Today Is The Day
Get ready for it.
Okay Then, That Was Unexpected...
Church Art Shouldn't Make You Say "Blech!"
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.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
"We cannot truly love others until we truly love ourselves; we cannot truly accept others until we truly accept ourselves; we cannot truly forgive others until we truly forgive ourselves."
That was the gist of it. Granted - we must love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We need to accept the fact that we aren't perfect, that we are sons and daughters of God, sinners in need of redemption and a Redeemer - as is everyone else. And we shouldn't beat ourselves up over past sins and failings. Too bad he didn't expound on his statement. It came across as modern self-help poofery.
This on the same day in which Christ tells us that in order to be His disciples, we must deny ourselves. Oprah says to be her disciples, we must accept ourselves. It's no wonder so many Catholics are confused.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Uplifting, isn't it? Well, don't just nod your head in silent agreement - head over to his blog and let him know what you think of it. Tell him LarryD sent ya!
And if you're a blogger - consider posting it. This video is what being Catholic means, and everyone ought to proudly proclaim it.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, then what you need are The Top Ten Topics That Will Rock Your Catholic Blog, as compiled by the AoftheA Editorial Board. The EB scoured Catholic blogs for
If you want to increase traffic to your blog, and you want the combox conversations spiced up a bit, touch on any of the subjects listed below. You can either be pro or con - doesn't matter. You don't even have to write well or display logic - just have an opinion and a thesaurus and a glib turn of phrase or two, and bang! Your daily hits will spike. Your combox will quickly resemble a back alley at midnight deep in gang-contested turf. Yeah, it will get rather testy, but that's what commenting at Catholic blogs is all about: loving our neighbors - even the Anonymous ones - with ham-fisted charity and bare-knuckled mercy.
The topics are in no particular order, and the Editorial Board at AoftheA has provided a possible point of view or approach* you can take - guaranteed to generate multiple flash mobs dancing around the issues in the combox instantaneously! Good luck!
10. Why the Latin Mass/Novus Ordo is better than the Novus Ordo/Latin Mass.*DISCLAIMER: Publication of the Top Ten Topics That Will Rock Your Catholic Blog does not imply, infer, or indicate an endorsement by the AoftheA Editorial Board of any of the listed topics' subject material, in any degree whatsoever. What, you think I want a bunch of crazy people arguing in my combox?
9. Attire for Mass - shouldn't folks just be glad no one's showing up naked?
8. Medjugorje - Real, or is God just joshing?
7. "If I were bishop...my diocese would be whipped into shape in no time!"
6. So-called gay marriage - doesn't it prove that gays, deep down, really want to be straight?
5. Natural family planning - contraception with a conscience, or a scientific alternative to "Not tonight dear - I've got a headache"?
4. The Democratic Party/Republican Party represents the full embodiment of Catholic Social Teaching.
3. If the Church had 4 or 5 more folks like Michael Voris, Satan would throw in the towel and admit defeat.
2. Communion in the hand or communion on the tongue - which way proves you're the better person?
1. Gregorian Chant sounds stupid - give me "I Am The Bread Of Life" any day!
If you think this post is about you...then it probably is.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
From Heidi Schlumpf: On Banning Girl Altar Servers
I hate waking up to this kind of news: a headline about the rector at the Phoenix cathedral who has decided to ban girls as altar servers, even though nothing in current church law forbids it. Like the church isn't getting enough bad press already!Okay, time out for a sec. The NCD folks live for news like this. I believe they wake up hoping for stories like this so they can sharpen their claws and break out the END MISOGYNY NOW! felt banners. They don't care if the Church gets bad press - because they like encouraging it and developing it and circulating it. It's their bread and butter, and it keeps their subscribers nose-deep in the trough.
Let's read on...
[...]What makes Heidi Schlmupf an authority on what is and what isn't a movement of the Holy Spirit? Who is she to declare such a thing? Maybe promoting boys-only altar servers is a push from the Holy Spirit. And besides, the rector isn't doing anything that the Church prohibits - parishes and dioceses are permitted to allow girl servers, but they aren't compelled to.
They say you can't put the toothpaste back into the tube, but here in the church there are some who refuse to quit trying. Despite consistent moves toward more openness and acceptance (of laity, of women, of gays and lesbians) in both society and the church, these folks fail to recognize this movement as coming from the Holy Spirit.
As to "more openness and acceptance in both society and the church" (notice how she doesn't capitalize Church?) - yeah, open and accepting of everyone except those who are ardent and faithful followers of Church teaching and such. Yes, I know about the 1994 document from the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts that relaxed the norms to allow girl servers. I get all that - but it can (and some believe it should) be withdrawn. But let's face it - when Catholycs clamor for Tolerance, what they want is Catholics like us tolerating Catholycs like them, and if we don't, we're mean-spirited, bigoted, misogynistic, etc.
I'm confident that eventually the Holy Spirit will prevail, but these interim steps backward are horrible PR for a church that is already suffering too much negative ink. Imagine what girls in the cathedral parish who previously served at the altar must think? It's one thing to not be allowed into something; quite another to have it taken away once you had previously been invited.The Holy Spirit will always prevail, but girl altar servers might not. Who's to say? As to "horrible PR" - give.me.a.break. Christ didn't command the apostles to go out into the world and spin a positive image. I say, the more counter-cultural the Church is, the better. Now, as far as the girls are concerned - I'm hopeful the pastor's plan is to no longer accept new girls as altar servers, and let the ones who currently serve do so until they decide they no longer want to. I think a transition period is better than using the cold turkey approach. Still, it's the pastor's decision, and his alone.
I also know that nearly every young, involved Catholic woman under 30 that I've interviewed in the past decade has cited her involvement as an altar server as instrumental to her decision to stay in the church. Whether serving at the altar promotes vocations is debatable, but it definitely encourages young people--male or female--to stay in the church.Quick poll here, for the readers of the female persuasion under the age of 30: how many of you are active in your church or parish as a direct result of having been an altar server? I'm just curious. Leave your answer in the combox.
Conservative/traditional Catholics may be cheering this latest decision, but if we follow the logical trajectory of their thinking, the church will go back to a time when no laity were allowed on the altar and women couldn't vote.Thus she admits what she thinks conservative/traditional Catholics believe.
Of course that won't happen, because the church and the world are moving toward the full equality of women (the world usually more quickly than the church), and there's no going back.Nice backtrack, Heidi. Truth is, you really believe in your heart of hearts that that is what us more traditional-minded Catholics want. Rather than taking a serious look at the whys and wherefores of the rector's decision, your mind was already made up the moment you heard about it.
And you probably wake up every morning looking forward to reading news that support your position.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Definitely not a candidate for World's Greatest Mom. Makes me think she's got her husband's testicles locked away somewhere too, because there's no way I would ever allow something like that to be done to my kid.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Unfortunately, the brush and small trees have this nasty habit of growing, and they do a great job of blocking the view. So - send in LarryD with the gas-powered brush-whacker.
But wouldn't you know it - the gas-powered brush-whacker was kaput. So, it was just me and the long-handled lopper.
As it usually happens, while engaged in yardwork, my thoughts turn to the theological. The intersection of daily life with the mysteries of God. And on Saturday, this is what I came up with.
Sins and bad habits serve to block our view of God and His will for us:
But when we open ourselves to God's grace and mercy - through confession, hard work and practicing the virtues...
...the sins and bad habits get removed, enabling us to better see God's will, which leads to greater peace.
Repeat as necessary...
That is all.
Friday, August 19, 2011
In the meantime, I’m feeling just the slightest bit snarky. And it’s Friday. Could this be a Blogger Freaky Friday? Have LarryD and I switched places for a day? What would that look like? ...No arm-twisting necessary to get me to participate in something crazy and weird, Nod! Below is my BMuFF contribution. I'm going to channel my inner Terry Nelson for this. What would that sound like?Welcome to Acts of the A-Pasta-See, where we pair experimental cooking with made-up religion. Today’s match-up is with Sister Patricia Owens O'Flannary, OP.Sister Patricia is busy writing on the social justice of different wheat sources, saying “It doesn’t matter if you don’t know your Semolina from your Durham, it’s the soul of the wheat germ that’s important. Durham has developed a “naked, free-threshing form” over the centuries which I’m sure is terribly important. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. I may devote an entire crystal meditation session to it.” [it's almost scary how well he does this, isn't it?]
Ok, LarryD, your turn. Which blogger(s) would you Freaky Friday switch with, and what would it look like? Or you could do a “blogger mashup” of two or more peeps on your sidebar. Go on, it’s just for fun!
Lots of thoughts and questionsWhat two bloggers would you like to see mashed-up?
So all these kids in Madrid partyin' and whoopin' it up and mosh pittin' and burnin' copies of YouCat...oh wait, those were the older "kids" in Detroit back in June, right? With all these Catholic conferences going on, it's hard to keep them straight. But anyway - back to WYD in Madrid - I think it's great the Holy Father is agreeing to babysit all those kids for the weekend! Date nights for all the parents! Think of all the 'WYD babies' next May! What?
Is it just me, or does Mark Shea have a man-crush on Michael Voris? He just can't seem to stop talking about him. I know!
I think it's great that the Obamas are vacationing on Martha's Vineyard. But just think of all the tax-payers money being spent for Secret Service agents to smuggle in cigarettes and Big Macs for Barack. You don't really believe Michelle will allow those in the house, do you?
A commenter once said that my blog reminded her of a neighborhood bar. I think it's more like an asylum, and I'm Nurse Ratched in need of a few drinks...
I'll probably delete this post later.
The 2011 Cannonball Catholic Blog Awards™©
It's the only Catholic blogs award that matters. Get thee hither to the Crescat and nominate me. You know you want to.
Priests Call For Bible Thief To Be Struck Down With The Runs from The Telegraph
In a rather un-Godly call for vengeance, the Franciscan priests at the church in Florence are praying that a dose of "the runs" will convince the unidentified pilferer of the error of his ways.
"We pray that the Good Lord will visit a strong bout of the trots on this thief and that this will help to convince him not to commit any more thefts," reads a sign put up by clergy at the Basilica of San Salvatore al Monte, a hilltop church which commands views of the Renaissance city.
The notice said that in addition to praying for a sudden loosening of the bowels, the priests were also hoping that the thief will repent of his crime and return the stolen holy books.
This is too funny. I can only imagine the conversation at the basilica:
Priest #1: Brothers, we must pray that the thief repent of his sin.
Priest #2: We must also notify the police.
Priest #1: I have done so. And we must also pray that he return the Bibles.
Priest #3: And that God strikes him with the Hershey squirts!!
I can see why it might be considered uncharitable to wish such a thing on a person, even if that person is a thief. We shouldn't seek vengeance, and leave it up to God - it's not as if He needs our suggestions, y' know? Can you imagine Moses, during the midst of announcing the ten plagues, suddenly ask God "Hey, you know what? I think instead of boils, you should give 'em diarrhea. That would be hilarious!" Actually, I can imagine it, but you know what I mean.
Perhaps it's a cultural thing, like a mild insult between feuding Italians. Like "Call my momma fat again, Antonio, and I hope your momma's meatballs give a-you the trots!" Sorta like when my I used to wish bad things on my older brother*, like that the fleas of a thousand camels infest his armpits, or a spider crawl up his nose while he sleeps and lay eggs in his sinus cavities, or a piano fall out of the sky and land on his head like in a Sylvester and Tweety cartoon. I never wished that he get diarrhea though, because that would mean he would stink up the bathroom really bad and use up all the toilet paper.
At least the Florence police have something to go on in finding the thief: any guy running towards a men's bathroom in that awkward clenched-butt-cheeks-quick-step-waddle is a prime suspect. Just arrest him after he goes, okay?
*I have long outgrown such puerile behavior towards my older brother. He probably hasn't, the immature jerk, but I have.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Obama's Throwing America Under The Bus Tour - where he's traveling to several Midwestern states on a listening tour and "working" to improve the US job situation - takes on an even more ironic twist, as it's being reported that the bus he's using was manufactured in Canada.
From The Blaze: Obama Tour Bus Built In Canada
They say that perception is important, especially in politics. So even though Obama’s new, tricked-out bus for his three-day, Midwest bus tour was purchased through a U.S. retailer, the fact that it was made in Canada will surely raise some eyebrows.I look at it, and think Darth Vader.
Rumors started swirling this week on blogs and in comment sections that Obama’s bus — nicknamed “Greyhound One” — was not American-made, which is ironic considering part of the president’s goal on the tour has been to talk about jobs and getting Americans back to work. The New York Post reveals the large vehicles were originally built in Canada by luxury bus-maker Prevost:
President Obama is barnstorming the heartland to boost US jobs in a taxpayer-financed luxury bus the government had custom built — in Canada, The Post has learned.
The $1.1 million vehicle, one of two that Quebec-based Prevost sold the government, has been tricked out by the Secret Service with state-of-the-art security features and creature comforts.
It’s a VIP H3-45 model, the company’s top of the line, and is used by major traveling rock bands.
“That’s the more luxurious model,” Christine Garant of Prevost told The Post.
Monday, August 15, 2011
But maybe their Constipational...I mean, Constitutional Congress wasn't all that it was cracked up to be.
Reports during and after the ACC event touted attendance numbers in the 1,800-2,000 range. But an analysis of some of the ACC's published documents from that weekend reveals that the attendance may have been 15-25% below that. Or perhaps even lower.
Bear in mind that AoftheA hasn't seen any registration forms, or any sign-in sheets, and if there are any, ACC has not made them public. Also, the estimated number of attendees came from the ACC itself. Furthermore, AoftheA did not attend the conference. Still, the claim I'm making - that the ACC padded their attendance number - comes from applying simple math and basic logic.
According to the ACC program, there were two breakout sessions scheduled for Saturday - one in the morning from 10:45 AM to 12:15 PM, and the second from 3:00-4:45 PM. A total of 18 topics plus a "theatrical production" were split between the two breakout sessions.
Recently, the ACC published notes and minutes from all the breakout sessions (which can be read here), which included how many people participated in each breakout session.
When you total the number of breakout session participants (as I did), you come up with 1,481 people (two breakout sessions did not report the number of participants).
I think everyone would agree that 1,481 isn't quite the same as 1,800, and even more disparate than 2,000 (and before you tell me that perhaps not all the attendees participated in the breakout sessions, keep reading).
So is the ACC playing fast and loose with the attendance, as freely and wantonly as they do with Catholic teaching? Wouldn't surprise me one bit - but let's dig a little deeper into the numbers with a bit more analysis.
1) Each breakout report indicated whether the session was morning or afternoon - with the exception of two, that failed to note when they were scheduled. The morning sessions reported 726 participants, while the afternoon sessions had 590 participants. The two remaining sessions that were not labeled as either morning or afternoon reported 165 participants.
2) There were 19 breakout sessions, several of which had been divided into two parts, resulting in a total of 23 sessions. Average number of participants per session (excluding the two that didn't report the number of participants) comes to 71; the highest-attended session listed 140 participants; the least was 28. One session gave a range of 30-35, and for the purpose of this analysis, I used the upper number.
3) It's more than likely that some of those who attended morning sessions also attended afternoon sessions, resulting in a duplication of counted attendees. It's probable, and extremely likely, that even fewer individual people attended the breakout sessions than the total 1,481.
3) There were two sessions - "Follow The Money" (afternoon session) and "Mama's Mansion" (a theatrical production) - that didn't report the number of participants. It's possible those two sessions could have made up the difference, but highly unlikely. If you were to presume the average session attendance (71 participants), that only accounts for 142 more people. And again, there's the morning-to-afternoon duplication factor to consider.
4) It's possible that not all the Council attendees participated in the breakout sessions. However, even if we were to presume that all 1,481 participants were unique - meaning, no one who attended a morning session also attended an afternoon session - that still means more than 300-500+ attendees didn't attend ANY breakout session. If that were true, it means that 15-25% (give or take) of the attendees did not appear to be all that committed to the ACC's cause, and lacked interest in making any sort of meaningful contribution. That's surprising, because the trip wasn't inexpensive, and a lot of planning and effort went into pulling this Council off.
5) It's possible that the attendance at the breakout sessions was underestimated by those keeping track of the records. However, some of the numbers seemed accurate - such as 37, 112, and 73, as some reports indicated - while others could have been estimates - such as those listed as having had 30, 60, or 110 participants. Estimates tend to get rounded to the closest 10, but very few people, if anyone, estimates "precise" numbers. Still - the estimates would have to have been seriously underestimated to make up such a disparate amount of participants.
5) However, when you consider that only 726 attendees participated in the morning breakout sessions, then what did the other 1,100-1,300 attendees do? Same with the afternoon breakout sessions - only 590 participated. So what did the other 1,200-1,400 attendees do? Is it reasonable to presume that most of the attendees didn't attend the breakout sessions? I don't believe that for a second - the breakout sessions were the main thrust of the event - a chance for their voice to be heard, to be able to speak out and make a difference, to show how the Church could be made more democratic. I have to believe that most of the attendees did sit in on the breakout sessions.
6) The ACC program doesn't indicate that there were any other events scheduled during the times the breakout sessions were scheduled, so it's possible that other activities and such were happening concurrently. So - what could the non-participating attendees have been doing? There was no Eucharistic Adoration; the Sacrament of Reconciliation wasn't being offered; there were no spiritual adviser sessions. Now, reiki might have been offered, or labyrinths might have been set-up to wander through, or transcendental meditation rooms might have been available or other silly unCatholic functions that weren't publicized. Regardless - would 300-500+ attendees (or more, when you consider point #5) do nothing while these breakout sessions were going on? I doubt it.
7) Would the ACC have anything to gain by overstating the attendance? Well, mainly it would create the illusion amongst supporters who didn't attend that the ACC has some semblance of relevance. 2,000 attendees is twice as impressive as 1,000, or 1,200, or 750. It would also give the impression to the hierarchy that the ACC is a force to be reckoned with. In their own minds, of course - the hierarchy is more concerned for the state of their souls and the damage they can do to other Catholics, than whether or not the ACC is going to make significant headway within the Church.
Which it won't. Ever.
Now - should my analysis be accurate, that the ACC had far fewer attendees than they reported, what difference does it make to me? Makes no difference at all, really - except the satisfaction in knowing that this Catholyc group - and others like it - is even less influential than I originally suspected. And that's a pretty darn good feeling.
And if I'm wrong? Well, if the ACC can prove that they had 1,800-2,000 people in attendance, then I'll issue a retraction. But I don't believe my analysis is off the mark.
In conclusion, based on their own data collected by their own people, I highly doubt the ACC's attendance was anything close to what was reported. I won't hazard a guess as to how many people were actually there, as I didn't go. And I'm sure the ACC would never admit that their event - nearly three years in the planning - ended up being a big bust.
Friday, August 12, 2011
It's an all-time low. Heh.
So here's a question/impromptu poll for y'all.
By what date do you predict Teh One's approval number to drop below 40%? How about below 35%?
Here are mine: August 30 for 40%; October 26 for 35%.
Leave your predictions in the combox - winners get the satisfaction of knowing they won.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
The Maryknolls responded very quickly, stating that "It is not for Maryknoll to make public the letter or the names of the priests who signed it. The letter was created by Call To Action. We suggest that you contact Call To Action for further information."
After a second email to CTA Director Jim FitzGerald, he responded to me on August 1, stating that "Yes, Call To Action would like to make public the names of priests who signed onto the statement to Maryknoll. It was brought to our attention that not all the priests may have heard that their names would be released publicly. As such, Call To Action is undertaking an effort to reach each priest to ensure we have his permission to release his name, before doing so."
Today, I received the following response from Rev Fred Daley: "Larry, check the CTA National web-site, names will be released August 11. Peace, Fr. Fred Daley"
Sure enough - Call-to-Action issued a press release today (links original):
200 priests have signed the Clergy for Conscience statement in support of Fr. Roy Bourgeois, Maryknoll priest and SOA Watch founder, who has been under pressure to recant his support of women priests in the Catholic Church.I highly doubt Blessed John Cardinal Newman is nodding approval from heaven over this, but that's another matter.
The statement's original 157 signers were highlighted in the New York Times (July 22, 2011) and since then, the list has grown to 200 priests. The final list of priests' names was sent to Maryknoll's Superior General today and posted on the Call To Action website.
Since the first list of signers was sent to Maryknoll, the religious order's Superior General sent a final warning to Fr. Roy in a letter dated July 27th, ordering him to recant or face removal as a priest. Fr. Roy has written his response and says he will not go against his conscience.
"After much reflection, study, and prayer," said Fr. Roy Bourgeois, "I believe that our Church's teaching that excludes women from the priesthood defies both faith and reason and cannot stand up to scrutiny. This teaching has nothing to do with God, but with men, and is rooted in sexism. Sexism, like racism, is a sin. And no matter how hard we may try to justify discrimination against women, in the end, it is not the way of God, but of men who want to hold on to their power."
"The courageous priests who have signed this statement are supporting Fr. Roy's right to speak his conscience," said Jim FitzGerald, Executive Director of Call To Action. "They are upholding our church's sacred teaching on conscience. A healthy church is a church that respects conscience and welcomes open and honest dialogue among its members."
The final letter and list of priests was sent to Maryknoll today in honor of Cardinal Newman whose death is commemorated today. Cardinal Newman was a priest who is remembered as one of the foremost authorities in Christian history on the topic of conscience and its importance in Christianity.
The list can be read here - as the press release stated, the priests in support of Bourgeios' "priesthood and his right to speak from his conscience" has grown to 200. They have coined a name for themselves, too: Clergy For Conscience. Isn't that precious?
The list, conveniently, has only the priest's name. Over the next few days, I will be hard at work researching each name and reprinting it here at AoftheA to include their current parish and diocese. It will take me some time, and I will publish the expanded list over the series of a several posts. The purpose for this, is that if you see priests located in your diocese, you can directly contact them and/or your bishop, if you so desire. I know I will.
A couple things to note: first of all, my emails had no bearing whatsoever on CTA's decision to publish the list of names. So don't give me any credit for it, because I'm not taking any - I now believe CTA intended to publish the list all along. As FitzGerald's email to me indicated, they were waiting for individual permissions to do so, and apparently have gotten them. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt here, and have no desire to take credit where none is due.
Secondly, I retract my accusation of calling these priests "gutless wonders", for "hiding behind a veil of anonymity". Turns out I was wrong. My apologies.
Lastly, even though their statement mentions nothing of women's ordination, isn't it logical to conclude that these priests are supportive of it? Sure, they support his right to conscience and all, but what is Bourgeois being asked to recant? Right - his support of women's ordination, and the charge that the Church is sexist. It's fair to say that these 200 priests are equally supportive of women's ordination.
Look for The List - Part One very soon.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
*Welcome to all the NCRegister and Pulp.it readers! I'm glad you came by - become a Follower!*
Today is the feast day of St Lawrence, the saint I'm named after. I like this guy.
Here are some things he never said (as far as we know):
Happy feast day to all the other Larry's and Lawrence's out there!
(Art: The Martyrdom of St. Lawrence, by Valentin de Buologne, 1621-22)
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Plus I think you really want to figure out what you are going to be the patron saint of ahead of time. Otherwise you might get one of those ironic patronages the Church seems to love so much. Pick wisely because you will be doing it for eternity or else you might get put in charge of the lost and found like St. Anthony.
What would your patronage be?
And then, I got tagged.
Here are the rules:
For this meme, you must name your patronage.
and then tag 5 other people who would like to play along.
Linking your answer to your nominator's post would make it easier to get your answers.
Since I'm a known rule-bender (non-doctrinal ones, at least), I'm changing the meme slightly. I'm asking you, faithful and friendly reader, to choose my patronage that will be assigned to me, upon the moment of my achieving sainthood. I'm much too humble to even consider what my own patronage would be, even more so regarding my impending certain sainthood...
Notice I said "friendly".
Leave your suggestions in the combox, and if you want to participate in the meme, have a go at it.
Oh - by the way - the following future saints have been tagged to complete the meme as written:
Joe at Defend Us In Battle
Erin at And Sometimes Tea
Adrienne at Adrienne's Corner
Sherry at Chocolate For Your Brain
Nod at Wynken, Blynken and Nod.
And in case you missed it, I said "friendly"...
Normally, their annual meeting schedule is filled with talks, presentations and discussions regarding upcoming strategic plans - such as, which corporation to protest, or what nuclear weapon plant to chain themselves to, or what Environmental Injustice to rally around. But not this year.
No, this year they will be spending the conference is quiet contemplation, to "discern the future" as they regard their aging population and dearth of vocations. Something, I think, they should have been doing all along, but hey, better late than never, right?
The National Catholic Distorter has the story: LCWR Begins Next Step in Re-examination of Religious Life [excerpted]
Religious life for the majority of U.S. sisters is at a crossroads. An aging membership and a decline in new vocations have communities probing what to do next to sustain their ministries and their way of life. These women sense a new era is emerging and they have decided to embark together on a new way of discerning that future.Therein lies the problem - the fact she says it "is not just a New Age fad..." She admits that this style of contemplative prayer IS New Age. Totally contrary to Catholic spirituality.
When more than 600 sisters gather in Southern California Aug. 9-12 for the annual assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, they will set aside discussions on strategic planning and talks about mergers and consolidations. There won't be workshops on recruiting new members or on financing retirement. Gone will be the breakout sessions that often follow keynote addresses at their national meetings.
Instead, these leaders of the 334 congregations in the Leadership Conference will sit together in silence, discovering what God is calling forth for religious life today. They will have no expectation of a particular insight or result. Rather, they will spend time in collective contemplation to explore where religious life in the United States may be moving."We sense that something new is emerging," said St. Joseph Sr. Carol Zinn, a member of conference's executive committee, "but we certainly don't yet know what it will look like."
The sisters hope this contemplative process will "open us to a deeper place within ourselves" so "we can create with God the future God intends," said Marie McCarthy, a Sister of Providence of St. Mary of the Woods and a member of the Leadership Conference's Contemporary Religious Life Project, which is spearheading the five-year contemplation process.
It is an outgrowth of a call in August 2000 by the then-conference president, Immaculate Heart of Mary Sr. Nancy Sylvester, for women religious to enter into contemplation for "fostering the transformation of religious life." [it's taken them 11 years to get to this point???]
In response, the conference has developed a process they've used at their regional meetings over the past year. But the assembly in Garden Grove, Calif., will be the first time all the leaders of the member congregations will engage in the process together.[...]
The contemplative process developed by the conference appears simple at first — reflect silently on global events of the past two years and how these events shape the mission of U.S. women religious, consider what new realities might be emerging and what responses to these realities are being called forth, then share those insights in a word or phrase with one another.
The depth of the experience, however, belies the apparent simplicity. It's a suspension of rational Western thinking as the participants drop into what Zinn calls "a contemplative way of seeing what God sees."
McCarthy added that the process allows "whatever wishes to emerge from within to do so."[...]
This contemplative process, the sisters assert, has potential far beyond religious communities. It can offer individuals, institutions and political entities a new way of resolving differences through collaboration and peace instead of competition and conflict. And it can help people stay in dialogue with one another in the midst of such differences so they can forge a new vision together.
"We have learned a great deal over the years about managing diversity and living together with polarities," (Sr. Pat )Farrell said. That wisdom, coupled with a deepening access to the Divine, might very well be the unique gift women religious are about to offer the church and the world, she said.
(Sr. Marie) McCarthy points out the growing interest in meditation across all sectors of American society and believes it's a sign of the times, one that garners great hope for the future of the entire planet. "This is not just a New Age fad, but a real experience of opening up to a new place," she said.
Which is why their plan won't work. The next four days will unfortunately be a complete waste of time and energy. I highly doubt they will come to any meaningful conclusions - at least the ones God truly has intended for them. Because they seem to be neglecting the most important person of all:
The article mentions Christ a total of -zero- times. It doesn't appear they will be praying before the Blessed Sacrament. Instead, they'll be praying before mirrors instead of windows, that only reflect upon themselves rather than allowing them to gaze outward upon the Lord.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
From The Daily Mail Online: Disney to Turn Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Into Ninja Action Movie
Disney is to remake the legendary cartoon Snow White and the Seven Dwarves as a warrior action movie set in China.You can always tell the quality of a movie based on how many writers and directors have been involved with the project. This one - in the works since 2002! - has all the makings of an abject failure. Sure, it's an adaptation of the fairy tale, but...ninjas?
In an unusual move, the film will not focus on Snow but will instead follow the seven companions, reinterpreted as nineteenth century warriors from a centuries-old order who have lost their way across the world. Each will be from a different area of the world and will have a unique fighting style.
They will eventually find redemption after meeting an English woman fleeing from her evil stepmother.
Natalie Portman is rumoured to have been approached to play Snow.
Disney has been working on the project, titled The Order of the Seven, since 2002 in an effort completely to rework the 1937 classic.
The film, which was originally called Snow and the Seven, has been worked on by script writers including Michael Chabon, Jayson Rothwell and Michael Arndt, who wrote Toy Story 3.
The director will be Michael Gracey, a visual effects specialist, after Francis Lawrence, who directed Water for Elephants and I Am Legend, pulled out.
Maybe since China owes so much of our debt, Disney figures they have to make China look cool and awesome, to keep them happy and whatnot. Maybe China was cool and awesome in the 19th century - nowadays, they're anything but.
I wonder what other remakes/adaptations are in the works, since that seems to be the movie industry's last remaining talent (although Inception was a really cool movie).
Friday, August 5, 2011
So bear with me. I could cop out and post a video or a crazy cat picture or point out the irony in how some Catholic bloggers point out in a Pharisaical way how other Catholic bloggers act Pharisaical, but where's the fun in that? It's all been done before, and by people way smarter and better connected than myself.
Instead, I'll fall back on the tried and true concept of The Meme. I read at Orwell's Picnic (by the way, say some prayers for Hilary as she's undergoing chemo at the moment!) that this week has been National Book Week in Canada. I'm not Canadian, but I can see it from my house - well, not really, but it's just over yonder in the east - so I thought I'd participate in the Facebook meme that Hilary mentions, where you go to page 56 of whatever book you're reading, and copy the 5th sentence as your status. So what if I don't do Facebook? Don't bother me with the details. The rules also say I'm not supposed to mention the book, but I'm going to go rogue and mention the title anyway. That's how I roll.
So here it is:
"For to what extent do people still belong to the Church in the first place?" (Light of the World, Pope Benedict XVI)
So what's the fifth sentence on page 56 of the book you're reading?
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Clever little piece at The New Yorker: God's Blog.
UPDATE: Pretty pleased with what I’ve come up with in just six days. Going to take tomorrow off. Feel free to check out what I’ve done so far. Suggestions and criticism (constructive, please!) more than welcome. God out.Some of the "comments" (mild language alert!):
The creeping things that creepeth over the earth are gross.s/s The Ironic Catholic
The lemon tree: very pretty. The lemon flower: sweet. But the fruit of the poor lemon? Impossible to eat. Is this a bug or a feature?
Disagree with the haters out there who have a problem with man having dominion over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, the cattle of the earth, and so on. However, I do think it’s worth considering giving the fowl of the air dominion over the cattle of the earth, because it would be really funny to see, like, a wildebeest or whatever getting bossed around by a baby duck.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Here's what the driver, Rachel Fisher, wrote: "We were driving 65 mph down a highway when my husband caught something out of the corner of this eye...a snakehead coming out from under our hood onto our windshield! Watch what happens after that...."
I guess you could say they had a problem with their windshield viper.