Aug 31, 2015

The Burse Club

Archbishop Thomas Rodi sent us a letter last weekend, encouraging us to give generously to the Burse Club, as it helps educate our future priests. I always give generously, of course, because God has called me to do so. Just how generous, you ask?

I'm glad you asked. Read this blurb from the Archdiocese website about the Burse Club:
"The Burse Club, founded in 1953 by Archbishop Toolen, was formed to provide scholarships to assist men in pursuing a seminary education in our archdiocese. Archbishop Emeritus Oscar H. Lipscomb was its first recipient while a seminarian in Rome and since that time monies collected over the past 60 years have been a vital source of funding and support for the many men who have followed in his footsteps to the priesthood. Many, who otherwise might not had been able to pursue their vocation, benefit from the burse."
Get that?

1. Bishop Toolen started it in 1953. 

2. The dues were set at $12 and have never been raised.

I don't know anything that costs the same or less now than it did in 1953, with the possible exception of eggs.

So I plugged $12 into the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index, Inflation Calculator and found out that $12 in 1953 is equivalent to... (drum roll, please....)

$107.25.

That's right. So be generous. 

God will not be mad at you if you cut a check for $107.25.

Trust me on this.

Aug 30, 2015

To God, Everything Is Now (Even My Family Tree)

God is not restricted to time as we are. I pray backwards and forwards, because I know it's no problem for a big God.

I like this prayer by Rev. John H. Hampsch:

Catholic Prayers: Prayer for Healing the Family Tree 
Heavenly Father, I come before You as Your child, in great need of Your help. I have physical health needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, and interpersonal needs. Many of my problems have been caused by my own failures, neglect and sinfulness, for which I humbly beg Your forgiveness, Lord.

But I also ask You to forgive the sins of my ancestors whose failures have left their effects on me in the form of unwanted tendencies, behavior patterns and defects in body, mind and spirit. Heal me, Lord, of all these disorders. With Your help I sincerely forgive everyone, especially living or dead members of my family tree, who have directly offended me or my loved ones in any way, or those whose sins have resulted in our present sufferings and disorders. 

In the name of Your divine Son Jesus, and in the power of His Holy Spirit, I ask You, Father, to deliver me and my entire family tree from the influence of the evil one. Free all living and dead members of my family tree, including those in adoptive relationships, and those in extended family relationships, from every contaminating form of bondage. By Your loving concern for us, heavenly Father, and by the shed blood of your Precious Son Jesus, I beg You to extend Your blessing to me and all my living and deceased relatives. Heal every negative effect transmitted through all past generations, and prevent such negative effects in future generations of my family tree. 

I symbolically place the Cross of Jesus over the head of each person in my family tree, and between each generation; I ask You to let the cleansing blood of Jesus purify the blood lines in my family lineage. Set Your protective angels to encamp around us, and permit Archangel Raphael, the patron of healing, to administer Your divine healing power to all of us, even in areas of genetic disability. Give special power to our family members' guardian angels to heal, protect, guide and encourage each of us in all our needs. Let Your healing power be released at this very moment and let it continue as long as Your sovereignty permits. 

In our family tree, Lord, replace all bondage with a holy bonding in family love. And let there be an ever deeper bonding with You, Lord, by the Holy Spirit, to Your Son Jesus. Let the family of the Holy Trinity pervade our family with its tender, warm, loving presence, so that our family may recognize and manifest that love in all our relationships. 

All of our unknown needs we include with this petition that we pray in Jesus precious Name. Amen. [ Rev. John H. Hampsch, C.M.F. ] 

Aug 29, 2015

#ThingsJesusNeverSaid

Apparently, Jesus was not worried about being popular.

Pontius Pilate was.

'Nuff said.

Aug 28, 2015

It's Your Money...

JG Wentworth has a completely adorable tv commercial, with a memorable phone number: 877-CASH-NOW,

However, what we now know about the buyers of structured settlements is disturbing, at best.

Many people who are mentally impaired from lead exposure, and receiving a settlement to pay for their ongoing medical needs, do not have the capacity to form a contract, but annuity buyers seem to be targeting them for as low as nine cents on the dollar!

Is no one advocating for these people? Where is their family?

Friends, we must take care of our families. We cannot let predators steal from those we love. If we do not defend the defenseless, we may find ourselves, one day, with no one to speak for us. Teach your children how to respect the elderly and infirm, by modeling the behavior yourself.

The kids are watching. You're teaching them how to treat you when you are elderly, whether you mean to or not.


Aug 26, 2015

Know What You Believe

There are, unfortunately, a lot of Catholics who were not properly catechized in the faith. If they knew what the Church teaches, and believed that truth, they would be on fire for the faith, instead of using social media to condemn and try to change, that which they claim to believe!

I read this article today, about a Catholic girls' school that rescinded an employment offer after being told that a woman they were going to hire, would be marrying her girlfriend in the fall. They had to uphold Church teaching, after all.

I get that. And I applaud the school admins and Portland Archbishop Alexander K. Sample for hanging tough. (I've also heard that Oregon is very "unchurched." I believe it.) What was sad, though, were the comments after the article. Comments were made by outraged women who used to attend the school, professing "Catholics" who think it's ok for a school to hire teachers whose lifestyle and values are totally opposite of the faith of the Church. (An unrepentant lesbian teaches at an all-girls' school. What can possibly go wrong?)

There were comments calling the school "inhumane," (really? Look it up) and how it was awful to condemn "who God made her..." etc., which tells me the author of that comment doesn't understand Church teaching. I've written about this before: it is not a sin to be gay. Same sex attraction is a temptation just like any temptation. 

There is a difference, however, between (A) being tempted and praying for God's grace to overcome, and (B) living an unrepentant lifestyle, all the while espousing the belief that you have a RIGHT to do so, and publicly shaming anyone who doesn't share your politically correct views.

We're all sinners. We are each called to the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, or celibacy. Choose. I don't parade my sins around and demand special rights be legislated around them. I respect the dignity of every person, and pray for their - and my - conversion from sin. The teachers who teach my children each have temptations of their own. As a parent, I can't have them telling my child a lie - that they have a "right" to live an unrepentant, sinful lifestyle. 

Hang tough, your Excellency. Eternity depends on it!

Aug 25, 2015

Notice Me!

This man was once someone's precious infant:

What makes someone mark up their body? Wear outrageous clothes? Say outrageous things? Knock books off a desk just for attention?

What kind of home does a child come from, where everything about him/her screams "Notice me!"

God bless them. They don't know who they are in the Body of Christ. They don't know the worth and value they have as a precious child of the Most High God.

Father, help me to withhold judgment, because you know their heart. You know their circumstances. You know what motivates them to act the way they do. Bless them, Father, and if there is a message you wish for me to share with them, help me to be bold and courageous. And persistent. Help me to speak your word in love.

Amen.


Aug 24, 2015

Read the Disclaimer Again

Important disclaimer: Connie is not a professional attorney, tax adviser, financial adviser, psychologist, psychic, nor any occupation which requires licensure. All advice is freely given, for entertainment and/or edification only, for you to accept or ignore at your discernment.

Caveat Lector.


Did anyone see the mess that happened in the stock market today?

Are you wearing your seat belt? The craziness is not over. It's going to get worse. I hope you have your money in a safe place. I do not own stocks. This is why. I don't like roller coasters. 

The rich people get rich when the stock market rises. They also get rich when it falls. Someone made a LOT of money today.  

We saw what happened, but what we DIDN'T see, I believe, is equally important. 

Stay tuned.

Aug 22, 2015

Same Ol' Devil

The devil can't create anything new. He can only pervert what God has already created. God created sex. My, how the perversions run rampant today.

Contrast the great "I AM" of the old testament, with today's haughty celebrities who demand ridiculous amenities before performing, and condescend to anyone who doesn't recognize their fabulosity with a horrified, "Don't you know who I AM?"

Contrast Jesus's institution of the Eucharist, saying, "This is my body," with the Feminazi and baby killing (and dismembering, and selling, and profiting enormously all the while accepting $3B in tax dollars for providing a public "good") industry's use of the proclamation "It's MY BODY."

It's rebellion.

Same as ever.

Recognize it so you don't fall into that trap.

Aug 21, 2015

They're Kidding, Right?

Besides the outdated technology, does Walmart really think people are willing to pay $18.64 for a book that is $1 on Amazon?

I've submitted this to Consumerist.com for their hilarious "Raiders of the Lost Walmart" collection.

Aug 20, 2015

Freemasons and the Pope

Why do the masons rejoice over Pope Francis? I saw this article and had to wonder. His Holiness talks of Fraternity and Dialogue. Ok, those can be good things. He seems down to earth; he claims not to judge (which is true - only God judges.) People are quick to misinterpret him, to hear what they want to hear, so maybe that's all there is to it.

I am faithful to the magisterium of the Church. I respect Pope Francis as head of the Church, but *love* everything about him - no. It's not being disrespectful. I love my husband, but I don't hang on his every word. (Don't tell him.) Yes it's been two years. He's said thousands of worthwhile things.I'm leery of loving what (and whom) the world loves. The world loves its own. What am I missing? Someone clue me in.

Are the masons  hoping Pope Francis will change Church teaching?

If so, we must pray that the masons are sadly mistaken. If the masons are right, and this pope tries to change the Church, then hold on to your hats, because there's some brimstone a-comin'.

Did he make a comment about retiring next year? If so, that would certainly throw a monkey wrench in the Petrus Romanus prophecies, wouldn't it?

I pray for him. He's got a tough job. I obey his authority. Just not ready to jump on the adoration bandwagon, though. I should not be made to feel like an outsider for being cautious.

Prudence is a gift of the Spirit.

Aug 19, 2015

Bank Accounts and Haircuts

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed financial adviser. This is my opinion, not advice.

What happened in Cyprus 2 years ago, could be a dry run for what will happen here. The government taxed (stole, basically) 47.5% of all uninsured deposits (over $110,382 USD as of today's rate.)

Don't we have some massive derivative payments coming due? Don't we have a perfect (financial) storm brewing for a shakeup of the world economy?

There is a reason FDIC insurance is only up to $250,000. (And then, if the bank defaults, I've heard they have 99 years to pay back your claim... but that's none of my business.) Anything over that amount, in my opinion, is at risk for being taken, taxed, confiscated. As in, gone.

If I had over $250K, I would look seriously into hard assets, and maybe *some* bank CDs, and foreign based investments, judiciously chosen. To have a bunch of money, and just keep it in a bank (checking or savings) account, in my opinion, that's lazy. Make it work for you.

If I had a 401K, I'd cash it in and buy a working business or start an aquaponics farm with a well, solar panels and rental cottages. Or, I'd be lazy and prepare to lose that, too, when the government takes over 401Ks. Oh, I'm sure they'll manage it wisely, like they do Social Security, the VA, and the Post Office.

Don't worry. Everything's fine. Go back to watching the Karadashians.

Aug 15, 2015

Integrity

There is a construction company of my acquaintance, that hires sheet metal workers to work in big mills. Each mill has its own safety training, and the training is not free.

What that means is, for every man they hire, the company pays for the administrative work of hiring, plus the drug test, plus the mill safety training.

So often, the guy doesn't show up for his first day of work.

No call, no show.

Where is the integrity? If you say you're going to show up, you show up. Nothing hard about that. If the guy's mama taught him better, I feel sorry for her, and I pray for her.

If he has no mama to teach him better, then my indignation has no specific target. And yet more prayers go up for the world which must absorb yet another broken child.


Aug 14, 2015

Those Surveys

$$$$$   CONGRATULATIONS   $$$$$$$
You have been selected to enter an online survey!
You could win $1000 gift card!


Wow. Does anyone besides me find anything wrong with this?

They're clever; that's for sure. They get your attention with the $ and congratulatory note. Makes you think you've already won.

You've been "selected." You're special! (Put this in the same category as "You deserve a break today...")

You  could enter the survey and NOT win. What happens then? Corporate now has data on thousands (hundreds of thousands, likely) of customers, their email and snail mail addresses, probably their phone number, where and when they shop, what they bought (via barcode - connected records) AND

AND

AND

It saves them from doing their job. Bonus! In the fine Tom Sawyer tradition, they get YOU, the shopper, to evaluate whether their cashiers are fast and friendly, so they don't have to come down to the sales floor and see for themselves.

Wait, you thought it was about the cashiers?

It was about the data all along.

Aug 13, 2015

Caller ID

I love caller ID. What a time saver!

Do people not realize that my phone is for *my* convenience? I check caller ID before I answer the land line, because it's so spammified with robo callers and telemarketers.

My real friends/families/business associates have my cell phone.

Which also has caller ID.

My tech guru (a/k/a my son from Turkey) told me in the late 1990s (yes, the 90s!!!) that caller ID could be faked. I think his exact words were, "do you want your mom to get a call from the White House?" so... there's that. But again, who would fake their ID if they were my friend, family, or business associate?

If you want me, call my cell phone.

Or text me.

Or Facebook message.

Or Twitter DM.

Or email, if that works for you. Speaking of 1990s, I've had the same email address since 1995. Cool or pathetic - not sure which.

I'm perfectly available, to people with legitimate reason to contact me.

Unless I'm busy, in which case, I'll call you back.

Aug 12, 2015

Depression and Anxiety

This is not medical advice. Consult your doctor or health care practitioner for medical advice.

I'm just giving my experience and opinion about depression and anxiety. My story is not necessarily your story.

My story:

I've been depressed.

However, I never was depressed when I was taking my elderly friend to her doctor appointments. I never was depressed reading books to the babies in the church nursery. I never was depressed cooking homemade pizza for friends we invited over for dinner.

It occurs to me that getting out of myself and doing nice things for other people makes me happy. Maybe my selfishness (idolatry) is a spiritual problem that manifests itself in depression.

I've been anxious.

Yet somehow, I never get anxious when I immerse myself in the Mass, in praying, in praying the rosary, in Eucharistic adoration, in reading Psalm 91.

It occurs to me that trying to control things over which I have no control (pride) is a spiritual problem that manifests itself in anxiety.


Drugs have their rightful place in medicine. Please take the advice of your doctor or medical practitioner. For me, though, I try everything else before committing to drugs that change how I feel about the world.

Yes, it's a hurt and broken world. Sad things happen, and I cry. I don't want to be numb to my feelings, good and bad. I know, the bad is really bad. But to miss out on the good because you "can't handle" the bad? Well, I'm back on my knees. God has proven to me that I "can" handle more than I think I can. Let me consult the Great Physician first. Sometimes, I've had the answer all along, and it didn't come from the pharmacy. Taking drugs is the easy way out for me. Changing my mind and my way of thinking is hard. I'm taking the hard way. That's my story.

This is not medical advice. Please consult your doctor. 

Aug 9, 2015

The Lord's Day

For Seventh Day Adventists, that would be Saturday. For the rest of Christianity, that would be Sunday.

Or, if you're like me, every day is the Lord's day.

This is the day the Lord has made.

Psalm 118:24

Rejoice! Be glad in it!

Aug 8, 2015

The Catholic Way To Climb a Tree

So I was listening to the beautiful ladies at The Visitation Project on Mater Dei Radio talking about (of all things) "the Catholic way to climb a tree." They weren't sure which of our Church Fathers or other eminent theologian said it, but the concept was intriguing.

My inner geeky pedant compelled me to look it up, and according to this ewtn page, Romana Guardini said it. I don't know who he is. I'm still not sure what it means, other than that our Catholicism permeates *everything* we do. Or it should.

I'm glad Heather, Rebecca, and Bonnie didn't know much about it, either. They were honest about their limitations. It's what makes them authentic and worth listening to. It's hard to listen to people who are so far above you on the holiness ladder, your neck hurts just hearing them speak.

I need friends who lead me to holiness. I need friends who speak Truth. But I also need friends who build me up, not lord over me how much holier they are than I. No one knows better than I what a long way I have to go.

Some smart and holy people remind me constantly how smart and holy they are. I don't like them. I don't want to listen to anything they have to say. I don't want to be like them. (My inner geeky pedant is begging, O Lord, please keep me from being so geeky and pedantic!)

When I am on radio/podcast/whatever, I want my listeners to remind me to be authentic, not pedantic. The world does not need more pedants; it needs more love.

Dear Jesus, more you, less me, please. Thank you. Amen.

Aug 7, 2015

Spiritual Laziness

What makes people racist? I believe that it is spiritual laziness. I'm too lazy to get to know you as a person, so I'll just mentally lump you in with all the other people I don't know, who look like you.

What makes them sexist? Same thing. I'm too lazy to get to know you as a person, so I'll just lump you in with all the other people I don't know who share your gender.

Get the picture?  What if we withheld judgment pending further consideration? What if we got to know someone as a precious child of the most high God, giving them the benefit of the doubt?

That would change everything.

Aug 6, 2015

Premature Decorating

I saw this picture on Facebook, and I had to laugh, because, well, I just did.

Stores like Michael's and Hobby Lobby might be ok having Christmas crafting stuff out. If you make wreathes and sell them at a Christmas Craft Fair in November, you don't wait until Halloween to start making your inventory.

Dollar General, though, what's your excuse? Too soon for that.

Same with the Presidential debates on TV tonight. No way. The election isn't until November of NEXT YEAR! Why is everyone worrying about it now?

Go away, people. Come back when it's time. It's not time yet.

Aug 5, 2015

The Hollywood Scandal So Shocking, You Almost Won't Believe It!

The Hollywood Scandal So Shocking, You Almost Won't Believe It!


That was the teaser on the cover of a McCall's magazine from 1959. As do today's tabloids, they shock you with a headline that makes you want to buy. Online, it's called clickbait.

The inside, unfortunately, is usually a disappointment. You are expecting something earth shattering, and you're left thinking, "Is that all?"

That is especially prone to happen when you read the magazine 50 years later.

The 1959 shocker? Which Hollywood celebrities were getting a divorce.

I hate that we, as a society, are so jaded now that divorce is no longer a scandal. Many things should be now, that aren't.

What's really frightening is trying to imagine what the McCall's magazine (substitute) 50 years in the future will think is shocking.

I don't think I want to know.

Aug 4, 2015

Discretion Is the Better Part of Valor

I'm not saying what I think.

I'm not saying what I think.

I'm not saying what I think.

I'm not saying what I think.

I'm not saying what I think.

It's ok to have a thought and keep it in your head.
I'm growing in holiness. How do you like me so far?

Aug 3, 2015

Pray More Novenas

A novena is a series of prayers on 9 consecutive days. They can be for petition or thanksgiving. The current one is to Saint Philomena. Miracles have been known to manifest by her intercession.

My noncatholic friends have issues with praying to Saints. I'm not worshiping her. I'm asking her, as a friend of Jesus, if she would ask with me for my petition to God. I know that the protestants have no problem with prayer chains, prayer meetings, corporate prayer, and intercession in general. The only difference is that I'm asking someone to intercede who is a "known" friend of Jesus.

If you want someone to pray for you, are you going to hunt down your drug dealing thug on the street corner, or a pious member of your own church? See? That's what we're doing.

If you aren't already signed up on "Pray More Novenas," I highly recommend it.

Pray More Novenas

It is a ministry of a fine, devout couple in Ohio, who send daily reminders of the daily prayers during each novena.

A week or two after one ends, the next one begins. The email reminders help me not miss a day. With my brain and my schedule, I appreciate that so much. Apparently, so do 200,000 from across the globe, as there are a LOT of folks praying with and for each other.

God bless them (us) all.

Aug 1, 2015

That Thing

When God continually answers your prayers with "no" or "not yet," you've got to figure that you're asking for the wrong thing.

What is the thing I should be asking for?

What is the thing that God will say YES to, without hesitation?

How about wisdom.
How about, help me love You more.
How about, Thy will be done.

Yeah, that'll do it.