Wednesday, September 30, 2009

St. Therese, send me a rose.........

Don't go to Medjugorje

The local bishop has made his views as clear as day. So much money has been made and so many people have hung their faith on this, (false, I think) apparition that I suspect the show will go on in disobedience to the bishop.

Don't go to Medjugorje. Go to Lourdes, go to Fatima, go to Akita or Knock. Go somewhere that has been judged worthy of belief.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

This made me laugh

I saw this on the Athanatius Contra Mundum blog. Most of the posters were horrified but I had to laugh. Why? Because this is exactly what Mass was like when I was a little kid. In fact, if you go to a hippie parish that's full of 60somethings, the Mass is probably still like this. The first time I heard Latin in church and later, chant I thought it sounded like Heaven. To this day I prefer a silent Mass over anything that involves a band and a guitar.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Well, I'm not going back there again.

There are three churches in my diocese that I will never set foot in again hopefully.
St. Charles Boromeo in Arlington, Good Shepherd and Queen of Peace. St. Charles has a really strange vibe and after reading this I see why.

The race thing

I am the descendant of West African slaves and Irish immigrants with a few rogue Scots thrown in for extra spice. There are great tragedies and triumphs in my family tree. My ancestors paid a hell of a price for me to be here today and it irks me when people try to put me in a category box. I am not an African-American. I don't do hyphens. I've traced my mother's family tree back to the 1800s. That's several generations removed from Africa. My folks have been here a long time and have a mighty stake in this country though schemers like Jesse Jackson try to claim otherwise. I am an American, thank you.

Perhaps if Thomas Jefferson had supported his son-in-law's efforts to ban slavery, perhaps if Abraham Lincoln hadn't gone to the Ford theater, perhaps if more people had only listened to Booker T. Washington my kin would've had a different fate in this country but that's not how things went down and it can't be changed.

A lot of nice, well meaning white people voted for Obama thinking that it would somehow heal the race issues of this country. I knew that it wouldn't and in fact, I think the race thing has gotten worse. Say one word against Obama's policies and you get the racist card flung in your face. That's not right.

I don't know how to say this but here goes. A lot of black people hate you. Sorry. They hate you because their parents taught them to do it and the parents learned it from their parents. It was a survival mechanism back in the Jim Crow days. So today we have people who never went to a lynching, never knocked a black child down the stairs for kicks, never practiced placage with their black maid or committed outright rape, and wouldn't even dream of or approve of such things being loathed by blacks who never experienced any of that but believe today's whites are still capable of this.

What's the answer? Prayer, honesty and love for our country, I guess. In the mean times things are going to nastier. A lot nastier.

we are in trouble

I never thought I'd see this in America, never.

Our Lady, Queen of the Americas, pray for us. Mother, I know we don't deserve it but please pray for us.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

St. Stephen, Martyr in Middleburg

Rocky had a rare Saturday off so we made the most of it. We visited the incredibly beautiful Long Branch in Millwood and trooped around the Virginia State Arboretum. I'm a bird watcher and was delighted to see one of the these little guys: a White breasted Nuthatch.

We checked for the closest church and decided to go to St. Stephen's. I expected it to be a bit of an adventure. Middleburg is a special place. It's quiet old money and horses and skinny women who stay that way because they ride hard after the hounds. It's a place where you better not fake it because everyone knows if you belong or not. It's a place where flashy bad taste is not tolerated and new money means nothing. Sean Combs and Paris Hilton would be miserable.

The old woman in faded jeans and an ancient barn coat walking by is heiress to one of the biggest fortunes in America, the red faced "farmer" in the car full of dogs gave the money for most of the art exhibits you went to last year. The fresh faced little cherub on a pony is the son of a business titan. The daintly little cupcake of a girl at the ice cream stand spends her days training powerful, nervous thoroughbreds. It's that kind of place.

So when we rolled into St. Stephens I was delighted to find that nobody gave us the stinkeye. In fact, people were nice. No-one appeared to be disturbed or even surprised by our presence. Father had a gentle but clever sense of humor and gave an impressive homily.

The church decor is interesting. It's so carefully inoffensive that I think it must have built with the desire that it blend in with the rest of town. The paint is colonial white and blue gray. The statues are small and pale. The painting of St. Stephen is frankly, bad but the altar is large and tall and the Blessed Sacrament is right in front. You will not have to wander around this small church trying to figure out where Our Lord is. Mass was gentle and blessedly free of any weirdness. The music was okay. The cantor's voice was lovely. The lector did not show off. The decently dressed parishioners were prayerful before Mass and there was not a mad rush to leave after Communion. I was impressed by the very well behaved children. Since the Aboretum is open 365 days a year and is free, Rocky and I plan to get back there so we'll probably be praying at St. Stephen's again sometime.

Soft hearts are usually accompanied by softer brains

I don't give a dime to the Catholic Campaign for Human Developement because much of what it does is not Catholic. And it turns out that they give money to ACORN.

Monday, September 14, 2009

have you ever seen Christian art so bad that you cringed?

I think I may have found something that goes beyond kitsch.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Betraying our dead

This op/ed pretty much sums up how I feel.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

9/11.......Eternal rest grant unto them oh Lord

We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.
Hillaire Belloc

Pray for Fr. McBrien

Fr. McBrien is one of those priests who won't wear a cassock or his clericals. He is also, sadly one of those who turns his nose up at spending one hour with Jesus. When a priest starts talking in public like Fr. McBrien does you know that something has gone terribly wrong with his Faith and his vocation.

"Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament... " J.R.R. Tolkein

Monday, September 07, 2009

Old Labor day blues and Everybody knows

When I was a girl I always hated Labor Day because it meant I'd have to go back to school the next day. And one of the most hated parts of going to school was the annual "How I spent my vacation" essay. I, and all the working class kids at school loathed that. Our parents didn't spend weeks at the beach and there was no cabin at the lake. One or two of us had a relative who Summered but they were like my great aunt, Betsy, who was a nanny and spent her Summer at Hyannis taking care of someone else's kids. We were lucky--- very lucky if we got to go to an amusement park or a day trip to the beach at any time in the whole three months off. When I was very young my mother and I packed up and took the train to granny's house in South Carolina but that stopped once Mama went back to work when I was seven. My father, let me hasten to say, was a champion at taking me places on the weekend but as much as I enjoyed that it seemed so dull compared to the stuff the "rich" kids were writing about.

One of the attorneys at work was complaining that "in this economy" (I'm sick of that phrase) she and her husband will be doing a "staycation" and only will only spend a week at Martha's Vineyard this year. I looked at her and thought, "You make 170k and you want me at 42k to make sympathetic noises at you? You silly cow. "

I'm a bit sorry for that reaction but it's nothing compared to my father-in-law, Big Daddy, who spent his Summers working in the fields from sunup to sundown. If I were foolish enough to mention any vacation that Rocky and I have gone on he woud have (and has in the past) say or do something spectacularly offensive to force a change of subject matter.
Some people are still scandalized/saddened that Cardinal O'Malley was at Teddy Kennedy's funeral. Oh quit crying and get real folks. Is the sky rose colored in your world? Everybody knows what the dealio is in Boston. When has any high ranking clergyman ever said no to the Kennedy's? Of course O'Malley was there. At some point in your life a bishop will let you down, or even break your heart. But our faith is not tied to the failings or lack of spine of bishops. St. Athanatius and St. John Fisher are saints becuase they alone stood up when all their brothers decided to comprimise. Athanatius suffered a dry martydom of banishment and constant attack. St. John Fisher was beheaded and his body desecrated.
Take your precious gift of Faith and live for the Eucharist. Trust the Lord, trust Mary, trust Pope Benedict.
Be grateful that the Papal Nuncio was not there and be grateful that the Pope made no public condolence and that the Holy Father's letter to Senator Kennedy was no more than generic pleasantries. Be grateful that the Kennedy show is for all practical purposes, over. The only one of Joe and Rose Kennedy's children left, is Jean--- poor woman, it must be very sad to be the last sibling left--- and the Kennedy children are not impressive at all. The smartest ones seem to be Caroline and Jospeh and they are somewhat lacking once you get past the glamour.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Someone left a child's book about Mary in the vestibule of my church. I read it and the first couple of chapters were charming but because the author was a member of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Fr. Feeney's group, I was cautious. And sure enough there was a problem. The author seemed to have a tremendous issue with Jews. When the book got to St. Joseph it states that God chose him for Mary because the saint was not a typical Jew in that he did not take part in the pursuit of money or power. Can you say stereotype, boys and girls? St. Joseph was not tycoon, obviously but he didn't work for free. He didn't go skipping around Nazareth with daisies and daydreams. Mary and Jesus lived off of what he made so I'm certain that he was quite serious about getting paid for his work.

The book then went on to state that St. Joseph went to the synagogue but had no official position there since he was not a show off. He even had (according to the book a gentile type job because Jews weren't good builders! I wonder who the author thought built all the houses and buildings in Israel. I almost never throw a book into the trash. I'll donate them, give them to friends or sell them but this thing had so little redeeming value I just couldn't pass it on to anyone else.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

and baby makes 19

Mrs. Duggar is expecting another baby. This will make 19. I have no problem with the Duggars. Jim Bob and Michelle are married. The children and clean, healthy and seem happy. And they aren't on welfare so it's no business of mine how many kids they have. My only question is what kind of muscle tone does she have left? By now she must be depending on a girdle and adult diapers to keep everything in place.

God bless them all though. It takes a tough woman to be a mama. It's not for sissies.