Showing posts with label DearCommunionOfSaints. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DearCommunionOfSaints. Show all posts

Friday, November 01, 2013

Happy All Saints: Dear of Communion of Saints released today on Kindle!

St Jerome looking Jeromish.
Happy All Saints Day, everyone!  Go to mass already!

Today is the release date of the Kindle version of Dear Communion of Saints: amusingly apt advice for foolish Christians.  It's only 99 cents, so treat yourself!

If you don't know what this is about, think Dear Abby: only the questions get pointed to the saints above.  Except apparently it is "flippin hilarious," according to one reviewer, and "intelligently witty and wittily intelligent" to another.  Oh, and the writer (me) "writes in such a funny yet reader friendly way that it makes the saints feel closer and more human than they are viewed now."  So its an All Saints devotional (in a "sort of kind of well it won't hurt and you may learn some things" kind of way.

The book received something like a 4.7 star rating, and lots of rating and compliments, on Smashwords.  I'm finally making the leap to the monopoly that is Amazon.  If you read it before, please consider going to the Amazon site and leaving a review.  If you haven't read it, what are you waiting for?  Saintly intervention?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Happy All Saints Day!

The Saints go Marching in...

First, go to Mass. You know, it's a Holy Day of Awesome....

Then, think about buying a good book on the Saints. At Smashwords, buy it for 50% off on All Saints Day...only 99 cents for the ebook version! Use coupon MA97P .

Sigh. Ok, just go to Mass. The humility is good for me.

(p.s. But I learned that from a saint!)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Buy a Felon, Buy a Saint, Both On Sale

Nancy Piccone offered a very kind review of Felon Blames 1970s Church Architecture for Life of Sin on the Catholic Post book group blog.  Thanks, Nancy!

Both Felon and Saints are on sale at Smashwords for the rest of July...use the coupon code on the respective pages for 25% off.  Smashwords provides the ebook formats for every e-reader (including your humble computer) in existence. 

If you want to pay a few cents more, it is available at Amazon and B&N. 

Feel free to spread the amusing word and thank you!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

A New (and Old) IC book!

No, I haven't melted away in the record breaking heat of Minnesota (which blew away yesterday and this morning it was 50 degrees cooler. Weird.).

I have, among many other things, been putting the polishing touches on two projects: one ready now and the other by the end of the week (knock on wood):

1. Available now! Dear Communion of Saints: amusingly apt advice for foolish Christians is available as a Kindle book at Amazon! While ebooks don't have a warm, fuzzy spot in my heart, they do to many...and you have to admit it is cheap for fun summer reading. DCOS is also available at Amazon as a paperback.

2. Available very, very, very soon, NEW BOOK: Felon Blames 1970s Church Architecture for Life of Sin: The Ironic Catholic News, Vol. I. as an ebook through Smashwords and Kindle, available online everywhere where ebooks are sold. This is part of a three volume ebook series that will be put together as a hefty paperback. I'd like to title that The Summa Ironicologiae, but that's probably too obscure to make sense.

So wait for the announcement, and if you'd like to read Dear Communion of Saints, you can buy it now at Amazon or buy any other ebook format at Smashwords. if you're not sure, there are a slew of reviews to convince you, esp. at Smashwords and also here on the blog.

Peace, IC

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why Did The Chicken Cross the Road? ...with updates

Many of these answers are three years old now, but I ran across them and laughed, and tried to add some more. Enjoy!--IC, with the amazing help of sic

Why did the chicken cross the road?
...answered with the help of the saints, writers, and a few hierarchs

Ignatius of Loyola:
For the spiritual exercise.

St. Antony of the desert:

Teilhard de Chardin:
The chicken was pursuing a teleological upsurge toward final consummation in the Omega Point of Divine Love.

Flannery O'Connor:
The chicken was struck by a truck while crossing the road, but experienced a flash of grace in the instant of its death. I prefer peacocks anyway.

St. John of the Cross:
The chicken was practicing detachment from all things northbound.

St. Augustine:
After a life of fowl debauchery, ignoring his chickenly restlessness and turning away from the peaceful goodness that is God alone, the chicken received the grace to convert, turning and walking the other way--thereby crossing the road of life versus death, praise be to God.

Thomas Aquinas:
Whether the chicken crossed the road?
Objection: It seems that the chicken did not cross the road, for chickens are accustomed to the farmyards that are the source of their food, and the hen house that is the source of their rest.
On the contrary, "And God said to Noah, 'Go into the ark, and take with you . . . seven pairs of birds of the air. . . ." -- which could not have been accomplished had the chickens not crossed the road to the ark.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:
We don't care why the chicken crossed the road, as long as it had the right of way and crossed in an approved crosswalk.

St. Lawrence of Rome:
Run, chicken, run! Run from the rotisserie!

St. Joan of Arc:
He was called to lead a cock-fight against British fish and chips.

St. Paul:
Let's just hope that the chicken had a life-changing encounter with the risen Christ along the way.

And the angel of the Lord went before the chicken, and there was a strong wind, and the traffic parted before the chicken, so that it was able to go into the midst of the road, with the traffic forming a wall on the left and a wall on the right, so that the chicken crossed the road safely. The farmer pursued the chicken into the midst of the road, and the angel of the Lord looked down on the chicken, and the traffic closed in on the farmer, so that the chicken did prevail with the help of the Lord.

Cleopas and companion:
Dunno. Our hearts were burning within us.

Father Daniel Berrigan:
Clearly, the chicken crossed the road as a nonviolent protest of the road's implication in the military-industrial complex.

Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments:
We're not sure, but if it was trying to reach across the road to hold hands with another chicken during the Lord's Prayer, we may have to butcher it.

St. Bonaventure:
Um. I didn't know Brother Chicken had a mind's road to God.

Dorothy Day:
To join our soup line. Excuse me--in all hospitality, I need to have a warning chat with that bird.

Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church declares that this joke is not in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church because 1) it lacks Trinitarian organization; 2) it fails to teach about the judgment of all chickens and the real possibility of hell for all chickens; 3) it fails to mention the fallen nature of the chicken; 4) it fails to use the male personal pronoun to refer to God . . . in fact, it doesn't mention God at all. Why we are reviewing this? What was the question again?

...and while we're getting into it, why did the chicken cross the road, anyway?
Who is this who dares darken counsel by asking why the chicken crossed the road? Gird your loins like a man; I will question you, and you will answer me: Where were you when I made the chicken, with its ineffectual yet tasty wings? Did you give the chicken its cluck? Is it by your wisdom that the chicken runs, flapping its wings toward the distant horizon? Did you set the foundations of the earth upon which the road runneth? Answer, for surely you are great in years!
Of what account am I? See, I will lay my hand on my mouth, and ask no more why the chicken crossed the road.


And last of all, three years ago from Lori:
Jesus: "O chicken, why cross the road when you can get under my wings! How often I have longed for it and you would not! Please come to me . . . I know you have free will, but . . . come back, please. . . Hey, look out for that car!"

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dear Communion of Saints: Is it a work of mercy if the ignorant you instruct remain ignorant?

Dear Communion of Saints,
I am a teacher. I work sixty hours a week, create engaging and thoughtful lesson plans, and meet with students for tutoring whenever they wish. But many of them still don't "get it"--and of those, most do not want to. Is it still a spiritual work of mercy if the ignorant you instruct in the faith remain ignorant?

the shine is off the apple

St. John Baptiste de la Salle, patron saint of educators, answers:

My son, be at peace. Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God. And in all things, honor the will of God in your regard. These children deserve the gift of education, and with it, a chance at a better life: God wants them to survive and thrive, to flourish as human beings, and God gives them this gift through you! These children sit (or throw spitballs) before you for a reason--you are the giver of this particular gift from God. But you cannot make anyone receive a gift. Sometimes people don't even recognize the gift you offer. I turned away a position as rector of my diocese's Cathedral and gave away all my personal wealth in order to organize my friends and brothers to teach those considered unteachable in France; truth be told, it created a bit of a revolution in education. In 2011, that is seen as a gift--not only to those children, but to the Church. Wasn't looked at quite that way then (most thought I was a troublemaker and a first class fool). Ah, what a splendid opportunity for humility that was!

But more specifically, it is not only a mercy to instruct the ignorant, successfully or not--it is an opportunity! This is the divine beauty of teaching--it gives you the opportunity to practice all the spiritual works of mercy at once. Think of it--in one day, I taught class, counseled a student who wanted to give up because he wasn't worth squat, confronted a student cheating, was told I created an overly difficult test, forgave said student, consoled a student whose parent was ill, and prayed for all of them, the sick parent, and one other student who died this year. That's teaching the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, admonishing sinners, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving offenses willingly, comforting the afflicted, and praying for the living and dead. What other vocation gives you this kind of opportunity? Every day?! Leading the United Nations looks spiritually shallow by comparison!

One of my dear friends up here, Blessed Mother Teresa, has a lovely meditation on failure. True, she didn't write it, but she lived it and prayed it. Perhaps you could as well:

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,
it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Live Jesus, in our hearts! Forever!


(Thanks to Paul at Alive and Young, who suggested the question.)

p.s. like this? Buy the book!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Solemnity of the Annunciation! (and possible freebies)

Because Mary said "let it be done"--we rejoice! Even in Lent!


On an unrelated note, Smashwords authors have been beefing up their book or author fb pages. As part of that smashing (heh heh) week o' fun--if you do fb, you can "like" this linked page, and be in the running for a free ebook copy of Dear Communion of Saints. But you have to "like" today!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

2011 Read an E-Book Week, March 6-12 (...and read mine for a buck!)

Yes, you can! You can read an e-book on an e-book reader, an Ipod/Pad, most smart phones with appropriate apps, or on a computer. And at Smashwords, there is the 2011 "Read an E-book Week" sale going on March 6-12. Loads of indie books there, free or ultra-cheap this week.

Dear Communion of Saints: amusingly apt advice for foolish Christians is a mere buck during E-Book week if you use this coupon: RAE50. Great Fat Tuesday reading, I think!

So what are you waiting for, the apocalypse? Buy a copy and tell your friends. Enjoy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Feast Day of the Patron of the IC blog: Francis de Sales! And a free e-book!

More people should know about Francis de Sales.  Read up on this great man!

And to celebrate the feast day?

A free ebook copy of Dear Communion of Saints today only: go to the DCOS site on Smashwords, and use coupon code

Only catch?  It would be fantastic if you could mention the book, and give it an honest review, on your blog (or facebook, or twitter). 

Don't have an e-reader?  You can use your computer. Or even print it out as a PDF!

The code only works today, January 24th!  So go get it now!  Happy Feast Day!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Celebrating the Feast of St. John Vianney

...who answers the burning existential question "Can we ask our priest to serenade us in the wedding mass?" in Dear Communion of Saints...

This week you can get DCOS as a text-only ebook for 0.99 at Smashwords. Just use the coupon YY98L at checkout. And spread the word!
p.s. and if you really want to celebrate St. John Vianney's life today, go to mass! Then buy the book!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Would anyone want to win an ICPad (and free ebook?)

Yes, not the IPad. Ah, what a difference a letter and $498 makes. ICPad! A legal pad with IC scrawled on the first page!
If you 1) comment here on how the ICPad is bound (get it?) to catch on, and 2) post about this book (oh yes, that!) on your blog, or facebook page, or tweet it, you can win an ICPad and a free ebook version of Dear Communion of Saints.
Contest over tonight at 9:00pm central daylight time. I'll pick a winner at random from the comments section of this post.
Have some more food! Enjoy the party!
Up next: the VIDEO.

UPDATE: Jennifer and Tim both win! See comments.

The paperback is up!

Finally! You can see Dear Communion of Saints, the paperback version, here. You could even buy it!

The difference between this and the ebook? The paperback has more pictures and some special quotations from or about the saints. It has fancier formatting. It fits in your hand and smells like paper. There's a real picture of me on the back. That's about it.

Yes, it's kind of pricey for a small paperback. I had little control over that, sorry. But Lulu is doing free summer shipping in the USA, and you could pair the book with blog friend Joel's hilarious Crummy Church Signs book and be smiling with ironic happiness throughout the dog days of summer. Tiny warning on the CCS book: there are a couple of pages that are rated at minimum PG 13. Luckily they are side by side, so you can tear them out if you are really careful about the kiddies in your house.

Coming up this afternoon: giving away an ICPad! (Yes, an ICPad....)

For the Ironic Catholic blog readers: 1/3 off ebook today and tomorrow!

Are we having fun yet?

OK, how's get to buy the Dear Communion of Saints ebook at 33% off today and tomorrow (June 28/29). Go to Smashwords and use coupon BG39J and you can buy it for $1.99. The coupon coach turns into a pumpkin tomorrow night, though, so do it now....

p.s. If you don't have an ebook reader, you can read it online, on your computer (there is a free Kindle for PC application, and a great free EPub reader app for Firefox), and there is an app called Stanza for IPhones, IPads, and Ipod Touch. You can also print it out as a PDF. They don't broadcast these things in Comic Sans font against the clouds, but I am expecting that soon too.

Spread the word, win a book!

Hey everyone--welcome to the party! Like the appetizers? Not to brag, but I worked for hours on those....

Welcome to the launch party for the ebook and the print book! There are going to be various deals throughout the day--some serious, some silly and ridiculous (like the blog....). Here's the first. If you want a free paperback copy of Dear Communion of Saints: amusing apt advice for foolish Christians, signed by me (as I'm not sure who else I could get to sign it), you could you win a draft copy!
What to do? Easy:
1) Say "the appetizers are great!" (or some such) in the blog site comments and
2) ...then tell a friend about our book launch party on your own blog, your facebook wall, OR twitter (yes, you can retweet this).
There are four draft paperback copies (they're so cute, those typos and all) to give away, so I will randomly select the winners from this blog post's comments list tonight, June 28th (after 5pm central daylight time).
Big two day deal on the ebook version coming up! Have a drink, stay tuned....

UPDATE! The winners of the giveaway are: ArchAngel's Advocate, Tim C, Steve T., and Rufus. See instructions in the comments section for claiming the draft copies. Thanks everyone!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday's QsOTD

A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the other one. ~Baltasar Gracián

A metaphor is like a simile. ~Author Unknown

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. ~Mark Twain

(Found here.)


Why all the writing quotations? A subtle reminder that we're having a Dear Communion of Saints book launch party on the blog, twitter, and facebook on Monday! Come for the fake appetizers, virtual conversations, and freebies. Tell your friends!

Now that I'm no longer in summer teaching residency, I hope to be blogging much more. See you round the blog!

Monday, June 14, 2010

And then IC said, let there be book! and a party!

Announcement! Finally!

In fulfillment of some obscure intertestamental apocalyptic prophecy...

1) First there was a blog. Then there was a BOOK.

(See the "About the book" tab upper left? That may have been a clue! )

The book (admittedly, more a "booklet") is Dear Communion of Saints: amusingly apt advice for foolish Christians. This is an old series I did for a year at the birth of the blog, where people put some crazy questions to the communion of saints, and one or more of the saints answer, "Dear Abby" style.

Since this is the worst time since people were creating papyrus to publish, I went the experimental indie route. There are two formats:

  • If you like ebooks, you can preview and buy this tome (tomelette?) at Smashwords. For those unfamiliar with Smashwords, they publish and distribute indie ebooks in a variety of formats (Epub, Mobi, PDF, more), but their system works best with "text heavy" books with simple formatting. So consider the Smashwords edition the "unplugged" (and cheap!) version of the book. No pretty pictures and pull-quotes, but all the words. The EPub (IPad, IPhone, Nook, more) and PDF versions look good, and the Mobi (for Kindle readers) looks pretty decent by me. It's an inexpensive indulgence (ha ha ha--oh, never mind) and at the party, you may even get discounts on that! (And if you're saying "I only wish I had an ebook reader" you can try this or this or this for free.)
  • If you want the "real purty" version as a paperback with assorted pull quotes and images, head over to Lulu in a few days. I'm getting the proofs this week!

    And by the way, since I hope to buy a babygate with the change I may earn from this, if you like it, please leave a positive review at Smashwords or Lulu, or tell a friend.

    2) Ah yes, the party! We're having an online book launch party on facebook (and twitter and here on the blog) June 28th. Check in that day for giveaways, discounts, and pictures of great appetizers we'd love to be having.

And many thanks to Jeff at the Curt Jester for a very kind positive online review.

Peace, IC

Friday, June 04, 2010

Dear Communion of Saints: why can't I just sin already?

An occasional series.

Dear Communion of Saints,
I don’t know why you all get so hung up on this sin stuff. I know I make mistakes because I’m human, after all. It’s not like I’m a bad person. And didn’t God create me free to be me? That sounds like divine license to me! Besides, I’m not sure I could like a God who doesn’t like ME. I can’t understand why you people, and my parents, can’t just chill.
--Good Enough

St. Alphonsus Ligouri responds:

My dear son in Christ Jesus,

I have good news, and bad news, and good news.

The good news is that I do hold, as does Holy Mother Church, that all people are called to holiness and the pinnacle of love with the Living God. And that God created you good and God delights in your existence. God created you for truth, love, and beauty.

The bad news is that before I became a priest and founded the Redemptorist order, I was a lawyer. And I know my way around a weak defense. As follows--

1) Mistakes are accidents. Sins are freely chosen acts. Mistakes are part of the limitations of human nature. Sins are a choice, measured and committed with knowledge of the wrong. You could have done otherwise.

2) You are indeed free to be you. Freedom was a great gift given you by God. But if you want to honor the Giver of all good gifts, then you will use that freedom well. Just because God allows sin doesn’t mean that God wants it. License implies desire. God does not give license to sin.

3) God does like you. A lot. Loves, even. More than you can fathom (obviously). But
honestly, it isn’t your job to like God. You are called to love God—and loving God results in your deepest freedom, freedom from sin, addiction, poor excuses and argument, etc., and freedom for happiness and love.

That was the good news and bad news. The second good news? The gospel, of course. My son, read Luke 15: 11-32. You may find it relevant. Please know I will be praying for you through the Blessed Mother. You may want to try a Memorare yourself.

May you find supernatural “chill” this day!

In Christ’s love,
St. Alphonsus

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sts. Therese and Mother Cabrini: "Not a Valet Service"

Vatican City: The sense from those gathered in prayer, invoking the communion of saints? Two of the communion's most invoked saints are not pleased.

In an unusual move for the communion of saints, Sts. Therese de Lisieux and Mother Cabrini have joined together to announce a plea from the beyond. Both women said they were tired of being the go-to women for securing parking spaces in urban environments.

"We love you as friends of God and want to lead you to holiness of life, not a plum parking space near Starbucks," said Mother Frances Cabrini. "Besides, that rhyme is pretty bad. Seriously: 'Mother Cabrini, Mother Cabrini, please find a space for my little machine-y?' It wasn't funny on the first utterance and hasn't worn well since. I could stand it if you were trying to find a spot in front of the ER if you thought you had a stroke. But that's rarely the issue."

Therese also was uncharacteristically sad. "Please! I said I wanted to spend my heaven doing good on earth! But I didn't mean this! Really now: someone the other day uttered this at the JFK airport--'Little Flower, in this hour, show your power'--and by sheer luck a person pulled out of a parking space near the elevators. Now he's going to expect that kind of luck again, I know it! Besides, I have no power, the power is God's alone. I have suffered the misuse of this prayer for the love of you and joining with the humility of our savior...but as your personal novice mistress, I don't want to be used for your parking woes. You should be offering it up anyway."

As the small congregation listened, slack-jawed, the two saints continued with conspiratorial smiles: "We must lay down the tough love gauntlet. The next time someone tries to use us as a parking valet service, we will indeed answer your prayer: by saying 'just turn to Jesus'. Turn...get it?" They giggled. Then they began to sing a heavenly version of Simple Gifts. As the perception of the saints faded, the congregation wailed and gnashed teeth, rushing out to the parking lot.
p.s. read the comments for Sherry's message from St. Anthony of Padua!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dear Communion of Saints: Who should I blame this week about Catholics leaving the Church?

Dear Communion of Saints:

I just read the results of the Pew Study on religious observance in the USA, and noted with horror that Catholic attendance is down dramatically if one doesn't factor in new immigrants from Mexico and Central America. I'm hotter than a tea kettle on full whistle about this. But also confused...should I blame Vatican II? The Jesuits? The DaVinci Code? Opus Dei? Those crazy dogmatists? Those cafeteria munchers? The media? Relativism? Lazy parents? Sports events on Sunday? The sex abuse scandal? The lack of eucharistic adoration? I need to focus my frustration on someone, because I really want to pummel someone into the ground about this. Please help!

Channeling divine vengeance,
Boiling Madeleine

(Although there was a bit of a tussle in heaven over who got a crack at this first, St. Teresa of Avila is tapped to answer the question.)

My dear sister in Christ,
This is not the reason numbers have dropped, but I want you to stop and consider one phrase: The Inquisition.

Now, as an unworthy one attempting to be faithful through the pure grace of Our Majesty, I do not wish to brag. I simply wish to remind you that the Inquisition was a concrete reality in my day, and the Inquisitors questioned my work and the mystical gifts I received from God. It was not pleasant. Then my order gave me all kinds of difficulty in creating a more strict observance of the Carmelite charism. My most honorable Padre Juan was kept in solitary confinement from members of the order for a time. It was not a good moment in the history of the Catholic Church, let's say. Perhaps you've heard of it.

So how did we respond?

We became saints.

Think about it.

Of course, it's important to look soberly at why people leave, or drift, from the Church. Such education may provide a clue to self-correction. It also will humble us, and we need that. But we know what we need to do: we need to devote ourselves, heart and soul, to Christ. And living such a life is an inspiration to others. They want to know what makes you tick. I tell you, I didn't want to write any of those books. But I was ordered to, and I think this is why. Tearing ourselves apart inspires no one but Satan. Be single-minded. Authentic devotion to God is the greatest evangelical aphrodisiac we have.

Allow God to make you a saint, Madeleine. Being in love with Him is great; you'll drop that vengeance like a hot potato (which it is). And you may play a big part in boosting the Catholic Church in America to boot.

In the Joy and Goodness of Christ,