Apparently God's got an incredibly messed up sense of humor. I found this in my mail:
Apparently spending a few days last week being humiliated repeatedly for naught wasn't enough. Thus, another round I can offer up for whatever expiation I need accomplished.
That's how I'm looking at it, anyway. I've always asked Him to make sure I accomplish my Purgatory on Earth so I can greet Him right away upon death. Things like this just let me know my prayer was heard. Ha ha!
In brighter news, Auggie's still making incredible progress! Here's the newest comparison pictures. The day-by-day is fabulous!
He's still lethargic for much of the day, but his energy level is definitely improving. He is finally eating and drinking on his own (I've had to hold his can or plate under his mouth because he couldn't stand long enough to eat properly). He's also using the litter box like a pro. Best news of all is that he's beginning to act like a normal kitten! He swatted for my camera cord a few times while I snapped his photo today, and he narrowly escaped diving off the edge of my desk (I caught him as he tumbled over the side).
That's right, Auggie! I'm glad to see him with the strength to play. :)
Again, thanks to everyone for the notes and messages of love and prayers for him. They've done wonders in helping him heal. Thank you!!!
Judaism and Christianity... the two witnesses spoken of in Revelation.
We are the two burning lamp posts which bear forth the Light of the True God to the world.
As such, we are the ones who the evil one attempts to snuff out the most. We're the ones zeroed in on for attack. Ours are the religious freedoms that produce the greatest threat to his darkness.
Germany has just made circumcision illegal (save for medical emergencies). That means that faithful Orthodox Jews can no longer live out their faith without fear of the government taking their children / finding themselves in jail.
Now, truth be told, I'm on the fence regarding circumcision. When Vince was a baby, I'd read up on it and found all sorts of conflicting reports. After talking with three different doctors (two of which said the risk for UTI dropped significantly), I made the decision to go forward with the procedure for Vincent. However, I revisited the issue about a year later and learned even MORE information that made me second guess myself. I even found a blog entry written by a level-headed Jewish man who tackled the topic, too.
Truth is, I'm still on the fence and feel somewhat guilty for having made Vincent go through the procedure just because the majority of people said it was "right" to do.
However, this article isn't about the rightness or wrongness of circumcision. It IS about religious freedoms that are once again being taken away by governments around the world.
For faithful Jews, circumcision is an outward sign of a spiritual covenant with God. Through this 4000+ year old sacred tradition, Jewish boys are accepted into the line of the Chosen Ones.... to remove this sacred custom is to remove their ability to enter into communion with their God.
How is that okay?
The reasoning is that children cannot consent to what is seen as an invasive procedure that has lasting consequences. Does this mean that parents would need to wait until their child is 16 in order to be treated for a cleft lip? *Sigh*Regardless of your feelings on circumcision, this is cause for alarm because it's the government once more revoking personal choice from parents / families. It's once more squashing religious freedom to appease a fickle public opinion.Yet because people no longer understand religious beliefs to be static, they grumble and push for change because, to them (the kings and queens of everything fluid), anything stationary and revered is antiquated. Anything that doesn't fall in line with their newest fad in thinking is seen as unnecessary and foolish.There are simply some religious beliefs that are sacred and rooted in Truth. These unalterable tenets cannot and will not change simply because the public decides it's time for them to. They are God-given mandates and as such, they will not bow out to public pressure.My prayers are with Germany's Jews... just as they lose their rights across the pond, we Catholics here in the US are losing ours to the new mandate. May God have mercy on us.
So I've decided to rename the kitten. Ajax just doesn't seem to fit at all. He's too mildly tempered.
His eyesight is getting much better. He's able to fully focus his right eye, and his left has begun to follow suit. He keeps them open for much longer stretches and now chances to venture further than one or two steps.
He's eating and drinking much better, too. Slowly but surely, he'll regain his strength.
So, what to name him?
Well, since he's still having trouble with his tender eyes, I did a quick search for a MALE patron of sore eyes. Didn't want to name him Cecilia. Ha ha!
Did you know that the patron of bad eyes is St. Austin? I didn't. In fact, I'd never heard of a Saint Austin.
So I did a little digging and learned that St. Austin is actually a form of St. Augustine (with whom I am VERY familiar!). I did not know, however, that he was the patron of bad eyes (though it makes sense upon reflection - he must've spent hours reading and writing by candle light).
I like the name "Austin," but it still didn't fit. But ya know what does? Auggie.
My husband had a favorite uncle named Augustine, and everyone called him Auggie. When the thought occurred to me, I felt like it was a perfect fit for this little kitten. Auggie, while different, grows on you. Plus, it lends the strength and history of our great Doctor to him. Now I feel confident that I can ask St. Augustine to harass St. Francis to ensure his little buddy is well provided for. I bet St. Monica (St. Augustine's mother) is thrilled to have a little kitty to look after as well.
So... Auggie it is. :)
Here's the newest compare pictures (from yesterday and today) and a special video that shows just how much he enjoys a good belly rub. You can even hear him purring!
Eyes still crusty, left eye unfocused
Wide-eyed, no crust, and focused (the eyes, not the picture - sorry)
Hi everyone! Thanks so much for all the interest. Almost 2 dozen of you have "liked" this post on Facebook, but I cannot track those entries as you didn't use the proper function. Please be sure to like MBF using the link at the top of this blog or in the bullets below. Thanks!
Vince with Jesus and the Blessed Mother!
Sample deck of cards
So I came across the most WONDERFUL dolls in the universe. I loved them so much that I want to share them with my readers.
101 Foundation, a fabulous Catholic shop on a mission to bring Our Lady's messages of love, prayer and repentance to the world, has 24" cloth Jesus / Mary dolls. I've seen them in person, and they are ADORABLE!!!
We all remember "My Buddy" or "Kid Sister" from when we were kids. What better "Buddy" to carry around than Christ or His Blessed Mother?
Being that this is June, I'd like to give away the Sacred Heart of Jesus doll.
In addition to the 2-ft Christ doll, I'll be including a deck of Catholic Doctrine playing cards! This set is a fun and useful tool for anyone looking to deepen their own understanding of Church teaching, or help their children / friends learn the finer points of our faith. This contest will be running through June 30th (winner will be chosen on July 1st). There are a few ways to enter (each counts as a separate entry, so remember to comment completion of each separately):
- Leave a comment (make sure to include your e-mail address on the form so I can contact you if you've won!)
- "Like" MyBrokenFiat's Facebook page (new convenient button a the top of this page)
- Twitter counts now!
- Head to 101 Foundation and tell me what book, medal or item you'd like to see in a future giveaway
- Repost this contest on your own thread / blog and link to that entry in the comments section (or tag MBF on Facebook).
There will also be two runner-ups who will be gifted their own Catholic Doctrine playing cards.
Best wishes to everyone!!!
The "Like" buttons below (while great for spreading the word) are not traceable. Please use the links at the top of this page to "Like" MyBrokenFiat's Facebook Page / Twitter.
Ajax after his first bath around 2pm yesterday. You can see his right eye is oozing with puss. His left eye is completely swollen shut. Even removing the crusted puss didn't help. He's super boney and very lethargic.
Here's Ajax this morning (after 4 rounds of drops and 3 rounds of oral antibiotics). He's much more alert, his eyes are able to focus, and though he's still super skinny, he's gonna get fat soon enough with all the yumminess at his disposal.
With all the rescues I've nursed back to health, it never ceases to amaze me how much progress can be made in so short a time (with such minimal effort!!!). It's a wonderful reminder that God doesn't ask us for huge, amazing feats of faith. He asks us for little things, because it's the little things that count.
The guy who contacted John about the kitten made the decision to care about a stray kitten. He didn't have to. He could've easily let nature take it's course. Instead, he called for help.
John, who really doesn't want to deal with any more fosters, made the decision to call me. He had pushed off the guy for a few days, but in the end, he made the right decision by calling me and allowing me to check the kitten out myself. Had he gone with Plan A (dropping it off at the shelter), this kitten would have been euthanized.
Then me... when I first saw Ajax, I was honestly horrified by his condition. His eye had actually bubbled over, and I thought for sure he had been born with a genetic defect which claimed it. He was infested with fleas, and I worried about bringing them home. However, the least I could do was give this kitten a proper cleaning.
Then the vet tech who gave me a pass at the clinic because of my past experience there. She didn't have to "break the rules" but she did. She understood a serious need was present, and she silently added my name to the top of the list.
Also the vet, herself. She went out of her way to ensure Ajax had fluids and food to spare. She didn't have to pack on the extras, but again... she made the decision to pay attention to the little things.
And all these little things... they add up to something incredible. Each "little action" is what helped Ajax along the road of Divine Providence. Each of us played a part in the miracle of Ajax's recovery. And though his story is not complete, at least it's taken a dramatic turn in the right direction.
So thanks to all of you, too, who have made the "small" decision to share Ajax's pictures and stories with others. I've gotten so many e-mails about him. Please keep sharing. Eventually, one of you who makes the "small" decision to share his story will share it with the family who needs him to complete their portrait.
In the end, it's all about the small things. No masterpiece was ever created with one brushstroke, no quilt with one thread, and no feat of architecture in one day. The same is true of our lives and of our faith.
Blessings, and again - thank you so much for spreading the word about Ajax. My appreciation is immeasurable.
Some of you readers are aware of this, but for those of you who aren't, I'm an animal lover.
Some claim I'm a crazy cat lady, but in all honesty, they're just the ones who find me most often. I've been known to help stray birds, stray possums, stray puppies, and yes... even a stray raccoon once (that was scary - make sure you've got long, super tough gloves, plenty of blankets, a large box, and a litany to St. Francis -ha!).
Anyway, my newest little one was delivered to my desk this afternoon. My husband called while I was at lunch and informed me that there was a badly injured, blind and deaf kitten in need of help. When I got back to work, I found this little face starting back at me:
Oh, but he was dirty! I immediately went to work scrubbing his poor little body free from fleas, ticks, and grime. His eyes had sealed shut from the overflow of puss, making it appear that he'd been born without his left eye. His nose was also caked in pus and grime.
The above picture was actually taken AFTER his bath. Now that he's dry, warm and clean, he's calmly sleeping on my desk awaiting a trip to the vet after work.
My old standby vet is no longer practicing in Jersey and the place I would take all my old rescues in Philly is no longer in service. This means I have no option but to find a new vet who is willing to take all my charity cases.
And being that this little one will make the 68th animal I've rescued, this vet would have to be pretty amazing to want to take me on.
This little guy may or may not lose his left eye. It depends on how bad the infection is. I've honestly seen worse that have healed, but I can't say for sure that this little guy will be as lucky. On the plus side, he's not deaf, and he's not blind, either. He's slightly dehydrated and extremely undernourished.
I checked his teeth and he's about 8 weeks old. I doubt he's been fully weaned (though that typically happens around the 6th week mark) because of his health condition. He wouldn't take food from me and also wouldn't have water. Hopefully he'll come around in a couple hours after he's settled in a bit.
Anyway, after I take my rescues to get checked, I foster them until they're back to full health. I also litter-box train them, get them up-to-date on all shots, make sure they're spayed / neutered, and socialize them with my own cats (and technically Vince). I want to make sure each of my fosters has the greatest chance of being adopted by a wonderful family as possible. Ensuring each kitty is house-trained, plays nicely with others, and loves children typically does the trick.
Each of my fosters also go home with a litter box, litter, and food. All of this is free to the family who adopts them as my special "Thank you for opening your hearts and home to this furbaby."
For now, I'll be calling this one Ajax. I'm hoping to give him all the strength of ten Greek heroes considering the battle he's now facing. Please offer some prayers up to St. Francis for him. He's such a sweet, gentle little thing.
If interested in adoption, let me know. I'll be sure to send out special updates regarding health and all to you. Otherwise - SHARE, SHARE, SHARE! Thanks!!!
Alrighty, I've caved. I registered MyBrokenFiat with Twitter. All the cool kids were doing it.
Help me out by getting my following started! I intend to amass an army that will take over the world.
I mean, I intend to amass a following of like-minded, respectable folks who enjoy sharing tips and anecdotes on religion, raising a family, and other relevant morsels.
Follow, share and tweet. Thanks, all! :)
Also be sure to let me know what your Twitter handle is so I can follow you as well. I'm still not entirely sure how all this works, but eventually I'll figure it out, I promise!
The Name of Christ is mighty
Apparently the Name of Christ is more dangerous to the public than concealed weapons (which are perfectly legal) in N. Carolina. Nice.I found a seed on Father Z's blog this morning detailing a new policy enacted in N. Carolina regarding police chaplains' ability to use Christ's name while praying at public events.
One chaplain's response was like an arrow to my heart... a beautiful, wonderful arrow of integrity and wisdom.
Pastor Terry Sartain, upon learning of this change, withdrew from the event because, "Jesus is the only thing I have to bless people with." This man understands what so many others do not. The Name of Christ is one of our greatest blessings. It's why we always ask for everything "in Jesus' Name." Christ left us even the grace of His own Name to help shield us from harm. Other religions treat the names of their gods / prophets as unspeakable or curse-inducing utterances. Not Christianity. We were blessed to understand that our God is a loving God who WANTS a personal relationship with us. He WANTS us to know Him intimately. Thus, He blesses us with the comfort of His Holy Name.To remove our ability to call out His blessing through using His Name, this policy effectively steals from us our ability to properly pray. It also forces us to deny the God who gave His Life for our salvation.And I can't help but know with certainly that the developers of this policy fully understood that. I believe Satan and his demons coated this with the sugar of tolerance and unity, but in reality, this is just one more step towards a global "religion" that is no religion at all. It is a dismantling of Christianity in lieu of agnosticism. It is a stifling of our faith... another gentle inoculation to prevent the spread of Christ's Name to new generations of souls. This has nothing to do with tolerance. It is INTOLERANCE that has paved the way for this desecration of religious liberties. But few will see it this way because so many are grateful for the chance to cast aside the trappings of religion. Their own opinions on religion cloud their ability to see beyond the "Don't use Jesus' Name" and realize that it is a tiny cog in a bigger machine that is shooting down a person's individual right to practice their religion as he or she sees fit.Chaplains are VOLUNTEERS. They are volunteering their time to give comfort to the men and women who serve. At a prayer service (if one is requested by the police force), folks EXPECT to hear names like Jesus, God, Buddha or Mohammad. These words do not point a finger at atheists, Jews or Spaghetti Monster believers in an attempt to say "You're going to a naughty place for not believing!" If you invite a volunteer chaplain to one of these prayer services, you're inviting their brand of religion. If you don't want to be stifled by Christianity, find a volunteer who will speak what you're looking for. But do NOT, NOT, NOT attempt to tell someone how they can and cannot pray (publicly or otherwise!). These chaplains (whatever their religion may be) are looking to offer comfort in the form of a universal blessing. Christ does not just bless Christians. He blesses all, regardless of their belief in Him. If someone were to say to me, "May the Spaghetti Monster's blessing be upon you always" I'd say, "Right on, good sir. Thanks for having my back with the warm fuzzies."I would not respond, "Dude, I believe in JESUS, okay? Stop insulting me with your well-wishes!"And yet that's exactly what is being done by this policy. It is ludicrous and is once again an attempt by policy makers to stifle the religious freedoms of folks... folks who are VOLUNTEERING THEIR TIME for goodness sake!*Sigh*It reminds me of this yearly mess... Will this sort of foolishness have no end?
This is a perfect time for the Golden Arrow Prayer. It was given to St. Gertrude the Great by Christ, Himself, who said, "It will wound My Heart delightfully and heal the wounds inflicted by blasphemy."
As I said on Fr. Z's wall, I hope in this case it will heal the wounds inflicted by arrogance, silence and betrayal.
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in Heaven, on Earth, and under the Earth by all the creatures of God and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.
Here are the pictures I promised! Much clearer, you can see how awesome these dolls really are. Vincent certainly loves them!I love their eyes - one of the white specks is a heart, and the other is a dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit. How awesome is that?You've still got a chance to enter to win the Sacred Heart of Christ doll. The drawing is July 1st, so get your entries in by the 30th. Good luck!
Trio of smiles
Dancing with Our Lady
Kisses for Mother Mary
Heavenly Mother hugs
Detail of Christ's Face
Judge a tree by it's fruits, man!
I got an e-mail last night from a friend of mine. We had been discussing the current LCWR review. He was under the impression (as so many are) that the Vatican was trying to stamp out the personal freedoms of poor, innocent nuns just trying to live our their vocation serving their communities.I admit I got rather heated at the thought of these women being pitied as a result of the media's false stories of heroism in the face of the big, bad Vatican. These women should never - EVER - be held up as the gold standard for Catholicism. The women in question shouldn't even be held up as a bad example of Catholicism. Many have given up being Catholic long, long ago and just haven't 'fessed up to it yet. Thus, use them as a bad example of Protestantism. Please leave the word "Catholic" out of their mess.Anyway, this friend chided me for my harsh words. He quoted the oft repeated (and incredibly misunderstood) line from Matthew 7: "Judge not lest you be judged."*Sigh*I've already sent this friend an e-mail detailing my feelings on the matter (candidly as I'm apt to do). However, I felt this a topic very necessary to broach with the general population as this quote is so often used by people in an attempt to bow out to political correctness. In my opinion, it's nothing more than an excuse to hide one's insecurities behind a veil of false nicety. Let's say my mother is driving a car. We're about to take a curve too harshly. Considering there's a canyon to the left of us, if she continues speeding, we're likely to tumble into the abyss.
Do I refrain from telling her to slow down because I'm afraid I might hurt her feelings for criticizing her driving?
No. I like my life.
Instead, I'd say, "Hey Mom, you need to apply the brakes because if you don't, we're likely to take a tumble neither one of us will enjoy."
Would I be judging my mother to be a bad driver? No.
Would I be judging her behavior to be bad? Yes.
Might she feel as though I'd judged her to be a bad driver? Yes, it's a possibility.If she feels as though I've passed a negative judgement on her, does that mean I have? No.Even knowing that she might have her feelings hurt as a result of my criticism, should I refrain from suggesting she slow down? NO.As I've said in previous entries, I simply do not have the personality to sit on the sidelines while someone is acting in a way that is either harmful to self or others. I can't. I automatically put a familiar face on these folks and my decision is made - political correctness be damned. That is exactly what we are asked to do as Catholics. The quote "Judge not, lest ye be judged" is often given as a means to stifle this responsibility. However, if we read juuust a little bit further, we'll come to understand that this misrepresented quote (found on everything from billboards to memes to T-shirts) means something much different than the sound byte it's utilized as.Here is the quote in its entirety (from the New American Bible, so the wording is slightly changed):
Jesus said to His disciples: “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” Matt 7:1-5In other words, use your God-given intellect to discern judgement. It isn't necessarily meaning we should condemn, but it's certainly charging us with the responsibility of properly judging all things with equality. In fact, there are quotes all over the Bible specifically commanding this of us.In the gospels, Luke echoes Matthew in Chapter 6 with "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven... For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you."John (7:24) relays Jesus saying "Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteously."In Proverbs (3:21), "Preserve sound judgement and discernment."In the Letter of St. Paul to the Phillipians (1:9-11), "And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God."And my favorite (also from Luke 6) stating, "A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thorn bushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles. A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks."
"See the good that we do and give glory to God."
That being said, we have a Christian responsibility to judge that which is presented to us in this world... ESPECIALLY when that which is presented wreaks of evil. We must not allow such evil to continue spreading as a cancer. The Body of Christ - OUR spiritual body - must be protected. If we remain silent as these "religious" continue to misinform, polarize and confuse the general population, we commit a sin of commission. We allow a greater evil to exist both within our ranks, and within ourselves through our silence.
This is exactly how the atrocities of WWII were accomplished. Sure there were plenty of folks who disagreed with the Nazi ideals. However, too many were silent for too long.
First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
I, for one, cannot endure such silence. I cannot wither away behind a false veil of "live and let live" when that includes allowing misinformation to fester and spread to my friends, family and children. No. It is my duty as a Christian to call evil out where it is and shed the light of truth upon the dishonesty and willful desecration of the Faith.
And those Christians among you who read this (be you Catholic or otherwise), this is your duty as well. We must work together to bring the light of Truth to others. We must not allow the lies, the half-truths, the confusion to tear souls away from Christ.