Book/Short Story Idea! “The Sister Patricia Mysteries”!

Eat your heart out, GKC! What better thing to write about than the Catholic blogosphere’s favorite religious sister…okay, maybe a few Catholic bloggers’ favorite religious sister…as an amateur sleuth! Genius, I say!

All I need are some witty titles, and the stories will practically write themselves!

The Mystery of the Purloined Polyester Pantsuit

The Case of the Wayward Womynpreest

The Labyrinthine Code

Death at the RE Congress 

The Mystery at Blogger’s Cove

The Case of the Cursed Reiki Stone

Attack of the Yoga Ninjas

The Missing Liturgical Dance Interpreter

A Study in Incense

And Then There Were Nuns on the Bus

The Mystery of the Haunted Sweat Lodge

The Mark of SCHISM

If you have other title suggestions, leave ‘em in the combox. Can’t make any promises, but if I use them, you will get the credit.

Oh, and I just ran this idea by Sr Pat, and she is absolutely thrilled, and hopes I write them. She told me she’s always dreamed of being a dick.

What?

The Litany Of Humility

A few weeks ago, the priest hearing my confession handed me a prayer card on which was printed The Litany of Humility. Perhaps a number of you have heard of it, or even pray it – it was new to me. He encouraged me to pray it every day.

I haven’t been, but I’m resolved to do so. Started yesterday, and read it today after Holy Communion.

It might lead to even less blogging.

O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I,
   Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
   Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase, and I may decrease,
   Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
   Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
   Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
   Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should,
   Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

Written by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val.

According to wikipedia, it’s Servant of God Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, and he lived from 1865-1930.

I like me the dangerous prayers.

Another Family Tragedy

This is going to be one of those years – I can just tell.

I received a call this morning that my brother-in-law Ed died this morning – two weeks after my dad. He had been battling lung cancer (never smoked, btw) for a few years, and he looked great when I saw him last – at my dad’s funeral – but the word from home is that he succumbed to a combo of pneumonia and congestive heart failure.

So another trip back to Rochester. Please pray for safe travels (whenever it is I head back, in the next few days).

But most of all, please pray for my sister Mary. To lose her husband and dad in such a short span of time – I cannot even imagine the grief. My heart aches and breaks for her – and their two children.

Sorry that the blog has turned into an obituary as of late – but what can you do? Death is as much a part of life as humor is, and while one is certainly more enjoyable than the other, one is inevitable while the other is optional. One leads to joy everlasting, while the other, not so much.

Thanks in advance for your prayers and condolences.

Bishops: We Are Adopting Welborn Protocol On All Correspondence

(AoftheAP) In response to the Catholic blogosphere’s intense over-reaction to Bishop Olson’s (Diocese of Fort Worth) private letter to President Michael King of Fisher More College, in which the bishop reiterated that the Latin Mass offered at the college can no longer be offered, a group of bishops have decided to adopt what’s commonly referred to as “the Welborn protocol” on all private correspondence to individuals within their respective dioceses.

The Welborn protocol, attributed to long-time Catholic blogger Amy Welborn, states, in essence, that all “correspondence is blogable unless specifically indicated otherwise”.

“It’s sad we have to take this step,” one bishop told AoftheA News (who said that the conversation was indeed blogable), “but we’re realizing that bloggers are more apt to follow arbitrary internet etiquette and norms, rather than traditional standards of prudence, decorum, and civil behavior.”

Bishop Olson declined to be interviewed for this story, but a diocesan spokesman told AoftheA News that the bishop was on board with the new directive, stating “he makes this norm out of his pastoral solicitude and care for bloggers as well as for their own souls.”

So Long, Dad…

…and enjoy heaven’s golf courses. It might mean waiting for a tee time in Purgatory for awhile, but with this upcoming Saturday being a First Saturday, maybe it won’t be that long after all.

Early this morning, my dad passed away in his home, in the company of his wife and eldest daughter. It was expected, as he had been in hospice care since mid-January. It was a peaceful, happy death.

He was a good man, a loving husband, a father who provided for his family and loved each of us kids as if they were the only one in the world. I am grateful I had the chance to see him last month, when the decision to go in hospice was made. I am grateful I had the chance to tell him I love him before he went. I am grateful that I had had the opportunity to tell him that if I was twice the husband and father I am now, I would still be half the husband and father he always was.

I will miss him.

Please keep my mom in your prayers.

Here’s a tribute I wrote about my dad on Father’s Day back in 2009.

How Christian Small Business Owners Can Defeat Gay Activist Economic Terrorism

(Ed. note: the Catholic Blogger Reparative Therapy Review Board hasn’t reached consensus on whether I’m ready for full-time blogging. However, I was given permission to publish this post while my case remains under review.)

(That was a joke, btw. I’m actually in blogger rehab, and Sr Patricia smuggled me a laptop, wrapped in her labyrinth rug.)

As more states allow so-called same-sex marriages, either by vote or governmental fiat, more and more small businesses owned by committed Christians, such as this bakery in Oregon, will be pressured to act contrary to their religious beliefs, and be forced to close, or fined beyond their ability to pay.

However, it needn’t be that way. At all.

While I commend and applaud the bakery owners cited in the above story, and fully stand behind them and other business owners in the exercise of their 1st Amendment rights, it must be understood that the instigators aren’t being motivated by matters constitutional. These gay activists aren’t looking for justice under the law per se; their goal is the minimization and outright obliteration of any Christian influence within the marketplace. They detest the influence of Christian morals, and have found a means by which they can reduce said influence, under the agreeable guise of “equality”: filing discrimination lawsuits against small business owners.

And for now, it appears they are winning.  Courts have been ruling in their favor – rightly or wrongly – and with each victory, the gay activists are becoming more emboldened, and momentum is on their side.

It’s time to put an end to that right now, and there’s a legal way to do it. A way that respects the religious beliefs of the small business owners. A way that eliminates the “rights vs rights” battle.

Let’s use the example of the Christian bakery owner. All he would need to do is enact a company policy stating that some level of the profit, up to and including 100%, from any wedding reception contract, will be donated to organizations and/or candidates who support traditional marriage as between one man and one woman. This policy would have to be publicly posted within his establishment so as to remove any doubt from any customer where he stands on the issue. Thus, gay activists who want to order their cake from that bakery would understand in clear and precise terms that they will be funding organizations and/or candidates who stand for traditional marriage. Furthermore, this policy would affect every and any customer wishing to order a cake – gay, straight, whomever.  Every wedding cake. Every platter of cannolis. Every dessert cart. That would eliminate any charge of discrimination, because everyone’s order would be helping to fund, say, the Family Research Council, or NOM.

If you think about it, there is nothing new about this. Large corporations publicize who they support all the time, and people decide whether or not to patronize them. Boycotts have been waged against Target and Walmart and other companies, for instance. It’s a thing. What I’m proposing is a bit more assertive, especially for small businesses and proprietorship, but it might be the protection – or at least a stopgap measure – they need.

Imagine it – Michael and Justin enter a bakery wanting to order a cake from John 3:16 Baked Goods.  The owner sits down with them as they look over his portfolio, and select cake #19.

“How much for #19?” they ask, fully expecting him to tell them he can’t in good conscience make cake #19 for their reception. Their lawyer’s phone number is on their iPhone’s speed dial, and they’re ready to hit send.

But the owner doesn’t go there. Instead he says, “Well, that cake goes for $1500. But let me remind you guys – John 3:16 Baked Goods’ policy is that 100% of wedding contract profits goes to NOM, and I make about 10% on #19. So you’d be donating $150 to NOM, for all intents and purposes. Just so you know.”

“B..but we don’t want our money going to NOM!” they exclaim.

“Well, guys, here’s the thing about business. I provide a service for which you pay me money. Once you give me a check, it’s no longer your money. It’s my money, and last time I checked, I have the right to spend my money any way I please. But I feel it’s fair to tell you the store policy when it comes to any and all wedding reception contracts.”

At which point, Michael and Justin leave the store in a huff, and John 3:16 Baked Goods isn’t dragged into court. Because let’s face it – no militant gay activist will ever do anything to support traditional marriage. Their goal is to destroy and dismantle, and the very thought of any money going to organizations and candidates opposed to them – especially money from a check they just wrote – would prevent them from signing a contract.

Mind you, this won’t prevent persecution, or bad press, or personal attacks. And the bakery risks losing other business because, unfortunately, a good number of Christians don’t see a problem with so-called same-sex marriage. But the baker stays in business – earning a lower profit, mind you, I understand that – in order to provide for his family and his employees. And he’s witnessing to his faith, and putting his money where his mouth is. And every Christian baker that stays in the marketplace is good for the faith, and ultimately the marketplace is better for it.

Such a policy can be used by any business that provides wedding services – florists, photographers, limousines, and the like.  It takes the “rights vs rights” element off the table, and turns it into a financial/economic circumstance. No discrimination. No bias. Merely a public company policy, informing customers upfront where the money will be going.

And believe me – like-minded Christians and traditional marriage supporters will flock and rush to help these businesses.  So any lost profits from the wedding side of their business would be compensated. I truly believe that.

Maybe this idea has been floated elsewhere on the Internet – I’ve not seen it or read about it, but if it has, I’ll gladly give credit to where credit’s due. I think the idea has merit, and Christian small-business owners ought to seriously consider it. They’re in a fight for their lives and existence as business owners. They have as much right to earn a living as the militant gay activist has a right to buy a wedding cake. But the fight has to be fought on economic terms, in order to preserve religious rights. The courts and legislatures and much of the culture has been turned against Christian values – to try and win this fight in the very arena where the game is rigged against us is futile. As long as it’s legal for a business to earn a profit, and as long as it’s legal for a business owner to spend their money as they choose, then perhaps the best way to fight back is to use those profits to their advantage.

So tell them their money will be funding pro-traditional marriage organizations and candidates. They do it all the time with the groups and people they support – groups and people opposed to Christian values.  The Christian small business owner has to do it too. Now.

Top Ten Fake Reasons Why I’m Done Blogging

10. Tired of trying to keep up with Eye of the Tiber.
9. Th ” ” k y is brok n on my laptop and I’m too lazy to g t th darn thing r pair d.
8. Heterophobes leaving nasty vitriolic ad hominem comments on my “Same Sex ‘Marriage’ Has Ruined Dr Who For Me” post have finally broken my spirit.
7. Lawyers from National Catholic Distorter have promised to drop all libel charges if I stop blogging.
6. Can’t.Stop.Playing.Candy.Crush.
5. There are 3 other people living in my home, and I figure now’s as good a time as any to introduce myself.
4. The guy who did all my photoshop work finally got good and now he wants to charge me.
3. Sr Patricia is suing for greater creative control, and the only way to stop her is to close down the blog.
2. There are no more womynpreests jokes.
1. I just wished the Blorg liked me.

Okay. Ha ha, and all that.

Let me give you the real reasons why I’m stopping. Or perhaps an extended hiatus. Or a sabloggital.  I really don’t know yet.

There are three.

1) Discernment

Blame the chicks over at CatholicMom.com if you must – I was invited to participate in the Lawn Chair Catechism over the summer, where we reviewed Sherry Weddell’s book “Forming Intentional Disciples”. As a result, I’ve experienced the irresistible tug on my heart from the source of Love itself, like a wayward comet being pulled into a sun’s gravitational field. I need to focus more intently on the next part of this journey, and the blog can be a distraction. In some ways, the blog is an insatiable idol that demands more and more of me, and while I still enjoy the writing, and expressing my creativity, and releasing the Snarken – I have to make a choice. I’m not talented enough to do both well.

I’ve gone over this with my spiritual director, and he assures me I’m choosing the better portion. I’m going to participate in the Called & Gifted workshop, which starts in October, and see where I’m at on the path when that’s over.

2) I have a story to write

This may sound contradictory to #1, but it’s not. In fact, the two fit together like a mortice and tenon. The discernment process will strengthen my writing, and writing the story will sharpen the discernment. I like to think I’ve mastered the art of blogging – as one friend told me, I’ve earned my degree, now get out and apply it.  Some folks out there can compartmentalize these different facets – blogging, writing, discernment – but I haven’t the skill set to do that.  I applaud those who can juggle those things with apparent ease.  Something’s gotta give, so AoftheA it is.

3) I have to fix some crap

I don’t mean “stuff”. I mean crap. Serious weapons-grade level crap. I can’t say what it is, not yet at least. It involves the discernment and the writing. It’s like this. One thing I’ve learned – finally – about blogging, and about life in general, is that everybody carries at the very least two crosses: the one they want people to think they’re struggling with, and the one known only to them and God. I wish I had learned that a long time ago – then maybe the crap I have to fix would be less crappy. Can’t change it now, but if I was smarter, I would have learned it much sooner.

Let me describe it this way.  I see the result God has in store for me, and I’m holding a box of parts, but I don’t have any instructions on how the parts go together to achieve the result I see.  And when I look in the box, there are no parts that look like a blog. So I’m not going to add parts I don’t need, to fully realize that which God has intended. That’s how I see it for me right now. I have to step away, to stop feeding the idol, to stop stroking the ego. God has given me my box of parts, and He has shown me what I’m to build. He has the instructions, and He will hand them to me one step at a time.

This isn’t easy, because the blog has been a huge part of my life the past 5-1/2 years. It was a blast to write, and the Catholic blogosphere is a crazy and fun place to play in.  I’ve made many friends over that time – and maybe pissed a few of you off as well. The contests, the lists, the 3-1/2 Time-outs Tuesdays (I give in, Jennifer – you have vanquished me, Catholic Internet Meme Queen!), Talk Like a Pirate and Talk Like Shakespeare Days, Fantasy Bishball, Strange Creatures of our World, SCHISM – all the different things that have made AoftheA a fun and fantastic blog to write. And to read, I hope. I shall miss it. But it’s time to stop.

Will AoftheA be back? Don’t know. It may be different, it may be the same. I really can’t say. I may even come back doing something entirely different. It’s in God’s hands. All I know is that right now, at this instant, I have to lay it aside. I’m not deleting the blog, because I may return, and the comments will remain open. And besides, as long as there are womynpreests, then the “Adopt-A-Priestess” project has a purpose.

I’ll still read the blogs I subscribe to, and will leave the occasional comment.  I’m going to try very hard to not post again, but you never know – temptations can be powerful. And I still have some unfinished business.

Thank you for allowing me to entertain you and be a part of your regular, or irregular, reading habit.  I am humbled and honored that over 724,000 people have visited this stupid little blog.  I’m glad I was able to make you laugh or smile, and maybe even groan at the puns and jokes. And perhaps even think a little from time to time.

I understand this might be a shock to many, and perhaps relief to a few. I thought it best to give my reasons rather than just stop posting and keep people wondering or worrying what was going on. Didn’t seem like a fair way to discontinue the blog, given you’ve invited me into your lives all these years. Kinda like when you have a guest over – how weird would it be if they just got up and walked out without saying “See you later” and “Thanks” first?

So “See you later, and thank you.”

Please keep me in your prayers, because the next few months will be the most exciting, scary, uncertain, uplifting, revealing, challenging months in my life.  I will be praying for you, every day.

To my Anonymuse - thank you for kicking me in the ass when I needed it.  I love you for that – but don’t go anywhere, cos I may need it some more.

Sister Patricia sends her regards, and blesses each of you through the kinetic power of the Cosmic Oneness of Metaphysical Singularity, and has promised to keep a chicory-hemp incense stick lit for as long as I’m away.  As if she needs a reason…

Scenes From “Willie Wonka And The Catholyc Factory”

Every year, famous Catholyc Factory owner Willie Wonka opens his gates and welcomes in five children along with one of their respective parents.  These children have demonstrated traditional and authentic leanings in the practice of their Catholic faith.  In a final act of desperation, their parents entered them in Wonka’s annual contest, where the winning prize is a visit to the Catholyc Factory, with the hope that their children would become more like them: Catholyc.

What follows are some scenes from the movie.

THE ENTRANCE & INTRODUCTIONS

williewonka1

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Continue reading

Catholic Blog Spotlight, #2

(First Catholic Blog Spotlight here.)

This time around I’m featuring one of my fave guy blogs – Patrick Vandapool, whose blog used to be called The Unapologist (a great name, btw), but now just calls it Patrick Vandapool.

Patrick is a convert to Catholicism from the Church of Christ, and the bulk of what he blogs about now are apologetics posts refuting the claims of the CoC.  The guy knows his stuff.  And he’s funny as well, which in my book is a huge asset because let’s face it, the Catholic blogosphere needs more funny people and fewer sour saints. He is the Czar of Czarcasm, but in a loving, Christian way.

The dude is also a whiz at gifs and photoshop.  He graciously created my “Hunting Puppets” gif in the sidebar, and he provided the photoshopped gif for this post.  Recently, he’s put his mad skillz on the block, so if you need something done for your personal website or whatever, he’s for hire.

He’s no nonsense but doesn’t take himself seriously.  I miss the “Propaganda” posters (he funnily calls them “Czart”)  that he used to have plastered across his blog, but like all bloggers, as we find our niche and fine-tune our approach, some things have to be put aside in favor of more practical appearances. Here are a couple examples:

catholic-pagan

sermon-telephone-game

Practicality can suck sometimes – and in the case of his blog, even more so! – but if you check out his site, you can find the images he’s done and have a few chuckles. And maybe if enough people pester him and beg and plead, he might be motivated to make a few more!  The “Communist Catholic” look he developed is unlike anything else you’ll see.

Oh yeah – he’s an author too.  His focus on apologetics, up til now, has been on the Church of Christ sect, but he has plans to expand his reach and shoot down just about any Protestant “tradition of men” revelation out there.

Add him to your sidebar, and when you go there, tell him LarryD sent you. That way he won’t use his awesome powers of Czarcasm against me.

If Traffic Reporters Covered Communion Lines

“…and here with a report on the traffic at the St. John of the Crosswalk’s 10 AM Mass is WAOA’s Bunny de Ovvin. Bunny?”

“Thanks. It’s quite a mess here at St. John’s, which is no surprise given it’s the middle of rush hour. Huge congestion in the center aisle as both communion lanes have come to a complete standstill. No one’s moving an inch.”

“What seems to be the problem, Bunny?”

“Well, one of those stuck in the backup has phoned into the radio station with a live report. Hello? Who is this?”

“Uh, my name is Nick. Nick Ellandyme.”

“Hi Nick. You are in the back up, is that correct?”

“Yes, I’m at a dead stop, about six people from the EHMC.”

“Can you see what’s happening up ahead?”

“It looks like someone has knelt to receive communion, and the EHMC is confused about what to do. Three ushers have just blown past me, between the two lanes, and it looks like they’re trying to get traffic rolling again.”

“Any idea on how long you might be stuck there?”

“Maybe another five minutes? I really don’t know.”

“Okay, thanks for update, Nick. Guys, I can’t tell you how backed up it is. Now, a few moments ago, ushers have begun diverting traffic out of the main aisle down a central crossway to the side aisles on each side of the main aisle. So officials have closed off the main aisle and have set up detours.”

“Is that helping at all, Bunny?”

“A little, but now there’s a problem on the North side aisle. Looks like a three-parishioner pile-up where someone attempted to merge into the flow of traffic, and collided with two people returning from communion. This is a mess, guys. It’s going to take some time for this to clear up.”

“Okay, sounds good. That’s Bunny with the WAOA traffic report, and we’ll get a fresh update in ten minutes, probably from the parking lot.”