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Wednesday 8 August 2012

God bless good sisters and nuns

Sister of the Holy Cross of St. Mary of the Lake and Notre Dame
All the weird and odd reports of nuns and sisters this week in the press has brought me to remember five excellent sisters in my life, among many, who influenced me for good.

The first is Sister Serena, a Sister of the Holy Cross from St Mary's, Notre Dame, who was my first grade teacher. I remember as if it happened yesterday the care and concern she gave my brother, who was in kindergarten and myself when my sister died. She gave me a statue of Our Lady of Grace and to my brother, a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, reminding us that even in death, Our Lady and Our Lord looked after us and had my little sister in their care.

The second was Sister Nativity, of the same order, my eighth grade teacher, who instilled in my a great love of learning and the adventure of discovery, especially in science. She and my dad opened my eyes to the natural world of flowers, birds, and rocks in a scientific way which has stayed with me always. This natural curiosity and love of nature needs to be encouraged in youth and it was by Sister Nativity.

Sister of the Our Lady of the Retreat of the Cenacle
The third sister who helped me along the way of my spiritual life was Sister Elizabeth Anne of the Cenacles, who said one day, that like Christ, " the foxes holes, the birds of the air nests, but the Son of Man has no where to lay His Head," which instilled in me the necessity for the radical Gospel and the complete spiritual hatred of the things of this world. Her joy and love of Christ filled every lecture in college and all her personal meetings. She was truly a Bride of Christ and did not forget her First Love. She was responsible for me returning to the Church after college.

The fourth was Sister Trinitas of the Humility of Mary, who gave up a large personal fortune, in the millions, to become a sister. Her example and simplicity impressed me in college.

Sister of the Congregation of the Humility of Mary

The fifth was a very old sister of the Humility of Mary who, despite the changes in her order, kept to her old ways, living and dying in the habit and living as she did when she joined in the 1930s. Sister Marie Clemente was what her names indicated. May they all rest in peace if they have passed on, as I know three have for sure, and if alive, may God bless them always.

Too many others were unhappy and unfulfilled, perhaps through no fault of their own. May God bring good and young women to the orders in a renewal of the Church. I was taught for four years by another order, and I must say none of those sisters impressed me at all, except for the worse. They were worldly and only liked being around the rich girls. Sad and unnecessary, but I had a good education none the less. They are not named here.

Happy Feast of St. Dominic to All

The Meeting of St Dominic and St. Francis, Fra Angelico, 1430.

Today, I pray for A, S, R, Z, E, T, V, C and all the Dominicans I know.

Bad news on the French front....

Where I get some of my European business news is here:

Sadly, the American and British media are not on top of the daily financial crisis in Italy, Spain and France. France in crisis? Yes, with Hollande pursuing his Marxist manifesto of taxing the rich 75%, there is a growing fear and lack of confidence. But, even the British newspaper the Telegraph had this note. And, with so few wealthy and and measly amount of taxes which could be taken, even if this was an ethical approach, which it is not, why push this?

Ideology and class hatred--call the new president what he is--a communist. Here is part of the article.

A chill is wafting over France’s business class as Mr. Hollande, the country’s first Socialist president since Fran├žois Mitterrand in the 1980s, presses a manifesto of patriotism to “pay extra tax to get the country back on its feet again.” The 75 percent tax proposal, which Parliament plans to take up in September, is ostensibly aimed at bolstering French finances as Europe’s long-running debt crisis intensifies.
But because there are relatively few people in France whose income would incur such a tax — perhaps no more than 30,000 in a country of 65 million — the gains might contribute but a small fraction of the 33 billion euros in new revenue the government wants to raise next year to help balance the budget.

The louder and longer someone states something in politics, the more people will come to believe that idea is true. 

Pray for our brothers and sisters in Syria

Syria: Armed Muslims attack Christian monastery, stealing "everything they could steal"

(ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, August 6 - Gunmen attacked the Catholic monastry [sic] of Mar Musa, north of Damascus. The old monastery, that dates from the fourth century, had been sacked but no casualties had been reported to Ansa by sources close the Italian Jesuit founder of the monastic community, father Paolo Dall'Oglio.
Sources affirm that nobody within the monastery had been hurt or assaulted, but "the gunmen stole everything they could steal", including tractors and other agricultural and farming tools.
Last February and April the monastery had already been targeted by gunmen. Father dall'Oglio,who lived in Syria for the last 30 years, had been invited to leave the country in June, right after his statements that favour "a genuine national reconciliation"....
from the GS

Diacetyl and Alzheimer's? Is Butter Better?

Except for healthy recipes in Lent, it is rare for me to have food posts. There was one yesterday. No, I am not hungry.... But, I had a friend a long time ago who did a doctorate on margarine, pointing out all the nasty side-effects in the body. She got her degree. and this article struck me as something we need to examine more carefully.

But, then I am a butter person, if I eat any at all. Read and let me know if any of you have read other articles on this. How much would have to eat of this chemical before there were side-effects?

Artificial Butter Linked to Alzheimer's
Friday, August 3, 2012 11:19 AM
By Nick Tate
A new study is raising concern about chronic exposure to an artificial butter flavoring ingredient used in some margarines, microwave popcorn, snack foods, candy, baked goods, pet foods and other products.
The study, published in the American Chemical Society journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, has found the ingredient – diacetyl (DA) – intensifies the damaging effects of an abnormal brain protein linked to Alzheimer's disease.
Past studies have linked DA to respiratory and other problems in workers at microwave popcorn and food-flavoring factories. The ingredient gives microwave popcorn its distinctive buttery taste and aroma. It also forms naturally in fermented beverages such as beer, and gives some chardonnay wines a buttery taste.
For the new study, Robert Vince and colleagues noted DA is structurally similar to a substance that makes beta-amyloid proteins clump together in the brain – a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. So they tested whether DA also could cause those proteins to aggregate.
The found DA did increase the level of beta-amyloid clumping and enhanced beta-amyloid's toxic effects on nerve cells, in the laboratory.
"In light of the chronic exposure of industry workers to DA, this study raises the troubling possibility of long-term neurological toxicity mediated by DA," said the researchers

Too cute and true not to miss

In Thanksgiving for the English Robin: A Little Note on a Little Bird

Many years ago, the English Robin was considered a "winter bird", as it went somewhere else in the heat.

Now, these little birds are everywhere, even in London. One sang and is still singing from early this morning outside my window. They like shrubberies and hedgerows. .

These little creatures are "cheeky" and one of my favorite birds. Here are some photos from other nature blogs of this bird.

 Contrary to some comments online, these birds are very visible during the day and sing from early morning to night. I have seen them since January, in Ireland, and these little yet loud birds have been obvious in London, Kent, Sussex, Dorset, Somerset, Surrey and Norfolk this year. Thank God for the English Robin, also known as the European Robin,  and one must be fair!

Official "Cute" Day

Maybe, because there is so much bad news, I decided today, Wednesday, is official "cute" day on this blog this week.

I call this a "virtual vacation". 
Feel free to add to cuteness day. Babies, of course, are the cutest, in any species....