Archive for August, 2020

The nun who swung

Friday, August 28th, 2020

I have said so many times for us to quit labeling each other… “A democrat”, “a republican”, “a liberal”, “a conservative”, “A Jew for Jesus”, and more. So I ask, “Why can’t we just say what we want and go for it?” Doesn’t everybody want life, love, freedom, safety? What happened to us that we are fighting and shouting? I’ve watched almost all of the Conventions. I taped them on DVR so I could watch during the day without nodding off to sleep… and don’t you know I missed night 3 of the RNC when the nun spoke. So I’m now watching night 3… I need to hear what she says. She “was” a democrat and is now voting republican. It is on one (most important) issue. The right to life. That might well be a deal breaker. I understand Kamala Harris on whom many of us have pinned our hope, supports abortion into the 9th month of pregnancy; abortion of a viable life.

On night 3 of the RNC, a Mother spoke of her OB/GYN asking her to abort her baby because he was a Down’s Syndrome child, but she would not end his life, rather she fights for her child getting “an equal seat at the table” claiming children’s needs must be met the same as anyone’s: life, education, love. Life first. In case you missed night 3, here is Sr. Dede Byrne’s speech:

Good evening. I am Sister Dede Byrne, and I belong to the Community of the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Last Fourth of July, I was honored to be one of the president’s guests at his Salute to America celebration. I must confess that I recently prayed while in chapel, begging God to allow me to be a voice, an instrument for human life. And now here I am, speaking at the Republican National Convention. I guess you’d better be careful what you pray for. My journey to religious life was not a traditional route, if there is such a thing. In 1978, as a medical school student at Georgetown University, I joined the Army to help pay for my tuition, and ended up devoting 29 years to the military, serving as a doctor and a surgeon in places like Afghanistan and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. After much prayer and contemplation, I entered my religious order in 2002, working to serve the poor and the sick in Haiti, Sudan, Kenya, Iraq and in Washington, D.C. Humility is at the foundation of our order, which makes it very difficult to talk about myself. But I can speak about my experience working for those fleeing war-torn and impoverished countries all around the world. Those refugees all share a common experience. They have all been marginalized, viewed as insignificant, powerless and voiceless. And while we tend to think of the marginalized as living beyond our borders, the truth is the largest marginalized group in the world can be found here in the United States. They are the unborn. As Christians, we first met Jesus as a stirring embryo in the womb of an unwed mother and saw him born nine months later in the poverty of the cave. It is no coincidence that Jesus stood up for what was just and was ultimately crucified because what he said was not politically correct or fashionable. As followers of Christ, we are called to stand up for life against the politically correct or fashionable of today. We must fight against a legislative agenda that supports and even celebrates destroying life in the womb. Keep in mind, the laws we create define how we see our humanity. We must ask ourselves: What we are saying when we go into a womb and snuff out an innocent, powerless, voiceless life? As a physician, I can say without hesitation: Life begins at conception. While what I have to say may be difficult for some to hear, I am saying it because I am not just pro-life, I am pro-eternal life. I want all of us to end up in heaven together someday. Which brings me to why I am here today. Donald Trump is the most pro-life president this nation has ever had, defending life at all stages. His belief in the sanctity of life transcends politics. President Trump will stand up against Biden-Harris, who are the most anti-life presidential ticket ever, even supporting the horrors of late-term abortion and infanticide. Because of his courage and conviction, President Trump has earned the support of America’s pro-life community. Moreover, he has a nationwide of religious standing behind him. You’ll find us here with our weapon of choice, the rosary. Thank you, Mr. President, we are all praying for you.

Bugs and Flowers

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

I’m listening to the news to see what the 2 conventions are proposing, and I’m hearing some accusations, bitterness, and name calling. There is a lot of we and they… Whatever happened to The United States that the fore fathers tried to establish. It may be that uniting 50 different states isn’t working? Maybe the Federal government just isn’t up to governing us any longer??? Should states care for themselves? I am sent out into the garden to look at what God did in creation… bugs and flowers, sunshine and storm. As he created, he sat back and looked and said “It is good!” (6 times). When he finished, he looked around and he said, “It is very good”. (see Genesis 1). We live today with bugs and flowers, sunshine and storm. We are praying now for the Gulf coast about to be attacked by storm. We live with good intentions and angry gensures. What we live with is nature and reality. The reality of life is messy. Let us pray for what we need to live - food for the hungry. Beds and books for homeless children. Peace. Health. A cessation to name calling and blame. Love sees what we need. Let us pray for our leaders to see what we need: Peaceful dialog, dignity, loving care, justice, openness to Grace. What else? You add your needs. God bless us. God bless America.

“When I get where I’m Goin’”

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton sing this song together and something just struck me. Brad Paisley sings, “When I’m get where I’m going, I’ll walk with my Grand Pappy…”. Well, I realized, I never met any of my grandparents. They were all gone before I was born, and some stories like those about my Irish Grandfather are of a rather wild hard drinking Irishman from whom I steered clear. Mother talked about her family, but not much; she was very busy with three small children and the ghost of several angels in heaven that made my mother quiet…. You know who I want to meet and talk with? My Mother’s mother. I’ve only seen one photo of her. By current standards she was a small dumpy woman. Probably in a homemade cotton dress with those old lady high top shoes. She doesn’t show the beauty my Mother shows in her high school picture that I have on my dining room dresser. “Grandmother, I didn’t know you, but I find myself spouting bits of wisdom that I attribute to my Mother. Did you teach her that wisdom? I thank you for that Grand Mother. I thank you that you saw something bright in my mother and you sent her off to nursing school when some of the others before her did not finish high school. Thank You Grandmother.” God bless us today in the USA. God bless the immigrants who came here: all 4 of my grandparents from Italy and Ireland. Thank you for that journey that made me an American.

A million Rosaries

Monday, August 17th, 2020

My friend Bonnie asked why we pray Hail Mary…. over and over, repeating the Hail Mary 50 times in a Rosary over 1/2 hour…. And I told her, it’s not just Hail Mary … a greeting from the angel Gabriel to Mary in St Luke’s first chapter, he calls Mary “Full of Grace” and tells Mary she will be the mother of God, but also it ends with us asking Mary to pray for us…. So it like saying “Hello Mother… You are so blessed and so wonderful. I love you. Pray for me now, and at the hour of my death.” My sisters and I have been so blessed that all of us have had Mother present at the birth of children (well not me… sorry Mom), and after surgeries. I will never forget watching Mother and my doctor touching the wound in my belly after surgery. … Mom and the doctor. What better thing can we ask? and wouldn’t it be the grandest thing to have our mother there with us, at the hour of death? Many of us can’t have our mother with us, as she has preceeded us. So we pray to Mary, Mother of God, who was given over to John’s care at the death of her Son on the cross. “This is your mother.” We take that statement by Jesus from the cross, literally.

Today and yesterday as I watched Mass, the EWTN priest talked about the Million Rosary March. The church is attempting to pray a million Rosaries, and actually counting them through our commitment of time. So if I commit, they know Susie Peabody will pray 100 rosaries between now and December 8, 2020. Check. 100 rosaries. and onward to December when we will reach 1 million. The prayers are for the Covid victims, those sick and those who died. And the prayers are for those who need mercy and healing of their hearts that are full of anger, resentment, violence, all sickness. It just so happens that I am listening to a voice of the Holy Spirit. I heard the priest on the TV on Sunday morning, but it wasn’t until middle of the night that I realized I will pray a Rosary a day at the park, at the circle here in Lake Placid outside the school. I will pray for the health and safety of our school children who started school today. As I sat at the picnic table in the park, I prayed and watched school children in the school yard, in and out, phys ed I guess. There was a loud speaker announcement. Remember those? A disembodied voice comes at you and you have to be quiet…. “shhhh”. It all floods over me when I sit still and listen in the park. Make your own personal commitment. It doesn’t have to be Hail Marys although it sure is comforting to know you have a Mother who will be with you…. “now and at the hour of your death”, it can be reading prayers and meditations for 1/2 hour. Pray for the children. Peace, safety. God bless America.

OOPs USPS changes to save $$$ at the wrong time

Sunday, August 16th, 2020

Let’s say you were called in to “fix things” at an agency or a warehouse or anywhere… because they are in the “red”… Go for it. Make a plan to address the money problems. It might take some cut backs, it might take some changes… Hope if it is a needed service, you will make some great creative changes that somehow save money. I used to do this: First , I looked at the detail on the bills, I made some preconceived notions, then I went out into the warehouse or wherever I was and watched. Gradually I made some decisions as to what needs to be changed to save some money, or to make money. Every leader does this. The postal service has been bleeding since Trump took over. Need to make changes. But not during election time and Corona Virus time when we all need our checks and our mail because we are ordering online… and oh by the way we don’t want to go stand in line at the polls with hundreds of others… Ah! Social distancing and Isolation. Chuck and I have done mail in ballots due to our incredible blessing of being able to travel. Only twice in the past 10 years did we go to the polls. I will probably go to the polls this time. I’ll early vote on the first or second day. I want my vote counted, and I want to be safe. God bless America.

Its up to US

Friday, August 14th, 2020

The announcement of a VP candidate by Biden closes another chapter in a book that is being written as we breathe. Whatever we want or think will be voted and done by November 4. Voting is a fundamental right, granted to all of us citizens, white, black, brown, women, men… I hope everyone will vote and then…. Accept the count. It would be so good for our collective hearts, blood pressures, souls and minds if we would settle down and start campaigning fairly, without ugliness. There are issues about heredity being debated which is the problem with labeling… It’s gets harder and harder in our mixed race environment to call us by a name….. It was always the “rule” to call anyone with any black in them Black. And the rest of us are white. Now there’s Black, Brown, Yellow, and white. I guess I’m pretty sure I’m white as an Irish-Italian (assuming Black folks didn’t get into Ireland or the hills above Rome to be in my heritage). I feel bad that the color of my face helped me rather than the work and study I did… But that is how the game has always been played. I wish we would give up the labels and talk issues. But we won’t will we? I have said it before…. I believe in God, the Father, the Creator. I believe in Jesus Christ, Son of God, Redeemer. The rest is just frosting on the cake.

My sister says “not to be preachy, Susie” … On a lighter note, Chuck commissioned me to paint the garage windows because I complained about being able to see from the street and the front walk all his “Cr_P” on shelves in the garage in front of the garage windows. He’s not going to throw the bins and boxes full of man-stuff away, and I can’t make him do it as it’s HIS garage; so another mural is in the planning stage. This is 2 full sized windows about 8 feet by 4 feet. Today we clipped the hedges in front of the windows and I’m working on a prototype in the art room. Keeps me busy. I will make a water scene with palm trees and a big American egrit center stage. Come on inspiration!!!! Thank you angels for keeping the spiders away. God bless us!!!

Gratitude inspired by Charlie Paparelli.

Thursday, August 13th, 2020

Charlie wrote: My friend is dying. He said, “I looked out the window of my office. I saw the beauty of my surroundings. I asked God, ‘Can’t I stay just a few more years?’”

My friend told me this last week. I can’t stop thinking about it. And the more I think about it, the more I understand what is essential in life. His thinking exposed me to much I now appreciate.

My friend loves his wife, his children, his son and daughter-in-law, his grandchildren, his purposeful work and ministry, his friends, and his church family. In short, he loves his life and does not want to leave it.

I love all of this too. But am I grateful?

I once told this same friend how I sometimes battle depression.
He, like me, is one of those people whose reflex is to give advice.

He said, “Each day, I write a list of all the things I am grateful for. I am amazed at how the list seems to grow and grow. The people, the circumstances, the beauty, the problems, the way things have worked out. Even the illness I am struggling with.”

One day I followed his advice. I was depressed. I was in one of those dark moods which blots out any sense of optimism. Sometimes even hope. I wrote the list. It was difficult. I realized my list always starts with people. It never really has anything to do with my stuff or even my environment. People. Always people.

Truth be told. My making this “gratitude list” didn’t help me. It didn’t overcome the depression.
Then I realized, I need to write the list to avoid depression, not overcome it. My friend doesn’t seem to suffer from depression because he is grateful from the moment he opens his eyes. And then he writes his list of all he is grateful for. That is the key.

To Charlie: Wonderful memory piece. It’s hard to sit down and write, “What i am grateful for:”… And you are right. First the people God has placed in our life. Then look out and up… The sky, the clouds. Even when the dark clouds roll in and thunder rolls! Beautiful. Then tune in your ears…. The little clinks coming from the kitchen, the sound of running water. Go outside and listen to the birds. Look for butterflies. Amazing! all beautiful! And made just for us. Read Genesis 1. Six times God said, “It is good.” The seventh time he spoke, he said, “It is very good.” Ah! It is very good. Keep breathing and repeating what God said, ABOUT US! “It is good; it is very good.” Thank you God my Father. Thank you for the Supreme sacrifice you made FOR ME. I will see you God and I thank you thank you thank you.

God bless you Charlie.

Shaking trees!

Monday, August 3rd, 2020

If I open my mouth, I shake a tree with my words… and I ask questions like “what is ‘the left’?” “What is a liberal?” “What is Conservative, anyway?” “So medical treatment costs a lot, and your diabetic friend with Obama Care stands in line for hours to get treatment… who should pay for it?” “Why did a person killing another person on camera look into the camera so beligerantly? was he trying to make a point?” “Who paid him?” “Is it really 3 months until election? and what difference will that make in our country?” “Do we really think things will change if Pelosi, McConnell, and Trump are changed out?” and finally, “I think the election won’t make a difference in the rhetoric.” Wow! That should take a load off my chest for a few moments, but it doesn’t. I believe it will take a remarkable effort of leaders and citizens to bring the USA together. Saying things that marginalize, disunify, and antagonize cannot improve our toxic environment. We need unparalled leadership; Congress, Senate, Executive, and Justice Branches that speak to each other in non-toxic ways. No “Twitter”, but talk from faces that is balanced, and not ugly. No use of words like “fraud,” “hoax,” or “lies” unless we can show the source. We have a choice to lose hope.

Every day, my niece Jennie’s husband takes a photo of the sunrise on his way to work and sends it to her. How sweet is that bit of love, sent every day? A small beautiful act that opens a day that could be physically or mentally frustrating… but a day that starts with a flower to the heart. All day long, remember the sunrise. Send sunrises. Call out Love! Remember Martha who said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, Lazarus would have lived.” He does live! Jesus, nods his head, back and forth, and says, “Martha, Martha, if only you have faith…” And then Jesus calls Lazarus out of the tomb. (John 11). We have to have faith. Maybe we are being marched off to Babylon until we change. We can either react with Faith and Love, or we can react with Toxic words and hate. We have a choice. As Moses said…. “Choose Life.”

In daily Mass lately, the Old Testament readings have been from Jeremiah, the last Prophet who pleaded with the people of Judah to change their hearts or get carriend off to Babylon. Jeremiah wrote, “The lord spoke to me… ‘ Go, cry out. The people have dug broken cisterns that hold no water’ ” We have created wells that hold no water. Our hearts are full of leaks and holes. We have “created” that which is no good. We kill with our hands and our mouths, yelling at each other. Jeremiah cried out when Jerusalem was without a shepherd. People stopped speaking of hope and healings. People shouted of pain and fear. People stopped reflecting God, and started reflecting the fear inside their broken hearts. They got carried off and when they returned, priests prayed, “Have pity on us O Lord, and don’t let us return to the way we were. Change our hearts…” Today we plead, “Change our hearts, encounter us, O God-Man Jesus… Change our hearts.” Today, let us speak of Jesus, let us be light. Let us think of what our mother’s taught us! I told a young man yesterday, “Remember what your mother taught you.” And I prayed she wasn’t full of rage and pain. Speak of cooperation and compassion. Educate children with love.

On my birthday and for a few days afterwards, the church readings talked about sowing seed. Some people sow weeds and some sow good seed. If we water the seed, it will grow. Will it bear good fruit? Hover over the bean and watch! Yes there’s beans. Lots of them! Weeds grow, but God and angels who attend all deaths, separate the weeds and fruit, the goats from sheep, and the weeds are pulled out at the end, and they get burned by the farmer-God. If we didn’t believe this, we wouldn’t have Mother Teresa’s houses of care all over the world. One small woman accomplished so much because she asked God for help. Daily, constantly. How did she attract young women to join her to help people in the hell of poorest India? God brings good out of the fallen world. We must have faith that the fruit will grow and the weeds will be thrown out. So the Gospels say, “Be light! Be leaven! Pray for those who look like they are strangling from the weeds.” Right now, that is some of us who are being strangled.

“Only do the right… Love goodness, and walk humbly with your God.” wrote the prophet Micah 6: 1-8. Walk humbly. Speak gently. Expect life. Expect Peace.