25 January 2011

Leave the Poor Priest Alone

I'm not talking about bugging the priest to do this or that thing that should be part of his job, if you think he's not doing it properly (although there are probably some people who need to stop that, too). I'm talking about stalking him.

On Saturday night, we had a nice dinner with Fr. M and some other friends. Fr. M confided in us, without offering any identifying information, that he has a couple of women who are more-or-less stalking him. They show up in his office without an appointment, seem to follow him everywhere, give him excessive numbers of presents. I think many priests, perhaps especially young and good-looking ones, become the victims of this kind of behavior.

I know as well as anyone that people sometimes develop inappropriate crushes. I don't know if women are more prone to this than men, although I do know that there seems to be more of a phenomenon of women who hang around priests and seminarians than of men who hang around nuns and novices. Maybe the priests and seminarians are just out there, accessible in the world, and the nuns aren't. At any rate, at some point a woman, especially a lonely woman, might develop a crush on a priest or seminarian. If you are that woman, or know someone who is, repeat after me: Leave Him Alone. His life is hard enough without you making it more difficult. If he is a good priest, or a seminarian who is confident in his vocation, you'll just take up time he could be spending doing his job, studying or helping people who really need his help. If he is weak in his vocation, and likely to be tempted to give in to your inappropriate requests, then he's not the sort of man you should be pursuing anyway. If he can't be faithful to his vocation as a priest, then he might not be faithful to you either, if he left the priesthood for you.

So, if you develop an inappropriate crush, don't hang around him. Bring it up in confession with some other priest, or with your psychiatrist or a very trustworthy friend, if you really need to talk about it. Otherwise, keep it to yourself, get a new hobby, and try to stop thinking about it. Leave the priest alone.

11 January 2011


Our little world is covered in it. The dog plays hockey with frozen leaves, my husband stays home because the school is closed and choir practice is cancelled. All the businesses are shut, and hardly anyone dares to drive down the street. It's very quiet, except for the crackling log fire and the steady drip of slightly melting icicles.

09 January 2011

It's Funny, But Also Not

My husband's boss forwarded this "meditation" by Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM to my husband today, saying, "I think this encapsulates how you, your wife, and our parochial vicar feel."

Sunday, January 9, 2011
Feast of the Baptism of Jesus

Today, many young people and clergy long to return to an earlier and false innocence that never existed. I understand these psychological needs. We must start with some experience of order, or we will not have the ego structure to move forward. In the first half of life, the psyche demands structure before it can possibly deal with anti-structure.

These young people want to return to a romanticized church and world of the past that they idealize from a distance. They hope that it will provide the clarity, status, and certitude that they do not enjoy and that their ego needs.

We all need some still point in the midst of the tornado of postmodernism. But the trouble is, all the biblical God ever promised us was God himself as that still point—never an institution, role, social order or country. These are human-created idols that we worship in the place of God.

Adapted from Adam’s Return, pp. 79-80 (book/audiobook)

So, my husband's boss thinks we're naive idiots? I know this is not a new criticism leveled at those of us "young people" who have an affinity for tradition. Still, I'm an academic for heaven's sake! Does he think that my dissertation research hasn't involved examining the real state of music before Vatican II as well as after? Does he think we don't know about 15-minute Low Masses and schlocky hymns? This is not to mention all the study of sacred music in earlier periods, none of which were perfect, but some of which were, perhaps, further from perfection than others. Our parochial vicar has explicitly said that he prefers the OF to the EF, although he also believes in chant, plenty of incense and "Say the Black, do the Red."

Honestly, it's a bit upsetting that my husband's boss not only thinks we're idiots and children, but has the nerve to basically tell us that to our faces. Of course, it also makes me want to laugh a little bit, because it shows how little reading he's been doing regarding who, exactly, is taking part in this revival of tradition in the Church, and what their reasoning is.

As for Fr. Richard Rohr, well, I don't have a lot of faith in the analysis of someone who's written multiple books on the Enneagram.

04 January 2011

It's 5 O'Clock
Lamb marinates in wine, olive oil, garlic, and some sea salt from the package that was in the Pascha basket we took to St. Andrews Russian Catholic church to be blessed last year.

The laundry waits to be folded.

Dinner is on-the-fly tonight because of choir practice, rather than at the dining room table, but I still feel smug about my Christmas dining table decorations.

The dog waits forlornly for his dinner. Just a little bit longer, honey!

The star on the tree lights the way for the Magi. Our parish, like most others in the US, celebrated Epiphany on Sunday, but at home we will wait the full twelve days before the Magi arrive at our creches. The decorations will probably remain up until after the Baptism of the Lord next Sunday.
Communion Antiphon for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

I don't often get fits of inspiration, but I did this afternoon. Here is a fairly simple, two-part setting in English of a Communion Antiphon. If the ending sounds a bit odd, that's because it's modal; the beginning and end are loosely based on the chant. I've licensed it under Creative Commons, so if you like it, take it, copy it, and sing it, as long as you leave my name on it. I didn't write out any verses, but you can sing the one provided by Bruce Ford in American Gradual, and then sing the antiphon again.

Usually I am not pleased with my attempts at writing music, but I think this is pretty ok. There aren't too many leaps, the ranges are small, it's only two parts...I think it's singable. If anyone is reading this, let me know what you think.