Saturday, December 09, 2006

I so don't care! I believe in Santa Claus!

Pictured, St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra. (Our St. Nick did not have a beard either, although he had a white moustache.)
I am so tired! St. Nicholaus visited our Store today! He was only supposed to stay until 2PM, but he insisted upon staying until 4PM. He hugged the little kids and told them all about his life, miracles, and history - and gave them gifts and candy, gold wrapped chocolate coins in lovely little bags with gold ties. The kids loved him and had their pictures taken and adults were thrilled as well! I know of at least one old crabby guy who got tears in his eyes. I think he really believed it was the real St. Nick...yeah, that would be me - I almost hugged him.

We had a real saint this year. Deacon Tom Stiles from the Church of St. Columba in St. Paul played St. Nick. (He is a big guy - yet so gentle and kind, and almost shy - he looked exactly like Bishop Campbell - another nice bishop. It was funny, many customers really thought it was Bishop Campbell.) Being a Deacon, he was able to bless the religious articles people purchased. We had a stipend for him - which he refused - although was forced to take - insisting he will give it to our Franciscan brothers! And then, when he left he thanked me for letting him do this. (Another tear! It really, really was St. Nick who was with us!)

So parents! DO NOT lie to your kids! There really is a Santa - he is St. Nicholaus of Myra! Santa not only brings gifts, but obtains many, many graces - pouring out charity into our hearts! When he was in the Store he hugged a little girl and told her how important she is! And she hugged him! She was a chubby little black girl, and she really experienced the love of this big white Bishop - and she hugged him back, thrilled to be so close to him. I don't think she will ever forget such an affirming gesture. I wish I would have hugged him too! (A tear!)
I love you Santi 'Claus!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Never blog when you are tired or drunk.

That's what I said in an interview with The Catholic Spirit for an upcoming issue. I can't drink because I have severe gastroesophageal - acid reflux whatever disease. But I am so tired.
Another journalist from a Catholic paper read a post I did and wanted to interview me, I asked some other blogger friends to help. They did - so I think I'll pass on the interview and hand it over to them, if they will accept. It's flattering to be asked for an interview, your blog gets press, and maybe readers, and oh, my gosh, maybe you can be a writer for a newspaper. Or maybe not.
I can't help but question every newspaper's motives. I'm just a suspicious kinda guy. (I may have a story here. A customer gave me some info on the Legionaires of Christ - there may be something to write about there. And my apologies to Archbishop Flynn - he doesn't seem to be wearing the black hat so many others may think he wears. More to come on this - I'm way too tired to do anything about it at this point. I'm in retail for heaven's sake - I have no time to myself in Christmas season!)
One thing I've learned in being able to spout off publicly like this, especially on Church related opinions, is that it can be used against you. There are a lot of factions out there - some fighting each other. Let me say right now, I'm just a regular guy who says what he thinks, and sometimes I don't like how the politics work - even if it happens to involve Church people and all the diplomacy involved in that.
What a day today though.
I have this uber-Catholic friend who is going through this whole crises of faith. She's been like a dogma dog in the past, sort of the Bitch of Buchenwald when it comes to orthodoxy - extremely concentrated on all the theological stuff - liturgy, modernism, anti-Vatican II, etc. Now she doesn't know if she believes in a God who allows suffering. Oy! It's too complicated to get into.
What a switch however. This is the same person who has told people they are going to hell if they are not Catholic. That John Paul II was a bad pope. That Vatican II was evil. And she's pissed the Blessed Virgin was free from sin and she was not. (I think someone needs medication.)
When you substitute a Catholic spiritual life with strict adherence to traditional liturgy, and neglect prayer and the sacraments, because they do not accord with tradition - that is, because they are Novus Ordo, and all of your spiritual reading is the encyclicals of past popes condemning modernism and the like, you're going to end up spiritually bankrupt. She's to the point where she is denying the cross, the whole idea of suffering, and the God who permitted it, as well as the blood of the martyrs. (This same warning applies to apparition chasers as well.)
Today another person was told she was going to hell because she couldn't make it to Mass - by another person other than my friend. This 'good samaritan' explained that she had to tell her that out of Christian duty, or else she would be condemned for not having warned her. That's self seeking isn't it? I think it is. So zealots have to tell other people they are going to hell because they are really trying to save their own butts from condemnation because of some strange understanding they have regarding their duty to warn people of sins of omission and admonishing the sinner - of course they only do it in charity.
These same people tell others that their dead relatives are probably in hell because they died outside the Catholic Church - you know, those protestants. They question if the Eucharist confected at some Novus Ordo Masses is the real thing because the priest says "For all" instead of "For many". That's why they only go to Mass on Sundays, to the trad liturgy, and deprive themselves of frequent Communion during the week at a Novus Ordo Mass.
I think they are imbeciles, dogmatic imbeciles.
See, I am tired. And religious people can be very tiresome indeed - that's why I don't really belong to any religious group and don't hang out with very many religious people - and NEVER go down for coffee and donuts after Mass - oh please! I work with these people. Euthanize me now!
So that's my story of how this wonderful feast day went.
The End.
(Nevertheless, the joy of this feast continues to console me - I'm so not angry that Our Lady was preserved immaculate from the moment of her conception - much to the contrary.)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Conceived With Out Sin

"I am the Immaculate Conception."

That is how Our Lady identified herself to St. Bernadette at Lourdes. It always makes my hair stand on end - on my arms - not my head.

All the "Fathers" who blog will have profound, wonderful teaching on this mystery of Our Lady, so I wouldn't dare discuss her prerogatives or what this feast day means. I'll just blabber on here.

For me, Our Lady is a paradise upon earth, a refuge for sinners, a consolation in this vale of tears. For the Church to make this feast a day of obligation is a delight. The joy of the Immaculate Conception overflows into our souls, preparing us for the wonderful feast of the Nativity. The Madonna is our Mommie, and she is the Immaculata!

I looked for a painting, but could find nothing to adequately represent Our Lady, so I chose this one by default - although it thrills me. I purchased a fine oil painting reproduction of Murillo's Immaculada, quite large, for my study where I pray. All of her images disappoint me now. No one can capture this mystery in art, it must be contemplated in spirit. (I'm so sad images no longer work for me - we cannot possess grace through images - they are so much better to glance at and allow the spirit to be raised, as opposed to attempting to somehow capture the spirit of the one portrayed by owning the image. Or something like that.)

I cannot explain the Immaculate Conception, nor can I explain the Trinity. Yet it seems to me I can experience Her...She encompasses the whole of humanity, my humanity and soul. "I am the Immaculate Conception". God is "I am" she is His "Immaculate Conception". What is that? I mean, what is that?

A favorite prayer of mine from St. Francis is his "My God! Who are you? And what am I?" Our Lady identified and revealed her name, when she told Bernadette, "I am the Immaculate Conception" - doesn't that thrill you? She causes the soul to go into ecstasy - if you simply wonder, allowing the awe-some to envelope your soul.

It is wonderful to know as the Doctors and Fathers know, the truths of our faith, dogma and definitions, yet it is so much more wonderful to be suspended in awe-some unknowing before the majesty and mystery of the Immaculate Conception. The little ones know this.

I wish I had words, that no one ever has heard, to express this wondrous mystery, this perfect love, this purest being, this paradise wherein sinners find refuge, consolation and healing. If ever I felt like I had the gift of tongues, I could let loose now, in a holy babble of praise.
O Mary, Conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee! Repeat that over and over and over.
Or pray, "Thou art all fair O Mary, and the original stain is not in Thee! O Mary! O Mary, conceived without sin! Pray for us who have recourse to Thee!" Over and over and over.
(For her feast, I cannot blog or do email or surf the net, until after vespers tomorrow. May Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception enrapture your souls and enflame your hearts with the Holy Spirit of love! Ah! How I love the Blessed Virgin!)

Now this IS catastrophic!

Pictured, Our Lady of Africa
The genocide in Darfur.
This weekend is being called for as a weekend of prayer for Darfur.
"Religious leaders urge weekend of prayer for Darfur
Mark PattisonCatholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Religious leaders in the Save Darfur Coalition urged prayer the weekend of Dec. 9-10 to call attention to the ongoing atrocities in the Darfur region of western Sudan.
"Nobody knows the exact number" of those killed in the conflict, said David Rubenstein, executive director of the coalition, although he estimated 400,000 have died in the violence.
"There are people dying every day, and at risk of death every day," Rubenstein said during a Dec. 5 conference call with reporters. "They are being burned from their homes and villages."
"Mostly, what they need is security," said Rubenstein, adding that "3.5 million people in toto have been affected by this conflict, and the systems of survival have shut down.
"In a related matter, 78 religious organizations, including five Catholic groups, signed a full-page ad in the Dec. 5 issue of USA Today issuing a "call to your conscience" on Darfur. Catholic signers were the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Pax Christi USA and the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.
If churchgoers "knew all of the facts of what was happening in Darfur, they would rise up urgently to stop the genocide," Rev. Edgar said. "Often Darfur is not on the front page of the newspapers.
"While hesitant to describe Darfur as a civil war, Rubenstein, who visited Darfur earlier this year, said, "The only people who don't have weapons are the civilians who are being slaughtered by their own government's agents, the Janjaweed," who "use rape as a tool of war" and "burning and mutilation as a tool to move them."- CNS
Now this is something that seems to have a much more "catastrophic effect" than global warming. Let's pray and maybe try to fast for these our brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Blaming the victim?

That isn't very PC now is it?

Archbishop Cruz of the Phillipines sounds to me like he may be giving the impression he is blaming the victim for her rape. I know some guys who blame women for their temptations against chastity because of how they dress; tight clothes that reveal their form for instance. Some girls do flaunt their sexuality by the way they dress, no doubt about it. Some girls go for the sexualized fashion images they see, or the provocative celebrity sexual performances they watch as stars such as Britney Spears or Janet Jackson perform, and they stupidly think this is cool and a way to present themselves to men, unaware of the open invitation they are suggesting - not giving.

Nevertheless, "it takes two to tango" as they say, and the woman, naive as she may be, does not ask to be violated, no matter how she is dressed. Men must be responsible for their actions. Maria Goretti certainly was not provocative, she resisted her attacker to the death, but her attacker was the person responsible.

The Archbishop's caution should indeed be heeded. Young women and girls must be careful as to the way they dress and act. That is why modest fashions and clothing is such a need in our highly sexualized culture. But guys have to learn to keep custody of the eyes and practice chastity as well.
Here is a snip from the article concerning the Archbishop's warning to women:

Bishop says women shouldn’t flaunt sexuality
By Christian V. EsguerraInquirerLast updated 08:52pm (Mla time) 12/05/2006

WHAT lessons can Filipinos draw from the Subic rape drama that culminated in the conviction of a 21-year-old American Marine officer?

Women, most especially, should be taught that "womanhood is precious and noble so it is not right for them to be flaunting it around," Archbishop Oscar Cruz of Lingayen-Dagupan said Tuesday.

"They should not make themselves appear cheap and practically inviting to be violated by men," he said the day after a Makati judge sentenced Lance Corporal Daniel Smith to up to 40 years in prison after finding him guilty "beyond reasonable doubt" of raping an intoxicated Filipino woman identified in the media only as "Nicole."

Cruz's opinion echoed similar sentiments aired shortly after Nicole, a 23-year-old management accounting graduate, cried foul after Smith raped her in an alleged conspiracy with three other US Marines on November 1 last year.
-Full report here.
If you are concerned about modest fashions for young women and girls, check out this site, "Upstream Girl" - they have started a business to address this issue.

Feast of St. Nicholas

I woke up excited!
Anyway - a question left out of Cathy's Christmas meme;
21. What is your favorite Christmas Movie?
It's a list:
-"Miracle On 34th St." Best Santa award.
-"It's A Wonderful Life." When I was younger I thought it depressing - now I love it.
-"National Lampoons Christmas Vacation." Because the characters are nuts.
-Almost every production of "A Christmas Carol."
-"Home Alone." I like the scary old man next door.
Happy St. Nicholas day!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas Meme for Mr. Scrooge...

Or, "You do love me! You do!" (Remember Sally Fields acceptance speech at the Oscars?)

Ms. Catherine of Alexandria tagged me for this Christmas meme:

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate with coffee and cream.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa wraps them in gorgeous wraps, sometimes expensive fabric with real tassels and golden ropes, with teddy bears wearing crowns.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Always white - on a rheostat of course, so they simply glow. (Although I love cobalt blue lights, or amber - but never mix them. Secretly I love multi colored as well, it's so Italian.)

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No. But I used to carry a sprig in my pocket when I was cute - it worked - after I pulled it out and held it over my head of course. I like it in garland and wreaths now, but it's poisonous to kitties.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Today of course. The eve of St. Nicholas! (Except I still have to do the tree.)

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? So easy, Baccala (sp?) - Italian fried breaded cod, and angel hair pasta with lots of olive oil, garlic and pine nuts, with a little basil!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: When we were really, really poor and my mother had to go to St. Vincent De Paul to find us presents and the only toy they had was a cheap harmonica. I opened it while she cried and I pretended to love it. I went into the bathroom and cried - not about the gift - but because she was so disappointed. And the Infant Jesus gave me a kiss.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? My 3rd grade teacher when she called me a liar after I related how I actually saw Santa putting presents under our tree. I had been so impressed with my mom's dramatics one year when I was about 4 years old, she said she was watching Santa put the presents under the tree while she held me back from running into the living room. It was so real to me, I believed I actually saw him, until Mrs. Rottenberry grabbed my hair, shaking my head and told me I imagined it. (I still don't think I really did though!)

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Of course, when else?

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Lavishly - kind of Christopher Radko, but with vintage and new German ornaments and baroque santo angels.

11. Snow? Love it or Dread it? I love it except for drive time.

12. Can you ice skate? Yes. But not for years. I played hockey too.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? The harmonica. Oh. And a key chain someone I was in love with years ago gave me that had my initials on it - in the script I used to sign my initials on paintings - the person took the trouble of having me initial something and had it duplicated by the engraver at Tiffany's. Kinda cool, huh?

14. What's the most exciting thing about the Holidays for you? St. Nicholas, the Immaculate Conception, Our lady of Guadalupe, and Christmas vigils at about 3AM - playing with the Infant Jesus and hugging him.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Chocolate and marzipan.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Christmas eve everything.

17. What tops your tree? An antique jeweled crown - about 4.5" in diameter at the base, it's French I believe, from a statue of the Madonna. I rescued it from an antique dealer.

18. Which do you prefer - giving or receiving? Definitely giving. I'm no longer interested in receiving.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Fun wise? Motown stuff and the Beach Boys! Religious -at Mass? "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" Traditional? "Green Sleeves" - and, I'm embarrassed to say, "Away In A Manger" and "I Wonder As I Wander" oh - and Bing Crosby I guess - This is cheap and tawdry making me admit such stuff!

20. Candy Canes? No way - I hate red and white.
And, Oh my Gosh! I tag Don Marco! (Who won't know what to do - so hi-light, copy and paste on your blog and answer these questions Mr. Monk!)
And Rhapsody of course!

The Eve of St. Nicholas...

Or- I believe in Santa!
Tomorrow is St. Nicholas day. Even when I was away from the Church I celebrated this day - I had a party or gave someone I was in love with an ornament and European candies, expensive liquor, or perfume - but something sweet. I introduced a lot of people to St. Nick - and most still celebrate his feastday.
In this picture he is rescuing children I believe. I often think of him as a perfect intercessor for abused or abandoned children. St. Nicholas introduces them to the Infant Jesus, who is their remedy and companion. (St. Nick still rescues kids - look tomorrow for a news item of some child being found or rescued - I usually see something to that effect on the news on or around his feastday - or so it seems to me.)
My family never celebrated St. Nicholas day, but my cousins did. When I grew up, I did too - still do...but it's more like 'secret Santa' now, and much more fun. For sure, Christmas season begins on St. Nicholas day.
I can't help but feel like a kid every St. Nicholas day. It is a day full of joy, followed soon by the most joyous, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception - which is a day of ecstacy!
Go here for a fun St. Nicholas site! And visit my Store, Leaflet Missal for a visit with St. Nick on Saturday December 9th!

So, I just got back from the Doctor

Pictured, my Doctor - well he looks exactly like this. (It's really Richard Roeper.)
I returned to my previous Internist - same diagnosis - but he is so much better than the new guy I was seeing. And I can call him Jeff - he's very informal. He knows me so well though, he said, "I don't even have to ask if you are smoking."

Then he told me how serious my condition is, and I told him I knew that. He asked if I wanted to do anything about it and I said no and he said okay. So we are taking care of everything with meds. I don't have to do any tests! Yay!

I like Jeffie.

I stopped going to his clinic because I had found another one closer to home. That Dr. was like a protestant minister and his Chinese nurse was like Mao's wife. Very strict people. Never listened to the patient at all. Jeffie is so opposite. His nurse is a big black woman and we talked about the new "Dream Girls" movie and she said not to worry - the one who has Jennifer Holiday's role is going to be fantastic. (She was thrilled I had seen Ms. Holiday on Broadway.)

I got my flu shot as well. The nurse said if I got sick from it that means I already had been infected. Crap - no excuse to call in sick. JUST KIDDING - THAT WOULD BE A LIE - AND I DON'T LIE! (Well, my profile picture might be a dissimulation - it could be me however! I've been told - when I was younger - that I looked like him - so I'm claiming the pic!)

While we are on the topic of calling in sick...
"Good Morning America" had a spot on it yesterday I think. With the do's and dont's and other creative suggestions. (They should really do a segment on how Americans are getting to be more deceptive, lacking, or better put, screwed up in the realm of ethics, and increasingly more self-centered and indulgent, believing their every whim is a constitutional right.) I'm thinking calling in sick is a pandemic in our work-a-day world. Some people do it a lot - and they were seen out and about on their sick days - like on a picnic or at a theater, even in a bar. (The guy in the bar got canned.)
Many people do not realize that it is a lie, and when abused, a form of theft from the company. Even when you are not paid for sick days, it's a lack of charity towards other coworkers and the employer - you are taking advantage of their charity in allowing you to be off. Sick day abusers affect the morale of other workers, as well as attitude. It causes the employer to no longer trust a person. And the guilt ridden faker comes back and gets all worked up because no one will talk to them - or finds out they have been talked about.
It's just not a good work ethic.
I always tell my direct reports never to lie to me - if they need time off, I can make arrangements - but don't lie. I hate lies.

Transgender stuff

"I am Changin'!" - Another Jennifer Holiday song.

Pictured, Sr. Mary Elizabeth, transgender nun of the Episcopal Church - someplace in the U.S.

Gerald of The Cafeteria Is Closed has a post on an Anglican priest who became a woman priest. What is so interesting in the post isn't the novelty of the transition, but what the Catholic Church has to say about such things. In short, they do not recognize sex change.

From Closed Cafeteria:

"After years of study, the Vatican's doctrinal congregation has sent church leaders a confidential document concluding that "sex-change" procedures do not change a person's gender in the eyes of the church.

Pictured, the British priest who is the subject of Gerald's post. I apologize that I think it's funny to see a man dressed as a woman. I realize such people have serious issues and I ought to be more compassionate.

Consequently, the document instructs bishops never to alter the sex listed in parish baptismal records and says Catholics who have undergone "sex-change" procedures are not eligible to marry, be ordained to the priesthood or enter religious life, according to a source familiar with the text....

"The key point is that the (transsexual) surgical operation is so superficial and external that it does not change the personality. If the person was male, he remains male. If she was female, she remains female," said the source.

"The altered condition of a member of the faithful under civil law does not change one's canonical condition, which is male or female as determined at the moment of birth," Bishop Gregory wrote.

The Vatican text defines transsexualism as a psychic disorder of those whose genetic makeup and physical characteristics are unambiguously of one sex but who feel that they belong to the opposite sex. In some cases, the urge is so strong that the person undergoes a "sex-change" operation to acquire the opposite sex's external sexual organs. The new organs have no reproductive function." - Closed Cafeteria - "Sex Change and Clergy"

Not at all related -Pictured, Minneapolis' embattled lesbian Fire Chief - she's not a sex change, believe it or not.

What is interesting to me is that there has actually been a policy in place for Bishops to deal with this sort of thing. While it is somewhat well known locally that a Bishop, now the head of a large Archdiocese in the mid-west permitted a transgender person to become a nun in Wisconsin a few years back.

When members of the faithful discovered this, they wrote to the Vatican and got the transgender nun removed. No penalties were imposed upon the Bishop however, nor was any explanation forthcoming as to why he permitted this.

I expect there is a pastoral loophole for just about everything though. Bishops can make mistakes too.

[Interesting side note, looking for transgender photos I came across a German do it yourself nip and tuck procedure - the site is called "Tucking" - view it at your own risk - contains clinical nudity, and don't go there if you have problems with chastity - I don't want mean comments. It is so not titillating however - no pun intended.]

Thinkin' about Eric

St. Louis: Warm beer led to killing, police say.

A woman killed her husband over serving her a warm beer. Shot him in the chest several times.

I wonder if Eric Scheske at "The Daily Eudemon" knows about this? He likes his beer you know and may appreciate the woman's rage.

Another 'live' stream of consciousness...

I kinda like these posts - now this is where the blog got it's start - web-logs - like a journal.

I'm off work today - you see, I always work Saturdays, and if everything is well staffed, I take a day off mid week. I also have to go back to the doctor. It's funny how I used to go with the littlest sniffle, and now when I have serious problems I don't want to go. It's not denial, it's just that I'm cheap - there is a copay for everything, and going to see him takes longer now as well. I also hate all of the tests. When I tell the Dr., "Trust me, I'm dying! It's just taking a long time". He wants to put me on anti-depressants or have me undergo something that will take care of this or that. I don't like surgeries and all that stuff.

Can't people just get old and die? I don't understand wanting to live so long. TV is getting worse, as is music - although I do like Mary J. Blige. Some movies are still good - Christopher Guest never misses. I wonder about "Dream Girls" though - who can replace Jennifer Holiday's "And I'm Tellin' You, I'm not Going!" When I listen to "Say You Love Me" I keep saying, "Jesus I Love You!" and I think He says it back. I'm an old schlemiel, aren't I?

A sort of conversation arose yesterday regarding web-logs and sins against the 8th commandment. The inquirer was asking if I run into lies and dissimulation when reading other blogs. It seemed to me he was of the mindset that bloggers either make stuff up, or spread gossip and rumors and innuendo to attack or defame someone else.

In my posts, I'm so honest that I often get people angry with me - or make a fool of myself. I have never come across a Catholic blogger who writes anything but the truth, albeit, highly editorialized with their take on any given subject.

In fact, most bloggers blog because they feel they have something to say or address regarding the issues of the day. Contrary to any dishonesty, bloggers blog to present the facts behind the propaganda and dissimulation of ordinary media. Bloggers usually cover what mainstream media ignores or distorts according to their particular agenda. Catholic bloggers in particular seem to be the most honest writers in media, as well as defenders of truth. For anyone to lie or make things up would be a ghastly betrayal of self.

To be sure, 'shoot from the hip' types such as myself, may post something they either misunderstood or have not been well informed about. (I really have begun to check and re-check my facts, and do not post precipitously any longer, and if I do something late at night when my judgement is clouded perhaps - it's down the next morning.) Blogging has built in censors if you will. The people who comment. If something is off in a post - someone is going to tell you. And most bloggers step right up to the plate to clarify something, or retract it if need be. I think bloggers are the most honest people one can encounter in any form of conversation.

Nevertheless, then there are the "whack jobs" bloggers way out there with questionable views - but who reads them? There are the gossip mongers as well, or those who see the enemy everywhere and are hell bent to expose him. Some sedevacantists are like that. I get a newsletter via email from one such group, decrying B16 praying in a mosque, or the ongoing sinister conspiracy to destroy the traditional Latin rite. Yet not even these people are lying. Misinformed to be sure. Paranoid maybe. But they are sincere and passionate - and not always off the mark.

I think I blog because I want to understand. I want to flesh out why things are unfolding as they are in our day and age. Like the gay thing. Why are people gay? Why have some priests been such perverts? Why are some Catholics into the new age? Why is the liturgy such a mess? Why do people think they are having visions and revelations? Why is the Church more like a mega-corporation these days? Why are parishes overstaffed with professionals getting high salaries and excellent benefits? Why are we in a war? Kind of like Marvin Gaye's song, "What's Goin' On?"

So I come up with my informed analysis of things - as I understand it - because I'm not so dumb as my jokes. Blogging, at least for me, is all about truth. And sometimes I'm just way too honest. That's because I came from parents who were deeply dishonest - so I'm always honest to a fault. Even when I employ jocose lies for humor - I'm telling a truth in a funny way - although, some people don't get my humor.

In the end, blogs give the ordinary person a voice, and others who are listening for something authentic may hear them, and someone else will hear, and someone else. Maybe, just maybe, the principals will hear it as well, and get it together. Maybe.

(I cannot load photos again. Blogger is a free service so I cannot complain...I shouldn't complain...I won't will not hear a complaint out of me!)

(I also added a counter today - but I don't know if I installed it correctly - now this will be embarrassing - it will prove if anyone visits at all. I'll have to ask Rhapsody if I did it correctly - she had this counter on her space.)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Priestly celibacy

Pictured, Cardinal Hummes.
Go here for an excellent comment.

That "New Catholic" guy really has a good take on stuff!
"Cardinal against Cardinal" - Something Our Lady of Akita mentioned.

The Divine Liturgy

Reports are that the SSPX is infiltrating the Ukraine, and drawing people away - or attempting to do so - from the Byzantine rite. (I don't know for certain if this is really the intention of the SSPX however.) Although it seems to be the fear, Gerald covers this on The Cafeteria Is Closed.

It seems as if the SSPX may be more sinister than imagined - if it is true. One ought not to fool around with the Byzantine rite, which has equal status with the Roman rite - then and now. This is a point of contention the separated Orthodox have misgivings about, that Rome could impose Vatican II type "renewal" in their liturgies as has been done in the Roman rite - if they ever consent to union, that is. Of course, the Ukrainian Byzantine Catholics are in union with Rome, and autonomous as far as liturgical rites, nevertheless, the insurgence of SSPX and the Traditional Roman rite poses some serious problems.
The SSPX are not the Roman Catholic Church, they are in schism with the true Church - people have to realize and understand that. If they are attempting to usurp the venerable and ancient Byzantine rite, they are no better than protestants or Jehovah Witnesses. Oy! The hutzpah! Talk about being more Catholic than the Pope all they want, it seems to me they are trying to be more holy than the Church.

Our sad time.........

We have this fellow who works in the warehouse at the Company I work for. He's very bright, rather intellectual, and I like him a lot. He is also an amusing character - he loves meteorology and watches the weather channel - and not the cable one - the one on UHF, with the computerized voices - I know he watches just for those voices.

He always makes fun of Michael Brown's Spirit Daily, especially his headlines, such as "Our sad time". I laugh at that as well. I told him about today's bit starting with "Our sad time". It involved 'pornaments'.

Spencer's is selling tacky porn ornaments - not like the one I pictured however - at least this one is painted and has an element of art to it. Those ornaments Brown is referring to are just plain tacky - like a hula dancer figure on someone's dash board. Stuff one would expect from Spencer's or any other joke store. Tacky, sophomoric humor. It's so not new. Someone is reaching for this story.

This crap has been around for ever, even in a more proper era, going back to medieval times, and of course, ancient Rome. Ribald humor is so not new.

In the '80's I saw Christmas cards with photos picturing nuns opening a huge gift package revealing a nude man in it. There has been a stream of gross Christmas ornaments and cards since, as well as jokes over time. Vulgar people somehow like this stuff. It's been around forever. It's cheap kitsch mostly about Santa and snowmen, etc. (Granted, the nuns and the nude was offensive to Catholics - so I am not condoning it in the least.)

However, when things get truly blasphemous and focuses on the Holy Family, or the Madonna - that's when the Catholic/Christian defense should be aroused and put into action - not by this tripe though. It's just vulgarity - not an attack upon Christmas or Christianity. We have to realize that not everyone observes Christmas as anything other than a "saturnalia" - a pagan festival.

Don't drive the market by getting excited over this type of crap. As I always say - "Choose your battles".

(And maybe Michael Brown might eliminate "Our sad time" from his repertoire. It's easy to mock - we live in cynical times - marketing my dears, marketing.)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Jim and I are very dissapointed...

We have tried honey!
God knows we have tried!
We said,
"Terry, honey - you do sweeps week and people will come. They will see your sincerity and your good posts, and honey - they will comment! They will. Honey, they will! Terry, you're bloggin' for the Lord! Just like Corrie Ten Boom, sweetie!"
(Ah, Tammy, that was 'Tramp for the Lord" - that was her book.)
"You don't ask for donations like Jim and I did, or Gerald and Fr. Z does, no baby, you're doin' it for the Lord.
"Keep it up honey! Don't you ever think of givin' up bloggin'! Don't you give up honey!
"Bob and Penny Lord love you and so do Jim and Tammy Faye Baker - well yeah! We're divorced now -but we love ya Terry - we just love ya!"
- From our very special guest blogger, Tammy Faye.
(I am so ver klempft! Don't feel guilty you don't comment - I'll be okay...oh that Tammy Faye - what a friend!)

All Righty Then....................

Pictured, Castro Street; "Happy Holigayze!" -is that Patrick in the middle? (And this is normal?)
Nurse Questions Why Homosexuality Not Considered Disorder on Basis of Medical Consequences?

By Steve JalsevacDecember 1, 2006 ( - Kathleen Melonakos, M.A., R.N., is a nurse and a representative of the Delaware Family Foundation. Melonakos says that while she worked as an RN for several years during the eighties and nineties at Stanford University Medical Center, she "saw some of the damage homosexuals do to their bodies with some of their sexual practices."

The experiences of the unnecessary suffering that Melonakos saw eventually led to her current role of informing the public about the serious medical issues related to homosexual practices. She also exposes the tragic unwillingness of the medical community to admit the truth about the death and sufferings experienced by persons who engage in those practices. In her article, "Why Isn't Homosexuality Considered A Disorder On The Basis Of Its Medical Consequences?", republished in full on, Melonakos bluntly, but also compassionately addresses this issue that has become so important to her.

The former San Francisco nurse writes that she "knew personally a prominent dermatologist, a dentist, an engineer, and a hairdresser that died in their mid-forties of infectious diseases related to their homosexual behaviour patterns". LifeSite News

Now that's a good report - with a lot of basis! I smell a reality TV show here! NOT! Do you think anyone will listen to her? NOT!

What about the "Prozac Gay-Nation"? I know, and know of, very few homosexuals who are not on some form of anti-depressant or Valium and it's sisters, or at the very least, some sleep inducing meds, as well as quite a few alcoholics in the bunch - I worked with them, and friends of friends, you know. (The recovered ones are usually on the meds - although, some like both - no wonder it's called "gay".) So what about the mental health issues? Oh, that's right, it's neither a neurosis or a disorder.
All righty then!
[Thus ends sweeps week on Abbey-Roads! No one came. Maybe I should just write reviews of WDTPRS?]

Didya know?

Did you know that at the elevation in pre-Reformation England, some of the faithful were known to call out, "'eave 'im 'igher!"
That would be, "Heave Him higher" so they could see the Sacred Host - and the priest better have held Him there a good while so they could adore.
That may explain why altar boys had to hold the chasuble, so the priest wouldn't tire under the weight of its embroiderie. Don'tchya know?
I like that.

Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Who wrote that? I completely forgot the author's name. It will come back to me.
Anyway - what a difference a night makes.
At prayer this morning I looked at this painting on the cover of Magnificat this December. The house was still cold and it allowed me to empathize with the scene. Mary is sitting in the street - I doubt she would have - yet the image looks so lonely, Joseph being rejected by the innkeeper who must be directing him to the stable, the donkey is in the distance.
I like the painting, save for the "Camille" looking Madonna. She just wouldn't be sitting in the street like that. (As if Joseph would leave her there to get run over by a bus or something!:)
As the heat from the furnace began to warm me, I was anticipating my hot shower, sipping a hot cup of French Market. Studying the cover picture, I was so grateful to have all of this convenience. A house, a warm one now - I keep it cold at night so the kitties will sleep with me - snuggled under the down. I always thank God for the convenience of a shower, no matter the season, the milk in my coffee, even the cigarette. I don't make a show of saying grace, because I am always thanking God, except when I'm asking his forgiveness - which is just about as often. (I even thank God for days like yesterday that expose me for the curmudgeon I am.)
My luxury reminds me, everyday - throughout the day, to pray for the homeless, and those in other countries - such as Iraq, and today, the Philippines devastated by the typhoon. I always think of the kids. They are like Our Lady in this painting by Merson. Don't they look cold and lonely?
Little animals and birds - even mice - tug at my heart. I like to pray for them as well. Driving the freeway from St. Agnes on Sunday mornings, the powerlines are loaded with choirs of birds, warming themselves in the rising sun. I imagine them praying their morning office and pray with them. Although I feel guilty and a bit foolish, I'm suddenly reminded to pray for children again. And to be so grateful for what I have, as well as to be able to share it. Not just at Christmas, or during Advent and Lent - but all year long. I like to do things for others and then forget I did it - and I'm really able to do that. When I give things away, I'm very aware that it was not mine in the first place. My house isn't mine really, nor my car - I just use these things. In the end everything will be taken away anyway.
When I give things away; time, money, talent, possessions - sometimes I get a momentary 'good feeling' - it's not my intention or reason for doing it however. The feeling quickly vanishes and I really do forget about it rather soon. It's the realization that nothing is mine in the first place, everything has been a grace, a gift. Although, more than likely, I say or do something bad, and I understand that probably cancelled out any merit I may have gained. (Really, I honestly do not think of merit. I don't do things to gain indulgences or points - I leave that up to Our Lady to take care of.)
In this way I can always go to prayer empty handed, poor, just like the Madonna sitting in that cold street in Merson's painting - or more aptly, the publican in the temple, not raising his head.
Oh. Our Lady would not have had that pained, forlorn look on her face either. The paradox of poverty of spirit is this, as I mentioned in another post, and I will use the exact quote this time, and not as I imagined it to be;
"Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine, and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God Himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me." - St. John of the Cross
My bunny rabbit is sitting outside, guarding her nest, reminding me to pray.