April 29, 2008

The 144

This ad appeared on page 11A of the Pioneer Press on April 27th.

Hopefully, you can click on it and enhance it enough to read it because, frankly, I don't have the time or the inclination to type it out.

It's basically an accusatory broadside, disguised with the "prove to use we are wrong pleading" in a secular paper by 144 (12 x 12 get it?) anonymous, but supposedly, confirmed, Catholic men, blaming Archbishop Flynn and Father Dease for the Board action at UST that removes the sitting Archbishop as Chairman of the Board.

I blogged on this issue before and I'm not happy about what the Board did.

However, I think this ad was a bad idea. Sure, it calls for a public dialogue but it's a classless way to go about it. There is no mention made that any prior requests for dialogue with the Archbishop or Father Dease were previously denied.

What's the point? A public attempt at humiliation of Archbishop Flynn, by supposed Catholics (we can only take their words for it) during the final weeks of his tenure? Is it a good thing this ad ran the very day after he confirmed 5 more men as gifts to us in Holy Priesthood?

At least the "progressive" Catholics have the cojones to sign their actual names when they pull this stuff. The ad is sponsored by a previously unknown group called the Ad Hoc Committee to Restore Archbishop Nienstedt as Chairmen of the Board of Trustees,University of St. Thomas and it gives an address in N.E. Minneapolis but there is no zip code, no email, no phone number, no leaders name given. What kind of legit movement is this when it's so underground?

I'm pretty sure I can guess who some of these men are. My guess is it's some of the same men who decide on their own that priests are not doing enough so they feel like they better step in because apparently they are so much holier than everyone else. You know who they are. Anyone who's been even half awake for the last several years probably knows too.

April 27, 2008

Another Cuticle Biter...

..because I quit biting my nails years ago! LOL!

Just as I'm certain Joe Gibbs must be thinking "I'm so thankful that Rick Hendrick threw Kyle Busch away!" so Terry must miss my posts on sports.

The Twins, ah, well, maybe some day, they are a young team, yada, yada...

My guy, Truex Jr., got caught up in the Big One at Talladega. In spite of that, he's still gorgeous.

Can I just a take moment to state that I'm so happy that Smoke finally cut his hair?!

Next week: under the lights at Richmond.

Welcome to Our New Priests!

Seminarian Gregory has a great post about the 5 new priests of the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis! They were ordained yesterday at the Cathedral of St. Paul.

Praised Be Jesus Christ!

Please, sir, can we have some more?!

April 26, 2008

Date Night

Now that the St. Andrew Parish Festival has concluded, I'm off on a date! Vincenzo has a photo of the festival! The weather in his photo looks better than I recall. But, remember I was staffing the beer sales...I think.

Terry hooked me up. I'm not wild about his mullet, but he is a NASCAR fan!

Psalm 118:24

Gentle Reader: Sorry, I've been scarce, but, as I suspected, my new work out routine has eaten up a lot of my free time. But, other than wrenching my right knee this week, it was a good idea for me to start up my physical fitness regimen once more.

Friends, the Lord has taught me a fine lesson this week. One that I hope I will remember the rest of my life. He has answered my prayers. No, He did not just give me what I wanted exactly as I wanted. But, He gave me something better: Understanding.

My regular readers, my friends, know what a trial my new job has been. I've had difficulties in getting along with my boss. I started applying for new positions elsewhere. I've been cranky, irritable, unbearable to be around, fearing to go the office, ungrateful, etc. etc.

I've had trials like this before. You probably have to. But, this time, it was different. I approached it differently. I leaned heavily upon the Sacraments: Mass, Confession. I read Scripture each day. I prayed the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet every day. I visited the Blessed Sacrament. I prayed constantly. I asked my Angel for help. A few times I sensed Adoro's Angel nearby-he's grown to be a good friend too. It sounds crazy but, really, he has a distinct presence. I asked friend's for prayer. I'm someone who has a MAJOR problem asking people for help until it's too late so it's a HUGE thing for me that I asked for help at all!

A wise Confessor, that I visit on occasion, told me (after I vented for several minutes of wailing grief) that I should pray the 4th Sorrowful Mystery (The Carrying of the Cross), meditate upon it and pray for the grace to carry my crosses without complaint.

You know what? It all worked.

No. I did not get a new job.

But, my boss and I had several good meetings this week where we each admitted our role in our dysfunctional relationship thus far. We both decided it was all over and done and we would go forward afresh. It has been a fantastic week since then. We can still get testy but our projects together are going well and we know we can be honest with each other and then move on.

I withdrew an application and offer I got from a different employer. I decided to stay where I am and see if I can make it work.

I, honestly, believe that the Lord was trying to tell me that I needed to look inward and admit my own failings and make it all work. I think He is pleased. Well, I'm pleased, anyway.

Sceptics will try and pooh-pooh this all away as having nothing whatsoever to do with the Lord or the Sacraments. I know that without them I would have probably lost my job due to my inappropriate anger and conduct, and I probably would have lost several friends and my mind.

Even after I wrenched my knee this week, I continued to go to my workout sessions. I just did low-impact work but I kept moving. There is a lesson there too. In pain, whether physical or mental or spiritual, don't give up. Do what you can, but keep going.

I've learned, yet again, that I am not always easy to get along with and I learned, yet again, that I need to express myself with others with a lot more tact than I occasionally show.

I've accepted the job for the blessing it is. There are many out of work these days. There are many with no shelter or enough food to eat. I am blessed.

This morning, I was drawn to El Greco's painting of Christ Carrying the Cross. It is different from many other depictions of the Via Crucis, in that, Christ is alone. In other paintings, the one by Bosch comes immediately to mind, there are many around Christ, either jeering Him, whipping Him, weeping, helping. The sky is dark, but some light peeks thru. Christ is erect and dignified in the way He embraces the Cross. He's barely touching it. His eyes are heavenward. The Cross looms large but, it's not defining Him. He's carrying it, but He's not bowed down under it. He's side by side with it. I pray that I have the grace to carry my cross in the same way.

Today, even with the sleet whipping in the howling wind, it is the day the Lord has made! It's a new day! I'm rejoicing and glad in it!

April 23, 2008

Keep On Keepin' On!

Ah, the 70s! Disco, lava lamps, bell bottoms, polyester, huge 'fros!

Speaking of the 70's, CommonWINE has resurrected an article Father Thomas Reese wrote 30-years ago in the latest issue!

Catch ya later!

(*MEOW*. Really, the article is brand new but it is as fine of a Protestant argument of why the Catholic Church hierarchy has no basis in history, how we should be able to vote on our Church leaders like any good Protestant, as anything I've ever read by a CATHOLIC priest! *MEOW* Seriously, do these guys have any new material? If they really want to be relevant why not gripe about the fact that the Holy Father does not have a Facebook page because he's too secretive! Or, complain about how the Holy Father really buys his clothes at the "evil" Wal-Mart like everyone else! Give me something new to despise you for! Thanks! Peace, man.)

A Recommendation and A Reminder

My parish, St. Andrew is having their Festival this Saturday, April 26th, from 2 p.m to 10 p.m. Raffles, games, drinks, food, music!!!!! Yours truly has been recruited to sell tickets for the beer for a few hours. Father Ryan said "Of all my parishioners, you are the one most likely to be able to spot a fake I.D.!"

Kidding. He'd never say something like that. He may be thinking it though. LOL!

St. Andrew is at 1051 Como Ave in St. Paul, MN

Please pray for good weather because it will be outside-rain or shine. We have tents.

Father is hearing Confessions from 3:30-4:00 and the Anticipatory Mass will still be at 4:30 p.m.

If you have not already done so, remember to contact Mayor R.T. Rybak's office regarding Sharing and Caring Hands. I blogged about it here

April 21, 2008

Six Word Memoir Meme

Angela tagged me for a meme! Write a 6-word memoir on yourself. Isn't this what they call an "epitaph"? What do you want on your tombstone? Ok, ok...it's tough....

Jesus, true love, I adore thee

I tag anyone who is inspired! This is a tough one.

Prayers for Father Echert and Those He Goes to Serve

Father John Paul Echert of the parishes of Holy Trinity and St. Augustine in South St. Paul, Minnesota, is going to Germany for a month to serve. The story, with photos, is here

Come Back Up and See Us Again, Eh?

Thanks for the visit and the memories, Your Holiness.

I think his sudden visit with those who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of clergy will be what I will remember most about his visit. I pray his action will provide healing to not only those who were there, but also those who were there in spirit.

Holy Father, may your reign be long and glorious!

April 20, 2008

The Tribe Has Spoken

..take your tiki torch and hit the road!

I got my halo kicked in the Crescat's Blog Awards but it was a lot of fun!

Thanks for all your work, Kat!

Prayer Request

Please remember in your prayers local blogger, Minnesota Mom and her family on the loss of the child they were expecting.

April 19, 2008

Not All of You are Clean

Recently, thanks to the blogsphere, it has come to my attention that the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is planning to "reassess" the restaurant license of Sharing and Caring Hands. Minneapolis has also, abruptly, decided to start cracking down on some other "problems" around the property. "Problems" they've known about for some time, but just now decided, are urgent needs that they need to resolve. Problems being: loitering, drug sales and use. I'm not saying these can't be problems but for crying out loud I can drive out to the Mall of America and, without much effort, spot loiterers, drug buyers and users. The only difference is one group is considered affluent and respectable and the other isn't. One group has a home to go to, the other one doesn't.

Frankly, I've driven past the shelter many times and I've never seen anything untoward going on. Nothing more than a couple guys outside. For all I know, they could be security staff that the Copelands long-ago hired to make the shelter a safe place. In other words, I wonder if these "problems" are not being overstated to suit some nefarious purpose.

Sharing and Caring Hands, as well as the adjacent residence, Mary's Place, were both founded by Mary Jo Copeland. Mary's Place provides housing for low-income, homeless people, battered women, families-basically anyone who is in serious trouble and may not be in a position to afford to live elsewhere. Sharing and Caring Hands is for want of a better term a "soup kitchen" but it is more than that. It provides a day stop for the homeless, free meals, showers and some very basic medical care. In this climate, anything that keeps people from freezing to death under the 394 overpasses is a good thing. In any climate, any place that gives shelter and sustinance to the needy is a good thing.

I still continue to be astounded at how bad zoning and licensing laws usually are. Sharing and Caring Hands has a RESTAURANT LICENSE? It's not like you walk in and order off a menu, pay for it, and tip the server. There should be a seperate category of licenses and zoning for charitable business like this. There are rumors that the city may want the shelters to move or close. Move where? Eagan? Where Mrs. Copeland still can't get full permission or raise enough money to build the orphanage she wants on the land she owns? Who else is going to step up and serve the homeless if she's gone? Catholic Charities, other organizations, and St. Olaf Catholic Church in DT Minneapolis have some kitchens, shelters and temporary residences around but not enough for demand.

Scuttlebutt is that Minneapolis is suddenly deciding that Sharing and Caring Hands and Mary's Place are problems because of the new Twins stadium going in across the street. The timing does seem odd. Also, the Twin Cities will be hosting a major political convention this Fall-coincidence? Sure, the convention will be in DT St. Paul but I would bet many of the conventioneers will be in the Minneapolis Warehouse District (the trendy neighborhood that adjoins the shelters) with it's bars and restaurants. Futhermore, Target Center is right there too.

Western society has a ignominious history of temporarily moving and relocating the homeless when a convention or major event bringing out of towners is arriving: Salt Lake City, Atlanta, New York City etc. etc. There is talk that Denver, which is hosting the Democratic convention this year, may be doing the same. Does anyone seriously think that any visitor believes that there are no homeless people in your city? No. But, there is a prevailing belief that you can know about them but you should not have to SEE them or, even worse, INTERACT with them in any way. Apparently, it's hospitality to remove the "eyesores" when the visitors come, but "reality" to keep them in place for your citizens after the company leaves.

St. Paul (especially downtown) does not really have much of a nightlife; so for all the hysterics of Councilman David Thune who imagines, with horror, barfing Republicans on West 7th, I don't think he needs to worry that much. My guess is most of the folks looking for a serious party will be across the river or, like almost every other visitor, be out at the Mall of America buying drugs (kidding-they'll be shopping at DSW and then buying drugs! LOL!). In any case, it amuses me up that people who think Republicans have such a stick up their butt that they don't know how to crack a smile suddenly envision rampaging hordes of men in power suits burning and pillaging thru the bars. Gosh, if the Republican party is truly the party of Christ, as some seriously or sarcastically claim, I would think they'd be in their hotel rooms reading Scripture or in church somewhere. *meow*

It's not a stretch to say that the press in this town barely tolerates Mrs. Copeland. Honestly, I don't think it's a stretch to say that a lot of Christians, even Catholics, in this town barely tolerate her either. Contrary to popular belief, Mary's Place is not named after Mrs. Copeland herself. It's named for Our Lady, whom Mrs. Copeland has a strong devotion too. Yes, Mrs. Copeland is a Catholic. Not a Catholic in Name Only (CINO) either. Not a social justice doctrine, but nothing else the Church teaches Catholic. She's usually wearing a crucifix, she's usually praying in her shelters in front of the residents and visitors, she peppers her speech with Scriptural and Saintly references, she's a daily, if not nearly daily, Communicant. In other words, she's authentic in her Catholicism.

She's been accused of having a Messiah complex. She's been derisively called a "Mother Theresa". She's been accused of using her shelters for proselytizing and evangelization. She washes the feet of the poor and some imagine she sees herself as Jesus. The Holy Father sends shoes for the homeless in her shelters and she is accused of being a Papal puppet.

Regardless of what anyone may think of Mrs. Copeland herself, I would think that the potential for having 2 major shelters closed, or told they have to relocate to a suburban setting that the homeless don't currently have summer residences in, would be an issue that would unite all those who claim to be Catholic, or Christians of any denomination, in mutual outrage. This would seem to me an issue that ALL of us could get behind. Unfortunately, many are too busy worrying about the Latin Mass, if priests should be married, women's ordination, permits for protesting the Republican Convention, if our new Archbishop is going to interfere with your personal life in some way, to get behind this issue.

If it is the fact that she's such a passionate Catholic that bothers you and you want her out of business for that, are YOU, then prepared to take up her work on the scale and with the same zeal she has? How many of us even have the fire to do that? I know I don't. I'm in awe of her. I can only think that it is the Fire of Christ's Heart and the encouragement of Our Lady that keeps her going.

For many of us, it doesn't matter if we actually see or know any homeless, it doesn't matter if they are forcibly relocated temporarily or permanently, we only care if it personally effects us. A friend said that with this current economic climate maybe we should ALL care because one day soon we may need the services these shelters provide. I don't know about you, but as a Catholic, the first place I'd want to go would be a shelter led by someone who is openly living the Faith she professes.

If you can and want to help, you need to contact Mayor R.T. Rybak's policy aide: Erica Prosser 612-673-2133 or erica.prosser@ci.minneapolis.mn.us BEFORE April 25th!!!

Also, my friend, Terry has been very passionate and outraged about this issue. I recommend you check his Abbey-Roads blog for the latest developments.

April 18, 2008

A Discombobulated Mess: Minnesota Monthly

Gentle Reader:

I was interviewed a few months ago for an article on Archbishop Nienstedt that appears in the May issue of, Minnesota Monthly

I had a feeling during the course of said correspondence that the author already had his slant in mind before he wrote the story. My suspicions are confirmed by the story.

The author only used one actual quote from our ACTUAL correspondence. The rest he took off my blog and made some assumptions and threw snippets together. Apparently, and obviously, what I said during our interview was not what he was after.

I SAVED my email train with him. Below are the questions he asked me in italics and my actual responses to his questions.

Why am I publishing our interview? I don't want anyone thinking that I have anything less than the highest respect for Archbishop's Flynn or Nienstedt.

I want to set this story as straight as I can.

Signed: Catherine of Alexandria (Janice LaDuke), (the modern victim of journalistic hogwash, not the medieval martyr)

Dear Janice,

I'm the senior writer at Minnesota Monthly magazine, and I'm working on a story putting the appointment of incoming Archbishop Nienstedt in perspective. To that end, as a follower of your blog (admittedly a silentone), I've admired your observations and am hoping you'd have a moment to discuss your thoughts on the matter.

Some questions follow, or I can be reached in the office at -------.

1) Is there anything about the Mpls-St. Paul Archdiocese that strikes you as unique or different? What issues tend to surface most often on your blog, among your readers?

A frequent topic of discussion on my blog regarding this Archdiocese are the high numbers of seminarians we have here compared to other Dioceses'. We also have more Adoration Chapels in this Archdiocese then ANY other. Archbishop Flynn, in my opinion and the opinion of many Catholics who live here, is responsible for encouraging vocations, strengthening the seminary, and encouraging Adoration.

2) Many have suggested that Bishop Nienstedt is more "conservative" than Archbishop Flynn--that he's the one who will enforce doctrine in the diocese. Others have said that's a slap to Archbishop Flynn, making it seem like he's somehow not been faithful to church teaching. From what you can gather, what distinctions are believed to exist between Nienstedt and Flynn, and are they more than superficial?

I do not agree with the perception of many that Coadjutor Archbishop Nienstedt is more faithful to Church teaching then Archbishop Flynn. I think both men are faithful to Church teaching. I think people are mistaking action or lack thereof in a certain way in certain situations with each mans relationship with Christ's Church. I don't think it is appropriate to project a statement on a persons belief, regardless of whether that person is a leader, because they did, or did not act, or react the way you thought they should have-or the way you think you would have if you had been in a similar situation. I believe that the perceptions of Archbishop Nienstedt are based solely on assumptions of what people think he did, or did not do, in the Diocese of New Ulm. I don't think we will know, for sure, what Archbishop Nienstedt's plan, if he even has one, will be until he assumes leadership of this Archdiocese. Even then, we may not know right away. There are many who believe that Archbishop Nienstedt will enforce Church teaching more forcefully then Archbishop Flynn or that he would have handled some situations differently. Possibly. Each man, any man, may not act the same.

3) There are those who believe the archdiocese needs a good housecleaning (and that Nienstedt is the one to do it). But does it really? Is there any reason to believe the archdiocese is somehow notable for being outside the mainstream of modern Catholicism?

There are many who think this Archdiocese needs a good housecleaning. Many of the people that say that don't even live here. This Archdiocese is known worldwide for several parishes that have strayed pretty far from the Catholic faith. I say worldwide because, thanks to the Web and the fact that many of the parishes in question have websites, anyone can read some of their more outrageous, and some say, heretical statements.

Thanks very much, in advance, for your thoughts on any or all of these questions. I look forward to hearing from you.

Tim (Gihring)

April 16, 2008

Office Happenings That Make You Go Hmmmmm...

The boss who usually either ignores you or is a raging bee-y---- towards you is being really nice to you.

You are asked to fill out a talent evaluation form on yourself for the Sr. VP-guess he has no idea why the h--- you were hired either.

You are asked to list everything you are currently working on or have finished for your manager-your suspicians are confirmed-she really has no idea what you do or have done. And, she's still as incompetent as yesterday.

You can hardly go to the restroom without avoiding the judgemental eye of withering scorn from your superiors for your apparently weak bladder (after holding it for 3 hours I might add) but they can break the news that they are going to be unavailable for the next 40 hours 1/2 hour before they leave.

However, you encourage these same yay-hoos to go to as many conferences, conventions, vacations, school plays and funerals as possible because the fact they are not in your face all day is like having a vacation. Considering the paltry vacation hours you are allowed, that's probably all you are going to get anyway! Hey, this ain't Germany!

The Director gets your team's name wrong in the agenda for a Department meeting-AGAIN!-you feel like telling her just write "Screwed" in there, sweetie, thanks, luv ya!

Your entire area can't seem to keep office supplies and equipment on-hand, nor get quick re-stocks when needed. Consequently, there is a black market location near the Security Guard's desk for those that need to be hooked up with their fix of hanging files, pens, pencils, erasers, hard drives, phones that actually work, a desk chair..has anyone seen my car?....

Corporate IT has gone into hiding at a never disclosed location. Actually, no one is sure that we really have a Corporate IT Department.

How was your day?

(For the record: this IS a Cranky Cathy post!!!!)

Happy 81st Birthday Your Holiness!!!

For your birthday, I'm sending you a Rosary prayed for your intentions! I will also lift a glass in your honor and have a piece of German chocolate cake on your behalf when I get together with Swissy and L later. We will not be dancing. Well, I shouldn't say that, you never know what I might do after a few glasses of wine.

April 15, 2008

The Abomination of Desolation

Liturgical Dancing

A misnamed art form if there ever was one. I’m checking the GIRM and I can’t find the section where it says there is to be dancing during the liturgy of Holy Mass. Gentle Reader, maybe you can help me out?

It’s rarely couples dancing. I’ve seen a lot of this dancing (I don’t know what to call it: Crap? Stretching?). It usually involves individuals (primarily women) in skin tight leotards with a diaphanous dress or skirts over it sashaying around in bare feet using long dragging steps with dramatically flourishing arm stretches. I always wish they could reach for the stars and grab it or just do the Yoga Corpse pose and die already and put us all out of our misery! It’s like watching an exercise class. I’d rather watch an exercise class than participate, but I’d rather go to Mass to watch the Lord and participate in the Liturgy as IT SHOULD BE than watch a live commercial for Jane’s Tai-Chi class unfolding before my eyes!!!!

I’ve NEVER been a fan of this, this, this... Even in my dissident days, my teeth clenched when we had to sit there and endure the, er, interlude of dancing. When dancing looks like something I do when I’m imitating Robin Williams in The Bird Cage, I have a hard time thinking this is really advanced art or even something I can watch without laughing. I don’t know about you, but when I’m laughing during Mass it’s usually at human ridiculousness not anything The Christ does (Oh, He was such a funny guy! The Sermon on the Mount-hilarious! Condescending to enter the Bread and the Wine so we can consume Him-what a side-splitter!). What liturgical foolery will be next? Chant karaoke?

This is nothing but paganism inserted into the liturgy. Proponents will tell you; it’s a celebration of the human form, it’s a celebration of Christ’s creation. Is Holy Mass supposed to be a celebration of us? NO! But, a lot of people mistakenly think and believe so. The same folks who will have Earth Day during Mass tend to favor liturgical dance as well. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

It continually amuses me (It’s true, the idiot is easily humored! LOL!) that Catholics who can’t bother to faithfully interpret anything as it’s written, suddenly become Scriptural literalists when they think it suits their purposes. In this case, they will cite 2 Samuel 6:14-17. They'll say: "Since David danced before the Lord we should be able to also." Go back and read that passage again. David is dancing before the ARK. Furthermore, he is not dancing in the Temple (in this case it would be the Tent) after the Ark is placed inside. He dances OUTSIDE then he quits when the Ark is placed.

Yes, it’s true that at some papal Masses there is dancing (I’m trying to remember some of them and I can’t recall if they were during the actual liturgy or not. Anyone know?). Even during some Masses that are approved by the local Ordinary (i.e. African Masses) there is dancing while bringing the gifts forward. I still grit my teeth but if the necessary approvals are there, then I must be silent. But, in many cases, there are no necessary approvals, people just decide on their own they are going to do it. Another fine example of the individual Magisterium at work.

I believe that most of the people who want to move and jump around at the infamous Religious "Education" Conference (a.k.a. The 3 Days of Darkness), or during Mass at your local parish, are not conscious of dancing before the Lord anyway. They are dancing before the studio audience (the congregation). They certainly are not facing the Lord. Ad orientem dance (*shudder* Great, just what I need to see at Mass next, Ms. Leigh's buh-DONK-a-DONK butt waiving in my face!)!

A couple people told me that dancers were used in their Easter Vigil Mass. Not only that, but the dancers actually DID the blessing of the people with the Holy Water after the renewal of the Baptismal Promises. I don’t know where Father was-maybe he was locked up in the back with the rest of the hostages? When I was a kid, it was customary for the faithful to kneel and cross themselves as Father passed by with the Holy Water. I’m sure as H-E-Double Toothpicks not kneeling when Jo-Jo Dancer comes by smiling and laughing (because you know they are!) as they enjoy dousing me about 4-5 times (If you really want to be funny bring the whole jug out and dump it over my head like the players do to coaches after a winning football game! Isn’t that almost like the Woman with the Alabaster Jar?! Like this is almost an actual paragraph? Or, almost a Cranky Cathy post?) Only Father should be sprinkling the faithful. Only priests are supposed to be doing Baptisms-unless it’s an emergency-and I don’t consider more of a crowd than usual to be indicative of an emergency. Giving LAYPEOPLE another unnecessary role is not a valid excuse for this nonsense. Just because the GIRM does not explicitly say “Dancers should NOT be sprinkling the people with Holy Water” or "Absolutely no one should be doing The Hustle during Mass" does not mean it is acceptable.

But, really, to some folks the GIRM could say “Close your eyes and think of England ” and they either wouldn’t read it anyway or they’d leave their eyes open and think of Australia. Give some an inch and they take a mile. Some take the inch and the mile and another 500 yards just to see if they can. Maybe we need to start building more golf courses with sandtraps.

Welcome Your Holiness!!!!

If my pathetic prayers mean anything, be assured that you have them! I pray that the message of Christ that you bring will reach the hearts of many.

April 13, 2008

I Find This Lack of Faith Disturbing

Interesting, and disturbing, story from Bloomberg about Ayn Rand's influence in business school programs. I'm not surprised to hear her work is influential in academia. I'm surprised that CEO's are pushing really hard to make it so-using the only evangelization tool they really know-$$$$$

Look for Harold Bloom's typically acerbic critical comment of Rand's writing at the bottom. LOL!

The Eighth Time

Then Peter approaching asked Him, "Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy times seven times." --Matthew 18:21-22

How many times has someone come to you and asked you to forgive an offense they commited against you? Maybe it was a friend, a co-worker, a family member, a spouse.

"I'm sorry, I will never use again"
"I'm clean now, can I crash with you for a while until I get on my feet?"
"Please don't fire me, I'm sorry I got caught surfing the web on the clock again"
"I'm sorry I yelled at you"
"I'm sorry I lied to you"
"Yes, I did sleep with her, I'm sorry. It will never happen again. Please take me back"

Regardless of how many times they asked for forgiveness, did you give it? Once, twice, never, always?

If you are like most of us, maybe you forgave a couple of times but when it became clear to you that nothing was going to change you quit forgiving. Maybe you walked away. Maybe you told that person you never want to see them again.

We are human. We are not God. I'm so thankful that those who try to limit Jesus to being only a prophetic human are wrong. Think about it. If Jesus put a limit on how often he would forgive an offense against Him, we would be doomed. If His mercy were as limited as ours is, we would be completely without hope.

Humans have the need to protect themselves. We may forgive a person for the umpteenth time but we may also decide that we cannot have that person in our lives. Just imagine if God told us that He did not want us. Not matter what we did or how many times we went to Confession for forgiveness, God said "No way. I don't care what Cathy does anymore. I'm done with her"

It's so easy to ask God for forgiveness. "Easy?" you say, incredulously. Yes, forgiveness is possible by a simple formula a contrite heart and a resolve to change our lives. You can ask as many times as you want and the Lord in the bottomless depths of His mercy is ready and willing to forgive us.

I think due to our limited human understanding, God can seem remote. Because of our flawed perception, I think that it is easier to approach the Lord for forgiveness than it is a human. You KNOW in your heart that the Lord will forgive (well, you should know). Who can predict with any certainty how a flawed human will react? But, we must try to mend things with our brother too. Not to do so, is sinful as well.

If you have offended the Lord, don't delay, ask for forgiveness. Operators (priests) are standing by.

April 12, 2008


A Cranky Cathy explosion!

I saw two of those idiotic and illogical "Pro Choice/Pro Child" bumperstickers this afternoon.

What does one do to counter those? Put a sticker on my car that says "Pro Elderly/Pro Euthanasia"? or "Love my Grandma/Merciful Murder!"?

I decided to pray. It was either that or get my black marker out.

April 11, 2008

Reflection in my Mirror

Gentle Reader: First of all, I want to state for the record that it is not me in the reflection in V.P. Dick Cheney's shades.

However, my actual reflection in the mirror is scaring me.

I have not set foot in my gym since January-when the stress of this new job and the long hours started cutting into my free time.

Lo! A voice from Falcon Heights today: "Hey, I have not seen you in the gym for a while. Are you ok? I'm starting up another session of Bootcamp. I've changed the evening time. I've got a spot, let me know if you want it"

My personal trainer.

I trained with her via an extremely intense workout for 1 1/2 years. "Look Good Naked Bootcamp" or as I call it "Look Good in your Coffin at your Wake". It's really a tough workout but man was I getting into shape! I could jog! My arms were starting to look sculpted! I could even hold Ray over my head with one arm! Well, ok, that's not true. But, I was working up to it!

I warned my trainer that I'm looking pretty scary. Everything is sagging (yuck). I'm sure she's going to be tough on me.

Anyway, this is my long way of saying that blogging may be light for 12 weeks. Summer, bar-b-que, sweat, passing out, you know-the usual. For some of you, the note on my reduced blogging is the answer to your prayers. LOL!

But, this is as fine a time as any to not only assess my physical shape but, also, my spiritual shape. Am I praying enough? Am I spending enough time with the Lord? Am I living a Christian life? How's my Examination of Conscience looking? Some work could be done in those areas too.

Don't delay! Get ready for summer-NOW! I know it's sleeting here in the TC but, the sun will come out! Spring will come soon! Really! If it doesn't, I'm going to my Grandma's in Florida!

April 09, 2008

The Cafeteria IS Closed...

....order off the menu.


Main course....

Our maitre'd will assist you with interpreting our traditional dishes....

April 08, 2008

Gaia Day in God's House

Earth Day is approaching. It is April 22nd which, this year, is a Tuesday. Why bother mentioning this on the blog of a Catholic crank? What’s there to rant about? No rant today. I’m pensive and reflective (Father Andrew, that DM Chaplet is still working!)

It is important that we, as Christians, are stewards of the land that God gave us. We should treat it with respect. We should strive to keep it clean and safe and only use as much as we need from it. Don’t be greedy!

The Church encourages respect for God's creation. Recently, many Christian denominations have united around environmental concerns.

These are not bad things and I’m all for it.

However, I’m NOT for it at the expense of Holy Mass or doctrinal teachings. I don’t think the Earth is as important of an issue as human life. Frankly, I’d rather see the Earth blow up due to some nuclear waste disaster, than continue to allow abortion on demand. I’d trade our water supply if it meant, in exchange, that all Catholics everywhere approached the Eucharist with the reverence and solemnity it deserves.

I know my last paragraph is setting teeth on edge across town.

Because April 22nd is a weekday (and not every parish bothers with daily Mass), some parishes are going to transfer their Earth Day “celebration” to Sunday April 20th (5th Sunday of Easter). Some parishes replace the designated Mass readings and proper celebration of Holy Mass with an Earth slide show, bombastic music, the Creation Narrative from the beginning of Genesis (Great! But, it’s not on the Scripture schedule for the day.), and quotes from Al Gore (patron saint of the environment-doncha know!?) Worship of God, becomes worship of Gaia. If you want to talk manners, how rude is it to worship something else in God's house?

I’m not making any of this up. I’ve been to more than one of these “masses” in my dissident era.

You’d probably guess that parishes that do this can barely manage to properly celebrate the Mass as they should anyway-you’d be right.

I’m sad that it’s still the Easter season and the Gospel readings from John 14 for that week are, er, pretty important in understanding who Jesus really is. Some of our brothers and sisters won’t hear them much less have Father explain them. I’m sad because I know that people in these parishes can probably barely, if at all, explain who Jesus is based upon Scripture, Tradition, Magisterium. But, they can tell you how much our society produces in trash each year.

It’s great to rattle off a statistic like how much water the average person drinks each day but how much does the same person know of the “living water that never ends”?

April 07, 2008

Witness to Your Own Death

Sounds morbid and horrible. Who would want to see themselves die-like watching it all unfold in a mirror?

Yet, that's what sin is and does. It kills our body and our soul. Slowly. It eats away at us from the inside out-like a cancer. It may not be visible from the outside, but it's there.

It's possible that no one else on Earth knows how wracked with sin you are-no one but you.

We need a doctor. We need the Lord. In the dual role of physician and spiritual healer: we need a priest, acting in persona Christi to absolve us and begin our healing from our sins. Father helps dispose us to receive the ultimate medicine: Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

The ultimate healing miracle.

April 06, 2008

Jesus is Still Not Recognized

Scripture is full of instances of Jesus, during his time among us (both before and after Easter) walking about unrecognized. Many failed or outright refused to recognize Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah. Including, sadly, his own people-the Jews. The Apostles, frequently, failed to not only understand who Jesus really was; but they also failed to understand His words.

Today's Gospel reading from Luke 24:13-35 is about Jesus appearing to two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. The disciples fail to recognize Jesus-by no means the first time The Christ is unrecognized by his followers. The disciples are 7 miles from the town so they must have spent several hours with Jesus on the road. Not only does Jesus walk with them, he discourses, at length and we have to think with astounding wisdom and clarity, on the prophecies and histories in Scripture that relate to Him. The disciples still don't recognize Him. It is only later as Jesus breaks bread with them that they recognize His actions. They've seen that before. Before they can speak, Jesus vanishes from their sight.

Today, we see many Catholics who don't even recognize Jesus in the Eucharist much less by His words. Soon the Sucessor of Peter, Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning, will visit our shores. Already, the press is bombarding us with, what they think, is revelatory prose about the state of the Catholic Church in the U.S.

Gentle Reader: We are not stupid. We know there are many who profess to know Christ, who claim to be Catholic, who no more recognize Christ during that one hour a week (if that) at Holy Mass on Sunday than they would if he appeared before a Yankees game, showed them His Sacred Heart, and repeated the entiriety of His message to all those gathered. He'd probably be treated like the President at the Nationals opener-with boos.

The press would have us think that the Holy Father is irrelevant and he does not have anything to say to the world. Many claim that they can't get a "reading" on the Holy Father because he's not as outgoing and approachable as Pope John Paul II. They can't understand what the Holy Father is saying about Catholic education. They don't get why that should be important. They don't understand why they should care that Pope Benedict has spent many of his weekly audiences teaching on patristics. They don't get why ad orientem worship is important. They don't understand why the Holy Father believes Catholicism contains the fullness of the Truth. They don't understand the meaning behind the motu proprio. They don't get why the Holy Father is still preaching that all human life is sacred from conception to natural death.

Of course they don't.

Friends: Does the Holy Father speak first to the world? or does he speak first to US?

By speaking to "us", I mean the Faithful, the Roman Catholics. Not only those who just say they are Catholics with their lips, but the Roman Catholics whose "hearts burn within them" like the disciples when they heard the words of Jesus.

It matters to me that the world "gets" the Holy Father. However, it CONCERNS me that CATHOLICS get the Holy Father.

I think the Holy Father, like Jesus, like the Apostle the Holy Father is a direct descendent of, tries to speak to the whole world. Unfortunately, only a few understand it and even fewer accept it.

I believe that Pope Benedict XVI will go down in history as one of our greatest Popes ever. Considering that's 2000 years worth of leadership that's saying something.

I will not be able to personally see the Holy Father while he is here. I will follow the website coverage on Pope2008.com, EWTN and Relevant Radio. Still, I feel like he's coming to see me. When he sees one of us, when he talks to one of us, he talks to all of us. Just as The Christ's message is to all who believe, so, too, is the Holy Father's. But, the message has profound meaning only to those, who not only believe, but accept. The true believers don't have to be on the road to Emmaus, nor do they have to be in Washington D.C. when the Pope is there. The message of Christ transcends time and geography. It speaks to the heart of the true believers everywhere and always.

The Holy Father, like his predecessors, brings Christ's message. How many will listen with an open heart and an open mind and recognize that the Holy Father is not always speaking for himself? He speaks for HIM.

Church Militant

Adoro has a very thoughtful post you should read called Church Militant.As I've learned more about the Faith, I've avoided some of the forums-even, sadly, some of those that helped me revert. They are too inflammatory. They mean to do good, but often, they degenerate into a circus.

April 05, 2008

Nameless Fear

Bloggers: Be on your guard. Especially, the local bloggers of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. As we approach the Annual Tramping of the Colors by the International Lodge of the Individual Magisteriums at the Cathedral at Pentecost and the changing of our diocesan leadership, I have a feeling that blog attacks are about to be ramped up. I've noticed an increase in "anonymous" bloggers commenting on other blogs as well as mine. Some of them have names, initials or handles that I recognize from my dissident days. Many of these people to watch out for just registered for blog IDs (IDs only-no blog-no other info) within the last 30 days.

April 04, 2008

Familiarity is Contempt

I know other bloggers have ranted about this topic already but I'm so cranky today I can hardly stand myself! I must not be fasting with a happy face. I think I'll go pray a DM Chaplet soon.

A Cranky Cathy post!

Why is it Catholics of the dissident persuasion think it's acceptable to immediately refer to a priest as "Tom" "Dick" or "Harry". They completely drop "Father" and just dive right in. They don't even deign to ask Father's permission.

I'll tell you why. This is the pseudo-Communist mindset at work (told you I was cranky today). We are all comrades. We are all equals. No one should have a title. We are all the same.

I wonder. Do these folks call their Dad: "Tom" "Dick" or "Harry"?

This is a 60s hold over that needs to die a fast death. Well, it will once all these numbskulls with 0.5 children have passed away.

In the meantime, here we are with people greeting our Archbishop with "Hi, Harry!" I'd seriously love it if he'd retort with "Hi, rude bozo!" Actually, I have a stronger retort in mind but he's a man of God. I'm obviously not-so there.

Honestly, I don't even like it when people use Father's first name: like Father Joe or Father Pat-though, at least, that's a step up from Joe and Pat. I can't wait to read all the vociferous protests I'm about to get in my email and comments box. I prefer people use the last name but I, grudgingly, step off when Father says it's ok. I admit that I will often still use their last name (i.e Father O'Hara) or just call them Father and drop the first name.

In my dissident life, I did refer to the dissident priests that I knew by their first name. At their request. It took me quite a while to do it. However, I began using his first name without hesitation, when I began believing that laity should be empowered to do ALL that priest's do and that the priesthood is irrelevent and meaningless.

When you refer to Father by his first name only, are you, by chance, expressing contempt for his office?

U.S.News & World Report on the Pope's Visit

Some of you may have read this already, but I just saw the issue on the newsstand last night. Enchanted by a great cover photo of the Holy Father, I picked up a copy of the April 7-12th issue. You can read the story by Jay Tolson online. However, the online content does not reprint the same charts in the print edition.

In the print edition, they have a box with a series of questions on Catholic Attitudes. Each question has a % of Catholics that agree or disagree. I got cranky. Not so much for the content of this box on Catholic attitudes, (though I should have been), but that there is no attribution for these questions. It does not say if these questions were asked by U.S News or someone else? Was this a phone survey, web survey? What was the pool of people? How many were polled? How many answered each question? Is there a margin of error? I HATE sloppy crap like this. It makes me cranky. I almost threw the entire issue in the trash with the article unread.

How can you even get cranky over numbers, that we are supposed to think are authoritative, when we have not even the most rudimentary knowledge of how these numbers were calculated? I start to think, and I can't help it, that when a journal does not explain how they developed a source they move from reportage to agenda.

I think I have just figured out the difference between a major news source and a blog. As a blogger, I have an agenda. My agenda is twofold: 1) I blog about myself, 2) I blog to bring what I know about Catholicism to help prevent others from being mired in the erroneous dissent about the Faith as I was for so long.

A major news source should NOT have an agenda. I know, many of them do. Just report it. Report it fairly-that's all I ask.

All in all the article: I've seen a lot worse. Not too bad.

I got cranky over another chart comparing the percentages of Catholics who go to Confession yearly and they only showed "Born before 1943" with "Born after 1981". To be fair, US News reprinted a chart from another source but I wonder if US News picked the years to show. In any case, as you'd expect, "Born after 1981" is lower in number of people going to Confession yearly.

Why am I cranky about that? Consider:

*Boomers and Generations X are not represented-the absence of Boomers alone is huge
*Did the pollster consider that you are not required to have your Confession heard until you've made your First Confession and discount those years beforehand?
*People born after 1981 are only 26 years old. Assuming they received their First Confession at 10, we are only counting 16 years, right? Who knows?
*Technically, you are only required to have your Confession heard once/year to be a Catholic in good-standing. (you probably should not be receiving Communion if that's all you are doing-but technically...)the poll does not clarify any of that.

Another chart with the "Born before 1943" versus "Born after 1981" shows numbers who astain from meat on Fridays. These numbers are close but again there is an age consideration and number of people to throw in. Elderly and infirm are not required to follow the fast and neither are the young. So: d'uh to that one!

Hopefully, you see what I'm getting at. Don't take statistics at face value. I'm just afraid these numbers are going to be thrown around as "gospel".

Oh, one "howler" in the article itself. The writer, Charlotte Hays, is quoted as praising Pope Benedict for bringing some traditional Catholic elements back to the fore. She mentions ad orientem worship as one because it "helps restore a sense of what Catholics call "real presence" to the ceremony".

That's exactly how that's worded. I have a suspicion that Ms. Hays was talking about THE REAL PRESENCE. If that's true, there is a WORLD of difference between that and the tiny way it was presented in the story. To be fair, Mr. Tolson, may not know the difference, but to me it was huge. And, the Mass is not a ceremony (that word is wrong to me). I'm pretty sure Ms. Hays would reduce the Mass to ceremony either. I think what she really said was slightly misrepresented.

Approach with a questioning mind and Catholic wisdom.

First Friday Fast Intentions

*Solidarity with the Dallas bloggers for an end to abortion.
*The intentions of the bloggers in my sidebar

If you have a particular intention that you would like me to pray for, please add it to the comments.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, pray for us!

April 03, 2008

The Strangers You Know


Does this happen to you?

When you read a blog for a period of time do you find yourself KNOWING when something is wrong with the blogger?

I think so.

I believe that when you read a blog regularly you get to know the blogger-even though you may have never met them.

You can tell something is wrong, even if they don't explicitly post there is something wrong. You can tell something is wrong by the words they use or don't use,their tone, how frequently they are blogging, what they are blogging.

Have you noticed that too?

April 02, 2008

What Does Vincenzo Look Like?

Speculation is rampant in the blogosphere! Who is Vincenzo? What does he look like? Here is a rare photo of Vin on a fishing trip in the Pacific Northwest. Like Tom Jones, I think he should consider insuring his chest hair! Well, he may also want to consider some waxing. I told him to come on over, I can do a redneck wax (Nair and a high pressure garden house-works every time!)

Typical Meeting with My Boss

"Helloooo, is there anybody in there?"

How's your day going?

April 01, 2008

Mulier's Motu Meme

Mac wants to know more about me (scary!) and tagged me for this meme. I don't know what the name of this meme is so I called it Mulier's Motu Meme. She dared to question why I was not wearing a mantilla in the classic image by Vincenzo that accompanies this post! Isn't a halo enough for this woman?!? Those Brits-never satisfied! I know she's been ill so maybe she was hopped up on cold meds at the time...who knows? *meow*

What I was doing 10 years ago:
Preparing to move from Minneapolis (in May) to a suburb of Chicago, Illinois in order to finish my graduate degree. I gained 20 pounds while there that I still can't lose. Why? See the next one....

5 Snacks I enjoy:
Pearson's Salted Nut Rolls
Milky Way candy bars
Ben & Jerry's Pistachio Pistachio ice cream
Tortilla chips (baked-no salt) and Lisa's Homemade Salsa (medium or hot)
White Popcorn-air popped coated with REAL melted butter, sprinkled with a light salt and hang on to your hats: parmesan cheese (You can guess I'm a little obssessed about my popcorn mix. Anyone daring to mention the words "margerine" "butter spread" "butter spray" "golden" in my home will be shot on sight. In a similarly friendly vein, don't ever talk to me about that cancerous microwave crap! Ever. Luv ya!)

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
* Cover the debt of Veritatis Splendor before she enters the convent
* Buy a new car for Ray
* Give Adoro money to cover her summer job break.
* Become an well-known eccentric Archdiocesan character-you know the one the local parishes and schools have on speed dial when they need help but are afraid to call because I come up with outrageous conditions like: "Sure, I'll give you $1 million but only if Father never looks at me during his Homily EVER again and he has to stand on one leg. If he fails to meet my conditions, even once, I want that money back!"

Five jobs that I have had:
Dairy Queen ice cream counter (you can guess I lost 1/2 my miserably low pay eating the product, right?), hotel maid, customer service phone operator for the US Postal Service (oh, yeah, that was a fun job-NOT!), healthcare consultant, retail industry analyst.

Three of my bad habits:
Impatience, Irritability, Gluttony (you thought there would be another "I" didn't you?)

Five places I have lived:
Other than my grad school stint in Illinois, I've lived in Minnesota my whole life. In Minnesota, I've lived in Cass Lake, Minnesota. However, I spent most of my life in Minneapolis in these neighborhoods: Lyndale, Kingfield, Harrison. I, currently, live in the South Como neighborhood of St. Paul's North End.

Five people I want to know more about (a nice way of saying TAG!): Adoro , Ray , swissmiss , Terry and Angela


for behold, the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of pruning has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
--Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Think of this reading in terms of the Easter miracle, NOT in terms of the weather we, currently, have in the Twin Cities!!! (SNOW!) Even though the Twins season kicked off last night, it does not feel like Spring (in weather terms!)!
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