Catholic Inklings

Musings and sharings on my devotion to an ancient religion.

Posts by jschlameussperry

Flea Market Joy

This past weekend, my eldest and I hit a local Flea Market. He found some treasures, and so did I! I found a few Star Trek Next Generation collectables (a phaser, communicator and a Lore action figure that the guy threw in for free) and a Doctor Who comic book in excellent condition, in a sleeve, from 1981. It was the Fourth Doctor, who happens to be one of my favorites.
I usually only collect The Tick comic books (because I’m a lady on a budget), but I was psyched to find this one. It’s called “Doctor Who: City of the Cursed.” It’s about a society that lives under laws that forbid emotion of any kind. The reason is that, in the past, there was a lot of crime and violence and they saw the root of it as being emotion. Now they have a thing called the “Harmonizer” that you go into if you accidentally have an emotion and it removes it for you.
The Doctor needs to make a quick landing to make repairs to the Tardis and, naturally, shakes things up. But, he’s not the only one shaking things up—there’s a band of rebels who are trying to overthrow the big, brainy dudes on the cover. The rebels have each taken on one emotion, and have even taken that emotion as their name. So, there’s a guy named Very Angry, another called Half Daft, etc. There’s also a guy named Freddy Feel Good. He’s a clown who gets killed. But, he’s a clown…so I didn’t mind. The rebels have a prophesy that promises a “Great Emoter” who will have all the emotions and teach the rebels how to really feel.

[Read blog on The Rogue]

Bigfoot and Chupacabra: Perfect Together

Very often, people think that working for a Church must be so nice and calm and easy. It’s not. It’s great—I love it—but on a daily basis we deal with the very serious realities of people’s lives: death, illness, poverty and disaster, mental and emotional issues, addiction; anything that can cause distress to an individual or family. There’s loads of happy stuff, too, but the weight of the reality of people’s lives can be borderline crushing at times.
That’s why I love TV. When the only stuff that’s on is reruns of sitcoms that I’ve seen too many times, I turn to “reality shows” like “Ancient Aliens,” or various monster-hunting shows. One night, when I was feeling pretty wiped out, my husband and I came across “Mountain Monsters.” If you haven’t seen it, it’s a group of hillbillies who hunt local monsters in the Appalachian region—not to harm them, but to prove that they are real.
This particular night, the crew was trying to catch Bigfoot (big surprise) and the Hellhound. It was fine, mindless entertainment. But then one of the guys said something that, if the past me was given a multiple choice quiz to guess which thing the future me would never experience because it was too crazy, I would have failed that quiz.

[Read blog on The Rogue]

Ripped From The Womb, Not A Person

A woman who was preparing for the birth of her child responded to an ad on Craigslist to purchase clothes for her baby. Upon her arrival, the person who placed the ad, a deranged woman bent on kidnapping the unborn child, attacked the expectant mother, cut her open and removed the baby; leaving the mother in serious danger of death and ultimately killing the infant. The assailant is being charged with the attack on the mother, but will not be charged in the murder of the infant. Colorado state law does not consider a fetus to be a person because it cannot live on it’s own outside the womb for an extended period of time; hence the death of the baby was not a murder—because a person wasn’t killed. (See article on CNN here.)

I have often noticed that in news reporting, when discussing abortion, reporters would refer to the unborn child inside as a “fetus”, but when they were reporting on a story where a wanted unborn child was killed as a result of an accident or an attack that the child was referred to as an “unborn baby.” A distinction is made according to the intention of the mother. That’s bad enough. But now, in a case where a mother was actively preparing for the birth of her child, she is not even being given the dignity of the state acknowledging her little lost one as a person.

How wounding, how disgraceful and how inhuman the law is becoming. In an effort to “protect the rights of women” in their reproductive choices, we have come so far as to not even protect the lives of unborn children that are wanted. I believe all abortion is wrong—I can’t understand how in this day when we have so much information about what happens in the womb, the way a child develops and the absolutely clear humanity of these tiny ones how anyone could not see the evil of abortion. But this takes our disregard for human life to a whole new level.

[Read blog on Catholic365]

The Battle Of What Seemed Like Five Hours


I am the parent of a teenager. This puts me in the weird new reality of my humongous child now venturing away from the house without me; going out with his friends instead. He gets to go to movies—in the theater. I used to do that… He has already seen two movies that I wanted to see before I got to. The first was “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and the second was “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies,” both of which I had to wait to see when they came out on demand.
The Hobbit just became available this weekend, so my husband, this particular son and I watched it together. Before it started, my son declared that it was a “one star movie—and it only got one star because you can’t give zero.” My husband said, “Don’t ruin it for me.” My son replied, “I don’t need to. That’s what you have Mom for.” I would have had a retort, but the child knows me, and he was right. That movie was so bad—there could have been no fun in watching it with me. The campy lines (“you should have stayed dead”…really?), ridiculous fight scenes and lack of fidelity to the book made it an awful waste of time. It felt like forcing the story to be three movies stuck them with having to fill time (2 hours and 24 minutes worth!). I hadn’t been so disgruntled about a movie since “The Two Towers” and Peter Jackson is to blame for both.

[Read the blog on The Rogue]

Eight Questions Non-Catholics (and many cradle Catholics) Almost Always Ask When They Attend Mass

Whether it’s non-Catholics who attend Mass with their Catholic significant other or folks who are inquiring about the faith; if you weren’t brought up with Mass, your first (and second and third…) time can be very confusing—making people feel like they’re, “around a secret that I’m not in on.” Here are some answers to some of the really excellent, frequently asked questions that newbie’s bring with them.

What’s with all of the sitting, standing and kneeling?
We call it “Catholic Aerobics.” It’s how we stay fit. Just kidding! Each posture during Mass has function and meaning. When we sit, we are engaged in active listening, giving our attention to the readings, the homily and some of the prayers. We stand for a couple of reasons—to listen to the Gospel (we sit for the other Bible readings) to acknowledge that we are in the presence of Christ. The Gospel is the Word of God speaking to us in the present. We hear stories about Jesus and the words that He spoke and so we stand in honor of this. Sometimes our standing together shows our unity in prayer (like when we pray the Creed or the General Intercessions) as the Body of Christ, and we stand together as a community preparing to receive the Body of Christ in the Eucharist (see #4). Kneeling is a penitential/reverential posture. We acknowledge our sinfulness and need for God’s healing, so we kneel in God’s Presence (mostly while the prayers regarding the Eucharist are being prayed) asking for that healing.

[Read the blog on]

Does Top Gear Stop Here?

Mondays are…well, Mondays. Garfield hates them; most people in the workforce hate them. But, for me Mondays were a good thing. Sunday is the first day of my work week, so there’s that, and I have karate Monday night. I love that. Then, I had the great joy of looking forward to a nice cold beer and some beautiful escapism while playing the jewel game on my phone and watching the eight billion episodes of Top Gear that would record on my DVR (I’m talking the British version here…).
This is probably going to be no more. Jeremy Clarkson, one of the three (but not my favorite—I love James May) members of the Top Gear group has assaulted verbally and physically a producer on the show and was fired. What now? This is too much to handle since “James May’s Man Lab” has inexplicably disappeared already. What now?

[Read blog on The Rogue website]

You Didn’t Say It, You Didn’t Do It

The Princess Bride was on TV the other night. No matter what else is happening in my life, if I’m flipping channels and I come across The Princess Bride, that’s as far as I’m going. I have the movie on DVD—I could watch it any time I want—without commercials. But, if I see it on TV, I’m watching it. It was playing in the background while I was working, and while I wasn’t paying 100% attention to it, it didn’t stop me from saying the lines along with the movie. When the wedding scene came on, however, I began to pay attention. It’s hilarious.



Everybody knows; and I’m sure Prince Humperdink would have remembered if he wasn’t so rushed and stressed, that this was not a valid marriage. But, poor Buttercup was so distraught that she lost sight of this fact. Thankfully, Buttercup has Westley to put it in perspective.

[Read blog on The Rogue]

Rural Juror–A Lenten Journey

Photo Credit: Flickr/j

Photo Credit: Flickr/j

The week before Lent began, I was cordially invited to spend some time in my county court for jury duty. I live in a country setting, so naturally, all I could think of when I saw the summons was Jenna Maroney singing the “Rural Juror” song from 30 Rock.  Good times… Anyway, I thought the idea of serving was pretty cool…I had never actually been able to perform this particular civic duty and was looking forward to having the opportunity—expecting, of course, that I would never in a million years get called for a jury. I spent my first hour quietly reading (and thoroughly enjoying) Bram Stoker’s, “Dracula.” The wifi was squirrely so I was essentially off the grid and I knew no one there, so I didn’t have to talk to anyone. Since I thought it was to be a short time, it was heaven. I really felt like God had plucked me out of the chaos of pre-Lent prep (which is a lot when you’re the director of the Catechumenate for a parish) and gently placed me into a pre-Lent retreat. That was the first hour…

I was in the second group called up for jury selection. That’s fine, I thought—there are like sixty people in this group. I won’t be chosen. The selection took all day, and we had a nice long lunch where I got to read, pray and be quiet some more. At the very end of the day I was selected. It shouldn’t take long, though, the Judge told us. My one-day retreat turned into a full-on trip into the desert. By Wednesday of the following week—Ash Wednesday—we were still hearing witnesses. And the trial even went into the following week and then an additional day.

[Read the blog on Catholic365]

Dragon Baptisms

For almost half my life it has been my job to work with individuals who are converting to Catholicism through the RCIA process. During Lent, as is the case with all Catholics, we focus very much on our sinfulness and our need for reconciliation with God and one another. The whole 40 days of Lent is dedicated to this and have we rituals to assist in it.
Everybody is always super jealous of the Elect who will be Baptized at Easter because everything bad they ever did in their lives is drowned in the waters of Baptism and they get to totally start over. They go into the water their old, broken selves, and come out a new creation in Christ. But, first they spend all of Lent really scrutinizing themselves to see what needs to be left in the water—what they need to die to in order to rise to Christ.

[Read the blog on The Rogue]

Chapter Five: The Tale of Butterscotch

Butterscotch had a rough winter. She is a little sweetheart, and a little silly. Her sisters don’t always appreciate her sweetness and just consider her to be dumb. Sometimes they even pick on her a little. Last winter, Butterscotch was injured—and she almost didn’t make it.


Butterscotch and Cartoon sitting on Mommy's lap

Butterscotch and Cartoon sitting on Mommy’s lap

Every day after work, Mommy would run out to the coop to see how her girls were doing and to spend some time with them. Mommy would sit on her little green stool inside the coop where Cartoon and Butterscotch would come and sit on her lap. Cartoon would try to eat shiny things like buttons or grommets on Mommy’s clothes, or try to eat her hair, but Butterscotch would just sit and warm her feet on Mommy’s lap.


One day, when Mommy returned from work, the sun was just about setting, so she ran outside to spend whatever little bit of daylight she had with the chickens. To her horror, she saw that Butterscotch was bleeding! It was a huge wound, and Mommy didn’t know what to do.


She grabbed Butterscotch, ran into the house and called the vet. Luckily, the vet just happened to be one of the foremost chicken experts in the world. He told her to bring Butterscotch right over and he would have a look. When the Doctor examined her, he discovered that the wound was so profound he couldn’t even stitch her up. There was nothing to do but clean the wound and put an enormous band-aid on it. So, he gave Mommy medicine to give Butterscotch and said that he did what he could, but wasn’t sure she would survive the night. If she did, Mommy was supposed to bring her back to see the doctor the next day.


Butterscotch in sick bay

Butterscotch in sick bay

Mommy and Dad set up a place for Butterscotch to sleep in the warm, sheltered basement and went to bed hoping for the best. To Mommy’s delight and surprise, Butterscotch was alive, energetic and looking for breakfast! That night, Mommy brought her back to the doctor who cleaned her wound again and told Mommy to keep giving her the medicine and keep her clean.


When Mommy got home from work, she would go and visit with the chickens in the coop and give them an update on their sister’s progress. Donna always had questions about the care she was receiving and hoped that Mommy was doing everything right. Donna kind of thinks that she is the only one who can do everything right…Then when it was getting dark and time for the outdoor chickens to go to bed, Mommy would go in and visit with Butterscotch. Mommy would share the well wishes of Butterscotch’s sisters and that was a great comfort to her.


For weeks, Butterscotch lived in the basement getting stronger and stronger every day. Mommy gave her special treats to help her gain her health back as quickly as possible. She never even stopped laying eggs while she was sick–what a trooper! After about a month and a half, Butterscotch was well enough to rejoin her sisters in the coop. Now, she is the biggest, fluffiest and most beautiful of all the sisters. She’s still the silliest, but everybody appreciates her for what she is.