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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mr. Excitement

I can see why the 'rats are stoked!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin McCain Veep Pick!

YAHOO!!!!!! An actual conservative. No, this pick wasn't the lame half-assed country club republican soft-on-social-issues selection from the northeast as would normally be expected for electoral math.

Gov. Palin is pro-life (one of her 5 children has Down's Syndrome, and another enlisted in the Army last year), an NRA member, was a mayor, and is chairman of the state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Her husband, Todd, is an oil production operator on Alaska's North Slope

Congressional Quarterly notes Sarah Palin's other past occupations, including commercial fishing company owner, outdoor recreational equipment company owner and sports reporter.

If McCain wanted to shore up the Republican base, this goes a long way towards it. Obama and Biden won't know what hit them. She's young, but her executive experience is still more than Obama's.

For more about her see this article from the National Journal.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Okay, you English people....

...straighten up and fly right ♫. No whining about "how awful this county is today." Put on your nicest face, and best manners, and don't throw up on the shoes of any young American girls whilst coming out of pubs.

Teresa, a young parishioner of ours who is starting her Sophomore year at University of Evansville, is going to spend the 1st semester in Grantham with members of her college along with students from all over. She'll be pitching her tent at Harlaxton Manor. It's the UK branch of her college. She's a theatre major with a minor in History (last time I checked .. or is it minor in English?)

At any rate, she's flying out today and she leaves here an Anglophile, so do your best to make sure she stays that way, okay? She was over for a week or so during her schools Easter Break when she was a HS senior. I think she's been ready for this since she cracked open her first Harry Potter at age 7 or so. I'm sure any prayers for a safe flight and easy journey will be appreciated.

She started a new blog* the other day, which I've listed on my sidebar, and with any luck will have some regular postings. Teresa served Mass for about 9 years at my parish before going off to college. Her younger brother, Francis, currently serves Mass, and proves to be every bit the pistol his sister is.

[*My friend Stephen will immediately know from whence her blog name is derived.]


IT SUCKS BIGTIME. IT'S AN OVERBLOWN POS. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED. In case you already did, don't pull the trigger yet. Get previous version.  Or even consider downloading opera.  It seems more customizable.  IF you want it to save webpage content, it can be bloated, but you have the option of TURNING IT OFF for leaner url address bar content.  [Imagine, finding the url quickly.]

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Generation Y style

Now we know.... This gang-banger style has always given me some amusement, given that gang-banger shoplifters have been known to be caught after tripping over their own pants.

Or are these gen-Yers really more traditional than previously thought? Perhaps grandpa was a plumber....and they are merely paying homage ♫?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

NoBama's Good Buddy

....apparently the messiah is not pleased with this ad. So I thought I'd give it more exposure.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

This one's for Fr. Blake

...he hasn't written about going to any operas lately, so in case he's feeling deprived, here are 11 of the most famous ones, all in less than 10 minutes.

[And you pikers who know nothing about opera can use it as a cheat sheet and impress your friends with all the stuff you don't know.]

RI Bishop should mind his own beeswax

...and not interfere with the very legitimate attempts to deport ILLEGAL aliens. [And the hell with the politically correct calling them "undocumented workers."] According to an AP story, RI bishop Thomas Tobin, has been whinnying that the US Immigrations and Custom Enforcement, has actually been doing its job (finally!) by rounding up illegals and shipping them out. Bishop Tobin has claimed that INS workers should be able to "opt out" of doing this on "moral grounds."




This IS a case of rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's.

NO ONE asked these people to come here illegally. THEY were the ones who broke the law in the first place!

I love how some of these hippy bishops expect the US taxpayer to educate illegal alien children on the taxpayer's dime. Does HE in his wildest dreams think that ordinary Catholics in the pew would respond well to exhortations to educate these children "for free" in the CATHOLIC schools? HELL NO, because he knows parishioners would tell the bishop where to go and what to do with himself when he got there! But he'll tell these same people in the pews that they MUST educate them in the public schools (where does he think the money comes for from that?) and they MUST accept these illegals in the system thereby artificially deflating wages being paid.

They MUST accept the extra crime, they MUST accept the higher cost of housing. (Guess what bishop, there's this thing called supply and demand.... see when more people flood an area, and assuming they don't all live in tent city, that means unless you are building like crazy, the existing housing stock has more call on it ... when something is more in demand the price goes UP -- for EVERYBODY. Like Mrs. Murphy, living on a fixed income....)

He wants to make a stand about morality in these issues?

How about this:

1) take it out of the hide of the "coyotes" who transport these people over here in unsafe conditions and take all their money to get here

2) take it out on the employers who hire these people at rates no decent American would take because Americans aren't willing to live 20 people to one room so they can get paid 2 bucks an hour under the table by some scum sucking employer who wants to cut corners and artificially drive the wage scale down of the legitimate working man/woman.

3) take it out on the governments of where these people come from in the first place for having NO REGARD for their own citizen's welfare

What about concern for US citizens WHO NO LONGER HAVE A HOSPITAL NEARBY to go to because it had to close its doors because of illegal aliens BUSTING the system with not only emergency care (which ALL hospitals, rightly, are to supply) but using the emergency room as a "Free clinic" every time Junior gets the sniffles. I suppose the bishop will send the following note of condolence: "I'm sorry your loved one had to go an extra 10 miles and died on the way over there, because the hospital that was 2 miles away had to close its doors." Yeah, in a pig's eye.

And before you say "this never happens" like hell it doesn't.

4) how about regard for all the people victimized by the crimes of the illegal aliens directly? Battery, rape, murder, theft? What about OUR rights not to be preyed upon by these people? We have enough criminals of our own. Or is the bishop claiming that the illegal aliens are only doing crimes Americans won't do themselves?

Then the bishops wonder why people think the USCCB isn't worth the ice water they drink at their conferences.

This gem from the USCCB which is taken from the news story:

"The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called U.S. immigration policies "morally unacceptable," saying they keep families divided and encourage the exploitation of migrants."

Ah-HEM....reminded me who "divided" the family in the first place. Remind me who put THEMSELVES in a position to be exploited. Would that be the illegal alien?

We have PLENTY of LEGAL immigrants, and they are most welcome, as they have played by the rules. Who wants illegals who come here on bad faith to begin with on the grounds that they assume Uncle Sucker will willingly submit to "reconquista?" Oh, right. Tobin and his fellow travelers.

One question Jesus....

....yes, yes, I know that today's Gospel reading (Matthew 20:1-15) with the parable with the guys sitting on their duffs until almost the end of the day but gradually coming on board and getting with the program, we're supposed to cast ourselves as the ones who are late to the party but for whom the master pays as if we had worked the full day.

But who's going to show up for work the next day at the crack of dawn? Granted God's ways are not our ways, and that's a relief, because it's to our advantage. But I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that that was the last day of the job!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Go ahead and use these

Mac had tagged me on a meme re: what picture I would use for my holy card, should I make it to saint, and of what cause(s) I wanted to be patroness. On a previous blog entry early last month I mentioned that in case I was to be given this honor that I wanted my first communion picture to be used.

But then saints usually have more than one "holy card" possibility, so for that "all American girl" look, I offer my senior year book picture.

And for the mature woman card I'll pick my profile picture.

And I want to be patron saint of people whose patron saints are overworked and too busy to get to whatever it is that they need help with (St. Anthony too busy finding car keys to bother with helping you find your sanity? Let me be your "go to" gal.) Also patron saint of altar servers particularly "difficult kids" whose parents wondered if their kid could "focus" enough, and of girls whose mothers didn't want them to serve Mass, and dog lovers (my *sign* will be an English springer spaniel - if St. Therese of Lisieux could send a shower of roses, I can send spaniels), and patron saint of theatre GOERS (so if you need to get those house seats opened up last minute just for you, ask me!)

And of course I want to be patron saint of procrastinators. I don't think anyone's gotten around to doing that yet. I should be good at it, being a world class procrastinator.

Mac wanted me to tag seven and I should get around to tagging you guys, if everyone else hasn't gotten around to tagging you already.

I tag: Esther, Fr. John Boyle, Fr. Sean Finnegan, Digihairshirt, Ukok, Ebeth, and Jackie. (and of course if you have a burning desire to do this one, please do so and let me know in the combox.)

50 years ago, this day in history....

...felony pedaling....

Very seldom I could tell you, outside of birthdays and special days EXACTLY what I was doing on a given day. However, I happened to run across this one, which my mother had dated, 50 years ago to the day.

Trust me, that doll was butt ugly and "asking for it."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

TLM and the "Silent Canon"

Whatever. Glad that Jesus DIDN'T do this, though to hear some Latin Mass fans, they might argue the point. And just out of curiosity, after they "sang songs" and went off into the night, who did the washing up? Or was it catered by Moishe Feldstein?

H/T to "anonymous"in combox on Pastor at Valle's out loud(2) blog entry for the inspiration.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Blessed Dormition to you All

I usually don't get to attend Holy Angels Byzantine Catholic Church too often. Normally my work schedule conflicts with the Mass times there during the week - and Sunday I go to my regular parish. But today I was able to make it. This photo is taken of the royal doors just after Mass.

There is a beautiful custom of blessing flowers and plants that people have brought to church after the Mass. There is a table set up in church at the front to the right of the iconostasis. My own flowers were the ones on the far right corner.

The priest, in this case Fr. Robert Pipta, also anoints foreheads with oil after Mass - a bit of olive oil and rose admixture. Couldn't quite get the shot, as I'd waited until the end, but Father "paints" the sign of the cross on you after dipping the small brush in the oil. Who says blue isn't a liturgical color? :-D

The also had Matins before the Mass, which I didn't attend, but I caught the tail end. The video is taken after Mass. And I put it here just so you can see the full beauty of this small church.

There are many more "entrances" and processions and blessing during the liturgy than in the Latin Rite. And the Eastern rites have it all over their western cousins regards the use of incense. There's a lot of chanting by the people as well. They used the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom today. I particularly enjoyed this bit:

"Priest: It is proper and just to sing hymns to You, to bless You, to praise You, to thank You, to worship You in every place of Your kingdom; for You are God ineffable inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible, ever existing, yet ever the same, You, and Your only-begotten Son, and Your Holy Spirit; You brought us forth from non-existence into being, and raised us up again when we had fallen, and left nothing undone, until You brought us to heaven and bestowed upon us Your future kingdom. For all this we give thanks to You, and to Your only-begotten Son, and to Your Holy Spirit, for all that we know and that we do not know, the manifest and the hidden benefits bestowed upon us. We thank You also for this ministry, which You have willed to accept from our hands, even though there stand before You thousands of archangels, myriads of angels, Cherubim and Seraphim, six winged, many-eyed, soaring aloft on their wings."

In some places the priest says the prayer quietly - not so this parish. Not one person reeled away saying "what does 'ineffable' mean?" :-D [Mahony should catch a clue, huh?] And I've always loved the references to that myriad of angels, six winged, many-eyed, soaring aloft of their wings. Probably a tad too "triumphalistic" for the likes of some! Suits me fine. As long as I get to hear it, and the priest doesn't keep it to himself!

Here is a better picture of Fr. Pipta after Mass.

This particular parish also makes many eastern European goodies. The guys will be making up some kielbasa tomorrow. And they usually stock perogies, halupkies, home made bread and butter lambs (in Easter for the latter.) Their parish social hall is beneath the church, and if you go there on a Mon., Tues, Fri, or Sat. between 10-2 you should be able to score some goodies of some kind at a reasonable price. I'd call ahead to the number given on the website to the social hall though to be on the safe side before you go. The parish website is here.

This church is quite centrally located in San Diego, just on the northeastern hill where the 805 crosses the 8 - you can easily see it from the 805 as you head north just after you cross over the 8 - it's the white church with the onion domes. As you go north on the 805, hang a right on Murray Ridge, then the 1st right, and another right and go down to the end of the street...and left into the parking lot. Plenty of parking and a great view of Mission Valley. Sunday Divine Liturgy at 9 a.m. So if you're in the area, and want a break from "Fr. Overly Creative" this is a refreshing break. And you may find a home!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Close, but no cigar, Johnny

Is this piling on? Probably, but John Edwards is still a potential candidate on the Veep side of the Democrat ticket this year.

The following from the fabulous bitchiosity [and I mean that in a good way] of Ms. Ann Coulter, slayer of dumbass liberals, and uberforce of the right, from her most recent column:

" The good news: DNA testing has confirmed that John Edwards is not the father of Rielle Hunter's baby.

The bad news: The father is Bill Clinton.

Ha ha -- just kidding! It's almost impossible to get pregnant by having the type of sex Bill Clinton prefers. "

Read the whole column to see the tremendous swipe she took at Ted Kennedy, and his nephew.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

64 Mass - the FIRST changes from Latin

Knew I had it, and I finally found it. My 1st Communion class was the first class to receive their Communion with the change over in place. As you will see, there was still an amount of Latin in the Mass, for the most common responses, but for the larger chunks the people had a part of, the change was to English. Liturgically, I consider my own generation (those born in the 50s) the "jacked around generation."

Elsewhere in the blogdom, notably here, here, and here, the new ICEL translations have been referenced. I thought my readers would like to see the little 4.5" x 3" card which was passed out to the people just after the April 64 approval for the new texts. I received this card shortly before my first Communion. You can click on the photos for larger text.

(page 1)

(Page 2)

(page 3)

(page 4)

While I am personally glad of many of the changes, such as the priest facing the people, English responses, readings being in English - I didn't appreciate that for a while there they seemed to change the Mass every time you turned around, and I really hated niggling changes like "WE believe in one God." And as far as I'm concerned they can ditch the protestant "For thine is the kingdom" jazz. Yes, I know a monk got stoked and wrote it in a what? Ice that thing.

Slightly annoying is the fact now that we are getting still another translation, some of the things they got right on the FIRST pass are now jacked around once again. What was wrong with "Oh Lord I am not worthy, that you should come under my roof, speak but the word and my soul will be healed?" No. The ICEL boys have to "mark" their territory like a dog on a fire hydrant. Nice try guys, but you know the boys who did it the first time got it right.

I really do not like the versions of the Gloria and Our Father we are too often stuck with singing at Mass now, far too sappy for my taste. And though I don't mind so much the concept of a sign of peace, I really don't like it in practice so much during the winter time. There are always some dummies who will come to Mass rather than stay home when they are really sick who insist on glad handing everyone and bringing the whole herd down with what they've got. And I hate the fact that often times there are parishes / priests which ALWAYS seem to pick a different option than the confiteor.

My fantasy? It won't be a sin to pull a gun on a priest and INSIST they say all the prayers distinctly enough to be heard....and "do the red" I want to hear the confiteor, all of the offertory, (God knows some of them mumble it), ALL of the Eucharistic prayer, and since I'm holding the gun ... Eucharistic prayer number I please. Oh, and I will have a friend train another gun on the cantor and organist...first sappy Gloria or Our Father, and they buy the farm. If the priest gets out of line I will give him the courtesy of a warning shot, then make him "dance" on a 2nd offense. On the 3rd one ... well, you know what they say.... "The third time is the charm."

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Navy Petty Officer Mike Monsoor

The following was forwarded to me, and I thought I'd post it here:

"Navy Petty Officer Mike Monsoor

PO2 (EOD2) Mike Monsoor, a Navy EOD Technician, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Iraq , giving his life to save his fellow SEALs.

During Mike Monsoor's funeral in San Diego , as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery , SEALs were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a column of twos, with the coffin moving up the center. As Mike's coffin passed , each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin.

The slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the coffin arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it. This was a fitting send-off for a warrior hero.

This should be front-page news instead of the crap we see every day.

Since the media won't make this news, I choose to make it news by forwarding it onto you guys. I am proud of our military and the men and women who serve in it. They represent the highest and finest values of this country."

To read more about him look here.

Fox news, to its credit, did belatedly report this tribute of fellow Seals on July 4, 2008.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Summertime Meme

1.(a) When does summer start for you? (b) When does it end?

a) when it stays dark past 7.
b) mentally, after fire season is over and out here that can be until late October. OR until the temps dip consistently below 60F at night. But definitely by Halloween, come inferno or not.

2.(a) Favorite Food(s) to cook on a grill:

BBQ beef ribs, steak, grilled corn on the cob.

2.(b) any recipe you'd like to share?

Macaroni Salad:
Get bag of elbow macaroni. DO NOT get the "big" elbow macaroni, do not get the "small" elbow macaroni, get the kind that when done is about "xxxxxx" <-- this long. If you use the wrong size macaroni, you WILL screw this up. Get a bunch of hard boiled eggs. At least 6, 8 is better. Chop them up, but not too fine....yolks and all. Get a bunch of diced celery (do NOT skip this) about 3-4 stalks should be good. Fry up a MESS of bacon, very crisp. Yes, use the whole damn package, or nearly know good and well you will eat some of it when you're frying it up. Crumble up the bacon. (DO NOT SKIP THIS) Now, once you've got all this mix with REAL mayonnaise, not FAKE mayonnaise or "lite" mayonnaise, if you're going to do that, don't even BOTHER. [If you can't take the calories don't make it!!] much mayonnaise is tricky - start with a little, and gradually add so that the whole thing is nicely held together with mayonnaise, neither a mayonnaise bath or stingy so it doesn't form a proper colloidal dispersion. Do your best to have an even distribution of ingredients. (Duh) Sprinkle top with paprika if desired. This next part is KEY -- chill for at least one hour, preferably even 2-3 before serving. This salad is not for calorie wusses. Go munch lettuce if you want something like that, but don't say I didn't warn you that you will end up looking like a manatee if you go the romaine lettuce route. My mom and aunts always made this macaroni salad and we NEVER had any left over, you were lucky not to get clawed fighting over it. It's even better the next day.

3. Favorite summertime smell: Beach towel and clothing taken to the beach. The faint smell of salt water, sun and suntan lotion is unbeatable, and if you're careful with that stuff can last well into the fall.

4.(a) Where was your last summer vacation? Theatre trips to Wichita and Sacramento.

4(b) Where did you go (or what did you do) on your favorite summer vacation?

Month long Grand tour of Europe with my best friend from college and her older sister after my senior year in 1978. We hit Ireland, England, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and France. We had a blast. I did the whole thing on roughly two grand, and that included 1st class Eurail pass for 3 weeks.

5. Favorite summertime dessert?


6(a). Favorite summer sport? Baseball.

6(b)Why? It's a metaphor for America. It's a head game as much as a physical game. All good Americans have played it, or it's first cousin, softball. There's no "hiding" either you perform well or you don't. There is no such thing as a "friendly" game of softball. It's the perfect game to listen to on the radio. And there's nothing like "stealing home." I did that once when I was 13 and it was one of the coolest things ever. :-D

7.(a) Do you tan easily? Not particularly, though I can if I'm careful. I usually burn a bit before tanning, but I can tan. I don't go too dark. I don't want to screw up my skin and get leathery. But I don't want to be blinding white either.

(b)Favorite suntan lotion?

Hawaiian Tropical Blend if I have money, Coppertone if I don't.

8. What do you like best about summer?

Everything's more relaxed.

9. What do you hate about summer?

It goes by so quickly now. When I was a kid, summer went on forever. I pity kids with short summer vacations or who really have no time to get started with a hobby or try something totally different. There's nothing wrong with just plain old "hanging out."

10. Do you like theme parks? What's your favorite ride?

Yes. Disneyland's Splash Mountain. I was sorry that last drop scared my mom to death, could never get her to go on it, though I know she would have loved the rest of the ride. (pretty good vid linked to, but I missed the "Beeeeesssssss.")

11. Favorite Summertime movie(s)?

Jaws. I like the whole thing. I especially like the scene where Robert Shaw describes what happened when the USS Indianapolis went down. Superb piece of acting. And, guilty pleasure one summer Keanu Reeves in Speed. Totally hokey, but there was something about that line "I can't believe you SHOT me" that just killed me! American Graffiti. The sound track alone is killer and it's a classic.

12. Favorite Summertime Book(s)?

Light reading. Every year I used to read Jim Bouton's Ball Four and/or other baseball books. And in my teens I always reread Gone with the Wind without fail.

13. Favorite picnic spot?

Can't say I personally picnic much, if I do it's usually a park near the beach...on a WEEKDAY!

14. Footwear?

Sneakers or barefoot.

15. Favorite Summer flower?

Double delight roses. Mostly white with the edges red. Very fragrant.

16. Favorite summer song(s).

Beach Boys, Jan & Dean. That stuff never gets old. The Beatles' Sargeant Pepper Album.

17. Things you used to do, and miss in the summer:

Miniature Golf, Drive in movies, running outside to get Mr. Softee Ice cream from the guy who used to drive around when I was a kid, just as the sun was going down. I'll have a vanilla cone, please.

18. Summer poem?

Casey at the Bat.

If you're reading this and it looks fun, consider yourself tagged.

H/T to me and my friend Mary - we both made this one up.

Interesting Observations on Humanae Vitae

I ran across an article called The Vindication of Humanae Vitae by Mary Eberstadt published in "First Things." It's well worth a read, and cites many non-Catholic studies which seem to bear out Pope Paul VI's predictions re: what would happen the more widespread a contraceptive mentality were it to become widely accepted (as it certainly has throughout society at large and among Catholics. )

To quote just a bit:

"That there is no auxiliary literature of grievance for men—who, for the most part, just don’t seem to feel they have as much to grieve about in this new world order—is something else that Humanae Vitae and a few other retrograde types saw coming in the wake of the revolution. As the saying goes, and as many people did not stop to ask at the time, cui bono? Forty years later, the evidence is in. As Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver observed on Humanae Vitae’s thirtieth anniversary in 1998, “Contraception has released males—to a historically unprecedented degree—from responsibility for their sexual aggression.” Will any feminist who by 2008 disagrees with that statement please stand up?"

While I do not necessarily agree with all the observations in full, for instance, although Muslims don't believe in contraception, I don't think they respect women more because of that - I find most of these observations to ring true and they seem to be backed up by empirical data.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dog days of Summer....

...we're in them and I hate it. I love spring when we start to get longer and longer hours of sunlight, and then we still can revel all through July ... but there's no denying that in August, the days have already started to cut back on sunshine, and the weather gets downright sultry and I don't want to do zip much of anything.

Early August also coincides with dredging up memories of my mom's last birthday and her death and burial. A sad time all around for me, but I'm glad at least she didn't die around the holidays, particularly Easter. It would have been almost unbearable.

I can remember the last birthday gifts I gave her. One of which was a movie called "Come to the Stable" which she'd described to me earlier that year, and I saw at the video store not long before her death. It's more of a Christmassy story...nuns wanting to buy a non-Catholic's land so they could build a hospital. So there we were, the weekend before my mom died, watching this Christmas movie in the hottest part of the year...I could hear a death rattle in her throat, or the precursor of it, and tried to deny it to myself, but on reflection I think I knew. I'd not gone to Mass that Sunday, afraid to leave her for a few hours. But what pleasure for her to see that movie which she'd not seen in roughly 40 years. So 13 years ago today, at exactly this time we were watching that movie.

The photo above is one of my mother when she was in her early 20s. It was her "girl next door" look. Unlike me, she could parallel park. (Well, not more than a 3 point turn at most.) We did, once, when I was about 10 take the '66 turquoise Thunderbird (then brand new) out for, not a "spin" but a fly. We were living in Roanoke, Va. and she'd come to pick me up from school. There were two ways to get down the hill from St. Andrew's Parish towards our home. One road was pretty good, but a little further from the church, the other was rather steep. It went down a San Francisco like incline, flattened out to a rather short straightaway, then down another steep grade. You really had to ride the brakes going down. Well, 90% of the time we took the less steep route. However, one fine afternoon we'd taken the steeper route. Mom sorta "forgot" and took the hill like she did the other one. Yes, she realized late and we simply FLEW off that short straightaway. All four wheels off the ground. We predated Thelma and Louise by a number of years. We decided this little story was something dad best not know about. Not right then, anyway. God, how we laughed all the way home and forever after.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Mom and Me

Today would have been my mother's 78th birthday. She died on Aug. 8, 1995. She was a wonderful mother, and I adored her. I'm not going to say we didn't have our mother/daughter fights, because we did. [Like Bill Cosby's mom, my mother was also an expert on pigsties. Because she told me that I'd had the "worst pigsty I've ever seen."]

I always appreciated the fact that she was always there for me, emotionally, intellectually, and physically. She came from a poor family (not uncommon in the depression years she grew up in) but she was always rich in love. She supported me in everything I did and never tried to box me in as some mothers did in the 50s and 60s with daughters. She never said things like "Girls don't do X, girls don't do Y." She always said "If you think it will be fun, just do it." I didn't fully appreciate this until I was older.

Given the time frame my parents grew up in, a good education was hard to come by and neither graduated high school, much less college. But they always provided me with all the books I wanted and made sure I got the intellectual stimulation I needed and I was provided with all the education I wanted. I was the first girl, either side of the family to graduate from college. [Though granted I am blessed with far more male 1st cousins than female.]

My mother hated petty gossip and was not what you would call particularly a "joiner" though she did have her friends. She always kept busy with raising me and looking after my dad and she did the bill paying, gardening, most of the housework, and a lot of the home maintenance work (dad had the "two left thumbs" gene but mom got her dad's "golden hands.") She was a great cook - nothing "fancy" but she made all the beloved ethnic foods of my heritage (Easter was always our favorite time of the year, and Christmas a distant 2nd.) How wonderful to come home from school at lunchtime and have a nice hot vegetable soup and a toasted cheese sandwich. You could taste the love that went into it. When I was small I was the recipient of many handmade dresses and skirts. She also drove my lazy carcass to school when I didn't get up in time to catch the school bus. We loved to travel together.

She was usually a daily Mass goer, and the best thing she ever did for me was pass on her faith. My dearest memories of her were going to Benedictions and prayer hours with her when I was growing up, and her listening to my prayers at night.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't miss her. The above photo was the one my dad carried in his wallet until the day he died.

Mediator Dei and Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi

When I first reading and blogging last year I was struck by how often the phrase "Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi" came up. On certain website it's sometimes thrown around almost as a "well, SISTER SAID, so that ends the discussion." Z's blog seems especially prone to tossing this around like pennies before urchins.

Yesterday I made a point of reading Pius XII's encyclical Mediator Dei again. I've been methodically going through Jungmann's The Mass of the Roman Rite, and I decided to look up major references where I could.

So I was very much amused to read in the encyclical the following:

"46. On this subject We judge it Our duty to rectify an attitude with which you are doubtless familiar, Venerable Brethren. We refer to the error and fallacious reasoning of those who have claimed that the sacred liturgy is a kind of proving ground for the truths to be held of faith, meaning by this that the Church is obliged to declare such a doctrine sound when it is found to have produced fruits of piety and sanctity through the sacred rites of the liturgy, and to reject it otherwise. Hence the epigram, "Lex orandi, lex credendi" - the law for prayer is the law for faith.

47. But this is not what the Church teaches and enjoins. The worship she offers to God, all good and great, is a continuous profession of Catholic faith and a continuous exercise of hope and charity, as Augustine puts it tersely. "God is to be worshipped," he says, "by faith, hope and charity."[44] In the sacred liturgy we profess the Catholic faith explicitly and openly, not only by the celebration of the mysteries, and by offering the holy sacrifice and administering the sacraments, but also by saying or singing the credo or Symbol of the faith - it is indeed the sign and badge, as it were, of the Christian - along with other texts, and likewise by the reading of holy scripture, written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. The entire liturgy, therefore, has the Catholic faith for its content, inasmuch as it bears public witness to the faith of the Church."

Feel free to chat amongst yourselves

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Why I Have no Truck with "Centering Prayer"

In my combox to a previous meme, Madame Evangelista asked me why I eschewed "centering prayer." I thought the response was worth a separate blog entry.

The reason I want nothing to do with it in short is because I believe it is, at BEST mildly gnostic, and at worst leaves one open to the work of the devil.

My own first thought on hearing about it was "centered on WHAT?" In reading about it, it seems centered in eastern religious or cult practices of letting the mind open up. Well then, open up for WHAT? It seems far too open to centering oneself into some sort of heightened consciousness. Also from what I've read in unstable people can leave themselves open to being preyed upon by who knows what.

A while back, in This Rock, a publication put out by Catholic Answers, there was a fairly succinct article on the topic. A google of "centering prayer" will reveal others. This stuff is far too "New Age" for me - and I steer clear of New Ageism whenever and wherever I can, including the "centering prayer" group at my own parish.

From anecdotal testimony of a friend of mine, she was told that she wasn't "developed enough spiritually" for the "centering prayer" group, by one of its members. At the very least that reeks to high heaven to me of gnosticism, and plain nuttiness. I could complain of course, but it's not like the pastor who leads the group, isn't a fair haired boy in the diocese. [And no, it wasn't the pastor who said that to my friend, and no I'm not going to tell him, because as far as I'm concerned it isn't worth discussing matters of the soul with him!]

In fairness, at least he does Benediction. So that's something.

Is everybody who is doing "Centering Prayer" out to lunch? Not necessarily, but it's not something I'd want to touch with a 10 foot pole. I'm as narcissistic as the next person, I don't need some "prayer group" directing me even MORE "centered." - wherever the hell that is.

To my own mind:

You want to "center yourself" WITH the Church, WITH God, WITH the Church Militant, WITH the Church Triumphant?" Try the Liturgy of the Hours (you can do it with a group or alone), Benediction, the rosary, Holy Hours, and plain old "making a visit to the Blessed Sacrament for a few minutes on your way past church."

No "let's get in a circle." No B.S.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The slight pain in the behind re: being good at "dates"

I don't know how many people suffer from this malady, but I happen to be pretty good at historical dates. Usually if you are or were a history major (like I was) this is a good thing. You can easily get your time lines down. HOWEVER - it does have the drawback of somewhat spoiling and distracting you if OTHER people aren't good at dates, or don't mind if they fudge.

A couple weeks back I attended a performance of "The King and I." As Mrs. Anna was singing "Getting to Know You," I happened to notice the map that had been bought for the classroom...and I sighed. Because what's present day Alaska was colored the same as the United States. However, knowing the play was set to take place in a time contemporary with Lincoln's time in office - and "Seward's Folly" wasn't obtained until 1867 - this was just enough to distract me.

A favorite show of mine used to be "American Dreams" set in the early 1960s. That first series was from Nov. of '63 until the summer of '64. You guessed it. I was constantly spotting songs done a few years later. Still a great show, but just enough for me to say "hey...."

On the positive side, the other night a friend of mine and I were watching a Cold Case rerun. The guy who got iced had been a former Vietnam War Prisoner, and it showed his homecoming in 1972, right at the top of the show. And the VERY first thing I said to my friend a nano-second after I saw the date was "Why is this guy home a year earlier than the others? He must have been a fink who took early release." 40 minutes later, one of the older detectives spotted the time lines discrepancy. And this particular bit of information helped unlock the who, what, why of the case.

I took some costume history too for fun about 10 years ago ... enough to mess up entertainment even more if something's not quite in period!
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