This week Ask Catholic Girl was born.
Love and Guidance from a Friendly, Imperfect Source
Have a question only a Catholic girl can answer? Send your quandaries and concerns to Me, Carmen and Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m pretty sure that gratitude equals happiness.
I’m thankful for…my family, my 5th graders and brow beating them, my 12th graders, that I teach Economics but really I teach ‘how not to be stupid with money,’ Brittany, Megan, Tatiana, Mark, Abby, Jourdan and my fellow social studies education folks, words like folks, pioneer and saying “oh, my word” and “that girl needs Jesus,” pie, having time to cook, having time to bake, having time to clean up the mess from the baking and the cooking, my new laptop battery,my monthly planner, my weekly planner, fierce young women, that Caleb has returned and he’s still inspiring me, breaking up fights about why exactly lil’ Kim went to prison, UbD, Adele and that you can count on hearing her at least 3 times a day, for my 12th graders renditions of Adele songs, a clean kitchen, babies, professors who know their stuff, daily mass, the Early History of God, good movies, female altar servers,Mormon Stories Podcast Community, expo markers, when students ‘get it,’ for my 12th graders reviews of my fashion choices, Yips, Flavors, my mommy, warm blankets, socks, sweaters, when GAP has crazy sales, Traveling with Pomegranates, Hilary Clinton, Joanna Brooks, sister-in-law, brother-in-law,my twitter followers, blogging, good books, Ryan Gosling (feminist and typographer), history, my 32 oz water bottle, the color green, nap time, down time, me time, knitting after a stressful day, running ahead of schedule, waking up on time, caprese salad, headphones, Bobst 4th floor, cold rooms, Texas (minus Rick Perry), feminist theory, my daddy and my Almi, Mormonism, Arizona Tea, Zebra pens, mugs, soup, men in coats, The Jewish Study Bible, Lion Brand Yarn Studio, my brother, my nephew (he does the best cover of Biz Markie ever), meaningful arguments, Rev. James Martin, American Magazine, historiography, NYT, vacuum cleaner, zebra lunchbox, grading in pencil as to not invoke bleeding, gin and tonic, drinks with social studies people, B.’s couch, Halls vitamin C cough drops, the 6 train, movie giftcards, Trader Joes, avoiding Canal street on the weekends, Sister Wives, art magazines, Everyday Food, tall glasses of milk, breakfast cereal, watches, comfy shoes, lotion, light math,
and sermons about love and the actual teachings of Jesus Christ.
Yesterday the Vatican released a JPII app for the upcoming World Youth Day. Created by Blessed John Paul II in 1986 every two years the youth of the world, regardless of their denomination, are invited for a week long celebration of young people’s role in Catholicism and to the world. There are Masses (even a few given by the Pope), testimony bearing, Bishop catechesis, concerts and cultural events all to give young people a vision of their place in Catholicism. It’s a full blown pilgrimage for the youth. My own brother trekked via a cramped bus to Toronto in 2002 with other young people from our parish (with chaperones of course).
The new app features prayers penned by JPII, videos and a whole slew of interactive itineraries, directions to eateries in the area, and even a GPS tracker so you don’t lose track of your fellow pilgrims.
Now, I do love me some Blessed John Paul II but sometimes when the Vatican rolls out yet another iPhone app I cringe.
This new app is useful and dare I say it necessary however I do get weary over how the Vatican is trying to “earn our young people.” I just read in the Huffington Post that Pope Benedict’s forthcoming trip to his homeland, Germany, is causing some tension. Think England in 2010. Like other faith traditions we’re going through a rough patch. We’re practically hemoraging young people and a good chuck of the laity is complacent/ unknowledgeable about our doctrines and theology. In short we’re a mess. You have progressives like me, folks like Michael Voris and liberals like women’s ordination advocates in a ridiculous tug of war over the future of our tradition. One commentator noted that the first step in alleviating some of our problems is to admit we have a problem.
The HuffPo reports:
The best thing Benedict could do, says Simon Rapp, federal chaplain of the Association of German Catholic Youth, is just speak clearly about the issues facing the church: the loss of membership; the ongoing abuse scandals; and the divisions between Catholic factions seeking liberalization and those that oppose change.
“He could just clearly say that he understands that we’re in a crisis,” said Rapp.
Christian Herwartz, who helps run the website Nacktesohlen (naked souls) agrees. “It has to be possible to air griefs.”
Maybe the best way to earn our youth is not with apps, tweeting or a grand pilgrimage to Madrid but taking the time to listen to our young people.
What I love about Christine O’Donnell is that she does not need witchcraft or masturbation (or the lack of masturbation) to make her look crazy and unqualified. All you have to do to is watch her debate her senatorial opponent, Chris Coons.
O’Donnell an apparent expert in constitutional law cannot name a current Supreme Court case, the first amendment or a democratic senator she is looking forward to working with. In all fairness she loves Hilary Clinton, wants to work with her on foreign policy, and knows Clinton is no longer a senator.
What’s disconcerting to me is how calm, crisp and cool she is and how utterly annoyed Coons is that he actually has to debate her. It also does not help that she’s pretty and he’s not and always looks agitated (although, I’ve only seen him when he’s with her).
Candidates and pundits like O’Donnell are the reason liberals and left leaning moderates are often called ‘Harvard elitists,’ ‘arrogant,’ and ‘out of touch with everyday America.’
The month of October has really been about counting down. Counting down until the end of midterm exams and papers and counting down to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.
A friend of mine told me the rally “is currently my main reason for living through midterms.”
The one thing the rally lacks is cohesion. Sure my friend and I both have our reasons for going that are beyond the fact Jon Stewart is hosting. I worry though; what are we collectively asking for?
An end to fear mongering
A true voice in government
Left/right/ middle collaboration
I’m hauling myself to the bus station at one in the morning because civility and moderation does not mean we lack passion. We are not heard in the media because our even keeled thought processes are considered boring. It is far more interesting to listen to Sharon Angle, Christine O’Donnell and their followers than to the misnomered ‘everyday American.’
There is most definitely a need for polarizing rhetoric and the people who subscribe to it to “take it down a notch.”
Will our lack of cohesion hinder our message? It just might but in the grander view, one based on principles, allowing everyone to the table is more American.
I cringed when I typed “more American.”
But allowing religious folks, republicans, democrats, moderates, those who don’t care, those who are just fans of Stewart and Colbert to come together and politely ask for America to chill out is American….if only for the fact everyone can come no matter your persuasion.
There are even the non-political reasons for attending.
The Mormon bloggernacle is abuzz about what this could mean for the ever-growing numbers of Mormon liberals, feminists and intellectual thinkers on the fringes of their more hard lined, true blue brothers and sisters.
My fear is that no matter how many hilariously potent arguments are made on Saturday they will not be taken seriously because they are funny.
What we’re all hoping for is that one day right, left and middle can debate freely and honestly without the winners or losers being demonized. Sometimes though I wish moderates had a better mouthpiece than a comedian and his Bill O’Reilly satirizing sidekick. I think their two shows are important but wouldn’t it be nice to see results and for moderation to be taken seriously, instead of being categorized as people who cannot make up their minds.