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Theodore's Memorial Video

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Prayer, a Project, a Personal Message to Someone in England, and a Poem

First, a bit of Bad Poetry.

Texas freeways have electronic signs to inform drivers of traffic conditions, missing persons, and my favorite, 'Testing.' Lately things have been quiet on the roads I frequent, so the Department of Public Safety has made an effort to appeal to the reader to remain sober when behind the wheel. This advice is lost on me, because I can barely keep myself awake after just one or two sips of an alcoholic beverage. What was not lost on me is that the roadside signs are a great opportunity for an author to write one of my favorite types of poetry: the 3-5-3 Haiku.

Texas DPS almost has it with this message I saw today:


The OVER/UNDER contrast is beautiful, but makes the last line exceed the limit of three syllables. My own rewrite sounds lame in comparison:


Perhaps this will be better; at least it fits on the electronic board, and is has a sort of visceral punch to the ending:


Enough of that....on to the Project:

Years ago, I read all of the Hobbitt/Lord of the Ring books so that I would know what my oldest son was reading. Now it is time to get in touch with the feminine side of the literary works in our house. Yes, I am starting to read Jane Austen. I am starting with 'Pride and Prejudice;' I even brought it to the hospital with me a few days ago, but never had a chance to touch the book.

I shall have to write some sort of review after I finish the book.

To Someone In England - and the Dallas/Fort Worth Area:

Thank you for what you have done.

I know you have struggled for a long time to make the decision you have made, and right now I am sure that you think that your life will be harder for it. Believe me when I tell you that it will be, and the world will look down upon you because of what you have decided. The world no longer holds the title 'Wife and Mother' in the highest esteem which it deserves. But to those whom you serve; namely, your husband and your children, the precious gift of yourself is one which is priceless in this world.

I cannot tell you how happy I was knowing that my wife was home, caring for my children and waiting for me, while I was away so much and so often.

God bless you, Someone in England, and God bless you, Wifeofdadwithnoisykids!

And last, the Prayer.

This prayer was recited by my brother after his private Mass recently. One of my sons and I were graced with the privilege of serving at his Mass. While we were making our thanksgiving, Father recited this prayer. It is one which should be recited by more than just priests, and so for that reason I wish to add it to the list of the '1,000 Prayers You Should Say Before You Die.'

Thanksgiving After Communion (St. Thomas Aquinas)

I give Thee thanks, O holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God, that Thou hast vouchsafed,
for no merit of my own,but of the mere condescension of Thy mercy, to satisfy me, a sinner
and Thine unworthy servant, with the Precious Blood of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ.

I implore Thee, let not this Holy Communion be to me an increase of guilt unto my punishment,

but an availing plea unto pardon and forgiveness.

Let it be to me the armor of faith and the shield of good will.

Grant that it may work the extinction of my vices, the rooting out of concupiscence and lust,

and the increase within me of charity and patience, of humility and obedience.

Let it be my strong defense against the snares of all my enemies, visible and invisible;

the stilling and the calm of all my impulses, carnal and spiritual; my indissoluble union with

Thee the one and true God, and a blessed consummation at my last end.

And I beseech thee that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring me, sinner as I am, to that

ineffable banquet where Thou, with the Son and the Holy Ghost, art to Thy saints true and unfailing light,

fullness and content, joy for evermore, gladness without alloy, consummate and everlasting bliss.

Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I have posted it before, but I just love seeing it on a bench in the front yard at my brother's parish, St. Rita Catholic Church, in Alexandria, VA.

I was blessed with some time to spend in front of the Blessed Sacrament, then we went to dinner at an Indian restaurant with my brother and several of his fellow priests.

The next time you find yourself in Alexandria, stop by St. Rita's for some spiritual nourishment, and then visit the Bombay Curry Company for some good Indian food.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Autism Revisited

I see a lot of children with mental as well as physical handicaps in my line of work. These children - and their parents - invariably touch my heart as they remind me of Theodore and the many challenges and joys which came with having a special needs child. Theodore, who had autism and seizures, died in April, 2008 at the age of fifteen.

Recently, I have started talking more to parents about their unique role they have taking care of a special needs child. I try to encourage them, and praise them, because I recall how sweet it was to get a kind word, especially on days when Theodore was being difficult. The consolation from such comments was like receiving flowers from Heaven. Since it helped me so much when taking care of Theodore, I realized it was important to pass on the encouragement to those who still have children like Theodore.

After taking care of a child very much like Theodore this past week, I was shocked when my wife told me about this tragedy involving an autistic child. There is a Facebook page as well, for those who are interested.

I can imagine the kind of sorrow which this family is experiencing, and I know that more than anything they need our prayers during this time of sorrow. Please pray for them.

On a lighter note, here is one of the greatest consolations we have received over the past year. Join him as he eats pancakes for Sunday breakfast:

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Final Drink of Kool-Aid

After getting an iMac and several iPods, the transition is complete; the Kool-Aid is consumed. My phone is iPhone.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Big Brothers

Bernard with some of his older brothers - as soon as I pulled out my camera, the big boys got serious.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Tractor Lust

Wondering about the moral implications of wanting another tractor....

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Contemplative Diversion

Sometimes Rick Astley just doesn't cut it, and the musical soul yearns for something a bit more substantial:

Latin text:

Dominus dixit ad me:
Filius meus es tu,
ego hodie genui te.

Ps. Quare fremuerunt gentes:
et populi meditati sunt inania?

v/ Gloria Patri.

English translation:

The Lord hath said to me:
Thou art My Son,
this day have I begotten Thee.

Ps. Why have the Gentiles raged,
and the people devised vain things?

v/ Glory be to the Father.


The new car is called 'The Shark,' and is occupied by this hammerhead shark, better known by its scientific name 'Sphyrna beanibabius.'

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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