Advent and Antiphons through the years…

On this day, last year, this is where I was at - still thinking of Advent and what it means, but under very different circumstances.It is amazing how fast time goes by, how our days pass almost in a blur unless we stop to take stock. And it's also amazing how much my mutton-chopped, exceedingly loud 16 year old has taught me. And how much my brother is teaching me, still.Some of my Evangelical friends have wondered to me, via email, what the purpose is, of the Liturgical Year - why we … [Read more...]

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The Church of Good Health: Body, Mind, Spirit? Body…Body…Body?

It's curious to find my first post today to be about health, since I have succumbed to some raggedy-assed virus of a sort. I haven't exactly crashed and burned as in the past, but it's been a logey and cruddy sort of day. But enough about me.Ann Althouse has an interesting post on a recent statement by the Vatican. Althouse herself, crediting the Vat with having a made a good point, says: Perhaps as an ethical matter, anyone contemplating something like cosmetic surgery, ought to think again and … [Read more...]

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“Whatever,” he smiled…

So, Robert Burns had it quite right. There are events in our lives that defy planning or anticipation. Whether it is the birth of a child, the start of a new job, or the expected death of a loved one after a long illness, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry…” or, in the case of my family, crumble under the weight of a grief so heavy and complete that no amount of mental, material or emotional preparation was sufficient to deal with the reality of my brother’s death.In the month … [Read more...]

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Our beloved brother has gone home to the Lord.

Thank you, so many of you, for all of your prayers and thoughtful notes.More later. God bless. … [Read more...]

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No greater love…

Many have heard the story of the rather newly named saint, Gianna Beretta Molla and the story of how she, diagnosed with cancer and advised to abort, chose to deliver the new life and accept having "run the race and finished [her] course."It is an astonishing story of love in an age where woman are routinely counseled to put themselves first. And now we read this tremendous love has happened again in Vancouver. (Hattip: KJL at NRO's The Corner )Vancouver Woman Chooses Life for Her Baby just … [Read more...]

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Mostly Missing Christmas

The natural after-effect of a crash and burn is often illness, and my meltdown of several days ago has resulted in wheezing, a horrendous cough that suggests nothing so much as lungs being forced into an upward trajectory for deliverance on an innocent world.I should have seen this coming; in Traditional Chinese Medicine the health of the lungs can be affected by the emotion of sadness, and of course we have been in much sadness, lately.So, I gasped my way through Christmas Eve Mass, careful not … [Read more...]

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Anchoress Crashes and Burns. Film at 11:00.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

So, as sometimes happens in life, everything came to a head yesterday afternoon. After a so-so day at work, during which I made arrangements with my pediatrician to get a second cardiologist opinion on a situation with Buster (my brother is not long for this world, and my 15 year old is routinely clutching at his chest and turning purple - can we say stress overload?) I took a look at my schedule for the day. It included many errand-y, Christmas-themed type things, ending with the hour's drive … [Read more...]

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Because I cannot share these with my brother,

I'll share my normally top-secret-never-share-it-with-anyone recipes with you folks.My brother is unaccountably lingering, but sleeping more and more. He went from chopped food to puree'd food to basically liquids, but he is too sleepy to take much in. When we visit him now, the visits are very quiet. Most times, he doesn't wake up at all, and the three or four hours we spend at his bedside are spent reading to him, or watching television, or chatting with nurses. Last night, S was awake for a … [Read more...]

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Slouching Toward Bethlehem

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?WB Yeats, The Second ComingPolly Toynbee’s mother died three weeks ago. Ms. Toynbee has written of it here, while in the throes of exquisite pain and some very plain anger:My mother died three weeks ago, less than a year after a diagnosis of terminal cancer. From the start she faced its inexorable course with rational calm, unafraid of dying but determined to avoid lingering beyond what she thought bearable. … [Read more...]

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In the Spirit of Christmas: A Letter to Maureen Dowd

Dear Ms. Dowd; I have just finished reading your sad and unfunny column from yesterday's NY Times. While I don't normally read yesterday's news, my time has been so taken up with another issue that I was (quite unusually) glad to happen upon your writing, even a day late.You would, of course, have no reason to know that the other issue which has so taken up my attention as to leave me unavailable to read your pearls in a timely manner is the very untimely, slow and agonizing death of a much … [Read more...]

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