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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Update on the dogs, and please pray!

Everyone, thank you for your prayers.

This just seems to keep getting worse and worse. Yesterday morning my greyhound had a bout of diarrhea. (sorry to be gross). I had him out 3 times, having to put the bootie over his pressure bandage each time. Then I went to work. My Shepherd was fine.

I was able to leave work about 20 min early yesterday and when I got home, I saw a mess unlike any other I have ever seen. My grey was kennelled, and he was crying. I could smell what was happening, but thought I was mentally prepared. But I didn't understand at first that BOTH dogs were sick. The Shepherd, running freely around my livingroom, had also emptied herself freely in several places. If I had the ability to just pack up my livingroom and throw it away, I would have done so.

Pet owners, you know what I"m talking about. Thank God there was nothing on the furniture, but couldn't the dog at least have done her business on a cleanable surface or on a rug?

I had to run out and buy 2 gallons of Nature's Miracle (this is a powerful enzyme cleaner). I took the dogs with me because I was afraid to leave them in that mess. I even had to throw out the kennel bedding, most of which was from Goodwill, anyway.

I called the vet to be sure I should not bring them in. Nope, they said no food for 24 hours and then if they are still sick, to bring them in.

Well, I think we're going in today. I took my grey out and was surprised that he still had something left. But there's blood in it.

I've never seen that before but there's no mistaking fresh blood.

The clinic doesn't open until 8:30 am and hopefully we can get in right away. Maybe it's nothing. Maybe he's fine. Maybe this is a disaster.

My shepherd seems OK but then again, this illness was delayed in her also, so we may have more to see from her yet. I'll be calling in at least late to work.

I can't afford to keep taking time off like this. Of course this is one of those emergencies time off is for, but every company has absentee regulations and while I am in no danger now, I do not want any kind of "verbal warning" that must be given at X number of "occurrances". I don't know how liberal they are with this policy or whether they consider the totality of circumstances. Certainly employees with sick children don't get fired for having to take them to the doctor and coming in late, etc, and I doubt that'll happen to me, either.

But boy, do we need prayers. I'm not sure what to do right now other than just wait and pray.

My house smells like an animal quarantine. Yuck.

God bless you all.

Monday, March 27, 2006

St. Joseph, Prayer, and Pets

I am constantly amazed by the intercession of the saints and that of faithful friends.

This weekend I experienced another spiritual attack, one I know was retaliation of a type. I am not going to get into that, but let's just say it involved my own attempts to become closer to the Lord and in (as we all do) intercessory prayer on behalf of some friends.

I woke up on Sunday morning and went down to feed the dogs. My greyhound did not come down, which is EXTREMELY odd. He's Mr. Velcro dog. I went upstairs to see if I could figure out if Mr. Lazy Bones was understanding that he was being fed. It seemed he did, but as he got up to obediently follow me down, he held his leg in front of him awkwardly. Uh oh.

I have no idea what happened to him. He'd been fine Saturday night. We'd had an issue with a strain earlier in the winter, and that was preceeded by a little racing around. Although he limped and yelped on occasion, he ate as usual and icing it seemed to help. He was progressively better the next day, so I hoped for the same result this time.

Somehow, though, I knew that it was not to be. I felt horrible all day yesterday (sick), but went to Mass, leaving him out of the kennel, which is also not normal. As an ex-racing dog he tends to be more comfortable in the kennel, but yesterday I just didn't want to move him and he didn't seem real inclined to want to move around.

I went to Mass, prayed, and returned home, and as I went to apply ice to my dog's swelling leg, he yelped and cried and screeched horribly! I did the only thing I could do...I burst into tears. I picked up the phone and called a nearby friend, feeling like an idiot but not able to stop my sobs. She of course came over immediately, which is literally only a few steps away. When she arrived I was on the phone with the emergency clinic, thinking I needed to do something to ally my dog's pain.

The cost of the ER clinic...$98.00 to walk through the door. The cost of the X-Rays and likely "consult fee"...over $300, best guess. The total cost of everything...a lot more than I have available to me.

My friend sat with me while I pondered this, and then told me she had to go to Mass, but offered to pray for us. I thanked her for coming, and later called her; she has no idea how much her presence helped to calm me and clear my head.

During the afternoon I left the grey and took my other dog, a Shepherd and we walked over to my church. I visited the Fatima shrine and St. Joseph and prayed for their intercession. I regretted I had no flowers to leave in their honor, but I had that sense that they were with me.

Last night, my friend, the same one who had been over earlier, brought me a boquet of yellow daffodils, and immediately it came to me that they were from St. Joseph. He is typically associated with the white lily, but something about this particular bouquet just says, "St. Joseph". Of course I thanked my friend, but she was the one who had been inspired to pick them up for me on behalf of a Saint. I do pray that St. Joseph also sends her a gift.

Throughout the day I asked friends for prayers, and I have one friend who does a regular 3 am Holy hour and his was last night. I have to say that for the first time in weeks, I did not wake up between 3 and 4 am. (Those of you who experience this know what I'm talking about, and it ain't insomnia.)

This morning my dog's leg and paw were very swollen, although he seemed better and he had a normal appetite. But he was still favoring it and I knew I had to bring him in. He was due for his shots, anyway. So I went in to work and called for an appointment. God set things up nicely today, so that I wasn't so overwhelmed I couldn't leave. Dont' get me wrong, it was a horrible day to have to leave, but I had the feeling that all is well and God is in charge.

But that didn't stop me from praying while at the clinic. The vet indeed wanted to take X-Rays, and as I've had some medical training myself, I knew that his request is more than reasonable and the best for the dog. So although I can't afford it, I agreed.


The vet asked me again what had happened, which was exactly nothing that I knew of. He explained that his concern was a spider bite, and this can cause the injury and swellign we were seeing. I asked him what kind of spider? Brown Recluse.

He said they are more common than most people realize. So dog owners, cat owners...if your pet wakes up in the morning with a swollen joint or other spot, look for bite marks (if a short-haired animal) which will look like 2 puncture wounds, and sweeling and pain. If you see this, please bring your pet to the vet and offer this to God. He gave you your pet, so he'll take care of things for you.

Today as I sat in that vet office and prayed and wondered about all the "what if's", I heard that still small voice within saying, "Trust me." I took out a picture of Jesus and considered what he would have done if I lived in his time on earth and was fearful for my pet. Jesus was definitely the sort to stop by and lend his hand. As he did today.

The vet later came back and said he saw some bruising, wanted permission to shave so as to look for the bite marks if there were any. I agreed. He came back again and told me that he didn't find anything so they were treating this as a sprain. The X-Ray was negative (PRAISE GOD!).

Now my guy has a pressure bandage on his leg and paw and a cover to place over it. He's not at all happy about it but we go back on Thursday to see if the swelling is down and if there is any evidence of a bite. If there is, I will need more prayers and some people who are willing to come over and help me track down the poisionous little bastards. I am arachnophobic and if they cross my path, they die. If they cause harm to my dogs...they die.

Anyway, the cost today, X-Rays and all, was not nearly what I thought it would be. I think we'll be in the clear, but of course it's not all done. And I know the attack is going on, so I do continue to ask for all of your prayers. Maybe you think my worry about a dog is ridiculous, and you have a right to that opinion. But I see my pets as gifts from God and they have taught me so much about God. Their presence in my home is a manifestation of God's love and truth be told, I would never be able to sleep without their presence.

And the events that have accompanied yesterday's crisis and today's diagnosis prove to me once again that all this is in God's hands, and boy, do I need to do a better job of trusting Him!

So Minnesotans...keep an eye out for a nasty little spider called the Brown Recluse so that, just in case this turns out to be all due to that, you can get your dog or cat or whatever to a vet immediately to deal with it.

And pray to St. Joseph. He might send you flowrs! Tonight I lit his votive candle with a prayer of thanksgiving for his intercession. The lilies in his hand were right in front of the flame and they appeared to be yellow daffodils.

Blasphemy from Within

I don't know why I continue to look for this stuff. Maybe I'm supposed to grow in the virtues of temperence and patience, and maybe I'm supposed to work harder at loving my enemies. But it's so hard to love the enemies from within that are working so hard to subvert the Church we love from within. Of course we know how the story ends, but that does NOT dissipate the righteous anger one feels when confronted by such trash.

Page down and check out the cartoon.

Do you notice the affiliation? This webzine is the unholy spawn of the local black eye, SJA. They are directly affiliated with the parish that calls iteself Catholic, but is actually a poorly disguised gateway to Hell and damnation.

This trash, actually LINKED to a "Catholic" parish, is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE! I have sent the link to the Catholic Defense League.

Don't just sit there! PRAY!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

We're not the ones so far away...

This is so wrong on so many levels I really have no idea where to begin. I'm nearly speechless, and believe you me, that does NOT happen very often! I found this handy-dandy link at our favorite Black Eye upon the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, the infamous and even...dare I say it?...outright schmismatic and probable heretical St. Joan of Arc Church! (My sincere regrets to the fine and venerable Saint, the REAL virgin and martyr, St. Joan of Arc. Pray for us).

Here's a snippet, and all I think I have the energy for tonight. Maybe I'll tackle this one another night, but for now, here you go:

In defining “What is Catholic?” Hunt believes being a Catholic is simply affirming “a commitment to do justice, that’s Catholic enough.”

In defining “What is Apostolic?” She explains, “The Apostolic Spirit occurs where there are hands that touch the hands and where people want to serve and share and break bread and drink wine.”

How do we make it happen without upsetting the apple cart? Hunt prefers to question, “It’s already been done. It’s more a question of how do we share the apples and who owns the cart?” We need to do major and not cosmetic surgery on these issues.

Found near the end of the piece, here is their basic mission statement:

The power of decision making comes down to trying to work with a system and subverting that system at the same time

The basic premise of this whole thing is that the dissidents such as the ringleader of this particular travesty, Mary Hunt, and her sidekick, the usual Agenda man, Michael Bayley, want the power to bend the most Holy Catholic Church, the Divine Institution we all know and love, to their unholy and damnable will. You'll read their anti-Catholic strategy with great interest, and I encourge you to breathe deeply and count to 10 after each sentence.

In a way, though I find their "stragegizing" to be pathetically futile and demonstrative of an undercurrent of fear. They are reacting not out of true concern for their version of "social justice", but out of a condition called "fear aggression."

What comes to mind is John 6; Jesus gave his teaching and let them walk away. He did not mince words and admitted that his teaching was difficult and his words were hard. And what was hunder and twenty disciples...disciples...walked away! And he let them go, just as he's letting these SJA parishioners go. The Truth is the Truth, and it is unchanging.

What I really love is the typical spin; Ms. Hunt is posturing that the Church has left them; they are victims of the big bad heirarchical Church, and they are trying so hard to be the faithless majority. The problem is that they are standing on a stage, speaking only to each other and the auditorium is empty. Why is it empty? Because the crowds have gone to hear the Vicar of Christ tell the eternal Truths.

I tell you all, something is in the wind, something is happening, something is about to happen because God is not happy with our culture of death, nor is he pleased that holy ground is being sullied in order to promote a diabolical agenda.

Saint Joan of Arc, Virgin and Martyr, PRAY FOR US!

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Orans

How to start this subject? I remember years ago, when I was in high school, a new priest came to our parish and suddenly people were holding their hands out to the sides, palms up, during the Lord's Prayer. This morphed into hand-holding (not pleasant when the person sitting next to you has been coughing into his her her left hand and then you have to grasp it so as not to break the enforced chain), and this further morphed into stretching across the aisle to the other side to hold THEIR hands also. We were one big happy parish.


When we had a choice, of COURSE we opted for the orans position. I didn't know any better, it was uncomfortable for me, yet because adults around me were doing it, both my best friend and I adopted the awkward pose.

Last spring and summer I was attending daily Mass at my parish, and twice each week, the school joined us. We adult communicants were relegated to the rear of the large sanctuary, which put us in a great position to see the students of all ages holding their hands aloft, clearly uncomfortably. Why do I say this? I'll admit partially from experience, but also, it's in their postures; rounded shoulders, ducked heads, curled fingers, hands and arms held in tight to their bodies.

It makes me want to reach out to the nearest kid and say, "Psst! You don't have to do that! Just fold your hands, up or down, close your eyes, and offer the prayer, " thus releasing the poor kid from this pop-culture hangover from feminist and liberation "theology".

Tonight I attended a beautiful Divine Liturgy at my parish in honor of the Solomnity of St. Joseph. I noticed that during the Eucharistic prayers, Father was holding his hands out in a correct orans position; palms toward the congregation, arms outstretched. As he stood there, at the altar, the already-consecrated hosts and precious blood before him, I was struck, hard, by the image he mimiced. Our parish has a HUGE crucifix, centered behind the altar, and of course, behind the priest.

Father was standing directly in front of and below the large crucifix, and it was impossible for me not to see the image he formed in his representation.

Now, keep in mind, when the priest consecrates the bread and wine, he is standing in persona Christi, that is, in the PERSON of Christ. When he pronounces the words, "This is my body..." and "This is my blood..." he is no longer Father whoever, but he is standing in for Christ in the very person of Christ. This is very, very deep theology, but if we pay attention, the little things help us understand, and one of those little things is the orans position.

So we've come back to that. The orans. There was Father, standing exactly centered at the altar, in the person of Christ, and there, behind him, is Christ crucified. It was like a 3-D image, Father mimicing his own personal sacrifice, standing freely crucified, offering his life for us all.

So many people criticize our dearly held beliefs and traditions, even those that aren't doctrinal, and yet tonight, my eyes were opened to see something I'd never seen before; that is, the eternal Truth of the Church, the sacrifice of the priest on the very altar as he brings us the same sacrifice of Calvary.

And you know what happens next, after the priest completes the Eucharistic prayers...he SERVES us, the laity, the flesh and blood of the lamb of God.

Again, let's go over this. This is SO important!

1. The priest stands in persona Christi to consecrate the bread and wine into the body, blood, soul, and divinity of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

2. As part of being in persona Christi, he holds his hands outstretched, palms towards us, mimicing Crucified Jesus, for whom he stands before us

3. As a servant to all, he SERVES us the flesh and blood of the Lamb of God.

Are you seeing what I am seeing? Are you understanding what I understood tonight? That for the laity to hold the Orans position is WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG!

NONE of us can stand in persona Christi, NONE Of us has the right to hold our hands aloft like Jesus crucified during the Mass. Only the PRIEST can do this!

The laity's use of the orans is a little fuzzy, but in my observation had it's origins with the feminist/liberation "theology" movements and attempted internal takeover of the Church. It was accompanied with women "deciding" they are called to the "power" of the priesthood, women taking charge of catechesis, watered down Gospels to such a degree they are not recognizable as remotely Christian, and prayer positions which mimic the percieved power of the ordained priesthood.

Another possible origin was from Protestantism. No offense to our seperated bretheren as I agree we can learn much from them, but the liturgy needs no "innovation". Every part of the Divine Liturgy (Mass) has meaning. Every posture, every movement, every all has meaning.

Take, for example, the times we are to STAND (in the Latin Rite specifically): the Procession, through the Gloria, the Alleluia and the Gospel, for the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist through the Sanctus (Holy, Holy), the Our Father through the Agnus Dei. We KNEEL during the Consecration, after the Agnus Dei as we are in the presence of Christ, and after reception of Communion. We BOW during a portion of the Creed, during the Consecration, and as an option deigning reverence before recieving our Lord. We do all this and more as the laity, and every movement is important.

Likewise, every movement on the altar and around the altar is important and has meaning. The presiding priest uses incense, bows, holds the Word of God aloft before reading the Gospel for the day, blesses us, sends us forth...all with gestures. EVERYTHING in the Mass has meaning.

When our priests stand before us, praying in the orans position, it is a moment in which we all need to understand that we are not all called to ordained priesthood. We are not all called to stand as though crucified because while we share in the sacrifice as members of the body of Christ, we cannot stand in persona Christi. We have our own place and we need to be humble and accept our places in God's house. We are the laity and we are there to worship, to be ministered to so that we can better carry the Gospel message and therefore minister to others. We have our place and our posture and that of the priest helps to define those places and FREES us from the discomfort found when we are holding positions which are not appropriate for our given station.

Consider also that when the priest, specifically during the Lord's Prayer, stands in the Orans position, his position is not just as Christ crucified, but as a shepherd and his flock. Arms oustretched as though to gather us in to him and offering us all and all of our collective prayers, petetions, and thanksgiving to the Lord. We are not to do this; he is to make this offering on our behalf. Why? Because he is the servant of all. He is the only one annointed to carry out this particular service.

There are many who argue for the orans position, and don't understand why it is an issue. I would like to make it clear that there is no problem with it in personal prayer. The Church has not spoken formally on the laity's use of the orans, but it is definitely not encouraged, although seen as preferable to hand-holding during the Lord's prayer.

When we, as the laity, begin to use positions reserved appropriately for the clergy, then we are blurring the lines and we are taking something away from the worship which is supposed to happen. I do not mean to attack those who hold this position, and perhaps some of you are converts who find this position natural to you. However, as Catholics, this position is NOT natural and the use of it in the congregation is just one more thing that jumbles details which would otherwise be apparent.

If you are an orans-holder during the Mass, I encourage you next time to keep your hands folded, look up at the altar throughout the Eucharistic prayers (bowing where appropriate, of course), and consider the priest's physical position and presence espeically in relation to the altar and the crucifix, assuming your parish has one. Then truly ask yourself if it's really appropriate to hold your own hands aloft during the Our Father, rather than bow your head to the sacrifice of Christ on the crucifix and clasp your hands in humility. If you really want to go back to your roots, then pray with your arms crossed over your chest, left over right, head bowed. This was how the early Christians prayed.

Open your heart, pray for the eyes to see and the ears to hear, and WATCH this deep theology happening before your very eyes. Your life may be changed forever.

Christ before me....
Christ behind me....
Christ within me....
Christ beside me....
Christ in all the words I speak...
Christ in all the ears that hear....

Sunday, March 19, 2006

St. Joseph

Tomorrow is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, and as such, I thought it appropriate to write something about him tonight.

Many years ago, my Mother told me to pray to St. Joseph because he is the patron of women alone. This was how she put it, and I think that's because she saw herself as "alone" after her divorce from my Dad.

I prefer to put it differently...St. Joseph is the patron of the dying, workers, and for single women. Why the three are connected kind of scares me, but at least we singles know we won't die alone.

About St. Joseph. Consider this saint, back when he was a man here on earth. I've heard different things, so I don't know it all, but of course what we all know is that he is the foster father of Jesus and husband to ever-virgin Mary.

Consider this man, betrothed to Mary, who was 15 at the time. Betrothal was like engagement but a step closer, in that they are considered to be married although it's not formal. Then Joseph learns that Mary is pregnant, and as their marriage has not been formalized, nor have they had relations, consider the blow this must have been to a man who thought the world of his bride! Consider how he had held his marriage vows sacred, even unspoken, and for his bride to "betray" him in such a fashion! In the culture in those days, women were stoned for such an act.

Joseph, as hurt as he was, as betrayed as he felt, decided to divorce her. (Note the term "divorce", lending to the idea that they were already married in their culture). And yet, Joseph was so gentle in manner that he wanted to divorce her quietly so as to cause no further scandal. He knew he would always bear the scars, the brunt of gossip, but he was willing to accept that in order for this woman and her child to live.

Then an angel appeared to him in a dream and revealed to him that he was chosen, and that he was to take Mary as his wife and raise this child as his own. Joseph did not question this Divine Revelation, but obeyed. Through the Gospel of St. Luke, we see how he cared for Mary and her unborn child, how he worked to provide for his family. Joseph, without doubt, was a man of God. He took this poor girl under his wing, married her when others would have killed her in a brutal way, and whisked them to Egypt to preserve them from the evil designs of Herod.

He went on to raise Jesus in the only way he a simple Jewish carpenter. We don't know what happened to Joseph. It is thought that he died before Jesus began his ministry as he was not present (or mentioned) at the Wedding at Caana, nor was he present at the Crucifixion. Jesus "gave" Mary to John, and all of us, indicating that she was alone in the world without her only son, Jesus.

I've known these things about St. Joseph for a long time, but he hasn't always been "real" to me. You understand how it is, when you learn of someone but until you meet them, they are somewhat two-dimensional. Well, until recently, St. Joseph has been more one-dimensional, only words on a page.

But I've felt drawn to him, purchased a novena candle with his image, and I even have a third class relic which remains near me. I pray to St. Joseph to help me in my work, and I pray to him to keep me safe as a single woman.

Last Monday, when the Twin Cities was hit with a mammoth snowstorm (mammoth mostly due to timing and the fact that people can't drive), while on my way to work in the parking lot that used to be a road, I believe it was St. Joseph who urged me to turn my car around and go home. I argued, thinking that I needed to get to work, Mondays are always terrible, and with all the snow, it would be worse. But that urge to turn around, and the peaceful feeling that "It'll be ok, just go home, let God handle it."

So I went home, I felt stupid, but I called in. And when I went back to work on Tuesday, the roads were still bad but I had only 3 voice mails, none were urgent, and two were from over the weekend.

This weekend, I did my taxes, after much delay due to lack of documentation (lost an important form), forgot my calculator at work, etc. But Saturday morning, I knelt, offered prayers and requested the intercession of St. Joseph to help me, especially because I'd made an error I didn't think I could afford. I lit my novena candle to St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother (Our Lady of Grace), and placed them on my table.

I don't have an earthly father anymore, and I doubt he would have been able to assist me with this, anyway. And although my Mom is living, she has never done taxes as a homeowner. So I requested help from our foster Father and our Blessed Mother, and as it was, I have never so calmly done my taxes. And the good news is that my error did not cost as much as I thought it did, and so I thank St. Joseph publicly for helping me with such a small matter.

St. Joseph has proven to be willing to assist in the smallest matters. Request his powerful intercession, and rest easy, knowing that in heaven, you have a powerful foster father; an ally in your corner.

Killing Christians in Afghanistan under Sharia Law

I can't wait to hear the uprising from the Muslim faithful at the travesty occurring in Afghanistan...oh, wait. They don't see a problem with this. Islam is a religion of "peace". Guess they re-defined "peace".

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan man who allegedly converted from Islam to Christianity is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death, a judge said today.
The defendant, Abdul Rahman, was arrested last month after his family went to the police and accused him of becoming a Christian, Judge Ansarullah Mawlavezada told Associated Press in an interview. Such a conversion would violate the country's Islamic laws.

Rahman, who is believed to be 41, was charged with rejecting Islam when his trial started last week, the judge said.

During the hearing, the defendant allegedly confessed that he converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago when he was 25 and working as a medical aid worker for Afghan refugees in neighboring Pakistan, Mawlavezada said.

Afghanistan's constitution is based on Shariah law, which states that any Muslim who rejects their religion should be sentenced to death.

"We are not against any particular religion in the world. But in Afghanistan, this sort of thing is against the law,'' the judge said. "It is an attack on Islam. ... The prosecutor is asking for the death penalty.''

The prosecutor, Abdul Wasi, said the case was the first of its kind in Afghanistan.

He said that he had offered to drop the charges if Rahman changed his religion back to Islam, but the defendant refused.

Mawlavezada said he would rule on the case within two months.

Afghanistan is a deeply conservative society and 99 percent of its 28 million people are Muslim. The rest are mainly Hindus.

Let us pray for this new Christian, going to his death rather than renounce Jesus Christ. Let us pray that we would all have such courage in the face of such an outrage.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Corned Beef Controversy? Seriously?

I have to confess that I've had it up to HERE with the dripping condescension of the local media. Although I am far beyond surprise when they take a non-event such as a Lenten dispensations as a major news event, it still makes my blood boil when they portray us all as raving lunatics.

I mean honestly..."Corned Beef Controversy"???? This was the headline last night on KMSP's 9:00 pm broadcast. Of course I had to watch.

Let's look at this logically. We, as observant Catholics, observe the simple Lenten regulations of avoiding meat on Fridays, our minimal fast days of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and a voluntary fast from something we legitimately enjoy. This is not a big deal, and it's not news.

Now, this year, St. Patrick's Day has fallen on a Friday. This is likewise a non-event for observant Catholics. Now, I am of Irish descent (yes, really, and I have the temper to prove it!), and I dislike corned beef. Which is fine, because it isn't Irish anyway. Furthermore, most people associate general carousing like that of the infamous New Orleans Fat Tuesday ordeals on St. Patrick's Day. Wow. What a way to celebrate and honor such a saint who lived an austere and sacrificial life.

Let's discuss this non-controversy a little further. I don't have a problem with Irish families, those who really do celebrate this as a special feast day, in partaking in meat. After all, if they are observing the feast day as intended, that is, in honoring St. Patrick, then they are also sacrificing something else, whether on that day or on another. With the appropriate dispensation, that is.

Admittedly, St. Paul, MN is a pretty Irish area, enough so that Jessie Ventura referred to them as a bunch of drunks, thereby insulting not only Catholics, but all Irish of all religions, and all St. Paul citizens. One again, of course , he displayed his blinding ignorance, but that's for another post I'll likely never write.

So last night as I watched the news, the reports seemed to have gone out of their way to interview the most ignorant of Catholics, those who clearly do not understand their faith and apparently don't care, and who seem to have mistaken the Catholic Church for their local town meeting.

The media spends so much time making a non-issue into an issue, you'd think that amidst this "controversy", they'd show stock footage of some kind of rampaging somewhere, overturning cars, burning buildings and flags, screaming, ripping of hair and rending of garments, only to roll in the ashes of the latest arson, just to express our discontent until the good Archbishop give in to the tumult and issue a dispensation so we can petulantly partake of corned beef with our hash.

Give me a freakin' break.

I can't believe this made the news, and the scary thing is, they made it look like NEWS! There's no news at all! There's no "controversy"! People are always disobedient, and quite honestly, most of those who wanted to eat their corned beef would have done so without a dispensation, and of those who claimed to have wanted to eat corned beef, they will actually enjoy some other kind of meat and proceed to drink too much. So much for the other words, people are going to do what they are going to do.

Now, that said, those who are observant Catholics would likely obey the directive of the Archbishop, and if no general dispensation was given, they would have requested a personal dispensation from their pastor, and if it was denied, they would have eaten fish. Big deal. Fish and chips are also very Irish. Why is this not in the news?

Then what really gets me, is the idea that dissidents can just go ahead and disobey, but just go to confession. This is never clarified in that the disobedient person has to actually be sorry for their breach of duty, and furthermore, the reference by the media to "confession" is always followed up with bad puns.

Again, give me a break. They don't talk about Islam like this, or Hari Krishna, or Hindu, or Buddhism. Nope. Just Catholicism.

Everything we do is news, folks. Even when it's not news, and usually, they willfully botch it.

It must have been a slow news week, but quite honestly, they likely just took another opportunity to make us look like raving fools for the practices we hold dear.

I'd call the media what it is, a bunch of impudent fools, but the reality is that the majority are probably athiests or agnostics and don't even know what they're denigrating.

So much for tolerance and sensitivity training.

Well, that's my blarney for the night. I've never been to Ireland, I've never kissed the blarney stone, but now I'm wondering if the stone has kissed me!

Now, as more irony is needed after my Irish rant, here is what I should have been saying all along:

The prayer of St. Patrick, "My Breastplate"

Christ be with me, Christ within me
Christ behind me, Christ before me
Christy beside me, Christ to win me
Christ to comfort and restore me
Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger
Christ in hearts of all that love me
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Hmm....nicely done, Ray! A new blog, a group effort of we local Catholics. Go check it out!

Hee, hee, I'll feel like I'm sneaking in and writing something on someone else's paper! I do have a serious question, though.

Northland, I get. Yup, here we are up north, and waiting for another disastrous spring storm. Distrous in the way of traffic, that is. People cannot drive in this state, and especially in the snow.

But Round Table...I'm still looking for a table, and you's not really round!

In all seriousness, though, Ray, thanks for making this all possible. This is going to be very interesting!

**** UPDATE: Posted Link! ******* 3-17-06

Monday, March 13, 2006


Here I am, home on a Monday morning when I should be arriving at work.

We in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area are being nailed with a March storm, and that alone is not too shocking. In fact, it's tradition for us to have a storm during this particular week.

But this storm is's giving us heavy, wet snow, and it's piling up so fast that the plows can't get to it and sand/salt mixtures are rendered useless.

On the news, they are telling people that the MN State Patrol is recommending that people just stay home if they can, until at least 9 am, or even better, noon. Well, I have a job in which we usually get clobbered on Mondays, so I planned to go to work, bad weather and stay-at-home recommendations or no.

Well, I drove down the side streets...slowly, and began to wonder if this was wise. It's not as though I've never driven in sprin slush before, so I really wasn't too worried, truth be told. Then I hit the road I need to take in order to get to work. I can't stay on side streets all the way as they simply do not connect or even form a connecting network of sorts. Nope, I've got to take the usual thoroughfare.

Usually, this particular route is the best option as it is not a freeway so usually it moved. Not today. After sitting in this parking lot for awhile, watching snow pile up on cars, watching one driver after another get out to clean off his her her windshield wipers, I realized the futility of this exercise.

By the time I was able to creep up to the traffic light, I knew the right thing to do was to turn around.

I went home, and just as I pulled into my garage, so did my neighbor...and she usually leaves about a half hour before I do! She hadn't gotten much further than I did in that time period--just a matter of a few blocks.

Neither one of us has EVER turned around due to weather, especially in the city! Typically that's more expected of people who live outside of the city.

The scary thing is that there really isn't that much snow out there now, only a few inches, and all of us have driven in much much more. But traffic simply isn't moving, it's icy, sloppy, and I suspect that a number of accidents has further held up what would otherwise just be slow.

I may still go in today, but I suspect that I'll be requesting my one allowed unexcused absence due to weather that the company allows us each year.

I never woulda thunk it...calling in due to weather, when I live in the burbs. In-con-cievable!

Friday, March 10, 2006

More from the Archdiocese in Minnesota


Why do people continue to be shocked by that fact? Here's the latest offering from the local borderline anti-Catholic homosexual-worshipping television station. Of course, they picked it up from the AP, but if it involves the words "controversy" and "Catholic", it's sure to hit the news at some point.

Controversy over St. Thomas Travel Policy

ST. PAUL (AP) - The controversy is growing over a new University of St. Thomas policy barring unmarried couples from staying together on school trips.

More than 130 faculty members signed a letter opposing the policy. And a dozen faculty members showed their displeasure by skipping an event where they were to be honored. Staff members and some students are wearing black-and-red buttons accusing the Catholic university of discrimination.

The new trips policy was imposed last year after a lesbian choir director wanted to take her partner on a school trip to France. St. Thomas said that was inappropriate.

The issue surfaced again in November when two professors who have been a couple for more than a decade were asked to rent separate rooms on a student trip to Australia.

For those not from the area, St. Thomas is a local Catholic college, which clearly sports (likely tenured) professors of dissenting opinions. St. Thomas is also the home for the local St. Paul School of Divinity (seminary). I've notices that since orthodoxy has returned to the seminary, and the recent grads/ ordinations have spouted orthodox priests, likewise the school has begun taking a stand on behalf of the morality they were supposed to uphold all along.

Better late than never, I guess. But boy, are they looking at a battle. The best thing this school could do is offer the profs an escape clause from their contracts...either accept, follow, and promote the teachings of the Church, or don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!

These profs are not so much heterodox, though, as they are hedonistic. As my Mom used to say, "They want what they want when they want it and everyone else be damned!" Funny thing is, though that it's those who are fighing this policy who will be damned by their own choice when they meet their judgment.

I applaud St. Thomas's stand on this issue. St. Thomas as a Catholic institution has a moral obligation to promote the teachings of the Church. They have an obligation to the students who attend to provide instructors and others who can stand out and stand firm, who are made of solid moral fiber, and who can lead by example. As it appears from this article, St. Thomas had not, in the past, done a very good job in hiring people who understand the true meaning of "Primacy of Conscience".

Might I suggest that it's time to clean house? The lines have been clearly drawn. Let the dissenting professors go, let them out of their contracts, and hire those who will uphold what Christ proclaimed, not what heretics push.

Happily, the tide is turning and I would guess that those protesters referred to in the AP report all had gray to white hair, worship a she-god revolving around prayer circles and eco-spirituality, promote abortion on demand, homosexual marriage, and wear Doc's. What that means is that thier breed is dying out. Their type of poison is no longer appealing to those being raised in the faith. but that's not to say they aren't dangerous.

These protesters are as dangerous to college students as an injured animal...they may appear to be sleeping, but their bite can be deadly, and the kind of bite they deliver doesn't kill the body; it kills the soul.

Just after my dad died in 1995, I had to take a course at another Catholic college in Minnesota (not St. Catherines, thank God!). At a time in my life when I really needed God, and needed to find him, a professor I admired taught that bad things happen because God is not omnipotent. God is NOT all-powerful. God doesn't have us all within the palm of his hand.

Is it any wonder, then, in my extremely vulnerable state, why I lost my faith after that? Is it any wonder why I didn't continue going to Mass, because, after all, God couldn't help me anyway. This, according to a Catholic professor in a Catholic college teaching a Catholic course.

Just like those professors at St. Thomas. They are killing their students, and they're proud of it, and some of those they affect will NOT be able to find their way out of the darkness and back into God's omnipotent hand.

St. Thomas, stand strong, and DO NOT BEND against the futility of dying-out protesters. It's the hardest thing in the world to stand against the wind, especially when the source of the wind is sewer gas such as this. But with the igniting flame of the Holy Spirit, this particular wind will blow up and only destroy the dissenting source, not those standing on the side of Christ.

I hope they publish the final outcome.

Please pray, everyone.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Catholic Carnival is up!

Check out my good friend's website at:

And specifically the Carnival submissions at:

Yes, I know, I still can't get links to work. But that's OK, because I'm an Amateur Catholic!

Amateur Catholic B-Team Member/a>

That's the html for the icon badge, and I'm so Amateur that I can't figure out what to do with that, either.

I hope you enjoyed my own personal little carnival, so now go to the REAL Carnival (first link), copy/paste it into your browser, and enjoy the reading!

God Bless you with understanding of html code.

Sinners' Anonymous--or maybe not so Anonymous

I've decided that it's time to stop living this lie, living this life in shame and shadows. It's time to come out and admit it.

My name is Julie and...I'm a sinner. I have to go to Confession...frequently. I sin all the time. Lots of stuff, and it seperates me from God and even sometimes people I love. I do all kinds of things I'm not proud of, and so it's time to admit that I, Adoro Te Devote, am a sinner. See? I sin under both names!

So who's with me this lenten season? Anyone else wanna share your testimony? Don't leave me hanging out here all by myself! I was hoping to start a Sinner's Support group, and maybe, just maybe, we can help other people get to Confession this Lenten season.

Who's with me?

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Thankless Leper

What an ingrate I've been. What a faithless leper. I have been remiss, my friends, and it's time to make it right.

I used to be a leper by choice; a leper having chosen my own private form of leprosy. No one exiled me from the Church; I exiled myself, as most of us did. I became a dissident, and I got lost and rejected what I knew was right.

But funny thing...God doesn't let us get away that easily. When I look back on my life, especially when I wandered around on my own leper island, feeling sorry for myself, blinding tripping over my own betraying feet, I kept asking God for help. And as I flailed around in the dark, God gave me his hand, and I batted it away and told him to, "darn it, throw me a bone over here!". And when God shone a light on the problem, I told him that wasn't what I was looking for and to turn that gall-durned light off so I could stumble around in comfort.

And yet God was patient, and he was kind, and no matter how much I railed at him, ran into things, tripped on my feet and cussed him out, he picked me up, brushed me off, and refused to leave me alone.

And after awhile, I realized what an idiot I was, but I didn't know how to be any different, so my prayers took a different course. It took several years, but I was starting to recognize His voice and His hands again, and the light he tried to show me time and time again became more appealing. But I liked the comfort of the darkness, even as I looked for the adventures to be had in the light. And I begged God not to leave me alone with my chosen form of leprosy.

I begged God not to give up on me.

Tonight I am watching the annual Lenten movie, "The Passion of the Christ", and when I left the theatre that Palm Sunday, I nearly called up the parish and begged for Confession. I hadn't been there in 2 or 3 years, and only my terror of the light kept me away. Foolish, foolish girl.

Now that movie still has the power to make me cry, to make me cringe in shame, and to remember what Jesus has done for me. On the day I saw that movie nearly 2 years ago, I left the theatre, and not only did I repeat, "Jesus, I am so sorry!", but I begged even harder, "Jesus, don't give up on me come back."

Sad to say, I didn't make it back in time for Easter that year, and it was a couple months before I got to Confession, finally.

But finally I went, and finally I was back, and this time, I'm not leaving. God slowly, patiently, and with much kindness led me back to the Church, and finally, I can see again. He has healed me, he has given me my sight, and I have not publicly thanked him.

So now, reminded of my omission, I return and publicly thank Jesus for never forgetting about this stupid, sad, bullheaded lost leper. I was reminded today about the one who came back and remembered to thank Jesus, and today, I want to remind the rest of you to thank Him also for the gifts he has given you.

I thank you, Jesus, I love you Jesus, and I praise you, Jesus, Now and Forever. AMEN!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

One Dissenter to Another- will the irony never end?

I just thought I'd take a break from the Father Altier newsflurry and post a juxtaposition of true dissent in our archdiocese.

This, from the rabidly dissenting self-styled "prophetic" St. Joan of Arc parish in Minneapolis, MN. Perhaps we have some insight into their dissent through what I found there today. Now, the speaker is a Presbyterian elder, and you will not be surprised to read how proudly dissenting his own congregation is:

Especially interesting is this one snippet from his talk:

I have several good friends that worship at this parish. And I know how many of you struggle with certain elements of the Catholic church’s teaching. What a beautiful thing it is to struggle; to have differences and disappointments and sometimes pain, but to know that there is a spirit that transcends the authority and the legalisms that is just too precious to break bonds with.

My own Presbyterian congregation stands in dissent with our national church. It’s a good place to be. We will never act to sever the bonds but we will express our best understanding of the gospel and be the people where that spirit takes us.

Just a few points:

* For those who have not read the article, in the first paragraph, he refers to "this" parish, which is St. Joan of Arc.

* "...a spirit that transcends the authority...." Read this over again. This sentence is classic doubletalk, often employed by the enemy to hypnotize one into such false logic. Basically he's saying it's ok to overstep and go beyond authority if "the spirit" leads you to do so.

* His own dissenting (his word, take note) congregation will not break the bonds with their larger church. Funny thing, by their dissent, as in SJA's dissent, they have ALREADY broken those bonds and spiritually, they have turned their backs on God.

* The spirit he refers to is NOT the spirit of God, it is NOT the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not encourage people to thwart authority, but to obey true authority. Note that this speaker is not questioning the legitimacy of authority; rather he is justifying allowing "the spirit" to lead them into their own sort of queasy "authority". That, my friends, is a sign of the devil.

We know who runs both SJA and the congregation of the speaker, and it ain't God. Please take some time to pray the Divine Mercy for the souls of all those being led into hell by a "spirit" by the name of Dissent.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Father Altier in the media-- UPDATE!

My good friend and faithful reader, Ray, sent me this info this afternoon, from the local StarTribune newspaper.

A St. Paul priest's opposition to an Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis anti-sex-abuse curriculum has led to a request by Archbishop Harry Flynn "to take some time off" from his radio and web ministries, the archdiocese's spokesman said Friday.
The Rev. Robert Altier of St. Agnes Catholic Church has condemned the children's component of the Virtus program, which is mandated for all Catholic schools and religious education programs.

Altier's "Voice in the Desert" website, which on Friday bore a new address with a commentary embedded -- -- said he has chosen "obedient compliance" with Flynn's request to refrain from posting commentaries or broadcasting them on Relevant Radio, 1330 AM.

"Father Altier is an honored priest, and has not committed any improprieties," archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath said. He said Flynn will not discuss the issue publicly because it is a "personnel matter, but I surmise that Father Altier's contrarian position on Virtus is the issue."

Altier and the St. Agnes office did not return phone messages Friday.

The Virtus program, for adults who work with children, and its children's component are being implemented in the archdiocese's 220 parishes to comply with a 2003 mandate by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in the wake of the clergy-sex-abuse scandal.

Along with Oregon Bishop Robert Vasa, Altier has gained a national following among curriculum foes, many of whom are associated with Catholic Parents Online, based in St. Paul. They believe that the program violates Vatican teachings (the magisterium) and that only parents should talk to children about sex.

Darrel Kloeckner, of Marine on St. Croix, who is associated with Catholic Parents Online, said he has closely followed Altier's web and radio ministries and is "very disappointed" that they're on hold. "What it comes down to is we're trying to be faithful to the magisterium," he said. "We believe Archbishop Flynn has been misled on this issue."

He said he was heartened to hear that parishes that object to the program can petition Flynn for an alternative program that is more home-based.

My question is: did the writer, Pamela Miller, get this info about the REASON for the silencing from an actual informed source, or is it as much speculation as that in the blogosphere?

I called the reporter, Pam Miller, and left her a voice mail inquiring as to whether she actually confirmed this information. I'll update if she calls back.

Friday, March 03, 2006

McBrien is still lost

I love how he first refers to "in your face emails" depicting the waving image of our new pontiff. It is just like someone such as himself to so transparently display his insecurity. It's not as if this priest is on solid ground, and with what's coming down the pike, he'd better find a rock to build his house on. Pray a few Divine Mercies for this joker, will you all please?

Now, my take on what Pope Benedict XVI is doing? I think he believes in the old adage, "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."

Good move, Holy Father.