National Lampoon’s American Vacation

This is no longer a vacation. It’s a quest, a quest for fun. I’m gonna have fun and your gonna have fun. We’re gonna have so much (bleep) fun they’re gonna need plastic surgeons to remove the smiles from our (beep) faces. We’ll be whistling zippity-doo-dah out of our ….

Sometimes, a movie quote just simply, beautifully describes a day.

(And I removed the expletives to protect my readers….)

A Prayer to the Holy Family

Last night, before dinner, before the wine-and-snakes, we prayed this prayer. Greg found it for me. It is beautiful, and so I am saving it here for next year, for the Holy Family. And sharing it with you, the one or two regular readers….

Act of Consecration to the Holy Family

O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Thy teaching and example, didst will to pass the greater part of Thy life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to Thee this day. Do Thou protect us, guard us and establish amongst us Thy holy fear, true peace and concord in Christian love: in order that by living according to the divine pattern of Thy family we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness.

Mary, dear Mother of Jesus and Mother of us, by the kindly intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of Jesus, and obtain for us His graces and blessings.

O Saint Joseph, most holy Guardian of Jesus and Mary, help us by thy prayers in all our spiritual and temporal needs; that so we may be enabled to praise our divine Savior Jesus, together with Mary and thee, for all eternity.

(Recite the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory 3 times.)



The Holy Family

This Sunday in the liturgical year, our remembrance was the Holy Family.

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.

The Church encourages us to pray such short aspirations; such ejaculations bringing our minds and hearts toward God, towards, heaven, towards eternity.

We remember the Holy Family; we pray and ask for intercession; we see a model of family and family roles; we give thanks that Our Lord became flesh and dwelt among us.

In my own life, the troubles and the upsets, the criticism I receive and , yes, the love and the humour, the joy of Christmas, the connections and the wrenches, I can pray, ponder the Holy Family …and I can store up these things in my heart and humbly ponder their meaning, waiting for God’s light and wisdom and healing touch to arrive.

During Mass, during thanksgiving after Communion, I read some psalms. From a book of psalms. A Christmas present.

O God, thou knowest my rash doings,
no fault of mine is hidden from Thy sight.

Deus, tu scis insipientiam meam,
et delicta mea te non latent

This is strangely comforting for me. Maybe because of the truth it contains. That others, the psalmist, have felt the same as I.

Gotta love this Christmas season, the liturgy, the prayers. And gifts like this book of Psalms.

St Athanasius wrote ~

In the Psalter you learn about yourself. You find depicted in it all the movements of your soul, all its changes, its ups and downs, its failures and recoveries. Moreover, whatever your particular need or trouble, from this same book you can select a form of words to fit it, so that you do not merely hear and then pass on, but learn the way to remedy your ill. Prohibitions of evildoing are plentiful in Scripture, but only the Psalter tells you how to obey these orders and refrain from sin.

But the marvel with the Psalter is that, barring those prophecies about the Savior and some about the Gentiles, the reader takes all its words upon his lips as though they were his own, written for his special benefit, and takes them and recites them, not as though someone else were speaking or another person’s feelings being described, but as himself speaking of himself, offering the words to God as his own heart’s utterance, just as though he himself had made them up.

It is possible for us, therefore to find in the Psalter not only the reflection of our own soul’s state, together with precept and example for all possible conditions, but also a fit form of words wherewith to please the Lord on each of life’s occasions, words both of repentance and of thankfulness, so that we fall not into sin; for it is not for our actions only that we must give account before the Judge, but also for our every idle word.

Let me add, not only give account for our idle words..but for our idle texts ..and emails..and Facebook entries..


Christmas-tide Saints

Yesterday, we remembered St Stephen, the first martyr.

After I came home from morning Mass, on Boxing Day, I served Rocky Road for breakfast. Not nutritional but..hey..St Stephen was stoned to death so the symbolism was there.

We read briefly about St Stephen.

I resisted my children’s encouragement to get stoned for the feast of St Stephen…Where do they pick up such ideas? Not from me, I am sure! As if !

We sang Good King Wenceslas. Then The Twelve Days of Christmas, since Christmas-tide has begun.

Today, Sunday, I am serving wine, or other drinks, in wine glasses draped wth lolly snakes. As we do every year, for the feast of St John the Evangelist. You know, that story of others trying to poison St John; he blessed the wine and the poison came out of the wine in the form of snakes.

I love the whole Christmas season; the traditions and rituals…from white and gold candles on Christmas day..Christmas Grace…placing the child Jesus in the nativity and fun with friends…prayers…baked phone books,.. underpants…carols…pudding and silver coins ( don’t get a coin, kids! It means you will be married in the year!)…St Stephen..lolly snakes…tomorrow mass for the Holy Innocents and prayer..St Thomas Beckett and Eliot’s Murder in the presents..missing friends and family yet enjoying those we are all and faith and liturgy and tradition and little rituals.

What did you get for Christmas?

What did you get for Christmas?

I got a book. I bought it for myself and David Jones department store wrapped it and I put it under the tree for dh to give to me for Christmas. Along with perfume. Dh hates shopping so this works out nicely!

What book? Cleaving. The sequel, if you like. to Julie and Julia.

Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession. By Julie Powell.

It looks like this is going to be another searing read..Searing as was the book Julie and Julia..Searing in the sense that phrases, paragraphs, sentences will sear, scorch, burn, leave a mark, on my mind and heart..with their aptness.
From the first chapter ~

..The last two slices I set aside, to wrap up and take home after work for a Valentine’s Day dinner tomorrow. Once, I thought the holiday merited boxes of chocolate and glittery cards, but in these last couple of eye-opening years, amid the butchery and wrenches of my heart, I’ve realized life has gotten too complicated for such sweet and meaningless nothings. I’ve even learned I’m okay with that.

Look! I Made These!

I am so proud of myself! I made these for the priests’ post Second Rite of Reconciliation supper…and the priests even survived the eating….and, no, I didn’t let my dh and kids eat any…they had this (below) for dessert instead! Presents from some of my Kumon students..which I shared, lavishly, with the family.