"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." Saint Francis De Sales

Friday, April 26, 2013

My Slow Takes (Vol. 95)

1. Welcome back Jennifer. You are blessed with many friends. Through their prayers and God's love, you and your family are healthy and together.

2. Tuck at Denbigh Church wrote the following that made me think. If we just show our faith in the daily things we do others will see. Some will agree with us and some will not. But if we can touch just one person and bring them closer to God, we have accomplished a beautiful deed.

"Peter put it like this in 1 Peter 2:12--

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

If your faith in God makes you a better friend, a better co-worker, a better family person, a better neighbor, a better person, then people will listen when you talk about it. But if faith doesn't have any real impact on your life in any visible way, then why would they want to listen to you talk about it? The greatest argument for the truthfulness of the faith is the lives of people who take it seriously! Otherwise the world will continue to be blind to the power of Jesus."

3. Friendship is a wonderful blessing from God and He has blessed me with many. Beth DeCristofaro shred her experience with a friend in Tuesday's blog. My friends, my Brothers-in-Christ, those who are true friends have always been there when I needed them. Thank you Lord for this gift of friendship. 

"Have you ever experienced the solidity that comes with having a friend who has your back?  In grade school and into high school, Tece, was smarter and braver than I was but she was my friend and I could confide in her with utmost confidence that she would never gossip or turn on me.  In college, when I was certain that I was in over my head, Paul listened to me voice my academic worries and my dismay with the dating scene.  He was the brother with a strong back.  And I have been blessed with a husband who is a true friend and confident as well as several other sisters whose mutual trust sharing our deepest hopes, concerns and issues ground me and raise me up when the daily grind threatens to pulverize me.

Meditate on Jesus’ words in the Gospel and remove the plugs from our ears and the plank from our eyes.  Give thanks to the Shepherd who is holds us night and day because of His love for us.   Say a prayer of thanks for true friends."

4. These figures represent Lee’s Legion from the American Revolution, 1776. They are converted Old Glory Colonial Dragoons. I painted them for the southern campaign where it was most effective against the British. The Legion was at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. It served with Francis Marion and Thomas Sumter in various missions in South Carolina. Henry Lee, aka "Light-Horse Harry," has always been one of my favorite heroes of the American Revolution.

5. Our statute of St. Francis surrounded by flowers that Dee planted this week.

6. Dee's Uncle Tony joined our Father this week. He was 91 years old and a veteran of World War II. He welcomed me into his family and always made me feel loved. We enjoyed wine together and Sunday afternoon football, especially the Buffalo Bills. He brought love and laughter to our family and we will miss him.

7. We are getting quotes for replacement windows for our home. The current windows are the original wood windows and are about 18 years old. We are looking at the new vinyl energy efficient replacements. Hopefully not too expensive. 

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, April 19, 2013

My Slow Takes (Vol. 94)

1. From Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ at Your Daily Tripod.

““We must obey God rather than men” is what we must say to those who are trying to get us to forget what it means to be a Catholic. We preach Christ by our respect for life. We stand up for the sanctity of the Sacrament of Marriage even when people are trying to take God out of marriage. Christ in the Sacrament of Marriage is the union of the man and the women. The child that can be born to them is the completion of the mystery of true love. How we stand up for what God has sanctified becomes the way we feed the flock of Christ that is our Church. There are commandments of God that are the truth of what happiness is all about and we live obedience to God’s commandments as the way we preach with our lives. There is no greater love than to give our lives for the sake of another and how we protect the sanctity of life becomes the way we feed the sheep of Christ.”

2. Deacon Steve gave a beautiful Homily last Sunday. He talked about the use of the word love in Sunday’s Gospel, John 21:1-19. Jesus asks Peter, three times if he loves him. Peter’s answer is yes. However, Jesus was using the Greek definition of love, agape. A love that is unconditional, selfless and sacrificial. Johns' reply used the Greek definition, phileo. A love that is more brotherly, showing affection and warmth towards another. Two types of love where there should just be one. Our love, for Jesus and others, should be unconditional, selfless and sacrificial. Something that Deacon Steve has reminded me to work on.

3. Dempsey Morgan, a Tuskegee airman died April 11, 2013, in Roanoke, Virginia. An American hero from a background where heroes were not expected. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for a mission he flew over Greece in 1944. Read the article by Matt Chittum of “The Roanoke Times.”

4. Spring is here and I’m enjoying the warm weather and our small Dogwood tree in our front yard.

Our young tree before the mulch.
5. There were two major catastrophes this week. One in Boston, Massachusetts and one in West, Texas. We pray for the survivors, family and friends and for the souls those who are now with our Father.

6. The weather has been warm and dry so Dee and I were able to get some weeding finished by Wednesday. On Thursday we bought some mulch and the yard looks great.

7. Tuesday, April 16, 2013 was the anniversary of the Battle of Culloden. There is an article on Major Gillies MacBean, at “Defending the Legacy.” He was one of the heroic Jacobites who fought and died there.

Battle of Culloden by Mark Churms.

Read other "Takes" at Camp Patton.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Slow Takes (Vol. 93)

1. Last week I wrote about the “Real Lonesome Dove” and in the process remembered another real cowboy, Elfego Baca. Disney made a movie back in 1962, “Elfego Baca: Six Gun Law.” It was one of my favorite cowboy movies. (I have a lot of them.) It tells the story of how Elfego Baca held off about 80 cowboys for over 30 hours. He was not shot and managed to kill four and wound six of his assailants.

2. Annette Funicello, my favorite Disney Mouseketeer died on April 8, 2013. I saw every beach movie she made. She was a beautiful and gracious woman.  

3. God also called Jonathan Winters to His side this week. April 11, 2013. He was my favorite comedian and I will miss him. My favorite character was Maude Frickert but what made me laugh the most was his improvisation.  

4. There is a new Star Trek video game and for those of us who are “Trekkies.” the promotional ad is hilarious.

5. My brother-in-Christ Roger had some tests completed this week for plaque buildup. We are all praying for him and his wife Susan. Additional prayers are requested please.

6. Dee and I watched the "Life of Pi" last night. Watching the movie trailer did not spark my interest but Dee convinced me it would be worth watching. As usual she was correct. We both enjoyed the movie and recommend it.

7. Me and my Dad, Hampton, Virginia 1947.

Read other "Takes" at Camp Patton.

Friday, April 5, 2013

My Slow Takes (Vol. 92)

1. “The Real Lonesome Dove” program was on the History Channel last week. It told the story of three real cowboys; Oliver Loving, Charles Goodnight and Bose Ikard. The TV movie that starred Robert Duvall, Lee Jones and Danny Glover was a great western that I have watched multiple times. Seeing real people doing things that I always dreamed about was nostalgic. I have written before how much I love stories of the “Old West.” It makes me want to get my Stetson out, grab my boots and gear and head out to the corral. 

If you are interested in learning more about the real cowboys, I located the following information on “Horizons by Ken Booth.”

2. National Geographic launched a house in March 2011, using 300 helium balloons. Unfortunately Carl and Russell, from the movie “Up” were not available for comment. Leslie Katz has a great article with photos of the event.

Dug, Carl and Russell
3. This is a beautiful Good Friday message by Melanie Rigney of “Your Daily Tripod”.

“He was left almost friendless, with only his mother, his aunt, Mary of Magdala and the apostle John there at the end. Who would have believed what had happened, that the man who had had a huge entourage with him through much of his three-year ministry had been all but abandoned.
But as Paul tells us in today’s reading from Hebrews, he was heard by the One who mattered above all others, the One who had sent him. And when his suffering was complete, so was his time in earthly form.

On this most solemn of days, we contemplate the cross he carried for us… and the crosses we refuse to let him carry for us: Hatred. Prejudice. Fear. Envy. Lust. Greed. Insecurity. Perhaps it’s time to hand them over as well and commend our earthly spirits anew, confident enough to ask for salvation and the grace of starting over.”

4. What if Sunday’s Gospel was written using our names as though we were present. 

“On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala and Suzanne came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark, 
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So they ran and went to Simon Peter, 
Joyce, Harold, Dayna, and Wayne, the other disciples whom Jesus loved, and told them, 
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, 
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter, Joyce, Harold, Dayna and Wayne went out and came to the tomb.
They all ran, but the other disciples ran faster than Peter 
and arrived at the tomb first; 
Joyce, Harold, Dayna and Wayne bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but they did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after them, 
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, 
and the cloth that had covered his head, 
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciples also went in, 
Joyce, Harold, Dayna and Wayne, all who had arrived at the tomb first, 
they saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture 
that he had to rise from the dead.”

This was suggested by Msgr. Shreve although the rewrite is mine. In our daily lives there is a tendency for us to react to our faith in the same manner described in John's Gospel. We say we believe and have faith, but when the time arrives our eyes are closed. The season of Lent and the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord is important to our spiritual journeys. It is a time of reflection of our greatest gift. A time to repent, to strengthen our love for Jesus. We are provided this time to open our hearts and our minds. We must be ready when He arrives.

5. Easter Sunday started with a beautiful Mass at our Church of the Epiphany.   Msgr. Shreve’s homily was excellent and the Chancel choir, joined by the Jubilate bell ringers, provided the magnificent angelic music. It was a cloudy, rainy day, but there was sunshine in my heart.

6. We served our annual Easter family brunch at our home. Each family brings a different dish. We pray, share and give thanks. Dee provided a treasure hunt for the grandchildren while the cooks prepared the meal. Afterward was the Easter egg hunt followed by an Italian game, although it has a few different origins, played with hard boiled eggs. My mother-in-law calls the game by a name similar to the word “toots.” The winner this year was the youngest grandchild, Hailey.

7. The weather has warmed up so I spent a few of days working the yard. Raking leaves, spreading spring fertilizer and digging out a small tree in the back part of the yard. I've learned to spend just a few hours at a time so that I don't get bored.

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.