If I could pick just one quote from the spiritual classic 

Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence, 

I think it would be this:

"Each blow of the hammer on the chisel can only produce one cruel mark at a time, and the stone struck by repeated blows cannot know, nor see the form produced by them. It only feels that it is being diminished, filed, cut, and altered by the chisel.  And a stone that is destined to become a crucifix or a statue without knowing it, if it were asked, "What is happening to you?" would reply if it could speak, "Do not ask me, I only know one thing, 

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While I am happy that I have raised a family of bibliophiles (biblio-geeks actually) who have read and enjoyed a wide variety of literature, I am rather disconcerted by the fact that none of my three young adult children have read the complete Bible.  If they read only one book in their life it would be this one book, the whole thing, cover-to-cover.   They all love the Bible and read scriptures relatively regularly but they have yet to read the entire Bible.  They are bibliophiles but are they Bible-philes?  

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Photo: Ron Dauphin via FlickrThe story of Lazarus found in John’s Gospel is not just a story about Jesus’ total power over death.    It is about his total love as well.   This story is about his humanity, not just his divinity. 

Jesus did not weep for Lazarus. He did not weep when he heard that Lazarus had died.  He did not weep when Martha came and met him.  He wept when Mary came to him weeping.  His heart went out to Mary in her pain.

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Photo:  Janetze Hart


'Centering Prayer' is a phrase which has been generically applied to a wide variety of practices.    In the Carmelite world, it is a reference to a method for centering oneself on Christ, focusing one's heart and mind on Christ.    However, one must be very careful because not all 'Centering Prayer' is the same and it is commonly used to refer to practices of 'emptying the mind' and a pantheistic focus of Eastern origins.


Here is what our Catechism says (red highlight is mine):

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Your local parish church is not usually going to post a dress code.  They probably want people to feel free to come as they are.    But there is no denying that the Vatican has been quite clear about what is appropriate dress.

 "Access to Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens and Saint Peter's Basilica is permitted only to visitors dressed appropriately (no sleeveless blouses, no miniskirts, no shorts, no hats allowed)."

Note that this is not just for audiences with the Pope or for Mass; even the museums expect this standard of proper dress.

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