Tuesday, November 22, 2011

La Porte County Public Library Makes the South Bend Tribune

It's in yesterday's edition.  Once a story gets picked up by the SBT, it gets picked up all over the state.  I'm especially amazed that Mark Phillips, the lawyer for the library, considers these violations a 'mere technicality.'  The law specifically forbids budget-related personnel discussions in a secret meeting.  The La Porte County Public Library discussed budget-related benefit cuts, branch closings, etc.....in secret meetings. 

It's only a 'technicality' if you imply that the Indiana Legislature didn't really mean anything by the Open Door Law.  And, in fact, the legislature is set to put more teeth in the Open Door Law, at least according to a report from the Hoosier State Press Association.  Apparently, Open Door Law related legislation tends to pass unanimously.  In the South Bend Tribune article, Mark Phillips expresses an intent to appeal the court's decision if it goes against the library.  He doesn't seem to understand - the higher up you go in state government about this, the more serious officials and judges get. 

The people I've talked to in state government all see Indiana's open access laws as the only way to clean up corruption at the local level. The laws empower citizens of the state to keep an eye on their elected and appointed officials. Basically, it's up to us to make sure that the people spending our tax dollars spend them wisely. And it was this taxpayer oversight that Fonda Owens, Mike Essling, and the rest of the La Porte County Public Library Board tried to avoid in their secret meetings. 

Why? Well, this is just my opinion, of course, but I think it's because they don't actually care what the taxpayers think. They've been treating the library as their personal fiefdom for too long. Fonda Owens and her companions seem to think that the taxpayers of La Porte County will put up with eliminated departments, diminished services, fewer programs, fewer materials and a closed branch so that she and her cronies can give themselves raises and rearrange the library to suit their convenience. Fortunately, the patrons of the La Porte County Public Library have the Open Door Laws at our disposal. It's our library. Fonda Owens works for us. We need to speak up and remind her that the Library Director of the La Porte County Public Library is not a divine right monarch, but a servant of the people.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Not the Background I Promised on the La Porte County Public Library

Because the La Porte Herald Argus just put the latest installment of the La Porte County Public Library saga online!  In a nutshell, Fonda Owens was director of the La Porte County Public Library, but now she's back to interim director. It's even crazier than that though, because she's also the woman who orchestrated the coup to get the last director fired.  Mike Essling is the chairman of the La Porte County Public Library Board.  It's a volunteer position - his day job is with INDOT. He's the one Fonda Owens persuaded to fire the previous direction, and, in the meeting of October 27, he claimed that he was personally involved in choosing which employees to cut.

But the biggest issue is that they did everything in secret, with no chance for taxpayer comment.  Indiana Open Door law forbids this.  But I'll have a crash course on the Open Door Law in the next post, followed by a transcript of the meeting where they broke it, so you can see for yourselves! (I'll also post the audio of the meeting.  One great thing about Indiana law is that citizens are strongly encouraged to tape all public meetings and disseminate the recordings to the public at large. )

She's Ba...ack

Wow. It's been a long time since I blogged!

At the moment, I am about a month away from having a baby, have a new part-time job that pays well but keeps me from blogging (because I'm being paid to write!) and am involved in a huge library scandal that has totally turned our lives upside down.

However, I'm starting up the blog again, mostly because I need a place to compile news and links about the library scandal.   For those of you who aren't from Indiana, I'll also provide a little background in the next post.

But just a heads up-- I'm back in business, at least until the latest short person is born...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Getting Your Child to Read Good Books

Wow, I'm just a font of unsolicited advice this morning, aren't I? (Who am I kidding? I'm always a font of unsolicited advice!)

My oldest daughter (age 7.5) has really changed in the last year.  At this time in 2010, getting her to struggle through an "I can read" book was pure torture.   She hated reading. It was slow. It was boring. It was a waste of time-- why should she have to groan through Green Eggs and Ham when I could read her Narnia?  

Less than 12 months later, she devours books.   She worries that she won't be able to give up TV for Lent this year, because she doesn't even really like TV anymore, except for Antique Roadshow.  She doesn't just read many books, she reads good  books.

So, how do we get her to read really good literature in addition to Choose Your Own Adventure and Magic Treehouse

It's actually pretty easy.  First of all, we ask for good books for Christmas, and we look for good books at library sales. (Last year my parents got us several Betsy-Tacy books.  I'd loved them as a kid, and my daughter loves them too.)  Then, I gave my daughter two "Big Girl" shelves of her own on one of the parental bookcases.   There are still low shelves filled with picture books for the younger kids, but she's the only kid who can easily browse the special shelves, and they're filled with books she likes.   I keep the shelves filled with a mix of classic children's literature and the goofier stuff (like the Choose Your Own adventures I mentioned earlier.  My husband apparently owns ALL of them, and a couple of D&D based ones as well.)   I don't have room for all the books we've accumulated for our kids, so I cycle through them.  Once a week, I move some of the ones that she's read and doesn't feel like rereading back to the tubs, and I replace them with a new mixture of books. 

I don't force "Good Literature" on her for its own sake-- I try to pick the books that suit her current interests or that I remember as being especially wonderful.  And I throw some I didn't like into the mix too, since she's not my clone.  (I hated Misty of Chincoteaque.  She adores it because she likes horses more than I did.)  

After she reads a book, she usually wants to talk about it, and we're working in one book report a month (August's was Homer Price, another of my childhood favorites)  She picks the book she wants to report on and fills in one of the forms from this site. 

I think the key to introducing your child to good literature is to like it yourself.   A good book has to be a treat, not a punishment.  And if your child is a reluctant reader (as my oldest was) and doesn't want to try harder books, read them to her.  If you pick books she enjoys hearing, eventually she'll start reading them too - if only because a chapter a day seems WAY TOO SLOW.

Teaching the Faith to teens

It seems like every few months I get involved in a discussion about teenagers and catechesis. (Which is funny, since my kids are all under 8!)  Today it's going on over at Simcha Fisher's blog on the Register.

Anyway, I wanted to point you all to a great article by Fr. Dwight Longenecker on teaching teens about the faith.  Some of the advice applies to non-Catholic families as well, so if you plan to have teenagers some day, it's probably worth a read and a bookmark for future reference!

Longenecker focuses on what I think is a huge problem for many families trying to raise children in a society that seems hostile, or at least indifferent, to their faith:
Many parents view the teenage years as difficult. They are usually so if the parents have not understood how the critical instinct is crucial to positive adolescent development. Oppressive parents continue to use methods that were appropriate for young children. They expect their teenagers to obey without question and to accept the authority of their parents blindly. This is a recipe for disaster.
 He gives concrete advice on how to handle a teenager's questions, and how to give your kids a faith that we'll be theirs,  not a punishment forced on them by overly authoritarian parents.   And while he draws heavily on the work of Msgr. Guissani, the founder of Communion and Liberation, I think the  approach to catechism and doubts would work for anyone raising kids in the Judeo-Christian tradition.   (I don't know enough about Eastern Religions to know if a Hindu or Buddhist would find this helpful.)

Anyway, give it a read! I apologize in advance for the lousy choice of text-color.  I used to be able to find this piece on other sites, but it seems to have disappeared!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Public Service Announcement Concerning Librarians



Today is the Feast of St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr.  He’s also the patron saint of Librarians and Archivists.   So say a prayer for your local librarian today. 

I wanted to pass on something very important about your public librarian.  HE WANTS TO HELP YOU.    This shouldn’t be a revolutionary statement, but apparently, some people are afraid to ask for help. 

Whenever I recommend consulting the public librarian in internet forums, people react with disbelief.   “Well, sure, that’s fine if you’re really good friends with the children’s librarian, but who will help me find excellent books about the Civil War?”

Librarians don’t get paid a lot.  Their benefits aren’t particularly great.  They took the job because they love recommending books to patrons and want to help people find the information they need.  Chances are, if you’re looking for information on a unit like “Middle Ages” or “Civil War,” they won’t even need to look for books for you – they actually spend some of their time compiling lists of good resources on popular topics.

So, ask you librarian for help.  She’s not like the lady down at City Hall who seems to exist to give people the runaround or like the cranky teen at the fast food place who resents you for interrupting her texting so you can order some fries.   Your librarian wants to help. All you have to do is ask.

Thirty Things I Don't Count as "Doing School."


A lot of my friends and family who use traditional schools are amazed at how much my girls and I can accomplish in two hours of school a day. (We also go 6 days a week, year round except for brief breaks here and there.)   When I was looking at what we do all day, I realized:  The “two hours” do not include things that most “schools” count as part of the “school day.”

So here is a partial list of the things I don’t count as school.

1. Drinks of Water
2. Snacks
3. Trips to the Restroom
4. Time Spent Disciplining One or More Students.
5. Computer Time (Even if it’s typing, web searching, or educational games!)
6. Videos (Even when they’re educational documentaries. And especially not when they’re Disney.)
7. Oral Quizzes on Reading, Spelling, Math facts or History (Especially if I conduct the quizzes while folding laundry, washing dishes, or driving.)
8. Locating Places on World and US Maps (This is “Recreation” around here.)
9. Silent Reading of Independently Selected Books
10.  Recess
11. Exercise/ Gym
12. Arts and Crafts
13. Music Appreciation
14. Dance
15. Cooperative Play
16. Any Project Done in a Group
17. Discussions of Current Events
18. Lunch
19. Trips to the ‘Nurse’
20. Crosswords, Word Finds, Mazes, Coloring Sheets, Magic Squares, Logic Puzzles or any other ‘Game.’
21. Set up and Clean up
22. Time Spent Looking for Lost Papers
23. Feeding Pets
24. Doodling
25. Sitting at Table While I Work with Siblings
26. Attendance
27. Errands
28. Announcements and Calendar Stuff
29. Lunch Orders
30.  Getting into and out of Coats

It’s not that my kids don’t do all of these things.  In fact, they do most of these on a daily basis.  But we don’t call these things “School.”

School is the time they spend on-task, either receiving one-on-one instruction or completing the work that goes along with what we’ve just covered.  They get 12 hours of this ‘school time’ a week.   How much does your average kid get IN school?   And for how many weeks a year?    That’s how my family accomplishes so much—we may not spend a lot of time every day, but the time we do spend is focused and on task.  (And that’s in spite of the ADHD daughter!)

Back to School Time...

Well, actually, I make my little darlings do school all year round.   They forget less, we cover more, and our routine is easier to maintain.   We take off for Grandparent visits and illnesses, of course.    But the rest of the time it's school, school, school.

In spite of that, this time of year always screams "Back to School!" at me.   I've got education and curriculum on the brain.  The next few weeks of posts are probably going to be very education/home school focused.   So if you prefer writing, religion or politics, be warned.






Tuesday, July 19, 2011

John Allen interviews Archbishop Chaput

I'm posting this interview with Archbishop Chaput because it was an interesting one.  I suspect good things are in store for Philadelphia!

In other news, I thought I'd have time to blog this month, but in addition to my regular part-time job, I just picked up a huge mess of souless "industrial management" copywriting.   (Doesn't pay amazingly well, but it's way better than minimum wage, and John Scalzi says you should take paid writing work whenever possible, even if it's not in your chosen genres!  

So, blogging will be light until I finish all my assignments.  But if I run across any intriguing links, I'll pass them on!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Snallygaster Fixed


The Snallygaster Shell


  Kevin bounced up and down in his seat. He opened the shiny black box and peeked inside.  “It’s so rare, it should be in a museum,” Kevin whispered.  He walked slowly to the front of the room.
“What family heirloom did you bring?” Mrs. Jacobson asked. 
Kevin swallowed.  His hands shook. “This is a piece of a Snallygaster shell,” he said, trying to speak slowly.  “My grandfather saw the hatching.” He held the shell up and it sparkled in the sun.
His classmates sat silent and still in their seats.  Kevin smiled.  They’d never seen anything like Grandpa’s treasure.  
Then, in the front row, Bill snickered.  Javier snorted.  Samantha giggled. 
“That’s just a piece of quartz!” Jason shouted. “Only babies believe in Snallygasters!” The whole class hooted and laughed. 
Kevin’s cheeks got hot.  His stomach flipped.  He closed his eyes so he wouldn’t have to see all those faces.  

He stuffed the shell… no, the rock… into his pocket. He ran out of the class, down the hall, and into the bathroom.  He threw the rock into the trash.   How could he have been so gullible?  Everyone knew that Grandpa told tall tales. 
On the bus home, Kevin sat alone and stared at the floor.
Grandpa was waiting on the front porch. “How did it go?” Grandpa asked.
Kevin’s eyes burned.  “It was miserable!” He screamed. “Why did you lie to me about that old rock?”
Grandpa frowned.  “It’s not a rock – it’s a Snallygaster shell.”  He held out his hand.  “May I have it back, please?  They only hatch every fifty years.  It’s the only one I’ll ever find.”
Kevin studied his shoes.  “I left it at school,” he whispered.  Grandpa’s eyes drilled into him.  Kevin bit his lip and hoped he wouldn’t cry.
A strange screech echoed across the yard.  “What was that?” Kevin asked.  He was glad to change the subject.  He looked at his grandfather.  The old man didn’t seem angry anymore.   
His grandfather’s eyes sparkled.  “I haven’t heard a Snallygaster since I was your age!”
“No, Grandpa,” Kevin said, “What is it really?”
“A Snallygaster,” Grandpa repeated.  He pointed to a trail in the woods.  “That’s the one. It goes up the mountain, to a silver lake.  The Snallygaster nests there.   You’ll need to go quick.  After the screech, it’s only an hour or two until they hatch.”
“You want me to go alone?”
“I can’t come,” Grandpa said. “I’m too old.  My grandpa sent me up the mountain when I was your age, and his grandpa sent him.   Our family’s been watching Snallygasters since before the English came across the sea.”
Kevin took a deep breath.  Grandpa was serious.  He waved a quick goodbye and took off up the mountain.  At first, the path was clear and the walk was easy.  Then it scrabbled over rocks and through pine branches. 
“I should go back,” Kevin thought. “If the other kids knew about this, they’d make fun of me.”
He was about to turn around when the path broke out of the underbrush.  Kevin stood on a sandy beach beside a wide, silver lake. 
He heard the screech again and whipped his head around.  Something had dug a huge pit in the muddy shallows.  A bird the color of fire flapped and screeched. It shot off into the air like a rocket and disappeared beyond the clouds. A loud “boom!” shook the ground.
Kevin crept towards the pit. Inside, a single egg glowed orange.  Kevin reached toward it, but it was too hot to touch. 
The egg fell apart.  A flicker of flame zipped in spirals into the sky, peeping.  Kevin picked up the two largest fragments of the shell.  As he scrambled out of the pit, his foot kicked some of the mud loose, and the lake poured in.  In a few moments, the Snallygaster nest was gone.
Grandpa was waiting when he got home.  “You saw them, didn’t you?” he said softly.  “I can tell by the smile on your face.”
Kevin took the shell pieces from his pocket. They’d already faded to the color of quartz.  “I brought an extra back for you,” he said.  “I’m sorry I lost the other one.”
Grandpa shook his head and smiled.  “I’m glad you saw the Snallygaster hatch,” he said.  “Most people don’t believe in Snallygasters anymore.” 
 “I feel sorry for them,” Kevin said. “They don’t know what they just missed.”  He slipped the shell pieces back into his pocket.  He’d find a safe place for them.  After all, in fifty years he might give them to his grandchild.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Letting a Loser See the Light of Day


I lost the Highlights Contest.  It wasn't really a big surprise, but I'd sort of hoped they'd at least want to buy my story.   They didn't, and there are very few markets that would want it (and most of those don't pay.)    Still, I like this story.  I want it to see the light of day.  It's not the best thing I've ever written, but I don't want it moldering on my hard drive. 


So I'm taking the easy way out.  I'm publishing it on my blog, so it will at least get a few readers.  If you like it, print it out or cut and paste and pass it on.   (Just keep my name attached, please!)

 
The Snallygaster Shell
by Deirdre Mundy

Saturday, May 21, 2011

An Unestablished Author Wishes She Could "Write Like Its 1999."


I’ve been thinking more about the Katherine Kristine Rusch article on ‘Writing like it's 1999’ and checking out online royalties.   I’m feeling a little less scared.  On one hand, if I work hard at my day job and scrounge for extra work, I can probably save up enough money to hire a professional editor for my book, after I’m done the current draft.  E-books are popular, a lot of YA readers like electronic formats.   So, in that sense, maybe I can make it in the brave new world of publishing without the gatekeepers.

On the other hand, there’s the whole “marketing” thing.  I’d also have to come up with money to hire a marketer, because I HATE promoting myself.  I’ll happily tell people how great things and people I like are, but me?  That feels like LYING. After all, I’m no Naomi Novik! There are so many better writers out there---why (even post editing) should anyone read me in a world that contains Neil Gaiman and John Scalzi?   On the other hand, that’s a problem with traditional publishing too, I guess.   So I’ll have to nail down the answer to that question before I query agents, if I go the traditional route.

There’s also the problem of developing an audience.  Sure, Scalzi can gain readership by sheer force of his personality – he’s awesome!  Me, I’m a little more quirky, a little less likable, and unlikely to ‘win’ at the social networking game—I don’t want a network full of ‘friends’ I don’t know, and I really, really hate approaching strangers---even online.

So, it seems like e-publishing without a major house to back me up would be crazy—I don’t have a built-in audience like Rusch does, and, without a traditional publisher, I don’t have a way to gain a built-in audience.  So, maybe that’s where we’re headed—traditional publishing for people who seek to build an audience, and self-publishing for those who’ve already earned one?

That means, per Rusch, that new authors are going to get screwed---unless we can find a way to create and audience.  But building an audience means building a great online persona—and unless you like persona building in the first place, I’m not sure how you’d do it.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rapture and Reconciliation




This morning, the hilarious Simcha Fischer decided to take on the Rapture —I mean, it’s supposed to be Saturday and all.   In the comments, a few people have wondered whether they should hit confession tomorrow, just in case.

I think the answer is a definite maybe.

You should NOT go to confession because Armageddon might start Saturday.   On the other hand, if you’re worried, maybe you should go—because your own personal judgment might well be Saturday.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the end-times hoopla, but remember: somebody’s time on Earth ends every moment of every day.  There’s no need for weird biblical number games.  We’re all going to die, and a lot of us are going to die when we don’t expect it.

My mother was perfectly healthy until she died in her sleep at 48.  None of us expected it.   We really don’t know the day or the hour.

So, should you go to confession today or tomorrow?  Maybe.  If you got hit by a bus 15 minutes from now, would you regret not having gone to confession first?  On the other hand, if there were no predictions of Armageddon, would you be confident waiting until Saturday at 4:30?   

The end of the world is at hand-- but it’s always at hand.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Two Months?!?!?

Has it really been nearly two months since I last posted?  Wow! I thought spring was insanely busy this year!

So, quick updates:

1. Suvudu is about to announce winners for its writing contest.   I haven't heard from them, so I'm assuming I didn't win.  Also, I haven't heard from Highlights, so it's safe to say I didn't win that one, either!

2. We do year-round schooling, so we've just started in on second grade and kindergarten!  I ordered some new books for the 2nd grader-- we're using textbooks for history and science this year.  That way, I can still supplement with related literature and books, but I'm spared the effort of coming up with an outline.

3. I'm planning a St. Jude's Walkathon for Sunday, June 5th.   We'll have to see how that turns out-- I'm afraid I'm neither pretty enough or popular enough to hold a good fundraiser.

4. I'll try to blog more.  Work is going well, but it's time consuming, and the rewrite of doom is taking a fair bit of energy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Funny Addendum to the Post Below

So, I have friends and acquaintances who are always complaining about the Masonic influence on the post Vatican 2 Church.  And I'm usually pretty doubtful.   BUT

While I was leaving this conference (which dabbled in that special baby boomer style 'liturgy') I left the parking lot immediately after a middle-aged woman in an SUV.  I ended up behind her at the light.  Her car had "Freemason" license plates! 

I nearly died laughing.  Apparently, the Freemasons ARE involved in liturgy and catachesis! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Church Design and Welcoming the Stranger

Disclaimer: I am a socially awkward introvert.  The following may not apply to suave extroverts… but they don’t seem to spend much time in the Catholic Blogosphere anyway.

On Sunday, I went to my diocesan catechetical conference.  It was at a parish an hour away.   The kids had a nasty virus and we had to split Masses anyway, so I decided to go to the conference Mass instead of my home Mass.

The church had been built in 1968, and it looked it.  The parish had tried to jazz it up a bit – they added statues and a really nice series of plaques commemorating the seven sacraments.  Still, nothing could disguise the fact that the building was part of the “Alien Flying Auditorium lands next to a giant spike” school of architecture.  It even had vinyl siding—on the inside.  Truly, it was a site to behold.



The angle of the ceiling beams and the arrangement of the pews drew my eyes down, to the people around me.   The tabernacle was off to one side, hard to see.  The altar was too low to be easily visible in a crowded church.  The architect wanted the congregation to focus on each other, and his design was successful.

I’m not often in strange churches, and when I travel I usually have my husband and kids in tow.  This was the first time I’ve been alone in a ‘focus on the congregation’ style church.  Frankly, it was oppressive.   When I visited Byzantine Churches in Greece or the great Churches of Italy on my own, I never felt alone.  The art and architecture directed my gaze, and my thoughts, upward and then back down to the altar. They conveyed the message “This is a space where we worship God, here the Son is present in the Eucharist.  You are at the altar of the Lord.”   In those spaces, I had come alone, but I was not lonely.  I was one of the multitudes, praising God.

The squat alien church oppressed me.  It drew my gaze down to the crowd of strangers.  I literally did not know a single person in the church. I felt alone.  The architect was saying ‘here is your community, the body of Christ!’ while making it hard for me to see the one person in the church I did know, Jesus himself.

I’d never really noticed this aspect of the ‘We the Church’ style of architecture before.   I’d always encountered these buildings on family vacations, surrounded by children and in-laws.   So I’d never noticed how lonely they can make a single person feel.  

Traditional Ecclesiastical architecture makes a visitor forget himself.  When the focus is on the altar, the message is “This is the same sacrifice the world over.”  A stranger can go to Mass in one parish and the art and architecture remind him that the whole church, the world over, is celebrating the same Mass – there is really only one cross, one sacrifice, one Eucharist.

The alien pod-churches focus on the differences, on the ‘uniqueness’ of the congregation.  It may be a style that gives warm fuzzies when your gaze is directed to Mrs. McCulludy, your Kindergarten teacher, sitting with her grandchildren who play on your daughter’s soccer team.  But for the stranger, who comes knowing no one but Christ, the entire experience can be somewhat alienating.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Favorite Dewey Decimal Number

Hello. My name is Deirdre Mundy, and I have always had favorite Dewey Decimal number. I’ve always had favorites. I used to be a big fan of the 812s. For a while, I loved the 00’s – I couldn’t get enough ‘nonfiction’ about UFOs and monsters. These days, when I’m hanging out in Nonfiction, you can almost always find me in the 398.2 section.

If you’re not a library fiend, you may not realize that 398.2 is the land of fairy tales and folk tales. Some libraries are pretty strict – they reserve this section for collections of folk tales. Not mine. If you want Jamie O’Rourke, Strega Nona, or a gorgeously illustrated version of Cinderella, you have to hit the 398.2’s.

This year, my social studies curriculum for the 5 year old and the 7 year old is almost entirely based in the 398.2 section. Our method goes like this:

1. We pick out 4 or 5 promising folktales from the 398.2 section. They can’t be from the same culture, and they can’t be retellings of similar stories. (I like comparing stories across cultures, but my 5 year old wants more variety in her tales, so we’ll save that project for a few years from now.)

2. After we read a folktale, we talk about the setting. Why are the people dressed like that? What are their normal lives like? Where and when did they live? How are they different from us? How are they the same?

3. We use the web, our maps and atlas, and our history/geography books to learn a little more about the culture that gave us the tale.

It’s sort of a scattershot approach, but it’s working well for us at the moment. So far we’ve had a nice smattering of India, China, Japan, Greece, England, Ireland, and Scandinavia, Italy, Various African tribes, South America, various Indian groups and American. My kids are learning that the same sorts of stories get told again and again, across cultures. They draw parallels between Loki, Hermes, Anansi, Brer Rabbit, the tricky foxes, the leprechauns, etc. They see the ‘abused orphan turned princess’ story play out again and again. They’re starting to get a sense of geography and literature at the same time.

Next year, when my oldest is in second grade, I’m going to start on a more organized history curriculum, at least for her. For now, I’m very happy with learning about the world through the 398.2s.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Crapshoot Investing Deal! Free until Saturday.!

My dad wanted me to spread the word about a promotional deal for his new book:

Between now and Saturday, you can download Crapshoot Investing free on the Kindle or Nook!  That's right, free e-books for a limited time only!

I've started reading it, and I enjoy it.  But I'm his daughter, so I can understand if you don't consider me an objective reader.  But you know what, who cares? Because for the next few days, you can get it free and see for yourself!

Mass Dash Update


A few weeks ago, I published a desperate plea for help on this blog.  I really appreciate all the good advice, and I have great news!   In the last 3 weeks, we’ve been 15 minutes early to Mass 2 times, and arrived just as the processional began twice. (We took the kids to Mass on the Solemnity of St. Joseph too—He’s our Parish patron saint.)   So, if the new routine holds, even our “late” won’t be that bad.

So, what’s changed?

Well, I read everyone’s advice, and made the following changes:

1. I’m showering the evening before.   One less adult in the shower really speeds things up, especially since we only have one bathroom.  We really need to keep people’s time in there to a bare minimum if we want to get out of the hour in 3 hours or less.

2. No more choices at breakfast, and NO MORE OATMEAL.  I decide what we’ll be eating the night before, and if there’s any non-microwave cooking to be done, we do it then.  We feed the kids something quick and include breakfast meat (which has improved my three-year-old’s behavior.  Apparently some of the ‘crazy’ was just ‘hungry.’  And without the ‘crazy’ getting to and through Mass is much easier.) We do not serve anything messy.

3. Calling out times and reminders.  Nat’s comment about “Do you really want to read that book right now?” really hit home.  We’re a pretty distractable family and tend to get caught up in unimportant things even when we’re rushing out the door. 

4. Streamlining the process: I’ve changed where I keep the envelopes so we skip the Sunday morning hunt.  I’ve relaxed a little on what constitutes “Dressed up” for the 3 and 1 year old – getting out the door is easier if we just go for “shirt, pants, socks, shoes” and I don’t get fussy.   The girls are now getting themselves ready – the easier breakfast means they have plenty of time to get dressed and ready.

So, with 4 kids under 8 and one car, we’re now getting out the door on time.  Of course, the weather has been a big help too – it’s a lot easier to get going when we don’t have to scrape the windshield and clear off the car!  Pray for me—I hope we can keep this up.  Mass is much more pleasant when we’re ON TIME!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

On Being Late for Mass

This is not an informational post.  This is a cry for help, and for advice from experienced parents.

Since my fourth child was born, I have been on time for Mass ONCE.  That was the week the kids were sick, the car was broken, and my husband and I split Masses and I only had to get myself ready and out the door.  I was 15 minutes early.  It was glorious.

The rest of time, Sunday is definitely an exercise in penance and humiliation.

I know many of my readers have more kids and have been where I am now. (My oldest is 7).  Lent is coming.  I need to make major changes and conquer this lateness problem.  (Mass isn't the ONLY thing we run late for, but it's the biggest thing, and the problem is worse because my husband and I are trying to leave the house at the same time, the kids can't eat breakfast in Church clothes, and because of the "two-in-diapers" issue, I cannot get dressed/showered TOO early, or I'll have to dress/shower again since diapers seem MORE likely to explode on me when I'm wearing nice clothes......)

Anyway, please! Help! Suggestions! 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Long Absence ahead

I'm going to be very scarce around the blogs in the coming months, for a few reasons:

1. I've picked up 3 work from home jobs.  Two pay pretty well, but are dull, and one pays a pittance, but involves writing for Black Chicken Games.  All are time consuming.  I'd been praying for paying work so that we could pay down our mortgage and move into a less cramped house- God has given me a superabundance of work.

2. A friend told me about a fiction contest at Suvudu.  I have less than a month to turn my draft into something worth submitting.  Nose, meet grindstone.

3. CCD is taking up more time and mental energy as my kids get ready for their First Confessions and First Communions! If you have time, pray for them!

4. I really have very little left to say about the Legion situation.  For me, the kicker was when Pope Benedict referred to Maciel as a "False Prophet" in Light of the World.  Jesus was pretty clear on False Prophets in Matthew 7:15.  If you're not going to listen to the pope, and you're not going to listen to the Son of God, you're not going to listen to me.  So I'm taking Sr. Briege's advice, and focusing on praying and fasting instead.

Anyway, the next few months are going to be busy.  I may duck in now and then, if I really, absolutely HAVE to comment on something.  But the blog is going to take a back seat to... actual paid work that will help support our family.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Novena, Day 9

Well, what with the blizzard and all, my internet went from "intermittent" to "Completely gone!"  So, I'm finishing the Novena today, on Febuary 2.  Which is the day I originally WANTED to finish it, before my counting got off and I started on the wrong day!  So, it all works out in the end.

As always, the whole thing is at EWTN.

Ninth Day



PATRON OF A HAPPY DEATH

Saint Joseph, how fitting it was that at the hour of your death Jesus should stand at your bedside with Mary, the sweetness and hope of all mankind. You gave your entire life to the service of Jesus and Mary; at death you enjoyed the consolation of dying in Their loving arms. You accepted death in the spirit of loving submission to the Will of God, and this acceptance crowned your hidden life of virtue. Yours was a merciful judgment, for your foster-Son, for whom you had cared so lovingly, was your Judge, and Mary was your advocate. The verdict of the Judge was a word of encouragement to wait for His coming to Limbo, where He would shower you with the choicest fruits of the Redemption, and an embrace of grateful affection before you breathed forth your soul into eternity.

You looked into eternity and to your everlasting reward with confidence. If our Savior blessed the shepherds, the Magi, Simeon, John the Baptist, and others, because they greeted His presence with devoted hearts for a brief passing hour, how much more did He bless you who have sanctified yourself for so many years in His company and that of His Mother? If Jesus regards every corporal and spiritual work of mercy, performed in behalf of our fellow men out of love for Him, as done to Himself, and promises heaven as a reward, what must have been the extent of His gratitude to you who in the truest sense of the word have received Him, given Him shelter, clothed, nourished, and consoled Him at the sacrifice of your strength and rest, and even your life, with a love which surpassed the love of all fathers.

God really and personally made Himself your debtor. Our Divine Savior paid that debt of gratitude by granting you many graces in your lifetime, especially the grace of growing in love, which is the best and most perfect of all gifts. Thus at the end of your life your heart became filled with love, the fervor and longing of which your frail body could not resist. Your soul followed the triumphant impulse of your love and winged its flight from earth to bear the prophets and patriarchs in Limbo the glad tidings of the advent of the Redeemer.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to die in the arms of Jesus and Mary. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace of a happy death. Help me to spend each day in preparation for death. May I, too, accept death in the spirit of resignation to God's Holy Will, and die, as you did, in the arms of Jesus, strengthened by Holy Viaticum, and in the arms of Mary, with her rosary in my hand and her name on my lips!

NOVENA PRAYER

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

Grant that those currently employed or recently laid off by the Legion may find new means to adequately support their families.

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Novena - Day 8

Our internet was incredibly spotty yesterday evening, so I'll post Day 8 today and Day 9 tommorrow and trust God to sort it all out. I started a day too early anyway (counting issues).   Anyway, you can find this over at EWTN.

Eighth Day

FRIEND IN SUFFERING

Saint Joseph, your share of suffering was very great because of your close union with the Divine Savior. All the mysteries of His life were more or less mysteries of suffering. Poverty pressed upon you, and the cross of labor followed you everywhere. Nor were you spared domestic crosses, owing to misunderstandings in regard to the holiest and most cherished of all beings, Jesus and Mary, who were all to you. Keen must have been the suffering caused by the uncertainty regarding Mary's virginity; by the bestowal of the name of Jesus, which pointed to future misfortune. Deeply painful must have been the prophecy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, the disappearance of Jesus at the Paschal feast. To these sufferings were surely added interior sorrow at the sight of the sins of your own people.

You bore all this suffering in a truly Christ-like manner, and in this you are our example. No sound of complaint or impatience escaped you -- you were, indeed, the silent saint! You submitted to all in the spirit of faith, humility, confidence, and love. You cheerfully bore all in union with and for the Savior and His Mother, knowing well that true love is a crucified love. But God never forsook you in your trials. The trials, too, disappeared and were changed at last into consolation and joy.

It seems that God had purposely intended your life to be filled with suffering as well as consolation to keep before my eyes the truth that my life on earth is but a succession of joys and sorrows, and that I must gratefully accept whatever God sends me, and during the time of consolation prepare for suffering. Teach me to bear my cross in the spirit of faith, of confidence, and of gratitude toward God. In a happy eternity, I shall thank God fervently for the sufferings which He deigned to send me during my pilgrimage on earth, and which after your example I endured with patience and heartfelt love for Jesus and Mary.

You were truly the martyr of the hidden life. This was God's Will, for the holier a person is, the more he is tried for the love and glory of God. If suffering is the flowering of God's grace in a soul and the triumph of the soul's love for God, being the greatest of saints after Mary, you suffered more than any of the martyrs.

Because you have experienced the sufferings of this valley of tears, you are most kind and sympathetic toward those in need. Down through the ages souls have turned to you in distress and have always found you a faithful friend in suffering. You have graciously heard their prayers in their needs even though it demanded a miracle. Having been so intimately united with Jesus and Mary in life, your intercession with Them is most powerful.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to suffer for Jesus and Mary. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to bear my suffering patiently for love of Jesus and Mary. Grant that I may unite the sufferings, works and disappointments of life with the sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass, and share like you in Mary's spirit of sacrifice.

NOVENA PRAYER

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

Grant that those currently employed or recently laid off by the Legion may find new means to adequately support their families.

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

St. Joseph's Novena Day 7

Sorry this is so late! We had a very busy day! (And my husband hijacked the computer so he could do taxes!)

Remember, the whole Novena is always available at EWTN.

Seventh Day
PATRON OF WORKERS

Saint Joseph, you devoted your time at Nazareth to the work of a carpenter. It was the Will of God that you and your foster-Son should spend your days together in manual labor. What a beautiful example you set for the working classes!

It was especially for the poor, who compose the greater part of mankind, that Jesus came upon earth, for in the synagogue of Nazareth, He read the words of Isaiah and referred them to Himself: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor..." (Luke 4:18). It was God's Will that you should be occupied with work common to poor people, that in this way Jesus Himself might ennoble it by inheriting it from you, His foster-father, and by freely embracing it. Thus our Lord teaches us that for the humbler class of workmen, He has in store His richest graces, provided they live content in the place God's Providence has assigned them, and remain poor in spirit for He said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:3).

The kind of work to which you devoted your time in the workshop of Nazareth offered you many occasions of practicing humility. You were privileged to see each day the example of humility which Jesus practiced -- a virtue most pleasing to Him. He chose for His earthly surroundings not the courts of princes nor the halls of the learned, but a little workshop of Nazareth. Here you shared for many years the humble and hidden toiling of the God-Man. What a touching example for the worker of today!

While your hands were occupied with manual work, your mind was turned to God in prayer. From the Divine Master, who worked along with you, you learned to work in the presence of God in the spirit of prayer, for as He worked He adored His Father and recommended the welfare of the world to Him, Jesus also instructed you in the wonderful truths of grace and virtue, for you were in close contact with Him who said of Himself, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life."

As you were working at your trade, you were reminded of the greatness and majesty of God, who, as a most wise Architect, formed this vast universe with wonderful skill and limitless power.

The light of divine faith that filled your mind, did not grow dim when you saw Jesus working as a carpenter. You firmly believed that the saintly Youth working beside you was truly God's own Son.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to work side by side with Jesus in the carpenter shop of Nazareth. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to respect the dignity of labor and ever to be content with the position in life, however lowly, in which it may please Divine Providence to place me. Teach me to work for God and with God in the spirit of humility and prayer, as you did, so that I may offer my toil in union with the sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass as a reparation for my sins, and gain rich merit for heaven.

NOVENA PRAYER

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

Grant that those currently employed or recently laid off by the Legion may find new means to adequately support their families.

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

Friday, January 28, 2011

St. Joseph's Novena Day 6

The whole novena is at EWTN's site. 

Sixth Day



PATRON OF FAMILIES

Saint Joseph, I venerate you as the gentle head of the Holy Family. The Holy Family was the scene of your life's work in its origin, in its guidance, in its protection, in your labor for Jesus and Mary, and even in your death in their arms. You lived, moved, and acted in the loving company of Jesus and Mary. The inspired writer describes your life at Nazareth in only a few words: "And (Jesus) went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them" (Luke, 2:51). Yet these words tell of your high vocation here on earth, and the abundance of graces which filled your soul during those years spent in Nazareth.

Your family life at Nazareth was all radiant with the light of divine charity. There was an intimate union of heart and mind among the members of your Holy Family. There could not have been a closer bond than that uniting you to Jesus, your foster-Son and to Mary, your most loving wife. Jesus chose to fulfill toward you, His foster-father, all the duties of a faithful son, showing you every mark of honor and affection due to a parent. And Mary showed you all the signs of respect and love of a devoted wife. You responded to this love and veneration from Jesus and Mary with feelings of deepest love and respect. You had for Jesus a true fatherly love, enkindled and kept aglow in your heart by the Holy Spirit. And you could not cease to admire the workings of grace in Mary's soul, and this admiration caused the holy love which you had consecrated to her on the day of your wedding grow stronger every day.

God has made you a heavenly patron of family life because you sanctified yourself as head of the Holy Family and thus by your beautiful example sanctified family life. How peacefully and happily the Holy Family rested under the care of your fatherly rule, even in the midst of trials. You were the protector, counselor, and consolation of the Holy Family in every need. And just as you were the model of piety, so you gave us by your zeal, your earnestness and devout trust in God's providence, and especially by your love, the example of labor according to the Will of God. You cherished all the experiences common to family life and the sacred memories of the life, sufferings, and joys in the company of Jesus and Mary. Therefore the family is dear to you as the work of God, and it is of the highest importance in your eyes to promote the honor of God and the well-being of man. In your loving fatherliness and unfailing intercession you are the patron and intercessor of families, and you deserve a place in every home.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of living in the Holy Family and being its head. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain God's blessing upon my own family. Make our home the kingdom of Jesus and Mary -- a kingdom of peace, of joy, and love.

I also pray for all Christian families. Your help is needed in our day when God's enemy has directed his attack against the family in order to desecrate and destroy it. In the face of these evils, as patron of families, be pleased to help; and as of old, you arose to save the Child and His Mother, so today arise to protect the sanctity of the home. Make our homes sanctuaries of prayer, of love, of patient sacrifice, and of work. May they be modeled after your own at Nazareth. Remain with us with Jesus and Mary, so that by your help we may obey the commandments of God and of the Church; receive the holy sacraments of God and of the Church; live a life of prayer; and foster religious instruction in our homes. Grant that we may be reunited in God's Kingdom and eternally live in the company of the Holy Family in heaven.

NOVENA PRAYER

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

Grant that those currently employed or recently laid off by the Legion may find new means to adequately support their families.

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

St. Joseph's Novena Day 5

As always, the full Novena is over at EWTN. 

Fifth Day



PATRON OF THE CHURCH

Saint Joseph, God has appointed you patron of the Catholic Church because you were the head of the Holy Family, the starting-point of the Church. You were the father, protector, guide and support of the Holy Family. For that reason you belong in a particular way to the Church, which was the purpose of the Holy Family's existence.

I believe that the Church is the family of God on earth. Its government is represented in priestly authority which consists above all in its power over the true Body of Christ, really present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, thus continuing Christ's life in the Church. From this power, too, comes authority over the Mystical Body of Christ, the members of the Church -- the power to teach and govern souls, to reconcile them with God, to bless them, and to pray for them.

You have a special relationship to the priesthood because you possessed a wonderful power over our Savior Himself. Your life and office were of a priestly function and are especially connected with the Blessed Sacrament. To some extent you were the means of bringing the Redeemer to us -- as it is the priest's function to bring Him to us in the Mass -- for you reared Jesus, supported, nourished, protected and sheltered Him. You were prefigured by the patriarch Joseph, who kept supplies of wheat for his people. But how much greater than he were you! Joseph of old gave the Egyptians mere bread for their bodies. You nourished, and with the most tender care, preserved for the Church Him who is the Bread of Heaven and who gives eternal life in Holy Communion.

God has appointed you patron of the Church because the glorious title of patriarch also falls by special right to you. The patriarchs were the heads of families of the Chosen People, and theirs was the honor to prepare for the Savior's incarnation. You belonged to this line of patriarchs, for you were one of the last descendants of the family of David and one of the nearest forebears of Christ according to the flesh. As husband of Mary, the Mother of God, and as the foster-father of the Savior, you were directly connected with Christ. Your vocation was especially concerned with the Person of Jesus; your entire activity centered about Him. You are, therefore, the closing of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New, which took its rise with the Holy Family of Nazareth. Because the New Testament surpasses the Old in every respect, you are the patriarch of patriarchs, the most venerable, exalted, and amiable of all the patriarchs.

Through Mary, the Church received Christ, and therefore the Church is indebted to her. But the Church owes her debt of gratitude and veneration to you also, for you were the chosen one who enabled Christ to enter into the world according to the laws of order and fitness. It was by you that the patriarchs and the prophets and the faithful reaped the fruit of God's promise. Alone among them all, you saw with your own eyes and possessed the Redeemer promised to the rest of men.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being the Patron of the Church. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to live always as a worthy member of this Church, so that through it I may save my soul. Bless the priests, the religious, and the laity of the Catholic Church, that they may ever grow in God's love and faithfulness in His service. Protect the Church from the evils of our day and from the persecution of her enemies. Through your powerful intercession may the church successfully accomplish its mission in this world -- the glory of God and the salvation of souls!

NOVENA PRAYER
Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:
Grant that those currently employed or recently laid off by the Legion may find new means to adequately support their families.


Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.
MEMORARE

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

St. Joseph's Novena - Day 4

Remember, you can find this Novena at EWTN.  I'm just publishing it here day by day to make it easier for me, and others, to remember! :)

Fourth Day


FAITHFUL SERVANT
Saint Joseph, you lived for one purpose -- to be the personal servant of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Your noble birth and ancestry, the graces and gifts, so generously poured out on you by God -- all this was yours to serve our Lord better. Every thought, word, and action of yours was a homage to the love and glory of the Incarnate Word. You fulfilled most faithfully the role of a good and faithful servant who cared for the House of God.

How perfect was your obedience! Your position in the Holy Family obliged you to command, but besides being the foster-father of Jesus, you were also His disciple. For almost thirty years, you watched the God-Man display a simple and prompt obedience, and you grew to love and practice it very perfectly yourself. Without exception you submitted to God, to the civil rulers, and to the voice of your conscience.

When God sent an angel to tell you to care for Mary, you obeyed in spite of the mystery which surrounded her motherhood. When you were told to flee into Egypt under painful conditions, you obeyed without the slightest word of complaint. When God advised you in a dream to return to Nazareth, you obeyed. In every situation your obedience was as simple as your faith, as humble as your heart, as prompt as your love. It neglected nothing; it took in every command.

You had the virtue of perfect devotedness, which marks a good servant. Every moment of your life was consecrated to the service of our Lord: sleep, rest, work, pain. Faithful to your duties, you sacrificed everything unselfishly, even cheerfully. You would have sacrificed even the happiness of being with Mary. The rest and quiet of Nazareth was sacrificed at the call of duty. Your entire life was one generous giving, even to the point of being ready to die in proof of your love for Jesus and Mary. With true unselfish devotedness you worked without praise or reward.

But God wanted you to be in a certain sense a cooperator in the Redemption of the world. He confided to you the care of nourishing and defending the Divine Child. He wanted you to be poor and to suffer because He destined you to be the foster-father of His Son, who came into the world to save men by His sufferings and death, and you were to share in His suffering. In all of these important tasks, the Heavenly Father always found you a faithful servant!

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being God's faithful servant. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to be a faithful servant of God as you were. Help me to share, as you did, the perfect obedience of Jesus, who came not to do His Will, but the Will of His Father; to trust in the Providence of God, knowing that if I do His Will, He will provide for all my needs of soul and body; to be calm in my trials and to leave it to our Lord to free me from them when it pleases Him to do so. And help me to imitate your generosity, for there can be no greater reward here on earth than the joy and honor of being a faithful servant of God.

NOVENA PRAYER


Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

Grant that those currently employed or recently laid off by the Legion may find new means to adequately support their families.

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

St. Joseph's Novena for those in the Legion's Employ -Day 3

As always, I'm just getting this from EWTN's site.

Third Day

MAN CHOSEN BY THE BLESSED TRINITY

Saint Joseph, you were the man chosen by God the Father. He selected you to be His representative on earth, hence He granted you all the graces and blessings you needed to be His worthy representative.

You were the man chosen by God the Son. Desirous of a worthy foster-father, He added His own riches and gifts, and above all, His love. The true measure of your sanctity is to be judged by your imitation of Jesus. You were entirely consecrated to Jesus, working always near Him, offering Him your virtues, your work, your sufferings, your very life. Jesus lived in you perfectly so that you were transformed into Him. In this lies your special glory, and the keynote of your sanctity. Hence, after Mary, you are the holiest of the saints.

You were chosen by the Holy Spirit. He is the mutual Love of the Father and the Son -- the heart of the Holy Trinity. In His wisdom He draws forth all creatures from nothing, guides them to their end in showing them their destiny and giving them the means to reach it. Every vocation and every fulfillment of a vocation proceeds from the Holy Spirit. As a foster-father of Jesus and head of the Holy Family, you had an exalted and most responsible vocation -- to open the way for the redemption of the world and to prepare for it by the education and guidance of the youth of the God-Man. In this work you cooperated as the instrument of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was the guide; you obeyed and carried out the works. How perfectly you obeyed the guidance of the God of Love!

The words of the Old Testament which Pharaoh spoke concerning Joseph of Egypt can well be applied to you: "Can we find such another man, that is full of the spirit of God, or a wise man like to him?" (Gen. 41:38). No less is your share in the divine work of God than was that of Egypt. You now reign with your foster-Son and see reflected in the mirror of God's Wisdom the Divine Will and what is of benefit to our souls.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for having made you the man specially chosen by Him. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to imitate your virtues so that I too may be pleasing to the Heart of God. Help me to give myself entirely to His service and to the accomplishment of His Holy Will, that one day I may reach heaven and be eternally united to God as you are.

NOVENA PRAYER
Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

Grant that those currently employed or recently laid off by the Legion may find new means to adequately support their families.

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.
MEMORARE

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Magazine Stories versus Picture Books

Over at Verla Kay’s boards (an essential resource for all aspiring children’s and YA writers, btw – if you don’t have an free account over there, you should get one today!) there’s a discussion going on about magazine stories versus picture books. There are already several articles available on the subject, but people wanted more concrete examples.

I’ve had a magazine story that almost made the transition to a picture book, so I thought I’d post both here to help illustrate the difference.

This post is going to be enormous, so if you're interested, keep reading after the jump!

A Jesuit Writes about Abortion....

And mentions Plato while he does it!  I've been enjoying the series of articles over at the blog Whosoever Desires.  In part one, Anthony Lusvardi discusses why opposition to abortion is an essential issue to Catholics, and in fact to all Christians who claim to take the New Testament seriously.  In the second essay, he discusses why our theological opposition to abortion must lead to practical opposition.

An clearly argued, even-tempered set of pieces.  I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.  Besides, he uses PLATO to make his point.  How much cooler can you get?

A really interesting database of Old Newspapers

Papers Past.  It's run by the New Zealand national library, and it has newspapers from 1839-1945.  It's especially useful for the years that the NYT keeps behind the subsciption wall!

I played around with it a bit last night.  The advanced search works really well, and the text was readable.  I think I like it better than the NYT search, actually.  And hey, a wire report is a wire report, whether it's published by the Yanks or the Kiwis.....

St. Joseph's Novena- Day 2

The whole Novena is available at EWTN.
Second Day


VIRGINAL HUSBAND OF MARY

Saint Joseph, I honor you as the true husband of Mary. Scripture says: "Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary, and of her was born Jesus who is called Christ" (Matt. 1:16). Your marriage to Mary was a sacred contract by which you and Mary gave yourselves to each other. Mary really belonged to you with all she was and had. You had a right to her love and obedience; and no other person so won her esteem, obedience, and love.

You were also the protector and witness of Mary's virginity. By your marriage you gave to each other your virginity, and also the mutual right over it -- a right to safeguard the other's virtue. This mutual virginity also belonged to the divine plan of the Incarnation, for God sent His angel to assure you that motherhood and virginity in Mary could be united.

This union of marriage not only brought you into daily familiar association with Mary, the loveliest of God's creatures, but also enabled you to share with her a mutual exchange of spiritual goods. And Mary found her edification in your calm, humble, and deep virtue, purity, and sanctity. What a great honor comes to you from this close union with her whom the Son of God calls Mother and whom He declared the Queen of heaven and earth! Whatever Mary had belonged by right to you also, and this included her Son, even though He had been given to her by God in a wonderful way. Jesus belonged to you as His legal father. Your marriage was the way which God chose to have Jesus introduced into the world, a great divine mystery from which all benefits have come to us.

God the Son confided the guardianship and the support of His Immaculate Mother to your care. Mary's life was that of the Mother of the Savior, who did not come upon earth to enjoy honors and pleasures, but to redeem the world by hard work, suffering, and the cross. You were the faithful companion, support, and comforter of the Mother of Sorrows. How loyal you were to her in poverty, journeying, work, and pain. Your love for Mary was based upon your esteem for her as Mother of God. After God and the Divine Child, you loved no one as much as her. Mary responded to this love. She submitted to your guidance with naturalness and easy grace and childlike confidence. The Holy Spirit Himself was the bond of the great love which united your hearts.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being the virginal husband of Mary. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to love Jesus with all my heart, as you did, and love Mary with some of the tenderness and loyalty with which you loved her.

Novena Prayer

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

Please help the employees and ex-employees of the Legion find new jobs that will adequately support their familes.

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.