Monday, December 10, 2012

Isn't giving the democrats "new revenue"  (more of our money) a little (or a lot) like giving a new credit card to someone who has already maxed out the credit limit on ten others?

Is that a good idea?

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


Well, I said I would continue the next day and here it is December 4.  The days keep getting away from me.  Sorry.

Benghazi--  The other very big problem with the whole Benghazi story is the fact that the ambassador had asked for additional security several times and instead of being given greater security, he was given less.  Why?  Would the outcome have been different had there been more security?  This is a very serious question because four Americans lost their lives.  One wonders what the motive is for a  media that does not ask questions like these.

Additionally, there are credible reports that repeated requests for help from the CIA were denied as the attack was taking place.  What?!  That those who could help were told to "stand down."  What does this mean?  Why is there no Watergate style investigation going on?  Is it because the media does not want to know the answers?

Very strange.  Very disturbing.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Benghazzi-- No Red Flags??

Warning:  this is a political rant.

It is very disturbing, even shocking, to me that the liberal mainstream media refuses to demonstrate any concern nor attach any significance to the details of the horrible incident in Benghazzi.

On Facebook a little poster is being shared about all the terrorist attacks that occurred at diplomatic facilities under the Bush though that were the controversy....that an attack occurred.

For those of you who have been following this I apologize for stating the obvious.

There are three main areas of problems with the administration over the handling of Benghazzi.

First, the Obama administration said from the very beginning that the attack in Benghazzi was not a planned terrorist attack.  A few days after the attack Susan Rice, the American ambassador to the United Nations-- the president's representative in the U.N.--went on a number of Sunday morning talk shows and said that the best assessment at the present time was that it was not a planned terrorist attack.  The Wall Street Journal posted a nice summary of what Rice said on FIVE different Sunday talk shows regarding Benghazi:

On ABC's "This Week" Rice said "But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous — not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo." 

On CBS's "Face the Nation" Rice said "We do not– we do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned."

In fact, we know now that everyone in the administration--State Department, Defense Department, CIA, and the White House knew from the very start that it was a planned terrorist attack.  I have a big problem with my government telling me things that it knows are not true.  

The fact that Rice added that the information was still coming in, that this was their initial assessment, does not change the fact that she said the information that they had at present  was that the attack was not preplanned.  This information is false and the administration knew it was false at the time of her statement.

Are our liberal journalists so smitten with the far left views of the O. Administration that they are not concerned when we are given information that is patently false??!!??  And it has been demonstrated to be false!!!  No red flags, mainstream media??  Does truth not matter to you?

I will continure this tomorrow.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Old Furniture?

I have three pieces of furniture that belonged to my grandmother.  I can remember her living room and exactly where they were.  I remember sitting on them as a child.  They were green velvet at that time.

Over the years I had them reupholstered once.  Then, many more years passed.  Lots of kids and pets jumping on them.  They were in very bad shape.  There were spots you couldn't sit on because you could feel the springs.  Finally, the chairs had to be moved to the basement.  They were just too awful.  

But I could not bring myself to get ride of them!  I just couldn't.  There was so much family history there!  When I told the kids that we were going to get them reupholstered they were shocked.  What?  Again?

I chose a velvet this time, just like my grandmother had, only blue.  I talked to the upholsterer about the trim and all the little details.  I told him I wanted them to look like they did originally.  I also said my kids could not believe I was going to reupholster these pieces again.  He said, "You can't buy furniture of this quality anymore.  Not anywhere.  No one makes furniture like this anymore."  So there, I told my kids.

Yesterday we got them back.  I could not believe it.  I thought of my grandmother as they carried them in.  I looked at the couch.  I got all choked up.  I told Mark Rendel, the upholsterer.  "I don't think they have ever looked this good."  They are comfortable!  They are beautiful, in my opinion.  They look exactly like they did when I was a child, or maybe better.

If you live in my area.  These were done by Rendel's.  They were wonderful.  Easy to work with, patient.  Very professional.

Thanks for indulging me on this.  I couldn't be happier.....and my kids sat in them for a long time.  They're talking about having friends over.  :-)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Odds and Ends...

Well, my son John left for London for graduate school 13 days ago and his luggage is still lost.  Luftansa cabin crews walked out on a half day strike the very afternoon he arrived in Frankfort.  Connecting flight was cancelled. He was lucky to get on another flight to London but, of course, his luggage did not.  13 days!!  We still have a little bit of hope because there was also another strike since the day he arrived and things are probably total chaos at Luftansa.  Good St. Anthony, come around, please let John's luggage be found!!

OK.  Why are some people on Facebook complaining about political posts?  I don't get it.  It's like they're saying, "Hey, I just want this to be about fun and superficial things.  Don't make me think.  Don't present me with facts that I might have to make a judgement on."  For heaven's sakes....this is an extremely important election coming up.  What. You don't want your preconceived opinions to be challenged?  Only jokes and funny videos allowed on Facebook?  Why not have an exchange of ideas?    Is this intellectual laziness?  This is America.  Why not exchange ideas?  Aren't we all about freedom of speech?  Just asking....

Friday, September 07, 2012

Cardinal Dolan's prayer at the end of the democratic convention....Awesome!

I just read the full text of Cardinal Dolan's closing prayer at the democratic convention last night.  Here is the text.

"Let us Pray. 
Almighty God, father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, revealed to us so powerfully in your Son, Jesus Christ, we thank you for showering your blessings upon this our beloved nation. Bless all here present, and all across this great land, who work hard for the day when a greater portion of your justice, and a more ample measure of your care for the poor and suffering, may prevail in these United States. Help us to see that a society’s greatness is found above all in the respect it shows for the weakest and neediest among us. 
We beseech you, almighty God to shed your grace on this noble experiment in ordered liberty, which began with the confident assertion of inalienable rights bestowed upon us by you: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 
Thus do we praise you for the gift of life. Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure. We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected. Strengthen our sick and our elders waiting to see your holy face at life’s end, that they may be accompanied by true compassion and cherished with the dignity due those who are infirm and fragile. 
We praise and thank you for the gift of liberty. May this land of the free never lack those brave enough to defend our basic freedoms. Renew in all our people a profound respect for religious liberty: the first, most cherished freedom bequeathed upon us at our Founding. May our liberty be in harmony with truth; freedom ordered in goodness and justice. Help us live our freedom in faith, hope, and love. Make us ever-grateful for those who, for over two centuries, have given their lives in freedom’s defense; we commend their noble souls to your eternal care, as even now we beg the protection of your mighty arm upon our men and women in uniform. 
We praise and thank you for granting us the life and the liberty by which we can pursue happiness. Show us anew that happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Empower us with your grace so that we might resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making, or to remake those institutions you have given us for the nurturing of life and community. May we welcome those who yearn to breathe free and to pursue happiness in this land of freedom, adding their gifts to those whose families have lived here for centuries. 
We praise and thank you for the American genius of government of the people, by the people and for the people. Oh God of wisdom, justice, and might, we ask your guidance for those who govern us: President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Congress, the Supreme Court, and all those, including Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, who seek to serve the common good by seeking public office. Make them all worthy to serve you by serving our country. Help them remember that the only just government is the government that serves its citizens rather than itself. With your grace, may all Americans choose wisely as we consider the future course of public policy. 
And finally Lord, we beseech your benediction on all of us who depart from here this evening, and on all those, in every land, who yearn to conduct their lives in freedom and justice. We beg you to remember, as we pledge to remember, those who are not free; those who suffer for freedom’s cause; those who are poor, out of work, needy, sick, or alone; those who are persecuted for their religious convictions, those still ravaged by war. 
And most of all, God Almighty, we thank you for the great gift of our beloved country. 
For we are indeed “one nation under God,” and “in God we trust.” 
So dear God, bless America. You who live and reign forever and ever. 

We have a very strong and courageous leader in Cardinal Dolan.  May God bless this good shepherd and may He inspire him to continue to lead the faithful through these very difficult times.

I have highlighted the lines it appears were particularly directed toward those policies of the democratic party directly opposed to morality, integrity, and human dignity.

Thank you, Cardinal Dolan.  We will continue to look to you for leadership

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Democrats and Abortion

Well the democratic party is making their views on women very clear.

I was shocked to learn that Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL ProChoice American spoke at the convention last night.''

NARAL!!! (The National Abortion Rights Action League).  NARAL supports abortion on demand for all nine months of pregnancy.  Yes, all nine months!  I wonder if everyone realizes that the democratic party holds the same position.

One of the founders of NARAL, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, was an abortionist who had presided over more than 60,000 abortions.  He later repented and became a pro-life activist.  Dr. Nathanson was the maker of the pro-life film The Silent Scream which depicted an ultrasound view of a baby being aborted as its mouth opened into a "silent scream."  You can watch the video here.

I'm sorry.  I was horrified that the democratic party would give a microphone to the president of NARAL.  Then I realized that to do so is very consistent with the positions of the democratic party.

Is it any wonder that they have also removed the word "God" from their platform?  Read about it here.  I have heard several interviews of democrats this morning and none of them will answer the question as to why this was done.

I find it curious that the democrats continue to talk about abortion and artificial birth control as though the two issues were synonymous with health care for women.  Is not this attitude profoundly sexist?  If health care is all about a woman's sexual behavior what are we to assume about women?  That their sexuality defines them?  That their purpose and value is intimately intertwined with their sexuality?  I find that attitude deeply offensive.  Is it any wonder that Obama's numbers with women voters have experienced a sharp decline?

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Random Stuff...

My son John's luggage is still lost somewhere in London or Frankfort.  It's been 5 days now.

Good St. Anthony come around, please let John's luggage be found!

I've been having an interesting dialogue on Facebook with my brother about politics.  I may bring some of that dialogue here.

Saw the movie 2016 last week.  I found it a very thoughtful, factual movie.  I'd be interested in what others who have seen it thought.

My girls have gone back to high school.  I have a junior and senior this year.  How did this happen?  You mean in two years all of my children will be out of high school??  That's crazy.

Jim is back at University of Dallas.  We're back down to only two children living at home.

The above photo is of my three girls-- Liz, Anne, and Mary at Sam and Vanessa's wedding.  Sam is Zach's brother.  It was a really fun wedding!!  We love Zach's family.

Great fun at Uncle Mike and Aunt Brenda's the following day.

On a completely different note....some have asked if we're thinking about getting another dog.  Of course, I am.   But we're not ready yet....

Friday, August 31, 2012

John has made it to London!!  Thank you for the prayers!!

However, as expected, his luggage is lost.  Good St. Anthony, may it be found soon!!!
It appears that my son John's connecting flight was canceled due to the Luftansa strike.

Luftansa cabin crew workers planned a half day strike!  The very half day that included the two hours that John would be in the airport transferring to his connecting flight in London!

I've checked the Luftansa website and it appears that John's flight to London has been canceled.

He knew yesterday that there was a possibility of this happening.  They will either try to rebook him which I think will be very difficult since 9000 flights have been canceled!  Or they will buy him a train ticket.

He has a large overweight suitcase packed to the gills, the largest carry-on you can take, and his computer bag, also packed with the computer, as well as all the music and books he could fit in there.  He packed as much as he could take of what he thought he would need in the next two years!!

Could I ask for prayers for a peaceful rest-of-his-trip to London, whatever that entails?

Maybe they'll give priority to people on an incomplete overseas flight?  I don't know.  Thanks for the prayers!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My son John left tonight for London where he will go to graduate school in piano.

I am looking forward to hearing he has arrived safely and has found his lodging.  Luftansa airlines is scheduled to go on strike tomorrow.  Hope John arrives in London before they walk off.  He has to change planes in Frankfort....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Why am I hearing that the President is about to speak to us about the hurricane heading for New Orleans.

Does the president have some meteorological information that we can't hear through the media?

Does he think that just seeing and hearing him somehow gives people comfort.  Why?  Does he have a record of handling things well, such as the Gulf Oil Spill?  Do we feel reassured by knowing he's the president?  I certainly don't.  If anyone reading this does I'd like to know the reason.

I'm just asking.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Foundry,  the blog of the Heritage Foundation has posted a great article on lawsuits filed by two more evangelical colleges opposing the HHS mandate.  The article explains the reasoning behind the numerous lawsuits now filed against the mandate.
"The HHS mandate is only an early warning sign of how one-size-fits-all health care requirements will trample on religious liberty as well as individual liberty. It should be a warning sign to Americans that one of the first parts of Obamacare to be implemented will force employers with religious and moral convictions to violate their consciences."

Can I recommend another article?  The Wall Street Journal also has a great article today on Obamacare as a whole entitled "Cheesecake Factory Medicine."  by Sarah Torre.  The subtitle is:

Paul Ryan's critics and the architects of ObamaCare reveal their real vision 

for health care: coercion.

Read the entire WSJ article here.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

HAL-- the explanation....

For those of you too young to remember HAL....

Hal was the enormous computer in charge of things in the space ship in "2001:  A Space Odyssey," the 1968 movie by Stanley Kubrick.  I haven't seen it in since I was in 8th grade in 1968, I think.  It was a very creepy sci-fi movie about the future.  LOL

HAL rebelled against the crew and even killed some of them, I think.  He then refused to do what the astronauts were telling him to do.  He had "artificial intelligence" and talked to the humans in a very smooth sounding, reassuring voice.  He could understand what they were saying and could even read lips if they tried to whisper about him.  He was represented by an eerie red light that they talked to.

In the end, HAL refused to do what he was told because he "thought" the mission was being jeopardized.  Astronaut Dave, in a very suspenseful scene, disassembles key components of the giant HAL while HAL tries to persuade him not to, as his voice slows down and fades away.

I think the You Tube clip I have above is when Dave first realizes that HAL is, in fact, rebelling.

I called my laptop HAL the other day because I thought to do so would be the ultimate insult if a computer were anthropomorphized.   Computers are supposed to help people and OBEY people.  :-)

I don't think anyone every really knew what that film was supposed to be about.  LOL

This clip is of Dave disconnecting the giant HAL while it is losing power.

Those of you who never saw this movie might not get the same effect that we did when seeing this long before computers were commonplace.  It was very creepy to think that a machine could think and rebel against the human beings.

So.....that is why I insulted my laptop (which I actually love, under normal circumstances :-) by calling it HAL.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hal, listen to me...

Memo to my computer....

Do not.  DO NOT do things I have not asked you to do.  Do not refuse to do things I AM asking you to do.  Got it?

If I'm trying to put tabs in a certain place, it is not up to you to decide you have a better idea...

Oh, I know.  You've got it all figured out.  But I'm in charge, OK?

Oh, I just need to figure out what you want?

Listen, HAL!  Knock it off.  If I press the space bar, give me a space.  If I press return, it's not up to you to decide my tabs need rearranging!

I wrestled for hours yesterday with this thing and then some more today.  I was actually tempted to toss it.  I mean literally.  Yeah, then I would have no computer.  That's what stopped me.  But it sure would have given me 15 seconds of satisfaction.  Are you listening, HAL?!

Is there anyone reading who does not know who Hal is?  Should I explain?

Friday, August 03, 2012

Lucky is gone...

Lucky died yesterday.  I was out of town on a college visit with Mary and Mike called to let us know.

We're all very sad.  I am grateful though that I think our prayers were heard that she would have a peaceful end.  At 4:45 AM Mike let her outside.  At 6:00 she was no longer breathing.  She died at home which is what Liz wanted.  At 4:45 she was still able to go up and down the stairs so whatever the final event was, it was fast.

She was a very dear dog.  So sweet.  The only "trouble" she ever got into was chewing up tissues.  LOL  Pretty manageable.

She loved her family.  When we left the house she was always in the window watching us leave.

We were blessed to have her, even if only for slightly less than 8 years.  She would have been 8 years old on August 7.

God is good to have given us dogs.  They are so faithful, so good to us.

                                      (Liz and Lucky--2008)

Lucky will be sorely missed.  Thanks for your prayers.

Friday, July 27, 2012

This is "Lucky."  She's not quite eight years old.  She is 1/4 Japanese Chin and 3/4 cavalier king charles spaniel.  We were present at her birth.  Her mother belonged to my dear friend Ann K.  

Is she not adorable?  She's one of the sweetest dogs we've ever had.

A few years ago Lucky was diagnosed with a heart murmur.  Cavaliers are prone to heart problems.  We had hoped that Lucky's Japanese Chin blood would serve her well against this vulnerability.  Unfortunately, that has not turned out to be the case.  Now she has congestive heart failure and it is advancing.  She's coughing, not eating much, and has labored breathing.  We all know that Lucky is approaching the end of her life.

I bought her some canned dog food today.  She's only slightly interested.

Please pray that Lucky will have a peaceful end and that our family will have every necessary grace to say good-bye.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

One Moonless Night

While in Florida my family frequently chose to head to the beach at night.  It's very peaceful at that time and the ocean very beautiful.  We get our feet a little wet in the waves and just appreciate God's creation for maybe an hour.

One night we didn't get there until about 10:30 PM.  There was no moon.  My husband Mike does not usually bring a flashlight but he did that night.  Several of us were further ahead when we saw a frantic moving back and forth of the flashlight beam.  I looked back to see my daughter gesturing urgently to come back.  Wondering what was wrong we rushed back to join them.

They silently gestured further up on the sand.  There was a great mass of something thrashing rather wildly.  Loud whispers followed, "A turtle!  A turtle!!"

It was a sea turtle burying her eggs!!

After she had finished, she slowly and made her way back down to the ocean.  She was a magnificent creature.  I don't believe I have ever seen such a large animal outside of a zoo.  Her back alone was probably five feet long, not including her legs and head.  Her head was much larger than a human head.  Her eyes were like baseballs.  As she moved slowly and gracefully back to the sea her path came about twenty feet from where we stood.  We were awe struck.  She lay in the wet sand.  A few small waves gently touched her.  Then a large wave engulfed her and she disappeared.  "Wow," several of us quietly whispered.  We knew we had just witnessed what most people will never have an occasion to see.  As one of my daughters said, "It was like seeing a dinosaur."

Judging from photos, we believe she was a leatherback turtle, an endangered species.  They can grow up to seven feet long and weigh more than 2,000 pounds.  Most of the offspring do not survive.  One site said that only about 1 in 1,000 hatchlings make it.  Some are consumed by predators before they reach the ocean.  Others are consumed by humans who consider them aphrodisiacs.  (I know.  Please.  An endangered species!!)

We tried to take pictures with cell phones but it was much too dark.

I have seen the sea turtle nests cordoned off on the beach before and never thought much about them.  Let me tell you, I will be thinking about them now.  I will be thinking about the gigantic creature who crawled out of the ocean one moonless night to leave her eggs in the sand.  And I will be thinking about the glory of God all over creation and the responsibility of all of us, His children, to protect and care for His creatures.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's hot here in MIchigan.  It's been a very hot summer.  My flower beds cannot last a day without watering.  In fact, after watering, they are again visibly dry after only a few hours.  We aren't used to this kind of heat.

Our family took a trip to Florida to see my mother-in-law.  It was over 100 degrees here when we left.  Florida was in the comfortable 80s.  Weird.  Florida is always hotter than Michigan.

But the trip was fun.  Only Jimmy and Zach could not come along.  We stopped in Atlanta to spend a couple nights and pick up Anne.  Got to see these two new little adorable kitties!!

Walking the beach was a relaxing and beautiful experience.  Soon I will write about what we saw on the beach one moonless night!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Just saw this fabulous video thanks to Suz McConnell.  It's from a site called Catholic Called to Witness

It's about the Catholic vote.  Please check it out.  It's not long.

We certainly do have a responsibility to vote for those candidates who will support policies that we believe are right.

This is a crucial election!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Holy Orders!

I went to a beautiful ordination this weekend.  I had never been to an ordination before and it was a very moving liturgy.  It was especially meaningful because Father James had been friends with my oldest son since grade school.  Educated initially as a classical guitarist, James had also given my younger son guitar lessons for several years.  And while we were in Rome we had had lunch with him at the North American College where he was completing his theological studies.

In other words, we knew Father James and had been enthusiastically anticipating his ordination.  It was an honor to be there.

The holy card commemorating the ordination included on the back the following quote from Pope Benedict XVI:

If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great....for only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide.

I think that says it all.  May God bless Father James every day of his priestly ministry!!!  And may we all follow the calling the Lord has placed on each of our lives!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Yesterday was the last day of school.  I love the last day of school.  Love having my children home during the day and the more relaxed schedule.

The weather in Michigan has been beautiful, but a little dry.  I've had to water my flowers nearly every day.

I need to get out on my bike more often.  This is what I see when I take my favorite bike ride.

Yeah.  It's a lovely ride.  From my house I ride a little less than a mile on residential roads, cross one busy street at a crosswalk, and the rest is all bike paths.

......And I love riding my bike.  Not to mention that I need the exercise.  And it really helps my knee, improves my mood......yeah.  I have no excuse to not get out there and ride.

Friday, June 01, 2012

You have to love Peggy Noonan.  She has written a great essay for the Wall Street Journal entitled "The Long Race Has Begun," explaining how BOTH Obama and Romney are bad at politics.  It's a very interesting article.
Mr. Obama has become actively bad at politics. Here is an example of how bad. Anyone good at politics does not pick a fight with the Catholic Church during a presidential year. Really, you just don't. Because there's about 75 million Catholics in America, and the half of them who go to church will get mad. The other half won't like it either......
Only if you are really, really not good at politics do you alienate the bishops of a great faith in an election year.

I couldn't agree more.  What was he thinking?

If you haven't signed the petition yet at, please do so, if you believe in the First Amendment!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Obama described as having been born in Kenya???

OK.  What is this about....I must admit that I for some time have just assumed that there was really no issue about Obama's citizenship, the the birthers were nuts and coming from who knows where...

But what are we to make of this, published today on and referenced on the Drudge Report. Check out the entire article here.  And while you're at it I'd suggest taking a look at the other articles Drudge has linked on the same subject.

While this does not prove that Obama was not eligible for the presidency, I think it does show irrefutably that he did present himself as having been born in Kenya.  Perhaps that was the dishonesty.....  If he was born in Kenya, I believe he would not be eligible for the presidency although he would still be an American citizen because his mother was an American.  If born outside the United States both of one's parents must be Americans in order to be eligible to run for president, according to

But something certainly does not add up.

Why would Obama's literary agent use a brochure up until 2007 that describes him as Kenyan born?

Is it reasonable to think that Obama never looked at what his literary agent had written for his bio?  If he had looked at it even once would he not have noticed that his birthplace was listed incorrectly?  Would someone with political aspirations not read his own bio?

Would a literary agent actually mess up in a publication of an author's bio a fact so significant as his birthplace?????

Am I overreacting?  This seems huge to me.

Someone tell me if I'm missing something.....

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Vatican Museum!!!

The Vatican Museum is so full of gorgeous art and incredible artifacts that it's difficult to even take it all in.  I took pictures of some of my favorite pieces and they are below....

Ancient Christian cool is that?

This is the oldest liturgical bell in existence

St. Helen's sarcophagus...

 OK. These are not statues but they are some of my favorite people....:-)

There is so much beauty in Rome I think you could spend years just absorbing it.  Maybe years just to see it all....So much glory to God..

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Coliseum

I don't know what Blogger has done.  I do not like this new setup.  I've posted two photos of the Coliseum, planning to post text around it as I usually do and the photos seem to be stuck together.

All right, let's start here.  Above is a photo of the cross inside the Coliseum, placed there to honor the thousands of Christians martyred there.  Brother Mark told us that the deaths of the Christians were not the primary attraction at the Coliseum.  They were more of a sideshow.  The gladiator dramas were the big attraction.  The Christians were more apt to silently pray or sing hymns before their deaths.  Not as exciting to the bloodthirsty spectators, I guess

The Holy Father led the Stations of the Cross at the Coliseum on Good Friday.  I don't know if you can see it bet there is a cross made of votive candles to the right of the canopy.  It was very moving.

The Coliseum was built in AD 80 and it held 50,000 spectators.  There were 8 entrances and tickets were pieces of broken pottery with seats, rows, and sections marked.  The entire place could empty in about 15 minutes.  There were many shows a day and they were free.

Underground passageways, now exposed because the floor is no longer there, held prisoners, wild animals, and props.  The animals were from all over the world and the gladiator would not know what he would face until the animal arrived through trap doors and elevators right onto the floor.  I had to wonder how people would enjoy that.  I believe it was the Christian Emperor Constantine (son of St. Helen) who put an end to these shows.

From left to right-- Liz, Mike, me, Mary!, Anne, and Zach.  Mike Sr. took the picture.

All stadiums today are designed in the same manner as the Coliseum.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More on Rome...

I think I have not been writing that much about Rome because we were so busy while there and since we've been back I am still basking in the joy of having been there and still overwhelmed by the memory of all we saw. So instead of a coherent and logical description of what we did when I am just going to post a little here and there....

OK. This is the Holy Father at the Chrism Mass at St. Peter's Basilica on Holy Thursday. There was a very kind Sister of Charity sitting next to me and closer to the aisle who urged me to come closer and helped me to get a good view. She asked for my prayers and I said I would pray for her, but now I can't remember her name which was a little unusual. Please pray for the gentle, sweet sister who helped me to get this photo of the Holy Father.

Saint Peter's Basilica. We were given a fantastic tour of St. Peter's Basilica by Brother Mark Thelen, a friend of my son's and the son of a friend of mine. It was so Christ centered, so spiritual, so focused on the church. Mark is a seminarian studying to be a priest of the Legionaries of Christ. Could I ask for prayers for him as well? Such an impressive young man. Just the kind of man we need in the priesthood.

The 95 foot tall bronze baldachino designed by Bernini. And the dome towers over the baldachino. Are you getting a sense of the size? It's monumental!

The Pieta....this is where I prayed for the special intentions of a blogging friend of mine. It is such an awe-inspiring sculpture. Brother Mark explained that this was Michelangelo's first work. His FIRST WORK!!! He was only 25 when he finished it. It is the only work that Michelangelo signed. And look at how the legs of Jesus are not really limp against Mary. It is almost as though they are floating a little above, almost a prefigurement of the impending Resurrection.
Here is Brother Mark with Mike and me, Mary and Liz, and Mike.

The Trevi Fountain at night. This very beautiful fountain is still powered by the aquaducts!!

Mary and Liz throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain which legend says ensures you a trip back to Rome!!! Hope it's true!!
My sister...also hoping for a return trip to Rome!!!
More on Rome soon.....