Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Shameless Plug

Just a reminder that several of our books would make great gifts. Here is an excerpt from a review for Giving Up Stealing for Lent by Brother Charles Madden OFM Conv. of Marytown. In fact, there is a booksigning there with Brother Charles (if you are in the area) on Saturday December 2nd for all of his books. On to the review:

Escape back to a simpler, more clear cut time in life through this three decade collection of Madden Family tales.

An easy pick up/put down book, everyone in your family, Catholic or not, will find themselves wishing they’d been a part of the loving mayhem that was the Maddens.

We are indebted to Brother Madden for letting us be a part of his warm and entertaining family life.

Nationally Syndicated Humor Columnist and author Karen Rinehart lives in North Carolina where she and her family attend St. James the Great Catholic Chuch. Read more at

Renewed request

Last week I asked for prayers for a friend who was sick. I renew the request now as he is not really progressing and has somewhat relapsed, after an initial turn for the better. He still remains hospitalized with no concrete plan of recovery.

My friend is a father, historian, author, painter of icons, and devout Catholic. Please pray for his quick return to health according to God's will.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Benedict and Islam

Just a thought: will Pope Benedict XVI be to Islam as John Paul II was to the collapse of the Communism in Eastern Europe?

The Knights of Columbus have suggested the following prayer for the success of Pope Benedict XVI's mission:

Heavenly Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name, we humbly ask that you sustain, inspire, and protect your servant, Pope Benedict XVI, as he goes on pilgrimage to Turkey – a land to which St. Paul brought the Gospel of your Son; a land where once the Mother of your Son, the Seat of Wisdom, dwelt; a land where faith in your Son’s true divinity was definitively professed. Bless our Holy Father, who comes as a messenger of truth and love to all people of faith and good will dwelling in this land so rich in history. In the power of the Holy Spirit, may this visit of the Holy Father bring about deeper ties of understanding, cooperation, and peace among Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, and those who profess Islam. May the prayers and events of these historic days greatly contribute both to greater accord among those who worship you, the living and true God, and also to peace in our world so often torn apart by war and sectarian violence.
We also ask, O Heavenly Father, that you watch over and protect Pope Benedict and entrust him to the loving care of Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Fatima, a title cherished both by Catholics and Muslims. Through her prayers and maternal love, may Pope Benedict be kept safe from all harm as he prays, bears witness to the Gospel, and invites all peoples to a dialogue of faith, reason, and love. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Review

Read the first review of Standing with Peter here. And of course, pick up your copy here.

Thanksgiving and beyond...

It was a wonderful day. My sister from VA came down for the 11th straight year. Because of the bad weather on Tuesday and Wednesday (she was driving) I thought she might skip this year-but she made it.

We played our annual 'Turkey-Bowl" after Mass on Thursday. The green team beat the yellow team (mine) 58-27! It was the first time my team had done worse than a tie. Those boys are getting older and faster. The older boys (the green team) also constructed goal posts: this was the first year with point-after-TD for the Turkey Bowl. Youngest son scored all the TD's for the yellow team. I thought I was going out prematurely when oldest son took me down from behind. (I reminded him "gently" we were supposed to be playing 'touch' football.)

After the game a friend arrived to share dinner with us. Another was supposed to come, but is still in the hospital (see prayer request below-prayers still needed.) Our friend came bearing gifts-a telescope for the kids. Wow! I am one of the the kids! We had it out last night. The children had never seen the moon in such splendor. We live in an area where many, many stars are visible. The telescope highlights the multitude we couldn't see even before. This will bring many hours of fun. was a delicious 23.6 lb turkey. Daughter #1 found it. Usually I buy the turkeys-but I am happy to pass the chore when we can find one this big. Of course we had sweet potatoes, corn, beans, green bean cassarole, cranberry sauce (homemade), potatoes, two kinds of stuffing, etc. etc. A grand feast. For dessert, number 3 son made a pecan pie and number one daughter made TWO apple pies. Mrs. Curley made 'magic squares'. All was fabulously delicious.

After dinner we watched the homemade "Blade of Zorro" movie (produced last summer). Then we sang some songs and laughed. I wished it would never end.

Saturday night I ran over my son's foot with the car-but it wasn't my fault. We were heading out to an oyster roast (oh boy!) when we realized we forgot the lemon squares. I pulled into the driveway and someone (who shall remain nameless) urged number 2 son to get out of the car quickly to get those lemon squares. He did so-problem was, I hadn't yet stopped the car. The rear tire pinched his heal and ankle. He yelled at me to back up-I thought I had run over a dog. No real damage. He limped a little, but then played football that night. Sunday he was limping some more. But 5 hours on the couch cured the limp. (No swelling or bruising.)

Sunday, my sister returned to VA. Things are back to normal. Back to work this morning.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

When I heard this...

I thought sure it was a spoof:

Morning Edition, November 20, 2006 · Citing an increase in cases of rabies, some local governments in China have been confiscating and killing pet dogs. The capital, Beijing, issued new rules this month limiting each family to one dog.

(Yes I confess I sometimes listen to NPR). The story talked about police banging on doors and threatening if let weren't allowed in to confiscate the dog, and of neighbors reporting on neighbors; and of internet criticism of the move being censored. The report explained about how dogs have become very important because families (due to the one-child policy) no longer provide social companionship.

What a world we live in!

May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen

Monday, November 20, 2006

Request for prayers

A dear friend of our family needs our prayers. He was a healthy and robust 69 years old some 4-5 months ago. He got a tooth infection a few months ago and nothing has been the same since; his health has gone way downhill. He was checked into the hospital today. In the past few weeks they have not been able to determine what is wrong-but he is in really tough shape. Please pray for his doctors-that they find his problem and for his return to health-according to God's will.

Oremus pro invicem!

The weekend

Saturday I tackled the kitchen floor again-trying to get the last layer of glue off the pine floor which lay underneath. The effort was well worth it. For the most part, the pine floor is beautiful. There are a few boards here and there which need replacement, but overall, the pine floor in the kitchen is going to be really nice.

Sunday we went to Mass and then with another family headed up to Charlotte to see "It's a Wonderful Life" in a theater. It is nice to see some of these movies on the big screen.

Speaking of Frank Capra, I remember reading this article about him and his movies at CatholicExchange a couple years ago. Check it out.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Car Trouble?

Yesterday I get a call while I am teaching. Mrs. Curley has taken the Subaru up to St. Catherines for Mass and it is making funny noises. She thinks it is overheating cause she hears that 'bubbling sound' even though the temperature gauge is okay. I walk her through a couple fluid checks-but tell her to go to Mass before she does them. Later I try to call and see how things are going, but she doesn't answer.

Here's the story: She checks these the fluids and all is fine. She does notice she has a very low front passenger tire and gets that pumped up before heading home. She heads home and hears the funny sound again.

Number 3 son who is with her happens to drop something on the floor, and bending over to get it, notices that daughter's portable radio is on and spouting statice. Yes-this is the noise.

Now I don't tell this story to embarass Mrs. Curley-although after she reads this, I am sure she will threaten to get her own blog and tell some stories of her own. This story is just too funny not to put out there. It reminds me of this story I posted a little over a year ago (here I am excerpting my own blog posts-how vain it that?):

Just outside of Charlotte, Mrs. Curley and oldest daughter started being alarmed at 'smoke' coming from around my (the driver's) seat. Mrs. Curley begged me to pull over, but I saw nothing. Suddenly oldest daughter sighed. The hairspray was spraying because someone had put a book or something on it. The first crisis avoided.

And then they wonder why I am sometimes hesitant to take the car in for some funny noise that they hear and I don't?


Okay, how about this funny story... it concerns the young lady holding the shrimp in the post below. One day little daughter lets out a nice sneeze.

Mrs. Curley: "God bless you!"
Daughter: Thank you.
Mrs. Curley: Are you going to bless me?
Daughter: Why? You didn't Achoo?
Mrs. Curley: What do you mean 'Achoo'?
Daughter: You only bless someone when they Achoo.
Mrs. Curley: You mean when they sneeze.
Daughter: No, when they Achoo.
Mrs. Curley: What is a sneeze?
Daughter: I don't know.
Mrs. Curley: When you "Achoo", that is a sneeze.
Daughter: Oh.


This reminds me of a play my sister wrote when we were kids: "Please Sneeze". It was the story about a princess who would only marry a prince who had a pleasant sneeze as she figured that she would have to live with this all through the cold winters in their kingdom. I remember playing the prince and balking at the scene where I had to kiss my younger sister.

Speaking of my sister, she should be coming down here for Thanksgiving. Uh Oh, speaking of Thanksgiving, I have a kitchen floor to finish.... I'm off.

May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen

Friday, November 17, 2006

Nice one!

I went down to Georgetown (SC) some weeks ago and went shrimping off a deepwater dock. We had a good haul. On getting home, the kids help 'head' the shrimp while I washed it and flash froze it. This one (not the kid, but the shrimp) was not the biggest, but was typical of what I came home with. (Everyone got involved. I even taught Mrs. Curley how to clean some sea mullet we had caught while the kids worked on heading the shrimp.).

of Veils...

Sorry I have been pretty absent from here of late. This story caught my eye. (Hat tip to Ad orientem)

That radicalism (of accepting a religious vocation) is, ironically, embodied by the wearing of the veil. Decreed unnecessary by Vatican II and shed happily by many older nuns, the headdress is for many of today's newcomers a desired accessory. "A lot of my older sisters would never wear the veil," says Sister Sarah Roy, 29, who is the only member of her Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria, Ill., to do so. (The others wear a simple dark dress adorned by a pin.) Though she admits "people just stare at you like you're a freak," she adds, "It's a trend with younger women wanting to wear the veil now."

Ironic, isn't it? Of course there is an inaccuracy in the quote above. I don't believe Vatican II decreed the veil unnecessary.

I went to elementary school at St. Catherine of Sienna in Norwood, MA during the 70's. We had Sisters of St. Joseph dressing in everything from full habit (only face visible); modified habit (veil but not fully covering hair); black veil and various colored dress; no veil, but black or blue dress; to practically everything/anything goes. But notice that vocations to the Sisters of St. Joseph dropped so far that I am not sure they even accept new vocations any more.

May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

See the sidebar...

I figured out how I added those books to my sidebar... and just in time. We now have "Standing with Peter" ready for shipment. Those whoe won free books in our cover contest should expect them in the mail sometime next week.

In case you are dying to know, here is the description and endorsements from the backcover:

In 1968, William May signed a document dissenting from Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae vitae, in which the Pope reaffirmed the Church’s teaching against artificial birth control. In Dr. May’s own words, "Signing this document was on my part a cowardly deed." But God, in his providence, used this mistake to launch the career of one of the Church’s outstanding moral theologians-who now ‘stands with Peter’ on Humanae vitae. This is his story.

In these reflections, Dr. May takes us from his early years in the seminary, the illness which precluded his ordination, his first career as a book editor, the cataclysmic events of 1968-especially those surrounding Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, and finally his academic career at Catholic University of America and the John Paul II Institute.

With personal anecdotes, humor and humility, William May shows how God takes care of us and has plan for each of us; how God in his providence can bring good from our mistakes, if we are willing to co-operate with his grace. Dr. May also illuminates the errors of moral relativism and other questionable theological "innovations" so fashionable in recent decades.

Dr. William May for many years has been one of our most important moral theologians. He also is a man who has served the Church and her people long and well. Standing With Peter is a fascinating memoir of a lifetime of scholarship in action–a warmly human account told with Dr. May’s famous gusto, integrity, and passionate commitment to the truth. It’s a joy to read.Russell Shaw (author, Catholic Laity in the Mission of the Church)

Dr. Bill May, perhaps America’s most outstanding moral theologian of the twentieth century, has written a memoir of his personal and professional life that forms an important part of the developing history of the pre- and post Vatican II era in the Church in the US. For well over 40 years, he has been inside the Beltway at Catholic University and the John Paul II Center at the heart of, and on both sides, of the conflict between loyal Catholics and ‘dissenters’ on magisterial teaching. There is no one better to tell the inside story particularly surrounding the events of that pivotal year 1968 and also of his role and charge of heart and mind. Rev C. J. McCloskey III, Research Fellow, Faith and Reason Institute, Washington D.C.

For the past three decades and more, William E. May has stood among the very best moral theologians in the world–always standing with Peter. He has demonstrated how standing with Peter is a sure guide to straight thinking. Patrick G.D. Riley (author, Civilizing Sex: On Chastity and the Common Good)

Eternal rest grant to them O Lord. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Today is the traditional feast of St. Stanislaus Koska-a big day around here as St. Stanilaus is the the name saint of my father and coincidentally (or maybe not) his day of burial. How an Irish boy born in Boston in 1920 was given is Polish name is a family mystery which has several proposed solutions, but none completely satisfactory.


This past weekend was my college reunion. I didn't go to any of the formal events, but did sneak down to Charleston Saturday night for a cookout at a classmate's house. Several of the guys were there. I had missed the last two reunions (probably because babies were being born around then), so I hadn't seen some of these friends in many years. Mostly we haven't changed much except for putting on various amounts of extra pounds and thinning hair. It was good to see these guys. Of course we all promised to do better keeping up with each other. Don't know if it will happen past Christmas cards.


Still working on our kitchen floor. We found a pine floor under all the other floors. Now we just have to liberate it from the glue/tar which secured the first linoleum floor. Sanding would take forever and would gum up the paper constantly. Pouring water on it seems to disolve the glue, but it is very messy-but perhaps the only way to go. Any ideas would be welcome...


At Mass this weekend, Father talked about how sometimes it is better to receive than to give: he related the story about how a beggar was determined to give something to Mother Teresa as so many others have. So he begged all day and then came to Mother Teresa with his days' work and offered it to her. She didn't want to take it, but decided she should in order to avoid hurting his feelings. The joy the beggar had when she accepted his gift was overwhelming.

I remember a priest in MA telling me one time that his father taught him never to turn down a gift-no matter how much you didn't want it; that it is a charity to be able to accept gifts graciously. This last I have never been good at. (Pride maybe?) This has been one of the lessons of the past couple years.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

All Saints Day - Reprise

Here is a group picture of our "saints" with our pastor from the celebration on November 1st.

Now to ship some books and work on a kitchen floor.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Just around the corner....

Our latest, "Standing with Peter", the memoirs of Catholic theologian Dr. William May is almost available for shipment! It is now (finally) available to pre-order on our website (here). It is a quick read (92 pages) and very affordable. Book should be available for shipment next week.

Now I just have to remember how to get it on the sidebar with the others....


I was attending a meeting at our parish last night. We were talking about the Hispanic population in our parish and our pastor, Fr. John, who says Mass in Spanish on Sunday nights, but lets Deacon Munoz give the homily, noted that while he had no formal training in Spanish, had studied spirituality in Spain some 30-40 years ago. Since all the writings were in Spanish, he learned to read it and speak it after a fashion. Thus our Irish Jesuit pastor (Fr. John) went on to relate how the pastor at the local Church in Spain where he was near commented how his parishioners were always interested when Fr. John said Mass as his strange pronounciation was so entertaining. (By the way, our Bishop commented some months ago that the Catholic population of SC was 50% Hispanic now. )


Gotta go. Remember to pray for the Holy Souls.... Eternal rest grant to them O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them. Amen

Thursday, November 09, 2006

In memoriam...Dad

My father died 7 years ago today. The whole story of that week is definitely one to be told-but not today.

I remember the Sunday after the funeral: the Gospel was the parable of the talents. I remember listening to that parable as if for the first time as I related it to the gift God had given me in my parents. My parents had passed on the Faith to us-and the question to me that Sunday morning, as I contemplated especially my father's impact on my life, was whether I was burying this great gift from God or trying to use it and make it multiply as did the faithful servants.

G0d has bestowed each of us with many gifts-some unknown and/or unrecognized. We should tremble if we don't contemplate occasionally how we are using God's gifts to further His kingdom.

In my case, the gift of Faith given through my parents was not a casual one. When our local parish growing up stopped teaching recognizable Catholic doctrine in CCD, my parents began regular classes at home. Sunday mornings we would return home after Mass, eat breakfast, say the rosary, and then break into groups for religion. My mother would take the younger kids and my father, the older ones. I can vividly recall sitting around the dining room table with my father on those Sunday mornings for what we kids affectionately called "The Talk". Each year we would alternate between reading one of the Gospels and studying the Baltimore Catechism. I loved these sessions. My oldest sister constantly asked questions, going deeper or asking Why?- which made it all the more interesting.

My parents' faith was/is deep and open. For example, we knew that my father said the rosary on the train each day going to or from work in Boston. We said prayers together every night. My mother kept our 'library' well-stocked with the lives of the saints. Catholic periodicals lay on the tables in the living room. The small but significant Catholic customs we practiced, like singing 'Happy Birthday" to Christ before opening, or even looking at the presents; all of these things illuminated the committment of my parents to the Faith. I tell my children that their Catholicism is a direct result of the gift from God that my parents gave to me.

I try to take stock every once in a while-and especially on this anniversary-to see if I am burying this 'talent', or nurturing and letting God work with it in my life. I always come up short-but in making this examination, at least I have the chance to throw away the shovel and to start anew.

I thank God for the wonderful blessings He has given me. I have never known want or suffering. Everything I have ever needed has been provided. Most especially, God gave me the gift of Faith, by way of the cooperation of His faithful servants-my parents. My own Mrs. Curley and my Curley kids are some of the fruits of this cooperation of my parents with God's plan. I am deeply grateful-but I fear not nearly grateful enough-Oremus pro invicem!

DEUS, qui nos patrem et matrem honorare praecepisti: miserere clementer animae patris mei eiusque peccata dimitte : meque eum in aeternae claritatis gaudio fac videre. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

[O God, who hast commanded us to honor our father and mother: in Thy mercy have pity on the soul of my father and forgive him his trespasses; and make me to see him again in the joy of everlasting brightness. Amen.]

May he and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace! Amen.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


A couple weeks ago in our pastor's Sunday homily (or was it on All Saint's Day?), he quoted St. Catherine as saying something like, "our journey to Heaven is made up of a lot of little heavens." It is reminiscent of C.S. Lewis' comment-quoted on these pages before-about how when we get to Heaven we will see our Heaven started on earth, and conversely, if we go to Hell we will see that our Hell started on earth.

Both are worthy of contemplation-especially in this month of November when we meditate on death with more urgency. While I guess we can not be presumptuous to say we are 'on the path to Heaven', we can look to see whether those things we will have and do in Heaven are present in our lives today-and this might give an indication on whether we should change directions....

Do we sing? (Read Revealation) Do we live or at least attempt to live in the presence of God? (How often, for example do we actually realize this fact throughout our day?) Do we live with joy-even, of course, in adversity?

I think this last tells us alot about ourselves. Can we be joyful even when we hate our job, or when our security around us is falling apart, or when the demands on our time seem to be overbearing? Can we see joy in all these things because we see them as opportunities to work for the salvation of our soul and the souls of our loved ones (or their deliverance from Purgatory?) We need to live with joy because our Redeemer lives!


So the House goes to the Dems and the Senate?. In years past I would have been up to all hours to get the details of every race. George will commented last night that we may have a more conservative House as the Republicans who lost were mostly moderate and the Dems who replaced them more conservative.

Rick Santorum loses.... I remember being in PA for a Homeschool conference, (I was selling books) a few years ago. Boy, the Catholic pro-lifers were angry at Mr. Santorum for his active campaigning for Arlen Spector who was in a tough primary race against a PRO-Life Republican. Two years later, the sentiment among Catholic homeschoolers in PA hadn't much abated. The news this morning is that Catholics abandoned him for Casey. I have felt that this "betrayal" was the cornerstone of his defeat all along. (I am not sure Casey is as pro-life and pro-family as he is cracked up to be, or as his father was, but time will tell.) Santorum's support of the President on Iraq policies didn't help of course either.


Is the Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo a good read? I know it is a classic, but is it any good? I am thinking of reading it as I work through Birth of the Modern.


Got the cold water working on the washing machine on Saturday (thanks to a friend who had a spare input valve-who would have figured?). Now am working on redoing the drain field for the washer. (We have separated drain fields for the septic, kitchen water, and washing machine.) Also changed the oil in the cars on Saturday. It was the first time I have done it for two of the cars as they were "new" (if you can call cars made in the 80's new). Go figure that the oil pan plugs are stripped. Still managed to get one of them off. Will have to go back and work on the other one soon.

That's all for today from Bethany, the small holding in Bethune. Tomorrow is the 7th anniversary of my father's death.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A few notes...

Finished Flag of our Fathers and am now reading Birth of the Modern by Paul Johnson. Only have read excerpts of Mr. Johnson's more famous Modern Times. This (Birth...) is one of the free books I got at the school library.

Contemplating the death sentence of Saddam Hussein....Is this a case where as long as he is alive and imprisoned in Iraq (once the US leaves) there is the risk of his supporters (or the Sunnis in general) trying to free him and put him back in power to 1. restore order, and 2. to wrest power from the Shiites? I am not sure this risk is real as I don't know the political situation on the ground (other than it being not too good). Yet when I see our President using Hussein's death sentence as a rallying quip on the campaign trail, it really irks me.

Let's not forgot this is still November...

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

All Souls...

This post may be a repeat... (I would have to check my entries from past Novembers. It is the introduction to the booklet pictured below).
"It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." 2 Macc. 12:46

"There shall not enter into it anything defiled…" Apoc. 21:27

Praying for the souls of the dead is a tradition which goes back to our Jewish heritage. Judas Machebeus collected silver to send to Jerusalem to be offered for the sins of those fallen in battle. He understood that nothing unclean or defiled could stand before God and therefore provided for the offerings for the souls of those who had died so that they could see God. Reading of the Psalms bears out this understanding: "Lord, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle? or who shall rest in thy holy hill? He that walketh without blemish …" (Ps. 14:1-2)

Our Catholic heritage is no less rich in the theology of praying for the souls of our beloved departed.

In the gospel of St. Matthew, in the parable of the unjust servant, our Lord tells us that our debts must be paid. ("And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt" - Mt. 18:34).

St. Paul says that we are saved only through fire (1 Cor. 3:15). St. Peter likens our trials to gold being tested by fire. (1 Peter 1:7).

The councils of Lyons II (1274 A.D.), Florence (1439 A.D.) and Trent (1563 A.D.) reaffirmed earlier traditions in the Church of the existence and purpose of purgatory – that place where those who have departed in the love of God but before complete satisfaction has been made for their sins may be purged in order that they can approach God unblemished. Further, the custom and tradition of the Church Militant – the faithful left here on earth – of praying, sacrificing, and giving alms on behalf of those souls in purgatory to make satisfaction for their sins and thus to shorten their time of purging, was reaffirmed by these councils also.

Purgatory is truly a grace of God because it is the nature of God which demands that those approaching be unblemished, and thus without purgatory, many would never reach Heaven. St. Catherine of Genoa wrote that the soul, upon death, finally free of worldly attachments, is able to see itself as it really is; seeing the stains from its sins and desiring God, the soul throws itself into the fires of purgatory to be cleansed in preparation for the audience with God.

These holy souls in purgatory, the Church Suffering, can not help themselves. The Church Triumphant, those who have entered into their Heavenly reward; the Church Suffering; and the Church Militant – these three are in reality one Communion of Saints. As the Church Militant we ask the Church Triumphant to intercede for us before God; we offer our prayers, fasting, and almsgiving to aid the Church Suffering. At every Mass during the Eucharistic Prayer, we pray for the souls of our departed loved ones, those gone before us "marked with the sign of faith."

With all this Catholic tradition, however, it seems that prayers for the holy souls in purgatory have waned as a private devotion in recent years. Funeral notices for Catholics rarely plead for Masses to be said for the departed. The Truth that God is all-merciful has been distorted to exclude the notion of purgatory – even though this exclusion distorts the true nature of God and the true nature of God’s mercy.

The prayers in this booklet are not new and are not an anthology of all the beautiful prayers written over the centuries for the holy souls. Herein are simple prayers, one for each day of the week. The prayers follow Christ’s way of the cross in petitioning for the Holy Souls. Each daily prayer is followed by the recitation of Psalm 129. Psalm 129 is especially appropriate as a prayer for the Holy Souls and for us, as it calls on us to contemplate more deeply our need to trust in God and the mercy we must receive from Him for our salvation. Psalm 129 also expresses the deep longing the souls in purgatory have for God as they cry to Him "de profundis" – "out of the depths".

It is hoped that this simple exercise, taking less than two minutes every day, will become a habitual and devout practice among the Church Militant so that the Church Suffering may be aided and granted their deepest longings.

This practice too, will help us advance in our own spiritual life. These prayers will help us to contemplate more fully our own day of judgment, our own longing for God, and our devotion to the Holy Sacrifice of the altar. The devout practice of prayer and sacrifice for the holy souls focuses our attention on our own sinfulness and on our own need for God’s mercy. This act of charity for our suffering brethern will help us to become less selfish and more detached from the worldliness around us. The more we love, the more we have the capacity to accept God’s love for us.

Since the practice of praying for the souls in purgatory has slowed - many, many souls are waiting and longing for God; with no help coming from us. We need to bemore prayerful. We need to pray for our priests and bishops - and for those priests and bishops suffering in purgatory. We need to pray for our family and friends – and for those family and friends suffering in purgatory. We need to pray for the conversion of sinners – and for those suffering in purgatory who have no one praying for them.

By praying for these souls that long for God, may our own longing for God be increased.

Oremus pro invicem! – Let us pray for each other!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

All Saints Day!

Update: Fabulous day! Mass this morning with a full house. Breakfast with many in the hall; some I didn't meet: for instance, the wonderful lady in the front pew with 3 boys and a baby girl-and another on the way. She left before Mrs. Curley and I could meet her. We hope she comes back ... The children made their saint presentations: St. Isaac Jogues, St. Nino, St. Giles, St. Therese, and many more. We ended with the rosary and then talked and talked. It is wonderful being Catholic! Happy All Saints Day!

Mass this morning, followed by breakfast at the parish and a celebration including: a parade of saints (our children dress as saints and make presentations), games, and good friends. It doesn't get much better than this on earth....