April 30, 2009

Health Tip For Avoiding Swine Flu


This public service announcement is brought to you by Cathy-a Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin Production

QM is Back!

..[Quantitative Metathesis]and she has big news! Be sure to stop by her, temporarily resuscitated blog, for a visit.

April 29, 2009

Card Night

I had a few people over tonight for cards (from left to right): Terry, Trad Chris (modeling, as usual, the latest in unique headcovering!), me (I'm not sure I like my hair color-too light I think) and Adoro (Adoro cut her hair to gear up for her latest assault on Blog Trolls)

Off camera were: Bede and L who made a run to Cafe Latte to bring back dessert. Ray was in the kitchen checking the expiration dates on all the beer (Honestly, I appreciate it but does anyone think I leave beer sitting around THAT long?). Mitchell and Judith were at the door. I was afraid to let them in because I owe them a story. *sob*

Swissmiss was absent because she's on her way to a doctor. A true story. Please, pray for her.

Midday Diversion

One of my favorite actresses, Gong Li, from a film by one of my favorite directors, Zhang Yimou.

For The Crescat

April 27, 2009

She's Back!

Swissmiss is back! Be sure to visit her and remember to pray for her Uncle who died Saturday morning.

War On Every Front

In 1918-1920 a major influenza pandemic swept the globe. It was a new plague. It killed millions and orphaned thousands. At the same time, World War I was was still being fought. I heard a elderly relative when I was a child say of that time: "It was war on every front": the home front fighting an illness that weakened and killed millions and the war front in Europe. If the youth was not battling in the Argonne Forest, they were fighting the outbreak in hospitals and homes at home. If they were not fighting, they were dying.

It was so bad and the fear of the outbreak was so strong (and with good reason) that people feared people. Suspicions were rampant. No one knew what caused it or for sure how it spread or why some people were immune and others weren't. The close quarters of soldiers during the War hastened the spread of the virus. The randomness was frightening. Entire families were nearly wiped out while one person was spared. People were afraid to go out in public or when they did they wore masks and gloves. In some cases, you were denied entry if you were NOT wearing a mask. Public gatherings, like sporting events, fairs and concerts were suspended. Public funerals were forbidden. Occasionally, the dead were bulldozed into mass graves.

In some communities, Masses were cancelled or held outdoors. Confessions were suspended. When Masses were held, Communion was either not distributed or more people did not present themselves to receive-not because of their state of sin but because of their fear of contracting the virus. It was not just the Catholic church, all churches, in some communities, were closed.

There was no cure for it.

Can you imagine this happening today?

Maybe it already is.

Over the last few days, word has reached these shores that Mexico City is going house to house to find ill people and put them into hospitals for treatment (whether they agree or not), public gatherings are suspended, people are going about with face masks and rubber gloves on, Masses have been suspended in Mexico City (Officially, the Sign of Peace is discouraged as is receiving Communion on the tongue). Japan is said to be worried. Outbreaks have been confirmed in a school in New York State and in California

A virus that is a combination of swine, bird and human flus is the cause of the illnesses.

The bird flu is something we've heard of in recent years. I'm old enough to remember the swine flu scare of the 1970s-it turned out to be not as bad as panic suggested. Let's pray this latest virus is nothing.

But, the fear and panic has got me thinking: How long will it be, if this gets worse, that immigrants (both legal and illegal) from countries that have the new virus are regarded with suspician and treated wrongly? I like to believe people are decent at heart but when they are afraid for their lives they don't always think of others with charity. How long could it be before travel to certain countries is prohibited or people found to be entering from these countries are quarantined until we can be sure they are not carriers?

Maybe it's nothing.

I started to think, what would it be like if the Mass was cancelled? If I couldn't go to Adoration or Benediction or Vespers because they were cancelled how upset would I be? What would I do, if I couldn't get to Confession because no priests were offering the Sacrament due to public health concerns? What if the Church doors were always locked to discourage assembly? Maybe we could go to Mass but we'd all have face masks and gloves on? What if receiving Communion was prohibited due to public health concerns?

Even if all churches and places of worship were closed, I'm conscious of the fact that, as a Catholic, receipt of the Sacraments and participation in Devotions often include going to a Church building. I will feel cut off from the Sacraments, as well as the Community of the Body of Christ, if I'm sitting alone in my house.

It occurs to me how different it is to be a Catholic from when I was an Evangelical. As an Evangelical we often attended "house churches". Also, there was no requirement to attend services. It was heavily encouraged, but not enforced or pointed to as a requirement from a set of rules. As an Evangelical, you were still "saved" when you read your Bible alone in your house as much as you were when you joined the community for worship and praise. I'm not belittling the concern the Evangelicals, or other faiths may feel if their houses or worship are closed to them, just that my experience from another Christian denomination is that the stakes don't feel as high if you can't get to the public worhship space as they do to me now as a Catholic.

Even under ideal circumstances, the receipt of Communion is not a "right", it's not "guaranteed". Many Catholics fail to realize this and think they are entitled to receive Communion at every Mass-sadly, sometimes, when they are in a state of mortal sin they still think they are entitled to receive. If there is a bright side to a possible epidemic, maybe it will be the teaching moments provided and the realization that to receive Communion, when you are able to, is a beautiful gift. It's precious and rare.

Still, I feel like if an epidemic happens and my musings come to pass, how will I live? I will feel dead and in a state of panic if the Sacraments are denied to me, to us, because any contact is a public health threat. In many ways, I wonder if this is what the Catholics who live in China or other nations that have suppressed Catholicism feel like; never knowing when they may be able to receive the Sacraments from moment to moment. Those rare times are a great gift.

Be ready. Be always ready. If you have not been to Confession in a while, it may be a great time to think about going.

We could be at war on every front. We are already at war against secularism, liberalism, socialism, communism and other 'isms that would negate or minimize our Faith; maybe we could also be at war soon against a supervirus that would attack our Faithful.

Maybe it's nothing. But, my motto at all times is: "Be ready. For you do not know the hour."

April 25, 2009

The Happy Hunting Ground...Things That Make Me Go Hmmmm...

Today, I quit thinking that the looming clouds were actually going to yield rain and put the garden hose to use. I watered my garden beds. It's been warm here for the last week. 60 and 70s. The high yesterday was 75 which is almost unheard of this time of year.

So, my gardens need water. We've not had any precip for about a week.

My yard is fenced in and I have several shrubs and trees. Also, I don't have any kids or dogs running around in the yard. Thus, my yard is often a haven for little critters.

It is also a prime hunting ground for a local hawk. In fact, I think it's the same hawk. He's decided to stake out my yard. I see him occasionally on top of the telephone pole in the back. I believe he's a Merlin and I saw him today-sitting on top of one of my favorite cardinals. I've seen his, er, residue at other times. I have to give him credit, he's a clean killer. He doesn't leave much-usually only a few feathers or tufts of hair from the rabbits he's killed.

I'm watering my garden beds about a 1/2 hour prior to seeing Mr. Merlin with his lunch, and I scare up 6 little bunnies out of the day lillies. The day lillies are just barely up but enough of a stalk is up for the little bunnies to hide in. I don't think it's a coincidence that Mr. Merlin is lurking. He probably wanted one of the bunnies but settled for the cardinal who was unfortunate enough to be minding his own business and....wham!

I know the bunnies have been gnawing on my tulip leaves. I'm sure they are just waiting to chop off the tops of my tulips. Oh, wait, maybe that's the squirrels. In any case, Mr. Merlin is one of my best friends.

I, also, recollected a certain blogger, I won't mention names, let's just call him "Mr. Last Days of Disco", telling me his yard friend, Mrs. Rabitowitz was preggers a few weeks ago. I'm not making any outright accusations that "Mr Dynamite" came up from the south side in the middle of the night and dumped his bunnies in my yard, but the timing seems a tad suspicious. Especially, since "Mr. Can't Stop the Music" was complaining to me about the rabbits eating his plants at the same time he noted his yard rabbit was preggers.

It's all good though, Mr. Merlin wants to thank him. Yesssssss.....WHAM!

April 24, 2009

The Cannonball Awards

Gentle Reader: Go vote for your nominations for best ignored, disrespected, barely read, scarcely acknowledged blogs in Catholic blogdom! Where else? Yes, The Crescat. Be afraid....be very afraid.

You have until May 1 to get those nominations in.

The Crescat will not be ignored. Trust me. I know.

April 23, 2009

Earth Day Regurgitated

Yesterday, Earth Day, was the pagan/prog/secularist high holy day. It was their most sacred day of their entire liturgical year. In fact, the local papers have even started printing 1/4 page Earth Day events calenders-just like they do for Easter and Christmas-so you can be sure not to miss your nearest Ent Gathering!

I sure hope you all greated folks with a prayer for a blessed Earth Day or finished a novena to the Mighty Oak! Maybe you planted a tree or cut a tree down that was blocking your picture window?

You didn't?

Well, if nothing else, I hope you took your trash out!

Angela and Terry stopped by to help me clean up my living room. I'm ashamed to call myself a Christian. But, honestly, I was so confused. On one hand, I wanted to and knew I needed to, discard or recycle the waste. On the other hand, I'm so afraid of landfills after this horrifying slide show presentation about landfills in Mexico contributing to global warming that I saw a few years ago that I figured the waste was better off in my house. How crazy is that? Yes, an intervention was needed and Angela and Terry are true friends. Problem is: now I have to clean! Oh, no, more chemicals unleashed!!!!!! ARRRGH!

The Church teaches that respect for the Earth is a part of being a Christian. However, the Church does NOT teach that the Earth is THE Deity to be worshipped. God gave the Earth to us as not only as life-sustenance, but also, a gift. I'm curious-still-how pro-choice folks who will go to the wall for the right to kill unborn life and throw it in the trash dumpster will have a nervous breakdown if I'm throwing too much unrecyclable household waste in the trash? I'm all for recycling and I recycle at my house but, uh, hello, how can you not see that taking away human life is not contributing to the quality of life on our planet anymore than recycling paint is? Bad analogy but there it is.

In a few weeks one of my favorite local parishes will substitute the Catholic liturgy for the 4th Sunday of Easter (3rd Sunday of Easter in the Traditional calender), for a made-up by liturgical and musical directors run amok, an Earth Sunday "liturgy" complete with a slide show, contemporary music, dramatic readings, a light show, trapeze artists, Al Gore, a bonfire of purification, a hot tub with sacred water, a lute, a rain stick, a choir. Hey, that was pretty good! Maybe I need to be a Liturgy Coordinator?

I'm being mildly sarcastic.

Again, allow me to reiterate: THE CHURCH TEACHES RESPECT FOR THE EARTH BUT NOT THAT THE EARTH IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE DUE WORSHIP OWED TO GOD. Translation: Do the liturgy for the Sunday as written!!! If Father wants to include respect for the Earth in the General Intercessions portion of the Mass-great! That's where it should be if it's in the Mass at all. Sure, plant a tree on Earth Day, take a moment to give thanks for the Earth. But, remember, always, who gave you the Earth in the first place. Give thanks to Him.

April 21, 2009

Knee Check

So, it's over a week since the Triduum and Easter, how did your knees do on DM Sunday? If you are a daily Mass goer was Easter week a continuation of Lenten Penance every time you knelt? I see some of you aren't moving too fast to get down for the Sanctus! (Including me-*sigh*)

The photo is of Terry's legs Easter evening. I TOLD him to start stretching weeks beforehand but does he listen to me? No.

Labels for this post: Random Goofiness. You are right, this post isn't funny. Cathy needed a break.

April 20, 2009

Baptismal Authority?

The more water thrown on you or that you are thrown into at Baptism does not give you any more authority than you already had. Baptism confers grace upon you but the amount of water used or what you had on or how many pools you had your head dunked into doesn't give you any authority.

Recently, in town there was a gathering of the misguided calling themselves a group leading up to the "2010 Synod of the Baptized". I'm glad they identified themselves to clear up any possible confusion over who they are and what they want.

I think Holy Mass could be a Synod of the Baptized. My Bible study could be a Synod of the Baptized. My meeting the Chant Schola at Elsie's after Mass could be a Synod of the Baptized.

Numbers don't matter. Anyone can apparently call a synod. For that matter, authority doesn't apparently matter either. Anyone can call a synod.

So, next time Adoro and I get together for lunch I think we should call that a Synod of the Baptized. After all, we've both been Baptized and I've decided all on my own that I can call an ecclesiastical synod. To make the lunch look more like a synod, I'll make up some prayers to the Ultimate Electronics and we can gripe about something.

Friends: Baptism, as I prove every day on this blog, does not confer authority. As I also prove daily, baptism doesn't even confer wisdom. Baptism doesn't even make me funny since I am no longer the record holder of Ray's Laughing Jerry . (I was deposed by His Hermaneuticalness ! Apparently, a BRITISH PRIEST is funnier than I am. Whatever. It's ON!) Baptism is an initiation rite. Unfortunately, the initiation, clearly, does not automatically mean we are all going to be of the same mind.

Many, erroneously, think that they have authority when they don't or that authority is an entitlement. Authority is a demand to be met rather than a recognition that any authority you may have is a gift from God. Many, erroneously, believe the Pope is the ultimate authority. I don't believe for one minute that the Holy Father believes that the "buck stops with him". The Holy Father answers to God. We, as Catholics, if we call ourselves Catholics must give respect and the authority due to our duly appointed authorities, both secular and religious, when they speak and teach with the proper authority granted to them.

I may not agree with President Obama. I did not vote for him. BUT, he is the President of my country and I'll give him respect and listen to him and follow the laws. BUT, only when they don't conflict with my professed faith. Unlike JFK, I'm not leaving my faith at the door.

The Holy Father, on the other hand, IS the leader here on Earth of the Faith I profess. I didn't vote for him. I didn't get to vote him. I'll never get to vote for him. I don't expect that I should get to vote for him. I'm not entitled to vote for him. In all the ages past, I would've never been able to vote for him. Jesus didn't ask for my vote before He walked to Calvary. Good thing too because I probably would have voted for Barabbas.

I recognize the authority of the Faith over me as a baptized member into the Faith I profess to believe.

We are fallen and broken. That's why we can't get it together. All the "synods" in the world are NOT going to make us all of one mind if we are not even reading and interpreting the same source documents as one mind.

We can be "many voices, one church" but not if we are not speaking the same "language"-then, we are Babel.

April 19, 2009

Matthew 18:6

The American Life League is calling for Bishop John D'Arcy to remove Notre Dame's name from the Catholic Directory for permiting President Obama, hardened abortion supporter, to speak there in May.

Georgetown University covered over the words "IHS" above the podium that Obama used to speak there Tuesday (I'm curious where the outcry was over his appearance. I guess everyone is too busy yelling about Notre Dame). Georgetown, reportedly, did this at the White House's request. Yet, another tragic example of a Catholic institution denying Christ so as not to, possibly, offend the studio audience. God forbid, anyone believe there is a deity higher than the President at a Catholic school.

I wonder if all educational institutions in the United States that call themselves Catholic were assessed, honestly, regarding their actions to perpetuate the Faith in a Magisterium faithful manner, how many of them would make the grade? Would the Catholic Directory be reduced to a two page crib sheet?

A faithful remnant would be acceptable to me if it means that the false advertising will cease. I think it's preposterous and outrageous that schools continue to deceive us in believing that they are doing anything more than trading on their quasi-relationship with the Church only when it suits them. They take the money but they don't even try to repent and give it back. They jeer at us all the way to the bank and everytime they are successful in turning our young people away from the Faith of their Fathers.

When I was in "Catholic" college I was often told that they wanted to expose us to "ideas" to encourage free thought and that the Faith was something that should be taught at home. Huh? They also tried to say they made the assumption that we had learned our Faith already before we got to College and nothing they introduced us too should have any impact on Faith if our Faith was already solid. Does anyone think Catechesis in the 70s and 80s was solid enough to withstand any of that? They didn't think so either but they don't want to admit it. Eye-rolling and sneering passes for Catechesis, I guess. They also watered the Catholic Faith down, way down, because they did not want to offend the large non-Catholic population attending the school. Uh, did the Lutherans fail to see the Catholic signs on the literature they got before they attended? Would anyone of us expect to attend a Jewish or Baptist school and not be exposed to those faith traditions? Does anyone think for one minute if I attended Bob Jones University I would not be evangelized day and night?

Catholic schools were started in the U.S. as a response to the proselytizing (mostly Protestant) Catholic kids were being exposed to in the public schools. How much worse is it now? Now, it's not even Christianity of any sort that being taught in the public schools. It's socialism, it's communism, it's wishy-washy psychobabble.

President Obama is proving that he is very much a product of the education system of the last 30 years. Put Christ in a cupboard and pull Him out when it suits you.

No wonder so many faithful Catholics homeschool. Is it time, again, for a resurgance in the Catholic school system? AUTHENTIC Catholic schools. Will we, or could we, ever have that again? Ah, there's the question. If we care enough, if we pray enough AND if society will let us-you can bet the liberal lawmakers will try to stop it. I wonder.

I'm heartened by the outcry. How long have we been silent? We need to turn things around. We, the remnant that is still standing.

Support solidly Catholic schools. Speak up when you see or hear Catholic education that is poorly done. Pray. Give money to solidly Catholic schools. Keep your money when the shoddy Catholic schools come begging. I hate to say that but some people only think in terms of money. Maybe if we start witholding our money we can reach those who are not persuaded by rhetoric. Chose to attend and send your kids to solidly Catholic schools. True, some of the true schools don't have the cache of the crappy schools, but they never will until we start voting with our feet.

April 16, 2009

How Can I Love Thee As I Ought?

Gentle Reader: Many of you know I am currently, and willfully, without employment at this time.

During this time I'm spending a lot of time job hunting. I'm approaching the job hunt as a full-time job. I'm up at 6:00 a.m.-same time as when I did have a job. I have breakfast (COFFEE!!). Then, I'm on the computer by 8, and, if necessary, phone by 9.

I'm also praying and attending Mass.

I'm worried.

I'm not worried as much about employment as I'm worried that maybe I'm praying to God, not because I love Him as I should, but because I want something out my attention. I fear that I'm approaching prayer as: "I'll pray to you, Lord, if you give me what I want"

I pray, and I tell the Lord, that no matter what happens I will never stop adoring Him and praising Him and loving Him but I wonder, sometimes, do I really mean that? If I don't get a job I want am I going to get mad and turn on Him?

Do I really love God as much as I should and as much as He deserves?

All I can do is continue but I don't have an answer.

How CAN I love Him as I ought? Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All.

April 14, 2009

Who Is Matt Talbot

Photo: Venerable Matt Talbot 1856 - 1925

A few weeks ago, I was at the Catholic Parents Online retreat at the Church of St. John in St. Paul, MN.

The evening before the retreat I learned another cousin of mine was in rehab for alcohol addiction. At the same time, I had a different cousin in rehab for meth addiction. Furthermore, an uncle of mine continues to struggle with his numerous addictions.

I was wondering around the Church between sessions and I finally remembered to go visit the mysterious (to me) Shrine in the Vestibule. It is a Shrine to Matt Talbot; whom some of you who are in recovery may already know about. I'd seen the Shrine at St. John before but had no idea who it was for. My Angel smiled on me this day because there were pamphlets, written by Father Leo Dolan (former Pastor of St. John) by the Shrine. I picked one up and read about Venerable Talbot.

The presence of the Shrine and my knowledge of it could not have come at a better time. I lit a candle and prayed to Venerable Talbot to give some of his strength to my struggling family members.

As I was getting up, a lady came by and said with excitement "Is that Matt Talbot?" I nodded and she almost threw herself down in front of the Shrine. Hey, when you need it, you need it!

Father Dolan's pamphlet talks about the need for a HUMAN model of recovery. Someone who "employed the timeless dynamic of radical conversion the 12 Steps [of Alcoholics Anonymous] acknowledge-and also has integrated these with a full Catholic spirituality"

Matt Talbot was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1856. His family was poor and he was surrounded by the excessive use of alcohol. He had very little formal schooling and often skipped school when he was enrolled.

By age 12 he quit school altogether and began to work. He also began to drink. His first job was as a delivery boy for a liquor company. Before long, he was a full-fledged alcoholic.

For the next 16 years, he worked and he drank. He often sold what he had, including at times, his clothes to buy alcohol. He stole and pawned the stolen items for money to buy alcohol.

At age 28, he walked out of a pub upset that his friends would not buy him a drink. He also seemed to tire of wasting his life. That day, he went to Church and made a good Confession and promised the Lord he would abstain from alcohol for the next 6 months. With this, began a life of sobriety, sanctity, prayer and penance.

He lived out the change of the 12 Steps before they were even devised by AA. He lived them and then some as he was careful to submit the regular direction of a Spiritual Advisor, attended Daily Mass, made frequent use of the Sacrament of Confession. He even taught himself to read so he could read the Bible. He spent much time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. He spent the rest of his life "making amends" for his earlier dissolute life.

If there is a Catholic 12 Steps Program, Matt Talbot lived it.

He died, at the age of 68, while on his way to Mass on Trinity Sunday 1925.

There is a prayer for Canonization in the booklet written by the late Archbishop John Roach (may he rest in peace), no stranger to addiction and recovery himself.
Lord, in your servant Matt Talbot you have given us a wonderful example of triumph over addiction, of devotion to duty, and of lifelong reverence for the Most Holy Sacrament.
May his life of prayer and penance give us courage to take up our crosses and follow in the footsteps of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Father, if it be your will that your beloved servant should be glorified by your Church, make known by your heavenly favours the power he enjoys in your sight. We ask this through the same Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen

Deep curtsy to Father Leo Dolan for his pamphlet.

St. John is located at 977 Fifth St East in St. Paul, MN. The Shrine to Matt Talbot is in the Vestibule. Father George Welzbacher is the current Pastor. Father Welzbacher hears Confessions before every Mass, as well as an extra hour or so on Saturday afternoon, so if you were to make a visit to the Shrine and want your Confession heard, chances are good that Father will accomodate you in your need for Reconciliation. The church's website with schedules and contact information is here

There is a blog dedicated to Matt Talbot called Venerable Matt Talbot Resource Center

I know Terry and
Adrienne have blogged about Matt Talbot before.

Blogger Amy Welborn even included Matt Talbot in her Loyala Kids Book of Heroes

April 13, 2009

Brittle Joy

On Good Friday, I went to the vigil before the Highland Park St. Paul Planned Parenthood abortuary. Clayton was there and has photos. Ray was there as well and has posted some information.

A Deep Curtsy goes out to Archbishop John Nienstedt. I don't, EVER, remember any sitting Archbishop in this Archdiocese showing up at a pro-life vigil much less leading the crowd in prayer. Brian Gibson, of Pro-Life Action Ministries, credits the Archbishop's presence, to kick-off the Vigil, as a reason that so many turned out for life this year.

I think the reason so many turned out for life this year, besides the presence of a Leader, is the horror emanating from the White House. Have we finally seen people who were indifferent or "on the fence" to life realizing, that if they don't step up, life could be even further disrespected than it already is?

The "other side" did not have as many people this year as years past. Rather than congratulate ourselves for that, I think we should take a moment to realize that the forces of death are feeling complacent because "their man" is in the White House. Why should they show up? They've already seen documented evidence that the President is going to agree to just about any piece of pro-death legislation put in front of him.

Once again, everytime the other side cheered when a horn honked in solidarity with them, I felt like I was witnessing the crowds screaming: "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" One misguided young woman yelled at me "I keep my baby in a jar" I turned around to point out to her that acknowledging it IS a baby is the first step toward realizing abortion is wrong. But, she ran away from me with "brittle" laughter. [Deep curtsy to Clayton for the word: "brittle". That's exactly what it is.]

Brittle because she knows it's not funny. I'm sure she has probably never had an abortion. She just yelled out what she did to heckle me. I pray that while these folks are heckling me they ask themselves who they are trying to convince? Me or themselves?

I already know the answer. Themselves.

I used to march on the other side of the line. I held up the signs (helpfully provided by Planned Parenthood). I even wanted to volunteer in that clinic once. I remember walking past the line of pro-life protesters thinking they were misguided wackos. I remember the guard holding the door for me when I went there for a volunteer interview. I never did volunteer there. It was not because I had a change of heart. Other things interfered.

I confused murder for liberation. I equated children and family with slavery.

The change started to happen for me when a friend miscarried for the second time. She was devastated. I remember comforting her. I also remember supporting a different friend who had two abortions. I even offered to drive her to one of the abortions. Another friend drove her so I wasn't needed. I wondered why one lost life was worthy of grief and the other was not. What was the difference?

The difference was: desire. If you wanted the group of cells than it was a baby, if you didn't, than it was a blob of meaningless tissue.

I started to wonder.

Reflection is a powerful thing. When we hold the mirror up to our own hearts who knows what can happen?

Reflection has stopped many from entering an abortuary or from going "thru with it".

There is not enough reflection these days. People don't think things thru to a conclusion much less a logical one. No one wants to think, just give me my feelings. There is little rationality. Don't talk to me about consequences or responsibility.

That said: feelings were the beginnings of serious reflection for me. If you can get people to admit the contradiction in their feelings, you may be able to lead them to a better conclusion.

April 12, 2009

The Greatest Blog Post Ever

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre.
And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an Angel of the Lord descended from Heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.
His appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.
And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.
But the Angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. Lo, I have told you"--
The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew 28:1-7

April 09, 2009

Blessed Triduum

I'm suspending the blog posting until after Easter. I have several posts in the hamper-including one for "Our Word and Welcome to It!" (I'm sure Mitchell is about to kick me!)

Have a blessed Triduum and Easter!

April 07, 2009

Prayer Vigil On Good Friday

Gentle Reader: For the 3rd year in a row I will be joining the regular Good Friday prayer vigil before the Highland Park Planned Parenthood abortuary at 1965 Ford Parkway in St. Paul MN. The official vigil is from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. but there is nothing that says you HAVE to stick to those hours or you can ONLY vigil or pray there on Good Friday. In fact, you don't even have to go there to pray that the place is closed down and pray that "clients" will turn away.

Just PRAY. If you can support pro-life organizations financially that would be fantastic as well. Three of my favorites are Pro-Life Across America Pro-Life Action Ministries and Total LifeCare Centers

Archbishop Nienstedt will be leading the prayers at the Highland Park abortuary on Good Friday 2009 from 9:00 to 9:30 a.m.. The Franciscan Brothers of Peace will be leading in song between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.

Don't forget that the regular Saturday Rosary, led by Father Thomas Dufner, outside of the Robbinsdale abortuary at 3821 W Broadway in Robbinsdale MN continues EVERY Saturday at 10:00 a.m.

Also, there are ongoing vigils outside HealthPartners Regions Hospital (which contains an abortuary) at 640 Jackson St in St. Paul.

I said that your presence at the vigils is not strictly necessary, but it helps when we are all there to hold each other up. I know it's tough. Believe me I know. I don't think it's ever tougher than on Good Friday, the day our Lord gave himself for us so that our sins may be forgiven, to hear the "other side" cheering that abortion is liberating and a "God-given right". My readers and friends know that I'm a big coffee drinker. They hand out coffee to the "other side" - probably the only time in my life I consider never drinking coffee. ever. again.

I find the Vigils affirming as well. It's very moving to me to stand with our brothers and sisters in other faith traditions. We may have many differences in doctrine, belief and practices but we can find a common unifier around respect for life. Interesting, how the "common ground" folks continue to believe that common ground means as far removed from God as possible.

Be there.

You Know You Are Trad When...

1) You recognize your priest only by the back of his head
2) You know your girlfriends by their chapel veils
3) If a missal or a prayer book(s) is left in a pew you know who they belong to

Anyone have anything to add? Keep it light and fun....

April 06, 2009

Pray for Our New Members

Gentle Reader: I always forget so I need to post it so I don't. Please remember to pray for our Candidates and Catachumens entering Holy Church during the Easter Vigil.

Also, pray in Thanksgiving for reader, Nan, who was Confirmed at the Cathedral of St. Paul last weekend. Those rebels on the Hill! LOL!

April 05, 2009

Let Me Go To The House Of The Father

During the "Year of 3 Popes", I was 10 and well on my way to Catholic indifference. As a family we were not always attending Mass together and I, certainly, never went alone. A few short years later, in 1980, I would make my last Individual Confession before a priest. It would be April 2, 2005 before I would approach a Confessional again. A gap of separation nearly as long as a Pontificate

This week, we commemorated the anniversary of the death of Servant of God, Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II.

I remember in 1978 it seemed that every day I'd walk past a newspaper and a Pope was dead. An exaggeration, sure, but when you are 10 and newsprint was still the dominent way many received their news twice a day (Minneapolis still had morning and afternoon papers in 1978), the large typeface headlines that the news publishers only used for big stories was important to note. Also, three Popes in one year was history. Even I, as removed as I was, seemed to be aware of that.

I remember in October 1978 my maternal Grandfather, who was from Poland, couldn't believe it. A Pole was Pope! My Grandfather had pretty much left the Church in the late-1960s. He still identified himself as Catholic and he could still pray the Pater Noster and other prayers in Latin or Polish but I never remember him in a Church. I'm thinking my Baptism in 1968 may have been the last time he was in a Catholic Church before his Funeral Mass in 1989. We have photos of him at my Baptism. My cousins were not raised Catholic at all. By the time my brother came along in 1971 the liturgies and Sacramental formulas were often too far gone for Grandpa to even remotely stand it. He'd stay home.

Whenever, Pope John Paul II was on TV, Grandpa had to turn up the TV and ask (ok, bellow! LOL!) for silence so he could hear what was going on.

Pope John Paul II is often, on the Catholic online forums we have today, given credit for increases in vocations, for bringing many people to the Faith (esp. young people), for beginning a "Renaissance" period in Holy Church. I'm sad that a Polish Holy Father was not enough of a lure to entice my Grandfather back to Church. It just occurred to me that I should have a Mass said for my Grandfather. Thank you, Angel, for reminding me.

Unfortunately, during the active Pontificate of John Paul II, other than some gratitude that he was Polish and ecumenical (which was a big part of the dissident movement I was in for much of my life), I had no respect for him. I thought he was crazy to forgive his shooter. I felt he was misogynist and completely out of touch. If only he would listen to me and write a mandate giving me everything I wanted instead of reiterating as Truth what I could not bring myself to accept.

I look now and wonder then what? If the Holy Father gave me what I wanted, if he had that power, would that have deepened my horrifically weak spirituality? Would it have caused me to pray more? Love others more? Attend Mass regularly?

In all honesty: No.

I see this all, clearly, now.

The Holy Father is the Holy Father. He's here to shepherd Christ's Church. I'm a member of Christ's Church but I'm not the fullness of the Church in and of myself. What I want is irrelevent. What is best for me in the context of Faith is meaningless. I am nothing. The Church is all. The Faith is everything.

Somehow in the waning years of his Pontificate the New Evangelization he asked for was reaching me in the darkness. I couldn't avoid the conservative "wackos" online who were my age and were actually buying "this stuff" Wait a minute, there are people younger than me who think that old white guy in the Vatican is "cool"? Cute young guys WANT to be priests? Huh?

I decided to see for myself what all the hubbub was about. Not so I could learn and understand so much as to learn enough about it so I could expose it as the pack of lies that I was sure it was. I picked up a copy of the Fides et Ratio and Veritatis Splendor. I read them both. I bought a Catechism and thumbed thru it.

That old sneak, that Polish jokester, he fooled me, he tricked me! I sounded like the demons in Scripture crying out in useless defiance just before they fell to the power of the Lord.

It was I who was defeated.

I don't know what happened. I still don't know what happened.

Gradually, the lights came on. It was not overnight.

I remember being deeply moved by the Holy Father's journey away from us. As someone who'd experienced the slow deaths of my Mom and my brother I believed with all my soul (and still do) that it is important that their humanity be respected. Just because their bodies are broken does not necessarily mean their minds are gone. It definitely doesn't mean their hearts are gone.

I remember getting really angry at the folks who were calling for the Holy Father to just go away somewhere and die. They wanted him to step down. They didn't think anyone should have to see "that" on TV. It was cruel to expect the Holy Father to continue on.

I recall getting really angry at this kind of talk. I had to ask myself: why? Beyond my personal experiences why was I so mad? Did I, perhaps, think there was more to this Papacy "gig" than denying me what I wanted?

I watched the "Way of the Cross" on EWTN. I'm sure many of you did as well. Who can forget the visual of the Holy Father watching the Stations on the TV in his apartment and then struggling to his feet and embracing the Cross? I just bawled. I'm crying now even trying to write this paragraph.

A few days later on April 2, 2005, I was at the gym working out when the news came out that the Holy Father had just died. His last words were reportedly "Pozwólcie mi odejść do domu Ojca”, (“Let me go to the house of the Father”).

I left the gym and went straight to what is now my current parish where I already knew they offered Confessions in the afternoons on Saturday. I'd been circling the parish many times, attended Mass a few times, thought about going back to Confession but was afraid to do it.

I went to the house of the Father and received Absolution for the first time in 15 years. Realization came too late for my Grandfather but his Grand-daughter was not going to make the same mistakes. Oddly, my Grandfather's last words to me were: "Don't make mistakes like I did" I had no idea what he was talking about then and just chalked that up to his hallucinations.

I feel like I owe Pope John Paul II something. An apology certainly. Respect definitely. Love, yes, love.

I love you, Holy Father and I thank you.

April 04, 2009

Justified Anger

Are there situations when anger is justified?

I've been angry a lot lately.

I'm angry when I'm trying to pray in a silent church and people walk in with the sole intention of chatting. I've been so outrageous on more than one occasion as to dare to ask them to be quiet because people are praying. I was not shouting or angry sounding but I was firm. Ever since then, these same folks, every time they see me in church mutter at me or point me out to their friends who were not there. Guess, I really am a librarian telling people to "shush". Unfortunately, my hair is currently too short to make a nice looking bun. I brought this anger before the Lord (not regarding my coiffure but my anger at these people) in the Confessional. I was worried that my anger was leading to bad judgement. Every time I saw the folks in question I wanted to slap them. That is not a good thing. I laugh about it now and am trying to work thru it all! Confession helps. Really.

I've been angry at my neighbors who insist they are within their rights to keep the entire neighborhood awake with their parties, fights and barking dogs. I don't want to fight them.I just want them gone. Maybe they have the right to use their property as they wish, but I have the right to be able to sleep within my own house.

It is acceptable to get angry. The sin is the reaction to it or from it. Obviously, if I'd yelled at the chatterboxes in Church or deliberately dropped a kneeler on their foot I'd sin. If I started a fistfight with my neighbors I'd be in sin.

Anger can be justified, the reaction may not be.

April 03, 2009

Jesus, I Trust In You!

I quit my job today. Done. Finis. Hasta la Vista, Baby. Take This Job and Shove It.

After a week of the boss being back to her typically contemptuous, viscious and vindictive self, by Wednesday I started to think about leaving. I brought a few of my personal things home. Thursday, even more drama ensued, and I brought the rest of my personal stuff home. Thursday night I decided to leave. I typed my resignation letter. Friday I handed it off to HR. I was in at 8 and out by 9.

As I left the parking lot I felt like 100 pounds had just fallen off me.

I go into the unknown. Totally, dependent upon God. Jesus, I Trust In You!
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