Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Year's Resolution

I don't make New Year's resolutions. But this year I am. Not because it's the new year and time to do that. But it just so happens I have a resolution that I resolved on January 1-2, so I guess we know what we call that, eh?

I hereby resolve to be less patient, less forgiving, less kind, and less forebearing. When a person is a mother (or in some other position in charge of people) it seems that patience in the face of rudeness or squabbling or disobedience has only one result: giving the offender permission to continue sinning. And I'm disgusted with myself for the things I sometimes let continue. God help me to crack down unemotionally with the punishments when the offenses are small, before the offenses get big enough that my anger is all-consuming. Not unlike Giuliani's cracked window policy.

Presidential Primaries

Given the lateness of my state's primary, I figure I don't have to be in any hurry to make up my mind. There are things I like about Ron Paul and things I like about Fred Thompson. If we want a Democrat in Republican clothing, we can vote for McCain, Giuliani, or Huckabee. But after reading this quote (found through my son's blog), I think Thompson probably has clinched my vote.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Good Cocoa

After caroling on Sunday, we arrived back at church for hot chocolate and cookies. Julie and I figured it was the best cocoa we'd ever had. So we asked Anne what her special secret ingredient was. Nothing -- she just used 2% milk and Nesquick -- that's it. But she said she warmed the milk very slowly, on very low heat. All I can figure is that does something to the chemical composition of the sugars in the milk, because that was mighty delicious cocoa!


I thoroughly enjoyed Love's Labour's Lost, including (and maybe especially) the scene where the girls spend a couple of minutes hurling creative and hilarious insults at each other. But then the insults stopped; they applauded each other for their witty comments; and they went back to discussing the matters at hand.

I remember my daughter being asked by an onlooker if she and Coral and Marie liked each other. Well, those three are best of buddies, but they had just spent a couple of minutes in that kind of sarcastic wordplay. The onlooker thought it was a sign of a problem in their relationship. Nope. It was play.

I am not offended by sarcasm and those kinds of insults.

But smack-talk that goes on for more than five minutes gets a little wearing. Smack-talk that goes on for hours without let-up makes me livid. When a person cannot seem to discuss books or political events or gardening or movies or style or theology or thoughts of any sort, but can only engage in smack-talk, you begin to wonder about whether there's anything inside him that's worth knowing. Where is there any kindness? Where's the compassion? Where's the interest?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Years Eve Already

Four kids (and a chauffeur) arrived this evening to begin tomorrow night's party already. "Fluxx" and "Apples to Apples" and lots of funny You-Tubes. The rest of the crowd arrives tomorrow. I suspect the teenagers will need far less sleep than the three adults in the house. We sure have enjoyed a lot of laughing so far this evening, and silliness and amusements will multiply rapidly when more of Paul's crew arrives.

(Y'know, I think Paul's guests are all homeschoolers -- or were for most of their school years. Too bad these kids aren't socialized. ROFLOL!!!!)


Once upon a time, my friend Fritz mentioned to us that the icons of the "Adoration of the Magi" always had the wise men kneeling. I don't know if there's some etymology of the word that's connected to kneeling -- probably not -- but ever since then, it seems like "Oh, Come, Let Us Adore Him" is very much connected to kneeling at the altar to adore and receive the Christchild.

But then yesterday we sang the carol at a funeral Mass. Look how much of the Nicene Creed is in that carol.
Highest, most holy, Light of light eternal,
Born of a virgin, a mortal He comes;
Son of the Father, now in flesh appearing!

And the proper preface too.
Sing, choirs of angels, sing with exultation;
O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above
Glory to God in the highest!

So there we are at the funeral, inviting Mel to sing with us. Not that he really needs invitation, though. That's exactly what Mel is already busy doing: receiving, communing, singing, adoring.

Closed Communion

What Child is this,
who laid to rest in Mary's lap is sleeping,

Or resting in the ciborium or on the paten?

Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
With angels and archangels and all the company of heaven...

While shepherds watch are keeping?
Are not the shepherds -- the pastors -- given the responsibility to guard and keep watch over the Eucharist? They must know the people whom they commune. And they must take care that the elements are treated reverently and properly.

This, this is Christ the King,
whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
the Babe, the Son of Mary.

We laud and magnify Thy glorious name,
evermore praising Thee and singing,
"Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Sabaoth...."