Friday, December 29, 2006

On the 5th day of Christmas I sat down to blog

Christmas has been great so far. I am in such a good mood and it's been no stress at all. I did most of my cooking on Christmas Eve and put it all in the fridge. The turkey, ham, stuffing, gravy, rolls and mashed potatoes were prepared at the last minute on Christmas Day. Rocky loved the hot and spicy string beans I did this year and everybody was crazy about the double chocolate cake.

Mass on Christmas Eve was lovely, simple and sweet. Fr. Theoden looked very happy to see us--- what a good man. Despite the size of his parish he manages to say and remember something about all of us. Fr. Aragorn was jollier than usual.

For Christmas Day Mass we had five altar boys and a delightful seminarian. The church organist played the new carillion and mercifully the cantor toned it down and sang a Kyrie and Glory to God that you didn't need years of vocal training to actually follow. Traditional hyms and carols were sung. The church was decorated beautifully and the creche was displayed in Mary's chapel. My mama, who is not Catholic was favorably impressed and that is saying something.

I didn't decorate until Christmas Eve and decided that I absolutely had to have a white tree this year so I hopped on the bus, marched over to Sears and bought one. It's pre-lit and the branches are hinged on. Oh yes, yes, yes! I cought a cab home and had the tree decorated in record speed. The tree, along with my new living room curtains and two coats of wax on the floor made the living room look pretty good. Rocky doesn't care about decorating (thank God) but his eyes lit up when he came through the front door from work. I wish I'd had a camera ready.

May your octave of Christmas be beautiful.

Born to die



I wonder as I wander out under the sky...


how Jesus, our Savior did come forth


to die

for poor onery sinners like you and like I.....


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve thoughts

In the drab Nativity movie Mary is presented as a sullen teen who complains about being betrothed to man she doesn't know or love. This is silly. Nazareth was an itty bitty little town. Everybody knew everybody. It was in the eyes of the other Gallileans, a crummy little backwoods place.

To this insignificant hamlet the angel of God, Gabriel came. An old hymn describes him as having wings of snow drift white and eyes like flame. I like that description it sounds like he was an awesome sight. And who did he come to? A young girl. Mary, just 14 or 15 and this angel asked her to be the mother of the messiah. Imagine that for minute. And Mary said yes. She said, "I am the Handmaid of the Lord." Archbishop Sheen once noted that in Aramaic she actually said, "I am the slave of the Lord." What perfect trust. What perfect acceptance. Oh thank you, dear Mother!


And think for a moment of Joseph. A good man, probably a young man ( the Jews of that day didn't like May-December marriages) already on his way to being a saint even then. When friends or neighbors approached him remarked rudely on Mary's pregnancy he had the presence of mind to say nothing. He knew the Child in her womb was not his but knowing Mary he surely couldn't have imagined that she did anything wrong. He would not denounce her to the world. He would not expose her to a death sentence. He decided to divorce her quietly. Divorce, not break off an engagement but actuall divorce. Mary was not an unwed mother. It makes me sick when people say that, especially if it's a priest. A betrothed couple were married under the law. They weren't living together yet but they were married.

And then the angel spoke to Joseph and he believed. He did not argue like the educated priest Zachariah did. He didn't complain that this Event was going to change his life forever. He simply believed and quickly had the wedding ceremony performed and moved Mary into his home. Thank you dear Saint Joseph. You did not care what the neighbors and your buddies said, you rushed to obey the Lord and to protect your little bride.


And then the day came to go to Bethlehem. It couldn't have been an easy trip. The pictures of Mary on a donkey look sweet but that's no luxury ride. But she and Jospeh knew their scripture. The Messiah was foretold as coming out of Bethehem, David's city. So she went. Bethlehem is a small town. Once Rocky and I were in Blacksburg and were trying to find a hotel for the night. Alas there was a football game that night and there were no rooms to be had as far as West Virginia. When Mary and Joseph arrived every inn was full of people come to pay their taxes. Inns in those days were simple affairs. One might have two or three private rooms and a courtyard where poorer guests could bed down with their animals and other people. No woman would want to have a baby under those circumstances. Commentators have guessed that Mary asked for privacy and Joseph wanted her to have it. They couldn't get a room and for some reason didn't want to join the swarm in the open courtyard or just staying with one of the caravans that surely must have been surrounded Bethehem that night. Some inn keeper offered them his stable. I hope he didn't charge them too much for it.

The Child was born. Thank you, God for sending Your only Son. Thank you Jesus for leaving Heaven and coming to the world as a tiny Babe. You came not to live a pleasant life but to die. The Cross loomed over Your cradle. You came on a rescue mission to reclaim hopeless sinners. Thank you Lord!


Merry Christmas dear readers and blog friends!

Friday, December 22, 2006

An open letter to our bishops

I found this on the Lair of the Catholic Cavemen Blog. It's a real doozy and pretty much sums up all that can be said about the leadership of most of our bishops for the last 45 years.

random thoughts for a Friday night


  • I've been running around, finishing up work so I could go home for Christmas vacation, delivering gifts and cards and making a half hearted attempt at cleaning up the sty--- I mean the living room. We don't have a tree yet which isn't bad because I hadn't planned to put one up until Christmas Eve anyway but so far every place I've contacted has sold out of the trees I want.




  • I went to church on Wednesday to say a rosary for my co-worker and was annoyed as all get out by my fellow parishioners. About four or five people stared at me like they've never seen a black Catholic before. I usually laugh this off but it really got me this time. I mentioned it to a priest and bless his heart, he told me that perhaps those silly people are staring because I'm beautiful. Aw shucks, that was sweet.


  • According to The Cafeteria is Closed and Whispers in the Loggia retired Bishop Gumbleton has finally been told to sit down and shut up. That's great but what about all the souls he's messed up over all these years?


  • I wish Virgil Goode was my Congressman instead of that wretch, Jim Moran.



  • I got a lovely Christmas e-mail from the Sisters of Carmel in Colorado. They made my husband's rosary and I got my Holy Face medal from them.

Our Lady of America, pray for us


Here is the newest statue of Our Lady of America. You can read about this devotion here.

Jerusha

My co-worker Jerusha passed away from pneumonia.




Eternal rest grant unto her Oh Lord.
May pepetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

a few questions on my mind

An Anglican priest converted to the Faith and was recently ordained as a Catholic priest. A lot of people across the Catholic blogosphere are delighted and I guess I should be but I have a few questions.

The new Father has a wife and kids. Who is supporting his family? Obviously he's got to make more than the average priest so he can keep his family decently. Where will he live? He can't live in the rectory unless the parish is going to kick any other priests in residence out. If he's living in his own home who is paying his mortagage? Will his wife be able to keep up her previous standard of living? Suddenly going from shopping at department stores to thrift shops could be pretty demoralizing. If his wife divorces him will the archdiocese have to pay child support and alimony? What will his wife's role be in the parish? The wives of Baptist preachers are expected to be both servants and queens to the congregation. Will Mrs. Priest be running the parish or will she just show up at Mass with the kids on Sunday? If she becomes depressed (many preacher's wives suffer from depression) who will pay for therapy? Speaking of the kids is the archdiocese responsible for sending them to college? If Fr. dies before they all turn 18 will the parish or the archdiocese be forced to take care of them until they reach maturity?

I hate to be the skunk at the garden party but it sounds to me like married convert priests might be a costly decision for the church.

Prayers needed

A co-worker of mine has pneumonia. Yesterday she went into Code Blue status which is as bad as you can get this side of the grave. She is not expected to make it through the weekend. Jerusha has a five year old adopted son. Please, if you get a chance say a little prayer for them.





St. Therese, patron of the sick pray for her.

Give Mel a break

I wish people would get off Mel Gibson's back. Stop projecting your paranoia, needs and wishes on to him. I have read comments from several tradionalist bloggers bemoaning the fact that Mel "failed" to make a movie on the Nativity leaving the story open to the Evangelicals who made the lackluster The Nativity Story movie. On a traditionalist message board some pitiful creature complained that Mel Gibson bought himself a new house instead of giving some of his earnings from The Passion to the SSPX or some independent ultra traditionalist order. What utter crap. Where is it written that Mel Gibson is obligated to make biblical movies for the rest of his career? What business is of ours what Mr. Gibson chooses to do with his own money?

Commenters on a Catholic blog viciously attacked Mel Gibson's daughter becase she got married at the chapel Mel paid for and because the man she married doesn't appear to be Catholic. Several people even threw hissy fits because they thought the poor girl's wedding dress was immodest. It wasn't. Padre Pio, who was a stickler for modest attire would'nt turned her away so I don't know what these people were complaining about. It seemed like they all had a beef with Mel and had to pick on his kid in order to get their ugliness out of their systems.


And then there are Catholic bloggers on the Left side who are bitching that Apocalypto is too violent. Do these saps really believe that the Maya were peaceful angelic beings who lived in perfect harmony until the mean old white man came? No, the Mayan culture was hideous (and a lot like ours in some ways-- they slaughtered thousands to their gods and we slaughter millions of unborn children to the gods of choice and convenience) and if Apocalypto was to be anything other than a cartoon Mel had to show that.

I'm also totally sick of people harping on Mel's alcohol problem. Since most of the folks in Hollywood are perverts, freaks and deviants who are they to criticize for anything? As I've said before, alcoholism runs in my family. I've seen decent, kind and beautiful people turn into monsters when they drink. It's a tragedy--- a running sore on the soul. I hope he can recover fully and I thank him for making The Passion. Period. Mel Gibson makes movies. That's all he owes the public. If you want more from him than that you really need to check yourself.

Thank God

I wish that my African ancestors could've come to America the same way my Irish ancestors did: via a cheap ticket on the steerage level of a ship. I wish that my African ancestors could've been spared slavery and all it's horrors. I wish my grandmother could've avoided all the racism she endured. I wish that my great grandparents could've gotten married but interracial marriage was against the law unti 1968. I wish that my parents could've grown up without feeling uneasy every time a white man looked at them. I wish black American didn't have an over 70% out of wedlock birth rate. I wish that black America could reject the idiotic and self defeating thug culture. I wish a lot of things but when I read stories like this I thank God that my African ancestors ended up in America.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

random thoughts for a wednesday night

  • I love Monday night Mass at my church. Usually there's no music and no sign of peace. It's a smaller crowd and somehow more homey.


  • After reading Rocco Palmo's blog (just for giggles) and seeing his Guadalupe post I was left wondering if this guy is for real. Does he honestly believe the stuff he writes or is he just putting us all on?

  • Yesterday I came across a cradle Catholic who went to 12 years of Catholic schools who swore she never heard of Holy Days of Obligation until she was an adult. I think her parents should sue the diocese for their tuition money back.

  • This is a really great site.

  • Gerald of the Cafeteria is Closed blog got married. His lovely bride looked glorious and it was quite refreshing to see a bride who didn't have most of her cleavage exploding out of her dress. I'll be so glad when that immodest fad is finally over.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

random thoughts for a thursday night

1. Remember tomorrow is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It's a Holy Day of Obligation so get yourself to Mass.

2. It's now December 7 (Feast of St. Ambrose who was so holy that the local people demanded that he be made their bishop even before he graduated from the seminary!) and no Universal Indult has been announced.

3. Yesterday we had a stuck in the 60s guest priest at noon Mass. Today young Fr. Frodo was back and boy was I glad to see him.

4. I try never to read Rod Dreher because he makes me ill most of the time but I came across his nasty comments on the Bush twins and was disgusted. He calls them party girls. That may mean something different in Texas but where I come from party girl is a euphemism for slut. If attacks on young women because you hate their father is a crunchy conservative value I don't want any part of it.


5. Some of the commentary about Mel Gibson's Acpocalypto strikes me as being well, totally unhinged.

Mass on Wednesday

Today we had a visiting priest and his homily was pretty much what you'd expect from a Baby Boomer who probably went to the seminary in the 70s or early 80s. He said he didn't care whether the chalice holding the Precious Blood was glass or gold and he didn't care about altar girls who purified the chalice and ciborium. All that mattered to him was whether Catholics are compassionate or not. Good thing Fr. Visitor is not the pope. I found it sad that a man his age had confused the worship of God with being a social worker.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Nativity movie review

A priest has written a very fair, I think and very perceptive review of The Nativity movie.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Advent

Today is the begining of Advent. We went to the Vigil Mass last night because Rocky had to work on Sunday. It turned out to be one of the funniest Masses I've ever been too. We arrived early and said our prayers and sat down. Suddenly we heard boom, boom, boom. The organist and the cantor were flying up the aisle. They stopped to genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament and almost ran into the sacristy. Their backs were both ramrod straight. Their faces were set like stone. They apparently had had a disagreement and intended for Fr. Theoden to settle it right then and there. Judging by her expression when she came out I'd say that the cantor won.

Next came the song of the old folks. For some reason several elderly parishioners couldn't contain themselves and were talking very loudly. The old woman sitting in front of me had a voice like a fog horn. You'd never believe such a deep sound could come out of a little tiny woman. Then came the baby chorus. A babe yowled in the back. Two toddlers danced and shouted in the front while their mother tried to hush them.


Then Mass started. Young Fr. Aragorn looked splendid in the purple Advent vestments and we had eight altar boys and three of our four ushers put on ties and jackets. One of the lectors had stage fright and whispered the second reading. Fr. Theoden gave them homily on---- pledge week. It's time in our parish to decide what we are going to give on a weekly basis for the next year. There was so much whispering and fidgeting in the pews. It was like a bunch of bad kids had been called into the principal's office. One man sitting behind me stage whispered in an aggrieved tone, "I give $20 a week!" Oh wow, dude. Did we all have to know it?

Fr. Theoden ignored that and reminded us all that our collection plate money goes into running our very old little church and blessed us all for our generosity. His homilies are always so great. I think he would have made a fine 8th grade teacher if he hadn't beeen called to the priesthood.

something decent from Bishop Loverde

I'll be blunt. Bishop Loverde is my bishop and I'm not overly impressed by his leadership or treatment of his priests but I'll give credit where it's due. He recently released a pastoral letter on pornography and it's worth reading. In America people spend more money on porn than on football, baseball, and basketball combined. That's an ocean of filth washing over us every day.

And it's not just hard core porn either, a lot of men wink at the problem by buying "swimsuit" or cheesecake mags. They claim they aren't supporting real pornography because although the girl in the picture is naked she's covered by a piece of fabric or feathers. Bull shit.

A lot of women blithely contribute to the porn industry too. Those "erotic" romance novels are just as bad as Playboy. Those women's magazines like Cosmopolitan, Marie Clare and Jane are huge occasions for sin. They endlessly promote mindless sex, abortion and try to make being a low down skank some kind of admirble thing.

Thanks be to God!


The Holy Father has left Turkey in one piece. Thanks be to God. Thank you to the Blessed Virgin, Saint Michael and all the angels and saints who walked beside him the whole trip. Now, about that visit to the Blue Mosque. I know that a lot of people are either pissed or merely disappointed. I'm not one of them. Look at it this way, the Holy Father did not drop to his knees in prayer like Paul VI, nor did he kiss a koran, like John Paul II. He merely closed his eyes and appeared to be deep in thought. When the first missionaries came to America they prayed and said Mass in a land that had previously been in the grip of demons. So I have no problem if Benedict XVI said a little prayer among the heathens in a mosque. Besides, Turkey aint a nice place. The Holy Father had the lives of Christians there to worry about. He may well have prevented a pogrom and I can't criticize that. Trust B16, I think he knows what he's doing.