Sunday, November 30, 2008

the kindest of men

My husband not only went shopping with me on the day after Thanksgiving, he patiently watched me try on dress after dress in a failed effort to find something to wear to the company Christmas party.

Wisdom! Be attentive.

Here's another picture of the priest from 1953 giving his homily. It reminds a bit of Fr. Gollum. There's no physical resemblence at all but Fr. G's homily this Sunday vigil was given with great passion. He reminded us to watch and be ready for the coming of the Lord.

I am curious about one thing in this photo. Did priests prior to VatII remove their chasuble before preaching?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Fr. Andrew Greeley

Fr. Andrew Greeley, the priest who writes romance novels, had a terrible accident early this month. He's in critical condition. That's old news, I know but years ago he wrote a non-fiction book in which he alleged that there was a homosexual pederast ring of priests opporating in the Chicago area. He said that he wasn't worried about them because if anything were to happen to him arrangements had been made for their names to be released to the press.

"...But even in Chicago, the ring of predators about whom I wrote in the paperback edition of 'Confessions' remains untouched. There is no evidence against them because no one has complained about them and none of their fellow priests have denounced them. Those who have been removed are for the most part lone offenders who lacked the skill to cover their tracks. The ring is much more clever. Perhaps they always will be. But should they slip, should they get caught, the previous scandals will seem trivial...."

Was Fr. Greeley telling the truth or was he just being sensational to sell a book? If he can communicate in any form I hope someone is asking him about his allegations.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank you God, for the holy priesthood.

Google has a treasure trove of photos from Life magazine's archives online.
This photo shows a priest from the 1950s giving a passionate homily.

So, are you enjoying the recession?

I've seen on too many blogs, especially orthodox Catholic ones display an annoying smugness about the recession. People seem gleeful. One guy wrote that he wanted to wag his finger at people eating out in restaurants for wasting their money. Others seem to be glorying in the troubles of their neighbors.

The prophet Jerimiah, (I think) preached to the people of Ninevah and then went to sit down to watch them be destroyed for their sins. Instead they repented and God spared them. Jerimiah was bitterly disappointed. God told him to calm down. A lot of Catholic posters seem like Jerry these days. They can't wait to see their neighbors suffer. That aint Catholic. That's not even humane.

Do you want this country to sink into some kind of Depression? Yes, we would deserve it. For all the horrid sins of this nation particularly the raising of abortion to some kind of secular sacrament, we do deserve it. But do you really want it?

Do you want your brother-in-law living your basement because he lost his job and can't find anything else? Do you want to see working class people reduced to standing in soup kitchen lines? Do you want to see marriages bust up because there's no money coming in? Do you hate your tacky low class sister-in-law so much that you take secret comfort when she loses her job at Ford? Do you disapprove so much of your cousin's high flying lifestyle that you'll feel righteous when his mini mansion is foreclosed on?

Do you want to see marriages explode on a grand scale? Women need security in order to be happy. Even the strongest of us need to know that there is order and rythm in our lives. Love takes a big hit when the rent aint paid and bill collectors are calling. Is that what you want for our country? Want to see child abuse rise even higher than it is now? Weak, demoralized people strike out at weaker targets, you know. They turn to drink, they turn to drugs. They turn to all many of hideous things.

I'm startled at how many Catholic bloggers seem to want to be like the townspeople in The Scarlet Letter all sneering and pointing at Hester. It doesn't seem to occur to these folks that they might lose their own jobs and that all their stockpiled canned goods and garden won't make a bit of difference if the mortgage isn't paid.

Happy Thanksgiving y'all

Oh and forget that Plymouth Rock jazz. The first Thanksgiving was in Virginia at Berkeley Plantation.....

Saturday, November 22, 2008

WTH is Douglas Kmiec thinking?

Sometimes when you make a mistake you can't pull out of it due to pride, fear or shame so you hit bottom and start to dig. I think Douglas Kmiec picked up a bulldozer is working on a making a crater.

I guess Kmiec doesn't remember high school. Sometimes in order to hang out with the cool kids you have to change so much that you don't even recognize what you've become.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The sorrowful mysteries

The agony in the garden
Jesus was in such emotional pain that He began to sweat blood. It's a very rare condition called thromboi haimatos that only occurs in times of extraordinarily intense stress. It leaves the skin tender and sore.

The scourging at the pillar.
The Jews had a law that a man could only be scourged to the count of 39. The Romans had no such restriction. If you look at the back of the Shroud you can see that Jesus' back must have been cut to to ribbons.

The crowning with thorns.
You may have seen the Spina Christi plant and been told that it is the plant that was used to make the crown of thorns. That's unlikely but the crown must have cost Our Lord tremendous pain. Scalp wounds bleed heavily and His face must have been covered with His precious blood.

carrying the cross
Artists traditionally show the cross already assembled when Jesus carries it but a full cross would've been too heavy for a man in Our Lord's condition to bear. He probably carried the cross beam on His shoulders and He must have fallen many times on the way to Golgotha.

the crucifixion

My Lord, my God, my Savior. What can I say? Only "thank you, thank you, oh thank you!"

i'm delighted

I got an award from Vir Speluncae Catholicus of The Lair of the Catholic Cavemen.

The rules:
1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to other 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment.
3) Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Monday, November 17, 2008

one solitary priest

When Henry the 8th decided to discard his wife and daughter in order to marry his mistress he demanded that the Church go along with him. Most of the bishops said "sure,". One cardinal, said, "No!" He made it clear that he was ready to die to defend the indissolubility of marriage. That man was beheaded and his head was stuck on a pole. Later it was thrown into the Thames. His name is St. John Fisher. Just one very old priest against the might of the king and the world.

Last week one solitary priest spoke up in Greenville, South Carolina. His superiors have turned on him, of course.

Please pray for Fr. Newman. There really isn't a natural priest vocation crisis. There is a Catholic crisis. There aren't enough real Catholics to produce sons who'd want to be priests and there aren't enough Catholics to stand by their good priests when troubles come. What can a devout young man take from this story? That he's expected to say nice things and not the truth? That he must be lispy Fr. Skippy and give homilies as weak as water so that no one will be offended? Who would want to spend their life doing that?

Scrupulous Meaness--- Saddest picture I've ever seen, don't click if you are sensitive

What happened to America? When did the national spirit turn so mean? There is no excuse for this on earth. There will be no excuse in hell.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

november rainy day Mass

As usual we went to the Vigil Mass at St. Rita's. It was beautiful. One of the guys sitting near us was wearing a colonge that smelled like fresh tobacco. I actually like the tobacco plant smell so that was nice. My only bad moment was when it was time for the Sign of Peace. Why, oh why do people feel the need to give crushing handshakes? If I'm wincing in pain after you shake my hand I won't feel too peaceful about you.

Anyway, I always love looking at the stained glass and every little detail of the altar. There was a long line at the confessional and I was happy to see it. It was dark and raining and it seemed like the outside world had faded away. I heard no police sirens, no trucks going by. It seemed to be just us, the Church triumphant that we couldn't see, the Church Militant and of course, the Church Suffering --- a family gathered to worship God.

After Mass Fr. Theoden came out to sit before the Blessed Sacrament. It's a very good thing to see your pastor praying. I wish more priests would do that.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Things I've always wondered...

What was the real story on Cardinal Bernadin?

Was Fr. Malachai Martin good or bad?

Was Fr. Feeney an unjustly persecuted good priest or a proud priest who couldn't accept correction?

What did Mary and Jesus talk about over dinner?

What was the real reason for so many bishops remaining silent about sexually predatory priests? And why did they keep reassigning these men to posts where they'd be around kids? One pedophile priest was even given an assignment that put him in regular contact with Boy Scouts. This was AFTER he'd gotten out of a treatment center.

Did Adam bring up the snake incident every time he and Eve had an argument?

What did Moses say to his brother Aaron in private after the whole thing with the Golden Calf. Aaron gave Moses the all time wimpiest excuse ever recorded by man.

What was the great suffering that afflicted Archbishop Sheen while he was writing "The Life of Christ"?

What was St. Paul's thorn in the flesh? Did he have the stigmata?

Was Pope Paul VI ever happy? I keep reading story after story that ends with him weeping.

Did any of the priests and pharisees who met the Child Jesus in the temple live to see him as a man?

Did Pilate ever go a day without thinking back to the day he met Jesus?

Did Caiphus understand the meaning of the torn temple curtain?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Marines.

And thank you!

Thank you St. Anthony

When my mother was ill back in August I promised St. Anthony that if he helped her with his prayers I'd make a pilgrimage to his Pennsylvania shrine. Ma's okay and this weekend Rocky and I went to Pittsburgh to visit the St. Anthony Chapel. It is a very remarkable and holy place. If you are ever in Pennsylvania and can do it, do yourself a favor and stop by.

This chapel was founded by a saintly priest, Fr. Mollinger and contains over 5000 relics of the saints and has more relics than any other place outside of the Vatican. Sr. Margaret, a lovely habited nun from Ireland gave the tour. Besides the relics, the chapel also has life sized stations of the cross. Oh, and Sr. Margaret was kind enough to bring out the chapel's relic of the True Cross.

After the visit we walked over the chapel's museum and then stopped by Most Holy Name of Jesus parish. They had the altar decorated with pumpkins and wheat and we decided not to go to Mass there. Instead we went to Ephinany which is in downtown Pittsburgh. They had a brisk Mass and had a male cantor. He had a strong tenor voice and was very nice to us. In fact, everyone we met was delightful.

Pittsburgh Steeler fans have got to be the most devoted I've ever seen. They put Redskins fans to shame. Even little old ladies were wearing their Steelers jerseys on Sunday. I don't think we'll be back, except to visit the chapel but it's an interesting town.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Grand Inquisitor-- go read it.

I admit to being one of the apparently five American Catholics who don't find John Zmirak funny. The others are probably a Carthusian monk who last chuckled at something frivolous in 1952, a Traditionalist so tough that he makes most SSPX priests look like slackers, a cat lady in Wyoming and two Trekies who are convinced they really are Vulcans. Zmirak is, I am assured by most Catholic pals, a glass of fine aged brandy and my taste runs more into Cheerwine.

So, it was with some reluctance that I picked up his graphic novel, The Grand Inquisitor. It's good. It's really, really good. A fine and holy cardinal from Africa is elected pope. He's kidnapped and stuck in an insane asylum by the villain, a cardinal who's gone totally rogue. There is intense discussion about the state of mankind, the wounded Church, the clergy, nuns gone astray and at the climax startling vision by villain who sees an Infant of Prague statue suddenly look angry. Later he sees the Infant in dressed in armour and accompanied by butt kicking angels.
Like most graphic novels this is not for kids. It does not have pretty artwork. It disturbs, it thrills. I liked it. I should also point out that I can and do read Zmirak when he's serious. The man can write. I just never got his jokes.

The Catholic Vote

It looks like 53% of Catholics voted for Obama.
There's nothing else to say.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

November 5, 2007

Nobody knew you

“Sorry about your loss dear, but you couldn’t have been very far along.”
Nobody knew you
“It’s not as though you lost an actual person.”…
were real
Nobody knew you
“Well it probably wasn’t a viable fetus. It’s all for the best.”
…were perfect.
Nobody knew you
“You can always have another!”
…were unique, our Dieudonn√©, and no, I probably can't.
Nobody knew you…but God

Sunday, November 02, 2008

For those in purgatory

Oh my Jesus have mercy on:

My dear father and grandparents,*
My other near relatives,*
My godparents and sponsors of Confirmation,*
My spiritual and temporal benefactors,*
My friends and neighbors,*
All for whom love or duty bids me pray,*
Those who have suffered disadvantage or harm through me,*
Those who are especially beloved by Thee,*
Those whose release is near at hand,*
Those who desire most to be united with Thee,*
Those who endure the greatest sufferings’*
Those whose release is most remote,*
Those who are least remembered,*
Those whose are most deserving on account of their services to the Church,*
The rich, who are now the most destitute,*
The mighty, who are now powerless,*
The once spiritually blind, who now see their folly,*
The frivolous, who spent their time in idleness,*
The poor, who did not seek the treasures of heaven,*
The tepid, who devoted little time to prayer,*
The insolent, who neglected to perform good works,*
Those of little faith, who neglected the frequent reception of the Sacraments,*
The habitual sinners, who owe their salvation to a miracle of grace,*
Parents who failed to watch over their children,*
Superiors who were not solicitous for the salvation of those entrusted to them,*
Those who strove for worldly riches and pleasures,*
The worldly-minded, who failed to use their wealth and talents in the service of God,*
Those who witnessed the death of others, but would not think of their own*
Those who did not provide for the life hereafter,*
Those whose sentence is severe because of the great things entrusted to them,*
The popes, kings and rulers,*
The bishops and their counselors,*
My teachers and spiritual advisers,*
The deceased priests of this diocese,*
The priests and religious of the Catholic Church,*
The defenders of the holy faith,*
Those who died on the battlefield,*
Those who fought for their country,*
Those who were buried in the sea,*
Those who died of apoplexy,*
Those who died of heart attacks,*
Those who suffered and died of cancer,*
Those who died suddenly in accidents,*
Those who died without the last rites of the Church,*
Those who shall die within the next twenty-four hours,*
My own poor soul when I shall have to appear before Thy judgement seat.*


Saturday, November 01, 2008

all souls day vigil

Mass at St. Rita's was awesome tonight. Fr. Gollum's homily was so good I wish that I had a photgraphic memory and could type it word for word. He is a brilliant young man. We are so lucky to have such a fine mind at our parish. The music was the best I've ever heard it. I must send the church musician a thank you note. And the singers did Dies Irae. You can read about Dies Irae here.

This had to be one of the most sublime and precious masses I've ever attended.

Eternal rest grant unto:

Cleveland, Mamie and Mac, Farr and Minerva, Glenn and Elvira, Caroline, Farr, Taylor, John, Net, Sophie, Marie, Bett, Joe, Mary, Daisy, Junior, Bertha and Yancey, Will and Viola and all Rocky and my beloved dead.

John Mary Thomas, pray for us.

all saints day

We have We powerful friends in heaven. Don't hesitate to ask them for their help. And in honor of the day take a peek at this terribly cute little video
Oh and listen to this gorgeous litany of the saints from John Paul II's funeral.