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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

On Pointe

Our neighborhood is 'beginning to look a lot like Christmas'. Sister St. Aloysius is studying Christmas cookie recipes. She has been invited to one of those 'cookie swaps'. She'd be interested in hearing from our readers if they have any interesting recipes as long as they don't involve candy thermometers, double boilers or pressure cookers. She believes baking should be fun. I would think a science project in the kitchen would be fun for her, but that is not the case.

Meanwhile our readers are keeping us on our patron saint matching toes.

Dear Sister Mary Martha;

My Family & I are in the process of moving. It is a huge chore and very stressful. Although I have seen many blessings during this transition, I have seen many evils as well. My husband has had power tools stolen right off our back porch and these are things he needs for work. We are in sort of a desperate situation, as our move is not by choice, but due to the economy and loosing our home. I would like to know if there is a saint we can use for protection of our property & family? I would have e-mailed this to you but did not find a link on your sight.
BTW- I love you blog and look forward to each update on my Kindle. It's nice to know that someone is following our little convent on Kindle! That's rather a nice Christmas present just thinking about that!

We are sorry for your troubles. I would recommend St. Joseph, first and foremost, to insure a roof over your head. He literally does that. Did you ever hear the story of Blessed Brother Andre of Montreal? He was just a little receptionist at the rectory. He spent his days mooning over the land across the street. He dreamed of building a church there. The land was not for sale, but Blessed Brother Andre kept praying for the intercession of St. Joseph and one day, lo and behold, the land fell into his hands.

A giant oratory was built. I do mean giant. If you visit there you come around a corner and suddenly, there it is. You actually feel as though you've arrived at the top of Jack's beanstalk and any minute you'll have to go running out of there with a magic chicken and a talking harp.

The whole giant shebang was built but there was not enough money to put the roof on. Quite a dilemma this far into this gigantic project. Blessed Brother Andre was nonplussed. He told them to just put the statue of St. Joseph out there with no roof and he would get one, pronto, as he would not want to stand around in the wind and rain. And guess what happened?

So at least, you'll have a roof over your head.

As to the thieves, that is a job for St. Dismas. We call him St. Dismas. He actually doesn't have a name. Well...he had a name. We just don't have any idea what it actually was.

St. Dismas was whom a playwright would call "Thief No. 2", there on Calvary. Thief No. 1 asked Jesus why He didn't save them all if He was God and all. Thief No. 2 told Thief No. 1 to zip it in the presence of the Lord. Jesus told Thief No. 2 that he would be in heaven later that day.

So we know Thief No. 2 is a saint because he is in heaven. Everyone in heaven is a saint. I'm not sure who along the way named him St. Dismas.

You know, the Wise Men never had names either. They got name because of Passion Plays.

Passion Plays were the only entertainment going for quite some time and were giant daylong extravaganzas. The New Testament only says "Wise men from the East". It doesn't even say there are three.

Here is what I think happened and it's all about directing a play on stage, something I have done many times with second graders. At first the Passion plays had a whole boat load of guys on camels portraying the Wise Men from the East. That had to have been a giant mess, what with all those live camels. So they cut some Wise Men. Five is a crowd on stage, but given that they were on camels, three is plenty.

So now we have three actors playing three wise men, no doubt asking "What's my motivation? Where am I from? Are the three of us friends?" and on and on. Some harried director probably just threw his hands in the air and said, "Fine. You're Balthazar, you're Melchior, and you're Caspar. Happy now?"

What was I talking about? Oh, yes! St. Dismas. As difficult as all this is for you, St. Dismas is the perfect example of how you must proceed. Take into account that Jesus was also have a very difficult time when He met up with St. Dismas. Jesus forgave St. Dismas, the thief.

And please, don't leave anything out on the porch anymore.

New question. I have two older brothers. My father passed away and left my husband and I his home. My oldest brother is suing me for 1/3 the value of the house. Is there a saint for lawsuits?

Again, I think you should have a word with St. Joseph. The official patron saint against unfair lawsuits is none other than Jolly Old St. Nick. How's that for irony?

Another saint you might consider is St. Helena, the mother of St. Constantine. Her life was pretty unpleasant until someone (her ex-husband) died. Then things got a lot better for her.

Perhaps you could also have a word with St. Andrew. He got along very well with his brother, St. Peter. I think following the Lord was actually his idea in the first place. Maybe he could help out with this case of sibling rivalry.


Anonymous said...


I am a teenager who currently lives with my parents. I can't drive yet (soon, though). My parents are both Baptists but I did a little searching a while back, and decided it wasn't for me. I have never been very religious, though, we rarely attend church and I get nervous whenever we talk about God. I don't know why, I love to talk about Him to other people. I'm sorry if this is a bit long, but I have been practicing the Catholic faith secretly since February of this year. I pray the Rosary every night (though I fell asleep in it last night!), I study the faith and believe it entirely. God has led me here. But I have done it well, in secret. For all of these months I haven't even dropped the slightest hint to my parents and I have kept the faith entirely secret. I delete my history when I go to your website and other Catholic websites. I don't know why, I guess I'm scared of being treated differently. They don't know how much I have studied and they will probably think I just rushed into this. I guess I am a bit of a coward. Some of my Catholic friends from the net urge me to talk to them, but I just don't have the guts. Do you have any advice?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gardenia said...

Sister, great post. thanks for all your wonderful words of wisdom.

Claudia said...

Brown Sugar Drop Cookies

1 egg

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup flour

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cup walnuts, ground medium fine

Beat egg at high speed until is thick and creamy. Add sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in flour, salt and soda. Then mix in the walnuts. Drop by teaspoon full on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for ten minutes. Makes about 2 dozen. Remove and cool on cookie sheet then ice.


1 cup powered sugar

2 tbsp. milk

1 tsp vanilla

add a few drops food coloring if you like (I use green and red)


They taste really good.

Convenor said...

Dear Sister,

It would be very kind if you could let your readers know about the latest issue of our journal 'CHRISTVS REGNAT' (http://catholicheritage.blogspot.com/2009/12/christvs-regnat-december-2009.html) and about our blog (http://catholicheritage.blogspot.com) to which you're very welcome to link/follow/add to your blogroll.

Pray for me!

God bless you!

St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe, Claudia. I was looking for a cookie recipe that would be fun to do with my kids. I'll give this one a try.

Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...


conversion into the Catholic Church is a bit more involved than your current spiritual exercises (which I suggest you keep up, by the way).

Obviously I don't know what all you've learned about Holy Mother Church. But you're going to be explaining things to Evangelicals. Mark Shea and Scott Hahn both excel in this department. Catholicism for Dummies is a thorough and accurate introduction to the Faith, written for the person who knows nothing about it. Fish Eaters is an excellent source for explaining the whys and wherefores of Catholic culture and behavior.

Entering the Church will require you to receive the Sacraments of Baptism (unless you already have), Communion, and Confirmation. You will be required to take classes, and you will probably be lumped in with non-Christians in the Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) classes.

Whatever else, please, please, PLEASE do not let me (or anything else) discourage you! Catholicism is not for wimps, but God's grace will be sufficient for you, no matter what trials and burdens come your way. The sooner you enter the Church, the better equipped you will be to reach the real goal of this life: sainthood.

Anonymous said...


I'm glad you are studying the Catholic faith and wanting to follow that. It is wonderful that you are praying the Rosary, and Mother Mary will help you.

I, too, am a convert, having been raised Southern Baptist. Scott Hahn & Mark Shea, as the above poster mentioned, are good authors. I might also suggest David Currie's Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic. All of those resources will help in answering those around you, and may give you more confidence in that. I know it can be hard at first. It helps to assure your family that you have studied this in depth and prayed about it, so they know it isn't a whim.

Finally, I suggest speaking with a priest, as he will able to tell you what else you need to do to officially enter the Church. I will say a prayer for you, too. :-)

God bless.

lucy minnow said...

Anonymous: I admire your following your own path like that. The thing about secrecy is that it suggests a certain unhealthiness. The secrecy aspect alone might freak out your parents much more than the content would, if they eventually "find out." They might respond like you're in some kind of cult. Maybe it would help to think in terms of "private" instead of "secret." It's normal to feel private about spirituality.
Good luck. I'm sure you'll find a good way to deal with it. I look forward to reading what Sister advises you.

dre said...

Sister, I just heard on the BBC about Mother Mary MacKillop...she has had her second miracle approved and is about to be canonized. I had never heard of her before, but she had a remarkable life, and would make a wonderful patron saint for us teachers. Perhaps you might look her up and tell others about her?

Unknown said...

Great Religion Magazine collection for all religious people. Wish you a Merry Christmas and May this festival bring abundant joy and happiness in your life!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, if you're still checking back, I'd recommend talking with a priest as soon as possible about your desire for conversion. I was in just your position when I was 16, literally hiding Knights of Columbus pamphlets about the Catholic Faith in my room as if they were dirty books! I had been interested in Catholicism since I was 6 years old but I knew for sure that my parents would not allow me to become Catholic. They only grudgingly allowed me to attend Mass a few times.

I intended to convert after I left home but got busy with college, married a non-Catholic, got busy with family, attended another denomination and only when we were in our forties did my husband and I finally become Catholic. Don't wait as long as I did. You may have to wait until you're 18 or have left home but you can be studying and praying until then. It can be good to wait because I've seen young converts leave for some other new faith after a year or two. It's good to be sure and RCIA takes a year anyway.

The advice about reading the Fisheaters site is good. Wonderful information there, though it is from the viewpoint of traditional Catholics, those who attend the Traditional Latin Mass or TLM for short, as it was offered for centuries. In the Sixties, Vatican II changed the Mass and it is difficult to find a church that offers the TLM, even though Pope Benedict has given all priests permission to celebrate the TLM. (There is a little problem in that seminaries quit teaching Latin so priests have to re-train.)

So unless you're going to become a traditional Catholic, some of the info will not apply, like the requirement of wearing a veil, although women can wear a veil to the Novus Ordo Mass if they want to. The Vatican officially calls the TLM the Extraordinary Form (EF) now and the TLM is called the Ordinary Form (OF), but TLM and Novus Ordo or NO are what you'll see used most at Fisheaters.

Be aware, too, that the Fisheaters discussion forums, which can be reached from the Fisheaters site, can get quite rowdy and confusing for new and aspiring Catholics. You're also not supposed to join unless you're 18 or older, and it IS a sin to lie so use that as a reason for staying away!

Unless you know a lot about the Faith from reading reliable sources, you'll find it a very upsetting place, I think. Some sound advice is given there but so is a lot of bad advice. It used to be better but a lot of good posters left. It may well be good again when good new posters sign on but beware of it at this time(Dec. 26, 2009)

Did you know you can read the entire Catechism online? Also the Douay-Rheims Bible, the original English translation from Latin, and other, newer Catholic Bibles as well.

Hope you come back and read this and good luck in your journey of faith!