Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Random thoughts on a Saturday afternoon

  • Last week a woman posted a video of her husband sliding down the drive way  and finally falling and slamming into the mailbox. She said he was unhurt and fine with her posting the video and the thing went viral. It is funny but only until you stop to think about it.  This woman turned her husband into a figure of fun for thousands of people around the country.  Is that respectful? Is that loving? Would she have mocked her neighbors like that? If the husband had thought it was cute to show the world a  video of her slipping and trying frantically not to fall would people laugh or would they criticize him? Why is mocking your husband in public so acceptable?

  • St. Mary's in Old Town, Alexandria has been made a minor basilica.   That gives us two in Virginia. The other one is in Norfolk. Rocky and I have been to St. Mary's many times and we visited the Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception once on vacation.

  • We had a lot of  young college age visitors at Mass this week because of the March for Life. That was very nice to see.

  • My brother-in-law invited us to his wedding. Since he is already married and because he's told us how much he dislikes us we looked at the invitation is some wonder and  did not attend.  Was it awkward? Not really. We haven't heard a word of complaint from him. 

  • It's time for a revival of the beguine option.  The current pope doesn't seem too friendly to cloistered nuns or monks and the religious orders are subject to the whims of tradition hating bishops. In Oklahoma the bishop ordered a fledgling order to leave his diocese and in Texas a bishop ordered the Poor Clare nuns in his diocese to leave. This is going to keep on happening but lay men or women who live together and serve God would not be subject to any shenanigans. Let's say three or four lay women move into a house or apartment together and go to Mass, volunteer to visit the parish sick, and privately choose celibacy there is nothing the most liberal bishop can do about it.  A priest who has nothing to say about two male parishioners holding hands and kissing on church grounds wouldn't have a leg to stand on in he decided to harass the devout men and their roommates who come to Adoration or say the Little Office together at church. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018


My favorite things of 2017

  • Canon 212. It's the first site I go to every day.

  • The fact that the Mark Shea celebrity arc is pretty much all over. Once this man was so important that foolish Catholics would actually start conversations with, "Well Mark Shea says....," as if he were more authoritative than canonized doctors of the Church but now...except for when he says something really outrageous nobody has much to say about him.

  • Veiled by Tradition. These lovely people give you a free chapel veil. You pay $5.00 for shipping and handling. That's the cheapest veil source I've found and the veils look quite nice.

  • Finally finding an instructional simple tone video on how to sing Alma Redemptorist Mater

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Haiti tale

When I was a girl, one of my mother's friends was from Haiti. "Marie" and her family fled the country back in Papa Doc's day.  She would visit but being educated, despising voodoo and freedom loving she and her family had no intention of ever going back to stay more than a few days. When I was a teenager "Marie's" only sister was murdered in Haiti. Her body was cut up and stuffed in a barrel. I don't recall if anything was stolen  from her home. "Marie" went back to arrange the funeral but did not allow her children to come with her. She buried her sister, asked no questions, made no waves and fled back to Maryland on the first flight out. She told my mother that she would never set foot in Haiti again and she did not.

If you go to Haiti to volunteer do not eat anything but packaged food. Do not drink anything but bottled liquid. Do not go anywhere alone, especially if you are a woman. Do not ask questions about voodoo. Every Haitian I have ever met expressed love for their country but being realists don't want to go back---ever for anything. Our Lady of Perpetual Help, patroness of Haiti, pray for us.

Oh! Well now you have told me something.

There is a a bit of dialog in an old 1920s murder mystery book whose title I can't remember where one character mentions seeing the dead man's housekeeper. The person's he's speaking to wryly answers the woman was not the dead man's housekeeper but his mistress. The first character is startled and says, "Oh! Well now you have told me something." I thought of that when I read Ann Barnhardt's essay on the traditional understanding and teaching on continence for married priests, subdeacons and deacons.  I had no idea. I thought that the married priest and his wife were free increase and multiply. If married Father shows up in your parish with a child that was conceived before his ordination that is one thing but if he and Mrs. Priest produce children once he becomes a priest, unless you are a Byzantine rite Catholic, you probably want to move to another parish..

Saturday, January 06, 2018

You know what I'm sick of? Trad bashing.

I read a comment on Twitter last night in which a man complained that "Trads" turn converts off with our jerky opinions. Here we go again. How is it that the smallest group in the Church is not allowed to express our thoughts in public? How is it that the smallest group in the Church is ignored for the most part except when it's time to bash us? Must we only whisper to each other while sitting in the basement in the dark? It seems that lay people who make their money off of the Church must undergo the ritual of bashing traditional Catholics in order to get the book contract, the sponsored blog, the speaking circuit gig and the golden ticket of the writing job with a Catholic news outlet. This man went on in subsequent Tweets to express horror at traditional Catholics who don't like the Luminous mysteries and/or the Divine Mercy or who were upset with the canonization of JPII because this disturbs converts.

 Oh please. JPII was the pope for most of my life and I loved him unquestioningly, but as an adult who's hit the mid century mark, I can see that my still beloved papa made some mistakes that had long ranging effects.

First off, in fairness to Pope John Paul II, let me get a few things out the way.  JPII did not say that you're a bad Catholic if you don't use the Luminous mysteries. He merely offered them as an addition to the rosary. Anyone who doesn't use them or like them is within their rights. As for the Divine Mercy devotion, JPII never said you must practice it or be damned.  Essentially he said that the devotion meant a lot to him and many Poles and he wanted to make it more widely known in the world. If you prefer the rosary or the Sacred Heart devotion or the Miraculous Medal novena that's fine. If  people virulently attack  you for not liking the Divine Mercy devotion or the Luminous mysteries assume that you are talking to  petulant children who need to take a nap and ignore them.

Now, let's get on to the nitty gritty. JPII made a mistake when he kissed the Koran and you are not a sedevacantist, mentally defective or a loser living in a van down by the river if you say so out loud.  I've heard people claim that theHoly Father didn't know what that  big green book was and was just being nice 
but that is horse manure. If my Muslim neighbors invite me into their home and they give me a green book I know dog-on well that it's a Koran. If I go to my Jehovah's Witness relative's house and he tries to give me the little pink book (essentially it's their catechism for converts) I know what he's giving me and I will throw it in the trash as soon as I'm able.  If  an earnest teen aged Mormon missionary hands me the a little paperback or leatherette Book of Mormon I will discretely throw it away after giving the poor kid a slice of cake and politely asking him or her what their church teaches about Fanny Alger. 

St. John Paul II kissed what he must have known was a Koran. He planted a seed that has bloomed with Pope Francis telling Europeans that they aren't Catholic if they object to hordes of Somalis and Nigerians arriving daily in their countries although oddly enough he never tells Argentinians this. It is not out of line for a Catholic to be appalled by these events.

JPII made another mistake out of naivete when he refused to hear anyone who tried to tell him that Fr. Marcial Marciel the founder of the Legionaires of Christ was in fact, a pervert and con man. The excuse many JPII experts offer is that it was a standard Soviet Union tactic  to call men who objected to communism homosexual before arresting them and sending them to the gulags and as a Pole in a captive nation young Karol Wotyla saw this so many times that he simply rejected it out of hand. I've never met anyone who lived under the Soviet Union so I can't speak to that but over the decades apparently the pope was told multiple times by prelates and lay people that certain members of the clergy were up to no good with young males and they were apparently ignored. It wasn't only traditional Catholics who voiced concern or objections to the canonization of JPII. A lot of the loud objectors were people who were affected by the pedophile scandal. Whether the victims and their families are being fair is another matter but they exist and if they are still Catholic at all, they are not exclusively traditional. 

Finally, to get back to the idea of converts being turned off by traditional Catholic behavior and conversation, I know a Protestant man who is a classical pianist. He has been the organist for various Catholic parishes and provides music for the Novus Ordo rite and the traditional Latin. Every time he thinks about converting he is turned off, not by the priests or by traditional Catholics, whom he respects, but by the average, ordinary people in the pew who behave irreverently towards Our Lord, in His own House before, during and after Mass. He has seen and heard so much that he is unsure about joining a Church where apparently most people really don't believe what they profess every Sunday. 

The girl in the booty exposing shorts, the guy in the lewd t-shirt, the parents talking about their son's soccer game in front of the Blessed Sacrament are the people that most potential converts come in contact with, not a traditional Catholic who happens to dislike the Divine Mercy devotion. If a traditional Catholic is grouchy about a particular topic, what of it? Everyone has their days. To the guy who wrote that Tweet I say, if you want traditional Catholics and apparently only traditional Catholics to behave like Jehovah's Witnesses who are exquisitely careful to  present a happy, shiny image in front of new people until the victims are baptized, then you're barking up the wrong tree and need to look around. Only cult leaders and their enforcers tell members to speak nothing but happy words in front of potential converts and I don't want any part of that. 

Friday, January 05, 2018

a prayer for the redemption of bad priests

Divine Savior Jesus Christ, Thou are the Good Shepherd who gives His life for His sheep. Oh, be in a very special way the Good Shepherd of those poor lost priests who are also appointed by Thee to be leaders of Thy people, but who have broken the oath of their holy ordination and have become unfaithful to their exalted calling. Bestow upon these poorest of the poor the very fullness of that pastoral solicitude with which Thou dost so faithfully seek the sheep that are lost! Touch their hearts with the irresistible ray of grace which emanates from Thine all-merciful love! Enlighten their minds and strengthen their wills, that they may turn away from all sin and error and come back to Thy holy altar and to Thy people. O most compassionate Savior! Remember that Thou didst once redeem the souls of Thine erring priests with Thy Precious Blood and in infinite preferential love didst impress upon them the indelible character of the priesthood. Put wholly to shame those miserable helpers of Satan who lay snares for the virtue of priests and endanger the holy ideal of the priesthood. Most graciously accept our prayers and sacrifices for poor priests who have gone astray and hear our earnest petition.
Imprimatur - Bishop John F. Noll (April 18, 1948)

St. Anthony of Padua, defender of the Holy Eucharist, obtain for us holy priests
St. John-Mary Vianney, model of sacerdotal holiness, obtain for us holy priests

St. Francis Xavier, patron of missionary priests, obtain for us holy priests
St. Therese of the Child-Jesus and of the Holy Face, victim offered for the sanctification of priests, obtain for us holy priests

Saints and Servants of God, obtain for us holy priests.