Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bless all the dear priests, in Thy tender care....

God, for the sake of Thy Holy Son's nativity, bless Pope Benedict. Keep him safe and keep him strong. Bless Your bishops and cardinals, especially the bad ones that they might realize and repent their errors.

Bless, Fr. Theoden. We are grateful for such a saintly pastor! Bless Fr. Gollum, Fr. Aragorn, mighty Fr. Jaffe, Fr. Hurley, Fr. Azuka, Fr. Vanderwoude, Fr. Rippy, gentle Fr. Africanus, Fr. Legolas, Fr. Bombadil in North Carolina, Mnsgr. Jameson, and Fr. Stonewall, that fierce young priest in Woodbridge. Bless the intense priest at St. Louis and all the priests and brothers at the Franciscan monasteries in DC and Maryland. Bless the blogging priests: Fr. Cranky, Fr. Z, jolly Fr. Joe and doughty Fr. Mildew in England, and delightful Fr. Sibley.

Please recover the priests who find themselves discouraged or tempted to stray from their vocation. Please recover the priests who've completely lost it and are living in sin and scandal. Bless Your sick priests, the old worn out priests, the hopeful and brave young priests and the dying priests, and make them all images of Your Son.

a nativity question

St. Joseph surely had a mess of cousins, if not siblings so why were he and Mary going from inn to inn alone on the night of Jesus' birth? Tribe is everything in the Middle East, some relative in Bethlehem would've been honor bound to take them in. It seems that what they wanted was privacy that woud've been impossible with kinfolks and certainly not in an open courtyard at an inn. Could it be that the birth of Our Lord was so miraculous that strangers or relatives couldn't have been trusted to keep their mouths shut?

Maybe the visions from The Mystical City of God and The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary were correct, afterall?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

merry christmas

We were just too tired to do the midnight Mass this year, so we went to Christmas Day Mass at 8 AM. It was lovely, peaceful and not crowded. Fr. Theoden and Fr. Gollum were exhausted but happy. The tree was beautifully decorated and there were masses of poinsettas.

I was a little sorry to see how bummy so many of the parishioners looked. Strange, how folks will get dressed up to go to a club and have a hook up with some stranger but show up in dirty sweats to see the King of Kings.

One of the gifts I got for Rocky was the Pope's Cologne. It smells fantastic! Rocky likes it and I love it on him. It's clean and grown up, like a sophisticated man ought to smell.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mass at Our Lady of the Angels

We couldn't make it to our parish for the vigil Mass and we needed to visit Rocky's parents, Big Mama and Big Daddy (they are doing poorly), so we went to a parish near them, Our Lady of the Angels. The music was.... bad, really bad. I could see that the cantor and organist were doing the best that they could so I'll leave it at that. I listened for a few seconds and then got out my earplugs.

I could hear the priest but the music was mercifully muted. They had several altar boys and the priest said a straight, no-nonsense Mass. Rocky and I were both really relieved.

I hope never to live in Prince William County -- except for the rural end it's not a nice place anymore, but if I had to do it, I guess we could do a lot worse than to belong to Our Lady of the Angels.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Here's another
photo from
the Life archives.
This sister was
studying in the
New York Public
Library in 1944.
For a librarian
like me, this
photo is a real

Be Still My Soul

We are having a baby boom at work. I should be over this but today it felt like I was being smacked in the face with something dangerously close to bitterness. I am glad for my co-workers. I'm even smart enough to realize that my old enemy "advanced maternal age" has probably bested me but damnit... damnit... damnit.

Oh I'm clinging to the hymn, "Be Still My Soul," today.

Pray for Martha Samuel

Here in America Christians are mocked on a regular basis. In hell mouths like Egypt, they get kidnapped, raped and tortured. When President Bush said that Islam is a religion of peace he only, (I think) made that statement in order to calm Americans and reassure Muslims in the US that a can of whoop ass was not going to be opened up on them. But Islam is not a religion of peace, never was, never can be. It's interesting and colorful in a horrifying sort of way but only in small numbers. When it takes over hell comes with it.

Please pray for this poor woman, trapped in Egypt. And remember, if such foul things are happening in "modern," "moderate," Egypt, our "ally" then imagine what life is like for Christian women in places like Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

one special ornanment

In 1967, my mother bought the most beautiful ornament in the world from Hechinger's Hardware store in DC. It was Polish and the pink and white, yest still silvery mercury glass was so thin and fine that later when I was old enough to pay attention to such things, I could almost see through it. I still have the famous Baby Ornament as the family calls it and it sits at the very top of my tree every year. I'd post a photo but by the time I actually took the photo and got it downloaded it would be Lent so you'll have to trust my description.

Merry Christmas!

The seminarians

The new crop of seminarians are pretty orthodox but they're still a bit young and well, we're just gonna have to wait years for them to be old enough to drive, much less to say Mass.
(Actually, it's a photo of students at the a minor seminary. Not sure about the year. I found it on the fabulous Crescent blog. )

Friday, December 19, 2008


Our cable and internet on the desktop as been out for four days. No football, no Survivorman, no Bear Gyrlls, no How It's Made, no Priests concert on PBS. Thank goodness our laptop isn't with Comcast.

A spider, (I think) bit me on the leg and it puffed up like something out of a horror movie. My calf looked deformed from the side. My doctor told me to use Benadryl and hydrocortisone cream and thank God, the swelling has gone down. The inflamed skin is still warm but it's not hot anymore and the area is the color of rare hamburger. I was scratching like a chigger bit hound yesterday but now the urge to scratch is less so.

And to top off the annoying week I actually wished a Jewish attorney merry Christmas today (I never realized he was Jewish but there's a faux pas made with a person who could hurt me later if he decided to hold it against me.)

And I still haven't done any of my baking.......

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And the Word was made flesh

and pitched His tent among us.

Everytime I say these words I get such a thrill. It's almost too much to fathom. Imagine, God, almighty, infinite Lord, comes down to live with us, His ungrateful creatures. He comes, not to Rome but to crappy little Bethlehem. He lives in Nazareth for 30 years. He works as a carpenter-- no soft white hands for Him. He spends three years preaching and is rejected by the priests and pharisees, the very ones who should have recognized Him first. He is crucified, dies and rises again for love of us. The wood of the cross and the wood of His cradle are related.

And the Word was made flesh and pitched His tent among us. What else can I say but "thank you, Lord," and that with tears in my eyes.

For your listening pleasure.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

a question for the immigration lobby

One thing that I keep hearing over and over again is that we Catholic are supposed to welcome illegal aliens becuase they are such devout Catholics and will help the Church in America. Okay....... since it's often priests and nuns who deliver these lectures I've remained silent. But this week Playboy magazine released the December issue in Mexico. It is blasphemous and insults the Blessed Virgin. Heard any news stories about massive protests? Has Playboy been forced to recall the issues? Has Hugh Hefner left his crypt to publicly apologize? Have Mexican men cancelled their subscriptions in massive numbers? Nope. So, come again with another illegal immigration excuse becuase the devout Catholic one has worn way thin.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Beautiful- both sides of the confessional

These are from Life magazine. It was 1953 in the Belgian Congo. Tonight a young African priest heard my confession. His habit looked very much like the one in this photo.

let all mortal flesh keep silent....

We went to confession and adoration tonight at Queen of Apostles in Alexandria. They have two confessors and vespers are said each Thursday. It was lovely to sit with Jesus for an hour or so.
What indescribable love and charity! Jesus remains with us under the guise of bread. And He, the King of Kings waits for US to come to Him.
Our end of the Arlington diocese is heavily Hispanic so I expect tommorow, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe to be very busy for all the parishes. I hope the priests are getting plenty of rest tonight.
Since it's been such a Marian week. I've been thinking about Our Lady's apparitions, particularly the one in Rwanda. I couldn't help but compare the behavior and fates of the Rwandan seers to that of the alleged seers of Medjugorje. One girl, Alphonsine, became a cloistered nun, another, Anthalie, lives a very humble life in Kibeho, she has dedicated herself to prayer and good works and has vowed to never leave until Mary says so. Four were killed during the slaughter. Quite a bit to meditate on.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

passing on the Faith

Recently a priest lamented on his blog that parents don't take religious education seriously and don't support the DRE. My first thought was well, of course not. The parents and the kids know that what they're being taught is crap but they have to sit through the puppets and skits and lectures from a bitter old soul who oftentimes isn't even very orthodox in order for the kid to recieve the sacraments. Is it any wonder that many Catholics stop even trying to learn as soon as they are confirmed?

My husband attends a bible study at our old parish with a number of cradle Catholics. They've been through years of Catholic education and don't know as much as Rocky does and he's a convert.

I have no idea of how to do it, but there must be a better way to teach the Faith. St. Frances Cabrini and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton didn't have Power Point. St. Thomas Aquinas didn't use puppets or felt banners. What did they do that we can't do now?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I love you Baby Jesus!

"The more you honor Me, the more I will bless you".

A few months ago Rocky bought me an Infant of Prague statue. That's not him, pictured above but is a marvelous example of some devoted woman's home sewing of the vestments. Mine is about 12 inches tall and sits on top of my bookcase in our bedroom. He makes me smile when I look at him. Terry at Abbey Roads has a terrific post on the Infant and this site has a marvelous page on him.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Do they do the touchdown signal during the Our Father at your parish? Unless you're a referee on official business it's pretty dumb looking isn't it? Here's one priest who's sick of seeing the folks in the pews make fools of themselves.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Christmas shopping

I wanted to help out monasteries this year and it's been so much fun looking at web sites and blogs of various orders. I'm getting cookies from Dominican nuns in New Jersey and handmade lotion from Norwegian nuns, and Our Lady of Guadalupe tea from Canada. Rocky was very impressed by the Laser monks so we'll probably be buying from them too.

Monastery Greetings

Laser Monks

Holy Orders

Saintly Soaps (not a monastery but a lovely Catholic homeschooling mom who's running a delightful business)


When I was a child I hated spinach and most other green vegtables. I was also quite anemic so my mother made sure there was some stewed veggie on my plate at every dinner. I tried to avoid the spinach, or to toss it in the trash when she wasn't looking but that never worked. I'd have to sit at the table until everything on my plate was consumed including the rapidly cooling spinach, cabbage or brussel sprouts. I was hard headed and could stay at that table for a loooong time.

Today I went to St. Matthew's Cathedral for the noon Mass and was reminded of those days. The visiting Jesuit priest seemed absolutely determined to get his personality across. He seemed to refuse to just do and say what was in the missal, he had to add his own little comments and say his own dismissal instead of what the Church provides. It was the same way with the visiting priest from yesterday. They just would not say the Mass any other way but their way. I wonder if they even realized it.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

what I'm reading & hearing

Last year I tried to use the Little Office of the Virgin Mary and just didn't get the routine down. Today I visited the Catholic Information Center bookstore in DC and bought a copy of The Divine Office for Dodos by Madeline Nugent. I'm going to try to learn to do the simplified version of the Liturgy of the Hours. I'll be buying the one volume breviary, not the big ole 4 volume one.

I also bought a Latin pronunciation CD by Marion Smedberg and spent some time in adoration in the chapel. Oh and I'm listenng to the Priests CD. It's gorgeous. These aren't just three Irish priests who sing a bit, they have stunning, professionally trained voices. If you only buy one CD this Christmas, this is the one. Plus, they are using the money to help out their parishes.

This weekend I finished Our Lady of Kibeho, a touching book about the only approved Marian apparition in Africa.