March 29, 2010

You Are Not Approved

Recently, a retreat I was to attend was cancelled. I only know what I was told. I was told that the speaker should have had his speech approved under the Archdiocesan speaker policy before speaking. The event was to take place in a Catholic Church. A Mass would be celebrated by this same priest/speaker.

I was upset at the cancellation. I look forward to this retreat every Lent. I wondered where is the justice? This priest seems very solid to me. He was a key part of my re-entry into the Church.

Maybe I don’t have all the facts. Maybe I don’t have enough trust in my Church leaders. If that’s true, than I’m no better than the people who say they don’t trust the faith because some abusive priests share it.

I admit I’m angry because I know there are parishes in town that have speakers before, during and after Holy Mass every week and I’m 99% sure they don’t meet the criteria of being in “good standing with the church” .

Why is nothing done to stop them? Maybe because they’ve been written off already.

Have you ever reached a point where you are so far gone that people give up trying to correct you? They just roll their eyes at your antics and see you are lost. Nothing they do or say is going to correct you. You go your way and I’ll go mine.
Because the Archbishop is not visiting you and his office is not contacting you for corrective actions should you feel good about that? Are you being “left alone” because you are in the right?

Animal Planet

I was visiting my old neighborhood recently. I’ve passed thru a few times in the 10 years since I moved out but I surprised by how much it had changed. Or, maybe it was always as it is and it’s my eyes that have changed.

It’s the neighborhood I grew up in. But, it seems to my memory that there were more kids in it then. Everyone has dogs now. There are more dogs than kids.

I sat in the window at a popular neighborhood coffee shop and watched nearly every person coming up walk up with a dog. Only ever 10th person had a child, one child with them. Every other person had a dog or dogs. People tied up the dogs before they went in to buy coffee. At one point there were 4 dogs outside.

I watched people lift their dogs, not kids, into their SUV’s and vans.

No wonder we face a death spiral in insurance and social security.At what point, did we expect animals would pay taxes?

You know I love my cats but I by no means think they are more important than people.
Couples, more often these days, opt to have pets rather than kids. They share custody of their animals after they split up.

Maybe animals are easier but does that equate with better?

March 28, 2010

Cathy's REC'd Dream

I amuse myself in these dark days by dreaming about what the L.A. Religious "Education" Conference would be like if a different Cardinal were in charge of Los Angeles.

I laugh as I imagine the new Cardinal having the REC, as usual, but pulling a 'bait and switch' once everyone arrived. He'd lock the doors of the convention center and proclaim a change in the program. He'd then proceed to move the entire event to the Cathedral and have 3 days of:

"Chant Notation for Smart Catholics"
"Let's Read the Catechism!"
"Augustine on your iPod!"
"Lovin' Latin"
"An Introduction to Mass in the Extraordinary Form (priests can attend free)"
"Appropriate Dress and Reverence in the House of God"
"Silence Before the Lord"
"How to get the most out of Adoration"
"Social Justice: What it really means"
"We are family: not a gay disco anthem!"
"101 reasons why liturgical dancing is ridiculous (I'd come out and teach this one for free)"
"Freeing yourself from the incense pot" (module includes a ritual breaking of the oppressive hold the round incense pots used in "modern" liturgy have on us all)
"Everyone loves a parade or How to lose 20 pounds in 3 days!" (A Eucharistic procession from Los Angeles to San Diego and back)

Closing with a 2 hour celebration of the Sacrament of Penance

It's the little things that amuse me.

March 27, 2010

Carrying The Cross

One year ago I was in a dark place. My job was not enjoyable. I did not get along with my manager. I walked out. I was uncertain. What was I going to do next? What would happen? All I had was faith.

It was enough. Faith carried me. I carried the Cross. When I could. I dropped it sometimes. Sometimes I fell. Sometimes I did not get up right away.

It seemed like things may never get better, but, they did.

I made it. The Lord provided. My prayers were answered. I was made whole again.
This Lent has been tough. A year later am I back to where I was?

Not alone. All of us who share allegiance to the Church founded by Christ are shaken.
It’s been a tough week.

I can hardly stand to pick up the paper. Every day on the front page is some new accusation.

Flawed people are in the church. I prove this every time I go to Mass. Who am I Lord?

Terrible injustices have been perpetrated in the name of Christ. They are false. They may never answer to our courts but they will answer.

If I write to Bill Gates do I expect that Bill Gates will read my letter? Yet, there are those who expect a Cardinal or the Pope to read all the correspondence addressed to him. Apparently, Santa also reads and answers all his own mail as well.

The same crowd who accuse the Pope of micromanaging are now upset that he does not.
The head of the Church is not the Pope, it’s Christ. Does that mean the Pope should resign? If it is the bosses will he will.

Don’t look to the media for answers to faith. The media does not understand what priesthood is any more than some sinful priests do. Thou art a priest forever…there is also no level of Hell lower than the one reserved for priests who have misused their office. Forever. Hell.

They will answer.

Everyone is trying to pile onto the quarterback while he is down. He will rise again. We know it.

The Church is dying. The Church dies each Lent. It always rises again. Be there. Watch and wait. Have faith. Sometimes we have to carry the cross.

Coffee and Narcissism

Or: What if you staged an intervention and only the crazies showed up?

Gentle Reader: I know people are worried about me. I'm getting calls. Where are you? Why aren't you blogging? Why do you have a life and I don't?!

This morning I met a friend for coffee.

As we got our buzz on, I'm not sure who helped who? He admitted he only attends the Vigil Mass in jeans and waves like a mad social fool at all the old ladies in his parish. He scares the same old ladies in his local grocery store, his neighbors hate him, he stalks people who knock his empty trash can over, and he leered at the young chickie barista. Completely messed up, no wonder I love him so.

I admitted I believe blogging is a narcissistic exercise and I'm not notifying priests when he blogs about them! Beyond that, I know nothing!

In a week where the world has gone mad enough that some people believe Rembert Weakland is an authority on Catholic morality, and the President acts like he did us all a big favor, the whole morning made perfect sense.

Peace be with you!

March 20, 2010

What If They Threw a Crucifixion and No One Came?

For some there is no perfect time. Well, they trick themselves into believing there is not. We are all so busy. Too busy to make time for anything except what is important. Sometimes, there is no time for the Lord. Is the Lord important?
Some of us are upset that there isn’t a Mass available nearby 24/7. If only Mass was available at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, I could go. If only we didn’t have to go to Mass on Sunday. If only Friday attendance at Mass could replace Sunday. That would be easier for me.

We lie to ourselves. We say we want to be with the Lord but we put our hand to the plow and we look back. We need to take care of everyone else first, then we can go to the Lord. I need to take care of myself first and then the Lord. The Lord can wait for me. He doesn’t have work that is as important as mine.

Let’s be honest with ourselves. It doesn’t make any difference if we have Mass 24/7 if we can’t make ourselves get up and go to Mass on Sunday at 10. Why do we think we can leave the house at 10 p.m. on Thursday and go? Is the Lord to be a convenience for us? Is He supposed to wait on our pleasure?

My parish has Adoration on Tuesdays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. We used to have it from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. I used to have the 6 a.m. hour. But, some people complained that they had to go home for a while and come back for the 8 a.m. Mass so 6 a.m. was cut. I accepted the decision and moved to a later hour after work. In the evening they had to cut the 8 p.m. hour because some people complained that they had to go out after dinner.

We have trouble getting people to commit to an hour. That’s one extra hour per week with the Lord-apparently too much for some. Commitment scares people. They may commit to one hour on Sunday but the rest of the week they want to move on with their lives-apparently there is a difference: the Lord gets thismuch and I get this…………………………………….much.

Our Adoration Coordinator, some Tuesdays, has covered up to four hours. People say they can’t come and don’t have time to find a sub so they just don’t show up. Some of our Adorers are elderly and if they end up getting seriously ill or dying, then what? The elderly parishioners keep waiting and watching with the Lord as they simultaneously wait and watch for the young people to step up and fill the roles they have filled for decades. The Coordinator is in tears as she prays for more Adorers and prays that she had the words to express what Adoration has meant to her. She wails as she feels inadequate to share with others what she experiences during Adoration.

How do those of us who enjoy attending Mass and make time to go as much as possible express to our fellow Christians how that makes us feel? How do we make others go? Should we “make” others go? “Make” is not the right word but “encourage” is. Some may even call that “evangelization”.

How do you express in our limited capacity for language what is inexpressible? True, it seems like an unattainable goal but you can’t reach a goal without even trying.

It's not the crucifixion that's important, it's the Resurrection. However, you can rise before you die. Maybe things will get better. Maybe we will too.

March 17, 2010

I'm Still Here!

Gentle Reader: I know, I've been scarce. Vincenzo has nothing else to 'shop (not true!) and Terry has been mocking me (always true). I've been on a hiatus. Too much going on. But, all is well; other, than I still feel spiritually "dry". I'm currently reading Come Be My Light-the book of the letters of Mother Theresa of Calcutta. I think this will be a great help to me-to realize that if Mother could feel the darkness, who am I, Lord?

Besides, now that John "Breck Boy" Edwards is "living a life of truth" WTH(eck) else is there to say?

Life. You can't make it up! Oh, the humanity!

March 09, 2010

Tuesday's Child

Terry called me and told me he gave up donuts for Lent but now he's seeing images in the sky of women waiting for donuts to come to them as they sleep.

I don't get it either.

That's all.

March 08, 2010

Blog Pack Reunited!

I can't believe no one in blogdom has commented on the Minnesota blog pack reunion at the Oscars last night!

(From left: Ray, Mitchell, Adoro, Me and Terry)

Parish Speak: Where Someone Means YOU!

Disclaimer: No parishioners were killed or harmed in the composition of this post. No bunnies were sacrificed. Remember I love everyone and am happy to be here!

If you are heavily involved in what is usually termed: "Parish Life", you can relate to this post. If not, your key take away from this post will be: don’t sign up for anything!

Well, I shouldn’t say the latter because a big problem in parish life is that few people sign up for anything. If you are involved you probably work with the same few people on everything because it’s usually the few, the proud, the available, who are on speed dial by every coordinator of every event in the parish.

There are always some that can be relied upon to help. God bless them

The parishes would be dead without these people.

Yes,it’s all about the Lord but we all know the parish is not only about Mass. Some may quibble with me on the latter but that’s the reality we live in. That said: even the execution (not the Lord) of the Mass can end up being a dramatic production.

The Mass should be the Mass and that should be Father’s area of responsibility. That’s my opinion but we all know the reality: the “coordinators” the liturgists, the musicians, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. Don’t get me started on the environment people. Oh, the banners don’t drape correctly (don’t laugh, I think people have been murdered over drapery)!

It would be great if Father could just show up to celebrate Mass and the only thing he has to worry about is the color of his vestment for the day but we all know that isn’t true.

Father has to deal with: budget, staff, boilers, roofs, grounds in addition to administering the Sacraments.

People want more out of their parish than the Mass. I know. Well, people act like they do anyway. They want a safe place for the kids to hang out at. They want a school. They want an event center.

Parishioners want and they have ideas. But, this is the rant. Everybody has an idea of how it should be done and what should be done but when you hear this beginning to sentence “Someone should…...” translate and replace the word 'someone' for 'YOU' or assume the speaker never means “I”

Woe to all if the idea is not implemented the way the idea man thinks it should be. Then, you end up explaining at length why the alternate tack was taken or, tougher, it wasn’t done at all.

I say this about politics and I’ll say it here: If you are going to gripe but are not involved and do not want to do more than just bring forth your ideas and gripes for someone else to worry about and work on, shut up!


March 06, 2010

On the Road Again!

Heading out of town for an overnight. Here's praying I don't screw up! I tend to fall into serious sin when I leave my comfort zone.

March 03, 2010

For Your Consideration: LarryD!!!!

LarryD proves why I should quit blogging in this post. I can't compete with his mastery of combining sci-fi, Catechism and demented humor all in one post. Not even Terry is this brilliant! The photo manipulation gives even Vincenzo pause!

Vote for LarryD in any blog category you can find!

March 02, 2010

Lay It All at His Feet

Gentle Reader: You know how I've been struggling this Lent? Tonight was my regular hour of Adoration. I really felt a lot of my cares melt away. I just gave it all to Him. I feel more connected now.

I know I regularly speak highly of Adoration. If you do not, currently, spend regular time before the Blessed Sacrament, I can't speak highly enough about it. Adoration has been a miracle to me in my spiritual development. Really, I can't even describe it.

Just do it!
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