Wednesday, March 29, 2006
In the world of Photoshop manipulation and digital art, an "art deck" card is meant to be a miniature done on a card that is the size of a standard playing card. I was thinking about holy cards and how rather than the "glow-y" type saint or depiction of Christ, I wanted something with (a) a little more teeth and edge, and (b) stands for CATHOLIC, with a capital "C".
I played with some images that I took from various sites on the Internet, so this is simply for your enjoyment - no copyright violations here.
This is what I hope will be one of a series of Digital Hairshirt holy cards - I call this one, "Gift of the Transubstantiation."
Let me know what you think . . .
Monday, March 27, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Fr. Jim describes it best:
"A fun meme from Omis at Higher Plane, whose responses were much funnier and made more sense than most of mine. The only modification I made was to skip purely instrumental pieces with titles like Adagio in G from movement such-and-such of concerto for three violins. Any bloggers who want to play, consider yourselves tagged. Instructions: Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. NO CHEATING."
Here is what my all-knowing iPod Nano told me (caveat: my husband loaded a bunch of CDs into my iTunes, which were updated on my iPod, so some of this music does NOT reflect my taste):
How does the world see you?
Hyperactive! (Thomas Dolby)
Will I have a happy life?
Make Me Smile (Chicago)
What do my friends really think of me?
Baby, I'm a Star (Prince)
What do people secretly think of me?
Can't Cry Anymore (Sheryl Crow)
What should I do with my life?
The Red Strokes (Garth Brooks) - what the . . .? This is one of my husband's songs!
Will I ever have children?
Take a Chance on Me (Erasure) - btw, I have two.
What is some good advice for me?
Groove is in the Heart (Dee-Lite)
How will I be remembered?
Forever Young (Alphaville) - this is the music played at the prom in the movie "Napoleon Dynamite." Go on, ask me if I killed any wolverines in Alaska this summer . . . heck yeah!
What is my signature dancing song?
Stumble and Fall (Cock Robin) - pretty funny considering how unrythmic I am!
What do I think my current theme song is?
Irish Drinking Song (Black 47) - YEAH!!! Who's up for a pint, then?
What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
Strong Enough (Sheryl Crow)
What song will play at my funeral?
Tijuana Taxi (Hern Alpert & the Tijuana Brass) - I would like something festive at that time.
What type of men/women do you like?
Blue Jean (David Bowie) - I read that as meaning "unpretentious"
What is my day going to be like?
Take a Chance on Me (Abba) - funny that the same song came up under "children" above, since I consider myself in the child care profession - I am a family lawyer and deal with childish types most days . . .
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Jesus' anger was justified. He was not afraid to turn that anger into action and do some housecleaning, literally. That's the message of the Gospel - it's not enough to know that the moneylenders and dove salesmen were in violation of the Ten Commandments, as we all heard in the first reading of yesterday's Mass, you have to take action against them. I would like to think is why the Catholic blogosphere does what it does.
I would also offer this thought - the moneylenders are not just those who bring their monetary exchanges into the temple, they are also those who bring their agendas into the Church, the ones who rail against what they perceive are unfair rules of the Church. There is no compromise - the temple is either a House of God or not. Jesus did not say to them, "Well, I'll give you Thursday mornings to conduct your business," nor did He say, "Look, just move over to the side or at least try to keep it down, willya?" He made a scourge and threw over their tables and drove them out the door. This wasn't a fit of pique - it was His Divine Intervention to keep holy what He had made thus. Let us pray that He will give us the Wisdom to know when the mess has accumulated and take the action to rid ourselves, our Church, of it.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Friday, March 17, 2006
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Announced in the Mass this day is the fact that my parish has a dispensation to abstain from the ban on meat this Friday in order to celebrate St. Patrick's Day provided that one follows the Lenten sacrifice on another day this week.
(I don't know if this will satisfy the Chief Caveman over at the Lair of the Catholic Cavemen, who has his own post on this issue - and I can agree with him that I don't like it when a feast day is moved to a Sunday for convenience's sake - but good Lord, we're talking St. Patrick's Day here! Don't be daft, boyo, the Irish have been thorugh enough sacrifice, what with the Hunger an' havin' to be puttin' up with the likes of gobsh*tes like the Kennedys!)
Honey, get the water boiling . . .
I have the good fortune to be of Irish descent through me Da, and you can be sure I'll be celebratin' the Saint's good day this coming Friday, I will.
But, póg mo thóin, St. Patrick's Day is falling on a Friday! In Lent! How am I to be havin' me corned beef and cabbage (which, by the way, is an Irish-American tradition, those fine Jewish lads showing the Irish lads in Amerikay a replacement for mutton) if I have to abstain from meat!?!?
Some paddies don't have such a problem, they don't. Seems in certain dioceses, the Bishop has gone and given a dispensation for local folk. Now, I amn't sure if me own diocese has done that and I will have to be inquiring of His Grace, BishopTod Brown, if he will be doin' the same here in the O.C.
And if himself doesn't? As Father Jack Hackett would yell - "Feck!"
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Egad, I just realized that yesterday was the anniversary of my maternal grandmother's birthday. Ah, Grandma always knew I could run a little behind, so I am sure she would understand . . .
Wanda was the first child of Polish immigrants, Apolonia and Stanislaus Witowski, their new baby born March 10, 1908, in the United States to where they had immigrated only a few years before, coming through Ellis Island.
After living for awhile in New York City, the family - now with three more children, John, Stanley, and Edward - moved to Michigan. It was there that Wanda went through an episode in her life that she never forgot - the dreaded Spainish Influenza that raged after WWI. The picture above is a digital collage I did, showing Wanda at about the age she would have been during the plague, and her memories of it that years later she told me: "I remember the white sheets, blowing in the wind, that people hung to show there was sickness in the house." I believe her father and a brother contracted the flu, but thankfully recovered.
The family moved back to New York City and years later Wanda attended nursing school and became what is known as an "infant nurse," because she loved the babies. While working at a children's hospital, a Polish man came in to visit his young nephew who was recovering from having his appendix removed. That man, Michael Koretzky, noticed the handsome young nurse and began his courtship. They married and their first child, Dorothy, would later become my mother.
Wanda loved her family. After the death of her mother in 1960, she brought her father into the two-family row house she owned with Michael in the Bronx. It was a cozy arrangement - in the downstairs apartment lived her and Michael, her father, and her oldest son, Michael (who, as a dutiful Polish son, would not move away from his parents until years later when he finally married), while in the upstairs apartment lived her daughter, Dorothy, with her husband Frank, and their three children. For us kids, it was an ideal situation, as we had the run of the house and Grandma was never too busy for us. Her kitchen was a magnet for us, and the nightly "coffee and cake" was a tradition. I remember Saturday nights - Mom would set Grandma's hair in pin curls for church the next day in her living room, all eyes glued to "The Lawrence Welk Show" on the TV.
Wanda was a faithful member of St. Brendan's parish and she would correct us if we even remonstrated, "Aw, geez . . .", insisting we were still taking the Lord's name in vain. On Christmas Eve, she would prepare the traditional 12-course viglia, and her cooking could rival the top chefs of the world.
She was a strong, strong woman and when I briefly served in the Army as a young woman, she told me how proud she was as she had wanted to serve during WWII but could not because of her family. Of course, during the war she sternly lectured my mother to cross the street if a sailor or serviceman approached since they could "seduce" her. My mother didn't quite know what "seduce" meant but if her Ma thought it was something bad, she's better do it.
During a brief hospital stay in 1978, I visited her one fall day after leaving my classes at New York University and walking up to Mother Cabrini Hospital. When I got to the hospital, I sensed a buzz in the atmosphere. I went to my grandmother's room to find her standing on her bed, tears running down her face that had a huge smile on it, and excitedly watching the TV set hung from the ceiling. When I asked her what she was doing, she turned to me and began babbling in Polish. "Grandma, please, English!!!" She realized what she was doing, and switched back to English to joyously tell me to give thanks to God because a Polish Pope had been elected.
She buried her parents, her younger brothers, and her husband before she finally died in 1983. At the time, before her death, she had undergone a routine medical procedure that required she receive some transfused blood. Soon afterwards, her immune system began to fail and pneumonia set in, yet the antibiotics she was given had no effect. She became more and more frail until finally a heart attack took her life - now, looking back, we realize that in 1982 no one was checking the blood supplies and doctors were still trying to figure out the new disease called "AIDS" that seemed limited to gay men and Haitians, but no one suspected that a little old lady might have it.
Grandma, you were my hero. I kept to the promise you asked of me and so never named any children after you . . . but then, with a name like Wanda, that wasn't hard (she never liked her name). I do find myself using your expressions, including the whispery "Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes . . ." when I get exasperated. I still have your babka recipe and make it on occasion, and the smell of its baking makes me smile in memory of you. Now I share my house with my mother, just as she shared one with you, her mother - funny how things don't change, do they?
Sto lat, Grandma - your memory will last 100 years, it will last forever.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
But more so, I too have the problem of what to do to make Lent meaningful for me. There is so much that can be done that I can see how people treat Lenten sacrifice like New Year's resolutions - all gung ho at the outset, but gradually fizzles down. Her article this morning is a good reminder of to do something, even the smallest thing, to prepare for the glory that is Easter. I encourage you to read it, if only for the list of suggestions she posts.
Memorize a prayer + Bear a wrong patiently + Look up your Baptismal date if you don’t know it, and note it for future celebration +
Contribute money to a charitable cause + Volunteer at a shelter, soup kitchen, hospital or other social service ministry that could use a hand + Clean a closet; donate the goods + Visit patients in a hospice or hospital + Pray for missionaries + Participate in Operation Rice Bowl + Counsel the doubtful + Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation + Take your back issues of magazines to a nursing home + Pray the Way of the Cross. And be present while your pray. + Help a young person + Meditate on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary + Enroll in a faith formation class, and show up! + Pray for priests, seminarians,
Religious women and men + Make a contemplative retreat + Study the life of your patron saint + Forgive someone who has trespassed against you + Resist temptation + Resist again + Respect life + Pray for the dead + Visit a prison + Hold your tongue + Fast an extra day + Practice politeness + Decry war and injustice + Join the parish choir + Or sing at liturgy + Remember an old friend + Forget a grudge + Appreciate creation + Read a Catholic writer + Read another Catholic writer + Welcome the stranger + Pray for the well-being of families +
Reflect on Scriptures + Listen to your conscience. Really listen.