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Showing posts with the label culture

Is Christ your King or Genie?

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Yesterday’s celebration of Christ the King is such a perfect way to end out the liturgical year. It’s one of the better changes made in the new missal; I think it seems out of place in the Old Rite, stuck in October. So here we are, at the end of the year, and we get to meditate on the Kingship of Christ. The homily I heard mentioned that God isn’t a genie that we can call up when we need Him, He is a King that we owe our allegiance to. Father also mentioned that we Americans tend to take issue with the idea of being subject to anyone and specifically to a King, but that there is no better monarch to swear our fealty to. Pretty basic thoughts, but I want to go a little more in depth on them. A genie is a fairly simple creature. Rub the lamp, get your wish, genie goes back in the bottle. Notwithstanding an evil sorcerer and a deranged parrot, you could carry the lamp around with you and call up phenomenal cosmic power every time you get in a pinch. That’s all there is to it. A King is so m…

Non-toxic Masculinity

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It ain’t easy being male. Not that I would know, but lately being a wife and a boy-mom, I’ve had a lot of sympathy for the less-fair sex. Feminism ran rampant, going so far beyond its noble beginnings with woman’s suffrage and ended up shaping our entire culture into a place where genuine masculinity is no longer welcome. It starts when they are so young. Boys are forbidden to play “cowboys and Indians” because that is racist. They can’t play with sticks and toy guns because that is training them to be violent. When a little boy can’t sit still for six hours straight in a classroom, he is put on Ritalin because he must be disordered. He probably isn’t disordered, he is probably just a boy! They don’t sit very well and they like to pretend to shoot things. Surprise, surprise! By the time they reach adulthood, the male species as a whole has been socially castrated, forced to take his God-given natural aptitudes for manly pursuits and competitiveness, and trade them in for avocado lattes …

The Final Fight

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Sister Lucia, the oldest of the Fatima visionaries prophesied that the final fight between Our Lord and Satan will be over marriage and the family. Being the one good thing that remains from Paradise, it is easy to see why the devil would attack it so harshly. With sex scandals upon scandals, the acceptance of same-sex “marriages”, the normalization of incest, the epidemic of contraceptive use, and a million other violations of the natural order, it’s not terribly crazy to speculate that we are nearing that final battle. Faithful Catholics easily recognize the dangers of the big lies society is pushing, and we seem to frame our understanding of this final battle as being against these big issues, but that is only the surface of the fight. .... Those of us in faithful, sacramental marriages, I really think we are going to be attacked more than anyone else. You only have to do a quick read through of the Book of Job to see how much the devil delights in bringing destruction to God’s faithf…

On the Halloween Express

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Tomorrow is Halloween. I hope you have a good one.

I mentioned St. Wolfgang of Regensberg, All Hallows' and All Souls' Day, and the autumnal equinox, last year.

Also Gaelic and Welsh traditions, jack-o'-lanterns, and Easter eggs.

Enjoying my culture's traditions, within reason, makes sense. To me.

It's arguably better than bitter bewailing stuff I can't change: and don't want to....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

A Mixed Bag

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I picked a mix from 'science news' this week: tardigrade genes, fertility fears, and what is probably the world's oldest living culture.

Folks in Western civilization have known about our neighbors in Australia for about four centuries.

Understanding their beliefs became easier, I think, when some of us realized that respecting them makes sense.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

We are Many, We are One

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One my favorite bits from the Bible is in this morning's readings....

...A "noise like a strong driving wind" in the sky had gotten their attention.

Maybe they'd also seen the "tongues as of fire," too. Or maybe that was visible only to the disciples inside. Now that I think of it, a loud 'whooshing' sound in the sky and descending fire might easily have started a stampede.

Anyway, folks outside were puzzled, since they had been hearing what the folks inside were saying.

That's not the puzzling part. I gather that Jerusalem in those days didn't provide nearly as much acoustic privacy as we're accustomed to. The decidedly odd part was that each person "heard them speaking in his own language." Hence the roll call of nationalities....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

More Than a 3-Day Weekend

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Tomorrow is Memorial Day.

It's equivalent to Dodenherdenking in the Netherlands, or Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth of Nations.

The holiday's original purpose was to honor those who have been killed while serving in our nation's military.

That's still the holiday's official purpose. Recent generations have used the three-day weekend as an unofficial start of summer vacation season. That's not, I think, entirely inappropriate. I'll get back to that.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Blessing the House

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I 'blessed the house' today, sprinkling holy water in each room.

It isn't the formal blessing of the home and household that's sometimes done on Epiphany.

The formal blessing is a wonderful ceremony: and one we don't do.

By not performing the formal blessing, we're missing out on part of what it is to be Catholic. That doesn't bother me.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Hating People: Not an Option

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This showed up in today's news ... CNET's piece quoted part of this Twitter blog post:
"Progress on addressing online abuse" (November 15, 2016)

"...The amount of abuse, bullying, and harassment we’ve seen across the Internet has risen sharply over the past few years. These behaviors inhibit people from participating on Twitter, or anywhere...."... All that reminded me of a familiar sentiment I saw on Twitter last year:
"Sometimes I wish I was religious so I could have an excuse for hating people." ...That's a lot of folks discussing religion and hate. Some agreed with the "excuse for hating people" quote, some didn't, and some discussed something completely different....
More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Numbers and Nero

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I don't have the 'I'd rather be dead' attitude of the deceased in that 2011 Non Sequitur strip. My viewpoint is more like Edison Lee's dad in yesterday's comic.



I figure that someone will win the 2016 American presidential election. It'll probably a candidate from one of the two major political parties.

I think which candidate wins matters. But I also think that whoever gets the job — America will keep going. There's a great deal more to this country than the national government.

That's not what this post is about, though....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Happy Halloween!

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Showing this picture to a few online groups, I learned that Halloween, our version, is a somewhat "American" holiday.

Today is also the feast day of St. Wolfgang of Regensberg, AKA The Almoner. He had a good reason for throwing his ax into a thicket, and that's another topic....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

"Amoris Laetitia" — or — Don't Panic

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(From Elia Kazan, via Petrusbarbygere/Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)
(Screenshot from a "Panic in the Streets" trailer. (Elia Kazan, 1950))

Actually, "Amoris Laetitia" means "The Joy of Love."

Pope Francis signed "Amoris Laetitia," about 58,000 words about love in the family, March 19. The apostolic exhortation was released Friday.

So far, I've heard an imaginative summary on radio news, read a few dramatic headlines, and one or two online remarks about it that make sense.

The latter generally boil down to 'I haven't studied it yet, so I don't know what it says.'

That's pretty much where I'm at, but that won't stop me from talking — briefly, for me — about what I have read. So far, I've finished the introduction, glanced at the index, and am working my way through the first chapter....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Names and THE Name

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(From USCCB, used w/o permission.)

Depending on whether or not folks are going through RCIA, we could be hearing either Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15; 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12; and Luke 13:1-9 — or Exodus 17:3-7; Romans 5:1-2, 5-8; and John 4:5-42 during Mass today....

...Today's RCIA goes back to 1972, "as part of the liturgical renewal mandated by Vatican II."1 Before that we'd been using a Rite of Baptism introduced in 1614: which was just baptism.

I suppose some folks are upset that we changed something that'd been around since the year Pocahontas married John Rolfe and the Siege of Osaka began. Tokugawa Ieyasu became the next shogun, and yes: there areworse things than American presidential elections. My opinion.

By the way — if this post seems a bit more scattershot than usual, you're quite right....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Paris, Evil, and Love

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(From Anne Sophie Chaisemartin/AP, via New York Daily News, used w/o permission.)
("Victims of a shooting attack lay on the pavement outside La Belle Equipe restaurant in Paris Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Well over 100 people were killed in Paris on Friday night in a series of shooting, explosions."
(New York Daily News))

I've read that Friday's attacks in Paris are the fault of right-wing hate-mongers, that America's president is to blame — — — and the American election is still nearly a year off. I am not looking forward to the usual self-serving balderdash....

...I am pretty sure that Muslims who blame France, America, and Western civilization for their problems are sincere, too.

But the grand imam of Al-Azhar called Friday's attack "odious," Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb said it was "heinous," and Saudi King Salman called it "repugnant."1...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Starbucks and a Religion of Hope

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(From Starbucks, via AP/KOMONews.com, used w/o permission.)

America's presidential campaigns may explain some of this week's sturm und drang:1
"Outcry, pushback escalate over Starbucks holiday cup flap"
Mae Anderson, AP Business Writer, via KOMONews.com (November 10, 2015)"Is Starbucks Waging 'War on Christmas'? Red Cup Stirs Controversy"
Sarah Whitten, CNBC (November 10, 2015)"Starbucks red cup controversy: The view from Chicago"
Greg Trotter, Chicago Tribune (November 10, 2015) I put a mercifully-brief excerpt from each of those items at the end of this post.2

Hats off to the Chicago Tribune's Greg Trotter, for his "extremely unscientific survey" regarding the latest looming crisis.

Tongue in cheek is, I think, a reasonable attitude toward the Starbuck's holiday coffee cups "controversy."

Interestingly, I haven't heard a peep about the Starbucks Veteran's Day cup, which resembled the Japanese flag, with…

Why I Dislike the 'Life is Good' Motto

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There are a lot of things I appreciate and I am thankful for in this modern age, and my iPhone is one of them.  I've heard complaint that the new instagram pictures popping up on Facebook are "depressing" or "too hipster" or "grainy"~ read: just not clear and clean enough for the well-trained eye.  Honestly, though, when I see perfect pictures of seemingly perfect people, it stresses me out. The "Keep it Real" motto that I held onto when feeling threatened by the beast of perfectionism was like a dolphin swimming at me in a sea full of sharks. I'll instagram to that. ;)
It makes me think about the late nineties. Sometime in the late nineties, I started seeing brightly colored bumper stickers with the logo “Life is Good.”  Nothing against the makers of these fine logos, but I remember thinking that in comparison with most of the world's suffering, and even my own small teenage version of strife, the way they struck me was glib: vacuous…

New Species, Old Burial Site

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Scientists from University of the Witwatersrand found skeletal remains in South Africa's Rising Star Cave.

This is a big deal, since it's the largest collection of hominin bones found in a single spot: and these folks may have been burying their dead 2,500,000 years ago.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

(Not) 'Going Native'

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As a Christian, and a Catholic, I should be 'in the world but not of the world.' That idea shows up in John 15:18-19 and 17:14-16, and Romans 12:2.

Joining a cloistered outfit like the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists) is one option: they're part of the Benedictine family, contemplative monks and nuns.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Change Happens

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I took an unexpected trip to North Dakota Friday, delivering parts my son had been working on: and enjoying a few hours with family there, including our granddaughter.

On the way out, I stopped off at Fergus Falls for gas: and discovered that Debbie's Home Style Kitchen isn't there any more. That's what it looked like, back in 2010.

I found a partial explanation on a Fargo, North Dakota, station's website....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Corpus Christi Procession, 2015, Sauk Centre

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I talked about Sauk Centre's Corpus Christi procession last year: and, in another post, background on why this is a special day and what that in the procession is. I put links to that one at the end of this post.


(Before Mass, at Our Lady of Angels church. The monstrance is there on the altar, between the candelabras, with its back open.)...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.