Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Ladies - I look at you and remember how I struggled, and sometimes just flat gave up and didn't struggle, when my beautiful daughters were small, and I so greatly admire you for your vision, your determination, your great hearts and characters.
I also envy you for your wisdom in pursuing this course now. I wish I could take what I know now, and visit myself nearly thirty years ago, before my older daughter was born. I'd have made a much happier and more stable home for them - and for my poor husband, who unbeknownst to me had his own private and secret battles at the time. I sure as heck didn't make his life any easier or pleasanter; in fact, I made it a lot more difficult.
I have lots of regrets, lots of remorse. You'll be spared that.
Keep fluttering. Remember: Baby Steps.
God bless you.
Flylady now has a community forum - I joined a week ago - and outside Catholic Online it's some of the nicest women I've ever met in my LIFE. Talk about support! encouragement! good cheer! consolations! MOTIVATION!!!
I'll post later about my experiences this past week as a renewing FLYBABY - but I see a bunch of gals have hit my link from my posts, and I wanted to say HELLO!!!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
"Black Dog" is not only on "sit" and "STAY" - I think he's been kennelled for a while! Nora says God has finally led her to her "Happy Pill." This is something to be truly grateful for, because the dear gal has really suffered terribly.
BUT the REALLY GREAT NEWS: NORA IS A GRANDMA. Her Daughter out West somewhere (I'm not saying, although I know - there are SOME people's privacy issues, right?) had an absolutely GORGEOUS baby boy over the weekend. He was almost 3 weeks early by dates, but he already weighted a bit over 7 lbs. (I wonder what his gestational testing revealed - was he at term, and they missed her dates? or was he on his way to being a big ol' Bubba?)
Singing Te Deums for Nora -
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Make no mistake: Barack Obama's speech in Berlin's Tiergarten park was one of the most revealing and, frankly, terrifying moments of the campaign so far. We witnessed a man who may very well be the next president of the United States APOLOGIZE to a bunch of foreigners for his own country's failings! He told the crowd of 200,000 that he addressed them "as a fellow citizen of the world" and then dropped this bomb: "I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we've struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We've made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions."
Apparently lost on Obama and the crowd was the incredible irony that a Nazi flag would be flying over Berlin at this very moment if it weren't for the sacrifices made by the United States and our allies in WWII; hundreds of thousands of Americans died to liberate Europe and prevent the spread of tyranny around the world.
The crowd, of course, was enthralled with the speech. But there's a very simple reason why Obama's been received like a rock star everywhere he goes in Europe: the European people have no desire to see America remain the world's number one power!
Here's the bottom line: The United States can't afford a commander-in-chief who travels to other countries with his hat in his hand and begs for some understanding. We need a president who will stand up for America, not apologize on her behalf. And if Obama had no qualms about delivering this speech to the European public, what's to stop him from doing it in private with Ahmadinejad in Iran?
Say goodbye to America, the superpower; say hello to America, the good global citizen.
Do we want an American president who is going to apologize for us all the time and cut our throats in the process? What percentage of the German and French population is MUSLIM, anyway?
The speech in Germany is embedded in this article. I can't find out how to copy it here. Apologies.
I think I'm going to start signing posts "Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison." Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.
This papal encyclical, a cultural battle cry for Catholics, re-affirms Catholic Christian reverence for human life, conjugal love, and the dignity of women.
Take some time to read it, won't you? It's not very long, and I think you'll be delightfully surprised to see in it the roots and explanation of why Catholics are opposed to abortion, artificial birth control, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, divorce, homosexual marriage, and a myriad of other cultural issues being pushed in our faces today.
(a graceful nod of the mantilla-graced head to Angela Messenger for the alert to this anniversary)
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Theology of the Church - all RIGHT!!!
Y'all forgive me for dancing and carrying on - this is a major victory for me.
Sacraments won't be this good - I did poorly on the Midterm (couldn't make sense of it) but I think I did quite well on the Final; I expect something in the range of a B- or a C+ there.
Schlogging along with Metaphysics, which I hope to finish in the next week to ten days... exhausting mess, sifting through all the hair-splitting vocabulary and corpulent egotism.
Sometimes drastic measures become absolutely necessary (Warning: language! - it is, after all, Python):
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
My dad served in WWII, and although there were some men who came home "shell-shocked," most men re-adjusted fairly easily to civilian life, even after witnessing horrific scenes during their combat duties. What makes this generation so different?
I have my ideas on the matter, and Heaven knows, my opinion is never humble!
I blame the peace-niks.
My dad's generation grew up farming, butchering livestock, seeing people die from farming accidents, car wrecks, etc. It was a tougher population, a grittier set of young men who were sent to fight the nation's wars.
Moreover, military service was considered an honorable and even desirable civic duty for a man.
Since Vietnam, though, the peaceniks have done a damn good job of trying to sterilize our culture of their perceptions of violence and cruelty. "Don't give little boys toy guns! It will make them violent!" they say - "Teach them to love, and to be in touch with their feminine side - teach them to be peacemakers!"
If a little boy can get his hands on a stick or a pencil or any implement whatsoever, he's going to turn it into an imaginary gun. Boys like guns, and weapons, and technologies. It's a Guy Thing. Boys for generations immemorial have played forts - in England they play Knights, in the U.S. they play Cowboys and Indians.... or at least, they used to before video games created an imaginary genre to fight.
Maybe it's the video games that have made real-life bloodshed, sacrifice, and brutality so unbearable for our young men. It's okay to wipe out virtual bad guys of mythic proportions; when the bad guy is another human being, not a computer-generated character, then suddenly all the tacit perceptions of war and violence and the whole great big Game collapse.
No - I don't advocate teaching boys to shoot and kill. But I do think we sabotage their natural inclinations to fight bad guys and to be heroic figures even under appalling circumstances, in our artificially-generated and -defined virtual, peacenik culture.
God help us all.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Now another woman has been found murdered. Lots of possibilities, but the GOLO quarterbacks have decided the husband did it. I hope with all my heart they are mistaken -
Pray for the victims, pray for the families, and pray for the salvation of their killers.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I didn't pay any attention to Tony Snow before he died this week, but I'm paying attention to him now, thanks to some links recommended by various friends.
Here's a jewel - well worth reading. Give it to your kids as they graduate - from high school, college... heck even Kindergarten.
An excerpt from this wonderful Commencement Address at Catholic University of America (I love what he says about marriage):
This is a way of talking about faith. American culture likes to celebrate the petulant outcast, the smart-aleck with the contempt for everything and faith in nothing. Snarky mavericks. The problem is these guys are losers. They have signed up for an impossible mission. Because they’ve decided they’re going to create all the meaning in their lives. They’ve either decided that no moral law exists or they will be the creator, the author of those laws. Now one road leads to complete and total anarchy. Life is solitary, nasty, brutish and short. The other is to insanity, since it requires playing God. We know in our hearts, intuitively, from our first years as children, that the universe unfolds with a discernable order and that moral laws, far from being convenient social conventions, are firm and unalterable. They predate us, they will survive us. Rather than admitting our weakness a lot of times, we just decide we’ll try to get by. And maybe rather than giving God credit, we’ll try to look for a cheap substitute.
Walk into a bookstore, you’ll know what I mean. The shelves are groaning underneath the trendy tomes promising salvation — medicine balls, herbs, purges, all sorts of weird stuff. In politics, there’s a variant that elevates government to the status of God. It says that it is the source of love. It ought to be the recipient of your tithes, but government, while it does pursue compassionate ends, cannot be loving and personal. It treats all of us as completely equal rather than uniquely divine. The point is you can’t escape the question of God and you can’t escape the question of commitments.
When it comes to faith, I’ve taken my own journey. You will have to take your own. But here’s what I know. Faith is as natural as the air we breathe. Religion is not an opiate, just the opposite. It is the introduction to the ultimate extreme sport. There is nothing that you can imagine that God cannot trump. As Paul said “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” And once you realize that there is something greater than you out there, then you have to decide, “Do I acknowledge it and do I act upon it?” You have to at some point surrender yourself. And there is nothing worthwhile in your life that will not at some point require an act of submission. It’s true of faith and friendship. It is a practical passage [of the Bible], especially to marriage.
Tolstoy once said all happy marriages are happy in the same way and here’s what he meant. When both people commit, when they say, “You and I are bound together, forever, period, no questions, no codicils, no pre-nups, no escape clauses,” then all of a sudden, the temptations become irrelevant, and the glories become possible.
There is nothing like the pleasure of being a parent. Waking up the next morning to somebody whose breath has become the echo of your heartbeat. Trust me on this, it does not get any better. Commit.
I'd probably point out that we teach toddlers not to play with themselves (not because their bodies are dirty but because it's impolite, and besides, there are other important things to do with one's hands).
I'd probably note the observation that "gay pride" is really a reversion to that infantile genital fixation.
I'd point out that the very term "sexual preference" connotes behavioral choice -
and I'd ask whether it was socially and psychologically healthy to make such a big deal about these choices.
And I'd let them know that I, as a Roman Catholic consumer, find the whole thing unhealthy for society as well as for the individual, and I'd offer to take my business elsewhere.
Of course, you realize, at the rate things are going, pretty soon we aren't going to have any retail options open to us.
We really are in a spiritual war for souls, here.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
More and more frequently, we're seeing people who identify themselves by what they like to do with their genitals - and only by that criteria, as if they possessed no other dimension of being or personality whatsoever - trying to overtake our culture and our legal system with special privileges and special recognitions.
The Seattle Opera Company is only one of a myriad of cultural and civic organizations giving special recognition and "deals" to GLBT (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender) population. Businesses are also being targeted.
This is the consequence of the radical gay lobby's hijacking of the American Psychiatric Association convention in 1973 - in which the APA was basically forced/coerced to removing homosexuality from their diagnostic manual for psychiatric disorders (DSM) - see http://www.traditionalvalues.
There are many of us who have friends and family members who are "in the lifestyle" - to be distinguished from the nonsinful reality of having Same Sex Attraction (SSA) - and this is a painful subject for us. However, we must not allow sentimentality to distort our perception of Truth; the Judeo-Christian heritage affirms that sexual relations are to be reserved for heterosexual, monogamous marriage; this distinguishes us from the pagan cultures out of which Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were called, out of which Moses was given the Ten Commandments, and out of which we find our unique identity as Christians. Homosexuality is part and parcel of pagan culture - not Christian.
One of the consequences of this current "tolerant" political environment is that in our neighbor to the North, Canada, Protestant ministers and Catholic priests are being targeted for "hate speech" because they are teaching their congregations that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil. Similar events are also happening in England - and these are not accusations levied against ranting fundamentlist cranks, but against legitimate pastors and priests who are trying to ground their flocks in holiness and truth!
The Bible is being identified as "hate speech" and challenged in open court. Here in the U.S., a gay man has sued Zondervan and Thomas Nelson publishing houses, the two major Protestant Bible publishers in the U.S. if not the world, because their translations say that homosexuality is sin - and he feels discriminated against and oppressed by this designation. http://online.wsj.com/article/
Canada also recently awarded its prestigious "Order of Canada" to Dr. Morganteler, ironically a Holocaust survivor from Poland, who was arrested numerous times for performing illegal abortions in the 1960s; now he is heralded as a patriot and a hero for that same "service to women" by Canada's Governor General.
The world is going nuts.
The Bible says that in the last time, values will be completely turned upside down. There will be those who call evil good, and good evil, darkness light and light, darkness (Isaiah 5:20) In philosophical and literary terms, this is called "Deconstruction" - the idea that words and values mean only what I, as hearer and recipient, assign to them to mean. This is the formal philosophical foundation for the insanity that is becoming commonplace and normative in our culture!
I beg of you to prayerfully consider what you might to do counter this wave of immoral insanity. Letter-writing, emails - especially to our elected officials who are supposed to represent "We the People" and not just the lunatic fringe special interest groups - Always, prayer! -
Because if we don't oppose this evil, then we are in complicity with it.
The Catholic Church identifies itself as it exists in this world as The Church Militant - engaged in warfare against the world, the flesh and the devil. The Protestant Christian is part of this Church Militant, also, although perhaps not so deliberately aware of it as we Catholics are reminded to be. We are very much at war - perhaps approaching the sort of hostility against our Christian identity as the earliest Christians in ancient Rome experienced.
We must not be complacent.
An article I wrote for a Catholic online magazine appears here: http://www.catholicmatch.com/
I hope you will read it. I hope it does some good.
Please - let us unite more fully with one another in encouragement, support, and fraternal affection as we seek to be more faithful than ever before to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
McDONALDS CAVES IN TO GLBT AGENDA (from the American Family Association):
Throwing out any pretense of being neutral in the culture war, McDonald's has taken up the rhetoric of gay activists, suggesting those who oppose same-sex marriage (SSM) are motivated by hate.
AFA has asked for a boycott of McDonald's restaurants because of the company's promotion of the gay agenda. AFA asked McDonald's to remain neutral in the culture war. McDonald's refused.
In response to the boycott, McDonald's spokesman Bill Whitman suggested to the Washington Post that those who oppose SSM are motivated by hate, saying "...hatred has no place in our culture." McDonald's has decided to adopt the "hate" theme used by gay activist groups for years.
Whitman went on to say, "We stand by and support our people to live and work in a society free of discrimination and harassment." Mr. Whitman has intentionally avoided addressing the reason for the boycott. This boycott is not about hiring gays or how gay employees are treated. It is about McDonald's choosing to put the full weight of their corporation behind promoting their agenda.
McDonald's donated $20,000 to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in exchange for membership and a seat on the group's board of directors. The NGLCC lobbies Congress in support of same-sex marriage.
McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner said the company will promote issues they approve. "Being a socially responsible organization is a fundamental part of who we are. We have an obligation to use our size and resources to make a difference in the world...and we do."
We shall see whether bloggers of other issues are recognized for their outstanding achievements. I'm not holding my breath.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Someone take that jerk out the woodshed and --
Okay, seriously - this is where amicus briefs and letters to the court involved might just come in handy.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Just one more set of caving in to glorifying what people do with their netherregions. sheesh.
Zinn talks about taking the famous photograph and his relationship with Dwyer that continued after Dwyer returned Stateside. He also talks candidly about PTSD and the near-hostility the American people have over the issue - a shameful lack of compassion and understanding of the dynamics of military service.
For me, however, the most powerful and indicting point of the interview is the final paragraph:
"Nobody is buying war bonds, planting victory gardens," he said. "I don't know why. The VA hospitals should be best hospitals in world, should be better than anything else. I have been to very few. But from what I see, it's not what is happening. They are overrun by thousands coming back."
Why is that? Why isn't civilian involvement being courted for this war, as it was for WWII? Shouldn't we be making some minimal sacrifices in order to unite ourselves with our soldiers who are fighting to keep us safe? We haven't even been asked to conserve gasoline - with prices over $4 a gallon, and people screaming about how this war is only about Bush's greed for oil, and no one has been asked to curtail driving habits, reduce miles, or make any sorts of sacrifices whatsoever.
Should we take up the call and voluntarily do something? What?
However, it does not diminish the fact that Obama is supported by numerous organizations that serious Catholics cannot ignore: Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Rights Action League, numerous other pro-abort organizations, a group that identifies itself as Socialist/Marxist/Communist ...
That he should be so proud of his recommendations is damning. We don't need Maureen Dowd to add to the fray, really.
Thanks, Anon. Poster.
I'll never forget, in the impatient days immediately following Pope Benedict XVI's election, Father Z told us, on Catholic Online - "This pope is a chess player." - he meant deliberate, careful strategy to bring about the renewal and the impact, the ultimate outcome that he wanted.
We're seeing this "chess playing" mentality in the appointment of new bishops, in assignments to all the Offices of the Church in Rome, in the issuing of the Motu Proprio last summer -
Watch carefully. These seemingly small things are very important.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Friday, July 04, 2008
The following prayer was composed by John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore, in 1791. He was the first bishop appointed for the United States in 1789 by Pope Pius VI. He was made the first archbishop when his see of Baltimore was elevated to the status of an archdiocese.
John was a cousin of Charles Carroll of Maryland, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Americans among the readership might print it and bring it to your parish priests and ask them to use it after Mass on national holidays.
This needs no translation for Catholics who love their country!
PRAYER FOR GOVERNMENT We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name. We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope N., the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation. We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty. We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state , for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability. We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal. Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.
We're in an election year where no candidates for public office appear to be genuine statesmen. This is terribly sad for our great Nation, whose 232d birthday we celebrate today.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,
and may Perpetual Light shine upon him -
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Joseph Dwyer is one of America's heroes. This photo is one the propelled him to national recognition in 2003, rescuing a young Iraqi boy during a firefight.
Joseph died this week from an apparent overdose. He was never able to move beyond his war experiences, the horrors he witnessed.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual Light shine upon him. Amen.
Raleigh Latin was a non-affiliated but Christian-oriented classical-model school, with high academic standards and a huge commitment to the whole development of the child - moral, spiritual, and intellectual.
It was the best place I've ever worked. The faculty were outstanding - several of them former college and university profs with Ph.D.'s who felt a strong conviction about seeing teens provided with solid academic foundations.
Raleigh is losing a wonderful educational alternative.