Monday, February 27, 2012

A SHOCKING Byzantine Secret!

Sometimes it seems as if the division between East and West is insurmountable. We say 'Alleluia' during Lent; the West does not. The West trembles at a few days with no meat during Lent while those in the East are 'liberal' if they partake on Sundays and then are in danger of falling into pride if they are successful with the fast. The West prays the stations of the cross while the East prays the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

One might think that this 'communion service' would be a quick devotion, but like most things in the East, there is nothing quick about it. The more I am able to participate in this service, the more I learn. It is a great opportunity for Eucharistic adoration during the Lenten season. 

One reason why this Byzantine (and Orthodox) liturgy is so special is that it actually a sign of the unity in liturgical Christianity. The Presanctified Liturgy is attributed to St Gregory. Which St. Gregory, you ask? St Gregory  Nazianzen, also known as the Theologian and friend of St Basil the Great? St Gregory of Nyssa, brother to the same? No- it was St Gregory the Dialogue- better known as St Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome. A bishop of Rome wrote a liturgy that we in the East pray with great devotion. This should be an open door for unity.

"St. Gregory's family had large land holdings in Italy, which St. Gregory sold to help the poor following his father's death. After turning his home into a monastery named for St. Andrew, Pope Pelagius II appointed him as an ambassador to Constantinople; however, Gregory disliked the worldly atmosphere of the court and never learned Greek. After his consecration as Bishop of Rome on September 3, 590, he negotiated a peace with the Lombards, who besieged Rome, and he dispatched St. Augustine of Canterbury to evangelize Britain.

He is known in the East as Gregory the Dialogist for his four-volume Dialogues, in which he wrote of the lives and miracles of the saints of Italy and of the afterlife. It is the primary source of the lives of St. Benedict of Nursia and his sister Scholastica. He was a patron of ancient Western chant, often called "Gregorian chant" for his patronage. In the East, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts celebrated during Lent commemorates St. Gregory as its author. St. Gregory reposed on March 12, 604. " (excerpted from orthodoxwiki)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

7 SuperQuickTakes- Random Thoughts on Lent

1. Byzantine Catholics normally begin the season with Forgiveness Vespers on Monday while Roman-rite Catholics begin on Wednesday with the administering of ashes.

2. The weekdays of the great Lent are aliturgical. During the week we have different services like vespers and the Presanctified Liturgy of St Gregory on Wednesdays and Fridays. This 'communion service' can only be performed by a priest and is just as long as a normal divine Liturgy. A text of this Liturgy (with some Catholic changes) can be found here.
 3. One of my favorite portions of the Presanctified Liturgy is when we make profound bows and sing "Let my prayer rise as incense before you, and let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice." The Byzantine Lent is filled with prostrations and profound bows.

4. Byzantine Catholics sing Alleluia during Lent! This can be quite shocking to a Roman-rite Catholic. It has never disturbed me because the music style tends toward the minor keys, so it is a solemn alleluia.

5. I always miss the Roman-rite Easter vigil. 28 years ago or so, my family entered the Church during this Mass. This is really the only day of the year I wish I could visit a different church, but this week is the busiest of the year besides Christmas. It just isn't possible to get to another Mass. So, if you are Roman-rite, enjoy this Mass for me!

6. Here is a link from a Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church. Scroll down until you get to the descriptions of Holy Week and Easter. I couldn't say it better myself, so I won't. There's some great information there.

7.The fasting guidelines are stricter in the Byzantine rite, but can be changed with the guidance of a spiritual father. But I've talked about that until I am blue in the face...I have got to go soak some beans. ;)

an interesting bonus link: The Courage to be Ourselves- an important message from 1970

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Meatless Meals for Manly Men (replay)

...beyond mac and cheese...

1. bean & rice tacos- prepare beans & rice (I prefer black beans and medium grain brown rice), add some salt, cumin, paprika and chili powder and use the mixture instead of meat for your favorite Mexican-style dish. Offer shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, black olives, sour cream and cheese to put in tacos- easy to keep vegan if you omit the sour cream and cheese. You could have soy versions of the milk products- We use soy only once a week because of potential health concerns.

2.grilled vegetable kebabs- use any favorite vegetables- try to use 'rich' vegetables that will 'stick to his ribs.' I like mushrooms, zucchini, onion, sweet peppers, broccoli, parboiled carrots- sprinkle with salt and garlic powder and grill; serve with any quick grain like couscous, quinoa or lentils. Another very easy idea- spread some barbecue sauce on both sides of a big portobello mushroom and grill- this is better than a hamburger!

3. baked anything- Here is a priest's wife guarantee - Use onions and garlic and some olive oil- put whatever it is in the oven- he will love it! Try pasta primavera (pasta, any favorite vegetables along with artichokes, onions, a bit of garlic, some cherry tomatoes, green peas, and red peppers for color. Then put in baking dish and cover with bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with basil and oregano. Broil until top is browned)

4. vegetable stew- Cut onion and sweet peppers into chunks; begin to saute while you peel carrots and potatoes. Add carrots and potatoes cut into chunks; cover with water. Add can of tomato sauce. Bring to boil and then add a cup of frozen peas and a cup of frozen corn. Put on low and then add 3 cloves of minced garlic, freshly chopped Italian parsley and dry oregano to taste.

5. anything breaded and fried- cheese, mushrooms, cauliflower (parboil first), eggplant (peel, dip in a bit of egg only). Dip in egg and then bread crumbs- then fry quickly in grapeseed oil, turning once. I am going to try to do a vegan version using almond milk before the bread crumbs.

6. bean soup- start with sauteing a chopped onion, add chopped celery and carrots, and go from there. I try to add a chopped red pepper for color - Use lentils if you are pressed for time or forgot to soak the beans last night. I try to have Italian parsley and fresh dill on hand. Add garlic. Bean soup is good with sour cream if the day isn't vegan.

7. peanut butter and jelly sandwiches- this is what priest-husband got for lunch today. He didn't grow up with pb and j sandwiches, so it doesn't make him feel like a little kid. This is my go-to lunch for Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent (it really should be a year-round but I don't like them that much). It is really the ideal fast food especially when he has to be driving around lunch time- I'll make it up at dinnertime with something more yummy. 

I hope I have sparked some ideas here- Most men really prefer to be carnivores, so it can be a big adjustment for them if they are trying to be as meatless as possible during the fasting season. If your family isn't attempting to be vegan- it is not that bad because anything tastes better with cheese and sour cream- I tried almond milk for the first time this week and can I tell you- I am never going back to soy! And- don't forget hummus- it really is the best snack using favorite vegetables as dippers (we like snow peas)---one more thing wives--- don't forget to 'offer' a good multi-vitamin (and aspirin if he is giving up caffeinated beverages) to your dear one as it will help his body through this seasonal adjustment. Giving up animal products can deplete the body of Vitamin B- and then he will be exhausted. We don't want that!

Monday, February 20, 2012

What are you giving up for Lent?

Whenever my priest husband gets asked this question, there is this little gleam in his eye. I know what he is going to say in response, "I'm not giving anything up!" He'll wait a beat or two to allow the questioner's mouth to gape open a bit, scandalized that such a faithful priest wouldn't give something up for the Great Fast.

Then he will continue to answer the question in full. "During Lent we are trying to unite ourselves to Christ and His passion through fasting, charitable works and increased prayer, so I'm going to _______ during these forty days. How do you feel called to observe this time?" And then, the questioner usually says something about giving up chocolate. 

Now, there is nothing wrong with giving up chocolate. Renouncing a favorite food can be a really effective reminder of which season we are in- rather like a rubber band around the wrist that one uses for behavior modification. It's just important to keep the focus on Christ and trying to be more like Him. Besides following my rite's guidelines for the fast and increased prayer, I am trying to DO more this season- like bring out the sewing machine to work with the girls or color with and read more to the little ones. As a 'lazy, low-energy introvert,' it will be a challenge to do these positive things when practical cooking and cleaning is calling my name, but they are important. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

7 QuickTakes on Fasting, Prayer and Almsgiving for Lent

For those of us on the 'new' calendar, the Great Fast/ Lent is coming really soon- Monday, February  20th for most Byzantine Catholics and Orthodox in the United States and Wednesday, February 22nd for all Roman-rite Catholics. Here are a few random thoughts...
1- "But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face." Douay-Rheims (Mt 6:17) Byzantine Catholics and Orthodox take this literally by not starting the fast with ashes on our forehead. We start with 'forgiveness vespers.' I'm not here to tell Roman-rite Catholics and other Christians to change their tradition. It was one of my favorite sacramentals of the year when I was Episcopalian and Roman-rite. Symbolically, this verse means that fasting should be 'done on the sly' and not for the admiration of others. 

2- Ash Wednesday can be an amazing way to begin this important season. "Remember man, you are dust and to dust you shall return." Whoa, repent and sin no more, everybody! It will be my husband's busiest day of the year, distributing ashes at his hospital and helping local priests distribute at their parishes. More people will 'get their ashes' than will attend church services at Christmas or Easter. Many 'get their ashes' and then go visit their grandmother to assure her that heaven is assured if their death comes this year. This is where non-liturgical Christians guffaw and say that we also should 'love Jesus and hate religion' because of the superstitious nature of so many believers. Anyway, if you see a friend with ashes, invite to Sunday Mass. Maybe they need a friend to be a mentor.

3- the next verse continues: "That thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret, will repay thee." This is where we all need work. It can be hard to fast and not be a little grumpy, but if we can fast with a smile on our faces, we are also taking control of our pride. If someone asks us how you are observing this season, feel free to share. Otherwise, no one should be aware that there are changes for you during Lent.

4- If we are fasting in secret, this means one needs to accept hospitality that we might not otherwise want. We are going meatless for the season and vegan on Wednesdays and Fridays. If we are guests in a home, I am not going to refuse what someone serves me. If they ask if we have dietary restrictions (there are thankfully no allergies in the family), I will mention that 'we are trying not to eat meat...' In this way, I am not making it overly complicated with insisting on a vegan meal and also keeping the door open to accepting whatever they serve. This season is about repentance, cooling of the passions and humility- announcing how we are fasting could lead to pride which defeats the purpose.

5- So if fasting should develop virtue- a person who feels called to a 'monastic-style' fast (perhaps very small amounts of only vegan food for the entire season) may need to forgo this if it would cause strife in the family. In a mixed marriage (perhaps Orthodox/Roman-rite Catholic or Protestant/Byzantine-rite Catholic) one spouse might be more inclined to have a strict fast and insist that the other spouse and the children need to adhere to how they interpret the fasting season. I suggest that the 'strict' spouse speak to a solid spiritual father. I wouldn't be surprised if the spiritual father encourages the spouse to a more balanced fast, asking the 'liberal' spouse to simply fast from meat on Fridays as a compromise and then adhere to a stricter style when away from the home. 

6- "All things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient. All things are lawful to me, but I will not be brought under the power of any." (1 Cor 6:6) "Wherefore, if meat scandalize my brother, I will never eat flesh, lest I should scandalize my brother" (1 Cor 8:13). So fasting from meat and other things doesn't mean that they are evil; this is just one way to 'refresh' the soul (with increased prayer and almsgiving/service being the other two sides of the triangle)at this important time. The Great Fast is the "tithe of the year"- and we owe this time to God to remind ourselves that the entire year is His. 
Another interpretation of these verses might also be- fast from meat in front of people in order not to scandalize them- do what is best for you (eat meat/animal products) when you are alone. To a certain point, there is some truth to this. If one needs to eat meat for medical reasons, there is still no reason to order a big steak when the rest of the group is fasting from meat. Even a pregnant woman can wait to indulge in non-fasting food so that the fast isn't so difficult for the rest of the people. But the fast becomes a lie when one does an 'Orthodox' fast in public and then eats non-fasting food in private. It would be best to be honest and just eat that hamburger. 

7- Why is this fast such a big deal? There are many people who eat vegan-only all year long for only health or the environment. We have Jesus and His passion as inspiration for this fast. So I am trying to make this fast easier than past years. I started with cleaning out the refrigerator and buying plenty of fast-appropriate ingredients. I stay away from soy (the health benefits/risks just aren't clear) except for tofu about once a week, so we use almond and rice milk when needed. And I am making a meal plan (I'll post it up at the 'fasting' tab) that I will repeat every week for the fast period. We might get bored with repetition, but that is part of the point. And because the other two sides of Lent are almsgiving/service and prayer, we are stepping up our Crafters for Life/40 Days for Life activities and family prayer life. I'm looking forward to this "tithe of the year"- I need it!

more quick takes at

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Giveaway Winners!

Here's the winners of the Lenten giveaway!
Kim (Byzymom)
& Patrick

Send me an address to & expect a little something in the mail.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Prayers for a Worthy Communion- series on the Divine Liturgy

At this point in the Divine Liturgy, we've experienced the epistle and Gospel readings and the consecration of the Most Holy Eucharist. We've sung to the Theotokos. Now, we are preparing for a worthy reception of the Eucharist with the following litany and more- my favorite portion of this part of the Divine Liturgy is "For a Christian, painless, blameless, peaceful end of our life, and for a good account before the dread judgment seat of Christ, let us beseech the Lord." I think that is what we all want most, even when we are blinded by sin.

Priest (silently): In You, O Gracious Master, we place our whole life and hope, and we beseech, pray and implore You: make us worthy to partake with a pure conscience of Your heavenly and awesome mysteries from this sacred and spiritual altar, for the remission of sins, for the pardon of transgressions, for the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence in You, and not for judgment, nor condemnation.

PRIEST: Help, save, have mercy, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: That this whole day may be perfect holy, peaceful, and sinless, let us beseech the Lord.

PEOPLE: Grant it, O Lord.

PRIEST: For an angel of peace, a faithful guide, a guardian of our souls and bodies, let us beseech the Lord.

PEOPLE: Grant it, O Lord.

PRIEST: For the pardon and remission of our sins and offenses, let us beseech the Lord.

PEOPLE: Grant it, O Lord.

PRIEST: For what is good and beneficial to our souls and for peace in the world, let us beseech the Lord.

PEOPLE: Grant it, O Lord.

PRIEST: That we may spend the rest of our life in peace and repentance, let us beseech the Lord.

PEOPLE: Grant it, O Lord.

PRIEST: For a Christian, painless, blameless, peaceful end of our life, and for a good account before the dread judgment seat of Christ, let us beseech the Lord.

PEOPLE: Grant it, O Lord.

PRIEST: Having prayed for unity of faith, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life to Christ, our God.

PEOPLE: To You, O Lord.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Homeschooling & St Valentine's Day

Christmas decorations are up on November 1st around here. My kids hear me grumble about proper observance of liturgical seasons while we are shopping or driving to an activity, but then a little voice will pipe up in the cart or the back seat and say, "It's pretty!" Yes, Virginia, the decorations are pretty and such a relief from the terrorizing Halloween decor we must endure from Labor Day until the end of October. So while we don't prepare the house for Christmas so early, when we are out and about, I'll stop grumbling.

This is LOVE

St Valentine's Day can be this way, too. I can grumble about the horrid commercialization of a minor feast day- and what happened to the word 'Saint' on all those cards? I won't even begin to analyze the sadness of a culture that separates love and sex, making temporary romantic feelings higher than committed, lifelong married love. I can only pray that even the word LOVE that is so pervasive in February might encourage someone's subconscious to remember that God is love. In the meantime, I will make heart-shaped pancakes.

This is LOVE

For a homeschooling family, Saint Valentine's Day can be a difficult day to be home. We remember the glitter-covered shoe boxes that friends would stuff cards into and the special treats that the teacher would distribute. We might forget that a lot of the 'popular' girls failed to give a Valentine, but we remember that our best friend came through with an extra-big card that couldn't even fit in the slot. But as homeschooling parents, we don't have to lose out on the positive aspects of tradition. In my 'little Catholic bubble,' our park day balloons from 25 to 40 or more families for the St Valentine's Day park day. Class lists are emailed and the children prepare cards for their class and other special friends. Tables are set up with bags and the kids put the cards in and then wait until it's time to get their bags. It's also a potluck, so the families get plenty of treats. This is a day that my children look forward to all year. Their memories of their childhood St Valentine's Days will be much more positive than mine, I hope.

this is LOVE

Tomorrow is St. Valentine's Day. Rebel against the anti-Valentine's-Day rebellion of "I love every day so why do I need a commercialized holiday" philosophy. If you homeschool and your plans are to stay home, why not meet another family for some chicken nuggets? Bring a box of chocolates for dessert. and then, make a special dinner for the family even if the husband is one of those "I love you every day" types. Argh- I am not asking that he buy overpriced red roses and a 'hoodie footie,' but a mixed bouquet from Trader Joe's (they don't gouge- visit TJs if you have one) and a delicious bottle of Baileys- nice. Just don't forget a token for your knight in shining armor. I say, let's reclaim yet another holy day.

this is LOVE

Sunday, February 12, 2012

a little pre-fast silliness

Ginny from small things has encouraged her fellow bloggers is hard to might click here. It think it's funny- even though Gosling isn't a favorite. I like British actors like Ian McKellan and Jim goes anyway...

This is an old photo- the day our baby came home after 5 weeks in the NICU. She's two and a half now. The photo does show his dedication to his family. And yes- he was exhausted today and let this introverted mama take some alone time. We are blessed.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Quaeritur: Can I change rite & become a married priest?

I'm been writing here for about a year and a half, and I finally got the question that I thought I would get a year ago:
"Dear Panyi Matka, As a Roman Catholic with an unending love and passion for Eastern Christianity, the Priesthood, and my girlfriend, I want to know if you could provide me with some guidance as to the possibility of moving into the Byzantine Rite of the Catholic Church and becoming a married priest. Thank you and may God be with you and your family always. In Christ, S---."
My first interior response was along the lines of- here is another Latin-rite Catholic 'using' us Byzantines for our traditional Liturgy/married priesthood possibility/opportunity to be a big fish in a very small pond instead of one in five thousand at the local Roman-rite church. He would put up with our smallness and different-ness for a year or two and then go back to his Latin roots (literally- I think the writer is Latino or Italian in origin) But then I got a hold of myself and re-read his question.

Father Maximos of Holy Resurrection Monastery has stated that a person's primary vocation is either celibacy or marriage. This might seem counter-intuitive because the priesthood is an eternal mark on the soul while marriage is not, but one should begin with discerning whether celibacy or marriage is God's plan for their life. The priesthood is a possibility with both a vocation to celibacy (a vocation to celibacy makes being a monk or priest monk possible) and marriage for a man. 

But the Roman-rite has not had a married priesthood as a normal matter of course for hundreds of years. So what does this mean for a Latin-rite man's discernment process? Even if he likes Liturgy and theology and the Church and the idea of becoming a priest, if he has discerned marriage, the priesthood should be off the table. The diaconate is a distant possibility, but diocesan policies usually limit study for the diaconate to a man who has been married for many years. So as heartless as it sounds, a Latin-rite man who has discerned marriage (yes- even before he has found a future wife-possibility) should realize that the priesthood is not available to him. He should not attempt to finagle a way such as become Anglican and then attempt a change to Roman-rite Catholicism  or become Byzantine-rite and then really be Roman-rite with bi-ritual faculties. This is just not right or holy. 

My husband- from the old country where most priests are married with children- discerned both marriage and a hoped-for call to the priesthood when he was seventeen. Everything education-wise and professionally has a connection to his priesthood and his obligation to support his family. When he was in seminary in his country, his bishop invited those seminarians who planned on remaining celibate to study for their Master's degree in Rome. He knew that he planned on getting married, so he declined the invitation. His integrity was more important than that. And I believe that God has rewarded his honorable interactions with his bishop. He was able to study in France for two summers and in Austria for a year. He was given permission to start a ministry in the United States. But he has never been to Rome.

So in a very roundabout way, I am advising the writer to be honorable. If you have discerned marriage, then that is what you must do. If you feel the Byzantine rite truly calling your heart, then  become involved with the closest church and begin the process to officially change your rite. I would hope that your girlfriend would change as well. You should change your rite with no thought to a future priesthood. You need to live about two years of being only Byzantine before you should contact the bishop. Practically, the Romanian and Ukrainian eparchies are more open to married men working towards the priesthood, but the Ruthenian eparchies are more pan-cultural and American. 
Be honorable and be honest with yourself. If your dream as a priest involves Ash Wednesday ash distribution, not singing Alleluia during Lent, preaching in front of a thousand people, rosaries and adoration, the Byzantine-rite will not fulfill the dream. This is why living a Byzantine life for about two years is important for you to discern if this is the life you want. In addition, every pre-seminarian and seminarian (of all rites) must realize that they will or won't be ordained at the bishop's pleasure. The priesthood is not a right even when one has all the education. In the Byzantine rite of ordination, the bishop asks the people- Is he worthy? and the candidate hopes and prays that the people will sing, "Axios!" 
on a very practical note: a married man hoping to be ordained a (Byzantine-rite) priest should figure out how he will support himself and his family. Byzantine-Catholic churches are generally small and poor. If it is very small (like our two missions), he can plan to work an outside job. If grandma or auntie live close by and are willing and the church is too big to be away from, the wife might work outside the home. Different families have different solutions. The writer needs to prepare himself for a future with or without the priesthood.
....And maybe most importantly- the wife needs to be enthusiastic about a possible priesthood. She doesn't need to delude herself into thinking that all will be sunshine and roses. I knew that the day of my husband's priestly ordination was the day that satan really had the desire to destroy him and his family. But I was still game for the adventure. But if the girlfriend/wife is not hopeful and positive about it, stop. This may mean that he should not pursue this path. He was married first. As painful as it might be, he is called to be married first and then find a way to serve our Lord in His Church- just not with the priesthood.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Don't do this to a priest! 7 QuickTakes

- when a priest is visiting your parish- don't go up to him and say, "Wow! That homily was great! I wish you could be our priest instead of too young/too old/too liberal/ too conservative Father X!" What is the visiting priest supposed to say? No matter the situation with the 'bad' priest, they are brothers. Instead of insulting one to compliment the other, just say, "great homily! I really was encouraged/convicted/educated when you pointed out...."

- please don't mention something you have said to a priest in confession while you're in public. If you need clarification on a counseling point, get back to confession. He can't say anything in a crowd even if it is to defend his 'liberal' penance-giving.

- There are bad/goofy/imperfect politicians. There are bad/goofy/imperfect priests.  Respect for the idea and role of the politician and/or priest helps us overlook the humanity of the specific politician or priest. I respect the US President because of his office. Even more importantly, I respect Catholic priests because I believe that they are in persona Christi when they administer the sacraments. So no, don't make fun of priests. 

- if your priest happens to have a family, this doesn't mean that he is unavailable for extra activities. Just make it clear if you expect the entire family or if only he is invited. With our family, it is about 50/50. For example, caroling in December is usually a family affair while house blessings in January are a time for Father to 'team build' with parishioners on his own.

- don't say- "wow, if you take that on, you'll be divorced (if married) or dead." If your priest's schedule concerns you, maybe you can take some of the load off by performing a practical activity like mowing the church lawn or taking an elderly person a meal . Or maybe he is just an energetic, motivated person who isn't 'burnt out' by the priesthood.

- don't say- "wow layperson so and so is Father X's favorite. They are always working at the altar together. I guess I shouldn't even ask to get involved because layperson so and so does everything the priest doesn't." Think. Maybe layperson so and so is doing practically everything because no one else is stepping up to the plate and he doesn't want Father X to be completely alone. There is work enough for everyone.

- don't badly dent his old Chevy with your luxury SUV on the first Sunday he is at the parish to assert your dominance. Also don't do this after stating to him that you won't be buying him a car like you did the last priest because "you're married. You can take care of yourself." (?!)

but yes, your priest is still a person, so it is a kindness to tell him he has Sunday morning donut on his beard. You don't have to obsess over his non-Armani suit, however. Not everyone takes two hours to preen in the morning.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Giveaway- Book for your Lenten Journey

I have three copies of a great book that will take you day by day through the Great Fast- Byzantine-style. Just leave a comment in the combox and you will be in the running! I'll randomly choose three names on February 11th which will give me time to email you for your mailing address & get the books in the post so that three winners will have the book in time for the fast which begins February 20th (yup- a Monday- two days before Roman-rite Ash Wednesday).

Can you believe that the Great Fast is almost here! As always, I am looking forward to it and I need the encouragement in my spiritual walk.

More from Blessed Mother Theresa

Mother Teresa’s Humility List
1. Speak as little as possible about yourself.
2. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others.
3. Avoid curiosity.
4. Do not interfere in the affairs of others.
5. Accept small irritations with good humor.
6. Do not dwell on the faults of others.
7. Accept censures even if unmerited.
8. Give in to the will of others.
9. Accept insults and injuries.
10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.
11. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone.
12. Do not seek to be admired and loved.
13. Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity.
14. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right.
15. Choose always the more difficult task.
just. wow.
I found this at the Humble Pie Challenge- I guess I am finding Blessed Theresa very inspiring lately; I wish I were more like her. But that is why she is saintly- she inspires people to greater things.