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Showing posts from August, 2009


Lisa turned me onto podcasts about a year ago, telling me I simply had to listen to Rosary Army . At the time I didn't have an iPod or any other version of an MP3 player, but she would play the podcast - excitedly pointing out they too have a "cloffice" - everytime I went anywhere with her in her car. Eventually, I downloaded all four of the Rosaries to pray in my office, and I even saved one onto my daughter's MP3 player to take with me on a business trip that required a long plane ride. Last year my husband gave me an iPod Touch for a joint Christmas/birthday present and I started building my own library of music and podcasts. Geez, there are a lot of podcasts available on iTunes and other resources such as SQPN ! Lisa advised me to start with Secrets of Battlestar Galactica and I thoroughly enjoyed the final season listening to Jeff & Zina talk about the cultural and religious references found in the series. It reminded me of being in college, sitting up

Townhall Meeting on Healthcare

Shelly and I have written several times this year about the rising grassroots movement speaking out loudly against the unprecedented increase of federal spending, so when our Congressman hosted a town hall meeting close to my house, I had to go. My mom and I showed up last night not quite knowing what to expect. We were confident it wouldn't be rowdy like other town halls we've seen on tv, as our Congressman is known to be an outspoken opponent of the Democrat proposed Healthcare reform plan. However, we did consider the possibility that supporters of the President/DNC plan would show up intending to disrupt the meeting. Walking up to the school and into the cafeteria, I immediately noticed the age of the crowd. Sure, I saw a few people my own age that I recognized, but the overwhelming age of the crowd was over 60. Those attending didn't look like political operatives or wheelers and dealers - they looked like ordinary people I might see at the grocery store. Congressm

Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy

This morning I woke to the news that Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has died. Many years ago, I served as a White House intern and I well remember the talk about Sen. Kennedy and how to deal with him. In fact, at one signing ceremony I was nearly run down by him on the South Lawn of the White House; he towered over me and would have knocked me over without noticing if someone hadn't pulled me out of the aisle at the last minute. ( Thanks Helen.) But this morning I have been considering his life and the crushing expectations placed on him. The youngest of nine children, with extremely powerful politically-connected parents, his formation years as a child were privileged. At the time of his birth, his father, Joe Kennedy had already made a fortune and more, and was backing President Roosevelt both financially and politically. When Teddy was six years old, they moved to England, where the family was feted while his father served as U.S. Ambassador. He could not have kept from develo

Strange Places to Pray

If you are a busy parent, or just a busy person, you have discovered you must take advantage of little bits of time when you find it. For instance, I've been known to pray the rosary while waiting in car pool, write thank you notes while at my child's swim practice and as you learned recently, sit on my kitchen floor for a 3-Minute Retreat . Recently, while having a discussion with my kids on praying daily, I shared with them the place I probably pray the most - my shower. After laughing hysterically at me, they told me it was a silly and strange place to pray. To me, its perfectly logical. I'm alone and quiet. Its early in the day, so I don't have a lot clouding my thoughts yet. Years ago, as a lawyer, I did my best case analysis and strategy in the shower. Now, most days, I find myself in prayer while getting clean. What about you? Do you take advantage of quiet time when and where you find it? Where do you find yourself speaking and listening to the Lord?

God, Help Me. How to Grow in Prayer

All summer I have heard God telling me to “Be Still.” I’ve heard Him say it at church in the readings, the Homilies; I’ve heard it through songs and music that pop into my head or come on the radio. As a working mom, my time is already largely spent away from my family, and making time to develop a relationship with God outside of Mass is a challenge. "Be Still" and do what exactly? God, Help Me: How to Grow in Prayer Jim Beckman's book God, Help Me. How to Grow in Prayer , begins by noting that many young adults were never taught to pray. While we have grown up with programs and events, a whole generation is defenseless against today’s attacks on the faith. I immediately recognized myself as one of those (not so young anymore) adults raised on CCE classes that were less about learning the catechism and more about feeling good in our knowledge that God Loves Us. In fact, I chose this book from the Catholic Company reviewers program because I was curious h

Back to School Prayer

As my two oldest kids head back to school this morning, like so many other across the country and our great state of Texas, my best wishes and prayers go with them. Father of all mercies We ask that you would bless the youngest and littlest of learners, the most helpless and powerless of persons, with Your infinite and loving mercy, granting them the strength to learn, concentrate, and act appropriately towards their teachers and fellow students. We also ask that You would watch over them, at home and at school and grant them proper direction so that they may learn of Your wonderful virtues. We ask this in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen David Bennett

Never underestimate...

I received this stunning video in an email last week. Please take a few minutes to watch it; you will want to stand up and cheer, applaud, salute, and you might even shed a tear. According to the email, the video is the result of a Mom in Alabama asking her high school son to help with a commercial for the Tea Party she was involved in organizing. Her note reads, "I asked Justin if he could help me make a commercial for my group's Tea Party. He sat down at the laptop for about an hour, and then brought this to me and asked, ' is this okay, Mom?' After I finished watching it, my stomach was in my throat. Everyone that I have sent it to has really enjoyed it, so I wanted my friends to see it. I am so proud!"

Men in Black

I blogged last month that I would work to finish the tower of books on my nightstand and I've kept that promise so far. My latest book to read is "Men in Black, How the Supreme Court is Destroying America" by Mark R. Levin. Even before law school, I had a fascination with the United States Supreme Court and its justices. This book was on the New York Times Bestseller list in 2005, when it was published, and on my "must read" list ever since. Mark Levin has organized this book with each chapter focusing on a major issue that has been decided by the Supreme Court, starting with the concept of Judicial Review, moving to Abortion, Religion, Immigration and Freedom of Speech to name a few. He covers all the hot topics of Constitutional Law. The details provided by Mr. Levin of each case, the decision and written opinions are meticulous and easy to follow with extensive notes. He lays out his argument that the Court has been moving away from using the act

Catholic New Media

At the beginning of the summer, Lisa and I attended the Catholic New Media Celebration in San Antonio. Father Dave Dwyer, host of a popular XM/Sirius radio show and website called “ Busted Halo ,” gave the first plenary talk. If you haven’t taken a look at Busted Halo , you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Dave Dwyer became an ordained a Paulist Priest in 2000. Pre-priesthood, he produced and directed programs for MTV and Comedy Central. He also worked as “Happy Dave”, an on-air personality for a hit music radio station. He created Busted Halo in response to a calling to reach young adults in their twenties. At the time of the Catholic New Media Celebration, the Year of St. Paul was coming to an end, making way for the Year for Priests . Fr. Dwyer focused his plenary on the passion of St. Paul towards his vocation, his a calling to answer the needs of the people. St. Paul worked to reach those outside the formal church building to bring people together, to remind them that the church

Those Little Moments: Where's Jesus

The post below is actually a reprint off my (Lisa) personal blog from Thursday, April 03, 2008. I had a request to share this story with you. So we were at Mass on Easter Sunday (2008)... Our 4 year old son leans over and asks me where's Jesus. I'm thinking ... is this a question about Jesus rising on Easter? I quietly tell Daniel that Jesus went back to heaven, but he is with us all the time. He says, "No, he's not here, God's here, but where's Jesus?" Huh?  What does that mean? We are in the middle of Mass and can't have a whole conversation about this. Daniel then points to the altar and says again, "God's here, where's Jesus". A huge light bulb went off suddenly and I began to smile from ear to ear. For Easter Mass, the priest said Mass alone. There wasn't a deacon by his side. Our sweet son was thinking the priest was God and the missing deacon was Jesus. It's those little moments you will cherish forever.

3-Minute Retreat

I saw a message on FaceBook yesterday evening from Catholic Mom, Lisa Hendey , recommending Loyola Press’ new iPhone app called 3-Minute Retreat . I added the app while in the middle of preparing dinner, and as I turned away from my phone to go back to my cooking, I found myself drawn to take the 3 minutes to try it out. So, I sat down on the floor right where I was, in my kitchen and proceeded through the day's retreat. As I tapped the icon, there appeared a nice picture of a family, with words to read and reflect on, while playing soothing music. A nice aspect of their app is you proceed through the retreat at your own pace, clicking the continue button when you are ready. The theme was “A Loving Person," and the reading was Matthew 5:43-48. You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes hi

Planned Parenthood's Houston Expansion

**If you are looking for information on the upcoming Prayer and Protest at the Planned Parenthood Houston's new Super Center building, please visit my recent post by clicking here.** I was stunned several months ago to learn that Planned Parenthood is in the process of renovating a building in Houston that when completed, could be the largest free standing late term abortion facility in the world. You read that correctly, 78,000 sq feet of clinic where babies up to 6 months (25 weeks) will be killed, according to the state of Texas. Since a Texas law change in 2003, Planned Parenthood in Houston has been forced to outsource their late-term abortion practice due to inadequate facilities. The new building is expected to comply with Chapter 171 of the Texas Health and Safety Code , Sec. 171.004. ABORTION OF FETUS AGE 16 WEEKS OR MORE. An abortion of a fetus age 16 weeks or more may be performed only at an ambulatory surgical center or hospital licensed to perform the abortion. Th

First Post-Ike Mass Celebrated

It's been 11 long months since Hurricane Ike ravaged the Texas Gulf Coast. While Shelly & I's families had very minimal damage and minor inconveniences due to the storm, there are areas near here still struggling to get back on their feet. That's why when I read this headline, First Post-Ike Mass Celebrated on Bolivar Peninsula , in my Texas Catholic Herald today, it caused tears to well up. This 27 mile long barrier island was a permanent home to approximately 3800 residents. They were the hardest hit by Hurricane Ike in September 2008. To compare the before and after Ike pictures of Bolivar is shocking to say the least. In addition to recovering from the physical devastation from Ike, the Archdiocese made the difficult decision not to rebuild either of the parish churches on the peninsula, instead, to combine their parishes with those on nearby Galveston island to create one large parish with several satellite churches and mass sites. I can only imagine the effect

Archival Feast Day

I think I've mentioned before that I work as an Archivist for my "day job." Today archivists across the nation are heading to Austin for the annual conference of the Society of American Archivists . It's very fitting because today is the feast day of the Patron Saint of Librarians & Archivists , St. Lawrence , a 3rd century deacon responsible for the written archives and records of the early Catholic church. On August 6, 258, six other deacons along with Pope St. Sixtus II were captured by Emperor Valerian and martyred. As the Church librarian and archivist, Lawrence was expected to have a list of all the members of the early church, and the locations of the alleged golden treasure belonging to the Vatican. Captured by soldiers on August 8, he was told to produce the wealth of the church, especially the names of all Roman nobles who were Christians. Lawrence went through the city and gathered together all the poor and sick people supported by the Church and b

We have a winner!

Last week I posted about using Weight Watchers to put an end to creeping weight gain. All told I've lost 12 pounds after 8 weeks of the program and even my father commented this weekend about my "new" appearance. That post also offered a Weight Watchers points clicker to one of our readers who left a comment. We were pleased to have four comments, including one delicious sounding recipe for brownies! I can't wait to try them. This morning I pulled a random number and am pleased to announce that the points clicker goes to Bego who keeps a blog titled another cup of coffee . I laughed when I pulled up her blog this morning to contact her because this weekend she wrote a post titled "so, I never win ANYTHING" . She won a Macbook Pro last week. Hm... I know good things come in threes. Maybe she should pick up a lottery ticket tonight. Thank you to all our readers who leave us comments. We appreciate knowing you're there. Lisa already has a great idea for

This is my Body

The Sunday readings over the last few weeks have focused on the Bread of Life. Exodus 16:2-4; God tells Moses, “I will now rain down bread from heaven for you." 2 Kings 4:42-44; Elisha uses twenty barley loaves to feed hundreds of people, and has food leftover. John 6:1-14; Jesus feeds a crowd with five loaves and two fish, and twelve wicker baskets are needed to gather the fragments. And today's Gospel reminds us that Christ is not filling our stomachs. John 6:41-51. ‘I am the bread of life.....this is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that a man may eat it and not die. I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.’ The single most important part of Mass is the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Do this in memory of me. How many times have I routinely followed the Liturgies and not truly felt the weight of what we are remembering, what Christ h

Community Organizers vs The Mob

Unless you've been living under a rock, avoiding Facebook and Twitter, you're probably aware that citizens, both Republican and Democrat , are attending town hall meetings hosted by their US Representative and questioning the government healthcare plan. In return for their dedication and duty, ordinary citizens who have the audacity to question this 1200+ page bill and request answers, are being labeled "angry mobs". Even worse, these citizens, some of whom have never protested a thing in their life, are being disparaged directly by the DNC. Those of us who stand up and question a bill being considered by OUR government are being called desperate, angry, intimidating, well-organized, extreme, and thuggish. Oh, and we're also too well-dressed (many of us coming straight from our jobs...) and therefore we have well-funded allies who are scaring us with lies and funding our efforts. Apparently you can't be "grass-roots" if you don't suppor

Tax cut for 95% of Americans?

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner hit the Sunday lecture circuit last weekend. Let’s take a look at the talking points in his interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News This Week . Geithner starts by saying “there are signs the recession is easing.” Really? Then he says they are going to make American’s more confident about their future … “by just making people understand we're going to do what's necessary to get growth back on track.” Anytime a government official says they’re going to MAKE you do something, a red light should go off you in your head. Just how does the government define “What’s necessary?” Their answer to a recession was to add more to the debt than all previous presidents -- from George Washington to George W. Bush -- combined. He throws in a few facts now and then when he says, “We need recovery to be built on private demand, private spending. Businesses taking a chance again on the American economy. Putting investments to work. Starting to

Weight Watchers and Comment Contest

Like many other moms out there, I have struggled with what we sighingly call "leftover baby weight" ever since I had my last child. My "baby" is going to be seven years old this month. Four years ago I lost most of the extra weight, but slowly it crept back with a vengenance, nearly doubling. This summer I refused to buy another pair of pants in a larger size, so I signed up for the Weight Watchers program conveniently offered at my employer. Like everything else in life, it's a conscious daily decision to change my habits and change my lifestyle. It shouldn't come as any surprise, but Weight Watchers works. After 8 weeks on the program, my pants that were too tight are now baggy in some places and loose around the waist. Even though I walked around the first week hungry all the time, I committed to the program and during the second week something in my body adjusted to eating fewer calories. I'm not going to detail the entire Weight Watchers progra

Justice Clarence Thomas

With the recent hearings for Supreme Court nominee, Judge Sotomayor, I am reminded of another set of confirmation hearings in 1991, that was not nearly as civil. If your knowledge of Justice Clarence Thomas is limited to the public lynching that occurred during his confirmation hearing 18 years ago, you are missing out on the story of a truly amazing life journey. There is something special, not only about his own life story, but about his love of young people. Justice Thomas is somewhat known for his encouragement and support of the goals, dreams and achievements in the young. Probably attributable to his own struggles and the support he received from his grandfather while growing up. This May, while our President was talking down the accomplishments, goals and dreams of graduates at commencement ceremonies, Justice Thomas was delivering a very different type of message; to a local high school graduating class in Maryland. One headline titled the speech, " Always do right, Ev

Thank you

If you haven't been over to MckMama's blog about Stellan , but you've wondered how Stellan is doing, I have some good news. While he isn't entirely out of the woods, as you can clearly see, he is responding to treatment and has improved a great deal. God hears our prayers. Why this child and not others, I can't answer. But I do feel very strongly that God has a plan for Stellan and He is working through MckMama and Stellan to reach us. If you feel moved to help this family beyond prayers, they have a few special requests. I think we could all learn from this generous family. We want to help you. How can we? We have been so honored that so many of you are wanting to help us. We are so grateful for your willingness to be generous and thankful that God has placed you in our lives. .... Our family would be tickled pink if you would take your willingness to give and to serve and to donate blood and to lavish love and whatnot and go and spread that out to other needy ba

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