Sunday, October 26, 2008

From Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of NY

I no longer live in Cardinal Egan's archdiocese, as you know I now live in the Diocese of Albany, NY. I cannot recall anytime in recent memory, a bishop of NY (anywhere in NY state that is) who put out a statement like this, especially in election time. Thank you, Cardinal Egan. The title is a link. For your consideration:


The picture on this page is an untouched photograph of a being that has been within its mother for 20 weeks. Please do me the favor of looking at it carefully.

Have you any doubt that it is a human being?

If you do not have any such doubt, have you any doubt that it is an innocent human being?

If you have no doubt about this either, have you any doubt that the authorities in a civilized society are duty-bound to protect this innocent human being if anyone were to wish to kill it?

If your answer to this last query is negative, that is, if you have no doubt that the authorities in a civilized society would be duty-bound to protect this innocent human being if someone were to wish to kill it, I would suggest—even insist—that there is not a lot more to be said about the issue of abortion in our society. It is wrong, and it cannot—must not—be tolerated.

But you might protest that all of this is too easy. Why, you might inquire, have I not delved into the opinion of philosophers and theologians about the matter? And even worse: Why have I not raised the usual questions about what a "human being" is, what a "person" is, what it means to be "living," and such? People who write books and articles about abortion always concern themselves with these kinds of things. Even the justices of the Supreme Court who gave us "Roe v. Wade" address them. Why do I neglect philosophers and theologians? Why do I not get into defining "human being," defining "person," defining "living," and the rest? Because, I respond, I am sound of mind and endowed with a fine set of eyes, into which I do not believe it is well to cast sand. I looked at the photograph, and I have no doubt about what I saw and what are the duties of a civilized society if what I saw is in danger of being killed by someone who wishes to kill it or, if you prefer, someone who "chooses" to kill it. In brief: I looked, and I know what I saw.

But what about the being that has been in its mother for only 15 weeks or only 10? Have you photographs of that too? Yes, I do. However, I hardly think it necessary to show them. For if we agree that the being in the photograph printed on this page is an innocent human being, you have no choice but to admit that it may not be legitimately killed even before 20 weeks unless you can indicate with scientific proof the point in the development of the being before which it was other than an innocent human being and, therefore, available to be legitimately killed. Nor have Aristotle, Aquinas or even the most brilliant embryologists of our era or any other era been able to do so. If there is a time when something less than a human being in a mother morphs into a human being, it is not a time that anyone has ever been able to identify, though many have made guesses. However, guesses are of no help. A man with a shotgun who decides to shoot a being that he believes may be a human being is properly hauled before a judge. And hopefully, the judge in question knows what a "human being" is and what the implications of someone's wishing to kill it are. The word "incarceration" comes to mind.

However, we must not stop here. The matter becomes even clearer and simpler if you obtain from the National Geographic Society two extraordinary DVDs. One is entitled "In the Womb" and illustrates in color and in motion the development of one innocent human being within its mother. The other is entitled "In the Womb—Multiples" and in color and motion shows the development of two innocent human beings—twin boys—within their mother. If you have ever allowed yourself to wonder, for example, what "living" means, these two DVDs will be a great help. The one innocent human being squirms about, waves its arms, sucks its thumb, smiles broadly and even yawns; and the two innocent human beings do all of that and more: They fight each other. One gives his brother a kick, and the other responds with a sock to the jaw. If you can convince yourself that these beings are something other than living and innocent human beings, something, for example, such as "mere clusters of tissues," you have a problem far more basic than merely not appreciating the wrongness of abortion. And that problem is—forgive me—self-deceit in a most extreme form.

Adolf Hitler convinced himself and his subjects that Jews and homosexuals were other than human beings. Joseph Stalin did the same as regards Cossacks and Russian aristocrats. And this despite the fact that Hitler and his subjects had seen both Jews and homosexuals with their own eyes, and Stalin and his subjects had seen both Cossacks and Russian aristocrats with theirs. Happily, there are few today who would hesitate to condemn in the roundest terms the self-deceit of Hitler, Stalin or even their subjects to the extent that the subjects could have done something to end the madness and protect living, innocent human beings.

It is high time to stop pretending that we do not know what this nation of ours is allowing—and approving—with the killing each year of more than 1,600,000 innocent human beings within their mothers. We know full well that to kill what is clearly seen to be an innocent human being or what cannot be proved to be other than an innocent human being is as wrong as wrong gets. Nor can we honorably cover our shame (1) by appealing to the thoughts of Aristotle or Aquinas on the subject, inasmuch as we are all well aware that their understanding of matters embryological was hopelessly mistaken, (2) by suggesting that "killing" and "choosing to kill" are somehow distinct ethically, morally or criminally, (3) by feigning ignorance of the meaning of "human being," "person," "living," and such, (4) by maintaining that among the acts covered by the right to privacy is the act of killing an innocent human being, and (5) by claiming that the being within the mother is "part" of the mother, so as to sustain the oft-repeated slogan that a mother may kill or authorize the killing of the being within her "because she is free to do as she wishes with her own body."

One day, please God, when the stranglehold on public opinion in the United States has been released by the extremists for whom abortion is the center of their political and moral life, our nation will, in my judgment, look back on what we have been doing to innocent human beings within their mothers as a crime no less heinous than what was approved by the Supreme Court in the "Dred Scott Case" in the 19th century, and no less heinous than what was perpetrated by Hitler and Stalin in the 20th. There is nothing at all complicated about the utter wrongness of abortion, and making it all seem complicated mitigates that wrongness not at all. On the contrary, it intensifies it.

Do me a favor. Look at the photograph again. Look and decide with honesty and decency what the Lord expects of you and me as the horror of "legalized" abortion continues to erode the honor of our nation. Look, and do not absolve yourself if you refuse to act.

Edward Cardinal Egan
Archbishop of New York

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Crime and Punishment

Being a fan of all fine needle arts and crafts, this story caught my eye. It will provide a moment of distraction from the politics of an election.

Criminal gran gets knitting punishment

Tuesday, September 30 2008, 20:08 BST

By Daniel Kilkelly, Entertainment Reporter

An 89-year-old grandmother who went on a tyre-wrecking spree in her street has been ordered to knit jumpers for her victims.

Heidi Kohl, from western Germany, was arrested after one neighbour spotted her slashing the tyres on a car. She later confessed that she had resorted to drastic measures after becoming "fed up" with so many drivers parking in her neighbourhood.

Kohl was initially told that she would be fined for her behaviour, but authorities came up with the more unusual punishment after the woman claimed she would be unable to pay.

A spokeswoman confirmed: "When she's knitted the sweaters, then the matter will be over for us."

Kohl is believed to have wrecked 50 tyres in total. Prosecutors have said that she will not offend again as she has since been moved to a retirement home.

You can purchase those lovely knitting needles by clicking on the photo.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What? You Want to See Your Child? NO!

Little Red School House

That is not exactly what I was told when I tried to see my child's classroom today, the language was different but the message was the same. Am I crazy to think that I ought to be allowed, as a recognized parent known to all the personnel in the school, to be able to see my child, in her classroom, unobserved by the child or the teacher? I had to go to the office to drop something off and thought I would walk down the hall and see my daughter's class. I wanted to observe, unobserved, I wanted to stay completely out of the classroom dynamic and would have been perfectly pleased to be there and not have even interacted with my daughter. The secretary caught up with me in the hallway and told me that I needed to make an appointment. I said, no, I was here, and I was just going to observe, in no way would I disturb the class. She went into the classroom, told the teacher I was there, then all the kids looked to see me. Then the teacher said, "Tell her to come in, though a little advanced notice would have been nice!" I was furious by the teacher's attitude and also about being announced when I stated I didn't want to.

This really pushed all my mama bear buttons, every single one of them! I flipped, unlike any other time in my dealing-with-the-public-school experience, which admittedly is minimal considering the number of children I have and the fact that I am a home educator. For the last few years, I've exercised my right as a taxpayer to send some wee ones to the local public school, for various reasons. I permitted my youngest three to attend kindergarten, and the older two of the three to attend first grade. I bring them home for second grade, FHC year, and keep them home after that. My eldest children have never been to school. Every year a few times a year I drop in, unannounced, sign in at the main office, don my visitor's badge and proceed to the child's classroom to observe, unannounced through the door. My purpose is just to watch my child interact, and set some of my home educator curiosities about my child's behavior at ease. I watch the child interact with the teacher, the teacher with the students, and the overall atmosphere in the classroom.

My daughter seems to be having some issues this year, and I'm trying to sort through them, well actually, it appears to be issues with classroom management, and my daughter is suffering a bit. I wanted to see what was happening, and I was thwarted. I was told to make an appointment. I felt I have the right, as a parent to watch my child interact with her teacher. I marched into the principal's office and told her that I felt the teacher was rude, the secretary disturbed the class and I had just wanted to watch the teacher and the students interact without my child or the teacher performing for me. She told me I couldn't do that, and I asked when the open door policy had been closed. I told her that being intercepted and announced was NOT what I wanted and I, as a parent have every right to see what is going on with my child. I hand her over to them for a good portion of every day, and I have a right to know what is going on.

Apparently not. Am I wrong here?

Voting Catholic Despite Our Choices

Note: the picture was used because I liked it. The link was provided so you would know where I found it. The link in no way expresses the opinions of this blogger. It is just a picture I found on a google image search.

I understand that voting is a right and a privilege. I do. I really do. But yet, for the first time, I find myself in a position of really questioning our system and not wanting to vote. I just don't know what to do. I am leaning toward voting for McCain but that thought just sickens me. If I vote for him, it will only be to clearly state through my vote, that I refuse to vote for Obama.

The consideration of third party candidates is appealing, but is it reasonable? Some say voting for third party candidates will voice our displeasure in our choices the same way that a no vote would, except that you are supporting someone who, despite having no real chance to win, will show the government what we really want, a choice who isn't nauseating. There is some legitimacy to that argument, that voting for third party candidates still allows you to exercise your right to vote, and still sends a message, but I can't help thinking about Ross Perot. What if our third party choices take just enough votes from McCain to throw an abomination into office? Would it not be better to refuse to vote than allow that to happen through a misguided attempt to have our voices be heard in a way that might cause irrevocable damage?

Of course, there will be some who say that this is precisely why we Catholics must vote for McCain, the lesser of two evils. Then there is the propaganda about Obama being the savior of our country, with votives and all, though some claim that it is just a votive of St. Martin. One must really wonder if the picture put on those votives isn't supposed to make those with little to no knowledge of faith question the salvific qualities of Obama...I think I just choked on that sentence...that is blasphemy, and someone is capitalizing on the resemblance of those votives to the abomination, or deliberately made the image to resemble him, either way, it is propaganda in one of the worst examples I've seen to date.

I've had a campaign hitting my e-mail box, from my friends, trying to convince me that McCain is the only choice in this upcoming election. I've seen and heard many statements to the effect of "If you don't vote, you have no right to complain" and the latest one is "If you don't vote, don't emote." Whether or not we vote, we have a right to voice our opinion about who is in office, because, frankly, I don't think that my vote is going to make any difference in the outcome.

Admittedly, my friends are making some headway in convincing me to cast a vote for the lesser of two evils. But, I am far from knowing what I will do come election day. Here is the latest to arrive in my mailbox, anyone have any comments on this?:

Everyone of voting age should read these two books. Don't buy them, get them from the library before they are removed from the shelves.

From Dreams of My Father:
'I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.'
From Dreams of My Father : 'I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race.'
From Dreams of My Father:'There was something about him that made me wary, a little too sure of himself, maybe. And white.'
From Dreams of My Father: 'It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names.'
From Dreams of My Father:'I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa , that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself , the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.'
And FINALLY the Most Damning one of ALL of them!!!

From Audacity of Hope:
'I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.'
* If you have never forwarded an e-mail, now is the time to Do so!!! We CANNOT have someone with this type of mentality running our GREAT nation!! I don't care whether you a Democrat or a Conservative. We CANNOT turn ourselves over to this type of character in a President. PLEASE help spread the word
Send to all you can!

I guess I have some reading to do, and I will be looking for these books when I head out to the library later today. A disclaimer and an invitation about this posting...I am just trying to sort all of this out and would be glad for any further information. My opinions are just that, opinions, and I'm honestly trying to figure all of this out before election day, be charitable my friends, I will honestly consider all of your thoughts, feel free to contact me in the comm box or in my email box. Thank you.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rehearsal in Vienna


Rehearsal for what? For your funeral! There is an art exhibit currently in Austria, from the Reuter's news article:
Their art installation, which has passed through Frankfurt, Istanbul, Toronto and Venice, blends in well with Vienna, the home of elaborate funerals and with one of the world's few museums dedicated to death.

This may well fit into the category of "I've seen everything" but I wonder if anyone was inspired to go to confession after rehearsing their funeral?

Sunday, October 19, 2008


One of my daughters is due to make her FHC in the spring. We live in the Albany diocese (NY) for now, and it is rather liberal. I've not been really happy with our diocese since we've lived here, it is much more liberal than where we lived previously. I've complained before about the Masses and the liberal views. You can imagine my apprehension when I learned that my daughter would be required to attend a 'Reconciliation Retreat' at a parish where I refuse to attend Mass.

We attend the TLM, and it is a drive to get there. There are no programs for sacraments, which doesn't really bother me because I teach at home. I do take my 2nd graders to the local parish program because it is stellar! A friend of mine teaches it, he is Traditional, he packs in the doctrine. He realizes that this is an important opportunity in the NO parish life, to teach the children. He insists on them completing a large amount of homework, which requires parental participation, thereby he is reaching those parents who fell victim to the post Vatican II CCD experiments. Unfortunately there are a lot of parents out there who really missed out on good Catholic formation in the 1970s and 80s, despite attending classes. I cannot comment on the 1990s though I suspect it is more of the same. In fact, as a little side note, there is a problem in this parish with the parents admittedly not understanding the basics of our faith, we cannot get volunteers to teach the classes because they cannot understand the text books, grades k-6! The second grade program is solid, and it reinforces what I teach at home, someone other than Mom and Dad are saying the same thing, which is always a bonus!

Back to the retreat...the second grade teacher was skeptical, as was I. In the Albany Diocese, their answer to the priest shortage is what they term, "Called To Be Church" and it involves clustering parishes within a deanery together to pool resources, including the priests. The local parish is clustered with this parish where I refuse to attend, the priest serves the two parishes, and we have never had this retreat before, but in the spirit of cooperation he agreed to give it a try. The first half hour was a lecture given to the parents and children combined. The second half hour involved two skits, performed with puppets. Here I should interject that this was held in the church, around the altar. One of the performers sat in the priest's chair. The puppet theater was on the floor in front of the altar. The tabernacle is in a far corner, this is one of those round arrangements of pews sans kneelers around the altar, inside of a square building. The first skit was a puppet talking to an adult woman. The puppet felt badly about lying to his mother, and the woman advised him to apologize to his mother and talk to a priest. Not too bad, the kids were entertained. The second skit was Luke 15: 1-7, the parable of the lost sheep. The children were definitely entertained, I think they will remember the parable, but the message got lost in the entertainment, and it is unfortunate that it was held in the church instead of the large meeting hall in the basement. Puppet shows do not belong in the church. The final hour was devoted to a craft project, and snacks...a rather bountiful table of treats which was definitely pleasing to all the children.

When the children went downstairs to that meeting room, and the parents were left in the church with the priest. He exited to an office, and there was a woman up by the altar, which seemed more like a stage at this point, with props and such. She sat in the priest's chair and pretended to talk on a cell phone to someone about the fact that her son was going to be receiving two sacraments this year. Then she ended her call and prayed, asking God how she is supposed to be sure her son was ready. This is when God spoke to her over the PA system from the priest's office. He explained she was already preparing him by her devotion to him. She has taught him to trust that when he cries out for help, someone who loves him will answer. That opens the door for her son to trust in God. And it went on and on about how God is love. Then the priest came out, and addressed the parents, where he opened with, "That is the only time I get to play God." Next, he said he would take questions, but he would like to address the big question everyone always has, which is, "Why must we go to confession, won't God forgive our sins through our just asking Him, in private, without the priest?" I was hopeful! I actually thought perhaps this was going to turn out FAR better than I had anticipated. But my hopes were soon dashed.

When I taught confirmation classes, I spent two years preparing teenagers for the sacrament. One of the things I was most shocked about, teaching Confirmation in a NO parish, is the lack of attention to the confessional. In our diocese, Confirmation candidates must be at least 16 years old. Most of my students had not been to a confessional since FHC, despite my devoting at least 10% of class time to the topic in class over the two years of instruction. I wondered how that could be, why these students failed to understand the importance. Yesterday's retreat enlightened me. When the priest addressed answered his own question about the necessity of confession, I expected instruction on sanctifying grace and the necessity of obtaining that grace through frequent confession, keeping your soul in a state of grace, etc. Instead we were told to illustrate the necessity by dropping a pebble into a puddle or a dish of water, explaining that sin has a ripple effect, and we must apologize to society for our sins and their resulting effects. The priest is representative of society, so for us to apologize appropriately, we need to confess to the priest.

We were then encouraged to participate in the penance services held within our cluster group, which always occur during Lent and Advent. There was a woman who asked, "Is that what they are teaching now, confession only twice a year instead of monthly?" He said no, that we are expected to make frequent confessions, but realistically, priests just are not readily available, often times the priest cannot make scheduled confession times for each parish. He also added that when he is there, the confessional remains empty.

This brings me right back around to the original point, catechesis is sorely lacking. Between the scheduling difficulties and the lack of proper instruction, of course the confessionals are empty! When we have a captive audience of adults, parents in particular, why is the instruction incomplete? I was disappointed yet again.

106-Year-Old Obama-Supporting Nun Shocked by Fame

Poor thing! Her faculties are obviously slipping or she would be able to discern that a vote for Obama is a vote against what she has devoted her life to, all 106 years of it, Catholicism.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Best Investment Today

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago,
you would have $49.00 today.

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you would
have $33.00 today.

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago,
you would have $0.00 today.

But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all
the beer, then turned in the aluminum cans for recycling refund, you
will have around $214.00.

Picture of Budweiser Beer

Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily
& recycle.

It is called the 401-Keg.

H/T to Mary from SagHarbor Gifts


One of my favorite bloggers is Ryan, aka Athanasius Contra Mundum. This is a fabulous post from him, a MUST read in my opinion. At this time as we are so involved in the politics of our land, grappling with our consciences about the right choices to make, Athanasius brings home a timely reminder that brings back in to perspective that which ought to be in the forefront of our minds. Yes, national politics is important because we cannot forget the living and forget to protect the innocent, we cannot forget about social justice. But more importantly, we must always remember who the Savior of the world is, who is our King, and how we must ALWAYS be ready to face him. Her is an the title, it is a link to his post.

How many people are there, who not only delay a thought of death until it confronts them, but also, say idiotic things like "I'll convert on my deathbed!" I can not tell you how many people, be they Catholics or Protestants, justify their evils by claiming they will convert on their deathbed? How many more non-believers who entertain some thought of afterlife, say "well, I'll convert on my deathbed." What if there is no deathbed? What if....

Go read the rest!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Reasons to Get Up in the Morning

Every now and then you need to sit back and count life's blessings, even when it seems all life is serving up to you is the pits, instead of the sweet cherries. My life has been filled with much confusion and stress the last few weeks, so I thought I would take a break from life, and the election, and think about things I love, and things that make me happy. What are your reasons for getting up in the morning? Put them in the comm box, I would love to hear your reasons.

My short list, which could be much longer if it weren't for the fact that the time is after midnight, and I really ought to at least TRY to sleep:

1. Not just cherries, but any fruit, is a blessing to be thankful for. Heck, why not go all out and say food on the table. Food is a blessing, and one to be enjoyed. Isn't this picture of the cherries just luscious? Click on the picture for a link to the gallery, in case you have extra cash and would like to buy this mouthwatering artwork.

2. Coffee, coffee, coffee, especially made this way, in my french press.

3. Chocolate, oh how I love chocolate, especially Green and Black. It is a toss up which variety is the most scrumptious, but Maya Gold would indeed be a top contender!

Maya brand of Green and Black's chocolates

4. Children. I love this painting. I love my children. They are the best reason on earth to get up every morning. When people ask me why I have so many I offer a variety of reasons. It depends upon my mood whether they get the tart answer, the charitable answer, the answer which reflects my Catholic faith, the answer to make them pause, or the answer that I would never have known had I not been blessed with quite so many children, which is...Children make you laugh. They offer you all of themselves and they never want anything in return (at least if you keep them out of the stores they don't). They live to make you smile and laugh, and most often they accomplish this effortlessly. Why on earth would a person choose to limit such joy?
Carl Vogel Von Vogelstein - Vogel von Vogelstein - Suffer the Little Children Size 28x22 - art prints and posters(click the image to buy a print)

The Blessed Sacrament (absent from this photograph), Christ crucified and risen, our Glorious Faith, it is a reason to get up in the morning. The Catholic faith provides us with many reasons, not the least of which is to get up and try again when we fall, to find our way to heaven. I do not know how non-Catholics manage to survive without despair. It is hard enough as a Catholic sometimes, how on earth could I manage if I was not a Catholic? Thanks be to God, I will never have to know.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

1967 Address of Paul VI to altar servers

Pope Paul VI 262nd Roman Catholic Pontiff 1963-1972

H/T to The Cross Reference blog for this (see links) I left Jeff's comments in, highlighted in red. This just brings to the surface, once again, that only boys belong on the altar. It is a detriment having girls and women serve, a detriment to vocations. My thoughts on female servers can be found in the links, see Female Acolytes and Vocations.

Here is an address that Pope Paul VI gave in March of 1967 to a pilgrimage of (male) altar servers from across Europe to Rome. I just read it this evening, and I think it's rather timely and appropriate.

Dear sons, in your beautiful white albs you present us with a splendid sight that is a joy to our eyes and our heart. We are happy to address a few words to you, in response to the request expressed in your name by your friend and protector in Rome, the Cardinal Archpriest of St. Peters.

His words introducing you to us suggest the thought that the whiteness of your vestments is a reflection of the whiteness of your souls. Your contact with the altar sustains and develops in your souls faith, devotion, purity, and all the other virtues that are pleasing to God.

You will remember the young man in the gospel who had faithfully cultivated those same virtues since childhood. The evangelist tells us that Jesus looked up him with love: Iesus, intuitus eum, dilexit eum, "Looking on him, Jesus loved him." (Mark 10:21)

We believe that we see the Savior's look also resting upon each one of you with special favor. Are you not the ones who come so very near to him as you serve at the altar? Is it then surprising that his call to an even greater nearness to him should at some time -- as has just been said to us -- sound in the hearts of some of you?

Dear sons, the charge that we wish to commit to you consists in two points: be faithful to carry out in exemplary fashion the liturgical functions assigned to you; listen to the voice of Christ if he graciously calls you to follow him more closely.

To be faithful: that is a whole program for life. As you know the word "faithfulness" includes the word "faith". To revivify that faith at the tombs of the Apostles is the reason you have come to Rome. In that faith St. Paul summarized his whole life as an apostle when he came to the end of his earthly life: fidem servavi, "I have kept the faith," he said to his disciple Timothy. (2 Timothy 4:7) I have been faithful to God, to Christ, to the Church. I have been faithful to my calling, to the ministry entrusted to me. May such a faithfulness be yours and may it be particularly true of those concerns involved in your functions as servers at the altar.

You might at times think that the liturgy is made up of a lot of minor details: posture, genuflections, bows, handling the censer, missal, cruets, etc. It is then that you must remember the words of Christ in the gospel: "He that is faithful in the smallest things is faithful also in the great." (Luke 16:10) Moreover, in the liturgy nothing is little, when we realize the greatness of the one to whom it is directed.

Therefore, dear sons, be outstanding in faithfulness toward carrying out your sacred functions. To that devote your attention, all your heart, and all your love.

Next, listen to the divine call. We will share with you one of our worries. In the face of the vastness of the task of evangelization that the modern world sets before us, we often put the question to ourself: How are we going to find enough priests, enough religious to meet this need? Does it not seem as though God is calling in vain -- that today's young people have no wish to hear him; that they no longer have the taste for God, the response to the ideal, the attraction toward sacrifice?

Dear sons, a good number of those older than you have resoundingly repudiated such fears. May it come true that a great many of you also will follow in their footsteps! Be on your guard against letting the voice that calls you go unheard and unanswered. Pray ardently that from among your ranks Christ may choose many to carry on his priesthood.

(Documents on the Liturgy 338, paragraphs 2919-2920)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Prayer and Fasting Before the Elections

Please go and visit Redneck Catholic and read his suggestion. Meanwhile, for convenience I've reprinted his post here, go read the comments too. The title is a link.

Cut and pasted from Redneck Catholic:
I posted below about Prayer and Fasting for three days before the election. I also sent out an e-mail to most of my list asking people if they might join in on such a project.

Five people have said to count them in.

Now I'm asking you to join in, if you haven't received an e-mail from me. What I'm going to do is put up a new poll--as the easiest way to count 'em up. If you will join in this fast for America, just answer yes. If not, answer no or ignore it.

And, may I suggest a prayer to the Immaculate conception, who is our nations patroness? I know it's out of style, but this is time of decision for the United States--not the "All the Americas".

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Why I Cannot Decide How to Vote
*Note...This is not my sonogram, I am not expecting lest you think otherwise.

I do not believe in casting a vote for the lesser evil. I have done that in the past and have had much Catholic guilt about it. I have also voted for the lesser evil only to have the greater evil elected anyway.

Someone recently said to a group of my friends and me, that she thinks the people in our government are controlled by their lust for money and power, and are therefore blind to the common good. They cannot see what is good for the people because it is at odds with what is good for themselves, it is at odds with their desires. She ended by reminding us to look at how long Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land, adding that if the government doesn't get that there is a baby in a mother's womb, they are not going to get much else.

This is true. Anyone who does not comprehend that a baby is in fact a baby, from the moment of conception, is not going to understand the concept of for the common good beyond what is good for themselves. Show me a politician who has 100% respect for life, and I will cast a vote. Show me a politician who thinks beyond themselves and is genuinely interested in what is best for this country, perhaps even at the expense of their own personal interests, and I will cast a vote. Anything else, to me, at this point in time, is selling out.

May God have mercy on the United States of America. And, if I'm missing something here, may God show me in time to cast a vote, should I be anywhere near a proper polling place at the time of the election.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Powerful and Worth the Time to View

Frost and Fear

This brilliant photograph is from here.

Upon waking, in the New York mountains today, I find the ground thickly coated with frost. We have tried very hard to get all of our apples harvested, but it is no small task. Our house smells deliciously of apple treats, and fall is my favorite time of the year. Normally by now we are settled into our full swing with homeschooling, and I'm settling into a time of blissful domesticity. Not only do I adore the mountains in all their glory at this time of the year, swathed in the foliage they display with pride, truly at their most brilliant in October, but I love the crisp air, cool and sometimes frosty nights; and the days that tease your nose with the cool bite before warming into a memory of the summer just passed while always requiring you to wear a shawl or light jacket. This time of year makes me long to hit the kitchen and make soups, stews, and especially breads and muffins, and treats of the fall harvest like apple pie, crisp and sauce. The house smells wonderful and that makes me want it to look wonderful too, so I am inspired to sort clothes, changing over from summer to winter fashions, and clean the house. I'm more willing to do the fall cleaning than my spring cleaning. In the spring, it is a cleanse before Easter, in the fall, it is a cleanse because we are heading into the winter, and the house should be cosy and warm, clean and inviting. I love this time of year.

Yet, this year is different than most, or dare I say different from all that I've ever experienced in the past. Instead of reveling in the glories of fall in the mountains, I'm dealing with migraines and stresses. I'm fighting fear this year, of a sort I never thought I'd have to face. It is frightening. Spiritually I know that letting in fear is an invitation to Satan. I keep trying to remember to have faith in God, focus on the beauty of life as it tickles my senses every moment of the day in the autumn. But it harder than ever before, for me, this year.

Pray for me my friends. We are facing a layoff and a housing crisis. There is no prospect of employment at the moment for my husband after his company closes, his layoff date is as yet undisclosed, yet we know it is coming at any time within the next 10 months. We've been seeking employment for him for months now, knowing that this was a possibility, and since there are 700 others effected, we are looking in 12 states, none of which are our home state of NY. Correction, we are looking in NY, and have been, but realise it is a fool's dream to stay in NY with a large family and the cost of living here, given our current circumstances. The amount of salary he'd be required to draw in would be higher here than just about anywhere else in the US. We are considering some radical moves, weighing our options. Things we never would have considered, even six months ago, are on the table now and being considered as real possibilities. Fear of the unknown is setting in, and I cannot succumb to fear, so I'm fighting it tooth and nail. Now I have a migraine.

This economic crisis is not only effecting the fat cats on wall street and bankers who are being bailed out. But as we see, those who were bailed out are continuining in their greed and habits of excessive spending. The average Joe, like Mr. and Mrs. Thorns and their team of children are the ones who stand to lose everything. May God have Mercy on the United States, and all countries of this world governed by greed and godlessness, most especially those suffering at the hands of it, even when they were living a frugal life.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Are We Really Surprised By This?

Apparently a $440,000.oo price. For starters.

If you'd just gotten a government bailout, you might be tempted to hold a retreat at a nice California hotel -- and that's exactly what American International Group (AIG: 3.51, -0.36, -9.30%) executives did. Read the article here.

After reading the article, consider these quotes:
"All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today." -Pope Paul VI

"Stupidity is also a gift from God; but one mustn't misuse it." -Pope John Paul II

New on the blogroll

Roll Call - Click Image to Close

Home Living!

I honestly thought that this blog was already on my blogroll!

Now that it is officially on the blogroll instead of just bookmarked on my computer ;-), I recommend you to take a look at these articles by Lady Lydia:
Worrying About Money

Don't Bail out the International Bankers

or many of her archives about lovely crafts, feminism, homemaking, and the art of being a woman. Welcome Lady Lydia and Home Living!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Former President Andrew Jackson Speaks!

Hat tip to Jamie and Claudio from Ad Silvam Ibimus for this:

In discussing the Bank Renewal bill with a delegation of bankers in 1832, Jackson said, “Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time, and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out.”

And So It Begins...

This poor woman. This is beyond sad and will likely be repeated over and over and over again. Any person who says things are not so bad, that we are becoming alarmists, is fooling themselves.

The concluding paragraph in this article reads:

Home foreclosure rates are at record highs in the United States, in many cases because buyers with adjustable interest rates could not keep up with sharp increases in monthly payments. The foreclosure crisis has sparked a wider housing market downturn and is at the heart of the U.S. financial crisis.

May God have Mercy!

LORD Jesus Christ, eternal and merciful God,
Creator and Redeemer of all, listen to my prayer.

For the love Thou doth bear to those who ask forgiveness,
look on me with mercy, as once Thou didst look on Mary Magdalen,
and on Peter who denied Thee.
Look on me, Lord Jesus Christ, as Thou didst looked at the thief on his cross
and on every sinner whom Thou hast ever forgiven.

Look on me, merciful Lord, as Thou didst look on Thy Mother, Mary,
standing in sorrow beneath Thy Cross.

Let me feel in my heart her compassion for Thee,
and let my eyes weep for Thy sorrows, caused by my sinful life.
Call me back from the darkness to my Father's house, give me a new heart
and a place at Thy side in the banquet Thou hast prepared for me.
HAIL, Mary, my joy, my glory, my heart and my soul!
Thou art all mine through thy mercy, and I am all thine.
But I am not thine completely enough.
Destroy in me all that may be displeasing to God.
Place and cultivate in me everything that is pleasing to thee.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I Called, Did You?

I decided the only thing I can really do about this bail out is to call my congressman. So I did. My congressman was one who voted nay the last time. It is my prayer that the naysayers stick to their guns and do not waiver in their resolve. I do not know what the solution is, but I do know that this is NOT it. I tend to think letting the economy be, letting what will happen just happen, may be the best thing that ever happened to this country.

It seems to me that The United States of America (and much of the world, but I'm living in the US so I will only speak of that which I know) or more specifically her citizens, are too caught up in materialism and not connected enough to God. We have a dual income society. Not out of necessity, out of want. Our wives and mothers are out there working*, putting children into daycare to be raised by state standards rather than God's standards. Those parents feel they need to both work, but they don't really; they only need to both work if they want more than what the husband's salary can provide. You cannot have a 6000 square foot McMansion, in the suburbs, drive two new vehicles, have ipods for little Jane and Johnny, a flat screen plasma television the size of the living room wall, and the cable connections to infuse into it, blackberries for mom and dad, cell phones all around, Wii for when there is nothing to watch on television despite having 200 channels of smut to choose from, and afford the gas to cart Jane and Johnny to their 5 weekly activities a piece, on one income. What you can afford on one income is a sufficient house (more than sufficient by world-wide standards), a tracphone for mom and dad, a modest television with a DVD player and a library card to borrow videos, books to line the walls, one very nice car or two used cars, a family computer with a dvd/cd burner and some access to a download site such as i-tunes or that other one with the funny looking logo, ipods for the kids if they buy it themselves with their own money, and one extra-curricular activity per child.

I know this, because we live this. Americans do not want to live this way. They want what they want when they want it, which is always yesterday. If the neighbors get something new, well then I will have it too. Americans don't wait until they can pay for something, they buy it on credit. We live large and it is catching up to us. This is why, in my opinion, the best thing that can happen is for the economy to crash. Let people learn what the dollar means again. We will all be in it together, and we will have to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, just like the pioneers who built this country. I realize this is not a romantic prospect, it is going to be hard, and many will want to give up, but it is time to separate the men from the boys. We will have to get our hands dirty to survive. That is the best thing that could happen to Americans right now. It will be ugly, but in the end, I think this will bring our nation back to God. We need to boot the fat cats out of politics, and boot the self serving egotists out of our corporations. We need Americans to find their entreprenurial spirit and tap into their survival instinct. We need Americans to be self sufficient once again, like we all were at one point. We have it in our blood, not so many generations back either. Find it within yourselves and hunker down for what is going to be a rough time ahead.

Incidentally, in my humble opinion, I think if this bail out goes through, it will only be a band aid. It is just putting off the inevitable. I think, if it does pass, it will buy some people the time to plan better for the inevitable, and that things will end up being worse down the line. The ones who use this time wisely will be the best off. The best way to use this time? Eliminate the excess in your lives. Sell off those expensive gadgets (if anyone will buy them) and use the money to prepare yourself for what is coming. LEARN how to be more self sufficient and live with some 'discomfort' because a little training in discomforts will likely pay off big in the long run.

*I do realize there are some who must work, not for wants but for needs, this does not apply to them. I also realize there are some who work and the husband stays home. That is fine too, if it works for their family. Then, there are those who have important jobs and are motivated by altruism over materialism, again, this doesn't apply to them.