Thursday, February 27, 2014

It's not looking too good, folks.

Univision did a survey among Catholics around the world and the results are not surprising.  The laity is not looking too good.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

At the Elevation of the Host

Some of the people in the painting are kneeling on the floor of the church. Others are using a backwards chair for a kneeler. I used to do that at home when I was a kid. It works but only if you don't lean too far forward or the chair will flip over.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Now this is a love story

Sixty years ago Ed Hale vowed that he would never leave his beloved Floreen and they married in St. Jospeh's Church in New York.  He kept that promise to the day he died. What a man and what a woman Floreen must have been to enkindle such devotion.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Marytrdom of St. Thomas Becket

This is the most compelling painting of the death of St. Thomas I've eve seen. The expression on the saint's peaceful face and the darkness of the profaned church is very well done.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Catholic parents wake up!

Catholic parents why are you wasting your money and your kid's souls by sending them to the big name "Catholic" schools. You saved for years, took out a second mortgage on your house, didn't have elective surgery all to send your kid to a pest hole like this.  It's time to wake up. These colleges and universities aren't Catholic anymore. No more excuses. It doesn't matter that you know there is one good priest there or that it's the school you went to wished you had gone to. It doesn't matter that everyone in your family since the 1900s went to this school.  Stop giving them your money. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Comfort and Help

This painting by Henryk Siemiradzki, a Polish painter from the 19th century shows two Daughters of Charity visiting a peasant family to either bring food or nurse the sick.  Siemiradzki specialized in works showing Our Lord and the daily lives of Christians.

Three pieces of marital advice for young wives

  1. Be kind to your husband. You'd think this would be obvious but American women are taught from our tenderest years to treat our men like idiots. We learn this from TV shows and commercials, movies, other women and pop literature. Not only is it considered okay to make one's husband the butt of every joke, but women will gang up on the young wife who does not have anything bad to say about her husband and tease her until she joins in.  It'll be hard to go against lifetime conditioning but be a rebel for Christ and fight it.

  2. Be prudent in managing your household affairs and remember that the wise woman builds her house while the foolish one tears hers down. One example of this is poor  Maureen McDonnell, former First Lady of Virginia. She's being accused of taking goodies from a businessman in exchange for political favors. Her husband apparently went along with this and they both may go to jail. When I read the indictment all I could think of was Madam Bovary. People consider Bovary  to be a romance but really, it was  Emma Bovary's business dealings that destroyed both her and her family.

  3. Go to Mass more than once a week, if you can. Go to Adoration if you have the opportunity. Pray the rosary and meditate on Our Lady.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Priest criticizes Tokien and people flip out

A priest whose homilies can often be found on Audio Sancto and whose words have done me much good has kicked a hornet's nest. He gave two talks on J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis's Narnia and space series that were critical of the works. Rorate Caeli has part of the text of his talks here and you can find the full content on You Tube.

 I don't know about you but here on the East Coast you are not really considered an educated Catholic unless you can quote from C.S. Lewis.  Lord Of The Rings, the Narnia series and Lewis's space series can be found in every well stocked Catholic bookstore.  This priest seems to me, to be saying that these works don't deserve such reverence. This stuff is fiction--not a retelling of the Bible or Imitation of Christ or the Lives of the Saints. He also asks how many people were converted by reading The Hobbit. 

 I like LOTR but it's not my life.  Some people have gone so far into the fantasy that they've become nuts and lash out if anyone dares point that out. It's very much like the hysterics some Medjugorje and Harry Potter fanatics go into if you don't love their thing 100%. I may not agree with all of what was said in these talks but I  revere  good priests. Father does not attack Tolkien as a Catholic.  He says the books are not Catholic literature and that Catholic writer, Professor Joseph Pearce is horribly mistaken in his understanding of Tolkein's body of work . He put forth a theory that is open to debate and that's not my real concern.  I took this as an interesting parlor debate because as I said before, LOTRs is not my life.

 The thing that caught my attention and really disturbs me is the reaction to these talks. I saw Tweets and comments on various blogs that were personally insulting to this priest.  If you are going to get so upset at a priest to the point of calling him and anyone who agrees with him, offensive names because he doesn't' like your favorite book you need to check yourself. What are you, ten?

Irena Sendler

Irena Sendler saved over 2000 Jewish children during World War II. She didn't have to do this. It was dangerous. Nobody could blame her if she had decided to mind her own business and just try to survive the war but she didn't do that. She chose the holy thing, the courageous thing. Eventually she was caught by the Nazis and among other totures they inflicted upon her was breaking her legs. Do you have any idea how hard someone would have to strike you to break your legs? But look at that face. They did not break her soul or her love of God. Now this is a  woman to admire.

Monday, February 03, 2014

The Life of the Lamb by Josefa de Óbidos


Since the Catholic birthrate is the same as that of Protestants and the unchurched graciously standing to the side when your son becomes a priest or monk is harder but God bless the parents who do. We do not deserve it but God is not done with us. There still are vocations but they get stamped out at home, at school and sadly in the seminary or in the novitiate. 

Sunday, February 02, 2014

St. Cecila like I've never seen her

We've all seen the famous marble statue of St. Cecilia but here is a painted version that can be found in the cathedral named after her in Alibri, France.

Random thoughts...from a wild week

  • I stopped reading a number of blogs last year but found beautiful, uplifting ones like Filling My Prayer Closet,   and the Monks of Norica I learned so much from reading  Philothea on Phire.  and I'm fascinated by Orwell's Picnic. 

  • A number of people are highly critical of young Adam Shaw's comments about the Pope's economic ideas. Well, I think he should've been more polite but dang he is allowed to have an opinion. Don't cast the young man out of the Church because he's curt. He's not spoken heresy or blasphemed. In fact, I can  think of at least five bishops, three nuns and two politicians who have said far worse things and are Catholics in good standing.
  • How cold has it been in Virginia this week? So cold my nose bled on Monday and Tuesday.  The environmentalists have it mostly wrong. Man is a poor little thing before the power of nature.

  • I had a blah meal with a side of food poisoning at one of our favorite restaurants yesterday. At one point I could barley lift my head. All I could do was pray, "Oh God help me."  And  Our Father did just that. After a remarkably short time I came to myself and  felt strong enough to get up and totter back to bed. I was soaked in sweat but the cramps and dizziness went away for good.  Best of all, Rocky didn't even wake up.
  • Have you ever noticed that the some of the very people who can't stand their fellow Catholics will just about crawl on their knees to be nice to an animist, Buddist, Muslim, Protestant or athiest?

  • I was reading John Zmirak's ideas on fixing Catholic marriage and I can't say that this essay particularly impressed me.  He  thinks all engaged couples who want to marry in the Church  ought to take a course in NFP. Well first off NFP is NOT Catholic doctrine.  You are not not bound to do it on pain of being a bad Catholic. Secondly, forcing engaged couples to spend money on marriage instruction is a great money maker for parishes but it doesn't make a marrage divorce proof. My brother-in-law did everything by the book before his wedding. His marriage lasted for 20 years before his wife decided to recapture her youth and pulled a Dodsworth

  •  Sometimes it's more interesting to consider the  things that get ignored in Catholic blog land than the topics everybody harps on. Last month one of the Rorate Caeli blog team wrote a post appealing for unity and a truce among conservative and traditional leaning Catholics. The reaction was...silence.