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Like all of us, Jesus was part of a family.  Families, every one of them, have "complications". God can turn them into blessings.

Jesus’ family had plenty of skeletons in the closet.  Probably your family is not different.  They’re still you’re family.  [Advent] is a good time of year to mend some family ties.

from the little blue book

Family ties I need to mend?  You bet.  But my question, how does one mend the ties when the other member of the family doesn’t want to?  I’m praying for guidance here….

So, you’re traveling today or over the holidays?  Want to know what you can carry on the airplane – especially whether knitting kneedles are okay?  (surprisingly there are some restrictions… okay so not so surprising!)  Here’s a cnn report:

It’s no surprise that loaded weapons and explosives are strictly off-limits in airports and on flights. But the guidelines on some more common items — such as knitting needles, matches or cigar cutters — might be less obvious to travelers.   Read more here

Meanwhile I send prayers and thanksgiving for you.  Blessings and as one pundit says, "gobble till you wobble." 

Please join us in prayer as Catholic religious community superiors from around the world meet to discern and pray about our mission and lives into the future.

LogocongressWe bless you, God of heaven and earth, for you have called us to consecrated life from the far corners of the world. We praise you for Your beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord. May he teach us to be his living presence in all that we are and all that we do, so that love may become prophecy and compassion, the source of new life. Thank you, loving God, for the gift of the Holy Spirit who implants and cultivates within us a passion for Christ and a passion for humanity. God all merciful, give us the grace to work intensely for justice and peace, united with all people of peace, women and men of this world. Transform us, like Mary, into witnesses of a new world. Through her intercession, give courage and wisdom to all gathered together in this Congress. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Two nuns who worked in a hospital were out driving in the country when they ran out of gas. As they were standing beside their car on the shoulder of the road, a truck approached  them.

Noticing the nuns in distress, the trucker stopped and offered to help. When the nuns explained they had run out of gas, the trucker said he would be more than happy to drain some from his tank, but he didn’t have a bucket or a can.

Hearing this, one of the nuns dug out a clean bedpan from the trunk and asked the trucker if it would do. He said it would and proceeded to drain a couple of quarts into the pan. He  then handed the pan to the sisters, got back into his truck and waved goodbye.

While the nuns were carefully pouring the precious fuel into their gas tank, a cop happened by. He stopped and watched them for a few moments, then said, "Sisters, somehow I don’t think that’s going to work, but I sure do admire your faith!"

Received from Clean Laffs. via  gcfl

A friend of mine wrote this in response to an email going around about why we are in Iraq…

There is an e-mail going around in which a man explains to his son why we are in Iraq. He makes a parallel with a man knowing that his neighbor is beating his wife and not doing anything to stop it. The abuser eventually kills his wife and later comes to kill the man himself and his family and, at this point, the father says the abuser is too strong to be beaten, although why this is the case is not explained. The message concludes by the father saying to his son this is why we are in Iraq. Since the original piece used the metaphor of the battered wife, I would like to follow what has actually happened in Iraq, continuing that metaphor.

Yes, it is a terrible situation in the neighbor’s house. The man has heard the neighbor’s wife’s cries for years. For some reason, he now decides to do something about it. Perhaps this is a good thing for the woman?

Knowing that the abuser is a terrible person who cannot be reasoned with, the neighbor decides he must use force. He gets a couple friends and they train their machine guns on the man’s house and shoot for an extended period. The abuser somehow figured out what was coming and actually hid in his private study in the basement where he has a stash of food and cable TV. He locked the door so his family could not disturb him. Things did not go so well upstairs. The wife was hit in the leg and is now wounded. Three of her seven children were killed in the attack and, of the four remaining, two are wounded. She is too afraid to go for help and so she and the children are huddled in one room, terrified.

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Here are several very important but often forgotten rules of English:

1. Avoid alliteration. Always.

2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat.)

4. Employ the vernacular.

5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.

7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

8. Contractions aren’t necessary.

9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

10. One should never generalize.

11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

12. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

13. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.

14. Be more or less specific.

15. Understatement is always best.

16. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

17. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

19. The passive voice is to be avoided.

20. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

21. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

22. Who needs rhetorical questions?

via Mikey’s Funnies

some saint once said, “After the ecstasy: the laundry.” Pretty sure it’s also “after the agony: the laundry.” So that’s what I did yesterday. Laundry. And I studied a bit; organized my yarn; talked at length with my friend, D., on her birthday; listened, yes, to Christmas music; chatted with the sisters; prayed; wept a bit; managed to move through the day.

And today I’m a little beyond disbelief and sorrow to “now what?” As a nation, I hope we can all come to this place together. As a Christian I believe God will be with us here. As a sister, I’m reminded of the challenge of learning to listen, really listen, to one another. And to be transformed by what we hear, together. Meanwhile, it’s nice to have clean clothes and towels and to check in with Mom and others whose immediate lives don’t have anything to do with elections and results of them, but with breathing in and breathing out no matter what.

Start planning how you will stay engaged in the political process on Wednesday morning, moving forward. No matter who wins. Politics do not happen once every four years. Politicians like to see which way the wind blows. So, as Jim Wallis is so fond of saying, let’s change the wind.

Pray for common ground with your political opponents, then walk on that fertile soil. Too many important political issues in America today are polarized, and the inevitable result is paralysis. Jim Forest visited my class at the University of San Francisco this past week and shared with the students a profound insight: “The opposite of love is not hate, but fear.” We fear sliding down a slope from the height of our own self-right-ness. We fear our adversary. We fear losing control. And we cease to love.


Now the trumpet summons us again – not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need – not as a call to battle, though embattled we are – but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation" – a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself. — John Fitzgerald Kennedy

The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.  — Dwight D. Eisenhower

For twelve successive Congresses we have appeared before committees of the two Houses making this plea, that the underlying principle of our Government, the right of consent, shall have practical application to the other half of people. Such a little simple thing we have been asking for a quarter of a century. For over forty years, longer than the children of Israel wandered through the wilderness, we have been begging and praying and pleading for this act of justice. We shall some day be heeded.  — Susan B. Anthony

Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.  — H.L. Mencken

Voting is the least arduous of a citizen`s duties.  He has the prior and harder duty of making up his mind.  — Ralph Barton Perry

A man’s feet must be planted in his cournty, but his eyes should survey the world.  — George Santayana

If you are a registered U.S. voter, please practice your right and responsibility; if you`re not, please say a prayer for all of us. Thank you.

We’re perfectly capable of spinning ourselves.

November 2004