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The Gospel According To Carl (Heinrich Bloch)



This Lent I was introduced to the beautiful art of Carl Heinrich Bloch.  He was influenced by Rembrandt. “The altarpieces can be found at Holbaek, Odense, Ugerloese and Copenhagen in Denmark, as well as Loederup, Hoerup, and Landskrona in Sweden.” Enjoy!

“Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”


“Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

Mary and Elizabeth

While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

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As If Yesterday Wasn’t Enough!

Delicious! Reminds me of the delicacy Auntie Kay would make.

Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast

Here is a new recipe to make your stomach growl…

French Toast with Caramelized Cinnamon Orange Sugar

French Toast with Caramelized Cinnamon Orange Sugar with Orange Marmalade Syrup

It is a wonderful twist on french toast with layers of favors.

Hope you enjoy!



1 loaf of French Bread (you could use Challah Bread too), slice on the bias (at an angle)

1/3 Cups Sugar

1/2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

Zest from one large Orange

1 Cup Maple Syrup

1/4 Orange Marmalade

9 eggs

3 Tablespoons Heavy Cream

1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 Cup Maple Syrup

1/4 Cup Orange Marmalade

Butter or non-stick spray


Heat Griddle or non-stick pan.

Mix Sugar, 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and zest in small bowl.


 Set aside. Mix eggs, heavy cream, 3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon and vanilla in a wide dish (I use a deep dish pie dish). Set aside. In a microwave safe dish, mix 1 cup of maple syrup…

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Servant of the Servants of God

Servant of the Servants of God.  Our new Pope!

A Privilege and a Responsibility

On this Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent, I continue my journey through Scott Hahn’s book, Lenten Reflections from A Father Who Keeps His Promises.

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai to deliver the Law as God promulgated it, the Israelites answered with one voice:

“We will do everything that the LORD has told us.”  Ex. 24:4.

In essence, the Israelites acknowledged their Covenant with the Lord.  How was this occasion marked?

In modern times an informal arrangement may be consummated with a handshake.  We often call these arrangements “gentlemen’s agreements.”  More formal relationships require more intricate formalities.  Some types of contracts require a written document signed by the parties.  Often when the president signs a law, he may do so in a signing ceremony.

And when Japan surrendered to end World War II, they did so in an elaborate signing ceremony on board the USS MISSOURI, with Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signing for Japan and General of the Army Douglas MacArthur signing for the Allies.

Ceremonies for events such as a surrender or passage of a significant bill serve a larger purpose than just the immediate act involved; ceremonies memorialize the events and remind all participants the gravity and significance of the events.

So, when Moses brought God’s Laws and the Israelites assented, what ceremony marked the beginning of the Covenant?


Then, having sent young men of the Israelites to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice young bulls as communion offerings to the LORD, Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls; the other half he splashed on the altar. Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people, who answered, “All that the LORD has said, we will hear and do.” Then he took the blood and splashed it on the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words.” Ex. 24:5-8.

Thus began the Covenant between God and His people.

So when Christ brought His people into the New Covenant, how did He mark the occasion?


While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.”  Mark 14:22-24.

Every time we celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we are transported back in time to the very moment Christ first instituted this most holy Sacrament.  As one priestly blogger noted, “we are not recreating or enacting a Last Supper but are present at the life death and resurrection of Our Lord – are present at THE Last Supper.”

Every Mass is an opportunity to rejoin Christ and His disciples in the Upper Room.

Day 27-1a

As I more greatly acknowledge Christ’s Lordship over my life and my being, my desire to be with Him should increase exponentially.Day 27-2

Broken Sacramentals

Broken Sacramentals

Beads in my pocket, formerly attached;
Loosely floating orbs and chain links recently unlatched.
A crucifix and pendant—remnants and remains
Of things I use to garner graces, gifts and holy gains.

A patch of woolen fabric, a square with icon blessed
That used to hang consolingly, a comfort on my chest.
This scapular most holy. A rosary of wood.
Now sit inside a leather pouch instead of where they should.

And though they both are damaged,  and neither one is whole,
They each provide me blessings for my worn and weary soul.
These broken sacramentals,  though bruised and broken things,
Still serve their purpose, drawing me to Jesus Christ our King.

Their brokenness reminds me that even with my blame,
Even though I’m flawed and weak, He’ll use me just the same.
If only I allow Him, surrender to His will,
He’ll use me to draw people to his sermon on the hill.

This broken sacramental, though barren all alone,
He’ll take me—if I offer—to draw children to his throne.
And just like broken bead strings, when put to holy use,
My life can be a blessing in the ways that He will choose.

Suffering Servant

Madonna and Child

Yesterday I hurt my back. It must have happened when I was putting away the Christmas decorations. I was lifting heavy boxes, climbing ladders, shoving boxes up, over and back, standing, twisting, bending.

I didn’t feel it until early this morning after a night of tossing and turning. But I started noticing pain radiating from my lower back. It made everything difficult. I couldn’t bend over to put on my socks. Standing and sitting were difficult. I felt very foolish at church because I couldn’t climb into the passenger seat of the van. I couldn’t duck my head to fit in! So I backed away from the door and stood in the snow, allowing the adjacent car to pull out without me obstructing him with my slapstick routine of entering the van.  I should have dressed in a clown costume!  Or as a Keystone Cop!

In Mass the pain made the gestures and postures difficult. But I found myself blessed with a new perspective. I started to appreciate better those who cannot attend Mass regularly because of excruciating pain. I’m not sure I ever really judged them, but I know I didn’t fully empathize with them.  So, blessed with this epiphany, I tried really hard to view my suffering in the example of Blessed John Paul II. I tried offering up the pain, to think of the pain as a way to share in His Passion, to connect with those around me.  It really brought a different perspective, like putting on my glasses after cleaning the lenses.

We must have been in the crying section, because we were surrounded by little toddlers and infants who were crying, complaining and fidgeting.  I could have easily been irked by the distractions, as I often am.  But instead, I began to enjoy the company of the families in sharing the Mysteries of Mass.  There was a beautiful baby girl a few pews ahead of us.  Probably three months hold.  As I watched her Mom holding her closely, cheeks brushing closely, I fell into a time warp and found myself holding each of my four beautiful kids, each in turn three months old, cheek-to-cheek, each drooling, grasping, cooing in their own unique ways.  It was a brief reprieve, and I quickly snapped out of the reverie.

Later, the baby was placed in her car seat in the pew.  I could not see her, but I still watched her Dad, caught up in the spell of his doting smile.  I never understood the verb, “adore”, until my oldest was born.  But once she was born, and with each new child, I found myself in awe of the word.  Adoration.

All this because my sore back.  Thank you, God, for my sore back!

Rejoice in the Lord always

His Holiness, in describing the Magi who followed the Star, speaks of their motivation:  “But none of this would have prompted people to set off on a journey, unless they were people of inner unrest, people of hope, people on the lookout for the true star of salvation.”

I was first taken aback by the juxtaposition of phrases.  “People of inner unrest” and “people of hope.”  Inner unrest = hope?!  How is that?

So I started reflecting on hope.  Hope is forward looking, anticipating what may be, seeking . . . improvements?  Salvation?  It sustains us in unsettled states.  It brings calm to . . . our inner unrest?

May the Star of the Magi bring hope to your inner unrest.

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