Goodbye 2017

2017 is fading fast. Here in Maryland, the sun is setting on this last day of the year. When I went to Mass this morning, the temperature in the car was ten degrees, which was a far cry from the upper eighties I enjoyed during my Christmas trip to see my family in California. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to 2018, just hours away now. This past year, with all the political drama and scandalous revelations coming from the media, has been rather exhausting. That being said, there have been a great deal of good things which occurred this past year as well. After a grueling five years, I completed my doctorate. Hopefully, my recovery from that experience will be complete in 2018. I’m getting ready for whatever comes next, and that’s exciting!

I’m quite sure that you had some great things happen last year too. So often, we focus on the negative and lose sight of the positive events happening all around us each and every day. I hope we can change our outlook in the New Year and really work to see God’s infinite love and mercy all around us. To see the good in every situation and person. Let’s assume the best rather than the worst. It will be hard, but let’s give it a try, shall we?

In the Universal Church, a prayer is said/sung at the end of each year.  The Te Deum is an ancient prayer and hymn of praise to God.  It was sung this afternoon in St. Peter’s Basilica during a prayer service led by Pope Francis.  An English translation can be found below.  Let’s join our own voices and pray this together, with a hope-filled desire that 2018 will be a year of peace, joy and love.


O, God, we
praise You and acknowledge You

to be the supreme Lord.

Everlasting Father, all the earth worships You.

All the angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,

All the cherubim and seraphim, continually cry to you:

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts!

Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of Your glory.



The glorious choir of the apostles,

The wonderful company of prophets,

The white-robed army of martyrs, praise You.

Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges You:

The Father of infinite majesty;

Your adorable, true and only Son;

Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.

O Christ, You
are the King of glory!

You are the everlasting Son of the Father.

When You took it upon Yourself to deliver man,

You did not disdain the Virgin’s womb.

Having overcome the sting of death,

You opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You sit at the
right hand of God in the glory of the Father

We believe that You will come to be our Judge.

We, therefore, beg You to help Your servants

whom You have redeemed with Your Precious Blood.

Let them be numbered with Your saints in everlasting glory.

Save Your
people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance!

Govern them, and raise them up forever.

Every day we thank You.

And we praise Your name forever; yes, forever and ever.

O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.

Have mercy on
us, O Lord, have mercy on us.

Let your mercy, O lord be upon us, for we have hoped in You.

O Lord, in you I have put my trust; never let me be put to shame.



Waiting For Emmanuel

It’s hard to believe Christmas will soon be upon us.  Like many, I am feeling good about the economy and did my part to spend a bit more than I have in the recent past.  I’m much more choosy in what I buy now, thinking about the person I’m shopping for and what might bring them a little joy.  The packages have been sent, either by me or Amazon, and I can’t wait to be there when they are opened.

In my large family, Christmas is much more peaceful now,  outside the exuberance of little ones ripping through the wrapping paper.  That peace… The waiting for our remembrance of the arrival of the Prince of Peace is coming to an end.  Take some time to pray about what the birth of our Savior means for you.  It’s what these days are all about.


Oh, Emmanuel, dearest Lord,
Compassionate God of justice,
so many areas of my life seem imprisoned
but you promise me real freedom
and peace in my life.

Renew my spirit and free my soul.
Please, dearest Lord, open my heart
which you have bathed in the longing of Advent.

I am awe-struck as your glory fills the earth
and I want to follow you in caring for others.
Grant me, dearest Lord,  the grace to see
how you shine your light on the poor, the needy,
and all who have such a special place in your heart.

Come, Lord Jesus! Come!

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!


(image via pixabay)


Mulligatawny Soup

I’m always looking for good soup recipes, especially as we move into the colder seasons of the year.  Although we’ve had a mild fall here in Maryland, those cold, dark days of winter are sure to come.  I know this soup as an unusual name, but don’t let it stop you from giving it a try.  Mulligatawny Soup has been around a long time.  It became popular with the British stationed in India in the late 18th century, and not only is it delicious, the somewhat exotic curry spices might have lured people into trying it. I hope you’ll give it a try.  The recipe below, from Dr. Joel Furhman’s website is easy, quick, and the results are tasty.

Mulligatawny Soup

Serves Four

4 cups no-salt/low salt vegetable broth (I use Trader Joe’s)

2 15 oz. cans no salt/low salt navy beans, drained

1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 green apple, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup carrot, finely chopped

1/4 cup celery, finely chopped

1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped

2 tb. fresh parsley chopped

2 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. curry powder

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/8 tsp. hot pepper flakes, or to taste

ground pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients into soup pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.