Friday, May 21, 2010

Is it just me?

Or what? 
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In light of yesterday's melt down I've decided to jot down some random thoughts about a few things that bug me about Catholic blogs, blogging and Catholic social media in general.  If the Holy Father was ever wrong about anything he was most definitely wrong about encouraging any Tom, Fr. Dick, or Debbie Harry to blog.
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First off - let me remind you I have a small gathering of regular readers - statistically not even a blip on the radar screen of population.  My personal opinion doesn't matter or make a difference in the big scheme of things - except for that creepy reality which keeps haunting me - every word we utter will be judged.  I hope someone has a sense of humor in the end, otherwise...  But anyway - as I always say - it's just a blog and I shoot my mouth off at my own peril.
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Secondly - I don't want to offend anyone or demonize anyone on this blog - but I guess that happens sometimes.  I have a way with words - but as I always say, quoting Cary Grant, "The effeminate mistake honesty for cruelty."  (Grant actually said women, I say effeminate - we live in an age of effeminacy you see.)  Anyway - we are just people, people.  We can't go around condemning one another - at least I don't think we can nor should we.  I've come to realize because I like contemporary art and architecture, or decide I like Fr. Martin S.J., and read, greet and meet dissenters and stuff - some people think I'm bad.  As I said yesterday, I am really bad and a disappointment - so it is good everyone knows that.  I'm not a saint - I'm trying to be one - but I fail at every step. 
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Honestly - I don't like the mean-spirited culture of the Catholic blogosphere - I used to get into it myself - but I try to avoid doing so as much as possible.  Yesterday people online were doing the draw Mohamed thing - mocking and sneering and defying Muslims with their little cartoons.  That's just wrong.  On one blog commenters called Allah the devil - did they know they called the God of Abraham a devil?  They did.  That is narrow and bigoted and not even Christian.
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The hatred of gay people is really getting to me as well.  The Pope is not condemning persons when he says the political movements espousing gay marriage while condoning homosexual behavior, as well as contraception, abortion, - and it goes without saying, war and economic disparity - are insidious evils.  The Holy Father is condemning the political movement, the ideology, the undermining of civilization and ultimately the ruin of humanity.  Everyone on all sides of these issues act as if he or she is being condemned personally - although on some level they condemn themselves by their own sins.  I have come to the conclusion that no one is good - as Scripture says, there is not a good man left, all have gone astray - we are all sinners - we all need repentance and penance to overcome the insidious evils that threaten our salvation.  We are all part of this sinful generation.  If you think you are some righteous saint today, watch out, because tomorrow you could become a devil.
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So yeah.  I'm tired of self righteous flag waving holier-than-thou religious people on both sides of the fence.  I'm tired of people saying you are bad if you like a liberal and sometimes criticize a conservative.  You can call liberal Fr. So-and-so a jerk, but if you say some uber-Catholic traditionalist priest playing dress-up can be a pompous ass on some days, you are condemned - you are a bad man.  Catholic bloggers get offended if someone looks at them wrong or dares to disagree - and don't even mention it if a 'troll' comments - whew! - the daggers come out and the attacker is mercilessly flamed. 
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Many of our so-called normal bloggers make for great studies of various personality disorders.  Take for instance the professional students who can never settle on a career path; the unstable nun wannabes dreaming of a way out of personal responsibility; the out of work and out of the loop clergy peddling online; the undercover agents alerting the blogosphere whenever they detect a tendency in someone else to think for themselves; the brilliant trad theologians whose only employment is stocking grocery shelves for a living while condemning the liberal state of the post-Vatican II Church and the hierarchy, while claiming to be descendants of European nobility.  Constantly spewing venom and asserting their religious superiority over others - themselves exempt from all criticism.  Protestant fundamentalists ask others if they have been saved - Catholic fundamentalists take a poll to see if you prefer the Extraordinary Form of Mass and fancy vestments.  
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After reading our crap, no wonder so many people hate the Church and misunderstanding what the Pope really says.   
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Yeah, so that is what happened yesterday.  And I'm no better than anybody - that is what I was trying to get across yesterday.
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Art:  St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre  Christians never learn, do we.

57 comments:

  1. Terry, I like you more than ever!
    You have put into words my exact thoughts/feelings/ruminations lately.
    I want to be alive in Christ, to love Him and His Church with fervor and fidelity.
    The nastiness/uncharitable rantings/self-pitying/self-aggrandizing b.s. makes me sick and annoyed and very, very sad.
    You hit the bulls-eye.
    Really.
    I'm not just sayin' this; just ask anybody around here if I don't call a 'space a spade'...
    We have to "be" all for Jesus and His Church; we have to "die" to ourselves and to sin and evil. Period.
    And we need lots of doses of self-knowledge, self-correction and "Humiliations galore!" ('The Princess Bride')...glad you're back up and running.
    I almost had a major depression yesterday (!)...I thought I had lost a real ally and soul-friend.
    Keep on, brother, keep on!

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  2. +JMJ+

    OMG. I think I just saw myself and I'm not pretty. I'll go work on my real job now, say a rosary later, do something other than blog about Catholic stuff.

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  3. Totally agree with you. 'Love thy neighbour' often seems less important than unbleached candles half the time out on the Catholic blogosphere! Fortunately though there are many good blogs (I particularly enjoy blogs by Catholic mums!!) and where there are blogs which seem to have a hate-filled agenda, then clearly prayers are needed because they're unhappy about something in their own lives. People just don't realise that much of what they try and keep deep inside in fact manifests itself in the way the blogger writes!

    I know you don't seem to want praise so you'll have to forgive me, but I do enjoy reading your blog and would hope you keep writing. I understand when you write that sometimes our blogs (particularly when they get popular) can boost our own egos and so on, but if we all root our blogs in prayer so that they have a clear purpose, then I think we can rest in that we are fulfilling a particular vocation which as much as we don't always want to admit, can be a useful and helpful tool for those reading depending on where they are in their own lives. I know I've often been in the dumps and I read something and it just makes sense and I thank God. I suppose at the moment I'm a bit like that struggling along as I normally do, but I can see God out there, even if I can't feel him next to me.

    Verso l'alto!

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  4. Anonymous1:05 PM

    Hi Terry:

    I thought I'd comment quick before you take this post down!

    (Although I hope you don't)

    I agree with part of what you say - wait - I agree with all of what you say except that I'm going to argue that what you say isn't about the totality of the Catholic blogosphere, but only a bit of it - and maybe not even the most widely read part of it

    (except for the certain priest part)

    I really think that the most popular, living and thriving part of the Catholic blogosphere is the parenting/momblogging end - FAith/Family Live, Catholic Moms, the various individuals.

    They've got their problems, too, and their judgers and circular arguments. But in terms of *impact* and efforts to build up in an honest way, I think they are far more important, even numbers-wise than most of the blogs you seem to be referencing here.

    INside Catholic is pretty popular too, and it's a pretty interesting mix.

    Then there's Rocco Palmo, who's prob the most popular (after...the..priest),a nd who basically reports the news.

    So I dunno. I think you're right about a certain sector of the Catholic blogosphere, but I'm saying that it's only that sector and maybe if you spent a couple of days reading about cute babies revealing the love of God you'd feel differently!

    (kidding...that gets old too.)

    Meg

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  5. Anonymous1:25 PM

    Terry: Isn't it interesting that today the Catholic Christian is known more for what he/she is against than what they are for. I think that the devil is giving us a chance to prove our Christianity. The only two signs that Jesus expressly said that the world will know that we are his followers is by the love and unity we show. Too bad in many circles so much of that is so lacking.

    Speak the truth Terry as you see it and if others are upset and leave it says more about them then about you. I believe that Pope John XXIII said something like "in essentials unity ..... but in all other things charity." So lacking in today's Christendom.

    Isn't it great that we have a Savior that calls us into a relationship with him and as John Chrystom writes, all the issues of Justice have been settled and paid for by the Cross, that all that is left is the sheer mercy and forgivenss of God.

    Keep up the good work and do not become disheartened, because the one who loves you is the one who created you, and he knows you and the deepest desires of your heart, that is to become a saint.

    fr ray from DC

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  6. fr ray: St. Augustine said that too (In essentials unity; in other things, charity)...it goes back a LOOONG ways!
    Dittos!

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  7. Excellent post! I didn't read anything in there about myself- whew!! (hahaha) I'm more like your Al Gore post anyway- "Mr.Chicken little; you know "The sky is falling." Poor Al seems to be so riddled with anxiety. I don't know how Mr.Happy can sleep at night.

    You wrote "the brilliant trad theologians whose only employment is stocking grocery shelves ---- while claiming to be descendants of European nobility."

    What a crack up!!!
    I'm unemployed and one of my decendents is a guy who rode with Washington while crossing the Delaware. Shoeless, hungry , and frostbitten. I can't believe he was still able to reproduce. Oh the glamour!(insert funny off color joke here)

    Reality checks are good Mr.T. The more painful the better 'cause people only learn from pain or maybe that's just me.(hahaha)

    Grandpa is that you!?

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  8. No, dearest belinda: it is not only you...*sigh*...pain is the means by which all of us learn to accept our limitations, accept others' weaknesses and, yes, even sins, and embrace our "creaturehood" (it's not all about ME!)...
    I'm still a student in that school...
    yeah, a student.
    Will be for a looong time, I'm afraid.
    Thanks.

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  9. Austringer2:24 PM

    Terry, now, you have to know that your liking of contemporary art doesn't make you BAD, in my eyes...
    let me make that clear.

    Great post...you've given me much to chew on.

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  10. Shoeless, hungry , and frostbitten. I can't believe he was still able to reproduce.

    Belinda - honey - depends on what got frostbit... O.o

    Terry - you are an excellent writer. Thanks for writing this - I have to constantly check myself at my blog, whether I'm *attacking* rather than *defending*. There's a difference.

    There are a lot of people out there who take themselves waaaaaay too seriously. Granted - getting saved is serious business, and acting as we ought equally so. But I don't recall Christ saying "Blessed are the easily offended..." If we could learn to laugh at ourselves a little bit more, be a little bit more humble, realize that everyone is at a different stage on the path to holiness, and that calling something Evil, or Sinful, or Bad For You, when it really is any of those things - and said with charity and received as such - well, imagine how much better things would be.

    And as soon as everyone agrees with me, the better things will be too! LOL!!

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  11. LarryD: A good sense of humor is rooted in humility: you know yourself so well in God that you can laugh at all the idiotic, ironic and stupid things that go on around you and not lose your "cool"...
    Righteous anger is always directed at evil, at sin, at the demons and not at people (although it might indirectly involve people)...that's why satirists like Chesteron and even E. Waugh are so hilarious while remaining virtuous.
    St. Paul says that our battle is not with flesh but with "spirits"; as long as we keep that in mind, we do not veer into attacks against one another.
    It is certainly an art; spiritual direction and self-knowledge are needed.
    But we gotta loosen up a bit...we're not Protestants, you know:<)!(said tongue-in-cheek by a former Methodist!).

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  12. "Blessed are the cracked, for they are the ones who let in the light"

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  13. Terry,

    With all of this--whatever "this" is--why don't you just end the blog? I mean, is it worth it? What's the point, if it leads to whatever it has lead to? Ya know?

    I love it. Your writing, your perspective, I mean. I really do. But all of this, as you said, "drama"...is BS.

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  14. NO, Terry, please do not end the blog.
    I beg you.
    "Drama" is the fact of this life.
    Okay, I'm done.

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  15. But, it's just a blog, isn't it? This, Terry readily admits: "It's just my blog"; "My opinion is meaningless"; etc. So, it begs the question. If that's so, then call the bluff and end it.

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  16. Dear Father N.P.
    Dont worry Mr.Terry wont end this blog. (and if he did I still have his email address. hahaha) Sometimes he gets in these moods that come around much like a lunar eclipse where he unknowingly toys with us to find out if he's loved and wanted. I know what I'm talking about here, I do this all of the time with my blog administrator.

    *Example- No, No , we love you Belinda, don't run away from home to Lake Louise! SO naturally I stay and only dream of Lake Louise.

    Everyone has bad days and wants to feel loved and appreciated and everyone sins.(I don't know what happened to set Terry off I've been busy and not paying attention) After confession (I'm not saying he did anything cause I don't know what's going on) Mr.Terry will be all chipper once again and ready to take on the meanest of our blogosphere buddies
    We still need Terry to tell us nice Jesus stories and creepy basement stories and first hand Saint stories (shhh, when he writes about those saint stories it's cause he was there. He knew 'em!)

    Patrick Dunn didn't mean it!

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  17. I missed ALL the drama, dang, and I love Drama, suspense stuff! If your not ruffling a few feathers--your probably would be painfully boring! Your blog is my favorite blog--and even though you think you touch just a few lives with your posts--we each connect to others--I can't even tell you how many times I have told someone of one of your blog posts.

    It was funny, one of my friends, after I had told her about saint Eugene--reading it on your post--about a month later, she mentioned it to me again, "you, know, there is this saint Eugene and he..." I just laughed and told her that I was the person who told her the story--who knows how many other people she told about him--so you just never know how your one blog can affect others :)

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  18. belinda: I know, I know...I just gots to get into the 'rhythm' here:<)!
    I'm a superior of a religious community and so I get immediately ready to do or fix something at the least provocation (like a young parent)...thanks for the counsel! Really!
    And, Mr. Terry, you could not do anything that would make me not love you!!! Really!
    Jesus told me...but I'm not going into that since "private revelations" that are not approved must not be spoken:<)!!
    And, as for psycho-dramas, you haven't lived through one until you go through it in an enclosed community...just ask Mr. Terry!

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  19. There is the need for normal Catholic bloggers, and not just the reactionaries; right now I see most of the blogosphere is reactionary, the disenfranchised from their parish kind of underculture. Not all of it is this way, and not every question they raise is wrong, but the culture nonetheless causes a considerable problem. I am not sure what the solution is, but I do think the virtual reality aspect of the net is causing a greater disconnect than people realize, and it is affecting people as they meet in person, too.

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  20. We had a conversation in my Carmelite study group just this past Sunday...it seems like you can't get three Catholics in the same room to agree on ANYTHING...

    My Presbyterian Church growing up was NOT like that...

    If we squabble amongst ourselves as Catholics what hope is there to ever reconcile the Eastern Churches or any of the Protestant Churches!!

    One BIG thing that Protestant churches do that Catholic Churches DO NOT do is Adult Sunday School.. every adult should be in Sunday Schol EVERY Sunday, where the faith is reinforced. Adult Sunday School is the same time as kids Sunday School. There MUST NOT be Mass the same time as Sunday School. The classes should be well-structured studies with homework.

    One example that really struck home was when I was in Saudi Arabia and went to the underground Catholic church there... I was "exploring" Catholicism at the time. They had put up the green banners for Ordinary Time. I asked several people what the green banners meant...no one could tell me...

    I could go on and on..but Terry please keep writing!! I Learn so much from your postings!!

    God Bless.. Sara

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  21. Austringer7:29 PM

    Sara,

    In contrast to your experience, I belong to a parish that is amazingly united in its views on world and church events. The credit for this belongs to our pastor, who has never shied away from the "hard" teachings of the Catholic Faith. People who didn't like what he had to say left years ago, and so, far from being divisive, that kind of forthright teaching has created a fairly uniform congregation. Our pastor is also quite plainly a political conservative, and so most if not all political liberals left with the various dissenters years ago.

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  22. Austy is right. When the liberals are gone many issues tend to no longer exist.

    Sara, You've forgotten about 12 years of Catholic grade school and maybe college where theology is a must. I've learned from my children that as a convert I don't really know squat..

    Mr Henry, I can't tell you how much blogging has helped my personality. My social anxiety, and general fears have gotten so very much better. I even talk to men which I had never done in the past. I've learned about the body of Christ in a whole new way and that my faith isn't just all about "Jesus 'n me" but it's so much more. The communion of saints are a powerful thing. Who knew??

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  23. Thanks for saying it, Terry. When I say it, no one listens.

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  24. Oh, but Mr. Thom, I do listen...
    I may not always agree, but I listen:<)!
    Keep talkin'...

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  25. +JMJ+

    Okay. I'm back.

    Meg, why are you nice to everyone except me? Really.

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  26. I will say something about contraception, then shut up....but food for thought...

    When I attended the NFP class a few years back (purely for information purposes at the time) it was driven home that it for "normal, healthy" couples. (On a side note--the lady that "presented" the slide show was at least 20 years post-menopausal and had never done NFP in her entire life. These classes should be conducted by actually practicing couples).

    The advances in modern medicine, especially in the past 20 years. raises all kinds of issues. For example--just in my case I was on Accutane for severe acne, several different steroids and medications for asthma, all with severe warning labels of the high risk of birth defects. So then the question becomes--do I stop taking my medication, especially the asthma medicine, or do I contracept?? According to the NFP guidelines I am not "normal, healthy" if I am on those kinds of medications. I could also see the case of women who are diabetics, whose diabetes could get out of control, or high likely of Cystic fibrosis, etc. I asked politely the instructor who just rolled her eyes and said she wasn't here to give medical advice, just to show the slides...I also asked her that when I was on antibiotics that the drugs affect the mucus readings required for proper interpretation of the NFP charting. She basically said I was being difficult and stomped away, although there were a couple of couples that did want to hear the answer.

    If the Church really want to promote the NFP they need to have fully trained practioners who are knowalgable in the practice and a nurse or doctor who can answer the "antibiotic and other drug" questions....if they can't then the attendees will blow off the class and make their own decisions.

    'Nuff said..I've stirred the pot enough..oh the fun of being Catholic in the New Century :)

    God Bless... Sara

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  27. I just love this post. We all need to hear this and we need to take a close look at ourselves when we find our mouths hurling criticism.

    You keep us thinking and you keep us humble.

    This blog is a vocation Terry. Long may it wave.

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  28. Sara: Some excellent points.
    I think there are Catholic MDs and nurses who could answer those questions; and they do need to be addressed because it is not unlikely that some would be in those situations.
    I don't think it is a good idea to "brush" people off with questions like that; Dr. Hillier in Omaha and other experts could give that kind of information. They need to be cited when these questions arise.
    If we're going to inform and instruct engaged couples and married couples in the moral norms of spacing births, we need to be informed ourselves.
    Good for you!

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  29. Wow! Thanks for all the comments every one of you - After painting this PM I was kind of afraid to go online - I don't know what got into me the past couple of days - I was going to take this down but now I will leave it up because of all the comments. My apologies if I offended anyone - that wasn't my intention.

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  30. I'm keeping the blog Patrick.

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  31. I say the same thing too: "Excellent post!" But instead of saying "I didn't read anything in there about myself- whew!!" I confessed that you are talking about "me". I am not saying you are getting personal and I think if your readers (including myself) don't like this game of Catholic blogosphere, we won't be reading this. I humbly placed myself at your feet (yours and others). I never realize when I and other "liberals" disappear from the face of the earth, it would make the world a better place. But good thought for this Pentecost.
    Terry, your blog is special because both somehow people on both sides of the fence find their way here - and they know what they are getting into. Do I ever subscribe or follow other blogs?!
    I never condemn you for being who you are - nor did I imply you were a disappointment to me.

    What else can I say?

    Oh I know: >-- hug --<. (Now, as a religious, I hope this is not counted as an inappropriate behaviour.)

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  32. Br. Wm. - you're up early! Anyway - big hug back - I especially felt bad if you went away disappointed - I mean it's okay - but I don't want you to feel bad. God bless!

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  33. Up early? It's 11:39am here...almost time for Sext. (GMT+8) I am in Hong Kong.

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  34. Liberal vs conservative....

    I was born and raise in sunny SoCal... and thought I was pretty conservative thinking, even a registered Republican, compared to most Californians...

    Until I left California :)

    I guess I'll always be a left-wing liberal California nut-case :) (compared to everyone else :)

    (Please don't kick all of us liberals out of the Church :)

    Sara

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  35. Brother William--I have a coworker with family in Hong Kong...he goes visits them every year..long plane ride from the States.

    Sara

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  36. Br. Wm. - Omigosh! I thought you were in the UK. Sorry.

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  37. Sara - your coworker may be able to attest to you that in Hong Kong, the polemics between the so-called conservative and liberal do not really exist. (Well - I may be exaggerating... at least not so much pronounced, or visible, or even cared about! Here, most Catholics try hard to evangelize - and being peaceful among ourselves is quite a powerful witness. When I was in the States, I got labelled as conservative and liberal at the same time (by different camps of course.)

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  38. Terry - don't be sorry. Being born in Hong Kong made me a "British Subject" - not a UK citizen. I grew up under the Union Jack and was used to having the Queen on our coins and stamps. Those born before 1997 can still hold a British Passport - but not the European Union one.
    Believe it or not, I was converted to Catholicsm in the UK - in Edinburgh, to be precise, a stone's throw away from the Presbyterian Vatican and I have almost joined the British OFM Province.

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  39. Liberalism vs Conservatism--bleh, those are not terms applicable to Faith. Secular Humanism/Relativism vs Truth is more acurate.


    Jesus was considered "liberal" in His day, but God knows that doesn't mean that He was telling people to keep sinning. Sexual activity outside of marriage (as God has ordained marriage between a man and woman) as well as maritial sexual activity that excludes God's perogative to create a new life or not--is sin, no matter what "preferences" it takes. We need to stop all the justifications for sin.

    Georgette

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  40. Sarah, we had a similar experience to the one you had; went to some classes in which the presenters were well-intentioned but not as knowledgeable as they should have been(that was a lot of years ago, hopefully more information is out there now). The Creighton model (Dr. Thomas Hilgert is associated with it) has some really good classes. And I would really recommend Dr. Evelyn Billing's book; especially if there are not good classes available in one's area.
    I read recently that Marquette University was doing some studies with a fertility indicator; this sounds promising for people who have trouble because the normal fertility signs are obscured by medications, etc.

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  41. Dear Sara, If you don't want to be pregnant -dont drink the cough syrup! I've got a hundred things to say about NFP but I wont. It's funny how NFP teachers most often have at lot of kids... Usually they're the ones open to life....

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  42. "It's funny how NFP teachers most often have at lot of kids..."
    Belind, yeah, I noticed that too. I could also say some things about NFP that I'd better not.
    Did you know blue M&M's keep you from getting pregnant? You don't eat them before, or after, but instead.

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  43. Boycott M&Ms! Anti-Catholic! Someone call Fr. Z and Lifesite! Melt them in your hand, not your mouth, for God's sake!

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  44. I always wonder about Our Lady saying to St Bernadette, that she could not promise her happiness in this world, only in the next. Would she say the same thing to all of us? Those battling same sex attraction, addictions, difficulties in conceiving/or not conceiving according to preferred life plans. Would she be unable to promise any of us happiness in this world?
    I know souls, who are suffering, but experience JOY, indeed I have experienced it myself and recognised it as such, when I first started praying the Rosary. However, to say I am 'happy' in this world would be impossible. Even if you asked me to list my requirements for happiness, I would have a difficult time working it out. I don't think this world can deliver my heart's desires. They are changing, daily and only God will do, ultimately. Maybe to sense on earth, the reassurance of being found in Him, that would certainly give me peace. Sorry if this is totally off topic, it's just what came into my head as I read the comment about blue M&M's.

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  45. No - it's not just you...

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  46. Melody and Belinda--I seem to recall a few years ag on on Life on the Rock on EWTN that there was a youngish couple who promoted NFP, they were instructors, how good it was for their marriage, how they really came together as a couple blahblah blah...actually a really good interview...the kicker was at the very end, when the interviewer asked about their children and they said "Oh yeah--we have like 10 kids in 12 years"...

    Yeah..NFP REALLY worked for you..

    Yeah--my class was onthe Creighton model too..however it was just the ONE class, primarily for engaged couples--required class for marriage prep--so if you wanted to try the method and had any questions or concerns on how to do the charting there was no follow-up or no one you could call with questions or if you need a refresher or a bit extra help. There was also no "practicing" men present who could address it from the husband's point of view, on how to be suppportive of the fertility cycle without feeling "neglected", etc. This leads alot of people to believe that the church is not really supportive of the program.

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  47. Austringer10:48 AM

    Georgette, I agree: terms like "liberal" and "conservative" are out of place when speaking of religious matters. I use the terms "orthodox" (follows the teaching of the Magisterium), and "heterodox" (picks and chooses what teachings of the Magisterium they will follow, to varying degrees).

    Belinda may have misread my intention: I was not implying that one has to "get the liberals out"; rather, I was explaining to Sara why my experience of the unity of a parish was so different than hers (she was saying that, in her experience, you can't get Catholics to agree on anything). In my particular case, our priest is quite upfront and direct about all the "hard" teachings of the Catholic Church (contraception, abortion, same-sex issues, etc.). If you don't want to hear that, you go elsewhere. This has resulted in a remarkably unified parish.

    I also mentioned that our priest's political conservatism is made very clear. Whether that's good or bad, I made no comment on. But, once again, if you don't subscribe to that point of view, you're not likely to stick around this parish. This too tends to lead to a uniform worldview amongst the parishioners. I was not using the term "conservative" in regards to the faith.

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  48. Austy, yes, yes agreed.

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  49. shadowlands--it is indeed tough in this world, when we seem to be surrounded by so much negativity, all the bad things happening in the world, our falling clergy/politicians/sports heros whom we look up to..and it is so easy for me to get depressed too..
    my life too is full of challenges, physically, mentally, work-related, family-related, financially-related...it does seem to go on and never seems to end..

    But then I stop and think that my Abba "daddy" God is so good to me, this bad sinful child that I'm sure continually lets Him down, but when I ask for bread he does not give me a snake. He has blessed me so abundantly in this world, and so often not material things, but things only He can give. Greeting me with a lovely sunset on my drive home from work, the tulips in my front yard, the birds that entertain me with their antics at the bird feeder. And my touch with humanity--giving someone a smile and a good morning even when I myself feel like crap, making the coffee for the umteenth time as it seems like one one else can, and seeing the expression of a soldier as he conmes in from the cold "Thank you Maam for the coffee--it is SOO COld outside." And really try to live the teachings of St Therese--doing little things with great love.And I try to make at least 50 percent of my prayers prayers of praise and thianksgiving, thanking God for His goodness, so that I AM NOT the ungratefulspoiled child that does not appreciate His gifts..

    I know to you I am only typing words....but please try to look for the joy in this world, it is subtle but it is out there, and you can take part of this joy and make it your own.

    "The joy of the Lord is my strength" I can get giddy and sing this little song over and over..a childs song but to me means so much.

    I will keep you in my prayes today..

    God Bless... Sara

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  50. Austringer - this is off topic but a belated happy birthday! Wow! We share the same day. That is so cool. Also I honestly wasn't addressing you on the contemporary art crack - I was thinking of a couple of blogs that only approve of traditional architecture and Baroque art. Very stuffy fellas sometimes.

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  51. Austringer11:15 AM

    Terry, I'm thinkin' there's something really cosmic here -- we share the same birthday; you're an artist, I'm an artist; you create beautiful gardens (I love seeing the photos you post); I try to (and fail)-- the connections run on and on!

    I'm relieved to hear that you didn't think that I had thought you a bad person for liking contemporary art...that makes you totally nutzoid, but bad? Never!

    Seriously, though, you will have to come out sometime for coffee and lunch or some such thing...

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  52. Wow--all the Taureses out there..what is this world coming to... :)

    Anyway--belated Happy Birthday Austringer!! Will say a prayer for you today :)

    God Bless.. Sara

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  53. "...This leads alot of people to believe that the church is not really supportive of the program"
    Sara, I feel it is not so much of a lack of support, as a disconnect between how they think things are supposed to be, and how things actually play out in people's lives, if that makes any sense. A bit of an Ivory Tower mentality.

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  54. Happy Birthday, Austringer!

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  55. Ter: I'm worried about you and praying a Rosary for you today.

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  56. Thanks Cath - I sound that crazy, huh? LOL! I always need the prayers. Thanks hon.

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