A whole lotta talking going on but not much reading, listening, thinking

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There’s a whole lotta talking and blogging going on about Pope Francis these days. And a whole lotta hand wringing and not a little name calling. And some people are actually listening to what the Pope is saying (not just to what someone says the Pope is saying) and some are actually troubling themselves to read his writing for themselves. Thanks be to God.

“Listen with the ear of your heart.” –The Rule of Saint Benedict.

Listen to the Pope. He’s not saying anything new. He’s not saying anything I haven’t heard other Popes or other priests and bishops say. For example, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen spoke about the ills of “unbridled capitalism” many years ago and said it was just as bad, just as much an error, as communism; and Pope Leo XIII wrote about these things in Rerum Novarum in 1891. Ignore the media who are determined to misunderstand and misrepresent what he says (or what any faithful Catholic says). And keep in mind, as I keep reminding myself, that Pope Francis is not Benedict XVI and he’s not John Paul II. He’s Francis and the man has his own style.

Read Evangelii Gaudium for yourself here or here. (PDF version here.)

Then check out what some actual faithful and knowledgeable Catholics say about it. I’ll add more links as I come across them.

Prayer for the Feast of Christ the King

Feast of Christ the KingSunday, November 24, is the Feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday of Ordinary Time in the liturgical year. Next Sunday will be the first Sunday of Advent. (I’m all set to start decorating for Christmas on that day. More on that later.) Here’s a prayer to pray tomorrow when you go to Mass. I’m going to print this out and take it with me. H/T to @annie3592. God bless you, every one, and may the peace of Christ be with you always.

Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King.


Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before you. We are yours, and yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united with you, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to your Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known you; many, too, despising your precepts, have rejected you. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to your Sacred Heart. Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned you; grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and the unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. Grant, O Lord, to your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give tranquility of order to all nations; make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever. Amen.

Prayer Source: Enchiridion of Indulgences , June 29, 1968

Feast of Christ the King

Original post at Catholic Culture.

NaNoWriMo update: Hit 50k, went on, still going

No, I'm not going New Age on y'allI hit 50k last night which was my NaNoWriMo word count goal, but then I passed 51,188 and I’m still going. Plus, having discovered new writing books, sites, and software, I’m delving deeper into the theory and craft of writing. Fascinating stuff. Thrilling, actually. Have also begun to have glimmers of other stories, in part sparked by writing for this NaNoWriMo project, and in part sparked by the dramatic theory I’ve discovered (re-discovered, really, but the original discovery was so long ago I barely remember it). Not wild about some of the what I see as Freudian-influenced aspects of it, but on the whole it is pretty interesting and has furnished me with much to ponder. Have had insights into crafting a novel that I haven’t gotten anywhere else, so there’s that.

Flannery O'Connor's recently published A Prayer JournalAlso want to mention a couple of books I received recently: four by Ron Hansen, who I discovered via an interview on Raymond Arroyo’s show on EWTN, The World Over Live. Here’s what I got: Kindle versions of Mariette in Ecstasy and Exiles: A Novel (funny, I have an unfinished novel by that same name), and used copies of A Stay Against Confusion: Essays on Faith and Fiction, and Atticus: A Novel. Also downloaded the Kindle version of  Flannery O’Connor’s recently published A Prayer Journal. My to-be-read pile is taller than my house. Happy sigh. :)

A quick howdy, a word count update, and something for the Year of Faith

What They PromisedJust taking a break from NaNoWriMo to say a quick howdy, y’all. Howdy, ya’ll! :D

The writing is going well, I’m really loving it. Yes, it’s work, yes, the dogs are driving me crazy. Yes, I’ve had to deal with home maintenance and “improvement” and “handy” men. Yes, it makes me wanna say ARGH and GROAN and other things not quite so nice. Oy! But the writing is coming along and I really am enjoying it. And only partly because I’m doing NaNo on a 13″ MacBook Air with backlit keyboard but that certainly does help. ;)

What I GotOkay, diving back into the story now or I may dive into my bed instead. Oh, that is tempting. To sleep, perchance to dream, to dream some NaNoWriMo scenes, aye, that’s the stuff! ;)

Oh, my word count! Promised an update, didn’t I? Drum roll, please! Word count on the sixth day of noveling insanity is (envelope, please): 11,908 exceedingly excellent and oh-so-exquisite words! Woohoo! Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Well, yes, it is what I’m talking about, of course it is. This is a word count update, after all. (Okay, perhaps I don’t need that third pot of coffee after all. Ahem. But I do have two pies in the kitchen. What am I thinking, I can’t eat pie this late at night! But…it’s pie! Is it ever really too late for pie?)

And lest you think that I’ve yammered on all this time and not said one thing about Catholicism on this supposedly Catholic blog, lemme lay this on ya: Jeff Cavins has been posting a series of short videos for the Year of Faith entitled, “The Rabbi-Disciple Relationship. There will be 5 parts, 3 are up so far as of tonight. View them on the Catholic Year of Faith website or sign up on that site to receive the videos in your email inbox. These are quite good. Highly recommended! Good night, y’all! Peace!

Blog and novel update, writing has resumed

Having completely dropped the ball on countless occasions and having let my liturgical calendar widgets remain hopelessly out of date, I finally got wise and put some RSS feed links in there so I won’t have to manually update the sidebar throughout the liturgical year. I am a bear of very little brain, after all, and having to manually update things bothers me. ;)

In other news, November is National Novel Writing Month and I have resumed work on my novel after a long hiatus. I’m trying something new this time. I’m trying not to overwhelm myself with thinking so much about what to write that I end up not writing anything much at all. I’m trying not to do so much research that I paralyze myself. I’m trying to remember that I said I was going to pray before writing sessions and go to Mass frequently during the week and not just on Sundays. Actually, I think I said I would go to Mass every day but that seems overwhelming now, too.


And therein lies the problem. I keep getting overwhelmed. I try to cram too much stuff into my project the way I try to stuff too many projects into my days. (I should probably mention that along with picking up my novel writing again, I also signed up for guitar, keyboard and basic accounting lessons last week. Online and at my own pace, true, but see what I mean? I am going to have to face and accept my limitations, physical and otherwise, at some point so I can finally accomplish/finish something. I’d like to publish at least one of my novels before the end of my life, you know?)


So I backed up all my Scrivener writing projects (actually, all my projects, writing, audio and what-not, are backed up in multiple places at least once daily) and started over with a new one. And this time I’m keeping it simple. I’ve kept all my research and it’s in the other Scrivener projects and in DevonThink databases when I need or want it. But I’m not pulling all that stuff into this Scrivener project while I write. Not this time. This time I’m going to push through with the story itself and not wander down interesting research paths that lead into labyrinthine blind alleys that go nowhere.

I’m allowing myself a little time to make some notes before and after writing text; but I am absolutely not allowing myself to get bogged down in endless notes with no actual story text to show for it at all at the end of the writing session. Nope. I’ve done that far too often and this time is going to be different. This time I am going to have a complete rough draft by the end of the month. It may stink to high heaven but it will be complete. Maybe not one word of it will make the cut when it’s time to revise it. But, dang it, it will be a complete draft. Or else! So there!

I have to speak to myself this way sometimes so I’ll take myself seriously and behave. Really, if I don’t complete a draft soon, I’ll have to stop calling myself a writer and just call myself a monumental fraud instead. Keep me in your prayers, if you would. I’d appreciate it. I pray for, and remember at Mass, all the folks who follow the blog or the Twitter feed, even the people who follow me with ill intent. (I pray for them the most.) Even if you only pass through without stopping long, even if you leave me a nasty comment, even if you spam the combox, I remember you in my prayers and at Mass. And the Mass is the highest form of prayer there is this side of Heaven.

Thanks for reading and God bless you if you made it this far. And if you’ve been reading the blog for a while, God bless you even more. May the Lord grant you peace and make His Face to shine upon you. Now and forever. Amen.