Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Feast of the Dedication of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist

In honor of today's little local feast, two wonderful links to a homily on how and why we dedicate churches ----- given at the third dedication of the Cathedral we celebrate the first dedication of today.

Adobe Acrobat text file (4 pages)
Real Audio file (19:00 minutes)
The author of Suscipe: St. Ignatius Loyola

Today is the day of St. Ignatius Loyola, who gave to us the Society of Jesus, the Spiritual Exercises, some really good guidelines for the discernment of spirits, and the prayer Anima Christi, as well as that frighteningly challenging hymn Suscipe, which I blogged a few days ago.

And it all began with a war wound, a bout of bed rest, and a castle with an extremely limited library. When Ignatius asked for some good juicy chivalric romances to help make the time pass, the best his kin could come up with was a volume of the Lives of the Saints. In such humble ways great conversions begin.
I touched my template and it did not die!

Gaze upon real sidebar links (and click on some,too)
Rejoice, Rejoice!

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Pray for me......as I go this evening to try to add some real permalinks to this site! Special thanks to Gerard Serafin for pointing me to the right part of public mind to get what there are of instructions. May nothing get permanently fouled.

While I'm there, have fun with Access to Catholic Social Justice Teachings.

Monday, July 29, 2002

A Prayer from our archdiocesan seminary

O God,
show us clearly the heart of the kingdom of God.
We do not protest
even if our life is destined to lead to the cross,
or if the way leads to our losing our lives.
We will march in the face of distress and contrary winds.
Teach us how to dispense with unnecessary things.
Let us go forward without any fear
in order to fulfill our mission simply, surely, and steadily.
Reveal to us our station clearly,
and strengthen us to teach and guide, by our example, all persons.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

(St. Francis Seminary, Milwaukee; Fr. Steve Malkiewicz)

Sunday, July 28, 2002

A Prayer for Michael Krejci, Russell Banner, John Bertolucci, and all the others.

Lord, we pray for your priests who must now go away from us. They have reformed their lives, they have been penitent, they have been restored and have given us your word and your sacraments faithfully. Yet now, for the good of the whole Church, they must go into anonymous exile.

Lord, you know them, every one. Give them the courage and strength and grace to bear this for you and your holy Church. Support and heal them, as you did Miriam in her leprous shame, and as you did David the King after his great crimes. Let your light shine in and through them, as it did in Margaret of Cortona and Mary of Egypt, in your anonymous one of Sachsenhausen, and in so many of your holy penitents through all ages.

We, who are also sinners, beg this of you, our all-good Lord. Amen.
Empty-handedness from a prayer of St. Therese of Lisieux

In the evening of this life, I shall appear before You with empty hands, for I do not ask You, Lord, to count my works. All our justice is stained in Your eyes. I wish, then, to be clothed in Your own Justice and to receive from Your Love the eternal possession of Yourself. I want no other Throne, no other Crown but You, my beloved!

Saturday, July 27, 2002

Another hymnal gem (this one modern enough to need a copyright notice!)

Hold Me, Jesus

Sometimes my life just don't make sense at all
when the mountains look so big
and my faith just seems so small.

So hold me, Jesus, I'm shaking like a leaf.
You have been King of my glory;
won't You be my Prince of Peace?

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark.
It's so hot inside my soul
there must be blisters on my heart.

So hold me, Jesus, I'm shaking like a leaf.
You have been King of my glory;
won't You be my Prince of Peace?

Surrender don't come natural to me.
I'd rather fight You for something I don't really want
than to take what You give that I need,
and I've beat my head against so many walls.
I'm falling down, I'm falling on my knees.

And this Salvation Army band is playing this hymn,
and Your grace rings out so deep
it makes my resistance seem so thin.

Oh, hold me, Jesus, I'm shaking like a leaf.
You have been King of my glory;
won't You be my Prince of Peace?

You've been King of my glory;
won't You be my Prince of Peace?

(by Rich Mullins. copyright 1998, Kid Brothers of St. Frank)

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Do we dare sing this hymn? Suscipe: the scariest prayer in the hymnal

Take, Lord, receive
all my liberty;
my memory, my understanding,
my entire will.

Take, Lord, receive
all I have and possess.
You have given all to me,
now I return it.

Give me only your love and your grace,
that's enough for me.
Your love and your grace
are enough for me.

Take, Lord, receive;
all is yours now.
Dispose of it
wholly according to your will.

Give me only your love and your grace,
that's enough for me.
Your love and your grace
are enough for me.
"the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace."

Renew your wonders in our time, O Divine Spirit, as though with another Pentecost, and grant that your holy Church, by uniting in single-hearted and mounting prayer, together with Mary the mother of Jesus, and the shepherding St. Peter, may intensify the reign of the Divine Savior, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace. ------Bl. John XXIII

Bl. John XXIII wrote this prayer for the entire Church to pray for the success of the ecumenical council (and I remember it from my childhood), but we very obviously need "the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace" so why not keep on praying for it, even now that the council's been over for thirty-some years?

If we had truly let the Divine Savior reign, would there be a "Situation" to drive us mad? Could we be "scandalized" by the ordinary embarrassments of life if truth, justice, love, and peace truly ruled in our lives? I believe not. The Accuser of the Brethren has no power over us if we together are single-hearted, if we refuse to accuse any but ourselves, if we refuse to play his foul and destructive and divisive game.

We are one people, one Church, one body in Christ. We are gathered to pray with one heart, waiting for the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, to come. Come, fill our hearts, keep us one.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002


I sat in a courtroom -
A youth accused was seated there
And so was the prosecutor

Then Mary came to the tomb
And there were angels there
But no prosecutor

For the one who had condemned
Was still asleep
As the garden awoke

Whom do you seek, they said
For the tomb is empty
And she turned away

And in that turning
She saw One who was alive
And it was He

And as she worshiped Him
But did not touch His flesh
I looked within the tomb

And there was the courtroom
And the youth
And all of us

. . Pavel Chichikov
. . July 24, 2002
. . http://www.greyowlpress.com

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Milwaukee

On Saturday, Thomas my eldest younger brother and I went to the vigil Mass together at the Cathedral of St. John. Back when I was an able person I used to go to the Cathedral semi-regularly, but not since I became so disabled because before the renovation it was not accessible. This was Tom's first time there, and my first visit since before the renovation.

We entered from the northeast, through the new fully-accessible atrium entrance. The walks are not lumpy and just the right safe amount of rough texture, and the ramp to the atrium door was shallow enough that I could push myself up it on the way back out.

Entering the Cathedral from the atrium, I was immediately overcome with awe. Immediately in front of you entering, directly across the church, is the Tabernacle in its glory. No minimally conscious Catholic entering from the atrium is going to fail to make reverence.
Those able-bodied people who can enter through the official "front doors" on the west end are confronted by the baptistry in the same way --- a baptistry that also bears some resemblance to a grave; we have been buried with Christ in baptism and have risen up with him to fullness of life.

Once one has entered, there is no mistaking what is central to our life, and in the church. The altar, large and square (as the heavenly Jerusalem is square), erected over the relics of the saints, up the three traditional sanctuary steps, canopied by a great crown-of-thorns corona and crucifix ---- the certer of life, the natural focus of attention and action. Everything focuses on the altar.

Eucharist was standard summer Saturday evening in Milwaukee ---- three hymns, sung Gloria and psalm and Lamb of God, recited Creed and Our Father, no choir. No cringing, either.

After Mass was over, I took Tom on a fast little tour. I showed him the wonderful windows that had been buried for decades behind atrocious hanging electric light fixtures, and the mosaic Stations, once overwhelmed by huge frou-frou frames, now standing forth beautifully and boldly. Also the portraits of the nine archbishops staring down from the clerestory (no forgetting the past here!) and I pointed to the roundel where sometime before spring the face of Timothy Dolan will be joining them, if he keeps to the tradition begun by Archbishop Moses Elias Kiley when he rebuilt the Cathedral after the 1930's fire. We also read the most recent dedicatory inscription, a wonder of understatement --- "not without difficulty," indeed! Asbestos, rotted wiring, architectural surprises, bishop-bashers, church politicians in faraway places....... Tom wondered how the dedicatory inscription of his diocese's new cathedral will read when it's dedicated in September (Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles).

One fast prayer at the shrine of Mary, Mother of the Church, then we had to leave. Tom's gone back to Los Angeles, But I'll definitely be back regularly.
Thank you

to Mike, of the Enemy of the Church? blog, for his reposting of my meditation on the icon of Anonymous of Sachsenhausen.

Pray for our bishops. Pray for our past perps. Care for each other with kindness. As Fiona ("Semper Fi") of freecatholic says, being a beacon of Christian love does not require beating people over the head with the lantern.

Sunday, July 21, 2002

Restitution, the current news (kind of part 2)

Here's the article from the current July 18th Catholic Herald, page 4:

Contributions to offset settlement pass $307,000
Total includes anonymous stock gift of $183,532

by Laurel Nelson-Rowe
Catholic Herald Staff

ST. FRANCIS ---- The contributions to defray costs of the Milwaukee Archdiocese's $450,000 out-of-court settlement with Paul Marcoux continued to grow last week, totaling $307,370, including an anonymous gift of stock valued at $183,532, as of July 15th.

The fund-raising effort over the last several weeks was spearheaded by close associates of former Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland in a grass-roots effort called Friends for Weakland, and has included other contributions, according to Wayne Schneider, archdiocesan finance director and controller. The Milwaukee Archdiocese has not been involved in the fund-raising initiative, but has received and tracked the incoming monies, he said.

Ethel Gintoft, retired Catholic Herald associate publisher and executive editor, was among those leading the Friends effort. She said the funds raised helped "show the public and show Archbishop Weakland that he has many supporters," and the efforts "enabled a lot of healing" for Catholics throughout the archdiocese and beyond.

Schneider clarified that the $149,928.82 in stipends, honorariums, and gifts received by the archdiocese because of Weakland's work over 25 years ---- an amount that grew to total $196,723 based on earned interest ---- had been given to St. Francis Seminary periodically at Weakland's direction while he was archbishop.

These contributions, made seven times over 25 years, "offset the cost to the archdiocese to balance the seminary budget, and prevented the seminary from curtailing its services or discontinuing programs for seminarians, deacons, lay ministers, and others," said Jerry Topczewski, archdiocesan spokesman.

He noted that at the time the Marcoux allegations surfaced and news of the archdiocesan settlement was disclosed in May, Weakland insisted he would try to repay the settlement amount to the diocese. The Milwaukee Archdiocese "never felt the amount had to be satisfied," he said.

Topczewski said decisions on use of the monies raised to date, and if contributions continue, donations meeting or exceeding the $450,000 settlement amount will be referred to incoming Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan. "It would seem to make sense that since the $450,000 came from the archdiocesan real estate and properties account, that would be the account to be reimbursed" but that will be done at his discretion, Topczewski said.
The full story, more or less, of a restitution repaid.

On Saturday 13th from Akron on my journey, I posted a tiny bit of good news from Milwaukee, belatedly but first in St. Blog's. Gerard picked it up on Monday, and reposted it on his much more popular blog, and even called me "a good reliable source." (Thanks, Gerard!) But now that I'm back at the anchorhold with my own computer and my stack of Catholic Herald, I'm overdue for full story telling ---- especially since it seems now nobody agrees what's up, and I don't want to be nailed as inaccurate even if I'm not really a news site.

As everybody knows by now, on May 23rd we all learned that the details of our long-ago confessed and forgiven sins can become the business of everybody, and then on May 31st our beloved retired archbishop made a complete and very public apology, during which he made it clear that he considered himself bound to make restitution to the archdiocese for the money spent on the settlement with my ex-classmate Paul M.

In the Catholic Herard of June 6th (the issue that covered the apology) there was a letter to the editor signed by a very diverse group of Milwaukee Catholics, proposing that we faithful of Milwaukee show appreciation for Archbishop Rembert's service to us by helping to erase that perceived debt, maybe even by the feast of SS. Peter and Paul at the end of June. I blogged this letter in its entirety on June 7th. A few days later, the local television news outlets were covering a group of elderly ladies who called themselves "Friends for Weakland," who were beginning a direct mail campaign using their Christmas card lists to raise money to ease the archbishop's burden. In short order they had erected a simple web site, www.friendsforweakland.com, with a link to the apology and a form to print out to send money. They figured that $253,000 would be sufficient to cover the balance. In the June 20th Herald on page 7, there was a news blurb about the Friends for Weakland Committee, and the web site dedicated to "Help to lighten the archbishop's burden."

Beginning on July 1st, the Friends web site was going to start issuing updates of the amount they had raised; that report on the first said they had raised $85,000 to that date. Of course, the archdiocese was also receiving other funds from the letter on the 6th and from other inspired Milwaukee faithful.

In the July 4th Catholic Herald, on page 21, an article titled "Finance Council to take active role in overseeing settlements" had two paragraphs at its end:

Schneider and Cusack said the archdiocese is being particularly careful with the accounting and acknowledgement of incoming donations to defray the amount Weakland said he will repay the archdiocese for the $450,000 Marcoux settlement.

The monies, which amounted to $265,000 as of Tuesday, July 2, are the result of individual contributions and grass-roots fund-raising efforts ---- including the "Friends for Weakland" campaign ---- and are not associated with Milwaukee archdiocesan fund raising in any way, they emphasized. A May 31, 2002, archdiocesan statement showed $196,723 in monies from Weakland's stipends, honorariums, and gifts, and account interest. This is to be applied to repay the settlement.

The Friends web site picked up on this, and as soon as they could confirm this, they declared their goal achieved, sometime before the weekend. By Tuesday 9th (the next time I saw a computer, I was traveling) the Friends had spoken to the archbishop about what to do with excess monies they had not yet sent to the archdiocese; and had changed the address on the printout form from themselves to the Cathedral Center for homeless women and children. I waited a few days just in case something went wrong, and also because I'm not a news blog. I figured one of the news bloggers would jump on this, even if only to prove how crazy Milwaukee Catholics are. When no one I could read with Netscape had posted it by Saturday 13th, I did, and Gerard, sweet Gerard, picked it up.

So I came home this weekend, and in my huge pile of accumulated postal mail was the July 18th Catholic Herald, the current issue, which has a very interesting article on our topic, I'll post/publish this, and make that article a separate post, lest I lose all this typing again.
Earlier this afternoon I typed into blogger for almost an hour (I'm no touch typist!), and lost the entire text when the zonealarm on this machine alerted --- oh, drats! But, I'll try again. I owe it to Gerard Serafin, who trusts me.

I am safely back in Milwaukee, and dear brother Thomas went back to Los Angeles this morning. We had a few adventures last night; I took him to the Cathedral for Mass Saturday evening. Will write about it later, we were both wowed.

Thursday, July 18, 2002

No Blogging tomorrow

We (eldest younger brother Thomas and I) drive back to Milwaukee tomorrow, so there will be no blogging. The next you see me, probably Saturday, I'll be back at my own beloved anchor hold and my own trusty computer. (No more Blogger in Netscape! No more sticky spacebar!) But tomorrow, I contemplate the Ohio Turnpike and the Indiana Toll Road. karen marie.
Have some heavenly friends been whispering to Gerard also?

At Gerard Serafin's Blog for Lovers [http://blogforlovers.blogspot.com/] there's a fantastic posting today on King David, God's Anointed, called "Zero tolerance and the Word of God." Go there, it needs to be read.
In the time of ordeal, cling to what is certain.

When the trials come, and they regularly do, and all around shakes and spins, comes and goes, distorts strangely and cannot be trusted, the only thing is to hang on tightly to the things that are certain, the things that are known to be true and do not change.

For me, that always seems to go back to the very first chapter of my very first CCD book in first grade, with the questions at the end of the chapter. The first questions: and still the most sure things.

Q. Who made me?
A. God made me.

Q. Why did God make me?
A. God made me to know him, and to love him, and to serve him, and to be happy with him forever and ever.

Where to cling when all else is failing. Sirach also had something to say about hanging on in the ordeal, in chapter 2 of his book:

My son, if you aspire to serve the Lord,
prepare yourself for an ordeal.
Be sincere of heart, be steadfast,
and do not be alarmed when disaster comes.
Cling to him and do not leave him,
so that you may be honoured at the end of your days.
Whatever happens to you, accept it,
and in the uncertainties of your humble state, be patient,
since gold is tested in the fire,
and chosen men in the furnace of humiliation.
Trust him and he will uphold you,
follow a straight path and hope in him.
You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy;
do not turn aside in case you fall.
You who fear the Lord, trust him,
and you will not be baulked of your reward.
You who fear the Lord hope for good things,
for everlasting happiness and mercy.
Look at the generations of old and see:
who ever trusted in the Lord and was put to shame?
Or who ever feared him steadfastly and was left forsaken?
Or who ever called out to him, and was ignored?
For the Lord is compassionate and merciful,
he forgives sins, and saves in days of distress.
Woe to faint hearts and listless hands,
and to the sinner who treads two paths.
Woe to the listless heart that has no faith,
for such will have no protection.
Woe to you who have lost the will to endure;
what will you do at the Lord's visitation?
Those who fear the Lord do not disdain his words,
and those who love him keep his ways.
Those who fear the Lord do their best to please him,
and those who love him find satisfaction in his Law.
Those who fear the Lord keep their hearts prepared
and humble themselves in his presence.
Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, not into the hands of men;
for as his majesty is, so too is his mercy.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

From the depths; Psalm 130

From the depths I call to you, LORD,
Lord, listen to my cry for help!
Listen compassionately to my pleading!

If you never overlooked our sins, LORD,
Lord, could anyone survive?
But you do forgive us;
and for that we revere you.

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits for him,
I rely on his promise,
my soul relies on the Lord
more than a watchman on the coming of dawn.

Let Israel rely on the LORD
as much as the watchman on the dawn!
For it is with the LORD that mercy is to be found,
and a generous redemption;
it is he who redeems Israel
from all their sins.

This morning, I spent some time with the icons. Actually, with a set of icon prints that traveled with me in the case with the Liturgy of Hours book. There's a couple dozen of my favorite friends there, some canonized, some not yet, and one (at least) never-will. Who was calling to me this morning. For some reason, the holy Anonymous, priest of Sachsenhausen, called to me. I don't think of him very often.

Holy Anonymous, unlike other priests who fell afoul of the Nazis, wasn't there because he was a priest: in fact, he was very reticent about even being known as a priest, lest he become a cause of scandal. He was there because he had done some shameful act that notified the Nazi government of his illegal sexual orientation.

Yet, in a concentration camp, among the lowly and loathed "pink triangles," he prayed and wept and lived a nameless penitential life, serving his fellow inmates both sacramentally and in the most humble practical service, until he was killed in the camp. No one who survived knew his name or history before the camp ---- only that the love of God shone through him, a humiliated and sorrowing, penitent and holy, priest of the Church.

Is here our saint for our brother priests, who for the good of the Church in our land must disappear forever into anonymous limbo? All our local Churches have them. Priests who confessed and repented, served civil and canonical penalties, did both penance and therapy for many years, and have been successfully restored --- sometimes for decades ---- and now in spite of double and triple jeopardy are to be driven out, even sometimes against the wishes of their victims, to survive wherever they can. Holy Anonymous is, in many ways, theirs. He reminded me this day that our "past perps" need our prayers too. I had neglected them, but no more.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

A little learning this afternoon .......

On not falling for phonies; by Chad Brechbuhler, age 6 weeks.

Pacifier is no-good, it does not fill tummy.
Spit it out and keep on screaming.
Mama will bring bottle, bottle is good, bottle has FOOD!
Stop screaming, start drinking!

(Chad is my nephew, the son of my second-youngest sister Victoria.)

Monday, July 15, 2002

Some wise words..... Psalm 124

"If the Lord had not been on our side,"
this is Israel's song.
"If the Lord had not been on our side
when men rose against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive
when their anger was kindled.
Then would the waters have engulfed us,
the torrent gone over us;
over our head would have swept
the raging waters."

Blessed be the Lord who did not give us
a prey to their teeth!
Our life, like a bird, has escaped
from the snare of the fowler.
Indeed the snare has been broken
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

And some not-so-wise words...... the Knapp family reunion

E. Pauline Ilg Knapp raised four children alone through the Great Depression and World War II; her youngest child, my father, was only a few months old when her husband died.

The four children, their three surviving spouses, and the vast majority of their 27 children, 17 children's spouses, and 46 children's children, came together yesterday in one (unfortunate?) public park in a suburb of Akron, Ohio, to party hardy, eat potluck provided by the 27 cousins, party some more, catch up on family news, get walking children wet in the wading pool, ogle babies, catch up on more family news
(Mick's Karen's retired; Bob's Chrissy's now a nun named M Theresa; the oldest third-generation child just turned 18; etc.), party some more.......

No injuries, a ton of fun, let's do it again in 2 or 3 or 4 years, but with a chart and nametags next time! was the sense of the party. And yours truly, socializing with the elders, has, for the first time known, assembled a full accounting of all four lines of descent in one place, for that chart everyone says we really have to have next time.

And my sister Susan says she might have some poor orphan jars of banana peppers needing a new home in far-away Milwaukee at a certain anchor hold..............

Peace from Mick's oldest, karen marie

Saturday, July 13, 2002

No, I have not been called.....
I've only been up to my eyebrows in family. Continue to keep all of the descendants of Pauline Knapp in your prayers, the reunion party is tomorrow.

Back on July 1st, Doug Sirman wrote a somewhat cryptic note on his blog about my revealing things about myself on my blog, and about twisted situations and twisted perceptions. I wrote him right back thanking him for the birthday present but admitting that I had no idea what he was writing about. But I think now I've got a little idea, courtesy of tonight's Evening Prayer. In Psalm 116 it says:

I trusted, even when I said:
"I am sorely afflicted,"
and when I said in my alarm:
"No man can be trusted."

How can I repay the Lord
for his goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise;
I will call upon the Lord's name.

My vows to the Lord I will fulfill
before all his people.

In the past six weeks or so there have been periods of just hanging on for dear life while chaos seemed to reign and the Lord's love and protection and mercy seemed very far away. One of those times triggered the posting Doug Sirman was referring to ---- when "Spare us, save us, have mercy on us, O Lord" was the only possible prayer, when our wounds were still fresh and livid, not mostly-scarred-over and a dull background ache. Now, I"ll probably never comprehend why my ex-classmate decided to beat the living daylights out of my local Church ---- but all of us _will_ heal and _will_ continue to serve. Maybe even in time to be ready to go again when, on August 28th, they sit Timothy Dolan down in that big chair in the Cathedral, and, with our new shepherd, we get back to work praising and healing and evangelizing, and performing the works of mercy.

News fron Milwaukee:

Full restitution for the Paul M settlement has been made to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. All excess funds are being directed to the Cathedral Center for homeless women and children at the request of the archbishop. The "Friends of Weakland" website is staying up, at least for a while, to assist the Cathedral Center apostolate. The seeming-impossible is indeed possible.......

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

General update: Now safely in my dad's home in Akron. I'm posting from my brother Michael's computer, which has some problems ---- he only has Netscape (Blogger is strange in Netscape) and his space bar sticks. Until I get back to Milwaukee, there will be no bold or italics, and no hot links, only urls to cut and paste. Oh, well.

Reintroduction to our clan's assorted kidfolk is proceding nicely. God is good.
There is only The Church, and the Church is one

As I keep writing here, sometimes to the point of monomania, there is only the Catholic Church, which we should not set out to divide with extraneous inappropriate adjectives. In this morning's Office of Readings, we are given a passage from the Didache, the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, about the celebration of Eucharist and the oneness of the Church. (So I'm not alone in that belief...... sometimes here in the blogging world it would seem so.....)

This is what the Didache says:

Celebrate the Eucharist as follows: Say over the cup, "We give you thanks, Father, for the holy vine of David, your servant, which you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be glory for ever."

Over the broken bread say, "We give you thanks, Father, for the life and the knowledge which you have revealed to us through Jesus your servant. To you be glory for ever. As this broken bread scattered on the mountains was gathered and became one, so too, may your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. For glory and power are yours through Jesus Christ for ever." .......

When you finish the meal, offer thanks in this manner: "We thank you, holy Father, for your name which you enshrined in our hearts. We thank you for the knowledge and faith and immortality which you revealed to us through your servant Jesus. To you be glory for ever. ............ Remember, Lord, your Church, and deliver her from all evil. Perfect her in your love; and, once she has been sanctified, gather her together from the four winds into the kingdom which you have prepared for her. For power and glory are yours for ever." .............

On the Lord's Day, when you have been gathered together, break bread and celebrate the Eucharist. But first confess your sins so that your offering may be pure. If anyone has a quarrel with his neighbor, that person should not join you until he has been reconciled. Your sacrifice must not be defiled. ..........

Sunday, July 07, 2002

From today's Office of Readings: a sermon by St. Augustine.

I acknowledge my transgression, says David. If I admit my fault, then you will pardon it. Let us never assume that if we live good lives we will be without sin; our lives should be praised only when we continue to beg for pardon. But men are hopeless creatures, and the less they concentrate on their own sins, the more interested they become in the sins of others. They seek to criticize, not to correct. Unable to excuse themselves, they are ready to accuse others. This was not the way that David showed us how to pray and make amends to God, when he said: I acknowledge my transgression, and my sin is ever before me. He did not concentrate on others' sins; he turned his thoughts upon himself. He did not merely stroke the surface, but he plunged inside and went deep down within himself. He did not spare himself, and therefore was not impudent in asking to be spared.

Do you want God to be appeased? Learn what you are to do that God may be pleased with you. Consider the psalm again: If you wanted sacrifice, I would indeed have given it; in burnt offerings you will take no delight. Are you then to be without sacrifice? Are you to offer nothing? Will you please God without an offering? Consider what you read in the same psalm: If you wanted sacrifice, I would indeed have given it; in burnt offerings you will take no delight. But continue to listen, and say with David: A sacrifice to God is a contrite spirit; God does not despise a contrite and humble heart. Cast aside your former offerings, for now you have found out what you are to offer. .............

..........Search within your heart for what is pleasing to God. Your heart must be crushed. Are you afraid that it might perish so? You have the reply: Create a clean heart in me, O God. For a clean heart to be created, the unclean one must be crushed.

We should be displeased with ourselves when we commit sin, for sin is displeasing to God. Sinful though we are, let us at least be like God in this, that we are displeased at what displeases him. In some measure then you will be in harmony with God's will, because you find displeasing in yourself what is abhorrent to your Creator,

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Sporadic posting ahead

Though I'll try to post something here every day or so, don't worry about me until after the 20th. My eldest younger brother Tom's plane should have landed from LAX about a half-hour ago, so, allowing an hour or two for baggage and security and car rental, he'll be here at my anchor hold shortly. He'll crash here for a couple of days, maybe help me pack, and then he'll drive me and my assorted medical stuff to our native land, Akron, Ohio, to attend the Knapp family reunion. While there, I'll be "holding court" for lots of nieces and nephews and cousin's kids who only remember Aunt Karen as a photo on the refrigerator --- they haven't seen me since two new years' ago, a few have been born since then that I haven't met at all yet.

In Akron, we'll stay at the house of my Dad and of Mike, my second eldest younger brother, who has a computer he will probably let me use to post at least every once in a while. So I will not disappear entirely, I hope. Keep all the descendants of E. Pauline Ilg Knapp and Robert Knapp, who died in his children's infancy, in your prayers for safety as the more rambunctious of us party hardy and the less rambunctious work to stay out of the way. .

Friday, July 05, 2002

A Psalm for Friday: Miserere

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness,
in your great tenderness wipe away my faults;
wash me clean of my guilt,
purify me from my sin.

For I am well aware of my faults,
I have my sin constantly in mind,
having sinned against none other than you,
having done what you regard as wrong.

You are just when you pass sentence on me,
blameless when you give judgement.
You know I was born guilty,
a sinner from the moment of conception.

Yet, since you love sincerity of heart,
teach me the secrets of wisdom.
Purify me with hyssop until I am clean;
wash me until I am whiter than snow.

Instil some joy and gladness into me,
let the bones you have crushed rejoice again.
Hide your face from my sins,
wipe out all my guilt.

God, create a clean heart in me,
put into me a new and constant spirit,
do not banish me from your presence,
do not deprive me of your holy spirit.

Be my saviour again, renew my joy,
keep my spirit steady and willing;
and I shall teach transgressors the way to you,
and to you the sinners will return.

Save me from death, God my saviour,
and my tongue will acclaim your righteousness;
Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will speak out your praise.

Sacrifice gives you no pleasure,
were I to offer holocaust, you would not have it.
My sacrifice is this broken spirit,
you will not scorn this crushed and broken heart.

Thursday, July 04, 2002

My REBORN acquaintance Brad Pardee, in his webzine "One Man Watching," has written an excellent essay on praying for those in authority (vol. 3 no. 5, 21 June 2002).

It concludes, "But our prayers, be they for bishops or pastors or bosses or police officers, can always be counted on to be useless if they are never prayed."
A dinner out with "Pompous" Dave (who isn't!)

Yesterday was one of those go-go-go days. Because of the holiday today (which closed the hospital lab), I had to spend yesterday morning there; every two weeks I have to go bleed in a tube to be certain one of my medications isn't doing too much of a good thing. I usually hang around the hospital long enough to eat lunch in the cafeteria there, good cheap food I don't have to cook or clean up after; and yesterday I stayed as long as possible to enjoy the air conditioning. It has been stultifyingly hot here for a week, and I'm drained.

Then, come evening, the transit van took me to Noodles and Company to meet a gentleman I'd jousted with in the listservs for many years but never met in real life ---- Dave Pawlak of the Pompous Ponderings blog. We settled in at a table with our bowls of noodles before 5 pm and were still in the middle of animated conversation at 7:35 when the van service so rudely interrupted us to take me home. Face to face in real life is much superior to emails on flame-prone listservs. We agreed we had to do this again, soon. Maybe when I get back from Knapp reunion later in the month. And yes, we did toast the health of Archbishop-elect Dolan, which was our original excuse for scheduling dinner. Milwaukee is a glorious place to be a Catholic. Especially in tough times. And especially with folk like Dave around.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Keep your eyes upon Jesus: St. Clare of Assisi wrote this to Bl. Agnes of Prague.

......You have one aim: as a poor virgin to embrace the poor Christ. Keep your eyes fast on him who for you was reckoned of no account and let your part be to be willing to be held of no account for him. Your spouse is he who is of comeliness beyond all the sons of men, and who for your salvation became the least of men and despised and smitten and wounded in all of his body and dying under the hard requirements of the cross. It is him you want to see, to gaze upon fixedly, to think upon deeply, and with desire to imitate.

When you suffer with him, you will reign with him; when you grieve with him, you will rejoice with him; when with him you die on the cross of harrowing demands or bitter circumstances, you will possess a heavenly dwelling place in the splendor of the saints; your name, written in the book of life, will be glorious among men. And, because you have done this, in place of the passing things of this earth, yours will be, for eternity and for ever and ever, the glory of the heavenly kingdom. In place of goods that perish yours will be the things that are eternal and you will live for ever and ever.
At Nota Bene Sean is doing a series of spiritual commentaries on the Rule of St. Benedict that I can recommend very highly. He started about a week ago so it should be possible to scroll back his blog and catch up, if you want.

Monday, July 01, 2002

Simplicity. Singleness. Submission.

Twenty-five years ago today, having finally turned 21 years old, I went to church to pray before the Eucharist; I made a prostration, then signed my full name, Karen Marie Agnes Jochebed Knapp, to a lifelong covenant commitment. For the rest of my days, I would be only the Lord's, living simply and singly and in obedient submission. And that is how it has been for the past 25 years.

Simplicity, singleness, and submission is the strong medicine and the firm witness against the unholy trinity of our age: money, sex, and power. Only the Real Trinity --- Father, Son, Holy Spirit --- can guard and protect, liberate and gift; the unholy trio can only enslave and take away and open one to predation.

To live in simplicity reduces money from false god to only the societal convenience and exchange symbol it truly is. The less that one owns, the less the temptation to guard it by force. As St. Francis said in one of his disagreements with the church politicians, "If we had property, we would then need an army to keep it." Of course, there are some things we need if we are to survive in this world. We need clothing, and food, and shelter. Milwaukee winters can be fatal without heating fuel; my disabled body refuses to work without the oxygen supply and the medications. Yet to let go of everything that is not actually need, and if necessary even that, knowing that, whatever comes, the Lord God will provide (and cash money will not), is the witness of simplicity.

To live in singleness is the acknowledgement that I have only one Love, and that nothing and no one must come between us. My whole being, body and heart and soul, belongs to no one except my Beloved, who is faithful to his covenants. This then frees me to love and serve all of my sisters and brothers, since no one of them monopolizes me or holds my conscience. Only my Lord and Beloved has me, so I am free all the way deep down; this is the witness of chaste singleness.

To live in submission means I cannot reach for power, that poisonous food that feeds pride. Others have legitimate authority over me: my bishop and my pastor, my employer and my supervisor when I was still working, my physician and my physical therapist, the moral law, the civil law insofar as it isn't sinful. I obey to the best of my ability, with a willing heart. Instead of grasping for power, I must embrace honesty and truthfulness, which nurture humility and peace. I must openly admit my failings. I can make no excuses. I cannot defend myself, even justly, by accusing anybody else of anything; I can only accuse myself. The very first signs that original sin had happened were hiding from God, then blaming someone else, and we who are baptized are to have none of that! I willingly and joyfully leave the "higher profile" "more important" places in life to others, being content in the place I have been placed, just as in ordinary life I must yield the right of way to all who come behind me in the aisle, since (pretty much by definition) they are all faster than me. To give up power and pride and exchange it for truthfulness and humility is the witness of submission.

Twenty-five years ago, on my twenty-first birthday, I really didn't have much of a clue about what was proper or canonically legal --- I only knew that the way of life I had been living since I was 19 and renamed (I wrote about this a few weeks ago) had to be mine forever. So I wrote three paragraphs on a sheet of paper, prayed, worshipped, and then signed at the bottom of the page, in the way of the covenant commitment, which I did know about from the charismatic renewal. A few years later, when I was in graduate school, I discovered that the Church had laws about such things that I wasn't in conformity with, and guiltily talked with my pastor. He told me not to worry, that there would be no problem as long as I was going to stay faithful and not need released, and as long as I never wore a costume. And so I have lived, and so I will continue, with the help of God.
Better Or Better Off: another of Peter Maurin's Easy Essays.

1. The world would be better off,
if people tried
to become better.

2. And people would
become better
if they stopped trying
to be better off.

3. For when everybody tries
to become better off,
nobody is better off.

4. But when everybody tries
to become better,
everybody is better off.

5. Everybody would be rich
if nobody tried
to be richer.

6. And nobody would be poor
if everybody tried
to be the poorest.

7. And everybody would be
what he ought to be
if everybody tried to be
what he wants
the other fellow to be.