Mary, Mary, quite contrary

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

How does my garden grow? With hydrangea and spirea and lupine and zinnias and lamb’s ear all in a row. So the flower garden above is a new addition since Our Lady of Guadalupe arrived on the scene here a month or so ago. I worked really hard one weekend to dig it out and plant it. Pay no attention to the bare spot in front of the garden. By next year at this time, that will be a stone walkway. One thing at a time…

Things are really blooming here with all the rain and warm weather. Below you can see my slightly overgrown back bed, which will not get a trim until the spirea are finished flowering. I’ve got lady’s mantel and a sand cherry and lilacs that have yet to bloom in three years and lots of yellow lilies. There’s a delphinium back there, but the bloom is spent and I hear these plants are very temperamental, so I’m not expecting much next year in this sandy soil. (more…)

One more review…

The Denver Catholic Register ran a story about my book, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Catholic Catechism,” in this week’s edition. You can check it out by clicking HERE.

And in case you missed it a couple of weeks ago, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver endorsed my book, saying that it is a “wonderfully clear, readable, absorbing and very enjoyable resource for exploring and understanding what Catholics believe.”

Lots of good stuff coming from Denver, and it isn’t even ski season.

Surprise! Jesus wasn’t a formula baby

Surprise! Jesus wasn’t a formula baby

It’s a rare moment when the Vatican can reaffirm the Incarnation and at the same time appease earth mothers everywhere, but Church officials pulled off that amazing feat recently when they declared that artistic images of Mary nursing the infant Jesus should be “rehabilitated.” It seems the images, which were quite common back in the day, were banned around the 16th or 17th century when breasts became taboo and were seen as either medical or erotic but, as is always confounding — at least to me, not for the natural, God-given purposes for which they were created. The painting above, “Nursing Madonna” by the Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Solari, is one of the shocking depictions in question. Aren’t we humans too funny?

Of course Mary nursed Jesus. Back before the medical community convinced the world — at least the industrialized world —  that a man-made made powder full of artificial ingredients with names too long to pronounce was better than the absolutely perfect nutritional make-up of mother’s milk, everyone nursed. Can you imagine Mary, during the flight to Egypt, trying to find a Wal-Mart so she could pick up a case of Similac? (more…)

Just call me Pocahantas

I recently happened upon an Internet quiz that allowed me to figure out which Disney princess I would be if I suddenly morphed into an animated character and started speaking to and singing with cuddly woodland creatures. At the outset, my fear was that I’d turn out to be Snow White, or, even worse, Cinderella, but I guess I should have known that if that was my attitude going in, chances are I was not going to score one of the Big Three sweet and charming princesses of the fairy tale world. Instead I came up as Pocahantas (see details below), which I think is pretty cool. She wasn’t even on my princess radar screen, which makes sense since I don’t have a princess radar screen.

When you check your results you can even see what percentages you scored in other princess divisions. I am pleased to say that I scored a zero in Cinderella and Snow White, although I did manage an 11 percent in Aurora (AKA Sleeping Beauty). I also scored respectably well in the Mulan category. Another of the warrior princesses. What I think all of this means is that no one had better mess with me or my Prince Charming or our little royals, or I will kick his or her butt — princess style, of course.


Check out your princess personality, by clicking HERE.

Feeling like I don’t belong

So I’ve been experiencing something I can’t really explain lately, something I can’t quite put my finger on, but it’s there and it’s real. I’ve gone to two meetings of our Cornerstone Retreat core team — we will be the ones who plan and present the retreat to the women of our parish next year — and for some inexplicable reason, I just don’t feel like I belong in the group. Now, this is not me being humble or me looking for encouragement or me doing anything except sitting in our spiritual formation meetings feeling totally and utterly disconnected. I have had nothing to say at these meetings — nada, zip, zilch, zero — and if you know me at all, then you know that this is serious.  I can make conversation with a post, so to suddenly find myself with nothing to say leaves me, well, speechless. (more…)

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