Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Blessed Thanksgiving to you all!

It's such a trite saying: have an "attitude of gratitude."
Still, it's a lot to consider. We really do have a choice to be happy or miserable. Being happy largely begins with gratitude.

There's so much to be thankful for. I've got two cats curled up by my back, one on either side of me. It's warm in my house. The terrible storm of the past two days is past and the sun came out a little while ago with a vengeance, as if to more than make up for the nor'easter that nearly flooded our area.

Drowning Creek didn't come up to the road, thanks to the hard work done several years ago by the Corps of Engineers; it is stretched out almost a quarter mile in either direction of the bridge, though, I noticed on my way to Mass this morning.

It's Thanksgiving weekend. I'll be singing this weekend with the NC Symphony in their wonderful Holiday Pops concert. This year Grant Llewellyn is directing - a joy in itself.

I have been blessed with some of the most delightful and wonderful friends a woman ever had.

this is just the beginning of my list...

God bless and keep you all!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Guess the Christmas Carols!

1. Move hitherward the entire assembly of those who are loyal in their belief.
2. Listen, the celestial messengers produce harmonious sounds.
3. Nocturnal timespan of unbroken quietness.
4. An emotion excited by they acquisition or expectation of good given to the terrestrial sphere.
5. Embellish the interior passageways.
6. Exalted heavenly beings to whom harkened
7. Twelve o’clock on a clement night witnessed its arrival
8. The Christmas preceding all others
9. Small municipality in Judea southeast of Jerusalem.
10. Diminutive masculine master of skin-covered percussionist cylinders.
11. Omnipotent supreme being who elicits respite to ecstatic distinguished males.
12. Tranquility upon the terrestrial sphere
13. Obese personification fabricated of compressed mounds of minute crystals.
14. Expectation of arrival to populated area by mythical, masculine, perennial gift-giver.
15. Natal celebration devoid of color, rather albino, as a hallucinatory phenomenon for me.
16. In awe of the nocturnal timespan characterized by religiosity.
17. Geographic state of fantasy during the season of Mother Nature‘s dormancy.
18. The first person nominative plural of a triumvirate of far eastern heads of state.
19. In a distant location the existence of an improvised unit of newborn children‘s slumber furniture.
20. Tintinnabulation of vacillating pendulums in inverted metallic resonant cups.
21. Proceed forth declaring upon a specific geological alpine formation.
22. Jovial yuletide desired for the second person singular or plural by us.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Prayer Request

I'm asking you to pass the word along -- prayers requested for my dear friend Nora, who is facing surgery for cancer in the next week or two. She goes up to Chapel Hill this week for a consult with an oncology surgeon.

Monday, November 06, 2006


I've hit 200 posts! Wheeeeee!

on Holy Friendship

Have you ever had a particular friend of the opposite sex who just blessed your socks off? Who was a friend of the right hand, of the soul? Who enriched your life in surprising ways?

Drop me an email and let me know about it, will you? I'm writing an article on the subject, and want to use more than just my own experience to illustrate...


Saturday, November 04, 2006


We arrived at the Presbyterian church as we normally do, but instead of going into the large fellowship hall, we made our way to the sanctuary. Imagine 170 men and women crammed into a choir loft and pulpit area designed for less than a quarter so many people! Sopranos and baritones on the left, altos and tenors on the right (as you look from the back of the church)... we're squeezed as tightly as we can into the choir pews, on steps, on the floor... I cannot resist quipping how lovely it is to see men strewn on the floor about my feet.
Trumpets, trombones, tuba, timpani, all warming up, then tuning with the organ...
Al steps to the box in the middle of the main aisle and raises his baton -- The trumpets begin an introduction built around "Taps"...

"Here rests in honored glory...." we sing a tribute to fallen soldiers of America's wars.

I am very very proud to announce the release of the CD, "Here Rests in Honored Glory," from The Don and Mary Miller Foundation. The song, recorded by the North Carolina Master Chorale in October, 2005, was written by Don Miller, a well-known jazz musician and composer. Sales of the CD (which I am shamelessly promoting here!) will go to benefit TAPS - the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors - a charity to serve the families of men and women who have died for America.

Please visit the website and order one of these CDs. It's a worthy cause, good music -- and if I may be so brash, we do sound GOOD. Out of the purchase cost, Mary Miller informs me that $5 goes directly to TAPS. That's a mighty good deal.

Hey - let 'em know I sent you, will you? I'd like to know how effective my marketing efforts are - wink.


Things I love about being Catholic:

Jesus in the Eucharist
The Poetry and Drama of the Holy Liturgy
The dignity of our worship
Jesus in the Eucharist
Being in a Church that has existed since the Upper Room
The kinship of Faith with Believers around the world
Truly, "The Communion of Saints" -
making friends with people who have lived for Jesus through the ages
Gregorian Chant
Holy Hours
The Rosary
The Aquinas hymns
Jesus in the Eucharist
Stations of the Cross
Knowing Mary better as my "adopted Mother"
The Litany of the Saints
Jesus in the Eucharist...
Pope John Paul II
Pope Benedict XVI

Oh, I do love being Catholic! Thank you, dear Heavenly Father, that four years ago, I was allowed to stand in Your holy Sanctuary and to state those powerful words, "I do believe and profess all the Catholic Church teaches, preaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God." I do believe, dear Lord! Help my life to be more fully conformed to what my head and heart believe.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I really am still here!

I've started to post twice now, and realized I wanted to develop those particular ideas as possible magazine articles.

See what bloggind does? Primes the pump! Makes me think more of myself than perhaps I warrant?

I'll talk with you tonight or tomorrow, okay?

Welcome to many visitors -- pray for me, as I have said prayers for you.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Another wonderful anniversary

Friday, November 3, marks the fourth anniversary of my reception into Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I'm utterly amazed and awe-filled at God's grace and mercy in calling me to be Catholic.

But that wasn't the end of things. It seems to have been only the beginning.

One year ago November 8, I made friends with a wonderful Catholic from Chorale. He was marking his score when I plopped down beside him to chat. We'd already met, he's one of the crowd who goes out after rehearsal for food and drinks, but we'd not become acqainted. I struck up an idle conversation, but something he said prompted me to ask him where he goes to church. When he told me, it took a second to realize that he had named one of the parishes in the diocese of Raleigh.

"You're... Catholic?" I think I stammered. His face took on a certain set that told me he'd already (having only lived in NC a few months) taken a heavy hit of southern anti-Catholicism. He affirmed quietly, and with great dignity, that he is indeed Catholic. I nearly jumped off my chair. "I'm a convert! I just celebrated the third anniversary of my Confirmation!" and my brand-new friend's face lit up like Christmas morning and he grabbed my hand and shook it clean up to the shoulder.

After chorale we sat side by side at the restaurant and talked and talked and talked. It was quickly evident that this is a man who is a joyful, intelligent Catholic (I have since learned that he is quite devout - that is to say, he's wonderfully serious about his Faith). He was also nice! I don't know when I've had such a delightful, stimulating evening.

During the course of our conversation, he mentioned that he is a student of John Paull II'd Theology of the Body. I'd heard of it through COL, but I'd never done any reading on the subject. He immediately offered me the loan of some tapes he thought he had in his car (he did).

Wow. Heavy. "like being hit by a freight train," my friend recently said. Uh, yeah - right slam into the solar plexus. Painful but the best sort of painful. At times I was literally unable to catch my breath from its impact. You mean, Lord, that's what it's all about??? Being male and female, reflecting in our particular Part the Totality of Your image and likeness, being a living metaphor for the union between Christ and His Church?

My life will never be the same, thanks be to God, because of a remark, carelessly and spontaneously made, but a brand new friend.

Sometimes it's not enough for us to know the "Thou Shalt NOT's" of sin -- sometimes we need to know the rest of the sentence -- "So that thou SHALT delight in the fulfillment of God's BEST PLAN for your life as a man or a woman."