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Sunday, August 28, 2005


I have been meaning to post this for days but life has been busy.

I will refer you to the Mass readings for Friday, August 26th, a reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians. I am using the version published in "Magnificat".

Brothers and sisters, we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God - and as you are conducting yourselves - you do so even more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
This is the will of God, your holiness: that you refrain from immorality, that each of you know how to acquire a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion as do the Gentiles who do not know God; not to take advantage of or expoloit a brother or sister in the matter, for the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you before and solemnly affirmed. For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.

then from today, a reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans, 12:1-2

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy an dpleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your ind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.


What is happening in our culture today and has been for many years displays a complete disregard for the Word of God. We see a culture of death, which promotes abortion. Where does this come from? From contraception. The invention of contraception has influenced and in fact promoted sex without consequences, free "love" and complete hedonistic sexual liberty.

Where people used to value each other and their virginity, and stand before God to make their vows to each other and to Him, they now stand in a fallacy, having already given themselves to immoral pleasures.

Is it right to blame the individuals? Indeed it is, for we are all responsible for our own behavior and therefore we have a duty to know what God expects of us? What of those who do not know God? Well, the consequences of their actions may be mitigated, but it does not mitigate the state of their souls.

Didn't I say earlier on that there was sex without consequences? So do I contradict myself now? Indeed I do not. The consequences on earth may be hidden, but they are there. They are not publicized, and in fact when attention is brought, they are denied completely. The consequences of the culture of sex and death are obvious to some, subtle to others.

To women or men who give in to the culture, they find themselves in a quandry and wondering why they are not valued by the person they profess to love and respect. I was actually once told that by not giving in to sexual advances I was telling the boyfriend in question that I did not respect him. What of respect for me or my faith? It didn't matter...apparently respect is a two way street and God gets to stand by the curb as we drive away happily to Hell.

As a woman, I know well what is "expected" of me when I go out on a "date" and what defines todays "relationship." We are told over and over that we should engage in sexual acts because to refrain shows that we are not well balanced; to refuse to give in means that we are sexually repressed an we are not comfortable with our bodies and in need of psychological help. Secular psychologists go so far as to say we need treatment for the damage suffered from restrictive religious practices. Isn't this a consequence to the precentds set by the women and men who went before me? That to say "no" means that I am not normal?

And for men...that same double standard is there. If a man today cares to maintain his virginity, he is seen as less of a man. How sad. He, too, is suffering a consequence.

And what of the culture of death? A direct result of "free love". Love aint' free, friends and neighbors. Love is sacrificial. Love is beautiful, and love is a gift of God..but it is not free. And sex without consequences? A myth.

Consequences of sex...let's see...pregnancy...STD's (the pill and condoms can't really stop them, you know)...cancer, hormonal imbalance....abortion.

God intended for man and woman (yes, man and woman, not man and man or woman and woman) to come together to bond in love, and through their love, the consequence is pain, which is sacrifical love, and through that pain, a greater gift is given. A child. A child is not a lump of tissue..a child is a consequence of what is supposed to be a loving choice to bond with another within the confines of Holy Matrimony. To be created, to develop as a child of God and to become a part of a society ordered by morality.

But these days, women "bond" with multiple men and have multiple children by multitudes of fathers...and where are the "fathers"? Nowhere to be found...they are busy acting like animals and "mating" wiht the next lioness that comes along to strike his hormonal fancy.

We are given the Word of God as a way to learn to how to walk as God has ordered and to create an ordered society. Those who do not know God do not have the basic instructions they need to live from day to day, or to combat the evil culture which surrounds us.

I have heard many women complain that they are not valued...they are not treated like the women they are supposed to be, they are not respected. And yet, they go out and rather than standing up for what makes them a woman, they give in and face the consequences in another failed "relationship", maybe the "choice" to cause death to a gift from God, or in additional loss of self-worth.

We are clearly told that men are to value women and choose a wife (not a concubine, not a live-in girlfrined) in holiness, and we women, then are directed to walk the ways of holiness.

We are ALL directed to overcome our hormones, use our heads and the intellect that God gave us and stand up for what we know is right. We are called to remain aloof to the culture when the culture is wrong, as it so clearly demonstrates today.

And yet, so many give in and fight against what deep down, they know to be true.

So many are searching for God, searchign for holiness, searching for worth, and they are looking for it in the wrong place. We know who leads them, so let us continue to pray that these souls be led to the God who created them, who loves them, and who wants them to walk the road to holiness.

Women, stand up and protect your femininity, protect life. Men, protect your sisters, your wives, you fiancees, your girlfriends, and your female friends. Protect your own interests, and save yourself. When you entice a woman to do what you know is wrong, you are responsible for both your own sin and her sin. Women, the same goes for you.

We are all culpable, and we are all called to walk to the Lord in holiness.

I heard it once said that if the Evil One has us by the Testes and the Ovaries, he has us, heart and that how you want to be controlled?

Do not give in, but rather, read the Bible, listen to do what you know to be right, especially when it's difficult. Your very soul and the souls of those you profess to love depend on it.


PS: as a definition of love, read 1 Corinthians 13.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Smoke of Dissent

I was watching TV tonight, a movie on Hallmark about an FBI agent working to solve a crime in an Amish community.

Something one of the characters said really struck a cord with the truth of her words.

They were discussing a member of the Amish community who was shunned because he built a barn with a rounded roof, versus the style favored by the people. He had been warned by the elders and yet he went ahead with his plan and sufferend the well-known and proscribed consequences of their faith. His salvation would come in the form of his repentence and willingness to change and conform.

When the "English", the agent investigator expressed surprise as to the punishment inflicted upon the man for his dissent, the Amish woman clarified all.

She said it was not the barn roof that caused him to be was his pride, leading to his dissent. She explained that their customs unify them, and a deviation in custom leads to dissent and the sin of pride. Although I do not remember all that she said, I realized that what she said can honestly be applied to the Catholic Church.

We the faithful shudder when we meet the form of radical feminism, those who believe women have a "right" to be ordained, liturgical abuses by "progressive" priests, people who claim to be faithful yet don't even know to genuflect in the direction of the tabernacle...etc. The list goes on. I have actually be attacked for being unfaithful to the magesterium for wearing a headcovering at Mass...clearly the woman in question had no idea what the personal devotion is about.

After Vatican II, people were confused and the results of the council were very poorly taught. This led to very poor and disorganized catechesis which was fed into by the "feel good" ideology of the time. We are still recovering. We have white-haired "devout" ladies praying the rosary and then turning around to discuss astrology and other new-agey ideas, having no idea that what they practice is a mortal sin. We have middle-aged mothers telling the priests at newly-forming parishes that they want the Mass to be "more fun" because the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass "gets to be so long for the kids".

We have, in short, a breeding ground for dissent because the foundation has been covered over in confusion and a lack of catechesis.

We have a disunification within the different rites of the Church because people have bought into moral relativism and they have decided they get to make up new customs as they go.

In short, the customs of the Church have been undermined by pride. We the faithful, in our attempt to educate others in the true traditions and customs, and in leading others to orthodoxy, have to recognize that it is not so much about the custom as it is about the recognition of pride in dissent. We have to see that dissent is not about changing the liturgy; it is not about the failure to recognize where the tabernacle is and genuflect in the right direction, or about failure to wear a headcovering in the presence of our Lord and Savior. Dissent is all about pride, and as long as pride is allowed to flourish, we will not be unified.

ALL of us, all those who call ourselves Catholic, have to fall back on the customs of the Church, our ancient traditions, and the teachings we have always had in order to understand where we should be and what we should do. This understanding of our culture should lead to a type of freedom. Once we understand our faith and how we relate to it, once we understand how to behave, the customs become second nature and help us to become free to worship the Lord completely. We don't have to make anything up as the blueprint for salvation and for worship has already been laid down for us. All we have to do is follow along and reach out our hands and our hearts so the Holy Spirit can sweep us up to the Lord.

Our pride is what causes us to fall apart. Our pride in deciding what we will do and when and in what manner, when not in conjunction and in agreement with the rubrics, leads to dissent...which leads to disunity and fragmentation.

We are very blessed, currently, to have a Church full of those who look to the blessed Sacred Tradition and who look to the purity of our faith to determine our direction. We are blessed to have had Pope John Paul II, and now Pope Benedict XVI to shepherd us into a clearer understanding of orthodoxy.

With more education, with a stronger foundation of tradition, understanding of our customs and culture, we the faithful will eventually help to phase out the rampant dissent and disperse the smoke of this spiritual warfare. With prayer and adherance and submission to the will of God, we the faithful will persevere.

Sure, there will always be dissent, as this is a side-effect of God-given free will. There will always be the sin of pride. But there will always be the faithful, and we will uphold, in our unity, the walls of our Church. Christ is our foundation and Peter is the Rock upon which we are all built.

And when some of us sin through pride, we can become reconciled through the sacrament of Confession, and through the suppor of our brothers and sisters in Christ, we can fill our niche along with all the other saints of the royal priesthood.

Jesus promised Peter long ago, "You are Peter ** and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it."

Those words were no truer then than they are today, and we, the Church, the faithful, will continue to stand strong to bear out this loving prophecy. Even the smoke of dissent is nothing but a swirl of dust in the eternity of God's divine will. So let us reach out and be willing to stand up for what we know to be true, to practice tradition and custom while we emphasize the true teachings of Christ, and let it lead us all further into a relationship with the Lord.

** Kepha, "rock" in Aramaic, the common language of the time, Petros in Greek, the written language of commerce of the time.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Discernment of a Religious Vocation

Several months ago I heard the Lord calling me to consider religious life. This is not to say that I have come to an ultimate conclusion...rather, it has been a journey to even accept this possible invitation. It is not about the end of the journey, but rather about the beginning of understanding the will of God for my life.

And so here I am, still trying to figure out if I'm even close to the mark...if I'm on God's path or if I'm crashing through the overgrown brush of my imagination.

It started during Eucharistic Adoration while I journaled my meditations in the presence of the Lord. I had heard that Bl. Fulton Sheen had written his homilies before the Blessed Sacrament and so as I left my house, inexorably drawn to the chapel, I grabbed a notebook.

After that day, I told no one about what had come to mind. After all, who was I to claim that God may be calling me? I am a bit "rough around the edges", I have a temper to match my Irish ancestry, and until recently I was Catholic in name only. God doesn't call people like me. He calls those who are devout, he calls little girls from childhood and graces them with an innate sweetness and a predisposition towards sainthood. The women I know who are discerning have a sense of joy and peace about them that even today I am quite sure I do not possess.

God does not call people like myself...or does he?

It has been like a pendulum. In the beginning, the pendulum swung hard and fast, and one day I would be so drawn to the religious life I could hardly stand it. I was ready to just walk away from the life I've built and if I couldn't find a convent, then I would want to at least find solitude with the Lord. But I remained, disciplined, focused on my work at hand because I am also practical. Then the next day I would arise, greet the soggy morning rain and "decide" that the religious life was not for me. I did not want to give up sleeping in in favor of praying the Liturgy of the Hours with other people. I wanted my coffee, my dogs, and the morning news.

Over time, the pendulum swings had longer intervals and in those intervals in which I was drawn towards Jesus, I would conduct research into religious orders, religious life, etc., but at first only sporadically and superficially.

I finally revealed to a friend what was going on in my mind and she did not laugh...rather, she encouraged me to seriously consider what could be a true Calling, and to investigate in earnest before I brushed off a lifestyle I knew nothing about. Her words rang true and yet I still went with the pendulum when it swung away.

I am afraid to go on a discernment retreat. I am 31 and most receive their calls so much younger. I will feel like the "tall kid" in a class of short-statured children. I will be the old maid among the young women. But still, I know I have to attend and find the God really calling? Age is superficial and it is temporary and in the eyes of God, is even less than the dust that makes us up.

Then people started to come up to me randomly and ask if I had a Vocation. (For you non-Catholics---that's "Catholic Speak" for "Do you have a religious calling?"). Usually this would be timed when the pendulum had swung toward the worldly life and so I would hastily reply in the negative but the question always forced me to consider what I was refusing.

And so it went, this time it was people around me pushing the pendulum I was riding back to the Lord, hoping that another soul would be caught up.

But the ride went on, and in this time period, I struggled in my professional life, I hated my job, I had problems with management and every day I was spending time in Adoration. I began attending Daily Mass and I realized that without the Lord I could do nothing. I became completely dependent upon him even as I refused to consider walking the path to discernment.

Finally, after about the 6th or 7th person randomly queried me, "Do you think you might have a Vocation?", I had to acknowledge that others were seeing something in me that I was not. I had to recognize that my own pride was in my way and that I was making decisions on the basis of my own will, not God's.

And so finally, I began to reveal my heart to my family and friends, always fearfully. I waited for the derision and the laughter, and the "OK, seriously...what's your next career move?" *snicker snicker*. But that never happened. My revelation to them was met sometimes with mild surprise, but always, always, loving support.

I had obtained a Spiritual Director last spring, but I had not revealed this part of my soul even to him. Finally, when calling to make an appointment with him, I told him over the phone that I had news. He patiently waited in silence while I fought to spit out what I had to say. I almost couldn't was a moment of abject terror. Here was a priest who knew me perhaps better than I know myself. Here is a priest who has heard my confessions and has seen how ugly I really am, how sinful, how prone to concupiscence. I was terrified of his response. So finally, the words came, and at the other end of the line was silence.

My heart stopped. But Father was very kind, asked me a few directed questions and told me we should definitely talk about this. I almost cried, I was so relieved to unburden this, finally.

And so we spoke and per his instructions, I made an appointment with the Vocations Director of our archdiocese. On the day I arrived, he was held up from a previous commitment so I opted to wait in the chapel of the seminary where they reserved the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle.

As I knelt in the back of the chapel, the presence of God surrounded me and it was nearly palpable. I felt my gratitude, my sense of unworthiness, my love for him and my fear welling up and I nearly cried. With tears brimming over, I begged the Lord to help me rein in my emotions. I did not want to meet Father as an emotional wreck and expect him to take me seriously.

The Lord is faithful and the tears did not fall.

But a heartfelt prayer welled up in the place of my tears and found outlet,

"Jesus, I love you, I praise you, and I thank you! I surrender to your will. I offer you everything I am, everything I have, everything I was and everything I will ever be. Let thy will be done".

And I meant every word, to the very core of my soul...I meant every single blessed word.

And softly, the Lord spoke to me in the silence of my trembling heart, "Do you know how many have knelt where you are and said those very words to me?"

I had such a sense of the love of God, the continuity of the Church, and the peace of knowing how many had gone before and how many will come after me. I had a sense of eternity in the space of only a divine moment.

I went to my meeting that day and left with a sense of peace. I had a road ahead of me for the first time in a long time. And although the pendulum is still swinging, I am committed to a course of action not based on impulse or emotion, but upon actual events I need to attend, things I need to learn and decisions I have to make which affect my everyday life.

The Lord is faithful, forever faithful.

And ultimately the question as it applies to me faithful am I?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Random Questions?

I was wondering what I should write about tonight.

I had a couple of ideas but then I got distracted and they went "splat."

I figured that since I'm not a Saint, the saints of the world likely can't learn much from me or my meditations...and some of my own recollections are likely only funny to me.

And my conversion story and journey to nun-hood? Well, I don't feel like writing about all that today.

So maybe it's time to test the waters and see if anyone is even clicking on this humble little blog.

Any random questions about Catholicism? Any random questions at all?

I can't guarantee any sound answers about generally random questions, but I can try to make the answers at least entertaining. And if questions about Catholicism...well, I'll do my best to answer and those answers HAVE to be solid as they are my sole purpose for existance: to love and serve God, and through this blog, by answering random Catholic questions.

Wow. I didn't realize that I fit into such a small space in this world.

But Praise the Lord just the same!

God bless and good night, fine people.

Don't forget to thank your guardian angel:

Angel of God, my guardian dear
To whom God's love committs me near
Ever this night, be at my side,
to light and to guard, rule and to guide

Saturday, August 13, 2005

More random comments

When I was in college I worked in security. As such, I was once sent to LaCrosse, WI to pick up one of the Christian Brothers who was to arrive at the University for some kind of meeting or gathering. It was allegedly a big deal and this guy was on the board of trustees.

I was of course, "searching" at the time and actually looked forward to this possible opportunity to speak to a "good" Catholic about our faith. I was not much of a Catholic at the time and I was really struggling in faith. I looked at this opportunity as a gift from God to answer my questions.

So I picked up the revered Brother, who was on the board of trustees. I introduced myself as a recent graduate and now University employee. He was all business and I was fine with that. But he was not very friendly. He barely even looked at me. Sure, when he spoke, his tone was pleasant enough, but it was clear that I was not even on his radar screen.

And with the title of "Brother" he was supposed to be a consecrated religious.

I might have been just a bug on the wall.

Deflated, I drove him to the University and dropped him off with barely a "thank you."

Sure, I did my job and it wasn't much, but a little respect would have been nice. A little pleasant conversation, maybe about the direction the college was headed, maybe about his own vocation...anything.

This man was supposed to be a witness for Christ...and try as I did, I could not find Christ in his actions or attitudes.

That could have been a turning point for me, but instead, it chased me even further from the Church. So I ask everyone out there to never let your position swell your head to the degree that you do not see the humanity in those around you. I don't expect everyone to be outgoing, and not everyone is chatty. No one expects that, but at least learn to be available.

I actually need to take this advice myself.

Second random comment, actually a happier one.

I have a friend who is experiencing some rough times and may be coming to live with me. I have been where she is and although I do not want a roommate, I asked God when I bought the townhome to send me a roommate if he thought I should have one. I resolved to do no advertising, figuring God would send me a soul.

So when I spoke with my friend and she revealed her situation, I blurted out, "Maybe you should come live with me. I have another room...its just storage now, but I can move stuff.."

And I wasn't kicking myself for my big mouth. Somewhere in there, God spoke to me and he reminded me of my prior condition and a friend who had helped me once.

Well, that friend came over the other night, and it was her first visit to my house. I'm always embarassed to have people over because my furniture isn't real nice, my decor is eclectic at best, and because I have 2 dogs, one of which is a shedding German Shepherd, everything is always "all sorts of furry". More so in the summer months.

And yet she came in, sat down, and commented, "I have such a sense of peace here. Your home is very peaceful."

And immediately I am taken back to the home blessing which I recieved in the spring. I had my entire house blessed, and that included my dogs and myself. What a very generous priest. I realized when he was here that he was not a dog person, but he blessed my pets just the same.

And I remembered the Bible verses when Jesus tells his apostles to bless the homes they enter, and if a peaceful man lives there, peace will descend upon the home and the people who reside within. And if they are not peaceful, the peace they offer will return to them, the apostles.

And when my friend told me she sensed peace in my home, I realized how blessed I really have been. I understood that the peace of Christ really does reside within my humble abode and that those I love can sense his love and his peace in spite of what I percieve to be cosmetic chaos in my livingroom.

The Lord is so good to us.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity

Jesus calls us to him in the Blessed Sacrament. There are those who do not believe that Jesus is present, body, blood, soul, and divinity, but simply put..those people are wrong. They have been misled, they have not been educated, and maybe the Lord has not yet called them to bow before him in humility.

We as Catholics do not worship a piece of bread, and as Karl Keating stated, if some of us think we do...well, there are bigger problems there.

It all started long ago, in the age of the Old Testament, long before the subjugation of the Hebrews to the Egyptions. God commanded Moses to have the Hebrews slaughter lambs, smear the blood on their door posts and to consume the roasted lamb.

This was not a symbol. I doubt any serious Christian considers this to be symbolic. We know that the Hebrews, in fact, slaughtered the lambs and smeared the blood of the lamb on the doorway, and the hand of God passed over them and took the firstborn of all those who were not protected by the blood of the lamb.

Please note:
* they were saved by the blood of the slaughtered lamb
* they consumed the flesh of the lamb they sacrificed

As Jeff Cavins noted in his autobiography and conversion story, they did not use animal crackers shaped like lambs. They did not squish red bugs used for making red dye and fingerpaint their lintel posts. They did not consider this command of God to be a suggestion. It was gospel and they knew that to disobey meant that they would suffer a fate worse than death...they would lose their own firstborn sons.

Then came Jesus, the innocent lamb, and he suffered for us, he bore our iniquities, and he was slaughtered. We, the faithful, are saved by his blood. Read Revelation..over and over again, he is referred to as the "Lamb of God".

Jesus ended the animal holocausts and offered himself. He was the first born, he was the lamb, and his blood rained upon the world through his suffering and death. And so, covered in the blood of the lamb, we are redeemed. This is not symbolic.


But what's missing? Isn't there something else to this story? Of course there is...we need to consume the flesh of the Lamb of God in order to fulfill the covenant. We are in need of the salvation Jesus brought to the world, but we have a part to share in this covenant of salvation...we need to consume the flesh of the Lamb.

Read John 6; Jesus was very direct. Compare this particular teaching with the other teachings. Before this, Jesus had established a pattern. When his disciples did not understand, he changed the wording in order to make his point, and he spoke symbolically. He did not always use the same symbols to make a point.

Yet, in John 6 he deviates from this pattern. He tells the people in John 6:51, "...bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world", and in John 6:55, "...for my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink."

There are those who, to this day, walk away from this teaching, dismissing it as "symbolic, speaking of the spirit". If that were true, then the crowds around Jesus would not have fled in disgust.

Why do so many deny the words of Jesus Christ himself? In the face of the history that foreshadows the reality, in the breaking of the pattern of Jesus teaching, revealing the breaking of the bread, in the very words and actions of the people hearing his words, the truth is revealed.

As Father Corapi teaches, "The truth is eternal and it is unchanging." (paraphrased).

The Bible describes the reaction of the people to what they hear and see in Jesus as he tells them that they are to consume his flesh. They think he is speaking of cannibalism, which is righfully condemned. Yet, he is God; he is divine, and there is only one way we can consume flesh without consuming his flesh from the cross itself. So how could this be fulfilled?

The people fled, and Jesus let them go; they fled his words as the people today flee the truth in any form.

But he did not change his teaching. He did not call them back and tell a different parable. Rather, he stuck to his words and in fact, re-emphasized them. Jesus was making a point and even today people are too blind to see the words on the pages in front of them.

At the Last Supper, Jesus broke bread, offered it to his disciples, and said, "This is my body" and "This is my blood", finishing each part with "Do this in rememberance of me."

I'll take the bait and agree that it seems like he is speaking symbolically...but that just doesn't hold up against history. He was, rather than speaking in parables, was preparing his disciples to follow his footsteps TO THE LETTER. The parables were done. They were finished, as was his time on earth. Jesus was no longer speaking symbolically and did not throughout the rest of the gospel. His teaching was done, and this was the last lesson.

It was the practicum, the internship, and the actuality of what the disciples were to carry out. They were to feed the lamb to the rest of the sheep. They were to ensure that the blood of the lamb, the flesh of the lamb, was to be consumed by the flocks being sent to follow even in the death of the Messiah.

Jesus was making a point. He was taking bread, the very staple of life in that time period, and he was breaking it to symbolize the breaking of his own body, and the spillage of his own sacred blood. He was drawing a line through history to the sacrificial offering of the bread to become his own flesh through the Holy Spirit.

God cannot contradict himself, and he was not about to suggest that the disciples take Jesus down from the cross, roast him and feed bits of him to thousands of people. No; there was a part of the covenant left unfulfilled at the time of the death of Jesus.

The lamb still had to be consumed.

Was it any mistake that Jesus told Peter, "Feed my sheep"?

He is the good shephers, and he gave his life for his flock. He is the sacrificial lamb, and he left us his flesh to eat. ANd then he showed the disciples how this was to be carried out. He was not speaking symbolically; no, he was very literal, and remember: Jesus is Lord, his is the Son of God, one person of the Trinity.

He changed water into wine at the feast of Caana...why, then is is so hard to believe that the Holy Spirit cannot change the wine on the altar into the blood of the Lamb, or the bread into the flesh of Christ?

The covenant needs to be fulfilled. The Lamb was sacrificed, and now, the chosen people must eat of the flesh.

When we as Catholics hear the words of the consecration, we are at the foot of the cross, and the blood of the lamb is falling upon us. We go forward to recieve the literal body and blood of our savior, who loves us so much he is still giving of himself.

His flesh is real food, and his blood is real drink, and even as our bodies die on earth, by joining in this sacrifice we are elevated, we become a part of the body of Christ. This is not symbolic..this is real.

We are asked to sacrifice ourselves, to live our own lives as a sacrifice. We, in joining with the body of Christ, accept the covenant of sacrifice on behalf of others. We are united with Jesus and with each other.

What we consume, we become, and we become a part of the Body. We fulfill the covenant.

Jesus wasn't kidding when he told the people so long ago that they were to consume his flesh.

So now, when I kneel before the Blessed Sacrament, exposed upon the altar, sometimes I can't even speak. Sometimes tears come to my eyes and they won't stop. I can't think, I can't speak, I can only cry with a sense of gratitude, joy, and unworthiness.

The presence of God is tangible, and I am so blessed to have been born to a Catholic mother and raised within the faith. I am so blessed to have been given the gift of faith and the gift of knowledge and understanding.

When I look upon the altar, I do not see a piece of bread. I see the lamb that died for me, and I pray that I am able to one day follow in those footsteps and drink of the very same cup. I pray that I have the courage to live my life as a sacrifice and share with others the body, blood, soul, and divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I pray that through the receiption of the sacraments I will be strengthened and learn to walk the path of holiness.

And I know, that each time I come to Jesus, I am at his very feet, I am in his very presence, and to him, he was crucified only yesterday. And still he offers us his very flesh for the redemption of our sinful, miserable souls.

Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Call no man happy

Sirach 11 25-28

The day of prosperity makes on forget adversity;
the day of adversity makes one forget prosperity.
For it is easy with the Lord on the day of death
to repay man according to his deeds.
A moment's affliction bring forgetfulness of past delights;
when a man dies, his life is revealed
Call no man happy before his death,
for by how he ends, a man is known.

How are you known in life? Would it be the same if you left for eternity today? What would you leave behind? What secrets? What habits, good or bad? Are you engaging in anything which would bring shame upon your name or smear your reputation?

Do you show one face to the world and a different face to your family? Do you behave in one manner at Church, and completely in another when in a secular location?

For myself, I find the above scripture to be so...accurate. For some reason, every time I opened the Bible the last couple of days, I found the above verses. I think God might be trying to tell me something.

I've noticed already that when my life is going well I spend less time with the Lord, but when tradegy befalls me, I fly to his feet and hit the dirt, praying before I even reach the humility of the ground. And he always picks me up and dusts me off, takes my burdens and fixes the situation...only to have me return in the face of another tragedy.

God created us; he knows our sinful and fanciful natures. He knows how fickle we can be, and yet he is forever faithful and is always there when we call upon his name. The Lord has promised us this and it is true. We don't always recognize his faithfulness; sometiems we are so caught up in our own narrow worlds, our own suffering, that we don't see his hand making arrangements around us. We don't recognize sometimes that he allowed events to befall us to chastize us for our own obstinance.

The Lord knows that every single time he heals us, we go out to wreck his patch job and once again, he has to get out the bandaids, kisses our wounds and wipes our tears.

What amazes me is that he never tires or grows impatient. The Lord sees when we are bleeding and rather than sitting back and saying, "That's just a scratch...let me show you MY wounds!", he simply and humbly calms our fears and takes care of the woundedness.

Yet how often do we thank him? I know for myself, I pray far more feverently when I am facing obstacles than I do when I recieve his blessings. I have become aware of this and I am working on this fault, yet somehow, my thanks and praise still falls short in intensity.

Also lately, on the more morbid end, I have considered what would happen if I died...not so much whether I'd be ready to meet the Lord, but about what people would think of my lack of organizational ability. My pack-rat-edness. The dust in the corners and furballs of shedded dog hair under the kitchen table legs. Would I even care, if I were dead?

Even more importantly...does God care? Aren't these virtues to be pursued, and yet, I'm falling so short of the mark.

I used to be a Police Officer, and I'll never forget the death scenes at which I was present. Or in my current position, the things I investigate. When people die, they leave behind a whole lot of worldy garbage, for lack of a better word. My first death scene reminded me of my father's death, for a few reasons. One of which was the vodka bottles in boxes, tipped over alongside the chair and all over the meager apartment in which the man lived. IN general, the apartment looked like an elderly man's home, with the reclining chair within which he had passed on, and the wodden mazazine cart next to the chair. The TV was still on, although I forget what was airing at the time. Some game show, I think.

So we wandered around his home and looked for contacts for next of kin. Do you know how his death was reported to us? The caretaker for the building. She'd seen the newspapers and the mail stack up and couldn't get an answer at his door. No one had seen him for days..but then again, no one ever saw him. So when she couldn't get a response at his door she called us to check his welfare, and sure enough, he had passed on.

Please pray a Divine Mercy chaplet for this man. I didn't know the prayer at the time, but I prayed just the same. He reminded me of my father wiht his bottles of vodka. He made me realize how fragile life is and how recently my own father had passed away. This man was my first death investigation and I had to go out on the balcony for awhile while waiting the Medical Examiner and focus on something other than death in order to control my emotions. I pray that my FTO didn't notice my interior struggle.

The second death investigation happened the same was a suicide. I remember, in going through the house and looking for clues as to what had happened that it was odd..and in my work in the mental health field I saw all the signs of suicide. It was my first week on the job and I told the officer I was with and the shift Sgt. about it...but they waved me off.

Sure enough, they later found his self-inflicted wound which he had very cleverly hidden to make us ask the very questions we went through. This man had a long history with the police in an adverse way, and in his very death he thumbed his nose at the police, playing his last prank. Even as he died, he would not let his animosity go.

I pray he is free of his pain, now, and in the arms of our Immaculate Mother. I hope the Mercy of Jesus has been able to heal his wounds.

I came to know these men not by their lives, but by their deaths, and what I realized is that I likely knew them better than those who were closest to them.

We hide our true selves, thinking that no one will love us with all our flaws and all our secrets. But the reality is that we have no secrets, and as it says in Sirach, 11; 27, "when a man dies, his life is revealed."

How will you be known? How do you live your life?

And after all of this, I say to you; do not worry about your death, but rather, live the life God gave you. Live because he is present within you, your soul is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and you have no secrets. Live well, live in love and follow the commandments. Follow in the footstps of Jesus Christ and one day, when the Heavenly Father calls you home, you will be known forever that you died as you had the arms of the loving Savior, Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


It's random thought night.

I played hookey from a prayer meeting for 2 reasons: I'm exhausted from my long day at work and I needed to complete some chores as a friend is coming over tomorrow. The house is all sorts of furry as I have 2 dogs, one of which sheds enormously.

It's still all sorts of furry. I fight this losing battle either against my laziness and procrastination or maybe just because the dog hair creates mini-mountains everywhere and the second I vacuum, they come out of hiding and settle upon everything once again.

Maybe my dog does it on purpose to get back at me for leaving them alone all day while I work so I can feed them and pay vet bills.

But let's not talk about vet bills. The last one still stings and glares at me from the credit card bill.

I don't like bills or credit cards. But the vet was nice. Expensive, but nice. And my dog is still alive and well, so I guess it all works out ok.

So! Has anyone else taken notice of an increase in spiritual torments lately? An increase in warfare of the spiritual dimension? Have you been bothered more so than usual by your human frailties and weaknesses? Have your dreams been disturbing, or have you awakened feeling some vague sense of unrest? Has your heart begun to pound for no apparent reason?

And for all you daily communicants, have you experienced impure or other types of tormenting thoughts at Mass, of all places?

I have...all of the above. I attend daily Mass, and although the last few days have been OK, so often I have had to call out to the Lord for help. I have been easily distracted and I've been in that desert where I've been feeling seperated from God..even when he's right in front of me. I went to Confession about a week ago before Mass on a weekday, in complete tears, desperate to become reconciled.

I returned to my seat and knelt to pray my penance and contrition to the Lord, and all the while, a little nagging "voice" told me I was still impure, I was still fallen, and I wasn't sorry enough. I didn't merit God's mercy and I wasn't good enough to have my name written upon the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

I actually entertained these doubts for awhile, thinking that maybe I should not attend communion...I had maybe forgotten a sin, or maybe my contrition was not adequate. The little "voice" told me to go with that, avoid recieving Communion, and that I should think more about what I had done to not deserve salvation.

I realized, of course, from whence this imp came and with whose voice it spoke...and I prayed and resolved that, feeling worthy or not, I should not question the hand that absolved me. I should not question Jesus' mercy.

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned...

Praise the Lord for his forgiveness, for his Mercy.

Eternal Father, I offer you the body and blood, soul and divinity, of your dearly beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

Jesus, I trust in you.
Immaculate Heart of Mary....pray for us
Sacred Heart of Jesus...have mercy on us!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Unholy Rainbow, Holy Call to Respond

It flies under cover of darkness, under the radar detection of our awareness. It slithers and curls up in the corners, moving almost silently, and sometimes, when caught in a reflection, the brightly colored scales glint, hiding the true beast concealed behind the pretty colors. It scurries into the corners and spins its webs of deceit, letting the dew fall upon it to reflect crystalline kaliedoscopes which camoflage the actual material. It spins mystic beauty to redirect our attention and lull the inherent instinct we have to pull away when our souls recognize what it is. It lulls us to complacency, making us believe that what we see is pretty and harmless and spins its webs to decieve the actual creatures crouching behind the glamours of unholy reality.

So we sleep...we silently sleep, and little by little, the evil creeps around us, hemming us in closer and closer, blinking to hide the yellow of its eyes. And when we finally awake, it's too late, and we have been drawn in, caught up in the deceit, the lies...and we are the food upon which it feeds. It feeds upon our children, even as we try to protect their innocence and raise them in a world of love and faith and hope for salvation. It feeds and it feeds, and here we sleep, allowing the evil to reproduce unchecked....

Maybe that could be the ending of this horror story...or maybe we can remember that symbols are powerful, and we have the glory of the cross, and the reality of the crucifixion...and we have the armor of God which surrounds us so protectively that the insipient evil cannot penetrate. Or can it? Has it actually penetrated those corners of our lives we would rather push aside and has it hidden in the debris we'd rather sweep under the rug?

Symbols are powerful, and they are important. But let me ask you...what do you think of when you see a rainbow flag on someone's home, or a rainbow bumper sticker? Or, God forbid, a rainbow at Pentecost Mass?

Do you think of the promise made to Noah after the flood, or the nimbus surrounding the head of the angel in the book of Revelation? Likely not. You think of "Gay Pride" (how I detest that phrase), you think of the homosexual adjenda, you think of the attack upon the Holy Eucharist perpetuated upon the Lord and the faithful every Pentecost. You think of people so lost and miserable in their sins that they can't see the beauty of the Truth or the reality of the Christ who died for them. He died especially for them, and for all of us, and Jesus still suffers and and is still trampled, every single day. And we, even as we call ourselves "faithful", we allow the unholy to trample upon our Lord and Savior without so much as a comment.

And this evil continues. Every day we see visions of rainbows surrounding us...but these particular versions are not of God, but are symbols of an evil, insipient adjenda, and how easily and quickly it was taken. I blame us, the faithful. I blame all of those who know and love Jesus Christ and I blame everyone who believes in the God of Abraham, the God of Moses, and the God of us all. I blame us for in our complacency, we have allowed a beautiful symbol, a powerful symbol, a promise from God, to be hijacked for evil purposes right beneath our noses...why? Because we were all sleeping.

Symbols hold power. What do you feel when you gaze upon the cross? When you venerate it on Good Friday? How do you react when you see the dome of St. Peter rising over the Vatican, or on the secular end, the steeples of Chruchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day?

Now, what do you feel when you look upon a rainbow bumper sticker with the Capital Sin of "PRIDE" proclaimed loudly against the colorful background? There is is, in bold print and pretty colors, the root of all evil, Pride, the source of all sin, the opposite of the virtue of humility, proclaimed to the world as though it is the ultimate good. Proclaimed loudly, infecting our eyes, being shouted into our ears, and being forced down our throats. To disagree is intolerant, and the First Amendment rights that apply to those who sport this unholy rainbow do not apply to the faithful who abhor the message they proclaim so boldly.

Symbols have power. How do you feel when you experience the attack of that symbol upon your senses day after day?

That's what I thought. What a juxtaposition. Now you see why Christ died. Does it pierce your heart, too? It pierces mine. It cuts through the bone and into the soul...and we let it happen. We let the beauty created by God to be redefined.

Recently in an online Catholic forum at Catholic Answers (, there was a thread about this very topic. We are tired of this. We are tired of the homosexual activist adjenda which has so usurped the values and the truth we hold dear. And we want our rainbow back. And we've vowed to take it back. God willing, so we will.

I don't know the years or the details, and frankly, they are unimportant. The reality is that throughout history, rainbows were beautiful, they were innocent, and they were promising. They were miraculous. They told tales of leprechauns and pots of gold. They represented cereal for children in the morning, and stickers to collect, with unicorns galloping upon them. They spoke volumes about innocence, about the love of God, the promise to Noah, and the promises of Revelation and the heaven that awaits us. Rainbows were the road to heaven, upon which we might all walk someday to greet our Heavenly Father.

But now, rainbows speak to us loudly and unendingly of dissent, of unholy practices, of actions better left in the darkness, of disordered acts and diabolical adjendas. They leer at us from bumpers, from windows, from t-shirts and from the news. They remind us every day, that we, as Catholics, did not recognize the power of this God-given symbol. We let it be taken, we let it be stolen, and now, souls are suffering, they are witnessing evil tied up in brightly-colored bundles and they are being spoon fed poison that looks like sugar, and they are "learning" that it's ok to commit serious sin, it's OK for unnatural acts to take place before their eyes or to strive to commit those acts themselves. They are learning lies, diabolical lies.

It started out as a symbol for diversity...and indeed, God created humanity in a rainbow of colors, of cultures, and personalities. But somehow, that completely innocent picture was distorted and changed to represent one group which has come to dominate all, and which seeks to undermine all we know is true and good and beautiful.

And I blame us in our complacency. Demon, thy name is Complacence, and we won't be your party any more. Isn't it funny that complacence is so related to pride; that in our ignorant comfort we can determine what is offensive and what is harmless...and see what that has gotten us.

Now, today, here, we take back the rainbow, we claim it back to God, and we hold it to our hearts as our symbol, behind the crucifix, and we claim back all the souls this adjenda has sought to steal.

I ask all the faithful to step forward, and in small ways, make this known. Get a backbone because you don't even have to just have to find a way to make this happen.

Create a bumper sticker: "Faithful Catholic/ Christian...TAKE BACK THE RAINBOW"

With a rainbow background, the words, "Faithful" set against the true colors of the rainbows of the skies.

Post a photo of a rainbow online with a Bible verse.

Draw every single connection from the rainbow to God that your imagination and the Holy Spirit inspires you to complete. Make this movement known...and end the complacency.

Just sitting back and watching didn't now, we reclaim this symbol. Because symbols have power and the power we hold, the power bestowed upon us by God is far more than the politics of a measly group of small-minded activists whose very reason for living is an unholy desire for hedonistic pursuits. Those poor, banished, children of long are they to be banished, how long are they to be left to pursue their hedonistic desires, unchallenged.

How long will we sleep the comfortable sleep of complacency? How many other symbols have been stolen, how many souls have to be lost for fear of offending them with the Truth?

Be loving, be merciful. Love much, pray much. And every single day, hold a rainbow in your hand and show the world the Love of God through this simple, innocent symbol, this life-affirming symbol of an eternal promise given long ago to a simple man dedicated to God and his family.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Definition of Terms

While in college I was very blessed to have been taught by a very wise and holy priest...the legendary Father Fabian.

Those from the university I attended will recognize these words..."Plane's taking off...better be on it!"

He taught classes in theology, of course, and the one in question was about morality and Natural Law. I forget the title of the course.

Although I have regrettably forgotten most of what he taught, I have never forgotten this very important nugget of wisdom: In order to have an intelligent conversation, it is extremely important to define the terms. So here I set out to do just that.

I will be using many terms over the course of my blog and so I thought it might be wise to define those that may come up most often.

Liberal- a political term, usually referring to the right-wing adjenda which supports "gay rights", "gay 'marriage'", Senator Kerry and the democratic party of our time.

Conservative- another political term referring to people who are adverse to the above.

faithful- obedient to a particular order of beliefs or values, to the detail. A "Faithful Catholic" is obedient and accepts the magesterium of the Catholic Church as the lawful authority as set down by Jesus Christ.

dissenting: the opposite of faithful. If a Catholic in question "dissents", then they are not accepting of the Magesterium, and by definition, are not really "Catholic" but still define themseves as such. They are on a journey of faith and need much instruction and many many prayers.

orthodox (small "o") - another word for "faithful"- follows the teaching of the Catholic Church. Genuflects towards the tabernacle upon entering a pew or crossing in front of it during Mass or any other time. Goes to confession regularly and if in the state of mortal sin, refrains from recieving the body, blood, soul, and divinity of our dearly beloved Jesus Christ. Etc.

heterodox- Those who dissent against the teachings of the Church yet still refer to themselves as Catholic. There are varying degrees of heterodoxy...anything from holding hands during the "Our Father" during Mass, or at the other extreme...St. Joan of Arc parish in the Minneapolis-St. Paul diocese. 'Nuff said. I'm not sure if SSPX is considered to be heterodox or fits some other definition.

Orthodox (note capital "O")- those members of the Eastern Orthodox religion, not in communion with Rome and not to be confused with Eastern Catholics also known as the Byzantine Rite.

SSPX- Society of St. Pious X- this is a traditional-type movement begun by Archbishop (?) LeFebre in which they celebrated the pre-Vatican II liturgy specifically, as I understand it. Pope John Paul II was actually going to authorize the ordinations of several priests within that "order" (not sure if this is the correct term), but for some reason was not able to do so at a particular time so asked LeFebre to hold off. LeFebre disobeyed and ordained the priests without authorization, therefore making the ordinations invalid. They are not in communion with Rome, or in other words, are disobedient to the Magesterium of the Church.

sedevacantists: people who believe the "Chair of Peter" is empty. I don't know the details here but they are clearly not in line behind the Pope.

If I have inadvertantly incorrectly defined any of the above or presented any incorrect information in relation to the definitions please comment so that I may correct my error.

Who I am

A friend recently suggested to me that I start my own blog. I actually wondered what I could POSSIBLY have to say to fill up a web page. Then I realized that this is ME and when in the right frame of mind, I am now, and likely will always be...a motormouth.

Now before the story begins, it is time for the standard disclaimer:

Adoro Te Devote would like to take the time to warn you that she is not blessed with a linear thought process and so arrives at her conclusions often after a very scenic route. There are no maps provided so each reader is at the mercy of the words on this page and Adoro Te Devote will not be held liable for any lost readers. Adoro Te Devote would be happy to call out to any of the deserted, however, and help them find their way home. Blessed Be God Forever. Adoro Te Devote.

Moving on...

So! Who am I? I'm guessing that if you take the time to read what I may or may not have to say, you will come to figure that out. Through this work I will be revealing little pieces of myself as we go and I wonder at the need to really put everything out there right up front.

I will say this: I am a faithful Catholic woman, and most of this work will be about my life, the Church and the Lord I love so much. I am Catholic first and all else second, and sometimes even I have a hard time living up to this standard.

It is not easy to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, yet this is what we are all called to do.

I think you need to understand that I have not always been a faithful Catholic. I was raised Catholic and during my adolescence I was very much involved in the music ministry of my parish, and this quite likely saved my life. There was never a question about attending Mass on Sunday...we were there faithfully, every single weekend.

I remember during the summer my Mother would sometimes attend Daily Mass. I never understood what drew her so strongly as I was usually very bored at the Sunday Masses...why, then, would anyone want to go every day? Of course you see the flaws in my thinking. First of all, I assumed that my opinion was the only one, and that if I was bored, then it must be boring for everyone else.

Clearly I did not understand what was taking place during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Clearly, I was poorly catechized, as were so many other post Vatican II children. But I digress...that is a topic for another day.

I went to college and rebelled...I stopped going to Mass unless I was home for the holidays. Ironically, I attended a Catholic University, but even there the Masses were watered down and I was uncomfortable with what I recognize now as liturgical abuses. Yet again, another topic for another post.

I lived a life of sin, like so many others. Thanks be to God that I had to work my way through college as this requirement kept me out of trouble, but just the same, in my rebellion against God and the Church, morally I went downhill fast.

So I graduated and moved into my first career which was a very difficult time for me for many many reasons. I really needed the blessed fold of the Church, but I was still running away from what I recognized to be the Truth. I had many questions and didn't know where to go to find the answers. And truth be told, I was not ready to hear the answers my soul so needed to experience.

Every time I went to Mass, I would cry uncontrollably and so at the end would flee to the sanctuary of my car and speed home to ponder what was happening to me. My attendance at Mass was few and far between, but it seemed every time the story of the Prodigal Son was read, I would be there and those words of forgiveness and acceptance grabbed my by the scruff of the soul and made me pay attention. I continued to weep as unotrusively as possible, but I refused to go to Confession...I refused to come home.

To make a long story short, over the years God gently called me home, over and over again, and finally, at long last, I am home. I have found my parish family and I have found an intimate relationship with Jesus much so that I have finally begun to realize he may be calling me to take vows.

Yes, this not-so-humble rebel may actually be called...and only time will tell. Won't you please walk with me for awhile on this sometimes lonely road?