Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The I Antiphons (in honor of the last week before Christmas)

I come, I come to the last week before,
and wish to shop for presents nevermore.
Make straight the way that leads to my bed,
because I'm feeling re-ally dead.

Rejoice!  Rejoice!  I come the week before
and ransom coffee from my local store.

I come to wisdom from on high
that caffeine will soon energize.
The path of peace is just days away--
it soon will stop and sitting I will stay. R.

I come to realize that setting free
the kids beneath the Christmas tree
was not the best move you'll ever see,
now Christmas presents large maracas be. R.

I come, I need a Day-spring soon to cheer
my spirits by this advent here--
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
Consumerism put to flight. R.

I come with a Key of King David, come,
Twill open wide our much disheveled home;
Make safe our hearts from shopping and stress,
And help us now appreciate our mess. R.

I come to plead the Lord of might,
Still Lord at the gift-buying's height
Please help us recall what advent is,
and let our neighbor love her wrapped Cheese Whiz.  R.

I come, with amaryllis root and tree,
I come with jars of pre-made nut cookies,
and cards promised in February for all:
All peoples on Thy mercy call. R.

I ask, Desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of humankind;
Bid Thou our self-made craziness cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace. R.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Colbert, gone. Mary is My Homegirl, gone. Maranatha already!

It's true: you probably heard about Stephen Colbert closing down shop at the Colbert Report to host Late Night. The end of an era, people. Busted Halo put up a few remembrances here (sniff--grab a hanky--and oh yeah, language alert);

Colbert's Top Ten Catholic Moments

Here's a clean one here :)

And then--AND THEN--the tumbler blog "Mary Is My Homegirl," a blog dedicated to "Coping with the terrible life choice of studying Catholic theology in graduate school," said I'm done.  Blogging, that is.  I think she is still in grad school.  Daggonit, she made me almost like Tumblr and animated gifs.  Or at least, I loved the way she used them.

I'll warn you this is insider theology school humor, but man.  Good stuff.

Like here...
and here...
and here...
and here...
and here.

A moment of silence, IC readers.  It's a humorless day in the darkest, coldest week of the year.  It makes a Catholic humor fan want to go

Yeah, Maranatha, people. We're done here.

Monday, December 08, 2014

I found my Christmas cards!

And OH MY WORD, it's a Hallmark.

Seasons Greetings, pagans!

Friday, December 05, 2014

Special Pre-Christmas Offer: God's Holy Oven For Half-Baked Ideas

Some ideas look good until you open them up....
(informational advertisement)

Ladies and Gentlemen, have you opened up your oven to the floppy, sad reality of a half-baked idea?

There is no shame in addressing the past in the glow of God's ovenly light.  Don't bother denying it.  Those ovens from years past may have started out a lovely avocado green, but you know by their dirty camo appearance--they are idols.  Those ovens don't bake.

Your ideas deserve more true, warm, light filled convection.  They deserve God's Holy Oven, the Gracemore 77x7.

In the Gracemore 77x7, you can stuff that idea as an oblation within the it's open door, close it, say a prayer, and let God's Holy Oven do it's work.  Exposing the idea to God's grace will take the idea and make it suitable to serve the Kingdom of God, even if they all come over for lunch in 15 minutes.

Ideas need to be baked in the Gracemore 77x7.  It's true, some cooks say you can stew ideas, but that just makes for good philosophy.  Or you can fry ideas, but your ideas often end up burnt.  Some even grill ideas, but that's just an excuse to slather them with muddling sauce.  Baking is the method of choice, for ideas need to rise, to expand.  They reach the fullness of their being through baking in the Gracemore 77x7.

But wait, that's not all!  God's Holy Oven, the Gracemore 77x7, has a special auto shutdown feature as well.  If the idea is not suitable for baking, the Gracemore senses this reality and automatically shuts off.  And if the idea is contrary to God, the Gracemore takes its cue from the prophets and kills it with fire.  Besides being an opportunity to have dinner flambe, it is an unforgettable teaching lesson for the little kids.  And on top of all that--the Gracemore is self-cleaning.

You, too, could have a Gracemore 77x7 in your home.  Invite your local "Gracemore master" in for an informational visit today!

Donna L., Iowa: I am so grateful I have a Gracemore 77x7 in our home!  Our dinners are blessed, delicious, and edible.  We haven't had a half-baked idea in years!  Thank you!

p.s.  Act now and you can also obtain God's Holy Yeast to be used in God's Holy Oven!  Never experienced a half-baked idea again!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

The Cost of Discipleship? A Bargain at $16!

Hat tip to my friend Kelly Johnson, through facebook, who wisely noted "Well, it may be cheap, but it still isn't free."

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Introducing Tanner

Friends, let me introduce you to a young boy named "Tanner."

Tanner is a 13 year old boy with Down Syndrome and some hearing loss.  He lives in a country in Eastern Europe (not my son Alex's country).

He lives in an orphanage.  He has no family caring for him.

He is one of the 200+ children with Down Syndrome listed on Reece's Rainbow, available for adoption.  There are even more children with other special needs on the site.  The idea is to create adoption grants for them, to help pay for an international adoption.  One of RR's mantras is there are people who want to adopt these children and provide them families--the initial cost is the primary barrier.

I'd like to make him one of the 1000+ (!!!) children Reece's Rainbow has helped get into families in the past five years.  Look at that number--over 1000 children found families with their help.  THIS IS POSSIBLE.

I agreed to be Tanner's "angel tree warrior" for this month and next. The idea is to raise $1000 more for his adoption account (which is already pretty healthy at $8000!).  We have $750 to go.

I am talking to my university's Students For Life group, and they may be interested in helping raise some funds.  But while it is a great opportunity for outreach and education and a little money, I don't think they can raise $750.  Tanner needs your help as well.

Please consider sharing this page with others and contributing yourself.  They take paypal, or you can send a check (write "Tanner #31-1" in the memo line).  Even the change in the bottom of your purse counts!  And if you want to make a substantial donation, keep in mind Reece's Rainbow is a 501c3 organization--you can write this off on your taxes (if you are an American).

Y'all--I'll be honest.  The stats tell us that kids with special needs have an uphill battle in getting adopted.  So do boys.  Especially older boys.  But he needs a family.  Orphanage life is no life for a child, and it usually goes from bad to worse at adulthood.  He lives in a country that has a straightforward and relatively quick adoption process.  There is hope.

We can do this.  WE CAN DO THIS.  Please pray, pass the word, and plunk in a coin at Tanner's profile today.

Thanks, Susan
aka IC

Friday, October 31, 2014

Local Catholic Woman Avoids Halloween By Calling It "Pre-Advent"

Meagerville, California: Mary Ellen Gallagher said the inspiration came from seeing miniature purple lights on sale at the local Target.

"I was going through the aisle of evil and trying not to see the hoochie girl-devil costumes for toddlers, when the blinking purple lights caught my attention, and I thought, hey, Maranatha!  Advent is coming!
So I thought, if it's coming anyway, why not turn Halloween into pre-advent?" mused Gallagher.

If you go by Gallagher's home this evening, you'll see the house draped in purple lights, a pumpkin hallowed out into an advent wreath, and speakers blaring out "O Come O Come Emmanuel."

"I'm looking forward to it," enthused Gallagher.  "I plan to tell the little kiddies that this bag of skittles is the first treat of their pre-advent calendar.  And to repent of what they are wearing before they go to hell."

One church leader, who asked to speak off the record, mentioned that while it was good that people were avoiding the lack of modesty and glamorizing evil issues with secular Halloween, rushing into advent may be an overreaction.  "I'm not sure liturgically you can have a pre-pre-Christmas season," he said.  "Plus, it's all Saints Day, which deserves it own day, right?"

Gallagher said she knew she would have detractors, but she didn't care.  "The purple lights were too good to pass up.  I know there are orange lights on sale too, but I wanted to leave something for the Tibetan Buddhists in my neighborhood.  Pre-advent makes me charitable like that.  Happy Pre-Advent to you all!"



p.s.   People can do or not do Halloween as they wish, and if you do it, there are better and worse ways.  I recommend Fr. Grunow's Let's Reclaim Halloween myself.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Humor of Pope St. John Paul II (and the Humor of God)

Yes, we should honor him for his holiness, his intelligence, his perseverance, his kindness.  Maybe especially for his contribution to understanding the human person, which a certain person wrote a book about recently....  But this blog ain't called the Ironic Catholic for nothin'.

The humor of John Paul II, on this, the occasion of his first feast day:

Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it.

Love is never defeated, and I could add, the history of Ireland proves it.

An American bishop, recalling John Paul’s amazing memory for names and faces, told of returning to Rome after having put on weight since his previous visit. “Is your diocese growing?” the pope inquired. The hefty prelate assured him that it was indeed expanding. “So is the bishop,” said John Paul with a twinkle in his eye. (source)

“Men are like wine-some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.” 

(I'm looking for a video of him joining in the singing of the people in Poland...if you can find that, let me know!)

And then, this is not humorous on Pope John Paul II's part, but humorous on God's part...and very moving as well.  About Pope John Paul II's visit to Poland, in 1979:

[In 1979, the Polish government] invited him, gambling that John Paul--whom they knew when he was cardinal of Krakow, who they were sure would not want his presence to inspire bloodshed--would be prudent. They wagered that he would understand he was fortunate to be given permission to come, and understand what he owed the government in turn was deportment that would not threaten the reigning reality. They announced the pope would be welcome to come home on a "religious pilgrimage."
John Paul quickly accepted the invitation. He went to Poland.
And from the day he arrived, the boundaries of the world began to shift.
Two months before the pope's arrival, the Polish communist apparatus took steps to restrain the enthusiasm of the people. They sent a secret directive to schoolteachers explaining how they should understand and explain the pope's visit. "The pope is our enemy," it said. "Due to his uncommon skills and great sense of humor he is dangerous, because he charms everyone, especially journalists. Besides, he goes for cheap gestures in his relations with the crowd, for instance, puts on a highlander's hat, shakes all hands, kisses children. . . . It is modeled on American presidential campaigns. . .  Because of the activation of the Church in Poland our activities designed to atheize the youth not only cannot diminish but must intensely develop. . .  In this respect all means are allowed and we cannot afford any sentiments."
The government also issued instructions to Polish media to censor and limit the pope's comments and appearances.
On June 2, 1979, the pope arrived in Poland. What followed will never be forgotten by those who witnessed it.
He knelt and kissed the ground, the dull gray tarmac of the airport outside Warsaw. The silent churches of Poland at that moment began to ring their bells. The pope traveled by motorcade from the airport to the Old City of Warsaw.
The government had feared hundreds or thousands or even tens of thousands would line the streets and highways.
By the end of the day, with the people lining the streets and highways plus the people massed outside Warsaw and then inside it--all of them cheering and throwing flowers and applauding and singing--more than a million had come.
In Victory Square in the Old City the pope gave a mass. Communist officials watched from the windows of nearby hotels. The pope gave what papal biographer George Weigel called the greatest sermon of John Paul's life.
Why, the pope asked, had God lifted a Pole to the papacy? Perhaps it was because of how Poland had suffered for centuries, and through the 20th century had become "the land of a particularly responsible witness" to God. The people of Poland, he suggested, had been chosen for a great role, to understand, humbly but surely, that they were the repository of a special "witness of His cross and His resurrection." He asked then if the people of Poland accepted the obligations of such a role in history.
The crowd responded with thunder.
"We want God!" they shouted, together. "We want God!"
What a moment in modern history: We want God. From the mouths of modern men and women living in a modern atheistic dictatorship. ....

Thursday, August 28, 2014

In honor of the Feast of St. Augustine: Pear Crisp

Pear Crisp Recipe

Pear Crisp, anyone?

Or will pears lead to a "crispy" life in hell?

Yo ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Or you avoid that road and just become a saint instead.

If you got none of that, read Confessions, for crying out loud.