Friday, April 13, 2007

Rev. "Peacemaker"?

1) Adoration tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church. All are invited!!

2) Thanks to the blogger who nominated this site in a few different categories for the “Blogger’s Choice Awards”, and to Kat Mills for letting me know about this. You can go to the voting site and cast a vote for St Andrew’s Q & A (for Best Religion Blog, e.g.) by clicking on the title of this post.
I just returned from a few days of R & R at the beach which were very enjoyable and relaxing. It was good to get away, and enjoy the newness of life that the Easter season brings. I had a ton of fun (and yes, stayed out of trouble, as one parishioner has already asked me!), but also had a little mini-retreat experience. Being able to celebrate Mass and make a Holy Hour with the Blessed Sacrament in the hotel room certainly helps to enter into a prayerful mode!

Nevertheless, I was able to catch up on television after giving it up for Lent. I caught up, and then some! I think it would have been possible, after watching three days of TV this week, to know every possible opinion concerning Don Imus’s remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Every channel, it seemed, had some “expert” repeating and analyzing Imus’s inane and deplorable comments. The interesting thing is is that when Imus made his hateful barb, hardly anyone heard it. It wasn’t until the media got hold of it, and repeated it dozens and dozens of times, that the firestorm began.

As Christians watching all of this unfold, we see it in relation to Christ. When there is a dispute that is bringing a rising amount of tension, Christ calls for peacemakers. As we watch all of the players in this game, how many peacemakers do we see? Are there any? Are there men and women who have stepped forward to work toward reconciliation between the two sides? Working toward peace? Toward forgiveness? We would expect this, especially if the person has “Rev.” in front of his name.

It has been very interesting to hear some major Christian themes to be evoked in this process. One newspaper journalist wrote that an apology is not enough for Don Imus; he needed a full “conversion”. That was the word she used. She was saying that Imus not only should change his manner of speaking, but that he should change his whole life so that he can see others with the dignity they deserve. Wow! Also, I heard one TV analyst saying that Imus should have 1) admitted he was wrong, 2) said he was sorry, and 3) asked for forgiveness. His point was that if Imus had done these three things, he would still have his job and wouldn’t be in the enormous mess he’s in. If each of us did that on a regular basis, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in – individually and collectively.

Finally, there are examples of Christian dignity here. The Rutgers women have shown a class to them, certainly; but, it’s beyond merely presenting themselves well in appearance and speech. They have a spirit about them that shows why they should be respected. They defended their own dignity as women, daughters, and students; I didn’t hear them all, but one of the women said that she is a daughter before anything else. She’s so right. It is because she is a daughter of God that she and the others should always be treated with dignity and respect. That is the line that Don Imus crossed; he lost sight of them as persons. That is the hurtful part. But, with their class and grace, they have restored their dignity as persons. In addition, they are open to engaging in a dialogue with Imus that will hopefully lead to reconciliation and forgiveness. Amid all of the older people involved, they are the Christian examples.

Now, all we need to do is to get them to talk with the hip-hop rappers about THEIR hate-filled words (lyrics)!


At 1:39 PM, Blogger Kat said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Kat said...

Sorry forgot I was logged in (DOH!):

I wish they would go after the rappers too, thier lyrics are just as bad if not worse then Imus's comments and it has been going on for years.

At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you hearing confessions on Devine Mercy Sunday?

At 2:14 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

One of the main issue that was reinforced over and over again, particularly by one man w/a Rev. in front of his name, was that people have a right to express their opinions- whatever they may be, but that b/c it was done over the public airwaves, actions were required. Although I agree that airwaves should be used with proper respect and responsibility, the issue had less to do with where something was said, but with the fact that it was said (and thought)at all. I, too, heard the "daughter first" statement, and I wish women would own that and profess it loudly and often. It frustrates me that we still allow ourselves to be objectified in so many ways. The next time you're at the grocery store look at the covers of the magazines, span the television channels during "family" hour or Google something without the most recently updated child filters. It sickens me. In one way, although I'm sorry the women of Rutgers bball team's accomplishments were diminished by this, I am glad this idiocy was exposed. But it goes on everyday, not only in the loud, ignorant comments of a big-mouthed shock-jock, or in the vile lyrics of a song, but in the subtleness of images we are exposed to, and, most importantly to me, our children are exposed to everyday. It diminishes who we really are in a measurable way. That, to me, is the real problem.

At 2:37 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

This is a subject I feel strongly about, so I'm not quite through...

I haven't read the archived blog topics, so maybe you have talked about this, but I wish the topic of objectification would be something we'd focus on more. Many young boys (and many more old ones!) think it's okay to look at women in a one dimensional way. I have friends who think it's okay for their husbands to go out with the guys to a strip club. I have friends who think that it's "normal" for their husbands to watch porn. I have friends who have thought it was funny to find Playboys under their sons' beds. I've always indentified myself as liberal, but in today's accepting of smut culture, apparently, I've become quite a prude. The measure I offered my eldest son when he was in high school and, at that time, had three younger sisters, was to determine his actions and/or reactions in the same way he want someone to act and react to his sisters. Would those same boys and men look at those images with the same acceptance if they were images of their sisters, daughters, mothers and wives? I think not! Why, then, don't men understand that their sisters, daughters, mothers and wives pay a price everyday for the acceptance of those images?

Thanks for letting me vent.

At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Kat said...


You are so right, we (women especially) pay the price every day for the objectification of women in aspects of society like Porn etc. it is a disease that invades and infects and affects everyone it touches and thier families.

At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think porn is a "disease". It is infectious and contagious. I think it's actually killing the morals of many.

At 4:21 PM, Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

The media is out to sell itself for the sake of advertising revenue. It will print/broadcast what we watch. It seems that we must enjoy watching the media create storms over issues, so they keep creating such storms.

At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a problem with the sexualization of girls in the media. Something so seemingly small as a Bratz doll in a short skirt with a mid-drift top, lots of make-up and big heels, teaches our little girls (and little boys) to grow to an ideal that come from their sexuality. It's hard to find role models for our girls who live a life of purity and modesty in popular media. Popular culture coming through so many venues has allowed so many pervasive ideas to take hold. Even feminism, which should be speaking about dignity for all, has served to teach women that chastity oppressive. They have reinforced the idea that for women to be equal to men, they should be sexually liberated. You only have to look to the young role models out there who are only too happy to make sex tapes and show the world that they are free enough to go out half dressed (and w/o underwear) to see where that liberation is taking us. I like the daughter thinking a lot. We are all daughters first, and perhaps we should consider behaving, at all stages in our lives, like the parent we all know is watching really does care how we live.

At 7:22 PM, Blogger fran said...

For Mindy:

The definition of the word prude is "overly concerned with decorum or propriety"- hardly the way I view your rational thoughts and view of the media run amok, and the accompanying immoral activities and insensitive opinions of so many.

Oh, and BTW, the word "prude" has its roots in the French "prude femme." It's meaning? - "virtuous woman!" As far as I'm concerned, a lot of today's issues might just be resolved, if there were more prudes in it!

At 9:25 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

Your sensibilities are only a few of the many reasons so many a SAA appreciate you so much, I included in that group!

To all-
I went to Adoration tonight and it was magnificent! Deacon Mike did something different than I experienced before. He invited all to the front pews. He brought the monstrace around to each person in attendance to give them their own private time with Jesus. Now, at first, I was anxious. I'm not the best at focusing for any period of time (I swear I've ADD) and that combined with other people looking at me when it was my turn, well- forget it- I'd die! Strangely enough, (after the earlier posts of today) everyone in the front pews were female, and several were people I knew. I could do this! When the monstrace was before me, my first thought was, "thank you". I went on with my gratitude list and was suprised that my time was up when the deacon made a sign of the cross with the monstrace and moved to the next person in the pew. The deacon asked that all in attendance would encourage others to attend Adoration, and that is my purpose in sharing this. For any of you who know me, I don't think my life looks that different from yours. Especially the school parents, we all are committed to teaching our kids about faith. The Friday night Adorations are a TREMENDOUS tool in doing that. I think most of you who know me know that I'm pretty normal, and although I've an unusual fondness for fancy paper and ribbon (and sometime go a bit over-the-top with events), I am far cry from your drugstore brand "religious nut". Please believe me when I say, Adoration will enhance your faith. Try it once, but be warned, it's addictive- you will go back.

At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would he hear confessions on Sunday I don't get it.

At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Markov said...

"Please believe me when I say, Adoration will enhance your faith. Try it once, but be warned, it's addictive- you will go back."

I agree with the above post. A little while ago I had posted that I had taken my 3 year old nephew to Eucharistic Adoration. Lately he has been asking me if he could go back to the "little room." The church has virtual adoration in a room. My problem is that my nephew is not Catholic or Christian for that matter. My brother -n-law keeps telling him let's see. I don't say anything because I don't want to step on anyone's toes. I feel that something spiritual is happening to this child. Who knows if he will feel the same way when he grows up. It is really quite unusual when a 3 year old asks to go to Eucharistic Adoration. Any thoughts of what should I do?

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's wrong with me? I go to Mass, I've gone to Adoration, I've gone to Confession, and I went to the Good Friday service at the Cathedral downtown. It all feels surreal to me and I sit there feeling totally alienated. I am drawn to this blog to read about other people's positive experiences, but it always leaves me feeling shut out of it all.

At 2:08 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

Nothing is wrong with you. I understand "not getting it" well. I like things in my life "just so" and I paint these detailed pictures of how I think things should be. Often, if I don't know, see or feel something, especially regarding faith, the same ways others seem to, I think I'm broken. I have this innate talent for twisting the simplest thing into something so complex, and then I doubt myself and regret my actions and again deem myself broken. I don't why it's harder for some of us to just let things be what they are w/o rendering some negative self-judgement. I'm guilty of this, but I'm learning to accept where I am in certain areas. (Other areas, like relationships and trust- I'm still screwed-up) Maybe, just go to Mass and Adoration with acceptance to observe and appreciate things like-the fact that you are with many wonderful people, hopefully are guided by wise priests, enjoy the art where you worship, enjoy the music and learn to relax. We are all our own's biggest critics- the fact that you are seeking something is rather large. If you continue to look without the weight of inadequacy, I'll bet you'll find what your looking for.

At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Markov said...

"What's wrong with me? I go to Mass, I've gone to Adoration, I've gone to Confession, and I went to the Good Friday service at the Cathedral downtown. It all feels surreal to me and I sit there feeling totally alienated. I am drawn to this blog to read about other people's positive experiences, but it always leaves me feeling shut out of it all."


I felt that way for a LONG time. But don't give up the sacraments. I was given the same advice and thank God I listened to that person and kept taking it. If there is a priest nun or a lay person that you feel comfortable with then you should consider talking to them. Please, please don't give up your spiritual journey it "will" lead you to the light. Have you considered reading books on saints? Anything on Fatima, Medjugorge, St. Francis, the Little Flower etc etc will give you inspiration.
Also go to Eucharistic Adoration and pour your heart out. God will listen to you. He did for me and He will for you. Remember we are all here for you.

God Bless,

At 4:48 PM, Anonymous TSO said...

I wonder if holding a press conference wasn't a bit over the top though. I mean, Imus apologized and if the team had merely ignored him and not given him the dignity of a reply - that would've been classy and much more in the peacemaker mold.

Because it's not as though anyone actually believed the substance of Imus's comment was true. By responding, it's like when good man denies that he beats his wife - it just gives the slur more attention than it deserves.

But it's not as though I don't like it when Bill Donohue of the Catholic League defends the Church against anti-Catholic slurs in the media, so I have mixed emotions and am not sure about the whole thing.

At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah- that Bill Donohue is a fiesty and tenacious man, isn't he? When he stand up for the church, I find myself voicing, outloud, "yeah!!!"

At 8:10 PM, Blogger fran said...

" I go to Mass, I've gone to Adoration, I've gone to Confession,...."

I think all of us, at some point in our lives, have an experience similar to Dorothy Gale, Judy Garland's character, in the Wizrd of Oz, - searching for something that all along was 'right in our own backyard.'

By all means continue going to Mass, attending Adoration, etc., but also find some quiet time for daily prayer at home, then most importantly, be still and listen. God is there too, right in your own backyard.

At 5:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Fran said, daily prayer at home helps. Before,I'd only do it when there was a big crisis in my life over which I felt no control. During Lent I made the committment to set aside one hour each day for prayer, meditation and/or reading. Often, it meant getting up earlier/going to bed later. Daily prayer helps to reinforce the understanding that I don't have the power to save myself. I can't heal myself, and all that I do to make myself "better" are just coping mechanisms. Daily prayer has strengthened my belief that healing comes through the grace of God.

At 6:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pope Benedict made the following comment for the Roman Catholic Church’s World Day of Communications (theme this year was "Children and the Media: A Challenge for Education"):

"I appeal to the leaders of the media industry to educate and encourage producers to safeguard the common good, to uphold the truth, to protect human dignity and promote respect for the needs of the family."

He addressed that fact that commercial appeal often lowers our moral standards. If we didn't reward the lowering of standards by filling some corporate pocketbooks, it would stop. All those corporations who pulled their sponsoship of the Imus show proved what our communal intolerance can impower.

At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something so seemingly small as a Bratz doll in a short skirt with a mid-drift top, lots of make-up and big heels, teaches our little girls (and little boys) to grow to an ideal that come from their sexuality.

I asked a group of 6 year old girls why they liked Bratz dolls so much (they had bakpacks, lunchboxes, stickers etc) and they all answered because they (the dolls) looked sexy!!! These were "6" year old little girls!!! Wow, things have changed a lot since I was a little girl in the ice ages.


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