Often when I hop onto Bible Gateway, they have a “verse of the day” that just … isn’t what I’m looking for. And that’s ok, it’s meant for someone else that day. But today, after a week of so, so, so many heart breaking prayer needs, and they just keep coming — today’s verse was perfect. Dwell on this, if you have also had a heart heavy with sorrow or anxiety. This is for you.
Philippians 4:6-7 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)
6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Acts 13:44-52 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)
44 The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.[a] 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy; and blaspheming, they contradicted what was spoken by Paul. 46 Then both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you reject it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying,
‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles,
so that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and praised the word of the Lord; and as many as had been destined for eternal life became believers.49 Thus the word of the Lord spread throughout the region. 50 But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their region. 51 So they shook the dust off their feet in protest against them, and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Two things stand out to me in this reading:
1) The religious leaders and people of prominence and power, likely fearing the loss of influence they would suffer if this gospel message were to become popular, stirred up strife against the apostles. This seems to be a pattern for all those who preach faithfully. Sooner or later, they run up against opposition from powerful societal forces, and are persecuted, imprisoned, and even killed. So it was in the beginning of our faith, and so it continues throughout the world today.
2) “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Their response to this persecution and antagonism was not to whine, or rage against the powers that be. They went on their way, focused on thier mission, and their joy was in the Lord! How much I need to take this example to heart. Applause and approval are not the goal. Faithfulness is the goal.
This post is complete silliness.
You have been warned.
Choose a random page in any given book, and the first sentence on that page describes your life.
We chose to use
“A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Austere Academy”
and then we had to explain — unless it was obvious — why it did, in fact, apply so perfectly.
Geneva — Page 206:
“And I can’t take off my turban for religious reasons,” Genghis added.
Well, since we’re talking about Geneva, clearly “turban” refers to “mantilla”.
(Also, Genghis and Geneva both begin with “G”.)
Nettie — Page 47 (Because Rambaldi):
Normally, this might have embarrassed Klaus a little bit, but under the circumstances it felt perfectly natural.
Every time I go out in public with my family.
Laurent — Page 21 (Because she will be):
I’m not going to depress myself further by listening to the problems of three bratty children.
I hope it is a safe assumption that, to everyone who knows that Laurent is the oldest of four siblings, this is obvious.
Jacob — Page 42:
Now, you and I know that this loathsome little girl was Carmelita Spats, but the Baudelaires had not been properly introduced to her and so did not realize just how loathsome she was, although as the orphans drew closer she gave them an instant education.
This sentence just screams Jacob — it’s exactly the way a verbal prodigy such as he is would go about describing the meeting of a loathsome little girl.
Jeff — Page 14:
Everybody will die of course, sooner or later.
An eternal pessimist, this sentence is Jeff in spades. 😀 He’s actually usually pretty chipper about it though!
His nickname is, after all, Puddleglum.
Oma — Page 83:
Prufrock Preparatory School is now closed.
At the age of 75, she is absolutely, positively finished going to school.
(Also, Prufrock and Pauline both begin with P.)
Beedo — Page 4:
“Get out of my way, you cakesniffers!”
This would be exactly what Beedo would say to the dogs on any given day.
Paul — Page 127:
No explanation needed.
Now, go get a book and try this with your family! Let me know how it turns out!
Pics from our late night walk in downtown Phoenix yesterday.
Dad driving, mom in the front passenger seat, Jacob and Megan in the middle, and Junior, Laurent, and Geneva in the back seat. We’ve just finished gallivanting around downtown Phoenix, shooting nighttime photos and running around making fools of ourselves, as only we can do. Everyone is giddy — the shenanigans have by no means stopped, they are now merely confined to a very small space. I am blasting the air conditioning to cool my middle-aged self off after the hup. We’ve been driving for maybe five minutes, I’ve still got all the front vents blowing on me full blast, when my peripheral vision catches my wild-child, Megan, unbuckled and facing the rear. I, feeling the need to be clever, quiz her thusly:
“Megan…. what is a seat belt?”
“Errr… something you wear when your mother is cold?”
Amongst the hubbub behind me as we drive there are many snatches of song, but a couple of measures from my eldest soprano pop out, and I holler back with delight:
“Laurent! Is that Purcell?”
Laurent, with disdained disbelief:
“It’s Byrd!! Sheesh, mom!!”
We’ve just returned from a long drive-about, ferrying people here and there. It involved beverages. There was a certain urgency about getting out of the car-seat and into the house for the 3yo, but he was not the first one into the house.
I’m still sitting in the car, finishing a text message to Geneva about picking her up, when Junior comes running out of the house, giggling with delight:
“Mom! I made mud inna yarrrd!”
From the CatholicCulture.org:
The feast of St. Joseph the Worker was established by Pope Pius XII in 1955 in order to Christianize the concept of labor and give to all workmen a model and a protector. By the daily labor in his shop, offered to God with patience and joy, St. Joseph provided for the necessities of his holy spouse and of the Incarnate Son of God, and thus became an example to all laborers. “Workmen and all those laboring in conditions of poverty will have reasons to rejoice rather than grieve, since they have in common with the Holy Family daily preoccupations and cares”(Leo XIII).
St. Joseph the Worker
“May Day” has long been dedicated to labor and the working man. It falls on the first day of the month that is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Pius XII expressed the hope that this feast would accentuate the dignity of labor and would bring a spiritual dimension to labor unions. It is eminently fitting that St. Joseph, a working man who became the foster-father of Christ and patron of the universal Church, should be honored on this day.
O God, Creator of all things,
who laid down for the human race the law of work,
graciously grant that by the example of Saint Joseph and under his patronage
we may complete the works you set us to do
and attain the rewards you promise.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
The mission of St. Joseph the Worker is to assist homeless, low-income and other disadvantaged individuals in their efforts to become self-sufficient through quality employment. Read more by clicking the logo below.
Today has been a day to spend loving on a very dear family that has become *our* family. This beautiful mama brought her 11 kiddos over and spent the afternoon – we combined our resources and had pizza and salad and fresh veggies and deviled eggs and cookies for dessert, and it was a lovely chaos. The little children played happily, the teenagers “hung out” or did makeup or played Team Fortress as it suited them, and the moms just got to have some much needed face time, and it was very good, something I want to do lots more of, and soon. We cut things short so they could get to a plethora of appointments before their MoezArt performance this evening. I dropped Jake and Geneva off at the play around 6:30, and Megan joined them there after work so they could all support their theater friends, and they arrived home around 10:30 having enjoyed it as much as ever. So — a good full day.
Here is the painting at the head of this post, in full. Entitled “Merry Company,” it was painted by Richard Brakenburg (1650-1702).
I have been mulling over the first chapter of the book of James, and honestly, every time I try to pick out one verse, I’m stymied by wanting to choose two others. Thus, my scripture for today is the entirety of chapter one (and this is from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition).
1 James, a servant[a] of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
Faith and Wisdom
2 My brothers and sisters,[b] whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; 4 and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. 6 But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; 7, 8 for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Poverty and Riches
9 Let the believer[c] who is lowly boast in being raised up, 10 and the rich in being brought low, because the rich will disappear like a flower in the field.11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the field; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. It is the same way with the rich; in the midst of a busy life, they will wither away.
Trial and Temptation
12 Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord[d] has promised to those who love him. 13 No one, when tempted, should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one. 14 But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it; 15 then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved.[e]
17 Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.[f] 18 In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
Hearing and Doing the Word
19 You must understand this, my beloved:[g] let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. 21 Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.23 For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves[h] in a mirror; 24 for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. 25 But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.
26 If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
This is quick, but so good!
If you have always thought the sign of the cross was just that weird thing Catholics do, here are some things about it that might surprise you. When I first became Catholic and learned what it means, it became one of my most loved devotional practices – every time I make the sign of the cross, it is with thought, care and gratitude!
I know, I know. I revamp my website with alarming frequency. BUT! I’m having fun with it, and plus, self expression… or something.
Anyway! You can browse around and see a few of these little updates:
That’s it for the moment. More developments in the offing, so stay tuned!
3 For my days pass away like smoke,
and my bones burn like a furnace.
4 My heart is stricken and withered like grass;
I am too wasted to eat my bread.
5 Because of my loud groaning
my bones cling to my skin.
6 I am like an owl of the wilderness,
like a little owl of the waste places.
7 I lie awake;
I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
8 All day long my enemies taunt me;
those who deride me use my name for a curse.
9 For I eat ashes like bread,
and mingle tears with my drink,
10 because of your indignation and anger;
for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.
11 My days are like an evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.
12 But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
your name endures to all generations.
13 You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to favor it;
the appointed time has come.
14 For your servants hold its stones dear,
and have pity on its dust.
15 The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
and all the kings of the earth your glory.
16 For the Lord will build up Zion;
he will appear in his glory.
17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
and will not despise their prayer.
18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord:
19 that he looked down from his holy height,
from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners,
to set free those who were doomed to die;
21 so that the name of the Lord may be declared in Zion,
and his praise in Jerusalem,
22 when peoples gather together,
and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.
25 Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you endure;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You change them like clothing, and they pass away;
27 but you are the same, and your years have no end.
28 The children of your servants shall live secure;
their offspring shall be established in your presence.