Monday, September 08, 2008

the summa mamas 

the summa mamas are still active and may be found alive and well, blogging here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004


The Mamas are moving! No, we're not having a garage sale, at least not yet!

We're moving over to St. Blog's.org!

Here's the link to take you to our new digs.

Please come see us. We don't look so very different yet, and it'll take a while before this old brain wraps itself around how to make things look different. Bear with us while I figure out how to transfer the links over to the new place.

We don't think we'll bother transferring our archives--nothing we've written is any more substantial than dust in the wind. And we won't kill off this old blog 'til all our readers (all 5 of them!) figure out where we are now.

We'd like to ask you all to update your bookmarks to the new place, and change our address if you've got us in your list of links. Sorry to be trouble, but we love the new place. It feels like home already!

Come on over to the new place. Later we'll get it all spruced up and purty.

Cheap toy for the older child.... 

....to add to the list of Kleenex, Scotch tape, bubble wrap and packing peanuts. RUBBER BANDS. McBaby, who is old enough to know not to put them in her mouth, has played for HOURS (really!) with my sack of brightly colored rubber bands. They are BEAUTIFUL bracelets, they fit into almost every stacking thing we have, and they can be endlessly sorted and put back into the bag that held them.

Who knew that a dollar's worth of rubber bands could be so interesting? Why have I spent money on toys, when office supplies would do?

P.S. Don't do rubber bands if you have a crawler putting things in her mouth! This is your standard warning of danger!

And here is a link 

to the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal home page, where they will be posting updates on Fr. Groeschel's condition. Nothing new as of this moment.

Hey TSO and other Flannery O'Connor lovers 

Here is a review on Christianity Today of a new book discussing O'Connors works.

The book is titled Return to Good and Evil: Flannery O'Connor's Response to Nihilism
by Henry T. Edmondson III
Lexington Books,
180 pp.; $24.95

Here's a paragraph from the review:

For the newcomer, Edmondson's book offers a primer on O'Connor's wit and wisdom. For the seasoned reader, Return to Good and Evil offers a highly readable exposition of the philosophical and theological engagement of her stories. O'Connor once wrote that "more than ever now it seems that the kingdom of heaven has to be taken by violence, or not at all. You have to push as hard as the age that pushes against you." Return to Good and Evil returns us to O'Connor's stories with a heightened awareness of the stakes for which we mortals are playing in a world increasingly given to moral relativism. As the title of one of her best stories put it, "The life you save may be your own."

Sounds interesting.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Mad and Well-Beloved? Sounds about right. 

Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

Thanks to our dear Mrs. vonHuben at Oblique House for the link.

Update on Fr. Groeschel 

I received this this evening, it does not look good. Please keep praying.


We spoke with Fr. Groeschel's assistant this morning who confirmed the news,
saying that the situation didn't look good. "We need nothing short of a
miracle," she said.

At this point, the most important thing we can do is pray. The Eternal Word
Television Network (EWTN) is broadcasting a Holy Hour for him this morning,
and Fr. Groeschel's assistant requested that we ask for prayers from St.
Francis, the founder of the order, and St.

Augustine, who has been Fr. Groeschel's favorite all his life.

Father Groeschel is one of the most powerful voices for the Church in this
country and around the world. Not only that, but he's been absolutely
selfless in his generosity to numerous Catholic apostolates, including this
one. I know you don't need any encouragement from me to pray for this truly
holy man.

I'm very sorry for the bad news, but I knew you'd want to be kept informed.
I'll let you know as soon as we learn anything new.



Observation # 1 

The "Clapper" and kids don't mix.

The advertising on this one is a gem. I don't remember seeing anyone under the age of 50 clapping their lights out. It was a Vegas holiday this year as DH decided it would be a good idea to use the device for the tree illumination.

Definitely not for the already over stimulated.

No, no, say it isn't so! 

Barbie and Ken as Arwen and Aragorn.

Yes, it is. See it here.

And no, the Curt Jester didn't make it up.

Thanks to Kat Lively of Come On, Get Lively for the link.

Here's our Scrabble score... 

Pholph's Scrabble Generator

My Scrabble© Score is: 18.
What is your score? Get it here.

I, of course, would have made sure that we covered a Triple Word Score square....

SUFFER THE ADULTS? Children at Mass (She's Back, part two) 

It has been said that most people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited -- until you try to sit in their pews. And, if you try to sit in their pews with your children, things can get downright nasty. Suddenly that sweet little old lady morphs into Gollum coughing a hairball at your toddler and stabbing you with a look that tells you she'd rather sit in vomit than share the pew with you and yours. What is it with these people?

Before I lambast the snooty so-and-so with the pinched face who feels oh-so put out having to sit next to my children, I must admit to being the snooty so-and-so before I had children of my own. I think that the majority of people who have a problem with the wee ones at Mass have never had to deal with children themselves, or that they're too old to remember what it was like. With that, they should be humored because either they're missing out on the joys of parenthood or they aren't long for this earth.

I am ashamed to admit that a good deal of my angst stemmed from a false sense of piety: I would see Christ, sir, not some bothersome little rugrat. How's that for Christian charity? At least I was in good company. The disciples themselves tried to shoo away the littlest followers of Christ before He gave them a good scolding, which is what they deserved. And, when his congregation begins to wail and bemoan a similar fate, a good and supportive priest will imitate Christ and scold those would-be shoo-ers, reminding them of Matthew 19:14 which admonishes, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." The Summa Mamas are exceptionally blessed with a priest who makes regular mention of Christ's words as a reminder that everyone belongs at table -- that there are no bastards at this family reunion.

Of course, some translations of Matthew 19 read "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me..." They don't say anything about the adults having to suffer. This is what I imagine our poor Mrs. Dashwood was thinking when she posted her concerns about parents who try to reason with their children at Mass.* We've all had to overlook a crying baby, but we should never have to suffer through a full blown temper tantrum. If your child is being more disruptive than merely annoying, kindly take him out to the narthex. Not only is that common sense, it's common courtesy. Mere annoyance can be offered up. Outright defiance needs to be nipped in the butt, er bud.

Remember, I agree with Mrs. Dashwood that you cannot reason with little ones. And, while I appreciate parents who think bad behavior should be redirected, I should never have to hear "I understand you want to make farting noises in your arm pit, Johnny, and I admire your ingenuity. But, might we pause a moment to reflect about how it makes our neighbors around us feel?" It's most likely Johnny could care less how his neighbors feel and it's uncharitable and rude on the part of the parent to subject other parishioners to unnecessary vexation. Truth be told, there have been times I wanted to not only slap the kid but also the parent. Thumbwrestling with your tween during the Transubstantiation or playing video games on your cell phone with your teenager during the homily are not acceptable behavior.

Which brings up an important point several commentaries to part one (Who's in Charge?) brought up: children often mimic the behavior their parents model. If you have little regard for the reverence of the Sacrifice, it's highly unlikely your children will be any better. In fact, these are the parents who give parents a bad name. But even the most reverent parents are going to have little children who will act like children. We need to continue to model good behavior and remind the tots that bad behavior will not be tolerated during the Mass. Period. No room for argument.

And, if I may...I'm going to brag. Yesterday my five year old daughter (G1) and my seven year old son (D) went to Mass with Daddy who had to serve. So, what did they do? They sat in the front pew by themselves, and they behaved so well that several people remarked on how surprised they were and how proud we should be. [Thank you, MamaT, for the kind email!] So, children can behave at Mass. By the grace of God, it can be done. So, hey, lighten up! Let the littl'uns come on down. Heaven belongs to them, don'tcha know?

*see She's Back part one, original post 01-06-04

These could be the stupidest sentences I've read 

In my hometown newspaper, there is a column once a week in the Family section called Chris and Catherine's Culture Club. They usually review a book, or compare the book and film versions of a story--something like that.

Today's topic? The DaVinci Code. Christopher Kelley LOVED the book, and went on and on about how he was "dazzled by the breadth of his research and how he wove all of it into a gripping thriller plot." Well, we've already read about the "research" and how faulty it was. I'll probably just send him a link the Sandra Meisel's article about the book. (Not that I think that he would actually READ the article, but at least he would know there was different information out there.)

But that wasn't the bad part. Catherine (the other half of the duo) brings up the point that many people have disputed the research and the "facts" that Dan Brown uses.

Here's the screamingly stupid part:

"I don't care if Brown's 'facts' are a heap of nonsense; the point for me, is that it all sounds like the truth. If I wanted a history lecture, I would have gone to Princeton. But this book is persuasive and entertaining, and that's good enough by me (especially when I'm on vacation)."

Well, it is possible that he means in a literary sense it all hangs together--makes sense in some fictional world way. But that certainly isn't clear from the column. Where was his editor--clarifying what was said?

Can he just start making up stories now for the newspaper? After all, it doesn't matter if it's TRUE, it just has to "sound" true.

What a world. I think it SOUNDS true that Terry is the Empress of the Universe and all will kowtow to her intellectual superiority and do exactly what she says at all times.

You may all start referring to me as Your Highness.

Yeah, that sounds true.

From EWTN website 

Fr. Groeschel Critically Injured in Car Accident
in Florida

EWTNews-Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, well known to EWTN viewers for his numerous series and appearances on the network, is in critical but stable condition at Orlando Regional Medical Center after being struck by a car near Orlando International Airport in Florida. The incident occurred Sunday evening. Details are sketchy but sources say the priest was walking to a restaurant for a meal when he was hit. EWTNews will keep you informed of this situation as it develops.

Please keep Fr. Groeschel in your prayers.

My semi-seasonal post 

Lately, I haven't had much to say. We are now at 32 weeks and in the final stretch...Although I should really tack on a couple extra weeks as it seems the bambinos like to arrive fashionably late.

I did find this neato keen test this morning in my box, courtesy my
cineandmedia group. I'll post the answers below.

Greetings to all...

Special K


David Buckna
For the Calgary Herald

"God is the Lord of angels, and of men -- and of elves."
-- J.R.R. Tolkien, in The Tolkien Reader (1966).

"The Lord of the Rings is not, as some have suggested, a covert allegory of
the gospel. Tolkien clearly denied that . . . Tolkien was telling a story,
not proclaiming a message. His Christian world view pushed itself up of its
own accord."
-- Kurt Bruner, in Finding God in The Lord of the Rings (2001)

Director Peter Jackson's third installment in The Lord of the Rings
trilogy, Return of the King, opened in theatres Dec. 17.

1 Just as the Bible is monotheistic, so is there one God of Middle-earth. Who?

2 Gandalf says to Frodo: "All we have to decide is what to do with the time
that is given us." (I.60). To whom did Paul write: "Look carefully then how
you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of the time,
because the days are evil" -- the Corinthians, Ephesians or Thessalonians?

3 Frodo Baggins' loyal companion is Sam Gamgee, who's known Frodo since
childhood. Who wrote: "Two are better than one, because they have a good
return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But
pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" -- Amos, Job, or

4 Anticipating Frodo's initial encounter with Strider (Aragorn), Gandalf
turns the old proverb, "All that glitters is not gold," on its head,
writing, "All that is gold does not glitter." To what prophet did God say:
"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the
outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" -- Jeremiah, Micah, or

5 Gandalf describes Gollum: "He was altogether wretched. He hated the dark,
and he hated light more; he hated everything, and the Ring most of all . .
. He hated it and loved it, as he hated and loved himself" (I:64). In the
New Testament, who wrote: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want
to do I do
not do, but what I hate I do" -- James, Matthew or Paul?

6 Wheaton College professor Clyde S. Kilby writes in his 1970 paper, Mythic
and Christian Elements in Tolkien, that after Gandalf's return from his
fight with the Balrog, "the Fellowship gazed on him with something of the
same astonished joy that" -- someone -- "found at the tomb of Christ." Who
first saw
the resurrected Christ?

7 In the darkness of the Tower of Cirith Ungol, Sam begins to sing. In the
Book of Acts, who were singing hymns to God around midnight in the darkness
of prison?

8 Gollum and the Ring are both destroyed, consumed in the flames of the
Cracks of Doom. At the end of time, who will be thrown into the lake of
burning sulphur?

9 Upon his return to Hobbiton, Frodo says of this person: "Do not believe
him! He has lost all power, save his voice that can still daunt you and
deceive you, if you let it." Who?

10 In a letter written near the end of his life, what did Tolkien say was
the chief purpose of life?

The Calgary Herald

January 3, 2004 Saturday Final Edition

Observer/Faith & Reason; The Pop Gospel; Pg. OS11


1 Iluvatar, whose story is told in the opening pages of Tolkien's The
Silmarillion (1977). Ralph C. Wood writes in The Gospel According to
Tolkien (2003): "Iluvatar employs his valar as ancillaries in the act of
creation. Nothing even polytheistic is suggested here. The valar are not
divinities but subordinate beings who Iluvatar has created with the Flame
Imperishable of his own Spirit." (Wood's July 14, 2003 Tolkien lecture at
Vancouver's Regent College is available on CD.)

2 The Ephesians (Ephes 5:15-16).

3 Solomon, in Ecclesiates 4:9-10.

4 Samuel, in 1 Samuel 16:7. When God instructs Samuel to anoint one of
Jesse's sons to be the next king, God rejects the impressive Eliab, in
favour of David, the smallest and youngest son.

5 Paul (Romans 7:15). He continues: "What a wretched man I am! Who will
rescue me from this body of death?" (Romans 7: 24-25),

6 Mary Magdalene, John 20:16.

Kilby continues: "Gandalf's hair, we are told, was 'white as snow in the
sunshine; and gleaming white was his robe; the eyes under his deep brows
were bright, piercing as the rays of the sun; power was in his hand' (II,

"Gimli the dwarf sank to his knees and shaded his eyes from Gandalf's
brightness. Later we learn that Gandalf is 'filled with light,' his head is
'now sacred' (II,107), he is a healer, does not require armour in battle,

Revelation 1:16: "His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance."

7 Paul and Silas (Acts 16:25).

"Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the
prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone's
chains came loose" (Acts 16:26).

In the same way, a song came to Sam when he needed it most: "Though here at
journey's end I lie/ in darkness buried deep,/ beyond all towers strong and
high,/ beyond all mountains steep,/ above all shadows rides the Sun/ and
Stars for ever dwell:/ I will not say the Day is done,/ nor bid the Stars

An old Quaker hymn echoes the same thought in different words: "What though
the tempest round me roars?/ I know the Truth, it liveth;/ What though the
darkness round me blows?/Songs in the night it giveth."

8 "And the Devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning
sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will
be tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Revelation 20:10).

9 Sharkey/Saruman, who is like the devil: "The great dragon was hurled down
-- that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole
world astray" (Rev 12:9). The names of renegade wizard Saruman and Dark
Lord Sauron suggest "saurian" or "reptilian" -- reminiscent of the biblical

10 " . . . So it may be said that the chief purpose of life, for any one of
us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all
the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks."

See: www.leaderu.com/focus/ tolkien.html or
or www.christianitytoday.com/history/special/tolkien.html


1-3 Fair

4-7 Good

8-9 Excellent

10 As wise as Solomon

GRAPHIC: Photo: Pierre Vinet, Calgary Herald Archive; Ian McKellan as
Gandalf, "filled with light,' his head 'now sacred,' he is a healer, does
not require armour . . .

For comments or questions, e-mail solomann@look.ca

Copyright 2003 by David Buckna. David Buckna is the author of "The Pop
Gospel", a regular quiz feature in the Observer/Faith & Reason section of
the Calgary Herald. Buckna reads email at
Editors: To obtain permission to publish in _any_ print or online format,
contact David Buckna at (dabuckna@direct.ca) or (solomann@look.ca)
See also: http://individual.utoronto.ca/johnbowen/dare/lotr.html and

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Today's great hymn 

You have to understand. Almost every week, my husband and son just shake their heads at me, when I am overcome by some phrase in a hymn that we sing. They're used to it. New people at church probably just assume that I'm some kind of a nut. For a relatively unmusical person like me, it is amazing to me that I am always smacked between the eyes by the music.

Smockmomma can tell you. I gave a talk to a group we are in about the hymns/gospel songs that have traced the pattern of my life. And I bawled my way through the talk. Not a pretty sight, as I don't cry like those sweet little things on the soap operas (you know, with the one delicate tear trickling down my cheek). Oh no, not me! My nose gets red and I get all blubbery.

Anyway, it happened again today with this hymn. Read it and weep, if you're so inclined. In our parish sung to the French tune Deus Tuorum Militum. Most sources give no author's name, just "Latin text." But one source says it was originally composed by Thomas A Kempis. I knew I liked that guy!

O Love, how deep, how broad, how high,
how passing thought and fantasy,
that God, the Son of God should take
our mortal form for mortals' sake.

For us baptized, for us he bore
his holy fast and hungered sore.
For us temptations sharp he knew,
for us the tempter overthrew.

For us he prayed, for us he taught,
for us his daily works he wrought,
by words and signs and actions,
thus still seeking not himself but us.

For us to evil pow'r betrayed,
scourged, mocked, in purple robe arrayed.
He bore the shameful cross and death,
for us gave up his dying breath.

For us he rose from death again;
for us he went on high to reign;
for use he sent his Spirit here
to guide, to comfort and to cheer.

All glory to our Lord and God
for love so deep, so high, so broad;
the Trinity whom we adore
forever and forevermore!

Can some one give me some advice? 

I am considering moving the Summa Mamas from Blogger to something with a little more flexibility. However, I am a MAJOR idiot when it comes to computer stuff, so I need something that is WAY EASY to do.

We would love to be able to put some images on our site--not just the links to the quiz results type stuff. We obviously have to be able to host three authors on one blog. And remember, it has to be EASY, EASY, EASY. I am one step above a kindergarten student. Maybe not even that.

If you use something else and like it, let me know.

But remember, it has to be EASY.

Oh, and did I say it had to be EASY?

Saturday, January 10, 2004

i HATE laundry 

It is the bane of my existence. It haunts me day and night. Terry claims that purgatory is an endless stay of sorting mismatched socks. I contend that hell itself consists of doing laundry. Foul and loathsome laundry. Period. Why? It never ends. I've a fast rule that any monies left in pockets become the sole property of the laundress, but I can't even be happy when I find a tidy sum of three or four dollars anymore. Why, today's laundry produced a whopping six dollars and thirty two cents and I didn't even grin. I really hate laundry.

boy howdy 

i keep finding really great blogsites out there~here's a great item about Bishop Burke at Clayton's place, The Weight of Glory. Thank God for Bishop Burke. I pray for more such bishops!

Sparki's baby on the way! 

Check the posts here.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Well, this stinks bigtime... 

...our beloved Mr. Luse has bid farewell for the time being. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.


If you haven't seen CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN yet, there's still time. support beautiful bonnie hunt. support Catholic actors. support pro-family films. see it. see it now. see it twice.

One of the most note-worthy things about this movie, aside from it's (UNHEARD of from Hollywood) positive pro-big family leaning, is the way it shows how utterly insulting and prejudiced people can be towards big families, and Steve and Bonnie's characters are actually allowed to handle it with wit and tact. It's also wonderful to see a functioning two-parent intact family on the big screen!

There was no new Friday Five today... 

....so we'll use the one for the date closest to today in 2002. I'll answer in the comments boxes with the rest of you!

1. What was your first job?

2. How old were you when you had your first kiss?

3. What was your first car? What happened to it?

4. What was your first concert?

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend?

A Man After My Own Heart 

Tom is in REALLY GoodForm:

TithingSirach 35: 8-11
Glorify the Lord generously,
and do not stint the first fruits of your hands.
With every gift show a cheerful face,
and dedicate your tithe with gladness.
Give to the Most High as he has given,
and as generously as your hand has found.
For the Lord is the one who repays,
and he will repay you sevenfold.

Tom must be a fellow convert. I guess that's unfair to assume, but if there is one gripe I have with my Holy Mother Church its her unwillingness to teach her children to do God's Will and support her! I love your time and talents, Sweetpea, but they don't pay the electric bill.

Terri Schiavo Update 

Found this at Bettnet:

Fr. Rob has an update on Terri Schiavo's case, this time examining the abuse of power by judges and how their siding with Michael Schiavo against Terri's parents and Gov. Bush has become a necessity in order to prevent the evidence of their bias and usupration of power from becoming apparent to all.

It is interesting how, once again, the problem comes back to judicial activism, like so many other issues of our day. Whether it's abortion, free speech, freedom of religion, protection of marriage, and so on, we always seem to come back to judges who cloak their naked grabbing of power in their constitutional powers, when it is obvious that what they are doing goes way beyond the constitution. It seems that one day we woke up and we were no longer a democratic republic, but an oligarchy. We are no longer citizens, but subjects of the ruling elite, who live and die-- literally in Terri's case and that of every aborted unborn child-- at their whim.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

This is not so nice.... 

.....as the hobbit name generator that you can find the link to on Pansy and Peony's site. But it generates all kinds of names: hobbit, elf, dwarf AND orc.

Given the kind of day I had today, I am thinking of changing my name and using my orkan name from now on. Hereafter, please refer to me as:


Or not.

It MUST be said upfront... 

....I have never called CAS "pookie" anything or "snookums."

What romance movie are YOU?

Thanks to (of all people) Cacciaguida for the link. (Link to his blog on the right.)

The Princess Bride
I'm sure it's no big surprise to you that your
romance is The Princess Bride. A heartwarming
tale of "Twue Wuve" that has giants,
Spainards and swashbuckling. You really do
think that love can overcome anything. You may
be a touch naive but your heart is certainly in
the right place. You've probably got one of
those relationships where proper nouns have
been replaced with "Snookums" and
"Pookie Pie". Eww. Beware a cuteness

What Romance Movie Best Represents Your Love Life?
brought to you by Quizilla

This is an important article .... 

...... on end of life issues and Living Wills and such like from Planet Envoy. A friend sent it to me.

These paragraphs contain much truth:

Other "Tools" are presented in a more subtle fashion, asking you to identify your personal priorities and fears. Do you most love to be outdoors? Would you want to be sedated to control pain if it made you sleep too much? How would you like to plan the last week of your life? The implication of these "Tools" is that death might be preferable to any reduction in our current quality of life.

The problem with asking these questions of presumably healthy people is that we really don’t know the answers. In the hubris of youth or good health, we can’t imagine living in a nursing home. We can’t imagine wanting to be confined to a wheelchair. We can’t imagine losing our cognitive abilities, or breathing with a ventilator, or being fed through a tube. We think we wouldn’t want to live "like that."

But when we’re healthy, we can’t really know how we’ll feel when we’re "less than perfect." It is arrogant to even use such a phrase, for none of us is perfect, and all of us are less "perfect" than we were. To jump us into a far less "perfect" future and ask us what we’d want is to ask us to sign away lives we can’t begin to imagine.

Those of you who know me or who have read this blog for very long, know that my mother has chronic lung disease. She is on oxygen 24/7. Had you asked her 10 years ago, "Would you want to live like that?" she probably would have given you an emphatic NO. But the answer today is an emphatic YES. We don't know--in the fullest bloom of health, at a young age--what life really means, what it is really worth. What we would do to be with our children, grandchildren, friends and family.

It's not a decision to be made rashly. And it's a decision that needs to be made with a presumption toward life, not death.

Read the article. The author is a better explainer than I!

I love it when George Will writes about baseball! 

Here is his column Just Say No to Pete Rose.

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