Salvation History Time Machine, Part 2

Part 1 is here. That dealt with the Old Testament.

Part 2 is the New Testament – Gospels, Acts, the epistles, Revelation – the whole Biblical burrito.

The three events I’d like to go back and witness, in no particular order, are:

1) The Wedding at Cana, for a couple reasons. One, to see the reaction of the head steward and guests after the miracle; and two, to see Jesus at a social, joy-filled event. I think that would be cool.

2) The Transfiguration. That would totally blow me away.

3) The missionary journeys of any of the apostles who ventured far from Judea, after Pentecost. It would be fascinating to witness their faith, to get a better understanding of what they endured to spread the Gospel far and wide. Not St. Paul so much, but those whose stories & experiences are lost to history.

I left out the events surrounding Jesus’ Passion, and the Resurrection, because to me, they have more meaning being left shrouded in Holy Mystery.

So what would you like to go back and see?

Papal Bias

Remember when Pope Benedict said this, back in 2010?

“There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralisation, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants.”

I wonder how many bloggers, who defended and explained PBXVI’s comment back then, would say, if Pope Francis had said it today, that he’s trying to change Church teaching on contraception or some other outrageous thing.

I’m thinking quite a few.

Seattle Priest Starts Marijuana Mass For Parish Potheads

(AoftheAP) When the state of Washington legalized marijuana in 2013, Fr Jeff Spicoli recognized an opportunity to evangelize. And after several months of meetings with the parish council and Worship Commission of St Mary Jane parish, his vision is about to be realized.

Starting in August, his parish will be the first in the nation to offer a Marijuana Mass.

“Like, we have to reach those on the fringes,” he told AoftheA News. ” The potheads, stoners, dealers, druggies, airheads, waste-oids, tokers, users, pushers, growers – they’re all on the periphery. This Mass will be like a total outreach,  where they will feel welcome. I’m hoping that when they come to Mass, they’ll be like, ‘Whoaaaa, dude!’ So many users don’t come to the church because they feel they’ll be judged. This special Sunday mass will, like, not make them feel bad about themselves.”

Fr Spicoli says the Mass will be by the rubrics, making assurances the incense will meet Church standards. “Although we might modify the Kiss of Peace to, like, include passing around a joint. And after Mass, we’ll offer Doritos and White Castle sliders in the parish hall, or what we affectionately call The Choom Room.”

The mass will be added to the regular weekend schedule starting the first Sunday of August, at 4:20 PM.



Salvation History Time Machine, Part 1

So here’s a question for y’all – if you had a Salvation History Time Machine, which Biblical event – or events – would you go back in time to witness?

For the purpose of this meme, limit yourself to the Old Testament (hence “Part 1″). Next week I’ll post Part 2 (New Testament), and the following week will be Part 3 (Church History). Now don’t be ridiculous and say, if I could go back in time, I’d stop Eve from eating the forbidden fruit. It can’t be done – trust me, I tried. No, what I’m talking about is, what event(s) would you like to witness, not effect or change or stop or any such tomfoolery.

Granted, the Old Testament covers a loooooong time. So limiting yourself to one or three events might be difficult. No worries – take your time, and let’s have some fun. Lord knows we need it.

For me, there are 3 things I’d love to go back and watch. One, the fall of Jericho (I bet Joshua’s horns were actually vuvzelas). Two, Elijah’s sacrifice showdown with the priests of Baal. A pure popcorn moment in Old Testament history if ever there was one. And three, just how hot was that Bathsheba chick, anyway?

Ha ha, just kidding on #3. Everyone knows she was da bomb.

No, number three would be watching the ten plagues wrought upon the Egyptians…safely…from a very very safe place. I’m sure that Hollywood didn’t come close to depicting to what actually transpired.

Those are mine. What are yours? Which Old Testament events would you like to witness, if you could?

If I Had Written “I Am The Bread Of Life”…

…that wouldn’t have been its title.

With yesterday being the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, that song was sung during Holy Communion. Lord, forgive me, but I really don’t like that song (sorry – can’t call it a hymn). I know it’s quasi-directly quoting Scripture, but come on – I am not the Bread of Life, I am not the Resurrection, and people who come to me still hunger and thirst.

If I had written it, this is how it would go:

You are the Bread of Life
If I come to you I shall not hunger
If I believe in you I shall not thirst
No one can come to you
Unless the Father beckons

And He will raise me up
And He will raise me up
And He will raise me up
On the last day

The bread that you will give
Is your flesh for the life of the world
And if I eat of this bread
I shall live forever
I shall live forever


Unless I eat
Of the flesh of the Son of Man
And drink of His blood
And drink of His blood
I shall not have life within me


You are the Resurrection
You are the Life
If I believe in You
Even though I die
I shall live forever


There’s one more verse (which isn’t bad, actually), but you get the idea. Unfortunately, my version would never get published because it doesn’t fit the paradigm of making much of modern Church-going about the Me-gesterium, or reflect someone’s wacky idea of what the “Spirit of Vatican II” is all about. My version puts Christ in His rightful place, which can make some folks uncomfortable. Granted, I don’t believe that people who like this song go around thinking their flesh is for the life of the world. It could be a meditative thing – who knows? Even still, after receiving the Blessed Sacrament, which sounds better to you, coming from your own mouth? “I will raise you up” or “He will raise me up”?

I know which one I prefer.

A Priest And A Rabbi Were On A Plane…

(A friend emailed this to me.)

A priest and a rabbi were sitting next to each other on an airplane.

After a while, the priest turned to the rabbi and asked, “Is it still a requirement of your faith that you not eat pork?”

The rabbi responded, “Yes, that is still one of our laws.”

The priest then asked, “Have you ever eaten pork?”

To which the rabbi replied, “Yes, on one occasion I did succumb to temptation and tasted a ham sandwich.”

The priest nodded in understanding and went on with his reading.

A while later, the rabbi spoke up and asked the priest, “Father, is it still a requirement of your church that you remain celibate?”

The priest replied, “Yes, that is still very much a part of our faith.”

The rabbi then asked him, “Father, have you ever fallen to the temptations of the flesh?”

The priest replied, “Yes, rabbi, on one occasion I was weak and broke my vow of celibacy.”

The rabbi nodded understandingly and remained silent, thinking, for about five minutes.

Finally, the rabbi said, “Beats the sh*t out of a ham sandwich, doesn’t it?”

Vatican Announces “Prayer For Peace In Catholic Blogosphere” Event, Invites Patheos And Rorate Caeli To Participate

(AoftheAP) Vatican officials confirmed that the Holy Father will host a “Prayer for Peace in the Catholic Blogosphere” event later this month, close on the heels of the historic Prayer for Peace in the Middle East event held Sunday June 8, where Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with Pope Francis in the Vatican Gardens. Final details are being made for bloggers from Patheos and Rorate Caeli to come to Rome and pray together, reportedly for the first time ever in a public forum.

“This is truly a historic event, and one that, quite frankly, is even harder to pull together,” one official told AoftheA News. “Expectations for this event ought to be kept low, however. No one should expect peace to break out immediately, or the next week.”

Allegedly, the Holy Father left a comment in a post of Elizabeth Scalia, (Patheos Catholic Portal Editor-in-Chief), floating the idea for the event. He also attempted to leave a comment at Rorate Caeli, but their blog instituted a “no comments” policy sometime ago, forcing him to email one of the contributors instead. It’s believed his first email went directly to the spam folder.

Vatican officials said the event would be a “pause in rhetoric” and had no blogospherical aim other than to rekindle the desire for Catholic blogosphere peace at the theological and popular level, according to AoftheA News.

It is unknown at this time which Patheos bloggers or RC contributors would be in attendance. There are unconfirmed reports that RC will not attend if any language other than Latin is spoken. In addition, the Swiss Guard have been placed on high alert should Kat Fernandez (aka the Crescat) be in attendance.

Top Ten Rejected Vacation Bible School Themes

Drive through any US city or suburb, and you’ll see the ubiquitous signs in front of Catholic churches and Protestant places of worship alike:

“Enroll your child in VBS today!”

The themes for such week-long excursions into (hopefully) strengthening the kidlets’ faith tend to be innocuous and innocent. For instance, the one at my parish this summer is titled “Weird Animals!” – because Jesus loves the weird animals too. Maybe they saw my “Strange Creatures of Our World” series of posts, and thought “Hey! Just the ticket to strengthen the kidlets’ faith!” Don’t know, and frankly, I don’t want to know.

However, a number of the suggested themes are often rejected because they lack prudence or are, dare I say it, a bit too avant garde even for today’s hip and with it Christian. Very few people are aware of this.

Fortunately for you, the AoftheA Editorial Board has uncovered the list of proposed Vacation Bible School themes, and presents to you, in no particular order, the Top Ten rejected themes.

10) Let’s Burn Heretics!
9) How to Write Like a National Catholic Reporter Columnist
8) So You Think You Can Dance Like Salome?
7) The Theology Of Nancy Pelosi/Joe Biden
6) Jezebel, Delilah & Other Noble Women of the OT
5) MMA Cage Match Training
4) Sacramental Wine Tasting
3) It’s Armageddon Time!
2) Sharing Our Faith Through Passive-Aggressive Outrage
1) Get Blogging!

1 and 2 might be redundant.

If you know of other rejected themes, leave them in the combox. If you know of some weird and crazy real themes, leave those in the combox too. We all could use some laughs and chuckles.

Celebration For Sr Patricia!

Sr Patricia Owens O’Flannery – part time contributor to AoftheA, full time omni-spiritual Dominican frosted flake – will soon be celebrating a landmark anniversary! She professed vows way back on June 1, 1984 – 30 years ago! Amazing!

So I’m throwing her a party on Sunday, but need some gift ideas. I’m giving her a personalized Reiki Stone Tumbler & Polisher, but could use a few more knick-knicky things. What would you suggest? Price is no object!

If you’re in the area, I’ve made 6:00 PM dinner reservations at Crystal Luna’s Vegan Vortex – she has a private dining room that can hold 40-50 people comfortably. The interpretive dance troupe “Cosmic Stepzz” will perform during dinner, and a Poetry Slam (open mic) will be held afterwards in the hookah lounge. I’ll be reciting “Your Words, O Sophia, Soothe My Spiritual Reflux Like Prilosec For The Soul”.


Congratulations, Sister! May you enjoy another 30 years of faithful service to whatever makes you happy and fulfilled!

Dear LifeTeen…



Minions, you have an assignment. If you own teenagers, sit them down, have them watch the video, and report their opinion. I’m curious as to whether or not there’s any appeal to the intended audience. I claim no responsibility for any unintended side effects. Puttin’ that out there from the get go.

For me, while I admit it’s silly fun (and I’m all for silly fun – no curmudgeon me), and the production value is pretty good, I don’t see the video encouraging anyone to become Catholic, or go to Mass. Perhaps that’s not the video’s intent, beats me. What do you guys think?

Maybe more exorcising, and less exercising? Maybe?

UPDATE: Read Joel’s comment in the combox – he gives background and context to the video. While this type of production isn’t my cup of tea, it’s not intended for people like me. At the very least, it’s a heck of a lot better than the WOC’s “Ordain A Lady” video from last year.

Return To The Valley Of The Blogs

I’m back.

After an 8 month sabloggital – plus or minus the odd post or three – I’m entering the Valley of the Blogs again. Which proves beyond a doubt that I’m nuts.

Yes, AoftheA is active again, but with several tweaks (I did say that if I return, that might be some changes in store for the blog. Don’t act so surprised.).

One: posting twice a week, at most.

Two: no more fisking National Catholic Reporter articles. Takes too much time, and really, all their stuff is just crap anyway. Not worth my time reading, or yours either. Plus it’s unfair taking advantage of the impaired.

Three: no videos or stories about liturgical abuses or Puppet masses or women’s fauxrdination. It’s all been done before. Besides, enough other Catholic blogs report on such stories to the point where I choose not to add to people’s angst, or generate outrage for the sake of generating outrage. We all know abuses happen, and unless they’re happening in my archdiocese…no, strike that. Unless they’re happening in my parish, I don’t have time to care. I choose not to pick up those crosses. Other folks might, but not me.

And speaking of angst…

Four:  no posts on stuff said by Pope Francis (or as I described to a friend, Pope Frangstcis) that other bloggers find questionable, or confusing, or approaching the asymptote of heresy, or what have you. Again, these other bloggers are enjoying great success at penning such posts and generating hit after hit after hit. But more than that, in my opinion that no one cares about, those posts are not constructive, and serve to spread distrust.

Listen, I get it that the Holy Father has a different way of speaking than previous popes. His methods are unorthodox, to say the least. He calls people on the phone. He says a lot of off-the-cuff remarks. I’ve been reading them, but I keep my opinion to myself (which is a pretty good piece of advice, I might add). I also get that reporters need to report, writers need to write, and bloggers need to blog. All of that makes sense to me.


I have found that discussing one’s concerns privately, maybe with a spiritual director, or a confidant, or a counselor, tends to be just as cathartic as publishing something that traverses the globe in a manner of seconds. Even more cathartic, actually. Sure, one doesn’t always get the validation you can get in a combox, but so what? Better to let people think you’re a Debbie Downer, than provide incontrovertible evidence. Just talking about my own experience here, and giving my unsolicited opinion. It’s important to get crap off our chests, no doubt about it. I think it’s equally important, though – as well as responsible – to keep one’s crap private and not fan flames, or give fellow Catholics more reasons to doubt, or fall into some state of despair, or give the Crazies out there fodder to accuse Pope Francis of being an anti-pope, or…well, you get the idea, I’m sure.

Because our opinions can be wrong. Or we can be short of all the facts, or misinterpret stuff. We’re human, we make mistakes, and we probably get more shit wrong than we get right.

If you’re looking for consternation and concern regarding Pope Francis here at AoftheA, sorry. You won’t find any. I’m not going to feed into people’s proclivities towards outrage and suspicion. Same goes for “he said, he said” stories regarding Cardinals. As well as bishops shutting down someone’s blog. Or the upcoming Synod on the Family (except to say: it’s 5 months from now, and the stuff I’ve been reading is not only a lot of ‘putting the cart before the horse’, but that the tree from which the lumber will be produced to make the cart hasn’t been cut down yet, and the mare is still pregnant with the foal). You want commentary on that stuff, I think you all know the places where you can read about ‘em.

Okay – so if none of that stuff, then what?

Humor, and personal reflections on the faith. Maybe I’m missing something, but where have the humor blogs gone? Who’s funny anymore? Used to be there were more than quite a few, but now? Maybe there are new ones I’m unaware of. Don’t know. Curt Jester doesn’t blog as much anymore. Ironic Catholic has blogged less as of late – mostly because she’s a prof and author (congrats on the new book, IC, in case you’re reading!) and mother. There’s Eye of the Tiber – but who else? Anyone know?

Regardless – we all could use more humor, and smiles, and laughter in the Catholic Blogosphere. So I’ve returned to the Valley of the Blogs, and will write stuff that will at least make me laugh.

Because I still believe.


p.s. – I forgot to mention that Terry Nelson at Abbey Roads is a funny blogger, and makes me laugh.

p.p.s. – He paid me to say that.

p.p.p.s. – Actually, he didn’t. But Sr Patricia made me add the p.s.

“There Are No Situations Which God Cannot Change…”

“The women [who go to the tomb of Jesus with spices to anoint Jesus' body] continued to feel love, the love for Jesus which now led them to his tomb. But at this point, something completely new and unexpected happens, something which upsets their hearts and their plans, something which will upset their whole life…Doesn’t the same thing also happen to us when something completely new occurs in our everyday life? We stop short, we don’t understand, we don’t know what to do. Newness often makes us fearful, including the newness which God brings us, the newness which God asks of us.

“We are like the Apostles in the Gospel; often we would prefer to hold on to our own security, to stand in front of a tomb, to think about someone who has died, someone who ultimately lives on only as a memory, like the great historical figures from the past. We are afraid of God’s surprises…He always surprises us.

“Let us not be closed to the newness that God wants to bring into our lives! Are we often weary, disheartened and sad? Do we feel weighed down by our sins? Do we think that we won’t be able to cope? Let us not close our hearts, let us not lose confidence, let us never give up: there are no situations which God cannot change, there is no sin which he cannot forgive if only we open ourselves to him.

“How often does Love have to tell us: Why do you look for the living among the dead? Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness…and that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive! Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust him, be confident that he is close to you, he is with you and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do.

“To remember what God has done and continues to do for me, for us, to remember the road we have traveled; this is what opens our hearts to hope for the future. May we learn to remember everything that God has done in our lives.”

(Pope Francis, taken from the Magnificat for Easter Sunday morning Mass)

I love Pope Francis.


Happy Easter to all my readers and their families – may the grace of the resurrection fill your hearts and souls with peace and joy! 50 day party commences….now!!