Saturday, April 05, 2008

Finally - after dinner music...


More background music for tonight...

See, I like to mix stuff...

Picking out background music for my dinner party...

Wow! Entertaining is hard work.

This is a side no one ever sees of me...

People are coming over tonight!

OH! MY! GOSH!!! People are coming over for dinner tonite! I'm starting to cook already this morning, while I clean - copious hand-washing before each duty in the kitchen of course. I no longer like to cook and I hate to clean. The cats are terrorized and I am trying to hold it together. I can't blog - no time - I can't get anyone upset today with a post - gosh - you are just going to have to go read Cathy for that.
The Dream!
Anyway - I had "the" dream last nite. I dreamt I was driving on this fantastic surreal road at night - rolling storybook hills and forests in the distance, and there was an eerie golden glow in the distance. I realized it was the Golden Gate bridge and I wanted to cross it. I came to an intersection and I could go one of two ways to get there, I decided to go straight ahead, casting a glance down the other road which seemed to go down a very steep hill, into complete darkness. Despite the fog on my road, I was happy to take it because the air seemed warm and refreshing. It seemed to me the golden glow of the bridge lighted my way and was a source of solace. I got to the bridge and decided to cross over, as I began the trip, I realized the entrance was a very steep, uphill climb, and the fog became more dense, as if the night were thickening, and I realized the crossing could be dangerous. I understood I would meet the suicides, but I was determined to cross anyway. (I know what it means.)
What I think about almost daily.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Friday Night


(BTW, I still cannot access AR2 - so this may be the last straw for that blog. Did you ever see the Faulty Towers episode where Basil beats his car with a tree branch, cursing and screaming at it - that is what I want to do to St. Blogs.)

"What did you say?"
"Nothing." I've always prided myself on speaking my mind, which is why I often respond to that "What did you say?" question with, "Nothing." So here goes nothing.
I'm going to try and avoid reading other blogs - not that I read so many, but I want to avoid those that spark my snark. Nevertheless, there are a few I keep returning to because they are very good, even though I don't always agree with them. Take Athanasius Contra Mundum for instance. He is such a smart guy - and he has finally revealed his name to his readers, although I knew it before from his emails. He and his wife had a baby not long ago and he is cuter than cute.
Anyway, Philip posted on John Paul the not so great for the anniversary of the Holy Father's death. Philip has posted similar views in the past, and people seem to become easily upset by what he writes. What I love about his posts is that Philip dares to explain why he doesn't think JPII was a "great" pope. (However, I doubt this means Philip doesn't esteem or respect the Pope, I think he does.) Most of us have been so devoted to JPII, and caught up with his charisma and personality, we have difficulty seeing beyond the "cult" which has surrounded him. (Proof of cult is another criteria for canonization by the way.) In addition, the volume of his writing is another aspect that captures our attention, while impressing us with a sense of the Holy Father's greatness. He certainly was prolific.
Having said that, Philip compares JPII's accomplishments to his predecessors, not only the 3 popes who bear the title of great, but popes as recent as Pius XII. Philip also mentions several issues that are easily dismissed by those of us who revere JPII - kissing the Koran, permissiveness as regards the American Church, and so on. I don't want to waste a lot of space on this, but I encourage you to read Philip's post, "John Paul the Great?" - he makes some valid points. But be forewarned, if you don't like criticism of JPII, don't read it, although Philip's tone has definitely softened after baby-bear was born.
I personally think John Paul II is a saint, he did wonderful work, accomplished a great deal, suffered a great deal, and touched untold numbers of people. I look forward to his canonization. Is the title "Great" appropriate? I think history must decide that, not one's contemporaries, especially in our age when people think someone is great just for attracting huge crowds wherever he goes. (Think Obama.)
"What did you say?"
(Photo: The photo above has nothing to do with this post except to show "my soul" - my dear friend Cathy said that one of my posts revealed my soul - but this photo does it better. )

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Why there are nun...

[Note: Still not feeling well, I think I'm dying - I always think that when I'm sick - so my posts will be short and to the point. Oh - and I still can't get into Abbey2 - but I'm too sick to care.]

Didya get it? I used 'nun' for none?
Anyway - I've always said so, and maybe India will prove me right - one reason for the vocation shortage in congregations of women/men religious, is the options young people are presented with in a consumer-driven, materialistic, affluent society. Especially women - they do not have to get married to be taken care of any longer, they do not have to bear children, they can compete in a man's world, and live on their own - without being told what to do by anyone.
Another reason, connected to the spoiled rich girl syndrome, is the education of women - big mistake. (LOL! I'm so kidding.) So many women attend college pursuing degrees that oftentimes are worthless as far as career opportunities go, and then they are stuck with huge academic debts that they can't pay. In some cases, like one blogger I know of, they resort to marrying their parish priest because they have no other option. Or maybe because they realize women have no power in the Church? (Kidding again - gosh I get silly when I'm sick!)
Anyway, this stupid preamble introduces the topic I intended to discuss, I'll let you read it and decide I was right after all. From The Times of India:
Catholic Church in India facing shortage of nuns.
KOCHI: Catholic church in India is facing an increasing shortage of aspirants to convent life, with girls preferring more worldly professions, church authorities feel.
"Consumer culture seems to have overtaken the young girls who are no longer challenged by the call of ascetic life," says Father Paul Thelekat, Church spokesperson.
Women congregations in the country are no more getting enough vocations from urbanised areas of Kerala. But there are enough vocations to priesthood, Father Thelekat said. In European countries the nuns are becoming extinct as a social species and the same situation may be seen in India soon, he feels. - Times

I have nothing else to say - except I also blame "India Idol" and "Bollywood" for attracting Indian youth away from religious vocations - everyone wants fame now days - look at DE.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A day in the life of...

Reality blog.
I can't get into Abbey2 again - just when some good comments are waiting in line as well! Gerald and Mitchell have comments that must be posted, otherwise they may think I'm blowing them off. I wouldn't do that. By the way - if you are reading this Mitchell, I'm taking your word for it, and if everything comes to an end, I'm moving in with you and Judith.
For awhile, in an effort to reinvent myself, I'm going to keep a real weblog - you know, like a real journal or diary. That is pretty much what these things started out to be anyway, so these entries will be filed under, "A day in the life of" and will be very Eleanor Rigbeyish at that. (This way, if I rip into anyone else's blog, there will be some context to it all... Like, "I woke up really crabby this morning and wanted to bash someone" - not really.)
A day in the life of...
Woke up, got out of bed... about six times during the night. A sure sign of prostatitus again - such a nuisance. This may sound juvenile, but I have a little dim battery operated candle on my nightstand, and a little wooden Infant Jesus with a small image of the Divine Mercy. So when I wake up during the night, I see him immediately and it is kind of consoling because we are eye to eye as it were. Anyway, I immediately begin to pray this way - uniting myself to his silent loving action in the Eucharist, and the offering of himself in the holy sacrifice of the Mass being celebrated throughout the world. With the image of him next to me, I find consolation in the remembrance that he who loves me is looking at me when I look at him.
Because I'm not feeling well, I slept in and missed daily Mass. I got up and had coffee, and prayed for awhile. I always begin my prayer with homage to the Holy Face of Jesus and the prayers of the confraternity. A few written prayers follow - the morning offering and so on. Today I used an old prayer book with morning prayers. Reading prayers such as the acts of faith, hope, and charity is a good practice. As we pray so we believe, and vice-versa. It is good for us.
Formulated prayers.
Very often a priest in confession may instruct us to pray our penance in our own words, which is also good. Unfortunately, for many years, most people have been taught that praying in our own words is better than using formulas or the words of others, such as the saints. And movements and practices such as Centering Prayer and other techniques teach people that no words is a better way to pray. Other masters of prayer teach that no words, no images, no thoughts, is an even better way to pray. That is not true of course, but it makes people feel good and they imagine themselves to be very spiritual and evolved if they pray that way.
No, composed prayers, approved by the Church, and especially the psalms are always the best - they inform our conversation with God, and help us with the proper dispositions and decorum required for entering the Divine Presence. If one has trouble with meditation or discursive prayer, written prayers or vocal prayers, prayed with recollection suffice - which is why the rosary is so wonderful.
I stand corrected.
So anyway, after prayers, I checked the news online, opened my emails, responded to some of them, checked my blog and a couple of other blogs. It seemed to me Elena was offering some fraternal correction my way on her blog, writing about what a gentleman is, and the evils of detraction and calumny. (Sometimes God uses what we post without our intending it.) This caused me to examine my conscience on these things and repent at my mid-day examine. After some bread and coffee, I laid down for a nap, because I'm not feeling well you know. I was troubled thinking I hurt Gerald's feelings and prayed for him, and then dosed off.
I got up about an hour later intending to go to adoration, but I still didn't feel well. I checked my mail and discovered that I couldn't publish comments to AR2, so I spent too much time trying to fix things with the computer, until I realized it was too late to go to adoration anyway. So now I'll clean up, visit the Blessed Sacrament on my way to the store - I go to the store every day for fresh items, come back home, eat dinner, watch TV for awhile, examine my conscience, pray, and go to bed, gazing at the image of Jesus until I fall asleep.

[After re-reading while performing spell check on this post, I doubt I'll be able to post many "day in the life of" posts without boring everyone away from Abbey1.]

The funniest post I have ever read...

I will never tire of...
... jumping out of the supply closet and scaring one of my co-workers. He screams like a woman. - The Crescat

It just hit me as so insane and funny. Completely off the wall - to title a post, "I will never tire of" and then to tell us that.

A meme from Cathy

I hate memes but I'll do this one just for Cathy.

What I was doing 10 years ago:

Painting. Having a good time - sort of my last fling, if you will. (See the previous post: Squirrel Reception Video #2).

Snacks I enjoy:

Bruschetta. Cheese and crackers. Trail mix.
Five things on my 'to do' list:
Paint the back room.
Paint the trim on the house.
Start painting again.
Finish my will.
Call my uncle and my aunt.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Give most of it away.

Five jobs that I have had:

Never mind.

Three of my bad habits:

Blogging. Reading other blogs. Blogging about what I have read.

Five places I have lived: (I'll list them from the worst to the best.)

Dubuque, Iowa.
St. Paul, MN.
Minneapolis, MN.
Boston, MA.
Assisi, Italy

I tag Cathy to re-do her meme and answer it honestly this time.