Sunday, July 30, 2006

VOTF/Cardinal O'Malley meeting agenda (8-4-006)

Yes, it's been reported that the agenda for the upcoming "Voice of the Faithful" meeting with Sean Cardinal O'Malley this Friday is not known.

Not so!

The lady in the pew has, through means of her own, found out what's going on. And so may I now present:

The Top Ten Items on the VOTF/Cardinal O'Malley Historic
(or hysteric)
August 4, 2006 Meeting Agenda!

# 10) Ceremonial greetings to all VOTF members working at the chancery

# 9) Close chancery since most employees will be at VOTF meeting anyway

# 8) Can we change the "protect us from the devil" phrase in the "Saint Michael" prayer to "protect us from Mel Gibson"?

# 7) Discuss name change from "Voice of the Faithful" to "Voices of the Thoughtful" to reflect diversity and inclusiveness

# 6) Should pedicures be added to the Holy Thursday foot-washing ceremonies?

# 5) Present alternative designs to Roman Collars that are more flattering to 50+ women necklines

# 4) Extol the benefits of replacing the name of "Abraham" as "our Father in Faith" in the Eucharistic prayer with the name: "Dan Brown"

# 3) Present intelligent reasons to replace "full of grace" in the "Hail Mary" to "filled with thoughtful questions"

# 2) Great replacement for Joaquin Navarro-Valls: James Carroll!


The Number One Item on the Agenda for the
VOTF/Cardinal O'Malley meeting is...

[drum roll]

# 1) "This Cardinal Ratzinger-turned-pope thing...that isn't written in stone, is it?"

Friday, July 28, 2006

Graceful dining

Another totally unscientific poll:

Before you eat, do you pray? What do you say?

How about when the meal is done?

Or, if you don't pray and think maybe you might, what would you say?

"Appreciate Ms. Marchant's many years of service"? Sorry. I don't.

Last year, the director of healthcare "ministry" for the Archdiocese of Boston lied about her name and pretended to be "ordained" a priest. She came clean recently, quit her job, and got a lovely, flattering spread in the Boston Globe for doing it.

Spokesman Terrence Donilon:

"We greatly appreciate Ms. Marchant's many years of service in healthcare ministry. The archdiocese greatly values the ministry of lay and religious women. Their contributions are vital to the life and mission of the church."

I think this is a load of bleep. In any case, I do not "appreciate" Jean Marchant's "service."

I do not appreciate that, as far back as 2001, while in the Archiocese's employ, Jean Marchant attended the 2001 "ordination " of Mary Ramerman of Spiritus Christi Church, Rochester, New York. (Google this "church" if you can stomach it.)

I do not appreciate that the Archdiocese's employee, Jean Marchant, said that she "always seen my role as to stay within the church and to push the boundaries."

But far more seriously, I do not appreciate the fact that, since her "ordination," Jean Marchant has "quietly `anointed' some sick people and privately `consecrated the Eucharist'."

In fact, I find it worse than appalling.

Understand that I do not judge Jean Marchant. However, I strongly condemn the statement of "appreciation" released by the Archdiocese.

May God have mercy on us.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

"What is a joke, Alex?" (Ken Jennings cracks me up)

Jeopardy! phenom Ken Jennings is a hoot. He decided to have some fun on his blog and everybody -- MSM as well as bloggers (whom I won't mention as a what-the-bleep-we-all-screw-up-occasionally-courtesy) -- got in a snit.

Which, in a way, makes it even funnier.

Marie Claire: Pro-abortion magazine inadvertently articulates pro-life message?

In the mailbox from the U.K.:

"An article on abortion features in the August 2006 [UK] issue of Marie Claire magazine. Titled ‘I had an abortion’, it focuses on the stories of 12 women who have had an abortion and are each pictured wearing a t-shirt bearing the same slogan (‘I had an abortion’). Marie Claire magazine recently supported an Abortion Rights event in the House of Commons which called for women to “Speak out and break the silence on abortion...”. It is also worth noting that within the Advice section at the bottom of the page, the contact details of Abortion Rights plus 2 abortion providers (BPAS and Marie Stopes International) are given. There is no reference to a pro-life or other such organisation."

However, some of the women interviewed didn't exactly seem like cheerleaders for the "Abortion Rights" lobby.

Some quotes from the five-page article:

Michelle Ashworth: “As the months went on after the abortion, I couldn’t stop myself from working out how many months pregnant I would have been and even thinking about baby names. I felt horribly empty inside....the termination is still on my mind...I can't even begin to describe how much I regret my decision. It was the worst mistake I ever made."

Elaine Jowsey: “My decision to take that future from that child will be a personal life sentence for me.”

Nadine Can: “I still think about it and I always feel pretty miserable around the anniversary of the termination.”

Linda Eaglesfield: “I turned to alcohol to blot out the sense of bereavement and guilt and, for the next two years, I drank heavily.”

Sarah Fry: “I blame my abortion for my two miscarriages... My termination was a quick fix – I only wish I’d considered how I would feel when it came to not being able to have the babies I do want.”

Carly Bridges: "Nothing can prepare you for how gruesome a medical abortion is and the volume of blood you lose. I was overwhelmed with guilt afterwards.”

(I stopped by a bookstore today and noted that the article was not run in the US edition of Marie Claire, and that the UK August edition was not yet on the shelves.)

An interesting, and, one prays, effective reaction.

The correspondent recommends that, rather than writing the magazine to complain about the evidently heavily pro-abortion article, pro-lifers write letters of commendation to the editor, and to offer congratulations for "highlighting the traumatic psychological and physical consequences of abortion," using some or all of the quotes to illustrate the point.

Sounds like a good idea to me. It may, please God, change some hearts.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What's up with Jeb Bush?

Gov. Jeb Bush made his second endorsement of the political season Wednesday: this time blessing the re-election bid of former Senate President Jim King, who is facing a hard-charging primary opponent in anti-abortion activist Randall Terry.

Bush and King have been at odds in past years, but the outgoing governor credited him Wednesday for helping pass new lawsuit limits and education reforms, as well as originally supporting Bush’s attempts to keep brain-damaged Terri Schiavo alive.

King famously broke with Bush last year when Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed, and the Florida Senate refused to have it re-inserted.


This makes no sense to me. Nor does this:

"Randall Terry during that period and afterward made no positive contribution . . . related to Terri Schiavo. None," Bush said. "He was a hindrance in our effort to save this woman’s life."

Bush later explained that Terry’s activism had turned off lawmakers on the fence during the Schiavo debate.

Again...huh? This isn't ancient history. Randall Terry spoke, as far as I remember (and my memory's pretty bleeping good) unambiguously against murdering Mrs. Schiavo. So what if plain talk "turned off" lawmakers like Senator King? Am I getting the picture straight? Terri Schiavo was murdered because Randall Terry "turned off" lawmakers who presumably could have taken steps to feed the woman?

Of course, "education reforms" are so important, aren't they. Sheesh.

Thanks to Bill Cotter, Operation Rescue Boston.

Saints Joachim and Anne

Parents of Our Lady, and grandparents of Jesus!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

One year ago today (gee, and to think I missed it!)

Like Rosa Parks whose refusal to sit in the back of the bus ignited the civil rights movement, Roman Catholic women priests are redefining priesthood and claiming full equality for women in the church.

On July 25, 2005, nine Roman Catholic women were ordained deacons and priests by three women bishops. Sailing down the sparkling international waters of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the boat symbolized the church floating in the waters of divine love, calling forth the gifts of women to equal ministry.

If you've already digested your dinner — thoroughly! — you might revisit This Historical Event.

You know, I've prayed for this women and plan to continue doing so, but I can't help wonder...why the bleep are they so (a) "of a certain age" and (b) uh...evidently not concerned overmuch about their personal appearance? And I don't mean they're born ugly...I'm sure they were not. To me it looks as if they want to look as unattractive as possible! Why is that, do you suppose?

"No one could pirouette as well as a Jesuit"

You've really gotta:

A. Pray for this guy, and

B. Check out Jeff Miller's caption contest on the Dancing Jesuit. (It's not a parody!)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Vacation Bible Refreshment: "Let My People Go!"

When Israel was in Egypt land (let my people go)
Oppressed so hard they could not stand (let my people go)

Go down, Moses, 'way down in Egypt land

And tell ol' Pharaoh to

Let my people go!

That's what Moses did and after a zillion (not quite) times, Moses got what God told him to get the Israelites (finally!) out of Egypt. We all pretty much know that.

Points to ponder:

How in the world did the Chosen People find themselves in Egypt in the first place?


How was this part of Salvation History? And what can we learn from it all?

What's the story?

Plunge into the Vacation Bible Refreshment Pool and share your reflections on this in the comment boxes.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Day of prayer for of political sermons?

As you I'm sure know, the Holy Father asked that today, July 23, be a day dedicated to prayer and penance for peace, especially peace in the Middle East.

As far as I can ascertain, His Holiness did not ask his clerics to base their sermons on global politics.

Today's readings couldn't be more directed at pastors, in my un-Biblical-scholarly-like opinion. Yet in the two Masses I attended today, nothing in the homilies were addressed to pastoral duties.

"Uh..duh, Kelly? Maybe that's because pastors delivered the sermons?"

No, I don't think so. Maybe, but I don't think so. I think — and this is rather more disturbing — that priests somehow saw this chance to air their feelings about war...the War on Terror, the Middle East wars, the World Wars, for Heaven's sake.

What did you hear?

Yesterday afternoon, I think I heard — it was a tad difficult to follow — a discourse on the war in Iraq and on the evils of capitalism. (?)

Today I heard a talk on the evils of war — and no argument from me, war is evil — and also the need to achieve peace in our families, neighborhoods, country, and so forth.

What I sorta was expecting...

...was something simply...pastoral. As in "As your pastor, I'm telling you to obey the Holy Father and go home and spend the day praying for peace. And as a matter of fact, as your pastor, I'm telling you to pray more. Period!

Something like that, anyway.

Or maybe even — what the heck — a simple reading of the Holy Father's message. Or an invitation to offer the Mass up for world peace? Or an invitation to pray the Rosary after Mass for the intention of peace? (Although to be fair, at today's Mass, before the final blessing, the priest led us in a Hail Mary for peace.)

Anyway, I'm curious...what did you hear? Because today's readings are exquisitely suitable for a sermon on pastoring.

"...His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd;"

I sorta felt like them.

"...and He began to teach them many things."

That's what I was waiting for.

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What brings the #@(*&! out of your mouth?

One of my worst habits — there are so many that it's hard to give this dubious award — is my penchant for letting my anger come out of my mouth. Thank goodness, most of the time I'm alone when, let's face it, minor irritations tempt me into sounding like a sailor on leave. Oh, I'm not saying I (always) take the Lord's Name in vain...but nevertheless there are times I'm thankful my mom isn't listening to me.

Got a peeve that makes you loose control of your tongue? Let's hear it. My thought is, once you identify the things that make you say [bleep], the better able you'll be able to control the tendency.

'Course if "bad words never cross your lips" you need not respond.


From today's Gospel (Matthew 11:20-24)

"Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented."

I've been blessed with the amazing opportunity to witness the mightiest of deeds on a daily basis...the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you."

Even if you're not blessed, as I am, to daily exposure to the greatest miracle of all, you still know that somewhere Jesus becomes — incredibly — Himself, truly and completely, under the appearances of bread and wine. And that Jesus Himself forgives sins every day, a zillion times a day, by the words of His priest in the confessional.

"And as for you, Capernaum:
Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the nether world.
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Tough, loving words. To those whom much is given, much is expected.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Her name is Rita...and she's in Beirut

A few months ago, a lady I know told me that her son had just left for Iraq. Immediately I promised to pray for him — his name is Christophe — but she had other ideas.

"You pray for my son, you pray for everybody involved in this war, in all wars, on any side."

I took her up on it.

Now I know how much better a person she is than I am.

In June, my friend Rita returned home to Beirut for a three-month stay with her family prior to joining a cloistered order here in the States. We exchanged email. Hers was filled with prayers for me, our fellow parishioners, mutual friends, you name him or her, Rita prayed (prays?) for him or her.

Then the bombing started.

Soon as I heard about it, I emailed Rita and, thank God, she wrote back. The bombing was very near, she reported. And then proceeded to inquire about friends we'd been praying for.

The last email I received from Rita arrived this past Saturday morning. I haven't heard anything since.

Yes, I do ask you to pray for Rita and her family.

But, like Christophe's mom, I'm asking you to pray for "everybody involved in this war, in all wars, on any side."

Frankly, it's not my nature to be so un-self-centered. My inclination is to scream FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE PRAY FOR MY FRIEND RITA NOW AND KEEP AT IT!!!

But that's not Rita's way. Nor is it Christophe's mom's way. Both of them have told me, over and over...pray that God's will be done.

I'd like very much to emulate them both.

Please pray that I do.

And...please pray.

Thank you.

Update: I heard from Rita today. She's praying for you. Please continue the prayers.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Name that hate crime!

First, a definition:

From the U.S. Congress, 1992:

A crime in which "the defendant's conduct was motivated by hatred, bias, or prejudice, based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity of another individual or group of individuals." (HR 4797)

Okay. So.
  • If an actively homosexual person calls a heterosexual person a "breeder" that a hate crime?
  • If a woman was verbally assaulted by a homosexual man after signing a petition asking for an amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a that a hate crime?
  • If a Jamaican woman is the target of racial slurs by those who believe her place of birth automatically makes her "anti-gay" that a hate crime?
  • If people who signed the petition mentioned above subsequently have had manure spread on their properties...would that possbily be considered a hate crime?
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Provincetown, MA.

The town, which prizes its reputation for openness and tolerance, is taking the concerns seriously, though police say they do not consider the incidents hate crimes.

You tell me.

"Thank you, Jesus" "Go to jail"

HONOLULU --Junior Stowers raised his hands and exclaimed, "Thank you, Jesus!" in court last month when he was acquitted by a jury of abusing his son.

But his joy was short-lived when Circuit Judge Patrick Border held him in contempt of court for the "outburst" and threw him in jail.

Nope, I'm not making this up.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Saying your peace...

Another totally unscientific poll here.

When the priest or deacon calls for the "Sign of Peace," what do you do? What do you say? To whom to you say it? What do others say to you? What have you observed others doing?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Massachusetts lawmakers decide to "wait"...'til after the election

Massachusetts lawmakers ended debate on proposed constitutional amendments Wednesday before dealing with the most volatile issue on their agenda: a proposal to outlaw [sic] marriage for same-sex couples in the only state where it is legal.

The move to recess until Nov. 9 put off the decision on the politically charged issue until after the general election.

So. Two days after the election, then, well, maybe they'll take a look at the proposal.

No law made the legislature quit debating. They could've worked longer. They could've debated and decided on all 20 proposed amendments.

But they were scared and they caved. Not much testosterone here. And no real surprises.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Milena Del Valle, R.I.P.

Mrs. Del Valle was crushed to death last night in Boston.

Please pray for her, for her husband who escaped death, for her son in Costa Rica, and for her friends.

I appreciate it, because I'm afraid her death will be lost in the story about Fatal Big Dig collapse sparks probes and political wrangling.

Thank you.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Misleading "leaders"

About 165 self-ordained "leaders" got together and ran a full-page ad in the Boston Globe today.

"The Massachusetts Constitution, the nation's first and oldest, has stood as a beacon for fair and equal treatment under the law for every citizen. I believe we should not write discrimination into the Constitution, and I oppose efforts to amend the Constitution that would take away rights, including the right of gay and lesbian citizens to marry. I urge the Legislature to reject the proposed constitutional amendment and, instead, move on to other important issues like strengthening the economy, improving our schools and protecting our neighborhoods."

Odd...whatever amendment are these people talking about? I know of no amendment that would take away the rights of any citizen to marry, do you? In my state, anyone over the age of majority is free to marry. Yes, there is a proposed amendment defining "marriage" but it doesn't leave any human being out. Male. Female. Who isn't eligible to marry?

Another odd thing...if these people are "leaders," wouldn't it follow that "important issues like strengthening the economy, et al" would be in their bailwick?

Finally...outside of a few folks — like the mayor of Boston and the owner of the New England Patriots — I really don't recognize the majority of these names.

No doubt a huge misleaders.

Cell phones don't kill people...

...but I've gotta admit to being sorely tempted to bop many a chatterer on the noggin.

Case in point:

Following the 4:45 PM Mass today, people as usual prayed the Rosary. As it progressed, some other people drifted in, anticipating the Monday Spanish Mass scheduled for 6:00 PM.

As the fifth decade began, a phone rang. Now, this isn't all that uncommon, I know, nor it is generally intentional. What usually happens is, the phone owner, looking abashed, either stops the ring or, if he can't, scoots out of hearing range to turn the thing off.

Not today!

Today, the lady calmly answered her phone and proceeded to walk around the chapel, evidently enjoying her chat, explaining to her caller that she was in church, awaiting the 6:00 Missa. The people praying the Rosary — including yours truly — faltered, staring at the woman in disbelief. Finally she concluded her conversation and we figured she'd turned her phone off.


A few seconds later, it rang again, and again, the chatter started. Somebody — it wasn't a priest, there weren't any in the chapel — finally asked her to knock it off, which she did.

I'm fairly sure most people would agree that such behavior in a church is idiotic, to say nothing of rude. But as I walk around the crowded city, it seems that I'm constantly confronted by conversations I really don't want to hear. Today, for instance, I was allowed to overhear a businessman's rather uncomplimentary characterization of his secretary, a girl's graphic description of her boyfriend's — er — "assets" and a woman cursing out somebody...I walked as fast as I could before I was treated to the presumed cad's identity.

I can walk, but I can't seem to hide.

Every where I go — side streets, main streets, shopping areas, coffee shops, you name it — the ubiquitous presence of other people's one-sided conversations surrounds me.

I don't know. People complain about second-hand smoke. My beef is second-hand banality.

Is this just a Boston thing, I wonder? And am I being unreasonable?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Memo to homosexual Boston Globe employees:

Get married or lose your benefits.

Globe staffers have been told that health and dental benefits for gay employees' domestic partners are being discontinued. Gay couples who want to keep their benefits must marry by Jan. 1.

(Source: The Boston Herald, Saturday, July 8, 2006, and sorry but I think subscription is's part of the story, anyway)
A memo sent to the GlobeÂ’s Boston Newspaper Guild members, and obtained by the Herald, states that Massachusetts gay Guild employees can extend their benefits to their partners only if they marry.
“An employee who currently covers a same-sex domestic partner as a dependent will have to marry his or her partner by Jan. 1 for the employee benefits coverage to continue at the employee rates,” the memo states.
The policy change at the Globe, which devotes extensive coverage to gay issues, opens a new can of worms in the Bay State as employers rethink their domestic partner benefits in the wake of the legalization of gay marriage in 2004.

Evidently, the lawyers are afraid of discrimination lawsuits filed by heterosexual employees who live together but are not married (and do not receive the benefits homosexual couples currently receive.) But I think there's another problem.

The Globe may be in a bit of a snit.

I don't have the documentation, but it's my guess that, despite gargantuantuan efforts of the publication to force homosexual marriage down everybody's throats, there seems to be a bit of a snag.

Homosexuals aren't getting "married" in droves. How dare they refuse the alms offered on their behalf???

Reminds me of an Agatha Christie character.

Her name, if I remember correctly, is Mrs. Hartnell. I'm paraphrasing, but her description was something like:

"Mrs. Hartnell is indefatigably devoted to The Poor, however much the later try to avoid her ministrations."

"Let the people vote!" (If all else fails.)

The Boston Globe editorializes:

The best course is for legislators to meet Wednesday and deny the proposal the required 50 votes. Failing that, efforts should be redoubled to deny the 50 votes required in the 2007-2008 Legislature. Failing that, the amendment should be, and we believe would be, soundly defeated on the 2008 ballot. Opponents' arguments grow thinner by the day. The strong institution of marriage is threatened, they say, but where is the threat? After 26 months and counting, there is none.

The headline says it all: "Vote the Ban Down."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

"Let the people vote" (Cardinal O'Malley)

"As citizens, we, the Roman Catholic Bishops in Massachusetts, support the constitutional amendment on marriage the voters last fall petitioned the state legislature to consider. The Secretary of State certified a record number of signatures from registered voters asking to put the amendment on the 2008 ballot. The debate over the meaning of marriage should not be limited to government officials since the magnitude of the issue calls for the full participation of the public. Neither the judiciary nor the legislature should substitute itself for the sovereignity of the people, especially on such a foundational matter as the meaning of marriage for the common good of society."

From the Bishops' Statement on Marriage Amendment, June 30, 2006

It sounds good but something about this whole thing nags me. From a practical, secular viewpoint, for example, were I a New Yorker or a Georgian, after today's court decisions in those states, I wouldn't be lobbying to "let the people vote." I'd be saying "good, and let's get beyond the bleeping idiocy."

It is not beyond the realm of possibility that "the people" might vote to redefine marriage.

Yes, I know that polls show that most Massachusetts citizens believe that marriage is a legal union between a man and a But a lot can happen in two years. There was once a time when abortion was considered abhorrent. Before that, contraception a bad thing. Today? What would happen, d'ye suppose, if "the people" of the United States were able to vote on abortion, or contraception?

And this "as citizens" thing...

The Bishops of Massachusetts needn't speak to us "as citizens." I see and appreciate the political, or call it "diplomatic" strategy, but I when I think of U.S. bishops, the first word that doesn't pop into my mind is "citizens."

Look, I'm no theologian nor am I a politician.

But what I look for in a bishop (or priest or Pope or fellow Catholic or fellow Christian) is an indication of holiness. And a fearless zeal to point out what sin is...and how to avoid it.

"Neither the state nor religions invented marriage nor determined its natural components," say the bishops.

True. God invented marriage, just like He made everything. What's wrong with acknowledging that, with great joy and reverence and thanksgiving, and simply not acknowledging anything other than what God created?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Some sense on the Pope, Medjugorje, and "legalism"

The buzz regarding Bishop Ratko Peric's Corpus Christi homily regarding the so-called Marian apparitions in his diocese has been fierce, interesting, and, to me, a bit frightening. Why? Because I'm scared that the thousands — and I mean thousands — of people utterly and implacably devoted to "Our Lady of Medjugorje" will find their faith shaken, if not destroyed, should the Church declare that the apparitions are not valid.

But wait a sec...didn't the Bishop's words do just that?

Do read the whole post, as Diane justifably asks. Here's one part of the Bishop's statement, though.

"I responsibly call upon those who claim themselves to be “seers”, as well as those persons behind the “messages”, to demonstrate ecclesiastical obedience and to cease with these public manifestations and messages in this parish. In this fashion they shall show their necessary adherence to the Church, by neither placing private “apparitions” nor private sayings before the official position of the Church. Our faith is a serious and responsible matter. The Church is also a serious and responsible institution!"

But what about an "official statement" from the Holy See?

I find what Rich, "The Catholic Dentist" says about this oozing with common, or maybe uncommon sense:

I find it interesting that many people who flock to these sites will say, "The Pope has not given the final word on this subject, so it is still open to discernment by the Church as a whole." This type of legalism is what is getting the Church into hot water with multiple issues.

You see, the role of the Pope is not to be a referee. He is not the one to make all the decisions of the Church. He is not there to invoke the charism of Infallibility for every issue that comes down the pike. There is a place for the local Ordinary and the Ordinary Magisterium if the Church.

In the case of Medjugorje, the local Ordinary (bishop) has said there is nothing supernatural going on. Rome's silence is not a silence of doubt, but a silence of consent. "Qui tacet consentire" is the maxim that governs the law. Silence gives consent. There is no need for a higher authority to intervene because it consents to the evaluation and conclusion of the lower authority.

I urge you to read what's written via both links given when you get a few minutes.

Thousands of God's children truly believe His Mother has been appearing in Medjugorje for at least a quarter of a century. You may be one of them. Or you may know someone who is.

In any case, it seems clear to me that the Church has spoken about this phenomenon.

May Her Most Blessed Mother pray for us all.

A show of hands, please

Informal, completely unscientific, and not-a-trick-question poll for Mass goers.

What do you do with your hands:

1.) When you respond to the priest's "The Lord be with you";


2.) During The Lord's Prayer


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

It's a Blog-o-versary!

Hey, I just realized I posted my first Lady in the Pew blog a year ago yesterday.

Actually I started uploaded my...uh...opinions, yeah that's a good word, for 'em, back in February of 2002. It started as a regular column for my parish's e-newsletter, edited by Father Bob Carr. When the newsletter ended, I transferred my stuff to a website, alerting readers when I uploaded one o' my tomes. (You can still read them by clicking on the word "archives" and hovering over the date of the column, although why you'd want to is beyond me!)

Anyway, in a burst of charity toward my long-suffering readers, I decided to go the blog makes for far shorter posts.

Happy Blog-o-versary, too, to Domenico Bettinelli, who's celebrating his sixth!

Monday, July 03, 2006

"The disbelief of Thomas...

...has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples. As he touches Christ and is won over to belief, every doubt is cast aside and our faith is strengthened. So the disciple who doubted, then felt Christ’s wounds, becomes a witness to the reality of the resurrection.

"Touching Christ, he cried out: My Lord and my God. Jesus said to him: Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed. Paul said: Faith is the guarantee of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. It is clear, then, that faith is the proof of what can not be seen. What is seen gives knowledge, not faith. When Thomas saw and touched, why was he told: You have believed because you have seen me? Because what he saw and what he believed were different things. God cannot be seen by mortal man. Thomas saw a human being, whom he acknowledged to be God, and said: My Lord and my God. Seeing, he believed; looking at one who was true man, he cried out that this was God, the God he could not see."

From today's Office of Readings, by Pope Saint Gregory the Great

No, I don't pray the Daily Office, although I wish I did. This came to me from a sermon at today's Mass by a priest who, praise God, celebrates his 18th anniversary of priestly ordination today.

As an alternative to always thinking of this saint as "Doubting Thomas," Father Al offered another "nickname" (I know, sheesh, another name for the guy also known as The Twin also known as Didymus? But this is cool):

"The Truth-Seeking Thomas"

It makes sense, especially if you read the Gospel that, before the latest Lectionary revision, used to be an alternative reading for this Feast.

Jesus: "Where I am going you know the way."

Thomas: "Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?"

I love this! The other apostles either (A) knew sorta what Jesus was talking about or, in my humble opinion, probably more likely (B) hadn't a clue but didn't want to 'fess up to it.

But good old Thomas just blurted out the truth...he, at least, hadn't the foggiest notion of Jesus' traveling plans and wasn't afraid to say so quite plainly!

And without this question, would we have this revelation?

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Wait...there's more good stuff!

This statement of Jesus led Philip to say...almost demand:

"Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us."

Which of course, as is recorded in John 14 (it's a short chapter and well worth the read) leads Jesus to reveal not just His own Divinity, but the wonder of the Trinity!

We owe a debt to Saint Thomas.

And to Our Lord for creating him.

No doubt about it!