Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I won't sugar coat this. When I heard about Archbishop Cordeleone I was exasperated.  Frankly, the first thing that came to my mind was that scene in Godfather where Michael says to his brother, "You broke my heart, Fredo."

Oh well. Genesis says that the serpent was the most subtle of all the creatures and the devil works all the time at undermining the Lord's shepherds. Stupid, disappointing stuff like this is going to happen. So we go on. We pray for our bishops.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

highs and lows

Rocky and I spent a few days in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It's so beautiful and so relaxing just driving along the country roads. We got to visit an Amish farm and I bought crafts from the farmers children. We brought back bags of fruit and corn for my mother. We fed goats, chickens and pettied a few dairy cows and calves. We shopped at Goods general store. We ate bought cheese from September farm, whoopie pies , shoo fly pie and the best chicken pot pie I've ever tasted. The food in Lancaster is so good that when I come back nothing local seems very good for days. The Amish are such industrious, vital people.

We went to the nursing home today and my uncle's mood was not great. His body clock is so off that he stays up all night and doesn't sleep until 4 or 5 in the morning. He was cranky and swore at us. He then went back to sleep and we let him be. This was pretty much of a housekeeping visit. We got his dirty clothes, made an appointment with the nursing home barber and checked his closet and dresser becuase he's been putting dirty clothes back with the clean lately. He'll be his usual sweet as pie next week, I'm sure. These mood fits are just part of this horrible, cruel disease.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Have mercy on the children

Single motherhood by choice is not a good thing. This is one of the unpleasant truths that we know but don't dare say out loud at work or in social situations. Our society lionizes single mothers and heaps sympathy on these "strong" women. Essentially we are celebrating child abuse. Now before anybody goes berserk let me point out that I am the child of a widow. My father died when I was 13. It was not easy for my mother and she had to work two jobs for a period of time before she got a promotion at her main job. As for me, for years I would have debilitating anxiety attacks on the rare occasions when I didn't know exactly where she was. My father's death was unexpected and sudden and I was terrified that something would also happen to her. A woman who was divorced through no fault of her own is very much like a widow and the children of divorcees and widows account for very little violent social pathologies.  I am not talking about widows or divorced women.

I am talking about women who decided that they either didn't need a man or who kept getting involved with men who had no intention of ever being tied down. In 1996, 70% of all prison inmates were the sons of single mothers. Criminologists warned that we would be facing super predators in the next decade.  Do you think the recent flash mobs and home invasions by teenagers is a some kind of accident? Today according to the Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, children from single-parent (fatherless) households make up 63% of all youth suicides, and 80% of all prison inmates.  Sixty percent of rapists come from fatherless homes.

Have you ever wondered why so many young white men are misogynistic? I've noticed this when I occasionally read manophere blogs and any time younger guys comment on Internet forums. Have you ever wondered why Hip Hop culture is such  an intensely woman hating one? The generation raised by women doesn't seem to like us very much. Why is that? 

The bible says that a father does not hand his son a snake when the boy asks for fish. A mother shouldn't either. It's already too late for millions of people. We need to stop acting like single motherhood is a great thing. It aint. Marry before having children, and stay married unless your husband is wicked or a domestic brute. If you are pregnant out of wedlock choose a brave, loving, selfless choice: choose adoption.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

random thoughts

  • I think the Pro-Life folks got sold out. The Al Smith dinner will go as usual. Everyone will have a good time. The Cardinal is far too civilized to pull a St. John the Baptist or a St. John Chystostom. I hope I'm wrong but I expect to see a photo with the Cardinal standing  between Romney and Obama with his head thrown back laughing.
  • New Yorkers really aren't all that tough. They just ignore stuff and keep moving.

  • I didn't notice any mention of Nellie Gray's death in the big time professional Catholic blogs.
  • I'll be so glad when this election is over. In the last few weeks we haven't been able to go to the grocery store or even the parking lot of our  apartment building without being intercepted by some eager soul trying to get us registered to vote. Last Thursday Rocky  had to shoo away two volunteer women while trying to unload our groceries. He's cute but gee whiz....
  • Speaking of the registration people... should Cousin Pookie who hasn't been sober or even given a damn about anything since the 80s really be voting?  If you have beg him, force him into a van and up to the voting booth with the promise of a little something later for his trouble should he be voting? Should a kid who doesn't even know who the Vice President is be voting? Maybe we should just leave these people in peace and leave voting to the folks who actually care about what's going on.
  • Good taste and an English accent do not always go together.
  • Life in the suburbs is actually more anonymous than life in the city. People moved out here to get away the old neighborhood. Here as long as you keep your grass cut, your condo quiet and your kids out of trouble you can pretty much live as you please without any comments from your neighbors who probably don't even know your name or care to do so.  I used to wonder why parishes in the 'burbs were so cold and unfriendly compared to the parishes I've been to in the city. I think it has to do with the urge to be left alone and in peace that has mutated into a "Get the hell away from me unless you belong to my group or have a child in the parish school," gene.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rest in peace, Nellie Gray

“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
Lord of the Rings

Nellie Gray was a truly gallant, noble woman and warrior for Christ and she made the most of the time that was given her. 

        May angels lead you into paradise; upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem. May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Alas for those who met her

Helen Gurley Brown is dead. I don't follow the pagan Greek custom of speaking only good of the deceased so this post may bother some people. Please skip it now if that is the case.

The woman was quite frankly, a procuress. She didn't stalk the school yard luring your girls into her brothel but she cleverly used her writing talent to seduce, to ensnare, to glamour in the orginal 18th century sense of the word.  Her claim to wealth and fame was that she convinced two or three generations of teenagers and young women that adultery was okay, that not only was fornication okay but that you were missing out and were a hopeless loser if you weren't doing it, and that sleeping with your boss was okay if it helped your career.

This foul creature is responsible through her books and magazine for the ruin of many a poor girl. Some of us who read her books in high school got off relatively unscathed. God only knows how many weren't.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Assumption by Mateo Cerezo

Don't forget to go to Mass

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Our Lady of the Passion

This is an Ethiopian version of the Our Lady of the Passion icon. After seeing gold medal winner, Messarat Defar's devotion to Our Lady I went looking for examples of Ethiopian art. We have a huge Ethiopian population in Virginia so I see this icon quite a lot. Here's another version.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Modesty is easy.

Yes, I'll say it. Modesty is not hard at all. You don't have to dress like an Amish woman or a Saudi Arabian. If your neckline is too low put on a camisole or add a strip of stretch lace or get out the safety pins. If your pants are too low make sure you have on a tunic, an undershirt or better yet, just skip lowriders altogether. Pants seem to be a blood-in-the-eye subject for some Catholics which is too bad. Simply remember two things: your age and the situation. I don't care how much you excercise, tight jeans and  jeggings make  women over 30, look like Miss Haversham. Lectors  and ladies bringing up the gifts at Mass need to know that when they bow in pants, nine times out of ten, the view from the pews is not a lovely one.

If you wear a mini skirt --- and come on, you shouldn't, then at least wear dark opaque tights with it. If you have to wear shorts stick to Bermudas and capris. There is no legitimate reason to be seen in public in Daisy Dukes.

If you are have dress that lacks a lining and is in a thin material put on a slip. You may scorn slips as old fashioned but that humble little garment  prevents you from having clinging fabric, see-through incidents, and they save you fom the cringe inducing moment of when you realize that you've been walking around  unaware that  your dress was hiked up in the back and you've been mooning the town.

Your underwear should be unseen. There's nothing more to say about that.  A strapless dress doesn't belong in church, (take note brides) and at best not before 8PM. If you must go strapless then it should be a long, very formal dress. As for swimwear you don't need to wear a bag to the beach or pool but there's no legitimate reason for a bikini and certainly no reason to be seen in a thong. Buy a one piece with brief cut legs or a swimdress and you'll be fine in most circles.  Modesty--- of course you can do this. It's easy.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

For God so loved the world

At adoration this week Rocky and I sat near the Infant of Prague statue. I looked and thought of how much God loves us. He gave His only Son up to :

Nails to destroy the use of His hands and feet

A crown made of thorns to pierce His head

Eyes swollen shut, vision bleared by sweat, dirt and blood,‎

The Holy Face so battered and bruised  that He must have been  almost unrecognizable

Dehydration, desperate thirst, cold chills, vomitus,  ribs screaming in pain with every ‎breath

Flesh shredded by the flagrum and a Body awash in a sea of His own blood

All this for love
I can't think of anything more awesome

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Random thoughts

1. I don’t like what’s been done to Batman. I want my Adam West back.

2. In 2008, this photo dismayed me. In 2012, after reading this  I just want to shake my head and sigh.  I just don’t understand Cardinal Dolan.

3. Thank you, Kenyan bishops for speaking up for your people. Melinda Gates needs to mind her own business.

4. Most Catholic books these days are pretty bad. They’re either theologically weak and/or heretical or they are insipid because the author is trying too hard to be hip, but sometimes a seriously worthwhile book gets published. This is one such book.

5. I just noticed a trend in blogging. There seems to be a celebration of weirdness and a denial that there is such a thing as normal. Not true. There is normal. There is decent and there is real. To live outside of the real is to go insane.  Maybe that's what's wrong with our country. Too many people are rejecting reality.

Our Lady of Tenderness