Wednesday, February 27, 2008

R.I.P., Mr. William F. Buckley Jr. 1925 - 2008

William F. Buckley Jr., founder of the modern conservative movement and founder of the National Review, has died.

Please click here to read Ann Coulter's column on William Buckley.

And here's a tribute Mr. Buckley wrote for his mother when she passed away in 1985.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Charles Schultz's Philosophy

Today, a good friend sent me this nice e-mail. Unfortunately, I don't know how to include all the cute graphics that came with it, but here's the text:

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip. You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read the e-mail straight through, and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier? The lesson:

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

Monday, February 25, 2008


I like this prayer from Fr. Henri Nouwen's book A Cry for Mercy:

Why do I keep relating to You as one of my many relationships, instead of my only relationship, in which all other ones are grounded? Why do I keep looking for popularity, respect from others, success, acclaim, and sensual pleasures? Why, Lord, is it so hard for me to make You the only one? Why do I keep hesitating to surrender myself totally to You?

Help me, O Lord, to let my old self die, to let die the thousand big and small ways in which I am building up my false self and trying to cling to my false desires. Let me be reborn in You and see through You the world in the right way, so that all my actions, words, and thoughts can become a hymn of praise to You. I need Your loving grace to travel on this hard road that leads to the death of my old self and to a new life in and for You. I know and trust that this is the road to freedom. Lord, dispel my distrust and help me become a trusting friend. Amen.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


In keeping with the theme of my previous post, I've started taking steps towards reconnecting with people I haven't been in touch with for a number of years. When I finally track down someone through online phone directories, facebook, etc., I experience varying degrees of anxiety before I finally take the plunge and send the e-mail or make the phone call. After all, just because I'm in a place where I want to re-establish connections, it doesn't mean those I'm trying to reach will feel the same way...

Anyway, the first two of my renewed contacts have gone well, thank God. I'm waiting to hear back from another two. There are four others I still have to contact. And there's one I haven't been able to find yet.

This whole exercise is definitely playing on my fear of rejection - plus my recent trip to Montreal unwittingly and tangentially triggered some difficult memories and emotions from 13 years ago - oy vey! I had a lovely time while I was there last weekend, and my hostess and good friend was very thoughtful and gracious. I just remembered that the last time I went to see her in Montreal 13 years ago, I was seeking solace and escape from a difficulty I was going through. Going back there this time, I remembered that earlier chapter of my life.

Anyway, I'm offering it all up. I'd already been feeling like a slacker about not keeping up my Lenten promises, but I always get the feeling that since God knows I'm a slacker, He makes sure to send me a few little trials during Lent, just to keep me in the Spirit of things! :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Recent experiences of the death of my father (14 months ago) and of a friend (2 months ago) have heightened my awareness that you really don’t know when your last moment on earth will come. You can hope and plan to live a long life, but that may not end up being the case.

In my heart there are people with whom I hope to make peace before I leave this earth. There are some people I’ve been out of touch with for years, but when I think about them, I have the sense of unfinished business. With some there might’ve been a misunderstanding years ago. With others, it might’ve just been a difficult circumstance and it seemed best to not keep in touch at the time. I pray to be reconciled with the people in my life as much as possible before my time comes.

My father is in eternity now and I know God is looking after him. My relationship with my father also continues. I wasn’t able to talk to him about certain things while he was alive, but I talk to him about these things now (when I’m alone and it’s just me and God and Dad).

It may be that some of my relationships won’t be fully reconciled and restored in this life and some things will only be resolved in eternity, but I pray that, for my part, I will be open to it even now.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Speaking of Good Red Wine

While in Montreal, I accompanied my friend to a wine and cheese gathering. Every couple of months, she gets together with her badminton buddies and they enjoy a meal together at one of their homes - red and white wine, cheese, cold cuts, bread, grapes, salad, etc. I had a wonderful time! It was a very friendly group of people - lots of laughter and warmth. Although I was a newcomer, I was made to feel very welcome. They also spoke English for my benefit since my French is minimal and rusty.

Hilaire Belloc would've loved it! I know I did. :)

Friday, February 15, 2008


Will be away for a few days visiting a friend in Montreal. Should be back in the blogosphere next Wednesday. Stay tuned!

P.S. If you think of it, please keep a special intention of mine in your prayers. Thanks!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

Sending up a special prayer for all who come across this blog today...

To read up on St. Valentine's Day, please click here.

And just in case you need to be reminded how easy it is to have a good laugh, please watch this (which admittedly has nothing to do with St. Valentine's Day):

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fr. Lloyd in the Blogosphere!

Good Morning & Happy Sunday!

I know some of the readers of my blog also visit the website of Fr. James Lloyd, CSP.

Fr. Lloyd has a weblog now on which you can comment on any of the previous articles from his website, or on any of the new entries in his weblog!

If you haven't already done so, I do recommend you treat yourself and read some of the articles by Fr. Lloyd. He has a very folksy and witty writing style, and he's a great advocate of The Faith! With titles like "My Mother Wore Tights" and "Eating in Restaurants and Finding God!", you've got to be curious about what Fr. Lloyd has to say!

The layout of Father's weblog is a work in progress; i.e the title and even the link may change in the near future. If that happens, I'll let you know what the updated info is. In the meantime, you can click here to visit his weblog or click here to visit his website.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ash Wednesday - The Beginning of Lent

Here's a quote from an article by Fr. Paul Scalia of the Diocese of Arlington:

"This is how we approach Lent. Every sacrifice and mortification we embrace ought to be as a seed falling to the earth and dying — to bear great fruit. Catholic fasting and penance is not a matter of “white-knuckling it” until Easter arrives. Lent is not just holding our breath until Easter. Rather, our Lenten sacrifices are the seeds of our Easter joy. Thus, since “he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Cor 9:6), let us be generous of heart, even in the smallest sacrifices, so that our Easter harvest will be abundant."

I remember Fr. Scalia also saying that our acts of penance shouldn't become penances for others; i.e. if giving up our morning cup of coffee is going to make us cranky and rude, perhaps we should consider a different sacrifice! That made me laugh because it reminded me of how I am when I go through sugar withdrawal on the first few days of a low-carb diet...

Anyway, here's to kicking off my favourite season in the Church year! I love the prayerful, meditative atmosphere of Lent. God feels especially near during this time, and there's so much hope!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Seeing God's Hand

There's an excellent entry today on Dawn Eden's blog. She gives specific examples of how God has worked through some of the difficulties and disappointments she's experienced this past year - as challenging as it's all been, indeed things have been working togther for good!

Please click here to read her encouraging entry entitled Slipping on Grace.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Me & God and Prayer

Lots of snow on the ground this morning - if my camera was working, I'd share a picture. It looks pretty from my balcony window, but I imagine it may not look so wonderful to those poor souls who have to commute to work this morning... There's no sunshine today, but I'm not feeling depressed about it (yet).

I've been praying more lately, and I know why. There's an issue I'd like to get resolved, and dealing with it is time-consuming and stressful; nevertheless, I have to deal with it. In order to maintain some kind of inner clarity while going through this, I'm seeking the calming and reassuring effect that I only get when I turn to God. I believe God may be permitting my current trial (which I know is small compared to the trials of so many others) so that I will turn to Him more.

My Grandma and I have been saying a novena to St. Joseph, which also helps. For most of my life, I've been lax about keeping up a regular, structured prayer time. I do turn to God several times a day and try to stay close to Him in my heart. Lately, I've been starting my day by committing to Him my words, actions, thoughts & feelings, and at night I turn to Him for protection and peace, and I try to remember to bring to Him the intentions of those who've asked me to pray for them.

I find it helps when I tell my close friends about a particular trial I may be going through and ask for their prayers. Then I feel like I'm not in it alone, and it's consoling to think of all the additional graces that are flowing my way thanks to the extra prayers they're saying for me.

Like everything else in my life, my prayer life is a work in progress.