Thursday, April 30, 2009


April 27, 2009
The Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame

Dear Father Jenkins,

When you informed me in December 2008 that I had been selected to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, I was profoundly moved. I treasure the memory of receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 1996, and I have always felt honored that the commencement speech I gave that year was included in the anthology of Notre Dame’s most memorable commencement speeches. So I immediately began working on an acceptance speech that I hoped would be worthy of the occasion, of the honor of the medal, and of your students and faculty.

Last month, when you called to tell me that the commencement speech was to be given by President Obama, I mentioned to you that I would have to rewrite my speech. Over the ensuing weeks, the task that once seemed so delightful has been complicated by a number of factors.

First, as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it.

Then I learned that “talking points” issued by Notre Dame in response to widespread criticism of its decision included two statements implying that my acceptance speech would somehow balance the event:

• “President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.”

• “We think having the president come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the president and for the causes we care about.”

A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.

Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.

It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.

In order to avoid the inevitable speculation about the reasons for my decision, I will release this letter to the press, but I do not plan to make any further comment on the matter at this time.

Yours Very Truly,

Mary Ann Glendon

Mary Ann Glendon is Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. A member of the editorial and advisory board of First Things , she served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican from 2007 to 2009.

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Con Permiso...

... we would like to introduce our very own God Father Corleone!

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Over the moon...

...crazy happy because my PENATEN diaper cream finally arrived! I have tried everything to get rid of this nasty diaper rash that Cecilia had developed over a month ago. Nothing was doing it. I switched diaper brands, changed wipes, wished I had clothe diapers on hand, or some Penaten.

I used to be able to buy Penaten in Canada but have not been able to find it here and a friend from Germany, where Penaten originates from, is not planning a trip there any time soon - so ...I went online, googled it and voila! Found several online sites where I could order it.

Three applications and the rash is almost gone. I knew it would be! Penaten was always my stand by for stubborn rashes. The only downside is that if it should get left in the reach of little ones who might decide to paint your walls, rug and bed - it stains. Not that that is something I know from personal experience. Ahem! I am too organized for that to ever happen.

I love my Penaten!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Crazy life

We have been going crazy here for the past two days. Are you wondering why? Well - we brought home one of Blaze's siblings to find her a home and keep her out of the pound. In the process we also found a home for her blond sister with my best friend in our parish.

We are still working on finding the last puppy, a blond and brown male, a home. So not a lot posting, schooling or much else has been happening the past few days and for some reason I feel really tired!

So chuffed, though, that we have found two really good homes for two of the puppies.

Here is our temporary guest who left this morning - in tow by her big fur brother,
a lovely Golden Retriever.
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Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'm in a love hate relationship...

...with Cecilia's growth! I love the many changes that are happening almost daily - but I hate how fast they are happening.


and now:

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

First Confession

We have titled this photo of Cecilia with her God Father as "First Confession" as she looks as if she is whispering in his ear and he is listening intently.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009


My children are HEALTHY. My children are ALIVE. We have our problems, bills not paid. the stress of being self-employed. No insurance... I could write quite a long list if I cared to but instead I will be praising Jesus ALL day that my children are HEALTHY and my children are ALIVE and my stresses are so small compared to what Kayleigh's family is going through and what Stellans's family has been through. I could list so many families whose babies are suffering and so they are suffering the worse pain a family can suffer. Please keep both of these families in your prayers right now. I can not even begin to imagine....

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009


When you check this olde post out - keep in mind it is from FOUR years ago so those numbers have increased - including number of days pregnant. Click here to enjoy some fun numbers!

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What am I doing?

O n e ........ t w ooo ..... t h r e e ...... f o u r ...... f i v e ......

What am I doing? Playing a game obviously. I am playing it while I sit in my rocking chair, resting my sore back, cuddling the most delicious 3 month old.

Here is how it goes. I point to something out of place to Emma, something to Tanny and Elsa sits and watches. Wisely I don't point out anything to her.

"So Emma and Nathaniel", I slyly say, "I am going to count to twenty see if you can put that away before I get to twenty. " Elsa watches as they scurry to beat me. Usually by 11 they are back, eager for another challenge. Before too long Elsa wistfully asks if I'm going to give her a chance to pick something up.

What do I call this game? Why 3 pm chores, of course - but don't tell them that, ok? That's our little secret between just you and I!
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Monday, April 20, 2009


I am wondering how successful dinner was the other night when Emma Louise looked at the homemade soup steaming in my huge cauldron pot and suggested to the other kids that they play 'orphanage' while they ate. I had to wonder "Does my lentil & ham soup look that bad?"

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Taking bets...

...on Cecilia's hair colour. Call your favourite bookie to place your bet.
Or leave a guess in the comments.

Now going by this photo and the almost non-existent eyebrows I would place a bet on blond.

But if I were to go by this photo taken the same day as the one above - I would bet she is a red head. However, when not in direct sunlight she looks more brunet than red... So whats your guess?

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Divine Mercy Sunday

This image was found on this page: The Life of St. Faustina .

On 29 June 2002, the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See promulgated a decree creating new indulgences that may be gained by the faithful in connection with the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday. This decree grants a plenary indulgence to those who comply with all the conditions established, and a partial indulgence to those who incompletely fulfill the conditions.

The following "General remarks on Indulgences" from Gift of the Indulgence summarizes the usual conditions given in the Church's law (cf. Apostolic Penitentiary, Prot. N. 39/05/I):

1. This is how an indulgence is defined in the Code of Canon Law (can. 992) and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 1471): "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints".

2. In general, the gaining of indulgences requires certain prescribed conditions (below, nn. 3, 4), and the performance of certain prescribed works ..... [in this case, those granted for the Feast of Mercy]

3. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed. [i.e. one must be a Catholic, not excommunicated or in schism.]

4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:

have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;

have sacramentally confessed their sins;

receive the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required);

pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

5. It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope's intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the Pope's intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an "Our Father" and a "Hail Mary" are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father's intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.

6. For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except, obviously, detachment from even venial sin).

7. Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.

The above information was derived from the Divine Mercy Site belonging to EWTN.
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Saturday, April 18, 2009

A glimpse...

...of this years Easter tree!

as it was on Good Friday

and as it was after the Angels brought it to life.

Our cup runneth over this year with candy right onto the large bush
that was beside our little Easter Tree - much to the children's delight.
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Day nine of the novena to the Divine Mercy

"Today bring to Me the Souls who have become Lukewarm,
and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: 'Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.' For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy."
Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love, let these tepid souls who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Guerilla warfare...

This virus is really having fun playing with us. We started with it early in Holy week with Emma as its first victim and it is still attacking us - guerilla warfare style. It sneaks up on us and takes a lone victim down and then for a day or two - no one else gets sick. Just long enough for us to think we are out of the woods when BANG - another victim is taken down.

In the meantime here is an interesting site that explains the Mass that I have just begun to explore. There is so much symbolism and meaning hidden within the Sacrifice of the Mass that myself - I know have barely begun to scratch the surface of it all. Here is the site if you care to explore it with me. Keep in mind that I have not read it in its entirety and can not state equivocally that there will be nothing objectionable there. Read more!

Day Eight of the novena to the Divine Mercy

"Today bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory,
and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice."
Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

If baby cuteness...

If baby cuteness could be bottled and sold - we could cure depression permanently!

(Divine Mercy Novena daily reading below)

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Day Seven of the novena to the Divine Mercy

(My apologies I accidentally posted the 6th day twice. Here is the correct reading for the seventh day.)

Today bring Me the Souls who especially venerate and glorify my Mercy and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my Passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.

Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God:

Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He, Himself, will defend as His glory. Amen.

*The text leads one to conclude that in the first prayer directed to Jesus, Who is the Redeemer, it is "victim" souls and contemplatives that are being prayed for; those persons, that is, that voluntarily offered themselves to God for the salvation of their neighbor (see Col 1:24; 2 Cor 4:12). This explains their close union with the Savior and the extraordinary efficacy that their invisible activity has for others. In the second prayer, directed to the Father from whom comes "every worthwhile gift and every genuine benefit,"we recommend the "active" souls, who promote devotion to The Divine Mercy and exercise with it all the other works that lend themselves to the spiritual and material uplifting of their brethren.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day Six of the novena to the Divine Mercy

Today bring to Me the Meek and Humble Souls and the Souls of Little Children,
and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.
Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day Five Novena to the Divine Mercy

Today bring to Me the Souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church*,

and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion."

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son's Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.


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Ooooops! Where is day five of the novena?

Day five IS coming. I promise. Just going to be a little late due to illness still making its rounds in the family. The weather outside today looks much like we all feel inside. cloudy and chilly. More like Good Friday than Easter Tuesday weather.

Check back soon - the fifth reading WILL be here. If baby Cecilia sleeps long enough I might be able to get the rest ready to be scheduled to pop up the rest of the week. Cross your fingers and PRAY! Sleep little Cici sleep!

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Too Busy to write so heres....


Thought you might like an update on him... photo wise that is. This is he - safely out of the way while the children harvested the Easter Tree.

And here he is entertaining himself with a leaf since we were so mean and would not let him tear the eggs off the Easter tree...

Look forward to a few pictorial essays this week as I will be too busy to actually write posts. We have been ill and when Mama ends up in bed for a day or two everyone knows the disaster that that wrecks upon a home, let alone let it happen as a HOLIDAY approaches. Like the tide, holidays wait upon no man - they come whether you are ready or not!

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Fourth day of the Novena to the Divine Mercy

>Fourth Day
Today bring to Me those who do not believe in God and those who do not know Me,

I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy."

Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

*Our Lord's original words here were "the pagans." Since the pontificate of Pope John XXIII, the Church has seen fit to replace this term with clearer and more appropriate terminology.


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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Third day of the Novena to the Divine Mercy

Third Day
Today bring to Me all Devout and Faithful Souls,

and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were a drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness."

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009


The tomb is empty and our hearts are full!

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On Good Friday...

... Jesus descended to the dead. He is not to be found in the tabernacle of our churches... tonight during the Easter Vigil - He will rise again. Are you ready for Him to reign in your heart?

(Picture credit - Bethany Rose, 10 yrs)

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Second day of the Novena to the Divine Mercy

Today bring to Me the Souls of Priests and Religious,

and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind."

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service,* that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard -- upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.

* In the original text, Saint Faustina uses the pronoun "us" since she was offering this prayer as a consecrated religious sister. The wording adapted here is intended to make the prayer suitable for universal use.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Novena of the Divine Mercy

The Novena of the Divine mercy begins today. Thank you Dorry for reminding me as I wanted to start it. Here is the link to it. I will post the daily readings throughout the next eight days, but for today I simply provide the link as I have been ill all day with the flu.

There is an indulgence now associated with this novena. (The following is from this site.)

On 29 June 2002, the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See promulgated a decree creating new indulgences that may be gained by the faithful in connection with the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday. This decree grants a plenary indulgence to those who comply with all the conditions established, and a partial indulgence to those who incompletely fulfill the conditions.

Three conditions for the plenary indulgence

And so the Supreme Pontiff, motivated by an ardent desire to foster in Christians this devotion to Divine Mercy as much as possible in the hope of offering great spiritual fruit to the faithful, in the Audience granted on 13 June 2002, to those Responsible for the Apostolic Penitentiary, granted the following Indulgences:

a plenary indulgence, granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honour of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!");

A partial indulgence, granted to the faithful who, at least with a contrite heart, pray to the merciful Lord Jesus a legitimately approved invocation.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Where did Jesus pass Holy Thursday night ...

... after he was dragged from the garden to before the high priest? According to one priest, whom I heard speaking on EWTN, we should read psalm 88 to find this answer as Jesus was apparently dumped into a cistern to be kept under guard until morning:

Psalm 88

1 O LORD, the God who saves me,
day and night I cry out before you.

2 May my prayer come before you;
turn your ear to my cry.

3 For my soul is full of trouble
and my life draws near the grave.

4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am like a man without strength.

5 I am set apart with the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
who are cut off from your care.

6 You have put me in the lowest pit,
in the darkest depths.

7 Your wrath lies heavily upon me;
you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.

8 You have taken from me my closest friends
and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined and cannot escape;

9 my eyes are dim with grief.
I call to you, O LORD, every day;
I spread out my hands to you.

10 Do you show your wonders to the dead?
Do those who are dead rise up and praise you?

11 Is your love declared in the grave,
your faithfulness in Destruction ?

12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness,
or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?

13 But I cry to you for help, O LORD;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.

14 Why, O LORD, do you reject me
and hide your face from me?

15 From my youth I have been afflicted and close to death;
I have suffered your terrors and am in despair.

16 Your wrath has swept over me;
your terrors have destroyed me.

17 All day long they surround me like a flood;
they have completely engulfed me.

18 You have taken my companions and loved ones from me;
the darkness is my closest friend.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009


This is an email I received today from a friend. I can not imagine the emotional pain her family is in. (I have removed the children's names and left only the first initial:

her request:

I am soliciting prayers for our foster son J.
He has been with us since he was 9 days old, and now he is 17
months old. We already have adopted his blood sibling
M. , and we have already adopted J in our hearts, if
not in the law. J is in danger of being repossessed. The
birth mother is out of the picture, but the judge seems
determined to give custody of the baby to the birth father. The
birth father is a single 58 year old man who has never raised a
child and who claims to be on call 24/7 for his job.

J has had 3 weeks of 8.15am to 4.15 pm visits twice per week with the
birth father. Beginning Wednesday, April 8, the baby will go to
the birth father on Wednesday morning and return to us on
Thursday evening. These overnight visits will continue through
May when the court will review the case again. If nothing
terrible has happened, we believe the visits will be extended

Please pray for this baby and for a healing of this situation.
Please pray that J will go (selfishly, I say remain in) to
his true home. Please pray with Christian love for the birth
father, for the judge, and for all those involved in deciding the
fate of this child. Please just pray. This baby needs all the
prayers that people can offer up for him. He is nonverbal and
much too young to have any of this explained to him. Please pray
for our family that we can remain in the love and peace of the
Lord no matter what happens. Please feel free to pass this
request along to anyone who you think would be interested.

Thanks for praying.

Love, Ellen


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Had to roll the thermostat up a notch or two, pull the down filled comforter back out from its summer's nesting spot, grab a long sleeved pajama top before crawling into bed last night. Winter's having one last stubborn fling before fleeing for the year. Guess I will also need to grab a pair of socks this morning after going barefoot in my sandals all last week.

Still - the dogwood is blooming as are the azaleas, so spring is definitely just around the corner.

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I just have to ask ...

... how is that little babies that are too small to crawl around, play in dirt or otherwise get dirty manage to get dirt under their toenails and fingernails? How is that possible?

... and how is it that I can be so clever, thinking of the most funny posts at 2 am and not remember a word, not a single word of my thoughts in the morning - except for my last thought before sleep; "I just have to remember that one!"

I just had to ask!

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Proud Madre and Padre

Our 22 year old son, Miguel, has joined the military and will start Military Prep School this coming August and then boot camp.

God be with him and I humbly ask that my readers please remember him in your prayers.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

An important Question

One of our sons, Noah, asked an important question on the drive home from Mass yesterday. "Why would Jesus cry out: My God, My God - why have you forsaken me!" from the cross. Surely God did not abandon Jesus, after all, Jesus IS God!"

His father tackled that by responding just about everything that Jesus said reflected the fact that Jesus was fulfilling the old testament and that Jesus' exclamation was from the Psalms but he could not remember exactly which Psalm it was. When we got home from church my husband did a little digging and discovered the quote came from Psalm 22.

Later that night we enjoyed the company of a seminarian for dinner along with our 23 yr old son, Jonathan, and his delightful girl friend, Alicia. The topic was brought up again and Don agreed the why have you forsaken me did indeed come from Psalm 22. However, he also added that while Jesus was quoting Old Testament he was also speaking His own words as God had forsaken Jesus, fully man, to His sufferings. Jesus while fully man was also fully God and always in the beatific Vision. Yet, He was abandoned to his sufferings, as in He completely felt all of the physical and mental anguish a man would feel in those horrific circumstances.

I am including Psalm 22 here so that others might read it and ponder these prophetic words.

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?

2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, and am not silent.

3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the praise of Israel.

4 In you our fathers put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 They cried to you and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not disappointed.

6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by men and despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads:

8 "He trusts in the LORD;
let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him."

9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you
even at my mother's breast.

10 From birth I was cast upon you;
from my mother's womb you have been my God.

11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions tearing their prey
open their mouths wide against me.

14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted away within me.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.

16 Dogs have surrounded me;
a band of evil men has encircled me,
they have pierced my hands and my feet.

17 I can count all my bones;
people stare and gloat over me.

18 They divide my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing.

19 But you, O LORD, be not far off;
O my Strength, come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver my life from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dogs.

21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save [d] me from the horns of the wild oxen.

22 I will declare your name to my brothers;
in the congregation I will praise you.

23 You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

24 For he has not despised or disdained
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.

25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows.

26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
they who seek the LORD will praise him—
may your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the LORD
and he rules over the nations.

29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.

30 Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness
to a people yet unborn—
for he has done it.

(Bible quote taken from Bible Gateway. )

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Friday, April 03, 2009


I love pictures of babies and especially pictures of Mary holding the baby Jesus.

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Instring game!

As our van sped down the highway bringing us closer to our destination where we were to pick up some merchandise I suddenly spied a heron. It was gracefully afloat on a wind draft and gliding across the sky above the highway, heading for a spot of water on the other side of the road.

I called the kids attention to it and all necks craned to catch a glimpse of this beautiful bird before he made his landing in the small pond. This sparked, almost 14 yr old, Noah's imagination.
"Hey guys, let's all play a game. We will watch for things we think are interesting and call it out for everyone else to see. If at least three of us all think it's interesting than that person gets a point. I think Mummy should get the first point for an interesting thing to see!"

There was boisterous agreement and soon the air was rent with: "Hey I see a barn!" "I see a boat on a pole" and on and on. There was lots of voting and happily no arguments when some interesting things were rejected as too common.

Emma and Elsa were not quite grasping the concept of the game while they also struggled with the word interesting.

Emma would call out; "Hey I thought of something inter, instress, instring!" And Elsa was right behind her also calling out all kinds of insteressing ideas. Ultimately they settled on 'instring'.
Finally we explained one more time to Emma that we were not looking for instring ideas but rather instring things along the road - that she had to have seen.

There as a momentary pause in her particpation in the game until she called out excitidly: "Hey guys I just saw something instring in my mind!"

This was a very instring game indeed!

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April Fools

Have you ever tried to survive April Fools Day with nine children living at home and EIGHT of them old enough to play jokes.....

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unorignal thoughts

I had a light bulb moment today when I was struck by a very unoriginal thought. I have had this thought before but today it hit me a little harder than normal. The very simplicity of it really touched me and encouraged me. For the first time, I think, the reality that I could actually do this and make a difference in doing so sunk in.

So often I despair of my inability to make prayer more an active part of my life when, this morning, as I contemplated a chore I particularly dislike I realized what an opportunity I was missing. Here, staring in my face, was the perfect opportunity to worship God by cheerfully doing this hated job and doing so for love of Christ. I miss many opportunities through out the day to turn something, whether loved or hated, into a prayer offered up for my children, a friend in need, in reparation for the sin of the world as well as for the unborn.

I am trying to keep this thought in my heart and just finished folding a load of laundry as I pulled it from the dryer - simply offering up my physical action as a prayer for the reparation for the sins of the world while silently praying an Our Father.

I think maybe this time this unoriginal thought will actually stay with me. At least I hope it will.

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