Monday, April 27, 2015

In the meantime of not blogging, I have had the occurrence of my first ever (known) broken bone.  A week ago, I was walking down a slope in my front yard, slipped, and snapped both of the bones in my lower right leg just above the ankle (tibia and the fibula). 

Typically, when I tell my friends about this, they stare at me as if I'm not finished giving account of the accident.  The reason being that they know my high risk interests of downhill mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, hiking, and any other adrenaline production activity that I can concoct, but aside from bumps, bruises, scrapes and a few cracked ribs there has never been anything that has kept me from making it home to do it again the next day.

 But this, which will cause me to be "laid up" for approximately two months, happened under "normal" daily circumstances.  The only "odd" factor that could potentially make it interesting was that I was carrying one of our chickens back to its roost, but it wasn't directly involved in any way.  I do believe that if told right it could resemble the beginning of a good riddle: "A man is lying on the ground with his right leg broken and holding a chicken..."  A friend suggested describing the accident involving the words "yard surfing", but I feel as though I'm trying too hard.  None the less, it happened as it happened no matter how I try to dress it up as "epic".

During this time, I've had some "suspicions" regarding disabilities confirmed along with learning a few new things.  I would like to share two confirmations and one learned in regards to the walker:

 Confirmed information:
- Building codes set by the Americans with Disabilities Act are a MINIMUM, making building access "easier", but still difficult.
- Whether or not someone looks like they are struggling with moving about with the aid of a walker...they are indeed struggling, so don't be afraid to step up and help in some small way (holding a door, etc.) without being asked.

Learned information:
- Walkers are difficult to use and if a little old lady has been using one for five years or so be careful around her. Odds are she's now strong enough to bench press a semi so don't make her mad!

The nurses said that I should be "ok" with a walker because of my strength (even though I don't consider myself associated with that word).  After using the walker to move about indoors, I have found that it is a very good tool to "work out" with due to the need to push the walking aid out in front of me about 8-10 inches, lift my entire body off the ground a few inches, set it back down centered in the framework, then repeat until I traverse the desired and/or necessary distance.  Being inspired by this, I have added a leg lift and a body lift exercise.

The day of the accident, I spent some time on the river in my whitewater kayak and was concerned that I was not "seasoned" enough to fully utilize the "oversized" blades of my paddle without becoming exhausted in a short time.  I am convinced that once I am able to return to the river, that will no longer be a concern.

Oh..the river...................

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Reflections from a Deacon's wife 
I spend several nights a month in conversation over supper with 2 Deacon's, one being my husband.  The past few conversations have been quite thought provoking as it happens that the 2 Deacons were both preparing Homilies for this weekend's readings and I had been reflecting on these readings in preparation to proclaim 2 of the readings as the lector at my parish.  After these conversations I felt led to put my thoughts in writing......
Oct. 19, 2014 - 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time    
Is 45:1,4-6
Psalm 96
1 Thes 1:1-5b
Mt 22:15-21
We must keep our balance – as we are Citizens of two cities: the earthly one -of the United States and he heavenly one – the Church.  Ultimately the State is responsible to God who uses all people: the good, such as King Cyrus who set the Israelites free from exile in Babylon and the evil emperor, Caesar whom we hear of in the Gospel.  We must pray to keep our balance when these 2 authorities, Church and State, contradict each other. Let’s look at what Jesus says about it in Mathew’s Gospel as the Pharisees and Herodians plot to trap Jesus.  These 2 groups come to Jesus holding 2 different opinions.  The Herodians are supporters of Caesar and support the census tax and the Pharisees are against the tax.  Jesus knows their hearts and that they are testing him.  He never fully answers their question, is it lawful to pay the Census tax to Ceasar, but more expounds on it.  He tells them if they have possession of the Roman Coin with Caesar’s image then they ought to give to Caesar what belongs to Ceasar but he clarifies that they should also take care to give to God what is rightfully God’s.  We rightfully must love God and neighbor.  If we do this we will want to follow God’s law.  While obeying God’s law we also obey Caesars’s law/our political laws; we don’t speed, shoplift, or harm others, as these are good laws that do not contradict the law of God.  However, Jesus cautions that when the law of the state oversteps its legitimate limits and intrude on God’s law we are no longer obliged to “render to Caesar.” When the state begins to mandate immorality we are obliged to follow/to render to: God.  How can the state overstep their God given authority?  When they mandate the support of contraception and abortion, through redefining marriage and forcing Priests, Pastors, deacons to preside over unions that are not lawful in God’s plan thus allowing homosexual unions, and through unjust war, and when religious freedom is taken away.  We need to know and understand the Church’s teaching on issues like these so that we can recognize when they are attacked and work to protect the rights and dignity of all people and the law of God.  We also need to pray for those in authority over us; be they, our parents, husband, employer, or political leaders.  They need the strength and guidance of God to lead in love and according to the moral law.  Often we ourselves struggle to follow the law of God in this culture as we see that the “world” accepts so much compromise and we are tempted to wonder why we can’t, contracept, divorce and remarry, support a homosexual union.  But, we can’t bury our heads in the sand and make our own rules and be of the world, we need to seek understanding by studying the reason behind these laws and beg God to help us accept and live according to His will.  It is not always easy, but our choices are eternal.  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

ADOPTION JOURNAL/Veiling ~ Part3  Accepting the invitation to Veil~ As I look back, I recognize that around the time that my husband began to hear the call to the ministry of the Diaconate in the Catholic Church, God began softly inviting me to veil in his presence.  I was strengthened with courage to wear the veil when after my husband's ordination other Wives of Deacons from my husband's class began to veil.  So I, like many others, asked why veil? What is the meaning behind this devotion to God?  I have read many articles that explain the symbolism of wearing a veil.  The greatest may be that a woman  is proclaiming her faith in the Real Presence by making an external sign of her interior desire to humble herself before God,truly
present in the Blessed Sacrament.  
As Lily from Veils by Lily Writes. "When my friend Elaine mentioned why she veiled, she noted that the Church is rich in symbolism. She said, “The Church veils holy things—the tabernacle is veiled, behind the veil is the Body of Christ, and I am a vessel of life. A living tabernacle.”
This veiling of sacred things speaks to a kind of hiddenness that doesn’t seek to conceal in the negative sense, but rather draw us into the depths of mystery, allowing for the mysterious to unfold. In the Old Testament, Moses veiled his face. The Holy of Holies was veiled. Brides are often veiled before the “veil is lifted.” Even Jesus, the infinite God whose glory is revealed in heaven, is “veiled” before us by the accidents of bread and wine. As a wonderful priest puts it, 'Like the effect of the virtue of modesty, by the very fact that something is hidden, it is allowed to become that which it is: mysterious and beautiful.” ~Taken from Lily’s testimony on Veil by Lily website   
God gave males and females each a special design and purpose. We are created to be equal and yet quite different.  Women are nurturing, connected to others, and the heart of the family. Women take the teaching of the church and priests and integrate them in to the family life.  Woman has the great dignity of being able to bear life within her womb, as Mary received the life of Jesus the Divine person into her womb when she gave her Fiat ("May it be done to me according to your word") and was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. The Divine was veiled in Mary's womb/tabernacle and we continue to veil Jesus in the tabernacle in each Catholic Church. 
"Furthermore, it is a testament to the role of woman as a life-bearing vessel. The chalice which holds the Blood is veiled until the offertory, and the tabernacle veiled between Masses. The chalice and the tabernacle hold the Eucharist, they contain Life itself. Similarly, woman was created with the privilege of bearing human life." Quote from:,%20mantilla
So it flows that just as the Church veils the Eucharist in the Tabernacle; woman the life giving tabernacle is also veiled.
The veil reminds me that at Mass I am in Heaven worshiping my Lord along with the Angels and Saints crying HOLY, HOLY , HOLY. ( Revelation:4:8)
Woman's dignity is protected through modesty which is also exhibited when wearing a veil. Woman's beauty is extremely powerful and modesty protects her dignity and fosters respect for her.  "The modesty and hiddeness of a veiled woman attracts us to the mystery and beauty of this creature who is capable of bearing life within her as a living tabernacle both physical and supernatural life".  The veil draws the human person to the mystery and beauty of that which is veiled, in this case woman.
A bride often wear a veil which symbolizes her submission to her husband and helpmate who is to be the head of their household, a unique position given to the Male by God, as Man represents Christ the head of the Church. (Corinthians I: 11-3; Ephesians 5:21-24).  Please note that the true meaning of this passage it not that a woman is to be a doormat and the husband is free to abuse this responsibility No! the husband is to love her; as Christ loves the Church, His bride. (Ephesians 5:25-32)  Christ loved his Church by laying down his life for her.  When it comes to Christ and his Church male and female are the Bride and Christ is the Bridegroom of us all.  But here on Earth we were designed to live out the 2 different roles in marriage to witness to Christ and his Church which Man and Woman represent respectively. Man has the God given role of protector, provider, and giver of the gift (the seed of life). The feminine woman and Bride is the receptive one in marriage which gives her a natural inclination to be submissive and receptive to both her husband and to God; therefore, she is a model for all of submissiveness and receptivity to God our Bridegroom.
Let us renew our recognition of the Sacred and our faith in the Real Presence of Jesus at the Mass and in the tabernacles as we answer the call to holiness and continual conversion.

Monday, August 25, 2014

VEILS - Beautiful and Encouraging video.  If you want to gain an understanding as to why some women feel the call to veil watch this beautiful video.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

ADOPTION JOURNAL/Veiling ~Veiling Part 2
I purchased a Mantilla. It is beautiful.  I had consi
dered wearing a veil 5 years ago, but could not be peace about it.  It came up again when a friend was wearing a veil and she suggested God might still be calling me to veiling.  So I put it to the Lord and I went to a conference expecting a word from God about the veil.  During the conference the speaker was quoting from 1Corinthians 11.  He was talking about the Man being the Glory of God and the Woman being the Glory of man.  (all of a sudden I sat up straight in the bleacher seat and thought quite clearly, "That's the 'veil' verse") As I knew that it went on to say that a woman should cover her head.  So I bought a Mantillia with some remaining doubts.  When it arrived, I asked God to give me one more confirmation that He wanted me to veil. Here is  the affirmation and gift that God gave me at Mass the 3rd weekend I wore it.  I went into our Eucharistic Chapel while I waited for my friend to arrive.  (She was coming to veil with me to help me find strenght)  I moved to where I was not very visible from the chapel windows and decided to slip my veil on.  Nervously I tried to pray and then a woman I did not know walked in and I thought, Oh no I wonder what she thinks.  As I got ready to leave she says to me.  "Where did you get your veil"  She joined the church 10 years ago and really liked the idea of veiling but no one ever wore one so she did not.  I had told her I was nervous about wearing it and she told me I would not be alone any more.  She has been wearing a veil ever since.  This was my confirmation and another answered prayer, as I had said it would be so much easier to veil if there was just one other person somewhere in the church wearing one!  Praise God.  Thanks for your prayers and encouragement.  I will see how I feel next weekend when Angie is not sitting with me.  But I hope I can maintain peace with wearing my Mantillia.  I am learning there are women out there who are drawn to veil, but like me they are insecure about it.  I try to remember that it is something I wear just like the style clothing each person chooses and it is about my reverence and recognition of being in the presence of Our LORD something I do not appreciate enough. 
Part 3 to come soon - (the reasons and meaning of wearing a veil.)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Homily 2nd Sunday of Easter - Divine Mercy

When we study the Gospel of John, we find that the writer carefully chooses his wording and draws parallels between an event or a time and the Spiritual meaning behind it.  The writer had just written the account of the resurrection of Jesus and the interaction between him and Mary of Magdala.  The account now turns to the disciples just after they discover the empty tomb and what Jesus told Mary to tell his disciples.  In continuation with the message of the significance of days, the writer points out that this is the first day of the week.  We must be clear at this point that there is no “hidden code” in the Gospel of John that if we discover we will attain enlightenment or even salvation at that matter.  However, the writer points these things out to give Christ the praise and glory due to him.  The significance at this point is that the writer is pointing out that it was “evening”, which would be a reference to Genesis 3:8 when God was walking in the garden in the evening of the day, which as we know was just before man was exposed as disobeying God and his refusal of repentance, thus beginning the stain of original sin.  The writer is explaining in this imagery that at this point in the “evening” God comes among his people again, but not to find out their trespasses, but rather to continue the “first day of the week”: this is Christ’s recreation and regeneration of mankind.  Where God saw man’s sin in the account of Genesis and expelled mankind from the garden, He once again comes among his people to draw them to himself and blessing them with “Peace be with you”! 
So we see that the writer is proclaiming the saving work of God through Christ Jesus, but we also see the enabling of the disciples to take the Gospel of forgiveness of sins through the power of the Holy Spirit to the world.  This is the “beginning”, if you will, the “first day” of a new dwelling of God among us.
However, Thomas wasn’t there.  The Scriptures don’t go into why or where he was, but we can ask the question if where he was came about because of the “why”.   Was he at the bar drowning his sorrow?  We have no record nor is it that important, but what we can know is that when the other disciples said to him that they had seen the Lord, he did not believe them.  Imagine, though, if we were in that place: the one that we had given up our livelihoods for, followed, and believed in is now dead by execution.  The cause can go on just like the Israelites continued to remember and observe the deliverance and Law of God that came through Moses, or the prophecies that came through Elijah and others despite the fact that they were no longer with the people.  So even though Thomas did not believe in the resurrection, this did not mean that he would not continue in faithfulness to the teachings the great Rabbi passed on.  However, that is where it would stop.  What fears or lack of understanding caused Thomas to come to this point?  Sure, looking at it rationally, who has ever been resurrected?  Jesus raised Lazurus, but one man was raised by another.  Now, the one who did the raising was dead, could he raise himself?  But aside from these questions, there lies another: if Thomas accepted the message that was being told by the other disciples, how would that change his life?
What about us?  We proclaim that we believe in the resurrection of the Son of God and indeed it brings about a change overall in our lives because we are willing to embrace the message of the Gospel.  However, are there areas that we have allowed a “fear” or a “lack of understanding” hinder us from fully embracing Christ’s resurrection, which leads us to look forward to our own?  For example, it may appear to be a small matter, but the unintended implications are on a much larger scale: how many times do we come to Mass with a burden of sin on our hearts and for some reason were not able to confess it, so we rightfully do not receive the Eucharist, but because of our consciousness of our separation from our brothers and sisters at this time we remain in our seats.  We allow our condition to further the division.  Please understand I am not minimalizing the agony that so many face in this situation.  Or in another situation, we would normally Cross ourselves when we pray, but in public we do not.  Or we may be at school or work or in a time of recreation and may be approached about our faith, but are not very open.  These would be areas of our lives that may not be totally surrendered to the fullness of belief in the Resurrection of Christ.
But there is this hope:  Thomas wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus appeared to them “in the evening on the first day of the week” so it would appear that he missed out.  But what is recorded next is the continuation of the Hope of the Gospel and the whole point of the renewal of Easter.  The writer goes on to proclaim the account of Jesus then appearing to Thomas, but notice the wording of this section: “a week later”.  A week later would put the situation in the evening of the first day of the week again!  Christ didn’t say that since Thomas didn’t believe, he was thrown into exile and he didn’t even reprimand him.  But what did he do?  He gave Thomas a chance at renewal!  In this day, Jesus said to come “put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe!”  Jesus drew Thomas to him!  And in this experience, Thomas proclaims “My Lord and my God!”  In this time he realized that God was still with him!
This is Divine Mercy Sunday, which many may know was established by John Paul II who will be canonized on this day.  And this Mercy is the message of these proclamations!  It was Christ’s Divine Mercy that drew Thomas to himself despite his disbelief.  And it is Christ’s Divine Mercy that likewise, when we find ourselves separated from our brothers and sisters, that has the Church saying “you are separated, but come and receive a blessing from Christ!”  It is that Divine Mercy that enables us, despite our fears of what others will think or even if we may not have all the answers, to boldly hold to the rich blessings of who we are in Christ by our Catholic faith marked with the Sign of the Cross: the sign of Easter!  And it is by this Divine Mercy that we do not have to say that unless we touch Christ’s wounds we won’t believe, but rather can trust in the great graces offered to us through the passing on of the Holy Spirit, which Christ imparted on the “evening of the first day of the week” to his disciples to guide his people. 
The writer stated there were many other signs Jesus did which were not recorded, but what was written was done so that we may truly believe and proclaim  that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that we may have life in his name!

Friday, April 18, 2014

The ascent - stage 1

Well, it's that time again: the yearly ritual of breaking out the welder, side grinder, and sorting the random steel that I have been collecting to patch the old truck again!

Several years ago, I had acquired several lengths of steel tubing that I thought would be good to make a "flat-bed" once the factory truckbed rusted through.  Inevitably, the day has finally come.

My wife and I recently purchased a piece of exorcise equipment that required the use of the truck, but necessitated the removal of the toolbox.  - Now, I must preface this with the fact that the truckbed was already very rusty and had developed enough compromises in the bottom that if I were to try to haul a load of sand several miles, there would be considerably less remaining in the bed by the time I reached the destination. - After I removed the bolts holding the toolbox down to the bed sides, while standing in the bed I reached behind it to slide it out.  When I did so, my feet nearly went through the bottom of the truckbed.  This was essentially the deciding factor that it's time.

 After work, I began to unbolt the bed and disconnect the wiring harness for the taillights to prepare to remove the bed from the truck.  After these things were accomplished, I wrestled the "box" off of the frame and onto the ground behind it.  It was lighter than the last time I had to do this.... 

After the bed was removed, my plans of immediately beginning work on the new truckbed crumbled like the rusted sheet metal I was replacing.  One of the crossmembers between the frame rails that also held the spare tire was greatly in need of repair.  The first question I had was where will I get the metal to fix this one?  So after about ten minutes pulling pieces of steal out of my cluttered scrap pile and wandering around the storage building looking for something I could disassemble, I retrieved a rectangular tubing from within the pile.  At first I wasn't certain it was long enough, but after closer examination, I came to the knowledge that it was just a few inches longer than I needed.

The piece that I utilized came from a treadmill that a friend had given us, but ended up malfunctioning.  I have always been enticed by steel from exercise equipment because even the cheapest pieces has somewhat of a considerable amount of integrity in the framework.This piece in particular came from the stand that held the computer.

After several hours, the treadmill piece became a permanent part of the framework.  But my hopes of building a flatbed were as dust in in an approaching wind storm because as I worked I made a closer inspection of the rest of the frame and crossmembers.  I found that it is now time to begin to make preparations for replacement...of the entire truck....  

This has been truly a saddened time as I look at vehicles for sale see how none of them compare to the little rusty workhorse.

FeO2 - it's becoming a symbol that speaks of cosmic and eternal truth: in all of this, there is a continued lesson of storing up treasures where moth and rust do not destroy.  Iron, as strong as it is, as great of a material fashioned by the hands of man, crumbles and fades and is subject to the light of the order established by the Absolute, the Unchanging One.  Yet, unlike the entropy of "Fe" caused by the reaction of the joining of O2, within our spirit we can develop and shape the "Fe", or "faith" of our lives.  Man fashions iron by heating and striking, heating and striking to forge tools, weapons, utensils, and jewelry after a form that has been embedded in his mind and transmitted in the direction of his nervous, skeletal and muscular system to "incarnate" that which he sees.  This is a manner of "faith" that what is not tangible becomes such by study and action.  So our Creator wishes it to be done within us in regards to that which is eternal: study and put into action the Form handed to us through the guidance of the Spirit of the true Craftsman, the Form of this Word revealed to us through the Incarnation - the living, teaching, dieing, and resurrection of the One we know as Jesus: the reversal of the "entropy" of the spirit of man.