Tuesday, December 27, 2005

random thoughts

1. Why does anybody pay any attention to Andrew Sullivan?

2. Why was so much attention paid to the Indian Ocean tidal wave last year? Not that it wasn't a tragedy but people are being slaughtered, raped, and enslaved in the Sudan every day. The victims are screaming for help but they get only sporadic attention.

You want human misery? Heck, come take a walk with me in inner city Baltimore. You want shocking sights? Go visit the projects in Philly. You want to gawk at a genuine nightmare? Step inside your local crack house. I guess you need a beach, open prostitution, and a luxury hotel that none of your people can afford to got to for the West to care about your plight.

3. Why is everybody so down on the parishioners of
St. Stanislaus? I'm not saying they're right but they aren't the worst out there by a long shot. There are many churches around this country that are openly heretical. How come their boards don't get excomunicated? How come the pederast priests weren't all instantly excomunicated?

4. We are supposedly living in the Age of the Laity. How come no-one will admit that so far it's been a bust?

5. How come dissident Catholics don't just leave? Take a page from Martin Luther's book. Start your own church and leave the rest of us in peace.

6. The women of America abort more children in a week than King Herod ever dreamed of killing. How long do we think God will stay His hand?

7. When it comes to New Orleans my give a damn is busted. Yes, I know.... I know....

8. We pray for priests and nuns but when our relatives express the feeling that they have a vocation many of us try to talk them out of it.

9. When did it become fashionable to bring food and water to Mass? I can't count the number of water bottles I've seen in the pews.

10. Ever notice that the media loves it when black people behave badly? At the LA Lakers/ Miami Heat basketball game all the announcers could talk about was that this was a chance for Kobe and Shaq to mix it up. They seemed disappointed that not only did Shaq and Kobe not get into a fight on the court but they both concentrated on the game and not each other. The reporterette who spoke to Shaq at the end of the game didn't ask him about basketball but had to bring up his feelings about Kobe. I was very pleased that Shaq didn't even answer her. It reminded me of how shocked media talking heads were that there was no riot over Tookie Williams. I always find it interesting that the people who claim to care about black folks seem to think that that we are all children or untrained pets.

Footprints of God

This Christmas my husband and I watched Steve Ray's DVD on the life of Jesus. It's pretty good. Ray's voice is very, very annoying but what he's presenting is so interesting that after a while I didn't notice it anymore. Seeing the church that's built over Golgotha, and site of Christ's tomb was very moving. This DVD is great for kids and teens. Adults might find it too simple. I liked the series that Raymond Arroyo did for EWTN better.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Happy Birthday Jesus

At the 10:30 Christmas Mass at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC, the celebrating priest led the worshippers in a chourus of Happy Birthday Dear Jesus. How lame. Mnsgr. Bansfield hasn't even been gone a year yet and the fruit loops are blooming already.


I've been listening to a CD ofA Christmas Carol performed by Basil Rathbone and a couple of weird thoughts came to me. Is it really poor old Scrooge's fault that Tiny Tim is sickly? Perhaps Bob Cratchit should get another job. Scrooge can't be too bad, Cratchit has been in his employ for years. And what about Fred? He looks sympathetically at poor old Bob but he never once makes a move to help. Instead of preaching at Scrooge why doesn't Fred drop a few coins in the Cratchit palm. And why is it required that Scrooge be nice to Fred? We all have relatives that we could really do without.

Weird thoughts aside. I do love A Christmas Carol.

On Christmas Eve we went to Mass at midnight. It was very good. I would've preferred to go to the Cathedral in DC but my husband was tired and so was I. Father Gandalf (I think I'll call him Father Theoden from now on. That's who he really reminds me of now) gave a fine homily and Father Aragorn co celebrated. We had one jolly looking seminarian and one scrubbed clean altar boy. The cantor kept her showgirl tendencies under controll and the people, except for one loud old man in the back were well behaved.

Thank you, Jesus for coming to us. Thank you for starting out on Your rescue mission in that stable in Bethlehem. Thank you for completing in on the cross in Jerusalem.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Being the preacher's wife aint easy

Being the wife of the preacher man is not easy. Some preacher's wives become depressed. Some take comfort in being co-leaders of the church or in the unofficial but powerful role as First Lady/Queen of the church. Others snap and embarrass their husbands.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Thank you Lord!

My in-laws gave me a large statue of Pope John Paul II for Christmas. It looks a bit like this one. I was so happy. It's a nice statue but even if it had been cheap plastic and hideous it would still be one of the greatest things to happen this year. My in-laws are Baptists. They weren't happy about their son marrying a Catholic. They weren't at our wedding. When my husband converted they were not at church. My father in law used to make slightly offensive Catholic jokes. Giving me this statue shows that they may not be happy that my husband and I are both Catholic but they are going to accept it. That's what I wanted for 17 years. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Years of bitterness have been washed away.

I feel like that scene from Kill Bill 2 when Uma Thurman was lying on the bathroom floor saying "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

visit to a church

Yesterday I was in Vienna Virginia and made a quick stop to a church that I'd driven past for years but never visited. It's a traditional Latin rite church and the parish is independent of the diocese. The door was locked when my husband and I stopped by but the sacristan let us in to pray. It was the most beautiful little church I've ever seen in Virginia, period. The altar and altar rails were oak. The place smelled of sweet pine from the wreaths and garland. They had traditional pews and kneelers and there were viels available for visitors. There were lovely stations of the cross on the walls and wooden ones along the walkway outside. It was silent except for our voices saying the Hail Mary. I was really moved. I haven't felt such precious peace in a long time.

Rest in peace Richard

Richard Pryor died. He'd been sick for years with MS and it was a release. Yes, it's true that he had a drug problem once and that his humor was on the blue side but his humor was REAL. Every black person who saw him on stage, TV or in the movies understood what Richard was talking about.

I loved Richard because in his prime he was the funniest man alive and because he reminded me very much of my father. They looked alike, sounded a bit alike and both were funny. My dad used to say that since he was the oldest Richard Pryor really looked like him and not the other way around. My father has been dead for more than 20 years now and it still seems so strange and now with Richard gone it seems like another link to him is gone forever.

Eternal rest, give to him, Oh Lord.
Let prepetual light shine upon him.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Father Neo

Hooray! You can buy the Father Neo poster now.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Tookie Williams

Tookie Williams is going to be given a rousing funeral at an AME church in LA. What a shameful moment for AME. Tookie was a thug, a killer, a man who was proud to call himself the founder of the Crips. Most of Tookie's supporters were either old thugs like him, camera hogs like Je$$e Jackson and Louis Farakhan or upper class twits.

In order to join the Crips a kid had to go through an initiation period. What was the initiation? Hurting somebody. Someone had to be beat up or maimed (cripped). In other words ever Crip has done something really bad just to be a member. Think of all the black women in the hood who have no son becuase their kid got shot or beat to death by the Crips. Think of all the girls who were raped, of all the people who were robbed and terrorized. Think of Albert Owens lying on the floor and being shot in the back by Tookie. Think of the Yang family being blasted to bits and him and then think of Tookie laughing and bragging about it later. It boggles the mind that anybody would shed a tear for Tookie.

I wasn't suprised that Snoop Dogg came out in support of him because Snoop was an old gangsta himself but what the heck was Jamie Foxx doing? Jamie you were great in "Ray" but you won't see one damn dime of my money for your movies or music, period.

It would be bad enough if the Crips had staid in LA but they spread out and inspired other punks. When I was a kid growing up in DC the gangs were fighting the crack wars and it was common to hear gunshots at night. Women did not leave their homes after 7 PM unless they went out in a group. In the 80s a local woman was raped and murdered by a gang out on spree. She was a middle aged woman who just going about her own business when she was dragged into an alley. There is no glamour in gang life. There is no glory. These aren't poor, misunderstood lads. They're just a pack of damn domestic terrorists. Shed tears for Tookie if you want but all you'll get from me is scorn.

confession at St. Matts & misery at St. Burbs

On December 15, St. Matthews Cathedral in DC had its annual pennance service. There were 20 priests there and they spoke several languages including sign language. I went to an older priest and found him to be very kind and understanding. While I was confessing a drunk man wandered in and began talking to us. Father shooed him away and continued giving me counsel. That's one thing you don't run into in the burbs but I love Saint Matts. I love the beauty of the mosaics, the biggness of the space, the silence, the large aisles and the privacy of the chapels.

At Saturday Mass at my suburban back up church I had a slight anxiety attack. All of a sudden I began feeling hemmed in. For some reason, all though the church was not packed a lot of people decided to sit close to me and my husband. I need a certain amount of personal space or I become nervous. There was a loud woman behind me with two bratty kids. She never shut up all through Mass. She constantly had to chide the children or hush them. She does this every time she comes. Her children are not small. Discipline is one thing Catholics don't do well. Baptists (my family is either Baptist or AME Zion) don't put up with that mess. When Baptist kids act up in church they get corrected, immediately.

Anyway, Father Gandalf gave a sterling homily and that saved the day. He looks like he's been sick lately but his whole countenance seems to light up when he ascends to the altar. I was so busy concentrating on him that I was almost able to ignore the noise and eating, yes I said eating. At some point in 2005, it became popular for young parents to bring snacks to church to quiet their kids. When Mass was over I couldn't even make a thanksgiving because a gaggle of women decided to come up to the altar to gossip.

One more thing. If the Vatican is going to make any changes in the Mass I suggest doing away with the cantors or getting them off the altar. At least get them to sing in a register most of the people can follow. I sing soprano and even I can't follow the cantor at St. Burbs.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

silly Christians

Some of my fellow Christians embarrass me. They whine and complain that there is nothing to watch at the theater and when a movie like Narnia comes along they whine and complain that it's not Christian enough. Look people. Disney-- gay loving, fart joke making, kill daddy before the first reel --- Disney made this movie. You're lucky that Aslan is still in it and doesn't sing or dance. Go to the movie or don't but I can gaurantee that if Narnia doesn't a blockbuster (AndI don't think it will. It doesn't seem to be a "must see" like the LOTR movies were. When the trailers for the Star Wars movies hit the theaters people cheered. People cheered for the LOTR trailers. The LWW trailer was met by silence at the theaters I went to) Hollywood will take it as a sign that Christians just want to complain and will never show up with cash.

As for me and mine. We won't see Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe because it just doesn't interest us. I loved the book and wept when Aslan died, and cheered when he rose from the dead but the BBC version and the really very good cartoon versions were enough for me.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It's the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came :
The angel Gabriel from heaven came,With wings as drifted snow, with eyes as flame:"All hail to thee, O lowly maiden Mary,Most highly favored lady."
"For know a blessed mother thou shalt be,All generations laud and honor thee;Thy son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold,Most highly favored lady."
Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head;"To me be as it pleaseth God," she said."My soul shall laud and magnify God’s holy name."Most highly favored lady."
Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ, was bornIn Bethlehem all on a Christmas morn,And Christian folk through-out the world will ever say:"Most highly favored lady."

Sunday, December 04, 2005

well that's kinda interesting

In the What Kind of Hero Would You Be quizz I scored as Batman

Thursday, December 01, 2005

more harm than good?

Do Catholic message boards/chat forums do more harm than good? After reading Angelqueen and a number of blogs I'm really wondering if these sites are helping the Faith. Would you want to join a church where the people seem to be split into factions and hate each other? The people on one site hate traditionalists. One blogger was crowing with delight because there was a scandal in an ultraconservative but schismatic group. His joy over someone else's pain was embarrassing.

Another site is filled with people who would damn those of us who go to Novus Ordo masses to hell. How loving and kind--- not! I'm not saying that Catholics should be mealey mouthed with each other, I hate that myself but why must we be so quick to go to war with each other?

book roundup

I just got through reading Inside Mormonism by Isaiah Bennet. It is very sad. The further you get away from orthodox Christianity the crazier you get, I guess. I also read Creation Rediscovered and I have to say that the writing is so stolid that I fell asleep every time I picked the darn thing up.