Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Faith through Art

I received a print of a beautiful oil painting by Sr. Mary Grace Thul, O.P. called “St Dominic and Our Lady ”.
It is a beautiful image of Mary holding baby Jesus in her left arm and together they are draping a rosary on St. Dominic, who is kneeling at the foot of them.

I have it resting on top of my desk and look at it frequently.

At times I imagine myself kneeling where St. Dominic is. I can almost feel Mary’s garment against my back and the rosary beads gently grazing me. Am I worthy of such attention by Christ and his mother? There are moments where I contemplate my sinfulness and think “No”. But then I picture myself walking in the footsteps of St. Dominic and know that I am called to the Third Order. I am not without sin but rather I strive to be without sin and walk in the way of the Dominicans so that I can better serve God.

In this image I see the rosary as a reminder of the prayer life in which I am called to have. The nurturing nature of Mother Mary reminds me that I am constantly under her protection. Seeing the Christ child allows me to contemplate Christ’s life from birth and how I must work to have the innocence of a child. And St. Dominic represents my calling to preach and study in order to better serve God.

It is amazing how one image can lead you understand your role in the Church.

Thank you Sr. Mary Grace Thul, O.P.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Hair today, gone tomorrow...

Isabella had beautiful one length hair. I even had fun putting it up, braiding it and making it look cute.

That was before. Before what, you ask?

Before my dear 4 year old decided to hack it off with child scissors.
Why wouldn't she cut it now? She has school pictures next week and she will be in a wedding next week too.

Didn't St. Catherine of Siena cut off her hair? Maybe Isabella was just trying to be holy.

I was pretty upset when I first saw it. I guess I should work on the virtue of patience and detachment.

I will save her hair for when she is older. I will show it to her when she asks why my hair is grey.

Monday, October 03, 2005

I hope you know what you are doing Mr. President...

Harriet Miers. Who exactly is Harriet Miers?

One thing is certain, no one can put her in one category, and that is exactly why President Bush has nominated her for the Supreme Court. How can you be against a judge when 1) They have never been a judge and 2) They have no rulings to examine?

One thing is certain; the Republicans have the opportunity to nominate a justice who was conservative. With the issues surrounding our increasing “culture of death” these nominations are of prime importance. We have the opportunity to protect the innocent from Abortion, Euthanasia and Embryonic stem cell research. We also have the opportunity to keep justices from legislating from the bench.

There is hope. Leonard Leo, of the Federalist Society states that "She has been a forceful advocate of conservative legal principles and judicial restraint throughout her career." I certainly hope so.

I have faith in the Constitution of the United States of America. Why? The men who wrote it had God in mind and those principles, if interpreted in a fair and non-partisan manner, will win out in the end.

Hopefully, that will mean protection for the innocent and keep us protected from left wing pandering to social extremist groups.

President Bush, I pray for you. I hope you know what you are doing.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A Healthy Addiction?

Hi, my name is "Mom for Truth" and I have an addiction. (All: Hi Mom!)

It is sad to say, but true. It is called the Catholic Answers Forums.

I wake up in the morning and I realize it is time to check the forum. My palms sweat and my heart races, as I quietly make my way to my computer. I think to myself “Did anyone respond to my post while I was sleeping?”

What is Catholic Answers Forum you ask? Imagine an online Catholic Community and that is what it is. You can learn all about our faith, what we believe, why we practice, etc. We discuss secular news from our Christian perspective. We hang out in the “Water Cooler” and discuss who our favorite Saint is or maybe play a “virtual scavenger hunt” game. We discuss apologetics, Moral Theology, Liturgy and the Sacraments and Biblical texts. You can ask questions or post your answer. One of my favorite forums is the Family Life thread. You can discuss ways to help raise your kids or how to keep sane as a Stay at Home Mom.

Why is this forum so important to me? I have many reasons but my biggest is that I love the thought of being actively involved in a Catholic community which discusses issues pertaining to the Church and how it can be applied to my daily life. I don’t have all the answers, but many of the members offer very good advice. In addition to personal experiences from forum members there are professional apologists and clergy who can answer questions with the knowledge that we need to keep us on the right path. Thankfully there are also staff members who moderate the forums so no inappropriate discussions take place. They will even warn people if the conversations get a little too heated or uncharitable. These moderators or as I call them “The forum conscience” will lock threads if they get out of hand. It is like having Mom or Dad there to protect their children from getting into trouble.

Veritas. Truth. That is the motto I try to live by. I find that on the forum. I also find the opportunity to minister to those who are suffering or need advice. (Warning-free advice is sometimes worth what you pay for it.) But I have also learned humility by reading posts of those who are struggling. And a lot of the time I find joyful conversation with those who read the same books as I do, need advice of how to handle finances or want to just chat with a fellow Christians.

So is Catholic Forums right for you?

Yes. It is open to everyone, of all religious backgrounds. We just ask that you are charitable toward other members.

And did I mention it is free? Yes, there is no cost, no obligation.

You will make friends with members from all over the world. People are honest and have what is best for your soul in mind, so don’t be surprised if you face the truth and it is difficult. But isn’t that part of the journey?

But I will make one warning: It is addictive. After 48 hours without Catholic Answers Forums you may develop nausea, shakiness, heart palpitations and dry mouth.

The Truth is addictive; once you get a taste you will want more.

Here is the link


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Summa for Dummies...

St. Thomas Aquinas, how could he ever be named “The Dumb Ox”?

I can sit down and read his works for 5 minutes and my mind becomes numb. True, I do have 2 children (which has significantly lowered my I.Q.) but have I lost all capacity for intelligent thought? The answer is, probably not.

I have been intimidated, yet intrigued, by the writings of St. Thomas. I bought my husband the Summa Theologia as an engagement present. Nope, can’t read it. I am definitely not ready for that. I looked through A Shorter Summa and found that I am not quite there either. So, I have settled on Kreeft’s A Shorter Summa. Granted this is more of an explanation of St. Thomas’ work in the beginning, but a person has to start somewhere.

One of the things I love about being a Third Order Dominican is how they focus on feeding our intellect and our soul. Saying rosaries and Liturgy of the Hours is a wonderful way to focus on our Lord. Sometimes I feel like I am taking the easy road. I haven’t pushed myself to understand our faith the way I need to, the way I want to. Studying the writings of the Church Fathers, Doctors, and the Bible stretches our minds and challenges our previously held notions of the Church. Is it easy? No, it is not. Is it worth it? I think it may be.

So now, I am going to start reading. Maybe I am overzealous to start with “The Dumb Ox”. (How I wish I had one morsel of understanding that this man did.)

If only they had a Summa, of the Summa, of the Summa, of the Summa. Or maybe a Summa for Dummies.

Yup, you have to start somewhere.


SPAM-Not just for dinner anymore...

Well, the devil is at work yet again.

Somehow my blog has some visitors who decide to leave graphic links in the feedback section. I will try to monitor this as closely as I can, and delete the offending post. However, in the mean time, please do not click any links from those who leave feedback. Usually it is a pretty general response.

Why do people, via computers or too much time on their hands, feel they need to mess with the souls of people who come to visit my site? Seriously, if we wanted sinful sites I am sure we can find them, we don't need them shoved in our face.

So there it is. I think I need to write more on my blog, I sense I am ready tio hop on my computer a bit more for a little journaling on life. In the meantime...