St. Monica, Holy Woman

One of my mist favorite saints (and St. Augustine’s mom), she is a model of sanctifying presence as a Christian in a non-Chrustian marriage or family.

The Holy Ones

St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in North Africa, who was much older than she, and although generous, was also violent tempered. His mother Lived with them and was equally difficult, which proved a constant challenge to St. Monica. She had three children; Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. Through her patience and prayers, she was able to convert her husband and his mother to the Catholic faith in 370. He died a year later. Perpetua and Navigius entered the religious Life. St. Augustine was much more difficult, as she had to pray for him for 17 years, begging the prayers of priests who, for a while, tried to avoid her because of her persistence at this seemingly hopeless endeavor. One priest did console her by saying, “it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.” This thought, coupled with a vision that she had received strengthened her. St. Augustine was baptized by St…

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It’s not about “social” it’s about eternity

This post was originally a comment in rebuttal to another blog post elsewhere. It has taken on QUITE a life of its own over on St. Val the Urban Monastic, and has a VERY lively comments feed at this point on the “yucky” elements of the question of salvation.

St. Val the Urban Monastic


The thing about sticking your neck out, is that it can get cut off.

I wrote the following very thoughtfully in response to this post — Millennials, the Church, Psychoanalysis, and the Prayer of Jesus.

I have no idea how it will be received — perhaps badly, as my words are not gentle ones — but I believe these words to the core of my being.

I’m sick of overtures — eternity is at stake.

I’m sick of people playing church.

I’m sick of the marketing campaigns for “cool” church.

I’m sick of all of it. I understand well that human traditions and cultural can bring a lot of good things to worship, but they are also responsible for a lot of the garbage pouring into “the church” (and for resistance to putting out the garbage).

I am here to worship the Lord my God and serve him only.

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Seriously Weird Searches Saturday . . .

A hilarious take on one hilarious aspect of blogging — what the blank people search on to find your blog. My personal favorites in my own case:

“does ned flanders drink tea” and “pieta mary magdalene madelein l’engle” and “you’re not consciously that you are breathing meme” (I am consciously you no write English) and “i don’t care what day he died on jesus” and “why god gives us eccentric mothers” and “sailing for god coloring page” and “patron saint catharine guinea pigs” (noting that “catharine” is spelled wrongly) and “always make me waiting” and “wish i could sleep.”

Hutch A Good Life

Well Mummy was having a little look at her stats to see what people are searching for that brings them here.

The great part is, the majority are searching the blog name and finding us. Other searches include “help, my guinea pig has heat stroke” “my guinea pig is sick, what should i do” “guinea pig first aid kit” “homemade guinea pig toys” “what to give bored guinea pigs” and “try to stay mad at these adorable faces”

All very cute and normal, but then there are some strange one’s that made Mummy pull faces and wonder how on Earth they ended up here!

A few of our favourites include:

if men had tails like dogs do name something that would cause them to wag  –  But hoomans don’t has tails . . . I suppose they would wag if they saw a cute piggy though.


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Finding goodness in ruined plans

From the other blog, making the best of a messed up day.

St. Val the Urban Monastic

Thursday didn’t work out as planned.

It was the Feast Day of the Assumption, and I had these grand plans to go downtown to the Cathedral for mass, spend the day, maybe hit the Hollywood Bowl for the second performance of the Verdi Requiem on Thursday night. I realize to any who realize that I am very much not Roman Catholic, that probably sounds a bit batty (especially since I neither hold to saints as intercessors nor to the doctrine of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary).

Well, best-laid plans were laid-low by a roaring headache (thank you wonky monsoon weather!).

I didn’t sleep well Wednesday night, woke up in a fit state of nasty nausea, and knew I wasn’t in any shape for a day out in the City of Angels (actually, the City of the Queen of the Angels — the name of my city is cribbed from…

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Prayer At the Beginning of the Day

A worthy prayer that blessed my day.

Keeping Company

Here is a prayer that has been adapted by John Veltri SJ, particularly helpful for putting the day into perspective:

At the Beginning of the Day

O God, I find myself at the beginning of another day,
I do not know what it will bring,
Please help me to be ready for whatever it may be.

If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely.
If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly.
If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently.
If I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly.

I pray just for today,
for these twenty-four hours,
for the ability to cooperate with others
according to the way Jesus taught us to live.

“Your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
May these words that he taught us become more…

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Life, such as it is

Life, such as it is


Photo source: Guinea Pig Zone

Life has not been kind lately, and most days I honestly feel like every aspect of my life is an accelerated program for professional development for pastoral care.  It’s like job training via sadists, it’s &%$#ing ridiculous at this point.

Seriously.  &%$#ing.  Ridiculous.

And every day it’s some new thing — something on Facebook, an e-mail, something happening outside my door.  I can’t discuss any of it here, but it’s quite a list of people coming to me for random horrible things that also happen to be on my life experience résumé.

Really, God?!?!?!  Really?!?!?!?!

News flash: the whole “pastoral care” thing?  I’m not getting paid for this.  And I’m not putting myself out there as the random emotional dumping ground for the universe — it just happens that (when my best friends aren’t dropping dead) very many close long-time friends are coming to me for counsel…all at once.


I don’t get a break from this, ever, except when I am at church, in church, actively worshipping or praying.

I love that the Roman Catholic church is OPEN 7 DAYS for prayer and worship, because guess what? I can’t “schedule” or “save up” my need to find a sacred space for prayer and worship for a specific hour a week on Sundays. Thank God a million times over for morning mass.

Add sweltering muggy heat on top of it all.

Sunday night I was struck by my life and that I can’t believe I ever considered anything but ministry.

I am overwhelmed. Tomorrow I am taking a sanity day.

I ask for nothing more

Thoughts on prayer from the sister blog to this one. Blessings for your Sunday. — VKS

St. Val the Urban Monastic


“Lord Jesus Christ, take all my freedom, my memory, my understanding, and my will.  All that I have and cherish you have given me.  I surrender it all to be guided by your will.  Your love and your grace are wealth enough for me.  Give me these, Lord Jesus, and I ask for nothing more.  Amen.” — St. Ignatius of Loyola

I found that.

I found that leafing through a Missal Friday morning after mass at the belovèd parish church up the street.  I was just trying to get a feel for the upcoming liturgical calendar (I’m Presbyterian, we don’t stick  to the script except for Advent, Lent, and Pentecost).  I was flipping through…and there it was.  The longer I live, the more firmly I am convinced that Evangelical Protestants have more than a thing or two to learn from the tradition of Roman Catholic liturgical prayer.

And Ignatius of…

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Trying To Talk Thursday

I keep watching this little guy (one of the hutchagoodlife boys) and cracking up. The subtitles kill me. He’s about the same age as my set, maybe a week or two younger. For your Thursday, a headache of a Thursday, in lieu of writing the couple posts floating around in my head and the dozen posts half-written: Nacho.

Hutch A Good Life

Ok, the little hoomans laughed. Mummy laughed. The vet laughed. And all the other piggies laughed. Much to my shame, I am a piggy who cannot squeak. I try so very hard, honestly I do! A lot of air rushes in and out in my excitement but very little sound seems to follow, unlike efurryone elses squeaks, which are so loud a piercing they can be heard from outside the house!

Mummy decided to film me trying to squeak. This is actually one of the times I managed to make a sound so Mummy was very proud of me!

Does anyone have any tips on how to squeak? Or maybe I wasn’t born to squeak . . . maybe I should try to meow or woof? What do you think?

Happy Thurday efurryone



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To Do List

Saw this photo in my Facebook feed from The Guinea Pig Zone, credited to Joey Phoenix Photography.  Too cute not to share.  Life is hard, I get by.  Writing is very hard right now.  Blessings — VKS


Hugs to Nutty, Nacho, Buddy, and Basil (and Amy too,of course) — hope you have answers, and that Nutty is feeling better.  Love from the Wigglewhiskers clan.