Friday, September 29
Tuesday, September 26
Beware of violent images - not suitable for young children.
Hopefully, the meeting this past weekend will begin to open up the minds of the most radical Muslims.
Continue to pray for the conversion of their souls!
Mary, Our Lady of Arabia, ora pro nobis!
Monday, September 25
I'm out of bed.
What more do you want?
Leave me alone.
I'm in a bad mood.
Buy it now
Tell Dad Later
is there a
Give me five
Then there are the plethora of pants with words on the rear end. Nothing says "LOOK AT MY UNDERAGE DAUGHTER'S ASS" like writing across her rear end. (Full disclosure: Little Girl does have one single pair of pants with "Cinderella" written across the tush, but my mother didn't notice it when she bought the set - she bought it for the jacket. Little Girl does not wear said pants very much, except when we go to dance class and she basically is wearing them in and out of the studio over her leotard.)
I have to wonder sometimes if they've got pedophiles working on kids' clothes. Some of them are really trashy. You can't imagine the thrill I had when I saw that prairie skirts had made a comeback!
UPDATE: Mona Charen writes on the same topic here, except that she has examples that are worse than mine. Here's a sampling of her article:
"For teenagers who chafe at clothing rules for midriffs and cleavage," the [Washington] Post explains, "'attitude' shirts offer a chance to show some skin, without showing skin."
Great. Let's hear it for women's liberation. Our 13-year-olds are free to look and act like sluts.
The tentativeness of the adults in this narrative is just amazing. These suggestive messages are in a "gray area." They must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Really? Here are some of the examples offered in the Post story: "Two boys for every girl," "Pimps," "Got (slang expression for breasts)?" "Flirting my way to the top," "I am too hot to handle" and "I know what boys want."
In some instances, school officials demanded that the shirts be turned inside out or exchanged for a school T-shirt. But not in every case. Amazing. Of course, there are occasions, explained Fairfax County, Va., community relations coordinator Paul Regnier, when principals phone a kid's parents about an offensive shirt only to be told that the parents saw no problem.
I agree with Charen, this is a big problem with grown-ups more than with children. Our children only know what is right by what we teach them to be right. If a girl's parents teach her that it's just fine to wear a shirt that implies she puts out, then she's not going to understand what the big deal is about her wearing it to school. And, later, she's not going to understand why it's a big deal for her to actually put out. Yes, attitudes make a difference in how you act. And what you are exposed to makes a difference in what you decide is right and wrong. Really.
Growing up, our family went to Mass every Sunday. I went to CCD (religious education) through my Confirmation, which was the day after I turned 12. I loved God so much! In fact, I had actually thought briefly of becoming a nun, but my conviction that I was supposed to be a wife and mother put that idea out of my head. My father is a cradle Catholic, but my mother was raised Methodist and converted the year I was Confirmed. I was her non-official sponsor, since I was too young, not Confirmed yet, and also related to her. But Mom took my name as her Confirmation name. That Easter Vigil, I watched excitedly as my mother became a Catholic.
Yet not everything we did was in communion with the Church. After I was Confirmed, I went to only one more year of CCD. I didn’t want to go, and my mother didn’t really want to bring me. So, much to my father’s dismay, neither my sister nor I went to any religious training past Confirmation. But neither did anyone else for the most part. We were adults to the Church now! It wasn’t really required, so most kids did not go. While our catechesis was better than some of that time (in the late 70’s and early 80’s), I know now that we were lacking some things that would have helped deepen our faith. And, since I didn’t go to CCD in high school, I was never presented with the Church’s view on sexual ethics. If the parish taught about it, I missed it because I wasn’t there. All I knew was what I saw in our home. And after my sister was born, my mother had had her tubes tied. I did not know that was considered a sin by the Church. I had a vague idea that the Church frowned on sex outside of marriage, but didn’t really understand it. My mother’s instruction when I was a teenager was that it was to be saved for the person you’d marry. Whether you actually waited until that big day was not actually a part of that. I mean, you might know that person was The One, and if you did and had sex before marrying, what would be the big deal?
For the most part, as a young adult, I was a good kid. But, looking back, I can also see a very slow process by which I pulled away from the Catholic Church. At first, I went to Confession every week. I lived down the street from our parish, Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church, and I would ride my bicycle to go to Confession every Saturday. Coming home, I felt as though I could literally fly. My soul felt light. I was right with God again. It was the most amazing thing! But later on, I started to gain friends in school, and, with that, started socializing more, too. Suddenly, I had something to do on Saturday afternoons aside from Confession. I had parties. I could hang out at the mall. I could go to a movie. I could talk on the phone for hours with my girlfriends. Confession? Well, I hadn’t done anything much wrong. No mortal sins as far as I knew, so I would just go another time. Pretty soon, I wasn’t going to Confession at all. Perhaps once or twice a year. Maybe. Sometimes less often. Eventually, I stopped altogether. Looking back, this was the first chip in the bond between God and me. I was lacking graces. And sin became harder to resist and more difficult to see as sinful.
Eventually, our family moved from New Jersey, where I’d lived nearly my entire life, to Florida. There, my cousin helped me to get a job at a department store where she worked. This really nice guy worked there, and we sometimes had lunch together (always in a large group). He was a bit annoying to me, though. He kept calling me “honey” even though I asked him to stop. You see, I had this great boyfriend who I was sure I’d marry. After working there for less than a year, I discovered that I was not making ends meet even though I lived rent-free at home. I left that job and started working as a waitress. The nice guy came in to see me twice and we lost touch.
I was still in college, trying to get the right classes to graduate with my AA degree, and wound up in a physics class. After the second class, I heard someone behind me call my name. I turned around to see the very same nice guy who I’d had lunch with. “I don’t know if you remember me, but we worked together at Maison Blanche,” he started.
“Sure! How are you, ****? You got new glasses! I like them!”
He’d told his friends after the first class that he wanted to befriend me so that he could be firmly entrenched in my life before the end of the semester. That way, he’d have a reason to keep in touch with me. Apparently, he knew the moment he saw me that he wanted to marry me. And by the end of the semester, I knew that was a great idea. In December of that year, I dumped the “great boyfriend” (who was actually very bad for me) and started dating the man I knew I’d marry.
Because of my understanding of sex, and because I knew I’d marry ****, we did not wait to be married before we became sexually active. And, since we didn’t plan on being parents right then (we were 20 and 21), we also contracepted. We started with condoms, but my mother was worried because she knew that condoms are not that effective – at least not as effective as the Pill, which she encouraged me to start taking. (Looking at this sentence here, I just realized that our parish probably didn’t cover Catholic sexual ethics, since my mother went through RCIA and did not learn contraception was wrong. As a matter of fact, I was the one who informed her of the Church’s stance on this not that long ago.) Even though I knew that I really wasn’t supposed to be having sex outside of marriage, I had absolutely NO idea that contraception was considered a mortal sin by the Church.
After dating for two years, **** and I became engaged. We went to Engaged Encounter in the Diocese of Orlando, and, for the very first time, we heard of Natural Family Planning. The couples who were there emphasized that it is very different from the old rhythm method (and told that old joke about calling those who use it “parents”), and they gave out information on how to contact the diocese about classes. They also gave information about when the next classes were. Since **** and I were both in college at the time, and we’d both taken off from work just to go to this weekend together, we knew we wouldn’t make the classes listed. But we did know that eventually we’d like to do that. But even though they promoted NFP, nothing was said about the Church’s view on contraception except that they “don’t approve” of it. (Seriously, some people need to have a clear understanding that it is considered a mortal sin. It might have made a big impact on me.) We continued to use the Pill after we were married.
After being married for four years, we started our family. We discovered on February 4, 1998, that I was expecting our first child. Within ten days, things had changed drastically.
I had been teaching third grade, and it was my second year as a teacher. I hadn’t told administration that I was pregnant yet because I had an appointment with my general practitioner to confirm it (and get the name of a good OB) on February 12. On February 11, I started to feel sick. I was worried about getting sick in my classroom, so I set the class to work with busywork and called the office. “I’m really sick today,” I said. “I know it’s the middle of the morning, but I need a sub as quickly as you can get one.” Before lunch, I had someone there, and I left. Later, the sub (a regular at our school) would tell me that I looked absolutely green when I left. I would not return to school again until the end of April. My students had no idea what happened to me except that I was very sick and couldn’t get back yet.
My mother drove me to my doctor’s appointment, me with my bowl, and my doctor confirmed that I was, indeed, pregnant. His office made an appointment with the OB I’d picked for the following week, and the doctor told me to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, and try eating crackers to ease the severe nausea. Water seemed to make me feel worse and I couldn’t keep any food down whatsoever, no matter how bland it might be. On February 13, as I lay in bed between vomiting spells, Hubby came home with a dozen long-stemmed red roses for me. “Happy Mother’s Day to the mother of my children,” read the card. I thanked him, smelled the roses, and as he went to put them in water, wretched again. The vomiting was around the clock by now; I was even waking up from sleep to throw up. On Saturday, we called the OB’s office and asked what to do. I met my OB that afternoon at the hospital, where they started IV treatment to rehydrate me. My ketones were dangerously high. Bag after bag of fluids were pumped into me. I was given one medication after another for the nausea, and nothing worked. (It did, however, give us a fun game to play when watching TV. Any time a doctor rattled off a prescription for nausea, I could call out, “Tried it! Didn’t work!”)
I was scheduled for an ultrasound to be sure everything was okay. They were also curious if I was pregnant with twins, since morning sickness can be worse pregnancies with multiples. While in the room for my ultrasound, I hung on for dear life to my bowl (those emesis bowls at the hospital weren’t big enough for me) and tried not to vomit as the smell of flowers nearly knocked me out. The smell was so strong that I wondered why on earth the nurse would wear so much perfume. I won’t get into too many details, but let’s just say that the procedure was not pleasant. The ice-cold gel on my stomach was the best part.
Now we knew that I was pregnant with one child, located properly. The doctors figured out that I had hyperemesis. I was put on hyperalimentaion because I was still unable to keep any food down or drink anything. Putting anything in my mouth made me sick. The hyperalimentation started blowing out my veins, so the doctors had a Groshung catheter central line put in for IV therapy. A cocktail of Reglin and Pepcid managed to keep my vomiting down to about a dozen times a day, and I was discharged with home nursing care. My nurse, also a Catholic, told me that she, too, had hyperemesis. She was sick through all nine months of her pregnancy with her older daughter. Threw up on the delivery table, she said. She was terrified of getting pregnant again, but when her daughter was six, she discovered she was expecting. This time, she said, no HG. She was also a secular Franciscan, and she would pray for me.
I seemed to be doing better, and I started to eat a bit more regularly. My stomach was very tender, though, and most foods were bland to try to spare me additional pain. I had another setback when I caught a cold, and the Reglin and Pepcid no longer helped me. I was sent to be under the care of a high-risk specialist, who put me in a darkened room with strict instructions to disturb me as little as possible. He put me on Thorazine, which ended the nausea but also made me zone out and look quite like a zombie. (This is something I learned later is typical of people on Thorazine, which is most commonly used as an anti-psychotic.) Before beginning my Thorazine treatments, I asked my nurse if it would hurt my baby. “I’ve known women who have taken Thorazine all through their pregnancies, and their babies have been fine.” Good enough for me. Bring on the hip shots. At the same time, I also developed pneumonia and an infection in my central line IV. I was hospitalized for two weeks total.
Oddly enough, I had great hope throughout my pregnancy. Every night I went to sleep thinking, “This might be over tomorrow.” Knowing I had so many people praying for me was such a comfort. My name was added to intentions at both my parish and my parents’ parish. Family all over the country was praying. Even my in-laws, who were struggling with the lung cancer found in Hubby's father just after my first hospitalization, prayed for me constantly.
Finally, at about 20 weeks LMP, the HG went away and I was finally able to get off the Thorazine. We learned that our baby was a girl (something I’d already been told in a dream when I was so desperate that I asked God for a sign that the baby would be okay). We named her ****, and, thank God, she was born without any side effects from my illnesses and all the medications I had to take.
I went back on the Pill again to prevent pregnancy, especially with HG still so fresh in my mind. One day, while I was participating on a Pro- Life board online, someone mentioned that the Pill causes abortions. My heart skipped a beat. But not mine, I countered. My doctor didn’t tell me anything about that.
Wrong, answered the other person. Besides preventing ovulation, it also thickens cervical mucus in case of ovulation, but it also will change the lining of the uterus in case both of those fail. That change prevents a fertilized egg, more properly known as an embryo, from implanting.
No way, I said. My doctor would have mentioned that, I’m sure.
Check your Pill’s literature, he answered me. But check online for the complete specifications because the little paper in your Pill pack isn’t everything.
I looked up my birth control pill online. He was right. I thought back to a month when I was three days late while on the Pill. What had I done? I’ll never know for sure.
I threw away my Pills and informed Hubby when he got home that we were not using that any more. I told him what I’d learned, and he agreed completely that we couldn’t do that. But we weren’t ready for more children yet. So we went back to condoms until we could get to the next NFP class.
I loved NFP. I was glad to know that I was finally doing what the Church wanted from me. And because of the NFP, we also discovered that I had hypothyroidism. The Pill masked a major indicator of the disease, and charting helped my OB diagnose the problem. My general practitioner started monitoring me and got me on medication to alleviate the problems associated with it. But even so, I vowed that if I had HG a second time, I’d get a tubal ligation. I even told my priest, to which he only stammered, “Well, we can’t be sure what that illness does to you…” (I love that priest to death, but I wish he’d been a bit braver about it with me. I wish he’d mentioned mortal sin or something. But he was pretty fresh out of seminary when he Baptized Big Girl. Maybe it was a lack of pastoral experience. Hopefully, he’ll do better next time.)
Then, when Big Girl was nearing two, we decided it was time to have another baby. (We still viewed NFP as the “Catholic Birth Control” method at this time.) On November 1, a home pregnancy test confirmed what my charts already told us: we were expecting baby number 2! We hugged each other and celebrated. Ten minutes later, there I was in the bathroom, crying alone. I begged God not to let me suffer like that again. I was so terrified of what might be coming!
While I had great hope each day when I was pregnant with Big Girl, it was not so this time. When the HG struck me, I went into a deep depression. My OB sent me directly to the same high-risk OB as last time, and I was put on Thorazine right away. This time, though, it didn’t work as well. Whereas, with Big Girl, each night I went to sleep thinking that the next day might be better, this time I went to sleep thinking, “I have 20 weeks of this hell to get through.” It was devastating to my Faith. I knew God was there, but I felt abandoned. I could not feel Him there at all. I could not even pray. I brought my father to tears when I asked him why God was punishing me. I never, ever considered abortion with either pregnancy, but this time I would wish for miscarriage just so the pain would end. It hurt me to think it then just as it hurts me to write that now. I thank God that He knew my innermost heart, because my baby girl is such a treasure to me. I thank Him that He didn’t listen to me when I prayed for such a thing.
As 20 weeks approached, I started to cheer up. I could see the end! 20 weeks came, and 20 weeks went. I was still sick and, now, more depressed than ever. For five more weeks, I suffered through the HG. Finally, it passed. Just as with Big Girl, it took me months to gain my strength back. But in the meantime, I also told my OB that I wanted a tubal as soon as the baby was born.
Protocol called for me to wait six weeks after the birth, which I did. I went in for the pre-op consultation with Hubby. No matter what I wanted, he was supportive of me. But he also knew that in my heart of hearts, I didn’t really want a tubal ligation. He knew that I believed it was wrong. He offered to get a vasectomy so I wouldn’t have to do something against my beliefs (he wasn’t yet Catholic), but I insisted. I knew of people whose vasectomies had failed, but no one whose tubal had done so. We dropped off our children with my mother and father and went to the hospital one August morning. As I lay in the bed before the operation, Hubby read the paper while I cried quietly (he had no idea I was crying). I did not want this, but I was so afraid. Afterwards, I felt what many post-abortive women report feeling: relieved. The doctor even put two clips on each side instead of one, just to be sure. Our families were relieved, too. Pregnancies like this were hard on everyone.
It was nearly three years before I could confess this one-on-one. Our parish had Reconciliation services with one-on-one Confession afterwards, but I never did make it to the priest’s side. I would sit afterward and cry because I wasn’t sure I would be forgiven. I couldn’t forgive myself? How do I ask God for it? Finally, after moving to Virginia, I was able to go to my first individual Confession in years. All I wanted to do was Confess that tubal ligation. I think I might have led up to it with something like, “I missed Mass many times, I’ve used God’s name in vain…” then BAM! Torrents of tears, sobbing, and I confessed. My penance was small as far as I was concerned, but maybe God knew that I’d been punishing myself for years over this anyway. As I left the church with my two girls (who had waited in the narthex for me), I suddenly felt something I hadn’t felt since I was a child: I felt forgiven. I had learned as an adult that you don’t always feel different after Confession, but I always had as a child. And I knew now that it was a tremendous grace. I started to cry all over again, but, this time, they were tears of joy.
“Mommy, what’s wrong?” Big Girl, then 5, asked me.
“Nothing, honey, I was just so happy because God forgave me.”
Still, to this day, it’s hard not to feel guilty. There was a day at our homeschool co-op when I learned that two of the moms there had just learned they were expecting. Already, two others already knew, and my sister had learned she was expecting her third child. That day, I wasn’t sure I could even keep up with the co-op the next year. How could I face these beautiful, big families time and again and think of my own Great Sin? I snuck outside at lunch and called Hubby at work. I cried on the phone, telling him how much I wished I could take it all back, even if we never had another baby. I know he feels badly, too, but we both know that once we’ve Confessed it, we are both forgiven. (And, yes, when he converted this past Easter, he, too, confessed it.) The Church does not require me to have a reversal.
I know there are people who say the teaching of the Church is hard. But I’ve gone the other way. It’s harder. On my website, I posted a link to a story about a nurse in New York who had HG and now runs a ministry of sorts to help other women and their families cope with it. One Catholic commented that she’s toyed with the idea because sterilization is more effective than NFP. She, too, is scared of what might happen next time. I told her that the guilt I carry to this day is a much more difficult burden than the fear.
Today, our family works hard to live out the Catholic faith. We look forward to the time when we’ll be able to adopt children or be foster parents. We try to be active within the Church. We are constantly trying to educate ourselves, and a great part of that has been my vocation as a homeschooling mother. I’m working to teach my girls that God has a greater plan for us than we can imagine. And, hopefully, they’ll be ready and willing to follow it, no matter what size their families come in.
This Sunday, Msgr. ____ was subbing in for Father ____ at Mass. (Father ____ has been away all month on his vacation. Last week, we had a wonderful Jesuit priest from Cross International Catholic Outreach come and preside for us. His profile is on this page. He's the one with the hair. I'm pretty sure you'll know who I mean.) Anyway, in the homily it was mentioned that Jesus said that we must become like little children - which was also St. Therese's idea - to inherit the Kingdom. He said that we must learn to trust God like children.
I had an epiphany at that moment and lost much of the rest of the homily as my mind wrapped itself around that idea.
I thought back to the first week after Big Girl was born. I would hold her as much as I could, just STARING at her tiny, beautiful face. Whether she was awake or asleep, Hubby and I would just look at her, gazing at the wonderful creature that God had given us and praying that we would be worthy of our role as parents.
At times, when she was awake, she would look up at me. I knew that her vision hadn't developed enough to see much past where my face was (and, oh, the wonder that God makes it so!), and we would look at each other. We would contemplate each other, and, as I looked into her eyes one day, I was struck with an idea of something.
She trusted me completely.
Big Girl had one thought. This Mommy person will keep me safe and I can trust her. Certainly, this was not a worded-out thought, but that was what her eyes told me. I was overwhelmed at the thought that this tiny baby was dependent on me, and she just knew that I would take care of her every need. Nothing told her otherwise. But everything in her told her to trust me.
And this is what God wants from each of us. Total and complete trust and reliance on Him.
The question for me is this:
When I look up at God as He holds me in His hands, do I look at Him with the same trust as Big Girl, and do I leave myself completely at His mercy?
THE CROSS AND THE CRESCENT (30:00)
This video provides a detailed history and explanation of how Christianity has survived in the Middle East - which witnessed the birth of Jesus and where he called forth his disciples - and yet has become overwhelmingly Muslim. The suffering endured by present-day Catholics (and other Christians) under Muslim domination is clearly addressed.
Tuesday September 26, 2006 3 AM & 6:30 PM
Other programs of interest (especially for certain bloggers who wish EWTN would have more guests who are hip) include this one:
Thursday September 28, 2006 at 8:00PM ET
Life on the Rock with guest Dion DiMucci - Legendary Rocker Dion visits the Rockhouse (more)
And, finally, if you want an update on Mother Angelica, you can go here for it.
Explanation of icon:
"Out of the deserts of the Middle East comes an ancient Christian tradition. Although it has been overshadowed by the Greek and Latin traditions, it is their equal in dignity and theological importance. It is a Semetic tradition, belonging to those churches that use Syriac as their liturgical language. Syriac is a dialect of Aramaic, the language spoken by Christ himself.
This icon celebrates the richness of Syriac Christianity. The inscriptions in the upper corners read "Jesus Christ," and at the bottom, "Christ of the Desert." The Syriac language has ties to the earth that are deep and rich. It is more inclusive than most European languages. The theological experience of Syriac Christians is different because they have encountered the Gospel in such a language. Theirs is an unhellenized expression -- one that is neither Europeanized nor Westernized.
Semitic as it is, the Syriac tradition knows no dichotomy between the mind and heart. The heart is the center of the human person -– center of intellect as well as feelings. The body and all of creation longs to be reunited with God.
A constant theme in Syriac literature is homesickness for Paradise, a desire to restore Paradise on earth. Christians pray facing east because Paradise was in the east. This longing was expressed in monastic terms in ancient times, but its implications today reach far beyond monastery walls. With earthy roots, this longing for Paradise involves concrete responses in the realms of politics, ecology, and economics. "
[icon and explanation found here]
Friday, September 22
Check out what's happening in New York:
In upstate New York, when Batavia High School students showed up for science class this Fall, their teacher had gone from Paul to Paula, so to speak.
The school district had known since last December that they would have to deal with this teacher’s transgender issues, but decided wait until only a week before classes started to spring the news on the students and parents.
TownHall.com has the rest.
Thursday, September 21
Details are here. (Oh, and they are looking for a nice graphic, too. I can think of at least one person who might be able to pull something together.)
Hat tip: Mark Shea
Phil Vischer, at his blog, not only denies it, but gives us the e-mail sent to him by NBC that proves his point. Here's his post, in its entirety, but I recommend you stop by his blog and see the rest, too. (He has a long series of posts on what exactly happened to Big Idea.)
This item appeared today on the trade journal Broadcasting & Cable's website. It is very interesting.NBC says it has made no final decision on what will or won't be in its broadcast of a Madonna concert during the November sweeps.
The Parents Television Council and the American Family Association are making noise about NBC's planned broadcast of a London stop on her "Confessions" tour. PTC wants NBC to explain its "decision to air bigoted, anti-Christian Madonna concert "(though it has not asked individual members to write NBC, as initially reported here).
Their beef is with Madonna's appearance during the concert hanging on a cross wearing a crown of thorns, saying that NBC is "demeaning and degrading Christianity."
"NBC is awaiting delivery of the special and, once we see it in its entirety, we will make a final decision," said NBC in a statement.
PTC also claimed the network had altered its Saturday morning series, Veggie Tales, of "God and the Bible," suggesting some pattern of dissing Christianity.
NBC counters that it edited the shows for time. They are 30-minute home videos that must fit in 22 minutes or so of airtime. It did clip off the beginning and ending tags, which are Bible verses, but they were also arguably the easiest cut to make. The network says the message of the shows remains intact
"Veggie Tales was originally created for home video and, in most cases, each episode is over 30 minutes long," the network said in a statement. "As it appears on Qubo [NBC's Saturday morning Block, which is a co-venture with four other kids TV producers including Veggie Tales], Veggie Tales has been edited down for broadcast without losing any of its core messages about positive values."
Regarding Madonna, NBC had already stated at least twice that they found her performance "acceptable" and would air it as is. Now, apparently, they're reconsidering that position.
More interesting, though, is what they say about VeggieTales. NBC told Broadcasting & Cable that VeggieTales was "edited for time" not for content. In other words, they're saying the edits made were only to bring the shows down to TV length, not to decrease Christian content.
Well, that's kinda funny, because as the guy required to do all the editing, I know that statement is false. We sent them our first episode for TV, which was already edited to EXACTLY the right length, and they rejected it because, at the end, Bob the Tomato said, "Remember kids, God made you special and he loves you very much." They demanded we remove that line. The show wasn't too long, it was too Christian.
Then we sent them the next episode, which contained a slightly shortened version of Minnesota Cuke. Again, the episode, as we delivered it, was perfectly timed for television. What did we get back from NBC? An email with a list of lines that needed to be removed from the show, each of them containing either the word "God" or "Bible." The show wasn't too long, it was too Christian.
In fact, would you like to see that list? Here it is, in an email from NBC on August 24th…
As discussed, there are a few edit notes for Episode # 2 MINNESOTA CUKE
We list the time-code with the specific dialogue lines to be deleted:*
11:50-11:52 - "Calm down. The Bible says we should love our enemies." (on phone)
16:53-17:06 And the best part is God gives us strength too. He gives us an even greater power than Samson's, the power to love our enemy and even be kind to them." (on phone)
18:36 - "Because God gives us the power to love everybody, even our enemy." (on phone)All of the lines are from MARTIN's voice-over during phone conversations
Greatly appreciate your attention to Program Standards notes & concerns. As soon as the edits have been addressed, we will need to re-screen for broadcast approval.
This was the list of offensive lines we needed to removed before Minnesota Cuke could be aired on NBC. The show was already cut down to the proper length, so timing had nothing to do with it. These lines were unacceptably Christian.
I'm not trying to cause trouble for NBC, but whoever is making these statements to the press is either misinformed, or is actively misrepresenting what has happened. They certainly have the right to decide what is or isn't appropriate for their own network, but if they are going to reject programming because they feel it is "too Christian," they should at least own up to it.
We're making the edits because NBC is requiring us to do so. Regardless of what they are now saying to the press.
Crazy stuff, man.
Yeah, Phil, crazy.
Funny how the spiritual attacks are coming faster and harder, and everyone can see them easily now.
UPDATE: Phil has an update on the press release from NBC here. And don't worry if you don't see the Veggies this weekend.
Wednesday, September 20
Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime, by Barbara Park
Junie B. got a Valentine from Jim. He said that he likes Junie B.
I liked this book because it was happy.
September 15, 2006
Not bad for the first time, huh?
Big Girl is currently working on finishing her diorama for her report, and I'll have pictures of that up as soon as she's finished.
Tuesday, September 19
Beware of Captain Stinkin' John Sparrow (currenly plundering in North Carolina today) and First Mate Dirty Charity Cash with mates Decrepit Brit Bellamy (formerly known as Big Girl) and Cap'n Liza Leadblade (formerly known as Little Girl).
Yo Ho, my friends I have a tale
I like to fish, I like to fight
I've got no hand but that's me hook!
And that's all there is to this song.
It's Carnival time again!
Check out this week's Catholic Carnival, being hosted by Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering. We've got commentary on the reactions to Pope Benedict XVI's academic lecture, sacraments and conversion, pro life issues, and much more.
Monday, September 18
Would that we all have the grace necessary to do the same should we face that situation.
Michelle Malkin has the whole story.
Hat tip: Laura the Crazy Mama
Sunday, September 17
Above the posts, you'll see a large banner, which you can also download here. (There is also a smaller, sidebar-friendly version.)
On my sidebar, you'll see a square picture which I lifted from Jeff Miller. He's happy to share, so head over and pick that up if you wish.
And, hey, you don't even need to be Catholic to show your support for our Papa. And if you want to read his entire lecture, you can do so here. (Contrary to what the media seems to want us to think, it was not all about Islam.)
Thanks to Esther for posting this prayer. Please pray for the safety of the pope and for all Christians, especially Catholics, in areas with large Muslim populations.
Lord Jesus Christ, You willed to build Your Church on Peter the Rock and the Popes who have succeeded him through the ages.
Pour forth Your grace on our Holy Father Benedict XVI that he may be a living sign and an indefatigable promoter of the unity of the Church.
Help him to proclaim Your message to all people and to listen to the message that comes to him from the consensus of all its members and from the world that You made.
Make him serve others after Your example and in accord with his traditional title:"Servant of the servants of God."Unite us closely to him and make us docile to his teachings.
And, Lord, please protect our Holy Father in this time of danger.
Saturday, September 16
Here's Big Girl's mobile:
And here's Little Girl's project:
Friday, September 15
The father has fled with their children to Austria, where at least one other homeschooling German family had to flee to be allowed to instruct their children.
One commenter at the page had this to say:
I have no problem with home schooling for the most part. I feel parents should have a right to choose the methods they feel are best to educate their children.
It appears that Homeschooling is illegal in Germany. I don't thick this is right, but until circumstances change, how exactly are the Pletts doing what is best for their children?
There comes a point where parental idealism becomes a selfish endeavour in and of itself. In fact every grownup can relate stories of parental zeal; some happily and more not so.
This particular story has no traction.
There is such a thing as an unjust law. For example, when Northern, free states, made it illegal to help runaway slaves, many people broke that law because it was unjust. In the South, some taught their slaves to read and write despite the illegality of the act.
The Catechism states:
1903 - Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, "authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse."23[emphasis mine]
And, later, it emphasizes this point:
2242 - The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience [emphasis in original] to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."48 "We must obey God rather than men":49When citizens are under the oppression of a public authority which oversteps its competence, they should still not refuse to give or to do what is objectively demanded of them by the common good; but it is legitimate for them to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens against the abuse of this authority within the limits of the natural law and the Law of the Gospel.50
You can read about the family here. Please pray for them, and pray that Germany lifts this unfair law that does not permit parents to be the primary educators of their own children. After all, the Church teaches us that we are just that. (See Pope Pius XI's Divini Illius Magistri and Pope John Paul II's Familiaris Consortio.) Does it matter that this family is Baptist? Not at all, for as Catholics we know that God's laws and guidelines for our lives does not depend upon our membership in His Catholic Church.
Hat tip to Esther for pointing this out. (She found it via Custos Fidei.)
Thursday, September 14
Triumph of the Cross
Old Calendar: Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross
This feast was observed in Rome before the end of the seventh century. It commemorates the recovery of the Holy Cross, which had been placed on Mt. Calvary by St. Helena and preserved in Jerusalem, but then had fallen into the hands of Chosroas, King of the Persians. The precious relic was recovered and returned to Jersualem by Emperor Heralius in 629.
The Breviary lessons tells us that Emperor Heraclius carried the Cross back to Jerusalem on his shoulders. He was clothed with costly garments and with ornaments of precious stones. But at the entrance to Mt. Calvary a strange incident occurred. Try as hard as he would, he could not go forward. Zacharias, the Bishop of Jerusalem, then said to the astonished monarch: "Consider, O Emperor, that with these triumphal ornaments you are far from resembling Jesus carrying His Cross." The Emperor then put on a penitential garb and continued the journey.
Triumph of the Cross
This day is also called the Exaltation of the Cross, Elevation of the Cross, Holy Cross Day, Holy Rood Day, or Roodmas. The liturgy of the Cross is a triumphant liturgy. When Moses lifted up the bronze serpent over the people, it was a foreshadowing of the salvation through Jesus when he was lifted up on the Cross. Our Mother Church sings of the triumph of the Cross, the instrument of our redemption. To follow Christ we must take up his cross, follow him and become obedient until death, even if it means death on the cross. We identify with Christ on the Cross and become co-redeemers, sharing in His cross.
The Sign of the Cross we make over ourselves before prayer helps to fix our minds and hearts to God. After prayer we make it to keep close to God. During trials and temptations our strength and protection is the Sign of the Cross. At Baptism we are sealed with the Sign of the Cross, signifying the fullness of redemption and that we belong to Christ. Let us look to the cross frequently, and realize that when we make the Sign of the Cross we give our entire self to God — mind, soul, heart, body, will, thoughts.
O cross, you are the glorious sign of victory.
Through your power may we share in the triumph of Christ Jesus.
Symbol: The cross of triumph is usually pictured as a globe with the cross on top, symbolic of the triumph of our Savior over the sin of the world, and world conquest of his Gospel through the means of a grace (cross and orb).
The Wednesday, Friday and Saturday following September 14 marks one of the Ember Days of the Church. See Ember Days for more information.
Things to Do:
- Study different symbols and types of crosses, history and/or significance. Then have an art project — creating own crosses, using different media, including paper. See variations of crosses for some ideas.
- Learn and pray the prayer to Christ Crucified; pray the Stations of the Cross. Point out particularly the phrase repeated at each station: We adore You, O Christ, and praise You,Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.
Study the history of St. Helena and Constantine, especially St. Helena’s quest for finding the relics of Jesus.
- Make sure that crucifixes are displayed prominently throughout your home. Point out the crucifix in every room even to the smallest ones. Your child's first word may be "Jesus"!
Explain the meaning of the Sign of the Cross to your children and be sure that even the little ones are taught how to make it.
- Encourage your children to make reparation for sin; read about sacramentals.
Teach your children a short ejaculatory prayer such as "Through the sign of the Cross deliver us from our enemies, O our God!".
- Make a dessert in the form of a cross, or decorated with a cross. Although usually made on Good Friday, Hot Cross Buns would be appropriate for this day. Make a cross cake, either using a cross form cake pan, or bake a sheet cake (recipe of choice). Once cool, cut the cake in half, lengthways. Then cut one of these sections in half width ways. This makes three sections - one long and two short. Lay the long section onto a serving plate. Set the two small sections next to the long section forming a cross. Frost and decorate as desired.
Tradition holds that sweet basil grew over the hill where St. Helena found the Holy Cross, so in Greece the faithful are given sprigs of basil by the priest. Cook a basil pesto, tomato basil salad (with the last of the summer tomatoes) or some other type of recipe that includes basil, and explain to the family.
- More Ideas: Women for Faith and Family, Hand Cross, and Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Folklore has that the weather on the Ember Days of this month (September 15, 17, and 18) will foretell the weather for three successive months. So Wednesday, September 15, will forecast the weather for October; Friday, September 17, for November; and Saturday, September 18, for December.
Here's the question, and you should head over to Mark's blog for the answer:
All of the protestant denominations I have been involved with teach that there are places where both the righteous and damned dead go to await the resurrection, judgment, etc. For the righteous it is called the "bosom of Abraham" or "Paradise", and I'm unsure what the place for the damned is called. The damned are in a state of torment and the the righteous are in a blessed state, but none have received their final reward/punishment. Is this basically the same concept as Purgatory?
Also, how does the Church determine who the patron saints of a profession, etc. are going to be?
Oh yeah, I really appreciate you anwering all of my questions!
Wednesday, September 13
When I say the biblical roots of the Mass, I refer to the heart of the Mass—the Sacrifice of the Mass-and how that Sacrifice was prefigured in Old Testament offerings and fulfilled in Christ's one Sacrifice in the New Testament. While many apologetics books made worthwhile, New Testament-based arguments for the Eucharist in the midst of covering other doctrinal topics, I didn't see any book that cultivated a biblical overview of the Sacrifice of the Mass. Different authors affirmed my conclusion.
More information on the book, plus the rest of the interview, is found here.
Notice that the risen Jesus still bears his wounds. How can it be otherwise? In our own lives, times of suffering may lead to times of peace and joy, but we cannot escape the lingering effects of suffering. It permanently changes us -- we cannot pretend that it never happened. That the risen Jesus still bears his wounds is good news, for it tells us that there is a continuity between the lives we have now and the lives that we will enjoy in the Resurrection. Jesus is the same person. His wounds, though, are different: they are not a source of suffering but a source of recognition. It is only through seeing Jesus' wounds that Thomas recognizes him. In the Resurrection, we will still bear the effects of the hurts that have been done to us, but they will no longer cause us pain.
20 weeks of it with Big Girl. 25 weeks of it with Little Girl. So much fear of it hapenning again that I opted for a tubal ligation, knowing full well that I was comitting a mortal sin. Carrying that burden without even feeling that I could confess it for years. Finally confessing, but still carrying the burden.
HG is scary stuff.
Dawn Eden has an off-site article about someone who now has a ministry of sorts to help women and their families deal with HG. And, let me tell you, without the support of your family, you can't make it through. Without my family to help us, I don't know how I would have made it. My mother took care of Big Girl for months, sometimes overnight, while I was in and out of the hospital and Hubby was doing everything else. Hubby did everything in the house - laundry, cooking, cleaning, diapers for Big Girl, shopping, caring for me...his steadfast love was crucial, and it all made me so aware of the great blessing he is in my life.
If you wonder how we, as assenting Catholics who love the Church and believe in her teachings, could have just two children, read this article and try to imagine what it was like. Even now, I have tears in my eyes as I remember what a complete and total nightmare it was to go through HG. It's still hard sometimes to look at a woman who is newly pregnant and out in the world, glowing and all, and not looking at all sick. At least God removed my bitterness and anger over it. Now I just wonder what it's like and wish I could have been like that.
I so wanted to have more children...
A Sunday school teacher asked her class, "What was Jesus'
One child answered, "Mary."
The teacher then asked, "Who knows what Jesus' father's name was?"
A little kid said, "Verge."
Confused, the teacher asked, "Where did you get that?"
The kid said, "Well, you know they are always talking about Verge 'n' Mary."
If you have a chance, be sure to show your support on Life Chain Sunday!
Tuesday, September 12
One nice thing about the internet is how much information you can use to homeschool your children. There is so much free information out there that monetary issues shouldn't really come into play when it comes to a decision to homeschool. I even found an astronomy course for children online (though I do need to be careful to point them towards sites that aren't contradictory to our Catholic faith, such as ones that don't misrepresent what went on with Gallileo).
Monday, September 11
Wednesday, September 6
Just this weekend while we were eating out, we saw a little girl about the same age as my older daughter, who is not quite eight. This girl was wearing a T-shirt that said:
1. I want it.
2. You buy it.
3. Any questions?
It was disgusting.
Now there's this. You can put this button on your blog and post a mission statement from Moms for Modesty. My button is posted, and here's the Mission Statement.
Moms for Modesty Mission Statement
As a Mom for Modesty I believe in common-sense modesty for girls and young women.
- I believe in refraining from sexualizing our girls and young women.
- I believe that it is unwise and unfair to taunt boys and young men by permitting my daughter(s) to dress in an immodest manner.
- I believe that true beauty comes from within and I strive to teach my daughter(s) this truth.
- I will loyally shop at retailers that provide girls' and young womens clothing that is modest, affordable and stylish.
Click on the picture above or the link embedded into the post title to get information on how to post this mission statement and button on your blog.
Looking at those pictures reminds me of how very wealthy I am! God has blessed me with the most wonderful life.
At dinner that night, I mentioned that the G-rated movie was given a thumbs-up by the fathers as well as the children. (We are all bemused, though, that the city-folk who made the movie seem unaware that cows and bulls are not different species.) Of course, all of this information combined with them seeing the trailer when we went to see Cars has made the movie even more desirable to them. They are both asking to go see it.
My husband, though, teased them both.
"Go see Barnyard? What for? Who wants to see a silly movie with talking animals?"
Our older daughter, nearly 8, answered, "I love talking animals! I'm all about talking animals!"
After her father nearly spit his pizza out trying not to laugh, she expanded on her "all about" theme:
"I'm all about talking animals, I'm all about sports, I'm all about bungee jumping from a blimp!"
Then, arms spread, she hopped up from her chair and demonstrated the final one:
"Whoosssssssshhhhhhhh....BAM!!" with her hand slapping the table to emphasize the final part.
I was laughing WAY too hard to say anything, but my husband managed, "Um, honey. You arne't supposed to hit the ground when you bungee jump..."