June 21, 2008

I Want To Be Alone!

Gentle Reader: I'm taking a blog hiatus for the summer. I have no free time to blog except on the weekend and my weekends coming up for the next 3 months are full with family, or I'm out of town, or I have prior commitments.

I also need to spend serious time looking for a new job and less time worrying about composing stuff for a post. It's a gorgeous summer day and here I am inside worrying about keeping my blog alive.

I'm having a really tough time these days so prayer is much appreciated. I'm having nearly monumental problems getting along with my boss and issues with my new neighbors, wherein thanks to their constant racket, I'm not getting enough sleep.

I need to spend more time reading and growing spiritually than I'm doing right now. I'm also veering really dangerously close to losing friends because of my mood swings and lack of availability.

For all of you, if I've offended in some way by borderline inappropriate emails or blog comments know that it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me.

I need to lie low for a while. I know I talked about putting together a blog gathering in the near future. That's off the table for me. I have no time to set that up on a large scale. If someone wants to just meet for a meal or a drink (I know some of us do that already) that's fine by me and would probably be much appreciated! Drop me a line: cathyofalex@gmail.com You're buyin'. LOL!

My plan for the next several months is to:

Look for a new job
Spend one hour/week in Adoration
Finish reading the saintly writings I never have time for
Mass and Confession
Make peace with my neighbors

One of my favorite quotes is from the film Sound of Music where Maria and the family take refuge at the convent and Mother Superior tells Maria as they are about to flee into the mountains "Remember, you will not be alone. I will lift my eyes to the mountains from whence cometh my help"

I will still be reading blogs on occasion and I will be maintaining my Facebook page. I plan to return to blogging eventually but it will be a while.

Please pray for me as I pray for you. Comment moderation will be enabled during my hiatus.

June 20, 2008

Blog Birthday!


I think she's older than Jesus today! Hopefully, she found her mind. Hey, maybe that's what I'll get her!

June 18, 2008

Urgent Prayer Request

Gentle Reader: Please remember me in your prayers.

June 16, 2008

Pinkie and the Brain!!!!!

I know some of you really can't wait for a photo of Pinkie's hair! Well, you'll just have to continue to wait! LOL! It is quite fabulous. A young gal where we got takeout was obsessed with Pinkie. I have to say that she saw me first though. Maybe I need to die my hair purple to compete with Miz Pink?

BTW, did Pinkie find her mind yet?

Oh, since The Cafeteria IS Closed does anyone know where I can get a sandwich with whatever I want on it? I hate ordering off a menu where I can't make the substitutions I want. Maybe I'll ask Terry!

Poetry Minute with Cathy

"We Real Trad" by Cathy of Alex

We real trad. We
always mad. We

don't date. We
tell it straight. We hate din. We
fling sin. We

Razz You. We
Pray soon.

(adaptation of "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks)

June 15, 2008

Where in the World is St. Joseph?

In the U.S., today is Father's Day. I hope if your Father is still around you called him or spent time with him. If your Father is not around because he's dead, was never there for you, or your relationship is sour, I hope you prayed for him.

Today, is also THE Father's Day so I REALLY hope you spent some time with Him today.

The greatest human Father the world ever knew was St. Joseph. He was a model of masculine protection, a hard-working, salt of the earth family man, a man of deep faith. He was a model of chastity, self-sacrifice and self-denial.

My Dad shares some characteristics with St. Joseph. He, too, left his comfort zone to serve when he was called. My Dad, who had never been further than 100 miles from his small town Indian reservation home, left everything he knew and his family at the age of 18 to serve in the Marines. He met my mother, had children with her, worked hard his whole life, sheltered and protected us. He would give his life for any of us. He thought we could do anything we set our mind to.

My Dad is a great parent. But, he is not St. Joseph. That does not mean we cannot learn from St. Joseph and strive to emulate his example. Maybe one day, God willing, we can worship with St. Joseph in Heaven.

Today, we need St. Joseph more than ever. Fatherhood and the example set by St. Joseph, is under attack by people who want two women to "marry", by people who only want "father" to be sperm donors, by people who want to emasculate men, by people who think divorce is a lifestage all married people are going to go thru, by people who want Father to just be a paycheck or a temporary custodian on alternate weekends, by people who want priests to marry.

St. Joseph is often a neglected Saint. I think Satan wants him to be. We need to pray to St. Joseph and seek his intercession more than we do.

We need to reclaim fatherhood and who better to help us do that than St. Joseph?

June 14, 2008

God in Every Occupation

Local blogger and writer Tom Bengtson has started an intriguing new blog called: GEO Principle GEO means God in Every Occupation.

Go In Crankiness to Visit and Yack at Your Neighbor!

After some Masses, where the Deacon or Priest says "Go in Peace" don't you have those times where you wonder if you can raise your hand to:

a) dispute it
b) laugh
c) ask what he means by that statement when it's so clearly not your mood?
c) beg for peace

Optional: don't hear him anyway, you are already in the parking lot

Is the Mass supposed to be peaceful? Is it? Should it be?

I'm going to leave this wide open. I already have my opinion, of course, but I'm still practicing charity and I don't want to get too cranky.

I will say that often it feels like the "Sign of Peace" is not really peace it's driving by a gas station where a sign says not $4/gallon but "Free Gas". Every person for themselves, chaos, wave at me or I'll dis you forever, bone crushing handshakes, hugs, kisses, luv ya, even though I'll see you for the coffee gathering after Mass, you better take my hand, get out of my way while I shake the hand of that mantilla lovin' babe ya old bag!!!!!!

Then, after all this hoo-dang, hee-haw, we are supposed to recompose ourselves for the penitential "Lamb of God". How often are we sucessful at that? I don't know about you, but I don't switch gears that well that fast. Is it a surprise then that in some parishes the words are changed to "I-need-to-laugh-or-I'm-going-to-cry" fare as "Wind of God" or "Breath of God" or "Vision of God" (BTW, I'm not making any of those up)

Then, there's the Dismissal, which I know I don't hear the Sanctus bell, I hear the recess bell giving everyone the permission to:

a) beat it the heck out of there
b) turn and start talking at full volume to the guy you talked with at full volume right before Mass started
c) wonder with exasperation how many verses we are going to have to sing before Father will finally take the hint and start processing out
d) check your watch and grumble that you are going to be late for the game
e) standing ovation and applause for (pick one or several): Father, servers, Deacon, musicians, organist, choral, the kids, the readers, ourselves, the Vikings

Sometimes, I don't think I could feel any further from peace than I do now.

June 11, 2008

Smells and Bells Only

This is a response to someone who upset saddened me.

The Catholic Church is the wealthiest institution in the world. It's the wealthiest that has ever been. How can any amount of money or anything or anyone else even come close to making the claim: "contains the fullness of the Truth". I bet even the Sage of Omaha doesn't have that in his portfolio.

If the Church lost all of its buildings and land tomorrow; if all of our vestments were burned up in a fire; if all of our bells were melted down; if all the Confessionals were closed; if all the organs were silent; yes, even if the Eucharist was denied us; the losses would be tragic and devastating but The Truth would still live on. It would live on is us to whom the Truth has been revealed. Once you've seen a glimpse of it all; once you've experienced it all; once you've accepted it all, you can't forget it. You will not willingly go back.

St. Teresa of Avila talks about Faith as a progression of rooms in a castle. We move within the rooms as we wax and wane in Faith but I don't think any of us would like it too well if we were stuck out in the moat.

Some of us may not be in the moat but we are stuck on the battlement wall or in the exterior rooms. We don't move in further. We have only a superficial understanding of the Faith.

Perhaps we are attracted to the Faith by an exterior expression. We really love the Gregoian Chant and the orchestral Masses. We think the rich vestments are gorgoues. We can't inhale enough incense. We feel peaceful in a candlelit Church. We enjoy reading the great poetic and faithful writers of our history. We accept that the Bread and Wine really become the Body and the Blood of Our Lord at Holy Mass.

Yet, in spite of all this, we are like 3-legged stools with only 2 legs. We totter and fall over when we refuse to accept the fullness of the Truth. Maybe you think the Church should ordain women. Maybe you think homosexulity is ok. Maybe you think contraception should be allowed. Maybe you don't understand why abortion is called evil. Maybe you don't think Satan or Hell really exist. Maybe you think all priests are pedophiles just waiting to catch you unaware.

For you, we can only pray that the things that attacted you to the Faith will, over time, encourage you to go deeper. I know. I've been there. I'm still there. Part of my journey toward spiritual maturity is not just reigning in my tongue and practicing charity, it's also striving to journey below the surface to the Ultimate Truth within.

It's true that I'm not any more pious than anyone and I don't make any claims to be so. However, as we heard in our Gospel reading last Sunday, some of us need help. We need The Physician to help us. It's not enough to just go to The Doctor, we need to follow His course of treatment too.

See you at The Clinic!

June 10, 2008

Readying Your House

Has this ever happened to you? The phone rings and it's your family: "We decided to surprise you! We are a few minutes out from your house! We thought we'd stay a few days! I know you don't mind. Can't wait to see you!"

You: "Huh? I have not had time to clean my house, buy groceries, plan menus, much less clear my schedule for their arrival! What do I do? Leave town? Get them a room at the Holiday Inn? Grin and bear it?"

It's rarely a surprise when we prepare for a visit by the Lord. Or is it? You are wondering: when does the Lord visit? The Lord visits us a lot. Unfortunately, some of us are permanently out of town and don't realize He's already here.

When we attend Holy Mass we need to ready ourselves for a visit from the Lord too. The ultimate visitor, he takes up residence inside US for a few minutes when we receive Him in Holy Communion.

Most of us have a pretty good idea when we are going to take the initiative and ask the Lord to visit us. Most of us know when we are going to Mass. Once and a while it's impromptu, and like me with my relatives calling: if things are not in order maybe we better assume the Lord will not be staying with us. We can go for a visit but we need to abstain from encouraging Him to reside in us by making a spiritual Communion with Him-just like some of us probably wish we could make a spiritual communion with the Hilton when your relatives come to town. You can stop by, but my heart is not in it because I was not ready for you.

The Lord asks us to ready ourselves before receiving Him in Holy Communion. We do this by examining our conscience to see if we are worthy of His exalted company. The standards for receivng Him SHOULD be a lot higher than the standards for receiving my cousins at my house for the weekend.

The Lord calls ahead too. We are to ready ourselves for receiving Him for one hour before receiving Him in Holy Communion. One hour that is all. Some of us will scramble for 2 weeks to get our house cleaned to receive our grandparents, but we won't clean ourselves out for a paltry one hour before we receive the Greatest Guest Ever

June 09, 2008


I'm over on Facebook now under my Saint's name: Catherine Alexandria. Yes, sorry, I still can't get my personalities together! LOL! Honestly, I feel like Catherine is my true self. Well, if not my true self, what I aspire to be. It helps to have the reminder in front of me.

I will still, for now, maintain the blog. But, I can also post to Facebook too, eventually, I may just move totally over to Facebook. Not sure yet.

On Facebook, I will post more commentary on news stories, brief reactions, as well as have more personal life news in the mind-numbing detail the social networks are known for then you get on a blog, i.e. I'm watching the race now! I'm eating! I reading the Bible! I'm going to La Crosse, etc.

So, it may behoove you to monitor my Facebook site too or send me an invite to be your friend if you are already on.

Please remember my Mom in your prayers today. Today would have been her birthday. Thanks and God bless you.

June 08, 2008

Ray Knows Everybody's Name


Secret Agent Man, Ray. This is a photo that will haunt Ray as much as the Sinatra photo with the mobsters. Ray may regret coming out from behind that fern on Cathedral Hill. Ray knows EVERYBODY and everything. Really. The good news is, I don't have to bribe him or ply him with drink to get him to spill everything. *tee-hee*

Growing Up

Some of my readers have noticed that I have not been as cranky as they have come to expect. Or, I've not been as cranky as often.

What's happening?

I attributed it to frequent prayer and I know Father Andrew believed so.

I'm sure frequent prayer has helped mightily to not only deepen my relationship with God but also calm me down.

Sure, I still have my moments and that will probably always be true.

But, I'm letting a lot more go or responding to it by prayer rather than snark.

Adoro told me that as we develop or spiritual maturity it's like growing up. Just as an adult is more reflective, well, I hope you are, a more spiritually mature person responds with prayer and faith, rather than pouting and yelling.

That said, I already regret my post from yesterday. I have no business calling my brothers and sisters in Christ names. I should have just sent a letter to the publisher, in a charitable manner. However, I will not take the post down. It will stand as a testament to my still constant struggles to acquire charity.

June 07, 2008

How to Ask for Your Business and Lose it at the Same Time

Gentle Reader:

I'm not going to be cranky, because, Adoro says I'm a grown up now! I may blog on what that means later. It's a good thing.

Anyway, back to my already scheduled irritation.

Friends: I know there are folks among us (yes, some of them read this blog on the sly), many of them are Roman Catholic, many of them are what I would call the Traditional crowd. In my less charitable moments (reverting to my childhood!) I refer to them as Trad Vampires because they suck all the joy out of Christian living and Holy Mass because they are too full of their own holiness to emerge from the darkness. These are the folks who spill buckets of blood, sweat, tears and verbiage over such critical issues as: "I could not concentrate on the Elevation because Father's vestments were all crooked" or "Father prays a very good Mass but he moves his head too much during the Homily".

Trads are not all bad. I share their concerns over a Mass properly celebrated but for crying out loud, so one of the Deacons during a TLM (with very complicated rubrics) made a human mistake, get over it! Don't attack the Rev. Mr. Redface or Father I-Thought-it-Went-Very-Well-Considering This-is-Only-Our-2nd-TLM over these minor quibbles in the Sacristy before they can even get their vestments off. Honestly, do us all a favor and pretend you didn't notice and go pray somewhere rather than share with all of us your memorization of the Missal Mr. Smarty Pants. IMHO, there is a world of difference between deliberately distorting the rubrics and an unintentional mistake. Unfortunately, some fail to make any distinction: a mistake, any mistake, is a plot by their favorite list of suspects (see below)

There's also a segment of the population, Trad Catholics among them, who see the following characters lurking behind every tree and hiding in every closet:

*Methodisssssts (R.I.P. Harvey Korman!)

I do a lot of reading and I subscribe to a lot of publications. I like to mix it up between dissenting and faithful, liberal and conservative. I don't, by any means, agree with everything I read but I like to know what's going on, what other people think, and form my own opinion and, yes, conscience in the way the Catechism intended.

I got a renewal notice from a fairly well-known Catholic publication. Like many publishers, they are struggling with increased postage fees. What they fail to comment on is ALL of us in the U.S. are paying more for postage these days. That said, I feel more pain regarding commodity and oil prices these days than I do over postage increases simply because I conduct more business online these days but I'll let that slide.....

Anyway, rather than just mention postage increases for the reason their subscription fees are going up (not too horribly much I might add) they throw in this little comment while they are trying to encourage you to also subscribe or only subscribe to their online version:

"We strongly recommend that if you continue a hardcopy subscription you take advantage of one of [the] following options as a backup. It's an economic way to protect yourself from the shamefully ineffecient and anarchist Post Office "

Ok, a moment to calm myself....

I admit it hit me where I live since my Dad retired form the Postal Service-after serving Our Country in the Marines and I worked there myself for 8 years and put myself thru college. Like most government jobs, a large number of veterans are employed there. How many anarchists and commies served this country? I don't know, call the Canadian Consulate.

Now I'm SURE someone is going to tell me: "Oh, I'm sure the folks working there are fine but the organization is corrupt" That's funny, I hear the same argument by Catholic Church haters.

"Protection" my Little Drama Queen? Funny. I don't see the Postal Service planning an insurrection anytime soon. How can they? They are barely making a profit. True.

It's true there are ineffeciencies. But, there are with any large organization. So, if we all go online you are going to tell me everything is great there, right? You need to be aware that not EVERYONE is online. You fail to get that anyone and everyone can get mail delivery-even most folks in prison. Seems to me Comcast has a monopoly (like the PO) on this end of the town. Try calling them when your lines go down and you can't read the latest issue. No, your customers are going to be calling YOU, publisher. How come I can't read the .pdf? How come I can't turn my computer on. How come I can't print this issue? How come I can't print this in color? How come I'm not getting my renewal notices in my email? How come my credit card online payment won't work? How come your website is lame and clunkier than all get out? Exaggerations? Nope. I used to work in Customer Service. If you dump one, better be ready to pick up the slack and find a new way of doing business.

BTW, it may also help if you clear out your website general email inbox once and a while. Thanks.

Oh,and I'm not renewing,I'm too busy booking my next vacation to Havana (*meow*). It's too bad too because I really think you have some of the best columnists in the business. Sorry. Bye.

Update 4:40 p.m.:I should print this post out and drop it in the mail! That'll show 'em! LOL! Seriously, thank God for this blog. It's a nice vent for my anger. Fortunately, my humor is never far from the surface. I'm already laughing about this whole thing. I think I'm the Drama Queen. *sigh*

June 06, 2008

First Friday Fast Intentions

* Quantitative Metathesis' visit to a Passionist community in Kentucky
* For an end to abortion
* Mary Gibson's intentions and those of her new community, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles

June 05, 2008

The Death of Commonality

We’ve heard a lot of talk recently, and entire organizations have formed around it, on “preserving the common good” “acting in the interest of the common good”

If we are truly living the Catholic faith that we profess, than we should have many common parameters on what “good” is and is not.

Sadly, there are many who profess to be Catholic who think “good” is subject in all cases to personal interpretation via that often distorted and frequently entirely misunderstood phrase: “primacy of conscience”

If we have people who say they are Catholic, leave out the debate on authenticity here, who can’t even arrive at a commonality of what is good or what is not, how in the world can anyone expect society to agree on what common good is?

There is no commonality anymore. Perhaps, that’s harsh. Really, there is so little of it, that society is “micro” not “macro”.

There are no megatrends anymore. We are all just in our little clusters and each cluster has a trend. Faithful Catholics are adhering more closely to the Magisterium and increasingly rediscovering old devotions, while Lukewarm Catholics continue to only go to Mass once/month, and Dissident Catholics are falling further into apostasy.

On occasion we may overlap with others in certain areas. We may all be at Mass at Easter but out of a crowd of 10, 5 will think it’s boring, 3 will want to leave, and 2 don’t want it to end. We say we are Catholics but you probably can’t get 5 of us to explain why we should not be using contraception. 1 will explain it correctly, 4 will get the explanation all wrong, 1 will know the real answer but willfully choose to disregard it in favor of their own.

As Americans, we are a people of contradictions. Business should be conducted in English but increasingly more of us are refusing to learn it. We say we should eat healthier but for some of us that means eating only 2 cheeseburgers at a time instead of 3. We say bankruptcy is bad, but more and more of us are using it as a personal financial tool. We complain about gas prices and then go buy a Hummer to navigate the war-torn streets of urban San Francisco .

We all live in America, but are we all Americans? We can’t even agree on what being an American is. What does it say when you can’t even get all 12 school kids in a public classroom to recite the Pledge of Allegiance? 4 of them will not know it, 3 of them won’t understand the language it’s in, 2 of them will be protesting that they are asked to say it. Maybe the real America is the complete lack of commonality? Some would say that was always true to a certain extent. But, the assumption was we would all come together when we really needed to. Today, I don’t think the pot is melting solids into a liquid, it’s coagulating into separate globs of fat that may never join into one.

June 02, 2008

Lord, Lord

As we approach the Pauline year beginning on June 29th, I've been heavily meditating upon the life of St. Paul.

Since my reversion, I've come to realize that I feel a great affinity for St. Paul.

Like St. Paul, I used to breath threats against the Christians who were not like me. Meaning, people who actually lived the Christian faith as it is supposed to be lived by those who profess to be Roman Catholic.

Me: I prophesied in Jesus' name and did a lot of stuff in Jesus' name. All of this I did without asking Him. All of this I did, not because I was living according the 10 Commandments, but because I said so.

I justified not only my own faith but my own works. It's ok to smoke pot because I'm not killing anyone. It's ok to use contraception because the Church is behind the times and needs to get with the program-my program.

I wanted to change the Church. I thought the world would be a better place if the Catholic Church were to change. I neglected to wonder if the world and the Church would be a better place if I were to change.

I failed to consult anyone other than my usual crowd of dissident friends on my plan for changing the Church according to my desires. It never occurred to me to consult the people who were perfectly happy with the Church as it is. How would they feel if the Church they loved changed to suit me? Who cared? I thought they were all wrong and needed me to educate them.

How arrogant is that? Everyone needs me and my brilliant ideas to make the world a better place, to make the Church a better place.

With wisdom, and, yes, age, comes humility. I will pass away. I am a mote in God's eye. In the span of centuries, my life is but a ring on the trunk of a California Redwood. I live for 70-90 years (God willing) and in my brief life I expect to change centuries of Christ's Church to conform to my will. Was I nuts?

It was not the Church that needed to change. It was me. I am as inconstant and mercurial as the wind. Today, I want this, tomorrow I want that. Truth is forever. My wind breaks around the rock and still it stands.

June 01, 2008

Complete Exhaustion

Gentle Reader: I'm so exhausted right now that if the Jehovah's Witnesses came to the door I'd not only give them my name, I'd take all their literature without any debate or argument.

I'm also too tired to link to everyone's blog after every single name of a blogger mentioned in this post. You know who they are. Well, you should.

What a fantastic weekend!

Mary Gibson's Entrance Mass at the Cathedral on Friday evening was lovely. Which reminds me it's not too late to contribute to her debt reduction

The Chant Schola consisting of Ray, Dan, Geometricus and Matt did an excellent job at St. Anthony of Padua on Saturday morning. Note to self: Send a note to Father Jenson thanking him for being open to occasionally having Chant-among many other great things (Latin, ad orientem) at his parish.

I had breakfast after Mass with Ray at the famous Elsie's. Wherein I drank about 6 cups of coffee and consumed 3/4 of the famous (and huge) Elsie's Supreme Omelet. It's all good though because it's the season for miracles-Ray actually grabbed the check. Well, he usually does to scrutinize the total, but he actually paid for the breakfast!!!!!!

Came home and cut my grass.

I joined Adoro for her Adoration hour with Jesus on Saturday afternoon. I really needed the quality time with my Main Man.

I had dinner with Adoro and my K-9 buddy on Saturday. I had to run for home sooner than planned because a big storm was moving in-not because of Adoro's cooking. LOL! Kidding. Adoro is a good cook. Besides, we got Asian takeout. LOL!

I'm raising heck with Sister Caprice over at the Brother and Sisters of Perpetual Discernment blog.

Mass this morning was beautiful. I love going to Church at anytime but it's especially grand when the morning is gorgeous.

After Mass, I put the Dover Race on the TV and then cleaned all the windows in my house. Then, I made a trip to the local compost pile. I also planted my gladiolas. I winter them in my basement. I probably should have planted them a week ago but I kind of forgot about them.

This post is my way of explaining why I've had no original posts up lately. Too bloody tired to be catty, cranky or original.

Bath and Bed that's my plan.

I hope you had a good weekend too!
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