Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Was Glad

to hear our pastor speak about sexuality, the Church's teachings, the catechism, and scripture in Sunday's homily. I'm glad he had the backbone to stand up for the truth.

The church doesn't make up things just for the fun of it. Teachings are based on scripture and reflection.

No human life is an accident. It's God's will that each and every one of us was conceived. It's not funny, Father G. said, when parents say a child was an accident or an oops. The child doesn't think it's funny to be referred to as an accident.

Our sexuality was created so we may create life in a loving commitment (marriage). That's what the priest said.

I got to thinking that there is something in Catholic marriage vows about lovingly and accepting any children. So why do people think they can carefully plan their family just so?

I see my pastor's role as one who shepherds us through that narrow gate. Other people complain about him for nitpicky reasons. He can't please everyone in a parish of thousands of people. He can be and is a spiritual leader.

I hope he speaks The Truth more often than not because truth is important than winning a popularity contest.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Religious Liberty Conference Notes

I took down the following notes from the religious liberty conference I attended.

  • Feelings are the main take-away in any form of communication.
  • We are the only religion with an official document of dialogue thanks to Vatican II.
  • When speaking about religious freedom, we must not seek to take away other's freedom.
  • Our aim is not to win (an argument). Our aim is to witness.
  • We are ministers of the Gospel.
  • Truth makes its own claim.
  • Shed light, not heat.
  • We are not free to define the Catholic Church and its teachings.
  • Development of doctrine continues through the ages, but does not contradict.
  • Social hostility against the Catholic religious liberty is rising in Europe.
  • To excommunicate someone, the bishops have to follow Canon Law. 
  • The HHS mandate interferes with corporeal works of mercy.
  • There's a fine line between having concern for unity in the Church and being a coward for truth.
  • The secularization of culture is causing religion to be put in the closet while others are coming out of the closet.
  • We need to bring people to love God, to conversion, and to the sacraments especially penance.
  • We get the government we deserve because we elect our government through democracy.
  • Catholic way of life has to be behavioral not just value based.

The archbishop was one of the speakers, and hearing him speak made me like him even more.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Attorney Collett and the Church's Vision of a Women's Life

I went to the Big City for a conference for religious liberty. The people hosting the conference expected about 30 people, but 300 showed up instead. I guess there are a lot of interested Catholics who want to know what's going on.  YAY!

The first speaker was Teresa Stanton Collett, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas. Among all her legal PowerPoint slides was one titled "Church's Vision of a Women's Life," I took notes:

  • Happy childhood in the home of her parents.
  • Developing friendships with men and women based on mutual respect and care.
  • Discerning God's plan and committing to follow it.
  • Making a total gift of self in marriage OR living a chaste life
  • Perhaps blessed with children.

You know, that sounds like a wonderful life. There's lots of wiggle room for individual choices and choices to be made within the context of a marriage. No one ever told me as a young adult to discern. I never heard the word until about 10 years ago. I heard a lot of feminist stuff though.

Look at the fourth bullet point about marriage or living a chaste life. There are both joys and sacrifices in both paths.  I like the second bullet point about friendship with both sexes based on mutual respect and care. There's nothing in this vision about offering yourself up as a sexual toy or what kind of career you should have or what kind of education you should have or not have.

Professor Collett also spoke about civil disobedience and touched on administrative law. She only had an hour to speak, and the law can be very complicated.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Family History

I just asked my very old aunt (she's looking at 90 in the face) if she saw For Greater Glory. Have you seen it yet?

As soon as she heard about the movie, she drove herself to the movie theater and saw it. My aunt told me the movie reminded her of certain aspects of growing up.

Her parents (my grandparents) escaped from Mexico during the revolution when things started to go bad for the Catholics, and the government said bishops and priests had to register. It's never a good sign when a group of people have to register with the government.

My grandmother would get letters and pictures from relatives in Mexico showing priests hanging from poles. I can't even imagine the horror. I know in the filming of the movie they used mannequins or dummies, right? But to see actual photographs of real bodies is entirely different.

I do remember my own mother (deceased) telling me that her parents came here to escape religious persecution before it got really bad. I really didn't understand what my mother meant until now.

A great aunt and uncle of mine in Mexico had a secret room in their house where they let the priest come and say a secret Mass and a nun give secret C.C.D. lessons. Great Aunt and Great Uncle (I'm sure my aunt knows their names, but I didn't think to ask) could have been killed for allowing Catholicism in their home. I am related to brave and faithful people.

This weekend I am going to a conference on religious liberty. We need to beat down (though peaceful  means) the government's interference on our religious liberties before it gets worse. Otherwise, what country would we escape to??

Graham Greene wrote The Power and the Glory, but he isn't part of my family history.

Roger Ebert didn't understand a thing when he wrote his movie review.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

For Greater Glory

Due to Catholic blogger peer pressure I saw For Greater Glory with my dad. Fascinating, fascinating, fascinating. I knew there was religious persecution in Mexico in the olden days. That's why my grandparents left Mexico and came to the U.S. so long ago. What I didn't know was how bad and evil the Mexican government was.

The movie touched on the fact that the United States of America had interests in Mexico's oil. That sounds familiar.

How wonderful to see a movie portraying the beauty of Catholicism in a major movie theatre down by the mall. How wonderful to see men and women with BACKBONES standing up for what is right. There was the Sacred Heart right on the big screen. Also on the big screen was Our Lady of Guadalupe, Holy Communion, Mass, and words like Blessed, Canonized, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI, and martyrs instead of a lot of sinful imagery usually shown on the screen.

The men were brave and strong, the women were beautiful and strong. The women were brave too.

And unlike some sulky teen boys of today, there was Jose. He is on the road to sainthood.

Speaking of boy martyrs, there is Little Adam who was killed in a church a few years ago somewhere in the Middle East.  Anybody remember the details?

It's a Manly Book!

I'm wondering where the men are in my Bible Study class. At most we'll have two. I wonder why more men don't come to Bible Study. There are lots of men in the Bible. I'm pretty sure the Bible was written by men. Jesus was a man. I think God is male. There are wars, natural disasters, and construction of large structures in the Bible with men traveling here and there. Men are confronting other men  Men are leading people around and standing up against danger and wrong doing. It's a very manly book!

Do I have any male readers who care to give their perspective on this topic?

I realize I have a very feminine looking blog, but that's because I enjoy being feminine.

It's the Feast of Corpus Christi today.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Settled. Learning the Hard Way, Holy Spirit

Legal/Financial Update: After much prayer and negotiations between lawyers, we came to an agreement. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but I am grateful that it was settled. Without a settlement, things could be much, much worse for me.  Thank you, God. Thank you to those who prayed for me.

DON'T EVER, EVER, EVER USE A CHARGE CARD FOR CONSUMERS GOODS YOU ARE BUYING TO FILL THE EMPTY HOLE INSIDE YOUR SOUL OR TO RAISE YOUR SELF ESTEEM OR BECAUSE YOU ARE ANGRY AT THE WORLD OR ANGRY AT GOD. THAT IS A MAJOR, MAJOR, MAJOR MISTAKE I MADE OVER A DECADE AGO AND AM LITERALLY PAYING FOR NOW. I don't use charge cards anymore. And I'm unemployed. Believe me, I learned my lesson is a very difficult way. Debt will enslave you. It will follow you around. I'm not out of the woods yet, but I see the way out. And I'll have a lawyer bill to pay.

Anybody want to share a lesson you learned the very hard way?

Angry Liberal Lady in Bible Study does not want to listen or read logic or reason or me. I think she has deep seated anger from something in the past, probably something I don't know about. I think deep underneath that anger towards me, towards those of us who are more conservative leaning, towards the Church, towards the Bishops is a BIG HURT. Hmm. maybe something related to her divorce from long ago? I don't know. I am just speculating. Something draws her to Mass, to her ministries, to the Church, to Bible Study. Guess this is a big job for the Holy Spirit (I'm very into the Holy Spirit at the moment). I must have received graces because I'm not really angry at her even though she was very rude to me.

If I need to do or say something to help make this situation better, then I trust God will reveal it to me in someway. If I did something wrong, then sooner or later, God will let me know somehow. He always has in the past.

Our Bible Study needs peace. We need St. Paul to write us a letter. "A Reading from the Letter to the Midwesterners." Well, we can just continue to read the Bible. Notice how human conditions and behaviors stay the same over the centuries? Only the names have changed.

I think I'm into the Holy Spirit because I had to go to that Confirmation Mass. Isn't that how it always works: you go to serve and end up receiving? I was reminded of the Holy Spirit, and how He has our back.

I was unable to go to Freedom Rally in the Big City yesterday because I had to meet with the lawyer.

Yawn. Time to end this post.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I Did It Again

Angry lady in Bible Study looked angrier than this.
Once again, I went to my Catholic Bible study, mentioned a few inconvenient Truths about God and country, and the liberal lady across the table from me sniped me with her angry eyes and angry tongue. I thought I did something wrong. I was so shocked by her ugly transformation that I almost felt sick in my stomach. Several hours after Bible Study, she was writing me an email and sending me an article of gobbly-goop.

How dare I go into the Big City tomorrow and attend a religious freedom rally! How dare I exercise my free speech, so she can exercise her freedom of religion.

Something about Catholicism draws her in. And something deep inside her makes her very, very angry about Catholicism. That will be her battle to battle. I'm afraid that as long as I keep speaking she'll be unhappy.

And I went to Mass again this morning. It's rather a nice way to start the day. I kind of feel sorry for those who can't go in the morning due to their schedules.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Post-Vacation, Prayer

My vacation was wonderful, and I feel so blessed that I was able to get away for a few days, enjoy the company of others, see new sights, and spend time with people I like. I enjoyed listening to the little boy in the row behind me on the plane. He had questions and exclamations about his first flight. We grown-ups were giggling at his delight and innocent questions.

On the way home the toddler behind whined a lot. I kept thinking I needed to turn the sound off, but reminded myself you can't turn off a child. If small children had off switches, parents would have found them by now. Oh well, the flight wasn't that long anyway.

Looks like big financial/legal mess is working out okay for me. Not quite sure, and it's too soon to count the chickens. I keep praying and trusting God. I went to morning Mass - that's a benefit of unemployment. I returned home to find a message from a woman from the temp agency. She's submitting my resume to another position. I thought, "Boy, God does work fast."

I just keep praying and trusting, praying and trusting, praying and trusting, and am unusually calm. I keep telling God that I learned my lesson, I did stupid things, I need to take responsibility, I need to own up, and I need to be brave. I need to know that this too will pass, and what is a crisis now won't always be.

Remember God gave us the rainbow.

But one can't pray enough, so God have Mercy on me, please.