Friday, July 30, 2010

Anne Rice

Well, Anne Rice has decided to quit Christianity. I wish I was surprised but really, if you look at poor Mrs. Rice it was just a matter of time. In many ways she's led a very sad life. Her parents are dead, her mother was an alcoholic who died from it when she was 13. Her little daughter died, her sister and husband died and her son is gay. She must feel like dandelion fluff in the wind.

I've never read her greatest literary work, Interview With a Vampire because when I was 14 I walked into book store and picked up what I thought was a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. It was one Rice's "erotic" novels, actually it was grotesque beyond my ability to describe it. I read a couple of paragraphs and was so shocked that I left the store and never had the slightest desire to touch anything by her ever again.

When she had her big splashy reversion to Catholicism I thought it was great for her sake but I also thought the big time bloggers and Catholic intellectuals who lavishly praised her autobiography and her blasphemous Jesus books--- seven year old Jesus striking a bully dead and then apologetically raising him back to life, a young Jesus having a chaste but angst ridden romance with a girl from Cana????--- were nuttier than a Benedictine fruit cake. I am comforted by the fact that most notable priests and bishops did not join the bandwagon.

Where there's life there's hope and the story is not over for Mrs. Rice. I don't think Our Lady, and St. Therese, whose statues have decorated her homes, are done with her. However, there's a lesson here: Remember the parable of the sower. And if you want to read about the life of Our Lord get a copy of Archbishop Sheen' book or Father Giuseppe Ricciotti's scholarly work.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

ugly truth is better than pretty lies

A lot of people are shocked (oh come on!) and horrified by the new story about a gay priest scandal in Rome. A reporter followed priests to gay clubs and watched them have sex with other men, which IS the whole point of going to a gay club. I can't figure out why anybody is surprised by this. Let's face it. For the last few decades the church has been heavily effeminate.

Over the years I've seen article after article asking where the Catholic men are. These articles mostly discussed theories as to why men weren't going to Mass or taking part in parish life but what a lot of people whispered was "Where are the manly priests?"

Read Goodbye Good Men some time and you'll get an idea of what the hell went wrong in our seminaries. One of my dear friends went to the Redemptorist seminary back in the 80s. He and all of his friends left because they could not stomach the open homosexuality. The last straw for my friend was when he walked in on an attempted seduction scene between a professor and a seminarian. He reported what he saw and was told to hush up and forget it.

Have you noticed how middle aged priests speak very carefully about their seminary days? Most don't seem to remember it fondly and say that they had to spend a lot of time keeping silent in order to get through and be ordained. The seminaries were a gay kingdom/playground for a long time and yes, we are reaping the miserable results. And there's something else: a lot of church women prefer a girly priest because he's more likely to let them have their way in running the parish. Until a scandal breaks out they're secretly delighted that their parish repels men. Scandals come but truth is better than lies. We need to face the truth and demand that the bishops clean up the cesspool. Until then we will keep on hearing about false hearted priests who use parish money to keep their lovers, Judases who abuse boys, and priests who preach a weak, strange gospel.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

give converts a break

I was reading yet another snippy comment on a blog about converts and sighed. My husband is a convert of five years and he's a better Catholic than I, who was baptized at age nine.
He's a better Catholic than most of the Catholics I know. Last year a number of cradle Catholics asked him to take over managing the young adult bible study. He declined because of his work schedule.
Now I know it's true that there are a bunch of former Evangelical converts who have become obnoxious with their apologetics businesses. I don't care for these people. When I'm in a Catholic bookstore or at an event with books I pass right by their wares.

I've read defenders of the apologetics businessmen that argue that many of these guys were preachers and it's all they know so lay preaching and teaching is the only way they can make a living. I once read the blog of a married priest in South Carolina who enthusiastically praised Mark Shea for being so heroic. Me, being a smart alec wrote in, along with some other commenters that I didn't see what was so heroic. Father responded by saying it was heroic that Shea was giving himself fully to teaching us when he could've had a pleasant life in his old church. Since this blogger is an ordained priest I didn't say what I really thought and let it go.

There's a huge difference from the professionals and the passionate convert sitting next to you at Mass. The professionals are irritating but don't let them poison your view of converts in general. It's just not fair. Oh and one more thing, every single one of the first Catholics were converts. I think Sts. Paul, Peter, Martha, John, the Magdalene, James, and Jude and the others are pretty good company to be in.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Oh Bristol, Bristol, Bristol

Oh baby, I know Levi is kinda cute and he obviously has the sad puppy eyes and the silver tounge thing down pat but sweetie, darling if you marry him you'll end up supping at Sorrow's 24 hour diner with a long spoon.

Loved the Amish, hated Philly

On our last day in the lovely Pennslyvania Dutch country we came across a benefit auction for Haiti. There were hundreds of parked buggies and swarms of well mannered happy kids. Amish ladies sewed and donated over 100 quilts, there was furniture, food, and crafts for auction as well. I have great respect for the Amish in general but I was especially touched by the kindness of these people.

The next day Rocky and I went to Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love was an experience. The visitor's center is poorly arranged, confusing and had only one set of smelly restrooms that were at the end of a looooong hallway. And while the civilian staff was fine, the park rangers were shockingly rude and unhelpful. We got into the line at one o'clock but were curtly told us that we could not get into Independence Hall until the five o'clock tour. Okay, could we buy tickets for the five o'clock tour? Nope. Come back at five and wait. Gee, thanks.

Another ranger yelled at Rocky because he wanted him to move away from the ladies room. Rocky politely but firmly let the ranger know that no, he wasn't loitering, he was waiting for his wife. Thanks to a combination of heat and something I ate, I was suddenly, miserably, violently sick and took a good twenty minutes to recover. When I finally came out the ranger scowled but said nothing. Since this guy had sat on his butt all day in the nice air conditioned visitor center I don't know what his malfunction was.

Rather than wait around until five we took the Big Bus City tour and it was terrible. The tour buses are dirty, stinky and in run down condition, the windows are small so you can't see anything really unless you're on top of the bus in the double decker level. The buses have no air conditioning and in order to get people off and on quickly they never shut the doors. The highlights of the tour for me were seeing the Rocky steps and statue and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. The cathedral ambassadors were very nice women and the cathedral is the most beautiful one I've ever seen. I'll go back to Philly one of these days but I'm in no hurry. The city really does a piss poor job handling tourists.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Master Chief at St. James

We went to Mass at St. James in Litiz, Pennsylvania. It was interesting and a bit sad. The church is very plain. It looks like a Quaker Catholic church, if there was such a thing but the pews were the most comfortable I've ever sat in. At first I thought we'd come to a special Mass becuase we were at least 25 years younger than anybody else there. But no, it was the regular 5 PM vigil. Before Mass we heard Chopin's Prelude #15, The Raindrop which I love but it isn't meant for church and it always makes me think of Halo now. The parishioners sang with gusto--- the Servant Song , which is about the singers, and God not so much and and another song that was startlingly self congratulatory.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Veronica's Veil


Rocky and I are going on vacation and I really need it. I'm exhausted and more than a little cranky thanks to a mild bout with insomnia. On top of that I always get jittery in July anyway because it's annual review time and I can't stand the whole process but mine went well (whew!) and I'm getting a raise.

One of the greatest things in the world is to be on a long, windy country road with my dear husband Rocky. Cares just melt away..........

Sunday, July 11, 2010

the novice

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a Poor Clare or a Carmelite like St Therese..............

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Are you a poor ambassador for Christ?

There is a fiery blogger who's a lasped Catholic and still quite angry about her experience in the annulment courts who once wrote that it doesn't matter what the good priest says if the average person finds the Christians he meets day to day, utterly repulsive.

Sisters of Mercy

Monday, July 05, 2010

an odd thing

St. Josemaria Esciva once had a letter from a friend who complained that the Mass was too long. The saint wrote back that the friend's love was too small. I'm often reminded of this when I see people leaving Mass early. Some leave right after communion. Others bolt as soon as the priest begins reading the announcements. I sympathize with these latter folks a tiny bit. There's no reason for the priest to read what's in the bulletin unless most of the people in the pews are known to be illiterate. Then there are the scowling or distracted folks who just about run me over in the parking lot trying to peal out. By their actions they all are screaming "Thank God that's over. I've done my obligation, now let's go eat!" I've seen old folks do this and younger people as well so it's not a generational thing. Are these people protesting in some way? Are they just lazy? What is it?

When did it become so widespread to do the barest bare minimun regarding the Mass? My husband's Baptist grandmother rarely left her church sooner than an hour after the service. She was talking to her friends, talking to the pastor, talking to the choir director about the performance or making plans for the next church dinner. My grandmother never rushed out of little un-air conditioned Bethesda Baptist either. Sunday was the highlight of her week. She loved going to church. I don't get that impression from most of the Catholics I see in the pews around here.
Men's hearts have grown cold. We are casual with the Lord when we come to Mass and then rush away from Him as soon as we can. Men's hearts have grown cold.

Two ghastly blogs and one confusing one

I discovered a newish blog written by a stay at home wife. I won't link to it or even say the name. I'd rather not send her any traffic, nor do I want her to visit me here. She's a Christian but I don't ever want to set foot inside her church if she's an example of what her denomination produces. She dislikes career women, women who aren't her class and really has a bee in her bonnet about well...let's just say that she reminds me of Mae Ella Ewell and Queen Gertrude's famous line.

The other blog is a sedevacantist blog that I came across accidentally. When the page first loads it looks lovely and then once you start reading a few posts you realizet that you've wandered into drooling insane land. I was tempted to write a comment but it would be pointless to try to tell the writers that yes, Benedict is the pope and no, Michelle Obama's tacky clothes are not a sign of the apocalypse.

Finally, there's one weirdly fascinating blog, written by a guy, who occasionally writes for Inside Catholic. He's saying something but damn if I can figure out what.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

St. Germaine, pray for us

Once upon a time a shabby little man stole some money from his boss. That's a bad idea in most cases but especially so in this one. The boss did not call the police. Instead he and some goons showed up at the man's house with the intent of doing him serious body harm as an example to others who might try the same thing. The man, a miserable thief was also the lowest form of coward and offered his daughter as a way to clear the debt. The boss accepted. Time passed.

Eventually someone, a horrified neighbor perhaps or maybe a teacher from the daughter's school, decided to call the police. The boss and the thieving coward father went to jail. The poor girl went to the County Home and her child went to foster care. The people who fostered the child wish to adopt her. The case is before a judge. The social workers involved in the case are fighting the adoption becuase the foster parents are white. They would have this innocent child remain in foster care until a nice black family comes along or until the natural mother fully recovers from her ordeal and is fit to take care of another living soul. It's possible that these two options will never happen.

St. Germaine, patron of abused children pray for this young mother and for this innocent child who's life is hanging on the judge's decision