Month: January 2010

I died last night!


Death should never be seen as a thing far off.  It makes sense, then, to keep asking, “Am I living in such a way as to enter into eternal life with God.

St. Thomas More



 I died last night 


This is a thought that merits thought because one day when you are in your next existence, looking back over your shoulder, this will be a fact. In the meantime, it can be a jolting meditation for the first thing in the morning.  When you find it’s not true and you realize you still have time to live, what do you think about? For me, it sharpens my focus on what I intend to be and to do.


I like to call on the Holy Spirit to increase my appreciation of the multitude of gifts bestowed on me, beginning with my conception when my name was called at the gene pool and two compatible cells responded.  My thanks can focus on my family, friends, possessions and my overall physical and mental wellbeing. I often ask for a fresh awareness with awe of the mysteries of each day, ranging from our sun, 93 million miles away, to the veins on a leaf.


Then I like to tune into Jesus, our God-man, Man-God, and ask what He wants me to do with the rest of my life.  I trust that He knows best.


Many years ago, the lead song in a musical I wrote was “One Day Closer.”  The lyrics began with “I wake in the morning thrilled with the thought that I’m one day closer to Paradise” and ends with “I’ll go when He calls for me, for I have a place in Paradise. Every day it’s clearer I’m one day nearer to Paradise!”


Now let me know how this thought grabs you.


Interesting quotes

A good funeral is one that gets the dead where they need to go and the living where they need to be.



 Thomas Lynch Poet and undertaker in Milford, MI



Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me.

                                                          Emily Dickinson


And from this song by Jacques Brel, the noted Belgium singer, who died in 1978.




After my last supper I want everyone to leave

And finish their feast elsewhere than under my roof.

After my last supper I want them to install me

Seated alone like a king, greeting his vestal virgins.

In my pipe I’ll burn my childhood memories,

My unfulfilled dreams, the remains of my hope.

And I will only keep to clothe my soul

The idea of a rosebush and a woman’s first name.

Then I will look at the summit of my hill

Which dances, which changes and finally becomes dark.

And in the midst of the scent of flowers which will soon wither

I know that I’ll be afraid, one last time.





Admired sayings 


 “It takes three spaghetti dinners to get to know someone.”

   My barber-philosopher, Tony Campanaro


When asked about the decrease in number of Christians, Mike Huckabee replied, “I would obviously like to see an increase, but if that decrease is reflective of authenticity, I’d rather see 75% authentic Christians that 90% in which half of those don’t really mean it.” 





And what are a few of your favorite sayings?  




News flashes 

The Church in tight straits…


In these difficult financial times, realize the pressure on the Church to meet the cries for help. For example, 70% of Catholic agencies have had an increased demand for food stamps, 85% increase for rent and mortgage assistance and 42% increased request for counseling.

Ah, communications!


During a December wedding ceremony in Maryland, the new husband interrupted the priest by pulling out his phone and sending a Twitter and Facebook update “Gotta go, time to kiss my bride.” (Comment, I hope the bride prevented him from taking this device on their wedding night)

From the London Telegraph





Writer Oliver Marre introduced his new evidence that Shakespeare was a secret Catholic.




 The Evolution of God, by Robert Wright, is an ambitious account of man’s materialistic and innate searching for a “god”.  I would have found it more appealing if the subject had been a spiritual study of how God has made Himself known to man.  Also, the book would be more readable if its 587 pages were edited down to 200 pages. 








 The first to send the right answers to will receive a gift copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics.


1. After the tax collector, Levi, son of Alphaeus, became a disciple, what was his name?   

2.     In what year did Constantine, Emperor Rome legalize Christianity?    

3.     How many years have the Swiss Guards been serving the Popes?

Over 300, 400, 500, 600 years?  


Communiqués received



     I think Bishop Andrew Sample goofed when he cancelled the scheduled talk of Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, retired auxiliary of the Detroit archdiocese.  He didn’t want his parishioners to hear the views of a Church leader who speaks his mind about being anti-war, and one who has sympathy for same-sex marriages and women in the church. Shame on you, Bishop Sample!

                                                          Edward Higgens,

Alton, IL


In your “Crank Up For Your Day” blog, I enjoyed hearing from someone else who remembers having to swing your own prop.  I also was the first woman to fly “the Ercoupe” plane. Ah, those were the days!

                                                Dorothy Warren, Kensington, MD


        (And let me hear from you readers via



Chuckle time


 There is the story of a woman who had a near-death experience during an operation in a London hospital.  She saw herself in Heaven and heard a voice telling her she would survive the surgery and live for another twenty-five years.  She did recover and was so elated by the prospect of long life that, while still in the hospital, she had a tummy-tuck, face lift, additional hair implanted and lippo-suction. 

Six weeks later, when she left the hospital looking like a teenager, she was struck and killed by a truck.  In Heaven when she questioned what had happened, an apologetic voice said, “I bloody well didn’t recognize you.”



My favorite religious layperson


    The special honoree this week is 7-year-old Jonathan Slack of Orland Park, Ill.  Before the Christmas holidays he saw a destitute woman on a street in Chicago and was moved to tears. He wrote a letter to those in his neighborhood, requesting help for the homeless. Ten days later, he received four truckloads of good and toys which he delivered to the Su Casa Catholic Worker Homeless Center in Chicago.

And let me know about your favorite Catholic priest, layperson or organization that is making a difference.  Share this with our many Joyful Catholic members.


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, 

 Roseanne Somlock, Nicholas Gallagher, Tom Lewis, Donald Whitcomb, 

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

As you note, because of miraculous healings, several names have been added to our Deo Gratias list.






Crank Up For Your Day

Favorite quote for the New Year 

 Father Lorenzo Scupoli, an Italian priest who died in 1610. 

          “When you see in other people either goodness, or wisdom, or truth, or some other virtue, say to your God: “O inexhaustible treasure-house of all virtue! How great is my joy to see and to know that every good thing comes from you alone.  I thank you, my God for this and every other good thing you do to my neighbor.” 

Crank up for your day 


When I learned to fly, planes didn’t have automatic starters.  If you didn’t have a buddy to swing the prop, the procedure was to climb into the cockpit and clamp on the brake, push the throttle slightly open and turn on the switch. Then outside, I had to start the propeller turning with a strong swing, remembering to lean backward to prevent falling into the blades once they started spinning. Next, I would scurry back inside the plane and prepare to take off.  One poor fellow in my group forgot first to clamp on the brake. After he got the propeller spinning, he had to hit the ground fast as the plane surged forward and took off airborne, pilot less. 


Though my flying days were many years ago, I often think of this procedure when I am cranking up for a new day.  First, it’s good to clamp the brake to clear my mind of muddling thoughts (How am I going to do all the things I need to do today?  I sure did goof up yesterday, etc.). If I don’t take time to start with a short meditation, my day might take off leaving me grounded. 

Then I throttle my appreciation of my mental and physical gifts that make it possible for me to be and to act.  Turning on the switch is acknowledging that there is a hidden power which makes all things possible. Thank you for my being a joyful Catholic! 

Swinging the prop is my commitment to soar. And sometimes, perhaps in spite of a wobbling takeoff, I’m soon in the air, heading towards today’s many goals.  It works, so give it a try! 


Now, tell me how you start your day. 

 Admired sayings


By Joseph Cao, the Republican U. S. Congressman from New Orleans, when asked if he voted on the health care reform bill out of personal conviction, not politics: 

Correct! I spent six years in the Society of Jesus, training to be a priest. I always adhere to what I call “the politics of the Gospel.” You have to take care of the poor, take care of the widows, visit the sick, and help those who cannot help themselves. 

(And what is your opinion?  



News flashes 

(Church in crisis) 

–   Because of low enrollment, 14 schools in the greater Washington, DC, region have a questionable future. 

–   The cartoon on page 77 in the Dec. 22 & 28 New Yorker magazine indicates that artist, Yual Noth, has read chapter “Communion, ho-hum” in Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics. It shows a man receiving the cup from a priest, and rather than saying “I am receiving the blood of Christ,” he says, “I’m getting red fruits, earth tones and oak, Amen.” 

–   The UK equality minister Harriet Harman (whom I am told is nicknamed “The British Bitch”) is submitting a bill to ban the Catholic Church from insisting its priests be celibate single men. If her bill becomes law, the Church and its leaders who refuse candidates for the priesthood who are women, gays, lesbian, or married, would be subject to imprisonment, unlimited fines and having Church assets seized. (My comment:  Henry VIII, he ain’t dead!) 


(Let me have your thoughts about Ms. Harman.  


 Recommended reading 

         This should be required reading for every parish priest: 

“Parish Revival” in December 21-28 issue of America magazine by Father Bruce Cecil, pastor of Our Lady of Soledad Parish in Coachella, CA. 
 (daily news from the Vatican) 



The winner of a gift copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics, who clocked in at 10:25AM on December 21, is Mabel Erickson in Buffalo, NY 

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

2.     The only saint canonized by Christ was the good thief. “Today, you shall be with me in Paradise.” 

3.     Michelangelo was a youngster of 24 when he carved La Pieta. 


Communiqués received 

         Regarding your Tiger Woods account, I resent your putting me in  the same category with that man! (Abigail, Cincinnati, OH) 

         When you reminded me that we joyful Catholics are all billionaires, I remembered this statement from St. Ignatius of Loyola, “Lord Jesus Christ, your love and your grace are wealth enough for me.”  (Eric Thompson, Sacramento, CA) 

 –   (from Dr. David Pinault, the writer of “Hidden Prayer in Yeman”, which, in our last issue, I recommended you read.) “The reason I write popular-format essays is precisely for the purpose of reaching the largest possible audience. And I feel very strongly that the situation in Yemen is one that warrants attention.  So I thank you for helping to publicize this.”

        (And let me hear from you readers via  



Chuckle time 

         The favorite hymn of retail merchants in December is “Oh, What a friend we have in Jesus.” 

         Actual news that qualified as humor: 

Rev. Al Sharpton blasted Tiger Woods, not for immorality, but for racial prejudice.  His quote: “Why is it that a man who calls himself black can’t bring himself to cheat on his wife with a black woman? What does it say to young black girls everywhere when you pass them over?  Shame on you, Tiger Woods. What would your daddy say?” 


My favorite religious person 

As a joyful Catholic, Sister Joan Carusillo, CSC, has been a special person in my life for many years.  She has the quality I sensed when I met Mother Teresa of Calcutta, because by being forgetful of self, Sister Joan always radiates a deep love and concern for others.  With her associate, Sister Lorraine Ryan, Sister Joan is now working diligently in The Women’s Circle in Boynton Beach, FL.  The purpose of this not-for-profit organization is to provide free services for low-income women in education, job preparation and support groups.  Donations are welcomed to support this splendid work, and the Women’s Circle address is 145 N.E. 4th Avenue, Boynton Beach, FL 33435.    (561) 364-9501   (561) 364-9501 . (I’m sending my donation today!) 

And let me know about your favorite Catholic organization that is making a difference.  Share this info with your many other joyful catholic members. 


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, Joseph Normile, Jim Quimby.