Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Controversy that is not Going Away

Should Catholic "Pro-Choice" Politicians be Denied Communion

Jesus, of course, never took a political poll before feeding fish to 5,000 or filling the wedding guests jug of water turned wine. He never asked the guests at the wedding how they felt about the Roman practice of crucifiction (mass murder capitol punishment) and neither did he ask anyone of the 5,000 or 4,000 on the hill whether they supported anyone who had an abortion before feeding them. Why? Because Jesus meets people at their need. He didn't conduct a survey before healing anyone-he just showed up and wherever he went he healed EVERYONE- ALL who were in his path.

I mention these above episodes because they foreshadowed his eucharistic meal. They demonstrate his heart in wanting to feed and heal people, even if it required he give himself and die to do it.

So there is a raging debate now over whether the HHS nominee is going to be able to receive if she dares walk up to take communion. Some would like to publically humiliate her I am sure. They are good at that.

There are reasons one is supposed to refrain from communion of choice. 1. If you are in unrepentent unconfessed "mortal sin" you are supposed to go to confession first. 2. If you have something against your neighbor or your neighbor has something against you that you have not dealt with you are supposed to address it first before taking communion- leave your gift at the altar and be reconciled to your brother.
Otherwise you are taking it unworthily-and that could make you literally sick from your own sin.

There are other reasons why you may not want to take communion of your own volition: 1. You missed the gospel reading so you should wait until the next Mass 2. You think the homily or its deliverer was off his rocker and can't imagine anything like Jesus coming through his hands so you go to another church and take it at another Mass 3. it's a silent protest of something that you want addressed and so go on a hunger strike and hope someone noticed. (Dumb reason-people will just think you are in mortal sin if they notice at all.)

So there is a Bishopric debate on whether it is appropriate to deny someone communion-
rather than trust that they are following Christ in their heart if they present themselves.

I favor the Wuerl approach- which was also followed by Cardinal McCarrick. These legislative policy issues are tricky- and the Lord alone judges hearts and souls.

I Am Because We Are; Madonna's New Movie

The Madonna Drama- Mercy Me

The Other One.

I am talking that Material Girl gone Limey gone A-rod gone Malawi Mom.
The news cycles must be slow because she is all they are talking about after that GM guy getting his pink slip handed to him by Obama.

Why in the world does the world press think it is any of their business whether Madonna wants to adopt another child. It's none of my business either, but since it's all the watercoolor talk I thought I would chime in. I also hope that as Google Analytics now has mapped this site as being viewed in 45 countries (including Cameroon, Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire and Kenya) someone will forward this to a friend, who forwards to a friend until it gets to the Family court in Malawi. I am a Washington attorney and I am talking to you Judge.

First of all, anyone who wants to adopt a child who is not theirs and give of their time, resources and love to any child should be applauded, rewarded and not dogged. I find it absurd that there is a minute of coverage to any alleged controversy concerning this.
She didn't knock herself up like the Octomom, she went to an African country and found a little girl named Mercy who lost her mother at birth, who would make a perfect little sister to her son David who is from the same country. Mercy. the little girl apparently, like a lot of kids in orphanages, has some other living family (somewhere), but obviously none too able or willing to care for the child because they dumped her in an orphanage where she has been for the last three and a half years. Maybe they visit. Maybe they use it as daycare- is that any kind of life for a child?
The "best interest" of the child is usually the legal standard that is employed when looking at child custody and adoption situations. Is this child better off languishing in an orphanage, even a well financed one, or with a nuclear family comprised of a caring mother and three other children- one of whom is at excellent baby-sitting age?
Other complaints range (usually from well meaning liberal british types)- why doesn't she just dump her fortune in the village so the village can raise the children themselves? Well, she is apparently building a school there and has financed a lot in that country I understand--probably out of incredible love for David, her other Malawi child. Should that be what we say to anyone who wants to adopt a child? Maybe you should find the birthmother and just give her all your money? That is not a valid objection. Madonna has maternal skills, she has the wherewithall to raise many children, and she can provide a good home (several-as many as Cindy McCain who adopted a girl from Bangladesh without international incident.)

I hope that the authorities in Malawi do not get sidetracked by issues like Madonna's checkered romantic history (whose isn't- hers just makes better press)- nor anything having to do with the child's race being different than Madonna's (Lourdes is half Hispanic and David is the same ethnicity-it's a blessed blended mixed race family.) Those are also not valid objections.

Perhaps the grandmother can be assured that she will still be able to be part of the child's life and strike some sort of deal with Madonna- grandparents visitation rights with free plane tickets.
Madonna clearly loves kids. She was a children's book author. She did a fantastic job with Lourdes obviously. Why on earth would any authority deprive her of the opportunity to bless another child with a home and family?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Breaking it down; Today's Gospel corner-one of my favorite Daniel stories.

The Book of Daniel
Dn 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41c-62

Think Babylon. Think a couple of skankorific sleazy old lecherous corrupt Judges. Think a very hot woman named Suzanna who was married. The old guys corner her and tell her- hey, we want you bad, so either you sleep with us or we will tell your husband that you slept with someone, which as you know will get you killed.

She refuses to sleep with them. She had noble virtue. So they make up hideous lies about her. They even describe a scene wherein she allegedly slept with a guy who got away. Total lying crappola.

Apparently, they tried it before-- and it worked. It says the daughters of Israel fell for it and were intimidated so they got away with it with the daughters of Israel, but this daughter of Judah said- get out of my face you lecherous old creeps. She must have had a firm belief that her relationship with her husband was such that she knew he would trust her if someone lied on her like this (I am thinking her husband was probably just as hot). -Or at least he would ask her first for her explanation before believing any garbage someone slandered her with- and would be smart enough not to just take their word for it because of who they thought they were.

Daniel figures it out. Who do you people think you are? Lying rat-ass skeevemonsters. Imagine killing off a woman because they were lecherous lustful skeevemonsters. Is there a worse crime?

So Daniel tells them- OK- lets separate you two guys and see if you can keep your story straight. Which tree did you see her under with the alleged man she slept with? They don't answer the same tree consistently.
This goes to the need for two witnesses- two eye witnesses, before anyone can be accused or sentenced for a crime like this.

The old guys get what they deserve, they didn't escape their karma. Too arrogant to even beg for mercy.

I love this Daniel story- I love all the Daniel stories, but this one especially because it is one of those that are close foreshadowers of the love that Christ had for women and for vindicating women- like that one he saved from the mob who was stoning her for adultery (the second reading of the day).

From the time Jesus was in the womb he was surrounded by people making outrageously false but plausible accusations against the virtue of women- starting with his pregnant mother who must have been the brunt of nasty speculation as to why Jesus looked more like the milkman than Joseph--and how did she really get pregnant?. It must have been his father Joseph who taught him that the value of defending and vindicating women's virtue is central to a real man's honor.

Real men don't slutify or trash women. Real men defend, vindicate, redeem and esteem their honor. That's why the people closest to the foot of the cross and first at the tomb were women.

Think about it.


This organization works with orphanages and schools in the DR.
Please help the Foundation for Peace fill a shipping container for the Dominican Republic on Saturday (THIS Saturday.)

We need help loading Friday night and help when people
bring items to Novartis Pharmaceuticals at
180 Park Ave, Florham Park, NJ on Saturday from 11am-1pm!

Our priority needs for items in good condition are:
filing cabinets and file folders
chewable vitamins
teachers' desks
chalkboard erasers and chalk
shelves and bookshelves
white boards and dry erase markers
encyclopedic dictionaries and children´s books in Spanish
other school supplies
baseball gloves, baseballs, baseball bats
digital cameras
internet-ready computers that work
surge protectors

If you have donations and cannot make it during the planned loading session, please let us know your availability on Friday, Saturday or Sunday and we will try to accommodate your needs.

Call Ken at 973-489-5218 to volunteer to help load the truck, for directions to the container or any questions

If you have no material goods, no time to donate goods, and/or live a long distance away, please consider making a financial contribution. All money will be used for medicines, food and educational assistance.

Thank you very much for your assistance with this very important project!


Foundation for Peace P.O. Box 424 Ironia NJ 07845

If you don't have the answer why are you still standing here?

What's All This Talk About Dying Business

Dead Grains of Wheat make Bread.

John 12:20-26
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Beth-sa'ida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.

This is a verse that has perplexed many and given rise to all kinds of interpretations.
It's one of those hard parables of Jesus.
On the surface it sounds like the Guyanna Kool-Aid Gospel.

I sat in front of a tabernacle in a small "Lourdes" chapel in a church as is my custom at one of the Masses I went to yesterday. The tabernacle houses the "hosts" - the body of Christ, the bread for the world. He had to die to give it to us. It's his body broken for us, that we take and eat. It is a necessity of life for the eternal.
So this saying is more than parable- it was prophesy. Jesus would die. Like a grain of wheat fallen to the ground that would die, Jesus would die, so that the grain would instead become a shaft of wheat, the substance of bread, for the life of the world. He is, among other things, the bread of life-literally.

On the side of the tabernacle which is inlaid with marble designs is the design of a shaft of wheat bursting forth. I meditate on this image. God so loved the world that he gave us his only son so that whosoever believes on him, shall not perish but have eternal everlasting life. Jesus is the food we need, spiritual, material and actual real food we need for the eternal. Without him, without his atoning sacrifice, and the broken flesh offered for the world, we are dead meat. That simple.

Some have interpreted the last part of the verse to mean that we must die to anything that is not God's will for our lives. Like Michelangelo, the sculpture who carves away everything that is
"Not David" to reveal the truest image of what was meant to be underneath, we have to cut off and away everything that is "Not Jesus" in our lives so that His image in which we are created originally can again manifest.

What else could it mean? Anything that gets in the way of following Jesus has to go. Anything that we hang on to that we think we need for us alone (me, me, me) that does not serve Jesus has to go-because that defines an "us" that isn't what we were actually created to be-because we were actually created to love and adore God/Jesus and serve him with gladness.

This is a great verse for Lent, because Lent is a great time to purge, chip and carve away everything "Not God." Because if you are not serving God in what you are doing- who are you really serving, and where is that going to get you?

B.asic I.nstruction B.efore L.eaving E.arth


This Saturday I had fun playing Moot Court Supreme Court Judge at Howard law school for the American Constitution Society. Its fun seeing the world from the other side of the bench.
We had to judge the Petitioners and Respondents on a variety of factors related to their arguments. Some argued "on brief" and others argued "off brief." The former means that they argued what they wrote in their briefs, and thus were likely more familiar with the cases, and the later means that they take the other side and argue for the opposite essentially of what they wrote. Being a good lawyer means knowing all sides of the argument so this is a good skill to develop; being able to argue on and off brief- while in the real world you would only present the argument that served your client.
Do you see where this is going yet? Ever sit in on a homily or sermon and the speaker spent the entire time talking about something other than the reading or anything tied to scripture? I will now call such an argument "off brief." These can be interesting or amusing stories, anecdotes made to prove a point or presumed moral lesson, or they may be really "off" the mark.
The consequences for homilies or sermons "off brief" however are much deeper and serious than the Supreme Court moot court arguments- because God wrote the Brief. Arguing Off Brief, can be really just Off God.
Take for example a nameless student who delivered a "homily" in which he actually mocked the commandment "Love Your Neighbor As Yourself" as being the valid basis for a sermon for reasons that still are not clear. The bible, the living word of God, sharper than a two edged sword, good for instruction and reproof, tells us that this is the sum of ALL the law and ALL the prophets- "Love Your Neighbor as Yourself" which is the second greatest commandment, second only to the first and flowing directly out of the mandate to "love the Lord your God with all your Heart, Mind, Soul and Strength." It is the greatest Five Word Sermon ever uttered by Jesus himself "Love Your Neighbor as Yourself." That would be the brief. There is no finer author. Arguing its trivialization or inapplicability is arguing "off brief." Way Off Brief.

There is an emphasis in Catholic tradition on the pre-eminence of the ability of priests to consecrate the Eucharist as the "source and summit" of all the faith-because Jesus comes to earth in actual physical form. This however is also not found in the Brief but has been historically extrapolated from it. What is found in the Brief is that the Lord commands that we Love him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and our neighbor as ourselves. If loving the Eucharist is a manifestation of this love of him, because he is actually present in the eucharist, this satisfied in part the first commandment, but NEVER excuses the second.
I say that this only partially meets the first command because God is bigger than a breadbox and demands that we love him in the people who are the vessels and temples of his Holy Spirit with the same vigor and strength that we love him in his transubstantiated flesh and blood. It goes into a person for the purpose of transubstantiating the person into Christ so that he dwells within them as they conform more to his likeness, image and holiness. Thus elevating the eucharist and demeaning the person receiving it at the same time are inconsistent logically and theologically. Way Way Off Brief.

A Priest who dresses in the finest embroidery, even says the most eloquent consecration, who is a total schmuck when off the altar is not only a bad priest but a bad christian and a stumbling block to people looking to see Christ in the people posing as him. Nowhere does Jesus say that the Eucharist consecration is a free schmuck pass to be an imperious jerk to anyone. I don't care if he has ten initials after his last name, or teaches at a Seminary or wrote a hundred theological treatises.

Slanderers will not enter the kingdom of heaven. There is no free slander pass for Priests.
Just like there is no free fornication pass for the Priests, no free drunkards pass for Priests and no free idolaters pass for Priests.

Arguing Off Brief is dangerous. To the speaker.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Because you must demonstrate respect to get it. Be the change you want to see.
Because no one moves toward empathy with your views if you can't listen to theirs.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Byzantine Chant Sung During Lent; 3rd Tone-By the Waters of Babylon

Hallelujiah, I just

Religions tend to reduce God to a set of moral maxims
while Jesus's incarnation says God is a knowable tangible being
who loves us so much he desires to be with us and is present to us.

This kind of love is a far cry from a God who thunders rules from a far
and leaves us alone to figure out how to conform to them.

Jesus didn't die so we would
get new religion.

Jesus on earth means God will find us,

stay with us, and never let us go-
if he has to die to take us with him. He doesn't shout from the clouds,
he holds nail- pierced hands with ours and gently whispers "come with me, I know the way."

Our Lady checks out OUR LADY of Guateloupe
Click on the link at the top and you can see the video. I heard her mouth "that's beautiful."
While I don't agree with some of that American Papist's positions, I appreciate his coverage-thanks for the photo. I don't think he was in Mexico taking this, but if I am violating any copyright let me know- I love this picture.
Note to Hillary- if you go to Medjugorje please take me with you.

The Talmud reads, "Never pray in a room without windows."
Never pray without the world in mind, in other words.
The purpose of the spiritual life is not to save us from reality.
It is to enable us to go on co-creating it.-

Joan Chittister

In Harold's Corner

President Obama's call for education reform should be heeded by Congress. Without real reform in public education, America will find it near impossible to innovate and generate prosperity over the next several decades. The President's agenda can put us on a path to get there. I wrote an op-ed for Politico that ran today on the subject. Thought you might find it interesting.


Education reform is a defining issue
By: Harold Ford Jr.
March 26, 2009

President Barack Obama's recent speech on education reform demonstrates that he is willing to put the full weight of his office behind fixing our failing schools. He called for higher standards, more charter schools, merit pay and eliminating bad teachers. When many of our urban school districts are graduating only 25 percent to 50 percent of their students, he knows that the failed methods and orthodoxies must be jettisoned for what will work.

The brave new world of the 21st century demands much more from our children. Obama's ambitious and sweeping agenda will help educate and equip them to make the most of the opportunities created by an integrated global economy.

While there is a broad national consensus for education reform in the country, Obama expects that special interests will oppose his reform agenda. Those who do will fight vigilantly to hold onto the failed schools that shame us as a nation.

But their actions will put them against the best interests of our children and on the wrong side of history. Teachers unions and education groups have expressed opposition in the past to ideas like merit pay and charter schools. They are strongly opposed to a successful voucher program in Washington, D.C., which tragically was killed by Senate Democrats in the omnibus spending bill that passed the Senate last week.

On behalf of the nation's children, Obama is prepared to take on members of his own party and the special interests. Along with turning around the economy, education reform could become the defining issue of his presidency.

Toward that end, the president and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan should consider hosting an education reform summit at the White House. The focus could be on what is working in public schools around the country. This list of "best practices" should be studied, evaluated and shared with principals and teachers -- especially in schools that are underperforming.

He could invite education groups, teachers unions, principals, teachers and education leaders who have a proven record of reform and inform them how they could qualify for federal funding for programs that comply with the policy ideas of the Obama administration.

The genius of America is that we have always been able to overcome the challenges we face. Acknowledging our failures and focusing on methods and programs that have succeeded in educating our children are the best place to start.

It is also time we wake the sleeping giant: the parents who have children attending public schools. Alexis de Tocqueville said that people in a democracy "reign supreme." The parents of public schoolchildren have never fully realized the power they have to bring change to underperforming schools.

With the financial support of the nation's leading charitable foundations, Parent Teacher Associations around the country could be transformed into a national grass-roots effort to advocate for reform of our schools. Patterned after the missionary zeal and political sophistication of the Children's Defense Fund, PTAs could be organized in school districts nationwide. Parents -- motivated by wanting a world-class education for their children and being highly informed and organized -- could bring persistent pressure to members of Congress to adopt an agenda of change to fix our failing schools.

What is at stake is nothing less than the American dream. To pass it on to our children and generations to come, we must restore quality and innovation to all our schools. President Obama knows that our legacy of excellence in education must be redeemed and, with his speech a couple of weeks ago, he has set us on a course to give our children the knowledge and skills they need to compete in this new and changing world.

As Americans, it's time we think of our obligations to each other. It's time we take seriously our collective responsibility for future generations. Providing our children -- regardless of race, class or religion -- with a world-class education is what binds us together and will make our country stronger.

President Obama's plan to reform our schools will help our children live up to their God-given potential. We don't have a moment to lose. Congress should enact his education reform proposal this year.

Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) is chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council.

This will never appear on the Archdiocese blog

When Self-Conviction Sentences the Other

The people who make no widgets,
sell nothing edible, bake, weave and hammer
nothing, but make instead their living off the
moralizing and condemnations of others' souls
are reflecting mirror images of their own souls
in their own self-contempt while presumptously
speaking as false prophets for the Lord,
as the Lord alone sees the hearts
and souls of their neighbor and the Lord
alone is their judge. They are thus cautioned
to look at the log in their own eyes obscuring the
splinters in their neighbors and told expressly
not to judge as the Lord is the great Judge who sees
everything while they see only the mirror
and dimly at that.
The Lord didn't die and give them his job.
I have found that the louder the
condemnations of these petty moralists, the louder their obvious
self-loathing screams from the awareness of the horrors
of their own depravities. They are neither knowledgeable
nor qualified to speak about a soul they have never met
nor truly seen.

The Valley Bard.

Tend to your own garden
and do not pull up the turnips next door
as food grabbed from the stolen fruits of your neighbor
will rot in your gut bitterly sour evermore.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy Incarnation Day

A Day To Say "Yes"

On Wednesday, March 25, we observe the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.

On the morning of March 25, 1612, Francis de Sales penned a brief letter of regards, well-wishes and blessing to Jane de Chantal,
on the occasion of this same solemnity.

His words (paraphrased) to her nearly 400 years ago may be of encouragement to us as well today.

" Although I have a great deal to do, how could I not send greetings to my very dear companions on the day of the happiest of all greetings?! I beg the glorious Virgin - hailed by an angel today - to ask on our behalf for some of the holy consolation bestowed on her. May God bless you and fill you with his graces; God be with us, my very dear friends...This morning, the feast of the Annunciation. We are indeed blessed by God and filled with God's graces: may we share God's graces by being a blessing in the lives of one another!"

(Rev) Michael S. Murray, OSFSDirector
De Sales Spirituality Center
"Practical Paths to Holiness"

(And Also To You)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Garden my Grandmother walked in and my Father Played In

Brought to you by the good people with Green Thumbs from McKeesport, Pennsylvania.
The most beautiful garden in Western Pennsylvania some say.
Nice rose photos Mr. Mellon.

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends, you talk to your enemies.
- Moshe Dayan
Israeli military commander and politician turned peacemaker.

[Thanks always to that Sojourner guy for this and all his great reflections]

106 Still Driving and Doesn't Need Meds

He has his own Myspace page. Still drives himself and gives Sermons. Dad Clark they call him. 106 and still rarin to go go.
Dad Clark - last seen driving his sports car in Oregon.

signs of the times

Calling the Last Rites

A man is struck by a bus on a busy street in New York City. He lies dying on the sidewalk as a crowd of spectators gathers around. "A priest! Somebody get me a priest!" the man gasps. A policeman checks the crowd but finds no priest, no minister, no man of God of any kind."A PRIEST, PLEASE!" the dying man says again. Then out of the crowd steps a little old Jewish man of at least eighty years of age."Mr. Policeman," says the man, "I'm not a priest. I'm not even a Catholic. But for fifty years now I'm living behind St. Mary's Catholic Church on Third Avenue, and every night I'm listening to the Catholic litany. Maybe I can be of some comfort to this man."The policeman agrees and brings the octogenarian over to the dying man. He kneels down, leans over the injured and says in a solemn voice: "B - 4. I - 19. N - 38. G - 54. O - 72."

A jewish man hit by a car lying in the street sees a priest walking by and yells- "Father! I fear I am dying. Can you give me a last blessing?" The Priest looks at him and says, sure. Can you tell me, Sir, do you believe in Jesus, the Lord? The man says "I just said I am dying- no time for riddles!"

The Hysteria is Over-rated.

"We are not ignoring the critical issue of the protection of life. On the contrary, we invited him because we care so much about those issues, and we hope for this to be the basis of an engagement with him," Jenkins said. "You cannot change the world if you shun the people you want to persuade, and if you cannot persuade them show respect for them and listen to them."
The President of Notre Dame. Who is a Priest. (note to file; you are not.)

The news from those who think that their vision of "life" policy is the only correct one are mounting a smoke and mirrors PR campaign to make the criticism appear "mounting" "hysterical" even. They quote and requote an esteemed alumn- a guy Newton, who lives in an apartment in Georgetown and works for one of the personal injury law firms that are advertised regularly on midnight TV as an associate. Legal Giant. Anyone with a laptop can be a blogger. It takes no skill. You need no budget. Blogspot is free. If you can type you too can be a blogger.

These are the same people who called Obama an "infanticide" baby killing monster before the election. They have not noticed that they lost the election apparently. This sort of inflamed hyperbole is really offensive. These are mostly childless people- single self annointed screaming moralists who have never been pregnant, never supported anyone who was and mostly have never read Roe v. Wade or the follow up companion cases.
They have not noticed that even "Pro Life" people who are trying to responsibly radically reduce abortions find them outrageously offensive. they have not apparently been told how they turn people off so badly they hurt their own movement. They hurt the Pro Life movement because they are supremely obnoxious.

Women have the ability to self abort and will whether or not laws constrain them. They will self mutilate, they will shove chemical solvents and hangers up themselves by themselves if a pregnancy tortures them psychologically if born of abuse. They will take a bottle of 407 from under the sink and shoot themselves up with it, and if that doesn't work try something scarier. This is why it is critical to respect a woman's "mental health" in a pregnancy against the backdrop of radical hormonal alterations. This is why providing all the reasons why the choice for life is a rational choice, a better choice and one that people make out of free will is a positive rational way to eliminate abortion and as a practical matter just works better empirically than mandated criminalizations and prohibitions.
This is why the "health exception" isn't just blistering feminism for no reason-- because if a woman kills herself she kills also the child and you have lost two people. This isn't a myth. This happened before 1973.

A lot of the people ranting and raging were born after or came into adolescence after 1973. They don't know what it was like. They think they are fighting for the moral high ground when they have no concept of what moral high ground those fighting to respect women's mental health think that they were fighting for. Women died. Women killed themselves. Women too depressed to dress drugged themselves into overdoses.

It is shocking how misguided people can be so vitriolically verbally violent. It is shocking.

from lifesite news:

Ethicist and moral theologian Pia de Solenni suggested that the invitation "could be an excellent opportunity for Notre Dame gently and publicly to remind the nation of the university's Catholic identity and the incompatibility of the president's hostile actions with this identity.
"At the same time, the university could extend an invitation to dialogue in hopes that the president could come to respect these beliefs even if he does not agree with them," wrote Solenni, who emphasized that "it would have to be eminently clear to all on the part of the university that a tension exists between its professed values and the president's actions."

Well, Duh. And Good For Pia.

Note to the the Neuman folks: Were you asleep for all of 2008 during the campaign? Everyone knows the tension exists. Everyone knows there is a serious need for serious dialogue and respect.
Perhaps Notre Dame is angling for funding for a Center for Dialogue- responsible dialogue, respectful dialogue. A mediative conflict resolution approach rather than a conflict generating approach.

Do people like the five-foot nothing Dawn Eden think that she has any persuasive power by lobbing verbal fireballs at the Commander in Chief?
Ever hear that delightful phrase first echoed by a Saint (google it) that one gets more flies with honey than vinegar? Do you think demonstrating utter rude disrespect to someone causes them to listen to you for five seconds? Because as an evangelism strategy this strikes me as flatly boldly disasterous.
But it gets worse. It's out of control.

In 2004 I remember campaigning for a democrat with signs on the road in Texas- a Pro Life democrat. In this small Texan town guys driving pick up trucks would roll down the windows and yell at us "Baby Killer!!" simply because we had signs for a democrat by the side of the road- a Pro Life Democrat. This was so ignorant it was laughable. We looked at each other- Have you ever killed a baby? No. Had an abortion? No. Written or supported any pro-abortion legislation? No. Yet texan pick up driving yahoos were rolling down their windows to shout at us "Baby Killers!!"
Can anyone say that this is anything other than the purest rankest ignorance? What comes out of Washington is just a higher paid lobby variety of the texan pick up truck.

postscript; after this was written it was reported in lifesitenews that the latest to chime in about why a sitting President, who is also a Constitutional Law Professor, and an alum of one of the nation's finest law schools should not be given an invitation to speak from a catholic law school or given an honorary award is the head of some Right to Life organization who expresses outrage. At least he heads an organization and is a parent. Still- a Center for Responsible Dialogue would be a good start at Notre Dame.
Should we shun everyone we disagree with? Like Iranians?
The view that you cannot be respectful to people with differing views isn't very diplomatic.
It is the anti-thesis of diplomany actually. The notion that people should be judged and condemned on public policy approaches to achieve the same goal (in this case elimination of abortions)- even when they share the same values- is odd.


So take it up with Him.


Papal Message to Conference on Women

"Gifted By the Creator With a Unique Capacity for the Other"

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 23, 2009 ( Here is the message Benedict XVI sent to participants in an international congress on the theme "Life, Family, Development: The Role of Women in the Promotion of Human Rights," which took place Friday and Saturday in the Vatican.*

* *To my Venerable BrotherCardinal Renato Raffaele Martino

I am pleased to extend cordial greetings to you and to all those taking part in the International Conference on the theme "Life, Family and Development: the Role of Women in the Promotion of Human Rights."

This event, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, with the cooperation of the World Women's Alliance for Life and Family, the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations and other associations, is an exemplary response to my predecessor Pope John Paul II's call for a "new feminism" with the power to transform culture, imbuing it with a decisive respect for life (cf. "Evangelium Vitae," 98-99).

Every day we learn of further ways in which life is compromised, particularly in its most vulnerable stages. While justice demands that these be decried as a violation of human rights, they must also evoke a positive and proactive response.

The recognition and appreciation of God's plan for women in the transmission of life and the nurturing of children is a constructive step in this direction. Beyond this, and given the distinctive influence of women in society, they must be encouraged to embrace the opportunity to uphold the dignity of life through their involvement in education and their participation in political and civic life.

Indeed, because they have been gifted by the Creator with a unique "capacity for the other," women have a crucial part to play in the promotion of human rights, for without their voice the social fabric of society would be weakened (cf. Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 13).

As you reflect on the role of women in the promotion of human rights, I invite you to keep in mind a task to which I have drawn attention on several occasions: namely, to correct any misconception that Christianity is simply a collection of commandments and prohibitions. The Gospel is a message of joy which encourages men and women to delight in spousal love; far from stifling it, Christian faith and ethics make it healthy, strong and truly free.

This is the exact meaning of the Ten Commandments: they are not a series of "noes" but a great "yes" to love and to life (cf. Address to the Participants at the Ecclesial Convention of the Diocese of Rome, 5 June 2006).

It is my sincere hope that your discussions over these next two days will translate into concrete initiatives that safeguard the indispensable role of the family in the integral development of the human person and of society as a whole. The genius of women to mobilize and organize endows them with the skills and motivation to develop ever-expanding networks for sharing experiences and generating new ideas.
The accomplishments of WWALF and the UMOFC/WUCWO are an outstanding example of this, and I encourage their members to persevere in their generous service to society. May the sphere of your influence continue to grow at regional, national and international levels for the advancement of human rights based on the strong foundation of marriage and family.
I once more extend best wishes for the success of this conference and my prayers for the continuing mission of the participating organizations. Invoking the intercession of Mary, "the symbol and the most perfect realization of the Church" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 570), I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.


Ecumenical Education for Catholic Clergy

Protestant is not Synonymous with "Unchurched" or "heathen.""

I am sometimes completely amazed at the misperceptions and assumptions of catholics, even catholic clergy concerning the religious upbringings of Protestants. Some don't even think we know what the 10 commandments are. This evidences a really intolerable level of bigotry and speaking down to people wrongly assumed to be unchurched.
I am a "cradle Presbyterian" who came to the Catholic church after an Ivy League college education and a top 15 Catholic Law School education. I came after knowing not only the ten commandments, the levitical laws but all those I needed to pass the California Bar on the first try (not everyone does.)
At the point at which I came to the Catholic church I have no doubt I was far far more read in scripture than any lay person in the parish- and everyone I grew up with who was Presbyterian was far far more learned simply by being Presbyterian than any lay catholic of that age.
At the age of around 8, as soon as you can read comfortably basically, all Presbyterians are given their "Third Grade Bible" and they are expected to read it often. Mine was red and came with an inscription from my father. They are expected to develop their personal relationship with God through scripture as soon as they can read. They grow up reading scripture. It becomes part of them.
My grandfather and father were both Deacons of the Presbyterian church. They were in fact "pillars" of the Presbyterian church- one as a significant donor on the Stewardship Committee helped finance an entire new building. He was a Harvard Law graduate and an attorney with a major corporation in Pennsylvania after a big firm experience in New York who worked with the NAACP to create more opportunities in education for African Americans in the Pittsburgh area and nationally in the 1950s, funding scholarships and other opportunities. It has carried on as a family mission of sorts in different manifestations.

Presbyterian churchs typically have a serious strong focus on missions. I have been on short terms missions to the Carribbean several years in a row with a team of medical and educational missionaries.

After reading your Third Grade bible from age 8-12 I was expected to be able to recite the first chapter of John cold. To be confirmed at age 12 I had to demonstrate I knew not only the Apostles Creed and the Our Father but the first chapter of John. I was confirmed in a local Presbyterian church on the Main Line outside Philadelphia. In the beginning was the Word.....And we are expected to stay 'in the word" reading scripture all our lives virtually every day- a practice that I have continued to do all my life (as do most serious "protestant" Christians I know who believe the holy sprit speaks through the words of scripture. This is the "lexio divina' practice now being more forcefully endorced by the Vatican-protestants have been doing it since Martin Luther) It is more Jewish in its respect for the role of scripture in one's relationship with God. In High School I was in regular bible studies. In college -an Ivy League college- I took a new testament scripture class. Divinity school was on my mind. Eventually, I went to Law School, thinking Divinity School was next down the road after some real world legal experience.

So, note to Catholic Pastors- if a Catholic "convert" graces your pews, do not assume they know nothing and have not met Christ. Do not talk down to them, assume they have never read the ten commandments or lack moral integrity. I know it doesn't help when you get people giving testimonials like "I used to be a teenage warewolf slut-monster until I took the Sacraments" but this sort of person is not the rule for someone raised in a conservative Protestant church. Far from it.

It's good to know who your audience is---so your audience doesn't think you are an idiot.
It is not "christian" to treat people poorly. It is just rude and disrespectful.
If you are clergy doing it this is a very bad disgraceful witness and Christ is offended.
Christ knows his children and calls them by name.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thou shalt not be a victim.
Thou shalt not be a perpetrator.
Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.

- Holocaust Museum, Washington, D.C.
reprint from the Vatican Information Service.

VATICAN CITY, 22 MAR 2009 (VIS) - At 4.45 p.m. today, in the parish of Santo Antonio located in a densely populated area on the outskirts of Luanda, Angola, the Pope met with representatives of Catholic movements for the promotion of women.

Two female members of the movements spoke to the Holy Father of their problems and hopes.

In his remarks the Pope called everyone "to an effective awareness of the adverse conditions to which many women have been - and continue to be - subjected, paying particular attention to ways in which the behaviour and attitudes of men, who at times show a lack of sensitivity and responsibility, may be to blame".

After highlighting the need to "recognise, affirm and defend the equal dignity of man and woman", Benedict XVI explained how both are "called to live in profound communion through a reciprocal recognition of one another and the mutual gift of themselves, working together for the common good through the complementary aspects of masculinity and femininity.

"Who today", he added, "can fail to recognise the need to make more room for the reasons of the heart'? In a world like ours, dominated by technology, we feel the need for this feminine complementarity, so that the human race can live in the world without completely losing its humanity. Think of all the places afflicted by great poverty or devastated by war, and of all the tragic situations resulting from migrations, forced or otherwise. It is almost always women who manage to preserve human dignity, to defend the family and to protect cultural and religious values".

The Pope lamented the fact that "history records almost exclusively the accomplishments of men, when in fact much of it is due to the determined, unrelenting and charitable action of women".

"No-one today should doubt that women have 'a full right to become actively involved in all areas of public life, and this right must be affirmed and guaranteed, also, where necessary, through appropriate legislation. This acknowledgement of the public role of women should not however detract from their unique role within the family. Here their contribution to the welfare and progress of society, even if its importance is not sufficiently appreciated, is truly incalculable'".

Furthermore, "a woman's personal sense of dignity is not primarily the result of juridically defined rights, but rather the direct consequence of the material and spiritual care she receives in the bosom of the family.

"The presence of a mother within the family is so important for the stability and growth of this fundamental cell of society, that it should be recognised, commended and supported in every possible way. For the same reason, society must hold husbands and fathers accountable for their responsibilities towards their families".

Benedict XVI concluded his remarks by highlighting how "the building up of every Christian family takes place within the larger family, the Church, which sustains the domestic family and holds it close to her heart, giving it the assurance that it is protected, now and in the future, by the 'yes' of the Creator".

The meeting concluded, the Pope travelled to the apostolic nunciature where he dined and spent the night.

Just for kicks, twist and rock and roll.

The Bird's Got Rhythym; hysterical!

Jehovah Shalom; the God of Peace, and his son, the Prince of Peace

What I Hope The Notre Dame Honorary Degree to Obama Means

The Other Side of the Diatribe.

The Catholic blog world is aflame with protest over Notre Dame Law School giving an honorary degree to the US President Barach Obama because of his perceived hostility to the anti-abortion legislative agenda. It's getting ugly.

Here is what I hope Notre Dame meant by it in keeping with it's Catholic mission. I am an alumn of another "Catholic" law school, Georgetown, and have no particular dog in this fight. But there is obviously another side to the diatribe.

For the last 8 years we have had an administration openly hostile to the Rule of Law and even in some cases attorneys themselves. Attorneys who represented in civil rights cases muslims persecuted in the wake of the 9-11 anti-muslim phobia found themselves targetted by the administration and some extreme cases persecuted by the Justice Department. The feds suspended the Rule of law in the "war on terror" by recreating wild interpretations of the Geneva Conventions to justify the morally obscene practice of torture, they refused normal counsel to anyone deemed an "enemy combattant" after neighbors sold neighbors for the land once we put bounties and rewards out on turning in "taliban" and others deemed hostile to ruling tribes or opposing muslim groups. People were slandered and tortured without justice. The rule of Habeus Corpus was suspended. People languished in Guatanamo for literally years without any credible evidence against them, without benefit of trial or even competent representation. The law became victim to a political agenda.
For the last 6 years at least we have engaged in Diplomacy by War rather than Diplomacy by Diplomacy. We have alientated the planet, we have bullied the world. The world was disgusted with us. It was no longer safe to be an American in parts of the world for the first time in the nation's history.
The basic normal civil liberties that make one feel comfortably American like the right to basic privacy was violated by a rampant secret program wherein the NSA violated the FISA laws and spied on American citizens because they were peace activists or democratic activists, scanning, reading and archiving their emails after diverting them to NSA servers without their knowledge or permission. Phone records and calls were tapped by the government without permission and in violation of FISA warrant requirements. Again, the law fell victim to a political agenda.
Bush was a President first appointed by fiat of the Supreme Court against the Popular vote that Gore won in 2000 after he nobly conceeded to a very dubious Supreme Court precedent concerning Florida election law and the mysterious phenomenon of the largely Jewish population of West Palm Beach punching butterflies in hanging chad ballots for Pat Buchanan. Go Figure. Then in 2004, for the re-election Bush, it is widely now believed, won only by an E-Coup involving what some believe firmly was deliberate election fraud in electronic machinery and blatant suppression tactics in Ohio and elsewhere suppressing the African American, liberal student and other democratic votes through a variety of tricks of the trade which were well documented and litigated. Again, the Bush administration appeared to be flaunting the laws. Again, the law fell victim to a political agenda.
For the last 8 years, the Bush Administration in the eyes of International Law was a renegade deviant flaunting the well established acceptable standards of and rules of law in civilized nations engaging in oil wars and war profiteering at the expense of people who didn't deserve to die- and the rest of the world was deeply outraged. We didn't get the news coverage here, but if you were in Europe when the Iraq war broke out you didn't miss the press coverage of literally millions and millions of europeans taking to the streets with signs saying "Americans go Home" and the like. Parts of the German government actually branded Rumsfeld as a "war criminal."
We killed literally hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Bush lied about why.
When hundreds of thousands of people die for a lie, you must ask why until you get to the truth.

Barach Obama is an attorney. He is an attorney who was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. His wife is an attorney. His Vice President is an attorney.
He is an attorney who stands for the resurrection of the Rule of Law. He is an attorney who respects the Law.
He has announced a plan to shut down the war and Gitmo and bring our troops home with responsible redeploymnet. He has just by his to date pronouncements and initiatives put us on the road to a restored respected international place in the neighborhood of nations.

Because he stands for the Rule of Law against the abuses of a lawless society, which can quickly degenerate, and did, into war and torture, and because he has a commitment to restoring human rights of those abused everywhere, I assume a Catholic Law School feels elated to have the opportunity to give this most distinguished man an honorary degree.

As for the abortion legislative agenda, he is committed to making sure that abortion is not a choice anyone has to make.

It is really time to grow up. It is really time to see that the subtlety of the issue is deeper than the screaming blogosphere understands.

The sitting President of the United States is being given an honorary degree by a law school. I say Horrah. God bless Notre Dame.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Falling in Love

Is NEVER a Sin.

Punishing people who do IS ALWAYS A SIN. --Because it is against the very existential nature of God. You fight God when you fight Love because God is Love.

Leading multiple women on into thinking you have affection for them when you don't is pure sin.
Trifling with hearts while hiding behind a collar is a serious sin.

Fallling really in love is never a sin. To think otherwise is a profound bitter perversity.

CLEROGAMY- It's not a dirty word- most religions consider it a clerical job requirement which demonstrates purity and integrity- as mandated by scripture in, inter alia, Timothy 4.

Cardinal Egan- Someone Give Him a Metal and Invite Him to Speak to Congress

Cardinal Egan Willing To Discuss Relaxing Celibacy Rules In The Church

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

NY cardinal predicts 'discussion' on celibacy

Cardinal Edward Egan, outgoing Archbishop of New York,
said today that priestly celibacy is not a closed issue and is "a perfectly legitimate discussion.""I think it's going to be looked at, and I am not so sure it wouldn't be a good idea to decide on the basis of geography and culture not to make an across-the-board determination," the cardinal told Fred ################er, state editor of the N.Y. Post and host of the Fred ################er Show on 1300 Talk Radio in Albany.

Cardinal Egan, who made the comments during a 30-minute interview on ################er's radio show while in Albany March 10 for the New York State Catholic Conference's annual Public Policy Day, said that many Eastern Rite Catholic Churches allow married priests with "no problem at all.""Is it a closed issue? No, that's not a dogmatic stand," he said, when ################er asked if he had "any hesitancy about priestly celibacy."The cardinal said his inability to reverse the downward trend in priestly vocations was his "greatest disappointment" as archbishop.

During the interview, he also addressed the Church's legislative priorities on issues such as abortion, same sex marriage and education. He told ################er that he felt the Church was winning the battle of public opinion on abortion thanks to sonogram technology, but losing the battle on the same sex marriage front due to a well-funded Page Ranking campaign by proponents.

This was reported in today's main stream evening news. He spoke on talk radio on March 10th.
Posted by Mary DeTurris Poust at 11:01 PM to a blog.


People, People who need People

Are the luckiest People In The World

(it's a song)

verse 2.

People, people who confuse love with impurity
are the stupidest, saddest, most utterly pathetic people in the World.

People, people who justify their own ignorant condemnations
because of presumed phantom sins of others
without actual facts are guiltiest of spreading the worst slander in the world.

People, people who malign the reputations of others
to justify their own brutality and self-righteousness
are the meanest hypocrites in the world

People, people who confuse Republican political platforms
with christian truths and mandates
should be Republican lobbyists and keep political diatribes out of church bulletins


People, people who spread hearsay upon rumor
to demean people without knowledge of the truth
should be on Keith Olbermans "Worst Person of the Week""

...and some of them wear long White Robes and want you to call them "father."

"Call NO MAN FATHER on earth- you have but one FATHER who is in Heaven."

I would tell them to all go to confession before they go to Hell, but they are the "blind guides" who can't see their own sin and have appointed themselves master confessors so why bother. I wouldn't even bother to ask for an apology because they are incapable of the sort of deep self-reflection that challenges their own misassumed sense of moral superiority. HA!

There wouldn't have to be ""Protestants" unless there were really really bad Catholics in authority and power- ever think of that? Protestants are just Catholics who got disgusted - Martin Luther King was an Augustinian Monk before he got disgusted with the corruption of those in authority and power.

If you thought last week was hard being a Catholic- you might try actually being a Christian.

It's not that we can't stand some of you because we cherish the darkness and fear exposure, nor that our deeds are evil, its that we have nothing whatsoever to hide and just think you are a complete Ass. Yes, there are some really bad, evil even people parading in white robes staring at you endlessly from the pulpit or in authority. We are sick of the duplicity.

I have violated none of the ten commandments to my knowledge and you have violated the one on bearing false witness against a neighbor and more importantly having no clue concerning how to appropriately and properly "love your neighbor as yourself." You know who you are. Don't make me call you out.

Here is a book you should read by a real Christian who is actually following Christ:

Please send this to every "student master" from here to Warsaw. Especially the one in that new 12 million dollar renovation of a building in DC that had to be built while the archdiocese had to shut down a few elementary schools to sell to satisfy settlements in the sex scandals and because they couldn't meet budget while a handful of monks roam around in a building the size of the capitol. 'They are "medicants" vowed to "poverty" but apparently needed a new 12 million building while the rest of the country is in foreclosure meltdown and even the banks need bailouts. Think about it.

If the church were half as concerned about the orphans they created by their no-condom policy they should convert all of those buildings in the US and in Europe with obscene square footage for the number of monks in residence and turn them into housing and schools for the millions and millions of African orphans.
And while we are airing dirty laundry- whatever happened to that guy in Maryland with the order who was flashing and molesting kids in Maryland, criminally prosecuted and forced the order to pay over a million in a settlement in 2007-2008. This was one who likes walking around in robes with nothing on underneath. He gave new meaning to the word "laying on of hands."" Google it.

Don't start with me about going to confession. Find me a confessor who reads more scripture than I do and I might take him to coffee to chat. Otherwise, I have to say, I am singularly unimpressed. If it weren't for the Jesuits I would have a hard time being Catholic now myself.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Washington City Toilet Paper

Just Flush.

I picked up a Washington City Paper someone left on the metro and started mindlessly scanning it out of boredom. An add title caught my attention: "Why Pay For Sex When You Can Get It For Free!" That was the title of the add. My mother's slogan of "why pay for the cow when the milk is free" darted through my mind. But that isn't what it meant-I read further.
It was actually an add for a "service" for people who were married who want to hook up
in "discrete marital affairs." You have to be kidding me. They boast a listserv of over a thousand people for matchmaking.
In the Nation's "alternative" paper, which you can get on almost every street corner in DC for free there is an Add for a service peddling free sex for married people who want to hook up with other married people for discrete marital affairs. An entire agency for cheats. Think how many marriages this one agency is responsible for destroying.
That's when it hit me- we are not "slouching" toward Gommorrah anymore, we are in it- we are exactly the "evil and adulterous generation." This is just whack you in your face wake up the country has lost all moral compass territory. Not to be a prude, but people- seriously. If the Washington City Paper will run such an add and if there are 1,000 "clients" in that listserv, we are just an ill nation. Advertising for adulterous affairs? Doesn't that make you just sit up in disgust yet? I am not a prude moralizer and haven't made a penny off lecturing anyone on virtue- but this is really disgusting-isn't it people?
Here is where you want to see a Department of Vice shut down these outfits and fine the City Paper a few thousand. Would the FCC call this "obscenity?" Probably not, but it is morally obscene and we all should know it when we see it.

you are cordially invited

"Advancing Women's Rights through CEDAW"
When: Wednesday, March 25
Time: Cocktail Reception 6:00 pm ;
Presentation by Sarah Albert at 6:30
Where: Woman's National Democratic Club: 1526 New Hampshire Ave, NW,
Washington DC, 20036
Price: $22 -- WNDC Members , $28 -- Non-Members
Sarah Albert is speaking on "Advancing Women's Rights through CEDAW" at the Woman's National Democratic Club (WNDC).
Sarah Albert has served as co-chair of the 200-member working group on the ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), passed by 185 countries but still not addressed in the United States. She is currently the Social Policy and Advocacy Director for the YWCA USA., among the largest providers of domestic violence and child care programs nationally. She also serves as Vice President for Development at UNA-NCA.
Cocktail Reception will start at 6:00 p.m.
RSVP: Please contact Pat Fitzgerald's at 202-232-7363, ext. 3003. Email address:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Patron Saint of France

Tried and Fried by an Ecclesiastical Court
Saint Jeanne D'Arc.
You thought the English did her in?-her own "Fathers" Fried her. Then changed their minds
20 years later. (a little late fellas
Some Martyrs are made of the church's own
stupid malevolence apparently.

Her Postumous Retrial

A posthumous retrial opened after the war ended. Pope Callixtus III authorized this proceeding, also known as the "nullification trial", at the request of Inquisitor-General Jean Brehal and Joan's mother Isabelle Romée. The aim of the trial was to investigate whether the trial of condemnation and its verdict had been handled justly and according to canon law. Investigations started with an inquest by clergyman Guillaume Bouille. Brehal conducted an investigation in 1452. A formal appeal followed in November, 1455. The appellate process included clergy from throughout Europe and observed standard court procedure. A panel of theologians analyzed testimony from 115 witnesses. Brehal drew up his final summary in June, 1456, which describes Joan as a martyr and implicates the late Pierre Cauchon with heresy for having convicted an innocent woman in pursuit of a secular vendetta. The court declared her innocence on 7 July 1456.[48]

A Man Who Carried His Cross


In Theatres March 27. View the Trailer here:


St. Peter and the Blonde

Some ecclesiastical gentlemen -- a cardinal, a couple of bishops and some others -- were waiting outside the Pearly Gates for St. Peter to open up. He finally arrived, but just they were about to enter heaven St. Peter asked them to wait a moment and let a new arrival through first. A sweet young hot thing in a mini-skirt arrived and was ushered immediately through.The cardinal was agast and more than a bit upset about this and demanded an explanation from St. Peter. After all, they had been waiting outside for quite some time and were pillars of the church. How could a girl in a mini-skirt deserve better treatment? St. Peter smiled and told him: "While she was alive, that young lady drove a little yellow sports car. She regularly jumped red lights, overtook on blind corners, and generally scared the devil out of more people than all of you combined."

Thanks to Beliefnet for that one.

This is the opening joke to a sermon I, a woman, would tell were I allowed to preach from a pulpit in the Catholic church, which of course, I am not. I might not be actually all that good at it, but no one would ever know or find out- because no women get to try. Just because they are women. This of course is a violation of principles of the DC Human Rights Act, and probably a few Federal Civil Rights ones as well but for possible exemptions for all white, all boy religious organizations.

I would use this as a backdrop to lighten up the crowd of white robed white all male Dominicans who think women's value should be reduced to what they can pay them or whether or not they tempt the adolescents of their order with impure thoughts (whether they know it or not). Then I would remind them that their Order led the Inquisition of Joan of Arc, deemed her demonic and crazy and fried her at the stake because God gave her visions that he didn't bother giving to the old men and she had more a following. Actually, she had the ear of the King and an entire Army backing her up.

Then I would assert my womanly prerogative to be obedient to Truth (a decidedly Dominican virtue), as Christ is the "Way, the TRUTH and the LIFE" and when their boys veered far from it to tell them to go back to their house and do the dishes. Similarly, I would exercise my womanly prerogative to deem any "student master" too blindly petty a persecuting mean-spirited evil bigot to bother listening to for ten consecutive minutes because that is the courtesy he shows women.

Obey those worthy or your soul will tread mud and mire through the ego forests of petty tyrants.

That's an eloquent way of saying "Kiss My Scapular"

I cannot serve two Masters. the student master has to go.

Washington's Jewels

More cool stuff to do in the Capitol.

Did you know that Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown, owned now and maintained by the Trustees of Harvard, runs a research library and hosts free lectures all the time?
The 'Music Room" is a glorious space with a painted beamed ceiling that rivals anything in a European palace. It has a carved marble mantle that comes from an actual French Chateau. It also has a brilliant Byzantine collection of religious art masterpieces.
Dumbarton Oaks hosted the precursor talks that led to the formation of the United Nations.

You, ordinary Joe citizen, can sit in the same room that Winston Churcill did and visit this place and hear a lecture. Here's an interesting one coming up:

"The Art of Monasticism; Aesthetic Manifestations of the Angelic Life in Late Antique Upper Egypt." by Elizabeth Bolman of Temple University. Thursday, April 23, 5:30pm
for reservations and more info: (202-339-6940)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Joseph First Saved Mary so Jesus could then Save Us.

Reflections on the Feast of Saint Joseph

Another Good Excuse for a Party.

The Feast of Saint Joseph is appropriately inspiring the catholic blog world to muse on this most significant Saint and invoke his intercession.
I am reminded of another significant feature of his manhood. He apparently was engaged to a woman who found herself subject to potential fatal scandal and believed in her anyway. Mary had to tell him that she was pregnant- and it wasn't his. What would you do if your fiance sprung this on you? See ya-wouldn't wanna be ya? Not so good Saint Joe- he stood by her side, sheltered her from ridicule, sheltered her incubating womb, watched a pregnancy come to term and likely delivered himself the baby in the barn out back (who else did it?-the cows?)

Joseph's sweet Mary was likely going to be viewed in the eyes of the community as something so trampy she could be shunned for life or worse, stoned to death if he disowned her. It was that serious to "trompe" your fiance at the altar. She would have been unmariageable. She was done- but for the redeeming love of her fiance. He stepped to the plate (with a little coaxing from the Angel Gabriel) and took the responsibility that God entrusted him with to make sure she was safe so she could nurture the child as only a mother can. She was, after all, telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It was a truth hard to swallow- it had not been the case before. But it was true. And Joseph believed her - against the odds.

And for this, we can ask good Saint Joe to instill this honor in all men we know and love. Because you never know what she is incubating in her heart.

This from the "America Needs Fatima" family:

Saint Teresa of Avila said this about devotion to Saint Joseph:

"I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to this glorious saint, for I have great experience of the blessings which he can obtain from God. I have never known anyone to be truly devoted to him and render him particular services that did not notably advance in virtue, for he gives very real help to souls who commend themselves to him. For some years now, I think, I have made some request of him every year on his festival and I have always had it granted. If my petition is in any way ill directed, he directs it aright for my greater good."

Prayer to Saint Joseph
O thou, whom no one has ever yet invoked in vain, thou, whose power with Our Lord and Our Lady is so great, that it has been truly said, "In Heaven, Joseph commands rather than supplicates," tender father, intercede for me!
St. Joseph, be my advocate with thy Divine Son, Whose foster-father and faithful protector thou wert here below. Add to all thy glories, that of gaining the despaired of cause that I confide to thee. I believe, yes, I believe thou canst obtain my deliverance from the troubles that overwhelm me, and the desolation in which my soul is plunged. I have the firm hope that thou wilt neglect nothing in favor of the afflicted who invoke thee.
Humbly prostrate at thy feet, dear St. Joseph, I implore thee to have pity on my tears, cover me with the mantle of thy merciful protection and bless me. Amen.