Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Simple. Am I Simple?

Simple Woman Monday on a Tuesday...

This morning... The sun is shining bright and hot. The daylilies outside the RV window are so tall and spindly, they reach the bottom of the window. I love day lilies; they are the perfect flower for an existentialist, living big and beautiful for today -- and only today.

What I'm wearing... ankle length, very comfy, A-line black skirt, light pink polo, black apron.

What I'm listening to... a comedian on a news talk show. One is not sure whether to laugh or not. (I generally laugh. You probably guessed that.)😊

Breakfast... Burnt boiled eggs. Yes, you read that right... I put a half dozen on to boil then completely forgot about them! But they're actually just a little bit burnt, where they touched the bottom of the pot -- and peeled surprisingly easily. 🙂

What I'm reading... actually nothing right at the moment, though I was just talking yesterday with William about rereading the Don Camillo stories. I just finished rereading Outlaws of Ravenhurst -- and doing a study guide for it -- which makes for very close reading. A good exercise for an old brain! (Gosh, that's a good book!)

What I'm making... I have a recipe for gluten-free crackers that I've been wanting to make, but didn't have the correct flour. Now I have the correct flour - but not sure I want to heat up the tiny house by turning on the oven today... 

What I'm planning... A day with our little grandson, Quinn (not quite two). His Momma, Michelle, is taking his four sisters to hang out at Catholic Girls' Camp for the day. So Quinn's uncles and I get to spoil him today. I expect there will be UTV rides involved -- as little Quinn is a total car dude.


Picture Thoughts for the day:
 
Smile, Basti and Sophie! (in Bavaria)

Smile, William! (Here, with the armour he's making!)

Can we get a little smile, Quinn? (poolside, Iowa)

Smile, Gabe! (Homestead)

Smile, Raspberry Girl, Margaret! (Homestead -'scuse my thumb.)


Smile, Paul, Nicole, Lilly, Evie, and Gavin! (Minnesota)

Clara? Nope. Ain't happenin'.



(Need some more photos of Shelly's youngin's and Cathy's! But I'm having a terrible time syncing my new laptop with my new phone, so downloading photos at all is a chore! Hopefully one of the boys can help me figure it out...)

Sunday, April 24, 2022

How We Bless Our Property on the Feast of St. Mark

I posted this in 2015 when we lived in Nebraska, but, for a re-share, this was the best and
easiest round-up of the prayers we've said for years on the feast of St. Mark.

If it's at all possible, it's a good thing to do these blessings after attending Mass and the Greater Litany Processions. But it's not necessary. (But the more blessings, the better, right?) There is an alternative Feast Day on which to do blessings (The Feast of the Holy Cross, September 14th). You can make special, substantial crosses (rustic or fancy, it's up to you), to have blessed on this day (a traditional custom in some times and places) and then place them around your property in September -- then, come March 25th, add small vials of holy water and fresh palms and decorations as you go about doing the blessings on the Feast of St. Mark -- which is the Church's Day for Blessing farms and crops. Alternatively, you can make new crosses every year, using branches and twigs -- you can have them blessed if you like (but it's not a necessity) -- and then take them out with you when you do the blessings on St. Mark's Day. You can perhaps have four different children hold each of the crosses until each is staked into its corner.

Or, honestly -- keep in mind, you can choose another day to do these blessings if you are doing them strictly as a family pious exercise. It's nice to make a
Our Busy priests: hard to catch sometimes.
tradition out of a particular day that the children can look forward to, though. And being in sync with the Church is a wonderful thing in every way. In addition, if you have a priest who has the time to do these property blessings for your family, that is top-notch, and the best possible scenario. But it's hard to do. Most of our priests are so pinched for time and have so many parishioners that something so time consuming is much more easily accomplished by the Father of the Family -- or a big brother if Dad is unavailable.

Also, you certainly don't need to have a farm or property to do these blessings! Any yard will do. Just eliminate the blessing prayers that aren't needed.

(N.B. I tried to find the original link to these prayers and had no luck. It's a little weird how hard it is to find these things these days. It used to be no problem! If anyone else can find them, please share in the comments! I will try to type them out on a pdf and make it available in the next few days, if possible.)



We started here:
Blessing of a Farm
(This prayer may be said to obtain God's blessing on a farm with its buildings or for the farmhouse alone.) Bless, O Lord, Almighty God, this house (or this farm). May health and purity, goodness and meekness, and every virtue reign here. May all those who dwell here be filled with faithfulness to Thy law and with thanksgiving to God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. May this blessing remain on this house (or this farm) and all who dwell here. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Here we have Dan leading a gang of children out for the St. Mark's Day (Rogation Day) blessings.  Theresa took pictures since I didn't get to be there (bless her), but some of the girls' bffs were on hand to take my place, All the children made the hike with Dan around the four corners and did us the favor of helping pray our property safe.  Thanks, girls! 




On to the Animals

Blessing of the livestock.  Right now all we've got is chickens.  And cats.  And one big sweet St. Bernard.
Blessing of All Domestic Animals
Lord God, King of heaven and earth, Thou the Word of the Father by whom all creatures were
given us for our support; look down, we beseech Thee, on our lowliness. As Thou hast given us
these animals to assist us in our labors and needs, so mayest Thou in thy great goodness and
mercy bless them from above, guard and preserve them; and, while Thou givest thy servants
temporal benefits, mayest Thou grant us Thy continual grace so that we may praise Thy holy
name with thanksgiving. Amen.
Blessing of the well.  (Need to have someone pick up all those wood scraps over there!)

Blessing of a Water Supply
O Lord, Almighty God, who hast given us an ample supply of water, led off by pipes from this source, grant that, by Thy assistance and blessing and our cooperation, every diabolical attack and confusion may be kept off and that this water supply may always be pure and uncontaminated.  Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing of a Spring or Well
We cry without ceasing, O Lord, to Thy Fatherly goodness that Thou wouldst sanctify this fountain of water with Thy heavenly blessing and make it suitable for every use.  Drive from it every influence of the devil so that whoever draws from it or drinks this water may enjoy good health and full vigor, and give praise and thanks to Thee, the Preserver and
Sanctifier of all things.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Processing around the north side of the property, heading along the cornfields toward the northwest corner.


It was pretty wet and muddy I'm told.

Blessing of Pasture, Meadows, and Fields
(This solemn blessing may be said at any time before cattle are put on the pasture for
summer.)
O God, through whom every good thing has its beginning, and through whom it is improved
and increased; grant, we beseech Thee, to us who cry to Thee, that this work, which we are
beginning for the praise of Thy name, may be happily brought to completion through the never
failing gift of Thy fatherly wisdom. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty, eternal God, Thou hast given to Thy priests a special grace so that we may be sure
that whatever is worthily done by them in Thy name is done also by Thee. We beseech Thy
clemency that Thou wouldst visit what we now vist, that Thou wouldst bless what we now bless,
and that Thou would'st stretch forth Thy mighty right arm over that which we now do, and that
by the merits and intercession of Thy saints and this entrance of our humble persons, the
demons may be put to flight and the angel of peace may enter in. Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.
The Litany of the Saints  is prayed next, followed by:
Send forth Thy spirit and they shall be created; And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.  For the Lord will give goodness; and our earth shall yield her fruit.
We humbly beseech Thy clemency O Lord, that Thou wouldst render these fields (pastures, meadows) fertile with rains in due season, that Thou wousdst fill them with Thy blessing, and so grant that Thy people may be ever thankful for Thy gifts.  Take infertility from the earth and fill the hungry with Thy gifts which the fruitful earth will yield in fullness that the poor and needy may raise the name of Thy glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Coming around the southwest corner... The horse stalls, to the right, the back of the chicken house and the woodshed. 


That you 'Squatch?

The Solemn Exorcism of Harmful Animals

I call upon you mice (worms, sails, snakes, spiders, lice, ticks, etc.) in the name of 
God, the Almighty Father, of Jesus Christ, His only Son, and of the Holy Spirit who
proceeds from both, that you go out from these fields and pastures and remain no
more in them, but depart for places where you can harm no one.  In the name of God,
the Almighty, of the whole heavenly court, and of God's holy Church, I declare you
accursed wherever you go so that you will become fewer day by day.  May no part of 
you be found again, unless it be for man's welfare.  May He graciously grant this, who
will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.

* Note: Any prayer that is called an "exorcism" must be performed by a specially authorized priest in order to 
truly exorcise.  
You could pray this prayer, of course, and it would be heard by God as all prayers are, but not to the same effect.

















Through the jungle...
Under the pear tree..


Blessing of Orchards and Vineyards

We beseech Thee, Almighty God, in Thy goodness, to pour down Thy blessings on these
young shoots and sprouts which Thou wouldst grow into mature fruit.  Grant to Thy people
that they may always be permitted to grow, with due sunshine and rain, and make them gifts which the fruitful earth produces in fullness so that the poor and needy may praise Thy glory.  Amen.



WOOT!  Are we ever blessed now!

I love this shot of Monica. Who would ever have guessed at this time that she would marry our son, Dominic, and be the mother of our granddaughters, Margaret and Clara -- with baby #3 due in September?

Monday, February 21, 2022

Simple Woman Scribblings

Monday, February 21st

Outside my window... It's a little overcast, but in the 50s -- warm enough that our granddaughters' voices arrested my attention first thing this morning when I was putting on a pot of tea -- and I had to go from window to window of the tiny house to figure out where they were. They were out back on the trampoline with Monica. 😊 It's supposed to be cold and possibly snowy the rest of the week, so theywere out enjoying the nice weather while they can! (The question is: what am I doing inside?)

What I'm wearing... midcalf, a-line, black jersey skirt (so comfortable!) over black leggins (cold this morning!); a short-sleeved, cranberry mock turtleneck, under a white, black and cranberry plaid, flannel over shirt. Reading glasses on my head.

What I'm reading... I'm on a little walk through the literature of my younger years, re-reading the Mary Roberts Rinehart mysteries I enjoyed as a teenager. I'm almost finished with 'The Man in Lower Ten,' and just received in the mail a collection of Mary Roberts Rinehart's "romances." From Abebooks, for less than $9: copyright 1918, superb condition, with its original book jacket! Do I enjoy the stories as much as I did 40 years ago? YES!

In the Kitchen... Chicken noodle soup on the stove. Just did a bunch of juicing to help with the ongoing endeavor of lowering my chronic high blood pressure naturally. We're doing a homeopathic regimen that has helped tremendously, and added to our usual juicing routine (cukes, celery, lemons, and ginger) a root crop I have avoided most of my life: beets. Cutting them up and processing them looked like a murder scene 😅, but the beets lent almost no taste -- just color! (which is still under my fingernails...)

In the Garden... Nothing coming up yet, of course --  but something is going up: a greenhouse! Inexpensive, but a trial run. If it turns out to be something we actually use, we may replace it with something more substantial. Hoping to get some early seeds going before mid-March! 

Here's Dominic and his little helper, putting it together.

Me. But not me.
How I'm spending my days these days... Dan and I have been trying to support our son, Kevin (he's the one who lives in Bavaria, with his wife, Ina, and our granddaughter, Sophia) in growing his Catholic Podcast station, with the aim of developing and sharing traditional Catholic content -- in a somewhat folksy and informal way, but one that is approachable and accessible and which might serve to help those Catholics, especially, who are seeking the faith in the midst of the chaos in Rome -- and those Catholics who, for so many reasons, feel isolated in this worldly world. 

Part of my informal duties have been in researching content, helping boost viewership (for instance, making ads! Which is fun!), being a somewhat reluctant live participant in some podcast discussions and interviews -- but more recently, in developing my own little corner of the station, where I share my own observations, opinions, tips, tricks, and lives of the saints. Much of this information, I glean from this blog. There's almost nothing I haven't written about on here! Momcasts are my territory, as are the Lives of the Saints and Mysteries of the Catholic Church. If you've been a long term visitor here at AWTY, you may recognize some of the content of these podcasts! Let me know if there's anything you think would make a good show! As soon as I get over this laryngitis I've picked up, I'll be recording again. Find The Catholic Family Podcasts here.

In the Spiritual Life... I just love this prayer (following). I found it in WWII era prayer book that turned up in the flotsam and jetsam of my upturned household recently. 😊 There is no imprimatur, but it's obviously pious and edifying -- and covers, well, just everything! Great for after Mass -- or any time.

Petitions After Mass

May these infinite graces of Mass and Communion extend throughout all the world, wherever Thy grace and help are needed.

May they extend to all the souls in Purgatory; especially to the souls of those who were dear to me in this life. (Here mention those deceased for whom you wish especially to pray.)

May these graces extend to all Thy Church on earth; to Pope, Bishops, priests and Religious, all who are striving for their own salvation and perfection, and who are trying to win souls to Thee. Give strength and efficacy to their words and their works that they may be the instruments of salvation to many.

May these graces extend to all who are persecuted for their Faith throughout the world; grant that peace may come to them, that they may have the consolations of Thy Church.

May these graces extend to all the souls outside Thy Church, especially to those in whom I am personally interested. May they extend to all poor sinners who have neglected, forgotten and abandoned Thee.

May these graces extend to all those who will die today. St. Joseph, Foster Father of the Son of God, and earthly Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us, and for all those who will die today.

May these graces extend to all the sick, all who are in pain and suffering; lay Thy healing Hand upon them, dear Lord, give them relief and comfort, patience and courage, strength and resignation.

May these graces extend to all the tempted, all the sad and sorrowful, all who are distressed, disheartened and discouraged -- and there are so many in these days of hardship who know not where to turn for help but to Thee. Do Thou help them, O Lord, and give them relief.

May these graces extend to all who have the destiny of nations in their hands, turn their minds to thoughts of God, that we may have a true and lasting peace.

May these graces extend to the members of my family, to all my relatives, friends and benefactors, to all who have asked my prayers and commended themselves to my prayers.

May these graces go with me this day and keep me safe in temptations and preserve me in Thy love and friendship. Amen.

A picture thought for the day...

Dan and I got to babysit six of the eleven grandchildren -- Michelle and Bens four and Dominic and Monica's two -- while they went to a ballroom dance class offered by a church member. (How cool is that? Both the dance class and that Dan and I can still drum up the skills! 😉) Pictured: with me, Clara; then Margaret, Quinn, Daria, Claudia, and Ella's knees. All under six!

Of All Modern Notions

 

Of all modern notions, the worst is this: that domesticity is dull. Inside the home, they say, is dead decorum and routine; outside is adventure and variety. But the truth is that the home is the only place of liberty, the only spot on earth where a man can alter arrangements suddenly, make an experiment or indulge in a whim. The home is not the one tame place in a world of adventure; it is the one wild place in a world of rules and set tasks.


~ G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Simple Woman Scribblings, January 27th

 

A Settling Worries Journal 

Looking out my window...
Me. Snuggled and scribbling. No rats.

There's a watercolor gray sky and snow still patching the ground in mysterious patterns (like: why did the snow melt over in that corner of the volleyball field, while the ground is completely bare in this corner of the volleyball field?). I haven't been out the door yet this morning, but it looks cold out there. I think I'll just stay in here. It's nice and snug in my little corner of the "tiny house!" (I like to call the RV the "Tiny House" nowadays -- in contrast to "the Big House" next door. It sounds homier than "the RV.") 

I am thinking... 
Worrying, actually, that the idea that we "gave up" the Big House to Dominic's family is causing a worry for some of our loved ones who think we are getting the raw end of the deal. Dan and I have talked to several of the children, one on one about it, but I want to set it down officially here, too. For the record: We love living in a smaller house with a smaller footprint! Less fuss, less muss, less to clean -- while still living on the "forever home" property where everyone can gather. How can you beat that? 

We thought it through -- and decided
to downsize -- sorta.

 Now that pretty much all of the children have moved on (with the two youngest only home in summer), all those rooms in the Big House were wasted space and more time and work than we want to deal with in our retirement. Two aging people don't need a four bedroom house or three acres of lawn and gardens to take care of. By themselves, 😬 and, though we were reconciled to the possibility, it was sad to think of selling our little paradise in the hills. We put the idea out to the children to take it over and were thrilled when Dominic and Monica decided to jump in on the adventure of a multigeneration cooperative! It's seemed to be the answer to everyone's prayers. Dominic and Monica were at a crossroads, ready for a move to a rural environment, safer and more economically feasible than where they started out (Denver). and Dominic almost immediately found a job that he loves and that pays well here in rural Iowa. I probably don't need to mention that we love having them and the little girls as our close neighbors! And we love their enthusiasm and energy for revitalizing the old homestead. My goodness, they are hard workers! The old place has needed some hammer and nails kind of love! And we love not having to be the ones to have to do it! 😉 (Heaven knows, we've BTDT enough times over the last 37 years!)

The Big House, winter. ❅
And here's the other win-win of the equation: the Big House fits the children's needs, providing space for their growing family, while the financial settlement we've arranged with them allows us to build a shelter for the RV that will have plenty of extra space for us.  We really like the coziness and simplicity of the tiny house and no longer having to yell across all that square footage at each other: "What?!" 😅 And with some extra living space behind the RV, we'll get to stretch out a bit and bring over the old familiar statues and pictures and pieces of furniture that will feel like "Mom and Dad and Home" to everyone  -- and will provide more space to entertain. Plus, we
Summer. (sigh) The view from the Little House

get an amazing view of the countryside from this side of the property, as we're further up on the hill. 

Summing up: we've been able to work out a financial plan that we can build the small efficient living space that we've always wanted that will wind up leaving us with almost no financial liabilities into our retirement - with the security of having family literally right at our elbows. How can you beat that? It's a very good thing!

I am thankful...
That God ignored all our prayers eight years ago to move to those other places that we now know, in hindsight, would have lacked the many blessings we have found here in Iowa. We wound up close to three of our children's families (and one a fairly short drive away in MN) -- and are so grateful to belong to a thriving and dependable church, with so many priests and Sisters and like-minded Catholics -- who we know will have our backs, no matter what. Being here at the hub of CMRI guarantees that we'll not only see our Religious children at least once a year (at holidays, vows, ordinations, and priests' meetings), but we get to see practically everyone we know periodically for those same reasons -- and have a network of friends who can fill pretty much every need you can think of in practically any emergency. In this world, there is absolutely no greater blessing and privilege. Proof positive that God knows best. Deo Gratias!

I am creating...  
Nothing much new right now, though I'm wanting to get out my needle-felting again to have another try at it! I've been slowly (very slowly) editing the old novel that I may never be satisfied enough to hand over to my beta-readers waiting in the wings. More than anything, I've been trying to organize and weed out the flotsam and jetsam of thirty-seven years of collecting... What is good to save in case of possible need -- should inflation continue to rise or the market crash or whatever? What might someone else see as useful, even if it's not something I might need -- and what is really just junk? Not always an easy distinction!

am wearing... 
Long navy skirt, patterned with little shell pink flowers; matching pink cardigan; navy turtleneck, leggin's, and socks. 

I am reading...  
Three Religious Rebels, by M. Raymond, O.C.S.O

One more picture thought for the day...
Cathy last week with Chloe at her first birthday party.
(The Mother of all mothers looking on.)


Sunday, January 23, 2022

The Amazing St. Raymond of Penafort...

 


...Who, upon being held against his will on the island of Majorca by King James of Aragon, said, "Oh yeah?" -- bowed his head in prayer and calmly spread his cloak upon the water. To the surprise of all, he then tied one corner of his cloak to his staff, stepped upon the cloak, and thereupon sailed across the Baltic Sea to Barcelona, a distance of 132 miles.  It's recorded that it took him six hours to make the trip.  Imagine.  I looked it up. If you were to charter a boat today from Majorca to Barcelona, Google sources estimate an eight hour journey.  In a boat -- with a motor.



But, do you want to know what is really amazing about St. Raymond?

Everything! 

Born to a rich and noble Spanish family in 1175, St. Raymond was a brilliant student, receiving doctorates in both civil and canon law at the Universities of Barcelona and Bologna.  He began teaching law at the University of Barcelona when he was only twenty years old, then continued teaching law in Bologna -- until he ran into some young men belonging to the newly formed Order of Preachers -- the Dominicans. It didn't take our saint long to realize his calling. By all accounts those dynamic young Dominicans were an impressive bunch! Raymond was 41 years old when he gave away everything he had in the world -- wealth, station, and honor -- to gain everything else that heaven could offer -- by joining the wandering preachers and becoming a Dominican friar.  And boy, did God have plans for him!

The Blessed Virgin appeared in separate visions to St. Peter Nolasco,
 St Raymond of Penafort and King James I of Aragon, asking them
 to establish an order for ransoming enslaved Christians from the Moors.
 

Together with St. Peter Nolasco and King James of Aragon (yes, the same King James from the sailing cloak story... How could he not have reformed with St. Raymond around, right?) St. Raymond founded the Order of Our Lady of Ransom for the Redemption of Captives.  With the direct patronage of the Blessed Mother, the Mercedarian Order grew swiftly and was blessed with great success.  Every chance he got through the rest of his life St. Raymond dedicated himself to bringing home Christian captives of the Crusades -- and to the conversion of both Muslims and Jews.  It is said that at his death, he was responsible for the conversion of over 10,000 Moors.


But... as if that weren't amazing enough, St. Raymond also found time to write the definitive book of advice and information for confessors at that time, Summa de Casibus Poenitentiae, which so impressed Pope Gregory IX, that he had St. Raymond called up to be his own personal confessor at the Vatican.

 So impressed was the pope with St. Raymond's learning, that he was assigned the task of updating and organizing the previous 80 years of canon law decrees, which effort resulted in the Decretals (published in 1234).  Having then reached the age of 60, St. Raymond was permitted to retired from the job at the Vatican.  He tried to sneak away to a quiet life in Barcelona, but it was not meant to be; he was almost immediately called up to serve as Archbishop of Barcelona (much against his will!) -- but, exhausted from a life of constant labor, he became ill and had to resign within two years.

Nevertheless... there was still to be no rest for St. Raymond.   In 1238  he was elected Master of the Dominicans, and desiring to give his personal attention to the needs of the community instead of relying on hearsay, he set out on foot to visit every single house of friars and nuns in the Order! At this time, he was well into his sixties, but in addition to the constant travel, he also managed to set out a new Constitution of the Order -- in which he added a resignation clause for the Master.  As soon as the new Constitution was adopted in 1240, our St. Raymond took advantage of the clause and begged out. (Clever fellow!)

But, St. Raymond was still not finished. Or, rather, God was not finished working through St. Raymond. Having made the acquaintance of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Raymond encouraged the Angelic doctor in his work, Against the Gentiles.  St. Raymond, himself no fledgling in the work of conversions, contributed constant labor toward the conversion of the Muslims and the Jews. St. Raymond was responsible for the teaching of Arabic and Hebrew in several Dominican friaries toward this end. He founded Dominican Houses in Murcia (at that time still ruled by Muslims), as well as in Tunis and Mallorca.

But, St. Raymond never did get a chance to rest -- at least not until he reached the venerable age of 100 years, when he finally went to his eternal reward. He died while visiting one of the Dominican monastaries in Barcelona in 1275.  He was canonized by Pope Clement VIII in 1601. His relics can still be found in the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia in Barcelona.

The feast day of St. Raymond of Penafort is January 23rd.  He is the patron saint of all lawyers, but especially of canon lawyers.

St. Raymond of Pennafort, help us to remember that we are never finished until we are in heaven!

*Repost from 2013

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Green

See that plant in the corner? The tall one? There's a long story behind that plant. Last June, on the way home from Idaho with the boys, we bought it as a thank you gift for the dear lady (a parishioner of Fr. P's mission church) who opened her home to us when our car broke down in Boise. But, for some reason (I can't for the life of me remember why!), we didn't end up giving it to her, so it rode along, the whole long way home, stuffed in our sedan with me and Dan, two hulking teenagers and all their stuff, plus two kittens in a too-large cat-carrier.

You might have already guessed that my poor plant arrived in Iowa a mite worse for wear. Bedraggled understates it. So, up it went, to the "intensive care" spot for plants next to the kitchen sink at the big house, where I could nurse it back to health. Which I was able to do. By the end of the summer it looked great! Like an actual small tree, with several tall stems and lush foliage.
Then I went to Germany. And Dan and Dominic and the gang started the big renovation on the homestead, taking out many of the main floor interior walls and raising the ceiling to its original height -- all of which is almost finished now and is awesome! I love it! In the process, though, I understand -- and the details are vague -- but, in the course of construction... Well, I guess basically -- the kitchen ceiling fell down on this plant. 😬
By the time I got home from Europe, it was down to two or three pitiful leaves and was hanging on by a thread. 😢 So, I brought it over to the tiny home (the RV we're living in until we get our barndo built) -- and put it in intensive care again on the RV kitchen sink. And, check it out! It's coming back! 😊 Its about to grow out of this spot!

Here's the thing, though, the reason to tell this story. (Oh, the irony.) You know what this plant is called? It's a MONEY TREE! 😅😂 And its adventures are pretty much an analogy of our finances.
Here's how it goes: Start building up the account: car dies. Get a windfall: the refrigerator breaks down. Get a raise: a kid needs braces. Or we have to fund a trip somewhere for some reason for somebody. Or throw a big party. 😉 (Two of our daughter-Sisters' vows, for instance, are coming up in Easter week!) Or...😬 Christmas...
So... Easy come. Easy go. Thank-you, God, that we've always somehow had enough tree that we could lose some leaves and even, occasionally, whole branches without killing it entirely... Thanks to Dan's intensive care finance skills, hard work, and scrimping, we've always been able to nurse the bank account back to health again!
Back to my plant, though. See the shiny leaves on those new shoots? It's so satisfying, seeing it come back to life! 😊 I'm enjoying it while I can. Same with my stubby aloe vera there, whose life's work is sacrificing its fronds for clumsy people burning themselves on pots... Finances/Fronds -- it's all the same, and one thing's for sure: there's bound to be another incident. Now that we're in the green again, it's bound to happen. Such is life. We're not holding our breath. Not worrying. Money doesn't grow on trees, but with proper care, it can "grow back" after a pruning.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Pious Exercise for Church Unity

The eight days between January 18th (Feast of St. Peter) and January 25th (Conversion of St. Paul) has been established by Pope Leo XIII as a special time for Catholics to pray for the conversion to the Catholic Faith for all unbelievers. The faithful are encouraged to recite the following prayers as a part of their daily routine during the octave:


ANT
: That all may be one, as Thou, Father, in Me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in US; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.

V: I say unto thee, that thou art Peter.
R. And upon this rock I will build My Church.

Let us pray:
Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst say to Thine Apostles: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you; consider not my sins, but the faith of Thy Church; and deign to keep it i peace and unity according to Thy will: who livest and reignest, God through all eternity. Amen.

For the Propagation of the Faith
(From the Mass of the same purpose)

O God, Who willest that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, send, we beseech Thee, laborers into Thy harvest, and give them to speak Thy word with all confidence, that Thy Message may run and may be made plain, and that all peoples may know Thee, the only True God, and Him Whom Thou hast sent, Jesus Christ our Lord. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

+ This octave is not liturgically observed, that is, there is no special Collect, Secret, or Post Communion in the Masses said throughout this period. however, these prayers were approved and sanctioned by Pope St. Pius X during whose reign it was well received by the Bishops in America, Canada, England, and throughout the world. Furthermore, Pope Benedict XV, by a Papal Brief of February 15th1916, extended this observance to the whole Church and attached special indulgences to its observance. In 1921, at the Annual Conference of the Hierarchy in Washington DC, the observance of this Octave was determined to be adopted in all the dioceses throughout the United States.


It is very interesting to note that this Octave originated from the Society of Atonement at Graymoor, at Garrison, NY in 1880. The amazing aspect of this spiritual practice is that this Society of Atonement was not yet Catholic and were received into the fold of the Catholic Church after two years of observing this Octave for Unity.

Besides the gaining of 200 days indulgence each day for the recitation of the authorized prayers during the Octave, all the faithful can also receive a Plenary Indulgence under the usual conditions after the completion of this devout exercise.+

Specific Conversion Intentions for Each Day

Jan. 18 -- The return of all "other sheep" to the one true fold
Jan. 19 -- The return of all Greek and Russian Schismatics
Jan. 20 --The return of Anglicans the True Church
Jan. 21 -- The conversion of the Lutherans
Jan. 22 -- The conversion of all other Protestants
Jan. 23 -- The return to the Sacraments of all lapsed Catholics
Jan. 24 -- The conversion of the Jews
Jan. 25 -- The Missionary conquest of the world for Christ

* From the Sunday Bulletin, Mary Immaculate Queen parish, January 16,2022.