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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Good for the Soul

My penance for today is writing about penance.

I often have to speak in front of groups and Catholics and answer questions. That's what prompted me to start this site. I thought it would make things easier, as I could just refer people to Ask Sister Mary Martha and go home early.

Just as often in these situations I learn a great deal. I have been hearing for years that the sacrament of Penance has changed (again) and that it's okay to go with the flow which seems to be group confession. I have saying for years it's not okay.

Here's the truth: It's not okay.

Confession 101.

The Sacrament of Confession has indeed changed a great deal over the centuries. For one thing, we don't call it that anymore. Now it's called the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I sort of wish it wasn't called that because, although you do have to reconcile yourself with God, you still have to confess.

Maybe it would be best to call it the Sacrament of Confession and Reconciliation, but since it seems everyone is too lazy to go, we can't go around making the name longer. With a shorter name, perhaps people will at least talk about it. We could call it "C&R". How's that?

The truth is the Church has been working for centuries to try and make the sacrament more palatable for everyone. Way back in the early church after you confessed you had to do penance that lasted for years. You would stand outside the church in your sack cloth and ashes with a sign around your neck stating just what it was you had done to cause you to stand outside the church in your sack cloth and ashes, like being on the cover of the National Enquirer every day, only it's not just your picture, it's actually you.

It didn't stop there. As your penance went on you got to get dressed again and stand inside the church, at the back. Then, after more time, you could come in a little further, maybe stand at the side. You eventually worked your way back to the Communion rail. Everyone could tell just where you were in your penance by where you were located inside the church. They already knew what you did because of the sign around your neck. Embarrassing.

And guess what? People stopped confessing altogether. The Sacrament of Penance was fading away (sound familiar?) until some Irish monks invented the Confessional which I think would still be more popular than the face to face thing of recent years. No one likes that.

We don't call it the Sacrament of Penance anymore, either. I guess everyone is too weak and lazy to realize that in order to get to reconciliation there is going to have to be some Penance.

The Sacrament of Confession, Penance and Reconciliation. Way too long.

"CPR", an ironically great acronym!

So folks have been telling me that at their parish they do this group confession thing. This is where no one has to confess a thing and the priest gives the whole lot of them absolution, ignoring the fact....FACT...that group confession is only allowed in dire emergencies, such as when the whole town is gathered in the church because the aliens have landed with their killing machines and everyone only has seconds to live. That sort of emergency.

The excuse has been that there is a shortage of priests. You can have group confessions if there is just no other way to have confession at all.

But if this were 1862, you would get out the horse and buggy, put the harness on the horse, put on your only set of nice clothes and ride for a several bumpy, dusty hours into town to get to church and confession and then ride a several bumpy, dusty, tired and possibly dark hours back, unhitch the team and put the buggy away.

A far cry from jumping into the car, radio blasting, with a Slurpee and a bag of chips for the trip and videos in the back seat for the kids.

Which is exactly, if not verbatim, what the bishops said recently about group confession. The priest shortage doesn't count and isn't a good enough for you not to get to confession or for the parish to hold group confession.

Unless the aliens have landed and I just didn't hear them.


Tallulah Morehead said...

Sister Mary Martha darling,

I must admit I was quite surprised to see you illustrate a point about the Sacramento of CPR (One of my favorite Sacramentos, as my two favorite paramedics, Chance and Chad - I adore Chad, and I love to take Chance’s - administer the Sacramento of CPR to me on average once a month. When those boys turn their paddles on, it’s electrifying! Take it from me, just as I take it from them.), by using a photograph from the 1953 George Pal film of HG Wells’s "The War of the Worlds". (Darling Georgie. He was so much more than just a "Pal", if you take my meaning. How often I said to him, "Oh George, one more time machine.")

First off, I’m told it’s based on a book. As if that wasn’t odd enough, the book was written by Herbert George Pal Wells, a notorious and militant atheist, who devoted much of his life to attacking religious belief as antiquated and stupid, using his credentials as an intellectual and creative genius to counter belief in the Bible, which he saw as the superstitious ravings of a primitive nomadic tribe back in the Bronze Age. He was also an advocate of free love, a stance which gave some pause to Mrs. Wells, and to his mistress Rebecca West, but which was pure gravy to me, during our long nights of experimenting with evolution. The title of his movie "Things to Come" was a tribute to myself, as it was his pet name for me.

Anyway, in his book, as in all of his books, there is no God, even though the fictional narrator is religious, and the Martians are defeated by the natural planetary prophylaxis of evolution.

Certainly the movie can not be accused of Atheism; quite the contrary. Early on in the film, in fact just seconds after the moment seen in the picture you posted, the Martians show themselves to be no respecters of Christianity. The local namby-pamby non-denominational minister "Uncle Matthew" (He’s so secular-friendly, he’s not even a "Father", merely an "Uncle"!) marches out to greet the Martians, a Bible raised in his hand, a bright cross glowing on it’s cover, as he recites the 23rd Psalm off an idiot card. The Martians fry him mid-prayer. No loss. The man’s idea of a hot Saturday Night is a square dance with soft drinks that ends at midnight. Toss in celibacy, and he might as well be dead already.

So at the film’s climax, God smites the Martians, using the same special effects artists He shortly used to part the Red Sea for nasty old Blunt DeMille at the same studio.

But which God does it? That is the question. In the final sequence, darling Gene Barry (What a cutie. Next to John Astin, the hottest walking occasion-of-sin in the movies. Gene, if you’re reading this, drop by Morehead Heights anytime for the quick one I’ve been saving up for you for 50 years.) is looking for my dear chum Ann Robinson, God alone knows why. (Ask Him, would you?) He knows she’ll be in a church, but he doesn’t know which one, so he’s checking every church in Los Angeles on foot, while the Martians level the city, in a frenzy of otherworldly urban renewal.

He searches a Presbyterian church. No Ann. Next he looks in a Catholic church. It’s very specifically a Catholic church, as it’s full of lovely Hispanic people lighting candles and reciting rosaries. No Ann, and the Martians on his heels level the church and kill all the Papist Faithful.

Finally he wanders into a Protestant church of such extreme secularity that the minister is in a business suit. To further cloud matters, the minister is Fenton Hardy, the Hardy Boys’s uncle from the Mickey Mouse Club, and who later was the police officer who finds Baby Jane Hudson dancing on the beach in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane." There’s Ann. The Martians attack, blowing out the stained glass window. Gene and Ann embrace, waiting for death. But no. Having attacked God’s Protestant church, God, who was fine with them killing Catholics, smites them, and they instantly die, right at that moment.

George Pal’s message is clear: God allows the Martians to use the Catholics for kindling, but saves the Protestants. Apparently Pal was some sort of Huguenot.

So my question becomes why would you use a still from so clearly heretically anti-Catholic a work of rabid Papist-baiters? Just curious.

Cheers Sister.

Anonymous said...

Sister, you might be interested in what we are doing in the Archdiocese of Washington. There is a special Lenten focus on the sacrament called, "The Light is On for You." The archbishop has mandated that every parish in the archdiocese be open for confessions every Wednesday evening during Lent from 7pm - 8:30pm. No exceptions! The link below has more information. Joyful Lent!


Christine the Soccer Mom said...

Sister, you would also love what the Diocese of Orlando is doing (this weekend). Bishop Wenski wanted to have a 24 hours marathon of non-stop Confession (I still call it that), but was convinced by the priests that perhaps no one would be there at 2 a.m. But they wil still have nearly non-stop Confession over a two-day period. Details are here. I love this idea, and I wish it would happen more often than just Lent.

CMinor said...

Correction to Duchessof re her last comment:

Tallulah needs a really good copy editor.

And to repent.


Anonymous said...

Sister, before what groups have you spoken? Where will you be making your next public appearance? I, for one, would certainly like to see you in person.

Tallulah Morehead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tallulah Morehead said...

Cminor my sweet one,

Thank you darling. You are one of my favorite keys, unlike cmajor, which is so segregationist, being all white keys.

I took a quick peek at your profile and blog. I see your blog profile lists your age as 251. I'm 109 myself, so it's rare for me to have the joy of conversing with someone who is my so much my elder. How refreshing, and how inspiring that you are home schooling children at your age. Darling Sister Mary Fiacre has nothing on you.

My defatigable scribe, Little Dougie, shares your love of "The Lord of the Rings" movies and books, and of Douglas Adams, with whom he was personally acquainted, although he can not share your enthusiasm for the mess of a movie that was made from his magnum opus. Little Dougie was delighted to read that you have only recently discovered the Oz Books of L. Frank Baum, and by listening to them on tape yet. Little Dougie grew up with these books, though he took the antiquated approach of reading them himself. I vastly prefer listening to books, as it doesn't interfere with my drinking myself blurry-eyed.

As regards your caring comment: "Tallulah needs a really good copy editor. And to repent." Your concern touches me deeply, and I adore being touched deeply, preferably like a jackhammer.

As it happens I have a really good copy editor, a former professional one in fact, as Little Dougie was a copy editor at The Hollywood Reporter some years back. This is why there is not one misspelling in my comments. He did let the absence of quotation marks at the beginning of the title "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" slip past him, but rest assured I have slapped him silly for that bone-headed goof.

You might want to have a word with your own copy editor about your punctuation. By using a period after "Editor", and then spacing down and capitalizing "And", you presented a dependant clause as a sentence, which is it not, and you began both a sentence and a paragraph with a conjunction. Those are such grammatical no-nos! I do hope you are home schooling your wee ones better than that. Have you looked into sending them to a real school? I'm sure the nuns would have smacked your knuckles with a ruler for bloopers like that.

As to my needing to repent, I DO repent. I repent of my first, second, fifth, seventh and ninth marriages. Those were errors of Biblical proportions. And I repent the ten minutes I've spent dictating this response, as I could have spent that time enjoying a vodka martini.

As for confessing to a priest; I'm afraid I'm not a Catholic darling, just a fan of the Sister's passion. I'm a Christian Scientist myself, except for all the doctrines and beliefs. The Virgin Mary Baker Eddy was crazier than Brittany Spears at a tattoo parlour, but she knew how to fleece the marks like a pro.

If only I'd known Confession was a Sacramento when CONFESSION MAGAZINE was blackmailing me back in the 1950s, I never would have given them all that dirt on adorable Tab Hunter.

You could use a tad of repentance yourself my dearest, dearest darling, namely repenting of handing out unasked-for advice.


Tallulah Morehead said...

A PS to Cminor, only because I adore you so intensely:

I read with approval your remarks in your blog that the books of Ray Bradbury and the adult novels of Robert Heinlein, especially the group marriages you noted with correct disapproval in "Stranger in a Strange Land" (I married quite a group, but only one at a time.), might be a bit too much for pre-high school age readers. My bone-headed scribe, Little Dougie, read Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles" when he was a mere slip of eight years old, and later on made a point of becoming acquainted with Mr. Bradbury to show his gratitude, and this had the effect I fear, of causing his imagination to soar unfettered, so that he became vastly less amenable to being told what to think in Sunday School. Then he read the aforementioned "Stranger in a Strange Land" at 14, and I'm afraid it turned the little heathen into an atheist, which he remains to this day, over forty years later. Bradbury and Heinlein have much for which to answer. (I originally ended than sentence somewhat less awkwardly, but Little Dougie refused to allow me to end a sentence in a preposition. I prefer sentences that end in propositions.)

Cheers darling. I cherish you.

Your Librarian said...

Geez, I've been to group confessions, and I found them quite moving. There's all of us, sorry for being such sinners. Then we go up to one of the priests on hand and tell him what we're sorry for (while everybody behind you gets to hear). Then he blesses your little head and you say some prayers and go away clean.

I'd say you can make a case for individual confession, penance, whatever, if it had some kind of predictability, but they're always diddling around with it, so you don't know if you're supposed to sit in the chair, stay behind the screen, which Act of Contrition to say, etc. etc.

Plus no matter what you confess, you get the "go say a decade for the souls in Purgatory, beat it, I don't really like doing this." (OK, the "beat it, etc." is just what it seems like they're thinking.)

I don't expect any sympathy, a'course ...

Anonymous said...

Our parish has what they call "communal Penance services," but even though they include individual confessions after the readings or whatever they do first, I never go to them. Personally, I need some interior silence in order to get properly disposed for the sacrament. And it just feels really Mickey Mouse to turn the Sacrament of Confession into a group activity.

Your Librarian said...

Momlady, I see your point, but I don't know why you have to get all judgmental about group penance being "Mickey Mouse."

The important thing is that you feel bad about your sins, want forgiveness and are sincere in wanting to do better.

If group confession draws people who would ordinarily just carry that burden of sin around because their priest happens to be a bad confessor, and the individual rite of reconciliation has become confused and unpredictable, what's wrong with it?

I, frankly, find it easier to concentrate on my sins with audible prayers going on. My mind wanders in the silences.

Yes, this is probably a sign that I am undisciplined and weak-minded.

And I do go to private confession when there is nothing else available.

I just don't feel clean, forgiven or particularly uplifted by it.

Anonymous said...

sr jean, the nice thing is that it doesn't matter if you 'feel' clean, the fact is if you received absolution you ARE clean. I love not having to worry about how I feel, especially if the priest is abrubt or otherwise has a lousy 'screenside' manner. So long as I get absolution.

Your Librarian said...

Monica, I'm happy you love not having to worry about how you feel when the priest is a lousy confessor. Though I confess I can't quite wrap my head around what that might feel like.

Anyhoo, I don't use lousy confessorship as an excuse for not going to confession. I just confess I don't get anything out of it in This World, and I have to take it on faith that it counts for something in The Next.

My point is that if the bishops don't want people flocking to group penitential services, they might could provide better training in confessorship.

cattiekit said...

dear tallulah morehead: (take this as being offered in the spirit of :>) and ???)

Do you have your own blog? :>)

Wouldn't this stuff you commented with be better off there? ???

I'm with ceeee - you need to *repent* PLUS limit this stuff to your own blog.

I mean, what did all that have to do with Sr. MM's post except intentionally misunderstand it in the name of (some kind of) humor?

We kinda need to *stick to the point*. My humble opinion. :>)

CMinor said...

Thank you, cattiekit. I can take it from here. :-)

Tallulah, dah-ling,
How thoughtful of you to respond so promptly. Silly of me, of course, not to realize you already had an editor.

I regret that my beginning a sentence with "and" was apparently so grating to you. By no means would I want to give offense.

However, you must grant me the privilege of advanced age with respect to this matter, as we have already established that I am old enough to have discussed the matter with Mr. Noah Webster himself.

Begging Sister's indulgence to teach the class for a moment, I feel this serious question of usage ought to be addressed.

Grammar and political columnist James J. Kilpatrick (doubtless you and Jamie have crossed paths before? When he was an earnest young cub reporter, perhaps?) has written on this matter before, and weighed in on the side of judicious use of the conjunction as a sentence beginner. In a column published a few years back (sorry, I didn't save the date; his archive is online, however) he declared,
One of the popular myths of prose composition is that a writer should never begin a sentence with a conjunction...These schoolmarm admonitions are hokum. There is not a word of truth in them.
Later in the piece he explained,
Surely there are times when a writer wants a staccato effect...

The manual Whose Grammar Book is This Anyway? (2002 by C. Edward Good, MJF Books) goes even farther in defending this view. Its reply to the "No Conjunction Rule" is:
Not only can you start sentences with a conjunction, but you must--if you ever want to become a good writer, that is.

This assertion is defended over the subsequent two pages with references to works on usage and citations from various writers. I'll spare the readers here the full dissertation as I'm sure they can look it up if they wish; suffice to say that no less a personage than Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes shared my penchant for and as a sentence beginner.

While I'd like awfully to discuss more grammar and literary matters with you, I would not want to impose on Sister's hospitality further for matters not germane to the subject of her post.

And, by the way (okay, that is bad usage. But I couldn't resist): I fear I will require a thorough examination of conscience before I can determine whether offering advice unasked indicates repentance in my case. I'm a mom, dahling. It's what I do.

Anonymous said...

sr jean, I understand your point. I just didn't want you feeling as though it didn't count somehow. I wish they would at least extend the hours of confession.

Anonymous said...

sr jean, I understand your point. I just didn't want you feeling as though it didn't count somehow. I wish they would at least extend the hours of confession.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Cattiekit, you little feline darling,

Why yes, I do have my own blog. You can access it merely by clicking on my name, just as I clicked on your name, and was able to visit both your profile and your blog. Unlike yours, mine has content, but who says just because you have a blog, you have to have entries in it? Mine is interesting and entertaining, but yours saves so much time.

I was intrigued by your remark: "We kinda need to *stick to the point*" Why? Says whom? For what reason? In my lengthy experience, wandering off into improvisational tangents often lead to the most interesting tidbits, and can liven even the dullest exchange.

Nor does my rambling on in any way limit anyone else's ability to discuss anything they like here. I'll bet that in your coloring books as a little girl, you never once went over a line. When I was done coloring mine, you could barely tell what the original picture had been intended to be.

I haven't noticed Sister Mary Martha limiting discussion in any way, nor admonishing folks to stick to her established topics, and it's not as though she was known for her sympathy.

As it happens the Sister and I are old personal friends. In fact, we visited in person only this past weekend. My own blog exists solely because of her suggestion and encouragement, as a gander at my recent posting, "Flogging My Friends" would tell you.

This may strike some as odd, as the Sister and I could not be more different, but I can only believe it's a case of opposites attracting. In any event, I am sure that if she didn't want me posting comments in my own style, she'd slip me an email asking me to knock it off. She's not shy. Nor would she have posted comments herself on my blog, in her own inimitable style, as she has in the past.

My own pampered pussies, Clark & Godzilla, tabbies both, are quite free-ranging critters. Clark is sitting on my computer monitor at this very moment, giving me the random meow. It is unusual in my experience to find a cattiekit that is such a control freak that she would try to control what other people post in someone else's blog comments page. How unique you are, my treasured one. Perhaps I should email you in future for permission before posting anything in what is not actually your forum either. Tell you what; you take a deep breath and hold it in until I do, you adorable little furball.

Incidentally, the kind of humor you were struggling unsuccessfully to identify is called "Irony." Try using it in a sentence, such as: "I don't care for irony."

Cminor dearest one,

I find nothing grating about you at all. I was merely making the tiny point that, if you're going to aim a finger at other's perceived errors, you'd best first be perfection yourself, as no doubt you are.

Your thorough grammar lesson makes me truly envy your wee ones. What a joy their home schooling must be for them. You quite overwhelmed my poor little tattered Strunk & White. It felt exactly like being back in school again, right down to the sudden, surreptitious nap I found myself taking halfway through your absorbing lecture. I feel lucky to have escaped without a homework assignment. I'm sure that more than compensates your kiddies for the lack of social skills which one acquires going to school with people, not to mention that irritating broadening effect of being exposed to the wide variety of points of view one is subjected to when schooling with just anyone's kids.

I must confess that the great joy that going to school gave me a century ago was getting AWAY from my mother, but then my mother was a vile creature, an ex-vaudevillian alcoholic who gave new meaning to the term sedentary, so very, very different from you, my gorgeous dear. Joyously, in her declining years, I was able to show the depth of my gratitude to her, when she became totally dependant on me.

I passed this joy on to my own daughter, back when she was a little thing, by packing her off to a series of lovely, secular boarding schools, where we never interfered with each other's social agendas. She thanked me again and again. Indeed, on the rare occasions when she needed punishment, all I had to do was threaten to pull her out of boarding school and have her live at home with me, in my gigantic Hollywood mansion, and she would shape right up. You can read all about it in her revolting book about her rearing, "Mummy Darling", although it's not a fully reliable text, and chapter 14 is a complete fabrication. Those dwarves were LIARS!

Speaking of irony, which I did earlier, I was struck by one in your interests, dear, sweet cminor.

You are without question a pious woman, who takes her faith most seriously and deeply, and why not? What else is it for? (Really, what else?) You are also quite clear that charming, witty, and hyper-intelligent Douglas Adams is among your very favorite authors, right after Tolkein and the authors of the gospels. My secretary who types these missives for me from my dictation (I suffer from techno-idiocy.), Little Dougie, who shares your enthusiasm for Mr. Adams, and who actually knew the man himself, tells me that Mr. Adams was in point of fact a quite militant atheist who despised all religious faith as deeply as did Mr. H. G. Wells, and railed against faith at every opportunity, thus making admiration for him from a devout person such as yourself a testament to your own wide-rangingness. (Good grief. Is that a word? I'm sure you'd know)

No doubt Mr. Adams's tireless War on Faith is the reason God smote him down so young, dropping him in his tracks on a Santa Barbara sidewalk at the tender age of 49. What a lesson for him.

This has been such fun. Let's do it again very soon. And feel free to post any irrelevancy you please on my blog's comments page as well. I censor nothing.

Cheers darlings.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister Mary Martha,
I just found your site by accident. Yet I don't believe God thinks it was an accident. I am a convert. I married a fabulous man 22+ years ago. I joined the church when we began having children. There is soooo much I have learned from your site. Please post more "essays" soon. You are good for my soul. Can you recommend other Catholic sites I should be reading? God Bless You!

Nicotheconqueror said...

group confession sounds vain

Unknown said...

i confess that i'm pretty sure that sr. mary martha and tallulah are being penned by the same fabulous gay man.
i think you're great, tallulah.
sr. mary alternative

Tallulah Morehead said...

Thank you Sister Mary Alternative darling,

Sadly though, I must disabuse you of your interesting but mistaken theory.

I can assure you on a stack of Bibles of your choosing that I and Sister Mary Martha are NOT the same person! Neither I nor the "fabulous gay man" (Douglas sends chaste kisses) who types up my literary output for me were ever Catholic nor educated in Catholic schools, so neither of us possess the knowledge of arcane Catholic matters that the Sister displays so eruditely and generously.

Having been acquainted with the Sister for more than two decades, I can truly assure you that she is a genuine, 100% woman. As to whether she is gay or not, well, in a celibate, who can tell? I believe she is as straight as a chaste woman who lives with other women can be.

Lovely barking-up, but quite the wrong tree.

Cheers darling.

CMinor said...

Tallulah, deah,

Rest assured that I have long been aware of Douglas Adams'atheism; it alters my enjoyment of his work not one whit.

You'll find me a very catholic (small c) reader. For example, I have a passing familiarity with a few of the works of a certain author by the name of Patrick Dennis, who for some reason seems to keep turning up in customer reviews on the Amazon page of the book you promote on your blog.

cattiekit said...

tallulah DE-ah,

I can see that my untypical attempt to be nice cut no ice with you. ;>)

I am not unfamiliar with irony. Nor am I unfamiliar with the likes of you.

I find your ponderous, long-winded, self-absorbed diatribes masked as cosmopolitan wit tiresome in the extreme to read.

I imagine you *were* disappointed to see that I had neither blog nor profile for you to mock. Sad little thing that you are. (Picture my pitying smile as you read the preceding line.)

Since this *is* after all a site to discuss religion, why don't you take your putatively (self-described) gin-soaked variety of "irony" and leave it at the tiresome, self-indulgent blog you invite us all to waste our time reading?

Ta-ta, dahling. Whenever you find some publisher for your hackneyed sour-apple imitation of satire, puh-leeeze let us all know.

We won't be holding our breath, singly or collectively. ;>)

Sister Mary Martha said...

Go fight somewhere else, children. What if Jesus came right now? He wouldn't be very happy with anyone's behavior.

anonymous, there are so many good Catholic blogs I wouldn't know where to start. Google 'Catholic Blogs' and you'll see for yourself.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Sister has asked that we not fight, so I will honor her request and pass on answering Cattiekit's comments, and merely fulfill Cattie's request to let her know when I find a publisher. I found one back in 2001, and my book is available everywhere. Little Dougie actually has another book coming out in September, but I am not a part of it, which shows how little gratitiude he has.

Cminor darling, I am certain that were you to prowl about Little Dougie's book-stuffed apartment, you'd find many of your favorite books and authors, as your small-c catholic reading tastes are clearly similar to many of his, including several first-edition works by Edward Everett Tanner III, which is the actual name of "Patrick Dennis," the author to which Dougie has indeed been most-often compared in reviews and blurbs. He also possesses, due entirely to my industry contacts, which he shamelessly exploits, a copy of Tolkein's "The Return of the King" signed by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Phillpa Boyens, Sir Ian MacKellan, and Sean Astin. His complete collection of Douglas Adams's books are all signed too, except of course for "The Salmon of Doubt". He'd probably enjoy chatting fiction with you.

No Bibles though.


Anonymous said...

I think you'd enjoy Buskewitz's The Little Catechism on Confession... I have been using it for several years now and it'd awesome.

cattiekit said...


I apologize to you. Sincerely.

Tallululululalala: Please to honor us with a title. Simply laying claim to being published and having a book is not proof.

Don't bother if it's a vanity publisher. ;>)

Anonymous said...

"The Sacrament of Confession has indeed changed a great deal over the centuries. For one thing, we don't call it that anymore. Now it's called the Sacrament of Reconciliation."

Not quite right...

From the Catechism:

1423 It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus' call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father5 from whom one has strayed by sin.

It is called the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian sinner's personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction.

1424 It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense it is also a "confession" - acknowledgment and praise - of the holiness of God and of his mercy toward sinful man.

It is called the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest's sacramental absolution God grants the penitent "pardon and peace."6

It is called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to the sinner the love of God who reconciles: "Be reconciled to God."7 He who lives by God's merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord's call: "Go; first be reconciled to your brother."8

Tallulah Morehead said...

It's titled "My Lush Life". The publisher is Kensington Books. You can find it on Amazon.com.

Dougie's new book will be titled "The Q Guide to Classic Monster Movies" and is published by Alyson Books. Neither is a vanity press.

Thanks for asking.


cattiekit said...

Dear Mr. McEwan,

"Brings new meaning to the word tedium"! "....hamhanded....Disapppointing at best".

My goodness. The reviews are running 3-2: 2 say it's good (go figure) and 3 say just the opposite. ;>)

And *how* they say it!

I quote: " I rue Mr. McEwan's lack of originality. But the worst offense is what seems at first to be mildly humorous quickly becoms flat ans ultimately, not funny -- and mean."

How true. Your performance here certainly qualifies.

What's even better is that a reviewer said that your idea isn't even original.

Patrick Dennis' "Little Me" is apparently the opus in question.

Again, I quote: "If you are in the market for a mock-bio about an immoral, talentless booze-hag who stumbles into stardom, well, "Little Me" is the Filet and "My Lush Life" is the Happy Meal."

The same reviewer asserts that you thought your writing "was the best in your life".

He suggests, "Live longer, babe."

Can't *wait* for the classic monster movie tome. ;>D

Tallulah Morehead said...

Sweet of you to take the Sister's admonition so seriously. I believe there's a word for your apology to her: "Hypocrisy."

BTW, if you figure in the Publisher's Weekly review on the same page, it ties 3-3. And all of my print reviews by professional critics were positive, as was the book blurb from comic genius Barry "Dame Edna" Humphries.

Reader reviews are like blog comments pages, any disgruntled crackpot with Internet access, unable to reach print otherwise, can express their jealousy there. Remind me, what are the titles of your published works again?

Now I'm going to say a "Hail Mary" for responding, even though I'm not Catholic.

I'll relay your comments to Little Douglas when he wakes up. He was up late, working on a lengthy book piece he is being paid to write.

Cheers darling.

cattiekit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cattiekit said...

Oh (since I'm back from my little fit of rolling on the floor laughing at you):

Why should I crave to be published? Look at what they consider fit to print these days. (Think *hard*.)


My apology to SMM *was* sincere. I'm sincerely sorry that she has to know somebody like *you*.

Since we're postulating character traits about each other, you must be the sort of child who craves attention so badly that he'll take any kind he can get.

Even the bad kind.

Since you're obviously the kind who *must* also have the last word, I'm sure you'll exercise your limited wit to come back and blow some more over this.

Blow away and blow *hard*. The Santa Ana winds have nothing on you.

Poser. ;>D

Jane said...

Regarding the face-to-face method of confession--it depends on what you mean by face-to-face. I prefer to have a screen between myself and the priest, but I have also on a few occasions received the sacrament in the Byzantine fashion, which does not involve a confessional, and found it a very moving experience. In the Byzantine rite, one kneels down with the priest standing alongside, and makes ones confession while facing an icon of Christ.

Believe me, it's hard to get the words out when He--or a good picture of him, at any rate--is looking you in the eye.

cattiekit said...

The Russians have an icon called "Christ of the Burning Eye".

Imagine trying to frame your confession looking at Him in *that* particular incarnation.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.