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. 



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