Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Hit and Hurry

I spent some time yesterday trying to clean up the Sacred Heart/St Therese statue newly acquired from the neighbors.  With a little TLC, it took on a whole new appearance, but is still in need of substantial work.  I turned the base over and discovered it is dated 1928.  I wonder if my neighbors would want it back if they knew that?  

I made myself a hellacious birthday dinner, if I don't say so myself.  Chicken wings slow-cooked on the grill, tomato salad and corn on the cob from the Amish.  When we visited the farm on Saturday, they were using one of their huge drafts to haul more corn in from the field.  He was such a gentle giant.  There is a door in the little stand that looks out on a cow pasture.  It's like a glimpse of Heaven, especially when the sky is blue.  I wish there was some way I could be a Catholic Amish woman.

I also came to a somewhat difficult decision, to finally resign altogether as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.  I had long ago ceased to participate in this "ministry" at Mass, but I thought it was OK to continue to bring the Eucharist to the sick and shut-ins of the parish.  I truly feel sympathy for those who can no longer physically get  to Mass, but I'm not sure a manufactured sense of guilt is enough to warrant me, as a lay person, to take over a duty more appropriately handled by a priest or deacon.  I know that people feel altar girls are the biggest threat to the priesthood so far as women seeking ordination, but when you think about it, which "ministry" more closely mimics what a priest does?  An altar server NEVER handles the Body or Blood of Christ.  It seems incongruous to me that a person who can NEVER become a priest is deemed an appropriate substitute for one as a matter of convenience.  Whatever the thinking is, I'm finished with this and very comfortable with the decision.

The kids go back to school tomorrow. I think I am sadder about this than they are.  I am grateful that they don't have to go back until after Labor Day. I do not approve of the push to have them return earlier and earlier.  Kids should be allowed to be kids and they are entitled to some down time. In fact, they need it.  And so do I!

I may live to regret this, but I signed the "adoption" papers today for the rodents.  They arrive on September 17th.   God give me strength.

I saw a squirrel lying dead on the sidewalk .  Not sure what killed the little guy, but he was perfectly intact, and the sight of him was enough for me to say "aw" out loud.  Not a sparrow falls to the ground without the Heavenly Father's knowledge.  All of the hairs on our head our counted.  This is how much He loves us.  And still it's not enough for some of us to do His Will.

This is such a great time to be a baseball fan in Philadelphia.  We have pitchers who can not only shut down an offense, but generate some of their own.  There is nothing more entertaining than watching a batter fan at thin air as a Cliff Lee fastball goes whizzing by them.

In a less than 3 weeks, I'll be leaving for Italy  I can hardly believe it. 


  1. I'm trying to get Terry to remove all of my comments on that blog post.

    I'm going to begin receiving the Eucharist on the tongue.

    I'm just sad that I cannot do this out of love, but only out of fear or mortal sin.

  2. Mercury, your comments are fine. But if they are troubling you that much, you can delete them yourself. Next to the time and date of your comment should be an icon of a trashcan. Click on it and it will delete the comments that are troubling you.

    It is not a mortal sin to receive the Eucharist in the hand. Truthfully, yes, I think it is best to receive directly on the tongue, but not even the Holy Father has declared that it's a mortal sin. Don't let yourself be guilted into this, which I know is easier said than done. But believe me, once you start, you will be fine. I didn't quit being an EM just because I didn't want to touch the Eucharist, I quit because I don't think it's a necessary ministry.

    Now that I do receive on the tongue only, I am struggling with kneeling on the floor. I'm not going to flop down on the floor like a fish because someone else thinks I should. If and when I'm ready, I'll do it, and not a minute before. If the priest would only set a kneeler like the Holy Father.... sigh.

    Have you read the Story of a Soul yet by St. Therese? She makes it very clear that none of us would make it to Heaven without God's help, not even a great saint like her. Do your best, trust in God's mercy and don't let a debate that got a little out of hand get you down.


  3. Joyce - I actually bought it after Mass on Sunday and started reading it last night. The saints make me paranoid because I always zero in on the most fearful things and rigorous opinions rather than try to understand the whole of their work. I figure if there's one saint for me then, its the Little Flower.

    I'm very perplexed about everything that happened. And it looks like I am no longer able to delete due to the closed comments.

    Oh well, I'm going to Mass now. Time to pray for pardon if I hurt anyone - especially Him.

  4. Remember when you said you weren't sure you could be a Benedictine oblate because of the hospitality thing? I think you just took a giant leap over that now that you've adopted the...rodents. : )

    I'm in a quandary over being an EM.. I too never accepted serving at the altar before I even understood why. But I've been doing the nursing home and home bound for almost four years. Recently, Father begged me to help with being an EM to the hospital. There are about 30-40 people a week who aren't being served.

    I'm so excited for you and your trip to Italy...I look forward to hearing all that the Lord shows you there.

    Mercury...God Bless you.

  5. ha ha Caroline - St. Francis might consider me oblate material for showing hospitality to a rodent, but I'm not sure St. Benedict would. The critters don't arrive for another week or so, btw.

    Tomorrow, the folks from this area who are going on the pilgrimage are going to a meeting to hear all about the trip. I think that is when I will truly get excited about it.


  6. Caroline, sorry, forgot to address your EM comments. I don't know what to say as I, too, struggled with the notion that some people may now go unserved if I don't minister to them. But at the same time, I think it would be better for them to receive less often if it can always be from the hands of a priest, who can also listen to their confession. I think it was best for me to resign but you need to do as you see fit, with the help of your spiritual director. Unfortunately, I don't have one of those.

  7. Merc, just let it go. No one exactly behaved in an exemplary manner, including myself, but I would bet if you and Carol (and me, for that matter) spoke face to face, the conversation would have a very different tone. Tomorrow is another day. I hope you enjoy Story of a Soul. Therese is a wonderful patroness to have, and even if I don't always serve her in the manner in which she deserves, she's there for me, and anyone who seeks her help. God Bless and have a peaceful night. Joyce

  8. Not only is it not a mortal sin to recieve communion in the hand, it's not a venial sin either! LOL. ;)

  9. Joyce have you heard of Plain Catholics?
    They are a group who have leanings toward the simplicity of Amish life and are faithful to the Catholic Church. http://plaincatholic.blogspot.com/

  10. 1. the rodents--your daughter is going to be their primary caretaker, right? It should be fine-she sounds like a responsible young lady. I know if it was us, I would have a harder time getting Malaika to _leave them alone_ for five minutes! She, incidentally, wants some sort of tree frogs. You can bet I will not be touching them.
    2. EMHCs--Our parish is always looking for these. I know we are large, but we also have the Sisters here! We employ the EM's too much, I think. I have been pulled on the spot a couple times, and of course I did what I was asked, but it just makes me uncomfortable. (The priests I feel comfortable enough with to tell this would never ask me in the first place). sigh. I made a big enough gaff one time, (not purposely) that I doubt I will be called on again. Same with going out to the hospital/shut ins. With this I think I would never have the guts to stop once I got started, and the same discomfort would apply. Plus I am CERTAIN that the recipient would be disappointed, because they want a visit from a priest, not a pinch hitter.
    3. Agreed about the Phils! Rachael's boyfriend took her to the shut out against the Braves the other night. They had a blast.
    4.Kneeling to receive--want to, but afraid of making a spectacle, and not being able to get back up...gracefully-ish.
    I did go over and read the comments you are referencing above. Mercury, if it is of any consolation, here is my two cents. You are where you are in your walk with God. You are not behind. Carol is where she is. As good and experienced of a writer as I believe her to be, it is my opinion that she was not conveying her mind and heart as well as usual that day. I know a few times she said she had to go, perhaps that was partly the cause. I don't know. I do know she has a particular role and stance up in Boston, that she takes very seriously, and not too many others could handle. I highly doubt that she meant to cause you any harm. I think her intention is only to increase love and reverence for the Eucharistic Lord, for any and all readers. I am taking up for her just a little here, because I read her blog and see what kind of attacks she regularly endures. Now, I only read so far, comments were not closed last I looked, so if things got even woolier than I know, I apologize now, But what I know if Carol and her character is good. She will make apologies when necessary, also.
    You seem to be one of what I like to think of as tender conscience types, and God will be tender with you. YOU have to walk your own walk before Him, and if you are doing so with a clear conscience, and if I remember correctly, guidance from a spiritual director, I am certain you are just fine. That said, I agree 100% with Joyce, that if you begin to receive on the tongue, even if it is an act of faith and obedience, you will easily embrace it. God bless you!
    Sorry for the lengthy comment Joyce. You were mixed up in the rumble a bit too, eh? ;)

  11. Yes Kelly, ever since the third grade, I've had a penchant for standing up for people when I think they're being bullied. The problem with the internet is that we can't hear the inflection in someone's voice or read the expression on their faces. Then we quickly forget we're talking to another one of God's creatures and we start making insults about a person's level of education and ability to articulate and we might even put words in someone's mouth about their love for Jesus. It's unfortunate and makes me want to stop blogging, to be honest. Now that I have that out of the way... yes, the kid is solely responsible for the rats, I'm very relieved not to be an EM anymore, I love the Phils, and I really wish I had a spiritual advisor, but have never met a priest after Father Jim who showed any interest. And the oldest might be moving back home. Stay tuned!

  12. Joyce, how wonderful that your trip to Rome is fast approaching. If possible, don't miss the Scavi tour -- excavations beneath St. Peter's Basilica where the bones of St. Peter are buried.

    Also, there is a beautiful Carmetlite Church (putting in a plug here : ) in Vatican City. It's on your left, if you are exiting St. Peter's, but down a couple of blocks, flush with the adjacent buildings. The name is St. Maria in Traspontina. Don't miss Bernini's statue of St. Teresa located in another Carmelite Church. Oh, you are going to think you have died and gone to heaven in Rome. So happy for you! Freedom from churches built in circles, octagons, triangles and other questionable geometric shapes. : )

    God bless!

  13. Tuned we will! I hope you will be able to keep us HIGHLY APPRISED of your trip! Ahem! lol

  14. Trish, no I have not heard of that group - I will have to check them out! Not that I'd be able to convince the rest of the family to come along. Thanks!

  15. Patricia, I'm not sure what all we'll have time for, although we're told that so long as we're on the bus when we need to be, we are free to wander from the group. I can't imagine going all the way to Rome and NOT seeing Bernini's sculpture. I'm still amazed I'll be over there on St. Therese's feast day. It will be the first in many years that I'm not spending it at the Carmelite Monastery.
    God Bless!


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