December 31, 2009

Catholic Awards: Catholic Moment of the Year 2009 A.D.

In year's past I've taken it upon myself to judge a "Catholic of the Year" and a "Dissident Catholic of the Year".

I'm not going to this year. Maybe not again ever.

I've decided that I'm still the worst Catholic and the biggest sinner that I know and who am I, Lord, to judge others and label them? Maybe, as Adoro keeps telling me, I have matured.

I decided, instead, to grant a "Catholic MOMENT of the Year"

How did you feel, in your heart, my Catholic brothers and sisters, when you saw these photos out of Kansas City, Kansas, in November?





These are photos of the Eucharistic procession of the National Catholic Youth Conference from Sprint Center to the Convention Center. (Photos from the Catholic Key Blog) Some 22,000 youth followed the Lord.

Sure, the Conference had "movement and song" stuff (read: gives Cathy a headache) but I gave loud "Hosannas!" and "Thanks Be to Jesus Christ!" when I saw such a multitude in a Eucharistic procession!! If only I had that kind of faith when I was younger. If only I HAD faith.

The photos gave me hope, the true hope, that is present (and is THE present) in the season of the Birth of the Christ Child. Possibilities.

Nothing is impossible in and with Christ. Amen.

Party for Auntie!

Today, is "Auntie" Adrienne's birthday! In her honor, here's one of her favs with Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman, Harry James and good New Year's Eve party music! Drum on, Auntie!!!!

December 30, 2009

The Prophetess Anna



And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan'u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity,
and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.
And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.
And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
--Gospel of Luke 2:36-40

The painting at left is one of my favorites: Rembrandt's "The Prophetess Anna". Observe how Anna sits in the stream of light and leans forward straining to read the Scriptures with her entire being focused upon them.

Today's Gospel is one of my favorites. I pray, Lord, that I never leave your Temple either. In my heart may I always be there. Amen.

December 29, 2009

Plastic People

I had dinner with a friend tonight and we were talking about "reality TV".

If those programs are reality we are all in serious mortal danger of eternal damnation. Satan must be rubbing his hands with glee.

I think the prerequisites for being on one of these shows are:

*Willingness to do anything-not for fame but for infamy
*An IQ that is off the charts!-meaning too low to register
*Waxing addiction (btw, at what point in his career did Alec Baldwin start waxing his chest? Why do I notice crap like this?)
*Never having appeared in a production of Shakespeare in your entire, uh, "career"-even the role of a guard with no lines standing on the battlements in Hamlet will totally disqualify you
*Completely despise spending even one hour at a work site (but expecting to get paid for 8 hours) but total willingness to spend 8 hours in a beauty parlor or a gym
*Have botox in your face by the age of 22
*Have about 10 pounds of silicone or gel poured into your chest (guys and gals)
*Look completely unrecognizable due to excessive, and horrible, surgeries (I saw a brief episode of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" and a friend had to tell me the Dad was Bruce Jenner-I was shocked. Really. Shocked)
*Make out with someone you barely know in a hot tub/forest/car/ferris wheel car/beach/fake looking castle
*Pull someone's hair out (s'ok, it's a weave anyway)
*The casting couch is dead, but it has been replaced by the swimsuit contest.

Honestly, WTH?

Remember when Three's Company and Dukes of Hazzard were considered idiotic and inappropriate shows? They look like O'Neill now.

I'm sad that soap operas have been replaced by this trash. Really. At least, Tony Geary can act.

But, the real horror is that people are watching this junk. They have to be; otherwise, the networks would not keep airing them.

December 28, 2009

The Holy Innocents

I woke up really angry this morning. Today, is the Feast of the Holy Innocents a commemoration of the young boy martyrs that King Herod slaughtered in a vain attempt to kill the Christ child.

Why am I angry? I'm angry because the Holy Innocents are still being slaughtered, daily, here and now; 2000 years later. Abortion kills thousands each year.

The boys slaughtered by Herod died as certain martyrs for Christ. It was a brutal death, but if there is any consolation at all it's in that they were taking the place of Jesus. They died so that Jesus may live. If Jesus had not lived to sacrifice Himself for us at Calvary the consequences of where we would be right now are too terrible to contemplate.

Give thanks for those unwilling young martyrs for Christ.

Think about unwilling young death the next time you drive past an abortuary. King Herod may be dust but his actions live on.

The redemptive possibility of Jesus lives, as well, and we have much to atone for.

Spend some time today praying for an end to abortion. For my readers in the U.S., contact your legislators and tell them you are not appeased by the "compromises" of the healthcare legislation.

December 25, 2009

Christmas in the ER

...Not this year, Thank God, but there was a year about 10 years ago that my Dad was having heart issues (he has a history) and I spent Christmas Day at the hospital waiting for him as he got checked out.

The holidays can be a stressful time. I feel like saying, ok I will, that if more people spent serious time reflecting upon the true meaning of the season there may not be so many incidents of folks ending up hurt at the hospital.

Sometimes, the stress of family drama brings out the worst in people: mental and physical. Sometimes the stress manifests itself into physical altercations. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, be glad. Put people together who willfully avoid each other the rest of the year and BOOM!

Mercifully, I've avoided these situations, willfully, in recent years. I want to focus on the Incarnation of Christ and the hope manifested in the Birth of Our Lord. But, always, is the Cross. It looms. For some of us, the Cross is the Resurrection, for others, it's dealing with the relatives.

In all things stressful and difficult, I find prayer is a tremendous help. If you are in houseful of people making you crazy, go to your inner room (or your guest room), close you mental (or physical) door and pray. Read the Gospel stories of the Nativity. Read the Last Gospel of John about the Incarnation. Relax. Put the knives down.

You brought a Bible with you on the road, right? How about that Rosary? How about a Prayer Book? No? May be a good idea to bring them next time. Of course, you can pray without them and maybe you have your favorite prayers and Scriptures memorized. However, some of us need help (me!) so if you do-pack it!

I probably should've posted this earlier but maybe the advice will help you for Easter! LOL! Or, that cruise you are taking this Winter to escape the sloppy, snowy, mess on the ground!

Yesterday, as my Dad was wrapping gifts, Sodak started attacking the tissue paper (as cats are wont to do). My Dad went to move him and Sodak bit him and scratched him. My Dad walks out of the bedroom blood pouring down his hand. I ran to get alcohol and bandages. Sodak is in big trouble. He knows it too. He's lying low. My Dad is on a blood-thinner because of his heart so he bleeds big even if it's just a scratch.

It's all ok and things are calm. I read Sodak the Christmas story Terry posted but I don't think Sodak took it to heart this year. *sigh*

In any event, this is all nothing compared to The Christmas Adventures of Adoro!

December 24, 2009

Blog Birthday!

Today, is my friend, Smissmiss' birthday. Stop by her blog and wish her a great one!

Please remember Swissy and her family in your prayers. Her Aunt died this week.

December 23, 2009

Saint Joseph


I want to take a moment to speak about St. Joseph to whom I have a deep devotion.

Saint Joseph is rather shunted aside this time of year. (I could make an argument about how St. Joseph is frequently ignored but I'll refrain) The focus of the Christmas season is on Mary and the Infant Jesus. Understandable.

But, it was St. Joseph, who protected both the Virgin (and her Virginity) as well as the Word Made Flesh in the Child Jesus. Who was it who banged on doors trying to find shelter for his pregnant spouse? Who was it who made due with the shelter of the Stable? Who was it who made his Blessed Spouse and the new Infant as comfortable as possible? Who was it who performed the service of midwife to Our Lady? Who was it who swallowed any selfishness he may have had and in a completely selfless act gave his life to a child not of his flesh? Who was it who listened to the counsel of the Angels in his dreams? Yes, the humble carpenter from Nazareth, St. Joseph.

St. Joseph was The Christ's earthly father and Scripture tell us, in Luke, how Jesus listened to the discipline and counsel of his earthly parents-plural.

Fathers (MEN!)can learn a LOT from the example of St. Joseph.

I leaned a lot on St. Joseph, patron of the working man, as I was job hunting this year. I prayed before his image at any parish I visited that had one. (I'm sad that my parish does not have an image of St. Joseph but, God willing, maybe I can help in that regard)

St. Joseph, not surprisingly, is a friend of travelers. A lot of people will be traveling to visit friends and family in the coming days. We are expecting a major winter storm here in the next 24 hours, pray to St. Joseph that your loved ones may be safe on the road.

Just like a great dad, St. Joseph is a reliable help for many needs.

St. Joseph, pray for us!

The Story

Terry finally told the story I can't wait to get home tonight and tell Sodak, who has been waiting as patiently as is possible for a feline. However, he was over by the creche yelling last night as I went to bed. Perhaps, Terry, heard his cries across the river? Or, perhaps, it was that Terry heard my telephone call. We'll never know will we? Heh. In any case, God bless us every one.

I've been having Internet connection problems at home which is why I've been scarce lately.

December 21, 2009

Yep

December 20, 2009

Needy Among Us

Terry has an excellent post up about Charity.

I'm not sure all of us, Christians, lack charity entirely but we all treat it as a judgement call don't we? I know I do.

I commented on Terry's post that I use my heart and the Holy Spirit to guide me on whether or not to give money to the homeless begging on the street.

Do I?

Now, I wonder if that was accurate comment.

Is it really the Holy Spirit or is it me judging people? Am I always generous and accurate in my judgement?

I don't know

I know there have been times I ignored someone's request for help and then I was ashamed. There've been other times, I ignored someone's request for help and was not ashamed.

A couple of times I ignored someone's request for help, I believed they were Angels in disguise. They vanished after I rejected them. Seriously, one minute they were there and I turned around and they were gone. I believed I was being tested, even as it was happening, and I still said: 'no'.

This past year has been tough on me. Thank God no one said "no" to me when I was in need.

Can you imagine asking someone to pray for you and they said "no"? The gift of prayer is the best gift I've received all year. What if everyone said "No way, I'm not praying for you again or ever! It's too much to ask, too much of a bother"

Yes, there are thiefs among us. We all know the stories of people who've taken the red kettle money when they were supposed to be ringing for others. Does that mean: don't trust anyone? Don't trust? Don't give? I look at that situation this way: Somebody who is struggling and found an opportunity to earn a few bucks continuously ringing a bell until their arms falls off as people pass by indifferently during the coldest season in Minnesota can have as much as they want. Take the kettle and go with God. I was desperate enough this year to consider taking a gig as a bell ringer for a few extra bucks. It never came to that-thanks be to God-but I understand why it could. Is the thief right? No, but sometimes I think some of us don't understand how circumstances can drive people to acts they may never otherwise consider.

It's terrible that the actions of one can influence us to think everyone is worthy of suspicion.

Occasionally, on Sundays we have collections for Archdiocesan intentions. Every time these come around the inevitable dramas occur: 'they' (Archdiocese) are using the money for a purpose not other wise stated (sex abuse scandal pay off, priestly posh retirement, whatever). So, this basically means don't trust your Shepherds. Don't give them anything. If you can't trust your God given Shepherds how can you even call yourself a Catholic? I'm guilty of this. I, recently, held back some money during a special collection. I'm ashamed now. Despite my Ordinary's assurances, I still held the money back. I claim to be grateful for a job, but, yeah, am I? I'm grateful for MY money, but not His, I guess.

There are some corrupt Shepherds among us. Does that mean ALL of them are? No. Just a few months ago, I sent my Archbishop a letter assuring him of my full support and prayers. Well, I see I already fell down on the full support promise of that letter. I'm sorry.

We are (I am), all of us, needy people. I need to remember that.

December 19, 2009

Once You Start You Can't Stop

The other day I posted about wearing a chapel veil. It took me back to the first time I, consciously, wore something over my hair in Church. [sound of wayback machine]

In 1995 I wondered in, like a stranger in a strange land, to the Holy Thursday Mass at St. Agnes in St. Paul. I was still a member of St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis but I was starting to “come back”. For about a year, I'd been lurking on Catholic forums and starting to read information that was forcing me to question my long held, and mostly inaccurate, beliefs about the faith.

Anyway, so here I was at St. Agnes, praying no one would act like Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers and point me out! I was a fairly prominent person at St. Joan's and was sure some folks who had been doing prayer incursions at St. Joan's were probably members of St. Agnes. In a lame attempt at blending in, I threw a shawl over my head. Yes, it was totally lame because not every woman there was "veiled" anyway and my efforts did not stem from anything heartfelt. I was scared. Also, the shawl was falling down. It was too long. Well, if you ever worn a veil you know how those first few times you are fidgeting with it. LOL! That's what it was like. I probably drew more attention to myself goofing around with the thing!

I arrived late as the Blessed Sacrament was already being carried to the Altar of Repose. Clackers, incence, Pange Lingua, baldacchino, Deacons (for the record the Host was carried to the Altar of Repose by a priest I came to know more about later but did not recognize at the time-Father "Z" Zuhlsdorf!) Needless to say, I did not know what was going on. I'd never seen anything like this before. Wait a minute, THESE were expressions of the Catholic faith? What the heck had I been doing? Processions I was used to involved dancing, tamborines, banners, singing, yelling, no Blessed Sacrament.

I didn't know what was going on but my inquisitive mind would not rest until I did. The terms in the paragraph above: clackers, baldacchino, Pange Lingua? I had no idea what to call any of that then. I learned it later. It was the first time I'd ever heard the Pange Lingua.

I only went that night because I'd heard they would have Adoration until Midnight. I had not planned (nor, honestly wanted to) catch any of the Mass. I was encouraged to believe the folks at St. Agnes were mutant freaks. Sorry, but that's where I was then. I had been participating in Adoration at another parish (the one I now call my home: St. Andrew) for a few months and was gaining much spiritual strength from the practice. So, I sat there in the pew after the Mass fidgeting with my shawl. Praying in the dark before the Altar of Repose. Many were there. I was surprised to see teenagers praying before the Altar. When I was their age, well, I could've been somewhere else.

I was there for a few hours. As I left, I observed the Confessional lights were on (Frs Altier and Welzbacher were open for business). I walked right past but I almost stopped and went in. I left. I was ashamed. Why? Back in January, I had to put my old cat to sleep. It was really hard on me. I made a "deal" with the Lord that if He would help me thru the difficult time, I'd go back to Confession. Here, nearly, 4 months later, I still had not lived up to my promise.

About a week later (Vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday)-the same day Blessed John Paul II passed on. I went back to Confession after 15 years away from that Sacrament. I went to St. Andrew-my current parish. Confession acted like an enema upon my sins. I couldn't stop. Once I went back, I couldn’t stay away. I went often. Sin poured like vomit out of my mouth. I couldn’t hold it back, nor did I want to. When you are drunk on sin, you feel better when you disgorge it.

In the holiest seasons of our liturgical year (clue: we are in one now), it is a good practice to ready yourself for the holy solemnities approaching. The end of the calendar year is packed full of blessings: The Nativity of Our Lord, Feast of St. Stephen, Feast of the Holy Family, Feast of the Holy Innocents, St. Thomas Becket, Vigil of Mary Mother of God. And that's just thru December 31st!!!! Wait, there's more; Epiphany awaits! To wax simplistic: would you go to a party and NOT be ready? Ready yourself to celebrate to the fullest by being properly prepared to receive the Holy Eucharist! Ready your soul. Go to Confession.

If you are scared, Father is going to "yell" at you: I've never known a Confessor to be less than overjoyed that I'm there. Even the 'severest' of priests is happy to be there and delighted, in his heart, that you are there too! Is Father going to jump up and do a little dance? Probably not (well, maybe later in the Rectory), but their calling is to bring souls to Christ and the Sacrament of Confession is a powerful help to them in their ministry.

Just a short while ago, I was in my basement waiting for the washer to stop so I could put more clothes in the dryer. I looked around the basement and, out loud, gave thanks to God. I thanked God for the many blessings He has given me, His often unworthy servant. The gift of a home. The gift of a job. Earlier in the day, I was cursing out loud and took the Lord's name in vain because a window shade fell out of the brackets again. I'm telling you my cat, Sodak, supposedly a dumb animal, has a better sense of the joy of Advent than I do. I was ashamed. The Lord has given me so many gifts and I repay Him by cursing His name and being angry and frustrated over something completely stupid.

So, you better believe I'll be taking the opportunity to go to Confession soon. I like to be as ready as possible before the holy days. Every Sunday is a holy day too!

What better gift can you receive, or give yourself, than the gift of repentance and forgiveness?

December 17, 2009

Still Waiting...

Why Veil?



Father Zuhlsdorf recently posted about veils/mantillas on women during Mass. The comment thread made me think that sometimes Father Z is actually better off posting about what he’s eating than wading into the minefield of ladies fashion!

I wear a chapel veil to Mass. Some times I wear a snood or a hat rather than a veil but my head is usually always covered at Mass. I’ve been doing this for several years.

I can’t select one reason why I like to veil, but I have a couple.

•The veil helps me focus on Christ. I’m wearing it for Christ so right there I’m forced to reflect upon Christ simply by putting it on.
•The veil often acts almost like blinders. It can cut my peripheral vision a bit which, again, helps me focus on Christ and shut out the disturbances around me (people talking, people walking by etc.)
•The veil forces me to step up my dress. I’d feel ridiculous wearing jeans and a sweatshirt with a nice veil on my head.

This is all about me. Why? I have NO issues with women who choose not to wear a veil to Mass. We can quibble all we want to about whether the Canon Law of 1983 abrogated the Canon Law of 1917-fine. Until, that issue is definitively settled we are free, as women, to elect to veil or not.

Also, allow me to make it clear that I do NOT think that by veiling it's an outward expression of my inward belief that I'm holier than everyone else. On the contrary, I'm well aware of my shortcomings and no veil can cover those up.

Sometimes, I deal with sour expressions, usually on other women, when they see me with my veil. I have a method for dealing with this: smile, nod and acknowledge them quietly "hello". The smile you wear underneath the veil goes a long way towards placating those who think the veil is a throwback to some legendary era when women were slaves.

December 16, 2009

Where is a Knight When You Need One?

This past weekend the local 4th Order of the Knights of Columbus honored us with their presence at the Installation Mass for our Pastor. A Bishop was, also, in attendance. We even had a Deacon! It was a big deal for our humble parish. The Knights have appeared at our parish before and we have a member of our parish who is a 4th Order.

My knowledge of the Knights structure is poor so someone correct me if I’ve totally goofed anything up! But, from speaking with the Knights, I was told that only a 4th Order Knight can be in an Honor Guard. The Honor Guards I’ve been privileged to see wear the black suits, dress shoes (highly polished), white gloves, the plumed hat, the sash, and carry a sword. Now, you know me and my love of fine attire so you can probably guess that I think this is just fantastic! ‘course I’m excited to even see a man in a SUIT these days. Heck, I’m excited to see anyone even halfway dressed these days!

The Knights have fundraisers throughout the year. I’ve never seen them collect money for themselves but I’ve seen them collect for others. I seem to recall they did a collection at our parish to support a home for mentally challenged adults. I remember this collection because they stood outside in the rain after a Mass and collected. Granted, it was not pouring but, still, I was impressed.

We’ve probably all heard how we have the Knights to thank for getting the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. They lobbied hard for that addition.

You may have Knights stories as well. Please share them in the combox.

Anyway, I was honored to be able to speak with some of these fine men and their wives during the after Mass hospitality. The Knights are human treasures of this Archdiocese! They had all kinds of stories and memories of the North End of St. Paul, the parish histories, the former pastors, the monsignors, the Catholic schools. Someone needs to collect these memories before they are lost.

The Archdiocese may be undergoing a major reconstruction in the coming year. The memories of these Knights may be critical to our future understanding of our past. Some of the parishes and schools that these Knights remember may be gone soon (if they are not gone already)

However, what worries me even more is that not a one of the Knights 4th Order appeared to be under 65. When these gentlemen pass on, then what? I don’t perceive the young men making the kind of commitment it takes to be a 4th Order. Not enough of them anyway. Maybe the Honor Guards will, too, pass into history.

What I really like about the Honor Guards, no it’s not the clothes, it’s how they protect the Eucharist. If you’ve ever seen the Honor Guard, they line the aisle during the Consecration and draw their swords. I think of them as ready to die or take someone out to protect Christ. We can joke about how fit some of them may be to actually do this or how sharp those swords really are but the vision remains and the question stands: Are you willing to give your life for Him? Here are men standing between possible danger and the Lord. In true Knight fashion, they serve and are willing to give their lives for their Lord.

Where is a Knight when you need one? Maybe the question should be: Will there be a Knight when you need one?

December 14, 2009

The Real Tree

This is the time of year that people go out in search of the perfect Christmas tree. Christmas trees always make me sad. I find it sad that a living thing gives it life for our decorative pleasure. A life is sacrificed for only a few weeks of enjoyment.

We decorate trees with garland, bulbs, bows and lights. We forget that once a man hung from a tree. He sacrificed Himself so that we may: not have a few weeks of transitory enjoyment, but that we may have an eternity of blessings.

When you are decorating the tree of CHRISTmas and waiting with joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, see the tree for what it is: a reminder that you can’t have Christ without the Cross. The Cross is always looming. It was there in the manger.
You can make a tree beautiful but the Cross has a terrible beauty all its own.

December 13, 2009

The Christmas No Mice Would Die


Sodak waiting by the creche for Terry to tell the Christmas story!

I don't want to add pressure to Ter or make him feel guilty but Sodak has not been eating for over a week because he's been sitting there in joyful hope waiting for the story!

Three Years!

I just realized that back in August I passed the three year anniversary of this blog! What was going to be a couple years has stretched into eternity! I know my readers think so! Just think, three years you will never get back!!! Bwah-ha-ha!

Three years of crank, snark, distortions, humor, picking on Terry, making friends, heckling my enemies. I realize reading this blog is like having bamboo shoots stuck under your finger nails, so I want to thank anyone who is still around for enduring it.

Please pray for me as I pray for you-yes, THAT much! God bless you.

December 12, 2009

Bigfoot Sightings are Bogus!!!!!

It's really Krampus!!!! The appearance of Krampus is more serious than the world ending in 2012, but it's even better than the movie! Ok, ANYTHING is better than the movie! Jon Cryer say ANYTHING! Please. Call your agent.

I decided to dig deep, deep, WAY deep into my extensive back catolog (I said they were extensive-not good!) and present this Christmas story from December 2007.It's a cautionary, yet heartwarming, tale with a good dose of familial wisdom and ancestral history from the Old Country.

Draw closer, my children, to the fire and have another cup of hot cocoa. When I was a young chickie, not much older then you are now, my Mom and her Dad used to entertain us with Tales of Krampus. I'm sure it was because my Grandfather was an immigrant from Poland. Krampus is a popular Yuletide character in the lands of Germany, Poland, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Krampus is a sidekick of St. Nikolaus. Yes, you probably all know St. Nick as Santa Claus!

Krampus is a rather sad and neglected character. I'm sure Krampus has built up a healthy dose of rage these days since he's so ignored. But, I bet "business" is good for Krampus these days, my kiddies. Oh, yes, indeed, business is good. Uh-hum, where was I? Oh, yes.

If you aren't a good child during Advent and if you don't say your prayers, Krampus is going to come in the night, put you in his sack and take you away. We will never see you again. If he's feeling merciful, he may decide to leave you with us. But, you will get a stick and an onion as Christmas gifts. The stick is to beat you. The onion is to rub in your eyes.

Sweet dreams. Good night.

Alright You Chipmunks!

Our Lady of Guadalupe


Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas and the Unborn.

I thought it was appropriate, today, to post a schedule of the ongoing weekly prayer times outside of the local abortuaries. These times are all hosted by Catholic Rosary groups (parentheses), but other denominations are most welcome! Together, we can end abortion.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

Planned Parenthood, 1965 Ford Parkway, St. Paul, MN

Thursday, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, 10:30 a.m.
Friday, 3:00 p.m. (by Legion of Mary)
Saturday, 9:30 a.m. (by Church of St. John of St. Paul)

Mildred Hanson's abortion center 710 E 24th St Minneapolis, MN

Saturday 7:00 a.m.

Robbinsdale abortion center 3819 W Broadway, Robbinsdale, MN

Saturday 10:00 a.m. (by Fr. Thomas Dufner)

Outstate Minnesota:
St. Cloud, Planned Parenthood 451 E St. Germain St. Friday, 6:00 p.m.
Duluth, Women's Health Center 32 E First St, Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. (by Fr. James Crossman)

Cross posted to Stella Borealis

December 11, 2009

Cathy's Christmas Dream

PEACE ON EARTH! Or, a Nobel Peace Prize!

Seriously.

I don't put up a tree anymore-not enough room in my small house. I used to put one up in the porch but it's even cramped out there. Also, right now it's too cold to go stand out in my unheated porch and put a tree up. Another reason for not putting a tree up is if I were to put one up inside my house, my cats would knock it down.

Last night, I had a dream....Last night I was dozing (I've never caught myself snoring yet!) and I heard a big thump! "Oh, great, the tree in my front yard just fell on the house!" I looked outside. No, the tree was still standing but I could see a white figure standing near it. "Lord?" I queried, as I tried to do a quick examination of conscience. The white figure replied: "Nein".

"Your Holiness!" as I almost broke my left kneecap collapsing like a sail to the ground. "Please come in. Would you like some coffee or bacon?" "Nein, I haf kom to vbring you a Chreestmas tree. Vee know Chreestmas trees in Bavaria and it's almost a scandal that you don't haf one!" He extended his arms and in their wide embrace was a beautifully lighted tree.

And I heard him exclaim as he disappeared out of sight "Auf wiedersehn, gute nacht!"

I suddenly awoke. It was all a dream--or was it??!!!

December 08, 2009

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception



Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. It is a Holy Day of Obligation, which means you, if you are a Catholic, MUST go to Mass. This obligation, unlike some other Holy Days of the year (yeah, Ascension-me cranky), is NOT transferred to the Sunday just past or this coming Sunday. Go TODAY!!!!

Can I rant for a moment? How is that the last Mass of the day before (Monday in this case) on every other day will still count as the daily Mass but right before a Holy Day of Obligation it is suddenly a Vigil Mass? I'm talking about instances where, say, the 5:15 Mass on most Mondays is always a Monday Mass of the day, but, now it's suddenly a Vigil for the Holy Day-attendance at which fulfills your obligation. Now, if the parish had added a later Mass-like 6 or 7 p.m. then I can get why that would be a Vigil...I don't know...sometimes I wonder at how being accomodating is supposed to help educate the faithful on the seriousness of the day.

Because I know I was confused for decades..the Immaculate Conception does NOT refer to the conception of Jesus. It refers to the conception of Mary. I know many think it is referring to Jesus because we are in Advent and Christmas is approaching. It makes perfect sense that Mary MUST have been immaculately conceived. Why would God want someone full of sin to be the Tabernacle of His Son? The more you meditate upon the sinless state of Mary and her role as literal host of the Lord for 9 months, many things about your own state of life and worthiness to receive Communion inside your body may fall into place. Trust me.

December 06, 2009

Adoration Chapel Censorship

Gentle Reader:

If you've read my blog for a while (sorry for the time you've wasted) you know that I have a standing hour of Adoration every week at my parish. We are a small parish but we've managed to have Adoration every Tuesday for about 5 years. For those of you in small parishes who don't think you can do regular Adoration. Yes, it can be done. We only do one day/week. But, you can start small. A regular time each week before Masses, or once day/month. Just do it! The benefits are immeasurable.

Ok, that was not the topic of this post but I always get carried away talking about Adoration...where was I? Oh, yes....[throat clearing]

Last week I had to go straight to Adoration from work because I was running late. Also, I'd forgotten to put some reading materials in my car. I spend most of my Adoration time in prayer and just gazing upon the Lord. But, sometimes I need a meditative help or something spiritual to read. We have a bookshelf with materials in our Adoration Chapel.

I decided to go see what was on the shelf. It had been a while since I'd looked at what was there. It's very rare that something questionable is on it. Our priests usually keep a close eye on it.

I know some of you are getting cranky. You know who you are. The free speech crowd is starting to get irked...I see you!

I looked at the shelf and I saw that a work by Garry Wills had made it onto the shelf. I immediately got a big headache. I'm very familiar with Mr. Wills and his work. I've actually heard him speak twice. I'm still wondering why he is a Catholic. Well, he claims he is anyway.

Well, I was stunned (and not in an optimistic way) that he'd written a book called "The Rosary". I know God has an excellent sense of humor and so do I so I picked it up for laughs.

It didn't take me long to read it. I've seen worse. But, anything Mr. Wills said about indulgences (I know. The book is supposed to be about the Rosary but he found the time to rant about indulgenced prayers from back in the "old days") was very revealing of the opinions he shares with Martin Luther and every other person who doesn't understand what indulgences are and are NOT that I've ever read. He does not seem to grasp the Tradition of the Church. He complains about the Stations of the Cross being, in some instances, non-Scriptural. Since when was the Catholic Church solely reliant upon Scripture only? Never. I always find it interesting when "progressives" find Scripture that suits their purpose but then complain when there isn't a Scriptural basis for something they want to gripe about as an example of how Holy Church is doing something "wrong". He also complains about St. Dominic and how it wasn't really St. Dominic who "started" the Rosary? Who said that it was? Really. St. Dominic helped promote it. When anyone doesn't even bother to cite St. Louis de Montfort or St. Alphonsus when writing anything about Mary or the Rosary, I'm immediately suspicious-especially when their sources include Raymond Brown (several times) and (wait for it) Rowan Williams.

I don't even want to talk about how he butchered one of St. Augustine's sermons.

Long story short.

I confiscated the book. I took it out of the Chapel. I practiced censorship. Me. librarian. Aren't we all as profession supposed to be free acess to everyone all the time?

I was always in trouble in library school classes. I was one of two other people who thought it was wrong to allow children uncensored computer access. I thought it was wrong not to have web filters on all the library computers. History has vindicated me somewhat. Some of my local colleagues filed and won a lawsuit in which they succesfully proved they were in a hostile and offensive work environment when they could see the porn patrons were surfing on the web in the library.

I draw the line at allowing dissenting work in the Lord's Adoration Chapel. Period. Sue me. I've also tossed out literature on Medjukajagoogoo and Sister Touchie's Reiki and Channeling sessions. Too bad.

If you want to talk about energy, ok then, I don't want any of the bad energy in the room while I'm trying to pray to the Lord. Call me selfish. Fine. Sadly, there are probably plenty of other churches you can pass this junk around in. Not mine.

December 05, 2009

Queer Advent Retreats

Ok, I'm a day late and more than a dollar short. A local parish is hosting an odd Advent retreat. Actually, it was last night and today. It's been a busy first week of work. You may have noticed I've been scarce.

This Advent retreat is by a Jesuit author and here's some info about where he's coming from for your Saturday morning reflection.

"Nor is discrimination based on sexual identity new (even if such discrimination manifests itself in particularly virulent forms under the aegis of modernity) what is new is the realization that we cannot understand the reality of sexual preference apart from the culture that express and repress it. As each of these examples suggests the new attention to cultural diversity involves the humbling acknowledgement that we cannot access the signficance of such diversity apart from a genuine encounter with members of diverse cultures." ( Kevin Burke SJ - Discernment and Truth)

Huh? Maybe I have not had enough coffee yet and maybe Ray is confusing me over breakfast but how is this type of topic appropriate for an ADVENT retreat? How is it appropriate for a Catholic church? How is it appropriate that a priest is questioning the authority and moral teaching of the Church he is a member of?

Advent retreats can be a great thing for ones spiritual journey. Be careful, that any you are attending are going to, truly, deepen your relationship with Christ.

December 03, 2009

Prayer Requests

Please pray for Vincenzo he's not feeling well right now.

Also, remember in your prayers the former blogger, the Roman' Roman,Veritatis Splendor, her mother died yesterday evening.

December 01, 2009

They Just Knew It

Continuing on from my post of yesterday about the implementation of the Novus Ordo. I talked about my Dad disliking folk music in the Sanctuary and my Grandfather never going back to Mass, unless he "had to".

My family, the ones that are still Catholic (many of them practice no faith tradition at all), are people of simple faith. They may not know how to express the "why". They may not be able to quote from the Catechism or point to an article of Canon Law, but they know wrong when they see it and feel it in their heart.

The growing lack of reverence towards the Mass, after the implementation of the New Mass, felt wrong to them. It was wrong, but they could not always articulate why and what bothered them.

My Mom and my Grandfather are both deceased so I can't go back and ask them for input. I took my Mom once to my former dissenting parish. She went once and never again. "It's not for me, Jan" and had that look on her face. You know-the "Mom look!" That half disapproving, half tolerant look. My Mom excelled at it. It's legendary in my family as the "Rita Look". She preferred a quieter Mass and one that adhered to the GIRM She didn't know what the General Instruction of the Roman Missal was but she knew "wrong" when she saw it.

I have to think my Grandfather would be horrified by the casualness of the Mass vestments and the attire most people wear to Mass in our modern times. My Grandfather was so meticulous about his personal appearance and his suit that we were often late for events because he decided his shirt was not pressed well enough or he didn't like the way his hair looked. It took him, no lie, three hours to get ready to "go out". He never went to Mass, the few times I remember seeing him at Mass, without a full suit and a hat on. To Grandpa, anything of true meaning, is worth wearing and looking your best. What's more meaningful, than Holy Mass?

Is the knowing something is wrong the true "primacy of conscience" the "progressives" like to fall back on as an excuse for their dissent? When the conscience of my Grandfather, and my parents pricked them was that better or different than the type of conscience claims "progressives" fall back on?

I say: it depends. In all things, your conscience cannot remain in a vacuum seperate from the fullness of the Truth as disseminated thru the Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium of the Church. Tradition-some of what happened after the implementation of the New Mass was a break with Tradition. I believe that break is what bothered my loved ones. It was so far from what they knew and were taught that they could not do otherwise than believe it was wrong.

I want to be clear, again, that I am not blaming the Novus Ordo itself for the goofiness that ensued after it was implemented. As I said yesterday, wackiness was already creeping into the parishes of my youth before the formal installation of the New Mass. I'm convinced, however, that there were people who took advantage of the confusion and newness of the time to implement their heresies and counter-instructions.

I pray, if nothing else, we learned. We learned that changes cannot just be "sprung" abruptly upon the faithful. We learned to keep a closer eye on catechesis. I'm grateful that the new Mass translations coming are being gradually introduced and that many Archbishops and priests have made a point of mentioning the upcoming new Mass translations in their writings, homilies, bulletins and public speeches.
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