Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Prayer request: Cody

In the mailbox:

Our dear friend just called from Indiana with a request for immediate and fervent prayers for her nephew Cody, who suffered severe head trauma during a high school football game Friday, October 20th. Cody has been in a drug-induced coma. His condition is extremely critical and life threatening; prayer and a miracle are his only hope now. Our friend asked that you pray that God use His Power to heal Cody, if it is His will. Implore Mary to go to her Son for a miracle. Pray to Our Lord and His Mother to hold all of them close and comfort them. Our friend trusts in His will and knows that His Power and Grace are sufficient and will carry them through, but right now it is so hard for all of them.

Thank you for your prayers.

Monday, October 30, 2006

In a snit about Latin, James Carroll gets it wrong...again

There's so much bosh in Former Altar Boy/Present Dissident James Carroll's Boston Globe op-ed today it's difficult to know where to start, but his attempt to make Protestant William Tyndale into a martyr seems as good a place as any.

The prophet of English translation was a priest named William Tyndale, whose version of the New Testament appeared in 1526. A decade later, precisely for this translation, he was burned as a heretic...

Not quite. First, the implication that the burning was done by the Church should be corrected. It wasn't. Tyndale was arrested by the secular Holy Roman Empire (which at the time was neither Roman nor particularly holy) and ultimately executed.

Indeed, the Church did condemn Tyndale's "translation" and with good reason. Not only was it laden with errors -- Tyndale was no scholar -- but it contained a prologue filled with condemnations of the Church of Rome.

Even after his own break with Rome, King Henry VIII, the self-styled head of the Church of England, condemned Tyndale's work, forbidding his subjects to read it.

Carroll ends his piece with a swipe at the Holy Father:

One still hears of Catholic nostalgia for the Latin Mass. Classicists regret the loss of the Church's museum function. Esthetes decry the banalizing of liturgy in which all worshippers are fully able to participate. More pointedly, reactionaries have never stopped campaigning for the restoration of Latin, understanding its twin significance as symbol and pillar of the old order. Unsurprisingly, that campaign has been reinvigorated lately, with a blessing from Pope Benedict -- a futile shoring up of a rapidly collapsing clericalism.

First of all, Carroll's confusing the "Latin Mass" with the Tridentine Mass. Any priest can celebrate the Mass of the Second Vatican Council in Latin -- and many do! Many parishes bring Latin into the Mass...the Agnus Dei and the Sanctus, for examples, on a regular basis.

Secondly, the notion that the desire for Latin is based on "nostalgia" is utter hogwash. Some of the most ardent supporters of the Tridentine Mass I know weren't even born before Vatican II!

Finally, there's this flat-out piece of fiction:

Once Catholics entered into the mystery of the Mass as literate participants instead of as dumb spectators, an unprecedented renewal took hold. The vitality and warmth of today's typical liturgy, involving intelligible encounters with sacred texts, has Catholic parishes surprisingly full, even in a time of widespread disillusionment with clerical leadership.

Nope. Most Catholics don't "participate" in Sunday Mass at all. Where's Mister Carroll been?

For an interesting article that sheds light on William Tyndale, see This Rock, December 2002.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Anti-Catholic "Halloween Costumes"

Google the words "Happy Priest Costume" and what do you get? Over a million hits for stores selling "erotic" priest and pregant nun costumes. This is supposed to be "funny."

It's not funny.

If you tried, as I did, to protest every single outlet selling these outrageous things, you'd be at your computer until next All Saints Day.

There's another way.

The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property simplifies the process. Click here to register your protest.

Thank you! Please pray for folks selling this stuff...my hope is that they "know not what they do."

P.S. Am I the only one who really hates Halloween, anyway?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Examination of conscience: The seventh commandment

Thou shalt not steal.

I think I can comfortably assure myself and my conscience that I have not pilfered a Jaguar since my last confession.

But is larceny all this commandment speaks of?

How can this commandment be broken?

Things that come to my mind include the arenas of business, social life, school, sports, and of course, the IRS.

Any thoughts?

May God continue to bless you...and may that thief who "stole his way into Heaven" by trusting in Jesus on Calvary pray for us!

Monday, October 23, 2006

"Taps": night prayer for the military

I've never served in the armed forces. My dad did, and most of my male relatives did, and friends and family members still do.

And so I'm grateful to Major Daniel Butterfield for composing "Taps."

While no "official" lyrics exist, or so I'm told, the most popular words to this lullabye are these:

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky.
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Then good night, peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear...friend, good-night.

Click here to listen. And please remember all soldiers everywhere in your prayers.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Last night, Saturday, I was a mad woman. A maniac. There were two major events in Boston and I found myself caught in a traffic horror that, even for Boston, was insane.

Instead of using the time to reflect, to pray, heck, to listen to a CD even...I chose to curse. Road rage claimed me and I cooperated with it whole heartedly. To top it all off, I got into a ridiculous argument over a parking space at a store I sincerely did not want to stop at, and then finished my commute by making an obscene gesture at some poor person who, no doubt accidentally, cut me off when I finally got close to my home.

I knew I was in the state of sin. I crept to my little prayer room, apologized as best I could to the Lord, and prayed for Reconciliation.

I got it.

God was good to me and before Mass, I was able to make my confession to a priest and to receive absolution. It would have been more than enough to know that I was forgiven.

But I got the bonus: grace!

Actually, my penance was to pray for the virtue of patience...even in a Boston traffic jam. Which I did. (To tell the truth, patience is a virtue I pray for often!)

This evening a miracle happened.

Once again, I found myself driving home, and realized I needed to stop at the drugstore. After paying for my purchases, I discovered that a double-parker had trapped me (a common enough Bostonian occurrence.) A lady in the passenger's side of the car told me that her mother was in the store...and then began to honk frantically, trying to alert her mom.

I did good...with God's grace.

I laughed and told the lady I wasn't in a hurry and not to worry about it. She insisted on going into the store to retrieve her mom, but, as she was holding an infant, I told her to relax. Sauntering back into the store, I glanced around, feeling oddly peaceful, and bumped into an old friend checking out her purchases. We chatted as she completed the transaction, walked out together...and, what d'ye know, she got into the car that "trapped" me! For reasons known only to God, we all burst out laughing. And I drove home in peace.

Confession is a really good thing.

Not just for the absolution, which is miraculous and totally unmerited...but for the grace.

I recommend the Sacrament highly!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Studds, the AP, and really weird reporting

The headline reads:

"Studds's spouse 1st denied U.S. death benefits because he's gay"

Duh. Okay, reporters don't generally write headlines...I assume this is true on the web as well as in print media. But the story is amazing in its headlong rush to appear, well, stupid.

The lead:

BOSTON For the first time, the federal government is denying death benefits to the spouse of a congressman because he is gay.

Double-duh! The federal government is denying "spousal benefits" to the late Gerry Studds' male friend, Dean Hera, because he is not nor ever was the "spouse" of Mr. Studds.

Studds married Dean Hara in 2004 after gay marriage was legalized in Massachusetts.

No he did not. He went through a sham ceremony that was never recognized by the legislative bodies of the state of Massachusetts.

The 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act blocks the federal government from recognizing the marriage between Studds and 48-year-old Hara.

Common sense, one would think, would block anybody from recognizing a marriage between too people of the same sex.

Now I'm wondering: is the proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman even necessary?

Source: Associated Press

Monday, October 16, 2006

Tridentine Mass as seen by a 30-year-old

Kori, of Taught by a Toddler, knocks out some crazy myths about the Tridentine Mass, and does so quite well.

Read her post...and then visit her parish!

Good stuff, bad stuff: October 16 anniveraries

In 1978, Karol Józef Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II.

In 1916, Margaret Sanger opened the first birth-control clinic in New York.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Anonymous NY priests praise selves, dis bishop

Hey, you know? Things are tough all over. Evidently some deliberately unnamed priests in the Archdiocese of New York have found a way to alleviate things.

They've decided to blackball their Cardinal Archbishop.

First, they attempt to explain the reason for their anonymity. (Hint: it's the Cardinal's fault!)

As you would understand, because of the severely vindictive nature of Cardinal Egan, this committee must remain anonymous.

Not exactly a Pauline approach, but there you are.

The priests are good...

During the last six years the Priests of the Archdiocese of New York have been patient, understanding, tolerant and loyal.

The Cardinal is bad.

During the last six years, the Cardinal’s relations with the Priests of New York have been defined by dishonesty, deception, disinterest and disregard.

The priests are good...

...the Cardinal does not seek advice or counsel from the many competent and experienced priests who so faithfully serve as pastors and members of his chancery staff.

The Cardinal is bad.

The Cardinal demonstrates an unnatural fear of the media and he forfeits the great opportunity to employ the media as a means of addressing the many contemporary questions of faith and morals.

From my view in the (Boston) pew:

This sucks.

I am not on intimate terms with the problems of the Archdiocese of New York, nor of its priests, anonymous or otherwise. (I live in Boston.)

For all I know, the accusations -- and that's what they are -- valid.

I do however have a vague acquaintance with the notions of fidelity, charity, obedience, courage, testosterone, and integrity. (Some of my best friends actually possess these virtues.)

This campaign smacks of an absence of all of these.

Today, October 15, is the memorial of Saint Teresa of Avila. Here's a lady I pray my fathers in the New York Archdiocese would seek emulate.

God, deliver us from sullen saints.

(Rocco Palmo has the story here and I understand he must be credited.)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Maguire, CTA...and Dolan!

Self-styled theologian Dan Maguire is so focused on his "pelvic issues" that one wonders how he finds time to...well, theologize.

"Beyond a doubt, the bishops could be among the most influential religious leaders in the nation if only they could get off what he calls the "pelvic issues" and address the wider view."

Let me try and interpret. The "wider view" which The Theologian addresses eschews things like abortion, contraception, same-sex "marriage," et cetera and instead focuses on issues like poverty, racism, sexism, and one presumes, homophobia.

(As if, as IF, the bishops haven't addressed these issues ad infinitum.)

Anyway, Maguire sent a letter to this effect to all the U.S. bishops, receiving a reply from Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee.

"You speak of your duty to dissent. Well, at least call it such," Dolan's letter to Maguire read. "To claim that such support for abortion and same-sex `marriage' is consonant with Catholic moral teaching is preposterous and disingenuous."

Call to Action got in a snit, responding:

"Your attack on Daniel Maguire, a professor in good standing at Marquette University, seems to assume that mature Catholics are unable to discuss and debate what some consider controversial issues. Your `teaching responsibilities' do not preclude our obligation to wonder, to question, to speculate, to evaluate, to criticize and yes, to search for the truth. We can do this and not leave the Church."

Dan Maguire is one of the "Voice of the Faithful" darlings. Just as The Reverend Debra Haffner used to be...or perhaps still is.

British Airways: "Cross Wearers Need Not Apply"

Unbelievable. Or maybe not. Check out the Curt Jester's post.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bible Study: How do your possessions impede...or help?

Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, "You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me. At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Mark 10: 21-22

I'm blessed to be able to participate in a Bible Study group each Wednesday at Saint Francis Chapel. You might be interested in this week's "assignment:"

1.) Contemplate this Sunday's readings: Wisdom: 7-11 and Mark 10:17-30.

2.) Question: what do these readings say?

3.) Question: what are your "possessions?"

4.) Considering your possessions, which ones (A) keep you from God and (B) help you come closer to God?

(My addition: can any of your possessions do both?)

May God continue to bless you!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

News from the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston Thursday/Saint John Vianney relic

Cardinal Seán O'Malley will hold a press conference tomorrow (Thursday) at 11:00 AM at the Chancercy (Peterson Hill Chapel), according to the Archdiocesan Press Office.

(Don't quote me, but I'm thinking new auxiliary bishops are to be named.)

But here's some news you'll really like! (with apologies to Rockett J. Squirrel)

Immediately following Cardinal O'Malley's press conference, all media are welcome to remain for a photo opportunity and to cover the procession of the sacred relic of the heart of St. John Vianney outside the grounds of St. John's Seminary - located next to Peterson Hall - to a statue of St. John Vianney and to the entrance of St. John's Seminary Chapel.

This is good news for those who aren't able to venerate the relic of Saint John Vianney either at the Cathedral or in Waltham. (I really don't think you need a press pass for this.)
After leaving Saint John's Seminary, the relic of the Cure of Ars will be at Saint Mary's Church, 133 School Street, Waltham, on Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. On Saturday, it will be at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston's South End from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

The main purpose of venerating the relic of the Cure of Ars, as I understand it, is to pray for true vocations to the Roman Catholic priesthood. [emphasis mine]

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

October is also dedicated to Our Lady...right?

"I invoke the maternal protection of the Virgin and of Joseph her spouse on all families, especially those going through difficulties. Mary, Queen of the Family, pray for us!"
-- Pope Benedict XVI, October 8, 2006

I'm gratified by the comments and email messages I received regarding the preaching heard on last Sunday's readings on marriage.

As noted earlier, I wasn't quite as blessed.

Twice last weekend -- at a vigil Mass and at a Sunday Mass -- I heard nothing about Our Lady, her holy spouse Joseph, or anything about the Holy Family at all. Rather, I learned that the readings lent themselves wonderfully to "October: National Domestic Violence Awareness Month."

Here's how the reasoning went:

Mark, Chapter 10:

The Pharisees approached and asked, "Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?" They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, "What did Moses command you?"

They replied, "Moses permitted him to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her."
Okay. So what we have here, according to what I heard, was a horrible thing Jewish men used to do to their wives on a whim. Except it doesn't make sense. Because if you read further:

He [Jesus] said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery." [emphasis mine]

So the wife-abusing thing doesn't work, not in Mark's Gospel, anyway.

Please don't think I'm against domestic violence awareness, okay?

Because I'm not. What I am a bit chagrined at is the silly, in my opinion, usurpation of October as Our Lady's month in Catholic Churches.

Last Sunday would have been, should have been (and in many cases throughout the country and the world, was) a terrific opportunity to invoke Our Lady's protection of marriage and the family.

Hello? Bishops?

Check out this site and try to find one reference to Mary, Joseph, The Holy Family, or the Rosary. You won't.

It's really time, I think, to put the stones back into the Catholic Church in the United States.

Monday, October 09, 2006

"It is a good and holy thing to want to be in a virginal state"

Good reading here and here.

I'm not eligible to be one, but I am glad these women exist. I didn't even know about Consecrated Virgins before reading this...did you?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Well, a priest in Dublin spoke well, it appears!

From Brendan (in the comments box) on today's sermon on the readings:

The priest was inspired not only by the readings, but by a legal action currently before the High Court in Ireland.

Two ladies, who got "married" in Canada a few years ago, are currently applying to the High Court to force legal recognition of their "partnership".

The priest (sorry I don't know his name) was very calm, clear and soft-spoken, as he reiterated how Christian marriage is between one man and one woman.

A gift, Brendan. Here in the state where same-sex marriage is, for now, legal, I was "spared" of any such "controversies." My thought is that I didn't pray hard enough.

Anybody else hear anything connected to the readings? Or not?


The Curt Jester heard an excellent sermon!

Listening tot the Gospel today at Mass of Mark 10:2-16 I was reminded me of the same juxtaposition that I had been reading in Matthew 19 recently. Where Jesus teaches about marriage and then transitions immediately to Jesus rebuking the Disciples for not letting the children come to him. This transition brought to me the sin of contraception where deliberately children are prevented from coming to him.Today at Mass our Deacon did the homily and he brought out the same point in a very good homily...

Update again!

From today's sermon by Father Philip Powell, O.P., Texas:

To be clear: we cannot lie about divorce or adultery or fornicator or any sin for that matter. Pretending that sin isn’t sin or renaming sin to hide its ugliness does nothing to the reality of a broken relationship. We might as well conclude that gravity is inconvenient and decide to ignore it. Dropped dishes will still fall. Airplanes will still need speed and thrust to fly. And divorce is impossible not because the Church says so, not even because Jesus say so, but because marriage is a living witness to the most basic hunger we have, the most basic satisfaction we can find: the love of God. Marriage cannot be what it is not. And neither can we.

Let's keep praying.

Friday, October 06, 2006

"Priestly silence about contraception is deadly..."

As noted below, this Sunday's Gospel readings focus on marriage. Commenter Diane points us to Father Thomas J. Euteneuer's column in Human Life International e-Newsletter of today, October 6. It begins:

The beloved founder of Human Life International, Fr. Paul Marx, was not known to mince words when it came to what he called the "conspiracy of silence" from the pulpits of our Church on the issue of contraception, but his insights of twenty and thirty years ago were right on target and remain true to this day: "Future generations," he said, "will wonder why so many Catholic bishops and priests in the West didn't see contraception as a seminal evil and the chief cause of the Church's swift decline." There is the core issue. Priestly silence about contraception is deadly both to the Church and to our society.

As Diane notes, this article is worth reading by priests...and by laity. So read the whole thing. And do keep up the prayers for priests. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

This Sunday's Readings on marriage

I'm praying for parish priests who will preach on these readings this Sunday. Please pray with me.

Genesis 2:18-24

Mark 10:2-16

Little Brothers of Saint Francis, Boston

Happy Saint Francis Day!

Seems like a good time to introduce you to some of my favorite folks.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Guardian Angels

From today's Gospel:
"See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in Heaven their angels always behold the face of My Father Who is in Heaven." (Matthew 18:10)
Little ones. That's us!

From the Saint Pius V Catechism:

"By God's providence angels have been entrusted with the office of guarding the human race and of accompanying every human being so as to preserve him from any serious dangers...Our Heavenly Father has placed over each of us an angel under whose protection and vigilance we are."

Saint Josemaria Escriva writes:

"Have confidence in your Guardian Angel. Treat him as a lifelong friend -- that is what he is -- and he will render you a thousand services in the ordinary affairs of each day."