Sunday, April 27, 2008

Articles and Links I *Always* Lose

This is probably going to be one of those posts I make for my own good. I'm always losing things and though I bookmark things, sometimes I lose them or forget why I bookmarked them in the first place. Mostly, I think this index of sorts will be just a list of things I found useful to my writing, or just of general interest.

This was an article written about young seminarians published in the New York Times Magazine in 1999.
"Why A Priest" now linked from the author's website.

An Atheist Goes Undercover to Join the Mad Flock of Pastor Hagee. (via alternet) Saw this today but haven't had a chance to finish reading it.

Just saw this at the Deacon's Bench, it's about reporters and religion. I've wanted to go back to writing for the newspaper-- I'm wondering if I should/could take on a religion beat?

An opinion from a visitor to Santa Fe about La Conquistadora that I am not quite sure I'll counter yet. I definitely don't agree with what she wrote.

Amen, Alleluia

I wanted to write up a more thoughtful, recap of my day today. I went to Mass at my usual parish, which as always was nice. I do like all of the priests at my parish. They're so different, so smart and each one of them always manages to say something that makes me think. They're so diverse too. For some reason, I was a bit melancholy today especially during my regular service. I'm just anxious and easily upset these days. I think it's hormones and the fact that I'm paying attention to them. It's all so tedious really. It was also cold today, so that didn't help. Hard to believe it's almost May. Our last freeze date is May 15.

Anyway, my neighbor, a former Catholic, and I went to the Latin Mass today. I probably can't say that I've never been to TLM, however, when the Mass was allowed to be celebrated in the vernacular, with the implementation of the Novus Ordo, I was probably a toddler so that's the only form of Mass I've known. Today's Mass in Latin was truly an experience. I can see why some people love it and long for it. It was reverent and it was lovely to watch the priest and his server celebrate the Mass. That is truly what I felt like they were doing, not that my NO priest(s) doesn't. They do as well-- it's always reverently done and always about the Mass and not about them, but still it does look and feel different. I'm sure a Solemn High Mass is quite beautiful, at least from the bits I've seen on TV, but I have yet to watch one all the way through. If I ever have the opportunity to attend one, I will.

This was a Low Mass and it was quite nice, but I didn't feel like I was totally involved in the Mass. I don't mean that in a negative way as I don't quite understand how it's supposed to feel and what we, in the pews are supposed to really do, but yes, there is a lack of participation by the laity. And in some ways, that's not really a bad thing. I can't say that I missed the hand gestures during certain responses or the hand holding during the "Our Father." In fact, this morning at my usual Mass, I sat by myself and didn't hold hands with anyone. And while I do hold hands during the prayer, I don't always want to. Most times, I do.

The silence of the Latin Mass really struck me. It was an amazing silence actually. While I could hear the priest as he celebrated the Mass and the server made the appropriate responses, it felt like you could also hear, see and feel God. Fortunately, the priest read the first epistle and the gospel in English and then of course, said his homily in English. I'd heard the readings this morning, so it wouldn't have mattered much to me if he hadn't, but I was glad he did.(The readings I mean. I know the priest generally gives his homily in the vernacular.) I enjoyed his homily. He explained a lot about the Mass. I think since they started The Latin Mass Community here, he's been teaching those that come a bit a long the way. He tied in his homily to the readings a bit and talked about the presence of God as well. I don't want to confuse his homily with the one I'd heard earlier in the day, so I'll stop here, but needless to say, both homilies I heard today were truly poignant and insightful.

I took in every moment that I could. In fact, I sat in awe of this small mission church that has forever been part of this land. For generations and generations people worshiped here, hearing the Mass in Latin and so it just feels right to have it being celebrated in Latin again in this mission church. Though, originally, from what I've been told, the first rite to be practiced in New Mexico was the Mozarabic Rite, which still exists in Spain, (I don't know if I made mention of it before.) and then was changed to Latin. Also, I don't know if any of that is part of the history of this old chapel, believed to be the oldest in the nation. It's a humble little chapel,with lovely artwork, simple rather than extravagant, no stained glass, just high clerestory windows, which let the light in, the pews are small and rattle when you move, the floor is so old and not level, it creaks beneath your feet as you walk, and the heavy, front doors beat and crash against each other when they close. It felt like I was a world away, until I heard the tourists out front giggling and talking in "outside" voices.

Also, the guide book really helped me follow it. I know I would have been lost without it and my friend being with me. She remembered it pretty well. The people there were of different generations and eras. I didn't feel like I was the youngest person there, but probably pretty close to it. I did enjoy it, I may continue to go from time to time, but I won't give up on the Novus Ordo Mass or my wonderful parish.

(picture credit from here.)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Was Shakespeare Catholic?

I've been hearing rumors that he was. And then those rumors being refuted saying he wasn't. I hadn't really given much thought about it. I've read Shakespeare. I love his writing, but I haven't studied it since high school and college. Then, I wasn't really looking for a religous message, if there is one in his work, nor did I care then what religion he practiced. I still don't care because he left behind a whole body of truly amazing work and that's what I appreciate. Still, what faith influenced it, if any did. PBS' religion and ethics newsweekly talks about it. It's interesting to read. I don't think it really matters if he was Catholic or Protestant, but I suppose I can see how both religions would love to claim him.

Also on PBS tonight, Rev. Jeremiah Wright was on Bill Moyers. I didn't watch it all, as I was too tired but I'll watch again later. But what I saw was fascinating. He's an incredibly smart and articulate man. I'm reserving a right to voice my opinion later. One of my friends was really intrigued by it and wants to watch it again. I have it on the DVR and we'll watch it later and I might try to come up with some reasonably articulate thoughts about it.

I also am reading "The Seven Story Mountain" by Thomas Merton. I picked it up at the suggestion of a comment from one of the online communities I read and because of the section in "My Life with the Saints" by Father James Martin, which was one of my favorite reads last fall.

I need to do more reading and I want to avoid reading fiction in the genre in which I write, so I thought I'd read something a bit more spiritual. Right now, I'm really enjoying the book. I like his writing style and eagerly follow along on his journey to finding faith and spirituality.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Can't Shake that Fangirl Feeling

The pope came to America. Three years ago, upon the death of John Paul II, I wasn't overly sure what to make of Pope Benedict XVI. I had heard so little about him. I was quite apprehensive about his election as Pope. I feared he'd want to turn back the clock and take us back to a pre-Vatican II world, a world I know nothing about. So of course I worried and wondered what would happen. I still do, but I feel much more secure with my church right now because of Pope Benedict XVI. While we only had a quick glimpse of the man, I feel optimistic and hopeful. And quite frankly, I liked him. My cynical and cold heart truly warmed to him.

Like the well-seasoned and trained fangirl I am, I followed the coverage wherever I could get it, mostly on EWTN and online. Apparently FOX news covered much of his visit, but I have it deleted from my channel line up so I didn't go there. I just couldn't, ;-).

However, I read blogs and checked out various websites. I really enjoyed the New York Times Coverage of the visit. I really felt like this post by Father Martin said a lot that I wish I could say about my feelings on the pope. As I said, I was apprehensive and quite unsure if I'd like this pope, but it was interesting to see that a priest also felt a bit wary of his election. Of course, we're coming from two very different perspectives and places in our lives as I'm just a lay person and am definitely not at all as well versed on the church as a Jesuit priest. However, we probably have similar ideologies and concerns, and so naturally, our concerns are/were justified. Still, I want to learn more about this man who is Pope. I think that's what I'm trying to do.

But even more beyond that, I truly liked this man. He seemed so humble, so genuine. I've seen a lot of criticisms of the visit yet again, he didn't come as a political leader, but as the successor of Peter, the head of the world's largest Christian Church. He took the first steps to healing many old and lingering wounds.

Of course things weren't resolved, but it was a start. I hope that he continues to work with the abuse victims, I'd like to hope one day the wrongs will be corrected and that those responsible will be taken to task for what they did--especially the bishops who covered it up. I hope one day when people think of the Church, they don't automatically think "sex abuse". It's hideous, it's shameful and was so mishandled. I'm very pleased that he addressed the issue, that he met with those victims and recognized just how awful it was and is.

I would hope that relations with the Jewish people continue to grow and strengthen. I hope he can work an understanding between Catholic Christians and Muslims. I hope that he can touch the whole world in some way as well, but mostly I hope he continues to lead and inspire his Catholic people.

I don't think the pope's visit to this country was supposed to be a political visit. I am curious to know what he and the president talked about privately. He came to address Catholic America and that's what he did. Still, we are a multicultural people, of different faiths and no faiths what so ever and quite frankly many people didn't care about his visit. Still, it was an important visit and while many people criticized and complained, it made me proud to be Catholic.

I am just scratching the surface and my thoughts are probably jumbled and simplistic, but I am just trying to work them out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm so disappointed...

If any passerby ever stumbles upon and reads this blog, the passerby should be able to ascertain that politically, I'm a liberal. I come from a long line of Democrats. I'd say 90% or so of my relatives are Democrats. And yes, we're all Catholics. I've never posted any anti-Republican or anti-George Bush comments in here and probably won't because it's so not worth the time or the effort. However, today when I saw him address Pope Benedict 16, as "Your Holiness," I was so sure, so confident that he bumbled again and made a huge social faux pas. To me, "Your Holiness" sounds so awkward and I was sure it was an incorrect way to address the pope. I mean, for Bush, it's quite easy to embarrass himself. He constantly fumbles over big words and manages to mispronounce others that aren't so big. Expecting him to know proper protocol to correctly address the leader of the world's Catholics was something I (naturally) anticipated he wouldn't know. However, now I find out "Your Holiness" is appropriate. Guh. It still sounds clumsy and awkward to me. I guess the president must have had a nice talk with his brother, Jeb, the Catholic, about how to greet the pope. Or perhaps he actually listened to his advisers .

Still, I think "Holy Father" or "Most Holy Father" sound so much better. Perhaps, since the president isn't Catholic, he didn't feel comfortable calling the pope Holy Father or the Most Holy Father.

Needless to say, I'm quite curious about the pope's visit. I'm probably a bit more curious because I've come back fully to the church than I would be otherwise. The only pope I truly remember in my lifetime was Pope John Paul II. I remember JPI's funeral and the election of JPII, but I was a kid then and so I grew up watching PJII. I will watch and see just how well Benedict 16 does in America and hopefully he won't be as polarizing as he seems to be and his papacy will have a long-lasting legacy as JPII's did.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

And the Priest is on the Phone...

Man... I lost my post. My computer totally froze up on me. I must remember to always save a draft as I compose. It's such a pain in the ass.

Anyway, the original post started about music and I ended up talking about prayer and writing. I'm not going to recompose it well but I'll try. I started off by saying how I've been listening to the Goo Goo Dolls and Lenny Kravitz a lot. The title of this post comes from the song "Slide" by the GGDs. For some reason, I listen to them a lot when I write.

I was looking for a John Mayer song that I heard at a funeral last week. I wasn't sure if it was an older song or a newer one but it touched me. I did find it and am listening to it now. I've kind of discovered Corrine Bailey Rae. One night I had the blues and I heard one of her songs and it made me think things a bit more clearly. Men are so not worth crying over. My cousin who stayed with me for Easter gave me a CD from a Canadian Jazz singer named Molly Johnson. I like it a lot. It's on the stereo in the living room, but I should take it with me in the car so I really listen to it. She's Homicide actor, Clark Johnson's sister.

So... that was it about music. I then somehow segued into talking about my weekend. It was nice and peaceful, especially after a slightly stressful week. I really am not sure I can deal with having aging parents. I struggle with it a lot. I fear being alone when it comes time to take care of them and make decisions, but we're not there yet and who knows who's soul is yet to meet mine. Anyway, Dad had a hard week and I had to deal with a lot, but it went ok. I'm really trying to learn patience. I know as they get older, I'm going to need it more and more. It's something the priest told me to pray for when I went to confession before Easter. I hadn't gone to confession since I was a little kid and it was an awkward experience for me. I see value in it, despite the fact it's something that is intimidating and I'm not sure I'm feeling overly ready to go back. Still, maybe I will one day.

Right now, I am still struggling with prayer. It is hard for me as it was never something I really learned to do. I think I talk to God. I manage to pray at church and yet, I'm still struggling when I'm not in church. I picked up a Catholic prayer book, hopefully that will help a bit. Maybe I'll work enough courage to talk to one of the priests at my church to talk to them about it. I think it's important and maybe just talking to one of them will help. I'm not really struggling with my faith or questioning a whole lot, but I'd like to have a more successful prayer life.

As I'm still trying to recreate that last post, my thoughts rambled over to talking about writing. I've posted my fiction and have given a few people I trust access. I printed up pages of it for my friend to read. I truly worry that it's too Catholic and I'm writing myself out of a mainstream market. Of course, I know it's far too Hispanic and too New Mexican for a mainstream market. I probably am also writing myself out of the Chicano/a market too, as my characters don't really fit in there either. Oy... But at Borders today when I picked up the prayer book, I bought two more novels which I DIDN'T NEED to buy as I'm not reading right now. I skimmed through one, which was my plot. Ok.. not quite because my story is not set in Ireland. I should go back and look for it again. I hope that the brother and sister were not twins. The brother is a priest in that book too. Well... I'm not having any luck finding the author or the book. I really don't intend to buy or read it. My story is quite different I'm sure, but still I'm quite curious.

I've recreated this post as best I can. Now it's time for bed.

Despite that, the weekend was lovely. I made it to the gym on Friday, went for a walk yesterday and then went to the gym today. Tomorrow, I'll start the day with a walk and then see what else happens-- like work!

And the Priest is on the Phone...

Title inspired by "Slide" by the Goo Goo Dolls. Lately, I'm listening to them and Lenny Kravitz. I also have a lovely CD my cousin brought me when she stayed here for Easter. It's Molly Johnson, who is the sister of Homicide actor, Clark Johnson. She has a lovely voice and I should probably listen to it more as I do like jazz. Inevitably, I listen to the GGDs a lot when I'm writing.

I heard a John Mayer song at a funeral last week and I don't know if it's a new song or an older one, but now I'm looking for it. I'm also listening to Corrine Bailey Rae. I was in a really bummed out mood last week-- I hate PMS-- but I heard one of her songs and it brightened my mood.

I had a nice weekend, which was good because I had some parent stuff that was really hard to deal with earlier in the week. I'm trying to stay patient. While it's hard for me, I'm sure it's even more difficult for my dad right now. I worry and I don't quite know how to handle aging parents. I'm trying to contain my composure, be helpful and learn how to keep my mouth shut. I really do need to learn patience. It's something I pray for all the time. Though, I'm still struggling with prayer. When I went to confession before Easter, it was the first time I've gone since I made my First Holy Communion, which was a long time ago, nonetheless, my penance while it sounded easy enough, it was difficult because I have a hard time praying.

I'm not sure if it's something that comes easy to some people, or if some people really struggle with it. I just don't have a clue. I'm still trying to work on it. I bought a Catholic Prayer Book today, along with a couple other novels that I DIDN'T NEED TO BUY. There was one that tempted me, I didn't remember the author's name, but didn't buy it. Updated: I ended up buying it later in the summer and well, it disappointed me. I talked a bit about it here.

A Week in the Life

I'm doing this on my fandom journal too, but I thought that I'd do it here as well. I'm going to try to keep my camera with me more often and maybe doing this photo essay, I'll do that.

The Aim of the Game:
For one week you are to post photographs taken during the day.


You must take between 6-8 new photographs each day.
Your WITL must be CONSECUTIVE. No skipping days.
You must post your photographs at the end of that day, sometime after the last picture is taken.
Each photograph must have the time taken beneath and ...a title, with no other explanation.

You must post these rules at your first entry, then link back to it for the other 6 days so people know wtf you're doing.

Your post must say "A Week in the Life of ((Your name/username)), Volume ((whatever day you're up to.))"

Church Bell, 12:35 PM

Outdoor Cross, 12:35 PM

Following Mom 1:00 PM

Amber, my friend's dog, 2:30 PM

Dog Walks Self, 2:45 PM

Snow Covered Sangre de Cristos 4:00 PM

My Desk, just before posting this photo essay. 10:00 PM

And this was such a pain in the ass to do, I may not do it tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Family History

On Monday, the Saint of the Day was St. John Baptist de la Salle. He was the founder of the Christan Brother's Schools and is rightfully the Patron Saint of teachers. I was taught by the Christian Brothers and have found myself very fortunate for my Catholic education. They Christian Brothers or the Lasallian Brotherhood has been part of New Mexico for over 150 years. The high school I attended is the oldest high school in the state of New Mexico. For almost a 100 of those years, it was a boy's only school, then when Loretto Academy for girls closed in the late 60's St. Michael's became coed. I've heard stories from an older cousin who was one of the first girls to attend the brothers were a bit uncomfortable teaching girls, but they got over it.

I was actually going to make a post yesterday commemorating St. John Baptist de la Salle because of my education, but didn't. I was pretty scattered brained yesterday. So, I just off the phone with my mother, who asked me to pick up a copy of the New Mexican because there was an article about her cousin, Brother Luke Olivas. He's one of the oldest living members of the Christan Brothers in the US and Canada. I remember hearing all about him him and knowing that I had a family member who was a Christian Brother and lived with the other brothers on campus at the residence, but I don't actually recall ever meeting him. Reading about his life is quite fascinating. Sadly, I wish it was something I thought about writing. I am good at writing feature pieces. I'm just not good about actually writing them.

So now I have to try to find a newspaper to take to my mother because she won't get online. Anyway, it's a nice article.

My Own Dark Night.

I'm having bouts of sleepless nights and PMS. I hate the way my hormones make me feel. I've always had PMS. I either get moody or sad, lately I've been more prone to sadness. Tonight has been especially hard. He left nearly two years ago. While I loved him, he didn't love me, and I know and accept this. Still... it hurts so bad when one person is in love and the other isn't. It's stupid and foolish but every now and then he creeps into my mind and it makes me sad to think about him. I know he wasn't the one but at the time I thought he was. I loved hearing his voice, I loved how he would ask me if I had a good day and how he'd listen to me as I told him. I miss how he'd just ask me to lunch for no real reason and I loved talking to him for hours. God, I liked being in love. It was like tasting chocolate for the first time, smelling rain on a late summer's afternoon, walking barefoot through thick, green grass and I wonder if I'll ever feel that again?

I really hated who I became after it all fell apart. I hate that I acted like a spurned girl, who kept begging him for answers, answers he didn't have. I hate it that it took me so long to get over him and I hate that I think about him now.

I should really try to go back to sleep, but my brain doesn't want to shut down. I'm worried about both things irrational and rational. Money mostly. I really do wish the job at the paper had panned out, even though it wasn't writing, it was a newspaper job. I loved the environment, the paycheck and the feeling that I was doing something productive. I need to call and make an appointment with the editor. I could do some freelance writing and it's foolish for me to be so scared. I'm a good writer, especially when I work at it. It's the one thing I love and I don't want to fail. I'm tired of disappointments.

Right now, the longing for a baby is especially achy right now. I'm almost too old. Rationally, I know it's not true, but I'm afraid that it's almost too late too. I hate that I'm finding that I have regrets in my life now.

Oh man, I don't want to go to my office meeting tomorrow. It will be the same old, same old and quite frankly, I'm tired of it. Nothing is motivating me right now. No one can convince me that the market is ok. I will call the editor tomorrow. I have to. Writing is the only thing I know how to do and want to do.

Monday, April 7, 2008


My beloved IPAQ died today. It died a senseless and accidental death, human caused. No one told me that they couldn't swim. I truly am heartbroken and devastated by it's untimely death. It was a faithful companion, a good friend and I will mourn its loss for days... at least till I get a new one.

Anyway, to you, my IPAQ, may you rest in computer heaven.
Little Archie, 2003-2008.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bead by Bead

I have a rosary, it's plastic, it's simple and it glows in the dark. I ended up bidding on this one at ebay last night. I won it. I think it's going to be lovely and will be something nice to carry around or use to pray. However, I just went back to ebay and found another one and placed a bid.If I keep bidding on ebay I may not be able to afford the one I really want.

I found Magnificat Rosaries one night while searching for a rosary that I could visualize for the story I'm writing. I found this one there. It's lovely and I want it. There are so many beautiful rosaries and I can't really decide but that one (click the picture to take you to the description) is the one calling out to me. I have to save up for it. And stop buying others on ebay.


I took this quiz about a year ago... my top result hasn't changed, but the others did.
This is the result now, which doesn't really suprise me, yet the fact that it's so solidly Roman Catholic does. As I've always said, I've always known that Catholicism was the right religion for me, even when I didn't practice, I never wanted to be anything else. When I first took the quiz a year ago, I wasn't even thinking about going back to the Church, so the only thing that has changed is that I've gone back to the Church.

What's your theological worldview?
created with
You scored as Roman Catholic

You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Classical Liberal


Neo orthodox






Modern Liberal




Reformed Evangelical


Friday, April 4, 2008

Not poking fun... not really...

This just in: Miracle Jesus on a Spoon already on Ebay. It's only $335. Shall I bid on it? Maybe if I hold onto it, it will be worth a fortune one day. Dave Barry is already on the story. Of course, lest we forget about the Virgin Mary on the cookie sheet.

I wonder what will happen if I make some tortillas? They certainly won't be round.