Friday, October 24, 2014

More Rosary

Since the beginning of September we have processed 6 hogs, the latest being this morning. Only 1/2 of them being our own. We know how to do it, so we help out friends when we can. But boy, I think we are a little tried of doing pigs, especially in this warmer weather.

But onto the next mystery of the rosary:

The Visitation

Mary is not pretentious or proud. Immediately after being told that she will be the mother of the Messiah, she goes to assist and to serve her cousin who is pregnant with John the Baptist.

The Mother of God serves. Her Son, the Divine Son, serves also-even unto death on a cross.

How do I serve? Does my position of authority at home and at work make me a servant or a tyrant?

O Mother of my Savior, help me to serve God and those in need for love of Him.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Holy Rosary-Meditations

Several years ago (more than 10) I used to pray the rosary on my commute home from work in the car. Distraction was king.
I decided to write out for myself some simple meditations for each mystery so I had something to grasp while I fought the distractions.
Over the next several days/weeks I will reproduce those scribbles here, one mystery at a time. They are nothing special, but they helped me then (and now) to focus on the mystery at hand.
 (I have nothing for the Luminous mysteries as these predate that time.) So here is the first.
1. The Annunciation 
Fiat - Be it done unto me according to thy word!
Total self-giving and commitment from a 14 year-old Jewish girl.
How is my commitment? To my marriage? To my children? To giving my time in prayer and works to God?
Can I commit my love and all of myself to God?
O Mary, conceived without sin, help me to accept God's will in my life and dedicate myself to Him.
Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Holy Matrimony

We are (and have been) in a crisis concerning marriage for many years, but the crisis is peaking. Yet at this critical time some bishops are seriously considering weakening the sacrament and institution of marriage in the Holy Catholic Church instead of standing firm and proclaiming the beautiful truth about faithful marriage.

Recall that only ONE bishop in all of Catholic England would stand for Truth in the time of Henry VIII. Do we have any courageous bishops today?

1. There is no mercy without Truth! Mercy is given to those who are sorrowful, not those who  persisting in sinful living.

2. There has been a proposal that divorced and remarried couples could come and be blessed at Mass instead of receiving Holy Communion. I wonder; my catechism said if you are not in the state of grace (and are in fact persisting in mortal sin), such a blessing has no efficacy.

3. Instead of making the obtainment of annulments easier (as some are proposing-further weakening the sacrament), why isn't the proposal made that uncatechized and/or immature couples would not be allowed to be married .... and then make a major and continuing effort to catechize the faithful on marriage.

4. Admittedly there are those whose spouse had abandoned them and their children. While no one wants another to suffer, we must realize suffering joined with Christ brings salvation. Yet some bishops would deny the innocent spouse the opportunity to further sanctify their life and join their suffering with that of our Lord, offering all for the offending spouse. This may be hard, but our Lord was clear that all of us must take up our cross. No cross - no crown!

5. The proposals which are being floated and discussed will make troubled marriages collapse all the sooner because their will be little incentive not to seek an easy annulment or 'regularize' a second marriage.

6. I just don't understand why the Church would help the forces of the evil one further destroy the domestic church. This is big and could rend the Church apart.

There is suffering; there is injustice; there is struggle. But if you believe in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, you must believe His promises. His promises involve the cross. His teachings are not always easy, but if we have faith and follow Christ, true, lasting joy will be ours.

We bring people to the fullness of Communion by giving everything we have and teaching the Truth-with gentleness and understanding (if not for the grace of God, there go I), not by making excuses and diluting the Truth.  Only the Truth will set us free.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Busy week. We finally got all the peanuts harvest and put into "trees". Of course the first bunch is already dry and ready to separate the peanuts from the hay. But it will have to wait.

The sorghum was suddenly ready. I didn't think we had enough to bring to the farmer up the road to press, (drought, then tons of rain, then drought again, didn't produce the big stocks. For a while I thought we had lost the crop) so I looked for an alternative way to get a little syrup out of our best stocks.

What we did is take our best sorghum stocks and chop them up. We boiled the stocks in water to boil the syrup out. Then we removed the stocks and boiled the syrup down like one normally does. So far it is working well, but we have a ways to go.

Also getting everything in shape for our annual fall square dance, complete with pig roast. Our pig has been getting plenty of milk and should be great by the time its ready to harvest.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, October 06, 2014

The Daughters of St. Paul have a new digital magazine (I think the first issue was in August). They contacted me to write an article for the latest issue. Check out the whole magazine here.

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, October 03, 2014

Sam and her pigs

This is what she has been doing all day!

So, what did I do? Did the front and rear brakes on the mini-van after a 30 mile trip to get a T47 socket-who would've thought? Anyway, brakes got finished just at the downpour started.

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Update: It looks like Sam (Samantha) had at least 14 piglets last night. Once again she's done a great job.

New pigs coming as I write. It doesn't seem she wants us to watch. I stay out there watching and watching ..... nothing. I turn my back for 1 minute and out pops another one.

I haven't lost any weight in 3 or 4 years. However, in the last 40 days or so Mrs. Curley has lost some 20 pounds. She's worked hard and looks really healthy.
In the past 40 days or so, 3 people have commented to me that it looks like I have lost weight; no one has made the same comment to Mrs. Curley.
I guess she just continues to make me look good!
Oremus pro invicem

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I mentioned below that I have been listening to Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I am just about finished, and glad that I am. It is not that I don't share her concern and even beliefs about the folly both personally and nationally of having the food we consume travel an average of 1500 miles before it hits our plates. I do. Besides the destruction of the small family farm, the subsidies provided to big business which deceives us into believing we are buying cheap food, etc., etc., - small farm animals and vegetable do taste better.

So what's my beef? I don't worship food-but I am beginning to suspect that the author of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle does.

Sure, I think our way of life on the homestead leads to a great quality of life-working together and eating fabulous meals together. But it is the together and together with God that is the emphasis. The food just helps the celebration-it isn't the celebration itself.

So, I guess I am glad I have listened to the book. I did learn a few things about asparagus, for instance. But I am glad it will be over by the time I get back to the homestead today.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, September 22, 2014

From a letter

This is from a letter I received today:

You all remain in my prayers always. I like to think that every time we receive the Eucharist, there is something like a lifeline connecting all Catholics together; almost like looking at the same stars at night. You are far away from each other, but somehow by such a seemingly simple act, you suddenly traverse distance. It actually goes deeper than that, though. Just as the stars we see are the same as the ones gazed upon by the pagan Romans, the Eucharist is the same has been received by Christians for over 2000 years. Thus we mystically traverse both distance AND time, the two barriers to fallen man.  

I was waiting for an overdue paycheck in the mail-but received this treasure instead.
Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

So what do you think this is?

If you said honey, you'd barely be right and mostly wrong. If you read the fine print, this product is 90% corn syrup blended with honey for flavor. (I am surprised there is any honey!)
The honey bear package with the prominent HONEY in red should constitute deceptive packaging and advertising. But big business and big Ag must have its way. Regulate the little guy out of business and then deceive the public into thinking they are buying healthy products.

Now who does the government serve? Big business!

Oremus pro invicem!
A comment in the post below reminded me of the following piece which was published on a few years ago. Being lazy, I repost it instead of writing something original.

The text is below with the original link being: Original Article .

Randians Left and Right are Wrong by Jim Curley
There was a piece on National Public Radio (NPR) a week or so ago charting the influence of novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand in today’s politics, specifically in economic policy touted by certain Republicans in Congress.  Ayn Rand was a proponent of “objectivism,” that is quoting from the NPR piece:
It is, she says, a system of morality “not based on faith” or emotion, “but on reason.”
Rand wholly rejected religion. She called it a weakness, even a parasite — one that convinces people their purpose is to work for the betterment of others. In fact, she says, for man, the truth is just the opposite.
“His highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own happiness,” she says.
“One of the principal achievements of this country in the past 20 years, particularly — I think most people agree — is the gradual growth of social, protective legislation, based on the principle that we are our brothers’ keepers.”
“I feel that it is terrible that you see destruction all around you, and that you are moving toward disaster until and unless all those welfare state conceptions have been reversed and rejected,” Rand answers.
“I am opposed to all forms of control. I am for an absolute, laissez-faire, free, unregulated economy.”
NPR proposes that Ayn Rand’s influence is strong on Capital Hill today among Republicans.  NPR quotes Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) (my Rep) who has read her books “6 or 8 times,” Allen West (R-FL), Speaker John Boehner, Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Steve King (R-IA) who either give favorable reviews of A. Rand or who seem to speak her message.
There is no doubt that Republicans often decry the Welfare State and numerous regulations.  And true, some Republican Congressmen have been enthusiastic about Ayn Rand’s philosophy.  This is troubling, especially when practicing Catholics show their enthusiasm without some caveat on her general philosophy.
I would also venture that while in general conservatives do decry entitlement programs and the “regulation state”, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are all Ayn Rand enthusiasts.  One can certainly stand for smaller government and subsidiarity principles without agreeing that man’s highest moral purpose is achieving his own happiness.  Further, I would argue that most Republicans only differ in their preference in size of government and regulation by a matter of degree from Democrats.  We don’t see many radical proposals on the size of government and regulations gaining traction even when Republicans hold the majority; mostly we see skirmishes on the edges.
But this isn’t by far the whole story.  There seems to be many on the Left in Congress who subscribe to Ayn Rand’s objectivism on social issues in a much more committed way.  The push for the homosexual agenda, abortion, and contraception by the Left is based on the flawed philosophy of pleasure without responsibility, which is very close to Ayn Rand’s “highest moral purpose”.
It seems Ayn Rand’s objectivism has influenced both sides of the aisle in government and in the general populace, and most dangerously in the social issue sphere.  We are constantly bombarded by the message that the purpose of life is simply a hedonistic pursuit of our own happiness, and some of us have bought it.
Man’s highest purpose is to know, love, and serve God.  This is the only philosophy that will make man happy.  It is a philosophy of being our brother’s keeper in a personal way.  It is a philosophy of self-sacrifice which paradoxically makes man happy.  Only when we seek the happiness of others do we ourselves have peaceful joy.
We are our brother’s keeper.  The government’s attempt to preempt our personal role as our brother’s keeper has unfortunately been accepted by many.  When, as a society, we let the government do our charity, we rob ourselves individually and as a society of the opportunity and obligation of doing God’s work.  Peter Maurin of the Catholic Worker Movement decried this trend of letting government do our charity.  In a conversation with Stanley Vishnewsi on their first meeting, Peter Maurin said:
The purpose of the Catholic Worker is to create a society where it will, be easier for men to be good. A society where each person will consider himself to be his brother’s keeper. A society where each one will try to serve and to be the least. God wants us to be our brother’s keeper. He wants us to feed the hungry at a personal sacrifice. He wants us to clothe the naked at a personal sacrifice. He wants us to shelter the homeless. To serve man for God’s sake, that is what God wants us to do! (from Wings of the Dawn by Stanley Vishnewsi and reprinted in The Catholic Worker, May 1976-The Catholic Worker Movement website at
It would seem to me that Congress and the American people would do well to think about Peter Maurin’s words rather than Ayn Rand’s.