Monday, December 24, 2012

Lewis knew what was going on!

Preliminary note: I found a two-tape movie of The Silver Chair, Book 4 of the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis; so naturally I had to read the book again, and then I had to read all the rest.  These quotes are taken from the last book, The Last Battle, and they tell me that Lewis could see, even in 1956, where Western Civilization was going.  (By the way, when I read about Shift and Puzzle in the beginning, where Shift the Ape finds a lion skin and puts it on Puzzle the Donkey to pass him off as Aslan, I actually got angry.)

    "No, no, no," howled the beasts.  "It can't be true.  Aslan would never sell us into slavery to the King of Calormen."
    "None of that!  Hold your noise!" said the Ape with a snarl.  "Who said anything about slavery?  You won't be slaves.  You'll be paid -- very good wages too.  That is to say, your pay will be paid in to Aslan's treasury and he will use it all for everybody's good."

    "Now don't you start arguing," said the Ape.  ...  "What do you know about freedom?  You think freedom means doing what you like.  Well, you're wrong.  That isn't true freedom.  True freedom means doing what I tell you."

    "Please," said the Lamb, "I can't understand.  What have we to do with the Calormenes?  We belong to Aslan.  They belong to Tash.  They have a god called Tash.  They say he has four arms and the head of a vulture.  They kill Men on his altar.  I don't believe there's any such person as Tash.  But if there was, how could Aslan be friends with him?"
    All the animals cocked their heads sideways and all their bright eyes flashed towards the Ape.  They knew it was the best question anyone had asked yet.
    The Ape jumped up and spat at the Lamb.
    "Baby!  he hissed.  "Silly little bleater!  Go home to your mother and drink milk.  What do you understand of such things?  But you others, listen.  Tash is only another name for Aslan.  All that old idea of us being right and the Calormenes wrong is silly.  We know better now.  The Calormenes use different words but we all mean the same thing.  Tash and Aslan are only two different names for you know Who.  That's why there can never be any quarrel between them.  Get that into your heads, you stupid brutes.  Tash is Aslan: Aslan is Tash."

    They did not try to comfort one another with words.  It wasn't very easy to think of anything to say that would be comforting.  Tirian had never dreamed that one of the results of an Ape's setting up a false Aslan would be to stop people from believing in the real one.

    In the shadow of the trees on the far side of the clearing something was moving.  It was gliding very slowly Northward.  At first glance you might have mistaken it for smoke, for it was grey and you could see things through it.  But the deathly smell was not the smell of smoke.  Also, this thing kept its shape instead of billowing and curling as smoke would have done.  It was roughly the shape of a man but it had the head of a bird; some bird of prey with a cruel, curved beak.  It had four arms which it held high above its head, stretching them out Northward as if it wanted to snatch all Narnia in its grip; and its fingers -- all twenty of them -- were curved like its beak and had long, pointed, bird-like claws instead of nails.  It floated on the grass instead of walking, and the grass seemed to wither beneath it.

    "What was it?" said Eustace in a whisper.
    "I have seen it once before," said Tirian.  "But that time it was carved in stone and overlaid with gold and had solid diamonds for eyes.  It was when I was no older than thou, and had gone as a guest to the Tisroc's court in Tashbaan.  He took me into the great temple of Tash.  There I saw it, carved above the altar."
    "Then that -- that thing -- was Tash?" said Eustace.

    "It seems, then," said the Unicorn, "That there is a real Tash, after all."
    "Yes," said the Dwarf.  "And this fool of an Ape, who didn't believe in Tash, will get more than he bargained for!  He called for Tash:  Tash has come."
    "Where has it -- he -- the Thing -- gone to?" said Jill.
    "North into the heart of Narnia," said Tirian.  "It has come to dwell among us.  They have called it and it has come."

    "Do leave me alone," muttered Shift.  But he sat up straighter and began, in a louder voice ---
    "Now listen, all of you.  A terrible thing has happened.  A wicked thing.  The wickedest thing that ever was done in Narnia.  And Aslan --- "
    "Tashlan, fool," whispered Rishda Tarkaan.
    "Tashlan I mean, of course," said the Ape, is very angry about it."
    There was a terrible silence while the Beasts waited to hear what new trouble was in store for them.  The little party by the end-wall of the stable also held their breath.  What on earth was coming now?
    "Yes," said the Ape.  "At this very moment, when the Terrible One himself is among us -- there in the stable just behind me -- one wicked beast has chosen to do what you'd think no one would dare to do even if He were a thousand miles away.  It has dressed itself up in a lion-skin and is wandering around these very woods pretending to be Aslan."
    Jill wondered for a moment if the Ape had gone mad.  Was he going to tell the whole truth?  A roar of horror and rage went up from the Beasts.  "Grrr!" came the growls.  "Who is he?  Where is he?  Just let me get my teeth into him!
    "It was seen last night," screamed the Ape, "but it got away.  It's a donkey!  A common, miserable Ass!  If any of you see that Ass ----"
    "Grrr!" growled the beasts.  "We will, we will.  He'd better keep out of our way."
    Jill looked at the King: his mouth was open and his face was full of horror.  And then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemies' plan.  By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger.  What was the good, now, of telling the Beasts than an ass had been dressed up as a lion to deceive them?  The Ape would only say, "That's just what I've said."  What was the good of showing them Puzzle in his lionskin?  They would only tear him in pieces.  "That's taken the wind out of our sails," whispered Eustace.  "The ground is taken from under our feet," said Tirian.  "Curst, curst cleverness!" said Poggin.

    "Throw them into the shrine of Tash," said Rishda Tarkaan.
    And when the eleven Dwarfs, one after the other, had been flung or kicked into that dark doorway and the door had been shut again, he bowed low to the Stable and said:
    "These also are for thy burnt offering, Lord Tash."
    And all the Calormenes banged the flats of their swords on their shields and shouted, "Tash!  Tash!  The great god Tash!  Inexorable Tash!"  (There was no nonsense about "Tashlan" now.)

---------- Tash was called and it has come. ----------

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Things could be worse

I didn't sleep well . . . as usual.
There's about 7" or 8" of snow on the ground, heavy wet stuff
(The temp. is 30º and the humidity is 78%),
and my knees hurt, along with a few other things.
But I feel just great,
because I went to confession yesterday.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Little notes

I was delighted and surprised to see, at the Mass for the First Sunday of Advent, that Father wore violet vestments!

At my age, soon to be 68 (already 68 if you count conception), things go wrong.  I have trouble with back, knees, feet, etc.  I'm happily surprised on any day everything works right all at once.

One thing that helps me put up with all that is to simply remind myself that no matter how much I hurt, Jesus hurt worse.  The Morning Offering is especially helpful here too.

Speaking of which, the Morning Offering is one of my regular prayers.  Also Hail Holy Queen, the Prayer to St. Michael, and the Memorare.  Also meatless Fridays.  It's just easier for me to go back to the practices of my childhood.  Keeps life simple.

Trouble is that a tuna sub from Subway, or a veggie pizza from my favorite joint, isn't really a penance!

The Way of the Cross according to St. Alphonsus Liguori has become my favorite devotion.  I'm trying to memorize it so I can pray myself to sleep with it.  I can't imagine it doing any harm at all to meditate on the sufferings of Jesus.  We were purchased at a great price, says St. Paul.  (I think St. Paul.)

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Radix Jesse
Clavis David
Rex Gentium

Be alert!
Watch and wait!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Political Satire

-- for which I'll probably pay a price.

I have lots of cartoons, doctored photos,
and the like, and I think I'm going to have
a lot of fun until Facebook censors me.

Obama is not totally the cause of the
problem.  He is a symptom.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Call me Cyrano - II

Here is another lady who is special to me and for whom I pray.
When I was young I wanted to be Cyrano, or perhaps Wilfred
of Ivanhoe; but now I'm nearly 70, I'm just a worn-out old
teddy bear, so I keep these ladies in my heart and only sometimes tell them how much they mean to me.  Some of them don't like being told that.
But rather like Sister Martha said to Cyrano in Act V, I don't
need their permission to pray for them.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Call me Cyrano . . .

I forget when I first read Cyrano de Bergerac, but during my sophomore year in high school I gave the "No thank you" speech (in Act 2) in the state Catholic high school speech tournament.  I was a lot like Cyrano, fiercely independent, and an incurable romantic.  (I put that to the part of me of the Canadian French heritage.)

Anyway, when I was young I fell in love constantly, as boys-not-yet-young-men will do.  And like Cyrano, I was willing to give away my heart, but had no confidence at all in my own lovability.

So over the decades many many women have passed through my life.  Some have brought joy, some have brought trouble, but all have given me gifts from God, without which I wouldn't be exactly the same man today.  (Maybe someday I'll put up a gallery of my past heart-throbs.)

Here are some women who right now are special to me.  Some of them know it, some of them don't.  To some of them I am important, to some of them (I suppose) I'm not.  There are as many reasons they're special to me as there are women, because each one is herself, and has her own place in my life and in my heart.

They all need prayers (don't we all?!) , so I pray for them every day, and if you read this, I hope you will too.

The most important thing is that I am very grateful to each of these ladies, and ever so grateful to God for putting them in my life.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Go ahead, make my day!

Eastwood knew exactly what he was doing during his speech. The "befuddled old man" was part of the shtick. It was deliberate. Did anyone notice how his manner and voice changed when he let out his straight political lines?

The speech might not have been tightly scripted, but you can bet that Eastwood pretty much knew before he started what he was going to say and how he was going to say it. And how to ad-lib as needed, and time for laughs.
He's a successful professional actor. I was pretty active in the theater for many years and I saw a lot of good actors at work.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Public Insult to Obama on Facebook

Lois B


Linda B
Prove it.

Prove what?
I did it merely as a calculated insult.

Marilyn C
No US President would wear a coat like that!!!!

Linda B
Heh, anyone can do anything with Photoshop. Plus, insults don't mean anything. Your vote does. I'm pretty sure I know how you'll vote, but the important thing is the voting, not the insulting. *shrug*

The coat is the academic robe Obama was given with the honorary J.D. degree at Notre Dame in the spring of 2009.
I added the two emblems. One is obvious; the other has the color and sword motif of the flag of Saudi Arabia and the shoulder patch of the US Army Persian Gulf Service Command in WWII.
It was obvious to me by the spring of '09 that Obama is, at the very least, sympathetic to Islam (which I am not because I know my history), and was seeking to concentrate political power.
Finally, the expression on his face and the gesture of his hand made him look to me like he was giving a Hitler salute.
So I did the alterations to show folks what I thought of him and his policies.
Like I said, calculated insult.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Idle thought in the wee hours

I wonder what St. Matthew (Levi) and Zacchaeus (Zakkai?) would say about tax collectors nowadays.
They were both tax collectors, who were generally hated.
Levi left his post immediately to follow Jesus; Zakkai repented publicly, and Jesus dined at his house.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Being a churchgoing Catholic Christian has an almost infinite number of advantages; one in particular appeals to me greatly right now:

I know of about half a dozen people who don't like me or want nothing to do with me. Now this is somewhat sad, I admit, BUT --

I don't need their permission to forgive them or pray for them.

I don't need their permission to ask God to show me how I may have offended them so I can ask them to forgive me.

So I get the last word! . . . or, if you will, the last laugh. :-)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hitler, Arturo Ui, and . . .

In 1968, the Guthrie Theater performed a Brecht play that is as timely now as it was in 1941, when Brecht wrote it in exile in Finland after fleeing Germany. Its English title is "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui." It is about the rise to power of a Chicago gangster, and it is a very thinly veiled satire on Hitler.

When the play is over, the actor playing Ui takes off his mustache and delivers this epilogue:

If we could learn to look, instead of gawking,
We'd see the horror in the heart of farce.
If only we could act, instead of talking!
We wouldn't always end up on our arse.
This was the thing that nearly had us mastered,
Don't yet rejoice in his defeat, you men!
Although the world stood up and stopped the bastard,
The bitch that bore him is in heat again.

The original German of the last line is:
Der Schoß ist fruchtbar noch, aus dem das kroch.
The womb is fertile still, from which he crawled.

(Hat tip to another blog for the picture, which I modified a bit.)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Unintentionally Funny Picture

Raphael was undoubtedly a great artist and painter,
but he didn't know anything about Jews.
That's why I think this painting of his is hilarious.

Hint 1: "Hot ir a gelsht oyf shmuck, iz ir nit a yid."
Hint 2: See Luke 2:21

Thursday, June 7, 2012

More lessons: Europe on the Eve of War

This will be a condensation of the points made by Remak in Chapter 3, "How Deep the Trouble?

1, The existence of the national state, and nationalism.
"Actually, the argument for this point of view suggests, the national state was a relatively novel institution, replacing a feudal system in which differences of class, faith, guild, and estate had, on occasion, mattered far more than national dividing lines."  (p.61)

{INSERT: "But it was not so in the thirteenth century.  There a man of international influence . . . could also be a man of international nationality.  The names of nations and cities and places of origin did not connote that deep division that is the mark of the modern world."
Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas, "The Runaway Abbot."
"Nevertheless, there was a queer quality in that time; which, while it was international is also internal and intimate.  War, in the wide modern sense, is possible, is not because more men disagree, but because more men agree.  . . .  In that age men disagreed even about war; and peace might break out anywhere.  Peace was interrupted by feuds, and feuds by pardons."

"An aspect pf things that made this development [of the national state] especially explosive was that the limited kind of warfare that had characterized past ages was becoming a nostalgic memory -- partly because of the advances in technology, but in even larger part, because it was no longer a case of Florence fighting Venice or of Tours having it out with Angoulême.  Instead, it was one nation against another: all of France against all of Italy, with the concomitant release of hatreds and energies that had no equivalent in either the civic rivalries of the middle ages and the Renaissance, or in the comparatively civilized cabinet wars of the age of absolutism.  National passions, oprganized or spontaneous, had entered the scene."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Photo by Robert Capa
6 June 1944

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How Deep the Trouble?

According to one report ... a member of the Polish Sejm once rose to stop the flow of an afternoon's particularly euphoric rhetoric.  "Gentlemen," he said, "if everything is so good why is everything so bad?"  If so much was right with pre-1914 Europe, how could a second-rate Balkan plot set off a first-rate catastrophe?  Were there not, in truth, organic weaknesses that plagued Europe and lowered the continent's powers of resistance to a perilous degree?

What were the troubles, deeper than the immediate crisis, that affected Europe before 1914?  We might do well to have at least a look at the principal diagnoses made by various writers: at the state system, at the sysem of alliances, at major sources of conflict both overseas and closer to the center, at the role of public opinion and the press, and finally, at the acceptance of war as a means of policy.

Chapter 3; p.60)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

More on the era 1871-1914

More from Chapter 2, on alliances:

Anglo-German friction would continue nearly unchecked.  To begin with. there was the naval race.  Starting in 1898, the Germans began building a major navy, arguing that they now had overseas possessions to supply and defend.  Continental power no longer sufficed.  "Our future," said the Kaiser, "belongs on the water."  The British, in alarm, reacted by increasing their naval building program, whereupon the Germans, after a suitable interval, increased theirs again.  And both governments found that the most effective method of persuading their respective parliaments to pass the necessary appropriations was to dramatize the threat from the other side.  It was not an atmosphere conducive to friendship.

Then there was the matter of colonial rivalry.  Even Bismarck had not been able to hold out forever against the dynamics of imperialism.  In the mid-1880s, the Germans began, modestly at first, to acquire African territory.  Under William II, all restraints were off: Germany must become a great colonial power!  Bismarck's insistance that Germany was a satiated nation was no longer heeded -- Germany must show the world that her energies and achievement were second to none.  A great power must grow or die; few half-truths have caused as much misery in the world as this.

(p. 35)

It would be easy to add to these instances of Anglo-German differences.  But this is not an encyclopedia of diplomatic crises.  Besides, such an unrelieved recitation of troubles can falsify what took place, obscuring the amount of good will that did exist between the two nations.  . . .   And it makes events appear far more inevitable than in fact they were.  . . .  It is only in retrospect that the various instances of Anglo-German friction look so momentous.  Hard as it is to avoid in the writing of history, post hoc ergo propter hoc remains one of the most basic of fallacies.

(p. 36)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Political Lessons for Today from 100 Years Ago

Here are some chosen quotes from this book.

I bought the book at a rummage sale in 1981, and I don't think I've read it until now.  However, I understand international politics a smidgen better than I did 30 years ago.  Another good thing about this book is that it was written and published in 1967, pretty much before Political Correctness.  I reproduce the text exactly as written; I will mark any alterations I make.

From the preface:
Few events compare, in impact and terror, with World War I.  It destroyed two empires, that of the Habsburgs and that of the Ottoman Sultans.  It altered two others, that of the Hohenzollerns and that of the Romanovs, beyond recognition.  It created a host of new nations in Europe and overseas.  It gave birth to Communist rule in Russia and provided the background for Fascism in Italy and elsewhere.  In its course, roughly twice as many people were killed as in all the wars of the preceding two centuries added together, the Napoleonic Wars and the American Civil War included.  It also maimed, in body or spirit, many of the survivors and laid the ground for an even more destructive World War II.
(p. v)

Chapter 2:

But it is not the purpose of an alliance to provide a structure under which governments can grow sentimental over their sympathies for each other or exchange congratulations on the similarities of their views on life, politics, and the universe.  Alliances are not friendships.  If they were, we would scarcely have any, for national friendships are either illusory or very rare.  (National antagonisms are a different matter.)  Rather, alliances are in essence concluded so that a country may count on another to fight by its side in times of war, and to support it by a variety of other means in times of peace.  A common ideology between allies is a pleasant luxury -- it will save the secretary of state from much domestic criticism -- but it is not an essential.  Mutual advantage is. Common interests, and above all, a common foe, can make allies of nations whose domestic institutions are half a dozen constitutions apart.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

O My Jesus . . .

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins,
save us from the fires of Hell.
Lead all souls to heaven,
especially those most in need of Thy mercy.

I was taught very forcefully about 1956 or 57 that the state of another person's soul before God is none of my business.

So for whom am I praying? Lots of people, probably, none of whom I know, need to know, or want to know.

There's only one person I know who is in needs of God's mercy, and that's me.

Sobering thought, that.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Look at V for Victory!

Go over to Anita Moore's blog V for Victory and read her piece about Bishop Blessed Clement August von Galen, who spoke out loudly and forcefully against the Nazis . . . and survived.

We need more bishops and priests like him here now.

Thanks, Anita!

Monday, March 5, 2012

God Writes Straight With (very) Crooked Lines

In 1944, a little baby contracted spinal meningitis; at the time there was no known cure. Baby's father, a soldier, mooched a packet of sulfa powder from his company medical officer and sent it to the doctor. Doctor, figuring he had nothing to lose, removed some of the baby's infected spinal fluid and injected sulfa solution. Between a stubborn Norwegian doctor's work and a stubborn Polish priest's prayers, baby survived with no discernible damage at the time.

In 1958, the teenage boy took the entrance exam for a fairly expensive Catholic high school (which the family couldn't afford) and won a one-year tuition scholarship. Boy worked part-time during the year and full-time summers to pay for it. Graduated 1962 well up in class.

In fall 1962, the young man entered engineering school, and in fall 1964 removed himself from it because courses were too rough, and transferred to a liberal arts college. In march 1965 young man was called up for the draft but flunked the physical, but didn't find out about it until August.

For the next five years, the young man was in and out of school and work. Finally got his B.A. in 1970 and was admitted to graduate school on probation. Burned out in 1971, tried again in 1972, had a nervous breakdown, and left university for good.

In 1973 the man applied for and was offered a good job where he could use his skills and interests. He gave notice at the place where he had worked since 1968. When he showed up for the new job, he was told that the owner's nephew had been hired instead. Man was out of work for nine months, collecting unemployment and applying everywhere.

In 1974 the 30-year-old man went to work for the state highway department, until something better would come along. On January 22 of the same year, the man went to a prolife rally and got involved in prolife work up to his ears. In 1975 the man had a chance at a college TA job, in his major, but would have to move a long way, so he turned it down.

In 1990 the man got sick and tired of office politics and transferred to a branch office, where he met a woman. This woman was married and had a baby daughter with serious health problems.

About April 1993 the woman had a chat with the man in his cubicle, and said that she and her husband were considering abortion because they had terrible doubts whether they could decently care for a second baby, but she really didn't want to do it. God, through the man, talked her out of it. The man still insists it wasn't he, it was God using him as His voice.

In December 2011 the baby had her 18th birthday, is a senior in high school and a very good student, with extracurricular activities to her credit. She is her mother's strength these days, because her father died about four months ago, and the woman and her daughters are still grieving their loss.

The young lady is a very devout Lutheran Christian, and wants to go to Bible college and enter the ministry. She has undoubtedly touched many lives for the better, and will touch even more.

If almost any big thing in this man's or this woman's life had been different, they would never have met, and that young woman might not be alive today. God writes very straight, even though the lines may seem very crooked at the time.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Facebook "aborts" images they don't like, such as this one:

Just today this image was posted, and I commented:
"This won't last long here. FB will 'abort' it, how much you want to bet?"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Letter to Granddaughter for St. Valentine's Day

Dearest ♥ Granddaughter Mariyka,

February 14 happens to be Saint Valentine's Day, and I hope some nice fellow(s) shower you with flowers and chocolate! You're a fine young woman and you deserve the very best!

There was a real Valentine. According to a book I have, St. Valentine was a priest in Rome, and a physician (like St. Luke). He was beheaded in Rome on February 14, about the year 269, and was buried on the Flaminian Way (one of the main roads leading out of Rome) where a basilica was put up in his honor in the year 350, about the time Christianity became legal in the Roman Empire.

Remember that before Constantine, it was illegal to be a Christian, just as it was very difficult to be a Christian in Ukraine under the Soviets. So Valentine -- in my mind -- stands for love, for healing, and for being faithful to Christ in spite of difficulties. You have noticed that the Obama administration in Washington is trying to force people to accept a health care system that directly violates some core Catholic teachings; many of the (Latin-Rite) bishops have said they will not go along with it, and at least one has said he will go to jail rather than comply. I don't know what the Ukrainian patriarch and Bishop Richard Stephen have said (I don't have my new issue of Nova Zorya yet), but I bet they also will refuse to comply.

[Nova Zorya, New Star, is the newspaper of the Ukrainian Eparchy of Chicago.]

Jesus did say, "Render to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's" ---
Матей [Matthew] 22: 17-22
"Скажи нам, як тобі здається: Чи дозволено давати кесареві податок, чи ні?"
Ісус же, знаючи їхне лукавство, озвався: "Чого мене спокушаєге, лицеміри?
Покажіть мені гріш податковий." Ті принесли йому динарій.
Він спитав їх: "Чий це і образ і напис?" Відповідають йому: "Кесарів."
Тоді він до них каже: "Віддайте ж кесареве кесареві, а Боже Богові."

--- but Obama wants us to give him what belongs to God. And we must not do that! Please pray for our country and for our Church. I think we're going to be persecuted.

I'm sure you know all about Saints Cyril and Methodius. Their feast day is February 14 in the Latin Rite. And they show the love of God also, by bringing Christ to the Slavic people, and inventing the alphabet the Slavic people still use. But did you know that they invented the Glagolitic alphabet first? Here's a snippet from Wikipedia:
The Glagolitic alphabet was invented during the 9th century by the missionaries St Cyril (827-869 AD) and St Methodius (826-885 AD) in order to translate the Bible and other religious works into the language of the Great Moravia region. They probably modelled Glagolitic on a cursive form of the Greek alphabet, and based their translations on a Slavic dialect of the Thessalonika area, which formed the basis of the literary standard known as Old Church Slavonic.

Anyway, Dearest Granddaughter, February 14 has many lessons for us from God. Let us always keep our hearts and souls on Him.

Love ♥ and prayers always,
Your Grandpapa

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Recent picture of my Granddaughter

This was taken in late November. I'm sure it's a "glamour shot," but in the last five years she has blossomed into a stunning beauty. I hope in a way she never realizes it. I want her to concentrate on keeping her soul beautiful for God. She is a very devout Ukrainian Catholic, and I pray she stays that way all her life.

(By the way, I told her to never stand sideways to a camera. The last thing she, or any young woman, needs, is for guys to be chasing after her body and ignoring the soul within!)

This is one of the last pictures she ever posted on facebook. Shortly after, she quit facebook. I'm sure it's so she can concentrate on her studies; she's in her third year of a very rigorous pre-med curriculum.

Please pray for her!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Icky bleckh yuk

I just read an essay by Fr. Paul Marx titled "The agony of Paul VI."

Forty-three years after Humanae Vitae was issued, we have seen the fruit of ignoring it.

At the end of the essay Fr. Marx said:

"As a British humorist and convert to the Catholic Church (mostly because of HumanaeVitae) observed, once you say that you may morally siphon off procreation from the marital/sexual act, then you are back to the old paganism when contraception, abortifacients, and abortion for failed contraception were rife, all leading to the dying of nations once abortion entered society. And if sexual activity can be allowed for recreation, said Malcolm Muggeridge, then 'any orifice will do.'"
Indeed, as an ancient wise man said, "God always forgives; men sometimes; nature never."

So we have this, not only public but publicly flaunted.

Reminds me of the Frs. Berrigan's statement: "Some property has no right to exist."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dear Mother --

When my time comes to die, please hold me close, as you did your Son.

Thank you, Abba's Little Girl!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The things you see on Facebook!


You are an altar where my lover worships
Center of the heated wildness of me

yoni, sacred
gateway to and
of life and
pleasure, i
sing an image
of your textures
and colors.
this and i
are a temple
and a playground
a blossoming
mandala of
soft, folded

[Note: "yoni" is a Sanskrit word meaning vagina.]

COMMENTS on the picture:

December 8, 2011
2 people like this.

Jason A------
Has the told irony that the pic looks like a vajay-jay been lost lol
Monday [Jan 16?] at 11:20pm

Yoni = vajay-jay
Yesterday [Tuesday Jan 17] at 11:28am

Sarah P---
Oh Jason...
22 hours ago [11:52 pm Tue 17 Jan]

Bob W---- [me]
Looks like an illustration from a textbook on gynecology.
But I suppose it was meant to, hm?
22 hours ago [11:52 pm Tue 17 Jan]

Jaime S---- It's most likely the point. Woman. Strength. Artistic. Beautiful.
21 hours ago [12:52 am Wed 18 Jan]

Sarah P---
Oh yes Jaime girl. You got the point for sure!
21 hours ago [12:52 am Wed 18 Jan]

Bob W----
Well, I guess I didn't. Oh, well, mox nix.
20 hours ago [1:52 am Wed 18 Jan]

MY POST on the picture

4:46pm Wed 18 Jan me
Somebody posted a picture yesterday, a piece of artwork resembling female genitalia, with words like "gateway to joy," "secret of woman's power," "woman's strength," and so on (I don't remember exactly). I made a snarky comment to the effect that it looks like a page from a gynecology textbook.
After thinking about it, though, I have to say it's a damn piss-poor philosophy that defines a woman in terms of her genitalia and makes her an object.
There is far FAR more to a woman than that!
Stephen M-----, Andrew Y----, and Rachel M---- like this.

5:46 pm Wed 18 Jan Shane G----
More to everyone than the sum of their parts but modern man in his idiocy believes giving in to primitive desires and thinking is the right and acceptable way of thinking and progression....sure if ya want mankind to become animals but mankind is more than an animal.

5:46 pm Wed 18 Jan me
That's right, Shane.

6:45pm Wed 18 Jan Sarah P---
I would be that "somebody" you are refering to Bob and I feel that I need to set a few things strait here. First of all, to be honest you have misrepresented what was writen on this peice of art. No where in the picture did it say anything about women's power or strength. I believe the intention was to express pride in that which is most femine, I am not the artist so I can only guess, but that is what I took from it. I think it's unfair to say a philosophy that makes being a woman into some thing small was reprsented at all. Secondly, I did not post the photo although I would. I commented on it which linked it to my page. facebook often shows what you comment on as well. I keep a strict policy about not sharing my opinions about things like that unless asked. Especially when it is a differing view point from my own. I certainly have never sent out a status update to my entire friend list regarding another person's activities. If I am offended or unsure of what is intended by a picture or post I go direct to the source. And I would not refer to that person as "somebody". Lastly you have not mentioned at all that this piece of art work ( and that is what it is weither or not we agree or like it) mentions in very knid terms the ability of a woman to carry and bring life into the world. Obviuosly that fact was meant to be celebrated in the picture and there is nothing piss poor about that. To anyone reading this who may wonder who I am or how I feel about what defines me as a woman, I am Sarah P---. I am strong, smart and very proud to be who and what I am. I am not just woman, I am certianly more than that and please don't think for one second I would waist my time on anything that would reduce me to just genitals! But if that is what you would think based on my prefernce in art work so be it. But that truly would be having a piss poor philosphy. I will make sure in the future that my FB settings offer more privacy.

8:15pm Wed 18 Jan me
Sarah, you speak well, and I agree with you 90%!

In my own defense, I tried today to find the picture I saw last night, and I couldn't find it anywhere. (I started with your page because I recall seeing your name associated with the picture somehow.)
So I was quoting from memory, and obviously did a clumsy job of it.

" have not mentioned at all that this piece of art work ... mentions in very kind terms the ability of a woman to carry and bring life into the world. Obviously that fact was meant to be celebrated in the picture and there is nothing piss poor about that."

As they say, "My Bad"!! You're right!
It wasn't obvious to me at the time that that was in the picture, and of course relying on a day-old memory was a bad idea.

That said, I have to say in my own defense that I was taught very forcefully when I was young that a woman's body is almost sacred - because of her ability to carry new life - and that for a guy to defile or degrade that is a horrible thing.

(In this connection, I hold a grudge of sorts against Hefner, Flynt, and Guccione, who did their best to teach a generation of young men that women are objects, to be used for pleasure and then discarded. So when I see a piece of art that seems to objectify women, my temper rises.)

I think I know you fairly well, and what I know of you I like. Yes, you're strong and smart, and deserve to take pride in who and what you are (of most concern to me is that you're a fine neighbor and I'm glad you live nearby).

I had better quit; I keep hitting the wrong buttons here.

Anyway, in sum, thanks for calling me out and speaking your mind, Sarah. I respect that in you!

10:12 pm Wed 18 Jan Me – private message to Sarah
Hi, Sarah. I found the picture (finally, after another 1/2 hour of digging) and read the words on it and the comments. The words are:

You are an altar where my lover worships
Center of the heated wildness of me
yoni, sacred / gateway to and / of life and / pleasure, i /
sing an image / of your textures / and colors. / this and i /
are a temple / and a playground / a blossoming / mandala of soft, / folded / flesh

The whole thing seems to equate (or at least bring together) sexuality, sensuality, and sacredness. I suppose that's so, I don't know of myself; only what married people tell me.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Facebook Satire

I am happy to report that FAILS,
the Facebook Apathy Indecision and Lethargy Society,
got off to a great start in 2011!
There must be tens of thousands of users of Facebook,
and all but two either didn't care, couldn't decide, or just didn't get around to joining!
... This shows that they truly belong to FAILS, and we are very glad to have them!
(Or not have them. Or something.)
Happy New Year to the apathetic, indecisive, and lethargic!
And everybody else, of course!

May God bless us, every one!