Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Marriage as Sacrifice

Saturday, I went to catechitical training in Amarillo. The subject was morality. During the course of the 3 hour seminar, Father Neusch referred to the sacrament of marriage as a sacrifice. He pointed out that, when you marry, you MUST sacrifice a whole lot of other things - and people.

I had not considered that. I grew up in the Disney era of "happily ever after" and truly believed it. I also grew up knowing that marriage, like the other sacraments, is a gift from God, instituted by His son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. I looked at marriage as a gift, a blessing, and the answer to all my girlhood prayers.

I was often, and sorely, disappointed.

I do not now, nor have I ever, physically cheated on my spouse. I have flirted and I have failed, often, to put my spouse's legitimate needs ahead of my own. I am not suggesting, nor was Father, to put our spouse's immoral, unholy, or illegal needs ahead of our own. I guess that I am talking more, at least in my case, about the small, everyday things. I know that I could have been more generous of spirit, more courteous, more mindful of my spouse's emotional, spiritual, and physical needs.

I know this will not come as a shock to those of you who truly know me, but I can be very selfish, sarcastic (and yes, Julie, I hear you laughing -sarcastically, I might add) and not very nice. I am, though, less selfish, sarcastic and mean than I used to be. It is a struggle.

When I was young and something bad happened, the nuns told us, always and often, to "offer it up to God". By doing so, we would be sharing, in the suffering that Jesus endured when He was here on earth. I just never thought about offering up my marriage to God.

I will now.

Thank you, Father.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fun Monday - the potluck version

Our hostess this week is Sayre, the smiling one. She would like to know" What is your favorite cook-out food and/or recipe? OR What special dish are you known for at gatherings of family or friends?" This is a new favorite potluck recipe for me. I have made it twice in the last two weeks after finding it at "A Taste of Home". I grew up in California and spent a lot of time in family owned Italian restaurants. This tastes like summer to me, and also reminds me of the tomatoes my mom used to get. Enjoy!


  • 3/4 pound sourdough bread, cubed (about 8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-1/2 pounds tomatoes (about 8 medium), chopped
  • 1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and quartered
  • 1 cup thinly sliced roasted sweet red peppers
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup Greek olives, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh marjoram or 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


  • In a large bowl, toss bread with oil and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool to room temperature.
  • In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, beans, artichokes, peppers, basil, onion, olives, capers and bread.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.
Recipe and photo courtesy of "A Taste of Home".

PS: I did use fresh basil but dried spices for the oregano, etc. Also, I added browned Italian sausage (out of the casing) to make it a main dish for church on Sunday. It was VERY good!
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