Month: December 2009

You, Me and Tiger Woods

A Favorite quote

The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

                                                                                                Psalm 126

You, Me and Tiger Woods

 

The three of us have three things in common.

(1)   When you and I count our blessings, we also are billionaires.  Valuating your inventory can start with $.50 for each of the cells in your body, $1 for each of the million cones and rods in each eye, $5 for each muscle, $35 for each bone, $50,000 for each limb, etc., etc., etc.  And then you can start putting a price on each beloved family member and friend.

(2)   You, Tiger and I are unique. There is not another person on the planet that is exactly like each of us. And, of utmost important, we are considered equally very special by God.

(3)   As with Tiger, wherever we go, we are in the spotlight.  At all times, we are being observed.  By what we do and say, we are required to play well our roles as Joyful Catholics.  If we don’t, the reputation of the Church is in jeopardy. 

 

  And what are your thoughts?  www.joyfulcatholic@comcast.net

 

Admired saying 

My child, you must strive diligently to be inwardly free, to have mastery over yourselves everywhere, in every external act and occupation, that all things be subject to you and not you to them, that you be the master and director of your actions.

                                                Father Thomas A. Kempis, 1471

 

I like this, when I think of the Muslims in Switzerland — and elsewhere.- Political and religious figures must speak out forcefully against discrimination intolerance—which they do not often do enough. And this is a two-way street: leaders in the Muslim world must reach out to the West, just as much as they expect the West to understand Islam.

 

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, president of Indonesia

 

  

News flashes

(Church in crisis)

 

* The Wilmington diocese has become the seventh diocese to declare bankruptcy.

* A study shows that since 1960, the number of those in religious life has decreased 63%, and today 75% of these men and 90% of the women are over 60 years of age.

 

 Ah, those hard-nosed Catholics

The aged Massachusetts deacon, Jack Sullivan, who is enjoying notoriety for having received a healing after praying to Cardinal Newman, first said he and his wife were most impressed about their private meeting with Cherie Blair. Later, when he found she was not 100% pro-life, he changed his tune and denounced her.

 

He reminds me of the Hindu in Calcutta who for two years enjoyed French fries at the local McDonald’s food chain. Then when he learned they used a bit of cow lard in the cooking, he went home and puked up for three days.

 

Let me have your thoughts about Deacon Sullivan’s act. joyfulcatholic@comcast.net

  

Haiku time (Send me yours: joyfulcatholic@comcast.net)

Since no one has submitted one this week, try this ditty:

 

                   Woman looking for a Catholic Church

 

                   The bus driver, who was tied up in traffic congestion, 

  Answered her with this frank suggestion:

                   Lady, dear lady in pancake hat,

                   Who don’t know there the hell you’re at,

                   In your frank and confusing state of condurkle

                   You’d better get off at Dupont Circle.

 

 Recommended Reading

  

*       “Hidden Prayer in Yemen” by David Pinault in the December 7 issue of America. www.america@americamagazine.org  

         “The 400th Anniversary of a Spiritual Classic:

*

 St. Francis de Sales’s Introduction to the Devout Life” by Joseph F. Chorpenning. OFS in the winter 2009 issue of Spiritual Life.

www.spiritual-life.org

*      www.zenit.com (daily news from the Vatican)

 

         

Quiz

(The first to send the right answers to joyfulcatholic@comcast.net will receive a gift copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics)

1.     Before Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus, what was his name?

 

 

2.     Who was the only saint canonized by Christ?

 

3.     How old was Michelangelo when he carved La Pieta?  

24?

44?

64?

 

Communiqués received

*   I goofed when I quoted Jeff Ziegler from Ellenboro, NC, a writer with The Catholic World Report, with a saying actually made by Pope Benedict. To compensate, in a future blog I’ll credit the Pope with one of Jeff’s sayings.)

*       A note from Bishop Nickless in Sioux City, thanking me for my praise of his “Pastoral Letter on the Future of the Church.”

*         I was the quiz winner of a copy of your Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics.  I enjoyed it so much that I passed it on to my parish priest. Especially, I liked “Iggy’s Sure Thing.” That’s what I call folksy theology!

                                                          Luella Margaretta,

 *    You are right about Muskovy ducks being dangerous. I know because I used to raise them, and with their razor-sharp feet they can tear the hell out of a log.

          Elmer Kincaid, El Paso, TX

 Let me hear from you via joyfulcatholic@comcast.net)

 

 

Chuckle time

  In the Christmas story, if instead of three Wise Men, there had been three Jewish women:

1.     They would have arrived in time to help Mary deliver the baby, because they would have asked directions.

2.     They would have driven out the animals and cleaned up the stable.

3.     Instead of gold, frankincense and myrrh, they would have brought practical gifts of prepared food, blankets and diapers.

4.     Upon leaving, their conversation would have been:

“Did you notice that sandals Mary was wearing?”

“Their donkey has seen better days.”

“The baby doesn’t look like Joseph.”

 

 

My favorite priest

(Submit your favorite priest to joyfulcatholic@comcast.net)

As there is no current recommendation (shame on you!), I submit a very special layperson: George Thatcher in Gulfport, MS. With an impressive past career in banking and civic service, since 1997 George has confirmed his sense of awareness and awe by writing a daily newspaper column (3,744 in all) about his walks on the beach. Each article is a gem with the flavor of Henry Thoreau’s acknowledgment of the wonders of nature.  He serves as a wake-up call of all of us to appreciate the world around us.

As a prominent member of the Episcopal Church, George converted to Catholicism at age eighty and is a daily communicant. 

          Here is one of his writings:

          There are important lessons to be learned from the behavior of trees. Along the beach road most limbs are now leafless — leaves, nuts and flowers blown off by tempestuous winds.  Immediately after the hurricane the trees look as if it were mid-winter. Now green sprouts appear — a second springtime!  Think of the trees, too, during the hurricane — how they bend with each gust, complying mostly but not breaking.  Two lessons for us: Be resilient, bend with the wind, and then after the storm begin a new life.

 

Special Intentions List

As you pray with a broad brush, please include these loved ones, who have been submitted by our readers. You, too, are invited to send me names of your special persons who are in need of prayer. My address is joyfulcatholic@comcast.net. They will be on the list for 60 days. At the end of that time, if prayers are still needed, you merely have to renew the name.

Juanita Caldwell, David Abbey, Amie Ellis, Linwood “Skip” Williams, Gerry Paradiso, Nick DeCarlo, Tom Medved, Bob Haines, Eileen Grotsky,

Rebecca Matthews, Roseanne Somlock, Nicholas Gallagher, Tom Lewis,

Violeta Zepeda, Rev. Joseph Healy, John Aylor, Rev. Joseph Marini, Enrique Portillo, Sharon McPike, Joe Berger, Tom Ryan, Joseph Normile, Jim Quimby.

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Don’t Fight With a Duck!

Favorite Quote

The Church involves a tension between the human and the divine. It does so because it stems from the Incarnation, which is the primary tension involving the fully divine in the person of Jesus
Rev. William P. Clark, O.M.I.  

Don’t Fight With a Duck! 

When I returned home from a week’s stay in my place in Florida, I wanted to tell friends my torn-up left hand was from a fight with an alligator.  But the embarrassing truth is that I had a losing round with a duck. (“A what!?” is the response I get when I tell of this event.)

 The last day of my visit, I went over to meet a new neighbor who had recently moved in next door. As I was walking on the lawn, I was shocked to realize something had grabbed hold of the back of my left leg and wouldn’t let go. I turned around and found that a large Muscovy* duck had attacked me.

 As I tried to kick it off, I slowly fell on the ground. At age 72 (At 80 I started counting backward and will be 71 next year), my balance ain’t what it used to be. The man-eating duck keep biting me, and when I got up, I grabbed it by the neck and it became limp.  I started taking the critter down to dump in the lake when it suddenly became a violent flapping volcano. In a flash, it reached up with its webbed foot and took off the top of my left hand. I released it and the damned duck waddled off, claiming victory.

  Mary, the new neighbor, heard the commotion and came to my rescue. Inside her house, she used her entire supply of band aides to stop the bleeding.  She is a 6’2” blonde with a heart in proportion to her size.  After her first aid treatment, she came back with me to meet my wife and began our new lifetime friendship.

  That night before getting to sleep, as a joyful Catholic, I used my “thank You!” mantra to recount this event and its aftermath. First was receiving the treasure of our new friend Mary. If the duck had attacked my wife instead of me, we would be looking forward to a Christmas meal of roasted duck instead of turkey.  At the medical clinic I met many splendid young and dedicated people, especially the efficient doctor, who looked like he had just finished high school.  While he was stitching up my hand and I was lying, saying it didn’t hurt, I thought of what real pain must be like. I remembered that, as I was doing, Christ had stretched out His hand, but He did this to get a spike pounded through His wrist.  And He did this for you and me — Wow! Thank You, Christ.

 Another benefit is that it has made an amusing story for the wonderful people I visit in the nursing homes I visit. All-in-all, I’m glad it happened because it woke me up to the wonders and benefit of being a joyful Catholic. Amen!

*Muscovites are a South American duck species which reach over 20 pounds and can take two people to restrain. Their feet have strong sharp claws. (You betta believe it!)

 Admired saying

 The Christian faith is this: encounter with Christ, the living Person who gives life a new horizon and thereby a definitive direction.

                                Jeff Ziegler, in The Catholic World Report

 

News flashes

— (Church in crisis) Detroit archdiocese is losing $42,000 a day and laying off 1/3 of staff.  The Catholic World Report

–(for Catholics who have nothing better to do) Michelle Obama is criticized for having worn a black veil when she met Pope Benedict XVI. U.S.Catholic, Org. 

— Be aware of the dissenters, calling themselves “the American Catholic Council” who are trying “to create a new Church”. The Catholic World Report

 Haiku time

(Submitted by Susan Keller in Omaha, Nebraska) 

Rejoice!

When God became Man

This renewed all creation.

Yes, God became man! 

(send me yours: joyfulcatholic@comcast.net 

Recommended reading

–         “More ‘Access’ Means Less Care” in November issue of

The Catholic World Report  www.catholicworldreport.org  

–         http://www.zenit.com/  (daily news from the Vatican)         

Last Week’s Quiz Results

The first winner of a gift copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics, who clocked in at 3:32 PM on November 26, is Jim Beckingham in Tucson, AZ.

 1.     What were the names of the two future disciples whom Jesus found casting their nets into the sea, and he told them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”?

Simon and his brother Andrew

2.     Who was the saint, born in Assisi in 1193, who established an order of women devoted to the poor?

Saint Claire

3.     The Vatican Library originated in which time?

(a)  13th Century

(b)  <15th Century>

(c)   17th  Century

Chuckle time

 Internal Revenue Agent: Father Kincaid, is it true that your parishioner, John Jones donated $10,000 to your church last year?”

  Father Kincaid: He will.

My favorite priest

(Submit your favorite priest to joyfulcatholic@comcast.net)

          As there is no current recommendation (shame on you!), I submit a very special person: Brian Burnie, an English self-made millionaire who sold his 16 million pound country hotel and gave the proceeds to cancer charities. He said, “We live in a me, me, me society, and it has always been important for me to think of others. My ambition is to die penniless.  We came into the world with nothing and we should leave with nothing.”     

London Telegraph  5/20/2009

 

Special Intentions List

As you pray with a broad brush, please include these loved ones, who have been submitted by our readers. You, too, are invited to send me names of your special persons who are in need of prayer. My address is joyfulcatholic@comcast.net. They will be on the list for 60 days. At the end of that time, if prayers are still needed, you merely have to renew the name.

Juanita Caldwell, David Abbey, Amie Ellis, Linwood “Skip” Williams, Gerry Paradiso, Nick DeCarlo, Tom Medved, Bob Haines, Eileen Grotsky,

Rebecca Matthews, Roseanne Somlock, Nicholas Gallagher, Tom Lewis,

Violeta Zepeda, Rev. Joseph Healy, John Aylor,

Rev. Joseph Marini, Enrique Portillo, Sharon McPike, Joe Berger, Tom Ryan.

Note that Susan McGahee has now entered Eternal Paradise. We still keep her in our prayers.