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Today Is The Day
Get ready for it.
Okay Then, That Was Unexpected...
Weird.
Church Art Shouldn't Make You Say "Blech!"
Or cringe.
Cardinal Urges Priests To Liven Up Sermons
I got some ideas...
New Translation Objections Are Becoming More Ridiculous
Grasping at straws...
This Comes As No Surprise
Up with the ex-communicated!
Things A Catholic Ought Never Say
Watch your mouth!
Sister Patricia: On Seven Quick-Takes Friday
Catching up with Sr Pat.
Just Thought You'd Like To Know...
A public service announcement.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!


Spooky Cat wishes you a Happy Halloween.

That's supposed to be flower petals. Isn't she pretty....

...PO'd?

She only does this for the candy.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Aggie Catholics' Open Letter To Politicians

Check out the open letter at Aggie Catholics. It's a good one - and if you agree with it, consider signing your name to it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cereal Madness

I was surfing around 'net the other night and found a site that had published a Tribute To Discontinued Cereals. Ah, the memories. Five pages of obsolete cereals - not surprisingly, I had tried quite a few of them in my day (I promise you, though - "Urkelos" and "Rainbow Brite" never found their way into my bowl. Ever.). I love breakfast cereal, and when a new one hits the grocery store, into my cart it goes. As soon as I get home, the Sons of LarryD and I are putting it to the taste test.

As I scrolled through and recalled those former cereals, memories of the commercials that played when I watched Saturday morning cartoons as a kid resurfaced. Who can forget the ads where someone's eating a bowl of cereal, and someone else asks "Whatcha eating?", and they respond: "Nut & Honey." Embarrassing hilarity ensues.



The good ol' days.

Here are just a few of the cereals I have known and eaten...

Yeaaahhhh - the awesome combo of donuts and cereal and chocolate. They had absolutely nothing to do with Cap'n Crunch, but so what. We're talking chocolate donut cereal here.



Even though the milk turned orange and tasted like oranges once you reached the bottom of the bowl, this cereal was Da Bomb at our house - for the whole year or so that it was available.



These originally hit the shelves in the 80's, and made a brief encore appearance in the early 90's. So what if they had sprinkles on them...these were great! Like miniature Christmas cookies. Your RDA of glucose, dextrose and sucrose in one spoonful.

And then there's this one. I don't recall this limited edition version ever making it to the stores, though...


(You didn't think I was going to write an entire post on just cereal, did you?)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Another Example Of...

...someone who's never read the documents of the Second Vatican Council:

The Holy Spirit is moving as She did for the Second Vatican Council... Excommunications are a thing of the past, thank God. Although the heirachy (sic) seems to get a big thrill out of telling certain people that they are excommunicated. Personally we should all ignore that excommunication thing. Where did Jesus excommunicate anyone? No one should be excommunicated...

The Second Vatican Council got rid of all the hocus pocus and the indulgences, etc and gave us a Liturgy that Jesus would be proud of. Jesus welcomed everyone...men women children saints and sinners. If attendance went down after the Second Vatican Council (although the parish I was in seemed as crowded as before the changes) it was because people became more educated and realized that yes they did not have to go to church every Sunday and if they didn't attend they no longer worried that they were going to go hell. Before it was considered a mortal sin of you did not go to Mass on Sunday's. Jesus never twisted anyone's arm about all these rules and regulations that the Pharisees had. On the contrary he was very much against the burden that following those rules and regulations put on people. After Vatican II not going to mass on Sunday's was not considered a sin...venial or mortal.
The above was culled from a comment left in support of an article written at ...wait for it...the National Catholic Distorter. Wow, what a surprise...not. And I never realized that Vatican II did away with the 3rd commandment, did you?

According to the Catechism: 2281 - The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.

I've replied to the above comment at the site, using the CCC quote - I wonder if the administrator will approve of it. There is still a heck of a lot of work to do...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oh Oh - Vatican Declares New Apostolic Visitation

(AoftheAP)Preliminary reports leaked out of the Vatican indicate that a new Apostolic Visitation will be announced in the coming weeks. Curial sources requesting anonymity have told AoftheA that this latest visitation will "dwarf in scope and size the Apostolic Visitation currently investigating women's religious communities."

The focus?

Orthodox Catholic bloggers.

Spurred by the recent AP News article Catholic Bloggers Aim To Purge Dissenters published on October 22, the new Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization is discretely making preparations to launch the A.V.

The first order of business? Get access to the Internet - if and when they do, it is believed they will initiate the process of investigating orthodox Catholic blogs and their contributors.

A source told AoftheA in an off-the-record conversation that the CDF approached the Pontifical Council to get the ball rolling. "Frankly, the CDF got rather miffed after reading the article - rooting out heretics is their business, and they're upset that some of the uppity laity have taken it upon themselves to embark on this purgation. The CDF feels it makes them look like they're not doing their job."

Unconfirmed first drafts of the visitation reveal that the Pontifical Council will model the investigation after the current Apostolic Visitation. This will be accomplished in several phases.

First - a review of the quality of life of Catholic bloggers.

"We must ascertain that those who are blogging are actually living an authentic Christian life," said one unnamed member of the Council, "and not just inhabiting the basement of their parents' home, unemployed and lounging about all day in their pajamas. So - are they praying? Do they ever go outside and engage the world? Are they practicing good hygiene habits?"

Second - to learn more about the ways in which bloggers contribute to the welfare of the Church and society.

"This is not as tricky as it sounds," the anonymous source said. "Basically we'll look at whether or not they critique sites such as Commonweal, America and National Catholic Reporter enough. I think everyone will agree that that alone contributes to the betterment of the Church and society. Oh - and adequate mocking of Pelosi, Biden and Kerry will be a bonus, too. However, anyone linking to Vox Nova won't be considered."

Third - blog content.

"The Council is looking for blogs that utilize best practices and methods - satire, irony, parody, humor, photoshopped images, RED and BLACK fisking, cute cat pictures with funny captions, images of nuns in habits, a potpourri of popery - these elements will be high on the Council's list. We call it the Joy Factor - orthodox blogs tend to incorporate more humor than the heterodox ones, for one simple reason. They laugh because they believe."

The question remains, though - what will happen to the blogs that are investigated? That is still unclear. Perhaps the visitation is just a pretense in order to learn of heretics heretofore unknown. Perhaps some blogs will receive a nihil obstat and imprimatur, but more than likely, the only result will be the CDF getting the best ideas on how to set up their own blog.

"They really like the waving Pope on 'The Curt Jester'," the source said, begging not to be named. "And those photoshops at Sancte Pater? Great stuff. Photos of birds and feeders? Well, they're willing to overlook content like that."

Finalizing the details of the Apostolic Visitation may take months - assembling the team and appointing an apostolic visitator are rumored to be underway at this very moment. Once the team is assembled, they will start researching the orthodox Catholic blogs that demand investigation.

AoftheA was told that a preliminary list of blogs has been started, and the Council will gladly accept suggestions. "The blogs highlighted in the AP article will most certainly be looked at," the source said. "Your readers are invited and encouraged to suggest blogs worthy of visitation, or perhaps volunteer their own if they so desire."

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Fool And His Money...

Assuming that the average age of their readership is somewhat north of 65, I'm not all that surprised the National Catholic Distorter would have the following ad on the home page of their website:

Consider making NCR a part of your
long term ESTATE PLAN.

Planning for the important things in life is essential to most of us. Preparing for retirement, planning to protect our love ones, and providing for long term financial security become significant priorities. The accumulation and distribution of our personal assets reflects the principals and values each of us treasures and hopes to keep alive.

As you make your estate plans, consider making NCR a part of your long term plan. With a gift to NCR, you can have the assurance that the Catholic ideas and values you hold dear will be preserved for generations to come.

They must figure their readers have contracepted themselves into childlessness, and have no progeny to bequeath their personal assets...

What makes the ad placement all the more ironic, is that one of this morning's lead articles is The New Retirement For America's Seniors: Bankruptcy. So if you don't lose everything, throw what little you have left into a gaping black hole! It's stewardship, doncha know!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

If A Government Agency Has "Fair" In Its Name...

...you can pretty much be assured that it will act unfairly.

Michigan Woman Face Civil Rights Complaint For Seeking A Christian Roommate
A civil rights complaint has been filed against a woman in Grand Rapids, Mich., who posted an advertisement at her church last July seeking a Christian roommate.

The ad "expresses an illegal preference for a Christian roommate, thus excluding people of other faiths,” according to the complaint filed by the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan.

"It's a violation to make, print or publish a discriminatory statement," Executive Director Nancy Haynes told Fox News. "There are no exemptions to that."

Haynes said the unnamed 31-year-old woman’s case was turned over to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Depending on the outcome of the case, she said, the woman could face several hundreds of dollars in fines and “fair housing training so it doesn’t happen again.”
Soon, the government will be arranging marriages - between people of the opposite sex or the same sex, doesn't matter - and choosing the names for newborns - after deciding whether or not they should enjoy life in the first place.

Maybe if she agreed to change religions (you know what I mean), or declare herself a lesbian, she'd be given a pass.

Unbefreakinlievable.

s/s Mark Shea

Weekend Whimsy

Saw this at The Anchoress. Watch it til the end - hard to believe the boy is only 3. A future Leonard Bernstein!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Something Pleasant For Friday Night

Bobby McFerrin sings the Ave Maria. Beautiful.



s/s to Aggie Catholics

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Catholic Exodus

Much has been written about the number of ex-Catholics in America - that they make up the second largest "religious" group in our country. The estimate is roughly 30 million folks. That's a lot of people who have walked away from the Church founded by Christ with the ordinary means to salvation. I'm not sure how religious they are as a result for having left, and probably prefer to be called "spiritual".

Every person who left had their reason, or their excuse, or their rationalization for walking away, and I'm sure they feel rather justified in doing so. Well, that's something between them and God. Given the state of our culture, where people switch cable providers or banks over issues such as poor quality, bad customer service or a "better deal" down the street, it's no wonder they use the same approach to what church they attend, if they decide to attend one at all. But Christ didn't set up His Church to be treated as a consumer commodity - it's the way our culture has perverted the process. Belief becomes marketable, and thus, when it's perceived one isn't getting any value out of the product being offered (boring Masses, not enough bells and whistles, etc), folks shop around, and treat Christ's Church worse than they do the local grocer or stripmall nail salon.

And this is nothing new, either. How many Catholics in Europe abandoned the Barque of St Peter to jump into the Protestant rafts? How many English Catholics switched sides during the reign of Henry VIII and the rulers who followed him? (I heard a rather funny, if not somewhat bawdy joke about the Anglican Church....The Catholic Church was founded on the rock of St Peter, while the Anglican Church was founded on the balls of King Henry.) The point is, while the facts are disconcerting, they ought not be surprising. It's been happening since the beginning. In John 6, many left Christ over a "hard saying". Well, the Church hasn't changed the hard sayings, and won't either - and it seems that many Catholics have taken the wide road rather than endure the narrow road. And folks in America aren't even being killed, much less persecuted, for being Catholic - not unlike India or some Middle East countries. They leave because they refuse to, or are unable to, accept and defend the truths of the faith, having decided it's easier to go with the culture and not get their hands dirty, and ultimately, perhaps not get their souls clean.

We are experiencing a crisis of faith in the Church. We see it among our friends and families, we read about it in the news; some of you reading this might even be considering getting out altogether. It would be easy to define the exodus merely in terms of the sex-abuse crisis, but that would be too simplified. Sure, that contributed mightily to some people who left - the final straw, perhaps, or maybe even a pretense - but the drift is nothing new. The media like to play up the numbers in an effort to show the Church's waning influence in the culture, or reinforce in people's minds that the Church never had influence in the first place. However, we must remind people that size and popularity are not what matters - after all, Christ said that those who are persecuted for His sake are blessed. So if the Church were to cease being persecuted by the world...well, I would take that as a Very Bad Sign.

Peter Stenfels at Commonweal wrote a piece titled Further Adrift, in which he looks at the phenomenon of ex-Catholics, and points the finger of blame at the bishops for not doing something about the problem, or even admitting that there is one. He also provides a few ideas on how to stem the tide - "...very concrete, practical items—a quantum leap in the quality of Sunday liturgies, including preaching; a massive, all-out mobilization of talent and treasure to catechize the young, bring adolescents into church life, and engage young adults in ongoing faith formation; and regular, systematic assessments of all these activities—as well as theologically more complex and controversial matters like expanding the pool of those eligible for ordination and revisiting some aspects of the church’s teaching on sexuality."

You know, the sorts of things that Protestants have been doing (that was snark, y'know).

The problem with Stenfel's analysis is that he leaves out the agent of conversion and the ultimate source of the Church's strength - the Holy Spirit. What's ironic is that the Catholycs of the silly American Catholic Council claim to have a hold of the Holy Spirit - which is absurd, of course - and yet, so few of these pundits fail to acknowledge that it's the Holy Spirit that protects and keeps and maintains the Church - through every Sacrament, during every Mass, diffused within every infallible teaching and doctrine. He hasn't left the Church.

In my humble opinion, the exodus is not entirely the bishops' fault. Yeah, the catechesis has been awful for decades - we all know that. And all too often priests shy away from preaching the tough love issues out of fear of offending someone. I had an associate pastor tell me several years ago that he won't talk about abortion because there are women in the congregation who have had them. He didn't want to be "another male jerk", comparing himself to the husband or boyfriend that might have coerced her into having the abortion. I was surprised by his response. There's a right way and a wrong way to broach the subject - any controversial Church teaching, for that matter - but to not talk about it at all tells the people it must not be all that important.

But the pewsitters have to shoulder their portion of the blame as well. Are we living our lives as joyful stewards of the faith, passing it on to the younger generations? Are we faithful witnesses in the culture, not counting the cost - for instance, you might be 'unfriended' on Facebook if you speak up on the evils of IVF or ESCR? What's worse - being unfriended there, or on Judgment Day? And I'm talking to myself here - I know I've fallen short on many occasions, and I make no excuse. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Point is - we can't expect the bishops to do all the work. Yes, they're the shepherds, and they have a grave responsibility. Recently, Archbishop Nienstedt in Minneapolis/St Paul had DVD's distributed to his diocese's Catholics that taught on the issue of so-called gay marriage. An example of a bishop taking his responsibility seriously - more of this is needed throughout the entire world, not just in America.

We are workers in the vineyard, and if we're not doing our part - pursuing holiness, living in joy, making the Gospel real and the Church real to those around us, being 'living stones' rather than stoning the living, praying with groaning souls - then the growing numbers of ex-Catholics are just as much our fault as anyone's. We have to be examples to our weak and weakened brothers and sisters - we have to be saints. We are called to be a light to the world - by our actions, by our words. We are given the grace to do it - but do we have the courage?

On the day of Pentecost, Peter and the apostles, by the strength of their testimony and witness, baptized 3,000 people. They didn't have large screens or creative liturgies or systematic assessments. I believe we really don't need those things either - and reliance on such things will only contribute to faster and further drifting.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Archbishop Burke Elevated To Cardinal

A great day for the Church.

Statement By Cardinal-designate Raymond L. Burke ON Being Elevated To Cardinal
I am deeply humbled and honored by the announcement that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI intends to name me to the College of Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church at the Consistory which he has convoked for this coming November 20th. Having received the news of the Holy Father's intention, I express my deepest gratitude to His Holiness for the great confidence which he has placed in me, and I renew my commitment to serve Him, as Shepherd of the universal Church, in total fidelity and with all my being.

Considering the weighty responsibilities of the members of the College of Cardinals in assisting the Holy Father as his closest co-workers, even "to the shedding of blood," I am more than ever conscious of my own weakness and of my total dependence upon the help of divine grace, in order that I may fulfill worthily and generously the responsibilities which will be mine, God willing, as a Cardinal of the Church.

I count upon the continued intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Communion of Saints, and the prayers of the many faithful whom I have been blessed to serve as priest and Bishop, especially in my home diocese, the Diocese of La Crosse, and in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, and of those with whom I have been, in the past, and am now privileged to serve in the Roman Curia, especially my co-workers at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. Only the knowledge of God's immeasurable and unceasing outpouring of mercy and love from the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus gives me the confidence to accept the great honor and burden which His Holiness intends to confer upon me.

Click the link to read his entire statement.

Congratulations to the other 23 newly appointed Cardinals as well, including Cardinal-elect Wuerl of Washington, DC, the only other US archbishop who was elevated. These men need our prayers and spiritual support.

And that loud whirring noise you're hearing? It's the collective sound of American Catholyc heads' spinning. Heh. Check out what Spongebob Crabbypants (Michael Sean Winters) wrote for the National Catholic Distorter:
It is said that when, in 1911, James Cardinal Gibbons learned that Archbishop William Henry O'Connell was named a cardinal, Gibbons cried. O'Connell was, among other things, a vicious, conniving pompous ass.
Today, Archbishop Raymond Burke of the Apostolic Signatura, was named a cardinal. In heaven, I am sure that Gibbons is weeping anew.
Typical MSW - not only does he whine about Burke's elevation, he insults a former Cardinal (keep it classy, Michael) he presumes to know who is in heaven, and has forgotten that no tears can be shed in heaven (souls don't cry, dude!). If Cardinal Gibbons is in heaven, he's rejoicing - as am I.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sixteenth Chapel?


So how were #'s 1-15?

(Just so you know, Failbook.com is not always family-friendly. But it is rather funny - you just have to watch out for the vulgar entries.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Profane Poem Wins ESCR Contest

I bet you didn't know that October 13 was Stem Cell Awareness Day - I didn't. I also didn't know that a California firm sponsored a poetry contest to commemorate the day.

I'm regretting that I found out. Below is the winning poem, as selected by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, written by Tyson Anderson:

“This is my body
which is given for you.
But I am not great.
I have neither wealth,
nor fame, nor grace.
I cannot comfort with words,
nor inspire to march.

I am small and simple,
so leave me this.
Let me heal you.
This is my body
which is given for you.
Take this
in remembrance of me.”

Sorta takes your breath away, doesn't it?

Here's some of the story as reported by Newsbusters.

In a surprisingly balanced piece, Huffington Post columnist John Lundberg demonstrated sensitivity to Christians outraged by the sacrilege committed in a controversial poem written to promote stem cell awareness. Tyson Anderson wrote winning verse for the October 13 Stem Cell Awareness Day contest sponsored by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

“This is my body, which is given for you.” These words, found in the New Testament, spoken by Jesus during the first communion among his disciples, were used in Anderson’s poem as the voice of a fetus willingly giving up his or her life for the use of its stem cells. According to the Huffington Post article, CIRM removed the poem from its website.

Lundberg noted that the language of the text is sacred to those who practice communion and to opponents of embryonic stem-cell research. He included a quote from Life Legal Defense Fund’s response to the poem which read, “The choice of this poem for a prize represents the deliberate pilfering of the holiest of voluntary, sacrificial acts in the history of humanity for a shoddy pep piece in CIRM's campaign to promote the wholesale destruction of human life. As if squandering taxpayer money on propaganda to promote ‘Stem Cell Awareness Day’ were not enough, CIRM is bent on mocking the most sacred of Christian texts.”

[...]

“Anderson's poem doesn't strike me as being deliberately provocative -- its tone is clearly heartfelt,” Lundberg wrote. “But using the language considered sacred by most opponents of stem cell research in order to promote the research is, well, provocative.”

And although he called the LLDF protest “hyperbole,” Lundberg also included this sentence from the group: "The poem's premise is that the embryo is a person wishing to give its life, but why we should assume that the embryo is saying, 'Let me help,' rather than 'Let me live'?"

To Lundberg, “this seemed the start of an enlightening debate, but CIRM chose not to continue it, instead removing the poem from its website and apologizing.”

That line from the Life Legal Defense Fund - "...but why we should assume that the embryo is saying, 'Let me help,' rather than 'Let me live'?" - is good. Very good. The embryo is not choosing to sacrifice itself. It's being ripped apart involuntarily.

I don't care if the poet was not intending to be offensive, or that his tone was heartfelt. There are some things you just don't do - and applying the words of consecration to anything other than the Eucharist is at the top of the list. How could he, or the CIRM, not know that this would have angered a lot of people?

The most sacred words in the Catholic faith, hijacked in order to promote a barbaric, unethical procedure - sacralizing evil - this ought to be deeply offensive to all Catholics, and even all Christians, who recognize embryonic stem cell research for what it truly is: the willful destruction of human life for profit and for alleged good.

Christ sacrificed His Body and Blood for the salvation of the world, out of His infinite love for all. ESCR sacrifices the 'body and blood' of others for the self-fulfillment of the World, out of infernal love for greed. There is and can be no comparison.

Obama To Appear On 'Mythbusters'

This is for real.

From The Daily Caller:
President Barack Obama will appear on an episode of “Mythbusters,” a television show that uses science to determine the truth behind urban legends.

The White House says the episode will air Dec. 8 on the Discovery Channel.

*Sigh* Another fine show tainted.

The episode isn't going to bust or confirm any Obamyths (he'll be plugging science and math curricula for the show - no word if the teleprompter is involved), but just for fun, what urban legend suggestions concerning Dear Leader would you offer "Mythbusters"?

s/s Pundit & Pundette

The Catholic Controversy

I've begun reading St Francis de Sales' The Catholic Controversy, a collection of tracts he wrote when he was a young priest in 1594. He had just been assigned to the Chablais region of France, where nearly all the former Catholics had apostatized to Calvinism - roughly 72,000 people. In an effort to re-evangelize the area, St Francis resorted to writing pamphets defending the Church, posting them on walls and slipping them under the doors of residents.

Within four years, nearly every person in the Chablais region had returned to their Catholic faith.

What struck me about his arguments against Calvinism is their timeliness. Read the following excerpts and see how his arguments are applicable to some current trends in the Church:

PART I: MISSION

Chapter 1 - The Lack Of Mission In The Ministers Of The New Pretended Church Leaves Both Them And Their Followers Without Excuse

First, then, your ministers had not the conditions required for the position which they sought to maintain, and the enterprise with they undertook. Wherefore they are inexcusable; and you yourselves also, who knew and still know or ought to know, this defect in them, have done very wrong in receiving them under such colours. The office they claimed was that of ambassadors of Jesus Christ Our Lord;...

...To be legates and ambassadors they should have been sent, they should have had letters of credit from him whom they boasted of being sent by. The affairs were of the greatest importance, for there was question of disturbing the whole Church. The persons who undertook them were extraordinaries, of mean quality, and private persons; while the ordinary pastors were men of mark, and of most ancient and acknowledged reputation, who contradicted them and protested that these extraordinaries had no charge nor commandment of the Master. Tell me, what business had you to hear them and believe them without having any assurance of their commission and of the approval of Our Lord, whose legates they called themselves? In a word, you have no justification for having quitted that ancient Church in which you were baptized, on the faith of preachers who had no legitimate mission from the Master.

Chapter 3 - The Pretended Reformers Had No Immediate Or Extraordinary Mission From God

...I say, thirdly, that the authority of the extraordinary mission never destroys the ordinary, and is never given to overthrow it. Witness all the Prophets, who never set up altar against altar, never overthrew the priesthood of Aaron, never abolished the constitutions of the Synagogue. Witness Our Lord, who declares that every kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to desolation, and a house upon a house shall fall (Luke 11:17). Witness the respect which he paid to the chair of Moses, the doctrine of which he would have to be observed. And indeed, if the extraordinary ought to abolish the ordinary, how should we know when, and how, and to whom, to give our obedience. No, no; the ordinary is immortal for such time as the Church is here below in the world...if the ordinary pastors and doctors had not perpetual succession, and were liable to have their authority abrogated by the extraordinary, we should also have but an irregular faith and discipline, interrupted at every step; we should be liable to be seduced by men, who on every occasion would boast of having an extraordinary vocation. Thus, like the Gentiles we should walk in the vanity of our mind (Eph 4:17), each one persuading himself that he felt the movement of the Holy Ghost; of which our age furnishes so many examples that this is one of the strongest proofs that can be brought forward in this connection. For if the extraordinary may take away from the ordinary ministration, to which shall we give guardianship of it - to Calvin or to Luther, to Luther or to Paciodratus, to Paciodratus or to Brandratus, to Brandratus or to Brentius, to Brentius or to the Queen of England? - for each will draw to his or her side this pretext of extraordinary mission.

But the word of Our Lord frees us from all these difficulties, who has built his Church on so good a foundation and in such wise proportions that the gates of hell shall never prevail against it.

Did "Womynpreests" or the "American Catholic Council" come to mind?

There are no new heresies, just the same ol' ugly ones wearing different clothes.

UPDATE: The above quotes are taken from the TAN Books edition of "The Catholic Controversy", published in 1989.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weekend Whimsy IV

Pretty cool optical stuff. Enjoy!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Michigan Baptist Church Sign Rankles Residents

It seems a small-town Baptist minister has gotten some of the town residents all worked up over his sign. And no, he wasn't using any of my "Church Sign Apologetics" ones, either!

From The Voice:

A message on a signboard at the First Baptist Church on Main Street in Memphis has once again sparked complaints from some residents.


The present message outside the church that reads, "God calls pastors to have their own wife thus avoiding fornication" has prompted complaints logged by the police department, mayor and City Council members.

Two years ago, a message that also rankled residents declared that, "Every preacher or priest in Memphis deserves to be in Hell," caused some eyes to be cast toward the heavens and complaints to be made to city officials.

At that time Reverend Greg Ross, the church's pastor, said the signboard messages are changed at will and that he uses them as a way of reaching the people.

Memphis resident Jeanne Westerhof voiced her objections at the recent City Council meeting of the current signage.

"I guess I'm opposed to it, first of all, because it has the word (fornication) on it and we have a lot of young children in town that walk by there, you know, every day and see that word," she said. "Secondly, I'm opposed to it because it really is a hate message towards the Catholic priest and it has nothing to do with me being Catholic, but the only pastor in our town that's not allowed to marry is the Catholic priest and this is not the first time that there's been a message that's been targeted toward Catholics."

Westerhof said she feels the sign is offensive and embarrassing.

"We don't want public displays of hate in our town. I think it makes our town look bad," she added.

While various council members agreed, they said that freedom of speech applies here although some ordinances might factor in, according to the police chief.

"She said if something bothers the citizens then we can ask that it be removed, but again, it is almost like a blight-type thing where he's got 30 days to take it down," Mayor Dan Weaver commented.

Councilor Larry Wilson added, "I really think it's unfortunate. You know intolerance is a terrible thing and it's the basis of a lot of our problems worldwide and unfortunately, well, there is freedom of speech, but I think that is taking it absolutely too far."

Defending his message, Rev. Ross said the quote is derived from the Bible.

"It is found in 1st Timothy, Chapter 3; the qualifications for a pastor," he said.

With respect to the word "fornication" Ross said, "That's just Bible terminology.

"The message on the sign is just getting the truth out to the people that if you have a pastor he is supposed to be the husband, and one wife," Ross said.

Commenting as to how Catholic priests might comply with the message if their religion restricts them from marriage, Ross said, "Well, I'd say he's got a problem and he has problems with the Lord, not with me or anybody else."

Responding to a resident's assertion that the present sign targets the Catholic Church, Ross replied, "Well, if they take it that way. All I do is put the truth on the sign."

Ross said the message is not directed toward any specific clergy.

"No. Not at all," Ross said. "I direct the signs toward every man, woman, boy and girl. We are interested in the salvation of souls and if I had a comment I guess it would be that the reason she thinks this is based toward the Catholic Church is that they sure have had a lot of trouble with fornication, I mean pedophile and ... that is a real concern of mine, being a pastor ... That's against the Lord."
This is what results when you rely on private interpretation of the Scriptures, and a lack genuine knowledge of Church history. What's funny is that the end of 1 Tim 3 is the verse "...the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth." St Paul ain't talking about the Baptist Church here.

Besides, having a wife prevents celibacy, not fornication (depending on how refined of a definition you use).

I had to laugh about the lady afraid for kids who end up learning about fornication. Isn't it better to find out what it means by asking their folks, rather than seeing it acted out on TV's and the movies?

But what do you think? Is this a thinly-veiled slam against the Catholic priest/Church? I mean come on - the pastor claims this is for "every man, woman, boy and girl." But not every man, woman, boy and girl is, or can be, a pastor. This message has a narrow audience and to me, if he wanted to appeal to a broader base, he ought to have used a different quote from St Paul, the one in Romans where he wrote that no fornicators would enter into heaven.

I wouldn't insist he remove the sign, either. I would just encourage the local priest to put up a sign that says "Our Church was founded in 33 AD, not in 1609". Heh heh heh.

And wouldn't it be ironic if in six months time, it's discovered he's having an affair?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fallen Away Catholycs

Tootling around the Internet (I'm not hep enough to surf) I came across an entry at the American Catholic Council forum page. It's kinda funny when you read it, but at the same time, it's kinda sad....

The hierarchy labels Catholics
who have moved beyond the boundaries
of institutional religion in search of Spiritual growth
Fallen-away Catholics
as if not following the man-made rules and regulations
signifies a loss of faith.

Outrageous!

I asked people for a more appropriate name for us;
Here are some of the responses:

Homeless Catholics, Nomad Catholics,
Catholic Alumni, Exodus Catholics, Liberated Catholics,
Adult Catholics, Non-Attending Catholics,
Un-fearful Catholics, Alienated Catholics
Non-bureaucratic Catholics, Inclusive Catholics
Catholics in Love, Catholics in Exile,
Recovering Catholics, Kinda Catholics,
Liberal Catholics, Raised Catholics, USTA B Catholics
Wandering Catholics, Roamin’ Catholics
Disgruntled Catholics, Wayward Catholics
Activist Catholics, Gypsy Catholics
Agitator Catholics, Jesus Catholics
Non-bureaucratic Catholics, Un-hierarchied Catholics
Protesting Catholics, Re-Formed Catholics
Metanoiaed Catholics, Pray, Play, DisObey Catholics
Non-Babel Catholics, Catholics Living in the Real World
Post-medieval Catholics, Un-clericalized Catholics

Freed Catholics, New World Catholics, Rebel Catholics,
Disenfranchised Catholics, Home-Liturgy Catholics
True-Tradition Catholics, Non-Lay Catholics
De-Catechized Catholics, Open-Table Catholics
De-institutionalized Catholics,
De-programmed Catholics, De-culted Catholics
Ecumenical Catholics, catholic Catholics
Christian Catholics
Fundamental Catholics
(as opposed to Catholic fundamentalists)
Un-intimidated Catholics, Illuminated Catholics
Former Catholics, Universe Catholics
Refreshed Catholics, Progressive Catholics
Small-Faith-Group Catholics, Happy liberal Catholics
Discerning Catholics, Thinking Catholics
Emmaus Catholics, John XXIII Catholics
Global Catholics, Welcoming Catholics
Beatitude Catholics
Episcopalians
Call-To-Action Catholics, Pot Luck Catholics,

People of God,
Catholics-with-a-brain-not-afraid-to-use-it,
Thinking Catholics, Catholics Conflicted
The Newly Marginalized Catholics
First-Century Catholics, Run-Away Catholics

Fallen Away?

Notice what description is missing?


Faithful Catholics.


People leave the Church all the time - for all sorts of reasons - and yet many still consider themselves Catholic. Catholic on their own terms. At least the 16th Century Catholics who apostatized had the integrity to call themselves Protestant. This bunch is awfully non-committal about the whole thing. I mean, if you've "moved beyond the boundaries of institutional religion in search of Spiritual growth", doesn't that pretty much mean you're not Catholic anymore? What's the appeal in calling yourself Catholic?

The saddest thing about this list (and remember - the contributors are Fallen Away Catholics) is that they seem so darn proud of it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Chilean Mine Rescue


After 69 days, all 33 miners trapped 2,000 feet underground in the Chilean mine have been rescued. I can't comprehend the experience those men endured, and can only marvel at their resilience and will to survive. The prayers of countless people, combined with their devotion to Our Lady, protected them as experts and engineers worked day and night to make this day possible. Deo gratias indeed!

Which got me to thinking...

How would Obama have responded if this had happened in America?

*He would have declared a moratorium on all mining.
*He would have established a commission and created a Czar of Cave-ins to oversee the rescue operation - - - which would have commenced at least a week after the collapse.
*He would have bullied the mining company into establishing a $20 Million Billion fund to handle any and all lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses and economic impact to the nearby communities.
*He would have set-up some photo-ops where he's standing at the lip of a mineshaft, looking all concerned, peering into the darkness. Or maybe using a shovel to make it look like he's digging a relief shaft by hand.
*His daughter would ask "Daddy, did you free the miners yet?"
*He would have said he is thinking about the miners when he wakes up in the morning, and when he goes to bed at night....while golfing about a dozen times and taking two vacations.
*He would orate on the virtues of 'green' technology and how it's time America started seriously utilizing renewable energy sources.
*He would have banned reporters from getting within 50 yards of the mine, and directed the FAA to divert all planes around the site, rather than fly directly overhead.

Did I forget anything?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Catholics For More Equality

Just so you know, I'm mad. Angry. Blue in the face and seeing red. Why? Because I'm a victim of terrible injustice, that's why.

The villain?

Why, everyone's favorite villain, of course. The bully du jour.

The Catholic Church.

Yep. You read that right. I am so ticked right now.

We all know how the Church hates divorcees, demeans every woman in the universe, yells at people who use contraception, and refuses to let gays get married. The Church treats people so unfairly, it's not even funny. You'd think their main purpose in life is to make people miserable or something.

And they don't even care. Call the Church homophobic, and they just laugh. Call them misogynistic, and they shrug their cappa magna'ed shoulders. Accuse them of being orthotoxic, and they cross their arms like some union thug and smile all tough like. They are so all those things, and worse. All they care about is stuff like Tradition, and Truth, and Divine Revelation. Pfft. Like all that matters.

But my situation is so much more unfair than any of the others.

You see, my sister and I want to get married. To each other. I love her, she loves me, and we want to be happy together. But the Church says that we aren't "free" to be married, because we're related. Sounds like a man-made law to me. Familial marriages are Biblical, you know - how else did we all descend from Adam and Eve? Think about it.

Listen - marriage is just a social construct that provides benefits for both parties involved. In today's day and age, it doesn't really mean anything else. It's a piece of paper that would allow us to share property, visit each other in the hospital, and enjoy hundreds of other perks that other married people have, like have a bridal registry and stuff.

We would provide a stable home for any children we choose to bring into the world. After all, everyone knows that children thrive best when raised by a mother and a father, so I don't see why the Church would have any objection. One man, one woman. See? We have that issue covered, one in which the so-called gay marriage crowd falls short. You'd think that would be a plus for us. But nope - no sale for the consanguinophobic Church.

And another thing - Jesus preached love, right? Well, we love each other, and we love Jesus, and Jesus wants us to be happy. Refusing us our desires is very unloving. We feel that being married would show the world that we are truly committed to each other.

What's that? You think we should just settle for civil unions? Not good enough. If marriage is defined as between one man and one woman, then I don't see why we should settle for anything less. It's not as if we're looking to redefine the institution like some others are intending. We just want to have our love for each other recognized and validated. By every.single.one.of.you.

And trust me - our marriage would in no way have any impact on marriages between two unrelated people. We're not interested in reforming society, or forcing anyone to change their views or opinions. Society won't be affected one bit. And besides - are unrelated married people so insecure about their own relationships, that they would feel threatened by my sister and me? That's quite an indictment, if you ask me. Marriage between unrelated people is in enough trouble anyway, with the high divorce rate and rampant adultery - in comparison, our marriage is just a drop in the bucket. There's no way we'd be affecting marriages between unrelated people. In fact, two committed people in love who are married is a good for society. At least, that's what the Church has always taught.

We just feel we should have the same opportunity to marry as any other two people who are in love. That's what Prop 8 Judge Walker says, and if it's good enough for him, it should be good enough for the Church, too.

The Church's intolerance is wrong and hurtful. Hurtful to me and my sister, and all the other family members throughout the world who only want to be happy. And married. To each other. We want to come out of the shadows, publicly declare our love and not be persecuted anymore.

Drawing on the rich tradition of Catholic social justice action, grounded in the Gospel message of Love, American Catholics are among the strongest supporters of equality of any religious group in the U.S. Yet the official voice of the hierarchy increasingly advocates discrimination and opposes reasonable measures to secure basic freedoms for people like me, who want to marry their sister. I believe this trend is a repudiation of Catholic belief in the inherent dignity of every person. It further contradicts the American values of fairness and equality for all citizens.

Therefore, in response to the Church's injustice, I'm forming a group, called Catholics For More Equality. It'll be on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, DirecTV, Plurk, YouTube, iTunes, Technorati, Huffington Post, MTV, the View, Blogger, Wordpress as well as a full page ad in the National Catholic Reporter. Write your congressman. Email your bishop. Your support would be so greatly appreciated, to right this grievous wrong.

Thanks for allowing me to rant. And thank you for your help and support. Together, we can right this wrong and break down the walls of intolerance.

Facebook Isn't For Everyone

s/s The Joy of Tech

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Gray Fog

It's not going to be showing at a theatre near you, but a new documentary was released last month, coinciding with the 35th anniversary of the Women's Ordination Conference (aka The Crones).

The documentary is called "Pink Smoke Over The Vatican", which sounds more like a Dan Brown-esque fantasy film. The ever-reliable dissent rag National Catholic Distorter has the story:
The Pope told the Scottish people in his homily at Bellahouston Park on Sept. 16, that "Just as the Eucharist makes the Church, so the priesthood is central to the life of the Church."

That same week, the Women's Ordination Conference (WOC) celebrated its 35th anniversary --- 35 years of witnessing to the Church that there is no need for ordinations to be declining worldwide because there is no shortage of vocations to the priesthood among women.

As part of its anniversary celebration in Chicago on Sept. 18, 2010, WOC had the first public showing of "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican," a one-hour documentary on the women priest movement made by Jules Hart for her company, Eyegoddess Films.

Hart, who is not Catholic, said she was moved to make this film after she met some of the women priests and their supporters because "it is not every day that you meet people who give up everything for what they believe in."

Okay, I have to interject here. What exactly have any of these women given up??? They've disobeyed the Church, they've gone through their fauxrdination program, they wear vestments and mimic the sacraments. They have what they want - to play priest - so what did they sacrifice to get it? Someone mind telling me?

And Jules Hart needs to get out more if she hasn't met people who have given up everything for what they believe in. She should check out some traditional religious orders, like the Dominican Sisters of Nashville - they've given up everything. The CRONES - some of them at least - are still married! They've given up nothing, and got nothing in return. That's to be pitied, not commended.

Let's read on a bit more...

...on second thought, let's not. These ladies aren't celebrating amidst the fancy of pink smoke billowing from the Vatican chimney in some future generation - they're living in a gray fog of pride and delusion. Best to just pray for them and beg God to limit the collateral damage.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Adventures In Catechism

I teach 7th grade Catechism on Sunday evenings. Here's an exchange from tonight's class.

Me: "What special gift does the Holy Father possess?"

Student: "Ummm...inflammability?"

Shocktober!!

I'm sure you've seen it on TV as October rolls around - one channel or another will have a marathon of horror movies and call it "Shocktober!!", complete with chilling graphics, the word displayed in squiggly green letters, dripping with goo and slime. Sometimes a cliched catch phrase is included, like "A month full of ghoulish fun....Shocktober!!" All because Halloween is celebrated on the 31st.

It's lame.

So how about some different ones? Like...

"A month full of head-bangin' music...Rocktober!!"

"A month full of time-saving self-cooking meals...Crocktober!"

"A month full of IRA's and mutual funds...Stocktober!!"

What are your suggestions? I know - mine are just as lame, if not worst - I'm sure you can come up with ones that are much better...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Return Of Weekend Whimsy

Try not to smile watching this.



I never get tired watching these "spontaneous" dances.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Into The Depths Of His Pain

I had the privilege of going to the sacrament of Confession this morning - the Capuchin monastery where Venerable Solanus Casey served, and where his coffin is displayed, offers daily confession every hour from 8:00AM to 5:00PM throughout the week. It's an awesome grace to be able to receive the sacrament when I need to, especially if going to the local parish on any given Saturday isn't possible.

As I was driving to the monastery, a feeling never experienced before overwhelmed me. It was if I was plunged into the heart of Christ, as He hung on the cross, crucified for the very sins that I needed to repent. The anguish and desolation were oppressive. Through the inexplicable love of God, I was allowed to bear some of the weight of the cost Christ paid for my sins. It's very hard to explain. I experienced nothing physical - it was something spiritual, revealed within the recesses of my soul. I was overcome with something deeper than sadness or sorrow - perhaps it was agony, to one degree or another.

This wasn't guilt - guilt was compelling me to receive the sacrament. I was already ashamed for having so quickly fallen and needed to be forgiven. So it wasn't guilt I was feeling. And I'm not one to presume on Christ's forgiveness - I'm not cavalier about 'sinning now and repenting later', thinking it's no big deal. Sin is always a big deal, and some sins are a bigger deal than others. Knowing I offended the Lord of salvation brings about the natural penalty of sadness - as it should for any Christian who claims to love Christ. So this wasn't mere sadness, either.

This was beyond the "head knowledge" of knowing that I had offended God and contributed to Jesus' death on the cross. This was way way more than that. I had been immersed into the depths of His pain. In my heart was an image of Jesus, suspended on the cross, gazing at me, His eyes filled with love, even as they were filled with pain and sorrow. It was almost too much to bear.

I've always known that Christ never stops loving me, even when I offend His infinite goodness with my foolish sins and stupid pride. But there's a difference between knowing and knowing. Perhaps it was what Peter felt on the shore of the sea, after Christ had resurrected - having to endure Christ asking him three times if he loved Him. Or Thomas, after having doubted the resurrection itself, only to accept it when seeing and touching Christ, and told that "It is good that you believe; how much better for those who do not see, yet still believe". I have to think that might have stung Thomas a bit.

Bottom line - today's confession was different than any other. My sins were forgiven just as they had been in previous times. I think I was better prepared to receive all of the grace that came from absolution. I experienced only a small part of Christ's suffering as a result of my sins, yet from His mercy and love, I received the fullest measure of His grace, poured out through the sacrament. It's difficult to describe - I've read of many saints who tell of how they developed an intense hatred of sin, and of others who would rather die than commit a mortal sin - so I'm trying to not sound boastful here - but perhaps today's experience has given me insight to see that path, trod by countless saints before me. It's not a guarantee against future failings - because I have to choose, every day, to walk that path - but God touched me in a special way this morning, granting me an unearned grace to love Him and my neighbor more deeply and completely.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Don't Let The Truth Get In The Way Of A Good Story

The truth can be rather inconvenient...

Later this month, on October 17, Blessed Mary MacKillop will be canonized a saint - the first ever for Australia. A wondrous event for Australian Catholics, and for the universal Church as well.

Unfortunately, some are just a bit too excited, if that were possible. There have been calls - mainly from the Catholycs and progressive types - to declare Mary as the Patron Saint of Abused Children, because of her calling out of a priest who was sexually abusing children, which led to her ex-communication.

Boy that sounds wonderful, doesn't it? A whistle-blower protecting the children, and then is unjustly persecuted for her "crime", and then is declared a saint. It's the stuff of Hollywood.

Problem is, it isn't true. Sherry Weddell at the Catherine of Siena Institute has the story (links and emphases from the article) -
A week ago, newspapers and the internet was buzzing with the story that Bl. Mary MacKillop, who is being canonized in Rome this Sunday, was a "whistle -blower", a woman who had been excommunicated because she exposed the sexual abuse of a priest.

The story got considerable play over at dotcommonweal, the America blog, was featured as a news story on New Advent, Andrew Sullivan's blog, Get Religion, Religion News, etc. Mary was going to be the unofficial patron saint of whistle-blowers.

The problem is that the whistle-blower scenario has turned out to be completely false. And that news hasn't made it around the internet yet.

At the time the story came out, I did some research because I happened to own the definite biography of MacKillop, written by the postulater of her cause, Fr. Paul Gardiner. (We have used Mary for years as an example of the charism of teaching in our Called & Gifted workshops.) As I wrote in the discussion over at Dotcommonweal,

"The problem with the whistle-blower scenario is that Mary wasn’t anywhere near Adelaide in April, 1870 when her sisters there heard rumors about Fr. Keating, a local Franciscan. She was in Brisbane, 1,000 miles away, and didn’t return until nearly a year later. (A journey of 1000 miles in 1870 Australia took weeks.)

"The sisters in Adelaide heard stories of abuse and told Fr. Woods, their founder. Fr. Woods told the Vicar General of the diocese and the Vicar General sent Keating away. One of Keating’s confreres, Fr. Horan, set out to take his revenge on Fr. Woods by destroying the Josephite Sisters which he had founded. It was Horan who drafted a long list of accusations against the Sisters, calling them incompetent and disobedient, and it was Mary MacKillop who was trying to keep her footing and protect her sisters in the middle of what was essentially a dispute among priests. And all of this occurred while the bishop, who was the only one who could have defused the situation, was away in Europe for over a year at the First Vatican Council!

There's more via the link.

If justice is the goal, and not only for the abused, then it would make sense that the truth be somehow incorporated into the process here. Otherwise, it's not justice, but a heaping pile of self-serving propaganda. This might not seem to be a big deal on the surface, but Sherry thinks otherwise, that there are other considerations to bear in mind. From one of her comments at the link -

And there is one other significant issue at stake:

Fr. Gardiner's competence and honesty. Because he is the one who mastered the documentation and built the case for Mary's canonization. If he missed something as enormous as Mary's role as a whistle-blower, then he was either truly incompetent or truly dishonest.

Either way, the basis for Mary's canonization is called into question.

And if Fr. Gardiner deliberately mislead (sic) people about some of the evidence, then Mary's canonization could be seen another example of hierarchical cover-up at the expense of children and the women trying to protect them.
Hey, if the abuse victims pray for Mary's intercession because they've been told she is the Patron Saint of Whistle-blowers, she'll still intercede on their behalf. Of that there is no doubt. But that isn't the point. The point is that the Champions of Transparency and Demanders of Truth And Honesty - those who want Pure Justice wrought against predatory priests and the bishops who protected them - aren't being all that honest and truthful themselves. They're desperate for a heroine, and in Mary MacKillop, it seems they found one. A woman - a nun no less! - who stood up to the hierarchy and ultimately was vindicated - which plays into their "Victims of the Apostolic Visitation" meme, too, if you hadn't noticed. So what if the truth has to be sacrificed - it's good for the cause!

The truth, though, is that it was another priest who blew the whistle on the abuser. But that doesn't fit the narrative, so it's ignored, and thus the fallacy of Mary's role will most likely be promulgated.

Oh well - it's for the children, right? That justifies the rewrite, in their opinion, but in the end, only weakens their credibility.

s/s Mark Shea

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Church Sign Apologetics - The Sequel

...or, Return of the Groom of Frankenstein!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Listen....If You Dare!!

Click the link and play the song. I dare ya.

And see how for how long you can listen to the Earworm Of Agony. I lasted about 35 seconds.

It sounds like it belongs on an episode of "Glee", or in one of the "High School Musicals", but not a Mass. Anything but a Mass.

Now I have to listen to some Mozart or Rush and silence the residual echoes from my ears...

s/s to Mulier Fortis. Blame her, not me - she found it. I'm only sharing my pain...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sister Patricia On: St Francis of Assisi

(Sister Patricia Owens O'Flannery, OP, a post-modern pre-traditional omni-spiritual Dominican sister, periodically contributes to AoftheA. Today she offers a reflection on the life of St Francis of Assisi.)

Hello gentle readers! May the Autumn Spirit fill you with peace and joy, and shower you with the bounty of a rich harvest. I just love Fall, don't you? The crisp evening air, the colorful display of changing leaves - wondrous gifts from Godde and Gaia. We are so blessed! And toss in collegiate football...why, all of it is so, so good!

One of my most favorite celebrations this time of year, besides the Autumnal Equinox of course (and our order had a wild time, let me tell you! But you know the saying: What happens in the convent, stays at the convent! wink wink!), is the Feast of St Francis of Assisi.

I just love St. Francis. He's the patron saint of environmentalism, ecological awareness and PETA, you know. It's true! He founded his order way back in the 13th Century, exhorting his followers to not eat meat, to love animals, and to tend the environment. It's no wonder why the Earth-loving people of the environmentalist movement have taken so warmly to the holy and humble saint.

St Francis used to preach to the birds, he called the Earth our "Mother", and he even went barefoot as a form of protest against the evil shoe and sandal businesses that killed cows and stole their leather. But perhaps the most famous story about his encounter with Nature was when he wrestled a bear in the backwoods of the Kentucky mountains....or maybe that was someone else. Well, I'm sure he wrestled a bear at least one time, and probably let him win so as not to hurt his feelings, and then taught him Jesus' message of love, compassion and vegan living.

St Francis composed a beautiful prayer called "Canticle of the Sun", the spiritual basis for the Green Movement. Our order prays it every morning, and twice on Thursdays (that's the day we take our newspapers and plastic bottles to the local recycling center). My favoritest one, though, is the Prayer of St Francis, commonly sung in Church as the great hymn "Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace". Now, I know there are some who claim he never wrote that prayer - probably the sort of folks LarryD hangs out with - saying that there's no "evidence" linking the prayer to St Francis. Hogwash, I say. Who needs evidence when you have faith, and if you have faith in anything, then it must be true - just like global warming. At least, that's what our local LCWR representative always tells me.

Tonight, at our order's celebration of this great feast day, I'm going to perform an updated version of the Prayer of St. Francis - with interpretive dance, while a chorus of sisters sings the prayer a capella. I wish you could be there to see it - it will be so inspiring!

Here's the updated prayer:

Make me a channel of Greenpeace
Where there is warming, let me bring your guilt.
Where there are plastic bags, Reusables.
And where there's doubt, true faith in Gore.

Make me a channel of Greenpeace
Where there's gas guzzling cars, let me bring Volt.
Where there is fatness, only Lite
And where there's fast food, ever soy.

Oh Gaia, grant that I may never seek
So much to be controlled as to control
To be overcome as to overtake.
To love the Earth with all the strength that's in my soul.

Make me a channel of Greenpeace
It is with CFL's that we're enlightened.
In giving all men condoms, births recede
And reducing your footprint helps to improve my life.

I think the order is going to love it! What do you think?

Celebrate responsibly today! Go barefoot, replace your incandescent bulbs with those swirly types, eat a salad or protest outside a coal-fired power plant! It's what St Francis would do!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Saturday Evening Blog Post - October

Welcome to THE SATURDAY EVENING BLOG POST!

This is where bloggers gather on the first Saturday of each month to share their latest and greatest blog posts. This weekend we are sharing our favorite post from September 2010!

I submitted the Blogger: I'm Burning The NCReporter! post. Head over to Elizabeth Esther and add your own to the list.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The "Even Though" Game

Mark Shea at Catholic And Enjoying It! linked to an editorial printed in the Des Moines Register, written by a man advocating for so-called same sex marriage - which was declared legal in Iowa last year. I didn't link to the article in order to discuss the content of his opinion, but only to highlight one line in particular:
"Even though I no longer practice, I still consider myself a Catholic."
It's the trump card of The "Even Though" Game, where a proposition is made that reflects a particular behavior or state of being, followed by a claim wholly contrary to the original proposition. As a mathematical equation, it might look like this: Not A = A.

For instance: "Even though I've never written a book, I still consider myself an author."

Try it! Play along in the combox.