Thursday, July 24, 2008

Holy Virgin, Called Blessed By All Generations

During the novena last month, the pastor from Our Lady of Guadalupe parish announced that the parish was organizing a journey to Mexico City to pick up the new statue of The Virgin of Guadalupe that would be placed in front of the old Santuario.

For the last couple of days, after seeing an article in The New Mexican, I wanted to post a blog entry of the history of it, as no one has hired me yet. ;-) However, as the local papers have covered it quite well, I'll just post the links to the articles. Also, Joshua Trujillo, a photographer for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, created a beautiful blog with pictures telling the whole story of the statue and its journey to Santa Fe. I spent the last hour reading through all the entries and looking at all the pictures. As I'm not a parishioner at Our Lady of Guadalupe, I don't feel as emotionally invested in the arrival of this statue, however, as a resident of this old city of faith, I do feel a bit emotional after perusing this blog. It truly seemed like an amazing experience and I'm sure all the Santa Feans who made this journey will not forget it.

Until yesterday, I hadn't seen a picture of the statue and so I didn't know what she looked like or what to expect. I must say she's incredibly beautiful. I can only imagine what an honor it will be to have her here. I think her presence in front of the old Santuario will be a comfort and a blessing, especially for the members of that parish. Many of them are immigrants from Mexico, and many have found a home there. I'll have to go see her this weekend, as it's also the annual Spanish Market and I think I'll venture downtown to browse the market. Not sure if I'm going or buying anything this year.

Here are the links to the articles about the pilgrimage and journey to pick up The Virgin.
From the New Mexican, Our Lady, Almost Home and Parishioners Welcome Marian Statue After Safe Arrival From Mexico. Two stories from the Journal North. Our Lady's Statue Delayed and finally, Missing Icon Located in El Paso Warehouse. On the Journal site, there is a video clip from its stop in Rio Rancho at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.

Monday, July 21, 2008


I wanted to read the comments to this post later as I was going to try to go to bed, but I lost the original post so I could book mark it. It probably took me as long to find it as it would have to read the comments. I need to shut the computer down for the night.

The stupid crisis is over. I still have to change careers and start earning a better living. I have a commission check to pick up tomorrow. I'm going to spend some time with my little sister and then have a meeting at church.

I'm wide awake and probably should go to bed. I'm wired.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Not very. It's not even funny how stupid I am. And because of my stupidity, I can't follow through with my plans. None the less, I'm not happy. I can't do anything to fix it till Monday and it's not unfixable, but what I planned to do with my commission check I can't do.

This is intentionally cryptic I know. Someday maybe I'll talk about why I'm stupid. I think I'm going to go to bed. It's starting to rain, which is good.

I want to write but my characters aren't talking to me. I actually am on the verge of just scrapping it all.I hate feeling the urge to delete everything.

I think I'm going to read something, maybe "Thoughts on Solitude" or pray a rosary before I go to sleep.

Monks and Metal

Don't have much to say today. I thought this article from the BBC about the Capuchin Monk who plays in a heavy metal band was interesting. It's a bit different from the Cistercian Monks in Austria who have a Chant CD out.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lord Help Us from Narrators.

I have it on EWTN am watching the Liturgy of the Word service from the Pope's arrival at World Youth Day. Now, it's lovely, however, there is a narrator explaining what is going on-- this is a Catholic Channel, my bet the majority of people that are watching are Catholic, and I suspect know what is happening.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Skimming the News...

Soccer player retires to enter seminary.

Being a girl this was not a consideration for me, but being a writer, I had to think about it in terms of why my young, male character wanted to be a priest. In the last year or so, I've read about young priests or seminarians just to help me flesh out my character. But as a Catholic, I've also thought about this as well.

Honestly, as bad as things have been for the Church lately, I think it will get better. I am glad to see young men wanting to pursue the priesthood. Having recently met one of the newly ordained priests in my archdiocese, I know and feel the Church is going to be all right. It will just take a long time to heal and recover.

Still, I cringe every time I see allegations of sex abuse and want to jump on the defensive about how it happens more often in other religions, schools and homes, but it's more fun to pick on the Catholics. But what happened-- the abuse, the aftermath, the moving of priests and the cover-ups were inexcusable. It never should have happened. Having to live with that as a Catholic is disheartening.

As Andrew, the priest character in my story, told his sister, the Church will weather this as it has weathered other things in the past. I think it's true. Hopefully, in the near futures seminaries in the US will fill up and one day parishes without priests will have at least one or two.

Sigh. Yes, I'm still a bit idealistic, but sometimes, cynicism only makes me feel worse.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's Not A Cracker

The Internets are still discussing the kid who left with the consecrated Host from a Catholic Church. He's suing.

Then there is the nutty professor.

And a word of sanity by a Jesuit Priest. Father James Martin's thoughts are here.

I'm quite surprised that I haven't seen a lot of posts by blogging priests about the whole-- um... it's bigger than a kerfluffle, but I'm not quite sure what word to use to describe it-- mess.

I really should probably read a real book or write something else than follow this non-news-news story.

It won't be long till happiness steps up to greet me

So I'm antsy... it's raining, which I love but I'm really pissed about my domain hosting being down. There is no one who can fix it NOW well, earlier in the day, and it just frustrates me when I can't have things my way immediately. I'm such the only child. At least I got gmail set up running through outlook and quite frankly, I may keep it as my main email address for all my lists, etc.

I guess, I need to remember to pray for patience. It's 10:00 and I don't think I'll get much sleep tonight, especially if it keeps thundering. My old dog, you'd never believe he's 14, is acting like a young pup right now, barking at the thunder. I'm also hoping to get paid tomorrow and am contemplating some big things in the next few weeks.

I'm also starting a family-tree blog, not that's exciting news to any of you. Yesterday, I went grave hunting. I wanted to know the date of my grandmother's death and had to traipse through the national cemetery looking for it. My grandfather served during World War I-- every time I see "Legends of the Fall", where Henry Thomas' character was fighting in France (I think he was in France) I think of my grandpa. He served over there. He never told my mom or any of his other kids about the war. Someone said he saw horrible things and never wanted to talk about it. So, I had to find his grave so I could find hers. Anyway, she died 15 years ago next month, and he died three months later-- he was a healthy 94-year-old-- he didn't want to leave without her. :-(

So I found that and then I found the grave of my Great Grandfather. We're trying to figure out a bit more about him. He had two wives. His second was my grandmother's mother but I only know her name. He was born in 1857. I have a cabinet he made-- so it's over 100 years old. There's lots of history out there for me to discover. Anyway, it is fun looking at those old photographs.

Ah man... the storm is coming. Gotta shut down.

Monday, July 14, 2008

An Ode to Socks


Oh yes... how I adore you. You come in the most brilliant colors, textures and patterns.
Oh, the styles-- it's oh so overwhelming.

If only my sock drawers could tell stories, the stories they would tell. I have woolen socks, silken socks, girly socks with lace, bows and poms, socks in probably just about every color. I have white socks-- oh my-- I have black socks too.

Two drawers full of socks I never wear. Sad to say, while I love buying socks... I never wear socks. Yet I have socks... many socks, lots of socks, an over abundance of socks. Perfectly matched socks. Though... I don't have a saint in my sock drawer, like Father James Martin, S.J., did as a kid. He has a whole chapter devoted to the Saint of the Sock Drawer in his book, "My Life With the Saints."

See no saint in either sock drawer.

Oh my... what is this I see? A black sock without a mate. An orphan sock. Oh dear. Where could the other be? How long has it been without it's mate? Days... months... years... ages? I really don't know, as I just discovered its tragic disappearance. Do I call the police and file an APD? Where does one look for an orphaned sock? Oh this is distressing.

Oh... will I sleep tonight in fear of what happened to the patterned black sock's mate? Perhaps tonight, I shouldn't be alone. I'll sleep with a trusted old friend.

(Image from Wikipedia article about sockpuppets. Click pic for photo credit.)

If you're still with me, this post is inspired from a writer, Karina Fabian, who on a Catholic Writer's list, declared recently that July 14-18th is Orphan Sock's Week.
Check out her Blog to read more about it.

Even though, I thought it was a fun idea, I really don't have much I can post about orphan socks. In fact, this might be my only post for Orphan Sock Week. While, there is plenty of evidence that I do own socks, in practice I never wear them. I only wear them when I work out out, hike or walk the dogs. In the winter I can be seen wearing socks, otherwise my feet look like this, sockless, barenaked and polished with bright red toes.

A Catholic Woodstock...

I certainly hope there is not a whole lot of sex, drugs and rock-and-roll at this year's World Youth Day. Though, I think Rock and Roll is probably far better than the sappy contemporary Christian Music which may be heard there-- I'm not talking about hymns and liturgical music, which can be pretty uplifting and beautiful-- just the sappy stuff. I remember in college my sorority sisters loved that kind of music. It was the first time I ever heard that kind of music. In fact, it was the first time I was ever around more Non-Catholic Christians, than Catholics. Some of the girls in the sorority were still marginally Catholic, but had discovered Calvary Chapel, which I had no idea was a chain church. Whoa... I'm getting off the subject fast. Back to World Youth Day and Woodstock.

Anyway, can the title of this BBC article be anymore stupid? "Rows Surround Catholic Woodstock?" The title trying to compare WYD to Woodstock is not offensive to me, but it's a definite misnomer. Maybe they were trying to be ironic? I've never been to a WYD. I probably could have gone to Denver in 1993, had I been the sort of 20-Something-Catholic who went those those kinds of things. I'm seeing all sorts of mixed reactions about WYD and quite honestly, I don't have an opinion. I found the pope's visit to America in April fascinating. I was drawn to him and finally understood him and what he is trying to do for the Church. I was won over. In retrospect, I wish I'd paid more attention to Pope John Paul II, because, in the end he won me over too.

Now, I will try to get back on point. Honestly, I didn't expect to read a Catholic Friendly article either. It talks about the sex abuse scandal, the anti-Catholic protesters, victim's rights' groups. That ends up being more the scope of the article. I'm not looking for clappy, happy news, but I am starting to agree with those really conservative Catholics on the Internet that there is a mainstream media bias against the Catholic Church. It seems to me that whenever this is a big Catholic event, there always seems to be a mention of the big, bad wrongs of the Church. I can't defend the Church in the way it reacted to the abusive priests. It was wrong, but I'm getting tired of all the bashing. I definitely have strong opinions and have written and deleted a few paragraphs with my thoughts. I want to articulate my feelings on those subjects, but I just can't. Not right now. I get so mad when I try, then I get tongue tied and twisted and never get the words out.

Recently, I read the article about the kid who took the Host from his mouth, later put it in a baggie and saved it show his friend. Dumb, dumb, dumb. At least he returned it. If he was really threatened, that was shameful All he had to do to show his friend the true meaning of the Eucharist was to bring his friend to Mass. Of course, I get the impression that either the kid was naive or not really that strong in his faith, and so didn't really care about the significance of his actions. Then the blogosphere exploded-- both sides fuming at the reaction. I read the blog of the college professor who is dying to desecrate a consecrated host. His behavior is/was asinine. He's reveling in the attention and the commentaries left on his blog were equally hideous, crude and nasty as his own declaration. Blogs on the Pro-Catholic side had commentaries equally profane, but as a Catholic I understood why. (Google has plenty of links should you want to read more.)

All of this bashing is just stupid and pointless. I still contend there is an acceptable perception that it's ok to make fun of Catholics.

Friday, July 11, 2008

How will they explain it, to the other children...

Yes my darlings, your new baby sibling is a red panda, but just be good kittens and love him/her anyway.

It does amaze me just how animals are so open and accepting to "outsiders" and will take care of another's baby. Not always-- but often enough that it's something to marvel at when it happens. What's truly sad is that we human animals don't always care about our own kind.

News story here.


Two Items related to Lourdes. It's the 150th Anniversary of Lourdes. There's a bit on Religion and Ethics News Weekly from PBS about the modern day pilgrimages to Lourdes. Father James Martin, SJ is interviewed, as is a sister from the Order of Malta, who are the caretakers of the malades who are the ones who go to Lourdes looking for healing-- physical and or spiritual. Father Martin talked about his first experience in visiting Lourdes in his book "My Life With the Saints" and just by his descriptions, I wanted to hop on the next plane and go-- just for the spiritual experience alone. I think like most people, I could use some healing as well, again probably spiritual more so than physical.

I think that it would be some place I'd like to go see when I go to Europe. It's near Spain and I do want to go to France as well... so how can I not go?

And in the Bronx at a replica of the Grotto at Lourdes, people claim the tap water there is turning holy and causing miracles. Saw this in the local paper this morning.

We just had a huge downpour and anytime it rains in my desert, I think it's a miracle.

I have some thoughts about Marian Devotion and a bit of a rant directed at a blog post I stumbled upon last night. I'm trying to chill before I go off and get all snarky and snippy.

Photo credit: image of Our Lady of Lourdes from wikipedia.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Who Am I?

Thomas Merton said: If you do not know your own identity, who is going to identify you?

And well, with all the gmail accounts that I have right now, it's a pretty good question to ask, as I couldn't remember the password to one. But I figured it out and added it to my master password list.

I'm sure that Merton meant something else by the quote but I thought about it while I was trying to remember my password just now.

Nevertheless, I'm pretty much a flighty Gemini, so maybe it is easy to forget who I am.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It's not even 9:30

So... my day so far:

Woke up dreaming about the Bounced Czech. He was lost somewhere. Tell me something I don't already know, subconscious?

Backache from hell.

Mom and Dad are driving me crazy. I wish I could make it all better for them. Quite frankly, I don't know what to do. They're 80. Mom's active and healthy, Dad's slowing down even more and while I know he's frustrated and miserable, he likes to make the rest of us miserable. I helped him with the bills. I know I need to start taking care of them. I want to do them MY way: online banking, automatic payments, but Dad is wary of that. He likes paying them by check and mailing them. I don't. I pay online. Usually because I pay mine when they're due. I don't have the overflowing checking account they do. Darn real estate market anyway.

Also, I think they need to get rid of the poodle doodle. All Dad does is complain about him. He's a good dog, he's young and active. Again, I need to really make an effort to pick up the dog and walk him. I need to get in the habit of walking myself in the morning and there's nothing like guilt to get you going. I like that dog, but don't want it. Barkley and Estrella will kill me if he came to live with us.

Today, I have a closing, yay, a small pay check, and it's spoken for. I'm doing an open house on Sunday because the company is having an Open House Slam, with all our listings open. I wish I had something else to do besides real estate. Man... I gotta get my you know what together and get back into journalism. Or finish a story and sell it. Yeah... I think the former will happen before the latter.

I have a funeral to attend tomorrow. A dear friend's uncle died last week and I should go to be there for her.

Also waiting for an email response... not thinking I'll get a response. (Left intentionally cryptic.)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Faking it...

Fake Priests Japanese Style. So related to the post, two posts below, the BBC also ran an article about a man who pretends to be a priest in Japan for business.

Hate This Place

Oh man. I'm truly troubled right now. This sounds dumb, but I want to know how to pray. I mean, I know how to pray, so to speak. I know prayers, I can and do pray the rosary, but I've avoided it lately. I just don't know how to articulate what I am thinking I guess. I just got off the phone with my dad and of course that just frustrated me even more. It doesn't help that I have PMS and what I most want to do is find a moment of time where I can do that. I can sit in silence and try, but I sometimes don't find peace. While I like going to the gym, I'm not self-disciplined enough to actually go four times a week like I should and it does help with physically, but I'm not sure it's enough to help me mentally and spiritually.

I started this post intending to write a bunch, but I have to jump in the shower and meet a friend for her birthday. I should buy her a card.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Bless Me Father... wait... you're not a priest...

This might make you think twice about going to confession, especially in place where you really don't know the priest. Vatican Unmasks Fake Priest.
A man posing as a priest has been caught trying to hear confessions in St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, a judge in the city-state has said.

Judge Gianluigi Marrone said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano the man had clerical robes and documents.

Judge Marrone did not say when the incident took place.

He said the man was tried by a Vatican tribunal but would not reveal the verdict or any punishment.


Judge Marrone said the man claimed he was a priest.

"He was caught by surprise in the basilica while he was trying to take his place in a confessional.

"He was wearing clerical garb, but the expert eye of our personnel didn't need much to sense something strange in his behaviour."

The documents and Vatican pass appeared legitimate but checks with Italian authorities "unmasked him", Judge Marrone said, as having posed as a priest before in Italy.

"It was a case of usurping an ecclesiastical title, and thus he was tried by our tribunal."

The judge said much of the work of the tribunal involved petty thefts of Vatican visitors' wallets.
From BBC News

Friday, July 4, 2008

Feminism and Religion

I may try to refer to this post about feminism and religion in a while, but right now I'm posting the link so I don't lose it. I've been working on a post about Catholicism and Feminism in my head for ages. I hope I can actually write it.

I truly feel that as a Catholic, I can also be a very strong and passionate feminist. Now... I must go and figure out why.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The sheer shame of it all...

Oh yeah, I took a stupid quiz about how religious are you, I had to go through all kinds of advertising hoopla to get my results, but apparently I'm not religious enough. I tried to leave a comment, but it never appeared. I think it was more focused for the Non-Catholic Christian type quiz than Catholics.

Granted, I still have issues with the Church, but not to an extreme and not to cause me to have a shallow faith or need religious guidance.

How Religious are You?

How Religious are You?

Devbook Quizzes!!

My First Post About Liturgical Abuse: Puppets (WCCTA 2008)

So, I'm a bit late commenting about this. I finally watched it all. I can't even recall when all the outraged about the Puppet Mass emerged, but I didn't get too engage in it. I don't get up in arms or upset by all the complaints I see about Liturgical Abuse. I don't go to Mass to scrutinize every little move the priest does, and if he makes a mistake, God forbid an abuse, I don't make a big deal of it. Maybe he made a mistake, or forgot something, he is human after all... however this video is an example of truly one big Liturgical Abuse after another.

The only thing, we sometimes sing the Alleluia in that same way-- but that's just the singing part. There is never any theatrics, nothing ever flashy, nor are their dancers running about waving the Book of Gospels or swinging the incense. That makes me shudder. In my parish, the Deacon takes the book, shows it to the congregation and then goes to the ambo to read.

That's all the flash in my parish.

Ewww. Anyway... as tolerant and easy going as I am, I would have walked out the minute I saw the puppet heads walk in the door.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Burned Popcorn almost a sin.

So... I haven't done a whole lot of much. Have not started to re-read Death Comes for the Archbishop yet. I've been following with interest about the Five Conditions offered to the SSPX to return to Rome. Opinions to come later. Maybe.

Been writing, a lot in my head, more than on "paper" but everything I'm writing about takes place in my Under the Milky Way universe and is about the future and what happens to my characters. I was reading about cloistered nuns all last night because (no I don't want to become one and if I did, apparently I'm too old anyway) one my characters probably will become one. Of course, that's a character that really doesn't exist yet and if it ever got written would be set nearly 30 years into the future.

Anyway, among my wanderings last night, I discovered that the Dominicans in Summit, NJ have a great blog, there is a Poor Clare monastery in southern New Mexico. I learned that many young men and women are choosing to join contemplative and cloistered orders these days and because of the Internet we get a glimpse of that life, which seemed so foreign and hard to comprehend before.

See, the Internet isn't that bad.

We have Carmelites here, which isn't news to me, but I can't find anything about them online. I hear their numbers are dwindling and apparently, they don't even make the hosts for the Eucharist here, but they celebrate the Tridentine Mass and have a huge secular and lay third order here. I think they still host retreats. We have two Benedictine Monasteries nearby too. Apparently, Thomas Merton was here in NM way back when, when the Trappists were trying to start a Monastery here, but this desert life wasn't conducive to their lifestyle so the Benedictines took it over. I'm really enjoying reading Merton right now.

What else, there was a nice article about "Theology On Tap" in the local paper. It looks interesting and I think I'd like to check it out sometime... but can't seem to find anything further.