Saturday, January 25, 2003

I grew up in the 80’s so I am pretty conservative politically. When I reverted it coincided with the realization that our culture is toxic. And this lead to a greater appreciation of the Church’s teachings. Another change that occurred when I reverted was that I began to be more open to ideas when it comes to things that could be done in our country. I am leery of big government especially with the anti-Christian forces found in it today. Remember Reagan’s joke-Government is like a baby, a huge appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. But today, I find myself questioning what would be acceptable for us, a moderate government health care plan that would ensure at least basic health care for all? More government regulation of private health care? Wouldn’t either of these assist Catholics who have large families or even help encourage Catholics who might be afraid to have more children? If women were assured of basic health care for their children, would this discourage abortions? I am well aware of the dangers of this type of stuff, but right now, we already pay for people who are uninsured. These are questions I am still struggling with and I don’t have much of a set opinion on them. I find myself more able to accept some social net type of programs insofar as they would assist the culture of life. I believe in people being self-reliant and responsible of course, but lately I can see the good in having all Americans covered in health care. I am completely open to how that can be accomplished, but the One Big Plan that Hillary Clinton tried years ago would be the worst. As much as it feels weird to say, Catholicism has made me more conservative and more liberal at the same time.
Things to do for Catholics on Long Island:

Monday, Jan. 27th
Faith on Tap-"Life after the Abortion" at the Wantagh Inn opposite Wantagh LIRR station 7-9 PM

Friday, Jan. 31st
Candlelight Procession and Holy Hour at Our Lady of Lourdes Church Carmans Road, Massapequa Park 7:30 PM

I have been to the Holy Hour twice and it was very good but its more like 2 or 3 hours. Confessions are heard the entire time and it draws a large crowd. The Faith on Tap is Theology on Tap but they thought theology was too scary a word. I haven't been to one yet, but its a couple of months old. I will try to get to one or both of these but I think I will skip this one:

"Experience health and harmony in body, mind, and spirit with tai'chi chih, level 11 at Church of the Cure of Ars
Adoremus is a good organization of people who care about Liturgy, I enjoy their bulletin and respect and support their work. I am glad their website explains that adoremus means "let us adore" in latin.

Friday, January 24, 2003

Newly Discovered (by me):
Disordered Affections

How could I have forgotten to mention First Things in my list of great Catholic publications below????? Fr. Neuhaus, despite what he says, is the granddaddy of bloggers. This magazine is chocked full of intelligent and reasoned articles.
Hellooooooo Nietzsche

Many Seinfeld fans did not like the final episode but I thought it was great. The way they created a story that put the characters’…character on trial was brilliant. Bringing all the crazy people from the past years of the show as prosecution witnesses was great. This was a show “about nothing” ie..nihilism. These 4 people led self-absorbed lives which imprisoned them and cut off any growth. On tv its fun to watch them but when you meet these types in real life, it sucks. So putting them in prison, and having them start the same conversation they had on the pilot episode was an appropriate ending. And I thought it was funny too.

Speaking of final episodes, didcha know the Cheers show was supposed to end the year before it did. The writers wrote the episode where Woody and Kelly get married as if it were the finale. When the cast voted to go another year, the wedding episode became an hour long season ender. I have this on tape and to this day when I need a laugh I watch it. The whole thing is a farce and works very well, almost like a play. This would have been the best show ending episode ever, but instead the Cheers actual final episode stunk. So Newhart still has the honor of “Best Show Finale Ever”.
Proving that credit cards are dangerous things, I recently received a package from Ignatius Press with my latest book order. I buy books faster than I can read them so fortunately they are all slim volumes: To Quell the Terror, What Were the Crusades?, Living Machines, The Distinctiveness of Christianity, The Liturgy After Vatican II, Idylls and Rambles, The Mind and Heart of the Church

I guess I was in a serious mood when I placed this order because most are historical but I think I’ll start with Idylls and Rambles by James Schall which contains small, light essays.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

A blogger recently linked to an article from US Catholic magazine and I read it. The stupidity of the article made me wish I hadn’t. Years ago, I would go to the library and read magazines and books on the Church and they were very negative and angry. US Catholic, America and Commonweal were the only Catholic magazines I found in any of the dozen libraries I went to. At the time, I was not attending Mass and did not know much of the Church but the hostility and criticism in the magazines seemed to me to be wrong. I didn’t know exactly why, I just knew my experience in the Church did not even remotely resemble anything these writers were presenting. My Catholic school education also made me very suspicious of the writers who wanted to change Church teachings. If the Church was really what it said it was, then its teachings would not change according to time, culture, etc.. Today, I know more about my faith, and when I see false statements, silly arguments or childish reasoning, I get angry. I never used to, but if there is one thing I can’t stand it is when people misrepresent things. So now I avoid these publications and have never missed them since I found other magazines, not found in my local public libraries. But I have to say, America and Commonweal had some great writing in them –these great articles squeezed in between junk. If you can, subscribe to any or all of these Catholic publications:

Crisis (Great magazine of culture, politically conservative-would like to see more balance there)

Catholic World Report (by Ignatius Press, good coverage of world events important to the Church)

National Catholic Register ( AWESOME Catholic newspaper, exactly what a publication should do, inform and inspire)

Latin Mass Magazine ( Excellent on culture, traditionalist, any criticism of things in the Church here is done respectfully)

Envoy ( Funny and high quality apologetics magazine)

St. Austin Review ( Only 1 I have not subscribed to yet, looks good and very impressive list of contributors)
"Conservatives" VS. "Traditionalists"
When I started to make serious efforts to come back to the Church, the traditionalist and conservative websites were a great help. I was searching for my culture, heritage and faith and Sr. Dissenter and Fr. Politically Correct, S.J., were no help. This is why it pains me to see the wars between these two devout Catholic groups. I guess I would be described as a semi-traditionalist. I occasionally attend the traditional latin mass, which I found in my desperate search for beautiful liturgy. Mostly I attend my parish and find I prefer the Novus Ordo when done well. Like many, I would love to combine elements of these 2 masses into one. EWTN seems to have it about right. I keep thinking that my parish and others will eventually learn and get it right, but I am getting impatient. All the energy the conservatives and traditionalists waste on each other should be wasted on the modernists/unorthodox among us or even better, spent on encouraging beautiful liturgy, artwork, teaching, etc. . My gut feeling is: the fault lies more with the conservatives who sometimes seem fearful of the rising wave of traditionalism.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

EWTN will broadcast A Pro-Life Summit: 30 Years After Roe Vs. Wade on Jan. 22nd @ 9 pm EST

In English lit class in high school, Bro. Smith taught us that satirists will be vulgar and raunchy in order to shock readers into seeing things in a different way. We studied Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels which included Gulliver assisting the Lilliputians when their Presidential Palace caught on fire. He did this by urinating on it.
Now, no good Catholic would watch South Park, so there I was watching South Park and I saw some wicked satire. The boys think their deceased friend Kenny had their winning ticket for free candy with him when he died. They take his urn, thinking he is in there, and dump it out to find the ticket. Cartman mistakes the ashes for chocolate milk mix and drinks it, causing him to see things through Kenny’s eyes. When he realizes he has Kenny’s “living soul” inside of him he says “I gotta get this living soul sucked out of me”. The scene immediately cuts to “Unplanned Parenthood” where he tells the bored receptionist he wants to have a living soul removed from inside him. Without looking up from writing, she tells him the fee is $200. A young woman and man enter the clinic as Cartman shouts “$200!!! Lady I just want this thing sucked out of me.” This causes the young woman to start crying and saying, “I can’t go through with this, I can’t do it”. The boyfriend, of course reacts angrily to Cartman and throws something at him.
Vulgar? Crude? Childish? Yes. And not at the level of Swift, but still…how many of the show’s fans are used to being exposed to this kind of truth, and in a way that is the opposite of preachy?

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Thanks for the shocking and wonderful mention of this blog at Flos Cameli.
The people at St. Blog’s parish are incredible-creative, funny, faith-filled, smart, and interesting. I feel like an old 4 cylinder Yugo with 2 flat tires and a leaky gas tank next to Ferraris and Lamborghinis.
Catholic Page For Lovers continues to amaze me! I just discovered Gerard’s webpage on Great Books. I am building up a nice collection of books and would love to start a Catholic library that would be fully orthodox and good enough to attract people. Of course, the ideal place for it would at a parish and that can lead to problems, but we will see.
A Story From A Real Seminary
I am currently reading Testimony of Hope by Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan. I have never heard the story he tells on page 113. At a seminary in Burundi, Hutu guerrillas told 40 seminarians to separate into 2 groups, Hutu and Tutsi. The Hutus, knowing the guerrillas’ intention was to kill the Tutsi, refused to do so, even though it would have saved their lives. All 40 seminarians were murdered on April 30th, 1996.
Reading that story, my first reaction was that this was a great story of seminarians who were true Christians who laid down their life for their brothers. My second reaction was to think of the seminarians in the USA, and hope that they have this kind of courage and this true devotion to Jesus.
Suit Charges Seminary With Pro-Gay Teachings

This is the place where seminarians were told by a priest that he "can't wait for Mother Angelica to die".
As much as I would love to see this guy win that lawsuit, it does not belong in a court of law.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Thank you Rosemarie for your comments on your Catholic high school experience below. These are the type of horror stories I have heard about, and the only consolation I can think of is that most high school students are half asleep in class so they may not have learned much anyway (and people say New Yorkers are cynical). I mentioned and will continue to mention my own experience not to brag, but to demonstrate how a positive and orthodox education can lead to the “mature faith” in people that so many dissenters say they want. I will continue to blog about Chaminade and Kellenberg. In fact, those familiar with the Oracle of Bacon, where any actor can be connected to Kevin Bacon, can think of this blog as the Oracle of Chaminade, as I can connect almost anything in the Church, especially positive stuff, to this school and the community that runs it.
Can anyone tell me if there is a rule about quoting from books on blogs??? Will I be hauled into court for using long quotes from books on this insignificant little blog? I have seen long quotes on other blogs but most seem to be from old, possibly out of print books. I wouldn't want to get sued although it would be fun to act like Felix Unger in court (You know what happens when you ASSUME don't you?).
Fr. Jim has posted his Sunday homily at Dappled Things. I was glad to read this as I did not hear a homily yesterday. Normally, I attend a Mass at my parish that the recently ordained, intelligent and very orthodox priest celebrates. But yesterday he was away, and I woke up too late to get to the traditional latin mass ( #$@! satellite tv has too many good shows on at night). So the Mass I went to had a priest who spoke of the need to give to the Bishop's Annual Appeal even if we are all angry. I have no problem with a priest having to give this talk, even at Mass, but not in place of a homily. This has happened to me before when visiting other parishes-one time another talk on money and once, an urgent appeal for a volunteer to run the youth ministry. Priests should realize that the homily is a part of the Mass and they can't skip it, just like they can't skip any other part of the Mass. Leave the practical appeals to the announcement section, or do what the priest who celebrates the latin mass does: come out before the Mass begins and make announcements. Or, give a homily, even if real short and then make your appeals.
The politically correct dogma is: the Catholic Church is a horrible thing that has caused everything bad on the earth possibly excepting monsoons. (Although Goldhagen’s next book will probably make that link.) One heretic who doesn’t buy this dogma is H.W. Crocker, a convert from Anglicanism. His Triumph the Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church is a great book. Even if it means the kids don’t eat for a couple of days, you should go out and buy it. An example of his writing style:
“She was popularly known as the ‘goggle-eyed whore,’ but her given name was Anne Boleyn” p. 258
Those of St. Blog’s parish should be aware that Catholics under age 35 do not necessarily know any Latin, understand the difference between a venial and a mortal sin, or know much theology. Any websites that teach some of these basics? I would love to hear about some.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Hehehe Jeff Miller is starting the Voice of the Fans due to the arrest of Pete Townsend and some guy from the Bay City Rollers. I call for zero tolerance, they should not be able to work again, along with Woody Allen, Michael Jackson, and Chuck Berry.
I will offer free publicity (such as this blog is) to things I consider to be good, valuable parts of the New Evangelization, so check this out:
National Catholic Register
I hope to hear from people on this blog on their experience with Catholic education as well as their opinions on Catholic books. Before I reverted, I would read books and magazines on things Catholic even while never going to Church. One book I bought was “The New Men” by Brian Murphy, which gives an inside look at the North American College in Rome. The rector when the book was published was the wonderful Fr. Timothy Dolan, now Bishop of Milwaukee. On page 87 the author describes the experience Dolan had when he was a seminarian (1968-1972). When seminarians started to claim the traditional mass was outdated, stopped wearing their clerical collars, and when everything was questioned, attacked and changed, Dolan “did not fully support all the clamor, but he went along”. There have been quite a few priests over the past 10 years who have wondered why they just let things happen the way they did, why they didn’t speak up more, etc.. and this introspection is good. {Start Sermon} People in the Church should stop thinking that every attempt to question the so-called reforms of the past 30 years is an attempt to “turn back the clock”. Things were done incorrectly and some changes were very negative, just look around. It will take generations to reform but the worst thing to do is blindly insist that everything that has changed, has changed for the better. {End of sermon}
From the rising of the sun to its setting, may the name of the Lord be praised.