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Showing posts from June, 2010

The End of "K"

These are the last of the "K" Catholic blog listings, and my favorites.

"A Knight's Walk In the Kingdom" is one that I think is most like mine in style and viewpoint.  It is the blog of a dad, and it's at http://theophilus.stblogs.com/.  Check out his rosary for men.  This blog has a very masculine point of view, yet is quite appealing to me.

The next one is "Knit and Pray", and I wish this woman was my neighbor!  I can't knit, wish I could, and this homey, craftsy site makes me want to hang out with this lady!   It's at http://www.knitandpray.blogspot.com/.  I want one of her round blankets!!

"Knocking Everywhere" (http://knockingeverywhere.blogspot.com/) is the blog of a Catholic wife, mother and grandmother.  I don't think this is the focus of her blog, but she is currently undergoing chemotherapy.  It is a sweet slice of life with kids, dogs and faith.

I think the title of "Know Your Catholic Faith" says it all …

Sacred Place of the Day

Our Lady of Knock, Ireland
Confessional Chapel

I wish I'd had this t-shirt when they were little.....

An actor I love to watch

John Malkovich

"A Priceless Heritage"

I don't know how Fr. Sirico managed to pack so much into this little article, but judge for yourself:  http://detnews.com/article/20100629/OPINION03/6290331/Don-t-devalue-Christian-heritage.

His point is that tolerance and freedom of religion (NOT the nouveau-freedom-of-worship the Obama Administration is shopping around in the press right now) is our inheritance from Christianity, and we shouldn't be so quick to reject this heritage.  We don't get things like sovereignty and personal rights from government;  we get them from  God.

Take a look at his short column, and see what you think.

More "K" blogs

"Kicking and Screaming" is the blog of Paulist seminarian Tom over at Busted Halo (http://www.bustedhalo.com/category/kickingandscreaming/).  Busted Halo is a great site in itself!  This is a terrific blog - witty, appealing and broad in scope.

"Kicking Over My Traces" is the blog of a commercial writer from CA.  This blog has a decidedly political, newsy bent.  It is certainly different from the raft of "Catholic-homeschooling-mom-blogs" that I've been seeing so much of.  The writing here is good, if a bit stiff (commercial writer?), but I'll certainly come back and take another look.  It's at  http://www.cehwiedel.com/blogs/traces/.

"Kingmancatholic" is the blog of St. Patrick Parish in Kingman, KS.  More of a newsletter than a blog, I can't see the wide appeal here.  It's found at http://stpatskingman.blogspot.com/.

Finally, today, there is "Knight of the White Cross" at http://tuitiofidei.blogspot.com/.  This is…

Stupid Parents

It would be really nice if I didn't have to write this, but there are stupid parents out there.  It would appear that these people do not 'get' the concepts of good parenting.

DISCLAIMER:   I am not a perfect parent. I am well aware of this.  However, I am trying to work hard to get better, and keeping the end goal in mind:  raising faithful, responsible young men and women.  I am completely willing to take my lumps on this.

Here are two key parenting concepts that seem to be getting lost into our society:

1.  You have no (get that?  NONE!) RIGHT to be a parent.  You are not 'due' a kid, you aren't entitled to offspring.  Parenting is a privilege.  A kid is not a puppy, a trophy or a belonging.  A kid is a human, who deserves and needs certain things to be a good human.  A self-centered, needy parent ain't one of those things.
2.  If and when you get to be a parent, the whole thing stops being about YOU and starts being about the KID.  Whatever the kid need…

Funniest Sport...EVER!

Ah, the ballet-like grace, the grueling hours of training, the suberb  physiques:  it all comes  together in one photogenic moment.

Take that, curling!  Move over, bowling!  Sumo is HOT!

'Kay? Some more "K" blogs.

I continue my intrepid travels into "K" Catholic blogs. 

"Keeping it Catholic" at http://keepingitcatholic.blogspot.com/ is the blog of Marianna, an American Catholic with a devotion to our Blessed Mother.  My first impression of this blog is that there is a LOT of stuff here, and it is a little hard to see the forest for the trees.  It also is a blog that really will appeal only to Catholics, and those with a good handle on Marian apparitions.

"Keeping up with the Smiths" (http://happycatholichome.blogspot.com/) is another Catholic homeschooling mom's site, addressing family and homeschooling issues.  Great, simple writing, great photos and an attractive site!!  (I really love honesty in blogs - the fact that she admits her enormous consumption of ice cream while pregnant is a plus for me.)

My third blog today is "The Kennedy Adventures!" at http://www.thekennedyadventures.com/ is a really beautiful blog featuring (yep, really!) another ho…

Sacred Place of the Day

Carved panels, Morrocan mosque

An actor I love to watch

Denzel Washington

Continuing Adventures in Blogland - the "K" Diaries

I'm still wandring through the "K"s of Blogland.

Today,  I visited  "Karlo M. Leonor" at http://karlomleonor.wordpress.com/.  (Clearly, some bloggers have trouble with names for their blogs.)  This blog is a bit grim looking;  I don't like the dirty gray background.  That being said, the photos here MORE than make up for it!  Karlo, an American college student, is obviously spending some time in Rome, and sharing the visual treats with his audience.  Check it out!

"Kathleen's Catholic" is next (http://karlomleonor.wordpress.com/), the blog of a Catholic homeschooling mom.   This is another visual treat.  However, Kathleen also has a lot of substance here as well, tackling issues like socialization and homeschooling (Really?  Why are people still talking about this?  Sigh...It's okay:  homeschooled kids are not socially inept.  Go back to worrying about something else) and male ordination.  I get the feeling from this that Kathleen and I wo…

Could you explain this to me?

Why does Tallest Son find the concept of a loving, just, merciful and Incarnate God difficult to comprehend, but the person that is Lady Gaga seems to be completely natural to him?  (Just so you know, he's not a fan.  However, the popularity of this person doesn't seem to faze him at all.  It just seems "normal".)

I believe all thinking people have crises of faith.  We - no matter how deep and compelling our faith is - cry out,  "Are you real?  Where are you???" at various points in our life.  However, I have to admit that I've never really had a true period of doubt.  I have always simply known that God is real.  And not just real:  that He loves me, cares about me and for me, and is moving in the world today.  (And yes, I'm aware that is a gift from God, not any personal confession of great faith.)

I've certainly been angry at Him.  I've felt distanced from Him.  I've questioned His answers to my prayers.  But I've never doubted Hi…

Comic Relief

As I'm poking around at Catholic blogs, I found this one:  "Bad Vestments" at  http://badvestments.blogspot.com/.  Gray skies are gonna clear up.....

mmmK...let's see what's out there Part II

I'm continuing on my search and research of Catholic blogs - at least those starting with the letter "K", for now.

First up today:  "Kansas Monks" at http://www.kansasmonks.org/.  This strikes me more as a website than a blog, as it is more "newsy" than strictly writing.  Loved the ordination photos.

Then, there is "Karen Edmiston:  the blog with the shockingly clever title", which made me laugh  - (http://www.karenedmisten.blogspot.com/.  I really like this one.  Heck, she quotes Robert Frost and has a picture of a Guinness on the first page;  what's not to love???

Finally today:  http://kareninmommyland.blogspot.com/ or "Karen's Adventures in Mommyland".  This is a cute site (maybe too cute?), with an obvious focus on mothering.  There are some crafts, book reviews and lots of sweet kiddo stuff.

If you like reading, writing and Catholic stuff, nose around in blog-land.  There's a lot of interesting stuff out there!!

Sacred Place of the Day

Korean Buddhist Temple

I confess.....

Okay, I have to confess.  I like fashion.  I like clothes. 

I know it's shallow and silly, but there it is.  I look at fashion mags, keep up on trends, and gaze wistfully into store windows.  (I'm way to cheap to shop at 99% of retail stores unless it's the clearance rack, thus the wistful gazing.)

This does NOTHING to enhance my spiritual life, though, and until my spiritual advisors tell me to knock it off, I'm going to keep looking at shiny magazine ads for outrageously priced shoes.  The great thing about fashion though, is that it is functional (ya gotta wear someTHING), and it is entirely wacky.  Check out these photos from the Milan 2010 shows for men's fashion:

This is a skirt.  For a guy.  Yeah.....









Leather capris.  Ya gotta be a lot of man to carry this off.  I am trying to think if there are ANY circumstances under which I could talk Dear Husband into wear green short-shorts and a peach silk sports coat...together.

mmmK...let's see what's out there

I'm still trying to figure out the world of blogging.  I like to look at what others are up to, and I'm REALLY trying to figure out how to get more people to read my blog, and other worthy blogs.

Catholic Blog Directory - http://catholicblogs.blogspot.com/# - is a handy list, and since there aren't too many in the "K" listings, I decided to take a look at 'em and share my findings here.  So, here's goes.

First up:  Kami Cinta Ritus Tridentina - http://www.tridentina.tk/.  Um, first thought?  "What the heck does this say?"  Apparently, it's in Indonesian, which I don't read.  However, there is a translator, and the blog is entitled,  "We love the Tridentine Rite".  The translator was being finicky the day I was visiting.  Maybe you'll have better luck.

Next is "Kansas Catholic - http://kansascatholic.blogspot.com/ - which appears to be a currently updated blog.  (I've noticed a lot of blogs don't get updated ver…

Pro Life

Pro-woman, pro-child, pro-life.

Sacred Place of the Day

Church of Copacabana, Bolivia

Sit down and listen!!

When my kids were little (and I had five kids under the age of five at one point),  my days were always rushed.  There were messes to clean, shoes to put on, owies to soothe, and other endless, minute tasks that needed my attention RIGHT NOW.  Bedtime was sweet relief.
Now, my kids go to bed far later than I do.  There are still messes to clean, but I badger them to do it.  The kids don't need my attention all the time, and frankly, would be happiest if I just left them alone.
I am getting ready to send Oldest Son off to college.  It struck me yesterday that he doesn't know enough to go to college.  Oh, I'm sure he'll manage academically.  It's just that I have a lot of stuff to teach him, and only a few short summer months to get that stuff into his head, make sure he hears me, and apply all my valuable lessons to his life.  I just want him to sit down and listen, and while he's at it, get his siblings to gather round and listen to me too.
In my saner moments, I …

Book Review: "Our Souls At Work"

I picked up this book at the Acton University last week.  It is an intriguing topic, and I was curious to see how it was handled.

The editor, Mark L. Russell,  states his purpose clearly in the foreword;  namely that every "worker need[s] to seem themselves at the frontline of what God is doing in the world."  Russell believes (rightly so, in my opinion) that our worship lives and our work lives should not be separate, regarless of what our jobs happen to be.

The book is a collection of thoughts from business people on various topics like leadership, balance, and success.  I wouldn't call them "essays", as most of them are quite short.  He draws from a wide variety of career paths, from attorneys to CEOs to human resources to photography.

There is where the "wide variety" ceases though.  I was disappointed that Russell did not include people from a variety of religious backgrounds;  his contibutors are all mainstream Christians, and (as far as I coul…

Sacred Place of the Day

Pha That Luang, Laos

Who makes better parents?

About two weeks ago, a study done by UCLA School of Law researchers received a lot of media attention. You can read more here: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20100607/kids-of-lesbian-parents-are-well-adjusted

The researchers drew the conclusion that children of lesbian mothers were better adjusted than the children in more traditional families, and therefore, lesbians were better parents. However, the study is seriously flawed. The three biggest flaws?

1. The women who participated in the study volunteered. No other subjects were sought out.
2. There were only 78 children included in the study.
3. The women and children self-reported, and there was no checking by researchers on the self-reporting. If mom/kid said kid was doing great in school, so be it. No one set criteria for what "great" meant, nor did the researchers check with schools regarding grades, behavior, attendance, etc.

If you know the slightest bit about statistics and research, you know these are ser…

The most dangerous place

The most dangerous place for an African-American baby? In the mother's womb.


The astounding fact is that 50% (yeah, that right: 50%) of all pregnancies in the African-American community end in abortion.


Eugenicist Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was quite clear on her goals:

"We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don't want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population. and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."

Margaret Sanger's December 19, 1939 letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, 255 Adams Street, Milton, Massachusetts. Original source: Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, North Hampton, Massachusetts. Also described in Linda Gordon's Woman's Body, Woman's Right: A…

Acton University Wrap-up and Return to Reality

Acton University 2010 is done, and I'm officially a graduate. I feel a bit like I do when I return from a great retreat: that "mountain top" experience, and then dealing with my day-to-day life again. The kitchen is dirty, I need to go grocery shopping, start a new job in a week and a half.....

Those of us who received Hansen Fellowships in order to attend AU were asked to think about three questions over the course of the week. The first was, "What inspired me the most?" Simple question, but no easy answer.

The privilege of hearing Immaculee speak was profound. Even though I've read her books, nothing compares to looking in her eyes as she delivers a humble and profound message of peace. Her statement, "If you have a choice between being right and being kind, be kind" will stick with me for a long time.

Having the opporunity to listen to and talk with people like Dr. Samuel Gregg, Michael Miller, and Jennifer Robach Morse was astounding. …

In the category of: "Really?....REALLY????"

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=6691

The Vatican newspaper has declared that the movie, "The Blues Brothers", a "memorable....Catholic film".

Uh, okay....

Acton University, Day Three

I don't think I've ever attended a conference with such a diverse group of people. I've met people from all over the world: health care professionals, students, teachers, academics, business people, writers, bloggers, administrators, clergy, parents, retired, military officers, and it goes on.

My favorite line of the day was from a Latino man who spent 19 years living and working in East LA, doing ministry. He bought a house near his ministry center, right in the 'hood. When someon questioned why on earth he would choose to live there, he said, "Hey, Jesus did not commute from Heaven. He didn't hang out with the Apostles from 9 to 5 only during the week. I'm gonna live with the people I serve."

I spent a good part of my day listening to and talking with Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, an economist who has founded the Ruth Institute ( http://www.ruthinstitute.org/). If you had told me a couple of days ago that I would be so intrigued by an economist, I'd…

Acton University, Day Two

I wasn't aware that I had a cousin from Nigeria, but I do. His name is Etibo, and he's a seminarian studying in DC. We had a delightful dinner tonight.

How do I know he's my cousin? When I asked our waitress for hot water and tea, he said, "You don't drink coffee?"

"No," I replied. "I don't like coffee, just tea."

"Are you British?" he said, jokingly.

"No, Irish."

"Oh, in Nigeria, we were evangelized by the Irish. We say we are all a little Irish."

I then suggested we were likely cousins, and he agreed. Nothing like meeting family for the first time!

Today was four conferences for us "newbies" to Acton University - four lectures meant to get us up to speed on things like Christian anthropology, limited government and economic theory in a free and virtuous society. All four lectures were brilliant, and I think my brain is on overload!

Some of the questions we pondered, and questions we raised today:
1. W…

Acton University, Day One

I have learned much in just a few short hours. First, I learned that over 800 people applied to attend Acton University this year; I was one of 396 selected. I am humbled. I hope this does not turn into humiliation, as I was clearly one of the dumber people in that banquet room....

Acton draws from many, many countries, so it is likely I will make many friends from all over the country and the world. My dinner partners tonight were charming, intelligent and fun!

Fr. Robert Sirico, a co-founder of the Acton Institute, is a charming and down-to-earth speaker, all the while talking about an abundance of high-falutin' ideas. I have come to understand that I have a few tasks over the next few days:

1. It is my job to sincerely and humbly "yield to the truth", even if it is uncomfortable.
2. "We do not need more power [in the world]; need more intelligence." How are we to bring this about?
3. "We [humans} are autonomous and also always in relationship.&quo…

Dealing with mental illness

From CNS News Briefs:

Webinar explores ways church can respond to mentally ill young people

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The best way church ministry leaders can help a young person struggling with mental illness is not to try to save them but to work to put them in a position where they can save themselves, said panelists at a June 10 Webinar sponsored by the National Catholic Partnership on Disability. Linea Johnson, a recent college graduate from Seattle who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and Robert McCarty, executive director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry in Washington, agreed that empowerment and communication are crucial in helping young people with mental illness find their way. "The bottom-line resource is the relationship you have formed with this young person," said McCarty, urging those who work with youths to practice "the ministry of wasting time" and to cultivate "the skill of creative loafing." Only that way will yo…

Sacred Place of the Day

Binu shrine, Mali

Because it's okay to hate Catholics

Catholics and Catholicism are at the receiving end of a great deal startling vituperation in contemporary America, although generally those responsible never think of themselves as bigots. - Philip Jenkins

Hyundai is airing a commercial, inspired by theWorld Cup and apparently a great deal of hatred for what we Catholics hold sacred. There are a number of offensive aspects to this ad, but the most egregious is people kneeling to receive "communion": slices of pizza.

Why is that, in our country, we tiptoe around the Islamic faith, but it is okay to denigrate the Catholic faith? Of course, our country has a long history of anti-Catholicism, but why is it that the cultural elite fail to acknowledge it as such?

It's not okay to be mean. It is not okay to put down someone else's religious beliefs. And it's not okay, just because it's the Catholics.

Loose lips, doncha know!

Saw this article on npr.com. Simple, yet solid advice!

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2010/06/14/127829646/23-things-not-to-say-in-an-email


One search in particular targeted a bunch of words and phrases that anybody might use in an incriminating e-mail. They are:

stupid
huge mistake
big mistake
dumb
can’t believe
cannot believe
serious trouble
big trouble
unsalvageable
shocked
speechless
too late
uncomfortable
not comfortable
I don’t think we should
very sensitive
highly sensitive
very confidential
highly confidential
do not share this
don’t share this
between you and me
just between us

Oh, I wish!

I have, unfortunately, spent many, MANY hours with mental health professionals due to the nature of my kids' "special needs". A lot of those folks are terrific, helpful, well-educated and great at their job.Many of them are nuts. This is just a little homage to the sane ones.

Keep calm....

...and pray your Rosary.

Sacred Place of the Day

Hechal Yehuda Synagogue, Tel Aviv
This sums up my feelings about my new job....

Learning to let go

Curly-haired Daughter is learning to drive. She's doing fine, and has amassed enough drive time to show us that she is a cautious and thoughtful driver.

I still hate sitting in the passenger seat with her driving.

I know this drives her crazy, as I can usually let her drive there but then I have to take over and drive back. It's not that I don't trust her, it's just that I hate giving up control. It's all me, not her.

St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote a beautiful prayer of surrender:

"Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. All that I am and all that I possess You have given me. I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your will. Give me only Your love and Your grace; with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more."
I have the hardest time praying this. It sticks in my throat like a glob of peanut butter, gagging me. I do not want to pray it. I say it, but I don't think I…

The Immaculate Heart of Mary

The heart of the Mother of our Divine Savior is a beautiful mirror in which her Beloved Son has depicted, reflected, and represented most excellently all the virtues that reign in his Sacred Heart... - St. John Eudes

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

"Christians, Jesus gives us his Heart, and what does he ask for in return? He asks for ours...On one side the world claims its affections to make of our poor heart a living hell; on the other, Jesus desires ardently to take possession of it, in order to transform it even during this life into a paradise of delight." - Father Martin Berlioux

Tinkering....

I'm playing around with some new ideas for the blog. I hope you like the updates! Here is where you come in: if you like to read my blog, please consider becoming a "follower" (it's easy and painless!) or leaving comments. This way, I know that I'm not just talking to myself here!

Yum!

I'm a good cook, but not so great a baker. Anyone want to make
and mail 'em to me??? Chocolate Mousse cupcakes - heaven on a plate!

Sacred Place of the Day

National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC

I don't know.....

I am often amazed at the stuff I don't know; you could fill football stadiums with what I don't know. I don't know a damn thing about fly fishing, for instance, other than it involves fish. I still can't figure out how to score tennis. I know what Dear Husband's job title is, and sorta what he does, but I don't really know what his job entails. Physics remains something of a mystery to me.

And now I am making a radical, life-changing decision. I'm leaving a job I have loved nearly every moment I was there: I loved the kids and the staff, the stupid sophomore boys, the traditions and the creaky old building (except in the winter, with the wind coming off Lake Michigan....) I loved my classroom and the texts. I loved the laughter - sometimes with the kids and sometimes at them.

However, I knew it was time for a change, and an opportunity presented itself. I've prayed and talked. Asked for advice. Looked at it from every angle. Prayed some more. It really…

Not an ugly teacher sweater but...

It is so special, I'll make an exception. In fact, I bet that girl in white grew up to be a teacher. From the hysterically funny Awkward Family Photos website.

One way, or another

As a teen, I thought it was down right weird that my mom and dad read the obituarities with an almost religious fervor. My dad, (har, har, har) said he had to make sure his name wasn't there. Of course, now Dear Husband and I do the same thing, mostly looking for the elderly relatives of friends, the occasional person from church or work, and awfully, sometimes, a peer. However, I have to admit a certain entertainment value to the obituaries. My favorite was one a number of years ago, the death notice of a man well into his 90s that read: "Joe Smith passed away unexpectedly". Really? How long was he planning on staying here? I figure at the age of 90 or so, you gotta expect death is going to be sooner rather than later. Another source of humor for me is the photos, especially those people who haul out the pictures from a long-ago youth for the deceased who are comfortably into their senior citizen years. Like you're gonna recognize them? "Hey, I think th…

Sacred Place of the Day

St. John Lateran, Rome

Art and the Bible

This website has a treasury of Biblical-based art, most of it classic. It also gives art suggestions for certain passages and images - for instance, if you're looking for an artistic rendering of the Prodigal Son.

I chose this one: Pieter Lastman's "Ruth declares her loyalty to Naomi."

Check it out: http://http://www.artbible.info/




Sacred Place of the Day

Shaker barn, Sabbathday Lake, Maine

I'm a failure

I had an interesting chat with a friend today (thanks, Mike). He said a young woman was going to be doing some youth ministry work and wanted some insight into that particular field of endeavor. His advice was terrific, I thought: "Be prepared to have your heart broken. Be prepared to fail...a lot."


I've been working in one form of ministry and/or religious education for my entire adult life. I am no stranger to the fact that most people do not share my enthusiasm for the Gospel, life in Christ and my truly geekazoid love of learning about world religions and sacred places. That does not dull the pain of realizing that classroom after classroom of students can't get over the fact that I go to Mass every Sunday. "Every Sunday????!!!" "Yeah...every Sunday."

Someone told me, not too long ago, that is was my job as a religion teacher to make sure that every kid that I taught became a practicing Catholic. Sorry; that is way too big a job for me. It was t…

Oh, I can't deal with this....