Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2007

Nicely Done!

We returned from a quick trip to Houston this past Tuesday evening and I am having a tough time getting back into the swing of things. School starts next Tuesday and it seems like we have a thousand things to do before then. Of course, catching up on the blogosphere is high on my list. As I made my first pass through my favorite blogs I was both humbled and tickled to see Rosemary has nominated me as a nice blogger.

“This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass on to seven others whom you feel are deserving of this award”.

Rosemary definitely deserves this award and like Rosemary, I would include Michelle on my list as well.

Seven more day brighteners are:

Barb at SFO Mom

Kitchen Madonna

Sarah at Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering

Julie D. at Happy Catholic

Jen at Et Tu?

Smockmomma and MamaT at the Summa Mama…

Confession and Anonymity

Lately, I’ve run across several articles dealing with confession. I have grown to appreciate this sacrament in the last few years. Yet, I still feel like I have a long ways to go to get a really mature handle on confession. I definitely see the benefit of frequent confessions. However, I have heard over and over it is a good idea to find one priest to be your primary confessor. This spiritual mentor will have a memory of your past confessions and can better guide you towards holiness. Intellectually, that makes perfect sense. But am still behind the screen and anonymous. I am actually quite relieved that the priest is not keenly aware that the sins I am confessing are remarkably similar to the batch I confessed just six weeks ago.

I do know that I really enjoyed going to our previous pastor for confession. When he arrived at our parish his tone from the pulpit could be somewhat scolding. For that reason I avoided his line during confession. However, there came a time when it would be p…

Episcopal philosopher suggests it is immoral to pray for our troops

Okay, I am seeing red and feeling like a mama bear. Through a series of links I found myself on the official web site of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA). Their online newsletter features this article:

Reflections on praying for our armed forces
By David Chandler, August 14, 2007
[Episcopal Life] The Book of Common Prayer has a familiar prayer that likely we have all prayed. It is titled "For those in the Armed Forces of our Country," and is on p. 823:

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I confess that I struggle praying this prayer, on moral and theological grounds. Morally, it seems to me that any realistic as…

Catholic Magazine for girls publishes its final issue

Sad news. I just received word that after two years True Girl magazine will be shutting down. Production costs were just too great to sustain the magazine. I served as the health editor for this magazine and submitted an article for each issue. I did get paid for my work so I am sorry to lose such a writing opportunity. However, a much more serious issue is the loss of such a wonderful publication for Catholic teenage girls. The tone of this magazine was perfect. It was never preachy. Faith, fun, and fashion were seamlessly integrated. Articles on praying the Rosary were juxtaposed with crafty jewelry projects. Teen issues like friends, school, college plans, and hobbies were presented through the filter of Catholic teaching. I really don’t know of another publication that fills this niche. Please pray for our teenage girls. They are constantly assaulted with cultural messages that run contrary to the way of Christ. I am sorry to lose True Girl as an aid in countering the secular infl…

No Compromise with Evil

This past weekend I was back in Virginia Beach for another soccer tournament. This should be the last out-of-town tournament for a couple of months. My daughter and I attended Mass at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church. This is a very nice parish in the midst of a very interesting diocese. The Diocese of Richmond spent thirty years under the direction of a bishop who was very out of sync with Rome. The innovations and “creativity” displayed during many liturgies of the diocese are painful to watch. There is also a strong contingency among the lay leaders of the diocese who openly dissent from Church teachings. You can follow the events of this diocese as it struggles to regain some semblance of orthodoxy at Richmond Catholic.

St. Matthew’s is different from many of the Richmond Diocese parishes. The Tabernacle is front and center. There are kneelers (and people kneel during the Eucharistic prayer). There are statues of saints. The Eucharistic vessels are made of a noble metal, (not potter…

The Spiritual Power of the Family

I’m sure you are familiar with the saying, “So many books, so little time”. As an avid bibliophile these words go straight to my heart. However, I now find myself identifying with a variation of this sentiment: “So much papal wisdom, so little time”. Every time I delve into the Encyclicals, Apostolic Letters, Apostolic Exhortations, or other works of the Popes, I am amazed by their wisdom and clarity. Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Viate was prophetic as it addressed the principles of natural law that must be applied the developments in reproductive science and medicine. He recognized the slippery slope of dehumanization that contraception initiated. John Paul II was a prolific writer and his words on the dignity of women, on sexuality, on the sanctity of human life, on the Eucharist, and on a plethora of other topics could keep me reading and studying for many years to come.

Yesterday, I discovered his Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio on the role of the Christian family in the mod…

Religious Education Deja Vu

I wrote this post last year:

To teach or not to teach, that is the question. It is that time of year again. CCD will be starting up in another month and our parish needs teachers. I have been an on again-off again catechist for years. I feel compelled to teach in one form or another which is probably why I am blogging. However, do I really want to commit to a year of teaching seventh graders in preparation for confirmation? You see, my desire is to teach the parents of these seventh graders so that they can properly prepare their own children. My frustration with teaching CCD is that I feel like I am working independently of rather than in conjunction with parents. Parents must be the primary catechists. Unfortunately, as with most Catholic parishes, we don’t have an established culture of adult religious education. So here is my dilemma. Do I break new ground and work to initiate a parents’ religious education program or do I put my energy into the established program and hope I can t…

Parenting Principles

This comment from the post below really tugged at my heartstrings:

For those of us troubled parents who know we aren't doing as well as we ought and aren't sure what we're doing wrong, what would you recommend? I could echo (and agree with!) all your complaints about modern youth, were it not for the fact that I fear I'm raising more just like them.

Tired and frustrated mom

I am by no means a perfect parent and my kids aren’t perfect kids. By the grace of God we have managed to successfully navigate some of the bigger challenges of this parenting adventure. Some of our strategies were very deliberate. Some evolved by accident and were very successful. Please take a look at the series of posts on Keeping Your Kids Catholic linked on the left sidebar. It is really as much about general parenting issues as it is about faith issues. Volumes are written about parenting so condensing my thoughts to a single blog post by necessity makes some ideas very superficial. Still,I hope …

Coming to a Church Bulletin Near You...

Rants with a sense of humor are always best. Julie at Happy Catholic published offered her parish priest’s light-hearted but oh-so-serious reminder of church etiquette. I love point number three:

Please remember appropriate clothing—even/especially during the summer the church should be décolletage-free zone (if you don’t know this word I have one other word for you...Dictionary)

Then Deacon Greg offered his bulletin announcement from 2004. Do you think this will get the message across?

BRITNEY SPEARS CONCERT CANCELLED! Unfortunately, our efforts to get pop sensation Britney Spears to perform a benefit fundraiser for the parish have proven unsuccessful. Her calendar is full. Therefore, those who have been arriving at Mass every Sunday dressed for a Britney Spears concert should know that they don't have to do that anymore. Modest church-going attire will do nicely. We will notify you if the situation changes.

PLANS FOR PARISH SWIMMING POOL SCRAPPED! After much study, our finance commi…

Reminders to pray for families

I have no illusions that today’s popular culture is in line with the orthodox Catholic culture I try to create for my family. However, some days I really feel like I have entered an alien universe. I found myself in a waiting room yesterday morning. I hadn’t really planned for much of a wait so I was without my own reading material. I picked up the latest issue of Redbook and perused a few pages. I had read Redbook on a more regular basis during my college years, but my interests took me in other directions as I got older. Returning to it now I was greeted with the latest installment of a series entitled Sex and the Single Mom by Emily Listfield. This month’s issue details how Ms. Listfield can’t wait to send her thirteen-year-old daughter off to camp for a month so she can enjoy a month of sexual pleasures without worrying about being discreet around her daughter. Never mind that she doesn’t have a husband or even a steady boyfriend. This is going to be a month of uninhibited lusty a…

More About Girls Seeking Virtue

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on t-shirts for smart girls, take a look at this Washington Times book review of Girls Gone Mild by Wendy Shalit:

Indeed, the current establishment, Ms. Shalit writes, has left girls dangerously adrift. Parents explain how to protect against pregnancy and disease but give their daughters no information on how to safeguard their hearts. American Library Association-recommended Web sites offer tips on anal sex for teens who want to remain virgins.

On a trip to the local mall, one can find thongs for tweens, scantily dressed Bratz dolls in tube tops and miniskirts, even a suburban dentist who advertises: "We're bringing the sexy back, by replacing all the teeth you lack."

With the adults AWOL, a few brave girls are taking charge, leading protests and campaigns to fight our pornified culture. Fifth-grader Ella Gunderson started a public-relations nightmare for the department store Nordstrom when she wrote a letter protesting the skin-tight, lo…

Princess Schmincess

I am sure you have seen them: those T-shirts with the rhinestone messages that all the teen girls are wearing. They usually say something like “sexy”, “diva”, “princess”, or “hot”. The idea of a rhinestone-embellished shirt is cute. The typical messages are not. So a couple of moms decided to do something about it. They started Mind Candy Clothing. Now those shirts offer a different sort of sentiment.

I love this. I always was a math/science geek in high school. Zipping through geometry proofs did nothing for your social life. Most guys were pretty intimidated by a brainy female. It was such a joy to move on to college. I attended Rice University. At the time I was there, only twenty percent of the students were women. (Women are now close to fifty percent of the student body) It was thrilling to enter an environment where the women were unabashedly bright and articulate. I no longer felt pressured to dumb down my vocabulary or to hide my fascination with numbers.

Today I think it is mu…


Please read this poignant post from the writer of the Just Love blog.

She walked into Planned Parenthood with two older friends. They were high school girls…they could drive. She looked up to them, so when she began having sex at age twelve, she knew she could talk to them about it. She sat down in an unfriendly waiting room and filled out some paperwork. Even though she knew she could lie about her age and name, she filled in the truth on every line. When she was finished with the papers, she was led back to a room and had her first pap exam. Then, she was shuffled into another room where she was asked, “What kind of birth control would you like to try?” She chose the pill, and she was given a years supply, along with a bag overflowing with condoms. It felt like a jackpot to her! “I can have all the sex I want, and it will be safe!” She thought to herself. Little did she know how wrong she was…

The writer goes on to reflect on how things might have turned out differently if she had wal…

Serving up theology at family meals

The kitchen theme just keeps popping up everywhere! Today’s Arlington Herald has this wonderful article about a new cooking show and cookbook, “Grace Before Meals”, hosted by Fr. Leo Patalinghug.

What began as a joke in the kitchen will become a published cookbook this fall and a cooking television series next fall, said Father Leo Patalinghug, the break dancing, martial arts guru, who also happens to be skilled in the kitchen.
The media project, “Grace Before Meals,” aims to bring families together around the table, said Father Leo, a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, who recently was appointed to serve as director of pastoral field education at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md.
Although there is an undeniable novelty about watching a priest hosting a cooking show, Father Leo said what is most important is the actual “movement” to get families to come closer together. The cookbook and the show are simply the vehicle to make that happen and to “strengthen families,” beca…

Divine Office of the Kitchen

David L. Alexander published this last week so with a hat tip to The Man With Black Hat, I am sharing it with my readers as well.

Divine Office of the Kitchen

Lord of the pots and pipkins, since I have no time to be
A saint by doing lovely things and vigilling with Thee,
By watching in the twilight dawn, and storming Heaven's gates,
Make me a saint by getting meals, and washing up the plates!

Lord of the pots and pipkins, please, I offer Thee my souls,
The tiresomeness of tea leaves, and the sticky porridge bowls!
Remind me of the things I need, not just to save the stairs,
But so that I may perfectly lay tables into prayers.

Accept my roughened hands because I made them so for Thee!
Pretend my dishmop is a bow, which heavenly harmony
Makes on a fiddle frying pan; it is so hard to clean,
And, ah, so horrid! Hear, dear Lord, the music that I mean!

Although I must have Martha's hands, I have a Mary mind,
And when I black the boots, I try Thy sandals, Lord, to find.
I think of how they trod our …

Another Generation of Aprons

I haven’t dropped off the planet. I’ve just been in Greensboro, NC with my daughter for a soccer tournament. The schedule was busy with many last minute changes due to rain delays. The girls made it to the finals of this very large tournament. They lost the final game to an extremely strong, very skilled team from Canada. Our girls had six wins during the four days and a large number of college coaches watching the games so it was a very successful tournament.

I love these mother-daughter outings to soccer tournaments. These are great times for bonding, listening, and learning. My daughter is finding her way to being a strong, intelligent, independent young woman without rejecting her femininity and the unique grace of womanhood. See her on the soccer field and you see a fiercely competitive player who is not afraid to get physical. She positively gets fire in her eyes. Off the field she is gentle, loving, and nurturing.

Thanks to Kitchen Madonna, my daughter is now sporting a very femi…