Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
April 30th, 2008


Spring! Everything has risen! Alleluia!

William Cullen Bryant writes:

To him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware.

So it is with spring. The awakening of the world calls for an awakening of the spirit within. Enough with cold, and snow, and bare trees, enough with staying indoors and darker musings. We are called to enjoy the warmth, to dig in the dirt, to search for the first signs of green life. Read the rest of this entry »

April 29th, 2008


(Written when the kids were small and I had a babe-in-arms.)

Sometimes in the morning after having prepared six breakfasts, packed one lunch, seen a daughter off to school and a husband off to work, I stop and take a look around the house. I see the dirty breakfast dishes on the table, the spilled breakfast cereal under the table, and a box of crayons dumped on the floor. There is a pile of dirty clothes to be washed, the kitchen floor to sweep, the beds are unmade, and the rug needs vacuuming. Also very much in evidence are two small girls running about half-dressed, hair uncombed, and one small girl running about stark naked. All in all, the place looks a complete mess and there isn’t a thing I can do about it at the moment because the baby is crying to be fed.

I must admit it–I like order. Were I childless, everything would be in apple-pie order. A place for everything and everything in its place, so the saying goes. But I am far from childless and though we try to have a place for everything, everything is seldom (if ever) in it. Read the rest of this entry »

April 26th, 2008


SIECUS (The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) is no friend of abstinence-until-marriage education. You can access their site here to see how wrong they think it is. They are not at all happy that Section 510 of Title V of the Social Security Act provides for millions of dollars to help fund this “ideological” enterprise. Some States are relinquishing the monies available from the federal government in order to provide “more comprehensive” sex education to children. One such bill recommends that in grades five to eight students learn the skills necessary to prevent pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases. Some start in first grade with “age-appropriate” information.

What can these skills be? No doubt they include methods of contraception, ways in which AIDS is transmitted, and this information requires, in turn, detailed information about various sexual acts and apparatus and chemicals to render them safe.

To my mind, the only skill necessary at that age is the ability to say “no” to sexual activity. Read the rest of this entry »

April 26th, 2008


I love Truth. Whenever I wonder if I believe in God or love God, I tell myself, “I love Truth.” If Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, then when I love truth I love Jesus.

Jesus said, “For this I came into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone that is of the truth, heareth my voice. ( John xviii 37)

Some there are who do not love truth. I wish I could understand them. It all seems so simple to me. Truth, according to the dictionary, is agreement with fact. It is knowledge that conforms to reality. 1+1=2. I am using the computer. The dog is at my feet. I feel hungry. If these statements reflect reality they are truths.

Long ago in studying logic I learned that a thing cannot both be and not be in the same way at the same time. Either George W. Bush is president or he is not. Either the twin towers were demolished or they were not. Either there is a God or there is not. Some may believe there is a God and some may not. Therefore, some are right and some are wrong. You can’t have it both ways. Read the rest of this entry »

April 25th, 2008


To all those out there who have been unhappy that my blog was set up so that my most deep or controversial thoughts did not offer an opportunity for comment, I hope you have noticed the change. My computer expert and chief tweaker (son, Johnny) has re-arranged things to accommodate you! At the end of each entry it used to say No Comments (because there were no comments), but now it says Post A Comment, which sounds more like an invitation. Just click, identify yourself somehow, and have your say. I love a lively discussion and hope I live long enough to see it happen on this blog.

We’re still having our growing pains, but I think Musings at 85 is coming along. Thanks for your patience and please participate. Isn’t blogging FUN?

April 25th, 2008

The LARGE Family

Everyone knows there are disadvantages to having children in quantity. We happen to have had seven. One day a neighbor child said to me, “My mother doesn’t know how you stand it with all those kids.” Another woman said , “How do you do it?” meaning “How do you manage to keep them all fed, clothed, and reasonably clean?” Others would ask, “How can you afford it? We have just the two and we never have any spare cash.”

These people are voicing the three main objections to children. The noise and constant demands of children can be nerve-wracking; caring for children requires a lot of hard work when they are well and even more when they are sick; children are expensive.
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April 23rd, 2008


Sometimes I get ready for Mass and just sort of automatically settle into a pew, look around to see who’s there, follow along in my missalette, responding on cue, and never really say “hello” to God. It may suddenly hit me that I’m just doing a rote thing and have not really lifted my heart or mind even once to Jesus present in the tabernacle and on the altar. I will say, “I’m sorry,” and “Have mercy on me,” and “I’ll try to do better.” And then I go back to responding on cue.

A mother gets up in the morning, gets the kids dressed and fed and off to school, goes about her motherly duties, cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping. She usually does not wake up and say, “This day I will be the best mother ever. This day will be all quality time. This day my children and my husband will really feel my love.” More than likely, she just responds on cue, doing what needs to be done. There is a deep commitment, but it’s not on her mind. She is expected to be there, and she is.
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April 23rd, 2008


I watch as their powers slip away. Their walking is slower and less secure. Shoulders are rounded, posture bent. Once in a while they search their memory for the names of people and places as they speak. They do not hear or see as well as they used to–and these are the well ones. Others have cancer or full-blown Alzheimer’s. Some are on dialysis or ten daily medications. Some we don’t see anymore as they are tucked away somewhere in a nursing home.

These are the old–and I am one of them. We watch each other, note the slipping of powers, thank God for what we have left and pray for the grace to accept the inevitable onslaught of advancing age.
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April 21st, 2008


On April 13, 2008, a “Compassion Forum” was held at Messiah College (PA) to discuss the moral issues that divide our nation. Presidential candidates Senators Clinton and Obama accepted the invitation to participate. Senator McCain declined. It was not a debate. Clinton and Obama were individually questioned about the role religion played in their lives with regard to various moral questions. The full text of the forum can be found here.
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April 20th, 2008


Funny thing. Before I became pregnant I never really noticed many pregnant women. Then, suddenly, they seemed to be all about me. And we would have an instant rapport. We could discuss morning sickness, when we first felt life within us, whether we wanted to have a natural birth. Our hopes and fears about pregnancy and delivery were all grist for the mill and we followed each other’s lives with interest. We had become members of a club of people with similar trials and experiences.
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