Wednesday, November 30, 2011

John Paul Stelten (Fr. Anthony Mary's father) RIP

Please pray for the repose of the soul of John Paul Stelten, Fr. Anthony Mary's father, who passed away on Tuesday afternoon.
May Our Lord, Our Lady, and all the angels and Saints, especially those of the Seraphic Order,
strengthen and comfort Fr. Anthony and his family in this time of sorrow.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Here are two quotes about grammar, or rather, about the love of grammar.

"I loved grammar and argued with my teachers over the way words were used in sentences. I nearly memorized my grammar book>"
Jesse Stuart in "To Teach, To Love," and "Beyond Dark Hills."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


"You ain't sayin' you like grammar?”
“Are you nuts? I hate it,” said Herbie stoutly.
To confess his guilty pleasure in the machinery of language would have been as bad as admitting a taste for opium; in fact, Lennie would have been much readier to forgive the opium.
Herman Wouk in "The City Boy," also known as "City Boy: The Adventures of Herbie Bookbinder."

I know exactly, and I mean exactly how the real-life Jesse Stuart and the fictional Herbie Bookbinder felt. I, too, loved grammar when I was in school. In fact, I've started buying, online, used copies of the books I studied in my junior high school and high school English classes. (I did a Google search, using phrases from paragraphs I remember from those books. I loved those paragraphs!)
Besides, I am reasonably certain that I knew more about grammar back then than I do now.

Monday, November 28, 2011

"Christmas Can Can"


A friend sent me the link to this video. Yes, it is appropriate for
this time of year. It is also hilarious!






Sunday, November 27, 2011

Two Collections

The other day, I revived my Vintage Media collection.
But does that mean that I am dropping my Rosary Art collection?
By no means! In fact, the other day I added something new to each collection!
This is the latest item in my Rosary Art
collection,
and this is the newest addition to my Vintage Media collection.
I really enjoy having two collections, one religious and one secular.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival



Join me and a growing group of Catholic bloggers at Sunday Snippets. Thanks to RAnn for hosting.

Semper Gaudete!: Advent Prayer For Life

Semper Gaudete!: Our Lady of Guadalupe Pro-life Prayer

I just discovered that my Semper Gaudete!: Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival for last Sunday never went up; here they are now.

Semper Gaudete!: Advent, 2011

Semper Gaudete!

Semper Gaudete!: On EVERY SINGLE PAGE

Semper Gaudete!: November 22nd, 1963

Semper Gaudete!: A Small Thought for Thanksgiving Day

Semper Gaudete!: Life On The Rock, Thanksgiving, 2011

Semper Gaudete!: Two Stories I Like To Read on Thanksgiving Day

Semper Gaudete!: Sitting on the Stoop

Semper Gaudete!: Pippa Passes, Pippa Passes, Pippa Passes

Semper Gaudete!: Books Read in the Past Week

Semper Gaudete!: Books I Plan To Read Next Week

Advent, 2011

This is a post from last year, slightly modified.

In less than an hour, I will pray Evening Prayer 1 for the First Sunday in Advent.
And so will begin another liturgical year, another cycle.
I love Advent. It's such a thoughtful, joyful time of preparation. I love that we
have different seasons, and ordinary time, too.

I'm including links to a couple of Advent calendars.

EWTN Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar from The Mary Page

Books I Plan To Read Next Week



"The Love Of Our Lord Jesus Reduced To Practice"#
by St. Alphonse de Liguori
[religious non-fiction, Catholic, spirituality]
{free Google e-book}

"The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Real"
by Neta Jackson
[Religious fiction, series, Protestant, multi-denominational and non-denominational]
{carried over from last week}

"Snips and Snails"#
by Louise Baker
[nonfiction, memoir, school]
{online, Open Library loan}

"The Gates of Heaven
A Beginner's Guide to Jewish Prayer"#
by David M. Schaps
[religious nonfiction, Jewish]
{it will be interesting to see the differences
and the similarities between formal Jewish prayer,
and formal Catholic prayer. Some of the similarities and
differences are already familiar to me.}

"The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Tough"
by Neta Jackson
[Religious fiction, series, Protestant, multi-denominational and non-denominational]

"The Home Has A Heart"
by Thyra Ferre Bjorn
[nonfiction, Protestant, anecdotes, recipes]
{December chapter only}

Books Read in the Past Week


Books read for the first time are marked with a #

"The Love Of Our Lord Jesus Reduced To Practice"#
by St. Alphonse de Liguori
[non-fiction, Catholic]
{free Google e-book}

"The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down"
by Neta Jackson
[Religious fiction, series, Protestant, multi-denominational and non-denominational]
{continued from last week}

"Miss Happiness and Miss Flower"
"Little Plum"
by Rumer Godden
[children's fiction, British, family, dolls]

"Ballet Teacher"#
by Lee Wyndham
[young adult fiction, career]

"The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Real"
by Neta Jackson
[Religious fiction, series, Protestant, multi-denominational and non-denominational]
{carrying over into next week}

Advent Prayer For Life



Please pray this
Advent Prayer

Our Lady of Guadalupe Pro-life Prayer


I will be praying this
Novena, and I hope you will pray it as well.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Two Stories I Like To Read on Thanksgiving Day



Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen

This is a story by O. Henry.

Thankful

This is a children's story by Mary E. Wilkins. I first read it in when I was in
elementary school, but I don't remember what grade I was in. I've also forgotten
whether I read the story in a school reader, or a regular storybook.
I have to admit that I was surprised to discover how long ago this story was written!




A Small Thought for Thanksgiving Day

One thing I love about Thanksgiving Day is that it is a day set aside for all Americans, no matter what their religion, to give thanks to God. It is a Movable Feast for the entire nation.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sitting on the Stoop

I remember sitting on the stoop (actually just a long, low, red step) in front of my old apartment building:
Reading comic books.
Eating ices.
Listening to the radio.
Eating David's Pumpkin Seeds (the shells were covered with salt; they were more salt than seed!)
Talking with my friends,
Eating Button Candy (and getting paper in my mouth every time!)
Not all at the same time, of course!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 22nd, 1963

Friday. Fifth Grade. Friday was Club Day for the fifth and sixth grades; I was in the Citzenship Club.
What were we discussing? I can't remember. Part of my mind may have been focused on the upcoming weekend.
Then the announcement came on the Public Address System.
What we'd been discussing, what I may have been thinking about, no longer mattered.
President Kennedy had been shot, and they didn't know if he was going to live.
Up until that moment, I had thought that presidents getting shot was something that happened
in the past. Not now.
I remember going outside at dismissal time, and seeing my Baba and her friend Mickey coming towards the school. Baba USED to pick me up from school, but she hadn't for several years, and she had always come alone.
I knew then.
I looked at Baba and Mickey.
"He's dead, isn't he?"
Baba nodded.
"Yes. He's dead."
And my next words?
"But what are his kids going to do without their daddy?"
Or something like that.
I knew that losing their daddy was a worse tragedy to those children than losing a president
was to us.
It is a simple matter to fill the Office of President; the Vice-President is sworn in almost immediately after the death of an incumbent.
But there is no such office as Vice-Daddy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

On EVERY SINGLE PAGE

In the first chapter of "Beezus and Ramona", Beezus takes Ramona to the library, and borrows a picture book to read to her. Also, in this chapter, Ramona wants to learn how to write her name, the way Beezus writes her name. However, Ramona is not satisfied with the way "Ramona" looks in script; there are no dots or lines as in "Beatrice".
But, being Ramona, she creates her own version of "Ramona" in script!
And when the day comes to return the book to the library, Ramona insists that it is HER book.
When it is explained to her that the book belongs to the library, Ramona goes sulkily to her room to get the book.
She comes back and informs her mother and sister that it is, too, her book, because she has written her name in it.
And indeed she had! On EVERY SINGLE PAGE, in purple crayon! Remember?
Fast-forward to the last chapter. Aunt Beatrice comes to dinner to help celebrate Beezus's
birthday, bringing a cake from a bakery. (Ramona had managed to ruin two, yes TWO cakes!)
We learn that, as children, Beezus and Ramona's mother and aunt didn't always get along!
But the worst thing that the younger sister, Aunt Beatrice, ever did was to write her name
on EVERY SINGLE PAGE of her sister's brand new autograph album! Remember?
I have to admit that it was only recently that the similarity between these two incidents occurred to me.
And perhaps we can imagine either Beezus, or Ramona, someday having a daughter who writes
her name on EVERY SINGLE PAGE of her older sister's book!





Sunday, November 20, 2011

I'm trying something new: reading the Bible at mealtimes.
(not necessarily at EVERY meal).

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

Join me and other Catholic bloggers at Sunday Snippets. Thanks to RAnn for hosting every week!

Semper Gaudete!: Hair Ribbons

Semper Gaudete!: Fr. Joseph Mary's Homily for 11/14/2011

Semper Gaudete!: Expanding My Collection, Again

Semper Gaudete!: Looking For Goldenrod

Semper Gaudete!: More "Betsy-Tacy" Elements in "The Black Angels"

Semper Gaudete!: What Not To Read To Your First Grader (from someone else's blog)
(post includes my own comments)

Semper Gaudete!: Red Sour Balls

Semper Gaudete!: Honor Roll of Hits

Semper Gaudete!: Pippa Passes, Pippa Passes, Pippa Passes


Semper Gaudete!: Books Read in the Past Week

Semper Gaudete!: Books I Plan To Read Next Week


Books I Plan To Read Next Week



"Ballet Teacher"
by Lee Wyndham
[Young Adult fiction]


"The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down"
by Neta Jackson
[Christian [Protestant] fiction]
{carried over from this week}

"Miss Happiness and Miss Flower"
"Little Plum"
by Rumer Godden
[children's fiction]


"The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Real"
by Neta Jackson
[Christian [Protestant] fiction]


(Unlike the 10 Commandments, this list is not written in stone)

Books Read in the Past Week



Books read for the first time are marked with a #

"In the Midst of the World
A Call to Holiness"
by St. Francis De Sales
Selections from the Writings of the Saint
Compiled and Edited and Explanatory Commentaries Written
by
Sister Joanna Marie Wenzel, V.H.M.
Assisted by
Sister Aimee Franklin, V.H.M.
(Catholic spirituality)

"The Yada Yada Prayer Group"
by Neta Jackson
[Christian [Protestant] fiction]
{carried over from the past week}

"The Black Angels"#
by Maud Hart Lovelace
(fiction)

"Caroline M. Hewins
Her Book"#
Containing
"A Mid-Century Child and Her Books"
by Caroline M. Hewins
and
"Caroline M. Hewins and Books For Children"
by Jennie D. Lindquist
(non-fiction)
[many of the books mentioned can be
read online]

"The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down"
by Neta Jackson
[Christian [Protestant] fiction]
{carrying over into next week}

"The Love of Our Lord Jesus Christ Reduced to Practice"
by St. Alphonse de Liguori
Translated by a Catholic Priest
(Catholic Sprituality)
[e-book]
{carrying over into next week}




Pippa Passes, Pippa Passes, Pippa Passes

So what's with the title in triplicate?
Quite simple, actually. Sometime in the near future, I plan to read, one
after the other:
"Pippa Passes"
by Robert Browning
[drama]
{e-book}
"Pippa Passes"
by Rumer Godden
[fiction]
and
"Pippa Passes"
by Scott Corbett
[children's fiction]

I may not read them in that exact order, and I won't start until I receive the Corbett book
which is now on its way to me.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Honor Roll of Hits

I've just made a, to me, fascinating discovery.
From 1945 until 1963 "Billboard Magazine" ran a chart called "The Honor Roll of Hits". This was a listing of hit songs rather than hit records, and listed the songwriter(s), the Best Selling Record, (if applicable) and finally, all available recordings of the song.
Here is a copy of "Billboard" from 1950. The chart can be found on page 18 of the magazine.
(I find all the contents worth browsing).




Thursday, November 17, 2011

Red Sour Balls

I loved red sour balls when I was a little girl, and yet,
I never bought one. Never once.
I remember walking on Brighton Beach Avenue with my Grandpa, and stopping in a store that
sold appetizers. Even now, I can almost smell the pickles; I can see the olives.
But I was a little girl. Pickles and olives didn't really interest me.
What interested me? The candy. The bins and bins of cellophane-wrapped candy. Round, flat peppermints. Lemon-drops. Caramels. And sour balls of various colors: orange, yellow, green, purple, and, of course, red!
And other candies, too many for me to remember.
And always, there were several candies in the wrong bins. And always, I would put them
back where they belonged. And always, the owner of the store would let me have a piece of
candy for "helping out".
And always, I chose a red sour ball.
It's been years since I've had a red sour ball. From time to time I've thought about buying some.
But would they taste the same?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More "Betsy-Tacy" Elements in "The Black Angels"




Yesterday I mentioned the presence of goldenrod in Maud Hart Lovelace's first novel, "The Black Angels". Goldenrod, as I said then, is a recurring element in the author's "Betsy-Tacy" books.
Now that I've read further, I've found other familiar items.
The "Cat Duet", which was introduced in "Betsy and Tacy Go Over The Big Hill"
Alex, in "The Black Angels", and Uncle Keith, in the "Betsy-Tacy" books, were both based on MHL's Uncle Frank, who left home to go onstage because of an overly-strict stepfather.
Also mentioned in "The Black Angels" are:
Fried potatoes. Remember how Mrs. Ray was always frying potatoes?
A pill-box with hair in it. THAT made me chuckle, remembering the pill-boxes in the "Red Hair, Yellow Hair, and Brown" chapter in "Betsy-Tacy and Tib".













What Not To Read To Your First Grader (from someone else's blog)

I just had to respond to, and share,
this post.

Here, for quick reference, is my comment.
If I had seen this horrific, totally unsuitable earlier version in the first grade, I would have been traumatized!
SHAME on whoever wrote such a story for
first graders! SHAME on the teachers who
assigned this story!
The new version, which can be found by going
HERE
is MUCH more suitable, because only the ham gets eaten!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Looking For Goldenrod

I was looking for goldenrod today, and I found it. No, not out of doors, but in a book.
I'm reading a recent reprint of Maud Hart Lovelace's first novel, "The Black Angels", originally published in 1926! And, knowing how the author almost always put goldenrod into her books, I had my eye out for goldenrod!

To be honest, I hadn't really been thought about the goldenrod in these books until I read "The Betsy-Tacy Companion" by Sharla Scannell Whalen. It was just there, so familiar as to be almost unnoticed.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Fr. Joseph Mary's Homily for 11/14/2011






Fr. Joseph shares some great anecdotes in this homily.

Expanding My Collection, Again

Once again, I've expanded my Rosary Art Collection.
It will now include pictures of stained glass windows. So far, I've added
two.
I have always loved stained glass windows; it's about time I included some in
my collection!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hair Ribbons


I wear my hair in a simple ponytail with a ribbon.
I choose each day's ribbons according to that day's commemoration.
Weekdays, optional memorials, and memorials rate a grosgrain or cotton ribbon (mostly
grosgrain.)
Most of my ribbons are grosgrain.
Feasts and solemnities are celebrated with a satin ribbon. (I have several, but could use
a couple more.)
On Saturdays and feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I wear a light blue hair ribbon.
I have only one ribbon for Sunday; a gold gauze ribbon with gold trim.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

Join me and other Catholic bloggers at Sunday Snippets. Thanks to RAnn for hosting!

Semper Gaudete!: Father "Meow"


Semper Gaudete!: Father "Meow"

Semper Gaudete!: Church Mice

Semper Gaudete!: Liturgy of the Hours


Semper Gaudete!: A Series I ALMOST Remember

Semper Gaudete!: How Appropriate!

Semper Gaudete!: "Church Mice--- Julie's Birthday"

Semper Gaudete!: New Reading System

Semper Gaudete!: When Using An Electric Coffee-Maker

Semper Gaudete!: Books Read in the Past Week

Semper Gaudete!: Books I Plan To Read Next Week




Books Read in the Past Week



Books read for the first time are marked with a #

"New Term at Malory Towers"#
"Summer Term at Malory Towers"#
"Winter Term at Malory Towers"#
"Fun and Games at Malory Towers#
"Secrets at Malory Towers"#
"Goodbye Malory Towers"#
by Pamela Cox
(children's fiction)

"In the Midst of the World"
by St. Francis De Sales
(Catholic spirituality)
(still reading)

"The Yada Yada Prayer Group"
by Neta Jackson
(Christian [Protestant] fiction}
(still reading)

When Using An Electric Coffee-Maker


I've learned some, but not ALL, of this by experience.
1: Be sure to add water; otherwise there will be a stench! (or worse)
2: Make sure that the pot or cup is in position, OR make sure you have plenty of paper towels
on hand.
3: Make sure coffee-maker is plugged in.
4: Make sure coffee-maker is turned on. Omitting these two steps will mean a long
wait for nothing!
5: VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!
Be sure to add the coffee! To paraphrase L.M. Montgomery's "Anne Of Green Gables,"
Coffee is so essential to coffee!

Books I Plan To Read Next Week



"In the Midst of the World"
by St. Francis De Sales
[Catholic spirituality]
{carried over from the past week}

"The Yada Yada Prayer Group"
by Neta Jackson
[Christian [Protestant] fiction]
{carried over from the past week}



"The Black Angels"
by Maud Hart Lovelace
[historical fiction]
{this is a reprint of her first novel,
originally published in 1926}




"The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down"
by Neta Jackson





Friday, November 11, 2011

New Reading System

I've decided to cut down on the number of books I'm reading
at one time. I really was juggling too many!
My new system, not counting long-term devotional reading material, is:
One book on Catholic spirituality
AND
One work of fiction
OR
non-fiction
OR
drama.
(In other words, no more than two books at a time, not counting the Bible, short story collections, and poetry collections.)
I've set aside Henry David Thoreau's "Walden" for now; but I do plan to read it sometime
during the winter, when I'm feeling walled in!

How Appropriate!

Today, Veterans' Day, is the feast of St. Martin of Tours.
St. Martin is the Patron Saint of the Military!
How appropriate!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Church Mice--- Julie's Birthday"

Here is another "Church Mice" strip.


This one puts me in mind of Ecclesiastes 3:7, where we are told that there is a time to keep silence, and a time to squeak... er, speak.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Series I ALMOST Remember

I've been trying for AGES, or so it seems, to remember the name of a series I read in a magazine (Humpty Dumpty's Magazine for Little Children? Children's Digest?)
in, I think, the late 50s or early 60s. The series was about a little girl (it would help if
I could remember her name!) who lived a long time ago. I think she was spending the
summer with her grandparents; I do remember that they played a prominent role in the stories.
The funny thing is that I really remember just one of the stories. There was an Ice Cream Social, for which all the ladies made ice cream. The girl wanted to be sure to get her Grandma's ice cream, so she went up for ice cream again and again and again and....!
Of course, when the ladies serving got to her Grandma's ice cream, Grandma brought her a dish.
I remember that I wasn't surprised! However, the kid was in NO condition to eat another SPOONFUL!
Oh, how I'd love to read that series again, if I could just remember which magazine it was printed in, and when!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Liturgy of the Hours

I pray the Liturgy of the Hours every day, using the four-volume set.
Matins and Lauds
(Office of Readings and Morning Prayer)
As soon as possible after I get up and have my coffee.

Terce
(mid-morning prayer)
(after Mass on EWTN)
(Sundays only)

Sext
(midday prayer)
(Sundays only)


Nones
(midafternoon prayer)
Around 3:00 PM.

Vespers
(Evening Prayer)
Around 6:30 PM


Compline
(Night prayer; Bedtime prayer)
I pray this in bed, last of all before
I go to sleep. Since we are permitted to use the prayer
for Sunday night during the week, I use the Night Prayer for
Sunday II, unless Sunday I is prescribed.
There is something so cozy about praying Night Prayer in bed, and
we never outgrow the need for a little coziness.





Monday, November 7, 2011

Church Mice

There's an online comic strip I really enjoy called "Church Mice", by Rev. Karl Zorowski. The cartoonist is a Protestant minister, and I don't always agree with everything he says, but this particular strip is one of his best, in my opinion.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Father "Meow"

Yes, this is a bit silly, but I sometimes think of EWTN's Fr. Mark Mary as "Fr. Meow." Of course, my cat, Winky, has something to do with it. Did I say "something"? Make that everything! You see, every now and then, Winky has meowed at Fr. Mark. What's really funny is that Fr. Mark is the only priest Winky meows at!
The first time was while I was watching "The Roamin' Catholic". It happened to be the episode about Vocations. Well, all of a sudden, there was Fr. Mark! Winky, who was on the couch with
me, looked at the tv and gave a surprised "Meow?"
From time to time since then, Winky has meowed at Fr. Mark during the Mass! One morning,  however,  Winky did more that just meow.
It was the Feast of St. Mark, and  Fr. Mark, in his homily, mentioned the word "chicken."
Winky jumped off the couch, went over to the tv, stood on his hind legs, put his front paws
on the tv, and said, "Meow!"
Then he went to his dish, which was on the windowsill, and ate some of his canned food, which
just happened to be.... you guessed it!
CHICKEN!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival


Join me and other Catholic bloggers at Sunday Snippets. Thanks to RAnn for hosting!

EWTN

Semper Gaudete!: Four Year Anniversary

Semper Gaudete!: Fr. Anthony Mary's All Saints Day Homily


PRAYER
Semper Gaudete!: For The Souls In Purgatory

SUNDAY

Semper Gaudete!: Sunday Reading
Semper Gaudete!: Secular Amusements on Sunday


BOOKS AND READING

Semper Gaudete!: Not A Pleasant Read

Semper Gaudete!: "Larger-Than-Life LARA"

Semper Gaudete!: Delicious Dilemma

Semper Gaudete!: Books Read in the Past Week

MISC.
Semper Gaudete!: Turning Back The Clock







Books Read in the Past Week


Books read for the first time are marked with a#

"Third Year at Malory Towers"
"Upper Fourth at Malory Towers"
"In the Fifth at Malory Towers"
"Last Term at Malory Towers"
by Enid Blyton
(children's fiction)


"The Home Has A Heart"
by Thyra Ferre Bjorn
(non-fiction, Christian [Protestant] themes,
anecdotes, recipes)
{November chapter only}

"Larger-Than-Life LARA"#
by Dandi Daley Mackall
(children's fiction)










Turning Back The Clock

Tonight is the night we turn back the clock, and return to Standard Time. I'm going to turn back the clock right now.
kcolc eht

Friday, November 4, 2011

Delicious Dilemma

Sometimes, when I finish a book, I am faced with the delicious dilemma of what to read next. Shall it be a book written for children? Teens? Adults?
Do I want to read, for perhaps the dozenth-or more time, a familiar favorite,
or do I want to read something new, at least, new to me?
Do I want to read the next book in a series I'm following, start on yet another
series, or read a stand-alone book?
Do I want to read Christian fiction? Judaica? A secular story? Perhaps a biography or an autobiography?
Am I in the mood for a mystery? (I actually re-read mysteries, if the surrounding details are interesting and entertaining.
Perhaps something historical? Maybe a humorous book? A family story?
I could go on listing genres, and sometimes the genres can overlap.
Many historical novels are also family stories; Carol Ryrie Brink's "Caddie
Woodlawn" and Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books come to mind.
Ray Bradbury's "Dandelion Wine" is science fiction, but it is also a family
story, as are Madeleine L'Engle's books about the Murrys.
Then again, I might decide to read a play. Shakespeare, perhaps? Something
more contemporary? Comedy? Tragedy?
And in which format shall I read the book? Physical book? E-Book?
Decisions, decisions.
Of course, there is one day each year when I know what I do not have to decide what to read. On December 24th, I always read "A Christmas Carol", by Charles Dickens.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Larger-Than-Life LARA"

I've just read Dandi Daley Mackall's "Larger-Than-Life LARA",
and this time, I will actually say something about the book, as well as giving my reaction.
Briefly: The story is told in the first person by fourth-grader Laney Grafton. As she
narrates the events, she also talks about what her teacher has taught the class about writing.
Dandi Daley Mackall has not only written a work of fiction; she has also shared a few rules for writing a story... AND shown us that there are times when those rules won't work.
(The following is from the inside of the dust jacket)
"But Lara doesn't act the way a fat kid should. She's confident. She's happy. And nothing, it seems, can change her positive attitude. Until one day, when Laney's classmates do the unthinkable."
Laney's classmates. Not Laney, herself. She didn't know about the trick until it was over.
"I wanted it to be over. I wanted it not to have happened."
This book is from a mainstream, rather than a Christian, publisher, and is not overtly religious, although praying is VERY briefly mentioned.
Not overtly religious. But what Lara does for her classmates after that cruel prank
can best be described as Christ-like. And they, too, now wish that the trick hadn't happened.
And perhaps it is a good thing, in a way, that this is NOT an overtly religious book. More people are likely to read a book from a mainstream publisher than from a religious one.
Yes, what Lara does can definitely be called Christ-like. Or, to put it in Jewish terms,
she behaves like a real mensch. But then, to be Christ-like is to be a real
mensch.
My reaction? I was open-mouthed and gasping when I finished this book, and I needed to wipe my eyes.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

For The Souls In Purgatory

I pray the Liturgy of the Hours every day.
I have decided to pray The Office of the Dead for the Souls in Purgatory once a week,
if there is a day that doesn't already have a set Office.

Secular Amusements on Sunday

The other day, I posted about my Sunday reading. Now, I'm going to talk about secular amusements.
I don't think that innocent amusements are wrong on Sunday, in fact, they can help to enhance the observance, as long as they don't take precedence. How many times have we heard, "What's allowed on Monday is allowed on Sunday?"
I love to play games on the computer, and on my TV, but mostly on the computer. However, on Sundays I like to play different games than I do during the week.
On weekdays, I play a variety of games, both online and offline, but on Sundays, I play only
Beach Solitaire (on my TV) and a few games on MahJong Suite, which is a collection of solitaire MahJong games.
The reason I play different games on Sunday from those I play during the week is that I like a change on Sunday.

Fr. Anthony Mary's All Saints Day Homily

Fr. Anthony gives us the background of the Solemnity, and shares with us a name the friars jokingly suggest to their postulants.
I have to admit, I cracked up!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Four Year Anniversary

Many people have discovered EWTN by "accident" (more likely, through Providence) while channel-surfing. I found EWTN on the Solemnity of All Saints, 2007, because I was looking for a televised Mass. I wanted to at least see and hear Mass, since I was unable to go.
I checked the Guide on my television. There were several Masses about to be broadcast. What was it that made me choose the Mass on EWTN?
1: The letter "L", indicating that it was a live Mass.
2: The fact that it was broadcast from Our Lady of the Angels Monastery.
(I have a deep devotion to Our Lady, and to the Angels; the name of my parish
Church is "Guardian Angel.)
The next day, I once again watched the live morning Mass on EWTN; I have watched every day since November 1st, 2007. And on those all-too-rare days
when I am able to actually get to Mass, I watch the later broadcast.
EWTN has been a great blessing in my life.