Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dozier Family Letter- 2008

Silence

O earth, be silent.
Cease your din. Listen. Hear! 'Tis
the cry of a Babe.




Dozier Family
Christmas Letter 2008


On October 24, 2008, my Dad (Gordon Dozier, Sr. known as "Dyda") passed away in the manner in which he lived: quietly, peacefully and surrounded by loving family. A few months before he died, I asked him if he had any regrets during his 93 years of life. He said, "I've had a wonderful life. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't change a thing. I have no regrets." Would that we could all say the same.

Gordon and Eva: In August, Eva and I moved to our new home at 15 Village by the Lake, So. Pines, NC 28387. Eva is still in Infection Control at Scotland Memorial Hospital and I am still p/t parish bookkeeper. VBL is a retirement community. No noise allowed. That means no "motorcycles." However, they gave me a dispensation as long as I keep mine out of sight! I enjoy blogging. Check mine out at Dad2eight.blogspot.com . Eva's hobby is spoiling her grandchildren. She takes off every Friday so that she can spend time with them.

Gordon, III and Karen (Daniel, Alex and Katie): Gordon's family moved to Pinehurst last spring and is renting our former home. The Hartford allows him to work from home. He was ordained to the diaconate in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church last June. He serves at his parish in Raleigh, and is holding Typica services (Communion service) at a chapel he made in his home. Karen is teaching Pre-K at the parish school, JPII Catholic School. Daniel is home schooled and works at Chick-fil-A, Alex is at Pinehurst High School and works p/t at the Gulley Gdn. Cntr. and Katie is at JPII School.

Kristi and Jonathan Bernstein (Jack and Eva): Kristi is working in fund raising for the YMCA in Dallas. Jon is still at American Airlines. Jack is in Kindergarten. Little Eva had a large neuroblastoma tumor removed in February. In October a recurrence necessitated 4 rounds of chemo. The tumor has shrunk by 95%!! She is such a trooper and never let this slow her down. Please pray for Little Eva. You can follow Kristi's adventures as wife and mother at her blog: goodnightmom.blogspot.com

Jonathan: (Jonathan and Jacob): Jay has had his final interview in Atlanta with Chick-fil-A. It is likely he will be getting his own store in the spring. At present we do not know where that will be, but he is getting his home ready to sell. His fiancé, Boo Yung, just got her BSN from UNC-G and will be visiting her family in Korea for a few months while Jay finds out where he will be located. His two boys will be visiting for Christmas. Jonathan (15) will now be living with Jay.

Angel and Graham Gulley (Hannah, Claire, Davis): The great news for Angel and Graham is that they are expecting #4 in June. They have chosen to be surprised about the sex of the child until delivery. Graham runs marathons. Angels runs mini-marathons, works part-time at the Gulley Garden Center and seems to run unending carpools. Hannah and Claire are at JPII School and Davis runs the house.

Benjamin (Loralei) Ben is in the nursing program at Sandhills Community College. He has about 18 months left and is living with us while he is a student. His great sadness is that his daughter lives in Indiana. His hobby is collecting DVD's, which he lends to all of the family. His collection is so extensive that we say we are going to get a DVD from "Benbuster."

Nathaniel and Vanessa: Nathaniel and Vanessa are living in Greensboro. He blogs occasionally at quidquidlatinedictumsitaltumviditur.blogspot.com (As he notes, anything in Latin sounds intelligent.) He is working at the Double Tree Hotel as the night auditor. He and Vanessa are expecting the arrival of little James Nathan Dozier at any moment.

John-Paul: JP is a student at UNC-Asheville. Uncharacteristically for a Dozier, he is a Math Major. He wants to be a teacher and I think he would make a good one. His hobbies include computer gaming and war gaming as part of the UNC-A Air soft team. This evidently is a big thing and his team has won several events.

Mary B: MB is in her second year at UNC-Greensboro. She is in the Hospitality Management program. Mary wants to go into the Air Force and is working to that end. MB just turned 21. As one of her siblings observed, she can now do legally what she has been doing anyway since she was 16. Her Christmas break will be spent in Boston, at home and then…London (as in England.)

This is the Christmas that all of the kids try to come home. So far it looks like that is what will happen. This means much laughter, stories that begin, "Hey, Dad…remember when …?" and the wonderful chaos that is family. God Bless.
The Doziers

Monday, December 22, 2008

Advent

All my selfish works
are ruins I stand upon
to see your coming.

Friday, December 19, 2008



Change

To live is to change
To have changed often is to
Have become perfect.

John Henry Cardinal Newman

Thursday, December 11, 2008

May You Always Have A Song

Several years ago, I joined the Moore County Choral Society. Over 100 voices strong, the Choral Society does a wide range of musical offerings. We just finisehd our Christmas concert, which is always a favorite with the community. It is basically a group made up of seniors, although a few "yutes" have joined in the last two years. A "yute" is anyone at least a decade away from Medicare.

Our Director is a very gifted and talanted teacher in the County school system, Ann Dorsey. She is able to bring out the very best in each of us. Her leadership style combines strenth, testiness and humor in a happy blend. In fact, she could have been my eighth grade teacher, Sr. John. This devoted nun had a mission from God to always bring out the best in her charges, without ever using corporal punishment.

A recent study on aging noted that those who sing have a life expectancy of at least 8 years longer than those who don't. You don't have to sing "well" to get this bonus, it just requires that you "sing." I have found that singers have a more positive outlook on life and that they evidence an inner joy, especially when they are in song. Singing involves the whole person: body, mind and spirit and they are all exercised when you make your own personal "joyful noise."

We close each concert with a wonderful and simple tune called, "May You Always Have a Song." The lyrics are so moving that I am generally in tears when we reach the chorus. And at the end, my lips are moving for the conductor's benefit...but there is absolutely nothing coming out. It's embarassing, actually. Here are some of the lyrics, at least the part where I lose it:

...May music be a part of the joy within your heart,
May you feel it deep within your soul.
May the gentle harmony of a tender melody,
Make your spirit whole.

May your life be filled with song
And may your friends all sing along.
May your heart be true and strong,
May you always have a song....
May your always have a song.

I weep as I write the lyrics. I am truly hopeless.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Conception

The serpent's head crushed.
New Eve mystically conceived.
Immaculata!

Friday, December 5, 2008



Communion

For I both rejoice
And shudder as I commune
With God Who is Fire.

St.Symeon the New Theologian

Friday, November 28, 2008





Doubts



Doubts are small chestnuts

Falling in autumn but crushed

Underfoot by faith.



Catherine Doherty

Friday, November 21, 2008

Barak Blues

"Oh the tears are aflowing
Evah since I heard the news.
My heart is so broken...
In pain from head right to my shoes.
You ask me what the heck's the mattah?
I got those Barak Obama Blues!!!"


The last month has been an emotional roller coaster ride for me. After recovering from the trauma of my Father's death, I had to suffer another loss on November 4th: The death of America as we know it and the election of Obama.

Although I was not a "McCain guy," the major determinants of my vote are the issues of life: especially unborn life. McCain is reasonably pro-life..Obama? Well "the issue of life is above my pay grade," said he.

As if that were not enough, he carries with him enough socialist baggage to change this country for the rest of my life, anyhow! On the matter of life, it is shocking to read that 52% of those calling themselves Roman Catholic voted for Obama. Raymond Arroyo of Eternal Word Network reported that sources who should know claimed that Obama got the vote of a majority of American Catholic Bishops. If that is the case, there has never been so much heresy among the bishops since the Arian Heresy of the 2nd century when almost 95% of the bishops were under the influence of the smooth talking, messianic persona of Arius.

And so, I have declared myself to be an "OFZ" (Obama Free Zone). I do not want to see him...I do not want to hear him...I do not want to even think about him for the next four years. This will not be easy since he seems more omnipresent that all those pictures of Joe Stalin in Russia and Mao Tse Dong in China. However, since I am a Christian and in obedience to the Sacred Scriptures, I will pray for the SOB!


Barak

"Rulers of the earth
Belong to the Lord, Our God.
Even Obama.

Ps 47

Friday, November 7, 2008



Sight

For what the eye sees,
Is completely dependent
On what the heart feels.

William Barclay

Wednesday, October 29, 2008



Saints

Saints are not statues.
They are real people in whom
Jesus lives again.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dyda's Last Moments

This is a note that my son, Fr. Deacon Daniel, wrote to several of his friends regarding the last moments of my Dad.


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Last night my grandfather fell asleep in the Lord. I was there at his bedside when he died, and I can say without equivocation that it was truly a beautiful death.

The evening was spent with almost all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren gathered at my parent's home. While there, we had a pizza party, with adults and children coming in constantly to sit with and speak with "Dyda", as we called him, to thank him for his fatherly love for us all these years and to tell him that we loved him and to offer prayers, as well as to periodically give him ice chips and swabs because the oxygen he was on was drying out his mouth (he was unable to receive any fluids because of his congestive heart failure and it would have accelerated his death as well as made it very painful for him).

At one point, while on my own with him, I brought a ciborium with the Holy Gifts in it, held the Ciborium in my right hand and placed my left hand on his head.
I asked the Lord, through whatever He chose to do by virtue of my apostolic ordination, to bless him and give him peace, and to take him home when the time was right. He had already received the Anointing of the Sick a few weeks ago along with the Apostolic Blessing from Father Mark, so I knew that he was prepared. I set aside the Ciborium on a table next to his bed and my son, Daniel, came in. He said hello to Dyda, at which point I said to my grandfather, "It's ok, Dyda.
It's ok." Dan thought I was saying this because I had startled him, but I told him that I said this to tell Dyda that it was ok to go home. Dan told him that he loved him and left the room, at which point I went to sit and continue to pray the Jesus Prayer on the other side of his bed where he was facing.

I went to grab his hand, and my mother, who is a nurse, came in and said "Gordie, I think he is gone."
(His was taking a breath about once every 15 seconds
before.) She checked his pulse, and I noticed his chest was no longer moving, even though the oxygen was still running.

I held his head and told him, "Dyda, it's ok. Go and be with Jesus. Go and be with Bama (his wife) and Denny (his son). We love you so much, Dyda." At that point the rest of the family came in and we grieved the loss of such a noble man, like noble Joseph, but rejoiced over his 93 years of life and his peaceful translation into eternal life. I then prayed the Melkite prayers of the Memorial Service, entrusting him to Abraham's bosom.

Across from his bed I saw the signed poster that we made for him just a few weeks ago when he returned home from 90 days of Physical Therapy that read "Welcome Home, Dyda!" Two weeks ago he looked at that sign and kept repeating it over and over again in his room, "Welcome home, Dyda!"

Now we were all there, along with all the saints and angels, to welcome our great patriarch into eternal life. It was a truly graced moment for all of us.

Welcome home, Dyda!

In ICXC,

Fr. Deacon Daniel

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Big Guy Goes Home

The following is the obituary of my Dad, Gordon Dozier, Sr. It will appear in the Norfolk paper.

Gordon Hubbard Dozier, Sr. died peacefully, surrounded by his family on October 24, 2008 at his son’s home in Southern Pines, NC. Known as “Dyda” to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Gordon was born in Norfolk, Virginia to the late Mary Hubbard Dozier Caleo and the late Dennis Dozier on March 22, 1915. Due to the premature death of his father in 1919, Gordon and his older brother, Bernard, moved to the Masonic Home near Richmond, Virginia. Dyda would frequently relate to his grandchildren stories of the wonderful life and cherished friendships he had while growing-up there.

In 1937, he married the love of his life, the late Dorothy Orebaugh Dozier. Together, they had two children, Gordon H. Dozier, Jr. and the late E. Dennis Dozier. Dorothy (or “Bama”) and Gordon were married for 42 wonderful years. A few years after her death, Gordon was reunited with his high school sweetheart, the late Alice Woody, whom he dated for 12 years.

In 1935 after a brief period of service in the Civilian Conservation Corps, Gordon went to work for the Virginia Electric and Power Company in Norfolk, from which he retired as Supervisor of the Gas Meter Department in 1980 after over 45 years of service. From retirement until he moved to North Carolina in 2004, he was an active member of the VEPCO retiree club, The Gas House Gang, and a frequent attendee of the Wednesday Morning Bible Breakfast at Calvary Temple.

An avid sportsman, in his younger years, Gordon played semi-professional football, baseball and amateur basketball. His intensity and physical prowess in athletics earned him the well-deserved nickname of “Rough House.” In his later years, he learned to love golf and played three days a week. He even shot his age when he was 83! There wasn’t much he could not do!

He is survived by his devoted son, Gordon Hubbard Dozier, Jr., his beloved daughters-in-law Eva Dozier of Southern Pines, NC and Trisha Dozier of Norfolk, VA, 10 grandchildren: Gordon Dozier, III of Pinehurst, NC, Kristi Bernstein of Dallas, Texas, Jonathan Dozier of Aberdeen, NC, Angel Gulley of Pinehurst, NC, Nathaniel Dozier of Greensboro, NC, Benjamin Dozier, John-Paul Dozier and Mary Dozier of Southern Pines, NC, E. Dennis Dozier, Jr. of Crewe, VA, Gregory Dozier of Norfolk, Va. and 15 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 26th at 5pm at Boles Funeral Home in Southern Pines. An 11:00am funeral service officiated by Rev. Lamar Sentel is planned for Friday, October 31 at Calvary Temple in Norfolk, Virginia. Interment to follow at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens. A reception will follow the interment at Calvary Temple. Memorial gifts may be sent to First Health Hospice Foundation at 150 Applecross Road Pinehurst, NC 28374.

When recently asked if he would change any part of his long and full life, Dyda said, “I had a wonderful life and if I could, I would do it all again. I have no regrets.”

Friday, October 24, 2008



Refuge

My God is THE rock.
I love you,O Lord, my strength
You are my refuge.

Though assailed by foes,
the Lord freed me and saved me...
Because He loves me.

Psalm 18

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Forever the Big Guy

When Dyda came home from the nursing home, he immediately went under the care of Hospice. I cannot say enough about these people. Such caring..such attentiveness..such compassion.

It appears that despite our best efforts, Dyda, The Big Guy, will be taking his final journey home. They estimate two to three days. However, they don't know the Big Guy. Even though he no longer takes food or hydration, he still has the will to go on.

Gordon, (Fr. Deacon Daniel) brought the Blessed Sacrament by last week and I have kept it ( I hesitate to call the Blessed Sacrament " it "... It is HIM!!) so I kept HIM close by my Dad as he continues to labor for each breath.

I was at Mass the other day and glanced at the statue of Our Lady of the Eucharist which is close to the altar at St. Anthony's Church. Mary is holding the Infant Jesus who has a chalice and host. She looks lovingly at HIM. And so I asked Mary to give me the strength she had at Calvary, as she watched her Son labor for His last breath. I know she will.

So many thoughts run through my mind. They are happy thoughts of family..of vacations..of playing sports, in which he whipped my A$% in everything, even when he was in his mid- sixties.

As I sit here and write this, I hear the sound of the oxygen machine and my Dad's labored breaths...one after another. Such a man of strength, a man whom I love dearly and who will forever be,... "The Big Guy."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008



Prayer

Prayer depends not on
What we say or feel, but is
A matter of love.


St. Teresa of Avila

Friday, October 10, 2008



Genesis

For we are like God.
Speaking words of spousal love,
We bring forth new life.

Friday, October 3, 2008



Voluntas*

Voluntas Dei
Sit in omnibus atque
in temporibus.


*Let the will of God be done at all times and in all things.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Total Money Makeover

His name is Dave Ramsey. I discovered him two months ago while I was surfing my XM talk radio channels. His message is simple: Live debt free, and then you can truly live. That means no credit ...no credit cards..no car payments... ultimately no mortgage payments. Sounds preposterous and un-American, but I am a new believer.

I was so impressed, I went to his web site Daveramsey.com and bought 7 sets of his books and CD's for my 8 children. ( One of my daughters is already married to a Dave Ramsey.) Had I known of this guy 30 years ago, my life now would be a great deal different. Although I don't have a large amount of debt, what I do have, is going to go. I am following his plan of Total Money Makover. Two accounts got paid off yesterday and the plastic cut into small pieces. I went to WalMart and got a small accordion file into which I put cash for the week: A portion each for gas, food and spending. In other words I am doing what my very thrifty, Great Depression suvivor Mother did for more than 60 years. My,how things come around.

If you try his plan, you'll be "living like no one else, so that you can live like no one else." (Another one of his phrases.) I'm driving my kids crazy. I am like a former smoker, a reformed alcoholic, like someone "born again." Go to his web site. Listen to him on your radio. See for yourself.

On his show, people call in with their testimonies of how they have become debt free. The stories are varied but all very exciting. Then Dave asks the caller to get the family on the phone, to count down and yell as one: "WE'RE DEBT FREEEE!!!"
In the background, Dave plays the famous scream of Mel Gibson in Brave Heart: FREEEEEDOM!! Applause sounds and the music celebrates the joy of the formerly debt enslaved family. And so, I am on the program. I am committed. I am anticipating the day when I can yell the same and hear Mel's cry of victory: FREEEEDOM!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008



Tears

Are those tears I see?
Weep not for the unspent days.
Soon, there will be joy!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The End Game

I have written earlier about the experiences of my family in dealing and coping with the current state of health for my Dad, affectionately known as Dyda. After his stroke in May, followed by more than 3 and one-half months in a nursing home, Dyda came home in an ambulance to be greeted by cheering family members carrying signs and displaying balloons.

It was a bit overwhelming for him, to be sure, but he managed a slight smile and greeted one of his grandchildren with his standard, "Hello, Sugar Baby." Yes, the old man was back. Not exactly as strong and stalwart, but the man was back.

He had spent what must have seemed to have been an eternity in St. Joseph's. Each time we visited, he would say in his Southern drawl, "Go get my shoes..get my slacks on and let's get the Hell outa here!" When we gave him the discharge date of September 13th, the mantra immediately stopped. Dyda knew he would be going home.

Hospice has been wonderful to us. They provide weekly nursing visits and other patient/family support. Through Medicare, they arranged to get him a hospital bed, what's called a "Gerry Chair" and a Heuyer Lift, to help us get him into the chair. They also supply some meds, diapers and bed pads. We could not do this without them.

Of course, I am always looking for a deeper meaning in my circumstances. Since I firmly believe that there are no accidents in the Kingdom of God, every event to me is a theophany. Now it is very hard to see God's Will in all of this, especially when I am changing Dyda's diapers. I recently told him, "Dyda, I could retire in style if I were being paid by the pound of cr#$!" He gave me his stock toothless grin.

As I tend to him, I call to mind the words of Bl. Teresa of Calcutta, as she spoke about ministering to Jesus in the guise of the poor and suffering. And that is the image that sustains me. I was reading an article recently about the Tears of God. Yes, God does weep. When a tear welled up in my Dad's eye last week, I knew I was seeing God weeping. It was a tender moment, actually, and I was overwhelmed with a sense of love for this suffering man who now represents the suffering Body of Christ.

The end game is tough. Unbelievably tough. Not physically, necessarily (though it is exhausting sometimes) but spiritually. We are challenged by trying to understand the reason for it all, to peresevere in our faith in the absolute preciousness of the mystery of the suffering Christ in His Mystical Body. It is the mystery of Love.

My friend Helen lives in a nursing home in Virginia Beach. She was my bookkeeper for more than 20 years at Norfolk Academy. We have managed to stay in touch over the years and I spoke with her just last week. She was telling me about one of the 100 year old residents named, Joan. Joan was married for 75 years until her husband recently passed away. He was a General in the Maine Corps and they had been devoted to each other all their married life. What is so remarkable about Joan is that she looks so young. She is always dressed to the "nines," has her hair properly styled and always has a smile and a cheerul word for others.

Recently, Joan was interviewed by the local newspaper. Of course, they asked the standard questions about the "secret" of her longevity, health and youthful demeanor. Joan did not give the standard responses of, no beer nor smoking or drinking 3 daily glasses of prune juice or the like. No. Joan looked squarely at the reporter and said just a few words, "It is because I was loved." That, my friends, says it all.

Friday, September 19, 2008



Psalmody

Lord. I love Your Psalms
Which in my darkness, become
A light to my path.

Ps 119

Dozier Family Update from St. Eva the Good

We have had a very busy month:

Dyda came home after several months in a nursing home for rehab from his stroke. He is doing well although he is totally bedridden and total care. We are adjusting and he is too. Such a great man. No complaints as we learn how to use all his equipment to take care of him.

Gordon and I have moved to a retirement community and we now have a new address and only cell phones.
Gordon cleaned the house yesterday and when I got home from work he shared with me how happy he was over how little time and energy it took to get it done (we have downsized about 1300 sq feet)
I continue to work with every Friday off to play with Angel's kids.

Gordon, III and his family are settling into our other house. It is great to have them here with us. Our Carolina Room there is now a beautiful chapel and he has a communion service there every Sunday at 3pm. Most of you know he was ordained a Deacon this summer. Karen is teaching at our local Catholic school, where Katie attends, Alex is adjusting very well to public school and Daniel is still home schooled and preparing for Eagle Scout. Gordon just got a promotion at Hartford Life: Program Manager for enterprise professional development.

Kristi and her family, in Dallas, are preparing for Eva's chemo treatments. Kristi keeps us all update on her blog: goodnightmom.blogspot.com Kristi is doing very well at Dallas YMCA, having coordinated a major fundraising event this week Jon just got back from Asia for American Airlines. Jack is doing well with his schooling and taking care of Eva. Angel is heading out to be with them as Eva goes into the hospital on this Sunday to begin her first round. Thank you all for your prayer support

Jay is waiting to hear about getting his own store for Chick-fil-a and doing a great job of marketing at our store in SP. Boo will be finishing her nursing bachelors degree from UNC this December and continues to work in the ICU at Duke. Jay's boys are doing well in school this year.

Angel and her family stay busy with school and sports for the kids,: soccer, swimming, tennis and golf.
Angel serves on her kids school PTA as one of those 25% who do everything. Graham and Angel continue to do the marathon runs and Graham will be in one this weekend ( I get to keep the kids)

Ben lives with us so his address has changed as well. He is in school in the nursing program and works part time at Chili's. He has been a great help in caring for Dyda. He calls Loralei every day and looks forward to his next visit.

Nathaniel and Vanessa are living in Greensboro. Nathaniel is working at the Double Tree as their night auditor and Vanessa has interviewed for a great job at the O'Henry Hotel. They are expecting their first born in January.

JPD is back to school at UNC Asheville. He continues to participate on the school's team for war games battle reenactments. They do really well. It must have come from all the paint ball games he enjoyed. He has a part time job on campus.

Mary is back at UNC Greensboro. She is on the school's swim team and we look forward to seeing her in some of the meets. Her latest job is as a photographer for a promotional web site. Her Air Force career is postponed to continue her education.

Thank you all for your continued prayers for our family,
Eva and Gordon

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

OK. So its not Friday...



Fellowship

Better to suffer
on earth with Christ, than reign in
Heaven without Him.

St. Bernard of Clairveaux

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Grammar Nazi

It's my mother's fault. She raised my brother and me to be grammar perfectionists. It was almost preferable to commit a mortal sin than to split an infinitive. Of course, it is one thing to know how to speak correctly; it is quite another to apply correction to those committing the unpardonable sin of improper speech, whether it be family, friend or foe. If she heard, "Her and I went to the Mall," the young lady would be advised that it should be "She and I.." Oh those pesky pronouns. The improper use of "who and whom" drove her to the edge, as in "he is the one who I want to date. "Whom, my dear...it should be "whom." She was fearless.

No one escaped her kind but firm correction and it used to amaze me how bold she was in her mission. It used to anger me when I would get caught in some egregious error, but how thankful I am that she held me to her higher standard. And despite my own resistance, my mother created a clone of herself: I am an unabashed Grammar Nazi.

Just ask my children how difficult it was to carry on a conversation in our household. Each would converse with care and trepidation, hoping not to hear the dreaded... "Grammar Error...Grammar Error." Now this phrase was preceded with an alert sound that resembled the noise made by the fire-drill horn in high school. It was an "EH..EH..EH..EH." followed by "Grammar Error...Grammar Error." Kinda like, "Danger Will Robinson...Danger Will Robinson." Then the correction would be made to the undying embarrassment of the offender. My son, Nathaniel, didn't really carry on conversation until he was 7. Didn't want to hear that dreaded "EH..EH..EH?" Perhaps.

St. Eva the Good and I have been on vacation in Myrtle Beach for the last week. We went to dinner at a Japanese restaurant called "Myabis." As I went to the hostess desk, I was confronted with a sign that said: "To receive the early bird discount, you must be sat by 5:30PM." The alarm bells went off in my brain. "EH...EH...Grammar Error." All during dinner, I agonized over that sign. "Must be sat?" I know this is South Carolina but for Pete's sake... When I paid the bill, I asked the hostess who was in charge of the sign. "The Manager," she replied. "It has a serious grammar error," said I. She came around and stood beside me as I pointed it out. "Well, you see, she's Japanese..." Nazi's accept no such lame excuses.

Yes, it is a curse. But we Grammar Nazi's never sleep...we never rest...and even though we may be in Myrtle Beach, we never take a vacation.

Thursday, August 28, 2008




Eucharist

What condescension
Of God. Resurrected Flesh
In a crumb of bread.

The Passion of St. Augustine

When he finally surrendered to the embrace of Christ, Augustine was never the same. As he reflected on his life in his autobiography, he penned one of the most tender expressions of love I have ever read. Since I, like Augustine, was converted late in life (age 31), his words express the depths of my own love and gratitude to Jesus:



“ Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new! Late have I loved you! And behold, you were within, and I abroad, and there I searched for you; I was deformed, plunging amid those fair forms, which you had made. You were with me, but I was not with you. Things held me far from you—things which, if they were not in you, were not at all. You called, and shouted, and burst my deafness. You flashed and shone, and scattered my blindness. You breathed odors and I drew in breath—and I pant for you. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and I burned for your peace” (St. Augustine, Confessions)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Never, Never, Never Give Up..."

These words were spoken by Winston Churchill during the darkest days of World War II. Churchill, for many reasons, is one of my favorite historical personalities. Though certainly flawed, as are we all, I have always admired his great tenacity.

And today, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Monica (d. 387AD), whose tenacious and unyielding prayer gave us the great Saint we celebrate tomorrow, St. Augustine. I have written of St. Monica before. She is the model for contemporary parents who have children that have strayed from the fold; children who have surrendered to the "sex, drugs and rock and roll" culture that has subsumed our American life.

Augustine was the playboy/hippie of his day. Sin was no stranger to this fourth century bon vivant. For 17 years, Monica wept, fasted and prayed for his conversion. She sought the counsel of others to help her convince Augustine to follow Christ. After beseeching Bishop Ambrose of Milan for days and days, he said to her, " My dear, go home. Surely the child of so many tears will never be lost."

You see, she never, never, never gave up on Augustine or God, for that matter. And we need to do the same. I have 8 children that are on, shall we say, various paths. Some paths good...others, not so good. But I take great comfort from St. Monica. It is my role to pray them to the "Gates of the Kingdom," so to speak. Certainly, as a fruit of my prayer, God will give the grace that brings each of them to that heavenly door...but,it will ever be the personal responsibility of each to willingly walk through the threshold. And so,my children.....I am never, never, never giving up!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008



Queen Mother

O Heavenly Queen,
Monstra te esse matrem.**
Be thou my Mother.


**Prayer of the ancient Church

The Home

If we live long enough, each of us will be faced with the one unfortunate consequence of longevity: being placed by our "caregivers" in The Home. Having had the experience of daily visiting my Dad for the last 3 months at St. Joseph's Care Center, I can tell you that I have seen my future and it is frightening, indeed.

During the time we are healthy and aging like fine wine, we never give this prospect a second thought. But medical science is denying the Grim Reaper his share of early retirements, prolonging the dying process just long enough so that those interred in The Home can bequeath their assets to the health care system. However, putting asset transfers aside, the mere fact that the dying process has been changed from the blazing glory of Niagara Falls to the drip, drip, drip of Chinese Water Torture, should be enough to scare the 'bejezus' out of everyone.

My Dad is fortunate. On September 13th, he is coming back home. His roommate, however, a very bright and alert former sculptor, will not ever leave except through death. He sits in his chair looking out of the window, watching visitors come and go...none of whom will be finding their way to his room. Mr. Miller's predicament has caused me great anguish and the sad thing is, his experience is not unique.

Dyda has fared pretty well. The caregivers at St. Joseph have been wonderful.
But being in the presence of so many sick and infirm senior citizens has taken its toll. Last night during our visit, he suddenly began to count "54, 55,56,57..." I said, "Hey, Big Guy, why are you counting over and over again?" He looked at me with a slight grin and said, Hell! I gotta do something!" Let us pray fervently for cardiac arrests while sleeping.

Thursday, August 14, 2008



Restless

We're made for Thyself,
And our heart is most restless
'Til resting in Thee.

St. Augustine- Confessions

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Moment of Grace

Road rage!! I read about it all the time. Incredible crimes have been committed by people suffering from "Road Rage." And, though no violent crimes have been committed by me to date, I suffer from the dreadful malady.

I remember the time I was angered by my nephew, Chuck. I can't remember the incident that occurred in the church parking lot, but there I stood in the rain, with my hands on the hood of his truck, to prevent him from leaving while I read the "riot act." Now get this picture: He is in a truck, safe and dry. I am standing in the rain, cold and wet, trying to keep a 4 ton truck from moving, using my bare hands. We all eventually dissolved in laughter over the incident.

There have been other occasions that are too numerous to mention. There was the time I was hit in the rear by a guy in a traffic circle. I jumped out of the car and was furiously flinging epithets that would make a sailor blush. My anger was quickly abated, however, when the driver, a 7 foot tall, three hundred pound black dude emerged from the driver's seat. I am not sure what I said, but it was probably something like, "Gee, I'm sorry I pulled out in front of you so suddenly..." Road rage can sometimes be hazardous to your health.

I can't count the times that I have given an offending driver the universal hand salute of disdain. Not to mention the things that I have shouted to motorists, while my young brood of children sat fearful and puzzled in back seats. Having provided such a great fatherly example over the years, I realized that I had to change. I was no longer going to be dominated by road rage.

I was listening to a radio preacher expounding on this topic. What kind of witness are we giving when we have "I love Jesus" stickers on our bumpers and we are shouting and giving others solitary finger salutes. And so, I resolved to change. He suggested we give the peace sign instead. To say words of blessing to the offending party. Yes, Yes. It made so much sense. I resolved to try it out and the opportunity for redemption and grace sharing quickly presented itself

Last Thursday, as I was leaving my neighborhood on my motorcycle, I accidentally pulled in front of a young lady in a Honda Accord. At the next "Stop" sign, she pulled up next to me and shouted, "Hey, Old Man, why don't you learn how to drive that thing?!" Oh joy!! Here was my opportunity. My grace filled moment. My chance to redeem all of the years of rage and fury. The radio preacher's counsel was running through my brain. So I looked at that sweet young face, staring at me through the open car window and prayerfully said...."AWW, go to Hell!!" and roared off. Oh Lord, be merciful to me a sinner!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Manly Virtues

Even though it enrages feminists, it is a fact there are virtues that are associated with manliness and virtues that are associated with femininity. For example, justice is a manly trait. Mercy is feminine. Command is a manly trait, obedience is a feminine.

Now men and women are a combination of both masculine and feminine traits. A mentally healthy male must balance justice with mercy. A good mother administers just punishment when it is called for. However, there seems to be dreadful imbalance in many of today's males. Men have been so feminized by the culture, that they feel awkward manifesting manly virtues. They are quite honored to be called "metro-sexual."

During this time of the presidential campaign, I am carefully observing the two candidates to see which manifests the manly virtues that are required, in my mind, to forcefully lead this nation in these troubled times. I have observed both McCain and Obama and have been most disappointed in what I have seen.

What qualities must the candidate possess? How about firmness. I want a candidate who kicks a*& and takes names. One who calls a "spade a spade." One that "tells it likes it is." Who can control the spouse and family, even disclosing failings and foibles of family members, who don't measure up to standard. Yes...After much thought and observation, I am convinced that America needs....... Michelle Obama.


Bartimaeus

In my soul's blindness
I cried out: Lord, let me see.
His Word gave me sight.


Vision

Let me see Your face,
Though I die. Not seeing it
I die from longing.

St. Augustine
Confessions

Friday, August 1, 2008


Riding

Bikers are gathered.
Mechanical steeds growling.
The joy of a ride.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Percentage

One hundred percent
Of us die. The percentage
Cannot be decreased.

C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Move

After more than four years in our 3200 square foot monster home, St. Eva the Good and I are moving to smaller digs. Just 1700 square feet of living space in a community called Village by the Lake in Southern Pines, NC. This place is is for "old people." In fact the rules and regs of the condo association prohibit "young ins" and a few other things: pickup trucks ( no biggie there) and....motorcycles (Groan!!) For forty years I waited to buy my cycle and now it is unwelcome in the community into which I am moving. This is a real dilemma.

A friend of mine said, "Gee, moving into a community that bans bikes may have saved your life!" Thanks, Bob. You are no help. For the moment, I am leaving Big Red here at the house. Gordo and his wife Karen will be renting our old home for a while. But I will have to drive 6 miles in my van to pick up my bike to drive the 8 miles to the office, which, I guess, makes no sense. So that leaves me just a few riding opportunities each week. It's killing me.

Bikers are a strange lot. They are cultically devoted to their mechanical steeds. It is like we are members of the Church of Harley. There are rituals: When bikers pass each other, they always give a left handed, low wave. It is a way of saying, "Be safe, Brother." Just like at Mass...a mobile "sign of peace." And of course, there are special vestments and rubrics. Leather, wallet chains, doo rags, boots and vests figure prominently in the Church of Harley liturgical garb. And lets not forget the fellowship meal. No wine is served in the Church of Harley, but capacious amounts of Budweiser and burgers are consumed in convivial fellowship, when bikers gather.

And so I am agonizing over this. Our maintenance man at church is currently building his own Harley. When I told of my situation, he exclaimed, "Hell (he is Protestant, you see,) I'd sooner give up my wife than my bike!! HMMMMMMMMM. Big Red or St. Eva the Good... Oh, Hell..."Bye bye, Big Red."

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Thought

Blaise Pascal once wrote:
"Thought constitutes man's greatness."
No wonder we're doomed.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Nix on X- Files-the Movie

So what am I doing in a movie theatre at 12:30 AM on a Friday morning? Simple. It was free. My son Jonathan has worked out a deal for his Chik-fil-A staff. He brings left over chicken sandwiches and nuggets for the Cinema staff "free viewing night," and his CFA staff can join in. The only negative is that the bloody flicks start at 12:30 AM.

OK. The X Files movie. What a fan I was of Mulder and Scully during those salad days of the TV program. In fact, I had a real "thing" for Gillian Anderson. (My thoughts were always chaste, of course.) Duchovny, well I could take him or leave him. A little too whiney and wimpy for my taste. A metro sexual male paradigm, if you ask me.

And so it was with great excitement that I got my free Diet Coke, hand full of sandwiches and nuggets and found my way to theatre #4. There were about 50 people in the lobby. When 46 of them made there way to the other 9 theatres to view whatever mindless pap Hollywood is distributing these days, I should have guessed they knew something that I didn't. I soon would find out. In addition, suffering through the previews for what is on tap for American tastes, does not give one occasion for much hope. (Saw V...Do you mean that actually made four others of these?...Mirrors demons take over a mirror museum. What a genius script! And there was some clip about Girls Pants That Travel Around the World #2 Yes, this is a sequel. What a novel idea!)

On with the show. I am going to try to summarize this anti-Catholic movie rant in a few words:

1) Plot #1- Scully works in a Catholic Hospital. She wants to save the life of a young boy with brain cancer. The evil priest administrator, who looks like Don Knotts in clericals, wants her to "fuggedabowdit." Let the boy die with "dignity." Oh yes, the hospital has religious stained glass in the lobby, large crucifixes in all rooms and giant plaster statues everywhere. In addition, nuns in habits walk menacingly down the halls with hands folded, always frowning with disapproval on poor Scully who is standing up for "life." Comment: my wife worked in two Catholic Hospitals. First, you had to look far and wide for crucifixes outside of the non-sectarian chapels, secondly, statues were non-existent and thirdly, nuns in habits? Are you kidding?

2) Plot #2- Now this really gets complicated. Scully gets Mulder out of retirement to help the FBI find missing women. A psychic ex-priest is leading the FBI to locations in West Virginia (lots of Catholic hospitals located there, what?) where body parts are being found. So now you may be wondering, why is this character an ex-priest?....Try to guess before you continue (Insert mental 'Jeopardy' jingle here).....Yes, of course. He is a convicted pedophile!! This fellow who speaks with an Irish brogue, it seems, has visions of the missing women. But Scully is unimpressed. Why would God give visions to a guy who, as she angrily says, "buggered 37 altar boys?"

3) In order to make this a serious picture, after "bedding" Scully, Mulder and she carry on a way too long conversation about how evil God is for allowing suffering. Scully can't sleep because she is too busy "hating God." Mulder replies, "Scully, go to sleep. Let me take over hating God for a while." Ohhhhh...so heavy!

4) Well, to make a long story long, the body parts are being used by mad Russian surgeons to piece together the male "partner" of a Russian guy who drives a snowplow. ( Did I mention the film was supposed to have been set in West Virginia...in winter. It looks more like Siberia.) Nevertheless, the Russians have figured out how to decapitate people and transfer the heads onto healthy bodies. (Reader: are you following this?) So the "male partner's" head has been severed, the body of the woman they have selected to receive the man's head is on ice, when Mulder and Scully arrive in the nick of time to stop this madness.

5) OK. Here is the coup d' gras.One more anti-Catholic twist. The "male partner" turns out to be one of the 37 boys that the old psychic ex-priest had "buggered." Whew!

And so at 2:45 AM, I found my way back home, awakened my sleeping spouse and vented over this horrible movie. "Sounds like a waste time and you should have walked out."....Ah, St. Eva the Good. How right you are. It was and I should have.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Hearing

I listened to him.
In his voice I was hearing
The accent of God.

St. Eva's Family Update

Eva does not have a blog yet, but this is an update she sent to her email list about the Dozier family:

I am not a "blogger" Guess I will have to get with the times. In the mean time I will continue with my "Dozier Updates."

Let's start with Dyda. He continues his recovery at St. Joseph's skilled facility. His days are up and down. We never know if he is going to be cracking jokes or just in too deep a sleep to disturb but we take one day at a time. What a treasure he is to us.

Gordon and I are venturing into a new phase of our life. Retirement continues for him ( of course with his great side jobs: at the church and charge of household management aka: chief cook, bottle washer and toilet ministry. I continue my four day a week job in Infection Control. What is changing for us is that we are moving into a senior community. We have bought a smaller ( only 1800 sq. feet) home in an area called Village by the Lake. Angel says it looks like one of those resort homes we have stayed in through our timeshare and she says that it will feel as though we are always on vacation. Good thought when I can finally retire. Here is the link to view our new residence:
http://www.pinkydoyle.com/Nav.aspx/Page=http://idx.advancedaccess.com%2fdefault.aspx%3fMID%3d6950%26Action%3d11%26LinkID%3d1387
Remax of Southern Pines listing go to the far right hand side of page and enter this mls #129253

Gordie was recently ordained a Deacon in the Eastern Rite Catholic Church. He will be starting a Parish here hopefully soon. He continues to be the International Management Trainer for Hartford Life with trips to Japan and Dublin. Karen will begin teaching this year at our Catholic School. She will bring so many of her gifts and talents to those kids. Katie is going there again and Alex and Daniel will continue home schooling. Daniel should be getting his Eagle Scout this year.

Kristi, Jon, Jack and Eva in Dallas. Kristi has a great job with the Dallas YMCA, event planning/funding raising, her specialty. Jon continues with American Airlines having recently accepted a new position there. Eva will hopefully soon be going to MD Anderson in Houston for a second opinion concerning the tumor found on the left side of her chest. It has been determined to be part of the original tumor removed in March but is growing. Please keep those prayers going.

Jay has recently applied to get his own Chik-fil-A store. He also will finish his Masters next month. JJ Jr. has been here all summer and it has been great to spend time with him. Look forward to seeing Jacob soon. Boo, Jay's fiance, is working, I think at last count 3 jobs, and going to UNC-G. What a ball of energy. Wish I could bottle it.

Angel and Graham have done a great job on their new house. (the back yard looks like the ninth hole at the Country Club). The three little ones keep Angel on the run, camps, swim teams and play dates, etc.. She also is managing the Storage Units for the Gulleys in her "spare time".

Ben will continue with his college in the field of nursing. He got accepted into that program. He misses his beautiful daughter, Loralei, talking to her every day.

Nathaniel and Vanessa will be getting married on August 16, 2008. We are looking forward to this event. It will be a small garden wedding at the Marriott in Greensboro. Wish you all could join us but they were only able to invite 40 people. Keep them in your prayers. If you would like to send them a note of congratulations here is Nathaniel's e-mail address : Nathandozier@hotmail.com

JPD will be going back to UNC Asheville in a couple of weeks. He has been managing the day camp at Sandhills Sports Center and the kids love him. Rebecca, his special friend, is house sitting here this summer and working again at Chik-fil-A.

Mary has spent the summer traveling and working seven days a week. She will continue at UNC-Greensboro until January when she will be joining the Air Force. Before going in she has a trip to Las Vegas and Hawaii planned before Christmas.

Keep us all in your prayers as we do you.
Love ya,
Eva

Friday, July 11, 2008


Following

There is seeming risk
In following the Lord. But
Jesus bids us, "Come!"

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Actual Church Signs

We use duct tape to fix everything.
God used nails.

2 Great truths:
1) There is a God.
2) You are not HIM.

God is the potter...not Harry.

Our church is like fudge:
sweet, with a few nuts.

No man has ever been shot
While doing the dishes.

God wants full custody.
Not just weekend visitations.

Friday, July 4, 2008


Sense

Come Holy Spirit.
Fill our inner sense with the
Fragrance of Jesus.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Gadarenes

I have always been fascinated with the Gospel story read today at Holy Mass.(Matt 8:28-34) Jesus encounters two men possessed by demons.They scream in torment and the devils locked in the duo's psyches', petition to be cast into nearby swine. "Go then," Jesus said, and the newly possessed pigs cast themselves into the sea and drown. The swineherds are aghast as they see their pork belly investment sink into oblivion. And so in their outrage, they "begged Jesus," as Matthew tells us, "to leave their district."

A couple of things here. First of all, in our enlightened age, do we need to believe that demons exist, much less take possession of someone? I have talked with priests who have witnessed more than these swineherds from Gadara, so that it leads me to say "yes" to both. In theological circles, a distinction, however, is made between outright possession and simple obsession. The former is rare; the latter much more common.

Secondly, anytime Jesus is in the neighborhood, you can expect things to happen. The Gospels attest to it. And today, those who are committed to Christocentric Gospel living, can also attest to it. The Christian makes the worldly man uncomfortable and like the Gadarenes, they love to see him move on.

The American poet laureate, Richard Wilbur, wrote this wonderful poem on this text from Matthew:

Rabbi, we Gadarenes
Are not ascetics;we are fond of wealth and possessions.
Love, as you call it, we obviate by means
Of the planned release of aggressions.

We have deep Faith in prosperity.
Soon, it is hoped, we will reach our full potential.
In the light of our gross national product,
The practice of charity
Is palpably inessential.

It is true that we go insane;
That for no good reason we are possessed
By Devils;
That we suffer, despite the amenities which obtain
At all but the lowest levels.

We shall not, however, resign
Our trust in the high-heaped table
And full trough.
If you cannot cure us without destroying our swine,
We had rather you shoved off.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Pimp My Ride



For Father's Day, I got an unusual present from Gordo and his brood. While my back was turned they "pimped my ride." So I guess it had to be memorialized with the picture. Yo, Momma!!

Friday, June 27, 2008


Father

'Tis an awesome thing,
Revealed by Christ. God desires
We call Him "Abba.!"

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fr. Deacon Daniel Gordon

Last weekend, our family traveled to Parma, Ohio to witness the ordination of Gordon, (#1 Son) to the diaconate. The Eparchy of Parma is located just south of Cleveland. The rite was done in typical Byzantine fashion: lots of incense, a capella singing, and the 1600 year old liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. The Cathedral of St. Josaphat was replete with iconography, some in mosaic others painted (or written as they say in the East.) If you have never participated in a Byzantine mass, you need to experience it.

Gordon performed the rubrics flawlessly, though he had no time to practice. Since "Gordon" is not the name of a saint, he is using his confirmation name, "Daniel." So Fr. Deacon Daniel Gordon is the appellation.

He told me that when the Bishop placed his hands on Gordon's head, it felt like a warm, spring rain was falling on him. This "gentle rain" was confirmed as we left the Cathedral for the reception: the once sunny afternoon was abruptly changed by an array of thunderstorms that drenched each and all. Wet to the bone, we arrived at the reception hall where the Ukrainians, who are known for their great food and hospitality, did not disappoint.

Fr. Deacon Daniel Gordon will serve his first Mass on Sunday June 29th. As I mentioned before, the deacon's role in the eastern liturgy is very extensive. He will also preach the homily. Bishop Robert told Gordon that he would soon ordain him to priesthood. Probably in a year. Until that time, Gordon will minister at his parish, St. Nicholas in Cary.

God has answered my prayer for a vocation out of my brood of eight. St. Monica prayed for St. Augustine for 16 years. I only had to persist in prayer for 25.

Thursday, June 19, 2008



Trust

Your love is boundless.
Lord, why do I not fully
Trust your providence?

Saints

Our Protestant brothers and sisters do not understand the Catholic practice of honoring Saints and even naming Churches after them. Some Protestants will name a church after a back alley or service station before someone considered a "Saint."

Recently, my son, Nathaniel and I were talking about the American Indian custom of naming children. After the birth, the proud father would go outside and name the child after the first thing he saw: Running Bear, Crazy Horse, etc. He suggested that our Protestant brothers and sisters must do something similar. They leave the parking lot and drive around until something strikes them to name the new fellowship: 32 Street Church of Christ, for example. Well with such inspiration, we were creating a few fellowships of our own as we drove along...The Home Depot Church of the Redeemer, Exxon Church of Christ, Steinmart Third Presbyterian.

Protestant readers, do not be offended. I love you. I owe a great deal to you in my odyssey of coming into the fullness of my relationship to Christ. But really, what is wrong with naming a church after a great Protestant man or woman of God? (Some Anglicans and Lutherans do name Churches after saints.) Saints are our our link to past salvation history...through their testimony, they give us hope that we too can walk the Gospel way. And what is wrong with asking them to help us to respond to God's grace as they did? So how about "Dietrich Bonhoffer Baptist?" Would that be a miracle or what!!!

I subscribe to a daily email blast from www.americancatholic.org called "Saint of the Day." Go to their site and sign up. It's free and each day, you will receive a short biographical selection of a holy man or woman of God. As you read these sketches, one thing becomes abundantly clear: Suffering and Sanctity go hand in hand.
I am not talking physical suffering necessarily, but all kinds: depression, addictions, battles with carnality, temptations to despair and loss of faith, etc. You suddenly realize that the Saints are just like us. The big difference is that, unlike us, they didn't waste all of the graces that God gives us each nanosecond.

I was really impressed with Matt Talbot. His story is found below. His life gives me great hope, for he is the saint for those addicted to all the evils that our modern culture offers: alcohol, drugs, porn, sex...etc. His life shows that prayer and cooperation with God's inestimable and inexhaustible grace, changes things.

Matt can be considered the patron of men and women struggling with alcoholism.
Matt was born in Dublin, where his father worked on the docks and had a difficult time supporting his family. After a few years of schooling, Matt obtained work as a messenger for some liquor merchants; there he began to drink excessively. For 15 years—until he was 30—Matt was an active alcoholic.

One day he decided to take "the pledge" for three months, make a general confession and begin to attend daily Mass. There is evidence that Matt’s first seven years after taking the pledge were especially difficult. Avoiding his former drinking places was hard. He began to pray as intensely as he used to drink. He also tried to pay back people from whom he had borrowed or stolen money while he was drinking.

Most of his life Matt worked as a builder’s laborer. He joined the Secular Franciscan Order and began a life of strict penance; he abstained from meat nine months a year. Matt spent hours every night avidly reading Scripture and the lives of the saints. He prayed the rosary conscientiously. Though his job did not make him rich, Matt contributed generously to the missions.

After 1923 his health failed and Matt was forced to quit work. He died on his way to church on Trinity Sunday. Fifty years later Pope Paul VI gave him the title "Venerable."

Friday, June 13, 2008



Fragrance

The Holy Scriptures,
Inspired by the Holy Ghost
Are fragrant with God.

St. Ambrose

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Which week is it?

When one is blessed with such a large brood and extended family, something is always going on. St. Eva the Almost Good (yes, she was reduced to "almost" two weeks ago. I'll explain later) and I never have a week in which something is not happening..good or ill. Recently, Eva asked me when Gordon, III was being ordained to the diaconate in the Byzantine Ukrainian Catholic Church? "On the 11th of June,"says I. "No," says she, "that can't be right. I think that is the day for Ben's court appearance." "Ah, Yes," says I. " I got the ordination mixed up with the divorce."

Yes. Our life is never dull. As a matter of fact, I just arrived back home after a 1600 mile round trip to Indiana to be a moral support for Ben as his marriage to Rebecca was dissolved. It was never a sacramental union. They got married by a Justice of the Peace while standing on a porch outside the Carthage City jail. That should have been a sign from God right there!! But there is sadness when any marriage dissolves and this one was bittersweet. At least he will be able to have definitive visitation privileges with his daughter, who is the joy of his life.

And next week, it is off to Parma, Ohio where the Ukrainian Eparchy is located. We will celebrate Gordon's ordination to the permanent diaconate on Saturday, June 21. The Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church uses the ancient liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. It is very beautiful and sung from beginning to end. In the eastern church, the deacon plays a major roll in the Mass, while in the Roman rite, we still don't know what to do with these guys. The Ukrainian church reunited with Rome more than 500 years ago. In addition to a unique liturgy, they also have a married clergy. Gordo may be ordained a priest in June 2009. That remains to be seen.

Yes, I finally got a vocation out of this crowd. I have prayed for all these many years that someone would enter religious life. My prayer was answered. And I gave him this advice: a successful homilist never lets his sermon exceed 12 minutes. The story goes that while a deacon was preaching, he noticed that his wife was beating her watch with her fist during the sermon. After Mass, he told her that she didn't need to use such histrionics in order to let him know that he was a bit lengthy. "Well" she harrumphed, "it went on so long, I thought the battery had died."

Friday, June 6, 2008


Singing

We sing a new song
When we give ourselves to Christ.
A song 'twixt lovers.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Vanishing White Man

For centuries, the only Christian church steadfastly opposed to contraception and artificial means of birth control has been the Catholic Church. In the early days of the Reformation, all Protestant sects taught the moral evils contained in contraception. This came to an abrupt end with the Lambeth Conference in the 1920's. Yes, our Anglican friends were the first to succumb to secular pressure and permit the abhorrent practice. Over the next few decades, one -by-one, the other Protestant denominations followed suit.

The 1960's were a heady time for the forces of artificial contraception. The Catholic Church came perilously close to abandoning its centuries old teachings. In fact, most of the radical cardinals and periti thought Pope Paul would cave- in with the eagerly awaited encyclical, Humanae Vitae

If there were ever an example of the veracity of Christ's promise to protect the Church from error through the Holy Spirit's constant presence, this is a textbook case. Pope Paul VI shocked the world with his letter proclaiming the ancient teaching on the purpose of the sexual act in the marriage covenant. Many Catholics, schooled in the protestant ethic of conscience and private interpretation of Scripture, disdained the teaching. After all, what does that old celibate know about our problems? Like Lucifer's' cry of "Non serviam" they elected to serve themselves and not God.

Humane Vitae was remarkably prescient in its predictions of the fruit of contraception. Abortion and euthanasia would soon follow, according to the Holy Father. And so they did. Even he, however, was not able to see how catastrophic the culture of death would be to the West, especially the white race.

Recent reports of the UN's study on population revealed the following:

----In 1950, whites were 28% of the world's population. In 2060, they will have fallen to 9.8%.
----Two hundred million white people, a number equal to the entire population of France, Britain, Holland and Germany---will vanish by 2060.
----By 2050, one-fourth of all the people in Eastern Europe will have vanished.
----In America, the Hispanic population will triple to 127 million by 2050. As Mexico's population increases to 130 million and based on statistics from the Pew Research Center, Patrick Buchanan notes that an "erasure of the U.S. border or merger of the two countries, or the linguistic, cultural and social annexation of the American Southwest by Mexico seems fated."

The consequences of the selfishness exemplified in contraceptive acts will have devastated Western Man and Western Culture. The great sadness remains that these demographic facts are inexorable. They cannot be changed even if the Western nations triple their birth rates. What is summarized here is our future. The sun has set on Western Civilization.

Friday, May 30, 2008



Ordinary


No one could have known
The Nazarene was Christus.
Too ordinary.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Mother's Prayers

Several years ago on the 700 Club, I listened to the testimony of a big, burly truck driver about his conversion experience. He was involved in a serious traffic accident and was clinically dead. He saw himself hanging by thin strings over a smoking, sulphurous pit. A voice from above said , "The threads that are keeping you from falling into the abyss are the prayers of your mother."

Every family has probably had one or more of their children stray from the foundational teachings that were inculcated while they were at home. It is a source of great concern for parents. But prayer is the only hope, especially the prayers of a mother.

You may be familiar with this story. The son in question hated his father, who found him a disappointment. As a teen, he belonged to a gang of thieves who wandered the countryside committing unspeakable crimes. But his mother prayed for her son.

He fled his home, taking a prostitute with him, with whom he fathered an illegitimate child. Though very intelligent, he failed out of several colleges and universities. Still, his mother prayed. In fact she prayed for over 16 years for his conversion, which occurred one evening when he happened to open a Bible and read the Gospel of Matthew.

Filled with the spirit of repentance, he wrote the following testimony of his conversion:

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new.
Late have I loved you.
You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you.
In my unlovliness, I plunged into the lovely things
which you created.
You were with me but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you;
Yet if they had not been in you, they would not have been at all.
You called...You shouted...you broke through my deafness.
You flashed..You shone..You dispelled my blindness.
You breathed your fragrance on me. I drew in breath
and now I pant for you.
I have tasted you; now I hunger and thirst for more.
You touched me and I burned for your peace...
I make no effort to conceal my wounds...You are my physician
I am your patient.
You are merciful; I stand in need of mercy!!


The errant son was St. Augustine of Hippo, who became one of the great philosophers and theologians of the Church. The mother was St. Monica. What if Monica had prayed for just 15 years, 11 months and 29 days? It was her perseverance and love that moved the heart of God. And so I encourage parents to pray for their children. God is especially touched by a mother's prayer. His Mother's prayer...Pray for us, Oh Holy Mother of God. Hear our petitions and our necessities, and deliver us from all dangers, Oh ever glorious and ever blessed Virgin Mary.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day

I want to express my gratitude to the Men and Women who currently serve in the US Military and my thanks for those who have paid the ultimate price:

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Friday, May 23, 2008




Adversity

God chooses to use
great and adverse winds to blow
us to safe harbor.

Bl. Charles de Foucauld

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bama's Old Cedar Chest

St. Eva the Good had determined that a yard sale was in order. I would rather serve 100 years in Purgatory than set up or go to a yard sale, but my help was enlisted, perhaps "mandated" is a better word.

And so on a beautiful Saturday morning, I found myself rummaging at the storage shed rather than mounted on my motorcycle. I do not know why I agonize over this, but I just hate to sort through old "stuff." My stuff or someone else's...It matters not. Box after box was removed to be opened and contents catalogued on the gravel driveway. And then I stumbled across it. Bama's old cedar chest.

My Mother, Bama as she was affectionately known by her grandchildren, was a notorious pack rat. When she got married in 1937, the first two pieces of furniture purchased were a bed and a cedar chest. Now, I could understand the bed, but a cedar chest? Why not a kitchen table.. a sofa or a chair? My father once said that Bama just had to have a place to store her "stuff." It was her treasure chest.

Once, I recall my brother Denny and I playing "hide n seek" in the house with Bama. He was three and I was seven. We searched everywhere for her. Now we had a small house: two bedrooms and just one bath. She was nowhere to be found. As a last resort, we went to the old cedar chest. With trepidation, we slowly lifted the lid. There was Bama, stretched out with her hands across her chest and a plastic set of Dracula teeth in her mouth. I think the spot where we stood took about a week to dry, and to this day, I cannot open the lid without expecting a surprise.

And upon opening her cedar chest on this bright and clear Saturday, surprises were still in store. I was overwhelmed with the things she so treasured. Letters and cards wrapped in ribbons..newspaper articles that I had written, along with reviews of my past theatrical endeavors, grade school works of art along with report cards which all too graphically showed she raised no scholars.

But then as we began to dig, we found the items that touch the most: pictures... those old pictures, ghosts from the past, that wring out a cascade of memories and the mist of tears. That's why I do not like to look through old "stuff." It's just too painful, especially when I found pictures of me and my first girl-friend, Anne Tucker, mugging like goof balls. Oh,the agony of viewing the ravages that time has wrought on that once thin, handsome and even innocent face.

It is unfortunate that future generations of treasure hunters in old cedar chests will be denied the "agony and the ecstasy" of viewing old photos, showing the faces and scenes of times past. One of the unfortunate bequests of the digital age is the fact that pictures are no more than "bips and bits" residing on hard drives or CD ROMS. Drives crash. CD ROMS? They will become useless, since they will be rendered technologically unusable...like all of those 8 millimeter movies my Dad has. No projector exists today to play them.

So to satisfy future cedar chest explorers, make sure that you save a few things to reward their search...newspaper articles, 2nd grade art works and most especially printed photographs to visually illustrate the way we were and can never be again.

Thursday, May 15, 2008



Yahweh

Pictures from Hubble
Shout Thy majestic "I AM"
And that "i am not."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Perseverance

She looked like the proverbial "bag lady." Her unkempt hair, disheveled dress and grocery bag were the first things you noticed about her, causing me to feel most uncomfortable as she would slowly slouch past. But every day she was there for Mass at the Atlanta Cathedral. Rain or shine..it didn't matter. This street "creature" as she was called, occupied the first pew on the Gospel side of the church.

When I worked at Westminster Schools, I was able to frequently slip out and attend the mid-day liturgy. I always occupied the back pew, not to distance myself from the woman, necessarily, but I like to be alone...you know...just Jesus and me. Who cares about the rest of the pew sitters. After Mass, she would shuffle down the aisle on her way back to the streets. I, of course, would piously keep my eyes from contact with her...like I said, just me and Jesus.

One fateful day, as she made her way down the aisle, I noticed that it appeared she was heading for my pew. "Oh, God, No. Please don't let her stop...," I ardently prayed. But the Holy Spirit had other plans. She stopped right next to me. I raised my eyes, perturbed that my "deep meditation" was being summarily interrupted. Of course, had it been the Archbishop, I would have considered it a great honor. But this was no archbishop.

I managed a somewhat supercilious, "Yes?" She looked straight into my eyes and said, "Do you think that you will persevere until the end?" She then turned abruptly and headed toward the exit. That was all she said but, for some reason, I was thunderstruck. I slumped back into the pew and tears began to fill my eyes. I had been addressed by a prophet, in the guise of a street person. The Holy Spirit was letting me know that I should forget appearances. His instruments are of His choosing. How do you think John the Baptist must have looked: dressed in animal skins, uncut hair due to his Nazarite vow, and a half chewed locust protruding from his lips? Oh God, how much Your ways are not our ways.

I cherish the encounter. I still think about it and I refuse to let her message go unheeded. Jesus warns us about being so self-assured and self-righteous that we might fall, eternally. "No one can call Jesus, Lord, except by the Holy Spirit," Paul tells us today. And by the Spirit I so call Him. But it must be a daily thing. Jesus must be Lord of my Sunday and then my Monday and then my Tuesday...until my last day. By the power of the Spirit I can persevere until the end. Paul's words will be mine: I have fought the good fight, I have run the race, I have kept the faith. And this great truth I owe to an unknown and unlikely saint, with disheveled dress, unkempt hair and a Food Lion shopping bag.

Thursday, May 8, 2008




Pentecost

Come Holy Spirit
Fill the hearts of your faithful
Enflame us with Love.

Our Man of Steel

We transferred Dyda to the rehab unit here at St. Joseph's. It was deemed by the powers that be that an ambulance wasn't required and he could sit in his wheel chair. If a person who is an amputee and paralyzed on his left side does not qualify for an ambulance, who on earth would? So Dyda was packed up and strapped to his chair for the eight mile journey. It killed me to see this. I never will forget the look in his eyes as the van doors closed and slowly pulled away.

After that trauma, he arrived at St. Joseph's. I had never been there but was most impressed by the facility and the staff. Dyda looked up from his bed and said "Home at last." It took sometime to clarify in his mind what the circumstances were.

His ticket home,said the therapist, was his progress in responding to the therapy. Dad loves a challenge and he began to lift his right arm and leg. "if that's what it takes, I can do it," he said.

Dyda is our man of steel. He is our family's Superman...a crusader without cape, perhaps, but no less strong and resolute. As I have written before, we could have had no finer model in our lives to demonstrate what it takes to be a husband...father..grandfather...greatgrandfather...a man of God.

Friday, May 2, 2008



Mystery

Mysteriously,
God uses life's tragedies
To show us His love.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Life's a Beach"

On Sunday morning at 2:00 AM, I heard moaning from my Dad's room. I rushed in to find him prostrate on the floor, his left arm bleeding and his speech slurred. My son and I managed to get him seated, but it was obvious, something was dreadfully wrong.

I have no idea how long he had lain on the floor. We noticed that the left side of his mouth was sagging and he was constantly moving and waving his left arm. Eva felt he had had a stroke. He is now in the hospital going through numerous tests and only God knows where we will be going from here.

He is an amazing man. Would that I were only half the man he is. He has a strong personal constitution and seems determined to "hang in there." But the most precious moment happened when Ben and I managed to get him seated after his fall. He looked up at me and managed to say, "Big Guy, life's a beach!!"

Yes, Dad. Life with you is a beach: the comforting warmth of sun and sand... the coolness and refreshment of breeze and surf...knowing that you are always there to make sure I am safe and able to savor it all.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Christus

Christe, Deus es.
Christe, resurrexisiti.
Mortem vicisti.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cycling with Grace

For forty years, (weren't the Jews in the desert that long?) I wanted a motorcycle. But St. Eva the Good wasn't buying it, literally or figuratively. And so I waited and suffered through my own desert experience. Finally, when the last of the eight children reached 18, my wife relented. "If you wrap yourself around a tree, at least I won't have all those kids to raise by myself," said St. Eva the Good. She's always so sensitive to my feelings.

So a few years ago, I got a Honda VTX1100 Shadow Sabre and riding is as wonderful as I imagined it would be. It is my alone time. And now, the fragrances of Spring are everywhere and the experience is definitely contemplative.

Last Saturday, another Dozier has joined the group, which we are calling Purgatory's Angels. JJ bought a Honda VTX1300, with special pipes that can awaken the dead. He has named his bike: Grace. Since his garage is too crowded to accommodate his new girlfriend, I have graciously obliged him a space in mine. And I must tell you, Grace is, indeed, a thing of beauty. Those Harleyesque pipes give me such an adolescent thrill and the lower center of gravity of his 1300 makes the riding experience even more glorious.

The time will come when his garage will be cleared and Grace will leave me for another. However, until that unhappy day...It's just you and me, Gracie, just you and me!!!

Friday, April 18, 2008





Symmetry

The accountant's art.
Debits,credits in balance.
A thing of beauty.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

No More Maher

I have never been a fan of Bill Maher. On the few occasions I have seen him, I do not see how the words comedian and Maher can appear in the same sentence. My daughter, however, loves him. It just may be a generational thing.

Nevertheless, today I heard some of the excerpts of his program of yesterday where he maligns the Pope, the priesthood and the Catholic Church. He called him a "Nazi who wears funny hats." Priests are pedophiles and the Catholic Church is no different than the Mormon cult in Texas.

Don Imus was S$%#canned for saying much less than Maher. The black community saw to that. ( And not unjustifiably.) So where will 30 million Roman Catholics be on this matter? Or were millions of them watching and perhaps thinking the tirade was amusing.

Well this one papist in North Carolina is "Mad as Hell and not going to take it anymore." I am commencing a one man RC Jihad. I am never going to let insults against the church slip by without some sort of action: the least of which will be an email or a letter flying from my computer. If there is lethargy in the remaining 29,999,999 American Catholics, than so be it. We deserve what we will get.

Saturday, April 12, 2008



Presence

God is most present
When I, alone, am riding
My Honda Shadow

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Oh Canada

My daughter who blogs under the name Goodnight,Mom, is currently in Canada. In her recent post, she began to "sing" Canada's anthem. What a song! If you are a hockey fan, I am sure you have heard it. When a US Team plays a Canadian team, the anthems are sung before the game. Canadians lustily sing one of the true great national anthems. Then the Star Spangled Banner is played. Americans awkwardly attempt to muddle through, wondering what they are going to do when they get to that high part: ...and the laaaaaannnndddd of the FREEEE!!! Rather than risk embarassment, they don't bother. Other good anthems are from Britain, France, Germany and the former Soviet Union.

Can't we do something about this? I don't think it is a lack of patriotism that causes those in the stands to sip their Bud Lite rather than try to croak out that 18th century drinking song. Sir Francis Scott Key loved the tune. But he forgot that you had to be completely wasted to sing it!

So let's steal the Canadian anthem. They'd probably be complimented. I can hear it now. Thousands of hearty american voices joyfully and melodiously singing: "OH, U..S..A... we love our native land... OH, U..S..A, we sing that you are grand..."
OK. So maybe the lyrics aren't so great. But at least the tune doesn't have a high, freaking G in it!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Queen of Clean

Several years ago when I fully retired, my spouse, St. Eva the Good, remained gainfully employed. Since I had to fill my days with something, I took over the household duties of cooking and cleaning.

One Christmas ( as a joke, I believe) the kids gave me a copy of the NY Times Best Seller Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean, by Linda Cobb. What a treasure this book has become. If you want a complete lexicon for stain removals, spot cleaning and cleaning techniques and products, this is the book.

I love to share information with others about helpful products that work. If you have odor stains in carpet (urine, food, you name it) use Odorzout. You can get it at PetSmart. Works like a champ. For your wood floors, try Quick Shine and Quick Clean from Holloway House.

We just got a glass top cooking stove. It is attractive to look at, but cleaning can be difficult. Now I am a Nazi when it comes to clean. If I can't clean it, I don't want to use it. That's how bad it is. I am tyring a multi cleaning product called Barkeeper's Friend. So far, with a little elbow grease, that cook top looks great.
Yes. I need to get a life.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Halleluia, Haiku

OK. So it isn't "Bad Haiku Friday." But I am into this thing. I taught English to Middle Schoolers 40 years ago. We studied Haiku poetry but that was it. Now I am humming in Haiku...singing in Haiku..thinking in Haiku. While listening to the Gospel this morning, two stanzas just popped in my head. Is the Holy Ghost speaking in the 5-7-5 syllabic mystical metre of Haiku? I really don't know!!...(See, 5 syllables!!! I'm going quite mad, With Haiku inspirations, From the Holy Ghost) AAYYYYY!!!!

Emmaus

Remain with us Lord
For the day will soon be spent
And the night is nigh.

We recognized Him
In the breaking of the bread,
And how our hearts burned.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Bad Haiku Friday

Laura Fetters (www.teachermuse.blogspot.com) has inspired me to participate in "Bad Haiku Friday." ( I still am resisting "Confession Tuesday." Too personal)
Nevertheless, here goes:

The cell phone's a noose.
Its constant ringing robs me
Of my solitude.


Oh well, its a beginning.

Monday, March 31, 2008

My Mind is Green?

OK. I have a new color on my blog page. So I went to Blogthings and take this test. "What color is your mind?" Whoa!! My interest is piqued. So I answer a few questions and...voila. My mind is GREEN. Algore would be proud.
There are five other color categories. And so being an incorrigible "Romantic" (not!!), I choose, "What is the color of your heart?" I answer a few questions, press enter...whirrrrr, bang, clank, ding, ding ding!!! My heart is (drum roll, please) PINK! ( If you knew me better, you would realize how specious this all is.) At any rate, one of the characteristics of a pink hearted guy is that his lover is "cuddly and dominant.... HMMMMM. Well, I guess it was half right....