Friday, August 31, 2007

Rock on, Father Rutler!

The magnficent Father Rutler, is being humorous in his comments about child education but he has a huge point. I hated school when I was young and much preferred being around adults and I learned far more prowling the library than I ever did stuck in a room with my peers.

He writes:

"I'd encourage your youngest one to abandon kindergarten altogether. Almost everything I learned was learned outside the classroom, and school itself interrupted my education. Moreover, school locks you in with your peers.

That is a mistake.

One's social circle should never include one's equals. From my earliest years I found children uninteresting and always preferred the company of adults. This was an advantage, because I got to know lots of folks who are dead now whom I never would have known if I had waited until I was an adult. - So I have a collective memory - and oral tradition - that goes back to the eighteenth century, having spoken with people who knew people who knew people who knew people who lived then. - The only real university is the universe and a city its microcosm.

That is why an expression like "New York University" is foolish. New York City is the university….Instead of school, children should spend some hours each day in hotel lobbies talking to the guests. They should spend time in restaurant kitchens and shops and garages of all kinds, learning from people who actually make the world work….One day spent roaming through a real classical church building would be the equivalent of one academic term in any of our schools, and a little time spent inconspicuously in a police station would be more informative than all the hours wasted on bogus social sciences.

Formal lessons would only be required for accuracy in spelling and proficiency in public speaking, for which the public speakers in our culture are not models, and in exchange for performing some menial services a child could learn the violin, harp, and piano from musicians in one of the better cocktail lounges, or from performers in the public subways….So I urge you to keep your child out of kindergarten, because kindergarten will only lead to first grade and then thegrim sequence of grade after grade begins and takes its inexorable toll on the mind born fertile but gradually numbed by the pedants who impose on the captive child the flotsam of their own infecundity."

The Catholic Report

I've been looking for a good Catholic news source blog. I think I may have found a good one.

A Baptist minister makes comments about Mother Teresa

I, a Southern Catholic am moved to remark, "Sir, you are a pompous, ignorant gasbag!" You can read his remarks for what little they are worth, here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A dark night of the soul

Some people are surprised that Mother Teresa had such a long dark night of the soul. Others are calling her inner struggle a crisis of faith. Both groups are silly. God chastises every son (and daughter) that He loves. Every great saint, except for the ones who were martyrd quickly had a dark period.

St. Therese fought a huge battle as she lay dying of TB. St. John of the Cross suffered greatly. St. Teresa didn't have it easy either. Fr. Corapi once talked about the great spiritual graces he was granted when he first reverted back to the Faith. And then, when he was no longer a "baby" Christian, the special favors ceased. Fr. Donald Callaway talks about the incredible, special moments he had with Jesus and Mary when he first converted. And then the marvelous moments stopped and he had to ask himself was it Jesus he loved or was it the graces. He was able to say it was Jesus and he became a priest.

Mother Teresa went through an intense period of dryness and yet, she still carried on for the love of Jesus. She did not see Him anymore. She didn't get any visits from angels of His blessed Mother but Teresa carried on. She trusted and she loved. That's a saint.

Monday night Mass

On Mondays we usually go to the 7PM Mass at historic St. Joseph in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. It's on our way home and is it the perfect time for our evening commute. Tonight I felt such sweetness and peace when Father raised the Host. There is nothing better.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

EWTN will be televising the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven-----tune in!

DENTON, Nebraska - AUGUST 17, 2007 -

For the first time in its 26 year history, Mother Angelica's Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) will be broadcasting a live Solemn High Mass at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama on September 14, 2007 at 8:00AM EST.

EWTN has asked for the assistance of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, an international Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right, to help celebrate this "extraordinary" form.This past July 7th, Pope Benedict XVI affirmed the beauty and importance of the Tridentine Mass by issuing Summorum Pontificum, a papal document encouraging and confirming the right of all Latin Rite priests to use this more ancient use of the Mass starting September 14th. The Tridentine Mass was the normative liturgy experienced by Latin Rite Catholics prior to the Second Vatican Council.

"Most Catholics have not seen this heavenly celebration in over 40 years," said Father Calvin Goodwin, a professor at the Society's international English-speaking seminary located in Denton, Nebraska. "We are very excited to help EWTN and to support the Holy Father's call for a wider presence of this form of the Mass. This is a cause for great joy."Priests and seminarians from Denton, Nebraska will travel to Alabama and provide the celebrant, deacon, subdeacon, preacher, master of ceremonies and altar servers.

Dedicated to Rocky

One, two, three
Counting out the signs we see
The tall buildings
Fading in the distance
Only dots on a map
Four, five, six
The two of us a perfect fit
You're all mine, all mine
And all I can sayIs you blow me away
Like an apple on a tree
Hiding out behind the leaves
I was difficult to reach
But you picked me
Like a shell upon a beach
Just another pretty piece
I was difficult to see
But you picked me
Yeah you picked me

So softly
Rain against the windows
And the strong coffee
Warming up my fingers
In this fisherman's house
You got me
Searched the sand And climbed the tree
And brought me back down
And all I can sayIs you blow me away

Like an apple on a tree
Hiding out behind the leaves
I was difficult to reach
But you picked me
Like a shell upon a beach
Just another pretty piece
I was difficult to see
But you picked me

Yeah you picked me

You Picked Me by A Fine Frenzy

Thursday, August 23, 2007

One word, no explanations

(Tagged by the delightful Fr. Erik Richtsteig All readers consider yourself tagged.)

1. Yourself: intense
2. Your spouse: devout
3. Your hair: dark
4. Your mother: darling
5. Your father: missed
6. Your favorite item: mascara
7. Your dream last night: none
8. Your favorite drink: Perrier
9. Your dream car: Hummer
10. The room you are in: office
11. Your ex: forgotten.
12. Your fear: Hell.
13. What you want to be in 10 years: happy
14. Who you hung out with last night: mommy
15. What you're not: patient
16. Muffins: corn.
17: One of your wish list items: monstrance.
18: Time: fast
19. The last thing you did: research.
20. What you are wearing: cute
21. Your favorite weather: cool
22. Your favorite book: too many
23. The last thing you ate: eggs
24. Your life: crazy
25. Your mood: irritable
26. Your best friend: Jesus
27. What you're thinking about right now: lunch
28. Your car: red
29. What you are doing at the moment: posting
30. Your summer: busy
31. Your relationship status: married
32. What is on your TV: Discovery
33. What is the weather like:hazy
34. When was the time you laughed: yesterday

Friday, August 17, 2007

World Youth Day: what is it good for?

This may offend you--- actually, I'm afraid it will definitely offend you and you should go to one of my other posts right now


Still with me? Okay, I warned ya. Forgive me, but I think WYD is a waste of time and money. Yes, I loved JPII and I revere his memory but honestly, how does getting a bunch of kids together on a grassy field to listen to pop music really help the Church? Are they hearing about sacrifice? Are they hearing about duty and honor? Are they being told to be real rebels, defy the world and live the Gospels?

From what I've seen WYD is mainly an excuse to tell kids how special and precious and wonderfully wonderful they are. Young Catholics don't need such an expensive excercise in narciscism. St. Maria Gorreti didn't have a pep rally, neither did St. Agnes, St. Bernadette, or St. Gemma. Frank Parater and Paul Murphy attained holiness without WYD too. Instead of a pat on the back St. Josephine Bakhita spent her youth suffering tortures that I don't even want to dwell on.

To the people say that WYD offers daily Mass and Adoration I say "so what?" You don't have to go to Australia for that. Jesus-- the sweet Lord Jesus, so patient, so loving, so merciful, awaits us in every tabernacle in the world. All you have to do is go to Him. Do you want an experience? Go to Mass. At the moment of transubstantiation it becomes heaven on earth. You can't beat that. Do you want beauty, do you long to be awed by the power of love? Do you want to swim in an ocean of grace? You don't need to go to Oz, all you need to do is spend 30 minutes on your knees in front of the Blessed Sacrament. There you'll find everything you need.

The next WYD is going to be in Australia, a country that despite having a pretty good bishop could use a major evagelization effort. The local muslims have invited young Catholics to visit their mosques while in there.

Instead of warning people not to set foot in a mosque the folks running WYD seem to think this is a great idea. Parents don't write a huge check so your kid can go to the other side of the world and then be preached at by an iman.

Things that tick me off

  • The sight of Jesus being stuck in a chapel down the hall or in another building instead of being on the altar

  • Theology of the Body--- sorry!

  • Brides in strapless or backless gowns

  • cantors who think the Mass is all about them

  • Eucharistic ministers

  • parents who bring food (No- I'm not talking about a baby bottle. I mean food snacks like vienna sausages, cereal and peanut butter crackers) for their kids at Mass. Someone has to clean up that mess, parents. Have you thought about that?)

  • People who go to the back of the church for their cell phone conversation---- dude, we hear you!

  • felt banners

  • statues that don't look a human being

  • stained glass that makes me wonder what its supposed to be representing

  • RCIA

  • Pre-Cana
  • Calling everything ministries ( the tour guide ministry, the young adult ministry, the
  • greeting ministry...)

  • Catholic communities---- what the heck does that mean? I prefer to belong to a parish, thank you.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Some bishops are shepards and some dance with the wolves.

I believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic church. I know in my own mind that holy mother Church is established by God because with the bishops we have, the only reason the Church has survived is the direct will of the Almighty.

I doubt that Bishop Muskens has ever heard the story of the sheepdogs who were tricked into joining the wolves but I fear that he may one day live out the punchline.

In memoriam

A priest is a lover of God. A priest is a lover of men.
A priest is a holy man because he walks before the Face of the
All Holy.
A priest understands all things.
A priest forgives all things.
A priest encompasses all things.
The heart of a priest, like Christ's, is pierced with the lance of love.
The heart of a priest is open, like Christ's, for the whole world to
walk through.
The heart of a priest is a vessel of compassion.
The heart of a priest is a chalice of love.
The heart of a priest is the trysting place of human and divine love.
A priest is a man whose goal is to be another Christ.
A priest is a man who lives to serve.
A priest is a man who has crucified himself, so that he too may be lifted up and draw all
things to Christ.
A priest is a man in love with God.
A priest is the gift of God to man, and of man to God.
A priest is a symbol of the Word made flesh.
A priest is the naked sword of God's justice.
A priest is the hand of God's mercy.
A priest is the reflection of God's love.

Well done good and faithful servant....

Mngr. Gerhardt of St. Matthew's Cathedral died. He was 81 and was a very fine man. This was posted on the St.Mattew's website:

With great sorrow St. Matthew's Cathedral parish announces the death of Msgr. Bernard C. Gerhardt, former Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Washington, on Friday, August 10, at George Washington University Hospital Center. He was 81 years old.

Born in Washington, DC, Msgr. Gerhardt attended Gonzaga College High School; St. Charles College, Catonsville; St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore; and the Pontifical North American College in Vatican City, where he was ordained to the priesthood on December 19, 1953. Following his ordination Msgr. Gerhardt was appointed as an assistant priest at Holy Redeemer parish, Kensington, and began his studies in canon law at The Catholic University of America. In 1958 Msgr. Gerhardt was assigned to the Archdiocesan Tribunal and to his residence at St. Matthew's Cathedral, where he served until his death.

A Vigil will be held at St. Matthew's Cathedral on Friday, August 17 from 3pm-9pm, with a Vigil Mass at 7:30pm. Archbishop Wuerl will celebrate the funeral Mass on Saturday, August 18 at 10am at St. Matthew's Cathedral. Please join the Cathedral parish in prayer as we mourn the loss of Msgr. Gerhardt.

Eternal rest grant unto him, Oh Lord. Let perpetual light shine upon. May he rest in peace. Amen

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Birmingham's Has a Bishop & Blogville has undergone a major change

After a two year wait the folks in Alabama have a bishop. I don't know a thing about him and I hope he does well.

Amy Welborn, the queen of Catholic blogging has decided to hang up her old blog and go onto a different one. It looks like it's going to be a travels with the baby type blog. I didn't always care for Open Book but it was the source for a good chunk of nationwide Catholic news and commentary. I'm looking for a substitute.

Whispers in the Loggia engages in some wishful thinking

Something amazing has happened with the Whispers in the Loggia. The guy who writes it has grown up over the last few months. The whole tone of the blog has changed for the better. In this post he writes aboout Vietnamese Catholics who have a ginormous Marian festival every year. He ends the post with the words, "US Church, this is your future....Welcome it."

Well um.... no. Bless his heart but US Catholics (white Catholics to be blunt--- sorry if this irks anybody) are very insular. At the sight of a group (10 plus) Catholics of other races in the room the average US Catholic will quietly ease out of the back door.

Last night I saw a little bit of this. After the Assumption Vigil Mass Rocky and I noticed that there was a stunningly beautiful statue of Our Lady in the chapel. The Hispanic parishioners were celebrating the vigil by spending an evening of prayer with our dear mother. With their own money they completely transformed an ugly modern little chapel. Banks of pink and white flowers and pink and white candles were all around the altar. The chapel was packed. Everyone was decently dressed (sadly I can not say the same about the Americans in the main church) and even the kids were silent. Other than Rocky and I not one American set foot in the chapel. The non Hispanic parishioners stopped, peeked in, saw all those Hispanics and quickly moved on. Even the priest seemed hesistant about going in. That's the future of US Catholicism. I'm not happy about it, I'm just pointing at the pooping elephant in the living room.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Assumption

I haven't been feeling well since we got back from our trip so Rocky and I went to the Vigil Mass for the Assumption. When I wasn't hot and cold I felt alternately dizzy and nauseated. I have to admit to being exceptionally cranky tonight. Everything from the off key cantor to the endless verses of the Gloria, to the clapping for the choir (we were not at our parish church tonight) bugged me. I tried to concentrate on the homily and on the fact that Jesus was there on that altar patiently putting up with the lame music and with me and that helped a bit.

Oh Mary, concieved without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Oh mother of the Eternal Word, pray for me!
Oh dear mother, dear model, dear heroine keep prodding me towards you divine Son!

and the band played on...

Well the stories are coming out just as I thought they would. It seems the priest who went jogging naked as a jay bird has had a history of odd behavior. A neighbor says he goes nude with the windows open and he was once accused of appearing nude in front of several boys. He's been in years of therapy. When will the bishops ever learn that therapy is useless if the patient does not want to change?

Monday, August 13, 2007

The continuing crisis.... another priest gives scandal

By now you've probably heard or read about the priest who went jogging in the nude on a high school jogging track. He's been suspended. He told the police that he sweats profusely and took his wet, sticky clothes off for comfort's sake and never thought he'd be seen by anyone. I don't believe that. My husband sweats a river but it's never occured to him to go nude in public. I suspect that this poor priest needs intercessory prayer because he probably had certain fantasies and on this night he decided to act on them. The urge to run naked in woodsy places in not uncommon but most of us who don't have Playboy as our moral guide don't go for it. Something is wrong here and don't be surprised if some of this priests former parishioners have a few salty stories to tell the media in the days to come.

back from nashville

Well we made the trip to Nashville. It was interesting. We saw my family of course, and the Hermitage, the Parthenon, the County Music Hall of Fame, (Dolly Parton had the tiniest little waist) hit the malls and we walked up and down Broadway past the rib places and honky tonks. Tennessee isn't as pretty as Virginia. It's a very masculine looking state. There's about 18 inches of topsoil on top of rock. The whole vibe was very busy and diamond hard; it didn't feel graceful or Southern at all. We went to Opryland and were delighted to see the Knights of Columbus there for their convention.

We had a cook out at the home of one of my relatives and someone put on the Talladega Nights DVD. The movie is vulgar, blasphemous, lewd and incredibly offensive. It didn't have to be. The plot line was clever and the story could've been told in a funny and yet non-filthy way.

We went to St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows for Mass. It is the oldest church in Nashville. It's a handsome church and the very spry elderly priest was charming. I was pleased to see one young lady wearing a mantilla. On Sunday we went to a different church that I won't name. It was a dreadful experience. The five piece music group totally dominated the Mass. The women bounced around (one was very large girl and needed a better bra on) and shook their hips while singing the most insipid praise and worship music I have ever heard. The parishioners refused to sing along and maintained a stony silence or talked among themselves while the music went on and on and on. Father's homily was adequate. There were several eucharistic ministers. I did not wish to go one but I would've had to have cut through multiple lines to reach the priest. I didnt go to communion because my thoughts were so uncharitable that I dared not approach the Lord in that frame of mind. As soon as Fr. passed by during the recessional I bolted.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Rocky, Mama and I are going to Nashville to visit relatives for a few days. Last night we went to Mass at St. Rita's. It was exquisite. Fr. Scalia had Adoration, Benediction and confession beforehand. What a great joy for us all before we hit the road. If you're in the Alexandria area come to St. Rita's. Fr. Donahue is a saint and Fr. Scalia is a really fine young man.

St. Christopher, pray for us.
St. Dymphna, pray for us.
St. Martha (Rocky's patron), pray for us.

Who beat up the bishop Pt. 2

The bishop says he fell down eight or nine carpeted stairs but the evidence suggests that he took a nasty beating instead. It looks like this story isn't going away any time soon.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

how to kill the romance in your marriage

  1. Flop around the house naked. I don't care what that bobbled headed skeleton, Victoria Beckham says, hanging around the house naked just makes your body seem ordinary. An orthodox rabbi once told me, ('nother story, 'nother time) that a wife should never be seen completely unclad unless she means business. I don't think I need to elaborate.

  2. Be slovenly. I'm not saying you need to be Martha Stewart but doing disgusting things like leaving your underwear on the floor (my mom was a housekeeper for 30 years, she's seen women of all classes do this), not being discrete about your menses, neglecting to buy new underwear for years at a time, and turning into a slob after the honeymoon are all romance killers.

  3. Making your husband the butt of every one of your jokes. Ever notice how some women can't seem to go ten minutes without making some kind of critical or mocking remark about their husbands? It's uncomfortable for the listeners and it cuts your husband to the quick until he stops caring. When that happens your marriage is dead or almost there.
  4. Always putting your children first. Your first duty is to your marriage. I know a woman who fussed and cried and made her husband's life hell because she wanted a house in the country. She was convinced that country living would be better for the kids. After a year of misery her husband bought her that house in the country. His two hour commute is now four hours. The wife is delighted with her country home and yes, the kids love playing in the woods but her husband is quietly seething with resentment and no longer feels the same way about her. She won the battle but has lost the war.

  5. Treating your husband like nothing more than a paycheck. Some women are so busy with their families, their friends, their kids, and their careers that they forget about their men. I know women who act as though they really don't care what their husband's do or feel as long as that paycheck is in the bank on Friday.

  6. Listening to the wrong people. Don't listen to your divorced sister's advice on marriage. She blew it and the odds are she doesn't even know why. Don't listen to your man-hating best friend and for pity's sake don't listen to magazines like Glamour, Redbook, Cosmopolitan or Playgirl. Find a godly woman who has been married for ten plus years and study her. Is her husband happy? Does her home seem liveable? Is she content? That's the woman you should be paying attetion to.

  7. Turning into a nagging shrew. This one is obvious.

  8. Never being satisfied with what you have. If your husband can not afford the kind of lifestyle you want you have two choices: rethink your fantasy or get a job yourself. I am not of course, talking about the guy who can't keep a decent job or the guy who is so unmotivated that he hasn't had a promotion in ten years. I'm talking about the man who makes a perfectly comfortable living and still can't seem to satisfy his wife becuase she want's to live like the movie stars and the rich folks she sees in the magazines.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Did the bishop fall or was he roughed up?

Oh dear. Someone please inform the Vatican. Looks like something's afoot in Arizona. Let the truth--- whatever that may be, come out now before this thing snowballs into a scandal.