October 31, 2010

Costume Craziness!

I did not post my annual rant about people dressing up as priests and nuns this year. I know! Instead, as today is Halloween and Sunday, how many of you saw people in Halloween costume at Mass today? I avoided any potential costume viewing by attending the Anticipatory Mass on Saturday evening. I had no wish to be cranky.

In any case, let's play "dress up" at Holy Mass and actually dress up for Holy Mass! I don't know why the sight of costumes would upset me as about 1/4 of the Congregation, on any given Sunday, looks like they just rolled out of bed. The "I look like crap" costume never goes out of style! It's popular year-round! You get an extra prize, I think, if you can cultivate the perfect facial ennui to match your costume!

Speaking of craziness and confusion! Today, was All Saints, or is tomorrow All Saints? I picked up my local weekly entertainment paper and the entire issue is devoted to Halloween parties and revelry. Just think what a great world we'd live in if as much ink was spilled and trees sacrificed to list all the ways to consecrate a day to God rather than Satan.

So, if tonight's Mass at your parish is usually the Sunday Mass but now it's an All Saints Mass (same time, same bat station!) have you fulfilled your Sunday Mass obligation? It always amuses me that, in the interest of helping our lazy Christian butts, what is normally a weekly Mass or regular Sunday Mass miraculously becomes the irregular Holy Day Mass.

It's crazy!

October 30, 2010

Tales of the Unexpected

A true story.

This morning as I was eating breakfast, sipping coffee and reading Magnificat and the newspaper; my big black cat, Sodak, was stretched out on top of the hutch surveying his domain. Suddenly, Sodak comes to full alert, peels his ears back and starts growling in his throat like a dog. I've never heard him growl like this before. He's watching out the front window and he's growling. I see a man walk up to my front porch door and put something on my door knob. I go look and it's a "Vote DFL" flyer. I throw it in the trash.

Good kitty.

October 28, 2010

Emotion and Anger

Monday evening, I went to the parish meeting about our merger. My regular readers, all 5 of you!, know that my parish is scheduled to merge with another effective January 1st. I'm hopeful and totally convinced it's for the best. I remain so and I remain as much of a freak in my belief as I am on any given Sunday with my mantilla and Sunday dress on.

Anyway, I went to the meeting. I know!

The meeting was long on emotion and anger, short on reason and logic. I expected it; but I was still unprepared for the vitriol of some of my brothers in Christ.

The dissident block made an appearance. Let me give you some background. About 10 years ago, the parish got a new priest who essentially told the out of control music director his services would no longer be needed. He also told the choirs that Mass is not an concert and they needed to, uh, reign it in. He also started celebrating the Mass according to the rubrics and with reverence. Well, a lot of people got mad and left. However, a few of them hung around for seemingly no other reason then to try and make everyone else as angry as they are. They rarely attend Mass at St. Andrew anymore but when they do come around they waste no opportunity (if there isn't one they make one) to insult the former pastor and gripe. So, there they were again, taking the mic, making under the breath gripes about the former pastor (who retired a few years ago) and how mercenary the Archdiocese is and wah, wah, wah.

I have never had, nor do I still, had any patience for this type of wallowing and I decline all invites to these pity parties. Get on with life or get the (expletive) out.

But, sourpusses are never happier than when they perceive there is an audience for their poison. I kid you not, some of them only showed up to take the mic for their comment and then they left. That just sums up their entire life. Make everyone mad, walk away, and let someone else shovel up your crap.

Some people wanted to believe Monday night that the merger was all about the money. I disagree. At 42 I am in the one of the younger demographic blocks in the parish and scanning the Church Monday night, I'd say the average age was 60. That is the view at Mass too. We are not adding younger members fast enough to outpace funerals. Most of the surrounding neighborhood does not belong to the parish-they don't worship anywhere.

Some have stated they refuse to go along with the merger. They will never attend Mass at the receiving parish. That is unfortunate. There is a chance we could save our building and keep it open but if everyone refuses to even talk with the receiving parish then we are done. With no voice for St. Andrew at the new home, start pricing the bricks and interior now.

October 27, 2010

As Nasty As He Wanna Be: Redneck!

If you have not dared to read Redneck lately, check him out! The header photo alone is worth a look-see! I'm getting ready to hunt in a few weeks and now I'm wondering if he knows something I don't! LOL

DFL Disgrace

When Ray from MN sent me an email with the appalling and disgraceful info he discovered about a DFL (Democrat-Farmer-Labor) postcard mailing I thought it was a bad joke. You can read more about it on Stella Borealis

In Minnesota, the state Democrat party is called the DFL. Also, for the record, though Stella Borealis is a group blog, Ray from MN is the primary contributor and he is a he, not a she as has been erroneously reported in some publications. I know Ray has a big following among transgenders but come on! LOL

That the DFL would launch a campaign like this not only shows the most appalling anti-Catholicism; it also illustrates stupidity and a complete lack of understanding of their political base.

Many dissident Catholics, also known as "progressive" Catholics in the Twin Cities are DFL voters. They, frequently, ignore the Church teachings not to vote for abortion candidates because they are all about supporting the types of progressive causes the DFL typically espouses. The DFL is usually perceived by progressive and dissident Catholics as the social justice party.

Dissident and progressive Catholics, of whose number I used to be among, if they love only one thing about actual Catholic teaching is the social justice the Church advocates. Yes, their notion of what that social justice is and is not is often mistaken, but they embrace their concept of Catholic social justice in its entiriety.

I ask the Catholic DFL supporter today, do you not see that the DFL has no understanding of your faith, much less respect for it? If the DFL had a clue they would realize that they have gone too far.

Let's talk even more plainly. This DFL postcard campaign is a lame attempt at solidarity with the Catholics who were upset over Archbishop Nienstedt's marriage DVD-most of whom probably vote DFL. The DFL thinks it understands you and this is their response. "We know you hate the Church and so do we"

The DFL has finally "come out of the closet"

October 26, 2010

What's the Rush:Mass?

Yesterday, I blogged about hurrying thru prayer. Today, I want to blog about hurrying thru Mass.

The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus took several hours. The Resurrection took a few days. Time is meaningless to God. But, it isn’t to us. The time taken for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should be savored. It should not be viewed as a chore, as something to endure, as something keeping me from the big game or doing what I really want to do. We should treasure the moment. It is a fine memory. Be in the moment.

However, too many people feel like going to Mass every Sunday is too much to ask. There are those few who do condescend to show up. They show up in their game day jerseys just before the Gospel and they leave right after Communion. They feel justified. They were there. They think they fulfilled the Sunday obligation just by being there. Don’t get me wrong-attendence is mandatory but you can be there and not be there-know what I’m sayin’?

I’m by no means suggesting if your heart is not in it stay home. But, some days I wonder if I do mean to say that. If you are not committed, why bother? Is it because of the kids? Trust me. The kids pick up on your sense of feeling tortured every Sunday.

I don’t know what the answer is. Perhaps prayer for a deeper engagement in the Mystery? Perhaps constant prayer, internally, during Mass until you feel engaged. Perhaps, studying what the meaning is behind the priest’s actions and words would help?

I want, also, to mention that priest’s who offer the “express” Mass do not help deepen the sense of the sacredness of Holy Mass by rushing thru it for the supposed benefit of the faithful who probably need to be somewhere else. At what time, really, do we NOT feel like we need to be someplace else? Mass should be the someplace we’d rather be.

October 25, 2010

What's the Rush: Prayer?

My friend, Bede, and I went to lunch a while back and we prayed before the meal “Bless Us O Lord”. Well, I prayed it; Bede, a convert, was still learning the prayer at the time. When the prayer was finished and we started digging into the meal, Bede queried: “Why do Catholics always rush thru prayers?”

Good question.

In my family, we always rush thru the prayer before meals too. It tooks years before I realized they were not saying “and these thy GUESTS” but “gifts” LOL. Maybe our guests felt blessed. Maybe that’s why they always came over? Nah, it was my Mom’s baking. I, remember, wondering at some point in my life: “What’s the big hurry?” “Are we ashamed of our prayer?” “Are we ashamed to pray?” “Are we THAT hungry?”

I know I occasionally rush thru prayers-especially the ones I know very well. I rush thru the Rosary. I rush thru the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I’m ashamed to admit that I occasionally do so because I’ve got other things to do. I probably think I have better things to do than pray. No, probably about it. Why else would I act that way? What is the rush?

As Catholics our familiar prayers should be savored and treasured not rushed thru. A wise priest I know will occasionally, as a Penance, task me with reciting a particular prayer just once but very slowly and meditatively. Think about each word. What does it mean? I’m grateful for this Penance. I’m sad to say it gives me an “excuse” for actually praying slowly.

Converts to our Faith have enough challenges understanding Catholic Doctrine without adding inaudible prayers to the mix. The Lord gave us words for a reason. We are not Babel. The Faith is something we can all understand regardless of language but it helps to be able to actually hear the Faith. Even the deaf who sign prayers should not rush thru it.

Familiar prayers, of which Catholicism is very wealthy, should be comforting not hurried. Would you rush thru a visit with your Mom? Maybe if you can’t stand her. But, if you truly loved her you’d savor every minute and not feel like you need to rush out the door to something more exciting. I’d give anything to have moments with my Mom back. I think I should treat every moment of prayer like it could be my last. Treasure it.

October 22, 2010

The Archbishop's New Clothes

Soon-to-be Cardinal Raymond Burke points at something only he can see and Dr. Alice von Hildebrand holds a mug only she can see. PSYCH!

Hey, when you are about to be a Cardinal you can create your own world!

No disrespect intended to His Excellency or Dr. von Hildebrand, I just found this photo bizarre.

October 17, 2010

Checking Out

Gentle Reader: I told you yesterday that my parish is slated to merge with another and close. I went to Mass today and it was an emotional time. Well, Mass should always be emotional but this was even more so. Some people were upset, some people were lost, some people cried during the Mass-yes, pretty much a regular Mass, right?

Ok, it wasn’t.

It is my prayer that my family in Faith doesn’t decide to “check out”. There were a few people who said they were “parish shopping”, there were a few regular 10:00 people who were MIA. Maybe they were out of town or maybe they attended the Anticipatory Mass last night to hear the news in person as early as possible.

It is my prayer that my family in Faith does not give up. Give it a chance.

The press does not know the whole story. The press is not your friend. By and large the secular press is not going to interview you after Mass to get the positive stories of hope that I heard. The press wants to continue their month long coverage of the local Catholic Church that is supposedly in its death throes by printing the most negative and emotional comments they can find. There was a group of them outside my parish after the Anticipatory Mass grabbing quotes from the oldest people they could find that were willing to talk to them. After all, the most senior people coming out of the church are probably the folks most likely to be emotional and may not react in a positive way-not that early on. The media wants to get the raw soundbite.

It’s true some people may have “checked out”. It’s true that some people are angry and upset. However, I was talking with a group of parishioners after Mass and the consensus was; Yes, it was sad. Yes, we are worried about the treasure of our building and what is in it, however, there was a sense that we could make it work. In fact, we were already talking about starting Lenten Soup Suppers at our new home. We said: “They don’t have soup suppers. They’ve tried but have not started it.” “Well, they do now” You betcha. We can bring a gift to our hosts.

October 16, 2010

Struggling But Hopeful

Someone (feel free to leave the Faithful priests off the list of suspects) leaked the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis Strategic Plan to the press yesterday and local media had it posted late last night-early this morning. Priests were supposed to be able to break the news to their parishioners. Instead, some priests may be facing angry, shocked and upset parishioners at Anticipatory Masses tonight (if they didn't already see them at daily Masses this morning) before they are allowed a chance to say anything first.

Most parishes remain unchanged and I'm sure they are relieved.

However, my parish, St. Andrew in Saint Paul (pictured above) is one of the 5 in St. Paul that will be closing. We will be merged with Maternity of the Blessed Virgin a few miles to our east. Holy Childhood, to our south will be joining us with Maternity of the Blessed Virgin.

I'm not shocked. I am heavily involved in St. Andrew parish life and committees, including 2 recent terms on the Parish Council (one as Secretary), and those of us who knew the numbers and the reality knew something was coming.

On the North End/South Como area of Saint Paul, where I live, there are many parishes within 5 miles of my house. I can count 10, without too much effort, that I could drive to for Mass in under 20 minutes-including the Cathedral. The Lord's abundance is truly in evidence.

Also, in evidence are the declining and greying numbers of parishioners; the struggles to get volunteers on committees, the fact that funerals far outweigh weddings and baptisms. Yes, the demographic shift to the suburbs has something to do with it. However, that is not the entire story. In my neighborhood, which once almost totally "belonged" to St. Andrew, hardly anyone goes to Church, ANY Church on Sunday-if they are even remotely Catholic at all is another issue. Many people these days don't practice a faith-ANY faith.

I continue to maintain that birth control, even among Catholics, and the complete failure to pass on the Faith to the young over the last 40 years has a large share in the result of the Archdiocese report.

So, here we are, now what?

I said I was not shocked. That did not mean I was not crying this morning. Now what?

After the tempest abated-for now, I'm sure I'll be crying when I go to Mass this weekend-I prayed to St. Andrew about it. St. Andrew, along with his brother St. Peter, left everything, including his own father, to follow Jesus. If we (I) are true follower of Jesus, we (I) will continue to do so.

It could be worse. St. Andrew has shared the school with Maternity for over 20 years. In fact, I believe we were the first consolidated Catholic school in the Archdiocese and we are still going. The school partnership has not been without bumps. However, we've made it work and made it work TOGETHER. The school partnership means a lot of parishioners in both parishes already know each other.

St. Andrew has Eucharistic Adoration on Tuesday and Maternity has Eucharistic Adoration on Thursdays. We already try to schedule parish events around the others schedule. We already arrange our Parish Festival not to conflict with theirs.

Maternity has a solid priest, Fr. Williams and so does St. Andrew, Fr. Juettner. I'm not worried about weird liturgy once again being my friend.

Maternity has a beautiful chapel and a nice newly added Hall (Sirba Hall, named for their former priest and now Bishop, Paul Sirba)

Maternity has a very nice Parish Library. I already know the Librarian-yes, once a Librarian and always. LOL

I'm hopeful but I am struggling. What's going to happen to our beautiful building, rectory (which our priests still live in) and our school building (currently, rented to the St. Paul School District) and grounds? We have beautiful stained glass, statues and Stations-much of which have all been restored or reinstated in the last 10 years. The inside was wreckovated in the 70s but beauty remains.

Even though our church is not fully pre-Vatican II looking, Maternity is definitely a more modern building. Maternity was very respectfully built and I've seen worse but it is newer. When I reverted I started paying more attention to church architecture and how it deepened my relationship to the Sacred Mysteries. I've certainly done a long stint of worshipping in crappy architecture during my dissident days (in a GYM as a matter of fact). It's the liturgy that matters more to me than the setting. However, they are tied together in my worship now. I worry I may start having trouble in the more modern setting. We'll see. I'll try.

At the end that's what my point is: Try. Don't just walk away. I know several parishioners are going to be really angry and upset. Some have been saying for the last several months "If St. Andrew closes, no way am I going to Maternity, I'll go (insert name of other parish here) or away". Don't go away. Fully away. Don't turn your back on the Lord. Give it a chance. Change is hard and some of us don't make new friends easily but the Lord will always be your friend.

For some reason I thought today's (new calender) first reading spoke to us. We are all of us, the Church in Ephesus, Thessalonica, and Corinth. St. Paul speaks to all us thru time. The Church has not changed. Struggle, confusion and change have been with us all along. They survived, so can we.

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might which he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead and made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places,far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; and he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church,which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all--St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians 1:15-23

A special prayer today for my brothers and sisters in Northeast Minneapolis. Also, a thank you to the Strategic Planning Task Force for their service. I'm sure it has not been easy. To those of you, the happy dissidents, we have a priest for you. Think about it.

Pray for priests! Pray for our Archbishop!

October 15, 2010

Prayer Request

For Terry

October 14, 2010

Double Shot of Tres Hombres!

For Nazareth Priest . Smoke 'em if ya got 'em!

Sing it with me: "You might not see Him in person but He'll see you just the same!"

Why Be Catholic? Smells and Bells: The Catholic Liturgical Tradition

The most recent in a series of posts on "Why Be Catholic". Any similarities to a series at a local parish are a weird cosmic confluence!

Smells and Bells? Seriously?

How many Catholics under the age of 30 attend Mass at a parish that actually regularly uses incense and bells in the liturgy? I could go even further and ask: how many Catholics, regardless of age, regularly experience the use of bells and incense at Mass?

Bells and Smells are not all there is to Holy Mass, of course. But, the crowd that disparages how Mass "used to be" regularly laughs about the fog banks of choking incense and "those stupid little bells". Ironically, most of that group missed the point even back in "those days" But, they are convinced those rituals and traditions were tied to something stupid so you should think so too.

I'm well aware that incense used at Mass, when it is still used, is occasionally some incense stick purchased by the liturgical coordinator at the local head shop or sweetgrass because we need to be in solidarity with our oppressed Native brothers.

I'm also aware that perhaps bells used at Mass are the parish handbell choir. When I see that I wonder at what point I entered the Lutheran campus of a college to the south of the Twin Cities (which ironically is one of the most Catholic campuses anywhere!). However, I'll trade you the handbell choir for any liturgical dance group you want!

Note the use of the word "Tradition" in the title. Incense and bells have a long Tradition in the Catholic Mass-going back centuries. Incense signals purification. It also signals our prayers rising to Heaven. Sweetgrass to Natives also means purification and prayer. However, why would we use an incense that breaks with the formula/ingredients Traditionally used at Mass? Why not express our solidarity with not only the Mass in Heaven; but also all the Masses in as many ages of time as we can?

As an Anishinabeg woman it gives me a headache when people try to express their solidarity with The People by adapting Native traditions. Normally, the adaptation has nothing to do with the actual lived reality of The People but looks back to some alleged fantasy time when all Natives reportedly lived in solidarity with each other and the earth. It's as much reality as those d----d soft porn Native American plates. I don't even like to see sweetgrass used as incense at Masses on Indian Reservations or neighborhoods that a lot of Native Americans live in. Why? If there was ever a time for all of us, regardless of color and ethnicity, to be one Catholic Nation it is at Holy Mass. I could rant a length about how I think Latin should be used in all liturgies for the same reason but I'll leave that for another time.

Often rituals used at Holy Mass, pull weak minded people like me back to what is going on. When I hear the bell ringing at the Sanctus it does more than tell the servers to get "out there" with the torches, it tells me this is the moment the heavenly choirs of Angels are united to us in the Mass, this Mass, all Masses. When I hear the bell ring at the Consecration, it tells me "this is IT". Now is THE MOMENT, now is THE TIME, right at THIS MOMENT is SALVATION. They also, I'm ashamed to admit it, stop my mind from wondering. My mind wonders most of the time-not even at Mass. I've always had trouble staying in the moment.

Sadly, many people replace Tradition of ages past with whatever the liturgy coordinator came up with last night. It will be used at tomorrow's Masses and maybe never again. Or, maybe once more next year. We've, often, replaced steady and reliable Tradition with random and meaningless variety.

Thankfully, more and more young Catholics are reclaiming Tradition and asking for its reinstatement in the liturgy.

October 13, 2010

For Only the Lonely...

One of the greatest driving late at night alone in the car songs ever! Two versions of the same song, both sung by Irma Thomas, are in this YouTube but the first one is the best.

October 10, 2010

Get Creative!

Is dissent creative? No, because there has never been a dissenter alive who came up with their own reasons for dissent. They read, and are fed, a study diet of the same material and they base what is, supposedly, their dissenting opinion on the people who tell you the greatest majority of what you want to hear. Some of the writers even sound smart (or in the cases of Mary Daly, Starhawk and Matthew Fox-most batshit crazy). However, there is no magisterium of dissent because that would be too authoritative; so there is a pool a few unique people who have something to say that they think you want to hear who may have, once upon a time, read part of an actual Catholic Church document translated from the original Latin into German by a dissenter and then translated into English by another dissenter.

God forbid you actually read an actual Church document and a Magisterial opionion of such! Recently, I read Pope Piux XI "Divini Redemptoris" an encyclical as true today as it was when it was written in 1937. Divinely inspired literature is truly timeless where as dissenting schlock is truly tommorrows news today-only.

Truly creative and truly radical thought these days is to embrace the Magisterium. It's as radical today as it was to embrace Christ when so many ran away from Him. Some people are still running. Some people seem like they are close to Him but they really are not.

I've been thinking a lot about Judas lately (yep, here she goes again!). Judas to all appearances appeared to be walking right along with Christ. Yet, Christ knew all along he was with Him but not really with Him. When Judas tried to give the money back, the chief priests and the elders said "What is that to us?" and wouldn't take the money back. Why? Because, it was never really about the money. They were able to get Judas to betray his Lord and his God. He did and they won. (Well, they think they did. We know better.)

Some Jews were upset with Jesus because they wanted revolution. They wanted Jesus to be a king in the political sense. They wanted Him to stick it to all the enemies of the Jews with the sword and the law. Sound familiar? There are people who still think that Jesus was this doomed and suffering radical leftie politician who subverted the dominant paradigm and was killed for it. They, also, miss the point as much as some of the Jews of Jesus' time did. Jesus was to establish a Messianic Kingdom, not an earthly one. He came to lay the groundwork so all who truly followed Him could live forever with Him in Heaven.

There are misguided and misinformed people still among us who sit in the pews every Sunday (or whenever they feel like going) and receive Communion but think that if they are paid by the Archidiocese they have the right to get upset when they openly proclaim their dissent and then they are fired. There are also Catholics, who on most days of the week, insist Jesus was this radical political figure which is why they should advocate for abortion and gay marriage because Jesus was all about rights but the minute the Archbishop seems to be politicizing an "issue" they get mad because that's not how "their" Jesus would act.

Archbishop Nienstedt is not in his office to be a political figure any more than Jesus was. The Archbishop, as Chief Shepherd of the Archdiocese, is charged with helping us, the Faithful, get to the Messianic Kingdom. The Archbishop is doing nothing more and nothing less than reminding us of the teachings that we signify our agreement with everytime we receive Communion. If you are not in communion, don't go to Communion. Period.

I have a feeling the Archbishop could not give a ding-dong-dang about what people think of the DVD on marriage beyond his sorrow that so many of his flock, the chosen people, are rejecting the teaching he is relaying. Like Jesus, he's here to teach everyone in the name of God but if they refuse to hear His message that is their choice and there is only so much to be done with them-other than pray for their conversion of heart. It's not easy, is it? We must pray for the misguided and teach them by word and example.

This post is a reaction to today's Pioneer Press story on "catholics" getting creative with their dissent to Archbishop Nienstedt's DVD on marriage. I'm going to watch it again.

Prayers for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul-Minneapolis

This is a prayer request for Archbishop Nienstedt, Bishop Piche, all priests in the Archdiocese, the members of the Strategic Planning Task Force and the Catholic Faithful.

A really hard week is ahead. The announcements of the Strategic Planning Task Force are expected to be announced at next weekends Masses (from what I've heard, some may know as early as Wednesday). All priests of the Archdiocese are attending a mandatory meeting on Friday to discuss any changes and the impacts on their ministry.

Fr. John Paul Echert, in his bulletin column for Holy Trinity/St. Augustine in South Saint Paul, believes the Task Force decisions could be the most momentous changes to the Archdiocese since the Diocese of New Ulm was created out of the southern Minnesota Archdiocesan territories.

The announcements are going to be tough on parishioners too but I think the message carriers are going to bear the brunt of the impact; they are going to have to deal with the inevitable pain and anger of the Faithful.

Saint Paul, pray for us!

October 06, 2010

And Away We Go!

Didn't I say that October would be a tough month for Archbishop Nienstedt? The latest set of claims along the lines of "How dare the Archbishop of our Faith actually be Catholic!" comes to us from St. John (Yeah, St. Thomas still beat you last weekend-suckas!) and St. Benedict; colleges just to the north of the Twin Cities.

Ray has the story from the toil, er, StarTribune-newspaper of liberal Twin Cities. I have the story for the rest of us here

Note in both stories the usual suspects weighing in on their interpretation of Church teaching and how the Archbishop is some renegade out there on his own and Christ would never have done that,wah, wah, wah. I'm sure some days His Excellency does feel like he's out there on his own as he gets little to no backup by his own flock. However, the Archbishop has CENTURIES of teaching as well as the Magisterium behind him while all the Colleges have is beautiful fall color on campus (and they still lost to St. Thomas last weekend!).

Also, note the priest in the Pioneer Press article who thinks he did everyone a favor by having a second Mass later where he gave the protesters communion. The protesters, and I always find this amusing, try to convince us they are not actually protesting. So,if I show up at Mass wearing a t-shirt (for which I should be thrown out for dressing like that anyway-Hi, Ter!) that says "I just shot your Momma!" and it's covered in blood and I expect to receive Communion is that not, uh, wrong? Obviously, clearly proclaiming that I'm a murderer is a sin that prohibits one from receiving Communion. Now, I can hear you out there! You are saying: "But, Cathy, homosexuality is not murder so that's not the same thing!" You are right, it isn't murder but it is a sin. Sin is sin.

Dramatic and public proclamations and gestures that just cry out "Hey, look at me, I disagree with the Catholic Church!" and the expectation that you should be able to receive Communion is childlike, petulant and ridiculous. You cannot honestly believe that anyone thinks you are not fully aware of what you are trying to do. You are testing Our Shepherd like a 5 year old. If I try this, will he allow that?

Do us all a favor, lie to yourself but leave the rest of us out of it.

Oh, I have to admit I laughed at Mr. McGrath's "We don't permit that at the Commununion rail." What Communion RAIL? Please, can we have protests at the Communion RAIL! Really, can we even use the Communion rail in all the churches that survived the blast? If we were still kneeling at the rail and people had no other choice than to receive Communion on the tongue, I want pictures of the image of the protesters continuing to kneel, after being denied Communion, with their empty tongues hanging out; because, friends, that image just sums it all up right there.

October 03, 2010

Plan Ahead!

It was at this moment that Terry, LarryD and Ray wondered if deciding to run the Twin Cities Marathon at the last minute was really a good idea.

In Case You Missed It-Archbishop Nienstedt's Message

Ray has the embedded YouTube link of Archbishop Nienstedt's video to Catholics of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis over on Stella as well as a link to the Knights "One Man One Woman" video.

Pray for Archbishop Nienstedt. Send him a note telling him you support him. Certainly, this month he's going to get a lot of hate mail. Counter it.

October 02, 2010

Why Be Catholic? All Are Holy-The Catholic Spiritual Tradition

The latest in a series of blog posts on "Why Be Catholic" Any similarities to a program in a local parish is because I don't drink enough coffee in the morning.

Is everybody holy? Are ALL holy? I quibble with this. Certainly, we are, all of us, CALLED to holiness but to outright state that all are holy is arrogant and presumptive.

Catholicism recognizes that we are all fallen and we fall all the time. Some of us never get up. We are sinful creatures but we need not let sin define us or curse us or make us feel like its hopeless to dare to aspire to heaven because only a certain number of us will get there and, honey, you will not be in that number. If you are a Protestant does any of the above sound familiar? Much of what I just laid out is what many Protestant denominational founders believed.

The Lord called everybody but not everybody answered. Some answered and walked with him for awhile but found His teachings too hard and left. The Lord dined with sinners and He asked them to join Him but there was a price for earning the ultimate reward-radical conversion of self, turning away from sin, repentance.

Judas walked with Him. Judas was never told to leave-even though the Lord was well aware Judas would betray Him. Why? Even Judas deserved a chance. Judas could be in the presence of the Lord. He may even have received Communion from the Lord; but it turned to ash in his mouth and he ate damnation on himself. Why? He would not convert, he would not quit stealing, he would not abandon his plan. Maybe he repented before he ended his life. I have a feeling the Lord forgave Him because if He forgives me every time I go to Confession anything is possible with God. Does that mean Judas may not be serving time in Purgatory or Hell? No. Most of us need a period of cleansing before we are worthy to go to Heaven. Some of us will never make it.

However, because Judas walked for a time with God does not make him any holier than I am. You can go to Mass every Sunday with the full knowledge you search porn on the Internet every day or you just stole from your boss-again or you don't believe a word of the truth the priest is preaching. Admitting, repenting and turning away from sin will put you on the road to holiness. It is a road full of danger. Serpents and tempters on every side-some of them people you know.

Prayer, constant prayer, is an armor that will help protect you-from your self. I know this first hand. If I did not have my Adoration hour, a focused hour before the exposed Blessed Sacrament, every week I don't want to know where else I'd be. If I did not pray the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet every day, I know what sins I'd still be "enjoying".

Prayer has many fans in the Catholic Spiritual Tradition. Many people who I consider holy (though they in their humility probably strenuously disagree) pray thoughout the day. They make time for it-not just a few seconds when times are tough-but daily, hourly, constantly. 70 pages of the 2nd edition of the Catechism discuss "Christian Prayer". The index for prayer in the same is nearly 2 pages. Saints prayed often and just as often wrote about the benefits of prayer.

There is no doubt that all of us, you!, are called to holiness and we may be holy but to automatically tell us "I'm Ok, You're Ok" is SO 70's.

Adam and Eve were blessed but they screwed up. We may all need to get back to The Garden but does that mean The Fall didn't happen? If you buy the claim that "I'm not sinful because I did not eat the fruit!" Maybe you didn't eat the fruit but you probably ate something else you were not supposed to. If we'd been there, wouldn't we have done the same? If we'd been at the Crucifixion would it have been easier to go along with the crowd?

We are human-not divine.

Still hope remains. Heaven is possible. Strive to be holy. Participate in the Sacramental life of the Church in as close to a perfect state as you can attain. Keep your priest awake in the Confessional.

It's not easy; but the best things worth having never are easy to obtain.

October 01, 2010

File Under Dumb A--!

No, I'm not a member of the Return The DVD group so I didn't want you to think I meant the Archbishop in my post title. I fully support the Archbishop's DVD that was mailed to all registered Catholic households in the Archdiocese. I got my copy on Thursday and I intend to hang onto it.

On the DVD, the Archbishop reminds Catholics of Church teaching and instructs us as our Shepherd should. He's not the first Archbishop to speak out in favor of the traditional family and, please God, he will not be the last.

Friends, in this month that will see the announcements of church closings, clusters or mergers in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, I want to take a moment to recognize that there is probably no better time to draw attention to yourself and your dissident bulls--t than now.

In a month when many Catholics are going to be consumed with rage, hurt and anger that their parish, that is actually faithful to Church teachings, may be altered while parishes full of CINO's and "progressive" priests remain intact, this is as fine a time as any to point out your dissent so the Faithful (capital F) will write to the Archbishop and encourage him to turn his attention to YOU.

Your inflated numbers of CINO's and non-Catholics may save your parish from closing, clustering or merging but how much longer do you think it will be before your pastor is replaced by a more traditionally minded one? Think about it. None of your heroes are in Seminary.

Curiously, the leaders of the return to sender movement are identified members and "artists in residence" of certain parishes in south Minneapolis. Yeah, the next time you want to rant in City Pages about how "political" the Archbishop is, you may want to leave your names and your parish affiliation out of the article.

I know. You've become accostomed to thinking nothing is going to happen because nothing too dramatic has happened yet. No pastors, yet, have entered your parish that you can't make a nervous wreck out of. Did it never occur to you that your recent pastors have been a tad more conservative than the ones just before? You are being gradually introduced to authentic Catholic liturgy and teachings. Eventually, you'll be treated like an adult and get the whole package.

I continue to pray for the children of our Archdiocese-GROW UP!

Pray for Archbishop Nienstedt. Give thanks to God that we have him for our Shepherd.
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