Sunday, August 28, 2005

St. Fidelis

Woe to me if I should prove myself but a halfhearted soldier in the service of my thorn-crowned Captain. -Saint Fidelis


Saint Fidelis, pray for us.

What have you done for Him lately?

American Catholics bitch a lot. We try to manipulate the church to please ourselves and we stamp our feet and complain when we don't get our precious way but what have we done FOR Holy Mother Church lately? What have we done FOR Christ lately?
Do you fulfil the Sunday obligation?
Do you pray the rosary?
Do you thank God when you wake up in the morning?
Do you thank God for getting you through another day at night?
Have you ever said a novena?
If your only son wanted to be a priest would you try to stop him?
If your daughter wanted to be a Carmelite would you cry and carry on like a hysteric?
Do you ever say the Stations of the Cross in private or at church?
Have you ever prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet?
Are you making sure that your kids know their faith?
Have you ever spoken to the CCD teachers or looked at the material they are teaching?
Have you volunteered to help the RCIA director?
Would you be willing to drive 50 miles to go to go to a church where the Mass is celebrated in a devout and reverant manner or are you too busy?
Do you go to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament? Outside of Mass this is the greatest thing in the world, do you know that?
Have you joined the Legion of Mary, the Blue Army, the local Sodality or the Ladies of Charity chapter in your parish?

Have you visited the sick? Have you spent one hour helping the homeless ministry at your church? Have you ever voluntered to help clean the church? Have you offered to wash the altar linnens? Have you offered to do the flower arrangement? Have you volunteered to be an usher or be a hospitality minister?

When new people come to your church do you smile at them or do you stare at them becuase they are another race or obviously poorer than you? Do you distribute Catholic literature for the literature rack at church?

If a heathen were to study you would he or she be impressed by the Catholic faith by looking at you or would that person decide that if you are Catholic it would be better to be a pagan?

Seriously, what have you done for Jesus lately? You don't need to be a msytic to see that chastisement is coming. The United States produces and consumes more pornography than any other country. We allow TV and movies, and music to seduce kids and laugh at people who try to prevent it. We give Planned Parenthood our tax dollars. We abort millions of children for no good reason except that it's convenient. We have more stuff than any other people in the world and yet millions of us are miserable. American Catholics have not done a good job evangelizing. We've not only failed in that, many of us have in various ways, joined the orgy.

Pope John Paul II and Sister Lucia have passed on. Like Saint Faustina, I think they were spared the sadness of seeing many of the things and people they loved suffer and fall into ruin. I personally think the American church is in for a sifting. It will be interesting to see who's left after it's done.

Catholic blogs

I used to read Open Book quite a lot but lately it's become very tedious. All the posters do on the comments section is complain about something or make fun of traditionalist Catholics. They are also shockingly insular and seem to have no understanding that there are Catholics from other races and cultures. If the blogger, Amy Welborn, posts a nice story about little African orphans being helped by traditional, happy devout nuns no-one responds. If she posts a story abut SSPX or about a sex scandal there will be at least 50 or more comments. It's quite depressing.

Bettnet is much better especially since the guy who runs it got married. Marriage to a nice lady seems to have taken some of the piss and vinegar out of his posts. However, it's very Boston-centric. My parish isn't perfect by a long shot but it could be worse. It could be Boston. After reading Bettnet and the fiery blog, Magesterial Fidelity I've come to the conlusion that the Boston diocese should be restructured completely. I've had people tell me that things haven't been right since the 70s. Others laugh at that and say that Boston has been a mess for at least 50 years. And if Boston is sad enough for you read LA Catholic which chronicles the misery that is the LA diocese under Cardinal Hollywood. Yow!

Whispers in the Logia is mean. The guy who runs it seems to hate traditionalists, conservatives and anybody else who doesn't agree with him. I read it a couple of times and realized that I needed to hightail it to greener pastures.

The Vaticanisti bloggers claim to be church insiders and they do occasionally have gossip about who's going to be made a bishop and who's going to be sent into retirement but their stories tend to be mean and sarcastic. They hint about the private lives of certain people but don't come out and plainly say what they mean. Where I come from calumny and detraction are sins so I don't go there anymore.

Curt Jester is great. It's funny and has a huge list of blog links. Extreme Catholic, The Anchoress, Angry Twins and sometimes Happy Catholic, when she's not telling boring and sickeningly sweet stories about her kid, is very good. The Penitent Blogger is the best Catholic blog on the web. Catholic Apologetics of America's content is excellent. It's execution and design however, is terrible. I adored Father Bryce Sibley's Saintly Salmagundi but alas, he shut it down.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Harry Potter

I didn't like H.P. and the Half Blood Prince. Not because of the writing. J.K. Rowling is as terrifc a writer as she ever was but because the book is such a downer. Harry, Hermione and Ron are very distant and dismissive of Hagrid and I wasn't happy to read that. Ron's only cares about sex and Hermie has turned into a tiresome, smug old woman at 16. And reading how all the adults including Dumbledore let Harry down was irritating. None of them suspects Draco--- sure the kid is 16 but he IS the proud son of a known Deatheater and it's obvious that Draco wants to be just like his old man.

None of the adults around Harry want to hear a peep of suspicion about Snape. Why? Snape used to be a Deatheater and they are like the mafia, once you're in you can just leave. Besides, for all of his brilliance, Snape is still after 15 years still essentially obsessed with stuff that happened in high school. How mentally stable is that? Snape never socializes privately with the other teachers. He lives apart from other wizards and apparently has never had a friend, female or otherwise. If I was one of the teachers and Harry came to me I'd probably say a few things to calm the kid but I'd have privately had my eye on Snape. None of the teachers does that.

Stupid.

Another annoying thing is the relationship between Harry and Ginny. It's just too pat. Everyone seems to want him to be with girl next door Ginny but why? G. is a nice girl but why her out of all the girls at Hogwarts? Considering how H. feels about the Weasleys this almost seems incestuous. Frankly, dating Luna Lovegood would've been more interesting.

I did like one two things though: the scenes with Draco were brilliant. Draco is a brat but now he's in over his head. One of my favorite scenes from Kill Bill is when Uma Thurman realizes that one of the Crazy 88s is only a teen. She whacks him across the backside with the flat side of her sword and tells him to go home to his mother. Voldemort won't be sending Draco home and it's clear that the boy is in big trouble. He's caught between the dark lord and a possible stint in Azkaban. Rowling actually made me pity the boy.

The other thing good Rowling does is to show how free will is more important than fate. Voldemort and H. are very much alike in that they are both orphans and until they went to Hogwarts they both had childhoods that none of us would envy but one is hopelessly evil (Don't look for him to come back from the dark side ala Anakin. Volde is the emperor and he's loving it) and one is good.

A lot of Christians are upset by the Potter books and that's rather sad. I would not allow my children to read the books unless I was sure that they understood that it's just a story and that real witchcraft is satanic but I don't see dangers that poor Michael O'Brien is carrying on about.

Instead of worrying about Potter check out Judy Blume. Her swill has the potential to harm far more kids than HP. In fact, if they checked out the teenager section of their local bookstore most parents would be shocked at what they're kids are being sold as normal behavior.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Universal church

Last Sunday I went Mass at church that has mostly Mexican and Salvadoran parishioners. My husband and I went to the English Mass and it was awesome. The choir wasn't great but it didn't matter because they were sincerely trying to honor God. The cantor was blessedly free from the usual bossiness. The homily was given by a Kenyan priest. The main celebrant was Mexican. The pews were filled with white, Latino, Filipino and a sprinkling of black people. This is one of the things I so love about my religion. We were all from different cultures but we were all one in one act of worship and part of one universal church.
I saw a lot of young people and happily, a lot of them were young men who had come by themselves. This tell me that something good is happening at this church. After Mass about 30 people stayed to pray and to visit the Blessed Sacrement. I was impressed by how much reverence and beauty was shown in this Mass. My husband and I may make it our backup when the weather or traffic is too bad to get to our regular church.

Cindy Sheehan.

This wretched woman is a perfect example of what's wrong with main stream media. Why, out of all the things going on in the world is this woman on the front page of all the newspapers? Who decided that she's more newsworthy than the famine in Niger? I can't imagine what it must be like to lose a son so I don’t want to be too harsh but damn-- this woman is standing on her son's corpse and shouting "Look at me! Look at me!"