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  • “Keep Your Eye on the Ball”
    in case of an atomic bomb attack against our nation by Russia We prayed and wept with the nuns who instructed us when we heard the news of President John F Kennedy s assassination and then the death our beloved Pope John XXIII and later Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy Yet young children who were not subject to the sixties had absolute trust in our parents our neighbors parents our police our teachers and especially our clergy Essentially we had perfect trust in authority 1968 was the year I was in sixth grade My father taught me and my siblings the joy of singing I seemed to have the gift of perfect pitch and tone I got that from him There was always a metronome on the dashboard of the car to make sure we sung in time and unison with each other all ten of us If not dad simply used the windshield wipers of the station wagon even on a sunny day while using the wiper fluid to spray the windows with It was glorious Dad taught us to sing in harmony and it made us delighted when we all heard each other complement each other s voices My older sister Janie taught me how to sing even in counterpoint and polyphony We were never schooled in this We just picked it up naturally This inspired me to join the church choir The director of the boys choir who was also the organist at church always stationed me on her left so that she could hear the perfect pitch of my voice One Sunday we descended the steps of the choir loft as we always did right before Holy Communion We needed to receive the sacrament first so we could sing when the rest of the congregation lined up this was the time when parishioners filled the aisles even to standing room only to receive as they knelt in front of the Communion Rail When I knelt down to receive the pastor a kind and loving man whose dog I adored seemed to be in a hurry There were so many congregants at this mass perhaps he just this once took his eyes off the ball As he offered me the Sacred Host he missed my mouth The altar boy assisting with the polished paten also missed the falling host In an instant no less than that my brain instinctively moved my arm and caught Jesus in the sleeve of my choir jacket as if I had anticipated the moment even before it happened Perhaps like Franko Harris and Herm Edwards did years later After mass I went into the sacristy where the priest plucked Jesus out of my sleeve and placed Him reverentially into my mouth Then he washed my arm in holy water I suppose it was my version of both the Immaculate Reception and the Miracle in the Meadowlands Dad s Advice My father was an avid fan of any athletic competition He always

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  • Best Answers: Of Nursing, Foolishness, and SNL
    to applying that knowledge in actual clinical situations no easy task I assure you Let me give you an illustration of how it works one that s very familiar to the students and quite likely personally familiar to many of you gathered here The daily baby aspirin Lots of folks take it these days but few if any babies it s a grown up thing Unlike baby aspirin for babies which might be for fever or pain a baby aspirin for grown ups is for one of its other properties Reducing blood clot formation which may help prevent heart attacks and strokes So let s say this comes up in a med pass at the nursing home or hospital As our students are checking their Five Rights and consulting their drug cards trying to get everything in order we instructors might casually ask And why is your elderly patient taking a daily baby aspirin The first time this happens there s almost always a pause and maybe a stammer and then a timid halting for pain We re never surprised by that answer and technically it is a correct answer isn t it I mean we do give aspirin for pain don t we But it s not the best answer and explaining why that s the case is part of the steep steep learning curve for nursing students And the next time a baby aspirin is on the menu for an adult patient The student will reply To prevent clots hopefully Frankly we expect our students to get things like this wrong even repeatedly regardless of how much they study and practice It s why they re in school after all For the nursey stuff If they got all the nursey stuff right from the get go most of my colleagues and I would be out of a job Yet as I ve already noted there s more to it especially here at Bethel for we re also attempting to foster an alignment of nursing identity the one oriented to meds and treatments and monitoring vital signs with servant identity the one given over to charity and empathy and simple kindness There too there s a constant weighing and evaluating between correct and best and it can be a challenge for straightforward nursing tasks are never optional and they can t take a backseat to spiritual and otherworldly concerns Sometimes we succeed in finding the proper balance sometimes we don t In both cases we reflect on our experiences take heart from our little victories learn from our mistakes and keep on going It s like something I heard Lorne Michaels say on an NPR interview Michaels is the television producer and innovator responsible for Saturday Night Live basically he invented it When asked how he manages to put on a live broadcast comedy and variety show each week do you think Michaels replied that they have everything in place each Saturday That all the contingencies have been addressed

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  • A Faith Connected to Everything
    be a matter of becoming a plaster saint with a bleached out pastel personality Nonetheless it was not lost on me as a journalist working for a Catholic organization that the objects I passed in that window each day were in many ways representative of the Church s image in popular culture This was philosophically problematic and personally vexing for me as someone who was at the time seeking to present world events and cultural currents from the perspective of faith It seemed wrong to me and still does that a faith which connects to everything and which likewise connects everything should appear to many outside the Church and even some within as a narrow and somewhat antiquated matter of sentimental attachments and family heirlooms So I would occasionally find myself standing on the fire escape of our office building clutching a cup of coffee and staring into the distance as I contemplated the problem of this disparity between the truth of a faith embracing all of reality and the widespread public perception of an unimaginative sentimental sectarianism The Church in her authentic and foundational reality is as catholic in the dictionary sense as she is Catholic But there was almost no sense of this deeper catholicity meaning wholeness universality an integration of all things good and true in the Catholic store image of Catholicism The world is not getting the truth about God from these things in the shop window I thought How do we get it across that the mystery of Christ touches everything all of reality I never quite answered that question and I left journalism partly because I felt personally unable to pursue an answer in that context But when I think back on that experience the frustration of feeling unable to overcome the narrow kitschy image of the Church in our culture I am appreciative of things like Fiat Lux and I think it reflects a right intention to overcome conventional categories that make religion self enclosed and choke our cultural witness If one cannot see what connects St Peter s Basilica and the Immaculate Conception with the life of the Amazon or the Arctic I would suggest that one is missing something profound even in some respects missing the point of the Incarnation and the truth about the religious and secular I hope such a mindset continues to be challenged by appropriate means in the Church and the world Tagged as Fiat Lux Laudato Si Pope Francis Vatican By Benjamin Mann Benjamin Mann is a Byzantine Catholic former atheist and incurable philosopher with experience in journalism speechwriting and monasticism He published a short autobiographical book Shouting Through the Water in 2014 available as a free download at http tiny cc sttwbook and is preparing a sequel reflecting on his post monastic life His current interests center on the integration of psychology and meditation within a traditional Christian framework Subscribe to CE It s free More on Catholic Exchange God the Father s Messages to St Catherine The Apostles Squabble Scripture Speaks The Peace of the Lord Go to Catholic Exchange homepage Mulligan s pal Pope Francis light display with no reference to God or the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception came across as a Pantheistic display to highlight the act that he s pushing the socialistic driven belief of man caused global warming The encyclical is beautiful as was Pole Benedict s encyclical on the environment Intelligent and orthodox Benedict ID global warming as unproven science even though Cardinal Peter Turkson of the Vatican s Peace and Social Justice department tried to win him over and attempted to lead people into believing that BXVI was a proponent Pops FrNcis is so similar to President Obama glitzy displays Obama celebrated sodomite marriage with his rainbow disagree gaudy a push toward buying into MCGW which even the EPA admits will hurt the poor concern for capital punishment but a missed opportunity in never having mouthed the word abortion while he was in the U S yet Congress was deeply into the discussion of baby body parts being harvested and sold by Planned Parentdood right at the time of his visit Most disturbing Kevin Smith Amen Kevin Smith God must have been very Pantheistic when He created the host of all life in the world the Planet Earth It is interesting to me how someone so offended by abortion could be so ignorant about the facts regarding climate change Climate Change if left unabated and probably even if we only keep it from getting worse than projected otherwise will end more life on this planet than all the abortions ever performed Yet you find more contempt for our Pope who seeks to prevent this than you do your corporate masters and their mouthpieces at FOX News and in the blogosphere Perhaps politics is what you really care about not life But I guess that is a question you have to ask yourself As for me I will not keep my head in the sand like a good corporate subject but will support Pope Francis and my church as they fight to arrive at sanity in a world quickly committing suicide in the name of greed and corruption BXVI I too am a global warming sceptic Not a denier a skeptic The whole thing sure smacks of Malthusianism to me Assuming global warming is caused by us which is not a scientific certainty there is more empirical evidence for mankind s ability to adapt to it than for the idea that we can stop it The reality is it can t be stopped or even slowed given that India Russia and China refuse to do anything about it and to pretend that they will do something about anytime soon it is either extremely naive or intellectually obtuse to the point of being a poseur Witness the result of Paris I also think there is more evidence that the poor will be harmed greatly by the so called cure

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  • On “Silent Night,” SATB, and a High School Choir Director
    an alphabetical evening we went next with Hark the Herald and I Saw Three Ships After that Ben a grade schooler sat in on the piano and led us in Good King Wenceslaus and Juan did a terrific rendition of Feliz Navidad We had a few more requests and then Nancy gave me the high sign to wind things up so I announced Silent Night isn t it always the most appropriate ending carol We started singing and I automatically switched from singing in unison to a more or less tenor harmonization which confused Barbara and the other carolers in my immediate vicinity As I mentioned I m not a trained singer although I sang a bunch in church and school choirs growing up These days however I can barely pick out the melodies of unfamiliar songs in the hymnal so harmony parts are generally out of the question Silent Night is a prominent exception for me and even though I get the tenor and bass lines all mixed up I find it difficult to stick with the melody line alone a compulsion on display last Wednesday and one my kids have annually had to endure this time of year I learned the Silent Night harmony parts while a student at Fairview High School in Boulder Colorado Fairview always had a fantastic music program and the choir department then was headed up by Ron Revier Ron s a showman at heart and his concerts were always elaborately staged and choreographed Plus Mr Revier and his colleagues were superb musicians and uncompromising directors so not only were the programs varied and engaging the performances were consistently sterling The Christmas concerts though were special favorites every year and they included both secular and sacred numbers no apologies And traditionally they concluded with a Silent Night sing along led by all the school choirs spread out in the aisles of the auditorium I sang in choirs all four years of high school so I participated in four of those concerts and Ron s version of a four part Silent Night became an ingrained part of my Christmas consciousness The Colorado snow the anticipation of a holiday break the genuine good will and cheer engendered by the season and the satisfaction of together putting on a show so well received all that is associated with Silent Night for me and countless other Fairview grads I suspect Combined with even a momentary rumination on the incarnation and the Bethlehem miracle that marvelous carol richly voiced in four parts routinely brought tears to my eyes It still does every time Later on Wednesday night I plopped down at the computer to check email and the weather forecast A quick check of Facebook lo and behold it was Ron s birthday that very day I scanned the long list of well wishers some very familiar but plenty more strangers to me and their expressions of gratitude their cherished memories You ve given generations the gift of song

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  • The Thrill of the Chaste
    tells of how she had an opportunity to spend the night with a man who was interested in her and how as she considered that offer she pictured the morning after She saw in her mind s eye the pitiful image of their awkward attempt at conversation over breakfast both knowing that while they had just shared the most intimate of acts they would thereafter never share even as much as an actual date She realized that at that breakfast far from feeling connected and wanted she would ultimately feel empty and disposable because her tremendous offering of herself emotionally and physically meant nothing That image of tomorrow gave her the strength to turn him down because she knew in her heart that she was made for more than that and that God had infinitely better things in store for her It is a well known fact that it can be difficult to be single You can get so concerned about things like biological clocks becoming a crazy cat lady dying alone well maybe not that you can easily fall into the trap of valuing yourself based only on whether you are dating someone or not as though if you aren t with someone you aren t worth being with at all As understandable as this is when you allow the absence of a significant other to define you it results in your single years becoming simply a period of waiting as if your life will suddenly magically have meaning when your status changes from available to in a relationship This is where Eden s concept of being singular comes in Instead of defining herself by what she lacks a relationship with a man she defines herself by what she has a relationship with God a singular woman bases her actions on how they will enable her to be the person she believes God wants her to be She trusts that God has a plan for her and that no matter what suffering may come she will find joy if she seeks nothing but God s will making the best use of the gifts she has been given To be singular is to embark on a wide excursion of discovery Prayerfully you strive to develop inner qualities including empathy patience humility and faith in spite of hardship Being singular means that your life is built on God not another person and that you are pursuing Him in an active and committed way seeking to be the best version of yourself so as to make the most of the gifts He has given you That is a life of purpose and love regardless of status or vocation Dawn Eden As anyone who has ever tried to dress modestly can attest there are particular challenges regarding application because there are no concrete guidelines on the issue Since we all have different bodies and different looks it is impossible for there to be one defined standard of modesty where the rules apply to

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  • The Dangers of "Filler Relationships"
    to their husbands as to the Lord Because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church Therefore as the church is subject to Christ so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things I want to be not only available in other words not already absorbed in a man I can t be with but ready for this type of Godly man I want to focus on being singular not single as Dawn Eden says in her inspiring and challenging book The Thrill of the Chaste She explains that a singular woman defines herself not by what she lacks a relationship with a man but by what she has a relationship with God Being singular means living your life for God in an active and committed way prioritizing Him and making every effort to foster a full and happy life rooted in Him It is a way of life for everyone married or single because it is a life focused on God not on self Being singular means that no time is wasted because whether God intends for you to be married or not you will have lived well and you will not have put your life on hold for a person I have to tell you this article is difficult for me to share because of how close it is to me personally As much as I hate to admit it establishing substitute boyfriends has unfortunately been a default behavior for me for years I always thought that because I wasn t specifically dating the man involved I wasn t doing myself any harm and that I was still upholding my goals of eventually marrying a good Catholic man As I ve come to grips with the reality of what this habit of fostering these relationships was doing to my efforts toward establishing a real relationship I realized I was doing worse than standing still I was moving backward and focusing on all the wrong things just because I wanted to make myself feel better about being single and because I wanted to feel like I was almost with someone It is my hope that this article will help others who struggle with this and who desire a marriage based on God to identify and end this pattern of behavior in their own lives So this Holy Thursday and throughout Holy Week I thanked God for keeping me single and for allowing me to face Him truly on my own No filler relationship no substitute boyfriend just me And it feels wonderful Alleluia Jesus is risen and I am single and blessed to be so Tagged as relationships single single catholics vocation By Rebecca Smith Rebecca Smith is a music teacher at a Catholic elementary school and serves as music director pianist organist choir director and cantor for a Catholic parish She can be reached at rebeccasmith rcc gmail com Subscribe to CE It s free More on

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  • The Treasure of Singleness
    suffering will become a blessing for all involved and you may grow in ways you never imagined Most especially please do not condemn or accuse any one of God s children before God as that is simply not our place I will pray for you often and I have so much hope that your pain will not turn into hate but rather into love peacebwu12 Ladasha I am deeply sorry to hear about your experiences especially as they seem so foreign to me and all of the parishes I ve attended I was not married until 38 years of age I do not see the Church as a whole with such attitudes but again I am so sorry that you have been hurt by some members of the Church or your parish or even your parish priest Please do your best to forgive those who make comments that are hurtful to you and then love them as our Lord loves them if even only in your heart you are able to do so Then your suffering will become a blessing for all involved and you may grow in ways you never imagined Most especially please do not condemn or accuse any one of God s children before God as that is simply not our place I will pray for you often and I have so much hope that your pain will not turn into hate but rather into love HenryBowers Singles need more than prayer They need therapy The difference between marrieds and singles is that the former confide in their ability to respect others while the latter do not When people possess such confidence they likewise possess the confidence to detect it in others or to deal with its lack and so they seek companionship Anyone disagree JMJ Girl Singles need THERAPY Singles don t respect others Am I misunderstanding your comment JMJ Girl I hear ya sister I know that the breakdown of the family and strengthening it now with the World Family conference coming to Philly next year is the most important issue facing the Church As the family goes so goes the world and society as a whole But singles are part of the collateral damage of the assault on family and I have never seen a parish priest or bishop or pope ever give anything substantial to discussing the true place and calling of a single person within the Church and the family of God I have never seen the Church giving substance by means of spiritual direction in groups or in homilies or anywhere to singles in their solitary journey nor the support needed for every single person to receive every grace available to continue the journey to heaven There is barely a mention as everything is about Husbands and Wives Mothers and Fathers For cryin out loud if I see any more wealthy double income families getting breaks on tickets to parish events faith conferences etc for coming as a couple I think I will scream Singles have less with one income and always are expected to pay MORE Doesn t anyone realize that just a few weeks ago the barrier was broken and more than 50 of children are now born to single mothers This issue is only going to become dramatically more pronounced if we keep leaving out half of the population HenryBowers You sound like a hysterical single who needs therapy My polite question was agree or disagree Blobee What does confide in their ability to respect others mean Whom do they confide to HenryBowers Self confide Blobee Self confidence JMJ Girl Your comment was far from polite and your attitude continues in this discourse But God loves you and so do I HenryBowers Well you still haven t agreed or disagreed with me yet on the topic I raised so I don t know what you re about But that s okay I won t judge you HenryBowers Must be Missy1965 I had exactly the same reaction singles need THERAPY What ever for That statement implies there is something inherently wrong or mentally unstable about singles pnyikos You already judged JMJ girl by saying she sounds like a hysterical single who needs therapy And I disagree with what you wrote and I believe you do too I believe you are a troll someone who enjoys posting things he doesn t really believe just to get a rise out of people You made a blanket statement about singles and about married people that is insulting to singles and flattering to married people Having been single until 37 and happily married ever since I am now 68 I ve lived in both worlds long enough and deny that your insult to singles applied to me then and also that your flattery to married people has applied to me since I got married By the way are you married or single Don t bother answering if you can t answer honestly Bob332 Funny how it s the married people who usually end up in THERAPY either one or both George Galloway Good article Tyler God bless you and your young family Philip Sieve The problem is there s all these sites for finding dates as potential spouses but none for a spiritual friendship Why do we hear if consecrated singles as a calling but there s ni way fir them to get to know each other unless one I d outgoing and networks If you re shy tough luck HenryBowers I wish more of them did HenryBowers Thanks for your perspective But I don t know why you think it needs to be about me JMJ Girl I wholeheartedly agree with you sister Have you ever read 33 Days to Morning Glory The more I internalize Mary as my Mother the easier and more focused my life has become I no longer worry about what God has planned for my life but just keep giving Him each day and letting Him surprise

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  • Single and Catholic
    so called irregular families Groups for the divorced divorced and remarried those cohabiting and those single parents who had their children out of wedlock seem to me to be right in line with what Pope Francis hopes to achieve with these synods on the family The other difficulty is with us singles ourselves Surrounded by families many of us find that we have little in common with them and tend to exclude OURSELVES because we don t want to be the third wheel Except for the handful of us that are true introverts being single is a very real burden For an introvert it s an ideal lifestyle you get to be alone most of the time I m an introvert myself so I get that But for an extrovert there s really only one word to describe it Lonely For the extroverted single some churches do have singles groups Yes a lot of those groups are focused on finding prospective mates for their members but that s what the members themselves are looking for But that leaves those who chose the single life out in the cold And James being looked on with suspicion when you are single without children and offering to help children is not unique to men It s not even unique to SINGLE men I d go so far as to say that it s probably one reason why our married choirmaster never had any takers for a proposed children s choir No one has an answer to such problems yet After all that s why we re having these synods on the family But it would behoove us all to remember that this was only the FIRST in a series of them Give them time I am sure that eventually all these issues will be addressed if for no other reason than that the Pope himself is well aware that we are over focused on certain aspects of the current threats to marriage and the family In the meantime all we singles can do is remember that even though those parishes full of married people don t seem particularly welcoming to us worshipping God is our primary reason for going to church the social life and everything else is only secondary So yes we do have to suck it up but also must trust that God will give us the grace and strength to do just that John B Nelson This is a very important topic and oft neglected And yes the Synod s failure to address the lives of single people is an astonishing oversight and all the more strange in light of the celibate vocation of the attending Bishops I think a large part of the answer is for Catholic parishes to adopt some sort of regular small group meetings comprised and families and singles along with religious and preists in which single people are enfolded and cared for alongside families I am a former evangelical and this is one aspect of that tradition that I confess I miss a great deal The fact is Catholics even very devout ones are not very involved in each other s lives We don t seem to really care about each other in a significant way There are a lot of reasons for this but rather than analyzing the situation to death let s do something about it The Christ Renews His Parish group is a good example of something that could help Moreover lets stop thinking of single people as having a problem to be solved but rather as an having a great opportunity to give and to flourish as beloved people in God s Church Episteme I alternate between being given every schlep job at my home parish as a single man I must have so much free time plus it d be a shame to separate any married folks from their families during events but I do the same fade when visiting other parishes Nevertheless I face the problem that I think many single men in the Catholic church do nowadays we followed the rules on chastity celibacy into our thirties or beyond and now everyone thinks we re either perverts or liars because we re not publicly sleeping around like single men are supposed to be doing in this new era It s a lovely existence when brushing you off with have you thought of becoming a priest is practically a compliment because it at least presumes an element of virtue losing secular friends over that is one thing but getting mocked in church by married Catholics for one s virginity chastity is a real head scratcher and a real sign of how coupling focused the community is kirk It s been over 40 years since I divorced My reasons didn t seem to matter though it was to prevent my children and I from having the further trauma of an abusive spouse dad There were many times when the scarlet letter D was featured in the Sunday homily and I chafed under that But in some ways I was fortunate to have made many friendships across the spectrum of married single divorced and the never married and that made things brighter for me Yet these many years later I still wonder what it would have been like to have a happier family unit unmarred by abuse and eventual divorce I think I would have tried to be more inclusive of those less fortunate I thank God that I have friends who are inclusive but there are many singles who remain on the fringes of parish life isolated and sometimes very lonely Katie Kellmurray I think there is such a high value and emphasis placed on vocation that it can leave those of us who are single feeling as though God has not called us or perhaps has forgotten us And so we I can feel that the Church has forgotten or abandoned me as well and that there is almost

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