Thursday, March 29, 2007

"Danger! Man-Eating Shark in Pond!!!"

Okay, ladies. If you saw a sign like this, would you:

(A) Steer 'way clear of that pond. Of course!


(B) Assume, since you are a woman, that the warning means nothing to you and attempt a carefree swim.

Such is just one folly of "inclusive language."

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Blessed be His Holy Name (and not abused, please)

Fair warning: I've got a slight cold and, being the wimp that I am, am not suffering it gladly. So if this sounds a tad grouchy...tough.

I am bleeping sick and tired and tired and sick and, in addition, overwhelmingly weary of hearing or reading the name "Jesus" or "Christ" or "God" used in any manner other than in prayer, or in conversation about the Lord and His Kingdom.


So, I'm reading a novel, right?

And here's a bit of dialogue where one character says something like "Christ, I forgot!" (Or something like that.)

It is clear enough to me that the character is not talking to the Savior at all, as in "Christ, I forgot to pray for so-and-so and I'm really sorry about that." No. The character is upset that he or she neglected to turn off the oven or burglar alarm or forgot somebody's birthday or some foolishness, but there is no prayer or discussion involved here.

I hear it all the time and I'm sick of it.

"Jesus, did you see that shot?" (The speaker, I feel safe in assuming, is not asking the Lord if He witnessed a televised three-pointer.)

"Oh, Christ, what is it now?" (Is mother really impatiently taking the Messiah to task for bothering her? I think not.)

Or even "Good Lord in Heaven, what is wrong with you?" (Taken literally, this rhetorical -- one hopes -- question can be potentially awkward come Judgment Day, don't you think?)

The thing to do is think before speaking.

I don't believe that folks who take the Lord's Name in vain are evil. I really don't. I do think maybe they need to exersise their self-control, to say nothing of their brain cells, before speaking.

One way to avoid this stuff is to regularly repeat the Divine Praises. Pray them with me!

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His Saints.

May the heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.

Thank you! I feel better already.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Nine-month prayer campaign to end abortion

Please consider participating in a nine-month prayer campaign, via the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel, for an end to abortion.

It's a good time to do marks the day Jesus entered Our Lady's womb. The prayer continues as we contemplate His time in the womb until His birth.

As Father Thomas Euteneuer writes:

The Church teaches that our pro-life efforts must begin with prayer. The spiritual miracle of conversions like Dr. Bernard Nathanson's are a cause for great rejoicing. HLI (Human Life International) is blessed to have seen this happen around the world. These former abortionists have joined us as powerful allies in defense of innocent human life.

It is our Christian duty to pray for those who are trapped in the culture of death. Please join us in 2007 as we ask God to touch the hearts of more abortionists through the St. Michael the Archangel Prayer.


Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, o prince of the heavenly hosts, by the Divine Power of God, thrust into Hell Satan, and all the evil spirits who wonder throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.



"For us men and our salvation He came down from Heaven:

by the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man."

Happy Feast of the Annunciation!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Daniel Maguire and two missing words

Okay. As has been noted, I don't always understand the nuances of Catholic doctrine.

That said:

The U.S. Catholic Bishops admirably issued a document this month, tearing apart Marquette University professor Daniel Maguire's pamphlets, which he sent to all U.S. Catholic Bishops as well as U.S. politicos "defending" (and attempting to define Catholic postions on) abortion, contraception and same-sex "marriage" last year.


But given the documents, along with the professor's personal web site which I can't describe as anything but scandalous, it seems to me that two important words are missing.

You're fired.

Yahoo!!! I'm RICH!!!!!

According to Professor Charles Soludo, Executive Director, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria owns me a PILE of dough! Evidently I did some contract work for Nigeria (which for the life of me I can't remembering doing, but there you are) and they wanna pay me. All I have to do is scan my driver's license and email it to the good professor!


Thursday, March 22, 2007

"Plan B:" Contraception is still wrong. Right?

HARTFORD, Conn. --Hartford Archbishop Henry J. Mansell said Thursday he is working with legislative leaders to find a solution to the issue of emergency contraception for rape victims that respects Roman Catholic beliefs.

They're talking about "Plan B."

"We've been talking about possibilities that would be a solution, not a compromise," said Mansell, who spoke with more than 250 Catholics at the annual Catholic Concerns Day at the state Capitol. It "would respect the aspirations of people who are advocating for certain help, at the same time respect our religious principals and convictions."

Here' s the thing. "Plan B" is contraception. Contraception is wrong. End of discussion.

See what the manufacturers say about "Plan B." Then tell me how on earth a Catholic hospital can (a) distribute it or even (b) send a patient to another hospital to receive it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Fr. Euteneuer/Sean Hannity/contraception

From John Mallon:

Father Euteneuer has just graciously posted an article of mine on the HLI Website about the issues at stake in the Sean Hannity matter. He has asked me to spread it far and wide. You can view the article, Contraception the Love Killer, here:

Anyone who somehow missed any of the details of this now famous encounter can read up on it and see the video here.


Monday, March 19, 2007

James Carroll gets fundamentalism fuddled

It's difficult, often, to believe that Boston Globe columnist James Carroll actually studied Catholic theology. His latest attack on the Church in the form of equating Benedict XVI's Sacramentum Caritatis with "Fundamentalism" makes it even more difficult.

Some incredible statements include:

Catholic fundamentalists are more likely to be called "traditionalists," and today the Vatican is their sponsor.

This is indeed a crock. The term "Catholic Traditionalist" is a crock in and of itself. One is either faithful to the Magisterium or one is not. James Carroll obviously is not. This is certainly his right. What is not his right is to mistakenly label Catholics faithful to the Church as "fundamentalists." Or "traditionalists" for that matter. I for one am sick and entirely tired of being called a "conservative" or a "traditional" Catholic. I'm a Catholic. End of sentence. Live with it.

As for Sacramentum Caritatis (which he refuses to even grant a title!)

What begins as a contemplative appreciation of the Eucharist ends up as a manifesto designed to keep many Catholics from receiving Communion at Mass.

This is a bleeping lie. Period.

A rather astonishing treatise on "negotiation" follows:

Take "conception." The great Thomas Aquinas depended on 13th-century notions of biology, and did not believe that human life began at conception. Negotiation followed., Jimmy. It wasn't "negotiation." It was the result of seeking the truth. The Angelic Doctor relied, as you say, on the science of his day. Science -- true science -- unearthed the truth, as I suspect you well know. That life begins at conception (and lose the quote marks, would you?) is a fact. Even pro-aborts know it.

Ask John Kerry, for one.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A lesson from the "non-prodigal son"

If you're like me...cheer up! God is merciful and if you repent, your Father will forgive you!

Actually, that's the point of this post.

I've always had a bit of difficulty with Sunday's parable: the story of "the prodigal son." To tell you the truth, my symphathies were sorta with the elder know, the one who stuck around and didn't go wondering all over the place, blowing his father's dough on fast living, loose women, and so on.

But that's the wrong way of looking at it.

When the prodigal returned home, his dad didn't wait for him to come crawling on his knees, begging for a mere servant's position. No, when his dad -- and we might imagine his father looking out hopefully, day after day, for his son's return -- spotted his n'er-do-well offspring from afar he ran to greet him! Not just that...he robed him (a sign of authority), put a ring on his finger (another sign of authority) and placed shoes on his feet -- a symbol of freedom. (Servants, in those days, didn't wear sandals.) Then he threw a party for him! No servant's job for this guy...he was back in the family again.

The elder son was, as perhaps we can understand, ticked off.

He refused, upon learning the reason for the festivities, to join in. After all, he'd been the Good Kid...while "his father's son" (note how he refused to acknowledge him as his own brother) had screwed up big time.

Now note the father's love for both:

"My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found."

What an opportunity for us!

We can take this parable and place ourselves in the position of the elder son...but with a different attitude. We can join with the father and rejoice and celebrate every one who, having left Jesus, came back...for whatever reason.

We can take this opportunity -- particularly in this joyful season of reconciliation -- to pray for the return of those "who are dead" that they may "come to live again." To pray for those who are "lost," that they may be "found."

What a great way to anticipate the glories of Easter!

And's not out of the realm of possibility that I -- and maybe even you -- might have once been, or may yet find ourselves in the position of "the prodigal son."

May our Heavenly Father have mercy on all of us, and may we emulate Him by loving His children. All of them.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Annunciation Novena: contraceptive culture

Starting today, nine days remain until the Feast of the Annunciation, when Jesus took on embryonic form in the womb of Our Blessed Mother.

Father Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, asks that we use this occasion to pray for the conversion of those who have "bought into the lies of the contraceptive culture."

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Rosary is NOT a fashion symbol!

You've probably seen it as often as I have...folks sporting their rosaries around their necks as if they were trying to make a fashion statement.

And yes, I know, in some cultures this is acceptable.

It shouldn't be.

Because it leads to stuff like this.

Traditionally, the rosary is more about spiritual function than fashion.

But these days the ordered string of beads is as likely to be found in a house of fashion as it is in a house of prayer.

"It's a big celebrity trend," said Amber Gutierrez, a sales associate at Fly High Little Bunny, a jewelry store on South Shepherd. "I've seen it on people in clubs."

Makes you want to kneel down and pray.

Good intentions?

As Los Angeles-based designer Rosanne Karmes sees it, the pieces she creates...draw on customers' deep desires.

"People today are looking for something of meaning, not necessarily religious, but something of meaning," said Karmes. She considers herself someone who has "a high regard for all the religions that teach good morals and values."

Uh...high regard?

Karmes often mixes religious symbols from various faiths in her designs. One of her rosarylike pieces contains an evil eye in sapphires and diamonds.

Rosanne? I applaud your high regard for religions that teach good morals and values. Now why don't you take the next step and show some respect for them?

(H/T to Mare for the link.)

Monday, March 12, 2007

I am NOT a priest! (or, what part of "inaudible" is so difficult to understand?)

Sometimes I think that some priests (and you know who you are) tend to carry the term "priestly people" a tad too far.

In the Missal, it's pretty well spelled out which prayers are to be said inaudibly by the priest. (For the edification of certain celebrants, the term "inaudible" means "I can't hear you.") There are good theological reasons for these prayers and if you don't know them, I suggest you find out. In any case, I think I have a right not to hear what's supposed to be...not heard.

Take a Mass I attended a couple weeks ago.

At the Preparation of the Wine rite, my heart should have heard the priest say to God:

"By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity."

However, I heard -- LOUDLY -- something like this:

"By mixing this water and wine, may we all come to share in the divinity of Christ!"

(To which many of the fuddled faithful pronounced: "AMEN!")

There's more.

At the washing of hands -- actually, the priest for some reason did not wash his hands at all -- I should have heard, again in my heart:

"Lord, wash away my iniquity, cleanse me of my sin."

Instead, I heard -- LOUDLY:

"God, wash away ALL of our sins, cleanse us of ALL of our guilt."


Introducing the prayers before Communion, the Missal states: "We pray in silence and then voice words of humility and hope as our final preparation before meeting Christ in the Eucharist."

My priest, prior to receiving Communion, LOUDLY proclaimed:

"May the body and Blood of Christ bring all of us -- all of us! -- to everlasting life."

Dutifully, the congregation responded with a lusty "AMEN!"

Something's wrong here.

I'm no mind-reader, but sometimes I think that certain celebrants are...I don't know...lonely? Embarrassed to act Ad Persona Christi? Whatever it is, their "inclusive" mucking around with the Mass leads to stuff like -- well, for example, am I the only one who has heard members of the congregation blithely join in the end of the Eucharistic Prayer: "Through Him, with Him, in Him..."? I doubt it.

One thing leads to another.

By blurring the distinction between priest and faithful, we end up with "Eucharistic Ministers" rushing up to the altar to grab the ciboria and chalice. We end up with lay people self-communicating.

We end up with what makes a Unitarian liturgy (okay, I've never seen a Unitarian liturgy and don't even know if one exists) look positively Roman!

Priests. Please. Do us all a favor.

You have been called by God to be set apart from others; to represent His Son in the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. You didn't choose this -- He did.

Your flock has the right to participate correctly, and in our own roles (not yours!) in this liturgy.

Do your part and do it right. We'll do ours. (And if we don't...teach us by example!)

May God bless you.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Publish your prayer intentions, thanks to the Happy Ex-Protestant

Tim Lockwood, the "Happy Ex-Protestant," hosts a nice feature at the top of his blog. Enter your prayer intentions and/or pray for the intentions listed. Good going, Tim!

Reminder: pray for the catechumens and candidates (like Tim) preparing for full communion with the Roman Catholic Church this Easter. Thanks!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

About "planned" prayer...

I've done this myself and I've noticed others doing it too: "planned" prayer.

Here's what I mean:

Person A asks Person B to pray for him. Person B immediately, and with all good intentions, responds with something like:

"Oh! I'll remember you in my next Rosary" or

"Indeed, tomorrow at Mass I'll pray for you" or

"I'll remember you at Evening Prayer." Or some such.

There's nothing at all wrong with this except it's incredibly presumptuous!

To put it baldly, what happens if you...uh...don't make it to your next Rosary, Mass, Vespers, Angelus and/or so forth?

If someone requests your prayers, pray NOW!

Do, of course, plan to continue that prayer during your next whatever devotion you have in mind. That's fine...after all, we many of us arrange on specific dates for Masses prayed for loved ones.

But don't assume you're going to be there to take part.

When you're asked to pray for another, don't wait. Make your immediate prayer -- and it could be as short and as rich as "Lord, please bless this person" -- your immediate "yes."

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I love you.

I pray a lot. A whole lot. I pray for you, I pray for people who have asked for my prayers, I pray for specific individuals, groups...a good part of my day is spent in intercessory prayer.

This does not make me a good person.

No, indeed, it makes me a rather greedy person. Because by praying for others, I'm in contact with God and that's all to the good for me. When you pray for someone else, you do yourself a favor as well as the one you pray for.

So, greedy as I am, I'm glad I pray. Because God listens to my prayers for you and others, which is good.

It's not really that difficult. For me, the key is pacing.

For me, morning is the best time to pray for most of the folks I want God to bless. After a Morning Offering, I swing into it. An hour later, prayers for you and others are pretty much done.

Except they're not.

Which is why I'm glad it's possible to pray all day.

Again, the key is pacing. And, if possible, scheduling, like religious people do. A lunch break, coffee and/or cigarette break, an afternoon walk -- all of these times are tailor-made for intercessory prayers. And then, of course, there is the evening when, after thanking God for the day, examining my conscience (always with a twinge and pretty much demanding an Act of Contrition!) there is still more time to pray for others.

But there's one time when only one -- or rather three -- words are needed.

Upon reception of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, I think, anyway, there need be only three words to say: "I love you." This, again in my opinion, is not really the time to ask for blessings...not if you've already done that, or intend to do so as the day goes on.

When you are intimately alone with Jesus -- and there is no better time than upon receiving Him in the Sacrament -- ah! This is the time to express only one fact: that you are as completely and thoroughly in love with Him as it is possible for you to be.

So do pray!

Pray for others, for those who have asked for your prayers, for those for whom you have promised to pray. (And hey, pray for me while you're at it!) Work at it! Put your whole heart and soul into it!

And then, when you receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, give Him His due.

Tell Him you love Him.

And bask in His love in return.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

No "choice," Speaker Pelosi

Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s view on abortion is “diametrically opposed to the clear and consistent teaching of the Catholic Church,” according to one US bishop.

The Bishop of Baker [Oregon] Robert Vasa said: “It is categorically impossible for the same person to state that he or she believes simultaneously both what the Catholic Church teaches and that abortion is just a choice.”

No kidding. Can somebody send this memo to all the other "Catholic" legislatures?

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Lost Tomb of Jimmy

March 2, 2007 — New scientific evidence, including DNA analysis conducted at one of the world's foremost molecular genetics laboratories, as well as studies by leading scholars, suggests a 30-year-old tomb could have once held the remains of James "Jimmy" Hoffa and his family.

The findings also suggest that Hoffa and Amelia Earhart might have produced a son named D.B. Cooper.

The DNA findings, alongside statistical conclusions made about the artifacts — originally excavated...uh...yesterday, maybe, or the day before — open a potentially significant chapter in there's-a-sucker-born-every-day history.

A documentary presenting the evidence, "The Lost Tomb of Jimmy," will premiere on the Hey Look At Me! Channel on March 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The documentary comes from executive producer James "Whitey" Bulger and director Osama "Catch Me if You Can" Bin Laden.

"The Happy Ex-Protestant" is blogging!

Frequent commenter, Pew Lady buddy, and -- most important -- candidate for full communion in the Roman Catholic Church Tim Lockwood just started his own blog!

Who is the happy ex-Protestant, and why is he happy? Put simply, the happy ex-Protestant is your average 40ish guy who was raised a Christian in multiple denominations, but realized at some point that Protestantism was not the way God intended his Church to be. So he set off in search of God's original Church, and found it alive and well in the Catholic faith.

Stop by and say hi to Tim...and join the Heavenly cheerleaders (and the not-so-lofty ones like yours truly) in prayer and encouragement as Tim makes his way toward full communion this Easter!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Catholic priest NIH chaplin reinstated: religious discrimation cited


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in January that the Rev. Henry Heffernan, 76, was wrongly suspended and then fired in 2004 from the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center. That decision was supported Feb. 23 by the Merit Systems Protection Board, a quasi-judicial agency that hears federal personnel disputes.

Read the whole story, but the gist seems to be that Father Heffernan's boss felt that the priest's objection to Catholic patients "ministered to" by non-Catholic clergy was "old fashioned."

This decision calls for a big BRAVO! And Father Heffernan deserves kudos for his guts.

Father JC moves his blog... a new site.

I've known Father JC Maximilian for almost as long as Al Gore discovered the Internet. A bunch of us, 'round 1994 or so, were brought together by the grace of God and the message boards of America Online. Tired of our Catholicism being constantly battered on said message boards, we decided to get together every Sunday at 10:00 PM in the incredible phenonemon known as the "private chat room." Since some of our number were reading JPII's "Crossing the Threshold of Hope," we decided to dub our group "Threshold." Although most of us no longer use good old AOL, we've kept in touch by group email for around 13 years.

It's been a privilege to participate, even virtually, in Father JC's progress in his call to the priesthood, through his seminary experience and his ultimate ordination. At least two members of the group actually attended his ordination Mass three years ago...I wish I could've been one of them.

His blog's worth a read...I was particularly struck by his post regarding his mom's first profession as a consecrated widow.

Also of interest to Catholic bloggers is the host site itself: St. Blog's Net. I haven't explored it much yet...anybody have any feedback on it? I like one thing about it: it's FREE!