Getting ready to celebrate a wonderful woman being accepted as a novice by the Augustinian Sisters of St. Rita.
Any Catholic women following this blog interested in healthcare/elderly care and religious life should give them a good look. They have a very nice convent and serve a retirement home catering to lower middle class residents in Racine, WI.
“Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take pity on him. If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him. Do not let only your mouth fast, but also the eye, and the ear, and the feet, and the hands, and all the members of our bodies. Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice. Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin. Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful… Let the ear fast… by not listening to evil talk and gossip… Let the mouth fast from the foul words and unjust criticism. For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our brothers?”—St. John Chrysostom (via phil0kalia)
A patient that wanted to have their procedure at our facility this week had asked us to file insurance for them. What we discovered when we called the insurance company on her behalf to discover the nature of her “benefits” is what has moved me to write this blog. I think it might be useful to…
“Man’s maker was made man that He, Ruler of the stars, might nurse at His mother’s breast; that the Bread might hunger, the Fountain thirst, the Light sleep, the Way be tired on its journey; that Truth might be accused of false witnesses, the Teacher be beaten with whips, the Foundation be suspended on wood; that Strength might grow weak; that the Healer might be wounded; that Life might die.”—St. Augustine (via gothicchristian)
Max, I hope you're doing well. There's an al-jeezera story about a nun ministering to transgender (won't let me post the link) I saw the article on a priest's facebook page and read it. I'm confused. Is there no official position on transgender issues for the Church? Also part of the article where it seems to say that the traditional interpretation of Genesis's "male and female" is null and void? Is this an issue where it's left to a person's own conscience? Please help! Thanks!
Hey Skowsky, thanks for this question. There are many issues at play here, and I should preface in some way by saying that there are certainly other opinions on the topic, and that this is how I best understand the issue of transgenderism at the moment.
First and most importantly, it is vital to remember that all persons have inherent dignity and we are called to treat them with love and respect. Violence and discrimination should never be used against those who are or who consider themselves transgendered.
There is nothing wrong with pastoral outreach and offering psychological help to those who are transgender. The real question at hand is how this sister in question practices her ministry. She hides her identity, and even the identity of her congregation, which is highly troubling. There can be legitimate reasons for a sister to hide their identity and that of their ministry (those working with victims of sex trafficking or prostitutes, for example). This sister is hiding probably more because of what she is counseling rather than the fact that she is reaching out to the transgender community. Also, to put it simply “male and female” has not been rendered “null and void” no matter what interpretation this sister is making with the book of Genesis. Take any article on the Church in the secular media with a HUGE grain of salt.
Based on the article you shared with me (I’m not linking to it but others can google it easily if they wish) it seems as though she is actively encouraging these people to “come out” as it were, even if it destroys their families, even if they are married men with children. That to me is highly, highly troubling. There are certainly people who may think they are transgendered and need legitimate psychological help to work out their issues and any trauma in their past, especially abuse of any kind. If a person, especially one who is married, after extensive psychological help, still feels as though they are “trapped in the wrong body,” then maybe some form of transvestism can be encouraged as an outlet for these feelings. A person’s first priority should be to their families and children. Changing genders and taking hormones seems to be a great harm to the family and the spouse they have pledged their lives to. The spouse also has a legitimate expectation of conjugal love, and if someone changes gender through sex reassignment surgery, what does this do to the marriage in question? Further, there are some who thought they were transgender only to change back to their birth sex, here and here. There is a great deal of confusion, and transgendered people have very high rates of suicide and depression. If this sister in question is blindly encouraging people to “come out” as transgender and go through surgeries, I could see why her ministry would be viewed as highly suspect.
Transgenderism in general can be suspect in some ways, those who undergo the full change must take artificial hormones to trick their body into behaving differently, they must have surgery to change their bodies, removing good and healthy body parts. These can be morally troubling. A transgendered person will always have the genetic make up of their birth sex no matter how long they take artificial hormones or whether they have undergone surgery. These surgeries and hormone regimens are now being done to younger and younger people, even children. Being a child and a teenager is confusing enough at times, they absolutely should never be allowed to go through with a gender reassignment surgery or hormone regimen, we don’t know if they are expressing out a phase or experimenting with something. The feelings might go away, we don’t know. “Open minded” parents encouraging this, in my opinion, are doing great harm to their children when if they resort to these measures. As I said earlier, some transvestism is more morally acceptable as an outlet/form of experimenting, but mutilating the body and tricking it with synthetic hormones are far more morally problematic; especially with children and young people.
Those who do experience these feelings must be treated with great love and they must be given psychological help to work out their feelings. Those who have already gone through surgeries do need pastoral outreach in some form in the Church, so this is a good issue to be thinking about. With time our Church is going to have to grapple more seriously with this. Some issues for discussion in the Church I think would be good are: the responsibilities someone who is married and experiences feelings of transgenderism has to their family, the use of synthetic hormones to trick the body into acting in a manner unnatural to it, the removing of good and healthy sex organs from the body, whether transvestism can be encouraged in some ways to help those who experience these feelings, how to best render psychological help to those who experience these feelings, necessary pastoral outreach to those who have undergone surgeries and are living in a state different from their birth sex.
I offer these questions up for discussion. This post is how I best read this very difficult issue at the moment. Thanks for the question.
In an August news conference, President Obama said there were “other avenues" available to someone like Snowden "whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions." Obama pointed to Presidential Policy Directive 19 — which set up a system for questioning classified government actions under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. However, as a contractor rather than a government employee or officer, Snowden was outside the protection of this system. “The result,” Snowden said, “was that individuals like me were left with no proper channels.”
My LA Kings traded for the fast sniper winger they haven’t really had since Ziggy Palfy, and now they’ve won 6 games in a row. My boys are taking the Cup this year.
Best meanest snarliest defense.
Best two way centers.
Stoked for the playoffs. If the Kings play the Blues or Blackhawks it will be an all out war for 7 games. Last years Kings-Blues was the most physical, brutal, punishing series of the playoffs. Oh man oh man I can’t wait.
“The so-called French Paradox isn’t a paradox. The French have low rates of heart disease not despite eating so much saturated fat, but rather because of it, or at the very least independently of their high saturated fat intake. The widespread advice to replace saturated fat with polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), which are commonly found in vegetable oils, is more troubling in light of the “Israeli Paradox.” Israelis consume lots of PUFAs and little saturated fat—and they have notably high rates of heart disease. Perhaps these aren’t “paradoxes” but evidence that the conventional wisdom is backward.”—John Durant (via happinessweareallinittogether)
For $1900 we fixed a young man’s broken nose yesterday, a procedure for which he was quoted $20,000 at a local “not for profit” hospital. (Keep in mind that our price included the surgeon’s and anesthesiologist’s fees while the hospital quote did not.) ”What can I get away with” is the pricing…
Staying in sick today. It’s a nuisance cold and I pushed through it the last two days with a runny nose and congestion. Went to bed at 7pm last night with a NyQuil pill and woke up at 9 this morning. Figure I needed that lol. I feel much better now.
“The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.”—Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (via theredshoes)
“To any woman out there who is fed up with trying the same thing over and over, I offer this suggestion. Instead of getting back on the treadmill “one more time,” try this. Alter your diet so that you eat no grain-based carbohydrate: no flour, no sugar, no bread, no pasta, and no high-fructose corn syrup. Then go to the gym and perform a workout of leg press, pull down, chest press, row and overhead press. Lift slowly and smoothly but with as much effort as possible. Go to complete fatigue, or as close to it as you can tolerate. Work out once, or at most, twice a week. Make sure your workouts last no longer than 20 minutes. Then sit back and watch what happens.”—Dr. Doug McGuff (via happinessweareallinittogether)
“There are people in need of help. Charity is one of the nobler human motivations. The act of reaching into one’s own pockets to help a fellow man in need is praiseworthy and laudable. Reaching into someone else’s pocket is despicable and worthy of condemnation.”—Walter E Williams (via amphigoryglory)
I’m hearing from various sources that there are strong fascist elements in Ukraine’s new quasi government since the other guy got run out. Can anyone confirm this?
Right now I see a best case scenario for the world as just allowing Russia to do what it pleases in regards to Crimea (annexation, puppet government). We need to accept that this is what will happen, Russia isn’t going to pull out at this point.
A far worse case scenario would be a Ukrainian civil war between the very divided east and west, this is more likely given fascist actions by the central government and oligarch governors being appointed in the pro-Russian Eastern parts of the country. That is the picture I’m seeing based on certain sources I read. Russia would at least be involved clandestinely in this war, possibly overtly. The United States/CIA would be funding/arming the West.
The military industrial complex in the United States wanted a pro-West Ukraine that it could heavily arm and “defend” from Russia to the tune of billions of dollars in contracts in military aid. Now they may just get a second best scenario (in the eyes of the immoral and evil military industrial complex) with a civil war. We must be on alert if a civil war breaks to see what sort of forces are fighting on the western side, there is a high likelihood of there being fascist elements. Given that the United States supported Al Qaeda and affiliates in Libya and Syria, I wouldn’t put it past the Obama administration to get into a covert war there with “Freedom Fighters” aka fascists.
What are your reads on the situation in Ukraine? I’m hoping it all stops in Crimea, but international affairs involve many dominoes…
Belleville News-Democrat ran a story about an 11-year-old girl making about $200 a month selling cupcakes that apparently left a bad taste in the mouths of Illinois health officials.
Middle-schooler Chloe Stirling of Troy, Ill., quickly learned a tough lesson about government regulation on small businesses after the story ran on Sunday. Madison County Health Department officials informed her family that the pastry party was over on Monday.
“They called and said they were shutting us down,” said Chloe’s mother, Heather Stirling.
According to the Post-Dispatch, health officials informed the Stirlings that they would have to “buy a bakery or build her a kitchen separate from the one we have” for Chloe to continue selling cupcakes.
“Obviously, we can’t do that,” Heather said. “We’ve already given her a little refrigerator to keep her things in, and her grandparents bought her a stand mixer. But a separate kitchen? Who can do that?”
“The rules are the rules. It’s for the protection of the public health,” said health department spokeswoman Amy Yeager. “The guidelines apply to everyone. People will react how they choose to react. But it is our job.”
Good job, government. One young female entrepreneur crushed by the leviathan.
“I think the world is largely united in recognizing that the steps Russia has taken are a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, their territorial integrity — that they’re a violation of international law.”—The Drone King