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Saturday, November 18, 2006

I Got A Round Tuit!

Today I finally got a 'round tuit,' better known as 'around to it.'

I must explain. For years I have been talking about going and helping the Missionaries of Charity in Dallas, only I never got 'around to it.' I even mention it in this blog where I recall meeting Mother Theresa.

All that changed last night when our Padre asked if we could go and help at the Missionaries of Charity. I had no choice, since my plans were to spend the day mowing, fixing tractors, and doing other manly things. When a nun asks for help, the only answer is 'yes, sister.'

So this morning four of my biggest Male Noisykids and I showed up at the house. After a few minutes of introduction and prayer in the chapel, we helped sort food for distribution next week. Each bag was filled with rice, pinto beans, flour tortilla shells, potatoes, onions, cabbage, vegetable oil, and various canned goods. This took most of the morning. It gave me a lot to think about, especially because I am always encouraging the Noisykids to get used to eating simple foods, particularly rice and beans:

"Get used to rice and beans, children,
for one day you may be a graduate student,
or married to a graduate student!"

Whenever I make dinner, it usually includes rice and beans; preferably only rice and beans. The result of this is that all I have to do is mention that I will be cooking, and the kitchen is immediately full of children rushing to get SOMETHING ready for dinner.

But I digress. After packaging the food, one of the sisters asked the children to pick up the beans and rice grains on the ground - the same ones the birds were swooping down to collect. After collecting half a cup full of rice and beans, the sister told us that she was going to wash off this collection and that would be for their meal. She then went on to tell the children(and us adults as well) how impoverished the people of Haiti are, and how much they suffer from malnutrition. She only mentioned this to compare it with the people of Dallas, who would sometimes throw out any of the donated goods which they did not want. Sister told us it would make her cry to think of the waste in our country and the poverty in another land.

All this was rather sobering. I had planned to go out to lunch with the boys afterwards, but all I could think of was the leftovers at home that needed to be eaten. I felt like offering up the opportunity to dine with my sons.

My wife made sure we did not totally miss out on a bit of male bonding, as we went shopping for clothes to complete their winter wardrobe. Several of the boys got pants, shirts, and heavy coats. I bought 36 handkerchiefs - yes 36, because all the ones we had before are gone.

Perhaps somewhere there are a whole bunch of beanie babies wearing permanent press togas and loincloths.....

Going to the Missionaries of Charity is good for two reasons: one is to do some corporal work of mercy, and frankly I don't do enough of that. I sometimes think of tending to my family as a corporal work of mercy, but being the dadwithnoisykids is part of my vocation. You might say that I do a perfect job of raising my children that I still have only done what was expected of me. What is needed is for me to do more than expected.

The other reason for helping the sisters is to expose my children to another type of religious vocation. While I do not have some plan to farm all my children off to the convent or the
monastery(where would I park my Winnebago if they all did that?) I still want them to see a lot of different religious vocations so that they can make an informed decision. I also want them to see happy religious, ones who are relying on Divine Providence to provide for all their needs. The Missionaries certainly are happy, and it was a joy to be with them.

The one sister also spoke to my sons about a vocation to the priesthood. This was also good for them to hear about it from someone not related to them.

It is late,and I must go to bed. Before I do that, I will look for some of the meteors they say are dropping on us tonight. Perhaps I will catch one.

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Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation
Now restored with the help of some cement!

Prayer to Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Mary my mother, take my hand today, and all days.
Lead me away from all occasions of sin.
Guide me in fulfilling your last words in the Gospel,
"Do whatever He tells you."

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