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Category Archives: Triduum



“How we think shows through in how we act. Attitudes are mirrors of the mind. They reflect thinking.” –  David Joseph Schwartz

Years ago, people used charts and simple multiplication to calculate the time value of money. Then, Hewlett-Packard introduced its ubiquitous hand-held financial calculators, and those “time value of $1” charts faded from memory. The latest incarnation is the Web-based mortgage calculator, provided online by real estate brokerages and agents, lenders and mortgage brokers and such companies as Bankrate Monitor and Nolo Press, among others. Calculators pose intriguing questions: How much can you afford to borrow to buy a home? How much will your monthly mortgage payment be? Should you refinance your mortgage? And so on.

Do mortgage calculators work? Yes and no. Calculators plug user-entered data into complex equations that would be daunting for the average not mathematically inclined person to solve by hand. However, the results lack real-world reliability and can vary from one calculator to the next. Some calculators are so suspect, in fact, that they’re accompanied by small-print disclaimers warning consumers not to rely on the results. If you want to use online mortgage calculators, keep these caveats in mind:

Mortgage calculators rarely reveal their behind-the-scenes assumptions.
Few mortgage calculators are accompanied by any explanation of how they work or what assumptions are used. Does the monthly payment include mortgage insurance, if required? Does it include an impound account for property taxes and casualty insurance? Is the equation adjusted to reflect a higher interest rate on a jumbo loan or a non-owner-occupied property? The more questions you’re asked before you click “calculate,” the more reliable the outcome is likely to be, but that’s assuming the information you enter is correct.

Mortgage calculators can’t predict payments on hybrid or adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) beyond the initial fixed-rate period.

The interest rate on a traditional 30-year mortgage is a fixed constant that can be plugged into an equation, but the interest rate on a hybrid or ARM is unknown beyond the first adjustment, which might occur in one month, six months, a year, three years, five years or 10 years, depending on the mortgage. There’s no way for a calculator to account for this unknowable factor. Some calculators tackle the worst-case scenario. That’s useful up to a point, but again, the reliability of the results still depends on secret internal assumptions and formulas and the accuracy of user-entered data.

Refinance calculators usually ignore the longer term on the new mortgage.
Many people refinance their existing mortgage with the goal of lowering their monthly payments. However, if you’ve been making payments on your existing mortgage for some time and the new mortgage will be amortized over a full 30 years, refinancing can cost more over the lifespan of the loan even if the monthly payments are lower. Mortgage calculators that purport to show whether you should refinance tend to focus on the monthly payment and the payback period for the refinancing costs, while ignoring the longer term of the new mortgage. This flaw is fatal.

Mortgage calculators can be fun and possibly educational.

The positive side to mortgage calculators is the ability to make rough comparisons among various scenarios. Plugging different numbers into one calculator can give novice borrowers good insights into the interplay between the cost of the home, the interest rate, the downpayment percentage and the monthly payment. But again, it’s important not to make real-world decisions solely on the basis of these numbers




Yesterday, from 3:00 until 4:00 in the afternoon, I attended the Good Friday service.  It is always a very moving experience for me.  The choir sings with such emotion, it is so beautiful.  The most touching part for me is the traditional veneration of the cross.  I just can’t keep it together during that time.  It is so very overwhelming for me, I get an up close view of Jesus’ bloody corpus on the cross and it just makes me cry.  Every year I tell myself – this year, I won’t cry, but I  just can’t help myself.   Jesus died on the cross for everyone’s sins!



Although this whole week is considered Holy Week in the Roman Rite, today begins the solemn Triduum, with what is known as Maundy Thursday or as is commonly called Holy Thursday.  This is the day all Catholics recall the events that took place the night Jesus was betrayed. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is itself a recreation of the Passover supper. According to tradition, every Jewish family, gathered at table on the feast of Passover eats the roasted lamb, recalling the Israelites’ deliverance from the slavery of Egypt. At the “Last Supper”, in the Cenacle, Jesus the true paschal Lamb, conscious of his imminent death, offered himself for our salvation. In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass under the species of bread and wine, Jesus makes Himself present in a real way with his body given and his blood shed. At the Last Supper, Jesus washed the feet of his apostles, inviting them to love one another as he loved them, giving his life for them. Repeating this gesture in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass this evening, the priest will wash the feet of twelve men. The liturgy continues as usual, with the exception of extra hosts being consecrated for use on Good Friday.  At the conclusion of the evenings’ liturgy, the altar is stripped, and the Blessed Sacrament is brought to a place of exposition, where Maundy Thursday is closed with Eucharistic Adoration in memory of the Lord’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.

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