Monday, September 24, 2007

Perfesser Creekwater on Fasting


Folks,

In a few days I will begin participating in 40 Days for Life, a nationwide, all-denominational and no-denominational campaign to end human cooperation in abortion through fasting, prayer, and community witness & outreach.

Of that more, tomorrow.

In one of those coincidences that are not really coincidences at all, but the workings of Serendipity - one of my favorite angels - my brother Mark "Perfesser Creekwater" D'Orazio sends me a timely essay on fasting from Austin, Texas, where he is visiting with our sister Sue Marie.

I thought I would print it. Mark does not call himself a Catholic or a Christian, but the Benedictine spirit he and I learned at Our Lady of Fatima school in New Castle, Delaware, lives on, hanging out and communing with that indelible mark of Baptism he received so long ago.

TITLE: "BACK TO BASICs: FAST-ING"
DEAR FOLKs: I STARTED AS A CATHOLIC: WHEN I WAS VERY-YOUNG, I ATTENDED A CATHOLIC ELEMENTARY-SCHOOL: MY TEACHERs WERE CATHOLIC NUNs, MEMBERs OF A GROUP WHICH "SAINT BENEDICT" STARTED, APPROX. 1500-YEARs AGO: TH OLD-EST GROUP-OF-CATHOLIC-NUNs ON PLANET-EARTH, AND NATURAL-LY VERY CONSERVATIVE IN MANY WAYs ...
DURING TH TIME WHEN I ATTENDED CATHOLIC ELEMENTARY-SCHOOL, APPROX. 50-YEARs AGO, MY TEACHERs (CATHOLIC NUNs) TAUGHT ME RE FAST-ING: THEY SAY'D THAT WE SHOULD FAST AT-LEAST 3-HOURs EVERY SUNDAY-MORNING, BEFORE RECEIVE-ING "HOLY COMMUNION" @ TH CATHOLIC CHURCH-WORSHIP SERVICE, WHICH THEY EXPECTED THAT WE WOULD ATTEND: THIS 3-HOUR FAST-EXPECTATION (OR "REQUIREMENT") WAS ACTUAL-LY SHORT-ER-THAN IT WAS FOR MY FATHER, WHEN HE WAS A CHILD: HE SAY'D THAT (AT THAT TIME) THEY EXPECTED (OR "REQUIRED") FOLKs TO FAST FROM MID-NIGHT UNTIL TH TIME WHEN THEY RECEIVED HOLY COMMUNION: EVIDENT-LY, CATHOLIC CHURCH-ADMINISTRATORs ---BETWEEN MY FATHER's CHILDHOOD + MY OWN--- OFFICIAL-LY SHORTEN'D TH FAST-TIME ... PLUS, SINCE I WAS A CHILD, THEY (EVIDENT-LY) DID-SO AGAIN: MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT, PRESENT-LY, IT's ONLY 1-HOUR LONG ...
PLUS, THERE WERE OTHER TIMEs WHEN MY TEACHERs EXPECTED US, + ALL GOOD CATHOLICs, TO FAST: SUCH AS, EVERY FRIDAY, + DURING TH ANNUAL "SEASON-OF-LENT": MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT TH EXPECTATION ("REQUIREMENT") FOR FAST-ING DURING THESE TIMEs IS PRESENT-LY LESS-STRICT THAN IT WAS DURING FORMER TIMEs ...
TO SUMMARIZE: DURING TH PAST SEVERAL GENERATIONs, CATHOLIC CHURCH-ADMINISTRATORs HAVE GRADUAL-LY DE-EMPHASIZED THEIR FOCUS-ON-FAST-ING --- FOR WHAT-EVER REASONs ...
### ### ### ### ###
RECENT-LY MY SISTER + I DID A LITTLE 3-DAY FAST, VOLUNTARY-LY, JUST-SIMPLY FOR HEALTH + WELL-BEING: BOTH OF US LOVE TO EAT, + TEND TO EAT-TOO-MUCH: NOT GOOD !! FOR US, EAT-ING FOOD IS (LIKE) ONE OF OUR TREASURED PLEASUREs, ALSO NOT GOOD: BECAUSE EAT-ING FOOD SHOULD-BE A MEANs TO ACHIEVE A GOAL (GOOD HEALTH, PHYSICAL/MENTAL/SPIRITUAL/EMOTIONAL/ETC), NOT A GOAL IN IT-SELF: AS TH OLD SAY-ING SAYs:
" EAT TO LIVE; DO-NOT LIVE TO EAT "
... GOOD ADVICE !!
FOR THESE REASONs, MY SIS + I STARTED OUR LITTLE 3-DAY FAST: NOT A REAL FAST, AS WE WERE DRINK-ING FRUIT-JUICE + EAT-ING FRUIT: PLUS, I ACTUAL-LY DRINK'D SOME HOT-COFFEE + COLD-SODAs, WHICH IS (LIKE) NOT-EXPECTED-TO-HAPPEN DURING A "REAL" FAST ... IN FACT, OUR LITTLE FAST WAS SO NOT-STRICT, WE JOKE-ING-LY CALL'D IT A "HAF-FAST" ---(SIMILAR-TO A "HALF-FAST")--- WHERE THE "HAF" MEANs "HALF-ASS'D FAST" ...
THEN, SUDDEN-LY, DURING TH LAST-DAY OF OUR 3-DAY FAST, MY SIS HAPPEN'D TO MENTION THAT WE WERE IN TH MONTH OF "RAMADAN" ---WHICH I HAD-NOT NOTICED: [RAMADAN IS TH MONTH WHEN MUSLIMs FAST] ... REALIZE-ING THIS, I DECIDED THEN+THERE TO CONTINUE FAST-ING, RAMADAN-STYLE, UNTIL TH END OF RAMADAN, STILL MORE-THAN 2-WEEKs AWAY --- IN SOLIDARITY WITH OUR MUSLIM-FRIENDs WORLD-WIDE ...
MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT, DURING RAMADAN, FOLKs FAST DURING DAY-TIME, ALLOW-ING THEM-SELVES TO EAT @ NIGHT ... THIS SEEMs TO ME EASY + DO-ABLE: (LIKE) MY KIND OF FAST: EVERY DAY I CAN ENJOY TH SELF-CONTROL + DISCIPLINE OF DENY-ING MY-SELF FOOD APPROX. 12-HOURs, AND EVERY NIGHT I CAN ENJOY TH PLEASURE OF EAT-ING FOOD ... SO I'M GONNA TRY-TO DO A SEVERAL-WEEK FAST, TH 1ST TIME SINCE I WAS A LITTLE CATHOLIC CHILD, FAST-ING DURING TH "SEASON-OF-LENT" .....
SINCERE-LY, MARK "PEACE-WALKER" CREEK-WATER
TEXAS [NEAR AUSTIN] - USA - TODAY
MARK "PEACE-WALKER" CREEK-WATER IS TH ELDER-BROTHER OF FEAR-LESS + PASSIONATE BLOGGER RAE STABOSZ, WHO IS A DEVOUT CATHOLIC ... CREEK-WATER, THO HE DOES-NOT CONSIDER HIM-SELF A CATHOLIC, (OR EVEN A "CHRISTIAN"), FEELs THAT HE IS A GOOD-GUY, AND "CHRISTIAN" IN TH SENSE THAT THIS WORD "CHRISTIAN" IS AN ADJECTIVE, AS-WELL-AS A NOUN, AND DESCRIBEs HOW-WE-BEHAVE, NOT WHAT-WE-ARE ....
.


Friday, September 07, 2007

Walter A. McCubbin makes a poem



A CAKE OF VERSE
by Walter A. McCubbin

A poem is but the meal of thought,
By liquid words to batter brought;
Figures of speech the cook invents
To serve for salt and condiments;
And fancy's artful leaven plies
To give it lightsome, pleasing guise;
Cut into measured lengths of time,
And baked within the mold of rhyme,
The poet-chefs do thus convert
Coarse meal of thought to sweet dessert.
One of the great pleasures of the used book business is to find unsung works by obscure poets. Walter A. McCubbin's public life was in botany, both in academia and commerce. Besides numerous articles for scientific publication, he is the author of The Plant Quarantine and Fungi and Human Affairs. This is from his only book of poetry. Its dedication page reads:
This book of poems
has been published
in loving memory of
WALTER A. MCCUBBIN
by his widow
LEONA

Thursday, September 06, 2007

EXPELLED Movie - Bad Ben Trailer

Can't wait to see Ben Stein's new documentary. Love the man - love that he's taking on the academic fascists who are valiant heroes in their own eyes. Amazing to me that the folks who were rebels in the 60's turned into The Establishment with a vengeance, in their old age. Entrenchment of ideas, much?

My new grandson, Donal David Stabosz

Ain't technology grand?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Is Planned Parenthood beginning to feel the chill?

Jill Stanek put together a cool video montage of still photos from the City Council meeting in Aurora, IL a few days ago . Two people came out to speak in favor of a new Planned Parenthood facility being built in Aurora. Hundreds of all ages came out to speak against it.

More and more folks are realizing that protection of embryonic and fetal life is THE DEFINING CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE of our time.

Monday, September 03, 2007

From anxiety to joy with a stopover in Dreamland






My husband and I have come full circle. Our firstborn, David's, firstborn -- a son -- came into the world last night. Donal David Stabosz was born at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore on the evening of Sept. 2, 2007, weighing in at 9 lb 5 oz (they grow them big these days!).

Welcome, Donal! Congratulations, Maria and David! Your lives will never be the same.

The two pictures above? The first illustrates how I felt the moment after David called to tell me that he and Maria were at the hospital; the 2nd, how I felt when Bill woke me up a couple of hours later to tell me that the baby was born.

There seems to be no way I can respond to the news that my daughter or daughter-in-law is going into labor other than sheer anxiety and fear. I clutched at my rosary, trying to pray, but unable to think past the wall of Sheer Fear that always grabs me when childbirth is imminent. I fell asleep halfway through the Apostle's Creed.

Mother, are you having the last laugh on me now, from somewhere on high? Now I know why you did not want me to call you when I went into labor, but just to call when everything was done. My first thought on hearing the news that Donal was born: "Thank God he's okay!" My second thought, "Thank God it's over for Maria!"

Strange & unsettling


Hat tip to Debra Murphy at Idylls Press for this one. Debra sends out quotations to tickle the fancy of Catholic authors and, just maybe, provide some inspiration or a kick in the pants.
"The function of the imagination is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange."

--G.K. Chesterton, source unknown