Thursday, January 31

'Til Tuesday ...

...I'll be living on this stuff.

Then, come Wednesday, I'm off it until Easter morning.

Pray for me.

Better yet, pray for my children!!

[image sources: coffee, woman]

Today is the Day!

My good friend is going to court today. Please pray for her and her children, and please also pray that her judge will have, as she put it, "the wisdom of Solomon" as he hears this case. Her husband has been less-than-honest, and her biggest concern is that her children remain with her so that she can continue to homeschool them and raise them Catholic.

Please storm heaven for them!

Previous posts on this topic:

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

Football, Basketball, Cars

I've got some very manly sorts of things up for auction this week.

Orlando Magic collectibles (including bobbleheads)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl XXXVII collection (including Sports Illustrated Commemorative issue)

Die-cast sports cars and an RC Viper (my favorite car!)

Go on and shop victoriously! ;)

Wednesday, January 30

How to Annoy Your Children: Part I

My father has been teasing my daughters for years and calling them Fred and George. (Little Girl, for the record, is Fred.) It annoys them to no end.

Imagine my delight as I read the first Harry Potter book to them and realized that Ron Weasley has two brothers - twins - named Fred and George! From that point on, my father has called them "The Weasley Twins." This annoys them just as much, if not more.

And now I've printed off a picture from LOL Cats for them.

I kid you not ... this is a direct quote!

On Church Shopping

First Things has an article that grabbed my attention because of its title: My Church, My Strip Mall. I pulled it up on Bloglines just as I was sending this picture to Crummy Church Signs.

But it deals with the idea of church shopping, not churches in strip malls. I'm still interested in - really, more like fascinated by - the idea of shopping around for a church. As a cradle Catholic, I am just unfamiliar with the idea that you'd look high and low for a church because you want teaching you can agree with. Or a pastor you'll like. Or babysitting services. Or whatever.

Shouldn't you be looking for The Truth? The Church that Jesus Founded? (He did intend to found a Church. He said Peter would head it up.)

But the article is quite interesting, and it delves into an article on Christianity Today's website about what people are looking for when they church shop (a phrase the author at CT doesn't like), and why it's really a good thing that there are so many brands of Christianity. (Because Jesus was silly to pray that we all be one?)

Anyway ... I'll give you a tiny snippet, then you can read the rest here.

Read Richard Mouw’s “Spiritual Consumerism’s Upside,” recently made available online at Christianity Today’s website. In it Mouw defends the idea of church shopping (or hopping or skipping or jumping) as not only inevitable given our diverse religious culture but even exciting and positive. It’s more than a concession to how things are, how Christianity—particularly its Protestant and evangelical forms—has played itself out in America. It’s a celebration of it. People don’t “inherit” denominational allegiances to the degree they once did, the argument goes. Most communities offer churches of various denominational “brands” within short distances from each other. The “seeker” church is an increasingly popular phenomenon and attracts both unbelievers and those raised in the faith but who are currently not tied to any one church (if they attend church at all). Why not embrace the opportunities the fissiparous nature of Protestantism offers?

Mouw insists that we not make judgments about people pursuing their spiritual bliss, unencumbered by theological presuppositions. In fact, he pleads guilty to a certain denominational shape-shifting himself. He also takes umbrage at the tendency to apply the “church shopper” label to those who drift from one evangelical denomination to another but not to those who leave a Protestant denomination to become Catholic. Mouw also riffs on the various religious orders within Catholicism, which, to his mind, is a variation on the denominational distinctions within Protestantism.

With all due respect to Dr. Mouw, his thesis is just daft. To begin with, the sundry Catholic orders all read the same catechism, eat the same Supper, and answer to the same Magisterium. Whatever the differences in emphases (mendicant vs. teaching orders, for example), there is concrete church governance that can issue in specific church discipline. That is very different from the serious discrepancies in theology and church order that separate Protestant denominations.

Speaking of Priests ...

Amy Welborn has a beautiful post up about Sunday's Mass. Here's a little piece of it:

On a chilly Sunday morning, an ancient priest fills in for the pastor.

He speaks softly, almost inaudibly at times.

He is careful when he moves and must even take a seat while the Gloria is sung.

Those of us in the back amid wriggling, restless masses must lean forward and focus our entire attention on him during the homily, so we can catch what he is saying above the low rumble that surrounds us.

He speaks of Peter. He pulls stories from here and there, across eight decades, I would guess, including a tale of his own trip to the Sea of Galilee with some other priests. They tried to get a fisherman to take them out in his boat, but he demurred, saying that he only went out at about 5:30 and fished all night - like Peter.

They convinced him, though, and so he took them out. Of course, he did not catch a thing.
The priest skips ahead a bit in the liturgical year and mentions Peter being recognized by his accent at the fire, in the dark, the night before Jesus was crucified.

He tells us that like Peter, all Christians are recognized by how they speak.

And he talks of brother apostles. How at one time in this diocese, there were six sets of priestly brothers. He names them all. He and his own older brother make up one of the sets.

“And now, ” he says softly, almost in wry, resigned wonderment, ”I’m the only one left.”

The slightest pause, and we think about that. ...

Be sure to read the rest at Amy's blog.

Tuesday, January 29

A Prayer for Priests

O Jesus,
I pray for Your faithful and fervent priests;

for Your unfaithful and tepid priests;

for Your priests labouring at home
or abroad in distant mission fields;

for Your tempted priests;

for Your lonely and desolate priest;

for Your young priests;

for Your dying priests;

for the souls of Your priests in purgatory.

But above all I recommend to You the priests dearest to me;

the priest who baptized me;

the priests who absolved me from my sins;

the priests at whose Masses I assisted
and who gave me Your Body and Blood in Holy communion;

the priests who taught and instructed me;

all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way.

O Jesus, keep them all close to Your heart,

and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity.


This Week's Required Reading: Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (Updated)

I'd never read this before, but I had reason to look it up this week. (Don't ask.)

Funny how short and sweet it is.


Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate,

1. Priestly ordination, which hands on the office entrusted by Christ to his Apostles of teaching, sanctifying and governing the faithful, has in the Catholic Church from the beginning always been reserved to men alone. This tradition has also been faithfully maintained by the Oriental Churches.

When the question of the ordination of women arose in the Anglican Communion, Pope Paul VI, out of fidelity to his office of safeguarding the Apostolic Tradition, and also with a view to removing a new obstacle placed in the way of Christian unity, reminded Anglicans of the position of the Catholic Church: "She holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God's plan for his Church."(1)

But since the question had also become the subject of debate among theologians and in certain Catholic circles, Paul VI directed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to set forth and expound the teaching of the Church on this matter. This was done through the Declaration Inter Insigniores, which the Supreme Pontiff approved and ordered to be published.(2)

2. The Declaration recalls and explains the fundamental reasons for this teaching, reasons expounded by Paul VI, and concludes that the Church "does not consider herself authorized to admit women to priestly ordination."(3) To these fundamental reasons the document adds other theological reasons which illustrate the appropriateness of the divine provision, and it also shows clearly that Christ's way of acting did not proceed from sociological or cultural motives peculiar to his time. As Paul VI later explained: "The real reason is that, in giving the Church her fundamental constitution, her theological anthropology-thereafter always followed by the Church's Tradition- Christ established things in this way."(4)

In the Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, I myself wrote in this regard: "In calling only men as his Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and sovereign manner. In doing so, he exercised the same freedom with which, in all his behavior, he emphasized the dignity and the vocation of women, without conforming to the prevailing customs and to the traditions sanctioned by the legislation of the time."(5)

In fact the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles attest that this call was made in accordance with God's eternal plan; Christ chose those whom he willed (cf. Mk 3:13-14; Jn 6:70), and he did so in union with the Father, "through the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:2), after having spent the night in prayer (cf. Lk 6:12). Therefore, in granting admission to the ministerial priesthood,(6) the Church has always acknowledged as a perennial norm her Lord's way of acting in choosing the twelve men whom he made the foundation of his Church (cf. Rv 21:14). These men did not in fact receive only a function which could thereafter be exercised by any member of the Church; rather they were specifically and intimately associated in the mission of the Incarnate Word himself (cf. Mt 10:1, 7-8; 28:16-20; Mk 3:13-16; 16:14-15). The Apostles did the same when they chose fellow workers(7) who would succeed them in their ministry.(8) Also included in this choice were those who, throughout the time of the Church, would carry on the Apostles' mission of representing Christ the Lord and Redeemer.(9)

3. Furthermore, the fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, received neither the mission proper to the Apostles nor the ministerial priesthood clearly shows that the non-admission of women to priestly ordination cannot mean that women are of lesser dignity, nor can it be construed as discrimination against them. Rather, it is to be seen as the faithful observance of a plan to be ascribed to the wisdom of the Lord of the universe.

The presence and the role of women in the life and mission of the Church, although not linked to the ministerial priesthood, remain absolutely necessary and irreplaceable. As the Declaration Inter Insigniores points out, "the Church desires that Christian women should become fully aware of the greatness of their mission: today their role is of capital importance both for the renewal and humanization of society and for the rediscovery by believers of the true face of the Church."(10)

The New Testament and the whole history of the Church give ample evidence of the presence in the Church of women, true disciples, witnesses to Christ in the family and in society, as well as in total consecration to the service of God and of the Gospel. "By defending the dignity of women and their vocation, the Church has shown honor and gratitude for those women who-faithful to the Gospel-have shared in every age in the apostolic mission of the whole People of God. They are the holy martyrs, virgins and mothers of families, who bravely bore witness to their faith and passed on the Church's faith and tradition by bringing up their children in the spirit of the Gospel."(11)

Moreover, it is to the holiness of the faithful that the hierarchical structure of the Church is totally ordered. For this reason, the Declaration Inter Insigniores recalls: "the only better gift, which can and must be desired, is love (cf. 1 Cor 12 and 13). The greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven are not the ministers but the saints."(12)

4. Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church's judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.

Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.

Invoking an abundance of divine assistance upon you, venerable brothers, and upon all the faithful, I impart my apostolic blessing.

From the Vatican, on May 22, the Solemnity of Pentecost, in the year 1994, the sixteenth of my Pontificate.

1. Paul VI, Response to the Letter of His Grace the Most Reverend Dr. F.D. Coggan, Archbishop of Canterbury, concerning the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood (November 30, 1975); AAS 68 (1976), 599.
2. Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Inter Insigniores on the question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood (October 15, 1976): AAS 69 (1977), 98-116.
3. Ibid., 100.
4. Paul VI, Address on the Role of Women in the Plan of Salvation (January 30, 1977): Insegnamenti, XV (1977), 111. Cf. Also John Paul II Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles laici (December 30, 1988), n. 51: AAS 81 (1989), 393-521; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1577.
5. Apsotolic Letter Mulieris Dignnitatem (August 15, 1988), n. 26: AAS 80 (1988), 1715.
6. Cf. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, n. 28 Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis, n. 2b.
7. Cf. 1 Tm 3:1-13; 2 Tm 1:6; Ti 1:5-9.
8. Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1577.
9. Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, nn. 20,21.
10. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Inter Insigniores, n. 6: AAS 69 (1977), 115-116.
11. Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, n. 27: AAS 80 (1988), 1719.
12. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Inter Insigniores n. 6: AAS 69 (1977), 115.

(On the same topic, here's Inter Insigniores, given to us by Pope Paul VI in 1976, Pope John Paul II's letter Mulieris Dignitatem, and the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia's entry on the priesthood.)

Ignatius Press' blog just talked about this today. There is a wealth of information available through their links that will help explain this doctrine to anyone who might be confused about it.

A Prayer for My Friend and Her Family

A mutual friend passed this on and suggested that our co-op pray it on behalf of the family for whom I've been requesting prayers. Please pray it with me now.


O Divine Eternal Father, in union with your Divine Son and the Holy Spirit, and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg you to destroy the power of Your greatest enemy-the evil spirits.

Cast them into the deepest recesses of hell and chain them there forever! Take possession of Your kingdom which You have created and which is rightfully Yours.

Heavenly Father, give us the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

I repeat this prayer out of pure love for You, with every beat of my heart and with every breath I take, Amen.

She then wrote (emphasis mine):

This is a prayer we pray every night and I think it would do good if we all said it for the *********** family, now more than ever. As I write this I have felt the presence of the devil just trying to keep me from doing this, his power is very strong and we need to join together now more than ever just to put him in his place!

Please keep my friend and her children in your prayers. I beg you, please pray for them!

Catholic Carnival: Feast Before Famine

Check out this week's Catholic Carnival, being hosted by Kate Wicker.

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

Please, Please Pray!

I know I've asked before, but I'm asking again. My friend's husband is making things very difficult for her. Please pray for God to intervene on the 31st for my friend when she goes to court. She fears that he'd rather see the children in foster care than with her, and she has been receiving no money from him. They have no insurance any more, they are in danger of losing their home, and someone called social services on her about her homeschooling.

Please, please, please storm heaven for my friend and her children! Please pray for her family, for their protection, and that God will intervene for them. Please pray for her judge to have "the wisdom of Solomon" as he hears the case. All she wants is for her children to remain with her and to try to have some kind of normalcy in their lives.

Saint Nicholas of Myra, patron of children and judges, pray for them!
Saint Catherine of Alexandria, patroness of lawyers, teachers, and students, pray for them!
Saint Thomas More, patron of lawyers and difficult marriages, pray for them!

Prayer to Mary, Help of Christians:

Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin,
Help of the Christians,
we place ourselves under your motherly protection.
Throughout the Church's history
you have helped Christians in times of trial,
temptation and danger.
Time and time again,
you have proven to be the Refuge of sinners,
the Hope of the hopeless,
the Consoler of the afflicted,
and the Comforter of the Dying.
We promise to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, your Son,
to proclaim His Good News of God's love for all people,
and to work for peace and justice in our world.
With faith in your intercession,
we pray for the Church,
for our family and friends,
for the poor and abandoned,
and all the dying.
Grant, O Mary, Help of Christians,
the graces of which we stand in need.

(State intention here.)

May we serve Jesus with fidelity and love until death.
Help us and our loved ones
to attain the boundless joy of being forever
with our Father in heaven.

Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us!

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

Monday, January 28

Online Giveaway!

I know it's going to make my chances smaller, but you can go to Five Minutes for Mom and enter a contest to win a nifty new Kodak digital camera!

If we won, then Soccer Dad can take our old camera on his trips and take pictures of Halpert, and I'll still have a camera at home for pictures of the children and other stuff.

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

I'm Honored!

Heidi of the Mommy Monsters Inc. blog (how I love that name!) has nominated me as an excellent blogger! That's some high praise from someone who actually writes for a living, you know. Maybe I can be like Heidi when I grow up.

So here are the rules:

Recipients of the Excellent Blog Award must award it to 10 more people whose blogs you find "Excellent Award" worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want-even those that have received it already, but please award at least 10 people.

Oh, fun!

Here is my list:

  1. Jen at et tu? - I absolutely love her blog because it makes me think about the faith I grew up in. Plus, she's absolutely hysterical, especially when she writes about her house pets. If we lived closer, I'd invite her over for coffee or dinner or both.

  2. Red Neck Woman at Postscripts from the Catholic Spitfire Grill - Many of the same reasons I read Jen's blog here. Something about these converts is just so addictive for me! Plus, I get to see RNW say things on her homeschooling forums that I probably only wished I had the courage to say (even online). Oh, and this post here made me cry. I've been saving that to share with you guys, so now is as good a time as any.

  3. Julie D. of Happy Catholic - Julie is a book lover. And a movie lover. And she watches a lot of the same TV shows that I watch. More than once, I've taken her advice on a good movie or book, and I have yet to be disappointed. My latest Julie-recommended find? Rumer Godden.

  4. Rebecca at Mary Meets Dolly - I have highlighted Rebecca's blog more than once. Her blog focuses on bioethics from a Catholic perspective, and it's a wealth of information. If you find that she's been a bit busy and hasn't posed too much recently, just start going through her archives. Her blog helps me get informed on this "new" topic in the Pro Life movement, and as the head of our Respect Life Committee, I find it important to learn what I can about this so I can help inform others!

  5. Jean at Catholic Fire - I don't know how she does all she does, but I'm sure glad she does it! Jean keeps us up-to-date on Pro Life news, Church happenings, and more. It's like a treasure trove that pops up on my Bloglines every day!

  6. Christina at Confessions of a Hot Carmel Sundae - I started reading her blog because of the cute title, but stayed for the interesting insights on faith and family. Christina is a bit busy lately with a new baby, but when she posts, it's worth the wait. But if you want more news from her world, you can always read ...

  7. Joel, Christina's husband, at On the Other Foot - Joel is a nice guy with a wicked sense of humor. His blog isn't all that specialized - he covers all kinds of topics - but it's always a good read. He's got a lot of good political stuff lately, too.

  8. The Anchoress - Not that she'll ever see this, but I love reading her blog. It's a great mix of Catholicism, news, and politics. It's always nice to see someone who can blend all the areas of life without compromising her faith. Oh, and since she's a Yankees fan, she's automatically okay in my book. If she left me a comment on my blog, I'd probably fall down dead. ;)

  9. Kathy Jo at Barefoot Meandering - Homeschooler, libertarian, and ... farmer? Yep, Kathy Jo, proud Texan, and her passel of boys live on a farm now. I love her posts because they are always filled with great humor. I also love her updates on what they do in their homeschool. I've saved several posts just so I can refer to them when I get to a topic that she covers with her boys.

  10. Micki at Holy Cards for Your Inspiration - This blog has no real commentary. It doesn't really have heaps of content. What it does have is exactly what the title suggests: holy cards that will inspire you. I don't know where Micki finds the cards she puts up daily, but they are so beautiful. Usually, they are antique cards, often in French or Latin, with beautiful illustrations. When I see that and compare these cards with many of the more modern ones available, I feel a loss for these delicate and reverent cards. She's on my Bloglines subscription just for the nice, warm, squishy feeling I get when I see her posts each day.

I honestly could go on and on, since I have so many different blogs that I like to read, but I'll leave it there. These are just a few of my favorites. :)

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

I Might Seem to be the Only Wordy One Here

But Soccer Dad (aka Travel Man) has new posts up at his blog.

Stop by and say hello, and watch for tons of posts in March, since he's going to be gone pretty much the whole month. :)

Personally, I like his style on that blog. Then again, I'm a bit biased. I think he's the funniest guy I've ever met.

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

Help! *Caveat Added*

I was an Independent Business Owner under Amway/Quixtar for years. For longer than I've been married. For various reasons, we did not renew and don't plan to. But now I'm in a quandry.

I have used nothing but Amway laundry products for more than 15 years, and now that I'll not be buying those any more, I have NO CLUE what works well and is cost-effective. Let me tell you this: Amway's laundry products ROCK. They are most of why we continued to renew our business license for the last few years. Amway's stuff gets anything and everything out of your laundry.

So what else works? Please help me out here, as I'll be needing to buy laundry detergent before February is out. I've already settled on fabric softener (I resisted the cutie bear and went with Downy) and have been using Shout lately (though I resent having to pre-treat so long before I wash something; I'd use the Amway stuff as I dropped it into the washer and it worked). But detergent ... ah, here I am stuck!

Some basics: I like stuff that's concentrated, I don't mind if it's powder or liquid, and I'm willing to pay a little bit extra if it's that much better. I like a deal, but if I have to wash something twice to get stains out, that's not a deal to me.
*Added Caveat*
I forgot to mention, in case it makes a difference, that we are on a septic system. Barb's comment about pipes reminded me that I might need to mention that. :)
Thanks for the help so far, ladies!

Okay, moms! Let me know what you use and how you like it!

Thanks in advance!!

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

*sniffle* Now for Auction on eBay ...

Just listed the rest of my Orlando Magic stuff, Tampa Bay Bucs gear is next.

And books. Lots of books to list. Just need to find time to go through them.

Saturday, January 26

Frog or horse?

I hope this works.  I’m forwarding the email, and there should be a moving picture below.





Can you tell the difference between a horse and a frog? Keep watching.





Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape in the new year.


Urgent Prayer Request for a Family

Please pray for a friend of mine. Her husband left her in the middle of last year for someone else, and they are now in the middle of a divorce. They have seven children, and things are very rough for the family right now. They have a court date on the 31st, and she desperately needs our prayers. She has homeschooled for years, but he is suddenly against it now in his "new life," and she is afraid that even if she is able to keep primary custody (which he tried to contest earlier), they'll have to move because her husband lost his job late last year.

Please storm heaven in prayers for my friend and her children, that the court appearance goes well, and that she'll be able to continue homeschooling the children. Please also pray that their housing situation resolves itself.

Please also pray for the conversion of her husband, as well as for the other woman and her five children. I pray that both families can find healing and that there is repentance where it's necessary. This whole situation is breaking my heart.

Saint Joseph, pray for us!
Saint Rita, pray for us!

Friday, January 25


I wish I could go to daily Mass without it being a nearly 40 mile round-trip. I wish my parish, three miles from me, had Mass a couple mornings a week. I'd even be willing to risk the homilies again if Father started it up.

Thursday, January 24

Poetic Quotation

"The snow is sticking to the ice on the pool cover, and it looks like powdered sugar."

-Big Girl, looking out the kitchen window this afternoon

It's really hard to see the snowflakes in this picture. They are light and fluffy and are gently falling to the ground when the wind isn't swirling them through the air. Unfortunately, I don't think they'll stick much. But it sure is pretty while it lasts.

Carl Olsen: Starting Power Forward for SLU!

Carl Olson has an excellent analogy for Coach Marjerus, who is being defiant of his archbishop and showing himself to be a less-than-orthodox Catholic. (Apparently, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, as one article points out that his mother is horrified by the situation, not because the son she raised to be Catholic is sticking his tongue out at the archbishop, but because the archbishop has the audacity to stick to the Spiritual Works of Mercy!)

Here's a bit of Olson's article, which I highly recommend you go and read in its entirety:

... Let's say, just for sake of argument, that I am a player on Coach Marjerus's team. He wants me, an already undersized power forward, to play center. He also demands that I practice for two hours a day, in addition to spending another two hours a day learning plays and watching film. On top of that, he has the audacity to inform me that he will be the one who decides when I play and how much I play. The problem is that I attended My Way High School and I learned a different set of value judgments. I was taught that I, being the star player and being a fully autonomous 18-year-old, should be able to practice and play however much I want and when I want. Who is the coach to tell me what I can do on the court? After all, I chose to play for his team, but that doesn't mean I have to do what he says. I have every right to be a starter on the team and ignore his coaching and do what I want. ...

Definitely go read the rest.

Of course, you've also got know-nothings in St. Louis who think that the archbishop of the Catholic diocese has no right to tell Catholics in his diocese that they ought to, as Catholics, follow what the Church teaches. What. Ever.

I'll tell you this. My nine-year-old just said, "Well, he can believe what he wants. He has free will. But it's true that he can't receive Communion because those things are a sin."

Come on, dude. If my nine-year-old gets it, how is it that someone with a degree from a Jesuit university does not? How is it that someone who has been through a Catholic college can think that you can dissent from the Church and still say you are a part of it?

Update(01-25-08, 8:52 a.m. EST): Olson continues to answer critics of the archbishop.

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

In Football News...

Super Bowl Sunday is coming up!

Giants: We Almost Beat The Patriots Once, We Can Almost Beat Them Again

The Onion

Giants: 'We Almost Beat The Patriots Once, We Can Almost Beat Them Again'

NEW YORK—As they come closer to their Super Bowl clash with the formidable Patriots—the team they nearly defeated in late December—the Giants are confident that they can come close to beating the undefeated AFC champions on...

Here's a bigger sample, but please click the headline above to get the whole thing.

Couglin and his assistant coaches have been painstakingly breaking down game films from their Week 17 meeting with New England, analyzing every vital, near-victorious second for anything that might help them come that tantalizingly close to winning for the second time in as many months. They acknowledge that the Patriots are very good indeed, but the Giants believe they can draw on the experience of that near-victory, the confidence they discovered in barely losing to undefeated New England, and the lessons learned in forcing Bill Belichick's juggernaut to come from 12 points behind and beat them in the final minutes.

"This team really believes they can come close to winning the Super Bowl—very, very close," Giants quarterback Eli Manning said Tuesday after spending the morning watching film of his Dec. 29 home loss, film that laid bare the crucial interception he threw to Pats corner Ellis Hobbs. "We can come so close to beating them, so very, heartbreakingly close, that every player here will take it to their graves."

"This will be one to tell my kids about, that's for sure," Michael Strahan said. "If we can pull it off and almost beat these guys, they'll be showing those highlights until the end of time. When I die and come before those Pearly Gates, St. Peter himself will look down at me and say 'So, Michael, what was it like to be an eyelash away from winning that Super Bowl against those Patriots?' And Heaven itself will hold its breath while I tell them how we almost did it."

Gotta love the Onion...

Wednesday, January 23

Jump Ball!

I actually listed it. The beloved autographed basketball.

I know the case alone is worth at least the starting bid, but a fan of the Orlando Magic would appreciate the signifigance of the ball: it was the last season for Shaq in Orlando, it was the last time they went to the Eastern Conference Finals (beat out by the Bulls), etc. etc.

I'll be sorry to see it go, but go it must.

Also coming this week, Magic bobbleheads (T-Mac) and more Magic memorabilia.

And Soccer Dad's Bucs Super Bowl collection.

And sports cars: two Vipers and a Ferrari! Never driven. ;)

Stay tuned!

A Smattering of Green

Our neighbors' trees, planted at the place where our yards meet. I took this while the girls were sledding down the hill into said neighbors' yard (with permission, of course).

I love when color peeks out of the snow!

Pro Life Themes on TV: Journeyman

Soccer Dad and I watched the first episode of "Journeyman" on NBC last Fall, then promptly set up a DVR schedule to include it. Then we didn't have time to watch it until the writer's strike left us without our "never miss" shows (The Office and Heros, mostly). Then, when his travel schedule lightened up a little, we caught up with House and CSI, figuring that we'd at least watch shows that we had on the schedule last year. After that, I said, "You know what? Journeyman looked neat. Let's start in on that.

Two-a-days are the usual if we can get the girls into bed. And we've only got two episodes left in the DVR! But what a fascinating show!

Basically, this guy (Dan) finds himself suddenly going back and forth through time for no apparent reason. He will wake up to find himself in the past, and he'll struggle to learn when he is (it's always San Francisco, his hometown) and what his "mission" is. He spends the show helping someone from the past, which slightly tweaks his present time to make it better.

In episode after episode, Dan tracks a single person and helps him through a struggle, usually saving a person's life in some way, whether it is literally preventing his death or by helping them turn his life around for the better.

And I've come to a realization. It reminds me strongly of It's a Wonderful Life. Each person he tracks seems insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but what Dan does for each person makes the world a better place. No one else notices anything different in 2007-08, but he knows. Everyone else would have said that they didn't notice a difference.

I remember when I was pregnant with Big Girl, and I discovered online chat rooms. I was up at night, unable to sleep, and I'd go to the abortion debate rooms. Again and again, I was told by pro-abortion women that no one knows any different when they abort. Who cares? How can we miss something (never someone) that we never experienced?

I couldn't put my finger on it. It's really too hard to put into words. But I think that Journeyman makes the case, week after week, in small and subtle ways.

We might not see the difference when 3,000 children die in the womb today here in America, but there is a difference. Our world is much poorer for it.

And who knows what amazing people those children would have grown up to be? What would they have taught us? What would we have seen? What great things might they have done?

What if one of those children was destined to be my son-in-law? Or my son, through adoption?

One life makes a difference. Every life does. And that's why we pray and work to help end abortion.


If you are suffering because of a past abortion, you are not alone. There is help available in many places. The Church does not shun women like you. Below is a sampling of various resources:

What is Rachel's Vineyard?

Rachel's Vineyard weekends for healing after abortion are offered throughout the year in locations across the United States and Canada, with additional sites in Portugal, Australia and New Zealand. We also offer a 13-week support group model for Rachel's Vineyard. Rachel’s Vineyard is a ministry of Priests for Life

The program is an opportunity to examine your abortion experience, identify the ways that the loss has impacted you in the past and present, and helps to acknowledge any unresolved feelings that many individuals struggle with after abortion. Because of the emotional numbness and secrecy that often surrounds an abortion experience, conflicting emotions both during and after the event may remain unresolved. These buried feelings can surface later and may be symptoms of post abortion trauma.

Married couples, mothers, fathers, grandparents and siblings of aborted children, as well as persons who have been involved in the abortion industry have come to Rachel's Vineyard in search of peace and inner healing. The weekend is a lot of work but yields a fruitful harvest for all who are willing to labor there. To learn more, please read about our weekend retreats. Also, please see comments from people who have attended the weekends, as well as our explanation of the name "Rachel's Vineyard."

Stepping out “Go, pick up the pieces lest they be lost.” (Jn 6:12) With these words, John Cardinal O’Connor directed the Sisters of Life to a ministry of reverence for women and men who suffer following the tragedy of abortion. Since 1996, we have, with the help of Theresa Bonopartis, heeded that call through Entering Canaan: A Sacramental Journey to an Inheritance of Mercy for those Suffering Abortion. Post-traumatic suffering is the untold story of abortion. There are literally millions of women and men who, too often silently and alone, suffer some of the most serious psychological and spiritual consequences of contemporary society’s disregard for the sanctity of human life and the sacredness of human sexuality. Taking its name from the Exodus experience of the Jewish people from slavery and debasement into the Promised Land, Entering Canaan accompanies those who have suffered abortion on a Sacramental journey into the true Promised Land of the Heart of Jesus. Fundamental to this mission is the belief that each person, no matter what they have done or how they feel, is to be cherished and loved as a unique reflection of God’s love. Those who join this caravan of faith - hundreds thus far - find hope and confidence in the fact that regardless of how long their healing takes, regardless of the battles fought, won or lost, they have a community of people to whom they can turn in time of need, who will be there for them unconditionally, to help them on the way to true healing with patience and love.
After Abortion...

There is healing for you!

If you are hurting from an abortion, you have a home here. Priests for Life embraces with compassion and forgiveness those who have had abortions. We will lead you to the healing that comes from the Lord, and the care of the Christian Community. We are ready to talk with you and listen to you.

Priests for Life works with ministries worldwide that offer this healing.

The Priests for Life page linked above then goes on to mention several ministries, both Catholic and otherwise, that offer help to men and women who are post-abortive.
Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), #99

I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.

(Full text of Evangelium Vitae can be found here.)

Let no one say that the Church shuns women who have had abortions. It is simply not true. The Church, following the example of Christ, offers forgiveness and healing to all sinners. Because every one of us is a sinner.

If you are suffering after an abortion and need someone to talk to, please go to one of the sites I mentioned above, or call 1-877-HOPE-4-ME or 1-800-395-HELP (Rachel's Vineyard) or 1-800-5-WE-CARE (National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing). Also, if you'd rather not have to talk to a live person on the phone, you can go here and get help via AOL Chat.

Also, if you are considering abortion, you can go to that same site and chat with someone who wants to help. You are not alone, and your local crisis pregnancy center can do much to help you. For example, there is Good Counsel Homes, established by Father Benedict Groeschel. Their stated mission is:

Good Counsel is a private Catholic agency whose primary mission is to help homeless pregnant women by providing a loving family environment in a safe and secure shelter. Begun in 1985 by Fr. Benedict Groeschel and Chris Bell, both leaders in the pro-life movement, Good Counsel has grown to five homes in the New York greater metropolitan area.

Working closely with the Sisters of Life through our Lumina outreach we have developed an outstanding program of support and healing for those suffering from abortion related problems.

They have a 24/7 hotline for young women in trouble. Call them at 800-723-8331 if you need help.

And don't let anyone think that it's just about handing out diapers and maternity clothes. This is what Good Counsel Homes does:

Three key programs:
  • Life Skills Program
    This in-house program prepares residents for independent living by covering topics such as Parenting, Spirituality, Health and AIDS Education, Career Development and Financial Management.

  • Exodus
    Through this program, mothers participate in certain programs even after leaving a Good Counsel home so that they still receive transitional support.

  • Technology
    The Internet is an essential tool in today's world. Good Counsel mothers are taught how to utilize our computer labs and the internet to advance their educational goals, search for employment, post their resumes online and much more.

Remember that you are NOT alone. There is help for you and your child.

You don't have to make a choice between you and your baby.

And, if you are trying to heal after an abortion, know that we love you and are praying for you.

Tuesday, January 22

Another (Short) Update from Texas

My uncle writes:

Howdy, all.

B**** asked me to send out a quick note, not as a "health update" (nothing to report = good news) but as a general thank you.

Thank you for everything, for the meals, the mail order "surprises", the cards, the phone calls (even those that don't connect), the thoughts, and the prayers. On gloomy, dreary days like today it's comforting to recall how many people care and pray for her. Even though you're not physically "here", your presence is felt and appreciated.

Warmest regards,
B****, B****, and the boys

Thank you for continuing to lift them up in prayer.

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

I Had No Idea!

But I'll remember it for next year, and I'll specifically ask for an announcement at our parish. I should have known (especially as chair for Respect Life).

Thanks to Julie and the others who have brought this to light. (Link below GIRM quote goes to USCCB.)


In all the dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion, and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life. The Mass "For Peace and Justice" (no. 21 of the "Masses for Various Needs") should be celebrated with violet vestments as an appropriate liturgical observance for this day.


Another Brain Teaser Set (Final Update)

Update (01-24-08, 3:47 p.m. EST): Okay, so this one was a bust. Oh, well! The last of the answers are below. I'll save this kind of brainteaser for another time, and I'll look for different types to be more interesting. Thanks for playing!

Update (01-22-08, 2:47 p.m. EST): Cath is a busy bee! She's got several answers correct. (You can compare what's been posted with what's in the com boxes.) I swear, the way you guys answer these things, I think I've got the smartest eight readers in the world! (That is my Bloglines subscription count. I might have two more readers, if we don't count my husband, mother, and sister. That would put me up to a baker's dozen!)

Rules are in the older two posts.

  1. When you see geese flying in a V formation, why is it that one leg of the V is always longer than the other? Because it has more geese in it.

  2. Why are there so many Smiths in the telephone directory? Because they all have telephone lines.

  3. What is E.T. short for? So that he can fit in the small spaceship.

  4. Where do you find a no-legged dog? Exactly where you left him.

  5. Approximately how many house bricks does it take to complete a brick house in England? One. It takes many bricks to build the house, but only one brick to complete it.

  6. How do you stop a bull from charging? Take away his credit cards.

  7. What cheese is made backward? Edam.

  8. Take away my first letter, and I remain the same. Now take away my fourth letter, and I remain the same. Now take away my last letter, and I remain the same. What am I? A mailman.

  9. If a white man threw a black stone into the Red Sea, what would it become? Wet.

  10. How do you make a bandstand? Take away their chairs.

Have fun!

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My Privileges Meme

I saw this at Esther's blog, and I thought I'd play along. I'm not tagging anyone specifically. If you want to play, go ahead!

From What Privileges Do You Have?, based on an exercise about class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate in this blog game, they ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.

Bold the true statements.

1. Father went to college
2. Father finished college (2 year degree)
3. Mother went to college
4. Mother finished college
5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.
7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home.
8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home.
9. Were read children's books by a parent
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18 (ah, but I paid for it myself)
14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs
15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
16. Went to a private high school
17. Went to summer camp
18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels
20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child
23. You and your family lived in a single-family house
24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
25. You had your own room as a child
26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18
27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course
28. Had your own TV in your room in high school
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
31. Went on a cruise with your family
32. Went on more than one cruise with your family
33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family

I have to say that some of these don't make much sense. I mean, as far as #34 is concerned, I don't know what heating costs were, but my parents sure did like to tell us to put a sweater on when we were chilly. I remember the heat being turned UP to 69 in the mornings. Plus, that commercial airline thing: once with my parents, once with my aunt who took me on a vacation with her. But I guess that was still pretty cool. Of course, I know my life has been abundantly blessed.

God is good. :)

oh my God

what kind of world is this

where are we americans heading with our focus on materialism

Catholic Media Review tells us that this project will be coming out later this year.

Get tissues, and be sure the children aren't nearby at all. Then go watch the trailer.


It's also horrifying.

Interview with Tolkien

Dom pointed out this interview with J.R.R. Tolkien that was posted on YouTube.

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

Circumcision of Christ

Mark Shea shared a bit of his forthcoming book Behold Your Mother at his blog today. Here's a little bit of what he shared on the Presentation in the Temple (or the Circumcision of Jesus):

Here again is a mystery so great I don't know how to get inside it or what to make of it with my rational intellect. I can only look at it. Did Jesus understand what was being done to Him? Or did Jesus, being fully human, have only an infant's understanding as the knife cut Him in that most intimate way? Beats me. All I know is that, in the pain of circumcision, Y'shua enters into the covenant of His fathers and takes His place as one of the children of Israel. It's a thing done to and for Him, as it's done to and for all the sons of Israel. It is, for Jews, a glad thing. And it's also a painful thing, reminding us (not the child, who will not remember it) of the cost of discipleship and the need for circumcision of the heart. ...

This is going to be a really neat book.

neat? where did that come from??

Catholic Carnival: Saints, Sin, Politics, and Life

Jay is hosting the Catholic Carnival this week, but he says he's looking for some hosts starting in about a month. Head here for information on how to host the Carnival. (It's not as hard as it looks. If I can do it, anyone can!)

In the meantime, enjoy this week's selection of posts by Catholic writers from around the blogosphere! There are posts about everything from great saints (and how to find your patron saint for the year) to pornography addictions to raising holy children to pro-life homilies (did you hear one at Mass on Respect Life Sunday?) and politics and the Culture of Death.

There is quite the variety in there, and so much more than I mention here. Be sure to go check out the entire thing!

Don McLean

Mrs. Czerna played this for us.

More information here.

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

Paint Your Palette Blue and Gray

I fell in love with Van Gogh in the fifth grade when my art teacher (Mrs. Czerna at Washington Street Elementary School in Toms River, NJ) talked to us about him. She showed us what became my favorite painting ever.

I had the opportunity once to see Starry Night at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York City just after I graduated from high school. I stood transfixed for nearly five minutes, I think, while my friends wandered around and then wondered where I'd gone. All I could think about was how Mrs. Czerna told us that Van Gogh used great chunks of paint, slapping them on with a spatula. I kept thinking, "Iwanttotouchthepainting! Imustnottouchthepainting!"

It was very hard to resist.

Of course, being fifth graders, one of the best stories of Van Gogh was the whole cutting-his-ear-off-and-mailing-it thing. (Thinking about Big Girl - a fourth grader - I am not surprised that this was popular. I think she'd be fascinated, too.)

And that is why I thought this LOLCat was so funny.

And, while I was searching for "Starry Night" I found this copy of it, done in Legos.

Monday, January 21

Bella, Indeed!

My friend called me from Utah today. She and her family are visiting her husband's parents and enjoying the slopes. They've also seen quite a few celebrities, since Sundance is going on.

My friends went to Mass on Sunday morning, and sitting directly in front of them was Eduardo Verástegui! (Talk about feeling distracted, huh, ladies?) Out of all the various actors at this festival, this was the one person they would have wanted to meet! And there he was, sitting right there.

Aside from shaking his hand during the Sign of Peace, they were also able to sit and talk to him for a short time after Mass. He's apparently a very down-to-earth and kind man. Humble, too. At the end of Mass, the priest asked him to please say a word about Bella. (This makes sense since Sunday was Respect Life Sunday.) He talked of his conversion five years ago, how he returned with fervor to the faith of his childhood, and the promise he made to God to never again make a movie that would offend Him.

He also asked that everyone pray for the production company that made Bella, as they need the grace those prayers would afford them.

It's not easy to be a committed Christian in that world, and it probably doesn't help when you look like this:

As my friend said, he's probably got women throwing themselves at him all the time!

May God bless and keep him, and may His face shine upon him and give him peace. And may God bless the work he does, too.

Bonus: Watch a video of his testimony here.

Coming Soon to an eBay Auction Near You

See this ball?

It was signed by the 1995-96 Orlando Magic basketball team. That includes Shaq and Penny. The last year Shaq played for the Magic, who drafted him out of LSU. Horace Grant, who made a name for himself with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, was also a part of this team. The Magic played the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals in 1996, and Soccer Dad and I went to one of the home games of that series. (We lived in Orlando at the time.) He won tickets in a drawing, and then one of the winners of the several pairs of tickets that were given away also won an autographed ball. Soccer Dad was that winner. This is his beloved ball.

That was the year we got to see Michael Jordan play with the Bulls IN PERSON. Lower bowl seats, baby! Unfortunately, we also had to watch Dennis Rodman play (remember him?), but it was really special.

Take a look at the two middle pictures there: Shaq and Penny's signatures. (They even reunited earlier this season in Miami.)

Do you know how hard it is for Soccer Dad to give this up? But he's doing it.

I'm listing it on eBay soon. As in before the end of the week. Watch for it!

Oh, and if you're a Magic fan, you might be interested to know that I'll also be listing some other stuff, like T-Mac bobbleheads (unbroken and still in the packaging). It's like a little starter kit! It's going to be a big lot of stuff, and I've got to figure out how to package it for shipping, because it'll include two Louisville Slugger baseball bats.

Anyway ... if you're a Magic fan (or a fan of Shaq's), keep an eye out.

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.
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Trace Adkins: Always Making Me Cry

I've had this (ahem) thing for Trace Adkins. First, there was his song about your children growing up before your eyes ("Then They Do"). Then there was "Arlington," a song about being laid to rest in "that hallowed ground."

And now there's "You're Gonna Miss This," which left me sobbing. Click on that link for a site that lets you listen for free, and read along below:

She was staring out the window of that SUV
Complaning, saying "I can't wait to turn 18"
She said "I'll make my own money, and I'll make my own rules"
Mamma put the car in park out there in front of the school
Then she kissed her head and said "I was just like you"

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this

Before she knows it she's a brand new bride
In a one-bedroom apartment, and her daddy stops by
He tells her "It's a nice place"
She says "It'll do for now"
Starts talking about babies and buying a house
Daddy shakes his head and says "Baby, just slow down"

Cause you're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this

Five years later there's a plumber workin' on the water heater
Dog's barkin', phone's ringin'
One kid's cryin', one kid's screamin'
She keeps apologizin'
He says "They don't bother me.
I've got 2 babies of my own.
One's 36, one's 23.
Huh, it's hard to believe, but ...

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this"

I'm sure the video will make me cry all the more. Just re-reading the lyrics makes me cry again.

(It's hard to believe sometimes that this is the same guy who gave us "Honkytonk Bedonkedonk" and "One Hot Mama"!)

[lyrics found here]

Philip Rivers: Part Two

Since I felt that the comments made in this post on Philip Rivers deserved an answer, I thought I'd go ahead and make a second post on the topic. I won't re-hash the contents of the other post. That's what the link is for. But I will elaborate and answer the criticisms I received at the original post.

First was "Anonymous" (really, even though I leave that option open, it's always nice to know the name of the person with whom you are conversing):

Wow, Out of line you are. First of all, who are you to judge? Do you fall short, yes, we all do so do not judge. Secondly, I am assuming you have never played a sport or have absoultey no competitive spirit because it is not easy to always keep a cool head on the field. Youre taking Rivers actions way out of context. Where you with him on the field? Do you know what was being said, NO, you do not. It makes me mad when people like you discredit other people for trying to be christians on and off the field. He is a role model for kids and adults, but you have no idea what he even said. Dont judge is the bottom line. And one more thing, GO CHARGERS!!!

I am not judging Rivers as a person on the whole. I am judging his actions. (Thanks, Jeff, for sticking up for me, though.) First of all, we are not called to never judge anyone anywhere for any reason. As a matter of fact, we are called to judge fellow Christians. One of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to correct the sinner. In order to do that, we judge them. And I made a judgement of his behavior in those situations. In those situations, he came off looking like a total jerk. I'm sorry, but that is the perception of a lot of people who watched the games. (I watched the games, by the way, not just SportsCenter.) Even people who generally liked him prior to the incidents I talked about.

Now, as far as me playing a sport. My activity as an athlete was very short. I'm not a good athlete. However, Big Girl is an athlete. She plays sports nearly year-round now. (She plays soccer in the Spring and Fall, has started basketball this month, and we try to get her into T-ball/baseball in the summer, though if we travel a lot, it's not worth the investment nor is it fait to the team if she won't be there.) So we are around games a lot. And there's no trash talk. The league she's in is a homeschool league that is committed to having a good time and acting in a godly manner. So there is no. trash. talk. And we do manage to cheer and jump around and yell and scream when we're excited, especially with her soccer team. But we do so without taunting the other team.

You're right that I wasn't with him on the field, that I don't know exactly what was said. But I know what I saw. It's the perception that is reality for the rest of us. We can't know what we haven't experienced in this situation. We can only know what we see.

Gloria had two excellent comments. In the first one, she was defending Rivers' off-field actions, especially his message to people about chastity. I'll let you go ahead and read that if you haven't already.

Her second comment asked me some questions, which I wanted to answer (hence this post). I apologize for not doing so sooner, but Soccer Dad was home before dinner on Friday, and the girls and I had spent a lot of time out in the snow that day. All weekend, it was cleaning, going to basketball games (Big Girl's team is 1-1 now), taking down Christmas decorations, doing laundry, and watching football. In short, family time. :) So I didn't answer right away. Besides, I tend to want to think things through before I answer. I'll post Gloria's comment and put my answers within it in bold italics.


gloria said...

Dear Christine,

I decided to post again to ask you a question - Do you agree with Philip's chastity message? Absolutely I do. And I applaud him for it. I am going to assume that yes you do as it seems that you adhere to the true teachings of The Church from glancing at this blog. Thank you. I was hoping that comes through.

And if you do, why would you discredit Philip's message by writing this blog entry? I would hope that my saying that his behavior is unbecoming for a Catholic wouldn't discredit the rest of his message. Look further into the situation. There are many coming out defending him:

Eric Allen on the Colin Cowherd radio show : (I would post a link but don't know if that's possible within this comment) You can do that. I found the clip here, but you do need to register in order to hear it. Unfortunately, it's a pay-for-it kind of thing. Rats. I was all set to listen to it. If you find a link that doesn't require a paid subscription, please, by all means, link to it in the comments area. I'd like to hear it.

Also, Phil Simms wrote an article as did a few others. I am trying to find it. Would you mind posting a link to it, please? I am looking but am unsure where to look for it. I do want to read it. In only very slight relation to that, I Googled "Phil Simms article philip river" and found my original post was the number 10 result! Interesting! But how many people will Google that?? Also listen to Philip's press conference explaining himself. I would absolutely do that, if I could find it at this late date. As I write this, I'm in the process of searching for video of the post-game stuff. In the meantime, I just haven't seen it. He is his own man, he knows who he answers to. But he is a football player. And he has his personality for a reason, you'll see. But right now, please do not buy into what the devil is selling and please for the sake of all that is sacred do not be the devil's advocate by discrediting Philip's chastity message. We must protect our youth from falling into the sins of the flesh. How much impact does his message lose, though, when he chooses to lose his cool on the field? Like I said, what he did was not what you'd expect from, as my husband might put it, a Catholic gentleman.




My point about Rivers' actions and my condemnation of them was that he puts himself out there as a Catholic, as a Christian, but when he acts like this, even in the heat of the moment, he loses credibility. And he makes all Catholics look bad at the same time. Remember that we are dealing with, by and large, an unbelieving world. A world that isn't going to spend half an hour on Monday looking for reasons not to think Rivers stepped over the line.

I don't know Philip Rivers personally. I don't have the luxury of knowing if that was merely a slip-up. I'm like most of the world on this: I know what I saw. It didn't look like behavior becoming of a Catholic. If I lose my temper and blow up at someone, I go back and apologize for it. Even if I might have been justified for being angry. Letting my anger get a hold on me like that is letting the devil have a hold on me.

Anger is an emotion of the soul, which leads us violently to repel whatever hurts or displeases us.

This emotion, my children, comes from the devil: it shows that we are in his hands; that he is the master of our heart; that he holds all the strings of it, and makes us dance as he pleases. See, a person who puts himself in a passion is like a puppet; he knows neither what he says, nor what he does; the devil guides him entirely. He strikes right and left; his hair stands up like the bristles of a hedgehog; his eyes start out of his head--he is a scorpion, a furious lion. . . . Why do we, my children, put ourselves into such a state? Is it not pitiable? ...

Again, I'll point out Tony Dungee. His team lost - they were favorites! - and yet he showed no anger on the sidelines. He kept his cool. I'm not saying that no one can slip up. I am saying that when you do, you make ammends.

Look, what I tell my children is this:

You might be the only Catholic a peson ever sees or meets. They might never meet another Catholic in their lives. The way you act towards people is going to be what that person thinks Catholics are like. It's not fair. It's not right. But it's the truth. So always be on your best behavior and treat people just like you'd want to treat Jesus. Be like Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta: show everyone love.

I also tell them that if they fail, they need to apologize. And that is all I'm saying Philip Rivers should do: make it clear that his actions are not the way he wants to be seen, that he shouldn't taunt anyone, or even answer back to those who are taunting him!

Yeah, turning the other cheek stinks most of the time. At least it does in the moment. But we must be masters of our emotions, not the other way around.

And, for the record, I think that if Philip Rivers is doing chastity talks and promoting a chaste life to people (young and old!), that is fantastic! We need more people who are willing to do that - not just through their actions, but also by speaking up about it! I admire him for it. I admire that he's married to his high school sweetheart! I think the fact that he's got three children already (quick work there!) is also great. I love that he is trying to live the Catholic faith in full. REALLY. And that makes it all the more important for him to be on guard against temptations to act in a manner that he will regret later. Or in a manner that is perceived as being contrary to his faith.

Look, he was really great on Sunday. And he just kept his head down and played hard. If he keeps that up, this whole thing will be forgotten. And if it isn't, he'll eventually get the question: What about the taunting from last season? And then he can say, you know what? I was an idiot for doing that. Man, am I sorry I acted that way. But I'm working on not doing it any more.

It's the least a Catholic can do.


For more on Philip Rivers and his life, you can go to this site, which had an ongoing feature on Rivers as told by a woman who watched him (and his family) while he grew up in Alabama.
Who are your heros?


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