The Rule, Article 4

Saturday, May 21, 2011

What do we offer?

We offer to make everything very easy. We offer to make Catholic Christianity feel good. No suffering. (That's for old time saints.) What makes us challenging? Worthwhile committing our lives to?

If a reader were young, do we offer anything that would be worthy of a vocation? Or are we purveyors of merely diversions?

Friday, May 20, 2011

I am conservative. Does it show?

If I am a Conservative Catholic, should I consider contributing to my grandchildren attending a Catholic college that is liberal (aka progressive) .

It appears that our country wants to takeover the Catholic brand and make it appropriately Catholic to back abortion, same sex shacking up, fornication, etc. as okay.

Why even be Catholic if the label can include a Kennedy/Shriver and a Cardinal Burke? Someone needs to blink and be something else. I think the Shrivers/Kennedys/ Bidens/ etc. should be traded to the Episcopalians for some of their unused church buildings they are clinging to in courts.

I used to really like Maria Shriver as being somehow different from other Kennedy's. She and her grandmother Rose. Sure, she was Oprah's friend. But I have some friends with whom I disagree. Well,I was wrong about Maria. She's still a neat lady, just wrong. And apparently supporting positions that the Catholic Catechism defines as wrong. I'm not saying she's going to Hell. I am only saying is that she advocates positions the Catechism says are grave sins. And grave sins send us to Hell without passing Go or collecting $200.

There must be something wrong with me in their eyes. I just can't work my way around killing children and saving whales. Perhaps they can help me come to grips with the desirability of men joining with men in relationships. Of women with women. Of cocker spaniels with tabby cats. How about having two men marry one woman? You know, like that group on television whose name I can't recall. You know who I mean. More of this kind of thing could be just enough to really confuse me as a child. I'm pretty sure it's rough on me as an adult.

By the way, my grandchildren can go wherever they want to college.....but my help will hinge on me approving what the school appears to back. If I agree, I give them the paltry amount I can invest in such. My grandchildren will always be loved by me. It's just that I may or may not give them money. If they go to a marvelous--BUT LIBERAL--school and get through without me, I'll applaud their tenacity, just not their choice.

I'm right. They're wrong. But that's ok. Others are wrong, too.

Taken from a Newman Society Publication

dinal Newman Society
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Renewing Catholic Higher Education

May 20, 2011

You're one of the first to see the following report: The Cardinal Newman Society's annual roundup on scandalous commencement speakers and honorees at Catholic colleges. You've stood with us against such scandals in the past, and I hope that you'll continue to do so with your prayers and donations. For 18 years, CNS has led the struggle for Catholic college renewal. Please help us continue this work with a tax-deductible gift today!

Scandal and Lavender Gowns:
Catholic College Commencements for the Class of 2011

Ever hear of a "lavender commencement"?

For some Catholic college students, gone are the days of traditional pomp and circumstance. On May 2, homosexual students at the nation's oldest Catholic university cheered anti-homophobia remarks from the director of the campus LBGTQ (lesbian-bisexual-gay-transgender-queer) Resource Center and paraded around campus with a rainbow flag.

The "commencement" speaker at Georgetown University's third annual Lavender Graduation—attended by University president John DiGioia, his vice president for student affairs and four deans—was openly gay U.S. Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island. Cicilline's campaign website assures voters, "I will support and work for passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, to guarantee the rights of all lawfully married couples, including same-sex couples…" It also declares his support for "full reproductive freedom" including abortion rights.

On the left coast, the "intercultural centers" at both the Jesuit University of San Francisco and St. Mary's College of California also hosted lavender graduations—a new trend at many colleges and universities around the country, but with a particular irony at Catholic institutions that admirably promote respect for every student but also claim fidelity to Catholic teaching. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches the homosexual inclination is "objectively disordered" and "that 'homosexual' acts are intrinsically disordered."

Less shocking since the President Barack Obama debacle at the University of Notre Dame in 2009—but equally scandalous—are the annual displays of Catholic educators fawning over pro-abortion and pro-gay "marriage" politicians and activists. In 2004, the U.S. bishops issued clear instructions in their document "Catholics in Political Life," forbidding honors and platforms that might suggest support for opponents of Catholic teaching. Notre Dame took a public lashing—but what are a few bruises in pursuit of political correctness?

This year Fordham University's law school mustered up a pro-abortion Republican, former New York Governor George E. Pataki, to speak and receive an honorary degree this Sunday, May 22. Just after celebrating Mass, no doubt.

And today St. Vincent's College in Connecticut hosts U.S. Congressman Jim Himes as commencement speaker. They must not have discovered his campaign website (it took us a few clicks): "Jim Himes is a firm believer that women should hold the sole rights to their reproductive choices, without interference from politicians or government. The Congressman supports comprehensive family planning services and making methods of contraception more easily available. Jim Himes is working to pass the Freedom of Choice Act which will uphold the reproductive rights protections in Roe v. Wade and ensure the reproductive freedom of all future generations. Jim Himes is endorsed by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut while his opponent voted against requiring hospitals to provide access to emergency contraception for rape victims." Oops?

Obama administration fans would have enjoyed the commencement speech by Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, at Salve Regina University on May 15. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Jill Biden told ABC News about the importance of keeping abortion legal: "I think it's very important personally… But I am of that generation of women who fought for Roe v. Wade and I can't imagine the Supreme Court overturning it. I think women have to remember that." Will St. Peter remember the day Catholic educators rewarded her with an honorary degree?

Of course, what's more exciting to a liberal college professor is a trip down memory lane to the Clinton years—even if the Class of 2011 was finger painting when Clinton took office. For instance Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State and now a Georgetown University professor (!!), speaks today at Georgetown University's Master of Science in Foreign Service award ceremony. Albright publicly attacked President George W. Bush for refusing to use taxpayer dollars to fund pro-abortion counseling overseas during NARAL Pro-Choice America's "Power of Choice" fundraising luncheon in 2001 and again in 2005. She was a featured speaker at the 2004 "March for Women's Rights" in Washington, D.C., which rallied support for legalized abortion. And in her 2007 book The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God and World Affairs—just in case we didn't know it already—she confirms, "I am a supporter of Roe v. Wade because I think women should have the right to choose…."

The Whitehead School of Diplomacy at Seton Hall University—the diocesan university of Newark, New Jersey—invited Timothy Wirth, Clinton's Under Secretary of State and now president of the United Nations Foundation, to deliver its commencement address on May 13. In 2009, Wirth joined with Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, to chide the U.S. bishops for seeking universal health care without coverage for abortion and contraception, which Wirth and Richards said was intended "to diminish a woman's right to make personal decisions that should be kept between her and her doctor." Also in 2009, the United Nations Foundation joined Planned Parenthood in honoring Congresswoman Nita Lowry for leadership on "international family planning." The UNF states on its website: "We are committed to achieving the global goal of universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services by 2015." UNF also runs the pro-abortion website

And political commentator, former Al Gore campaign manager, and Georgetown University professor (!!) Donna Brazile was the commencement speaker at Benedictine University in Illinois on May 15. In 2009, Brazile publicly supported President Obama's reversal of the "Mexico City Policy," which had barred taxpayer funding for organizations that provide or counsel for abortions. In a 2006 Ms. Magazine article, Brazile expressed support for across-the board availability of contraceptive services including "emergency contraception," criticized abstinence-only education, and chided opponents as "adamantly opposed to a woman's right to choose, and… finding new ways to chip away at Roe v. Wade." In a 2005 Ms. Magazine article, "Why Choice Matters," Brazile rallied support for "reproductive rights" including abortion, "to stop the religious right from moving into our pulpits" and to fight "anti-choice extremists."

And here we find a bit of delight… at least in the memory of a bishop's unequivocal stand against such compromises of a college's Catholic identity. In April 2009, Archbishop Alfred Hughes of New Orleans boycotted the commencement ceremony of Xavier University of Louisiana to protest Brazile's selection as speaker and honoree. It was a heartening moment for Catholics who are tired of the campus nonsense.

Back to the present: Tomorrow, May 21, the law school at the University of San Francisco will honor and hear a commencement address from Hon. Ming W. Chin, an associate justice on the California Supreme Court. In 1996, shortly before his confirmation to the Court and a year before striking down a law requiring minors to get parental consent for abortions, Chin publicly stated that abortion is "the woman's right to choose"—which means that he is an appropriate addition to the rogue's gallery of USF commencement speakers including, in past years, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

A few Catholic colleges this year are pointedly celebrating Catholics who defied their bishops and supported President Obama's health care overhaul, even without sufficient provisions to protect conscience rights and preclude government-funded abortions. This Sunday, May 22, St. Catherine University will honor its commencement speaker Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, President of the Catholic Health Association (CHA) of the United States and the lobbyist who perhaps did the most to undermine the U.S. bishops and pro-life organizations on health care reform. But St. Kate's students will have to settle for "seconds," since the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, secured Keehan to speak the prior day at its graduate student commencement ceremony.

Could it be pure coincidence? A year to the day before the St. Thomas graduation—on May 21, 2010—leading representatives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement which blamed the CHA for causing "confusion and a wound to Catholic unity." Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Bishop William Murphy and Bishop John Wester publicly disagreed with the notion put forward by Sr. Keehan that "the divergence between the Catholic Conference and Catholic organizations, including the Catholic Health Association, represents merely a difference of analysis or strategy."

And then Sr. Keehan publicly defended a Phoenix hospital after Bishop Thomas Olmsted revoked the hospital's Catholic standing. Without consulting the bishop, the hospital had decided it was ethical to perform a direct abortion in violation of the U.S. bishops' ethical and religious directives for Catholic health care services. Sr. Keehan has said she respects Bishop Olmsted's authority on matters of morality—but has publicly disagreed with him anyhow.

Now that's a role model for America's Catholic college graduates!

Others who undermined the bishops on health care reform include U.S. Senators Robert P. Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana—members of the Catholics-who-don't-like-abortion-BUT crowd—who addressed graduates at Villanova University on May 15 and Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute today (May 20), respectively. Sen. Landrieu is pro-choice on abortion and urged President George W. Bush to expand federal support for embryonic stem cell research. Sen. Casey has voted against the "Mexico City Policy," thereby allowing the U.S. government to pay for abortions overseas, and against the de-fund Planned Parenthood amendment to the 2011 budget.

Now lest we imagine that commencement ceremonies are purely a political affair—they're not, or so college leaders will swear with their fist on the table for emphasis—they are also opportunities for courting gifts from wealthy businessmen. And who better than Bob Wright, former chairman and CEO of NBC Universal? On May 14, St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia hosted Suzanne and Bob Wright to deliver the commencement address and receive honorary degrees for their admirable work with the charity Autism Speaks. We should be grateful that they were not hailed for their advocacy of same-sex "marriage." Just this past March, both Bob and Suzanne joined with Hollywood actors and business leaders in an open letter sponsored by the advocacy group, Freedom to Marry, which called on President Barack Obama to support homosexual "marriage."

And there's Chuck Geschke, co-founder of Adobe, who addressed Xavier University of Ohio's graduates on May 14. Geschke and other Silicon Valley business leaders established the group "Silicon Valley Leaders Say No on Proposition 8" and purchased a full-page ad in the San Jose Mercury News opposing the 2008 California referendum to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Geschke donated $5,000 toward the ad and was described as honorary co-chair of the group.

Now here's a dishonorable mention: If you're a Catholic college leader seeking out the best role model for Catholic college students, would you choose former CNN anchor Larry King, who has been divorced seven times? King will be the commencement speaker for the undergraduate arts and sciences ceremony at the University of San Diego this Sunday, May 22. Aside from implicit biases and his marital problems, we could not find evidence of public opposition to Catholic moral teaching until King made a big splash just this month, releasing a video for the Human Rights Campaign's "New Yorkers for Marriage Equality" campaign in which he advocates homosexual "marriage," saying: "I know a thing or two about marriage—maybe three, maybe four. Some of us can get married again and again, and others can't get married at all. Can't figure that out. Let's make marriage equality the law in New York, and let's do it now." Clearly USD officials didn't know about this when they invited King—but were there no candidates for commencement speaker who hadn't demeaned the institution of marriage so publicly (and repeatedly)?

Every year there are commencement scandals that just break your heart, because they involve speakers and honorees who are doing so much good for others—but also significant harm. Such is the case of the charity Partners in Health and Dr. Paul Farmer, its co-founder and Executive Vice President, who will be the commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient at Georgetown University's undergraduate ceremony tomorrow, May 21—and Loune Viaud, the Director of Strategic Planning and Operations for the Zanmi Lasante (Partners in Health) socio-medical complex in Cange, Haiti, where she founded the women's center, who was honored on May 14 by Regis College in Massachusetts.

A webpage for Partners in Health's HIV Equality Initiative explains the emphasis on "family planning" and "contraceptive options," developed in part by Viaud:

"When women are counseled, educated, and provided with contraceptive options, they are more likely to delay childbearing, have fewer children, and reduce their risk for obstetrical complications. Nevertheless, 50 percent of all pregnancies worldwide are unplanned or unwanted… Many barriers limit women's access to family planning methods, including gender inequality, myths, and lack of knowledge about available services.

"Family planning is an integral part of the model of comprehensive women's health care that was developed at Zanmi Lasante (ZL) in Haiti and emphasized as one of the four pillars of PIH's HIV Equity Initiative. Each of ZL's clinical sites has a full-time nurse trained in sex education and reproductive health counseling. ZL has been offering free condoms and other contraceptive methods for over 15 years. In 2003, Zanmi Lasante began training and mobilizing community health workers who specifically promote family planning and women's health. These ajans fanm (women's health agents) travel throughout the countryside, teaching women and men about sexually transmitted infections (including HIV) and contraceptive methods, distributing condoms and oral contraceptives, and referring pregnant women and others to the clinics. This successful model is being replicated at PIH sites in Rwanda, Malawi and Lesotho."

Another webpage discussing Partners in Health's efforts to support women's health in temporary settlements indicates: "All mobile clinic staff will also be attending 'refresher' trainings in women's health basics—particularly the use of emergency contraception and management of victims of rape."

No doubt the intentions for recognizing Farmer and Viaud—and for that matter, all of the above-cited commencement speakers and honorees—are easily justified by the good that these people do. If a Catholic college chooses to honor someone for their good works, the argument goes, why should we be concerned about other activities that oppose clear moral teachings of the Church?

The answer: Because Catholic colleges have a choice of speakers and honorees. And when they make a choice—especially when selecting someone to serve as a role model for graduation—the choice should be for speakers and honorees who best exemplify the standards of a Catholic college education.

Good people who compromise morality to do bad things—harmful things—deserve our compassion and counsel, but not our honor. We certainly do not want Catholic college graduates following the same path, expecting the future admiration of their mentors.

A Catholic education should mean more than that—if, at these institutions, it still means anything at all.

The Cardinal Newman Society
9415 West Street
Manassas, VA 20110

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Helping the Pitiful

Cranky asked for some help. My mistake was in helping him start his own Blog. Against my better judgment, here goes. He means for you to go to CRANKY GUY at There you will get CRANKY GUY.

He talked a lot about sending off missives of discontent being hurled into the universe. Whatever. I just wish he'd fill in for me when I need him.

That is over my head. It looks old. Outdated. Kinda like Cranky.

And we all know that Bonnie Venture remains the source of Franciscan propriety.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Standing on My Head: Standing Up Against Sexism

Standing on My Head: Standing Up Against Sexism

Neither Cranky nor his friend Frank More could figure out how to do this, so I was recruited. Fr. Dwight writes good stuff. A few of the Blog staff like his work. We do not speak for the f raternity as a whole.

Monday, April 4, 2011

What would Francis say?

So many seem to know what to do. I don't. I read the papers, I watch the pundits. And I tremble.

What can I think? What can I do? Prayer seems right, but offering to pray seems sometimes to be looking for cover for my inaction.

I struggle to be a man of God. I can't fix me. I am amazed when both parties cavalierly propose simple solutions to complex problems. If I stray even a bit from keeping my attention on the Lord, I remember that the solutions proposed by either party, any party, have all been tried before. And they failed.

We must protect our country. But are we supposed to protect the world? And if we are, whom would you choose to lead us?

Francis is traditionally said to have taught that words can be used when necessary to preach. I suppose that means there would be times when words are unnecessary. Are they necessary today? But words, what words should we choose to use? And who should choose them? now we are left with a problem. what are we supposed to do when we have no money to help others? What are we supposed to do when others don't want to be helped?

Is there a time to reconsider what to do? Should we save ourselves or try to save the world? Perhaps knowing God as Francis did would lead something different?

I guess really following Jesus would be too radical? I wonder what he wants in all of this? I wonder if anyone has asked him?

Monday, March 28, 2011


I am kind.

I am considerate.

I am compassionate.

I live by the rules.

I give people another chance.

I am a believer in the Cardinal Virtues.

I am a believer in the Theological Virtues.

I love you as a Child of God.

Should I buy a gun?

Pray for Fr. Corapi

His preaching and teaching have blessed and do bless me tremendously.

If I were Satan and wanted to bring down anyone in the Church more than anyone else, Id choose Benedict XVI, then Fr. Corapi. Getting either of them would destroy lots of folks faith.

Benedict would be too hard. He's so German, so smart, so focused. But Corapi wold be easier to destroy, even if I had no information. I could make it up. Even if he gets cleared in a couple of years, I could pull him down a peg or three. Also, it would get his Catechism Class off EWTN.

Calumny always has worked. Catholics rarely are interested in protecting their priests. Look how they acted after the scandals. Bishop will drop im for someone more manageable.

But we aren't Satan. We need to pray and pray and pray.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Live the Gospel


Serious....wears me out.

Other people....can be a pain in the neck.

I....need to get over myself.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I have enough rejection slips to paper the roof of a small building. In the past, the very recent past, that was prone to leave me cranky. What does Cranky want? Attention. Acceptance. Affirmation. Acknowledgment.

There may be more tomorrow. There may be less. But it won't be much different. And I will be Cranky to the extent I stay stuck on and with me. Francis could give up leadership and become just one of the troops.

What Blogger or Blogette has transcended ego enough to give up their very identity? Without Cranky, I am like interchangeable with everyone. With Cranky, I dance. People back away, not wanting to get surrounded and overwhelmed. This is so much more fun than Tommy's relentless propriety. Cranky has a much better time.

That's why Tommy watches him some. Amusement. But he guards his daughter. And doesn't pick up the phone when the caller id says it's Cranky. He's not certain why. It's just something to be done.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bonnie's Mother Dies.

Bonnie's mother was in her 90's. Bonnie was ready. Her mother was ready. But it's hard. We know they are better off gone (if they are Christian). But we feel sorry for ourselves missing them.

Bonnie is a serious Catholic. But she just might appreciate an email to the address at the top of the page.

Bonnie is our fraternity minister, newsletter editor, mediator, and one mean momma.

Seriously, she's very good, and very busy. Very.

Is this worth resurrecting? Or should I have it exorcised from my machine? It's been gone forever. Cranky gave it to me to cover some work I had done to help him.

I was being compassionate. Is there a time when compassion is no longer the best move? I want so much to be a "good" fellow. I want to take on the mind of Christ. I want to follow the Holy Spirit's lead and the Church's teaching.

I want to be a serious Franciscan-Catholic-Christian. Then I laugh at an off-color joke and realize I am mostly flesh after all.

How's it for you?

Monday, March 21, 2011

For Your Edification

I call your attention to two articles in March's edition of the New Wine Press. It's put out by the Precious Blood Fathers of Liberty MO. Reading them will hopefully bless you. They hopefully are saying something the Lord wants said. Bob McCray wrote them.

(I think he just likes to see his name in print.)

March 21--Another Day of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience

I seem to operate well within the evangelical counsels whether I start out in that direction or not. I think it has something to do with trying to be serious about the whole business of humility and being submitted to God.

I either am going to give up my Ego or I am going to nurse and talk sweetly to it as I try to get what I want when I want it.

It was a bit easier when I was totally focused on me. Getting over me is harder for me to do than for others. Sin is real. It's not an issue or a problem. It stands between me and the Lord.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I am available for duty.

I thought I was in business on March 15. But I wasn't. Have you ever been that way? You knew everything was ready to go, but it wasn't. Well, now it is. I am thankful to Tommy and Bonnie for letting me come play at their house.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Note the Contributors' List

I belong! I am part of the group. I don't have to get ol' Tommy boy to "let" me write.

As my life drifts through the unceasing second - hand moral smoke of what now is passing as daily life on the planet, I see no good reason not to totally despair. Unless I follow Jesus. (John 6:60-71).

Note over there on yhe other side of the garden. Evil is gathering.

Pray for us Holy Mother. Pray for us Francis

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bonnie Venture Joins Circus

She ran away and joined the Circus. Don't be sad. It's a very nice circus.

Others and Me

I watched the news from Japan after we got home from Mass and ate dinner. Felt helpless. Really helpless. Then I got something else to snack on. Eating trumps compassion. That feels cold.

Friday, March 11, 2011


It was good. Cheaper than therapy. And more effective. It was a good confession. I believe I got rid of my Grave Sins. Not enough time to get to all my venial stuff. It feels good to confess. It's like finally getting out of a pair of jeans you've worn all day that were way too tight. You can breathe again.

I really am going to buy Benedict's book. It looks so good. I confess I am envious of his ability to write with such depth.

He has to be so incredibly smart.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Today is Ash Wednesday

May miss it. I am on a bad day. Tomorrow is confession. I can use it as an opener before I ge t ihe bigger stuff. It's not a day of obligation/

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I am having a cataract removed......mumble....snarl....hesitation....doubt.....fear. There's no reason to fear.......stew.......fret......frustration. Shows I'm not just putting it all in God's hand.....concern....what can happen....mistakes......the end of the world..a faith healing would be good......but I must not forget that

"God's in His Heaven. Praise God in all things." He said through clinched teeth.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Aunt Mary, the End of the World, and Lynda

Aunt Mary traveled to lots of places. She always came home with lots of photographs and lots of stories. One of the stories has never left me.

Never adverse to traveling alone, she would go with groups when it was convenient. One time she had been in Egypt to see the camels and the pyramids. This had been a side trip from a trip to the Holy Land. After seeing the Pyramids and riding a camel, she was slated to join a group flying from Cairo to Tunis. They then would take a flight from there to Lisbon. From Portugal, she was to go to Heathrow in London. Then New York and Kansas City.

No problem. Until she got to Tunis. They thought they had plenty of time, so they disembarked to go walk around in the airport. She met some of the other passengers. The time of the layover passed quickly, and they could see out on the tarmac, a plane taxi up to the gate they would soon be leaving through.

Mary and her group began to gather up their things when a truck rumbled up to the gate. Soldiers jumped down from the back with backpacks and AK47's. A jeep came alongside with a driver, a heavy machine gun and a officer of some kind. Sunglasses and a riding crop made him particularly noteworthy.

The solders boarded the plan. It pulled away, and in a few moments was gone. Mary was later to report the experience was unsettling. But clearly outside her control. She padded across the floor in her stocking feet to the ticket agent to inquire. Assured that another plane was coming, she returned to the bevy of tourists who now were quite a bit quieter than before.

Another truck with more men and guns. Guards now covered each doorway they could see in the terminal waiting area. They took the next plane.

Mary chose not to inquire again. But she knew one thing and one thing alone. She wanted to get out of there as soon as a plane for Lisbon would let her on.

The third plane finally let them on. When the pilot was finally airborne, everyone clapped and shouted.

I told this story to my wife Lynda because I liked the suspense aspect. Stuck in Tunis with a coup. It was the material of the thrillers I loved.

I had probably told the story several times when she connected it to the end of the world. I said some variant of "Huh?" when she explained.

"It's not a protestant rapture. For one thing the folks weren't left behind. What it was, was when a Catholic dies, he or she is taken to the next step on the way to Paradise. In this case, they had come to Tunis for a bit of purging before they go to Lisbon. The time in Tunis was to finish off any temporal pride and face the fact of how out of control they were. Mary had the right idea: Take the first flight available to get to Heaven (or Purgatory if need be). And don't get lost in trying to do any escathological second guessing. Doesn't help anyway.

"Love Jesus as Francis did. He'd probably been preaching to the soldiers."

I guess that's why Lynda is my favorite theologian.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Is there a difference between being hopeful and being optimistic?
Is there a difference between being hopeless and being pessimistic?

Should I pretend not to be frustrated when I am frustrated?

Do I change from where I am to where I want to be through application of consistent effort, or do I give it to God and wait?

Was Francis flighty? Or Free?

Was Francis an environmental wacko?
Was Francis unusual?

Should I want to "fit in"?
Or should I want to "stand out"?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

important use of your time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

If you have any time at all, do yourself a tremendous favor and read Kansas Catholic's book. It's on his blog at

It is spectacular. What I like is that the story carries me along with it. It's funny. It's sad. It's interesting. It's moral. It's heroic. It's about the Church. It's not preachy. It's.................

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Did You Miss Me?

I've been restricting myself from blogging lately. Somehow, some way, for some reason, I managed to twist and strain my shoulder to the point that typing was painful. So I stopped. My shoulder still hurts, but I have a bottle of knock-off Tylenol. So typing is now doable.

I've been using a voice activated word processing program some. It's great. But I have to get used to something totally different. That's challenging. But "I can do it, Yes I can, I'm...."

If you go to our meetings, I've been consistently gone. It has to do with weather. If I slip and fall, I could be in real trouble. I'm a bit unsteady on my feet for a lot of reasons. Ice renders me "unsteadier".

Forewarning the five or six people in the civilized world who read this blog regularly: If you come up to me and tell me about someone who has my set of symptoms and what awful thing happened to them, I MAY BITE YOUR HEAD OFF AND HAND IT TO YOU!!!!! Thank you, Jesus! Alleluia.

Don't take it personally. Er...Do take it personally. Also, don't ask if I'm a victim soul. I am in favor of avoiding all avoidable suffering. I'll offer up all unavoidable suffering. I'm doing this every time I can work it into a conversation. I probably won't do this with grandchildren under 12 or with my wife. I love the grandchildren, and I already do enough things to annoy my wife.

She is still the most phenomenal person I've ever met. For some reason, she seems to
still have patience with me. Could be I taught her to be patient.

How are you with patience? My belief is that most of us want others to be patient with our dumb moves while we skewer anyone who crosses us as being some grade of pond scum.

Have you ever wonder if most people who think this have the gift of discerning of spirits as really having a critical spirit?

My shoulder hurts.

What would Francis do? He'd be patient. He'd pray for all the politicians on both sides of the He'd point them to Jesus.

I'm against violence as a political answer. I hate to be reduced to trying to buy a politician. That's not Franciscan. That leaves intercession. Maybe we could parcel out our political leaders, so everyone got prayed for. Those we don't pray for and who later fail could be designated as "They didn't have a prayer."

Yeah, it snowed. Get over it.

Friday, January 28, 2011


I seem to think that the world revolves around me. I give humility a bad name. Somehow, I stay tightly focused on how things affect me and mine. Only rarely do I detach enough to transcend the temporal.

You folks may not have had this experience, but I have to work to stay out of self-pity some days. I think it's easier to do if I just run from those things that are either sinful or questionable. It's too easy to proclaim that "I can handle it". Then I take that long fall from the heights of my own ego.I really don't handle temptation well. To stand and negotiate with it is stupid. Example: Television. Gluttony.

I have no hope beyond Jesus and my relationship with Him. I can skip prayer. Never quite make it to confession. Bypass a Rosary. Skip Mass. Leave Mass early. Not be able to remember the last time I read Scripture. Bad mouth a priest. Complain about a tradition. And somehow pretend I'm Holy.

Or I can kneel broken by the idea that God loves me. And I have no idea why He does.

It's a whole lot easier to talk about how you should humble yourselves than it is for me to actually humble myself. But I have little grounds to criticize you until I get things right with the almighty.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


It is so easy to decide that everyone over fifty who forgets something is falling headlong into some variety of dementia. Now many have, some are, and several will be. But we must be careful of always generalizing others' situations. Mostly, we see ourselves and our situations as explainable and we see others as clinically significant.

Roughly, that translates into I'm OK, and You're not OK.

I'm reminded of all our politicians. We quickly justify the behaviors of all of those who happen to share the same opinion as we have on a specific issue. And just as quickly damn all those who have opinions we might not share.

For example, I tend to criticize everything that a politician says who is pro-abortion. I also tend to accept everything that a politician says who is pro-life. It has been brought to my attention that I might be wiser to read and study what each politician says about a specific issue. If a politician in my state is pro-abort, I will, vote against him (or her) in a general election for that very issue, but I might approve of him voting for a particular tax cut proposal.

I sometimes have chosen to contact such politicians and tell them how I approve of one of their positions but that my support does not go as far as wanting them to stay in office.

This is an effort to construct positions that are situationally specific. I could even imagine the existence of a President who was a phenomenal public speaker and apparently good father. Those are important characteristics for me. But I could imagine myself frightened about the continued existence of our country as a result of his actions.

An over-generalization would be to dislike everything he said or did or to like everything he said or did based on speaking skills or parenting style.

Prudence would be to respect the office the individual held and to develop opinions about the positions the official presented. And get him out of office as soon as possible.

As a Franciscan, I want to pray for my president or congressman. I want to love him with the love of God, but I don't want to agree with everything he does just because he is president.

Is there some similarity here when considering one's priest? How about husband? Supervisor at work? Bishop?

I'm not always certain how to do this without slipping into calumny or detraction. How do you do it?

Monday, January 24, 2011

pray 4 me

I literally just got caught with my hand in the candy sack. The shoe hasn't fallen, but I am in trouble. No place to hide.

Trust your day is going well,

question=="Are you Dun Scotus?"
answer====="As much as I'll ever be".

Friday, January 14, 2011

I wonder what the title meant?

Cranky told me he posted the poem. He took it from Bob McCray. I don't get the title. I wonder if it's really about donuts?

It may be poetical,
but I think it's pathetical


Mounting sieges,
rescuing damsels,
and slaying dragons
as just part of another day's work,
her characters fought Borg to the death,
then ate a hearty breakfast.

My characters
slipped in and out of traffic,
looking to stop for gas,
and wondering where Borg bought spare parts.
She lived a life of withering self-discipline
while I pondered
whether she had
counted the donuts
before she went out to get the mail.
And if she hadn't,
could I get one out of the box and wrapper,
eat it,
swallow it,
throw away the wrapper,
and get my innocence going again before she returned?
And was it worth the risk of getting caught?


Sunday, January 9, 2011


Fr. Robert Barron preaches phenomenal homilies. I do his podcasts on iTunes. That got me 522 homilies to listen to.

So far, they all really speak to me. He don't come across as trying to impress me with his erudition, though it's considerable. He doesn't come across as trying to entertain, though he can do that. But he does come across as seriously wanting to lead me to the Father's House. To show me how I can live in sweet surrender. To show me the Lord loves me. And I can live in oneness with Him.

Listen to His Church. Hear It speak. Hold Hope Close. It's hard to listen to Fr. Barron regularly and not find ones self being a better Catholic. So far, I listen an hour less each evening of national news on how the world is collapsing.

I also am sleeping better.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

While the testosterone types watch tv.

While Tommy watches some football game between two teams he's relatively clueless about, I t h ought I'd write something on his blog. I may have to do more of this because I'm way more interesting than he is.

The boy really doesn't have much of a life. He studies a lot, talks with Bob McCray about poetry a lot, whines about the absolute stupidity of most Washington politicians, and prays toward the Reagan Presidential Library a couple of times a day.

I could assimilate him as his resistance would be futile, but I think he would get boring.

Football games are grinding to a close. That will leave j ust basketball. Y ou know I could give up some tv and read more spiritual literature. For example, I could read Francis.

If I'm really interested in spiritual growth, that is. I find that Francis makes me think. He's like one of those monks in that Into Great Silence film. I mean, he and they are really serious about the Gospel. Really serious. He and Clare probably never went to lunch with each other after Mass. He spent time in the Scriptures rather than sneaking peeks at the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. And I wonder if there would have been a discussion about whether or not R rated movies were okay to watch.

I have another line of thought boring ol' Tommy would miss. It's the Women's beach volley ball team. Have you seen a game? I asked Tommy his opinion once. He blushed. But then I rented a Shania Twain video. I watched it three times before somebody told me it has music on it. Gave me something to repent. My oh my oh my!! That woman...that woman...that woman can sing.

RE: Formation

I suppose if people get serious with DEEP FORMATION if we will actually want to read the assignments for the meetings. Benedict XVI is easier to follow than JPII, but both men are among the smartest men who have ever been on Rome's side in quite a while.. I can get lost attempting to understand their subtleties. But then as a male, I am brain damaged.

Some told me that they didn't always read in the past didn't read what they are supposed to read. Surely not. I probably misunderstood. That doesn't sound like a Franciscan. That sounds like a Benedictine or a Trappist. Maybe a Domenican. Franciscans are too Hooooooly for that. Aren't we? Well, I know I'm hooly. Only my humility is further developed than my holiness.

Don't tell Tommy I wrote you all. He'll get his feelings hurt. "FEELINGS SMEELINGS" I get tired of him whining at times. I've decided to grow up some, right after he does.

Postponing maturity is a real art form. But I think I'm getting it down. How about you?


Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 - Happy New Year

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be.  What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1-5