Not All Raffle Prizes are Equal!

Suppose you purchased tickets for a raffle and finally, for the first time in your life, actually won something . . . Would you claim your prize or change your home phone number:

1. Choice of king or queen size mattress from the Used Mattress Outlet. Fumigation expenses the responsibility of the winner.
2. Free bail bond – must be used within six months of receipt.
3. Two cubic yards of ready mix concrete delivered to your door on even numbered days if they fall on a Wednesday, between one and two in the morning.
4. Free laser eye surgery from the Derby School of Eye Surgery. (You’ve seen their ad in matchbook covers)
5. Free like-mahogany casket. Must take immediate delivery. Only used once!
6. Free steam cleaning of your front door mat. Good only with cost of carpet cleaning of your entire home.
7. Free bridal dress and accessories. Bride must be born prior to 1948 and wear a size five.
8. Free termite inspection. The company’s motto is We Always Find Bugs. A two percent discount on subsequent treatment of your home.
9. Twenty-five years of life insurance, premium-free. Must be five years or under to qualify.
10. Your grain milled free for a year. Minimum poundage per visit, one ton. Complimentary bale of hay with each visit

(Although I’ve ‘won’ some ‘interesting’ raffle prizes over the years, these (I hope!), are figments of my overactive imagination!)

Quilting the World . . .

I love to quilt. I enjoy the challenge of taking bits and pieces of different fabric and turning them into a whole cloth again. When you sew a dress or suit, you have to keep in mind how the various colors and patterns work together. You would never sport a striped blouse with a flowered skirt. In quilting all these rules are left behind and you find the oddest combinations seem to work amazingly well.
I am beginning to see that our world is a lot like a quilt. We all come in different colors, patterns and sizes. Alone we are something but together we can make a formidable whole. We all have a place in our world-wide quilt of humanity. Each person is in his or her place as a part of a pattern that wasn’t designed by mortal hands. Our free will, however, is starting to make a difference in the fabric of our lives.
When you make a quilt, each piece, square, triangle is stitched carefully to the next one. Each segment is dependent on the pieces connecting it to the whole. Because one piece is in place, the rest can be built accordingly. The pieces of a quilt provide a meaning and basis for the entire quilt. The world’s quilt is starting to miss spaces. The solid fabric of its connecting pieces are fraying and disappearing. God sends children into the world to step into the places left by the souls called to Heaven. He keeps older people in the world until He calls them to their eternity.
Mankind has been arranging its quilt without consulting God. Abortion leaves empty spaces and euthanasia leaves gaping holes that bring down our solidarity. You look around at your friends and relatives and wonder what life would be like without them. How many other people should be in our lives that were not given the chance to take their place in our quilt? I have heard that abortion and euthanasia weed the unproductive and unneeded. Will your child miss out on the perfect partner because they were weeded out? Will the wisdom of an older person be missing when you need it the most because someone decided they were unproductive?
The reasons for destroying our unborn and eliminating our elderly and sick are not valid, at least not to the minds that see God’s Hand in our lives. Although we will all pay for this holocaust, we, as pro-life Catholics, know where the future of our world is going. We understand why scientific cures are not being discovered. We realize why there are a lack of vocations, either in religion or marriage.
In this day the best blessing we can give anyone is to pray that they are surrounded by all the quilt pieces of life that should be there and that their children will always be surrounded by the people God planned on being there. This is a hopeful blessing although the sins of those who justify their wrongs can be seen in our lives.
I love to quilt, yet as I sew, these thoughts go through my mind. I can only pray the bits and pieces of our lives will be eventually sewn together with as much love as I put into my quilts.
The one peculiar and characteristic sin of the world is this, that whereas God would have us live for the life to come, the world would make us live for this life.” (Cardinal Newman)

 

Where Have All the Whole Words Gone?

I awake in the a.m. and retire in the p.m. I live in the year some thing or other AD. As far as I am concerned those are about all the initials I need in my life. Life, however, doesn’t agree on this point. Each day finds me deciphering mysterious sets of letters that represent actual people, places and things.
I am trying not to be paranoid but I feel like I am constantly on a game show of some sort. The representative initials can hit without warning. It is up to me to successfully translate their meaning before I can continue with my life.

Initials, lone letters of the alphabet loom on the horizon of my sanity. Try as I might to avoid them, they invade when least expected and I have to immediately struggle with a translation in order to keep up.

I arrive at morning Mass in the a.m. and soon hear that the RCIA will meet that evening. CCD will take place on Monday afternoon. It is suggested that all attending these meetings get there ASAP. They probably divulge the newest sets of initials early on in the program so one doesn’t want to be late. As Mass progresses, if I find anything out of the ordinary, I am told to refer to the last meeting of the NCCB.

I return home, slowing at RR crossings. I discover the sprinkler system is on the blink and will require PVC piping PDQ or we will have a flood. On the way to the garden shop, the radio DJ tells me it will be warm and sunny. Pretty long words to be used by someone with a two-letter name.

At the store, I experience a delay as the IBM system seems to be down and they are having trouble getting through with the AT&T. The clerk gives me a bright smile and apologizes for the SNAFU!

My busy day requires visits to both an MD and a DDS. Good thing I am not a PhD or I might spend more time than necessary trying to figure out why.

When I get home, I get my mail and find letters from AARP and advertisements from BMW. There is also an invitation to a BYOB party. I feel the strain of the day setting in and decide that I won’t care about finding out what a BYOB party entails. The sender provided a SASE so I could RSVP promptly.

An evening in front of the television sounds brain-numbing enough for an over-abbreviated person. I tune in just a they show pictures of UFO’s on the news. And the same story appears on ABC, CBS and NBC. A semi-interesting documentary on the life span of a bat suddenly informed it’s viewers that it was being shown on PBS.

A video selection begins with a soldier who is AWOL. The newspaper has the ACLU defending someone again. I make a deliberate effort to calm myself and think in well-spelled out, whole words because I know if I really start emoting at this point, I will pass out . . . and someone will probably start CPR.