December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Hey, Vincenzo here's some more of my party music! Happy New Year everyone!

Cathy's Catholic Awards 2007

Gentle Reader: Welcome to my 2nd Annual Catholic Awards 2007! There are 2 categories:

1) Catholic of the Year : Honoring the male or female Catholic who, in my opinion, was a real hero for the faith during the calendar year.

2) Dissident Catholic of the Year : Dishonoring the male or female Catholic who, in my opinion, discredited the faith during the calendar year.

Last year's awardees:

2006 Catholic of the Year: Bishop Robert C. Morlino of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin

2006 Dissident Catholic of the Year: Emmanuel Milingo

Catholic of the Year 2007

The Supreme Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning.

It seems like a no-brainer to vote for the Pope. A long-time family phase meaning that's a no-brainer has always been: "Is the Pope Catholic?" Sometimes, it seems like the Pope is the ONLY Catholic around.

This was, in my humble opinion, a monumental year for the Holy Father. I think 2007 was the year that the Holy Father really emerged from the legend of Pope John Paul II and the world saw Benedict XVI as his own man. Despite the fact that he is the current leader of the Roman Catholic world, Benedict XVI remains, very much, the teacher he has always been.

This year, the Holy Father published an encyclical Spe Salvi , and a book: Jesus of Nazareth . He educated us, weekly, on the Fathers of the Church, restored dignity and reverence to Papal Masses, issued a major document reiterating that priests have the right to pray the Mass according to the 1962 Missale Romanum if they desire to do so. He did all this and, contrary to what his detractors think, he is not killing the Second Vatican Council rather, he is methodically saving it from death by distortion.

I pray the Holy Father has many years to share his wisdom and knowledge with us.

Dissident Catholic of the Year 2007

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of the State of California

You can't be blamed for not realizing before now that, yes, Mr. Schwarzenegger is Roman Catholic. If you went solely by his public record as Governor of one of the largest states in the U.S.A. it is hard to tell what his faith actually is.

His list of "accomplishments" for 2007:

*Supporting human embryonic stem-cell research
*Signing legislation that outlaws terms from the public schools like "husband and wife" and "mom and dad" as being too exclusionary.
*Has stated publicly that the "legal" mode of marriage as we understand it as between a man and a woman could be abolished legislatively

You may think: who cares he's a statesmen. You may think: big deal, I don't live in California. True. But, it has happened that what becomes law in some of our larger states: Texas, New York, California et. al. can also leech its way into other states. Politicians with a anti-family or anti-life agenda see this stuff pass, or in some cases nearly pass, in the big states, and think they can implement it elsewhere too.

December 30, 2007

Withold Not My Heart From Any Joy!

Now I know what became of my Mom's old curtain sheers! Oh, happy day!

December 29, 2007

Pretini and Madame Vigee-LeBrun

This is a fun print:

Mario Giacomelli, Pretini, Italy c. 1962

It's currently on view at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts as part of the Search to See, Part II: Photographs from the Collection of Frederic B. Scheel thru March 30 in the Harrison Photography Gallery.

IMHO, the MIA has one of the best photography collections in the world. Well worth a visit if you've never been.

The MIA just acquired this pastel by Elisabeth Louise Vigee-LeBrun, Vue de lac du Challes au Mont

I thought of Elena Maria Vidal when I saw this pastel. Madame Vigee-LeBrun is best known for her oil portraits of Marie Antoinette. Vigee-LeBrun painted Marie Antoinette's portrait 30 times. Little is known about Vigee-LeBrun's landscapes or her work in pastels which is part of what makes the acquisition of Vue de lac Challes au Mont so exciting. On February 14th, Joseph Baillio, a scholar and biographer of Vigee-LeBrun's who is working on the definitive catalogue of her work, will be giving a lecture at the MIA at 11:00 a.m in the Pillsbury Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public. I'm going to try to run over there for my lunch hour if I can manage it.

December 28, 2007

One for Vincenzo

You'd never know it, but, buddy, I'm a kind of poet.....

December 25, 2007

Christmas Customs

On one of my favorite blogs, Father Zuhlsdorf, requests that his readership post, in the comments, what their Christmas customs are.

There are some really interesting and beautiful customs there.

However, the request made by Father, in all kindness, upset and saddened me. I spent a very restless evening trying to sleep and let it go.

It occurred to me that my family has no, regular, Christmas customs. We tried. My Mom, in particular, tried. Unfortunately, as the revolving cast of our family changed as people passed away, moved away, seperated themselves from the family for one reason or another, it was difficult to implement Christmas customs.

I know I'm feeling sorry for myself and I honestly admit that I'm envious of people who have a stable enough family environment that they CAN have Christmas customs.

I'm ashamed to admit that my Christmas custom, for many years, consisted of ignoring the Lord.

How many Christmasses did I stay in bed rather than go to Mass? How many Christmasses did I go to a movie instead of Mass? How many Christmasses did I waste in sin? How many Christmasses where if it were not for the sudden appearance of It's a Wonderful Life on TV would I have even known it was Christmas? How many Christmasses did I feel like it was more Calvary than Bethlehem?

I spent a lot of Christmasses crying my eyes out, barely able to stand. I wonder now if my trials, then, would have been easier if I had consciously united my sufferings with His? If I reflected upon the adversity of the Holy Family this time of year would the agonies of my family life been easier to bear?

Some days, I want to go back. I want to go back to it all and relive it again as I am now. I want to live thru it in prayer. I want to carry the Cross with Christ-strong. Not whimpering and wailing: "Oh, poor me"

I consider, now, that even though I had abandoned Christ, He had not abandoned me. He and my Angel were closer to me then I realized. That knowledge is devastating to me. That is what makes me sad. That is why I was unsettled all night. I know, now, what I did. It's like a friend standing near waiting patiently to speak with you and you ignore them in your heedless need to talk to someone else. Then, you are devastated when you realize later that you ignored your friend in your pathetic desire to please someone else. Someone else who did not matter to you as much as your friend. If only you could go back and erase that moment when you hurt your friend.

We can't. I can't. I can't go back. But, I can go forward. It took the infancy of my life in Christ to realize the enormity of my errors. I am, in many ways, a child. I'm 39 years old but I feel like I was just born. I was so ignorant and so blind for so long.

This Christmas I'm starting a new custom. I resolve going forward thru all the Christmasses that may remain to me on this earth to continue to grow and to live and to learn the Christian life. Being with The Christ is the only Christmas custom that really and truly matters.

Venite Adoremus!

Blessed Christmas to All!

December 24, 2007

The Road Runs In, Too

Intriquing and unique editorial in the Pioneer Press today. The online date says Dec. 21 but it just made the print edition today.

David Paul Deavel, associate editor of Logos, a journal published from the University of St. Thomas (where they know from controversy these days!), talks about the good news of the adult convert to Catholicism. Press reports to the contrary, the Faith is alive and attractive.

Family Visit to Santa

Today's the last day to visit Santa before he takes off on his gift rounds. I went to the Mall with a couple of my blog buddies (shown here)!

I won't tell you what I asked Santa for. Since Terry usually dresses based upon some "theme", I would guess he asked for a shotgun and that wascally wabbit. I'm not sure what Ray asked for. He's not talking much these days. I'm actually rather concerned for Ray since, obviously, that diet he's on has caused him to shrink alarmingly. Maybe he was asking Santa for his height back or perhaps a copy of Minnesota's Lemon Law for used cars.

December 23, 2007

John 21: 15-17

Ray found another letter by our soon to be Shepherd, Coadjutor Archbishop John Nienstedt. The letter was in the StarTribune . I'm glad Ray is monitoring that rag because I don't.

I'm so excited and happy that the Lord has chosen His Excellency to be our new leader. Sure, there is the excitement of new possibilities. Maybe, I'll be disappointed eventually. I pray not. I hope not. But, there is "something" in the air. An anticipation. An electricity. Perhaps, I'm the only one who thinks so, but, I doubt it, as the opposition is acting rather panicked these days.

I love that His Excellency is taking the fight right where it lies: in the newspapers. His Excellency appears to be savvy enough to realize that, unfortunately, most people are getting Catholicism from the newspapers rather then from a Catachism.

It's Harder to Be a Sinner in the City?

Gentle Reader: I have houseguests for the holidays. Many of you probably do as well. As is often the case with my guests, not everyone may be Catholic or they may be Catholic but lack the fire in the belly, know what I'm sayin'?

There is always a slug-a-bed who lolls about in bed, gets up, and sees that I'm still around in my p.j's. and thinks that I'm not going to bring up the subject of attending Holy Mass today. They think they are "off the hook" because they slept in. Perhaps, in their town they only have one Mass offered on Sunday so if they sleep late they miss it.

Here I am in my most annonying slap-me-now-sweet-honey-in-the-rock voice: "Fear not, honored guest, the Lord has given us bounteous opportunity for Holy Mass today!" Then, I run thru our remaining Mass time options. ROFL! Poor sweeties, their faces look so crestfallen. LOL!

I shouldn't laugh because I used to be the same way. I should be sad, and I am, that some think going to Mass is an obligation as opposed to a privilege. They think it's torture, not enjoyable. They think because they already know they are going to HAVE to go again in another day for Christmas that they should not HAVE to go today too. Wrong!

Yet, in my deviousness, I can't help but laugh at their faces when I gleefully tell them we are still going. I'm all but rubbing my hands together with joy.

Now, we all have to fight over my single bathroom to get ready. *sigh*

Hey, see ya in church!!

December 22, 2007

The Advent Gift

Gentle Reader: Sorry, I've been scarce for a few days. "If I had but world enough and time this blog silence, friend, would be no crime"

I've been having all kinds of difficulties getting my Dad's Christmas gift. I will not post what it is here since some of you know him and some of you, well, may spill the big bag of beans.

My adventures involved retailers too numerous to mention. Items returned for defects or not being what I requested. Middle of the night phone calls picked up by the de rigueur off-shore call center in India. (Thank you to Amit and Mandeep for their help!)

In all this lunacy, I lost the true meaning of the season. I became so consumed in getting a gift for my Dad that I forgot about The Father's gift to me: His Son.

I went to one of our wonderful Perpetual Adoration chapels last night. Wouldn't you know, someone did not show up and I had to stay to cover an extra hour so the Blessed Sacrament would not be left alone. Not the first time this has happened. I used to grumble about it. Now, I've come to see it as a great honor and a gift. Extra one-on-one time with the Lord. No gift is better then that.

December 19, 2007

Ymbren-Da gas

Fasting days and Emberings be
Lent, Whitsun, Holyrood, and Lucie.

The Ember Days.

The fasting of the Quatretemps, called in English Ember days, the Pope Calixtus ordained them. And this fast is kept four times in the year, and for divers reasons. For the first time, which is in March, is hot and moist. The second, in summer, is hot and dry. The third, in harvest, is cold and dry. The fourth in winter is cold and moist. Then let us fast in March which is printemps for to repress the heat of the flesh boiling, and to quench luxury or to temper it. In summer we ought to fast to the end that we chastise the burning and ardour of avarice. In harvest for to repress the drought of pride, and in winter for to chastise the coldness of untruth and of malice. The second reason why we fast four times; for these fastings here begin in March in the first week of the Lent, to the end that vices wax dry in us, for they may not all be quenched; or because that we cast them away, and the boughs and herbs of virtues may grow in us. And in summer also, in the Whitsun week, for then cometh the Holy Ghost, and therefore we ought to be fervent and esprised in the love of the Holy Ghost. They be fasted also in September tofore Michaelmas, and these be the third fastings, because that in this time the fruits be gathered and we should render to God the fruits of good works. In December they be also, and they be the fourth fastings, and in this time the herbs die, and we ought to be mortified to the world. The third reason is for to ensue the Jews. For the Jews fasted four times in the year, that is to wit, tofore Easter, tofore Whitsunside, tofore the setting of the tabernacle in the temple in September, and tofore the dedication of the temple in December. The fourth reason is because the man is composed of four elements touching the body, and of three virtues or powers in his soul: that is to wit, the understanding, the will, and the mind. To this then that this fasting may attemper in us four times in the year, at each time we fast three days, to the end that the number of four may be reported to the body, and the number of three to the soul. These be the reasons of Master Beleth. The fifth reason, as saith John Damascenus: in March and in printemps the blood groweth and augmenteth, and in summer coler, in September melancholy, and in winter phlegm. Then we fast in March for to attemper and depress the blood of concupiscence disordinate, for sanguine of his nature is full of fleshly concupiscence. In summer we fast because that coler should be lessened and refrained, of which cometh wrath. And then is he full naturally of ire. In harvest we fast for to refrain melancholy. The melancholious man naturally is cold, covetous and heavy. In winter we fast for to daunt and to make feeble the phlegm of lightness and forgetting, for such is he that is phlegmatic. The sixth reason is for the printemps is likened to the air, the summer to fire, harvest to the earth, and the winter to water. Then we fast in March to the end that the air of pride be attempered to us. In summer the fire of concupiscence and of avarice. In September the earth of coldness and of the darkness of ignorance. In winter the water of lightness and inconstancy. The seventh reason is because that March is reported to infancy, summer to youth, September to steadfast age and virtuous, and winter to ancienty or old age. We fast then in March that we may be in the infancy of innocency. In summer for to be young by virtue and constancy. In harvest that we may be ripe by attemperance. In winter that we may be ancient and old by prudence and honest life, or at least that we may be satisfied to God of that which in these four seasons we have offended him. The eighth reason is of Master William of Auxerre. We fast, saith he, in these four times of the year to the end that we make amends for all that we have failed in all these four times, and they be done in three days each time, to the end that we satisfy in one day that which we have failed in a month; and that which is the fourth day, that is Wednesday, is the day in which our Lord was betrayed of Judas; and the Friday because our Lord was crucified; and the Saturday because he lay in the sepulchre, and the apostles were sore of heart and in great sorrow. --The Golden Legend or Lives of the Saints by William Caxton, A.D. 1483

December 17, 2007

Workplace Truth with a Dose of Hilarity

I was at work today, just chattin' with the gals, when a young chickie (barely 25) on my team says to me in all seriousness:

"You know, Janice, you use a lot of big words. I don't understand 1/2 of what you say."

First, I was speechless (It is, truly, a season for miracles is it not?)


December 16, 2007

My Top 10 Meme

The Carolina Canonball a.k.a, The Crescat sent me a note saying she'd tagged me for a "My Top 10 Meme". I was happy because I thought it meant a list of the Top 10 people who tick me off and this was an excuse to rant about them publicly!!! (Oh, and if you have not ventured over to The Crescat's blog to vote on the most wretched liturgical abominations ever visioned in fabric you should do that!)

But, no, it's a list of what I consider to be my top 10 blog posts. It's not that I think I'm a great genius, it's that I feel like I should have a hard time looking like I think I am. (i.e. here are my top 10 flashes of overpowering aptitude!!!!)Although, I have to be honest, I really do think I'm smart (a--)!! Ha-Ha-Ha! Seriously, would any of us be blogging if we didn't think we were, and truly are, brilliant egomaniacs?

Here's the list of, what I consider to be, my greatest hits from my back catalog (in no particular order)! I picked this 10 with an eye towards giving an overview of what I'm "about". It contains the usual themes my readers have come to know, fear, ridicule, dispute and weary of: appropriate attire, my background, men need to be men, my outrageousness, and my heavy reliance on legal stimulants.

1) Gang Colors at Holy Mass
2) Attire at Holy Mass
3) Men's Movement and Collaborative Ministry
4) The Recovering Dissident Catholic
5) All Fools Day
6) Everyone Else is Going Up so I Should be Able to
7) Cathy's Multiple Choice Quiz (a.k.a. I'd Rather Be At Adoration)
8) Cathy's Dream
9) I am Peter
10) Serious Evil

I tag: Adoro, Angela, , Ray, Terry , The Hadleybloggers, Swissmiss, and Vincenzo!!! (Vin: I'm curious what you believe your Top 10 images are.)

Vincenzo's Blog

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Vincenzo, the official photoshopper of What Does the Prayer Really Say? and official graphic artiste of my blog, has his own blog.

It's called Sancte Pater , check it out!!!

Vin's timing is excellent because I'm going to tag him for a meme later! Bwah-ha-ha-ha!

December 15, 2007

Home for the Hostilities: Cathy's Tips for a Joyous Christmas with the Family!

I know we have some time before Christmas but it's never too early to plan ahead and many of you will start your holiday travels this week. Here are my tips for making your family holiday surviv, er, joyous!

1) Don't leave your house! (Terry submitted this one)

2) Go to church and stay there!

3) Prepare your response to your Lutheran in-laws desire to go up and receive Communion at a Catholic Christmas Mass beforehand. It starts with: NO! But, you may want to charitably expand on that a little beyond "No, you heretic!"

4) Leave your guns at home. I know some of you are saying: "If I don't bring my weapons, I'm leaving myself unable to answer the family assault" Remember: "Let peace begin with me" and "offer it up". See #5 and #7

5) Make sure you have no serious sins on your soul before you get there-just in case it gets ugly.

6) Have your dentist's emergency number handy in case you have to bite into Aunt Tilly's fruitcake and your teeth splits again. See #7

7) Know where the nearest ER is and how to get there-See #10

8) Bring your traveling Catholic items: Rosary, Bible, prayer book, holy water, crucifixes, exorcism salt.

9) Read up on all current sporting events/news so you can drop little tidbits to make it sound like a you give a da-- about any of it.

10) Know where the nearest Catholic church is and what their Mass and Confession times are. Also, plan how you are are going to get there.

11) Study the weather patterns for the next week and the last week in the area. Weather can be a safe topic of conversation-assuming no one brings up the name of Al Gore then all bets are off.

12) Have an escape plan! It can be as simple as a room to retreat to for quiet recitation of one hundred Hail Mary's to calm yourself. Or, it can be running to a neighbors house, sleeping in the unheated garage with the below zero ready sleeping bag you brought, or having the routes to the nearest hotel mapped out.

I pray these 12 tips help you have a happy and blessed holiday!

Terry Models his Mass Attire

Terry is really sad today. Please remember him in your prayers.

Terry's sad because the pastor at his parish called him aside and told him he was not dressed appropriately for Holy Mass. His attire was too modest, too distracting, too loud, and too disruptive.

You ask: What was he wearing? Zubaz and a tank top? A fig leaf (only)? A see thru mesh wife-beater? Jeans? Flip-flops? A full tuxedo? A suit and tie?

Er, no.

The pastor's case is as follows:

* It takes too long to get up the aisle for Communion in that get-up. I'm trying to keep the Mass under one hour!
* The sound of you trying to kneel during the Consecration is louder then the airplane's going by overhead to MSP!
* Mildred is tired of performing the service of squire by helping you navigate around and get up on your feet from kneeling. She's 92 for crying out loud!
* We still aren't sure when we'll be able to replace the candle stand by the Sacred Heart statue!
* Bob's tired of cleaning up after your war horse. I'm tired of stepping in it.
*Let's not even talk about the Great Confessional Disaster of last week, shall we?

Terry's rejoinders:

Father, this outfit is as TRAD as it gets!!!!! Catholics dressed like this for centuries!!! Also, I don't have to worry about what condition my hair is in! AND, I don't have to talk to anyone and no one talks to me! I can actually pray and it's quiet in the church again! Really, as soon as I come in everyone is stunned into silence!!!!

Father remained unmoved.

Terry's final comment: "They don't even notice in San Francisco!"

Alas, to no avail. Terry will probably now be as sloppily attired as everyone else at Mass. It was a nice try though. I give him credit for trying to bring some of the reverence back.

A final view. *sigh* Isn't he handsome?

December 13, 2007

Father Dease's Response to Kersten Column

Father Dennis Dease, President of the University of St. Thomas responded to Katherine Kersten's column about the University of St. Thomas.

Father Dease's letter follows Archbishop Harry Flynn's letter

I got my information from Ray because I don't subscribe to, or regularly read, the local newspaper these letters appeared in. Thanks, Ray!

The accomplishment's Father Dease lists in his letter are worthy. I think he has done some phenomenal things during his tenure.

HOWEVER, Father STILL, like the Archbishop's letter before his, did not explain what assurances we have that the Board will always have a priest on it. Furthermore, should we fail to be concerned that the current Archbishop will not be the Chairman-as was the case historically?

Moreover, unless I'm completely mistaken, haven't the accomplishments Father listed occurred when a sitting Archbishop WAS Chairman of the Board of Trustees? Or, am I mistaken in assuming that the presence of our local Ordinary had any impact at all on the Board's decisions? Am I mistaken in thinking the Board had anything to do with any of the accomplishments? If that's the case, why bother to list them?

December 11, 2007

Sunday School

There's an interesting interview with Amy Welborn in the December issue of Catholic World Report

Mrs. Welborn says:

"Getting back to adult ed for a minute, it's a real problem in the Catholic Church. I think it's a crucial problem that we have to deal with. In Protestant churches, there is a tradition of adult Sunday school. I have Protestant relatives who hardly ever went to church service but they always went to Sunday school. We don't have that tradition, we don't have that expectation. We associate religious education with schools. So once you get through eighth grade, or once you graduate from high school, or once you get confirmed, that's it. We don't communicate to people that they have a responsibility to continue to be formed in their faith. Talk to any religous ed person who works with kids. They will say "We don't need the kids once a week for an hour; we need the parents once a week for an hour."

I think things are better now then they used to be in that there is more emphasis on apologetics. BUT, I think you have to look for it. I think Ms. Welborn is right, we are not getting people where "they live" at the Church. If people are there already, why NOT have an hour before or after Mass for adult learning? Children could have a seperate hour. I know it may give Father more work then he can handle but if there are qualified lay people? I know it's a touchy thing because when I say QUALIFIED laypeople, I mean Magisterium Catholics in good standing. I could probably put the same qualifier on some priests and nuns too.

If you don't keep the brain cells stimulated they start dying off. You have to keep the faith learning active too. There is SO much to learn. We have such a rich faith. It scares me when I think that I will never know all of it before I die. But, I feel compelled to try. Unfortunately, sometimes I feel like one of the few who care.

If they have an hour of teaching before or after Mass, of course, not everyone will go. It would probably help if they had the "social hour" with donuts and coffee at the same time. Maybe it would not have to be every week? I know some parishes have occasional adult learning evenings. But, most parishes have nothing for adult learning.


December 10, 2007

The End Times Are Nigh

Zubaz are back!!!!

December 09, 2007

The Limb Cracked

This week I stated in a blog post that I doubted Archbishop Harry Flynn knew that the University of Saint Thomas (St. Paul, MN) moved to make sure future Archbishops would not be Chairmen of the Board in future.

Yesterday, His Excellency responded to Katherine Kersten's column by, not explicitly confirming he was there, but stating there will always be a priest on the Board. Ray has the Archbishop's response.

I'm trying to write this post in a charitable manner conscious of the Archbishop's authority, but bear with me because I might get "lippy". I'll strive not to; but, you've been warned.

In my humble opinion, if this letter is truly by His Excellency, he's missed the point. The point is: future Archbishops will not be THE CHAIRMAN of the Board. He'll just be another guy on the Board. The Chair may be a layperson. The whole situation is a nearly perfect reflection of our society's relationship with the Church these days. No one should be in charge. It should be a democratic institution. We should get to elect our Church leaders, blah, blah, blah. Are all the board members even Catholics in good standing? I know, I shouldn't concern myself with silliness like that. If a Muslim politician wants to be elected to the Board at UST, I suppose I should be happy at the eyes he brings to the proceedings. I just bet they meet at a round table too.

What assurances do we have that Bishops and priests will continue to be on the Board? Is that in writing? What Bishops and priests? Think about it. Do they even have to be from this Archdiocese or have any affilation with UST?

If this is the democratic tack they are taking at UST, I feel like I should get to vote on who will be on the UST Board. I'm a Catholic in good standing, a resident of the Archdiocese. I see my former boss is a board member. I don't see how he has time for the Board since he spends a lot of his time cleaning up the stock backdating scandal he's been implicated in.

December 07, 2007


Gentle Reader: I'm fasting today for First Friday . It's tough for me. I changed jobs in late October and now I work for a major food retailer/wholesaler. The entire building is food, food, food. If we aren't getting food, we are talking food, studying food, analyzing food. You get the picture. I had to flee the building after my morning meetings. The temptation was building because today is #1 of 2 Holiday Potlucks! Good grief. Here I am away from the building, enjoying that marvelous modern invention: Wi-Fi (may its creators flourish and prosper)

I had an email from a blogging sister regarding a couple of RCIA questions.

Here are 2 of them:

* We (the congregation) are the Body of Christ
* We ask Christ to enter the bread and wine.

I know some people think I get REALLY hung-up on words (like in some of the letters I rip apart on this blog). I know, because I get email that says...well, it says they object and I need to calm down. (that's not what they really say but you get the gist of it)

Why do I do it?

Thanks to 3/4 of my life, I'm always conscious of the dissenting Catholic mind. I'm always aware of the words that they use to convey their take on Catholicism. I know that sometimes I'm probably wrong. Maybe they did not really mean what I assumed. However, I feel like it's safer to be cautious and cover both ends just in case. It can also serve notice, unfortunately, that you are aware of their tactics. Making the finite point, can also serve as a teaching moment too.

For example (here we go!):

*We (the congregation) are the Body of Christ-My response to this is that I think of the congregation as MEMBERS of the Body of Christ (like arms, legs, torso) but NOT the fullness of Christ in and of themselves. Christ is the head. The body cannot survive without the head. This should not be turned around to say Christ can't survive without us because he's the head and no body. Wrong. Christ is complete. It's WE that are not. We need Christ. He does not NEED us. Though, he desires us to come to Him very much, our absence is not necessary for His survival.

Why do I care? Because I've experienced first hand "We are the Body of Christ" interpreted to mean that the congregation are the most important entities in the church on Sunday and Christ is practically irrelevent to the gathering of the people.

*We ask Christ to enter the Bread and Wine: Weeeeellll, yes and no. The priest is the ONLY one who is supposed to be actually speaking the consecration out loud. The congregation SILENTLY unites their prayer with his.

Why do I care? Because I've attended Masses where the congregation is openly encouraged to speak the words of consecration along with the priest. Huge no-no. The GIRM is quite clear on this point. The priest is the only one with the power and authority to speak the words out loud and ask Christ to come. Sure, I could speak but just because I'm capable of speech does that mean I should? I'm not going to bring anything "extra" to this particular mystery unfolding by verbalizing it. If I speak does that mean Christ is not going to come? I doubt it as long as Father is speaking. However, can we please have a moment of silent awe? Please. One of the greatest mysteries ever is unfolding before our eyes. We should be speechless before it.

First Friday Fast Intentions

* Solidarity with the Dallas bloggers for an end to abortion.

* For the continued effective leadership of Coadjutor Archbishop John Nienstedt.

* For the intentions and the health of Archbishop Harry Flynn

* For the intentions of Father Patrick J. Ryan

* For the intentions of Father Vincent Colon

* For the intentions and the health of Father William Baer

* For the intentions of the Holy Father

* For a return to orthodoxy at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.

* For those struggling with same sex attraction that they are called to the moral life in Christ offered by Holy Mother Church

* For the health of Adoro te Devote's mother and an end to Adoro's tribulations.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, pray for us!

December 06, 2007

Wanderer Weighs In

The Wanderer's December 6th issue has the first of a 2 part story on the University of St. Thomas by Paul Likoudis as well as a story on the St. Francis Cabrini/Fr. Leo Tibesar/Archbishop Nienstedt showdown.

Chant Schola Is Back!

The Chant Schola is back again! They will be chanting for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at the 8:30 a.m. Mass this Saturday, December 8th at St. Anthony of Padua, 813 Main St NE in Minneapolis. Confessions are heard from 7:45-8:10, Devotions, including a Rosary, begin at 7:30 a.m.

8 Random Things About Me Meme

Tom in Vegas tagged me an 8 Random Things about Me Meme.

1) I am Cranky and Catty most of the time. Ask anyone, except, Terry! LOL!
2) I despise people who say some wackadoo piece of insane baloney but when you ask them for a reference OR justification OR a coherent explanation they are unable to deliver.
3) I used to be the person in #2 so you can see I'm long on judgemental, short on mercy at times.
4) I am as outspoken and inappropriate in person as I can be on this blog. Actually, I'm worse in person.
5) I am NOT a recovering alcoholic (Terry!). I do enjoy a drink once and a while.
6) I am an occasional smoker. BUT, not cigarettes-cigars. Though, there have been times I have smoked cigarettes.
7) I am a stickler for appropriate apparel at Mass. I know I have that reputation in blogdom. Believe it. It's all true. I usually look WAY overdressed at Holy Mass compared to almost everyone else and I don't care that I do-so there. BUT, I don't attack people at the door and make them change clothes. Oh, to have that power though...Tee-hee.
8) I was a member of St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis for about 20 years. Not only that, I was a pretty prominent member (very involved, well known). Now, I'm about as popular in that part of town as the HIV virus.

I tag: YOU!

Kersten Column on Univ. of St. Thomas

Ray has the story.

2 things I took away from the story:
1) Trustees were concerned that the incoming Archbishop would be too busy to be Chairman
2) No one is going on the record or sure if the Archbishop was actually, ASKED, if he would be too busy to be Chairman

I think any Archbishop would clear his calender to Chair meetings involving a Catholic college-especially, one that has the Seminaries on its campus.
I'm going to go WAY OUT on a limb (HA!) and publicly state I believe His Excellency was not even asked. Furthermore, I doubt the current, Archbishop Flynn, was informed of what the Board intended before they acted.

December 05, 2007

More Annotations than "The Waste Land"

Gentle Reader: Concerned Conscious for the Common Catholic Cathy here. I spent hours trying to decipher the references from a Letter to the Editor in today's Pioneer Press, I thought it would save you some time if I made a first crack at annotating one of them. I picked the first letter. Both letters are here

Annotations are marked by numerals in the paragraphs. The annotations follow the letter.

The letter:

Thank you for covering the public protest at the St. Paul Cathedral on Sunday. Your article alerted Catholics of Archbishop John Nienstedt's outdated condemnation
(1) of those of us who "encourage" gay and lesbian family/friends. We "are guilty of mortal sin." (2)YIKES! (3)

It sounds like he hasn't read current scientific and psychological data (4)(or the New Testament)(5). After 13 years of excellent Catholic education, countless religious retreats, books, meditations, (6)plus 50 years of Mass and Eucharist,(7) I am prepared to disagree with his edict.(8)

Perhaps he never met a faith-filled person of the GLBT community, (9)or maybe his life was never enriched by a friend/family member who was gay or lesbian (10). If not, he had better get out(11) into his (12)archdiocese, prepare to dialogue(13) and experience our riches. He may see another side of this issue, (14) and hopefully soften his (15) attitude. We can only hope ... and pray! (16)

Annotations for the first letter:
(1) assumes Archbishop has the authority, in this life or the next, to create the teachings on homosexual acts all on his own "his outdated condemnation"
(2)"Those who actively encourage or promote homosexual acts or such activity within a homosexual lifestyle formally cooperate in a grave evil and, if they do so knowingly and willingly, are guilty of mortal sin. They have broken communion with the church and are prohibited from receiving holy Communion until they have had a conversion of heart, expressed sorrow for their action and received sacramental absolution from a priest."-- Archbishop John Nienstedt column in Catholic Spirit November 15, 2007 Cathy's note: Notice H.E. says ACTS and ACTIVITY. There should not be a presumption that H.E. meant you can't, in general, encourage homosexuals. I.e. encouraging them to live a Christian life might be nice.
(3) DAMNATION! Emphatic meaning of "Yikes!"
(4) H.E. initiated chapters of Courage and Encourage in Detroit. Both groups are well-versed in the current studies of homosexual inclinations. I would bet H.E. is too.
(5) Lame attempt at referencing the "Jesus loved everyone, including sinners" tactic as a justification for why the Archbishop should wave his magic pen of power and overturn centuries of Church teaching. Claims that H.E. has been a Catholic his whole life and has never read the N.T.?!?!
(6) Carondelet Center
(7) Author is not claiming Mass and Eucharist are mutually exclusive. Rather, she is informing us that she has been receiving Communion.
(8) Author is trying to make us think she has not already been prepared, well before this letter, to disagree. Note: "his" edict.-see #1 above.
(9) Doubtful. See #4
(10) "The some of my best friends are GLBT argument" Red herring. So? I have a bunch of sinners in my family and among my friends too. Does that mean I should seek to change Christ rather then them?
(11) Threat?
(12) Ummmm...Archbishop Flynn is still alive and in charge, y'all. Besides, it's not really "his", Archdiocese, it's His-know what I'm sayin'?
(13)listen to circular arguments with no basis in faith or reason until you give in because we will not
(14)insinuation that H.E. has never before seen or heard the other side of this issue before
(15) See #1-assumption yet again that H.E. is the ONLY barrier to getting what they want
(16) Always a good idea. I'm praying too! But, it's probably not the same prayer.

This letter was really an eye-opener for me. I used to think like this author did. Now, I realize that if you believe that everyone has their own authority to individually decide what to, and not to, believe why do you care what the Archbishop thinks? Really? I'll tell you why. It's because deep down you DO recognize the authority he does have as Shepherd. Unfortunately, you fail to realize the authority he does NOT have as Shepherd. The Archbishop cannot give you the validation on this issue that you so desperately seek. You will never get it. Not from him. Not from Him.

December 04, 2007

This is the Week that Was

Oh, dear, it's only Tuesday. Gosh, why does this seem like the longest week, ever?! It's snowing again in the TC. It took me nearly 3 hours to get home from work and then I spent a 1/2 hour with one of the greatest inventions known to this Girl from the North Country: the snowblower.

I'm tired. What is there to say? Fear not, my readers, we will always have....

I'm tempted to have fun, BIG fun! This is a photo that just cries, no, SCREAMS, laughs, cajoles, begs, for Catty Cathy's commentary!!!!! But, you know what? I'm not going to.

Good night. Peace. Out.

PS: Father Z has the feared red pen of retribution out. Go! Read his commentary!

December 02, 2007

Romans 13:11-14

Gentle Reader: I wasn't going to go to the Cathedral of St. Paul today and catch the CPCSM's latest production of "I AM Church". However, I had this overwhelming urge to pray another Rosary and a Divine Mercy Chaplet in reparation for the offenses committed against Our Blessed Lady and Her Son by the actors in said production. I decided to go to the Cathedral to do so.

I decided to post on what I saw so you can get it straight from a witness who was there. I leave you to judge me reliable or not.

I arrived at the Cathedral at 2:00. The "play" was scheduled to start at 2:00 on the outside staircase. I saw one man outside with a rainbow flag and NO ONE else.

I went inside the Cathedral and knelt before Mary in her chapel. There were some staff members of the Cathedral in evidence. I'm sure they were there to make sure there was no "trouble" inside. May God bless them.

Gradually, I could perceive some commotion outside. More people must have arrived after I went inside. I could just barely hear them do the still-popular-after-all-these-decades variation of the Fish Cheer. I can't quite tell what they were spelling out. Probably not H-E-L-L since most dissidents refuse to believe in it anyway.

I prayed the Rosary in reparation and a Divine Mercy Chaplet. I threw in a few other prayers. I left about 2:40 p.m. I think there were about 100 people outside-that includes cameramen, press and the organizers of the event.

My car was surrounded by other cars with the following bumperstickers on them: Greenpeace, WAMM, Coexist, The Earth-Your Mother, Peace, Bring the Troops Home, Water: Every Drop is Holy-you get the picture.

The age ranges most of the people that I saw were maybe mid-40s to 60 years old. I saw very few people under 30. Even fewer under 20.

Do they even realize that their demographic is aging into death and is not being replaced? I'm not crowing about it because I don't think we should be complacent. Are we sure that the people their movement isn't getting, are coming to the side of Christ? Or, are they just falling away or going to other faiths? Those are the people we need to be praying for today. I should have.

I wonder of those people that were there on the steps: How many of them even know why they are there? How many are even Catholic-even CINO's? How many of them have even the vaguest conception of what they are protesting against? Can 2 of them even explain, truthfully, Christ's teaching on homosexuality as He said it? Not as the "producers" of this play tell them it is? How many of them just showed up because a buddy told them they should? How many of them showed up because they thought it sounded like a good idea? How many of them make it a habit to protest just for the sake of protest?

There are "professional" protesters around. They don't, necessarily, get paid to do it. Some people just like the comaraderie of protesting. True. Really. I used to see the same people at protests all the time. There's something bewitching about feeling like you are "sticking it to the man". 1/2 of them probably don't even know who "the man" is.

Funny. I was at a protest once and a gal that I recognized came over to me and asked me what this event was for. She couldn't remember. She was encouraged to come by someone she knew who believed as she did. She trusted him and she went. I looked at her and drew a blank. "I don't know", I said. We both laughed but, really, it wasn't funny. Some people are easily manipulated and coerced. Later, I wasn't laughing because I realized I was being used and I had no clue what for or why.

The stakes are higher but the questions remain: What are you doing? Why? Deep down how certain are you that you are living with Christ and for Christ?

December 01, 2007

Tales for the Kiddies

Terry's been telling some "uplifting" holiday stories lately. I thought that sounds like a fine idea!

*throat clearing*

Draw closer, my children, to the fire and have another cup of hot cocoa. When I was a young chickie, not much older then you are now, my Mom and her Dad used to entertain us with Tales of Krampus. I'm sure it was because my Grandfather was an immigrant from Poland. Krampus is a popular Yuletide character in the lands of Germany, Poland, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Krampus is a sidekick of St. Nikolaus. Yes, you probably all know St. Nick as Santa Claus!

Krampus is a rather sad and neglected character. I'm sure Krampus has built up a healthy dose of rage these days since he's so ignored. But, I bet "business" is good for Krampus these days, my kiddies. Oh, yes, indeed, business is good. Uh-hum, where was I? Oh, yes.

If you aren't a good child during Advent and if you don't say your prayers, Krampus is going to come in the night, put you in his sack and take you away. We will never see you again. If he's feeling merciful, he may decide to leave you with us. But, you will get a stick and an onion as Christmas gifts. The stick is to beat you. The onion is to rub in your eyes.

Sweet dreams. Good night.

Coadjutor Archbishop's Letter in the StarTribune

I got this letter from my buddy, Ray . I don't read the StarTribune. I'm grateful that Ray keeps up on all the local news.

Coadjutor Archbishop John Nienstedt responds to Nick Coleman's column (requires free registration) in the StarTribune.

In a Nov. 28 column, Nick Coleman accuses me of not being compassionate toward friends and relatives of persons with same-sex attractions. I vigorously deny the charge. For 13 years I prepared priesthood candidates for celebrating the Sacrament of Penance by counseling them to welcome persons with warmth, compassion and understanding. Anyone who has celebrated that same sacrament with me knows I follow my own advice.
What Coleman wants is for the church I represent to be accepting and compassionate toward homosexual acts and lifestyles. And that can never be.
Coleman further claims the Catechism of the Catholic Church does not say that homosexual acts are a "grave evil." What it does say is the following: "Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity (Genesis 19: 1-29, Romans 1: 24-27, 1 Corinthians 6: 10, 1 Timothy 1:10), tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' ... Under no circumstances can they be approved."
As a priest and bishop, I have the responsibility before God and in the name of Jesus Christ to call all men and women to conversion, the first step of which is recognizing sinful activity for what it is. Sometimes that is not a comfortable thing to do, but it is always the compassionate thing to do.

I'm really happy that I'm our new Archbishop is establishing himself as an outspoken teacher of the Faith. I think the media's distortions of our Faith need to be addressed head-on. I'm pleased that His Excellency appears to agree. Please remember His Excellency in your prayers. Pray for his continued effective leadership.


"Snowin' like a sumbit--" as my late Grandpa LaDuke would say.

Grandpa passed about 5 years ago. His birthday was in December. He was known for his non-PC opinions and for speaking his mind. He was also known for his huge, distinctive, laugh. He liked to tease people and joke around.

As I write that, it occurs to me that the apple does not fall far from the tree, hmmmm?

It's really coming down. Fast and blowing.
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