Monday, September 26, 2011

From my friend Patrick Gothman who is soon to enter a Religious community in France.  See
The night before he was ordained, St. Maximilian Kolbe, OFM, made a retreat and wrote this bullet-point plan for his life. While written for the life of a friar, I think the virtues it extolls could very easily be applied to any one of us.

 April 27, 1918
-Follow very faithfully the timetable of each day, and you will be safe.

-This very day begin to serve God.
-It may be that this is the last day of your life.
-Live it as if it were, indeed, the last day.
-Tomorrow is uncertain, yesterday is no longer yours. Only the present belongs to you.
-There is an ear which hears all, an eye which scrutinizes all the movements of the heart, a hand which takes note of all.
-Not being punished is the most terrible chastisement of all.
-'If you want to avoid judgment, stop passing judgment.' (Mt 7:1)

-St. Francis de Sales: 'Fidelity in observing the rule is the sacrifice God prefers above all others; it is a mortification and a penance.'
-Love the most Blessed Virgin very deeply.

-Every action you perform will remain forever.
-Choose the least desirable things in food, clothes, tasks, and you will be dear to Jesus.
-The souls in Purgatory. Pray and work for sinners, for Holy Church.
-Make up by your fervor, for the time you have lost.

-Be a man, a Christian, a Religious.

-Be a man:
...-Don't blush for your convictions
...-Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
...-Have a sense of duty, fulfill it well, without being concerned whether anyone is watching you. Act instead with a noble ambition.
...-Don't worry about the evil in others.

-Be a Catholic:
...-When you kneel before an altar, do it in such a way that others may be able to recognize that you know before whom you kneel.

-Be a Religious:
...-A good intention in work is like the number '1' in front of a lot of zeroes.
...-Men deprive themselves of great treasures when they work without a good intention.
...-As you arise in the morning, so you will be all day long.
...-Every action you do is noted down. Nothing will fail to be either rewarded or punished.
...-You might die this very day!
...-Be recollected; whoever pours himself out on exterior things quickly loses the graces he has acquired. A full jewel box is always kept closed.

......-Avoid all those words which can draw down on you glory, esteem, or the appreciation of others.
......-Let us listen unwillingly (without interest or reflection) and with interior reluctance to the words of those who praise or commend us. It is dangerous to listen to one's own praise in the mouths of others. It makes one lose his good judgment. When others praise us let us keep our sins before our eyes. In this way we shall judge ourselves unworthy of any commendation, and consequently, we shall find an occasion for being ashamed of ourselves and for humbling ourselves.
........-Rejoice when you hear others praised.
........-Jealousy, attachment to one's own glory, is a defeat.
......-Never do anything so that men may see and esteem you.
........-Never do anything out of human respect.
........-Do everything perfectly, because you are working in God's presence, for God and not for men. In every situation think more about loving than about working.
......-Don't offer excuses when you make a mistake. Don't cast the blame on others. Do not offend by sarcasm those who correct you. Do not renounce in advance your errors which someone is trying to point out to you.
........-Practice for a long tima and with zeal until you succeed in willing that your defects may not be hidden any longer, and until you learn how to rejoice when the others judge you imperfect. Do this to make up for your errors.
........-When you are reproved unjustly, do not excuse yourself.
......-Cut short all thoughts of pride.
......-Consider every friar superior to yourself, and yourself the least of all. Recognize everyone as better than yourself, not only in your thoughts, but also in your external deportment.
........-If you consider another superior to yourself, then:
............-You will converse with him more calmly.
............-You will never insult him in words, nor do anything to displease him; you will not suspect him.
............-It will be easy for you to accept a harsh or disrespectful word from him.
......-Willingly accept every opportunity for humbling yourself. Don't be offended at:
........-A harsh word.
........-An imperious tone of voice.
........-Not being respected as much as you would like to be.
............-Welcome occasions of being disregarded and humiliated, first with patience, then willingly, without raising any difficulties and finally with joy. That will be perfect humility.
......-Make acts of humility (as also of the other virtues on which you are in your interior examining yourself), beginning with a rather small number of them; then increase these continually, and make more and more progress. This, in fact, is how one acquires a good habit and makes it grow strong.
.........-Humility is the foundation of the virtues.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

17, March 17, 2011
Feast of St. Patrick

Hello dear ones,

I have not had a long and chatty blog post for some time—none this year. Life keeps getting in the way of our success it seems.

What a wonderful couple of glorious feast days today-St. Patrick’s and Saturday-Good St. Joseph’s. Though I look forward each year to Lent and all it brings into our lives as we focus on penance, alms giving to the poor, and prayer-My heart has always found such comfort to take the time to truly reflect and acknowledge these two wonderful godly men, to come as it were, fresh and anew under their strong arms of love, guidance, and protection.

The house is beginning to fill with that wonderful aroma of fresh, cured corned beef, swimming in the biggest pot of Irish brew—Stout for me and my lads—and enough to have a swig ourselves as we add the little Red potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and onions.

So many of you are kind to say how you enjoy my old family recipes—so here you go for this wonderful feast day. And then following the family favorite is one of my very favorite prayers of protection from dear St. Patrick. If you are not going to attempt the wonderful green cake—so yummy, you must try the Green Tea and the crystalized ginger—such fun little treats.

For those of you who have not gone to the blog here is the address. I am very eclectic, but when I do write it is from the heart.

You will have to copy the above address into your webpage to pull it up.

If you want to go the archives I have a short one on St. Joseph from March 19, 2007
And, my most requested blog on St. Paddy from March 17, 2006. That is a particular favorite of several—giggles.

God bless,
Daniel and boys
St. Patrick Feast Day

Aunt Nonie’s Crystalized Ginger & Green Tea St. Paddy Day Cake

What you need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Matcha green tea (see notes below on Matcha Green Tea)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger—please only use fresh Ginger root
Unsalted butter-1 cup or 2 sticks
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
5 eggs, Room temperature and separated
¼ cup crystallized ginger, rough chop (my favorite kitchen snack—I keep in a Waterford Crystal Biscuit Jar on the Island—you can buy at Sprouts or Whole Food—delish and highly addictive but less harmful than Laudanum)
¼ teaspoon Sea salt—get a nice salt bowl to keep by the stove—a must for every kitchen
Baking pan: 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan buttered and floured—I prefer a red, Ikea pan, but really any will do

What you do:
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine flour, Matcha green tea and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
Add yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Really be aggressive—beat the hell out of them.
2. On slow speed, add flour mixture in 3 or 4 stages, mixing well all the while. Stir in crystallized ginger.
3. Separate bowl-beat egg whites with salt until white-holding a soft peak. Fold whites into cake batter. Transfer batter to prepared baking pan and bake until cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 55 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before unmolding and transferring to rack to cool completely.

Matcha Japanese Green Tea $19.95
Since the 12th century, Matcha tea has been celebrated in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony known as Chado, or 'Way of Tea.' Using ancient techniques green tea leaves are carefully shaded with straw mats 30 days before picking. The shading allows the tea leaves to become rich in chlorophyll and amino acids. Once picked and dried, the leaves are ground into fine bright green Matcha tea powder. Harvested in Nishio, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, this Imperial Grade Matcha is delicious and very high quality. 40g equals approximately 12 teaspoons. 80g equals approximately 24 teaspoons.

If you could put after-a-rain fresh air in a can, that's what this tea tastes like. This is very green, green tea - beautiful flavor, beautiful color. I've got an electric frothing tool that I mix mine with. But, to really do it right-you need a Matcha whisk and bowl. The only odd thing about this tea is the fact that there will be sediment in the bottom of your drinking vessel. This is normal for Matcha green tea; however, some people may not like it. It tastes great, but looks like swamp sludge.

Turns out that lumps are only a problem when trying to mix with HOT water. Matcha is a powder so it doesn't need to steep like leaves do. So mix it with COLD water first...a tiny bit of water at a time until it's dissolved...and THEN you can heat it up in the microwave. While I love Matcha hot, I also love it cold. I add it to my water bottle with a bit of Stevia- shake it to mix well. Yum! If it separates in between drinks, shake again. It is extremely convenient for travel and at work and I have 3 or 4 bottles of green tea a day. I drink this tea every morning-- 1 tsp., 8oz purified water (boiled to 180F), with 1/2 tsp. organic honey. I feel great after drinking this tea it seems to give me energy that I need, so that I can go out and ride hard on my bicycle. Cheers....

The Lorica of St. Patrick
Here is St. Patrick’s most famous and magnificent prayer. It is entitled “The Lorica” or “Breastplate,” an armor of defense. As you pray it you will feel the protection and power of God watching over you as He has His Saints down through the ages-a blessed feast day to you and yours. Let us hold each other in our prayers as we pray this prayer of divine Providence and Protection today.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation