July 30, 2012

August 2nd Portiuncula Indulgence

St. Francis of Assisi was very zealous for the salvation of souls.  As a result Our Lord Himself asked him what he would like for the salvation of these souls.  St. Francis said he would like an indulgence for all who entered this church, The Portiuncula.  Our Lord consented through the intercession of the Holy Father Honorius the III.  However, the Holy Father extended this to every church throughout the world on August 2nd.

The following is an excerpt from Major Life of St. Francis by St. Bonaventure.

” The Portiuncula was an old church dedicated to the Virgin Mother of God which was abandoned . Francis had great devotion to the Queen of the world and when he saw that the church was deserted, he began to live there constantly in order to repair it. He heard that the Angels often visited it, so that it was called Saint Mary of the Angels, and he decided to stay there permanently out of reverence for the angels and love for the Mother of Christ.

He loved this spot more than any other in the world. It was here he began his religious life in a very small way; it is here he came to a happy end. When he was dying, he commended this spot above all others to the friars, because it was most dear to the Blessed Virgin.

This was the place where Saint Francis founded his Order by divine inspiration and it was divine providence which led him to repair three churches before he founded the Order and began to preach the Gospel.

This meant that he progressed from material things to more spiritual achievements, from lesser to greater, in due order, and it gave a prophetic indication of what he would accomplish later.

As he was living there by the church of Our Lady, Francis prayed to her who had conceived the Word, full of grace and truth, begging her insistently and with tears to become his advocate. Then he was granted the true spirit of the Gospel by the intercession of the Mother of mercy and he brought it to fruition.

He embraced the Mother of Our Lord Jesus with indescribable love because, as he said, it was she who made the Lord of majesty our brother, and through her we found mercy. After Christ, he put all his trust in her and took her as his patroness for himself and his friars.”

Today the chapel of Portiuncula is situated inside the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels roughly 5 km from Assisi, Italy.  (I have been here and it was glorious!)

The Indulgence
August 2nd is the feast of Portiuncula. A plenary indulgence is available to anyone who will:

1. Receive sacramental confession (8 days before of after)

2. Receive the Holy Eucharist at Holy Mass on August 2nd

3. Enter a parish church and, with a contrite heart, pray the Our Father, Apostles Creed, and a prayer of his/her own choosing for the intentions of the Pope.

St. Francis of Assisi... pray for us.

July 29, 2012

Fare Thee Well

 We were blessed to attend a farewell/welcome party for a couple of our priests.  One of our priests is heading back to their seminary in Spain to grow to his full potential and form young men in hopefully future vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.  As they cake says "You will be missed!"
 Fr. John left our parish to relieve Fr. Jared of his duties here (notice I didn't say "fill his shoes!!")  Our new parish priest, Fr. Alex, is one we already know and are very blessed to have.

Please keep these priests in your prayers as they begin their new ventures... adventures!
 I think the libation-crew poured 1000 cups of water, lemonade and milk .

A Catholic Vacation Bible School begins August 4th.  If you are local contact me and I'll give you the info.  This year is Joseph's Journey Prison to Palace and takes place in "Egypt".

Our Home Altar

Sacred Heart Farm has asked me to show pictures of our Home Altar.

 I'm not exactly sure I'd call it an altar, it is more of a Home Altar Shelf. 

But in our basement the children converted a little room into a place where they can practice saying the Mass (mostly for the sake of Altar Boy training... which we need to do for Merry and Pippin).  We also use this for a place we can have our time for meditation each day.  Each child up to age 10 spends 1 minute for their age in prayer.  AFter age 10 they will spend at least their age in minutes up to an hour.  When this picture was taken it was a little in need of cleaning but you get the idea.  I have a set of stations of the cross for the wall that we have yet to put up.

Versatile Blog Award

Way back in May my blog received the Versatile Blogger Award.  I mostly finished this post and I just remembered it in my drafts when I was asked about our home altar.  I will have to admit I had to look up "versatile" to which I found "changing or fluctuating readily".  *chuckle* anyone who knows me would probably say "Yep... she's versatile. Kinda like a roller coaster ride."  However, Tina Marie from Living Simply So that Others May Simply Live (awesome goal and name or what?)  said something so very nice:  Your posts are inspiring, thought provoking and sometimes bring a chuckle and great smile to my face
I cannot think of anything nicer.  I think one of the nicest goals on this earth is to bring joy to others.

I'm not playing the rules of the right for this award, as I'm to nominate 15 other blogs to the award.  I wouldn't know where to begin. I don't think I even look at 15 blogs on a regular basis.  Sunday is generally my blog-reading day.  But honestly, I'm am picture-looking blog-reader.  I love pictures.

The other part is to tell 7 things you might not know about me.  Oh boy.  There is nothing very interesting but here are a few things.... 7 things to be precise.

1.  I have a special fondness for saints who were friends with each other. I love reading saint stories as it is but they get so very interesting when you read about saints who walked on this earth together.  I find it perfectly thrilling. 

2.  In High School I was known as JAM because those were my initials, I played soccer, volleyball, softball, violin and skied.  I hated playing the piano because my first teacher wouldn't give me a gold star for practicing.... it was entirely besides the point that I had not practiced. 

3.  I had (that's mostly past tense) a most frightful temper and threw a typewriter at one of my college roommates.  Yeah... I had a typewriter.  I was called by a seminarian as "sweet little, innocent, type-writer chucking Julie"  To help me overcome this horrible temper, I would put up little sticky notes with voice bubbles that said "Don't lose your temper" on my religious pictures, like the Sacred Heart.  I'm afraid if I make it into Heaven that there will be peals of laughter when I walk in the gate for these absurd and silly things I did... and come to think of it.. it was just yesterday someone called me silly! :D

4.  I was blessed to travel alot when I was younger and have been to Portugal, Canada, Yugoslavia, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France.... sorry... I've never been to Spain... but would love to!

5.  I really liked the dirty, smelly, grubby little girl in my 3rd grade class that no one liked and everyone made fun of... even me (groan).  One of my fondest memories is the year I invited her to my birthday party.  I have always looked back on that memory with gratitude that I did not leave her out.

6.  My first job was as a dishwasher at a fancy restraunt, I don't know how I lived past this without contracting some disease since we used to eat the food that was left over off people's plates!  After that I was a chamber maid making beds at a motel.  Now I will never eat food off my kids plates and I won't make their beds.

7.  Yes, I used to wear pants!  Now I only wear them to bed.


Sent to me from Aragorn after our Shakespeare escapades this past week.  *chuckle*

July 27, 2012

Julius Caesar

 Yet another neat find. A local Shakespeare group which began this year.  It's a bring-your-own-chair and picnic dinner type affair.   So very casual however, Eowyn has her "thing" that she must dress for the opera when she goes out... "to the opera". 
 Their first production was Julius Caesar.
 You can't see the pillars and such on the backdrops and although very simple, it held the character of the play.
 There were  a few funny awkward moments.  First we were eating away our dinner when the play started and it started in the walkway right in front of us (who were in the front row).  Doritos are just... awkward... while watching Shakespeare 3 feet in front of you.  Another funny was when there was a discussion between Brutus and Cassius and they stopped stock still while a herd of motorcycles rode by full throttle (are they a herd? do they have a throttle?)
Anyway, they did an awesome job and the costumes were great.  I over-heard that next year might be Antony and Cleopatra.

July 25, 2012

Neat Shakespeare Find

 It was recently discovered that there is a local Young Shakepeare Players group in our area.  They even have homeschoolers plays during the school year.
 So we went to see King Lear this week.  It's free, too.  The kids were great and it was thoroughly enjoyable.
 The place was really quaint, too.
 Up and coming is As You Like it as well as Henry IV parts 1 and 2.

Great local find.  Since I admit I do enjoy Shakespeare plays.   King Lear was in its entirety which is rare and lasted over 4 hours!

There is also an adult group doing Julius Caesar this weekend...  I'm tickled.

Comic Relief

I'm not sure why I always think it will be fun to take Pippin out in public.  He's kind of like the comic relief from Shakespeare.

 Rarely do I step foot into a McDonalds, but today I did.  I had Merry and Pippin with me and lunch fell between VBS prep and a doctor appointment, so we wandered in.   I really thought it was pathetic that the former idea of a playground was replaced with a set of video games.  But it did say "Be Fair.  Please Share."

 In the doctor's waiting room Pippin asked me what the can opener was for.
Before I realized what I was doing, I was sitting there pondering how anyone would think there would be a can opener built into the ceiling.  "Only Pippin" was the conclusion to my pondering.  I woke up from my revelry and explained the sprinkler system to him to which about 100 questions ensued.  A little later he said he wanted to go swimming.  I told him we could when we got home to which he said, "But if I just get up there and break that little thing, I could go swimming right here."  Not a good idea.

It was about this point when the nurse asked if BOTH boys were mine (with the tone of "Are the ALLLL yours?!").
"They are so cute." then nonchalantly "So how many children do you have?"
The effect! The effect!  She turned around and just looked at me for a second then said, "But you look happy!"
Then, she won a plenary indulgence as far as I'm concerned and said, "You look grrrrrrrrrrreaaaaaaaaaaaaat!"

Anyway, it used to be a trip to the doctor's office was a nice time for me to relish in some enjoyable children's book like Anne of Green Gables or Nancy Drew.... but not with Pippin.... it's more of 121 questions in a bouncy house.

July 24, 2012

St. Christina

In case you are having a bad day or are suffering in some way.....

St. Christina was the daughter of a rich and powerful magistrate named Urbain. Her father, who was deep in the practices of heathenism, had a number of golden idols, which our Saint destroyed, and distributed the pieces among the poor. Infuriated by this act, Urbain became the persecutor of his daughter; he had her whipped with rods and then thrown into a dungeon. Christina remained unshaken in her faith.

Her tormentor then had her body torn by iron hooks, and fastened her to a rack beneath which a fire was kindled. But God watched over his servant and turned the flames upon the lookers-on. Christina was next seized, a heavy stone tied about her neck, and she was thrown into the lake of Bolsena, but she was saved by an angel, and outlived her father, who died of spite.

Later, this martyr suffered the most inhuman torments [because the other torments were much more humane...!] under the judge who succeeded her father, and finally was thrown into a burning furnace, where she remained, unhurt, for five days. By the power of Christ she overcame the serpents among which she was thrown; then her tongue was cut out, and afterwards, being pierced with arrows, she gained the martyr's crown at Tyro, a city which formerly stood on an island in the lake of Bolsena in Italy, but was long since swallowed up by the waters.
Her relics are now at Palermo in Sicily.

 Butler's Lives of the Saints

..... just remember that there is always someone who has suffered more intensely!  Befriend the martyrs!  Befriend the saints!  No matter how difficult or lonely, they are friends... everlasting!

Wednesday Weather

Updated... again:

Wednesday  Thunderstorm 106 °F 108 °F   93 °F

July 23, 2012

The G's Visit Part 1

 Welcome "home" to the G's from Long Island!
 Make yourself at home (or as Fr. Kunz used to say "Make yourself homely" :)

 A friend is someone you don't mind sharing your I-need-to-improve checklist with.

Adios Amigos... see ya in a week and a half!