Monday, May 31, 2010

the nicest things

  • Listening to the sparrows sing in the mornings.
  • Seeing the goose couple that lives near the swimming pool with their six goslings.
  • The smell of mulch. Yeah, it's chicken manure but it means they'll be flowers in a few days.
  • The sight of Fr. praying before Mass.
  • The way the church looks when there's no light but the candles.
  • The smell of rain.
  • The smell of the river.
  • Standing up to my knees in the ice cold ocean.
  • Rocky's Pope colonge
  • barbeque at Dixie Bones in Prince William County
  • antique statues of Our Lady
  • catching sight of red finches
  • seeing an osprey catch a fish
  • the flight of the turkey vulture, they are ugly up close and on the ground but in the air there's nothing that can touch them.
  • the smooth, thick anticipatory silence in St. Rita's before Mass.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mansions of the Lord

Memorial Day is not about going to the beach, getting 49% off your towels, or free shipping on your catalog order. It's about honoring the fallen.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Now this is a vocations poster

Does Archbishop Gomez give a damn

about American Catholics? I got the impression from this interview that the only thing we are good for is to aid and comfort illegal aliens. I recently read a sad story about an old couple in Arizona who are trying to sell thier home because they are sick and tired of being scared all the time. Why? They live very close to the US/Mexican border and every night packs of men come walking past thier house. Most of these people keep on going but enough of them are threatening, have stolen things from the couple's property and leave a mountain of trash in their wake that the couple just want to get out. It was supposed to be thier retirement home. But I guess Archbishop Gomez would just tell them that they are being xenophobic and need to joyfully welcome the vibrant men who are swarming past their house.

I'm sure that Archbishop Gomez will be a huge improvement over Cardinal Mahoney but I'm getting really sick of this attitude.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sometimes shepherds lose their way

I don't trust Jesuits anymore. I don't think St. Ignatius would be happy with a spiritual son who denies transubstantiation.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Our Lady of the Highways

When Rocky and I head north to New York we drive past the Our Lady of the Highways shrine. It's a comforting sight.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

For Jackie

...despise not our petitions, O Immaculata, but in your clemency, hear and answer them, we pray

Keep calm and say your rosary

I just ordered this necklace from Etsy. I can't wait til it comes in the mail.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Three good Catholic books.

I read on the Gregorian Rite Catholic blog once that most Catholic books being published today are mediocre. I'm inclined to agree. After being burned a couple of times I now know to never spend a dime on anything published by Our Sunday Visitor, or the Paulists.

I mostly stick to Tan and just finished reading one of their publications, a sobering and well written book, Hungry Souls about the Poor Souls in purgatory. It's a a keeper and will stay on your mind for a long time.

I'm now reading Consoling the Heart of Jesus written by a seminarian and Purest of Lillies an awesome book by Fr. Donald Callaway.

Cardinal John Newman and some sad news

What's the deal with Cardinal Newman? I've read some pretty ugly, crazy(?) things from some people and ecstatic praise from others. Who's right?

I just read that a delightful young seminarian who is battling a brain tumor has had a set back.

Dear Lord, please preserve this young man, give him the strength to endure his chemo treatments and please let him recover and return to the seminary in the Fall. Amen.

St. Aloyisious Gonzaga, pray for him.
Servant of God, Frank Perater, pray for him.
Fr. Eugene Hamilton, pray for him.
St. Charles Borromeo, patron of seminarians, pray for him.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Christ, by Gari Melchers

Most people who know of Gari Melchers' art remember his nativity painting but this is the first time that I've seen his painting of Our Lord as an adult.

Catholics and the glamour of evil

I'm going to say up front that I'm for the death penalty in certain cases. If you aren't that's okay. We can disagree. I don't want to change your mind. I mention that because I'm irritated right now, no, disgusted at what I read on two Catholic blogs yesterday. A man was executed for a spree killing murder and the bloggers and comenters were far more sympathetic to him than to the families of his victims.

Some people say that Catholics are just following along with the rest of the world and that this sympathetic, therapeutic view of killers started with "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote. Capote's book was primarily about two miserable human beings who slaughtered an entire family. People pitied the killers but forgot all about the victims which angers their families and the townsfolk to this day. Whenever I think of "In Cold Blood," I think, not of the two twisted young men but of Farmer Clutter and the agony he must have felt as he lay tied up in his basement and realized that there was nothing he could do to save his wife and kids or himself.

But back to the recent execution. The two bloggers who commented seemed really disturbed that the widow of one of the murder victims said, "Sorry doesn't cut it," and that she wanted the killer to quit making excuses and admit to what he did. Well, I'm standing with the widow.
"Gee ma'am I'm sorry that I blew your husband's brains out and robbed him as he lay dying but it wasn't my fault. I had a bad childhood. I'm depraved because I'm deprived. We're square now, okay?," does not cut it.

In this case the killer seems to have made a conversion, thanks be to God. He said the rosary before he died. The victims families were not impressed which also upset the bloggers who seemed to suggest that the killer is more righteous than the families. We don't know the state of anyone's soul. Think about the victims who didn't have the comfort of last rites and probably didn't have enough time to repent of their sins. Sit with the widows and watch them try to figure out how to go on. Listen to the orphans cry. Visit with someone who remembers what it's like to go to the morgue and indentify a loved ones horribly disfigured body. Don't just point fingers at the families and airily say, "You just need to forgive, you bad people." That just comes off as smug and presumptuous. Besides I thought Christians were supposed to have a special sympathy for the widow and the orphan. I didn't see any of that on display on those blogs. I hope these poor folks can find peace and forgiveness but shaking fingers at them doesn't help the process. Where is the compassion for these suffering, forgotten people who have been through so much pain and agony for so long? The glamour of evil really is stupefying.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I was walking past my old church and saw Gussie, one of the regulars-- the guys who stand on the church steps or sidewalk and ask/demand money from the churchgoers. I've known Gussie for years. He's tall, thin and as tough as a wire cable and could be anywhere from 30 to 50. He does not like women much but he's always polite and respectful with me.

Some people look at Gussie and think that his problem is a lack of affordable housing. Nope, Gussie's problem is that he's a werewolf. No, he doesn't howl at the moon or have an excess hair problem. He looks normal from a distance but if you look, really look, into his eyes or once you get to know him you see that , the wild beast lives inside him and is just barely contained. If I were to walk into one of the parish hall rooms and find myself alone with Gussie I'd break all speed records trying to get out of there before he even noticed me.
Gussie isn't on crack, he's too healthy looking for that. He's not using coke, that's too expensive and I've never smelled alchohol on him. My guess is heroin since I've never seen him wear anything but long sleeves.
Run into Gussie when he's run out of cash for the month and needs an infusion of whatever he's on you'll see the wolf inside him. I've watched Gussie scare the heck of tourists and little old ladies. He's never touched anyone to my knowlege at least, but he can move very quickly and is uncomfortably close to victims before they even notice him coming. He'll "ask" for money but in a tone of voice that indicates that you'd better cough up the cash.
Another one of the regulars, a frail elderly man in a wheelchair was so afraid of Gussie that he would not sit in front of the cathedral but parked his chair at the corner under a tree. Gussie hated him because people naturally preferred to give to him rather than the strong, bristling young men on the cathedral steps and sidewalk. I made sure to always give poor old Elmer something.
Someone is probably thinking, 'Well Dymphna do you give Gussie money?' Of course I do. I know what he's likely doing with the money but that dollar keeps Gussie from getting desperate enough to hurt someone. There have been a few success stories among the regulars. One woman has cleaned herself up. Her brain is largely pickled by decades of alcoholism and she'll never be able to hold a job but at least she's not drinking now. Another man has gotten himself a bicycle and does odd jobs. Maybe Gussie will change. It's doubtful but miracles have happened before.
St. Matthew, pray for us.
St. Michael, pray for us.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Creepy--- when politicians want to play church

Nancy Pelosi did an interview in which she blithely admits to telling bishops and cardinals what they should preach at Mass. She seems to think she's the pope but she's closer to Lady Macbeth. If I ever hear my bishop tell me to embrace illegal immigration and apparently all that goes with it, at any Mass I attend I will get up and walk out until the homily is over.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Happy Mother's Day, Mama

May Mary, mother of us all, pray for you and keep you close to her immaculate heart.
This lovely painting is Our Lady of the Fruits of the Earth by Frank Cowper.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

After all these years since 9/11

After all these years we still have no memorial to the dead at Ground Zero. We will however, have a mosque near the site of the slaughter. I used to be bulemic from my teens to 22. This news stirs the old obessive compulsive need to vomit. Craven blind fools rule our nation.
Pray for the dead. Knock some sense into the living.
Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen

Okay Christians, what's your excuse for still watching Comedy Central?

This is disgusting.

May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Miss Prima's post made me kinda sad

but I think what she wrote , harsh as it is, has a point.