October 26, 2007

Blog Hiatus

My home computer is hosed. It's been dying a slow death all week. Yesterday, it died after a week of techno gymnastics to keep it going.

My blog is going to be suspended until I can get a new computer. Right now, I don't have an ETA as to when that will be.

I'll be back!

October 21, 2007

Martinsville Mercifully Ended

Good grief, that was a LONG race. Record setting cautions, lame ending.

My guy, Truex Jr., is done in the Chase but, isn't he handsome in defeat?

October 20, 2007

Bring the Gun, Leave the Shells

Yes, Gentle Reader, let the lesson of Catherine Artemis be a lesson to you. CHECK YOUR GEAR BEFORE YOU GO ON THE HUNT!!!

My Dad and I have hunted together for so long that we tend to rely on each other to grab the other's gear. Well, he forgot to grab my box of shells so there we were one hour from the house I had my shotgun but no shells.

So, I had a nice stroll thru the woods today.

I have no one to blame but myself. I should have checked my gear before we left. Why am I blogging my stupidity? So I never do it again!

Still, the worst day hunting is better then the best day at work!

We did not flush even one grouse today. This, despite reports the population is up.

October 18, 2007

Send the Kids Out of the Room

Terry doctored this photo on his blog. Below is the REAL undoctored image.



As frightening as it is, this is not a Halloween costume photo. This is a photo of Terry and Ray before Holy Mass. I think I need to start posting on appropriate Mass attire again. I don't know what Ter was thinking going off-the-shoulder this time of year. I don't know what Ray was thinking with that shirt-period.

October 17, 2007

The Journey Home with Father Richtsteig


Sodak watched Father Erik Richtsteig on EWTN's The Journey Home Monday evening. Eventually, Sodak turned away in disgust when it became apparent that Father was NOT going to discuss the merits of Queen's music for Highlander versus Flash Gordon!


Everyone's a critic! I enjoyed the show. Father, I bet you do a great Cartman!

Tag Lines

Remember a few years back when there was this big brouhaha about movie review tag lines? It turns out some distributors were putting tag lines praising their film in their ads from critics that didn't even exist. Or, they were just cutting and pasting a review from somewhere else and putting it on their film ad.

With all the talk on my blog about phoniness and impersonation in the last 24 hours, I decided to post some of the comments about this blog that some of my readers have sent me. Can you tell which ones are fake and which ones are legit?

"Every Catholic in the world MUST read Cathy's blog!"---Pope Benedict XVI

"Nice blog! What did I do wrong?"--Love Dad

"It's all a Masonic conspiracy!"--Anonymous St. Paul publisher.

"Horribly inaccurate translations and irrelevant commentary!"--Father Z

"WTF?!"--Ray from MN

"Worst Halloween Costumes Ever!"--Adoro te Devote

"I can only make reparation for this blog so many times. My knees hurt." --Terry Nelson

"I know she tries to be a lady."--Mitchell Hadley

"Image thief!"--Vincenzo

"I don't care if she's a Catholic, I just wish she'd get more work done!"--Cathy's boss.

"Big round of applause here!"-Most Rev. John C. Nienstedt

Halloween Is Early This Year

There are a lot of people in our society today for whom Halloween is their favorite holiday. I work with some people who say that. You probably do too. I don't think it's a coincidence that none of the folks that I know who say Halloween is their favorite holiday regularly, if ever, attend church-any church.

I ranted last year about how angry I get when I see people at Halloween dressed as Catholic priests, monks, bishops, nuns or the pope.

Today, we need to be on guard against the people who may not be wearing a costume, maybe you can't even "see" them, but they are hiding behind the anonymity of the web to pretend to be something they aren't.

It's not funny that someone may be pretending to be a priest or a nun and saying on a blog (or any media) that they are. The mortal sin is on the deceivers soul but, honestly, I care less about that idiot then I do about the people who are in real spiritual need being taken in by the disguise. It doesn't even make it more palatable for me that the deceiver is funny or takes moderate positions or is a trad or has a great singing voice. Lying is lying.

Dissidents love to employ riducule as a device to get rid of those pesky rules that threaten their "free" way of life. One of their favorite targets are those people who live by a set a rules-whether it's clergy, religious or orthodox Catholics. Dissidents don't want there to be any clergy or religious. The dissidents want everyone to be their own hierarchy. They want to make up their own individual rules and call that Catholicism. Frequently, you will see dissident "Catholics" in clerical costume at parties this time of year.

Yes, we all probably know clergy and religious who are not upholding their end of the vows that they took. We could say that they are in disguise too. It's tragic that this happens. However, I don't think the solution to the problem of unorthodox clergy and religious is to resort to ridiculing and belittling the vows they take. In that instance, the problem is not the vows, the problem is the person who took them.

Further Reflection Update 12:54 p.m.One of the reasons that I get so upset (well, maybe reason has nothing to do with it) over non-priests wearing clericals, or pretending to be priests, is I've been thinking of the real sacrifices and pain some of the priests in this area went thru during the decades of darkness at our local seminaries. Those men EARNED the right, hard-earned right, to wear the clothes. I'm fully aware that my post is, perhaps, more emotional than logical.

October 16, 2007

I Think I Want to See Some I.D.



Caution. Several readers emailed me wondering who this "priest" is. I don't know and I am unable to verify his bona fides.

Blogging will continue to be light for a while. I'm beyond swamped trying to transition out of my current job.

October 12, 2007

Xtreme Breast Beating

Who knew there were so many male Catholic rap fans around who are frustrated human beatboxes? Remember, the rap groups of the 1980s almost always had to have one member who used his whole body to lay down the beat? He slapped himself, clapped, stomped. The human beatbox for the Fat Boys died young. Not sure if it was his weight or if he got too carried away beating himself.

There are some men in this town (and you probably know who they are if you hang out at the local trad parishes) who beat themselves so bad during the Agnus Dei that it sounds like soemone is banging on the walls of the Confessional in the back trying to get out. Thump, thump! Honestly, I fear for them. I pray there are a lot of Catholic cardiologists around. I also pray none of these breast beaters have implants.

I'm all about being penitential. But, is there a point where the line between being penitential and being a show-off is crossed? Is there some contest going on that I don't know about? The Last Sinner Standing? Are their prizes for this display of macho prowess?

What's next? Men squatting in the ashes from their Weber grills in the vestibules before Mass? Sackcloth design contests?

Save your chest and just go to Confession for crying out loud!

October 10, 2007

Put the Blame on Adoro (and Angela!)!

Adoro started the blog job hunting wave, Angela continued it, and now ME. Yes, I have a new job! I start on October 29th! I'm very excited. Thanks for all the prayers.

I thought I'd start looking around for some new work attire. Below is a photo of me trying on some possible new work clothes for the consideration of Mssrs. Terrance and Raymond.



I decided fringe was too retro for the office. But, dang, aren't I the cat's pajamas?

I'm not sure what Mssrs. Terrance and Raymond are doing under that throw that causes them to shush. This is a family blog so let's not speculate shall we?

October 09, 2007

Embracing the Cross--Praying for Hope

The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery of the Holy Rosary is: Christ Carries His Cross.

I have an old prayer book that has some brief meditations written for each Mystery. For the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery it recommends that you ask to "Carry your daily crosses without complaint".

The phrase: "Carry your daily crosses without complaint" really resonates with me. It always has. As you probably guess, I struggle with the complaint part. I complain a lot. Not always externally, but, inside I'm usually grumbling.

Some days the little aggravations can really add up. Other days, the aggravations are not minor. In any case, I usually end up wishing Simon the Cyrene would come by, not only to help, but to just take the whole Cross away somewhere else.

Me, me, me. Incredibly selfish attitude, but there it is.

So, last week, there I am again at Confession and I told Father that I've really been struggling with despair. When things don't go my way, in spite of doing everything I can and constant prayer, I despair. Gee, can things get much worse? What have I done? I feel like I'm blaming God because He's not giving me what I want. For this attitude I deserve to be covered in boils but I can't help myself.

Father told me: "I need to pray for Hope". It seems like such a simple, almost ridiculously simple, solution. It hit me like a thunderbolt. Why didn't I think of that? Really, I hadn't thought of it. Even though I pray for an increase in the virtues of: Faith, Hope and Charity when I pray my Rosary I must be sleepwalking thru it.

This past week, I've really been working on praying for Hope. No, I'm still not getting everything I want. But, I am not being wracked with paralyzing despair either. I'm experiencing more acceptance and the peace that comes with that acceptance. I don't think that to Hope, means "I hope I will get what I want". Rather, I think the real hope is continuing to move forward in the Faith and praying that one day I'll see my God face-to-face.

Right after Confession, I knelt in prayer underneath the eyes of the Blessed Mother. I prayed really hard for an increase in Hope. I immediately felt a lightness of heart that I've got to call: Hope.

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at last He will stand upon the earth;
and after my skin has been thus destroyed,
then from my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see on my side,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.--Job 19:25-27

Feng Phooey: But Will it Stay up?

Further proof that it doesn't take much to make me cranky...and I wonder why I'm still single.

These days, architecture MUST have some kind of meditative, emotive, "theme".

I'm not always sure from this article in the Pioneer Press if they are describing the design for the new I-35W bridge or the Peace Garden by Lake Harriet.

The design theme for the new bridge: "Arches, Water, Reflection"

How about: "Steel, Concrete, Solid"?

Terry's Family



NOT the Brady Bunch!

October 08, 2007

Isn't It Strange

Good post over on Angela Messenger's blog about how haaard it seems to make time for the Lord but NOT other stuff.

Automatic Air Fresheners-Product of Evil

Can I rant?

Who in the world decided those blasted automatic air fresheners in public and corporate bathrooms was a great idea?!? I fail to see how something that smells like Aqua-Net is supposed to freshen the atmosphere and remove stench. It doesn't remove stench, it just adds to it with an eye-watering expulsion of CFCs.

I stagger out of the restroom after getting a blast of that useless product looking like the victim of a tear gas attack.

Sure, it gives you that brief warning when you hear it squeeze but you can't always get up and run out-know what I'm sayin'?

I almost miss the old days when you could choose your own toxin by just putting a cheap can of it on the tank.

October 07, 2007

Talladega

"Oh, ----." (Martin Truex, Jr in car radio communication)

Respect Life Sunday

Today, is Respect Life Sunday. Archbishop Harry Flynn, substituted the Respect Life Sunday statement of Cardinal Justin Rigali for His Excellency's usual weekly column in the Archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Spirit. Read it here

October 06, 2007

Ray & Terry: Another Fine Mess?



I wonder what they are up to? It's nice to see the bowler making a comeback.

Men in Christ

This week's Archdiocesan newspaper The Catholic Spirit has a front page story on the college seminary, St. John Vianney, here in St. Paul, MN. I'm really happy to see Vianney's inspiring enrollment spotlighted by our Archdiocesan paper. (Gentle Reader: I'm trying really hard to refrain from saying: About time! Hey, I just did anyway! Must be Catty again. See Angela!)

I, firmly, believe that Vianney's emphasis on forming MEN, not boys, and it's Christ-centered, challenging program are largely responsible for its growth.

I keep saying it and saying it: It serves no one to water Catholicism down. Anyone who wants to serve Christ, whether priest or layperson, needs to KNOW that it is not easy. Just because you graduate or become ordained, life in Christ doesn't suddenly become a cakewalk the very next day. I've noticed a similar thing in my life, just because I was Confirmed does not mean "Oh, that's it. That's all I need to do. Just relax from here on in." It's an ongoing process. Real life in Christ is, literally, one minute at a time. It's not easy. I think it is great that the seminarians are strongly exposed to the discipline right away in their studies.

Kudos to St. John Vianney College Seminary!

Men in Christ! Men of the Church! Men for Others!

October 05, 2007

An Upcoming Talk on the Hypostatic Union?

My former dissident parish is presenting a talk entitled: "God is Not Three Guys in the Sky"

Deep.

Gosh, this has to be an advanced theological discussion.

Do you think there's hope for my former spiritual home?!?





Meow

First Friday Fast Intentions

* Solidarity with the Dallas bloggers for an end to abortion

*Healing for those who have suffered sexual abuse and their families

*Special Intention

Sacred Heart of Jesus, pray for us!

October 04, 2007

Look Up in the Sky! It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Father Z?

Yesterday, reports surfaced locally that a meteor was traveling over the Metro area from the NE to the SW.

I wonder....



Coincidence?




Labels: Sittin' on this bar stool talking like a d--- fool.

October 03, 2007

Angel, Protect Me!

Gentle Reader: I meant to post this yesterday for the Memorial to the Guardian Angels but I've been really busy. However, I think this is a post that can go up at anytime-as you will see.....

Odd doings at my home Monday evening.

Let me back up a little...

Adoro and I have a habit of sending our Guardian Angels to each other as extra protection. Not that we think our personal Angels are falling down on the job. We recognize that even an Angel may need a backup fighter once and awhile. Also, my Angel can communicate with hers and perhaps find some way of letting me know that Adoro is alright-like throwing a breadcrust at me or something. I think our Angels play Texas Hold-Em together. Adoro thinks they drink tea. Can you tell which of the two of us has more class?

I was corresponding with a friend on Monday and told her I'd be offering my evening Rosary for healing from abuse for herself and her family. I also told her I'd send her my Angel to help fortify her spirit. I think when painful memories are stirred up we can have trouble putting them away when we need to. We become unsettled and I think the unsettling feeling can let a lot of bad spirits in. I think it can be a help to someone to know that they may have extra protection. I also think it helps to realize that someone loves you enough to "loan" you their Angel.

I don't believe that by asking your Angel to check on someone for you, that you are leaving yourself unprotected. In fact, I've been told that by others more well-versed in Angel studies then I. Angels can travel very fast. I'm not even sure they actually "travel" or if it's that they are capable of seeing more then once place at a time. I'm woefully ignorant about Angels. I need to read more on them. Terry has a good post on Angels.

I prayed the evening Rosary with my cats (it's so cute, they sit right by me when I have my Rosary out) and went to bed.

I spent the entire evening engaged in what seemed to be some kind of epic battle.

I've thought for some time now that there is a female spirit in my house (yes, a ghost) and that she primarily inhabits my guest bedroom. The guest bedroom was, I think, the primary bedroom for most of my home's prior residents because the closet is bigger in that room. However, my bedroom is a different room. She has not been a malevolent spirit. My first night in the house, I slept in the guest bedroom and I had the feeling someone was standing over me looking down at me. Then, I felt air in my face like someone had leaned their face in close to mine and exhaled. I had the feeling I was being "checked out". She must have approved of my presence because she has not created difficulties. Occasionally, I smell her perfume in the house but that's about it. Her and I coexist peaceably.

So, I retired for the evening. I had just dozed off when the strong smell of her perfume wafted into my bedroom. "Oh, she's back, I thought" She doesn't scare me so I don't even wake up.

About 10:30 p.m. a loud thump woke both me and my cats up (my cats sleep with me). What was that? I got up and walked around. My home is only one floor with a basement and it's small so it doesn't take long to walk around. Nothing amiss upstairs. Curious though: Kaylen stayed in the bedroom, but Sodak was walking with me and he was low to the ground with his ears back like he was stalking pray. Kaylen is my hunter but he isn't. Sodak is usually the coward. Their roles were reversed.

I was just about to go back to bed when I thought: "check the basement"

I have a walk-out door from the basement to the backyard and it occurred to me maybe someone was trying to force that door. I go to the basement steps and look down and turn the light on. I see white way across the basement on the floor by the dryer. I keep home supplies on shelves that are over the basement steps. I went downstairs and a package of Charmin had fallen or been thrown with such force from the overhead shelves that it was way on the other side of the basement. If it had just fallen from the shelf it would be at the bottom of the stairs-not way over across the basement. I've had stuff fall off that shelf but only if I've bumped something. I had not put anything on that shelf for several days.

I remember thinking: "Something's pissed off"

I had prayed the Rosary in the guest bedroom that evening. Normally, I'm either in my bedroom or the living room if I pray it at home.

I spent the rest of the evening waking up constantly and feeling threatened. I was praying to my Angel, St. Michael, St. Catherine, and invoking "I claim the protection of the Blood of the Lamb". It worked because I could feel it leave but it kept coming back.

I was also REALLY hot all over my body for hours. It's been chilly. I have all my windows closed overnight. I don't have my furnace on yet. I opened a window and that did not help. I'm almost 40 so maybe I'm almost menopausal, but don't women getting hot flashes sweat? My co-worker does. Strangely, I was not sweating at all. But, I was horribly hot.

Last night was somewhat unsettling as well. I remember waking up at one point, sitting up and saying: "What do you want?" and falling back asleep. It was not as bad as Monday evening though.

I don't want my friend (who is reading this) to feel like this expereince is in any way her fault so I debated even posting this. However, I wanted to share with you how prayer can work at combating those night demons. When I'm hit by evil, it is usually at night. I know Adoro has had similar experiences.

I am convinced that I really unnerved or scared the presence with the Rosary of Our Blessed Lady. I upset the balance. Things were just fine when I was lamely doing my dissident thing but now that I've brought the big guns to my guest's turf she's mad.

It also occurs to me that I never had my home blessed. I have blessed objects in the house but I never had the house itself blessed. When I bought the house, I was entrenched in my belief that home blessing was ridiculous. I've changed my thinking on that score. I think I'll invite Father over for dinner and ask him to bring his home blessing gear.

October 01, 2007

Monkey See Monkey Clap



In the Twin Cities we have a long cherished tradition of giving every performance a standing ovation. It can be the biggest waste of your hard earned money and free time you’ve ever seen and paid for and 9 times out of 10 you are going to be the only one still sitting down at the conclusion. That is, if you choose to “take a stand” by refusing to go along with the clapping crowd and be the broken monkey.

Remember The Goodbye Girl? (I know. I hear you. Last week, she was dissing Barry Manilow and now she has the audacity to mention Bread??) The MOVIE. (Some of you are still groaning. Calm yourself.) Remember that appalling gay-themed production of Richard III from the film? Seriously, that production would have received a standing ovation in the Twin Cities.

Is it really the production that people are applauding? Or, is it a self-congratulatory expression of how (Minnesota) Nice we are? Oh, we feel sorry for you, poor things. We know you really tried. We know it was crap but we’ll give you a Standing O anyway. Or, is it to show how hip and enlightened we are? Or, is it because everyone else is doing it and you don’t want to be the non-team player? It could be that we are just starved for quality theater but what do you expect from a sing-along dinner theater production (which are really popular here)? Friel at the Abbey?!?

My former dissident parish has the lamentable habit of replacing homilies with outside speakers. The speaker was nearly always given a standing ovation. Didn’t matter what they said or didn’t say. Didn’t matter if they made any kind of logical sense. Didn’t matter if they rambled on. Definitely didn’t matter if they dissed the Church. Someone would always try and get a Standing O going. Frequently, the entire crowd would go along.

I grew to absolutely despise the obligatory standing ovation. You can probably tell that I still do. Ovations have become absolutely meaningless since they are given out all the time. The only way they can become meaningful again is if they go on over 5 minutes. I cringe to think of that day happening but I can see it coming. Pretty soon we will have ovation length contests. Mark my words.

At my former parish, it began to occur to me that it was not always the speaker's message or the speaker that was being applauded. Somewhere along the line, the adulation switched sides. The community was applauding itself for its “englightenment” and, yes, for “pulling a fast one” on the big, bad, old, white guys in the office at the East end of Summit Avenue (that’s the Chancery for my non-local readership). Hey, we have so and so dissident speaking at our parish while all the other Catholics have to listen to Father drone on about the Gospel. Or, hey, all of our political speakers are Democrats (DFL) and look how we get away without the IRS noticing! Yee-haw!

One of the ah-ha! moments on my road to reversion was when I realized that a lot of people were coming to church only to hear the speaker but not to worship God. God was an afterthought. I knew that way of thinking was wrong. I knew we should only be going to church to praise and thank God.

There is still applause at Holy Mass even after I left my dissident parish. My current parish has the lamentable habit of clapping at the end of Mass for the musicians. I’m too busy kneeling down for my closing prayers to bother. But, I am internally cringing and fighting my anger. I have to brace myself at the end of the Mass for the obligatory monkey clapping.

It infuriates me that some of us can’t serve Christ without soliciting a round of applause for their “efforts”. If you crave adulation when you serve Christ rather then just accepting the service itself for the honor that it is, then you need to be doing something else. Try praying-silently.

Now some people will claim: I did not solicit the applause it just happened. Perhaps. But, have you ever tried to stop it? I’ve yet to see the musicians at my parish speak up and tell people to stop. Or, Father saying something about it being inappropriate.

If you want to applaud someone at Holy Mass, how about giving a big round of applause to The Christ for dying for you so that your sins may be forgiven? No, I’d really rather you didn’t applaud. I don’t think Jesus requires your adulation to sustain Him. Your adoration, however, He does enjoy. How about just sticking to the prescribed Adoration already present in the rubrics of Holy Mass? Interestingly, I don’t see applause listed.

I was at the Mass of the Archangels event over the weekend just past. The closing Mass was celebrated by Coadjutor Archishop John Nienstedt. It was very well done. Properly celebrated and then at the end: oh, yes. A entire litany of people that must be thanked was read off by the Pastor of the parish. Naturally, as all good monkeys do, the round of applause and cheering began. To top it all off, His Excellency got a standing ovation. I sat there. Lone holdout. I’m not sure why His Excellency got a standing ovation: for his fine singing voice? the fact that he showed up? the fact that the parish invited him? he’s a Tigers fan? all of the above? I amused myself by wondering if His Excellency will get a standing ovation at every parish in the Archdiocese (Heh) or if when he returns to said parish in a few years time will they still be clapping? (Heh) You know how it is when you start a new relationship and everyone’s in love and then you really get to know someone and then not everyone thinks it’s a good production anymore? What am I saying? They’ll still clap. They may not like it, but they’ll clap. All it takes is just one person to start it.

That’s just it. Perhaps all it takes is just one person to remain in their seat for the inappropriate ovations to stop.

New Candidate for Senate?

I read in the Red Star (I know, but sometimes it's just lying there at the office) today that Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer may be running for U.S. Senator. Oh, joy.

Are We Still in Kansas?

LONG race yesterday. I'm not sure Biffle should have been called the winner since he was clearly out of gas and was passed by Bowyer and Johnson. I was glad to see, my guy, Truex Jr. getting more face time. But, I think that ESPN in car camera cursed him!!! Funniest line: "Tony Stewart has declined an interview." Ya think?!

The Twins WON their final game of the season against the Red Sox. I pray they do better next year with whoever they will have on the team next year. There are a lot of questions about who will still be with the organization.

Oh, and the Vikings lost at the Dome against the Pack. I still think the border needs to be closed-Wisconsin border that is.
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