Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Two Down

One to go!

I finished my family law final and only have bankruptcy left!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It is finished!

I just emailed my professor with my final paper for my jurisprudence class. Now I just need to spend the next two weeks teaching myself bankruptcy and family law so I can take those finals.

One more semester left!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm playing with colors

Please bear with me while I give the blog a slight makeover :)

Isn't there some scripture about litigation?

From Tennessee - gotta love it when the church split makes it to court.

Avondale Church of Christ

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I suppose I should have paid more attention in stats...

...because I don't understand how the news outlets can project a winner in a state before even half of the precincts have reported.

Monday, November 03, 2008

She could have understood....

....if I'd become Baptist, because at least she could blame my dad for that.

This is what grandma told me Saturday night.  I guess it doesn't matter to her that I didn't even really know Dad was raised Baptist.  After all, the only time he sets foot in a church is for weddings or funerals.

On Election Eve...

...I guess it's time I come out of the closet as a Democrat for McCain. 

I'm not overly thrilled with either major party ticket, but there's absolutely no way I can vote for Obama.  I just don't think he's the right person right now. 

I wish there were a viable third party candidate.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Suppose....

...that's it's not a good thing when my Wednesday night class has me contemplating the relative benefits of my own slow, painful death.

Monday, October 20, 2008

How Cool

I opened my front door this morning to go to my car and there were three deer right by my house.  They just stood there and looked at me as I walked to my car and got in.  I think that's the closest I've ever been to a deer. 


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Antonin Scalia - Wikiquote
Like some ghoul in a late-night horror movie that repeatedly sits up in its grave and shuffles abroad, after being repeatedly killed and buried, Lemon stalks our Establishment Clause jurisprudence once again, frightening the little children and school attorneys of Center Moriches Union Free School District. Its most recent burial, only last Term, was, to be sure, not fully six feet under: Our decision in Lee v. Weisman conspicuously avoided using the supposed "test" but also declined the invitation to repudiate it. Over the years, however, no fewer than five of the currently sitting Justices have, in their own opinions, personally driven pencils through the creature's heart (the author of today's opinion repeatedly), and a sixth has joined an opinion doing so. The secret of the Lemon test's survival, I think, is that it is so easy to kill. It is there to scare us (and our audience) when we wish it to do so, but we can command it to return to the tomb at will. Such a docile and useful monster is worth keeping around, at least in a somnolent state; one never knows when one might need him."


My personal favorite Scalia quotation.  From Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches School District

Monday, September 29, 2008

Great Happenings From 9/30

September 30 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And, I was born an undisclosed number of years ago.

Another Blast from the Past

The Post
by Sara Burns
FOR THE POST

Ohio's men's lacrosse team is going to the National Collegiate Lacrosse League Final Four in Annapolis, Md. this weekend. Ohio defeated Grove City College yesterday 10-5 on the South Green Athletics Fields.
"We played really well and came out firing," club vice president Ian Hill said. "We did a heck of a job."
The first quarter was fairly well matched with Grove City scoring the first goal. The Bobcats came back though, with Dave Lewis, the NCLL's leading scorer, adding two more goals to his total. Grove City came from behind to tie the game with a goal scored by Dave Coleman with seven minutes left in the quarter.
Grove City posed no threat in the second quarter, though. Ohio's Sean Goonan and Todd Seyler each scored one to put Ohio up 4-2. Grove City's Brad Kellogg said the team was tired out after a long bus ride and was just out hustled.
The third quarter was closer with Lewis adding yet another goal. Goonan was called for a slashing penalty, but Tim Leary still managed to add a goal for the team. Grove City made a valiant run, scoring two goals, but was kept from tying the game when Leary scored his second goal of the quarter.
The final quarter went slowly until Bobcat Steve Barth put Ohio up 8-4. Both teams received penalties, but Seyler scored his second goal of the game. Ohio fought for the next few minutes, but made no more progress toward the win. Then, Grove City's Darryl Hockstra scored his team's final goal of the game. Leary went on to score the final goal.
Team members feel confident they will do well against Maryland this weekend. Team President Eric Gleckler said he thinks the team can do very well. He's not the only one.
"Whether we win or lose we made it to the Final Four," club member Todd Baylor said. "We're playing club level teams that are better than some of the varsity."
- Jill Shriver contributed to this story.


The Post 5/1/1997

A Blast From the Past.

The Post
by Sara Burns
FOR THE POST
Since the end of Winter Quarter is here, students' thoughts turn to spring and, more importantly, Spring Break.
An impromptu survey of Wednesday's dinner crowd at Jefferson Dining Hall revealed the most common Spring Break destination to be "home," wherever home may be.
People who are going home have their reasons. Some people do not think it is worth it to go anywhere.
"A week just isn't long enough," said Chrissy Seabold. She is saving her money to go somewhere during Summer Break.
Others, however, just want to go home and relax. Relaxing is what Kia Kuresman, a Jefferson Hall resident assistant, plans to do. She want to go home and "cook like it's my job" to recover from a stressful Winter Quarter.
Food is one reason many students want to go home. Most students surveyed said they wanted a nice, home-cooked meal after a quarter of dining hall food.
For people who aren't going home, Florida is the destination of choice. Many people will be spending their week in sunny Tampa, Daytona or Panama City.
Freshman Nicole Morley will visit Mickey Mouse in Orlando with her family. Mandy Boyd and Maggie Smith are going to Tampa for the week.
Of course, Florida sun or a familiar bed are not the only options.
Some OU students are going to visit relatives in other cities. They can be spotted anywhere from Washington, D.C., to Colorado. Julie Kroth said she is going to go to Memphis, Tenn., to see her "awesome" sister, while Nikki Floyd is jetting to Chicago to visit her mother.
Many of the people not going somewhere exotic for Spring Break plan to visit friends in other cities.
Kristalle Willinger said she is going to visit a friend who attends college in St. Louis.
The award for the Spring Break destination farthest from Athens goes to Oliver Albers. Albers will be spending his week in Ashkawa, Mozambique, in Africa with his uncle.
Albers has never been to Mozambique, but he has heard about the country from his uncle, who has lived there for five years. He said he wants to see the country and its people while he is visiting his uncle.
No matter where OU students end up during break, they all have the same objective - to relax. For some students, however, spring break will not be very different from their time here at OU.
"All I want to do when I go home is sleep and eat," freshman Lisa Schumann said. "Oh, wait, that's what I do here."

The Post 3/14/97

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Is it bad....

that I'd rather be at home experiencing another day of a power outage than sitting through my family law class? 

I never thought I'd say this, but I miss the socratic method.  I really hate this touchy-feely crap.

Friday, September 05, 2008

It's really starting to feel real now...

Adam and I met with someone from the parish last night to discuss marriage prep. We did the FOCCUS instrument and went over the basics of the marriage prep program. I paid the fee for marriage prep and the use of the church and got sent home with liturgy and pre-Cana stuff.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

How Big is the Tent Really?

I'm going to start this post with a disclaimer - I am a registered Democrat and I am even a member of the county central committee and I serve as a precinct captain.

The Democrats are theoretically the party of inclusiveness - of the big tent, if you will. I always understood the ideology of the "big tent" to mean that there was a place at the table for people with multiple viewpoints. The kerfluffle in the liberal blogosphere about the nomination of Sarah Palin for vice president is truly making me question how inclusive the party of inclusiveness really is.

Here's a middle of the post disclaimer: I am Catholic, ergo, I am pro-life.

If the Democrats were truly as inclusive as they'd like to think they are, then this shouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately it is. As a more conservative Democrat, I am becoming more convinced that there is no place for me or for people like me at the Democrat table.

I come from a family of yellow-dog Democrats and I would never have ever considered voting for a Republican. The nomination of Sarah Palin for vice president is changing that. I didn't like either of the choices for president for this election, but the addition of Palin to the ticket brought a new level of respect for John McCain.

The liberal blogsphere is in a panic about Palin. They argue that she has no experience or that she's too far right. I think what the problem that they can't articulate is that Palin is highly appealing to those like me who feel we have been pushed to the fringes of the party because our relative conservativism.

Palin represents a whole generation of women who look to the excesses of the 1970s feminism and realize that it was too extreme. She is doing what many women want - raising a family and following a successful political career. I think most women can't relate to the Hilary Clintons or Gloria Steinems of the world. Sarah Palin is someone that we CAN relate to - she could be one of us. I think that scares some of the more liberal Democrats.

So, is there really a place at the Democrat table for people like me? I'm not sure. Am I going to switch my party affiliation? Probably not, especially when it comes to local politics (the local Republicans don't have the best ethical record). Is there a possibility I'd vote for a McCain-Palin ticket? There's a good possibility that I just might.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

For Adoro

Can I be St. Joan of Arc?

Can you make sure the Dominicans in their black-and-white habits are prolific throughout, and make sure the evil governments that were the ones actually killing people look as nasty as they actually were? Can I be "burned at the stake" as long as it authentically reveals who was in charge of the burning?

You might want to have a guitilline in order to show the butchery of the State and the Mercy of the Inquisitors who saved so many from the fanaticism of the State....
Ooohhhhh.....Dominicans in black and white? Perfect! Those are my colors after all! For that suggestion, Adoro, you can most definitely be St. Joan of Arc.

Since you asked, the short version of the story is that my family is a version of protestant that buys into all the myths about Catholicism. I occasionally get tired of their remarks and start making jokes to keep myself sane.

Currently there's some discontent in the family about the fact that I'm planning a Catholic wedding. I've told my mother that unless she tells her family to back off, that I'm going to plan the most over-the-top Catholic wedding--one that buys into all of the stereotypes.

We're planning the wedding for the fall of next year, right around Halloween. The idea of a Halloween themed reception quickly morphed into an Inquisition themed reception.

My grandmother informed Adam that she will not be attending the wedding because she can't be part of a ceremony for two people who've left The Lord's ChurchTM to join a "Man Made Religion."

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Inquisition Themed Wedding Reception

So, the Clam posted on her site that she'd like to see my inquisition themed wedding reception actually happen. I hate to disappoint her, but I doubt it will ever really happen.

It is fun (in a twisted way) to think of my anti-Catholic family's reaction to an inquisition themed wedding reception. So, in an ideal world where I could actually do this, how would I do it?

I'm thinking I'll need Fr. Schnippel's help. Wonder if he'd like to play the part of Torquemada?

Since you so want to see it happen, Clam, perhaps we could make you an honorary torturer or witch burner?

What other ideas do y'all have?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Six Quirks

  1. Link the person(s) who tagged you.
  2. Mention the rules on your blog.
  3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
  4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them.
  5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.
I was tagged for my first ever meme by Jeff

1. I absolutely loathe Walmart. I will do anything in my power to avoid entering the store

2. I have to "face" all the money in my wallet. All the bills have to be arranged in order of denomination and the bills must all be facing the same direction.

3. I would rather clean the bathroom than do dishes.

4. I cannot stand Dickens and I secretly look down upon those who do like his work :-)

5. I will remake my bed until the hospital corners are crisp and there are as few wrinkles as possible in the sheets and blankets.

6. I have to sleep with one foot not under the covers. My mother tells me I've done this since I was a baby.

I tag Clam, Fr. S, Stephanie, Erik, Cheryl and Joseph the Worker

Thursday, July 31, 2008

For the love of all that is good and Holy....

....someone please put me out of my misery now!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hallelujah! I have discovered the greatness that is Flannery O'Connor!

I cannot believe that I have survived this long without discovering her work. It's amazing.

I was having a very unproductive library trip last week, so I decided to peruse the classics section because I can always find something there.

Nothing really struck my fancy though so I decided to grab Mansfield Park and an anthology of Flannery O'Connor works.

I am in love with her writing. It's so rich and the imagery is amazing. I can almost visualize the scenes as I'm reading.

Sigh, too bad I'm sitting through the most mind-numbingly dull class that ever existed right now. I thought CivPro was bad, but this is much, must worse.

I'm going to start banging my head against the desk until sweet oblivion arrives.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Bank of Life

Life, whether social or business, is a bank in which you deposit certain funds of character, intellect and heart; or other funds of egotism, hard-heartedness and unconcern; or deposit--nothing! An the bank honors your deposit, and no more. In other words, you can draw nothing out but what you have put in.

If your community is to give you admiration and honor, it is merely necessary to be admirable and honorable. The more you put in, the more will be paid out to you.

Emily Post (1922) Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home

Thursday, July 24, 2008

This Blog is under the patronage of Our Lady of LaSalette


Fifteen year old Melanie and eleven year old Maximin were out tending their cows. They were simple children. When we say "simple" we don't mean like that magazine or the Amish. We mean 'dim bulbs.' They are simple enough to fall asleep and all lose track of the cows. When they awoke they went
looking for the cows but instead found a big ball of light. A beautiful lady stepped out of it. It was the Virgin Mary.

Unlike other Mary sightings, Mary is wearing an odd costume (not her usual blue), never mentions the rosary and she never stops crying. Mary slumps onto a rock and sobs. She tell the children that Jesus has absolutely had it with cart drivers using his name in vain. She tells the children Jesus is very angry and she can’t hold Him back much longer.

Apparently everyone stopped swearing in La Salette after that, as the town still stands.
Thanks Sister Mary Martha!

Visit Sister's Etsy shop.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

To The Impatient Driver Behind Me...

Dear Fellow Motorist,

I just wanted to say good morning to you too! I agree that it's a beautiful summer day.

All pleasantries aside, I did notice that you appeared to have some difficulties with the etiquette of what to do when a traffic light is out. I'm trying my hardest to keep with my self imposed goal of becoming a nice person, so I thought I'd help you out.

When a traffic light is out, you're supposed to treat the intersection as a four way stop. I'm going to assume only the best about you and guess that you don't drive in the area a lot, so you perhaps didn't know that the light from the 275 off ramp onto Beechmont Ave goes out every time there's a storm. I'm also going to assume that perhaps you're a very heavy sleeper and that you didn't catch any of the local news this morning so you wouldn't have heard about the bad thunderstorms last night. That's okay. Now you know.

You should also know that when your fellow drivers are treating said intersection as a four way stop, that laying on your horn when I stopped to allow the cars from the exit ramp to take their turn does not exhibit the best manners. But that's okay too, I'll just assume that perhaps you were busy.

Except you turned to go to Lowe's at the next light, so I'm not sure what was so important at 7:45 this morning that you couldn't stop and wait your turn like everyone else was doing. Now I'm still trying to be a good person, so I didn't say anything or make any gestures in your general direction. I didn't even shoot you a dirty look - instead I said a Hail Mary to myself.

However, I've decided that my desire to be a better person doesn't stop me from wishing bad driving karma on you. So the next time you're stuck at the end of that exit ramp and some yahoo doesn't follow the rules for a malfunctioning traffic light, I hope you enjoy the wait.

Yours truly,
The girl in the grey civic.

Monday, July 21, 2008

"Good News For Catholics"

Do any of my astute readers (all three of you) know anything about an organization called Good News For Catholics? I know they're anti-Catholic but other than that I haven't heard much about them.

The reason I ask is because I found one of their tracts at my grandmother's house over the Fourth of July weekend. I didn't get a good chance to look at it though, but from a quick glance it seems to be the usual "Catholics don't read the Bible so if you encourage them to read the Bible then they'll no longer be Catholic, etc..."

Testing

I just added an application called ScribeFire to Firefox. You might see more entries from me if this works.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Exhausted

I did two shifts in the margarita booth at the festival this weekend. Last night was much busier than Friday night was, but also more fun. Dcn. Dave, Roxanne and I had a fun time. I saw Dcn. Dave after mass this morning, but forgot to ask him if he ever managed to make his "dacquitas" look as pretty as mine did. :)


In other news, I've decided I have a knack for making it rain. After holding off for a few days, I finally dragged the hose out and watered my flowers this afternoon, only to be treated to a thunderstorm a few hours later. Sigh.


I suppose I've procrastinated enough. I need to go study for PR.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

CoC Funeral

I went to a church of Christ funeral today. It was really kind of sad. It was just a graveside service--the preacher gave a sermon about how we all needed to come to Jesus before we died and we sang two hymns--Amazing Grace and Revive Us Again.

I have a problem with preachers preaching their funeral sermons about how the good majority of the audience is going to go to hell. At least this preacher didn't condemn people to Hell by name like I've seen done before.

It was strange because most of the people there were from my old congregation. I stood in the back with my other apostate cousins and said the rosary during the main part of the service.

There was something lacking with the whole service. I can't pinpoint exactly what, but it all felt very superficial.

O/T but even with someone musically trained leading the acapella hymns, there is still something to be said for instrumental music. There was one couple there neither of whom could carry a tune in a bucket with a lid on it :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bridesmaid Dresses


The style on the left is what I plan to use for my bridesmaids' dresses. I'm thinking I'll do the underdress in a matte black and the over dress in some kind of organza. Then I'll have the bridesmaids wear black elbow gloves.

iPhone Mania

There was a line of people wrapped around the AT&T store on the corner this morning. It took me a minute to realize what was going on--the new iPhone.

I guess having the latest is important to some people.

Friday, June 20, 2008

That's It!

I am utterly frustrated at the thought of finding a wedding gown that is anything even close to modest! There's something wrong with every dress I try on--most notable is the distinct lack of fabric on the upper half. The dress I've liked best so far is a no-go without significant alterations. Unfortunately the vast majority of dresses in the bridal shops are strapless. Now, I'm not a small chested gal by any stretch of the imagination and I'm also short (5'2") so wearing a strapless gown will likely give Father a glimpse of something that neither he nor I would want him to see. Incredibly frustrating!

So I'm opting out. That's right, I refuse to purchase a wedding gown from a bridal shop. I have challenged my mother and she has agreed to put her sewing skills to the test.

Dad has agreed to buy her a nicer sewing machine and I will be purchasing her a dressmaker's dummy.

Check back for updates :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Behold the Spam of God

Mark Shea has a hilarious post over at Inside Catholic about the messages he's received from "Bible-Believing (TM)" Christians. You should go check it out.

Over the last two years of my Catholic journey, I've come to realize that sometimes you just have to laugh at things because you can't change them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wedding Reception Theme?

Ooh, I love it! (Even though it is just a joke.)

Just think: you could have a Catechism contest for who gets to be Torquemada...you and Adam could be Isabella and Ferdinand...your priest could play Pope Sixtus...and depending on what time of year you're getting married, maybe have a bonfire...

Too bad your family isn't Lutheran. You could really have some fun with that...


Kasia, if we didn't live in different states, I think we'd be good friends! :) I had suggested having a rack in the reception hall so I could use it on all the people who complain that a nuptial mass is too long.

My only problem is that I tend to get too Monty Pythonesque when thinking up wicked things to do to my families. You know, things like having the bridesmaids wear black cowls and carry whips or having someone wandering though saying "bring out yer dead!"

I do get a little giggle just thinking of it. Of course my family will already be absolutely scandalized because there will be drinking and dancing.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sigh. Family.

I got another "you're going to hell because you're Catholic" letter from the CoC side of the family. It's from an aunt that even the other CoCers consider wacky so I'm not too concerned. I look at it this way--there's two less people I can invite to the wedding.

The letter does strengthen my desire to have an over-the-top Catholic wedding though. :)

Luckily, Adam and I can joke about it because we both deal with the same thing from our families. We were joking that we're going to have a Spanish Inquisition themed reception--complete with "indulgences" as drink tickets.

Poor mom thought we were being serious (which we're not really) but I think the humor is the only way we can deal with it sometimes.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Shaving Cats

The big, fluffy cat in the post below got his summer haircut today. Last year he went to the groomer for his lion cut. This year, mom decided we could do it ourselves. I was skeptical, but agreed to go along with it partly because the groomer who did him last year won't take him back.

(In all fairness to her, I don't blame her one bit. The cat weighs 25 pounds and he bites when he's upset. I could take him to the groomer associated with my vet and have him sedated, but that raises the price quite a bit.)

So, mom and I got out the clippers and held the cat down. We got the majority of the long hair off him, but the poor thing looks so stupid right now. I'm sure he'll appreciate it in a few days--once he gets over the humiliation.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Aaah...


I finished my last final for this semester two hours ago.


I have the luxury of three weeks off school. What am I going to do with my time now that I don't have to study every night?

Maybe I'll practice being a housecat :-)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dress Shopping

So, Mom and I went dress shopping for the first time Saturday. I tried on four dresses - two of which would be contenders if they had a wee bit more fabric on top. One dress would be very pretty, but is out because when I kneel Father would get a view of a part of me that neither he nor I would want him to see.

So, it looks like I'm going to have to go looking at one of the area shops that sells Jasmine or Eternity gowns. Eternity is a LDS gown designer and Jasmine will make certain styles of their gowns "temple ready."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wedding Planning

All this wedding planning stuff I've been doing lately has made me once again stop and realize the wisdom of Holy Mother Church.

I've been perusing some of the online forums dealing with wedding planning and I am extremely grateful that I don't have to worry about what venue I'll use for the ceremony, who I'll get to officiate or what poem/unity candle/handfasting ceremony I'll use to fill time to make the ceremony more substantial.

Nope, Holy Mother Church in her infinite wisdom doesn't leave those decisions up to me. Yes, I have some choice as to which church I plan on using (my home parish) or which reading to choose from the list, but currently my biggest decision regarding the ceremony is whether I want to have a full mass or the rite of marriage outside of mass.

I know that I can trust the guidelines set forth by the Church and that I will have a beautiful, reverent celebration of the sacrament.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I have crossed to the dark side...

....no, I haven't become republican :-)

I bought a macbook! My monster hp laptop I bought when I started law school four years ago is on life support and I was tired to trying to get it going another semester so I have gone mac.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Snow Day

I spent my morning making this:



Because it looks like this outside:




Thursday, March 06, 2008

Three in one night!

Okay, Fr. Schippel's comment got me posting again. Here's a general roundup:

I have been crazy busy this semester. I'm taking Insurance, Remedies and Wills & Trusts. Wills is a 4 credit hour course so for 5 weeks I have to be at NKU 4 nights a week. Not to mention I need to find time to do all of the reading to prep for the class.

My aunt has been very ill and has been hospitalized for weeks now. My mother is my aunt's guardian and is responsible for all decisions regarding my aunt. Prayers for both would be appreciated.

In happy news, Adam and I are now engaged. We plan, Lord willing, to be married in the fall of 2009. Clam I now share your frustration at finding a non-strapless wedding dress. I absolutely refuse to wear one even if it means I have to learn how to sew so I can make my own.

That's a quick update.

Parable Meme

Fr. Schnippel tagged me for a meme so here goes:

1. You name your five favorite parables.
2. You tag one blogger per parable.
3. It would be nice if you linked back to this post.

1. The Prodigal Son - Luke 15:11-32

I love this because it shows us that no matter how grave our sins, if we approach God with true contrition and ask his forgiveness it will be granted.

2. The Little Children - Matt 18:1-6

I chose St. Therese as my confirmation saint because I was so drawn to her Little Way. To me it is a great example of truly living this parable.

3. The Faithful Servant - Luke 12:35-38

To whom much is given, much will be required. Enough said.

4. The Good Samaritan - Luke 10:30-37

5. The Pharisee and the Publican - Luke 18:9-14

Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.

I tag Stephanie because she's been quiet for too long, Kasia , and anyone else who feels the need to respond. If you don't have your own blog, feel free to use the combox.

My response to the letter....

16 February 2008

Esther,

I received your letter and while I am dismayed you are so willing to believe family gossip, I take your letter in the spirit of concern and love that you surely had in mind when you wrote it.

It is true that I am no longer attending a Church of Christ. It is not, however, true that I am simply attending a Catholic Church – I am a Catholic. I was received into full communion with the Catholic church through the sacrament of confirmation during the Easter Vigil in 2007.

The decision to convert was not one I made either easily or quickly. I fought the decision for over ten years before I ultimately decided I needed to follow God’s call in my life. I have never believed fully in the doctrine I was taught in the Church of Christ but had been attending enough to keep the family happy. The family was happy, but I was absolutely miserable. I had been living a lie for years and could no longer continue to do so. My mental health had deteriorated so much that I had to go under a psychiatrist’s care in 2006.

[I have deleted a portion of my response because it reveals personal details about two other people and I do not feel free to divulge these details without the consent of the other two parties.]

Because we, as Catholics, believe that marriage is a sacrament, the church holds that remarriage after a civil divorce is a mortal sin. The Church does not allow for remarriage even in the case where one spouse is guilty of adultery. Because marriage is a sacrament, it’s mark on the souls of the husband and wife are indelible. The only way a civilly divorced Catholic can remarry with the Church’s blessing is if, after investigation, the tribunal can determine that the requisite elements required to make a valid marriage were missing from the time the marriage was entered into.

The purpose of the tribunal is to look at the circumstances into which the parties entered into the sacrament of marriage to see if the requisite intent and knowledge were present. If there weren’t the requisite intent and knowledge and desire to enter into the sacrament of marriage, the tribunal will issue a decree of nullity thus freeing one or both of the parties to remarry with the blessing of the church.

You claim the Catholic church has practices that are un-Biblical. I too believed this until I began to study what the church actually teaches instead of what I had been taught the Church teaches. Unfortunately the Church of Christ’s teaching about Catholic doctrine and dogma is fraught with error.

Start, for example, with your claim that the Pope claims to have divine inspiration. I assume you are thinking of the doctrine of papal infallibility. Infallibility is not a claim of divine inspiration. We believe that Christ gave authority over the church on earth to Peter. See Matt 16:13-19

8 When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi 9 he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"

They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, 10 others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

11 Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."

Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood 12 has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, 13 and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. 14 Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

See also, this passage from the Gospel of John:

"When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep’" (John 21:15-17).


The passage from Matthew is significant to Catholics in two ways. First, Christ chose to rename Simon as Kephas which is Aramaic for Rock. When God gives someone in the Bible a new name, it always signifies a new covenant (i.e. Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah or Jacob to Israel.) Secondly, we hear that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against Christ’s church.

Infallibility isn’t divine inspiration or the absence of sin. Infallibility is what arises when you take Christ’s words to Peter at face value. The gates of Hell shall not prevail against Christ’s church. How is this supposed to happen? We believe that the Holy Spirit protects the church from false teaching. This doesn’t mean the pope is always right – it simply means that when speaking on matters of faith and morals that apply to the entire, universal church, the pope will not be allowed to teach error. The Holy Spirit doesn’t always provide the pope with all the right answers, but He won’t let the pope promulgate false dogma.

The authority and teaching power of the Bishop of Rome (the pope is also the Bishop of Rome) has been recognized since the earliest Christian times. See this passage from Clement of Rome, written in 80AD:

"Owing to the sudden and repeated calamities and misfortunes which have befallen us, we must acknowledge that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the matters in dispute among you, beloved; and especially that abominable and unholy sedition, alien and foreign to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-willed persons have inflamed to such madness that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be loved by all men, has been greatly defamed. . . . Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret. . . . If anyone disobey the things which have been said by him [God] through us [i.e., that you must reinstate your leaders], let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger. . . . You will afford us joy and gladness if being obedient to the things which we have written through the Holy Spirit, you will root out the wicked passion of jealousy" (Letter to the Corinthians 1, 58–59, 63 [A.D. 80]).

Or this passage, also from Clement.

"Through countryside and city [the apostles] preached, and they appointed their earliest converts, testing them by the Spirit, to be the bishops and deacons of future believers. Nor was this a novelty, for bishops and deacons had been written about a long time earlier. . . . Our apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife for the office of bishop. For this reason, therefore, having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed those who have already been mentioned and afterwards added the further provision that, if they should die, other approved men should succeed to their ministry" (Letter to the Corinthians 42:4–5, 44:1–3 [A.D. 80]).

As a church, we believe that Christ did not found his church and then abandon it after his ascension. We believe that He gave the authority for His church on earth to Peter and to Peter’s successors. We also believe that He guides, guards and directs His church through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I am sure there are many other specific practices with which you disagree and I will be more than happy to address any specific questions you may have.

You say in your letter that I need to do what I know is right and my response to you is that I have done what I needed to do.

Love,

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Letter

Here is the letter I received from my cousin.

Sarah (yes, we're close enough that she misspelled my name)

This letter is, I am sure, not the first, nor the last you will received about certain things going on in your life. (Actually it's the second) First of all I hate gossip, so if any of the things I mention are not true of you, disregard the reprimand. This is what has come across the wires: that you are no longer attending Christ's church, but are going instead to the Catholic church; and that you're dating a man who does not have scriptural grounds to be remarried. Both of those made my heart sink when I heard them. Let me appeal to your intellect, though and keep emotions out of it.

Galations 1:6-10 says "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and went to distort the gospel of Christ. But even though we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed." No one, no matter how wonderful they are, is worth disobeying God and losing out on your hope of heaven. (As if anyone who truly knew me would actually think I base my major life decisions solely on what will make others happy) I understand that we have to have our own faith and can not believe something just because family does. We have to believe and worship how God commands, not friends or family. If everything the Catholic church practices were according the the Bible, that would be fine, but you and I both know that is not true. The apostle Paul said that if anyone taught different from what they had already taught, even an angel (the Pope claims to have divine inspiration) then that one is accursed.

Second there may be a few instances in marriage when it is neccessary to be separated from a spouse. Those decisions are never easy, I'm sure. I do know that Malachi 2:16 says "'For I hate divorce,' says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'and him who covers his garment with wrong,' says the Lord of hosts. So take heed to your spirit that you do not deal treacherously." In Matthew 19:9, Jesus says, "And I say to you, who ever divorces his wife, except for immorality and marries another woman commits adultery." Jesus also said in Mark 10:11 "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her." If someone is divorced for any reason other than immorality on the part of his ex-wife, he does not have the God given right to be remarried. If he does remarry, he causes his new wife to become and adulterer. I Corinthians 6:9-10 says "or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the couvetious, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

I will close this out by leaving you with one more scripture. II Timothy 3:14-17 "You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of knowing from whom you have learned them; and that from childhood you have known the sacred writing which are able to give you the wiscone that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired of God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."

Please, please read over and thing about everything I have said. Done be afraid to do what is right. The Lord will reward you in the end.

Love,

Cousin



I am working on my reply to her and will post it here once finished. I'm going to have to do some editing from the full version I send to her because I must necessarily reveal details about individuals other than myself. I don't feel those details are appropriate to be put on a publically accessible site.

I welcome any suggestions for specific points of rebuttal. I will definitely be addressing the sacramental nature of marriage and the reason for obtaining a decree of nullity and I will also be addressing papal infallibility.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

So It Begins...

My family found out I've become Catholic some time before Christmas. While Christmas itself went well, I knew it was too good to be true.

I came home today to find a letter from a cousin of mine telling me that I'm going to hell.

I'm not going to hell because of my chosen profession (although I'm sure insurance and law at the very least will buy me a nice long stint in purgatory) but because I have left The One True Church(tm) and am "dating a man who doesn't have a scriptural right to remarry."

Sigh.

I'm off for a fun exciting evening of being subject to the Socratic method in wills, but I'll post my response to her here when I get it finished.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Vocab Time

Luddite



Main Entry: Ludd·ite
Pronunciation: \ˈlə-ˌdīt\
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps from Ned Ludd, 18th century Leicestershire workman who destroyed a knitting frame
Date: 1811
: one of a group of early 19th century English workmen destroying laborsaving machinery as a protest; broadly : one who is opposed to especially technological change
— Luddite adjective


Luddite--Me, when I confuse the poor teenage stocker at the office supply store by asking for "typist's carbon."

It's almost as much fun as when I caused the cashier at the local toy store to have an existential crisis by refusing to give her my phone number.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Tract Project

I've been thinking lately that there's a definite lack of Catholic apologetics materials that relate specifically to the Church of Christ. I'm going to try to remedy that lack by finding Church of Christ tracts (preferably of the non-institutional variety) and giving a Catholic response to the tract.

Unfortunately the average CofC tract is so full of errors that I could probably write a book in response.

My experience with CofC thinking is that they rely heavily on soundbite prooftexting. They will also ignore any appeals to the early church fathers. Hence my goal is to try to use as much scripture as possible to support the Catholic position.

So if anyone comes across a good tract, feel free to send it my way!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year

Well, the first Christmas after the CoC side of the family found out I'm now Catholic went well. Amazingly enough I wasn't accosted by anyone or challenged.

Even more amazing--I was playing handbells with the handbell choir for the 3pm mass on Christmas Eve and Mom and Dad actually showed up. Mom's a dyed in the wool CoC-er and Dad only sets foot in a church if he's being forced to do so for a wedding or a funeral.

After Christmas, Adam, the kids and I headed up to New Hampshire to visit his family. I think the visit went rather well. I really liked his parents and the town they live in is really pretty.

So that's my Christmas in a nutshell :-)