Friday, September 24, 2010

Clowns in Congress

I watched Colbert today.  I think he provided exactly what those who invited him should have expected.  The circus has been in town since 2008.  Did they really expect the clown to do something other than his usual shtick?  This was an appalling mockery of our government...  Provided for us by the most ridiculous set of reps ever elected.  As Alan Simpson once said, "In your country club, your church and business, about 15 percent of the people are screwballs, lightweights and boobs and you would not want those people unrepresented in Congress."

We might however want them less represented.......

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Holy Childhood

I'm a blessed woman.  God gave me a son about 10 years ago.  When I pray or attend Mass during advent, throughout Christmas, or on the feasts of the births of John the Baptist or Mary, I find myself in meditation recalling all of the sensations of pregnancy, birth, and infancy. 

I really loved being pregnant.  I loved the feeling of the life inside of me.  I loved being big and round.  When he was born, I loved to hold my son. I loved to feed him.  I loved to make him laugh.  In fact it has been my goal to laugh a little with my son everyday of his life.  I still love to brush his cheek with my hand. 

The sound of his laughter is music.  I imagine Dante's music of the spheres being an infectious harmonious laughter of infinite depth and variation.  I imagine the laugh of Mary as a child, or of Jesus as a Babe, being that kind of infectious laugh.  Imagine the pleasure Mary had in stroking His soft baby cheeks.  I imagine those times when a baby voice is heard in church and people smile at the words.  I imagine Jesus could make a whole town laugh as a child. 

Do you think that Mary and Joseph ever chased Jesus around the house to tickle Him?  Did God giggle when His toes squished in the mud?  Did he laugh and splash in the bath?  Did he rub noses and coo softly in His Mother's ear? 

Did Mary relax and fall asleep holding Him after nursing?  Did He pounce on Joseph in the morning with the pleasure of a new day ahead?  Did Joseph and Mary smile with joy as Jesus exhibited some new level of learning or understanding?

These are the purest pleasures of parenthood. I'm sure God in his infinite love, gave them to His chosen earthly parents.

Monday, September 13, 2010

More on Father Corapi

The truth is that I was deeply disappointed in Father Corapi.  I wanted to hear about how to really wage war against evil forces.  Instead he reiterated  that to fight evil we should:
  1. Strive to live in a state of grace by avoiding sin.
  2. Go to confession regularly, and strive to avoid sin.
  3. Pray regularly, especially the rosary.
  4. Go to Mass daily, or at least as often as possible.
  5. Offer up our suffering, rather than complain or try to reduce the suffering.
  6. Fast.
  7. Pray.
  8. Give Alms.
Well, the truth is, I'm disappointed because these are the very things I've been told all of my life.  I wanted a spectacular story of mortal spiritual combat that makes the battle sound like something out of Tolkien or Lewis.

Instead, I heard the wisdom of the ages.  God does not change.  Good does not change.  Only the glamor of the devil changes, in order to find new ways to distract us from the Truth.   So Lady Gaga is increasingly outrageous even as Cher recycles a look from 20 years ago.  Isn't it interesting that the shock purveyors aren't any more shocking than they were 20 years ago?  Cher taught Gaga a lesson.  And she reminded us of Truth. Raunchy, tawdry, immodest clothes haven't changed.  They've just become more common, and are worn by younger people.

I thank God that the lessons are the same.  I  thank God the sinners are recognizable.  I'm sorry I'm still a sinner like the rest. 

I finally thank God that the sins I see in others are sins I have recognized in myself.  It helps me to know that I'm not too proud to pray, and repent, and to forgive.

Wouldn't it be cool to see Julia Roberts in a movie called, "Fast, Pray, Give"?  I might actually go see that movie.  Maybe that could be Gaga's movie debut...  I  might have to meet her first and convince her...  Like that's going to happen.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fr. Corapi, Lady Gaga, and Slumming on the Internet

My husband and I spent yesterday at full day of talks from Father Corapi.  If you don't know who he is, you have never watched Catholic T.V. or listened to Catholic radio.  It seemed to me that his talks were either too loosely planned, or were tempered by something he had been asked not to say.  He seemed to approach a point without going all of the way.  Still, it was a day well spent.  Father John Corapi - End Game - Caught in the Crossfire - Attack/Counter-Attack - a Series of 6 Talks on Video - VHS

When I came home,  I saw that Camille Paglia had written and extensive and critical article about Lady Gaga in the London Times.  If you are a true Gaga fan, you won't be reading this blog.  But, she has been involved (to use the old fashioned term for hooking up) with a relative for several years.    Do a Google search of "Carl Gaga"  and you will see our cousin in action.

Here is my disclaimer:  I have never met, nor do I ever expect to meet Lady Gaga in person.  She spent about a month in the area with family, but no one saw her, and we didn't hear about it until she was gone.  That's probably wise.

At Father Corapi's talk, we ran into relatives of both the Carl family and the Dunlap family (my side).  We ran into old friends and current friends.  Among these are two cousins in the seminary, Eucharistic ministers, people who home school (like me) to protect their children from the lousy faith formation of seventies Catholics...The over-riding sentiment as we listened to Father Corapi talk about Spiritual Warfare was joy at discovering that we are not alone.  Others are sensing the same battle against darkness and the need to pray for strength and guidance.

Now we come back to Lady Gaga.  I use that name because, I have never met her.  We are relatively close to that side of the family.  Last time I saw Luc was at a family funeral.  We see them more than my cousins.  I really hope that L.G is a good woman deep down.  The fact that the relationship seems to be off and on, but continues over years, means a lot to me.  I want young men in our family to find the light and happiness of a good marriage.  Carl men are tough.  Somewhere in their history they must have been cattle ranchers.  They are hard working, honest men.  Rough, and tumble, but honest and worth loving.

Father Corapi yesterday asked if movies and t.v. were more innocent 50 years ago than they are today.  Obviously not.  I thought immediately of L.G and L. C.  Nothing about her would have been allowed on screen, any screen, 50 years ago.  Camille Paglia may be right that she has gone so far in the promotion of aberrant sexuality that she has become sexless.  I truly hope that her promoted  sexuality is as divorced from reality as the clothes she wears.  I want Luc to be happy.  In the meantime, and while we don't talk to L.C. or L.G., I am trying to hope that she wins at the MTV Video Music Awards tonight.

But as my husband says about the pornographic things we are drawn to on the internet, "Don't go slumming outside the family."

Good luck L.G. and L.C. wherever you are!!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


September 2, 2010 Monthly Apparition Message to Mirjana
Dear children, I am beside you because I desire to help you to overcome trials, which this time of purification puts before you. My children, one of those is not to forgive and not to ask for forgiveness. Every sin offends Love and distances you from it – and Love is my Son. Therefore, my children, if you desire to walk with me towards the peace of God’s love, you must learn to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. Thank you"

My brother, Pat made his first confession today.  He is autistic.  He is 53.  He is simple of faith and pure of heart.  His worst crimes are eating the last of the Cap'n Crunch, or the ice cream, and hiding the evidence.

After his confession, I thanked our Pastor, Father Gutgsell, for helping him to do this.  He smiled and said, "God calls us all to be like little children."

May God bless all simple souls and good priests.

Pat was afraid of the confessional.  Father told him everyone is.

Pat said he goes to church every Sunday.  Father said that was good.

Pat said he prays everyday.  Father said confession is a kind of prayer.

Pat said he was sorry.  Father told him he would be saying he is sorry to God through the priest in confession.

Pat promised he would be good now.  Father smiled and said he knew he would.

This was such a special gift for my brother and our family.  We are beyond grateful for Father Gutgsell.  I might smile for a week.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hope for the Future

I'm two weeks into a new semester with my university students and home schooling and I have reason to be hopeful.  I should make the caveat that every time I say something like that, I wind up cursed and sad.  For example, today I started to tell my students that a lack of rehearsal before giving a speech would cause them to say 'umm'  frequently.  Whenever I say that, I say 'umm' a lot.  65 times in ten minutes today.  My students took count at my request.  That's better than my record of 81 times in 5 minutes.

Why am I hopeful?  At least 25% of my students told us in their introductory speeches that they have actively worked with missionary groups.  Fully 50% want family and children.  And all of them seem open to getting my jokes.  Even though most of them are real groaners.

But mostly, I'm excited by the private conversations I've had with some of them.  One of my Elementary Education majors asked if she could interview me for a paper.  The interview was interesting because she was clearly asking questions that were based on her education classes.  She was impressed with my knowledge of instructional theory and practice.  I felt very smart.  We discussed the research on class size, as related to the STAR program in Tennessee, and the Gates Foundation Study in California.  I wonder what her instructor will think...

The second best encounter of the day (second only because it happened after the first) was a discussion about a speech topic.  My student wanted to write an informative speech about how to survive an attack from velociraptors.  He really thought I would say no.  I find his choice creative and interesting.  He will need to research all of the anthropological information he can find and turn that into a way to protect oneself from attack.   He's even considering the architecture of buildings that would be safe from attack.

I guess what I want to say is,  Life is good.  Kids are smart.  Praise God that we are well made!!!