Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dear Jan and Sandy,

You two know the best so you get to share my days sadness. Not that others do not "share our grief" but the days have gone by and life is so busy--but you both seem to have similar emotions that hold us to our sorrow and grief--and yet we have HOPE.

I was just called into my boss's office--which is always a treat at this new place. It is rainy and no one wants to go out so he is ordering our favorite white pizza and balsa salad and we are going to have a lunch meeting to go over good things that are happening here. All good right--and as I am sitting there--on his Internet radio out of Chicago comes Dreams by the Cranberries---Sarah Ruth's very favorite song from when she was 15 going on 16. Looking out on a favorite rainy day suddenly turned into a rainy funeral day and part of me was caught on the Vinzant bench at the foot of our family section of the cometary looking from Sarah Ruth to Bryan to Alicia to rain drops and gray clouds, alone and with them and yet so far, so very far away from all 3 of them and missing them so very, very much....

Thankfully my boss was on the phone placing the pizza order as I was drying my eyes and hastening to my office to regroup.

Suddenly I was back at Circuit City with the Cranberries CD trying that one song over and over in every boom box that was in our price range to find the finest sound for our Jeweled Princess for her 16th birthday--and we gave her that boom box with the necklace for faith, hope and charity--the Cross, the Anchor, and the Heart pendants in sterling silver.

And for the longest time that is what I heard coming from her room--Dreams, over and over and over again.


Oh, my life is changing everyday,
In every possible way.
And oh, my dreams, it's never quite as it seems,
Never quite as it seems.

I know I've felt like this before, but now I'm feeling it even more,
Because it came from you.
And then I open up and see the person falling here is me,
A different way to be.

Ah, la da ah...La...

I want more impossible to ignore,
Impossible to ignore.
And they'll come true, impossible not to do,
Impossible not to do.

And now I tell you openly, you have my heart so don't hurt me.
You're what I couldn't find.
A totally amazing mind, so understanding and so kind;
You're everything to me.

Oh, my life,
Is changing every day,
In every possible way.

And oh, my dreams,
It's never quite as it seems,
'Cause you're a dream to me,
Dream to me.

Ah, da, da da da, da, la...

Such memories--how they flood our days. Jan do you remember one of our many family trips to Abilene to be with your extended family and we learned that praise song at the service we went to as a family on Sunday and then Sarah Ruth taught it to us singing it over and over and over again in the car on all our car trips:

O God you are my God and I will ever praise you
O God you are my God and I will ever praise you
And I will seek you in the morning and I will learn to walk in your ways
And step by step you will lead me, And I will follow you all of my days....

So here we are in another fine mess--all the world is going and coming and life is good and beautiful and we stop to remember our pain--and yet, Here in our pain, Step by Step He leads us--and we are learning, learning to walk in His ways.

SR picked a wonderful song for 16--like her mother before her and her people before her--she always had a song in her heart. Whether it was the silliest of songs such as "I'm so blue, ue, ue, ue, blue....", "Little Bunny Fuw Fuw...", or her own compositions of her love for Jesus she was a soul that sang out loudly and clearly with full voice--her life. "So I will sing praise to your Name forever, that I may pay my vows day by day."

I miss her now as much as on that great and terrible day that she was first lost to us--I miss her and find my tears to have a well that never runs dry. And as good King David of old--I live in the fear of God to know that she can not come back to me, but it is still possible that one day we can go to Him and to her and to all those who have gone before us. Books may be written on who they would fill their dinner table in Heaven with--we KNOW beyond HIM whom we love, who our hearts ever desire to see fulfilled.

There are those in the very heart of God that fear God's name. They are those who are willing to forgo present comforts in the soul, in HOPE of future bliss in the Arms of God. Those that fear God have enough in him. We live in a world that pulls on our every desire, but we find as we offer up our present sorrow and turn in into God's love allowing Him to freely give Himself away to others through us that we need desire no better heritage than that of those who fear God.

Yesterday there were fears of impending financial disaster, today there are fears of impending doom through the Swine flu, tomorrow be sure there will be it's own evil--but God has promised, and promises fresh and anew each day--those who abide in Him, who abide ever before Him, who walk in His fear, who long to serve Him, to love Him, to know Him, and HOPE to live with Him forever--choosing to live
to good purpose in this world, shall abide before him forever. We need not desire to be better secured than under the protection of God's mercy and truth. And if we partake of that grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ, we may praise him, whatever be our outward circumstances.

You two remain in my heart and in my prayers and I take comfort in your shared sorrows, your love and prayers. Thank you for sharing my morning as if it were your own.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Divine Mercy Sunday—the Sunday after Easter Sunday—the Church offers the strongest HOPE of God’s Mercy being poured out on Sinners---
This next Sunday the Church offers strong, plenary indulgences to those who partake in the Divine Mercy. There are many things you can do, and as you grow in this devotional you will surely want to add the Chaplet, the daily prayers, carrying an Image of the Divine Mercy—and below I give you more info then you need—but here is the thing—know and do this when at your Sunday Mass obligation and you will receive abundant mercy: On Divine Mercy Sunday in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the Tabernacle, recite the Our Father, the Creed, and say-“Merciful Jesus, I trust in you."
Do it and make sure you share these simple prayers of our faith with everyone you know and love. And here is the larger teaching, and then the particular rubrics for the indulgence for those who want to dig deeper—but remember—just do the simple prayers above and SEE that Father God will pour out His Mercy to you through Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Standing in the Need of Mercy for Life,

The message of The Divine Mercy is simple-God loves us - all of us-all the time. Father God wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins. He longs for us to call upon Him with trust, to receive His mercy, and to let it flow through us to others. This is the way of Mercy and the Threshold of HOPE.
Simply remember the Heavenly ABC’s:
A - Ask God for His Mercy. God wants us to Ask for Mercy. Pray without ceasing is what the Bible says-to always and everywhere be coming to Him in prayer, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world. “Merciful Jesus, I trust in you…Jesus, Son of God, have Mercy on me a Sinner, and on the Whole World…”
B - Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy. And when we have received the Mercy of God we suddenly know what to do with it-there is only one thing to do-that is to let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us. “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us…”
C - Completely trust in Jesus. “Trust and Obey for there is no other way to be Happy in Jesus, but to Trust and Obey.” There is a heavenly principle in that the more we ask, the more we receive, the more we trust, the more we receive, the more we allow trust, mercy, faith, hope, love, and graces to flow through us to others, the more we get back to offer up to be given out…

The following is borrowed from the EWTN info on the Divine Mercy for those who want more in-depth instruction. You can also use your favorite Search Engine to look up more simply by putting in “divine mercy”. There is a lovely chaplet that can be sung or prayed along the beads of your rosary—it is a Chaplet I used for years to get those Separated Brethren through no fault of their own from the Catholic Church to pray ecumenical rosaries with me in front of Planned Parenthoods all across the country when I was a Baptist preacher. During those pro-life activist years I gave out over 14,000 rosaries as a Baptist pastor and NO one refused to pray the Mercy prayers with me on the beads I gave them.
Enjoy the “sure mercies of David” that God desires to give to all—daniel

EWTN website:
The Divine Mercy devotion is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God's mercy. Even before her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had begun to spread. The devotional practices proposed in the Diary of Saint Faustina are completely in accordance with the teachings of Church and are firmly rooted in the Gospel message of our Merciful Savior. Grow in trust, mercy through asking, praying, and seeking the Mercy of Jesus and live your life as merciful to others, as Christ is merciful to you.
The earliest element of the Devotion to the Divine Mercy revealed to St. Faustina was the Image. On February 22nd, 1931 Jesus appeared to her with rays radiating from His heart and said,
Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and throughout the world. (Diary 47)I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over its enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I myself will defend it as My own glory. (Diary 48) I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature" :Jesus, I trust in You." (Diary 327)
The two rays denote Blood and Water. the pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized heart was opened by a lance on the Cross. These rays shield souls from the wrath of My Father. Happy is the one who dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him. (Diary 299) Not in the beauty of the color, nor of the brush, lies the greatness of this image, but in My grace. (Diary 313) By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works. (Diary 742)
In these texts the Church's doctrine on images, justification and grace are explained. First, by itself an image is merely a painting, no matter how beautiful and expressive. Yet, it can point us the mysteries of the faith and dispose us to grasp and receive what it represents, in this case the Divine Mercy. It is thus a vessel, not the source, a reminder, not the reality. The reality is the merciful fountain of grace flowing from the pierced Heart of Christ on the Cross, and flowing out visibly to represent the visible that is the sacramental, signs of grace, Baptism and Eucharist, standing for all the sacraments of the Church. Thus, St. John in his first letter insists on the presence of the invisible with the visible, the Spirit with the water and the Blood.
The image also reminds us that salvation is not just by faith, but by works of charity also. It takes faith to see and believe in what the Image signifies, Divine Mercy poured out from Christ upon the Cross, but it takes mercy, love going beyond the strict requirements of justice, in order to draw down mercy on oneself. "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us" (Mt 6:12) and”the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you" (Mt 7:2) The Image of the pierced side of Christ pouring out blood and water reminds us that the Cross, love in action, is the price of mercy. "As I have loved you so also should you love one another." (Jn 13:34)
Summary of the Decree of Indulgence

O God, your mercy knows no bounds and the treasure of your goodness is infinite..." (Prayer after the "Te Deum" Hymn)
"The paschal mystery is the culmination of this revealing and effecting of mercy, which is able to justify man, to restore justice in the sense of that salvific order which God willed from the beginning in man, and through man, in the world" (Encyclical Letter Dives in misericordia, n. 7).
"And so with provident pastoral sensitivity and in order to impress deeply on the souls of the faithful these precepts and teachings of the Christian faith, the Supreme Pontiff, John Paul II, moved by the consideration of the Father of Mercy, has willed that the Second Sunday of Easter be dedicated to recalling with special devotion these gifts of grace and gave this Sunday the name, "Divine Mercy Sunday" (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Decree Misericors et miserator, 5 May 2000).
Plenary indulgence
I. The usual conditions for every plenary indulgence:
• sacramental confession [according to previously issued norms, within about 20 days before or after]
• Eucharistic communion [according to previously issued norms, preferably on the day, or the days before or after]
• prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff [certain prayers are not specified]
II. The specific conditions for this Indulgence
On Divine Mercy Sunday
• in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honor of Divine Mercy
• or, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!")
Partial Indulgence
A partial indulgence, granted to the faithful who, at least with a contrite heart, pray to the merciful Lord Jesus a legitimately approved invocation. [e.g. Jesus I trust in You. My Jesus mercy. or any other approved invocation]
Those who cannot go to church or the seriously ill
Conditions for a Plenary Indulgence:
• totally detesting any sin,
• the intention of fulfilling as soon as possible the three usual conditions of confession, communion and prayers for the Holy Father
• recite the Our Father and the Creed before a devout image of Our Merciful Lord Jesus
• pray a devout invocation to the Merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you).
If it is impossible to do even this:
• with a spiritual intention unite with those carrying out the prescribed practice for obtaining the Indulgence in the usual way and
• offer to the Merciful Lord a prayer and the sufferings of their illness and the difficulties of their lives, with the resolution to accomplish as soon as possible the three conditions prescribed to obtain the plenary indulgence.
Duty of priests
Priests who exercise pastoral ministry, especially parish priests, should
• inform the faithful in the most suitable way of the Church's salutary provision [of a plenary indulgence].
• promptly and generously be willing to hear their confessions [this does not necessarily have to be on Divine Mercy Sunday itself, since that is not a condition for the indulgence]
On Divine Mercy Sunday, after celebrating Mass or Vespers, or during devotions in honor of Divine Mercy,
• lead the recitation of the prayers
• when they instruct their people, gently encourage the faithful to practice works of charity or mercy as often as they can

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dear Ones,

What a treat to see so many at Holy Thursday last night--my celebrations continued until Midnight last night and in the midst of our Good Friday fast and prayers, I suspect it will continue longer tonight. (see earlier post for details of tonight.)

Followed by the Great Silence of Saturday and a very special quiet time with my sons and a good and dear friend. Then Easter Vigil because I love it, followed by Early Mass with my sons and then Easter Brunch with extended family and friends, a sweet afternoon of remembrances of my sweet sister Alicia on her 57th birthday--we will fill our missing her with very loud and funny stories--of which thank God, we have so many. Then a late supper with my brother and sister-in-law.

A busy time--immersed in family and friends, and HOPE. And since it is a holiday--a feast day--from my kitchen to yours. Long tested, family favorite treats from these special holidays for you and yours to try and make your own.

God bless you and yours and thank you for your love and prayers--your HOPE beads,

The Vinzants'

Coppell, Good Friday, 2009

King's Cake Recipe - Torta del Re Recipe (from Italy) popular among Italian-Jews

5 large eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups sugar--you can substitute liquid Stevia but hey this is a holiday cake my friends
10 ounces (2 1/2 cups) blanched almonds, ground very fine--i use my burr coffee grinder
1 teaspoon vanilla--please use pure vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
Grated rind of one lemon
Sliced, toasted almonds for garnish--buy a small pack instead of doing these unless you have a mandoline which are wonderful and should be used often

Instructions: Line bottom of a 10-inch cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides with margarine, or grease a 10-inch spring form pan.

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Whisk together yolks, sugar, extracts and lemon rind in a large bowl. The mixture is very thick and hard to mix. Whisk until pale.
3. Stir in the ground almonds.
4. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form; either a mixer or a whisk may be used. (Don't make too stiff.) Stir in about one-third of the egg whites to lighten, and then fold in the rest of the egg whites.
5. Pour into the pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until firm. The top will be light brown.
6. Let cool completely. Cut around the edges with a sharp knife.
7. Carefully invert and remove the parchment. Re-invert onto a serving plate and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Serves 12-14-- Prep Time: 60 minutes-- Cook Time: 40 minutes

Whisk the yolks until they're foamy, then gradually incorporate the sugar and continue to whisk until the mixture is lemon-colored. Gradually incorporate the chopped nuts, the extracts, and the zest; at the end of this the batter will be quite stiff. Mix a third of the egg whites into the batter to soften it, and then delicately fold in the remainder.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake it for an hour without opening the oven door. Turn off the heat, open the door a crack, and let it cool for 15 minutes before removing it and standing it upside down to finish cooling. Remove it from a pan to a cake dish, dust it with confectioner's sugar using a sifter, and sprinkle it with the slivered nuts.
Coconut Macaroons

14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut-- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk--1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract -- 2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature--1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop, or two teaspoons. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Dear Ones in Standing Just,

Receive my prayers for you and your family as you have a very meaningful Holy Week. May God grant you peace and blessings this Holy season.

I have taken a very reflective Lenten Journey with all that has happened in our family since the First Friday of Lent with the unexpected death of my dear sister, Alicia. Remembering my recent horror of the violent death of my brother, Bryan last Holy Thursday makes these three Holy Days and events of this week of Passion all the more deep and real to me. I have long been struck down by the image of the emptying of the Tabernacle during Holy Thursday--they have taken My Lord and I know not where they have placed him... the scattering of the disciples/Apostles, the great beginning of the Church, holy orders, the Eucharist--the Mass, the re-presentation of Calvary, of the Bread of Heaven, the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Beloved Lord Jesus continually given to us on all the alters of the Church and in Heaven.

If I have any influence on you at all may I urge you to not miss the Holy Thursday mass. And if you can make all three--Good Friday the Adoration of the Cross and the Exhaultant of the georgeous Easter Vigil--fire, water, light, dark, renewing of the baptismal vows, the renoucing of Satan...this is our Catholic faith---we believe....

After Holy Week I do hope to see more and more of you who my heart has been missing. The meals, the prayers and mass cards, the condolences and love have been very dear to our hearts during this time. I have sat often on my couch in front of the fire in this extended cool of Spring and gone over each mass and held strong the hope I find in each promise of the goodness of God in the land of the living and in the arms of God. Thank you and please continue to extend your HOPE bead to our entire Vinzant family. The comfort and peace I find from the beads of our Faith.

Each year I try to take a few special friends to a very special event--Holy Thursday and Good Friday in Lewisville at our Lady of Lebanon-I believe the numbers are great enough at our home parish, that no one will miss us for a couple of evenings eh. And I will be back to St. Ann's for the Easter Vigil. Do try to come and call if you have any questions. Our beloved Father Pacwa from EWTN is due to be there for Holy Week. You will love meeting him and they have Confessions till after 2 AM with him. If you would like to go to Father Pacwa for Confession on these two evenings after the mass and adoration of the Cross each night, you will find it a great blessing.

God bless,

see notes below

A reminder and a some notes:

Reminder, Holy Thursday at Our Lady of Lebanon in Lewisville at 7pm.

You can find the address and a map at their website. I hope to see
many of you there.

Three main notes for those of you who have never attended a Maronite
1. Communion is by Tincture. That means the Priest dips the Host in
the wine and puts the Host in your mouth. So don't hold your hands up
because you will look silly. :)
2. The sign of peace starts at the Altar and then is spread to the
congregation. Basically the Priest gives the sign of peace to the
Altar servers and then the Altar servers go to the first person in each
row and it spreads from there. Just don't sit in the first row and all
you have to do is watch and do what everyone else does.
3. The standing, sitting, kneeling is a little different. Again just
watch and follow. You will want to note in the Maronite rite, the proper form is to STAND and not knell for the Consecration so follow the book and STAND when it says too--or look to the Lebanese who know the way and not the Western rite visitors who will try to bend everyone to their will as being the only true and right way--oh those Anglos, what will we do with you.

I hope each of you has a blessed Holy week.


Daniel and boys

Holy Week 2009

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Dear Ones,

Come and join me and many others as we spend time in prayer at perhaps the most sacred ground in Dallas--The Chapel, The Tabernacle, and the Blessed Sacrament literaly are looking down through a wall of windows on one of the most active killing centers in Dallas, Texas. For the whole 24 years the White Rose has been in the same building across the street or now side by side to this killing center and the Blessed Sacrament actually shared a common wall with the actual rooms where the killing went on for over 8 years.

I can think of no better place to spend a day of prayer as we going into this most holy time of our Lord's Passion--Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Silence of Holy Saturday and the marvelous Exalutant of Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday.

I personally plan to be there for Mass until 11:00 and then return from 2:00--4:30. I look forward to sharing some special time of prayer with each of you and thank you for your continuing to offer up you HOPE bead for the Vinzant family--those here in this Valley Tears and those in the arms of God.

Joining you in Standing Just for the Gospel of Life at the very gates of the Culture of Death here in Dallas Texas and praying for the good work done at the White Rose.


Come join the White Rose family and friends as we begin our 25th year with a visit from The Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our Lady will be in the White Rose chapel (our chapel overlooks the entrance to Routh Street abortion center) on April 8th, from 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. There will also be a Mass at 9 a.m. This is a very special event and we hope you will stop by and pray for our ministry, our city, and our nation. We are seeing more young women than ever and we need your prayers. Parking for clients is limited, so please park on one of the side streets. Let others know of Our Lady's visit.
White Rose address: 4313 N. Central, Dallas 75205
For other locations and times go to

Thursday, April 2 through Easter Sunday, April 12 -Traveling Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Dallas
olg.jpgThe traveling Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe will travel by day to all five Dallas abortion centers and by night to diocesan parishes.
In Wichita, Kansas, the Missionary Image was taken to an abortuary where late-term babies are being killed and cremated in an incinerator on the premises. As the image was processed around the killing center, people smelled a strong fragrance of roses. Then, they saw rose petals miraculously flaking from the image in all directions. An eyewitness to this extraordinary event experienced an overwhelming peace and said that it seemed as if heaven had come down to earth and Our Lady was saying, "It is good for you to be here, as I, too, stood at the foot of the Cross silently watching and praying as my innocent Son was crucified."
On several occasions the image has wept tears of oil. Once it wept on Christmas Day before an entire congregation. The priest told the people, "Our Lady is weeping on her Son's birthday for all of her children who have no birthday because of abortion."
Many people have shared that they felt the heartbeat of an unborn child in Mary's womb on the image. This sound was heard by a nurse with a stethoscope!
Our Lady is teaching us that abortion is about a child and not a choice.
Click here for the schedule, novena and more information. .