Monday, August 29, 2011

Messmer Catholic Prep-- a bright spot

The governor of Wisconsin went to visit a Catholic elementary school and members of public school teachers union followed. They protested and behaved in an ugly way. There was even an act of vandalism. If  you want to help out Messmer Catholic School and the good work they do there, click here.

The Hymn of Kassiani the Nun

Sensing Thy divinity, O Lord, a woman of many sins

takes it upon herself to become a myrrh-bearer,

And in deep mourning brings before Thee fragrant oil

in anticipation of Thy burial; crying:

"Woe to me! For night is unto me, oestrus of lechery,

a dark and moonless eros of sin.

Receive the wellsprings of my tears,

O Thou who gatherest the waters of the oceans into clouds.

Bend to me, to the sorrows of my heart,

O Thou who bendedst down the heavens in Thy ineffable self-emptying.

I will kiss Thine immaculate feet

and dry them with the locks of my hair;

Those very feet whose sound Eve heard at dusk in Paradise

and hid herself in fear.

Who shall reckon the multitude of my sins,

or the abysses of Thy judgment, O Saviour of my soul?

Do not ignore Thy handmaiden,

O Thou whose mercy is endless."

Kassiani was once a potential bride of a Byzantine emperor. He chose another and she chose the convent. She becasme an abbess, a poet and the earliest known female composer. This is her most famous hymn in honor of St. Mary Magdalene.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Random thoughts before the hurricane

This has been the weirdest week. We have an earthquake and a what's looking like a category one hurricane within a few days of each other. My trusty Dell laptop died without warning on Tuesday and we are stuck using our old, sloooooow and sickly desktop until we get a new one.  My boss was close to hysteria all day  Friday and I was not mentally charitable towards her at all.

Rocky and I went to the grocery store last night and my mother has enough goodies to keep her inside for days. This morning I woke up and my right hand was smeared with blood. There were even blood spots on my nightgown. Yesterday I had an annoying skin tag near my nose that I was going have my dermatologist remove but it's gone now. I must have tore the whole thing  off in my sleep.  Today I'm just going to drape myself across the recliner,eat Oreos, catch up on my reading and watch the rain. I think this hurricane is going to be a dud, thank the Lord. So far all we have is heavy rain.

  • I found some really worthy blogs to look at. 
The Apostolate of Hannah's Tears  

  The Ram in the Thicket blog is not pleasant reading but it is something to think about.  

 Asysus Abyssum Invocat is written by an unusual bishop.

Orbis Catholicus Secundus has beautiful Catholic pictures.

  • A quote to remember:
     People say that there is a scarcity of priests. In truth, what an adorable mystery it is that there still are priests. They no longer have any human advantage. Celibacy, solitude, hatred very often, derision and, above all the indifference of a world in which there seems to be no longer room for them—such is the portion they have chosen. They have no apparent power; their task sometimes seems to be centered about material things, identifying them, in the eyes of the masses, with the staffs of town halls and of funeral parlors. A pagan atmosphere prevails all around them. The people would laugh at their virtue if they believed in it, but they do not. They are spied upon. A thousand voices accuse those who fall. As for the others, the great number, no one is surprised to see them toiling without any sort of recognition, without appreciable salary, bending over the bodies of the dying, or ambling about the parish…Francois Mauriac

A couple of years ago I read about a self-appointed …what?--- avenger?, amateur detective?, busybody?... person made a rather crude, almost comical attempt to spy on a parish priest.  Some people were for this individual's decision and thought that if the priest was innocent no harm was done, others scorned the person as a troublemaker and tale teller. Nobody seemed startled by this action at all. I guess that' what we've come to.
  • Archbishop Gomez insults American Catholics repeatedly. I'm sure he doesn't mean it that way and I like to hope that he'd be appalled if someone pointed it out to him, but he keeps saying that we need illegal immigrants from Latin America to renew and reChristianize this country and to save it. In other words, American Catholics are so worthless that they really need to be replaced. That's a smack in the face. It also ignores the vast problems that come with massive and constant illegal immigration from countries whose cultures are different from ours.  Again, I'll say that I'm sure that Archbishop Gomez intends no harm but I guess he just doesn't think about what he's saying means and pulling the "you are a bad Catholic if you disagree with me" card doesn't help.
  • Pray for Father Wang. Joe Biden may be cool with China's policies but people like Fr. Wang have to live with them.

  • If you are ever in Alexandria on a Thursday night remember that Fr. Eagle says the Tridentine Mass at 7:30 at St. Rita's. He's a really good young priest and is as full of energy as a nuclear power plant. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Rocky and I were daytripping in Richmond when the earthquake hit. Oddly enough we didn't feel a thing. We were between the river and the canal on the flood walk and the most excitement we had was watching the train go by. My in-laws in Prince William County thought that something was wrong with their car. My brother-in-law in Caroline County thought that his cess pool had somehow exploded and was relieved it was an earthquake instead.

When Rocky and I  left the canal walk and headed downtown we noticed that an unusual amount of people were on the streets and that   we couldn't get through on our cell phones to call DC or Virginia numbers. We stopped for barbeque at Ned and Buzz's and heard that there was a little earthquake. When we got home we discovered plaster down in the living room and our beautiful Infant of Prague statue was smashed. It's been blessed so I'll either bury it myself or give it to Father Eagle and ask him to dispose of it.

Saints Agatha, Francis, Emidius, Amatus and Gregory patron saints of protection against earthquakes thank your intervention. We all have something to talk about and remember for the rest of our lives but no real harm to life and limb was done. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'm with the bride on this one....

At the Deacon's Bench blog the author writes about a bride who did not want to be married by a deacon so she asked a priest from another parish come to the church for the wedding. The deacon was a bit miffed that the bride didn't want him.  I wish she'd been more mannerly about it but  to be honest, I wouldn't want a deacon either.
Engaged couples have to jump through a lot of hoops. They are required to spend money on Pre-Cana or Engagement Encounter weekends. Depending on their diocese they may be forced to take a Natural Family Planning class. In the Arizona diocese couples must wait nine months before marrying. Since Catholics get divorced at the same rate as everybody else all this doesn't appear to be doing any good and I wonder how many couples just say nuts to all this and choose a civil arrangement instead. And don't forget, unless it's a multiple couple wedding with a reception put on by the parish (mostly a Latino option) or a wedding during a regular Mass (rarely done) the use of a church for a wedding is not free. I've heard of parishes that charge over $1000. If I were a young bride who'd been through all this I'd be pretty sad if I were told that I wasn't even getting a priest.  Deacons have their place but they are not an alter Christus. They are not intended to be a substitute for the priesthood. 

Yes, yes, yes, I know that the Church allows permanent deacons to preside at weddings, baptisms and funeral home services but most people look at the diaconate and  just see nice old men  who do all the scut work so that the priest has more time to devote to the sacraments. Other people are quite frank about their distaste for what they see is as laymen playing priest. Deacons who find these perceptions offensive should either shrug their shoulders and carry on or lobby for their pastor to launch a  teaching project telling  the folks in the pews what deacons have permission to do.

And finally, the guy who writes Deacon's Bench really doesn't seem to like weddings or group baptisms anyway. I get the impression that he'd be happier with an Amish style affair.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Thinking about becoming a priest?

Approach the priesthood only if you are firmly convinced that God is calling you to be his ministers, and if you are completely determined to exercise it in obedience to the Church’s precepts.

Pope Benedict XVI

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Madonna with alpalcas

This painting was done by an unknown artist in Peru. He or she was more familiar with alpacas than sheep and placed Mary with them. It's a tender, loving piece of devotional art  and I really like it.

poison in the IV

Imagine you're lying in a hospital bed hooked up to an IV. Now imagine there is a tiny dose of lethal poison in the bag. It will take hours to reach your vein and it may or may not kill you immediately when it does, but it is coming and you can't stop it unless you wake up. Well, we all need to wake up and we need to do it right now. A group of pro-pedophilia activists and mental health professionals got together and had a meeting in Baltimore on how to remove the stigma of pedophilia.

You may think these are just a few nuts and it's no big deal. The trouble is that these nuts come from places like Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. They speak soothingly, toss around high sounding jargon and hint that they're fine and we are the ones who aren't sophisticated enough to understand. They have influence. Too many Americans are still awed by the magic words : Harvard graduate-- and drip by drip they are seeping their poison into America.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I was reading a book on St. Faustina's life  and I was struck by how hard it was on one hand and yet how filled with Heavenly joy she was. Her parents did not want her to become a nun and after she left for the convent they never saw her again. Some of the other more educated nuns looked down on her and did not make her convent life a bed of roses. And of course, there was the tuberculosis. Whenever people go on about vaccines I always try to thank God that I grew up in a world where kids got a TB shot and we never had to worry about drowning in our own blood while our lungs fall apart. People tend to think about Satine dying prettily in Moulin Rouge or Mimi singing an aria before succumbing in La Boheme but TB is not like that. St. Faustina went through agony we can't even imagine. And yet, she did not lose her Faith or her hope.

Dear Faustina, apostle of the Divine Mercy, pray for us. 

Sweetest heart of Mary

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Catholic laziness or something else?

The Feast of the Assumption is not a holy day of obligation this year because it falls on Monday and American Catholics can't be expected to go to Mass two days in a row. Did the bishops make this decision because they know we are too soft and lazy to go to Mass and they want to avoid putting us in a position where they know we will fall into sin or do they secretly think that many of us can't stand the Novus Ordo and only go becuase we are obligated (hence the NASCAR like spectacle in our parking lots after Mass and stampede to get out right after Holy Communion) and in their kindness they just want to give us a break when they can?  Either way, it's puzzling.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Fr. Z. in the crucible

Well, I’ve been expecting this.  Frankly, after Fr. Corapi and the attacks on Bishop Finn,  I was wondering who was next. Father has been dropping hints on his blog that something was bugging him for about a month now.  A reporter named Phyllis Zagano is apparently working on an unflattering piece on him.

All priests have targets on their backs and widely known priests are like white stags in the middle of the herd. In Fr. Z’s case, he has been perhaps too open about his life, likes and dislikes for his own good and his donation button may not be the best idea. He has a lot of enemies. Some of them blindly hate Tradition  and any priest who doesn't act as if it's still 1972, is their enemy. Others, have pettier concerns. They're just irked by his dinning choices.

There are  Catholics who are so burnt up about the pedophile scandals that they've turned into miserable, sour witch finder generals who spend thier lives looking for priests to torment.  It's an unlovely thing. However, there are some common sense things that our bishops and superiors of orders should consider for the protection of their priestly sons. It is not a good idea for priests to live alone unless they are hermits or like St. John Vianney surrounded by nosy village folk. Gossip, lies and malice are constant and a lone priest who has to provide financially for himself, (This is also NOT a good idea, bishops and superiors!) is for all intents and purposes naked before his enemies.

Pray for priests. And remember, when you go half cocked and set yourself up as judge, jury and executioner of one, you wound the the Face of Christ.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

On vacations and our Sunday obligation

I read this on Fr. Z’s blog and afterwards I sighed. I saw comment after comment making excuses for skipping the Sunday obligation if it interfered with vacation plans. Huh? Missing Mass because you were in Kenya feeding starving Somali refugees is one thing, missing the holy sacrifice of the Mass because you wanted to go hunting or lie around in the pool is quite another.  There are some really cool sites such as , Parishes Online , Church Mass Times, and the Catholic Directory that will help you find a Mass in or near the location of your vacation site. Before I found, I used to go to visitor’s centers when we travelled and I'd ask if they could tell me where the nearest Catholic church was or --- and this is really old school, you could call the hotel, the resort, the cruise line, ect. and find out where there is a Catholic church, chapel or mission.

Jesus suffered ineffable agony in the garden of Gethsemane, He took a terrible beating, was tortured and crucified for us. How can we turn around and say, "Sorry, Lord, I wanted to come see You but I needed some me time."

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Man of Sorrows

Rejected, despised, a Man of Sorrow and aquainted with grief.....

I have a bad feeling about this one

The Church doesn't have a vocations problem. We have an ordination problem. Seminarians face not only the academic requirements but they have to deal with the personalities of their professors, advisors and rector as well. Once when I was in college I wrote a paper excoriating  a Harlem Renaissance era writer, who just happened to have been a hero of my professor's. Oops. She gave me a terrible grade but since I was dating Rocky at the time it really didn't get me down. A seminarian's vocation, on the otherhand could be crushed by a vindictive person. It happens. Seminarians in the wrong diocese or order may find themselves having to endure feminist nuns, anti Catholic psychologists, and allow me to point out the 800 pound gorilla in the room, predatory homosexuals. A good friend of mine left his seminary twenty years ago because his superiors did nothing about a professor priest who was "seducing" students. It broke his heart to leave but staying was unbearable.

So, knowing all this most of us rejoice when we read stories about new priests but at first glance, the  ordination of a divorced and annulled grandfather seems.... uh....a wee bit problematic. I hope everything works out.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

random thoughts

  • When I read this my thoughts were uncharitable and I'm sorry for that. The girl is a little nincompoop but weren't we all at her age?  She sounds like a sweet, innocent kid. God bless her. She means well. I hope she never finds out first hand what her friend is really worshipping and I hope her friend, who also looks like a sweet girl finds God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

  • You know what I'm sick of? Bloggers who whine and complain about how hard blogging has become for them As Katherine Hepburn's character said to a complaining daughter in the movie, On Golden Pond, "Bore, bore, bore. Life marches on..., I suggest you get on with it"  If you don't feel like continuing with your hobby stop it and find another. 

    I'm also tired of bloggers who frequently complain about what other people are writing. Right now there's probably some guy blogging about his collection of 1950s green army men (which sounds kinda fun actually) , there's a bunch of brilliant sci fi geeks writing about what went wrong with Revenge of the Sith, other people are posting pictures of their knitting and there's a million women blogging about their passion for stilleto heels. And you know what? I say, more power to them. 

    If you dislike a blogger's output or you just don't think the subject matter is worthy of your attention then  don't read the blog anymore. It's really pretty simple. There are three big time Catholic bloggers whom I have no use for so I simply don't read them and I avoid clicking on any link that mentions them. Problem solved.

    Eternal rest grant unto Denise oh Lord, let perpetual light shine upon her and may she rest in peace.
At first  they said "Stay out bad neighborhoods and you'll be safe." Then when our neighborhoods turned sour they said, " Stay indoors after dark unless you are with a group." Now they just say, "It was just one of those random things. She was at the wrong place at the wrong time." Our authorities  say anything and everything except, "It was the criminal's fault." 

  • Monsignor is absolutely correct. World Youth Day is not a Catholic Woodstock. Had any performer as lame as what we usually get a Catholic youth events shown up at Woodstock they would've been booed off the stage. I think that perhaps because Blessed John Paul II, was gifted with such a long reign and because we loved him so, many good and decent people think that everything he approved of or at least tolerated is an essential part of the Faith.  It isn't. You can get to Heaven without attending World Youth Day, you really can.
  • Can we please get out of Afghanistan? There is nothing there for us. We can't change the people. They enjoy pedophilia, vicious cruelty to women and the only thing they have worth selling is drugs. Thirty one Americans are dead in one day and I swear come November 2012, I'll vote for Mickey Mouse or Goofy Dog if they promise to get us out of this wretched hive of misery, horror and insantity.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Little altar boy

I was reading Subvet's blog and came across this song. I had never heard it before and didn't know it existed.

Infant of Prague Shrine and Ft. Monroe

On the last dy of our vacation Rocky and I stopped at the Infant of Prague shrine in Wakefield, Virginia. It's a sweet county church with an antique three foot tall Infant and it's right across the street from Plantation nuts and the famous Virginia Diner. On Saturday we went to Fort Monroe to look at the Casemate museum. We went to vigil Mass at St. Joseph's which is less than a mile from the Fort. Mass was well, pretty much what you'd expect for the Richmond diocese. St. Joseph was a Redemptorist parish but yesterday was the order's last day in Tidewater Virginia. The Redemptorist parishes including the historic St. Mary's Star of the Sea, which is on the Fort have been given to the care of diocessan priests.

Father's homily was a farewell speech and that was fine-- the order has been in Virginia since 1860 afterall but he adlibbed for the rest of the Mass which seems to be a Redemptorist thing, or maybe its a generational thing because I don't recall meeting a Redemptorist under the age of 50 for ages now. Oh Father's please just stick to the missal. It's not your Mass, it's not your people's Mass, it's God's Mass. The Novus Ordo may not be pretty but when you add stuff to the liturgy or detract you are not doing a beneficial thing.

At any rate, the parishoners are nice people. They are used to strangers and go out of their way to be friendly. They get tourists and Army personel all the time. After Mass we went to Buckroe Beach and headed back to Williasmburg for dinner.