Showing posts with label amusement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label amusement. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Calvin can be funny!

Explains so much.

But admit it, you were expecting Calvin and Hobbes.  Sorry about that.

HT: Regina!

Monday, January 05, 2015

"I am the very model of a Biblical philologist"

My sense is most people have no idea what academic study of sacred texts looks like. This ditty hints why you may not want to know....

And a big hat tip to my friend Brian for pointing me to the video!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Ironic Catholic's Top Ten "Top Ten" Lists for 2014

Hasta la vista, 2014!  It's been great!  Long!  Yearsome!  And, it's almost over.  My bloggerly friends have been posting their "Top Ten" lists...Top Ten Books, Occasions for Sitting Down, Facebook Flame Wars, etc....  Here at the Ironic Catholic, we have tried to provide the Top Ten Everything Else Catholic.  We dig the scoops for you, dear reader.  Enjoy.  And Happy New Year!

1. The Top Ten Books Written By Matthew Levering In 2014 (Look, the man's theological writing is excellent. And, uh, profuse.  I think he's gunning for Thomas Aquinas.  Don't mind me that I wrote and published a single theological tome in three years.  I am happy, I tell you happy, for him.  Anyway, pick any ten.)
Fr. Barron, get cracking on that review!

2. The Top (Or Only) Ten Movies Not Commented On By Fr. Robert Barron In 2014 (Hint: One is the Penguins of Madagascar.  But he still has 24 hours to note that "Private" is a Christ figure for the Postmodern Age, darn it.)

3. The Top Ten Catholic Media Post-Mortems For The End Of The Colbert Report (I wrote them out but the tears smudged my writing and I can't bear to go through that again and I just don't want to talk about it, OK?)

4. The Top Ten MSM News Stories That Got Pope Francis' Words Right.  (Oops, sorry, there aren't ten.  In fact, we're having a hard time finding one. So will you stop reading them already?)

It's on the internet, so this really happened. No it didn't, you schmuck.

5. The Top Ten News Stories That Seemed Like A Big Deal And MAYBE The Coming Of The Apocalypse But So Far Not THAT Bad. (What?!  You want me up all night doing this post?  Could you just insert any news story?  Especially if you heard about it primarily through facebook or Twitter? But... cough cough cough ebola-in-the-usa cough cough cough)

Accurate Synod News?  I've got nuttin'.

6.  The Top Ten Helpful News Articles On The Synod on the Family Meeting.  (Once again, we have no quorum for this.  There were a couple, but most coverage was the journalistic equivalent of hyperventilating on helium. Go back and read those articles in a Mickey Mouse voice.  There, don't you feel better?)

7.  The Top (Well, Again, Only) Ten People Left in New York City Not Profiled On Humans of New York.  (Next year: Humans of Syracuse.  I'm not terribly hopeful.)

8.  The Top Ten Catholic World Cup Miracles/Prayers/Liturgical Caxirolas/Jokes.  (Again, I'm wondering why I have to do all the work here.  I mean the event was in BRAZIL, which is practically more Catholic than Italy.  And you know you're looking up caxirolas now.)

9.  The Top Ten Catholic Buzzfeed Clickbait!  You Won't BELIEVE #6!  (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

10.  The Top Ten Satires Eye of the Tiber Missed.  (Nah, I think they've gotten them all. Kudos!)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Handy Dandy Hiney Guide to How Not to Get Kicked out of Vatican City

The Roamin' Correspondent of the IC, Regina Hiney, creates a timely and handy guide as a Christmas gift to Vatican-bound travelers.

In light of recent unfortunate events of a topless feminist stealing the baby Jesus from the Vatican City Crèche this Christmas tide, I have done a bit of research and lo and behold, Vatican City (given its small population) actually holds the record for the highest crime rate in the world.  Now, not everyone gets exiled.  But enough folks have gotten banished, that it is abundantly evident that a Handy Dandy Hiney guide is sorely needed.

1.    Let us begin with the most recent faux pas.  If you are visiting Vatican City and you want to see the official Vatican City Nativity Scene, please remember to keep your shirt on and try not to take the baby Jesus as a souvenir.   This is considered very bad form and you will be exiled.  Having said that, let us take a exiled look through history:

2.   Don’t be an idiot Visigoth.  Idiot Visigoths may ransack Rome but Saint Jerome or someone of his grandeur will take time out of their day to excoriate you with their words.  Jerome defended his dear friend, 85 year old Saint Marcella who was murdered by the idiot Visigoths.   Who won?  Well, all parties are dead . . . But there are no more idiot Visigoths, 1.2 Billion Christians (and not a few idiots in their own right) and 2000 years later we still have both the Latin Vulgate of Doctor Saint Jerome and know of the heroic virtue of Saint Marcella.  Idiot Saints beat Idiot Pagans every day of the week and twice on Sundays.  If you want to remain in Vatican City, don’t ransack Rome and tick off our doctor-saints.

3.   Don’t be possessed by a demon.  Pope Francis exorcises the Vatican frequently.  The Saint Michael prayer is said daily.  Don’t want an exile?  Reject Satan.  And all his works.  And all his empty promises.  If a legion sneaks in, chances are, the exorcists will find you and they will expel you.  Don’t mess with the diabolical.  Seriously.  Even if you don’t plan on going to Italy.  Throw away the Ouija board. 
4.   Don’t be Pope during the reign of a jerky anti-pope.  An antipope is a person claiming to be Pope who was not duly elected or proclaimed while a duly elected Pope was still in office.  Now there have been quite a few antipopes in the 2,000 year history of the Catholic Church. Currently, there is a dude named Michael, living in Kansas with his mom, who claims to be the legitimate pope.  Pope Michael of Kansas is not the legitimate Pope.  Pope Michael might be legitimately crazy.  But he is mostly harmless, albeit schismatic.  Now, here is the very salient point, neither Pope Michael, nor his mom can exile Pope Francis.  This is NOT to say however, that there have been times when powerful crazy schismatics (and their moms) have not been so harmless.  If you don’t want to get banished from the Vatican, you want to avoid being pope when power crazy schismatics (and their moms) try to seize the chair.  Saint Silverius and Pope Vigilius (and Emperor Theodora) learned this the hard way.  So did Sultan Boabdil of Granada and his mother Aixa of the Nasrid Dynasty.

5.   If you ever find yourself writing the greatest piece of Italian poetry of all time, don’t place the reigning pope in the “Inferno” portion of your “Divine Comedy.”  Placing the reigning pope head first in a flaming baptismal font whilst his feet are being licked with scorching flames of burning embers is also considered bad form.  Folks have written things they regret.  Be it the politics of the Black and White Guelfs of Dante’s day or racial issues of modern America, don’t get sucked in.  And once a person gets defriended or exiled, they can’t take it back.  Dante wrote the greatest poem of Western Civilization.  He died banished and he may very well still be in his own Purgatorio.

6.   Don’t start your own church. 

    • If you got a beef with the bishop of Rome and you would STILL like to visit the Vatican Museum, think before you post your 95 thesis on the cathedral door.  And then, even if you post on the cathedral door and you “accidentally” get excommunicated over the small misunderstanding, should the pope summon you to appear at the Diet of Worms, show up.  They say that showing up is 80% of life.  But I say, showing up and communicating is always key to ending a Vatican Exile.  What you DON’T want to do, is call the letter of Saint James in Holy Writ an epistle of straw, call the Pope the antichrist, get involved in a peasants war, hide out in Wartburg Castle and marry a former nun.  Name calling, canoodling, and hiding rarely ingratiates yourself with the curia and it won’t get you an invite to the papal apartments come Christmas.
    • If you may have had a legitimate annulment claim according to Levitical law, but it was nullified by “interfering” Holy Sees, Spanish in-laws, and the lack of discretion by German princes, but you really should like to see that new statue everyone is yammering about over there at the Sistine Chapel, then sometimes, you have to suck stuff up, buttercup.  Festering leg wounds may never heal, but a fickle heart clearly will indeed.

7.   Incidentally, the Baby Jesus stealing friendly feminist was actually NOT the first woman interred in the Vatican jail and then banished from Vatican City.  Interestingly, when the little Vatican jail (whose one cell overlooks the Vatican gardens) opened in 1929, the first inmate was a Swedish woman who assaulted a member of the clergy.  She was given psychiatric tests and sent back to Sweden.   The best way to enjoy the Vatican gardens is by WALKING through them via a guided tour, or from the top of Saint Peters.  But if you have an axe to grind and are on a limited budget, the jail does offer a nice few, for a low price, for a limited time.  But chances are, it will be a once in a life time opportunity.

8.   Don’t steal alms from the poor.  After WWII, an Italian man broke into a alms box in Saint Peter’s.  He was held in the Vatican jail.  He was not allowed to return to Vatican City.

9.   Avoid assassinating popes.  Sure, this may SEEM obvious.  But not for the reasons you may think.  
    • If the Pope dies, chances are, you just made him a martyr.  He goes straight to heaven and Catholics all over the world have a powerful intercessory saint at their disposal.  And he’s going to be praying an Assassin’s Creed (HA!) for your sorry soul. 
    • If the Pope does NOT die.  He will look for you.  He will find you.  And he will forgive you.  Then you will have an awkward conversation in your jail cell.  Avoid an awkward conversation in your jail cell; don’t try to assassinate the pope.  Plus, the Swiss Guard won’t give you a “bye” on your banishment from Vatican City if you ever get out of jail.

10. Finally, if you get hired as a butler for the Pope, don’t steal his personal papers.  And if you “accidentally” pick up his personal papers because you “accidentally” put your Sudoku game book on top of the Pope’s first draft of Deus Caritas Est.  Don’t “accidentally” give them to an Italian journalist.   You will find yourself banned from Vatican City.  Especially if the original title of the encyclical was tentatively; “What’s love got to do with it?” 

--Regina Hiney, Roamin' IC Correspondent

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

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.

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, 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.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Handy Dandy Hiney Guide to Determine if Your House Blessing Bounced Off

So, ten years ago our family moved into a nice neighborhood in suburban Virginia. It had some bedrooms, some bathrooms, a basement, a two car garage and a decent yard with woods and grasslands for our six children to view as they walk past the windows on their way to the messy basement to play the X-box. It is a small piece of the American dream paid for with the blood and sweat and tears of a middle management government career and the lucrative pay of a Catholic school teacher with a humanities degree. We signed a 30 year fixed rate mortgage and a home owners association contract. We joined the neighborhood watch and we had our house blessed. Its what Catholics do. Well, maybe not the neighborhood watch, unless you feel guilty about all the HOA letters your family gets. But the house blessing. . .that's what we do. We do it because we remember the joyful event of moving into a house, to thank God from whom all blessings come, we pray for protection, we pray for sanctification and we expel demons. If we are in the south, in a planned subdivision with well kept lawns and six children, we also freak out the Southern Baptist, but that is never our intention. But recently, after a few encounters with the local fauna and a particularly bad infestation of mice and then (because of the mice) a soiree of snakes, I had an epiphany. I thought that maybe, just maybe. ..what if my house blessing "didn't take." I wrote to the priest who did the house blessing;
"Dear Father,Ten years ago, you blessed our house. In that time our home has been blessed with one bear, a family of skunks, countless deer, a cache of snakes, raccoons and enough mice to fund labs all over the world to cure Ebola. This year, the mice have been a thing. Today I called a dishwasher repairman who pulled a dead mouse from the grinder inside the motor. After much prayer, I have come to the unfortunate conclusion, that my encounters with little woodland creatures are squarely because I did not obtain the house blessing of a Franciscan. Thought you should know. In Christ,Regina Hiney"
Well, this beloved priest wrote me back explaining that with house blessings there are no warrantees and no guarantees. And that sometimes the blessings bounce off the family's home. I had no idea. I searched many tomes and ancient books of Catholic lore for this information. No where could I glean this precious pearl of invaluable knowledge. How does one know if one's house blessing has "taken?" I have decided to write a guide. The Handy Dandy Hiney Guide to Determine if Your House Blessing Bounced Off Your Family's Home" 1. If, upon one week of the house blessing, your stark naked four year old son flicked his superman underoos from the second floor landing in the foyer and they accidentally got caught on the chandelier in front of second story picture window and you did not own a 12 foot step ladder to remove the superman underroos from the chandelier so you had to go nearly 6 months with superman underroos with track marks dangling from your two story chandelier. . .further, if any guests that entered your foyer entered your home with the possibility that at any moment, the underroos could fall on their head like the sword of Damocles. . .your house blessing might have bounced off. Also. . .if you also couldn't turn on the lights to your chandelier for six months for fear of 1. Causing a smelly, smoky fire by burning dirty underroos and 2. Letting your neighborhood see your illuminated crap, your house blessing may have bounced off. 2. If, you have ever let your two year old and four year old play in your sandbox with two friends whilst you ran inside to change the clothes from the washer to the dryer and somehow in that brief period of unsupervised time, a pick up truck was able to drive into your backyard where the children were playing and (this complete stranger) was able to enter your sanctuary loudly beeping his horn and SCREAMING at you to get the kids inside and position his truck between the four children and a black bear. This Good Samaritan prevented the children from being consumed. . .and yes that IS a blessing. . .but IF you, the mother almost had to have a defibrillator treatment thinking about how the bear almost consumed all that succulent meat inside all the various underroos because she wasn't sure the children were wearing clean underwear (this is why you always wear clean underroons, kids) . . . your house blessing might have bounced off. 3. If one day, you noticed a large hole under your front stoop. . .if one day you decide to investigate the large hole under your front stoop. . .if one day you decide to investigate the large hole under your front stoop and discover it contains a skunk. If one day you decide to investigate the large hole under your front stoop and it contains another skunk. . . if one day you decide to investigate the large hole under your front stoop and discover it contains a whole skunk family; if one day you decide to investigate the large hole under your front stoop and discover "Ah crap. . .of all the skunk holes in all of Virginia, I had to get a Hi Falootin Fruitful Skunk Family." You know this because you see they are eating from an old open can of Fancy Feast Cat Food from a neighbor's trash. . .your house blessing might have bounced off. . .or been diverted to the skunk duplex that you had no idea you bought. 4. If one day, after you had animal control help you round up the Hi Falootin Fruitful Skunk family. . .after many traps and even more tomato juice. . .the odor of their sanctity still lingers. . .and a family of raccoons took up residence in the duplex that you had no idea you bought. your house blessing might have bounced off. 5. If upon potty training another child who did not like the feel of the "no frills two ply, no plush, thus will flush" brand toilet paper, decided he would wipe his delicate bottom down every carpeted stair as the soft plush of the white carpet (former model home, I didn't choose this color carpet, I have a humanities degree, but I am not stupid) was softer and because the delicate snowflake didn't like to wipe with his hands and maybe have to touch poop on account of the "no frills two ply, no plush, thus will flush" brand tends to disintegrate upon contact with skin, delicate snowflakes not withstanding . . .your house blessing might have bounced off. . .or maybe it just got soiled. 6. If you are a Catholic apologetics geek and you have ever answered your front door only to discover a couple of Jehovah Witnesses there wanting to discuss the importance of being a good steward of the environment and all of a sudden two Mormons ride up on Bicycles and want to discuss the restoration of the priesthood and you can't because YOU HAVE A KIRBY SALESMAN CLEANING YOUR CARPETS. . . your house blessing might have bounced off. 7. If you have ever been woken up to a blood curdling scream in the middle of the night, you immediately run to find the child and step on a lego but stifle the pain so as to offer succor and comfort to your child. . .further, if you find the child by the toilet in tears, crying about a blood clot and pointing to his or her stool. . .only to discover that they too have had an encounter with a lego. . .and you know this because you have physically mushed the stool with your "no frills two ply, no plush, thus will flush" toilet paper and it disintegrates easily and poo gets on your hand and you find yourself sorely tempted to wipe your hand on your white carpet. . .your house blessing might have bounced off. 8. If you know the difference between the Eastern garter snake and a Black snake because of all the mice they like to eat that live in your home. . .your house blessing might have bounced off. 9. If every piece of edible flora that you have planted by breaking every child labor law in the state of Virginia has been eaten by the fauna. . .your house blessing might have bounced off. 10. If you have ever received more than one Home Owners Association letters regarding bicycles, lemonade stands, garbage bins, naked children fleeing Saturday night bath night, fully clothed mothers fleeing homework meltdowns. . .your house blessing might have bounced off.

--Regina Hiney, Roaming Correspondent

Monday, August 18, 2014

"Boiling Bucket" Challenge Fails To Raise Funds For Mission Trip

Not quite boiling.
Barren, Minnesota:  Inspired by a viral charity challenge that involves achieving a monetary goal and ice buckets, the St. Bartholomew youth group issued a "boiling bucket of glop" challenge: donate or collect donations of $100 to their Fall mission trip to Appalachia, and one of the youth group members will get dunked with a boiling bucket of glop.  They earned $3.27.

Tom Wilder, the youth group leader, admitted he was not sure what went wrong.  "Clearly this idea has legs: just look at facebook these days," he said.  "We just tweaked it for northern Minnesota.  It would be like a warm shower on a cold day--and all our days are cold.  Of course we're not going to boil our youth group alive.  I guess some people didn't get that.  Good grief."

In the meantime, parents were outraged that their kids may be put in harms way for a fundraiser.  "What was wrong with the annual bake sale?" sputtered a mother who wished not to be identified.  "I already have 10 loaves of zucchini bread made.  I don't want my son home with second degree burns!  And who is going to eat my zucchini bread?"

Fr. Mark Thompson, the pastor, said that the idea for this fundraiser arose spontaneously from the kids, and "took on a life of its own before we could finesse it."  He also said that despite rumors, the "boiling glop" was not going to be liver stew.  "But it's moot, because we are having a bake sale, period.  No liver.  Nothing boiling.  Cooled off baked sugar things."

On the up side, according to Wilder, a nearby college fraternity has expressed interested in the structure of the fundraiser to combine raising funds for charity with freshman hazing.  He added that the boiling was a joke, and he was certain that, being college students, they "got that."

BREAKING NEWS: An anonymous donor promised to pay for the entirety of the mission trip if the group would stop doing any fundraisers for a year.  The parish has gratefully accepted.


Thursday, August 07, 2014

How family car camping is like the spiritual life

  1. Gratitude becomes key: gratitude for dry weather, warmth, fire, food, shelter, insect repellent.
  2. Lacking gratitude, you begin to grumble like the Israelites wandering through the desert for 40 years.  Sure, you helped us cross the Red Sea and escape violent death, but I just got scratched by a briar bush and where are you NOW, God??? 
  3. A convenience store, or fast food, could become your idol.  Resist.  If need be, chant: S'mores are my manna.
  4. You may be called to be prophetic, or at least alone and away from the griping mob, and leave your kids back in the cloud at the foot of the hiking hill, while you approach the summit of the crag alone.
  5. You may bring back rules for the young ones: "I am the Lord your God and you shall love camping with all your heart, mind, and soul.  Thou shalt not run around the fire ring.  Thou shalt not wear muddy shoes in the tent. Thou shalt not tell me you hear birds chirping loudly at 4am."  and so on.  This will teach them respect, and counteract anything they learned in The Prince of Egypt.
  6. You may see the promised land--a restaurant--in the distance, from the top of the hill.  It is not for you.  God wills you to eat hot dogs for a time yet.
  7. Choosing a campsite near a confessional is wise and prudent.  On the up side, multiple penances are near at hand.
  8. When you are just about to lose it with your kids, spouse, broken tent zipper, and damp fire logs, God sends you a chipmunk to watch.  Now it's all better.
  9. Rely on the Holy Spirit, always.  Having said that, it's good to be prepared for anything.  Bring matches.  (not that I'd know, cough)
  10. Spiritual warfare, thy name is biting flies.

BONUS.  The Body of Christ camps! But we have different vocations and gifts.  To wit:

Primitive site campers: Franciscans
Cart in site campers: Trappists
Drive in site tent campers: Benedictines
Drive in site tent campers within 100 feet of the bathrooms: families with small children
Drive in site with pop up campers: third order somethings
Drive in site with motorhome campers: probably Protestants
Group center camping: Megachurch for sure
Calling staying at a hotel "camping": related to Joel Osteen

Friday, July 18, 2014

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Daily Mass Attendee Prays For "A Boring Intention"

Urbana, IL: Dorothy Greenland, a long time parishioner of St Margaret of Scotland Church, has called a small riot by her prayers.

She's not speaking in tongues.  She's not praying for heresy.  She's asking the church to pray for "a boring intention."

"Well, my mother taught me that not everything we want is all that special," argued Greenland after a daily mass.  "For years I have asked the daily mass crowd to pray for a special intention, and it never felt right.  I know the intention, and it's real, but it's boring.  That's the honest truth.  So I decided to be honest and all this happened," she finished with a shrug.

"All this" was a pastoral council meeting convened to determine whether Greenland was being snippy, clever, demented, or suffered from self-esteem issues.  "I got lots of questions," Greenland said.  "No one was ever interested in my special intention, but they sure seem interested in my boring one."

Carol Rauchen, the chair of the pastoral council, said she still didn't understand why she just wouldn't drop the modifier.  "For an intention," Rauchen explained.  "Simple and to the point.  It's the modifier that bothers me.  My teenaged kids think church is boring, and this isn't helping me make my case that it isn't."

"Just seems abrupt," argued Greenland back.  "'For an intention.'  Please.  I'm communing with the Lord and His Church, not ordering fast food."

Fr. Stephen Stewart sagely noted that that the phrase seemed to be better changed to "for a silent intention," since the person usually wants prayers without spelling out the details.  But he said he wasn't bothered by the modifiers one way or the other.

"As long as it isn't 'for a salacious intention,'" he closed.


Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Meet budget! Sweat less! and more traditional music to boot

There is talk of an accordianitioner, but outside Polish Catholic circles, it hasn't quite caught on.

(I'm holding out for bagpipes.)

Thursday, June 12, 2014