5em
Choose Life

H1, H2, & Big Boy Life on the (L)edge

Begun in the aftermath of Katrina, this blog was a way to keep family and friends updated as the family struggled to return to a semblance of normalcy. Now, more than four years later, the memories are still strong, the family is, to some extent, scattered. However, life did go on, and this is our story.

April 27, 2010

MY APOLOGIES, BUT...

I've turned on comment moderation for the time being. I've been getting quite a few comments of late that I consider to be "spam". I've never used comment moderation before, but I'm going to give it a try. Please bear with me!

*UPDATE* - Disregard. I've decided to wait a bit and monitor the spam type comments for awhile.

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April 26, 2010

WHY WE SUFFER. HOW WE SUFFER. WHAT WE GAIN FROM SUFFERING

This most excellent Homily by Bishop Slattery of Tulsa, OK, given at the Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form, at Washington, D.C.

Give it a read... it's worth it!!

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April 24, 2010

AN OPEN LETTER TO MY SISTER

Sara,

This is my response to your comment and question, "We are all one in Christ Jesus. We all worship the same God. Why is it a cause for sadness if your friend is choosing a different way to worship the same God you do? When I take communion, it is no less moving and powerful to me whether I believe that the bread and wine truly are the body and blood of Jesus or not. Is that really something that separates us?"

I agree with you that we all worship the same God. Also, insofar as we are baptized Christians, we are all brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, and in that respect we are all one. That does not mean that I believe that all faith communities are equal, and therefore it doesn’t matter to which you belong.

It is always wonderful to hear from you. It is even better when we happen to be online at the same time and use the video thing to talk to one another. But the phone, email, video all pale in comparison to having you in the same room with me.

That is the way it is with the Eucharist. I am convinced of the truth of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the bread and wine changed into His Body and Blood. This is fundamental to my belief as a Catholic. It is not something on which I can compromise. I believe that Jesus spoke clearly and plainly when He said, “my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” And when He asks, “Does this shock you?” and “Do you also want to leave?” I, like Saint Peter must answer, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

I am convinced that the Catholic Church IS the same church founded by Christ when, to Saint Peter, He entrusted the keys to the Kingdom and in which resides the complete deposit of faith. I believe that the Church, although sinful in her human nature also has a divine nature, and that divine nature is guided and protected by the Holy Spirit so that she is forever the custodian and guardian of the Truth and I believe in the infallibility of her teachings on faith and morals.

All that being said, I believe that that Truth is alive and active, in varying degrees, within the various Protestant and other Christian communities because Jesus also said “whoever is not against you, is for you” and, as regards the salvation of all men, “nothing is impossible for God.”

With all my love,
Dean

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April 12, 2010

A FRIEND IS LEAVING THE CHURCH...

and I am truly saddened by it.  I asked him, "If, as a Catholic, you believe in the Real Presence, that Jesus Christ is truly present, body and blood, soul and divinity in the Holy Eucharist, then how can you leave the Church for a faith community that doesn't believe?  And, if you don't believe it, then perhaps you have already left."

"Then many of his disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?"
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, "Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe." Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father."
As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?"
Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."" John 6:60 - 68

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April 4, 2010

HAPPY EASTER!!

The Triduum is OVER!!   It was a busy, but fruitful three days!

Holy Thursday began the Triduum, the holiest time of year for Catholics. After working all day, Linda and I went to the Mass of the Lord's Supper held at 7PM. It was a beautiful service, the altar servers did an excellent job, which really helped to enhance the whole experience. There was the usual touch of sadness as the altar and sanctuary were stripped bare of all decorations and coverings.

Friday morning I attended 10 AM rehearsal for the 3 PM Good Friday service. After much reflection I decided to try singing the Prayers of the Faithful, something I've never done before. I think it went okay. Father asked me to preach, so I gave a short homily. Then home again to begin thinking about the Mass of the Lord's Resurrection (the Easter Vigil Mass) on Saturday.

Saturday morning dawned sunny and beautiful. After breakfast and coffee I began rehearsing the Exultet for Mass that evening... with breaks in between for a little facebook. At 10:10 the church called and asked if I had forgotten about the 10 AM rehearsal! There I was, totally oblivious to the time, still in my pajamas. So I ran a brush through my hair, threw on some clothes and rushed over to the church for rehearsal.

The Vigil Mass started at 8 PM with the blessing of the fire and the lighting of the Easter candle. It was another beautiful liturgy, with wonderful music provided by our organist and cantor (cantress?). The Mass was, sadly, only lightly attended, but in the congregation were our very good friends, Keith and Chris.

After Mass (at around 10 PM) Linda, Keith, Chris and I went out for a late dinner. Not knowing of too many places that would be open at that hour, we ended up at IHOP. We ate and talked for almost 2 hours, catching up on all that has happened in our families since we had last gotten together. I think we all had a great time. Then it was home to bed.

Sunday morning was spent getting ready for our traditional family Easter dinner. This year we decided to have it at H2F's apartment, so we prepared most of the food at home, then carried it to her place. All together we had myself, Linda, Major Dad, DLG, Ian, BB (Bridget), BB (big Brigitte),Molly-moo, H2, H2F, and Fr's Deo and Sebastian, from Uganda and Tanzania respectively.  We sorely missed H1/DIL1 and KenEllie, whose presence would have made the day complete!  Still, we were able to assuage our disappointment a bit with ham, potatoes (both mashed and sweet), corn, green bean casserole, dinner croissants, and of course, Major Dad's awesome devilled eggs!  Apple pie and ice cream and coffee rounded out the meal.

We are now into the Octave of Easter (8 days).  Wishing everyone a Happy and Blessed Easter season.  *Rejoice heavenly powers! Sing choirs of angels!

Exult, all creation around God's throne!
Jesus Christ our King is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes forever!

Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God's people!

*from the Exultet, or Easter Proclamation

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April 3, 2010

WELCOME!!... OR, WELCOME HOME!!



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April 1, 2010

REFLECTIONS ON THE CROSS, AND ON MARY, FOR HOLY THURSDAY

From the typically inspirational Anchoress:

... anger at God is normal. And God has big shoulders, He can take it.

I have found that when it is too much to think of God, it’s easier to think of Mary, who “never did anything to deserve it,” -who spent her whole life only saying “yes” to Him, and in service to His biggest project, ever- but who still had to stay at the foot of her son’s cross and watch him die a most horrible death, after having endured terrible cruelty.

Even she didn’t know what was going to happen next. A mother grieves the unbearable loss of her son, through Passover, and then goes to anoint his body only to find it gone!

What sort of torment is this? Then he is back (!) but he is no longer hers alone, if he had ever been – and for the rest of her life, as she watches His church take shape and form, and helps where she can, she still has all of those memories – the memories a mother cherishes – of an infant tugging at the collar of her gown, looking to nurse, of her son and his loving six-year-old hugs, the scraped knees, the scampish days, the meals they shared. None of this could have been easy for Mary to remember or to reconcile with her human self, or her maternity. He is God. But he was her son, and always will be. He is her son. Her little lad. Her God.

And this is why we call Mary the “Help of Christians.” When it gets very hard, when we feel a little disconnected from God, whether we want to be disconnected or not, when we feel we have been given an unjust burden, we can look at Mary and realize that yes, she kept the faith, but she knew everything we know about how hard life can be. She’s lived through it, and if we ask her to, she’ll pray for us in our suffering.

The cross. The Mother. The Son. Nothing in the Gospels is extraneous, or there without purpose. It is all meant for us, for our understanding and our consolation, too.

People often ask me why Catholics find it necessary to keep the Crucifix before them. “The victory was in the resurrection, not the death; Catholics focus on the wrong thing – the cross should be empty…”

Well, yes. The victory is the resurrection, but its gotten to through the rest of it.

While the empty cross brings us hope and promise, we are still humans living human lives with all of the pain and frailty and questions and hurt that implies; when one looks at the Crucifix, one finds not a morbid and bloody corpse, but The God Who Knows, not because he is conveniently all-knowing, but because He actually submitted to life, lived it, endured it, went through it all, just as we do.

Jesus lost his own beloved step-father, Joseph, he knows what we know. When we look at the Crucifix we see that there is no human situation that Jesus did not come to know. Feel betrayed? Feel humiliated? Being mocked and sneered at? Feel abandoned? Feel unjustly hurt? Feel loss? There, on that crucifix is the God who has known every one of those feelings, and has submitted to them – in order to save us, but also in order to draw us near, to gather us into a consolation, a consoling embrace that says…“I know what you’re feeling…I know what you’re thinking…we are actually all in this together, and quite outside of time.”

It’s hard to remember all that. The Crucifix is the reminder.

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