Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lucas Cranach, the Elder

Lucas Cranach, the Elder created one of the sweetest portaits of Baby Jesus ever painted and one of the greatest of all the depictions of Christ crowned with thorns.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

random thoughts

*Years ago I read was wandering around Borders Bookstore and picked up a copy of Fawn Brodie's biography of Joseph Smith, No Man Knows My History. It's beautifully written and is actually pretty kind to Smith. Brodie's theory was that Joseph Smith was just fooling around when he came up with the angel and golden plates story but then things got out of hand and he couldn't go back on the lie. Eventually because of his tremendous talents of persuasion and preaching Brodie guesses that Smith came to believe his own hype. Mrs. Brodie talks frankly about Smith's twenty plus,  polygamous wives but good taste kept her from going into too much detail. Helen Mar Kimball, was one of the wives and she was just 14. Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner was 12 when Smith first spoke to her about marriage. She was a grown woman and legally married to another man who was out of town on business when Smith finally broke down her resistance and they were sealed. Most women married young in those days but it's the coercion and the callousness of the seductions that is so tragic. Smith doesn't seem to have supported a single wife other than his first one and  his god apparently told him to marry either young girls who's fathers hero worshipped him or married women who's husbands would swallow their pride and pay the bills.
 *We had a guest priest last week and it was weirdly fascinating. He ad libbed prayers, gave us commentary on the readings, chatted with the altar boys, and declared "Hugs and kisses and handshakes!" for the sign of peace. I didn't get upset. Father is elderly and came of age in the 60s. I'm guessing that nobody who lived through the Church's groovy era came out of it unscathed.  I'll be glad when our pastor gets back from vacation.
 *Envy is a sin, especially you're pretending to be righteous. I was reading a comment on a Catholic site by a woman who wrote with faux sweetness of the "rich" people in their luxury vehicles who come to her town every weekend. It doesn’t seem to occur to this lady that if those rich folks stop coming, her husband and many of her friends will be out of their jobs since the only industry in her town is tourism.  I read another comment on the same blog by a woman who cleans houses for a living. Many of her clients attend the same parish she does. She wrote about their jewelry, their clothes, their children’s activities  and their SUVs and then bragged about her own simple poor but happy life. I was tempted to write in and say, “Hey, ma’am. One way for your clients to simplify their lives would be to fire you.”

*Cardinal Dolan.......

The Divine Shepherdess

This is one of the sweetest Mary as Shepherdess paintings I've ever seen.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Good Shepherd's Mother

Look at the hat on Baby Jesus!

Random thoughts

*Carol of the Tenth Crusade blog received a somewhat veiled threat against herself and her family. Some poor soul got so wound up about the freely stated opinions on her blog that he actually claims to be watching her kids.  

Have you ever noticed that the meanest, most misogynist, and dangerous people tend to be activists who claim to be for freedom and love?

Mary Stachowicz, pray for us.

*Have you ever clammed up in Confession because you're afraid the priest will recognize your voice? Don't be afraid. Your priest has heard all kinds of things before you came to him and he's not going to run screaming from the confessional. This homily explains it beautifully.

*Yesterday, Rocky and I stopped by a church that we know has a 24 hour Adoration Chapel. A Hispanic prayer group was having a Mass and benediction. The crowd was huge but very well organized. Men in reflecting vests directed traffic. Young ladies in blue and young men in red ushered, opened doors and assisted people inside the church.  It was really was an awesome display of love for Jesus that was spoiled by one thing: we were not welcome. It's obvious that we were not Hispanic and although most people were polite we got some "What are you doing here?" hard stares.  I was inclined to go back to the car but Rocky took my hand and that was it. We went in to the chapel, sat with the Lord, prayed  and  everything was fine. Once we stepped across the chapel threshold we quickly left.

 Segregating the parish on racial lines is not a good thing and it didn't have to be this way.  When we go to the Divine Mercy Shrine in Baltimore, the Polish ladies are wonderfully kind and friendly. One old darling said to us, "This church is for everybody!" The Polish priests go out of their way to make visitors feel welcome. Whoever runs the Oracion Grupo should try to do the same.

* If you have a priest who is willing and able to say the TLM, don't be a jerk if his Latin pronunciation isn't perfect (Is yours? I bet it aint.), or if  he makes a mistake or if he chooses a perfectly valid option that you don't care for. There are many people who would love to be able to go to a bishop approved traditional Mass that's in a regular church at a sensible hour. I've heard stories about people who had to drive for hours or go at 5AM in the morning or in the most dangerous neighborhood in the diocese. Give thanks for what you have.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Portrait of a nun

What a sweet face this nun had! The artist was Richard Cosway.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

So now what?

The Holy Father apparently mentioned that there is a gay lobby in the Church. Well, that is a good thing. It's better to face facts and admit the truth than to turn a blind eye to what's going on . So now, the other shoe has to drop. What will the Holy Father actually DO about it?

Madonna of the Dry Tree

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Call

If you visit the Franciscan Monastery in DC you can find original paintings by Charles Bosserson Chambers on the walls.

Mary had a baby

Friday, June 07, 2013

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Saturday, June 01, 2013