Thursday, May 31, 2012

Where Are You, Jesus?

I've gotten myself into a financial/legal pickle thanks to my younger, stupid self,* which means that I have a lawyer now. Oh, my temp job is over, so it's really a barrel of financial/legal pickles. It's keeping me up at night and twisting my insides into painful knots.

*I'm smarter now and getting smarter by the day. Ugh.

What does a Catholic woman in a pickle do? Prays of course. And asks you to spare a prayer.

I just drove to my church for Eucharist Adoration.  And I drove home to write this because there is no Eucharist Adoration today. There were signs on the doors that there is no Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament today.

Why? Why? Why?

Jesus!!!!! I need you to beg and plead.
Jesus, I need reassurance everything will be okay in the long run.
Jesus, I need your comforting presence.
Jesus, I need quiet.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Man for All Seasons

Recently some friends and I got together and watched A Man for All Seasons about Thomas More.

I cut and pasted some wonderful quotes from IMBD.

Memorable quotes forA Man for All Seasons (1966More at IMDbPro »

The Duke of Norfolk: Oh confound all this. I'm not a scholar, I don't know whether the marriage was lawful or not but dammit, Thomas, look at these names! Why can't you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!
Sir Thomas More: And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?

Cromwell: Now, Sir Thomas, you stand on your silence.
Sir Thomas More: I do.
Cromwell: But, gentlemen of the jury, there are many kinds of silence. Consider first the silence of a man who is dead. Let us suppose we go into the room where he is laid out, and we listen: what do we hear? Silence. What does it betoken, this silence? Nothing; this is silence pure and simple. But let us take another case. Suppose I were to take a dagger from my sleeve and make to kill the prisoner with it; and my lordships there, instead of crying out for me to stop, maintained their silence. That would betoken! It would betoken a willingness that I should do it, and under the law, they will be guilty with me. So silence can, according to the circumstances, speak! Let us consider now the circumstances of the prisoner's silence. The oath was put to loyal subjects up and down the country, and they all declared His Grace's title to be just and good. But when it came to the prisoner, he refused! He calls this silence. Yet is there a man in this court - is there a man in this country! - who does not know Sir Thomas More's opinion of this title?
Crowd in court gallery: No!
Cromwell: Yet how can this be? Because this silence betokened, nay, this silence was, not silence at all, but most eloquent denial!
Sir Thomas More: Not so. Not so, Master Secretary. The maxim is "Qui tacet consentire": the maxim of the law is "Silence gives consent". If therefore you wish to construe what my silence betokened, you must construe that I consented, not that I denied.
Cromwell: Is that in fact what the world construes from it? Do you pretend that is what you wish the world to construe from it?
Sir Thomas More: The world must construe according to its wits; this court must construe according to the law.

Cromwell: I know a man who wants to change his woman. 

Margaret More: Father, that man's bad.
Sir Thomas More: There's no law against that.
William Roper: There is: God's law.
Sir Thomas More: Then God can arrest him.

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

Sir Thomas More: You threaten like a dockside bully.
Cromwell: How should I threaten?
Sir Thomas More: Like a minister of state. With justice.
Cromwell: Oh, justice is what you're threatened with.
Sir Thomas More: Then I am not threatened.

Cardinal Wolsey: That... thing out there; at least she's fertile.
Sir Thomas More: She's not his wife.
Cardinal Wolsey: No, Catherine's his wife and she's barren as a brick; are you going to pray for a miracle?
Sir Thomas More: There are precedents.

Sir Thomas More: I think that when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.

Sir Thomas More: Why not be a teacher? You'd be a fine teacher; perhaps a great one.
Richard Rich: If I was, who would know it?
Sir Thomas More: You; your pupils; your friends; God. Not a bad public, that.

Sir Thomas More: I trust I make myself obscure.

Sir Thomas More: Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Wales? 

Cromwell: I have evidence that Sir Thomas, while he was a judge, accepted bribes.
The Duke of Norfolk: What? Goddammit, he was the only judge since Cato who didn't accept bribes! When was there last a Chancellor whose possessions after three years in office totaled one hundred pounds and a gold chain?

Sir Thomas More: They'll think that somewhere along your pedigree a bitch got over the wall!

Sir Thomas More: [to Will Roper] Now, listen, Will. Two years ago you were a passionate churchman. Now you're a passionate Lutheran. We must just pray that when your head's finished turning, your face is to the front again.

Sir Thomas More: Listen, Meg, God made the angels to show Him splendor, as He made animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity. But Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind. If He suffers us to come to such a case that there is no escaping, then we may stand to our tackle as best we can, and, yes, Meg, then we can clamor like champions, if we have the spittle for it. But it's God's part, not our own, to bring ourselves to such a pass. Our natural business lies in escaping. If I can take the oath, I will.

[after King Henry VIII leaves]
Alice More: What's this? You crossed him?
Sir Thomas More: Somewhat.
Alice More: Why?
Sir Thomas More: I couldn't find the other way.
Alice More: You're too nice altogether, Thomas.
Sir Thomas More: Woman, mind your house!
Alice More: I am minding my house!

Cardinal Wolsey: You're a constant regret to me, Thomas. If you could just see facts flat-on, without that horrible moral squint... With a little common sense you could have made a statesman.

[Sir Thomas and the King are discussing the King's wish for a divorce from Katherine of Aragon, his brother's widow]
King Henry VIII: Oh, Thomas, Thomas, Thomas! Does a man need a Pope to tell him where he's sinned? It was a sin. God's punished me. I have no son. Son after son she's borne me - all dead at birth or dead within the month. Never saw the hand of God so clear in anything. It's my bounden duty to put away the Queen and all the popes back to Peter shall not come between me and my duty! How is it that you cannot see? Everyone else does.
Sir Thomas More: Then why does your Grace need my poor support?
King Henry VIII: Because you're honest... and what is more to the purpose, you're KNOWN to be honest. There are those like Norfolk who follow me because I wear the crown; and those like Master Cromwell who follow me because they are jackals with sharp teeth and I'm their tiger; there's a mass that follows me because it follows anything that moves. And then there's you...
Sir Thomas More: I am sick to think how much I must displease your Grace.
King Henry VIII: No, Thomas, I respect your sincerity. But respect... man, that's water in the desert.
Share this quote

Alice More: Poor, silly man - do you think they leave you here to think? 

King Henry VIII: [shouting angrily] I have no queen! Catherine's not my wife! No priest can make her so! They that say she is my wife are not only liars, but traitors! Yes, traitors that I will not brook now! Treachery... treachery... treachery I will not brook! It maddens me! It is a deadly canker in the body politic, and I will have it out!

Richard Rich: I would be faithful.
Sir Thomas More: Richard, you couldn't answer for yourself even so far as tonight.

The Duke of Norfolk: The nobility of England...
Sir Thomas More: The nobility of England, My Lord, would have snored through the Sermon on the Mount, but you'll labor like scholars over a bulldog's pedigree.
Share this quote

The Duke of Norfolk: Your life lies in your own hands, Thomas, as it always has.
Sir Thomas More: Is that so, My Lord? Then I'll keep a good grip on it.

Sir Thomas More: [to the Chief Justice] Death comes for us all, My Lord... even for kings.

[last lines]
Sir Thomas More: [talking to the witnesses for his execution] I am commanded by the King to be brief, and since I am the King's obedient subject, brief I will be. I die his Majesty's good servant but God's first.
[to the executioner]
Sir Thomas More: I forgive you right readily.
[he gives him a coin]
Sir Thomas More: Be not afraid of your office; you send me to God.
Archbishop Cranmer: You're very sure of that, Sir Thomas?
Sir Thomas More: He will not refuse one who is so blithe to go to him.
[he kneels and puts his head on the chopping block]
Narrator: Thomas More's head was stuck on Traitors' Gate for a month, then his daughter, Margaret, removed it and kept it till her death. Cromwell was beheaded for high treason five years after More. The archbishop was burned at the stake. The Duke of Norfolk should have been executed for high treason, but the king died of syphilis the night before. Richard Rich became chancellor of England and died in his bed.
Share this quote

Sir Thomas More: I do none harm, I say none harm, I think none harm. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, in good faith I long not to live.
Share this quote

Sir Thomas More: When a man takes an oath, he's holding his own self in his own hands like water, and if he opens his fingers then, he needn't hope to find himself again. 

I felt sorry for Mrs. More and his daughter.

If I were a better writer, I'd write some analogies between the 1500's and now. Only the names of changed between then and now.

Marriage is Hard Work I Hear

My temp job ended, so I plan to catch up on commenting.

Why do married people say that marriage is work? Sometimes they say marriage is hard work. They say this in response to my lamenting about not being married. Do they say it because it's true? Do they say it to make me feel better? Do they say it because they are disillusioned? To discourage me? Why? Maybe I should ask them?

Yes, sometimes I appreciate the fact I don't have meddling in-laws or more loads of laundry or I can eat ice cream for dinner or, or, or . . . . There are pros and cons to every situation in life.

But do I want an easy, flat life? Do I want a challenging life? I really try not to complain. Do they think I am too wimpy for the job of marriage?

Just because we really don't know what marriage is until we're in it, does that mean we should avoid it?

I really hope you respond, dear readers.

Yes, I really enjoy the fact that I often can indulge in hours of reading a great novel or doing a puzzle or a craft.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Breaking the Rules

1) Holding Hands Rule
I broke my rule against holding hands during the Our Father this past Sunday because a small girl poked me in the arm. When I looked to my right and down there she was with her hand held out. She was holding hands with her mom. I can't turn down a small child.

2) No Clapping Rule
After Communion when the choir finished their performance, people clapped. I started to clap and stopped. I don't like the fact the choir has to perform. I just want some peace and quiet. Well, our pastor then made a speech how clapping for the performance is not showing reverence towards God. However, he said it in the most diplomatic way possible. Somehow he made a very strong statement against clapping while acknowledging that the choir does a wonderful job. Father G. said that if we really want to compliment the choir to stay a few minutes after Mass and walk over to the choir and talk to them.

I was so happy to hear our pastor take a stand against clapping. No one claps for the lector or the ushers or the altar girls, nor should we. On the way out of church I told Father G. that I liked what he said about no clapping. He laughed and patted my shoulder. He doesn't need my approval, but I figure he's got a tough job and why not let him know at least one person supports him.

3) Altar Girls Allowed Rule
Before Mass a mom was helping her alter server daughter find the right size for her altar outfit. I felt like I was in a department store.

4) Does St. Rita have Rules?
Today is St. Rita's Feast Day and the last day of my free-wheeling novena. My free-wheeling novena turned out to be letters of reflection I wrote to St. Rita then I put the letters in my prayer box. I hope St. Rita isn't a stickler about free form prayers versus prescribed prayers.

5) Rules at Work
My last day of my temp job is this Friday. It's pretty easy for me to follow the rules at work. I don't know what my future holds, but I trust God will see me through. After all, I'm here and He's gotten me this far.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Eastern Rite Churches: A Little Book

I read a small book on the Eastern Churches. The Eastern Catholic Churches are not to be confused with the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Confused? Me too even though I read the little book. I would have to make an outline of what I read, and I don't feel like it though.

I have met priests from Eastern Rite Churches though. I would like to go to Mass at an Eastern Rite Church. They call Mass the Divine Liturgy. Maybe people are better behaved there.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Prayer Box - Almost Too Easy

I made a prayer box by covering up a shoebox with scrapbook paper. I am writing prayers and sticking them in the box. That way I don't have to worry. I just put them in the box and trust they'll be heard and taken care of somehow. It's almost too easy. I started a novena to St. Rita because her feast day is May 22. I just write my prayer and stick it in the prayer box. Actually, I'm not sure what I am praying for these days or what I really need, so it's more of a general prayer for good stuff to St. Rita. I figure prayer can't hurt, and God can figure out something good. I don't want to limit God.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Feminist Flipped, I Think.

When I was a young college student I became good friends with a very angry, bitter, anxious feminist. I thought she was cool and I sent my check in to Planned UnParenthood. I didn't want to go the church. I sure as hell didn't want to get married then or have a baby. Our friendship ended not due to the feminist part, but because of the angry, bitter, anxious part. Also, she said I was snob. That was a long time ago. We both had dreams of being powerful and accomplished as soon as we got our act together.

I ran into while shopping. We were both shocked. Guess what? She's been married for about 20 years. What was more shocking was the CHILD she had with her. Yep, she's a stay-at-home mother. Doesn't need to work. If I had not seen the child, I would not have believed it. My mind cannot reconcile her former diatribes against having children and how she proudly introduced her child to me. I cannot picture this former friend as being pregnant (and maybe she never got pregnant). I cannot picture her rocking a newborn to sleep, or playing with a toddler on the floor, or, or, or . . . I can picture her in a parent-teacher conference though. She had a boy child too. Boy child's last name is hyphenated due to friend keeping her maiden named when she married.

We haven't accomplished much. She hasn't worked in years, and I've hardly had a stellar career. Or maybe she accomplished a lot by landing a husband with a big paycheck, a big house, and a child. And look, here I ago comparing again. The moms are saying they accomplish a lot because they are doing the MOST important job of all and what could be more important than leading souls to Heaven? I could say I have managed to keep myself fed, clothed, and housed despite great economic difficulties. It's easy to have sex, but try writing the perfect resume and acing the interview. I can see how the mommy wars and the woman wars begin. They begin because some of us feel like we have to justify our lifestyle or choices. They begin because of sentences just like the one I wrote. Some of us actually have choices and some of us do NOT. Some of us get to choose some things but were effected by factors out of our control. We weren't all dealt the same hand. I could very slide into self-pity.

Society and church places great importance on MOTHERHOOD (like yesterday) except when it doesn't (can you say abortion and the pill?).

And while it was great to reconnect with an old friend, it feels topsy-turvy too. I miss the great parts of our friendship. I miss the nice parts. I miss the things we had in common, the good conversations, and the fun we had. But there was crap too of course.

In related mothering news or non-mothering news, I rec'd today a letter from the White House in response to my protest note to our President about the HHS mandate.

Oh, poop!

Poop is what all women have in common.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bad Mag Cover and the Truth

1) I don't like that breastfeeding picture on the cover of Time magazine. It does not look innocent or maternal. Those of you who are taking a women's studies class can write a research paper on the images of maternity throughout time. Those of you in sociology and anthropology classes can write about how moms in different cultures breastfeed for many years. Art students can write about maternal images in modern day or throughout time. Hook up (not sexually) with the women's studies student, and you can share research. Math majors can write about the volume of milk in an A cup, B cup, etc. Health, science, home ec, psychology, and child development students can write about the benefits of breastfeeding. Literature students, please write about the ending of Grapes of Wrath. There you go.

2) Tomorrow back to the car mechanic because more warning lights came on. I'm scared about the cost and that I won't have a car to drive.

3) Returned to Bible study this past week and the topic of gay marriage came up. I upset the liberal Catholics in the group when I said that as Catholics we cannot support gay marriage because that would be supporting gay sex. Gay sex is a sin per the Church.  Boy, did I have to face some outrage. But I stood my ground. I kept telling myself to tell the truth, tell the truth. And I thought of Leila's blog. I was a shaking afterwards.

4) In the customer service aspect of my job today, I didn't do so well. I told the customer the truth and not very nicely. Oy vey. Bad me. Well, I'm a temp anyway, but I still want to do a great job. In my defense the customer wrote a badly written email in her haste and anger.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

After Confirmation Mass and Names in the Future

Because of all the people at the Confirmation Mass I had to sit in the hurly-burly section of the church.

The Bishop said nothing about slapping the face of the Confirmation kids. He did give each of them a Holy Card of Blessed John Paul II as a souvenir.

After the two-hour afternoon Confirmation Mass, my dad and I went to a steakhouse to celebrate even though neither one of us was newly confirmed. And no, we didn't even know any of the newly confirmed.

The most popular confirmation name was Cecilia (chosen by five girls) followed by Theresa (two girls) and Genevieve (two girls). None of the other names were repeated. One girl chose Zoe. Is there a St. Zoe? Why, yes there is.

I suppose we'll have to wait many a year before there's a Saint Taylor or Saint Madison, but you never know. I really don't like those names and don't understand why parents name their girls after dead presidents. In future maybe there will be little girls named Bush and Obama. Bush Marie and Obama Grace could someday be playing princess. Then a new girl will come to school and she'll be Garfield Alana but is called Garfie for short. Garfield will become all the rage for baby girls and you can spell it Garfie, Garfi, or Garfy. Some young parents will then think they are cool and unique and spell it Jarfield because they don't understand phonics. When Jarfield Anne is in third grade, a boy will tease her and call her Jarhead. The boy's name will probably something like Hammer Scott, Wrench Michael, or Guard Elvis.

Just call me Eisenhower Brittany.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Confirmation Thoughts

1) Tomorrow I am serving at the Confirmation Mass with the bishop. The parish lady called and said they need communion ministers. I said okay. I don't know any of the youth being confirmed, but that's okay. I'm happy to help out with such an important sacrament.

2) I was a teen-ager when I made my Confirmation. In my area that was normal. I think it's a good idea to be close to adulthood when making an adult decision. I believe it is a commitment to . . . uh . . . strive to be a good Catholic. Help, I need a review here. I felt like I was being commissioned to do something. We also got a light slap on the cheek to represent the hardships and battles we may face as we carry out our Catholic faith. This is not an educational post, as you can tell if you're still reading this paragraph.

3) I thought my Confirmation Mass was warm and fuzzy. It's a good memory. It felt special because it was special. I didn't like the felt stole I had to make though.

4) Our parish recently gave the option of having children confirmed in 8th grade instead of 10th grade. So many people drop out of religion class after being confirmed. Whereas, I had to take two additional years of religious ed and go to Confirmation classes. I think they changed it to make it more convenient for the parents.

5) Once I taught Confirmation classes. It was a watery curriculum, and my memories are rather vague. I do remember feeling like I was fulfilling my Confirmation promise.

6) One reason we were told to get confirmed was because we'll need it to get married in the church someday. It's kind of like saying you need 50 hours of behind-the-wheel lessons before getting your driver's license.

6a) This was when I was young and hopeful and just assumed life was going to work out the way I expected and I would get married and have children.

7) When I went away to college, I hardly went to Mass. Then it was parents' weekend, so of course I had to go to Mass since my parents were with me. What a surprise to go to the Newman Center and see my friends there with their parents. We didn't realize that we were all Catholic.

8) The priest at the Newman Center was a little "out there." My college friends and I were all a shocked at how unpriestly he was. I don't think he did anything wrong. He was a bit more "modern" then we expected. My home parish was little hippy-ish, but not like the Newman Center priest.

9) I have no idea if Father Newman Center was a good priest or not because I was not really paying that much attention and didn't know if he was off-track or not. Let's just assume he was a good priest doing good priestly work. It's not like I hung around the Newman Center to find out.