Saturday, April 30, 2011

Is it a sin to ask a few questions about the beatification?

I just read Philip Lawler's essay in Catholic Culture about the John Paul II beatification and a post on Fr. Z's blog, as well as various other blogs that all seem to indicate that if you have any reservations  or questions about the beatification then you are either a foaming-at-the-mouth Rad Traddie or a moonbeam liberal who wants French bread for communion and priestesses. That's too simplistic and it's unfair.  Asking for clarification does not make one a bad Catholic.

Look, I love John Paul II. He was the pope for most of my life and the only one that I remember. I think he was a holy man personally but here's my problem: I was taught, perhaps wrongly that you can look at the whole life of a saint (after conversion in some cases) and imitate what they did and you will get to Heaven. By beatification or canonization, the Church is saying that you can use this person as your model.  Look at their lives and works oh Christian soul and go do thou, likewise.

When looking at the more than two decades of the Holy Father's pontificate it's obvious that he was magnificent in many ways. I read that some cardinal or archbishop in the Curia stated that JPII was being beatified not because of the events of his pontificate but because of his own private holiness. When I first read that I thought, 'Okay', but later I had to ask if that means we are supposed to ignore some of the things that went wrong. I'm talking about the refusal to hear any criticism of Fr. Marciel, for one.

We are all still too close to JPII to objectively look at his life. Many of us are running on emotion and really I do wish the Vatican had waited at least ten years before a beatification.  My father died when I was 13. I love him. I am fiercely protective of his precious memory. He was a great man but I can admit that he made  some mistakes in his life and as a father. Does this mean I'm a bad daughter? No. It just means that I see and understand some things differently that when I was a freshly grieving kid.

Having said all this, I know that I'm not smarter than the pope or the Holy Spirit. I'll say no more about this and just shut up and pray but I do ask that people not be so ready to verbally stone anyone who does raise their hand and admit that they aren't ready to join the bandwagon without having a few things explained to them.

Guys really don't like weddings

Having read the uh..... sour commentary about the royal wedding and this hilarious post  about modern weddings in general I'm reminded once again that guys really don't like fuss and feathers. If you're a bride take heed. Either skip the big wedding or keep it easy to handle. Keep it under budget and don't bother your groom with much more than telling him where to be, what time to be there and what he and his buddies should wear. Don't behave like a spoiled brat and don't flip out when he tells you that neither he nor any heterosexual male gives a flying hoot whether the napkins are pearl pink or sand pink.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

For those lost in the tornadoes-- rest in peace

And Death Shall Have No Dominion
And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

-Dylan Thomas

Say a prayer for Fr.Thulani Magwaza

This poor man has been named to take over St. Sabina's now that  Fr. Pfegler has been suspended.

In your charity could you please pray for my uncle as well? He is 61 years old and is in the mid stage of dementia.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again

Rocky got home from work on Saturdsay at 7PM. After an 11 hour day we just couldn't do the Vigil so we went to St. Rita's 8 AM Mass of the Day. Fr. Eagle was full of entusiasm and gave a spirited homily. After that we went to Indian Head, Maryland and looked at barn swallows and immature eagles flying over the water. Then we stopped by St. Teresa of Avila in DC and chatted with sweet and jolly Monsignor East, the pastor. He gave us a quick tour and a blessing. Then we picked up my mother and headed to Easter dinner with Rocky's parents. A full day but a good one.

Happy Easter

He is risen! He is risen just as He said He would! Alleluia!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mary after the cross is taken down

Good Friday

Last night Rocky, my mother, and I went to the Franciscan Monastery in DC for the Burial of Christ service.  It's a very special Franciscan custom that is only done at Holy Land shrines and of course the Holy Sepluchre Church. We've been going for about 16 yearss now.  The link at this photography blog describes it and has pictures. 

One odd but funny thing happened. A man who goes to our parish saw us and came over to our pew and spoke. It's the first time he's spoken to us in five years!

We saw a large number of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin. Except for the Mother Superior all of them were younger than me and they looked so happy. It was good to see them.
After the service many people move forward to kiss the replica of the Stone of Annointing where Our Lord was laid while His precious, battered body was prepared for burial.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Consumatum Est

One of the most remarkable images of the crucifixion I've ever seen. The Lord is seen with the souls of the prophets who spoke of Him.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

30 pieces of silver

I thought of this song at Adoration tonight.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My favorite pieta

Everytime I see this painting it stops me and I have to study it. The artist did a stunning job when he painted the look of sorrow and resignation on Mary's face as she finally gets to holds her precious Son.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Random thoughts on an insult to Our Lady, the anchoress and some other stuff

*I read on the excellent blog, Les Femmes that the miserable staff of the Oakland Museum of California have put on an exhibit featuring an obscene image our Our Lady. I was disgusted but later I felt comforted. You see, nobody ever bothers to insult the Dalai Llama or crack nasty "jokes" about Buddhism. Mormons are mocked but that might be due to envy (Mormons tend to be upper middle class) and they aren't openly hated the way Catholicism is. Libertines don't rage against the nice but impotent mainline Protestants. They hate us because our Faith is real. They hate Our Lady because their master, the devil does. It's because she is the Woman who crushes the serpent's head. She is the Mother of God. Now, what to do about the museum?  Mary Ann at Les Femmes has some good suggestions. I'll add just two: don't ever go to that museum and if you live in Oakland start talking anout defunding the place.

*I was disappointed in the Anchoress's take on Michael Voris. If my parish priest declines to teach the Faith I refuse to just sit there like a lump of cold oatmeal.

*I wish the US Conference of bishops could be abolished.

*Kat of the Crescat blog has been chosen to be one of the 150 bloggers invited to a meeting at the Vatican. Whoever put this meeting together didn't give people much lead time and some bloggers will need financial help to get there. I hope Kat makes it and I hope she has a blast in Rome.

*Why did the Vatican release a new catechism for World Youth Day? Surely, teens and 20somethings can read one of the many, many catechisms already available? And why didn't someone actually check to see what the thing said before sending it to the press? Why do we still have World Youth Day, anyway?

*Last Thursday Rocky and I went to the 7PM Mass at Blessed Sacrament in Alexandria. It's an ugly church with some of the coldest people I've ever met but they have great priests and the Mass was wonderful. There was no music, no lectors, no cantor, just the people and the priest. It was a completely ecclesiastical karaoke-free zone.

*When Rocky and I were in Norfolk to see the Life of Christ exhibit, we stayed at the Page House Inn. It was wonderful. My mother was a hotel housekeeper and housekeeping supervisor for 30 years and she's taught me what to look for when I travel. I couldn't find a single thing wrong at the Page House.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Before Abraham was, I AM

In memory of my father (1941-1982)

Eternal rest grant unto him oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My pink veil

Rocky really likes this one.

Pray for us, Mother Theodore

I love reading Pat McNamara's Catholic history blog. He's such a talented and interesting writer and I learn about people and episodes in Church history that I never knew about before. His piece on Mother Theodore moved me deeply. This woman had to fight so hard for her vocation and she wasoften  treated with open contempt by fellow Catholics. People tend to look back at segregation and say, "Well that's all over. Everything is fine now." They don't know and can't even fathom what it must have been like to have to live every single day facing insults and frequently, physical danger just because you were black.

Mother Theodore was once a member of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the order of nuns who ran my childhood school and became she the co-founder of the Franciscan Handmaids.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Life of Christ Exhibt at the Chrysler Museum

Rocky and I took a quick trip to Norfolk to see the James Tissot, Life of Christ paintings exhibit. It's incredible and if you're lucky enough to be in the Hampton Roads area before it ends in June, you've got to go.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Father Costigan has guts

I've read four Harry Potter books and watched two of the movies. It was mostly fun but not great literature or movie making for that matter and I viewed the  Harry Potter wars with bewilderment. I couldn't see what the big fuss was about but a couple of things have happened over the years. First, I've noticed that some vocal Potter fans can get really, really ugly whenever someone criticizes the series.

And then there was the Buford incident. There's a guy at my job, I've nicknamed him Buford-- who admitted that he and his wife refused to let their children read the books. Another co-worker laughed at him and mocked his religion -- Buford is a Protestant-- and was critical of the way Buford is raising his kids.

Buford is one of the finest gentlemen I've ever met. He is devoted to his wife, would take a bullet for all of his children and he never, ever conducts himself in anything but a professional manner at work--- but he won't buy Harry Potter so according to my other co-worker, he must be a boob.  I didn't like it when she made those remarks. I don't like it now.

Many of the critics of the Potter series have damaged their argument by being as shrill as the super fans. These critics often came off sounding silly or just plain tiresome, like poor Michael O'Brien but Father Costigan of the Fathers of Mercy has written a critique that got  my attention. He's not hysterical. He's not anti-literature. He's not a dreary old toothache of a man who just doesn't want to see kids enjoying themselves. He has some good points. That mandrake/baby scene was almost funny when I first read it but it leaves an unpleasant aftertaste now.

Hang tough Father. I have a feeling that you're going to get some nasty responses.

Christ Mocked

The painting is James Tissot's "Christ Mocked". The pharisees had been praying for a messiah all their lives but not only didn't recognize Him but plotted His torture and death. Pilate could've stopped this horror but didn't want to mess up his precious career. How many of us are just the same today?

What a terrific idea

I just read about a devoted and very old priest who spends his days actively evangelizing. He's right about how passive Catholics are. Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses have no problem and no shame about declaring who they are and in promoting their faiths. We have the True Faith and stand silent lest we offend someone or be seen as pious and no fun.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Mother at thy feet is kneeling -- I wish I could find a recording of this song

Mother at your feet is kneeling,
One who love you'tis your child
Who has sought so oft to see you.
Bless me Mother bless your child
Mother when my Jesus calls me
From this world so dark and drear
From the wily snares of Satan,
Shield me, Mother Mother dear
Dearest Mother tell my Jesus,
How I love Him fond and true
And oh Mary, dearest Mother
Tell Him I belong to you
Plead for me when Jesus judges,
Answer for me when He asks
How I spent so many moments
How perform so many tasks
Mary oh my dearest Mother
May it e'er to me be giv'n
As on earth I fondly love Thee
So, to love Thee still in Heav'n

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Friday, April 01, 2011

Random thoughts

The filthy spirit of Dr. Mengele lives on. I've just read an incredibly sickening story about a company that uses aborted fetal cells to test flavorings. What the hell is wrong with people? How do the employees of this company look at themselves in the mirror? The lowest, foulest prostitute on the street can look down on these people.

I love flowers but beyond plunking them in a vase and changing the water every other day I have no great skill in arranging them. Here is a a fascinating post by a Catholic artist explaining how to arrange church flowers.

Remember those fake wood cut images with the deformed looking people that were always in the missalette or the church bulletin back in the 70s and 80s and 90s? Apparently there's still a market for it.

Tonight Rocky and I went to church for the Stations of the Cross. St. Rita's uses the St. Alphonsus Ligouri version. It was beautiful as usual. There was a large crowd with lots of young couples. Fr. Eagle heard confessions. Fr. Bear led the Stations and Monsignor said Mass afterwards. Fr. Z. did a podcast of the Ligouri version. You can listen to it here.

On Sunday, Fr. Scalia ( aka Fr. Aragon and yeah he's one of Justice Scalia's sons) and Fr. McAfee will be saying Solemn Laetare Sunday Vespers.  If you attend come early so you can find some place to park.  The vespers are going to be held at St. Mary's, the oldest Catholic church in Alexandria, Virginia. It's a lovely church but the parking situation in the historic part of Alexandria is extremely limited. If you park in the wrong place you will get a ticket so finding a pay lot is your best bet.

I haven't shopped at Macy's in ages. I guess I won't be going back any time soon. They don't have anything I can't get at Dillards or Belks anyway.