Tags: vatican

Jesus Grotto

Christmas Eve

Marilyn and I are watching Christmas Eve mass at the Vatican right now on NBC. (We actually tried watching it earlier on the Catholic channel, but their programming was messed up so we couldn't, which is okay. Thankfully we get it now -- with lots of wonderful explanations!)

It would be hard not to love this current Pope, I think.

We had a nice day. I slept very late -- and Marilyn slept in, too. We get so tired when we have a busy day, like yesterday. We'd planned to try and go to see Shari this morning, but now we'll wait until after Christmas (after not getting there last night).

We spent a pretty quiet day, playing on our iPads and watching TV.

This evening Marilyn took me to dinner at our local Chinese place. We hadn't had anything but snacks all day, so we were really hungry. It was very busy there. Anyway, we had a lovely meal.

I took our neighbor Christmas gifts to June and Jim's house, and visited with June, Dodi and Bruce (Jim and Kelsey were at the store). Kyle didn't come along this year. (Oh! And Marilyn and I were happy to hear June and Jim had eaten dinner with JimJim last night!)

Doug brought our gift earlier from Janet and him. But I missed them when I went over. I also missed Chuck, John and Barbara and Rose and Ian. Maybe I'll try them tomorrow. I did see Estelle and Tom. And I didn't try Barbara. I suppose I should have started earlier, but it's okay...

Estelle had tried coming by for us last night -- around 6:30. I told her we were at work late, so that was ehy.

We watched a bunch of Yule Log today -- by the Hallmark channel. It had a cat bed by the fireplace, and a yellow cat, Happy! We just loved watching Happy. And so did our cat, Colin! He was fascinated by Happy and watched him for hours!

Off to watch more of the mass!!!!!

Merry Christmas!

Jesus Grotto

Holy Saturday -- EWTN: Easter Vigil Mass from Rome -- Visiting the Beach House

I just turned on EWTN and they're showing the EASTER VIGIL MASS FROM ROME (His Holiness celebrating the Easter Vigil Mass, live from Rome). It's hard to believe it's Good Saturday, and Easter is tomorrow. It's very solemn as they walk quietly in the dark with only one candle against the darkness. Soon the candles of the Faithful will be slowly be lit. Right now the Holy Father's candle is being lit from the Pascal candle...

Marilyn felt really bad last night. She was sure she was getting sick -- and I was sure she was, too. At one point she wanted to pack up and just drive back to Portland. But she was feeling too lousy to do that... She took some medication and went up to bed and fell asleep pretty early.

I took my iPod and listened to some religious music. Then I shut that off my iPod and took my Kindle and began reading.

In Rome the Pascal candle's flame is being used to light all the candles. It's very moving to see the darkness pushed back by all those candles. And now the lights have gone up filling the room. All this is done in TOTAL SILENCE.

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I've been reading "World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" (written by Max Brooks, the son of Mel Brooks). I just read in "Entertainment Weekly" about the movie "World War Z" that Brad Pitt is making -- I'm sure all of you have heard about it... It's annoying to read that the movie will be deliberately changing some of the basic elements of the book. Actually, I should say MOST of the basic elements. Hahahahahaha. But who knows? Maybe the movie will still be good in it's own way -- even if it's not like the book.

In fact, right after I started reading the book I wondered HOW they could possibly turn it into a movie. It really doesn't lend itself to that. I mean, a mini-series or TV series, maybe. But not a movie... Oh well.

I read for ages before going to sleep last night. From the magazine, from some articles in The Oregonian Marilyn had kept for me to see, from another book (hard copy) and my Kindle...

This morning Marilyn was feeling better, so we didn't end up heading back to Portland. We made up a big pot of chili that we've been eating on today -- very tasty!

We did try to take a ride at one point. It was GORGEOUS outside -- warm with totally blue skies and no hints of a cloud. But the TRAFFIC was terrible! Awful. You could barely creep along. It's the end of Spring Break in Oregon and the first weekend of Spring Break for Washington -- and what used to be the focus of students off school has turned into something for adults, as well. TONS of people end up here in Seaside (Oregon) for Spring Break. It was amazing to see that many cars and people everywhere!

It might be annoying if you're trying to go anywhere, but it's good for the local economy. And it was actually interesting to see. But the second we were able to, we headed right back to the house again. So much for trying to walk on the beach today! (grin)

That was a goal, mind you. The idea of getting our toes in the sand. But what can you do?

The room is currently filled with the sound of chanting from the Vatican. Lovely sound...

It's nice to be here again. We were last here February 15, 16 and 17 -- so it's been more than a month. But we did get here in March. And we'll be here next weekend for Marilyn's birthday, too! I might have mentioned before that our goal would be to make it here at least once a month. It's especially difficult during the busy part of our work year. No, it's not a long drive. It takes around two hours from Portland to Seaside.

When Marilyn is really tired that can be a lot for her. The weekend before last we were actually packed up and ready to come here. We pulled away from the house with our small bags, food and other stuff -- plus the two cats in their crates -- only to turn around and go back to the Portland house. You see, when we have really busy weeks, all we really want to do on the weekend is sleep -- or lie around and relax. (That is IF we even get the weekend off from working, which we often do not.)

I think at one point yesterday we could have ended up doing the very same thing -- just turning around and going back to the house. As I said, it's not that long a drive. And it is a drive we love to make. We used to make it all the time before we had a beach house. It's pretty nice to have a destination, and not need to to turn around the same day and drive back again. But as I said, we've done that so many times! We just love coming to Seaside (and/or Cannon Beach). And the drive is part of that experience.

Okay, I'm on a different channel now and they're showing the Bush's Baked Beans commercial with the 'action figures.' I LOVE THIS!!! You know what??? I'd buy those! Hahahahahahahaha. Oh! Be sure to click the link to go and VIEW the YouTube of the commercial. I think it's so cool...

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And that's it for today!
charlie 2012 beige

"The Walking Dead" and "Revenge" -- Plus Lent and More...

Marilyn and I watched both "The Walking Dead" and "The Talking Dead" tonight. (Normally we never watch the second show.) It was interesting listening to Michael Rooker talking about his role as Merle...

SPOILER ALERT!!! I'm going to talk about the events of this episode, so if you don't want to know, stop reading now.









You can read about the episode HERE, if you're interested.

It was actually sad to see Merle turned into a walker -- and Daryl forced to destroy him. It was cool to see Merle save Michonne (when it appeared he would do the exact opposite). The Governor biting off Merle's fingers was gross -- a whole new low. (ugh) Glen and Maggie getting engaged was cool, of course. And it was good to see Rick appear to be a little more sane (about time). But all in all this was about Merle -- and I think viewers will miss him. It was interesting how long people waited for him to come back -- and how excited people were about the character.

I get that character death is part of the bible of this series, but there are so many characters that have been lost that I think were a terrible loss... I think I liked those days when you could count on your main characters remaining alive. (sigh)

We're now watching "Revenge" while I type this. Actually, I'm typing this for the second time (big sigh) as I already lost the whole thing once.

To be more specific, I'm on my laptop in our family room, rather than using my desktop computer in our upstairs office. I just discovered that I'm unable to Remote from my laptop, by the way. The same thing has been true for Marilyn for some time -- and it's highly annoying!!! I need Kris to FIX this situation for me (and Marilyn, too, if she still wants it).

This is a really boring episode of "Revenge" this week -- which Marilyn just pointed out. She also said she doesn't like it when our main characters are so inept -- and I also agree with that.

We're not Padma fans, but I guess most "Revenge" fans don't care for the character. To me this should be clear, actually. Nolan Ross was hugely popular the very first season -- and back then he was clearly very bisexual -- and mostly interested in MEN. So why would the producers expect people to suddenly embrace him having a girlfriend? (And a not very likable girlfriend, at that.) No this is not about her background as an East Indian, which doesn't bother me. It's more about her gender -- and just the character they've developed...

I wasn't sure I liked Eli, but apparently he's gone, so it doesn't matter... I do like Aiden Mathis, though -- and like him when he's more effective (please!). Marilyn and I LOVE the entire Greyson family (especially Conrad), plus Emily and Nolan. Anyway, boring or not, we wouldn't miss this show for anything -- it remains our favorite right now.

I need to wash my hair, so I guess I'll do that soon...

I finished another Kindle book today (and read some paperwork that friend June asked me to look at). I also spent some time doing reading for Lent (which I haven't been that good about this year, I'm afraid. At the Vatican, Pope Francis celebrated his first Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square, encouraging people to be humble and young at heart and promising to go to a youth jamboree in Brazil in July, while the faithful enthusiastically waved olive branches and braided palm fronds. In keeping with his spontaneous style, he broke away several times from the text of his prepared homily to encourage the faithful to lead simple lives and resist the temptation to be sad -- "Don't let yourselves be robbed of hope! Don't let yourselves be robbed of hope!" The 76-year-old Pope also said, "Even at 70, 80, the heart doesn't age if one is inspired by Christian joy."

Marilyn has been playing this BubbleXplode game on her iPad for ages -- and now I'm hooked on it, too! She's at level 187 -- and I'm now at level 130. Very fun, and challenging...

ashes cross

A New Pope, Francis I

I was over at my sister Sue's house, setting up a computer for her granddaughter Nicole this morning. Buddy (Candy's boyfriend) was a big help -- we used a folding table Sue gave me, plus a piece of board we had cut down to size, to create a computer station for Nicole. Frankly, it went so smoothly that I hardly know what to say. (It took more time to fix Candy's issues with Java than to get Nicole's computer up and running...)

Sue went to watch 'her show' (soap opera) -- and found that all eyes were turned to Rome, where white smoke from the Vatican was announcing a new Pope! (By the way, I immediately phoned Marilyn at work to let her know this was happening -- suspecting that she'd be so busy she'd have no way to know...)

We watched this coverage live for more than an hour, and I have to admit it was exciting. And I'd never have guessed at the choice (even though Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio got quite a few votes the last time around).

Pope Francis I

The new Pope Francis I is an interesting man. He's the first non-European Pope of the modern era, the first from Latin America, the first Jesuit (!!!) and the first to assume the name Francis (which I think is such a good choice). These are all good things...

But -- unfortunately -- he's very conservative. For example: As a cardinal, he clashed with the government of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner over his opposition to gay marriage and free distribution of contraceptives. Bergoglio has affirmed church teaching on homosexuality specifically that homosexual actions are immoral. He opposes same-sex marriage, and unsuccessfully opposed legislation introduced in 2010 to allow same-sex marriage in Argentina, calling it a "real and dire anthropological throwback." In a letter to the monasteries of Buenos Aires, he wrote: "Let's not be naive, we're not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God." He has also stated that adoption by same-sex couples is a "form of discrimination against children." He opposes the ordination of women (but I suspect that's no surprise to anyone).

On the other hand, there are many things to like about this man, including his intelligence, education and his humility. He's a passionate defender of the poor and disenfranchised. The man lived in an apartment (!!!) as a Cardinal and even cooked for himself! Last September (2012), he scolded priests in Buenos Aires who refused to baptize the children of unwed mothers.

He broke with tradition -- something which will probably make many in the Vatican unhappy, by the way -- when he started out today by asking viewers to pray for him.

I found myself very excited during the wait for the announcement. And tears were in my eyes as the Pope was presented to the world. It feels BAD to me during those short times when we don't have a Pope, so I was glad to see this position again filled.

I guess we'll all have to wait and see what this man does, now that he's assumed one of the most powerful positions in the world.

I just can't ever get past certain issues with the Catholic church. I'm never going to think of homosexuality as wrong. Or as adoption by homosexual couples as wrong. I think the clergy should be allowed to marry. I think women should be ordained (or at least elevated to a greater position of respect, considering how poorly females are treated in the Church -- and this is especially true of women religious, poor sisters/nuns!).

But I'm convinced that the Church will never change on those issues in my lifetime.

Oh. And I'm personally opposed to abortion. But I don't think using contraceptives is abortion! To me the avoidance of pregnancy is entirely different than aborting a fetus.

I don't normally spell this all out like this, because I'm anxious not to upset or offend others who have differing views. My religious position is a complicated one, for obvious reasons! You can't be a 'good' Catholic and go against these basic tenets of the faith -- but my heart tells me that I'd be involved in a terrible sin if I didn't follow my heart (regardless of the teachings of the Church).

I always turn back to the words of Jesus Christ -- or the lack of words, in some cases. Clearly we are meant to struggle with this, or things would have been spelled out more clearly in the Bible. I can't bring myself to blindly follow every word of the Bible (especially the Old Testament) when there are obvious statements that make no sense. (Don't get me started on this subject.) I'm not suggesting that I am the one to determine what is significant in the Bible for the world -- or that I have special insights that others don't have. I understand that I'm not supposed to decide what to accept and what to reject. Regardless, that's exactly what I've done my entire life -- and will continue to do.

Religion is such a personal thing. I don't like to tell others what to believe. I've never been that comfortable with the concept of 'witnessing' for my faith, because it smacks of me trying to force others to change their minds about what works for them. Look, if I do things that seem good or right to you -- and you want to know why (and what I believe) -- then I'm fine sharing. And there's nothing wrong with me telling you what I believe -- as long as I'm open to hearing about what YOU believe, in turn. Give and take. Live and let live. Prayer is an important part of my life -- but that doesn't mean it has to be any part of your life...

I do pray that the new Pope will do amazing things for the world. And that he'll work with other leaders to bring peace into the world, whenever possible. I'm trying not to make judgements about him at this point, because we need to wait and see...

Anyway, it's a very hard life -- and I wouldn't wish that schedule on anyone! It's little wonder how it ages these men and how their health fails under the tremendous burden. I pray that Pope Francis I will be strong as he serves the Church and the people of the Church -- and the entire world.

And this is about as serious as I get! (smile) Yesterday I talked about J.R. Ewing -- today about Pope Francis. You never know what tomorrow might bring. Hahahahahaha.
church window (stained glass)

Back From the Memorial.

I still can't believe Marilyn and I were up by 9:00 this morning! Yes, that's sleeping in -- but I would have liked to sleep in even LATER, frankly. Oh well.

We were going to go and get our (much needed) manicures, but something else came up at home, so we didn't. Oh well.

I'm saying 'oh well' quite a bit. Hahahahahaha.

We STOOD for the entire memorial service -- first outside (it was COLD!!!), then in a tiny, very cramped room. The hospital chaplain who performed the thing was AWFUL. One of the worst I've ever heard in my life (and that's been a lot, by the way). But the photos of Mac (Rosanna's deceased dad) were wonderful. And the few words spoken by those who knew him were touching.

And they had a bagpiper (Marilyn helped Rosanna to get him) was excellent and played twice. When they were taking the casket out from the (tiny) room to the car, they had a row of cars and people all revving their engines! This was all done at PIR (Portland International Raceway), because Mac was a car enthusiast and racer himself -- and these other racers were his extended family. It was moving to see the older men in the crowd wiping away tears or trying not to cry. Mac will truly be missed...

So the bagpipes, photos and revving were the highlights -- and if somebody could have put in sock in the chaplain's mouth, it would have been pretty nice -- the weather was kind and there was even sunshine and some blue skies (and NO RAIN, thankfully!!!). I wish I'd been smart enough to take along gloves the way Marilyn did (!!!), considering I've been chilled all week and fighting off a cold. But oh well. Said it again, didn't I? (grin)

We had Mexican food afterwards as a treat -- and especially enjoyed the margaritas! We earned that treat this week...

Now we're home and getting into comfy clothes and preparing for the Academy Awards (hours and hours of it, starting with the red carpet stuff). Maybe I'll even make popcorn at some point...

I'd love to doze off for an hour or so (if there's time). Yeah, I'll miss the red carpet portion of the coverage, but oh well (again!). It might be worth it!

I need to talk about all the stuff going on with the Vatican at some point. I did watch the special Mass that aired this morning in honor of the Pope, by the way. That Donald Cardinal Wuerl (the Archbishop of Washington -- who is 72) performed the Mass and was impressive -- but they say there's no way an American will seriously be considered for pontiff (no surprise there, really).

(Or as Marilyn says, they may have had two popes who weren't Italians, but the Italians still run the Vatican...) America still doesn't seem to get much respect in Rome, but we are a very young country by their standards. (smile)

Anyway, that's it for now!