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1  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Giving up Television to Save your Soul on: June 24, 2013, 09:08:22 PM
I still find myself in the position of trying to balance a TV addicted family & my own desire to watch as little as possible.  I still have a handful of shows I will watch with them as a compromise.

My bigger problem is the internet.  When they started watching TV last night, I came out here & spent about 2 to 3 hours surfing various Catholic websites & blogs.  Still less than what I was doing while they were in school because I was bored at home - I would spend almost all day on-line.   I need to cut back on this habit.

1 step at a time I guess.  I am building some basic habits of prayer - see my Rosary thread comments - and perhaps as this grows, the internet will become less.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to wean a family off TV?  What could I do or set up to do as a family that would get their attention and perhaps not even have them want to watch TV?  I ;mean, they watch because they are bored.  Suggestions anyone?

I think it's a lot easier to get off of the TV if you aren't following the stories of the shows, and if your rooting interest in your favorite sports team is well tempered. It seems to be either the drama shows or sports that will suck you in.

I think something about the TV screen itself is addictive. We enjoy shows and games on the TV screen more than on our computers.

I think a lot of it is based on the fact that there is more motion on the TV. As with cats, we are in fact attracted to things that are shiny, bright, and in motion--which is why there is so much of that on TV. If you watch any of the news channels, you will note that they have more and more moving/distracting stuff on the bottom and sides of the screen. The purpose of that is to catch your eye and keep it there.
2  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Giving up Television to Save your Soul on: June 20, 2013, 07:03:52 PM
I still find myself in the position of trying to balance a TV addicted family & my own desire to watch as little as possible.  I still have a handful of shows I will watch with them as a compromise.

My bigger problem is the internet.  When they started watching TV last night, I came out here & spent about 2 to 3 hours surfing various Catholic websites & blogs.  Still less than what I was doing while they were in school because I was bored at home - I would spend almost all day on-line.   I need to cut back on this habit.

1 step at a time I guess.  I am building some basic habits of prayer - see my Rosary thread comments - and perhaps as this grows, the internet will become less.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to wean a family off TV?  What could I do or set up to do as a family that would get their attention and perhaps not even have them want to watch TV?  I ;mean, they watch because they are bored.  Suggestions anyone?

I think it's a lot easier to get off of the TV if you aren't following the stories of the shows, and if your rooting interest in your favorite sports team is well tempered. It seems to be either the drama shows or sports that will suck you in.
3  Forums / Book Study / Re: Meditations for the Holy Season of Lent - for Ash Wednesday on: February 19, 2012, 10:57:35 PM
Thanks for sharing this, Shin--it's very timely.
4  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Trust - Bold Confidence in Him on: May 16, 2011, 11:50:53 PM
Perfect Trust

Oh, for the peace of a perfect trust,
My loving God, in thee;
Unwavering faith that never doubts
Thou chooses best for me!
Best, though my plans be all upset;
Best, though the way be rough;
Best, though my earthly store be scant;
In Thee I have enough.
Best, though my health and strength be gone,
Though weary days be mine,
Shut out from much that others have;
Not my will, Lord, but Thine.
And even though disappointments come,
They, too, are best for me,
To wean me from this changing world,
And lead me nearer Thee.
Oh, for the peace of a perfect trust
That looks away from all;
That sees thy hand in everything,
In great events or small.
That hears Thy voice - A Father's voice -
Directing for the best.
Oh, for the peace of a perfect trust,
A heart with Thee at rest.

------

Traditional prayer as presented in Saint Dymphna (green book) by Fr. Lawrence Lovasik
5  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Saints as Manifesting Attributes of God on: May 16, 2011, 11:35:12 PM
I seem to recall someone describing each saint as "manifesting a particular attribute of God in their lives" or something to that effect. That seems to be consistent with 1 Cor. 12 (Paul's teaching on the Body of Christ) and with the reality of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the saints. But before I go and use this analogy in lessons I want to make sure it is authentically Catholic. Has anyone here seen or heard of a Church Father or saint who used such a description of the saints? Thanks.
6  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: St. Dymphna resources and information on: May 15, 2011, 11:06:47 AM
Today, May 15, is the Feast of St. Dymphna. I am celebrating with waffles (something Belgian) and later on, a reuben sandwich (something Irish.)

As I type this, a beautiful Irish-style storm has swept into the region despite there only being a 10% chance of rain. It has broken a drought which had been classed as "Extreme" by the National Weather Service. The lightning began again as soon as I started typing this...

Yesterday I attended a Mass led by the bishop for the Boy and Girl Scouts who were receiving their religious medals (I was a counselor for one of the classes.) I arrived at the cathedral early to help set up and so I brought with me a Bible and the St. Dymphna "white book" published by Father Lovasik Publications. Needless to say I left both tomes on one of the pews and three hours, 190 or so Scouts, and countless family members and guests later, I was searching all over the cathedral for these two books.  I found them next to a lady who was reading the St. Dymphna book and who gave me a personal testimony of how St. Dymphna had helped her in a time of need. Of course I let her keep the book Smiley

It is often said that there are no coincidences...

EDIT: And today after Mass I learned that an exploratory committee is being formed to build a new church for our parish! This has been much needed as we are busting at the seams!
7  Forums / Archive / Re: Mary on: May 11, 2011, 02:22:57 PM
I went on a retreat last weekend to an orphanage run by nuns. One of the sisters had put on the cafeteria wall the following message, with blue and white letters in an alternating pattern:

M   S       E      A    I
   E       D      M    R   A

"Mes de Maria" of course means "Month of Mary" in Spanish, a reference to this month, May.

But I knew somehow there was something more to this message. I could not stop looking at it.

The colors. There is some significance to the colors, I thought. And sure enough, if one looks only at the blue letters:
   E       D      M    R   A
These letters form the word "MADRE" when unscrambled. That means "Mother."

But what about the white ones?
M   S       E      A    I

It took a while but then the message revealed it self:
SEA MI

Which means, "be my" ... And right below it, "mother."

I do not know whether the sister intended to encode that message.... Or if someone else did.
8  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Giving up Television to Save your Soul on: April 02, 2011, 12:24:51 AM
The only TV I watch is sports with my dad.  Sometimes I am tempted to watch the news but I can't stand to watch it for very long--it's really negative most of the time.

Drama shows? I haven't watched one in years, probably not since the late 90s.
Comedy? It's all dumb and trashy now.
Game shows? I used to really like those but now they're all either cheap American Gladiators ripoffs or else so soaked in schaudenfreude that they are toxic.
News? Like I said--it's either sad or vicious. This past week the local 10 o clock news had a piece in which a doctor started talking about a female surgical operation on the air. And he brought out a model. Not even the local programs are safe anymore.
9  Forums / Technical Support / Re: Internet Carefulness on: April 01, 2011, 11:49:02 PM
If you have Windows 7 then Microsoft Security Essentials, which is free, is all you need for antivirus and basic antispyware protection. You could also install Malwarebytes (lite version is free) for additional anti-spyware scanning, as the two programs will happily coexist. Also install the Secunia PSI (Personal Software Inspector, also free) which scans all programs on your computer to make sure they're up to date.

If you want more security than that, then set up a limited user account. Windows 7 and Vista automatically prompt you when you try to do something that requires administrator privileges; if you have a limited account, then there is the extra step of putting in the administrator password, and thus it works like Mac OS X's security system.
10  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: A Truly Traditional Lent on: March 21, 2011, 10:47:41 PM
I too felt the call to live a more traditional Lent. And so I gave up meats, desserts, and coffee (YIKES!).

Before Ash Wednesday I could not fit in my size 34 waist pants. Now I can.

There is a reason why things were done the old-fashioned way!
11  Forums / Prayer Requests / Re: Japan on: March 12, 2011, 01:23:13 AM
Catholic Relief Services is having a collection for Japan and other countries affected by the tsunami. They will accept donations of any size by check or credit card, by phone or online. This would be a great way to use funds freed up by a Lenten penance.

I will be dedicating my Rosary to the disaster victims for the foreseeable future.
12  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: St. Dymphna resources and information on: March 07, 2011, 11:38:08 PM
Sorry for the 'cliff notes' Grin . Your post was so much more complete and interesting and included even the conversations!

Thanks, but it was Fr. Lovasik who did most of the work. I just summarized what he had recounted, except the quotes which I brought in verbatim.  I really recommend the "white book," you can call the National Shrine of St. Dymphna (address on first page) and order a copy for something like $5.

Her last (living) words--"Neither a difference of death nor any distance of place can separate those who are united in the bonds of the true faith and who are one in the love of Christ."--have become embedded in my heart as of late. Dymphna is absolutely fearless and also perfectly optimistic, although I'm sure she would say she's simply a realist rather than an optimist.
13  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: St. Dymphna resources and information on: March 07, 2011, 12:13:37 AM
Quote
The site where she died is known for its miraculous healings of the insane and possessed. There is now a well-known institution on the site, and her relics are reported to cure insanity and epilepsy.

This site was in Belgium, but I wasn't able to get more specific. Apparently she was so beautiful that her father made advances to her, so she fled to Belgium (ah....Gheel). She was then killed by him there for refusing to surrender herself to him.
She has numerous patronages, but the most well known are mental illnesses and epilepsy.

That's the Cliffs Notes. Smiley Here is the long version of what transpired.

In the 600s AD, Ireland was ruled by a number of kings or chieftains who were loosely confederated under a High King at Tara.  One of these kings was named Damon. He was a very sensual man and probably married his wife for her looks; her name was Odilla. Odilla was a Christian and Damon, who was a pagan, was never able to come to grips with his wife's religion; however Odilla was able to convince Damon to allow their daughter, Dymphna, to be raised as a Christian. Dymphna was baptized by and enjoyed the spiritual direction of a Father Gerebern who apparently lived close to the castle and who probably enjoyed Odilla's protection.  There were a few other Christians in Damon's court, namely the jester, Patrick, and his wife Mary. Although Damon was a warlord, Odilla and Dymphna were loved by the king's subjects and also by those in the countryside. I imagine that Odilla handled much of the political or networking aspect of running the kingdom and was part of the glue that kept it together in those unstable times.

Odilla eventually passed away and Damon, being sensual, demanded that the countryside be searched for a replacement wife who matched Odilla in beauty. Meanwhile, Dymphna decided early on, probably around twelve or so, that she wanted to devote herself to Christ and so she became a consecrated virgin. When Damon's retainers came back from their wife-search with no success, his counselors convinced him that since Dymphna was the only one who was close to his departed wife's beauty, the king should propose marriage to his daughter.  As you can imagine, Dymphna was taken aback by this but leveraged the situation well, and was able to get the incestuously infatuated Damon to agree to a 40-day period for her to consider the proposal. Under Gerebern's direction, Dymphna decided that the only option was to abandon her royal station and flee as far away from her father as possible. And so, one fateful night, Dymphna and Father Gerebern, along with Patrick and Mary, stole some of the king's war-horses and fled to the countryside.

Along the way, Dymphna and company were sheltered in Catholic churches and they eventually reached the sea. The party crossed the English Channel (no small venture in those days) and eventually made their way to Gheel, Belgium, which was then a simple farming town, but was also strategically important due to the lack of arable land in the region. There, they took up residence near an oratory of St. Martin of Tours. The villagers of Gheel welcomed them and Dymphna grew in holiness during this time.

Damon was obsessed with marrying his daughter and hence his reaction upon discovering the escape was a single-minded search of the countryside.  He gathered clues that led him to Gheel, including checking currency at inns. So the day came when Damon stormed into the oratory while Dymphna was attending Father Gerebern's Mass. After Father Gerebern rebuked Damon, the king ordered the priest to be beheaded before Dymphna's eyes.  According to Father Lawrence Lovasik's Saint Dymphna "white book", this is the exchange that followed:
Quote
The king said, "My dearest, only give your consent, and I faithfully promise to give you all the comfort and wealth my kingdom can afford. I will decree that you shall be numbered among the most venerated goddesses of my realm and that your name shall be honored everywhere while you reign over the people together with me."

Dymphna replied, "O unhappy and cruel man, why do you want to persuade me by foolish arguments to sin against God and my vow of virginity? Do you think, O lonely king, that a love of worldly pleasures will make me renounce my firm purpose and offend my Spouse, Jesus Christ, by defiling my body? Do not for a moment believe that because I am a helpless girl I shall give in to your evil suggestions. I despise the false glory of the world, and with all my heart I love Jesus Christ and trust in His promises. I want no part of the honor of being numbered among the goddesses of your kingdom. Do not try to force me with flattering words. I am determined to keep the treasure of my purity, and I am willing to protect it with my life."

Damon threatened to do to his daughter, his own flesh and blood, what his men had done to Father Gerebern. But she rebuked him:

Quote
"O hateful tyrant, why have you dared to murder the holy priest of God who was innocent? With all these witnesses to your cruelty, do you think you can escape the punishment of Almighty God? I detest your gods and goddesses, for they are false. I adore our Lord Jesus Christ, whom I love with all my heart. He is my Spouse, my glory, my salvation, my only joy. He is my all; and I need no other, for all the angels of God delight in looking upon Him and serving Him. For His sake I am ready to bear cheerfully whatever punishment you want to inflict upon me. Neither a difference of death nor any distance of place can separate those who are united in the bonds of the true faith and who are one in the love of Christ."

The king gave the order, but the soldiers refused. And so Damon killed his daughter with his own hands.

After the insane king and his men departed, the villagers of Gheel respectfully interred the bodies of Dymphna and Gerebern. The villagers rightly recognized Dymphna and her confessor as martyrs, and as the account spread, pilgrims began to flow in. And so began the first reports of miraculous cures of mental infirmities, which have been occurring since then for 1,500 years.  At some point between 637 and 684 AD, the bishops of Cambray and Liege ordered the remains exhumed for a proper investigation, after which the bishops re-interred the relics, which were later transferred to the shrine/parish church proper. There are records of pilgrimages going back to 900 AD. In 1247 AD William, Bishop of Cambray, ordered an investigation of the miraculous cures which resulted in the construction of an infirmary on the site. And in 1316 Pope John XII testified to the miracles, Pope Eugenius IV doing the same in 1431. There had been a Confraternity of St. Dymphna for some time but it was reconstituted by Pope Urban VIII in 1636.

The villagers of Gheel were the first to invoke St. Dymphna against mental disease, her father having been a maniac. She is also invoked for health in general, for family harmony, and for many, many other causes as you can see from the prayers Shin posted above. Smiley




14  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Letter of St. Bernadette of Lourdes on: February 18, 2011, 11:22:49 PM
God always favors the lowly. Mary Herself indicated this in the Magnificat (Luke 1:48, 52).

St. Bernadette was called a good for nothing many times. But God exalted His lowly servant.

Before I knew who she was, I only knew the name "Bernadette" from a song and I thought nothing of the name, even once replying to someone who thought they had a goofy name that "Bernadette" was a goofier name. Knowing what I know now about St. Bernadette, I regret my words and see in them the haste with which I once passed, and sometimes still pass, judgment based on appearances.
15  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: St. Dymphna resources and information on: February 18, 2011, 10:16:48 PM
I have been trying to track down resources, such as books, chapels or shrines and images, related to St. Dymphna. I have a personal devotion to her due to God providing her help when I was in a period of great anxiety.


Yes, if you ever feel like it and comfortable about it, someday I'd like to hear how she helped.  Cheesy

Well, I owe her national shrine a testimonial. It's on my list of things to do, somewhere. Smiley When I do get that finished hopefully I'll be able to share at least part of it over on the Daily Life board.
16  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: St. Dymphna resources and information on: February 17, 2011, 12:42:16 AM
Well, my 30 minutes (and change) are up so I should call it a night. I revised the OP to be less *ahem* CAF-like. Thanks for the warm welcome and God bless!
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