Monday, April 15, 2024

Wait and see

 Lillian Roth was once a stage, film and recording star. Her parents put her to work as a child and didn't concern themselves  with her safety as much as her paychecks. She was molested at the age of 6, while at a modeling job. Miss Roth started drinking in her teens and by the end of her twenties she was considered unemployable and was killing herself with alcoholism.  Finally, she went to Alcohol Anonymous and got sober. Her sponsor was a Catholic man and she converted and married him. Her autobiography, conversion story and the movie made of her life were huge news in both secular and Catholic circles. After 18 years of sobriety, she relapsed and her husband, who was also her manager, left her. Lillian then discovered that he'd stopped by the bank as he was walking out of her life, and emptied their account. 

Her Catholic husband who had been her knight in shinning armor turned out to be a really nasty  toad and from reading old newspaper archives, I get the impression that a some of the public  who were lavish in their enthusiasm for Roth when she converted were disappointed and not all that helpful when she needed help again. Roth did regain her sobriety and she even made a triumphant return to Broadway. She is buried in a Jewish cemetery. I hope she kept the Faith but I haven't found anything that makes it clear that she did or didn't. 

Why do I mention this?  Because the tragic story of Lillian Roth reminded me of current events. Right now a lot of people are excited because two women who made their living from  the sex industry have converted.  

By all means,  be happy for them.  Pray for them but don't treat them like they're God's special gift to the Church.  Give them a chance to show they're genuine and give them time to mature in the Faith.  Considering what both these women did for money I would think that anybody who really cares about them should be advising them to step away from social media and live their new redeemed lives in private. People are watching them closely in an effort to prove that they are fake. If they are sincere, surely all this slobbering fandom on one hand  and hostility from others is too much pressure to be under.  When real life gives them a rough patch or they meet a Catholic who lets them down, they might weaken in their conviction. Remember the parable of the Sower and pray that these women aren't seeds in shallow soil. Let's wait and see.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Hey fellow Catholic...before you buy that distant property, read this

This is going to irritate some people but I don't think the Catholic Back to the Land movement is the best or only answer for the American Catholic future. You may have a hazy fantasy about running off to an area near a chapel and priest or monks and then homesteading off grid, but is that realistic?  

Have you ever killed a chicken? My grandmother could wring a chicken's neck with seemingly no effort. My mother never got the knack of it and preferred to use a hatchet and I can't do it all. I could learn the skill, of course but I'll be starving  by the time I perfect butchering and then getting the bird on table. 

Can you shoot a shot gun? You're going to have do that at some point.  Do you know how to milk a cow or care for one? Do you understand that goats and sheep are cute but need a lot of attention? Have you any idea how to butcher a steer, a hog or deer?  Do you know what could  happen if the well goes bad?  

My grandparents weren't dancing and singing in the fields; they were working hard every day but Sunday and even then, the cow, the mule and the other animals needed to be tended to before they left for church. Do you have the stamina for that? Country boys are strong and you better be too or you won't make it. 

 I've learned many things from YouTube videos but if you want to succeed at homesteading you are going to need a wise and loyal someone in real life and nearby to help you. That may be a problem. 

Your new neighbors may not like Catholics. They may have already insulting encounters with city folks. They may resent you because you and people like you are buying up property and making things more expensive for the locals. You might find yourself a pariah before you even meet your closest neighbor. If you inadvertently messed up in your social interactions, being out there alone with hostile neighbors may be very bad for you.

Someone may be muttering right now, "But Dymphna, we have to get out of the city, and we need to do it NOW." I understand but don't run off half cocked with no plan.  You might be better served by moving to a small city or town or finding a largely Catholic planned community. I know everyone mocked Ave Maria when it was built in Florida but that, or a situation like it, might be a far more realistic option for you than homesteading. 

I have read comments from people who think cordial relations with their neighbors don't matter. They aren't looking for a community and don't care about the impression they're making on  the neighbors. All they want is a quiet place to hold up and make a stand if there is a major societal upheaval in the future. Lone wolves rarely make it. In real life they end up scavenging until they can join or create a pack of their own. You are going to  need the good will of the locals and I'm not seeing a whole lot of Catholic homesteading dreamers talking about that. 



Monday, April 08, 2024

Random thoughts on Eclipse day

  •  Enjoy the eclipse with eye protection of course. When my mother saw her first one she was a small child and was terrified.  When I  saw one I was an adult and was standing on the roof at my employer's eclipse happy hour gathering. Obviously the world didn't end either time.  To those Catholics  who lean Protestant and are expecting the Rapture, sorry, you aren't getting out of here that easily. Go read your bible and then read St. Francis De Sales on the topic of anxiety. 



  • There's been chatter that Michael Voris is trying to make a come back. I hate to say it but there's probably quite a few individuals out there who are  willing to give him one more chance and write him a check. 



  • I don't normally read anything from the National Catholic Register and stuff like this is why. It's not just huge scandals that alienate young men from the Church it's the everyday nice and sentimental and absolutely revolting mush. 



  • I've said it before but I really think that 19 years after the death of Pope John Paul II,  the Divine Mercy devotion is in decline. In recent years in my parish, the first Sunday after Easter was either celebrated with the painting being displayed but without any mention of DM or like this year, the painting was displayed and the lector announced that it was DM Sunday and that was it. We have not been asked to pray the chaplet during or after Mass in several years and while the lines were Confession were long that could have been because the line is always long around the first of the month. To my knowledge we don't have any Polish parishes or Marian Congregation parishes in the Arlington diocese but other than those I didn't get the impression that it was a big deal this year. 

  • Does anyone remember how weird it was when Catholic "influencers" began Tweeting that they weren't going to see Oppenheimer before it even came out because of the sex scenes. Nobody asked them publicly about the movie. They weren't Catholic movie critics; they just made their righteous statements out of thin air  and when the movie hit the theaters the Tweets came to a dead stop. Did the first few guys get paid to drive some Twitter traffic towards the movie while the latter ones just jumped on to get attention? 
  • It wouldn't be the first odd publicity campaign and we know that Hollywood uses bots and pays people to make provocative Tweets and posts on Facebook about upcoming films. I found it interesting that these men got their Oppenheimer feelings--that nobody asked them for--- out in public but lost interest in movies after that. 

  • In your charity please pray for my aunt. She's my late father's youngest and only surviving sister. She was in a terrible, freak car accident and was both run over and dragged in her own yard.