"In fact, woman has a genius all her own,
which is vitally essential to both society and the Church." --John Paul II

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Terri Schiavo

Theresa Marie Schindler Schiavo
Dehydrated and starved to death
by order of the State of Florida's Sixth Judicial Circuit Court

Thursday, March 25, 2010


John Collier, The Annunciation

Litany of St. Gabriel the Archangel on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord

Litany of St. Gabriel

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary , Queen of Angels, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel, glorious Archangel, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, strength of God, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, who stands before the throne of God, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, model of prayer, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, herald of the Incarnation, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, who revealed the glories of Mary, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, Prince of Heaven, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, ambassador of the Most High, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, guardian of the Immaculate Virgin, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, who foretold the greatness of Jesus, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, peace and light of souls, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, scourge of unbelievers, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, admirable teacher, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, strength of the just, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, protector of the faithful, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, first adorer of the Divine Word, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, defender of the Faith, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, zealous for the honor of Jesus Christ, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, whom the Scriptures praise as the Angel sent by God to Mary, the Virgin, pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

V. Pray for us, blessed Archangel Gabriel,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let Us Pray: O blessed Archangel Gabriel, we beseech thee, intercede for us at the throne of Divine Mercy in our present necessities, that as thou didst announce to Mary the mystery of the Incarnation, so through thy prayers and patronage in Heaven we may obtain the benefits of the same, and sing the praise of God forever in the land of the living. Amen.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

How to Pray for the Nation

Don't miss this post from the Anchoress, as she shares advice from a reader:

“God’s will will always be for the salvation of the individual involved.”

So I try every day now to pray for the salvation of the president, all members of Congress, and the American people. I cast my cares upon the Lord.

We are in a deeper battle here, which you well know . . . I also think in the end this all has to do with the salvation of souls, including the souls of our president and these politicians who deign to rule over the rest of us. I think we who believe must hold fast to Christ, the True Center, and bring as many along with us as possible.

The Anchoress comments,

Yes. How perfectly right. God’s will will always be for the salvation of the individual involved. And it follows that the salvation of the individual involved will lie in that individual’s conforming him/herself to the Word and Will of God.

Chew on that, for a while.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Who is the archetypal feminine anti-genius?

If I'm going to snark on Feminine Genius FAIL then I need to come up with a graphic. So who should get the nod?

  • Medea?
  • Margaret Sanger?
  • Elizabeth I?
  • Lady MacBeth?

Your nominations, please! Lurkers are especially encouraged to comment....

Feminine Genius FAIL: Nancy Pelosi

"Today is the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, particularly important to Italian-Americans. It’s a day where we remember and pray to St. Joseph to benefit the workers of America, and that’s exactly what our health-care bill will do. … Every order [of nuns] that you can think of was there [on a list of endorsements], saying they wanted us to pass this life-affirming legislation." -- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, 19 March 2010

"...women imbued with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid humanity in not falling."  --closing message of the Second Vatican Council

So:  Feminine Genius FAIL as well.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Not even Irish?

I realize this is a day late, but it still needs telling.
When I was in the work force BC (before children), I had the pleasure of working with many lovely and well meaning people. I remember one young fellow in particular of the Protestant variety. It was St. Patrick's Day, and a Monday to boot, and he was wearing ORANGE. (I must confess, that I, too, used to wear it, but I am all GREEN now.)

I couldn't let that go, so I approached him and recounted how I used to wear orange on St. Patrick's Day and now I'm Catholic and understand what a great gift this holy man was to the Church and the world and I'm proud to wear my green.

He responded with, "Oh, you deluded Catholics. You just believe everything the Pope tells you. Why are the Irish so excited about St. Patrick? He wasn't even Irish!" And he walked off. A little later, I pointed out that most missionaries aren't from the country they serve, and this was true of the good Bishop for sure.

I have no idea if that made any difference to him. But it was a painful reminder of my own ignorance of the faith before my conversion to Catholicism. Once I understood the true teachings of the Church, there was no denying the One True Faith.

So I wear my green with pride on St. Patrick's Day. And my littlest child wore a Bishop's Mitre to the public school St. Patrick's Day parade, not a silly leprechaun hat. Seemingly small witnesses of the Faith can have real power to those who might otherwise never hear the Truth.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Peony's St Patrick's Day Menu

Peony: bringing the authentic!

Afternoon snack:  
Baked Tostitos and picante sauce
Kerrygold Dubliner cheese

Beef and Guinness Stew -- on the stove
Soda Bread -- if I can get in in the oven in the next half hour

Just remembered that I polished off the Bailey's last night.  How do you say D'oh! in Irish?

Kathy's St. Patrick's Day Menu

Corned Beef & Cabbage -- in the slow cooker

Black & Tans -- 1/2 Guinness & 1/2 Harp mixed
Irish Soda Bread -- homemade!
Boiled Potatoes -- with butter and parsley

What's on your St. Patrick's Day menu?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Speaking of Butter... (free cookbook download!)

Deal Seeking Mom brings news of a free download of a cookbook by Rachel Allen ("one of the hottest TV chefs in Ireland", per Harper Collins) (and it's really an abridged version with recipes "selected by Kerrygold", but it's still free.)

The coupon code is KGLD-0319-2010-RACB and is good for the first 10,000 downloads. (Well, only 9,999 at most; I've already downloaded my copy.)

x-posted to Pansy & Peony

mmmm..... butter....

The Geniuses loooove butter!  TipNut has some tips on cooking and baking with butter up today, including the answer to the question of how much is a "knob" of butter, anyway?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Feminine Genius in History

Whether you're looking for spiritual reading during Lent or a book for your summer vacation, I highly recommend Isabel of Spain: The Catholic Queen by Warren Carroll.

This wonderful book reads like an adventure novel rather than a dry work of historical dates and facts. Dr. Carroll makes real and compelling the extraordinary events of Isabel's life and times. The reader feels a powerful connection to Isabel across 500 years. Like all saints* of the Church, she becomes accessible as a friend.

Queen Isabel of Spain, in partnership with her husband Fernado, raised five children while managing to unite her fractured and fractious country, finally vanquish the Moorish invaders who had occupied Spain for 770 years, and launch Christopher Columbus on the expedition that would forever change the world. And she did it all in humble service to and for the love of Our Lord her God.

Perhaps more remarkably, Isabel so thoroughly reformed the Church in Spain that it withstood the Protestant Revolution virtually untouched and completely intact.

Dr. Carroll's extensive documentation of the almost unbelieveable events of Isabel's life and reign assure the reader that these accomplishments are indeed fact. This magnificent book is a must read for those seeking proof of the Feminine Genius. It is a beautiful confirmation of the earthly potential of every woman who puts her faith in God and His Church.

*While Isabel has not yet been cannonized, I share Dr. Carroll's hope that she will be 'St. Isabel' one fine day. Check out Daughters of Isabella for more information.

Friday, March 12, 2010

St Frances of Rome says....

"A married woman must often leave God at the altar to find Him in her household care."

Source: the Women for Faith and Family Facebook page.

Note to self: get their magazine.

Sleep -- So Nice to Sleep!

Have you ever been So tired that you just must sleep -- but, you can't?

Sometimes I will go for days without sleeping well, or at all. I have tried herbal remedies and concoctions. While they work for some people, one actually caused me kidney stones. Thank you, I'd rather not sleep than go through that again!

I've also tried the prescription medications that are touted as being able to give you a pleasant night's sleep. Have you ever listened to the side effects? Dry mouth, headaches, nausea, feelings of grogginess, suicidal thoughts. Thank you, I rather not sleep than go through that again!

I am of the mind that sometimes it just takes an event to change the sleep pattern -- even if that pattern is caused by hormones. I just had a vicious stomach virus in my family. There was, of course, very little sleep happening, especially when it hit me.

Since the virus has resolved, I have experienced a better sleep than I have had in years. Now, I am not suggesting that we with insomnia all go out and get stomach viruses. But, I do think that there is a connection between the behavior, the change in brain chemistry and the resetting of my sleep clock!

This is just an opinion piece with nothing to back it up beyond my personal experience. I am going to try and look at some of the science later -- now that I've had some sleep. (smile!)

Right now, I plan to start my day in a pleasant mood, reflect on Scripture with my Bible Ladies, and enjoy the rest of the day with my kids who are off from school today. Thank you, Lord --it's nice to feel rested.

Has anyone else with insomnia experienced this same change of sleep pattern as a result of an increase of activity or illness? I'd be really curious to know.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bishop Loverde to his flock: "Prayer and Fasting this Monday"

From the Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington to his flock:

I invite you to take part in a day of prayer and fasting on Monday, March 15 for protecting the life, dignity, health and conscience rights of every human person in any legislation that Congress considers. I also invite Catholics to pray and fast for this intention beyond March 15.

In moments of concern and crisis, Catholic tradition through the centuries has unfailingly urged the faithful to turn to the spiritual aids of prayer and fasting in order to draw closer to our Lord and His will. Through these deliberate actions, we communicate a desire to avoid sin and unify ourselves with that which is right and good. I firmly believe that, working together while open to God’s wisdom, the citizens of our nation can respect the dignity of each human person both in law and in practice.

The complete letter online

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Feast of St Frances of Rome

Poor Frances!  Born in 1384, by the age of eleven she was sure that God was calling her to be a nun.  However, her father was sure Frances was being called to marry (after all, he had arranged the marriage.)

In an effort to do God's will, she finally consented to the marriage.  Her new husband was from a noble family, which meant that the new bride was thrust into Rome's high society.  Doing God's will now meant living up to her mother-in-law's standards of what a society wife should be: attending banquets and paying calls and entertaining.

To her surprise, though, Frances found a kindred spirit in her sister-in-law.  Together they prayed and did works of charity, while performing the roles expected by their family.  When famine came to Rome, they shared as much as they could with the poor.  Frances's father-in-law took exception to her generosity -- how could she give away all their stores when there was a famine on! -- until the contents of the family's granary and wine cask were found to be miraculously replenished.

Over the course of her life, God granted Frances visions (often, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "in the form of drama enacted for her by heavenly personages.")  She was also given the favor of being able to see her guardian angel (who at one point advised her to lay off the bread-and-water and the hair shirt).

Frances continued to persist in her trust in God and in her generosity to the poor through hard years of war and invasion.  She eventually founded the Oblates of Mary, a lay order for women attached to a Benedictine monastery.   After she was widowed, she moved to the Oblates' house to live in community with the other widows of the order:  religious life at last!  She died at the age of fifty-six.

Catholic Online, my main source, has much more about Saint Frances, including this lovely prayer:

Saint Frances of Rome,
help us to see the difference between what we want to do
and what God wants us to do.
Help us to discern what comes from our will
and what comes from God's desire. Amen.

Especially when God's desire comes in a way we're not expecting....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Little Irish Stew among Friends

Today, a few of the Geniuses got together for food and fun. We had delicious (if I do say so myself) Irish Stew from this month's Cooking Light magazine.

The stew was very easy to make. I used all two tablespoons of raisins from the little single serve box. Peony is here with me and reminds me that we just couldn't wait that extra hour for the simmer, so we shortened the cook time. But other than that, we were by the book. Oh, and there was the matter of the beer. I bought Guinness Stout instead of Draught.

OK, so there were a few modifications. But it still hit the spot. And we didn't even drink the rest of the beer!

Nine levels of prayer

Part one of a series at The Divine Life

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

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