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Archive for December, 2012

Socorro, NM 2012

For those of you who look forward to my travelogue pages, I’ve posted yet another one. This time from our trip to Socorro over the Christmas holiday. Either click the 2012 Socorro, NM link on my Travelogue page above or click here.

Wishing all my readers and their families a happy, healthy, blessed New Year!

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Advertising Frustration

Sometime between December 10 and December 28, WordPress decided to include ads on my blog pages without my permission (no opt-out). The only way to get the ads removed, it seemed, was to pay $30 for the No Ads upgrade. According to the description of the “upgrade”, ALL ads will be removed from the site. Well, WordPress’s definition of “All” and the standard English definition of “All” are two different things. Briefly, last night, the most intrusive ads did disappear from this site, but the text link ads never did disappear. This morning all ads, including the ads at the top of the page and in the sidebar are back despite the No Ads upgrade being active. (I don’t know if all my readers can see these ads or not, but I sure can whether I’m logged in or not!)

Getting the issue resolved seems to be impossible since there is no one to talk to (or e-mail) at WordPress. Their solution is to put a question up on their forum and have the “community” solve it. Well, I’ve gotten no helpful responses so far.

The last thing I wanted to make a priority in 2013 was to remove ads from my blog, or, in the worst case scenario find a truly ad-free blog platform (that is not prohibitively expensive) to port my blog over to. For now, my priorities are on other things, so this will have to wait. In the meantime, if any of my readers have any suggestions as to how to permanently remove ads from my WordPress.com blog or any suggestions as to what blog platforms are completely ad free, it would be greatly appreciated.

Just for the record, I’m not opposed to advertising on blogs, as long as the blogger specifically gives permission for the ads to appear. Given a choice, I would certainly NOT have given my permission for the random and (to me) offensive ads that WordPress chooses to show on this site!

Please, DO NOT click on any ads on my blog and please do not mouse-over any text link ads either. Proper links on my page will be signalled with a single dashed underline. Text link ads are signalled by both a solid underline and a dashed underline.

Thank you.

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Every year during Advent the church I attend makes available little blue booklets filled with daily reflections on the Sunday readings. Also included are tidbits of information ranging from cultural or historical aspects of Christmas traditions to the lives of saints and other important people in the Church. For December 8 this year, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the little blue book had a short biography of Venerable Fr. Solanus Casey.

On the feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1896, a former prison guard and lumberjack named Barney Casey began a novena. He felt his life was at a crossroads.

His desire was to become a priest, but he had family obligations to fulfill first. Finally, when he was in his mid-20s he entered the seminary. But, he struggled in his classes and was asked to leave a year later. Was he discouraged? Probably. Did he give up? No.

Praying, he felt the Blessed Mother’s presence and heard a voice saying “Go to Detroit.” Trusting in our Lord, that’s what he did. He entered St. Bonaventure Monastery and took the name Solanus after St. Frances Solanus, a missionary, who like Barney, played the violin.

Solanus continued to struggle in his classes, but he was ordained in 1904. However, he was forbidden from preaching formal sermons or hearing confessions. Was he discouraged? Maybe. Did he become bitter or resentful because he was not given as much responsibility as other ordained priests? No. He still trusted in the Lord. He was sent to New York for 20 years and then returned to St. Bonaventure in 1924, becoming a porter (a receptionist and doorkeeper).

Soon stories of his compassion and his performing ‘miracles’ began to surface. During more than two decades as a porter, he received over 6,000 requests for help as his reputation for holiness became widespread.

There’s a lesson for all of us here. God has a purpose for each one of us. Sometimes the truly powerful, in God’s eyes, in the spiritual realm, are those that struggle here on earth and may not be deemed worthy of power in men’s eyes, in this earthly realm.

Source: The Little Blue Book: Advent and Christmas Seasons 2012-2013, 2012. Based on the writings of Bishop Ken Untener. Compiled by Catherine Haven with the help of Sr. Nancy Ayotte.

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