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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

With Cream Cheese Frosting

What with all the holiday excitement, I didn't realize I had fallen so far behind in answering questions. I'll dive right in. I can do that because I have a slice of carrot cake to sustain me.

One reader asked how to fend off this area of argument:
Wicca was based on Christianity...or the other way around, I can't remember..

Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ who was a Jewish man (and God). I can't think that He ever met Gerald Gardner, who made up the word and the religion "Wica" in a book Mr. Gardner wrote in 1954. Mr. Gardner doesn't seem to have met Jesus, either.

And also this holiday table discussion:
The Catholic Church kicked out the Free Mason's because they were too powerful and that's why they hate Catholics.

I can't say with any real authority, but I don't think anyone kicked anybody out of anything. Do the Free Mason's hate the Catholics? I didn't get the memo. Oh well, if they do, what can I say? Get in line.

As far as I know, the Free Masons are a fun group like the Elks. They seem to have some secret rituals, but they are not Wiccans. (One less thing to worry about.) There is no need to discuss them any further accept to say that Catholics cannot be Free Masons, because as far as the Catholic Church is concerned the Free Masons function as a religion. For example, they have their own funeral rites. You can't be a Catholic and a Free Mason any more that you can be a Catholic and a Lutheran, although you could be married to one. We frown on that, too, but we soldier on.

We had had a question about whether or not if was okay to ask God to kill somebody. The answer was no, which prompted this question:

What? No HITLER exception?!

No. No Hitler exception. Even though it seems like a good idea, we have to leave that to the army, or a mutiny or a coup because we simply don't get to decide who lives and who dies and then ask God to act accordingly. Think of all the people who have been compared to Hitler, and the person doing the comparing fully believed the comparison! And as fabulous as it would have been if Hitler had died much sooner than he did, wouldn't it also have been better to not have him in power doing the things he did in the first place? People looked the other way, or helped him. What would have happened, for example, if when the Jews were banned from restaurants and other public places, the good Christians living there would have boycotted all of those places, not gone where Jews couldn't go? Not practical? Humbug. Just easier to ask God to take care of our shortcomings and cowardice.

I have a question about patron saints. Who would be a good patroness for quilters -- or even just people who sew? Thanks for any help.

There are two wonderful patron saints for seamstresses: St. Ann, the mother of Mary and Mary herself. Part of our wonderful Catholic Tradition is that Mary was a superb seamstress and made the cloak that Jesus wore. You recall that robe. The Robe. Richard Burton wound up with it. Or was it Victor Mature. I think it was Victor Mature. Richard Burton won it in the card game at the foot of the cross but it burned him something awful every time he tried to wear it and he flung it off on Victor Mature. Anyhow, it had no seams.

Somebody had to have taught Mary to sew. Who else but her mother, Ann.

The thing is.....Ann is not mentioned in the New Testament. The story that Mary could sew came from the same source from which we glean the name of her mother, books that were tossed out of the New Testament. The story goes that Ann had Mary at an old age and was so thrilled that she dedicated the girl to the Temple. Mary's feet never touched the ground until she was three years old, at which point she went off to live at the Temple where she was put to work as a seamstress. She must have had to learn to walk at that point, also.

So...whatever. Mary did have a mother. We call her Ann. I'm sure Ann doesn't mind, whatever her name really is. I'm sure by now she answers to Ann, what with all the mothers, grandmothers and seamstresses praying for her intercession.

We're still looking into the patron saint for High Tea. But I have located the patron saint for making gum disappear off your shoe. That would be St. Cipriano, a magician before he turned to Christ. Even HE didn't know Gerald Gardner.


Anonymous said...

I'm going to pick up from the last anon blogger who seems confused about when abortion is wrong. It is always wrong.
The abortion method is truely hideous. Check out AbortionNO.org.
Study the history of abortion, it was believed to be the answer to curbing the birth rate of undesirables- blacks.
As for help, the country is full of Right to Life chapters and others like them who will help the mother and the baby.
The most common reasons people support legal abortion is out of FEAR. What IF the life of the mother were at risk? What IF I or my daughter were raped?
After years working pro-life I can give these true accounts. A young mother of one, and a good Irish Catholic, discovered her baby's inside parts where growing on the outside, chances of baby's survival- none. She carried and prayed for her baby boy until the fifth month of pregnancy when her good Catholic doctor told her he couldn't let her go any longer. The pregnancy was poisoning her and her life was at risk. In a good Catholic hospital he induced her and she delivered her baby. The priest was there to baptise him. She and her husband held their child for the hour he lived. He was buried in the family plot. She had two more children after that.
Another young mother of one was told in her first trimester she had leukemia. She was encouraged to abort and start treatment. She refused and carried her son full term. Her cancer killed her when her baby was just over a year old. There is no greater gift than to give one's life for another. She died with no regrets. Her husband married again and had another son with his second wife, she is a wonderful mother to all three boys.
A college student agreed to give a fellow student a ride home from a party. He raped her in her car. She became pregnant. She turned to her mother for help. Her mother drove her to the abortion clinic because no one would want a 'half' baby- the rapist was black the victim was white. She later told me-"It was my baby too". She lost her way after that, drinking and partying, depression,and suicide thoughts. She took up with an abusive man. When she became pregnant again, he told her "you know what we have to do". He was insisting on an abortion. When he was at work she came to my house and hid. She wasn't going to abort again. She said it "felt like they were pulling my insides out". Her daughter is an honor student in high school now.
My daughter is in college now. She said last spring one of the girls had a baby. Every one was surprised. She had hid the pregnancy all winter. She is crazy in love with her little girl. The child's father? He was the friend of a friend who raped her.
These are not unusual stories really. I have lived my whole life in one state, any one who has lived pro-life can tell similiar true stories.
I have seen first hand "lamentation and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." Matt 2:16-18
After the pressure from the boyfriend, parents, or social issues is gone and the mother is truely alone in her grief, she often realizes all she wanted was her baby. But no one helped her see that truth until it was too late.
When abortion is no longer legal, our desperate mothers will see the helping hands that are there and will no longer be pushed into murdering their babies.

Anonymous said...

About people comparing others to Hitler. My sister-in-law's father stated that he thought the Pope had done more damage to the world and killed more people than Hitler. Presumably, that was because of the artificial birth control thing. Oh, yes, he was a Free Mason, too.

Leigh said...

...I digress from the topic but I have a question about the liturgy that no one wants to address in my community...

While reciting the Our Father during Mass, we hold hands with our pew neighbor. This seems to have our elderly/purist parishioners in a dither. Apparently, the hand-holding routine is not allowed nor sanctioned, but most pastors let it go as this is not a hill they want climb, so to speak. I think it is such a sweet gesture but I also understand that the liturgy is not intended to be a love-in. I'm on the fence and I know you'll be the one to knock me off it Sister. What say you?

Sanctus Belle said...

O....I cannot STAND the holding hands during the Our Father business, nor those who hold the orens posture during the Our Father...some of my biggest pet peeves and an all too common litugical abuse.

ann nonymous said...

I can't wait to hear what Sister has to say about the practices surrounding the Our Father!

Kirsten said...

What about a patron saint for female blacksmiths (not farriers), or even for artist blacksmiths in general?

Sarah - Kala said...

I have found that if I keep my hands folded in front of me during the Our Father, with my head down, eyes closed, people who like to join hands during it will see I am not going to. I'm tuned in to God, not the question of do I or don't I join hands? I have found that when I attend daily Mass and someone else is in the pew, they usually grab my hand before I can posture in prayer. Ugh. But you know what? I'd rather respond lovingly to them than gruff and get my knickers in a twist over it. How much of a Christian am I in that senerio? Not much. And, I feel sorry for them 'cos I have ICE COLD hands (anemia).

My pet peeve is singing the Our Father. I'd rather just pray it.

Anonymous said...


I'm really confused about where you're coming from and what you're trying to say. I'm sure there is sarcasm in there, but it is obfuscating your post. If someone is driving you bananas and you want to tell them what is what but are not willing to share the burden which you may not see, I think there is a time to commit the other to the care of God and walk aaway. God can take care of them, and He may well have another person in mind. We can only do what we can do, and at times our sphere of influence is necessarily small.


Arkanabar Ilarsadin said...

My views and tastes have grown vastly more conservative as I've aged, learned, and started applying logic.

Regarding singing the Our Father: there was a chant that I recall from some 30-35 years ago, that I would have no objection to singing again. It seemed like Gregorian, but may not have been.

But then there's the song version I learned 25 years ago -- "Ou-wer Fa-Ther who aaaart iiiin heaven (bum bum bum) hallow-wed bee thyyy naaaame....." with a repeat of "Our Father, who art in heaven" inserted before "deliver us from evil." I would be just as pleased if it completely disappeared from the liturgy forever.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of prayer posture, I've wondered about difference between the 'usual' palms together gesture and the arms crossed on the breast one. Do they mean different things? Are there times when one is more appropriate (or traditional) than the other?

I don't like holding hands for the Our Father, either. But, it seems awfully difficult to communicate "I don't hold hands while praying" without seeming to say "I won't hold YOUR hand."

Traveling Man said...

For the record, Freemasonry in the United States takes no position with respect to any religious denomination.

It is my understanding that some anti-Catholic articles appeared in the Scottish Rite Journal some years ago. They were the, (ignorant), opinions of individual Brethren and were not the official position of any U.S. Grand Lodge or Scottish Rite Valley.

The Roman Catholic Church's opinion notwithstanding, Freemasonry is not a religion. Belief in a Supreme Being is required for membership. Beyond that, a man's religious convictions are left to his own conscience. Freemasonry is no more a religion than the Lions, Civitan, or the Elks. These groups extend membership to persons of all religious faiths, (thus "preaches relitavism") as does Masonry, but strangely are never singled out for attack.

Beyond being just a "fun group" Freemasonry teaches rectitude of conduct and principles that are not in conflict with the tenets of any of the world's major religions. (Unless tolerance is a principle lacking in your religion.)

As for funeral rites, my college fraternity has its' own funeral service, as does the United States Military - but strangely these are not considered "religions". It's time for these spurious claims to be put to rest. But then again, how long did it take the Roman Catholic Church to reverse themselves on Galileo, Joan of Arc, the Knights Templar, and the burning of Witches?

Be Well,

Traveling Man

Anonymous said...

I thought St Clare was the patron saint of needleworkers?


Anonymous said...

No one EVER tries to hold my hand during the "Our Father". Perhaps it's because I always have a child in one arm during Mass and the other hand has either spit or snot from that child on it. The eight kids are spaced just right to ensure a constant supply of bodily fluids for the past 17 years.

Greg Stewart said...

Secretly, I have to admit, I have a special fondness for the Catholic church. Its my opinion that the Catholic Church dislikes Freemasonry because of its open acceptance of men of all faiths, which can easily be construed as ecumenical.

Through various bulls, several pontiffs have put the kibosh on Catholics being members.

But the questions I have is was Jesus a Catholic? Wouldn't it follow suit that the Catholic Church would be more like Judaism, given Jesus's career choice?

Heather said...

I wish we wouldn't sing the "Our Father" either because when we say "deliver us from evil" it always comes out as "eeee-vile" which makes me want to laugh as I think about various movies (Like "So I Married an Axe Murderer") which is NOT what I want to think about during Mass.

Anonymous said...

I'm not crazy about singing the Our Father prayer either. I'm reminded of a thought from somewhere that the definition of church music is "any song sung one octave higher than the rest of the congregation can sing". Pretty much covers it!
As for Jesus being Catholic-yes He is, considering catholic means universal...He came for the whole world. Not to mention it was He who started His Church.

Anonymous said...

Concerning those who are perplexed as to why the Church forbids membership in the Masons, here is a good summry explaining our difficulty with Masonry.


It would also serve us well to recall a little history.

The French Revolution was an attack fomented by Masons upon the Church and the crown. The Vendee of France were virtually wiped out during the Revolution precisely because they would not give up the Catholic Faith.

As another example, witness the martydom of Blessed Miguel Pro and other brave priests and Catholic faithful of Mexico who were killed by the Mason-led government of Mexico because of their faith.

I don't recall the Elks ever leading such a persecution against the Church as the two examples I have given here.

Anonymous said...

Good job anon

Anonymous said...

Is this blog a forum for particularizing our favorite and least favorite parts of the Catholic Mass?
Or is this a light hearted spoof kind of blog that pokes winking fun at those nutty Catholics.
Did you all think that sr mm was Really a Catholic 'nun', or did none of you actually think that in the first place.

Anonymous said...

....I cannot STAND the holding hands during the Our Father business, nor those who hold the orens posture during the Our Father

What is the "orens" position?

Sarah - Kala said...

I think it's with hands held up and out with palm facing up. You know, like the "Lord We Lift Your Name On High" cd commercials. It seems rather "evengelical" to a traditional Catholic.

Anonymous said...

maybe we should all just say an Our Father, together, at our individual cubicles, or cuticles, as the case may be, just be sincere at it should work out ok

maybe we'll even stop trashing another's faith practices not our own, for once, or trying to control it, one way
or another

RadioPie said...

What a sweet kitty cat!

Ok, Killing Hitler thing:
It was because of Hitler's cruelty that so many nations stepped in and started WWII in order to stop him. We all know that war results in a whole pile of technological/medical advancements - originally intended to distroy foreign armies or treat our own, but they are often applied to civilian populations after the wars end. For example, it was then that they started using pennicillin to treat wounds, etc. for soldiers, and eventually for us citizens.

So Hitler = War = Medical advancements = pennicillin = saved lives.

Well, not exactly like that, but close. I'm sure they would have figured out the whole pennicillin (I know I'm probably spelling it wrong) thing anyway, but the whole urgency of wartime probably sped it up.

AND - I know that the lives saved by 1940's technological advances in the years following the war probably don't yet equal the amount of people actually killed by Hitler's armies, but we're getting there.

So, killing Hitler BEFORE he had a chance to kill a bunch of people would have prevented a war and thus prevented a stimulated economy and even thus-er (?) derailed tech. advances and maybe have pushed back the internet for a few more years.

Sigh. Almost done.
In conclusion, everything happens for a reason, so don't ask God to kill people for you. Don't do it yourself either.

*panting* Done.

Oh yeah, that cat is still cute!

RadioPie said...

Oh and on an ironic note, I am allergic to pennicillin. It makes me break out in death.

Anonymous said...

predictions for 08, anyone?

Anonymous said...

anon post 11:14am:"Is this blog a forum for particularizing our favorite and least favorite parts of the Catholic Mass?
Or is this a light hearted spoof kind of blog that pokes winking fun at those nutty Catholics.
Did you all think that sr mm was Really a Catholic 'nun', or did none of you actually think that in the first place."

(1)Maybe I'm as dumb as a box of rocks and as gullible to boot but yes...I do indeed think Sr.MM is a real nun.(2) While she is poking fun and pandering for a laugh or two, she is also ministering in her own light-hearted way. I have never found any of her substantive advice/answers to be out of step with Church teaching.I don't think this is a tongue-in-cheek-make-fun-of-Catholics blog. At all.

Why so cynical Mr. Anon? Not all Catholics sing in hushed tones and flagellate for entertainment. Some of us smile and laugh. And we're still 100% Catholic. And Sr. MM is 100% nun. And if she's not, it makes me happy to think she is.

Traveling Man said...


There were Freemasons on both sides of the French Revolution. The common misconception that Freemasons formented the movement and Reign of Terror began with Augustin Barruel, and Mémoires pour servir à l'Histoire du Jacobinisme. The claims made in this work have been subsequently disproven by later scholars.

As for Fra. Miguel Pro and the circumstances surrounding the Cristeros War in Mexico, perhaps we should also take into consideration the decimation of the native population by thier Catholic Majesties of Spain, the role of the Church in propogating class dvision and the collection of wealth in the hands of the few.

As for Plutarco Calles being a Freemason, there are branches of Freemasonry that do not require belief in a Supreme Being as U.S. Masonry does. These branches are in the minority throughout the world and are unrecognnized by "mainstream" Masonic bodies. At present, I am researching the quote that appeared in La Tribuna, and will respond when I have concluded that research if I can do so in a timely manner, before this post moves off the page.

Be Well,

Traveling Man

Joyful Catholic said...

Beerstein said "Predictions for;08 anyone?" Not really...
I only wish Laura Ingraham would have run and had been able to debate Hilary in Iowa. Oh to dream. She'd have Hil curled up in the fetal postion at the bottom of the pulpit whimpering like a puppy. I CAN dream. But one dream did come true, Hilary lost 9 points. Cool beans.

I'd like Fred Thompson, but Romney might have to be the guy. Hoo nose?

Anonymous said...

Well, cathmon/shrimp,
I think it's been said elsewhere, that she isn't really a Catholic nun...but we'll just never know for sure...
So you think this is what it is to be a joyful Christian? Or could it mean, something, not less, not cynical, as you judge, but, something, much more?
The humor here is, cynical, and unlike the humor of a lot of 'real' nuns that many of us have the privilege to interact with.
I'm not saying it's not funny, in a halloweenie sort of way. But I wouldn't so limit our definition of what it means to be a joyful Christian, either, I know this joy, and this ain't the limit, the be all and end all...it might have a splash of this, perhaps, and yet it is much much more as well!
love ya

Anonymous said...

Christ has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped, but His by essence and by nature.
- Pope Pius XI

Anonymous said...

No, you don't pray to God to kill insert-evil-guy-du-jour-here, but you certainly CAN kill him yourself. And you can pray for guidance to do it quickly and efficiently.

Or else there would be immoral implications in being a soldier. And we know there are not.

What did you think St. Joan of Arc did with that sword of hers? The youngest warrior-leader of a country into victory in a long and bloody war. And the patron saint of France, no less. That's m'girl.

~joanie fan

Peter Clatworthy said...

Traveling Man is quite correct about the vast bulk of American Freemasonry.

In England, our Grand Lodge requires a belief in God and the immortality of souls.

The Swedish/Finnish Grand Lodge is strictly a Christian form of Freemasonry.

The Grande Orient de France does not require any such statement or declaration.

And so, on this issue, Freemasonry itself is divided.

As a Catholic, and a Freemason, it pains me that my Catholic Masons and I are excluded from the Eucharist.

Just to put matters straight on this important, and painful issue, the current situation is that you CAN be a Freemason and a Catholic.

However, you are forbidden from receiving Holy Communion because the Church's policy is based upon the erroneous notion that Freemasonry is somehow a single, anti-Catholic body, which it clearly is not.

Peter Clatworthy
Grand Secretary
Grand Lodge of All England

Anonymous said...

Every once in awhile I come across someone who says Hitler was Catholic! I think it is true he was born into a Catholic family, but according to Albert Speer's autobiography Hitler never went attended Church and didn't think too highly of any Church. Anyway, when someone says old Hitler was Catholic, I say to them is, "I WISH Hitler had been Catholic... if he had been, he might have obeyed God instead of satan! He might have done more good in the world instead of so much evil."