February 21, 2006

         

When I was visiting Westfield Monastery, I told Sister that prostitution is a lot like an addiction. And like many addictions, the struggle to not slide back into that addiction when things in life get rough is an on-going battle. Even now it is something I struggle with as the days pass and I’m still not working, and the University folk can’t get their act together and get things up and running for this degree I was supposed to start working on this week. I could log onto Craig’s List this minute and be turning tricks in an hour if I slipped and “took that first drink” as the metaphor goes. The only thing that keeps me on the straight and narrow is going to Confession and confessing the temptation. But there is a certain grace here as well, because it is in these moments of weakness that I am reminded once again that God uses his servants to give me strength. Each time I face a priest in the confessional and bring up the topic of prostitution, I brace myself for the condemnation. I’m still waiting though. The only thing I’ve received is love, empathy and compassion, things I find I’m completely unable to brace myself for and so they end up breaking me apart in ways that I cannot predict. But through God’s grace and mercy, I am reknit and each time the sutures that hold me together feel stronger and more secure. - Jennifer of "Confessions of a Wayward Catholic"

If there is one thing that I can give my children that I, for whatever reason, didn't have in my childhood, it will be a love for and regular practice of the Sacrament of Penance. I do not want them, as I did, to fear and avoid it, and spend many years without it. - Bob of "Trousered Ape"

I don't much like the idea of Rome "negotiating" with the SSPX as if it were just another political faction to be appeased. This political approach is to be contrasted with actually taking SSPX arguments seriously and making a place for Tradition for its own sake. But neither do I like the idea of Rome acceding to a list of demands (for that is the perception) presented by bishops who still refuse obedience - no matter how justified that refusal might be. When the SSPX bishops are regularized, they should return with a proper attitude of submission - an attitude which isn't likely to follow a political victory after negotiating favorable terms with the Holy See. It's just bad psychology. Better, in my opinion, for Rome to free the traditional rite from the arbitrary suppression of hostile bishops, eliminate the abuses which have universally followed the Novus Ordo, impose a strictly orthodox interpretation of the Council, and possibly lift the excommunication of Lefebvre alone, quite apart from any overt efforts to reconcile the SSPX. Then let the SSPX bishops - those who are still Catholic, anyway - return on their own initiative, with bowed neck and bended knee, to the filial obedience that is their heart's true desire. - Jeff C. of "Hallowed Ground"

- Roamin' Roman

She concludes, "I'd rather have real history." And this is what is so sad and so maddening about this phenomenon - isn't it? As millions are determined to find Leonardo's codes, they miss Leonardo's art and real brilliance. As tourists look for where Robert Langdon stood, they miss Caravaggio. As Jesus' royal bloodline and marriage are analyzed, 'Blessed are the poor' is ignored. And as to that last point - no wonder The Da Vinci Code is popular. The DVC Jesus goes down a whole lot easier then that other one, doesn't he? - Amy Welborn

I'm not sure what I think about this whole BLOG phenomenon, but I thought I'd give it a try. The title of my BLOG comes from the book of Jeremiah, where he complains, "You duped me, Lord, and I let myself be duped!" Few lines from Scripture better describe the mystery of a religious vocation. God called, and I answered, but, man, I didn't know what I was in for! It's difficult, but wonderful. - seminarian blogger at "You Duped Me Lord"

I recently decided against buying Benedictine Daily Prayer...it's all-inclusive, all the time: new Grail inclusive Psalms and the NRSV. On further reflection, perhaps this new fad of gender-inclusive and number-challenged language is our new vulgate - the vulgar language of the masses parallel to that which Jerome, that agonizingly tasteful Ciceronian, used in his translation of the scriptures. - Bill of Summa Minutiae

Indulgences are fully appreciated only in the context of Penance: personal sinfulness, societal sinfulness, the need for saving grace, sacramental absolution, the importance of works of penance and satisfaction, a realization that hell and damnation are concrete possibilities, etc. Where consciousness of these realities is weak or absent, an indulgence looks at best like cheap grace and at worst like a useless exercise. - commenter on Amy's blog

But then, the angel Gabriel came to me and said, “Hail, Full of Vainglory! The Lord still kind of likes you in spite of your miserable self, and He still wishes to bestow abundant graces upon you even though you don’t deserve squat. But He kind of likes your brother Der Tommissar too, and wishes to bestow grace upon him. It would be an act of charity for you to help Brother Tom to place last, so that he may be first.” I said, “How can this be, for I am not linked to by Amy Welborn or Mark Shea? Gabriel said, “The holy little Therese will come down upon thee and beat thee with roses and then varied endorsements will arise....And I said, “Behold, I am the moron of the Lord, let the Lord’s will be done.” Then the angel departed. - Rick Lugari of De Civitate Dei

Beer taster (I was never hired, but I showed up for work anyway.) - Ham o' Bone of Social Engineer, in a 4-meme on one of his four occupations

When he said, "In the world you will have troubles, but BE OF GOOD CHEER, I have overcome the world," Jesus was letting us in on the joke. More than that, he was telling us that he was the head writer. The situation may be unbearable, but the way out has already been provided for and so, a Christian can always look forward to Heaven and see the resolution to his problems which only Jesus can provide. This is why Jesus gives his followers permission to laugh at hopeless situations. Jesus is the Way and has given us that hope that the apparent contradiction is, after all, not so real as the world would have us believe because this is not the real world, after all. That "imaginary" heaven of the pagans or atheists is the real one. So, just as humor involves moving between a real and an imaginary world, just so, the Christian moves also between a real and an imaginary world, except, "this" vale of tears, the atheist's real world is, in fact, the imaginary, transient one. And Jesus says to every Christian at Baptism, "Surprise". This is why Christians should be of good cheer. - Donald Casadonte via Disputations

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