7 Quick Takes Friday: Seven 7-Quick-Takes

I’m a day late. Yikes!  Here we go again with our 7 Quick Takes Friday hosted by Jennifer Fulwiler over at Conversion Diary. We reciprocate links to her blog and then post 7 “quick-takes” on our blogs.

“I am invariably late for appointments.  I’ve tried to change my ways but the things that make me late are too strong, and too pleasing.”Marilyn Monroe

7quicktakesYes, I am late. In this post I’m simply going to do a synopsis of my first 7-Quick-Takes. So, (drumroll) voila!:

1. Seven Role Models for Catholic Alcoholics

In this post, I list seven incredible people, Catholic clergy and religious, who have overcome their alcoholism and went on to help others:  Sister “Molly Monahan,” Father Joseph Martin, Father Emmerich Vogt, Father Ralph Pfau, Father Francis Canavan, Father Jim McKenna, and of course the Venerable Matt Talbott.

2. Seven Greetings of “Happy Woman’s Day” from a Politically Incorrect Full-Blooded American Woman

In this post, I am a little cheeky about how old school feminists have hi-jacked what it means to be a woman. I don’t relate to them at all and I write about how these feminists have in essence actually hurt women.

3. Seven Reasons I Like Alcoholics Anonymous

In this post, I wrote about how to the traditional, practicing Catholic, AA might seem a little too non-denominational and new agey, but by finally overcoming my uncomfortability with AA I was able to accept help from other women in the meetings—women that God had sent to me to walk me through the 12 Steps.

4. Seven Things I Do NOT Miss Now That I am Sober

In this post, I painfully recalled some not so graceful moments from my past and used wisdom from the saints, Scripture and theologians to hit home the message that sobriety is key for me.

5. My Seven Favorite Saints

In this post, I wrote about these seven saints: Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Philip Neri, Saint Therese de Lisieux, Saint Bernadette, Saint Mary Magdalen, Saint Catherine of Siena, and my own mother–future Saint Claire of Brooklyn.

6. Seven Pilgrimage Sites in the Southeast

In this post, I detailed seven pilgrimage sites within driving distance from Atlanta: Monastery of the Holy Spirit, The Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (where Husband and I got married!), The Shrine of Saint John Berchmans, Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, Ave Maria Grotto and my favorite, the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche.

7. Seven Non-Alcoholic Drinks to Celebrate the Season

In this post, in the middle of the Christmas parties, I gave yummy recipes for non-alcoholic drinks we can concoct to take part in the festivities without losing consciousness.

7 Quick Takes: My 7 Favorite Saints

7quicktakesHere we go again with our 7 Quick Takes Friday hosted by Jennifer Fulwiler over at Conversion Diary. We reciprocate links to her blog and then post 7 “quick-takes” on our blogs.

These are my 7 most favorite saints–who are yours?  

Saint Catherine of Siena

Saint Catherine of Siena

#1 Catherine of Siena, Feast Day April 29
St Catherine of Siena was born at Siena on March 25, 1347 and died at Rome on April 29, 1380.; She was the youngest but one of a very large family. The works of St. Catherine of Siena rank among the classics of the Italian language, written in the beautiful Tuscan vernacular of the fourteenth century. She was a writer, writing over 400 letters to advocate for the Church—She was involved in politics insomuch as she wrote strongly worded letters to those in charge of the secular and the Church of the time.

“Such a soul has been stripped of her old self and has been clothed in a new self, in Christ gentle Jesus.  Then, she is open to receive and hold that grace by which she experiences God in this life.” Saint Catherine of Siena

Saint Mary Magdalene

Saint Mary Magdalene

#2 Saint Mary Magdalene, Feast Day July 22
St Mary Magdalene is the patron saint of the contemplative life, converts, glove makers, hairstylists, penitent sinners, people ridiculed for their piety, perfumeries and perfumers, pharmacists, and women.  She was, according to Luke 8:2 healed of seven demons by Jesus. She was also among the women who accompanied and supported Jesus and the twelve apostles and was present at the Crucifixion and burial (Matt. 27:56; Mark 15:40, John 19:25). From the sixth century until 1969, she has been portrayed as a prostitute; but nowhere in the New Testament is she described in any but the most positive terms. Her reputation as a prostitute originated from a misstatement in a sixth-century sermon by Pope Gregory the Great. In 1969 ,Paul VI rejected this label by separating Luke’s sinful woman, Mary of Bethany from Mary Magdalene.

According to Luke 8:2 and Mark 16:9, Jesus cleansed her of “seven demons”. Some contemporary scholars contend this concept means healing from illness.

The Easter Egg tradition concerning Mary Magdalene says that, following the death and resurrection of Jesus, she used her position to gain an invitation to a banquet given by the Roman Emperor Tiberius. When she met him, she held a plain egg in her hand and exclaimed, “Christ is risen!” The Emperor laughed, and said that Christ rising from the dead was as likely as the egg in her hand turning red while she held it. Before he finished speaking, the egg in her hand turned a bright red, and she continued proclaiming the Gospel to the entire imperial house.

#3 Saint Philip Neri, Feast Day May 26
This is one of my newly discovered favorites!  I want to write a book about him!  St Philip Neri is a wonderful saint who showed the humorous side of holiness. I  always LOL reading about this saint. Born in 1515 in Florence, he showed the impulsiveness and spontaneity of his character from the time he was a boy.  Ordained in 1551. he loved to hear confessions. Young men especially found in him the wisdom and direction they needed to grow spiritually. But Philip began to realize that these young men needed something more than absolution; they needed guidance during their daily lives.

Saint Philip Neri

Saint Philip Neri

Philip understood that it wasn’t enough to tell young people not to do something — you had to give them something to do in its place. Philip was known to be spontaneous and unpredictable, charming and humorous.

He seemed to sense the different ways to bring people to God. Humility was the most important virtue he tried to teach others and to learn himself. Some of his lessons in humility seem cruel, but they were tinged with humor like practical jokes and were related with gratitude by the people they helped. His lessons always seem to be tailored directly to what the person needed.

The greater his reputation for holiness the sillier he wanted to seem. When some people came from Poland to see the great saint, they found him listening to another priest read to him from joke books.

We often worry more about what others think that about what God thinks. Our fear of people laughing us often stops us from trying new things or serving God. Prayer through Saint Philip Neri,:

We take ourselves far too seriously most of the time. St Philip Neri please help us to add humor to our perspective — remembering always that humor is a gift from God. Amen

Saint Bernadette--I love this picture. She's so beautiful.

Saint Bernadette–I love this picture. She’s so beautiful.

#4 Saint Bernadette, Feast Day April 16
On December 8 1933, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Pius XI declared Bernadette Soubirous a saint. The choice on this date to canonise Bernadette was not coincidental since this feast represents the name that Our Lady gave herself at Lourdes when she said: “I am the Immaculate Conception.”; Our Lady appeared to Bernadette 18 times at the grotto and gave her a number of messages. She told her that she wished people to come there in procession and to do penance both for themselves and for others. She did not become a saint because she saw Our Lady and talked with her. Bernadette became a saint through her willing acceptance of sickness and suffering.

St Bernadette is th patron Saint of Children of Alcoholics. Her father had alcoholic tendencies of which she and her mother suffered much from the effects of his drinking.

Saint Teresa of Avila

Saint Teresa of Avila

#5 Saint Teresa of Avila, Feast Day October 15th
In 1970 Pope Paul VI declared St Teresa of Avila a Doctor of the Church. During his general audience held  in 2001 in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Benedict spoke admiringly of her. The Holy Father said, “Teresa of Avila had no academic education, however she always gave great weight to the teaching of theologians, men of letters and spiritual masters. St. Teresa’s most famous mystical work is the ‘Interior Castle’, in which she codifies the possible development of Christian life towards perfection.”

Referring then to the spirituality of Teresa, the Holy Father made particular mention of her interest in “the evangelical virtues as the foundation of all Christian and human life”. He also noted how she laid great emphasis on “profound harmony with the great biblical figures” and on “listening to the Word of God. Pope Benedicts also said she always highlighted the importance of prayer when he said, “She teaches readers of her works to pray, and she herself prays with them.” He said, “St. Teresa’s love for the Church was unconditional.”  So is mine J.

Saint Therese of Lisieux

Saint Therese of Lisieux

 #6 Saint Therese de Lisieux, Feast Day October 1
Therese Martin was the last of nine children born to Louis and Zelie Martin on January 2, 1873, in Alencon, France. Precocious and sensitive, Therese needed much attention. She had a spirit that wanted everything. The world came to know Therese through her autobiography, “Story of a Soul”. She described her life as a “little way of spiritual childhood.” She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God’s love. “What matters in life,” she wrote, “is not great deeds, but great love. Therese’s spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.

Pope Benedict XVI has recently urged everyone to rediscover St. Therese and her autobiography “Story of a Soul”. In his weekly general audience on April 6, 2011, the Pope dedicated his catechesis to St. Therese of Lisieux, and speaks of her autobiography as “a wonderful authentic treasure” and invited everyone to read it. For more on his thoughts about St. Therese visit this article at Catholic News Agency.

“Life is passing, Eternity draws nigh: soon shall we live the very life of God. After having drunk deep at the fount of bitterness, our thirst will be quenched at the very source of all sweetness.” Saint Therese of Lisieux

Mom and Dad on their Wedding Day, May 26, 1956 (feast day of St Philip Neri :) )

Mom and Dad on their Wedding Day, May 26, 1956 (feast day of St Philip Neri 🙂 )

My Mom, Feast Day April 24 (her birthday)
I know. I know.  My Mom has not yet been canonized by the Catholic Church, yet, but one day she will be. Having grown up in Brooklyn, one of five children, she attended Fontbonnne Hall Academy and St Johns University before my father swept her off to Oklahoma. Mother of 11 children, wife to Bill for 57 years and counting…this woman is a role model for all women living today.  In her life, she’s gracefully lived as a working mother, stay-at-home mother, a mother of young children, a mother of grown children, and a mother like saint Monica praying for her children who have strayed. Daily Mass-goer. A loving grandmother. A caretaker to her spouse as he ages.  A prayer for many, many people who have  no idea she is praying for them.  Never–and I am serious—have I heard her complain, unless of course you count, “Hurry or you’re going to miss the light!” a complaint.  This is another book I shall write one day.  I love you, Mom!

That’s it!

Who are you 7 favorite saints?

Intimacy Between Mother and Son

Jesus at Wedding of CanaLast Sunday’s Gospel reading is one of my all-time favorites.  So many good things in it–and there was wine!

Jesus performs his very first public miracle.  How cool is that?

And his mother Mary is involved. She instructs them to, “Do whatever he tells you.” Simple advice for all of us!

But mostly in this Gospel I especially love the interaction between Jesus and his mom–having two sons of my own, I imagine the underlying messages in Jesus and Mary’s exchange.

Woman, how does your concern affect me?”

This makes me laugh. I LOVE THIS.

“Woman.”  Many writers have made note that at first glance this sounds a little disrespectful.  But not willing to concede that Jesus was ever disrespectful to his mom, thankfully, more context is given which shows how the norms of the culture and language of Jesus’ day makes this address make sense.

To me, a mother of two sons ages 10 and almost 13, I don’t see disrespect at all—and I’m not an ancient culture or language scholar. I see humor, intimacy, a little sarcasm and a knowing smile behind Jesus’ chosen words to his mother in Cana.

Humor?  Sarcasm?  Where do I get that?

So, for example, my boys joke around with me all the time as a sign of affection.  I think they get this from their father.  When a boy teases a girl, it’s his way of showing her he likes her.  It starts way back in grade school.

The other day I mentioned to Ben, “Ben, we really need to rake the yard or the grass isn’t going to grow this spring.”

Ben answered, “Yeah, Mom, we really do. (pointing) The rake is right over there.”

Of course, he grins when he says this and we both know my little phlegmatic-sanguine child will comply with my request.  But he’s got to mess with me a little bit first.

Little boys—including Jesus—-love their mamas.

Jesus also uses, “Woman,” to address Mary Magdalene in John 20:15, saying, “Woman, why are you weeping?”  He knows why she’s weeping — she came to the tomb and his body was gone.  Next thing Jesus says in John 20:16 is “Mary!  Like, “Hello?  It’s me.  I’m here. It’s okay.”

Last Sunday’s Gospel John 2:1-11

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told the them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from — although the servers who had drawn the water knew —, the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.