a dress that, I don't know how else to say it, but years ago only a streetwalker would wear something like that. In fact, I don't know how much more provocative you could get. It was skin tight, stretched over her torso, barely covering the very young breasts, and as short as a dress could possible be and still be called a dress. I'm sure she could not bend over in it.

I nearly gasped. The child's own mother said, "Oh. that's really pretty. I really like that." I had to keep my jaw from dropping I was so shocked. The child herself, probably no more than 14 or 15 years old, looked very uncomfortable, almost embarrassed. It was clear that the poor thing felt very awkward. The mother continued to tell her how much she liked "the blue one" and how pretty it was.

When did pretty come to mean sexually provocative? Was it around the same time that a pretty woman came to be called "hot?" I felt terrible. Terrible for the young girl and terrible for the confused mother.

Is it the fashion industry's fault that junior departments are filled with dresses that would once have been called "sleazy?" Maybe we bear some responsibility. Maybe we mothers need to speak up more. Ask for different styles. Complain (respectfully) about the poor selection. I have rarely done this myself. But if these styles weren't selling they would not be on the racks. Hmmm. I think maybe we need to make our voices heard.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mother Teresa Stamps

Have you seen these beautiful Mother Teresa stamps?
The picture, which I understand is a painting, is just lovely.
They were introduced just this month but I understand when the idea was first introduced the atheist group "Freedom from Religion" was very opposed. In fact, they urged a boycott of the stamp.

Well. One has to wonder why a stamp with the image of a woman, whose charitable contributions to the world are recognized by everyone, could be offensive. So you don't share her faith. So what?

Maybe seeing an image of Mother Teresa on a stamp provides Our Lord with an opportunity to remind these atheists of the reality of natural law that is written in their hearts. Perhaps that is why it is so disturbing to them? Perhaps it causes them to contemplate that which makes them uncomfortable. Perhaps it draws their attention to the God-shaped hole in their hearts.

Oh Lord, through the intercession of Mother Teresa, may these lovely stamps draw the hearts of all to you, may it be a reminder to everyone, especially to atheists, that you are Love itself, and that it is your glory that is reflected in all that we admire in Mother Teresa. May she intercede for all the unbelievers who are offended by these stamps.

I bought four sheets of them, and I encourage all of you to do the same.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

John is starting to improve. Initial mono. test was negative. I'm still wondering.

I actually was able to pick up my house some today and did a little cleaning too. It's so nice to not be frantically trying to complete a long to-do list.

I bought myself three new pairs of pants yesterday that actually fit me. Yes!

And as long as I'm just mentioning some random points, may I comment on Karl Rove? ( I know most of you don't seem very interested in politics. Know something? I just love following politics. I really do.

OK. So, Karl, can you give it a rest? Why all the animosity to Christine O'Donnell? (O'Donnell has won the republican nomination for Senate in Delaware. Karl Rove was against her candidacy and advised the tea party activists to vote against her. they ignored him.) She was very much a long shot and she won!

Karl, the election is over. She has the nomination. Are you a republican or not? Are you going to keep badmouthing her with the intent to make sure that your prediction that she is unelectable turns out to be true? What is your motivation? I, for one, am sick of hearing you talk about it. It's very unbecoming. In fact, it's almost embarrassing. Strong men have no problem admitting they were wrong. If you can't acknowledge you were wrong, at least stop talking about it. No one wants to hear any more about it and we certainly are tired of hearing you put down a member of your own party for no reason other than what appears to be a defense of your own ego.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Poor John is quite sick. You know your adult child is sick when they call and ask if they can come home. When Mary conveyed this message to me I asked, "You mean so we can take care of him? Of course!"

So I drove the 15 minutes across town to get him. I have one son three hours away, one son twenty hours away, and John fifteen minutes away. I'm so glad that the one who is sick is the close one. Both his roommates have mono. Oh dear. Needless to say he will be tested.

Made a simple chicken noodle soup recipe. It was quite good! I used canned broth and bought a broiled chicken from the grocery store. The whole chicken pretty much supplied the 3 cups of cooked chicken.

I love my pediatrician's office. Just called them. I now have an appointment for John in less than 2 hours.

Prayers are appreciated for a quick and accurate diagnosis.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why God Matters-- A book Review

Father and daughter, Deacon Steve Lumbert and Karina Lumbert Fabian, have written a lovely little book called Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life, published by Tribute Books. Theirs are stories of the journey to holiness in the events of ordinary lives-- lives to which we can all relate.

Karina writes, "My journey to truly living my faith has been one of small steps ever forward..." This book fills in the details of many of these small steps she has taken. Interestingly, Karina's life became a model for her father who converted to Catholicism and then became a deacon. Lessons learned by Karina and those learned by Deacon Steve are presented in alternating chapters, with intriguing titles like, "Martyr for the Trivial," "Out of the Depths of Despair," and "Does God Send Flowers?" (And does he send flowers? Yes!)

Deacon Steve writes, "Where are you in your faith? On the outside looking in? On the borders wanting to move closer?....Ask God to help you discover ways to get there." Simple? Yes. Profound? Yes.

"What's your martyr issue?" asks Karina. "Take some time today and dwell over it, but not about how you've suffered. Instead, offer it to God, then think about really solving the problem. Of course, the first step is to simply pray, 'Lord, let this end in me now.'" Who cannot relate to the struggle to avoid tripping over life's little molehills.

Each chapter begins with words of wisdom such as the following:
You know well enough that our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them. --St. Therese of Lisieux
The affairs of God are accomplished little by little and almost imperceptibly. The spirit of God is neither violent nor hasty. --St. Vincent de Paul
Cast yourself into the arms of God and be very sure that if he wants anything of you, he will fit you for the work and give you the strength. --St. Philip Neri
The conclusion of each chapter is a brief suggestion or commentary followed by relevant Scripture and Catechism quotes. The book is worth getting for these quotes alone. They make the lesson of each chapter jump right out at you.

I recommend this book. It's an easy read, scarcely a hundred pages. The authors, in their genuineness, have produced a simple and positive message of hope and encouragement.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Prayer Request!

My brother Rich has had a sudden onset of severe abdominal pain. Please pray that this be nothing serious, that he and his family would be at peace, and that the Lord would help them to receive all the graces he wants to give them in this crisis. Thank you!!

And today just happens to be his birthday!! May the Lord indulge him on his birthday with abundant grace....

For Stay-at-Home Moms..

Today's entry in In Conversation with God includes the following quote from Conversations with Monsignor Escriva.

"Each woman in her own sphere of life, if she is faithful to her divine and human vocation can and, in fact, does achieve the fullness of her feminine personality. Let us remember that Mary, Mother of God and Mother of men, is not only a model but also a proof of the transcendental value of an apparently unimportant life."

It is important for stay-at-home moms to remember this, given that we live in a world that places no value and does not even consider that there might be such a thing as "transcendental value." We must not let ourselves start to think that work without prestige and without a paycheck is in some way lacking in value. What is done with and for love will always hold the greatest value in the eyes of God. May Mary be our example.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Suzanne from Suzanne's Shorelines posted the following quote on Facebook.

"Those who replace the personal, moral Christian God with a mysterious
"supreme being" render null the conflict between good and evil, and so
rob society of the impetus to constantly pursue the good: "If God does
not have His own will, then good and bad end up being indistinguishable." Pope Benedict XVI

Don't you just love our Holy Father!!

This is so true!!! If God has no will, then good and bad are indistinguishable. And yet we know in our hearts that good and bad are indeed distinguishable. Even those who claim to believe in a kind of moral relativity do believe in a right and wrong. They believe in a truth. Otherwise, how could they assert that morality is relative to the person? If they believe that that is true then they believe in a truth.

Surely, this concept is a strong piece of evidence of the existence of God. We all believe in a right and a wrong-- even those who claim otherwise. We believe in good and evil. We recognize it, all the time, in our lives. A mysterious power could be good or evil or even neutral. How about the power of a black hole? Could such an enormous and mysterious power be considered superior to the power of Love? Is it greater than Love? No. Love is much more expansive, much brighter, much more real. In fact, love is more powerful. We all know this, although we can't explain it.

The Supreme Being must also have free will. It must be personal. Which is a higher state--that of a rock or that of a dog? A dog is higher because it has a kind of consciousness and free will. It has a brain that chooses, within certain limitations. Which is a higher being-- a dog or a human? A human is higher because it has greater reason, because it can create, as in music and art. It is higher because it can choose the good, even when that choice is contrary to its own self-interest.

Clearly, a Supreme Being must be personal or it could not be higher than a human being. A Supreme Being must be supreme---higher than a human being. We all acknowledge that there is a hierarchy of living things. A Supreme Being must be great, in every way, must have a higher capacity in every way, than those qualities of a human that make the human greater than all other animate objects.

Could the Supreme Being be an inanimate force as in Star Wars? How could it? It would be lacking in all those qualities that give a human being greater capacities than all other living things. Something that is not even living doesn't even come close. A Supreme Being must be supreme in every way.

OK. Nuf philosophizing for the day....LOL

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

God is so indulgent with us.

Lately I have been enjoying the view from my bedroom window while lying in bed at night. It's not a window with a view by most standards. It looks over some rooftops. But from my pillow I can look up and see the stars and sometimes even the moon. I love moonlight.

I often think, as I look at the glorious sky, how anyone could doubt the existence of God. How could such beauty be an accidental arrangement of molecules. My home never looks good by accident. It only looks good through deliberate effort on the part of me and my family. Deliberate effort. Doesn't happen by accident. And my home compares in no way at all to the glory of the universe.

Blessed be God. May all come to recognize his goodness and his greatness.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Michigan Notre Dame Game

Well, tomorrow Liz, John, and I are going to do something fun!!

We're going to the Michigan Notre Dame Game!!!!!!!!!!!!

In South Bend!! Which is where Mike lives so we also get to visit Mike!

Here is pictured the Michigan Union on the campus of the University of Michigan.

The Union was also the site of Anne's wedding reception, I might add.

My two youngest daughters and two of my nephews are lounging in front.
Also pictured is the golden dome of the University of Notre Dame with Our Lady looking over the campus.

I am a graduate of Michigan. So is my sister. So was my father and grandfather. And my son John is a current student!!! John is also an avid Michigan football fan and has been since he was very young.

My son Mike is a graduate of Notre Dame. And I love Notre Dame. (OK. Yes. I know. They made some big mistakes a year ago. And I think it's safe to say that all is not to Our Lady's liking on the campus) But there is a lot of good at Notre Dame. There is a lot of grace. You can feel it. I believe that her hand is on the university. And so I love it.

Who do I cheer for? John says the stronger case is for the U of M. He's right. But the emotional attachment to ND, believe it or not, is stronger. I think it has to do with associations with Our Lady and with the kind and gracious treatment Mike and I received there as parents of a student. (Rather in contrast to Michigan, I might add) It has to do with a campus where ALL the employees are polite and kind, accommodating and competent. There is the basilica dripping with the glory of God and the grotto where the reverence of the students can bring you to tears.

Anyway, enough analysis. It's just football, right? In spite of John's objections I think I'll wear something for each team and be happy. Happy that no matter who wins, one of my children will be thrilled. And that's enough for me.

Go Irish! God Blue! Go Blue! Go Irish!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Happy Birthday, Blessed Mother!

Happy Birthday to our Blessed Mother and Queen!!

From In Conversation with God today I read the following inspiring passage:
She is the most beautiful fully human soul ever created, second only to the Incarnation of the Word. (St. Alphonsus Liguori) God give each person the necessary strength for a specific mission in the world. Given Mary's exalted vocation, her grace from the time of her conception surpasses that bestowed on all the angels and saints together....St. Bernard deduces: Mary's sanctity and beauty were so superlative that it was fitting God be her son and she His Mother. St. Bonaventure affirms: God could have made a greater world, but he could not have made a mother more perfect than the Mother of God.

Thank you, Lord God, for the gift of your mother.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Missing Jim....

This was Liz's first day of high school and Jim's farewell morning. Pretty emotional day.

But their spirits were good.
And it always helps if your brother can get goofy. LOL
This is the chapel at Jim's university.
Jim and my good friend Patti who is his godmother. It is definitely a good friend who will spend 20 hours driving with you so you don't have to drive home alone.
Jim is just so delightful to be around. We all really miss him a lot.
I don't know. Mothers all know that you raise your children to be able to leave you and become independent adults. But when it happens it feels very unnatural and almost like a part of you is being pulled apart. I guess that is the mother/child bond that changes. It doesn't disappear, but it becomes quite different.

Bottom line-- we're all just really missing him a lot.

Jim, don't forget you're from Michigan. You know. That mitten state that has the delightful summers and dramatically beautiful winters? And the gorgeous falls and sweet, sweet springs? Yeah. We want you back when your education is finished....(according to God's will, always.) Love ya!!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Anne's wedding!

The two sister-bridesmaids...

Today she left for Georgia where her new husband will be going to chiropractor school. I am really missing her. She hasn't lived at home for quite a few years, but she's always lived nearby and stopped by regularly.

She's a wonderful daughter and has always been a delight to have around.

We miss you, Anne!! (and she's only been gone a few hours...LOL)

Tomorrow I'll write about missing Jim who has been gone now for a week. (Really missing him too!!)