Category Archives: Religion

Thoughts on Green Straws 8.28.13 Thought of the Day

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My current straw collection.

5 out the 7 days in my week start with a diet power smoothie. I’m not sure what it is about the smoothie that wakes me up really. Perhaps it’s the punch of nutrition, or the hit of chocolate. Most likely it’s the rather loud zoom and whirl of my blender (with ice, milk and power shake powder inside) at 6:30 in the morning.

When I started this little regime I bought a pack of 100 straws at the supermarket. Nice, happy, colorful straws to start me on my nice, happy, colorful day.

The pack contained bright blue, red, yellow, orange and green straws.

I found the perfect place in the cupboard for them. Just in arm’s reach of the blender. Thus, even my sleep addled brain could find them in the morning without searching high and low. [… Bender… milk… ice… power shake powder… zoom…cup… straw… sip.] On really adventurous days I’ll add some fresh fruit. If I’m feeling really, really adventurous I’ll go with a teaspoon of peanut butter.

Not long into this breakfast ritual I somehow decided that the green straws in the pack were the cutest little straws that ever graced the earth. Look at them. Aren’t they the sweetest things?  (I mean for straws?) And I began to save them.

It’s kind of like saving all the Lucky Charms until you’ve eaten all the cereal bits then eating the marshmallow charms all at once for breakfast dessert. (Yes, I get the irony that I hoarded Lucky Charm marshmallows as a kid, and now I’m hoarding the green straws for my DIET breakfast power shake as an adult. Don’t judge.)

And it’s not like I didn’t appreciate those work horse colors of red, blue, yellow and orange. They are lovely, lovely colors. I’m happy to have them. I’m delighted to suck my somewhat chalky, diet drink through them every morning. I even try to be environmentally aware by hand washing them in very hot, very soapy water so I can use them multiple times. (Hint use a bamboo skewer to clean the insides of the straws.)

But now that I’m in the home stretch of my jazzy multi colored pack of straws I realize that even with recycling I’m only about a month away from this…

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The coveted neon green straws

MONO STRAW COLORATION! All bright green straws! There’s nothing unique or funky or even fun about that!!!

I know now that I have made a terrible mistake. I’ve allowed the lure of the pretty and the cool to influence my choices in straw color. This has ultimately lead me to (one by one) eliminate the diversity of my straw population.

I don’t want to wake up to a world where the only choice in straws color is bright green.

So, from now on, I’m going to celebrate every straw color I meet. Because with a straw it’s what is on the inside that counts, right?

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Celebrating the diversity…while I can. Multi colored neon straws.

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[Things have been a little random at my house this week. Both husband and adult child are home on staycation/break, so blogging time has been a bit off. That means my regular features have been — and will likely continue to be — a little out of whack. Thanks for baring with me.]

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St. Teresa of Avila March 28 Thought of the Day

“What a great favor God does to those He places in the company of good people!”–St. Teresa of Avila

Teresa of Ávila, Ulm, Germany

Teresa of Ávila, Ulm, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada was born on this day in Gotarrendura, Ávila, Spain in 1515. Today is the 498th anniversary of her birth.

Teresa’s grandfather converted to Christianity to avoid persecution from the Spanish Inquisitors. It didn’t quite work. Although his son, Teresa’s father, Alonso Sánchez de Cepeda, became a prominent member of Catholic Avila society, her grandfather was later condemned for allegedly returning to his Jewish roots. Alonso was a strict and pious man and Teresa grew up fascinated with the mysteries of the faith and the lives of the Saints.

At seven she tried to run away with her brother. The plan was to find some Moors and convince the “barbarians” to chop of their heads so they could become martyrs. Fortunately their uncle found the children before they could get too far.

She was 15 when her mother, Beatriz, died, and Teresa was sent to live with the Augustinian nuns. She soon decided to enter religious life

In 1535, she joined the Carmelite Order. She spent a number of relatively average years in the convent, punctuated by a severe illness that left her legs paralyzed for three years, but then experienced a vision of “the sorely wounded Christ” that changed her life forever. [CCEL.org]

When she was ill she claimed to have experienced a number of religious ecstasies and visions. At about age 41 some of her friends thought these visions might be the work of the devil, but her confessor assured her that they were  of Christ’s doing.

From this point forward, Teresa moved into a period of increasingly ecstatic experiences in which she came to focus more and more sharply on Christ’s passion. With these visions as her impetus, she set herself to the reformation of her order, beginning with her attempt to master herself and her adherence to the rule. Gathering a group of supporters, Teresa endeavored to create a more primitive type of Carmelite. [CCEL.org]

She had opposition from her original order, the local church and the town. At some point she was threatened with the Inquisition, but she pushed on.

In 1567, she met St. John of the Cross, who she enlisted to extend her reform into the male side of the Carmelite Order. [CCEL.org]

She died while on a journey from Alba de Tormes in 1582. Forty years later she was canonized a saint by Pope Gregory XV.

"It is love alone that gives worth to all...

“It is love alone that gives worth to all things.” – St. Teresa of Avila (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Holy SPAM Batman!

Dear Readers,

Every day before I start ritaLOVEStoWRITE  I check my spam folder. And every day I say a little prayer of thanks for the invisible minions who have kept the offers of dumpster rentals, sexual encounters,  cheap travel deals and casino bargains off my blog. But yesterday a higher power intervened.

Undeniably consider who sent me this gem…

Holy cow! I hit the jackpot of all spammers with this one.

Holy cow! I say to you... I hit the jackpot of all spammers with this one.

I’m not sure what the Mother of God was doing on the internet, or what she is selling on her blog, but, if her comment is to be believed*  she will likely be at it again, so I can find out later.

I can just imagine her up in heaven typing away on her Powerbook.

Perhaps she’s already influenced other bloggers… like the young man who sent me this missive:

“Truly

no matter if someone doesn’t be aware of afterward

its up to other people that they will help,

so here it takes place.”

miss Mary mac

Madonna of the Macs.

With all the admonitions on Facebook to LIKE a particular scripture passage to prove my worth as a Christian or to send this or that prayer on to 10 people in the next 30 seconds lest something bad happen me or mine… I guess blogs from the Holy Family are the next logical step in our hyper-modernization of  the religious experience.

But until Jesus, Mary or Joseph really DO write a blog might I suggest that spammers and scammers leave their names out of it?

Because (although I tried to be sarcastic and light here) as a person who already has a special “cloud” connection to the Blessed Virgin I really found the spam highly offensive.

* And this IS Mary if you can’t believe her… who can you believe?
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Of course there is a Lego version of Mary (You know my Lego obsession…)

The Holy Family, Lego style

The Holy Family, Lego style [Image Courtesy: Mocpages

OK I made up the Madonna of the Mac mass card, but the Blessed Virgin Spam, the “prayer” and the Lego Holy Family are really out there.


John Henry Newman 2.21.13 Thought of the Day

“To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often” –John Newman

English: Portrait painting of John Henry Newman

English: Portrait painting of John Henry Newman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John Henry Newman was born on this day in London, England in 1801. Today is the 212th anniversary of his birth.

Newman was the oldest of six children, three boys and three girls, born to John Newman and  Jemima Fourdrinier Newman. He went to Trinity College, Oxford then attended Oriel College.  He received his bachelor’s degree from Oriel in 1820 and became a fellow then tutor at the school.

He had held academic and pastoral assignments simultaneously for several years, serving first as both fellow of Oriel and curate of St. Clement’s and later as both tutor and vicar of St. Mary’s. He remained in his pastoral office until 1843, attracting hundreds of students, university officials, and townspeople to St. Mary’s [this church’s UK site] with his scholarly yet earnest preaching. [The Victorian Web]

He was a leader in the Oxford Movement —  a “19th-century movement centred at the University of Oxford that sought a renewal of “catholic,” or Roman Catholic, thought and practice within the Church of England in opposition to the Protestant tendencies of the church.” [Encyclopedia Britannica] .

Newman…was the Movement’s primary spokesman, promoting its doctrinal and moral concerns through his editorship of the British Critic, his contributions to Tracts for the Times, and his weekly sermons at St. Mary’s. [The Victorian Web]

However, “In 1839, Newman began to lose confidence in the cause… and he soon became convinced that Rome, not Canterbury, was the home of the true Church.” [Ibid] He withdrew from Anglican life and left Oxford. He took back anti Catholic and anti Papal statements he’d said and written  in his youth. In 1845 he converted to Catholicism and became a preist.

Newman worked just as energetically for the Catholic Church as he had for the Anglican. He was instrumental in the creation of the Catholic University of Ireland, and he wrote…

Cover of "Parochial and Plain Sermons"

Cover of Parochial and Plain Sermons

The 1870s brought Newman special recognition for his work as both an Anglican and a Roman Catholic. In 1877 he became the first person elected to an honorary fellowship of Trinity College; two years later, Pope Leo XIII awarded him a place in the College of Cardinals.[The Victorian Web]

Cardinal Newman died of pneumonia in August of 1890.

He wrote the lyrics to the hymn Lead Kindly Light. Here’s the Wells Cathedral Choir singing the song…


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