June 29, 2009

Shake My Hand *!@*^&!

Probably a Cranky Cathy post....

Recently, I attended Mass celebrated by a priest that I'd never seen or heard of before. I do know his name but don't bother to ask me (Ray!).

Terry may fear people crossing 15 pews to get to his hand during the Sign of Peace, I fear the priest crossing 5 pews, 10 pews, the entire length of the Church during the Sign of Peace.

I couldn't care less about Father shaking my hand during Mass. But, I do care about Father turning his back on the Consecrated Host, leaving it entirely unattended while he wanders about collecting hands. Most parishes have social time after Mass or Father shakes hands again in the porch after Mass. How many times do we need to shake each others hands? How many times do we need to hug each other? Honestly, is this forced affection supposed to equate peace? It makes me cranky. Not the human contact; the Lord ignored and disrespected makes me truly cranky.

I know I have a reputation for being an outspoken trad activist. Seriously, I have only ever written letters of admonishment (for want of a better word) directly to Pastors twice. Both times involved the priest ignoring the Consecrated Lord while he made nice with the studio audience. Did anything change? No. But, I can't bear to not try.

Some Churches eliminate the Sign of Peace. Frankly, I can do without it. I love everyone and I love to socialize; but, during Mass? No.

At this same recent incident the priest (Fr. Social) shook my hand after Mass and, I kid you not, said: "Thank you for staying" I can't remember being so speechless. Yes, I was wearing my mantilla so I tend to stand out. I was floored. I'm not at Mass to see Father or even my friendly neighborhood parishioners. At what point, did the Mass become about us? I know I've asked that question before. I still don't have an answer. I never cease to be astounded at human arrogance.


Whatever happened to the rock flute? One of the most (only) hilarious scenes in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy was the rock flute parody scene in the bar. I almost _____ myself laughing.

That's all.

June 28, 2009

In the Heart of the Savior

Gentle Reader: This weekend is Bishop-elect Lee Piche's last as a parish priest before his Ordination Mass to the office of Auxiliary Bishop tomorrow afternoon.

Below is Bishop-elect Piche's last bulletin column for the Church of St. Andrew, my parish. I want you all to see what kind of a man he is and realize how blessed we truly are to have him, not only as Bishop, but also and forever, as priest.

I did not ask His Excellency for permission to reprint his column and post it online. Let this be his first experience of being talked about online. Oh, wait, ok it's not his first, but whatever... LOL!

I will not be able to be at the events on Monday. But, I've been kissing his hand for some time now so I beat you all to it! LOL! Ask him. LOL!

"Never did I think that I would be writing my final bulletin article at Saint Andrew's after such a short time. There were so many things yet to say, so much territory yet to explore with you. I was just getting warmed up! I hope that the reflections I did write have helped you a little on your pigrimage of faith.

I write this on Sunday evening, June 21, having just returned from my retreat. During those quiet hours, my mind turned often to thoughts of you. At first, I was remembering with gratitude the many blessings I have experienced here at St. Andrew's parish.

But gradually my thoughts turned from "what has been" to "what might have been"-which I suppose is only natural when one is engaged in retrospective thinking. I thought of all the home visits I could have made, the parish events I could have promoted, the pastoral initiatives and ideas I could have introduced.

I regretted not making more time to meet with our small but dedicated parish staff, and not taking more opportunities to socialize with parishioners or to offer some overdue recognition and support to our many volunteers. I was hoping to take our altar servers on a fun outing this summer, and I had formed some thoughts for renewal and spiritual nourishment for our liturgical ministers.

These realizations led my mind in turn to the impulse to ask your forgiveness for any of the ways that I may have slighted or neglected anyone at any time during this past year.

While mulling on these things, I came upon a reading in the Liturgy of the Hours for the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In one of his sermons, Saint Lawrence Justinian said, "God places more value on good will in all we do than on the works themselves." I read this sentence over several times; it was wonderfully consoling.

One thing I have found in this faith-filled community is a likeness to God in so many parishioners. Since God places more value on good will than on the works themselves, I have good reason to hope that you also will see the good will in my meager efforts, and will pardon the shortcomings.

The good will in your hearts has really been evident to me from the beginning. I shall be eternally grateful for your prayerful support, your words of encouragement, and your example of faith, hope and love in generous service.

And so I leave you. When I feel sadness for having to be away from the people I love, one though gives me comfort. Wherever they may happen to be, I imagine them living inside the heart of Christ-for, after all, isn't that what he promised us when he told that He loves us even as the Father loves us?

As I leave, I know that I will often go to the heart of the Savior, and in the heart I will find all those whom I love. Moreover, it is in that best and safest of all places that I look forward to spending all eternity with the people who have met so much to me on earth."--+LEP

Please remember Bishop-elect Piche in your prayers.

"Be Not Afraid"

June 25, 2009

Those Summer Days..

I was remembering today on how a hot day like we've had lately, my Mom would come home from work and say "Let's go swimming!!!!". My brother and I would change in record time, Mom would pack a paperback and put her suit on, and we'd drive down to the 42nd St beach at Lake Harriet. Afterwards, we go to the former Baskin-Robbins at 50th and Penn for an ice cream cone. Dad worked nights so he missed out.

I miss my Mom and bro.

June 23, 2009

Love's Illusions I Recall....

Relax, Tara! Terry and I are not running away together. He showed up in this outfit and I refused to go anywhere with him. After a brief dramatic episode, we are still friends!

June 22, 2009

In A World Gone Mad...

Ok, so all the priests have left town.....if you have serious sins to confess, pray that you don't die between now and Friday.


Ok, that's not funny but this heat has gone to my head.

Can we talk? Aren't Minnesotans supposed to go NORTH in the summer? So, why are all the priests in Rochester? Will someone tell the Archbishop, who is from Detroit, he should take all the priests to Brainerd?!? A weekend at Madden's on all of us! Yeah!

Apparently, anyone can convene a Synod these days so Ray and Terry and I are going to "be church", and "play eucharist" while all the priests are gone. In some circles this is called "Word and Communion".

Rumors are flying that I was busted over the weekend wearing shorts and a t-shirt to Mass. Lies spread by my detractors!!!!! "nuff said.

Ok, so I posted something and it's crazy! Now, everyone quit bugging me to blog!

Luv and kisses, eh!?

June 20, 2009

A Month of Sondays

Gentle Reader: I'm restless and restive at the same time. I'm unsettled. I'm grateful for my temp job but anxious because I know it's not permanent.

Like most of us I want security. I think.

I just realized, I have security.

I have the security of the Lord. Always.

I look forward to Sunday, Sonday. I consecrate that day to the Lord. The Lord is #1on Sunday.

The Lord should be #1 every day. I try, but it is not always so. Job. Food. Sleep. Life. Family. We can journey with Him anytime but there is so much noise.

I'm grateful that Sunday is the Lord's Day. I'm weak. I need the reminder.

I look foward to Mass. Prayers. Vespers. Scripture. The day off work. The day to hear bells. The day for Him.

It is so peaceful. Secure

What I wouldn't give for a month of Sondays.

Happy Birthday!!!!

Today, is Adoro's birthday! Stop over at her blog and wish her a blessed one!

June 17, 2009

Checking In

Yes, I'm still around, TERRY! This is my first week on the temp gig and it's been intense. I'm too tired to blog at the end of the day.

June 14, 2009

Corpus Christi Procession 2009 A.D.

Today, was the annual Corpus Christi Procession of the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis. I was really happy to be there again this year. I was out of town last year and the town I was visiting does not have a Procession. I was surprised to realize how much I missed it and vowed to be in town this year.

It was warm and sunny with highs in the 80s. It was humid.

The route starts from the Holy Family Residence home maintained by the Little Sisters of the Poor near Irvine Park which is below the huge hill the Cathedral sits on. The route is about one mile. It goes around the park, near the River Centre, crosses W 7th near the Xcel Center (Il Divo is coming if anyone cares!) and climbs the steep incline in front of Hayden Hall on Kellogg Blvd. I know it was steep because even one of the Cantors was puffing and gasping while trying to sing thru the mic! God bless her.

Bishop-elect Lee Piche carried the monstrance in the procession. I hope Father Joseph Johnson, Rector of the Cathedral, and a veteran of several of these processions, gave him pointers. LOL! Father Johnson gave a homily at the Cathedral.

The Cathedral was only about half full. More people turned out for the Rosary Procession last month than this procession. Maybe the heat kept people away or the fact of life in Minnesota that once school is out everyone leaves town on the weekend. Maybe both.

I amuse myself during these Processions by noting the folks who look annoyed, bemused, angry or hostile. Today, I did not see anyone with 'tude. Mostly, we are just ignored in Procession. Fine. Ignore me. But, ignore the Lord? I observed the folks in the bar on W 7th pointing at us and continuing on with their drinking. For some the Sabbath has been completely forgotten. If they ever knew it to begin with. I know not every one realizes the Blessed Sacrament is the Lord. That saddens me as well. Pray for conversions.

The starting point: Holy Family Residence of the Little Sisters of the Poor. One of the Sisters waited at the door to welcome us with her big smile. When I'm aged and infirm I'd want to live here.

St. Joseph with the joyous Child Jesus welcomes us in the garden of the residence.

The altar in the garden

My Lord and My God!

Bishop-elect Piche prepares the incense

Starting out

The front

Another view of the Lord

The Procession wraps around the Irvine Park fountain-one of the most beautiful spots in the city of St. Paul.

Nearing the Cathedral

On the steps

That's it! I don't take photos inside-distracts me from the business at hand. Not even sure I like taking photos in procession. I need to think about that.

Thank you to all the priests, seminarians, religious and volunteers who help make this event such a wonderful occasion.

The Hard Teaching

"Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."--
Gospel of St. John 6:47-51

For Catholics, to believe every Sunday those words of The Christ is to accept the teaching that drove, and continues to drive, so many away from The Truth.

Today is the day to take to the streets, sing to the Lord, make a joyful noise, publicly pray! I hope you are able to participate in a Corpus Christi procession.

June 09, 2009

A Different World

Gentle Reader: As some of you know, I was just blessed to get a full-time temporary position (Thank you to all who offered prayers!). It's not the full-time permanent that I'd ultimately like but I'm grateful for whatever opportunities I can get in this day of high unemployment. The company has no local offices. They don't even have an office in the state I live in and will work in. The job is remote and virtual. I met my manager when he interviewed me and I'll see him again for one day of training. I'll check in with him via phone or email but I'll probably never, actually, see him in person again. I have peers in this area but we will not work together. I'll see them for the training day and that will be that. We each will go to our seperate projects.

I'm responsible for keeping my schedule and getting the job done. Compared to my last position, it will be nice to be treated like an adult again.

But, the anonymity of the job is very much like the anonymity of many relationship these days. Take the blogosphere for example. We may "know" people from their blogs and their comments on our blogs. We may Tweet with them. We may IM with them. We may be Facebook buddies with them. We may be in a live chat room with them. Maybe we've even seen them via a webcam link.

But, there is something different than traditional in these friendships. Just like my new job. Not your classic office desk job.

I'm not sure if the word to describe our relationships is "superficial" but, assuredly, something has changed. Our world has changed. Our relationships to others have changed.

In some ways, it's better. You can meet more people and quickly if you have truly embraced the online social media culture. But, the days of meeting people by meeting them in-person first and then taking it from there has changed. Now, you meet people virtually and, then, maybe someday you take it to the level of meeting in person. I've had friends that I've known online for years that I've never met in person. Some of them I correspond with daily. Maybe we never will meet in person. That takes some getting accustomed to from what I'm used to but maybe that's not such a horrible thing?

As our methods of "hooking up" have changed have we also developed and maintained manners? I think culture has become more invasive but I'm not always convinced that manners and civility are as prominent as, perhaps, they used to be. Maybe the exact manners we've traditionally used don't always work in our virtual society but there should still be a civility.

I think there still are manners online. I know people, including myself, often lament their absence. However, people with manners will NOT continue online relationships with people who do not share their desire for civility, charity and manners.

June 07, 2009

A New Tiber Jumper

Stop over and wish Jeffrey Steel, a former Anglican priest, and his family a hearty welcome! His blog with his story is here

Deep curtsy to Bede for the news!

Praised Be Jesus Christ!

June 06, 2009

Give All

Today's Gospel reading from St. Mark is the Parable of the Poor Widow. Jesus praises the Widow because, unlike the wealthy who give to the Treasury from their surplus, the Widow gives everything she has from her poverty.

Folks who study taxation could see this Parable as a fine commentary on unjust taxes. An equivalent tax rate can end up hurting the poor more than the wealthy because the poor just don't have as much to spare. A little to someone getting by, can feel like a lot.

But, like all of Jesus' Parables there is a deeper meaning possible.

Christians should give all they have to God. Not just money, but yourself. Your day. Your whole life.

It is not enough to give God your surplus time. You need to make time. You need to always have time for God. You may need to sacrifice attendance at a sporting event, or a concert, or with your family to give the Lord. Give back what He has given you. All that you have, no matter how humble, was a gift from Him. How much would you give Him in return? How could you ever repay such an enormous debt? In our humility, we have to, at least, try.

We all make excuses. I don't have time for prayer. I don't have time to go to Mass. I don't have time to read the Bible.

We fit the Lord in around our schedule. The Lord should BE the schedule.

Without making time for the Lord, we have made ourselves poor. The Widow possessed the true secret of wealth. She gave all.

June 02, 2009

Don't Be Smug!

He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.
"Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity--greedy, dishonest, adulterous--or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.'
But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.'
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted." --The Gospel of St. Luke 18:9-14

No matter how bad and far into sin I get I want everyone to know that I'm not as bad as "that guy".


I may not ever come out and say that or write that but I'm thinking it! And often.

Or something similar: Well, I'm not as bad as I used to be. I've come a long way.

Have I?

It's usually right around the time I'm acting smug that I fall flat on my face; a well-timed reminder that the more I may change, the more I remain the same.

Sinful as always. Maybe it's a comfort that I can add sorrowful to sinful-that has not always been the case.

Saturday night a buddy offered to front a cover charge for me because I'm not working right now. I KNEW full well that this friend being one of my former partying buddies, and I were probably going to get into trouble. I have a lamentable tendency towards unwise extremism. I knew it. I suspected it. I went anyway.

So, there I was on Pentecost Sunday sitting in my pew during Communion. I was so proud of myself for avoiding serious sin for the duration of the Easter season. Well, there you have it.

I am my own worst enemy.

No one, least of all me, should ever feel smug because they think they are better than the "other guy"

Meanwhile, across town, a group at the Cathedral were trying to receive Communion in an unworthy manner. I recused myself. Should I feel smug about that? I was aware enough to not attempt to receive and they weren't? Maybe one action is not as bad as the other, but having to remain in my pew during Communion is not ideal in any event.

We are all sinners.

Humility, as I've mentioned before on this blog, is something I continually struggle with. I'm convinced that sometimes I get tired of fighting against it and give in. Call it Satan, call it my own innate weakness or both. In any event, my arrogance and smugness are continual temptations.

June 01, 2009

Faithful Dissent

Another post about contradictions and ironies today. Must be a "kick" I'm on. Maybe, it's because I'm a walking contradiction. Who isn't?

Yesterday, at the Cathedral of St. Paul, Rainbow Sash Alliance had their annual Pentecost protest. They wear rainbow sashes and buttons, obviously declaring their seperation from the Church, yet they expect to be able to receive Communion.

Communion means "communion" to be part of a group or community. You are obviously not part of the group if you set yourself apart from it.

A frequent slogan of the seperated is "faithful dissent". A contradiction. You cannot be faithful to a thing as you are dissenting from it.

"Discontented Catholic". Also a contradiction in terms. You have the fullness of The Truth. How can you be unhappy?

I'm sad that there are Catholics who have trouble accepting the fullness of The Truth. I wish they'd rejoin the community. But, to do that fully and faithfully means being one with us-all of us.

I'm sad that there are people who sat outside the Cathedral yesterday and had their own "eucharistic" meal. But, I give them credit for their honesty. They are outside the Church both literally and figuratively.

There is never a good time for rudeness and name calling. I'm sorry if any of that happened.


Contradictions and Ironies Abound: Tiller Murder

Yesterday, as he performed the ministry of an usher at the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas, Dr. George Tiller was shot. The alleged perpetrator is a man named Scott Roeder.

News and reactions are still coming in but I find the patterns of contradictions and ironies emerging interesting.

*One month after Gallup reports that more people in the U.S. state they are pro-life than pro-choice this happens-coincidence?

*Health & Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius (former Governor of Kansas) who had documented ties to the late Dr. Tiller has, as of yet, made no public statement. This could be because she's too shocked to do so or just an exercise in the fine art of political "distancing"

*President Obama has made a public statement. It surprised me that he did. "However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence" As someone who finds the practice of abortion a "heinous act of violence" I find that phrase interesting. But, I give the President kudos for sensing that this was an act that should have been commented on by our leader even if I do find his turn of phrase ironic.

*The anti-government groups (you didn't think the suspected perp was going to be a regular guy, did you?) that Scott Roeder allegedly associated with, emerged from their usual "off the grid" life and made a statement that [Roeder] was "fanatic on abortion" The Left has to love that quote.

*Huffington Post is already blaming Ann Coulter

The greatest irony and horror to me: Dr. Tiller was shot in a house of worship. I have to admit that I'm shocked he even was a church going man. But, Dr. Tiller, in any statement of his I've ever read, appears to have honestly believed that he was performing a worthy medical service and doing a good to women in need. Unfortunately, Dr. Tiller appears to never have allowed himself to consider that he was doing violence to a baby in his quest to do a good.

How many of us probably sit next to pro-abortion people in church every Sunday? Obviously, Dr. Tiller's congregation had to know how he made his living because he was such a public figure. Pray for conversions. Pray for Dr. Tiller's family. Pray for Dr. Tiller's soul

Similarly, although we don't know yet for sure, it may be possible that Scott Roeder thought he was doing a 'good' by killing Dr. Tiller so he couldn't perform more abortions.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to use evil to do good. They don't equate. Scott Roeder is not a hero. What he, allegedly, did was wrong. You cannot use murder to stop murder. As one abortion is one abortion too many, so was killing Dr. Tiller.

We need to work on converting people to the pro-life cause, NOT killing and doing violence to them. We are trying to end violence, NOT keep perpetrating it. We are NOT terrorists, don't act like it.

I am pleased that the pro-life movement responded immediately with condemnations of the murder and prayers for Dr. Tiller and his family. Twitter proved it's value yesterday. This morning Relevant Radio changed it's already scheduled programming to host pro-life leaders: Fr. Frank Pavone and Joe Scheidler-both of whom soundly condemned the murder. Keep the information going. We need to be watchful because the pro-choice movement is going to use this murder to brand all of us with the same labels they will use on Scott Roeder: murderers and fanatics.
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