Friday, March 6, 2015

Oh, to have the faith of Abraham

So here we are, nearing the end of another week of Lent. Let us hearken back to the First Reading from last Sunday, the Second Sunday of Lent:
  1After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." 2He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Mori'ah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." 

And of course we all know the end of the story: Abraham obeyed and was rewarded for his obedience. It seems like such a simple and logical lesson: God is good. God can be trusted. We should not find it difficult to obey a good and trustworthy God. And yet...

We could certainly envision/rewrite many scenes from Scripture to mirror our own lives:

After these things God tested Mrs. Pinkerton, and said to her, "Mrs. Pinkerton!" And she said, "Sheesh Lord, can't you see I'm busy... what do you want now?" He said, "Take your ______,  your only ______, which you love, and go to the land of Wherever, and offer him/her/it/them there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you. And Mrs. Pinkerton replied: Do I have to?" 

How would I fill in the blanks? What do I love? Too many things, as it turns out: 

period dramas
clothes (SHOES)
new kitchen stuff
my DVD collection
fan mail
FreeCell (substitute your own pointless time-wasting online/phone/app game here)
cool furniture
watching TV
vintage kitchen stuff
sleeping in
antique furniture
carnal pleasure
the esteem of others
pretensions to a writing career
people (to be sure)
but not all people
rum & vodka coolers
wasting time online (Facebook, reading blogs, etc)
my Breville kitchen mixer
a certain type of body image

As the homilist said at last Sunday's Mass, the point is not to live in fear that God will ask us to do something intrinsically evil (such as killing our children), but simply to ask ourselves how quick we are to be obedient to the many ordinary sacrifices, large and small, that God may ask of us. Lent is such a great time to take stock and rearrange one's priorities. May the Lord bless your day, give you strength, and reward your sacrifices. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

I like it when I accidentally say the same thing as a smart person

In fact, I feel downright affirmed. 

I eat donuts and do not feel guilty.

I eat quinoa salad and do not feel righteous. 
I generally dislike the saying, but in this case, it applies: "It's all good"

Mr. Warren weighs in (pardon the usage) on the evils of the diet and food-research/health industries:
What [researchers] have done is far more evil than this, however: for they have been exploiting the human propensity to guilt, which serves an irreplaceable purpose in the moral order. Compunction about sin and wrongdoing is distracted to meaningless dietary issues. The success of the nannying public health authorities has helped the principalities and powers to accomplish a complete moral inversion — in which abstinence and fasting to a spiritual end is now dismissed as silly, yet dieting for health is done with insufferably morbid gravity. We have, as a consequence, a society of obsessive dieters, deluded fitness fanatics, and low-calorie muffin eaters, who are utterly shameless in committing crimes contra naturam: that Culture of Death which Saint John-Paul identified with such harrowing accuracy.

Mr. Warren describes most "health" related research as "bullsh**", and I am inclined to agree. In the last few years, I've had two health scares, neither of which (thankfully) turned out to be anything serious, but in both cases, I was advised to alter my diet. What made life more difficult was not adjusting to eating (or avoiding) certain stuff, but rather constantly reading conflicting and contradictory information about various foods.

 It would seem that grocery science isn't any more settled than climate science. I more or less gave up worrying about food, and wrote about it for The Record. Mind you, I am not judging people on special diets; eat what you choose, but for pity's sake, don't make it a religion.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A lovely evening prayer

O Christ, who art the Light and Day,
Thou drivest darksome night away!
We know Thee as the Light of light
Illuminating mortal sight.

All holy Lord, we pray to Thee,
Keep us tonight from danger free;
Grant us, dear Lord, in Thee to rest,
So be our sleep in quiet blest.

Let not the tempter round us creep
With thoughts of evil while we sleep,
Nor with his wiles the flesh allure
And make us in Thy sight impure.

And while the eyes soft slumber take,
Still be the heart to Thee awake,
Be Thy right hand upheld above
Thy servants resting in Thy love.

Yea, our Defender, be Thou nigh,
To bid the powers of darkness fly;
Keep us from sin, and guide for good
Thy servants purchased by Thy blood.

Remember us, dear Lord, we pray,
While in this mortal flesh we stay:
’Tis Thou Who dost the soul defend—
Be present with us to the end.

Blest Thee in One and One in Three,
Almighty God, we pray to Thee,
That Thou wouldst now vouchsafe to bless
Our fast with fruits of righteousness.

found at, Office of Readings for today.

Get fit this Lent on the 20-40-60 plan

Just do it.

OK, first of all, I must admit that this post is not really about fitness--or at least, solely about fitness. Besides, there are many definitions of "fitness" and we should aspire to most of them, not just the one concerning our waistlines. But the sad fact is, more people will click on the link if they think the post is about dieting and losing weight. Admit it, you might not have come here if my title had been: "Get holy this Lent on the 20-40-60 plan!" and the accompanying photo had been this:

It's like drinking cookies

But I guess you'd have to like spicy cookies. On second thought, it's still too much of a treat for Lent.

My thought for the day is that if Lenten fasting is turning your mind incessantly towards food, rather than towards God, you still have a lot of spiritual work to do. Mea Culpa.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

OK, so March has come in like a lion

We woke this morning to -24C with a -35C wind chill. I'm waiting patiently for the temperature to start turning more lambish. In the meantime, the warmists claim that the "pause" may last for 20 more years. And THEN we'll finally get some global warming. Twenty years is a long time to continue fleecing taxpayers and coercing us to buy curly light bulbs. On a related note, the Prophet Steyn (PBUH), continues to be eerily prescient. And he probably thought he was making a far-fetched joke when he compared climate "scientists" to sex offenders.

Update: Talk about eerie. Mrs. Beazly and I, with NO collusion, and living thousands of km apart, actually each posted about Mark Steyn and climate change within minutes of each other. Brain-sharing, what?

Weather or not, YOU AGREE.

That seems to be the slogan in some circles of climate science (and government) these days: it doesn't matter what the weather's actually doing because  WE ALL AGREE THAT THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED, and anyone who engages in unwarmthink will be made to regret it.
Mark Steyn on the latest climate craziness.

A Cultural Intro-Spock-tive

 I never got into the later "Star Trek" series past the first couple of seasons of "Next Generation". I don't think I've even seen the older movies. I do believe I've seen almost every episode of the original TV show, thanks to reruns and DVDs from my library. Mr. B. and I remain fans of a certain genre of Sci-Fi to this day, and still refer to our orange and black afghan as "The Horta".  Steven Greydanus puts his finger on what Spock and "Star Trek" meant.

Easy and tasty Greek ribs recipe

But, as is my wont, I altered it for various reasons. I had never made Greek ribs before, but decided to give these a try. I made them last Sunday, which I should hardly be admitting. Even though every Sunday is a "little Easter", I still think this kind of fare is too fancy for the Lenten season. However, I justified it because I forgot to take anything out of the freezer Saturday night, and ribs were the only thing that would thaw in time for me to cook Sunday supper.  (Mr. P. is a dyed-in-the-wool carnivore, if you'll forgive my clashing metaphor, and, like Mrs. Mawmsey and her strengthening medicine, he must have his meat.) Someday I'd like to try giving up meat for the entirety of Lent, but I doubt I could convince anyone else in my family to try that.

And no, I did not take a photo. I suppose I should have, but that would not necessarily convince anyone that this tastes good. The recipe comes from, and it was contributed by someone named "Karen," though it is not any Karen that I know. I used about 5 pounds of ribs, and doubled the sauce/marinade recipe, because I used a rather large roasting pan. My additional notes will appear in red. 

Greek Ribs

Monday, March 2, 2015

I am soooo getting one of these

Or else my legions of fans can chip together and buy* one. Let's see, there should be at least nine of you out there, at a couple of bucks a pop... But oh, what colour???!!!! (1-Hot pink 2-Turquoise blue 3-Red 4-Purple 5-Bright Green 6-Black) I want them all. I note that bright orange is available only in the men's style. I should order one of those just in case... ("She could never be a saint, but she thought she could be a martyr if they killed her quick." I never thought I'd live to see the day when those words might actually come true, but we live in frightening times.)

Mrs. Beazly, what colour do you want? (Your belated birthday present is still not in the mail.)

And oh my, it also comes in a coffee mug. I wonder if these items are customizable, insofar as you can have a favourite Flannery quotation printed on the back. That would be the icing on the cake.

A big hat tip to Mrs. Sockey for alerting me to this item on Facebook.

(*just kidding)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

There's hardly any point in having a blog

If you don't promote your work. I published this piece twice before, in slightly different incarnations: about a hundred years ago in the Catholic Family Ministries newsletter, and also in the Australian Catholic newspaper, The Record (back in April of 2012, when it was still a real pulp and print newspaper. It is entirely online now). 

Today's Gospel reading was about the Transfiguration, which reminded me of this column. If you choose to read it (thank you), I hope it blesses you in some way. 

Overcoming the Post-Transfiguration Blues

Like that guy St. Paul said

In today's Second Reading (Romans 8:31-39)

[31] What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who is against us? [32] He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not also, with him, given us all things? [33] Who shall accuse against the elect of God? God that justifieth. [34] Who is he that shall condemn? Christ Jesus that died, yea that is risen also again; who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. [35] Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? or distress? or famine? or nakedness? or danger? or persecution? or the sword?[36] 

(As it is written: For thy sake we are put to death all the day long. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.) [37] But in all these things we overcome, because of him that hath loved us. [38] For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, [39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1. Milad Makeen Zaky
2. Abanub Ayad Atiya
3. Maged Solaiman Shehata
4. Yusuf Shukry Yunan
5. Kirollos Shokry Fawzy
6. Bishoy Astafanus Kamel
7. Somaily Astafanus Kamel
8. Malak Ibrahim Sinweet
9. Tawadros Yusuf Tawadros
10. Girgis Milad Sinweet
11. Mina Fayez Aziz
12. Hany Abdelmesih Salib
13. Bishoy Adel Khalaf
14. Samuel Alham Wilson
15. Worker from Awr village
16. Ezat Bishri Naseef
17. Loqa Nagaty
18. Gaber Munir Adly
19. Esam Badir Samir
20. Malak Farag Abram
21. Sameh Salah Faruq

Pray for us

Saturday, February 28, 2015

You know it's Lent

When your Saturday night cocktail is lemonade and cranberry juice. Cheers.

I'd better copyright this

Before some overpaid professional-fundraiser church bureaucrat type guy decides to use the last sentence as a slogan for the next diocesan financial appeal.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I plan to try this recipe soon

Soft pretzels, because...Lent. I'm late to the party, apparently. I'd never heard of this lady before, but she's been on EWTN and whatnot, so she's famous. Anyway, her recipe blog "AboutEating" looks good, and I enjoy her YouTube videos (and not just because she reminds me of Andrea Martin). She seems very practical and down to earth, which is what I need in the kitchen. I'm going to try this hummus version as well, since we all love the stuff. Traditional Lebanese recipe, according to Rita.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

From our growing "They're gonna get to heaven before I do" file

Because he's using his talents, and how. His question choked me up, "What can you do?" Because I can do a lot. And so often, I don't. God forgive me.

If you can't have a built-in window seat

You should at least have a settee.

My sister (who was with me when I bought it last spring) asked me if I was enjoying it. When I get the chance to use it, I'll let her know. It is frequently occupied.

Relaxed Homeschooling

"Classifieds" Photography 101

Dear people who hope to sell things online,

There is this icon on your phone/camera that says "rotate image". Please use it. Word: VERTIGO

To quote Mrs. Beazly: "Spoken in a vaguely European accent, reverentially hushed in awe of the photographic artistry on display here: They have taken the concept of 'right side up' and stripped it of its outmoded paradigms."