Thursday, March 1, 2007


Starting at 9:00PM tonight, I'll be doing my annual Lenten retreat. I'll be back on Sunday evening.

I've got a piece of paper with the names of the regular commenters here, so consider yourselves being prayed for by this sinful man. I hope you'll pray for me also so we can all "give the ol' Devil a black eye" as I heard it put once on a gospel station.

Couple more things: Mark Shea posted what I consider to be a very sincere public apology on his blog today.

And the obligatory humorous link: Top 11 Things Causing Al Gore to Spend $30K a Year on Electricity.

Assuming That Person Is Yourself

There's a prayer tradition I really like, I'm not sure of the origin. It works at many levels. You say a prayer, like the Memorare for example, once a day for the person in your family who is in most need of the prayer. But you don't assume you know who that person is, which is fine because God does know. However, you assume that needy person is yourself.

So aside from the good that the prayer itself does, this attitude helps you get some much needed humility, especially if you're the only religious person or the most religious person in your family. Plus it kind of helps you get in the habit of "letting go and letting God", as they say. Let Him aim the grace cannon, you just keep feeding him rounds.

Try it and you might find it very hard at first. Most of us assume we know who it is in our family who's on that ol' Highway to Hell. Think of this practice as an effective insurance policy at the very least.

February Month-end Closing

It's month end, folks, so time to shell out the bucks.

For those just joining us, read about the bash pledge here.

Speaking of checks: I wonder where my check from the USCCB is. I was expecting a big one for, you know, defending church closings and covering up the outsourcing of Ash Wednesday ash production.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Head of Fake Catholic Group Quits

This release from the Catholic League:

February 28, 2007


Frances Kissling is retiring today as president of Catholics for a Free Choice. Catholic League president Bill Donohue offered a parting shot:

"Ex-Catholics for Abortion would be a more accurate name for Kissling's anti-Catholic front group, but we won't quibble now that she is quitting. For a quarter century, Kissling has misrepresented herself to the public, pretending to be the head of a bona-fide Catholic organization. Twice condemned as a fraud by the Catholic bishops' conference, Kissling would have had to have found another job long ago had it not been for her friends in the establishment. The Ford Foundation, the Warren Buffett Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Packard Foundation, the Playboy Foundation — these are just some of Kissling's donors. Without them, she would have folded long ago as she has no members.

"I hope she takes her tapestries of Tibetan Buddhist deities with her when she exits her office, as well as any New Age paraphernalia she may have acquired over the years. It would also be a good idea to take her poster of Che Guevara with her. How fitting that a woman who spent most of her adult life promoting the killing of innocents in the womb would idolize a terrorist who killed innocent Latinos who made it to birth. In any event, I can't wait to meet her successor, Jon O'Brien, on TV. I promise him a memorable encounter.

"One final thought. Kissling recently said the Catholic Church 'abuses ... anyone who thinks.' It's reassuring to know she can't claim victim status."

Colors of the R-Dogs

This is for Andy N.

What's in a Name?

Cubeland Mystic makes a good suggestion, that I actually name this blog. I jokingly replied that I name it at least once a day, but of course he means that I really give it a permanent name. Someone else thought the endless naming was a "hoot" -- that probably gave away who it was.

For about a week now, though it seems longer, my 2-year-old is going through a phase where he insists on being called "Pepito". That's the name of the little trouble-making Spanish character from the Madeline books. I can feel the collective sigh from all the mom readers and hear the "Awww, how cute!" Yes, it was extremely cute... at first. I have to admit that it's getting irritating, especially when he drags it out like a red herring whenever I accidentally use his given name as he's being lectured for doing something worthy of his nicknamesake.

Likewise my name-changing shtick is no doubt getting irritating to some. It's probably an egregious infraction of the unwritten blogging code of ethics and a textbook example of poor database management. I could name it Contra Pauli, that is the address after all. (I originally wanted to get "contramundum", but both the Blogspot address and the Dotcom were taken. I tried yet couldn't get hold of the Blogspot owner -- he abandoned it like a rusted out VW Microbus back in '02.)

So I'm open to suggestions on what to name this humble blog in this combox. At the moment, I'd rather not name it "Pepito" but just about anything else is fair game as a suggestion. Or you may want to vote that I keep doing my shtick rather than trying to make something stick. Either way I'll be shticking around at

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Canadian Bakin'

Angus Daily is the Scrappleface of the SCCB with posts like this one. Excerpt:

"The environment is something that is going to affect all of us," said Rev. Richard Matthews, "it's something that will affect our children, and our children's children. If they make it to full-term of course, but abortion's a separate issue. The real issue is if we don't do anything about the environment now, our descendants (if they make it out of the womb) tens of thousands of years from now will have a temperature increase of .000372 degrees Fahrenheit. Can you even fathom that consequence?"

The Canadian Catholic Church is the world's most eco-friendly Church body. Many of it's members are encouraged to recycle twice as much as normal during Lent.

The Prayer of the Children of God

Daily Gospel gives us a great, short meditation on prayer from Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

In order for prayer to be fruitful, it must come from the heart and be able to touch God’s heart. See how Jesus taught his disciples to pray. Every time we say the “Our Father”, I believe that God looks at his hands, at the place where he has engraved us: “Upon the palms of my hands I have written your name.” (Isa 49:16) God contemplates his hands, and he sees us there, nestling in them. How marvelous is God’s tenderness!

Let us pray, let us say the “Our Father”. Let us live it and then we will be saints. Everything is there: God, myself, my neighbor. If I forgive, I can be holy, I can pray. Everything comes from a humble heart; when we have such a heart, we will know how to love God, how to love ourselves, and how to love our neighbor (Mt 22:37f.). That is nothing complicated, and yet we complicate our lives so much and make them heavy with so many extra loads. Only one thing counts: to be humble and to pray. The more you pray, the better you will pray.

A child encounters no difficulty in expressing its ingenuous understanding in simple words that say a lot. Didn’t Jesus give Nicodemus to understand that we must become like a small child (Jn 3:3)? If we pray according to the Gospel, we will allow Christ to grow in us. So pray with love, the way children do, with the ardent desire to love much and to make beloved the person who is not loved.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

"Apocalypse Pooh"

Rated PG, by me that is. Someone cut this in 1987, pretty good. Here's the IMDB page.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

New Poll: Standardized Criticism

Criticize me by pointing out what is missing on this half-assed site. If you vote other, please use the comments here for your "write-in" vote. For example, I voted "Other" because I wish this site had a long series on making car-bombs. But that probably won't happen, at least not during lent.

Speaking of Boston...

The Boondock Saints: required viewing for Saint Patrick's day or thereabouts. Catholic? Well, not really... but sort of. And as tribal as it gets.

It is Rated-R and definitely not for the kiddos. Or if you have an adversion to violence.