November 30, 2009

On This Date-40 Years Ago...

..The Novus Ordo Mass, a.k.a. The Mass of 1970, the Mass of Pope Paul VI, and what we now call, since Summarum Pontificum, the Ordinary Form became effective. Effective-odd word isn't it? Was it effective? Effective at doing what? November 30, 1969 was the First Sunday of Advent that year.

Father Zuhlsdorf has a trio of interesting PODCAzT's wherein he reads the text of Pope Paul VI's writings just before the implementation of the new form of the Mass. They are here, here and here

From my studies of the era and Pope Paul VI, and I admit they are not overly comprehensive, I'm not convinced, as some are, that Pope Paul VI had any idea of the nuttiness that would ensue. Still, a former dissenter, as I was, should spend a lot of time studying this era, right? You'd think so. Alas, that is rarely the case. Many rely on others, "authorities", to do the scholarship for them.

For most of my life, I don't remember anything but the New Mass. A priest, who was very influential in the "progressive" Catholic movement in this area, was already doing his own thing at Mass before November of 1970. The release of the new Mass, and the resulting confusion, seemed to give him all the license he needed to go even further afield. He died a few years ago. His funeral "mass" was an occasion of great insult to the then Archbishop and rage and confusion to many.

Rage and confusion.I think that sums up that era of the New Mass implementation for me. I remember my Dad getting angry at the sudden presence of folk guitars in the sanctuary of the church he and my Mom were married in and pulling us out of there to another parish across town. To this day, if he hears folk music in the sanctuary he wants to leave. I remember my maternal Grandfather never setting foot in a Catholic church, or any church, unless there was a funeral. I think his funeral was the longest period of time he'd been in the Church of his birth in Christ in 30 years. He'd spend any period of time he was forced to be there due to someone's death, muttering to himself. I thought he was speaking Polish under his breath. Now, I wonder if it was Latin. It may as well have been Russian for all the Latin I knew then. I remember the confusion of "folksy" and "down to earth" homilies, wretched CCD, "creative" liturgies. The Novus Ordo is not to blame for all this insanity, but I think the newness and the rupture it caused enabled a lot of people to feel like they could do and believe what THEY wanted. Everything was new-see. Old was bad-see. Tradition was boring.

People think the Mass is only engaging when you are entertained. I never remember being entertained at Mass. I couldn't wait to get out of there. Forget obligation-it was a chore. What young adult or child is going to sit, willfully, thru one hour of folk music and Father talking about his weekend? Who cares? Really, at any age, who cares about that? If that's all there is, invite Father over for dinner and have some friends round to sit by a firepit and jam.

It took me over 30 years to get beyond it all. There was little meaning to the methods. Even worse, there was no depth.

I can't blame the Novus Ordo for all the weaknesses in the Church or in the Faith. I share blame too. I was too trusting of the wrong people for too long. What we need is a revolution! The faithful need to rise up and demand to learn the truths of their faith! Why is everyone sitting around? We should be outraged! People with their own personal agendas took over the Church-pure and simple and we let it happen. Take it back!

The Novus Ordo is not to blame for some of the foolery of the last 30 years. I have no problem with the Novus Ordo if it is reverantly and properly (aye, those are the rubs!) celebrated. Some people see an open window and they knock the walls down. I, honestly, believe that it was inconceivable to most of the Vatican II Council fathers that people would interpret what they really meant into, what was often, heretical ways and directions. Villains take an opportunity and run with it. Even if they don't see an opportunity, they create one.

One thing I've learned. The hermeneutic of continuity is SO important. I, believe the Mass of 1970 was a rupture. Perhaps, if it were implemented gradually and with greater instruction and catechesis maybe things would've been different. I think, I hope, we as a Church have learned from that. I never want to see us break that much with our history again. Thankfully, our current Holy Father appears to share this view by giving the 1962 Mass greater freedom to be celebrated-not instead of the 1970Mass, but also.

One more thing I've been pondering lately. Blessed John XXIII is a hero to "progressive" Catholics solely because he convened the Second Vatican Council. It was Pope Paul VI, John XXIII's sucessor, who implemented the Council. Yet, Pope Paul VI is vilified by progressives. Why? Because of Humanae Vitae

To some folks, you can never be a hero unless you give THEM what they want. The crowds wanted Barabbas. Does that make Pontius Pilate a hero?

November 28, 2009

Prayer Request

"Auntie" Adrienne's stepson has died.

"Me" Time: Musing on Matthew 6:6

I was rushing around this afternoon. When I got home I pondered starting dinner for me and my Dad. Then, I realized I could really use some "me" time. Increasingly, "me" time means prayer time. Time with Him. One on one. Of course, all time is His but I need that time that is dedicated to a visit with Him. It may not always be a organized visit to Mass or to an Adoration Chapel, but it is time, like that, set aside for prayer. It may not be planned. It's not always the same time every day; at least not for me though I know some who do, regularly, follow the Liturgy of the Hours.

I decided to sit down in one of my rocking chairs and pray the Rosary. To Jesus thru Mary! I read some Scripture and recited some other prayers off some prayer cards I have.

Dinner prep can wait. Running around can wait.

In this busy time of the year, when everyone gets so crazy, frantic and cranky, take some "me" time. Sit down in a bench at the Mall, whip out that Rosary, and pray! Or, just pray without the Rosary. Take a prayer guide with you. I subscribe to Magnificat which is small enough to fit in my purse. A Confessor recommended Magnificat as an aide to help me with daily prayer. I was struggling to remember to pray at times other then when I needed something. I was struggling with remembering to do daily prayer. Magnificat helped me a lot.

Much spiritual wisdom and direction can be gained in the Confessional! I highly recommend, if you've not been for a while, you visit a Confessional during Advent. I recommend regular Confession as a spiritual practice anyway but I know that many need to even get started on the practice before it can become regular.

A fallen away Catholic friend of mine will often stop in to an open Church and sit in silence. She does not actively pray but I hope that even God's peace can come into her heart. I'm happy she's even IN a church. Maybe more will follow.

While you are out shopping this season if you see an open Catholic church, stop in and pray! If you know of a Church that has Perpetual Adoration, swing by! Sit in your car after you've visited store #10 on that day and make the folks who want your parking stall wait as you spend a few moments in prayer!

Do what you can.

Daily prayer has calmed me down-a lot! I could even dare to say it has matured me. I don't get quite as cranky and immediately irritated as I used to. People that have known me for a number of years have noted that I seem calmer. My calm was noticable during my days of unemployment. Many remarked how they were amazed that I was not "freaking out" and lashing out. I'm not known for patience, prayer has helped me a lot in that regard as well. I still struggle with charity. I know I have a long way to go but prayer makes it better. Prayer makes ME better. It, definitely, makes me WANT to be better.

Give it to Him. Pray to Him. You will not be sorry.

Womyn "Priests"

Just curious. Do the self-titled womyn “priests”: hear confessions, anoint the sick, lead rosary processions, promote eucharistic adoration, bury the dead, get up at 2:00 a.m. when they get an emergency phone call, lead Scripture studies?

I’m curious how far their hubris and hypocrisy extends.

If you are going to “play priest” how far are you willing to go?
There’s more to being a priest than Eucharist. Eucharist is central, but it’s not all there is.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

November 27, 2009

Catholic College Identity

I finally got around to reading my October 2009 issue of Scan the alumnae magazine for St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. The magazine is sent to all alumnae and I am one.

For an alum magazine, it's done very well. I'm sure the intent is threefold; keep us informed of what's going on with the campus and the school, keep us informed of our classmates and inspire us to donate money or time to the school.

I appreciate the school for the self-confidence it gave me and several of the academic programs are solid. However, regarding the defense of, admiration of and propagation of the Roman Catholic faith, the university falls flat on its face most of the time.

I'm in a different place now than I was back in the late 1980s-early 1990s when I was an undergrad at St. Catherine University. My Catholic Faith, I like to think, has evolved and deepened. In many ways, despite the best efforts of the university. My definition of authentic Catholicism is probably different from most of the faculty of the university. Even when I attended the university (it was a college back then), I was down right conservative compared to most. I attended Mass in the Our Lady of Victory Chapel almost daily. I was waffling on abortion. Most of my classmates were pro-choice. I wasn't sure that I was. While not fully pro-life, I can already see that I was 'getting there'.

Most of my profs were Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. The Sisters are still around but most of the faculty are not religious (have fun with that!) of the Order-or any Order for that matter. In fact,I doubt most of the faculty are Catholic. I don't think all faculty at a Catholic school MUST be Catholic. However, I believe strongly that they should at the very least respect the Faith that sponsors their institution and, arguably, pays their salary.

But, I digress.

Getting back to Our Lady of Victory Chapel.

St. Catherine University has one of the most beautiful campuses that you will find anywhere. The Chapel is a beautiful building. Unlike many instititutions, it is very much a freestanding and full-sized church. I've been in other colleges where the Chapel is only a room in a campus building. Not so at St. Kate's.

In this issue of Scan there is an article about the origins of the Chapel. I heard much of this back when I was a student, but I read it with interest because I love the Chapel.

I remember a lot of bad liturgy in that Chapel. In fact, I have a photo of a "mass" that if I posted it would cause huge howls but I'm holding off. Not sure why. That was then. This is now. Maybe.

But, the buiding is lovely.

However, I found this quote by Kathy Daniels, art director of Catherine G. Murphy Galleries in the Art Building on campus, interesting.

"The Chapel doesn't have Catholic paintings, a prominent Catholic-style crucifix or ranks of statues. It's a place where our Protestant students and our Jewish, Muslim and Hindu students don't feel excluded. And its simplicity helps create a mood of peacefulness that's very conducive to its mission as a chapel, a place for meditation as well as celebration. I love ornate churches, but sometimes they can be distracting when I am trying to pray"

Did the non-Catholic students neglect to read the part of the University's Mission statement where it talks about "education in the CATHOLIC tradition"? I wonder at what point, ecumenisists will quite believing that ecumenism means denying and watering down your own faith so as not to "offend" anyone? At what point, does anyone care if God is offended?

Does the Chapel on a CATHOLIC campus HAVE to define "welcoming" and "inclusivity" as pretending it's not Catholic? If I go into a Yoga meditation center am I allowed to be upset that there is no statue of the Virgin inside? Of course not. It's not part of that faith practice.

In fairness, there are some Catholic clues around the building but I found her comment interesting. Also, I know Methodist, Lutheran and Jewish schools have had some of their faith identity removed over time as well.

What really bothers me is her comment about the architecture. ARCHITECTURE can be distracting to pray? Especially ornate architecture? I don't know about you but what I find most distracting during prayer are the presence of other people rustling around, talking, walking by, laughing, in church while I'm trying to pray.

Isn't Church architecture, when done well, supposed to lead us to prayer and devotion? If the architecture does "distract" you, how can you be distracted by prayer? If you are gazing upon a mural of the Ascension behind the altar, isn't that gaze a form of prayer? How can it NOT be? Even a blank wall can lead one to prayer. A blind person can pray. Real prayer is interior anyway. However, I found her comments interesting.

/end ramble

November 26, 2009

Give Thanks!

Today, in the United States, is Thanksgiving Day! Give thanks every day.

Oh, God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work, help me
to remember the jobless;
When I have a warm home,
help me to remember the homeless;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer;
And remembering, help me
to destroy my complacency
and bestir my compassion.
Make me concerned enough
to help, by word and deed,
those who cry out
for what we take for granted
.--Samuel F Pugh (a prayer of the Salesian Missions)

November 25, 2009

Happy Feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria!



Glorious St. Catherine, virgin and martyr, help me to imitate your love of purity. Give me strength and courage in fighting off the temptations of the world and evil desires. Help me to love God with my whole heart and serve Him faithfully.

O St. Catherine, through your glorious martyrdom for the love of Christ, help me to be loyal to my faith and my God as long as I live.

Amen.

November 24, 2009

Quantitative Metathesis Sighting Part II!

Quantitative Metathesis makes another appearance on the Passionists' blog! A priestly friend of hers from Rome, Fr. Paul Fasano, makes a visit. QM is in the white blouse in the last photo-looking radiant as always. Seriously, does QM ever NOT smile? Does anyone have a photo of her NOT smiling? I doubt it.

Please continue to pray for QM during her period of Aspirancy. Also, pray and support the Passionist Nuns of St. Joseph's Monastery in Kentucky-a solid order.

Deep curtsy to Argent of the Eagle Eye!

Abortion and Men

Warning: This post has some strong sexual content!

Time and again I hear people in favor abortion remove the man from the equation along with the unborn child. You’d think women impregnate themselves to listen to them.

Radical feminists want men and women to be equal but that equality apparently only goes one way. When men ‘get in the way’ of what women want, they must be removed. If women want to join a men’s club, the men better let them in. If men want to join a women’s club, the men better step off.

If men speak up against abortion, an attempt will be made to silence them by claiming pregnancy is solely the woman’s “problem”. The woman will handle it as she sees fit and the guy can just open his wallet and remain silent.

True, women carry and birth the child. Often, they end up with sole custody of the child-if that’s the situation. However, male sperm is still needed for a pregnancy.
Is that all a man is; a sperm donor? Is ejaculation what makes a man a man?
We have emasculated our men and reduced their role in the family to a paycheck and a fertilizer provider.

Of course, abortion effects men. It’s ludicrious to claim otherwise. All the men who will not be fathers; not to mention all the babies who will not be fathered. Fathered in the fullest sense of the word.

Abortion has three victims.

Holiday Entertainment

A new post of mine is up on "Our Word and Welcome to It!". The topic: Holiday Entertainment! Read it here

November 23, 2009

Tonight I'm Gonna Party Like It's 1969!

A couple people sent me links to my former parish's annual party. You can read it here Don't eat first.

This is not news to me or anyone else in this town. I should stay away from it all but it's like coming upon a car wreck-you can't look away. I used to buy tickets to this show every year back in the day. It is entertaining-if you can get past the inevitable anti-Catholic digs and the venue (more on that towards the end).

Ray said they must have dug deep in their closets for those clothes. "No, they wear that stuff all the time!" I wasn't kidding.

Father Zuhlsdorf has a phrase that he uses: "aging hippie baggage". Never has that phrase seemed truer than the images from that production. Isn't baggage something you are supposed to temporarily carry, but later unpack and put away?

Yet, there are some folks who just can't put it away. They are still carrying it. They think they have evolved and grown and we haven't. When, really, it's the other way around. They are stuck 30 years ago and the Church has, quite frankly, moved on without them.

The word, maturity, comes to mind. Most of us mature in our Faith. Our Faith deepens as we grow older-at least, it SHOULD. For some; I don't know that they have matured in their faith. They will argue that they have the "grown-up" Catholicism and I don't. I'm still confused as to how the definition of "grown-up" means petulantly thumbing ones nose at the Holy Father. Is it different because they aren't sticking their tongues out?

Oddly, "Time Warp" from Rocky Horror Picture Show was not performed. Maybe because it's not from 1969 or maybe some finally draw a line against doing a "pelvic thrust" on the same stage that is used as an altar on Sunday.

Stewardship

I've been working on my parish's stewardship campaign lately. I realize now that I was meant to help with this. If I were employed, there is no way I would've had the time necessary to get it going.

There is a financial piece to the campaign, but the parish has a more critical need to get more parishioners involved in the life of the parish. We are financially stable. We are a small parish but we are not in debt. We are blessed to have several really wealthy members.

I think, sometimes, it's easier to ask Catholics for more money than for their time. I know, Catholics can be notoriously tight-fisted. But, our parish relies, heavily, upon only a few who seem to do all the parish activities.

We have critical needs for: a Sacristan, Funeral lunch volunteers, a Parish Festival Chair and a Holiday Bake and Craft Sale Coordinator.

As I was calling around the "regulars" were saying "This is the last year I'm leading this!" or "I'm getting too old and crippled to do it. Let the young people step up!" or "I'm tired of doing it."

Some of these folks have been doing these ministries, leading these minitries, for years-even decades.

God bless them for their efforts.

The stewardship process emphasized to me the importance of our retired parishioners to parish life. Also, the parents who are home during the day are critical as well. Without them, our parish has nothing to offer outside of the Sacraments.

Don't get me wrong. The Sacraments are the primary reason for Church. Sacraments are critical. However, I think the parish used to be the social life or the community as well. Maybe as more of us moved away from the parish of our registration we quit relying upon the parish family to be our family.

I don't hear the younger folks in my parish expressing great enthusiasm for being at the Church outside of the Mass. I think it's great that more of the young people are engaged and excited about the Sacraments. They go to Mass, but, that's it. People have more demands for their attention these days.

Someone said; "Well, maybe we just will not have funeral luncheons. We'll just recommend some nearby restaurants." I don't know about you. But, I'm in no shape to drive immediately after attending a loved one's funeral.

I pray that maybe it takes the absence of things people take for granted to bring people around. Since the Sacristan put his foot down, there are times the Sanctuary Lamp is dark and the Church is locked.

If we don't have a Parish Festival this year (which happens to be our biggest fundraising event), then people are going to have to dig deeper into their wallets. If we don't have a Holiday Bake and Craft Sale, people that don't bake will not have those homemade goods to serve at Thanksgiving or the homemade item to give at Christmas.

I have some hope that the Stewardship campaign will work. Even though our parish numbers are small, most of our parish live in the neighborhood. It's alot easier to persuade someone to give of their time, when they don't have to drive over 1/2 hour to get to Church. A great deal of the parishioners live within walking distance.

What I worry about is that without the active parish life it can be harder to attact new people. Yes, many are drawn to a Mass appropriately celebrated, but in this neighborhood (Thanks Be To God) almost all the parishes nearby are solid. So, we are competing against other solid parishes. Without the activity draw, what do we have?

We have a lovely building, but the interior was wreckovated in the 70's. It's nice, but not what people expect from the exterior.

We need something to differentiate ourselves in order to stay viable. I'm not sure, yet, what that is.

In the meantime, we need volunteers!

The parish does not run itself. Father, certainly, can not and should not be doing all the work. If you are not involved in your parish, outside of showing up for Mass (great!), please consider it. If the Church is your life, then, make it so.

Misers

What a perfect time of year to talk about misers! "A Christmas Carol" is being staged featuring everyone's favorite miser: Scrooge.

Today's Gospel reading is the story of the Widow's Mite from Luke 21:1-4

He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury;
and He saw a poor widow put in two copper coins.
And He said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them;
for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had."


How many of us are miserly with our offerings to the Lord? I'm not only talking about money. How many of us only go to Mass on Sunday if we don't happen to already have other plans or there is not a game on? How many of us rarely give time each day to prayer? Do we only pray when we happen to have a few spare minutes? Do we ever willfully designate time to spend with Him? Do we ever refuse to socialize with our friends because we already had time scheduled for the Lord?

Advent is approaching and it's a great time of year to renew your relationship with Him. Who doesn't love a baby? I know. Some of us love the Tiny Infant Baby Jesus (Hi Ricky Bobby!) more than Cross Jesus. It shouldn't be that way but you need to start somewhere. Why not start now?

November 21, 2009

Who May Speak

Archbishop Nienstedt recently issued an instruction to parishes and parish administrators (there’s a special ection regarding the seminary) regarding who is appropriate to speak before or after Holy Eucharist-this means, the Mass (NOT solely the time before or after Communion).You can read the document here

There is one local parish, in particular, that should pay close attention to this document. If they follow their usual path, they will ignore it altogether or study the document and assign a loophole to it. If a loophole is not readily apparent, they’ll create one.

I find it interesting that dissidents will ignore the letter of the law, in favor of an amorphous spirit, when it suits them. Similarly, there are instances where they will ignore the spirit of a document and find a law.

Some people make their own laws, yet, claim to be part of a community. Community means: people who share a viewpoint or a belief in common. Sometimes, I’m hard-pressed to understand how people persist in being in a community but reject most of its beliefs.

I have to wonder why would anyone ask someone, who is in non-conformity, to speak in an institution of the Faith on a topic regarding the Faith? What is the motive? Surely, it can't be to build-up the temple of God? Yes, these folks will probably fall back on their old canard of "dialogue" being necessary for the betterment of the Faith. Is listening to someone talk at you "dialogue"? Do we expect "dialogue" and "arguments" at Holy Eucharist? I don't know about you, but I crave peace and the security of Ritual when I go to Mass. Also, let us not forget my craving for the Real Presence of Christ.

Even outside of Holy Eucharist, anyone who claims to speak for the Faith and in support of the Faith, but who does little to nothing to indicate they actually believe in or share the tenets of the Faith, must be regarded with, at the very least, suspicion.

Sure, this is a free country and anyone can say anything but that doesn't mean anyone capable of speech and with a miles worth of credentials should be immediately regarded as wise and truthful.It definitely does not mean that our freedom as a nation necessarily extends to freedom at the pulpit. If our pulpits become, solely, platforms for people with "issues" with the Church to share their poison with the rest of us, than we are in real trouble. If we spend more time hearing dissent, at what point, do we hear Truth and the authentic Love of Christ expressed thru His Church? If you can't hear Truth during the Holy Eucharist, when, O Lord, when?

November 20, 2009

Jesus, I Trust In You!

Jesus, I Trust In You!

The ‘slogan’ of Divine Mercy. The phrase I clung to this summer as I was, willfully, unemployed and underemployed. I cast out into the deep without guarantee of a line to pull me back into the boat.

I trusted in the Lord to provide and He did. I had uncertainty but, surprisingly, little fear. I knew that I would have a roof over my head. I knew that family or friends would assist where and when they could if I needed them. It turns out that I only had to rely on prayer from others.

Prayer is the best gift a stranger can give you. Offers of prayer mean much to me. Prayers kept me afloat. Knowing others prayed for me gave me a lot of strength. Prayer kept my attitude positive and kept me working hard at looking for a job.

I’m so happy to be where I am now. Employed-yes. But, even more so, I’m happy that I’m at the point in my life where I Trust. A few years ago, I would never have trusted the Lord as much as I do now.

Trust in the Lord always!

November 18, 2009

Sexiest Man Alive


Once again, Terry was robbed. Tell me it's NOT rigged! How can a man of deep prayer NOT be sexy?! They don't know what sexy is.

Multi-Purpose Garments!



I've decided I should quit picking on the First Lady's belts. The more I think about it, the more I realize they are perfect for our recessionary times! Look how multi-purpose they are! They are simultaneously:

* a back-brace
* a mini-corset
* a uplifting foundational garment for the "girls"-without surgery!

Brilliant and efficient!

Ok, I still think the look is horrible.

November 17, 2009

Good News!



I got a full-time permanent job today!!!! I start on November 30th-the Feast of the Patronal Saint of my Parish: St. Andrew! Coincidentally (or is it?), I've been working really hard the last few weeks on our parish stewardship campaign. St. Andrew, pray for us!

I want to take a moment to thank, with my entire heart, all those who have prayed for me during these several months of underemployment and unemployment that I've had. At no time, did anyone ever complain that I requested prayers AGAIN. I've found that praying for others is no chore to me. I see any prayer as an opportunity for conversation with God and I welcome it. However, I recognize my own unworthiness and I am humbled by the many kindnesses I've received.

I prayed for the intentions of all who have prayed for me at Adoration and Novena this evening.

November 16, 2009

Sisterly Fashion Musings-USCCB Random Thoughts


I'm watching the USCCB proceedings on Telecare.tv Yes, that's the real name of the channel!

I'm fully convinced that every non-habited nun is required by her orders bylaws to wear the following:

*pastel blazer-preferably perma press
*a ghastly silk blouse with a garish abstract design-extra points if it has the neck bow
*a pin on her lapel that says "Hey, I'm a nun!" In case there was any doubt.


The hair must be short, obviously uncolored and shampoo set with a blow comb.

It has never been truer that women are NOT drawn to the religious or consecrated life by the clothes.

Deep curtsy to Vincenzo for helping me screen grab the image!

Oh, the Bishops earn their stripes thru sitting thru this snoozefest. Seriously. If there is ever a meeting that cries out pleading for PowerPoint Karaoke, this is it!!!

Like every bad corporate meeting I've ever been in, there's always someone who wants to discuss items not on the agenda or within the scope of the department. *cough*Trautman*cough* I wonder if someone could be accidentally locked in a closet during the break?


I need one of those big yellow post-it name tags so I know who I am. LOL!

I spotted Bishop Lee Piche in a shot. He stood out-being one of the few men who still has hair, er, a hair color! Dissidents hate these gatherings. All the old white guys, blah, blah, blah. Honestly, who would willingly volunteer to do this stuff? Not me.

Pray for our Bishops!

November 14, 2009

Making Crooked the Straight Paths

Remember the "Catholic" Coalition for Church Reform that I posted about a few weeks back? Well, honestly, I ripped apart their letter to the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Task Force.

Well, the Task Force responded to the CCCR (not to be confused with USSR-though one day they will both be defunct) and the letter was made public. Ray has the story and the response letter.

I will not reprint the response letter here. But, basically, the Task Force reiterated what I said. The demands the CCCR was asking for are far outside the scope of the Task Force. Furthermore, it's obvious that this groups "issues" go far outside the Church they claim to be a part of. The Task Force took the additional step of suggesting the CCCR try Protestant denominations with views more closely aligned with their own.

Everyone was thinking that. I'm surprised the Task Force had the nerve to say it. Suggesting that they go elsewhere really set the CCCR off. What did they expect? What do they expect? Honestly. How can you have a "place at the same table" when you are not even hearing and understanding the words of your Host the same way? The Bible is full of meaning about language. Suddenly, the Apostles were all speaking in their own languages but they understood one another as if hearing the words in their own tongue. It's the Word of God. No matter the language, the Word is the same. The Word transcends language. Yet, the CCCR and I both speak English but we are not hearing the Word the same way. How can we be at the same table?

At Adoration this week I was reading sections of Acts. Remember the false prophet, Bar-Jesus the magician? Remember what St. Paul said to him before he was blinded? Harsh stuff.

There are folks among us, misguided folks, who continue to try and make crooked the straight paths of the Lord. They do so by taking the Church's teachings and distorting them to fit their own personal agendas. In doing so, they mislead, deceive and fool others into believing that their distortions are true. Even worse, they claim to have and know the true faith and those of us who follow the clear teaching authority of the Magisterium are false.

Curiously, one of the CCCR's agenda items during their "synod" last Spring was: "Communication in a Polarized Community" They can't be talking about me and the Church I live in. I don't feel polarized. I hear the Truth. I know the Truth. I accept the Truth. I live it (try to-I often fall short). That's not polarizing. It's liberating. It's they who are polarized. They make it so. Talk only takes you so far. You need to hear the Truth AND believe it. I believe that those who hear, really hear, the Word do not feel polarization. It is so clear. It makes so much sense.

Speaking of "dialogue", which the CCCR is so fond of. One of their blogs deleted Ray's comment about the Task Force response. So much for dialogue. This outfit is always claiming they are not heard. They are heard. They talk, but, sadly, they do not listen.

November 13, 2009

The Cat Ate My Blog Post

Gentle Reader: Many times, I’ll contemplate a blog post. I’ll map it out in my mind and sit down on the couch with my laptop in my lap. I’ll start writing and then…..one of my cats, usually Kaylen, comes and jumps on my lap. What to do? Remove kitty and keep typing? Or, put laptop away and snuggle with kitty? I usually chose the latter.I’m not doing homework; not even work work. There may come a day when there is a critical deadline that requires me to keep typing away. Not today.

Or, I sit down with my laptop and one of my cats, usually Sodak, decides now he wants to play. This means, wave the string with the feather attached so he can leap up and catch it. He also enjoys stalking it as I drag it around the house. Once again, cat wins, blog post vanishes.

Sometimes I may remember the post later, or I may have typed enough that I can pick up the thread of my thoughts later. Sometimes not. Sometimes it’s gone. It may have been the greatest blog post ever. Gone.

Oh well.

There are times you just need to step away from the blog. Whether it means quality time with cats or spending time in prayer or visiting with a loved one or suddenly deciding to go to Mass; sometimes writing about life is not as important as living it.

November 12, 2009

Say Something Nice About a Priest Meme

Swissmiss tagged me for the “Say something nice about a priest” meme. We are to say something nice about a particular priest and we are to pass it on to three other bloggers to do the same.

In 1984 my brother was rushed to the hospital. He was brought home from school early by my Dad. The school nurse called him because Wayne was acting disoriented for no apparent reason. Dad worked at night so he was home and available. I was home from school for the day and I went with Dad to the hospital. I think Mom joined us later because she was still at work. Wayne was acting disoriented. He didn’t seem to know where he was or what was going on.

It was a horrible afternoon and evening. We waited and waited and waited. Everything was a blur. First there were scans that showed a mass at the base of his brain. Then, a biopsy. Eventually, we ended up in a room-the three of us on a couch being stared at by three doctors. A priest appeared in the doorway. The lead doctor told us again that the scans revealed a mass at the base of Wayne’s brain. There’d be an operation, as soon as possible, to remove it.. Due to the location of the mass, it was entirely possible he’d die on the table or if he survived he may never walk again. There was more. It was cancerous and malignant. Even if they got it all, he may only live for two years. It was a nightmare. I can still remember what I was wearing. My Dad was stunned, my Mom was angry. I, completely, lost it and fell on my Mom bawling and my Dad reached over and held my hair. We got to go see my brother before surgery. The priest Anointed him and granted him the Apostolic Pardon (Wayne was unconscious). He went into surgery and we waited in a waiting room-staring at the TV but not watching it. My Dad was calling the family. This is before cell phones so he was using the pay phone in the hall. Most of the family lived out of state or in outstate Minnesota. It was just the three of us. I was a person of little and indifferent faith then. I’m sure my Angel was there but I ignored him-as I usually did. I didn’t even think to pray.

The surgeon came in, preceded by the priest again. The priest, immediately, walked straight over to me and put his hand on my shoulder. He didn’t say anything. I put my hand up to cover his. I couldn’t say anything. Remember, Father had seen me break down in the counseling room earlier. Father stood there, silent, but a reassuring presence nonetheless. The surgeon told us he felt the surgery was a great success. He felt he’d gotten all of it. However, were were still facing the cancer and the possibility of more tumors appearing later. He was right. We did face that. My brother died in January 1989 at the age of 17. He lived 5 years. 5 very difficult years. I learned much from it and I can see now how the trial deepened my faith. But, it took a while to see that.

To this day, I’ve no idea who that priest was. I’ve no idea who called him. Did anyone call him? Maybe the doctors told him we may need him? How did they even know we were Catholic? Maybe it was a regular practice to call the ‘on call’ chaplain and he happened to be a Catholic priest that evening. I can’t even remember what he looked like. I could barely look him in the eyes. I don’t know his name. Maybe I never will. It doesn’t matter. I’ve never forgotten him and his kindness. He said nothing that I remember but his presence is unforgettable. What a tough duty. What do you say to families in that situation? He tried. God bless him.

This is a post for the simple priests among us. They are not famous. They are not asked to speak at a public event. They don't have cooking shows. They don't write for newspapers. They don't have their own blog. They are not notorious. They are not "conflicted". They are neither progressive nor conservative; they are Catholic. Period. They are always ready to administer the Sacraments at a moments notice without complaint. They may be tired but they are tireless.

I'm not faulting any priests who are high-profile but there walk among us a great number of priests who are not well-known. Their simple ministry is taken for granted. They are rarely thanked because they do what they do and we are too complacent because we've grown to expect they will always be there when we need them-like a rock.

To those simple and humble men of God and, in particular, that hospital chaplain: Thank you. I will pray for you, all of you, during this Year of the Priest.

I tag: Ray, Terry, Adoro

November 11, 2009

Thank You Veterans!



Take a moment today to thank a veteran for their service. Take a moment today to pray for them.

Today, I'm praying, in a special way, for Angela's son!

November 09, 2009

Quantitative Methathesis Sighting!

Argent of the Eagle Eye spotted our buddy, QM out for a autumn walk, apparently to identify leaves, (;-)) in a photo series on the Passionist Nuns of St. Joseph Monastery in Kentucky's blog.

QM is in a period of Aspirancy with the order. Please pray for her and the sisters! Please pray for vocations. Yes, this is the Year of Priest and priestly vocations are needed, but don't forget we need our contemplative and cloistered brothers and sisters as well!

I don't know about you, but I need all the prayers I can get! Knowing brothers and sisters are engaged in a life of continual prayer, sacrifice and reparation for the world and our individual intentions is a source of strength to me-probably to you as well!

November 08, 2009

I'd Rather Have Jesus Than Silver and Gold

Occasionally, I amuse myself and get home decorating ideas (sorry, there’s still no “Decorating Eye for the Straight Guy” Mitchell!) by watching HGTV. You may have watched some of the shows too. Some of them have solid, relatable advice and people. Other shows: I wonder what planet these people are on. The answer is, sometimes sadly, they live on our planet. They are humans like us. Prideful and stubborn. Very much in love with possessions, status and money.

You may have watched the house hunting/my first home shows. I have too but I can’t relate to them. Usually, there is a gripe and a pout about how the kitchen is “not gourmet”, the appliances are dated (read: more than 2 years old), there are not enough closets in the master bedroom, there is no spa tub in the bathroom. A rule of thumbs for cat owners, like me, is a litter box per each cat plus one. I have two cats so I have three litter boxes in the house. Somewhere along the line, humans adopted this rule to mean a bedroom for each child plus one. Oh, no, we have 3 kids! We need at least 5 bedrooms! (Don’t forget that big master bedroom!) Plus, everyone needs their own toilet! God, forbid we have to share or wait!

When I canvassed real estate this summer for my temp job, some of my properties were self-storage units. The prices to rent these units, a 5x5 or an 8x12 were so high; sometimes +$500/month that I, seriously, asked a property manager, how many people actually lived in their unit? It used to be these units were solely used for the motorcyle or the boat or the convertible-items that were seasonal and that required storage that you couldn’t provide on your property. Not so much anymore. Now they are full of stuff. Plastic tubs of stuff. Papers. Extra clothes. Knic-knacs. Scrapbooking materials. Extra dishes. Furniture you don’t have room for but don’t want to part with.

I wonder how my parents and grandparents survived? My Dad grew up in a home with no indoor plumbing or running water. He had to go to an outside pump every day and draw water for his Mom. In winter he had to pour hot water over it to prime it. The eight kids shared beds. Literally, sleeping crosswise on them. How did my family survive with no shower and no bathroom on the 2nd floor? How do monks and nuns survive in their tiny cells?

We not only survived, but we thrived. We survived on love, faith and each other. It was not our home, our funishings and our stuff that sustained us.

I worry about this present age.

We may think that the people on HGTV are not “us” but I hear, continually, from friends trying to sell their ‘aging’ homes that the first thing people mention is how “small” the kitchen is; the basement is not ‘finished’, there’s no room for the big TV. Clearly, either the programs have influenced us, or we have influenced the programming. In any event, it’s real.

Wealth is transitory. My Dad always says: “I can’t take it with me”. St. Teresa of Avila would hardly believe the Interior Castle or the mansions to be a literal McMansion in some exurb.

If we are only defining ourselves by our stuff, rather than our relation to Christ, we will be completely impovershed at our End. We can’t take our stuff with us. We will only have our love of Christ to enjoy forever. If we don’t even have that, then we will have nothing. Forever.

November 05, 2009

Argument of the Month Club-for Women

Note: not for LADIES, but for WOMEN! Ok, LOL! Yes, we should be ladies too, but as, Adoro says: "This ain't yo Mama's sewing circle!"

Adoro, me and one other woman are in the planning stages of a local, female, version of the current, local, Argument of the Month Club which is male only. I want to be clear, and I know Adoro will agree with me, this is not some feminazi attempt to insinuate ourselves into a male-only club. The male-only Argument of the Month club is needed and God bless 'em. May they continue for many years.

I've long been at odds with many other females of my generation. I've long believed that there are instances where single gender education, events and clubs are needed. There was a reason I went to a woman-only college. When I got out of high school, I needed the confidence boost of single gender education. My alma mater may have many faults, but I give them mad props for building my confidence.

Read more about the plan, such as it is now, on Adoro's blog. If you are interested in knowing more (and even better-helping organize!), contact one of us thru a blog comment or you can send me an email at: cathyofalex@gmail.com

November 04, 2009

Prayer Request

I'm advancing far into an interview process with an employer. I need to ask my prayer warriors (y'all!) for prayerful assistance. In all things God's will be done; but the prayer assistance, if not giving me what I think is best, gives me a confidence boost to know even ONE person is praying on my behalf.

Update: November 5, 3:45 p.m. Interview went well. I am one of two finalists. Now I wait.

November 03, 2009

I've Seen the Ghost of Elvis!



I don't know what the deal is with that (pick one or insert your own):

a)corset
b)boxing title belt
c)doily
d)hernia girdle

In any case, oh mercy, is that ugly! It's not "Who are you wearing, dearie?" it's "What ARE you wearing, dearie?"

*Deep curtsy to Argent who sent me the laugh.

November 02, 2009

What the Faure?

The Mozart Requiem is back at St. Agnes! The Faure is perfectly wonderful but the Mozart gives me the shivers! In a good way. Not in a Halloweeny-way!

Tonight 7:30 p.m., Latin High Mass, complete Mozart Requiem, servers in cassock and surplice from St. John Vianney Seminary, black vestments. OOHH!

Many bloggers will be there. I say that in the hope that promise will cause many not to attend so I can sit even closer to the Sacrifice! LOL!

Be there if you can. If you are unable to, remember it is an Act of Mercy to pray for the dead. You can do that any day (and are encouraged to) but today is the special day.
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