Smiles From the Internet . . .

A Sunday school teacher asked her class, “What was Jesus’ mother’s name?” One child answered, “Mary.”
The teacher then asked, “Who knows what Jesus’ father’s name was?” A little kid said, “Verge.”
Confused, the teacher asked, “Where did you get that?”
The kid said, “Well, you know, they are always talking about Verge ‘n Mary.”
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A little boy was overheard praying: “Lord, if you can’t make me a better boy, don’t worry about it. I’m having a real good time like I am.”
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After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, “That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I wanted to stay with you.”
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I had been teaching my three-year old daughter, Caitlin, the Lord’s Prayer for several evenings at bedtime. She would repeat after me the lines from the prayer. Finally, she decided to go solo. I listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer: “Lead us not into temptation,” she prayed, “but deliver us from E-mail.
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One particular four-year-old prayed, “And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.”
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A Sunday school teacher asked her children as they were on the way to church service, “And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?” One bright little girl replied, “Because people are sleeping.”
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Six-year-old Angie and her four-year-old brother, Joel, were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang, and talked out loud. Finally, his big sister had had enough.
“You’re not supposed to talk out loud in church.”
“Why? Who’s going to stop me?” Joel asked.
Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, “See those two men standing by the door?
They’re hushers.”
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A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.’
Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “Ryan, you be Jesus!”
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A father was at the beach with his children when the four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore where a seagull lay dead in the sand.
“Daddy, what happened to him?” the son asked.
“He died and went to Heaven,” the Dad replied.
The boy thought a moment and then said, “Did God throw him back down?”
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A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?”
“I wouldn’t know what to say,” the girl replied.
“Just say what you hear Mommy say,” the wife answered.
The daughter bowed her head and said, “Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”

Where Has All the Reverence Gone?

My husband and I like to get to Mass early in order to have time to prepare for Mass and get some extra prayers headed into our day. It is not always an easy task especially on Sundays. It sounds more like an audience getting ready for a performance than Catholics readying themselves for the Sacrifice of the Mass. There is the rattling and shuffling of the Sunday bulletin as people sit back (not the least worried about people who might be kneeling behind them) and rustle through the pages turning to their spouses to make remarks or bring things to his attention often out loud because ‘Mass hasn’t stated yet, right?”

There have been times when someone starts applause over the least thing that happens to tickle their fancy and the ‘sheep’ join in regardless of whether they really know what is going on.

One tends to start longing for the quiet before Mass when people enter in anticipation of being with our Lord rather than greeting friends and waving across the church to include those sitting too far away.

From the Our Father on, you muse over the lack of awe and piety you would think would be evident as we are facing the Real Presence on the altar. It doesn’t seem to happen as we have to fend of ardent hand holders at the Our Father and the people scampering here and there to shake hands with people they just saw coming into church earlier. They seem to put more into the person-to-person greet-fest and forget Who is now truly present.

As Saint John Chrysostom says, “Nothing so becomes a church as silence and good order.”

Ash Wednesday and How Many Days of Lent Are there?

Can you believe it? There are actually myths in regards to Lent. Who would have thought it but here they are.

Myth
Counting from Ash Wednesday, shouldn’t Lent be 46 days long?
Lent is 40 days long . . . uh, counting from today, Ash Wednesday, to Holy Saturday, there are 46 days. There goes a popular hymn about these Forty Days of Lent. Well, actually, the 40 days of Lenten fasting do not include Sundays. Fasting is not mandatory on Sundays. It’s a break to share the joy of Sunday and another week of being able to praise God within the context of Mass and contemplate the coming Resurrection.
Myth
Lent ends on Easter Sunday
Easter Sunday is not the end of Lent. Before you worry that you have shortchanged God all these years, Easter Sunday is not the end of Lent because Holy Thursday is the close of Lent as we enter into the Passion of Christ and Holy Week observances. The Easter Triduum which is Latin for ‘three days’ begins at the Holy Thursday evening Mass and closed with Easter Sunday.
Myth
Catholics must abstain from meat throughout Lent
Including Ash Wednesday, only Fridays are days of abstinence during Lent. An interesting sideline is that local bishops may have specific rules about what foods should be included in the abstinence. In some dioceses, muskrat or alligator are permitted. I remember a priest friend who once got a call from a woman who asked, “Can you eat frog legs on Friday?” Inquiring minds want to know!
Myth
The Date of Easter is decided by the Pope
Nope, the Pope celebrates Easter but doesn’t determine the date. Easter falls on the first Sunday after the Paschal or Passover full moon. The earliest we can expect Easter is March 22nd and the latest is April 25th. The method by which to calculate the date of Easter was figured out at a meeting of church bishops called the Council of Nicea in 325. Seems to have survived the test of time!
For Your Information:
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. All Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence – no meat!
The rules for fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59 years of age. Fasting is when a person is permitted one, full meal and two smaller ones which should not equal the full meal. The rules of abstinence from meat are binding from age fourteen onwards.

Crafts and the Annual Christmas Fair

A friend asked me how I had fared at the fair this year and I have to say that in spite of a slow start, everyone seemed to get adequate business although many of us were buying from each other at times! We are ‘sister’ parishes with another parish as the bishop is looking to combine us, one day, into one, large parish. Sad to say, however, I didn’t see anyone from the ‘other’ parish joining in or checking out the great items for sale this year. And, I’m the only one from the ‘other’ parish who comes over to join in this event.

We had a lot of really interesting and fun vendors this year which made some last-minute Christmas shopping very easy if you were looking for unique or homemade. I even got a special order of the spicy/sweet sugared almonds I was selling!

The slow beginning of the day was a bit of a downer but several people came up with suggestions on how to increase the flow of people next year got everyone renewed and excited about participating next year.

The pictures here are views of my booth at the fair.

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Faith Equality Index

http://www.faithdrivenconsumer.com/faith_equality_index_company_reviews

Here is a great idea, an index that rates various stores and venues as to how they line up with Christian values. Since the secular liberal agenda rules the world, would they consider this intolerant because it doesn’t fall in line with their idea of tolerant?