Saturday, December 29, 2012

Holy Martyrs of Vietnam parish

Rocky and I went to visit Holy Martyrs of Vietnam in Arlington Virginia. It was breathtaking. Somebody there really knows how to decorate. Their outdoor nativity scene was lovely and then when you walk inside there's another even bigger one. One of the staff turned the lights on in the church for us and we said a decade of the rosary. The tabernacle looks like its made of rosewood  and it is front and center, not shunted off to another room or in a corner. They have two  beautiful statues of Our Lady of LaVang. Vietnamese are hard working people and so they have late night Mass on Saturday and Sunday but they are all in Vietnamese. The parish is served by Dominicans.




Thursday, December 27, 2012

My King, My Little King

 
This antique holy card says Come to Me and I will bless you.
HT to the lovely Elena Vidal at the Tea at Trianon blog.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LORD!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Basso Profundos for Christmas

 
Ann Barnhardt mentioned on her site that Nat King Cole's voice always reminded her of what she imagines God's voice must sound like. Well Nat's voice is angelic and I love him, but when I was child I envisioned God as sounding like Cecil B. DeMille. Now, in my head God sounds like a basso profundo. It's the deepest vocal range and the first time I ever heard one singing I sat up said, "Hot diggity!" It gave me chills becaus it was so incredible.

My second favorite nativity painting


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

random thoughts on hysteria, miracles and stuff

*Whenever Americans freak out and say something must be done....things get worse. In the 1970s there was a mass emptying of insane asylums. Nobody seemed to connect this to the homeless media frenzy of the 80s. On Fr Z'S blog he posted a story about a mayor who's threatening a homeless shelter. One commenter wrote in that church's should pitch in and let homeless people sleep there. That's a nice thought but it also leaves the parish open to lawsuits when some woman goes into the church to pray and gets raped or murdered. I've twice had incidents with homeless men in church. The first was in St. Jospeh's on Capital Hill in DC and it  ended well becuase I and the other woman who was also frightned fled in time. The second, which happened in a wealthy suburb turned out okay because a male parish employee yelled at the guy to leave. Most folks have no idea of how dangerous some of the poor souls living on the streets can be until they volunteer to help out at the homeless ministry and have to sign a legal waiver saying the parish is not liable if they get hurt.


*One Spring day when I was 15, I was walking home from school when I realized that I was being hunted. Two guys in a car were driving very slowly down the street and they were looking at me. I remained calm and pretended I didn't see them. I reached into my bottomless pit of a purse and found my keys. I kept walking until I got to the front steps of my apartment building and then used the element of surprise and got a speed boost from my guardian angel. I ran up the steps got the front door open and slammed it behind me. As I pulled the glass and steel door closed I saw that one of the guys in the car had gotten out and was on the steps. He snapped his fingers and probably cursed in frustration then went back to his accomplice. I let myself inside my apartment, dropped my purse and books on the floor and went straight to my mothers room and lay down on her bed until she came home from work. The experience was so shocking that I never said a word about it for 20 years and to this day I've never mentioned it to my mother. I'm 4 foot eleven inches tall. I'm no speedster. I could never have fought my way to safety and it's a miracle I noticed those guys, ran fast enough and had my keys in my hand.  God saved me that day.


*I'm reading Father Luigi Villa's book on Venerable Paul VI. It's not enjoyable at all. The feelings I get while reading it are painful and  I keep walking away from it but I've never had any use for willful ignorance so I'll keep at it.




*I just received this  handmade holy card made by a delightful mother and daughter in Pennslyvania. They have an Etsy shop and the card is just gorgeous. It's on archival, thick, creamy paper and the colors are stunning. The funny thing is that I have a crocheted veil made  that looks just like the one Our Lady is wearing in the picture.

Magnificat


Friday, December 21, 2012

What not to wear

The people who own this clothing company are Protestants but I've seen stuff like this on young Catholics. Ladies, if you show up to Mass dressed like this you may mean well but I assure you, my dear it's not a good look and it makes Christian women look bad.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Visitation


Venerable Paul VI?

 So, it looks like Pope Paul VI is on his way to being cannonized. He  was an odd figure to me. I can barely remember when he died but I do recall that none of the adults seemed sad. They were excited about who the new pope would be but it was as if Paul VI had never existed. Neither the traditional nuns or Sr. Babs, the super liberal nun at school showed any emotion at all. The folks on Father Z's site didn't seem overly impressed.

Monday, December 17, 2012

One of the oldest icons of Mary


Mary Protectress of the People of Rome, it's said to have  been painted by St. Luke and brought to Rome by St. Helena.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Hell brouhahah

I think it's natural human frailty to hope that Hell is either empty or lightly populated. It's painful to think that your Uncle Lou is in Hell. Lou was great to you, he was fun, okay so he drank and cheated on his wife and had several outside children that he didn't provide one dime for, not to mention that he was nobody to mess with when he was mad as several guys at the local bar found out over the years... you all loved Uncle Lou...he's not in Hell, pretty please?

It's also comforting to think that if God is just going to forgive everybody and that if even Stalin and Hitler are in Purgatory then surely you, a nice person who has never killed or tortured anybody has nothing to worry about.

Lukewarm Catholics casuse a lot of trouble for themselves and others. Trying to pretend the Hell isn't a possible destination is foolish. Either you believe Jesus or not and He talked plainly about Hell. Either you believe Mary or not. At Fatima she talked plainly about Hell.

As for Father Barron, well, he is a priest and I'd rather pray for him than criticize him. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

massacre of the innocents....there's something happening here

This is what the LORD says: "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more."



I won't comment directly about the massacre in Connecticut because too much loose talk has been already spouted and most of it is wrong. I will say that we need to call the media into account. First the shooter was a disgrunted parent, then he was a fired teacher, then he was the son of teacher. First he was one guy and then oops, they admited they had the wrong name. First there were two shooters, and the main killer's brother had been arrested in the woods near the school. Then, it turned out the killer's brother was at work and hasn't spoken to him in years. First his mother was dead at school, now she apparently was the first victim at home. This was not news reporting. This was wild gossip.

Secondly, Michael Bloomberg in New York scares me. That man would've made a great Soviet commisar. He seems to need to control ordinary people.  And finally, can we please face the fact that some mentally ill people are dangerous to themselves and others and really do belong in a safe institution? 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tissot's Annunciation


James Tissot spent ten years in Palestine, studying the clothes, the features of the locals, the flora, fauna, and geography before the displayed his massive life of Christ exhibit. His annunciation is one of my favorites.

Monday, December 10, 2012

random thoughts

*In the olden days lay people who wanted to experience the beauty of monastic life simply moved as close as they could to the monks and nuns. Whole villages grew up around  the monasteries and young families are making the same move today.  I love going to the Franciscan monastery in DC and Rocky is fond of going to the early morning Mass at the Poor Clare monastery in Alexandria on his way to work.


*One of the biggest things a convert or new parishioner can do to make themselves unpopular is to tell everybody how great the ----was at your old parish or denomination and why you wish your new church would do the same. The first normal reaction is to respond, "Oh yeah, then why don't you go back?" I'm not saying that's kind, it's not but it's a normal reaction. 


*  Plain talk from the Early Church Fathers: The first statement of a Church council on homosexual practices was issued by the Council of Elvira (305-306). The decree excludes from communion, even in articulo mortis (at the moment of death), the stupratores puerorum (corrupters of boys).


*After Sunday Mass, Rocky and I witnessed a wedding. It was beautiful. There were less than ten people in the church counting us, and the three other people who were also saying their prayers after Mass. You don't need a huge production and frankly, instead of a Princess fantasy you can use that money to start your home and be just as happy as woman who was married in a Cathedral with a 1000 guests.



*I was at Mass in DC when Father Hurley prayed for all women who has lost children. Thank you, Father! Women who suffer failed pregnancies  get forgotten much of the time. I remember when I returned to work after recuperating from surgery for an ectopic rupture and one of my co-workers turned away from me in the hall and fled. She was pregnant herself and she just didn't know what to say and perhaps she just didn't want to be around me because I represented what could go wrong.

*Since it's Advent that crummy little Nativity movie is probably going to be aired again and someone might even get the idea to show it at the parish hall. Here's a plucky young priest who explains why the movie was blasphemous.






Saturday, December 08, 2012

John, like a speeding bullet..

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
"Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God."

When Father Eagle read these words today an image suddenly popped into my mind of St. John sitting around minding his own business when he is told, "It's time." Did an angel come to him like Gabriel did to his father? Did he have a vision of God or did the Lord send Elijah to him? However the word of God came to John he had his marching orders. The boy who was born to Zachariah and Elizabeth in their old ages was a man now, a man with a mission and like a bullet he was off. He would not tarry, or stop or turn from his path until his death.

At Mass


Monday, December 03, 2012

He bore all our sins....



Give thanks to the Lord

In this work, the artist shows a terribly poor woman who is not whinning, not demanding but gives thanks to the Lord for what she does have. Tired though she may be before she lies down or eats her meal she prays. It's a powerful and inspirational image by a forgotten master.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Plain talk from two popes and random thoughts

*Pope St. Pius X once said that “All evil in the world is due to lukewarm Catholics.”




* "What thou hast done for the poor man, thou has done for Me,"....Christ's words to St. Martin, the soldier who gave half his uniform cloack to a beggar.

When a homeless person gets to the point where they are blistered, freezing and shoeless they probably have mental illness. Most of us don't have the nerve to deal with that. At my old parish, St. Matthew's Cathedral in DC they have a huge homeless ministry and it takes patience, courage and caution to deal with the regulars. Some-- the crack and heroin users really would stab you in a heartbeat if they thought they could get away with it. Some are hustlers with the warmth of a rattlesnake. Some are severely ill with schizophrenia and other mental conditions. They will come get a sandwich or they'll come to the alley and accept a meal but are too timid to engage any more than that. The monsters in their brains are so horrible that they are terrified most of the time.  The only thing that seems to help is the Mass and being in front of the Blessed Sacrament. This officer did a beautiful act of kindness. St. Martin of Tours, pray for us.

 
 
 
 
*Father Z got a question about whether it’s okay to listen to the hymns at Mass or are we all required to sing. Father says no which is nice for me because I rarely sing at Mass. It irritates my own terrific young pastor, Fr. Eagle who has mentioned the lack of singing from the pews during one of his homilies but I can’t help it. I don’t want to sing. I want ----no---I need to concentrate on Christ at the altar. I know St. Augustine said singing is praying twice but was the saint talking about hymns or was he talking about chanting parts of the Mass? 
 



* I've noticed that a lot of people seem really angry lately. Maybe it's the election results, maybe it's the horror of joblessness, maybe it's just the feeling that's hanging in the air that the good times are over in this country. A while back, Rocky and I took a day trip to Baltimore and visited the Cathedral of Our Lady the Queen.  I was standing in the nave looking at artwork when a family walked in and headed to the pews. The father paused, looked at me with such an expression of malevolence that I just stared back at him wide eyed.  He half nodded, sharply turned his head away and followed his wife and kids. I really don't want to know what made him so angry and for his family's sake I hope he doesn't pull that stunt again with a man. St. Julian the Hospitaler, who suffered from rage fits, pray for us.



* Fr. Rutler   rocks. Plus, I always learn new words when I read his parish letters. HT to Mary Anne of Les Femmes.

 

*I've said it before and I'll say it again. Be very careful of professional laymen who go around giving speeches, writing books and setting themselves up as Catholic experts. If you find yourself saying, "Well, So and So says----  so Father Stuffy (who is quoting the catechism, popes, and giving examples from the lives of cannonized saints)is wrong," then you have a problem.  Again, BE CAREFUL. The guy who pays his mortgage with the proceeds of his talks, and media empire is not going to say anything that doesn't appeal to or excite you.
 
 
*Many women ... give in to the tyranny of fashion, be it even immodest, in such a way as to appear not even to suspect that it is unbecoming. They have lost the very concept of danger; they have lost the instinct of modesty.' Pope Pius XII.
 


 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Ave Maria

 
 
AVE MARIA, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen. 

I love this

When little kids sleep they are completely knocked out. I love this true to life image of little Jesus and Mary.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

a contemporary artist worth watching

I just discovered web page of contemporary artist, Nelson Carlin. His work is interesting. His paintings of Jesus are awful, he makes the Lord look pretty and his depiction of St. Gianna looks like she's being dive bombed by cherubs and made me laugh but his paintings of St. Torribo and St. Frances Cabrini are stunning and his priest and seminarian series is incredibly moving. His best work in my eyes was a still life of the Blessed Sacrament. Much of his religious work can be seen at the American Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

the most beautiful Our Lady of of Fatima statue I've ever seen

 
It's in Braga, Portugal

random thoughts

*On Sunday Rocky and I visited the Cathedral of Mary our Queen in Baltimore. The last time we visited we were horrified. This time was better. Archbishops O’Brien and now Lori must have tightened things up. The Blessed Sacrament chapel was not dusty and the lights were on. We saw the new archbishop and Rocky spoke to him briefly while I wandered off to look at the chapels. I’m not sure what style the artwork and stained glass are; art deco revival perhaps but it was handsome. I prefer the basilica downtown or St. Alphonsus but I’m glad we went. Later we visited the Divine Mercy shrine. Poor old Father was desperately trying to get out of the church and back to the rectory. I got out of his way,asked him no dumb tourist questions and let him shuffle on. Later we ate at Roccos in Little Italy. I only have one word ---well two for Roccos: don’t go. Nuff said there.


 
*Father Rutler has the amazing story of a little known, saintly man here.
*This young woman’s post on her love of her chapel veil got 63 comments. That’s pretty interesting to me. I started collecting veils years ago and then one day I decided that if I meant what I was saying about honoring God, and giving Him homage that I would never give to any living person it was time to use my veils. Some women at church glared at me. I shrugged my shoulders because I don’t go to church looking for socializing anyway. Today, nobody glares and several women--young and old-- wear mantillas or snoods themselves. It has nothing to do with me of course, I think there is a hunger for rediscovering Catholic tradition.




*In your charity, please pray for these Syrian nuns.   


 
*I was not surprised by the whole business with the man who is the voice of Elmo from Sesame Street being accused of debauching a minor. Nor am I surprised that the accuser has recanted. The media has been very restrained concerning this story---that I find peculiar.




* The National Gallery in London, England has a foul insult to Our Lady on display.

Atonement for Neglecting to Honor Mary

Lord, forgive all reviling of Mary's name!
We beseech Thee, hear us!
Lord, forgive all contempt of her Immaculate Conception!
We beseech Thee, hear us!
Lord, forgive all coldness in the honoring of Mary!
We beseech Thee, hear us!
Lord, forgive all contempt of Mary's pictures! We beseech Thee, hear us!
Lord, forgive all neglect of the Holy Rosary!
We beseech Thee, hear us!
Lord, forgive all indifference to Mary's Motherly love!


 










Friday, November 16, 2012

This is beautiful

 
 
When people saw this painting the artist was accused of having Catholic sympathies which shows you how tough it must have been to be a Catholic in England in the 1850s.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

a Russian Madonna and Child


Incredibly cute

The Church does not have a secret nursery for where they raise nuns and priests. Pray for vocations and come, squeal in delight with me at these two incredibly cute little babes who were St. Teresa and St. Therese for Halloween.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One of my favorite old songs....


Christ before Pilate

 
 
Pilate therefore saith to him: Speakest thou not to me? Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and I have power to release thee?    Jesus answered: Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above.  
 

Friday, November 09, 2012

Saint Kateri

Most paintings of St. Kateri are terrible and done by people who either make her look white or who think that all Indians look like the Cheyenne. This life sized portrait by Kevin Gordon is going to hang at the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in New York and I like it. My favorite image of her this one painted by  painted by Father Chaucheti√®re  who actually knew her and I think the modern portrayal is pretty close to it.  The orginial painting can be found at the St. Kateri shrine in Quebec.


Thursday, November 08, 2012

Athaliah lives

Most people think the most horrible woman in the bible was Jezebel or Herodias. No, it was Athaliah, the daughter of Jezebel. After the death of her husband, the king, she ruled Judah alone and had all the male children of the House of David killed. These were her own grandsons, nephews, and great nephews.  Athaliah wanted what she wanted and those babies were in her way. They had to go. Athaliah lived over three thousand years ago but her spirit lives and thrives.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

From today's Liturgy of the Hours

 
 
 
The Lord, judge over all Psalm 74 (75)


God will not judge by appearances, but he will rule with justice and fairness.

We shall give you thanks, O God,

give thanks and call on your name.

We shall recount your marvels.

At the moment that I have decreed

I shall hand down my judgements.

If the earth trembles with all that is in it,

it is I who set firm its pillars.

I have said to the boastful, ‘Stop boasting!’

I have said to the wicked, ‘Stop showing off your strength!’

Stop flaunting your strength to the heavens;

stop speaking boldly against God!

For triumph does not come

from the east or the west;

it does not come from the wilderness.

It is God who is the judge:

he raises some, abases others.

The cup in the Lord’s hand

is foaming with wine that is drugged.

He pours it out and they will drain it.

All the sinners of the earth shall drink.

But I will proclaim him for ever,

and sing of the God of Jacob.

I will smash the strength of the wicked,

and the power of the just shall prevail.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,

world without end.

Amen.

God will not judge by appearances, but he will rule with justice and fairness.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

100 years-- a thought for election day

Imagine if Cardinal Dolan had stood up at the Al Smith dinner and asked for one moment of silence for each child aborted since 1973, and then imagine the looks on everyone's faces if he'd informed his guests that it would take about 100 years to do so. Do you think that would've gotten a good laugh?

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Mea culpa, dudes

I'm sorry. From the moment you started school onward your teachers have been trying to turn you into a little girl. Your normal, fantastic masculine swagger has been attacked, and medicated by the millions.  Perhaps that's why so many guys have retreated into backward baseball cap, saggy shorts, and sneakers all the time man-boys as some kind of defense method.

If you are the son of a single mother who brought her lovers home you were probably exposed to more than a little boy should  and if any of the lovers were dangerous you might have spent your young lives at home being threatened or abused. Again, I'm sorry. Secular society failed you--- a few people spoke up, like Dan Quayle but they were shouted down, and the rest of us took the hint and relentlessly minded our own business. Today, too late for you I know, a few more people are looking at crime and mental illness statistics and pointing out that the sons of single mothers have suffered and dish it out in disproportionate numbers but this is dry and clinical and except for Ann Coulter, it's only spoken of quietly and in like minded company. The Church failed you, your fathers failed you and I'm no longer shocked at the intense misogyny I'm seein  in even Catholic 20-30 year olds .... but guys all women aren't raving feminists. Truly.

Lessons from Sandy

  1. Have an emergency plan and kit.
  2. When the governor says evacuate, haul yourself out of there.
  3. Buy emergency food now. Get something that can be eaten without heat or water.
  4. Buy bottles of water.
  5. If you decide to stay in your home make sure you have plastic bags so  you can relieve yourself in them in case the water is out.
  6. Don't expect anybody to come get you soon.
  7. Either befriend your neighbors or be aware of the fact that in an emergency they may be part of your problem.
  8. Buy blankets and if you can't afford or don't have room for real blankets get the emergency shiny metallic ones. They fold down to the size of a handkerchief and I keep some in the car, one at work and one in my purse. It's so tiny folded up I don't even notice it in my bag.
  9. You need to buy at least four  big flashlights for home and one for the car. I keep a tiny one in my bag at all times.

Friday, November 02, 2012

All Souls Day

Eternal rest grant unto them Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them, may they rest in peace. Amen

Thursday, November 01, 2012

All Saints Day

Don't forget to go to Mass....


 
Oh Church Triumphant, pray for us.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This is beautiful

A Carmelite on Profession Day
 
HT Brides of Christ tumblr blog

Monday, October 29, 2012

Contemplation

This crucifix gives us a tiny idea of what Mary saw when she looked at her Son, her precious baby, on the cross. I was sitting in church one day and thought of the image on the Shroud and it hit me how horrible Our Lord's beaten, bloodied face must have looked. And this was all for me and you that we might be saved.

The storm

I find talking about weather boring. Living in Northern Virginia where people completely freak out if there's two inches of snow on the ground I look at weather hysteria (which is NOT the same as prudent concern), with contempt. Freaking out does not help anything and makes the situation worse for people who depend on you or who have to be stuck listening to you. My rules for bad weather are simple and don't take hours of discussion.

 *If it's raining too hard for an umbrella, take shelter.

* If its snowing go make grilled cheese.

*When it's hot go inside and turn on the air conditioning.

*When it's cold, go inside and turn on the heat.

*Check the insurance policies BEFORE the storm hits.

*Move the priceless antiques and yourself to the upper floors BEFORE the storm hits if your basement and first floor usually flood.

 *If the weather is life threatening grab the pre-packed emergency bag and get the heck out. That's about it. 

Please pray for all those people sleeping on the streets tonight. May someone coax them into shelters and please pray for those who may loose their lives or property to Hurricane Sandy... flood clean up is stinky, miserable and in this wrecked economy a lot of people won't have the money to do it. Oh and one more thing, hurricane season usually goes on to early November so this may not be the end.

Hmmm. I wonder what this means?

Now that they've kicked Bishop Williamson out does this mean that the SSPX talks aren't dead afterall? I think that this thrust and parry dance is going to go on for decades but it's interesting to watch.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Vigil Mass at St. Rita

Bishop Loverde came to celebrate Mass today at St. Rita's. I'd forgotten how tiny he is. He and Cardinal McCarick are about the same height and the cardinal is as we as a leprechaun. It was a beautifully celebated Mass. Our choir sang pieces from Thomas Thalis and Fr. Eagle and Fr. Bear looked really exicted. The Mass was for the intention of the late Fr. Watkins who was once pastor of St. Rita's.

methods of hearing the Tridentine Mass

Lady Lucy befor her entrance into
the convent



Did you know that you aren't required to follow the missal at at TLM? A priest, and I can't remember if it was a young Archbishop Sheen or not once told a story about asking an old Irish woman what she was doing at Mass because he never saw her with a missal. She replied with some asperity, "Father, I sits and I loves." He thought about it and concluded that she was doing just fine. Some people follow the Mass  by praying suggested prayers as the priest hits different parts of the Mass and others follow by meditating  on the Agony and death of Our Lord or the sufferings of the Holy Souls.

 Mother Teresa Joseph (Lady Lucy Herbert in the world), an English  Augustinian nun who died in 1744,  wrote a book called Several Excellent Methods of Hearing Mass which spells out how to do this. I tried a couple of her  methods and they were  not for me. I think it takes practice to do the meditations and stop at the right time so that you are moving along roughly at the priest's pace instead of being surprised with the consecration bells ring. It is HARDER for me than following along in the missal ---but it was interesting and I'm glad I read the book. No matter how many degrees you have or even if you're a papal knight there is ALWAYS something more to be learned about the Faith, devotions and Catholic customs. Holy Mother Church has inexhaustable treasure in wisdom for those who are willing to study.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Agony in the Garden

Carl Bloch did multiple versions of this, his most famous painting. I think I like this one the best.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

every now and then the devil shows his face


 A  big money donor to the Democrats who is also either a P.T. Barnum without the charm or  kin to the Weird Sisters of Macbeth facme, has some nasty things to say about Catholics. Among them was this statement, “We will come on you in a terror."

A terror? Now where have I read that before? The devil and his children play the same basic game over and over. Call it Communism, call it New Age…whatever. Look at the martyrs of Rome, Spain, Mexico, France and Russia and realize what this stuff is and that it will go on until the end of time.   

St. Francis in Prayer


As I've said before the seraphic Saint Francis was so
different from the icky Brother Sun Sister Moon movie version of him that it's
almost comical...almost.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why are there no Catholic fashion sites?

On the 11 On My Own blog, the author was wondering why there aren't a lot of Catholic fashion sites. Mormon women have modest yet attractive fashion blogs---Thread Ethic is the absolute best, and lots of clothing stores online and in brick and mortar. Orthodox Jewish women do a fantastic job of creating beautiful clothes that fit their code of dress. It doesn't work for Catholic women because we've been taught for so long to to look and live like everybody else.. I don't think a Catholic designer who was interested in making good looking, adult modest clothing  could make enough money to keep the business going.

Monday, October 22, 2012

demonic

A few days ago I read a story about a school bus driver who told an 11 or 12 year old boy that his mother should've aborted him. The driver was harrassing this child becuase his parents had a Romney sign in their yard. The driver, who thankfully, was fired,  is reportedly, in her 70s. My first thought was that perhaps this is a case of dementia in the early stages because it can cause even a sweet natured individual to have downright nasty episodes, but no, apparently this woman is just really committed to abortion on demand. 

How messed up do you have to be to take your political views out on a kid? I mean, I may like Obama, Romney or the Governor from The Walking Dead for president but it would never occur to me to discuss politcs with anybody else's child much less make a vicious personal attack. Abortion meant more to this woman than her job, basic human decency, and even the the appearance of normalcy. Hard core, day in, day out abortion advocates are different even from the lazy or just thoughtless pro-abortion people you may know at work or in your family. All the hard core true believers give a damn about and live for is to kill babies.  You can't reason with them. They're like Dracula on a drop of blood. Whatever it is that holds them is simply demonic.



 Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Amen.





Saturday, October 20, 2012

Zombie babies: a sign of the times?

My boss is insisting on throwing  a Halloween cupcake party this year. I'm not thrilled and said so but I don't get a vote so.........I headed to a party store to pick up table cloths and a couple of decorative items. Five seconds afer stepping into the place I began to feel sick. The big thing this year is zombie babies.  Rows and rows of   undead infants dripping with blood.  Vampires, ghouls, ghost and witch costumes were also there once you walked further into the store but the dead baby figurines, and life sized statues  were up front. The party store owner knows what's hot and what his customers want and must have gone all out. I had no idea this was considered cool and I'm pretty sure it's says something about our culture. I didn't buy anything and left as quickly as I could.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

random thoughts

*Don’t knock yourself out trying to get your kid into Harvard. It meant something once but really the students are no better than you are. In fact, there’s a lot of filth and corruption hiding in that ivy.



*The Holy Father said something very interesting about Vatican II.


*Well I guess the other shoe dropped.


* If you want to do something about the talking and disrespect for the Blessed Sacrament in your parish try this: Refuse---gently to chat with people in the pews, Genuflect or bow if your knees can't take it anymore, EVERY SINGLE time you pass Jesus. Say a thank you prayer after Mass unless you have small explosive children and if you do try stopping just for a minute and saying bye bye to Our Lord before you go out. Genuflect or bow your head before receiving Communion. You may think this is all pointless because nobody notices. Nonsense. Jesus notices and you'd be surprised but other parishioners do to.


*John Zmirak is an interesting man. I don't know what to make of him.  I read Bad Catholic's Guide and found parts of it distasteful but serious Catholics who I respect, raved about the books.I'm completely unsure of where he's coming from or what team he's really playing on but oh my, can he write.

* To celebrate the Year of Faith the faithful have been granted a plenary indulgence. The Vatican News service has the details.  
 
 

 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I thought this was a joke at first.

 Warning. Do not look at this video if you have high blood pressure, deep melacholia, or are quick to anger. Pray and sacrifice for the Holy Father. Fixing stuff like this spectacle at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil is so hard and huge a job that it can only be done with holy help. I keep hearing that Latin American Catholics will revitalize the Church here in the States because they have a superior grasp of the Faith. Umm. No, bad teaching and tolerance of stupid stuff has had its way there just as it has here. HT Rorate Caeli and WDTPRS.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Monday, October 08, 2012

The Catholic vote

I read Dr. Mirus' comments on why the Catholic vote is apparently in the bag for Obama.  He chalks it up to a failure in teaching. I think it's actually a triumph of the teaching we've been getting for decades. We have been told from the pulpit and in Catholic books, diocesan newspaper editorials, and by the lay leaders of the parish not to be embarassing, parochial, Catholic ghetto unsophisticates and to be cool like everybody else. And so, you have Catholic men and women who, except for the one hour they shuffle into church are exactly like everyone else.

God help us.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Monday, October 01, 2012

St. Therese, I love you

She's been my loving, protective, and encouraging  friend for a long time now.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

random thoughts

From the Passion of the Christ
 
*I just subscribed to Laudamus te, a beautiful devotional missal/magazine. It’s very much like Magnificat but for the Tridentate Mass.


*I visited my uncle on Saturday instead of my usual Sunday and afterwards we went to Assumption church near the nursing home. We've become quite fond of that little parish. The pastor was away and they had a guest priest. He was a gentle confessor and preached his homily with such passion that he looked positively drained afterwards. He mentioned that he's been to many parishes and some have left him simply astonished at the coldness of the people. I had to smile because I've been to a lot of churches like that.


*Is anybody really surprised that the SSPX and the Vatican couldn't reach a deal?


*I was reading New Theological Movement and a commenter said that the Anglicans are more catholic than many of the regular Catholics sitting in the pews. If I see or hear that particular remark one more time I think I'll spit.


*Rocky volunteered to help his brother Knights of Columbus with the parish picnic this year. I'm at home sick and didn't go. This morning he went to pick up the catering order at a local Salvadoran restaurant and later told me that it was like a Western movie. He walked in and it got silent. The customers stopped eating and stared at him. I guess they thought he was a cop or an ICE agent. 


*I just can't read Fisheaters anymore. It's just too sad. It's like walking down the street and finding one of your high school classmates covered in his own muck and bile as he kicks and screams in the gutter. Even if you never really liked the guy it makes your stomach turn to to see it.



*I have fallen in love with the "Overwhelmed by You" song in the Sam Adams beer commercial. I don't care about beer but that song is great.




*Eternal rest grant unto them oh Lord..... Can we please leave Afghanistan? At this point I'm ready to vote for Donald Duck if he assures me that this country will leave that land for good.



*When trying to figure out how to be a good wife and mother don't consult magazines or pop pyschology books . Instead look to Mary. You can not do any better than her.





 



Saturday, September 29, 2012

Of Hobbits, bubbles, and young girls' souls

Father Z has a post on the Hobbit, a book that changed his life. For me, the big book was A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Sarah Crewe's gallantry, kindness, and patience and her loyalty moved me deeply when I was eight and I never forgot her or the desire to be like her.  I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder's books too. Half Pint's resoucefulness and grit impessed me. When parents let their kids read great novels it has an effect. When they let them read trash that has an effect too. I wouldn't be surprised if the foolish women who can't get enough of Fifty Shades of Gray weren't big fans of Flowers in the Attic when they were girls.


Parents have to monitor what goes into their child's brain and not just reading material. You have to constantly preach and more importantly you have to live what you preach. On Ann Barnhardt's page (warning--if you can't take strong language don't go there), she mentions a woman who complained that her daughter wants to be like Kim Kardashian. Miss Barnhardt told her to get rid of her cable TV and the woman replied that she didn't want to live in a little bubble. Actually, in this case, the problem isn't so much the TV as the national culture. You don't have to watch her show to know what the Kardashian woman is doing and this is not the first time a low woman has been idolized by millions.

Kardashian is in fact,  the tip of a spear that goes way, way back. Delilah and Jezebel were dazzling. Eleanor of Aquitaine was a terrible wife and aduteress but she was adored and today remains  a heroine to both feminist and non feminists. Englishwomen may not have loved Anne Boleyn but they were fascinated by her. Her French hoods and extra long sleeves were widely copied. Madam DuBarry set the fashions at Court and was imitated by both good and bad. In Lillie Langtry's day everyone wanted to be like her even though she was an open adulteress. Women rushed to buy anything that Lillie endorsed and people flocked her plays wherever she was in the world. In latter times Elizabeth Taylor and Lana Turner and Angelina Jolie are idolized. If a woman is beautiful and hard enough to dare to do the outrageous she can get away with almost anything. As I said before, it's an old story. Evil has glamour.

But getting back to the woman Miss Barnhart was talking about. She has failed but not necessarily by refusing to get rid of the TV, she's failed because she's obviously not paying enough attention to her kid and she doesn't appear to filling her matriarch role. If your pre-teen daughter's idol is a harlot and she's comfortable telling you that, you messed up somewhere. 

Instead of complaining to people who are too polite to call her out, this woman should be telling her kid that Kardashian is disgusting and that she doesn't want to see or hear anything in her house with that name and that no amount of imitation of that woman's behavior will be tolerated. That means no more shopping at Sears, no purchases of Kardashian perfume  and no more OPI nail polish until they stop selling the  Kardashian brand, and no purchases of any magazine that has her on the cover. Her kid may resent her and be pouty for months but she'll get the message: In mom's house, Kim Kardashian is not a heroine.

Elizabeth Taylor was my father's favorite actress but I knew full well that he did not want me to imitate her personal life. I was my dad's little queen but I knew there were lines, fences of protection that I did not need to cross or there would be consequences. I'm betting that the woman with the Kardashian loving daughter doesn't have any fences. Lacking a fence doesn't mean you don't live in a Christian bubble, it means that predators of all kinds have access to your kid's mind and immortal soul.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Something beautiful

It's been a horrible week so I've prayed more and looked at the calming photos from the breathtakingly beautiful Tumblr blog, Brides of Christ.