Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of Grace. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners. Now and at the hour of our deaths. Amen.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Altar Boy

Our altar boys wear black cassocks and linen toppers but the kid who gets to wave the incense always looks just this blissful.

Would someone please tell Vatican staffers to stop trying to be hip?

There is something outputting and weird about this video. The actress seems so blank and artificial. What's pitiful is that someone on the staff of the Pontifical Counsel of Culture thought this was sophisticated.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Saturday, December 27, 2014


The Christmas Eve vigil Mass was pretty good this year. The windows were open so we didn't have the heat and funk problem this time. Rocky and the other ushers worked hard but they were happy and every elderly person, or physically impaired person who needed a seat got one.  

Friday, December 26, 2014

Remember Christmastide STARTS on Dec. 25th.

Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time."

- William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1.1

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Random thoughts before I head to the mall

Every now and then, First Things lets something great slip by the editors. This  essay describes a typical suburban parish. I've been to plenty of St. Dismas's and the religion taught there isn't strong enough to sustain a soul in good times or bad.

One of the biggest blocks to vocations is parents, mother's mainly, throwing a fit when their son (particularly an only son) says he wants to be a priest. This is wrong. You can not sit in the pew and consider yourself good if you deliberately interfere in the will of God. He gave you His only Son. Who are you to deny Him yours?

Fritz von Uhde Heilge was fond of painting scenes from the bible using modern dress. He portrays Joseph and Mary as Dutch peasants walking the road to Bethlehem and several years later shows the Nativity. It looks like St. Joseph is making cocoa or maybe oatmeal.
The Road to Bethlehem (1890)

Holy Night (1911)


Ahem, I guess Dutch kids behaved themselves back in old days. Folk lore said that St. Nicholas would settle all family business for parents before Christmas.  The folks in this lithograph must have had a real little stinker because they both look delighted.  The father is looking like he doesn't even know who this kid is. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

What if we just stopped buying?

I like Tom Ford perfume but I won't ever buy anything with his name on it again because of the blasphemous cross he's pushing. I've never been part of the Apple cult  er, fan base but if I were thinking of buying an iPhone or iPad the company is dead to me now. The CEO gave 8 million to promote homosexual causes in the South. We the consumers gave him that money.
 We can not complain about what companies do unless we stop buying their stuff. You can write letters, you can act a fool in public but if you keep buying their stuff what is the point? You don't need to get on Twitter or Facebook (Remember how useless that Bring Back Our Girls thing was?), just STOP buying.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

eternal rest grant unto them oh Lord

Two police officers were murdered in New York yesterday. I'm sad, ashamed and disgusted.

This is beautiful

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Five things Catholics should never say and other random thoughts

  • My uncle in the nursing home needed a endoscopy and colonoscopy and since the staff at the hospital were completely apprised of his dementia they were ready for him. The procedure went well, and the hardest part was getting the prep formula into him the day before. He has diverticulitis but no polyps. Thank God.

  • Deborah Lipsky used to be a Satanist. You can't get any hard core than that but our merciful God  brought her back from the gates of Hell. She wrote a book about her hideous experiences called, A Message of Hope: Confessions of an Ex-Satanist.: How to Protect Yourself from Evil. It's not St. Augustine's Confessions by any means but it's clear and simple   One thing that has caught the attention of multiple bloggers, an exorcist included is a list of five things you really should not be saying if you want to call yourself Catholic.   

  • After reading Miss Lipsky's list I was reminded of something I heard one of the most fearless priests I've ever encountered bluntly stated about Hollywood. Most of what it produces is filthy because a surprising number of the celebrities we idolize have made a deal with the Devil for that fame.
  • My firm's Christmas/Hannukah/Winter Fest/Whatever, Free Food and Booze party was last night. It was so bad I left as soon as I ate my pasta. Only a handful of support staff attended, three secretaries, two members of the IT department, one staff attorney and one paralegal and me.  There is a vast unhappiness and uncertainty at the firm right now.  The jollity was no where near what it was like in years gone by. The leadership says everything is fine but it sure doesn't seem like it. At my husband's job they skipped the party altogether and just gave out gift cards. I think I would've preferred that. 

  • I think the Holy Father is, like all of us, a product of the times he grew up in. Look at Argentina for the last 50 years and it's not a lovely painting by any means. 

  • Rocky is going to be ushering for the Christmas vigil Mass. It was wild last year, due to the large number people who completely forgot their manners to man and their reverence to God. Not all these people were C&E Catholics either.
  •  This Video Sancto sermon is so good I stayed up past eleven to listen to it. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Thy almight Word leapt down from heaven....

For while all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course,  Thy almighty word leapt down from heaven from thy royal throne, as a fierce conqueror into the midst of the land of destruction.
The Book of Wisdom, Chapter 18, verse 11

Monday, December 15, 2014

St. Gilbert?

I'm so late on this but last year a priest was assigned to begin investigating if a cause for G.K. Chesterton's canonization should be opened. Some people are overjoyed, others are not. I read one essay by Stephen Drummel a few weeks ago that said Chesterton was too fat (well gee Sherlock, we never noticed), smoked cigars and drank his wine from a tumbler instead of a proper wine glass and that  he got crabby if anyone interfered with him while he was trying to chow down. He also was messy. Mr. Drummel doesn't come out and call Chesterton a drunken slob but he gets darn close to that.  In response to the essay a Dale Ahlquist, the premier US based G.K. Chesterton expert, wrote  that sure Gilbert was a big man but so was St. John XXIII (Pope Pius XI and St. Gertrude the Great were not fly weights either) and for what it's worth,  Pope St. Pius X dipped snuff and  St. Damian smoked and that  passionately liking wine doesn't make one a confirmed drunkard.

Is Drummel rough but absolutely right or is  Ahlquist correct? I don't know but several other sources throughout the decades have pointed out--- and this, I think will be the real deal breaker-- that although Chesterton was a Zionist for a time, it was only because he distrusted Jews and wanted them out of England and Europe. Later in his life he concluded that immigration to Palestine wouldn't work because of the Arabs who were already there and suggested that a carving a country out of territory in Africa might be the answer.  Chesterton's fans are hopeful that one day he'll be canonized but I wouldn't bet any money on it.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

God's will is not necessarily fun or what we might want at the time

I was reading Ann Barnhardt's blog last night and the following passage resonated so strongly with me that I printed out the last line and stuck it on my wall at work.

A quick word to the priest readers, if I may. I hear CONSTANTLY as an excuse for “laying low” and “keeping one’s head down”the following:  

“If I rock the boat, I will get exiled and shipped off to Darkest Outer Nowhere.” 

Um, yeah.  Has it ever occurred to you that there are HUMAN SOULS in Darkest Outer Nowhere who
 a.) Our Lord created the universe for so that those human souls, as individuals, might exist, be saved, and be happy with Him forever in heaven, and that He would suffer the entirety of His Passion repeatedly for those people, as individuals, who just happen to live in Darkest Outer Nowhere?  Has it occurred to you that maybe one little old lady in Darkest Outer Nowhere has been begging Our Lord for the last 45 years to send a good and holy priest who will Offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Traditional Rite, and that maybe that priest, chosen to answer those prayers, is YOU? 

And b.) that the efficacy of your offering of the Holy Sacrifice is not tied to the worldly attractiveness of the culture you currently reside in and are so afraid to be exiled from?  Or that the efficacy of the Holy Sacrifice is not a function of how many lay people are in attendance?
Take it from me, just because something feels unpleasant to YOU does not mean that it is, by definition, bad, or not God’s will.  Sometimes it is precisely what feels awful to US that is what is best for EVERYONE ELSE.  Has that ever occurred to you?  Probably not.  Let me say it again:

Sometimes that which feels awful to us as individuals is what is best for EVERYONE ELSE, and is God’s will.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Our Lady of the Cave

Mass was pretty rough on Monday

Rocky and I couldn't make it to our parish so we went to Mass at another local parish. It's a dainty little church, the priest is a nice man, the people are friendly and sincere. I like them so I won't say the name of the place. It was like I fell into a time machine and stepped out in 1976. Afterwards I said to Rocky that  the whole experience, except for Father's excellent and utterly orthodox homily, was like being a little kid again. There was ad-libbing, with the rubrics and a mild lack of cantor control. Rocky was bemused by the loud running commentary by young couple explaining the Mass to their  very cute and talented and not completely potty trained (he announced "I peed! I peed!," sometime around the Our Father), tot. It was sweet but LOUD. Oh well. It was pretty rough but considering our schedule and the horrible evening traffic that night I am thankful we were able to get Mass.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

American Hysteria-- It's all just a little bit of history repeated

From the time of the Pilgrims, Americans have been prone to outbreaks of hysteria. You may remember that the Salem Witch trials began with a nine year old girl and her eleven year old cousin who displayed shocking fits that seemed to have no physical cause. As word of the behavior spread other girls in town began doing the same things. And suddenly some simmering neighborhood feuds and family resentments exploded with the girls accusing all kinds of people of witchcraft. By the time cooler heads prevailed twenty people were either executed or died in prison. Some people say that it was the accusation against the governor's wife that finally made most of the colonists realize that this whole thing was a monstrous farce.

We shake our heads at Salem these days but essentially the same thing keeps happening over and over. Do you remember the  day care abuse hysteria wave of the 80s and 90s which destroyed innocent people? At the time if you said, "Wait a minute. How can you take ten or twenty kids out of school in broad day light, abuse them in unspeakable and violent ways without leaving a mark?," people responded by accusing you of not not believing, being evil yourself or being small minded. At first we all believed what was being reported but as the years went by and we read details of the accusations it all fell apart. Obviously, children are abused in school but the ritualized chains of predators (if not outright covens) that suddenly rose up in the 80s and early 90s turned out to be not provable and in many cases obvious hogwash. The accused in the daycare scares are now either dead, elderly, or so severely traumatized that they just want to be left in peace. We don't have their protesting voices to remind us what happened to them and we let the media, the mad and the unscrupulous lead us on into something new to be panicked and outraged about such as the current campus rape frenzy.

 Panics like this are not completely unique to America but we seem to do it more spectacularly than anybody else.  Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

The Immaculate Conception-- Monday is a Holy Day of Obligation

I don't read Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog very much anymore but I checked in yesterday and was a little depressed to see that the comments on the annual question of "Is there any way to get out of going to Mass two days in a row?" aka "How do we handle the Feast of the Immaculate Conception."?  I'll tell you how you handle it. You go to Mass on Sunday and then yeah, you go to Mass on Monday to honor Our Lady. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a holy day of obligation in the US so it's serious business if you miss Mass for a non-serious reason. If you are a parent, and your child has some activity planned on Monday night it's even more vital that you cancel that and go to Mass. If you don't practice the Faith now, while your children are at home don't make a fuss or sulk when they give up it up the minute they leave the house for good. 

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Friday, December 05, 2014

Pray for us, St. Peter Claver

 I have a feeling and can base it on nothing concrete, just my instincts-- that there is a great big fat hustle going on in Ferguson. I think the locals, both the ones who are just enjoying themselves with their stolen loot and the ones who are genuinely outraged,  are getting played but by whom and to what purpose? I haven’t a clue but the Da Tech Guy Blog has a warning for the folks who actually live in Ferguson that makes a lot of sense. 

A particularly vicious demon has been let loose  and when you dance with demons there is no way you can come away from the experience without being burned at the least  or utterly consumed. Speaking of demons, there's a scene in the movie, Evil Dead (don't bother to look it up--it's terrible, bad acting, bad theology, piss poor story telling and unnecessarily graphic and I couldn't stomach it after 20 minutes) where one of the hapless soon-to-be victims says to the hero, " I don't know if you noticed this, but ... Nothing's fine. Everything's been getting worse...every second." That pretty much sums up the political and morally rotten state of this poor country. God have mercy.  We do not deserve it, not one bit but dear God send us priests, send us saints, we need conversion, penance and fervor so very desperately. 

Oh St. Peter Claver, pray for us.  

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Monday, December 01, 2014