UPDATE: 2019 Christmas cards!

I have been meaning to do a Christmas card roundup, but every time… I mean every time… I have reached for the large box I was collecting them in, I was interrupted.  Tonight, when I am under the gun and pack for a trip at oh-dark tomorrow, I figured I had better do it.  Extra motivation!

Let me say that I got a lot of reading material.  Many of you included your Christmas letters or other notes, specially written to me.  Many of you sent photos of your beautiful families.  Some of you included checks or cash – thanks – and promises of prayers and even the arrangements of Masses for my intention.    I am grateful.  And there were also cool stamps and pictures from kids which ALWAYS brighten my day.  There were a couple in particular that caught my attention.  I have some shots, below.  Alas, I could post them all.

Here are locations whence were sent your cards.   Some of you didn’t have return addresses and I didn’t want to guess from the cancellations.  Some of you had names of cities inside the cards but not on the outside… how cunning.

Praise the Lord

Read the Whole Article at https://wdtprs.com/

Marriage Prep Course

April 17-19, 2020 (Friday Evening till Sunday) Every couple needs to attend a Marriage Prep course before getting married in the Catholic Church.  This helps everyone to understand what the purpose of marriage is, what responsibilities are involved, how to best communicate, what the service is about, and how to keep God in the centre […]

Praise the Lord

Read the Whole Article at https://eeparchy.com/

Intending Death and Drinking Deep

Today, January 7th, is the fifth anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France, when the offices of the satirical magazine – which made fun of Catholicism as well as Islam – were stormed by two gunmen, who killed 12 people, cartoonists and editors, with head shots at close range, for the ‘crime’ of drawing mocking images of the ‘Prophet’ Muhammad. So much for the ‘religion of peace’, and good for Geert Wilders for renewing the competition to draw the founder of the world’s most violent, coercive religion.

Was the killing of Qasem Soleimani justified? Assassination is not an intrinsic evil – ponder the Catholic Colonel von Stauffenberg’s attempt on the life of Hitler – but it is a choice of last resort, and must be proportionate to the good and evil consequences. And, insofar as is possible, whatever is done should be within the rule of law.

I have my doubts that this was overall a good thing, and wonder whether the evils that accrue – missiles are reported launched at American military bases as I write – will be worth it. And how guilty was Soleimani? Ideally, a war criminal should be arrested, and judged in a court of law, as was the case with Sadaam Hussein. We will see what unfolds – see Hebdo –  but as the saying goes, si vis pacem, para bellum.

Praise the Lord

Read the Whole Article at https://catholicinsight.com/

CNN settles with Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann

This is interesting in the extreme!   News outlets, including Daily Wire, have something other than the retaliation of Iran.

CNN has reportedly settled with the Convington KY HS student, Nick Sandman.  You will recall that Sandman, at the time 16 years old, was caught on video being harassed and then the liberal MSM and others shamefully targeted him for the blame.  Sandman and family didn’t lie down and take it.  They fought back by suing CNN and other big dogs involved for lots of money.  $275 million v CNN, $250 million against WaPo and NBC and others.   Daily Wire gave a list of those being sued.

I really like this list.  A few of these names are deeply satisfying.

Praise the Lord

Read the Whole Article at https://wdtprs.com/

The Need for Spiritual Care in Dementia

 “Dementia is a group of symptoms that affects mental cognitive tasks such as memory and reasoning. Dementia is an umbrella term that Alzheimer’s Disease can fall under. It can occur due to a variety of conditions, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s Disease.” (www.healthline.com)

On the final Sunday before Christmas when I went to visit mom at her house, my childhood home where she has lived for over 50 years, she was watching Sunday Mass. I use the word “watching” loosely because mom cannot concentrate long enough to follow the Mass proceedings. She wrapped and unwrapped a piece of chocolate that was on her side table, folded and unfolded a napkin placed there by her caregiver, flipped through a random booklet, nodded off to sleep and completely ignored me. Nothing new here.

What was remarkable about this scenario was mom’s ability to snap to attention in time to give some of the proper responses and prayers – most of which were in Latin – and then recede into her cloud of dementia. By the end of Sunday Mass, she was busy re-arranging the contents of her side table and was completely oblivious to the television screen and to me.

Praise the Lord

Read the Whole Article at https://catholicinsight.com/

THE CREMATION OF SAM McGEE

THE CREMATION OF SAM McGEE

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam ’round the Pole,God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he’d often say in his homely way that “he’d sooner live in hell.”

On a Christmas day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka’s fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn’t see;
It wasn’t much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o’erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and “Cap,” says he, “I’ll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I’m asking that you won’t refuse my last request.”

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn’t say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
“It’s the cursed cold, and it’s got right hold till I’m chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet ’tain’t being dead , it’s my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you’ll cremate my last remains.”

A pal’s last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And so we started on at streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

There wasn’t a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half-hid that I couldn’t get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: “You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it’s up to you to cremate these last remains.”

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone fire-light, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows; O God! how I loathed the thing!

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I wouldn’t give in;
And I’d often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, and I saw in a trice it was called the Alice May.
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then “Here,” said I, with a sudden cry, is my cre-ma-tor-eum.”

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared; such a blaze you seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

Then I made a hike, for I didn’t like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don’t know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: “I’ll just take a peep inside.
I guess he’s cooked, and it’s time I looked;”  . . . then the door I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: “Please close that door.
It’s fine in here, but I greatly fear you’ll let in the cold and storm.
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it’s the first time I’ve been warm.”

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

ROBERT W. SERVICE

Praise the Lord