M-m-m-mild to the b-b-b-bone

I was an inner city average white girl, but there was one night I wanted to be notorious.  Yes, maybe “Notorious AWG” — though there was no cool coolness about the ‘hood back in the day — plus, I was sickly and Toni-permed up until I was 15…

I’d wanted to steal a car shortly after that ridiculous milestone.

Just to be bad. It would’ve been a convertible — just to be outrageously bad.

I was that tired of being good. Tired of being poor, stiffed, dismissed, unfeared but worse, disrespected; tired of being limited, tired of being stopped at every edge of every dream, and tired of being me.

Then, the pilfered Schlitz wore off past the teenaged crying jag — but the pain of being trapped was real. I talked it over with someone who wasn’t about to stop me. As usual, I stopped me.  Total loser. (Plus, there were no convertibles anywhere near my neighborhood, and I would need some car thief to hotwire it for me.  A lose-lose night entirely.)

We do have what it takes to break out. One doesn’t have to be bad to be badass. Should anyone think of stealing a car (or a Schlitz, or worse… well, there’s nothing worse than Schlitz), or thinking of stealing one’s own life or one’s own future, one must keep thinking.  Answers come. They just need time and hope. Find someone with hope — be it Jesus or Grandma or the butcher (all of whom understand feeling trapped) — and stay close and open to suggestions until you are your own hope-ster.

There is no point in stealing anything, nor in harming or ruining life.  You can have life properly, even abundantly, if you think first. It takes a little time… and zero Schlitz.



A Re-blog (“100th [Fatima] Anniversary … Rosary …”)

(Relax note: These two ladies share their beautiful rosary finds/histories with us. I am so often amazed at the beauty of all the above! Today is a special Marian day, as is every Saturday, but this one sets the tone for all.)

May 13, 2017 marked the 100th Anniversary of the day on which Mary, the Blessed Mother, appeared to three children, Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta, in Fatima, Portugal. On that day, Mary told the children to return to the same place on the 13th of each month. The children did as they were […]

via 100th Anniversary of the Apparitions of Fatima Rosary by Ghirelli — Rosary Collector


“I know My sheep, and…”


“…the rest of that changes more every day.”

It’s Good Shepherd Sunday, also celebrating the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

In this state, today is one more thing:  Suicide Prevention Sunday.

This is a tiny little bodunk if historical state (said with lavish affection), but even here, suicide is the second leading cause of death among… ready?

10 to 14 year olds.

The bulletin goes on to say that every day, 22 veterans commit suicide in America.

We have a lot to pray for.  An awful lot.



A Re-blog (“Holding the writer in your hands”)

Emily does it again!  —Relax

This was an unusual mail week. Rather than just the usual advertisements, credit card solicitations and bills, I received three personal letters written by hand, carefully and thoughtfully composed, all meant to encourage me. I was amazed at the caring shown by three different women who took the time to sit down and write to […]

via Holding the Writer in Your Hands — Barnstorming


A Re-blog (“Soul in need”)

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope: Soul in need of mercy, whoever and wherever you may be, know that all the riches of the Divine Mercy are, for you, contained and offered in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Go before the tabernacle, or seek out the monstrance displaying the Body of Christ, –a feast…

via Soul in need — Witnesses to Hope

(Relax note: We in America generally aren’t used to the concept of mercy. Individually and in pastoral/social/humanitarian groups, yes, but collectively as a gun-loving/capitalist ideologue nation, not so much.

Mercy is the premier hallmark of God, the only reason we could have a Saviour, and it’s been hard to live where God seems unwelcome more and more, to live where God apparently looks so much like self.  It has often been damned lonely, here, where neither He nor His mercy [for others!] is welcomed — and His Mother’s, only a little more.

Almost everything from the lives and mouths and pens of the popes since Vatican II — as from Fatima and ultimately from Golgotha — has spoken to the Lord’s mercy.  This is what the Holy Spirit wanted more out there in the modern world via the Second Ecumenical Council:



And thus, ours. If we don’t recognize His for us, though, we’ll never find ours for others [and self]. Hence, we have a cold and skewed emperor, and false mercies.  We’re being skewed, too, and our true mercies are fading fast. Lincoln recognized the Lord’s mercy, as did many other forefathers, as did JFK — and found their own within. One sees the difference instantly.

Without mercy, there is no real love, no real peace, no real honor, no real heroes, and no real hope. The above reblogged article says it so much better than I. Please know that Catholic churches are open every day, if not all day, then certainly a little before and after daily Mass. The Blessed Sacrament is there, for any of us, in His tabernacle. Or, one can always face the nearest tabernacle from home or park bench or bus station or railroad trestle, and He will see whom He already knows, just fine.)



A Re-blog (“Easter meditation on a suicide averted”)

(Relax note: Important, ardent article. Share the link from the essay itself, if someone you know may benefit from it.)

“The movies are onto the search, but they screw it up. The search always ends in despair.” ~ Walker Percy Read more… _____________________

via Easter Meditation on a Suicide Averted — God-Haunted Lunatic

Consummatum est

There’s no accurate way for a human being to take another’s full measure. Like our own brains, we’re complex in parts and stages, in growth and regression, in expansion and retraction. There’s a secret us in every other fold, and a potential saint in every other fold.

It began last night, and I found the rest of the trial this morning.

Indeed, I’ve been tried — and I flunked.

Of the five RCIA journeys I’ve accompanied someone on — four as sponsor and the last as prayer partner — one seems not to have “taken.” In the same way that 11 was good but 12 was better since it was the Master’s original Plan, 4 is good, but all 5 would’ve been better, as surely all 5 had been Planned.

Naturally, it had to be the distant family member (whom I sponsored). I recall initially telling her that since she had been happy for 32 years in another church with her mom and their family, maybe she ought to stay with that. No, she was determined. Something had been missing. So, she signed up and we began.

Nine months later, on that Easter day after the Vigil the night before in which she had fully received all the rites and the sacraments of Confession, Confirmation and Communion at last, she was beside herself with joy. We went to the beach with the girls and her that day, and she was wearing a rosary as a necklace, so that she could touch the Crucifix of the One Who loves her. She all but glowed from happiness.

Time and distance (a move down south) and busyness intervened, and she didn’t go to Mass but once in a blue moon and I doubt she ever made her Easter duty. She fell away. (Even cradle Catholics do.)  We didn’t have a problem until she publicly sold me out on Facebook, told family names/location info I had hidden for years. She didn’t know, so I explained it to her.

She laughed at every sentence, and at my “Please take that down,” and then insulted my friends, there! I had a problem with her refusal (as did husband and adult kids with kids!), and finally had to say I’d contact Facebook admin about her account if she didn’t take her post down within the next 10 minutes.  She had a problem with my problem, and demanded an apology, telling me that both our mothers must be rolling in their graves over the horrible way I treated her, having told her that her problems are not always someone else’s fault.

It ultimately caused a cold war between us. I reeled it all in and warmed when her brother took gravely ill and she had come up here for a visit to him in the hospital, and again a year later, when he died. She stayed with us both times. She also demanded to go to Mass with me; it was her “right as a Catholic.”

She didn’t get it, that Catholics have obligations, not rights. It was too late on every scale to say so, and certainly not a good time for the reminder that we don’t just go to Mass when we want something, or to feel something. We go as duty to the rest of the Church, and duty to God (of course), and because there is no other way to receive His Body and Blood in all known ways.  She had heard all this from way better than me.

After not hearing from her for a couple of years — actually after having been actively ignored — I was both surprised and pleased to see that a card from her was waiting for me last night after work. Maybe we were okay after all. Maybe she’d grown up.

The card had its own printed Easter wishes, so I was dismayed to see Scripture I’ve been hearing all my life penned out as if she thought it would be my first time, and to read her admonition to “Get saved!” — to “Be born again!”  I raised a suspicious brow this morning, and double-checked the card.  Yep, there was a “God bless,” where “Love,” used to be.  Perhaps she had meant well, too, but she had most definitely meant ill.

I called her a b*&%!. Out loud.

On Good Friday.

And now, I can’t get to Confession until after Easter.

So, I return to my first paragraph, here, and submit her to the One Who not only loves her, but knows her. He knows every fold, stage and potential. He sees the begun project all the way to the finished and eternal.

I’ll be in Good Friday Apology School from noon to three, restudying the part where Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Perfect Victim and Perfect Offering of atonement, manages to choke out between the constriction of asphyxiation and the horrendously bled out and thus, full-body thirst, “Father, forgive them…” Like Eve and then Adam before them, they knew darned well what they were doing that day, but then again, they really didn’t. Only He knew the extent of their, and her, and my dis- and mis- and un-knowledge — and loved us unto His undeserved death in our place, anyway, and into His own resurrection.