Tuesday, December 31, 2013

At this festive time of year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute

Are there no prisons?
~Plenty of prisons.
And the Union workhouses - are they still in operation?
~They are. I wish I could say they were not.

Alastair Sim plays Ebenezer Scrooge in my absolute favorite version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol (actually titled just Scrooge in this London version). In the first scene at his office, Ebenezer is solicited by two gentlemen who are raising money for the poor. His questions, and the Collectors' retorts I have copied above. Scrooge, clearly irritated by the amount of time wasted in this conversation, continues by dismissing the gentlemen without donating anything.
Immediately, his nephew shows up to wish Uncle Scrooge a Merry Christmas - to which he replies most famously: 'Humbug!'.

Let us, on the eve of another turning of the calendar, pray that we are everyday less and less like Mr. Scrooge.

Let us pray that we are less and less focused on and driven by our own busy-ness.

Let us, as the ghost of Jacob Marley reminded Scrooge, make humanity our business.

Let us slow down, enjoy the scenery, smell the (insert your olfactory organ's most enjoyable aroma-producer here).

Let us whistle while we work.

Let us greet each other well.

Let us care - really care - about each others welfare.

Here's to new beginnings, new habits, new outlooks, and new adventures!

May your 2014 be most blessed in every way!! 


Friday, December 27, 2013

LORD in Your mercy, hear our prayer

On Christmas Day, 2013, Pope Francis concluded his Urbi et Orbi with this beautiful prayer:

Lord of life, protect all who are persecuted for your name. Grant hope and consolation to the displaced and refugees, especially in the Horn of Africa and in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Grant that migrants in search of a dignified life may find acceptance and assistance. May tragedies like those we have witnessed this year, with so many deaths at Lampedusa, never occur again!
Child of Bethlehem, touch the hearts of all those engaged in human trafficking, that they may realize the gravity of this crime against humanity. Look upon the many children who are kidnapped, wounded and killed in armed conflicts, and all those who are robbed of their childhood and forced to become soldiers.
Lord of heaven and earth, look upon our planet, frequently exploited by human greed and rapacity. Help and protect all the victims of natural disasters, especially the beloved people of the Philippines, gravely affected by the recent typhoon.

Dear brothers and sisters, today, in this world, in this humanity, is born the Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. Let us pause before the Child of Bethlehem. Let us allow our hearts to be touched, let us not fear this. Let us not fear that our hearts be moved. We need this! Let us allow ourselves to be warmed by the tenderness of God; we need his caress. God’s caresses do not harm us. They give us peace and strength. We need his caresses. God is full of love: to him be praise and glory forever! God is peace: let us ask him to help us to be peacemakers each day, in our life, in our families, in our cities and nations, in the whole world. Let us allow ourselves to be moved by God’s goodness.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


LORD, how can I even begin to put into words the joy, the wonder of What we celebrate to-day??
"When Thou tookest upon Thee to deliver man, Thou didst humble Thyself to be born of a virgin."
Praise to You forever, eternal praise; blessing, honor, and glory are Yours!
Glory be the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit! As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen!
Praise to Jesus, the God-man, the Son of God, Emmanuel, God-with-us!
Praise to the Christ-child of Bethlehem, our Redeemer!
Praise to Jesus, Who did not consider equality with God something to be grasped!
Praise to Jesus, born of the Virgin!
Praise to Jesus, because He will save His people from their sin!
Glory to God in the highest!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Son-blest We Are

Thanksgiving Thursday with my mom and dad, brother, sister and her family, and lots of friends. Way too much food even though I tried to put a dent in as many mains/sides/desserts as I could. A little football on tv, a little football outside, Apples to Apples, and songs aplenty. Great to see everyone, especially my sister-with-many-children and my brother-who-lives-out-of-state. He even made a trip out in his BA black rental Dodge Charger with mom and dad on Friday.

Saturday yestreday was college football day and too many exciting games to also try and fit in a trip to Schaffer Road, Walmart, and the Lakehouse. We got home late and put in 1951 Scrooge with Alistair Sim and lit a fire to warm us.

To-day already we took our mechanic neighbor out to the Grape (left at Walmart) to help with the transmission that had been slipping. And then UH-OH, the nation's in upheaval; no tranny fluid and God saved us from evil! Two quarts in (one with the stop-leak additive) and the diagnostic touch pad screen thingy and voila!!! Praise God no more slipping or running rough!!! My neighbor Scott rocks - he wouldn't let me give him any money (we made him accept a little) but I did buy him a White Castle Double Cheeseburger Sack Value Meal (it just doesn't get much better than that).

So, right now I'm boiling eggs for our early week salad and Moni is taking several purchases back (with receipts) to various stores in Livingston County. We are Son-blest indeed!