Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bishop Lynch

Bishop Lynch, do you care about your sheep at all? This story makes me wonder.

http://www.northcountrygazette.org/articles/012906MarriageAtRisk.html

Monday, January 30, 2006

John Paull II

I have a picture of John Paul, the Great above my computer. It shows him on his first day as pope. He looks so young and healthy. There's no hint of how much he was later going to suffer. I love Pope Benedict but I really miss John Paul II.



Rest in peace, Papa and pray for us.

Guilty pleasures

I finally get to play tag. Catholic Cavemen…has come up with the Guilty Pleasures Meme.

I confess to the following guilty pleasures….

Music: Guns & Roses. November Rain still gives me chills and I love Eminem.

Movies: The original Walking Tall movies and Kill Bill. The fight scene with the Crazy 88s is the stuff of legend.

Politics: Watching Teddy Kennedy make a bigger and bigger ass of himself.

Church-related: I love the look of sour surprise on the faces of eucharistic ministers when I leave their line and head for the priest at communion.

Chow: London Town Cheese waffles .

Clothing: Leg warmers. I do love them….still.

Hygienic: I confess. Under stress I'm a hair twirler and compulsively attack pimples, mine or anyone else's.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Kanye West shows that money can't buy class

Kanye West has posed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine dressed up like Jesus. Whether he thought of this on his own or his managers talked him into it, he's a doofus. When his 15 minutes of fame are up I'll be happy. Even that jerk, 50 Cent never presumed to mock Jesus like this.

By the way, Tupac and Biggie Smalls both compared themselves to the Christ and look where they both are now.

The Cell

I just read Stephen King's new book and it's a rip off. How many times is Stephen King going tell this same story? You have a hero, Clayton Riddell, and his friends struggling to get back to his son in Maine and to survive in a world full of zombies after Captain Tripps gets loose... oh wait a minute, I mean after the Arrowhead Project goes sour...no, I mean after the mysterious Pulse transmitted via cell phones takes place. If you've already read "The Stand", "The Mist", "Home Delivery" , and "Night Surf" then Cell is just going to more of the same.

Bishop Gumbleton retired!

Thanks be to God.

Monday, January 23, 2006

NFP thoughts

If you're offended by blunt talk about sex then skip this post
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Still with me? Okay. A few days ago I was part of a discussion about natural family planning (NFP). One young bride was upset because her husband was not cooperating and the tension in the house was terrible. An older woman responded that the young bride needed to get more forceful about making her husband grow up and in making NFP work for them both. She explained that when she is in her fertile period she avoids her husband and sleeps on the couch if he gets too frisky. I thought that telling the newlywed to go sleep on the couch was a terrible thing.

A young and not so young man wants to have sex with his wife. That is normal, good and holy. Telling him to "grow up" and behave doesn't help your marriage, in fact you might be asking for trouble. If you want to have a happy marriage you should want your husband to want you. Sex should equal you in his mind. Pushing him off and making him feel guilty about the whole thing is damned foolery. Unless your man is a saint, (If he is, kiss his feet and praise the Lord!) he will have sex. If not with you then with some willing woman or he'll withdraw to fantasy (porn) or masturbation. Is that what you want? St. Elizabeth of Hungary wisely noted that she did not wish to cause her husband to sin by turning him off her. No, that's not exactly what she said but you get the drift, eh?

Some women are super fertile. Some of us are not. I've been married 17 years and only got pregnant twice. Both ended in miscarriage. In case, you haven't noticed there is a huge industry catering to the miseries of infertile women. A lot of us have no hope of ever getting pregnant at all. Don't fear pregnancy. God already knows what you can handle and He already knows what's best. If you let Him decide how many children you should have you might be amazed.

revolting

If I lived in Florida and this was my church I'd leave and never return.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

LA Catholic

I love this blog. The person who runs it is smart, funny and has enough sense to call a spade a spade.

What's up with Vermont's judges?

Mama's don't let your babies grow up in Vermont.

Worst Mass Ever....

I went to vigil mass at a church in Falls Church, Virginia last night. It was horrible. A layman strutted up to the ambo and announced what the music would be, which readings would be used and explained how they all tied together. In short, he gave us a mini homily. I looked at my husband and he looked at me. Why on earth was this elderly man doing the priest's job? Then the old fellow told us to greet our neighbors. Well, gosh! A pre-Mass sign of peace. Then he announced that the celebrant would be Fr. X. Father X and the altar boys came in and right away we were astonished by his chasuble. It was green of course but it had a LEOPARD SKIN print running down the front. His homily was adequate. The old layman's was better.

The cantor was a teenaged girl and she was a Mariah Carey wannabe. We were "treated" to a concert performance every time she opened her mouth. Nobody in the pews sang along. Most of the people I saw seemed perplexed or pained.

There were 12 eucharistic ministers. The whole Mass seemed like a Protestant service. I couldn't wait to leave. This church won an award for being an excellent parish last year. If this was excellence....

Our Lady of Akita, pray for us.

Friday, January 20, 2006

New high school for DC

The DC diocese is going to open a new high school in 2007. Twenty years ago Archbishop Hickey shut down Notre Dame, St. Patricks, St. Anthony's, Mackin, Immaculate Conception, All Saints and St. Cecilia. God only knows what the diocese did with the money. Except for Georgetown Visitiation, which is not owned by the diocese there are no all-girl schools left in DC. We still have St. John's, St. Anselms, (All male and unless you are handling some major cash or your kid is very smart, forget about them) DeMatha, Gonzaga and Archbishop Carroll (Co-ed or all male). At the time, many black Catholics felt that we got screwed.
Now, Cardinal McCarrick is going to open this Cristo Rey school. Good for him. I don't know how many actual inner city, (code word for black) kids will be going to it--- the school is in the Tacoma Park section which is not a black area and if it gets the reputation of being the "poor kids school", I'm not sure how many kids woud want to go.
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New doings in VA

This is nice. When I first read this I wondered if Potomac Falls was one of those ticky tacky made up new developments but no, it's an actual place in Loudon County which is way, way down the highway from me

Rowdy times at Queen of Peace

I grew up in the St. Augustine parish in Washington DC. In the mid 80s our pastor was transferred to Our Lady Queen of Peace in SE, DC. We were sad for ourselves (With good reason. St. Aug's is so messed up now that I told my mother that it would take a wedding or a furneal for me to ever go back. ) and sad for him because Queen of Peace was not a desirable post. Well, that priest has since moved on and after reading this in the Washington Post he's probably very glad that he's not still at the Queen. As a black Catholic I find this whole story which the the Post lovingly splashed on the front page, to be embarrassing. I hate how the Post always portrays black people as poor, and ineffectually bitching about something.

I'd love to know the reason

Father? Uh, can you … um, explain this?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

WTH?

What the hell is this? And why is it in a Catholic Church? Hat tip to the Catholic Caveman.

Failure

Victory has a thousand fathers. Defeat is an unclaimed bastard. The Skins lost. Aargh! Bless Joe Gibb's heart. I didn't think the Skins would get this far.

Lair of the Catholic Caveman

I love this guy.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

strange bishop

Bishop Gumbleton of Detroit waited until he was 75 to claim that he was once molested by a priest when he was a seminarian. A seminarian? Wasn't he a wee bit too old for that ….? Unless it happened at the minor seminary and he was a small sized 13 year old this doesn't make a whole bit of sense. The priest in question is obviously dead now and can't confess or deny this story. We have no witnesses. No evidence. There is only the word of one man and the bishop did not name the priest. Gumbleton wants the statute of limitations on molestation cases to be lifted so someone who claims to have been molested a jillion years ago could, if the bishop gets his way , sue the church. The trouble with these old cases is that there is just no proof. I'm not comfortable with changing the law for such emotional reasons. Bad (highly emotional) cases make bad law.

Monday, January 09, 2006

A million little pieces

I know some wildly talented authors who just can't get a book deal and I know plenty of people who went with small pubishers and watched as their books faded into quick obscurity. Getting published is like gambling and once you get published the odds of success are far against you. So what does it take to make it big? Mostly, you need connections, a charming personality and a book that fits the times. Right now Americans are in a wimpy phase and we scarf down victim stories a like fat kid who finds himself unexpectedly alone with a cake. A Million Little Pieces has made it in a huge way. It's the story of how a young man took his life and darn near threw it away. He did drugs, alcohol, and became a criminal. Then one day he went to rehab and everything is okay now. Well, guess what? According to The Smoking Gun whole chunks of this book & the sequel are lies. It's like the themes of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance or From Noon Til Three: the fictionalized account is a lot more exciting that what really went down.

Why do writers do things like this? In the aftermath of Jayson Blair surely they ought to know that they won't get away with it for long?

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I saw a dying man yesterday

Yesterday I went to Mass at St. Matthews Cathedral in DC. Right after I sat down I smelled urine. My first thought was that one of the local street people had urinated in the pew and that I was now sitting in it. I looked down and saw nothing. The priest said "let us pray" and I hopped up and looked around. In the pew behind me sat one of the most wretched sights I've ever seen. A man, or at least I think it was a man sat hunched over. I couldn't see the face and the smell was such that I had to turn away or gag. He let out a sigh and fell forward. His head rested on the back of my pew and I saw an emaciated hand reach up and then fall next to his head.

Mass went on and later when it was over and after visiting the Blessed Sacrament I walked back to where I had been sitting earlier. Now the poor creature was slumped completely over with his head touching his knees.

There was nothing glamorous or fascinating about this man. He was hideous to look at, disgusting to smell and when I thought that even he must have been somebody's baby once, I was incedibly sad.

This guy is killing himself with drugs or drink or both and by the looks up him yesterday it won't be long before the end comes.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Tell Me It's Not True....

When I read this all I could think of was a few lines from a song called "Tell Me It's Not True"

Tell me it's not true,
Say it's just a story,
Something on the news.

Tell me it's not true,
Though it's here before me,
Say it's just a dream,
Say it's just a scene,
From an old movie of years ago....

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Interesting discussion

Over at the Apologia forum they are having an interesting discussion about angry traditionalists and whether that anger hurts the traditionalist movement or not. I'm impressed that they're having this discussion. I sympathize greatly with the traditionalists and I know that they got screwed in the 70s and 80s, but some of them are really blowing it. A visibly righteous attitude or unfriendliness when strangers show up at church is not endearing. Telling Novus Ordo folks that they are damned, dumb and halfway to being Protestants isn't helpful either. When you argue and beat someone down it doesn't attract them---unless they're masochists.

After 40 years of dumbness-- pizza masses, hosts made out of Ritz crackers, dancing girls, and commercial jingles for music--- people are hungry for a change. However, they won't look into traditional Catholicism if they think it means hanging out with sour meanies.

Two Johns

In America we had St. John Neuman and in England they had Cardinal John Newman. They're often confused but they are not the same guy. Today is the feast day of the "little bishop" St. John Neuman.

Paul McCartney on my mind.

In Mass today the song Let Me Roll It kept running through my mind. Sung correctly it has an estatic feel. The narrator's love is so huge that he can't possible put it into words. When McCartney wrote this it was probably about some woman or maybe his first wife or knowing Sir Paul he may have just tossed it off because he needed one more song for an album but it is very pretty and it's oddly close to how I felt when the priest elevated the Host. The wild shock of joy that filled my soul was incredible.

You gave me something, I understand,
You gave me loving in the palm of my hand
I can’t tell you how I feel
My heart is like a wheel
Let me roll it
Let me roll it to you
Let me roll it
Let me roll it to you

I want to tell you
And now’s the time
I want to tell you thatYou’re going to be mine
I can’t tell you how
I feelMy heart is like a wheel.
Let me roll it
Let me roll it to you
Let me roll it
Let me roll it to you

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

When in doubt

Check it out. Catholic Culture is a very useful web site. It has documents and discussions but I use it for its site reivews. Catholic Culture lets you know which sites are within the mainstream of the church, which have some iffy bits and which are so far away from the church that your brain, if not your faith will curdle if you waste time on them.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Today is the feast day of Mother Seton. She is the first American born cannonized saint and the foundress of the Daughters of Charity and parochial schools in America. I went to Immaculate Conception Academy (It doesn't exist anymore. Cardinal Hickey sold the school in the middle of the school year and we were forced to merge with St. Anthony's.) which was run by nuns of St. Elizabeth's order. I've spent many happy hours at the St. Elizabeth shrine, and the Grotto of Lourdes shrine which is right next to the saint's shrine. I'm proud to be one of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton's daughters and I keep an icon of her on my desk.

Nightmare surprise

I really don't handle shock well and I don't handle dread at all. Some situations send me shooting into an anxiety attack like an exploding rocket. This morning when I was waking up I heard on the news that the miners in West Virginia who were supposed to have been rescued are actually dead. Only one guy is alive.

I thought about the families and the nightmare they must have gone through. Imagine you've spent hours celebrating because the governor of your state told you that your man is alive. You have a second chance. As soon as you see your husband, dad, son or brother, you're going to hug him and kiss him and tell him that you love him. Imagine being a wife who had a fight with her husband before he went off to work and now thinking that "As soon as I see him, I'll tell him he was right and I was wrong."

Imagine standing surrounded by your relatives and rejoicing and then seeing a woman crying in the back of the room. She is a relative of the man who was found dead yesterday. You catch your breath. Sure you're happy but this poor woman..... You go over to her to comfort her. Afterall, you're man is alive and you can afford to be magnanimous. Besides, this is a small town. You probably know this woman. You probably went to school with her or her kin. Her son might play football with one of yours. You try to say the right things and you might think about donating some money to help her with the expenses that will surely come. And then it happens.

A man or men in suits come into the room. They announce that there's been a mistake, a miscommunication. There is only one survivor and it's not your loved one. Your man is dead. He's been dead for hours. All the time you've been celebrating he's been lying dead. That woman who you were comforting a second ago is now your sister in grief. You do not have a second chance. You have no husband, no brother, no father, no son. The exquisite joy that was in your heart just a second ago has died and is choking you. Your stomach is tight and feels like you've swallowed wet dust and the anxiety pains feel like you're being stabbed.

This is not a bad dream. It's real and all anyone from the mine and the authorities can say to you is "accident", "mistake" and "miscommunication" . Now that's a nightmare. Those poor women. Those poor families.

Eternal rest, give to them oh Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon them.

Monday, January 02, 2006

My Patron Saint for 2006

There is an old custom of drawing saints names on New Years Eve and asking that saint to be your speacial protector for the year. Moneybags at the A Catholic Life blog graciously offered to draw names for anyone who asked. The saint who picked me for 2006 is St. Juliana. She was a nun who had a vision when she was just a teenager. Thanks to her obedience to that Heaven sent vision we now have the Feast of Corpus Christi. Other than a love of the Blessed Sacrament we don't seem to share much in common but I have a feeling that she'll show me why she picked me. Thanks to Moneybags at A Catholic Life!


Pray for me this year, St. Juliana.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Random thoughts on the first day of 2006

  1. The uncrowned queen of Catholic blogging is The Anchoress This lady has the finest Catholic blog I've seen this year. It has serious reflections, a twinkly, downright Irish wit and fine writing.
  2. I need a spiritual director. Everyone in DC that I've contacted is too busy and I've been advised not to bother with anyone in the Arlington diocese so I've left a message with Opus Dei.
  3. The spot for my second favorite blog is a tie between the tough minded Relasped Catholic and the priest who writes under the nom de plume of Diogenes for Catholic World News. He's clever and refuses to sugar coat anything.
  4. I still like New Oxford Review. Nobody swings biggger you-know-what in Catholic bloggerville. They are fearless. No, I don't agree with everything they write. For one thing, I believe they're totally wrong about Scott Hahn but they have been saying things about the state of the church in America that need to be said and they've fought the good fight when the majority of us were just oblivious pew potatoes. For example, NOR was talking about the lavender mafia problem long before anybody else outside of ultra trad circles.
  5. Prayers for this guy and for Father Haley in Virginia.
  6. If I ever walk into a church where they think celebrating Kwaanza is the way to comfort black Catholics I'll spin on my heels and leave. Black Catholics have been around for a long time. We don't need some neo pagan crap to make us feel good.
  7. The people at Angelqueen sadden me. The Novus Ordo Watch folks scare me.
  8. My tough Catholic lady award goes to Carole Mckinley at Magisterial Fidelity.
  9. The priest who runs Dappled Things is fascinating. I can't figure him out but I enjoy reading his blog.
  10. Happy New Year, Y'all!

Try something new this year

This year make a Eucharistic adoration visit to Jesus. If you do it on a regular basis it will change your life. Seriously. Check this site out.

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Today is a great Marian feast and an obligation day. The young father at my main parish looked splendid in his gold vestments (he had on the fiddleback!) and gave an oustanding homily. It was so good people lined up to thank him after the Mass and the old women kissed him. He had that bemused look on his face that little boys sometimes get when their old aunts smother them with kisses.

The Cathedral was magnificently decorated. The creche was surrounded by live trees, poinsettias and straw. The staute of Baby Jesus looked like He was about six months old instead of a new born but I figure that the artist who carved it knew that newborn babes usually look terrible and that babies are at their cutest once they hit five or six months and plump out. I heard that the creche at St. Patrick's in DC has 250 pieces to it. They must have duplicated the whole of Bethlehem. I'm going to try to go and see it on Monday.

Meanwhile in the Arlington Diocese where my back up parish is, Bishop Loverde and his boys continue to disappoint.

Lord, have mercy.
Chirst have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Little Jesus

Little Jesus, was Thou shy Once, and just so small as I?
And what did it feel like to be Out of Heaven, and just like me?
Didst Thou sometimes think of there, And ask where all the angels were? I should think that I would cry For my house all made of sky;
I would look about the air, And wonder where my angels were; And at waking twould distress me Not an angel there to dress me!
Hadst Thou ever any toys, Like us little girls and boys?And didst Thou play in Heaven with allThe angels that were not too tall,With stars for marbles?
Did the things Play Can you see me? through their wings?And did Thy Mother let Thee spoilThy robes, with playing on our soil?How nice to have them always new In Heaven, because twas quite clean blue! Didst Thou kneel at night to pray, And didst Thou join Thy hands, this way?And did they tire sometimes, being young,And make the prayer seem very long?And dost Thou like it best, that weShould join our hands to pray to Thee?
I used to think, before I knew,The prayer not said unless we do. And did Thy Mother at the night Kiss Thee, and fold the clothes in right?And didst Thou feel quite good in bed, Kissed, and sweet, and Thy prayers said?
Thou canst not have forgotten allThat it feels like to be small: And Thou knowst I cannot prayTo Thee in my fathers way.
When Thou was so little, say,Couldst Thou talk Thy Fathers way?
So, a little Child, come down And hear a childs tongue like Thy own;Take me by the hand and walk, And listen to my baby-talk.To Thy Father show my prayer(He will look, Thou art so fair), And say: O Father, I, Thy Son,Bring the prayer of a little one.And He will smile, that childrens tongue Has not changed since Thou wast young!