30 June 2008

And what did you do this weekend?

While I was at a picnic, Archbishop Nienstedt was in Rome to receive his pallium. Very cool.

"When we take the pallium upon our shoulders", the pope explained, "this gesture reminds us of the Shepherd who takes upon his shoulders the lost sheep, which on its own was not able to find the way home, and brings it back to the fold". But Jesus Christ "also wants men who will 'carry' together with Him" lost humanity.

"The pallium", he added, "becomes a symbol of our love for the Shepherd, Christ, and of our loving together with Him - it becomes a symbol of the call to love men as He does, together with Him: those who are searching, those who are questioning, those who are sure of themselves and those who are humble, the simple and the great; it becomes a symbol of the call to love all with the power of Christ and in view of Christ, so that they may find Him, and in Him, themselves".

The pallium, he added finally, is a sign of collegiality, of unity among all the bishops and with the pope: "No one is a Shepherd on his own. We are successors to the Apostles thanks only to being in collegial communion, in which the college of the Apostles finds its continuation. Communion, the 'we' of the Shepherds, is part of being Shepherds, because the flock is only one, the one Church of Jesus Christ And finally, this 'with' also refers to communion with Peter and with his successor as the guarantee of unity".

H/T to Ray, via Whispers in the Loggia

Is it that obvious?

It was an incredibly busy week, filled with lots of prayers for friends and family. Fortunately, everyone seems to be doing well. Thanks be to God!

Spent some time at Sam's Club over the weekend and ran into a lady from church. I don't personally know this family, but have seen them at Mass. It's hard not to notice them, since they have, literally, about a dozen kids. Today, that's unusual. I didn't think she would know who I was since we blend into the parish wood work with our two kids.

But, as I was paging through the workbooks for children that they carry at Sam's, I was aware that someone I didn't know was standing next to me. Being "in the zone" while I was looking at the books, I thought the person next to me was getting a little close, but was conversing with whomever they were with.

Suddenly, and without provocation, I was whacked on the arm. It was the lady from church AND she had been trying to carry on a conversation with me. Good grief. I think she had finally gotten tired that I was ignoring her. *Cringe*

She whacked me on the arm and said, "You homeschool, right?"

It's kind of a grey area at the moment, since I plan to "officially" start in the fall. But, how did she know?

On the way out of the store, I asked my husband if he didn't think it was a little odd that people seem to know that I'm a homeschooling mom, or at least getting close to the point of no return.

Sweet hubby replied, "Well, you all look alike."
Confused, I said, "What do you mean, 'We all look alike'?"
"You all look alike."
I concluded, "It must be the fifth eye."
"You mean third eye."
"No, fifth eye. There are supposedly two others on the back on my head and the new one in the middle of my forehead."

See, it has nothing to do with denim jumpers.

25 June 2008

Mr. Keating's hellishly hard quiz

I stumbled across this quiz this morning. Maybe you've already seen it; maybe you've already taken it. Since Mr. Keating threw down the gauntlet by calling this the toughest Catholic quiz around, I had to test my knowledge. See how well you do.

I got #'s 4 and 8 wrong, and had to make educated guesses on a few others :)

(Clipped from Catholic Answers in its entirety)


1. In the Mass

a. Jesus is symbolized by the bread and wine from the moment of consecration onward.

b. Jesus is spiritually present when the community gathers in prayer under the leadership of the priest and ceases to be spiritually present when the priest leaves the sanctuary.

c. Jesus is physically present along with the bread and wine once the consecration has occurred.

d. Jesus is present, and the bread and wine are not present, after the consecration.

e. None of the above.

2. After the consecration

a. The host on the paten is Jesus' body, and the contents of the chalice are Jesus' blood.

b. The host symbolizes Jesus' body, and the wine symbolizes Jesus' blood.

c. The host is both Jesus' body and blood, and the wine is both Jesus' body and blood.

d. Jesus' body and blood are really present with the bread and the wine, and this is called the Real Presence.

e. None of the above.

3. The consecration of the Eucharist

a. Can be performed by a Catholic priest or by a priest of an Eastern Orthodox church.

b. Can be performed by a Catholic priest only if he celebrates Mass with at least two witnesses.

c. Can be performed by Catholic priests and Anglican priests so long as they have the proper intention and pronounce the correct words of consecration.

d. Can be performed by deacons and specially-commissioned lay persons in emergency situations.

e. None of the above.

4. A Mass is invalid

a. If fewer than half the people present hold hands during the Our Father.

b. If the priest omits the opening sign of the cross and the Nicene Creed.

c. If the priest celebrates Mass while he is in the state of mortal sin.

d. If the priest ad libs any part of the canon.

e. None of the above.

5. Holy Communion may be taken by

a. Anyone at all, so long as his conscience tells him it is the right thing to do.

b. Any Christian who wishes to manifest the unity which Christ willed for his Church.

c. Catholics in the state of grace, but not by Protestants even if they are in the state of grace.

d. Catholics who have committed mortal sins and are sorry for them, even if they have not confessed them yet in confession.

e. None of the above.

6. The doctrine of the Trinity means

a. There is one God who manifests himself in the three distinct roles of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

b. Since the Resurrection there have been four persons in the Trinity, the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ the God-Man.

c. In the Godhead there is only one divine person, and he takes on different aspects according to his actions as Creator, Redeemer, or Sanctifier.

d. There are three Gods who work so closely together that it is proper to call them one God.

e. None of the above.

7. A deacon is

a. A priest who does not have permission to celebrate Mass until after his wife dies.

b. A layman who may distribute Communion, marry people, baptize babies, and wear vestments.

c. A man who has received the first level of holy orders and is neither a priest nor a layman.

d. Forbidden to hear confessions and give absolution except in emergency situations and in the absence of a priest.

e. None of the above.

8. A sister is

a. Neither a lay person nor a cleric.

b. A cleric, but no longer a lay person.

c. May be installed as a chaplain of a hospital.

d. Is the female equivalent of a deacon.

e. None of the above.

9. An archbishop

a. Is always an older bishop and, by canon law, must be at least 55 years of age.

b. Has jurisdiction over all the bishops within his metropolitan area, and he may overrule their decisions.

c. Assists the pope by voting on prospective cardinals.

d. Is a regular bishop who has been given the honorary title of archbishop by leading bishops in his national bishops' conference.

e. None of the above.

10. Which of the following is a defined Catholic dogma?

a. Limbo

b. Purgatory

c. Both limbo and purgatory.

d. Priestly celibacy.

e. None of the above.

11. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception means

a. Mary conceived Jesus immaculately in her womb, without the aid of a human father.

b. Mary conceived Jesus immaculately in her womb, and he remained without sin.

c. Mary was conceived immaculately in her mother's womb, without the aid of a human father.

d. Mary was conceived immaculately in her mother's womb and was preserved from sin.

e. None of the above.

12. Papal infallibility means

a. The pope is preserved by the Holy Spirit from committing mortal sins.

b. Anything the pope teaches is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit to be true.

c. The pope's teachings must be obeyed because he is under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and thus speaks for the Holy Spirit, who cannot err.

d. The pope is incapable of teaching erroneously on matters of faith and morals when he teaches publicly and officially a doctrine for all Christians, not just Catholics, to hold.

e. None of the above.

13. Contraception is

a. Permissible only to married couples with the permission of their parish priest and under extenuating circumstances.

b. Never permissible, no matter what the circumstances.

c. Permissible if the husband and wife, after honest prayer, conclude it is right for them and do not use it selfishly.

d. Permissible only if the wife's health would be in danger or if the husband is unable to support a large family.

e. None of the above.

14. The sacrament of confession

a. Must be received before receiving Communion by anyone guilty of a mortal sin since his last confession.

b. Is entirely superfluous if you privately and sincerely confess your sins to God.

c. Must be received by all Catholic adults at least once a year. (This is one of the six precepts of the Church.)

d. Was done away with by Vatican II, except in cases of the three sins which "cry out to God for vengeance": murder, adultery, and sexism.

e. None of the above.

15. At the Crucifixion

a. Jesus' human nature died on the cross.

b. Only the human person of Jesus, not the divine person of Jesus, died on the cross.

c. God died on the cross.

d. Jesus' human and divine natures both died on the cross, but the universe was kept going by the Father and the Holy Spirit until Jesus' Resurrection.

e. None of the above.

16. Purgatory is

a. A state of natural happiness where souls of unbaptized infants and morally good non-Christians will wait until they are judged on the Last Day.

b. A state of mild punishment for people who were not bad enough to go to hell and who were not good enough to go to heaven.

c. A state of purification for people who die in the state of grace but who do not die with complete love for God.

d. A temporary state where sincere people who do not die in the state of grace get a second chance to do good and thus avoid going to hell.

e. None of the above.

17. An annulment is

a. The canon law equivalent of a divorce under the civil law.

b. A Church-authorized dissolution of a marriage which has failed through the infidelity of one of the spouses.

c. A declaration that no valid marriage existed in the first place, even if there are children born during the relationship.

d. A declaration that children born in a failed marriage are not illegitimate.

e. None of the above.

18. Parish councils

a. Were set up by Vatican II to oversee the work of parish priests.

b. Prevail against the opinions of pastors if at least two-thirds of the council members agree on an issue.

c. Advise the pastor and relieve him of administrative duties, but have no authority over him.

d. Were instituted by Vatican II because the Church is now a democracy, not a monarchy.

e. None of the above.

19. Mortal sin

a. Is nowhere mentioned in Scripture.

b. Is a theological construct from the Church of the Middle Ages, and since Vatican II we recognize that there are only two kinds of sins, venial and serious.

c. Is the same as serious sin; only the words are different.

d. Makes it impossible for you ever to get to heaven, no matter what you do.

e. None of the above.

20. Apologetics means

a. Never having to say you're sorry.

b. The art of apologizing for being a Catholic.

c. A course which seminarians used to have to take but which they now are exempted from by canon law.

d. Giving reasoned explanations and defenses for the faith.

e. None of the above.

There you have it! Now you know why some people call this "the pop quiz from hell." Now let's look at the answers.

Question 1

a. Wrong, because Jesus is not symbolized by the bread and wine--they become him.

b. Wrong, because Jesus is more than just spiritually present during Mass and because he remains present in the consecrated elements until they cease to look like bread and wine. The priest's presence in the sanctuary isn't necessary.

c. Wrong, because, although physically present, Jesus is not present with the bread and the wine. They cease to be present after the consecration. This is the heresy of consubstantiation or impanation.

d. Correct, because the bread and wine cease to be present in their essence or substance after the consecration. Only Jesus is present, though the mere appearances of bread and wine remain.
e. Wrong, because 1d is correct.

Question 2

a. Wrong, because the host and the contents of the chalice are each both the body and blood of Jesus, even though, because of their appearances, we commonly call one the body and the other the blood.

b. Wrong, because the host and wine do not symbolize Jesus but become him.

c. Correct, because both the host and the wine (which is no longer wine but is called that only because of its appearance) become both the real body and blood of Jesus.

d. Wrong, because after the consecration the bread and wine cease to be present, so Jesus' body and blood cannot be present with them.

e. Wrong, because 2c is correct.

Question 3

a. Correct, because the Eastern Orthodox churches have the seven sacraments and therefore a real priesthood. It takes a real priest to confect the Real Presence.

b. Wrong, because a priest may celebrate Mass by himself. The validity of the Mass does not depend on the presence of witnesses. Perhaps you are confusing here the validity of a marriage, which normally requires two witnesses.

c. Wrong, because Anglican orders are not valid. Out of courtesy we call Anglican ministers "Father," but Pope Leo XIII definitely determined in 1896 that Anglican orders long ago became defective. This means Anglican priests are, technically, Christian laymen. Since they aren't priests, their having the proper intention and their pronouncing the correct words of consecration are immaterial.

d. Wrong, because deacons have only partial priestly orders and lay people have no priestly orders, and you need full priestly orders to consecrate the Eucharist.

e. Wrong, because 3a is correct.

Question 4

a. Wrong. If you chose this answer you should think seriously about enrolling in a first-grade religion class. The seven-year-olds probably will be able to teach you something.

b. Wrong, even though it is illicit for a priest to omit the opening sign of the cross or, when specified by the rubrics, the creed, such omission does not make the Mass invalid.

c. Wrong, because the efficacy of any sacrament does not depend on the holiness of the minister. If so, we never could tell if absolution "took" in the confessional or if a Mass were validly said, since we can't see inside the priest's soul. Sacraments work through their own power, given by Christ, not through the virtuousness of the priest.

d. Wrong, but close. If the priest ad libs the words of consecration, he likely will end up with an invalid Mass. If he ad libs other parts of the canon, he acts illicitly and perhaps sinfully, but the Mass does not become invalid.

e. Correct, because all the other possible answers are wrong.

Question 5

a. Wrong, because, as an obvious case, non-Christians may not take Communion, nor may someone knowingly in the state of mortal sin.

b. Wrong, because canon law provides that only those Christians (such as the Eastern Orthodox) who believe in the Real Presence as Catholics do may take Communion in our churches (canon 844). All they need do is ask.

c. Correct. Since Protestants do not believe as Catholics do regarding the Real Presence, they may not take Communion, even if they are in the state of grace. The very act of taking Communion is a visible sign that you believe exactly as the Catholic Church teaches concerning the Real Presence, and Protestants don't.

d. Wrong, because, absent a life-or-death situation, you must go to confession before receiving Communion, even if you have repented of your mortal sin.

e. Wrong, because 5c is correct.

Question 6

a. Wrong, because this is the heresy of Modalism, which says that there is one Person in the Godhead and that Person, so to speak, wears different "masks" according to his different activities.

b. Wrong. This is another nonsense answer. The very word Trinity comes from the prefix for three ("tri"), so you should have seen right away that the Trinity could not be composed of four Persons.

c. Wrong, because this is just a rephrasing, in "gender neutral language," of 6a.

d. Wrong, because Christians are monotheists and believe in one God, not three. No matter how closely together three gods work, they remain three gods, not one.

e. Correct, because all the other possible answers are wrong.

Question 7

a. Wrong, because a deacon is not a married priest. Married priests are called, well, married priests, and they are common in some of the Eastern rites. Although deacons are ordained, they receive only the first level of holy orders.

b. Wrong, because, although deacons may do all these things, they are not laymen. They are clerics, even though they usually don't dress anything like priests.

c. Correct, because a deacon, as a cleric, is no longer a layman but is not yet a priest.

d. Wrong, because a deacon never can give priestly absolution, for the simple reason that he is not a priest.

e. Wrong, because 7c is correct.

Question 8

a. Wrong, because sisters (women religious), like brothers (men religious), are lay people. They are not ordained--they take vows, which is different.

b. Wrong, because sisters are not ordained, and only the ordained are clerics. There are three grades of clerics: deacons, priests, bishops.

c. Wrong, even though in some places sisters are termed chaplains. According to canon law (canon 564), chaplains, properly speaking, are priests. It isn't correct to call someone a chaplain merely because he (or she) provides some sort of spiritual counseling.

d. Wrong, because there are no female deacons, because women cannot be ordained as deacons, priests, or bishops.

e. Correct, because all the other possible answers are wrong.

Question 9

a. Wrong, because canon law provides no age requirement for the office of archbishop.

b. Wrong, because diocesan bishops (ordinaries), as distinguished from auxiliary bishops, have only the pope as their boss, though, for ceremonial purposes, arch_bishops take the lead over bishops within their metro_politan areas.

c. Wrong, because cardinals are not selected by voting. The pope chooses them directly.

d. Wrong, because a man becomes an archbishop by being named by the pope to an archepiscopal see. Such sees normally are in larger cities or have had some historical importance.
e. Correct, because all the other possible answers are wrong.

Question 10

a. Wrong, because limbo is not a defined dogma. It is a theological speculation, and good Catholics may believe or not believe in it, as the arguments move them. But if the Church were to define formally the existence or non-existence of limbo, everyone would be obliged in conscience to fall in line.

b. Correct, because purgatory is an official dogma of the Church. Even though it is not much talked about today, Catholics still must believe in it. It is not optional.

c. Wrong, because only purgatory is a defined dogma.

d. Wrong, because priestly celibacy is a custom, not a dogma.

e. Wrong, because 10b is correct.

Question 11

a. Wrong, because this defines not the Immaculate Conception, but the Virgin Birth of Jesus (that is, the birth of Jesus from a Virgin).

b. Wrong, even though it is true Jesus remained without sin and was conceived immaculately. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception concerns Mary's conception, not Jesus'.

c. Wrong, because Mary had a human father. It is believed her mother's name was Anne and her father's Joachim.

d. Correct, because the main consequence of the Immaculate Conception is that Mary was able to live a sinless life. (She could have sinned, had she so chosen, but she chose not to; Adam and Eve could have chosen not to sin, but they chose to sin.)

e. Wrong, because 11d is correct.

Question 12

a. Wrong. This is the notion of impeccability--the inability to sin. Only Jesus was impeccable. It has nothing to do with infallibility, which means the inability to err.

b. Wrong, because the pope's infallibility is guaranteed only when he speaks officially on matters of faith and morals. If he tells you who will win the next World Series, keep your betting money in your pocket.

c. Wrong, even though it is true that the pope's teaching (even his non-infallible teaching) must be obeyed. This simply isn't what the doctrine of infallibility means.

d. Correct, as defined formally at Vatican I (1870).

e. Wrong, because 12d is correct.

Question 13

a. Wrong, because a priest cannot give permission to anyone to engage in any sinful act.

b. Correct, as explained in Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae. It is immaterial that most Catholics don't practice what the Church always has preached. Truth is not determined by majority vote.

c. Wrong, because this is a cop-out. Contraception is always immoral and does not become moral just because some couples agree not to use it "selfishly." Do bank heists become moral if the thieves agree to distribute the proceeds not to themselves but to the poor?

d. Wrong, because a good motive cannot make an evil act good. If there is a problem with the wife's health or the family's pocketbook, the couple should consider natural family planning (which is not the same as the rhythm method); it can be used morally because it does not subvert the requisite openness to new life.

e. Wrong, because 13b is correct.

Question 14

a. Correct. Compare answer 5d.

b. Wrong, because this would imply Jesus set up a superfluous sacrament, confession, and he never did anything superfluously. See John 20:22-23.

c. Wrong, because this is not one of the six precepts of the Church, for the simple reason that you need to go to confession only if you commit a mortal sin, though it is good to go frequently even if you commit only venial sins.

d. Wrong, because this is another nonsense answer. The word "sexism" didn't even exist during Vatican II.

e. Wrong, because 14a is correct.

Question 15

a. Wrong, because natures aren't put to death--persons are. When you die, it is not your human nature which dies, but you as a distinct person.

b. Wrong, because there is no human person in Jesus. There is only one Person, the divine, who already (by definition) had a divine nature and who took on a human nature.

c. Correct, because the Person who died on the cross was a divine Person, commonly called the Son of God. Since that Person is God, it is proper to say God died on the cross, even though that sounds odd and may make some unthinking people conclude that it means that God ceased to exists, which, of course, was not the case. (If you were sure this answer could not be right, don't fret--you're in good company. Most people miss this question because the correct answer "just doesn't sound right.")

d. Wrong, first because natures don't die, persons do, and second because the answer suggest Jesus couldn't keep the universe going, as though he ceased to be God between the time of his death and his Resurrection.

e. Wrong, because 15c is correct.

Question 16

a. Wrong, because what is described is almost (not quite) the definition of limbo--not quite because limbo is posited to be a permanent state of natural happiness, not one that will end on the Last Day.

b. Wrong, first because the answer suggests purgatory is permanent (in fact, it will cease to exist at the end of the world when the last person leaves it for heaven), second because the answer suggests purgatory is for people who are not good enough to go to heaven (in fact, it is precisely for people who are good enough to go to heaven--but not quite yet; everyone who goes to purgatory will go to heaven).

c. Correct, because purgatory is a state in which the last vestiges of self-love are removed, so we might enter heaven according to Revelation 21:27, which says "nothing unclean shall enter heaven."

d. Wrong, because you only go around once in life ("It is appointed to man once to die and then comes judgment" [Heb. 9:27]). Your soul is judged immediately after your death, and your fate is sealed then.

e. Wrong, because 16c is correct.

Question 17

a. Wrong, because there is no canon law equivalent of civil divorce because sacramental marriages can't be ended by divorce.

b. Wrong, because a sacramental marriage, once made, is not undone even if one of the spouses becomes unfaithful. Only death ends a valid, sacramental marriage.

c. Correct, because the existence of children from the relationship is not a bar to being granted a decree of nullity.

d. Wrong, because an annulment is a decision that no valid, sacramental marriage existed in the first place. It is not a decision about the legitimacy or illegitimacy of children. (Church law holds that children born in putative marriages which are later annulled are to be considered legitimate.)

e. Wrong, because 17c is correct.

Question 18

a. Wrong, because Vatican II did not set up parish councils and because such councils are not above parish priests.

b. Wrong, because this is just a "supermajority variation" of 18a.

c. Correct, because parish councils are under the pastor, who, under canon law, is subject in his running of the parish only to his bishop and to the Vatican.

d. Wrong, because Vatican II did not institute them (parish councils predate Vatican II) and because the Church remains a monarchy, not a democracy, because it mirrors the organization of heaven, which is a monarchy.

e. Wrong, because 18c is correct.

Question 19

a. Wrong, because mortal sin is mentioned in 1 John 5:16: "Not all sin is mortal," which implies that some sin is.

b. Wrong, because serious sin is exactly the same as mortal sin. Only the words differ.

c. Correct; see 19b.

d. Wrong, because you can go to heaven if you die after repenting of a mortal sin.

e. Wrong, because 19c is correct.

Question 20

a. Wrong, unless you saw the movie Love Story too many times.

b. Wrong. This betrays a penchant for using the colloquial meaning of a word when trying to decide on the word's definition.

c. Wrong, even though it is true that no seminary we know of has courses in apologetics.

d. Correct. Need we say more?

e. Wrong. Back up one answer.


Those are the answers. Tally up how many you got right. Don't fret if your percentage is lower than you expected it to be.

As you see, the Catholic faith is a very exact thing. Yes, you can be saved even if you know it imperfectly, but your value as an apologist will increase as you learn how much you still have to learn.

Here are the official rankings:

Fewer than four answers correct: Downright embarrassing. Even random guessing should have gotten you a score of four out of twenty. Crumple up your answer sheet and make a novena.

Four to seven answers correct: Frankly, pretty poor. You have a long way to go before you're prepared to explain your faith in public.

Eight to ten answers correct: On the low side, but you will be spared public penance.

Eleven to thirteen answers correct: About average or a little better--nothing to be ashamed about, but nothing to write home about either.

Fourteen to sixteen answers correct: You're nearly ready to take over the adult education classes in your parish--you need to do just a little more homework.

Seventeen to nineteen answers correct: Wonderful! You have every reason to be satisfied with yourself.

Twenty correct: Zounds! Contact me about a job as an apologist.

23 June 2008

Catholic Karma

Does it exist, or does God just have a perverse sense of humor?

I never had a class in comparitive religion. I don't think St. Thomas offered it back when, but at that point in my life, one religion was plenty to deal with. Getting through my three required theology classes, along with my required philosophy classes in ethics and logic, was enough to keep me from venturing far and wide.

My understanding of karma is the axiom of "what goes around, comes around." Probably a Christian perspective would be, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Golden Rule kind of thing. But, karma is a little more involved, since Hinduism and Buddhism (along with some other religions) both believe in karma. I'm more familiar with the Hindu idea of karma that "the effects of all deeds actively create past, present, and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one's own life, and the pain and joy it brings to him/her and others." And, this summation of your life's deeds will determine if you are reincarnated as a goat or if you reach Nirvana. It's a lot more complicated than that, but I have enough to study in my own Catechism instead of concerning myself with another religion's Enlightenment.

Lately, I've been trying not to concern myself at all...with my neighbor. Seems if things settle down with the family, then the neighbors have to find a way to keep it interesting. My neighbor across the street insists on parking right in front of our house. We live in the city. It's not just common courtesy to park your car in front of your own house, it's common knowledge -- Basic Neighbor Relations 101. We've lived here eight years and our cars are always in the exact same spots, unless, of course, the neighbor across the street parks her car in one of "our" places. There are NO cars parked on her side of the street. None. A rock star's entourage could pull up with their huge buses and she'd still have a place to park.

The irony, or you could say karma, is that back when I was that student at St. Thomas, I used to park my big old Buick across the street in front of my neighbor's house. Difference was (read: mitigating factor), that I grew up in the suburbs and NO ONE parked on the street. Everyone parked in their driveways or in their garages. I wasn't usurping anyone's parking spot. I parked in the street because both of my parents worked and had to get out of the garage/driveway, and because my schedule was so erratic with school and work, I always was blocking someone. So, I parked in the street.

When I got a car, I started out by parking on my own side of the street for a very long time. My car was happy there under the shade of the big maple tree. Except, one day I had to race home for something. I parked on the other side of the street and before I even got out of my car, the neighbor lady was running out of her house, yelling at me that I couldn't park there, it was "her" side.

Well, back then I wasn't the sweet, forgiving soul that I am now *ahem* so, barking at me like that, me of stubborn German descent, was not the way to handle the situation. From that point on, I was unable to stop my car from parking itself on the neighbor's side of the street. And, every day, I got a chance to say "hi" to the neighbor lady as she came running out of her house to greet me.

My, how the tables have turned. I don't know if this is karma or if God really is working on instilling those virtues I keep half-heartedly praying for. I'm afraid if I pray in earnest for virtues, I might have to park a block over.

My father always insisted that if God laughed, it was a big, hearty laugh. Don't I know it.

19 June 2008

Weekend Kneeler Jeopardy

Gone for the weekend, so don't get this one right out of the shoot. Please.

Category: Pen and paper

Where do the Latin names of Papal Encyclicals come from?

St. Alex says, place your answer in the form of a question in the combox, say some prayers for the Holy Father's intentions, while you wait for the answer to be revealed.

Your humble prize for a correct answer is the satisfaction of knowing you are a brainiac!

Concrete proof

See, we really are Facebook friends...

I'm having guests at my cabin this weekend...here's a recent photo of a prior visit

Thanks, Vincenzo for the pics!

18 June 2008

Making Grandpa proud

To hear my dad tell it, my grandfather was German. Despite never having set foot in Germany, Grandpa was German through and through. German, despite his mother being a strange blend of Scottish and Irish. His father was from Germany and German was spoke in the home. I guess that's what matters, at least if my father was telling the story.

As my father would wax sentimental about his German heritage, my mother would quietly remind me that there was a lot of Irish in the mix. Dad always pretended not to hear her.

I never met my Grandpa. He died before my parents married. I have heard stories about him, about his great sense of humor, his imposing physical presence, his incredible dignity, his love of my grandmother and his love of Our Lady and football. He was a fine Aryan example: tall, trim and blond. A simple, yet refined, man with a simple faith.

The story I love about him is when my much older cousin was visiting my grandparents. Grandpa was sitting and saying the rosary. He also had on a football game. According to my cousin, the scene went something like this. Grandpa was saying the Hail Mary when his team got the ball. "Hail Mary...RUN, D*#$%, RUN!!!...full of grace, the Lord is with Thee."

That's my grandpa, the multi-tasker.

Grandpa would be tickled to know that Monsignor Ganswein is now a close personal friend of mine. Yes, that Monsignor, the Pope's secretary. Pride of Catholic Germany. Canon lawyer. Airplane flyer. What a trifecta. I sent him a friend request on Facebook and he accepted. Now, I, along with several hundred others, are among his inner-sanctum. And, here I was critical of Facebook.

I'm still waiting to hear back from the Pope. I didn't send a nice note with my request to the Pope (what was I thinking!??). That must be some sort of Facebook faux pas. Maybe I can get the Monsignor to put in a good word for me, my being German and all.

*Update: Spoke too soon. A few hours after posting, I was accepted as a friend of the Pope :)

16 June 2008

Directed serendipity

For the past five years, I've been interested in Silent Ignatian Retreats offered by the priests of Miles Christi. Now, it would seem, I'm being nudged to go on one of these retreats.

My father went on many informal retreats. Along with a priest friend, they would load up the car and head to Iowa to visit another priest friend my father knew from childhood, then they would head to the nearby Trappist monastery for the weekend. As a child, I always thought the things he brought back with him, incense and breads, were such treats, too young to ask about the retreat.

Looking back, retreats must've been a way for my father to recharge. And, a way to grow spiritually and move through the various rooms in the castle described by St. Teresa (my father was a Third Order Carmelite). By the time I was in college, my father was spending hours each day in prayer, a great deal of it consisted of prayers for the intentions of others. Without grace, I don't know how anyone could persist at this level. Obviously, when God calls us, He gives us what we need as along as we are receptive to His grace.

This year at the Homeschool conference, a Miles Christi priest seemed to have a desire to talk to me about the retreat. Granted, he could've been eager to get the message out to everyone at the conference, but he pulled me out of the crowd. Two friends I ran into at the conference also encouraged me to attend the retreat. One was so insistent that she offered to pay for half the retreat because I mentioned it was a lot of money for me right now.

Maybe it is time. I had been drawn to the retreats, but for the past few years was either nursing, had an infant to take care of, or both. Plus, the retreats aren't cheap, costing almost $200. I can't even remember the last time I spent $200 that wasn't for for car repairs or heat. However, if I make this a priority, I could save a little each month. The lay person manning the Miles Christi booth attends the same bible study that I do. She told me that I shouldn't let anything stop me from participating in the retreat and that they have scholarships available. This did not make me feel better. I know if I didn't let money leak out of the budget for goofy things, I could muster the money for the retreat.

But, more importantly, what is the "well-proven method of St. Ignatius of Loyola?" The Miles Christi priest at the booth got my address and sent me a small packet of information, but it doesn't explain anything about "the method." I know the late Fr. John Hardon, SJ, and Archbishop Burke supported these exercises, but what are they?

For Father's Day, my husband wanted to go to the bookstore. Going to the bookstore for him is similar to other men enjoying a beer. He loves bookstores. Usually, he likes to visit Barnes and Noble, but for some reason he wanted to go to Half Price books. Although it was Father's Day, hubby didn't find anything, but I managed to find a arm-load of books for under $20. They include a hard cover book, similar to Usborne, called Inside Ancient Athens; Anne of Green Gables; Anne of Avonlea; Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm; Pascal's Pensees (since I didn't get to hear much about Pascal at the Chesterton conference); St. John - The Navarre Bible commentary; Making Senses Out of Scripture - Reading the Bible as the First Christians Did, by Mark Shea; and The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Serendipity, indeed.

The book explains how the exercises are to take place over four weeks. I don't know how the retreat will condense this into a weekend, but now that I have a little background on what to expect, I'm eager to go. I only read the exercises for the first week because it warns against moving too far ahead. The first week consists of an in-depth examination of conscience. A little voice in the back of my head will have me pondering my sins until the conference takes place in September.

This expression "Spiritual Exercises" embraces every method of examination of conscience, of meditation, of contemplation of vocal and mental prayer, and of other spiritual activity that will be mentioned later. For just as strolling, walking, and running are bodily exercises, so spiritual exercises are methods of preparing and disposing the soul to free itself of all inordinate attachments, and after accomplishing this, of seeking and discovering the Divine Will regarding the disposition of one's life, thus insuring the salvation of his soul.

* Link for more information on the Miles Christi priests and brothers and for information on the retreats offered. If you've attended one of these retreats, please let me know your experiences!

14 June 2008

Weekend Kneeler Jeopardy

First, a very brief update on the Chesterton conference. I took the kids with me to hear the talk on Chesterton and Pascal: Not All Mathematicians Go Mad. I'm not a mathematician, but it was a mad idea to take a two and four year-old to the conference. I heard Pascal's name mentioned, Jesuits and Jansenists, in between running interference with my kids and eventually bagging the whole idea and heading home.

Made it to the conference after dinner. I mentioned to my husband that it was Father's Day weekend and that meant he should have some bonding time with his kids. I quickly ran out the door before he could muster a retort.

Met up with Ray at the conference and caught the last two talks of the night (Joseph Pearce's, The Orthodoxy of Shakespeare, and Father Longenecker's talk on The Romance of Orthodoxy: Why Heresy is Dull and Deadly. Both talks were excellent. I gained an appreciation for Shakespeare that I hadn't had previously, and enjoyed Father Longenecker's talk, which both Ray and I thought started off slow, but turned into a great presentation - delivered completely using the style and cadence of Chesterton.)

And, Dale Ahlquist is a hoot. He was mentioning that someone from the Wall Street Journal was there, and that, in fact, Chesterton had been quoted in the WSJ that day. And, it was a quote from Orthodoxy, tying in with the 100th anniversary of the book. Dale provided the quote from Orthodoxy that was in the WSJ and a was quickly corrected about the correct quotation. Not missing a beat, Ahlquist quipped with a smirk, that Chesterton had been misquoted in the WSJ...implying that Ahlquist was merely reading the incorrect quotation instead of misquoting Chesterton as the case really was.

Any hoo, on with Jeopardy. Here's one honoring Chesterton's Father Brown, because you might have to do a little sleuthing (not much, I'm sure) to figure this one out.

Category: People in your neighborhood

What do Kitty Kelley, Beverly Cleary, Kyle McLachlan, Dawn Wells, Dale Chihuly, Patrick Duffy, Jean Smart, Julia Sweeney, Richard Karn, Kenny G and Ann Rule have in common?

St. Alex says, place your answer in the form of a question in the combox, say a Hail Holy Queen, while you wait for the answer to be revealed.

Your humble prize for a correct answer is the satisfaction of knowing you are a brainiac!

13 June 2008

Shock the monkey

For the latest monkey in the jungle

12 June 2008

In His image

My husband's uncle is dying. He's been dying of emphysema for the past few years.

We used to be very close to this aunt and uncle, but now I'm not quite sure what to say. Uncle D used to be vibrant and animated, easy to get along with, always having a good time and usually ranting about how the government or his current employer were crooks. And, he smoked a cigarette, a long succession of cigarettes, all day long. Even when all of his boomer friends gave up the habit, even when the state outlawed smoking in bars and restaurants, Uncle D was angrily defiant. No one was going to tell him not to smoke. He would show them.

After my father died of cancer, twelve years after my mother died of cancer, both pre-mature deaths undoubtedly impacted by their smoking, and we no longer allowed smoking in the house, Uncle D refused to visit. Our close relationship deteriorated.

All of Uncle D's relationships deteriorated. As the emphysema dramatically took over, Uncle D became more defiant, more withdrawn and grabbed on to his bad habits with a rabid hunger. His marriage and family life suffered as he started to drink more and more to take his mind of his disease. Pretty soon, Uncle D was staying up all night watching TV, smoking and drinking, and sleeping until the afternoon. Repeated interventions didn't change him, pleas and tears made him grab for his whisky as soon as his feet hit the floor upon waking.

Uncle D exists in a hell of his own device. Those who love him have given up trying and retreated from him to protect themselves from further hurt. Life goes on around him, but it no longer touches him. I wondered what my family would do in this situation. My mother's side that is. I'm sure there would be constant prayers. My Aunt Mary alone would storm the heavens. Even if Uncle D wasn't willing or wasn't able to help himself, the family would let him see Christ within them.

Clearly, without a belief system, the situation is exacerbated by those who don't get around to asking themselves, "Why are we here."

God created us in His image. Life is good. God Himself was pleased by His creation and saw its inherent beauty and dignity. We are mere stewards of His creation and should recognize that life should be preserved, nurtured and respected.

Suffering has no value and makes little sense if you don't have faith. Uncle D is scared and angry and doesn't know how to deal with these feelings, even he has admitted this, so he drinks throughout all his waking hours instead of seeing he could offer up his suffering. Uncle D's relationship with God, which is a higher good, is being lost, even more important than the physical life he is losing.

Those around him are caught up in their own interpretation of Al-alon. If Uncle D won't help himself and they can't change him, then they concentrate on their own self-preservation and don't see there is more they could do for Uncle D. This tragic stand-off will just result in hurt feelings, regrets and anger. Uncle D's bad example will have ramifications in his immediate family and will also impact others.

I've never been one who says a lot of novenas. My aunt says them all the time. She's always saying a novena for someone's intentions. I think I'll follow her example and say one for Uncle D. Hopefully, this time of hardship will open his eyes.

11 June 2008

Better than sliced bread

Well, I don't know about that.

Local, and not so local, bloggers are signing up for Facebook in droves. We're all busy filling out our profiles and adding everyone as friends (except me, of course, because I'm not in the loop.)

I hardly have time to blog. It was getting to the point of not knowing how I would keep it up with homeschooling in the Fall, but now there's all the posting of comments to each others' walls.

I'm a Luddite, folks. I've had a webpage for about ten years, a blog for over a year and now Facebook. My brain can't handle any more techie stuff. My family needs clean clothes.

And, I see I'm not alone. Surprisingly, the folks who are on Facebook are either kids like my nephews and my cousins' kids (oh, the friends I could have if I added all my rellies, but I doubt they'd want to have an "old lady" as one of their friends). Even though I worked in a tech field for many years, none of these friends are currently on Facebook...or else they are using a different e-mail address and an assumed name. That could be.

I'm not going to ping them with a request to join either. Don't want to open a Pandora's box.

However, if you're on Facebook, send me a friend request. I'm listed under my real name.

In for a penny, in for a pound.

09 June 2008

Peaceful certainty

During the summer, I go to a lot of garage sales. I buy most of my kids' clothes at garage sales (at least while they're too young to complain!) and I find lots of interesting things. Since my house doesn't lack for any more geegaws, I typically only buy kids' clothes and books.

The books I buy are either beach-read mysteries or good spiritual books (and books for the kids). Typically, when I buy the religious-type books at garage sales I feel, for a brief moment when I'm handing over my money, that the seller is trying to get a psychological understanding of me. Probably because when I find these types of books, I, too, am wondering about the seller. Why are they selling these little treasures? Are they no longer Catholic? Have they read it and mastered it? Is it something that their great-aunt Bea left them, hoping it would change their life? Are they so blessed with good literature that they no longer need it? (A little known fact about me is that I have quite a bit of course work in psychology. Just enough to get me in trouble.)

One of the books I discovered, that I had already planned to buy, was Finding God's Will for You, by St. Francis de Sales. The first time I read it, I was not impressed. I think I was expecting a book Oprah would've recommended, with clearly identified steps as to how to discern God's will, not something that is more subtle, lofty and truly spiritual as St. Francis' book. I wanted to complete a prescribed process and in the end have God spell out His will, not have to go looking for it, nor listen for it or discern it. I was raised in a quick-fix world.

There are so many good quotes and the book is filled with gentle advice. Like they say, God is in the quiet, you have to listen for Him.

"It [God's will] is like what might be said of a little child who does not yet have use of his will so as to desire or love anything except his dear mother's breast or face. He does not think of wanting to be on one side or the other, or of desiring anything else whatever save only to be in the arms of his mother, with whom he things himself to be one being. He is never at pains to adapt his will to his mother's, for he does not know his own will and does not think he has one. To his mother he leaves complete care to go, to do, and to will what she finds good for him."

"We...can walk with Him in two ways. In the first way, we can walk with the steps of our own will, which we conform to His, holding always with the hand of our obedience the hand of His divine intention and following wherever it leads us. Since He wills that I do what He ordains, He wills me to have the will to do it. God has signified that He wills me to keep holy the day of rest. Since He wills that I do this, He then wills that I will to do it, and that for this end I have a will of my own by which I follow His by conforming and corresponding to it.

But we can also walk with out Lord without having any will of our own. We simply let ourselves be carried by His divine good pleasure, just as a little child is carried in his mother's arms, by a certain kind of admirable consent that may be called the union, or rather the unity, of our will with that of God."

I guess this is part of what being "childlike" in the eyes of God means, except surrendering my grown-up ways and ideas is a hard concept I never quite master.

06 June 2008

One of these things is not like the other

In the land of DFLers...

What's Your Political Philosophy?


Astonishingly, I scored as Socially Conservative Republican

Social conservatives share a belief in traditional morality and social mores and the desire to preserve these in present day society, often through civil law or regulation. The government should use its influence in the public square to support traditional family values.

Socially Conservative Republican


Pro Business Republican


Foreign Policy Hawk




Old School Democrat




New Democrat


Funny, when I took a quiz like this at the MN State Fair, I was a Libertarian...uh huh.

And, what is your Political Philosophy, comrade?

H/T to Kit

Weekend Kneeler Jeopardy

Category: American History

What was the name of the religious revival that swept through the American Colonies during the mid-18th century?

Alright, Vincenzo gets it yet again!! The Great Awakening.

Back up question, Category: Organizations
What US fraternal organization specializes in cultivating the art of public speaking?

HINT: Think of roast, each year they roast someone.

I'm glad I'm homeschooling so I'll learn all this stuff I forgot. Demerits for using Google or other search engines!

St. Alex says, place your answer in the form of a question in the combox, say a prayer for First Friday intentions, while you wait for the answer to be revealed.

Your humble prize for a correct answer is the satisfaction of knowing you remembered all that history you learned in school!

05 June 2008

Pick three

Karen was doing this on her blog, but it was called
10 people 10 minutes: 10 people you'd like to spend 10 minutes with

I couldn't narrow it down that tightly, so I picked 10 categories and listed three people in each category, off the top of my head, who would be interesting, infuriating or even scary to spend 10 minutes with.

My list
(in no particular order)

World leaders:
Winston Churchill, Thomas Jefferson, Catherine the Great

St. Paul, St. Rita of Cascia, Venerable Solanus Casey

Nikola Tesla, Pascal, Richard Feynman

Scott Joplin, Mozart, Eric Clapton

Michelangelo, Georgia O'Keefe, Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Rene Descarte, Ludwig Feuerbach/Friedrich Nietzsche, John Locke

Martin Luther, Tom Cruise, Joseph Smith/Brigham Young

Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain (I had Chesterton, but had to break the Brit Lit blockade)

St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Ignatius of Loyola, Dietrich von Hildebrand

John Wayne, Houdini, Dean Martin

Consider yourself tagged (I didn't tag anyone last time and got scolded, so TAG!!!) If you don't have a blog, place whatever answers you have in the combox.

Pope Leo XIII

This is the Pope that St. Therese implored to let her enter Carmel at 15. First sound recording of a Pope speaking.

For me, it emphasizes that St. Therese didn't live all that long ago. We have pictures of her, her own writings and even the voice of the Pope she spoke with...albeit briefly before they hauled her away!

Words of Pope Leo XIII:
Áve María, grátia pléna, Dóminus técum. Benedícta tu in muliéribus, et benedíctus frúctus véntris túi, Iésus.Sáncta María, Máter Déi, óra pro nóbis peccatóribus, nunc et in hóra mórtis nóstrae. Ámen.

04 June 2008

Things that make you go OUCH

My husband received this in an e-mail from a friend.

Don't run in the house

How many times have we told him NOT to run in the house???
Did we always listen? Do they listen? Not always.

Doesn't look so bad. Perhaps he should keep this next photo handy to 'splain the way it happened.... (scroll down)!!


03 June 2008

Our own backyard

For the past five years, I have been trying to sort through the endless homeschooling choices. I thank God He blessed me with this time because homeschooling for me is a new frontier. Plenty of people have ventured out onto the vast prairie and thrived in this environment. At this stage, I'm only learning what to pack.

From the outset, we knew if we had kids we would homeschool. Now, here we are, rushing head-long into homeschooling my son in Kindergarten this fall. While I was pregnant with my son, I bought the book, The Well Trained Mind, by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer. Those familiar with homeschooling know this text well since it is considered a primer, if not a gospel, to the classical approach to homeschooling. I devoured the book the summer before my son was born and had a good idea of a piece of underlying philosophy I planned to use for homeschooling.

The first curriculum choice we made, probably due to us both being engineers, was our math program. An entire year was required for me to familiarize myself with all the options, the various approaches, the pro and cons, along with the critiques and praises. Without the gift of time, I probably would've thrown a far more popular and standard text in front of my son. Still, there are no guarantees that this program will suit my son's learning style, but at least I had time to consider how I anticipated this curriculum would meld with my son's personality and plan accordingly.

During this time, I read some other standard homeschool books, like Laura Berquist's excellent, Designing Your Own Classic Curriculum - A Guide to Catholic Home Education, and began to get a clearer picture of what I wanted for my children, my goals, my strengths and my limitations, along with a sprinkling of other variables I may or may not have control over.

For myself, I purchased Susan Wise Bauer's "other" book, The Well-Educated Mind. Since I had decided that I wanted to provide a classical curriculum, following the Trivium, for my children, I figured I should train myself in it. Despite all the years I have spent in school, I lack a good foundation and literature is my Achilles heel. Wise Bauer's book offers a list of classics, history, autobiography, poems, etc., that are "must reads." Suffice it to say, I've read few of the books on her list. Actually, I was surprised to find that I had read more than I thought I had!

A friend loaned me her, A Thomas Jefferson Education, by Oliver Van DeMille, which I am currently reading. At first, I was pretty excited by the thoughts of the author because I could identify strongly with the regret of having missed out on such a rich education. But something about this book just didn't sit right with me. I've only had a smattering of what I would call "good education." Only one or two classes with great teachers. But, the times I've really risen to the challenge, don't align with the same things that motivated the author to seek out his "Thomas Jefferson Education."

Then I looked into the author and found out that he is a Mormon. Not that that's a bad thing, but the more I thought about it, the more it really became clear that it is a different set of beliefs, experiences and ultimately, goals. The Jefferson model focuses on the classics to the detriment of everything else. It focuses on the classics without looking at anything else.

The emphasis of the Jefferson education is to create leaders. My goal is to create saints. The ends dictate the means in some cases, and this is one of them.

While Laura Berquist's book comes very close to my ideal, I still think someone needs to write a book called, The Jesuit Education or even, The Catholic Church Educational Approach. Clearly, Wise Bauer's Protestant-secular perspective lacks the richness of the Catholic Church.

Reading Thomas Woods', "How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization," provides insight on how influential, critical, and forward-thinking these priest-scientists-scholars of the Catholic Church really were.

"Father Nicholas Steno, a Catholic priest, is identified as the father of geology. The father of Egyptology is Father Athanasius Kircher. The first person to measure the rate of acceleration of a freely falling body was yet another priest. Father Roger Boscovich is often credited as the father of modern atomic theory. Jesuits so dominated the study of earthquakes that seismology became known as 'the Jesuit science'.

And that is far from all. Even though some 35 craters on the moon are named for Jesuit scientists and mathematicians, the Church's contributions to astronomy are all but unknown to the average educated American...

One can scarcely find a significant endeavor in the advancement of civilization during the early Middle Ages in which the monks did not play a major role. As one study described it, the monks gave "the whole of Europe... a network of model factories, centers for breeding livestock, centers of scholarship, spiritual fervor, the art of living.. readiness for social action... without any doubt Saint Benedict was the father of Europe. The Benedictines, his children, were the fathers of European civilization."

I love the Jesuits and appreciate their rigorous academics -- this is the education I want for my children. For them to experience a classical curriculum and strive to be the best that they can be down whatever path God leads them. I want them to be well-versed in the classics, but also have learned poetry, art, music and science. I want them to be schooled in the virtues, and also be able to be apologists.

Please, God, after all these plans, don't let my kids have Franciscan sensibilities.

"The idea of 'rights' comes from Western civilization... not from John Locke and Thomas Jefferson, as many might assume - but from the canon law of the Catholic Church."
Thomas Woods, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

[quote clipped from Ma Beck's Ward Web blog - a great blog on hiatus. Yes, Ma, I did get A LOT out of your blog and miss your insights and sense of humor]

God's green thumb

I kill plants. Every.single.one. Houseplants, that is. When plants are solely my responsibility, they are goners. However, if they are out in the yard and God can help, with His great green thumb, then my plants live. And, sometimes, they actually look OK.

These are pictures of my immature, still pretty early in the season, alley gardens. This is just the second year of their existence. Previously, one side of the garage was a complete disaster zone (top photo). We had neighbors who used this area as a dumping ground. I would call it a compost, but that's being generous with the language. It was a dump. The most noxious weeds and unidentified flora grew here with wild abandon.

Then our neighbors tore down their almost-falling-down garage and built a brand-new two-car garage AND they moved. Since these neighbors moved, the house has changed hands two times. The current new owners of the house want to work with me to create a "community garden" (I hope they mean neighbor garden and not community!) They even brought in some top soil (as you can see on the right hand side of the top picture).


Then they asked me to consult on creating their gardens since mine were "so beautiful." I actually laughed out loud when they said this. I just threw stuff in the garden, most of it hand-me-downs from friends and family, and had no "plan." (Any garden book advises against this approach!) I did "plan" a garden this year on the west side of the house and bought all the plants for it at the Friends Plant Sale, but these alley gardens are just an attempt to beautify what was a neglected, and even ugly, area. Now that I've been doing this all of a year or so, seasoned vet that I am, I'll try to enhance the random and impulsive nature of the gardens. It might require a complete re-do. But, that isn't happening this year!

Church fathers

I did this quiz at Mike Aquilina's site, The Way of the Fathers. I had taken this quiz about a year ago and thought I'd see if my results are the same. The first result I got was Origen. When I was at St. Thomas, I did take a class about the early church and learned about Origen. Just don't think I'm very much like him.

You are Origen!

You do nothing by half-measures. If you’re going to read the Bible, you want to read it in the original languages. If you’re going to teach, you’re going to reach as many souls as possible, through a proliferation of lectures and books. If you’re a guy and you’re going to fight for purity … well, you’d better hide the kitchen shears.

Changed a few of my answers, and got someone I don't know much about:

You are St. Melito of Sardis!

You have a great love of history and liturgy. You’re attached to the traditions of the ancients, yet you recognize that the old world — great as it was — is passing away. You are loyal to the customs of your family, though you do not hesitate to call family members to account for their sins.

And, here I thought I was Eusebius...

02 June 2008

Case law

Father Mitch Pacwa's keynote address at the Catholic homeschool conference mentioned the gospels and case law. He made some interesting points during his speech (which was excellent), but when he mentioned case law, I thought about how my son was our "mulligan" and how my daughter is inspiring complete volumes of new case law.

Crayons are only to be used in coloring books. They are not to be used on tables, chairs, books, walls, floors, clothes, bathroom tile, siblings, animals, toys, etc.

Crayons are not to be eaten.

Crayons are not to be placed in your nose.

You are not to wantonly break crayons or peel off their wrapping and leave it all over the house.

Spaghetti is a food, not a toy.

After eating spaghetti with your hands, do not run your hands through your hair.

After eating spaghetti with your hands, do not wipe said hands on your clothes.

The only thing that goes in your diaper is poop or pee.

You are not allowed to remove your diaper under any circumstances. Only a trained adult is permitted to remove said diaper. Running around the house sans diaper will provoke an immediate response by an adult and swift disciplinary action.

Diapers belong on your hiney, not on your head.

Car seats
Car seats are your friend.

Under no circumstances are you to disable the restraining device.

Church is a time for quiet, not play. When you are asked to be quiet at Mass in a soft, indoor voice it is equivalent to the loudest, most firm reprimand you have received outside of Mass.

Pews are for sitting on, not for standing, jumping, laying or using as a highway to get around.

Books are for reading, not eating.

Books have feelings, do not rip them to pieces.

Books are perfect just the way they are, they do not need to be colored or decorated or changed in any way.

Toilet paper
Toilet paper stays on the roll, do not dump roll into the toilet.

Do not shred toilet paper roll all over the house.

Do not wrap yourself in toilet paper.

Do not hide toilet paper.

Toilet paper was not intended as a decoration.

Case law seems to get written every day around here!