Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Goings on...

Well everyone is recovering nicely from Monday's accident. Of course God always proposes good things to come out of every event, even those like this accident. In this case our friends are staying at least a few days past the plan - and so we are enjoying the company - even under these circumstances. (I know our daughter has wanted us to get to know her college roommate's family for some time - and here we are.) I want to thank everyone who has been praying for us.

Over at Fructus Ventris Alicia is discussing what Ephesians 5 means to her - here. Coincidentally, I have written an article about Ephesians 5 which I have been trying to get published (preferably by someone who will pay for it). If my latest effort is unsuccessful, I will publish it here on Bethune Catholic. Then you folks can tell me if it is the content or the style which failed in getting it published elsewhere.

Speaking of which, the Summer issue of Heart & Mind (a Catholic homeschooling magazine) sports an article of mine - on the cover no less. I won't post it here for quite a while, if ever - so if you are just dying to read it or more importantly want to have a great resource for your home education efforts - suscribe. It's only $20 a year.

After two weeks of no precipitation, we had a much needed rain most of yesterday (of course this did have to be the day after the kids had been cooped up in an emergency room for 6 hours). I am sure the local farmers are much more relieved this morning - especially as it looks like we may get some more rain today.

More to come...

From Bethany, the small holding in Bethune ...

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Praise be to God!

Today Mrs. Curley was in an pretty terrifying car accident with her friend and a couple of the kids. Fortunately it looks like everyone is going to be all right - just headaches, bruises, and sore muscles. It is unclear exactly what happened, but the van they were driving was hit at a fairly high speed by one of those logging trucks, fully loaded. They also hit a telephone pole and probably bounced into the truck at least one more time. After viewing the scene and the van they were in, it is a miracle that anyone walked away. As one friend put it, their guardian angels worked overtime today. We spent some six hours in the emergency room. As my oldest daughter and her college roommate were in Columbia for the day, I had to take my six and the two visiting boys with me - at least until daughter and roommate arrived. I am proud to say for myself and for our friends that these kids were well-behaved and just tremendous waiting there while I shuffled back and forth between bedsides and phonecalls.

The Curley family is very blessed tonight to be intact and at home with our friends - who are also safe and well.

With great thankfulness from Bethany, the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Somthing is wrong...scroll down

Further Update: Thanks to Fr. Dowd at Waiting in Joyful Hope you can see that the problem is fixed. As you can see in the comments below - you must add

div { clear: none !important; }

to the css portion of your template. Thanks very much.

I will try to bring back the links - with some additions later this week.

Update: The only way I could make this better was to delete most of the links. I will restore them (I need to add some anyway) when I figure this out. But is something I can't afford to spend time on.

This morning, I came to BethuneCatholic and somethings wrong. There is this huge space between Wednesday's heading and the post. It almost looks like there is nothing there at all. I have no idea what happened or how to fix it. My first effort is to post this and see if just by putting a new post up, the problem will be fixed.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Here is the pantry I built for Mrs. Curley - in installments. Most was built in October, the doors were built and installed about two weeks ago. It is bigger than it looks here. It is 7 feet tall and something like 32-35 inches deep. The lighting is bad, but hopefully you can get the idea of it.

Feast of Saint Thomas More

As busy as things have been, I couldn't let this day pass without comment. Thomas More is a favorite of mine. Many biographies have been written on Thomas More. I have read several. Most of these follow his life (and his spirituality) through his writings - (of which I highly recommend 'The Sadness of Christ" - available from Scepter Press). I could write much more of Thomas More this morning, but must get on working.

So I will leave you this quote from one of his last letters to his daughter Margaret Roper during his imprisonment:

"Mine own good daughter, our Lord be thanked, I am in good health, and in good quiet of mind; and of worldly things I no more desire than I have. I beseech Him make you all merry in the hope of Heaven. And such things as I somewhat longed to talk of them with you all, concerning the world to come, our Lord put them into your minds, as I trust He doth, and better too, by His Holy Spirit; who bless you and preserve you all. Written with a coal by your tender loving father, who in his poor prayers forgetteth none of you all, nor your babes, nor your nurses, nor your good husbands, nor your good husbands' shrewd wives, nor your father's shrewd wife neither, nor our friends. And thus fare ye heartily well, for lack of paper."

From Bethany, the small holding in Bethune...

(I will get to the comments left below - eventually.)

Saint Thomas More, Saint John Fisher - ora pro nobis!

Oremuse pro invicem!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Quick Notes...

Update: "The Chapel Veil-symbol of the spouse of Christ" is now available at our website.

Jeff at Hallowed Ground relates his experiences at a father-son camp put on by the FSSP; as well as allowing his guest columnist teach us about irrigation for the urban homesteader.

William Luse tells us why he is going to (semi?)retire from blogging here .

I am sure there is plenty more going on around the blogs, but I just haven't had much time these weeks.

An eventful weekend here at Bethany. We were getting ready for the arrival of our new chicks, Rhode Island Reds - from which we hope to perpetuate our own flock. (Our original flock were of all different breeds, so while we are keeping the hens as layers, we will eventually have eaten all the roosters.) Since the holes in normal chicken wire are just big enough for a day-old chick to get through, we put up some extra screening around the base of the run. (These are segregated from the original flock.) They have a small house for now, but we will have to build a new hen house for the 2nd flock within the next month or so.

While all this is going on, my oldest son is building a rustic fence across the front our property. He is simply using pine limbs as posts and rails - nailing them together. (I don't know how long the fence will last... but it does look good, and it sturdy for now.) In the course of the morning the handsaw slipped while cutting a rail and soon son and I were off to the emergency room. I was tempted to stitch it myself - maybe next time I will after observing the doctor's technique. Of course the rest of Saturday was shot. We spent 4.5 hours at the hospital - and another hour getting there and back.

This morning we picked up the chicks, and they are driving the dogs crazy, and getting alot of interest from the neighboring flock.

The rest of the week we are preparing for a 'send-off' party for my oldest daughter who will be going away for some time come August - (I may blog more on this later). (The send-off is early, but we are hoping that the weather is a little cooler in June than July or August, plus we get it out of the way and don't have to worry about it all summer.) So cleaning and painting and dusting are the order of the days until our first out-of-town visitors show up on Thursday.

Plus of course, Requiem Press does not stop. We have new release which should on the website later today or tomorrow. I have mentioned it before. It is a little booklet contianing two short essays concerning why two young ladies in college wear the chapel veil in the presence of our Lord. The support of this project will not only help yours truly and family, but will also assist (through royalties) three Catholic college students make their way as the essays and the cover were the work of Christendom College students.

From Bethany, the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Update: We drove down to Surfside Beach (just south of Myrtle Beach) today (Friday). Waves were good for body-surfing, and it actually wasn't too hot down there. The kids (and Mrs. Curley and I) should sleep well tonight. Have been eating a constant diet of zuccini (from our garden) and summer squash (from the neighbor's garden). I never thought there would be such a difference in taste with homegrown vegetables. I have never liked either of these squashes - but now I feel I could (almost) eat them all summer.

Well summer finally has come to South Carolina! High 90's and humid all week. We are building fences and forts this week, but always with a canteen at our sides.

My office with a window unit has been the coolest place in the house this week - this is until today when it stopped giving that cool air. I hope I don't have to replace it.

From Bethany, our small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Another Round-Up

I noticed on the last installment on Catholic blogging at IgnatiusInsight (the question: What the problems with blogs?) that Jeff at Hallowed Ground says this:

"Blogging and blog reading can become an incredible waste of time. I think it is for most people, myself included. "

When you get really busy, you find out where you are 'wasting time'. This past week or so I have found that blogging and especially reading blogs has 'suffered'. Hopefully things are getting back to normal for a few days and I will be able to catch up a bit. (Speaking of Jeff - I note on his blog that he is out there doing something I wish I was doing this week - camping and fishing. We never did get up to the mountains this past spring. We have done some fishing. Hopefully more this week.)


Here (scroll down to 'Home Funerals') is something I have talked about with Mrs. Curley. I really would like to have people taking turns praying for my soul all night long before my burial. We are so quick to shove death aside as an unpleasant, albeit necessary experience. Yet death is something we need to spend time on - in contemplation, in celebration, and yes in mourning. The death of a loved one is an ongoing opportunity to come closer to God. Where did I read so recently that death is not so much an end, but a transition into the continuation of our life? We can't have our heart in Heaven if we never think of death.

I also won't mind being buried somewhere in the backyard. (Mrs. Curley thinks I should be buried next to our deceased dog!). Seriously, it is easier to keep up a grave and remember to pray for a soul if it is not 5 miles (or more) down the road. I will need those prayers, so I want to be 'in the face' of my family as a constant reminder.

From 'Bethany', our small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, June 13, 2005


Destination Order recalls some insights from Maria VonTrapp on country life - especially the differing practices and views of it from Europe and America.

Jeff at Hallowed Ground, continues (to our benefit) to have guest columnist Franklin Jennings expound upon urban homesteading, and Jeff himself reflects on country life and neighbors. Jeff also mentions weeding. Funny my daughter commented the other day that she can understand some biblical passages better after weeding in the garden for a few hours.

Alicia has took and tagged me for the book challenge - but you can see my responses already below. In retrospect, I would now certainly add Familiaris Consortio by John Paul II as one of the 5 books which mean alot to me. I have read it several times and have consulted it many more times for guidance in dealing with family issues/problems which cross the modern culture.

Finally - I did get the 'punched-tin' doors finished on Mrs. Curley's pantry/hutch on Saturday. My daughter helped with the design on the tin as I finished up the door frames and hinges etc. It looks good - if I do say so myself. I will post a picture once I get around to developing them - don't hold your breath.

From 'Bethany' - the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, June 10, 2005

It has been several days of no posting. Been busy at work - thank God.

I have never seen so much green this late in the year in South Carolina. Usually by mid-June everything is brown. It rained everyday but one in the past two weeks. (It almost seems like Ireland.) As a result the garden is thriving. We had our first meal with homegrown beans this week. They were little, but tasy and enough for all of us. The zuccini is coming in, as are the tomatoes. The sunflowers are thriving (although some we haven't even gotten in the ground yet) as are the grape vines we inherited. Flowers are everywhere. It is beautiful.

Unfortunately, I have been stuck in the office. Occasionally I look out the window to see Mrs. Curley and the kids rejoicing over some new discovery. Tomorrow will be different. I have some work to prepare for new chickens and I must finish the doors to the hutch I built Mrs. Curley several months ago. It will be very good to do some physical labor.

From Bethany - the small holding in Bethune ...

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Just a quick note (of self-promotion) my latest on is here.

From 'Bethany'... Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Are you a church?...

Today is my oldest son's 12th birthday. All nine of us got up early to drive the 35 miles to St. Catherine's for Mass. About one mile after the last Gas station for some 15-20 miles, the car just died. We pulled over. I did the usual checks with nothing obvious jumping out at me. So we all got out and started hoofing it back to that last filling station.

When we arrived at the filling station, I waited for the stragglers to catch up - so we could all enter together. I told cashier our predicament and she handed me the phone book. As I looked through the book for the number of our usual garage, she asked, "Are you a church?"

She exclaimed surprise upon hearing my reply: "No, we're just a family...."

Still awaiting the diagnosis and the damage from our small holding in Bethune,

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Two Towers Explained....

From the Preface to Two Towers:

"For too many years now, I have listened to questions from distraught, almost hopeless, lay people. Why does the Catholic Church in this country seem so wishy-washy? Why have so many young people stopped going to Mass? Why is there such a lack of reverence in church? What happened to priestly vocations? Why are parishes closing? Why is there so much scandal? How did this falling apart come about? What is the cause of this crisis? Who is responsible for it? This book will attempt to address the substantive issue behind the questions above, and to offer a practical solution."

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today is a special feast in our home and in of course in the Church. Several years ago we enthroned the Sacred Heart of Jesus in our home - as Lord and King. Each year in June we renew this enthronement and re-dedicate our efforts to live in God's presence.

This year is no exception. After Mass together as a family and breakfast with the parish and Fr. John (every 1st Friday those who attend Mass gather in parish afterwards for a simple breakfast), we will go home and enthrone the Sacred Heart of Jesus in our home.

Our ceremony goes something like this:

1. Recitation of Penitential Psalm 51
2. Recitation of Holy Ghost Prayer for help in Examine
3. Examination of Conscience
4. Act of Contrition
5. Asking forgiveness of each other in the family for wrongs we have done. (see here for the origin of this)
6. We sing and process with an image of the Sacred Heart throughout the house and grounds.
7. We place the image of the Sacred Heart in the place of honor reserved for it.
8. We recite the 'enthronement/consecration' prayer.
9. Some short prayers of intercession.
10. Parental blessing of each child.
11. Te Deum (in the form of "Holy God we Praise Thy Name")
12. Sometimes we finish with a meal or dessert.

I believe that family ceremonies such as these help create the Catholic culture in our homes and more importantly in our hearts. I know there are mixed feelings in the family about some parts of this ceremony[(5) above]. But all will remember that despite our numerous failings throughout the year - as a family (most of us have prepared for today by going to Confession this week) we re-dedicate ourselves to the struggle and formally recognize that our goal is to reach Heaven and to be a help (and not a hindrance) to each other in our journey.

For one of us, this may very well be the last time participating in this family ceremony. Thus it takes on a new urgency and meaning for all.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus - have mercy on me a poor sinner.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus - I place all my trust in Thee.

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Happy Birthday Brother!!!! He is in his early 30's now - he was much better looking (and had more hair, although you can't tell) in this picture. Since my brother believes that thousands actually read my blog everyday, he will be quite embarrassed to see this appear.
I let my subscription to Catholic World Report lag and almost missed the May 2005 issue - which was an expanded issue dedicated to John Paul II and Benedict XVI. We received our copy yesterday. I have had several discussions; some here, some at Hallowed Ground about Vatican II - most recently in connection with Mr. Meehan's new book "Two Towers" (Requiem Press). I was heartened to see Fr. Fessio's comments on Pope Benedict XVI's first homily as Pope regarding Vatican II - as they concur with my own beliefs and those expressed in "Two Towers". Fr. Fessio says:

"When the Pope says that he plans to "enact" Vatican II, that word in Latin is exsecutionem: to execute, to implement. Listen carefully! He's saying, "I'm committed to pursuing the implementation of the Council." What does that imply? That it has no yet been implemented! At least, it has not been implemented fully. And notice , too, that he plans to implement the Council "in faithful continuity with the millennia-old-tradition of the Church." He is giving an interpretation of Vatican II right there. He is saying this is not a break from tradition. This is not some opening of doors to new doctrines. No this is a traditional council that must be interpreted in light of the whole 2,000 years of tradition which preceded it. ....." (emphasis in original)

Note regarding 'Two Towers' .... This will appear on our website later today, but we have some unexpected delays and thus TT won't be ready to ship for a few more days. Pray everything works out smoothly.

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!