January 30, 2007

Cathy's Multiple Choice Quiz (a.k.a. I'd Rather Be at Adoration!)

"Ask yourself; Why do you seek the Cup of Christ? Is it for His glory, or for yours?"--Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

1) Why do you wear that chapel veil? Is it

a) to show appropriate reverence for Our Lord?
b) to look more pious then any other woman in the Church?
c) to hide my "bad hair day"
d) because I think I look lovely in it.
e) Not applicable. I'm a man, though I think I would look lovely in it!
f) Not applicable. I'm a man, and I'm not going to look like a sissy!

2) Why do you refuse to participate in the Sign of Peace during the N.O. Mass? Is it

a) because I have an infectious cold,
b) because I think the Sign of Peace is one of the many "errors" of the Church post-VII,
c) because I don't like touching ANYBODY ewww, you just don't know where that hand has been,
d) because I hate "that guy/gal" and I'm not shaking their hand-no way!
e) I always participate in the Sign of Peace when the priest asks us to.

3) Why do you insist on kneeling during the Sanctus at an Novus Ordo Mass in the United States of America?

a) Because I think it's reverent,
b) My knees just gave out
c) Because I think it's beef chips (Deep Curtsy to Fr. Auman of The Ask Father Question Box!) that the church does not mandate that everyone do it!
d) I remember the days when we had to with fond affection.
e) Not applicable. I stand.

4) Why are you beating your breast during the Agnes Dei?

a) To remind myself that I am a sinner and to ask for God's Mercy
b) Because I enjoy hurting myself
c) I want all the people in the church to see how devout I am
d) I think everyone should beat their breast and I'll show them how it's done!

5) Why do you hold hands during the Our Father?

a) I love my family and I want everyone to know it!
b) Everyone else is doing it so it must be o.k.
c) The guy next to me grabbed my hand and I did not want to hurt his feelings-even though I'm not comfortable with it.
d) I want to unite myself with the members of Christ's Body.
e) I saw the hand holding during the Lord's Prayer at an Evangelical service once and I thought it was really cool!

6) Why do you refuse to bow or kneel during the phrase: "BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, HE WAS BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY AND BECAME MAN" in the Creed?

a) I did not know we had to
b) My back hurts/my knees hurt
c) I think it's ridiculous that we are asked to
d) I don't know the words to the Creed so I usually just "space out" during that part of the Mass.
e) Not applicable. I always give the Incarnation its due reverence.

7) Bonus question: What's the point of this quiz?

a) I don't know.
b) There is no point.
c) Cathy be straight up trippin'!
d) I'm pretty sure Cathy is messin' with my head, I'm just not sure how or why and it scares me.
e) It's too freakin' cold to go outside this evening and Cathy needed something to do to keep her away from the refridgerator.
f) A,C,D and E.


Cathy's Commentary:

1)
a) Good answer!
b) Wrong answer!
c) Wrong answer! Get a new hairdresser!
d) Wrong answer! Vanity thy name is_____(your name here)!
e) Could go either way. I admire your piety, but I question your sexuality.
f) Good answer!

2)
a) Acceptable answer. I, personally, would prefer you not shake my hand if you are ill. I promise, I will understand!
b) Wrong answer! Face it, friend, we are not living in 1925 anymore!
c) Wrong answer! Bring Wet Wipes for yourself and get over it.
d) Wrong answer! It's called the Sign of PEACE, ok? Nuff said.
e) Good answer! With that, I hope you are not dashing all over the church in your quest to find a hand to shake. Stay in your seat and shake the hands of those nearest to you. It's not a popularity contest. It's a prepartion for Communion.

3)
a) Acceptable answer. The faithful do not have to kneel during the Sanctus for a Novus Ordo Mass. You can usually identify the Trindentine Mass fans at an N.O. They are the people kneeling during the Sanctus. I can't help but question their motives in bringing this Tridentine posture to the N.O. However, reverence, is a good thing!
b) Acceptable answer. Get to a doctor ASAP!
c) Wrong answer! If you are kneeling to make a "political statement" then your motivation is all wrong.
d) Wrong answer! You are, in essence, wishing that the last 40 years had never happened. Get over it.
e) Good answer! According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, in the U.S., the normal posture is standing. If you are at a Tridentine Mass you would be kneeling. However, for purposes of this question you are at an Novus Ordo Mass.

4)
a) Acceptable answer! Breast beating during the Agnes Dei is not required under either the Tridentine or Novus Ordo Masses. But, if you selected this your motives are good even if you are an oddball.
b) Wrong answer! Get professional help stat!
c) Wrong answer! You are not at the Mass to make a statement about your own personal holiness for all the faithful to see and be amazed. Better that the Lord see and be amazed.
d) Wrong answer! You are not at Mass to show off, nor to make a statement about how the official postures at the Mass should be changed because YOU want it to be so.

5)
a) Wrong answer! (Stop it, I can hear you howling!) Well, aren't you special? The very fact that you managed to get your family to attend Holy Mass together is all I, a stranger, need to see to know that you love each other.
b) Wrong answer! Legion was placed into a herd of pigs and they all ran into the lake and drowned together.
c) Acceptable answer. Maybe you don't want to be rude, but seriously, you should learn to say: no.
d) Acceptable answer. The USCCB is "conflicted" on the issue of hand-holding during the Lord's Prayer. Conflicted in that they don't explicitly say its wrong. But, does their lack of clarity, or silence, on this issue make it right?
e) Wrong answer! What were you doing at an Evangelical service anyway? I hope you did not use it as a substitute for Sunday Mass or a Holy Day of Obligation Mass. If so, you have a Confession to make.

6)
a) Wrong answer! You either need some serious Catholicism courses (check with your Priest) or you need to read your Missalette (where it says, very clearly, what you are supposed to be doing, and saying, and when). You DO have access to a Missalette, right? If not, buy one--NOW!
b) Acceptable answer! See a doctor. If this is a permanent condition, an inclination of the head (if you are able) is better then nothing.
c) Wrong answer! If you feel imposed upon by the Celebration that Christ handed down to us, I'm sure your stance will be duly remembered at the moment of your death-and not in a positive way.
d) Wrong answer! If you are "spaced out" during any point of the Mass and/or you just have not bothered to learn the recitation of the central tenets of Our Faith then you are in serious need of an education in Catholicism and/or a good swift kick in the keister (see your Priest or habited Nun for either)
e) Best answer yet!

7)
a) Acceptable answer! I can't fault anyone for being confused by me or my posts. Half the time, I don't know what I'm saying.
b) Wrong answer! There is always a method to my madness. Welcome to my insanity.
c) Good answer! I don't need drugs or alcohol to be silly. If you have figured that out, you are a true friend. And, sorry, to break it to you, but you probably need professional help.
d) Good answer! I admit I like to "mess" with people's minds.
e) Excellent answer! 8 degrees F with a minus 0 degree F wind chill. Heck, would YOU want to be outside? And, I certainly don't need to put on more weight.
f) Congratulations! You know me very well. Are you a single Catholic man between the ages of 35 and 45? If so, call me!

Points:
None. Originally, I cooked up this elaborate point system but I abandoned it. Why? We are living in the Age of the Spirit of Affirmation. I don't want anyone to feel bad if they don't score well. Sing it with me now: Feelings, whoa, whoa, whoa, feelings....

Also, There are several answers that are not technically correct but not technically wrong. If your attitude in all things is His glory that is at least partially acceptable. Even if you are completely wrong, at least you had the right mindset. If your answer was to glorify yourself then you are completely wrong because you have lost sight of the main point of Adoration: God. In my mind, you don't have to be at Eucharistic Adoration to adore the Lord. I am by no means faulting Eucharistic Adoration; I'm a huge fan and I do it a lot. You should be Adoring the Lord all the time, not just with the Blessed Sacrament exposed.

I ask myself: Why do I blog? Is it for His glory or for mine? I hope and I pray it's for Him but, sometimes, I KNOW it's not.

2007 Catholic Blog Awards

Deep curtsy to femmeblogger's Adoro te Devote and Happy Catholic for the heads up about the Blog Awards!

Nominations accepted Feb. 4 (noon CST) to Feb. 9 (noon CST). Voting will take place on Feb. 12-16th.

Categories are:

1. Best Overall Catholic Blog
2. Best Designed Catholic Blog
3. Best Written Catholic Blog
4. Best New Catholic Blog
5. Best Individual Catholic Blog
6. Best Group Blog
7. Best Blog by Clergy/Religious/Seminarian
8. Funniest Catholic Blog
9. Smartest Catholic Blog
10. Most Informative & Insightful Catholic Blog
11. Best Apologetic Blog
12. Best Political/Social Commentary Catholic Blog
13. Best Insider News Catholic Blog
14. Most Spiritual Blog

This Fall cyberCatholics.com will feature the all new Catholic Podcast Awards!

For more information: Cyber Catholics

January 29, 2007

Keep Custody of Your Eyes....

as Father Welzbacher of the Church of St. John in St. Paul (MN) likes to advise. With that in mind, I don't know what happened to Desperate Irish Housewife blog but when I clicked on her blog address a porn site popped up. I took the blog off my blogroll. DIH has not been blogging lately. Not sure what is going on. If anyone has any info, let me know. In the meantime, guard those eyes!

January 28, 2007

Catholic Village

This week is Catholic Schools Week. I've been thinking a lot about Catholic education lately.

A few months ago, I overheard a conversation between two executives in my company. One of them is a Lutheran, I don't know what the religious convictions are of the other executive. The Lutheran was telling the other his kids were in a Catholic school in the South Metro. The other was surprised. The Lutheran said: "Oh, don't worry, its not really....THAT way"

I was so mad I left the breakroom.

What the Lutheran meant was: "Don't worry. My kids are not exposed to Catholicism at this Catholic school. Thus, its ok for me, a Lutheran, to escape the public school system by sending my kids to this "Catholic" school".

I went to Sunday Mass yesterday evening. My pastor does an excellent job of really building up our parish school. He helps raise money, he publicizes the events, he "talks" it up from the pulpit. He also does more then that. He had an excellent homily where he incorporated the value of an authentic Catholic education. Primary parenting is done at home, but sometimes parents need help which is where the school comes in.

Then, he made a statement that I thought was really profound: "Catholic schools should NOT be used as just an escape from the public school system."

Father is right. Yet, our Catholic schools are used as escapes from the public school system. A lot of people, not just my company executives, don't like their neighborhood public school so they send their non-Catholic kids to the neighborhood Catholic school. Righly, confident, in so many cases, that their kids will never be exposed to Catholic teachings.

As Catholics, we have no one to blame but ourselves for the appalling fact that many of our schools, don't teach our Faith at all or barely.

How many of us, bother to ask the teachers what is being taught in the school? Even if you don't have kids in the school. The quality, or lack thereof, of Catholic teaching affects us all.

Are all the kids in the school taught the same thing? Or are "outs" allowed for the non-Catholics? Do the non-Catholics get a recess when the teachings about Mary are being done? Do the non-Catholics get to show up an hour later then the Catholic kids because they should not have to go to Mass? I think that by allowing these "outs" for non-Catholic kids we are really missing a chance for evangelization and conversion. Not only of the kids, but also, the parents.

I think it is wrong that non-Catholics can attend our schools but expect that they will not learn our Faith. I would not expect my kids to be enrolled in a Jewish school and never be exposed to Jewish teachings. Or a Lutheran school.

Then there are the Catholic schools with Catholic kids who teach the "watered down", generic, feel-good, no demands, Catholicism. Sin is never mentioned. The necessity of Confession is too scary. How the 10 Commandments fit in to the Faith is never emphasized. What the Mass means? Forget it. The Real Presence-that's too hard to grasp. Never mind the Trinity. These scheools are in error too.

Children are not dumb. They are made dumb when people treat them like they can't learn. Somehow, my paternal Grandparents, who never even went to high school (in fact, my Grandfather never went to school past 4th grade), were capable of grasping the fundamentals of the Catholic Faith.

Furthermore, there is the lamentable reality that many of the teachers in our Catholic schools are not Catholic at all or they are non-practicing. I see lots of job advertisements in Catholic schools that just ask for a teacher with a "respect for Catholic teachings" or "a spiritual person". This is how pagans, like Gabriel Ashley Ross, get their feet in the doors of our local schools. "Hey, I'm spiritual. I may be a Wiccan, but I'm spiritual."

The solutions to these problems will not be easy. I think it would help, a lot, if more Catholic parents made sure, at home, what their kids are learning in Catholic school. I, also, think that if more of us in the Catholic Village-even those, like me, with no children-stepped up, we could make a difference.

"It takes a village to raise a child"-just about the only thing Hillary Clinton has ever said that I agree with.

I have been feeling a strong call lately to go back to school and get a teaching license. I was in Adoration on Thursday and it hit me like a thunderbolt. A lot of librarians also have teaching licenses so they can be librarians in school libraries. I've been praying on this and will continue to do so. I'll keep you posted.

If I did this I would definitely be taking the some kind of Oath of Fidelity-even if I'm not a Theology teacher. I just want it to be made perfectly clear that no child is going to hear something contrary to church teaching from me-even if we are just talking in the school library. I would also work hard to make sure blasphemous materials or material contrary to our Faith are kept out of the library or severely restricted (i.e. access only if parental permission).

Pondering and praying.....

January 26, 2007

Catholic Spirit Part 3

A fine example of the fact that I always feel the need to "clear the air"...

The Catholic Spirit goes out of its way in every issue to not offend as many people as possible. The notable exception is their pro-life stance. I think that's why I'm disappointed with them in the Sen. Torres Ray profile. The Catholic Spirit's pro-life stance is, frankly, one of the few Catholic issues that they are typically very strong on a consistent basis.

Since I became a revert, I have come to realize that to live truly Catholic is NOT a popularity contest. You are inevitably going to OFFEND someone. Catholicism is NOT the dominent paradigm.

Jesus, Himself, said his teachings would be difficult. He witnessed groups who turned away and murmured amongst themselves. Jesus was not popular with everyone during His earthly life. The teachings of the Church that He instituted are still unpopular.

If the publishing arm of His Church is not going to bravely witness for Him-who will?

January 25, 2007

Catholic Spirit Part 2

What a difference a few minutes makes! Now, that I've calmed down from my last post (now you see how mercurial I am!)....

I recalled (after about 10 pious entreaties to all my favorite Saints), that I used to think like Sen. Torres Ray so I have some sympathy for her. She just needs to be educated and corrected-a lot.

If I'd been elected to political office 5 years ago, I would have said what she did.

I think the reason I get so angry when I see our "Catholic" leaders saying things like Sen. Torres Ray is I feel that I was led astray by so many supposed Catholic leaders for so long. It reminds me of the decades that people who KNEW better opted to distort the truth or dribble it out to big sopping sponges like me.

I HATE the idea that impressionable folk are listening to and believing what the Senator says is Truth because she is in a position of authority.

Catholic Spirit

The Archdiocesan newspaper Catholic Spirit ran my letter in the January 25th issue.

I was one of two letters critical of Sen. Torres Ray's stance on abortion. There must have been many others because Editor Joe Towalski (and the author of the article) wrote an editorial about the responses he was getting all week critical of him and the paper.

My biggest gripe and sorrow at this moment is that the evidence is all there right in black and white that some of our local "Catholic" elected officials are clearly cooperating and endorsing a mortal sin but nothing is done about it by our local church leadership. Furthermore, the Archdiocesan paper NEVER once comes right out and says that Sen. Torres Ray is wrong, and sinful, and that her beliefs are in complete opposition to Catholic teaching.

Furthermore, Mr. Towalski goes out of his way in his editorial to "white-wash" Sen. Torres Ray and other "Catholic" politicians who advocate for abortion by saying they do other good things. In essence, let's overlook the big non-negotiable SIN and focus on all the good things. Satan has probably done some things that some might consider good too.

To further make my point, there is a note from the Archbishop in the same issue that says:

"A recent flyer announcing that "Rev. Regina Nicolosi" will celebrate a liturgy on January 26, 2007 at the Prospect Park United Methodist Church requires the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to issue the following statement:

Mrs. Regina Nicolosi is not a validly ordained priest of the Roman Catholic Church. Members of the Roman Catholic Church should not participate in celebrations of the sacraments that are conducted by Regina Nicolosi, as those celebrations are invalid and are not in union with the local or universal church"


It's ABOUT time that something was even said by the our Leader about her. Long past time. Yet, she is still a member of a parish in Red Wing. I'm sure she still receives the Body and Blood of Our Lord. Her husband is a DEACON. I'm going to just say it: How much more evidence for an excommunication is needed?!? Mrs. Nicolosi persists in this delusion that she is a Catholic priest. She runs around causing scandal. She is committing sacrilege when she receives Communion. I'm praying really hard to curb my rage tonight, but I'm having a difficult time with it.

St. Michael, pray for us! Mother Mary, help us, help, we pray! Sacred Heart of Jesus, pray for us!

I am a Classic Heroine!

Jo March

Josephine March, from Little Women, is a tomboy who loves writing, acting, and her family. She dreams of seeing the world and publishing her book.

Which Classic Heroine are You?

The fact that I got Jo March is so right on it's not even funny!

Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul


Today is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. It is also the Patronal Feast of my Archdiocese. For the second year in a row, the Archbishop will be celebrating a special Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul at 7:00 p.m.

I may or may not attend. I love the idea but I'm not wild about the multilinqual, multiethnic "program" planned for it. Call me a party-pooper but when I read about the plans for a Procession of the Nations, I thought; how about a Procession of the Catholic Nation? How about just Latin, rather then all this multilinqual stuff? How about getting rid of that obviously architecturally out-of-place wooden freestanding altar (ok, the last one is not on the program at all but that table drives me crazy)!

This day also gives me a fine excuse to post a Caravaggio (like I need one!).

January 24, 2007

Kerry Not Running for Prez in 2008

John Kerry announced today that he will not be running for President in 2008!


Yeah!


Here's my candidate so far....





--Image of Senator Brownback and Neverborn from faithmouse

January 23, 2007

Men's Movement and Collaborative Ministry

I remember in the 1990's when the Men's Movement was at its height, many of my Anishinabeg family and friends were either really upset or bemused by it all. "Just a bunch of stoned white men wearing pelts, sitting around in sweat lodges, beating drums, pretending to be Native Americans. Rather, what they THINK a Native American is."

To be fair, that is not what the Men's Movement was really about. The Men's Movement was about, in a nutshell, getting in touch with your feminine side, being a better father, "channeling" love, not anger, supporting the feminist movement. It can be argued that the Promise Keepers are an offshoot of the Men's Movement too. The Promise Keepers is an evangelical group striving to get men to recommit themselves to Jesus and their families.

A male friend, who is about 20 years older then me, said to me about 5 years ago:

"Thanks G-- the '90s are over now I don't have to get in touch with my feminine side anymore"

About 10 years before that he said:

"Thank G-- the 80's are over so I don't have to keep pretending I"m a "sensitive" man".

I asked him once: What about the 60s and 70s? He said: "The late 60s and the 70s were all about "getting in touch with his feelings"". Whether it was through drugs, which he did a lot of, or some type of psychiatry or therapy.

I would argue that in the New Century we are in the era of the Queer Man-even if he's straight. Anyone heard the term: metrosexual?

What does any of this have to do with Collaborative Ministry?

I'm theorizing that we can see the results of 40-years of emasculating our men in many of our parishes today through the lens of "collaborative ministry".

I have friends who can recall the days when there were 6 priests in an inner city parish as well as a cadre of nuns. The religious did almost everything. The laity just showed up. I'm not making any judgements on who had the better part here just laying it out as I've heard it.

Thanks to a gradual shortage of priests and religious, laity were called upon and empowered to do more in the parishes.

I think the laity involvement is a good thing, if used appropriately. Obviously, the priest can't do everything. There are positive benefits to having lay persons run the Devotions, clean the church, help with the finances, decorate the church, answer the phones, staff fund-raisers etc.

However, somewhere along the line some of the laity too aggressively blurred the line between what someone in Holy Orders should be doing versus what someone with a Lay Vocation should be doing. Furthermore, some of our clergy just laid down and let it all happen.

It takes a strong MAN to be a priest. Not only does he have to actually believe IT, he has to be able to convey IT, and administer IT. He also has to be able to say: NO. I'm in charge. The buck stops here. This is a pyramid, not a circle, and I'm at the top. He should not be an dictator. He should actually listen and consider what his parishioners are asking for and saying but at the end of the day he is the final word.

Our priests have all matured through part, if not all, of the last 40 years. Some of our priests made it through with their manhood intact. Some didn't.

I have personally known some priests who I'm sorry to say, but I'm going to because you know me, are whipped.

I knew a priest who hid in his office before every Mass and did not want anyone to know he was in there because he did not want to face HER. The dreaded female liturgy director who literally told him where to stand and what to say during the Mass.

I recommend, in addition to the quizzes about homosexual inclinations to the man entering seminary, how about asking him if he's capable of being in charge? And can he prove it? Sensitive, yes. Learned, yes. But, can you stand up to the power pressure the laity is bound to test you with? If not, he should seriously think about spending his life on something else. The reality that some priests face when they arrive at some parishes must be, in some cases, appalling. Do they get tested for the mental cojones to stand up to that? If they aren't then they should be.

January 22, 2007

Day of Penance

"Then He said to all, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23

I've been meditating on this verse all day today.

Today's a Day of Penance for the Evil of Abortion. I am praying and fasting. Tonight I will go to Confession and Mass. I plan to pray a Rosary for Life later.

Denying myself is not something I do well. I love to eat and fasting is difficult for me. Sometimes, my love of food comes dangerously close to being an addiction or a worship of food. If only I spent as much time on serving and loving the Lord as I do on planning my next meal, I feel I'd be well on my way to Sainthood.

In carrying my daily crosses, I can't say that I do so without complaint. I seem to be always looking for a St. Simon to help me carry it. Certainly, the Lord helps me when I ask. But, even for Him, there are times when He says (like any parent), "Cathy, you just have to learn how to do this yourself. I'll be nearby and watching".

I'm thinking of my whine the other day about a "lack" of available Confessionals at a time that is convenient for ME. I've been reflecting on this post a lot over the last several days. I've decided that I'm being tested. I thought Confession was a complete waste of time and unecessary for over a decade. Now, I feel like I'm being watched to see if I truly mean what I profess now that Confession is lovely and I'd be bereft without it. How far am I willing to go to be Reconciled? How much of an inconvience am I willing to endure for the gift of His Grace upon me?

Now I want to talk about fasting.

I have many liberal, "greenie", friends who fast on a regular basis. All of them are members of the Church of the Pagans (patent pending!). They meditate, do Yoga, read Tarot cards, smoke a lot of dope and cigarettes, suffer for their "art", hang out at coffeehouses all day (you are right, they are barely employed!).

Anyway, I have to give them mad props for having the mental discipline to fast on a regular basis. They will fast for anything. An end to whale hunting, Tibet, for the grape farmers in California, AIDS funding, imprisoned victims of torture, Leonerd Peltier, Hillary Clinton, pasty's made with turnips, you name it and they will fast for it.

Usually, they will accompany their fast with meditation, intense Yoga or both.

Honestly, I'm ashamed of myself. If these pagans can sustain a fast, why do I fail so miserably when my Church asks me to fast a few days/year?

There's that food worship again.

This, too, is a test for me today. I walk into the office and some nice co-worker baked cookies. St. Michael the Archangel...walk on by. Oh, look, the Cafeteria is serving my favorite Pannini sandwich today....Hail Mary...walk on by.

My fasting buddies say fasting clears the mind.

It does.

Now that I am replacing my food obsession with prayer. A sin of my life that I had completely forgotten about bubbled up.

I have been complicit in 3 murders during my lifetime. I know 3 women who had abortions. I almost drove one of them to the clinic. I said nothing to discourage any of them. If anything, I encouraged them by my silence. My silence and my offers of "help" were my support.

My friends, it is not an accident that I just remembered these terrible deeds today of all days. Tonight, I will have the opportunity to purge myself of the stain on my soul.

Right after I recalled this sin, I read that Minnesota Mom lost her baby. I cried. I'm tearing up again.

May God forgive me.

Pray for Minnesota Mom and her family, will you, please?

Prayer to End Abortion

Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life,
And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.

I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion,
Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death
by the Resurrection of Your Son.

I am ready to do my part in ending abortion.
Today I commit myself
Never to be silent,
Never to be passive,
Never to be forgetful of the unborn.

I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement,
And never to stop defending life
Until all my brothers and sisters are protected,
And our nation once again becomes
A nation with liberty and justice
Not just for some, but for all.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen!

--Priests for Life

January 19, 2007

"Catholic" State Legislators

The Catholic Spirit, our Archdiocesan newspaper, has apparently decided to start profiling our, allegedly, Catholic state legislators. They are off to a rousing start with a profile that made me mad! Not surprised, just mad. I fired off a letter to the editor. We'll see if they print it. I should wait because they probably won't print it because it's on my blog but I'm not in the mood to wait. Plus, they are soliciting comments so if you feel inclined (I'm an agitator and I know it!)....

Catholic Spirit says: "Tell us what issues you think these two legislators and others should be addressing this session".
Send your comments to:

“Legislative Session” The Catholic Spirit 244 Dayton Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102.

Or e-mail us at catholicspirit@archspm.org.

Write “Legislative Session” in the subject line.

Here's my letter:

I found your profiles of the 2 "Catholic" politicians in your January 18th issue to be both interesting and disturbing.

This issue of the Catholic Spirit is full of appropriately Catholic pro-life messages such as the upcoming March for Life and the Ecumenical Prayer Service for Life. Also, that we should be on the lookout and oppose embryonic stem cell and human cloning research that may be coming to a vote in the Minnesota Legislature.

Then, we get the two diametrically opposite "Catholic" political viewpoints: Rep. Steve Gottwalt who
appears to not only believe Catholic teachings but actually live them and Sen. Patricia Torres Ray who says she's Catholic but appears not to live it.

What are we to think of this?

Well, apparently, we aren't supposed to worry about Senator Torres Ray's morally evil stance on abortion because "..pro-choice Catholic lawmakers are a political reality that bishops, Catholic lobbyists and other church leaders will continue to face" This sentence from Mr. Towalski's article on Sen. Torres Ray suggests to me that Catholics are just supposed to accept the fact that politicians who claim to be Catholic are supporting a moral evil and commiting sacrilege every time they receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord in an unworthy manner. Not to mention the public scandal they are causing by confusing the public and the faithful as to what the Catholic Church actually teaches.

Mr Towalski continues: "It remains to be seen whether the issue of abortion surfaces during the 2007 legislative session and what role Catholic lawmakers may play"

I don't think there is any doubt after reading these profiles how Rep. Gottwalt and Sen. Torres Ray are each going to vote on any abortion issues that may come before the state legislature.

Sincerely,
etc. etc.
Local Catholic trouble maker etc. etc.

I did not put this in my letter but I found it interesting that Sen. Torres Ray is switching her parish affiliation to St. Albert the Great in Minneapolis. I don't know what parish Sen. Torres Ray is currently a member of. St. Albert the Great is one of our local, er, non-orthodox parishes.

Adoro's Call For Questions

Adoro te Devote is asking for questions so she can "prep" for her RCIA class. Questions from converts, or any of us, about Catholic Customs and Sacramentals.

Check it out and help her out!

January 18, 2007

Abbey-Roads Blog has Moved

Terry Nelson is still having problems with Blogger and his Abbey-Roads blog. He has moved Abbey-Roads to St. Blogs. His new Abbey-Roads2 is in my sidebar under "Support Your Local Blog"

Terry needs your prayers right now. His health is not so good.

Cathy's Confession Gripes

Gentle Reader: If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that after many years without the Sacrament of Confession I am now a strong proponent of it.

However, "they" certainly don't make it easy for us, do they?

Here's what I mean..

If you are blessed to belong to a parish that has Confession at a convenient time everyday, you are truly blessed and I'm so envious I practically need to confess my envy of you.

For those of us that are not so blessed, let me share with you how challenging it can be to FIND a open Confessional.

If you are a working person, like me, and you DO NOT work in downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul, it's really difficult to find an available Confessional when you really need it. I have to wait for days, sometimes weeks, before I can find one on the North End, where I live, that's available at a time I can make it to. The parishes in the downtown area have Confession more frequently. In the suburbs, which is where I work, you can pretty much fugedabboutit.

If you want to know what all the Confession times are for any parish in the Midway or North End areas of St. Paul let me know, I've pretty much got them all memorized. Just remember: Saturday afternoons somewhere between 3 and 4 and you're pretty close.

What do you do if you can't make it between 3 and 4 on Saturday? Do what I do, scramble and call around. Rearrange my work schedule (which is not always doable) and hope for the best.

I know, I know, any priest will tell you. Call me anytime. Does anyone actually feel comfortable doing that? To me, that completely blows any illusion of anonymity we may still have. I'm pretty sure my parish priest knows its me by now when I show up (I have a pretty distinctive voice and I don't belong to a large parish) but I like that idea that he is not 100% sure. If I call him, then he definitely knows it's me coming over.

Or, my all time least favorite priestly excuse (because, I"m sorry, that's what it is an excuse) just come and find me around before Mass. O.k. I'm not sure I appreciate the fact that my inner stalker is being encouraged. What does this mean? How far does before Mass extend? Let's see. I spot Father's snowmobile parked outside his ice house so I figure this is as good a time as any. Or, there he is at the gas station so I'll just corner him by the pumps. I'm expected to run around the Sacristy, the Rectory, the church grounds and look for Father in those few minutes before Mass when he's trying to get ready. Tell me he's really going to have time. Again, no anonymity and this is just bogus (I would say another B word but I'm trying to be charitable here)

Today, we here a lot of praise about the Sacrament of Confession. At least, a lot more then I ever did growing up. Great, now how about offering it more often? I know some priests don't like to just sit there in the Confessional and wait for
people who never show up. You know what? I think that's er, like, your job, your calling? If you save even one person, isn't that worth all those minutes you sat there praying and reading the Bible and no one showed up? Who knows, more people may start availing themselves of the Sacrament if they see that you are serious and making yourself available on a regular basis.

PLEASE post the days, times and the location of Confessions in the Bulletin, on your outside sign, in the porch, on your website-just someplace!. You may be surprised at the number of parishes that DON'T. They just assume their regular parishioners KNOW all this but they don't take into consideration the guests, like me, who don't have a clue. What do I mean by location? Some churches have Confessionals in multiple locations: the Chapel, the Church, the Church Hall etc. To make it real confusing, they mix it up. On Thursday we have Confessions in the Chapel, on Sunday in the Church, on Holy Days, the Chapel. So there you are leaving because you are standing outside the Confessional in the Church and it seems like no one's around. But, they're in the Chapel.

It would also be helpful if you can explain the green light, red light, door closed, door open, white light, no light, curtains shut, curtain open means in your particular parish. Sometimes, its a no-brainer, other times its not. Every parish seems to be slightly different on what the lights outside the confessional, if they have them, mean. I end up lurking outside trying to hear the timbre of someone's voice inside because I can't tell if the lights on the Confessionals in this particular parish mean somoene's already in there or not.

Before someone tells me to talk to my priest about offering Confession more frequently. I already have.

It's probably not appropriate to criticize our priests who do so much. Fathers, I've got nothing but respect for you. I know you do a lot and put up with a lot. But, I hope I've given you some things to consider from a person who is really trying to remain in a State of Grace.

Thank you.

Oh, and here's one for my fellow Catholics: Pick up your snot rags when you leave the Confessional! Thank you.

January 17, 2007

RU-486 Suspension and Review Act

I have not seen any other Catholic bloggers pick this up so here it is...

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) introduced a bill on January 4th to withdraw the abortion pill RU-486 from the market and require a Comptroller General investigation of FDA’s approval of the drug that has been implicated in fatal infections that have killed a handful of women.

Bartlett’s spokesperson said the congressman did not try to recruit cosponsors before the introduction because new members were not yet sworn in and veteran members were busy moving offices after control of Congress changed party hands. Bartlett plans to recruit cosponsors now that formalities are over and Congress is settling back into a groove.

The bill is H.R. 63. It was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

January 22nd, Day of Penance, Roe v. Wade/Doe v. Bolton Anniversary

"In all the dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion, and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life. The Mass “For Peace and Justice” (no. 22 of the “Masses for Various Needs”) should be celebrated with violet vestments as an appropriate liturgical observance for this day. (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 373)"

Locally, on the 22nd, the March for Life begins at Noon at the State Capital in St. Paul. A Prayer Vigil will be held from 1:00-2:00 at Regions Hospital. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life has more information.

Deep Curtsy to Ray and Mitchell for the information.

Start planning your particular day of fasting/penance/prayers/political action/Mass attendance now to mark this terrible anniversary!

Testimonial of the Creole Garlic Soup


I did not see any vampires last night...



I-35E is unusually busy, can't imagine why...



I feel MUCH better today....

Fight Minnesota Catholic Blogitis! EAT FRESH, EAT GARLIC and PRAY!

January 16, 2007

Boss, I Won't Be In Today

I'm ill today. I'm home with some kind of cold/stuffy sinus delight. I'm headed for the doctor this afternoon.

It's a good day to be home. With the WNW wind it's actually -7 degrees Fahrenheit or -22 degrees Celsius today!

But, it SURE is pretty outside with all that snow!

If I have the strength later, I'm going to make Adoro's Creole Garlic Soup!

Update Evening: Adoro's soup was phenomenal! I highly endorse it. Deep curtsy to Adoro! I have not eaten all day and I scarfed 3 bowls. I spent much of the time it was simmering standing over it and inhaling. It really clears out the sinuses. I know what you are thinking...No, nothing dripped into the pot! I had the soup with a small glass of Barefoot's 2004 Shiraz. Next time I think I'll put in a tad more garlic. Now I'm ready for beddy-bye! ZZZZZZZZ

January 15, 2007

Where in the World is Terry Nelson?

Blogger Terry Nelson has been having difficulties with his Abbey-Roads blog. Could this be Conspiracy Theory #6?

He has resurrected his old Rome-ing Catholics blog. Not sure if this is a temporary move or not.

He has heard some sad rumors of Monsignor Schuler's health.

In any case, check him out and EAT FRESH!

Let It Snow, Let It Snow....

I asked for it and my prayer was answered! Serious snow at last! About 5 inches at my house in St. Paul.

Alas, I DO have to get to work today which from the looks of it is going to be awhile. I'm off to get the snowblower out so I can get out of my driveway.

It's SO beautiful! I wish my camera was working, I'd post a photo.

If you had snow last night, be careful driving and walking today.

January 14, 2007

Prayer Gets the Shaft

I knew that headline would get your attention! Hee-hee.

Seriously, I have blogged before about my weakness in prayer. Meaning, I don't do it enough and I stink at it when I do it. Oh, I'm trying and it's getting better but it's still not great.

I have taken 3 Catholicism/Catechism courses in the last year or so. All three by different people (2 are priests). All three skipped much, if not all, of the section in the Catechism on Christian Prayer.

It's too bad because that's one of the best sections. I recommend you read it, if you have not already.

I reread it periodically. My current analysis: My prayer life has way too much petitioning, too little of thanksgiving and praise, just enough intercession and little to no blessing or adoration. If you don't know what I mean, read your Catechism stat!

My biggest prayer flaw: I went from never praying straight into praying but always asking for something. Then, feeling like the Lord is not always listening anyway. Why would I think that? Because I don't get what I want, silly. Sure, the Lord exists solely to give me what I want, right?

Sounds ridiculous does it not? Yet, how many of you out there do the same thing? I pray and I pray but the Lord does not answer my prayers. Yes, He did. The answer was no.

We don't always get what we want. Maybe we don't always know what is best for us, hmmm? Obviously, we don't have the perspective the Lord does. He can see our past, present and future simultaneously. I don't know about you, but I sure don't have that kind of vision.

How open am I to the Lord? How much do I trust in Him and put myself into His hands? My parish priest likes to say: "Not in my time, but yours Lord"

Think about that: "Not in my time, but yours Lord"

"Not in MY time, but YOURS Lord"

Isn't that just about one of the best prayers ever?

It's brief. It acknowledges God's power. It acknowledges our littleness in relation to God. It is submissive. It is not asking for anything. It accepts whatever and whenever the Lord wants to give.

Is it possible that the Lord has answered your prayer but did not give you exactly what you wanted?

For instance, I've been praying for a new job for quite a while because, among other problems, the work load is too much and they refused to hire more help. Do I have a new job? No. I've been having trouble even finding one to apply for.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, on January 2nd, my boss comes by and says he wants us to interview someone to help us. What?! Talk about a lighting bolt.

It occurred to me that perhaps I am not meant to find a new job but the Lord sees that I need help in my present one and He is lightening my burden. Thanks Be to God!

I am still working on my prayer life but I will tell you some things that have helped me:

* Subscription to Magnificat
* Prayer Cards
* Catholic Prayer Books (I have 2)
* Meditation books for Adoration (Come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament is my favorite)
* A standing hour of Eucharistic Adoration every week (more if you can)
* Regular Rosary recitation (I should pray it daily but I don't)
* Regular Bible reading
* Regular Catechism or Compendium reading
* Religious art in my home

Call me: Pray-er in Progress!

January 13, 2007

Vocations

Well, I completely spaced that the 6-14th was National Vocations Awareness Week. Here we are at the end of it.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has a Vocations web page with some upcoming events for anyone discerning a vocation to the priesthood or religious life.

Remember, even if you don't have a call to the priesthood or religious life, we all have a vocation. "The lay faithful have as their own vocation to seek the Kingdom of God by illuminating and ordering temporal affairs according to the plan of God. They carry out in this way their call to holiness and to the apostolate, a call given to all the baptized." (#188, Compendium to the Catechism of the Catholic Church)

In many parishes of this Archdiocese the following prayer (or a similar variation) is recited at every Sunday Mass:

O God, we earnestly ask you
to Bless this Archdiocese
with many priests, brothers and sisters
who will love you with their whole strength
and gladly spend their entire lives to serve your church
and to make you known and loved.

Bless our families
Bless our children

Choose from our homes those needed for your work

Mary, Queen of the clergy

Pray for us
Pray for our priests, religious and deacons
Obtain for us many more

The Pope and the Witch-Thus Far

I had this, supposedly, brilliant plan to list all the stories on The Pope and the Witch in a blog entry. Until, I started searching around and there is so much out there (over 100 posts in just Blogger alone) that I abandoned my plan.

The Pope and the Witch is a blasphemous play the University of Minnesota is planning to produce in March.

If you want to read more about it: go to any blog and at the top you can type in: "Pope and the Witch" and Search All Blogs. Or just do a Google search. Some newspapers and wires have had stories too.

I knew about our local blogs, but there were some blogs and stories I had not seen yet.

The Internet can be a marvelous thing!

January 11, 2007

What Does Where You Dwell Say About You?

Jeff Cavins' blog "If the local newspaper had been following you around during this past week looking for evidence that you were a disciple of Christ, what evidence would be most convincing? Would it be the vision statement for your corporation or apostolate? Would it be your ability to raise funds to drive your project? Would it be how many times you went to mass or prayed the rosary? What would be the most convincing evidence that would lead the reader to conclude that you were a Christian?"


Adoro
blogged about this too

I took this in a different, Babbitt-like direction. What does where you dwell say about you?

I'm not using dwell to mean your home. I'm using it in the sense of where you spend your time when you are not at work. In other words, "where you hang-out". Where do you go to relax?

What does this individual's weekly schedule and dwellings say about their relationship with God?

*Friday evening-(New Year's Eve) party at A's house.
*Saturday (New Year's Day and Mary Mother of God)-supposed to meet for brunch at K's house-too hung over to make it. Movie with C later.
*Sunday-Movie with M late morning/early afternoon.
*Wednesday-evening dinner with S at Red Dragon, band at 7th Street Entry
*Thursday-late for work because of Wednesday evening revels
*Friday-Happy Hour at Liquor Lyle's with K, A, M and S. Happy "Hour" ended up being until 1:00 a.m.
*Saturday-evening dinner with D
*Sunday-skipped church Too tired after that week of work and whatever.

This was my schedule the 1st week of 2005.

One of the advantages (and horrors) of handheld organizers is the schedule can remain in perpetuity until you delete it. I knew I was late for work on that Thursday because my online work calender still shows it. I know I skipped church the following Sunday (the 9th) because I was supposed to volunteer that day and I called and said I was not going to make it. I probably lied and said I was ill. I had no concept of Holy Day's of Obligation back then so I'm 99% sure I did not go to Mass on New Year's Day for Our Blessed Lady. I probably did not go to Mass on Sunday the 2nd either.

It's clear that my priority was not God. It was partying with my friends. If I had cared much about Confession then, and I did not, I should have been camped out near the Confessional for most of that week. Of course, I was not.

What was my schedule for the 1st week of this year?

Sunday the 31st: Mass
Monday the 1st: Mass (even though the obligation was abrogated I still went)
Tuesday the 2nd: Adoration-my standing hour in the evening, later Novena and Rosary devotions.
Wednesday the 3rd: Mass for the Holy Name of Jesus
Thursday the 4th: Confession
Friday the 5th: First Friday Mass
Saturday the 6th: First Saturday Mass
Sunday the 7th: Mass

That's it. Not a party or a drinking excursion in there. Some of my old friends think I'm boring now. You know what? I've never been happier. I always felt like a complete phony, running around the bar or the club making an a-- of myself, dancing indecently, drinking too much. Spending the next day hugging the toilet.... Is that fun? No.

How about you? What does where you spend your free time say about your relationship with God? Has there been improvement? Still needs work?

Appeals court to rehear South Dakota abortion case

A federal appeals court has decided to rehear arguments in a challenge of a 2005 South Dakota law that would require doctors to tell women seeking abortions that the procedure ends a human life. Read more here: American News (Aberdeen, S.D.)


I have a lot of family in South Dakota so I tend to read their newspapers. I have not seen this news picked up yet and I wanted to post it.

January 10, 2007

The Good Old Days...Or Were They?

Angela has a really good post today. You should all read it!

The Blogger Strikes Back!

Ray "Scoop" Marshall practically has his own column in the January 4, 2007 issue of Catholic Spirit (Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis newspaper). His letter is in response to the paper's insinuations that blogs violate the 8th commandment. I blogged about this a few weeks ago. Read Ray's viewpoint here

January 09, 2007

Film Meme

Terry tagged me for a film meme. His first tagging. Of course, he makes it a challenging meme. EAT FRESH!

Your Favorite Film? Gone with the Wind

Your Favorite Film Priest? Bing Crosby in The Bells of St. Mary's

Your Favorite Film Nun? Rosalind Russell in The Trouble with Angels

Your Favorite Religious Movie? Romero.
It really hit me in the gut and it still does.

Your Favorite Comedy? Blazing Saddles
Taggart (played by the great Slim Pickens): "P--- on you, I'm working for Mel Brooks". ROFL!

Your Favorite Action Film? Aliens

Your Favorite Thriller? The Changeling

Your Favorite Foreign Film? My Brilliant Career

Favorite "Alternative" Lifestyle Film? Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Your Favorite Animal Film? Jaws.

Your Favorite Animated Film? Beauty and the Beast.

Your Favorite "B" Movie? Can't Stop the Music.
So terrible, it's a comic masterpiece. Village People, Bruce Jenner, Valerie Perrine and Steve Guttenberg all in one film!

Your Favorite "Newer" "B" Movie? Napoleon Dynamite

Your Favorite Black Comedy Film? (As In Humor.) The Ladykillers (the 1955 original)

Your favorite Period Film? Star Wars (the undefined future of another galaxy can be a period right?)

Your Favorite Biblical Film? The Ten Commandments

In your opinion, the most important film in Cinematic history? Citizen Kane
I know, every critic says that. But, it is a really well done film. Everyone should see it at least once. "What would you like to have been?" "Everything you hate" Rosebud! "...what I want them to think" The sound of one hand clapping. Innovative camera shots. That great map of the Kane empire with all the pulsing circles. Egomania. Tragic childhood. Failed love and dreams. It's all here.

I tag Angela Messenger, Happy Catholic, Christine Schult (if she's up to it) any of the Hadleybloggers and you!

January 08, 2007

She's Back, Baby!

Christine Schult is blogging again. Please keep her in your prayers.

Alphabet Meme

Her Grace, Angela Messenger did this meme and said she was tagging everyone. I assume she means me too. So hear goes...

Alphabet Meme

[A is for age]: 38-why bother to deny it? After all, this is a Catholic blog and I don't need to confess the venial sin of lying yet again.

[B is for beer of choice]: Hmmm tough question, Cathy likes her hops. Can't just pick one. Leinie's Red (domestic) Bass Ale (England-imported) Pilsner Urquell (Czech Republic-import)

[C is for career]: Librarian

[D is for favorite Drink]: COFFEE! Soft drinks: Diet Coke (no-caffeine). Alcoholic: Bombay Sapphire Gin Martini, straight-up, 3 olives.

[E is for Essential item you use everyday]: Just one? Hair brush. I stink but my hair is combed (ha-ha!)

[F is for Favorite song at the moment]: "The Train Carrying Jimmie Rodgers Home" Iris DeMent

[G is for favorite Game]: Monopoly

[H is for Home town]: Minneapolis, Minnesota

[I is for Instruments you play]: used to play both piano and clarinet-it's been awhile.

[J is for favorite Juice]: Apple

[K is for Kids]: No human kids. But, my Dad calls my 2 cats my kids.

[L is for last kiss]: On cheek from my Dad.

[M is for marriage]: Ok, this is an evil meme for singles!

[N is for full Name]: Janice (Catherine Alexandria) Lynn LaDuke.

[O is for Overnight hosp stays]: When I was a newborn and that's it. I've been very lucky.

[P is for phobias]: Don't have any. Seriously, bungee jumping or parachuting out of a plane are things I would actually do; so if you are that nutty, how can you have a phobia?

[Q is for quote]: "No outfit is complete without cat hair"

[R is for biggest Regret]: Yes, many, but none that I want to air publicly.

[S is for sports]: NASCAR and baseball (watching), walking, bicycling, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing (doing)

[T is for Time you wake up]: 4-4:30 a.m. That's not a typo.

[U is for color underwear]: white, pink, dark grey.

[V is for Vegetable you love]: I LOVE veggies. Tough to pick one. Corn is probably my favorite but asparagus is way up there too.

[W is for Worst Habit]: almost complete lack of self-denial

[X is for X-rays you've had]: Teeth, back, sinuses, right wrist.

[Y is for Yummy food you make]: my family famous Wild Rice Hotdish (secret recipe so that's all I'm saying about what else is in it) made with only Minnesota grown wild rice. Don't talk to me about California paddy rice. My family harvests the rice.

[Z is for zodiac sign]: Taurus the Bull and no lie! I'm very stubborn and willfull. Probably no accident I'm single. Sigh.

I tag whoever wants to participate!

January 07, 2007

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Baroness Cathy Of Alex the Sublunary of St Winifred by Winchelsea
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

January 06, 2007

Get Up Lazy Bones!

Gentle Reader: One of my intentions going forward is to strive for the First Friday and First Saturday devotions.

I made it to Confession Thursday evening-no problem.
I made it to a Mass of the Sacred Heart yesterday after work-no problem.

Unfortunately, this morning, there I am lolling in bed with my cats snuggled in with me. All nice and warm and drowsy. I swear I can hear Satan telling me: "You're tired, its not a big deal to miss the Mass for Mary's Immaculate Heart today. You made it to Mass yesterday for Her Son. That's enough"

I gave in and slept too late to make the 8:00 a.m. Mass. The only Mass at the parishes nearby.

I got up after a brief time and was on the computer (seems I can always make time for that!). The Holy Spirit prompted me to check on Mass times down in Hastings where Fr. Altier is. Hey, if I really step on it, I can make the 9:00 a.m. Mass. Score.

I cannot express to you the joy I felt when I was given a second chance.

I was thinking. If I would have had to get up to go hunting, fishing or biking (activities I enjoy that require an early rise on the weekend) would it have been such a chore? The answer: no.

Why do I sometimes treat going to Mass like I'm going to an in-laws house? I don't have in-laws but I hear a lot of you married folk complaining about it quite a bit so it must be torture.

I really feel like a lot of my prayers have been answered of late. To show my gratitude I'm going to be a sloth. What kind of an attitude is that?

Jesus comes whenever and wherever He is called. He always shows up. He's always around. Even when we may not be aware of Him.

In all the Tabernacles of all the World, there He is. In all the Holy Sacrifices of the Mass, East and West there He is. In all the consecrated Hosts, in all the Universe there He is.

What if He said: "I'm tired, I'm not going to come when you call" or "I'm really tired of YOU, I'm not coming when you call" How terrifying would that be? Talk about alone.

Yet, Jesus is alone when we ignore Him. When I ignore Him.

January 04, 2007

Can he just away now? Just go away please?

Mark Dayton is considering a run for Governor of Minnesota in 2010.


Oh....joy.

No word on whether his platform will include an escape plan so he can flee the Capital at the first sign of a threat (i.e. former Governor Ventura is spotted within 10 miles of the building)

January 03, 2007

National Catholic Register: Pope and the Witch

To the tune of "The Cover of the Rolling Stone" by Dr. Hook (with snarky asides by yours truly):

NC Reg
Wanna see my picture on the cover (mercifully, you won't)
NC Reg
Wanna buy five copies for my father (why, when it's on the web for nothin'?)
NC Reg
Wanna see my smilin' face (nope, you won't)
On the cover of the NC Reg (don't bother tryin' to find me, I'm not there).


I am quoted in the January 7-13, 2007 issue of the National Catholic Register regarding the University of Minnesota play: The Pope and the Witch. Local bloggers Ray from MN and Adoro te Devote are also quoted.

Alas, they did not mention my blog address or my alias so I can abandon any hope of being on "The Catholic Guy" with Lino or "The View" with Rosie.

I want to thank Mr. Anthony Flott, the reporter, for covering the story and for being charitable towards me in the final result. I was Cranky Cathy in the original exchange with him.

I want to thank my agent, Mr. Terry Nelson. Also, Ray and Adoro for their efforts. Above all, I want to thank God.

I am a subscriber to the National Catholic Register. I think you should be too!

I'm hoping and praying the national exposure helps our cause.

--Janice (Cathy)

The New "Buzz" Word: Common.

Common: general, widespread (Webster's New World Dictionary 3rd edition)

The word common will be widespread in the next two years. Used in conjunction with a politicians newly favorite phrases: common good, common goals, common ground, common agenda etc.. Also, in its other forms: community, communal, commonweal, commune, commonality, communicant etc..

Common: belonging too or shared by each or all, public (Webster's New World Dictionary 3rd edition)

Why? and Why now?

Politicians have figured out that the middle-ground wins them elections. Coming down too hard on "wedge-issues" like abortion and gay-marriage does not seem to help them win. However, talking about "kitchen table" issues like THE WAR, pensions collapsing, the lack of affordable health insurance, and a just wage are issues MOST people can embrace, they aren't too controversial and they appear to cut across religious and partisan lines, right?

To help and encourage the politician on their road to communism (er, sorry, commonality), we see groups forming like the Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good was formed in 2004, just in time to really gather steam before the 2008 elections (oh, did I say that? meow). The Executive Director used to be a religious advisor for John Kerry. You remember, Senator Kerry, the communicant, who votes according to his "strong" Catholic faith?

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good is a strong ally of Pax Christi USA and Center of Concern. Both of which are "progressive" Catholic organizations founded in the 1970's. All of which are consistently anti-war, anti-military, anti-defense under any circumstances. Pax Christi is the group that sends protesters out to Alliant Techsystems in Edina, MN, on a regular basis to harass a person just trying to make a legal living and support their family. They also encourage conscientious objection and they advise parents to get their children to sign up for it because they may end up actually having to fight for their country. To which I say: there's a freighter leaving New York Harbor in 30 minutes, be on it.

Early indications are that this strategy of commonality is working. Both Democrats and Republicans are starting to speak the word more frequently. Why, just yesterday, our newly sworn Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty ("rising star in the Republican party") was throwing the word common around like it was, well, common.

It's true that Catholic Social teaching talks about the common good. However, I think it is bad Catholicism to lean too heavily on one portion of our faith's teachings and little to nothing of the rest of it. How frequently do you hear a Catholic, who is a strong proponent of social justice, talk about being properly disposed to receive Communion? Or waxing rhapsodically about the gifts of Confession or Adoration? Or talking about how sexual relations outside of marriage is sinful?

Let us not worry our pretty heads over such "hateful" devisive issues like gay marriage, illegal immigration and abortion. After all, not everyone, in common, can agree on those issues. We all want to be buddies, no squabbling. But, I bet most, if not all of us, can agree that something should be done about the lack health care coverage for some, the low minimum wage, pension erosion, global warming, renewable energy and corporate scandals. After all, even the Catholic Church gets behind those issues right? So as good Catholics, we can and should too!

Some of the common good "issues" are very noble sounding. However, where's the money going to come for all this? That's right, taxes. If not a tax on you and your household, it will be a tax on your employer, your jurisdiction, or a tax on a business you frequent. All of which will eventually be passed onto you in the form of higher costs or a reduction in your salary. How does it help us, in common, if you raise the minimum wage on one hand and take it away with the other?

Hard to say really because none of these issues has been studied with regard to cost--it just sounds good. I've been musing lately: How many of the uninsured are in a "domestic partnership" situation? How much has or will it cost us to expand health care coverage and pensions to not only a gay "partner" but also a domestic partner (meaning an unmarried opposite sex individual)? Some states and jurisdictions already mandate benefits coverage for domestic partners (in most cases, but not all, that means a gay partner). I've yet to see serious studies on the cost impact of those mandates. Those are local levels, imagine the federal level which would mean the huge federal agencies (USPS, SSA among others). Some individual federal agencies have limited domestic partner benefits now but not much in the way of "equitable" coverage. The federal government is the nations largest employer: with about 3 million employees.

But, let us not worry about the money. After all, Catholic social teaching asks us to "dig deep" into our pockets and help our less fortunate brothers and sisters. I predict we are going to hear a lot of parables, beautitudes, catechism paragraphs and encyclicals taken way out of context in the coming year.

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good wants to reduce the number of abortions (Voting for the Common Good flyer). Not eliminate: reduce. They want to reduce the number of factors that would incite a woman to "choose" abortion. Never mind the fact that a study done by researchers of the Guttmacher Institute[1] (not exactly a bastion of social conservatism) says that the #1 reason women "choose" abortion is:

Having a baby would dramatically change my life 74% (ya, think?)

Subreasons:
Would interfere with education 38%
Would interfere with job/employment/career 38%
Have other children or dependents 32%

I don't hear social injustice in those reasons, do you?

[1] Finer et al., "Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives" Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2005, 37(3):110–118
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