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) 


When God became Man

This renewed all creation.

Yes, God became man! 

(send me yours: 

Recommended reading

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

The Catholic World Report  

–  (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

          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 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.



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