November 30, 2008

Advent Plan

Gentle Reader: Do you ever think the Season of Advent is completely overlooked, as a Holy Season, by Lent? Both are completely overlooked by secular society, but even in Holy Church I think Lent gets more attention.

Granted, Lent leads up to the pinnacle of Christian belief: The Resurrection. But, you can't have the Resurrection with the Nativity.

Certainly, Advent is a happier time than Lent. Other than Planned Parenthood, who doesn't like a Baby? But, I think we should still be penitant and thankful-as we are during Lent-in Advent as well.

I know for myself, I usually have a pretty firm Lenten plan but I often don't have much of one for Advent beyond avoiding busy stores at all costs and making sure I get all my gifts purchased and my cards mailed out.

Here's my plan for Advent 2008 A.D.:

1) Continue to pray the Rosary daily. I joined the Confraternity this year but even before I joined I was already praying the Rosary daily. There are many other benefits to being in the Confraternity, you should check it out! You've heard me gripe in the past that I could not pray the Rosary in the car because I was too apt to lapse in road rage comments between prayer. I'm not saying I'm perfect but I've seen real progress in my attitude toward my fellow commuter since I started praying the Rosary every day in the car. Since I commute over 20 miles a day I get my most solid block of prayer time in the car. Try it, you may like it!

2) Put my Nativity scene out on the First Sunday of Advent (as is my family tradition, the Christ child stays hidden in a cupboard until Christmas Day and then he is added to the creche). I leave the Nativity scene up thru Epiphany.

3) I'm still debating about the Christmas tree. Because of the small size of my house, my tree has to go in my porch and I got rid of my fake tree about a month ago. It was very shabby. It made Charlie Brown's tree a thing of beauty. I have not replaced it yet. However, I did buy my annual wreath from the Scouts and that's up already.

4) Read the Magnificat Advent Companion meditation each day. I already have my copy of this supplement to their regular monthly issue. If you don't already subscribe to Magnificat I can't recommend it enough. It has been a tremendous aid to me in helping me deepen my daily prayer life and Scriptural meditation.

5) Attend my weekly Adoration hour as usual

6) Confess, Confess, Confess!!!! I went yesterday to start Advent off with a clean slate. I'm sure I'll be in the Confessional, at least, one more time before Christmas. Don't wait until January, Confession is the best weight loss program there is!

7) Attend the weekly Novena of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I'm only an occasional attendee at the Novena but for Advent I vow to go each week

8) Pray the Novena to the Immaculate Conception. Today is Day One.

9) Attend Holy Mass on December 8th-The Immaculate Conception-a Holy Day of Obligation. You did not forget did you? :-)

10) Do my usual First Friday devotion on December 5th

11) Give something up every Friday during Advent. I know we are supposed to sacrifice on every Friday throughout the year in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice but I admit to you that, outside of days I'm obliged to and First Friday's, I don't. I'm hoping if I start this, like my daily Rosary recitation which grew up out of a Lenten resolution, I will keep it going after Advent.

12) Go to Mass every Saturday morning during Advent. Saturday is usually my only morning to lolligag so I'll be attempting to give laziness up during Advent.

13) Continue my attendance at Bible Study. I'm in one of Jeff Cavins' series at my parish. I really like it! If your parish starts one, JOIN! If you don't have one, ask for it!

14) Continue attending sung Vespers on Sunday afternoon. I can't make it every week, but I'm determined to do so during Advent.

15) Finish reading C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce I know. It's short but my free time is too! It has a lovely sentiment in it from Adoro It was a gift from her and when I complained that she did not write anything in it for me, she wrote on the front page "J, Here. I did not write this, but I read it! J" Give me a minute will you? *Sniff, Sob*

That's my plan. Much of it is stuff I'm already doing but there are a few new items. Some of you out there are wondering why you should care. You don't have to. It's my blog and I can write what I want, so there! It helps me to stick to a plan if I've committed to it by public vow.

November 29, 2008

The Best Marriage Ever

I read somewhere recently that a recently married woman was wishing that her marriage would be like the best marriages she knew: that of her parents and her grandparents.

It ocurred to me to wonder if that is an entirely worthy goal or not. I decided it's admirable but it occurred to me that is not the best marriage EVER the one between Christ and His Church?

If you want to strive for the best union ever it seems to me it should be like the perfect union of THE Bridegroom and THE Bride. Help each other to be Saints. Help each other in your Faith journey. Help each other attain Heaven.

I think that in the journey to help your spouse to Heaven it follows that you are still going to have to deal with the occasional mundaneness of: the budget, running errands, cleaning the house, cooking dinner, raising the kids, and earning a living. But won't those tasks conform, they will have to if you are going to reach your goal, to the best Catholic living you can put forth?

This is me Cathy Singleton saying this so all you married folks chime in! Single folks I'd be curious to hear your opinions too. Divorced and seperated let me hear ya! Agree/disagree? Can't be done? I'm tryin'? I wish I could but I don't know how?

November 28, 2008

The Old Order Will Pass Away...Then What?

My Dad is in town for the Thanksgiving weekend and he's staying at my house. One of my annual rituals, sometimes it's during Advent or just before, is to decorate the grave of my mother and brother at Fort Snelling National Cemetary. I was very happy that, this year, my Dad and I got to do that together. We laid two evergreen wreaths at the grave site and paused for a moment of reflection and prayer. It's always an emotional time. My mother died five days before Thanksgiving in 1996 and so she is always very much in the heart of Dad and I this week.

It's tough spending the holidays in the hospital or the nursing home or the rehab facility with a sick loved one. We'd all rather be at home than standing around a railed bed in a sterile institution. But, it happens. I've been there. You may have been too. Maybe once it was you in that bed while your family visited. Sucks doesn't it?

It's even tougher spending the holidays at the cemetary. Trust me, it's easier to go and pay a visit to someone who's already dead and in need of prayer than it is to be at the graveyard for a internment during a holiday. The old adage goes,and it's true, "Death never takes a holiday"

And so it was that Dad and I paused for death at Fort Snelling National Cemetary on this Fall day. We had to wait in our car, unable to drive down the road, until the Honor Guard firing a salute, playing Taps, and folding the flag finished their service at the graveside of a deceased veteran. I've no idea who it was who died but it didn't matter, I prayed for him anyway. God puts us somewhere for a reason and maybe this poor soul needed my pathetically tossed off prayer. Perhaps, I will never know.

I do know one thing: Thanks be to God for our aging veterans! The Honor Guard consisted, entirely, of not one blessed soul who looked to be under the age of 65. What is going to happen when these Lions pass away? Who is going to take their places at: the gravesites? in the Legion Halls? at the flag burials? Who will be the Honor Guard? Who will visit the graves of the fallen veterans on Memorial Days across the land? Who's going to stand tall with their hands over their hearts as the Colors pass by? as our Anthem is sung? as the Pledge is recited? Who is going to give up their holiday weekend with their family to honor the life in service of a stranger?

It is for this that these men have given their lives. Sometimes literally. A life of sacrifice means something else is offered in its stead. Often the sacrifice consists of their free time, if not health and limbs. Tell me: does an aged vet suffering from gout really want to stand in the rain during a Veterans Day parade? Yet, there he is. You can count on him to be there every year. If you need someone to dig flag post holes in the Avenue of Heroes, he'll be there.

I despair. I really do. I don't see this level of devotion and sacrifice in the middle aged and younger generations. When sacrifice means only getting the TV package with 12 channels instead of 80, I fear that if we don't know what sacrifice for our fellow man means how can we truly know what God's sacrifice of His only Son means?

Casse-toi, pauvre con!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen: The world we live in...

Voodoo dolls are allowed more dignity than the unborn....Oddly, I don't recall anyone asking The Christ if it hurt..

Christmas gift recommendations from Planned Parenthood

Deep curtsy to Christine and Vincenzo

November 27, 2008

A Month for the Holy Souls In Purgatory

Owen Swain and his family are embarking upon their 3rd year of praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory from November 25-December 25th. Please support them in this worthy endeavor by adding your prayers with theirs and publicizing the blog. You are also encouraged to stop by the blog and add the names, initials, handles of your loved ones. Even if we are all, technically, strangers it is an act of love to pray for another.

Give Thanks to God!

For all that I have
For all that I am
Thanks Be to God

November 25, 2008

Home for the Hostilities Volume II

Last year I composed this post. It still contains many truths but I thought I would update it a tad!

Congratulations! You survived last year. Now here we are again.

Most of us will be traveling over the holidays. Well, those of us who still have $200 in our flat busted savings accounts may be able to eke out a berth on a transatlantic cargo ship manned by former Chinese and Somali pirates who are licking their chops while they look at you.

Assuming you can go anywhere and actually pack anything without having it confiscated at the airport because it's pointy, fluid, or is a book by Patrick Buchanan, once you get to your destination you may have some challenges. Be charitable.

Or, perhaps this year you are having people over to save money because no one has any money to go anywhere. I don't know what you are all going to eat because no one has money for more then that radioactive powder with dry pasta in a blue box these days.

WTH am I saying? There's no reason for this post! No one is going anywhere or doing anything this holiday season.

That said: GO TO CHURCH! OFTEN! PRAY OFTEN!!! GO TO CONFESSION (not general absolution!) You've got time. Yep, it may cost you-only if you don't.

Even better news: no worries about family conflicts this year, everyone is too flat broke to get in your face!

The Feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria

Gentle Reader: You can probably guess that my favorite painting of St. Catherine of Alexandria is the Caravaggio in my banner (!) but here are some others that I enjoy!

St. Catherine of Alexandria pray for us!

When picking a photo of St. Catherine for my blog banner, it was a contest between the Caravaggio I went with and this one (below) of "St Catherine of Alexandria Reading a Book" by Onorio Marinari. I went with the Caravaggio because I'm a huge fan of his work and I felt his St. Catherine was a bit more recognizable. However, I think the Marinari is reflective of the way I peer at books! LOL!

November 24, 2008

Sock It To 'Em!

Yesterday, I socked it to the Catholic Spirit. I want it made clear that I have nothing but the highest respect for His Excellency, Archbishop John Nienstedt. I know he has a lot of work to do. I know the editors and the writers of the newspaper work hard.

I try. God knows, I try to learn patience but it's not one of my virtues. I need to be helped along in my quest for virtue which is why I know that so many in our Archdiocese need to be helped along too. I also know that many local Catholics only get their Archdiocesan news from the Catholic Spirit That's also why many subscribe to it: to hear what is going on around Catholic Town. You've got 'em already, why not teach 'em? I have the same rant about weak homilies too. Hey, we are in the pews now, give it to us with both barrels, Father!

I'm SO overjoyed with the Archbishop's columns in the Catholic Spirit ! He is making a real effort to re-catechize (Let's call it for what it is, we all remember the Dark Ages in this town!) and he illustrates real pastoral concern in those columns. He is able to be informative and true to the Gospel as well as loving. This is not easy to do-as I demonstrate on this blog every time I open my big mouth! Besides my lack of a Y chromosome this is another reason why I'm not Archbishop! LOL!

I was really happy to read his column of November 6, 2008. His Excellency made it clear that Form 3 of the Sacrament of Confession is not be used as a regular reception of the Sacrament. Archbishop Flynn said this too but some people have hard hearts and they refused to listen. Archbishop Nienstedt said:

"But my concern here is much more a pastoral one than a legal one.

A regular use of general absolution is bound to have a negative effect on the spiritual well-being of the penitent because general absolution involves a depersonalized experience of the sacramental grace of forgiveness.

Without the one-on-one encounter and an explicit confession of guilt, penitents also risk developing a superficial understanding of their willing participation in the personal evil that is sin."

How can this not make SO much sense to everyone?

As Advent approaches and the usual suspects are gearing up for one of their two annual waves of general absolution services (the other period being Lent) the hard hearted are already circling their wagons. Under the guise of the same old tired and inaccurate misinterpretations of Vatican II and the whining response that a prior Ordinary never seemed to have any problems with it they are looking forward to "getting away with it" again.

If your faith and your leadership is all about "getting away with it", manipulating the system, and pulling a fast one on the "old man" what exactly are you accomplishing here?

Father John Corapi said, in one of his speeches, that he believes that there will not be a part of Hell lower than the one that will hold all the priests who led their flocks into error. I'm sure Father Corapi thinks this level of Hell contains the priests who refused to be obedient to the Authority they took vows to.

The Archbishop continues:

"Over the next weeks, I plan to share with you some thoughts as to how we can move forward in this archdiocese with a total re-catechesis for the sacrament of penance so that it may be the powerful help in our growth toward holiness that it is meant to be."

Amen. I can't wait! I hope His Excellency is loaded for bear because he's going to need it! I got your back, H.E.

November 23, 2008

Double Agents

Some of the worst enemies of Holy Church are within. Another group of enemies to Holy Church are disgruntled ex-Catholics. Yet, another group of Holy Church enemies are people who were never Catholic but get all their information on Holy Church from the news and the other two groups of enemies. Woe, when these three groups get together. The haters who pretend to be Catholics teaming up with the haters who once pretended to be Catholics teaming up with the folks who get their news about the Church from PRI.

It's no secret that most local theater in this town is not staffed by people who support the Catholic Church*.It's no secret that most local theater producers, actors, and staff despise the Catholic Church. Their reasons vary-some don't even need one. Local theater, at least once per year, stages some obviously anti-Catholic production. Sadly, they probably do pretty well or else they would not be staged. It's easy for those who don't understand something to make fun of it. It's easy for those who've never moved beyond the surface and gone deeper into the Sacred Mysteries to mock them on a rudimentary level since that's all they are capable, or willing, to understand.

Local dinner theater is a typical culprit. Locally, Chanhassen Dinner Theater is currently staging "Altar Boyz" The Pioneer Press had two reviews of this production one here and the other here. Read them and weep.

The Pioneer Press either decided that just one brief mention was not enough material for Church haters to run out and buy tickets for this production or Mr. Dominic Papatola, theater critic, was upset that he did not get another chance to share his personal history with Catholicism (Hey, he went to Catholic school must be an expert!) and asked to be able to review it more fully.

In a lame effort to: give this production legitimacy, or calm people like me who might be upset, or to make fun of a priest, or maybe all of the above. (Mr. Papatola admits in the review he deliberately witheld information about the production that he'd seen before from Father) . Mr. Papatola invited a priest to attend with him whom he calls Father D. I got two words for you, Father D: Bad Judgement. Furthermore, you were set up. Mr. Papatola did you no favors by mentioning your presence at this show. For once, I hope a priest was not sitting in the audience in clericals.

This is all bad enough but is the CATHOLIC SPIRIT (the newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis) so hard up for ad revenue that they've run ads for this production in three issues????!!!!! Not only that, the photo in the paper is the original poster shot that was on the Chanhassen Dinner Theater page but the dinner theater has since removed it. However, that's still the ad in the Catholic Spirit as recently as the November 20th issue. Let me say this: when I want to see buffed men in tight clothing with their shirts wide open I'll walk thru the aisle with the Harlequin Romances at Target. See anything you like, baby? The first time I noticed this ad was when it appeared right below the Archbishop's column (!) about a month ago. I, charitably and calmly, wrote to the Catholic Spirit, recommending they may want to, er, rethink this ad being in the Archdiocesan paper. I also said I was suspicious that this was a production that was going to mock Holy Church and, from the reviews, I was right.

I'm sad Father D was sucker punched and I'm sad that Mr. Papatola can no more discern than he can deliberate! But, I'm reserving most of my scorn in this post for the Catholic Spirit who it seems should know better. I'm not sure what's going on at the paper. The newspaper seems very bipolar these days. Faithful on this page and wishy-washy on this one. Well, that was always somewhat true but I had hope that the new Archbishop would keep a closer eye on the publication. I know he's a busy man and he has a lot of housekeeping to take care of. Maybe I'm just too impatient or I expect too much? My old Confessor used to call me on my impatience. He was right about that. But, how can we expect too much from our Archdiocesan paper? The vehicle that is supposed to inform and teach us not only about the bake sales going on and the Archbishop's schedule, but also Truths about the Faith should be solid.

There are other, local, Catholic newspapers to subscribe to: The Wanderer and The Catholic Servant that are very Faithful and informative. I subscribe to both of those papers as well. But, friends, there is a huge responsibility that comes with being the OFFICIAL newspaper of the Archdiocese that those two papers, as great as they are, do not have.

*If you want to support authentic, local, Catholic theater, turn your eyes towards Epiphany Studio Productions. Congratulations go to Mr. Jeremy Stanbary and Ms. Sarah Preissner who recently engaged to be married!!!

November 19, 2008


*Cathy musing over her morning coffee*

Anyone else notice how many Friends of Bill are being considered for positions in President-elect Obama's administration? Friends of Barack?

November 17, 2008

Signs on the Door: Reason #1 Why Everyone Is On Your Case

To My Friends of a Certain Parish on 45th and 3rd Ave S in Minneapolis:

I know you read this blog! Yes, I see you. You read this blog because you think that I'm a traitor to the "Spirit of Vatican II". You read this blog because you can't believe how far I've fallen. You read this blog because you are afraid I may blow you out of the water. Maybe you read this blog because you are starting to agree with me but you think you can't get out.

You know if I can leave you can too!

If I used to be one of the people putting the sign on the gym door, which is where two of the Sunday Masses are held saying "No food or drink in the gym" and now I think it's ridiculous that people, who are supposedly Catholics, even need to be TOLD not to eat or drink before receiving the LORD in Holy Eucharist you need to ask yourself why?

Here, my friend, is the core reason why so many people are persecuting you because I know that's what you think: YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA THAT WHEN YOU RECEIVE COMMUNION IT IS ACTUALLY THE LORD!

If you think about that and accept that as TRUTH then you know why so many get upset that you put the Lord in a garbage dump. Yes, that's what happens when you receive Him in an unworthy manner. For a few moments after you receive Him in Communion you ARE a Tabernacle of the Lord. Would you put the Lord in trash? When you receive the Lord in a state of sin without receiving Absolution via the Sacrament of Confession (Only in situations of EXTREME urgency should it be General Absolution or Form 3!) you've just thrown Him in slime and you have not done your soul any favors either.

Does the Lord want to drown in the coffee sloshing around in your gullet? NO. Or taste the chewed up cookie in your gut? NO. How would YOU like eating and drinking someone's backwash and already chewed food anyway? Yet, you treat the Lord like a dog when you do that-just treating Him to your crumbs. The crumbs of your food are almost nothing to the crumbs of Faith you deign to toss him only when you feel like it, but neither of it is right.

We are asked to do so little. You only need to fast one HOUR before receiving Communion. It's not like the OLD days (oh, the horror!) when you were charged with fasting after midnight.

If you KNEW and BELIEVED with the entire fibre of your soul that it was JESUS in the wafer and the wine you would approach him with reverence. You would receive him with reverence. You would stick around to meditate on his presence in prayer rather then fleeing to the parking lot immediately after Communion. You would submit to Him. Yes, submit. None of us are ever fully worthy to receive Him, but we must strive to make it so as much as possible.

If you accept your smallness in relation to Him, if you receive Him with the obedience required, then it all falls into place. Scripture. Tradition. Magisterium.

People ask me, often, what brought me around. This is it. Right here. It is THE LORD. Communion is not just some communal parish meal like having coffee and cookies before or after Mass. Holy Communion is receiving THE LORD. You are not a Protestant! Quit believing like one! Protestants refuse to believe the Bread and Wine really truly become the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Why accept only part of The Truth? You've accepted the Whole Lord in Communion. Why not accept ALL OF IT!? The whole package: Scripture. Tradition. Magisterium.

Why is your hard heart holding you back? Come home.

But, but, but, my sexuality...blah, blah, this, that, my freedom, I was hurt, don't understand. I DO understand and I'm still inviting you home and so is He.

November 16, 2008

Challenge of the Super Friends

The November 10th issue of Time had an article about a group of prominent and wealthy homosexuals, called The Cabinet [I guess The Closet was in use] who have banded together to use their money and connections to support GLBT organizations and to advance the leftist causes that support the usual favorite causes of these groups. Let's cut to the chase and say that most of what this group favors are contrary to Christian morals.

The article likened this group to a "gay Super Friends..a homosexual justice league that can swoop [I can't believe they didn't use "sashay"!]in wherever anti-gay candidates are threatening [to win?] and finance the [their words] good guys.

It occurs to me to wonder where are the REAL good guys with money? With a few prominent exceptions, there are not too many baptized believing CATHOLICS who have the money to further Christ's agenda.

Why is that?

My theory is that the real Christians follow the true Gospel message and they've given most, if not all of their money, to support Holy Church and its mission. They give their money to people in need. They don't give their money to further their personal agenda or the agenda of Satan.

Our forefathers, by and large, did not have a lot of money either. Yet, they sacrificed portions of what little money they had to the Church. Their humble contributions created missions and supported convents and monasteries. They also gave their time and their talents, with it they built cathedrals and schools.

Friends: In the end, we will not win this war with money. We will win this war by courageous example, by modeling the life of Christ, by using our words and our prayers-by teaching. By being unafraid to spread the Gospel, to believe and support the Magisterium, to use the Sacraments.

Aquaman was only useful when there was water nearby. We may not have the ability to send sea creatures into battle, but our ability to do battle is not limited to water. We are flexible. Armed with Christ, we can fight no matter what the circumstances. We need to be unafraid to engage.

November 14, 2008

Ladies Night

This past Wednesday November 13th, I met some great ladies for dinner at Sage Wine Bar in Mendota Heights, MN. It's a nice, small, place to meet friends (though the sudden appearance of a band made me rather cranky!). I think most of us in the group had been there before-sometimes with each other!

You could possibly call this a blognic but only two of us are bloggers. You could call this a Ladies Argument of the Month club but no one was arguing. Or, you could just call it a good time with great company! It was that.

The dinner party was Swissy, Bede, L and I. Adoro was invited but I can't believe she's too busy to fit one more thing in! I mention the invite was extended to her because I don't want any of Adoro's fan base to think I dissed her and fly in from Ohio and kick my behind! LOL!

My dinner. A medium New York Strip-cooked to perfection. The other side of the table: Bede and Swissy like their meat deader than dead. I like to know that mine lived once.

More photos:

Here's a photo that brings a tear to my eye! Swissy and I with a Special Guest!

November 11, 2008

Thank You Veterans

November 10, 2008

Putting Away Childish Things

I'm kind of a freak (LOL! Yeah, I know you know this!), I do my "Spring cleaning" in the Fall. I was cleaning out my basement a few weeks ago and found my heretic box. This is the box I have that I put all the dissenting Catholic literature I used to own and read and, yes, believe. I put it all in there; in that cardboard box in the basement. Not sure why. Why not just throw it out or give it away? Did I think that once I found Truth, I'd go back to the lies? No. I know, now, that I'm solid.

As a book lover and a librarian, I hate throwing books away. Gosh, it's practically against the librarian code. A book for every reader and all that.

But, I saw this box full of distortions and I could not bring myself to just trek down to a book buyer. I hate the thought of this stuff circulating to the unwise or the poorly Catechised.

I'm all for people reading and expanding their knowledge but conscious of what "well-formed conscience" really means and how I lived without one for so long; I did not want the unsuspecting to get hold of these materials and think they contain the fullness of truth or espouse positions in harmony with Holy Mother Church.

I also did not want this material in my house anymore. After years of it just sitting in my basement, I looked upon it now as a sudden growth of black mold-it needs to go and go now. Even if you can't see the fungus, you can feel it's effects.

In a frenzy, I took them to a friends house and threw them in her fire pit. Yep, I burned them.

I know some of you are screaming. It wasn't easy for me to get around the Bradburyness of it all but I felt compelled to do it.

To the flames went Ruether, Schussler-Fiorenza, Ranke-Heinemann, Daly, Fox, Starhawk, Wills and others. Bye.

I felt like another chain from my past life broke.

I need to surround myself with authenticity these days. ESPECIALLY these days.

November 09, 2008

Prayer Request

Gentle Reader: Please pray for a special intention. Thank you and may God bless you.

November 06, 2008

Son of Man, Can These Bones Live?

A post for Vincenzo!

Reading Recommendation

One of my favorite political writers is Tom Roeser . Mr. Roeser specializes in writing about Illinois and Chicago politics. Now that Senator Obama has been elected President, if you are not reading Mr. Roeser already I highly recommend it.

Mr. Roeser also writes for The Wanderer

November 05, 2008

Yes he Is

Gentle Reader: Today, I was dismayed to hear some U.S. citizens who are not happy about the outcome of the election saying: "Barack Obama will not be MY President!"

I admit I am not overjoyed by his election, simply, because I vehemently disagree with some of his stated positions.

However, he will be MY President. As U.S. citizens, he will be the President for ALL of us.

We must respect the office he holds and give President-elect Obama the respect he is entitled to as the future Leader of OUR Nation.

This disrespectful talk reminds me very much of the kind of whining I used to hear from my dissenting Catholic buddies: "John Paul II is not MY Pope", "Pope Benedict XVI is not MY Pope". Their whining was usually accompanied by the excuse that because they did not personally get to elect the Holy Father (those old white men did!) they are upset. Ironically, I don't hear too many of these folks complaining that they did not get to elect their hero Blessed Pope John XXIII or, good grief, how many ballots were cast for St. Peter?!? (must have been a hanging papyrus runoff-LOL! Ok, that was bad)

It's all about how mad you are that someone else gets to speak for you and give insight that YOU may disagree with. It's all about how willing you are to submit to the applicable authority. I've noticed the same folks who have a problem with political authority ("render unto Caesar") usually don't like the authority of God either.

Friends, we can disagree with President-elect Obama. And you better believe he'll be hearing from me on occasion. He's also going to be the recipient of many of my prayers. We need to help him. He's going to need it.

But, we must respect him, if for nothing else, his office. There is a line that should never be crossed. The line between criticism and disrespect is a thin one.

A monumental election just concluded. Once again it looks as though the great state of Minnesota will have produced the highest voter turnout in the Nation. It was a good fight-very close. The new electronic media of connectivity (blogs, websites, SMS, YouTube, social media pages, podcasting) played a large role in mobilizing voters. Election 2008, not only gave us the possibility of having the first non-white President but also the first female Vice President! We've come a long way, baby.

*BTW, the lowercase "h" in my title is not a typo. ;-)

Roll Up Your Sleeves And Get to Work!!!!

Gentle Reader: In the United States this morning we are waking up to the realization that death and evil won the election on several fronts. The states of Colorado, South Dakota and Washington come immediately to mind. The verdict is still out, as of this writing, on Proposition 8 in California (the gay marriage ban).

No matter which major party candidate won the Presidency, neither of them were in 100% conformity with Catholic teaching. That said, I don't think even though we may be more unhappy with the candidate who won that we would be completely rejoicing this a.m. if the "other guy" won. At least, I wouldn't anyway. That's why I did never came out on this blog with a wholesale endorsement of any candidate.

The outcome of the Congressional elections should be a concern since it seems the party that typically advocates for death and the disintegration of the traditional family took control.

The Supreme Court impact--I can't even think about that right now. Like Scarlett, I'll think about that tomorrow.

What's left?

Friends, this is as good of a day as any to make a serious commitment to ACTION!

Whether it's:
*continuing or starting blog advocacy,
*writing letters to your representatives
*responding in writing via letters to the editor when you see an opportunity to do so
*donating money to your favorite pro-life and/or pro-family cause,
*volunteering on phone banks for pro-life/pro-family causes,
*participating in, or starting, abortion clinic prayer vigils,
*volunteering for door-to-door evangelization for a pro-life/pro-family cause or candidate
*doing sidewalk abortion clinic counseling,
*making a commitment to regular prayer and/or fasting,
*resolving to evangelize among your circle of friends and acquaintances at every opportunity.
*Any combination, or all, of the above.

I feel that we lose for the following reasons:
*We don't hear it and we don't talk about it
*We don't believe enough
*We are not as organized as evil

People get ready! We need to get together! There is work to be done or else we have not only lost, we are lost.

November 03, 2008

It's the Life, Stupid

Gentle Reader: Most of you know that I fast for various intentions on a fairly regular basis. I have a special fondness for His Sacred Heart so I fast on every First Friday. Other times, I throw in some random sacrifices.

I'm glad I'm telling you this, because to look at me you'd be hard pressed to see where the food sacrifice comes in. Let's just say "I'm well curved" and leave it at that. :-)

But, that's the whole point of sacrifice. Whether it's giving up food, email, reading, free time, up something that you are attached to, that you care about, is a pittance compared to the Ultimate Sacrifice. Still in my patheticness, I make a lame attempt at it on occasion.

It's like sending a Hallmark card to God. It's not like He needs to get any mail from me, but fasting is my way of saying "Hey, God, thanks!"

I'm pretty lowkey about my fasting. I tell my readers sometimes but I only ever tell people in my daily life that I'm in a fast if I reach one of those intercepts between Faith and every day life (Hi RR!) where you have to explain yourself.

For example; Occasionally, at work in a desperate effort to encourage team solidarity, (IMHO, you can't force this kind of thing but this is the world I live in) they will promote some kind of team building exercise that involves food. Working for a food company, you can, perhaps, appreciate my daily challenge.

Three times it's happened that said event falls in the middle of my fast and here I am unable to simply bow out without explaing why I will not only not be cooking anything to share with the group I will not be eating it either and why.

You may say to yourself that this must present marvelous opportunities for evangelization. Perhaps. Or, maybe, I just suck at it. It's tough to evangelize with folks who, it's not that they don't "get" the concept of fasting for a "religious" reason, it's that they are down right hostile towards it. Two people on the team are Catholics and they don't get why I feel a need to do more than the bare minimum ("Good grief, can't you just fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday!?"). One asked me if I felt fasting made me a better Catholic then he is. I retorted "No, I'm a bad Catholic. That's why I need to do it"

I try to explain the concept of thanking God for His Sacrifice with a lame attempt at my own but do you know how hard it is to explain sacrifice to a people that are by and large spoiled rotten? How many of the people that I will encounter in my day to day ramblings are denied anything they want? Most people I know can get all the food they need and then some. Most people I know have more than one car. Most people I know have a steady income. Most people I know have health insurance. Most people I know can get assistance of some kind if they need it.

This is who we are as U.S. citizens. I don't perceive widespread suffering. Even our definition of economically challenged is nowhere near what to be economically challenged means in most African, Indonesian or South American countries.

Yep, and I say all this in spite of our current economy. No one wants to hear my take on the economic bailout. It makes me extremely cranky. Enough said.

It is said that the U.S. Election that we will vote in TOMORROW will be decided on the basis of the economy. Many say that the new President will be elected based upon his vision for the economy. I hear many people tell me that concerns for the sanctity of life should not be as big of a concern to me as the economy. I should vote more based upon the economy..blah, blah.

I ask you: "How many dead people give a crap about the economy? How many of the unborn, the euthanized, the contracepted, the aborted care about the economy either now or ever?"

I hear a lot of talk in boardrooms these days about how they need to do "something" to head off the serious lack of talent they are going to be facing in the near future. Why? There are not enough working age adults ALIVE to fill positions in their companies. So, they are coming up with incentive plans to try and lure some of the small pool of prospects to want to work for them. They talk about legalizing illegal immigrants. Why? Not out of some perceived compassionate motivation-it's because they are going to need the labor. They talk about offshoring U.S. jobs, not because they care about employing someone in Mumbai, it's because they see a day (in some industries its already here) where they don't have enough people in the U.S. to do the work (there are a multitude of reasons given but it comes down to bandwidth).

It seems to me-and I'm not an economic genius just a surly Catholic blogger-that LIFE IS THE ECONOMY. How can you even have an economy with no labor base?

Looming ahead, I can see the dark solution to the "problem" of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds is don't worry about Social Security or Medicare not having enough working age adults to pay into it because we are just going to encourage "compassionate end of life death, er, care" so we don't have to pay for those folks that just simply refuse to die when we want them to.

We will cut Medicaid by not allowing the disabled to be born. Maybe we can think of some reasons to kill them off if they are born.

Life SHOULD be the economy but I fear the economy we will get is the economy of death.

Pray for our Nation. Pray like you've never prayed before. Neither major party candidate is 100% life. Pray that whoever is elected has a conversion of heart.

November 02, 2008

Archdiocesan Statement on Status of the CPCSM

See what happens when you are several weeks behind in your newspaper reading!!!! D'oh!

I finally read my October 23rd issue of the Archiocesan newspaper The Catholic Spirit and found this interesting statement (reprinted below)

I only found one blogger that picked this story up, James Mary Evans of Fratres blog, so it looks like it could do with more publicity!

Statement on Status of the Catholic Pastoral Commission on Sexual Minorities
By The Catholic Spirit
Thursday, 23 October 2008
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has released the following statement clarifying the status of a group known as the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities:

Recent communications by the group called the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM) have erroneously portrayed its past and current status as it relates to the Roman Catholic Church in general and to this archdiocese in particular.

These communications are a matter of concern to us and require that the archdiocese clearly state that it does not support, or recognize in any way, CPCSM as a Catholic organization. Nor does the archdiocese endorse CPCSM’s recent efforts to promote an advocacy agenda contrary to that of this archdiocese and to the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Harry Flynn took great care not to imply support of CPCSM. The archdiocese, in keeping with Catholic moral teaching, has consistently supported efforts within the church to show special concern and to direct pastoral attention toward persons with same-sex attractions and to advance their spiritual welfare. Thus, where CPCSM has made similar efforts, the archdiocese obviously concurs.

However, CPCSM has also aggressively advocated changes in the moral and sacramental-theological traditions of the church that are wholly at odds with church teaching. Because of this disregard for church tradition and magisterium, Archbishop Flynn did not support nor did he recognize this group.

Archbishop John Nienstedt, in harmony with his predecessor and other U.S. bishops, does not support, endorse or recognize CPCSM. Because the group’s stated agenda is to deny the church’s traditional moral teachings and creates confusion among the faithful, the archdiocese believes strongly that it must reassert its opposition to CPCSM.

[Go get some popcorn, here's where it gets really good!]

When any group chooses the word “Catholic” in its chosen name or acronym it should not be assumed that their group has gained authorization of that affiliation or acceptance by the church or archdiocese [I wonder if this instruction will ever be applied to certain parishes or schools? Hmmmmm]. The name “Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities” is a prime example of that caution. In simple terms, it is not an agency of the Roman Catholic Church.

The CPCSM has long advocated for teaching contrary to Holy Church. Unfortunately, they are all too frequently given a forum for their views in parishes around town. They have a web page, which I will not link to here since I figure most online users are savvy enough to do a search but I warn you that you will not find much in the way of conformity to the Magisterium there. Michael Bayly of, The Wild Reed blog and Progressive Catholic Voice (I will not link to those pages either with the same caveat as the CPCSM page),is the Executive Director of CPCSM. Mr. Bayly, periodically, comments on my blog and others. I would like to, at this time, wish Mr. Bayly a belated Happy Birthday! My gift to you is a prayer that you fully conform to the Faith you profess to believe in.

November 01, 2008

Can We Know Anybody?

In this day of Second Life, avatars, handles, nicknames, personas, texting, can we know anybody? Really? It all seems so anonymous.

I know what you are thinking.

Here's Cathy of Alex, alias, telling us this.

Hi! My name is Janice LaDuke! Some of you know that already. I don't hide it, but I picked my blog handle because when I was reverting I was doing so quietly. I did not want,and did not have the courage, to tell the crowd I was believing with at the time that I was beginning to think they were full of themselves rather than the spirit of God.

It was easier, for continuity, to keep the alias too because then the forums and blogs I was already covertly commenting on would know I was the same person.

In many ways, though, I feel like Cathy of Alex (for St. Catherine of Alexandria) is my truest self. I've thought, seriously, about legally adding the name to mine. I know some of you have added your Confirmation name, legally, to your identity.

I feel Cathy is who I am because I'm Cathy when I'm not just being "Janice the Goofball" "Janice the Suffering Employee" but also Cathy the evangelist, Cathy the philosopher, Cathy the online friend with so many of you.

Maybe the persona is a way for those of us who use personas to connect? Maybe it will be the "Way" we will recognize one another when the persecutions begin and we have to go underground.
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