View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jeannie Baxter, 1914-2006

My Grandmother, Jeannie Baxter, passed away yesterday.

She was often described as spunky and feisty. She most certainly was.

The last few years - and especially the last year after the death of her only daughter (my mother) - have been difficult, so this is one of those deaths that, while sad, is welcome.

Say hi to the Boss for me, Nana. And give Mom a hug.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Condoms: The key is intention

The Vatican is considering the issue of condom use by married couples when one of the partners is HIV positive.

I don't know what the powers that be will ultimately decide, but I would be in favor of condom use in this circumstance -- and I think there's precedent for allowing this "exception" to church teachings.

The church is very clear in its teachings opposing abortion. But the church allows that when a pregnant woman is seriously ill she may take medication to treat the illness that will, as an unintended side effect, likely result in the loss of the child. The key is that the medication must be intended to treat the illness, not terminate the pregnancy.

In this condom case, if the intention is to prevent the spread of a serious and potentially fatal illness to an uninfected person, and not simply to prevent pregnancy, then I think it can be legitimately permitted for married couples.

Such a rule would would - and should - not "cover" (I couldn't resist) unmarried folks of any sexual persuasion who choose to fornicate.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bad boys and girls: No Communion

The U.S. Bishops have adopted a statement called "'Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper': On Preparing to Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist."

The document says that a Catholic who "knowingly and obstinately" rejects "the defined doctrines of the church" or repudiates "her definitive teaching on moral issues" would not be in communion with the church and therefore should not receive Communion.

The interpretations I've seen say that politicians who persit in voting counter to church teachings on abortion, homosexuals who continue to engage in homosexual sex, people who regularly use artificial means of birth control, should not receive.

That cuts down on the number of communicants!

But, isn't that how it should be? Shouldn't we be worthy of Communion? Yes, I know it has a grace-filled healing effect, so it could be argued that receiving is a way to turn us from our sins, but if we obstinately refuse to follow these teachings, then we should not receive.

And if we think these teachings are not valid, well, then we should go find a church whose teachings we can follow. Maybe even start one of our own, as the folks at Corpus Christi (now Spiritus Christi) Church in Rochester did.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Santa Me

A shot of me from last year.

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Post-Election Reflection

Here’s a Mother Goose parody I wrote following the election:

The Donkey and the Elephant were fighting for the crown,
The Donkey beat the Elephant all around the town.
Some began to grin, some began to frown,
some said with a shrug, their leaders let them down.

Mother Goose parody (kids)

Pease porridge hot,
Pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot
Nine days old.
Some like it hot,
Some like it cold,
I like to leave in the pot
And watch it turn to mold.