September 27, 2008

Busy with Much

Gentle Reader: Sorry, I've been scarce. I have some blog post ideas but very little free time. Now, I have house guests for most of this week. I'll shall return!

Go Twins!!!!!

September 24, 2008

Today's Howlingly Funny Political Story

Sorry, but I thought this was the most unintentionally hilarious article I've read all day. Bill Clinton giving advice to Todd Palin-surprisingly "Keep it in your pants" is not one of them but there are a few howlers in there anyway. here

September 23, 2008

Prayer Request

My buddy, Vincenzo, who RARELY publicly asks for prayer is seeking them. Please help him out. Vin is usually one of the first people to offer prayer to folks in times of need.

September 22, 2008

When the Going Gets Tough

When the going gets tough what do we baptized believing Christian do?

Two typical options:

1) Draw closer to Christ. We attend Mass more often. Pray continually. Go to Confession. As soon as things get better we go right back to our lackadaisical Christian life figuring God answered us in our time of need and that's that.

2) Go into full retreat. Telling yourself that you just can't handle one more thing you skip Mass, rarely pray without cursing and yelling, can't handle going to Confession because that's too stressful to fit in. When things get better go back to your regularly scheduled Christian living figuring God noticed you were struggling and helped you out without you even asking. You'll thank Him by being His friend now.

Both of these options, and I hate to get too theological here but I feel that I must: SUCK.

As CATHOLIC Christians we don't accept that you can just call yourself Christian and think Jesus is my best friend and that's enough. NO. To live fully with Christ; to enter fully into Communion with Him; to truly be his friend does not mean being a fair or foul weather friend. It means being a fair AND foul weather friend. It's like your family. It's like a marriage. It's like vows. I promise that no matter what I will be with you forever. Christ promised to be with US always. It seems like He got the bad end of the relationship. Somedays, I can't believe He doesn't ask for a divorce.

We must be His bosom friend. We must let Him into our hearts as much as He wants to let us into His. At the Last Supper, St. John the Evangelist rested his head on Christ's bosom. St.John never abandoned His friend-even after His friend was no longer on this Earth. How can we fail to be moved by that love and devotion? Why don't we even try?!?

Another Day at the Office...

I done got myself together, baby.....

September 21, 2008

A Dance for Grandma

One of my Grandma's favorite songs of recent years....Garth Brooks' version of Bob Dylan's "To Make You Feel My Love"

September 18, 2008

We Can Close An Abortion Clinic!

From our friends at Pro-Life Action Ministries a letter from Mr. Brian Walker follows....

We can close an abortion clinic! I know that this is a remarkable statement to make, but I believe our upcoming 40 Days for Life actually has that potential. During the last 40 Days for Life Twin Cities this past Lent, rumblings began among the employees of Regions Hospital. We were told that an overwhelming majority of the surgical staff wanted the abortion clinic within Regions closed. Some highly placed sugreons and othe physicians have called for the closing of the abortuary, siting its detrimental effects on Regions Hospital's attempts to gain new staffing and upgrade the services of the hospital. Additionally, rumors from within the hospital have begun to surface regarding a desire by the Regions adminitration to get the abortuary out of the hospital.

I believe all this is a direct rusult of the last 40 Days for Life campaign. We showed up during the coldest winter in more than a decade and prayed and prayed. We did not know how or where God would move or act, but we knew He would. For some pictures and video of this past campaign go to http://albums.phanfare.com/1332739/2696724_2944477#imageID=46461252. If your internet speed is fast enough, the slide show feature is great to view. Now we are about to embark on another campaign that, through the power of persistant prayer, fasting and witness, we can once again watch God work and do amazing things. And the one amazing thing I truly believe is within reality is the closing of this abortuary.

Join with us in this effort!

This Fall, the 40 Days for Life is taking place in more than 170 cities across the continent. It will be the single largest and longest mobilization of people for a single cause in the history of our nation. Not only will there be hundreds and thousands praying and fasting, keeping vigil, and witnessing to the humanity of the unborn in the Twin Cities, there will be hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions doing likewise all over America.

The 40 Days for Life Twin Cities will coincide with the national campaign, running from September 24 through November 2, 2008. Our kickoff prayer service will be Wednesday, September 24 at Regions Hospital from 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. Starting from that time on, we intend to keep a 24 hour vigil presence at Regions for the full 40 days. Everyone can be a part of this effort. And we are inviting and encouraging the entire Christian community to be a part of this campaign. There are three key components to the campaign.

1. Prayer and fasting.
2. Keeping vigil.
3. Public witness.

The prayer and fasting is for everyone and every church. You do not even need to be in the Twin Cities area to do this. If you are not hearing anything about the 40 Days for Life Twin Cities in your church then ask about it. Get your church actively praying and fasting for the closing of the abortuary inside Regions and for an end to abortion in general. The vigil is staying at Regions Hospital for the whole 40 days. Brian Walker is scheduling individuals, families, groups and churches to take anywhere from an hour to 24 hour periods during the 40 days. Take a time slot to hepl keep vigil. Many churches are taking responsibility for a complete day - 24 hour periods - as their part in the vigil portion. The public witness is going out and telling everyone who will listen (and many who might not) about the atrocities of abortion, at Regions Hospital and in general. This will include literature to hand out, signs that tell the story, our Truth Truck, petitions, and much, much more.

For any part of this that you need more information or would like to take part in, contact Brian Walker at Brian.Walker@plam.org or 651-771-1500.

Important Dates:

September 18 -- 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. informational meeting at St. Mary's in St. Paul.
September 24 -- 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. Kick off prayer service at Reiongs Hospital.
September 24 - November 2 -- 40 Days for Life Twin Cities.
October 6 -- 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Pro-Life Action Ministries annual Banquet featuring Star Parker.

Peace


Warning: This is a semi-Cranky Cathy post ("Semi" because I've matured so it's not as cranky as my classic crank! See below)!

I hear the word "peace" thrown around a lot. You probably do too. Am I the only one who thinks it's sometimes used as a weapon? Why does it make me so cranky? WTH does it really mean anyway? Do the people saying "peace" know what it means? Is it the opposite of "war"-which is what? Confusion? Just because RPGs aren't going off all over does that mean there is peace?

I admit I don't have a lot of patience for the "peaceniks". I see those folks holding their peace signs over the freeway bridge and I want to throw them and their signs in the river! Thanks for wishing me "peace" or wishing we had "peace" (since I'm never sure what you are after) while I'm stuck in a traffic jam right under you for 1/2 hour. How about voting for more money and roads for public transit or encouraging more companies to build in the central city so I'm not driving 20+ miles/day?! I don't think I'll have peace but I definitely won't be as irritable.

What is peace? Is it a state of mind? A culture? A line of tea by Tazo?

Christ wished us 'Peace'. Peacniks would have us believe that Christ only meant "no war". Is that what He meant? Did He mean that he wished us inner calm and security? Does He wish I wasn't so cranky? I'm not good at biblical translation (for that matter neither are some of the folks entrusted with it!) but I'm pretty sure He did not say:"Cranky be with you" any more than He said "May the Schwartz be with you" (sorry, Mel Brooks fans!)

I've come think He meant the inner calm and security that we, as Catholics, have when we are living within the Law. You know how discombobulated and badly you feel when you've sinned against God. Some would have us believe that "Catholic guilt" needs to be negated and denied. If we could just get rid of that niggling feeling of "guilt" then we would know true peace. Is denial and evil peace? Is that what Christ meant? Don't worry about anything and don't do anything the Church I founded tells you-then you will know 'peace'. That's not the voice of Jesus, that's the voice of Satan. I'm convinced that if we don't seek true peace, Satan will find us, not God.

Adoro tells me that I'm maturing as a Catholic since I've kind of mellowed out-yeah, she drinks too much! LOL! But, seriously, she has a point. If I'm cranky then I'm not at peace and that's when I get into trouble and fall into sin.

So, all those times I'm trying to pray my Rosary before Mass and there is a chaos all around me in the Sanctuary I need to shove aside those thoughts of using the candles for something other than prayer, dampen my rage and just keep on with it. Maybe 'peace' is contagious? Despite societies best efforts to make us all cranky, I've yet to see the definitive cure for destroying the true peace of Christ. Maybe at times it's in remission, but it never totally goes away.

September 17, 2008

Overdue Recognition

Ladies and Gentlemen: Deep curtsy to fellow blogger and Minnkling, T. Michael Bengtson, otherwise known as Thomas Bengtson, for being a recipient of The Catholic Spirit's Leading with Faith 2008 award.

Michael has two blogs: tMichaelB and Geo Principle both of which are in my sidebar under "Support Your Local Blog"

Ragemonkey Returns!

Just when I thought everyone was fleeing blogger, a "classic" blogging priest returns to the medium! He's slimmed down and still likes many of the same movies I do!

Father Shane Tharp, The Original Ragemonkey, has returned!

Check him out at: http://ragemonkey2.blogspot.com

September 16, 2008

Blog Breakdown: The Empty Page

What is there to say? Everyone's leaving. Will the last person left on blogger shut the mainframe off? Thanks.

Really. I feel so uninspired these days, it's not even funny. Could this be writer's block or the fact that I found I really did not miss composing the blog during my summer break? Both?

Hey, there's a whole other world out there. I was amazed to find Jesus is in it! I lost Him during my mad rush to compose something a few nights a week. Now, I can spend time at Mass or Novena or praying. I'm even back on a regular Adoration schedule.

I don't know how the folks who compose one or more blog posts a DAY do it. How do you balance it all? Work, family, God, losing 20 pounds...I don't know. I have not figured out the secret without limiting my sleep to, oh, 3 hours/night. I can't do that schedule. Good grief, if you think I'm cranky enough now?!?

Totally changing gears...I know-major shocker to my regular readers (all 10 of you!) who know how the synapses in my brain randomly fire!

Deep curtsy to all who prayed for me and my family during this difficult time with my Grandma's death. The funeral Mass was really tough for me. It's (hopefully!) a happy and joyous thing for my Grandma but in my human limitations and inclination towards selfishness I can only cry about myself and the loss of her in MY life.

Speaking of the funeral Mass. Very interesting. I've observed before how the almost total loss of faith (any faith) in my family has not been a good thing. Many of my relatives have absolutely no idea how to act in a house of worship. It doesn't matter if it's Catholic (as it was for my Grandma's funeral) or a Protestant denomination, my family largely acts like a group of eye-rolling and rude folks who would rather be somewhere else (like at the bar watching the game and having a beer). Out of the respect for my Grandma, it was not as bad as other family worship occasions. Almost everyone dressed well but the kids are running all over the place, people are eating in the pews, talking during the readings and homily, yawning, sleeping. Hey, what am I saying, that same kind of behavior can be seen in almost any church on any given Sunday! If you don't know what appropriate behavior is IN the House of the Lord, how can you have any clue what appropriate behavior outside the House of the Lord is?

September 11, 2008

Blog Break

Gentle Reader: I am offline until Tuesday. I'll be in South Dakota attending my Grandma's funeral Mass and visiting my family. I'm deeply touched by the outpouring of support and offers of prayers and help for me and my family during this difficult time. May God bless you.

In my absence, comment moderation is enabled.

Lest We Forget


A post I did in 2006 for the 2,996 project in memory of Ariel Louis Jacobs is here

September 08, 2008

Prayer Request



After a long illness, my Grandma just passed away about one hour ago.

She was my last Grandparent. I was blessed in that I knew not only all of my Grandparents but all but one of my Great-Grandparents. I know a lot of my friends are unable to say the same so I know how lucky I was.

This photo was taken by my Mom about 15 years ago in my Grandma's living room. It's the only photo I know of with just me and Grandma in it. Grandma went to the trouble to have it framed and matted and presented it to me as a gift. She kept the other copy and it sat in her living room for years. That is, until all my cousins started having kids and I was pushed out by those cute infants-pesky tikes!!!!

I will never forget how when she gave it to me, rather than exclaim how happy I was that I finally had a photo of just the two of us, I immediately seized upon how bad my hair looked, my double-chin, I had my glasses on..*whine, whine*. How lame is that? I'm still shamed by it.

I've had this photo on my shelf for years. It sits near my computer in my office. At one point, I got over myself.

Grandma was a quite a fisherman. We had many fishing adventures together. She was a great one for stories: about her life on the farm as a young girl, her married life, her kids, dancing. Oh, the dancing! My Grandma and I walzed together often (yes, we did!). It was the only dance we: a) knew, b) didn't fight too much over who should lead! LOL! Grandma could lead or follow in dance and I was only taught how to lead (feminism don't ya know!)so it was pretty funny. In an effort to be accomodating I would let her lead and of course I rebelled at that and we'd end up out of time. LOL!

One of the things we've talked about as a family is having a big dance and a fishing trip in Grandma's honor. She would really like that.

Grandma did, Praise God!, receive the Final Sacraments. I should be completely overjoyed that she has an opportunity to see Jesus but, at this point, it's too new and I can only be sad. Sad for myself.

I'll be at Mass tonight. I think if you have to go, you can do a lot worse then go on Our Lady's Birthday!

Gentle Reader: Please remember my Grandma in your prayers. Also, if you could remember my Aunt, who cared for her during her final illness, that would be much appreciated as well. I'm trying to get my Aunt to come back to the Church and Grandma's illness has provided some opportunities for evangelization.

Happy Birthday to Our Lady!!!!



Gentle Reader: I know I've been scarce, please pray for me as I pray for you. God bless you.

September 05, 2008

First Friday

September 04, 2008

Fly the Heavy Skies

For my frequent flyer buddies...a joke ad created by Philadelphia Media Holdings..



Look for a ban on diuretics and water pills in all airport convenience stores!




Labels: A Goofy Cathy Post! Nothing to do with Catholicism!

Some Enchanted Evening...Life with the RNC

My out of town relatives and buddies have been asking me this week what the impact of hosting the Republican National Convention has been on my life. It's great being the host city but the impact on my daily life is minimal. It would probably be different if I worked in downtown St. Paul where I've heard there are cops in riot gear all over the place. I have seen a LOT more tour buses, coaches and limos than usual as well as more homemade political signage near the freeways.

I know I have friends who are much more directly engaged in the convention than I am. I was watching Gov. Palin's speech last night and I swore I saw a couple of people that I know in the hall....



I have to say that I think the colors Ray and Terry were wearing last night are much more flattering than those black commando outfits they were wearing a few days ago while they flipped trash cans near the Capital. Terry was bummed because they did all that work hurling trash near the Capital but no one even noticed there was more trash floating around the Hill than usual.

September 03, 2008

I Thirst




Caring for someone at home in their dying moments is crazy. Making an elderly family member a part of your household is crazy. Refusing to institutionalize a disabled child is crazy. Giving birth to a child that you know in utero will not be "perfect" is crazy.

Have you ever heard someone say any of the above? Have you? Have you ever thought it in the secret recesses of your heart but never voiced it?

What any of those people may call “crazy”, I call “love”

Love is denying your self. When every fiber of your being is crying out for selfish fulfillment, you tell it to shut up and you deny your self to serve another’s needs over your own.

Love is not just carrying the cross but embracing it. It’s rushing head on to be with someone in their most difficult moment. You know it’s going to be bad but you have to be there-only for them.

My Aunt, who is my Grandma's primary character in Grandma's final days, has been Grandma's companion for 19 years. The death of my brother, and the desire to attend his funeral, gave my Aunt the excuse she needed to get away from her alcoholic and abusive husband. She never went back to him.

But, my Aunt needed my Grandma as much as Grandma needed her. Grandpa died a few years back. Grandma was alone. My Aunt has a partial disability and cannot work. They both needed each other. They could have each walked away. They could have gone off and lived their own lives. There were times they wanted to tell the other to get lost but they knew the other needed them. They denied themselves. They denied the life they could have had and freely chose to give to the other.

My Aunt could put Grandma in a hospital. She will not do that. She's told everyone she will not and she's caring for her at home. My Aunt left the Catholic Church 40 years ago because a priest refused to baptize her child. In the priest's defense, he had no assurance my Aunt would raise her child in the faith. He was right. At the first sign of opposition to her will she raised the child Lutheran. She raised all her kids Lutheran. Indifferent Lutheran really.

But, my Aunt in her distance, knows more about true love and carrying the cross than some of us will ever know. She spent 25 years with an abusive man because she did not want to leave her children.

Lately, my Aunt has been asking questions about the Church again. She made a comment about how when Grandma dies she, my Aunt, wants the Mass for Grandma for herself. I found that an odd comment. She wonders why I leave to go to Mass 10 miles away. She wonder what it is that draws one (me) who was indifferent for so long.

If I found something, maybe she can too? Can we, as we practice our imperfect expressions of love, reach out and find the perfect love that is Jesus Christ?
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