Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dymphna goes to the convention

I've been at the American Library Association convention all weekend. It's always a blast being around other librarians. I noticed two interesting things:

First, Catholic publishers do a really pathetic job of promoting themsleves and the Faith. I saw booths from Tyndale, the Mormons and Zondervan publishers. I even saw two Islamic publishers. Not one Catholic publisher got even a tiny booth at the biggest collection of librarians in North America. Where was Ignatius Press? Where was Tan? Instead of tyring to make Catholic book readers feel guilty by sending them begging letters and e-mails--- I'm looking at you Envoy and Sophia Press---somebody should've been at work in DC this weekend.

Second, the vampire craze in teen lit seems to have peaked. Instead I saw a number of sexy demon romance books.That's right. Instead of fantasizing about a vampire or were wolf or wizard your teenager can now imagine herself in the arms of lover who might actualy drag her to hell. Come back Edward Cullen, you brooding, sparkly little wimp, all is forgiven.

Friday, June 25, 2010

"L'Expiation" by Emile Friant

Look at the priest in this painting. See how he's embracing, comforting and perhaps even begging the criminal to repent and then have no fear.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

odd things in No Va

The Muslim population in Northern Virginia is enjoying explosive growth, (no pun intended). Rocky and I went for a drive on Sunday and saw three new mosques. One has been around for ages but the others were new. Many of the converts seem to be studious looking, elegantly dressed middle class white women striding to class or to downtown DC offices. This is striking. For most of my life American Muslim converts were guys who found the Nation of Islam in prison, or young impressionable guys who got all emotional after reading The Autobiography of Malcom X.

Why would an American woman convert to Islam? Do they not know about female circumcision or the child brides or what happens to women who show too much skin in Saudi Arabia or any skin in Taliban controlled land? Did they read too many sheikh romance novels? I'm guessing that none of them has ever heard of Betty Mahmoody or read Camen bin Laden's book.
I wonder if these women are the same sort who spent the 60s hanging around some guru in California or if they're just rebelling in some way? Perhaps they never met a Christian alpha male before and the confindence and command of a Muslim man swept them off their feet. It's odd and interesting and rather like discovering that a skunk has walked into your kitchen through the doggie door.
Oh Mary help of Christians, pray for your silly daughters.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My itty bitty wedding

I was reading a blog by a man who grumbled about a tacky wedding, full of uncultured, dullard guests that he officiated. He really doesn't like weddings. I get that. Most men don't but why is this man, a permanent deacon, doing a job that he so dislikes? Can't the parish send him out on sick calls or something and leave weddings to the priest?

Rocky and I actually eloped in Baltimore and presented everyone with a fait acompli.No Pre-Cana crap for us and no living like brother and sister for a year either. @ Thanks to our realistic and understanding pastor we got truly married as soon as possible at St. Ignatius Church in Ft. Washington, Maryland and we did it on the cheap. We didn't have flowers, music, or air conditioning. It was night and we got the essentials. A fan, just enough electric light for us to make our way into the darkened church, a priest, witnesses and the loving embrace of Holy Mother Church.

Rocky was still a Baptist then and no, he could'nt have expounded on the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas. I'm not sure I could've manged more than a basic biography either. I wore a floppy baby's breath wreath from the grocery florist, that made Fr. Werner wonder about women's fashions, made my own cake, and served coca cola and possibly cocktail meatballs (I can't remember, I know there was some kind of meat product) for our less than a handfull of guests in our brand new apartment. Father chain smoked. I completely forgot about a camera and so did everyone else so there are no photos. The sour deacon would've probably had the vapors if he'd been present.

@No, I'm not saying that's the right way to do things. It's just the way we did it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Goodbye Father

Whenever I think of Father's Day I can't help but remember the day back in 1982, when I walked into a Hallmark to buy my dad a Father's Day card. I browsed and picked the perfect one. I took two steps and suddenly the realizaton hit me. My father passed away that April. Somehow I had just blanked it out. I rushed out of the store and stood gasping in the sun on the sidewalk.
Today Father Gandalf announced that he and Fr. Frodo are both being transfered. Oh gee what a kick in the gut. I hate weepy women but tears blasted from my eyes and I could barely focus on my ususal after Mass prayers. I've always seen the good priests in my life as soldiers in a desparate war. They go where they are needed. One must expect to lose them. As for the bad to mediocre priests, well, one either thanks God when they leave or give a shrug of the shoulders and move cheerfully on. And yet, Father Gandalf was special. He was more than a pastor. Rocky and I hold him in greatest esteem, not just because of his priesthood but because he is a flat out saintly man.
All things are passing.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bathtub Madonnas

I saw this photo on the fabulous Crescat blog and went looking for more images like it. I hit the jackpot with the Catholic Home and Garden site. The woman who created it has a treasure of Catholic folk customs and art. Her page on wayside and bath tub shrines was such a delight. Next I found a collection of shrine photos from Massachussets here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

St. Clare and St. Francis and St. Anthony

I don't think of myself as much of a Franciscan. I've never been inclined to join the Third Secular Order but Rocky and I have often found ourselves and peace at Franciscan monasteries.

This morning Rocky went to Mass at one of his favorite places, the Poor Clare monastery in Alexandria and heard the sisters chanting. We always spend Good Friday at the Franciscan monastery in DC, and we love visiting the St. Anthony shrine in Ellicot City, Maryland. So it's with some dismay that I have to ask what's going on at the DC Holy Land monastery.

Therapists now offer various questionable services somewhere on the grounds and pro abortion, pro gay marriage, MSNBC loudmouth, Chris Matthews is going to be the key note speaker at a dinner given by the Catholic Network of Volunteer Service at the monastery's banquet hall next week. The good folks at Restore DC Catholicism are planning to picket.

The ideas of picketing at the Holy Land monastery of all places makes me sad and I'm positive that the older friars probably don't even know who Chris Matthews is but the guardian friar of the monastery has a duty to know what's going on in the holy place he's charged with protecting. Perhaps the lay staff who advise the guardian have let him down. The Holy Land monastery is God's house. People who are publicly not in accord with what the Bride of Christ, the Holy Catholic Church teaches ought not be honored on the property.

Dear St. Francis, St. Clare and beloved St. Anthony, pray for your brothers.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A sad sight.

A few days ago when Rocky and I saw a young girl wearing a dress that appeared to be a one piece swimsuit. She was strutting along with a smile until she passed by several Latino men. They said something to her and laughed. The smile vanished from her face and she nervously tried to yank the hem of her dress down to cover her thighs and panties. There wasn't enough material to do that so of course, her efforts failed. I watched the men. If any of them had made a move towards her I would've motioned for her to get in our car. Luckily, they were content to laugh and she was able to cross the street and go on her way in peace. Rocky was angry at the men for bothering the poor little thing, but he was amazed at the foolishness of the girl. I wasn't.

Our society tells young women that to be free and empowered, (how I hate that word) they must appear in public in states of semi nudity. It's rather like the pagan priestesses who were required to expose themselves to the worshipers as they asceneded the steps from their sacrifices. If you don't want to play this game, people call you a prude, repressed or frumpy---- oh horrors! Feminists insist that men shouldn't even enjoy look at the "freedom" display which is insanity. Of course men look. Even gay men are looking. The meanest, nastiest critics of ill dressed women tend to be gay men. Heck the entire fashion world is men like this telling us how to dress.

I don't ever, ever want to dress like a Muslim woman or rogue Mormon plural wife and I wouldn't want that young girl on the street to be forced to dress like that either but I wish I could tell her that you don't have to be a vulgarian to be a free woman. Elegance, beauty and even glamour can all be achieved while fully clothed.

St. Maria Goretti, pray for us.

St. Pelagia, pray for us.

St. Agnes, pray for us.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sacred Heart images :Good, bad, and downright cringeworthy.

The above image of Our Lord was done in 1896 by Jose Maria Ibarran y Ponce. I like it. On the other hand, I really, really hate this particular image of Our Lord. It's so girly. What on earth was Simione thinking? This one is taken out once a year at my church. It's better than the Simione one but that little mustache and the goateed beard are horrible. As far as modern art goes this image is probably the best image Our Lord and His Sacred Heart I've seen.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lady Gaga

When I first saw a picture of Lady Gaga I assumed that I was seeing a photograph of a female impersonator, but no, this creature is female. Her new video is obscene (well she's done that before) and is blasphemous. I won't bother to rant about Gaga, she's a lost cause unless Heaven intervenes.

The irritating thing is how many Catholics will and do buy her music. Oh they'll claim that it's okay because they're adults and that they don't let their kids listen or if their kids already own the album they've "discussed" it. They may even say that they only watched the foul video---which offends Our Lady--- so that they could competently criticize it. What a crock. What an utter crock.

You don't have to wallow in manure to know that it smells bad. I've said it before, I'll say it again. If Catholics kept our money in our wallets we wouldn't have to write op/eds or do useless protest marches. A half way moral public could send Lady Gaga back to music school tomorrow if most of us simply stopped buying her sewage today.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Body of Christ

how to ruin your life -- the men's edition

Rocky went to visit a relative a while back and found that the afternoon was a lot like walking into a warzone. The relative is unhappily married and has given up on the hope of being happy. He's hanging in there for the sake of his kids, his home and his position in his church. Misery just hung in the air like a black cloud.

Guys if you want to be unhappy just:

  • marry a woman who is intellectually dull and then complain that she's dumb ---not fair, dude!
  • marry a woman who is one or two social classes below or above you and then expect her to see the world the sme way you do
  • marry a helpless woman who needs to be rescued---- that won't be romantic at all five years down the line when you find that she's incapable of managing the house, the children, the dog or herself
  • marry a woman who comes from an abusive background and then be shocked that it left a mark on her spirit

  • marry a woman whom you do not respect and never will

  • marry a woman who sees the marriage as a way out of a bad situation

  • marry a woman without learning about her past

Saints Gengulf, Rita, Monica and mighty St. Joseph, pray for us.

Friday, June 04, 2010

are deacons the new nuns?

This guy asks the question. Dear Lord, I hope not. The mannish, pant suit nuns have done a whole lot of damage.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Sacred Heart

This is the Sacred Heart image in my bedroom.