Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
June 16th, 2014


Every year there used to be a time when people sought to make others happy by buying cards, giving gifts, and wishing each other Merry Christmas.  There seemed to be a different Spirit abroad…..the stores were alive with Christmas music.   Remember?

Silver bells, silver bells, it’s Christmas time in the city,

Hear them sing, ring-a-ling, soon it will be Christmas day.

Well, that was then.  More recently, celebrating Christmas has become politically incorrect.   Store employees are asked to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas.  No more Christmas trees.  We have holiday trees and holiday sales.  Atheists are “offended” by any reference to God, and, especially, by any reference to Christ,  Because they do not believe in God they want to censor any reference to Him, or, at least have “equal time.”  Of course they cannot have equal time because you can’t really celebrate NOTHING,  Instead they attack our God and our intellect and our crosses and our statues.  You’d think they would wonder why so many seemingly smart people fall for the God-myth,  You’d think they might look into St. Thomas’ five proofs for the existence of God or wonder if it could possibly be true that some saints have been exhumed incorrupt, if Padre Pio really bore the wounds of Christ (stigmata) for fifty years, whether there have been verifiable cures at Lourdes, how the Shroud of Turin happened to bear a photographic negative of a crucified man before photography was invented.  And the appearances of Mary all over the world – ! –  how can so many people be hoodwinked into believing such nonsense?  Better to call us names and ridicule us.  How could it happen that Christians such as Paul and Jan Crouch, Pat Robertson, Mother Angelica, Wendy and Rory Alec not only have millions of followers but actually started TELEVISION NETWORKS?   Without funding!

The truth of the matter is that they don’t dare to look into it so they can show us how  gullible we are.  I think they are afraid of what they might learn.  They might say kind things about Jesus because he said we should love one another but don’t really want to know that he said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”  They want to do what they want to do and don’t want to believe what they don’t want to believe.   Reason, logic, evidence be damned!  You could line up hundreds of people who will testify to what God has done in their lives and they will have none of it.

I have to feel sorry for them.  They have no loving Father and no purpose in living.   “Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.  It is a tale, told by a idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”   They believe they are a mindless accidental jumble of molecules and think that is much cooler than being a benighted troglodyte who thinks God actually visited this earth and had things to say.

For them there is no Alleluia, whether Handel’s or Cohen’s, no O Holy Night, no Away in a Manger..  What’s to sing about?    Steve Martin tells us why atheists have no songs!

In contrast, Catholics sing Vivo Jesus el Senor with Pope Francis in Rome, June 3, 2014


Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,   l Peter 3:15

June 15th, 2014


There comes a time when others in one’s age bracket seem to be dying right and left.  Oh, they may be five years younger, or five years older, but famous people, friends and acquaintances not far from my age are leaving this vale of tears.  It’s a case of now you see them, now you don’t.  It gives one pause.

These passings bring to mind intimations of immortality along the way.  Like the time at a charismatic conference in Providence when we are asked to reach out to the person next to us and sing, “Here I am, Lord…I have heard you calling… I will go, Lord, if you lead me,” as a prayer.  The woman at my right rested in the spirit in my arms.  Later she asked me if the Lord had revealed anything to me.  “No,” I said.  “I guess the Lord is working in his mysterious ways.”  We kissed, lip to lip, looking into each other’s eyes.  I did not know her from Eve and never saw her again.  A sob welled up within me from some subterranean place which I stifled, not being used to such intensity of feeling.  What was the source of this deepseated existential angst?  Some longing for what was not?  Some grieving for lost love?  Or a yearning for a time and a place where people really love one another?  The whole experience was a cause for wonder,  I had capacities I had not suspected.

Consider my “born-again” experience.  Always a “good” Catholic, I started to say the rosary every night because the mother of God had asked for rosaries.  One night before bedtime I was having trouble concentrating–the television was too loud and I was tired.  Suddenly my mind focused on the words of the Lord’s prayer I was saying, and especially  on the words, “Thy will be done.”  For the first time I really meant what I was saying, Thy will be done, come what may.  I was flooded by a feeling which I immediately identified as sweetness although I had never had such a feeling before.  “Taste and see that the Lord is sweet.”  It was a gift to be always remembered and never recaptured.  But it showed me another capacity I did not know I had.

Capacities for sorrow!  Capacities for in-filling!  What else?  We are remarkable creatures with possibilities only hinted at in this world.  “Eye has not seen nor ear heard…nor the heart of man conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”  (I Cor. 2:9)  “Now we are children of God but what we will be has not yet been made known….but we shall be like him.”  (1 John 3:2)

A baby in the womb has no idea why he has a mouth and eyes and hands and feet.  He cannot begin to imagine that one day he may speak and sing, enjoy art and nature, work and dance, and a myriad of things that are only possible when he moves on to the next stage in his life.  Likewise, we in this valley of tears cannot imagine what it will be like when our capacity for love is filled.

St. Thomas Aquinas, we all know, was a genius with such a gift for logic and reasoning about his Catholic faith that he filled volumes with his insights and was named a Doctor of the Church.  Toward the end of his life it is said he had a mystical experience after which he considered what he had written as “all straw.”  Not that it was wrong, mind you, but that it didn’t begin to reflect the realities which God had made him understand in a mystical way.

What has God prepared for those who love him?  I look forward to finding out.  Don’t you?

June 9th, 2014


Unbelievable! It is actually a solid month since I have posted on this blog. Anyone just happening upon a blog titled “Musing at 90” might well think that the old lady has kicked the bucket. Not so. I’ve been busy on-line but on Facebook rather than the blog. Very busy. Daily. And I feel what I’ve been doing there has been important, not just fun. Please stop by and take a look. There is an exciting Christian presence on Facebook.

In the meantime, there has been real progress on the house renovation. What started out as a plan to re-do two rooms, ending up with a new bathroom downstairs so I don’t have to do the stairs many times a day, has remarkably morphed!. Somehow it happened that the exterior wall had to come down, first the aluminum siding, then the old cedar shakes, then the old clapboard (it’s a really old house, remember.) Then the old tin roof had to come off. I’m truly glad that the crocuses, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths got to bloom before all this transpired, because they have been severely beaten down by ladders and falling house parts. The peonies are barely holding their own. Then, of course, a new roof and new shingles went up. That’s where we are now. Nothing has really happened indoors for quite a while and my new bathroom is still a plan in my son’s head.

Oddly enough, I delight in seeing him work even though progress seems slow. He is thorough, careful, and competent and on the days when he doesn’t have to work elsewhere, he is here, right near by. I like having people about, and I especially like this window into my son’s head. Children tend to grow up into adulthood away from where they were raised and when you come across them thirty years later that have become a person that you hardly know.   It is good to have an opportunity to really reconnect.

There is really some interesting reading on my Facebook site. Please stop by and say hi. Next month I’ll be 91, God willing, and my present plan is to blog again before that happens.

Moving on to another son. When I heard that Johnny had made a nice family room in the basement of his home, complete with a pingpong table, I was immediately eager to get there and try a game. It has been some years since I’ve played and I wondered if I could still serve, and if I could see enough to return a serve. I figured I’d be exhausted in a few minutes but I really wanted to try. Yesterday Mary and I went to see their home in springtime and especially the family room with the pingpong table.


I very happy to report that I have not lost my mojo! I can still serve and volley a bit and while I was exhausted after about ten minutes, and winded besides, I am now wishing that I could go back every few days to practice and maybe increase my stamina a bit.   Thank you, Johnny.  And thank you, Joyce, for the photo.


June 7th, 2014


Of course I’ve known for years that I have a lot more than I need and things that I’ll never need at all. But it’s hard to just throw out perfectly good stuff and difficult as well as time-consuming to find happy homes for things no longer wanted, even useful, cute, wearable things. Too many tall vases, too many warm slightly worn blankets, towels, sheets. Waffle iron? Mugs? Decisions! To keep? To throw out? To find someone who will appreciate your unwanteds? Decisions!

On the bright side, I’m all set up in my old bedroom with all I need within easy reach. After being without TV for all of Lent I felt I could live without my TV but I was told “You like to watch Five at Five–you need to have it.” And, presto, the boys arranged a power source by simply drilling a hole through a closet wall and there my TV sits four feet from my head. Computer and printer wired and functioning. Places to recharge cell phone and iPad. Clock merrily shining the time on the ceiling come nighttime. Enough clothes for the season which was the first thing I attended to when all the re-arranging started.

I’ve been living alone since my tenant, Jon, got married a few months ago and I really like having people around for a good part of the day. To tell the truth, I was content with my old house the way it was, but I am also content, even happy, with all the good will that I see daily in the efforts on my behalf. Fortunately I’m an orderly person and know that if I take it easy everything will be orderly again in due course. Hopefully I can learn the “take it easy” part.

An unexpected glimpse into the past came when some of the old paneling was removed revealing the old chalkboard from forty years ago–with my writing still on it–telling Dan to do the bathroom floor “again.” It was not a true chalkboard, just green chalkboard paint on the wall. But it worked and chores got done if the kids wanted their allowances.

All that plaster coming down, eight walls and two ceilings, has created an amazing amount of fine dust and big chunks all over the place. When I started to sneeze and my nose started to drip I decided to seek fresh air outdoors only to find two big window fans working full-time to blow the dust outdoors. God willing this won’t go on too long or I’ll get some sort of lung disease in spite of my face mask.

Fortunately my limited living quarters are approaching some semblance of orderliness and the future looks tolerable. Several days later the dust and sneezing have subsided without morphing into some pulmonary disease. Lastly, now, the cement truck has come and left many cubic feet of mixed concrete in the holes in the basement floor achieved with much racket which will provide footings for columns to shore up the whole edifice. What a good hardworking thorough son I have been blessed with! Just suppose we had stopped after only six kids! Perish the thought!