" One recent survey showed that while 77% of American Catholics said they were proud to be Catholic, 68% also said you could be a good Catholic without going to Mass every Sunday. And 56% of Catholics under 40 say "I could be just as happy in some other church." They don't see anything wrong with gay marriage, and church teachings against birth control are a nonstarter. "Young Catholics see these specific moral teachings -- especially regarding sexuality and marriage -- as peripheral to the faith, and well-educated young Catholics see them as even more so," according to "American Catholics Today:"
68% could be happy not going to mass every Sunday?!?! Correct me if I'm wrong but that is still a cornerstone of our faith, is it not? That you go to mass every Sunday? One has to wonder who they talked to, because I love going to mass every Sunday, and I agonize over it if I cant go because of sickness or what not. Anyway,the article goes on to some great length, and is very interesting. in that it also poses the question that::
"In the Christian ideal, God has no grandchildren; faith must be ever new. But then how does the church encourage Catholicism as a culture while keeping the faith fresh and alive? It is an age-old question, the search for a link between the collective sense of a people and the requirement of individual sanctification."
After reading it thru twice now, I find that it begs the question; Just what ARE we doing to protect our Catholic Culture? Do we openly wear it in public, or do we shy away from it for fear of offending others? Do we pray before lunch, or is it an embarassment to us?
The Mary Garden
Example; my wife is very adamant about me not building a Mary garden. She is devoutly Catholic, and is the reason i am as well, but she doesnt want a statue of the Virgin mary in our yard, which I do. She doesnt mind me creating a huge flower bed with all the flowers that go into a Mary garden, but she has in the past, made it clear she doesn't want a statue of the Blessed Mother in our back yard. Now things might have changed, because it's been a few years since we had that discussion, but what I want to know is; whats the big deal? Not just with her being against a statue of Mary, but
why all the hub-bub over being proud of being Roman Catholic? Living down here in the heart of the "Bible Belt" you'd expect me to know the answer, wouldn't you? I can recall a time about 20 years ago, as a young green haired punk rocker being in columbia South Carolina when I saw Nuns for the first time. They got odder looks than I did! Maybe it was because we were all in a liqour store... Ever heard that joke?
"Jews don't recognize Jesus as the Son of God.Protestants don't recognize the pope as the Ruler of the Church.Baptists don't recognize each other in a liquor store."
All jokes aside, why is it that some of us seem so scared to be openly Catholic? Shouldnt we be so filled with joy that we want to share -and defend- our faith every chance we get? I dont mean go out of your way to be a pain in the neck about it, but dont shy away from it either! How else are we going to fix all the misconceptions about Catholicism and set all these people right? Please, someone, drop a few lines into my comment box, let me know how you feel about all of this! I really want to know.
Main Entry: hope·ful Function: adjective Date: 1568 1 : having qualities which inspire hope
2 : full of hope : inclined to hope
I have been listening to the radio and watching the news as much as possible these past few days, to see if I can glean at least a little information about the Holy Father's visit here. I haven't been able to hear much today; I work in a building that is insulated in some strange way and very few radio stations can get through, not to mention I work in another county (a very rural county) and so not a lot of press is given to the Holy Father. But, I will go home tonight, watch whatever my DVR has recorded for me, and see if I can get some more info from The Catholic Channel. Father Dave from The Busted Halo Show is doing extensive coverage, as are a lot of the podcasters. I've got to say, so far I am extremely impressed with his Holiness. He is not as....stern as I thought he was going to be, he seems very kind and gentle, yet he knows what to say and how to say it.
Earlier today while celebrating mass in Washington D.C. he was qouted by CNN as saying:
"Today I encourage each of you to do what you can to foster healing and reconciliation and to assist those who have been hurt," he said."Also, I ask you to love your priests and to affirm them in the excellent work that they do," he added."
That means a lot to me, because I personally think alot of good Priests got a bad rap because of the actions of a very few.I know of at least three people who left the church because they disagreed with the way things were being run, and while I personally think these people were just looking for an excuse to bail in the first place, I cant help but think that the damage done by the media contributed a great deal to these people leaving the church.
I also am happy that the Holy Father has addressed the problem of Hurricane Katrina victims. Those of you who followed my old blog will know how much that whole string of events affected me and my family. But I especially like that his Holiness went on to say:
"The fidelity and courage with which the Church in this country will respond to the challenges raised by an increasingly secular and materialistic culture will depend in large part upon your own fidelity in handing on the treasure of our Catholic faith. Young people need to be helped to discern the path that leads to true freedom: the path of a sincere and generous imitation of Christ, the path of commitment to justice and peace."
IMNSHO, he has, in just one days time, strengthened the bond we have with the Catholic church here in America. At least, for me he has. I already feel a stronger bond, a more faith driven desire to lead a more faith based life, and I think that will carry me on to do more things with my parish than I recently have. I have been really affected by a lot of "bad energy" that was floating around my parish due to a few certain people in a group I worked with, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I now see that I should not have let this burn in me so, I should have found another path.
But I digress; I will be watching the rest of the Holy Fathers visit with eager ears and a glad heart, ever hopeful that everyopne else will get the same thing from his Holiness and this all impoprtant first visit to the U.S.
Etymology:obsolete French disconcerter, alteration of Middle French desconcerter, from des- dis- + concerter to concert Date:1687
1: to throw into confusion 2: to disturb the composure of So, am I "disconcerted"? I suppose in a way I am. I worry about my wife and kids, I am very uneasy about crime in my area, the pathetic excuse for Presidential candidates (I don't like any of them), my house payment is due, I want to see our troops our troop get the hell out of Iraq as soon as is humanly possible,I work with a woman who is absolutely one of the most unhappy and power hungry people Ive ever met, I.... have quite a few good reasons to feel "disconcerted", but do I feel disconcerted? No.
" The only science that gives purpose to every other science is the science of religion--the science of our happy relationship with, and our providential dependence on God and our neighbor." ~Fr. Solanus Casey~
By living these words, by picking up my rosary every day and reciting it (even though sometimes I feel too tired), I find an escape from disconcernment, a way to beat the doubt and discouragement that could take over at any instance. It would be so easy to fall into despair, so easy to slip back into the black waters of chaos and just give up, I may not place an entry in this blog every day, or even once a month, but I am still here, and I still think of you, my friends, and I pray for each and every one of you, as I hope you do for me.
"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be. " ~Anne Frank~ f
I realize that my posts have been few and far between here recently, and that perhaps my topics have not been what others want to really read about, and for that I apologize. If you will indulge me for a while longer though, I assure you better things are to come. It has been a very sickly winter for me, and right as I thought I was out of the proverbial woods, I'm back in it again. My doctors have no idea what is wrong with me or why I am in such pain (Back,shoulder,leg,etc) but they have done a myriad of tests, and hopefully something good will come of all this. Meanwhile, all I can do is eat muscle relaxers like M&M's and try to sleep(they don't even help all that much).So anyway, put in a kind word for me to the Big Guy at mass this weekend, I need all the help I can get.
“...Sport is prostituted when sport loses its independent and democratic character and becomes a political institution...Nazi Germany is endeavoring to use the Eleventh Olympiad to serve the necessities and interests of the Nazi Regime rather than the Olympic ideals.”
Committee on Fair Play in Sports, New York, November 15, 1935
So I've been following the Olympic Protests a little closer than I would usually follow the olympics; (sorry Dad, I'm still not a big sports fan) and I have made an observation that I think is kind of funny. I keep hearing the Mayor of San Francisco on interviews, and quite a few more folk saying we shouldnt be politicizing the Olympic torch ceremony like we are. When asked by Newsweek about the planned protests, Mayor Newsom said:
Newsweek: "What are you doing to ensure the safety of both those planning to cheer and those attending to jeer?"
Newsom: "The good news is that this is a city that sees protests of some scale almost on a weekly basis. The key here is to accommodate everybody: to accommodate those that are there to celebrate the spirit of the Olympics, removing any politics from the torch relay, and to secure the safety and comfort of those who wish to protest, and see this as a political opportunity. We're trying to balance both, and we've made it clear that this should be done peacefully and respectfully."
OK, here is my biggest pet peeve about all this talk about not using the torch or the Olympics as a political vehicle;READ SOME HISTORY!!!!! Do you guys even know who came up with the Olympic torch ceremony and the the 5 rings? heres a little hint:Yes boys and girls, that's right, Leni Riefenstahl and Adolf Hitler came up with both symbols for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Is it just me, or does anyone else see the irony in this current situation? We are urging people not to protest the Olympic torch running, we are begging them not to protest the Olympics for the sake of the athlete's and sportsmanship, just as some people wanted us to do in 1936, when thousands wanted to boycott the Olympics to protest the inhumanity being inflicted upon the Jews and other minorities. We, as citizens of the world, owe it to the people of China, the people of Tibet, and the other people that the Chinese government crushes under foot for noncompliance with their laws, to protest, LOUDLY. Otherwise, were no better than our predecessors who said " don't cheat the athlete's of this chance! Let them compete in Berlin!".
Are we not, as Christians, supposed to stand up for those who have no voice? Do we stop caring about others because we want to watch sports? What matters more? Our own gratification, or aiding our fellow man?
"The dying, the cripple, the mental, the unwanted, the unloved-- they are Jesus in disguise." Mother Theresa