Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Don't be so mean, my brother

There's an old saying, "When God puts His hand on a man, I take mine off." It means that when someone is dying or going through a horrible situation that can't be undone or lived with it's not our business to give them an extra kick. An English man, a Catholic writer named Stratford Caldecott is dying. The poor man likes Marvel comics and his daughter arranged for a copy of the new Captain America movie to be shown for her dad. Several actors who have played Marvel superheroes in the Avengers movies have posted their photos with short messages of support. You may privately think, "How silly. A grown man...," but you wouldn't say so out loud or you'd be jerk. I'm afraid that a Catholic blogger who has amused me greatly at times fell into that behavior with this post.

I think it was unfair. For all we know, Mr. Caldecott may have a priest visiting him daily. Maybe his family say the rosary by his bedside every night and the Angelus every day at noon. Maybe he's had Last Rites and has reached the final stage of dying where life has gotten very, very basic: morphine, ice chips, a few words, sleep. Attacking a dying man and his grieving family just comes across as so loathsomely small and mean and I don't see Catholic virtue in it at all.

When my paternal grandmother was dying her sons all would've watched soap operas and feigned enthusiasm if it would have made her smile one more time. Whether  Mr. Caldecott's favorite movies are to my taste or not,  I understand what Mr. Caldecott's daughter is trying to do. God bless her and him.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

St. Rita's Feast Day

St. Rita, patron of impossible causes.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A woman to admire

I was leafing through my new issue of Magnificat and found a entry on St. Bathild of France. She was kidnapped as a girl and brought to France as a slave. There she was seen by the king who offered her not concubinage but marriage. A slave girl became queen. She was a good influence on the king and after his death she was queen regent for her sons and  ruled wisely. She abolished simony, ended the slave trade in her country and ransomed those who had been already sold. She also established abbeys. When her sons were grown and all became kings in their own territories she retired to a convent. She had no problem doing even the most menial tasks even cleaning the bathrooms. Now here is a woman to admire.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

random thoughts on dumb quotes and other stuff

*I normally don't have any use for First Things but this piece by Mary Mullarkey is impressive. 

*As I discovered last year, there is more than one method to hearing Mass. You can happily use your missal or not. The author of the Raccolta blog posted this classic method which was recommended by St. Francis deSales.

*Have you ever noticed the "inspirational" quotes that litter Pininterest and women's Facebook pages? Most of them give me the creeps because the seem to have three themes: man hating, delusions of grandeur and sullenness. I've even seen some mildly hostile towards men quotes on Christian women's sites which immediately made me skeptical about those women's testimony. Don't take those "inspirational" sayings to heart and try to live by them. Not all men are lunkheads, your problems can not be solved by wine or chocolate, and women are just as fallible as men. 
One of the most popular quotes  is allegedly by Marilyn Monroe:

“I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

Well wait a minute. Marilyn was an adulteress who abandoned her husband in pursuit of fame. She was also an addict who destroyed herself at 36. That's not something to aspire to. Marilyn was nice to look at but she failed to bring lasting happiness to any man much less herself. The more I read this stuff, the more I wonder who on earth is posting it. 

*On Thursday the 22nd, my parish, St. Rita's will celebrate the saint's feast and the 100 year anniversary of the parish. There will be a Missa Cantata at 7:30. A professional schola will be singing.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Lord delivers the lamb

Years ago Rocky and I saw a musical about Abraham. After the Lord tells him not to touch Issac the actors playing Abraham and Issac sing "Alleluia, the Lord has delivered the lamb." On one level they are singing about the ram that God sends in place of Issac and on the other they sing about how Our Lord gives Himself as the lamb of sacrifice to save us.

Monday, May 12, 2014

In reparation

May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable,
most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God
be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored
and glorified in Heaven, on earth,
and under the earth,
by all the creatures of God,
and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Immaculate Conception

This is a retalbo, a Mexican folk art painting ususally done on tin.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Black Mass at Harvard

Some punks up at Harvard University are planning on having a black Mass on May 12. They say that they will be using an unconsecrated host but since these people are what they are we can not believe them. Besides, what would be the point of having a black Mass without a true consecrated Host? These people think they're being cute but they are playing with someone who Our Lord said was a murderer from the beginning. At any rate this is a blasphemy. Let us pray:

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope in and I love you. I ask you to pardon those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love you. 

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Last Rites

In this dramatic paining someone is dying and the priest has been called for to provide the comfort of the last sacraments.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Screaming in pain

A lot people are freaking out over Pope Francis. They are seriously talking about running to the Orthodox, or sedevacantism, or finding an independent chapel. I've run across a few people who say their Faith is hanging by a thread. Our brothers and sisters who love the Church are suffering and nobody seems to have any comfort for them.
To those who are thinking about leaving I implore you to wait. Wait like Mary did at the foot of the cross. Even though things look a mess. It was messier on Mt. Calvary. Jesus barely looked like Himself after the scourging and was a horrible sight to behold. But Mary saw her Son. Imitate her. Wait another hour, another day, another month and keep praying.
And then there are the folks who aren't breaking down but are seriously tired. I've read increasing comments from people who have decided to simply tune out. They are going to their parish and refuse to discuss or listen to anything having to do with current events in the Church. They will sit in the pews, throw a dollar in the collection basket and remain silent unless their pastor announces something crazy like wanting to paint  the parish's 18th century reredos hot pink with neon accents. I've noticed hat  a few bloggers have stated that they are either shutting down their blogs or just not writing about Catholic matters anymore. One of my favorite bloggers made the switch a couple of years ago and only writes about politics.  I am not going to  criticize these people. They are doing their best and trying not to reach the freak out stage. God bless them. Rest, and do what you have to but don't leave....please!

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Mass in West Virginia

The next time Rocky and I are in Charles Town West Virginia we will definitely stop by the Priory of the Annunciation and visit the Canons Regular. 

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Friday, May 02, 2014

the sweetest icon I've ever seen

The Solitario

There is a Hispanic man, probably a Salvadoran who comes to the Latin Mass at my parish. He's not a boy but not yet middle aged. He works very hard, you can see it. His body is like a steel cable and his hands have callouses on top callouses. I can't quite make it out but I think he speaks more of a dialect than the version of Spanish I learned in school. I've seen him loud and stumbling drunk. I've seen him sober. I've seen him doing penance on his knees from the church door to the altar rail. I've never seen him with anyone else in church or in the neighborhood and guess that he came to the States alone.   A lot of the single males who do this get into trouble. With no family to keep them on the right path or a wife to live for they drift. I suspect that this man is here illegally but that is so common in Northern Virginia it almost seems superfluous to mention it. Financially he's doing much better here than he would've if he'd stayed at home but he's lonely, a little crazy and drunk. All that cheap labor that is so much a part of Northern Virginia;s economy  comes at a nasty price.

Venerable Matt Talbot, pray for him.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Parishes on the chopping block

Holy Innocents in New York City is apparently on the list to be closed along with St. John the Baptist, which is right across the street from Penn Station, I call it the traveler church and it’s one of the busiest churches I’ve ever seen.  Rocky and I were amazed at how as soon a Mass was over a new crowd of people came in for the next one. 

Holy Innocents is special to me because it is the home of the Shrine of the UnbornMy child’s name is inscribed in their Book of Life so I'm concerned. If these churches have to be closed I hope the art is saved and the buildings destroyed. Seeing Ho;y Innocents  or St. John turned into a nightclub would be too sad.