Friday, April 30, 2010

Going to visit St. Rita

Rocky and I went to the St. Rita Shrine in Philadelphia. It's very beautiful and they have the most awe inspiring adoration chapel I've ever seen. We prayed before her relics and admired the magnificent murals depicting her life. They have confession every day and we met two wonderful Augustinian priests and a charming lady in the gift shop.

The next day we went to the parish around the corner from our bed and breakfast, St. Paul's.
It was amazing. We had cheesesteak (delicious) , cannoli from Isgro's . I've never had finer cannoli in my life. We also at the oldest Italian restaurant in the city, Dante & Luigis. It was a good trip.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

If you want to feel sorry for someone....

I know it's fashionable at the moment to slobber and weep over illegal aliens but spare some pity for the wife and children of this man. I'll bet Cardinal Mahoney didn't say a damn thing on their behalf.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Random thoughts on love, sex, and other stuff

  • A local young woman and her three year old daughter were murdered recently by her boyfriend. He had no fixed address, frequented homeless shelters and when he wasn't in the shelter he lived with friends. He was completely unsuitable for any kind of relationship but the poor woman brought him into her life and loved him until he got dangerous and then it was too late. Why do so many women have so little love or respect for themselves and thier helpless kids that they gravitate towards the worst possible man? Single motherhood by choice, as opposed to widows or women who had to get divorced, is celebrated by Hollywood but it's not a good thing for the kids (if a child is abused or killed the villain is most likely to be mom's new man), and it's not a good situation for the women either.

  • Speaking of unsuitable men, I had a disturbing few mintues with one on the elevator of my building. I got on and there was a man from a Muslim country on there. No biggie. Living so close to DC we have people from all over the world and both Catholic Charities and the Episcopalians bring refugees to the area all the time. He looked at me and backed into the corner. He caught his breath and twitched, he sweated and looked away. The man was clearly upset by me.

    I'm a librarian and I was on my way to work so you can guess how I was dressed. Heck, I was wearing an ankle length skirt but he could see my face, my hair, my neck and my hands and that had him looking just like Spock in the Amok Time episode. The thought popped into my head, 'This dude must have just got off the plane,' and I just about leapt out when the elevator door opened. A man who reacts to being alone in an elevator with a woman like that isn't ready to be in the modern world. Why the hell does our government allow immigration from countries where the men are like this?

  • I wanted to go to the Tridentine Mass at the Immaculate Conception Basilica today but stuff has come up so I won't be able to make it. Grrrrr. But Rocky and I are going on a mini pilgrimage to the St. Rita Shrine in Philadelphia next week.

  • My mother and I were talking about all the teachers who have been caught having sex with their students. Mama pointed out that this is not new. It's always gone on but before the 24 hour news cycle nobody outside a few knew about it. She told me about Mr. X, a teacher she had in high school. There was something about Mr. X that made her wonder about him. She couldn't express it but something about him wasn't right. She graduated in 1961. In 1962, her brother called her up on the phone and said, "They finally got Mr. X." Mama's reaction was to ask what he meant. My uncle explained that Mr. X had been caught with a boy from school. He was fired and left town. The principal did not want the white school board to know about it (SC was segregated back then) and the family did not want to be shamed in the community (most people beleived that homosexuality was something that only white men did), so nothing involving legal prosecution was done. Nobody remembers or will tell what happened to the teenaged boys Mr. X was "dating" and nobody knows where Mr. X ended up.

  • Why do so many dissident Catholics hang around? If they hate the Church so much you'd think they'd leave and start their own little cult but they don't. They stick to the Church like leeches in a pond transmitting poison as they cling.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Oh hush, Peggy

I never trust anybody who claims to know better than the Church and I never, ever trust anybody who makes money off of being a Church "insider". Oh, heck, I just don't trust Peggy Noonan anymore, period. I wonder if she'll be back as as speaker on EWTN's Family Days this year.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Catholics don't sing and that's okay

On the New Liturgical Movement blog one of the blogging team posted a defense of non singers at Mass. I appreciated it. Finally a church musician who gets it. American Catholics don't sing like the musicians want us to. The artists long for something that sounds like a Baptist or an Anglican church and that aint going to happen. Why? Well, it's simple. Singing and preaching ARE the service for Protestants. That's it. My Baptist relatives have a symbolic communion once a month.

If the music isn't good people leave the congregation. If the preacher doesn't bedazzle, people leave. In a lot of churches people frankly come just for the music. And as, I've pointed out before, at anything other than a mega church the congregation know each other well and live similar lifestyles. The music is ingrained. It's what they heard as babies, it's what they sang together in youth choir. It's what they ask for in the hospital. It's known to the whole family/congregation. At my grandmother's funeral one of her friends stood up and said, "Let's sing Mamie's favorite song." With no hesitation the whole congregation burst forth with the song. It was magnificent.

That could never happen in an American Catholic church. And you know what? That's okay. It really is. In any Catholic church there is something greater than congregational singing: there is Jesus, physically present, not a symbol--- but Jesus just the same as He was when he walked the streets of Jerusalem. He IS the Bread. He IS the Wine.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Holy Father

Happy Birthday 83rd birthday to the Holy Father. When "The Ratzinger Report", was published years ago I not only thought Cardinal Ratzinger was American but also confused him with Fr. Walter Ciszek. The Holy Father has been on my mind all day. I'm very pissed off at some of the professional Catholics who should be defending him. After reading this I'm wondering what the deal is with John Allen.
St. Joan, brave warrior, plain speaker, savior of France while many a French noble cowered in bed, pray for the Holy Father.

April 15, 1982

My father passed away on this date 27 years ago. It doesn't seem possible that it's been that long. I still don't like April. His headstone says "As God would have it" and slowly, slowy night after night of saying the rosary with ashes in my mouth and gall in my blood, slowly I came to a point where I could bear the pain and shock.

Rest in peace.

"Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God" Aeschylus

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pray for Cardinal Geoge - Fr. Pfleger again

Michelle Malkin, one of my favorite essayists is very upset that Cardinal George is giving Fr. Pleger an award. The last sentence of the essay was the most disturbing to me. It sounds like Michelle is fed up and wavering in her Faith.

But back to Fr. Pfleger and Caridnal George. Yes, that situation is pathetic and maddening. However, the problem didn't start with Cardinal George. It's on his shoe like a plop of goose manure but that pile has been sitting there in full view for a long, long time. The problem started when somebody decided that the parishoners of St. Sabina's were too stupid to handle a regular Novus Ordo Mass and needed a fake African version. That person or those people may have been trying to be nice but didn't do anybody any favors.

Fr. Pfleger says things that you would not expect a man of God say. He hangs with some strange non Catholic characters. He seems to hate white men, which since he is in fact, white himself, seems schizophrenic. Fr. Pfleger should've been corrected more than a decade ago but as he said no-one "had the balls" to do it.

If Cardinal George tells Fr. Pfleger to check himself or be out of his rectory by high noon it would cause a nine day wonder news story. Fr. Pfleger would probably leave the Church and take a chunk of his parishoners with him. There would probably be a nasty legal fight to get custody of the St. Sabina's property. Cardinal George, I assume, does not want that headache so when he can' t avoid Fr. Pfleger, he'll throw him a bone. Being the head of a family or a diocese means that you have to do unfun stuff for the good of the family. The head has to take out the trash, kill snakes, and make sure the household is secure. Pray for Cardinal George, one of these days he, or another cardinal will to have to deal with this situation and it won't be pretty.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

a nice story from my childhood parish

Usually I can' t stand reading the Washington Post but there was a piece of good news there that got me excited. 19 kids from my old school, St. Augustine were baptized this Easter. I was about 8 or 9 when I was baptized and I still remember how happy I was. The last time I visited St. Augustine I was so upset at what was going on during Mass that I got up and left so fast that Rocky had to run to catch up with me and but it is my childhood parish and the school was a great fortress and haven for learning and most importantly it's where I learned the Faith so I'll always have a soft spot for the old place.

Rest in peace,

My uncle Clyde passed away. He was a real character. In his youth, he looked a lot like Clark Gable with shiny black hair and great dark eyes. I was seven or eight years old before I realized that Uncle Clyde wasn't white. Some of my father's siblings strongly resembled thier Irish grandfather (Clyde did) and some don't which is why I was so embarrassingly slow in figuring that out. * Had Clyde left South Carolina or even the county I suspect he could've had an easier life but he was a country boy and he loved his family and the land too much to be anything but what he was. I hope he's with my father now and that they are both safe under Our Lady's veil. I hope they can hear the angels sing.

* I can still remember my poor mother's reaction when I anounced I'd just figured out who was black and who was white. Mama was so shocked she had to have a cup of tea.

St. Katherine Drexel

One of my favorie saints is St. Kaherine Drexel. She's a perfect example of what Jesus meant when He said that no man is a prophet in his own town. A friend of mine once told me that one of her grandmother's friends knew St. Katherine and didn't like her. What didn't she like? Well, according to the old biddy the saint was cheap... her shoe laces were often frayed. The old woman insisted that with St.Katherine's money she could've bought new ones every day instead of using them until they broke. St. Katherine built with her own money over 60 schools and churches for black and Indian Catholics. She built a college for black kids and courageously faced down the klan. She was a mighty woman for God and yet, some sour old gossip back at her old town found something catty to say.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Rejoice! Christ is risen!

Good Friday

Rocky and I took Good Friday off. We went to the Paschal Lamb bookstore in Fairfax and then we went to the Franciscan Monastery in DC for the Burial of Christ. It's a beautiful service and you can see the face of the Church there. Faithful from every continent were there. I saw nuns from the Sister Servants of the Lord, the Missionaries of Charity, Dominican Sisters, Franciscan nuns and other orders. Besides the Franciscan brothers, Dominican Brothers from the Dominican House of Studies came to the service and I was very moved to see the devout awestruck face of a Orthodox monk who came to visit. He looked exactly like this painting of St. Francis.

After the statue of Jesus is carried around the church it is placed on the a perfect replica of the Stone of Annointing that is in the Holy Seplechure and the homily is given. After the homily the statue is placed in the tomb, which is also a faithful replica of the one at the Holy Sepluchre. When the service is over the Faithful may kiss the stone and the cross which is laid against the door to the tomb. I can't even begin to tell you how bittersweet it is to kneel on the cool marble floor and lay my head on the stone. For a few seconds I am there in Jerusalem with Mary and St. John and brave Joseph of Aramathea and I adore and mourn. It's too powerful for mortal flesh to put into words.

If you're in DC for Good Friday to this service. You'll never forget it.

Friday, April 02, 2010

All right, I'll say it.

Pope Benedict has done more to recover the dignity and sense of reverence in the liturgy than John Paul, (may he rest in peace, I loved him but let's face it, Papa was not a disciplinarian), did in 2o+ years. That's why he is being persecuted. His enemies fear him as the Roman's feared Peter.

Holy Thursday at. St. Rita's

Rocky and I went to Mass at our parish. Fr. Frodo was the celebrant and I swear he glowed because he was so happy. Fr. Gandalf and Fr. Bear co-celebrated. I know some people think that the Faithful are cheated out of graces with cocelebration but I've always found it touching. All of our altar boys plus the one adult server were there and the boys got their feet washed. The man who trains our altar boys does a tremendous job year after year. They perform their duties admiralbly.

Fr. Frodo gave a homily so good I hope he puts it online. He expounded on the Communion of the saints and reminded us that in the Eucharist, past, present and future come together. Jesus smashes time constraints as He smashes death. After Mass the Blessed Sacrament was carried with great dignity and somberness to the altar of repose. The altar was more beautiful this year than in previous years and that's saying something. Rocky wanted to take a picture of the Repose altar but didn't want to disturb anybody so maybe next year. It made me sad to see so many middle aged people get up and walk past the altar without even a head nod to Christ but I guess that's how they were raised. After praying before the altar we watche the altar boys silently strip the main altar.

We then visited six more churches and prayed befor their alars of repose: St. Thomas More, Queen of Peace, which surpised me. Their altar was beautiful and tender, St. Charles Boromeo (dissapointing), St. John the Beloved, (very lovely and it was good to see the old priest, the young priest and the middle priest all praying there) St. Anne's (hideous) and St. Anthony's which had the largest crowd of adorers. Then we went home and slept.