Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Pray for us, St. Ignatius

"I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes is my one desire." St. Ignatius 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Your First Latin Mass: a super quick peek

The first traditional Latin Mass I ever attended was years ago at Old Saint Mary's in DC. It was an incredible experience. What follows is a quick introduction to the Mass of the Ages for new folks. I'm an ordinary laywoman so this is not exhaustive or scholarly. 

People who are hesitant about going to the traditional Mass frequently express anxiety about not  knowing what to do and are afraid of making some terrific faux pas. That's a problem which can be easily dealt with. Just sit in the back and do what everybody else does. The church or chapel you visit will probably have the little red  missal from Ecclesia Dei for everyone to use. We have it at my parish and an office assistant prints copies of the readings of the day.  Interestingly enough, most of the younger people bring their own daily missals, and others bring Mass reflection pamphlets which give meditations for each point of  the Mass like the St. Francis De Sales method. I prefer to use an online missal  on my phone but sometimes when I'm overly tired or sick I don't use a missal at all. Some people at my parish never use the missal but listen. A few people silently pray the rosary, pausing only for when the priest directly speaks to the people and Communion. Rocky usually goes with the red missal but he also uses a reflections pamphlet. All these methods are perfectly okay. Eventually you will find one that will work for you. 

English is faster to read than Latin unless you are fluent so don't be surprised if you can't keep up with the priest or if you lose your place on the page because you read faster than he did. Another thing to remember is that unlike in the Novus Ordo a priest saying a Low Mass is in constant motion and prayer and since he's talking to God not us, 90% of the time he can move along at a nice clip. Don't get flustered. You are not required to follow along with the priest word for word. 

If it's a Low Mass things will begin with a bell being rung and the priest and altar boy(s) come out of the sacristy. The priest will bow and make the Sign of the Cross. Some priests are louder than others so you may or may not hear him say the prayers.  Some priests are almost inaudible except for when the Church says they must use a raised voice. At this point some people in the pews will kneel, others will remain seated. The Church never actually gave a rubric for the laity so you can follow what most of the people are doing or sit.  Rocky has severe arthritis in his knee so we sit.

The priest and altar boys say these words which never fail to thrill me:

P. I will go in unto the altar of God.
S. To God who giveth joy to my youth.
Ps. 42, 1-5. 
P. Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation which is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man.
S. For Thou, O God, art my strength: why hast Thou cast me off? and why go I sorrowful whilst the enemy afflicteth me?
P. Send forth Thy light and Thy truth: they have conducted me and brought me unto Thy holy mount, and into Thy tabernacles. 
S. And I will go into the altar of God: to God who giveth joy to my youth. 

Right after the Judica Me the priest will say his Confiteor. You may or may not hear him speak and the marvelous thumping sound when he strikes his breast. The altar boys say a Confiteor for themselves and the people. Some people will  whisper along with the altar boys, others will say it mentally.  The next thing you will really notice is when the priest says the Introit and the Kýrie. In a dialogue Mass the people respond out loud. If that's not the custom people will be silent.  There may be a Gloria and then the Collect prayer and you will hear the priest say the Lesson from St. Paul. After a short prayer the missal is carried to the Gospel side and the priest will read the Gospel of the day from the ambo. You stand up for the Gospel. If the Lesson and Gospel were read in Latin Father may read them in English now and if it is not Sunday or an important feast day he may or may not give a homily.  If it is Sunday or an important feast day the priest say say the Creed. When you hear "Et incarnátus est de Spíritu Sancto ex María Vírgine," kneel or if you can't, bow.

After the Creed, if there was one, we now leave the Mass of the Catechumens, the first part of Mass and entering the second part, the Mass of the Faithful the sacrifice part. The priest turns around to address the people. Some do this slowly, some are much quicker depending on age and physical condition and says "Dóminus vobíscum". 

Again, depending on local custom people may respond with the altar boy or they may respond mentally. Whatever you do, don't bellow out the "Et cum spíritu tuo." Some people's church Latin pronunciation isn't as good as they think it is  or even if it's good blasting away really disturbs people around you. I once sat in front of a young man with a a deep baritone who spoke the responses so loudly that it felt like I couldn't even hear myself think. God bless him but when he sat somewhere else the next week both Rocky and I were glad. 

Next comes the Offertory. Sometimes I'm reading the missal at this point or sometimes I'm looking at the altar and trying to meditate on the preparations on the Last Supper.  After the priest finishes washing his hands he will turn to the people and say "Oráte, fratres". The Preface comes next and then you'll hear the bell for the Sanctus. If there are a lot of people at Mass the sound of people landing on the pews is so loud that it almost drowns out the priest and is rather impressive.  If you lost your place in the missal by this time the bells  and the Sanctus are a great  cue.  Now comes the Cannon which does not change according to the day.At the Hanc Igitur the altar boy will ring the bells. Get ready. The greatest thing on earth is about to happen. The priest raises the Host and in a few minutes the Chalice, the bells ring. God the Son is really truly physically present. You adore. 

The next major points are the Our Father, the Angus Dei and the priest will say his Dómine, non sum dignus. Father's Communion comes now.  In some places the altar boys may say a second Confiteor.  The priest will turn to the people, hold up the Host and say "Ecce Angus Dei..."

The altar boys and in some places the people say their  Dómine, non sum dignus. After Communion the Mass will quickly move to the end. The last Gospel will be read and we have the Pope Leo prayers. Keep coming back and then one day everything will fall into place. If you want to read more this 1954, child's missal is a favorite of mine and an excellent place to start. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017


When the priest raises the Host I am reminded of this particular sculpture of the University of Cordoba.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

A question

Apparently a lot of people were hoping for a disaster yesterday and are disappointed. 

To those people I simply ask this question:Were not the Spanish Civil War, Red China, WWII, the Soviets conquering half of Europe, and the explosion of open immorality, the terrible loss of Faith of millions of Catholics and all of the wretched isms not enough of a chastisement for you?  

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Our Lady of Mercy, pray for us.

Death, Judgement, Heaven or Hell are the final last things. 

Sunday, October 01, 2017

The rot is too deep

Politics is not going to save America. For decades a slow rot has crept over the fabric of this nation. It infested the churches, the schools, the sciences, the high and low arts, the social clubs, sports and the family. People shrugged at and were repulsed by the most grotesque of the feminists and even other hard core feminists thought Andrea Dworkin went too far, but practical feminism (the idea of woman as god)  can be found  everywhere. People were horrified by the open sinfulness that was embraced by the elites but today single mothers by choice are treated like heroines and even praised from the pulpit. Pornographers were once seen as nasty little trolls working in rented rooms on some filthy back street. Today Hugh Hefner is a figure of Americana.

The old lecher is dead and gone to his reward but judging from the commentary you could almost think a philanthropist died.  Some saints could actually smell sin and I imagine that to anyone who had that divine gift, Hefner's stench must have been unbearable. When you think about all the lives he ruined, all the girls and boys gone to Hell because of him and his slimy empire it's just staggering. This week I read comments at a conservative discussion forum where the only men who condemned Hefner were called Puritan, accused of  being unattractive to women and mocked. One man said Hefner wasn't a pornographer but "just" printed "tasteful" nudes. Another listed all the infamous women Hefner had liaisons with and said he lived the American dream.  Many of the men on this particular site are fathers and grandfathers. If they are the conservatives then you can easily see how deep the corruption has gone.

Playboy was a dominant force in normal people's lives. Once when I was a child I visited Atlantic City. While skipping down the boardwalk and chewing on taffy, my classmates and I saw a couple of Playboy Bunnies standing near the Playboy club door in broad daylight. We, little Catholic girls got excited and waved to the Bunnies as if they were movie stars. The adults with us chuckled. My mother was not amused and I didn't set foot in Atlantic City again until I was an adult. A Catholic woman told me that her parents had once had a Playboy club membership because it was a cool spot and at the time, it was the only place in London, where an American could get a good steak. I recall that when I was a teenager the mother of a classmate and neighbor  told my mother how sad she was because she found Playboy in his sock drawer. She consoled herself that this was normal and healthy and thank God he wasn't going to be gay. My mother thought that the idea that a boy either had to be eager to look at smut or be suspected of homosexuality was extreme but she apparently held held the minority view. The magazine only lost its place because it couldn't compete with the Internet and is not nasty enough for the much of the public's taste

The rot is deep and everywhere. The mainstream pornography that Hefner unleashed  got to the point where the in the 70s, the "sophisticated" set told us that so called "artistic" child pornography was okay and except for people like Jerry Falwell and a few good concerned Baptist ladies almost nobody spoke up. Movies like Pretty Baby had a 12 year old Brooke Shields as a sex symbol. Jody Foster was 12, when she played a prostitute in Taxi Driver. Linda Purl was an adult but played a teenager in the very popular TV movie,  Little Ladies of the Night.  Roman Polanski raped a 13 year old and got away with it. In general people didn't boycott his movies. Playboy for its part, regularly showed pinups naked but with carefully selected  childlike attire like ribbons or  teddy bears and it had cartoons with little girls in them. Those articles, short stories and cartoons that people claimed they read the magazine for were full of molestation and incest innuendo. The  magnificent Judith Reisman  pointed this out and fought a heroic and often lonely battle against Hefner's empire.

The seediness was so intense that some form of self preservation made people unconsciously react and things quieted down a bit  in the 80s.  "Soft core" pornography was still mainstream but guys realized that they weren't going to be welcomed at the Rotary club  or the Grange meetings if they openly displayed that stuff in their living rooms anymore. It was window dressing mostly. Serious soul harming damage had already been done to the national zeitgeist. The 90s came and soon people could see gross images on their computer at home and indulge in their solitary vice to their heart's content... and today? Today, as I said before, Hugh Hefner is an icon, fondly looked back upon and his perversion seems almost like quaint compared to the pornography that is readily available. Politics is not going to save us. The rot is too deep. The only hope is a massive turning to Christ.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

A prayer for the redemption of bad priests

Divine Savior Jesus Christ, Thou are the Good Shepherd who gives His life for His sheep. Oh, be in a very special way the Good Shepherd of those poor lost priests who are also appointed by Thee to be leaders of Thy people, but who have broken the oath of their holy ordination and have become unfaithful to their exalted calling. Bestow upon these poorest of the poor the very fullness of that pastoral solicitude with which Thou dost so faithfully seek the sheep that are lost! Touch their hearts with the irresistible ray of grace which emanates from Thine all-merciful love! Enlighten their minds and strengthen their wills, that they may turn away from all sin and error and come back to Thy holy altar and to Thy people. O most compassionate Savior! Remember that Thou didst once redeem the souls of Thine erring priests with Thy Precious Blood and in infinite preferential love didst impress upon them the indelible character of the priesthood. Put wholly to shame those miserable helpers of Satan who lay snares for the virtue of priests and endanger the holy ideal of the priesthood. Most graciously accept our prayers and sacrifices for poor priests who have gone astray and hear our earnest petition.
Imprimatur - Bishop John F. Null (April 18, 1948)

St. Anthony of Padua, defender of the Holy Eucharist, obtain for us holy priests
St. John-Mary Vianney, model of sacerdotal holiness, obtain for us holy priests

St. Francis Xavier, patron of missionary priests, obtain for us holy priests
St. Therese of the Child-Jesus and of the Holy Face, victim offered for the sanctification of priests, obtain for us holy priests

Saints and Servants of God, obtain for us holy priests.

Tough times call for tougher people

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The filial correction and random thoughts on a Saturday night

Pray for us, Mother!

  • Rorate Caeli has been Tweeting that they know something big for weeks now.  It got to be like a little kid singing "I know a secret," at the top of his lungs. Well, the shoe finally dropped and while I could have done without the hyping, yes it is impressive. For the first time since 1333, when theologians from the University of Paris  informed Pope John XXII that he was teaching a heresy, clergy and lay scholars have spoken out to the pope and issued a correction.  Will it matter to the pope? I don't know. I don't think so but I will say this: at least these people did not remain silent and when they go to bed at night they can do so with a satisfied mind. May St. Catherine of Siena intercede for them.

  • One of my co-workers, in a fit of anger and disappointment actually cursed loud enough for me to hear her all the way down the hall because Hurricane Irma did not blow into Florida as a category 5 and didn't kill  as many people as the Great Storm of Galveston or Hurricane Camille.  She hates President Trump so much that she wanted a disaster in Florida so she could criticize him. I looked at her cubicle wall and thought, "You have no soul." In a second or two,  I corrected myself and thought, "No, you gotta a soul but it's corroded."

  • I stopped reading Catholic Answers several years ago. This by Jimmy Akin confirms that I haven't missed a thing.
  • After coughing so much that I was actually embarrassed because people were staring I decided to get myself to the doctor. Sure enough I have asthma and have allergies. So far the inhaler is really helping.

This is not cute. God save us from cute, hip celebrity priests.

  •  German, French and British people probably don't think of the Coptic Christians at all and would laugh if you told them that one day  the Coptic present could very well be the their  future. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

The high flying celebrity priest is often a bad priest

Catholic University is affiliated with the Theological College seminary which gets seminarians from all over the United States, China and some African countries. The seminary probably dumped Fr. James Martin from speaking at its upcoming alumni days program because enough laity reminded them that the annual nationwide collection for Catholic University is this week and said that they were not going to be giving this year. I'm happy that Fr. Martin won't be speaking at the seminary but that doesn't solve the larger problem. Fr. Martin is a celebrity priest and that rarely works out. Celebrity is not the same as famous. St. John Vianney, Fr. Solanus Casey, St. Padre Pio and St. Andre Bessette were famous. Their fame served Christ.  Celebrity serves itself.

Celebrity priests are not a new phenomenon. History is littered with them. Around one hundred years ago Fr. Thomas Macgrady was a nine day wonder who caused scandal, got laicized and died in his 40s.  We now know that Fr. Thomas Merton was a rather large pain the posterior to his superiors and his brother monks. Fr. Teilhard de Chardin  has been dead since 1955, and his books are still causing trouble. Fr. Williams and Fr. Cutie both gave the Church's enemies a chuckle. The list could go on and on.  It's almost always the same sad story....a priest forgets what he is and Whom he serves. His superiors are either so rotten bad themselves that they can't say anything or they are lax and just don't bother to do so. The priest falls into scandal and ruins himself and leads people away from the Church. 

Divine Savior Jesus Christ, Thou are the Good Shepherd who gives His life for His sheep. Oh, be in a very special way the Good Shepherd of those poor lost priests who are also appointed by Thee to be leaders of Thy people, but who have broken the oath of their holy ordination and have become unfaithful to their exalted calling. Bestow upon these poorest of the poor the very fullness of that pastoral solicitude with which Thou dost so faithfully seek the sheep that are lost! Touch their hearts with the irresistible ray of grace which emanates from Thine all-merciful love! Enlighten their minds and strengthen their wills, that they may turn away from all sin and error and come back to Thy holy altar and to Thy people. O most compassionate Savior! Remember that Thou didst once redeem the souls of Thine erring priests with Thy Precious Blood and in infinite preferential love didst impress upon them the indelible character of the priesthood. Put wholly to shame those miserable helpers of Satan who lay snares for the virtue of priests and endanger the holy ideal of the priesthood. Most graciously accept our prayers and sacrifices for poor priests who have gone astray and hear our earnest petition.
Imprimatur - Bishop John F. Null (April 18, 1948)

St. Anthony of Padua, defender of the Holy Eucharist, obtain for us holy priests
St. John-Mary Vianney, model of sacerdotal holiness, obtain for us holy priests

St. Francis Xavier, patron of missionary priests, obtain for us holy priests
St. Therese of the Child-Jesus and of the Holy Face, victim offered for the sanctification of priests, obtain for us holy priests
Saints and Servants of God, obtain for us holy priests.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Confession- The rescue

When you go to Confession, especially if you haven't been in a long time the priest is just like this monk going out to rescue lost souls on the Alps.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Your Eminences, It's Not Just Bannon

I've been saying for years that the US Bishop's obsession with illegal immigrants stinks in the nostrils of many Americans and NOT necessarily for the single reason that they are anti-Catholic. I have told people in vain, that it's not just our bishops but the Lutherans and Episcopalians also get money for processing immigrants and refugees but it doesn't resonate.  The 19 year old who lost his mother to a car crash caused by a multiple times deportee who was helped by "the Catlics"  and who may or may not be Alt Right probably feels that we don't care about his suffering. Anybody who has had to flee an apartment  or rental townhouse because Catholic Charities paid  the landlord to house  a bunch of immigrants who have never seen running water, electricity or ovens before has been left with a bad taste in his mouth concerning the Church.  1Peter5   and Church Militant have published reports on the amount of money the bishops have gotten from the government. Curious people of all walks of life who wouldn't read 1P5, Church Militant or the bishop's last available financial report can easily go to the  usaspending.gov site to see that the bishops are getting quite a bit money.

 The problem is not just with Protestants and the unchurched either. Steve Bannon  may have kicked the hornet's nest  but many Catholics have been saying for years that it bugs them that their bishop seems to care more about illegal aliens than his own people and have whispered that it all came down to money.  Elizabeth Yore of The Remnant wrote about the money trail last year.  I read a comment on a major blog from one man who got up from his pew and walked out of Mass  because the priest used his homily to talk politics and to support DACA. Hopefully, this man will go to another parish and not leave the Church but he's not the only one who is fed up.The bishops are hissing at Bannon but completely miss all the people standing behind him nodding.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Stay with Him

No matter what appalling thing comes out of the pope's mouth, stay with the Crucified One. 

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Our Lady of Mercy, pray for us

Pray for us St. Anthony

I think St. Anthony must have a sense of humor. He has never let me down. He's returned my lost keys, my cell phone (repeatedly) and my commuter train pass, not to mention the more important requests I've made to him.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

On the Beheading of John the Baptist

O God, of those that fought thy fight,
Portion, and prize, and crown of light,
Break every bond of sin and shame
As now we praise thy martyr's name.

He recked not of the world's allure,
But sin and pomp of sin forswore:
Knew all their gall, and passed them by,
And reached the throne prepared on high.

Bravely the course of pain he ran,
And bare his torments as a man:
For love of thee his blood outpoured,
And thus obtained the great reward.

With humble voice and suppliant word
We pray thee therefore, holy Lord,
While we thy martyr's feast-day keep,
Forgive thy loved and erring sheep.

* Glory and praise for aye be done
To God the Father, and the Son,
And Holy Ghost, who reign on high,
One God, to all eternity.
from the 1960 Breviary

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Divina Pastora

Most Divina Pastora (Divine or Holy if you prefer, Shepherdess) paintings have St. Michael defending souls in the background from demons represented by wolves or in the case of this last painting, a sea monster.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Well that was utterly distasteful

What makes quislings act the way they do? Is it fear? Is it genuine approval of the overlord? Is it self interest mixed with hopelessness that moves them to sell out everything and everyone to postpone the day, hopefully forever until the overlord finally comes for them? Perhaps they were just wretches all along and  simply go where the wind takes them and at heart have no real beliefs beyond their appetites. All this came to mind when I read this distasteful article from National Catholic Reporter.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Feast of the Assumption

The Assumption
  • I read a woman's bitter complaint on a news site that that European men weren't defending their women. I thought, 'Where has this lady been her whole life?' Feminism is further along in it's progression  in Europe than it is in the United States and the men have been carped at and told that they are the villains  for decades. Some of the older ones are  shrugging their shoulders and muttering in soto voce to the women, "Are the migrants bothering you? See to them yourselves." Others are just frozen with mild niceness and the only thing they really can do is have another beer and think about something else. You can't create a steer and then try to shame him into acting like a bull.
Rocky and I went on vacation last week and took my mother. It was great as usual. We went to Mass at St. John Neuman in Lancaster, PA and it was a mixed experience. The priest was okay. The church is badly designed with the Blessed Sacrament in the back with everyone'sitting with their  backs to Our Lord. Only a handful of people acknowledged the Lord's presence in the chapel. The parishioners aren't friendly but that was okay. The cantor was very dominant. She made us practice the opening hymn  before Mass, led us in a prayer for vocations  and explained to us what  the Mass readings mean and instructed us on what to think about them. Finally Mass started. They had  eight or so Eucharistic ministers and there was no way to receive Communion from the priest without cutting through several lines.  A lady walked up to me in my seat, thumped me on the back and pointed to a Eucharistic minister. I meekly shook my head and she left me alone. Next time we visit Lancaster we will go back to one of the parishes we've visited in the past.

 I will say one thing. They had very well behaved children. Nobody gave their tots metal toys or  loud video games and I was impressed that they didn't even seem to need their cry room. I was also amazed to see that while there must have been over 100 people present,  there was no parade of marchers going  back and forth to the restroom. Either the people at this parish have bladders of steel or it's just part of their parish culture to get in line for the restrooms before Mass started. It was, all in all, an interesting experience.

  • Somebody tell poor Austen Ivereigh about these terrible, rotten, no good neurotic converts and ask him if they are good enough for him: St. Teresa Benedicta, Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne,  St. Josephine Margaret Bakhita, St. Paul, Sts. Peter, James, John and the other apostles, Marie-Théodor Ratisbonne,  and St. Wenceslaus and the Roman martyrs.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Media scares over the years

Here's a list of things in no particular order that the media tried to terrify us with.

Radon, remember that was supposed to kill us all?
Legionaries disease.
Asbestos, which is always ready to claw it's way out of the wall and attack.
Swine Flu, was also supposed to kill us all.
Bird Flu
Hong Kong Flu which was horrible but not the second coming of the Black Plague
Acid Rain
Global cooling--  yes, in the 70s they told us that we were going to freeze to death.
Killer Bees
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Ebola. Unless you came in contact with an Ebola victim's explosive bodily fluids the odds of you getting sick turned out to be incredibly slim.
Herpes, long before AIDS, the media told us that Herpes was going to get us
Killer clowns--- that was probably a well orchestrated publicity stunt for the Steven King It movie which is coming out this year.
The Russians were going get us and if you didn't speak Russian you were in trouble
The Chinese were going to get us and if you didn't speak Chinese you were trouble
The Metric system:If you didn't learn it you weren't going to be able to get a job when you grew up and would end up on the street. I still get  mad about this when I think about it. What a horrid thing to tell little kids.
Homelessness. If your dad lost his job on Monday, you and your family would be on the sidewalk by Wednesday. Apparently drug use, alcoholism, insanity, lack of impulse control or being a criminal drifter had nothing to with it.
AIDS. Any day now it was going to jump out of the original victim population and our friends and families would die like flies.
Toxic shock syndrome. If you were a teen aged girl it was coming for you like a wolf on a lost sheep
Poison Halloween candy
Cults in every kindergarten ---(although witchcraft is real and it's not uncommon to walk into a nice seeming person's home and find a Ouija board or a book of spells the lurid tales about knives that didn't leave a wound  or cause blood flow and tunnels to dungeons we were told on the news were false and innocent people went to jail
Lynne reminded me of the Zika virus. It was tragic for the babies who were born with it but we didn't all come down with it and most women who traveled in the Zika zone and who didn't have panic abortions ended up with perfectly normal children.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Random thoughts on a Saturday morning.

St. Dominic, pray for us!
  • José Galat Noumer is 88 years old and apparently he's been excommunicated. How can it be that criticizing the pope gets someone excommunicated? Fr. James Martin is a Catholic in good standing. Cardinal Marx is a Catholic in good standing. Cardinal Vincenzo Paglia is a Catholic in good standing. The founder of the Legionnaires of Christ was officially a Catholic in good standing for most of his life.  Although the truth about his wicked life became too hard to hide by the time he took to his deathbed I don't think he was ever publicly excommunicated. Fr. Hans Kung is a Catholic in good standing.

    You can be an open sinner and be petted and praised at the Vatican with no fear of any remote possibility  of excommunication. You can be a politician and vote for abortion and be a Catholic in good standing. Ted Kennedy got the funeral of a saint and when Joe Biden rings his life's curtain down his bishop will give the family the cathedral for his funeral if they should so desire.  So how is it that out of all the famous sinners in the world  this particular very old man who is obviously closer to the end of his life than the start of it and who founded one of the biggest Catholic TV channels in the world get excommunicated? This doesn't seem like a sad judgment on an obstinate sinner. It seems like malice. It seems like vengeance. It seems like a mafioso warning to the rest of the "neighborhood" to shut up or else.      (Thank you Frank Walker!)

  • Rocky is a Third degree Knight of Columbus. When he saw the new Fourth Degree  ceremonial outfit he was not thrilled. All the Knights that we've heard from think this idea is a stinker. Some men are calling for Carl Anderson to resign. Apparently the decision came without warning and the Knights were told to like it or lump it.

  • Why does Pre Cana take so long? Why can't people get their baby baptized when the child is still a newborn? Although the author sounds like a snob himself with his middle class crack he has a point.
  • I once heard a priest in a lecture say that one of the saddest things he's seen is how lay people have to almost be theologians in order to defend their Faith. I would add that on top of this many of us do it very badly and have set up our own little magisteriums.
  • Truth comes out eventually. It may take decades. It may not be in our lifetimes. It may only be on Judgement Day but truth will out and sometimes in the oddest places. 
  • There was an .... interesting discovery after Mass discover today for the ushers.  Somebody either couldn't find the restroom or didn't want to go to it to change their infant's diaper which resulted in an strong odor in the narthex.
  • Poor Benedict is really fragile these days. 

Friday, August 04, 2017

Adam & Eve from the Visconti Hours

Adam, trying to deflect the blame on Eve

Eve, states that the serpent tricked her.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Random thoughts on a birthday Saturday

St. Martha, Rocky's patron saint, pray for us. 

  • Today is Rocky's 54th birthday.  We will go to dinner after Mass with some friends.

  • There is fierce discussion in Catholic blogland about Benedict and Francis. I feel somewhat ambivalent. Is Francis really the pope? I don't know.  It doesn't matter what I think. The only ones who could actually speak to this with authority are the cardinals and they for whatever reason are silent. Francis may or not be a true pope but he is sitting on the throne of Peter. He is acknowledged to be pope and he has the power.

  • Whoever approved this giant mechanical spider being perched on Ottawa Cathedral of Notre Dame does not honor Our Lady.

  • Research from the The Spanish Center of Sindonology shows that the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud must have covered the same body.   You can read about the Sudarium, in Janice Bennett's book, Sacred Blood Sacred Image.

Monday, July 17, 2017

St. Telemachus, pray for us

Thank you to Mary Ann Kreitzer of Les Femmes for reminding us of the incredible bravery of St. Telemachus. 

Saint Telemachus
Alfred Tennyson
HAD the fierce ashes of some fiery peak
Been hurl’d so high they ranged about the globe?
For day by day, thro’ many a blood-red eve,
In that four-hundredth summer after Christ,
The wrathful sunset glared against a cross
Rear’d on the tumbled ruins of an old fane
No longer sacred to the Sun, and flamed
On one huge slope beyond, where in his cave
The man, whose pious hand had built the cross,
A man who never changed a word with men,
Fasted and pray’d, Telemachus the Saint.
    Eve after eve that haggard anchorite
Would haunt the desolated fane, and there
Gaze at the ruin, often mutter low
‘Vicisti Galilæe’; louder again,
Spurning a shatter’d fragment of the God,
‘Vicisti Galilæe!’ but—when now
Bathed in that lurid crimson—ask’d ‘Is earth
On fire to the West? or is the Demon-god
Wroth at his fall?’ and heard an answer ‘Wake
Thou deedless dreamer, lazying out a life
Of self-suppression, not of selfless love.’
And once a flight of shadowy fighters crost
The disk, and once, he thought, a shape with wings
Came sweeping by him, and pointed to the West,
And at his ear he heard a whisper ‘Rome’
And in his heart he cried ‘ The call of God!’
And call’d arose, and, slowly plunging down
Thro’ that disastrous glory, set his face
By waste and field and town of alien tongue,
Following a hundred sunsets, and the sphere
Of westward-wheeling stars; and every dawn
Struck from him his own shadow on to Rome.
    Foot-sore, way-worn, at length he touch’d his goal,
The Christian city. All her splendour fail’d
To lure those eyes that only yearn’d to see,
Fleeting betwixt her column’d palace-walls,
The shape with wings. Anon there past a crowd
With shameless laughter, Pagan oath, and jest,
Hard Romans brawling of their monstrous games;
He, all but deaf thro’ age and weariness,
And muttering to himself ‘The call of God’
And borne along by that full stream of men,
Like some old wreck on some indrawing sea,
Gain’d their huge Colosseum. The caged beast
Yell’d, as he yell’d of yore for Christian blood.
Three slaves were trailing a dead lion away,
One, a dead man. He stumbled in, and sat
Blinded; but when the momentary gloom,
Made by the noonday blaze without, had left
His aged eyes, he raised them, and beheld
A blood-red awning waver overhead,
The dust send up a steam of human blood,
The gladiators moving toward their fight,
And eighty thousand Christian faces watch
Man murder man. A sudden strength from heaven,
As some great shock may wake a palsied limb,
Turn’d him again to boy, for up he sprang,
And glided lightly down the stairs, and o’er
The barrier that divided beast from man
Slipt, and ran on, and flung himself between
The gladiatorial swords, and call’d ‘Forbear
In the great name of Him who died for men,
Christ Jesus!’ For one moment afterward
A silence follow’d as of death, and then
A hiss as from a wilderness of snakes,
Then one deep roar as of a breaking sea,
And then a shower of stones that stoned him dead,
And then once more a silence as of death.
    His dream became a deed that woke the world,
For while the frantic rabble in half-amaze
Stared at him dead, thro’ all the nobler hearts
In that vast Oval ran a shudder of shame.
The Baths, the Forum gabbled of his death,
And preachers linger’d o’er his dying words,
Which would not die, but echo’d on to reach
Honorius, till he heard them, and decreed
That Rome no more should wallow in this old lust
Of Paganism, and make her festal hour
Dark with the blood of man who murder’d man.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

And the hits just keep on comin'

The no complaining sign on the Pope's office door

Once a person who had been abused as a child remarked that he learned not to cry when he was being beaten because that just made his father even angrier. He had to take his beating and then give his father a kiss afterwards. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Big fat weddings and shrew princess brides

Recently a friend of Rocky's was terribly upset  because of a nasty wedding party. The bride and her parents were behaving like poor examples of Catholics  to a very decent person who has the misfortune of being the parish (I will not name the parish) wedding coordinator. Ladies, if your princess wedding fantasy means so much to you that you can become a shrieking, tantrum throwing banshee because you can't wear that strapless, booty hugging dress in the house of God, or can't cover the altar in a canopy of wisteria like the Twilight movie wedding (well, unless you are marrying a vampire*)  and you can't have the Beyonce "Halo" or "Ave Maria"songs during Mass then you need to grow up and reconsider getting married at all.

You are not a Kardashian, I hope and you are not Kate Middleton, who truth be told was not living an edifying life before her marriage either so why demand a big fat Protestant style faux royal wedding? Why not put that money into setting up your household or at least concentrating on the reception? The three best weddings I've ever been too either took place immediately after a regular Mass, during a regular Mass or in the case of the last one was a dignified nuptial Mass with no extra decorations in the church,  no flower petal sprinkling (those petals look pretty until someone slips, falls and sues the parish) and no secular music.

Oh and one more thing for the grooms. Do you really want to marry a woman who is capable of screaming at an elderly person over music?

* If you are marrying a six foot tall, reanimated leech-like, demon possessed corpse who would turn to ashes if he tried to enter a church anyway-- you clearly have enough problems so go ahead and have the wisteria.

Friday, July 14, 2017

A word from St. Alphonsus

"Tell me, blasphemer, of what country are you? Allow me to tell you, you belong to Hell."

-St Alphonsus Ligouri, Doctor of the Church

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


The first step of Müller’s Calvary was a disconcerting episode in the middle of 2013. The cardinal was celebrating Mass in the church attached to the congregation palace, for a group of German students and scholars. His secretary joined him at the altar: “The pope wants to speak to you.” “Did you tell him I am celebrating Mass?” asked Müller. “Yes,” said the secretary, “but he says he does not mind—he wants to talk to you all the same.” The cardinal went to the sacristy. The pope, in a very bad mood, gave him some orders and a dossier concerning one of his friends, a cardinal. (This is a very delicate matter. I have sought an explanation of this incident from the official channels. Until the explanation comes, if it ever comes, I cannot give further details.) Obviously, Mūller was flabbergasted. 

If this scene from Marco Tosatti's First Things article is true then it's horrifying. 

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Fr. Martin and the whirlpool

Fr. James Martin, S.J. who is well known for his obsessions with worldly things recently said  that homosexual priests should come out and tell their parishes so everyone can see that a man who is attracted to other males can live chastely.  I sighed when I read this. In most parishes with a homosexual priest most of the non sheltered adults are already aware of it. Years ago Rocky and I were in another town and went to Mass. The priest behaved like an flirty old actress playing a part written for an ingenue. After Mass a number of ladies gathered round him to giggle and coo. Except for the sacristan and the security guard (this was a tough part of town) and Rocky who stayed with me to pray, all the men who were at Mass left. Able bodied men, men on walkers, and men with canes just about got into a flying wedge formation in the rush to get out.

The old men, who have seen life, the young and not so young single men, and the fathers are not going to happily follow one of Father Martin's friends. Many of them won't say a word about it except in the most noncommittal, vague way. They will simply either leave the parish, leave the Church, or if their wives give them too much trouble about that they will  use the passive resistance method of withdrawing from parish life. They will attend Mass and stampede for the door as soon as the recessional hymn starts playing. No amount of nagging or haranguing them not being involved enough will move them. A few men will take the Barnhardt position and will make some listeners squirm and gasp as they get graphic about the supposedly harmlessness of Father Martin's friend why they don't believe in  it. These few will be quickly dismissed and ignored for being "mean" and crude but they will cause a ripple and the polite men quietly withdrawing will be a whirlpool.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Scenes of the Life of Our Lady by Robert Anning Bell


Mary in the House of Elizabeth


Going to the tomb

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Cardinal Pell and Other Random thoughts on a Saturday afternoon

  • An old man in Australia says he saw Cardinal Pell expose himself to boys in a locker room  back in the 80s. He claims that he confronted Pell and reported the incident to the police. The old man could be lying now and he could have been lying back then. Cardinal Pell's main accusers from another incident are apparently not very successful men, and could easily be lying for money and attention. It could be possible that some enemy is just paying them to parrot whatever they've been coached to say. It could all be part of a plot to get Pell, whom just about everyone in Catholic blog land declares to be a staunch conservative, a good guy and "one of us."

    On the other hand, it has to be admitted that there has been talk about Cardinal Pell for a long time now. There is one incident that is supposed to have occurred more than 50 years ago.  You can't blindly defend a man because he's supposedly on your side in church matters. Conversely, it is very, very evil to wildly accuse a man of a vile sin against God and nature because he is not on your side in church matters.

    I don't trust cases where there is not a shred of usable physical evidence or a corroborating witness but the accusers in this case say that they have been telling their stories for years and nobody paid them any mind. What is true? I say wait for the trial in this case. Let the testimony be stated openly in court and pray that the judge(s?) and jury (if there will be one) are not hopeless anti Catholics but decent, fair and intelligent people. If Cardinal Pell has a good lawyer he should be able to shred the accusers to bits if their story has any weak points.

    I'm not ready to get the pitchforks and tar out yet but I'm not ready to get on the "Stand by our man. This is all an evil plot by Pope Francis and the liberals in Australia. Deus vult, let's ride!," bandwagon either. Somebody is going to be left with egg on their faces at best and souls are going to be lost at worst.  

Oh Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.  Arise Oh Lord, and let Thy enemies be scattered. Let them that hate Thee, flee before Thy holy face.

  • I was a Mass a few weeks ago and suddenly smelled what seemed  like  manure boiling over a campfire. I looked up, utterly astounded. A few other ladies shifted and looked around. The men stared stoically ahead.  One of the ushers sitting in front of me clenched his jaw and sat up a little straighter. I whispered to Rocky, "Do you smell that?" He nodded and shrugged and jumped up with the other ushers to get the collection baskets. It got worse and worse and I was about to go sit elsewhere when a tiny little voice a few pews ahead of me spoke up. "I pee pee!" The toddler reached into his diaper bag and waved a fresh(?) one over his head. People chuckled and there were some sympathetic smiles while the child's mother grabbed him and ran for the rest room. A gentle breeze from the open stained glass window wafted fresh air over us and suddenly it was time for Communion.  God is good. 

  • When you have free healthcare paid for by the government your body belongs to the State. Some official decides if you are worth treating and if it makes more financial sense to either let you die or kill you slowly. Once the State decides you must die you will not be allowed to try for private treatment. When you belong to the State you belong until you die. Period. 

  • I visited a Catholic discussion group and was disappointed because despite the valiant efforts of the moderator several posters kept doing things like refusing to stick to the point of  a particular discussion and doggedly harping about their own magnificent obsessions. Some people were rude to the African Catholics who asked questions (this appalled me), and the final straw came when I read comments from male posters carrying on like teen-aged girls over how manly the Eastern rite priests look compared to Latin rite priests. Whoah! Whenever I see that kind of talk in a Catholic discussion group I am gone like the wind. I unregistered quick, fast and in a hurry as my husband would say.
  • Stay strong. God is in command.