Tag Archives: rosary

Two Months Later

It was two months ago today that my dad went home.

I thought of him a couple of nights ago.  My wife, kids, and I were gathered around our living room praying our nightly family rosary.  Dad was so incredibly devoted to the rosary.  I can still hear his voice as he would come to round us up each evening.  “Rosary time!”  It had a particular sing-song tonal quality to it.

IMG_8929

The astute observer will note the resemblance to the Garden State…  Dad would get the humor here.

And of course, today is St. Patrick’s Day.  My father was particularly fond of his Irish heritage.  I remember when I was growing up and he would go into the deli to get his morning papers after daily mass.  Seemed to me that each year on St. Patrick’s Day he’d emerge from the store with a green-colored carnation pinned to his lapel.

So on this day, in honor of Patrick, in honor of Dad, and in honor of the Blessed Mother I will ask that any of you who read this offer a rosary for the souls in Purgatory.  If you understood that sentence, you’ll know what to do.

Are You A Man of Prayer?

Or a woman or prayer…

If you are, then would you please in your charity offer one up for me today.  I had a potentially life-changing (career-changing?) meeting this afternoon and your help in the cause would be greatly appreciated.

Keep the prayers coming (always).

Keep the prayers coming (always).

Anyway, it’s not as if it isn’t Lent or anything.  On that front, we’ve been praying our family rosary every night.  My fears have been allayed by God in that my beautiful babies have been so diligent in reminding us to gather for this family prayer time.  They love joining in the prayer and in remembering each night’s intentions.

As always, I pray for each and every one of you who reads this blog.  Truthfully it is a miracle that anyone other than me should be interested in the ramblings of an ordinary dad like me.

Keep at it folks.  Prayer is a multi-faceted gem, a powerful weapon in the arsenal of every God-fearing person.

Son, You’re Going to Make Daddy Cry

What a day it’s been…

I thought of just leaving you with that line and then thought better of it.  OK, I’ll explain.  As you both know, I do not discuss the details of my day job on this blog.  It is not fair to the people with whom I work.  However, in oblique terms (there’s an SAT word for you) I will tell you about why I love what I do.  It might not ever keep me in the lifestyle to which my mind wishes it would become accustomed but I challenge any both of my friends honestly to tell me they love their jobs as much as I love mine.  More to the point, nobody has more fun with his job than I do.  I may wake up on the wrong side of the bed (hardly likely since my wife holds firm to her side like the cement shoes of a rat at the bottom of the East River.  Bad image.  Sorry.  I might not have enough coffee.  Is there ever enough?  I might hit the worst traffic in North Texas (and it’s notoriously evil).  But the moment I arrive at work I get energized.  I am a high school teacher.  My students are one of the great joys of my life.  They make me laugh, bring a smile to my face, challenge me to see things in bizarre ways.  I cry with them, I feel pain with them, I celebrate with them.  Though they are not mine, they are mine for the few hours a day we are together and I love them like my own.

So I’m one of those obnoxious “techie” teachers.  Truth is, our school has an amazingly well-thought out social media and laptop policy.  It makes sense.  The kids don’t complain.  We give them appropriate freedom and appropriate restraints.  But the best part is that the teachers are encouraged to become part of the school’s social media scene.  I tweet throughout the day — mostly funny selfies or scenes of school life with awesome captions.  I am, in a sense, everywhere I need to be and the students are reassured by my presence (at least I like to think).  This morning the school’s director of social media offered me an opportunity to take it to the next level.  Tomorrow we’re starting a “TeacherTakeover” experiment.  Yours truly has been given the keys, as it were, and is being given a chance to drive the school car.  In other words, I’ll be the one posting on behalf of the school’s official accounts for the day.  I am beyond overjoyed.  This is a particular interest of mine — media relations and education — and Ive already started spreading the word.  It’s going to be a blast.  It helps that we have the best kids on the planet.  It’s almost like that time the nurse left the key to the narcotics cabinet on my bedside tray.  Wait, that never happened.

He's got it!

He’s got it!

So what’s with the title?  Well, something I love even more than my job is being a dad.  My own two actually kittens are the real joy of my life and it is with them that I have even more fun than any man should be allowed to have.  For the past few years my wife and I have been diligently trying, with varying levels of patience, to get the both of them into a habit of reverence.  It’s been frustrating to watch them at Sunday mass (forget about weekdays) as they fidget, roll around, beat each other with the bulletins, and generally annoy the other parishioners.  The thing is we can’t give up.  Sooner or later, we figure, they’ll get it.  Something will just click.  What’s been almost as tough is our struggle to get them to adopt a posture of personal prayer as we try teaching them our devotion to the rosary and other “home” prayers.  They’ve gotten better but only to the point where they’ll gleefully fall asleep as I pray the rosary in bed at night with them.  Whatever, I’ll take it.

Tonight, however, something was different.  My daughter, exhausted from a busy day, did fall asleep pretty quickly.  Before she did, though, she made sure to mention her prayer intentions.  And they were so cherubic.  “I want to pray for Daddy’s friend Dan, and for all the people who are sick (apparently every invalid on the planet), and, oh, and for a new baby — a boy and a girl.”  More on that topic in another post.  Don’t get excited, it’s not what you’re thinking.  But after her list of supplications I climbed into the bottom bunk of their toddler sized bed to lie down with Sonny Boy.  He had some intentions too which took a few minutes.  I began praying, my leg cramping on me every few seconds.  Good Lord, these beds are not comfortable.  One mystery down.  Two mysteries down. I was starting to fall asleep myself but Son was wide awake.  Actually, was he?  I almost couldn’t tell.  And then he spoke.

“Daddy, can I pray the next decade?  I’ve been practicing at school.”

My heart just about melted.  All this time I thought he wasn’t paying attention and that I wouldn’t be able to reach him and here he was quietly paying attention and letting God reach him.  “Sure, Son, go for it!”  He started out.  First there was silence as he asked me “Daddy, you have to announce the mystery for me.”  OK, done.  Then he started to pray.  “Our Father…  Wait,” he said.  “What is it, pal,” I asked.  “It’s one Our Father, ten Hail Mary’s, and a Glory Be, right?” he asked.  “Absolutely, Son, absolutely,” I said back quietly.

And like that a day that was glorious to begin with got ten times better.  Sometimes God knows exactly what we need when we need it.  Duh.  He’s God.  He always knows exactly what we need when we need it.  Sometimes, rather, He gives us a chance to be calm and still and to let Him Be Him.

Deo Gratias!

On the Precipice

Well, I think I’m there…

Read on... These will fit in a few paragraphs down.

And I can’t say more than that except that I am looking forward to this.  If all goes according to plan, tomorrow I will be welcoming a few new readers.  No matter how this turns out I am ready for it.  And why not?  I’ve got the greatest family on earth and they make me as happy as I could ever be.

I talked to my baby girl, Rita, tonight while I was giving her a bath.  She just gets cuter every day.  Last night her brother, Benedict, took her rosary beads away from her during our family prayer time.  She had laid them down on the ottoman and I guess he thought she was done with them.  He had his own so it should not have been an issue.  Without missing a beat, she marched over to him, yanked the beads from his hand, and said clear as a bell “No Benny!  That’s mine, you bad boy!”  What could he do?

Love those kids.

"You bad boy!"

 

Trudging On

Tonight I am so incredibly tired.  No, I mean really tired.  But it’s a good tired.  I’ve been up since 4AM this morning and I accomplished the two goals I set for myself.  No, I didn’t run a marathon or lose twelve pounds.  My two goals were lame by some standards.  I went to mass and I prayed the rosary.  Trying to get into the spirit of the impending Lenten season I’ve been trying to better myself spiritually.  Other than that it was an ordinary day.  Work was fine.  Students were good.  Kids (my own were fantastic).  Wife was beautiful and wonderful and still my everything.  I got the chance to see the business card of fellow blogger Debbi from 24atheart.  Great job!  Gave me some ideas, not least of which was that I need to get my own domain name and start attempting to look at little more professional.  Also had a chance to read another few favorite bloggers (especially Wade, funny stuff about the snow and great pictures!).  I really love being a blogger, sharing my writing, and being part of a blogging community.  It’s fun and I’m glad people like my wife pushed me to do it.

OK, then, so what was today all about.  Well, in a word, love.  Today I woke up with one person on my mind.  When I rolled out of bed at that ungodly hour I immediate thought of my niece, Bernadette.  Today we celebrated her third birthday!  So special is Bernadette that I must write about her; but I must do it in a way that justice demands.  And so I make this goal number 3 for tomorrow.  I cannot wait for you all to read about her and to get to know her.  Tomorrow.  Not every post promises to be funny.  Not every post will be wacky and out of control.  But I promise you, both of you, that every post will be me, pure and unadulterated.

Love you, Bernadette!

Why not?

Oh, and just because this stock picture makes it into a lot of posts and I don’t want to post without some pic, here you go!