From the program for his son’s First Holy Communion. Very grateful to those who thought of doing this and hope it serves as a help and a nudge to all who happened across it today. Sacrifice.
Archive for the ‘Life’ Category
..even with me and my Lent Pinterest board and all…
Anyway, don’t think I am suggesting you read the Office everyday. It’s just a good thing to know about, I say Prime in the morning and sometimes I say Compline at night but usually I don’t. But anyway I like parts of my prayers to stay the same and part to change. So many prayer books are awful, but if you stick with the liturgy, you are safe. - Flannery O’Connor, to Betty Hester (“A”)
The truth of this struck me this morning (again) in praying (parts of) Morning Prayer and the Office of Readings, and reading the Mass readings…
..often my thoughts about “what I’m going to read (or do) for Lent” are guided by what I think I need – which can be a complex mix that might include its fair share of solipsism and rationalization. God? He needs to be led to me and my needs, right? But when I put the prayer of the Church front and center, the dynamic shifts just a little and I’m living and praying in way that trusts in God to lead me where I really need to go.
Today we contemplate Christ in the desert, fasting, praying, and being tempted. As we begin our Lenten journey, we join him and we ask him to give us strength to fight our weaknesses. Let me also thank you for the prayers and support you have shown me in these days. May God bless all of you!
By the way – you might have missed it, but on February 8, Pope Benedict spoke to the seminarians of Rome – his topic was Peter. So his thoughts – on Peter, the Petrine ministry – given when he knew he was resigning, but before the rest of us did – are worth a look.
Posted in Amy Welborn, Catholicism, Ephemera, Family, Life, Vintage Catholic, Works of Mercy, tagged Catholic, faith, religion, Stations of the Cross, Vintage Catholic on February 16, 2013 | 3 Comments »
I have a stash of vintage holy cards. Some were mostly from my maternal grandmother’s cache – she died thirty years ago, in her early 90′s – and some are from an interesting Catholic-heavy estate sale I went to last spring. There’s no paucity of vintage holy card imagery out here on the Internet, but I’m going to post a few of mine that I particularly like. Some have English text, but most are either French (my grandmother’s) or German (the estate sale stash).
But this first isn’t a holy card – it’s a Stations of the Cross for children from 1911. Which is why I intended to post it on Friday, but..well..it’s still Friday in California.
It’s in French, but you can probably get the gist, if you’re interested enough to try. It evidently belonged to Aline Langlois who would have been my great-aunt – yah, I’m that old (my mother was in her late 30′s when she had me, and her mother was in her early 40′s when she gave birth to my mother). She died the next year, at the age of 17 – I’ve included images of her memorial card as well, to make that connection. It’s poignant. My mother was named after her.
All images are clickable for a larger view.
Well, I was going to go crazy and scan all sorts of pages from this for your benefit and enjoyment, but then I discovered...it’s still in print! Which is a good thing, because it’s a treasure, but it also means it’s copyrighted, so I can’t scan with abandon.
(Update: See update below before you order…it’s apparently not the exact same)
This was one of my mother’s many cookbooks. I don’t think she ever used it, but it was there, stuffed on the shelf between various very mod 60′s volumes about chafing dishes, fondue pots and gelatin molds and such. It was published by the National Catholic Rural Life Conference in 1945, and while it doesn’t feature those great woodcuts of which I’m such a fan in earlyish and mid-century Catholic lit, it’s an invaluable glimpse into the era, as the first sentence of the Preface indicates:
This book is an extension of the Missal, Breviary and Ritual because the Christian home is an extension of the Mass, choir and sacramentals.
That era being clearly resistant to stereotype and caricatures of an unengaged laity. As the author herself says in the very next paragraph, We need not shed tears over the past; neither should we exalt the present as the zenith of perfection or condemn it as the nadir of depravity.
Anyway – the first Lent page is below. The text is substantial, the recipes – for the most part – still interesting. On the page that follows this one, the difference between now and then is unmistakable as the author encourages the consumption of whole wheat bread during Lent despite the relatively high cost and difficulty finding it!
There may be a health food store in a town of 1000,000 which bakes a whole grain loaf at 23 cents, but that is not for the majority nor for the poor….
(She recommends, of course, baking it yourself – after you find a miller who can grind the flour for you!)
I’m assuming the new edition is identical to the original – the reviews on the site indicate as much – but no promises, of course, since I’ve not seen it.
So ends the year with Christ in the kitchen. What we have cooked we have made for His glory and the spread of His kingdom. This way of living is but one path which leads our minds and hearts to His love. We have not “feasted sumptuously every day,” but we have held both fast and festival in due season. When great occasions arise, as they do so often in the liturgical year, “it is fit to bring hither the fatted calf and kill it and eat and make merry.” For Christianity is a happiness untold, not only to be tasted at the eternal banquet, but also in some small measure at our little festivals in time. So with Christ at our table may He bless us and say:
“Eat thy bread with joy and
Drink thy wine with gladness,
Because thy works please God.”
Apparently the reprint is not…a reprint. From the comments, Jennifer of the blog “Family Food for Feast and Feria”
This is my favorite cookbook of all time! It’s also my favorite liturgical year book. I based my whole history undergrad thesis on this book and the publisher, NCRLC. I’ve written about this book several times,http://familyfoodfeastandferia.wordpress.com/2006/04/19/my-favorite-cookbook/, this being my sadly neglected food blog.
This book stemmed from the Liturgical Movement, and was the first American Catholic cookbook of its kind. All other liturgical cookbooks that follow never reach the heights of this book. It’s so family oriented, and helps connect the American to her rich Catholic culture. But Florence Berger makes you realize this isn’t a dead culture, not looking back in the past, but it’s a living connection, because we are part of the Mystical Body.
Sadly, the book that is currently being reprinted is not the original. All the recipes are revised, and if that isn’t good enough, the text is edited, chopped up, and lovely bits and pieces are removed. You will get some taste of the beautiful book, but not the fullness of the original. I can’t understand how they can label it a reprint if it’s fully revised. I’ve compared the original with the revised and just cried to see how much was changed.
While this book does not treat only Florence Berger’s books, “Cultivating Soil and Soul: Twentieth-century Catholic Agrarians Embrace the Liturgical Movement” by Michael J. Woods gives some background history “Cooking for Christ” that I find so interesting! The entire book is wonderful as it really gives an understanding of the Liturgical movement and the connections and role of the NCRLC.
From now onwards, never let anyone else decide what you should eat or drink, or whether you are to observe annual festivals, New Moons or sabbaths. These were only pale reflections of what was coming: the reality is Christ. Do not be taken in by people who like grovelling to angels and worshipping them; people like that are always going on about some vision they have had, inflating themselves to a false importance with their worldly outlook. A man of this sort is not united to the head, and it is the head that adds strength and holds the whole body together, with all its joints and sinews – and this is the only way in which it can reach its full growth in God.
Different men have different names, which they owe to their parents or to themselves, that is, to their own pursuits and achievements. But our great pursuit, the great name we wanted, was to be Christians, to be called Christians.
I really don’t think that there’s any New Year’s Resolution that needs to be made except, “Pray more.”
Everything else flows from that, doesn’t it?
So, the morning of Christmas Eve I woke up and discerned a few raised bumps along the middle of my spine. Hmmm I thought. Did some kind of bug infest us last night?
Later in the day, the bumps started to feel…weird. Not itching, not hurting, just…weird. I thought back 22 years and decided I wanted to hit the doctor.
For you see, 22 years ago, I was driving back from my parents’ house one summer and felt a oddly-itching bump on my back. I thought it was just a strange insect bite, given how much time we spent sitting outside on summer evenings. A couple of days later it started to hurt, so I went to the doctor, who looked at my back, laughed, and said, “You have shingles.”
Laughed, I tell you! All because I was 30 and getting this old people’s disease. Hilarious.
That time, that easily amused doctor said I should be glad because we could start treatment early. The couple of weeks that followed were certainly uncomfortable, but they weren’t nearly as bad as I’ve heard some experience it.
So when those bumps started feeling odd on late afternoon Christmas Eve, I told my daughter and visiting older son that after Mass I was going to the doctor and why. No urgent care centers were open, so I had to do something I’ve never done before in my life: hit the ER.
I hardly ever go to the doctor, plus I’m pretty dedicated to not misusing or abusing medical resources, but really, what was my option? Wait until today? I wasn’t going to do that, given my past experience. The good thing was that at 8 pm Christmas Eve, this particular ER was almost empty – the patient before me had a broken ankle and there was no one waiting when I left less than an hour later.
The diagnosis? Well, he didn’t laugh - since I’m now in the more appropriate age range for the disease. He also said it was probably shingles, but the he wasn’t super sure since it wasn’t hurting, the bumps weren’t blistering yet and it hadn’t spread. Which was, of course, why I was there – to catch it before all that spread. So (should I say this?) he said, “Eh, it won’t hurt for you to take the medication. Might as well, just in case.”
Next challenge? To find a pharmacy.
Much to my shock, Wal-Mart (the closest) was closed at 9:10 pm on Christmas Eve. I wasn’t displeased – for the sake of their employees – but I confess I was surprised. I’d have given them til midnight, myself. Walgreen’s was open, but the pharmacy was closed, but the sign told me of a 24-hour store not too far away. I called just to make sure and the guy who answered sighed, “Yeah, we never close.”
So it didn’t turn out too badly. I left the house at 8. By 10, I’d been to the ER and a gotten a prescription filled and was back for Christmas Eve stories. I’m always interested to experience new things, and watching an Emergency Room in – admittedly slow motion, sort of relaxed – action was educational. I was so grateful for all of those who were working. Everyone was fairly cheerful, if not exactly bursting with excitement, and, as I said, I was grateful for all of them.
So, is it Shingles, after all? Yup. It’s achy and itchy today, and while the blisters are still just on the spine, the slight aching is extending around to the front. But I do think – and hope – this early treatment will mitigate it. Lesson? Well, I’ll let you know when the course of this has ended but really it’s just - shingles happens, it could happen to you, and pay attention when your body does weird stuff!
Here’s the public service part of this blog, the part I toyed with putting in Wish You Were Here, but didn’t because, well, it didn’t fit. Too practical.
But really, it’s a part of the process, the event, the experience. It was undercurrent throughout.
Do you guys have wills?
It’s on my mind because today I signed the second iteration of my will (and other pertinent docs) since Mike died, this one made necessary by the changes my father’s death brought into my life. I took one of my older sons with me so the attorney could explain the documents to him, since he’s the executor.
So I repeat:
Do you guys have wills?
I’ll admit it to you: we didn’t.
(Or, by the way, life insurance beyond something small through work. You should have that, too.)
(And passwords. Are you adult children of elderly parents? Do they do finances online of any kind? Do you know where their passwords are? My dad had a well-worn memo notebook next to his computer, full of his banking, credit card, investment passwords…invaluable.)
At one point in the process after Mike’s death, I expressed my embarrassment about that sad fact - no wills – to my attorney. Two presumably intelligent people, with five university degrees between them, and no will? Stupid.
The attorney didn’t disagree, but he did reassure me. He knew a married couple, he said, both tax attorneys. The husband died, leaving the wife with three young children and a surprisingly complicated estate. And they didn’t have wills, either, he said.
Sometimes the shoemaker’s children go without shoes, he said.
I know, I know, but still..stupid.
Here’s the thing. Death is complicated. It doesn’t matter how much you have, it’s a complicated process. A will makes it just a bit less complicated – or a lot.
We held most of our property in common, and I was the designated beneficiary of all retirement accounts, but there were a couple of sticky points: minor children and book contracts.
Because of these factors, and because there was no will…things took a while. In regard to the latter, it’s because, gee, you can’t just say, “Hey, I was married to him, those contracts and royalties are mine now.” Not the way it works, and the way it worked in this case took a surprisingly long time – nothing huge, just a slow process, for reasons I was never quite sure of.
My father had a will, of course, so there were no surprises, and the estate was fairly simple. But we’re still working on some loose ends almost eight months later. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like without a will.
And so today? I signed several documents that will, I hope, result in a streamlined process when I die or if I become incapacitated.
Is it morbid? I don’t even know what that means, do you? Taking seriously the reality of death and the possibility of incapacitation is not “morbid” for anyone, especially for a 51-year old single mother of two minor children. Stuff happens. We know that, right? I’ve learned the hard way that it’s not morbid to plan – it’s loving. I want things to be as simple as possible for my kids when I die or if I suffer a lengthy illness or debilitating condition. I can’t pretend it just won’t happen…because it just might.
Just a couple of days ago, we were driving in the car somewhere, and Michael asked, “Will you still be alive when I’m Joseph’s age?”
My first instinct was, as it would be for most of you, I’m sure, to laugh a bit and say, “Of course!” And to wonder where that came from.
But then I realized where it came from – when Joseph was Joseph’s age - right now – he’d had a parent die.
The boy had done the math.
So what did I say? I’m not sure. I’m pretty sure I said, “I hope so” or “I don’t see why not.” I mean – how could I say, “Of course?” He’d see right through it, and who knows – he might even say something.
It’s just the truth. You never know.
And honestly? I’m still superstitious enough (I admit) to believe or hope that if I am, indeed, super-prepared, with all the blocks in place…that’s another kind of insurance, right there.
Do you guys have wills?
So, last week, I flew up to the Chicago area to attend and speak at RBTE – the Religious Bookseller’s Trade Exhibition.
- Shrinkage. I haven’t been to this show in perhaps five years, but boy, has it shrunk. I’d say it’s 2/3 the size it used to be.
- Which is not surprising. Even the massive CBA has downsized in recent years.
- Why? Same problems, rehashed here and elsewhere endlessly. No one knows how to sell books anymore – everyone’s at sea – publishers and booksellers alike. What will people pay to read anymore? Who knows? Also: a bad economy discourages booksellers from spending the money to attend a trade show when they can just browse a publisher’s web catalog and save a lot of money. It’s not the same, I know, but when you are barely making it, that’s the choice you’ve got to make.
- Saw many old friends and acquaintances from OSV and Loyola and met folks I’d previously only met online: Patty Mitchell of Word Among Us, Barbara Baker and Mark Lombard of Franciscan, one of my Living Faith and Creative Communications editors, Paul Pennick, and, of course...Hallie Lord!
- Spent some pleasant hours conversation and a meal with the good folks from Image Catholic, including my intrepid and patient editor, Gary Jansen, who introduced me at my luncheon talk.
- Life goes on.
Every day this week, I’ll highlight one of the books or other resources that struck me as particularly good…so come back and check that out!