Tuesday, September 27, 2005
There are a lot of social reasons why well-constructed families are important to our society. Research shows that poverty rates and criminal behavior among children in families with unmarried parents are likely to grow astronomically. However, in the United States federal and state governments are so fixated on treating the symptoms of this disease through problematic welfare and social service systems that it is left to a vanguard of Christian organizations to carry the banner for traditional marriage.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
The Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits were having a big meeting that went well into the middle of the night. Suddenly all the lights went out in the meeting room. The Franciscans immediately took out their guitars and sang songs, and the Dominicans lept upon the tables and began preaching. The Jesuits went to the basement, found the fuse box and reset the breaker.
If you know anymore, post them below.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him.
Not many children greet the day saying, "When I grow up, I want to do accounting!" Seldom do we, in our deepest dreams and hopes of youth, say, "If only I could spend my life in an office!" And when we lay on our deathbeds, we will not look back and say, "If only I had done more bookkeeping!" Matthew must have felt the same way, judging from the way he nearly tipped his tableful of shekels over in his hurry to bolt from his cubicled existence to follow Jesus when he said, "Follow me." Matthew wanted life, not security (or securities). And he got it. He learned his lesson the hard way that money is cold comfort. When the fire of God's love was kindled, he felt it and drew near instantly.
Here's more on St. Matthew:
St. Matthew the Evangelist
For ideas on celebrating the Feast of St. Matthew, visit
Monday, September 19, 2005
Find out how much of your favorite drink it takes to kill you HERE
After you find out how much coffee will kill you, visit Death by Penguin Mints and check out how many of your favorite mints, chocolate bars, and/or other goodies it would take.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright. Praise the LORD with the lyre,
make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song,
play skilfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
During the murderous Pol Pot regime in Cambodia, a party official boasted that "In the old days, children played games in the streets and the people wasted time celebrating holidays and feasts. Now everybody works all the time!" It is the unwitting curse of fanatics that they don't realize how blackly funny they are. The man who said this actually thought he was offering evidence of a great achievement for the glorious Khmer Rouge maniacs. The idea that play and celebration were good and human things--things far more human than the slaughterhouse and concentration camp they had made Cambodia—-never occurred to him. But in the kingdom of God, music, song, dance, praise, play, joy (suffusing even our work) are the life's blood of our communion with God. The very origin of the word "holiday" is "Holy Day". This playful and joyous approach to life is one of the things that marks the Judeo-Christian worldview in distinction to the ruthless, sleepless, unsmiling concentration on "work making freedom" that has characterized the monstrous regimes of the 20th century. Today, celebrate God with a little song and silliness precisely because it has no utilitarian value—-only eternal worth.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Reflections on Teenage Modesty
I especially like that fact that there’s another mom out there who has the guts to take a stand with her sons’ friends in her own home:
Theresa Kuhar, a mother of six in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a shining example of the effectiveness of convicted parenting. To begin, she does not allow her teenaged sons to wear the t-shirts with offensive slogans or suggestive pictures which are popular with their peers. As an open and involved parent, Kuhar welcomes her sons’ friends in their home, but she is clear that family guests must also adhere to the standards she has set for her own children’s attire.“If any of the guys who come to spend the weekend come in with inappropriate clothing, they are offered one of the boys’ t-shirts and a room to change in. If they decline, they are asked to leave and shown the door. In general, they know the rules and are glad to obey them in return for a comfy couch, a stocked fridge, and a full complement of video games.”
Love that!!! I’m going to have to remember to do that with V’s friends. I also love the way she “helps” her son chose appropriate clothing:
When her children make requests for inappropriate clothing, Kuhar has a unique way of helping them to recognize a potential poor choice on their own. When her 15-year-old son recently asked to purchase t-shirts promoting alcohol use, she asked him if he would feel comfortable wearing them to Mass. He admitted that he wouldn’t, and he didn’t buy them.“I almost always frame my answer in the context of Mass, and it solves the matter on the spot. If you can’t be seen in church wearing it, it doesn’t belong in our house.”
I’m feeling so much better :)
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
I think it started a few weeks ago when "Anne" on my SAH Catholic Moms e-list posted that her dh was leaving her and her kids. She was very distraught and rightfully so. I've had a few friends over the past several years go through the same thing. I can only imagine what happens to the children emotionally. One day they have an in-tact home, with a full-time mom, and suddenly they lose their father and mom's not at home anymore because she has to work full time. Worse yet, they end up tossed back and forth for "visitation" with Dad and feel like they don't have a real home anymore because now they have "two homes" All this in the name of "self fulfillment"
So I was wonderfully surprised with a post by another member of the group who replied to Anne's post and told of her story when she grew up I'm adding the post here:
My heart goes out to you! I'll be praying hard for you, and so will my mom. I was in that situation when I was a kid. My dad left my mom and the four kids to move in with his mistress when I was almost five years old. He was an alcoholic (now recovered), so wasn't making good decisions at the time, to put it mildly.
I remember Dad wanting to take us kids for a drive, and I didn't want to go because Mom was sitting at the kitchen table, crying. He drove a few blocks away, and then told us how he was going to move out. I can't remember what his reasons were.
There was no custody battle. Dad quickly agreed that Mom could have custody, and he'd pay child support - which he always did. We stayed in the same house, and Mom continued to be a SAHM until my youngest brother was in school, so money was very tight. I remember asking Mom why we didn't have enough money to buy new pants, when Dad had enough money to go on a trip to Spain. She very mildly said, "That's just where his priorities are." It was years before I understood what she meant.
Dad betrayed not only Mom, he also betrayed us. We trusted him to be there to look after us, and he wasn't able to do that. He missed out on a lot of work and hassle, but he also missed out on his kids. His loss.
Dad wasn't much into the kids thing, but did come to visit us most weekends. We'd usually spend Saturday afternoon at his mom's place, or at his apartment. His new wife didn't like kids either, so it was usually playing in the apartment's swimming pool. He and his new wife divorced after less than a year. He married a third wife who's wonderful, and eventually sobered up when I was in high school. About 10-12 years after that, we started to rebuild our relationship. I love and respect him, but he'll never be "Daddy," just "Dad." A man has to earn the title "Daddy" when his kids are little, or it just doesn't happen.
It was very hard on all of us, and hardest on Mom, but we turned out. The four of us kids turned out to be a banker, teacher, manager of a auto body shop, and public health inspector. Mom never remarried because she didn't want to. She's happy now, and the centre of the family. All of us kids realize what a huge sacrifice she made, and appreciate it. When Christmas comes, she's the centre of the celebration. Dad's usually down south somewhere. Birthdays and other holidays are about the same.
Let the kids know that you love them, and always will, no matter what. It will be hard on them, there's no doubt about it, but you WILL get through it. Their dad is the one who's missing out. If he chooses to leave, he's leaving and betraying the whole family.
Mom met a neighbor who was in a similar situation. Together they formed a group for Divorced & Unattached Catholics, which was a great source of support. I remember going to the picnics for that group.
Is he willing to go for counseling? Has he said why he's unhappy? Is it possible that he's depressed for other reasons?
Please feel free to e-mail me privately. I'll be praying sooo hard for you and your whole family, even your husband.
The reason this reply struck me so profoundly is that it's not often we hear of such a courageous resonse to such a terrible situation. How many women are encouraged to do so? The message our society gives is:
Gee, that's too bad, just get over it and find somebody else.
See, this is what happens when women stay home and don't have a career.
Day care is good for kids.
Have you found somebody else yet?
Find a job to earn more self respect.
If you were more attractive, he might not have left.
He's a jerk, all men are jerks, make sure your kids understand that.
What? You still don't have a boyfriend? Is something wrong with you?
How many women, Christian women, are told to pick up the cross and carry it? Instead they are told it's an unfair burden and to get out from under it even at the expense of the kids. That the primary goal of a divorced woman is to find somebody else. Before I get a ton of hate mail, let me say that I don't think it's evil for someone who's divorced to have a boyfriend. But, how much better is the example set by M's mother? Was she a perfect mom? No, probably not. But I'm sure she had the prayers of the Angels and the Saints while she struggled to raise her children. And I'm also sure they're singing her praises now.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
By last Friday night, I was pretty much Katrina’d out. Catholic Exchange had run a series of Katrina articles, I had run dozens of Katrina posts on my blog, Fox News was providing constant Katrina coverage.
It looked like FEMA director Michael Brown would be fired and that the casualty count wouldn’t near the 10,000 estimated. But I had this column to write and, with a weekend full of commitments, my Monday morning deadline loomed forbidding. Everyone was still talking about Katrina. Column ideas were hard to find.
Thank goodness for beer.
And the biggest beer event of them all: Oktoberfest, which starts this Saturday and continues until October 3. I’ve never attended Oktoberfest, but it’s one of my before-I-die destinations, just two or three slots behind Rome and 92,824 or so slots ahead of the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Parade.
I’ve always envisioned Oktoberfest as a fun-loving, loud, good time. A lot of solid beer-drinking and amusing lederhosen. Nothing terribly sinful (maybe a venial here or there); just fun.
But I had heard some outrageous stories lately.
Last year, things got out of hand, with terribly inebriated guests, semi-nude women riding on men’s backs, and disco-like music instead of the traditional stuff. The head of the festival, Gabriele Weishaeupl, said: "It has begun to turn into an orgy for party animals. The tents are not supposed to be discos, but should remain traditional Bavarian beer tents.”
He means it. This year, the festival will prohibit alcopops: sweet, fizzy drinks that mask the alcoholic taste and are more likely to cause people to over-indulge. The festival authorities have also obtained assurances from beer tent owners to refrain from pop music and instead concentrate on traditional brass bands.
You’d think these guidelines would be unnecessary. If you’re drinking an alcopop at Oktoberfest, you need to check your common sense.
If you want pop music, go to the local German discotheque.I’m glad the organizers are getting a handle on things. Bavaria, after all, is solidly Catholic country, and Catholics should show the rest of the civilized world how to have a good time.
Yes, I’m saying that Catholics should lead the way in showing people how to drink and celebrate life.
It reminds me of an interview with John Paul II. An interviewer was inquiring about his skiing and asked, “Isn’t it unbecoming for a pope to ski?” To which JPII replied, “No, it’s unbecoming for a pope to ski poorly” (that’s a rough characterization; I saw the exchange in a movie and don’t remember the exact details).
If you’re going to do something that’s not sinful, do it well. To do otherwise reflects poorly on your faith.
As a lawyer, I’ve never had much patience for the dripping-with-Christianity businessmen who seem too holy or other-worldly to be competent at their jobs. It simply reflects poorly on Christianity, and if your calling is to be a businessman, you best take it seriously and do the job well. Anything less is a scoff at the Creator who put you in that position.
These same principles apply to Oktoberfest.
If drinking and celebration are good things (and I won’t take the time to argue they are; readers unconvinced are referred to the works of Josef Pieper), then Catholics ought to do them well.
And if the drinking and celebration take place in the heart of a Catholic region, then that region better make sure celebration is good.
This means the celebration must be fun.
But excess must be avoided, for reasons that most readers of this site don’t need explained.
Some day, I’ll make it to Oktoberfest, and I’ll drink my share of beer and have a great time.
But the next morning, I’ll be at Mass.Most good Catholics would have it no other way.
© Copyright 2005 Catholic Exchange
Eric Scheske is an attorney, the Editor of The Daily Eudemon, a Contributing Editor of Godspy, and the former editor of Gilbert Magazine.
Original URL: http://catholicexchange.com/vm/index.asp?vm_id=1&art_id=30023
Just when I think it's just me, I read this:
Commenting on the news, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Executive Director Alex Schadenberg said, “Not to mitigate the extreme nature of the circumstances, but the euthanasia cases in New Orleans unveils the very problem with legalizing euthanasia: Who makes the decision?”
“Hippocrates recognized the fact that physicians are capable of being healers and they are capable of being killers,” Schadenberg explained. “In order to protect patients, Hippocrates declared that a physician must ‘do no harm’ to their patients. Euthanasia in New Orleans proves to the world how easy it is for people who consider euthanasia as an option, to go from being healers to killers.”
“Dr. Jack Kevorkian proved to have a problem that several Dutch physicians seem to have,” Schadenberg continued. “They actually like euthanasia. Once euthanasia becomes an acceptable practise, it actually becomes the preferred practise of the few, who soon make the decision to die for their patients.”
Monday, September 12, 2005
Mary Anne Moresco wrote:
Clothing the naked ought to be a simple corporal work of mercy. Never had I thought accomplishing this simple work would be difficult; certainly not in this great land of the free and home of the brave. But with today’s fashions I can no longer clothe the children in my charge. It is not for lack of desire, or lack of money. For great is the desire and ample the money. What is lacking here is clothing itself.
I like her solution, I'm going to try it when I reach my limit.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Thursday, May 26, 2005
It's been a nutty two months. April was absolutely crazy. First, all the babies of the family were baptized on the 2nd and the party was at our house. It was a beautiful mass, and the party was great. A good time was had by all :) I don't remember how late it was before everybody finally went home. Then, since dh and I are on the Baptism Ministry team we had to attend a meeting the following Sat. evening. It was very productive, and we built on several ideas that had been discussed at the previous meeting.
V.'s birthday is also in April and that was a huge production, again. She had a classmate who had a slumber party the night before so all the girls were exhausted even before V's party. Not too many didn't show. The boys also had a party Friday evening so the entire second grade was bouncing off the walls with the excitement of three parties in two days. Of course the theme was Hawaiian this year, in honor of Lilo and Stitch. After the school kids went home, we did a "family" party for her. We catered from a Hawaiian BBQ place and I grilled teriaki-pineapple salmon. Yum, it really turned out well. The evening was also for cousin B who shipped out to Iraq the following Wednesday. I really didn't want it to be a big deal "Good Bye" thing, I just wanted him to have a nice time with his family before he left. I've included his picture below. I'm still not good at this Hello thing, so I still don't know how to publish it to the body of the post. Oh, well, I'll figure it out eventually.
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Today as we remember the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, I feel compelled to place our meditation within the context of the heart-wrenching drama that has unfolded in our nation since last Friday. In fact it has saturated my spirit and has made this Holy Week for me personally the most painful one in my entire life. I know that I am not the only one with these sentiments, as many have asked the question why in the mystery of God’s plan this tragedy has happened this of all weeks.
If it is true that in Christ we live and move and have our being, and if it is true that by baptism we are made members of His Mystical Body; and if it is true that this new status enables us to make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ; if we are to see Christ in other people, especially those who are helpless, then it is absolutely impossible to fail to contemplate what can justly be called the passion of Theresa Marie Schiavo.
The parallels with the Passion of our beloved Lord are striking to consider. It is as if Jesus, present in this poor sister of ours, bore again the opprobrium of the world. It is as if in the mystery of Divine Providence our nation has acted out during this Holy Week its own passion play. It is as if our nation, through its destruction of this innocent life, were crying out for her blood to be upon us and upon our children.
To read the rest of the homily, click here
Thursday, March 24, 2005
"I don't know what to do, it's not like we ever talked about this kind of thing."
I don't know if that is true, or if someone made that up, because I don't remember which site I read it on, and I haven't bothered to go look for it again. So, with that in the back of my mind, the above statement is staring to have some credibility with me when I hear he has said once again he doesn't know what she wants.
This time, I've saved the link, and it seems to be a credible source. Larry King Live. Maybe Michael should stop giving interviews on national T.V. if he doesn't have himself convinced that Terri would want to be starved to death.
KING: Have you had any contact with the family today? This is a sad day all the way around, Michael. We know of your dispute.
M. SCHIAVO: I've had no contact with them.
KING: No contact at all?
M. SCHIAVO: No.
KING: Do you understand how they feel?
M. SCHIAVO: Yes, I do. But this is not about them, it's about Terri. And I've also said that in court. We didn't know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want...
O.K., so let me get this straight, it's not about what her FAMILY wants, it's not about what TERRI wants (he said he didn't know what Terri wanted) it's about what HE wants. O.K., gee, I was confused I thought she wanted to be starved to death. Silly me.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Monday, March 21, 2005
Saturday, March 19, 2005
By now you know they've removed Terri's feeding tube. It's overwhelmingly depressing. I think Mary Kochan has said it best when I think about why Terri's situation bothers me to my core.
" A demonic fury has been let loose upon our land. Those who “frame mischief by statute,” as the psalm says, “band together against the life of the righteous and condemn the innocent to death” (Ps 94: 20, 21).
We were frightened by 9/11 — and with good reason. But we were not frightened by Roe v. Wade. Incensed, yes. Roused to action, yes. Moved with compassion, yes. But not frightened.
I hate abortion. I know it for the heinous crime it is, but I am not frightened by abortion because I cannot be aborted. But I can be starved. I can be dehydrated. And so can you.
Every American who is still thinking straight understands now that first they came for the unborn. And now they are coming for the rest of us. The cattle cars are being loaded."
Please read the rest of Mary's article on Catholic Exchange.com
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Fr. Dan, Fr. Chris and V at her First Reconciliation. V is holding the cross she decorated for the event.
Friday, February 25, 2005
Pope Breathing on Own; No Lung Infection
And I love that he had milk and cookies for breakfast:) I think the world would be such a wonderful place, we'd all be so much more kind to each other if we had Hot-Out-of-the-Oven Chocolate Chip Cookies and milk for breakfast. Don't you?
Of course, it's us moms who would have to get up at 5:30 AM to make them for everyone.
Thursday, February 24, 2005
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
"Displaying images of missing children has proven to be one of the most successful methods of finding missing children. One in seven children is recovered as a direct result of NCMEC's photo-distribution initiatives."
About the banner: "This banner runs continuously and rotates 12 photographs of missing children. The images are updated automatically by our web server to assure that only current information is displayed. The banner links to our web site, providing more information on each child, child-safety information, and more."
So, I'm putting this on my site, I hope it helps.