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Wednesday, December 31, 2003

I'm such a stinker : )

I sent this little note off to Edie (editor of theboardIlovetocommenton and I meant every word! The e-mail was on a pretty New Years Wallpaper with the New Years baby and lots of confetti as a header, and I put pleasant emoticons in the post. Very festive and cheerful looking I thought!!!

Happy New Year Edie!!

Thought you would be happy to know, that one of my New Year's Resolutions is to NOT post on the Birth Control and Catholic Church board any more. Although you once said you had no problem with anonymity, I shall no longer go to the trouble of finding new ways to post on the board, no new aliases or AKAs for me!! I've developed a new forum that let's me post about things that I am interested in, control the settings etc. etc. My own soapbox!! It is working out well and I am having fun with it, as well as learning more about HTML and stuff like that. No hard feelings. I'll always be happy to send interested parties on either side of the issue in your direction.




My New Year's Resolutions

I think resolutions should be something that help you go move ahead towards becoming a better/holier person, keeping in mind we have to live in this world before we get to the next! That said here are my resolutions.

1. To try to get more ORGANIZED prayer time into my day, especially with my husband.
2. To get more scripture study in too.
3. To be more organized in my household, but particularly with my homeschool.
4. To read more to the little ones
5. To earn at least one plenary indulgence a month!
6. To pay off all my outstanding medical/dental debts.
7. To pay off at least 10% of my oustanding credit card debt.
8. To hit my 10% mark on Weight Watchers by March and goal by my birthday
or have another pregnancy - God's choice on that one.
9. To practice my instrument at least 3 times a week.
10. To pick up at least one new flute student.
11. Keep up with my medical transcription business.
12. To blog a little something everyday keeping Mary's demeanor with St. Theresa of Avilla's humor!
13. Come to think of it I'd like to be like that with my everyday dealings as well - be gentle and patient like Mary with St. Theresa of Avilla's humor!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Great article - from lady lawyer to nun

I found this wonderful article on Jeff Miller's Blog.

About 14 years ago, 30-year-old Baltimore native Fran Horner was living in Anne Arundel County with her parents in a house they owned jointly overlooking the Magothy River. She had a busy life with Covington & Burling, and expected to be made partner soon.

One day, the firm scheduled her to visit a client in Hawaii. Knowing she would fly first-class and have lots of time to read, she decided to drop by a bookstore.

"At the time, I didn't read spiritual books at all," she says. "I didn't do anything like that. But for some reason, I was passing the religion section, and I looked down and pulled out a book about a person I had never heard of in my life: The Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila. I said, 'Hmmm, I think I'll read this.' "

On the plane, Fran began to attempt some of the spiritual exercises mentioned by the 16th-century Christian mystic. They overwhelmed her.

"I had experiences of God's presence that, in some ways, irrevocably changed my life," she says. "It didn't undercut my ability to do very well in a professional setting - I went to Hawaii and did a great job for my client, but it changed my way of seeing the world."


Some more musings on Journey to Vatican III

In today's offering, Ms Nappi invites us to meet Jon Sobrino!

Anyway, thought I'd take this opportunity to introduce you regular Blog readers -- are there any? -- to the beauty of Jon Sobrino, a Jesuit priest who traveled to El Salvador in 1957 and was transformed. He awoke to the suffering of Third-World dwellers and he has shared his words and insights ever since. He and others have called for a new ecumenical council (Vatican III?) to address the concerns of those in Third World countries.

O.K. so this captures my interest as I think Vatican II really impacted my life in ways I'm still learning about AND as I think the world is still unpacking everything from that council in the 1960s, it might be too soon to think about another council. I know it makes me slightly nauseous just thinking about it.

This is from the first link provided in the blog on Jon Sobrino.

3. Some think that to ask for a new council is premature, risky, provocative, defiant.

Uh yep. Include pointless and I would be one of them. I think the implementation of Vatican II in this country was a fiasco of major proportions that we are still reeling from. I'd like to get that all together first thanks!

It could be, but this opinion sounds more like fear that the idea will flourish.

Darn straight. The poor implementation of Vatican II saw everything from a nose dive in vocations, a loss of Catholic devotions and our Catholic culture, to Beatles tunes at mass! Really...I'm not ready for another council my lifetime!!

But if in the Church there is a minimum of common sense, not to mention evangelical freedom, what's the harm in it?

chuckle... see above!!

It would be oversimplification to wait for a council day after day, but it would be blindness to not see its necessity and not prepare, from above, the hierarchy, and from below, the majorities.

I don't see the necessity.

moving ahead in the article...

Why shouldn't we all prepare ourselves? Why fear what God can say to us today? Why not open ourselves to following Jesus, the one who passed through the world doing good, comforting the afflicted, bursting with mercy toward the poor and suffering?

Isn't that, deep down, what a new council would be about? Won't this be well received by the immense majority of humanity today if, together with others, we Christians do it even though the suspicious and threatening look of the powerful will remain?

In this number the reader can read some of the themes with which the Council can be prepared: women, the tragedy of humanity, hope, sin and grace in the Church.

Call me naive but the church already has teachings on all of those issues. What Sabino is trying to say IMO, is that he wants a council to CHANGE all of those teachings... "women" was my first clue... yawn.

The other link on that blog article was about the wisdom of Karl Marx. It appears to me that the "Journey to Vatican III" is about a journey to socialism. Let's call it what it really is.

Look at this picture closely.

Sent to me by a friend. What do you see?


Student texts conforming with the catechism!

I like Image of God the best and that's what I use with my own children. Our PSR uses Blessed Are We, which has great pictures, but I find the text isn't meaty enough and needs lots of supplementation. I found the link on Amy Welborn's page and she will probably get lots of comments from religion teachers which would be good to follow.
From the Journey to Vatican III blog.
It's a slow week in Catholicville though the Pope made some news Christmas Week with a statement for the preservation of the traditional family, even though he himself does not live in one. Go figure.

Don't know what she is referring to as there wasn't a link; however this is what he said a few years back on the Feast of the Holy Family.

VATICAN, 28 (NE) In his traditional reflection before the Marian prayer of the Angelus, Pope John Paul II remembered yesterday the Family of Nazareth. The liturgy of the Church celebrates on Sunday of the infraoctave of Christmas the Blessed Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Reflecting on this celebration, the Holy Father mentioned to the great number of pilgrims gathered that "the Church in an environment of a joyful Christmas, and living with a renewed admiration the mystery of the Immanuel, takes us now to contemplate the Blessed Family of Nazareth». In his address, the Holy Father highlighted the importance of the values for "the women and men of all the times and of all cultures" that are obtained from the contemplation of this "marvelous model." "Oh, Family of Nazareth, living image of God's Church". With these words, the Christian community recognizes in the family communion of Jesus, Mary and Joseph an authentic "rule of life," the Successor of Peter stated. He also, mentioned that the more the Church knows how to carry out the pact of love that is shown in the Blessed Family, "so much more will she complete the mission of being ferment of the world with the purpose that the men in it may constitute a single family."

"The mystery of Nazareth teaches each and every family to generate and educate their own children cooperating in an admirable way with the work of the Creator and donating to the world, in every child, a new smile," he mentioned. "To the family of Nazareth," concluded the Pope, "today's families look at in order to obtain from the example of Mary and Joseph, which are lovingly dedicated to the care of the Incarnated Verb, the opportune instructions for the daily options of life. Under the light of the teachings and next to that unsurpassable school, each family will be able to orient itself towards the fulfillment of the Plan of God."

Go figure indeed.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Musical selections for mass and special occasions vs. The GIRM

I'm a musician with our church's music ministry. Oh that I had it to do over again, I would have learned to play the keyboard (piano and organ) too. But I was enamored with the flute and made up my mind at an early age that I was going to master and excel in that instrument as my mother had on the piano. But I digress...

The new changes in the GIRM as implemented in my parish have taken away some of my incentives to participate as an instrumentalist. I can't abide the "Gather" book arrangements. In my opinion the arrangements are silly and instead of providing a rich full sound for different instruments (brass and woodwind) they just duplicated them. But at least we occasionally were allowed to play instrumental interludes before communion while the priest and the eucharistic ministers were performing the fractionation.

Now, we get to play the Agnus Dei over, and over, and over and over until you just want to lose your mind!! I can't believe that this is really what the authorities who put the GIRM together really had in mind, but I checked it out- yep, that's what it says although I gather there is some debate over whether or not pouring the wine still counts as part of the fractionation.

So I'm left with poor arrangements in the Gather Book with no chance to play interesting instrumental music - what's a flutist to do? I might find all of this somewhat easier to swallow if we were to learn and sing some of the ancient chant that is recommended in the GIRM, but the most we really do is Ubi Caritas around Easter.

While I was pondering this, I came across this article by a mom who was planning her mom's funeral mass.
Several years ago I represented my three brothers and sister when, after our dear mother's death on Easter Tuesday, I met with the organist of her parish church in order to plan the funeral Mass. Having been immediately assured that the parish community was eager to assist my family in its "journey of bereavement," I was confident of a respectfully sympathetic ear from the lady organist.

"I'm sorry, but we can't do that," she so sympathetically replied when I told her my family would like some simple chant piece to be included -- anything. To my consternation, she went on to "guide" me to a realization as to why she could not do that. "We decided as a parish community to always look ahead, and never look behind, in our journey of faith. Using chant, of course, would be contrary to our mission."

Thinking of my three crusty brothers, who had not darkened the doors of a Catholic church for two or three decades, and who had asked that we keep the funeral ceremony simple, I requested of the organist that there be no funeral "choir" (which I knew to be, not a trained choir, but just a group of nice people who liked to sing. Frankly, I also wanted to avoid the effeminate, soft-rock genre of church hymns I knew were in common use in most parishes.)

Well clearly that organist hadn't seen the GIRM!! Chant is the first option!

I dunno, I think one of my resolutions for the new year is to practice my instrument more and find another outlet for performing. Another one is going to be study the masses on EWTN to learn more about chant. I found this article entitled,
Twelve Latin Chants Every Catholic Should Know, to be helpful and plan on starting there.

The wake of the child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church hits closer to home!

My husband and I both teach PSR. Pete teaches the old testament to the 6th grade and I teach 2nd (first communion and first reconciliation). I use to just help Pete with his class and this is the first year that I have my own class. Altogether then we have been doing this for three years. We also have other ministries in our Parish. We have been on the pre-cana team for three years. We both participate in the music ministry, me on flute and Pete as a baritone/bass. We have taken meals once a month to the rectory for over 6 years, helped with the Jr. High summer camp, etc. etc. etc.

I bring this up only to illustrate that we don't have a problem with voluntarism, either one of us. We even volunteer with skills that have taken years to develop at great cost, i.e. my flute contributions and Pete's brass cleaning and repair work for the sacristy. We haven't seen a penny for those contributions which is fine. Occasionally they do spin off some extra work, like a flute student, or a lady who wants her silver service soldered and polished, but other than that it's a labor of love.

I do think however that if there are extra requirements that go with performing a ministry those should come with compensation. I am speaking of the requirement that Pete and I sit through a 3 hour course on a Wednesday night on how not to abuse children.... duh! I already know that. I already know how to avoid even the hint of scandal - don't be alone with kids, don't touch the kids, if you do have to touch them what's appropriate, what's not etc. etc. etc. I think if the diocese thinks it's worthwhile to have me prepare lesson plans and teach a 1 hour PSR class weekly, then it's probably worthwhile for them to pay me for sitting through a course designed to give the diocese accolades for "doing something" about the pedophile scandal.

To coin an Amy Welborn phrase, "that's a bunch!" The scandal wasn't about middle aged Sunday School teachers fondling little kids. It was about homosexual priests arousing adolescents for the purpose of having oral and homosexual sex. So to placate the powers that be, I have to give up 3 hours in the middle of the week for free to learn how to not do something I never ever intended or would ever consider doing in the first place?! I don't think so.

My "day job" pays me about $20 an hour. I could be (and probably would be) engaging in that on a week night. I think it's simply unreasonable to expect volunteers to do this without compensation.

... stepping gingerly off of my soap box now...

Speaking with a Gentle Spirit.

Father Jim of Dappled Things brought up the issue of C&E Catholics (Christmas and Easter Catholics).

Father in italics followed by my reply.

What I think this leaves us with is this: Even without budging an inch on the orthodox requirements of the moral law, we needn't feel at all compelled to "write off" the people who are falling seriously short of the mark of objective observance of the moral law. It's probably impossible for any of us to look at a person from the outside and know whether he's fulfilled the three conditions of mortal sin, especially when the matter at hand is one of these contentious and gut-wrenching questions. Even looking from the inside, the thing is often far from clear. In the end, it's God Who will have to untangle the knotted skein of motives and fears and desires and knowledge and misunderstanding and pressure and emotion and goodwill and malice. That's where the judgment ultimately lies, and He's the only one Who can say whether the man who's chosen to live with his contradictions has won or lost the bet.

I agree with you Father. We should not feel compelled to write off anyone, except perhaps those who obstinately fill all three of the requirements for mortal sin – and even those I think we are still compelled to pray for!!

At the same time however, we are required to speak the truth in love, to instruct the ignorant, admonish the sinner, and counsel the doubtful. After all that is, in the end, what God will judge US on. This can be done in a number of ways I believe. Certainly you have the opportunity every time you give a homily, hear a confession, etc. I have the opportunity in trying to live my vocation as wife and motherhood as an example, and give counsel with a gentle spirit when it is requested or required. That, in my opinion, is the example of Jesus Christ.

I enjoy your blog very much.


Memorial of Thomas Becket

Here are two interesting sites about the martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Remember this for next year!!!

Christmas cards made out of Elephant dung!! Who knew!!??

What Lord of the Rings Character are You?


St Steven


On the Feast of Steven

When my husband and I really started paying attention to our Catholic Faith and the Liturgical Year, the day after Christmas was like getting a bucket of ice water dumped on our heads! After the warmth of love, basking in the presence of the Christ Child, the next day we are presented with the blood of the church's first martyr, St. Steven.

has this to say about the feast day:

Stephen belongs to the group of seven deacons whom the Apostle associated with their work in order to lighten their load. He was "filled with faith and with the Holy Spirit", "full of grace and strength" he showed himself as a man of God, radiating divine grace and apostolic zeal. As the first witness to Christ he confronted his opponents with quiet courage and the promise made by Jesus (Mark 13.11) was fulfilled: ". . .Disputing with Stephen they were not able to resist the wisdom ant the spirit that spoke".

In St. Stephen, the first martyr, the liturgy emphasizes the imitatior of Christ even to the extent of the complete gift of self, to the extent of that great charity which made him pray in his suffering for his executioners. By establishing the feast on the day after Christmas the Church draws an even closer comparison between the disciple and the Master and thus extends his witness to the whole mission of the redeeming Messias.

A couple of points come to mind. Jesus came to earth to save us from sin, but not necessarily suffering, hardship, and physical death. Yet by going through those things we can grow closer to him, or maybe even draw others closer to Him.

How many came to Christianity because they witnessed the strength of Steven's faith as he willingly died for Christ? We know that this event even played a part in St. Paul's conversion to Christianity. When we suffer, sacrifice and die, literally or not, do those actions and how we bear them bring others to Christ or not?

I think of my friend who lost her baby to a genetic disorder when she was 2 months old, and how at her funeral she offered her child now in heaven as an intercessor to homeschool families. That example of strength and selflessness deeply touched me and I have asked that baby girl for help many times since! That same mother cradled her baby's body as we all prayed the rosary, a bittersweet moment to be sure but certainly much like Mary cradling her dear Jesus after the crucifixion. I saw the dignity of that mother and of the child, (whom many would have aborted by the way because of her disorder.)

My own Uncle Al who I blogged about a few weeks ago - a death just before Christmas that helped us focus on what it means to live a Christian life with all of the joys and the hardships. A martyr in his own way I supposed, sacrificing for his family, his community, his church - and doing so with cheerful vigor!

Two other friends of mine, real women with real families and the usual concerns and problems, cared for their elderly mothers suffering from physical and mental ailments until they died their own natural deaths. These women showed me a compassion, loyalty, love to an extraordinary degree that just had to be a special grace they were given for such a big task!

So in her wisdom, St. Stephen's Day seems to be well placed to remind us what the full meaning of the incarnation really is. The church brings us two other reminders during this season with the Slaughter of the Holy Innocents, and the remembrance of St. Thomas Becket. The Christmas light and the blood of martyrs.steven.bmp

New Site Meter

For all my friends and family that may have popped in and noticed that my web site had over 3 million hits!! uh... I goofed somehow on the HTML code getting that on the blog. There were detailed instructions on how to fix it, but I soon heard that swooshing sound above my eye brows and knew I was just not gonna get it!! My other meter apparently did not like to cater to boards that aren't getting lots and lots of hits, although I was thrilled with 2 or 3 a day that weren't mine!!! any way they quit on me so I found a new alternative that seems to work on blogspot a lot, so we'll give it a go... so don't be afraid to keep the counter whirling with lots of hits... OK!!? : )

Mel Gibson's "The Passion" Trailer

See the very powerful trailer for "The Passion" here. Includes a brief look at "Theresa," the story of St. Theresa of Liseaux as well.

I've heard commentators on Christian Radio say that "The Passion" is going to bring about more understanding between Christians regarding Mary's important role in Christ's work. I can't wait to see it!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

The Christmas cards have been written, now I just need to get some stamps. I need one more gift for my darlin goddaughter Natalie... Happy Birthday Sweetheart!! I need to wrap the gifts and hit the grocery store. AND since I am playing a harmony part on Gesu Bambino at church tomorrow and my need-to-get-that-bifocal-prescription-filled eyes can't make out the notes from the piano score - I'll have to figure those out and write in the note names above. Guess I can do that tonight sometimes. The kids still have swim practice today (it's good for them and takes some of the hyper Christmas energy down to a livable level.) But the Christmas Water Heater has been installed (don't ask!) and supplies an abundance of hot water for everything... kewl!! I also really should try to finish one of my dictation tapes today so that I can get caught up before Dr. M gets back from vacation.

However, after 1:00, when I get my swimmers home from practice and rinse the fresh sent of chlorine out of their hair, I will finally be in full Christmas mode!

As we did last year, we are starting out our holiday by visiting our youngest family member, Raphael, out at Holy Cross Cemetery. This would have been his first Christmas. If he had lived he would have marveled at the Christmas lights, and we would no doubt be keeping him away from the tree with all of the ornaments hung a good two feet from the bottom. His siblings would have plied him with Christmas cookies until his little belly ached. I'd be going through the boxes looking for that little red and white Christmas outfit that is so warm and snuggly and thinking about what to wear to church myself that I could feel comfortable playing my flute in and yet nursing Raph if he couldn't make it through mass.

But that's not the Christmas we're having. Instead we will go out to Holy Cross. It snowed last night so all of the decorations on all of the graves that reflects all of the love between this world and the next will be especially beautiful. We will visit Raphael's grave and sing Silent Night and then I will sprinkle the glitter I bought just especially for the occasion. I got a really big bottle this year. If the parents for the new babies can't be at their babies graves, I'll give them some glitter too and maybe some other graves that don't see much attention - Did I mention that I got a really big bottle this year? And I won't be sad. I'll try to make this something my other children really look forward to. Something that they will want to do when they're older and think of their brother. I'll point out all of the dollies, and teddy bears, and toys and flowers and balloons and all of the other things that have been left in babyland. Will add more Christmas bulbs to the bushes by the angel, and if any other parents are there we'll ask them to join us in song.

Then we will take my 14 year old to church so that he can perform with the bell choir. In his shirt and tie, with his dress shoes on, he looks like a man. A handsome, mature man. Only his dad and I know he's more like a young pup trapped inside his overgrown body. Yet when that huge, body hits the water it glides through with elegance and grace and some of that I see in his "dry land" appearance as well. He is becoming, slowly, bit by bit, a strong, capable, even gracious young man... OK who still terrorizes his siblings and reigns like Attilla the babysitter, but still... he has the potential to be a great young man.

We'll read stories tonight, maybe have mom over for the early evening and then get all the kids to bed to put the gifts out under the tree. My little ones still believe in Santa, although they know he is really St. Nick who is part of the communion of saints and was a bishop years ago etc. etc. My 10 year old finally asked me if the flying around the world, North Pole, giving presents to everyone, Rudolph etc. was true. I told him no, that was a lot of mythology and he said he had suspected as much. He couldn't figure out how an Asian Bishop ended up at the North Pole! I asked him if because he knew Santa and the tooth fairy were fantasy whether he doubted Jesus was real. He said, "Mom, they don't build churches to Santa and the tooth fairy!!" Smart Kid!!

I feel very close to Mary today. Not the sorrowful mother, but Mary, the new mom, with the tiny baby. I want to touch some of that joy, some of that awe. I want to share her baby and at the same time hope that she will hold mine in her arms and love him like I would have if he were here. I want to hold Jesus and thank him for humbling himself to come into this world, so tiny, so helpless, and yet in a form we couldn't help but love and want. I want to look on Christ today.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Prayer requests -Another reason to have a blog

I got this in my e-mail to pass this along - so here goes!

Subject: Prayer Request

A prayer request from Cathy Mitchell. Her husband, Tony, is an Air Force
Commander in
Afghanistan. She received an urgent email from him this morning. It said,
"We need Christians to pray, pray, pray." Please pray for God's
protection of our troops and HIS wisdom for their commanders. Pass this
on to as many as you think will respond. Considering the increase in
terrorist activity in Iraq, this prayer is more urgent than ever.
PLEASE. . ..pray always for our military men and women.

"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they
protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they
perform for us in our time of need. I ask this in the name of thy Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen"

When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our
ground, air and navy personnel in every area of the middle east. There is
nothing attached... This can be very powerful.... Just send this to all
the people in your address book. Remember, you will be blessed too!

Do not stop this prayer chain, please... Of all the gifts you could give
to anyone in the US Military, be it Army, Navy, Marines or National
Guard, Prayer is the very best one... Amen!

Rm Ch 8 vs 28 All things work for the Good for those who Love the Lord
and follow in His ways

I must have missed it!!

There was a time when Mrs. Clinton did her best to fade into the woodwork Uh??!!and be seen as just another lawmaker on Capitol Hill. But these days, the woman who started her Senate candidacy with a "listening tour" cannot stop talking — or so it seems to politicians and strategists in both parties.

Yea, that's pretty much how it seems to me too!!


Parents have the God-given responsibility for their children. The church teaches that we are to be the primary educators of our children. This type of action by the FDA with the support of organizations like Planned Parenthood seek to take one more chip out of the parent-child relationship - only this time with potentially life threatening results. I find it incredible that my children could not get a "piercing" without my permission, but they could obtain contraceptives and abortifacient drugs without it!

Move on Morning-After Pill Called "Reckless

It is almost as if we have already forgotten the tragedy associated with the other recently highly touted medication RU486

U.S. Bishops Assail Plan to Ease Sales of Potentially Abortifacient Drug

WASHINGTON, D.C., DEC. 19, 2003 ( The U.S. bishops' conference is opposing a federal panel's approval to make a "morning after pill" available without a prescription.

"A drug which destroys human embryos and puts women at greater risk of ectopic pregnancy does not belong on the shelves of a drug store," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, a spokeswomen for the bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. "American women and children do not deserve this reckless experiment on their lives."

The federal Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs voted this week to approve a proposal to make Plan B, a levonorgestrel-only morning-after pill available over the counter. The final decision rests with the Food and Drug Administration.

The petition for the switch in status was filed by Women's Capital Corporation, a drug company which has sold the Plan B distribution rights to Barr Laboratories.

"It is being marketed and advertised as a contraceptive, but it works before and after conception," said Ruse. "Women deserve to know what is being marketed to them."

Making this drug available without a prescription also poses serious health risks to women, since the drug is associated with an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, a potentially fatal complication, Ruse said.

Proponents of the proposal claim that the drug does not terminate a pregnancy because they define pregnancy as beginning when the embryo implants in the uterine wall. "This is an argument about rhetoric, not reality," said Ruse.

Girls will have free access to Plan B without their parents' knowledge if the proposal is approved. "Parents deserve to know that if this proposal is approved, their teen-aged daughters will have free access to a powerful abortion-inducing drug without their knowledge," Ruse said. "This is bad policy and bad medicine."

Monday, December 22, 2003

The Christmas Stress diet!

Skip breakfast, eat numerous amounts of the Christmas Chocolates someone gave you as a gift for teaching PSR, then shop for 3 nonstop hours. Have a Single Cheese with Everything with fries at Wendy's around 2:30 for lunch and the eat a few nachos for dinner, but not too many because you have no clue how many Weight Watchers points you have actually consumed!! Step on the scale and voila! 1 pound gone!!!

This is a scream!!

December 02, 2003
All Hot and Bothered about Breastfeeding

I literally laughed so hard reading this I gave myself a stomach ache!! Please, go to the blog and read this posting... it's a real hoot!!

I don't want to milk this subject for more than it's worth, but I couldn't help noticing a recent skirmish in St. Blogs over what Micki refers to as "public nursing," conjuring in the process an image of the general public queueing up for a chance at the prize. Says she, "For those women who have a problem with public nursing because they may accidentally see a bit of nip, I say grow up." (Accidentally, Micki?) I find it interesting that it's "women" who have a problem with it, but right now I'm most interested in nipping this problem in the bud, before its dimensions swell out of all proportion. I mean, in this corner we have Micki, Sparki, Alicia, Pansy and Peony and a whole bevy of like-minded supporters - including, ominously, a lawyer, Dale Price, - all standing in defense of the practice, pleading the case for 'natural, nourishing, not sexy, and none of your business even if it is'; and in this corner...Michelle, hanging out pretty much all by herself (that doesn't mean what it sounds like), casting the cool eye of logic on behalf of modesty, privacy, and you're making it my business.
This is beginning to look like a real hardball game of tit for spat and it has got to stop. For those who would like me to take sides, that's not what I'm here for. (Actually, no one even asked my opinion, and that's always when I'm most willing to give it.) I'm here to calm things down, to serve as a sort of collective pacifier (don't take that the wrong way) before the fault lines of this dispute fracture into outright schism. I'm worried, you see, about the so-called nipple,sorry, ripple-effect should this imbroglio spread to all corners of St. Blogs. What if some atheist drops in looking to be converted and all he sees are words like 'breast,' 'nipple,' 'sucking,' and, Peony's favorite, 'whip it out?' (I'd always thought that's what men did. Women...I dont know what they do but it's something else.) Our atheist is going to wonder whatever happened to the filioque controversy, isn't he? He's going to wonder why spiritual people are so concerned with how to behave in the presence of certain body parts, isn't he? He's going to think we're the sexually repressed neurotics we've always been accused of being, for whom sex can never really be any fun unless we're sweating the small stuff into inifinity, isn't he? He's going to think he might as well become an Episcopalian.

A poem by Emily Dickenson

I found this on William Luce's Blog, (which by the way, is a real treat!!)

I MEASURE every grief I meet
With analytic eyes;
I wonder if it weighs like mine,
Or has an easier size.

I wonder if they bore it long,
Or did it just begin?
I could not tell the date of mine,
It feels so old a pain.

I wonder if it hurts to live,
And if they have to try,
And whether, could they choose between,
They would not rather die.

I wonder if when years have piled—
Some thousands—on the cause
Of early hurt, if such a lapse
Could give them any pause;

Or would they go on aching still
Through centuries above,
Enlightened to a larger pain
By contrast with the love.

The grieved are many, I am told;
The reason deeper lies,—
Death is but one and comes but once,
And only nails the eyes.

There ’s grief of want, and grief of cold,—
A sort they call “despair”;
There ’s banishment from native eyes,
In sight of native air.

And though I may not guess the kind
Correctly, yet to me
A piercing comfort it affords
In passing Calvary,

To note the fashions of the cross,
Of those that stand alone,
Still fascinated to presume
That some are like my own.

My lesson

I feel like the Lord has put the three items I blogged on today squarely in my way, to think on, to ponder, and to finally bend my will.

I have admired Blessed Gianna ever since I first heard of her, probably for the same reasons my oldest son has always admired Father Damien. Both people were completely selfless and willing to pay with their lives so that others could live. They gave real and concrete meaning to Jesus' words "laying down ones life."

Ya know, I've got the sacrifice thing down. I have given over my time, talent, physical body over for the good of my husband and my family. I understand that part and I have done so and will continue to do so without question. I know myself that well.

However it is this part "For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name." that continues to give me trouble.

I don't want to be lowly, sometimes I resent being a handmaid, and although the Lord has done great things for me, I have a great deal of difficulty lifting my head out of my private pity party to notice them!!

Lastly, I think the answer for me comes from the Holy Father speaking about Mary, ""She exhorts us, above all, to humility so that God will find room in our hearts, not darkened by pride and arrogance," he explained.

will enlighten those who lie in darkness and in the shadow of death,"

It is my pride and my arrogance that keeps me from giving completely... I give but not with the complete joy and trust that I should. I live in the darkness at times, thinking about Raphael, or my financial difficulties, growing older, my children growing up, people who irritate me etc. I don't dwell on the good that has come out of the very situations I fuss about!! and now that I am inches away from really being done with the busyness of Christmas preparations, I can take some time to just be still, to lie in the darkness and wait for that enlightenment and pray that it comes.

Silence Is Necessary to Understand Christmas, Says Pope

Silence Is Necessary to Understand Christmas, Says Pope

Noise and Confusion Shouldn't Distract Us From the Mystery, He Urges

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 21, 2003 ( With Christmas days away, John Paul II invited believers to relive the birth of Jesus in an atmosphere of silence.

"Christmas is already near," the Pope said today from his library window when addressing the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square, where a 30-meter-high (100-foot) Christmas tree is on display.

"When giving the final touches to the crib and the Christmas tree ... it is necessary to predispose one's spirit to live intensely this great mystery of the faith," the Holy Father said before praying the midday Angelus.

The Pontiff suggested following the example of Mary, Mother of Jesus, who "helps us to understand the key words of the mystery of the birth of her divine Son: humility, silence, wonder, joy."

"She exhorts us, above all, to humility so that God will find room in our hearts, not darkened by pride and arrogance," he explained.

The Blessed Virgin "shows us the value of silence, which hears the song of the angels and the whimpering of the Child, not suffocating them in noise and confusion," the Pope added. "We will stand with her before the crib in profound wonder, enjoying the simple and pure joy that that Child brings to humanity."

Jesus "will enlighten those who lie in darkness and in the shadow of death," he said.

John Paul II appeared in better health than he was two months ago. The Holy See confirmed that he will preside at all the main Christmas liturgical celebrations. On Christmas Day, the Pope will impart his blessing to the city of Rome and the

Gianna Beretta, Who Died for Her Unborn Child, to Be Canonized

She Refused Cancer Treatment

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 21, 2003 ( John Paul II will canonize Gianna Beretta Molla, who accepted death at age 39 rather than submit to treatment that would result in the abortion of her unborn child.

The announcement was made Saturday in the presence of the Pope by the Congregation for Sainthood Causes, in the course of recognizing a miracle attributed to her intercession. Molla, an Italian pediatrician, was beatified in 1994.

Molla (1922-1962), of the Archdiocese of Milan, was a member of Catholic Action. She said of her work: "As the priest touches Jesus, so we doctors touch Jesus in the bodies of our patients."

She loved skiing, played the piano, and attended concerts at the Milan Conservatory with her husband. Pietro Molla, an engineer, described his wife a few years ago as a completely normal person.

"She lived her marriage and motherhood with joy, generosity and absolute fidelity to her mission," said Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Sainthood Causes, during the ceremony to promulgate the decree.

Gianna Molla decided not to have an operation for cancer, which led to her death when she was pregnant with her fourth daughter. The baby lived.

The miracle attributed to Gianna Molla's intercession was experienced by Elisabete Arcolino Comparini. At the start of 2000, the third child she had conceived began to have serious problems.

In the third month, Comparini lost all the amniotic fluid. Without the natural protection, the unborn child normally would have died, yet the girl was born in May 2000. The birth is scientifically inexplicable. Her parents, who prayed to Molla, called the baby Gianna Maria.
ZE03122105blessed gianna.bmp

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Blog police?

Don't want to get on their bad side!!

What's this!!

Hey, in searching for those alleged fallacies on TheboardIlovetocommenton, better known as the Birth control and Catholic Church board, I noted that the Logical Fallacies article has been removed from the main web site!!

Woo hoo!! I consider that a small victory

The morning after pill aka Plan B!

Getty Images
The F.D.A. advisory panels
concerning the "morning after" pill heard from Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women.

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Dec. 16 — In a 23-to-4 vote, two expert advisory committees to the Food and Drug Administration recommended Tuesday that a so-called morning-after pill to prevent unintended pregnancies be sold over the counter.

The F.D.A. usually follows its committees' advice, although the final decision rests with its commissioner, Dr. Mark B. McClellan. But the overwhelming vote by the agency's outside advisers led proponents as well as opponents to expect that Dr. McClellan would go along with the committees, making his decision within weeks to months.

The drug is an emergency contraceptive known as Plan B, to be taken when regular contraception either fails or is skipped. Consisting of two high-dose birth control pills, Plan B is meant to be used within 72 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse and may prevent up to 89 percent of unplanned pregnancies.

If approved, widespread availability of Plan B could have an impact second only to the advent of the birth control pill, advocates say. The proponents, including groups like Planned Parenthood, argued to the panel that Plan B was safe and could prevent as many as half of the three million unintended pregnancies in the United States each year.

Kirsten Moore, president of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, an advocacy group, said she was delighted but feared that political considerations would have held more sway. "I guess I just didn't have a lot of faith that people would let the facts speak for themselves," Ms. Moore said.

The Bush administration is an opponent of abortion and has been more conservative on birth control than the Clinton administration, which in 2000 approved a pill that induces abortion in the early weeks of pregnancy.

Opponents of the morning-after pill, including religious groups, told panel members that over-the-counter sales could encourage irresponsible sexual behavior. They also say that women may not understand how this type of pill works. While it usually acts by preventing ovulation, it also may prevent a fertilized egg from implanting. Those who believe that pregnancy begins with fertilization say the pills in doing this can induce abortions.

The company that will market Plan B, Barr Laboratories, says it will provide detailed information to women on what the pills do and on how to use them. It wants to sell the drug only in stores with pharmacies but adds that it plans to advertise widely to women and doctors. The prescription now sells for $25 to $35, the company said but added that it had not decided what to charge for over-the-counter sales.

If the F.D.A. agrees, both sides say they expect enormous medical and social consequences.

Dr. James Trussell of Princeton, a member of the advisory committee who voted for the motion, said he had waited for years for this day to arrive. "It's hard to believe it actually happened," Dr. Trussell said. Allowing Plan B to be sold over the counter, he added, "sends a signal to women that it is safe."

But Dr. W. David Hager of the University of Kentucky, one of four committee members who voted against the motion, said he was worried about the implications for sexual behavior. Dr. Hager said Plan B would have a similar effect to the birth control pill, which he said ushered in "a new day and age for the expression of sexuality among young people."

Silly doctor!! Apparently he hasn't read the logical fallacies of the BCCCB, particularly 9,10, and !! (tongue firmly implanted in cheek!)


Wednesday, December 17, 2003

This is fun

you are aquamarine

Your dominant hues are cyan and green. Although you definately strive to be logical you care about people and know there's a time and place for thinking emotionally. Your head rules most things but your heart rules others, and getting them to meet in the middle takes a lot of your energy some days.

Your saturation level is medium - You're not the most decisive go-getter, but you can get a job done when it's required of you. You probably don't think the world can change for you and don't want to spend too much effort trying to force it.

Your outlook on life is very bright. You are sunny and optimistic about life and others find it very encouraging, but remember to tone it down if you sense irritation.
the html color quiz


Catholic League president William Donohue issued the following remarks today on word that Pope John Paul II has given his approval to the Mel Gibson movie, “The Passion of the Christ”:

“Pope John Paul II has seen Mel’s masterpiece and, like virtually everyone else, likes what he has seen. He expressly said, ‘It is as it was.’ The immediate fallout on Mel’s critics—the ones who hate the film without having seen it—is not known. That is because they are divided into two camps: Jewish activists who are genuinely concerned about anti-Semitism, and an ad hoc group of Catholic and Jewish theologians who have an agenda.

“In the first camp are people like Dov Hikind, a Jewish state legislator from New York. Hikind worries that the film might incite anti-Semitism. Having seen the movie twice myself, I have tried to convince him that his fears are unfounded. He has, quite correctly, said that this is something he must determine for himself. It is my hope that he will reach the same conclusion I have. But even if he does not, he commands my respect and support. As I have said many times over the past few months, I can certainly appreciate why there may be a certain degree of apprehension in the Jewish community over this movie—I, too, would be wary if I were Jewish. Fortunately, the film engenders sacrifice and love, not hate.

“The other camp is a different story altogether. Some members of the ad hoc committee, like Paula Fredriksen, have accused Gibson of promoting violence. Another, John Pawlikowski, has blasted the Catholic League for defending Mel, calling him ‘a heretic.’ Moreover, Philip Cunningham and Sister Mary Boys have joined the other two in denouncing Gibson for allegedly violating their own trumped up rules governing depictions of the Passion. Acting like the proponents of a neo-Hays code, they arrogantly think Mel should have had to run the film by them for approval. He doesn’t need to—the pope’s on board.

“This latter group has two choices: they can either find a spider hole and crawl in it, or they can just keep on talking. Call it a Hobson’s choice.”

Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

American Life League on FDA approval of the morning after pill

ALL President Judie Brown testifies against ‘Plan B’ going OTC
At a Food and Drug Administration hearing today, American Life League president Judie Brown testified against making the “morning-after pill” (or “emergency contraception”) regimen known as Plan B available as an over-the-counter (OTC) medication.

“Plan-B is a dangerous drug regimen that takes the life of a newly conceived baby. Our federal government should never sanction abortion in any form, whether the means of death are chemical or surgical,” said Mrs. Brown. “Frankly, so-called emergency contraception should have never been approved in the first place. In addition to its abortifacient potential, this multi-pill regimen also poses serious health risks to the mother who takes it.”


Statement of Judie Brown:

This request is made based on the following facts: (a) these high doses of artificial hormones can and do terminate the lives of human beings after their lives have begun at conception/fertilization; (b) these pills are dangerous for women, particularly adolescent women, and (c) the damage to family life would be severe.

Emergency contraception is not contraception

So-called emergency contraception is not contraception. By definition contraception prevents the union of human sperm and human egg; the union that results in a human being beginning at fertilization. Emergency contraception works to change the lining of the uterus so that the human zygote cannot implant. If the human zygote cannot implant, he or she will die. This means that the pills in question do not prevent pregnancy from occurring, but rather end the life of a baby after his or her life has begun at fertilization.

Documentation on this point abounds in written testimony that has been provided to your office over the past several weeks. With my comments today I submit yet another document, prepared by noted author, lecturer and scientist John Wilks, to validate the fact that emergency contraception causes abortion.

Emergency contraception is dangerous for women of reproductive age

The composition of Plan B, the particular brand of pill being discussed today, is such that two pills contain .75 mg levonorgestrel, a chemical that can contribute to heart problems, circulatory problems, blood clotting, ectopic pregnancy and more. There is more than adequate documentation in the medical literature to suggest that these pills are not only dangerous but if given without access to a complete medical history, potentially deadly. As you are no doubt aware, a medical history is required prior to dispensation of the birth control pill precisely because of possible harmful effects to the user. Over-the-counter status immediately removes this safeguard.

Who will be liable if a woman who ingests these pills suffers a deleterious side effect? Will the United States government pay for her care?

Emergency contraception can destroy families

Pills such as Plan B are designed with one purpose in mind: to destroy the evidence that a sexual encounter has occurred that could result in the conception of a child. The emergency in this case is clearly the potential for pregnancy to occur. If these pills are made available on an over-the-counter basis, adolescents who might have given such a result a second thought will not be inclined to take pregnancy into consideration before engaging in risky sexual encounters. Parents would be totally unaware and would have no ability to consent before their child ingested such powerful drugs because the drugs in question would not require a prescription.

The wedge that such a situation would drive between parents and children should be of serious concern to this body. It is parents who are the natural support system for their children, particularly in times of illness or distress. It is parents, therefore, who should make decisions regarding what type of drugs their children will ingest and when. To further erode this natural parental role in our society is to drive another nail into the family coffin.

Further, the ready availability of these pills will advance the practice of promiscuous sex, while at the same time making it possible for unemancipated minors to freely engage in such encounters without concern for the consequence of a visible pregnancy. What long-term effect this will have on the health and well being of such young people is not known nor has it been the point of any recent studies. This should concern the Food and Drug Administration specifically because the pandemic of sexually transmitted disease is well known and is totally out of control.

If an unemancipated minor contracts a serious STD and requires treatment that would ultimately involve the parents, will the FDA accept the responsibility for paying the medical bills due to its decision to make such powerful drugs available to children without parental consent?

Clearly the Food and Drug Administration has a moral and ethical responsibility to assure, to the best of its ability, the health and welfare of every member of the human family. In the case of the suggested over-the-counter status for the morning after pill regimen, it is undeniable that the only way for the FDA to act responsibly is for it to decide that these pills will not be made available over the counter.

Thank you.

I can't believe the advisory board approved this anyway.


Right to kill

This article in the Catholic Heroldnails it in my opinion.

O Antiphon

O WISDOM, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: Come, and teach us the way of prudence.

Cardinal Martino's comment... yea, right.

"I felt pity to see this man destroyed, (the military) looking at his teeth as if he were a cow. They could have spared us these pictures," he said.

Why? They prove that Saddam is getting good medical care curtesy of the US Tax payer!! Instead of getting his teeth punched out, they were being examined and cared for... seems like a good deal to me!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

The Bishops and Catholic politicians

I found this on the Journey to Vatican III blog also troublesome.

Yes, I'll admit I was exasperated that U.S. Catholic Bishops decided it would be OK to monitor, and punish, politicians who stray too far from church teachings.

I was delighted. It's frankly about time!!

Linda Campbell, an editorial writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram explained the uneasiness best in a syndicated column we ran today on our opinion page. See article.

I think the decision showed an old-style arrogance and old-fashioned meddling and punishing

Oh hardly! What we have forgotten is that it is the job of the bishop to shepherd the sheep!! That means pulling one in from time to time when it has wandered off in the wrong direction.

and I can't believe it will play well with sophisticated Catholics.

Double talk for "liberal Catholic." I've had the pleasure of meeting and talking with many conservative Catholics who are quite pleased that the bishops are FINALLY going to take a stand, even if it is unpopular. You know every one of the apostles with the exception of John was martyred for taking an unpopular stand and defending the faith.

And the timing is terrible. The hierarchy has so many issues with cleaning up their own houses re: the sex abuse scandal. Why are they focusing on the political Houses?

The timing is perfect!! It's because the hierarchy has been so lax that moral relativism has been allowed to run amok, in the hierarchy and in the laity. It's time to stop.

The "divinity" of Saddam

The Journey to Vatican III blog has an odd perspective.

In theology classes at Gonzaga University, we often talked about the spark of divinity that exists in every human being, according to Catholic teachings. It's also a topic theologians like to write about.

It's great in theory, but then someone like Saddam Hussein looms in the world and in the news. I was happy he was caught yesterday, happy he is now in a place where he can do no more harm, but my theology classes came back to me as I wondered: "Where is the divinity in Saddam Hussein?"

I found it in his eyes. In the photos broadcast to the world, he looks like a homeless man dragged off the streets and into a shelter, or a jail. He had wild but very sad eyes. That's where I glimpsed the divinity, in the brokenness of an old man who surrendered to get out of a hole, literally.

Uh... no. That was his humanity. Those were the eyes of a lying, sneaking, butcher who has been hiding in the dirt and filth to save his own miserable butt. What you saw in those wild and sad eyes, were the consequences of his own sins, of which he is not repentent.

Behold the dignity of his Kurdish victims. What you saw in those eyes, was evil, not divinity.

Photo on file

Blow ye the trumpet in Sion, for the day of the Lord is nigh; behold, He will come to save us, alleluia, alleluia.


A new neighbor for Raphael

I've been going to the cemetery regularly now for over a year. Four times now I have gone to find a new little neighbor near Raphael.

The cemetery buries babies under two whose families dont' have a family "plot" in a special section near a standing Angel. Babies are buried in chronological order, so if you can figure out the order, and know when a baby died, you can find him/her without too much difficulty as long as they have a headstone. They don't bury them all in a straight line however. There are five across in a section, and then they move to the next line. In other words, the line of graves closest to the angel has babies from 70s, 80s, and 90s next to it, but only 5 or 6 of each. When 5 graves fill a section, they move back to the next line.

Raphael this year was in the newest section of graves. In fact he started that section. He was only the new kid for 9 days before the next baby came, a little stillborn term baby from a family we knew casually as our kids had played on the same T-ball teams in the past. I had heard of his death on my E-mail loop so I was prepared for it.

There were no more baby deaths last winter but I knew it was only a matter of time before the next spot would be taken and in the spring I would hold my breath as I turned that corner towards the angel. I didnt' know how I would feel when I saw a new grave there.

In the spring, there it was, a newly dug grave with a funeral bouquet on it. I didn't feel overwhelmed as I thought I would. I felt curious. Who was this baby? Was it a boy or a girl (although I supposed a girl because of all the pink flowers). What happened? Was there an obituary?

Had to wait for the cemetery to put down the temporary plastic cross to answer some of those questions but as luck would have it, this baby was of Indian heritage, with no obituary so I would have to wait longer to figure out if this was a girl's name or boy's. Two more babies came that spring and early summer in quick succession and filled up our line. Little girls, both with obituaries on line so I could read a bit about them, if they had siblings, what parish they were being buried from etc. I just liked knowing.

There were no deaths this summer, or fall. Raphael's anniversary came and went with no more new little graves. We heard of a family in our parish who had a baby die after birth and I watched for that grave, but they must have buried that child somewhere else or in a family grave plot.

In December though I made up my mind that there shouldn't be any more deaths this year. It was too close to Christmas, too cold, wouldn't be right. But they don't ask me about these things.. sigh.

Last week there was a new grave, and it went in the new line right in front of Raphael. Again the name was a little ambiguous and so was the obituary. Still don't know if it was a little boy or girl. I do know this baby died after birth, and from the picture in the obituary, that it was a beautiful baby.

So now Raphael is no longer even in the "new kid" line. This new line will fill up this year and by next year he will be two lines back - an old timer. I have feelings about that but they are hard to express. I wish there could be no more graves in babyland. I wish babies didn't die, but they do. I guess my strongest feeling is that I don't want my baby's grave to go unnoticed, to be uncared for, I don't want my children to forget their brother, and as more and more lines fill up, I don't want them to forget where he lays.

Uncle Al

My Uncle Al passed away last week. My sister, mom and I took the 8 hour car ride up to his home for the memorial service, and of course 8 hours back. We went mainly for the sake of my Aunt Dot, a wonderful woman who I look at as sort of the family matriarch, even though my branch of the family is a few notches away from hers. Still, she is my grandpa's sister and I can remember her presence from the time I was a little girl onward. In her 80s she walks with the presence and dexterity of a woman 30 years younger and she has the wit and humor to go with it.

But, I didn't have the same kinds of memories of my Uncle Al, yet somehow, when I think of my Aunt, he is in the background somewhere. I am aware of his presence at the same events where my mind places her.

The little church was packed. Standing room only, filled the balcony. A simple service with lots of scripture readings and songs out of the brethren hymnal. During the Eulogy folks stood up and gave their memories and what emerged was a picture of the man. A quiet person, always a smile, never a cross or harsh word. What problems he did have with a person he would say simply to his face in clear terms. Many people talked about the time "Al and Dot" brought food, firewood, coffee etc. Or how "Al and Dot" watched these children or took children here or there even with their own group of 6 kids. It seemed "Al and Dot" were their own team. They were yoked, and they were good at it and people loved and appreciated them for it.

Before we left for the funeral I had just finished selling an oboe and bass clarinet on e-Bay. Not my favorite instruments, but they sell well because they are complicated woodwinds that fill out the orchestral voice.

Maybe that's what made me think about my Uncle Al in musical terms. He wasn't the standout of the flute or piccolo. He didn't sit with the violins in the front all bowing their instrument in unison. No, if he were an instrument, he would have been a bass clarinet, or a bassoon, maybe a low brass. He would have been one of the instruments that added body to the sound, that filled it out, one that you couldn't necessarily pick out individually, but when it is missing the sound doesn't sound as full, or as rich. One that fills in the rich harmonies so that the sparkle of the virtuoso instruments, like my Aunt, like his kids, comes through beautifully. One that if it's missing you can just tell the sound is a little off. That's how it's going to seem for us now I suppose for a while... like the music is a little off without Uncle Al.

Uncle Al and Aunt Dot have become for me a beautiful symbol of living the Domestic Church. I'll have to tell her that.


Haven't been blogging as much because I've been investigating the wonders of HTML code, and how to download and upload and stick things in the template... fun stuff like that!! I only have a few more bugs in my template and then hopefully this blog will look the way I envisioned it. Hope people enjoy it.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Christmas Novena and the O Antiphons

Friday, December 12, 2003

He Still doesn't get it

Mod: that's really a very poor analogy, and it also betrays a hostility to abc users.

Ir: (A very good pro-church defender) Mod, you are asserting rather than arguing. When making such statements, one should tell why it is a very poor analogy and how this betrays hostility so we can better evaluate the evidence. Let's all try to show our reasoning rather than just conclusions arrived at by who knows what path.

Mod: Irenaus, i did earlier, in my point about bulimia = abortion. poor analogy.

Since bulimia is trying to avoid the consequences, as is contraception- the analogy fits. Getting rid of the consequences when they are already there - would be like liposusction and abortion. If I'm not mistaken very similar instruments are used for both of those procedures any way. I look foward to Ir's response!

Thursday, December 11, 2003

The Slavery - contraception connection

A few things I have been thinking about regarding slavery and conception.

In 1965, the Second Vatican Council concluded:

Whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torture inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children ... all these things ... poison human society, dishonour the Creator, and do more harm to those who practise them than those who suffer from the injury... Human institutions, private or public .... should be bulwarks against any kind of political or social slavery and guardians of basic rights under any kind of government. [2]

This is the church's current teaching on slavery. It is the result of centuries of development in the teaching. The Catholic church and Christianity did not invent slavery. When the church came into being on that day of Pentecost, slavery already existed. Slavery was an institution, a part of the culture, something that the apostles and the early church fathers grew up with in their communities and cities.

No, the apostles did not condemn slavery, but they did speak of how Christians, free or slave were to act and how we were to bear the trials in our different walks of life. Through the centuries we can watch the how the Holy Spirit guided the church as it admonished Christians to treat slaves justly and with kindness, until eventually the church called for the abolishment of the institution itself. The Holy Spirit guided the church through her bishops and her popes over the centuries to the truth on this issue.

At the same time, contraceptive methods and practices were also present during the time of the apostles and they were condemned throughout history, indeed starting with the apostles in the Didache. Again through her bishops and popes, the Holy Spirit has guided the church's understanding of human sexuality and how marital love, bonding and pleasure were part of the sex act. And through it all the condemnation of contraception was a constant up to and including modern times with Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body.

Over the centuries the Holy Spirit guided the church until a moral stand against slavery could be accepted fully, and at the same time the Spirit kept the church steadfast in its moral stand against contraception.

I find two rather striking points:

1. When the church condemned slavery, certain dissident bishops and Catholics attempted to twist the meaning so that they could continue to allow slavery. Fast forward to 1968 and the same attempt has been made by dissident bishops and Catholics to allow contraception by twisting out a new "Conscience clause" via the infamous Winnipeg statement.

2. When the birth control commission gave their recommendations to Pope Paul VI, there was a lot of hope in the new contraceptive birth control pill and that the pope would give his blessing on this method as being licit for Catholics. I firmly believe with all of my being that it was the Holy Spirit that kept Paul VI from caving in on this. We have only to fast forward a few years to see negative impact these high dose pills had on women's health and few years after that we see that this pill doesn't always suppress ovulation and is in fact abortifacient. Pope Paul in his wisdom via the Holy Spirit kept the church free from a grievous error, one that medical science dealt with after 1968.

That's the most important comparison between the two issues in my opinion.

Dieting is to bulimia, as NFP is to ABC!

More drivel from the BCCC board on the slavery thread.

several nfp fans have brought that one up and were promptly squashed for it. You can search around and find it, I'm sure. In short, they found it crude, rude and uninformed.

I have doubt that when pro-church posters used this analogy, they were treated crudely, rudely and called uniformed.
Nonetheless, as a former anorexic, a life-long fitness nut and a married woman (probably from the time the mod was born!!) I do see the analogy as very fitting.

Ms. Smith tells us a lot about herself here, though, doesn't she--that if she was using abc, she'd be going hog-wild over sex. .

Wow, talk about poisoning the well! For a guy who likes to call the logical fallacies of others he certainly doesn't like to abstain from same... abstain... abstainance... NFP...hmmm I see a pattern developing... I might be on to something here!

oh, come now! BULIMIA!!!! an analogy for abc? and you're suggesting i go easier on Ms. Smith!

i don't get the analogy any way.

Just as I suspected. The analogy is that the bulimic will eat, in fact even feast freely, with the full intention of avoiding the consequences of overeating, particularly weight gain, by purging the stomach of its contents through unnaturally induced vomiting. The contracepting couple will enjoy the pleasures of their union, freely with the full intention of avoiding the consequence of their act, conception, by keeping the sperm and egg apart unnaturally.

bulimia is eating then purging. it would seem her analogy would be more along the lines of gluttony. what's the purging? that would have to be abortion, which is an unfair accusation to level at abc users.

The fine nuance here of course, is that both actions involving 1)fully enjoying an act while 2) unnaturally avoiding the potential consequences.

Any connection to abortion though isn't necessarily far fetched. The pill and hormonal contraceptives are abortifacient.

just because someone uses abc, it doesn't follow that they have an abortion if they become pregnant.

and yet the majority of abortion seekers are their for contraceptive failure. That's an undeniable point.

we're way off the topic of slavery, so that's all i have to say about this one. it's just that everything i keep reading here by this Ms. Smith (darling champion of nfp fans) seems naive and poorly nuanced--a kind of desperate, "over-the-top" attempt to try to make any kind of a point.

shrug... and banning the opposition and piling up your own logical fallacies seems a desperate "over-the-top attempt to avoid the truth of the church's teaching on this issue. But hey, it's Christmas!!


Tuesday, December 09, 2003

The cause for Bishop Sheen

The Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation

Letter from Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R. Excerpt below.
P.O. Box 728
Peoria, IL 61652-0728
Phone: 972-570-8622


December 9, 2003

Dear Friends in Christ:

"May the Lord give you His peace!"

With this letter I come to you with an appeal for a Cause that holds great promise of blessings for the Church and the world!

Today is the 24th Anniversary of the death of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. He was truly one of the most outstanding churchmen of the 20th century. Today also marks the beginning of a "year of remembrance" leading up to the 25th Anniversary of the Archbishop's death. The Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation, of which I am a member, has been promoting the Cause of Canonization for the late Archbishop because its members believe he was truly a saintly man.

The Foundation has been sponsored by Bishop Daniel Jenky, CSC, the Bishop of the Diocese of Peoria, in its efforts to have the Archbishop canonized. His Cause for Canonization was officially opened on September 14, 2002 when the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints declared that he was a "Servant of God" and gave authority to the Bishop of Peoria to initiate the Cause.

The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen was "the voice of the Church in America" for over 30 years. For 24 years, millions of Catholics listened to his weekly radio program, "The Catholic Hour." For five years, over 30 million people of all faiths and even of no faith, viewed his popular TV series, "Life is Worth Living."

Certainly, Bishop Sheen was the most popular bishop in the United States in the 20th Century. We believe that his message is still a timely one, relevant to meet the challenges of our day. He was a man whose life was focused on the important issues of concern for the Church and the world of his day. He taught Philosophy and Theology for some 24 years at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He spent 16 years as the National Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, working with and supporting the missions of the Church throughout the world. He spent three years as the Bishop of Rochester, in the years right after the Second Vatican Council had ended. Finally, after he stepped down as Bishop of Rochester, he did not retire but, as he said, he "retreaded;" he began to preach in various places.

His special focus was the renewal of the Priesthood. I had the grace of being ordained a priest by Bishop Sheen when he was Bishop of Rochester. In the homily that he gave at my Ordination Mass, he spoke these words prophetically: "If there is any key to the reform of the Church and the salvation of the world, it lies in the renewal of the Priesthood!" How right he was!

We believe that the message of Bishop Sheen must continue to be spread throughout the world. My appeal with this letter is to ask for your financial support as well as your prayers.

As you know, the canonization of a saint is a long and expensive process. But the grace of having a saint, especially of the caliber of the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, is certainly worth the effort and the money that it will require. The good example of his life, his teaching in terms of devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist and to the Blessed Virgin Mary whom he loved so much, are an inspiration to the people of God and a direction in their efforts to work for the spread of the gospel of life, emphasizing the dignity of life and family. These were the things that the Archbishop spoke of constantly throughout his life. We ask you, therefore, to help us continue our work in the Canonization process, and thus carry on the message and works that the Archbishop began in his own lifetime.

I hope you will consider helping us continue the work of Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Asking God to bless you and your loved ones, I remain,
Yours in Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R.

Please visit our website at where you can make your donation on-line if you wish. May God Bless you.

Copyright ©2003 All Rights Reserved


Advanced tickets for Mel Gibson's movie!

Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ" UPDATE - TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE

IT'S OFFICIAL! You can now buy ADVANCE TICKETS to see Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ". Icon Productions has set up a toll-free ticket hotline for your ordering requests -- call 1-800-353-6102 to make sure that you and your family get to see the film during Lent. THE BEST WAY TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE FILM RIGHT NOW IS TO PURCHASE ADVANCE TICKETS! This will send a clear message to theaters across the world that people are very interested in seeing this film. The more people who buy advance tickets, the more theaters will carry the movie. The more theaters that carry the movie, the more people will get a chance to see it. The more people see it, the greater evangelizing impact this great movie will have on our culture and our world.

Advance tickets are currently available only for the U.S. and Canada.

Many of you have expressed to us that advance tickets would make great great Christmas gifts. Well now you have the opportunity to include them as the ultimate stocking stuffers for Christmas morning. There are also opportunities for discounts on large group sales. Call 1-800-353-6102 right now for more information.

Please be patient when calling as there will likely be a significant response to this ticket pre-sale offer. You may have to hold for a short time before getting an operator. If you get a busy signal, please try again at a later time.

Many leading theaters across the U.S. and Canada have agreed to carry this classic Christian film, which is great news! The movie will be launched on Ash Wednesday, February 25, 2004, throughout North America. (Details for other countries hopefully coming soon). Icon Productions has now opened the toll-free telephone hotline 24 hours/day for advance ticket sales. While some theaters have agreed to carry the film, others still have not. By purchasing your tickets in advance and demonstrating your support for "The Passion of The Christ," it increases the likelihood that many more theaters will get on board and agree to exhibit the film.

Individual tickets and groups tickets can be purchased. In fact, large groups have already been known to order all tickets for an entire theater! So if you have a group or congregation that wants to see this film, there may be discounts for qualifying groups. So please tell everyone about this great opportunity to transform the culture and pave the way for great A-list Hollywood Christian films to come! Please help us get this important film into even more theaters!


Helping a Family in Need

I got this in my E-mail. I'm going to try to help and if anyone reading this blog can help out that would be great!

What would you do if your dying sister begged you to take her little children and love them as your own? What if you already had 6 young children of your own? What if you were already struggling to provide for your own family?

This recently happened to someone I know...Sandy Hovestadt. Sandy's sister Sharon was diagnosed with terminal cancer (only in her 20's!) and was dying. She begged her older sister to please take care of her babies. Although Sandy and Bill have 6 young children of their own, they took on all the little nieces and nephews this past June!

After having lost their Mom this summer, we would like to be able to "ease" the pain a bit by providing them not only with (they all need coats, boots, etc. I'm going to let Sandy do the shopping :-).

Sandy's sister, Sharon, leaves behind a precious group of beautiful babies. They are: Faith, 20 months, Wayne, age 3, Julie, age 4, Diane, age 5 and David, age 7. They are now living as a big family with their cousins (Sandy's children) Bobby, Peter, Angela, Tim, Patty and Beth.

Walt, our children, and I are going to offer you a bunch of free gifts because we need you to help us provide these little ones with Christmas (toys and especially some basic necessities that Sandy and Bill can not provide on their limited income!).

We thought that perhaps you may want to know more about Sharon so here is a quick synopsis:

It was during the Winter of 2002 when Sharon was told she had cancer. Sharon was pregnant and her doctor told her that if she wanted to live she must abort her unborn child--she refused. Little Faith was born, and shortly after, Sharon started chemotherapy.

She was not responding to treatment and was told that she would not live past 2003. Having an abusive husband and 5 young children, she knew she must do all she could to survive for her little ones.

She found a different doctor, but was unable to get better. Eventually, she became so sick and drugged up from the medications that she could not even hold her head up and didn't even recognize her little ones.

Sharon was sent home, and Sandy and her Mom were told to make her as comfortable as possible. She died this past June 2003. Before passing away, she begged Sandy to take her babies and love them like her own...and Sandy has done just that.

It's been 6 months since her sister's death, and although life has not been easy, Sandy has not complained.

For weeks now, I've been agonizing over whether or not we should send out this newsletter. We were going to try to provide the little ones Christmas and clothing, but with our own large family, we found that it was impossible to provide enough help.

We beg you to pray about helping these children. If you can help out, go to:
As mentioned before, we will send you a bag of fact, we'll mail your bag of goodies within the next few days in case you want to use some of them for Christmas gifts! ;-)

Thank you for letting us make this appeal to you! We could not help all these wee ones on our own!

As an extra "thank you," we will have our friend, Fr. Vikram, (a Missionary Priest and also the Secretary to the Most Rev. Govindu Joji - Bishop of Nalgonda, India) say a Mass for your intentions.

Our entire family prays the following for you, "Dear Lord Jesus, we beg You to bless those who through their sacrifice and generosity will be making a difference in the lives of Sharon's little ones. We do not know why you chose for Sharon to return home so soon..but..we do know that we are to care for her children like our own. Please, reward the folks who have come to meet the needs of these little ones. Amen."
( )


Monday, December 08, 2003

Probably a good idea

Tis the season to be jolly, but these discussions sometimes stir up more negative thoughts and emotions than we ought to be having this time of year.

In all honesty, in a quest for holiness, these discussions and the negative thoughts and emotions they bring on should probably be avoided the rest of the year as well.

Today is the Feast of Mary's Immaculate Conception. We honor Mary for being God's perfect creature and yet with her perfect free will still saying "Yes" to God, and "yes" to His plan for her life, as dfficult and painful at times as that turned out to be, and yet because of Mary's faithful obedience she now shares in the glory of her son' Jesus Christ, just as we all can and do when we share in his cross.

It seems appropriate therefore for this board that calls itself "Catholic" and yet encourages dissent and, disobedience as well as the mocking and persecution of those who are willing to defend the church's teaching should close down - forever would be nice, but at least over the holy seasons of Advent and Christmas.

Advent blessings and a Merry Christmas to all who care enough about the Church to visit here and read a few threads.

as long as you don't post in disagreement apparently.

Even if we disagree, let us affirm at this time of year our common bond in Christ and our gratitude for God's mercy poured out on us through the Incarnation.

May the broken body of Christ be united one day as Christ intended. Amen

For my new young friend.

Enjoy your time in school with lots of time for friends, study and growing in Christ. Romance, and all that goes with it can come later if you are called to it.

Now, I married my high school sweetie, but it wasn't easy at 16, 17, 18, 19 to have a romatic relationship that was exclusive while honoring the chastity and purity aspects of our lives that we were called to as single people.

I give all of the young people in my life this book by Josh Harris. It's the guide I wish I had had in high school.

A powerful Catholic Couple give witness to truth!

I saw Greg and Julie Alexander on a rerun of Life on the Rock last night. That episode first aired December 4. If you get a chance to see a rerun it is well worth it. Their whole testimony and witness is to inviting God into marriage as Lord of all. They came back from the brink or divorce (which Greg said on the program really started with their vasectomy) to counseling couples who are desperately trying to save their marriages today.

Here is their web site.

Here is an excerpt from an article on them from Envoy Magazine.

The Alexander House
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that marriage and family life in our culture are under assault. Three years ago, Greg and Julie Alexander were about to add their ten-year marriage to that growing pile of promises made and broken in holy matrimony. Despite the suffering in their children, and their own broken hearts, they had convinced themselves that everything would work out best this way.

In their ignorance, they went to a friend to see how to get out of their marriage. This friend, who happened to be not only a priest, but also the Tribunal Vicar for their diocese, asked them in response, “What is God’s plan for marriage?” The challenge launched a journey of study, prayer, and questioning that convinced Greg they had gone about marriage and life all wrong.

Convinced that they needed God, Greg and Julie turned to Him…and found each other.

Their turning led to a new relationship and a new faith. This new faith also moved them to reverse a vasectomy that they now believe was the impetus for many of the problems that they experienced in their marriage. Eighteen months after the reversal, they were blessed with the gift of a daughter to add to their beautiful family of four.

Greg and Julie felt called to create The Alexander House as a means to give hope and encouragement to other married couples by leading them back to God and His Church. They spend their time gratefully giving marriage education workshops in churches throughout Texas. The fruit of their labors is great. Julie says, “Why, just in the past four months, we’ve had twenty couples tell us they converted away from contraception” and are now living the “Gospel of Life.”

Greg says, “We just want to help others incorporate into their marriages what we’ve had to learn the hard way. Basically, it’s that marriage takes three.”

Julie adds, “We’ve realized that contraceptive sex is just self-fulfillment — and totally empty. I learned that the Church’s rules are there to protect us, not just to keep us from having fun.”

Greg chimes in: “Church teaching, we now understand, is the pathway back to heaven, guided by the Holy Spirit.” The path they take to lead others to the “Gospel of Life” begins first with the gospel itself.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Getting fringy!!

fwiw, i think Bruskewitz is way out on the right fringe.

I admire Bishop B. He had the guts to use his authority as bishop to come down hard on abortion advocates who call themselves Catholic. It was a tough call that he wasn't afraid to make.

Well for what it’s worth, I think Diana Hayes, who is Accociate Professor of Theology, whose article is cited on the board as an expert, is way out on the left fringe and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. is dissident central.

I read one of her articles and she supports married priests, women priest etc. as possible solutions to the "pedophila" problem
while tending to dismiss the homosexual aspect of the scandal.


<thanks for the support, Edie. it's amazing how much trollishness there is on the pro-nfp side of this issue! doesn't speak well for their side.

And what does the constant banning to keep the opposition down to one, while maintaining 3 or 4 authorities all with administrative powers say about your side hmmm?

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Some links regarding the slavery issue.

maybe not. we've discussed this at length. the core values of the teaching (openness to a new life resulting from intercourse, chastity, respect for one's spouse, respect for fertility) can all be promoted without tying them so closely to the objective structure of the sex act.

It's clear the Mod hasn't tackled JPIIs Theology of the Body yet.

Yet Ralph McInerney's quote comes immediately to mind. We can have all of the above while loosening up the adultery, prostitution and fornication teachings too. After all, as long as the marriage is overall exclusive, there should be no problem right?

The powers that be there will call that the "slippery slope" fallacy, but I see it as just a natural result of what happens when you advocate dissent on the birth control teaching.

Friday, December 05, 2003

there's a kind of gloating in that El-Catholicmom persona about abc users dying in sin--almost like she's glad about it. i read the same in Janet Smith at times and wonder what that's all about.

It's about you misreading my intentions and that of Ms. Smith. I may have hundreds of posts on that board, but its clear to me that no one has bothered to read them without the defensive glasses on! Certainly not the board authorities (Ed, Mod, Lil).

I clearly stated there, that I don't believe most Catholics who use birth control have even been catechized fully and correctly, therefore they can not be in a state of mortal sin if they do not really know and understand what they are doing. Now, they are certainly still in error, and possibly even some sins of omission for not learning more about the faith as adults, but it isn't my stand that everyone just falls into the "damned for all time" category.

My only gloat was a parting shot at Edie, that for all her banning, jeering, snideness and uneven handling of a small message board on the big internet, she hasn't influenced or caused the official teaching of the Catholic Church to move an iota. Any other interpretation of that is a guilty projection on her part, and apparently the Mod's as well.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Any couple that uses contraception natural or otherwise, ends up making sacrifices in the long run. For some not having more children that they desire is a sacrifice for the greater good of their communities.

On this I actually agree. ABC users do make a lot of sacrifices.

1. There is time in doctor's visits to procure contraceptives.
2. Money for birth control pills, doctor's visits, procedures, travel time etc.
3. From skin rashes and irritations to infections to even death from the use of hormonal or invasive contraceptive procedures.
4. The sacrifice of having more children.

However, suffering for the sake of suffering is not good or holy. Suffering the cross without Christ is meaningless.

The sacrifices in married life with regard to family planning that the church calls us to are the sacrifices that come from obedience and marital chastity and then only for grave and serious reasons. Otherwise our call is to a generosity in receiving and raising children and the normal sacrifices that come with that.

Grrr... my last comment on this board tonight... I promise!

I am not accusing this person of being Ell, if he/she says they are not. However, we have unfortunately been lied to by persons like Ell and others as to their true identity so I have a hard time accepting this claim.

A couple of things. I never "lied about who I was. The board was open, didn't require registration, anybody could post under any name they pleased.

Interestingly, when I pointed out that the board "theologian" was ANONYMOUS, and that we couldn't even check his/her credentials because of that anonymity, the Editor said, "I don't have a problem with anonymity."

The other issue is that again we are not here to advertise the website of this individual.

Oh come on. There are hundreds of links on that site. What's the big deal? He's not selling anything. It's just another resource

I'm just not particularly interested in participating in encouraging this person to advertise here. Sorry

well you certainly wasted enough bandwidth doing just that!
the style of writing on your site and the "spirit" of your contributions here is exactly the same.

Translation: "Anyone who sees ABC as mortally sinful is meanspirited. Those type of people all sound a like anyway." (Proving once more that Catholic bashing really is politically correct. Try saying that to another minority group (replace "sound alike" with "look alike" and see how it flies - or sinks!!)

if you are El, etc., you were banned and asked to leave this site. You have hundreds of posts under many names still published here for anyone to read. But we've had problems with you and your contributions lately and you were asked to leave

Not really. I was banned because I wouldn't acquiesce to the Editor's demand that I retract statements about Patty Crowley (of birth control commission fame) of being pro-abortion without doing further research first.

what I've picked up from reading the forum is that for a lot of people the credibility of the Church is also an issue. sort of like, if the Church is wrong about birth control, then what else might it be wrong about.

BINGO!! and of course this board has done nothing to deal with that concern other than of course to say, "it doesn't need to be that way."

i think that's even why some can't even admit that the Church has changed its teachings on slavery. some people also seem to be concerned that if we start picking and choosing which teachings to believe and which not, what happens to the Catholic religion?

We've already seen what happens. Vocations dwindle and the few that do join up feel free to follow their conscience right into ephebophilia. A generation or two grow up without a clue about what Catholicism really is, and Catholic culture and devotion is almost lost.

i can sympathize with the concerns about cafeteria Catholics, but i know for a fact that Edie doesn't go in for that.

Of course she does. By choosing the artificial birth control course she is a cafeteria Catholic!! The fact that she doesn't' want anyone else to pick a DIFFERENT dish just means she doesn't fully understand the consequences of her actions... or she's in deep denial. It might be a combo.

it's almost like this entire site and forum is about trying to help people see that just because they don't agree with the teaching on birth control, it doesn't mean that everything else in Catholicism is wrong, or that they should blow off the Church.

What the site succeeds in though, is stifling an opposing views, mocking believers, jeering and scoffing at even the most complicated and well thought out posts complete with resources.

and i do think there's a crisis out there, with so many Catholics ignoring the teaching while the authorities continue to pound it out again and again. that's not healthy.

Oh please, I have yet to see the authorities "pound it out again and again." Heck, just once in my lifetime I'd like to hear a real priest in my presence present the truth of the teaching without muttering something about the Winnipeg Statement!!
Goings on at my favorite board.

FYI. This has got to be Ell using another one of her IPs. I think we should avoid giving this kind of thing any airtime.

Nope. Not me this time. It's not as if some other Catholic on the planet couldn't disagree with this board's twisted view of conscience.

so you're saying that Catholics cannot use abc under any circumstances even if their conscience tells them that is what they should do. and the Church clearly teaches that we are obliged to follow our conscience. there's a conflict between those two points.

Not really Mod. The church also teaches that the conscience must be well formed and that a well formed conscience will not be formed against the teachings of the church. I see no conflict.
A very nice apologetics site worth checking out.


Bill is our cat. He is a rather new addition to our family. We didn't adopt him, I think he adopted us. About October I was backing out of my driveway when I saw a gray-striped tiger Tom catl sunning himself on the warm pavement, oblivious to the 15 passenger Dodge Ram coming in his direction. I stopped and ran out to move him out of the way. Bill is the kind of cat that purrs as soon as you look at him so he was very grateful to be picked up and moved!!

Apparently that was all it took to make Bill a regular. He started living in our garage, and hanging out by the back door, and the kids named him. Bill, short and sweet but I think my 8-year-old picked it because he can spell it!!

When I mentioned to our neighbor that there was a new stray hanging around the neighborhood, his reply was, "Oh yea, my friend couldn't keep him so he brought him here."


My Neighbor then went into his house and brought me half a bag of cat chow and some kitty litter.

Although my kids were thrilled, my husband was less than receptive to having a cat in the house - particularly a Tom cat. He heard they sprayed furniture and he sure didn't want that!!
(Neither did I to tell the truth.)

Still, it got to the point where Bill was spending more time in than out. The kids went to let him in before school, during school, after school. He only went out at bedtime or when I suggested he might need a bathroom break!

One day we came out and Bill wasn't around so I thought perhaps he had moved on or was adopted by someone else, bit Bill came back no worse for wear!!

The weather was getting colder and I started to worry about Bill and worry about my kids reaction if something should happen to him. When I was 10 years old I had befriended a stray cat named Shadow and I was devastated when she became a piece of road kill in front of our house!!

So gathering my gumption I told my husband that Bill was staying in and that I would pay for the shots etc.

Our first visit to the vet, Doc didn't think Bill looked so good and said we should probably draw some blood to see if he had feline leukemia or some other fatal illnesses. Well, yes that would be a good idea before I poured any more money into this little critter. I agreed and the doctor told us that if we didn't hear from him by 6:00 that evening, Bill was fine. He gave Bill some shots, cleaned out a nasty ear mite infection and applied some drops and sent us home. Oh... HOW LONG did we wait. Bill seemed very lethargic, but I thought that didn't see too unusual after having shots AND having his ears probed and scraped so aggressively... still I was worried and truth be told, so was my husband although he would never admit it.

Well the call never came. Bill is fine. After two more drop applications (which of course was a family affair once Bill saw that eardrops bottle), Bill no longer shakes his head or scratches his ears. I think the mites are gone.

Last Friday we had Bill fixed. Prayers were sent out continually through the day to St. Francis for Bill's safety during the surgery and for a speedy recovery and both were answered. Bill not only survived but has prospered- he even killed a wayward mouse that got into the house, which completely won my husband over on the benefits of having a Tom cat in the house!!

So as I surf the net, blog, or shop on line, I have my new feline buddy sitting here keeping my company, and that's OK with me. Thanking God for those unexpected blessings to my Domestic Church!


Wednesday, December 03, 2003

I am having this nice discussion with a blogger from Florida.

I really having nothing against her state, or Bishop Lynch in particular. Probably with the United States Bishops in General is more accurate, although I am seeing spots of genuine leadership from the bishops, particularly as they look for ways to sanction pro-abortion politicians. This is a change I am looking forward to!!
From the message board I love to disagree with:

one point made that stuck with me is that it would be very hard to show that abc was the primary culprit since there are so many other factors that would have to be controlled.

Even Father Greely said there was a connection between divorce and the pill in particular, and he certainly is no big supporter of Humanae Vitae. To try to prove that contraception had nothing to do with the soaring divorce rate following the 1960s one would have to show that the divorce rate would have soared even without the widespread use of contraceptives. I think sociologically that would be a tough one to take on.

you're mentioning the pill, primarily, here. can you point us to sound studies that show a connection between use of the pill and depression, weight gain, etc. keep in mind that women who don't use the pill and who have lots of kids often develop depression, weight gain, low sex drive, etc. that would be an important comparison to make

Obviously the Moderator is a guy. The pill puts makes the body believe its pregnant. It is a false, artificial homronal state. So instead of ladies having one hormonal week a month, it's can be an ongoing problem on some pills in some women.

It's also obvious that the moderate isn't a father because dads of large family can also go through periods of weight gain, depression, low sex drive etc!!


Monday, December 01, 2003

A small victory!

OK, it's about my diet :)

I have officially crossed that arbitrary line between obese and overweight - uh... crossed over in the right direction I should add!!

Ten years ago I would have been mortified if someone suggested that I would even be considered clinically obese - but as life goes I entered the stratosphere were the first digit of my weight number was a 2. I was certainly counting on breastfeeding and the business of motherhood to take it off as it had in times past, but since I lost the baby, or course none of that happened.

I didn't realize how much breastfeeding really burns off... Almost effortlessly!! But this time, saddened by the loss and everything else I basically just looked at the number on the scale, gave it the proverbial finger, and dug out the old postpartum clothes. I really, for the first time in my life, couldn't have cared less.

Things started to turn around for me a bit last March, about 4 months after the stillbirth. My Jazzercise instructor was having an attendance game for a water mug. Now, I really needed a water mug, but this one is nothing special, clear plastic with a gray lid. Still it looked rather nice and it held a lot of liquid and so I just made up my mind I was going to earn a water mug. March is a good time too because the kids are off at swimming so I could attend more classes. I dropped a good four pounds.

OK, so I was off to a good start but when swimming started again and I could only get in there 3 times a week, I plateaued big time. Well, at least I wasn't gaining and I did get my water mug. I was content. End of the weight loss.

A friend at Jazzercise mentioned Dotty's Weight loss zone on the web and I looked at it. It was very inspiring and it made me at least care about the lumps of lard I was carrying around. I bought the Weight Commander from her site. Wow, something about actually recording your weight everyday on this computer program and watching the line go up and down was sort of inspiring. So I lost weight again, but it was certainly not a straight shot down. There are more peaks and valleys on that graph line than in a fibrillating EKG!! Still the overall trend was downward and I was again content.

About a month ago I realized I was down 10 pounds from the day of the funeral and with a little effort I could be an even 190 my Thanksgiving. All month I worked on that 2 pounds. There were the usual ups and downs that I just expect now - it's the way my body operates I guess, but when I stepped on the scale Thanksgiving Day.. TA DA!!! I did it and more importantly, I didn't blow it with too much feasting!!

OK, I know, 12 pounds in a year is grindingly slow, but nonetheless I am very enthusiastic. In fact, gulp... I'm making goals - 50 pounds by my birthday June 1. Heck, if I just lose 11 I'll be the slimmest I've been since my 4th baby was born almost 6 years ago and that will be worth celebrating.

I realize that I am finally hitting my dieting stride into the major holiday season but I'm praying to persevere and stick to my goal.

Feeling more normal... finally!!
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