Monday, September 22, 2008

Francisco Moreno

I ask your prayers for Francisco Moreno who passed away Saturday morning after a long and painful illness. I didn't have the privilege of meeting him; I only knew about his situation because another member of our parish asked a group of us to keep him in our prayers. Now, I hope he will pray for all of us before the throne of God. Please consider joining me in a novena of Divine Mercy chaplets for his eternal rest and peace.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Last night's supper

The following recipe was made, eaten and cleaned up in under 45 minutes.

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 c chopped celery
1/2 of an onion, chopped

In a large heavy pot, saute the above ingredients in a little olive oil or butter.

Add the following:

2 cans of diced tomatoes, drained
2 cans of beans, drained (I used great northern beans and kidney beans, but I think any kind you like would work)
Enough vegetable or chicken stock to achieve the desire consistency
Any seasonings you like (I added a little oregano, parsley and basil)
If you'd like, throw in a handful or two of any frozen vegetables you have on hand - I added spinach and carrots.

If you want to keep things healthy, stop there. If you're not worried so much about the healthiness or are incapable of eating anything without cheese (raising my hand) ladle out the servings, then top each with a handful of bread crumbs and a handful of mozzarella cheese to make a super-thick, super-cheesy bowl of goodness.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Another year of RCIA has begun! What a blessing to accompany people on this journey and see God at work in their lives! I ask your prayers for all those who seek God or seek to know and love Him better.

O God, you have redeemed us and adopted us.
Grant to your beloved children that their belief in Christ may bring them true liberty and an eternal inheritance.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.

Monday, September 8, 2008

My heart's definition of encounter

Today is (in edition to the Nativity our Blessed Mother) the anniversary of my father's death. He died six years ago; I was an 18 year old atheist at the time. He and I were never close, so I was grieving more for "what could have been" than for him. I had a sense that the essence of my father still existed - that a part of him was very much alive - but I attributed this to a lack of closure or wishful thinking. These explanations felt incomplete and insincere, but as an atheist I had to accept them or risk allowing myself to contemplate the possibility of there being more to life than what I could see and touch in the world around me.

Three years later, I was a new Christian, and when September 8th rolled around I was unsure about how to remember my father's death in light of my eight month old faith. I was an Episcopalian at the time, and my parish was very "low church" so there were no candles to light or Masses to offer. I had come to believe in purgatory though, so I knew that my prayers could help my father if he was there - I just didn't know what to say. I went to our tiny church and prayed for God to be merciful and help my father in any way He could. It didn't feel like it was helping the way it sometimes does when I pray. I didn't know what to think about that. I decided to go up to Salt Lake City to the Roman Catholic Cathedral. I had been there once before on the Feast of the Assumption - my Episcopalian parish didn't celebrate Marian holidays the way some do - and I remembered how I had felt caught up in something powerful during that Mass. I wanted to feel that again and somehow make my father a part of it too.

I got to Salt Lake City with a lot of extra time to kill. I remembered a friend telling me to check out the downtown public library. After exploring for a while I rode the elevator to the rooftop terrace (my friend had told me not to miss this.) My head was down as I stepped outside, so the view hit me full force, all at once when I looked up. On the 5th floor, above the surrounding buildings and power lines, there was nothing to block my view of the mountains I had come to love since moving to Utah about a year before. They seemed so close - strong and comforting. As I stood there in awe I suddenly knew that God had foreseen this moment when He made those mountains. I don't think He made them just for me, but He did know that I'd be standing on that terrace on that day and those mountains would bring me peace. Since that day, whenever someone talks about an encounter with God, the memory of that moment immediately comes to my mind.

So I went to Mass with a grateful heart. I had experienced God's love and providence in a profound and personal way and knew that providence extended to my father as well. When the priest announced that we were celebrating the birth of the Virgin Mary, I was filled with joy. Almost from the moment of my conversion, I knew that our Blessed Mother had brought me to her Son. I was grateful to know that my father is linked to her in a special way. Our Lady's entire life is a sign that points to the promises of Christ. These promises give me hope for my father, myself, and all of humanity. It is a beautiful blessing to celebrate my Mother's birth on the day I remember my father's death.

Thy birth, O Virgin Mother of God, heralded joy to all the world. For from thou hast risen the Sun of justice, Christ our God.

Destroying the curse, He gave blessing; and damning death, He bestowed on us life everlasting.

Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb! For from thou hast risen the Sun of justice, Christ our God.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It looks like I won't be posting for about 2 weeks. Complications from my surgery have landed me flat on my back (sitting is almost unbearable) until the stent in my kidney is removed. I'm still reading other people's blogs though (I print off the posts and read them lying down) so please keep feeding me the good stuff!