Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

I don't think male transgender job seekers would need to fear prejudice aginst them by Human Resources departments...

.... if instead of being flamboyant caricatures of hyper- feminine dress and appearance, they all dressed like this:
 Maggie Gyllenhaal, "Very Good Girls" premiere

"Some have said...."

I believe I recall that "some have said," is considered the weaselyist of weasel words, the easy way to say what you want said without taking responsibility for your saying it.

The most read (to my knowledge,) presbyteral blogger,  with the use of selective boldening, emboldens his readers to believe, (because you couldn't put it on the interwebs if it weren't true,) that a qurater o all illegal aliens in the current surge have criminal records, by giving the impression that the Lt. Gov of Texas said that a quarter of all the illegal aliens flooding his states border are criminals, because the headline on Breitbart, IN SO MANY WORDS, says, "Dewhurst: One-Fourth of Illegals Apprehended at Border Have Criminal Records", despite the post itself actually reporting that what the state official quoted said was only, "We've seen estimates that at least a quarter of those apprehended have criminal records."

Got that?

We've. Seen. Estimates.

So, plenty of weaseling all around.

Heck, I could say anything, and then you could report that I'd said it as if it were, I dunno... some kind of news? Instead of presenting actual news, which would require actual, you know... facts.

Some have said....
francis urquhart has an eye on you -  ... but I couldn't possibly.

Personally, I think the Cavuto is the most weaselicious bit of phraseology, asking a question so you can put something out there as a fact.

As in,

What are ya gonna say to that other than "yes...."?

No, actually all tigers do NOT have stripes....

... and it can kill them.

A writer on a group blog, Women in Theology, responded to criticisms of her criticism of  Eve Tushnet's interview which apparently maintains that a lesbian can be a faithful, celibate Catholic without "repressing" her sexuality, (I haven't read the interview yet.)

The woman on WIT uses a witless (see what I did there?) syllogism containing the premise that "all tigers have stripes."

Unless this is urban legend, at least one Bengal tiger was famously deprived of his stripes, and it was the death of him.

And there are other reports of non-striped tigers.

This may or may not be relevant to her greater point about what it means to be "gay," but it at least points out that absolutes are too often absolutely wrong, and I thought it was funny that the author used it, shortly after I had heard an argument about Beastmaster. (My brothers can argue about anything.)

Amusingly, well, to me anyway, Marc Singer's fantastic pecs not withstanding, he is a fine, classically trained actor.
I did a show once with an actor of some Hollywood fame, and the night before we began rehearsals, or dress rehearsal, or something, a local station broadcast, (yes, children, in those days....) a re-run of an old made-for-tv movie in which he and Singer played struggling actors who made ends meet by becoming strippers, and then had to fight their way back to respectability.

I hope Marc Singer is as good a sport when he is teased about Beastmaster as Gregory Harrison was about this.
Gregory Harrison shirtless Fresno

Okay, that photo is Harrison in an entirely different role, but I couldn't resist.
 He really was a terrific sport, and a great guy.


(And though I haven't actually seen Magic Mike, and have no intention of ever doing so, I can't imagine either Tatum or McConaughey, whichever one plays Mike, being more magical that Harrison who was, and probably still is, breathtakingly handsome in person. And his stripper movie having been made in the early '80s for broadcast tv, it was probably mild enough to merit a G rating in today's market, so I have no qualms about posting pictures from it.)

Gay and Catholic

I think this piece at the slanty USCatholic is well worth your read.

I don't like the dichotomy that the author sets up between "creed" and "catechism," and I don't like that in the heirarchy of what he says he gains from his membership in the Body of Christ he seems to value , (with the wphrase, "most of all,") what amounts to fellowship over the Real Presence, but I do like that for once a gay Catholic leaves the issue of sinful activity out of it.

Is he active or not? don't know, don't care, in this context it is irrelevant.

He speaks of "deciding what are the battles you’re willing to fight with it and what are the battles you’re willing to fight with yourself," and in charity how can we assume other than that one of those battles with himself is for winning the prize of chastity?
You can present as gay without presenting as sinning.
Some people object to this analogy, but I would compare it to not hiding the fact that yes, I'm an alcoholic, and no, I'm sober.

Or in my case, yes, I'm bitchy, and I'm working hard to keep my mouth shut.

We don't have to get into the yes, important, but sometimes over-emphasized matter of scandal. (Flamboyance has it's price. I have learned that in matters that have nothing whatever to do with sexuality, see above.)

What IS relevant is that he is reminding the Church, that's all of us, of the loving inclusivity of PERSONS, not beliefs, not actions but persons, ALL persons, that is demanded of us.


Active Love.
I’m a sinner just like everyone else at my parish, but my sin isn’t my homosexuality. The sinfulness of my being gay is that it tempted me, allowed me—encouraged me, really—to think that I was somehow set off from the rest of society, that I wasn’t really part of the world. The sin of my homosexuality is that it led me to believe lies—deadly, soul-killing lies—a sin for which I am indeed heartily sorry. But by the grace of God I’ve forgiven the people who told me those lies, and I’ve forgiven myself for believing them.
Incidentally, I lived ofr a time in a socially ultra-conservative small  town, attending exactly the sort of parish you'd expect in such a place, where one of the daily Mass-goers was a charming man who wore very heavy eye-liner.
He was much beloved by the rest of the daily Mass community, (often a tighter, more close-knit "community," than the rest of a parish could ever dream of being,)  despite the fact, as he told it to me, that they tut-tutted a bit at one of his greatest joys -- zooming  around town on his Harley in "pony-skin a***less chaps."

I never saw it, must have been quite a sight with his waist-length blond hair.

Now that I think of it, he might have looked a bit elfin... elven?

Mentioning Travel in Ireland Reminded Me....

 Talking about the carrot that I dangle in front of Himself, of traveling back to the Celitsh Isles, has conjured up all sorts of  wonderful and wondrous memories.

I am a big fan of the, yeah it's just a bench outside a convenience store in a small blue collar town, but it's a bench outside a convenience store in a small blue collar town in [insert name of foreign place here] ! ! ! ! ! style of travel.

I've never enjoyed any other cheese sandwich one one hundredth as much as the chunk of stilton I jammed into a potato farl from a Safeway in Fort William, Scotland.

There was never a donut or brownie tasted one millionth as fine as the caramel square from the Bewley's I spied, purchased and ate while waiting at a bus stop near the Rock of Cashel.

A use book store in Carlisle, England? one of the top ten shopping expeditions of my life!

We didn't and won't do much in the way of organized tours or touristy things.

Cahir Castle is of much more interest than Bunratty.

BUT.... if you find yourself anywhere near the center of Ireland, you'd be a fool not to go to Clonmacnoise, if for no other reason than to learn yet another contradictory pronunciation of the the dang place, and the best way I can imagine is with Paddy as your guide. Lonely Planet suggests him, but we just lucked into him, (this is years ago, so delighted he's still active,) on advice from the most gracious of hosts at a B & B.

Off season, so it was just the two of us in Paddy's minivan, and it was a highlight of an already pretty elevated experience, he is fascinating and charming and passionately knowledgeable about his country's history.

Don't have plans, just go wherever and do whatever he suggests - you will not be sorry.

Millionaire Who Made a Difference in My Life

I didn't know his name, but Karl Albrecht, who has died made it possible for me to survive some very difficult economic times comfortably, (you think church musicians lead a financially perilous life? try acting....)

Odd, I had somewhere gotten the impression the Albrecht brothers were Swiss... perhaps like an American abroad on a sitcom I saw last week who allowed people to think he was Canadian, it was an impression encouraged at some point? (I watch too much TV.)

I am a great fan of Aldi stores.
I will freely admit, part, if not all, of my situational impecuniousness, (I'm sorry, I'm not begin pretentious, I learned the word in first year Latin and have loved it ever since,) stems from an extreme aversion to labor, and so, some minimum wage jobs here and there not withstanding, my first inclination has always been to lower expense, not raise exertion.

Thrift actually became a more vital endeavor after marriage, as Himself, despite having experienced far more dire episodes of genuine, where-am-I-going-to-sleep-tonight thespian poverty, had the sort of mind that not only is repelled by math, but has trouble remembering that if one buys an item for 69 cents instead of for a $1.19, one will have be left with two more quarters in ones pocket.

Is that a guy thing?

It took a long time for us to come to some sort of understanding on the difference between Wants and Needs.
But since one of our ambitions is to return to Ireland one day for another ramlbing, spontaneous journey, I could always try, usually with success, you could save ten bucks, is it really worth the cost of a shot of Kilbeggan in Cahir?

A gallon of milk for a dollar less, five pounds of flour at half the price, canned goods for far less than even the BOGO sales nearby.... it really adds up.
And as I said, there's no privation involved,  finding Aldi allowed us to live comfortably, dine luxuriously, to tell the truth, enjoy guilt-free treats - Swiss chocolates? authentic Irish sausage? chips that I think rival Terras?

I have a terrific Le Creuset style braiser that did NOT cost a month's health insurance paryment.

I've never understood why more people don't shop at Aldi, or Sav-a-lot, or even Trader Joe's, if Whole Paychecks is your alternative.

As for me and my house, we will save a buck.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Upending Custom... That Had Upended Custom and LAW

I know too many Catholic who suffered as members of the "Church of Rochester" not to be gladdened by this.
In an extensive interview, Bishop Salvatore Matano said he has been confronting the issue [of illicit preaching] on a case-by-case basis since his installation in January and is now drafting guidelines to clarify that homilies are reserved for ordained priests and deacons, as prescribed by canon law. 
"It is not a policy shift as regards to the universal law of the church," Matano said. "I am trying to help the faithful understand what is the universal law of the church and how important it is that in the celebration of Mass, we do what the church asks of us." 
The reversal is perhaps the starkest example yet of the contrasting stewardship of Matano with his predecessor, Bishop Matthew Clark, under whom the diocese earned a reputation as...
... as what exactly?
The secular newspaper says, "liberal," but you may have your own description.
I know I do...

Matano is diplomatic, to say the least, attributing to years of flouting Church law to a "misinterpretation."

Rogue Headline Writers?

An odd little piece in an Ohio Catholic publication about NPM and changing tastes, and a renewed interest in singing the actual texts of the Mass -- wherein, although the phrase does not appear in the article as written, nor does the word "clock," nor even "turn," for that matter,  someone has chosen to give one section the header, "Turning back the clock?"

These fossilized attitudes are what we have to work against.

Talk about "accretions that have crept into the liturgy," and need to be removed....

But we've always done it this way! Forever!!! For, like, at least 35 years, you guys!!!!!!

"Gone To Chicago"

I often, for some reason, don't know, done it my whole life, don't like to trying to explain where some obscure place is, so instead of making it part of the explanation, I just use the name of whatever is nearb and might be known.

Last month,  Himself and I told our cohorts in ministry, some staff, and the nursing home congregation that we'd see'em in a few weeks, we were heading for Chicago.

We did not know, when we told them this, that "going to Chicago" was the nursing home residents' euphemism for "dying."

It caused some unnecessary consternation.

When we returned from the Colloquium, etc., I found someone I had often cajoled into conversation, and visited with, had gone to Chicago.

She was a tiny, feisty woman,often  mean as a snake, who was constantly wishing her fate on EMTs who helped her, threatening and taking swings at people, and loudly complaining that the food was lousy and they never fed her anyway, (it isn't and they do.)

She was cranky, but never outright mean to me, the worst she did was yell, "Too much damn Jesus for me!" one day while I was reading the Epistle and storm, or rather, wheel out.

Understandable, since she was Jewish, (though she knew it was a Communion service when she had asked to come, whihc she did often -- anything to relieve the killing boredom, I imagine.)

But nature abhors a vacuum, and the universe has sent a replacement who is more than her equal -- and a biter besides.

We all have all of that in us.

And we'll all go to Chicago one day.

It is a great gift that I was asked to help out with this ministry. It has been a source of great healing for me.

What Is Happening With NPM?

Note the lack of punctuation....... should there be a question mark?

There had been a long dormant thread on the CMAA boards about the possibility of a booth at the NPM.

I should say up front I have never belonged to the organization.
I don't know when it began to exist in any meaningful way, but it was not on my radar when I was first a liturgical associate  -- you see, I was a Cradle Church musician the way some are themselves Cradle Catholics.
I have since become intentional, (as a Church Musician, Catholicism I latched on to deliberately very early.)

I have never attended any national events, but have been to plenty of regional and local ones, as well as to events held by publishers who are, for all intents and purposes, wings of NPM, and I have profited from this attendance, and learned a great deal.

The first time I attended an overnight musicians' gathering, the type most likely to yield fellowship with real heart-to-heart talks, (like sleep-away camp ;oP) I made two good friends, one of whom, after NPM was mentioned in passing during some session was adamantly anti- them and felt compelled to take me aside privately and explain why - reasons with which I heartily concurred; and the other of whom was a regional mucky-muck of some sort in the NPM and felt compelled to take me aside and tell me, while actually affirming the complaints made by the other friend, why I ought to join, for reasons with which I heartily concurred.

The point being, IME all Right Thinking Catholic Musicians acknowledge the faults of problems with NPM and the wrong-headed nonsense they have both perpetrated and promulgated liturgical missteps they have made and the occasional contempt expressed toward those to whom they owe respect and obedience as well as heresies expounded unhelpful ideas impefectly stated  in their keynote addresses and break-out sessions -- but they differ on whether the good outweighs the bad.

And the contributors to the thread linked above, which revived about the time of the NPM national hoo-har are no exception to this, they are divided on the topic.

But is it same old same old?
(Many thanks to Praytell for making much of it available to those of us not in attendance)

What do we see?

Primary Sources!
A priest affirming actual Church teaching, in the face of... well, let me just quote:
Fr. John Foley, SJ.... talked about what sacrifice means. A woman piped up, saying that she thought we'd moved beyond all that, and that for years we've said "celebrate Eucharist," since all of that "sacrifice" stuff is pre-Vatican II. Fr. Foley softly replied, "No, I'm sorry. The Church has never changed its teaching. The mass is the unbloody sacrifice of calvary." Then he talked about why Christ's resurrection is necessary for salvation, in order to put him outside the realms of time, so that the sacrifice is "once and for all," yet happens each time we have mass. The same woman spoke up again: "What do you think about these new Eucharistic communities? They might or might not have a priest, but they just gather and HAVE Eucharist." Fr. Foley replied "Well, they certainly aren't licit, and without a priest, all you have there is a host, not the body of Jesus." She said "Well, it is becoming a big movement!" To which Fr. Foley replied "So is protestantism."

No question, things are changing for the better., this was all very welcome news to me, and very interesting, but then I came across some other news.

Now, it's no use, I've tried and tried, some times no matter how many times you hit the back arrow, or press control/shift/t, you cannot retrace your steps on the internet, you can't figure out why or how you ended up on a page, what link or thought you were following, (that's happened several times recetnly to me with shocking results, but I'll get back to that.)

Anyway, perhaps while looking to find out who the new president of NPM was, as mentioned on the CMAA forum thread, I found myself on a blog by a song-writer for whose output I can't say have much time, or respect.
And I think I've mentioned, I've been a bit disconnected over the past nearly two years, and I've missed a lot of what was going on.
So this is old news, but what he had to say, as well as his no-bones-about-it public take on it was actually kind of shocking to me:
[A newspsper article] tells the details of [NPM's previous president] firing from his post as a parish music director in the Diocese of Arlington (Va.), an event that preceded his departure from NPM, as a result of his having married [his same-sex partner.]. While one must be careful about jumping to conclusions in events that involve complex realities, relationships, and theological issues, I am certain that it is safe to say that there is a relationship, if not a causal one, between his marriage to his partner and his departure from the helm of NPM, an organization with a higher percentage of gay members, I'd go out on a limb to say, sans evidence, than, for instance, the AMA or ABA, if perhaps not of Catholic clergy. I may be wrong, but I think everybody in the organization knows that...
the gradual empowerment of the LGBT movement, especially since the 1969 Stonewall Riots, has been on a collision course with many mainstream religious denominations because of long-held beliefs about sexuality. [Despite the] experience of homosexual people as part of a diverse "norm" rather than as derogatively abnormal, the church, at least its Roman Catholic administrative body, continues to use arcane and unintelligible Thomistic language ("inherently disordered," for instance) to distance itself from gay persons and legitimize its sacramental proscription of persons who "act on their disordered impulses"...
I have a friend who....applied for a scholarship from a national association in his field, which he won. Though certainly in need of the money offered by the organization, he refused the scholarship money offered, in solidarity with the (perceived, at least) injustice to [the past NPM president] who was the subject of the article mentioned above. Others have left church jobs in anger over the incident, shaken the dust from their feet, and canceled their membership in the organization.

So what I'm wondering is, is this instance NPM's very public, (and probably heart-wrenching, to many members,) stance that open flouting of unchanging and unequivocal Church teaching,  
Is NPM's new, or at least newly trumpeted, orthodoxy, in any way connected with a new  lean in to orthopraxy ?

p.s. I cannot begin to fathom how a nominal Catholic, a person who has taken upon himself positions of liturgical, and consequently spiritual and catechetical leadership, could use Christ's command to His friend Lazarus as a rhetorical point writing about closeted gay men. I can see very clearly how he could have written "Jerusalem, My Density."

Getting Over Things

It is amazing how long it takes to get over some things. 
The Victorians with their years and half years and full- and half-, and crape and lavender and armbands -- they understood something about the human heart and the irrationality of mourning and the consequent need for decision-free ritual.

Every time I think I've "slighted my mourning" something knocks the wind out of me.C19th tintype image of baby in mourning and wearing black armband ribbons.

At daily Mass a community builds up and there are people whom one, in a sense, knows very well indeed, but whose names, certainly their surnames at least, remain a complete mystery.
A woman who sat next to me for, yes, years, now, and next to my Mother for many more years before that asked how she was doing. I was only able to get the words out to tell he because in the moment it obviously hurt her more to hear it, than it did for me to speak it, (the shock to her, to see.)
A name was announced by a visiting priest at weekday Mass, and I asked,  that isn't...? of the de facto sacristan, the keeper of lists of intentions for the  daily Rosaries, the scrounger-up of last minute readers, the one who understands the quirks of the thermostat, you know.....the guy who knows.
No, no, not her.
But at Mass yesterday morning, tucked into a hymnal by some mourner was the program for her funeral, and indeed it was she.
Sometimes it is fortunate that Himself can be a bit oblivious, especially early in the morning, because I could not have found, still can't find the words to explain why the news devastated me.
But it did.

I am so grateful for the Liturgy sometimes, its all-encompassing, inclusivity of the range of human emotions and needs and manners of prayer.

I get so angry at people who want to make it All-Peppy- All-Happy-All-the-Time.
It is not just the ceremonial embodiment of Both/And, but of Both/And/And/And/And.

Like the Victorian etiquette mavens, the Church knows the helplessness of the human heart sometimes, and the value of a ritual that frees of us the burden of making decisions.

The Mass knows what we need when we ourselves do not.

(Who knew they used to put babies in mourning armbands?)

Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Devil Has NOTHING

Interesting little insight in Magnificat's "Day by Day" for... well, today.

Father Simeon, a Cistercian, tells us, in commenting on the parable in today's Gospel about the enemy planting weeds in the field of the man who had sowed good seed, that "the Devil has no separate field of his own in which to grow his weeds."

This is Gospel, for certain! This Good News indeed!


Whatever title Robert Hugh Benson may have conferred on him, however John quotes the Christ in his Gospel, the Lucifer is  Lord of nothing, Prince of nothing  --- ALL is God's, all is the Lord's.

The devil is given too much power when we forget that, whatever might seem to be under his control, ultimately he has no possessions that we don't give him, no strength or influence that we don't cede to him ourselves.

Stay strong!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

The 'Vicar of Baghdad'

From Archbishop "Cranmer":
Canon White suffers from MS. As a result of that debilitating affliction, he was told by the Church of England that they were unable to recommend him for a parish in London because it would be "too stressful".

So they sent him to Baghdad.

Where he has ministered now for 15 years.

He has lost a thousand of his parishioners over the past year alone - murdered by Muslim militants; many of them summarily shot or beheaded. He has recently been speaking to numerous fellowships in the UK to raise awareness of the situation in Iraq, and he received death threats last week from ISIS/ISIL (or IS [Islamic State], as they now wish to be called). Notwithstanding the danger, he has returned to St George's in Baghdad to continue his work. 
St Antonio Primaldi, pray for them.
Servant of God, Aura, who won the martyrs crown on this day, pray for them.

Is this really the plan? Can we doubt it?

No reason, it just makes me smile...

bishops levitating

"It is easy to become completely transfixed by the kind, clear, and thoughtful answers of an intellectual giant who sees himself as a humble servant of the Lord."

A delightful find, I stumbled across the blogging of one Todd Worner on Patheos.
He calls himself a Catholic thinker, and he is surely that.

Albeit only recently that, as he is a convert.

Of course, it is easy to admire  the writing of someone who is also right :oD

Yes, yes, I agree with him, or at least, what I have read so far, and there seems to be quite a bit -- I feel like I did when I "discovered" Barbara Pym, or Peter Ackroyd, or Frederick Buechner after they been well known for some long time, (in Pym's case, dead,) --- ooh, look all these books already written!

So lots to read with titles like, Loving Francis, Missing Benedict; or Pope Benedict XVI and Surprise.

I missed a whole lot of commentary late winter of last year.

You see, all that was happening, the loss of the "public Benedict," all that, which I would have perceived as the greatest heartache of my adult life, at the time of what was the greatest heartache of my adult life.
(It takes nothing away from my love for Himself to admit that my Mother, whom I teased and argued with for my entire life, my Mother whom I tried to cheat at Scrabble and enraged with my ocassinaol taste for rock and at whose seasoning choices in the kitchen I rolled my eyes and with whom I said the Rosary and shared opera enthusiasms including burly baritones ---she was the love of my life.)
And it's almost as if I lost a year or so of the World.

Anyway, here I am with a trove of little essays where I will, hopefully, have my mind opened a bit, and even more hopefully, I'll admit, have my deepest held beliefs and opinions affirmed.

(Some times in life you just NEED an Amen Corner.)

And regardless of his opinions, I do like his writing, I have not, so far, found any of the snark, or refusal to see other points of view or demonization or pomposity I see too often.
Oh, all right, and RESORT to too often.

And so now it is the last day of Pope Benedict XVI’s papacy. Now we prepare for another conclave and watch again for fumata blanca. And as I reflect on the Pope who was presented to me by the opinion-makers while comparing him to the Pope I met for myself, the questions can be raised, “Are you surprised? Are you surprised by the Pope you found, you learned from, you prayed for, and you converted under?” And my answer would be: Yes and No. Yes, I thought I could trust the opinion-makers to be somewhat correct on who Pope Benedict XVI was and who he would become. They were wrong and so I was surprised. But, more importantly, No, because surprise is what this Faith is all about. It is a Faith where disciples ask to walk on water and multiply loaves and fishes, where lepers are healed and the condemned are released, where you love even though it is unreasonable and you believe even when it is unbelievable. It is a Faith of confounding, maddening, brilliant, glorious surprises. And Pope Benedict XVI has been another one of them. Why shouldn’t he be? Thank you, Holy Father, and God go with you.
But also, this:
No, no, no…I am not placing [a polarizing politician] or [an equally polarizing novelist] on the level of prophets or apostles. Not at all. Rather (and quite simply), I am saying that sometimes a truth or piece of wisdom can come out of an unlikely or even unattractive source whether we like it or not. There is no doubt it is sage wisdom to “consider the source”. Indeed. But in order to avoid being blinded by our own bias, sometimes – perhaps only sometimes – it is good to stop and NOT consider the source. Yes. Perhaps.

"We're smarter than the devil!"

When ever himself and I enjoy some piece of trivial, (and yet STILL undeserved,) good luck, you know, finding a parking spot in the shade, getting the last jar of extra crunchy peanut butter at the store, we dance around like mad things chanting that....

I've lost track of how many conversations I began at Colloquium with, "Okay, I know I watch too much TV, but did you ever see...?"
Because, um... I do.

Anyway, that's how I felt yesterday evening,  I did my own private victory dance after I accomplished an Alchemikal Mirakle!

It's AMAZING, you whip, and you whip, and you whip, and your arm wants to fall off from holding the measuring cup steady,  pouring the oil into the egg yolk as slowly as you can, drip.... drip... drip... drip.... one tiny bit at a time, like water torture, and then suddenly you see this magical thing happening!

I think the bad rep mayonnaise preparation has, the warnings about it in cook books, must date from the pre-electric mixer era.
And if I'd had a stand mixer, (or the sense to use a small plastic instead of a large glass cup,) I wouldn't even be complaining about my arm now.

And the Simpson reference?
Like so much else that comprises our own private mythos and compendium of shared shtick, it is misremembered, or perhaps the result of being misinformed at some point, (more about that later.)
I can almost hear Himself's older sister droning, "Thaaat's not the way it happened...."

We though that the story involved Homer Simpson's ability to consume and enjoy such a prodigious quantity of processed cheese-like food, with which the Devil intended to torture him, that the Evil One just gave up and let him have his soul.
Details.... we are too debonaire to be bothered by such insignificant expedients to telling a story the way we wish to,  as mere facts.

And the actual instrument of torture was donuts.

The Year of Magical Thinking

Or perhaps I should say, the " Year of Magical Religious Commentary".
 When Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meet at the Vatican next Sunday (June 8), it will be another sign of how Pope Francis has returned the Vatican to the global stage to a degree not seen since the 1980s....
“Francis is not resigned to a passive vision of world affairs,” Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Rome-based Community of Sant’Egidio, a Catholic organization active in conflict resolution and peace brokering, said last summer. “We must prepare for a new age of political audacity for the Holy See.” ...
[in the 1980s] the stakes were clear, as were the major players — and the way forward....
Dealing with [present] dynamics is a daunting prospect — and one for Francis that is complicated by the legacy of John Paul’s success in the Cold War. The end of Soviet communism was almost miraculous in its suddenness, and it left the impression that a charismatic pope could change (or at least shape) the course of human events.
So now we're all to be shocked that the First Pope To Have Smiled in Public didn't walk across the Mediterranean to bring rainbows and unicorns to all warring factions?
My word, that's as startling as to have learned that he's actually, when you get down to brass tacks, CATHOLIC in his beliefs.

It must be noted, it seems that many religion column writers, (many of whom seem to think their attitude toward their subject ought to parallel that of, say... crime writers toward theirs,) seem to have created a straw pope man in order to decorate him like a pinata before they knock him down.

But of course, the media are not a monolith, and it is possible that all those covering the Holy Father still believe and say about him exactly what they first chose to believe and say about him -- it's very difficult, once a particular reporter or outlet has chosen a narrative to write coherently, and honestly without at least tweaking that narrative, and who wants to do that?

Like crooked researchers, or law enforcement, or yeah, bloggers, if you've already determined what you want to claim to have learned before the new drug trials, before the forensics, before the interviews, before the investigation, well.....

(I suppose I could have included, "before the papacy.")

Time to Put Our Money Where We Say Our Soul Is?

There is a canard spread by the Culture of Death that individuals and religious organizations who claim to be pro-Life only care about kids before they are born.
Is there is a connection between those among us who are against abortion and those among us who are seemingly against providing humanitarian aid to illegal minor migrants before we try to find a solution to their presence in our country?
VASSAR, MIMore than 50 people from across Michigan turned out to protest the possibility that a Vassar facility could house Central American children and teens who have fled into the country.
The group, led by Michiganders for Immigration Control and Enforcement organizer Tamyra Murray, marched a little more than a mile, from Vassar City Hall to Wolverine Human Services' Pioneer Work and Learn Center.
Some carried AR-15 rifles and handguns, while others carried Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, American flags and Rochester resident Jeff McQueen’s “second American revolution” flags, designed from Betsy Ross’ flag with a Roman Numeral II in the middle.
“We’re not against kids,” Murray said, speaking to media before the march started. “We have sympathy for the kids being used and exploited by the feds.”
Earlier this month, screaming protesters waving American flags in Murietta, California, turned back buses transporting undocumented youngsters to a detainee facility.
This is more like it.
California: In sharp contrast to the reception similar children received in Murrieta, Central American immigrant children have been welcomed by the community of Fontana. Just over 40 immigrants on Homeland Security buses arrived at the St. Joseph's Catholic Church there on Thursday and were greeted by staff and community donations of food, clothing and toys, according to CNN affiliate KTLA.
UPDATE, (or correction, or backpedaling, or what have you):
I am not advocating for open borders.
This is not political.
All I'm saying is that this:
 Lupillo Rivera Attacked!

 is not showing the face of Christ to our brothers and sisters.

Friday, 18 July 2014

I'd forgotten that it's not just on Sundays that Catholic think they "own" their seats.

Our church is being painted so for weekday mornings, Mass is in a smaller chapel. The past few days there have been several young mothers with several young children a piece, perhpas some kind of  usual daycare they shared has come to an end?
In any case -- they are attentive and quiet, and I turned to a gentleman whom I know, (although not by name,) and smiled, "A lot of children!"

Yes, he hissed, and yesterday some of OUR people had to stand...

"Our people"?

We're Catholics, I thought ALL of us are "our people."

Please, Lord, I'm already crankier than I ned to be, I can see myself doing it as I get older, don't let me turn into one of them!

(I will NOT complain about the blue paint they've chosen....)

The Ephemerists

Can't remember where I picked up the term, some blog probably, but the Ephemerists are the purveyors of the never-meant-to-last "sacred" music that is the plague o Catholic publishing and Catholic liturgical praxis.

Sophie Caldecott has a most interesting piece originally run in Pylot, about clothing and the damage we are doing to ourselves, to so many aspects of society, with the cult of the new.

This mind-set, the insatiable craving for the trendy, no matter how shabby, has been a curse on the Liturgy for most of my lifetime.

Throw-away clothes, throw-away missals... and who can deny that society as a whole has embraced the concept, (no I cannot use that word here,) idea of throw-away people?

Like the news, only important...