Thursday, March 26, 2009

Forces United

Wow, there is nothing like a big injustice to mobilize the faithful! The huge recent scandal of Obama being invited to speak at and receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame has elicted an impressively emphatic and immediate response. In the span of just a few days, a number of websites have been created to voice opposition, including There is more than one online petition, most notably, whose petition has gathered more that 177,00 signatures in less than a week!

I very much agree that this invitation from a prestigious Catholic University is saddening, but I am also heartened by the unification and action we have seen as a result. Let's hope those 177,000 are on their knees petitioning heaven, too.

If you're not part of the throng yet, don't waste any time!

Great Article!

Pope Benedict Tells Youth: Church Counts on You
Urges Them to Be Envoys of God's Love

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 4, 2009 ( Benedict XVI is encouraging young people to pray and live the sacraments, so as to be witnesses of hope and joy in a world that counts on them.

Recalling the 2008 youth gathering in Sydney, the Pontiff reminded the young people, "I urged you to let yourselves be shaped by [the Holy Spirit] in order to be messengers of divine love, capable of building a future of hope for all humanity."

He added: "Youth is a special time of hope because it looks to the future with a whole range of expectations. When we are young we cherish ideals, dreams and plans. Youth is the time when decisive choices concerning the rest of our lives come to fruition."

We ask ourselves, he noted, "Where can I obtain and how can I keep alive the flame of hope burning in my heart?"

The Holy Father observed, "Experience shows that personal qualities and material goods are not enough to guarantee the hope which the human spirit is constantly seeking."

He said, "If you find your sustenance in Christ, my dear young people, and if you live profoundly in him as did the Apostle Paul, you will not be able to resist speaking about him and making him known and loved by many of your friends and contemporaries."

Benedict XVI emphasized: "The Church depends on you for this demanding mission. Do not be discouraged by the difficulties and trials you encounter."

"Be patient and persevering so as to overcome the natural youthful tendency to rush ahead and to want everything immediately."

He added, "Following in the footsteps of the people of hope -- composed of prophets and saints of every age -- we continue to advance toward the fulfillment of the Kingdom, and on this spiritual path we are accompanied by the Virgin Mary, Mother of Hope."

These are just some excerpts. Read the whole thing here!

"Perfectly Relaxing Songs"

This offer is too good not to share! Hat tip to American Papist...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Breastplate

Today is not just a day to celebrate being Irish. It’s about celebrating the great saint and bishop, Patrick, who brought the light of the Christian Catholic Faith into the great nation of Ireland 1600 years ago!

From the Catholic Encyclopedia at New Advent:

The beautiful prayer of St. Patrick, popularly known as "St. Patrick's Breast-Plate", is supposed to have been composed by him in preparation for this victory over Paganism. The following is a literal translation from the old Irish text:

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today
God's Power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the ship,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.


What a glimpse into the powerful spirituality of Patrick... too often we hear only a part of something like this, instead of the richness of the whole thing!

So, bind yourself today to Christ, in the true spirit of Patrick!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Of Movies, Actors, and Real Men

So, my family watched The Ten Commandments for the first time this Lent (I know, we've had so many people say they can't believe we hadn't seen it yet!). Both Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner were simply incredible. I've enjoyed Heston immensely when seeing him before, and it struck me how thoroughly he takes the individual character of each role. The Heston Moses never came across as a Moses/Ben Hur mix! He was entirely the character in all its uniqueness. In my mind, this is a mark of a truly excellent actor.

Those of you who've read my blog for a while probably know that I'm all about who actors and celebrities really are...not just who they are on screen. And the more I've learned about the real Heston, the more impressed I am. Not only does he portray many upright characters; he was one! He served in the air force, championed the civil rights movement, was a friend of Martin Luther King Jr., and spoke out against abortion. Most significantly, he was faithfully married for 64 years to his bride, Lydia, whom he wed at age 20! Amidst the countless Hollywood scandals and divorces, this speaks volumes. He stands alone amidst celebs married two, four, five, and seven times...

In fact, I learned that my oft-repeated quote "Political correctness is simply tyranny with manners," — which and for some reason I thought was from Chesterton — was actually from Charlton Heston! (By the way, his actual name was John Charles Carter).

Check out this wonderful LifeSiteNews article from his passing almost a year ago (and check out the links at the bottom of the story!):

Larger than Life Hollywood Icon and Pro-life Advocate Charlton Heston Dies at 84

And check out this wonderful video clip of Heston on abortion. Powerful! (Don't forget to pause the music at the right). This is the introduction he gave to a video made in 1987 to raise awareness of late-term abortions.

A General Thank You...

I just wanted to express my thanks to those of you (particularly Lady Rose and Vicki) who have been kind enough to bestow various blog awards upon me on many occasions... even though I may have not always responded! Your commendation really does make my day. :) I've just taken the time to add them to my sidebar.

Any blog author who visits mine and who has not been awarded one of these can consider themself awarded. :)

Monday, March 09, 2009

I Am Blessed

My family, friends, and especially my goddaughters made my birthday so special! So did each of you, with your kind words, wishes, and prayers. I am both blessed and overwhelmed by the outpouring of sweetness. Thank you, all of you!

It's hard to believe we are two weeks into Lent already...I am trying to make the most of this truly beautiful season. Yes, it is a "desert", but because we are there with our Lord, there is beauty. We easily forget that this is a positive season. We are supposed to deprive our bodies in order to beautify our souls. That's right: Lent is beauty treatment for the soul!

I don't know about you, but I always have to resist the urge to take on everything during Lent. The same dozen vices and struggles assail me with ongoing persistance, and, perfectionist that I am, I want to tackle them all at once. Unfortunately, I am too often an all-or-nothing person. When a few of my good intentions slip, I too quickly lose hold on the rest of them. Being faithful in the little things, and targeting my struggles one or two at a time, are ongoing goals of my Lent this year. This is not to say I've been glamorously successful thus far...but I am glad to have 4+ weeks left to work on this "beauty treatment"!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Happy Birthday Claire...

21 years ago a beautiful baby girl was born...

1st birthday!

...the pride of her parents...

...a joy in their lives!

age 2 - what yummy cake!

The years passed on...

3 already!

As she continued to grow...

Birthday #4

5th Birthday
...In sweetness,

Smiling 6


7th Birthday

9 years old at Easter


Birthday #10!

...and Love.

11 - see that smile!

Before we knew it...

12 years old

14 years

Age 13 with Birthday bread (for Lent =)

Miss 15

She was a young lady!

Sweet Sixteen!


17 years

at her suprise 18th Birthday party

...and beautiful.

Her gifts and her talents amaze all who meet her...

19 - wow!

20 already

...As she continues to be...

...Christ's giver of LIGHT!

Happy 21st Birthday!

We love you, Claire!
Your Staff

Sunday, March 01, 2009


I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walking 'till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile.
But more than anything, more than anything...

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but you never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
And always give more than you take.
But more than anything, yeah, more than anything...

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.
~ "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts

Wishing the happiest of happy birthday's to my "Fairy Godmother" Claire.
May you be blessed with every happiness on your special day!

With lots of love from,
Your Goddaughter, Amanda