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Friday, September 29, 2006

Grad School Update

I called UST today to make sure they have everything they need...transcript, references, etc. One of my references hasn't gotten his letter in but I confirmed it was sent earlier this week, so the person I spoke with at UST told me she'll call me by the middle of next week if it doesn't arrive.

I also learned that I will not recieve formal acceptance until MID-NOVEMBER!

The good news is, though, that there should not be a problem with my acceptance...I was able to provide everything they asked for with the exeption of a professor's reference, and I think the two priests and my manager trumped the need for one, so I'm good to go.

It's still hard, though, not knowing for certain.

At this point I think I'll be starting only with one roomates on the horizon, part time jobs with benefits (especially well-paying part time jobs) are hard to come by and my company may not have anything available.

This is DEFINITELY a job for God! And if He really wants me to do this, I know that He will provide, but just the same, I can't apply for more than one class unless the other things fall into place, and even with one class I'd prefer to work only part time because my current job has lots of stress, long hours, and quite honestly, they overwork us. Many employees are grumbling and going elsewhere...different companies, same job, better pay, better work load.

But I'm on vacation through the next week and I don't want to think about anything other than relaxation, getting things done, taking the dogs for walks through the autumn landscapes, and sipping white wine while I get my hair highlighted on Monday.

THAT'S a vacation.

And I'm going to read my high-school level Didache Series textbooks on Church History and Scripture. This week the Faith Formation director didn't seem too happy that I had the books. "Those are High School level you know", she frowned condescendingly.

I should have asked her then if she thought the average Catholic could answer even half the questions in the book? Not likely. I can't...and I'm going into a MA program, so I should at least have a "high school" level of understanding, should I not?

The fact that myself and others don't possess the knowledge in these books really is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in our faith, in our education as a cultural whole...and if in teaching RCIA I find a need for these "high school level" books, I guarantee that the knowledge contained within is useful.

One of these days I will blog about some of the questions in this book, just to see if anyone can answer them. For now, I think I'll study and obtain a little knowledge about a great big faith...and wait to be accepted into Catholic Studies program.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Geography Meme

The Recovering Dissident Catholic tagged me for this meme:

1. A Place You've Visited and Your Favorite Thing there.

Mexico--I lived there for a semester while in college, and fell in love with the Pacific Ocean on our 5 day vacation in Puerto Escondido. But in reality, my favorite "thing" in Mexico was really the people...they are golden.

2. A Country You'd Like to Visit and Why Isreal- the Holy Land. Who DOESN'T want to follow the footsteps of Jesus? (ACLU, you are excluded from answering this question)

3. A Place From History You'd Like to Visit and Why

The Inquisition...I want to see what REALLY happened because the history books are biased so I'd like to get a first-hand account.

4. A Place You Know a Lot About Puebla, Mexico

5. A Place You'd Like to Learn More About Ancient Italy

6. A Fictional Place You'd Like to Visit

NARNIA! When I first read the books, I begged God every day that I would find this mystical land when I opened my closet door, by my disappointed fingers only met with soft yellow drywall. As an adult, I re-read the books and I have a WALK-IN closet now...and I had to stop myself from going into the closet, reaching through the coats in back...just in case. This place has ALWAYS gripped my imagination and if Heaven is as described by C.S. Lewis, maybe someday I'll find "Narnia".

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


For those who do not know, RCIA stands for "Rite of Christian Initiation", and it is a journey of faith which, for many, leads to full communion with the Catholic faith. People may go through RCIA for many be Confirmed, to be reeducated in the faith (after having fallen away), or even to convert from another religion to Catholicism.

Tonight was my first night teaching. I actually didn't really have to do anything as it was only an overview for the new class, an explanation, and a very short lecture. We broke into small groups, and I found myself as a small group leader...all by myself. As I joined the little group, I introduced myself, "My name is AdoroTeDevote..and I'm a Catholic."

They were very receptive to this, and it gave me courage, so the small group session went well. What an amazing group of people!

In the very beginning of the evening, all we teachers introduced ourselves to the whole group and so I had revealed that it is my first time teaching. So when I entered the small group at the end, they acknowledged my rookiness. As they had apparently run out of things to say, and awkward silences are a sign of a bad facilitator, I decided to correct the problem...and offered them an opportunity to ask a random question in order to "stump the rookie". To encourage them, I let them know it should be pretty easy.

One person did have a question, I gave a very general answer, of which my real answer was "I don't know" but I was able to provide some good information in the process. Inadvertantly, I apparently answered this person's question to his satisfaction.

Whew! Got through that one!

In all seriousness, I do hope that I will be a good teacher. The people who are going through RCIA want to be there, they want to learn, and they have real questions. I am not a theologian, but they don't really want one..they just want a teacher who can explain the faith and assist them on their way to union with Christ.

I will actually teach my first class in two weeks, on the scripture readings. If anyone can point me to a good Biblical commentary for those readings (28th Sunday in Ordinary Time), send me a link!

Please also pray for all of us teachers, both the newbies and the veterans, and especially keep all those in RCIA throughout the world in your prayers.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Official Catholic Geek

Can we get a logo over here, please?

I think it's time to declare a new category..not just Amateur Catholic, but Official Catholic Geek. That, my friends, is T-shirt worthy! OCG!

Perhaps you wonder why I have made this declaration? Well, I've come to realize I'm a Catholic Geek.

It's not about involvement in the parish...after all, that can be quite a social activity. It's not about prayer...we are all called to prayer, geeks and non-geeks alike. It's expected us all of us and is actually a pretty basic instinct.

Well, I was hit with a revelation recently, and the priest at my parish actually pronounced it to be so...I am a geek.


Well, not only am I a revert with this seemingly insatiable thirst for all things Catholic, but I have actually gone so far as to begin to read the Church Fathers by way of a wondeful book, FOUR WITNESSES The Early Church in her Own Words Clement of Rome, Ignatious of Antioch, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus of Lyons. Now, this book discusses the Didache, which is the early teaching of the Apostles...the first record of the first Catechism. It highlights the writings of these Fathers of ours and discusses the historical context at the time, including descriptions of the violent martyrdoms of themselves and other early Christians. It discusses the first "denominations", because, of course, Satan immediately sought to wreak division among the souls, thus we have Gnosticism, Docetism, Montanism, etc.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Folks, the Church is facing the EXACT same problems now as she did 2,000 years ago. The Martyrdom is different, but it's still there and has taken a different course. I really think there are many Catholics out there living lives of quiet martyrdom, and we will never recognize most of them...but the Lord does, and what He sees in secret, He rewards.

Now, back to the geekiness....I am going to begin teaching RCIA this year. As I've never really taught before, this year is likely to be more about learning than teaching, but I hope to at least get my feet wet by standing in front of the class with the Catechism in one hand and the Bible in another. (I'm not sure how holding two tomes will lead to wet feet, but I digress).

Well, this weekend, I visited an awesome Catholic store, one in which I believe the proprietors of which nearly consider me to be a stockholder... St. George's Christian store, in Blaine, MN. Well, I happened by a couple of textbooks: The Didache Series. Thest textbooks are apparently used often by homeschooling parents...those who are serious about imparting their faith to their children, are endorsed by Cardinal George, Scott Hahn, and the like...and they have GREAT pictures! I'm not talking about drawings..I'm talking about true historical art...good, in depth summaries, references to the Catechism, references to!

Well, I BOUGHT two of the textbooks, and I'm actually READING them! And I intend to read them COVER TO COVER.

That's when it hit home and I realized that my parish priest really did mean what he said, and his assessment of me was correct....I'm a Geek.

So I began to take stock of my Catholic library, and here is what it contains:

* 4 Bibles: 2 NAB, 1 New Jerusalem Reader's Edition, 1 Ignatious RSV
* The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)
* The Compendium
* The Baltimore Catechism
* Four Witnesses-The Early Church in Her Own Words ~ Rod Bennett
* Where we Got the Bible ~ Henry G. Graham
* Catholic Source Book
* The Essential Catholic Handbook
* Pope Fiction - Patrick Madrid
* Theology for Beginners - Frank Sheed
* Catholics and the New Age - Fr. Mitch Pacwa
* Forgive Me Father, for I am Frustrated - Fr. Mitch Pacwa
* Prayer Primer - Fr. Thomas Dubay
* The Fire Within - Fr. Thomas Dubay
* The Screwtape Letters - CS Lewis (I of course have Narnia as well)
* Father Brown Mysteries - GK Chesterton
* Truth and Tolerance - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
* Catholicism and Fundamentalism - Karl Keating
* The Davinci Hoax - Sandra Meissner and Carl E. Olson
* Why Do Catholics Do That? - Kevin Orlin Johnson
* Dark Night of the Soul - St. John of the Cross
* A Story of a Soul - St. Therese of Lisieux
* Nuts and Bolts - Tim Staples
* Ungodly Rage - Donna Steichen
* Confessions - St. Augustine
* The Didache Series - The Complete Church History, and Understanding the Scriptures
* Surprised by Truth 2

Well, I think I'll just end it there. I haven't read everything on the list, although I've read bits of all of them and have consumed most of them at one time or another. I have other books not named, and of all of the above...I RECOMMEND ALL very strongly.

It might be time to constitute exactly what creates a Catholic Geek, and what, exactly, is involved in designating geekhood. I'll be taking comments and will set them out all out in a future post.

I know you're out there...come on out, Catholic Geeks...make it official! You know who you are...and you have the same books as I in your library...and more! What ELSE makes you a geek. Inquiring other geeks want to know!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Now I understand.....

I had a rough week this week, for more reasons than one. Work, worry about a certain thing, and then compounded by another issue, something brand new.

I had to go to the doctor this week, nothing major, just a routine visit. Well, she found what might be a "lump" or a "mass", and so an ultrasound was ordered. She was going to order a mammogram as well, but decided that since I haven't hit 35 (few more years), and since it didn't truly seem warranted, we'd stick to the ultrasound and go from there.

OK, fine. I know a ton of women, and some men, who have experienced something similar. It's not a big deal...just a diagnostic test. I know it's not a big deal, the doctor said it's not a big deal, but of course they have to be careful.

I left the clinic this week not too concerned. I wasn't happy with having to return, but that was fine. I'm an educated woman and I know that this is being done for my own good and there is cause to do so. I drove home, not worried...or so I thought.

And then later, I spoke about it to a friend and nearly burst into tears as I asked for prayers.

Guess what? As much as I had told myself that it was no big deal, it "didn't matter" and was "probably nothing", deep down I had the same worry that everyone else had when they got the news. That it was the worst. That it could be cancer...and then what? The fear of the unknown...the fear of suffering...the realization that life is all too short and we have no control over what can happen to us day in and day out.

I was distracted at work today, wondering what the ultrasound would show. Would something be found? What if it was cancer? What if?

In speaking with a co-worker (pray for her, please, she is really searching and was raised Catholic...she may be close to coming home), I expressed to her that I'm doing what other women I've known have done. I'm worrying.

And not just worrying. As much as I know about this subject and the need not to worry, I still internally find that I have to steel myself...because if I expect the worst and get that news somewhere down the road, then at least I've mentally prepared. It's survival instinct. It's coming to terms with it before it's even known.

And I knew my internal freaking out was useless but somehow, I was helpless to stop it. So I just went about my distracted day, drove to the clinic, and went to the Breast Cancer clinic I was referred to. (Part of the big clinic I go to).

As expected, it turned out to be nothing. The tech told me to follow up with my doctor in a couple months to have it re-checked but both she and the radiologist agree it looks like nothing.

But thousands of cancer survivors can tell you that that "nothing" turned out to be "something" at some point...and thus, none of us are immune. I have a friend who recently went through a full mastectomy. She is doing well and is even pregnant again, but clearly, she has suffered greatly. I could not forget her face when she told me the news and asked for prayers.

For now, for me, the crisis has passsed yet I'm going to be keeping this in the back of my mind. I believe it is inherently in the nature of women to understand we must suffer, and it is best to come to terms with that early on. It is our strength, even though it is very much related and part of our foundational weakness as human beings.

What amazes me so much is that time and time again, this being no exception, I see that it is God who finds us in our weakness and makes us strong, turns our failures, our sufferings into great strengths, even if we don't recognize them or need them at the time.

I would like to ask that you keep me in your is perhaps not necessary, but I've never been one to gamble successfully. I cannot stress enough that it seems all is well, but I think today I got a reminder of my mortality...and the great compassion of the Lord, who does not let us, nor want us, to bear our infirmities alone.

And I thank the good Lord, that today, I got a verdict of "normal" from an otherwise abnormal week.

God bless and keep you all.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Renunciation of Truth does not Heal Man

Check out this article!

Yet other Catholics feel he did make a slip in his speech.

"He should apologize," said Jennifer Ferreris, 20, a theology student at Boston College who went to see the pope on Wednesday during her trip to Rome.

"Too much emphasis is placed on the fundamentalists of Islam, the militants, and not enough on the faith. We adore the same God. They have respect for the Virgin Mary."

Even if he suggested something many believe is true - about a link between violence in Islam, especially after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 - critics say it is not necessarily the pope's job to say so. It could, they say, undermine his authority as a figure above conflict - or even feed a hatred against Muslims that they say is contrary to Christianity.

"I lost a little respect for him," Ferreris added. "Inadvertent as it might have been, he's the head of our church. He should be the most tolerant."

Did anyone catch the irony in the punch line here? Let me repeat it for you, and let me set the stage...a THEOLOGY student, referring to comments made by Pope Benedict XVI, thinks that he should be "THE MOST TOLERANT".

Apparently this "theology student" has never heard of a little gem by the title of "Truth and Tolerance", authored by none other than Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

Pherhaps some excerpts from the Pope's own words, when writing as the Cardinal, will assist this "student" in further understanding of what tolerance is really about:

" There is nothing else for it; reason and religion will have to come together again, without merging into each other. It is not a matter of preserving the interests of old religious bodies. It is for the sake of man and the world.... yet persuasion can only be achieved with difficulty amid the multitude of pressures and demands to which people are subjected. We must venture an attempt to find the way, however, so as to make plausible once more, through various converging indications, something that for the most part lies far beyond the horizon of our own interests. (p. 84)

Now, the following REALLY sums it up:

Yet even Islam, with all the greatness it represents, is always in danger of losing balance, letting violence have a place and letting religion slide away into mere outward observance and ritualism. And there are, of course, as we all know but too well, diseased forms of Christianity--such as when the crusaders, on capturing the holy city of Jerusalem, where Christ died for all men, for their part indulged in a bloodbath of Moslems and Jews. What that means is that religion demands the making of distinctions, distinctions between different forms of religion and distinctions within a religion itself, so as to find the way to its higher points. By treating all content as comparably valid and with the idea that all religions are different and yet actually the same, you get nowhere. Relativism is dangerous in quite particular ways: for the shape of human existence at an individual level and in society. The renunciation of truth does not heal man. How much evil has been done in history in the name of good opinions and good intentions is something no one can overlook. (p. 204)

"The renunciation of truth does not heal man"

That may very well be one of the best things anybody ever said. Thank you, Pope Bendict XVI. Stand strong, Holy Father! You owe no apology!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

An Alleged Yale Director Responds!

Check out Cathy_Of_Alex's posts on the "Pope and the Witch" travesty.

You can read it for yourself here and here.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The University of Minnesota Refuses to Pull the Plug on "Pope"

I encourage everyone to read the Pioneer Press article in full.

The University's response is completely unacceptable and the weak explanations provided for allowing this attack upon our faith--completely illogical.

The U's theater department will stage "The Pope and the Witch" in early March. A national Catholic group this week began urging Minnesota Catholics to "rebel" against performing it at the state's flagship campus. Internet bloggers questioned whether the university would produce a play like "Pope" that lampooned Islam or Judaism.

U leaders say the play will go on and that the university must be a place for even unpopular views. As for religious controversy, a spokesman noted that the U this month will play host to a gay Muslim activist speaking on "the lives of queer Muslims."

Note: the U leaders are comparing this play, perpetuated by an anti-Catholic author, to a gay Muslim activist speaking on behalf of himself. Where, exactly, is the comparison? There is none whatsoever.

Asked if the U would produce a play that satirizes Islam, Wolter said the university has a long history of wide-ranging debate.

That was complete avoidance of the question. He did not answer the question at all, but changed the subject to "long history of wide-ranging debate". In other words, no, they would NOT produce a play that satirizes Islam, and having a gay Muslim speaker on campus is not is a discussion of that person's views. Not the same thing. Also, not a debate.

The spokesperson goes on with his non-logical "defense":

"Later this month, we're hosting a gay Muslim activist to discuss his faith-based human rights activism within Islam," he said. "In March, the (U's) Humphrey Institute presented a new play called 'The Trial of Osama bin Laden' that explores and imagines terrorists on trial in New York City.

Osama bin Ladin is not a typical Muslim. I have known and have worked with Muslims, and they have no claim upon the terrorist leader. They would not care about the idea of exploring what would happen if terrorists were on trial. Exploring this very real possibility is NOT the same thing as attacking the Catholic faith.

The response by the University of Minnesota is completely unacceptable and displays not only their double-standard in bold letters, but sadly, indicates that apparently those who are supposed to be educated have no grasp on logic itself and fall back only on fallacies in response to a direct challenge, even from an impartial reporter.

Catholics, keep up the protest...this show must NOT go on!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

5 Things Meme

Recovering Dissident tagged me for a 5 Things Meme.

5 things in my freezer:

1. fresh-caught-fresh-frozen salmon fillets given to me by my brother, who got them from his boss who caught them himself.
2. ice cream
3. ground hamburger from my cousin's farm
4. ice packs
5. freezer-burned home-made wontons I made about 2 years ago...yeah, they need to go away.

5 things in my closet:

1. Winter clothes
2. a Winchester .30-.30
3. a box full of stuff I can't remember which will likely be thrown away soon
4. a formal I purchased for the office "Holiday Party" 4 years ago and haven't worn since.
5. bridesmaid's dress which I meant to have turned into a cocktail dress, looks somewhat like the one from "Pretty Woman".

5 things in my car:

1. My first communion rosary hanging from the rearview mirror
2. Sunshade for the windshield
3. Canvas seat protector across the back seat- because of the dogs
4. dog hair
5. various CD's and cassettes

5 things in my backpack:

1. My application packet, info, and copies of the app I sent in to UST last Friday.
2. Unpaid bills and paid bills that need to be filed
3. Prayer cards and other similar materials
4. dog poop pickup baggies
5. wrist brace for my left wrist

And I tag.....YOU!

I will defend my Church...and I will never be sorry

Concerned Catholics from all corners of the world---UNITE!

There is a great injustice being perpetuated by University of Minnesota approval and even by promotion...and your help is needed! Ray gives the information here

******* ((( below: quoted from Ray's blog, credits at the end ))))

“The Pope and the Witch”, which will debut at U of M, March 1, 2007 has provoked outrage from the Catholic League for its sacrilegious and bigoted display, which Newsday describes as starring “a heroin-addicted, paranoid Pope called John Paul II, along with scheming priests, bumbling nuns and monks.” The play also describes “thousands of hungry children, the fruits of the Pope’s birth control doctrine” crying for food – an irony, since the rejection by many European Catholic countries of the Church’s teaching on contraception has produced a severe dearth of children and a looming de-population catastrophe.

In a press release, Catholic League president Bill Donahue said he had written to U of M president Robert Bruininks to cancel the play, which Donahue described as “pure hate speech” mentioning that playwright Dario Fo is “a well-known Stalinist and anti-Catholic bigot.”

Although Bruininks is aware that Catholics find the play a bigoted disparagement of their religion, he responded to the Catholic League that he has no intention of canceling the Catholic hate play.

“In response to my letter, president Bruininks offered that the University of Minnesota hosts hundreds of events every year, bringing together all kinds of scholars, artists, politicians and others who ‘represent a broad and diverse range of opinions and viewpoints,’ said Donahue.

Donahue then quoted an excerpt of Bruno’s letter that indicates the U of M president has advocated a double standard of tolerance when it comes to discrimination against Catholics.

“The University of Minnesota is committed to establishing and nurturing an environment that actively acknowledges and values a very broad diversity of points of view that are free from racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice, intolerance and harassment,” wrote Bruininks (emphasis added).

“Obviously, president Bruininks either doesn’t mean what he says or he thinks that anti-Catholicism is one form of prejudice that the University of Minnesota is prepared to tolerate. Even fund,” said Donahue. “And who’s paying for this? Catholics in Minnesota, among others. It’s up to them to rebel.”

See promotion page for play

To respectfully contact U of M President Robert Bruininks:

phone: 612-626-1616
fax: 612-625-3875

See Board of Trustees of University of Minnesota Foundation

To respectfully contact the chair of the Board of Trustees:

Fred R. Friswold, CEO
Tonka Equipment Company
13305 Watertower Circle
Plymouth, Minnesota 55441
Tel: (763) 559-2837
Fax: (763) 559-1979


((all taken from )))

Here is my letter to the president:

Dear Mr. Bruininks,


I would like to respectfully request that you work to remove the blasphemous anti-Catholic play, "Pope and the Witch" from this year's theatre schedule, and do so posthaste. May I remind you of your very words:


“The University of Minnesota is committed to establishing and nurturing an environment that actively acknowledges and values a very broad diversity of points of view that are free from racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice, intolerance and harassment"


This just begs the what way is this theatrical attack upon the Catholic Church "free from other forms of prejudice, intolerance and harassment"?


There is a difference between free expression of opinion and s blatant attack. I highly doubt that you would allow a similar play involving Judaism, Islam, Hinduism or any other religion to be performed, nor would I or anyone else encourage such a thing. The fact that this play is being shown at the U of M, to the great offense of a great many Catholics in this state, your own students included, shows a double standard which cannot and should never be allowed.


Perhaps you or others have questions about what the Church teaches, which can certainly be understood. However, it is INTOLERABLE that such a blatant attack upon our faith be allowed to continue. Have you not read the play's description on the U's web page?


" In the Piazza San Pietro thousands of hungry children, the fruits of the Pope's birth control doctrine, are crying for food. Meanwile he contends with assassination attempts, Mafiosi, drug dealers, sinister bankers, and inept cardinals. Fo's point is that it is easy for a rich church to rage against abortion when millions are born into poverty, and become victims of the drug trade, from which people uder the Vatican's protetion can fill their pockets." (quoted directly from misspelling included )


1. The Pope does not have a "birth control doctrine". The Catholic Church has ALWAYS taught that birth control is immoral. Why? There are numerous reasons and numerous resources, the primary of which is the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II's "Theology of the Body", which was actually a series of different speeches is another incredible resource firmly grounded in theology, morality, and the Bible. The fact that popular culture disagrees with what they call a "doctrine" is not a reason to attack the late John Paul II.


2. The Catholic Church is not rich. It is true that the Vatican is the guardian of priceless art work and historical documents, however there is no wealth gleaned from these holdings. Furthermore, whether the Church is "wealthy" or not is a moot point, for to condemn an organization or even a country (which the Vatican happens to be) for having any kind of holdings even perceived to be wealth is hypocritical of the one making the accusation. Those in glass houses should not throw stones...or does the playwright and every person associated with this play intend to give up all of their material possessions and serve the poor and diseased for the rest of their lives?


3. Catholics are not the only people who rage against do other Christians, and so does Islam...but it's politically incorrect to dare to speak against Islam, isn't it? Yet are they right and Catholics are wrong here, or is it possible that abortion is actually the murder of an unborn child? There is also a group called "Feminists for life". They are not all Catholic. Why not bring them into the mix and condemn them, too? Just because the Pope speaks out, just because Catholics uphold the last shreds of morality in this increasingly secular and oversexed culture does NOT mean that we can be attacked at random and yet be expected to acquiesce to the demands of an injust double standard.


4. Funny how the synopsis discusses the impoverished children. I can point to couples waiting to adopt...I can point to thousands of Catholic and other organizations there to serve the "unwanted children". I can point to statistics that will demonstrate a population IMPLOSION, especially in European countries. I can show how "population control" has failed and continues to fail and yet how world organizations push birth control and abortion, and I can point to countries (China) which utilize such inhuman tactics of forced abortions, which they of course deny.


The allegations made in the very description of this play only serve to bolster some of the uninformed attitudes of those who already know little about the Catholic faith...thus the U of M is now using propaganda and rhetoric to fuel further unjust hatred of a religion so many do not even seek to understand. How, exactly, is that tolerant? How is that not harassment? How, exactly, can this play be held at a tax-funded state university?


I would also like to suggest that you consider how Catholic students may themselves suffer the very predictable repurcussions about to be perpetuated upon them after the showing of this play. Would you care to be responsible for that?


Please remove this play from the schedule and show by your actions that you do follow your quoted statement of integrity. I realize that you did not write this play, however, by allowing it to continue you do indirectly seem to agree with the anti-Catholic attitudes expressed within, and you do directly cooperate with a direct and intentional offense against the Catholic Church.

Thank you,

AdoroTeDevote, Minnesota Catholic

Monday, September 11, 2006

Katherine Susan Wolf - September 11, 2001

Today we honor the life of Katherine S. Wolf, wife to Charles, talented musician, loyal friend, and beloved child of God.

There is a 37-year-old home recording of the voice of Katherine Wolf, as a 3-year-old girl in Wales, telling her "mummy and daddy" that she would "like to sing 'All Things Bright and Beautiful.' "

It was a promising start to a lifelong avocation. Mrs. Wolf became a classically trained pianist, and an accompanist for the Philbeach Society, an amateur operetta group in London. Her musicianship led her to America in 1988, when the ensemble staged a joint production with the Village Light Opera Group in Manhattan. Charles Wolf, a member of the opera group, recalled the night he met her that year and said to a colleague: "Who is that woman? I have got to get to know her." They were together ever since.

Mrs. Wolf worked for years at Schroders, a British asset management company in Midtown. And just three weeks before Sept. 11, she began a new job at Marsh & McLennan, on the 97th floor of 1 World Trade Center.

"You couldn't let her reserved exterior fool you — she'd stand up to anyone for something or someone who she believed in," said her friend Jean Orr.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 21, 2001.

In honor of a little girl's drean, perhaps echoed or even realized as the beautiful woman she became, it is only appropriate to remember Katherine Susan Wolf in the fine words of the song written by Cecil Frances Alexander(1848):

All things bright and beautiful,
all creatures great and small,
all things wise and wonderful,
the Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
each little bird that sings,
he made their glowing colors,
he made their tiny wings. (Refrain)

The purple-headed mountain,
the river running by,
the sunset, and the morning
that brightens up the sky. (Refrain)

The cold wind in the winter,
the pleasant summer sun,
the ripe fruits in the garden,
he made them every one. (Refrain)

He gave us eyes to see them,
and lips that we might tell
how great is God Almighty,
who has made all things well. (Refrain)

Yet no words ever written can ever adequately honor the memory of a loved one. A commenter, a friend of Mrs. Wolf, posted a very touching memoir which is far more personal than the synopsis given in any newspaper.

She was only 40 when she went to work that brilliant September morning. And she never came home. AA Flight 11 slammed right into her office on the 97th floor of One World Trade; we'll never know for sure, but I'm told her desk was on the opposite side of the building from the impact point and it's possible that she never even knew what hit her. I pray that that is the truth, because thinking that she might have been standing there at a window, watching the planing heading right for her, i just too painful.

For the first year or so after 9/11, not a day went by that I didn't think of Kath...

I offer my sincerest condolences to the those who were and remain beloved friends of Katherine S. Wolf. I only wish that I had had the opportunity to meet the woman who gifted the world with her very presence. My prayers remain with her, her family, and her friends.

Réquiem ætérnam dona ei Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat ei. Requiéscat (Requiéscant) in pace. Amen.

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Her O Lord, And Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her and May She Rest in Peace Amen

2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.

On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.

We will honor them by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Day Nine - Novena to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Ninth Day

Jesus says: “Blessed are you when they revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.”

Pier Giorgio responds: “We who by the grace of God are Catholics must steel ourselves for the battle we shall certainly have to fight to fulfill our program and to give our country, in the not too distant future, happier days and a morally healthy society. But to achieve this we need constant prayer to obtain from God that grace without which all our powers are useless.”

We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, show me how to bear all wrongs patiently. Help me to accept the sufferings which others inflict on me because of my desire to be faithful to Jesus.

Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who protects the innocent, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need:

(mention your request.)

Report favors received to:

Causa Pier Giorgio Frassati,
Borgo S. Spirito 4,
00193 Rome

Friday, September 08, 2006

Formal Application

Well, everyone, I did I sent in my application. I also faxed a request to my Alma Mater (St. Mary's University of Winona, MN) to have my transcripts forwarded to UST, and I contacted my references to let them know they could send in their letters.

Now it's up to the people reading the apps. Now it's completely in God's hands because the only thing I can do is wait, and I'm not very good at that. Because I'm fairly certain they will not deny me admission, I am working to find a roommate because in order to go to school part time, I will need to quit my job. It's far too stressful and leaves me literally drained at the end of the day. I'll stay on full time if I am denied Financial Aid, but that will mean taking only 1 class, and quite honestly, I do NOT want to be on the 10 year plan. Talk about draining! That, and I am not sure of my ability to dedicate myself to my studies if I have to put in 10-12 hour days, especially when it gets busy...which is most of the year in my job. (We have only the occasional lull, usually preceeded and followed by utter chaos).

Some of you may be wondering why I'm so excited about this. After's only applying for school! It's all hypothetical, right? I haven't even been accepted and here I am, planning.

You bet!

I have been the "Blue Coyote", running around doing all the wrong things ever since I graduated from college the first time around. I've done everything, none of those things being right for me. And yet again, here I am, in a job in which I have no future. It's not that I'm many ways I'm very good at my job and have a lot of potential...but in many other, more fundamental ways, I do not have the needed qualities for longevity. I often look at the business model of my company, the practices, etc., and while I really see nothing outright ethically wrong, I still don't like the constant drive for profit, for which they are going so far as to sacrifice the working environmment. It was different when I started, but with the focus going to statistical data and off of the reality of the job, there has been a definite shift...and I've almost quit more than once.

Managers everywhere, take note: your bottom line, or lowest ultimate cost does not matter if your employees are overworked, stressed out, and unhappy. If YOU cannot control the workload, then hire more people, even if it affects your profit. If your employees are dropping like flies, that's usually a sign that something is wrong. Take a hint.

OK, off my soapbox. I don't work for a bad company and it's not a bad just isn't for me. It's there for now, and God put me here and kept me here for a reason, and I'm getting to that.

I think I've figured it out, and God's designs are all over it. Every job I've had up to now has meant utter anguish in one way or another, and really, this one has been no exception. But this job has also placed me on a career path of sorts, has given me financial stability and the income which allowed me to purchase a home (townhome), and to replace my prior falling-apart car. These are good things. And of course, God's focus wasn't the job or the stuff...his was getting me to the spiritual home in which He could speak to me--and so He has.

God set me up in such a way that I am trapped, professionally. I've been looking for other jobs, but for me, there is literally NOTHING OUT THERE! I posted a resume and got hits for sales and marketing and other things similar to my job...none of which I want, none of which I am qualified. I can't go back to my original career path in social services as I left that track behind me and the only stuff I can find has pitiful benefits and pays very little--not nearly enough to cover my monthly expenses.

So how could I consider Grad school? Simple...for a long time, I didn't. I nearly gave up on the very idea, thinking I'd have to be content with my simple and useless B.A. degree. Thinking, as I watched my debt and my work position pen me in completely, that there was no way out. And it's been like this now for a couple years. Every time I'd get a handle on the debt, something would the series of weird illnesses my dog contracted in succession.

I also noticed that the financial issues occurred not only when I had thought I had a handle and a plan...but also when I was taking steps to come closer to God. I was working hard to do what I wanted to do, and still, somehow missing God's will.

Finally, this year, a series of events involving Catholic education took place..the Called the Lead Conference, constant information hitting me in random places regarding the UST Catholic Studies program, and a friend, a DRE in another state, who encouraged me not to give up on the idea of Grad school.

Then one day it struck me that I should do some searching. I've looked for jobs, I've done everything I can...the only door I haven't looked behind was the one marked "Grad School" because I discounted it before I ever gave it a thought.

(Jason, if you're reading this, then it's all your fault! Thanks for the kick in the pants!)

I tend to move quickly when I make decisions...if I don't then I lapse into inaction but if I follow a course of action, then I must continue to the end. That's apparently the way God created me. I dunno.

Anyway, I realized tonight that finally, I have let go and have put everything in God's hands, and this happened with such subtlty that I didn't even realize it! In the past, I made DEMANDS of God, I TOLD Him what I wanted and expected him to do for me, and I was upset if it didn't go my way. I decided that I was the author of my own future, me and no one else and I just expected God to cooperate.

God doesn't work that way.

So he set me up. He found me a job when I prayed for one while I was unemployed, and without other prospects, I took it. It has been a good job, but it has no future. It uses my skills, but 20 years here would be akin to a fate worse than death. I've seen no way out...until now.

And the support surrounding this has been amazing. There has not been a single person who thought this was a bad idea...even the people I expected to object have been supportive. There has been support at my parish, among my family, and among the blog community, and to all of you...thank you.

Maybe this doesn't seem like a big deal, and it's not a done deal. I still don't know that I'll get into the program, I still don't know if I'll be able to pay for it...but finally, at long, long last, I can see a light at the end of this tunne. And I can finally see and understand that Jesus has been walking with me and holding my hand the entire time.

No matter what happens, I've found hope again, I'm getting my optimism back, and I've learned that the future does not belong to me, nor did it ever. My life is in His hands, and all this is for His glory, not mine. An MA degree will not advance me spiritually, nor will it make me a better person in any way. It won't make me smarter...only more knowledgable. But what is knowledge if it is not shared? It doesn't make me superior, only forces me to step into a higher standard, a higher responsibilty.

"To whom much is given, much is expected." I only pray I can live up to what the Lord has given me already. I can't do that without prayer. I can't do it without Jesus, without Mary as my model.

Whenever I have a decision to make, or I am worried, the one phrase that comes to me consistently is "Seek first the Kingdom of God." This is what we all must do for the Lord comes first in all things. He holds us all in the palm of His hand, He loves us all very very much, and when we stop fighting Him, he is so much better able to display his glory.

My application went off today with a few stamps and many prayers, and while I am excited, I am at peace. God is in control. I must take each step, I must plan ahead while not burning bridges, and I must be patient. But it is not for me to know the future, only is for me to have trust and complete faith.

So now we all wait...and let the will of God be done in all things and in all seasons.

Thank you, Jesus

Eighth Day - Novena to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Eighth Day

Jesus says: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Pier Giorgio responds: “To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend, without a steady struggle for truth – that is not living, but existing.”

We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, teach me silence in the face of personal humiliation and unjust criticism. But guide me to be courageous like you in standing on the side of God’s truth. Help me to be faithful to Him in all things, so that His Will may be done in and through my life. Show me how to persevere in the struggle for those things which are holy and honorable.

Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is the source of grace and truth, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need: (mention your request.)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Seventh Day- Novena to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Seventh Day

Jesus says: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”

Pier Giorgio responds: “I offer you my best wishes – or, rather, only one wish, but the only wish that a true friend can express for a dear friend: may the peace of the Lord be with you always! For, if you possess peace every day, you will be truly rich.”

We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, despite your daily struggles, you found peace by fostering your own well being in work, study, and play; in prayer alone and with others; in silence and in song, in laughter and in serious conversation with friends. Guide me to that inner peace which will enable me to share peace with others.

Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is our peace, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need:

(mention your request.)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

St. Therese of Lisieux - The Little Flower

A couple years ago in October I began a 5 day novena to The Little Flower. On the fifth day, on the bush outside my door, there bloomed a trilogy of white flowers...far out of season. This bush tends to bud and then bloom in late May into June...the flowers are long-lasting and fragrant, but they still wilt all too quickly and drop their petals all across my doorstep. They have a scene which is somewhat similar to roses.

I stared in surprise at the blooms. They were actualy springing from the exact branch from which I had taken the last buds of the previous season. I had offered those last buds to Our Lady as an "I love you" offering.

A year later, I had made my 3-year Confession but was still struggling with many things. I stood in the Confessional line, on a First Friday, I think, trying to phrase what I was going to say. I happened to be standing at the back of the chapel, completely "eye to eye" with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

And deep within me, a voice spoke, "I already know you...I already know what you've done. You don't need that front you put up."

I realized He was right, and those vestiges of Pride fell away, allowing me to go into the Confessional. I went in to a face to face Confession and burst into tears...and I had no idea why. The priest was wonderful and managed to get to the root of the problem. Because there were a few standing in line behind me, he asked me if I would be willing to come back, either that night, at the end of the line, or by appointment. He told me that he thought there was "more there" and he wanted to be able to discuss it with me. I agreed to wait.

I sat in the back of the chapel, near the statue of St. Therese, weeping, trying to contain my tears even a little. I did not take notice of her statue at all.

While I prayed for guidance in finishing my Confession, a woman nudged me gently and said, "I brought this here tonight for someone else, but that person isn't here. I think I'm supposed to give it to you."

She placed in my hands a xeroxed (literally) little booklet of novena prayers to St. Therese and the Litany of St. Therese. I thanked her, weeping even more now. I glanced over at the statue of my patroness, and began to pray. I just had this sense of being surrounded by love, and, my friends...those Saints in Heaven really DO take notice of us, and will interceede for us unsolicited. I think, though, that they just don't always make themselves known..the interceed in private, but that night, St. Therese knew I needed SOMEONE to to share my pain, and she stepped forward with a little spiritual hug.

That winter I read "A Story of a Soul". I had never read it before and just read passages here and there.

I had a dream one night in which I was in an old, fallen-down but under-renovation church, and in the sanctuary were people who didn't seem to know they were in a church. I went towards where the altar and tabernacle were supposed to be, even in their absence not wanting to pollute that space with my presence. On the right side of the altar, there was a hole in the wall and I, being nosy, looked through it. I was taken aback to see that someone, apparently a nun, kneeling with her back to me, praying.

I went to the other side, then realized there was another hole in the wall. I saw a mirror reflecting a person at me, the woman praying. She looked up and smilled her sweet smile...and I realized she was St. Therese!

I was afraid to approach, but she only continued to smile and nodded as though it was ok to approach. I could not see her directly, but only in the reflection of the mirror set at an angle. I could only see her left shoulder and part of her veil.

I prayed to her, asking for her own prayers for me, asking for a flower from Heaven. She nodded, still smiling. I was called to go and so I said my goodbye, thanked her, and was taken away.

I woke up, the dream still hanging on. I berated myself for not having asked for prayers for my family and my friends. I asked only for myself and felt terribly selfish.

That morning, I went to Mass early and brought "A Story of a Soul" with me.

While in Adoration that morning, reading, I came across a passage in the book in which St. Therese describes a dream she had. She met, in the dream, the Foundress of her order and some of the original sisters. She grasped the hand of the Foundress and asked if God was pleased with her and recieved great reassurance.

She woke up from the dream and berated herself for not praying for her loved ones. She called herself "selfish".

I was so struck by this parallel that I nearly fell out of the pew!

I would never dare to compare myself to this wonderful saint, but if only I could be like her! Do not be afraid to ask for her prayers...even if they are not God's will, then perhaps St. Therese will at least leave you a little token of her love and a little spiritual hug to let you know that you are not alone on your journey to be united with Jesus.

St. Therese, the Little Flower
Please pick me a rose from the Heavenly Garden
And send it to me with a message of love
Ask God to Grant me the favor I thee implore
And tell Him I will love Him each day more and more.

Our Father.... (5 times)
Hail Mary......(5 times)
Glory Be.......(5 times)

St. Therese, PRAY FOR US!

Sixth Day - Novena to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Sixth Day

Jesus says: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Pier Giorgio responds: “I beg you to pray for me a little, so that God may give me an iron will that does not bend and does not fail in His projects.”

We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, lead me in the path of purity, for only those who are clean of heart can behold God’s face. Help me to be faithful to the covenant I have made with God in Baptism, that I may always be loyal to His commands and thus offer Him sincere worship. Show me by your life how to be single hearted and completely, unswervingly, dedicated to proclaiming the kingdom of God here on earth.

Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is pure love and holiness, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need:

(mention your request.)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Prayer Request esp. for pet lovers

I would like to humbly request your prayers for my friend and co-worker...he's in for a couple very tough nights and for some very real grief.

Tomorrow he is going to put his dog down.

He had his dog before he got married and was concerned when their little boy was born. Their dog was a little nippy, but thankfully, didn't take much notice of the baby. He had mentally prepared to give up the little ball of fur should there be a problem and was, of course, torn up about that. But clearly, he knows who takes precedence in his home.

This weekend, though, was a problem. The dog tore his dew claw and it was hanging just by a thread. They called the emergency vet, who gave them a choice; bring the dog in, $100 just to walk through the door, or follow their first aid instructions to contain the damage until they could get their pet to their family vet.

They went to the pet store, picked up a muzzle and the appropriate supplies, and went home to try to assist their pet...the poor little guy was in complete misery, can't move without yelping, but let them approach.

Well, those of you with small dogs are already aware..they are feisty little things! They got the muzzle on, the wrap-around kind with just the very tip sticking out. But once they tried to bandage that wound, the little dog fought with all his muster and succeeded in biting my friend's wife...and drew blood.

They haven't been able to approach him since. He's nervous, snarling, and in pain.

They discussed it with their vet, and taking all things into consideration...their infant son, the dog's already bad nippiness combined with a real bite now...their fear of him going into a home and harming someone else...they are choosing to put him down.

I could see the tears swimming behind my friend's eyes today as he told me. Tonight is his last night with his pet, only 3 1/2 years old. He's going to do his best to let the dog's last hours be "quality time" for them and tomorrow he will be leaving work early to go to the vet's office.

Please keep him and his little family in your prayers, whether you are dog lovers or not. This is the hardest decision he's ever had to make and frankly, it's a responsible one. My heart really goes out to him and right now, I'm crying for the loss he's anticipating as I have two dogs of my own and so I can understand how he must feel.

St. Francis, pray for us, and especially for my friend in his time of loss.

Fifth Day- Novena to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Fifth Day

Jesus says: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”

Pier Giorgio responds: “St. Paul says that “the charity of Christ urges us.” Without this flame, which should burn out our personality little by little and blaze only for other people’s griefs, we would not be Christian, let alone Catholic.”

We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, teach me by your example of mercy to open my heart more widely to those in need, especially the poor and the sick. Guide me in extending that mercy both to friends and strangers, to those who love me and those who do not. Help me to reflect God’s own mercy, especially in words and deeds of forgiveness.

Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is gracious and merciful and just, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need:

(mention your request.)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Fourth Day - Novena to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Fourth Day

Jesus says: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Pier Giorgio responds: “What wealth it is to be in good health, as we are! But we have the duty of putting our health at the service of those who do not have it. To act otherwise would be to betray that gift of God.”

We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, help me to seek God’s righteousness, His plan for my life and for the salvation of the world. Show me the way to self-surrender, so that I may desire nothing more than to be of service to the Lord and His Kingdom. Lead me to the table of love, where I will be satisfied.

Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is righteous and just, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need:

(mention your request.)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Walking Birth Control?

That is the title of the article I found at the Women's Press, and of course, the parenting described self-righteously within naturally lends to the idea that people with children provide the only "birth control" needed.

How sad, how very very sad.

To summarize, the author is describing an out-of-control 2 1/2 year old who happens to love condiments. Now, I'm not criticizing this...I seem to remember my own fascination with condiments as a child. This is only natural. I have to confess that sometimes I STILL play with the sugar packets...although not to the degree described in this article:

Restaurants should take the extra condiment expense out of that $2 they charge for 12 cents worth of fountain pop. Believe me, we won't break the bank over a dozen sugar packets and a handful of butter pats. Heck, charge me extra for them-but unless you are going to get that food here quickly, don't take away our only viable entertainment and chance to be out among people.

A DOZEN sugar packets? A HANDFUL of butter pats? Condiments as the ONLY viable a restaurant, mind you.

What? Has this woman never heard of setting proper limits? Since WHEN is it appropriate to let one's children go nuts on not a couple sugar packets...but A DOZEN? And a handful of butter pats? No wonder so many children are fighting obesity...the mothers are not reaching out and telling them, firmly, "NO! That is NOT what that is for! If you want butter, you can have some with your food."

Followed by the removal of the condiments from the reach of the children. Or, God forbid, a gentle hand slap if the little hand reaches out in disobedience towards the condiment rack again. The proper course of action would be for the mother to be prepared and have some kind of appropriate activity on hand...maybe a coloring book, or ask for the crayons...all restuarants have them.

She actually does address the crayon issue, to give this mother some credit:

For most toddlers crayons and placemats printed with a dot-to-dot drawing of a carrot, a crossword puzzle and an all-food-related word find it about the fascination equivalent of being offered a stick. Actually, my kids would prefer the stick. They are creative girls and at the very least they could use it to whack each other across the table and whacking each other makes them happy.

Again, I have to ask...exactly HOW is "wacking each other with a stick" appropriate behavior in a restaurant, in the home at the dinner table, etc., a good idea? What does this teach the children in question anything other than the idea that they can do whatever they want, wherever they want? How does this lead to good behavior ever?

It doesn't. Simple as that.

I seem to remember my mother taking condiments away, and I seem to remember being disciplined for misbehaving as described above...and in that place, we were taught proper table manners. We do not shout at the dinner table...we do not hit each other...ever! If we are bored, we will find something proper to do or we will leave said restaurant without eating and we will NOT return to a restaurant until we display proper behavior at the dinnner table very consistently.

Thank you, Mom.

This apparently self-loathing mother has bought into the cultural idea that it is damaging to set limits for one's children...after all, we need to make sure they grow up with a healthy sense of self! We can't discourage their creativity, especially when it is inappropriate! To do so may mean we are squelching the next great artist of the modern world!

We wouldn't want that to happen. Never mind that said potential great artist would never go anywhere, no matter what the talent, were said artist never to learn appropriate behavior.

Don't get me wrong: I absolutely adore my children and being a parent is the best thing I have ever done in my life. It has strengthened my faith, my respect for my parents and my compassion for all living beings. At the same time, seeing people parent when it isn't pretty may help people make a more informed decision about becoming parents themselves. Eating out with children is one of those not so pretty parenting times.

The platitudes she expresses here are nice, but there's only one problem...her parenting is absent.

Now, I realize that many parents are harried, and everyone has bad days, but a line has to be drawn somewhere. Had my brother or I behaved as this woman tolerates...nay, encourages, we would have been banned from the dinner table in our own home! Never mind the restaurant.

It is parents such as this that encouraged me NOT to have children for so many years...because I was terrified that my children would be just like them....wild, out of control, and without discipline.

No wonder so many people are on birth control...the existing parents largely do nothing to give them the idea that children are a gift. We, the public, are often not treated to a well behaved child, but rather, a child of a parent who doesn't believe in consequences for poor behavior.

I don't hate children...I dislike bad parenting and I will condemn it until the day I die. And if God sees fit to give me children they will be raised just as Mom raised me...with loving discipline, with consequences for poor behavior, and with a faith in God above.

I'm convinced there is a special place in heaven for good mothers and fathers. Please offer your prayers for ALL parents...their job is not easy.

3rd Day - Novena to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Third Day

Jesus says: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Pier Giorgio responds: “With violence you sow hatred, and you harvest its bad fruits. With charity, you sow peace among men – not the peace that the world gives, but the true peace that only faith in Jesus Christ can give us in common brotherhood.”

We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, guide me in claiming my rightful inheritance as a child of God and heir of His kingdom. Show me, by your own example, how to be slow to anger, and gentle in my dealings with others. Help me to show forth the peace of Christ by speaking words of peace, and by living a life of peace.

Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is meek and humble of heart, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need:

(mention your request.)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Imperfect Among Us and the Right to Choose

Pregnant women take tests to determine whether their babies are "healthy", the definition of which excludes those children who may have Down's Syndrome, Spina Biffeda, or other disorders. Those "doctors" who order the tests often "encourage" women to "terminate" the pregnancies which might not result in the perfect child!

In other words...they encourage abortion, the murder of an unborn child, based upon inexact science and their own terrible perferences enforced upon...everyone.

Speaking as the daughter of a man who suffered from Spina Biffeda, speaking also as a daughter of a woman who was born without a left hand...I just say BULLSHIT!

I don't often use bad language on my blog, but sometimes one has to call it what it is.

My mother was once told that she could not have children, then defied the doctors and proceeded to have two of us. While she was pregnant with me, shortly after the passage of Roe v.Wade, people approached her in the grocery store, or wherever she happened to be, and tell her that "people like you should not be allowed to have children." In defiance of the culture, in defiance of rude, misguided souls in various locales, she gave birth to me. Abortion was never an option.

Thank you, Mom.

Had my Grandparents shared the idea with various "doctors" that "imperfect" children should not exist, both of my parents would have been murdered in utero, thus, I would not exist to share their story or mine.

I then have to ask any of you who support "a right to choose", who might come across this...if your parents have some sort of "disability", would you prefer that they had not been born? What if your father had an arm which was shriveled and bent inward as a result of a neurological disorder? What if your mother was born without legs? Would you go back in time in order to dispose of them to rid the world of their disabilities, thus removing yourself from existance?

If you do not believe this is proper, how, then, could you say it is OK for another person to kill their child, the potential parent of a child just like yourself? How is is right for you to will a generation of children out of existance, just by virtue of the fact a certain unjust law did not exist at the time that your parents were given life?

When I was in elementary school, I met a girl a grade below me who was born with Cerebral Palsy...her name was Sara. Sara had to wear braces on her legs. She was sweet, she was pretty, she was joyful...and she was loved by everyone who met her. Why? Because her disablity was not a disability for her. It was an annoyance, but she did not let it get in her way. We always knew when she was coming due to the sound made by her braces and halting footsteps, but somehow, her smile always preceeded her actual presence.

I remember the day she lurched up to us, smiling as always, and announced that finally, the braces were coming off!

They did come off, and afterwards, her "disability" was not noticed, although she did have to continue much physical therapy, likely for life.

I'm sure that was a hardship for her family...the time, the cost..the imperfectness of their little girl. What a disappointment.

After reading that, can any of you say that they should have aborted Sara? After all, her parents had the right to "choose". By the definition of some, Sara should never have seen the light of day...she should have been shredded in the womb and sucked out through a tube and washed down a drain.

We never should have seen Sara's smile, we never should have heard her footsteps or her joyful announcement.

I have to there really a choice? We do not know what is going to happen. My grandparents did not know that my mother would be imperfect and in reality, they did not care. My other grandparents did not know that my dad would suffer a severe genetic disorder...and they didn't care. They couldn't afford his surgeries and he never walked normally...and they loved him just the same.

We are all imperfect in some way. Some of the most debilitating illnesses are not visible prior to birth, or after birth, but only appear years and years schizophrenia, Parkinson's, Huntington's, and a slew of others.

Life is not about genetic testing and's about life. Pure and simple. If a child is conceived, that child is meant for this world, and that child is a son or daughter of God. The scientific testing that takes place these days does not much to encourage life, but rather, acts to discorage anything that MIGHT appear to be less than perfect. Yet the tests are not accurate, and do nothing but play on the paranoia of people who have not been properly educated.

If you are considering an abortion, then consider your own parents..if they had been tested as "imperfect", would you prefer not to exist, or do you think that maybe you've had something to offer the world? Doesn't your child then, as well?

The only "imperfect" thing about children surrounds those who believe in a "choice" to kill them before they have the opportunity to prove their worth. What kind of choice is that?

2nd Day - Novena to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Second Day

Jesus says: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Pier Giorgio responds: “Our life, in order to be Christian, has to be a continual renunciation, a continual sacrifice. But this is not difficult, if one thinks what these few years passed in suffering are, compared with eternal happiness where joy will have no measure or end, and where we shall have unimaginable peace.”

We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, teach me that I must be able to mourn if I will be able to rejoice. Show me how to face my sorrow, and not avoid it or pretend that it does not exist. Help me to enter into any present sorrow, so that my soul can empty itself and be filled with God’s peace.Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is our Consoler, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need:

(mention your request.)

Friday, September 01, 2006

First Day - Novena to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Jesus says: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Pier Giorgio responds: “The faith given to me in Baptism surely suggests to me that of yourself you will do nothing; but if you have God as the center of all your actions, then you will reach the goal.”

We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, teach me true poverty of spirit. Help me understand that God cares for me; and that He asks me, in return, to care for others, especially those in need. Guide me to make choices in my life which will show a preference for service of God and neighbor, rather than accumulating financial wealth and social advantage for myself. Give me a special love for the poor and the sick.

Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is the Lover of the poor, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need:

(mention your request.)