Monthly Archives: January 2015

Do I Really Care About His Golf Handicap?

The short answer is “no.”

I’m going to rag and brag on our Archbishop today.  I’ll try to be fair and balanced. Ahem!

The Archbishop is celebrating 10 years as our bishop.  In our archdiocesan newspaper, there was much lauding his accomplishments and praising of his tenure here.

I wish that I could join wholeheartedly in the chorus that is singing his praises.  However, I have my own little list of his accomplishments that aren’t so good in my mind.  Over the years, there have been times when he has given awards to pro-abortion attorneys and health workers at annual “red” and “white” Masses.  He stopped a 20 plus year tradition of the the archbishop giving an invocation and short speech at an ecumenical “Together for Life” Memorial Service and Silent Walk on January 22 each year.  The move that he made seemed to make sense because the small church where Mass was held on that day couldn’t hold the 1000 Catholics that were there.  I know, though, because I am an insider to the event, that it was prompted by political differences with the organization that has sponsored the event since 1974.  I guess that is another problem that I have with him.  Politics seems to trump principle with our Archbishop; a lot!  He still allows Girl Scouts to use our schools for meetings.  He gives unabashed support for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development that pours money into organizations that should be anathema to good Catholics everywhere.

So, now, what about some good things.  In my opinion, he earns many points for continuing our Eucharistic Congress every June.  He is doing his best to build schools and churches while others are having to close and merge.  He is a very personable guy and I think I might like to have a beer with him.  I just wish that that he was a little more motivated toward tradition and a lot less political.

I was here first so I have watched him and prayed for him over these 10 years.  I can’t say that he is on my list of favorite prelates and there are times when I pray that God changes his mind or changes his location so we could have a less progressive shepherd.  Lord only knows though where such a bishop would come from in this country!

Finally, the newspaper was running a contest.  The winner would be drawn from all entries where all 10 questions were answered correctly.  Curiosity “made” me look at them.  There were the usual.  How long has the Archbishop been a priest?? A bishop? Where was he born? Go to school?  The one that made me laugh was “What is the Archbishop’s handicap in golf?”

I pray he says his Rosary and has a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother.  I pray he believes in Judgment, and Heaven and Hell.  I pray he would be a martyr rather than deny the Real Presence in the Eucharist.  I pray he eventually gives us more opportunities for the Traditional Latin Mass.  I pray that he will defend the defenseless even when everyone around him is giving in to unprincipled, political expediency.  I pray he will abandon the “Church of Nice.”

But, his golf handicap?  Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.

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Filed under Catholic, Christian, Eucharist and Mass, Holiness, Latin

There is No Cussing in Latin

Most days, I say my rosary in Latin.

I have always loved this ancient language from the time I’ve been in high school and had a little nun named Sister Mary Hope teach me  four years of wonderful Latin.  During 3rd and 4th year Latin, I was one of two students.  I’m surprised that Judy and I were allowed to actually take the class for credit and Sister Mary Hope was allowed to teach it.  I earned translation awards, one on a National Level when I was a senior.  Needless to say, I was a Latinphile; have been for my whole life.

I can put on a CD of the monks singing Latin hymns in Gregorian Chant and I can sing along with these angelic choirs, actually knowing what I’m singing.  (I love me some Gregorian chant, too.  However, that’s another blog post.)

I think it goes without saying that I prefer my Mass parts in Latin and would really prefer the Tridentine Mass every Sunday.  In all of North Georgia it is only available at one Catholic Church.  This is what our archbishop thinks is making it readily available to those of us who want it.  So much for Summorum Pontificum in this Archdiocese!  (Again, that’s another blog post.)

Okay, so why do I try to pray in Latin?  Because I have never heard a “potty-mouth” use it to curse or swear or utter a profanity.  American English has been polluted with all manner of foulness, and I just don’t want to pray in a language that I think has been debased.  I’m not judging or demeaning anyone’s prayers whatever the language.  I’m just sharing my preference and one of the reasons why I prefer Latin prayers, Latin Masses, and Latin hymns.

I do believe that a language can either lift our minds, hearts, and souls to God or it can fall short.  For me, Latin does the trick.  And, it really is not that hard.  JMJ




Filed under Latin, Liturgy, Mass, Summorum Pontificum

We’re Catholic–“Stuff” Happens

For the record, my granddaughter didn’t say “stuff.”

She and her mother were talking about some uptight Christians that they know.  During the discussion, my daughter asked her if she felt that we, meaning her family, were uptight.  Hence, my granddaughter’s reply.

At first glance, it might seem just a flippant, bumper-sticker answer.  But, it”s not when one knows my daughter and granddaughter, A.  They are fiercely pro-life.  I think A started standing in the Life Chain when she was in the early grades of elementary school.

She has very little tolerance for mega-churches especially those who have big screens and Starbucks in them.  After all, “don’t they know they’re supposed to fast before going to church?”  (We still talk about that one.)

She truly believes in justice for all and she wants it to be swift for murderers, rapists and child abusers.  She has no patience for people who aren’t loyal to their family and friends.

So, what do I think she meant?

I raised my daughters to understand that life is not fair.  Life can be hard.  Justice sometimes seems elusive even when we work diligently for it.  People can and do do evil things.  The devil does exist, but so does St. Michael the Archangel.

I think that’s the point.  Our Catholic faith is our defense in this world and against Satan.  We know that we are meant for heaven and in the words of Blessed Mother Teresa, “to be faithful,” if not successful.  We have all the tools that we need to navigate this life: God, Jesus, the Scriptures, Church Tradition, the Sacraments, the Mass, the Eucharist, the Rosary.

So we don’t need to have a joyless, pitiful, uptight spirit when “stuff’ happens.

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I Had a Blue Christmas

This is my first post of the New Year.  I didn’t make any formal resolutions.  I will however try to post more on here especially to weigh in on whatever is going on in the Catholic social media.  But, first, I want to explain why I don’t like Christmas and will be happier as we move toward Spring and Easter time.

This was my first Christmas without my Mom.  It was harder than I thought it would be.  Not that I have spent many Christmases in Cincinnati since moving to GA in 1999.  It’s just that I missed her.  Very much.

It’s very hard to explain to anyone the depth of sorrow that I felt this holiday season when others seem so joyous.  Perhaps my sister understands.  Maybe my brothers and some others who lost parents or other loved ones this year would understand, too.  I do know that no amount of platitudes or motivational posters or well-meaning wishes help me much.  A hug with no words sometimes does.  That’s what Charlie does.  Just hugs me and even he knows that sometimes that isn’t enough.  I usually have more than the mild depression, that I am used to dealing with, every Christmas; however this year was the worse it’s been in a while.

I have my reasons for my mixed feelings this time of year.  I have great memories of childhood Christmases; it’s only as an adult that Christmas began to lose its flavor.

My daughter was born 6 days before Christmas in 1970.  I had a small complication following her birth and all I wanted was to come home with my new baby to my baby that I had at home (she was 18 months old) and not be bothered with any kind of Christmas celebration.  However, on Christmas Eve, relatives descended and came back on Christmas day.  All I wanted was to hold my two babies and rest and not worry about spreading Christmas cheer to unwelcome family members in my house.  This was a long ago Christmas with great joy plus great melancholy.  I think that this was the beginning of my adult dislike of Christmas.

There would be two Christmases when my husband was in the hospital; two times that I almost lost him.  The first was with an infection that no on could identify.  He still has scar tissue in his lung from it.  The second time was to have open heart surgery following a heart attack.  Nothing like it to improve one’s holiday spirit.  Charlie survived but my psyche took another blow and even now I am super vigilant over his health from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.

I hated to share my children.  Yes, I was one of those mothers who held and kissed and rocked and played with toys and went outside for picnics and walks in the park and around the neighborhood.  They went everywhere with me.  I didn’t leave them with baby-sitters and on the rare occasion that I did, I worried until I was home with them again.  So when, after the divorce from their father, I didn’t see them from noon on Christmas Eve until 5:30 on Christmas Day, my feelings took a big hit and so did my Christmas joy.  I didn’t complain because I didn’t want them to be sad on the holidays.  I can’t help wondering though that If I had handled all this Christmas visitation a little differently, my memories might have been a little more pleasant.

Fast forwarding through the years of memories to today, I have a glimpse here and there of Christmas happiness but I can not pinpoint the year, or the time, or the memory.  I just know that there had to be some happier times even if they weren’t impressive ones.  Most of what I remember are gritting my teeth, putting a fake smile on my face, and getting through the best I could.

This past year (2014) has been a year of sorrow.  Besides losing Mom, I also lost an Aunt (my Dad’s sister) and my best friend from high school to cancer.

So to sum up:  My brain knows the “reason for the season.”  My heart is broken.  My brain can help me sing Alleluia with the angels.  My heart says “My, God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  My brain perceives the lights and tastes the wine.  My heart searches for a taste of the peace without sadness.  My brain makes my mouth move and say “Merry Christmas.”  My heart says “Bah, Humbug.”  Depression hurts and it can also make me feel a little schizophrenic during this time of year.

So, if you ask me if I had a good Christmas, I will probably say that I had a different kind of Christmas because it was a blue one.  Very blue!


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