October 31, 2006

15 Years Ago Today..It Snowed and It Snowed....

(Photo courtesy of the StarTribune)

15 years ago, this very afternoon, the 3-day Halloween Blizzard of 1991 began. When it was over, it dropped 28.4 inches of snow in the Twin Cities. 21 inches fell in 24 hours. The heaviest day was November 1st (All Saints) which dropped 18.5 inches. The Halloween Blizzard still holds all of the state records for snowfall.

I wish I had personal pictures to put up but I think they are in storage at my Dad's home in northern MN.

I was working the 3rd shift at the US Postal Service's Main Office in Downtown Minneapolis back then. I was also in college and still living at home. I barely made it home Halloween night. Luckily, I had the 1st off. The USPS still EXPECTED those scheduled to get to the office (I think 3 people that lived near the building managed to get in by walking!).

Nothing moved for days. No car traffic. The city buses were stopped (you know it's bad when MTC, now called MetroTransit, quits running).

Sometime, on the 2nd, my Mom and I emerged from the house to start digging us out. Actually, I fell out of the house. I was the first to push my way out the front door. I could not find the step and fell face first into a big snow drift. My Mom laughed really hard. We lived on a corner lot in Minneapolis so we had lots of sidewalk to clear. We did not own a snowblower. In fact, I don't think any of our neighbors did either. My Dad also worked for the USPS. He stayed at the office because he could not get home.

My neighbors started coming out too. People were getting around the city on skis and snowmobiles. We lived on a big hill. My Mom and I and about 7 of our neighbors had to push an ambulance up the hill and down the street so they could get to a home that had a medical emergency. It was like pushing a boulder (I know what Sisyphus is going thru!) because none of the streets were plowed yet.

It took Mom and I 6 hours to dig out.

Today? No precip on the radar. 33 degrees Fahrenheit today. High 30s and partly sunny the next couple of days.

That's my story. Yours?

October 30, 2006

Bat Boy Urges Catholics to Vote!

Letter from Bat Boy former President and King of the United States

October 26, 2006
Somewhere in the Tunnels of the NYC Subway System

Dear Readers and Friends. Yes, even my enemies. Next week, Tuesday, November 7th, is election day in the U.S. You were planning to vote, right? I encourage all of you to start, if you have not already done so, perusing your slate of local candidates. I also encourage you to consult the Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics.

If you absolutely can't decide; remember, I stand ready to serve in any capacity, anywhere, if elected as a write-in candidate.

Guy Fledermaus

Farm Family in a Field

Last summer I was in an antique shop in Milbank, South Dakota. On the wall, they had an oval of the painting at left for sale. The price tag the owner wrote said: "Old-tyme painting of farm family in a field" What? That's all?

Yes, it is a painting of a farm family in a field. But, it's more then that. Much more then that. The family is depicted stopping their labor in response to the Angelus bells tolling at a church in the far background. Oh, to be as devoted as they!

Up until a few years ago, I had never heard of the Angelus Prayer myself. So, I can't fault anyone else for not knowing what it is. The Angelus quickly became one of my favorite devotions. The Holy Father recites it at midday from the window of his apartment in St. Peter's Square.

The Angelus is traditionally said at 6:00 a.m. (Lauds or Prime), Noon (Sext), and 6:00 p.m. (Vespers). The Angelus by Jean-Francois Millet harkens back to a time when the parish church would toll the Angelus bells 12 times (3 times for each invocation, 9 times for the closing prayer). The bells were a signal to prayer. I miss bells. We can't have enough church bells, in my opinion. I'm blessed in that there are 2 parishes within earshot of my home that have Angelus bells (St. Agnes and St. Bernard). I need all the reminders to pray that I can get!

The Angelus Prayer is a commemoration of two major events: The Annunciation and The Incarnation in a simple prayer consisting of three invocations followed by a Hail Mary and a closing prayer.

You can hear the Angelus on Relevant Radio at 6 a.m., noon and 6 p.m.

Traditionally, the Angelus is replaced by the Regina Coeli from Easter Sunday to Pentecost.

Here's the Angelus in English first followed by Latin:


V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with Thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, prayer for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
R. Be it done to me according to Thy word.

Hail Mary, etc.

V. And the Word was made flesh,
R. And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary, etc.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that, as we have known the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, by the message of an angel, so by His Passion and Cross we may be brought to the glory of the Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.


V. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae.
R. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.

Ave Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

V. Ecce ancilla Domini,
R. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

Ave Maria, etc.

V. Et Verbum caro factum est,
R. Et habitavit in nobis.

Ave Maria, etc.

V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genetrix,
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.


Gratiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde; ut qui, Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem eius et crucem ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum.
R. Amen.

October 29, 2006

Abortionist Dies

On the front page (top) of Sunday's Pioneer Press is the headline: "Champion of a Woman's Right to Choose" and the obit line: Dr. Jane E Hodgson, 1915-2006.

Those outside of the state of Minnesota may not know Dr. Hodgson. She was convicted in 1970 for performing a (then) illegal abortion on a Washington County (MN) mother. The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision overturned her conviction. She died of natural causes on October 23, in Rochester MN, at the age of 91.

Dr. Hodgson spent most of her career training other doctors in performing abortions and she helped open several abortion clinics in the state.

According to the article, she was "dismayed" about the upcoming South Dakota vote. She is also quoted lamenting in 2003: "There are just about 12 doctors in the state that are providing all of the abortions, and soon they will be dying off, including myself. I don't know what will happen."

May God Have Mercy on her Soul.

October 28, 2006

All Fools Day

Costume Party Time is upon us and with it comes the arrival of the buffoon who thinks it's funny to dress as a Roman Catholic clergy or religious. You know the ones. They dress like a priest and think it's funny to go around the room, blessing everyone, genuflecting and crossing themselves. Or, they dress like a nun and walk around with a Rosary and a ruler pretending to beat everyone. They are usually anti-Catholics, non-Catholics or former-Catholics. They like to set the room roaring with their tales of how they "survived" the Church or what they think the Catholic church teaches.

This is not the time to ask them to step outside so you can administer a sound lashing. No matter how much you may be tempted. We are trying to be Christians here.

How do you respond to these fools?

*Ignore them
*Look them straight in the eye and tell them you are offended
*Educate them or refute them in a calm manner
*Leave and tell the host why

I've been to many parties were these clowns present themselves. I was at one a few years ago, where I was dressed all in white and had a white cape with a hood, white wig, white shoes, white gloves, white make-up. I was a ghost-o.k.? Well, some anti-Catholic dope (after he had already told his "survival" story) said I looked like Our Lady of Grace. That was certainly not my intent. In any case, I must have looked pretty mean because he fell into fearful silence and avoided me the rest of the evening.

I have no problem with people who dress up as their favorite Saint with the intent of respecting that Saint, learning about them and teaching others. I know a lot of Catholic parents do this with their kids.

What I have a problem with is the folks who think they can use the opportunity to ridicule something they barely understand. I also have a problem with the Catholics who smile wanly and say nothing or play along with it. And then they can't understand why they feel bad when they go home. "You just participated in ridiculing the Lord. You denied Him. Of course, you feel guilty"

If enough Catholics start speaking up, perhaps we can rid the world of these particular "costumes"

October 27, 2006

Matthew 25:31-46

Recently, I have noticed an increase in the numbers of people standing at off-ramps near local freeways with crude cardboard signs saying: "Homeless, need money" "Homeless, will work for food" "Just lost job, need money".

Years ago, I turned my back on giving these people money because I once observed an individual near the Broadway Avenue freeway exit leave his "station" and get into a nice looking van. "Ah-ha, this proves that these people are all scammers! Never again, will I give any of them money. No matter how pathetic they look."

It bothers me to see them. But I have remained firm in my judgement and I have kept my money.

Yesterday, I blogged about my own distressing financial situation. How much seperates me from having to stand on an off-ramp asking for money or food? One major disaster and that could be me out there.

I'm fasting today. I just had my midday snack and I pulled out my October 26th issue of the Catholic Spirit (the Archdiocesan newspaper). Archbishop Flynn's column is a reprint from last year. I must have had a hard heart last year because I don't remember the column.

The Archbishop writes about the people on the street corners and the doubts we have if they are "legit" or not. The Archbishop says:

"I decided that if I died that night and met Jesus Christ, I would rather have Jesus Christ say to me: "You were a victim of a scam," rather than, "You passed someone by who was really hungry and needed your help."

I'm ashamed. I'm so ashamed. Please forgive me.

October 26, 2006

Slash and Burn

Uh-oh. Halloween Horrors. After work yesterday, I looked at my Y-T-D budget for 2006 and it was not a pretty sight.

My head was spinning. I was freaking out.

I managed to make it to South St. Paul for Fundamentals of Catholicism at Holy Trinity with Fr. Robert Altier (Great class by the way. I'll blog more on it later). Unfortunately, I was really distracted by my self-inflicted budget woe for much of the evening.

Fortunately, Holy Trinity has a Perpetual Adoration Chapel. I've taken advantage of it a few times. Hey, since I'm in the building, I should spend some time with the Big Guy.

I threw my chapel veil on and prayed the Novena to St. Jude. I was feeling pretty helpless and desperate. I thanked the Lord for bringing me to this Chapel and the class. I prayed for wisdom and guidance.

Then, I went home and sent out a few email inquiries about seasonal employment. I went to bed and had a dream that I was drowning on the street in front of my house.

I woke up not feeling real encouraged. Then, I checked my email and both inquries about seasonal work had doubtful replies. Feeling out on a financial limb, like I have not felt since I was in College, I had breakfast and meditated in despair.

A voice came to me. "Sit down, and start looking at your schedule and planned expenses for the rest of the year. What needs to go? What can be cut?"

I started my red pen Slash and Burn on my budget (actually what-if scenerios in my spreadsheet). I determined if I don't go hunting in November, I decline a couple of party invitations, a night out on the town with a friend, don't eat out, don't order food when I bowl this month, only buy one wreath from the Boy Scouts this year instead of three, don't invite more people over for Thanksgiving then I've already asked, only buy one gift for each person on my holiday gift list, eat my cat's food for the rest of the year (just kidding about the last one!), I can make it work.

The hardest thing was calling my family and telling them I would not be participating in the deer hunt this year. They immediately freaked out. "Are you in trouble? Should we send money? How much do you need?". Friends, my family is, generally, in much worse financial shape then I'll possibly ever be. I was touched that they offered but insisted it was not necessary. Then, my Dad said he was really worried because I hardly ever tell him I'm having trouble of any kind.

Then, I thought about my prayer life. How open am I with God? Sure, He knows what I'm thinking. But, do I really talk to Him? This goes back to my prayer resolution from an earlier post. If my Earthly Father doesn't feel I communicate with him enough, does my Heavenly Father?

What did I learn from this experience? Besides that my prayer life still needs work along with my familial communication skills, and that I still lack fiscal prudence? I learned that this time I went straight to the Lord. In College, I'm not sure I would have done that. I did not ask the Lord to send me more money. I just put myself in His hands. Your will be done. Do what you see fit. Teach me, Lord.

Advice for you Gentle Reader: Check that budget now! The Holidays are coming up and I know I'm not the only one who experiences fiscal pain this time of year. Don't forget the Lord. He's always ready to listen. Oh, call your family and say hello to them too!

Update: My family was bugging me all day. After much negotiation, it turns out I will go deer hunting this year after all. My fear was that if we got one, I could not afford to have it processed. They have agreed to help me process the deer on our own.

October 25, 2006

Near Occasions of Sin

Act of Contrition

O my God,
I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee.
I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven
and the pains of hell.

But most of all because they offend Thee, my God,
Who art all good and deserving of all my love.

I, therefore, firmly resolve,
with the help of Thy grace to sin no more
and to avoid the near occasions of sin.


The above Act of Contrition is my favorite because it contains the stated intention of the Penitent (me) to avoid the near occasions of sin in the future.

Gentle Reader, I think we all have situations that we put ourselves into when we know, WE KNOW, we are going to sin.

I know if I go to this friends evening bar-b-que and the bong is passed around the fire I'm not going to be able to say no.

I know if I go to this bar with this friend I'm going to be dancing inappropriately.

I know if I go to the all-you-can-eat buffet I'm going to gorge myself.

I know if I visit this family I will not make it to Mass on Sunday.

I know if I visit this neighbors house I'm going to be envious of all their goods and angry that they are too cheap to buy a Boy Scout wreath from my son.

I know if I go bar-hopping I'm going to drink too much.

I know if I just stop-by my exes house I won't leave until dawn.

We all try to justify it don't we? Well, it just happened. I could not have forseen it. WRONG! You know yourself. You know how much temptation you can or cannot take.

Friends, you can lie to yourself. But, you cannot lie to the Lord God. He knows, even if you think you don't.

I'm infamous for putting myself into "near occasions of sin". I know better but I do it anyway. Thank God for Confession.

BUT, did you know that there is such a sin as the sin of presumption? This is knowingly committing a mortal sin with the idea that you can go to Confession. "Well, I'll have sex with my boyfriend, even though I know it's a mortal sin, because I can always go to Confession on Tuesday." Then, you have 2 sins to confess.

Stop. Reflect. Pray.

October 23, 2006

Divine Mercy billboards

The Divine Mercy billboards brought a smile to my face in the last week. Has anyone else seen them? I've seen two in St. Paul. One is on Maryland and Mackubin, the other is on Vandalia and Wabash. They are the work of one man: Joe Cannon. Read about him here

White Elephants

My parish just finished its twice a year garage sale. Well, it's not in the Rectory garage, it's actually in the Parish Hall. If the parish made $30 at this sale I'd be surprised. I don't know why they bother. It's really just an excuse for the people of the parish to unload their old junk on someone else. In this case, the church. Then it becomes the church's responsibility to either sell it, give it away, or junk it.

Yes, there are no doubt parishioners who think that its a good thing if someone, in this case, the church, can make a few bucks. Beats having to put that extra fiver in the basket this Sunday doesn't it?

Who are they kidding?

I think we all have people in our lives who are pathologically afraid to throw ANYTHING out. I can think of three in my life without thinking very hard. These are the folks that will give you already opened bottles of lotion as a house warming gift (I'm not make this up. I have a neighbor that did just this AND, they were free sample bottles too!). Better that YOU have the cosmic shazam fall down on YOU for being the one to contribute to the local landfill then THEY.

In my life, this obsession or mania knows no age. The elderly are usually blamed for it. "They grew up in the Depression when no one threw anything away." Baloney. If that's the case, then why does my 20 year old co-worker keep giving me worm-eaten, rotten, apples every Fall from her parent's orchard. She doesn't like them, but, hey, maybe I can do SOMETHING with them. Do I look like Snow White? Should I be worried?

The argument is: "Well, they MEAN well" Do they? Always? Wouldn't you feel insulted if someone gives you some perfume that they decided they did not like and says: "I think it smells like old gasoline, but you would probably like it" or "The sweater has been washed so much that the color looks like cat vomit, but you don't care about that kind of thing so you take it" or "Those jeans have holes in them but as long as you don't wear them in the winter you should be o.k."

Why is it considered acceptable to give the homeless and the downtrodden junky, ugly, crap that you never wanted, are tired of, or is so overused it looks awful? Is it really better then nothing? Can we do better? Should we? WWJD?

Here's a simple rule of thumb. If you are donating something that YOU would not personally take home, even if it's free, DON'T DONATE IT. Throw it away. I used to volunteer at the Free Store and we junked a lot of stuff. You don't even want me to tell you what some of the clothes we threw out looked like. It made me cry, to see the kinds of crap that people thought were acceptable for the poor to have.

There were moments of joy too. The times when someone drove up with a car full of brand new clothes for the Free Store and donated them. Think about what you are giving away and why? What kind of quality is it? What are you saying to the person you are giving it to? I value you, or this is good enough? This is as much as you deserve or I can't do enough for you?

Guess, I blew my resolution not to be negative in a quick hurry, eh?

Seriously, the Holidays are around the corner. That, and the change of seasons usually prompt people to start going through their things looking for items to give away. Giving is a noble thing. It's a beautiful thing. But, assess the quality of what you are giving away for free before you do it. Think about the recipient-known or unknown. What are you saying to them?

October 20, 2006

Why I am a Catholic

Too much negativity is not a good thing. I think many of the Catholic blogs and forums that I love and read regularly are too negative. Is there anything good to say about the church? Would you know it by reading the most popular Catholic blogs on a regular basis? Many of which are in my sidebar links?

I'm as guilty of talking about the problems of the Faith in as a bad of a light as anyone. But, this week with the documentary film "Deliver Us From Evil" opening in town and the interview of the alleged abuser of Mr. Foley by Katie Couric I need some positive faith news in my life.

I don't always blog about the faith or even about me. I don't always feel like it. I like to mix it up. No one wants to read the same thing all the time. Especially, about the negative things. Yes, the dissenters are everywhere and, yes, there are problems but get over it already. Really, if I want to read negative stories about Catholicism all the time, I'll resubscribe to the National Catholic Reporter.

Is there really a difference between the "dissenting" Catholics and the "magisterium" Catholics when you consider their volume of negative church writings? I think an argument could be made that anyone exploring Catholicism reading too much of this blah, blah, everything is bad (from either the left or right perspective) angst is going to say: "Forget it, I'll go be a Wiccan or I'll just remain the agnostic or I'll stay in my Protestant denomination". Too much anger, too much opposition within, too much lack of agreement on what this or that document really says, too much of a lack of mercy towards my fellow Catholics, too much nitpicking.

Why I am a Catholic. Please, don't read Garry Wills book of the same name. I did and 400 pages and two discussions by the author later I still don't know why he's a Catholic. My guess is that he sells more books being disgruntled then happy. Do Catholic bloggers get more readers by being disgruntled then being happy? I think you could make a case for it.

My Top Three Reasons:

1) I have the opportunity to receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ at every Holy Mass
2) The Sacrament of Confession
3) The Catholic church is the church directly instituted by the Christ


P.S. I know that this is not my most organized or coherent post. But, I needed to get this out quickly.

October 18, 2006

My 2 Cents for Mark Foley.....

....because that's about all I'd pay for him: 2 cents.

Mark Foley is a coward. He's an online predator. A man hiding his real sexuality for decades. He's a pedarest. Since this story broke, he has been hiding behind his lawyer, Gerald Richman. Mr. Richman has issued all statements and comments about Mr. Foley on Foley's behalf since the Congressional page scandal broke.

Today, Reuters, says Mr. Foley (or more likely Mr. Richman) is getting ready to release the name of the Catholic priest who supposedly molested Foley years ago. If it's true that he was abused by a priest, then I'm sorry for both Mr. Foley and the priest. However, given that this alleged abuse happened 36-38 years ago (says Mr. Richman) proof that this abuse actually ever happened will be tough to come by.

Whether the allegations of abuse are true or not. This society is far too full of people who refuse to take personal responsibility for their own actions. Blaming someone else for your sins is the current fad. Oh, and entering rehab is mandatory too. I'm surprised he did not claim to be dehydrated.

No word on whether Mr. Jeff (no ancient clergy sexual abuse allegation too flimsy) Anderson, will be representing Mr. Foley.

October 17, 2006

Some Thoughts on my Rad Femme Days

I just read my local blogging sister Adoro Te Devote's blog entry from Monday, October 16th and it reminded me of my radical feminism days. Aside: If you aren't reading Adoro's blog, why not? You don't have to be a woman to learn from it!

I've only recently gotten to know Adoro but I could tell even before I met her in person that she's a strong woman. But, she's a woman who's not afraid to be a WOMAN. She's worked in traditionally masculine fields but she's kept her femininity.

In my 20's I was a radical feminist "wannabe". If you read Ms. Minnesota Women's Press and the collected works of Daly, MacKinnon, and Dworkin long enough you are bound to see every man as a potential rapist, predator, and slave master.

I said "wannabe" because looking back it's clear to me that I did not entirely buy the whole radical feminist thang. I continued to date and love men and wear make-up and feminine clothes.

The big moment when I realized I was not really a radical feminist was when I realized I was not weak because of my gender-nor did I think other women were. I may do stupid things individually that make me weak but they had nothing to do with the fact that I was a woman. To accept the radical feminist doctrine in its entiriety is to acknowledge that being a woman makes you weak. You are too weak to stand up to male wrongs because you are a woman. You are too weak to speak for yourself because you are a woman. You are too weak to be a stay at home mom because you are a woman. You are too weak to be promoted at work because you are a woman. You are too weak to stand up to a batterer because you are a woman. You are too weak to have kids that interfere with your career because you are woman.

These sayings don't make any sense to me now. But, they did at one time. I thought every woman who stayed at home with her kids was a fool. She must have caved into her husband's pressure. I did not like to think about stay-at home Dads because they did not fit my beliefs.

I used to think battered women were hurt by societies incorrect gender dominence. Never mind the individual flaws of her and her batterer. Somehow the bad situation was all caused by male societal dominence. Battered men was an inconvenient truth that did not fit my narrow belief system of men being the only oppressors.

The redical feminists say: If you were a man you would have been promoted in spite of everything. I say: what if you just aren't the right person for the job?

If I were ever in serious trouble my Uncles and my Dad, not to mention my Aunts would show up like my own private army. When I have been in trouble, it's usually my Aunts and the various women in my life who sweep in and help.

No man that I have ever known has thought I was weak. I would not have put up with them if they had. I'm not talking about physical strength. Men are generally physically stronger then me and I don't have trouble saying that. I'm talking about emotional strength. But, then, I have never wanted men, or women, in my life who think that I'm emotionally incapable of making up my own mind and standing up for myself.

Am I a feminist in the sense that I think females have an inherent strength? Absolutely! But, am I a radical feminist in the sense that I don't want to be a woman and that I hate men? No!

Psalm LXIX-Pope's Visit to Turkey Confirmed

The power of Adoration never ceases to amaze me. The directions the Holy Spirit takes me during my Holy Hour astonishes me. Up until 2 years ago, I had NEVER EVEN HEARD OF EUCHARISTIC ADORATION. Now, I don't know how I'd live without my standing hour every week. Adoration has increased and strengthened my prayer life and my relationship with God. No, it's not all perfect. But something from nothing, is still something. Prior to my weekly Adoration with God, I hardly ever spent quiet, contemplative time with God. The parish I used to belong to was not conducive to it. Sunday "masses" were all noise and chaos. How could the Lord be heard in such a din? How could I speak to the Lord when I was too busy running around talking and hugging everyone?

This morning I did not go to Adoration with a "plan". Some days I do. Today, I felt like taking one of my prayer books and my Bible. But, I did not know which one, or what, I would read. Recently, I have been intermittantly praying the Litany of the Saints leading up to All Saints Day on November 1st and All Souls Day on November 2nd. I decided to spend some of my Adoration time with the Litany of the Saints in my prayer book.

My prayer book has the Litany of the Saints, followed by Psalm LXIX which reads:

Incline unto my aid, O God.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Let them be confounded and ashamed that seek my soul.
Let them be turned backward and blush for shame that desire evils to me.
Let them be presently turned away blushing for shame that say to me, "Tis well, 'tis well."
Let all that seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee; and let such as love Thy salvation say always, The Lord be magnified. But I am needy and poor: O God, help me.
Thou art my helper and my deliverer; O Lord, make no delay.

Glory Be To The Father, etc.
V- Save Thy servants.
R- Trusting in Thee, O my God.
V- Be unto us, O Lord, a tower a strength.
R- From the face of the enemy.
V- Let not the enemy prevail against us.
R- Nor the son of iniquity have power to hurt us.
V- O Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
R- Neither reward us according to our iniquities.
V- Let us pray for our chief bishop: Benedict XVI
R- The Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.

V- Let us pray for our benefactors.
R- Vouchsafe, O Lord, for Thy name's sake, to reward with eternal life all those who do us good.
V- Let us pray for the faithful departed.
R- Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
V- May they rest in peace.
R- Amen.
V- For our absent brethren.
R- Save Thy servants who hope in Thee, O my God.
V- Send them help, O Lord, from Thy holy place.
R- And from Sion protect them.
V- O Lord, hear my prayer.
R- And let my cry come unto Thee.

O God, Whose property is always to have mercy and to spare, receive our petition, that we and all Thy servants who are bound by the chain of sin, may, by the compassion of Thy goodness, mercifully be absolved.

Hear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers of Thy supplicants, and pardon the sins of those who confess to Thee, that, in Thy bounty, Thou mayest grant us both pardon and peace.

In Thy clemency, O Lord, show Thy unspeakable mercy to us, that so Thou mayest both loose us from all our sins and deliver us from the punishments which we deserve for them.

O God, who by sin art offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy people, who make supplication to Thee, and turn away the scourges of Thine anger, which we deserve for our sins.

O almighty and eternal God, have mercy on Thy servant Benedict XVI., our chief bishop, and direct him according to Thy clemency, in the way of everlasting salvation, that, by Thy grace, he may desire the things that are pleasing to Thee, and perform them with all his strength.

O God, from Whom are all holy desires, righteous counsels, and just works, give to Thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that, our hearts being disposed to keep Thy commandments, and the fear of enemies taken away, the times, by Thy protection, may be peaceful.

Inflame, O Lord, our reins and hearts with the fire of the Holy Spirit; that we may serve Thee with a chaste body, and please Thee with a clean heart.

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, give to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins, that through pious supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired.

Direct, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our actions by Thy holy inspirations, and carry them on by Thy gracious assistance; that every prayer and work of ours may always begin from Thee, and through Thee be happily ended.

O almighty and eternal God, Who hast dominion over the living and the dead, and art merciful to all who Thou foreknowest will be Thine by faith and good works: we humbly beseech Thee that they for whom we have purposed to offer our prayers, whether this present world still detains them in the flesh or the next world hath already received them divested of their bodies, may, by the intercession of Thy saints and the clemency of Thy goodness, obtain pardon and full remission of all their sins. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
R- Amen.
V- O Lord, hear my prayer.
R- And let my cry come unto Thee.
V- May the almighty and merciful Lord graciously hear us.
R- Amen.
V- And my the souls of the faithful departed throught the mercy of God, rest in peace.
R- Amen.

The sections referring to the Pope really jumped out at me today. I have been concerned about the Pope's planned visit to Turkey. Especially, because of the violent reactions to some people in Muslim nations after the Pope's comments in Regensberg in September were taken entirely out of context.

I'm in the car on the way to work and I hear that the Holy See has confirmed that the Holy Father will visit Turkey on November 28th-December 1st.

I'm praying for the protection and safe keeping of the Holy Father. I'm also praying that my concerns are completely unfounded and that he will be just fine. Furthermore, I pray that he continue to be a strong disciple of Christ and an excellent teacher of the Faith.

October 16, 2006

Rector's Bowl

Hello, football fans! Forget UCLA versus Notre Dame. Watch Catholic football in your own backyard. The battle of the seminarians! Where else can you see candidates for the priesthood trying to beat each other and forgive each other at the same time?

7th Annual Rectors’ Bowl—St. Paul Seminary Sons of Thunder vs. St. John Vianney Men of the Church

When: 7pm Saturday, October 21

Where: O’Shaughnessy Stadium at the University of St. Thomas (located on the corner of Cretin and Summit Aves. in St. Paul)

SPS is undefeated.

Who to root for? The underdog SJV or the blogging seminarians of SPS?

The public is welcome.

Read more about it on the Future Priests of the Third Millenium Blog

Gone Hunting-Missed Story

Desperate Irish Housewife has a blog entry today on a story that was in one of the local papers on Friday. The story showed the Dem candidate with a lab (no word on if this was actually a dog he uses for hunting) and the Rep with a rifle and dead deer.

Sorry, I missed it, I was grouse hunting with my family. Seriously. And, so were probably a lot of other Minnesota sportsmen and women. The weather was awesome for birding and there were a lot of people out.

So, unless they saw it before they left town for the weekend, the hunters missed the story and the anti's saw it.

The Dems are the party that most people typically associate with anti-hunting, anti-gun. In this state, not necessarily. Case in point: Mike Hatch, the Democratic candidate for Governor has a history of supporting gun rights. Outstate Minnesotans are typically not anti-hunting or anti-gun ownership. It's usually the "city folk" who are. Politicians, and Twin Citians in general, tend to forget that there is more area to this state then 7 counties near the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers.

Next weekend? I'll be grouse hunting again.

Happy to Be a Layperson

I'm listening to an 1997 talk of Fr. John Corapi's on Relevant Radio. Fr. Corapi said something that really resonated with me: "You should be as happy to be a layperson as I am to be a priest!"

Am I?

I feel ho-hum, such is life, most of the time. By all accounts, I'm supposed to strive to be a saint. I'm sure doing poorly in my mission.

I'm frequently separated from God by personal sin. God moves away from me a little bit. Sure, he's probably just outside the door. But, he's not inside me. He's watching but not so close I can touch him. How do I know this? No, theological or scientific study needed. I can feel it. I sense when He is away. Just like you can feel it when anyone you love is away.

Confession is so important. When I make a good Confession, I feel God come back. Do I actually see him? No. But, I KNOW it. I KNOW He's back. There is nothing in the world like that sense of relief when you tell the Lord you are sorry. Don't we all feel a sense of relief when we apologize to a parent or a loved one when we have wronged them?

I wish the local church offered Confession more frequently. It's hard to get back into a state of Grace as fast as I would like when I have to wait a week to find a Confession time that my work schedule will allow. It would be easier if EVERY parish had regular Confession times daily. Then, every Catholic could find a parish near their place of work, school or home with a convenient Confession time.

I know priests always say you can call them any time to schedule a private Confession. I'm not comfortable doing that. I prefer the anonymity. I want God to know it's me, but not necessarily the Priest.

For the laypeople out there: Are you joyful in your vocation as a layperson?

I'm joyful as a layperson when:
* I'm in a state of Grace.
* I'm in conversation with God (either during Adoration or other times of prayer).
* I'm at Holy Mass.

The other stuff of life is just not as important to me. They don't make me as happy as the occasions when I'm one with the Lord.

October 11, 2006

Women Have the Right to Give Birth: Planned Parenthood Stymied

A recent story in the L.A. Times about the abortion ban fight in South Dakota (SD) appears to have flown under the Catholic blogosphere radar. I want to make sure as many people as possible see it: read it here (requires free registration)

Basically, the story says the SD groups (in particular, Leslie Unruh's groups, National Abstinence Clearinghouse and Alpha Center) trying to pass the abortion ban in SD are arguing in the bans favor from the standpoint that abortion is harmful to women and women have the right to give birth: rather then primarily focusing on the fetal rights issue. Apparently, this approach is proving successful. Planned Parenthood (PP) is quoted in the article as saying they are not prepared to respond to this tack.

The reason PP is floundering is that their entire organization is built upon an individuals "rights" to manage his/her fertility, including abortion or birth-if chosen. The opposition has, in effect, silenced PP. How can PP come out and say they don't support an individuals "right" to something PP technically supports and not lose their credibility? If PP responds in the negative won't they openly reveal themselves to really be supporters of abortion, rather then, or over, birth in spite of the individuals choice?

The election is November 7th. Send money or volunteer: Vote Yes for Life

Indult Rumors

She's a comin'. Winter. Whopping 35 degrees Fahrenheit in St. Paul today. They are talking snow flurries later. It's raining now.

Is greater latitude to offer the Indult Mass (1962 Missal) coming too? Rumors have been flying through the Catholic blogosphere for a few days.

If more priests are allowed to offer the Indult Mass without having to get the permission of their local Bishop, I still don't see thousands of priests throwing their VII Missals away. I think it's likely that some of the larger, more conservative, parishes may offer one Mass as an Indult but keep the current order of the Mass in the vernacular on their schedule too.

Could the latitude for the Indult give more parishes the sense that they can offer the current Mass in the vernacular but with Latin prayers (i.e. the EWTN Daily Mass)?

The "liberal" parishes will ignore the Indult, like they pretty much ignore the current order of the Mass anyway. But, not without much wailing and crying out: "This is the end." "This will drive more people out of the church." Whine, Whine.

It seems to me that I'm really going to have to learn more Latin. That's the main concern I have. We can't even find enough Catholics to teach good, faithful, RCIA programs. Where are we going to find Catholics to teach Latin basics? I don't think we need to be fluent in Latin but we should at least understand enough "Church" Latin. Do we have enough Priests with the time and the capability to teach Latin? I really don't want to read the Latin out of the Missalette with no understanding of what I'm saying. I think some education will be in order but how that will come about, I don't know.

This rumored Indult latitude proclamation could have an impact on Church architecture. How many parishes still have high altars that survived the Blast (er, the 1970's)? Is Dick Vosko out of business? Hee-hee. Technically, I suppose, you can do a 1962 Mass ad orientem with a freestanding altar but it's just not the "same". Will high altars make a comeback from the marble crushers of Hell? Will some parishes elect not to do the Indult Mass because they don't have a high altar anymore?

Music. Will the classic Catholic Masses of history and Chant become more prevalent? How many parishes still have an organ? Will the folk guitar meet a sad end (Please, God) Will we have a generation of modern Mozarts, Bachs and Handels? Is anyone up to the challenge of composing music and voice for a Mass?

Of course, this is all speculative until, or if, we get confirmation from Rome. Just some of my thoughts. Yours?

October 09, 2006

What This Blog is Not

There's that Holy Spirit at work again! I feel compelled to write this post today, right now.

Some of you know, or have gleaned over time, that I used to be a member of St. Joan of Arc (SJA) in Minneapolis. I was member of that parish for most of my life. Nearly 20 years, in fact. I was the third generation of my family to attend SJA. My parents were married there. However, it's certain my maternal grandparents, or even my parents, would not recognize SJA now. Most of you have probably read about St. Joan's notariety elsewhere.

You won't read it here. I am certainly capable of doing an inside expose of the inner workings of SJA. But, I don't want to.

If St. Joan's had been closed down and the ground sewn with salt 5 years ago where would I be? I would probably not be a Catholic. I would not be who I am today or where I am today.

I think what SJA needs is a strong dose of authentic Catholic education. They are not getting it now. If, after that point, or at the point of Catholic education being offered, individuals walk away that is their choice.

However, I'm not convinced that a completely, unmerciful, throw-em-out now, response is the correct response.

Hello God, it's me

Gentle Reader: Sorry, I've been scarce lately. I've been frantically trying to get my porch floor sanded and my porch painted before the snow flies. In Minnesota, that could be Thursday. I spent too much time this Spring and Summer bicycling and not enough time on my home. I'm payin' for it now.

Today, I spent the Columbus Day holiday bent over a belt sander. When I was not complaining about the hot poker in my low back, I considered how lucky I really am.

I'm a single woman and I have my own home. Yes, times are tight right now. My job is frustrating and my employer barely acknowledged the cost-of-living in my last "raise". It could be a lot worse. I've had it a lot worse.

Yet, still, I am occasionally unsatisfied.


For the first time in my life, I, finally, feel ready to be married and start a family. Well, I'm pushing 40 so it better be soon, Lord. I get angry because I'm not finding the man for me. I've often felt that I am not "meant" to be married or have kids. Perhaps, it's true, but then, what?

I'm frustrated with my job. I've been in the same job for nearly 10 years and I'm bored with it. There are no opportunities for further advancement. The money is not as good as it used to be. My commute to work is a lot longer then I'd like.

I have always strongly identified with the 1st Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony of Jesus in the Garden. I often feel alone. I often feel scared and angry with God. Why me? What do you want? Can you take this pain away from me please?

I may eventually find acceptance: "Not my will, but yours, be done" Strange, I never seem to find acceptance until or when I pray about it. It doesn't mean after accepting it for a while that I don't get frustrated again down the road. But, then, I need to pray again.

Or, an idea will come into my head. "No, Cathy, do this". It must be the Lord. The idea of starting this blog came during a prayer session. "Hey, Cathy, you are an o.k. writer. You have a story that others may find interesting. Start a blog."

The problem is: I don't speak to God enough. If I spend more then 2 hours a week in conversation with the Lord it's got to be a record. I have my standing hour of Adoration and I pray during that. I pray before, during, and after Mass. But, outside of Adoration and Mass: I pray very little or not at all.

Even during Adoration and Mass my mind wanders a lot and I forget what I'm doing. I really admire the Doctors and Saints who spent hours, or even days, in prayer. I recognize that I don't have the mental strength for that. I'm sure strong prayer is something that is learned but I don't work on it enough.

If it's true that God knows my past, present and future, how can I know what His will is for me is if I'm not listening to Him? If God can be persuaded by his Mother: How can I ask the Blessed Mother to talk to her Son for me, if I'm not asking her?

I hate New Years Resolutions. I stink at them. I don't bother to come up with one. But, this month I'm making a resolution to pray at least once/day. I'm not going to set a time limit or a minimum on it. I'm not going to say it has to be a certain time. I'm going to start small and see where it takes me. It may involve praying the Rosary, the Liturgy of the Hours, reading the Bible or just listening for the Lord.

October 06, 2006

It's Over

Horrible series, excruciating, painful.

It's over.

On the positive side: we have the Cy Young pitcher and the Batting Title.

PLUS there's always next year!

Thank you, Mr. Radke.

October 05, 2006

Gardy Lays It Down

"This is a simple game.
You THROW the ball.
You HIT the ball.
You CATCH the ball"

Tomorrow we have an important game. Don't *!*@&&!! piranhas *%@!!$ Hunter *!@@$#!!!!

Cathy_of_Alex in Ecstacy

St. Catherine of Alexandria by Bernardo Strozzi

This evening I went to see A Passion for Paintings: Old Masters from the Wadsworth Atheneum at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA).

Wonderful, awesome, beautiful!!

I HIGHLY recommend this exhibition if you have any interest in Italian Baroque, Italian Renaissance and religious oil paintings

I was beside myself. I may even see it again and buy an exhibition catalogue. I've been an MIA member for 16 years and I've never even thought about buying an exhibition catalogue.

A seafaring painting by Turner, a landscape by Gainsborough, 2 paintings of my patron saint, Catherine of Alexandria, that I'd never heard of, a Caravaggio of St. Francis in Ecstacy (It was great but The Taking of Christ remains my favorite Caravaggio), 2 paintings of the Holy Family, numerous examples of Caravaggio's influence, paintings from Greek and Roman mythology, scenes of Rome, several paintings of saints: including one of St. Ursula that was very powerful.

The exhibition is at the MIA until January 7, 2007. Information on the show is here

October 04, 2006

My Experience with the Twin Cities Church of Christ

Gentle Reader: I have mentioned a couple of times that I left the Catholic Church for a time. During that time, I belonged to, what could be called, an evangelical church. This particular church has been called a cult by many. From my experience, I agree, that it is a cult.

The church was called the Twin Cities Church of Christ (TCCC). It has no affiliation with the United Church of Christ. In fact, most churches banned TCCC from their premises and went out of their way to state their lack of affiliation with TCCC. Twin Cities Church of Christ was part of the International Church of Christ (ICC) founded in Boston in the mid-1980's by Kip McKean. ICC was banned on many college campuses around the nation.

I'm using the past-tense because the ICC underwent a major shake-up a few years ago when Kip McKean left. The ICC splintered into three seperate groups. I'm not sure what their current status is or the current status of the TCCC.

But, I want to tell you about them so you can learn from my experience because there are probably similar groups around. Also, I have read that my experience with TCCC is very close to the experiences of other former members.

I was a member of the TCCC for about one year in the early 1990's. I was about 22 years old.

At this time, I was technically Catholic but I was hardly attending church. I was in college. I went to the College of St. Catherine, which is a college for women that is technically Catholic, but, well, I'll save them for later. I was still living at home with my parents because it was too expensive for me to afford college and an apartment. I was also working full-time.

I got into TCCC because a cute guy that I worked with, D, invited me to one of their services.

TCCC Sunday services are held in "house churches". There is no building dedicated to them. TCCC did not buy or build their own churches. You met in the homes of other TCCC members. Once/week all the area house churches may meet together in a rented hall or building. Usually on a Wednesday evening. Wednesday evenings were members-only services. Meaning you had to be a baptized member of the TCCC to go on Wednesday night. Sundays were house church meetings open to members and non-members.

So, I met D at a high-rise apartment building in downtown Minneapolis. The first service I went to was in an apartment of one of the higher-ranking member couples. This married couple was not much older then I was. They had no children. The wife's parents were, for want of a better term: elders in the area church. The house church wife did not work. Her husband was in engineering school at the U of MN. They had no children. I remembered wandering how this young, married, couple just
starting out could afford an apartment in this particularly expensive building when neither of them worked and much of their free time was devoted to church activities. But, I pushed those thoughts out of my mind. The husband did the "preaching". There was no ordination per se. Honestly, I have no idea what, if any, kind of training the preachers received or why they were chosen. There was no school for them. Only men may preach in TCCC.

There were about 25 people at the service. Almost all of them were people close to my own age. Equal numbers of men and women. I was surrounded from the "get-go". Everyone knew I was new. D introduced me around. I was, I'm now ashamed to say, flattered by the attention. The service was all preaching straight out of the Bible. It seemed random to me. The preacher seemed to pick a passage that he liked that week and read it and talked about it. I don't remember there being anything resembling a communion. Though a meal was shared afterwards. The singing was a capella. Lots of clapping and jumping around. Everyone carried a Bible and referred to it during the service.

They had me at hello. Why? I craved the attention. I was never "cool". I'm still not, but my public school humiliations were still very close to the surface at the age of 22. Here I was, Ms. Burn-out, Former Fat Chick, and a cute guy was
noticing me. I did not even go to my high school prom for crying out loud! Good looking, smart people, my own age wanted to talk to me!

I ended up giving them my phone number. Well, I gave D my number and he passed it on. That afternoon a woman, K, phoned me. She wanted to meet with me that week. We met for the first time at a buffet restaurant in Richfield. Eventually, we ended up meeting several times a week and on Sundays for house church. Then, we hung-out after house church on Sunday for Scripture study. She gave me a Bible. I was too ignorant at the time to realize it was a Protestant Bible. I did not know the difference. I noticed later a few books were missing but I did not ask K about it.

TCCC literally interpreted the Bible. The Bible says what it says. That's what I was told. Now, I'm smart enough to know that I'm not sure who's interpretation of Scripture TCCC used (Kip McKean?). But, it was made clear to me, by the "appropriate" biblical references, that anyone not TCCC was going to hell (including my own family), marriage and dating a non-TCCC member was forbidden, evangelization must be done at all times, you must give 10% of your income to TCCC, and don't ask any questions or your faith will be perceived as weak and they will cast you out.

Very quickly, I was baptized into the TCCC. My Catholic Baptism did not count. I was baptized in a swimming pool in a downtown high-rise. Then, I got to be called "Sister" and I got to attend the Wednesday evening services.

I was very good at evangelization. It was quickly determined that I should go to the Southdale Mall every Sunday after services and invite people to services. I remember walking up to complete strangers and inviting them to come to services. I was successful on a few occasions. I was taught not to fear doing this because fear while doing the Lord's work is bad. I never went alone anyway. Someone always went with but they sat in the Food Court and had a drink while I went out and "invited". I had to tell them how many people I invited, how many accepted etc. before we left.

In the meantime, my Mom was becoming alarmed at the amount of time I was spending with TCCC. I was with them almost every day. My studies were suffering. But, I was told that college is not as important as the Lord. I was dating, a lot. But, always TCCC men.

However, questionable things were happening and I was starting to notice them.

* I "dared" to turn down the opportunity to meet with some of the "sisters" a few times because I had homework to do. I got a phone call of rebuke from the house church wife.

* My Mom, in an effort to protect me, started telling "them" I was not available and then K told me I should seriously think about moving in with some of the "sisters". Many of the "sisters" lived together in multiple room apartments. The "brothers" had apartments like that too. I had no desire to live with anyone other then my family so I delayed by saying I'd think about it.

* K shared her story with me and it became clear to me that she was mentally and emotionally unbalanced. K really needed counseling. She came from an abusive home. She fled home at a young age and she used to live with a man 20 years her senior. She felt like the church saved her. I sometimes think and pray about K and I hope she's alright. It occurred to me that a lot of the "sisters" had similar stories.

* D revealed himself to be paranoid in a very scary way. I was talking to him with a friend of mine (she was not a church member. In fact it's my Mormon friend that I've blogged about before) and out of nowhere he accused us of talking about him and laughing at him. Neither of us were doing either. He would not leave it alone and went on for about 5 minutes. His face got very evil looking. Then he stormed away. My friend and I looked at each other like what was that? If the Devil has a human face, that has to be it. I avoided him after that. Not easy to do, since he was around me nearly every day at this point.

* They started demanding I increase my tithe amount. I could not afford it because I was paying for college. I was told college did not matter. K let slip in a way she thought was cute: "That, I'd probably be married soon anyway" I was not ready at that point in my life to be married to anyone. Then she indicated she meant D! By now, D scared the **** out of me. I told her no way and what had happened. She dismissed my concern.

* I was being asked what "brothers" I liked. Mysteriously, the brother in question would call me for a date. Hmmmm, how did he know? I quit confiding in K or any of the leaders because it was clear I could not trust them. Then, I was rebuked for not being open. I was also discouraged from saying no to any dates with any brothers; even if I was not interested in them.

I'm cutting this short because I don't want this to be the world's longest blog post!

Eventually, a friend (yes, the same Mormon buddy) helped me see the truth through her eyes (the eyes of an impartial outsider can sometimes be a great thing). I told K I did not want anything to do with them anymore. She started crying. But, I was firm. My Mom was nearby when I was on the phone. She could not help but overhear me. I did not tell her I was planning to leave them. She was so relieved she was almost crying. That was not quite the end. For about 2 weeks they were showing up at my house and calling me at work. Eventually, they gave up. I am, now, anathema to them. I saw a couple of the members a few times after I left at Southdale Mall!They completely ignored me-as they are taught to do.

Despite my membership in TCCC I was still going to Mass once and awhile. I was so ignorant of Catholic teachings that I did not know there was anything wrong with my dual lifestyle. Yes, I was still receiving Communion. I only recently Confessed this whole period in my life. It's strange but I had almost completely blanked it out until I started blogging.

Well, so, I went back the Catholic Church right? Sort of. I ended up at St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis. I think the same things that attracted me to TCCC attracted me to SJA. The hospitality, the welcoming attitude, the "cool" music, the sense that you are living out the Faith in word and deed. I was so ignorant. I look back on this period of my life and I'm ashamed of my stupidity.

I also have a fair amount of anger to go along with my feeling of stupidity. If the folks entrusted with teaching me the Catholic Faith were doing their jobs, would I have spent 35 years of my life in darkness? I'm not sure, I'm leaving my parents off the hook either. My Mom and Dad never bothered to ask what I was learning in CCD or in Catholic college about the Faith.

Random question: At what point does institutional responsibility outweigh personal responsibility? or vice versa? I can accept, up to a point, that I had a personal responsibility as a Catholic to read about the Faith on my own. However, the institution had a responsibility to teach me correctly. I spent 23 years of my life in school, I did not have a lot of time for extracurricular reading.

I was lucky. I was able to leave TCCC because I had a strong, stable and loving family to go back to. Most of the TCCC members did not. TCCC became the family they never had. Similarly, I was able to leave SJA because of the Catholic family that I did not know I had: all you online Catholic folk!

October 02, 2006

Sports Weekend

Photo: Jim Mone/AP

What a weekend! Twins win the AL Central.... Out of gas in Kansas (NASCAR).... Hometown boy, Joe Mauer (a catcher!), wins the Batting Title.

October 01, 2006

Spring and Fall

For Sr. Thomas More, CSJ (Margery Smith), a view and a poem through the windows of Whitby Hall 20 years ago this month!

Spring and Fall

to a young child

MÁRGARÉT, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89). Poems. 1918.
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