September 27, 2010

The Fifth Age of Cathy?

I've been painting my basement stairwell over the last few days. It's been on my to-do list since I moved into the house 9 years ago. I held off, knowing it would be a difficult area to paint. It's mostly overhead work and Michelangelo I ain't! I, also, lack scaffolding which may make it easier. I should call my British friends as the Brits know scaffolding!

I woke up at 5 this morning for my, uh, needs and almost fell when I stepped out of bed. I was so sore all over. My low back, my arms, my feet, my neck, ow!

It occured to me "Hon, you ain't 25 anymore!"

That said; for what able body I DO possess I gave thanks to God. For having a home to paint, I gave thanks to God.

September 24, 2010

Attendence at Mass is Off....Why?


One word: ridiculous

When I see photos like the above I bust out laughing. Laughter at Holy Mass may not always be a good thing. I love a good Homily joke as well as anyone else but when the entire Mass is a combination of head-scratching and belly laughing, tell me reverance and sanctity has not gone by the wayside and I'll hit you upside the head.

By the way, the photo above is by no means the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen at Mass. I've seen priests dancing around (no, it wasn't a blognic), lay people run amok, 2 miles of deep cleavage on the Lector, kids running up the aisle with the gifts, clowns, puppets, mimes (I'm not kidding) and liturgical dancers (no, sorry, I'll never love it!)

Note: This is a crosstown post reacting to Terry's good post! Why give away my best snark in someone else's combox?

September 23, 2010

Why Be Catholic-The Richness of the Catholic Tradition

This is the first is a series of posts attempting to answer the question: “Why Be Catholic?” The series does not claim any great wisdom, is probably completely incredible based upon the blogger's shortcomings, and any similarities between a session at a local parish are an astonishing coincidence!

Most of my regular readers (all 5 of you!) know that for much of my life I openly dissented from Roman Catholic teaching, despite continuing to call myself a Roman Catholic. Sometimes, my dissent stemmed less from will as from ignorance. I was horribly schooled in the Faith-if at all. Left to my own devices, I fell into the crowd that claims to truly understand Church beliefs and relies for support upon the research and writings of people who base their scholarship upon dissent as well. It’s not that they don’t use the official Magisterium writings of the Church; they do, but they pick and choose selections that justify their position. They take information out of context to make their point.

This post is in conformity with Scripture, Tradition, Magisterium, in as much, in my ignorance I can compose it as such.

Why be Catholic?

The richness of the Catholic Tradition is one of thousands of good reasons.
When people talk about the Catholic Tradition, Tradition is not a stand alone concept. Tradition must stand alongside: Scripture and Magisterium. All three are needed to define a truly Catholic life. Scripture is the core, the original documents, Magisterium interprets Scripture, Tradition is the lived history of the Church thru the last 1000 years to today. Magisterium and Scripture help define Tradition.

Why do I define Tradition? There are people who will have you belive that Tradition is self-defined, or defined by a enlightened lay subgroup, and that the only authentic Tradition of the Church worth paying attention to happened over the last 40years. The Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II, did not overturn the Tradition that preceeded it. In truth, it enhanced them, but, honestly, the interpretation and execution of Vatican II was not always accurately implemented.

As a Catholic, you can trace the history of your Faith back to Christ Himself thru St. Peter (the first Pope). You cannot find this unbroken line of sucession in any other faith tradition. Tradition with a small t. Other faiths may have elements of truth (small t) but they don’t contain the fullness of Truth (capital T) as Roman Catholicism does. This is radical belief in this day and age. I make no apologies for believing with my whole soul that Catholicism is The Truth of Jesus The Christ.

An even more radical belief and, to me, the primary reason for being Catholic is the Eucharist. Only in the Catholic Mass, if we are properly disposed, can we literally receive the Lord: Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity into our selves via the consecrated Wine and Bread.

Eucharist is Tradition. Belief that the bread may become the Lord is a Tradition that Scripture tells us even the disciples had trouble believing. Historically, Protestants have as well. The Magisterium interprets Scripture to mean: The Lord wasn’t kidding in John 6.

When you have a treasure attainable to you here on Earth what can be worth more than that? Catholic belief is true wealth. Even the poorest person (sinful or lacking in money), who receives Christ, is rich.

Everyone is welcome to believe. However,and here’s where I probably differ from many but again I’m telling it Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium, not everyone MAY receive the Eucharist. There are conditions. I once listened with horror to a priest describe the consecrated Host as a piece of birthday cake and Mass as a birthday party with “Why would you invite someone to a party but not give them a piece of the cake?” Meaning, why not give everyone who approaches the altar a consecrated Host and a sip of the consecrated Wine? It is the Lord! That’s why.

The Lord called everybody and welcomed everyone. However, he challenged them to change their life, to turn away from their sins. The Lord said ‘Follow Me’ to St. Matthew. Follow means “follow my example” not “Hey, come hang with me and be a part of my entourage!” The Lord was pure as His Heavenly Father is pure. That is following Him. It’s not easy. I’d never sit and tell someone it is. I’m reminded every day of how unworthy to follow Him I really am. But, I try. I take the conditions for receiving the Eucharist and I strive to follow them. When I fall I get right again via the Sacrament of Confession.

I try to live within the approved guidelines. Why would you do something else? Why would you listen to the counsel of those who would encourage you to follow “their” method or your own way? There is no assurance with those methods. Life is uncertain enough.

Follow Him thru the Church He established. The people in the Church are not perfect. The priests of His Church are not perfect. But, He and the Church are perfect. We are perfect when we follow Him. Truly.

Don’t listen to me. Don’t listen to them. Listen to Him. Educate yourself by reading the actual documents of the Church in their original form (not as interpreted or summarized by others who may have other ideas). Read the approved Catholic translations of the Bible. Read the approved Catechism. Read the Church Doctors and the approved Histories of the Church. Put it all together. Knowledge is also treasure. You are not stupid. Don't be misled. You don't need an advanced degree in Theology to "get it"

September 21, 2010

Recommendations

In the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis we are waiting for mid-October with baited breath. In mid-October, the recommendations from the Archdiocesan Planning Commission will be released. The recommendations may have enormous impact on individual parishes

I was reading recently the unfortunate writings of a misguided priest of the Archdiocese who states his regret that he has yet to hear Archbishop Nienstedt act upon recommendations stated in the planning meetings that were open to public comment.

The priest laments that the Archbishop is not solving the looming possibility of parish closures and a reported shortage of priests by ordaining married men and women to the priesthood. The priest further makes his case by pointing to the public meetings he attended where people stated their opinion that a married and female priesthood were the solutions to a large number of the Archdiocese problems.

Apparently, birth control, the decline of the family, moving to the suburbs and failure to live and pass on the Faith were not mentioned in the public meetings as roots of the Archdiocese problems.

The Archbishop, even the Pope himself, does not have the power to ordain married men or women to the priesthood; to do so would overturn centuries of Tradition and previous Papal pronouncements among other, to some, insignificant things.

Sometimes, a response to our prayers is silence or a “no”. We accept it and move on.

This priest is wrong. He was answered: “Duly noted” and “No”

September 19, 2010

Clueless Freestylin'!

This weekend there was, in town, a gathering called “Synod of the Baptized”. Isn’t that Holy Mass? No, some reform group. Not, reportedly, Methodists though they did have a big billboard by Macalester which is supposedly a Methodist univeristy but not really. Not to be confused by St. Catherine University which is a Catholic university but not really. Catholic with a small c like universal but Roman Catholicism bit the dust near the Dewdrop decades ago.

Where has everybody gone, gasped The Rose but, seriously, where is everybody? I know I’ve been scarce. It’s tough to find time to blog when you commute a sizeable distance to work and work more than 8 hours/day.By the time I get home I have time for dinner and that’s it. Two nights per week I’m at Church with my Adoration hour and Bible Study. The rest of the week I need to go to the gym after work. Plus, there are the usual activities of daily life: house, yard, errands. I don’t know how people do it all. Some folks seem to be online 24/7. I don’t get it, but I’m clueless.

Is activity a sign that a life has meaning? No. It’s what you DO with your life that counts. Why are we here? #1 in the Catechism but how do you live an authentic life in Christ watching TV during all your free time or sitting on the Web? I believe in the New Evangelization but, be serious, is that really why some of us (I count myself) are online a lot? It’s a popularity contest. How many friends can I gather? Is that more meaningful than how many graces I can earn for my soul?

September 18, 2010

Things that Make You Go Hmmm.....



Anyone else notice the grip the Archbishop of Canterbuy has on the Holy Father's bicep? Is this a difference between the Catholic "Sign of Peace" embrace that priests give to each other before the altar in the EF versus some Anglican death grip? I don't know. I thought it was funny.

I decided a caption of some sort was in order. Feel free to leave yours in the combox. All are stated by Dr. Williams unless noted.

"Hey, do you work out?"
"I can't breathe" (gasps the Holy Father)
"Let's go out for Indian after this!"
"Are you leaving soon?"
"What IS this fabric? Lovely, I need some!"
"Take me with you!"
"What do I need to do to inherit eternal life?"

September 12, 2010

Monastic Horror Stories



"What's a Brother Have to Do to Get a Cup of Coffee Around Here?"

For Terry and Nazareth Priest

September 11, 2010

Bring Home the Bacon (To Me!)


I'm thinking of opening a type of pay pal account that involves sending me bacon rather than cash or coffee whenever you click on a sidebar link. As I have about 4 readers left, no one should worry about hundreds of pigs being sacrificed to me.

Every time you click on the bacon icon, some unknown person with a few bucks somewhere, will mysteriously contribute to my planned super duper top secret Catholic campground in the mountains of North Dakota. The community will be modeled upon the rule of "SYS" or "Save Your Self!"

Note: No bottles of gin were harmed in the composition of this post!

Lest We Forget

September 09, 2010

Still in Vacation Mode!

September 03, 2010

Endless Wait and Panic

Have you ever had one of those occasions when you are in serious sin,perhaps even mortal sin, and you are panic stricken at the thought of not being able to find an open Confessional? What if you don't even know where a priest is? What if Father is late for his regularly scheduled Confession times and there you sit in utter despair and panic. The wait seems endless. What if he doesn't show up? What is your backup plan? Where else can I go? What should I do?

Yes, you brought this state upon yourself, but it is at a time like this, when you really need the Sacrament of Confession, that you appreciate Christ's servant, the priest, the most. One of my worst nightmares is to die unshriven. Talk about a time when you really need a priest.

It wasn't always like this for me. There was a time I never went to Confession; much less waited for it. There were many decades when I thought Confession was ridiculous; a relic of a bygone era-something that Vatican II did away with.

Today, I experience panic if I need it and it's denied me for whatever reason. I don't know about you but I'm scared to travel any great distance without knowing my soul is as clean as it can be. I have a lot of nearby parishes Confession schedules memorized. I'm fortunate that there are enough options nearby that I've never had to call and schedule a special appointment.

I don't want anyone to think that I've reached this point in my life due to any great holiness and wisdom I possess. I've reached this point in my life because, thanks be to God, I realize how pathetic and sinful I really am. I fall into the same traps over and over. It's a sign of God's great mercy that He does not just pull up the ladder and forget about me.

If you've no idea what I'm talking about when I express my concern about being "right with God" ask yourself 'why'? Do you think there is nothing wrong with you? Do you think you are perfect or even ok just as you are and dang it people like you? Gosh, Cathy, I've never killed anyone so everyone I do must be fine relative to that?

Note the emphases on "you" in the excuses and justifications you make. When is the last time you did an "examination of conscience" based upon the 10 Commandments? or the Catechism? or a pocket guide to Confession? Never? Rarely? Not enough?

Why not?

Analyzing sin is terrifying so I can understand why some are afraid to do it. However, think about this, if you don't analyze your sins someone else will and then it will be too late to be sorry.
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