Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Feast Day of Sts. Peter and Paul

Today is the celebration of those great saints and martyrs, St. Peter and St. Paul.  Both ended their earthly journeys in Rome.  Both were martyred for the Faith there. 

St. Peter, of course, had a special commission from our Lord Jesus to be the shepherd of His flock (Jn 21:15-17); Our Lord changed his name from Simon to Rock (Peter) and built His Church upon him; He was given the Keys of the Kingdom (Mt 16:13-19) a privilege afforded only to the king's right hand man; and divine grace allowed him to be the first of the apostles to confess Christ's divinity (Mt 16:13-19).  He was martyred under the persecution of Caesar Nero in about 64 AD.  Tradition tells us that he was hung upside down by request, as he did not feel worthy to be martyred in the same way as His Lord and Saviour had been.  His bones have been discovered very near the spot tradition said his tomb was under St. Peter's basilica in Rome.  My son is named for St. Peter and his birthday happens to be tomorrow, the day after St. Peter's Feast day.  Happy birthday, Piers!

St. Paul was especially chosen by Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-16).  He was chose to spread the Gospel to the gentiles (Gal 1:11-20).  He is the considered the greatest missionary of all time, spreading the Gospel to the gentiles in Western Asia and Southeastern Europe.  St. Paul was beheaded, also during the persecution of Nero, and is buried under the basilica that bears his name in Rome.

God our Father,
today you give us the joy
of celebrating the feast of the apostles Peter and Paul.
Through them your Church first received the faith.
Keep us true to their teachings.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

To My Reader in Louisville, Kentucky

Thanks for stopping by.  Now, get back to work!

Love ya, Hon...

For anyone else reading along, I know is my husband stopping by every day, sometimes more than once. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

I would love to give my father a hug on Father's Day.  The only problem is I'd have to have arms over 1,000 miles long.  I hope he has a great day and sees this post.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

See dad, I didn't forget you. I just forgot to hit the "publish post" button. I do love you, ya know.  I just didn't quite make it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Head is Swimming

This morning my head is swimming.  I can't think straight because I could not sleep last night.  Every long once in a while I have one of those nights (like I can afford to skip sleep).  But my head is swimming because of a member of one of the forums I belong to.  He whined and complained, "No one asked me on this forum for the reason for my hope.  (boo hoo hoo)"  [paraphrased from memory]  That is not the nature of the forum but one of the Catholic members asked him to 'go ahead and tell us the reason for his hope.' 

He quoted one passage in Zechariah about the man who would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, and bring salvation.  Does he go on from there and list verses from the New Testament about hope in Christ?  Does he compare Zechariah's prophecy to the events in the Gospel?  Does he even tell us how he was "saved?"  No to all of the above.   After this brief message of "hope" from the Old Testament he delves into a several paragraph diatribe as to why Catholics are going to hell.  That is your reason for hope, buddy?  Really?

I would have gone more along these lines:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."  John 3:16 KJV from memory.

"...Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matt. 4:17 NAB

"Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."  John 14:6

"Believe on the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved."  Acts 16:31

"Teacher what good must I do to gain eternal life?"  He answered him, "Why do you ask me about the good?  There is only One who is good.  If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."  Matt. 19:16-17

"Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves Me.  And whoever loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him."  John 14:21

"If I speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.  And if I have the gift of prophecy, and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing."  I Cor 13:1-3

"But one who perseveres to the end, will be saved."  Matt 24:13

"This saying is trustworthy:  If we have died with Him we shall also live with Him;  if we persevere we shall also reign with Him.  But if we deny Him He will deny us.  If we are unfaithful He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself."  2 Tim 2:11-13

"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well.' but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?  So also faith of itself, if it does not have works is dead.

Indeed someone might say, "You have faith and I have works.'  Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you by my works.  You believe that God is one.  You do well.  Even the demons believe that and tremble.  Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works.  Thus the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.' and he was called 'the friend of God.'  See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.  And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route?  For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead."  James 2:14-26

"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access (by faith) to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.  Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us."  Romans 5:1-5

My hope is in the Lord.  Thank God my salvation is not dependent on the judgement of others calling themselves Christians but condemning billions of Christians because he does not agree with the Church's doctrine.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

To Father Patrick

My heart goes out to you today.  I'm pretty sure you don't read my insignificant blog but just in case, I want you to know that you are in our hearts and in our prayers for a speedy recovery. 

For those reading along, Father Patrick is a wonderful elderly monk/priest from St. Gregory's Abbey in Shawnee, OK.  He has been a fill in pastor for the chapel on Tinker AFB for the past 2 decades or so.  We see him every Wednesday for Mass.  We just found out he had a terrible fall in the shower and fractured a bone in his shoulder.  Let us pray for a speedy recovery with as little pain as possible.

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives, and the one who seeks, finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8

Saint Stanislaus Kostka, Pray for Us.  [Patron of broken bones, feast 13 November]

St. Drogo, pray for us. [Also, Patron for those with broken bones, among other things]  

We also ask St. Walburga, my patron saint, a healer and a wonderful lady, to pray for Father Patrick. 

God Bless you, and may God's healing hand comfort you and heal you soon.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Altar Girls and other Liturgical Nonsense

Wow!  What a weird couple of days.  A friend of mine commented on teaching her children what a valid Mass consists of.  I could not believe some of the comments.  She is, apparently, a judgemental, heartless, narrow-minded pharisee.  Well, if she is, I am worse.  I not only agree with every thing she said but I, too, am teaching my kids to approach the Eucharist, and the Mass, with reverence.  I am worse because I am taking over the First Communion/First Reconciliation class next year...woo ha ha ha ha.  I may be teaching your kids...gulp...reverence.

I started out to comment on a grievous incident that happened at Church but I could not get onto "Blogger" this morning.  So, I'll get to my diatribe on altar girls now...Altar girls are wrong.  Yes, it's my opinion.  However, it is an opinion shared by many--even women--in the Church.

I know, I know, for some unknown reason the American branch of the Church decided that being an altar boy had nothing to do with the call to the priesthood.  I can give you several reasons why those liberal bishops and their feminazi friends are wrong--the altar girl in line behind me yesterday at our monthly Knights of Columbus breakfast.  Her dad and a couple of other (male nonetheless) parishioners told her how "great" she looked serving at the altar and that she would make a great priest.  "Too bad the Church doesn't have women priests."  "What churches do again?"  "Presbyterian?"  "Episcopalian?"  This in a CATHOLIC Church????!!!! 

But, no, serving at the altar has no bearing on the call to priesthood, right?  The lady in front of me thanked the girl 'priest' behind me for serving for her son, who doesn't want to serve anymore.  She said, "It must be a [high school] junior thing."  NO!! It is a GIRL thing.  Boys simply do not want to do something once it becomes a girl thing.  Why don't you see many boys named Laurie, or Kim, or Jamey anymore?  Because they are now girl names.  BTW, you do know that Bambi was a stag, right???  Boys do not want to serve any more once it becomes a girls' job.  Teenage boys either don't want to do a girl's job or they become attracted to the teenage girls serving at the altar with them.  Either way, the Church loses.

Fr. T. came to our church 2 Sundays ago.  He gave us a message about giving our sons to God.  His church closed its doors permanently this past Sunday because of the lack of priests in this diocese.  The biggest obstacle to the call to the priesthood is the parents, he said.  They want grand kids, not priests in the family.  Fr. T. said he has baptized over 140 kids.  Is that enough grand kids???  I would say so.  Give your sons to God and let them, not your daughters, serve at the altar.  Let them experience altar serving as a boy and as a boy's job.  That way they get a tiny glimpse of what the life of a priest is like.  There are alternatives for girls and women to serve the Church.  After all, Mary did not preach the Gospel the same way as John.  However, who has the higher place of honor?  [Hint:  The Mother of God, AKA the Queen of Heaven]

After writing this far, I did read this which contained some of the very things I just stated. 
"The 1994 letter [from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments] states: "It will always be very appropriate to follow the noble tradition of having boys serve at the altar. As is well known, this has led to a reassuring development of priestly vocations. Thus the obligation to support such groups of altar boys will always continue."

     "Therefore the Holy See's recommendation is to retain as far as possible the custom of having only boys as servers. But it leaves to the bishop the choice of permitting women and girls for a good reason and to the pastor of each parish the decision as to whether to act on the bishop's permission.

     "It is important not to focus this debate using political categories such as rights, equality, discrimination, etc., which only serves to fog the issue. We are dealing with the privilege of serving in an act of worship to which nobody has any inherent rights."

     "Among the pastoral factors to be weighed is the obvious yet often forgotten fact that boys and girls are different and require different motivational and formative methods.

     "This difference means that both boys and girls usually go through a stage when they tend to avoid common activities."

      "Preteen boys in particular are very attracted to activities that cater especially for them, and they tend to reject sharing activities with girls."
   "They also tend to have a greater need for such structured activities than girls who are usually more mature and responsible at this stage of life.

     As a result, some parishes have found that the introduction of girl servers has led to a sharp drop-off of boys offering to serve. Once the boys have left and enter the years of puberty, it is difficult to bring them back.

     "Some pastors say this phenomenon is less marked where serving at Mass forms part of a wider Catholic structure, such as a school, or when siblings serve together.

     "It is also true that groups of boy servers have fostered vocations to the priesthood. But to be fair, this usually happens within a broader culture of openness to a vocation in which other elements come into play, such as the example and spiritual guidance given by good priests, and family support.

      "If, for example, a long-established program of boy servers has proved successful in promoting vocations or has been useful in helping boys avoid bad company and maintain the state of grace, then the good of souls obliges pastors to weigh heavily the spiritual risks involved in abandoning it."

     "When girls do serve, it is probably best to aim for a mixture of boys and girls — if only to avoid giving the impression to the congregation that Catholicism is above all a female activity...."

Despite what our society wants, we need to let our boys be boys.  We need to let certain activities be BOY activities.  Once we lose the boys, it is difficult to bring them back.  Why do people think so many of our priests today, did not become priests until later in life?  I believe one problem is that we make altar service a girl's job.  Boys don't want to be girls.  My son didn't even want to be seen buying Dove soap for his face.  It was too embarrassing.  He thought it made him look girly.  If he feels that way about soap, what do you think he is going to feel about being told what to do by a girl at the altar?  Altar boys should be allowed to be boys and hear the call to the priesthood without distraction.

Some other articles on Altar girls can be read here, here, here, and here.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend (3)

Well, finally, the weekend's activities are at an end.  I am burnt to a crisp.  My nose is painful.  I felt like the odd "man" out most of the time.  You see, being under 50, a woman and mother of 5 children under 16 makes me somewhat of an oddity in my (and probably most) veteran's post of the Catholic War Veterans.  I like to brag that I am the youngest member of the post, but really it can be uncomfortable at times working with men my father's and my grandfather's age.  Don't get me wrong, they are nice men, but I that I can't relate to them most of the time.  They are wonderful men and our post has already made a mark in the community despite our post being only one year old. 

Yesterday, I was honored to be part of the rifle team that shot a "21 gun" salute at Sunny Lane Cemetary in Del City, Oklahoma.  Because it rained the night before, many people thought the ceremony for Memorial Day was cancelled but the just moved it to the chapel of the funeral home.  We stood outside the door and shot the 7 rifles, 3 times upon the appropriate command.  It was my first time firing an M-1.  I felt a very special part of this honor ceremony. 

Next, three of us went to Rose Hill Burial Park.  We posted the colors, that is, we marched up with the flag and put it in its holder, and saluted the flag.  Then we picked up the honor wreath and placed it on its stand for the Memorial of those we remember on Memorial Day.  We stayed through the service to ensure the flags stayed in place.  There was a releasing of the doves I had never seen before.  3 doves released for the Trinity.  One dove released for the remembrance of each veteran who gave his life for our country.  Then 7 doves released for the number of days a week we should give service to our country.  It was beautiful and touching.

I am happy and honored to have participated in all this but I'm glad it's over.  I need another bath and lots of aloe!