Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Infant As A Human Being

I discovered Rebecca's post on the works of Herbert Ratner, M.D. This article entitled "The Infant as a Human Being" is especially worth reading and pondering.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Don't Know Much About....

...lots of things, to be sure, but I have a particularly large science-shaped hole in my education. I don't have a handle, literally, on many scientific concepts. I might know science on some level, but I have no means to pick it up and wield it. Someday I will be able to identify this part of my brain that doesn't get spatial relationships, that can't picture how a room might look with different decor, and that doesn't grasp discussions of weight, orbits, chemical compounds, what have you. I think it is all related.

Anyway, some months ago I learned of Mary Daly's Ye Hedge School website. I was reading through it tonight, especially her discussion of Galileo. My verbal brain functions well enough that I can follow scientific discussions when they are all written in words, not graphs and equations. This is fascinating to me, and makes me want to read everything she has.

I purchased her book Creator and Creation a couple of months ago. At the time a friend was reading to my son and her daughter from a book designed to instill doubt about dinosaurs and the millions of years ago they presumably existed. What bothered me most about the book was the lack of honest debate and examining theories and evidence. The strong insinuation was that science and revelation were at odds, and revelation had to win, so we need to make science look bad. Daly makes the point strongly on her site that Scripture and science both come from God, and neither Scripture nor science should be nor need be done violence to to reach facts about our world.

All I can say is, I want to educate myself further in science, and reading her stuff seems a great place to do that.

Completely different topic, but I also love what she has to say about various issues regarding the "other" Mary Daly, the feminist. And I quote:

I do have a strong opinion about patriarchy.

Patriarchy is the first major step, historically, in the liberation of women. A woman always knows she is the mother of her child, and at the moment of birth, there's no denying it. Men can always say, "Who, me?" leaving the woman with the task of caring for the child in every way. It is when a man says, "This one's mine; I'm going to see that he's okay," that a woman gets the support she needs and can have a full and rich life. It can happen that patriarchy goes astray and becomes mere chauvinism, leaving the woman under the doormat, but as a first step, it is liberating, and we ditch it at our peril.

I also have a strong opinion about women being kept out of the sacred precincts of the Temple.

Again, a major step in women's liberation was accomplished when temple prostitution was rejected by a major world religion, and the cunning idea that sex, particularly sex outside family, is actually "religious" was flatly rejected.

Many women now seek to "enter the temple precincts" as ordained ministers. Well, part of the reason for this is that women do have religious leadership charisms which are not well able to function in a culture of divorce and Protestantism. The founding of religious orders and the family vocation are both rendered impractical in these cultural vacuums, and the only visible road for women's religious leadership is the men's. But I do not see the great religious women of our time in history seeking ordination; they seem to keep busy without it. Catholicism offers women certain opportunities that are hard to come by elsewhere.

There is a solution of course: cross the Tiber.

Love it!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Naru Hodo Moment

When I awoke this morning, my mind went to my time in Japan. That was September 13, 1994 until March 25, 1997. This is not a period of my life that I dwell on much, or to say it more accurately, I have pushed this era out of my mind for quite awhile because of how painful it all was. So, it was a bit odd to me that in that early wake-up time (I'm NOT an instant-on person) my ruminations went there.

I had one very significant Naru Hodo moment. That being my Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary this year marked exactly my 10th Anniversary of arriving back on American soil. It feels like that consecration was a crowning of 10 years of growth and healing that God has done in me, primarily through my husband and my marriage, and also through the Catholic community of Steubenville. I see that this consecration this year was much more Mary's gift to me than vice versa.

My arrival back from Japan in many ways was a real Yes that began a whole new life for me. I thought this morning about the many lessons, the many experiences I'd had in Japan. The sting of them, I believe, is finally gone. The sting arose from experiencing a vast, vast desert within. From feeling keenly my inabilities, my powerlessness, my every weakness, until I felt ground to powder, all the while lacking wisdom and every other virtue for spiritual, emotional and social survival.

I was very, very alone. I need a word beyond the English language to describe the aloneness of trying to mix socially as an introvert who did not speak the language and was prone to social blunders. Many times when I tried to mingle with the Sisters whose order sponsored me to "teach" in their school, I broke down in tears, heaping awkwardness upon an already difficult situation for them.

It was a time of spiritual battle, without a doubt. God was clearly doing work in me, or perhaps rather trying to preserve me in what I don't believe was His "Plan A" for me at all. I nearly lost it in that I got involved with a Japanese man who had significant problems of his own, and almost committed to staying in Japan and marrying him. As it was, I re-upped for a second teaching year when I could have left for home.

But the number one lesson I came home with was that I needed to be involved with human society. Pre-Japan, I hid in my shell and waited for life to happen. At my new "fiat" to return Stateside, I knew that I had to take life in my hands and live. In so doing, I was putting my life totally in God's hands for the first time, I feel. It was a heep of rubble, and hurting badly.

Today, I feel the freedom to look back and see the growth. God, grant me now the wisdom to use that vision for Your purposes.

And If This Were Today?

I came across this while doing some genealogy data entry:

Regarding Hezekiah Brown (d. 1777), husband of my second cousin eight times removed Rachael Prindle:
He was a Loyalist. In Oct., 1775, certain inhabitants presented a memorial in the case of Hezekiah Brown:

"That he had said that the Congress ought to be punished for putting the country to so much cost and charge, for they did no more good than a parcel of squaws; that it was an unnecessary expense, and the Assembly had no right to do it; that our General Assembly was as arbitrary as the Pope of Rome when it cashiered Captain Bronson and Ensign Scovill (who belonged to the Northbury Company which was so disaffected toward the cause of American liberty that the Co. was dissolved and these two men cashiered), and that he would not go one step further for the relief of the people of Boston than he was obliged to go."

Two months later, laws were enacted that any persons defaming Congress or the General Assembly should be deprived of arms and office, and should be punished by fine and imprisonment or disfranchisement. He was tried and deprived of holding any further military office. He left Waterbury not long after and joined the British in New York, where he received a Captain's commission, and died there Aug. 27, 1777.

His wife, the daughter of Lieut. Jonathan Prindle, remained loyal to the cause of the Colonies, and the real estate of her husband, which had been confiscated because of his giving help to the enemy, was restored to her.

From The Prindle Genealogy, compiled by Franklin C. Prindle, 1906, pp. 118-119.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Got Anger?

Is there someone you struggle to forgive? Do you get angry and bitter when your thoughts go to that particular person, that particular incident?

Read here:
Heaven Speaks to those who Struggle to Forgive

Calling all Type A and Type O Families

I started a Yahoo! group for families made up of As and Os who follow Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo's Eat Right for Your Type. It is to share recipes and meal plan ideas for serving these two diets at the same time.

We are pretty quiet, and I sure would welcome anyone to join who is interested. A families are also welcome, as most everyone on the list is from another O list (and would love to hear from those well versed at doing A meals.)

Click here to join AandO_ER4YT
Click to join AandO_ER4YT

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gotta Better Suggestion?

Recently on one of the Catholic email lists I belong to, one member has gotten a bit upset over a reference to relief over John Kerry not winning the last election, given the recent Supreme Court move to uphold the Partial Birth Abortion ban. (The gist being, had Kerry been the nominator of two new justices, we would likely not have seen this ban upheld.)

Now, I am married to a devout Republican. And you can ask my dear hubby if I am strongly partisan and he will tell you I am not. I don't particularly like the whole political scene, as such. I do not feel that I can throw my whole weight behind any party that I know of right now, despite having worked for several Republicans in past races.

There are some Republicans I would probably work against, if I could.

I firmly and actively believe that certain values are worth standing for in the political arena, and the right to life stands preeminent. Presidents and all elected officials don't exclusively shape the course of the right to life in this country, for sure. But the role that judicial nominees, veto powers, and the legislative branch plays is not to be dismissed lightly in the struggle to defend life.

This cyber friend in question stated that perhaps the war in Iraq would have stopped by now if Kerry had been elected. (Tacit implication: it would have made up for Partial Birth Abortion becoming ensconced in American law thanks to Kerry nominees). Does the war have moral problems, complexities? I think so. But thanks to Cindy's blog I can tell you that since the war started, 5,284,465 American babies have been killed by abortion. How many times do you hear that number on the evening news? It is staggering. We need to get our priorities straight. No killing is right, but to support the killing of five million (plus) and claim to be a protector of life simply makes no sense whatsoever.

At the same time, it is frustrating that our Supreme Court should be at the "whim" of our elected President. In saner days, would not rational thought prevail among those trained in law and the Constitution to realize that the right to be born is basic to human liberty?!

But we aren't in saner days. So, what about the next election? I'm sure that in cyberspace and in my own little community I will hear Catholics defending candidates (possibly from both parties) who I cannot support. It would be great if we could simply form a leader by taking all of the best bits and incorporating them in one creature. Unfortunately, we have to elect human beings, and we can only select from among those who choose to run.

So, if it is offensive for Catholics to speak in favor of "the lesser of two evils," I have to ask -- do you have a better suggestion? A Catholic party? Maybe. Nationwide repentance and conversion? The best. Fly-over country seceding from the Union? Hmmm... that would be interesting. Prayer and fasting? I'm thinking we'd better start long before 11-4-08.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Profound Thoughts Junkie

A thought struck me while reading some great blogs the other day: I have long been a profound thoughts junkie. I have loved to ponder, read, collect, and surround myself with profound thoughts from various sources. Expounding my own version of these thoughts has been a particularly intense kick. I was an English major in college with a double minor in Philosophy and Communication. Getting a paper writing assignment was like getting asked out on a date. It was a chance to put out my best stuff and primp and prime my latest ruminations, sparked by the current suitor, be it novel, poem or essay.

I'd smile at a job well done, put it aside and move to the next thought.

After college it was spiritual ruminations. I bought teaching tapes, wrote in journals, and collected "prophetic messages". Oh boy, then I was challenged about the Catholic Church, and did that ever open up a new world of rumination. I even changed how I thought about many deep issues.

But it took something much different to move to me to actual conversion.

Because, for the longest time, it never even occurred to me that there should be any connection between one's intellectual meditations and one's moral conduct. Deep thoughts may as well have been chocolate or romance novels or shoes or gambling or drugs or whatever else people get addicted to because they deliver a high. There was a definite intellectual rush involved with grasping new ideas, discovering new ways of thinking, new views and descriptions of reality. A lot of what I read was very noble. But there was rarely a connection with choices God called me to make.

It was as I started down the road of the Catholic Church that I encountered the truth that it is not so much my thoughts as my choices and actions resulting from those choices that define me as a person, particularly as a moral being. Like the book of James tells us,
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer,
he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once
he has looked at himself and gone
away, he has immediately forgotten what
kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the
perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful
hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. (1:22-25)
We are supposed to think about lofty things, and then actually DO them.

And I realize I still have this addict's attraction for profound thoughts. God in His marvelous wisdom has given me a husband and two active children who assure that I rarely can complete a coherent sentence, let alone a profound thought. Doubly let alone spend time reading things with absolutely no practical application.

Love means doing. And God is love. God wants us to be about DOING His will, nothing thinking about it, not talking about it, not debating it, not lamenting what others are or are not doing about it. Serving. Starting with giving ourselves to Him and listening to Him for direction.

It is amazing to me how long it has taken me to get this.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Who Do You Know That's Away from the Church?

Would you consider emailing this link to Catholics you know who have left the practice of the Faith?

Jesus and St. Monica speak to those away from the Church:

Friday, April 13, 2007

Easter Mess

Driving around today I dug out of the cobwebs a memorable Fr. John homily about Easter. Think about it. If you were St. Peter or St. Matthew, what would "the" Easter Sunday, and Easter Week, have felt like to you? You just traveled 80-some miles away from home, endured the most terrifying experiences of your Master being arrested, beaten, and publicly executed, you've hardly slept for fear of your own life as well, all happening over the major holiday of the year. Then suddenly, Jesus appears to you, alive. These men had to be basket cases. As Fr. John put it, they had a lot for Jesus to deal with.

It doesn't surprise me, then, that in the Resurrection appearances, Jesus does things like making breakfast, advising them about fishing, bequeathing peace to them. He doesn't immediately tell them to go out and preach. He spends time with them, teaching them (they probably finally had hearts truly open to what He taught). And most importantly for them, I think, they have time together, just the Apostles. In the flesh, at least. Then Jesus ascends, still telling them to hang tight together, and with Mary, until the promised Holy Spirit would come. Fifty days later. They needed fifty days to come down off the ceiling, to humanly be able to receive another huge spiritual jolt that really would upend their lives for the rest of their lives.

My Easter Week has been a bit of a mess. Nothing traumatic, just some little getting off schedule, some too much food my body isn't used to (note to self: next holiday, do not stray far from normal Type O diet), some cold symptoms, some need for emotional rejuvenation. The thought occurs to me that after marching along for 40-odd days of Lent, shouldn't Easter feel like crossing a glorious finish line, like a "yeah, everything is much better now" celebration?

Wait, that's heaven. And I'm not quite there, yet!

Maybe a Lent well-experienced says that I'm just one player in this spiritual drama. I contribute my piece, along with everyone else. I am neither single-handedly responsible for the salvation of the world, nor am I to opt out of doing my part. I am to see more clearly my own call to holiness, and live it with love.

I think this is why I don't like specific food fasts for all of Lent. Too much of a tendency to just say "well, THAT's over with now. Let's eat!"

Yesterday, not having much energy for aught else, I did some blog surfing. I read of people with terminal illnesses, parents who have suffered incredible trials with sick babies and kids, people grieving very sad deaths. I experienced a "holy set up" to pray for an online friend in a way that was huge blessing to her. And I realized that my little sense of blog loneliness was just another little means of Jesus calling me closer to His heart, to check out what He might have in mind for my day.

I gave my kiddos some extra hugs and kisses, thanking God that I had them with me in health. I realized that God always has His purposes, and that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

So, I think I'm ok with feeling a bit of a mess after Easter. I think there's some liturgical correctness about it. In a way, when Jesus said "It is finished", it was really only beginning for the rest of us.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

June 20, 1928

While I figure out the meaning of life, the universe and everything, I thought I would share this picture. You might have to click on it to see it well. The couple in their wedding duds are my maternal grandparents. The older couple in the foreground are my grandmother's parents Christian and Marie Blum (I was named for the latter). In the background are my grandfather's parents, John and Lottie Schmidt. The weird thing for me to think about is that Lottie Schmidt was only 9 years older than I am now when this picture was taken.
My grandmother was 25 and my grandfather 24. He died in 1990 and she in 1991.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What Am I Doing Here, Anyway?

Oh the woes of blogging. I've been looking at different blogs, and noticing how little my blog is read, and feeling lonely about it. Ok, it's been a stressful week coming off the busy Holy Week and Easter celebration, followed up by Confirmation at our parish, for which I was a sponsor. I'm pretty wiped out, have not been getting good sleep, so I'm "less emotionally adjusted" than usual.

Yeah, whatever.

I think I started out just to have this be my personal sharing venue. Sharing with whomever. Then I started a private blog to just talk about my kids and update grandmas and stuff (one of which never reads it, anyway!). So I don't talk about my kids as much here. I want to share all of the Direction for our Times messages, so I've done that.

But I get so very heavy and serious and then that becomes my standard, so I end up not really talking about my life and stuff I think about, which was kinda the point in the first place.

So I was thinking of joining the Unschooling blog ring, then I noticed how little I talk about unschooling.

Maybe I should start a blog ring of pathetic people who like to be read by other people but aren't. I'll call it "None of My Imaginary Friends are Talking to Me". I've been looking for a use for that phrase for quite a while.

Maybe part of the problem has been I don't really have time to think recently. Or, if I do think, I don't have time to blog my thoughts.

When I was a teen I used to wait for the mail to come plopping onto our porch floor, hoping for a piece of mail for me. These days I check my email to see if anyone has written.


Friday, April 06, 2007

A Holy Good Friday to All

Pause today to simply look at the Crucified One. Look with your eyes, but more importantly, look with your heart. Then, talk to Him about what you see.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Face Lift

Time for a new template.

I use a huge amount of words and a tiny amount of pictures as it is, so I thought something a bit more eye catching might be in order.

And besides, it's spring now, right?

Monday, April 02, 2007

April 2007 Message

This is the April 1 message received by Anne.

April 1, 2007


My beloved apostles rest in My heart each time they pray. Truly, when you come to Me, I am there. There are times when you feel abandoned as I felt abandoned. I allow this so that you can share My experience. In this way, by sharing My experience of abandonment, you come to know Me more completely. Through this intimacy you become more like Me. My dear ones, it is through sharing My experiences that you learn to love others who carry crosses. There are times when your humanity leads you to judge another but because you have suffered, you offer compassion instead of condemnation. Each experience in your life, shared with Me, increases your holiness and your capacity for compassion. Think of the times when someone treated you with compassion when you expected condemnation. Think of the times in your life when someone treated you with kindness and support, overlooking a failure or a flaw. My friends, you do not always understand but it is the crosses you carry that enhance these heavenly capabilities in your soul. I know you struggle. I accept your weaknesses. Do not think that your anguish is a measure of your holiness. Do not think that because you find your cross heavy, you are not making progress. I am with you and I am advancing you, even while you groan with weariness. The Kingdom will make the best possible use of the inevitable suffering that accompanies your humanity. Your decision to serve is all that is necessary to draw graces for others from your life. Be at peace that I understand your suffering and your movement to holiness. I am with you in each moment. I take the greatest joy in accepting your suffering and rewarding it with heavenly gains, both in your soul and in the world. You are My beloved ones. You are My chosen ones. The greatest care is taken with each of your little souls. Your progress is apparent from My vantage point. You must trust Me and allow Me to access others through you. Think back on our walk together. Think of the great graces I have flowed through you in the past. This flow of grace is increasing by the moment and is not dependant on your perfection but on My perfection. My presence in your soul brings a perfume into the world that is irreplaceable. I need you. Our unity, yours and Mine, brings unique benefits to the Kingdom. Yes, you are important to Me and to your heavenly family. Rest against your Jesus now as I send you courage and strength and heavenly calm.