Saturday, November 30, 2013

Holy Mass in wartime

Somewhere in Afghanistan. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holy Martyrs pray for us

This painting shows a young martyr who's body has been recovered by her fellow Christians.  Cave was a student of one of my all time favorite painter's, William Adolphe Bouguereau.   

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

a word from Benedict XVI

“It is sad that there are what you might call professional Catholics who make a living on their Catholicism, but in whom the spring of faith flows only faintly, in a few scattered drops.” Benedict XVI

Sunday, November 24, 2013

random thoughts

  • There's a Catholic writer whom I won't identify because it wouldn't do any good, who is highly knowledgeable about Catholic dogma, very well written, and comes off as utterly miserable. He/she seems to think that anyone who isn't doing obvious forms of penance or who has more than a pot to pee in is a horrible sinner. After a few hours of reading him/her I was utterly repulsed. I can't imagine how he/she comes off to non-Catholics. I'm not saying we should go around like blind fools and there is a LOT to be disgusted by in the Church and in our country but  constant bitter joylessness doesn't make for good  Catholics either.

  • Regina Magazine is absolutely lovely.

  • C. S. Lewis was not Catholic.

  • Everything ages, dies and decays : people, countries, civilization. I think the West is in the senile stage.

  • I love Winter. Rocky and I get up in the wee, small hours on Sunday so he can drop me off at my mother's on his way to work. I go to sleep, eat breakfast with my mother and then we head to my uncle's nursing home. The clubs let out at 3 AM in DC and from that time to about 5 AM you need to be very alert because a drunken kid could easily stumble in front of your car. Thankfully DC has a lot of taxis but we've seen drunk drivers too. Right now it's so wonderfully cold on the East Coast that the 20somethings are actually going home instead of trying to hang out on the street.

  • My mother and I ran into the young pastor of Assumption as he was leaving my uncle's nursing home. Father is such an inspiration. He's a great confessor, and has a big heart.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mother of Sorrows

Artist, Julien Lasbleiz works on movies in his day job and created this image of Our Lady based on looking at the Shroud of Turin. I didn't like it at first but the more I look at it, the more it moves me. We have a lot of Middle Eastern immigrants in Northern Virginia.  I've seen this face a thousand times on the bus, the train and walking the streets.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

St. Veronica

Monday, November 18, 2013

Before Augustine became a saint

Before Augustine of Hippo became a saint he was a spoiled brat who partied hard and rolled around in sin like a piglet in slop. The artist Herbert Gustave Schmalz decided to give the viewer a glimpse of what poor St. Monica had to to deal with before her son converted.

St. Monica's Prayer by Schmaltz

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The religious life in four acts

These four paintings were done by different artists, in different countries and different times but all of them  illustrate episodes from the religious life. A Daughter of Charity in France comes to help a sick woman, a young Norbertine or perhaps a Carthusian priest defends a beggar from enraged villagers, a Sister of Charity prays for her the orphans in her care and an old diocesan priest blesses his parishioners with a holy relic. When seeing nuns and priests in their habits going about their business stopped being an everyday sight the Church Militant lost something powerful. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cling to the Sacred Heart

Being Catholic right now is....interesting. If you're feeling discouraged that's alright. Just run to Our Lord,  cling to His Sacred Heart  and leave all the rest to him as St. Margaret Mary said.

Monday, November 11, 2013


I once used a chair as as kneeler when I was a girl. It works but don't lean forward or you and the chair will end up in the floor.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Well that was embarrassing

Yesterday a depressing and embarrassing thing happened at the end of Mass. The music was great, as always. The young priest was a gift from God. The problem was the parishioners.  When the head of the parish board stood up to make the annual  financial announcement a woman behind me actually groaned out loud.  People shuffled in their seats like the wood was suddenly scorching them.  While he stood in the pulpit talking, Smitty (that's not his real name)  looked out on pews full of grown people who looked like they'd been weaned on lemon juice. Too many adults were rude during the mere five or ten minute announcement and they poured out of the side doors like they were being pursued by a SWAT team.  The American Heritage Girls who were standing in the vestibule collecting money for the Wreaths Across America project were ignored and I hope their feelings weren't hurt.  If any non-Catholics were present, particularly Baptists I'm afraid that they came away with a very bad impression. 

The American part of my parish is upper middle class and some members are affluent. I wish I'd made the announcement instead of Smitty but I'm sure poor Father would still be dodging the backlash from what I would've said.

"Look people, we're all adults here and we need to talk about the parish's finances.This place does not run on happy thoughts. It runs on money. Father knows that the  roof leaks every time it rains and he knows that it's cold in here.  He aslso knows that you want the kids at school to go on more fun trips. Next week is pledge week so please consider what you are able to do about it. Thank you." 

In my fantasy I then make a beeline through the sacristy to the car to hide out. 

Some people say nobody goes to Hell.

But the fearful and unbelieving and the abominable and murderers and whoremongers and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, they shall have their portion in the pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
Apocalypse Chapter 21

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Friday, November 08, 2013

So I bought a new veil ----photos of the Jesus Mary and Joseph Carmelite's veil

 Here are  my photographs of the veil I bought from the JMJ Carmelites in Elysburg, Pennslyvania.

Mater Dolorosa

Monday, November 04, 2013

So I bought a new veil

I collect church headcoverings. Two  are Spanish, one was  made in Mexico, the others are handmade by clever American seamstresses or are vintage pieces from Ebay of unknown provenance. I just got one from the Carmelite nuns of Elysburg, Pennsylvania and it is not only quite modestly priced, it drapes better and looks nicer than many fancy ones I've seen. If you are looking for a simple headcovering give the  Carmelites of Jesus, Mary and Joseph a peek and if you don't veil, the sisters make other lovely things and could use your help.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

mass without pews--wartime edition

Mass during World War I. I do not know the exact location.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Friday, November 01, 2013

Church triumphant, Church Suffering, Pray for us

Feast of All Saints

Holy men and women, pray for us.

a prophesy

“The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning.”
                   Benedict XVI