Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Resounding Echo to Prove Personhood

Philosopher Peter Kreeft presents the arguments commonly used to explain why the unborn child is not a human person and then shows clearly and simply why each of these arguments cannot possibly be true.

Read the entire article here.

If we had studied philosophers like him in my modern philosophy class I might have actually learned something.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nature (and motherhood) Abhors a Vacuum

It is Tuesday, a day when I am usually rushing to get to my internship in Indianapolis to spend a day being a Spiritual Direction Intern immersed in talk of God, spirituality and being other centered. But this happens to be the one Tuesday a month that we get off to allow us time to catch up on the paperwork involved in the program.

Well actually I happen to be a bit ahead of the game in terms of paperwork for my internship because I got two papers written this Sunday when my tummy was acting up so I had really intended to take the day off and rejuvenate my spirit by being a bit lazy. But, motherhood like nature abhors the vacuum of unscheduled time.

By early evening yesterday I had been delegated at least four kid related errands to be accomplished today that will eat up my glorious free day. These activities must be accomplished today and will involve my driving all over town (in at least three directions anyway).

Oh well, I can be lazy when I am old and feeble. I can spend today taking care of the needs of my beautiful children. Besides this is more training on being other centered and helping me to see that it isn't all about me, so: It's all good.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Understanding Redistribution of Weath

Karen Hall has a really good (and funny) post on the Obama plan for redistribution of wealth.

Read it here.

If that isn't what they mean, then I'll be jiggered, because every time they explain it that is how I understand it.


Catholics and Voting a Civic and Moral Obligation

Now go vote

Mystic Monday

Today I bring you one of the Desert Mothers: Amma Syncletica

Amma Syncletica said "there are many who live in the mountains and behave as if they were in the town and they are wasting their time. It is possible to be a solitary in one's mind while living in a crowd, and it is possible for one who is solitary to live in a crowd of personal thoughts."

from The Forgotten Desert Mothers

I remember meditating on this once during adoration. There was someone at adoration who seemed so much more still than I was and I was begging God for that kind of stillness. God responded by reminding me that I had a stillness of heart in my busy life that I had gained by learning to listen to that still, small voice,. I shouldn't judge by other's outer stillness because I had no way of knowing what was going on within.


Fr. Denis Has a Blog

Now you can all see why I love Fr. Denis.

He has a regular blog where he shares his genius with us all.

Read it here.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

He's Back!

My friend Deacon John who has been recovering from an autologous stem cell transplant and been unable to preach for a while was able to preach at Mass this weekend.

And what a homily it was.

Welcome back to the work God has planned for you my friend.

I still owe you that blanket I was making when I came to see you in Chicago after your transplant. It is completed, I just need to put it in the mail, sorry it has taken so long.

Glad you are feeling better.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Another Voice

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
-- Martin Luther King Jr.



Faithful Citizenship

Cardinal Justin Rigali wrote a great article in the Catholic Standard and Times.

here are a few quotes:

One aspect of the dignity of the human person is the ability to reason and to know. Another aspect of human dignity is the affirmation of the rights of the individual’s conscience. However, if we fail to acknowledge any natural or revealed norms to guide and properly form our consciences, each of us could wind up justifying almost anything.

The human conscience is always at the service of truth and virtue, but it must be properly formed in order to function properly. We believe that because we are made in God’s image we have within our very nature a fundamental understanding of right and wrong. To us as human persons, this “law of the heart,” as it is sometimes called, requires a responsibility beyond laws enacted by governments.

and later on in the article

The transcending issue of our day is the intentional destruction of innocent human life, as in abortion. We wish with all our hearts that no candidate and no party were advocating this heinous act against the human person. However, since it is a transcending issue, and even supported in its most extreme and horrific forms, we must proclaim time and time again that no intrinsic evil can ever be supported in any way, most especially when it concerns the gravest of all intrinsic evils: the taking of an innocent life.

We bishops of Pennsylvania quoted from the late Pope John Paul II’s Post Synodal Exhortation on the Vocation and Mission of the Lay Faithful and I quote him again here: “The inviolability of the person which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God, finds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights — for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture — is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination” (Christifideles Laici, 38).

At this moment in our country’s history, defense of innocent human life is a moral responsibility for all of us. The same God who thundered from Mount Sinai: “Thou shalt not kill,” thunders still. When life in the womb is destroyed, God thunders: “This is a child!” When by the most barbaric means, unworthy of any civilized people, the brain of a child is sucked out of his or her head by a vacuum, God thunders: “This is a child!” When a baby is left to die of exposure on a shelf because of a failed abortion, and this is considered a “right” by any leader, God, the Source of all law and authority, thunders: “This is a child!” When we are faced with every modern means of education and communication, in addition to the law placed in our hearts at creation, no one, and most especially, no Catholic, can ever say: “I did not know.”

The human dignity that we proclaim works two ways: it affords us a great privilege but it also demands a responsibility. The feeble defense “I did not know” cannot be used by any responsible person in our time when confronted with the reality of abortion. We do know. We know because we can reason and think and see. Along with this position, which is confirmed by modern science, comes a command: “Thou shalt not kill.” It is not a question of politics but a question of the gravest of intrinsic evils; and just as the reality of what it is cannot be explained away, neither can our responsibility.

Read the entire article here.


h/t to Paul Stokell via Facebook

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Catholics and Obama

Here is an article by George Weigel in Newsweek that gives a pretty reasoned argument as to why "most" Catholics are finding it very difficult to vote for Senator Obama, and why those who are so ardently supporting him should seriously think again.

I am quoting a bit of it here to make the point:

"To suggest—as some Catholics do—that Senator [Barack] Obama is this year's 'real' pro-life candidate requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse. To portray the 2008 Democratic Party presidential ticket as the preferred 'pro-life' option is to subvert what the word 'pro-life' means."

Why? Because the public record amply demonstrates that Senator Obama is not the abortion moderate of our professors' imagination, but a genuine abortion radical. In the third presidential debate, Obama described Roev. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that obliterated the abortion law of all fifty states, as "rightly decided"—a judgment with which Professors Cafardi, Kaveny, and Kmiec have all disagreed in the past. Moreover, Senator Obama's defense of Roe extends far beyond anyone's "elegant theorizing." Support for Roe was Obama's stated reason for opposing Illinois bills aimed at providing legal protection for children who survived an abortion.

You may read the rest on your own. We aren't single issue candidates by any means, but this one issue is a very serious one and we can't in good conscience vote for someone who is so ardently on the side of those who would sacrifice the life of the most defenseless.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Mystic Monday

Today has been a morning of making and changing appointments and trying to clean up messes and find lost things. I am in need of some inspiration from a simpler faith . . .

I call upon brother Francis to enlighten us today. He was known for his simplicity and his charity. He once said "Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words."

Here is a wonderful poem that speaks of where my heart is today:
Most High,
glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart
and give me true faith,
certain hope,
and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge,
that I may carry out
Your holy and true command.
- Francis of Assisi

Sunday, October 19, 2008


My computer had a hardware failure yesterday. Lucky for me it is still under warranty and I can send it back to Dell for a fix. Unhappily I will have to borrow time on the son and heir's computer when he and the angelbaby aren't using it, so I may be a bit Blog-silent for the next few weeks. I will try to continue posting at least on Monday and Wednesday mornings because he works and she is in school so I know I can get computer time then.

I hope this doesn't take long, I may go into withdrawal. Especially since I don't get any chocolate for the next three weeks either.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

/wacky Wednesday That's Me . . .

Plain and Simple . . .

You Are Ketchup

You are easy going and very measured in your approach to life.

Popular and well liked, you get along with everyone.

Seriously, everyone loves you!

Your taste tends to be pretty mainstream American.

You go for the classic favorites: burgers, fries, and apple pie.

You get along best with mustard and mayonnaise personalities.

a tip of the condiment tray to IC for the link.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm Offering It Up . . .

In a BIG way for the election.

Along with continuing to campaign for my causes, and talking to everyone who will listen, I have decided that in order to show my committment to the outcome of this election I am giving up chocolate until after election day. Mrangelmeg has given up ice cream.

The angelbaby is a bit concerned. I had to promise her that it wouldn't be a bad thing, my giving up chocolate. Those of you who know me well, know that this is a serious sacrifice for me.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Mystic Monday: Ladies Turn

Our Mystic Today is Mechtild of Magdeburg a Medieval mystic who began experiencing mystical visions as early as age 12.

Here is one of her poems which is a metaphor for the spiritual life:

The Desert Has Twelve Things

You must love nothingness,
You must flee something
You must remain alone
and go to nobody.
You must be very active
and free of all things.
You must deliver the captives
and force those who are free.
You must comfort the sick
and yet have nothing yourself.
YOu must drink the water of suffering
and light the fire of love with the wood of the virtues.
Thus you will live in the true desert.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Wisdom from Karen Hall's Mom

U.S. should immediately pull out of Chicago!

Body count: In the last six months 292 killed (murdered) in Chicago; 221 killed in Iraq.

Senators Barack Obama & Dick Durbin, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Gov. Rod Blogojevich, House leader Mike Madigan, Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan (daughter of Mike), Mayor Richard M. Daley (son of Mayor Richard J. Daley) -- the leadership in Illinois. All Democrats.
Presiding over the combat zone in Chicago.

Of course, they're all blaming each other. (They can't blame Republicans, they're aren't any!!!!)

State pension fund = $44 billion in debt, worst in the country.

Cook County sales tax = 10.25%, highest in country.

Chicago school system = one of the worst in country.

This is the political culture that Obama comes from in Illinois. And he's gonna 'fix' Washington politics?

Thanks Karen's Mom for giving us a new perspective on reality.

a some have hats tip to Karen's mom

Fr. Denis' Remarks

This is a link to Fr. Denis' Inaugural Address.

I wish they would post the video. It is much more impressive when you hear it than when you read it. Although it is pretty powerful even in the reading.




Is What I Do Who I Am?

What defines us as human persons? This is something I have been pondering quite a bit since this weekend when I sat at both dinner on Friday and lunch on Saturday with a mixed group of young men (seminarians, because my Gradual School is a School of Theology/Seminary) whom I had never previously met. To a man each one of them after politely asking my name and inquiring my connection to the school, asked what was it that I now do!

It got me to thinking; is this a male trait, or has this become a trait of this American Culture in which we live that we are now defined by how we make our living? Is the only good use of my Masters Degree for me to be working somewhere, in some parish ministry or some other pursuit? When I gave them my new favorite response; that I am happily unemployed, a look of puzzlement came over their faces as if I were suddenly speaking in some foreign tongue. They could not imagine that anyone would graduate from a Masters program and not go out and find a job using the skills gained immediately.

In my head I was thinking gee I am a wife and mother with a daughter who is still in elementary school; I have a mother residing in a nursing home for whom I am responsible as Power of Attorney; I do volunteer work one day a week at my daughter's school; I drive my two middle daughters to their college classes two days a week because neither of them drive; I write freelance essays on occasion (not much pay in that yet) ; I volunteer with the RCIA program at the Newman Center Parish in town; I knit; I am an intern in the Spiritual Direction Formation program one day a week and have tons of homework for that; I can barely keep up with the housework in my home (just ask mrangelmeg who is helping take up the slack and I love him for that); yet to these young men I am defined by what I do for pay only.

My Spiritual Director said it is a guy thing. He says men find it hard to imagine not working, so it is easier to define a person by what they do. When I think about it in those terms, I can see some truth to that. Mrangelmeg is an engineer. I have always said that engineer are a species all to themselves. In fact I have talked to other women married to engineers and they will back me up on this, engineers think in a very different way than other men. Maybe they are defined by what they do. I had a wonderful Theology professor in Gradual School and after the first hour of his class I went up and asked him if he had ever wanted to be an engineer because he reminded me so much of mrangelmeg in many ways. He told me that his undergrad degree was in engineering. We laughed about that, because I told him that you can take an engineer out of the discipline, but you can't take engineering out of the man.

I suppose in a similar way, priests are defined by their vocation, and well they should be. I have met some who took their vocation as a job and not as a way of life, and the difference is staggering.

I don't know if I have a point here, except to say I have no idea how to define who I am. I am a Catholic-woman-spiritual-wife-mother-daughter-knitting-student-writer-friend- volunteer-child-of-God. Only that is a little hard to fit on a business card.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Recruiting Poster of a Whole Different Kind

Now this is the image of a servant priest. Wow, I am in awe of this poster.

just in case you can't see the website it is


h/t to Godsbody for the link.


What If . . .

Your burning question was answered. (if, of course that question is What if the Beatles were Irish.) This one made me smile after a very hard day.)

h/t to DarwinCatholic

Monday, October 06, 2008

Thank You Matthew . . .

Now that he has seen and reviewed Bill Maher's new movie Religulous, I don't have to bother going to see it.
h/t to Matthew Lickona for having a stronger stomach than mine.

Mysitc Monday In Honor of Fr. Denis

I am going to bend ( I think it is a bend anyway) my rule on mystics and post something from Fr. Denis' favorite Guy JH Newman. Not to be confused with this guy who was much nicer looking, or this guy who was probably funnier.

I don't know that I would consider Newman a mystic in my sense of the term, but if one were to say that mystics spoke of the divine in a way that expressed a reality that was deeper than most others could fathom, then I suppose in many ways Newman is truly a mystic. There are very few people who actually understand much of what he wrote about God, that is for darn sure.

Anyway, this particular piece happens to be one of my favorite things Newman ever wrote, perhaps because I actually grasp what he means.

Lead Kindly Light
Lead kindly Light, amid th' encircling gloom, lead Thou me on!
the night is dark and I am from from home; lead Thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou shouldst lead me on;
I love to choose and see my path; but now lead Thou me on!
I love the garish day, and spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!
So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still will lead me on.
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile, which I
have loved long since, and lost awhile!
John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801 -1890)
I wanted to include a video of some confrers of Fr. Denis singing a version of this at his Installation on Sunday but somehow I can't get it to load on blogger. Too bad they sing beautifully.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

How I Spent My Friday and Saturday . . .

I drove down to my Gradual School where they were Inaugurating a new President Rector this weekend. Fr Denis is one of my professors whom I love dearly because not only did he make me learn much more than I thought I was capable of learning, but he also made it amazingly fun in the process.

I had him for Early Church History. He walked in the very first day of class and announced that since he was not a historian, but rather a systematic theologian we were out of luck if we thought we were going to get some dry lecture on the history of the early church. I think that was probably when I fell in love with him. From then on what we got was the Systematic Theology of the development of the early church along with every humorous story he could think of thrown in.

To say he is a genius isn't giving him near enough credit. He has a PhD and an STD (received concurrently from Louvain. He it totally devoted to Liturgy done well. I think I may have written about the Byzantine Liturgy he did at our parish a few months ago that just blew us all away. He has a very sarcastic sense of humor that makes evryone feel welcomed and he has a knack for making everyone in a room feel as though they are the most important person to him, great skills for a man in his position. He also is a man of great vision apparently, there have been many changes already in just the little bit of time since he took his new job last June.

His only flaw (everyone has to have one ) is that he is a Newman Schollar. He quotes JH at every chance he gets whether you like it or not. Not being a fan of Newman --mostly because I find his writings to be way over my head -- it takes a lot of dumbing down to get to a place where I can actually appreciate what Newman was trying to say. I suppose if I were as intelligent as Fr. Denis I wouldn't have so many problems with Newman, so I will give him that love for Newman. Come to think of it, one of my previous spiritual directors, another priest who was also extremely intelligent, and who I also loved very much also had a great affection for Newman. Wow.

Anyway, It was a great weekend and His Inaugural Address was one of the most awe inspiring talks I have ever heard. I taped it with my little camera, but I am hoping that they put a much better copy up on the St Meinrad website. If they do I will link to it, because it is truly something that should be shared with the world.

I hope Fr. Denis has a long and illustrious career as President Rector at St. Meinrad. I hope he enjoys his new post and doesn't work too hard.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Did You Know . . .

if you ask, your guardian angel will tell you its name?

Our youngest child, the angelbaby doesn't have just one, she has a multitude of the heavenly host keeping watch over her.

Happy Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Who Wrote Obama's Run for the Presidency?

This is an interesting video that shows side by side video of Barak Obama's early campaign and The West Wing's Matt Santos (played masterfully by Jimmy Smits and written so well by Aaron Sorkin, et al). Or was Matt Santos the character created based upon the early run for the Senate of Barak Obama, who then followed through with a run for the presidency? Is life immitating art here, or vise versa?


Feast of St Therese of the Little Flower

This is the feast day of my mother's patron saint. she was named for St. Therese by her French parents. She had a quiet devotion to the Little Flower her entire life, (but I think she really loved Teresa of Avilla a bit more, don't tell the Little Flower though).

Anyway, in honor of St. Therese's feast day I am offering you a gift. You can download her autobiography; Story of a Soul in MP3 format from this site, or just listen to it online.
If you have never read this little book (written in obedience to her mother superior --who also happened to be her older sister -- at the time of her eminent death) please consider taking the time to either find a copy to read or download this copy to listen to because it will change your life. Her "little way" will really make a huge impact on how you see your journey of faith.