Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Look at that face

This is a Children of Mary nun on her investiture day. May God bless Sr. Melissa and may she persevere in her sacred vocation all the days of her life.

Christ, the Teacher

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Man of Sorrows

This image reminds me very much of the image from the Shroud of Turin.

Mama, what's a NeoCath?

I've often wondered what this term really means. Miss Hilary White spells it out with devastating effect.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Catholic history day trip

Rocky had the day after Thanksgiving off for the first time in ages so we daytripped to Southern Marylanad and the Western Shore. We visited St. John Vianney in Prince Frederick. It's a big, new and very handsome church.  They have an unsual statue of Our Lord's Sacred Heart that sadly is in a tucked away corner near a closet. The church  has one of those babbling brook baptism pools and spectacular stained glass windows. Each window has a theme. One had saints from the Middle Ages, another had great missionary saints.  One window had American saints and Rocky was startled to see Martin Luther King included. MLK was  not Catholic and obviously not a cannonized saint so what the heck...? 

We looked at the Latin American saints window and saw Oscar Romero and Cesar Chavez included with St. Rose of Lima, St. Juan Diego and St. Martin de Porres. On the Carribean saints window we saw Toussaint L'Ouverture. He was known to be devout and he discouraged voodoo but again, he's not a saint. Unlike Mother Mary Lange, whose lovely image was also on the window, he does not have a cause for cannonization before the Vatican. 

Rocky guessed that whoever was in charge of the windows wanted every ethnicity to feel included but went completely overboard and veered into patronizing territory. Too bad this impulse wasn't stiffled because the windows are a magnificent teaching tool.

St. Francis de Sales
We also visited St. Francis de Sales and met the pastor who was very kind to talk to us and allow us to venerate a St. Francis relic. They have the traditional Latin Mass there as well as the ordinary form.  

We visited the cemetary of St. Dominc's in Aquasco to say the Eternal Rest prayer and were surprised by the church's neighbors, a herd of alpacas. They are the cutest animals. They're walking balls of wool and eyelashes that would make a model swoon with envy. Next we left the Western Shore and headed to Leonardtown for lunch and to visit St. Gonzaga. It's 300 years old and is in a federal style like the Basilica in Baltimore. What I really liked was that they had little novena prayer cards next to every statue and of course, that they never got rid of their altar rails or moved the Blessed Sacrament from the center of the altar and the center of hearts and minds.

We visited the living museum of St. Mary's City and bought a few colonial gifts and visited the recreation of the town's chapel. No good description of what it looked like has been found so the archaeologists are guessing based on Catholic architecture of the time. After a full, fun day we headed home and watched TV. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Shopping ideas

Here are some of my favorite Catholic shopping sites.

Catholic Embroidery

The Brown Scapular site

Monastery Greetings

Holy Orders  My favorite gift site.

Tan books

All Saints Convent.  You may have read about the Maryland All Saints nuns who left the Episcopalians and became Catholic. This was a heroic move. Let's not just say "Oh that's nice," and forget about them. They support themselves by making greeting cards and they have a neat calendar. The sisters do not take credit cards and they obviously don't have Pay Pal. They are cash or check only at the moment.  They also enjoy visitors.

The Benedictines of Mary

The Paulines I don't care for everything that the Paulines sell in their stores but for many Catholics they are the only source of Catholic books and gifts in their area and I have bought most of our Navarre Bible volumes from them.

Pro Multis Media They carry Halo Works veils among other delightful things.

Buckfast Abbey

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Random thoughts for Thanksgiving

I don't have to cook or do a thing this year. We are meeting Rocky's people at Maggiano's Little Italy for Thanksgiving and I am extremely grateful to be lying in bed thinking this afternoon. I'm grateful for a few other things too:

Rocky, my dear husband and Mama, my dear mother and best friend.

The readers of this blog, particularly, Bob, a true Catholic gentleman.

My uncle. I've written before that my mother and I are busy trying to rescue a relative with dementia. It's been horrible at times. It's been painful, tears have been shed, bad dreams have been dreamt. After leaving his apartment and seeing for ourselves how he's been living we were both in some kind of shock. But I am thankful for him. Trying to take care of him and get him into a nursing home has been a grace. I find myself repeating St. Joan's words. "God clears the way. It was for this I was born," and I've made a sign from her quote and thumb tacked it to my wall at work to look at when I need encouragement. You don't have to like your cross, to thank God for giving it to you. Soon, I hope to have him safely in a nursing home and then my mother and I can rest but until then, I am comforted by knowing that Jesus is with my relative and with us every step of the way.

My pastor, Fr. Eagle (that's our nick name for him, I'm Southern so I have a nick name for everyone). He's a fine young, big hearted priest and offers  confession four days a week and a low Mass on Thursdays. Rocky and I look forward to that Mass more than we ever expected or than I can even explain.

Role models like Mary Ann Kreitzer and Elena Vidal 

The Traditional Latin Mass in Maryland blog. I read it everyday. 

Fr. Michael Taylor of Corpus Christi Church in South Riding, Virginia who is being picked on by an unlearned parishioner, who should remember that the Blessed Mother probably was not at the table or even in the roomm  at the Last Supper, the Washington Post and now CNN. 

Monsignor Charles Pope who has served in my home town and in neighborhoods most of us wouldn't dare walk around in, for many years.   On second thought, after being advised of some of Monsignor's views that he doesn't necesarily share from the pulpit I think I need to scratch this.

The nice boy at Mass who told me that he's very impressed that I always wear a veil to the Novus Ordo Mass. I was astonished.

My husband again, always, forever.... the man of my life, friend, fierce protector, inspiration, beloved

Oh and one thing, the first Thanksgiving was not at Plymouth Rock. It was in Virginia at what would later be called Berkley Plantation.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Do we all go down together?

I was talking to an 81 year old neighbor the other day. He was coming home from work and commented that he was glad he was 81 and didn't have too much time left in this world becasue something bad is happening to America and it looked to him like things were about to fall apart. Yesterday my neighborhood dry cleaner told me that she's leaving in December. Business is terrible and her landlord jacked up the rent so high she can't pay. Everywhere Rocky and I go businesses, long established ones are closing. My dry cleaner has been here for 20 years!

The financial wise men in the news say that unless our country cuts drasticly and now, Depression is inevitable. Nobody will give, nobody wants to suffer for the whole so the whole will go down together I guess.  I'm reminded of the last lines of the Sherlock Holmes story where he sadly tells Watson that the life of the average Englishman is about to come to an end:

There's an east wind coming, Watson.... such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it's God's own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.
His Last Bow
This all sounds gloomy but God is in charge. If a chastising event comes who can really argue that it wasn't a due punishment? The blood of millions of children cries out for justice.  I suspect that it is only the extraordinary lives of prayer and sacrifice of our cloistered nuns, monks and the unknown saints among us that has stayed God's Hand so far. Pressue turns coal into diamonds and a few of us will be impressive sparklers.  May God's will be done.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Man of Sorrows

This is hard to look at and yet, I can barely tear my eyes away. The greatest act of heroism that you can think of from history is only a faint echo of what Our Lord did on Good Friday.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Though thy mother forget thee...the feminists screwed up everything they touched

Last week two twelve year old boys pushed a shopping cart off a second storey level onto the head of a woman who was in the store shopping with her son. She survived and is in the hospital. She's horribly damaged. She may still die or she may live and never be the same again. Her life as she and her husband knew it, is over forever.  One of the mother's of one of the little delinquents, who was described by neighbors as being the biggest problem child in their apartment building, cried piteously, apologized in court and said that she needs help becuase she is a single mother. Her kid's depraved beacuase he's deprived so give him a break Mr. Judge...

I am really sick of the single mother excuse.

Society---you---me--- must stop celebrating, coddling and paying money to women who choose to have children out of wedlock. This is a form of child abuse. The widow and the unhappily divorced woman are not who I am talking about so please don't even think about them.  The ill raised boy next door or all the way in the worst part of the city may one day crawl into your bedroom window or he may grow up to be the teenager who decides to play the knock out game upside  your ancient and beloved grandfather's head so familial disfunction affects us all.

The woman who is perpetually grouchy with her child because she's  exhausted and so lonely that she's always on the hunt for a new man  and who pays more attention to  her new/current man than her innocent child is no modern day heroine. 

The woman of means who decides that she wants a baby, now, no matter what and doesn't need some man is no heroine either. I remember reading a memoir by a man whose highly educated and upper middle class mother frivolously  divorced his father because he was boring and left her unfulfilled. She then decided to have all the "fun" she'd been prevented from having before. This involved a lot of men and she was not discreet so her son was humiliated when the neighborhood kids mocked him. He was also frightened at times because some of the men his mom brought home were threatening characters. Eventually, his mother's wild oats were sowed and she settled down and married a nice man. She would like to forget her growing pains years. Her son could not. I'm not advocating that society go for the Hestser Prynne treatment but the "You go girl!," crap and the "Aren't you wonderful and amazing, and brave" patter needs to die. We desperately need another Dagger John Hughes.

Anne Coulter really said it best:
"Single motherhood is the apotheosis of the feminist vision: women without men! Except they're not without men. They're without one specific man with an interest in their particular children. But men -- and women -- across the country have been forcibly enlisted in the job of feeding, housing, and clothing single mothers and their children. The rest of us have to be constantly attuned to the needs of single mothers. Government policies are designed to support single mothers, rather than stop them. Churches, corporations, and nonprofit organizations are required to chip in to make up for single mothers' lack of husbands. I am woman, hear me roar! Hey, what's the holdup on my government check?"

St. Germaine, patron of ill used children, pray for us all.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

a daughter of St. Scholastica

Being a librarian, I love photos in libraries and if it has a habited nun it's perfect.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Random thoughts as a migraine comes on

  1. It’s easy and sometimes cathartic to mock Baby Boomers mainly because the rest of us are sick of hearing about the 60s (if every white person who claimed to have marched with MLK in Selma really did,, the marchers would've outnumbered the locals and if everyone who claims to have been at Woodstock really did the audience would've been bigger than the population of Rhode Island); but it saddens me to say that my generation, the GenXers has dropped the ball  in many ways. Go past any public high school and if you're appalled by the kids you see, do it knowing that those teens are the product of GenX parents. Man, a lot of us really blew it.

  2. Who would you rather be? Cher’s daughter or any one of Michelle Duggar’s babies. I know who I’d pick.

  3. The obsessive and seemingly endless gossip about the pope’s health is distasteful. He’s 84, people. It would be a miracle if he didn’t have some sort of ache, pain, or ongoing condition.  Pray for Papa and trust God. Let's not sit around like vultures studying him for signs of weakness. I hated it when the Catholic media did it with John Paul II and don't like seeing it now. I think I prefer the old Italian mindset that the pope is always in excellent health, thank you very much, until he's dead.

  4. When in doubt, let the cops sort it out. If  you think a child molestation case is going on call the police. Don't sit on it. Don't tell just your boss and expect him or her to take care of it. If you are the boss don't try to protect the company/school/order/ cetera. You're only making things worse.
     Call the police. Do it anonymously if you're afraid for your job or your happy, normal life but do it. Calling the cops  may not do a lick of good and you may  think the accusation is nuts and you may even find yourself begging the accused for forgiveness if it turns out that someone was lying, but one day the story will come out. It may take years, decades even, but it will come out and at least you'll be able to say that you did all you could. You're going to have answer to God no matter what you do or fail to do, so you might as well avoid a Paterno/Flynn tragedy now.

  5. This story is a gut punch. I’ve seen a number of relatives die from Alzheimer’s. My mother and I are currently trying to rescue a relative with dementia. Some days it seems like we're all living in that old Dennis Hopper Twilight Zone episode. Hitler's dead, of  course but the Nazi belief that some lives were unworthy of life remains.  Today they kill a woman who’s family says she wanted to die. Tomorrow they will simply kill all the dementia patients automatically. 

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Our Lord was not a girlie man or a hippie

The King of Kings
It can't be said often enough, especially if you grew up in the 70s or 80s and those two particularly repulsive images were all you were exposed to.

A Foul mockery of marriage

  The Kardashian "marriage" and that tasteless spectacle of a wedding-- Ruyard Kipling would've had a field day with it-- is an extreme example of straight people making a mockery of the institution of marriage but it isn't the only one. Marriage has been wounded and most fouly defiled many times over and in many different ways. Nice, but unobservant people get upset about the loud, garishly shiny object in their view--- homosexual "marriage" and completely miss the incessant, quiet termite-like damage that millions of men and women have done to the first foundation of our civilization. If you fail to appreciate something don't be surprised if you lose it.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Rest in peace

My cousin Elvira passed away yesterday. Last month on the same date my cousin Jimmie passed. Rest in peace, may you both see the Holy Face of God.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Another thing I'm sick of hearing about...

Have you ever noticed that the people who yammer about materialism already have stuff? Yesterday I was leafing through a decorating magazine and saw a feature on a magnificent house that was done up for a Christmas photo shoot. The owner was quoted as saying that he and his wife didn't give each other Christmas gifts becuase they didn't want to give into the American consumerist culture. I threw the magazine down. Here was an obviously wealthy man who'd spent a fortune on his house (and more power to him, do what you please with your own money) and he was gassing about consumerism. I remember thinking, 'Dude, did you steal those antiques? Cause I know furniture of that quality didn't come from Salvation Army and I know your gardener didn't work on those magnificent grounds for free.

A few months earlier I read a blog post on a Catholic blog written by someone was bitching about her foray to the local mall and the sights and sounds of the great unwashed masses. I almost wrote into to complain. Here she was criticizing the working class women buying stuff  when she, judging by what she says on her blog, is living very well. It's pretty low to criticize a stranger for buying a Jessica Simpson purse just because she wants it and can afford it when you're rocking a Louis Vuitton that you bought from this cute little shop in Italy and the fact that your trip to Italy was ostensibly to visit some shrines does not mitigate your lowness one bit. 

 Once many years ago my mother and one of  her friends were walking home after attending services at her friend's church. When asked how she liked it my mother frankly stated that she hadn't felt comfortable. The women at this church were obvoiusly in a much higher economic bracket than she was and it seemed to effect their treatment of anyone who didn't look like them. My mother said that they were swathed in real gems and furs while she was wearing respectable acrylic fake wool. There were stares and and she felt out of place. My mother's friend chided her for being... you guessed it... materialistic. Mama tartly replied that it was easy for her pal to talk since she was wearing a both a fur hat and coat herself.

Class warfare is dangerous and ugly.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Mass with "extras"... yuck

The battery in Rocky's car died and because he had to wait for a rescue from AAA we missed our regular Sunday Mass and had to go to another church. It was interesting. The choir was large and they could sing but oh man.... they sang dreck.  At one point during the first ooey-gooey teenage pop love song I thought, "Are they singing about a dude  or the Lord?" It was just revolting. The Communion song was better but since its lyrics were written to sound like Jesus talking to us I wasn't comfortable with it. Something just didn't feel right about putting words in Our Lord's mouth.  The psalm sounded like the chorus from the musical, "Cats". The choir also sang a Gloria so long that Rocky raised an eyebrow, babies wailed and even the priest looked like a restless little boy.

Before Mass a lector announced what the readings would be and gave us a mini homily of what they all meant. This always irritates me. Did this nice, well meaning lady think that we were all illiterate and couldn't read the missal or had she been told that the folks in the pews were too stupid to figure out what they were hearing and needed it broken down to easily digested mental pap?

After this we were instructed to rise and greet our neighbors. We, and the people around us did as we were told but we all seemed somewhere between bemused and embarassed about it. After this  pre-liturgy rite, Mass finally began. The priest, thank God was serious  and gave us a fine homily. This wasn't the worst Mass we've ever been to and I'm just glad we were able to fulfill our Sunday duty.

The Novus Ordo already comes with options so why do liturgists have add all this extra, unapproved stuff? Do they think they're defying the bishop? Please! As long as there's no scandals, the bishop doesn't care.  Do they think they're defying the Pope? The Holy Father will never know about the antics of one suburban parish in America. Are they thumbing their noses at conservative or traditional Catholics? Neither group would set foot in this parish unless they had to. I just don't get it and I wonder how the newly corrected translation of the Mass will go down with this particular parish.