Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
September 26th, 2013


Not really.   I don’t actually have the faintest idea of how God feels– if God feels at all.   We tend to think of feelings as things that come and go.  We are sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes anxious, sometimes peaceful.  We are depressed or joyful, sick or well.  On the other hand, God is constant, unchanging.  Nothing we do surprises him because he knew the end from the beginning.  He is not one day glad, one day sad.  Or so I understand.   We may feel love but God IS love.  I have trouble understanding how Love can be a person and not just a feeling.

So why did I title this post “I know how God feels?”  Because I am a parent.  I have brought children into this world and tried to do right by them.  I loved them with such love as I am capable of and gave them what I thought they needed as best I could.  Maybe parenthood gives me a glimpse into God’s thinking.   God wanted to spread his overflowing love around and decided to create people  who  could enjoy happiness with him forever in a loving relationship.  Male and female he created them and placed them in a paradise with all they could possibly need, a beautiful world with sunrises and sunsets,  flowers and trees, animals galore, all under man’s dominion.   But because love that is not voluntary is not love at all he also gave them free will.   He did not want to make robots that had no choice but to execute a program.   The people he made could choose to trust in the goodness of God and go along with his plan or reject his loving plan and do their own thing.  But some of them were prideful and wanted to be like God which makes about as much sense as a watch telling the watchmaker “I will not keep time.”  Such a watch would be good for nothing but the junkyard.

My kids are so like God’s kids!  All I want of them is that they love each other and behave themselves.  And love me, of course, who have been good to them and sacrificed for them, and without whom they would not exist.  I rejoice when they do well and it breaks my heart when they squabble.  Maybe I do understand, just a little bit how God feels — IF he feels!   How must God feel when he sees his children at war, hurting each other, grabbng and accumulating while others do without, wasting resources, seeking power for themselves without regard to the suffering of others?   Like many others I am again attributing to God the feelings of men.

God is so “other,” so un-understandable, that we run a risk when we anthropomorphize. On the other hand,  If we are made in the image of God, we must somehow reflect him.  We may never know what, or if, God feels. We do know, however, what God wants. because he said he wants us to love each other.  If it grieves us when our children don’t obey or don’t get along, it makes sense to think that God is likewise grieved.

He has told us what he wants through his prophets, his Ten Commandments, and he sent his Son, Jesus, (Emmanuel, which means “God with us”) to teach us. We can choose to do His will, follow Jesus, and love each other, and live happily ever after, or we can say “I will not serve” and consign ourselves to misery.


Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, “It might have been.” –John Greenleaf Whittier

September 18th, 2013


Sixty-five years ago, when I was pregnant with our first baby, my mother made this christening dress. That first child, Wendy, was baptized on the way home from the hospital, at the age of ten days. We did not know, at the time, about the dress. Teresa Marie, our second baby, was the first to wear it. When I look at it today I am so afraid that I sent my mother a letter saying “Thank you for the lovely dress.” That would have been so inadequate! It is absolutely awesome! Imagine the work and the hours that went into it! Behold the tiny tucks, the crocheted inserts and tatted edges, the delicate embroidery. You never in your life saw such teeny hand-stitched buttonholes! French seams, of course. And a matching slip.

Mom, belatedly, please know I really appreciate everything you did for me and for us all.



Much love from your first-born (practice) baby. See you.

Dorothy Agnes

September 15th, 2013


My friend and I sometimes talk about life and religion after mass. I asked him recently if he had ever had a mystical moment. His instant reply was, “Yes. And it changed me.” The way was open for him to tell me all about it but he didn’t and I didn’t press him. Actually, I thought I had been a bit forward in just asking the question. I have written before about my one and only mystical moment, when I was flooded with a overwhelming feeling of sweetness one night as I was saying a rosary.  I don’t know how I immediately identified it as sweetness (as, I suppose, in “taste and see that the Lord is sweet”). The first thing I did was to look in the mirror to see if I might possibly glow–it was that amazing. My friend, Dolores, tells me of a one-time-only experience of incredible joy as she was taking a shower! I recall another story of an attendee at a Christian conference, listening to a lackluster speaker, when he, too, experienced incredible joy. Many people tell of experiencing God’s love when someone prays with them. I love hearing about such anecdotal experiences which are multiplied thousands of times in the lives of sincere Christians.

I recently read Nowhere But Up by Justin Bieber’s mother, Pattie Mallette. As a lost, addicted, single Mom she had an such an experience of God  that she went around telling everyone “God is real!” whether they wanted to hear it or not. It changed her. Such experiences seem to have a profound effect. Somewhere in my past I read something to the effect that one will not lay down one’s life because of a theory but one may be willing to die because of an experience. We know that all of the apostles but one died a martyr. They had experienced Jesus and knew he was real.  Nothing could shake their faith.

Everyone knows of Mother Teresa, that she was a nun in Calcutta who received a “call within a call” as she was riding on a train going to a retreat.  It seems that she had an experience on that train in which Jesus told her she was to leave her convent and go about Calcutta ministering to the needy herself.  Eventually others gathered about her and her Missionaries of Charity still care for the abandoned, homeless, sick, orphaned, AIDS patients, and the like all over the world.  What was never known until her private writings were revealed after her death was that she had no further  experience of God for FIFTY YEARS after her profound life-changing experience on that train.   Yet she never doubted she was doing God’s will.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI tells us he made his very unusual decision to resign as Pope because God told him to in a “mystical” way. Not a voice, not a vision, but mystically. “Asked why he resigned, the pope emeritus said, ‘God told me to,’ but added that he had not received any kind of apparition or similar phenomenon. Rather, it was a “mystical experience” in which the Lord planted a seed of “absolute desire” in his heart “to remain alone with him, secluded in prayer.”

With these two praying for us, how can our church go wrong?

Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI


Everyone who has been around for awhile knows the name of Orson Bean.  As a child he did magic tricks, became a stand-up comic, and he has been an entertainer in clubs, movies, and on TV for the past 70 years.  Now 85, he was interviewed yesterday by an early morning radio talk show host where he enthusiastically proclaimed his love for Yeshua (Jesus).  He had also come out with a new book  Safe at Home.  Intrigued, I looked it up on Amazon where I found this quote from Bean:  “When I take communion (ritualized cannibalism) tears come to my eyes. This happens because during that rite I remember that the two thousand year old man (sorry Mel Brooks) whom I believe (in some way I can’t explain) to be the Son of God (Whom I also can’t explain) instructed His followers (one of whom I have become) to symbolically drink His blood (sorry Bela Lugosi) and eat His body (sorry Jeffrey Daumer) and by doing so to become a part of Him. I find that deeply moving.”

Thinking that there were reasons behind this rather odd statement of Orson Bean’s faith I wanted to read his book.  The quickest, cheapest way to do so was to download it to my Kindle, and he did not disappoint me.   I find the true story of anyone’s life fascinating, but Orson Bean’s was especially so since he describes the long-ago America we old folks remember and does a lot of famous name dropping along the way.  I read the whole thing in one day, lickety-split, looking for his religious “experiences.”  As a child he would go to the coal bin and put a smudge on his forehead so he would look like the Catholic boys in the neighborhood but he never had  much religious education.   He was pretty much adrift after his mother’s suicide when he was 16 and while the ups and downs of his life make for fascinating reading, his experiences during the war years, for example,  they just led up to the time when “I should have been on top of the world, but I wasn’t. I would go to my shrink, lie on his couch, and tell him that life was “just OK.” There was a hole in me that just never got filled.”

After ten years of analysis Bean  tried a number of other new age type therapies.  He even, actually, walked on burning coals!  This man was really seeking!

After his divorce, at a time of despair, he writes:

I’m sitting on my couch, trying to decide whether it’s too early to go to bed. I glance up and whom do I see, standing in the hall between the kitchen and the living room but our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He doesn’t say anything to me, just stands there in my hall, with the slightest trace of a smile on his face, radiating unconditional love. I recognize him at once . The experience is as real as any I’ve ever had in my life. I don’t question it for an instant. I know the difference between real and imaginary. I’m a magician . Christ graces me with his presence for twenty minutes. Then I look away and when I turn back, he’s gone. The next night, he comes again, standing in a different part of the room, visits for fifteen minutes or so, and then leaves. Oddly enough, I don’t feel particularly changed by the experience . I just think to myself, “So, He’s real and alive and living in New York.”

Another time when he had a problem with alcohol he was advised  to turn to a higher power and say a little prayer of gratitude morning and night, which he did.   Still later, still questioning the existence of a higher power, he got some religion books from the library, including C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. Slowly he began to believe there was a God who made the universe, who cared about him and, thirty years after his visions, he was baptized. He wrote: “There was never any doubt in my mind that on the two evenings in question, I had been in the physical presence of the living Christ; and if He was there then, He is surely here now, standing beside me.”   This is truly a fascinating tale.

When I started writing this post I had no idea I would have so much to say about Orson Bean. but things do not always go as planned.  Indeed, everyone who finds Christ has a fascinating story. I will not multiply stories about mystical moments — surely there are millions. But I’d love to hear yours — why do YOU believe?

Email from Orson Bean:
Hello babydot. I thought it was because I’m 85 that computers confuse me. My grandkids of course, even the littlest ones, can do anything. But if at 90 you’re such a pro I guess it’s not an age thing. Thanks so much for the note and your kind words. I’m not doing much of anything to promote the book, just leaving it in the hands of Himself for it to reach anyone who might be influenced by it. I’ve already heard from a couple of non-believers that they are getting down on their knees and asking if there’s anyone there. A guy named Frank Sontag who does a broadcast on a Christian network asked me to come on his show and I’ll do so next Monday. I enjoyed your blog. Again, thanks. O.


September 10th, 2013

BACK TO 1910

I was born in 1923.  Our country was much different then but even I didn’t appreciate how different it was until this arrived via email today.  I have copied it just so readers can get an idea of how very different things were just 13 years before I was born.  It came with a note that rent at that time was $5 a month and a photo of a 1910 Ford which refused to copy along with rest of it.   We did have a Ford back then and since we lived in Detroit I assume it was a pretty current model.  I do remember a crank in the front to start it.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower !
The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.
The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,
a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year,
and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME.
Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
Instead, they attended so-called medical schools,
many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as ‘substandard.’
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
There was no such thing as under arm deodorant or tooth paste.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
The five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2, Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke
The American flag had 45 stars.
The population of Las Vegas Nevada was only 30!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet.
There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
Two out of every 10 adults couldn’t read or write and only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.
There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. !

Yes, it was a very, very different world and it takes something like this to help us understand how much things have changed.  Dad worked as a carpenter in Detroit during the building boom before the depression hit.  Mom not only graduated from high school as valedictorian but studied bookkeeping and stenography afterwards.  Even so, the depression hit us hard and they left their little house in Detroit, packed us four kids in their Ford, and headed for Pennsylvania where Uncle George put Dad to work in a silk mill.

September 3rd, 2013


I don’t know what I’m going to do with Leona Choy.   She seems to be writing more things that are spot-on for my blog than I do!  At 88 Leona is only too familiar with the downside of aging and talks to God about it.  As usual, God is more spot-on than Leona.   Please read and enjoy and then visit her blog for more of her wisdom.


(Dialogue with God)


I hear it said that You

will carry people, Father,

when things get tough.

Well then, I think I’m qualified:

I’ve had about enough!

Please pick me up!


I’m weary to the bone

my feet are dragging and hurt

and I need orthodics in my shoes

I am lagging behind

no longer keeping pace

in the fast track of life’s race.

I have a feeling

there’s trouble brewing

on the aging path ahead

that I really dread.”


That sounds so dramatic, My child!


Well, I’ve been a long time

on Your Way, Father,

so I have an aching spine

and I’m in decline

my prime is past

my years advanced

my body bent

my strength is spent

my spirit wanes

my shoulder complains

I need trifocals to see

and hearing aids

then there’s that bum knee—

I’m in the days of yellow leaf

around me I see only grief!”


Any further complaints?


I live in earth’s time zone, Father,

and no longer strong and fit

I’m experiencing depreciation

without any tax benefit.”


That’s some recital, child!


There’s more! I feel distressed

sometimes depressed

’cause life has lost its kick.

My neck has a crick

my body parts are shabby and worn

for they’ve been working full time

since the day I was born.

And have You noticed, Father,

in some places they’re too sparse

in others too well-padded?


My, my, how old did you say you are?


You know, Lord, You know all things…

I figure I’m somewhere between

seniority, maturity and longevity but

I’m trying to circumvent senility.

I’m no longer of service to You

as in days gone by when in my prime.

Father, indeed, I think

that I am going to seed!”


Alright child, I’ve heard enough—

listen now:

You call me “Father” and that is right

for in My eternal sight

you are truly still my child.

But you’ve lost perspective

you are preoccupied

with the turning of a page

and a calendar date

which you call time and age.


I AM that great I AM

and there is no time in Me

only endless Eternity

I AM the same forever.

So if you are in Me and I AM in you

you are My “forever-child,

You are timeless and ageless too.

So in childhood’s simplicity

roll your infirmities on Me

lean on My everlasting arms

and walk in full dependency.


This is My perfect plan:

though your temporary outer-man

declines and wastes away

your forever inner-man

renews each passing day.

Your spirit does not diminish

or fade away to a withered finish.

You can flourish and grow

like the palm and the cedar

full of sap and very green

not yellow leaf, brittle and dry.


I still expect good fruit from you

a riper, sweeter yield

even more than before

as your roots sink deep

and relentlessly pursue

My Rivers of Living Water

and sprout afresh again

young shoots and new.


But Father, I’m winding down toward sunset

and darkness is scary to me.”


These are not your sunset years

beyond which darkness lies:

you journey now toward sunrise

for I AM eternal Light.

Your spiritual eyes won’t dim

beholding Me with inward sight.

You’ll step without a lapse

into the glory of Eternity

in which you already walk

today, “forever-child,” with Me.


Are You saying

that You won’t pick me up, Father?”


I don’t need to pick you up, child

because I’ve never put you down!

From womb to Glory’s gate

I, the Lord, will carry you

through youth and prime

to graying years

till the end of time.

In disappointments, trials and fears

through all your joys and tears—

I’ll never put you down!


Abba, Father, so let it be—

I’m Your child forever, so carry me

 from here to Eternity!”



September 2nd, 2013


What a blessing Leona Choy is! I’ve never met Leona personally but we became blogging friends when we both read and admired everything written by Barbara Curtis on her blog, Mommy Life. And grieved together about Barbara’s untimely death. Leona is only two years younger than I am, but far more prolific, with a marvelous gift for ministry and words. I am taking the liberty here of reproducing her recent prayer for her family and can only urge readers to go to her blog and see for yourself how very gifted she is. Thank you, Leona, for writing the prayer I would have written if I could.

O Lord, I pray for our family, not on the basis of my own righteousness but because of Your love for them and the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ for them.
As the matriarch of our family, I come before You to intercede for Your grace and mercy upon each one in our family—our children, (no matter what their ages) and their spouses and children, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren including families whose relationships have broken, and for new families in the making. I ask for Your Holy Spirit to draw their eternal souls to repentance and salvation and grant them eternal life in accord with the promises of Your Holy Word. I pray that each member of our family, biological offspring or in a blended family relationship, will through an act of their free will become a child of Your covenant. I pray that the Guardian Angel You have assigned to each of us for our lifetime will protect and guide us all safely to our Heavenly Home.
I ask You to protect our family physically and spiritually. Lead them all in Your paths of righteousness and in Your perfect will toward his or her special destiny. Bless them with Your favor, give them their daily bread, and prosper them according to their needs and for Your glory.
On the authority of God’s promises in His Word I ask that negative spiritual strongholds of evil principalities and powers be torn down and any past generational curses be removed. In the Name of Jesus I resist the devil on behalf of our family. Deliver them from evil and the evil one. Banish his power from their lives, their bodies, minds, souls and properties.
I call forth Your bountiful blessings, O Lord, upon our family in agreement with the prayers of our godly ancestors. I receive and embrace Your favor and grace and mercy for myself and for my descendants because of Your love and faithfulness to Your covenant promises to our forefathers. Through the synergy of our prayers, I pass on our generational blessings with joy and vigor and faith to our posterity.
I pray that Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven in my life and in the lives of each member of my family. Help us to be diligent to establish, maintain, and bring forward a godly heritage to those in our family now and to those yet to be born. May we courageously and faithfully fulfill the purposes for which You gave us life and opportunity in this designated time in history that You have ordained for us.
In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen