Christ Carrying the Cross, El Greco, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Christ Carrying the Cross, El Greco, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

The Pope’s Holy Thursday homily. 

St. Dominic In Penitence, Met Museum, NYC

St. Dominic In Penitence, Met Museum, NYC

First Reading from Good Friday: (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)

13 See, my servant shall prosper;
he shall be exalted and lifted up,
and shall be very high.
14 Just as there were many who were astonished at him[a]
—so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of mortals—
15 so he shall startle[b] many nations;
kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which had not been told them they shall see,
and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.
53 Who has believed what we have heard?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by others;
a man of suffering[c] and acquainted with infirmity;
and as one from whom others hide their faces[d]
he was despised, and we held him of no account.
4 Surely he has borne our infirmities
and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
and by his bruises we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
Who could have imagined his future?
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people.
9 They made his grave with the wicked
and his tomb[e] with the rich,[f]
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain.[g]
When you make his life an offering for sin,[h]
he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;
through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.
11 Out of his anguish he shall see light;[i]
he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.
The righteous one,[j] my servant, shall make many righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out himself to death,
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Dali, Christ of St. John of the Cross.

Dali, Christ of St. John of the Cross.

Real Life Saints

Tabernacle and Adoring Angels, Chapel of St. Cecilia, Motherhouse of the Nashville Dominicans, Nashville, TN

Tabernacle and Adoring Angels, Chapel of St. Cecilia, Motherhouse of the Nashville Dominicans, Nashville, TN

“We need saints without cassocks, without veils – we need saints with jeans and
tennis shoes. We need saints that go to the movies that listen to music, that hang
out with their friends (…) We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs,
that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. We need saints that love the
Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with
their friends. We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, theatre. We
need saints that are open, sociable, normal, happy companions. We need saints
who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without
being callous or mundane. We need saints”.”
–Pope Francis



Seven Quick Takes Friday No. 40



Shamless promotion: Last post in the Lent series went up today. If you missed the earlier ones, you can read the entire series here. Lent starts on Wednesday, so get thy plan in gear!


So, as we know from the post that went up today (yes, I’m making you all read it, bwahahah!), my Lent has basically been decided for me, with GI tests, rehab, and med changes, but I have some plans of my own. I can’t entirely abandon facebook, because people will want medical updates, so I’ll still be there, but it’ll be limited. I’m going to switch my lectio divina from the OT to the NT, starting with the Gospel of Matthew. Of course being dedicated to my office and going to Daily Mass as often as possible are givens. With all the waiting for my tests, I’ll be able to get a good chunk of reading done. And I’ve also given up book buying, so I’ll be reading only the books I have–in “real” or “e” form–already on March 5.


Anyone else using Verbum software? Any tips or tricks? I love how many books are in the library (I have foundations). Just reading Bl. John Paul II’s encyclicals will keep me busy for a good long while, and I’m also using their Lenten devotional plan.

While we’re on the topic (sort of), here are some of my favorite Lenten resources: Magnificat’s Lenten companion; Death on a Friday Afternoon  by Fr. Richard John Neuhaus; B XVI’s Way of the Cross Meditations.  For additional Lenten reflection this year, you can also read the Pope’s Message for Lent 2014.


What I’m reading right now, incidentally: City of God, St. Faustina’s Diary, An Echo In the Bone, Pickwick, and Therese, Faustina and Bernadette. A real emphasis was placed on the Divine Mercy devotions and chaplet at the Women’s Retreat last weekend, so I’ve been inspired to delve back into it.


The conference! Holy cow, I didn’t tell you about it. So I will now. 🙂

2,600 Catholic women from all over the diocese (and beyond!) were crammed into our building at the state fairgrounds. I got there around 7:15 and hit up a book vendor (Of course, come on, it’s me) before heading into the main conference area to find a seat. The rosary began at 7:30 and Mass began a little after 8:00. The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter was that day, so the readings and homily reflected that. Our bishop gives excellent homilies, so it’s always a treat to hear one (soundbite: When Jesus walked toward the apostles on the stormy water, after the Resurrection, and came into the boat, “he told them to calm down!”)


After Mass, we had breakfast. Our first speaker was Sr. Miriam James, SOLT, who gave a talk that had just about everyone in the audience in tears (showing Anne Hathaway singing “I Dreamed A Dream” didn’t stop them, for sure).  She talked about the “holy longing, holy desire” that we have for God, and our desire to be seen and noticed by the one who loves us. Part of desire is stretching, wanting to desire God Himself, who wants to fill us with Himself. A woman’s body and spirit reveal God to the world and emphasis receptivity, openness, and grace. The beauty of body and soul speaks to the longing for eternal beauty that everyone desires. A woman’s attentiveness to the person, recognizing the inidivudla, intuitiveness, nurturing spirit and being the guardian  and bearer of life make the world more humane–more fully human. Sister spoke about the toxicity of culture, and that outré mission to authenticity is to love and be loved. Christ wants to touch us and heal us, if we let him.

A priest spoke about Divine Mercy and the Sacrament of Confession, leading to so many ladies lining up for confessions. Forty priests were on hand to hear them! I got lunch and did some more book shopping, because we have abundant confession at my parish, so I didn’t want to deny someone who may not have it a chance to go.


After lunch, Kimberly Hahn took the stage. She spoke about the Proverbs 31 woman, and how we can work those qualities into our lives by being Godly, a woman of excellent, a woman who feast the Lord. To fear the Lord means to have reverence and awe for the God of the Universe who is our Father (I loved this definition.) This fear leads us to a faithful and faith-filled relationship with Him. God lavishes His love on us–we are His beloved daughters! We must hope in His steadfast love, because He made us, and bought us back–we are His twice. Kimberly encouraged us to let Jesus reside in our hearts, and to pursue purity and holiness, and know that God delights in each one of us.

The last speaker of the day was 2006 Olympian Rebecca Dussault , who talked about health and holiness–a great topic. (Her new book is excellent as well!) She talked about how FIT is an acronym for Finding Interior Transformation–I really liked that! Discipline in our prayer life leads to discipline win other areas. “It’s not that we win,” she said. “It’s that we take part.” (also liked that, although I do love to win.)

At 3:00, we said the Divine Mercy chaplet, and a period of adoration was offered, but, to me, was marred by overenthusiastic singers who wanted us to “participate” instead of praying in silence before the Monstrance. So I left around 3:30.

Overall, it was a great conference and I saw so many women I knew, and met some new ones! And I have so many great resources–CDs of the talks, books, and other things–to use for Lent. I feel so well prepared. 🙂

Catholic Women’s Almanac No. 44

Outside my window::

It’s not snowing! For the record, this has been the 8th snowiest December on record in Columbus–and it’s not even winter yet. Oy vey! It will, however, be snowing later today……about an inch of so.


Tan pants, a navy blue boatneck top, my Pandora charm bracelet, and really warm wool socks. Smartwool, thou art my friend.


One Thousand White Women, The Fiery Cross (re-reading the Outlander series), Writing Down the Bones (a Christmas gift from Tiff)

In the CD player::

A Midwinter Night’s Dream. I have swapped out Frozen, but now I have the Frozen sheet music, so…. 🙂

Keeping Advent::

The O Antiphons start today with Wisdom. I love the O Antiphons!

Christmas Prep::

That last scarf! And writing a list of gifts received so I can write Thank You notes.


Birthdays. Today is the Pope’s, and Beethoven; Jane Austen’s was yesterday. Let’s party!

From the kitchen::

Nothing tonight, but I did have a very successful dinner party on Saturday! Beef and cider pot along with a salad (greens, capers, red onion, and a vinaigrette with dijon mustard, EVOO, worchestershire, steak seasoning, white wine vinegar)

Around the house::

I think my vacuum cleaner is broken. 😦 So this makes me a bit unhappy. Thankfully it will warm up to the 50s (!) and rain this weekend so my car will get clean!


There is another very ordinary expression that I wonder how often we ponder: someone has a job to “wait on tables”. What do we mean by that? Not that you stand there and do nothing–quite the opposite! You are moving all the time. You are taking care of people’s needs. You are watching out for needs; you don’t even wait until they are expressed. You see that everyone is taken care of, that no one is missed. This is what we mean by waiting. And our dear Lord tells us that he rewards waiting–with waiting! Isn’t that marvelous? “Blessed are those whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them (Lk 12:37).” The reward for focus, for service, for active waiting upon the Lord is that he will wait on us. I think that is the most marvelous truth that the Church shows us in the Scriptures. This is how we rewards us for right, energetic, focused, joyous waiting for him. God always does this. When we wait upon him, then he waits upon our needs.

Who would not want to wait upon Jesus hand and foot? Well, so often the answer is that we are the ones who do not want to do this. Where is he? In the tabernacle, yes; in the world of Scripture, yes; and in the  persons in this room. We want to wait upon him hand and foot in one another, so that he may wait upon us. The more we do this, the more do we enter into the joy of the child, who says in the right way, with the wisdom peculiar to the child, unencumbered by the complexities and rationalizations of the adult, “I can’t wait! I can hardly bear the deliciousness of this activity of waiting!”

How do you wait for someone whom you really love? You do all kinds of things; you have all kinds of surprises awaiting the loved one. It is an expression of love. Real waiting always begets this loving “doing.” It eases the burden of waiting, which otherwise can scarcely be borne, as the child knows so well. The person waiting at the window is full of activity. When we are waiting for the loved one to come down the road, our heart is poudning, our eyes are straining, our whole body is taut, leaning forward. Someone is coming! Someone whom we love above all is coming! And now, in Advent, the One who we love about all is coming. The Church is giving us these precious days to focus the eye, to let the heart pound because he is coming. He will come. By the love of waiting for his little red lights that say, “Step back, now, because someone else needs to be served”, we will enter into the deliciousness of the real “Can’t wait.” We shall understand that when waiting is rightly comprehended, it is a deliciousness that is already indeed a wink of bliss.

–Mother Mary Francis, PCP, Come Lord Jesus, December 17: Waiting

Plans for the week::

Blood drive at work on Thursday and office Christmas lunch; Friday my parents and I are going out to lunch, and Saturday I’m planning to see The Book Thief with a theater pal.