Oh, Peter DeFazio. Shame on you.

There was an article on Catholic.org about the ‘Catholic Hall of Shame‘, and it was a very interesting read. I knew that Oregon had a few Catholics that probably voted for abortion, and this has been going on for years. But, something in me just snapped this morning. Reading Peter DeFazio’s name on that list (no, I did NOT vote for him, even if he ‘represents’ me) incited disappointment in me, and prompted me to write him this letter:

Dear Representative DeFazio,

I’m a member of the St. Mary Parish in Corvallis, and was recently reading this (http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=34849) article on catholic.org about our Catholic Representatives in the Senate. After looking at your voting history, I was very, very surprised to find out you are Catholic as well.

This concerns me. You, and other Catholics in the government, are giving the rest of us bad names. If you still go to Mass and receive Communion, then shame on you. Voting for the intentional killing of babies with our tax dollars is not only unethical, but against your faith. I’m glad you’ve taken a side and decided that your social standing and someone’s right to choose to murder children is more important than Christ.

Canon Law states that you can excommunicate yourself if you don’t come to terms with the obvious schism you have created. Be sure that your Catholic constituents will be praying for you to come back to the Church. But, if that doesn’t happen, please leave the Church by name. Your voting record is an embarrassment.

Abortion is not health care, and abortion is not a choice. It is very cleverly-concealed genocide.

I recommend that any Catholic Oregonians out there write to Peter DeFazio and express your disappointment. You don’t have to be as strongly worded as I was, and I know suggesting someone leave the Church is probably a sin. But, I honestly think it’s better people like that leave because they obviously don’t believe what they say they do.

*sigh* That was my morning, how was yours?

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Modest Dress for Catholics

When I go to mass, I get distracted, and it’s not because the homily is boring, or because I didn’t get enough sleep the night before. From where I sit with the choir, I can see the entire congregation, and it doesn’t look good. Save for a few select families, we all look like a bunch of bums. I remember how we would dress up in the 80s and 90s to go to mass. What happened?! Why don’t women wear something, oh, feminine and modest, and why don’t the men at least put on a button up shirt and slacks? Is it THAT difficult to look nice for God?

I realize that with the changes of Vatican II, people seemed to think they didn’t have to look nice, or cover their heads to pray, or anything like that. The Vatican never, ever said that we were allowed to nix mantillas at mass. We’re a very liberal state, and I understand that, but that doesn’t excuse wearing daisy duke shorts and a boobie shirt for 90 whole minutes on a Sunday morning.

I am very, VERY disappointed in all of you. Yes, especially you, right there, the one in the pajamas. That is NOT OKAY. …rant over.

Bliss, finally.

Finals are ‘finally’ over. It seems dumb that I was so stressed out about everything, considering I only had 2 1/2 classes this quarter. Paleontology and Hydrogeology are difficult topics (well, they involve labs, which are difficult… and amount to busy work). I’m still not done with some work for my Hydro class, even though I took the final today. It’s just been a very long quarter. I got a B+ in my Paleontology class! I didn’t expect that at all (considering I got a D on my midterm – ouch).

I’ve gained most of my weight back from before I was on Chemo. It took about 9 months in total, and believe me, I’m pretty pissed about it. My doctor seems nonplussed, except for the fact that I was overweight before chemo, but he said, “You were bound to gain it back. Just lose it again.” Pfft, easy for him to say. The more I gain, the more depressed I get about it, and hence the vicious cycle. I’m really jealous of my roommate: he can eat pretty much anything and he doesn’t really gain much. If I eat what he does, I’ll gain 10 lbs in a week. It’s not awesome.  For better or for worse I may have to start chemo again anyways, so I could possibly lose it all… again.  I’m pretty sick and tired of being sick.  I’ve been trying to take it easy, since I get a bee in my bonnet to go out and tackle the world (like, ride my bike or something), and I end up hurting myself, or forgetting that I have no stamina. I tried jogging with a friend a few weeks ago, and I could barely make it 3 blocks before choking on my own lungs.

On Saturday, I’m going down to the Carmelite Monastary in Eugene for an OCDS meeting. I’m SO excited!  OCDS isn’t for people with OCD (even though I think most of us have a touch of neuroticism here and there), but stands for: Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (in English… the real name is in spanish, I believe). I’m discerning to join the Third Order Secular, and Saturday is the beginning of my Aspirancy. This period will last six months to a full year, and from there, I become a Postulant. This period of “First Promise” lasts about two years, which involves learning all the history of the Carmelites, becoming more engrossed in my studies, etc.  The Promise is a commitment “to tend towards evangelical perfection in the spirit of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, obedience and of the Beatitudes, according to the Rule of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites, for three years.” After three years, an individual may request permission to make the Final Promise (substituting “for all my life” in place of “for three years”). The period of formation after the First Promise lasts three years before the Final Promise.  So, I’m starting a journey which could very well last, at minimum, six years. I wouldn’t make my Final Promise until I’m 31. Wow.

This is a pretty big friggin decision in my life. OCDS is pretty hardcore – daily mass, liturgy of the hours, mission, devotion to Mary, wearing of the Scapular (which I already do, all the time), monthly meetings, and of course, at least 30 minutes of daily prayer/meditation. Whew. That’s why they have the year of Aspirancy, to make sure we know what we’re getting ourselves into. Once I make my vow, it’s a sin to break, and that’s pretty serious.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. My own classes and teaching consumed my life for awhile, and when I wasn’t doing either at OSU, I was sleeping at home. I’m still so very, very tired. Today, I went to sleep around 5, and woke up at 7ish. It was a nice nap. And now I’m going to try to sleep, again. Nite nite.

Letter circulated to Catholic Bishops

I was perusing an excellent Catholic blog (which you can find here), and came across a comment at the bottom of one of the articles.  Pedro posted this open letter to our Catholic Bishops, and I thought it had enough points of interest to repost. While I agree with a few points in this letter, I personally wouldn’t write a letter to the Bishops in this way. Please feel free to comment with your thoughts.

What a troubling moment in the history of our beloved Catholic Church in America…..

I am forced to give the US Bishops a failing grade in their ministry, as evidenced again by the large numbers of Hispanics (70% or so!!!) and other ‘catholics’ (54% or so) who have once again voted-in the party of death – obviously ignoring their catholic leaders like yourself who tried to better form their consciences for their important election day choices these past months. They’ve just laughed at you and the Teaching Authority of the Church, and gone ahead with their own agenda as has been the case since Vatican II, beginning with their disagreement with the Church on birth control. This disobedience and the stubborn defiance of a good many people still in the pews on Sundays is tearing down our faith brick by brick, and has become a cancer in the Body of Christ within the western world.

And this is the deeper problem as I see it: you have all, for many, many years, been trying to minister to faithful catholics and, since Vatican II, a growing number of ‘new protestants’ who are also still sitting in the pews on Sundays (though they are probably more likely not to attend Every Sunday).

I believe it has been, and will continue to be impossible for you to effectively minister to two such disparate groups under one roof, as has been attempted for far too many decades to our misfortune. It greatly weakens your effectiveness with the remnant of faithful Catholics who see you making too many compromises because you are being tugged from two entirely different directions on so many of the issues at the center of our fiercely contested culture war. You have obviously had to compromise principles to effect the current state of affairs, and that continues to happen, in the eyes of the true Catholic faithful that I know, to the discredit of you – our leaders – still trying to appease the non-believers who have decided, this time, not to walk away from the church, but instead to change it from within by constantly chipping away at our traditional beliefs and make them correspond more closely with their own silly, personal, notions on issues like abortion and a right to life for the unborn, homosexuality, birth control, pornography, promiscuity, and all sorts of other vulgarities.

Please, won’t you and the other Bishops use this lesson to effect a long awaited house cleaning!! There really aren’t a shortage of priests – as there are plenty of them available to minister to the small number of Actual Catholic faithful who have not yet marched off to another drummer. It seems clear to me that the only problem is acknowledging that, for whatever reason, God is not willing to provide additional priests to minister to all the Protestants still in our pews – as well as the SHRINKING number faithful Catholics.

I know they are there next to me; you can see their Obama bumpers stickers; you as a Bishop receive their letters asking you and your faithful priests to quit being so political in the pulpit with talk about a right to life or the evils of homosexuality and sexual promiscuity. They are not interested in your view; to them it’s just a Democracy and they will keep working for a change in Church leadership – just like they work to elect our new radically pro-death president.

PLEASE HELP THOSE OF US IN THE PEWS WHO ARE BECOMING DISTRAUGHT BY THE ATTACKS ON THE FAITH COMING AS MUCH FROM WITHIN BY THESE ‘STEALTH PROTESTANTS’, AS FROM THE MILITANT UNBELIEVERS OUTSIDE THE CHURCH!!!! THE TIME FOR WORDS IS LONG OVER; PLEASE ACT NOW TO RESTORE THE FAITH.

Lead us back to TRUTH and away from the cafeteria catholic mentality that puts self and economics or other perceived ‘goods’ above church teaching;
Lead us back to unity;
Lead us away from the secularism that has so
pervaded and perverted the faith;
Lead us away from the scandal and sacrilege of
dissident believers at the communion rail;
Lead by LEADING, rather than following after sheep who choose to be lost – YOU DON’T GO OUT TO FIND THE PRODIGAL SON – HE RETURNS BECAUSE HE REMEMBERS THERE’S SOMETHING MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN HE CAN CREATE, WAITING FOR HIM BACK HERE;
Lead us away from this watered-down/milk-toast
Catholicism!!!

No Communion for Public Sinners

You can read the original article here, at EWTN.com.

Finally, a bishop who actually upholds canon law!  This article elicited a small squeel of joy from my lips as I read the headline (I sound like a mouse… you can ask any of my friends).  Too long the bishops of our country have stood idily by, letting our politicans get away with grave sins, and allowing them to receive communion.  It’s almost a sin in itself for the priests who let public sinners receive the Eucharist, because wouldn’t the mortal sin be transferred onto the priest for allowing the mortal sin of the person who took the Eucharist without confession to occur?  *sigh*  I don’t know enough Catholic Apologetics to actually answer that question, but it’s a good one.

Why won’t other bishops take up the cause and do that as well?  Do they feel embarassed?  I would love to see the day when Nancy Pelosi is denied communion.  Actually, I’d smile a little if she were excommunicated.  By far, out of all the publicly Democrat/Liberal Catholics in politics, she is the worst of them.  Despite claiming that she is a “devout” Catholic, she didn’t even know the Church’s stance on when life begins (umm, conception anyone?).  I even knew that when I was a child.  How utterly ridiculous.  I don’t even want to count the number of times she’s tried to foist some pro-choice nonsense through the legislative branch.

I am glad that Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger) was quoted thusly:

Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

Woohoo!  Excellent.  Now, if only our Archbishop Vlazny would deny communion to the Governor of Oregon… Ted Kulongoski is another argument for another day.  He’s just pure evil.  If he would stop saying he were Catholic, then I’d be fine with it. I do NOT want my faith to be associated with people who support death as blatantly as he does.


What is wrong with us?

As a nation, we’re falling apart. The divorce rate is up, in correlation with the use of contraceptives, and the more we fill our bodies with hormones we wouldn’t allow in our food, the more absymal our situation becomes.  The Catholic Herald has an opinion piece today about Nancy Pelosi, the country’s worst “Catholic” (remember her comment on the Catholic Church’s stance on when life begins?), and it has some very good points:

So many of us have been hurt through divorce and depression. Not only has the rise in the divorce rate paralleled the rise in the popularity of contraceptive use in our nation, but the increase in the diagnoses of sexually transmitted diseases, the use of antidepressants and the increase in middle school children engaging in sex have followed this trend also. We are not a healthier people, nor are we happier families, since we have adopted a contraceptive mentality.

Very true.  We’re not happy at all, and if you look at the more traditional families with good, core values (especially in God), and who use NFP (natural family planning), THEY are happy.  The rate of divorce of couples who wait to have sex until they’re married, wait to live together until after marriage, attend church regularly, and pray together, is less than 1% (fact taken from my Fragua retreat – I wouldn’t know where to find that statistic).  I want to have that 99% happiness when I get married, and I want that for the rest of the world as well.  We were much happier as a nation before the 1960s and the idea of abortion and eugenics.

When will the time come when people realize that children are miracles and gifts, and not “mistakes” to fix with abortion?  Why are bald eagle eggs protected when it’s just a bunch of cells?  See my point?  The world needs to start protecting the human race as much as we protect the animal kingdom.

The article in the Catholic Herald can be found here.

Orthodox Catholics

For those of you who see me on a regular basis, or at least read my blog, you know that (at least, after my horrible Islam stint) that I went back to being an orthodox catholic.  My family was never orthodox, but after adhering to the rules of Islam, which wasn’t difficult when you truly want to do well, it felt lazy for me to NOT follow the rules of the Catholic Church.  How can I go from one religion, which asks you to pray five times a day, dress a certain way, and keep a certain diet (not to mention the other rules), to another where I just follow it half-heartedly?  It doesn’t make any sense.

I was born Catholic, and it makes sense that I should take it seriously.  My eternal soul is very serious business, and if I can do a little extra, or even find out more about my faith and make it a part of my everyday life, the better I will be.  So, I do have a point in all of this, trust me.

While standing up on the risers in the front of the church a few Sundays ago (where I can see everyone’s faces in the pews… even if they’re sleeping or whathaveyou), I saw a new family in the back.  They were orthodox catholics, and I know this because the women covered their heads with little triangles of lace, called mantillas.  How pious these women were, dressed as women ‘should be dressed’ (in skirts and blouses), and their heads covered, kneeling in the back, whispering prayers to themselves.  I felt a pang in my heart, a kinship of sorts.  When I was a muslim, I dressed in hijab everyday, and it was an outward show of my faith.  Anyone who looked at me knew I was muslim.  These women looked Catholic (pre Vatican II).  Whatever happened to covering your head in the presence of Christ?

I myself wouldn’t wear a mantilla to mass, and it’s because I never wore one growing up.  I used to dress up for mass, and I sometimes still do, but the norm for me is jeans, a sweater, and an overcoat, with maybe a scarf and gloves if it’s below freezing outside.  I think I’d also feel like a fraud.  Even though I’m closer to Christ than I ever have been in my entire life, and I finally feel like a real Catholic, I would never be able to reach into the recesses of Vatican I and pull out my own way of worshiping Him.  I think it’s not so much the outward appearance, but the inward devotion.  There is a bible verse that comes to mind: Matthew 6:5-6

“5When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”

I never remember bible quotes, so I’m surprised this jumped to mind.  So yeah, I guess my interpretation is that it doesn’t really matter what you look like, but that you’re there, and of course that you pray the rosary, when you get up and go to sleep, and have an inward dialogue with the Holy Spirit throughout the day.  Recently, after I returned from Fragua (which I’ll write about separately), I’ve started to visit Jesus in the chapel at the Newman Center.  They have a tabernacle in the chapel that anyone can go visit as long as the chapel is unlocked, and if it isn’t, I can always go visit Him at the Adoration Chapel, which is open 24/7 at St. Marys.  It’s so awesome to be able to go pray in the presence of Christ, and be able to thank Him in the middle of the day, or ask Him for help.

I sort of got off topic, didn’t I?  Mantillas, right.  Well, it was amazing to see so many women in mass that morning who were wearing them.  I’ve not seen them since, but I always scan the crowd for them.  Hopefully they’ll be back!