March 29, 2011

Health Care Directives

My 2c of advice for today before my brain empties...if you are at a "life planning workshop" or "health care planning workshop" be REALLY careful that what they are helping you plan is in accordance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services Even if this event is hosted by a Catholic Church use caution. It pains me to have to give that warning but there are a lot of Catholic parishes who think Obama Care and euthanasia are the most "sensible" "social justice" teachings since Fr. Curran spoke out against Humanae Vitae

The USCCB document is hefty. I'll break it down. If you are signing or writing up anything in your health planning workshop that gives guidelines for when you want to be put to death by your friends or family, think carefully, don't sign it, and get the hell out of there.

To seek euthansia and to approve it or participate in it on another's or your own behalf is a mortal sin.

March 28, 2011

The Cross

Some days I miss my old life. I don’t miss being a dissident per se but some days I hear my old sins calling me and I regret, actually regret, that I can’t answer.

Some days I curse being a Catholic and actually trying to live a Catholic life. It’s such a burden. It’s such a cross. Some days I want to set it down. Some days I wish other people could carry it-let someone else be good for a change.

I want to party without guilt. I want to date without consequences.

I don’t give in but I’m tempted. I may not give in but I feel resentful. What is it all for? Live now be purified later. How about that death bed conversion?

I know. This is folly. The moment of death may be too late. It is too late. I may want to party now but I sure don’t want to hear St. Peter reciting the list of my unrepentent sins when it really counts.

March 25, 2011

What If You Dialed Heaven But No One Was Home?

For Angela

You pray once and you get a reputation of being a prayer warrior, someone that God must really listen to. Then, one day, the prayer doesn't seem to work.

Is God out of town? Why does Satan always seem to answer his phone?

God always listens. God always answers. Sometimes the response is "no"

Some days I get angry.

If we are to say "fiat" like Mary did in order to feel the power of God dwelling within us, why does it seem like God can say "no" most of the time? Yet, we are still to love Him?

Some days I don't know anything. Some days I feel it is all a sham and my friends and family are false.

I know death is as messy as birth and just as smelly and uncomfortable. I've seen people die right in front of me-more than once. Yet, birth is more often welcomed and death is feared.

If we believe death is only the beginning, then why fear it? If you've lived your life walking with God and you honestly and truly believe that when you die you have a chance to go to Heaven (God willing) why be afraid? Be not afraid. I am with you always,said the Lord. He is with us, but we are not always with Him.

Jesus' death was messy and terrible. Most deaths are not beautiful. The mode of death may matter, but really it isn't the death that matters; it's what happens after that really matters. God willed and chose the time for the death of His Son. God chose our time as well. Yet,some of us want to force His hand. They want to control death. They want to wind God's wristwatch. Good luck with that. Do you not see that God knew before you did?

I truly believe that when God says "no" to us He has a greater plan. How we care for the dying, how we face death, reveals as much about us as it does about the deceased. There is a lesson at the death bed. I honestly believe this. I've lived it. I'm always amazed at what serious illness and sudden death reveal about character. I'm still surprised that an aunt I wrote off years ago as being a flake revealed herself to be a superb caregiver to a relative who was dying. She was with her to the end. She had a reputation her whole life of leaving; now when it really mattered she stayed.

Moments of grace can be had during moments of great suffering. We may not see it immediately. It may take years before we learn the lesson. Maybe some of us never will. But, like, The Sacrifice, it is for all but only many will know it.

It is never a waste of time to pray. It is never a waste of time to talk to God. It is never a waste of time to pray for others. Lessons are taught. Others, unchurched, see your love and your example. Wow, look at all those strangers praying together for a person they don't even know! Priceless.

You Will Know the Hour....

...When the Lord Calls Your Name

In our new euthanasia, death on demand, culture you can pick your own hour of death! If you are unable to do it, someone will do it for you!

If you knew you were going to die at 2:00 tomorrow, if you knew the doctor was coming in with his cart of drugs, what would you do to prepare yourself?

I would:

Call a priest
Call a priest
Call a priest

Somewhere in there I may call my family and friends. However, at that point, who knows? They may be the ones administering the drugs that will kill me

At what point, did we become God? It used to be that God alone knew the hour-now we all do

Is this progress? Is this the mark of an enlightened society?

March 22, 2011

Decidedly Not Funny-Urgent Prayer Request

My last post was about what makes me laugh, this is about what makes me cry. Please pray for a dear friend Angela Messenger, her uncle, and godfather, in Holland is scheduled to be euthenized on Friday. I'm not kidding. People are actually scheduled for this abomination.

Pray it doesn't happen. Pray he dies a natural death in God's time. Pray he receives the final Sacraments.

This news just snapped me out of my Lenten ennui. All the whining and disconnection I've felt this Lent is nothing compared to what it must be like to face this in your own family.

Angela sent me a note saying she was heading out to Mass shortly. Let's all join her and storm heaven with prayer!

Stuff that Cracks Me Up

A list by Cathy



3)That I name Ray’s cars (yes, I really do! I need to come up with a name for his latest car)

4)Vincenzo’s perpetual hunger pains

5)“Something is wrong with my Rumba password and I can’t get in!” (actual work quote)

6)“I’ve lost control of my avatar. It just freaked out and took off!” (actual virtual life game quote)

7)HGTV Channel-all those house-hunting shows where the buyers insist every kitchen has to be "gourmet" but they look like individuals who can barely figure out how to heat up a can of soup

8)Interpretive Dance Stations of the Cross (I only wish I was making this up)

9)“Father will hear your case for using the Church Hall. Just leave your information and a description of your group and purpose on his voice mail” (Hi, Father, this is Janice …at that point Father immediately decides the answer is “No”-ROFL)

10)That I have to replace my toilet seat for the 2nd time in less than 2 years

Yesterday, I felt the joy of Lent return to me. Thank you to all who have prayed for me. Now, I suppose I should take this post down as its probably inappropriate. Oh, well, this entire blog is inappropriate-too late now! Bwah-ha-ha!

March 19, 2011

Models of Male Sacrifice

My Lent is lame. You? I feel completely disconnected. I can barely manage to remember that it is Lent right now. I don't feel any different. I'm trying to figure out why I feel so out of touch and numb.

This morning, after I finished my daily Scripture reading, I stared out the front windows at the emerging Spring landscape. The snow that remains is dirty and ugly and the ground underneath is not all that much better. The lawn is full of debris: sticks, dirt, gravel, trash that blew there. It will all sit in its sublime ugliness for a few weeks until the ground dries out enough for me to get out there and start "spring cleaning" The entire landscape could be a symbol of my spirituality right now. The transition time before the crocuses bloom as a sign of hope and beauty in the midst of the desolate landscape.

Speaking of desolation...I want to spend a few minutes talking about Japan.

It's horrifying. I spent 5 years studying Japan and the Japanese language. Like most things you study when you are young, I quit keeping up with it and I've lost a lot of my knowledge of the language. But, I retain just enough to follow what is going on. I know the Japanese people and their deeply embedded self-sacrifice and their tendency towards, what seems to us, vast understatement. It's rude to be direct in Japan-so you can guess how I struggle-except I was not always as direct as I am now. Anyway, I well remember the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island crises; pair that with my knowledge of Japan and I guessed early on that it was a lot worse than it originally seemed to Western eyes.

I want to remind everyone of this fact: the men that are remaining at the reactors to try and keep them under control are more than likely giving their lives so others may live and they know it. None of the men who went to Chernobyl to contain that reactor survived beyond a year. I was listening to an overnight news program the other morning and they were interviewing a first responder in Japan and he said he knew he was sacrificing himself but he felt good about that. I started crying.

I can't bring myself to sacrifice enough of my precious free time to go to Stations of the Cross this Lent and here is a man half the world away who is killing himself so others may live-that means you and me as there is such a thing as wind and world commerce.

Please pray for the souls of these men of God. Regardless of their faith, they are models of faith.

Speaking of men of God...

Today, some of you (myself included) may be shaken by news reports regarding Fr. Corapi-a priest many of us admire and respect (myself included) We don't know the truth and I agree with Father when he said that it is true that people are guilty first and then have to prove their innocence later. Even when people are later vindicated the stain hangs around-unless you are an actor or director then you are forgiven by the court of public opinion-priests are not so fortunate.

Please pray for Fr Corapi and the woman who accused him. Pray that justice may be just.

If I think my Lent is tough I should take a moment to consider that I'm not currently fighting to retain my very reputation-of which I don't need anyone accusing me of anything as I AM my own worst enemy.

Today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph. I am a fan of St. Joseph, and I pray to him frequently. However, I'm not so much of a fan of his that I was motivated to get my butt out of bed early enough to get to Mass this morning. I'm ashamed. St. Joseph may have wanted a family and children of his own body-he gave all that up and followed the will of God. My body, all too frequently, runs my life rather than anything having to do with the will of God.

When you feel that men let you down, remember men who sacrificed so you have what you have. Perhaps your Dad was such a man? I know mine is. An uncle? A teacher? A priest? Even if we can't think of a man who gave jack for us; remember, we all have Jesus.

March 16, 2011

Doh! Sign of Jonah

It amazes me that I finally realized that the story, in Jonah, of the penitant Ninevites and their salvation from destruction is Lent preceeding Easter.40 days-doh! Ashes-duh! Fasting and penance-double-doh!

It is worth it to read the Bible daily. It pays to read it with the eyes of faith.

March 15, 2011

Love Thy Neighbor

I think God’s instruction to “love thy neighbor as thyself” is among the hardest of all teachings. Some people are just too hard to love. Some people refuse to be loved. Some people seem to do all they can make you hate them and wish them ill.

Some of my regular readers (all 5 of you!) know that I have struggled with loving my neighbors. I have one set of neighbors who make it really easy to hate them and wish them ill.

A wise friend of mine (Terry!) recommended that I pray for my neighbors. (Dang, back to square one!) I shouldn’t just pray for them to move out or that their house is leveled by a tornado or they are all hauled off to jail in a nighttime ATF raid. You can see I’ve sketched a lot of scenerios!

I’ve been struggling lately with violent rage. I’m blowing things way up out of proportion. I’m starting to entertain thoughts of beating up my neighbors or retaliating against them by giving them a dose of their own medicine.

I’ve been praying lately not so much for my neighbors but that I be delivered from this rage as I can see I’m losing control because of it.

Like an answered prayer, yesterday’s First Reading in the Novus Ordo is Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18. I’ve read it before but now it really meant something. I read it over and over. I was at lunch when I first read it and I read it again and again. I ripped the page from my Magnificat and taped it to my fridge.

“Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. “

There it is. I felt peace washing over me. Can I live with the admonishment long term? Remains to be seen. All I know is the rage is gone. Maybe I can actually pray for my neighbors today.

March 13, 2011

Luke 5: 31-32

Some times I don't know what I'm thinking. Clearly, only saints go to Mass. Time and time again everyone and all are worthy to present themselves for Communion. Yet, Father sits alone in the Confessional Saturday after Saturday.

A relative whined to me the other day that she doesn't like to go to church because the sermon is not relevent. For the record, this relative was born and raised in the Catholic Church but converted to Lutheranism when she married because her husband was an "anything but the Catholic Church" kind of guy. I jokingly used the opportunity to heckle her by saying that Lutherans can't preach anyway so what does she expect? Probably not the best response but the best response would be "Come back to the Real Love" and I knew she was not quite ready to hear that.

In the Catholic Mass the Homily (sermon or testimony to some of our other denominational brothers and sisters) is supposed to be a development of or talk on the Gospel and Scripture readings for the day. I'll grant you that some priests are better at homilies than others.

But, in my humble opinion, even the most public speaking challenged guy with a speach impediment to ever graduate from the Seminary can't go totally wrong by STICKING TO THE MATERIAL. What makes me really cranky is the hep cat hipster "homily" that is all about world events and politics and short on anything to do with the Gospel or Catholicism. Sometimes after a 25 minute harangue about the party that is clearly supposed to be the Republican party they will throw in a "What Would Jesus do" (if you are really in liberal Minnesota it will be a "What Would Wellstone Do" and some Gospel reference about Jesus and the Adulterous Woman or how God fed the people in the Desert (which may or may not be a reading for the day, month or liturgical season) and the ever popular "Catholic Social Justice" reference to, uh,sorry, I'll get back to you...can't find the reference....

Is it really so difficult to relate to the day's Gospel, Epistle and Psalm? Really? Wow, you ARE a Saint. I'm sitting at Mass (Novus Ordo) today pondering how, yep, I probably would've totally defied God's instructions in the Garden because don't I pretty much do that all the time? Furthermore, if even Jesus, the Son of God Himself, can be tempted by Satan who am I to complain when Satan is all over me?

The Bible,with some exceptions, is a compendium of screw-ups like you and me. It's chock-full of stories of people who had it all: favor of God, food, shelter, family and manage to ruin it all by hubris and sin. Many times the Bible shows us people who acknowledge their sin and turn back to God in full repentence and win back His favor. Is there a greater example of this than David? King David-who gave us some of the most beautiful poetry in the universe. How many times do you just want to yell at the screen, like a horror film where they are heading into the woods and you hear the chainsaw, NO! Don't go there! But, like us, they go anyway.

I think people who want to hear so-called "relevent" homilies and sermons are really only wanting to hear their version of the "good news" They want to hear something that is "not them". Tell me something that I can feel good about myself so I don't walk out of Mass feeling like I need to go to Confesssion or pray more or change my life.

I don't think pastors rejoice when people feel bad but I can't think of a solid priest who isn't happy when they hear someone decided to repent, change their life, and live in Christ because that's why they became a priest. Better a message that encourages self-examination, than one that encourages the same old, same old. It doesn't get much older than the massive screw-up in the Garden. Have we evolved at all since then? Have you?

March 11, 2011

Now Showing at a Mass Near You!

Several years ago, when I participated in local protests against a blasphemous play performed during Lent one of my hat..., uh, "fans" said to me "If you can't take it, get out of the creative space" In other words, shut up, don't go, don't say anything, leave it alone and allow anti-Catholic disrespect to continue unanswered.

There are a lot of Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis who are artists: musicians, performance artists, dancers, actors, writers etc. The Catholic Church has, throughout history, supported artistic expression that gives thanks to God for His gifts. The last is "the rub". You will not, and should not, see the Church supporting blasphemous art (whether by a Catholic or not).

However, there is a sizeable group of artists, some of whom are Catholic (pay close attention to that last because some of them are not), who attend one local parish in particular and think that every Mass should be a performance. Thus, nearly every "Mass" is chock-full of some of all of the following: pop/rock music, dance, spoken word, poetry, slide shows, political speachifying of the more liberal bent. The priests are, trust me, held hostage to this. If they dare say anything too challenging they'll be one lamb against the wolf pack (read: totally outnumbered).

This parish is used as a staging ground and I'm going to come right out and say it: marketing tool and advertisement for the artists other shows, CDs, plays that they want to see or encourage people to attend. You can't go to one of their shows without seeing a few people from the parish. Why? Because the artists do their best marketing during the "mass". Captive audience? check Audience that is unlikely to care that there is nothing (or nothing respectful) Jesus and/or Catholic Church related? check

Apparently, Jesus needs a new agent because his script is an afterthought. The Mass text is sort of, uh, a "guideline" for building the performance around. It's like those skits on that show that Drew Carey used to have "Whose Line is It Anyway?" where some suggestions are tossed out and the comedians have to think fast and come up with a skit to respond. Jesus must be slow on his feet or he's biding his time until his authoritative representatives here on Earth actually do something or he's pondering when to drop another "freak" tornado in the area.

I know what you are thinking. Mass is boring. It should be jazzed up. Thank God we have people who can think outside the box because Rome obviously can't..etc etc

I'm going to turn my fans phrase back at you. "If you can't take it, get out of the religious space"

The Mass is not a performance. Jesus was not play-acting at Calvary and that is what Mass is and is supposed to be-Calvary. It's serious. Dead serious. Mass is not funny. I know I frequently joke around and am snarky and disrespectful but never about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Just ask anyone. I've had people tell me they didn't recognize me at Mass because I'm so quiet and reverential and serious and I'm not always normally like that. If I can be something other than my usual self at Mass, what's your story? Are creative people incapable of shutting it down and turning it off for an hour?

I see the puppet show, at the parish I've been talking about, is back for Palm Sunday Masses this year. Do I doubt that this show is not great theater? No. The company doing it is very talented. But, Mass is not great theater. It's not theater. Period. There was a big international Catholic uprising the last time this production happened at the same parish a few years ago. They are trying it again to see if they can get away with it. Don't doubt that it's anything else. They are happy to still be open. They've been expecting heavy "sanctions" for years since Archbishop Nienstedt arrived and they were thinking they may be shut down. Now they are testing his authority.

Regardless of what authority Archbishop Nienstedt may or may not have, in the end it is to us to ask ourselves is the Mass we attend fully and reverently and appropriately giving thanks to the Ultimate Authority? Do we feel connected to the full Roman Catholic Church for now and all the ages passed and to come at that Mass? If not, get out of there.

March 10, 2011

The Power of Prayer

Gentle Reader (Hi Anon!): You may know that I've been struggling the last few days. Serious and mortal temptations have afflicted me. I was, according to one of my Confessors,successful. Well, honestly, somewhat successful. Father says "Every time you say 'no', it is a victory" Of course, Satan and his minions can't stand that and they try harder. Maybe this is how Job felt; I don't know.

I only know I've hardly been sleeping the last several nights. It's like open warfare. I keep waking up-sweating.

I've been struggling lately with some of my regular prayers. I pick up my Rosary and I just sit there. Sometimes, I don't even recite the Decades. I just clutch it in silence in my car or on the couch at home. It's like I know the words but I just can't bring myself to say them.

This is not, so far, like the season of ash; it's like the season of sand. Aridity. Dry. Desert. If I were a Holy Water font, I'd be drained and full of cacti and sand.

I'm excited that Lent has started. I know some of you think this is another sign that I'm a total freak! But, since my reversion, I am excited when Lent starts-look at the pay off! Yet, I feel disconnected.

Plan? Check
Ready? Check
Passive? Check

I just feel blah. I'm scared I'm starting to revert to my old habits. There. I said it.Lent used to be blah to me. Meaningless. I never Fasted or Abstained when I should've. I sacrificed nothing. I did nothing.

I know to get out of this hole I need to keep praying. Satan would just love it if I would give up. Why give him the satisfaction? Why give my haters the joy of seeing me fall backwards?

I'm so grateful and thankful when readers and friends (really, what's the difference?) pray for me. I've learned never to be shy, reluctant or embarrassed to ask for prayer. Prayer is not only for times when you or someone you love is dying or seriously ill (I used to think it was only for those times). Prayer is for all times. Sometimes, you need the extra support-get on the "horn" and call for help. Some parishes have Prayer Chains-put yourself on it. I'm not kidding. Add your own name to the book at the Adoration Chapel. Post your needs on Forums. You don't have to put your name down-Lord knows-but if you feel you want to go right ahead.

When I put out the calls for prayer yesterday I am totally convinced it worked. I felt better. I felt like Satan left (for a time). The big ash cross I received later probably horrified him. Not to mention Auntie Adrienne'sthreats must have sent him packing.

I need reminders that I'm not alone-prayer helps.

Also, never be afraid to offer prayers. It's tough for me to remember this because often I'm embarrassed to offer prayer to someone. How lame is that? How often have people been pleasantly surprised and thanked me? Even the most hardened agnostic is hard-pressed to pause and wonder that someone cared enough to take a few minutes out of their day to ask for the best for them.

Prayer. It works.

March 09, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Today, is the start of Lent. Today, is a day of Fast and Abstinence. Attendence at Church to receive ashes is not required but, I believe, it is a good practice to receive them. I'll be at Church later on this evening.

Kindly pray for me. I'm fighting very serious temptations. Satan was attacking me most of last night and the last couple of days. God bless you.

March 07, 2011

Remember Man...

Ash Wednesday is in less than two days so be sure to cram in as much sin and bad behavior into the next 48 hours because at the stroke of midnight on March 8th, its time to get serious!

I’m only marginally kidding. I’m speaking for myself when I say, I don’t know about you, but I tend to get into a lot of “trouble” right before the Holy Seasons of Lent and Advent. Every day should be serious. I should be serious about deepening my faith in Christ 365/24/7. I was struggling with serious temptations Sunday evening.

I could hear that voice in my ear (Satan) saying “Come on, Cathy, you just went to Confession last Thursday and the season of denial is approaching. Come on, you know you want to. You can still cram in a Confession before Wednesday and get right again”

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was starting to think about my Lenten plan and I encouraged my readers (all 8 of you!) to do the same. If your usual Lenten plan of sacrifice and self-denial is along the lines of “I’m going to give up ordering pizza with the cheese in the crust until after Easter!” you may want to seriously ask yourself if that is the best you can offer. I mean it. God sacrificed his only Son so we would all have the opportunity to be saved from our sins and that’s all you’ve got? No where in Lenten or Catholic regulations does it state that to be a Catholic in good standing means you have to be slim and your cholesterol numbers need to be in medically acceptable ranges-thanks be to God or I’d be in trouble!

A few days ago I was reading some “progressive” Catholic musings on Ash Wednesday and how it’s not, strictly a Holy Day of Obligation. I am always astonished how progs manage to remember Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation but seem to forget that Sunday is. They are correct. Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation. You are not required to go to Church this Wednesday and receive ashes. But, why not? If you are like me and probably going to be starving after work, why not try and forget your hunger pains and remind yourself of what is all about by going to receive some ashes and hear that timeless reminder “Remember Man, thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return” (if you hear: "I am the sun, I am the air, I'm only human and I need to be loved" you've wondered into a Smiths concert by mistake). I’m not going to get into the various translations and PC adopted tweaks of that phrase. No, maybe I will a tad….

I heard someone tell me recently that the ashes they will receive on Ash Wednesday are an opportunity for us to anoint ourselves and state we are creation we are spirit and soul and God loves us and I felt a migraine forming behind my eyes. It is true that God is motivated by His love for us in everything He does for us and the culmination of Lent is the ultimate reminder of that Love. But, come on, anoint “ourselves” (do I need to bring my own alabaster jar)? I need to be reminded I’m spirit and soul? I’m creation? Really? I AM CREATION? This is the kind of twisted theology that arises when you “tweak” the prescribed phrases to make them more “meaningful” and less “frightening” Speaking for myself, there should not be anything more meaningful and frightening than the reminder that at the end of all things if you don’t have your self together you are not going to enjoy the Beautific Vision. The alternative is not pleasant. You can be assured that if Ash Wednesday was only about love, multitudes of couples about to be joined in Holy Matrimony would be reciting “Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris” because nothing says “I love you” like a ring and multiple references to pulverizing.

Have a plan but make it meaningful. What can you do to deepen your spirituality and your life lived in the Catholic faith? If you’ve never bothered to, or have historically struggled with, following the Lenten regulations for fast and abstinence a good starting point for you this Lent would be to resolve not only to follow them but reflect upon WHY it is a good practice. Don’t just roll your eyes and think it’s bogus. Why is denying yourself and picking up your cross and following the Lord a good idea? How can doing so deepen your spirituality and make this Lent a meaningful one-rather then yet another Lent where you suddenly wake up one day and realize “Oh, crap, it’s Easter Sunday, where did all the time go?”

So, we all know if we are between the ages of 18 and 59 we need to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, right (exceptions are made for people in ill health or who need to eat before taking medications)? Also, if you are 14 years old and above you need to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all the Fridays of Lent. I know it’s not easy. Believe me I know. I love to eat. I’m a sensual person. Food is meaningful to me. I enjoy it.

But, we all know, as Catholics, we will struggle with the food Cross together. Why not consider adding a little extra to personalize Lent for you? Maybe you’ve always wanted to attend a Stations of the Cross? Plenty of opportunities in Lent. Maybe you’ve wondered what happens during the daily Mass on Saturday? Why not go during Lent? Maybe you’ve always wanted to read St. John’s Gospel-why not meditate upon it slowly during Lent? Maybe you want to read the Holy Father’s latest book? Is it a coincidence the English publication of his new chapter on Jesus of Nazareth is being released right before Lent? Uh, no, probably not. Maybe you’ve always wanted to serve at a food shelf or a soup kitchen? Why not do that during Lent? Maybe you wish you prayed more? Why not go to Adoration during Lent or even resolve to spend 10 minutes/day in prayer.

The practices you implement for yourself, to deepen your journey in a life with Christ, can last well beyond Lent. Several years ago, one of my Lenten resolutions was to pray the Rosary (all 5 decades) every day. I enjoyed it so much and it became so meaningful to me and helped keep from sin that I never quit doing it.

Friends: Nothing I’ve said above is stuff I’m making up because I have no personal experience of what I’m talking about. It’s not that I’ve never been there. It’s definitely not that I’m holier than everyone else. For ¾ of my life Lent was a meaningless blip on the calendar and so was Easter. I didn’t know what any of it meant. I rolled my eyes. I didn’t bother to learn what any of it meant. I didn’t want to know what any of it meant. To really understand and know what it all meant (and I can be honest with myself now that I into my 4th decade) would mean I’d have to stop doing some of what I was doing and I wasn’t ready to unload the baggage cart and clean up my act-nor did I want to hear about doing so.

My buddy, Angela picked a 2011 Saint name for me. This is not divination or witchcraft or anything “funky”. It’s an opportunity for a random chance (yeah, maybe it’s a gamble of a sort) at taking an opportunity to learn more about a Saint. The name she chose for me this year was Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. I’ve heard of Blessed Pier Giorgio. I know he’s popular with young people but never knew why until I read more about him. Now, I’ve decided I really and truly envy (in a good way) the young Catholics in their 20s-early 30s that I’ve met online-the JPII Catholics if you will. The people who reap the fruits of the reclamation of the Faith started by John Paul II. You, all of you, who are young and living the Faith day in and day out, have what I never had and I envy you. I pray you never know what I did and keep the Faith as it should be-not as I thought it was at the same age you are now.

For those of you who are in your 20s-30s or of any age who are just going thru the motions-if at all-if I can find the Faith later in life so can you. Nothing is impossible with God. This Lent consider opening yourself to His message.

Sing a Song-Terry!

Gold pants, shirtless vests, Phillip Bailey and an aerobic workout-it just doesn't get any better than this!

March 06, 2011

I Love You But....

Recently, an Anonymous commenter criticized me for showing a lack of charity and civility. Sometimes, it’s true that I lack both. I don’t deny it. I don’t know what Anonymous’ motivations were but I’ve found in the 5+ years I’ve been blogging that Anonymous commenters who are of the more liberal variety tend to come out and comment on my posts that criticize the “progressive” elements in the Church.

Sometimes progressives come after you by reminding you of something Jesus said or a Pope said. The magic of their approach is they are not always using quotes incorrectly or out of context (and they know it); the magic is they count on you “falling for it” You, lover of Patristics, Scripture and Tradition, may feel guilty and “back off” and “shut up”. They hope so.

Individuals who usually can’t be bothered to read the Catechism or encyclicals in their entiriety or in context are more than happy to “whip it out” to try and shut you down.

I am convinced that one of the key reasons that the Catholic Church fell so far afield in the 60s and 70s is the progressives were able to leverage the faithfuls respect for the priesthood and submission to authority and implement all kinds of wackiness by essentially hiding behind their credentials and their office.

I’m all about respecting the office of the priesthood-just like I respect the office of the President of the United States. Neither of which means I don’t recognize that the President and a Priest can be as full of sin and BS as I am.

But, it was not always so. There was a time, I believe, in the not so distant past where all priests were held up on pedastals. They could do no wrong. Lay people loved and honored them. This was and is not a bad thing. However, the starry your eyes, the blinder your vision. As the people held the office in high esteem, progressive priests abused their office and implemented all kinds of liturgical and scriptural abuses right under the noses of a submissive and adoring faithful.

I can’t even count the number of times an elderly Catholic, when they talk to me about the post Vatican II era in the US, will say “I never thought it would go that far” or “We thought all the priests wanted what was best for us” or “One day we came to Church and they’d destroyed the entire Sanctuary” It’s like they just lived thru Armageddon. They are stunned. They still can’t believe it happened.

I don’t mean to just pick on priests. Lay people are really much more responsible than priests ever were. Laity outnumber priests. The laity either ignored what was going on, didn’t believe what was going on (see above), pushed priests to implement their agenda, or walked all over the priests and did it themselves.

In any case, we are all responsible because we let it happen.

I recognize that I’m not perfect. I don’t think I’ve ever claimed on this blog to be a great person or a future saint with an incorrupt corpse. I think I prove every day how sinful and bad I really am.

However, I have no intention of shutting up just because someone points out something about myself that I already knew. So noted.Thanks. Peace be with you.

You either love the Faith and the Church or you don’t. You either want to fight for it or you don’t. I intend to fight. I was reading a few hours ago a local dissident who said “one of the things she loves about the Catholic Church is the social justice teaching…” One of the things? Only one? Seriously, when people say things like this I pretty much know that IS the only thing they love about the Catholic Church-their misguided sense of what the social justice teaching really is.

I’m not married so help me out married folks..when you get married, when you commit to spending the rest of your life with someone, do you only love ONE thing about them? If you pick one or only a few things to love do you really expect the relationship to last? Yeah. I didn’t think so.

The “change the faith” folks are like the people who get married fully intending and believing that they can change all the things they don’t love in their spouse. I don’t think that works. Do you?

March 02, 2011

What Does the 3-Ring Binder Really Say?

Ladies: Do we need further proof that as we age we are going to be blind as bats? Hold that WAYUPCLOSE to my eyes, please, dear, thank you. And who stitched that alleluia? Do you call that straight? Buy the MOON-sized host so the blind gas bags in the back can see it.

Is anyone supposed to see this photo and be inspired to convert to, uh, what is it again? Yeah, register me, sis, for that womynpriest parish, yo!

March 01, 2011

Hens a-squawkin'!

I can no more resist weighing in on this than I can resist a plate of well-prepared Pra Rha Ram Song so you've been warned...

..a cranky Cathy post!

Last week a well-known priest (he's well known because he wants to be) of the more, uh, "out-there" variety got a fair amount of national press by proclaiming that women can be and should be lay preachers at his parish. Not only that, he admitted he'd been allowing it.

The practice of lay preaching during a Catholic Mass is, sadly, not unknown around here. In fact, I seem to recall a local Archbishop phasing out the practice of lay preaching during the Homily, while the priest creates plausible deniability by leaving the building, some years back. Yes, lay preaching has a history around here. Apparently, Priest Hen-Pecked was too busy writing his letter to the editor about the apparent misuse of kingly-authority to pay attention.

Priest Hen-Pecked, because honestly, you know the hens-run-amok in his parish are wearin' him down like a bar of soap, states that "She (the lay woman preacher) has basically the same teaching as a priest" I've got to give Father Hen-Pecked credit for the honesty of that statement because at the time Father Hen-Pecked was in seminary that was probably true. Not only was that a true statement, Sister Preach-It was probably teaching the seminary class on homilitics.
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