I wasn't supposed to go down the shore this weekend. In fact, I was pretty adamant about NOT going down the shore since my husband would be away and I had made other plans to take Vincent into Philly to see my side of the family (I haven't seen my brother in a while).
Well, my mother-in-law persuaded me to head down to Ocean City with the carrot of my wonderful little cousin, Lydia. She currently lives in Colorado but was here for a stint in the summer. Since I didn't get to see her much (and she'd be leaving this weekend) I cancelled Philly plans and made my way down to OC.
God had QUITE the weekend planned for me. I feel so foolish now for trying so hard to do things my way. Upon arriving in Ocean City, Vincent woke up and leapt into his Pop's arms after barely making it out of the car. He was up for another half hour or so, just buzzing happily with his Mi-mom and Pop. The next morning, when I checked my mail, I got a message from a friend I hadn't seen in eleven (11!) years. She, too, had come in from Kansas to spend some time in OC. She wanted to meet up! I practically bounced around the living room!
The weather was beyond gorgeous and the water was so warm. Vincent had an absolute blast playing with Lydia and Alliya. The waves were his favorite, I think, now that he understands he's able to sorta "ride" them to the shore.
So my friend and I made plans that fell through a couple times. Finally, in our frustration, we threw out an SOS that we could possibly just go to the same Mass the next day. So I chalked it up to God setting us up for something, and sure enough, He was! I made the trek over to Our Lady of Good Councel (which, BTW, is GORGEOUS) in the hopes that we would find one another after Mass. We did! And we were able to chat for a good 15 minutes or so.
Plus - the homily MORE than made up for the cantor / lector (I'll have a blog on them soon!). What a wonderful bonus to an already wonderful surprise!
Ahhhh - God is so good. Just wanted to share a little lesson I learned this weekend. Sometimes you've just gotta hand over the reigns and realize you can't control every aspect of your life out, especially when God is specifically asking you to enjoy the backseat for a while. :)
His legs are impossibly thin! Please help.
I came across some images that seared themselves into my mind recently. These are just a couple.
I am blessed to be able to not only have 3 meals each day, but the excess of snacks, candy, or even the ability to choose from a variety of different foods. I am one of the lucky, lucky few.
Over 1/3 of the world's population is dying of hunger. Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes. That's one child every five seconds.My heart breaks for these children... these families. I can't even imagine how grief-stricken parents are when they know they are unable to provide the most basic of needs to their children. I, as a parent, can't help but put Vincent's face on these children. I can't help but see John and I in the parents who cry out in agony over their plight.
Please find an organization you trust to help be part of the solution for these children. I found Food for the Poor, Inc
. I also wish to consume a little less in the hopes that these children will then have a little more. I want to be aware of their sufferings so I don't take my blessings so lightly. I want to understand exactly what I have to be grateful for so I'm able to share those blessings with these families who very much live in our backyard. This isn't just going on in Africa or Mexico... it's happening in Camden, Philadelphia, San Diego. It's happening all around us, and we, as part of the human race, need to be more aware so we're able to reach out and help... not callously walk on by, oblivious to the pain and unspeakable tragedy surrounding us.
This is truly weighing heavy on my heart recently... and I'm glad of it. The weight is a reminder that more is expected of me as more has been given. Be thankful for your gifts, but please remember to share them with those less fortunate.
Would you walk by this child?
A few friends pointed out that my original blog on Women Priests was pretty awful. I concede they were very much right. I apologize, and hope this one explains the Church's position better. I appreciate the feedback, and appreciate even more the chance to try again. You're all wonderful... even if you do think I'm a crazy. :) I was a little disappointed with my original blog a couple days ago on this topic. Some of my friends still didn't understand, and others directed me to this site which outlines several more reasons that the Catholic Church is simply "wrong" for not allowing women priests.
Apparently, the Holy Spirit had foreseen this. In anticipation of this heresy battle, He dropped a prayer / revelation book into my lap called "The 24 Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ." This sequence was penned by Luisa Piccarreta and translated by Saint Hannibal M. Di Francia (Luisa's Spiritual Director), but Luisa always said this prayer comes from Christ Himself. Currently, Luisa is on the path towards Sainthood, and I would only be too happy to write more about her in another blog at some point. But suffice to say, I know the Holy Spirit was being proactive by leading me to this particular set of prayers.
Last night, I prepared myself to take part in the Eucharistic Supper hour. In reading and mediating on this hour, Jesus patiently explained to me that He did not ordain His Apostles through the Passover meal as so many of us believe. It was in the washing of their feet that Christ imparted their worthiness to caress the Host of His Eucharist!
What an eye-opener! And it makes perfect sense, too! Only in John's gospel are we explained the "Ordination of the Apostles" in this manner. Jesus removed His prayer shawl, remaining only in what we would recognize as a priestly alb and wrapped a towel around His Waist. He knelt in submission and humiliation to accomplish a task so lowly that even Jewish slaves were exempt from the act! St. Peter, horrified that His God would humiliate Himself so drastically, refused to allow Jesus to touch his feet. Jesus, probably with a heart-smile at St. Peter's distressed expression of affection, simply replied, "Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me." In other words, Jesus was imparting to St. Peter that this act of cleansing must be accomplished in order to follow the Will of God to prepare him for the task about to be commissioned.
So contrary to what the women in the above link state, women were NOT present for this, nor were they present for the secondary Eucharistic meal after the Passover supper they prepared. Jesus, through Piccarreta, said of this washing of the feet:
I so much cherish this act of receiving Me in the Eucharist, that I do not want to entrust this office to the angels, and not even to my dear Mother, but I Myself want to purify them, down to the most intimate fibers, in order to dispose them to receive the fruit of the Sacrament; and in the Apostles I intended to prepare all souls.
Thus, we come to understand that it was in this act of total subjugation that Christ calls His Apostles to be like Him - to serve one another and more importantly, to serve the Church - humbly and with gentleness. Upon completing the Washing of the Feet, Christ then instructs them in the act of Consecration by, for the first time, creating Himself in the form of bread and wine - two of the most humble and universal commodities humanity knows. He then instructs THEM and ONLY THEM to "do this in remembrance of Me." But in order to share this act of Consecration with them, Christ, Himself, wished to make them ready to accept this gift into their hearts. I bow my head in appreciation of such a beautiful and humbling thought.
So again, the argument that women were around for the Passover feast has no bearing on the ability of our Church to recognize the ordination of women as priests. Simply put, women were NOT present for this cleansing in preparation for bestowing the gift of the power of Consecration.
Next, this site attempts to utilize Our Most Blessed Mother as a means for their end. *Shakes head* This is mortifyingly wrong. Again, if Christ had wanted women as priests, I assure you, Our Lady would've been first in line, well ahead of St. Peter! But again, folks seem to have difficulty understanding that men and women are called for different purposes. We are equal in dignity, but we have NOT been created to do the same things. We've been created to compliment one another, and the job of a priest is one of those things men have been created for. The Blessed Mother understood her place as the Ark of the New Covenant. She brought forth Christ not through her own power, but through the power of the Holy Spirit! She accepted His Gift through her fiat, she did not consecrate her womb in order to manifest the Presence of Christ within her!
Also, this "one priesthood" nonsense is exactly that... nonsense. There are two types of priesthoods recognized by the Catholic Church (not counting the Priesthood of Christ). One is the ministerial priesthood - which is the familiar clergy of priests and bishops we know and love. The second is the "common" (or, ironically, the "Royal") priesthood that each of us is a part of through Baptism. The two serve VASTLY different functions and one cannot exist without the other since they both exist to SERVE each other.
To put it simply, all apple trees are trees, but not all trees are apple trees, right? The same is true of Ministerial Priests. They all belong to the Royal Priesthood through Baptism, but not all royal priests are ministerial. To claim otherwise is simply fallacious. Utilizing a tiny seed of truth to start your garden of lies will inevitably turn into a jungle of folly.
Then we've got the argument that there have been female deacons in the past - some women even going so far as to claim Mary and Martha as their prime examples.
Let me go ahead and dispell that lie outright. Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, were NEVER anywhere even remotely near the capacity of priest. Their place was always at the feet of Jesus, learning from Him and serving Him as their honored Guest and Teacher.
With that nonsense aside, I'll delve into the topic of female deacons. The women spoken of by this "WomenPriests" organization were nothing more than helpers to maintain dignity and humility through the sacrament of baptism. At the time, Baptism consisted of being wholly submersed in water, thoroughly soaking undergarments. As a result, these "deaconesses" referred to were at the ready with towels and fresh linens so the newly baptized might change themselves into more presentable attire.
St. Epiphanius says it best in his piece "Against Heresies" when he wrote:
"We come to the New Testament. If women were ordained to be priests for God, or to do anything canonical in the church, it should rather have been given to Mary in the New Testament... but it was decided differently. She was not even entrusted with baptizing. Nowhere was a woman established among [clerics]. There were four daughters of the evangelist Philip, who were prophetesses, but not priests. Although there is an order of deaconesses in the Church, yet they are not appointed to function as priests or for any administration of this kind, but so that provision may be made for the propriety of the female sex [at baptism]."
And just to hit it home one more time that these women were NOT a part of the three "sacred" offices of Holy Orders (which, BTW, are priesthood, diaconate and subdiaconate), the Council of Nicea had this to say:
"We have mentioned the deaconesses, who are enrolled in this position, but since they have not received any imposition of hands at all, they are surely to be numbered among the laity."
So once again, WomenPriests.org, you are spreading fallacy. I really wonder how much of this you understand and how much you are simply ignorant of. Considering the poor religious education we receive anymore, I wouldn't be surprised if these ideas spring forth innocently from ignorance of where our religious beliefs (as true Catholics) come from. Then again, with all the research they've apparently done to tear down Catholic teaching, they must've come across even a small portion of what I've explained above.
*Sigh* Prayers, folks. Prayers to the wonderful Holy Spirit are necessary. May He touch their minds with the light of wisdom, understanding and faith.
Veils by Lily is doing a Mantilla Give-Away!!!
*Boing boing boing*
You have no idea how exciting this is! I have the most beautiful black mantilla veil (with built in comb, of course) from Lily that I've gotten so many compliments on! She has the most unique and lovely veils you can find, so please do yourselves a favor and stop by to check out her massive selection.
Bonus for those looking to order this week - $1 shipping!
Here's a shot of me in mine!
Here's another, but this time with my hair pulled back and brighter light so you can see the lace detail. Pretty, right? Lily does, after all, rock. :)
Typically I utilize prime sources when linking articles, letters or other documents, but in this case, I'm going to connect you to Fr. Z's blog entry on an article regarding Cardinal Canizares' rather straightforward teaching that all Catholics should accept the Eucharist while kneeling.
Simply put, it doesn't get ANY better than Fr. Z's commentary. So enjoy, take heed, and accept while KNEELING! Don't be afraid to humble yourself before the Presence of Christ, Himself! Even though the folks in line may snicker or chide you, remember Who it is that you kneel before, Who it is that you accept! Also know that you are not alone in your humble act of adoration - all the angels and saints are kneeling with you.
Amen! Amen! Amen!
I really hope I'm able to take my own advice on this one. I have a feeling my pastor may think I'm way off my rocker this time, though...
Dick Retta, a well known pro-life warrior, has had a lawsuit sneakily brought up against him
by the Department of Justice.
Atrocious. They're making up lies about how he operates in order to force his silence through intimidation and financial burdens. What a cowardly display of arrogance and fear. This man has done nothing illegal, and he most certainly didn't do the things he's accused of. He's never been violent and he's certainly never screamed at women entering or leaving. He is the model of charity - never judging, only praying that they might see the error of their ways in time to seek proper counsel.
Satan is trying so hard to silence voices like Retta's. He wants to ensure every single soul is snatched away from the world because one less soul on earth is one less soul that could be living in the Light of God. Not only that, but Satan hates humans for their placement above him in all things. Thus, to snuff out every life he can gives him a satisfaction that he's not only destroying the innocent child, he's also destroying those who aided in the abortion itself. These souls, unless they reconcile with God, become lost to Hell for their transgressions. We must pray that they see the Light of Love.*Warning: Graphic Material in Link Below*
Priests for Life, an organization of priests dedicated to sounding the alarm to end abortion, has been active this week in gaining media attention for their plight through the public funeral for baby Esther
, a late-term abortion victim whose body was retrieved for a proper, dignified burial. Through this funeral, they hoped to not only acknowledge the life and blessings that Esther had been robbed of, but also all children who suffered a similar fate. They hoped that by validating little Esther, others would come to understand that the "tissue" they destroy is a beating heart... a child sucking her thumb... a baby just beginning to hear his mother's voice.
All children deserve a chance at life. All of them. And all women deserve a chance to know the facts in a patient, loving way... exactly the way that Dick Retta is a professional at delivering. So keep him in your prayers, along with all those mothers and children whose fate hangs in the balance at even this very moment.
I'd like to say, firstly, that I'm practicing the virtues of patience and charity with this post. I'm going to ask that the Holy Spirit keep my tongue in check as I speak of the foolishness of these men and women who seek the ordination of women into the priesthood of the Catholic Church.
The New York Times ran this
article a few days ago.
Let me start off this by explaining the rationalization some make for female priests...
1. Severe shortage of priests in general
2. Desire among some women to become priests
3. Women priests prove that the Church isn't "sexist"
4. Women priests would make up for abuses perpetrated by the male clergy
Going one at a time, yes, we are a little short on priests it seems. That being said, ordaining women would NOT solve the problem. It might - at best - be a temporary bandaid, but the lack of priests is symptomatic of a much larger problem. It's the same problem that is causing the erosion of our parishes, lack of other religious (sisters and brothers), Catholic schools closing by the hundreds, and a general disillusionment with the Catholic Church. The problem, simply put, is a lack of true faith formation. How can we expect to have a wonderful supply of wonderful priests if we don't teach our children what the faith is all about?
To the majority of children, faith, at most, is something practiced on Sunday during an hour of Mass, and maybe an hour in school. It's not something publicly practiced at home through family prayer, and it's certainly not something spoken about to friends or other family members.
As for the second reason - the desire of some women to become priests - I answer with a basic question of my own... what of the men who have a similarly strong desire to become mothers? There are certainly men who wished to be able to carry a child to term, and even nurse their own children. Even though science has made plenty of strides with biology and physiology, this desire will forever remain just that... a desire.
So while I'm sure there are plenty of women who have this sincere desire (St. Therese was one of them
!), Jesus did not consecrate women into the Priesthood and as such, gave no authority to the Church to do so either. In fact, if Jesus wanted to consecrate women into the Priesthood, don't you think He'd've chosen His Most Blessed Mother as first in line - even before St. Peter, himself???
God has His reasons for not initiating women into the Priesthood, and as such, the Church cannot go against His Example. It's not about being sexist (point number three). It's about the example Jesus left for the Early Church through His Own Actions. There were NO WOMEN priests, and as a result, we can recognize none today. Men and women, though equal, have been given different sets of gifts and uses. Consecration is simply one that belongs solely to men the same as carrying life to term is one that belongs solely to women.
Rationalization 4 is a fallacy, pure and simple. There is a rise in female abuse against children, and we're all familiar with Mary Kay Letourneau
... maybe even Debra LaFave
! The accusation that only men are responsible for crimes against children is readily proven wrong, and such a foolish belief may even endanger children by creating such a false sense of security.
Pope John Paul II made it pretty clear in his Aposotlic letter, Ordinatotio Sacerdotalis
. As such, this issue has been laid to rest. Unfortunately, there are those who are angry that the Church didn't bend to their beliefs and desires and still seek to push the issue. They are mistaken in their quest since regardless of their arguments, the Church will not (and truly CANNOT) change its teaching on this.
My query again, then, is why do they continue attempting to alter a religion they don't agree with? Why not just find a religion that suits your belief system instead of attempting to force another into your line of thinking? *Shakes head*
Sad, really. These folks are running around thinking they're Catholic when, in reality, they are trying to destroy the very thing they think they're out to save. Prayers are needed for them. Lots and lots of prayers.
I was down in Ocean City this past weekend with my son and in-laws. My husband wasn't able to make it this weekend due to work constraints. As a result, I had to take my squirmy, super active bundle of joy to the 7:30 Mass with me.
We got dressed, and I put him into his stroller so we could make the quick trip over to St. Augustine. We got there with about five minutes to spare. Most people were so kind, smiling at Vincent, or holding doors open for us so we could pass. One of the ushers, however, seemed slightly miffed that Vincent was there at all! After Vince and I had situated ourselves towards the back of the Church (for any necessary "escapes" during tantrums or potty breaks), he came over and told me there was a small room in the back that we'd be "more comfortable" in.
I've been to St. Augustine's plenty of times, and I'm well aware of the small chapel room that has been dormant for at least 5 years. It opens into the Church Proper and provides no sound proofing. It also serves as a parking area for strollers, wheelchairs, etc. It is not a "cry room" nor even a real chapel at all. It's simply a storage area that sometimes opens to allow an overabundance of parishoners take refuge during holiday gatherings.
Normally I'd take these kinds of "suggestions" as kind gestures, but I got the distinct impression he simply didn't want us in the Church. He wanted us swept under the rug because he was afraid Vincent would begin acting up. !!! I admit to being miffed. I calmly thanked him, however, and told him we were fine where we were. Displeased, he walked back to the door and stared at us with ice daggers until Father made his way for the Processional.
Vince, for his part, was an absolute angel! He happily played with my wallet while we were seated, or played with my veil and hair while I held him as we stood. Then he caught sight of a magnificent statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (like the one I pictured above). He kept looking up in amazement at this incredible statue of Our Lord in silent contemplation. Then he'd look back at me with the biggest smile on his face. :)
Finally, during the Eucharistic prayers, I placed him into his stroller so I could kneel. He happily opened and closed his buckles which freed me to devote my attention solely to the miracle of the Mass. Finally, the Eucharistic Procession started, and I attempted to get Vince ready to walk up. He had been so happy with his buckles, though, that he began to cry angrily when I swooped him out and into line. My perfect little angel chose NOW to scream his head off... go figure.
When I got the the front of the line, I knelt and accepted the Eucharist. Father blessed Vince and patted his arm saying, "It's OK, buddy!" which didn't console him in the least. He did, however, quiet down for the blessing, I think because he was curious about who Father was. So I walked back to my seat wit him still crying his head off. Upon being placed back into the stroller - silence.
*Shakes head* Seriously, Vince?
Ah well. I hate giving that usher such satisfaction, but Vince didn't know any better. Ha ha. C'est la vie.
Kids have just as much right to attend a Mass as adults do. However, I typically leave Vince home with Daddy so I can better participate, but I don't shoot scathing glares at others who bring their children with them. I sincerely can't fathom how rude some people can be towards those of us with children! *Shakes head* Humpf.
I can only pray we are blessed with more and more priests like this
A friend of mine from HS celebrated his 2nd year as a priest this past May. When I'd heard he made the decision to become a priest, I was thrilled. He'd always been such a sweetheart in HS, and I couldn't help but smile to think of the wonderful priest he'd make.
This priest and I have a mutual friend - also from High School - who has made fun of this priest for his "conservative" nature. I admit being shocked at this mean streak against our mutual friend, and chided him for such remarks. This friend continued to complain about the priest, saying he was too long-winded, he prayed older prayers, or he didn't know what he was doing on the altar. *Shakes head* I probably should have sternly reprimanded him for such arrogance, but instead, I calmly directed the conversation in a different direction to remove the threat of offense. My heart still breaks just thinking about that.
However, it also rejoices, because those complaints are things I look upon with pride! A priest who is not afraid to delve into traditional Catholicism! A priest who is looking to call us back to the "old ways." A priest who is content to have us think on our sins with proper time and thoughtfulness! I knew he'd be a blessing - and he hasn't disappointed.
So in light of him, the two from the article, and all priests (past, present and future), let us hug them in prayer and thank God for their blessings. Let us also pray that they always keep close to the Savior they daily caress, and feel forever the Presence of the Holy Spirit in their hearts.
Another abortion worker has stepped forward. Thank you, Jewels Green
, for your courage.
There's a wonderful quote from Jeannie French, founder of the National Women's Coalition for Life in which she says, "The answer to crisis pregnancy is to eliminate the crisis, not the child."
Another favorite is actually from Ronald Reagan, which he probably picked up from another pro-life leaflet at some point. He made the observation that "Everyone who is pro-abortion has already been born."
Funny, isn't it?
It's disturbing to me that people have become so callous and hardened to this very real massacre committed worldwide. Since we've hidden these deaths under the guise of "legality" and "choice" we have immunized ourselves against the reality of what abortion is. To snuff out life, at its most innocent and basic level, is so far beyond the realm of reprehensible that I simply can't find words to highlight my heartbreak.
In the coming weeks, I promised a few friends a detailed blog on abortion. At this point in time, I've had trouble voicing my opinions because the topic is so painful for me. Now that I have my own precious little boy, I can't help but put his face on all those others who never got the chance to take their first breath. I can't help but weep for those children who - while FULLY FEELING - had their lives taken in cruel, painful and inhumane ways. Thus, I will gloss over this sensitive topic until I can find the strength to delve further into the abyss of sin, selfishness, evil and disrespect that this abomination is.
St. Gianna, pray for those women who are faced with this decision - that they come to appreciate the life within them and resolve to take responsibility for the choices they've made through the unyielding love and care they provide to the blessings they carry within them.
St. Joseph, pray for the fathers of these children - that they have the strength, courage and wisdom to support the mothers who are faced with this decision in a moral way, and that they look with joy and responsibility upon the acceptance of so great a blessing for all eternity.