Monday, February 28, 2011

Coming Soon to a Catholic Parish Near You

Iran Threatens to Boycott London Olympics Over Logo

Iran has threatened to boycott the 2012 London Olympics because they think that the ugly logo spells "Zion." You can't make this stuff up. Read the full story here.

British Court Rules That Orthodox Christian Moral Beliefs Are Harmful to Children

More news from the country which used to be Great Britian. Read about it here.

A British Court has ruled that a couple which believes that homosexual behavior is a sin (like ALL CATHOLICS are supposed to believe) are not qualified to serve as foster parents because, according to the Court, such beliefs are harmful to children.

We may assume that this opinion can be used as a precedent to argue that parents who instruct their children the official teachings of the Catholic Church are harming their children and are bigots. How long will it be before the Catholic Church is ruled to be a hate organization?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Travelers Along the Way

Father Benedict Groeschel is one of my heros and one of the people I look to as a guru and guide in the Christian life. Father Groeschel’s recent book Travelers Along the Way: The Men and Women Who Shaped My Life (2010) is a beautiful book which I would heartily recommend to everyone. If you haven’t read it, go to Amazon and buy a copy right now! It’s that good. This is the kind of great inspirational reading which lifts the mind and heart to God.

In Travelers Along the Way, Father Benedict gives us twenty eight short portraits of people he has known who have made an impact on his life. These range from famous saints like Mother Teresa and potential saints like Father Solanus Casey and Cardinal O’Connor to a young man name Gary who tragically committed suicide and Ruby Davis a committed Christian layperson who was dedicated to helping the poor.

I cannot speak highly enough about this little book and everything else that Father Groeschel has written. In these evil times, it does us well to remember that we do not travel through this vale of tears alone but have many companions on our pilgrimage back to God. Amen.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Egypt Gets Its Khomeni

A radical Muslim cleric who has been described as the Egyptian version of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeni, has returned from exile to help form the new government. He advocates the destruction of Israel and the conquest of the Western democracies. Read the full story from the U.K. blog Cranmer.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Life Between the House and the Chicken Yard

“As for biographies, there won’t be any biographies of me because, for only one reason, lives spent between the house and the chicken yard do not make exciting copy.”
Flannery O’Connor

I have been thinking and reading a lot the last month about the life, work and faith of Mary Flannery O’Connor. In January, I was able to attend a four day retreat on the life and work of O’Connor at the Trappist Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. The retreat was led by Dr. Victor Kramer, retired professor of literature at Georgia State University in Atlanta. I had previously attended a retreat which Dr. Kramer led on the life and work Walker Percy (read my post about the previous retreat). Dr. Kramer is a true scholar and a Catholic gentleman.

During my pilgrimage of literary devotion to Milledgeville last year (read my previous post about my “Pilgrimage To the Shrine of Saint Flannery”), I read Lorraine Murray’s magnificent “spiritual biography,” The Abbess of Andalusia: Flannery O’Connor’s Spiritual Journey (2009).

After returning from Conyers, I was thirsty to hear more. First I read Professor Jean W. Cash’s Flannery O’Connor: A Life (2002). This morning I finished Professor Brad Gooch’s excellent biography Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor (2009). As far as narrative writing skill and non-fiction as literature, Professor Gooch’s book wins the best biography writer contest hands down. In some places, Professor Cash’s book feels like reading a police report: “this and that happened and so and so witnessed it and said thus and such about it.” Gooch’s book delves more into O’Connor’s personal life and struggles while Cash’s book seems more oriented on O’Connor’s literary life. With these two books and Murray’s Abbess of Andalusia, there is no stone unturned in the short life of this great Southern Catholic author.

If I had to recommend just one book about O’Connor’s life, it would have to be Gooch’s. However, after reading all three, I feel like I have spent the afternoon sitting on the porch at Andalusia drinking Coca-Cola spiked with coffee (Yuk!, but according to Professor Gooch, Flannery liked it) and talking with Miss Mary Flannery about the great questions of life and faith.

O’Connor can be placed at the tail end of the so-called “Catholic Literary Revival,” of which her contemporary Thomas Merton was a part. O’Connor and Merton shared the same editor, Robert Giroux, and, although they never met, both admired the work of the other. Although she was one herself, Flannery derided the “Interlecshuls.” Her connections with the literati and Catholic intelligentsia of the 50's and early ‘60s is like a who's who of those “Interlecshuls.”

From a Christian and Catholic perspective, there is a tremendous amount of spiritual wisdom to be gained from a study of this life lived “between the house and the chicken yard.” This is somebody who found her God given gift and used it to the best of her ability despite her debilitating terminal illness. A strong Catholic who appears never to have wavered in her faith, she never lost her sense of humor. She remained optimistic and was still working on her stories up to the last.

Flannery obtained a prayer card with a prayer to Saint Raphael the Archangel which she prayed every day. Murray’s book contains O’Connor’s prayer to St. Raphael in the appendix:

O Raphael, lead us toward those we are waiting for, those who are waiting for us:

Raphael, Angel of happy meetings, lead us by the hand toward those we are looking for. May all our movements be guided by your Light and transfigured with your Joy.

Angel, guide of Tobias, lay the request we now address to you at the feet of Him on whose unveiled Face you are privileged to gaze.

Lonely and tired, crushed by the separations and sorrows of life, we feel the need of calling you and of pleading for the protection of your wings, so that we may not be as strangers in the province of joy, all ignorant of the concerns for our country.

Remember the weak, you who are strong, you whose home lies beyond the region of thunder, in a land that is always peaceful, always serene and bright with the resplendent glory of God.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Faithful Departed

My Father In Law passed away early yesterday morning at age 83.

May the Angels lead thee into Paradise; and the Martyrs receive thee at thy coming and bring thee into the holy city Jerusalem. May the choirs of Angels receive thee, and mayest thou, with Lazarus once poor, have everlasting rest. Amen.

Iran Hangs Man Who Claimed to Be God

Iran executed a man who claimed that he was God. Read the full story here. I guess it's not too safe to be mentally ill in the Islamic Republic . . .

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Warning: Valentine's Day is Un-Islamic!

Pakistani women burn Valentines.

The celbration of Valentine's Day is Un-Islamic and celebrates vice and sin. Authorities in Malaysia plan to crack down on violators. Read the full story here.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Our Lady of Lourdes

On February 11, the Church celebrates the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the peasant girl Bernadette in Lourdes, France.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Saint Scholastica

Today the Church honors Saint Scholastica, the sister of Saint Benedict. Saint Scholastica was born in Nursia in Italy about the year 480. She vowed herself to God and followed her brother to Monte Cassino. She died there around the year 547.

Most of what we know about Saint Scholastica comes from the writings of Pope Saint Gregory the Great. There is a famous story that 3 days before she died, Saint Benedict came to see his sister, when night fell, although his sister begged him to stay, Saint Benedict said that he must return to his monastery.

According to Gregory: "When she heard her brother refuse her request, the holy woman joined her hands on the table, laid her head on them and began to pray. As she raised her head from the table, there were such brilliant flashes of lightning, such great peals of thunder and such a heavy downpour of rain that neither Benedict nor his brethren could stir across the threshold of the place where they had been seated. Sadly he began to complain: "May God forgive you, sister. What have you done? "Well," she answered, "I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery." Reluctant as he was to stay of his own will, he remained against his will. So it came about that they stayed awake the whole night, engrossed in their conversation about the spiritual life."

PRAYER: Lord, as we recall the memory of Saint Scholastica, we ask that by her example we may serve you with love and obtain pefect joy. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Atlanta, Georgia

A friend of mine e-mailed this to me. I probably have not mentioned that the Bad Catholic was born and raised in the Metropolitan Atlanta area (which from the South Georgia perspective makes me a Yankee!) This is so true that I decided to share it with everyone:

This is for anyone who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, has ever lived in Atlanta, has ever visited Atlanta, ever plans to visit Atlanta, knows anyone who already lives in Atlanta, or knows anyone who has ever heard of AtlantaThumbs up.

Atlanta is composed mostly of one-way streets. The only way to get out of downtown Atlanta is to turnaround and start over when you reach Greenville , South Carolina ..

All directions start with, "Go down Peachtree" and include the phrase, "When you see the Waffle House." except that in Cobb County , where all directions begin with, "Go to the Big Chicken."

Peachtree Street has no beginning and no end and is not to be confused with:
Peachtree Circle
Peachtree Place
Peachtree Lane
Peachtree Road
Peachtree Parkway
Peachtree Run
Peachtree Terrace
Peachtree Avenue
Peachtree Commons
Peachtree Battle
Peachtree Corners
New Peachtree
Old Peachtree
West Peachtree
Peachtree Industrial Boulevard

Atlantans only know their way to work and their way home. If you ask anyone for directions, they will always send you down Peachtree.

Atlanta is the home of Coca-Cola. Coke's all they drink there so don't ask for any other soft drink unless it's made by Coca-Cola. Even if you want something other than a Coca-Cola, it's still called Coke.

The gates at Atlanta 's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport are about 32 miles away from the Main Concourse, so wear sneakers and pack a lunch.
The 8 a.m. rush hour is from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
The 5 p.m. rush hour is from 3:00 p.m. to 7:30 pm. (Don't forget the lunch time rush hour!)

Friday's rush hour starts Thursday afternoon and lasts through 2 a.m. Saturday.

Only a native can pronounce Ponce De Leon Avenue , so do not attempt the Spanish pronunciation. People will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you. The Atlanta pronunciation is " pawntz duh LEE-awn."

And yes, they have a street named simply, "Boulevard."

The falling of one raindrop causes all drivers to immediately forget all traffic rules. If a single snowflake falls, the city is paralyzed for three days and it's on all the channels as a news flash every 15 minutes for a week. Overnight, all grocery stores will be sold out of milk, bread, bottled water, toilet paper, and beer.

I-285, the loop that encircles Atlanta which has a posted speed limit of 55 mph but you have to maintain 80 mph just to keep from getting run over and is known to truckers as "The Watermelon 500."

Don't believe the directional markers on highways: I-285 is marked "East" and "West" but you may be going North or South. The locals identify the direction by referring to the "Inner Loop" and the "Outer Loop ."

If you travel on Hwy 92 North, you will actually be going southeast.

Never buy a ladder or mattress in Atlanta . Just go to one of the interstates and you will soon find one in the middle of the road.
The last thing you want to do is give another driver the finger, unless your car is armored, your trigger finger is itchy and your AK-47 has a full clip.

Possums sleep in the middle of the road with their feet in the air.

There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 live in Georgia .

There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 live in Georgia , plus a couple no one has seen before.

If it grows, it sticks. If it crawls, it bites. If you notice a vine trying to wrap itself around your leg, you have about 20 seconds to escape, before you are completely captured and covered with Kudzu.

It's not a shopping cart, it's a buggy.
"Fixinto" is one word (I'm fixinto go to the store) - also can be pronounced "Fixinta".

Sweet Tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're 2 years old.

"Jeet?" is actually a phrase meaning "Did you eat?"
"How's Momma-nem" means: "How's Mother and all of the other children and other members of the family doing?"

The Big Chicken, Marietta, Cobb County, Georgia

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Why do Egyptians want Freedom?

Egyptians want Freedom so that they can destroy Israel, of course:

And according to Left Wing Billionaire George Soros who is standing in the way of peace in the Middle East: Israel and the American Religious Right, of course. See Soros editorial in the Washington Post lambasting Israel and the Religious Right.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Story of the Egyptian Revolution

A very interesting description of the events in Egypt from an Egyptian student at the American Thinker.


Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, traditionally called Candlemas since on this day the candles which are to be used in the Church and by the faithful are blessed for the next year.

Almighty and everliving God, we humbly pray that, as Your only begotten Son was this day presented in the Temple, so we may be presented to You with pure and clean hearts by Jesus Christ Our Lord; who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.