Friday, February 27, 2009

what can happen during a Minnesota winter...

If you have an aversion for feet -I suggest not reading the rest of this post.
Sunday evening, a few of my favorite people and I went to the Grand Ol' Creamery - the best place to get ice cream here in the Cities. Seeing as Lent was to begin on Wednesday, we took advantage of the cold night, and ventured out to get ourselves what may be our last good scoop of ice cream until Easter. All went well and we headed home. When we got to Joe's house, I was going to go inside for a little bit and have him take me home later - bad idea. As I was leaving, I stepped off a small, but bigger than I though, ledge, and fell to my doom onto the icy driveway. Below is a picture diary of the past few days .....
1st - the happy scoops of ice cream and hot fudge! Yummy raspberry and chocolate flake with chocolate chip mint - and hot fudge of course!
Rolled ankle - 1 night of total agony, a trip to the Dr. in the morning, and an "air cast" and crutches for this week, and perhaps the week to follow. With this picture, I especially enjoy the bruise at the heel AND and the high ankle that is already turning yellow. I sure did a number on my right foot!

Each day the coloring has been progressively "better" - and more colors appear. The 1st day there was hardly anything, and day by day, the blue, black, purple, yellow and red's have been surfacing. In order to make this somewhat upsetting event a bit more "fun" - I take a picture of my foot daily to track its progress.
These photos are from the past 2 days (Thursday and Friday)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Demographic Winter

Demographic Winter is the name of a documentary that my seminarian friend (Brian) sent me. He has watched the entire film, (which is totally secular), and expresses the need for societies to stop freaking out about the hype surrounding having "too many people in the world" and start having kids!

In order for our society (and world) to survive, demographers (and statistics) say we need to "replace" ourselves at a birth rate of 2.1, which makes sense - 2 children to replace the 2 parents that gave them life and .1 to factor in all sorts of other birth complications .... currently, most countries are at 1.something - - - -

There will soon be too many old people in the world for the lack of young people left in our world to support them.

What I find most interesting about the trailer that I have given you the link to, is that these secular demographers, state that the "in-tack male+female family unit" is the strongest and most successful way for our world to survive.

Check it out, and try to watch the entire film if you can.

Hooray for marriage and family life!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Warm Memories

After my dad went through his cancer treatments 15 years ago, he was perpetually cold. To conquer that, he nearly always wore a turtle neck with a sweatshirt over it. This past October when we were going through my dad's clothes to donate them, I decided to same some key pieces - 6 sweatshirts. I had no intention of doing anything with them, just having them to look at and hold ans smell and remember my dad. As I was looking at them in a bag one day, I said to myself that if I don't do anything with them, they will just sit in that bag and in 5 years I will probably donate them too. Well, I didn't want that to happen, so I decided to make a blanket with them.

A blanket made of sweatshirts, to keep me warm, just like they kept my dad warm all those years.

The black and white fabric was not a sweatshirt - obviously. It was just to make the blanket bigger and give it some dimension. I used one of my old sweatshirts too, because I needed 2 more squares to make it even. Having Monday off helped me to sit down and just finish it, and early this morning, I hand stitched the corners so they would be extra secure.

I am so thankful that I saved those sweatshirts and made a blanket. Years for now, as I snuggle up with the blanket, and hopefully a few kids in tow, I can share with them wonderful stories about their grandpa, who went to Heaven before they could meet him.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Divine Mercy and "7 Secrets of the Eucharist"

Saturday, January 24, 2009
Subject: Passenger of Flight 1549

I sincerely hope this email finds its way to you. I was a passenger on flight 1549 and my name is Fred Berretta. You might have caught a glimpse of me or heard me on CNN or Fox the night of the crash. I interviewed with Lou Dobbs, Wolf Blitzer and Bill O'Reilly and discussed the crash that night. I had been on a one day business trip to NY and sat in seat 16A just behind the left engine.
My trip was a last minute decision the day before. I finished my meetings early on Thursday and realized I had time to attend the 12 noon mass at St. Patrick Cathedral. It was unusual for me to have the extra time, but that day I did. After Mass, I stopped by the gift shop just across from the cathedral and purchased your book, "7 Secrets of the Eucharist." As I waited to board flight 1549 bound for Charlotte, where I live, I began reading your book. I continued reading while we taxied until just after take off. I think I got through about half of it and then decided to close my eyes and reflect on the incredible insights your book gave me regarding the Eucharist. We were climbing out and just a minute or so into the flight I heard the impact of the bird strikes and then the explosion in the left engine. I could see it on fire and the cabin began to smell like jet fuel.
As a private pilot, once I realized the second engine was also not functioning, things became quite tense. While I had known about and prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet years before, I had not really focused on it in quite a long time. Ironically, I had prayed the chaplet the day before at 3 pm. I had forgotten that in my briefcase I had long kept a copy of a booklet of the Divine Mercy chaplet which had excerpts from St. Faustina's diary. When I arrived in NY, I had some time at my hotel and decided to clean out my briefcase, something long overdue. I found the Divine Mercy booklet, prayed the chaplet, and read some of the words of Jesus to Faustina. Before we hit the water, I thought about the words Jesus said, that nothing would be refused if asked for during the hour of mercy.*
I really thought there was a good chance myself and others would die that day, but I asked God to be merciful to us, I prayed the Lord' prayer and a Hail Mary. I then prayed to St. Michael, and we impacted the water. The odds were not with us that day, but God clearly was. I believe it is the only jet airliner to successfully ditch in the water without fatalities in the history of aviation. I just want you to know that your book gave me comfort as we were going down, and for that I am grateful.
I know a lot of people prayed on that plane, and I believe the Miracle on the Hudson was a testament to the mercy of God, and a sign of hope. Take care and may God continue to bless your ministry and all you do to spread the message of Divine Mercy and the wonders of Holy Communion.

Best regards,
Fred Berretta

Monday, February 2, 2009

January in Pictures

January seemed pretty busy - here are a few shots of the activities....

Megan (my roomie) has trouble wearing what I call "cozy" clothes. She just never did growing up and was never in the habit. But I have peer pressured her into it over the years. Last week, we were sitting around talking about when we were going to go to the grocery store this week ... we figured out we had to go RIGHT NOW or else... no food for us. We were already in our cozy clothes, and I insisted we not change out of them. Due to the momentous nature of this event (Megan going out in public with her flannel pants on) I documented it.

The "Worlds Toughest Cowboy" came to St. Paul, and Joe, Mikey, Megan and myself went to check it out! Awesome!

Thursday night --- Friday morning, someone decided to break into my car, which was in the garage of my apartment building, and take the only thing worth anything - the stereo I had installed when I just got the car a few years ago. Along with taking the stereo, they took my heat and defrost too! Geico has been wonderful and I have a rental car while mine is in the shop. I must say it was an interesting sight this morning as I was driving to work scraping the ice from the INSIDE of my car window with my Visa card (pre-rental car). I should have been arrested.

The beautiful sunrise I saw before discovering my car was messed up.

One more action shot of the pajama shopping extravaganza!
Megan, Mikey, Joe and myself are also taking dance lessons so we don't look like goons dancing at the wedding. I have no pictures of that ---yet.

Presentation of the Lord

“Simeon gave back Jesus to His Mother, he was only suffered to keep Him for one moment. But we are far happier than Simeon. We may keep Him always if we will. In Communion He comes not only into our arms but into our hearts.”
St John Vianney
Picture by: Greg Olson--Simeon blessing the baby Jesus in Jerusalem
Luke 2:25-35
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