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Today Is The Day
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Okay Then, That Was Unexpected...
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Church Art Shouldn't Make You Say "Blech!"
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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.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Birds Of A Feather....

....flock together.

And yet another example of liberal dissenters who wish they mattered, getting props from a liberal media that tries to discredit the Catholic Church, by reporting on a liberal retired bishop's visit whose book feeds their appetite and validates their heterodox views.

Not a big surprise. The Boston Globe devotes three pages in their on-line edition on Bishop Robinson's visit to Massachusetts, promoting his book (that was recently denounced by the Australian bishops) and speaking before standing-room only crowds - of a whopping 550 people at one place, and over 100 at another. Yeah, I can feel the change a-comin'!

Reading the article, you can almost hear the panting and cooing over the bishop's visit, and feel the collective orgasm expressed by liberal Catholics throughout New England. Even the Media Darling Fr Thomas Reese was quoted. Wow, I'm like, totally convinced now.

Here's one quote from Robinson: "Communism changed. Apartheid changed. It just may be the church might, too." I see how that statement would play well at a Voice of the Faithless gaggle, but for crying out loud, even a non-theologian like me can see the flaw in that logic. Communism and apartheid were institutions without the guaranteed protection of the Holy Spirit. And to think that the Church oppresses people in any way, shape or form, much less at the same level as communism, is so ludicrous that I can barely find words to describe my disbelief. No wonder it's impossible to have any serious conversation with people like this, when they make such stupid statements.

It's disappointing that Cardinal O'Malley didn't prohibit Robinson from speaking at Catholic sites, a la Cardinal Mahony in Los Angeles. These inconsistent positions given by our nation's episcopal leaders is frustrating, and it's beyond me as to why they don't provide a united front.

And here's a heads up for those of you in Cleveland. Bishop Robinson is scheduled to spread his lies and dissent on June 5 at Future Church in your city.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

In Case There Was Any Uncertainty....

....this should make the issue crystal clear.

Vatican: Automatic Excommunication For Women Priests, from AGI News.

Cue the wailing and gnashing.

Please, dear women, humble yourselves and submit to Christ and His Church. Your willful stubbornness in this matter only serves to further wound the Body of Christ. Same goes for all those who promulgate this error.

Caption Contest #2


Submit your entries in the combox. Winner will receive accolades and praise beyond description.

UPDATE: We have a winner!!!!

And the praise and accolades goes to Cordelia: "hold up boys, that's pope benedict's cat."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Another Reason Why I Won't Go To Europe

It comes as no surprise that Europe is so freakin' messed up, when a story like this comes out: Switzerland Euthanasia Center Kills Nearly 900 Since Opening. Since the Dignitas center (there's irony for you) opened eight years ago, 868 people have been killed, with over 330 people in the last two years alone! Of the dead, only 15% were Swiss residents, with most of the foreign nationals coming from Germany, England and France.

But wait! It gets weirder (and sicker)! The center only accepts 12% of the applicants. If my math is right, that means that over 7,200 people have requested euthanasia over the past eight years. And then there's this: Dignitas admitted that not all those who were euthanized had terminal illnesses. Which tells me that "inconvenient" people could be getting the Last Push To Eternity: elderly, mentally handicapped, those suffering depression.

And here's something else - this center occupies a flat in an apartment building, and corpses are removed from the building using a communal elevator, the same one that living and breathing residents use. So imagine this - You've come home from a long day at the watch factory, shuffle into the lobby of your apartment building, and push the elevator UP button. You can barely stand on your feet, waiting for the doors to open. Finally, they slide apart, and before you step on, two Dr Frankenstein-ish looking guys exit, pushing a sheet-draped gurney, forming the profile of a person. One of the guys gives you a slight smile and nod of the head. "You look tired," he says. Without even thinking, you say "Yeah, dead tired." The second one winks, saying "Well, we'll be back in about five minutes if you need help."

This story got me thinking. Most of Europe's nations are experiencing native population declines. Most are seeing an increase in Muslim population. Secularism in many of these nations is on the rise as Church attendance continues to slide. Other countries besides Switzerland have euthanasia laws, and it's possible they will expand in use. Add to this that a Swiss Federal Ethics Committee recently published a report saying that plants ought to be accorded rights. And we*, as a nation, are worried that other nations don't like us?? What the heck, most of these nations don't even like themselves!! Why do we even care?

So now I have another reason to keep my red-white-and-blue tush right here in America - someone might label me as "inconvenient", and I might not come back.

*by we, I'm referring to pinhead elitists, not rational, common-sense people. People like you and me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Extreme Church Makeover...

...without the dust.

For a good laugh, check out Creative Minority Report's newest on-line service, MyCustomizedCatholic.com. Here's the opening paragraph:

"In this day and age we are accustomed to customizing about everything. You can customize your car, your license plates, your desktop, your homepage. You can customize your phone, your clothes, and even your diet plan. With all the things you can customize these days, why not your church?"

The Only Thing Being "Raptured"....

....is people's money.

A new service has been created for Christians (by Christians, allegedly), believing they will be "Raptured" someday, whereby they'll be able to send their left behind loved ones emails from the other side, explaining what's happened. Well, not exactly from "the other side" - documents and emails are written now, stored at You've Been Left Behind, and then six days after the rapture supposedly occurs, the emails will be automatically sent to whomever is on the distribution list. All for the cost of $40 per year.

I kid you not. It's bad enough there are stupid bumper stickers ("In case of rapture, car will be driverless"), or a seven book series based on a false doctrine; now there is a company charging for document storage for an event that will not take place. As PT Barnum said, a sucker is born every minute, and this is the latest example.

The website explains how the emails will be distributed once the rapture occurs - "when 3 of our 5 team members scattered around the U.S fail to log in over a 3 day period. Another 3 days are given to fail safe any false triggering of the system." It's pretty presumptuous that most or all of the members of YBLB believe they are going to be raptured. They should amend their explanation to include "In the event all 5 members get left behind, the emails and documents will be distributed within 24 hours."

Then there's this problem: you've paid your money, set up these emails and distribution lists, and whammo! the rapture occurs, but you're one of the Left Behind!! Oh, the humiliation! Your family and friends will get your emails 6 days later, and then you'll have to endure 7 years of a personal tribulation along with the 7 years of anti-Christ! On top of that, you paid money to be embarrassed.

And what about the money this site is pulling in? What happens to the company profits after the Rapture? Does it go to fund the Tribulation Force? Is it distributed to those who receive the emails? Or is just lining the pockets of the people who cooked up this scheme. Hmmm, I wonder.

If I were to participate in this scam, my email might read something like this:

"Dear _____:

"Sucks to be you!!! I've been raptured! I'm in heaven now, and let me tell you, I'm so glad to be outta there! I can't tell you what heaven's like, because technically, when I wrote this email, I was still on earth. But I'm sure it's better than metro Detroit. I mean, it has to be, right? I bet it's like Grosse Pointe without the view of Windsor.

"Anyway, a couple things for you to know. First, watch out for the anti-Christ. He's really smart and tricky, and you won't want to fall for any of his ideas, otherwise you'll be screwed. I don't know who he is, but if he wrote a book, I'm sure Oprah has endorsed it by now. So look for clues there. Second, don't let anyone implant anything electronic in you - that's the mark of the beast! Keep using your Visa bankcard instead. And lastly, can you feed my cat? And change her litter? Since I was raptured six days ago now, she's really hungry and her box probably stinks to high heaven. In fact, I can smell it!! lol

"See you soon, or seven years from now. Good luck during the tribulation!"

Then again, I'll just save my money and put it towards something useful. Such as this book or this one. Both are excellent.

Dominic at Bettnet.com also posts on this. His post title is funny - wish I had thought of it first.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Opus Dei Ordains 36 New Priests....

....and still no albino monk assassins. Oh well, maybe next year!!

Happy Memorial Day!

Remember all the valiant men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country so that we can live in freedom and liberty.


May they rest in peace, and may God bless America!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Prescient Presence

Okay, quick poll here. Which of the two following reflections on the Feast of Corpus Christi is more inspirational, offering a deeper appreciation and love for our Savior?

1) It means that we should not see in the Eucharist a “Presence” that takes us out of the world into some distant heavenly realm where the cares and concerns, joy and hopes, pain and sorrow of the world are left behind. Often many of our Catholic brothers and sisters who speak about “Eucharistic Adoration” seem to embrace that kind of awareness of the sacramental presence of Christ, which, in reality, is a theology of the “Real Absence!”
No; “Real Presence” means partaking in faith with the gathered assembly — in Body & Blood broken and shed “for the life of the world,” — and participating to the full, as we work for justice, peace, mercy, and reconciliation, sacrificing our own lives so that others might live – in small or large ways. It is in this context that we can find new and greater meaning in that old phrase “the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.” It is Christ’s sacrifice – and ours with his – so that the world might become more fully what God wants it to be.

- from "Young Adult Catholics" blog, posted by Marc DelMonico

2) Communion means exchange, sharing. Now, this is the fundamental rule of sharing: that which is mine is yours and what is yours is mine. Let’s try to apply this rule to Eucharistic communion. In doing so we will see its greatness.
What do I have that is truly “mine”? Misery, sin: This alone belongs to me exclusively. What does Jesus have that is “his” if not holiness, the perfection of all the virtues? So, communion consists in the fact that I give Jesus my sin and my poverty, and he gives me holiness. In this the “admirabile commercium,” or “wonderful exchange,” as the liturgy defines it, is realized.
- from Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, posted at Ten Reasons (Rich Leonardi)

Inhabitable For Humanity

Talk about dealing with the devil. Life Site News posts a story from Sarasota FL where Planned Parenthood, in order to meet a city ordinance to acquire the necessary permits to build a new abortuary, sold property to Habitat for Humanity for $10. That property would be used to erect a multifamily building, thus fulfilling the requirement that a new PP abortuary location must be in the presence of a residential building.

Habitat for Humanity is a Christian organization, and according to their website, they believe that every human being should have affordable housing, to live in dignity and safety. So how in the world does associating with Planned Parenthood (even if this is just a real estate transaction, as H for H claimed) help them fulfill the "dignity and safety" clause? How does this deal increase the women's dignity, living next to an organization that routinely lies, takes advantage of and damages women? How does this make children safer, being so close to a company that harms children's lives through active promotion of promiscuity and protection of rapists?

Now the deal is still unofficial, so there's time to flood Habitat for Humanity with pleas and demands to walk away from this deal. They need to practice cottagus interruptus here. And if they don't, and the arrangement proceeds, I hope that their call for volunteers goes unanswered, that no company provides the materials for this new home.

No one wants people who are suffering to go without affordable housing - but it cannot be at the expense of the unborn and pregnant women.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

After The Bulls Run In Pamplona.....

....the Catholic Church is there to clean up the mess.

Mucho kudos to Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Sebastian of Pamplona. In the face of staunch secularism, he stood firm in defense of Catholicism and Christianity, responding to the pro-Socialist Publico's printing of a secular ten commandments. The archbishop summarized the "commandments" by calling them a “barrier for excluding Christianity from society.”

Here are the ten commandments, as compiled by the paper:

“1. You shall teach with equality. The equality imposed by secularism is understood as one without any reference to God or to any religion, not even to the transcendence of the human being.
2. You shall not preach outside the pulpit. This means religious expression can only be tolerated inside churches. The teaching of religion in schools must be eliminated.
3. You shall not impose your symbols on the State. Official acts must be strictly secular. State funerals and even Catholic weddings for the royal family are not permitted.
4. You shall not mix the earthly with the heavenly. No hymns, no flags, no officials at religious ceremonies, no religious symbols in official state business.
5. You shall not monopolize holidays. They seek to remove religious holidays and make them civil commemorations.
6. You shall not invade public institutions. With the exception of hospital chaplains, military chaplains and the existence of the Military Ordinary.
7. We shall control the patrimony. The Church must recognize that Cathedrals, Museums and Monasteries are public property.
8. We shall facilitate apostasy. No explanation is required here.
9. You shall not appear in the public media. Religious programs must be eliminated from state-run media.
10. Not one dime for the Church. It shall not even be acceptable to designate a portion of one’s income to the Church on tax returns."


Maybe someone in California can tell me - has Michael Newdow moved to Spain?

Archbishop Sebastian nails it with the following quote: “In the case of religion, the only thing the State has to do, which is not much, is protect the freedom of citizens so that each one can exercise and freely express his own religion, according to his own conscience, without bothering or attacking the freedom or the legitimate rights of anyone. Therefore correct secularism, as well as non-sectarianism, consists in that the State protects the religious freedom of society and of citizens to practice the religion they believe, without meddling in religious questions that are beyond its competence.”

The archbishop went on to say that it's not up to the bishops alone to battle such extreme secularism, but that it's incumbent upon the citizens to take action, saying, “If Spanish Catholics want to remain free and responsible, we will have to begin to take these matters seriously....What is at risk is not the privileges of priests, but rather the freedom of Spanish citizens to live freely according to their consciences.”

This story is indicative of the "dictatorship of relativism" that Pope Benedict has preached against since the start of his papacy, of how evil continue to beat against the walls of the Church. And if anyone should think that this could never happen in America, I only have one word to say: Obama.

Catholic News Agency has the full story. Pray for Archbishop Sebastian and our fellow Spanish Catholics. It's not the running of the bulls in Pamplona that good men and women have to fear - there are stronger forces threatening to trample anyone in their path.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Nursery Rhymes For A Post-Christian World, #1

A new feature of Acts Of The Apostasy.

The Mantrimony Rhyme

"Jimmy and Bobby, sitting in a tree;
K-I-S-S-I-N-G;
First comes lust, then comes 'marriage';
But God is mocked when His will's disparaged."

Thank you, CA Supreme Court. Previously posted at Creative Minority Report.

New Kids On The Blog....

...or as I like to affectionately call them, The Sour Patch Kids.

Call To Apostasy has generated a new blog created by and aiming for the younger generation, or "NextGen", as their national website proclaims. It's a Wordpress blog called Young Adult Catholic - I guess Old Angry Catholic didn't fare well in their polling - and it was launched on Pentecost. To date, it features 13 posts and over 1300 hits - quite remarkable for a week and a half, which says one of two things. One, they've done a good job of telling their regional affiliates to create traffic to make it seem like there's interest; or two, the contributors keep checking back a lot to see if anyone has commented on their posts, and those check-ins are counting towards their hits. The same handful of people are leaving comments for the posts, and it ain't many, so it's probably a combination of the two.

Now don't accuse me of blog envy (my blog has been up for almost two months now, and won't clear 1000 hits until later this week), because I'm not envious of people who actively seek to undermine Church teaching. It'll be interesting to see how long this blog can sustain itself. Bitterness, resentment and anger are self-consuming and depressing - there's no joy, happiness or peace in their posts - and after awhile, prattling on and on about social injustice and so-called oppression in the Church will consume itself and leave a big pile of ashes. So far there has been little or no humor in their posts, which makes sense, because their misbegotten belief that the Church has wronged them (the standard "The-Church-needs-to-change-to-suit-my-needs" stuff) leaves little room for humor. Even the blog layout is depressing - black background, white font for text and red font for the blog title bar and post titles. Yeah, joyful colors for sure!

A number of the posters and editors have either completed studies in Theology or are in the process of receiving their degrees - one girl mentioned she's taking classes taught by "Fr" McBrien at Notre Dame, so that tells you something - and they display a hint of superiority and hubris that can be common in youth. I say "can be", because there are so many young Catholics earning theological degrees who display great humility (Alive And Young and American Papist immediately come to mind) and great humor. Some of the posters hold parish positions, too, such as faith formation associates (yikes!) and liturgical consultants (double yikes!).

I'm not linking to the Sour Patch Kids in my sidebar, but it can be accessed through the National Call-to-Apostasy site. These young adults need prayers and guidance - like a kick in the rear end you'd give to a disobedient child! It's not what the USCCB had intended when they issued their Protecting Our Children statement, but perhaps they should have included protecting kids from heretical ideas and lies passing for catechesis.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wordplay

I've always liked word puzzles - crosswords, word searches, the Jumble - and I've yet to meet a bad pun I didn't like. Malapropisms, too - I know I've said my share of them over the years, sometimes on purpose, mostly by excrement.

Yesterday I came across the Dominican Idaho blog (via Fr Erik's site) where he posted a story about the Mensa Invitational. It was a contest sponsored by the Washington Post where entrants took any word from the dictionary, changed it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter, and provided a new definition. I remembered the list being published a few years back, but they're fun to reread:

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people, that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The Bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
4. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
5. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
6. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
7. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
8. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.
9. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
10 Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
11. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
12. Glibido: All talk and no action.
13. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
14. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
15. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
16. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.
And the pick of the lot:
17. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an a$$hole.

The Dominican Idaho suggested coming up with new ones, with a slant towards the crises facing the current-day faithful Catholic. His are clever - Litorgy and Catechasm (definitions are on his site) - conspiring me to come up with a couple myself.

Sheology (n.) 1. (shē ŏl o jĭ) - knowledge and study of "feminist" religion; 2. (shā ōl o jĭ) - knowledge and study of the eternal resting place for those who teach sheology.

Shook wave (n.) - practice whereby a priest leaves the sanctuary and exchanges the Kiss of Peace with people in the first pew, then waves to the rest of the congregation before reentering the sanctuary.

Add your own in the combox!

RWHT, again, to Fr Erik (Orthometer)

Which Church Father Are You?

Happened across a quiz at The Way Of The Fathers (Mike Aquilina's site) where you can find out which armchair of the early Church fathers you sit in. I was surprised how mine came out - St Melido of Sardis - mainly because I hadn't heard of him. The description was fairly accurate - you can read it in my sidebar - though I rarely call out my family for their sins (my sons are an exception, however!) I was hoping for St Augustine. "Make me chaste, Lord, just not yet" is a quote that describes my past struggles. I don't pretend to be as brilliant as he was, but his zeal for Truth is at a level worth working towards.

Take the quiz and add the result to your sidebar. Check it out!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Another Email, Another Reminder

Several weeks ago, I posted here about my coworker and the email he sent me after Pope Benedict's visit to the US. In it, he said that the Holy Father screwed up by not telling all the attendees at the ecumenical gathering that they're all going to Hell. I went back and read His Holiness' speech at EWTN's site, and sure as kooks in a kookie jar, the Holy Father did not say that. He said a lot of other things, all of it brilliant, and finished with a strong proposal for the truth of Christian theology, but apparently, that wasn't strong enough. Nothing short of a flat out "Join Us Or Die!!" statement was sufficient.

That's the sort of individual I work with.

Well, I just received another email, and I have pasted it here for your perusal. Nothing has been changed (except I've omitted his name) - capitals, punctuation, and the like, is original.

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson's book based on Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI's "Civilization of Love" is a bestseller for the 5th straight week:

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=12601

This "Civilization of Love" is very dangerous! Why? Because it is paving the road for the anti-Christ of the "end times".

As I mentioned many times in the past, the "Civilization of Love" goes against the authentic, unchangeable and infallible teaching of the Catholic Church: "THERE IS NO SALVATION OUTSIDE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH". The "Civilization of Love" calls for a convergence of all religions and makes obsolete the necessity for conversion to the Catholic Faith for salvation. THIS IS HERESY! (This was clearly detailed in Cardinal Ratzinger's 1966 book "Theological Highlights of Vatican II.)

Anti-Christ will use this new "Civilization of Love" to form the "new world religion" described in Sacred Scripture. Anti-Christ will be the head of this "new world religion" along with the "new world economy" and "new world government".

BEWARE! Any Catholics who buy into this deception and become a part of the coming "new world religion" will be guilty of APOSTASY and will lose their souls.

Side note: Cardinal Ciappi who was personal theologian to Pope John XXIII, to Pope Paul VI, to Pope John Paul I and to Pope John Paul II, and who had access to the "3rd secret of Fatima", said:

"In the third secret it is foretold, among other things, that the 'great apostasy' in the church will begin at the top."

The Pope is at the top.

Pray for Pope Benedict XVI to do the proper consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to reveal the ENTIRE "3rd Secret of Fatima". Without the proper consecration, the Catholic Church will remain under a "spiritual chastisement" for being disobedient to Our Lady of Fatima.

ALL THOSE WHO SAY THE CONSECRATION HAS BEEN DONE ARE GUILTY OF WORKING AGAINST OUR LADY OF FATIMA AND ARE HELPING JEOPARDIZE THE SALVATION OF MANY, MANY SOULS!


Now, I haven't read Mr Anderson's book yet. And I doubt my coworker has either. He's more than likely repeating what he read on another person's website - but be that as it may, I can't comment on the book, and I won't.

For some reason, I was the only person who received this email, as well as the previous one. There has to be someone out there who needs the fire and brimstone more than me, hasn't there? I know I'm a sinner, and that I need God's mercy as much as the next guy. But shouldn't he have sent this to Mr Anderson instead of me?

I won't comment on his email either - I wanted to share with my occasional reader(s?) how God's sense of humor affects me, how it keeps my faith grounded in the fullness of Truth, allowing me to witness the dangers of wandering off the narrow path. On the one hand, my coworker shows the error of focusing exclusively on God the Judge, and relying heavily on private revelations, even if they are Church approved (I almost fell into that pit years ago!). And on the other hand, with some of my liberalized family members (the Outlaws, actually), He shows me the problems with centering too much on God the Merciful, relying heavily on conscience divorced from doctrine (a pit I was lifted out of years ago). And here I am, in the middle, struggling to be faithful, to be charitable, recognizing that His justice and mercy are perfect and complete.

So even though my co-worker's emails are annoying, I look at them as a reminder from God that I'm on the right path. At least for right now.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pray Always....

....and when you're finished, pray some more.

The Dutchman from Festung Arnulfinger contributed an inspirational post on prayer over at Catholic Dads. Here's an excerpt:

Pray because no one else will. I used to see a guy where he worked downtown. (Let’s call him “Will.”) He was always very good at his job and, since he was more helpful than anyone else there, I always went to him. After using him for about fifteen years, I saw him on the street. Will told me that he had taken early retirement from his job (he was in his early fifties) and moving to a different city in order to get away from his crack dealer. It turned out that he had been addicted to crack cocaine for eleven years! I wished him the best of luck, gave him my e-mail address, and told him that I would pray for him. He told me that he was an atheist, and didn’t believe in prayer, but he thanked me for it anyway. I haven’t heard from him since. Recently I asked one of his co-workers if any of them knew how Will was doing. She was very cagey until she realized that I knew Will’s secret, but then she admitted that no one had heard from him since he had left town. “That’s a shame,” I said, “I pray for him every day, you know.”

The woman was astonished, “You do? I had no idea that you were such good friends with him.”

“I’m not,” I admitted, “But if I don’t pray for him, who will?”

“Nobody.”

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bring It On, Evil Empire!



"If you wish to be my disciple, deny yourself, pick up your light sabre, and follow me." Kinda.

"All I'm Trying To Say Is...."

"....I'm glad there's someone around here who understands me! Knowhudimean?"

Thursday, May 15, 2008

First the Vatican Astronomer.....

...says extraterrestrial life could be possible, and now there's this: aliens have been visiting the U.K. for years, mainly of the green variety.

Well, duhhh! Anyone who watches BBC1 knows that! Tell me something I don't know!

State Supreme Court Rules To Change State Name....

.....to Californicate-ia.

You can read about it here, but Creative Minority Report, Thoughts Of A Regular Guy and Some Have Hats have posted well on the court's decision strking down the same-sex marriage ban.

Me? I only have four words: San Andreas Fault. Now.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Having Over Being

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's controversial encyclical Humanae Vitae. Well, it's controversial for those who have chosen to ignore it all these years (in the 'spirit' of Vatican II, of course, and the right to follow one's conscience, even when it takes the person in the opposite direction of the Church, but hey, why is that such a big problem?), and we are experiencing the results of that choice. For those who have embraced that teaching, there's no controversy at all. There is difficulty, and challenge, and the strange looks from people as they ask "What? You're not on the Pill?" or "Whaddya mean a vasectomy is a sin?" But controversy? Nope.

And Pope Benedict XVI, guided by the Holy Spirit, recognizes that difficulty in a speech he gave commemorating the encyclical's publication. While addressing participants at an international conference at the Lateran University, Pope Benedict said that "new technological developments cannot replace the quality of marital love or the sacredness of life."

He went on to say that "in a culture suffering from the prevalence of ‘having’ over ‘being,’ human life risks losing its value." In other words, treating the other person as an object for one's pleasure is never acceptable - that only in the true sense of "being" one for the other can the full dignity of the person be realized.

When pro-contraceptive Catholics decry this encyclical, and rant on that 'they don't want the Pope in their bedroom', what they're really saying is that they don't want God in their bedroom - He's only welcome in areas of their lives where it won't cause difficulty or hardship or a change to their comfortable lifestyle. They end up missing out on experiencing the most sacred act of the marriage in the deepest fullness that God desires for them, sacrificing the real for the artificial, trading in sanctification for sin.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Resumé Enhancement For The Heretic

Anthony Kosnik's was Human Sexuality: New Directions in American Catholic Thought. Richard McBrien's was Catholicism. These are just two examples of Catholic texts condemned by the Catholic Church because they contained ideas contrary to established Truth. Naturally, Wandering Tribes such as Call To Apostasy and Elephants in the Living Room consider these men, and others like them, to be outspoken heroes silenced by a hierarchical misogynistic bureaucracy intent on maintaining their power and....well, you know the screed. Unfair treatment, suppression of new ideas, what about the 'spirit of Vatican II', yada yada yada.


It's like this - say the Church is the sun of our solar system. The center of Truth, the source of all that is good and worthy of belief. Just as the sun sustains our physical life, the Church sustains our spiritual life - we're all in orbit around the sun, some closer, some farther away. The closer we conform our lives to Christ's teachings as proposed by the Church, the closer we are to the sun. As we strive to stay in a state of grace, our orbits remain close, and our lives are holier, more peaceful and we are happier. Sin breaks the bond of gravity, and we spin out of orbit; the sacrament of Reconciliation, though, brings us back into proper orbit, restores our state of grace. If we put off the sacrament, and fail to restore the bond, we can spin away for a long time, and for a long distance.

These guys are way past Pluto.

And now, over in Australia, there's an addition to the tribe. According to the Catholic World News, the Australian Catholic bishops' conference has issued a strong warning regarding a book written by retired Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, citing "doctrinal difficulties".

What are those difficulties? "...among other things, the nature of Tradition, the inspiration of the Holy Scripture, the infallibility of the Councils and the Pope, the authority of the Creeds, the nature of the ministerial priesthood and central elements of the Church’s moral teaching." Those sound like a bushelful of difficulties to me, but I can guess why the conference used somewhat restrained language. Bishops don't like to smack down their brothers, retired or not.

The article goes on to say that the conference has tried to resolve the differences with Bishop Robinson, and hopefully, he will come back to the Church with humility and contrition. If he doesn't, it would be tragic indeed.

He'd be a hit with the Wandering Tribes though, perhaps a future keynote speaker for a Call-To-Apostasy conference. Way out past Pluto.

Monday, May 12, 2008

To Do List.....

1) Pay bills
2) Water plants
3) Feed the dog
4) Start freaky cult

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Wishes and Wherefores

Say you worked for a car manufacturer. How much confidence would you have in its CEO if he issued a company-wide letter in which he wished he knew how automobiles were made. Say you taught at an elementary school, and the principal announced she wished she knew how the curriculum for her school was determined. Would that make you say "Huh?" Or better yet, say you worked on a politician's campaign team, and he stated he wasn't sure how this whole government thing worked. Would he still get your vote?

I'm wondering what the members of the Michigan chapter of Call-To-Apostasy are thinking after receiving their quarterly newsletter, in which their former Regional President, Sr. Beth Rindler, wrote this "reflection" (my comments in blue).


“Where did you learn about Jesus? God? I first heard of him by way of my family. Everyone in my family, aunts, uncles, cousins were all Catholic (Roman Catholic). We went to church every Sunday, received our First Communion, went to Confession, etc. When I became a Franciscan Sisters of the Poor I cannot say I was able to know Jesus better until the time following Vatican II (that would be a different Jesus? Wasn't Jesus pre-Vatican II?). I was glad to hear the prayers prayed in church in English instead of Latin and I could read the Scriptures for myself (always could, Sr. Beth!)instead of always hearing some one else’s interpretation of the texts (that "some one else's" is the Church's, and She offers relatively little authoritative interpretation anyway). Even though the prayers were not prayed in English in church, I can honestly say that frequently I did not understand what I was saying or what the priest was saying. Somehow I learned that these words were holy (they were said during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, after all. That should have been a big clue) and that they were my connection with God. Even to the simple prayers of the Our Father and the Hail Mary, I did not know completely what they actually said or meant (was this before or after you were "allowed" to read Scripture for yourself?), but I still considered them as prayers that somehow was pleasing to God.

Now when I hear the term dogma or doctrine, I am not clear as to what this is all about(check your Catechism - it's pretty clear there). I have come to know that scholars known as theologians (you mean 'scholars known as crackpots and heretics, don't you) need to be careful (because they are crackpots and heretics) when they write about theology in my Church (you mean "Christ's church"). Sometimes I wish I understood better the specifics that the men in the Vatican (those would be bishops, cardinals, the Holy Father - you know, those men) are talking about when they criticize the writings of some of these theologians (it's not hard to do - if crackpot A writes something contrary to Church teaching, it gets criticized). When I hear the use of words like “ambiguity’ or that these writings can cause confusion in the minds of the faithful, I wish I knew what these concepts were that they are talking about amongst themselves (it seems that you've proved your own point quite well). In the past I tended to distrust or fear the writings of these theologians because of my trust in the opinions or thoughts of the men in the Vatican (see my crackpot A statement above). However, as I have pursued studies myself in the world of philosophy and theology (in other words, trying to rationalize your assumptions and pride)I wish I knew specifically the reasons as to why there is disputation between some theologians and some men in the Vatican (you know the reasons - it's called the Truth, remember?). I often wonder why the men in the Vatican do not speak more clearly and publicly as to what specific issues are in dispute (ummm, they do. Contraception, women's ordination, homosexuality - some pretty clear statements have been made the past few years. And if I can understand it, anyone can....well, maybe not anyone, obviously).

Being able to read the Scriptures rather than having them always interpreted for me has given me a very different image of Jesus (you mean an image that makes you comfortable). He is a person I admire very much (being the Son of God is pretty admirable, I'd say). I am most impressed as to how he lived his life when he was here as a human being as recorded in the Gospels (you mean like dying for your sins, giving us a Church and the sacraments). It might seem strange to hear me say that I felt that in a sense I could imitate him (keep working on it! You haven't been too successful up to this point, but there's still time!). I am thinking of the ways in which he expressed his love for others (especially by dying on the cross). The poor and social outcasts never seemed beyond his embrace (sinners too. Don't forget the sinners!). This give me much food for thought and prayer (pray for humility, like the saints did).

Of course, I know there won't be a collective "What the...?" by the Call-To-Apostasy members upon reading this. They all think this way - they think it's insightful and open-minded to not be sure of the answers. That way they can't be held accountable for "not knowing". Well, good luck with that, because there will come a day when their beliefs built on wishes will crumble, leaving hay and stubble. And the Truth will be evident and obvious.

So will Call-To-Apostasy and the other Wandering Tribes ever come to realize the errors of their ways?

To quote Sr Rindler, "I wish I knew....."

Wings Win Game Two; Stars Lose Composure

All the scoring occurred in the first period as the Wings took Game 2, 2-1.

But the real excitement took place after the final buzzer when Stars forward Mike Ribeiro whacked goalie Chris Osgood with his stick, swinging it like a baseball bat. Tempers briefly flared.

Should make for a very interesting Game 3 on Tuesday in Dallas.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Encouraging Sign

Another bishop is standing strong on Church teaching, and it is uplifting to witness.

The latest is this story on Archbishop Naumann in Kansas telling it like it is to Governor Kathleen Sebelius and her POB stance on abortion as a Catholic - refrain from receiving Holy Communion. Not one to believe in coincidences, I think it's great at the timing of this, so close on the heels of Cardinal Egan's rebuke of Rudy Giuliani, and Archbishop Wuerl's attempt to rein in pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

The complete statement from Archbishop Naumann is printed in The Leaven, Kansas City's diocesan newspaper.

I'm hoping Bishop Boyea, recently installed at the Diocese of Lansing, lays down the law for the similary disposed governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm. And I hope it's sooner, rather than later.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Stars Implode, Wings Take Game One

Finally!! After a week of no hockey (hey, we all have our crosses!), the Detroit Red Wings returned to NHL Playoff action, facing the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Finals. The team showed no signs of rust due to the layoff, cruising to a 4-0 lead through the second period, and winning easily, 4-1. Four different Wings tallied goals, and Chris Osgood stopped 20 of 21 shots. Game Two is Saturday afternoon.

Pope Benedict Likes Archbishop Burke....

.....and shows it with two new assignments. This will flame a few Wandering Tribes, for sure. Cool!!

Sure, Pro-aborts Support Free Speech......

.....unless it's something they disagree with.



Life-Site News has more on the story.

UPDATE 5/9/2008 Life Site News has posted a follow-up story, describing how the university administration is refraining from taking specific action against the student senator who vandalized the pro-life display. No big surprise there.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

New Priests For Detroit

This Saturday, May 10 at 10:00 AM, the Archdiocese of Detroit will be ordaining five men to the priesthood. It's a good news/bad news event, depending on whom you talk to and whether or not your practice of the faith has crossed into heresy and schism.

The good news is that we're getting 5 "baby" priests! The Holy Spirit is continually calling men to the vocation of ministerial priesthood, and some are hearing and responding to the call. And this year's ordination represents a 500% increase in new priests over 2007....which means that we only had one last year. Still, it's an improvement, and from what I've been told by our associate pastor (who was that sole ordained priest), good priests are coming.

The bad news is that, out of a large Catholic population in the metro Detroit area, there are only five new priests. It can be disheartening when considering that in the six counties of the archdiocese, there are nearly 1.5 million Catholics (according to the July 2007 Demographic Profile of the archdiocese). Granted, not all 1.5 are eligible for priesthood, but the fact remains that more prayers and more fasting and deeper faithfulness to the Church in all her teachings are required, to increase priestly (and all religious) vocations.

Meanwhile, the nearby Diocese of Saginaw has 21 seminarians in various seminaries in the US at different stages of study. When Bishop Carlson was assigned to the diocese in 2005, there were only 3. So that is excellent news.

But of course, in the eyes of the Wandering Tribes, any male celibate priest is Not A Good Thing. The Michigan chapter of Call-to-Apostasy is staging a silent protest. I'll have more to write about this a little later today.

UPDATE MAY 8 2008

Couldn't update last night due to a power outage at home. According to the Spring 2008 Issue of the Call-To-Apostasy newsletter, chapter members are asked to silently protest the ordination service outside the Cathedral. To further "celebrate" the ordination, a letter was sent to each of the 5 ordinandi:

Dear Reverend….,
Call to Action of Michigan congratulates you on your call to serve God in the priesthood. Our prayers and
good wishes are with you and your family on this special day.
However there is deep sadness in the hearts of many people. Call To Action of Michigan members believe
there are countless other men and women who have been called to priesthood, but are denied ordination
because of man-made laws and prejudice. This attitude of the institutional Church is a form of elitism
similar to a country club that refuses admission to women, people of color or homosexuals. We find this
regrettable.
We are concerned for the faithful who are not ministered to because of the shortage of priests and the
clustering and closing of parishes. We believe that the very sacramental life of our Church is at stake.
Call to Action of Michigan members cannot in good conscience stand by and not speak out.
Peace,
Michigan Call To Action Board of Directors.

What a thoughtful gift to give a priest on the most important day of his life, huh? These people are the Debbie Downers of the Catholic Church; just as funny, but unintentionally so. They really really need prayers.

Thanks be to God for sending us priests! Without them, we don't receive Jesus in the sacraments. Without them, there is no Mass. Continue to pray and fast so that more men will answer the call of the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mass-cots

If the Mass at your parish is getting a little dry, a little dull perhaps, and needs some rejuvenation, then Call-to-Action has what you need! Presenting Call-to-Action's latest liturgical innovation, the "Mass-cot". These larger-than-life figures will liven up any occasion at your Church, just like in baseball stadiums and college football games across the nation. Need to inspire the congregation to increase their tithing? Hire a Mass-cot to lead by example. Does the choir need help to increase pew participation? Get two Mass-cots to lead left-side/right-side cheers! ("God is great!" "All the time!") Need increased traffic during those holy days and for confession? These Mass-cots are perfect to have standing at the roadside to encourage passers-by to stop on in!

Call 1-866-MASS-COT now to purchase one or more of these four beautifully crafted Mass-cot uniforms, and they'll be shipped out to you immediately! Guaranteed to get your parishoners buzzing about what's happening at your church! Call now!!

Seriously, though.....

The above photo comes from the closing liturgy of the Call-to-Action 2008 West Coast Conference held last week. As the pre-eminent Wandering Tribe, they pulled out all the stops from the Liturgical Abuse Playbook. But beyond that, what amazes me is that they actually believe this is an improvement above the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass! I can't even wrap my head around that idea - even as performance art, this is pretty sucky.

Orare Fratres has a video link to the event, as well as Amy Wellborn, along with "active participation" in her combox.

Personally, I prefer these guys, but only during ballgames:

(source)

Coming To A Church Near You: The Automated Confessional!

Saw this at The Heart Of Things - funny with a just a dash of Monty Python-ish impiety!



What's next - drive through window for Communion?

Meanwhile, In Flyover Country...

Back on April 16, Cardinal Francis Arinze was in the Archdiocese of Detroit delivering the keynote speech at a fundraising dinner for the SS Peter & Paul Educational Foundation, a group aiming to open a new Catholic College located in metro Detroit. News of his visit was overshadowed by the papal visit, but the purpose of his being here was important nonetheless. His talk was solidly Catholic from beginning to end, and his comments complimented the speech the Holy Father gave to the Catholic educators in Washington the following day.

Cardinal Arinze "spoke philosophically about the confluence of faith and reason, and how natural revelation leads to a greater understanding of faith." At one another point of the speech, he went on to say "If a high number of its intellectual leaders are, indeed, not Catholic -- how can they be expected to live and share what they do not have? It is particularly important that the Catholic intellectual leaders not just happen to be Catholic, but that they be scholars who have matured in their studies by years of studies in a university that is already known to be unambiguously Catholic."

The Foundation's goal is to raise money to open The College of Saints Peter & Paul, an unambiguous Catholic College faithful to the Magisterium and offering a curriculum centered on Catholic humanism. Its Board of Advisors is impressive, whose members include Bishop Quinn of the AoD, Fr Frank Pavone and Karl Keating, to name a few.

The story on the Cardinal's talk is posted at Catholic Online.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Plants Have Feelings Too

Do you use herbicides? Do you ruthlessly uproot dandelions? When you mow the lawn, are you doing so inhumanely?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, change your ways!! Otherwise the Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology will be gunning for you!

Don't believe me? According to this story in The Weekly Standard, humans' treatment of plantlife is up for moral scrutiny. Several years ago, the Swiss added a provision to their national constitution requiring that dignity be taken into account when dealing with animals, plants and other organisms (apparently, humans are the other organisms, or so I'm guessing). No one, though, knew what that statement meant. It must be wonderful to live in a country where it's only after changes are made to the constitution that it's time to figure out what those changes mean. When you consider the precision of Swiss time pieces and the ingenuity of Swiss Army knives, things in that country have considerably deteriorated.

Back to the story. What the SFECNHB came up with is that all organisms have to be treated with dignity because they're alive; thus plants contain an inherent worth. This means we cannot claim absolute ownership over plants and not use them as we please. The example they offer is a farmer mowing the hayfields, which is ok because, well, it's hay and the panel really doesn't provide a reason why it's okay. But if the farmer takes his scythe and decapitates some wildflowers while returning to the barn, well, clap him in irons!! He's just committed floracide!!!

This is what the panel actually states regarding this hypothetical situation: "At this point it remains unclear whether this action is condemned because it expresses a particular moral stance of the farmer toward other organisms or because something bad is being done to the flowers themselves."

In other words, is the farmer a raving lunatic, a potential mass murderer because he's morally ambiguous to flowers, and that could escalate, perhaps to someday include rutabagas and then onto humans....I mean, other organisms? Or were the flowers treated with indignity, their heads lopped off with cruel indifference? Do you begin to see the tragic moral consequences here?

This might mean a change in the Scriptures. Christ talks of pruning branches, of seeds falling to the ground and dying, of birds making nests in mustard bushes. The hell with inclusive language! The dignity of plants MUST be upheld!! Expect to see rewrites!

This is a development that could pose incalculable ramifications for the agricultural industry, for the florist trade, for landscaping companies. Do your yardwork now before it's too late!

They're still determining what rights plants actually have. They're quibbling over experimentation of genetic manipulation in plants, because in some cases, the testing would not cause them to "lose their independence". The example they give is that they could lose their ability to reproduce. Lord knows that in stamen fertilization is pretty darn expensive!

Things will get rougher once the non-Swiss environmentalist wackos get a hold of this report. There are unsubstantiated rumors that they have already assembled a legal team to begin court proceedings, and AoftheA has the scoop:


Meet Larry the Lawyer and Bob the Barrister.

Liberal Catholicism, RIP?

Check out Jeff Miller's top notch analysis of a Time.com article called Is Liberal Catholicism Dead?" at The Curt Jester. There isn't much I can add, other than one point.

The article should have been titled "Is Liberal Catholicism Going Away?" And the answer to that is, of course not. As long as there are "Catholics"who attempt to fashion a Church that conforms to what they wish to be true, then there will be many out there who won't conform their lives to what the Church teaches is true. Jesus said that the wheat and weeds would grow together, and he didn't say put a time limit on that. The progressives are here to stay, and you know what? So are we.

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Funeral Like No Other

On Saturday May 3, in the Archdiocese of Detroit, a very unique funeral Mass is going to be held for aborted babies that had been found outside an abortuary during the "40 Days For Life" campaign held this past Lent. Citizens For A Pro-Life Society has details on the Mass, as well as the story behind the story. WARNING - This site contains a link that shows graphic photos of aborted children!! You can read more about the Mass at Priests For Life.

I heard about this on Ave Maria Radio yesterday on Al Kresta's show. He interviewed Dr Monica Miller of Citizens for a Pro-life Society about the funeral. She made a great observation: as Catholics, one of the corporeal works of mercy is to bury the dead, and for these babies, it is the only act of mercy they will ever be shown.

After the mass, celebrated by Auxillary Bishop John Quinn, the children (25 individual babies were recovered) will be buried in a single coffin.

Pray for those who are in the abortion industry, that God change their hearts. Pray for the women (and men) who struggle with this decision, that they may choose life. Pray for all of those who suffer from past abortions, that they may seek forgiveness and receive consolation and peace from God. And pray for all of those involved in the pro-life movement, that God bless them, give them strength for this mission and protection from evil.

8 Down, 8 To Go

No contest in Colorado last night as the Wings rolled over the Avs, 8-2, to sweep the best-of-seven series. Johan "Mule" Franzen netted his second hat trick of the series to lead the Wings. On to the Conference Finals against the winner of the Dallas - San Jose series.
For you non-hockey enthusiasts (you know who you are!): Post title refers to the number of victories needed to win the Stanley Cup - a total of 16. See? I can do math!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Wandering Tribe Worship Shout-Out

Although I'm not sure what's being worshipped - fire, Gaia, ordinal directions, more fire. One thing is certain - it ain't God.

Posted via Diogenes and at The Cafeteria Is Closed

Opening Prayer:

All Sing: Burning Force, Fire and Flame: holy, holy is Your name.

Reader: In the beginning was Fire,
and the Fire was one with Creativity: the Fire was Creator;
and the Fire was one with Divinity: the Fire was Divine;
and the fire was one with the Holy One: the Fire was God.

All Sing:

Reader: Fire was the Source of Life. Through Fire all things were made: all things are one with the burning,searing power and energy, of that originating Fire. The Fire was the Source of Life, the Fire is Life, and that Life is the Light of all life, A light shining in the darkness, never to be extinguished, never to be overcome.

All Sing

Reader: The fire became Flame and lived among us, accessible, visible, filling the earth that Fire had formed, fulfilling prophecies, fulfilling promises, a pervading, protecting Pillar of Security, Dawn of a New Day, Rising Sun of Justice, Lamp of enlightenment, Ray of Hope dwelling among us, Shekinah, the Presence, the Passion, Shaddai.

All Sing

Reading:**

All Sing: Go before us, burning bright. We will follow in your light.

Reader: Thus says Shaddai, who created you and formed you: “Do not be afraid, I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name, you are mine. Should you walk through the water, I am with you; rivers will not overwhelm you. Should you walk through fire, you will not be burned, and the flames shall not consume you. For I am Shaddai,the Holy One, your protector, and your God. (Is 43:1-3)

All Sing:

Reader: “I baptize you with water,” said John, “but the One who comes will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Luke 3:16)

All Sing:

Reader: They were all together in one place, when suddenly what seemed like tongues of fire hovered above each one of them, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:1,3)

All Sing

Reader: Let us cherish the grace we have been given, let us worship God in acceptable ways: for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29)

All Sing

Reader: Burning Force, Fire and Flame: holy, holy is your name. Go before us, burning bright. We will follow in Your light.

Sharing: Who are the sparks in our lives....

Opening Song: O Beautiful Gaia by Carolyn McDade

O East you are freshness, Virgin light of each new day
O Gaia calling us home, Calling us on.
Refrain: O beautiful Gaia, O Gaia, calling us home.
O beautiful Gaia, Calling us on.
O South we bring praises, Strong source of our sun’s-heat
O Gaia calling us home, Calling us on.
Refrain
O West vast horizon, Holding our dreams and our dying
O Gaia calling us home, Calling us on.
Refrain
O North, great preserver, Cool breezes and crisp frost
O Gaia calling us home, Calling us on.
Refrain: O Sacred Center, We live in you always
O Center calling us home, Calling us on.
Refrain

Opening Prayer: You are bountiful, O God, all your desires for us are good. Within you, within me, lies a godling seed, fed by our love toward its birthing. And in that emerging will be great gentleness and grace- -Pleasure and yearning delight! And Creator/ Creation in full-filling embrace!...

Called to Become by Edwina Gateley V.M.M. Psalms of a Laywoman

You are called to become
A perfect creation
No one is called to become
Who you are called to be.
It does not matter
How short or tall
Or thick-set or slow
You may be.
It does not matter
Whether you sparkle with life
Or are silent as a still pool,
Whether you sing your song aloud
Or weep alone in darkness.
It does not matter
Whether you feel loved and admired
Or unloved and alone
For you are called to become
A perfect creation.
No one’s shadow
Should cloud your becoming,
No one’s light
Should dispel your spark.
For the Lord delights in you,
Jealously looks upon you
And encourages with gentle joy
Every movement of the Spirit
Within you.
Unique and loved you stand,
Beautiful or stunted in you growth
But never without hope and life.
For you are called to become
A perfect creation.
This becoming may be
Gentle or harsh,
Subtle or violent,
But it never ceases,
Never pauses or hesitates,
Only is-
Creative force-
Calling you
Calling you to become
A perfect creation.

Clowns To The Left Of Me, Jokers To The Right

I work with a kook. Not the new-agey, creative liturgy I'm-ok-you're-ok type. I have to deal with those types at my parish. I'm referring to the kind from the Other Side. The variety who believes that the entire Third Secret of Fatima wasn't released; that the Consecration to Russia never took place; two shades to the left of sedavacantism; that Vatican II was a sham council; that donates money to Fr Gruner; that any kind of ecumenism is Evil.

So my coworker (I'll call him Flighty Righty, referred to henceforth as F.R.) sent me an email last night, and my HADAR (see sidebar) went off. It was an article written by John Vennari, posted at the Catholic Family News website, called The Kingdom of God vs. The Civilization of Love. I won't bore you with all the details of the article, and you're welcome to read it if you wish. Apparently using terms like The Civilization of Love and The Culture of Death are too sanitized and saccharine, and we ought to back to the terms Kingdom of God and kingdom of satan. Frankly, I didn't know that the latter terms weren't being used anymore. I must have missed that in the Vatican II documents. Or am I using the wrong Bible, because the one I have has Jesus talking about the kingdom of God, and he uses satan's name on several occasions.

My rant isn't about F.R., though. Not entirely, at least. He's a devout Catholic who prays in front of abortion clinics, frequents the sacraments, tries to live a virtuous life. It's unfortunate he's pitched his tent with the camp of the "Rad-Trads" and pre-Vatican II quasi-sedavacatists. These Wandering Tribes of raving radicals do more to hurt proper evangelization with their "Join or Die!" battle cries than anything else I can think of. Their obsession with "papal inconsistencies", which in my view portrays a severe lack of understanding doctrinal development, takes the focus off the message of Christ and puts the focus on themselves and their misrepresentation of Catholic teaching, which is preserved by the protection of the Holy Spirit.

So I did a little googling and a little was enough. Some of these Wandering Tribes are associated with anti-Semites, some challenge the authenticity of the so-called "saint factory" of John Paul II, and they all believe that Freemasons and Communists have successfully infiltrated the Vatican. While it's true that Satan wants to destroy the Church, from within and without, it's accusations and conspiracy theories such as these that come straight from ol' Beelzebub's playbook rather than the other way around. Yes, beware the wolf in sheep's clothing - but more importantly "the gates of Hell shall not prevail".

Vennari, Fr Gruner and others of their ilk are best ignored than engaged, and need to be earnestly prayed for. They do damage to the unity of the Church just as much as the McBrien's, Chittister's and Reese's of the world do - and Christ's Holy Thursday prayer was that "they may be one, as we are one".

As I have done in the past, I won't say anything to F.R. about his email, unless he brings it up. We've argued in the past, and since he's unwilling to see how ridiculous it is to believe this stuff, I don't argue anymore.

So with a nod to Gerry Rafferty, from whose song I shamelessly borrowed my post title, I submit an update to "Stuck In The Middle With You"

Well, I opened up my email last night
Got a message from the extreme far Right
So absurd I nearly fell off my chair
Said the Pope is really full of hot air
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
And they say
"We're all more Catholic than you!"
Well, Vennari is all red in the face
And Reese is "poping" all over the place
In the corner McBrien's crying away
While Gruner waves the Fatima flag
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
And they say
"We're all more Catholic than you!"
Well they started out as faithful
now they're proud to be all self-made men
They've made up their own doctrines
Jumping up and down and shouting "Meeeeee! Meeeeeee!"
Trying to make sense of it all
But I see that they make no sense at all
Is it cool to be a mad heretic?
No thanks, I'll stay with Pope Benedict
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
And they say
"We're all more Catholic than you!"
And they say
"We're all more Catholic than you!"
(and they say) "What gives with Vatican Two?"
(on they say) "We're all more Catholic than you!"

Feast of the Ascension


"...as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took them from their sight." Acts 1:9