Céad Míle Fáilte ~ A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!

Here we seek a rest in the shade, some cool water and a little kindness. This blog is dedicated to peace, truth, justice and a post- industrial, post-petroleum illumined world in spite of all odds against it. I very much like the line about the ancient knight (see poem below) "His helmet now shall make a hive for bees" It is reminiscent of "beating swords into ploughshares" a sentiment I heartily approve of. Thank you for visiting ~ I hope you return!

Waterfall Animation Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Taste of Honey...and More

Here are a few songs to mellow you out before your New Year's Eve festivities begin. A Taste of Honey sung by Morgana King

Toni Braxton's Unbreak My Heart

and old Blue Eyes.....

A Very Happy New Year To You & Yours

In 2008 The Rosemary Tree has gone from being a one-person blog with a readership of, say, three or so (yep, basically my hubby and some guys in Mongolia and Ireland) to a two-writer blog with a few hundred hits from across the big blue marble. The knowledgeable and talented Stanford Espedal joined the tiny crew, providing authoritative spritual knowledge. My attempts to provide a bit of income from TRT to justify the time spent here have thus far proven unfruitful (please buy your coffee and garden stuff through the ads!)

Anyhow, our main mission being not be be gainfully employed so much as to minister to the online flock of Our Lord Jesus Christ, lost sheep or found ones, we wish you a blessed and wonderful New Year. May you and yours fulfill your destiny, grow in peace joy and love, and draw closer to the numinous mystery of the Incarnate Word.

new year or happy new year Pictures, Images and Photos

St. John 1:1-14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light. 9 That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. 13 Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

~ Deborah Yost
Gabriel Stanford Espedal
The Rosemary Tree

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Brief Chronology of the Life of Christ

Those of us who celebrate the Eight Days of Christmas (Twelve Days in the western church) still are rejoicing in the coming of our Savior. At the same time our minds are oriented to a new civil year, calendars, and dates on those calendars. So it seemed a good time of year to share the results of my studies over the years on the chronology of Christ's coming into the world.

The dates have been determined in the following manner: First, Saint Luke tells us that John the Baptist was conceived after Zechariah's priestly service during the Course of Abijah. We know from the Qumran Calendar contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls the exact times at which each of the 12 priestly families ministered in the Temple of Jerusalem. (See 1 Paralipomenon / 1 Chronicles 24, 7-18). The family of Abijah, of which Zechariah was a descendant, was required to officiate on the days 8-14 of the third month, and on the days 24-30 of the eighth month. This latter period fell at about the end of our September. With good reason the Byzantine calendar celebrates John's conception on September 23, and his birth nine months later, on June 24. Beginning with this, it is clear that when Gabriel came to Mary "in the sixth month," (Luke 1: 26) this was late March. The Church has always held March 25 as the date of the Annunciation; the incarnation of Our Lord. Jesus' birth took place nine months later to the day - a sign of his divine perfection - on Sunday, December 25.

Why 5 B.C.? We know from Josephus' Antiquities and other sources that Herod the Great died in the year now computed as 4 B.C. Hence our Lord must have been born before that time. The exact year of the census mentioned by St. Luke remains uncertain. However, if we assume the birth of Our Lord to have been born in 5 B.C., it fits well with the following considerations: that Jesus' baptism was when he was "about thirty years old" (Luke 3: 23); that Jesus' earthly life was thirty-three years (a universal tradition); and that he died in A.D. 30, exactly 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

As for the year of Jesus' baptism, Saint Luke tells us that John began to preach and baptize "in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar" (Luke 3: 1). Tiberius began his joint rule with Augustus in the Fall of A.D. 12; hence the fifteenth year would be from the Fall of A.D. 26 to the Fall of A.D. 27. Jesus was baptized well after John had begun his work. Tradition designates January 6 as the date of the baptism of Christ. This would then be in January A.D. 28. The 40 days in the wilderness would take us to February 25. This leaves time for the calling of the first disciples and the wedding at Cana prior to the first Passover mentioned by St. John (2: 13).

Saint John refers to three Passovers as the time structure within which Jesus fulfilled his work (John 2: 13; 6: 4; 11: 55). Thus the first was of A.D. 28, the second of A.D. 29, and the third of A.D. 30, when Jesus, at age 33, suffered his Passion and rose from the dead.

Finally, it was a common belief of the Fathers of the Church that Our Lord Jesus Christ died on the same day that He was conceived, March 25. Assuming this to be the truth, all the events from Palm Sunday to Pentecost may be dated with certainty.

September 23, 6 B.C. -- John the Baptist conceived, after Zechariah sees the Archangel Gabriel while executing his priestly office in the Course of Abijah.

Friday, March 25, 5 B.C. -- Jesus conceived by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary at the Annunciation.

April 2, 5 B.C. -- Mary arrives at the home of Zechariah and Elizabeth in Ain Karim "in the hill country of Judea." John the Baptist sanctified in the womb. Mary proclaims the Magnificat.

June 24, 5 B.C. -- John the Baptist born. Zechariah proclaims the Benedictus.

July 2, 5 B.C. -- Following John’s circumcision, Mary departs to her home in Nazareth.

Sunday, December 25, 5 B.C. -- Jesus is born of the Virgin Mary in the Cave of Bethlehem. Angelic host sings Gloria in Excelsis to shepherds.

Sunday, January 1, 4 B.C. -- The Eighth Day: Jesus is circumcised.

February 2, 4 B.C. -- Jesus' Presentation in the Temple. The Ancient Simeon proclaims Nunc Dimitis and prophesies to the Holy Virgin: "Thy own soul a sword shall pierce."

Unknown date, early in 4 B.C. -- the Magi arrive in Bethlehem and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews; upon their departure the Holy Family takes flight into Egypt, escaping the wrath of Herod. (Speculative date for the visit of the Magi: February 12, the 50th day after the Nativity, an anticipation of Pentecost.)

Unknown date, Spring of 4 B.C. -- Herod the Great dies. The Holy Family returns "out of Egypt" to Nazareth.

Passover, A.D. 9 -- Jesus, age 12, remains behind in Jerusalem; after three days Mary finds him in the Temple among the teachers.

January 6, A.D. 28 -- Jesus, age 31, is baptized by John in the Jordan. The Mystery of the Trinity is revealed. Jesus immediately goes into the Judean wilderness for 40 days.

March, A.D. 28 -- Jesus calls his first disciples; he performs his first miracle, changing water into wine at the wedding in Cana.

Passover, A.D. 28 -- Jesus appears in the Temple and cleanses it for the first time. He proclaims to Nicodemus the absolute necessity of Baptism for entrance into his Church, the Kingdom of God on earth (John 3: 3-5).

Passover, A.D. 29 -- Activity in Jerusalem uncertain. Shortly before this Passover, Jesus delivers the Bread of Life discourse on the Eucharist in the synagogue at Capharnaum (John 6)

Passover, A.D. 30 – The Passion Week:

Sunday, March 20 -- Jesus, age 33, enters Jerusalem in triumph. He cleanses the Temple for the second time.

Thursday night, March 24 -- Jesus institutes the Eucharist. He suffers his Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Friday, March 25 -- Jesus is crucified and dies for the sins of the world. He is buried in Joseph of Arimathea's tomb.

Saturday, March 26 -- Jesus' body rests in the tomb; his spirit descends into hell (the part known as Abraham’s bosom) to proclaim release to the Old Testament Faithful.

Sunday, March 27 -- Jesus rises in glory and appears to his Mother, the ointment-bearing women, and the disciples.

Thursday, May 5 -- Jesus ascends into heaven, having commanded the disciples to baptize and teach all nations. The Old Testament Faithful enter into heaven behind him.

Sunday, May 15 -- Pentecost. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to the disciples gathered in Solomon's Porch of the Temple. The Church, led by Peter, begins with a harvest of three thousand souls baptized.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Busy Monday...

I have gone from being busy because we had company to being busy because the youngest daughter is down with a very rough "stomach flu" bug. I'll spare you the gory details - but when a very independent nineteen year old wants her "Mommy", you know it is a bad one. More blogging soon, as I am able...off I go to help rehydrate the young one...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Selfishness Decried by Benedict XVI

Dec 25, 7:57 AM (ET)

VATICAN CITY (AP) - QUOTE Pope Benedict XVI in his Christmas message Thursday warned that the world was headed toward ruin if selfishness prevails over solidarity during tough economic times for both rich and poor nations.

Speaking from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica on the day Christians commemorate Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, Benedict declared that the "heart of the Christian message is meant for all men and women."

The traditional papal Christmas Day message "Urbi et Orbi" - Latin for "to the City and to the World" - usually covers the globe's hot spots, but this year Benedict also addressed the gloomy economic conditions worrying many across the planet.

Amid near daily news of layoffs, failing companies and people losing homes they can no longer afford in many parts of the world, Benedict's words seemed tailored in part to the global economic crisis.

He said his Christmas message also applied to "wherever an increasingly uncertain future is regarded with apprehension, even in affluent nations."

"In each of these places may the light of Christmas shine forth and encourage all people to do their part in a spirit of authentic solidarity," Benedict said. "If people look only to their own interests, our world will certainly fall apart."

Entire text of Pope Benedict's Urbi et Orbi 2008 Christmas message here.
Pope Benedict XVI Pictures, Images and Photos
art credit: Jimbone79

Christmas Messages, Here and There

I happened upon the British Christmas Message from Queen Elizabeth, with the usual royal folderol and old home movies featuring infant Charles prancing about in a romper, but also holding forth on some good old fashioned ideas which we rebel colonists would do well to heed. The call to lead an outgoing, unselfish and sacrificial life, as Christ did; to serve the nation and the wider community in increased measure is salutory.

Blessed Are the Thrifty...

Thrift (also known by its broader name, Temperance)as a virtue ~ a notion familiar to the ancient Greeks, Buddhists and Catholics ~ an idea whose time has returned. That idea is a real hard-sell in post Great Depression era America. A 55 year old boomer, I have watched over my entire life as the buy-now-pay-later hucksters have quietly seized, gagged and bound our entire economy. I've watched people abuse credit card debt, bankruptcy laws and their fellow man at an ever-increasing rate, to the point that a fellow of my acquaintance who shall remain nameless, astounded our entire family and many of his friends and former colleagues and clients, by filing for bankruptcy over his credit card bills. He had the wherewithal to pay them having both an income in the high 60K range and having come into some money near the 200K range. But he chose not to. He made a calculated and more or less rational decision to leave the credit card company holding the bag and his fellow Americans making up the difference in increased interest rates, or fees, or however the credit companies figure such things. Billions upon billions in "bailout" cash, hot off the presses, and Ponzi schemes as a Wall Street fact of life based on pure greed and the fable of "something for nothing", all point like a smoking crater to a meteor crash site to the absolute requisite return of thrift and temperance.

Be sure and click on over and read the whole thing ~

From John Zmirak at Taki's magazine:
QUOTE People say that the best cure for a hangover is a hair of the dog that bit you. The people who say that are typically alcoholics. They’re using the logic of an addict, whose reason has been fried by a short-circuit in the pleasure-centers of the brain. Such people think it’s funny when they fall down at a parish Christmas party (even if they’re the Monsignor), when they puke on your champagne colored carpet (“Good thing that’s what I was drinking!”), when they shout some slur that gets you into a fight with numerous ethnic strangers—and they’ll probably think it’s funny when, one morning in the shower, their liver slides out of their ass.

And that, boys and girls, is what happened to our economy. As it lies there on the porcelain, we want to pick it up and put it back but we’re scared it might just dissolve. Anyway, the process would probably hurt. Do we really need it?

But that’s really what it means, when the Magi of either party discuss the need for an “economic stimulus,” or financial journalists worry about the decline in consumer spending—by consumers who are losing their jobs. Just to break things down: This winter our country crashed into a wall because of our addiction to spending money we haven’t got for stuff we don’t need. We overdosed, ran through our stash, and now we’re thrashing around in a cold turkey withdrawal—but here comes that nice man with the methadone…. UNQUOTE

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

O Holy Night

Nativity of the Lord. Pictures, Images and Photos
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!


I behold a new and wondrous mystery!
My ears resound to the shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but loudly chanting a heavenly hymn!
The angels sing! The archangels blend their voices in harmony!
The cherubim resound their joyful praise! The seraphim exult His glory!

All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth and man in heaven. He who is above now, for our salvation, dwells here below; and we, who were lowly, are exalted by divine mercy.

Today Bethlehem resembles heaven, hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices and, in the place of the sun, witnessing the rising of the Sun of Justice!
Ask now how this was accomplished, for where God wills the order of nature is overturned. For He willed He has the power. He descended. He saved. All things move in obedience to God.

Today, He Who is born. And He Who Is becomes what He was not. For when He was God, He became man - while not relinquishing the Godhead that is His.
And so the kings have come and they have seen the heavenly King that is come upon the earth, not bring with Him angels, nor archangels, nor thrones, nor dominations, nor powers, nor principalities, but treading a new and solitary path, He has come forth from a spotless womb.

Yet He has not forsaken His angels, nor left them deprived of His care, nor because of His incarnation has He ceased being God.
And behold the kings have come that they might serve the Leader of the Hosts of Heaven;

Women, so that they might adore Him Who was born of a woman so that He might change the pains of child birth to joy;
Virgins, to the Son of the Virgin . . .

Infants that they might adore Him Who became a little child, so that out of the mouths of infants He might perfect praise;
Children, to the Child Who raised up martyrs through the rage of Herod;
Men to Him Who became man hat He might heal the miseries of His servants;

Shepherds to the Good Shepherd Who has laid down His life for His sheep;
Priests, to Him Who has become a High Priest according to the order of Melchisidech;

Servants to Him Who took upon Himself the form of a servant that He might bless our stewardship with the reward of freedom;
Fishermen to the Fisher of humanity;
Publicans, to Him Who from among them named a chosen evangelist;
inful women to Him Who exposed His feet to the tears of the repentant woman;

And that I may embrace them all together, all sinners have come, that they might look upon the lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world!
Since, therefore, all rejoice, I too desire to rejoice! I too wish to share the choral dance, to celebrate the festival!

But I take my part, not plucking the harp, nor with music of the pipes nor holding the torch, but holding in my arms the cradle of Christ!

For this is all my hope! This is my life! This is my salvation! This is my pipe, my harp!

And bearing it I come, having from its power received the gift of speech, I too, with the angels sing: "Glory to God in the Highest," and with the shepherds: "and on earth peace to men of good will."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas !

merry christmas snowy glitter Pictures, Images and Photos

the first noel Pictures, Images and Photos

Kustler's Latest Rant

Eff bomb alert as usual for Jim Kunstler's latest Monday rant. So right-on it absolutely zings.

QUOTE Zounds! Public sentiment toward the accelerating economic fiasco has shifted, seemingly overnight, from a mood of nauseated amazement to one of panicked grievance as the United States moves closer to an apparent comprehensive collapse -- and so ill-timed, wouldn't you know it, to coincide with the annual rigors of Santa Claus. The tipping point seems to be the Bernie Madoff $50 billion Ponzi scandal, which represents the grossest failure of authority and hence legitimacy in finance to date in as much as Mr. Madoff was a former chairman of the NASDAQ, for godsake. It's like discovering that Ben Bernanke is running a meth lab inside the Federal Reserve. And out in the heartland, of course, there is the spectacle of Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich trying to desperately dodge a racketeering rap behind an implausible hairdo. UNQUOTE

Did Saint Joseph Doubt Our Lady's Virginal Conception of Christ?

In the Byzantine ritual churches, this is the week of the Holy Fathers of Christ. The Apostolic reading for Sunday's Divine Liturgy is Hebrews 11: 9 - 40, which praises the theological virtue of faith in those who came before Christ and prepared the world for him. The Gospel, Saint Matthew 1: 1 - 25, proclaims the genealogy of Christ. It also tells us how Saint Joseph "was a just man", and how an angel - presumably Gabriel - appeared to him in a dream and directed him:

18 Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. 19 Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. (Douay Rheims Version)

One of the most commonly held interpretations of this account is that Joseph did not understand that his betrothed was with child by the Holy Spirit, and therefore resolved to send her away secretly in order to spare her life and save his honor.

I used to hold this interpretation. Here is part of a sermon I preached on this text:

Joseph was bewildered when he found out that Mary was with child...he stumbled in unbelief concerning her condition. Why? Because in this situation Joseph judged by man made standards of wisdom. By these standards he knew that a woman gets to be with child by a man. And he knew the man was not him. It seemed impossible - downright foolish - to think that God had given her this child without a man. It may be hard for us to understand Joseph's problem. That's because we know all the facts of the case. We know that Mary remained a virgin and was with child of the Holy Ghost. Joseph didn't know that. What was he to think? What would you think if you learned your bride-to-be was pregnant? Would you have said, "How wonderful, thank you, Lord"?

Some Catholic interpreters also share this opinion. A footnote to verse 19 in the Confraternity New Testament (1941) reads, "Supposing only a natural explanation of her condition, Joseph, as just, might not proceed to marriage before the law, while his conviction of her innocence made him unwilling to expose her to reproach."

Nowadays I repudiate this interpretation, commonly held though it is.

Those who think that Joseph temporarily doubted Mary's virginal conception of Jesus will say that the clause "She was found with child of the Holy Ghost" is an anacoluthon, abandoning the straightforward narrative to give the reader the end of the story from the beginning.

But what happens if you read it as a straightforward narrative? In that case, you realize that when Joseph was informed of the source of Mary's pregnancy being the power of the Holy Spirit, he was firmly convinced of the truth of it. He understood and believed when she told him that her condition was the divine fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah (7: 14): "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son." Now that fits much better with what we are told of Joseph, that he was a just man. But how can one be just, or righteous in the sight of God unless he believes all that God has revealed? The whole point of the apostolic reading from the 11th chapter of Hebrews is that the ancients were just through their faith. Hence it seems far better to take verse 19 as part of a simple narrative, and understand that Joseph believed his betrothed to have conceived supernaturally.

Another consideration which faithful Catholics and Orthodox cannot ignore, is Tradition. According to the Tradition received in the universal Church, our Lady had vowed perpetual virginity to the Lord. She was resolved to this vocation already as a three-year-old child when she entered the Temple to live there. Joseph understood and agreed to enter into a virginal marriage with her, solely as provider and protector. Hence when Gabriel announced that she would conceive and bear a son, the Virgin asked, "How shall this be, since I do not know man?" (Pos estai touto, how shall this be, not how can this be)

But if Joseph believed, what would account for his decision to "put her away privately"? The answer fits perfectly with the description of Joseph as just: It was his great humility. It was because Joseph did believe that Mary was the Virgin Mother of the Messiah that he felt himself unworthy to be her spouse. He did not wish to expose her condition of having virginally conceived Christ - which it was unlikely that anyone else would believe - and therefore resolved to put her away, giving her a bill of divorce without stating a reason, which was permitted according to Deuteronomy 24: 1.

Thus it makes perfect sense that the angel, speaking to Joseph in a dream, would say, "Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife because that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. N.B. I have amended the Douay Rheims text here slightly, translating "because" instead of "for" (the causal use of "gar" in Greek, rendered by quod in Latin), and eliminating all punctuation which was not in the original of either St Matthew or St Jerome's version. Joseph had been afraid to take Mary his wife because that which was conceived in her was planted by the power of the Most High. How could he take to himself the most pure temple of God incarnate?

Faced with this magnificence of the Mother of our Lord, Joseph needed to be strengthened in the resolve of his soul to be the protector and provider for the Holy Family, his own littleness and unworthiness notwithstanding.

Doesn't this make Saint Joseph more lovable than ever?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Frozen Tundra Blues

Safely ensconced in my warm house I am busy with cooking and visiting the relatives. I hope all our readers are safe from inclement weather, which is definitely upon us no matter where we are in the States. For example, the high here in southeastern Nebraska today is forecast to be 2 degrees Fahrenheit, with a stiff breeze making it feel much colder than that. Brr.

Wishing you all much joy and peace in these last few days of Advent. And don't forget the "reason for the season".

Lighted Creche Pictures, Images and Photos

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Holiday Favorite ~ David Bowie and Bing Crosby

The angels themselves listen to this one, I have it on good authority.
It always gives me goosebumps & a very tender heart....enjoy!

An Irish Christmas

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the concert is delightful...tonight my DH and I are headed, well-bundled up against the ice and snow, to the Lied Center for a Celtic Christmas concert~ Tomaseen Foley's A Celtic Christmas

QUOTE Tomáseen Foley’s A Celtic Christmas recreates the joy and innocence of a night before Christmas in a farmhouse in the remote parish of Teampall an Ghleanntain in the west of Ireland, when the neighbors gather around the fire to grace the long wintry night with the laughter of their stories, the joy of their music, and dances they always said they were much too old for.
Long, long before "Riverdance", ordinary Irish men and women in hobnailed boots knocked sparks off the flagstone floors with jigs, reels and hornpipes, and the rafters rang with the fiery music of the fiddle, bodhran, tin whistle, and the mesmerizing uilleann pipes. Tomáseen Foley’s A Celtic Christmas features Grammy-award winning guitarist William Coulter (
www.williamcoulter.com), traditional sean-nós singer and harpist Síle Denvir from Connemara Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area) in the west of Ireland (www.liadan.ie), world-champion level Irish dancer Katie Linnane on Irish fiddle, and world-champion levelIrish dancer Brian Bigley on uilleann pipes, whistles, and flute.UNQUOTE

irish christmas Pictures, Images and Photos

Christ In the Stranger's Guise

I heard a classical composition on Nebraska Public Radio while doing some household chores this morning which had been based on a Scottish poem-prayer called Christ in the Stranger's Guise. I searched for it on YouTube intending to share it here with you, but without the artist's name, came up short. So I did the next-best thing and am posting Dougie MacLean's Caledonia, a love song to Scotland. It is touching to watch the Scots singing along with Dougie and to see their obvious unfeigned love of their home. With whiskey, golf, William Wallace and Bobbie Burns, what's not to love?

Perhaps if we Americans were to become a land which knows the wisdom of "Christ in the guise of a stranger", we would not be so besotten with the idea of finding devils in strangers.

I met a stranger yest're'een;
I put food in the eating place,
Drink in the drinking place,
Music in the listening place;
And, in the sacred name of the Triune,
He blessed myself and my house.
My cattle and my dear ones -

And the lark said in her song,
Often, often, often,
Goes the Christ in the stanger's guise;
Often, often, often,
Goes the Christ in the stranger's guise.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Odds and Ends

I have been running all day long and am just waiting for dinner to finish up. I spent the afternoon making gluten-free Christmas goodies - molasses cookies, fruitcake and poppyseed cake ( since my dear husband has to eat gluten-free.) The one that smelled the very best was the molasses cookies; they came out fabulous!

4 cups all-purpose flour
(OR 2 cups rice flour , 1 cup buckwheat flour & 1 cup masa harina & 1/2 tsp xanthan gum for a Gluten Free cookie)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 325°F. and lightly grease 2 large baking sheets.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter, shortening, and 3 cups sugar until light and fluffy and beat in molasses. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture and combine well. In a small shallow bowl put remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Form dough into 2-inch balls and roll in sugar. On baking sheets arrange balls about 4 inches apart and flatten slightly with bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Bake cookies in batches in middle of the oven 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden. (Cookies should be soft.) Transfer cookies with a metal spatula to racks to cool.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2008 Greek Riots

Photos of the recent Greek riots, with links to various news coverage of them.

Amazing photos. From Boston.com.

Words of wisdom: Never, never, never tick off a Greek. Not on anything that matters.

Christmas Music For You

Baking, shopping, laundry, wrapping gifts, cleaning and writing things with deadlines are just some of the activities planned for my day off. I'm half sick and sprained my ankle on the ice yesterday, to boot, so we'll just have a cup of tea and listen to a few Christmas tunes, because I'm whupped before I even begin today... Saint Joseph, pray for us: at least we aren't taking a pregnant Theotokos on a long donkey-back journey...

I really love this one, if you haven't heard it you're in for a treat:

and this one

and a unique version of O Come O Come Emmanuel by Sufjan Stevens

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Recipe Party!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Yost household. Dan and Toni made Yule log cookies on Sunday and man oh man are they good. My mostly successful efforts to dodge sweets have softened (until after New Year's anyhow) into feeble efforts to eat minimal amounts of sweets. Try these on for a delicious holiday treat:

Yule Log Cookies
Yield: 28 servings
1/2 c Brown sugar, packed
3 tb Butter or margarine; -softened
3 tb Frozen egg substitute; -thawed Or 1 egg white
1 c All-purpose flour
1/2 ts Baking powder
1/2 ts Ground cardamom
1/4 ts Baking soda
1/4 ts Ground cinnamon
1/4 ts Ground cloves
1/4 ts Ground allspice
1/4 ts Ground nutmeg
Red and green decorator -icing
Recipe by: Fast & Healthy Magazine, Nov/Dec 1994
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, beat the brown sugar and margarine until blended. Add the egg product; beat until well blended. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices; mix well. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough with your hands to make two 10 1/2-inch logs; flatten slightly to 1 1/4 inches in diameter. With a spatula, place the logs 2 to 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Dip a non-serrated knife in water; score each log diagonally at 3/4-inch intervals. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, or until set and no longer moist. Cool for 1 minute. Remove from the cookie sheet; place on a wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes. With a serrated knife, cut the logs at the scored lines. Cool completely. Decorate each cookie with decorator icing to resemble a holly leaf and berries. ~ Penny Halsey

Monday, December 15, 2008

Infrastructure, Infrastructure, Infrastructure

Just as "Location, location, location" is the thing for any business, so infrastructure is "the thing" which glues societies and economies together. And ours is not doing so very well.

From The Economist

QUOTE The need is undeniable. Many old industrial cities have rich networks of roads and railways, dating from a time when they were much bigger. These are now crumbling. Last year a bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, killing 13 people. A tunnel that brings water to New York sprang a leak in the 1980s and is currently losing about 20m gallons a day. Philadelphia has been flooded with sewage. The most recent infrastructure “report card” by the American Society of Civil Engineers contains nothing but Cs and Ds.

Matters are even worse in the desert West and lowland South, where population growth has been so rapid that basic infrastructure is often non-existent. Las Vegas (population 560,000) is linked to Phoenix (1.6m) by a rural road that trundles over the Hoover Dam. The West struggles with a water system, built by the federal government in the early 20th century, that serves farmers much better than city-dwellers. The scarcity of power lines is holding up efforts to generate electricity from sun and wind. UNQUOTE

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Where did that Prayer Come From?

One of the most beloved Marian Prayers after the Angelic Salutation is the antiphon known by its opening words in Latin: Salve Regina, Hail Holy Queen. Those who pray the Rosary regularly know it by heart:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy
Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve
To thee do we send up our sighs
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears
Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us
And after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, JESUS
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary

I recall when I was still a Lutheran pastor, this prayer came up in discussion with an Orthodox priest friend who eventually chrismated me. He had been brought up in a devout Catholic family, praying the Rosary every evening. He told me that from his present Orthodox point of view this prayer was impregnated with a Latin spirit, evident in the tone of "mourning and weeping in this valley of tears," and in an exaggerated emphasis on the Blessed Virgin as the merciful Advocate for sinners.

Among Eastern Catholics there is also disdain for the use of such prayers as the Salve Regina, since it is thought to be of Latin origin. Latinization is a sensitive subject among Catholics of the Byzantine rite. The question is often asked indignantly: Do we not have sufficient --and even superior -- devotions to the Theotokos in our own tradition, that we need to borrow from the West?

Hence it came as a welcome surprise to learn that the Salve Regina is not of Latin origin at all. My pastor recently gave me a copy of An Anthology of Patristic Prayers, compiled and translated by Nikolaos S. Hatzinikolaou. The Anthology ascribes the authorship of this prayer to Saint Isaac the Syrian, a seventh century bishop of Ninevah and one of the great ascetical teachers of the Church, who greatly influenced Saint Symeon the New Theologian and the Russian Mystics as well.

Here is Saint Issac's prayer as translated by Hatzinikolaou:

A Prayer to the Most Blessed Virgin

Rejoice! O Lady, Mother of mercy,
life, sweetness and our hope, rejoice!
To you we cry, the children of Eve in exile.
Upon you we gaze,
groaning and wailing in this valley of lamentation.
Wherefore, go ahead, our defender,
turn your compassionate eyes to us
and with this look show us Jesus
the blessed fruit of your womb,
O sweet Virgin Mary

Who could deny that this is substantially identical to the Salve Regina? Even though the translator has taken pains to choose different wording in places, we clearly see this is the same prayer.

According to Anthony Mazzone in a recent article in The Remnant (New Wine and Old, A Meditation on the Poetics of the Latin Rite, November 15, 2008), the author of the Salve Regina was most likely Hermann Contractus "the Cripple" who died in 1054. However, we know that Saint Isaac the Syrian flourished in the seventh centry. There can be no doubt then, that Hermann translated St. Isaac's prayer to Our Lady from Syriac into Latin, though not in a slavish manner, and making some notable improvements in doing so.

This is just one example of many treasures of prayer, that have blossomed in the West, but came originally from the East. Indeed, a case can be made that all the prayers of the Rosary, and the Rosary itself, are of eastern origin. Do we then intend to exalt one side of the Church at the expense of the other? Let it not even be suggested! Rather, by making such examinations we intend to show how the Christian East and West compliment one another, need one another, and must learn to appreciate our common heritage; the heritage of all the children of Our Lady, the blessed Mother of God.

Introducing Gabriel Stanford Espedal

Getting ready for Christmas has us all busy, so I am tardy in posting our new blogger's biography, my apologies. Introducing my friend Stanford, in his own words:

QUOTE I am from Honolulu, Hawaii (born November 1, 1951). I grew up in a non-churchgoing family. My parents were of protestant background but did not practice.

I began exploring the mysteries of life as a hippie in late 1966. LSD became my sacrament and marijuana my food for meditation. Thinking myself on the fast track to Buddhahood, I realized this path led to the deadest of dead ends. I quit drugs and was initiated into Transcendental Meditation. From TM I graduated to Zen Buddhism and became a member of the Diamond Sangha of Hawaii.
I first became a Christian on June 3, 1972. I met an evangelist named Cleo at a Jesus People coffeehouse in Waikiki, and after a four-hour conversation decided to receive Christ and be baptized. The baptism took place in the Pacific Ocean.After a study of different churches and their doctrines I decided to become a Lutheran. I also decided to study for the ministry (I was then 21). After finishing a pre-theology course at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota, I went to Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wisconsin, graduating with a Masters in Divinity in 1982.

In July of that year I was ordained a pastor in Wichita Falls, Texas, and served as a Circuit Rider for two missions and several preaching stations.I met my wife Dawn after graduation from seminary; I was home for a month and she was on vacation in Hawaii, and we met in church. We were married on May 11, 1983, and have six children.

I was a Lutheran pastor for nine years. Six of those years were spent in an independent mission in El Cajon, California. But as I continued to study theology and church history from outside of a Lutheran confessional perspective it became clear that there was a major discontinuity between ancient Christianity and the Reformation.

I had long been interested in Eastern Orthodoxy. After several years of reading and discussion with an Orthodox priest friend, I was ready to convert. I was chrismated in the Orthodox Church in July 1991.In 1997 I came to see that the full reality of apostolic Christianity could only be where PETER is, and became a Catholic of the Byzantine Rite.

I expect that some of my writing on the Rosemary Tree will be on the relations of the Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church. UNQUOTE

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Santa Lucia Day

Today is the feast of Santa Lucia, also known as Saint Lucy, an Italian saint from the early Church. I have always loved this festival, with its candles and wreathes of green on the young maidens, along with all the other festivals celebrating the return of light in the season of cold and darkness. When the kids were very young we even had a tradition for a while where the daughter would bring the rest of the family raisin buns and coffee while decked out in white with a headdress of candles ablaze (very nerve-wracking for parents, but beautiful and fun.)

SANTA  LUCIA Pictures, Images and Photos

From Wikipedia: QUOTE Saint Lucy of Syracuse, also known as Saint Lucia or Saint Lukia, (Spanish: Santa Lucia) (traditional dates 283304) was a rich young Christian Martyr who is venerated as a saint by both Catholic and Orthodox Christians. Her feast day in the West is December 13, by the unreformed Julian calendar the longest night of the year; with a name derived from lux, lucis "light", she is the patron saint of those who are blind. St. Lucy is one of the very few saints celebrated by members of the Lutheran Church among the Scandinavian peoples (Danes, Swedes, Finns and Norwegians) who take part in Saint Lucy's Day celebrations that retain many indigenous Germanic pagan pre-Christian midwinter elements.[1][2] [3][4] Other notable saints still venerated by Scandinavian Lutherans are St. John the Baptist at midsummer, and St. Olaf, the patron Saint of Norway, at Olsok. St Lucy is one of seven women, excluding the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorated by name in the Roman Canon. UNQUOTE

Friday, December 12, 2008

La Guadalupana


We love Our Lady so much!

A Factory Without Bosses

The "Factory Without Bosses" cooperative tile factory in Patagonia, Argentina has set an example for workers fired by "failing" corporations. Over four years ago, the Zanón tile factory closed down, leaving the workers without jobs. Instead of walking away, these men and women recovered the factory and made it a complete success.

From Toward Freedom QUOTE It is one of the biggest "recuperated factories" in Argentina with exemplary worker management. It has created jobs, conquered the market, and managed to involve a whole community in its defense against repeated threats of eviction. After long legal maneuvering, a bankruptcy judge decided to hand the factory over to the Fasinpat cooperative in exchange for payment of 30,000 pesos (about $10,000) a month in taxes. It was a big step toward final expropriation and a recognition of the solid work of its 470 workers. UNQUOTE

Here in the United States, we would do well to take notice, in these days of worker layoffs and corporate welfare. The spirit of the factory occupation has extended far beyond the factory walls with the workers contributing to building projects for local schools and the construction of a health clinic in a nearby poor neighbourhood.

Our Lady Of Guadalupe 12/12

Our Lady of Guadalupe Pictures, Images and Photos
Our Lady of Guadalupe,
Mystical Rose, make intercession for the holy Church,
protect the Sovereign Pontiff,
help all those who invoke thee in their necessities,
and since thou art the ever Virgin Mary
and Mother of the true God,
obtain for us from thy most holy Son
the grace of keeping our faith,
sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life,
burning charity and the precious gift of final perseverance.

This prayer was approved and enriched with an indulgence of five hundred days by Pope Pius X at all audience held on August, 1908, and was included in the official edition of approved indulgenced prayers (1950).
Raccolta number 389, 500 days Indulgence, Pope Saint Pius X audience, August 15, 1908.

QUOTE Why would the Blessed Virgin Mary appearing to a Native American of the recently conquered Aztec empire, and speaking to him in the native Nahuatl language, call herself “of Guadalupe”, a Spanish name? Did she want to be called "de Guadalupe" because of the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Estremadura, Spain?In all apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary she identified herself as the Virgin Mary and phrases like Mother of God or another of Her Titles, and was later usually known by the name of the place or region where she appeared (Lourdes, Fatima).

So why should Mary, when appearing to a Native American in recently invaded Mesoamerica and speaking in the local language, want to be named with the Spanish name of Guadalupe?Was she referring to the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, that was given by Pope Gregory the Great to the Bishop of Seville, Spain, was lost for 600 years and was found in 1326 by a cowherd named Gil Cordero guided by an apparition of Our Lady? This statue was named Guadalupe for the village located near the place of discovery.The origin of the name Guadalupe has always been a matter of controversy. It is nevertheless believed that the name came about because of the translation from Nahuatl to Spanish of the words used by the Virgin during the apparition to Juan Bernardino, the ailing uncle of Juan Diego.

Some believe that Our Lady used the Aztec Nahuatl word of coatlaxopeuh which is pronounced "quatlasupe" and sounds remarkably like the Spanish word Guadalupe. Coa meaning serpent, tla being the noun ending which can be interpreted as "the", while xopeuh means to crush or stamp out. So Our Lady must have called herself the one "who crushes the serpent." UNQUOTE
shrine at Chimayo Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pursuing the Goal of Perfect Giving

The entire day thus far has been spent in shopping for some small gifts and for the perfect wrapping paper, glittery stickers, USPS-approved strapping tape, bubble-wrap, plain brown paper for the outside of the packages and adorable little boxes festooned with appropriate Christmas decor ~ all to wrap suitably the delicious homemade fudge, both chocolate and vanilla, with which assorted cousins, aunties, in-laws and out-laws will be regaled(out-laws being those one is related, by birth or marriage, to who one may be on the outs with but still gift at Our Lord's birth because they are Family).

The practice of gift-giving at the Christmas holidays is said to be in imitation of the Three Kings who came to the stable in Bethlehem bearing gold, frankincense and myrrh for the newborn King, but I like to think of it as being a form of self denial, shopping for and making for others, then making the gift beautiful, swathing it in warm colored paper & tying it up with a bow.

He Who made man also redeemed him by the utterly perfect gift on the Cross, and still does today by the resurrected love which is offered to transform each and every one of us every time we take holy communion. As we pursue the goal of conforming our lives to Christ's and His Blessed Mother's, at this time of year we get a glimmer that they are lives of perfect giving. As we hand each other material gifts this holiday season, let us remember to give ourselves also, in perfect love.
Saint Nicholas Pictures, Images and Photos
Saint Nicholas
art credit: julius kronberg

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Saint Juan Diego

A reflection for December 9, 2008 Feast of St. Juan Diego of Guadalupe

Eleftheria!! Freedom!!

"A lot of teenagers identify with Grigoropoulos," said Christos Mazanitis, an Athenian journalist. "There's a whole generation out there who see their parents in debt and feel they have nothing to look forward to in the future. Fear and despair are what these riots are about."

Ελευθερία ή θάνατος - freedom or death! is the motto of Greece. It arose during the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s, where it was a war cry for the Greeks who rebelled against Ottoman rule. It was adopted after the Greek War of Independence. It was the motto of a tiny land which resisted the Nazis during WWII, and Oxi Day, (pronounced Oh-hee)literally "NO Day" still is commemorated by Greek people around the world, as the day they said NO to the Nazis and facists. * They suffered greatly for it. It is still in use today, and is symbolically evoked by the use of 9 stripes (for the nine syllables of the motto) in the Greek flag. The motto symbolized and still does symbolizes the resolve of the people of Greece against tyranny and oppression.

So it was not a surprise to me to hear of the massive riots plaguing Greece, especially Athens, where the police recently shot and killed a 15-year-old boy in cold blood. The Hellenic peoples invented democracy and to this day do not like the state very much, especially when it malfunctions badly enough to shoot their children dead. Now, I do not condone violence no matter who does it, but as always, I commend the Greek people on once again saying Oxi!! No!!
to the simply unacceptable.

From Breitbart.

QUOTE Massive riots first erupted Saturday across the country, from Thessaloniki in the north to the island of Crete in the south, after 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos was fatally shot by a police officer in Athens' often volatile Exarchia district.
The circumstances surrounding the shooting are unclear, but the two officers involved have been arrested; one has been charged with murder and the other as an accomplice. A coroner's report shows the boy was shot in the chest.
Schools were to shut Tuesday in mourning, while staff at universities declared a three-day strike.
The Police Officers' Association has apologized to the boy's family, and President Karolos Papoulias sent a telegram to his parents expressing his condolences.
"All the dangerous and unacceptable events that occurred because of the emotions that followed the tragic incident cannot and will not be tolerated," Karamanlis said in a live televised address Monday morning. "The state will protect society."
But his calls for calm went unheeded and the scenes of destruction are likely to further dent the government's popularity.

* Wikipedia: This ultimatum, which was presented to Metaxas by the Italian ambassador in Greece, Emanuele Grazzi, on October 28, 1940, at dawn (04:00 AM), after a party in the German embassy in Athens, demanded that Greece allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy certain unspecified "strategic locations" or otherwise face war. It was allegedly answered with a single laconic word: όχι or no. Most scholars dismiss the use of the word 'Okhi' as an urban legend, claiming that the actual reply was the French phrase "Alors, c'est la guerre" ("Then it is war"). In response to Metaxas's refusal, Italian troops stationed in Albania, then an Italian protectorate, attacked the Greek border at 05:30 AM. Metaxas's reply marked the beginning of Greece's participation in World War II (see Greco-Italian War and Battle of Greece).
On the morning of October 28th the Greek population took to the streets, irrespective of political affiliation, shouting 'okhi!'. From
1942, it was celebrated as Okhi Day.

Deborah Yost


Thomas Woods Interview

From AntiWar.com somes an interview Scott Horton did with Thomas E. Woods, Jr, co-editor of We Who Dared to Say No to War: American Antiwar Writing from 1812 to Now, discussing the persistence of pro-war propaganda over time, the remarkably similar arguments made to justify the War of 1812 and the current Iraq war, the case of pro-secessionist and abolitionist Lysander Spooner, the U.S. provocations that ensured U.S. entry into W.W.I, the importance of forming a left-right antiwar alliance to counter the bipartisan war party and the legacy of the Bush presidency being reflected in Obama’s cabinet appointments. If you have an extra hour its a good listen - Mr. Woods is compelling. Or download the MP3 and save for later.

Deborah Yost

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Reason For the Season

nativity Pictures, Images and Photos
Christmas Day 2008 is nearly upon us, and at Midnight Masses across the country, Catholics will soon sing "Joy to the world / the Lord is come!" In Eastern Rite Catholic churches, the refrain is a little different, and yet still the same: "Christ is born! Glorify Him!"

Our Advent wait is nearly over; Christ is to be born in Bethlehem. God's plan of salvation rests on this tiny Child, who contains the whole of the Godhead in His wondrous human Body. As we celebrate His Birth, we remember that we still await His Second Birth. In that sense, our Advent continues after Christmas, though it is an Advent filled with joy, as we strive every day to model our lives on Him, and on Our Lady, with the help of His grace.

Throughout the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord in the Byzantine Catholic Church, the people sing:

God is with us! God is with us!
Understand all ye nations
And submit yourselves to Him
For God is with us!

That is our Advent & Christmas hope.

~ Deborah Yost

Freedom of Choice Act

A coalition of left-wing so-called feminist groups (which are nominally feminist but actually virulently anti-female) has issued a demand which calls for, among other things, increased access to—and public funding off—abortion and contraceptives. The new Obama presidency is moving to act on this. The proposal even goes beyond the so-called “Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).” All of the PC crowd have signed the document, Planned Parenthood, Catholics for Free Choice, The Guttmacher Institute, The National Abortion Rights Action League, etc. The proposal goes beyond just calling for federal funds for abortion, but will force private institutions that receive government support, such as colleges and hospitals, to provide abortions even in violation of their own consciences.

my choice is to love you Pictures, Images and Photos
photo credit: Kaydra 23

John Medaille over at The Distributist Review says:
QUOTE I believe that we should all protest this document, and let the Obama administration know the depth of the opposition to such radical pro-abortion policies, policies that would not only commit tax dollars to immoral policies, but which would force private citizens to subsidize abortions from their own funds. It is inconsistent for the left to treat this as a matter of conscience and then outlaw any dissent, which is what this document calls for.
But what should be our response? Obviously, what we would like is that all abortions be banned and all children be cared for. However, this is possible even with a Republican administration. According to a Fox News Poll, only 9% of Republicans consider abortion as an important issue. Indeed, according to a poll done for the Knights of Columbus, 50% of nominal Catholics consider themselves to be pro-abortion. And it is simply unreasonable to think that a Democratic administration would even consider outlawing abortion. Indeed, mild limitations on abortion failed in the last election in the Red State of South Dakota. So even among Republicans in Republican states, there is little chance of getting abortion outlawed
Be sure to click on over and read the entire article.

Also check out:
Towards A Comprehensive Pro-Life Meme by Deborah J. Yost

~ Deborah Yost

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Morning Ramble

Happy Sunday! We (my Dear Husband and I) watched the "Get Smart" re-make on DVD last night after our cozy supper date and really enjoyed it. Steve Carrell did a fantastic Maxwell Smart. I also spoke briefly with our new author on TRT and complimented him on a great first post ~ Mr. Espedal, we're so glad to have you aboard!

Our little Melkite Mission of Lincoln has its monthly Divine Liturgy this morning, followed by a meeting of Red State Eclectic's Dr. Laura Ebke's Campaign For Liberty group, which I have not yet visited since it changed from the Ron Paul for President group to a CFL group. I want to see what they are about, even though I don't put much stock in politics any more. Then its a family supper with our son Dan coming over for some family time (he's 24, a professional cook who lives here in town).

Some of you have asked me what sources news I like and read often, so here you go- it's a pretty eclectic group - ;D

Peak Oil-Life After the Oil Crash especially the breaking news section

Have a wonderful day.

Deborah Yost


Wisdom from the Old Ranger

The retired Army Ranger over at WTF! has some words of wisdom for this the anniversary of Pearl Harbor:

QUOTE If there was one thing that I took away from my tour of duty with the Rangers it was a defiant attitude in the face of crisis and disaster. We had a saying we used to tell each other when things got really tough. "Ranger, you've got to be tougher than woodpecker lips". It was kind of stupid but it had the effect of reminding us of the proper attitude to have when things really got ugly. We used to practice the proper attitude every morning also. There was an old Vietnam era Ranger who used to stand out in front of the barracks every morning before PT. About five min before first call he would yell at the top of his lungs for everyone to hear "Rangers" Its a great day to die!" I like that attitude. UNQUOTE

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Remembering Saint Nicholas

December 6, the Feast of Saint Nicholas.

Fear not, I won't rehearse details you'd find in a book of Saint's lives; rather I'll relate a legend well known in Russia: The Tale of St Nicholas and St John Cassian.

Once upon a time....

Our holy Father Nicholas and the saintly Elder, John Cassian were sent from heaven to visit the earth. As they journeyed they came upon a peasant with a wagon load of hay, its wheels stuck hopelessly in the mud. The poor man goaded the horses in vain; he was going nowhere.

"Let's go and give the good fellow a hand" said Saint Nicholas.
"Not I; I'm keeping out of it" replied Cassian. "I don't want to get my coat dirty."
"Well, wait for me," said Nicholas, "or go on without me if you like." And plunging without hesitation into the mud he vigorously assisted the peasant in dragging his wagon out of the rut.
When he had finished the job and caught up with his companion he was all covered with filth. His coat was torn and soiled and looked like a beggars rags. Saint Peter was amazed to see him arrive at the gate of heaven in this condition.
"I say! Whatever got you into that state?" he asked. Nicholas told his story.
"And what about you?" asked Peter, turning to Cassian. "Weren't you with him in this encounter?"
"Yes, but I don't meddle in things that are no concern of mine, and I was especially anxious not to get my beautiful clean coat dirty."
"Very well" said Peter, "you Nicholas, because you were not afraid of getting dirty in helping your neighbor out of a difficulty, shall for the future have two feasts a year, and you shall be reckoned the greatest of saints after me by all the peasants of holy Russia. And you, Cassian, must be content with having a nice, clean coat; you shall have your feast in leap year only, once every four years."

It seems to me that this tale teaches us a beautiful lesson about the completeness and perfection of the Christian life. We are obviously not dealing with the historical personages here; Nicholas and Cassian are symbols of two concepts of the life in Christ. Cassian is a man of great prayer and contemplation. He engages in ascetical exploits to keep his soul unstained by the world. But that is as far as he goes. Nicholas is also a man of great prayer and holiness, but he is renowned mainly for his great works of charity toward the poor and suffering people in the world. Neither is wrong; both are saintly men honored in heaven. But one is better; one more completely reflects Christ and is the most beloved Saint in all nations. And since we ourselves are poor folk with our wagon so often stck in a muddy rut, which sort of saint do we need the most? Which sort should we most aspire to become?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Welcome-Wagon Party

Coffee and cake for everybody...Welcome to our new author, Mr. Espedal!

Cappu Pictures, Images and Photos

black coffee Pictures, Images and Photos

SM-MED Pictures, Images and Photos

chocolate cakes Pictures, Images and Photos

New Blogger Coming To The Rosemary Tree

Dear Readers,

Please join me in welcoming new blogger Gabriel Stanford Espedal to The Rosemary Tree. Hooray! In adding a new voice I hope to deepen the content here and provide materials to support fellow truth-seekers, both Catholic and otherwise, in their walk through these troubled times. We are here in service to Our Lord and Lady, and our fellow man.

Please comment and add your ideas and suggestions to our posts.

Gabriel is someone I've "known" online on several traditional Catholic forums over the past two years. He is a fine writer, a devout and articulate fellow Melkite, and a family man with a wife and six children. He will start his blogging tomorrow, on the Feast of Saint Nicholas, Wonderworker of Myra.

Welcome to The Rosemary Tree, Gabriel!

welcome Pictures, Images and Photos

Seamus Ehan Reel

Up Eire! Play it, me bhoy!

Pray For Vocations In Ireland

From Thought and Perspective, an Irish Catholic blog.

I especially liked the following: QUOTE I think I already quoted the superb address of Archbishop Glennon of St. Louis, U.S.A., to a quarter of a million Irish adorers at the great Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, that "Italy may have her glorious basilicas, France her stately cathedrals, England her regrets, but Ireland has her holy places, her martyrs and especially her Mass-Rocks. But more than that, in the hearts of her people dwells a faith in the Mass as adamantine as the granite walls that guard their island shore." Such is the treasure we defend! UNQUOTE

Please join me in praying for Irish vocations, and all vocations.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Toxic Planned Parenthood

Talk about an bad religion: sacrifice of children on the altar of political correctnes and feminism is a really bad religion. Planned Parenthood continues to blatantly violate its trust with families and women. Our student investigative team at Live Action Films finds Planned Parenthood of Bloomington, Indiana covering up the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl. This video is first in a series of hidden camera footage, collected over the summer, documenting the sexual abuse cover-up of the abortion industry across the nation.

Despite a consistent pattern of lawlessness and abuse, Planned Parenthood, a tax-exempt "nonprofit", made over $100 million in profits last year and has a billion-dollar budget. Planned Parenthood receives over $300 million from taxpayers.Planned Parenthood, a tax-exempt nonprofit, made over $100 million in profits last year and has a billion-dollar budget, nearly a third of which comes from taxpayers through government funding.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Red State Eclectic: Back in the Saddle Again

NE 2008 election

I am once again a guest blogger over at Red State Eclectic, the little web site that can, and could, and does examine the big ideas in politics and economics and isn't scared to be un-PC. They're the good-guy libertarian/conservatives over there, not the scary ones who've been in power the last 8 years, and I'm proud to be back in the saddle again, providing a purple glow amidst the red eclectic. Suitable for our state, dontcha think?

Dreams and Creativity

This book was brought to my attention today by Rob Brezsny, and has bumped its way to the top of my long must-read list. Dream on, dear friends, dream on. Let's re-dream the world.
sleeping person Pictures, Images and Photos

The Secret History Of Dreaming by Robert Moss
From Amazon.com

QUOTE What do the first major oil discovery in Kuwait, Mark Twain’s fiction, and Harriet Tubman’s success conducting slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad have in common? They were all experienced first in dreams. Dreaming is vital to the human story. It is essential to our survival and evolution, to creative endeavors in every field, and, quite simply, to getting us through our daily lives. Robert Moss traces the strands of dreams through archival records and well-known writings, weaving remarkable yet true accounts of historical figures influenced by their dreams. With eloquent prose, Moss describes beautiful Lucrecia de Leon, whose dreams were prized by powerful men in Madrid and then recorded during the Spanish Inquisition, as well as the fascinating dream correspondence between Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung. The Secret History of Dreaming addresses the central importance of dreams and imagination as secret engines in the history of all things human, from literature to quantum physics, from religion to psychology, from war to healing. UNQUOTE
"Chocolate makes blood less likely to clump" say Johns Hopkins researchers.

Make my day, Johns Hopkins white lab coats guys.
Make my day.

From LiveScience.

chocolate Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tuesday Afternoon

Tuesday Follies

I am home briefly in between shifts at the natural foods bakery, and have a work-related meeting tonight, so blogging will be somewhat sparse. I have just made a small pot of vegetable soup and some toast, and have a very few minutes in which to take care of my internet obligations. The "Tuesday follies" !

Hope you are having a wonderful day.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Melkite MIssion of Lincoln

For those of you in the neighborhood ~ come taste the riches of the Christian East...

Dear Friends of the Melkite Mission of Lincoln NE,

We are pleased to announce that Fr. Daniel Lenz will be offering the Divine Liturgy for the continuation of our services this Sunday. Services will be held at St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church, 3330 North 13th Street, Lincoln. The schedule is as follows:

12/7/08 Sunday

9:30 AM Morning Prayer

10:00 AM Divine Liturgy followed by a potluck meal

(Remember that we are in the midst of the Nativity Fast so no dishes with meat, fish, dairy, or eggs, Thank you).

Fr. Daniel will be available for Holy Confession before the Divine Liturgy. Please pass this message on to whomever you think might be interested.

For more information call: (402) 797-3703.

In Christ,

Sebastian Carnazzo

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rose Prince: Incorruptible

Rose Prince
August 21, 1915 – August 19, 1949
Her body remains incorrupt in the cemetery of Lejac, Carrier First Nation

Rose Prince was born on Saturday August 21, 1915 in a small house on a hill in the Carrier Nak'azdli First Nation and behind the convent near Fort James. She was the third of nine brothers and sisters.

Her father, Jean-Marie was the son of the Chief Joseph, Chief of the Carriers of Fort Saint James. His father was the eldest son of Simeon La Prince, who was the son of the great Carrier Chief Kwah. Her father was devout Catholic and went frequently to church. He led the prayers and singing in the church and translated for the parish priest. He was known as the, “Church Chief.”

Her mother, Agathe was one of two children born to Anazel. Anazel died when Agathe was very young. A priest took her to live at Williams Lake and was taken care by the Sisters of the Child Jesus. A cousin of Rose, Evalie Murdock, remembers Agathe’s great beauty. One day, she remembers, “I saw her standing on the hill. She didn’t have her kerchief on her head and her hair was loose. She was standing there with a long dress on. Oh, she was so pretty! I always remember her that way.” .... Miracles have been attributed to her through visiting her grave and taking earth from her grave.
Mabel George, who attended Lejac Residential School when Rose was there, says praying to her is like talking to an old friend and tells of the miracles attributed to Rose. She said a young man had his body cured from a disease after his parents visited her grave. A man was cured of cancer after his wife prayed to her for a week. Another man was able to walk again after three weeks. This was when a Father mixed earth from her grave with holy water and anointed the skin covering his back, and prayed for him through the intercession of Rose Prince. One hour later he fell asleep and woke up the following morning, and was able to walk again.
There is an annual pilgrimage in July to the cemetery where she is buried in Lejac, British Columbia, Canada.


Heavenly Father, you shared so deeply with Rose Prince, of the Carrier Nak'azdli Nation, your gift of serenity and shared with her your love for your creation: grant through her intercession that we may share your serenity and your peace of soul, and may we too rejoice in the beauty of creation that surrounds us on every side. And finally, through her intercession we plead for this favour:Which we ask with confidence in your loving kindness, grant this through Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The incorruption of bodies is a miracle that reflects the victory of Jesus Christ over death (Acts 13:34-35,37). Among Catholics such bodily incorruption has a very particular meaning. The Church accepts this as a sign from God, which witnesses to a life of great holiness. That is, God might preserve from corruption the bodies of those that had kept their souls in purity, and has freed them from the defilements of the flesh. Thus, these bodies are wondrously preserved from corruption, which is a sign of the presence in this world of God’s Kingdom.Some Saints, or would be Saints have uncorrupted bodies after they have died. The incorruption of the body is when the body does not decay at a normal rate. Many times, years after death, these bodies are found to be lifelike. Also, reported with some uncorrupted bodies is the presence of pleasant penetrating fragrances about them, such as jasmine and honey.

Oh, Give Me A Home Where the Buffalo Roam...

A new national survey released yesterday by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) reports that the American public loves and reveres bison, and would like to see their populations restored. This is great news which we hope is followed up by actions which both restore the bison and give respect to the indigenous peoples of North America by honoring the broken treaties, unbreaking them.
Frost on our Bisons Pictures, Images and Photos

From Science Daily

QUOTE The survey showed that:

- Less than ten percent understood how many bison remain in the United States
- More than 74 percent believe that bison are extremely important living symbol of the American West

- More than half view the bison as emblematic as a symbol of America as whole

While an estimated 500,000 bison remain in the United States, the vast majority of those live on private ranches, with only about 9,000 plains bison considered free-ranging in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. An additional 7,000 free-ranging wood bison live in Canada. Bison once numbered in the tens of millions and ranged from Alaska to Mexico but were wiped out by commercial hunting and habitat loss largely as a result of U.S. westward expansion.

"The results of this survey clearly show that the American public wants more to be done to restore the bison," said Dr. Kent Redford of the Wildlife Conservation Society. "We know it will take decades of strategic planning and a wide group of stakeholders will need to take appropriate action." UNQUOTE