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Saturday, September 17, 2005

I'm just a girl

Last night I was watching "Rescue Me", once described by a co-worker of mine as a "soap opera for guys". It's basically about a firehouse and the firefighters assigned to it and their lives, most of which are not very...uh...moral. Much strong language, sexual content, etc.

I confess I still enjoy the show although the language makes me cringe. I'm not quite a saint, I guess. The good news is that the stuff on that show did not make me cringe in the past.

Anyway, there was a woman on the show and last night's episode bared her inner conflict: She said (paraphrasing) "When I was a little girl I told my dad I wanted to be a firefighter, and he told me, 'You can't do that! You're a girl!' And I told all my friends and family, and they all said, 'You can't do that, you're a girl!' And I told my boyfriends, and they told me, 'You can't do that, you're a girl!' And then I went to training, and they guys all said, 'Get out of here B***, you don't belong here, you're a girl!'" Here she wiped away tears. She talked about the job since her debut at the station and her mistakes, and went on, discussing her self-discovery, "....and so I've come all this way and went through all that just to find out that...I'm a girl."

Boy, can I relate. I feel the same way and I think this character and I share some similarities in our stories. Whereas I did not do what she did such as getting involve with a member of her crew, and I did not face the outright hatred of my gender as she did, I did experience some of the sentiments expressed against her. I actually had a male friend tell me, when I first expressed the inklings of desire to become a firefighter, "Why would you do that? You don't have a reason to."

Happily, I had other support from friends, family, and my boyfriend who was my biggest cheerleader. And when I was hired and went through training, some of the guys became my best friends and went out of their way to help in areas where I struggled.

But in law enforcement it was different...women were ostracized, to an extent. And I put up a front, I was "gung-ho", and I worked hard to prove that I could do the job...and I excelled. My instructors respected me and my opinions. Wheras I was a feminist to a degree, I was never a rabid feminist, and their unbalanced responses to the oddest things educated me.

And so I traveled through my various "manly" careers and even now I work in a field often dominated by men. And through all my travels, all my trials, all my time trying to prove I wasn't just a girl, I have come to realize that...I am just a girl.

And I wake up and praise God every day that I am just a girl, and I pray that as I continue to mature through old-maidhood and find my Vocation, that one day, I will not be "just a girl", but rather, the woman God always intended me to be.

How 'bout you? What's your story?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Minneapolis-St.Paul Archdiocese "Listening Session"

Speaking as a young woman, radical feminism is dead. Now, if that's true, then why are they still making so much noise???

Check out: This is the website of the newspaper for our archdiocese, which tends to have "liberal" or "dissenting" or even "heterodox" leanings, from my observation.

The latest: The archdiocesan Commisssion on Women is having a bunch of "listening sessions", inviting people to "express their concerns about women in the church and their hopes for the future". OK, fine. I have no problem with this.

The sessions seek to learn about women's concerns, but their real ajenda is one of power, expressed in the first couple paragraphs of the article; the commission has decided that there not enough women in "leadership" at the diocesan or archdiocesan level.

They have posted several topics that apparently were brought up in earlier sessions, and I will get to that in a moment. First, I would just like to comment that if women in our larger Catholic community are griping about not having positions of leadership, two issues are in place:

1. They do not understand the gospel messages
2. They do not understand what Jesus taught or what the Church, obedient to the Sacred Tradition instituted by Jesus teaches
3. They are asking the wrong questions.

Remember, I am speaking as a young woman and I have no problem with women in influential positions. How can I gripe about the latter? I, myself, hold a position in a male-dominated field, and I excel at the work I do...but when I enter the Church, I don't have to put up that front. I don't have to be a "guy". I get to enter the sanctuary that is the Church and be the woman God made me to be. I bow my head in the holy presence of my Savior and I am expected only to have the "power" the Holy Spirit bequeaths to me...whether through speaking, praying, loving another, or serving in menial ways. If God institutes me someday in a position of "power" as assessed by observers, then so be it, but as I have read the Bible and understand the teachings, I understand that it is not our place to seek power. It is God who bequethes, and God who takes away.

Now, that said, I will move on. Here are the "variety of concerns raised at the pilot sessions":

* How to retain young women in the church.

First, I would like to point out that unless they are talking about a building as an impersonal noun, then "church" should be "Church". This could just be a typo, but one I see all too often. Do people understand the difference in meaning between "the Church" and "the church"?

It's the difference between saying to someone, "I have learned so much from the Church that I decided to convert to Catholicism", and "I had such a great time at the church on the corner that I think I might attend Mass more often."

Moving to retain young women. As a young woman, I happen to be somewhat of an expert on, my advice is, first of all ATTRACT YOUNG WOMEN to the sessions you are instituting! Furthermore, again speaking from my rightful platform, I suggest that you take a look at the parishes that are turning out Vocations...both for men and women. What do they have in common? Maybe, then you should have "listening sessions" there instead of the list of pseudo-Catholic parishes which are advertised? You could also try the novel idea of providing instruction in the actual teachings of the Church, including devotion to Mary, Perpetual Adoration, understanding of the Eucharist...and in short....ORTHODOXY. (Try reading GKChesterton's "Orthodoxy" and you may be enlightened. His writing style is much like Anna Sewell's, the author of "Black Beauty")

Women (and men) are tired of this watered-down 1970's idea of "feel good" pseudo-theology with a label reading "Catholic" stamped on it and reeking of the radical feminism that has so usurped the understanding of our faith. We are tired of seeing women who have not realized that their imperfect understanding of feminism (better termed "feminaziism) has died a quiet death still trying to promote anything anti-Church tradition.

We are tired of searching for religious orders in our efforts to find our true Vocations, only to find that the Ursulines have become Wiccan with a false Catholic label and the Benidictines have largely followed suit with few exceptions. We as Catholic women do not seek to enter a labyrinth in order to meet God, because this is a form of pagan worship and only feeds the fuel for the likes of James White and Jack Chick. We do not care about "Eco-Spirituality" when we are reading the actual life of St. Francis. Who needs something "based on" or "derived from" St. Frances when we can actually access what he really did?

I should blog a whole topic on want to know how to retain young women in the Church? Then pray. Teach your children the true faith and eliminate all the static. We want the truth..the hard truth that without Jesus Christ, we will not enter Heaven. We want to hear sin called "Sin" with the sibilant "S" reminiscent of the serpent of Genesis.

I will stop there, but look for this topic to continue in another posting.

Moving on now....

* How to reclaim their baptismal call

I am completely clueless as to what this means. WHAT?! Our "baptismal call" is to recieve the sacraments appropriate to our station in life and then live our our lives in accordance with GOD'S WILL...not our own. What in the WORLD are they talking about?

* How to have better dialogue with priests

Again, I am mystified. Have they tried going to confession? Sought out a Spiritual Director who happens to be a priest? Have they maybe tried to have friendly conversations with parish priests and learned they are human, too? Have they invited priests to their gatherings and sought out the advice (as opposed to giving criticism and making demands) of the the priests who toil so hard to save souls?

I am always suspicious of the word "dialogue" when used by the feminist or homosexual movements...usually, their version of "dialogue" does not refer to the pre-written words of a stageplay, but rather, refers to a veiled demand to "Sit down, kiss my shoes and be silent while I tell you what I want, confirm it's OK to use contraception, have relations outside of marriage, and then give me your blessing while I trample all over what God actually said."


* How to make language more inclusive.

I thought that PC was finally dying, right along with rabid feminism. Apparently I was wrong. WE DON'T WANT INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE! Please stop insulting my intelligence as a woman by inferring that I don't understand that when St. Peter referred to "men" in scripture, that he was referring to "man and womankind".

I refer you to the Spanish-language usage of the words for "all". If only women are present in a group, the feminine, "-a" is used for "todas", or if all men, then the masculine "-o" ending is used for "todos". When referring to mixed company, all are referred to as "todos".

So if, then, when reading the Bible, I am offended by the word "men" when used in reference to all humankind, should I then be offended when reading any Spanish, or Italian, etc., texts? I think not.

So can we retire this nonsense and move on?

* How to expand homilies to include female perspectives

What does your priest talk about? Personally, I don't go to Mass to explore the viewpoints of random women...I go to worship God and to learn about GOD'S PERSPECTIVE. Need I say more? If you're listening to a homily looking for support for feminism, then you need to spend more time listening and understanding that Mary is your mother and she is the ultimate feminist. So why don't we sit back and let God tell us what he has to say and just shut up and listen?

* How to complete the work of Vatican II:

Well, first begin by READING what Vatican II actually said! I have learned that many things attributed to Vatican II were actually misunderstandings and confusions brought about by people who just didn't bother to read what the documents taught. So the first idea in carrying out the work is understanding the messages.

So now I come to the end of my lengthy rant. I welcome discussion, and I will likely rant in individual posts going forward from here.

I hope to attend some sessions and defend Mother Church from the dissent from within. It saddens me that so many are being raised under the withering but still influential thumb of radical feminism, and so I take upon myself this yoke of truth and I pray that hearts will be opened to hear the true message of our Messiah.

For those of you within the Minneapolis-St. Paul archdiocese, please consider attending the "listening sessions" and speak up! It's time for these hangovers from the 70's to realize that orthodoxy has returned and we are ready to defend Jesus from the attacks against the Truth.

Please comment...I may forward the information to either the Archdiocese or to the Catholic Spirit.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Some days you're the windshield...

It's been one of those days.

I was doing some field work this morning and as I walked beneath a large, shady tree, I felt something land on my head.

Somewhat apprehensively, I realized that either a bird just dropped on me, or a leaf landed in my hair. I reached up to wipe off whatever it was, really expecting my unprotected hand to meet the dry scratchiness of a dead leaf.


With a girly screech I made a throwing motion with my left hand and with my right, threw my clipboard to the ground in surprise. (I'm a girl, by the way). I looked at my hand, trying to find the stinger embedded between my first and 2nd finger on the left hand.

Before my very eyes it began more than one place. A yellow jacket, maybe? In the area where I worked I saw several of them so I surmised there must be a nest nearby.

Boy, did it sting! Thus the name for the little poison-bearing bug weapon.

I was able to complete my work and as I drove away to head back to the office early, I heard the cell phone chirp at me...and realized it was out of power! The charger in the company vehicle was not compatible with the cell phone.

I realized that I could look at this in a couple of different ways:

1. I could see this as being a "bug" kind of know the saying: "Some days you're the windshield, some days you're the bug".

2. I could thank God that I am not allergic to bee stings, as I was working in the field alone AND the phone was useless for a 911 call;


3. I could be disappointed that I'm NOT allergic to bee stings, as had all gone in that direction, I could be standing before the Lord meeting my judgment and hopefully entering the pearly gates to spend eternity with the Heavenly Father. So by that logic, I should be disppointed that I'm not dead.

Of course, this last idea is somewhat problematic; I'm not sure I'm ready to meet God and even though I have confidance in the mercy of Jesus Christ, I do not have confidence in my own ability to judge the sinfulness of my wretched soul.

So what have I learned from this day? A few things:

1. I'm still not allergic to bee stings
2. I trend more towards optimism and even when I was stung, I actually did NOT swear like a sailor! (an old habit of I rid of it?)
3. I still scream like a little girl. How embarassing!
4. I obviously believe in heaven because I felt a sense of loss of a great thing when I didn't get to die and meet God. I have lots of questions to ask him.
5. I am not ready to meet God
6. If I'm not ready to meet God, then I question the state of my soul. therefore...
7. I need to go to Confession and be healed of whatever sins ail me. I need to complete a good examination of conscience.

So! I guess the above may prompt questions about the Catholic faith from the "once saved, always saved" crowd, and I welcome your questions.

I just caution anyone who has decided that I am not "Saved"...don't try to convert me or you may find yourself converting to the Holy Catholic Church! :-)

God bless you all! May your next days find you more as the windshield rather than the bug, unless you enjoy the lessons learned by the days you are squashed.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Alert on fraudulent e-mails

Just providing a PSA here.

Tonight I recieved what I recognize to be a fraudulent e-mail. The gist of it was that some guy posing as a "Barrister" and addressing me as "President/CEO" asked for my permission to use my name to be listed as the next of kin for a substantial fortune. In exchange for my generous spirit as he dispurses this alleged fortune resulting from the death of a person in a plane crash, I will get to keep 35% of the millions of dollars available.

Confidentiality is stressed.

Sure, I could provide my name, Company name, fax number, etc....but why? No doubt he will next be asking for my bank account so that he can transfer monies into it for safekeeping, and then he would inform me of various foreign fees, etc.

Now, as much as I've been praying for money to deal with financial issues I'm experiencing now, I'm not desperate enough to just hand over the pennies in my piggy bank so easily.

So, I am providing some information to you all.

If you are looking to report this type of fraud:

This last also advised to contact your local Secret Services office. For those in Minnesota, the number is: 612-348-1800

Don't let these jokers lull your senses and pique your greed with such transparent hoaxes. Report this kind of stuff so law enforcement can compile it so as to better protect everyone.

God bless you all.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Divine Mercy

This is how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

(As a side note, I am convinced that this is what brought me back to the Faith, the Church Christ founded, in conjunction with the rosaries offered by my mother, a modern-day St. Monica. Just call me St. Augustina, but without the "saint" part).


Use a regular rosary. For those who do not know what this is, it is a "sacramental" (will provide this definition in a later post). We Catholics use it to mark our place in prayer. The rosary consists of a crucifix, a large bead, 3 small beads, another large bead and then a medal of some sort...usually the Blessed Mother or the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Then are 10 small beads, a large bead...and this alternates for a total of 5 "decades". The St. Dominic rosary containes 15 decades. Will also address this in a different post.

I will not describe the rosary here as this is a topic for another post. Today is a day of Divine Mercy.

To begin, say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Apostles' Creed.

Then, on the large bead (or the medal), say:


On the smaller beads (the "Hail Mary" beads), say "FOR THE SAKE OF HIS SORROWFUL PASSION, HAVE MERCY ON US AND ON THE WHOLE WORLD". (10 times)

When you have completed all 5 decades and reach the medal again, say, "HOLY GOD, HOLY MIGHTY ONE, HOLY IMMORTAL ONE, HAVE MERCY ON US AND ON THE WHOLE WORLD" three (3) times.

And at the end it is often said, "Jesus, I trust in thee" or "Jesus, I trust in you!".

Jesus promised that anyone for whom this chaplet is recited while they lay dying, he will stand for them not as just judge, but as merciful savior. And he says the same of anyone who will recite this chaplet as applicable to themselves.

So you see, this is a very powerful prayer.

The only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ, but if you only understood the mercy he has waiting for all of us if we would only surrender to him!


September 11, 2001

Let us remember in prayer our brothers and sisters whose lives were lost on this historic day.

Let us especially pray for mercy for those terrorists who are responsible for so many lives. Let us pray that those who plan similar events be converted and instead, lead people to Christ and heaven instead of the hell they are choosing.

I will never forget this day only a few years ago. That Tuesday morning, I was a firefighter cadet at the ominous Training Tower, only a few weeks from graduation from the arduous course. The city which had employed me had a long program of academics, followed by 6 weeks at "The Tower".

The tower days consisted of roll call and SOP's (Standard Operating Procedures), maybe a quiz in the morning, and a synopsis of the day's activities to come. On that morning, September 11, 2001, as we sat discussing "high fires", which refer to skyscraper fires, and the procedures utilitzed to fight them, the Deputy Chief of Training walked in carrying a TV set.

He apologized for the interruption, stated that a plane had just flown into the World Trade Center, and hurriedly set up the TV until there was reception. All of us sat transfixed as we watched the South Tower burn. Then, before our eyes, another plane hit the second tower.

We had had trainng in Weapons of Mass destruction, terrorism, triage from our EMT class, etc., but nothing prepared us for what we saw that day.

The training captains used this as an example of what we were to cover that day. They explained what the New York firefighers were going to do as they approached, as they set up, etc. One captain emphasized the need to coordinate the evacuation of citizens from the towers, the mass response due to the 2 planes, and the understanding that this was a terrorist attack...this was no accident.

I remember asking the Deputy Chief, at what point do they determine that it's time to leave? Who makes the decision that a structure should be evacuated? I appraised the heavy fire showing in the upper floors of the tower, the fuel from the jets, the obviously collapsed floors which were directly affected by the planes.

The Deputy Chief admitted that he and one of the other chiefs had an ongoing agument about this; he believed that the tower would hold...the other chief beliefed that the load was too much and would not withstand the assault. He gave me a very general answer regarding the evacuation of fire personnel which did not satisfy me.

Finally they told us that we would be watching this for days and weeks to come and it was time to hit the apron to begin our day. Just as we finished our warm-up exercises outside, the Deputy Chief threw open the door to his office in the temporary building in the yard and ordered us over. He revealed that a plane had just hit the Pentagon, and one crashed shortly after near Pittsburgh. He told us that the towers had fallen. His face was red; his voice shook with genuine emotion.

The good Deputy Chief apologized; he told us he had no idea this was going to be this big. Tearfully, he revealed to us that he had at least 20 friends with the New York department he knew had just perished beneath the weight of those buildings. He had to sit down as he discussed those he'd ridden with in the past; those NYFD collapse rescuse firefighters who had given him much of his knowledge. He apologized for his emotion, but without need; I think most of us were in tears already.

Others in our class also had friends and relatives in New York, and one of our training captains had family both in the city and in the Pentagon.

Those who were not directly affected still had tears in their eyes whether out of sympathy or just plain shock at what was happening on U.S. soil.

Our city was placed on alert, of course, ready for an attack also. Even though we were cadets, for all practical purposes we were considered to be firefighters, and in the event of an attack they would put us to work. We were not allowed to leave for lunch, but food was brought in for us, and we watched as the police officers brought their dogs over to sniff all of our buildings and personal vehicles.

We did end up doing some traing that day, each evolution taking on a special meaning. We walked up the cement steps of our 6 story tower, carrying hose bundles and remembering dead firefighters with every step. We sprayed water onto non-existant fires, remembering the futility of the same actions in New York. We dragged wet hoselines down and cleaned up, considering those who had died that day never got a chance to clean up. We removed our turnouts and hung them in the shed, exchanged our air tanks, and finished our day, realizing that somewhere around 300 firefighters were not going home to their families that day.

We gathered in the classroom for the end of the day summary, and one of the captains gave us this speech:

"All of you saw today what happened in New York. Consider how many firefighters died today. You will never be able to claim that you don't know what this job is about. Every single day you go out there you don't know what's going to happen or if you'll make it home. Those who responded today planned to go home after their shift...and instead, we're going to be watching funerals of firefighters for weeks. You know what this job is about and you know the risk. So after witnessing something like this, if some of you, or all of you, choose not to come back tomorrow, we will all understand."

With that, we were dismissed and there was never such a somber, silent exodus from the Tower. There was no joking; there were no plans for the evening. There was only the knowledge that many had died that day, and we were in line to wear a similar uniform and do a similar job...and possibly pay a similar debt.

And the next day, all 22 of us returned.

I will never forget where I was that day because I was standing in the very shoes of those who died. I wore a similar uniform and I had similar aspirations. I went through their same movements as we set up a response to a fire in a skyscraper and fought it. But training took on a new tone after that.

I was injured in training about a week later, and as a result, I am no longer a firefighter although I was sworn in with my class. I can't say that I'm disappointed to not be there anymore. However, that said, I will never forget where I stood, how I felt, or the weight of the turnouts I wore when I watched other firefighters die in a city far away. I'll never forget the pride when I saw the survivors respond to find either other survivors or recover their dead.

I will never forget the world turning to prayer, offering condolences, or their realization of the sacrifices real people made right under their noses day after day.

And so to all the firefighters and police officers, paramedics, EMT's, and other responders out there, I salute you, I offer my condolences, and I will continue to pray for your safety. Keep up the good fight! We would not be a community were it not for you. Perhaps I am not called to stand in your shoes, but I respect you so much more for I understand what it takes to be where you are, and to give what you are required to give.

And for all those who perished on September 11, 2005, firefighters, police officers, ambulance personnel and civillians...may you rest in peace in the arms of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ.

We will never forget you.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Those who fight monsters

"Those who fight monsters should take care that they never become one. For when you stand and look long into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you." ~ Frederich Nietsche

I confess I do not know the true context of the above quote. I think I tried to read it once, but since I do not like Nietzche, nor do I agree with his philosophy, I became quickly bored and set the book aside. I never claimed to be disciplined.

And yet, I still ask that you take a look at the quote because, even coming from this particular source, there is truth.

I have fought monsters for many years, and I still fight monsters. All good Christians fight monsters on a daily basis.

There are so many dimensions to this, but I shall examine only a couple, due to my tendancy to be long-winded and likely lose any of my readers due to sheer boredom. Maybe Nietzche and I are alike in that way...we share the ability to put readers to sleep, especially those who do not share our sentiments. You, however, good reader, have all the power to simply click and move on, for there will be no test of this material. But beware, good Christians, for you DO face the ultimate test on judgment day...and how will you answer to this material? Will you be pulled into the proverbial abyss or will you stand with the Lord as you purport to do so today?

I think about this quote sometimes, and it makes me realize the filth and grime we as humans deal with every day. I used to be a police officer; once upon a time I begged for the job. I thought I wanted to explore the abyss. I thought I wanted to see the worst of human nature and stand against it as a beacon of protection. And instead, I became transfixed by what I saw. I became focused not on Christ, but on the trials and suffering of the abyss, and it changed me. I have lost my innocence. I cannot un-see what I have seen, no more so than I can un-do what I have done. I have looked into the abyss, I have explored the abyss, and I have been changed by the abyss.

For awhile, the change was real and it was internal. I explored New Age practices, I went to psychic readers and I sought to know and understand my future. I gave power to ritualistic practices and I saw Santaria as being closely related to Catholicism, and therefore acceptable. I let the abyss change my thinking and on my own, suspended the critical thinking which God gave me as a weapon against the darkness.

I have seen the abyss, and I became a type of monster, and even today I am trying to shed the vestiges of the darkness which held me captive for so long. It still holds me captive, but I know I have been ransomed. I will only be free on judgment day as long as I continue to gaze upon the face of crucified Christ and offer my sufferings to him. He has told us that "those who persevere to the end shall be saved", and I pray I can persevere, remain faithful, and one day kneel for eternity in God's presence.

And so I fight the monsters from the abyss as I work my way to the rim. I am still in the abyss, and I am still looking into it...and strugging to avert my eyes. I fight monsters...but have I become one in this struggle? I already know that the abyss has looked into me, and it knows my weakness.

This is a spiritual battle, the one we all face, to different degrees. And even today, although my career has changed, I am still fighing the monsters and seeking to remove the eyes of the abyss from my soul.

What is my other point? Oh, yes.

Spiritual warfare, the kind we all face every day. It is not just our daily struggles to fight against crime if that is our place in life; it is also, and more importantly, the awareness of the Evil One, the fallen angels around us.

Yes, they do indeed exist, and we must be careful to recognize them even as we seek to avoid giving them power through our fear, through inappropriate attention, etc. We have to recognize what they are and understand when they are attacking, but we must also understand that they have no power over those of us who have been claimed by the Lamb and who seek to follow in his foosteps.

So continue to fight the mosters, for it is the good fight.

Recently I went into the sacrament of Confession and, holding back tears, described the recent spiritual torture I have been undergoing for weeks. He is a wise priest and he asked me what could have opened me or allowed this attack? I offered a few explanations...both situations in my life of which I have no control, and a recent decision to seek God's will in the form of possible religious life. This wise priest offered that God may be allowing this trial to befall me in order to make me stronger for the battles ahead, for they will not become easier. The battles are attacks upon my human weakness...and I felt my strength flagging.

I was mortified to explain my sins, as always, however, the grace of God is greater. Every time I go to Confession, I expect the priest to berate me for my weakness, to chastize me for my misbehavior; however, rather, I see Christ. I hear Christ, and rather than condeming me as I think I deserve, Father gently tells me that I am spiritualy growing, that God is working in my life and that I must pick myself off and go on and resolve to do better to overcome the weakness. He explaines that this trial, this demonic attack is allowed for my own good and that I am doing the right thing to humble myself before God and admit my weakness. None of us are able to carry on without the strength of Jesus Christ to support us. He absolved me in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and I crosssed myself and thanked him. As I stood to leave, Father said to me, "Keep up the good fight!"

I know he has suffered these same attacks, has struggled with the same issues, for he is human as well. Yet he speaks for Christ in the sacrament. So rather than going away with my proverbial tail between my legs, I leave joyfully, knowing I do not fight this battle alone; I fight these monsters only with the strength of Christ, for on my own I am useless andI am worthless. It was God who gave me life and God who sustains it. And ultimately, it is to God's arms I will return when this life is done, should it be His will and grace to lead me home.

But the juxtaposition is this: I (we), cannot become so focused on the evil forces against which we do battle so as to forget that we sin on our own and we suffer our own consequences of errors and the errors or sins of others. By giving credit for every misfortune to dark forces, we are giving power where there is none; so we must be discerning. We must educate ourselves and be very given to prayer.

We are in a time of harsh battle, my friends, but our enemy has no power. We have the cross, the mercy of Christ, and the reality of God who bears us up. We stand well within the light of Christ when we follow in his footsteps, and he leads us gently through the snares.

Psalm 91 states,

"You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High;
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty
Say to the Lord my refuge and my fortress,
my Rock, in whom I trust
For he will deliver you from the snares of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence;
he will cover you with his pinions and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a buckler and a shield
You will not fear the terror of the night
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday....


Becaue you have made the Lord yoru refuge
the Most High your habitation
no evil shall befall you,
no scourge come near your tent.

For he will give his angels charge of you
to guard you in all your ways
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you dash your foot against a stone..."

Praise the Lord!

We are all charged with fighting monsters, and the Lord knows that the abyss will look into us and seek our damnation. And so in his mercy he gives us angels to bear us up in battle and lead us through the darkness to Christ who is our light, our life, and our salvation.

So as Father said to me, I say to you...Keep up the good fight!

God bless you all,

Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the Sacred Heart of Jesus,

Saturday, September 03, 2005


I haven't blogged in days. I'm not sure where to start, and once I get started, I don't know where to stop.

Just like everyone else, I'm searching for answers. I'm praying. Lots of praying.

I learned last night that there was an article written in National Geographic in 2004 and the intro was eerily similar to what we have all witnessed. It seems that New Orleans is an engineering nightmare created by...engineers! Apparently the system of levies created to head off flooding actually eroded the natural silt deposits and small islands which used to form a protective barrier between the ocean and the city. As a result, there's nothing to stop the storm surge.

And the levies for Lake Ponchartrain? Good only for a category 3 storm.

Never mind the fact that we, as Americans, are deserving of this.

Yes, you heard me correctly. We are witnessing the hand of God. I don't know if he made the strike himself or if he just allowed it to occurr. Check out the link I provided, to a Vatican-approved loqutionist, Jennifer.

I actually heard a Protestant pastor on the radio the other day poo-pooing the idea that this has anything to do with end times. And I won't say he's wrong, but I will say that he is wrong to discount the hand of God. One one hand the good Pastor brought up a VERY important point: God has said, "Your ways are not my ways". Very true.

Then on the other hand his argument against why this disaster can't have to do with God's hand was, "Why would God hit New Orleans instead of Las Vegas?"

I'll answer: Because New Orleans, while the home of many many good and devout Catholics and Christians of other faiths, is also the bed of Voodoo. Voodoo is complete anti-anything of God. And Santeria, a religion blending Voodoo and Catholicism was born in New Orleans. Let's not forget MardiGras...and while the citizens of the city, as I understand it, flee in the face of the rowdy tourists, it doesn't change the fact the city allows the lawlessness of that and other issues to fester. I also have come to understand that Labor Day weekend is home to a Homosexual celebration of complete hedonism in their disordered practices...and so I ask, could this be some of the reasons why God would strike?

Also consider...this strike of Katrina (meaning "purity" and in Mexico, "death") affects the entire country. It means huge changes for America in general. Just look at the gasoline prices...and this is just the start. New Orleans is extremely imporant to our economy, to our American culture, and let's not forget the human component. My guess is that you'll be hard pressed NOT to find someone living in the US who is not somehow affected directly by this. Whether by family members, friends, sentiments, financial dealings...etc.

And we have all been watching the images on our television screens. The human suffering. The heroism. The vigilantes. The looters, the rapists, the murderers. The government officials alternately patting each other on the back and pointing blaming fingers which should be directed to themselves. The men and women in uniform from civil on up to federal. The mothers, the children, the fathers, the brothers, sisters, pets...the list goes on.

And what it comes down to is this: Katrina is affecting OUR brothers and sisters. Yes. Our brothers and sisters in Christ. It doesn't matter what they believe, where they are from, or what they are doing right now. EVERY SINGLE PERSON suffering in the wake of Katrina is a child of God.

God is calling us to prayer. Whether this storm is a chastizement against America (not just a city, but America), or whether it is just a storm which cause so much damage simply due to bad civil engineering, we need to pray. We need to offer our time, talent, and treasure to help those who are affected. Maybe all we can do is pray, and that is enough. Mountains are moved through prayer.

So I ask each and every person who reads this to say an Our Father, a Hail Mary, a Glory be, and a Chaplet of Divine mercy especially for the dead or dying. I ask you to say rosaries and chaplets for the living and offer whatever prayers you have in you. I ask Charismatic Catholics and other Charismatic christians to pray in the Spirit with all your heart and soul for those affected. I ask every person to do what they can for your brothers and sisters in Christ.

God bless you all.

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.