April 28, 2012

Awesome Bishop

We've got an awesome Bishop!  And you know, I've been blessed to watch his growth in holiness and strength of character over the last 4+ years.  Please pray for him!  Pray for our priests!  Pray for Platteville.  There have been bigger sinners in the world, greater slanderers, you name it, who have been converted.... and so they can be conquered for Christ, too! :)

it is "a very unusual situation for a bishop to invoke the possibility of canonical penalties."

Canonical Penalties.  Them's fighting words!  St. Athanasius, pray for us!  Contra mundo!  St. Michael, protect our bishop and priest!

Read the full article here!

Feast of St. Louis de Montfort

We never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honor him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek... Jesus, her Son.
St. Louis de Montfort

April 26, 2012

Prayer Request

Please pray for Ann Marie Deans who is having surgery for fluid on the brain.  Her mom is a local, good and long term friend of mine.  Having been there done this... it is a heavy cross to bear.  But I know they will bear it well, they are a beautiful family of great Faith.

Our Blessed Mother, pray for them!

Walking with the Saints

I think we live in one of the most interesting... for lack of a better word... diocese, it's so much like the stories of the saints of old I've read and loved.  Read here.  Our priests and bishop are terrorized, ridiculed, belittled, mocked and they are still smiling, some even sing :) and they are all a joy to be around.  It is beautiful to watch saints grow in holiness which only comes by way of the Cross.  I'm glad I'm walking among the saints.  Pray for our priests and our bishop!

April 25, 2012

First Steps!

 Marigold is not pleased if Poppy is sitting on someone's lap.
 Poppy won.
 First Three Steps!
 Planted 100 strawberry plants

 We expanded our gardens o' weeds this year.

 Mommy, k'I take yer picture?
 Seedlings I forgot to bring in every night. Will they grow?
 First batch of radishes are coming up.  So is something
else but since I lost the paper I had labeled each section...

 Tilling the field?!
 I have no idea
 The Thing
I was asked what number I want on The Thing
(aka The Bug)
I thought 490
(forgive 70x7 times)
 No idea

Speaking of grandma... I was blessed to have 2 wonderful grandmas.... this is my other grandma Agnes Julia Maher.  This must have been just before she died very peacefully in 1981... on St. Patrick's Day.  She was a mother of 12 children!  Someday I will have to post about this grandma.  (yes, some of my children laughed at this picture of me... but so did I haha)

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Her O Lord

Eternal Rest grant unto her, O Lord
And let Perpetual Light shine upon her.
May she rest in Peace.

Julia Marian O'Brien April 25, 2012
Age 96
God is never short when it comes to His Mercy. Just how much He must love us to give us a constant stream of "last chances".    By the Grace of God, Grandma was given the Apostolic Pardon last night which remits a soul from the temporal punishment due to sin!  I had never heard of that before!   

Ego facultate mihi ab Apostolica Sede tributa, indulgentiam plenariam et remissionem omnium peccatorum tibi concedo et benedico te. In nomine Patris, et Filii, + et Spirtus Sancti, Amen. …
By the faculty given to me by the Apostolic See, I grant you a plenary indulgence and the remission of all your sins, and I bless you. In the Name of the Father and the Son + and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

A kind, loving and generous grandmother is a beautiful gift.  My grandma also happened to be my God Mother.
 Grandma and Mary Sunshine.
 Best Christmas ever at Grandma's
 Grandma and Bilbo 3 years ago

 Aunt, me, Grandma, my sister Bridey
 Grandma always had a laugh and a smile
One of those fond memory pictures from Grandma's House.  This and her old dial phone and her totally awesome strawberry jam. That is, when I left some of the strawberries in Grandpa's patch for them to be made into jam!  And... 
....this picture which I inheriteded when she moved to Naples, FL from her home in Nebraska.  It was always my absolute favorite picture so I am delighted to have it.  It had been a wedding gift to my grandparents :)

This was probably the last thing Grandma wrote since she signed this the day before her stroke.  It was in a birthday card for me.

Grandma died on the Feast of St. Mark.  And delightfully he is the patron of Venice, Italy and my grandma died in the diocese of Venice in Naples, Florida. Doesn't that bring you a little smile? That brought me a full laugh.  Her funeral will be in Nebraska.

Forgive, O Lord,
the souls of all the faithful departed
from all the chains of their sins
and by the aid to them of your grace
may they deserve to avoid the judgment of revenge,
and enjoy the blessedness of everlasting light.

Dies Irae

Dies irae, dies illa,
solvet saeculum in favilla,
teste David cum Sibylla.
 That day of wrath, that dreadful day,
shall heaven and earth in ashes lay,
as David and the Sybil say.
Quantus tremor est futurus,
quando iudex est venturus,
cuncta stricte discussurus!
What horror must invade the mind
when the approaching Judge shall find
and sift the deeds of all mankind!
Tuba mirum spargens sonum
per sepulcra regionum,
coget omnes ante thronum.
The mighty trumpet's wondrous tone
shall rend each tomb's sepulchral stone
and summon all before the Throne.
Mors stupebit et natura,
cum resurget creatura,
iudicanti responsura.
Now death and nature with surprise
behold the trembling sinners rise
to meet the Judge's searching eyes.
Liber scriptus proferetur,
in quo totum continetur,
unde mundus iudicetur.
Then shall with universal dread
the Book of Consciences be read
to judge the lives of all the dead.
Iudex ergo cum sedebit,
quidquid latet apparebit:
nil inultum remanebit.
For now before the Judge severe
all hidden things must plain appear;
no crime can pass unpunished here.
Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
quem patronum rogaturus?
cum vix iustus sit securus.
O what shall I, so guilty plead?
and who for me will intercede?
when even Saints shall comfort need?
Rex tremendae maiestatis,
qui salvandos salvas gratis,
salva me, fons pietatis.
O King of dreadful majesty!
grace and mercy You grant free;
as Fount of Kindness, save me!
Recordare Iesu pie,
quod sum causa tuae viae:
ne me perdas illa die.
Recall, dear Jesus, for my sake
you did our suffering nature take
then do not now my soul forsake!
Quaerens me, sedisti lassus:
redemisti crucem passus:
tantus labor non sit cassus.
In weariness You sought for me,
and suffering upon the tree!
let not in vain such labor be.
Iuste iudex ultionis,
donum fac remissionis,
ante diem rationis.
O Judge of justice, hear, I pray,
for pity take my sins away
before the dreadful reckoning day.
Ingemisco, tamquam reus:
culpa rubet vultus meus:
supplicanti parce Deus.
You gracious face, O Lord, I seek;
deep shame and grief are on my cheek;
in sighs and tears my sorrows speak.
Qui Mariam absolvisti,
et latronem exaudisti,
mihi quoque spem dedisti.
You Who did Mary's guilt unbind,
and mercy for the robber find,
have filled with hope my anxious mind.
Preces meae non sunt dignae:
sed tu bonus fac benigne,
ne perenni cremer igne.
How worthless are my prayers I know,
yet, Lord forbid that I should go
into the fires of endless woe.
Inter oves locum praesta,
et ab haedis me sequestra,
statuens in parte dextera.
Divorced from the accursed band,
o make me with Your sheep to stand,
as child of grace, at Your right Hand.
Confutatis maledictis,
flammis acribus addictis.
voca me cum benedictis.
When the doomed can no more flee
from the fires of misery
with the chosen call me.
Oro supplex et acclinis,
cor contritum quasi cinis:
gere curam mei finis.
Before You, humbled, Lord, I lie,
my heart like ashes, crushed and dry,
assist me when I die.
Lacrimosa dies illa,
qua resurget ex favilla.
iudicandus homo reus:
huic ergo parce Deus.
Full of tears and full of dread
is that day that wakes the dead,
calling all, with solemn blast
to be judged for all their past.
Pie Iesu Domine,
dona eis requiem. Amen.
Lord, have mercy, Jesus blest,
grant them all Your Light and Rest. Amen.

April 23, 2012

The Feast of St. George

Are you ready to slay the dragon of wickedness and evil to embrace God's truth and virtue?
Just wonderin'
Will your armor be nice and shiny or will it be well-dented?
Just wonderin'

St. George, pray for us!

April 22, 2012


Neat... I shared my birthday with Rome.  I'm not quite as old though. :)


Please pray for Joseph Clemens (Sr) who passed away last night, April 21.
Eternal Rest Grant unto him, O Lord
And let Perpetual Light shine upon him.
May he rest in Peace.


Life is Valuable

Life is valuable.  Life is valuable because it comes from God.  Outside of that our value is found in the dust of the earth from where we came.   What a beautiful gift life is... it is the breath of God, it is the Hand of God, it is His Word, it is His Will.... it is His Love.  Life has a beginning and an end.  It begins from the moment of conception by God's Word to the very last dying breath... by God's Word.  Since God is the giver of life, He... and only He.... is the taker of life.  My child, I love you and come to get you now.  I don't think it would take much for people to understand the value of a tiny baby.  Afterall, how many laws are there to protect eagle eggs (or the like) because of their "potential" to become an eagle, to borrow words from the worldly.  But what about the elderly, what is their value?  What about those in a coma?  The world gives them the label of value-less.  Oh ye of little Faith... or none at all. 

I remember when I worked at a hospital as a nursing assistant.  It was a job I really loved.  I loved visiting with the poor forgotten people who had no one to visit them. What stories! I also had the privilege to tend to the morgue care.  Tending to the body of the deceased.  Tagging the toe.  Wrapping the body.  I remembered every time wondering at what point the human soul left the human body.   I had this privilege to tend to what remained of the the temple which held the breath of God.  All the more if the person had been a Temple of the Holy Spirit. A man of God, filled with sanctifying grace which is the Life of God.  The very Life of God!

I think when people think about the value of the human being, they too often forget it isn't about us, it isn't about me... it is about God.  If we do not see the value in every human person from conception to the death which God calls him, we have no love within us. 

I think one of the worst things about "playing God" is that "health care" (which often isn't care at all)  denies the human person those moments of Grace. Those moments when God will send the Grace to make amends, to purify the soul, to give God gifts of love, to say "O My God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you.... most of all because [my sins] offend You, My God.  I firmly resolve with the help of Thy Grace.... to amend my life. Amen... so be it."

Please continue to pray for my Grandmother who hasn't been given any nourishment, food or drink, for a week. (I simply cannot talk about that horrific and evil subject)  What a woman. I just keep praying that she is being given the blessed opportunity to totally purify herself before Almighty God for her value is found in the very Hand of God who made her and in the Grace that is within her soul.

April 21, 2012

Birthday Funnies and Yummies

Happy Birthday to Me!

 Mine, mine-own, mine prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrecious.
 Actually no, it's MINE.  This was a giftie from 3 of my favorite girls in the world, the "little ladies". An 'I love you" bear.  Awww.  My little soprano gave me a sweet little note and the entire children's choir sang Happy Birthday.

On our way out of choir, much to my delight we ran right into our retired organist, Jack.  It was such a delightful surprise.  I learned that I'm young... at 43.  Just a mere spring chicken.  Hmmm..
 My children's-choir-partner-in-crime sent me home with a plethera of calories to keep my girlish figure in good shape.  Round is a shape.  These were gigantic mind you.  Fortunately I had 5 boys a husband and a Poppy and Marigold who made short work of these dainties.
 Birthday cards for Mommy.  Delightful. 
 Poppy was doing some kind of dancing act that including lovingly hitting Marigold in the head with a block.  Aragorn said she reminded him of some dream in the movie Dumbo or something of elephants or something or other dancing in pink tutus.  Methinks the Italian Margarita made him see things....
 This is the cutest baby (albeit grubby) and as all cute things go, she is getting adequately spoiled.
This was not a posed picture.  Pippin came up to me as serious as he can be and began to ask me some questions dressed like this.  I couldn't think of anything but "Huh?!" so I opted for "Get me the camera."

I got a card for my birthday from one of my sisters to which it said I hadn't aged a day... more like 365 days.  (insert laughing my head off here!)   But I thought that was pretty good since it was a leap year... at least I hadn't aged 366 days.  hahahaha

I ended up with a very short and quick case of the vomits. I thought that was a nicety for my birthday but that said, I got to take a nap as a result sooo... who's complaining?
While I took a nap Aragorn and some of the boys planted about 180 onions and when I felt better and went out for my walk with the babies I was given a mission to buy 3 times that amount.

But since my bout of unlady-like ill conduct didn't last we went to my favorite restraunt (Otto's) thanks to a gift card.  I noticed it said it was "smart dress".  So I googled and discovered this key to dressing at some wiki or other:

My guess is that most people there dressed casual but thought they are pretty smart.  We went dressed more "casual" without the smarts.  The attire did not take away from the savory food.  This is what I got
Mixed Seafood Grill. prawn, diver scallops & fresh Scottish salmon with roasted fennel, artichokes, red potatoes & basil-pesto oil drizzle
with the tomato bisque soup and their extremely yummy bread... and butter (want to mention that for the sake of a friend of mine)
This is what Aragorn got.
Spinach-Artichoke Pasta. penne pasta, fresh spinach, roasted sweet red peppers, mushrooms, artichokes, feta cheese, light lemon cream with prawns
with the Cesar Salad and bread... and butter :)

And we both got an Italian Margarita.  Oh...... yum.

We were too full for dessert but Galadriel was at home whipping up some brownies....  those might have to wait until tomorrow :)

April 18, 2012


Updated April 20th

Please pray for my Grandma O'Brien. I just found out she had a stroke on Divine Mercy Sunday and is unable to swallow among other things.  She is 96 years old.   She's been a wonderful grandma, ever so generous and loving.  I pray she has a peaceful death and doesn't have to spend any time in Purgatory.

She has been without food or water since Sunday.  I think I am living in some kind of nightmare.  How can this be?  This beautiful grandmother who always, always, always delighted in taking us out for a meal and who loved chocolate lives on without anything. I can't wrap my brain around it.  May this be her Purgatory.  May the Angels comfort her.  May Our Blessed Mother come to meet her soon.  St. Joseph, patron of a happy death, aid her.

In Paradisum
May angels lead you into paradise; upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem. May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

But Why?!

I read the following this morning (I say my prayers and then I need my wake up call to the reality of this ridiculous world)

On Sunday April 15, 2012, the Feast of Divine Mercy, a 71 year old former nun named Maria Thornton McClain attempted to be ordained as a Catholic Priestess by the laying on of hands of Maria Regina Nicolosi, who pretends to be a Roman Catholic Bishop. The event took place at Friedens United Church of Christ on the south side of Indianapolis.

I love living under my rock and when I come out from under it, I am never shocked but I am overcome with a terrible case of the giggles. Of course it really isn't funny for these types of people to mock the Sacred Priesthood of Christ in any way whatsoever. The Sacred Priesthood, that glorious vocation, is a topic for another time.

It's a proven fact via Sacred Scripture, that Our Lord had a very large place in his heart for women. He came to them first after He rose from the dead. He called the pharisees... who were men... all sorts of unappetizing names (hypocrits, brood of vipers....), He had to change the names of men to give them some dignity... Simon to Peter (wishy-washy (literally a reed blowing in the wind) to Rock) and when exasperated called him Simon Peter.  Jesus dealt with women with great tenderness and love, knowing that women are far more capable of sacrificial love. There were, afterall 3 faithful women at the foot of the Cross to the 1 faithful man.

Every woman is a born mother whether she ever becomes a physical mother or not. That's the way a woman's heart loves... by its nature (how that is thwarted is another topic...). Motherhood by its very nature gives freely and unconditionally. Perhaps the human desire is there to desire a reciprocity in love, but a woman will love even without the return. It does not matter whether you love me. What matters is that I love you.

And... we.... women.... have Our Blessed Mother. She was a woman, she changed the entire course of fallen human nature and our Eternal Reward just by her "Yes". She was the most beloved by God, the specially chosen, the specially formed and created. I'm alright with finding my dignity through the Blessed Mother. I'm alright with spending my days trying to emulate the heart of Our Lady... I need go no futher. I don't want to go any further.... because there is no further.

April 15, 2012

Divine Mercy Sunday

 Look into My Heart and see there the love and mercy which I have for humankind, and especially for sinners.  Look and enter into My Passion.
Jesus to Saint Faustina
 He who knows how to forgive prepares for himself many graces from God. As often as I look upon the cross, so often will I forgive with all my heart.
St. Faustina
If a man finds it very hard to forgive injuries, let him look at a Crucifix, and think that Christ shed all His Blood for him, and not only forgave His enemies, but even prayed His Heavenly Father to forgive them also. Let him remember that when he says the ‘Our Father’, every day, instead of asking pardon for his sins, he is calling down vengeance on himself.
Saint Philip Neri
 We were blessed to have the Knights of Columbus for our Divine Mercy Procession.  This one also happens to be our awesome neighbor.
 Frodo with our favorite Knight.
 One of the volunteers for the day.
 I think it is just the neatest thing to be in a hallway with the Knights
 A friend of mine's adorable son.
 Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to our neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it.
Diary of St. Faustina
 Jesus I trust in Thee!
 Every year a friend and I have the blessed privilege to work for Divine Mercy Sunday at the table o' sacramentals and resources. In the middle is a friend we made and look forward to seeing each year.
 Our only hope, our only confidence, our only assured promise, Lord, is Your mercy.
St. Augustine
This is one of the most lovely couples I've ever seen.  They are just so cute.  52+ years of marriage and they still hold hands and are so sweet on each other... well.... it lead me to want a picture of them.    May more marriages be blessed with such happiness.  They radiate the joy of a happy marriage.  Some day I'd like to sit down and listen to their life story.