Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Holy Innocents & St. Thomas a Becket

  • Herod was a monster but today's politicians are no better than the old usurper king 

  • Rocky ushered for the Christmas Eve Family Mass. I'll be honest. It's not my favorite Mass. We get a lot of visitors and a surprising number are rude, drunk and cranky about not being able to find a seat in the crowded church.This year, however,  went very well. There was only one girl dressed like a cocktail waitress and the one person who had a noticeable nip of alcohol before Mass was sweet and cheerful instead of  unpleasant. Two not so lovely people decided to tell our elderly organist that they didn't like the music. I told him not to let them get him down. After Mass the ushers made quick work of straightening up and taking out the trash. The ushers who were coming back for Midnight Mass got last minute instructions from Father and then headed home to rest for a few hours. 

  • Hilary White has written about the need for a revival of the beguine movement, that is devout, unmarried lay women coming together to pray and serve God in charitable works. She points out that the Vatican doesn't seem all that friendly to real nuns and as we saw in Oklahoma recently, things can get really interesting when a new bishop takes over. Mother Miriam's young religious community is being kicked out.  Beguines would not be dependent on the bishop's good will.  A few women have chosen the consecrated virgin route and work in the private sector but spend as much time as they can serving in their parishes. There is nothing to stop them from joining together and finding a house to rent. A band of lay women pursuing holiness in community is not a solution to the terrible damage that has been dealt to religious life but it's an option.

  • Do you remember how weird things kept happening to Pope Benedict? He went to Israel and an unscheduled Palestinian girl "surprised" everyone when she stood up and screamed a poem about life in Gaza. His valet stole from him. His most trusted aide allowed him to be photographed with a hat that was far too big for him and that made him look ridiculous, like an old woman wearing her clothes from her youth. A homoerotic circus act performed for him during the annual Golden Circus festival, and the cameramen did not avert the cameras to the pope, the audience or the floor but lingered the  frankly lewd looking acrobats. Vatileaks happened. His brother, who may be in his dottage said embarrassing things and apparently nobody in the Vatican tried to keep reporters away from him or even bravely and honestly said to the pope, "Every time your big brother opens his mouth he makes you look a fool." Rumors were spread that he had a penchant for wandering around Rome in a regular priest's cassock and that there was a pedophilia scandal in Germany about to break.... it was as if  none of the men who are supposed to help the pope did their jobs either due to massive total incompetence or malice. Isn't it interesting how these things suddenly stopped when Francis took over?

  • A few days ago members of my husband's parish men's group were shocked to learn that a former member and friend, "Pauley" has left the church. He has joined the Orthodox. He did not tell anybody beforehand and simply posted it on Facebook. I was not surprised. A lot of people are upset right now and  being crushed by what is coming out of the Vatican on a daily basis.  Pauley is a young man with a wife and children. He was devout and hungered for holiness. His career took him to a pagan country where the Orthodox are vigorously evangelizing. He looked at their passion and manly vigor and looked at Catholicism which is currently controlled by men who seem to think everything goes except for piety, self control and following the Faith of the saints. He's not the only one who is  quietly going East. You can't keep feeding people garbage and expect them to say thanks. None of the men in Rocky's group are great preachers but even if they were nothing they  or any good priest can say would change Pauley's mind right now. He  is a long way from home and his Orthodox priest and new church family are surrounding him with new convert love. Please, in your charity pray for him and all the other Pauleys' out there. 
Pray for us, St. Thomas