ladychapel: Blue Moon (Default)
Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 04:42 pm
So I hear Obama signed something today, and it was "a big f---ing deal." 
ladychapel: (Christianity)
Monday, March 22nd, 2010 05:28 pm
I went to the Blessed Trinity Missionary Institute retreat this weekend. This is the secular institute I'm thinking of joining. Secular institutes are relatively new in the Church. They're for consecrated lay people who live in the secular world as opposed to a religious community. Like religious you do take vows and follow the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience, although they are lived out differently.

Actually, it is a pious union, kind of a secular institute in waiting. They need 50 members to be a full-fledged institute, and they have 19 right now, including members in Puerto Rico. I would be the youngest if I joined. Some of the members are quite elderly and infirm. This gave me some pause, at first. Was I joining a group that was dying out? That's not really the point, though. I feel called to this path, the path of a vowed lay person, and their spirituality appeals to me. I want to follow the call no matter where it leads. It feels very right for me as I don't feel called to either marriage or religious life.

The BTMI is part of the Missionary Cenacle Family, a spiritual family founded by Father Judge. Not Father Mychal Judge, the Franciscan. This is Father Thomas Judge, a Vincentian. That works nicely since I was born on St. Vincent de Paul's feast day and count him as one of my patrons. In addition to the secular institute, the Cenacle has three additional branches: The Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity (the sisters), the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity (priests and brothers), and Missionary Cenacle Volunteers.

The spirituality centers on the Trinity, especially the Eucharist and the Holy Spirit. The missionary aspect is lived out where ever you happen to find yourself in life. There is a special emphasis on 

The retreat went very well, and I told the general custodian that I wanted to pursue the discernment and application process. If you pray, please remember me and the Cenacle Family in your prayers.
ladychapel: Blue Moon (Default)
Thursday, March 11th, 2010 10:37 am
Remember NANO, the folks who have you write a novel in a month? Well, apparently they have another time period of insanity called Script Frenzy where you write a 100-page movie script in a month. Interesting. I've never written a script before. I'm contemplating participating in this.

ladychapel: Blue Moon (Default)
Monday, March 8th, 2010 11:21 am
I just finished The Book of Mychal, a biography of Father Mychal Judge by Michael Daly. It's the best book I've read in a long time. It provides much insight into Father Judge's early life, his work with the New York City Fire Department, and his conflicts with Church hierarchy. Shining through is Father Judge's amazing pastoral ability and his love for NYC and its people. 

Although it begins and ends with the 9/11 attacks, it does not dwell on the horror. The reader, however, is reminded of it occasionally throughout the book. It's ultimately as unavoidable as the presence of the Twin Towers rising above the city before the attacks.

Father Judge had tremendous love and admiration for the firefighters he served. He was awed by their work and saw the hand of God at work in the heroism of these men who would risk their lives and horrendous injury to save the life of people they didn't even know. But the book doesn't over-romanticize the culture of firefighters and at one point, looks unflinchingly at the racism, sexism, and homophobia that exist alongside the heroism. In such a macho culture, Father Judge keeps his own sexuality secret rather than risk alienating the men and their families that he serves. The author comes to terms with it by explaining that, although these men were certainly not holy, the actions they took in the course of their work was holy.

The same could be said for the Church, of course. Unfortunately, in this book, the failings and pettiness of the hierarchy are well-detailed but there isn't much to counterbalance it. Cardinal O'Connor, then head of the New York diocese, didn't like Judge, and he comes off very negatively in the book. That's a bit too one-sided. You would think the cardinal didn't do one good thing in his entire life.

The same understanding given to the brave but flawed firefighters isn't given to the equally flawed members of the Church whose function it is to dispense the most readily available path to salvation in spiritual life, the sacraments. That's too bad but I still heartily recommend this book. I know the Catholics on my friends list would enjoy it as would anyone who is interested in the stories of 9/11. It's a wonderful, uplifting portrayal of one of the kindest, generous human beings you will ever read about.

ladychapel: Blue Moon (Default)
Saturday, March 6th, 2010 11:48 am
I went to see the new Picasso exhibit that opened at the Art Museum last night. So what do you think about Cubism? I like it, although it's not my very favorite style. I find myself being initially fascinated but ultimately frustrated looking at a Cubism painting. That's not a reflection on the skill of the artist, which can be immense as with Picasso and Braque, who was also represented at the exhibit along with several others. It's just my reaction to the style.

On another note, I changed the font settings in Dreamwidth. Let me know if this is better.

ladychapel: Blue Moon (Default)
Thursday, March 4th, 2010 10:09 am
 Ok, now this is just plain ridiculous:

$10 for a bag o' dirt? How does that even qualify as a sacramental? Oh, wait, maybe you can bury a St. Joseph statue in it.
ladychapel: (Joy of Cooking)
Saturday, February 27th, 2010 03:14 pm
I made the first of the Operation Rice Bowl recipes this year, Papa with Chakalaka. I love that name. It sounds like a disco song. Basically, it's spicy vegetables and beans ladled over porridge. This version calls for a can of baked beans so it has that flavoring but a little spicier thanks to a chili pepper and curry powder. The recipe is here:
ladychapel: Blue Moon (Default)
Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 03:17 pm
Ok, this one made me laugh. Signed? Signed by who? St. Paul? No. It's "Bart Signed." Signed by Bart.

And don't mess with St. Paul when he's holding a "knife." He may have only been half-joking when he said "Would that those who are upsetting you might also castrate themselves!"

Don't mind me. I'm silly. Just got my taxes done. Accounting stuff always numbs my brain.
ladychapel: (Christianity)
Saturday, February 20th, 2010 12:38 pm
More specifically, LOR, that Vatican publication the mass media loves to quote, loves them:

Hot damn! They picked two of my favorite albums. I notice The Doors didn't make the list, I guess there's no surprise there, hehe.

Now, this article says "the Vatican has previously denounced rock music as the devil’s work." Umm, when did they do that? Was there a Papal proclamation that I missed or something? I call BS on that bit of reporting. I don't think they made such a broad statement about a musical genre, although I do recall hearing they got into a tizzy over John Lennon's statement about being more popular than Jesus, but they got over it - several decades later.

ladychapel: Blue Moon (Default)
Thursday, February 18th, 2010 02:19 pm
Ok, someone wasn't paying attention. I ordered shrimp with broccoli
takeout for lunch and brought it home to discover that they omitted
the broccoli. Huh. Oh, well. There was a bunch of other vegetables
instead. At least they didn't forget the shrimp.
ladychapel: Blue Moon (Default)
Thursday, February 18th, 2010 10:45 am
I still love Ron Paul. It's been pointed out that the Tea Party had its beginnings in his run for the presidency, but in this interview he talks about how its been infiltrated by neocons. He knows exactly what's going on with it.

It's funny. The two politicians I like the most are Paul and Obama, and you couldn't find two men with more widely divergent political philosophies.
ladychapel: (Joy of Cooking)
Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 03:08 pm
I made freshly baked pretzels last night in honor of Lent. I used a recipe from The Joy of Cooking. I usually don't eat pretzels that often even though I'm from Philly. Making them from scratch was well worth it. They were like Auntie Anne pretzels but not as greasy. I need to practice my shaping skills, though. The Joy recipe was good but had a comment to boil the pretzels for about a minute or until they float to the top. I don't know what it means about floating to the top after a minute. They floated the instant I put them in the water.

I'm going to get ashes later and do other Lent stuff. I'm giving up the same stuff as last year: chicken and alchohol. I break my alcohol fast on Holy Thursday and my chicken fast after the Easter Vigil.
ladychapel: (Companion Creatures)
Thursday, February 11th, 2010 09:45 am
 Aww, I'm glad someone found him and got him out. He's adorable.
ladychapel: Blue Moon (Default)
Saturday, February 6th, 2010 04:53 pm
I'd estimate we have about two feet of snow not counting the drifts. Those are higher. It's awesome. Lovely, light, powdery stuff. I tackled it before any freezing or icing over and it was a snap to shovel. 
ladychapel: Blue Moon (Default)
Thursday, February 4th, 2010 04:29 pm
 I finished my article while watching Simon and Simon reruns on Hulu. I haven't seen it years. Love it.
ladychapel: (Atticus Finch)
Thursday, February 4th, 2010 09:27 am
This is an interesting article about Salinger: After reading this, I can easily picture him being the person who wrote Catcher in the Rye.

To be honest, I didn't know much about him except that he didn't write much more after Catcher and that he was reclusive. I'm not a huge fan of Catcher in the Rye or Holden. It's not because the book is badly written. It's not, of course. It deserves its reputation as a great novel.

I read it in high school and could sympathize with Holden's frustration with "phonies." Still, I was equally frustrated with Holden himself who seemed not able to recognize his own flaws while happy to point the finger at others. I remember my English teacher asking me how I liked the book. I told her I liked it but didn't mention that I was starting to lose sympathy with Holden as the novel progressed. She said that she knew that I would like it. Apparently, she thought I would like it more than the other students. No, I didn't. I wasn't as disaffected or disenchanted with humanity as she thought or maybe even that I thought. The book I loved the most from high school and still do was To Kill a Mockingbird, and my favorite literary hero was and is Atticus Finch.
ladychapel: Blue Moon (Default)
Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 04:09 pm
I have an article due tomorrow. Time to buckle down, get cracking, and ... procrastinate!

ladychapel: Blue Moon (Default)
Monday, February 1st, 2010 06:42 pm

When I saw the book Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences by Kitty Burns Florey, I knew it had to be mine. Not only did it remind me of the quaint grammar class relic but it contained reminiscences of the author's time in Catholic school, an experience I share. Yes, I too, remember the bizarre disciplinary tactics employed by the nuns (and the lay teachers) such as having children stand in trash cans, charging a penny for dropping a pencil, etc. She doesn't mention the "stand up, sit down" drills that my teachers made us practice so that we would learn to jump out of our desks and stand at attention whenever an adult visitor entered the classroom. I so don't miss Catholic school. Thank God I escaped it all in high school.

But most of this book is about diagramming sentences. I toyed with the idea that diagramming sentences might have been a useful practice for a young writer. Perhaps it taught you how to analyze sentence structure. Reading this book cured me of that notion. As she described the practice in the first chapter and how it came about (it started in Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute), I realized that diagramming sentences was a dull and tedious as a I remember.

The book drags when it starts out but gets better when she starts investigating whether diagramming sentences will make one a better writer. The verdict: no. She demonstrates by trying to diagram sentences by some of the world's greatest writers with particular attention to Gertrude Stein and showing that they don't necessarily fit easily into the narrow structure of a sentence diagram. She contrasts this by showing that sentences that are completely wrong can be easily diagrammed but that doesn't turn them into good language.

Interesting and short read but it might be interesting only to writers, editors, and Catholic school survivors.
ladychapel: Blue Moon (Default)
Saturday, January 30th, 2010 09:53 pm
I've been watching old episodes of Wonder Woman on The whole series is available. Oh, man, the German accents they use for the Nazi characters are hilarious. They sound just like Inspector Kemp in Young Frankenstein.