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Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Little-a This, a Little-a That

This time of unemployment in the lull between the job I hated and the beginning of Grad school has provided me some time for contemplation. Are you ready for these deep thoughts? Good! I knew you would be.

A Haunting. Have you ever seen that show? It's interesting, talks about various hauntings, dramatizing the stories of people everywhere. Their stories are literally hair-raising, they all go through denial, and then realize something has to be done. And the expert they call invariable recommends that they call a priest. Whether they are religious or not, or Protestant or not...they call a priest. One family consisted of what they self-identified as "faithful Lutherans" (although I noted a strain of cafeteriaism there, too), and their Pastor came out to bless the house. But the told them that if that wasn't enough, they'd have to call a priest. And this story played out like this over and over a priest. An exorcism is needed. Even if the family was total relativistic new-age-whatever-comes-along. The New Agers even recommenended an exorcism by a priest, because all they could offer was "a cleansing".

That's amazing to me. How can someone recognize the authority of the priest to command demons, the authority of the Catholic Church...and not convert? How can a Protestant Pastor (God bless his humility) defer to another religion, recognizing the only authority to which a demon will respond? How can he remain a Pastor of another religion?

Just something to ponder. How can the world continue to persecute the Church as being the Whore of Babylon in one breath, but rush to kneel at the feet of the One True Church when they are beset by demons? But it happens, over and over again in movies and in these re-enactments? (Um...that's a broad comment meant to cover a lot in a small space).

Think about it. The World recognizes this authority...and yet, people look down on Catholics. Wow.

Moving on...

Little House on the Prairie: I grew up on this show. Michael Landon was a hero in my house, and even when I got older and read the books, "Pa" had the face of the actor I'd grown up loving as the father of Laura and Mary and Carrie.

And I've always hated Mrs. Olesen. What a gossipy bit of muslin she was! And her daughter Nellie...just fluff. All she was was another brat wearing fluff.

A secret...since my family grew up poor, that show helped me see what wealth did to people, and I met many "Nellies" in my days on this earth. Thankfully, MOST of them weren't as insufferable as she...but they always made me grateful for my poverty. Even though I didn't realize it at the time.

And all this rain, all this damp. While our neighbors to the south are still being drenched by the flood waters, I'm whiny and "priveliged" enough to complain about the dampness in my own house. I'm sick of the gloom. I'm sick of the clouds. I'm sick of the drizzle. There have only been only one or two days since I left my job that I could consider to be "good weather". The rest has been hot and humid or cool and rainy. I'll take the cool and rainy over the hot and humid any day, but that doesn't stop me from compaining.

Everything in my house in damp. Completely damp. I can feel the dampness in the carpet, the dampness in clothing washed and dried days ago, dampness in towels I'm using to dry my dishes, dampness in bathroom towels...and the stagnant air does nothing to help. NOTHING is drying out. I can almost sit and watch mold grow.

So today I gave in...I turned on the AC. Not because I was too hot (for ever since I had heat exhaustion, I can't tolerate heat very well); but because I can't take the damp anymore. Not when I can control it. I don't have a de-humidifier. But I DO have working AC.

It didn't take long for things to feel better, although the humidity is still in the air.

Yeah, I'm a whiny wimp, not much different than Nellie Olesen. The only thing I'm missing is pink muslin, hoop skirts, blonde curls, and huge pink bows over puffed sleeves.

For the record, though, I'm not blonde, I've never worn a hoop skirt (not even at prom...I never went to prom. Thank God. What a waste of time and money), and I don't have curles. Or bows in my hair. Not really my thing.

I think Terry's logorrhea is wearing off on me.

Note: Check out the link to "logorrhea", and be sure to read the ad. ROFL!

Now please excuse me. I got my hair cut today so now I'm going to go color it to refresh what's left of my highlights from last spring.

Comments please commence!


Anonymous said...

renewing hair highlights may tend to give off such a radiant glow that it might be mistaken for a halo, no?
after reading fr v awhile back, i wonder what shape and color yours will take ...

Melanie Bettinelli said...

Your comments on the haunting show were interesting. I shared them with my husband who points out that most Protestants don't think in terms of the one true Church as we Catholics do. For many it's much more squishy and relativistic. They tend to think of a multiplicity of churches, one of which I happen to belong to but others are good too.

There's also a huge dose of "magical thinking" going on. Catholics can sometimes be prone to this too. You know them, they're the people who bury St. Joseph upside down in their yard and put leaflets in the pews about the magical "infallible novena," works every time. Or who treat scapulars and holy medals and rosary beads as magical talismans that will in and of themselves save them from hell. When you're in this kind of mindset, you don't really think about why something works, you just go through the steps and it works because you followed the proper procedure. (Many people treat science and technology this way too.)

My favorite example of this kind of magical thinking about the Catholic Church, by the way, is in the novel Dracula. At one point Professor Van Helsing crumbles up the Host and makes it into a paste to stuff in the cracks of a tomb to keep the vampires in and later uses it to draw a magical circle that they stand in. my reaction when I read this was: WTF! No Catholic who believed in the Real Presence would desecrate the Body of Christ like this. But why would someone who doesn't believe in the Real Presence think the Host has any power at all over evil? The answer: magical thinking. It's why holy and water and crosses work against vampires: magic.

For most people who believe in magic, there is no consideration about why magic works. It just does. And sadly, many people, even devout Catholics, treat God as some kind of magical wish granter in heaven. Many people aren't interested in the search for truth, only in the search for "what works for me" or "what makes me happy".

Hidden One said...

Adoro: Can I quote your post in one of my own?

Melanie: Lots of wisdom there.

Adoro said...

uncle jim ~ no halo here. I'm a mess! But I like the refreshed color in my hair. (My natural color is dark..the highlights are actually "redlights". I really like them! :-) But I like the original contrast I had when I died my hair black, and then went in to get red hilights in a very vibrant red. It doesn't look Goth on me at all even though it sounds like it. They do a good me a professional look with some fun color.

To be honest, though, next time I spend the money to get color done, I also intend to get a streak of blue.'s the artist in me coming out through my roots! LOL!

melanie b. ~ Basically, what you're saying, is that it's superstition on their part, whether that's what they want to call it or not. Thanks for your insight on this! Of course, their superstition doesn't make the actions of the priest any less authoritative, but rather just demonstrates how God loves us so much he will not let us suffer even as we choose to wallow in ignorance. Fascninating!

Oh, and I've been there, so that makes sense.

Hidden One ~ Absolutely! Send me the link when you're done. I always like what you have to say.

Badger has arrived said...

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about spiritual warfare and the like, (prayers desperately needed in his case; his name is Danny, more specific info upon request) and out of my mouth popped this gem; "Danny, let me tell you, I was a Wiccan for 7 years, and you know, when the bad things came round, I never have heard anyone call out to the Green Man to save them. Nope, when push comes to shove, there are no atheists in foxholes, and there are no pagans where there is real demonic activity."
And that's absolutely true. Whenever something really BAD was around, it was always the Lord's Prayer and the Hail Mary that came out, not some wordless chant or a call to Thor.
Sorry, I have a bad habit of hijacking blogs...

Anonymous said...

It is your hair - do as you like.
It sounds like the current rave in Ukraine - the younger [under 45]women there, trying to look 'western', use a dark base color with vibrant red highlights ... and pointed high-heel shoes ... and skirts / dresses are a couple to many inches above knees.

If you're up to any out-of the states missionary work, you'd fit right in there.

Melanie Bettinelli said...


Yeah, superstition is a good word for it.

And of course the shows you are watching don't necessarily tell the whole story, who knows where the people who called in the priest will ultimately be led? The one incident might not have been enough to make them Catholic; but it might be part of a larger pattern in their lives, a series of events that God uses to draw them closer to himself. Who knows but that a seed might have been planted which won't bear fruit for a long, long time. God is wonderful and mysterious like that.

Badger, That's an interesting story and a good insight. There is only one name which has power over evil and that is the name of Christ. And on some level people know it, whether they consciously accept that truth or not.

Anonymous said...

Adoro, I think your hair sounds cool. Sometimes the red-on-dark really complements & isn't "radioactive." It worked for me 15 years ago.

Melanie: what *hidden one* said. Sometimes I catch myself doubting my faith when praying the Rosary or present before the Eucharist, thinking "do I really believe what I'm saying, or am I just following a 'formula' & hoping for certain consequences?" The gist of it is that there's nothing wrong to hope in supplication for what we want, but the most important thing is to pray for union with/conformity to Christ. It doesn't matter whether or not I "feel" like something's happening or not. I think just the practice of saying the Rosary, even when my thoughts are elsewhere, is fruitful in some way. Not because there's a hocus pocus value in the words themselves, but because I'm giving that time to God; even if it's riddled with distraction & half-heartedness. God is like the parent who gets a crappy toy of paper plates & string from his ignorant child. It's a crappy gift, but He's still ga-ga over receiving it, 'cuz it comes from His beloved. Ok, I'm rambling. Bye.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: Excellent point. Why don't those folks "get" that if the Catholic priest is the only guy who can "get er done".

Do you ever watch Ghost Hunters on Sci-Fi? 1/2 the fun is watching the cranky interaction between the crew. They hardly ever actually find any ghosts.

Anonymous said...

Nothing to add here - but will say lots of very good comments.

Fr. V said...


I remember hair.

Good points - especially about the superstition.

Another reason Catholics are rushed to the fore in arts when somethng is needed to stand against evil is that evil so easily depiceted, it is rich in symbolism. Unlike many other denominations (and even faiths) Catholicism speaks so well to all of the senses - particularly sight. I think that is part of the reason that religious orders that wear habits seem to tend to do better than their non-habitted counter parts - they catch the eye and te imagination - you just know who they are and what they stand for.

Unfortunatly we are also used to show some seedier aspects of life too.

Kind of off topic - a Law and Order repeat the other night (I should just know than to watch the Special Victim's Unit) made a BIG point about a couple not believing in abortion because they are Catholic (which of course the characters disapproved - though one of them is a product of rape - funny how they never are quite consistant nore do they bother putting all the pieces together when it is not convenient) but when it came out that this same couple abonded a child, committed murder, lied to the police, tried to impede an investigation and was willing to let someone else take the fall for the crime - funny - what wasn't mentioned, "How could you not believe in abortion but do these other horrific things? Your faith does not allow you to do these things either."


Could a little propaganda be going on here?

Unknown said...

An interesting fact about "Nellie" from Little House; the Actress Allison Arngrim. I saw her in an interview about being typecast.

Her character was so believable and so identified with the actress even many years later that when her then fiance told his mother that he had just asked her to marry him his mother (her future mother-in-law) said "Are you sure you want to be married to Nellie?"

I laughed so hard when I heard that interview. I mean really the poor woman hadn't played that character in nearly 10 years.

Now that is what I call acting.