7 Quick Takes Friday - December 21, 2012

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Maybe it's just me, but the first words that come to mind when someone says "Lenten retreat" are not "Caribbean cruise." Am I right?

At any rate, it's not a terrible idea to show Simcha some love today, given that she's being attacked by the Minions of Voris.

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I sent a Christmas card to Fr. Luke Suarez, priest in Newtown, CT today. Poor man. What a crushing burden he has, and so soon into his ministry.

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If you're looking for a random act of kindness to do today, please visit this post to learn how you can help out a fellow Catholic mom blogger who is in need of some Christmas cheer!

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The kids and I set up and decorated our Christmas tree on Sunday:

Gabriel was impressed:

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My eldest son asked me to take a picture of him after we got dressed for church last Saturday. Isn't he handsome?

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I'm thrilled to say that I'm officially a prayer warrior for Joann:

Look at that face! And that hair! What a sweetie.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Christmas Emergency - Spread the Word!

The Anchoress writes:
There is an agency in Paterson, New Jersey, connected to Catholic Charities, and doing outreach and counseling for troubled families — in some cases Dad is jail or recently out — who are struggling to make it and succeed as families.
Normally, this organization receives donations of toys from specific outlets, and the run-offs from other charities but this year, because it is New Jersey, where Hurricane Sandy has already cut into stores of toys meant for Christmas, this group has received nothing. Normal avenues — like the Sheriff’s Department and even a famous toy store — have come up empty. There is too much need, not enough to go around, and this group is afraid they will have to cancel their Christmas party (“a Hot-Chocolate-and-Toy Giveaway”), because how can you have a Christmas party — even a modest one — for kids (toddlers to around age 14) and have no gifts?
Spread the word, folks! An address to which to send gifts is at her link. If you can't help with a material gift, spreading the message via social media and prayer support are both very much appreciated.

The Question of Evil

I was going to do Quick Takes today, but then I heard the news about the school shooting.

My father is an assistant principal at an elementary school in New Town, North Dakota. The first news story I saw today said something about a school shooting in Newtown and that the principal had been killed. My heart just about stopped until I read further and it said Connecticut. I cried tears of relief, but also horror.

My mother is a teacher, too. So is my stepsister. I have aunts, uncles, cousins, and dear friends who are teachers.  I have a daughter in elementary school and a son who starts kindergarten next year. I hope to God I never get a call like the one so many people -- too many people -- received today.

I can't fathom this evil. I just can't understand it. I suppose I should be grateful I can't. All I can do is pray, pray, pray for everyone involved.

A Prayer To The Holy Innocents

Holy Innocents, you died before you were old enough to know what life means, pray for all children who die young that God may gather them into His loving arms.

Holy Innocents, you were killed because one man was filled with hatred, pray for those who hate that God may touch their hearts and fill them with love.

Holy Innocents, you experienced a violent death, pray for all who are affected by violence that they may find peace and love.

Holy Innocents, your parents grieved for you with deep and lasting sorrow, pray for all parents who have lost young children that God may wrap a warm blanket of comfort around them.

Holy Innocents, those around you certainly felt helpless to prevent your deaths, pray for all who feel helpless in their circumstances that they may cling to God for courage and hope.

Holy Innocents, you who are now in Heaven, pray for all of us that one day we may join you there to bask in God's love forever.


Catechism of the Catholic Church, #309:

If God the Father almighty, the Creator of the ordered and good world, cares for all his creatures, why does evil exist? To this question, as pressing as it is unavoidable and as painful as it is mysterious, no quick answer will suffice. Only Christian faith as a whole constitutes the answer to this question: the goodness of creation, the drama of sin and the patient love of God who comes to meet man by his covenants, the redemptive Incarnation of his Son, his gift of the Spirit, his gathering of the Church, the power of the sacraments and his call to a blessed life to which free creatures are invited to consent in advance, but from which, by a terrible mystery, they can also turn away in advance. There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil.

7 Quick Takes Friday - December 7, 2012

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Please, please pray (and fast if you can) for Baby Dominic and his family today. St. Dominic, St. Padre Pio, St. Nicholas, St. Ambrose, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, St. Peter Benedict Shock, St. Henry Dobrovits, pray for them!

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Last weekend, we went to the annual Knights of Columbus party, and guess who was there!

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Look what came in the mail yesterday!

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Elanor drew the following during Mass last weekend:

Yes, that is Mary and the disciple John at the foot of the cross. I am one proud mama.

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Incidentally, if I read one more blog post about how daycares are the epitome of all that is evil and wrong in the world, and how no mother who truly loved her children would ever sent them to such hellish places, I'm going to scream and throw something. I went to daycare as a kid, and somehow I survived, as did my siblings.

Yes, my kids go to daycare, and have since they were infants. I wish I could stay at home with then, but it's not possible. Our daycare is not a cesspool of filth with 50 kids to 1 adult, and our caregivers are not overworked and underpaid drudges who hate their jobs and their lives. It's ticking me off more than a little at the assumption that all daycares are like that.

What about the SAHM who earns extra money by watching a few kids in her home, in addition to her own, during the week? Is she evil incarnate, too? Are her kids going to grow up to be serial killers just because she gets paid to watch three or so extra kids?

I'd better stop before this turns into a blog post of its own, but seriously. Not all daycares are created equal, and some of us who have no choice but to work outside the home put a lot of thought and effort into choosing caregivers for our children. We don't just plop them in some run-down center where they're locked in cages and fed bread and water, and call it good.

Ahem. Stopping now. Really.
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Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, pray for us!
(photo from here)

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I have fallen in love with sweet Joann - and not just due to her name. Look at that red hair and sweet face! Oh, I hope she finds her forever family soon.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Possessive last names make the Baby Jesus cry

Originally blogged last year, but it bears repeating.

Don't make Baby Jesus cry.

A Christmas card PSA from your friendly neighborhood grammar/punctuation freak:

When signing your Christmas card/letter (or return address labels), do not sign them like so:

Merry Christmas from the Wahlund's!

If your intention is to send Christmas greetings on behalf of your entire family, then you want your last name to be plural, not possessive. For example:

Merry Christmas from the Wahlunds! means there is more than one Wahlund wishing you a Merry Christmas. In fact, the entire Wahlund family wishes you a Merry Christmas!

The possessive form, on the other hand, indicates that something belonging to the Wahlund family is wishing you a Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas from the Wahlund's... what? The Wahlund's cat? The Wahlund's dog? The Wahlund's thermonuclear bomb facility? 

If your last name ends with an 's' or 'z', then your best bet is to use a workaround such as, "Merry Christmas from the Glass family!" Or you could add an -es. But for the love of all that is holy and innocent, do not use an apostrophe to create a plural form of a surname. Please.

Baby Jesus will thank you.


Someone who has seen this on her received Christmas cards entirely too often.

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