Sunday, March 30, 2014

No, THIS nun is on fire....

In Burkina Faso, if a woman is accused of witchcraft she's chased out of her home and her village. If she is not lucky enough to be cast out she could be killed.This nun has dedicated herself to taking care of these poor terrorized women. No offense to Sr. Cristina, the singing nun in Italy but I'm much more impressed by the spiritual fire that inflames the heart of Sr. Jenna than I am by the ability to sing an Alicia Keyes song.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

random thoughts

  • The next time someone tries to tell you how much more sophisticated Europeans are ask them about the use of the bodies of aborted and miscarried infants to heat hospitals in the UK.  Sophisticated? Nope. Neo pagan is more like it. One out of every ten babies born in England are Muslim. Since they obviously do not love life in Albion perhaps the Lord is giving their land to others.
  • There seems to be a lot of interest in Orthodoxy or the Bzyantine Catholic rite these days. I've encountered a number of Catholic people who are seriously talking about heading East.
  • Steve Skojec is worried.    He's a serious family man,occasionally quite funny and a very good writer. He's no fake mystic or one of those poor people who waste their money running after false apparitions. The man comes across as  a solid regular guy who gets on with the business of living without whining  and probably knows his way around a barbecue grill. I can't pooh pooh him even if I wanted to. Our Lady said certain things would happen without great penance.   These things are horrible but they will be as direct punishment and as consequence for the actions of bad Catholics.

  • I wish that everybody who seems to want a war with Russia would get up, take their own children if they even have any,  form their own Abraham Lincoln brigade, go to Urkaine and leave the rest of us out of it.

  • I'm not going to see Noah. A movie has to be incredible for me to go to the theater and this one is not. For one thing the sight of him in  pants long before they'd been invented makes me giggle, and turning Methuselah into a wizard is just foul. On top of that  I've noticed that every single time someone says "Hey Catholics, we need to support this movie," it's been a bad movie.

  • A 90 year old man died recently and one of his nieces arranged to have 30 days of Masses said for his soul. Another relative said this wasn't necessary because at Uncle X's age how much sin could he have? That's a mistake. The elderly are human just like anybody else, have souls to save and not all are wise. Never automatically canonize somebody when they die. Pray for them. As St. Bernadette a real saint once said to her sisters, "You will say I am in Heaven and  leave me roasting in Purgatory."

  • I attended a beautiful funeral of another 90 year old Catholic man. He had 8 children and none of them are Catholic. One is an angry atheist, one became Jewish, the others seem to flirt with Buddhism or are Protestant or are "Christian" but unchurched. What a tragedy.

  • Whenever I hear people say "Oh don't be like the Amish. Catholics are supposed to be in the world," I know that I'm listening to someone who knows nothing about the Amish. They are in the world. In the course of their working lives they come in contact with us all the time, they go to Walmart and other bargain priced grocery stores and have no problem with us coming to their businesses as long as we are decently dressed. The Amish are not dreamy poseurs but  are incredibly practical people. They know more about us than we know about them and many of the ones I've met seemed to be amused by us. So, if a Catholic family wants to live a less commercial life in the country and can make a go of it without killing themselves or their animals---good for them as long as they stay Catholic and do not fall into cult like behavior.

Jesus and the Blind man

Friday, March 28, 2014


...led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Active love is a harsh and fearful thing compared to the love in dreams...

This homily is so incredible. I'd recommend it to  or any young bride or groom who just discovered that marriage aint moonlight and magnolias every single day.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


I was just watching a program about Tertullian. He gave us the famous quote, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church," and  is considered to be the founder of Western theology. He was highly educated, brilliant and a prolific writer. I've heard his name and read passing references to him over the years but  I never looked closely at him.  When I got around to studying the Church Fathers something jumped out at me. Why wasn't he St. Tertullian? He was not cannonized because in his middle age he completely blew it. He fell into the thrall of a heresy called Montanism. Schism being what it is, he eventually got tired of that and went off to something else. He died, apparently not fully reconciled with the Church. How did this happen? It's unclear but perhaps he trusted his own intellect too much. At any rate Tertullian is a good, though frightening example of how even those with a high degree of blessings can fail. You don't arrive at holiness and then coast through life. It's a fight every day.

Friday, March 21, 2014

What wonderous love is this?

Oh my soul!
Oh my soul!
What wonderous love is this?
That caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse  
for my soul,
for my soul.
What wonderous love is this?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

What good does Donna Quinn do?

I visit my uncle at his nursing home once a week. I have bathed him, shampooed him, washed his mattress, dressed and undressed and fed him, all just ordinary caregiver stuff. My mother visits him twice a week. She washes his oft soiled clothes, makes his bed, takes him to shaved and a haircut and irons every thing that touches his skin. Both of us keep an eye on  the  on the nursing staff and accept no excuses because frankly, even at a pretty good place like my uncle's nursing home if the staff think they have a resident who doesn't have fierce protection they get a little lazy.

I admire  the Little Sisters of the Poor because every sister on the nursing home floor has done ten times more than I've ever done and they do it every blessed day--with a smile on their faces.  Looking out your own blood kin is one thing but the Little Sisters of the Poor care for everyone in their homes like beloved kin. That is God's work. I have no respect-- none, not a shred-- for someone who would attack them. Sister Donna Quinn of the Sinisinawa Dominicans says she is dismayed by the Little Sisters because they don't want to pay for lay employee's abortion and contraception. Well I am dismayed by Donna and though I am only a laywoman and a sinner  I have to ask, what good does she do?  How exactly can a bride of Christ be an advocate of abortion? How? Somehow I can't see St. Dominic, or St. Catherine of Sienna or or Sisters Seraphina and Ermeline, the first Sinsinawa Dominicans being impressed by Donna's words and actions.

A word to the wise

Gentleman if you go out on a date or even think about asking a woman for a date  and she's wearing one of these  run as far away as you can because she's either frankly evil or so in love with the dark that she doesn't realize that she's supporting evil. She may be cute on the outside but on the inside she looks like this . Anyone who is so enthralled to abortion that she thinks it's clever to walk about with a coat hanger around her neck ---how satanic is that---will be the kind of girlfriend or Heaven forbid, wife that will ruin your life if you give her the chance. HT to Creative Minority Report for covering this.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Almighty God, Father of goodness and love, have mercy on the poor suffering souls, and grant Thine aid:
To my dear parents and ancestors;
Jesus, Mary, Joseph! My Jesus, mercy.
To my brothers and sisters and other near relatives;
Jesus, Mary, Joseph! My Jesus, mercy.
To my benefactors, spiritual and temporal; etc.
To my former friends and subjects;
To all for whom love or duty bids me pray;
To those who have suffered disadvantage or harm through me;
To those who have offended me;
To all those who are especially beloved by Thee;
To those whose release is at hand;
To those who desire most to be united with Thee;
To those who endure the greatest suffering;
To those whose release is most remote;
To those who are least remembered;
To those who are most deserving on account of their services to the Church;
To the rich, who now are the most destitute;
To the mighty, who now are as lowly servants;
To the blind, who now see their folly;
To the frivolous, who spent their time in idleness;
To the poor, who did not seek the treasures of Heaven;
To the tepid, who devoted little time to prayer;
To the indolent(lazy), who were negligent in performing good works;
To those of little faith, who neglected the frequent reception of the Sacraments;
To the habitual sinners, who owe their salvation to a miracle of grace;
To parents who failed to watch over their children;
To superiors who were not solicitous for the salvation of those entrusted to them;
To the souls of those who strove for hardly anything but riches and pleasures;
To the worldly-minded, who failed to use their wealth and talents in the service of God;
To those who witnessed the death of others, but would not think of their own;
To those who did not provide for the great journey beyond, and the days of tribulation;
To those whose judgment is so severe because of the great things entrusted to them;
To the popes, rulers, kings and princes;
To the bishops and their counselors;
To my teachers and spiritual advisors;
To the deceased priests of this diocese;
To all the priests and religious of the whole Catholic Church;
To the defenders of the Holy Faith;
To those who died on the battlefield;
To those who are buried in the sea;
To those who died of stroke or heart attack;
To those who died without the last rites of the Church;
To those who shall die within the next twenty-four hours;
To my own poor soul when I shall have to appear before Thy judgment seat;

V. O Lord, grant eternal rest to all the souls of the faithful departed,
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.

St. Joseph, pray for us

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Dream of St. Joseph

This is a fascinating "Dream of St. Joseph". The angel has blasted through the open window and is telling St. Joseph to take his little family and get out of Nazareth. Our Lady is not asleep and and doesn't seem a bit surprised to see the angel and it looks like all she needs to do is to wrap up the Holy Child and they'll be ready to hit the road.

Monday, March 17, 2014

random thoughts

*A few week ago a number of blogs were triumphant about the number of catechumens in the DC diocese. It's the biggest "class" ever. They attributed it to the Francis effect. Hold on there buckaroos.  Having grown up in DC and living in Northern Virginia I can tell you a few things about the diocese that these nice people don't know.  This area is nothing like your home.  Because it's the capital we have a massive number of foreigners. People come to this area from all over the country and the world.

The DC diocese also pulls people from Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and West Virginia. When Rocky decided to convert we lived in the suburbs but he went to St. Matthew's Cathedral in DC for RCIA and confirmation. I'd say that about half the people in his class lived outside of DC. It was a practical and pretty common decision. He wanted to get in to the barque of Peter and the DC churches understand that the laity are not all retired. 9 to 5ers  or mothers who work at home.

 The biggest number of catechumens usually comes from Our Lady Queen of the Americas, the all Spanish parish  and the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament which draw  people from all over Latin America, Africa and Haiti. The DC diocese numbers are wonderful but  are typically greater than most dioceses anyway because of the unique make up of the catechumens.

*If the priest or deacon starts strutting around like a rooster in the hen yard during the homily that's your sign that something aint right in this parish. If he tells more jokes in his homily than a  comedian doing a monologue that's your sign that things are screwy. If he uses props, projectors, Power Point, animals,or  children from the audience--and I use that word deliberately, that's your sign to haul yourself out of there and go somewhere else. The minute the priest or deacon starts showboating that is your ten foot tall blazing neon sign.

*Cardinal Dolan is the ultimate company man. If he has to do a complete 180 from one day to the next he will. I accept that but man, I wish he'd stop all that guffawing. We do have a few good bishops but they are outnumbered by men who are inoffensive but out to lunch and men who are just plain bad. So yeah, barring a miracle, our bishops will not be coming to save us. But our Faith does not begin and end in our bishops. It does not begin and end in the pope for that matter. Our Faith's Alpha and Omega is Christ.  Many men who should be our good examples are refusing to do so because it's not cool or easy but that's no excuse to give up on the Faith. Stay in Gethsemane and watch Our Lord anyway.
Agony in the garden by Franz Schwartz

*This poem is beautiful.

*How exactly does drinking until you fall down howling drunk honor St. Patrick? I have never gotten that.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Transfiguration

The Transfiguration by Lodovico Carraci  
Tranfiguration by Tissot
The Transfiguration of Christ by Gerard David

Carraci's version is the most dramatic with gorgeous color and remarkable leg extension from Moses. David's is the most unusual, showing the Father as well as the Son and Moses and Elijah and Tissot's is the plainest but the closest to the biblical account.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Something to conteplate

This painting is incredible. It shows a young Mary at the time of the Annunciation and Mary in her old age with Our Lord in the middle. Girlhood Mary learning that her Son would be king and Elder Mary knowing that her Son was a suffering king with thorns for a crown, a reed for a scepter, and mocking red cloak for a His rainment. The entire painting is a huge altar piece that also shows Pilate and the vicious crowd. It belongs to Our Lady of Aalborg in Denmark and was on display in an exhibit in Utah last year. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Agony in the Garden

The look on the Lord's face when He stomps the snake is a magnificent piece of film craft.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


 Sometimes I hear other people confessing when they or the priest is hard of hearing  and I step back. I wonder how people avoided overhearing other penitents back when the double-sided confessional was in vogue?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Is there any sorrow like unto my sorrow?

One of my earliest memories is going to St. Mary's Church in DC and looking up at the Pieta statue. These word from the Book of Lamentations were written at the base of the statue. I think they must have been added later than the original statute because after the church restoration they don't appear anymore but they had their effect. Meditating on the grief of Our Lady and of God on Good Friday is a strong rope to grab onto when I feel anxious.

Jason Jenicke isn't my favorite modern painter but he does a very good job with this painting.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sunday, March 09, 2014

The Temptation in the Wilderness

The Temptation of Christ by Titian
The Temptaion by Tissot

Denying Satan by Carl Bloch

Tissot's version is my favorite but the Titian one is fascinating because the Devil is not shown as a threatening figure at all. He looks benign, reasonable, even cute. That's how the Devil always appears to us.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

So....this is okay?

There is going to be a drag show.. and no, I don't mean drag racing, at Jesuit LeMoyne College.  Could someone please explain why this is okay? As I've said before, Catholic parents stop giving these people your money.

Mass in a Connemara Cabin

By Alyosius O'Kelly 

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Oh Sacred Head...


Remember thou art dust....

 Remember thou art dust and to dust thou will return. 

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

A wonderful Lenten meditation.

The Psallam Domino blog is an excellent resource in general but it's really fantastic for Lent because the author is blogging the Seven Penetential Psalms. The author gives an in depth look at each psalm, verse by verse. She(?) does not rely on  her own opinions but shows what the saints, particular Doctors of the Church have to say about the psalm. This is a fantastic Lenten find.

Nun's Prayer

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Thank you St. Francis de Sales

"Anxiety is the greatest evil that can befall a soul, except sin...God commands you to pray but He forbids you to worry."

Isn't amazing how a quote from a particular saint happens to cross your path just when you need it?

How not to treat your priest

Fr. Chad Rippenger gave a talk on lay behavior that is rude, insulting, careless and all too common in regard to the parish priest.

Monday, March 03, 2014

The Fisher-More College saga

Bishop Olson has forbidden the TLM at Fisher More College. I can't add anything to the Twitter and Blog feeding frenzy except to express my sympathy for the students and the parents. These folks are on a real roller coaster. Some people are saying that Fisher More messed up by allowing Fr. Gruner and John Vennari to speak on campus.  Other people are hinting darkly that things aren't right at the college and the president  anyway and that the Fr. Gruner and Vennari episodes were just the straw on top of the ton on the camel's back---but they don't come out and  say exactly what's wrong.   Other people have mentioned the school's well publicized financial trouble.

 What have the people running Fisher More done that is so terrible? Have they taught heresy? Have they provided aid and comfort to enemies of the Church? Have they looked the other way while priests broke their vows or violated the innocence of the young? Is something up with the chaplains?  If any of these are the case,  root out the bad, and if that can't be done shut it down. 

I hope the truth, whatever it is comes out soon but even if something is wrong  with the administration why take the TLM from the students especially since that's the only form of the Mass the school offers?

Dr. Taylor Marshall, who used work for Fisher More posted this on his Facebook page.  HT to Gina Guarnere for letting me know that the posting was up. This whole thing is looking like a ghastly mess. Please pray for the students and their parents.

**Update II
Fisher More had a response to Dr. Taylor Marhall. You can read it here. 

Saturday, March 01, 2014

random thoughts

  • Rocky and I went to Mass last Thursday and I noticed that Father was in purple. I checked the missal and saw that it was Septuagesima. This season was abolished in the Novus Ordo calendar. I was vaguely aware of this season and thought it was Latin for what we call Ordinary Time. Turns out it's a bit more than that. 
  • If I had the money I'd buy this collection, catalog it and give it to a good Catholic school.
  • An older lady, whom I have never liked but respected for the sake of her age and her obvious learnedness made a vauge statement about Pope Francis that I just didn't get. I asked her what she was saying and she told me again but with frankness this time. She has become a sedevacantist. I was stunned. This lady was Catholic before I was even born. She explained that she's looked at the Church and her only choices are despair or to believe that we don't have a pope at all. There was nothing I could say to her to change her mind and so I withdrew.

  • I was listening to the new Benedictines of Epheus Lent CD and fell love with one song: God of Mercy and Companssion. This is not them but it's the best version I was able to find. 

  • Why can't Catholics treat their brothers and sisters with the same level of kindness that they show to people who completely deny the Faith?