Sunday, October 29, 2006


Since he was so kind to help me in my hour of need, turnabout is fair play.

Domineco Bettinelli has been doing a pledge-style drive at his 'blog during the month of October. His efforts formally end on Tuesday.

Dom is certainly one of the most talented 'bloggers at St. Blogs, a heavyweight in his own right. He makes it very clear why he is doing this. This is a great idea; I hope you can support it, if you can.

Friday, October 13, 2006

"Lost" Cause

Rich Leonardi at Ten Reasons is a frequent contributor to Catholic Exchange. This is his latest article there, as well as a post on his own 'blog summarizing his chronicling of the story.
There was a time when the sheer beauty of Catholicism--its liturgies, teachings, and churches--was enough to attract converts. Knocking on doors was unnecessary. Philosophy's three "transcendentals"--beauty, truth, and goodness--all had a home in the Catholic Church. But many in the Church lost sight of those three values in the confusion that followed Vatican II. We've made progress since then in restoring a healthy appreciation for goodness, and truth has been served by the return to doctrinally-sound catechesis. But beauty, essential to truth and goodness, has proved elusive. Perhaps that is why Pope Benedict made a point of reminding us, in the recently-released Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, that our priceless heritage of Catholic art and architecture communicates to us just as readily as do spoken or written words, that beauty is merely truth reflected.
I share his lament.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Penny

I am always looking for loose change on the ground, so this is a very relevant tale. Originally found on the 'blog Life Behind The Zion Curtain, it has been edited for form and style:


You always hear the usual stories of pennies on the sidewalk being good luck, gifts from angels, etc. This is the first time I've ever heard this twist on the story. Gives you something to think about.

Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband's employer's home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway and cars costing more than her house. The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live.

The husband's employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so she was enjoying herself immensely!

As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband. He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment. Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped and a few cigarette butts.

Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure! How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?

Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer! She causally mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.

A smile crept across the man's face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this?

"Look at it," he said. "Read what it says."

She read the words, "United States of America."

"No, not that; read further."

"One cent?"

"No, keep reading."

"In God we Trust?"



"And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States' coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him.

"Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS still in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God's way of starting a conversation with me.

"Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!"

When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change.

I read the words, "In God We Trust," and had to laugh. Yes, God, I get the message.

It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful!

And, God is patient.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

To Have Life

With our pastor gone to Boston for a conference on stewardship, my parish had for its celebrant of the Mass Fr. Neil Wilkinson, SJ, one of the priest who services another parish in Mankato. He is also involved with Rachel's Vineyard.

His homily on this Respect Life Sunday has a central theme: Violence is not the answer. Touching base with basic Catholic teaching on abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, and embryonic stem-cell research, he noted throughout a solution which promoted the destruction of life is not a good solution. He encourage us to speak the truth in love and to help those with who have experienced these traumas with compassion.

With October focused on the rosary (the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is October 7), it is time to renew our spiritual energy on praying for the cherishing of life from conception to natural death and on our dignity as a creature created "in the image and likeness" of God.
O Mary, bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the living, to you do we entrust the cause of life. Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born, of the poor whose lives are made difficult, of men and women who are victims of brutal violence, of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy. Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of our time. Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new, the joy of celebrating it with gratitude throughout their lives and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build, together with all people of good will, the civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.

Evangelium Vitae
John Paul II