The Roots: Dear God 2.0
Seeking After a Sign

A Few Odds and Ends

Sunday Night Journal — February 27, 2011

I'm not able to write anything very substantial tonight, so instead I'm going to throw together a few miscellaneous things I've noticed over the past week or so.


Simcha Fisher explains why she loves her ugly little liturgy. I'm much of the same mind, after many years of complaining and getting depressed about the dreariness of the typical Catholic liturgy.

This is your big opportunity. You can either clench your teeth, wrap your scapulars around your ears to block out the tambourines, and hightail it out of there as soon as you can . . .

Or you can think to yourself, “Christ is here. And if he can stand it, then so can I.”


I think I'm finished with CNN. I just performed a ceremonial deletion of the bookmark from my browser. I have a bad habit of checking in on several news sites fairly often during the day, which I really shouldn't be doing, as it's a big distraction from work. I used to check Fox and CNN about equally. I got disgusted with Fox's sensationalism, and the fact that they so often find some reason to include a picture of a girl in a bikini on their front page. So I quit going there regularly, although I still sometimes look there for an alternative view. But today CNN is running a very prominent story about anti-Catholic theologian John Dominic Crossan. Of course it's the usual fawning stuff about ideas that have been old for a century now ("Jesus didn't really rise from the dead! I know because I'm so smart! And also brave for telling advanced people like me exactly what they want to hear."). But I'm sick of it.  I can't remember ever having seen a similar feature on an orthodox Christian theologian. The reduction by eight or ten of the number of page views they get in a day won't hurt CNN, but it will please me. To object to stuff like this only gets the usual "You can't handle the truth!" response. Might as well just ignore it.

Why don't they get that this drives people away? Wouldn't it be more consistent with journalistic ideals to try to be...what's the term?...fair and balanced? Part of the explanation for the success of Fox News can be found in this sort of thing.


Here is a rather striking story about what really happens when a "Do Not Resuscitate" order is implemented and the patient doesn't die as anticipated. 


Cats Adore, Manipulate Women. The scientific findings recounted in the story are not nearly as remarkable as the title suggest--there is nothing in it about "adoring"--but they're still interesting. However, I have not found this to be true: "If owners comply with their feline's wishes to interact, then the cat will often comply with the owner's wishes at other times."

Speaking of cats, this one belongs to my mother, and sleeps on the back of the couch like this all the time:



Tomorrow the Carmelites I wrote about last week  formally enter the enclosure from which they will not emerge unless they become too sick to be taken care of by the other sisters, or, as was the case with the last four who preceded them, they're all too old to take care of each other. Here is one of their cells, the only private space each of them will have:


My first thought on seeing it was "I want to live here." As we were about to leave and were looking for the way out, the extern sister who was showing us around joked that the door was locked now and we would have to stay. "Really?! That would be great!" was my response. But I know I probably wouldn't last more than a week.




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I started to post something on the Thread last week about the euthanasia story. It's especially powerful, I think, because it was written by an atheist. I love the fact that the Catholic owners were sneaking into the rooms and feeding the patients. I hope nothing bad has happened to them because of that.


I constantly comply with my cats' desire to interact with them. I have no choice. They come back and back. They do not comply with my wishes.

I also meant to say that I really liked Simcha Fisher's post about her church. That's just the way it is.


Re cats, I frequently resist our inside cat's desire to interact with me, and it really displeases her. Every time I sit in the chair where I usually sit with my laptop, she hears it and is there within a minute trying to crawl into my lap, gnawing on the corners of the machine, sinking her claws into me when I try to move her, etc. There's space for her to lie between me and the arm of the chair, and eventually she settles down there, but there's always this 5 or 10 minute wrangle first.

I missed that the guy who wrote the euthanasia story is an atheist. That does make it more powerful. I may be wrong about this, but it seems to me there was at one time more basic healthy ethical common sense among atheists and agnostics than seems to be typical now. So many of them seem to take an actual pleasure in promoting anti-life practices.

I have to say, re Simcha Fischer's piece, that my parish is not nearly as bad as some. So I'm not being tested on this every week the way some people are. Though I'm sure there are many who would say my parish is really very bad. By "not as bad" I mean the building isn't ugly and the music is competently done, even if neither is really to my taste. And the priests don't act like emcees.

See those Qs? The cat is responsible for those. She had left when I was writing that comment about her, but apparently picked up on the vibe and returned, and in the ensuing struggle seems to have replaced my name with the letter "Q".

I don't think there is anything in the story that says that guy is an atheist. The person that posted it on my daughter's FB page reads his blog regularly and knew that.

I'm not sure what this says about me, but I can look at my cat and say "No," and she goes away. Sometimes I just have to look. I think it's because I had all those kids to practice that look on.


When I say "no" to Meme (the cat referenced earlier) she gives me a mildly interested, mildly puzzled look and goes on with what she was doing. I do find that she takes a cat-like hiss somewhat seriously. And of course, since she's a fraidy-cat, noises that seem really threatening (e.g. a sudden "STOP DOING THAT!!!") will send her flying.

Oh yes. I hiss at her when she's sitting in my seat on the couch.


When will you people wake up to the fact that cats are Evil?

Now, how can you look at the fluffy creature sprawled on that couch and think it's evil?

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