title explained

Onward and upward! something that you say in order to encourage someone to forget an unpleasant experience or failure and to think about the future instead and move forward.

My e-mail: jjmiller6213@comcast.net

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mourning, Rituals & Other Things I Don't Understand

On and off during Tuesday and today, I watched EWTN and all the priests and people talking about how Mother Angelica changed, not only lives, but the Catholic Church.  She started that whole TV network, that now reaches all around the world.  Bedridden for the last 15 years from a stroke and in continual, fierce pain.  

Her birth name was Rita Rizzo, and like her name implies, she was a feisty, Italian girl and nun!  She was so humorous in her Bible studies, I guess I liked that about her.  She had suffered abuse while a young girl--her father, an alcoholic left the family early on.

What I didn't know until today, her mother later joined the same Franciscan Order and lived in the same convent/monastery.  So SHE was her mother's, Mother Superior.

I watched as her casket was brought back to the place she built.  I do believe she is the most influential woman in the whole Catholic Church.

There were Rosaries (about every two hours) said for Mother Angelica.  I barely made it through one.  Then we had an hour long "Stations of the Cross", which was nice.  Mass and Communion services each day.  

Lots of things I don't understand about the Catholic rituals.

Why do they repeat the same words/prayer, over and over when they do the Rosary?  That started to get on my nerves.  Doesn't the Blessed Mother, God and Jesus hear them the first time?
Why do they have incense they wave around?
What's the deal with the Holy Water sprinkler?
And why do they have to keep praying for her soul?

My Bible says, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord,"--like instantaneously.

If there ever was a person that Bible verse would pertain to, it certainly is Mother Mary Angelica!!!

People have already claimed healing's by praying to Mother Angelica.  I do think she will eventually be canonized and made a Saint.


Now, wait a minute.  If they are praying for her soul, that must mean they don't think she is in Heaven as yet.  Probably in Purgatory?  Then how would they think she could send a healing?

Maybe there are so many services taking place constantly so that God will notice someone important has died?  Doesn't He already know that?  

I don't understand much so, I guess I will have to ask my Karen.   She knows all that stuff about the rituals and such.

Which just reminded me of something.  Years ago--about 25 years, Pam and Jennifer decided to join the Catholic faith.  They both had already been baptized when they were babies, so they didn't have to go through that again, but they took the Catechism classes and there was an evening service at the Church for them to make their commitment to the Church and take their first communion.

It was at a local Church and of course, even though I lived 50 miles away, I attended.  After wards, the Priest came down the aisle.  He was sprinkling Holy Water back and forth on each pew.  I was sitting on the outside seat and when he got to me, he sprinkled the row in front, the row across from me and the row behind me and skipped right over me.

How did he know I was a heathen?  Because I hadn't gone up to take Communion with everyone else?  Anyway, I was a bit miffed that he didn't include me in the blessing or whatever that Holy Water is for!  and I felt bad about the people sitting in my pew row that missed out, just because of me!!  I'm still embarrassed about it.

I know that Catholics can be quite exclusionary. I realize that I can't take Communion at their altar because I might defile the Host, which seems not right to me.  I got upset about that once ( a long time ago) and told Karen, "In our church, as you well know, the minister states, 'This is the Lord's table. Open to all.'  Do you think that if I knocked on the door of the Upper Room and Jesus came to the door, He'd not let me in for supper because I'm not a Jew?"

Anyway, (or so I've heard), they tend to think their way is the only way and only Catholics get to Heaven.

That's why when you get to Heaven, you have to tiptoe past the Catholic room, so they don't realize you made it.  When you get to the Methodist or Baptist room, you can once again break out in loud hymn singing, shouting AMEN and PRAISE THE LORD!!  (old joke).

Sunday, I made another mistake.  I wished my grand daughter's fiance' Mike a Blessed Passover, because I thought that Passover is the same time as our Easter.  (Some years it is).  Well, come to find out THIS YEAR, Passover occurs on April 23rd. Passover is when Moses finally got the Jews out of Egypt--thus the reason "The Ten Commandments" movie is on TV every year at Easter time.

Our whole Easter thing is based on the Pagan thingie that has to do with the Moons cycle.  (Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox.)

So back then, Jesus DID have Passover with his disciples on what we called Maundy Thursday.  But this year, the Easter/Passover thingie didn't line up together.

Instead, the Jewish people were celebrating Purim, which is from the book of Esther.

Oh Lord!  Save me!  

Not only do I need a Catechism class, but I need a Bat Mitzvah and if Maddie ever brings home some man named Abdul Mohammad, I am just done!!

Next time I am in the company of Karen's family, and the Jewish fiance', and asked to say Grace, I will start my prayer with, "Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, now Bless us oh Lord and these our gifts, which we are about to receive from thy bounty and (my old stand-by grace),  Bless this food to our use and us to thy service.  Amen."  

If nothing else, I am Ecumenical!!


  1. i must be honest and say that i only read part of this entry. the part i read was interesting as this is something i know nothing about. i do not believe in organized religion...i believe in something, i know my soul is good....but all of this, not for me! sorry, i just need to be honest.

    i did not want to visit and not leave a comment, you left such a kind comment for me!

    1. I get what you're saying Debbie. To me "organized religion" means a certain denomination, like Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran--with all their traditions and rituals. I can be out in a forest, walking on a trail, or sitting up against a tree and be much closer to God than inside a Church, with all the distractions. Each one of us have our own beliefs and that is the way it ought to be. I read your blog whenever you post because I so enjoy the content and that is most likely, because your soul is good!!

  2. Mother Angelica's TV show might have been influential with Catholics but it's kind of hard for me to believe that she was the MOST influential woman in the Catholic Church because few people outside of the church even knew/know about her unlike Mother Theresa, for example, where m/billions of people knew of her work, benefited from it and wanted to emulate her good works. I've never watched Mather Angelica but back in the day I watched Fifteen With Father. Did you ever see that program?

    It's been decades since I knew all the rituals of the Catholics---my dad's whole family were good Catholic Italians. But as I remember they are NOT repeating prayers as it does sound like they are doing the same one over and over around the rosary. They will tell you they are saying a progression of prayers as they work their way around the rosary. Each break in the beads representing something different that they think about and offer the prayer to in Holy Meditation. Three Hail Mary's represent faith, hope and charity for example.

    I'll bet you'd enjoy a comparative religion class at a local college. You should look into OLLIE and see if you can find one.

    1. I DID take a Comparative Religions class in college in 1972. That's where I read the Quaran and got scared about Islamic teachings. I told other people what I had learned, but of course back then, nobody in my group had ever seen or heard about Muslims, so we were unaffected. I guess I have always been interested in the different traditions and rituals of different religions/denominations.

    2. I took a Comparative Religion class at a Catholic college in the '70s and they didn't teach a 'scary Islamic' version. LOL I would take a class like that again. It was really one of the most interesting classes I've ever taken and wonder if it still would be now that I've lived a little.

  3. I'll be quite honest, Judy, not only do I not know much about catholic or have heard Mother Angelica. This is an interesting nonetheless. You're so intelligent! :)

    1. I have wanted to learn, since my girls decided to convert to Catholicism. The Catholic Church was the first Church. The rituals and traditions are quite beautiful, to my way of thinking. A few times in my life, when faced with desperation, I have prayed the 9 day novena to St. Jude--the Patron Saint of Hopeless Causes. Each time my novena was answered, quite remarkable to me. I also cross myself after I take Communion in my own church. Nowadays, most Churches don't use an altar rail or don't kneel at that rail for Communion. To me, Communion is a very spiritual, emotional thing for me. I take my grape juice and bread down to the end of the altar, kneel and then cross myself before I get up. I doubt anyone cane see me, but it is part of my ritual, of course, nowadays, (at least my) Methodist Church would not throw me out for making the sign of the Cross. We worship the same, One God, His Risen Son and the Holy Spirit. What difference if we use different symbols that are important to us to give us that connection?

  4. Judy I am a person from a Protestant background that attended catholic classes later in life to learn about that faith. Basically their liturgy and practices ( the very simple basic ones ) go back to the early church. If you google and research early liturgies and such you will understand a bit more. The Didache is the earliest / things grew over time from there. God is Spirit and desires us to worship in spirit and and truth, according to the Master. But there are many ways to do that : ) I think that God must love seekers and questioners though, don't you?

    1. I think God gave us Free Will to be seekers and questioners. LOL
      I don't just go blindly. Although I was raised in a Christian home, I still had to question, read, and seek the answers that I could find in the Bible and THEN, baby-step my way to a much deeper spiritual footing. It took me a very long time to really practice forgiveness. Yes, I could forgive, but not forget. When I finally "got it" so to speak, I found that I did forget. None of those thoughts of past perceived abuses toward me even come to my mind anymore. What a wonderful relief. Now I am working on giving ALL control and worry to God. Slowly getting there and that too--it is just a wonderful relief of all that weight being gone from my mind.

  5. I was raised Catholic. Twelve years of Catholic school. Played the organ at my church. Got married (the first time!) in the church. Now I am not a member of an organized church ... I think I'm a catholic with a small "c" ...

    cath·o·lic (kăth′ə-lĭk, kăth′lĭk)
    1. Of broad or liberal scope; comprehensive: "The 100-odd pages of formulas and constants are surely the most catholic to be found" (Scientific American).
    2. Including or concerning all humankind; universal: "what was of catholic rather than national interest" (J.A. Froude).

  6. LOL all your observations about the BIG DEAL rituals. Like God is dense or something LOL! I wasn't born a Catholic, and I like AW's description of her spirituality - catholic with a small 'c'.

    Won't it be interesting to pass and finally be in the BIG picture we can only -maybe- glimpse now and again from this side?