Friday, March 31, 2006

The first anniversary of Terri Schiavo's death

One year ago today, Terri Schindler Schiavo died. Many — too many — seem to believe that she died the day she suffered her brain injury. Indeed, the tombstone provided by her husband reads that she "departed from this earth" on February 25, 1990, not March 31, 2005.

Father Rob Johansen, who offered tremedous support to the Schindler family as they unsuccessfully fought to save Terri's life, wrote a thoughtful article examining the elements of society that allowed the unthinkable — the deliberate starving of woman to death — to happen. It's available at National Review Online.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Massachusetts "not a Las Vegas for `same-sex marriage'". Yet.

BOSTON --The court that made Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage ruled Thursday that same-sex couples from other states where gay marriage [sic] is prohibited cannot marry here.


You mean the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court can't tell other states what to do???


Gov. Mitt Romney applauded the ruling.

"We don't want Massachusetts to become the Las Vegas of same-sex marriage," he said.

"It's important that other states have the right to make their own determination of marriage and not follow the wrong course that our Supreme Judicial Court put us on."

Here's a thought.

Why not repeal the Supreme Judicial Court's "landmark decision" and be the bleep done with it?

Or — is this constitutional? — simply axe the members of the court who made this decision in the first place?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day?

The commandments, as Jesus told us, can be broken down to two:

You must love the Lord your God with your whole heart, your whole mind, your whole soul, and your whole strength. And the second is like it: you must love your neighbor as yourself.

The Third Commandment is in the first category. In Catholicism, this means participating at Mass on the Lord's Day. (That would be Sunday.)

I can't quote the source, but I remember reading an answer John Paul II gave to a young person who asked what the Pontiff considered to be the gravest sin. I recall the kid expecting the answer to be murder.

But the Pope — and again, I'm relying solely on memory here — opined that neglecting to worship God, particularly on His Day, was a graver offense...akin to the worshipping of false gods.

It makes sense.

After all, the Lord only devoted three commandments to Himself...the others to His children. Is it asking too much to offer one hour on Sunday to the worship of Him who made us? To, for Catholics, to gladly and gratefully commemorate the Sacrifice that redeemed us?

Apparently it is.

The headline reads in an upbeat manner: "Mass Attendance Up Since Closings, Archdiocese Says."

But the text is sobering. And frightening.
  • Just 17% of Boston Archdiocesan Catholics regularly attend Mass.
  • Just 34% of United States Catholics regularly attend Mass.
Most Catholics don't "keep holy the Lord's Day."


Source: AP

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Hey, try the "age gauge!"

And now for something totally irrelevant but very fun, go here, enter your birthdate, and stroll down memory lane!

"Catholic Mom" makes her move

Denise Hunnell's blog, "Catholic Mom," has a great new look and a new location.

Monday, March 27, 2006

American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

Many congratulations to my friend Tyler Hinman for coming in first (for the second year in a row) in Will Shortz's annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.

I didn't go this year, but I've been in the past, and it's a blast...for crossword fans, anyway.

Which reminds me...if you're a crossword fan and a Catholic, you might be interested in joining the Catholic Puzzlers, as described here. (Actually, you really don't need to be a Catholic, come to think of it.)

"Voice of the Faithful[TM]" doesn't want to change doctrine. (And I'm the Queen of England.)

Reporting from Rome, Boston's CBS4 correspondent Lisa Hughes evidently thinks the big story is..."Voice of the Faithful." (Couldn't the station have saved a few bucks on her airfare and other travel expenses?)

Hughes takes great pains to assure us that the dissident group members don't question Church doctrine, "but rather the culture of the Church."

Couple of snippets from the interviews:

"I always thought that priests would be more understanding to families if they are allowed to marry themselves."


"I think their ideas particularly about gay adoption, things like that, are completely antiquated."

But remember...they don't want to change Church doctrine.

Check out the text — and don't forget to play the story on the right hand side of the page (the one with the picture of the white-haired lady — here.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Anti-discrimination laws used to restrict religious freedom: John Leo

Here's his conclusion, but read the whole article.

Anti-discrimination laws and regulations are used more and more to restrict religious freedom. On some campuses, evangelical groups have been de-recognized or otherwise punished for refusing to allow sexually active gays into leadership positions. A Swedish pastor was put on trial for a sermon criticizing homosexuality. And British author Lynette Burrows was contacted by police about a possible "homophobic incident" -- she had said in a radio interview that she didn't think homosexuals should be allowed to adopt.

Some fear more drastic attempts to curb the churches. These might one day include Title VII provisions against gender bias to force the ordination of women priests and imams, or even moving to deny tax exemptions for churches that reject favored secular norms. Certain law professors want more regulation of sectarian groups, all for the common good, of course. It's best for the churches to be on guard.

Slipped through a crack in the Register

The National Catholic Register is a terrific publication. I don't subscribe to it because:

A) I'm cheap, and
B) I can read other people's copies...and I'm also cheap.

The reason I bring it up — the Register, that is, not my cheapness — is to point out a wonderful article on stay-at-home moms who are Catholic bloggers. In it, writer Eric Scheske points us to worth-the-read blog sites written by moms, including:
For some reason, I got slipped into the mix.

"You might also enjoy The Lady in the Pew (, another heavily autobiographical blog, but one that contains a higher percentage of general interest posts as well."

There's a good reason why my posts are more "general interest" that those of the moms mentioned...I'm not a mom, stay-at-home or otherwise. Actually I'm a childless widow and co-owner of a small ad agency/design firm.

Makes me squirm a bit.

Because while the ladies mentioned above spend their time doing the noblest work imaginable, I spend much of mine convincing people to buy stuff they didn't know they needed. Sheesh.

Anyway, my hat is off to these moms!

Congratulations, too, to 2006 Catholic Blog Winners Julie D at "Happy Catholic" and Gerald Augustinus at "The Cafeteria is Closed" for their mention in the article. (I have it on highest authority that Gerald is also not a stay-at-home mom, by the way.) Also to Danielle Bean for receiving the monthly Reader Recommendation.

If it makes any difference (and it probably doesn't)...

Had I been blessed with motherhood, I hope that I'd be the stay-at-home kind. Like my mom was!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Good News!!!!!

John 3:16

And the Word was made Flesh...

...and dwelt among us.

May God bless you on this amazing Feast and always!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Sean Cardinal O'Malley

"I Sean Patrick O'Malley, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, promise and swear to be faithful henceforth and forever, while I live, to Christ and his Gospel, being constantly obedient to the Holy Roman Apostolic Church, to Blessed Peter in the person of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, and of his canonically elected Successors; to maintain communion with the Catholic Church always, in word and deed; not to reveal to any one what is confided to me in secret, nor to divulge what may bring harm or dishonor to Holy Church; to carry out with great diligence and faithfulness those tasks to which I am called by my service to the Church, in accord with the norms of the law. So help me Almighty God."

Please pray for the new Cardinals, and for the people they serve. Thank you!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Tough times for Catholic Charities in San Francisco

San Francisco, March 21, 2006 _ The director of programs and services of San Francisco’s Catholic Charities is an openly gay man who has a daughter he adopted four years ago with his homosexual partner. Glenn Motola was recently promoted to the position as second in command at the Catholic social service agency, even though his homosexuality and his status as an adoptive father were well known at the agency.

Please keep all concerned in your prayers.

Source: Ignatius Insight

Isaac Hayes quits "South Park"...on religious grounds

Soul singer Isaac Hayes has quit the edgy cartoon show "South Park" on religious grounds.

(I'll give you a few minutes to compose yourself...okay? Let's continue.)

"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins," declared Hayes.
(Can you dig it? Right on!)
"Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored," he continued.
Was Hayes upset over the show's "satire" of the Virgin Mary? Perhaps he was offended by the "satirical" betrayal of Pope Benedict XVI?

Seems soul man Hayes is upset over the show's spoof on...Scientology.

From "South Park co-creator Matt Stone:
"This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology... He has no problem — and he's cashed plenty of checks — with our show making fun of Christians."
Gee. Two strikes against me. First, I've never seen a "South Park" episode. Second? I never knew "Scientology" was a religion!

On the other hand, I can't get the theme from that old movie "Shaft" out of my head. Sheesh.

Those of you desiring further edification, you might want to check out the source. Or not.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Haleigh Poutre: "errors"

The story uses words like "errors" and "mistakes." How about "crimes?"
BOSTON (AP) — An alarming string of mistakes by state agencies and medical professionals contributed to the poor care given to a 12-year-old girl before and after a beating that left her severely brain-damaged, a panel appointed by the governor reported Tuesday.
"Alarming." Yes, I suppose you could use the word. There was another murder reported in a nearby neighborhood a few days ago and I believe the police commissioner used the word "alarming" when speaking about the killing trend.
Massachusetts Social Services Commissioner Harry Spence has said his agency was aware that Haleigh had been suffering serious injuries over the past few years, but he said social workers and Haleigh's doctors believed the girl was hurting herself.
This is a tough one to wrap my brain around...but then, I possess neither the credentials of a social worker or a medical doctor.

In any case, they decided to kill the girl.
In January, state social service authorities won a ruling from Massachusetts' highest court allowing them to remove Haleigh from life support after doctors said she was in a vegetative state with no hope of recovery.
God saved her life.
But before life support could be removed, she suddenly began breathing on her own and responding to questions.

She has since been moved to a rehabilitation center.

(Where she's showing marked signs of improvement, by the way.)

Governor Romney appointed a "panel" to look into Haleigh's "case."

(I'm sorry, but I really hate when the
lives of human beings are called "cases.")
"As the Haleigh Poutre case demonstrates, errors in human judgment occur. What is unusual is how many people involved in Haleigh's care — medical professionals, case workers and administrators from many disciplines — made errors," Romney said in a statement.
I guess we have to take his word for it...that all these "errors" are "unusual."

But remember...they tried to KILL her.

'Course, that's been addressed by the "panel:"

The panel also said a new process should be created for deciding when someone in state care is taken off of life support.

Ya think???

Let's review.

A group of educated "professionals" decide that a 12-year-old child was capable of inflicting horrific damage upon herself. Then — with the willing cooperation of the state Supreme Court (those wonderful folks who brought us same-sex "marriage, by the way) — they decide to kill her.

It recommended that the Social Services Department get a second opinion from a physicianoutside the institution where the patient is being treated before any decision is made on withholding life-sustaining treatment.

It is recommended by the lady in the pew that the Social Services Department and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court be charged with attempted murder.

Story source: AP

Monday, March 20, 2006

Saint Joseph, Perfect Adorer

“In the Eucharistic Sacrifice the Church venerates the memory of Mary the ever Virgin Mother of God and the memory of Saint Joseph, because he fed him whom the faithful must eat as the bread of eternal life.” (Pope John Paul II)

Go here for a great Saint Joseph site!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Take the "Ten Positive Things About This Jerk" (TPTATJ) challenge!

Know a jerk? Great! Then you're ready to take the TPTATJ[tm] challenge!

Here's how it works:

1.) Visualize the jerk. (This is the easiest part.)
2.) Remember — and believe! — that this jerk is a child of God. (This is a tad harder, but you can do it!)
3.) Write down 10 positive things about this jerk. (Obviously, this the hardest part.)

(Here's a hint: stop thinking of this person as a "jerk." It'll only hinder you.)

Ready? Let's get started!

Once you've got the jerk — scratch that, make it "child of God" — in your mind, grab a pen and a sheet of paper.

Ask God for help, and not incidentally, to bless the...child.

Now think!

Surely there must be something positive about this person. Start with the easy stuff.

For example, so far I've written:

1.) He is always punctual.
2.) His shoes are always shined.
3.) One time I saw him help an old lady down a flight of stairs.

See how it works?

The first two "positive things," I know, are rather lame. The third gets a bit closer to "goodness." Which led to:

4.) He shows respect for the Blessed Sacrament. (It's true! I realized, during this exercise, that the one I'm thinking about never passes a tabernacle without genuflecting. Better and better!)

The purpose of this challenge (okay, I didn't make it up...a priest suggested it to me today after finding me in a rather surly mood) is pretty obvious, probably, but I'll tell you anyway.

It's to help rid my heart and your heart from the poison of resentment, anger, ill-will, and all that nasty stuff.

It's to cleanse ourselves of indignation and replace it with appreciation.

So take the challenge!

And my guess is that you'll surpass me. After all, I've only got four "positive things" written down. But with a bit of prayer and a humble heart, I'm thinking I might exceed the ten required!

Friday, March 17, 2006

The great enema continues...

Mark Shea calls it the "great enema."

George Weigel calls it "the long lent."

Pray that we call it a time for unceasing prayer.

Boston Archdiocese defrocks seven priests.

Saint Patrick

From his breastplate:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort me and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day...or, as my dear, dear friend puts it:

Beannachtai na Feile Padraig duit.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Test (you don't have to read this)

Okay, what now? Will this publish or not?

Catholic colleges link to abortion providers


From Boston College's website:

What is attempt "at balance?"

It gets worse.

From the Cardinal Newman Society:

Despite the Catholic Church’s clear opposition to abortion, contraception and premarital sexual activity, a Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) review of Catholic college and university Web sites has revealed links and referrals to abortion clinics including Planned Parenthood—the largest abortion provider in the United States—and abortion-rights and pro-contraception groups.

If you want, you can go to the above link and read all about it.

Sometimes it seems too much, doesn't it?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Break the chain!

My first introduction to "chain letters" was accompanied by a muffled curse from my mom. (My mom's version of cursing was the use of the expletive "darn!")

Anyway, she'd gotten this letter in the mailbox from some relative or another. From what I remember, it was all about recipes. She, my mom, was instructed to add a recipe the letter, make a certain number of copies of it, add a name to the bottom of the letter (which contained a number of names and addresses), and then send the whole mess off to everybody on the list, including the new name added by my mom. I gather the new person had to do the whole thing all over again, adding still another recipe and and another (hapless) name.

I probably got this all wrong, but here's what I do remember and which evidently ticked my mom off the most. There was something rather sinister in store to those who "broke the chain."

Remember, we're talking about recipes here, for heaven's sake!

Today there's a new version of the old chain letter...and it's far more sinister than collecting recipes.

To put it bluntly, it's about otherwise pious people being tricked into playing God.

I got one today. I get at least one a week. Generally, the subject line reads something like the following:

"Pass this on and be blessed!"

"Forward this and receive much happiness!"

"Don't stop others from receiving God's grace...pass it on!"

The crazy thing about these letters is that they're almost always "prayers."

A prayer to a certain saint. A prayer to God for any of a number of intentions. Even a prayer of simple praise to God.

All of this is far as it goes. But always — always! — there's a caution attached. Whatever words are used, the caution is always the same message:

"If you don't forward this to [fill in specified number here] of people..."

And then the warnings of dire consequences ensues.

" will not be blessed."

" will not receive your wish."

" have proven yourself to be Ashamed of Being A Christian."


From today's mail:

"If it [this prayer] stops with you, then the blessing will disappear. The blessing will
only keep working if it is continuously passed around. If you are a recipient
of a blessing, keep the blessing working by being the source of blessing to
other people."

In other words, I am in control of God's graces...not Him.

Folks, I don't know how to say this in any other way...this is superstition, plain and simple. And superstition is not just's evil.

"But Kelly, they're so harmless..."

No. I don't think they are. The seem harmless. After all, who can find fault with a nice (generally soppy, but that's just my personal opinion) string of words invoking the Almighty's grace?

What's so wrong with a second-rate Hallmark Card knock-off?

What's wrong is's wrong.

I can send you a nice little note, letting you know that you're in my prayers. I can even quote the prayer I offered for you.

I can also send you that same nice little note, adding the "request" that you forward this nice little prayer to everybody in your address book — or else the prayer "won't work."

Huge difference. The first is a kindly, pious gesture.

The second is skirting 'way too close to idolatry. To making myself the Giver of Blessings. The Arbiter of Who Gets Blessed. The Judge of Graces.

So please...break the chain!

Don't fall for your friend or relative's — and generally these missives are from friends and/or relatives which makes the whole thing even harder to deal with — well-meaning but totally misguided messages.

Do this instead. Privately respond to the sender (or, if you feel strongly about it, "reply to all"...these things are generally sent to a group of people) and gently but firmly point out that what is being sent is a chain letter and that, as such, is not reconcilable to your belief in the One True God. Add that the sender is in your prayers — and make sure you do pray for the sender.

Or just hit the ol' delete key.

You may not stop the chain altogether. But at least you will have broken a link in it.

State putting Church out of the adoption business

While the mainstream media decries the Massachusetts bishops' decision to "get out of the adoption business," B.C. Law School dean John Garvey sees it from a different perspective...that it is the state itself that forced the decision. His opening paragraph exemplifies the easy-to-follow (for me, anyway) logic of his op-ed piece in today's Boston Globe:

TITLE VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act forbids employment discrimination on the basis of gender. It doesn't make an exception for churches. However, courts have interpreted Title VII to exempt churches. This is not surprising. Catholics, Mormons, and certain Orthodox Christians do not ordain women as priests. Orthodox Jews do not ordain women as rabbis. Traditional schools of Islam do not allow women to act as imams. The Constitution would not permit the government to change these church rules even if it wanted to.

Read the whole article here.

Monday, March 13, 2006

And now for some sanity on same-sex adoptions

On March 10, The Pilot, the newspaper for the Archdiocese of Boston, published an interview with Dr. John Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center. Here's my money quote pick:

Nobody ever brings up the fact that we, as Catholics, know that God has a plan for marriage and family. He has revealed it. It’s crystal clear. It’s from the first book of the Bible to the last book of the Bible. In Genesis you have the establishment of the family, you have the creation in God’s likeness of Adam and Eve: “Male and female He created them.” You have Jesus Himself quoting Genesis when He says, “This is why a man shall leave his mother and his father and cling to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.” So you have Jesus Himself, who is the founder of the Catholic Church and in whose name Catholic Charities works, who has said this is God’s plan, this is the plan for a family to be wholesome and function best. Then you get to the last book of the Bible, the Apocalypse, in which Jesus Christ is referred to as the bridegroom and the Church is going to be referred to as His bride. The overwhelming evidence from divine revelation says this is not God’s plan, and we know that any departure from God’s plan is going to be deleterious or hurtful to those who depart from that plan.

Do read the whole thing here.

Many thanks to Anonymous (which I'm almost sure is an alias) for the link.

Calling all priests!

From Priests for Life:

On February 28, 55 members of the US House of Representatives signed a "Catholic Statement of Principles." They claim to be "committed to...protecting the most vulnerable among us." Yet most of the signers oppose a ban on partial birth abortion.

Priests for Life have issued a statement, and invite all priests to sign it online.

You can read and sign the statement here, and I pray that you do.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

"Fishers of Men" priestly vocation film to be released March 17

The film "Fishers of Men," commissioned by the USCCB and produced by Grassroots Films, Brooklyn, will be released in New York City on Friday, March 17.

You can buy it now.

I saw the trailer earlier this year, but it's even better now. (You can see it at the website.)

I'm really looking forward to viewing the completed work.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Catholic Charities: an alternative statement

Here's the thing, folks.

Let's get the recent reports out of the way first. Yes, Catholic teaching — as was recently and clearly stated by the Vatican — tells us that placing children in the care of same-sex "couples" is wrong, gravely wrong, plain and simple.

But you know what? We, you and I, don't need Catholic teaching to tell us this. All we need is what God already gave us...a conscience.

You know it as well as we do...homosexual activity is wrong. Plain and simple.

Homosexual "marriage" is not only wrong, plain and's absurd. It doesn't exist. And if your mama or papa or lawmakers or courts are too timid to tell you this, we're not.

Got that?


You know what else is wrong? Sure you do. Killing babies in the womb is wrong. Artificially preventing babies the right to life is wrong. Got that?


Knowing this may help you to understand why the agency once known as "Catholic Charities" no longer exists as you once knew it. We're out of the "charity business."

Because "charity" isn't a "business" at all. It's something we're all supposed to do. Period.

As individual Catholics, we will do the following:

We will feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. We will take care of the temporal — and, by all the saints — spiritual — needs of widows, widowers, and orphans.

We will visit the imprisoned. We will care for the sick.

We will either succeed or fail in these efforts. But, we will do our best, using our individually received, God-given talents to do this without government intervention, without black-tie galas, without the type of "fundraising" that puts mammon before Almighty God.

No more offices. No more "boards." No more press releases, or "honorees."

(We learned something from the Gospel we heard on Ash Wednesday.)

Contrary to what you might have heard, we are not in the least bit "saddened" by this at all. Indeed we are filled with joy at the opportunity to do the will of God, Whom we love with our whole hearts, minds, bodies, and souls.

As we love our neighbors as ourselves.

By the way...this should go without saying, but we're saying it anyway. We don't want your checks. We don't want to read your "pious endorsements" in the secular press, or in any media at all.

What we want is for your to get off your rather rotund behinds, roll up your Brooks Brothers shirtsleeves, and get to work. Without expecting anything wordly in the way of compensation. No dough, no PR, no dinners in your honor.

Got that? Good.

By the way, this is our last public statement about our goals and our work. If you need more information, please consult our Boss's words on the subject. Here. And here.

Okay? Let's get to work.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Contraceptive crew convenes in Boston. And a priest speaks out...

...and prays out!

Gee. It seems like only yesterday [insert dreaming harp music here] that we were bewailing the lack of condemnation of artificial contraception...and today at Benediction I got a welcome earful.

Although I didn't get it at first.

After the Divine Phrases, the priest — I'm paraphrasing here — added another prayer, asking God to inspire "those intellectual scientists here to advance the Gospel of Life." He followed that request with the Prayer of Saint Francis (appropriately enough, this being Saint Francis Chapel) and an Ave Maria.

In his sermon at the Mass which followed...

...this same priest condemned, in no uncertain terms, the "confusions" that might lead us away from prayer — the theme of today's First and Gospel readings. One of those "confusions?"

"The 'debate' (and you can tell he was putting the word in quotes) over the sanctity of life, taking place right here in this building by these intellectual scientists."

You can see what he was referring to here.

"Jesus Decoded" website

It's pretty good! Definitely worth a look-see.

It's all part of the U.S. Bishops Catholic Communication Campaign to fight what seems to be — although it's still hard for me to believe but there you are — the incredibly stupid tendency on the part of Catholics, Christians, those of other religious persuasions and those of no religious persuasion to actually swallow the bunk put forth in the novel (repeat: NOVEL!) called "The Da Vinci Code." (Soon to be a major motion picture.)

Even if the book and movie were non-existent, the site would be a useful one. Of particular interest to me is the information about the earliest Councils and the Gnostic gospels.

Handily, the site also offers an area called "Truth be Told: What do you say to to a Da Vinci Code Believer," authored by Amy Welborn.

Here's the link. If you prefer, just skip the intro flash stuff and enter the site via the words "click here."

The Novena to Saint Patrick for Vocations...

...starts today, and concludes on March 17, the Feast of Saint Patrick, in the Archdiocese of Boston.


O glorious Saint Patrick, sent to the people of Ireland to spread the faith and who spent your life in loving service to God and His people: we now turn to you, Patron of Boston, to intercede for us.

Help us to clasp unto our hearts this day, the healing strength of the Trinity. May the example of your life, preaching, and prayers inspire fervent and loving followers of Jesus in our Archdiocese. May your prayers obtain for us the grace to work together in building up the Church in Boston.

Pray for us to be open to the Holy Spirit and to live the vocation to holiness by loving God above all things and our neighbors as ourselves.

Intercede for us with the Master of the Harvest to send an abundance of workers into the fields. May your prayers obtain for us devoted priests, deacons, and religious to serve God and His Church.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Wacky language vent (or "Kelly's Kooky Kliches")

I've got a lot on my plate now, but still want to think outside the box and so I figured I'd invite you to get those wacky cliches that drive you crazy off your chest.

Here's one that gets my goat.

At the "Invitation to Prayer" part of the Mass, I often hear:

"May God accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of God's name, for our good, and the good of all God's church."

No mention of "Lord," or any use of the masculine pronoun, because, as we all know, that would offend — who? — the "goddesses?"

Are we on the same page?

Then fire away!

Lent. Holy. Water. Again. Sheesh.

It's Lent and the time for the inevitable parish "innovator" to decide to empty the church's holy water fonts. Some of them get even more creative...they fill them with sand, for gosh's sakes.

I thought I'd avoid it this year, but no, some nice person asked me why his parish church was suddenly devoid of holy water as of Ash Wednesday.

Here's the thing: put the water back. Period.

I don't know where this "custom" started, but from what I've heard, it has to do with "creating a desert atmosphere."


We fast, yes, during Lent, from material things. We do NOT deprive ourselves — nor should our "leaders" deprive us — of spiritual things. What...should we "fast" from praying the Rosary? From wearing a crucifix? From the Blessed Sacrament? From Reconciliation? Ridiculous.

Holy water fonts should not be emptied during Lent. They should be emptied at the beginning of the Triduum — the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday and refilled at the Easter Vigil.


Monday, March 06, 2006

"Using contraception is like telling God not to show up"

In the comments box below, (in the thread entitled "Liberal Catholics:" Don't leave. BELIEVE!) a poster calling himself "Still Waiting" challenges the Church — if I understand him correctly — on avoiding the entire issue of artificial contraception. In fact, he posited:

"...I believe it is far more destructive and entrenched than homosexuality or abortion."

I'm truly not sure about the "more destructive" part, but I'm thinking he's right about the "more entrenched" part.

Since I've been a widow for 20 years...

...I'm rather ashamed to admit that I haven't really thought, one way or another, about artificial contraception. I haven't paid attention —

Wait a sec! Something's wrong here.

I'm a heterosexual, but that hasn't stopped me from hearing, and talking about, the horrible glorification of active homosexual activity.

I haven't been faced in the last zillion years with the prospect of an unwanted pregnancy, but that hasn't stopped me from hearing, and talking about, the horror of abortion.

What's going on?

Contraception — the deliberate interference with God's plan of Creation — isn't a "hot button issue" these days. At least, I haven't heard much about it...not from the pulpit, not from the media (mainstream or otherwise). I mean, a long time ago I read Humanae Vitae, figured I understood it, and then allowed it to fade from my mind.

What do you think?

I found an informative article — probably one of many — on contraception and Church teaching. It's an eye opener, at least it is to me.

My question is this: have I just been not paying attention or has the whole notion of contraception been placed on the Catholic Back Burner?

Thank you, South Dakota!

"In the history of the world, the true test of a civilization is how well people treat the most vulnerable and most helpless in their society. The sponsors and supporters of this bill believe that abortion is wrong because unborn children are the most vulnerable and most helpless persons in our society. I agree with them."

Governor Mike Rounds, in signing legislation that would ban most abortions in South Dakota.

CWNews has more.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

"Liberal Catholics:" Don't leave. BELIEVE!

Columnist Joan Vennochi wonders if it's time for "liberal Catholics" — (translation: those who "don't agree" with Church doctrine, particularly on abortion, homosexual activity, and other "lesser" issues such as the precepts of the Catholic Church) — to leave the Church.

She bases much of today's column on the opinion of another newspaper's editor:

Sue O'Connell, the copublisher of Bay Windows, New England's largest publication for lesbian and gay readers, believes it's time for liberal Catholics to take a stand — just like board members did regarding their affiliation with Catholic Charities.

''I know a lot of Catholics, gay and straight," said O'Connell, a lesbian mother of a 5-year-old daughter. ''Everyone continues to go to church and act like their parish is not part of all of this — the sexual scandal, the association to the Vatican and its stand on gay adoption. Everyone who believes that is in a state of denial."

''It's time to find a new path," she said.

O'Connell said the church is doing the expected — enforcing its rules.

O'Connell is actually correct in the last statement. And, as we acknowleged in today's Responsorial Psalm, this is not a Bad Thing!

"Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth, to those who keep your covenant."

Believe it...or not.

In the Nicene Creed, recited every Sunday, don't we affirm that "we believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church"?

What does this mean? It means we believe in the Church — the one Church — founded by Christ and led by the successors of the Apostles...primarily the successor of Peter, who was the first to acknowlege and embrace Jesus as "the Christ, the Son of the Living God."

Today, over 150,000 folks in the United States pledged fidelity to the Church.

Contrast the notion of a few "Catholic liberals" contemplating an exodus to the thousands who, today, solemnly affirmed their ardent desire to fully enter into the life of the Church! They joyfully anticipate becoming Roman Catholics on Easter...they've been working and praying and learning and praying and praying some more to be ready to gratefully receive what so many of us were given shortly after our birth!

No, Joan and Sue..."liberal Catholics" shouldn't leave the Church.

They should — and I pray they do — drop the rather silly "liberal" label and simply be...Catholic.

Jesus said:

"And I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it."

Anybody got something better to offer?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

"We interrupt this prayer..."

Did you ever find yourself in the middle of an intense conversation when the guy you were talking with stopped to answer his cell phone?

Or, were you ever about to make an important point to someone, only to find he was looking over your shoulder to smile at another person?

Stuff like this is not only's demeaning. It's saying, essentially, "you're not as important as something else."

I have a habit of praying. I'm not so sure it's a great habit.

Oh, don't get me wrong...praying is a good thing. What I often do (I realized this today), though, is what might be called "praying on the fly."

I see, for example, a person in a wheel chair and mumble a "Hail Mary." I pass a cemetery and rattle off a prayer for the dead.

'Course, if I'm driving, and I have to make a turn, the prayer is interrupted by the need to activate my blinker. If I'm walking, and I see someone I know, the prayer is interrupted to say "how d'ye do."

I want to stop this habit of "half-baked" prayer and instead concentrate fully on the one I'm talking to...and am supposed to be listening to. Whenever I pray.

I mean, gee. What if, when I'm finally face-to-face with Jesus, He looks over my head to wave at somebody else?

Friday, March 03, 2006


I don't know about you, but Saint Vernonica — the lady in the Sixth Station of the Cross — has always fascinated me.

And frustrated me, too!

Because I could never find her in the Bible, or in the Martyrology, or in any documentation.

Today, after Mass, we prayed the Stations of the Cross written by John Paul II.

(By the way, if you haven't prayed this version — and you probably have — then I really recommend it.)

Anyway, it turns out that, despite the lack of documentation, "Veronica" was probably one of the ladies who consoled Jesus on the way to His death.

Only her name wasn't really "Vernonica."

This knocks me out!

Remember how, according to tradition, the woman did what she could to comfort the suffering Christ? She went to Him, and, using a clean cloth, wiped His bleeding face.

And, again according to tradition, the image of Christ's face remained on the lady's towel.

This is where it gets good.

In Rome, early Christians deemed the image a "true icon" — vera icon in Latin. And so, after awhile, the image became the lady's name: Veronica.

I love stuff like this. But more than that, I love to meditate on this scene:

Jesus Christ — God made Man struggling agonizingly toward His death and our salvation — and a lady defying all in order to offer Him some consolation by gently wiping the blood from His face.

May we be blessed, in some small way, to emulate Saint Veronica.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Giving parts of Boston College her due

A pro-abort group tried — and succeeded — in holding a "conference" at Boston College.

'Course, they had to lie in order to pull it off. (A pro-abortion group lying? Astounding!)

Knowing they were unable to get their Planned Parenthood reps into the college, the students lied.

They told the school's administration that the "event" was a "College Democrats" function.

When the school's administration found out about the lie, it cancelled the "event."

Unfortunately, an employed sociology professor came to the — you should forgive the term — "rescue", and, lying, got the pro-abort group the space to hold their right to kill "symposium."

I've never been a B.C. cheerleader.

However, in this case, I've gotta give a hat tip to B.C. spokesman Jack Dunn.

''The students from the Women's Health Initiative, in essence, were being duplicitous in trying to sponsor a prochoice event at a Catholic institution," said Jack Dunn, the school spokesman.

I'm sorry about a number of things.

I'm sorry B.C. students like Kristen Lewandowski, for example, is in a snit:

'The prolife students get 'Respect Life Week,' said Kristen Lewandowski, 19, a sophomore who attended the Tuesday night lecture and handed out red and white T-shirts reading ''Pro-Choice." ''We can barely have this panel, which is not a protest, just a discussion. It's very frustrating."

I'm sorrry, too, about sociology professor Charles Derber. Who also lied.

The event, which attracted some 80 students, went on after a sociology professor, hours before the event, requested the campus meeting space for the sociology department.

I'm grateful to God for inspiring some B.C. students:

Still, the antiabortion movement is strong at BC, with at least three groups dedicated to the cause. Last week was dubbed ''Respect Life Week," during which students held a series of antiabortion vigils.

And I ask you to pray for Catholic colleges to be...Catholic.

Source: The Boston Globe

7 Prominent Catholics[TM] quit Catholic Charities

The headline mistakenly reads:

"Seven quit charity over policy of bishops...deplore effort to exclude same-sex adoptions"

It ain't the "policy of the bishops." It's Church doctrine. The bishops are simply being...Catholic.

Quitter Geri Denterlein is "sad."

Denterlein said she resigned with deep sadness, because she feels such loyalty to Catholic Charities, which also offers day-care services, immigration assistance, and homeless aid. But she said she could not go along with the bishops' view that gay adoptions are harmful to children. ''We each had to wrestle with our own conscience on this issue," she said.

Huh? No, you didn't. That's the beauty of the Church...She guides you on issues like this so that no "wrestling of conscience" is necessary.

The seven members of the Catholic Charities board who resigned said they pray that the bishops will reconsider.

I think this is backward, isn't it? I pray the seven members will reconsider — not their resignations, but their attitude toward the doctrine of the Church.

Source: The Boston Globe