Saturday, January 02, 2016

Rosemary's Baby revisited ...

*See footnote.

I watched part of Rosemary's Baby last night.

I turned it off at the 'conception' scene - I forgot how graphic it was.

I simply happened upon the film while channel surfing.  I was kind of freaked out.  Years ago, on New Year's Eve, I read the book.  The film was released in the New Year.  (I hate dating myself - but I have to face facts don't I.  I'm a 22 year old trapped in this hideous shell ... what?)

Why is that so freaky - the coincidence of seeing the film on New Years, that is?


In high school my friends and I were playing with a Ouija board.  We all had been interested in fortune telling and spooky stories and hauntings.  One night I asked the board when I would die - the planchette moved quickly to 6 and then to 7.  I concluded it would be 1967.  That 1967 New Years Eve, my partner and I stayed home from the bars.  I read Rosemary's Baby - he read Last Exit to Brooklyn.  I had assumed the board was telling me I would die in 1967.  At the stroke of midnight, I put the book down and told my friend - who was quite unimpressed, 'looks like I made it - so it must mean I will live until I'm 67.'  He could have cared less.

So - without revealing my age - my birthday is in May - and, this may be it ...  the last days.

I know - the devil lies - and over the years I've had prayers and all of that - to deliver me - and so I'm not believing in it - but it still haunts me.  The coincidence on New Year's was indeed strange.

So I'm going to confession today.

*About the gif:  At the time I worked at a local department store in the display department.  Oddly enough - the display department in Minneapolis was directed by a witch, and several employees were involved in witchcraft and the occult.  Though clearly fascinated by that, I wasn't aware at how extensive it was until much later.  Likewise, the store's major promotion at the time was London/Carnaby St. 'Youthquake' which included Aquarian themes.  Auditorium and teen events involved fortune tellers and a lot of fluff connected to the occult.  Interestingly, I covered the walls and ceiling of the bathroom in Tarot Card chintz, and the shower curtains were the same fabric.  It was pretty cool.  I also tried to teach myself how to read Tarot.

I have no idea what influence that all had upon me, but early on after my conversion there were many scary infestation type temptations and harassment.

My fabric was similar to this - although
the checker-board background was dark purple
and the cards were more antiqued.

Song for this post here.
(Did you know Diane Keaton was in the original cast?)


O glorious prince St. Michael,
 chief and commander of the heavenly hosts,
 guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits,
servant in the house of the Divine King
and our admirable conductor,
 you who shine with excellence
and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil
, who turn to you with confidence
and enable us by your gracious protection
 to serve God more and more faithfully every day.

Friday, January 01, 2016

The memoir

I was thinking about the blog as a sort of memoir...

It occurred to me as I was reading another writer's account of his conversion.  Most of his writing is about that process.  I kind of know who the writer is and know a few sketchy things about his life.  Interestingly, when he writes about his past he makes a point of pointing out 'that he wasn't that bad' - in a Brittney Spears-I'm-not-that-innocent sort of way.  Of course he states that he was much better looking then than he is now - but as I said - I met him - or saw him back then, and I know that's not true.  What?

That sounds 'mean'?  It's not.  The reason I say it is because I've done exactly the same thing.  It's probably the same reason I don't like him very much - or when I'm sympathetic to his sufferings, I can sort of empathize with him.  I doubt very much that he is lying in some of the things he writes - but he has quite a high opinion of himself and rejoices in his conversion to such a degree he has the greatest compassion for himself and his moral failings.

Of course it's impossible to discuss someone else and their memoir without identifying them - but I must say that his writing helps me to see myself in a totally more realistic light.  My dislike of this particular writer helps me understand my own history a bit better - yet even more revealing - my attitude seems to reflect the attitude former friends may have formed about me.  The most famous criticism of my blogging - or at least the comment I can never forget, is when an anonymous commenter said, "Man - you have a lot of people fooled."  That was one of the most useful comments I ever read - and I think of it every time I want to level the same criticism against another.

Angela of Foligno and Margaret of Cortona knew these things about themselves.  I suspect they were often tempted to vain glory themselves - which is why they wanted to parade through town with fish and garbage hanging from their neck with a list of their sins.  Their confessors prevented them from doing that - precisely because it would give them some sort of satisfaction in so far as they some how 'justified' themselves as wretched sinners in and through public penance.  All of their accusers would see them thus and perhaps either take pity - or more perfectly - throw them out of town because they really were scum bags.

That sounds 'mean'?  It's not.  Because they were saints, they knew their wretchedness - and they feared vain rejoicing in spiritual narcissism and flattery.

Back to the memoir.

They're not all that accurate.  They are often tainted, colored, flowered over, or lustily embellished for drama.  Not always of course - but quite often - albeit rarely intentionally.  It is simply the way we reminisce.  Then our perception can be distorted by emotion or even wishful thinking.

An example.

I saw the real Santa Claus.  I was about four years old.  That Christmas Eve we came home from the bar down the street - the Christmas tree lights were on, reflected off the wall in the living room - I saw a shadow placing Christmas presents under the tree, my mother had to hold me back, frantically whispering, saying I couldn't go any further or I'd scare him - I tried to break loose and was convinced I could see him around the corner of the door.  When my mother said he disappeared, I ran into the room and all the presents were there.  I was convinced I saw him.  Until 3rd grade - when a mean old Lutheran teacher (married to a Lutheran minister) told me I was lying, grabbing my hair, pulling my head back and forth, until I would either admit I lied or stop insisting I hadn't.  I wouldn't give in - but I figured out that if I just shut up she'd leave me alone.  At recess, I told my friend who sat across from me that I really did see him.  "I did see him!  I did!"

See - I'm just like St. Bernadette.

And that's my point.  I wasn't just like St. Bernadette.  My classmate then asked me if I wanted to see his 'horsey'.*


*I told him 'No!' - that 
would be a mortal sin.

Song for this post here.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Pope Francis and the Little Way

Pope Francis offers the key to welcoming the Child Jesus.

True devotion to the Child Jesus is learned by welcoming the child - or as the Holy Father said, "'look to the lives of children' in order to learn to love and welcome Jesus."

The Holy Father has often spoken of his love for little children, loving them at Mass, even when they are noisy or distracted or restlessly crying out for attention.  For myself, it was devotion to the Child Jesus which taught me to love little kids - especially at Mass - no matter how 'wild' they get.  Every time I hear a little kid fall and burst into tears I feel it - I pray for him - I pray for kids who suffer or who are not welcomed.  The writings of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity taught me to honor them as little tabernacles of the Blessed Trinity.  So I think I understand the Holy Father's recommendations on devotion to the Divine Child.

Devotion to the Child Jesus is widespread. Many saints cultivated this devotion in their daily prayers, and wished to model their lives after that of the Child Jesus. I think in particular of St Thérèse of Lisieux, who as a Carmelite nun took the name of Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. She is also a Doctor of the Church who knew how to live and witness to the “spiritual childhood” which is assimilated through meditation, as the Virgin Mary taught, on the humility of God who became small for us. This is a great mystery. God is humble! We who are proud, filled with vanity, believe we are something big: we are nothing! He, the Great One, is humble and becomes a child. This is a true mystery. God is humble. This is beautiful!
As we see, we know little of the Child Jesus, but we can learn much about him if we look to the lives of children. It is a beautiful habit that parents and grandparents have, that of watching what the children do.
We discover, first of all, that children want our attention. They have to be at the centre — why? Because they are proud? No! Because they need to feel protected. It is important that we too place Jesus at the centre of our life and to know, even if it may seem paradoxical, that it is our responsibility to protect him. He wants to be in our embrace, he wants to be tended to and to be able to fix his gaze on ours. Additionally, make the Child Jesus smile in order to show him our love and our joy that he is in our midst. His smile is a sign of the love that gives us the assurance of being loved. Children, lastly, love to play. Playing with children, however, means abandoning our logic in order to enter theirs. If we want to have fun it is necessary to understand what they like, and not to be selfish and make them do the things that we like. It is a lesson for us. Before Jesus we are called to abandon our pretense of autonomy — and this is the crux of the matter: our pretense of autonomy — in order to instead accept the true form of liberty, which consists in knowing and serving whom we have before us. He, the Child, is the Son of God who comes to save us. He has come among us to show us the face of the Father abounding in love and mercy. Therefore, let us hold the Child Jesus tightly in our arms; let us place ourselves at his service. He is the font of love and serenity. It will be beautiful today, when we get home, to go to the nativity scene and kiss the Baby Jesus and say: “Jesus, I want to be humble like you, humble like God”, and to ask him for this grace. - NEWS.VA

Hopefully pastors and parishioners will understand the importance of children at Mass.  On Sundays kids leave the church for a Children's Liturgy of the Word, and parents with rambunctious children are asked to take their kids to the 'Cry Room'.  I don't like that at all.  A crying baby or a giggling toddler is a beautiful sound, a wonderful homily - and a reminder to welcome and protect the child at every stage of life.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

It's not that bad ... The hoverboard priest.

Story here.

I watched the video.

The priest was suspended for greeting people at Christmas, riding a hoverboard up and down the aisle - singing an old pop-Christmas song - all before the final blessing.  Pope John Paul used a rolling cart entering and exiting for Mass - I think Pope Benedict did too?  I bet the priest was thinking along those lines.  I've seen worse happen between the final prayer and final blessing - which in many parishes is usually the time for announcements and promos for parish fundraisers - sometimes dramatic and or comedic performances in fact.   Give the guy a break.  It's Christmas.

Those Filipinos are so strict.


Filipino news agency just announced:
Priest's hoveround caught fire
and so he had to use the hoverboard.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I think it might have been something I posted ...

It's the Christmas Jester.

Now I'm thinking the Followers app got cleaned out because of something I posted.

The Dusty Towne Holiday Special.  Just writing it cracks me up.  Catherine O'Hara's parody of a 1950's '60's bawdy, off-color, comedienne/entertainer is one of the funniest segments from SCTV archives.  It is ridiculous and silly.  I come across it once in a while and watch it - love her delivery and things like, "Isn't that cute, isn't that true?"  I'm not as fond of John Candy as Divine or Andrea Martin as a Solid Gold Dancer - but the dumb joke O'Hara does about Mrs. Dinky cracks me up.

My apologies to those who were offended - I removed the post.  You are better off for leaving.

That said - I laugh at weird stuff.  My humor is oftentimes very often inappropriate.  Another friend sent me an email concerning women and sexuality.  No offense - but that has never been something I know much about.  I know nothing about these things.  I know more now than I ever did - but like Donald Trump, I find it disgusting.  (He said that when commenting on Hilary excusing herself during the debate - as if she has incontinence problems.  He also inferred that when called out Megyn Kelly for 'blood coming out of her wherever'.)

I'm kidding that I am at all like Trump - women's personal hygiene doesn't concern or involve me, and I certainly would never belittle women for what is natural.  Trump is the disgusting one - he exploits women and uses them as trophies - that in itself is far more immoral than a Dusty Towne parody, but I digress. (Vote for him at your peril.)

I've said over and over on this blog that I know nothing about birth and babies - or 'birthing babies', nor women and female sexuality, nor lesbians or lesbianism, and so on.  (I know more now than I ever did before thanks to Oprah, Crescat, The Anchoress, and the left-over lesbians still at the Patheos Catholic Channel.  What?)

To be honest - my 'virginity' has remained intact because I was always afraid of sexual intimacy with women.  My crazy mother can take the credit for that.  Then of course, I was deeply devoted to the Blessed Virgin since a very early age and like St. Aloysius, I avoided looking at women until I was in Junior High - when I needed a beard.  (Kidding - kind of.)

So.  What can I say?

I took the Dusty Towne parody down.  Now go away.  LOL!

We love you family.


For the Fifth Day of Christmas ...

S. Thomas Becket

An excellent essay on Becket and Romero here.

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Holy Innocents ...

After the Holy Family fled ...
the infants were very much alone
 - as if abandoned -
to all appearances.
Yet, to be sure,
neither forgotten nor unloved ...
venerated for all eternity ...
the emergent terror, 
the awful abuse
began at that moment,
and the scars perdure ...

The grace of Christmas - I hope ...

I received the interior conviction that my discussion about 'church people' is not pleasing to God.  Especially my observations about monastic and religious life, and priests, as well as devout laity.

I'm going through archives to delete offensive posts.  If you know of one I may have overlooked, please let me know.

I'm so sorry, and apologize to all.

Please pray for me.  Thanks.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Pope at Christmas

Holy Family Sunday

It is such an important feast within the Octave of Christmas.

I somehow get the impression many families no longer celebrate Christmas in traditional ways, perhaps fewer do so 'religiously'.  Which can make it very difficult for many to understand the sacredness of family...

This is why we say "Happy Christmas" as
opposed to "Merry Christmas."  
Once saith
someone on a throne.