The People We Love – by The Curvy Girl

This is a post from our contributor – “The Curvy Girl”

The People We Love

I had the wonderful opportunity of brunching and talking with a female friend this Sunday morning. It was an amazing conversation on our thoughts of “beige” Catholicism and under aspiring catechism schooling in our youth. I rarely write whats actually swirling around under these still waters or about my personal life, thoughts, and experiences. But there was a common thread of dialogue that was mentioned in our conversation I most admittedly have to get out. I also wonder if any one has had the same experience as I have? Of course after our long talk we stumbled upon the topic of love. Specifically the idea of Catholic love as we are called to experience in the progression of our life via family, friends, community, and significant others. Words like St Thomas Aquinas were spilled. And siting of the principles and ethics of virtuous love. ETC. There was one thing we came in agreement of. It was the idea of love and the action of receiving / acceptance, versus the all encompassing unhealthy consumption that is heavily prevalent in our social surroundings. I don’t want to tiff my hat here or appear elitist in all this discussion. But she really did hit a thought catalogue of ideas grabbed from retreats, novels, philosophy classes, sermons, books, heart to hearts, that i’ve had over the years.
She sited a Mumford and son’s lyric for her view point on this. It really gave me chills as she said it. And I must get it out and share it to everyone.

Sigh No More –

Love it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you /
It will set you free /
Be more like the man /
You were made to be

A simple lyric by a current pop Christian band, but still hard hitting.
Over the course of years now i’ve experienced a trepidation of interests that seems to highlight on just that key point. Enslave. Consumption. Entrapment.
I’ve had people expect my identity to mold into theirs, or theirs to mold into mine. For some reason the respect of separateness and unique soul whilst focusing on the Godly creative experience that is a relationship is overlooked. When two people join together and start to share time together as well as a life, something beautiful and new is created. It is truly unique. Two identities with separate view points loves and aspirations are experienced and shared thus bounding forward into a process of unique invention. That experience is life givingly amazing!
I have 30 years of unique experiences now – of travels, love, hardship, quarrels, novels, friends, food, tastes, etc etc. Why would I ever want to discount that? Why must I mold into you, or you into me? and lastly? Why don’t people ask more questions? Why don’t people want to learn about and from each other?

I remember having a long ethics class over the concept of external love, specifically in regard to our family members. How we must always regard them, respect them, and passionately love them in our heart of hearts, but doing so keeping in mind this one absolute fact. The person we love does not belong to us. Only to God. Only God, The Holy Spirit, and Jesus can possess us and set us free.

Blood of the Lamb laundry detergent takes on dirt – and sin!

Associated Chemicals announced introduction of its new laundry detergent: Blood of the Lamb.  Specially formulated in Associated’s labs, the new detergent includes potent anionic surfactants, stain-fighting enzymes, and optical brighteners.

Company spokesmen say it is guaranteed to get your clothes metaphysically cleaner than any other detergent on the market or any dry cleaning solvent.

“There is no way what we call secular suds – Tide, Gain, and so on – can hold a candle – an Easter candle or otherwise – to our new detergent.” said the company’s Lawrence Miller.  He offered customer testimonials:

“I washed my gown in Blood of the Lamb detergent.  It came out whiter than white, and brighter than bright!” John of Patmos

“This new detergent satisfies the rubrics and makes our guys look sharp” – Archbishop Genoavalli Salvatoriomissimo, Pontifical Academy for Clean Clothing

“Our youngest had an accident in the back of the minivan last week.  Blood of the Lamb made her jumpsuit as good as new!  And I had time to fix a martini for my husband before he came home from the office.” – Sally Hensinger, mommy blogger on CatholicSistas.

Catholic Scapulars Totally Different From Mormon Temple Garment

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The scapular undergarment that was part of old-time Catholic culture is completely different from the temple garments promoted by the Church of Latter Day Saints.

That’s the word from several Catholic bloggers who laugh off the idea that the two types of clothing are similar.

“The scapular protects a person from demonic attacks,” said Corey Pilkinson, a 2008 convert to Catholicism.  “That Mormon underwear keeps them from drinking beer or something.”

The temple garment, often called ‘Mormon magic underwear” by non-Mormons, is intended to remind church members of their experiences in the temple, according to the LDS website.

“The scapular and the temple garment are totally not the same” said Elizabeth Motterly, a conservative blogger.  “The Mormon underwear is no different from a Batman outfit; without his gadgets Batman is nothing.  The scapular gives you supernatual powers.’

The scapular declined in popularity after World War II but has experienced some come-back as self-styled Traditionalists try to prove their devotion to themselves.

Temple garments have also declined in popularity in recent decades but not as precipitously as Catholic scapulars have.

It is estimated that 30% of American Mormons wear temple garments today but less than 0.5% of American Catholics even own scapulars.

“Scapulars will come back into style when people start going to Latin mass,” Pilkinson said.  Which should happen when hell freezes over.

Devil tired of being Washington Generals to Jesus’s Globetrotters.

 

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Satan has been complaining that his narrative line is in a rut and his repeated defeat at the hands of God is boring.

“What kind of drama is it if the same side wins every time?” the devil asked.  Satan rejected the example of the Washington Generals who provide entertainment value by always losing to the Harlem Globetrotters.

The Generals were formed in 1952 and have toured with the Globetrotter for decades.  The Generals play straight man to the more comical and flashy Globetrotters.

The Globetrotters have won over 10,000 games against the Generals, while the Generals have won fewer than 10.

“I try to be a good sport but this can’t be good entertainment for the spectators,” the devil said.

The Bible guarantees God’s victory over evil, and indeed Jesus’ victory over death is a central tenet of Christianity, a drama that is regularly replayed in liturgies.

“You try being the lovable loser all the time.  It’s not easy.”  The devil had no comment when it was suggested when challenged with the suggestion that no one finds him lovable.

Priest riffs on Embolism phrase “protect us from all anxiety”; describes God as Giant Xanax tablet.

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Fr Dennis O’Malley of St Alphonsus Church in Naperville, IL used his homily to unpack the phrase “protect us from all anxiety”. That phrase, which the priest used to say during the Liturgy of the Eucharist, is part of the Embolism, and reflects what many look for out of God and religion, O’Malley said.

O’Malley told mass-goers that one way to think of God is like a giant Xanas pll. Xanax, a bendodiazepine drug, is prescribed to patients with high anxiety.

Entreating God to take away our fears and stresses is one of the most visible forms of religious practice, according to sociologists.

 

The Latin embolism phrase “perturbatione securi” can be translated into modern English as “anxiety” which was the word used in the Mass until 2011.

In 2004 a joint task force of theologians, psychiatrists, and drug company salesmen agreed that the modern psychopharmacology has taken over the function that religion used to provide. In addition to weekly services (Mass in Catholicism) people with anxiety should consider medication, according to the task force.

“That’s why I felt comfortable comparing Our Lord to a giant Pill” said O’Malley. “It’s really just pragmatism. Whatever works, works.”

The new translation now used in Masses in the United States uses the word “distress” instead of “anxiety”. The old translation:

Deliver us Lord, from every evil and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The new translation used since Nov 2011:

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant us peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The change from anxiety to distress is not as clinically important as one might think.

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) classifies Generalized Anxiety Disorder as number 300.02. While there is no classification for “distress” the word distress occurs in many descriptions of disorders, and anxiety disorders are marked by “significant distress”.

“God just makes everything better”, O’Malley said. “Like Xanax.”

Holy Crap There Was a Lot of Crying at the Men’s CRHP Weekend!

lamentations

Tear flowed like a river, said people on the campus of St. Joseph Calasanz Catholic Church during the most recent CRHP weekend for men.  CRHP stands for Christ Renews His Parish, a spiritual rebirth program that has spread like a crying virus throughout the country.

Observers could not believe how much crying happened.  “The janitor had to bring an extra mop to clean up the floor” after the CRHP brothers left for their closing mass, according to a St Joe’s parishioner.

Outsiders have speculated if readings from The Book of Lamentations, renowned as the saddest book in the Bible, are part of CRHP.  But insiders say no, they generate their own sadness without the help of scripture.

Stories told by redeemed Christians were said to cause the crying.  Although retreat participants were sworn to secrecy, hints of the stories leaked out.  Babies being born and serendipitous meetings with future wives were among the most cry-inducing stories.

“Every time somebody mentioned his kid being born the room erupted in tears” according to one participant who requested anonymity.

Stories about overcoming addiction and dabbling in other religions, although common, did not seem to induce tears.

CRHP participants stay over night on church grounds and are advised to bring several t-shirts because of how wet their clothing gets from all the crying.  Weeping often happens in hugs with other men.

Red-eyed CRHPers interviewed mentioned the ancient Greek notion of Catharsis – a spiritual rebirth caused by the release of emotion through intense weeping, is an integral part of the benefit CRHP brings to participants.

“Sometimes you just need a good cry,” one said.

The women’s CRHP retreat is the weekend after next and is expected to yield at least as many tears as the Men’s retreat.

Mephistopheles upset nobody knows his name

mephist

The demon Mephistopheles has reportedly been in a deep depression lately, sparked by the failure of most mortals to know or be able to pronounce his name.

Mephistopheles, most well known from the German story of Faust, makes deals with humans on a regular basis. His modus operandi is to propose and execute a contract trading the human soul in return for Earthly riches, power, or prestige.

Mephistopheles reportedly complained to friends about a lack of name recognition. “When I show up in a cloud of smoke, everybody thinks I’m Lucifer or Beelzebub,” he reportedly said, referring to other famous demons.

“Even that Rolling Stones song mentions Lucifer”, he said, about to the 1969 classic Sympathy for the Devil. “What, Jagger couldn’t pronounce Mephistopheles?”

Second Collection for Yet Another Building

collection

Mass-goers at St Anne’s were not surprised when a second collection was announced to raise money for another building on the church campus. “Another year, another building campaign”, said Monty Ferguson, long-time member of St. Anne’s. Parishioners interviewed agreed that the church’s main function appears to be constructing facilities.

Spirit in the Sky Bishops’ Favorite Song

spiritsky

At the summer meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” was voted favorite song.

Bob Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody” was runner-up in the lighthearted poll which was conducted by voice vote during lunch on the second day of the conference.

Other tunes getting mentions included some early U2 works and George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord”, even if it is about Hinduism.

Interviews with individual bishops indicated that the industry category of Christian Rock was considered a marketing gimmick and most music in that category was “pretty lame” in the words of one prelate.

Parish Now Serves Fair Trade Coffee; Says This Counts for Social Justice Work

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St Phillip Catholic Church recently switched the coffee served at parish functions to a brand designated “free trade” by international watch organizations. The free trade coffee will be offered after Mass on Sundays and at all formal gatherings and celebrations, according to Mary Beth Perkins, chair of the social justice committee.

Unlike conventional coffee sold at supermarkets, free trade coffee does not involve multi-billion dollar middleman distributors who take advantage of small coffee growers in South America. Instead, the middleman distributor is a smaller multi-million dollar operation that puts a cute little “fair trade certified” logo on the package.

The coffee at St Phillip comes from Ethical Edible Industries, according to Perkins. Ethical buys coffee beans from growers at 11 cents/bushel (in contrast to the 9 cents/bushel that the big companies pay). Ethical grinds and roasts the beans and sells the coffee directly to socially conscious groups. St Phillip members say the new coffee satisfies their obligation to work for social justice.

“It’s mighty good” said Jorge Ramirez, sipping some of the socially acceptable brew after the 9:30 Mass last Sunday. “And it’s fair trade!”

Fair trade coffee, formerly known as free trade coffee, has been growing in popularity at parishes throughout the country.

St Phillip members said they preferred this method of social justice work to directly helping dumb poor in the community, many of whom are lazy and just living off government handouts instead of working.

“I feel better knowing the small farmer is making a decent wage for his labors,” said Jim Fiveash, before getting into his Cadillac Escalade with an estimated 8 mpg.