Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mother Teresa, I love you.

Being in Heaven, Blessed Mother Teresa doesn't need my love but you know something? I'd love to have hers.

Not content with the painful Time Magazine article (which the author and editors manged to royally screw up), some denizens of this valley of tears have decided that making the lady into a laughing stock is suddenly hip.

I refer to David Letterman's stupid saint joke. (Stick to the pet tricks, Dave.)

Early this morning, a friend asked me if I'd heard that at one time Mother Teresa wrote a television station to ask them to keep a certain situation comedy on the air. After looking at him as though he'd grown another ear or something, I got the picture. He'd evidently been falling asleep with Letterman on the tube and heard the "joke." (Duh...this guy's a good friend but "Duh" anyway.)

This sort of thing is cruel beyond belief.

Not to Mother Teresa. By acknowledging her status as "Blessed," it is to be understood that this amazing and humble woman is enjoying the Beatific Vision and needs no prayers from us.

But I think we need her prayers.

Thankfully, Elizabeth Lev has written a terrific piece not only on Blessed Teresa, but more vital, on the sad people who are desperately seeking to have a spot of fun with Sister's dark night of the soul.

Like none of us have ever experienced that, right? Yeah.

I'm posting this link simply to give you some means of responding to the pathetic attempt at "Teresa bashing" (and Church bashing: they go hand-in-hand) you are very likely to encounter.

Blessed Mother Teresa, please pray for us.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"Late have I loved Thee..."

In honor of Saint Augustine, an opportunity for new or reverted Catholics to express love for the Church and for Her Founder. Actually, cradle Catholics are welcome to participate!

Enjoy yourselves! And please pray for me...I'm going to be in Bangor until, God willing, Thursday night or Friday morning. (Not that there's anything wrong with Bangor! You know what I mean.)

So. Say a prayer of thanksgiving for knowing Jesus, take a deep breath, and tell us:

"Late have I loved Thee, and...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Jesus nods "hello"

Jesus is a friendly guy.

I know this because when I'm tromping around town, I find myself for any number of reasons—let's say an ambulance tearing by or a lady on crutches—praying a Hail Mary. Silently, natch.

When I get to the Name of Jesus, I bow—or I guess it looks like, nod—my head.

Nine times out of ten, somebody smiles and nods back.

Jesus is a friendly guy, and I love Him very much.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A lady named "Alice Iaquinta" insults Catholic women

On Sunday, this divorced mother and grandmother was ordained in Minneapolis as a Catholic priest.

No. She's playing games with herself. (And the reporter is playing games too.)

She is one of only about 60 women in the world that have been ordained as a Catholic priest.

She is one of only about ZERO in this category.

Iaquinta has a master of divinity degree.

I have a driver's ed certificate. So the bleep what?

"We're doing this for our daughters and our granddaughters, because we can not continue to exclude half the human race from the arms of ministry," Iaquinta said.

Listen, you mother. (I mean that with all due respect.)

I know a lady who has pretty much single-handedly run a homeless shelter in Boston for over a quarter of a century. With no pretty, color-coordinated robes to show for it.

I know women who regularly and without fanfare, mind you (that being an important point, mother, note it well) feed the hungry, raise children, visit the sick and the imprisoned, and more. Not to mention women who have consecrated their lives in quiet, unsung service in prayer and good works to Jesus and Our Lady.

They are not featured in local newspapers, nor do they want to be.

You, Lady Iaquinta, have insulted them all.

And you know what's the kicker in all of this?

They're praying for you!

That's right. You are, to these women you have insulted profoundly (with your stupid "divinity degree") pitiable in their eyes and they are praying for you to give up your misplaced pride and for heaven's sake grow the bleep up.

They have, in other words lady, have added prayers for you to their ministry and blast you for telling me and anybody who reads their words that they are "excluded."

May God bless you, and may God have mercy on me for my anger right now.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ellen Goodman on women's rights: getting it wrong, again.

You know what's frustrating to me about "liberal" writers? So many of them are blessed with genuine talent...and they waste it by lying.

Take Ellen Goodman's op-ed in today's Boston Globe. (Please.)

One of the biggest thrills of my year is election day.

Really, I love it. I love the fact that I can vote. (Even though most always the people I vote for lose...I live in Massachusetts.) And I'm eternally grateful to our Founding Fathers for establishing a country where I might do so, and to the courageous and dedicated women of the last century for fighting for my right as a woman to do so.

Sunday, August 26, is the anniversary of women's suffrage in the United States.

And what does the admittedly talented Ellen Goodman do about it?

She screws it all up.

In an effort to be funny, she chooses (I gather this is a yearly thing with her) to insist that, after all these years, women are victims. It's rather insulting, actually, if you happen to be an American woman. Which I am.

Festooned with jabs against men from other countries, she manages to, not surprisingly, get in a stab against a U.S. Supreme Court judge who didn't tickle her fancy for abortion, on her terms:

Unfortunately, we must return home for the Patriarch of the Year Prize. It goes with disappointment to US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose opinion restricting abortions rested on the retro notion that women needed to be protected from "regret," "grief," and "sorrow," even if it meant protecting them from their rights. We send the paternalistic justice a hook to bring him back to the 21st century.

Here's the thing, Ellen o' mine...choose another day for your abortion cheerleader act. Leave the anniversary of women's suffrage alone, okay? Because you know what?

The women who fought for—and won!—your right to vote were unambiguously pro-life.

Have a little respect for women like Susan B. Anthony and for heaven's sake choose another day.

(Don't believe me? Ask an atheist!)

John Mallon to Amnesty International: "What Part of Human Rights Don't You Understand?"

I used to contribute to Amnesty International on a regular basis. For many years. But you know? Periodically, I'd get a wee uneasy feeling about the group, don't ask me why. When that happened, I'd simply call the NYC headquarters and ask straight out: "you guys don't support abortion, do you?" And by gum, each and every time, I'd get the same or similar answer:

"Oh, no!"

Or sometimes:

"Abortion? Has nothing to do with us!"

And then, a year or so ago...

"We haven't yet decided on our position on this issue."

That did it for me. I canceled the auto-deduction from my checking account that very day.

John Mallon, PR guy for Human Life International and contributor to Inside the Vatican magazine, has a word or two about the so-called "human rights" organization.

A snippet (but do read the whole thing):

The claim is that AI is “protecting women” with this move. Rather than focusing resources on making and enforcing laws against rape and other forms of violence against women, especially in wartime and the developing world, AI instead sides with destroying the innocent “products” of sexual violence - not to mention further traumatizing the woman. Once again, life is made easier for criminal men who abuse women.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Archbishop John Vlazny's alternative comment

I have to agree with Jeff Miller (see second comment on the post below) that the statement by Portland Oregon's Archbishop on the fake "ordination" (see post below) was a bit on the lame side.

And so, in the spirit of lay-people-helping-out, may I present an alternative statement for the Archbishop's say nothing of that of his flock.


To Catholic Sentinel readers:

Last Friday (August 17, 2007), the Oregonian irresponsibly, stupidly, ignorantly, and—this ticked me off most of all, by the way—gushingly "reported" a story that is, was, and ever shall be a flat out lie.

Let's be clear, folks. Oregon, or any other state, city, township, burg, village, country, continent, or even suburb does not have a "woman Roman Catholic priest." You got that? Good. Let's continue.

What I should've done was squelch this imbecilic idea as soon as it happened. I didn't. My lame excuse was something silly like "the respect for those involved in the ceremony" but now I realize that this is just plain old crapola. My job is to get people to Heaven...not to give a bleep about "feelings." Sheesh, I feel—and probably rightly so—like a jerk.

But so be it. Get this, lambs o' mine, and get it straight:

No Catholic was involved in the ceremony at Zion United Church of Christ in Gresham on July 28. Did you get that? NO CATHOLIC WAS INVOLVED.

Why do I say this?

Because if a former Catholic went willingly into this charade, he or she willingly said "bye bye" to the Church by participating in it. Period.

Incidentally. While not opposed to "ecumenical relationships" between the True Church and our fallen away brethren (and if you think for one bleeping minute I'm going to add the word "sisthren" you can jolly well think again, sis) I'm frankly really ticked off at the Zion United Church folk. You guys know what our dogma is and if you don't then you ought to.

By allowing this circus to take place on your turf, you deliberately and maliciously slapped the Roman Catholic Church in the face. Were I a less charitable man, I would pray that your next three-bean-salad-covered-dish event be assaulted by roaches. But I digress.

Folks, my spokesman (yeah, she's a woman, but I hate this bleeping PC crap) gave the Oregonian a few rather limp reasons why we're not recognizing this heresy. One thing she forgot to mention was that it is a heresy. Couple of other points, in case you're interested and you'd damn well better be.

Christ is the bridegroom of the Church. Read your Bibles! For Heaven's sake (and I mean this literally) He must've compared the Church to a bride umpteen times. A priest acts ad persona Christi (and for those of you in my flock, that means "in the Person of Christ") and—well, duh!—guess what? A bridegroom is by definition a male and I don't give a bleep what they tell you in Massachusetts, do you get that? Good. Try to remember it, and if you can, tell your friends.

My main purpose in speaking up now is really simple: some people are trying to destroy the Church founded by Jesus Christ. They won't succeed, of course—again, check out your Bible—but they just well might prevent you folks from making it into Heaven. And I cannot stand still for that.

I'm sorry the lady and her lady supporters and her guy supporters have decided to leave the Church, and I pray they come back. Hell, I'll do anything to get them back...anything short compromising the Church.

Sorry, by the way, but I can't be John-nice-guy and prattle all about the mutual respect of all "Christian" communities, yada-yada-yada. I love ya, guys, but at this moment you folks at Zion United "Church" of Christ and you folks at the Episcopal "church" who are letting this lamb of mine "celebrate" her "Mass" are deserving of nothing less than my active contempt. Like I say, I love ya, but sometimes tough love is called for.

And now hear this:

You guys who aided and abetted this lady into leaving the Church of Jesus? And you, lady, you who think you've got so much support? Listen good. I'm after you all. I pledge to do my utmost to bring ALL of you back into the Roman Catholic Church, God willing.

And I ask for the prayers of the people of the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, to join me in praying for this to come about.

Thank you, and may God bless you.

+John Vlazny, Archbishop, Portland Oregon

"Ordained in Her Heart": Portland OR archbishop nixes notion

Toni Tortorilla lay face down in front of the altar, surrendered to God and became -- at least in some eyes -- the first woman Roman Catholic priest in Oregon.

She defied centuries of church law that allows only baptized men to be priests. She stood up to a church she loves, knowing she risks possible excommunication. The 60-year-old woman, who as a girl was always obedient, disobeyed.

"I am here," she told 200 friends and supporters at her July 28 ordination at Zion United Church of Christ in Gresham. "I am ready."

Read the whole story here. (Requires simple registration after the first page.)

The sham "ordination" took place on July 28. The Oregonian reported it (actually, "gushed it" would probably be a more accurate description) last Friday.

Archbishop John Vlazny waited until today to respond in the diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Sentinel.

Stories like this not only sadden me, and should sadden any Catholic, but they also frustrate the bleep out of me.

Just yesterday, we celebrated the Queenship of Mary. Queen of the Apostles. Queen of all saints and angels. Queen of all Creation!

What better role model could any Christian woman want?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I was going to blog on the incredible lunacy of the attack against Catholic Louisiana gubernatorial candidate Bobby Jindal...

But Jeff Miller did such a good job I didn't have to.

"Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven": Pope Saint Pius X

Glorious Pope of the Eucharist, Saint Pius X, you sought "to restore all things in Christ." Obtain for me a true love of Jesus so that I may live only for Him. Help me to acquire a lively fervor and a sincere will to strive for sanctity of life, and that I may avail myself of the riches of the Holy Eucharist in sacrifice and sacrament. By your love for Mary, mother and queen of all, inflame my heart with tender devotion to her.

Blessed model of the priesthood, obtain for us holy, dedicated priests, and increase vocations to the religious life. Dispel confusion and hatred and anxiety, and incline our hearts to peace and concord, so that all nations will place themselves under the sweet reign of Christ. Amen.

Saint Pius X, pray for us.

For more on this remarkable gift to the Church, visit Women for Faith & Family.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Petition Cardinal Egan, New York, to offer Christmas Midnight Mass in Extraordinary form

An e-mail I received today:

(STONY POINT, NY, USA) -- A single member of Christ's faithful from a small town north of New York City has started an online petition with a simple, respectful request to his Cardinal-Archbishop: Please offer this year's Christmas Midnight Mass in the newly de-restricted Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

"Pope Benedict's release of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum was possibly the most significant event of his pontificate, yet many millions have no idea this paradigm-shattering document even exists," stated Patrick McGrath, who has lived most of his life in and near Stony Point, New York. "Then I thought that my own Archbishop, Edward Cardinal Egan, has it in his authority to take the Extraordinary Form from out of the shadows and in front of the Klieg lights, quite literally."

"As all New Yorkers know, Christmas Midnight Mass from St. Patrick's Cathedral is one of New York's Great Events and a treasured tradition. It's been televised by WPIX-TV (Channel 11) since 1948. For many people, particularly fallen-away Catholics and non-Catholics, the Christmas Midnight Mass may be the only time they see the Lord's Sacrifice of the Altar all year. My thought was: Why not take it a step further and bring back the Extraordinary Form -- which, of course, would have been the form televised from 1948 to 1969 or so -- to one of its most venerable venues, St. Patrick's Cathedral."

"St. Patrick's has a huge advantage: it's good to go for the motu proprio. It's ideally suited to celebration of the Extraordinary Use, since it retains a high altar with a baldachino, and a marble communion rail. It also has a Cardinal-Archbishop who is fluent in the Church's first language, having served many years in the Latin-speaking halls of the Roman Curia.

"Moreover, Cardinal Egan recently wrote (Catholic New York, 7 July 2007) that there was "Room For All" in the Church's liturgical life, and that the Extraordinary Rite holds 'a very special place in the heart' of many New Yorkers -- and others beyond our city who 'feel a strong attachment to the Mass before the Council.'

"As Pope Benedict stated: 'What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too. ... It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church's faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.' I believe that a "proper place" for the Extraordinary Use is Christmas Midnight Mass, and my prayerful hope is that the Cardinal makes 'room at the inn' for the Extraordinary Rite for this year's Christmas Midnight Mass."

The petition, which is on-line only, can be reached at this URL:

Why not?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Speaking of ding-a-lings...

AMSTERDAM: A Dutch priest has been fined 5,000 euros ($6,800) for ringing his church bells too loudly in the morning.

This reminds me so much of the South End of Boston, where I—happily—do not live anymore.

I remember when I first moved there [insert memory-evoking harp music here]...

...and was startled by the fact that, despite the number of Christian churches of all denominations, not a bell could be heard. Not even on Sundays! Why was that, I wondered?

Somebody told me that when the neighborhood underwent "gentrification" (horrible word) the New and Monied Residents complained about the noise. And so the bells were silenced.

Here in Roxbury...

It's a different story. Perhaps we aren't "gentrified" yet but on every hour and half hour (and in some instances, the quarter hour) churches ring their chimes. I like it. For one thing, it's a great way to tell the time!

Except for perhaps Gay Pride Week, the South End eschews noise of any sort.

I remember, during the height of the Scandal, scores of protesters regularly screamed outside my parish church: Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End.

Across the street, residents of a glitzy new high-rise across the street held a protest of their own...while they didn't really care about the issues—pervert clergy, clericalism, women's ordination, homosexual rights, etc, etc—they did care, and passionately so, about something:

They wanted to sleep in, bleep it, it was Sunday!!!!!

And so they complained to the then rector of the parish, Monsignor Fred Murphy, who dutifully passed on the complaint to the, by then, totally beleaguered Bernard Cardinal Law. A bunch of us were there, having successfully crossed the gauntlet of protesters and screamers and panting from exertion from the effort.

Cardinal Law raised his tired eyes, smiled a little sadly, shook his head slightly, and then raised his voice surprisingly, saying:

"Thank them. Tell them that I am grateful to find still more common ground with those who are angry with me and with my brother bishops.

"Tell them that now I can find a reason to support anyone who cares to make noise outside of this Cathedral.

"Tell them to think of these people as an alarm clock and to get out of bed and get to church!"

That, along with his homily at the funeral Mass of his friend John Cardinal O'Connor, are just two instances of Cardinal Law at his best.

Dear Father Dutch priest: I don't want you to be fined for ringing your bells too loudly, understand. But on the other hand, I do appreciate your efforts to wake people up.

I generally eat tuna fish on Fridays...

Some don't seem to get the sacrifice part of it, sheesh.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Cardinal Bertone: about this "freedom of conscience" thing...

At the Knights of Columbus convention today, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said:

"I don't understand how a person in public office or one engaged in political activity can be obliged to renounce his Catholic identity because the party, be it in the U.S. or in other countries, imposes an ethical choice on the basis of the party's program.

"This, according to me, does not respect freedom of conscience. It even seems to me to be an oppression of conscience. Where is the freedom of conscience that is so proclaimed and defended in America?"

Good question. Where is it? Why is it that the Democratic Party, for example, demands "pro-choice" as practically its user id?

And no, I'm not forgetting about "America's Mayor" either.

It is, in my opinion, hypocritical in the extreme for "pro-choice Catholics" to plead "freedom of conscience." Bull. What they're doing is giving up their right to a conscience in a sly but oh-so-obvious deal with Old Scratch.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

When bishops try "short cuts": Bishop Muskens, for example

Who wants the AIDS epidemic to continue? Not me. Not you. Not in Uganda, not here in America, not anywhere. But, contrary to what Netherlands Bishop Muskens—and many other Catholics—believe, promoting condoms is not the answer.

Because while life here is a gift, and it's great, eternity is a long time.

Who doesn't want Islam and Christianity to work together toward unification...specifically, to convert Islam (and Judaism and Buddhism and paganism and every other "ism" for that matter) to the Church founded my Jesus Christ? I do. I hope you do, too.

But the answer—contrary to what Bishop Muskens may think—isn't for everybody (or, to be fair, everybody in the Netherlands) to start referring to the Triune God as "Allah."

It doesn't make sense.

Yeah, okay, the word "Allah" certainly refers to "God" in the Arab world. But which Person of the Blessed Trinity would Catholics refer to when using the term? None. It all falls apart when you pick at it.

Look, there are no short cuts.

The truth is, there are Three Persons in One God. Islam does not recognize this truth. When we—Christians, I mean—say "God," we refer to the Triune God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We often pray to one of these three distinct Persons. "Our Father." "Come, Holy Ghost." "Jesus, forgive us our sins."

"Allah" doesn't cut it.

Until the nation of Islam accepts the fact of the Triune God, there makes little sense in offering the sop—and that's all it is—of referring to God as "Allah."

Thank you for your prayers for Bishop Muskens.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Attention dog owners!

Full disclosure. The toy—well, not the toy, but the inventor of the toy—is an Alden & Clark client. We did not create the video. We did not create the dogs. We did not create the toy.

However, we did create the website and package design.

Have fun, pup-fans!

God bless you, Dom and Melanie!

Two years ago, this man and woman got married.

Two years later—and a lot of stuff in between—they still are.

Thank you, Lord!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cardinal Jean Marie the apostles

"I was born Jewish. I received my paternal grandfather's name, Aaron, I became Christian by faith and baptism, and I remained Jewish like the Apostles did."

Aaron Lustiger, priest: born Paris 17 September 1926; baptized 1940, taking the name Jean-Marie; ordained priest 1954; Bishop of Orléans 1979-81; Archbishop of Paris 1981-2005; Cardinal 1983-2007; died Paris 5 August 2007.

Requiescat in pace, Eminent Father.

Friday, August 10, 2007

By any means, make sure that baby's dead before birth! (Physicians covering their own butts.)

Since partial birth abortion is now illegal, physicians have come up with a new way to kill unborn babies five months old or older.

Lethal injection.

In Boston, three major Harvard-affiliated hospitals -- Massachusetts General, Brigham and Women's, and Beth Israel Deaconess -- have responded to the ban by making the injections the new standard operating procedure for abortions beginning at around 20 weeks' gestation, said Dr. Michael F. Greene, director of obstetrics at Mass. General.

"No physician even wants to be accused of stumbling into accidentally doing one of these procedures," Greene said.

Indeed. Let's keep our priorities straight.

Medical staff inject either the heart drug digoxin or potassium chloride, a potentially poisonous salt also used in state executions.

To "the corner," NCO's blog, a lawyer emails:

Subject: Potassium Chloride??

Wowsa. I have done some litigation in the area of lethal injection, and potassium chloride is typically the third drug used in the "three drug cocktail" most states use when they execution someone. It is a painful, painful drug that stops the heart. To mitigate that pain for prisoners, states give them sodium thiopental, which is a short-acting barbituate, then pancuronium bromide, which acts as a paralyzing agent, THEN they give the potassium chloride. It would be extremely painful for a prisoner to have an injection of potassium chloride alone. It stuns me that that's what they're using to kill these babies in utero.

Thanks to the Curt Jester.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Rape and incest instances "infinitesimally small" pro-abort insists

"What should be a fundamental human right is being touted as the root of all evil," said Mary Ann Sorrentino, newspaper columnist, radio talk show host and author of `The A Word'. "No one could ever be free until they can control their own fertility. That is the one control that a woman needs to have to live her life to the fullest - as she sees fit," she added.

Odd. I thought the fundamental human right was the right to life.

The above quote is not only's stupid. No woman or man for that matter can control his or her own fertility. You can't legislate, for example, that a man can have a baby or that a woman past menopause can. And as far as the ability to suck out a baby being the "one control that a woman needs to live her life to the fullest?" Does that make, for example, the right to vote chopped liver? What's with the insistence on the right to kill?

Honestly evil. The truth comes out.

Ms. Sorrentino said one of the greatest mistakes of the pro-choice movement has been its emphasis on extreme cases for abortion. "In this delusional need to justify this right, we have fallen back on rape and incest cases, which represent an infinitesimally small amount of cases," she said.

What she's saying is: "we've been lying all this time." What I'm saying is: "I know you were."

Source: Vineyard Gazette News, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The "Parish Life Coordinator"...

"...a a sure-fire way to ensure that your parish will almost never again have a resident pastor."

On this feast of Saint Dominic, Father Philip, Powell, O.P., gives us several reasons why this "solution" to the lack of priestly vocations is more or less shooting ourselves in the foot.

Here's the article that caught Father Philip's eye, and here's his analysis.

Read the whole thing if you can but here's the money quote, in my opinion:

We gain nothing in the way of addressing the "vocation crisis" by showing our guys that they aren't needed. We can say all day long, preach loudly from the pulpits, and insist until we are breathless that priests are invaluable to parish life, but if boys and young men see the parish "getting along" w/o daily priestly leadership, they will go along to get along. They have to be needed, and they have to be shown that they are needed.

Monday, August 06, 2007

How to take a good deed and mess it up: my turn

Today was my turn.

I live in the Roxbury section of Boston. For those unfamiliar with the town, let's just say it's not exactly Nob Hill.

Late this afternoon, I went to Walgreen's Drug Store.

Actually, Walgreen's is more than a drug store. For example, in addition to my prescription, today I picked up a gallon of milk and some cleaning stuff.

But before I went in, Melinda caught me.

Melinda—not her real name: her real name is Sabrina—is a beggar. There's no other word to describe what she does to earn her daily bread. She sits, generally outside neighborhood stores, on one of those electric scooters that seem to be rapidly replacing wheel chairs, at least where I live, and begs. And she's pretty good at it, too.

And I'm usually pretty good at besting her.

The thing is, I rarely carry cash with me, especially if I'm going to Walgreen's. So, when I'm accosted by Melinda (or any beggar) I generally grin and ask if she or he accepts American Express. Then I usually ask if I can pick up some Walgreen-type thing for her or him while I'm shopping. Generally the answer to the latter is "no" but not always. And I usually get a laugh from the former. Beggars, I've found, most often have a sense of humor.

Today, Melinda was in great form, perched on her scooter and puffing a cigarette.

When she asked me for money, I looked at her butt and asked her where she'd got it. Not to be dubious or anything, but cigarettes are pretty expensive. Melinda nodded at an elderly gent, perched on a parking lot curb, enjoying a smoke himself.

"You give her that cigarette?" I asked.

He nodded.

"How come?"

"All I had on me, lady."

Okay, that made sense. I was about to give my little speech about credit cards to Melinda when I realized something and that something wouldn't go away.

I had a ten dollar bill in my wallet.

Meanwhile, Melinda's going on and on about how hungry she was and by the way it was "my turn."

I sputtered.

"Whaddya mean, `my turn?'" I demanded. (Trying on my stern look which evidently failed.)

"I mean," drawled Melinda "that you've been giving me this credit card !&#%!* for a long time now. Everybody else has pitched in. It's your turn."

This, frankly, ticked me off. There was no way Melinda knew I had the tenner in my wallet and besides, I don't like giving money to beggars. Food, yes. Money? Uh-uh. The no doubt unworthy (?) suspicion I generally harbor is that the dough won't go for food at all but instead for some adult entertainment-slash-beverage.

Turning my back, I muttered something about waiting until I'd got my shopping done and then we'd see. I got my prescription, picked up some milk and some odds and ends (all charged, by the way) and looked around the store. There was plenty of food things. Chips, cola, little milk cartons, snack thingies, know what I mean.

"Okay," I said to her back in the parking lot. "I can get you something to eat in Walgreen's. How about a Pepsi and some cheese and some trail mix, something like that?"

Melinda was having nothing of it.

"What I want," she said deliberately, "is the four dollar platter at the Yum Yum."

(For the uninitiated, the "Yum Yum" is the local Chinese joint.)

I hesitated. The Yum Yum, as Melinda well knows, doesn't take credit cards. I easily could've pleaded my case based on that fact alone except...except...

I had a tenner in my wallet. And, evidently, it was "my turn."

Exasperated, I headed toward the Yum Yum, Melinda keeping up and then some on that scooter of hers. She stayed at the door while I entered the place, the cook taking the order from her, not me. Several customers laughed. One lady said "honey, she's a nuisance...why waste your time and your money?" I laughed back replying "it's my turn." The lady nodded.

"Yeah, I know. I know. It was my turn last month and baby, that was enough for me."

Melinda wanted a strawberry cola but all they had was Mountain Dew so that's what she got. When I delivered the meal to her, she complained about that little detail, but I told her to deal with it. And then stalked off, grinning inwardly at the laugh I got from the Yum Yum patrons.

That laugh, as I know see it, was at Melinda's expense. But the cost was mine.

I could've—oh, I could've done it so differently. I could've been, at the very least, more gracious to Melinda. More gracious? I could've been gracious, period. I could've smiled at her with friendliness, not irritation. I could've opened her napkin for her. I could've chatted with her a bit more. I could've maybe set a better example for everybody involved.

Only I didn't. Yep, Melinda got her meal and that's about all she got from me.

God and Melinda gave me my turn. An opportunity, actually. And I blew it.

Odd. At the time I thought I was only blowing $4.50.


I am writing this from my repaired computer!

Sunday, August 05, 2007


I apologize for many things, but this time I'm apologizing for not being able—or willing, frankly— to go on with, and offer reliable sources for, my assertions regarding the motives of Mrs. (Sheila) Kennedy below.

If, as I've been told, my statements have seemed to be uncharitable, they probably are.

I am sorry.

Friday, August 03, 2007

New movie mocks Judeo-Christians! (More at eleven)

So some decidedly amateur "movie makers" (guys...really...try YouTube first, no kidding, you'll save a lot o' bucks...or maybe start off easier with your cell phone) opted to make a "movie" (no doubt their fans will call it a "film" because a "film" is so much more beautiful people than a "movie") called "The Ten" which takes on the Pioneering Territory of Mocking Jesus, along with the Ten Commandments.

(For those of you who pitifully work for the unknown company called "Inverted Films," I'm referring to the Decalogue, not the movie starring Charlton Heston back in the 1950s.)

I got the alert, as you may have done, from the American TFP, an organization which works harder than I ever have or ever will in defending the Faith. God bless them.

The ATFP has provided access to protest this puny little kitty-cat pretending to be a lion against Christians, and I thank them for it.

I also ask that they and you remember that we have a choice. We can (a) get all hot and bothered about these spineless, talentless, and otherwise pretty sad people and get ulcers. Or we can (b) remember that they are, as creatures of God our Father, our brothers and sisters and we can pray for them.

Of course I'm not saying we shouldn't protest the—uh—"movie." Sure we should.

But in the broad scope of things, I really wouldn't worry too much about it.

N.B. I linked to the least offensive part of the "movie's" site. If you want to explore it, make sure the kids are in another room. Thanks!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

It's a Catholic Crossword Crisis after all!

Oh, boy.

You know, I'm really trying to not complain about the I-hope-it's-over-soon loss of my computer. And sheesh, just what I need...a parenthetical comment.

(It's an iMac G5 17 inch. Problem: iMac will not start up. Known issue. Resolution: replace PS. I have no idea what any of this means, other than it's not supposed to cost be anything, being a "known issue" and that the estimated completion date—hah!—is August 5.)

While Alden is great at letting me use his computer...

I have no address book. I have no way to inform people (unless they happen to be reading this—hah!—) of my dilemma.

I have no way to finish and deliver the Sunday Crossword Puzzle!!!!!!

Yes! It's true, alas. So, you Catholic Puzzlers? You must forgive me! I can't deliver this week. I promise I'll try and make it up to you somehow.

For those people who have no clue as to what I'm talking about, you might check out this post.

And, by all means, if you're a crossword fan and want to get the puzzles (one presumes that one's computer will be fixed in due time) do let me know.

As an update—as long as I'm currently impotent in the puzzle delivery department—the puzzles are, or have been, and please God will be again, available in printable .pdf format.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Curiouser and curiouser: the annulment that wasn't

I snipped at Boston Globe Letter Writer David Wildnauer a few days ago and now I'm thinking I shouldn't have...and I also think that David's letter, too, was based on wacky information.

As Lori points out and as Time confirms, the first Mrs. Kennedy wasn't and isn't a Catholic. She's an Episcopalian.

I understand, of course, that the Roman Catholic Church considers Christian marriage—like Christian baptism—to be a valid sacrament, regardless of original denomination.

What I don't get is why the first Mrs. Kennedy got so darned fired up about the whole thing that she (a) started a movement called "Save Our Sacrament" and then (b) wrote a book about her experience and finally (c) demands the Roman Catholic Church—not her preferred religious preference, mind you—change all Her rules about divorce and remarriage.

While I'm certainly glad that Christians from other denominations take an interest in the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, in this case I've gotta come?