Monday, October 30, 2006

My favorite B16 picture

Pray for the Holy Father

From whence do scandals come....?

Swing on over to New Oxford Review and read this.

When you're done go to Lair of the Catholic Cavemen and read what Vir has to say about the US Bishop's plan to spend $335 K to study the causes of the pedophile scandal.


I used to enjoy Halloween but now I don't feel all that comfortable with it. Isn't it weird to dress your child up as a fictional child molestor and killer (the character of Freddy Krueger), a demon, a pimp (the pimp costume was very popular around here last year), a ghost (damned soul) or a witch and then send them out to beg the neighbors for candy with the implied threat (Trick or treat). that if they don't hand over the good stuff the house will get toilet papered later?

In my neighborhood we've done away with door to door trick or treating. The kids meet for a party in the community center. This is safer and is a big relief to those who don't want to take part in the whole thing.

professsional catholics

Lately I've been very disappointed by the blogs of some professional Catholics. The professionals are lay people who make their living by writing books and giving lectures on Catholicism. I used to read the blogs of four professionals. One really turned me off by his nasty attitude towards anyone who didn't slavishly agree with his every utterance in print and by his incessant need to mock Catholics who aren't drinking The-New-Springtime-is-Just-Around-the-Corner Kool-aid and any Catholic whose faith isn't as "sophisticated" as his. I don't read his blog anymore and I'll never buy any of his products. If he shows up at my parish I'll be sure to write Fr. Theoden a protest letter.

Another professional that I used to read has made statements that left me seriously doubting his orthodoxy. I don't read him anymore. And one professional Catholic blogger has left the Church altogether. I never really trusted him because although the man is a really a good writer I remembered his remarkably uncharitable columns back when he was writing for a New York paper. When the young singer, Aalyiah died in a plane crash he made fun of her funeral. Since her parents gave her a funeral that was no different (except for size) than that of the average black Baptist he got a firestorm of protest. Not a tactful guy by any means. The professional's blog that I still read on a daily basis is entertaining but I stick with it mainly for the Catholic news of the day not so much for the author's middle of the road opinions.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Michael J. Fox

I'm shedding no tears for Michael J. Fox. He's been, whether he realizes it or not, hightly blessed. He's rich, he has a wife who is apparently content to be his wife and who stays out of the tabloids. He has two children I think, and even with Parkinsons he lives a life of luxury that the average American can only dream about it. I'm sorry he's sick but so are a lot of people and they aren't avocating slaughtering innocents.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

bad nights in a bad inn

I had to go back to New York City on business again. Everything job related and after hours went well. I went to Confession and Mass at St. Francis and prayed at St. John the Baptist. The hotel itself was a nightmare. Bungled reservations, rude service, incompetence on every level and no-one cleaned my room the whole time I was there. To paraphrase St. Teresa it was a bad (couple of nights) at a bad inn. I will never stay in that place again. Next time I'll go to the Hotel Wolcott or the Marriot Marquis. Ususally when Rocky and I go to NYC we stay at the Travel Inn, which is great (Especially if you drive. They do not charge you to park your car in their garage) but if I'm alone I want a hotel that's close my company's NY office. The train trip was lovely as usual.

Thank you St. Christopher, St. Dymphna, St.Therese and St. Francis for getting me there and back again in one piece and relatively sane.

Madonna's newest stunt

I've been reading a lot of disturbing comments from people who I thought would know better about Madonna's "adoption" of a baby from Africa. Most people seem to think it's great because the kid will live in luxury. Are people really so foolish as to think money is everything? Michael Jackson's kids live amidst wealth but I wouldn't want to be them or any other kid in his circle. How would you like to have Christina Crawford's childhood? She grew up in luxury but life with Joan Crawford was hell. J.P. Getty was the richest man in the world but his kids hated him. Money didn't make up for the fact that he was a dreadful person. Gloria Vanderbilt grew up rich but her mother was a mess and Gloria was miserable for years.

Apparently a civil rights organization in Malawi is opposing the adoption and Madonna may be facing a legal investigation back in England so this might not be a done deal after all. Baby David is not a Versace dress or a Louis V. bag. He deserves a real home with decent people who are really going to love him. I'm tired of African babies being the new celebrity accessory.

A separate peace

Several months ago Peggy Noonan wrote an op ed where she opined that our country's elites have pretty much decided that the rest of us can go to hell. They are willing to establish a "separate peace" with our enemies, and the current economic situation. Peggy is right but this separate peace idea goes back for years. When I was in elementary school there was a report on our local news that the rich kids in Fairfax County, VA were taking Russian language courses. The rationale was that the Soviet Union would be the dominant world player and that smart parents would make sure their kids spoke Russian. In Canada Pierre Truedeau actually took his sons to visit Russia because the little twerp felt that the future was going to Russian and he wanted them to see the people and the culture. Well, thanks to God, the efforts of JPII and a guy named Ronald Wilson Reagan the Soviet Union died with nary a shot.
By the time I was in high school the fad among rich parents was for their kids to take Japanese lessons because the teachers and parents apparently thought Japan is going to be dominant business force in the world and the kids might as well be prepared for that. Now the rage in certain high income neighborhoods is for the kids to learn Chinese or Arabic. I wonder if well to do parents in the 40s "prudently" had their kids study German--- just in case? Somehow I doubt it.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

i read a lousy book

I just finished reading My Life With the Saints. I won't bother to link to it because it's lousy. It was written by a Jesuit priest but it sounds like the musings of an emotionally retarded 16 year old. Fr. showed an ignorance and sometimes indifference of basic Catholicism and tradition that stunned me. If this is what the Jesuits are producing somebody beg the Pope to suppress the order please.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Two beautiful icons of Our Lord and Our Lady

random thoughts for a thursday night

  • Apparently Rod Dreher has left the Church and has converted to the Orthodox faith. I don't know how old Dreher is but he seems young enough to still believe that there must be a church made up of perfect members. I suspect he'll soon start writing disallusioned diatribes about all the unexpected sinners he'll find among the Orthodox. Sad.

  • It's being whispered that the Holy Father is going to issue a universal indult for the celebration of the Tridentine Mass. I refuse to get excited. I'll believe it when I see Raymond Arroyo report it the EWTN news.

  • I've been toying with the idea of asking Fr. Theoden (no that's not his real name) about starting a rosary prayer groupat my parish. What time I'd actually have to devote to it is another question but lately the urge to do more at church has been nagging at me.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

St. Francis

This morning I was in New York City (for work) and before my train to Virginia took off I visited St. Franciscan on 31rst street. It looked like a small chapel from the street but once I got in I was awed by how beautiful and big it was. They have a heart melting statue of the Divine Infant and the most touching statue of the death of St. Anthony I've ever seen and they have confession from 8AM to 6 PM on Saturdays.

Looking at the portraits and statues of St. Francis I was struck by how our modern era gets the saint so wrong. When I was in high school our teacher showed us a horrible movie-- a one man musical about St. Francis' life. He was presented as the Middle Ages version of a dreamy, high on something flower child. I was repulsed and I think a lot of other girls were too. St. Franics was no flake. He was a mighty man of God.

I saw this "motivational poster" on the Anathema Sit blog. Too bad I can't track down my old teacher and send this to him.

PS, New York is great for a quick trip but I'm so glad to be home in my beloved Virginia. The late Lewis Grizzard once wrote a book about the time he left his Southern home and followed a career in Chicago. He called it, If I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I'm Gonna Nail My Feet to the Ground. That's how I feel about Virginia. Plus I missed Rocky something fierce. Life, even for a few days, without that man is like tofu that's been substituted for Angus beef.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

random thoughts on a wednesday night

1. I wish Rosie O'Donnel would go back under whatever rock she was hibernating under. I'm sorry her mother died when she was young. Lord, knows I suffered when my father died when I was 13 but that's no excuse for her to be such a phenomenal jerk now.

2. I wish Madonna would go away forever. She's apparently just adopted an African baby. I'm really sick of these celebrities adopting kids for publicity as if the children were Pugs or Pekes. A human being deserves something better than being an accessory for a bubble headed singer or actor. We certainly have come a long way from the days when a bishop refused to let Elizabeth Taylor adopt a baby from a Catholic orphanage in the 50s. The good bishop stated flatly that he couldn't send a child into the home of a public adulteress, which is what Liz was at the time.

3. Ever notice that when criminals get caught they try to excuse their behavior by claiming to have been abused or of having an addiction?

4. If you're in DC on the third Monday in October stop by St. Matthew's Cathedral for Eucharistic Adoration led by Fr. Caulfield.

5. I'm reading The Murky Water's of Vatican II. It's not a very readable book and I can't say that I'm enjoying it one bit.

6. This may tick off any female readers---- sorry--- but Catholics really need to reevaluate the way many of us use NFP. It was never intended to be long term birth control and should be used for serious reasons only. If your doctor tells you that you will turn into Andrea Yates if you have another baby then NFP or a Josephite marriage is perfectly acceptable provided your husband is willing to go along. Not wanting to have a waist bigger than 17 inches is NOT a valid reason. So many women fear pregnancy as if it's some sort of dread disease. My grandmother had three children and was a farmer's wife. She lived way back in the country with no air conditioning, no washing machine, a wood burning stove, no indoor plumbing and no microwave. She cooked, sewed, cleaned, chopped wood, raised animals, grew a garden and had a part time job as a restaurant cook and being pregnant didn't slow her down.
Other women simply fear having a bunch of kids but because of the STD scourge and waiting so long to get married many women are infertile anyway. You probably couldn't have 16 kids even if you desperately wanted to. Trust God. He knows what you need and He knows what you can handle.

7. I just bought the New Testament volume of the Navarre Bible. It's an incredible study source. It is not cheap ($45) but it was well worth it. My husband has started reading it for the commentary sections before going to his bible class each week.

8. Say a rosary for our priests. The good ones need it. The bad ones need it even more.

9. Pray for the Pope.


what fresh hell is this?

A 32 year old sadistic, freaked out bastard walked into an Amish school and killed (so far) six young girls and himself. Amish country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania is one of my favorite vacation spots. The Amish are fine, gentle people this must be such a tremendous shock to them. Last week a crazy man walked into a school in Colorado, picked out several teenaged girls, molested them and shot one before killing himself. There are many men in this country who are obsessed with young girls, the stinking sewer of kiddie porn (actually underage victims and over age 18 women who are posed to look like girls) is stark proof of that. Lust is a consuming demon. The more a person feeds it the more it requires. These guys have such perverted fantasies and more and more of them have no fears of acting them out.

Sometimes I read the comments on Anglequeen and I keep coming across people who long to head back to the farm, pull their kids out of school, find a priest who will offer the traditional Mass and just forget about the rest of the church and the world. This terrible crime against innocent Amish children shows that you can not hide from the sin of the world. There is no safe place anymore.

St. Maria Goretti and St. Dominic Salvo, pray for us.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Tridentine Mass today

Rocky and I went to the Tridentine Mass at St. Lawrence in the Virginia suburbs today. We loved it; we really, really loved it. With this Mass there are less distractions. I was so busy following the missal and praying that all I really noticed was what was happening on the altar. It was all so beautiful. There was no gossiping before Mass, no backslapping, no cantor screeching into the microphone, and no eucharistic ministers. After Mass there was not a great rush to the door and people waited until they were outside to chat with their friends.

The homily was decent, and the organ was well played. St. Lawrence is hideous on the outside but on the inside it's lovely. Someone who really loves Jesus must be in charge of the decorations and the altar rail is intact.

Happy Feast day St. Therese!

This picture was taken of the saint when she was a 15 year old novice. It's one of my favorites.

what a week

Well, my mother in law is out of the hospital. Thank you to everyone who said prayers for her. She had one really rough night because a nurse tripped and tore out her tube. Putting it back was very painful and Big Mama thrashed around so much that her IV tube was yanked out as well. So they had to try six times to put it back in. After that particular drama the nurse responsible was removed from the floor and Big Mama actually began to feel better. On Monday night the stomach tube was removed and she was allowed to go home on Tuesday morning.

Rocky and I went on vacation and were startled to find out how poorly things are done in the Richmond diocese. We couldn't find a church that had daily Mass in Williamsburg, Newport News or Norfolk or Richmond. The only bright liturgical spot was visiting the Catholic chapel at William and Mary. It was great seeing all those young kids at Mass, not because their parents mad them go but because they wanted to be there.

We stayed in Williamsburg and visited the historic area as well as the outlet malls. We saw the Virginia Living Museum (Excellent!) and the Norfolk botanical garden ( Go if you get a chance) and we took the ferry to Surry. We spent time in Portsmouth and rambling around Newport News. They have a huge park there that was great.

Alas, our hotel room had a a small mold problem which explains why my eyes were so irritated all week and all our clothes that we took on the trip smell. I'm off to the dry cleaners .