Thursday, January 31, 2013

He Waits

'Go to Jesus.
He loves you
and is waiting
to give you
many graces.'
  St. Mary Joseph Rosello

'He loves,
He hopes,
He waits...
Our Lord prefers
to wait for
the sinner
for years
rather than
keep him
one instant.'
  St. Peter Julian Eymard

 Semiradsky painting (detail) in US public domain

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


'Run from places of sin as from the plague.'

                                          St. John Climacus

Painting Batoni Pompeo, Aeneas Fleeing from Troy, detail

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I Hear the Feet of God

'Deep in the dark, I hear the feet of God;
He walks the world, He puts His holy hand
on every sleeper...

Benedictions on each one -
then passes on, but ah!  whene'er He meets
a watcher waiting for Him, He is glad..

He rests His hand upon the watcher's brow
but more than that, He leaves His very Breath
upon the watcher's soul; and more than this:

He stays for holy hours where watchers pray;
and more than that, He oft times lifts the veils
that hide the visions of the worlds unseen.

The brightest sanctities of highest souls 
have blossomed into beauty in the dark.'  

(written by 'A Religious,' LISTENING TO THE INDWELLING PRESENCE, Pellegrini, Sydney, 1940,  p. 42)

Painting: Kruseman Maagden, Wise and Foolish Virgins 

This post is linked to Catholic Bloggers Network Linkup Blitz

Friday, January 25, 2013

Oh, The Humanity!

Being unable to attend the March for Life in Washington today, I am very much there in spirit.  Perhaps because it's been forty years since abortion became legal in my nation, perhaps because I have small grandchildren whom I've seen via ultrasound months before I held them in my arms - for whatever reason(s), this year I feel more affected than ever.  This year I am personally hurting.  A lot.  This year, I've spent chunks of the day crying.  My own life has not been touched by abortion, or so I'd thought.  But today it hit me:  oh, yes it has.  Considering the vast numbers of human beings not allowed to be born, how could we not ALL be affected?

I awoke today to one phrase running through my mind.  We've probably all seen the news clip of the day the Hindenburg burst into flames, and we've heard the reporter's tortured response.... 

"Oh, the humanity...!"


I could not march in Washington today, but in prayer I'm able to stand with those who can.  And so I offer this little mini march of a few fellow bloggers' recent posts for life.  I encourage you to click on these lines to check out some inspiring posts.

 Thoughts on the Miracle of Life

This World Needs a Heart of Gold

Beautiful Whispers of Catholicism

Journal of a Nobody

40th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade

This post is linked to Catholic Bloggers Network Linkup Blitz

Thursday, January 24, 2013

O Blessed Are They

'In asking myself why
we have come into this world,
I understand that we are only here
to receive and to carry our sweet Jesus:
on our tongue, in telling people about Him;
in our arms, in doing good works;
on our shoulders, in carrying His yoke,
the dryness and sterility He sends;
and this in our interior and exterior senses.
O blessed are they
who carry Him gently and with constancy.' 

St. Francis de Sales


To get to know St. Francis de Sales better, click on this line

This post is linked to Cele-Linky With the Saints.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

At Your Side in Prayer

"...Today I am 'spiritually adopting.'  There are so many little ones in imminent danger, ones so tiny that some dismiss them as not human.  There are newborns lying on cold metal tables, their skin burned with saline, ignored because their mothers, after all, did not want to carry them to term.  Leave it alone, a nurse is told if she hears a tiny whimper.  Forget it.  It's not a baby.  Not-A-Baby utters a pitiful cry, flails its little arms, reaches out with tiny fingers to grasp its gift of life.  It IS a baby - a tiny, helpless, wounded baby who needs someone to care, to love, to hold.  I reach out my 'arms.'  I swaddle in prayer.  I cuddle with intercession.  I hold a tiny one in my heart, and I say yes.  I will work for you, O tiny one, I'll be your advocate however I can.  And when they come for you to take your life, I will be at your side in prayer..." (an edited re-post from The Cloistered Heart, November 2012)

"What is taking place in America," said Mother Teresa of Calcutta, "is a war against the child. And if we accept that the mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another."  (spoken at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, 1997)

Bernardo Strozzi painting in US public domain 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Random Thoughts, Jewelry Edition

This might be a strange post, because it started with a strange thought... or at least a "random" one.  You know, one of those mental ramblings that drifts through your head while you're doing something mindless.  A from-nowhere thought, nothing useful about it, not all that worthy of a conversation and certainly not of a blog post.

Are you still reading?  Wow.  And just when I was feeling like one of those TV commercials that tells you much more about why you shouldn't use a medication than why you should. 

My random thought:  there are ideas and styles that come and go with no one remembering they ever existed.  It occurred to me that we who meet up here once in awhile are of varying ages and we live in different lands; so we've seen, among us, quite a number of things pop in and out of public awareness. Some were and are quite serious.  It struck me that we might be able to share memories of these once in awhile.

But for now, I have my mind on frivolities.  Really dumb ones, actually, but I think a bit of lightheartedness is good for the soul, and frankly, my soul could use that right about now.  Anyone else feel like a round of light blogversation while the world throws more craziness at us every day?

This is the "jewelry edition" of this nonsense, so DOES ANYONE REMEMBER...
Mood rings?  Spoon rings?  Friendship rings?
Little pins shaped like mice, made of mink?  Popular worn up on the shoulder, often.
Pre-engagement rings with teensy chips of diamond?
Bracelets that held little book-shaped rosary cases, in which there were tiny rosaries?
Boys' I.D. bracelets that opened to hold things?
Strands of pearls worn with sweaters and skirts to classes in high school or University?  I can just imagine someone asking "skirts?? To CLASSES??"  Yes.  And sometimes with pearls.  And yes, I am actually that old.

I suppose jewelry tells us something about who we are as a society (as do lots of other things, but those are for another "random post").   

"A pearl will shine in the midst of squalor, and a gem of the first water will sparkle in the mire."  (St. Jerome)

"The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant's search for fine pearls.  When he found one really valuable pearl, he went back and put up for sale all he had and bought it."  (Matthew 13:45-46)

Painting:  William McGregor Paxton, The String of Pearls, in US public domain

This post is linked to Catholic Bloggers Network Linkup Blitz 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

In Spite of This

'We shall sometimes fail,
we shall commit faults,
we shall find prayer hard,
we shall not always feel internally
at peace with all men,
we shall not always feel internally
at peace even with God.
And in spite of this,
if we keep cheerful about it,
we may become saints.' 

(by 'A Religious,' LISTENING TO THE INDWELLING PRESENCE, Pellegrini, Sydney, 1940, p. 187)

Painting: William Orpen, Girl in a White Dress 

This post is linked to Catholic Bloggers Network Linkup Blitz

For an Unlimited Time Only!

Taking a cue from the always enjoyable Sue Elvis at her blog "Sue Elvis Writes,"  I've been doing my own version of what she did recently.  Bringing a few archived posts back to life - at least, that is the hope. 

My "has trouble following mechanical directions" brain decided to take off on its own and "intuit" a way to get some old blog pics with links on my sidebar (rather than following Sue's clear directions), and somehow I managed to manage.  I'm, ahem, the person who once sheepishly asked my engineer husband if he would please please please learn to embroider a French knot from the EASY instructions in my guidebook, and then show me in person how to do it.  Ah, now that's a lesson he was thrilled to learn.  But I digress....

Sue's own instructions are quite do-able for anyone who knows the blogging ropes better than I (which is almost everyone), so if you'd like to see how this was done, click here for her guidance.  Most posts, as Sue points out, have no use-by date.  They just slide off into the semi-retired world of "older posts."  Yet I, for one, have been delighted that Sue has pointed out some posts from the days before I found her blog.     

As for me, I've also had fun grabbing a few of my earlier posts, for I did enjoy doing them.  I went for some that were "seasonal" (I expect to change some of these as spring blooms appear), and liked re-visiting snowy thoughts from last winter.   I admit to liking ice encrusted pictures on the blog at this time of year; mostly because I haven't yet slipped on a patch of sidebar ice.

So if you've been staying awake nights wondering why my wedding cake was just plain white (surely that question has plagued you), or about the man I married (with maybe a glimpse into why I chose him), or what main thought gets me through life, you can find the LONG AWAITED ANSWERS under the heading "Selections From the Archives" on the lower sidebar.

Thanks for your inspiration, Sue .. all the way around.  Your ingenuity is a wonder!

Painting: Marie Denise Villers, Young Woman Drawing

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Those Greater Splendors

'Heaven is at present
out of sight,
but in due time,
as snow melts
and discovers what it lay upon,
so will this visible creation
fade away
before those
greater splendors
which are behind it.' 
John Henry Cardinal Newman

photos by Nancy Shuman 

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Reader's Prayer

'May you be praised, Lord God, for the printed word, bread for our minds, light for our lives.

'We give thanks for the talent and dedication of all who serve the truth in love and for all whose administration and technical skills make possible the production of books, newspapers, magazines, and reviews....
'We celebrate the wonder of digital communications, manifesting a new iconography that can link people around the globe in solidarity of faith, hope, love.
'May the blind see, the deaf hear, the poor have the Good News proclaimed to them by all who rejoice in their God-given talents and their gift of creativity.  Amen.'   
                                            (Venerable James Alberione) 

Painting: Matthias Stom, Young Man Reading by Candlelight

Friday, January 11, 2013

And Leaves Me Dreaming

How may I tell you of the thoughts I hold
concealed from men as misers guard their gold,
lest in their speech their beauty like a bird
set free, escape and young new thoughts that stirred
my love to flames grow still and strangely old?

I am the undisputed property
of Him whose wishes I may not deny;
a Lover jealous of my heart, Who fills
the whole of it and in His mastery
withdraws my heart from what is passing by,
and leaves me dreaming of Eternal hills.

(written by 'A Religious,' LISTENING TO THE INDWELLING PRESENCE, Pellegrini, Sydney, 1940,  p. 99)

Painting:  Jules Breton, Asleep in the Woods

This post is linked to Catholic Bloggers Network Linkup Blitz 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


                        'Never make a decision without stopping to consider the matter in the presence of God.'                                                                                               
St. Josemaria Escriva

Friederich von Amerling painting in US public domain

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Triumph of Light

"God is light; in Him here is no darkness." 
1 John 1:5

"The Light shines on in darkness, a darkness that did not overcome it."
John 1:5

"The darkness is over, and the real Light begins to shine."
1 John 2:8

"There was a time when you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord."
Ephesians 5:8

"I am the Light of the world.
  No follower of Mine shall ever walk in darkness;
no, he shall possess the Light of life."  
John 8:12 

Painting: Hope in a Prison of Despair, Evelyn De Morgan

Saturday, January 5, 2013

O Lord, Restore...

'I earnestly implore the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 
by Our Lady of the Seven Dolors, 
to restore to me, by a gift of the mercy of Jesus Christ:
 the method of prayer I once had,
and which I have lost
by long unfaithfulness.'

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Painting:  Pompeo Batoni, Prodigal

Friday, January 4, 2013

Show us the Course

O Lord, our God,
teach us, we beseech You, to ask for the gift we need.
Steer the ship of our life to Yourself,
the quiet harbor of all storm-tossed souls.
Show us the course that we are to take.
Renew in us the spirit of docility.
Let Your Spirit curb our fickleness; 
guide and strengthen us to perform what is for our own good,
to keep Your commandments, and ever to rejoice
 in Your goodness and vivifying presence.
Yours is the glory and praise for all eternity.  Amen.

            St. Basil the Great

Painting:  Frederic Edwin Church, Aurora Borealis

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How to Begin the Year

'We must begin the year with Christ and His holy mother.  So today, with all the affection I can muster, I have recourse to the Son and the mother:  O Jesus, fill our hearts with Your divine Name, so that Your gentle kindness may influence all our senses and perfume all our actions.  O glorious Name, which the mouth of the Divine Father pronounced from all eternity, be ever written in our souls.'                                            (St. Francis de Sales)

'In the beginning was the Word; the Word was in God's presence, and the Word was God.'
                                                                                    (John 1:1)

Painting: Nativity, Edward Burne-Jones

This post is linked to Catholic Bloggers Network 2013 Monthly Link Up Blitz