Fortune telling

We took the kids to a Chinese restaurant the other night, and here’s what my fortune cookie had to say:

“You could prosper in the field of medical research.”

OK, I don’t think any way you slice it — pun intended — that this is a good fortune. How could I prosper? As a guinea pig in an experimental drug trial? As a cadaver? I suppose if I were a glass-is-half-full type, I’d be thinking I could prosper as a medical researcher, but I just don’t see that.  (more…)

Official Mary garden: Phase one

Official Mary garden: Phase one

A couple of weeks ago I began an Internet search for an Our Lady of Guadalupe garden statue. I don’t know why I decided on Our Lady of Guadalupe over any other Mary statue. I guess the connection to her after all those years in Texas is still strong, and my grandfather was big into Our Lady of Guadalupe in his final years. I have a pilgrim image that belonged to him in my kitchen hutch.

Anyway, back to how I found her. It was the craziest thing. I went to Wal-Mart, a store I loathe to visit, because I needed cheap shorts for the kids and some potting soil. As I rounded the corner of the garden section, there she stood. I stopped short. Olivia gasped. We were all immediately captivated by her. So I loaded her into the shopping cart and off we went for the rest of our items. Let me tell you, you get some pretty strange looks when you are wheeling a three-foot Our Lady of Guadalupe around Wal-Mart. Those who didn’t stare, bowed with hands folded in prayer, which was a refreshing approach. (more…)

My little vegetarian

My little vegetarian

I always figured that at some point one of my children would probably decide to give vegetarianism a try. I don’t know why. Maybe because I’ve told them repeatedly that I  was a vegetarian for a long time and that if I wasn’t cooking for a family of carnivores I would be a vegetarian again. Maybe because none of them really love meat — except for hot dogs and bacon, which seem to exist in their own food universe. Maybe because I knew that one day the issue of killing animals for food would eventually strike a chord with someone in my clan. Bingo. Maybe number three wins.

Olivia decided this weekend that she wants to be a vegetarian, which, I have to admit, filled me with pride. The fact that she would even take the time to consider not eating meat made me look at her in a new light. My little girl is still a little girl, but she’s a little girl with a lot going on in her head. That’s never a bad thing. So I encouraged her and tried to explain that even though being a vegetarian is a noble choice, it is not an easy choice. We live in a meat-centered society, with meat-loving friends who don’t like to see us going against the grain. Would she be ready for that? (more…)

Missed opportunity on Corpus Christi

Missed opportunity on Corpus Christi

I’m sure the visiting priest who celebrated Mass at our parish this morning had the best of intentions when he got up to speak, but his homily on the Eucharist probably served only to confuse most Mass-goers. I, on the other hand, decided to bypass confused and went straight to annoyed.

He tried to explain the meaning of the Eucharist by comparing it to a wedding ring. Yes, that’s right, a ring. He said that, like the Eucharist, a simple ring is changed in the eyes of a married couple through their vows, and each spouse’s ring contains the “real presence” of the other. So does that make my wedding ring on par with Eucharist? Does that mean that Eucharist is only Eucharist for those who believe and, if that’s the case, there could be no such thing as desecration because, according to this explanation, the meaning of the thing is changed only for the people it affects directly and who believe in it.

A different kind of pilgrimage

Tomorrow Olivia and I will head to that mecca of materialism, the American Girl Store on Fifth Avenue. We’re doing lunch at the American Girl Cafe, catching a 90-minute live show on the American Girls, and, of course, shopping. Should be interesting, especially since it’s our Brownie troop trip for the year, so we’ll have five girls and five moms traveling as a pack. Yes, we’ll be one of those slow-moving tourist groups that used to annoy me to no end when I was working in Manhattan and just trying to move down a sidewalk quickly.

After our American Girl adventure, we will try to balance our material pursuits with something a little more spiritual — a visit to nearby St. Patrick’s Cathedral. When I was there during the Christmas season, Chiara was in no mood for spending time at the individual shrines to various saints that line the sides, so I’m hoping I get at least a few more minutes to take in the scene at what was once my regular stomping grounds, back when I covered Cardinal John O’Connor’s Sunday Mass on a rotating basis with the rest of my fellow Catholic New York reporters.

We’ll have a full report on our day in NYC, so check back if you’d like the scoop on all things American Girl.

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