Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas

The beauty of HOLY SCRIPTURE from to-day's mass readings: 

31 December 2014, The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas

2 John 2:18-21

Children, it is the last hour;
and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming,
so now many antichrists have appeared.
Thus we know this is the last hour.
They went out from us, but they were not really of our number;
if they had been, they would have remained with us.
Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number.
But you have the anointing that comes from the Holy One,
and you all have knowledge.
I write to you not because you do not know the truth
but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.

Psalm 96:1,2,11 - 13

 R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name;
announce his salvation, day after day.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult before the LORD.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
The LORD comes,
he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us.
To those who accepted him
he gave power to become the children of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.

A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believe in his name,
who were born not by natural generation
nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision
but of God.

And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only-begotten Son,
full of grace and truth.

John testified to him and cried out, saying,
“This was he of whom I said,
‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’”
From his fullness we have all received,
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
The only-begotten Son, God, who is at the Father’s side,
has revealed him.

From Jesus Caritas Est 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Splendour and Majesty

I praise our LORD for the beauty of His creation regularly.
Mornings are particularly meaningful to me: the quiet of the day before its busy-ness  steamrolls me into a self-imposed stern and task-oriented focus.  Driving east out of our neighbourhood approaching US-23, I am near a large lake to the east, and can see the horizon almost all the way to the north and south. Each day is a new landscape exposed there. Each day a different blend of colors and temperatures creates a new greeting from God.
 Why only yestreday, the entire eastern sky was pink, before turning orange and yellow as the sun peeped up over the lake. There was enough haze in our atmosphere to allow me to see the red-orange ball of the sun without any glare; a huge, shadow-casting disc, then half circle, then waxing, ... then I began my drive north and the trees (as well as the distraction of being trying to navigate a vehicle moving at 75 mph in morning traffic) prevented my watching any more. Oh how beautiful!! Oh what a wonderful God we serve! Oh His glorious creativity!! He put that sun there! He created the conditions which resulted in me seeing that sunrise yestreday, and the brighter, more fantastic yellow one to-day. He allows me to see all the trees and meadows and farmlands and golf course and water every day on my way to Brighton. He gives me that each day!

Thank you Lord, for Your infinite Gift, and for Your daily gifts. 
I praise You for Your goodness.
I praise You for Your creation.
I thank you for Your presence and care.
Help me to grow in Your love to-day, and help me to bring Your good news to others.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake

At butterknife-point, I forced my sister to peruse the archives of her recipe-box until she was able to produce the following oh-so-delicious cheesecake recipe. Thank you, Nancy!!

1 3/4 c graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c walnuts chopped fine
1/2 tsp cinamon
1/2 c melted butter

24 oz cream cheese softened delicately
3/4 c sugar
16 oz pumpkin
5 eggs
1/4 c coffee cream
3/4 c brown sugar packed
1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Mix all crust ingredeints and set aside 3 tsp for topping.

Press remainder into bottom and side of 9" springform pan.
Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and bet well. Add eggs 1 at atime until beaten light and fluffy.

Beat in pumpkin and spice and cream - mix until smooth.
Pour in pan and add topping.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Allow to cool sensibly.

Refrigerate for a good amount of time and then clut into slices for sharing.

Grandma Mare's Sugar Cookies

This recipe was most generously transcribed by my dear niece Isabelle Anna, at my request, on CHRISTmas day.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

3 1/2 cup flower
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in one bowl. Set aside.

Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and lemon extract in another bowl.

Combine ingredients and knead.

Form into galaxy-shaped discs and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350, keeping a vigilant eye on the cookies for done-ness.

Saturn's Day

O come let us adore Him: Christ the Lord!

In the Church year, yestreday was the feast of St. Stephen, martyred for his faith. Message: O come let us adore Him, but it will cost. Forgive me, Lord, when it doesn't cost.
To-day is the feast of St. John the Apostle. He outran Peter when he heard that the tomb was empty three days after our Lord's crucifixion. Message: Each of us can, and should, outrun even the holiest to Christ. Forgive me, Lord, when I am slow to You.

Moni is ringing out these last few days at our Kroger, where she knows everyone and where she needs a paint stir stick to press down the donations in the evening - God be praised. I have a cheesecake in the oven (if it turns out, I will post the recipe) and am doing a beer can chicken with mashed potatoes for dinner. I will also, with my wife's approval, follow the directions on a box (or two) of Stove-top Stuffing, for the most part. I intend to add, not in any particular order: green pepper, garlic, corn, Christmas stuffing leftovers, chicken broth (from the beer can chicken), and perhaps even a can of green beans just waiting to be eaten.

My other jobs to-day will be setting up the television with our new cable box in the bedroom, and cleaning out the fireplace.

Father, I confess to You my shortcomings and lusts. I confess my self-ish-ness and narcissism. Forgive me these and all my sins, bring me back into full communion with You; may Your name be praised forever!!!


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Adeste Fideles

Up early on Christmas morn and made my cranberry sauce before Mass. Home for a nap and then a quick improvised Clair Robinson Dressing dish before the trip to Garden City to see family.
Wonderful afternoon with sister and brother in law, the niece and nephews, and mom and dad. Turkey and ham and all the fixings, with the best rum punch after dinner. Sweetie put together a basket for them which was a hit; we watched 1951 Scrooge and said our good nights.

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, Love's pure Light
Radiant beams from Thy Holy Face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth


I hope to have already gone to see the final Jackson Hobbit movie by the time this is published; reviews and thoughts will certainly be forthcoming.

Until then, relax and allow yourself to be entertained with the following feel-good story... one which I absolutely adore.

Peace, love, joy and Kit Kats to you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


40 degrees and rainy but I will not complain at all. Last winter provided enough, enough, enough snow I say.

Rest your mind in our loving Father.
Rest your heart at the cradle of the baby Jesus.
Rest your soul and let the Spirit overwhelm and purify you.

Heavenly Father, 

You have deemed it good and right to have created us in Your image. We chose sin, so You had to come up with a plan - a plan to cover our un-righteousness, our filthiness.

We praise You for Your plan!

We praise You for Emmanuel!

We praise You for the virgin birth of Your Son - the Redeemer of the World!

Let all that has breath praise the LORD!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Arabian Proverb

From my daily flip calendar for 23 December:

A friend is one to whom one may pour out all other contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.

What Child Is This

What child is this, who laid to rest,
on Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
while shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
haste, haste to bring him laud,
the babe, the son of Mary.

Why lies he in such mean estate
where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here
the silent Word is pleading. Refrain

So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh,
come, peasant, king, to own him;
the King of kings salvation brings,
let loving hearts enthrone him. Refrain

Words: William Chatterton Dix, c. 1865 Music: Greensleaves
Meter: 87 87 with Refrain

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Wisdom from on high,
who orderest all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go. Refrain

O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free
thine own from Satan's tyranny;
from depths of hell thy people save,
and give them victory over the grave. Refrain

O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer
our spirits by thine advent here;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
and death's dark shadows put to flight. Refrain

O come, thou Key of David, come,
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery. Refrain

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to thy tribes on Sinai's height
in ancient times once gave the law
in cloud and majesty and awe. Refrain

O come, thou Root of Jesse's tree,
an ensign of thy people be;
before thee rulers silent fall;
all peoples on thy mercy call. Refrain

O come, Desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid thou our sad divisions cease,
and be thyself our King of Peace. Refrain

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear. Refrain

Words: Latin, twelfth century;
trans. John Mason Neale (1818-1866), 1851 Veni Emmanuel (fifteenth century plainsong)

Meter: 88 88 88

Friday, December 19, 2014

Racing Advent Thoughts...

End of the week, trying to close loans, pay bills, and buy presents. God is good and faithful and may His name be blessed forevermore! 1937 Scrooge with the Lockharts last night and my free Amazon Prime 30 day trial is letting me 'watch' A Christmas Story while I work.


 God is love. Sunny now in the afternoon but icy cars and roads this morning. God is all. Up at 4:30 this am and then to Kohl's for a quick shopping excursion with my sweetie this morning. Praise the LORD! Praying for children today, all children all over the world, that they might grow up in a safe and nurturing home to know and love God. Praise His Name. Praying for Francis and all the priests and bishops who shepherd the Church all over the world. Glory be the Father. Praying for Stan, Rita, Stanley, Charlotte, Kathy, Justin, Dana, Joey, Ryan, Emily, Stacy, Stosh (RIP), Carter, Terry, Jeanie, Tye, Sofie, Trent, Carolyn, Doug, Pam, Ken, Kenny, Kendal. Glory be to the Son. Praying for Kevin, Justen, Michael and his mom, and Kaley, Kristine, and Tori, Moni, Bob, Jon, Jay (RIP), Jen, Joslin, Liam, Denise, and Meridith. Glory be to the Holy Spirit. Praying for Mom and dad and Nancy, Ruben, Ray, Rick, Alex, Carlos, Bennie, and Belle, Gary, Susie, Joshie, Jeremy, Taylor, Ron, Jeana, Cas, Nina, Sofie, Mike and his family, Mike and Drake and his mom. God became Man. Praying for Jim and Donald and Paul and his brother and mom and dad and for the team and candidates of LVCCM #83 and the two guys i sat at table with last year and Tommy and Shelly, and Vic and AJ and Peggy and Ninny and John and Betsie and their kids. God knows our hearts. Praying for Kurt and Bob and Vic, Dave, and Dana and Gray and Wendy, Adam, the boys, Jerry, his wife and kids, Doreen, Bill, Arlene(RIP), gramma(RIP), grampa(RIP), grandma(RIP), grandpa(RIP), Sue (RIP), Jeff, Dawn, and their kids, Cathy, Jeff and their kids, Kim, Mario and their kids, Bill, Nancy, Nancy's mom and brother, Brad, Brenda, Blake, Brooke, Bilbo, Kelli, Doug, Maren and Marina, Steve, Francis, Charley and his wife, Mary Ellen. God is Father. Praying for Marty and Denada and Aaron and Anna, Roger, Sheri, Benjamin, Kevin, Hilda.
Praising the Father, the Son, and the Spirit!!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Humanity Was My Bus-i-ness

Oh so busy this past several days... **thinking back**

Our PT Cruiser started leaking brake fluid badly so urgent phone calls all over the county on Saturday to see who was open. Ended up getting a diagnosis from a tire company which happened to be open on Saturday but they closed at 3:00 and couldn't finish the job until Monday. So we got a quote and said thank you very much and dropped it off at the garage down the road, who couldn't work on it until Monday, but they were going to do the work for a much better price. So I made some turkey soup (recipe to follow) and hung out with a nice fire blazing in our living room fireplace.
My sweetie wanted to get back down to her mom and dads because both are dealing with health issues and she likes to help out when she can. Her current boss is very understanding so that wasn't a problem - the issue was then her getting a ride downriver. She asked me so nicely I couldn't resist!

We left about noon and got there without a hitch. I unloaded her and proceeded north to visit my parents for a quick visit, not knowing if they'd be home or not cuz I like suprises. Grabbed a pizza from nearby and stopped in Westland but alas mom and dad were out doing various social events. So I had to drive all the way home with that pizza smelling so good (and, as I soon found out, tasting so good) in the Taurus next to me. I also got to listen to the Lions on the way home - that (the Lions winning) made the trip seem so short.

So I was alone again (Sierra the Wise Malamute and Otis the Quat don't really count. They do not talk as much as Monica, although they eat much more, but still not as much as I do.) with my guitar to play and nothing in the fridge but pizza pieces that survived the trip home (Moni took the turkey soup to mom and dad's.) I got the garbage out and did all the laundry and dishes and stuff and read my Narnia books.

We've been working on very difficult loans at work and I think the stress causes me to over eat. I don't know. I bought a loaf of bread Monday night and some lunchmeat and had six sandwiches for dinner with a little Red Stag. I worked on my songs that I've been practicing and read a bit more.

I picked up a free tv by the side of the road and hooked up the VCR but the cable would not work. Turns out I need an adapter of some sort that I can pick up at my local cable office.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and now it's Thursday and I'll need gas on the way home and probably another loaf of bread. I'll finish The Last Battle tonight before I close my eyes.

It got down to 17 degrees F when I woke up at about 3:00 am to let the dog out. I fed her breakfast, then thought I needed one also so I made a turkey sandwich. I let her back in and tried to sleep but couldn't so I read and listened to the podcasts from my Laudate phone app.

I think I'll try a Sudoku now...

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Magician's Nephew

About halfway into the 6th book of CS Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia titled The Magician's Nephew. The story begins almost two generations before the Pevensie children, Scrubb, and Pole found a way out of London and had their adventures in Narnia. One main character Digory, will turn out to be the old professor uncle of the Pevensies, where they first encountered the wardrobe, allowing the commute between worlds. So, in a sense, this is a prequil; but it is much more. It will tell the tale of Creation in Narnia, and why things turned out the way they did. I remember the last time I read through all seven books admiring the brilliance of this, in light of the history already revealed by the first five.

My wife has been gone for two weeks helping her parents, who are dealing with various infirmities, and I miss her. We talk and text every day, but it's sooooo quiet in the evenings without her.

Many of the top ten college football teams play this weekend for my entertainment.