Monthly Archives: October 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday

**1 **

It was my own fault. Last night, Eric and I decided to watch some tv. He had a long day at work, I had a long day cleaning and baking for the PARTY tonight, so we both wanted to just veg for a while before bed. Then IT happened.

I turned on the tv, and it was on the History Channel. And there it was, just starting too! “The Dark Ages: Charlemagne, St. Benedict, and Empress Theodosia”. It was too good to be true. You see, Atticus and I both have degrees in history. We loove us some good history. We were doomed.

Needless to say, we watched the whole thing and got to bed at midnight. Boo. It was my own fault.

** 2 **

Yesterday I made ginger cookies. Today I am making chili and butternut squash bisque. And a big fruit salad. And ironing napkins.I love parties!!

** 3 **

A big heartfelt thank you to everyone who prayed for Atticus and I this week. After a rough Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, I met with my ENDOW group, who are such beautiful, faithful women. Spending time with them helped me to get beyond myself and my sadness, and to focus on the good things God has given me too. I really can’t say enough wonderful things about this group!

** 4 ** Hi. My Name is Kyle McCarthy (#28) and this is what I do best!

The beloved Irish are playing Washington St. this week on Saturday night! They’ll be playing from San Antonio (I believe).

Next weekend — we go to Notre Dame for the Navy game!! It’s a boring 3 hr. drive, but Notre Dame is just about Atticus and I’s favorite place in the world. Count on pictures.

** 5 **

Sunday is the closing rally of 40 Days for Life. It’s been a really great vigil, both nation-wide and here in Indianapolis. Nation-wide there have been about 400 saves, and here in Indy, 6 or so. 40 Days for Life will begin again in the spring, probably in March.

** 6 **

This song is amazing, and so perfect for All Saints’ Day (tomorrow!). It’s a version of When the Saints, by Sara Groves. The video is kinda cheesy, but the song is so beautiful!

** 7 **

And one last thought, going out to all those men and women who live their marriages the way God created them:

“To experience the gift of married love while respecting the laws of conception is to acknowledge that one is not the master of the sources of life but rather the minister of the design established by the Creator.”

-Pope Paul VI

Blessed weekend and Happy All Saints’ Day!

All Hallows’ Eve and All Saints’ Day

There are a lot of people throwing their two cents into the ring as Halloween approaches. I recently mentioned Halloween in the tongue-in-cheek post about “A Day Without A Scantily Clad Woman” this October 31st. Many reasonable Christians disagree, often with very articulate reasons, about whether or not Christians should celebrate Halloween, as it currently stands in our culture.

My personal opinion is that Halloween is a holy day, that is, a feast day in the Church. It is part and parcel of the feast of All Saints’ Day. What I think this means, is, as Catholics, we should be celebrating. We have an amazing, beautiful cloud of witnesses in the communion of the Saints, and we should take every opportunity to witness to the joy of our faith by celebrating these two wonderful feast days in ways that are appropriate for our vocation and stage in life.

I think that means that it will look different for many families. My husband and I do not have children yet, so we do not have to discern whether we should take our children trick-or-treating. We will have candy available to the neighborhood children on Saturday night, and we will also have a pumpkin carved into the likeness of a saint (yet to be determined — I better get on that!). Mostly on Saturday night we will be watching the Notre Dame game and cheering her “loyal sons onward to victory!”.

Our real celebration of All Hallows’ Eve will be on Friday night. We are having a Fall Feast dinner party, praying the Litany of the Saints, and dressing as our favorite saints as part of a party for a group of our Catholic friends. We will eat, drink, and be merry, because we’re Catholics. That’s what we do; and we don’t let the perversions of the culture stop us from having our good pumpkin beer and ginger cookies.

I have blogged previously about Meredith Gould’s wonderful book, The Catholic Home: Celebrations and Traditions For Holidays, Feast Days, and Every Day. I LOVE this book. It is chock-full of great ideas for various feast days and liturgical seasons. I thought it apt to share some of her ideas for celebrating All Hallows’ Eve and All Saints’ Day like the joyful Catholics we’re called to be. Let’s see what we can find!

All Hallows’ Eve

If you have children, consider trick-or-treating for charity! “Emphasize Christian generosity and the Catholic tradition of social justice” by having children collect change instead of candy, and donate the proceeds to Catholic Relief Services or Mercy Corps. It also avoids the sugar-induced coma that is sure to follow a night of traditional trick-or-treating. Of course, asking your children to solicit donations for charity to alleviate the suffering of children around the world, instead of soliciting candy for themselves might require an additional lesson in the redemptive value of their own suffering. But if you have wonderful children, which I’m sure all of you do, then they might be up for it.

All Saints’ Day

From The Catholic Home, “For every martyr we know about, there are thousands whose names we will never know…they too are saints who shape our faith. Over the centuries they’ve been slaughtered for inviting others to believe in God’s love evident and incarnate, Jesus Christ. They’re our cloud of witnesses. Today, on this holy day of reflection, we’re theirs.”

* Embrace the reverential impact of All Saints’ Day by listening to any of the wonderful Requiem (funeral) Masses. Some favorites are Brahms, Mozart, or Verdi.

* Make some pretzels! pretzels, you ask? Yes. In some countries of Eastern Europe, pretzels are a traditional All Saints’ Day food. The Pretzel dough is twisted into a figure eight to represent the saints. Buy dough from the store, and cut into strips. Twist each strip into a figure eight, and brush with some beaten egg and coarse salt. Bake the pretzels on a cookie sheet about 15 to 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 375 degrees. Voila!

*Of course All Saints’ Day is a great time to recall the beautiful of life of faith that “your” saint has. If you have children who have not yet chosen a saint (or are not named for one) have them choose a saint to research and share their life with the family. I remember when I chose my saint, St. Bernadette. I loved learning about her and sharing what I learned with anyone who would listen. Yeah, I was picked last for dodgeball.🙂

*Finally, on this, the eve of All Souls’ Day, light a candle for each deceased family member you are remembering, and of course, an extra candle to remember all of the unknown martyrs.

How will your family celebrate All Hallows’ Eve and All Saint’s Day? Any great traditions we should know about? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

PS. My husband is dressing as St. Francis, and I am dressing as St. Gianna. I’ll hopefully post some pictures next week from the party!


For the baby I would have had this week. Pray for us Michael, pray for us all.

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

–Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

A Halloween Proposition

Atticus and I have not shunned Halloween. Instead we’re choosing to focus on this day as a Church holiday, because, after all, that’s what it is. It is All Hallow’s Eve, which means, the eve of all holy souls. Now October 31 is the day before November 1. November 1 is the feast of All Saints, thereby making the night before it…the eve of all holy souls. Moving right along.

Obviously since America was founded by Protestants who disdained anything that smelled remotely like a feast day, or saints, or …anything Catholic, Halloween has become a secular holiday that’s all about being as bloody, creepy, murder and gore loving as humanly possible, and then consuming as much sugar as humanly possible, until you’re forced to crawl into your bed bemoaning your sad existence and your choice to eat the 12th KitKat bar (personal testimony). And of course, if you’re a girl over the age of 13, then it’s become about wearing as little clothing as humanly possible on October 31st, and putting the entire contents of your body on display right along next to the skulls and bed-sheet ghosts.

And why shouldn’t it be that way? From my estimation, the three things Americans like best are death, empty calories, and sex.

All of this is by way of a Halloween Proposition. I’m sure many of you have heard about the Day Without A Mexican campaign that took place some time ago. The idea was that Hispanic immigrants, who do most of the grunt labor and dirty jobs in our country would all call in sick on the same day, thereby showing the American people how valuable their labor really is. I think this was a great idea. I was a whole-hearted supported of A Day Without A Mexican.

Now, I am proposing this October 31 — drumroll please — A Day Without A Scantily Clad Woman.

That’s right. I propose that we say, with one loud voice, that no longer is it common practice for women to just “wear lingerie and some kind of ears” on Halloween, in lieu of a costume that requires creativity or actual forethought. I propose that we women either put on some real clothing on this Halloween night, or just stay home.

And please, for the love of God and all things good, if you insist on dressing like you’ve had a run in with Edward Scissorhands, at least put on a sweater! It’s only 50 degrees outside, I don’t care how many long island iced tea’s you’ve had!

And just in case you don’t believe me on this one, here’s Mean Girls to take it on home.

7 Quick Takes Friday

Visit Jen to see more quick takes and thank this wonderful hostess!

** 1 **

Today is the quintessential fall day — blustery, somewhat rainy, and cool. The perfect day for copious amounts of tea, crocheting, and reading Jane Austen.

Organic Chai and Emma are calling my name.

** 2 **

I love the Gilmore Girls. LOVE. I’m not sure exactly why. I guess it could be the witty verbal reparte, but then again, it could be the small town that it takes place in. I love small town life.

Does anyone else love this show too? What do you love about it?

** 3 **

My in-laws have graciously gifted Atticus and I with an anniversary gift. Our anniversary is January 3, but we are celebrating it with a long weekend trip over MLK jr. weekend. We were telling them that we were trying to think of a place to go for a long weekend that would be:

(a) warmer than Indiana in January
(b) not too rainy, or cloudy
(c) we could get a direct flight to
and (d) we wouldn’t need to rent a car while there.

We left after that weekend visiting them, and were still trying to decide if we’d go away, or stay in Indy and pick a swanky expensive hotel downtown for our stay. Then…Atticus’ mom, The Counselor, told us that Atticus’ dad, The Scientist, wanted to buy us a trip to Disney World for our anniversary!

SO, we are going to Disney over MLK jr. weekend 2010!! I’m sooooo excited!

** 4 **

Tomorrow is the Teen and Young Adult Rally for Indianapolis’ 40 Days for Life. I have somehow been roped into being MC for this event. Prayers please.

I think it’s going to be really great though. There will be two high school and two college students who will be speaking on the identity of a pro-life young person. What are the joys, challenges, etc. There will also be a wonderful young woman who is going to give a post-abortion testimony, and a friend of mine is going to give a 5 minute “crash course” in pro-life apologetics.

Again, I ask for prayers for good weather and for the holy Spirit to speak through these kids!

** 5 **

Tonight we are *maybe* going to a concert and tour of Crown Hill Cemetery. The concert is called “Music of the Night” and then the tour is called “Skeletons in the Closet”. Crown Hill is the 3rd largest non-military cemetery in the US. Pres. Benjamin Harrison is buried there, as well as James Whitcomb Riley, and John Dillinger. So excited!

It is raining right now; hence the maybe. If it clears up enough to go tonight, then we will be going with another couple.

** 6 **

Next Friday is the All Hallows Eve Dinner Party for my Spirit and Truth group. I have finalized the menu:

Appetizer: Butternut Squash Bisque and Fall Fruit Salad

Entree: Fireside Chili and Bread with Pumpkin Butter

Dessert: Chocolate Fondue

I think it’s going to be a really fun night!

** 7 **

A parting shot: for the quintessential October day, the quintessential October poem.

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes' sake, if the were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost--
For the grapes' sake along the all.
    - Robert Frost

Happy Weekend!

Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC

October is Support a Catholic Speaker Month, being sponsored by Fallible Blogma. Check out the site to learn more; there are still Catholic Speakers who aren’t being represented. You too, can be part of Support a Catholic Speaker Month!

Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC is a convert to Roman Catholicism. Before his conversion, Fr. Calloway had been a high school dropout, drug user, and runaway. He was kicked out of Japan, and was arrested several times.

His mother converted to the Church and began praying fervently for her wayward son. (Can you say modern day St. Monica?) After several years, Fr. Calloway had a dramatic conversion to the faith at the intercession of Mary.

He is a member of the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception.

Fr. Calloway has authored several articles, and been the editor of two books; The Immaculate Conception in the Life of the Church (Marian Press, 2004) and The Virgin Mary and the Theology of the Body (Marian Press, 2005). He is author of Purest of all Lilies: The Virgin Mary in the Spirituality of St. Faustina (Marian Press, 2008), and is author of his forthcoming spiritual autobiography, No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy which will be released in January 2010. Dr. Peter Kreeft of Boston College (we won’t hold that against him!), said the following about Fr. Calloway’s memoir:

“This is an amazing, captivating story, because The Divine Mercy is an amazing and captivating reality. The power of Jesus and Mary move through this story like the power of a ten foot Pacific wave. Read this book and watch the same wave lift Donald Calloway that lifted Paul and Augustine, Francis and Ignatius, from “incorrigible” and “impossible” to “radically converted.” It’s the old, old story and it’s irresistibly new every time. Here, it’s told with winsome candor and simplicity by an ex-druggie, ex-criminal surfer-priest.”
Peter Kreeft, Ph.D.

I read an article by Fr. Calloway about his conversion to the faith in a book about Medjugorje called, The Fruits of Medjugorje: Stories of True and Lasting Conversion by Elizabeth Ficocelli. This first introduced me to Fr. Calloway and his amazing story. Then a friend in Chicago lent me The Virgin Mary and the Theology of the Body, which he is editor of and contributes writing to. It is a very interesting book examining how we can understand the theology of the body by understanding the life and fiat of Mary.

I am so fascinated by conversion stories, and Fr. Calloway’s is no exception.

The following video is from AirMaria, and is an interview of Fr. Calloway about his conversion. It is about seven minutes, but very much worth watching. It’s amazing his peaceful, humble demeanor. It’s hard to believe the man you see in this interview was ever a drug addict, or arrested, or expelled from Japan. Just watch it!

Thanks Fr. Calloway, and especially, thanks be to Jesus and Mary, for this amazing story!

First EVER Blog Award!

I’m very flattered and humbled that I’ve been chosen for my very first blog award!

It’s called the Dragon’s Loyalty Award — I was gifted by the wonderful Rebecca at Feel My Love — for my loyal reading and commenting on her blog.

Rebecca and I share a love of college football, though we do support different teams. I also appreciate Rebecca’s humor and all of the thoughtful posts about life that she has. Also, I so enjoy the many cute photos of her awesome dog Kali. Thanks Rebecca! Please be sure to check out her awesome blog!

Now, as part of my acceptance of said award, I must fulfill the following stipulations:

1)  If you have a blog, post it on your blog with a link back to the site who gave it to you;
2)  Leave them a comment on their site, email, etc. to let them know;
3)  If you don’t have a blog but have a website, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or other type account, post there with a link back;
4)  Pass this on to 3-10 loyal fans

So I am very happy to extend the A Dragon’s Loyalty Award to…

1) Elizabeth at That Married Couple. Elizabeth, after emailing me to tell me she read my whole blog in afternoon, has been one of my most loyal readers, and is indeed part of the reason why I have continued blogging. Also, she is participating with me in the first EVER virtual blog bookclub hosted here. Look forward to an awesome guest post from Elizabeth on the book,The Authentic Catholic Woman. Thanks for all your support Elizabeth!!

2) Betty at Betty Beguiles. Though she hasn’t left blog comments often, because of a grudge wordpress seems to have against her, she has sent me quite a few very sweet emails encouraging me to keep writing, and offering me comfort during my miscarriage experience in March. Thanks Betty!

3) Dawn at I Hate Socks. She has left me a few wonderful comments, and her blog is hi-larious. Thanks for the support Dawn!

4) I’d also like to award my husband Atticus; although he does not have a blog, he reads mine diligently, and is of course, the rock upon which I stand. I love you!!

Music Monday

I LOVE this song. I was big into the Goo Goo Dolls in high school, then sort of stopped listening to them.

What I think is, this is (a) a Christmas song — “Tonight’s the night the world begins again” — come on! and (b) this is a pro-life song — “the one poor child who saved the world, and there’s ten million more who probably could, if we all just stopped and said a prayer for them”.

Watch it and tell me what you think!

“And there’s somethings only You can give, that’s faith and peace and trust while we’re alive.”

Rock on Goo Goo Dolls.

A View From the Pro-Life Left

“Not too long ago, he was a pro-lifer. He wrote and spoke about the right to life and attacked advocates of abortion rights. “There are those who argue that the right to privacy is of a higher order than the right to life,” he would say. “That was the premise to slavery. You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation, because that was private and therefore outside of your right to be concerned.” He told the story of how he himself had almost been aborted. A physician had advised his mother to let him go, but she wouldn’t. Don’t let the pro-choicers convince you that a fetus isn’t a human being, he warned: “That’s how the whites dehumanized us, by calling us niggers. The first step was to distort the image of us as human beings in order to justify that which they wanted to do–and not even feel like they’d done anything wrong.”

But as Jesse Jackson decided to run for president in 1984, his fiery pro-life rhetoric suddenly subsided. If being black was a political obstacle, being black and pro-life would raise the odds much too high. Jackson understood that it is hard to be a pro-lifer if you want the support of the left–or just have friends on the left. The lockstep liberal orthodoxy on abortion is pro-choice, as Bill Clinton’s election showed and his presidency will reinforce. Dissenters are not tolerated….

Go here to read the rest of this wonderful article written by Nat Hentoff, a Jewish, Atheist, left-wing, pro-lifer who writes for the Village Voice (yes, you heard me correctly).

It was written in 1992, but it’s just as timely and true now as it was then.

Why I Listen to the Catholic Church

I have not always listened to the Church, despite my seeming  enthusiasm for obedience to demanding moral principles.🙂

There was a time, in the not so distant past, when I considered myself Catholic, and I enjoyed being Catholic. I attended Mass frequently, read the Bible a little, and tried to be a good person in general. I even became a theology major because I found the study of God and Scripture very interesting.

From a theological perspective, I have basically always listened to the Church. I believed the Eucharist it the real presence of Christ. I believed in honoring Mary as “Theotokos” (God-Bearer). I believed that God is a trinity in unity; three Persons in one God, Father, Son, and holy Spirit. I believed everything contained in the Nicene creed which is said at Mass.

However, when it came to the Church’s teachings on morals, that was a very different story. In the arena of morals my principles were more defined by my political views and personal inclinations than they were by objective truth. I felt quite free, without completely understanding various Church teachings, to embrace or reject them out of hand. I was pro-choice. I was pro-contraception. I saw no problem with co-habitation or various other lifestyle choices. I was pro-stem cell research (without actually knowing much about it), and I was pro-euthanasia. In other words, in the world of morals, I was a product more of the culture than of the Church. I was Catholic enough to know that none of these things is accepted by the Church; I was more than happy to ignore the “stodgy old white men” who were deciding how people should live.

Meanwhile, I was more than happy to accept all of the “enlightened” Church teachings on war, nuclear weapons, racism, capital punishment, and other peace issues. The inconsistency of this belief now makes me chuckle as I think on it. I was more than willing to accept that the Church knew what was best for the whole world by opposing war, nuclear weapons, torture, and capital punishment. The Church should be taken seriously when it calls on the whole world to end the killing of human beings in war, but not when it calls for an end to killing human beings in the womb?

The Church knew better than many, many people, but not better than me. It knew better than heads of state who produce nuclear weapons. It knew better than war lords, and diplomats, and people who have spent their lives working in the criminal justice system. The Church knew something all of these people didn’t. But it didn’t know anything I didn’t know.

That was the main crux of the problem; my will and feelings were different from the Church’s will and feelings. One of three things could happen. I could (a) assume I’m right and 2000 years of Scripture and Tradition is wrong. That really, they were all waiting for me to come along and explain the error of their ways, or (b) just ignore the Church on issues of morals, but continue feeling a sort of vague idea that I might be off the mark, or (c) swallow my pride long enough to consider for just a moment, that the “stodgy white guys” might actually know something about God, life, or the metaphysical world that I don’t and as least do them the service of actually learning the teaching before I wholeheartedly dismiss it.

I though for a while I might like to choose a, then realized I probably didn’t know more about human nature and Truth than 2000 years of Scripture and Tradition, so I settled on b. I spent a looonnnggg loitering around letter b, until one day, I sort of thought…what if…and there I was at letter c.

I’m not even sure right now if I can trace how it happened. How I went from a position of ultimate arrogance, to one of docility and openness. Other than to say, there must have been people praying for me. And at some point, though I can’t exactly recall when, I must have opened my heart, just a little bit, to the possibility that a conscience more formed by CNN than by God is one little worth listening to. I stopped pushing against the Church, just for a second, and as Chesterton says, found myself being pulled further into Her.

And basically, that’s why I listen to the Church. Because I do not know everything. I have not had every experience, I have not read every philosophical text, I am not a biblical scholar, I do not know hebrew, greek, or latin. I lived the first 18 years of my life in Gouldsboro, PA, and then four more in Emmitsburg, MD; I spent the first 22 years (of my 25 so far) in towns with more cows than people. I know some things, but I do not know everything. I also know that the will of God is more important than the will of Sarah.

“It is impossible to be just to the Catholic Church. The moment men cease to pull against it they feel a tug towards it. The moment they cease to shout it down they begin to listen to it with pleasure. The moment they try to be fair to it they begin to be fond of it. But when that affection has passed a certain point it begins to take on the tragic and menacing grandeur of a great love affair.” – G. K. Chesterton

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