Wednesday, April 16, 2014

St. Benedict Joseph Labre

I've decided St. Benedict Joseph was not mentally ill, contrary to what modern experts have claimed.

"The layperson is a layperson and has to live as a layperson with the power of baptism, which enables him to be a leaven of the love of God in society itself, to create and sow hope, to proclaim the faith, not from a pulpit but from his everyday life. And like all of us, the layperson is called to carry his daily cross — the cross of the layperson, not of the priest." --Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in an interview, now Pope Francis

And Happy Birthday to Pope Benedict XVI! 

Wednesday of Holy Week


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The story of Judas scares me.

Blood and water flowing from the side of Christ as a font of mercy for us, I trust in you.

I never really considered myself a Judas, that is I never  wanted to place myself in a meditation that he showed up in.  In fact I always tried to avoid thinking too much about the man who betrayed Christ.  He was just a warning for me, something to be feared and put off.  This year is different.  The Gospel passage where Judas feigns innocence, asking Our Lord, 'is it me who will betray you?'  'surely it's not me?' has resounded in my heart.

I often wondered if Judas was somehow really innocent, yet it seems to me his questions demonstrated that he actually knew Our Lord was referring to him.  

Did you ever do that?  Not in big things like Judas of course.  But - he who is not faithful in small things will not be faithful in big ones.  So.  Did you ever do something like that?  Get caught in a lie?  Then dissimulate and act as if you were innocent when someone suggested that you were lying?  Or pretended that you didn't even know they knew you knew they knew you lied?  Only later to try and cover up your lie with protests that those you betrayed somehow betrayed you?  Crazy logic - blame the victim for your little lie.  Convincing yourself you were somehow justified.

I think Judas thought he was not only full of good intentions, but that he himself was good; I'll bet he never thought of himself as a liar or a thief.  I think he felt in control, in charge of his life, like the faithful steward doing his duty, although he was surely the dishonest steward.  Somehow he justified himself.  I think he always did that - and he believed he was virtuous.  Today we might call that denial.  He demonstrated that when he complained about the ointment used to anoint our Lord, suggesting it should have been sold and the the proceeds given to the poor, perhaps reserving a small 'fee' for himself.  He perhaps had 'good' intentions, but it wasn't his call.  Of course he did 'good' things - he followed Jesus, he prayed and evangelized with him, he was a 'faithful' disciple and Jew - he kept the Law.  So what happened?

He could have repented.  Our Lord would have forgiven him as he did Peter.  As he did Zacchaeus.

"Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much." - Luke 19

How can I repay?  How can I repair?  I repent.  I pray for those I have offended and ask their forgiveness.  I'm sorry.

But who can detect all of his errors?
From hidden faults acquit me.

From presumption restrain your servant
and let it not rule me.
Then shall I be blameless,
clean from grave sin. - Ps. 18 

The Holy Father's good advice to seminarians.

“Dear seminarians, what you are preparing for is not a profession, you are not training to work in a business or a bureaucratic organization,”
"[T]he seminary is not a refuge for the many shortcomings we may have; it is not a refuge for psychological problems or a refuge for those who do not have the courage to go on in life and see the seminary as a place that will defend them. No, that is not what it is. If that is what your seminary was it would become a mortgage for the Church! No, the seminary is there for people to move forward, along this path and when we hear the prophets exclaim the word “Woe” it should lead you to reflect seriously on your future. Pius XI once said it was better to lose a vocation than to risk accepting a candidate who is not sure. He was a mountain climber, he knew about this things.” - Pope Francis
It is also very good advice for anyone considering religious life.  As the Holy Father pointed out: "There are many ways, in the Church, to bear Christian witness and there are many paths that lead to sainthood."


Unofficial Translation – Ad Usum Privatum
O God, merciful Father,
who choose the small to confound the powerful of the world,
I thank You for having given us, in the seminarian Rolando Rivi,
a testimony of total love for Your Son, Jesus, and the Church,
unto the sacrifice of his life.
Enlightened by this example, and through Rolando’s intercession,
I ask You to give me the strength always to be
a living sign of Your love in the world,
and I beg You to grant me the grace of [here state your petition],
which I ardently desire. Amen
Prayer from Fr. Jerabek's Blog

Monday, April 14, 2014

Just in case: 3 Days Darkness Preparedness.

Blood moon rising. 

Keep your windows well covered. Do not look out. Light a blessed candle, which will suffice for many days.

If you haven't been storing food like the online Catholic preppers have told you to do - it's too late.  Start filling up water bottles before midnight - but not after - the water supply may be contaminated after the nuclear plants explode.

“Do not look up to the sky - the flash! Oh! It's - oh! I see a terrible light. It's a flash, but it's hot. Oh, it's so hot! Oh! Now I hear voices, and the people are screaming. They're frightened. There's no reason to be frightened. Our Lady will save you. There's no reason to be frightened. Don't run! Don't go outside; stay inside..."
Yeah.  There's no reason to be frightened.

Don't answer the door or the phone.  I haven't even looked at my caller I.D. for years.  Close the shutters - mine are sealed.  Stay offline, because even though there will be no power - wireless will still work - but it will be the evil ones getting in through the screen.  Throw out all cell phones before dark.

Do not order pizza.

Women must cover their heads and if they are wearing pants, they need to put on a long dress - maybe a coat too.  They cannot speak.  They must remove all make-up and cover their faces and arms.  Men may drink beer - but don't go outside.  Kids should just go to bed.

“Do not seek to receive your animals into your homes, for the animals of those who have remained of well spirit will be taken care of."

If your cat is an indoor cat, just don't tell anyone she is under the bed.

Don't worry about the Protestants - they'll be gone ...

Pets of well spirit will be taken care of though.

H/T Veronica of Bayside - now living on Long Island.


I saw this on the Sartorialist.  He says great hair - I say gorgeous.

What's with the Pope? He keeps talking about abortion and marriage between a man and a woman.

I thought Pope Francis said we shouldn't be talking about this stuff all the time?

I thought he said, "Who am I to judge?"

What the ...

Pope Francis condemns abortion and infanticide as unspeakable crimes.
Reiterating that human life is sacred and inviolable, Pope Francis told the Italian pro-life group Movimento per la Vita today that it is “necessary to reiterate the strongest opposition to any direct attack on life, especially innocent and defenseless, and [the mother’s] unborn child in the womb is the innocent par excellence.”
In his remarks Pope Francis quoted from Gaudium et Spes [“The Gospel of Joy”] from the Second Vatican Council: “From the moment of its conception, life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes.” - Source
Pope Francis insists on the right of a child to a mom and dad.

“it is necessary to emphasize the right of children to grow up within a family, with a father and a mother able to create a suitable environment for their development and emotional maturity. Continuing to mature in the relationship, in the complementarity of the masculinity and femininity of a father and a mother, and thus preparing the way for emotional maturity.” - Pope Francis

I told you so.  And yet some Catholics have been worried the Pope wasn't Catholic, while others kept saying the Pope has to speak more clearly on these issues.  Ye of little faith - you sound just like New Ways Ministers when you speak like that:
Pope Francis needs to speak clearly on LGBT issues...
For those who have been lifted up by the pope’s more positive remarks on LGBT issues, these new words will come as a shock. Though the pontiff has been developing a reputation as being progressive, many have warned all along that his thinking on women and gender have needed development. Since the heart of these remarks focus on the outdated concept of “gender complementarity,” it seems reasonable to attribute these remarks, in part, to this blind spot of his.
Regardless of its origin in the pope’s thinking, this remark shows that Francis still needs to learn a lot about LGBT people and their families. That’s the bad news. - Bondings 2.0
 The Pope IS Catholic.

Told ya.

I knew that!
I didn't say that - you did.
Yes you did.

Holy Week and Passover

It is so holy...

The image of Exodus is reflected in the Passion of Yeshua (Jesus).  
The Lamb of Passover delivers yet again in the motif of the 
Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world. 

Art: Marc Chagall.  No titles - just look.

What is Aleteia?

I went to the park and, and, and ...

Everyone seems to be writing for Aleteia.

What is it?

Is it the headquarters for the body-snatchers?  I thought that's what Patheos was for?  Homogenized Catholic Stepford Writer's Clubs are proliferating all over the net.  It's scary.  

I think they've got Michael Voris now.

Cathy and I ran so fast her dress fell off!

Listen here.


Just kidding.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The earthquakes.

Los Angeles.


Friday was Nicaragua.

Today Idaho.

Days, weeks apart.

Blood moon rising.

Q: A few years ago, I interviewed the authors of a book about a destructive 7.3-magnitude earthquake in Charleston, S.C. The 1886 quake not only destroyed buildings but also managed to worsen race relations.
Where else do people face earthquake risks in the US outside of California?
A: Alaska is the most seismically active place in the United States, followed by California. In third place is Utah, fourth is Hawaii. And there is a big seismic potential in the Pacific Northwest.
There is also the New Madrid area in southeast Missouri where a series of four major earthquakes struck in 1811 and 1812. A repeat of those events will cause major damage in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas.
There's also New York and New England. The largest historic earthquake in New York occurred beneath New York Harbor in 1884. It was felt along most of the East Coast. The largest New England earthquake occurred in 1755 off the coast at Cape Ann.
It is still a mystery why earthquakes occur in these areas. - Source

Shaken, not stirred.

Mass Chat: Sacred Theater and something I noticed at Mass...

Palm Sunday and Holy Week.

It's a liturgists dream, don't you think?  Re-enactments, living stations, processions, liturgical dance...

Even in traditional liturgies there is a lot going on - the reading of the Passion is done by multiple readers.  Liturgy is strictly regulated - most especially in traditional settings.  It is sacred theater in a sense.

Update:  Yup.  It's theater all right - Puppet Alert.  I kind of get it though.  What?

Palm Sunday Puppet Mass at St. Joan of Arc, Minneapolis
I may be mistaken, but I think what happens in parishes like this
is that the pastor may not be all that involved in
how the liturgy committee plans the liturgy.
The priest is simply the celebrant/presider.


At Mass there was a very young couple in the front row.  They took part in the procession and sat right up front afterwards.  They were really 'cute' - attractive young lovers.  I thought they must be newly weds, because they were so affectionate - they couldn't keep their hands off of one another.  I like seeing people in love.  Although I closed my eyes because it was getting kind of hot and I began to speculate on their marital status and wondered if they maybe just got up after making love and decided to go to church because it's Palm Sunday.

I didn't pay any attention to them until I couldn't help but notice them once again at communion.  They seemed not to know what to do, but they got up, clumsily exited their pew; the young woman took her young man by the hand and led him to the back - of the church?  Back of the line?  I wasn't interested. However, as they passed by me, I did notice that they looked as if they could have been a little high.  I smiled, recalling the days ....

At the end of Mass they were back in place, hugging throughout the recessional hymn.  I wondered if they were students of Christopher West?  I recollected myself and made my thanksgiving, praying for them.

If it was just a fluke that they were at Mass, it may have been the moment Christ got their attention.  They came looking for something, he invited them to 'come see' and he invited them to stay with him; from that moment forward, their conversion may be more deeply effected and they will never  forget the experience.  They may follow Christ from now on, more closely, from the heart - not just in a procession.

Sixty nine years ago today ...

A young seminarian was martyred.

Blessed Rolando Rivi was shot and laid in a shallow grave by Communist partisans on April 13, 1945, in the Italian Emiliano Mountains.  Bl. Rolando was singled out because he wore his cassock and made it known he intended to be a priest.  According to one of the partisans, killing the boy would eliminate one more priest.

Rolando was only fourteen. His seminary closed when the Nazis came through the region, but the young seminarian continued to wear the cassock as a sign of his consecration and intent to be a priest.  He considered life as a seminarian a form of consecrated life already.  In the region Rolando's family lived, Communist partisans found refuge in the mountains.  They were anti-Catholic and anti-clerical:  “The fascists and Germans are almost extinct… our fight must now be made against the masters, the rich and certain priests… These are now our enemies.”

Blessed Rolando was abducted on April 10 and after beatings, torture and obscene humiliations, he was killed on April 13, 1945 in the forest of Piane di Monchio (Modena).  After praying for his parents, he was shot twice and died.  The partisans covered his body with leaves and twigs and a few shovels of dirt.

He was killed in hatred of the faith, in hatred of the Priesthood, just because he wore a cassock.  He believed the seminarians ought to wear the cassock, even on home visits or on holiday.

He is very close to me these days.  You will see why shortly.

I found a rather good biography of Blessed Rolando at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church blog.  I think Bl. Rolando is not only a special patron of seminarians and priests, but all who suffer bullying and mockery for the faith or just for being a little different.

Thanks be to God, Blessed Rolando has instilled in me a deeper respect and appreciation for the cassock and saturno, as well as other traditional clerical dress and vestments.  I also want to apologize - again - to those priests I used to make fun of for wearing traditional vesture.

Fr. Longenecker - I'm sincerely sorry.
Fr. Zuhlsdorf - I'm sincerely sorry.
Fr.s Anonymous - I'm sincerely sorry.

I was stupid and did not understand.
No better than a brute beast - communist partisan... Ps. 72

I have so much reparation to make.

Palm Sunday

I've never liked processions.  Probably for the same reason I do not like parades.  I'm not sure why however.

I wonder if it's because I know how things turn out afterwards?

"He's a fruitcake!"
"I know! I just can't figure out why he keeps blogging though."

Saturday, April 12, 2014

What is the Pope really saying?

When we do not profess Jesus Christ, the saying of Léon Bloy comes to mind:
 "Anyone who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil." 
When we do not profess Jesus Christ, 
we profess the worldliness of the devil, 
a demonic worldliness. - Pope Francis

And who is he saying it to?

Sometimes I just don't know.  A lot of people seem to be confused, and many of us point fingers insisting he's calling out this or that group.  I think we are all reading him wrong.  I also think the majority of journalists are blindly misrepresenting what he says.  Trads feel picked on, of course - they've been the persecuted minority since the Council, right?  But so called "liberals" seem to me at least, to be the ones the Holy Father frequently indicates - something he has done right from the start.

Shortly after being elected he said something about prayer and worship.  He said something like, 'if you do not pray to Christ (God) you pray to the devil'.  Many remarked about how he frequently pointed to the existence of the devil - Satan.  Very liberal people do not do that.  Many liberal religious people go beyond Christ and pray ... to what?  The Pope suggested the devil.  Catholic new age retreat centers ring a bell?  Cenacle sisters retreat centers?  The guy always gets naked retreat centers?  Beyond Christ spirituality?  Ommmm, reiki me over the coals for saying it, but I think the Pope might have been talking to New Age Catholics.  (Sorry - bad Phil Dunphy puns, you'd think I write copy for local news.)

So anyway.  The Pope mentioned the devil again.  

That's so not progressive or liberal.
“We are all tempted because the law of our spiritual life, our Christian life is a struggle: a struggle. That’s because the Prince of this world, Satan, doesn’t want our holiness, he doesn’t want us to follow Christ." - Vatican Radio
So, if you are not praying to Christ, who are you praying to?  Somewhere in the Prophet Hosea it says "Turn to the Lord, take with you words."  Human beings communicate using words - Christian prayer uses words.  When you are lost for words, you can use the psalms, the rosary, the Our Father.  When you pray quietly, you are focused on the one you are with.  When your faculties are suspended, it's a grace.  The prayer of quiet is a gift from Christ.  We don't know how to pray as we ought, but the Holy Spirit within us intercedes for us.  Christ is the Word, made flesh - get it?  Of course there are artificial states of prayer, induced states - they are not supernatural, despite the 'levitation' of spirit it brings.

I didn't mean to go off on this, but I've come across some stuff online about prayer which I found kind of weird.  One woman said in an emergency with a family member she began praying for God's help, to heal, to help, to remedy the situation - adding a sort of apology, "I know prayer is supposed to be silent, listening, but I wasn't able to do that."  Well of course you weren't.  And that brings me to the next topic.  The pope on intellectualizing the faith.

Too many theologians?

The Holy Father didn't say that, but he's made remarks suggesting he knows that we know so much about theology and canon law and rubrics and social issues, but maybe lack common-ordinary-mysticism.  Even priests.  Perhaps that's why some of their homilies can be so boring - and maybe - just maybe - why they find the new translation so difficult to say/pray.  This kind of ties in with Francis' campaign against clericalism as well - especially of the laity - too many deacons?  He didn't say that, I'm not saying it, but he did kind of sort of praise simple lay people who pray.  But I digress.

Speaking to representatives of the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Pontifical Oriental Institute.
The other aspect that I wish to share is that of the relation between study and the spiritual life. Your intellectual commitment in teaching and in research, in study and in the broadest formation, will be that much more fruitful and effective the more it is animated by love of Christ and of the Church, and the more solid and harmonious will be the relation between study and prayer. This is not something ancient, it is the center!
This is one of the challenges of our time: to transmit knowledge and to offer a key to vital understanding, not a cumulus of notions unconnected among themselves. There is need of a true evangelical hermeneutic to understand life, the world and men better, not of a synthesis but of a spiritual atmosphere of research and certainty based on the truths of reason and of faith. Philosophy and Theology enable one to acquire the convictions that structure and strengthen the intelligence and illumine the will … but all this is fruitful only if it is done with an open mind and kneeling. The theologian who is content with his complete and closed thought is a mediocre 'theologian'. The good theologian and philosopher has an open thought, that is, incomplete, always open to the maius of God and of the truth, always developing, according to that law that Saint Vincent of Lerins described as “annis consolidetur, dilatetur tempore, sublimetur aetate” (Commonitorium primum, 23: PL 50, 668): it is consolidated with the years, it dilates in time, it is deepened with age. This is the theologian that has an open mind. And the theologian that does not pray and does not adore God ends up in sickening narcissism. And this is an ecclesiastical sickness. The narcissism of theologians, of thinkers does so much harm, it is sickening. Zenit
Traditionalists might believe the Pope is going after them - again.  I'm not at all sure of that.  As a priest and bishop, the Holy Father went through all the changes in the Church that we did.  He was often considered to be too conservative during the course of his priestly life, and I believe somewhat marginalized for a time.  Liberal/progressive dissent is fairly well embedded in the post-Vatican II Church. I think the Pope may be talking to them just as much as he is talking to traditionalists.

I also think the Pope recognizes the crisis in [Catholic] education.
He said that it is every child’s right to grow up in a family “with a father and a mother” capable of creating “a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity”. The Pope also called for an end to what he termed as “educational experiments” with children and young people, pushing a “dictatorship of one form of thinking” on them in the name of a pretended “modernity”. 

The Pope noted that the “horrors of the manipulation of education that we experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the twentieth century have not disappeared; they have retained a current relevance under various guises and proposals”. 

To counter this he urged the BICE members to foster a true anthropological formation of the child respectful of the reality of the person, to enable children and young people to respond to the problems and challenges posed by contemporary culture and widespread mentality propagated by the mass media. - Vatican Radio

 I bet he knows kids are being screwed up in Catholic schools.
"What does Satan do to distance us from the path of Jesus? Firstly, his temptation begins gradually but grows and is always growing. Secondly, it grows and infects another person, it spreads to another and seeks to be part of the community. And in the end, in order to calm the soul, it justifies itself. It grows, it spreads and it justifies itself.” - Pope Francis

Just saying.

What's wrong with that? Is there something wrong with that? 
Why, why, why is that something wrong to do? I don't understand that. 
Why are you pointing the finger at other people all the time? 
Why don't you point the finger at yourself? 
Do a little more reading, maybe? 
Some time in court - maybe that would be effective for you!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Since you brought it up.

Felt banner design studio.  Who designs and makes these crappy miters and vestments for bishops?

Churches and vestments do not have to be ugly.

The Pope said there could be married priests if bishops of the world decide it is okay.  Deacon K wrote about it, using this photo.  I'm thinking the priest's wife in this photo might want to rethink her wardrobe choices.  In the absence of grace and beauty, modesty and decorum is a virtue.


Police State.

Family Vacation.

I commented on a news item about a family in Ohio, who while visiting an Air Force Museum on vacation were stopped by AF Security, Grandma and Mom were forced out of the van at gun point, while the kids were screaming.  It was all a big misunderstanding of course...
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (CBS CLEVELAND) – A spring break vacation turned into a nightmare for a Columbus family visiting the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force when four police officers in three cruisers drew guns and forced a grandmother and a mother to the ground as two young children screamed in fear from what authorities thought was a “stolen” vehicle.
Alice Hill, 65, her daughter-in-law Wendy Hill, 31, and Hill’s two children, Aaron, 8, and Brooke, 5, were pulling out of the museum parking lot after Aaron and Alice had counted the number of out-of-state cars on the way to their family minivan.
Unbeknownst to the family, an anonymous onlooker had called 911 and reported that the family was burglarizing vehicles in the parking lot.
On their way out of the lot, police pulled the vehicle over as one officer stood behind his door and drew his gun on Alice Hill, who was driving. - Read the rest here.
I know!  It's so not funny, kids traumatised, the U.S. is turning into a police state, freedoms are curtailed, and so on.  It's horrible.  I'm actually afraid to leave the house.

So anyway, I left a comment on the news story post: "Gee!  This is just like 'National Lampoon's Family Vacation'"!  And someone got pissed and responded, "Idiocy is still well represented in our commenters, it seems."

Yes.  Yes it is.  

All's well that ends well, Grams and mum and the kids were not trying to break into cars in the parking lot after all and the informer has been fired by Homeland Security.  (I made that last part up.)

I'm thinking lawsuit/settlement.

Someday they will all laugh about it.

On Veiling

BTW - Archbishop Wilton Gregory wants a new Missal - again.
“We’ve tried it, we’ve lived with it, we think it needs correction,” Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory. - Story here.
 What is wrong with these priests?

Thursday, April 10, 2014


When I reach 300 I'll quit blogging.

Afraid to leave the house.

Karina Villarroel and Soledad Ortiz kiss while they pose for photos with the baby at the front of Cordoba's cathedral.

Remember that post a couple of years ago?

I can't recall if it was afraid to leave the house or afraid to take the kids to the park.  A Catholic mom was writing about her concern over public displays of affection by lesbians in public, in front of her kids at the park.  At the time I thought her concern was a bit extreme, then after posting my 'reaction' and considering the fallout after her post - I think she may have received death threats - I reconsidered.  In fact, her post helped me understand better the concerns parents have, trying to raise kids in our brave new world which rejects traditional morality.  That reality just smacked everyone in the face once again after  the controversy created by Sr. Jane Dominic's comments at Charlotte Catholic.

Afraid to go to the Cathedral.

Caution: Public displays of affection.  In Argentina.  In the Cathedral.  The moms kissed after the the baptism of their baby.  The moms are lesbians.  They weren't hugging in a park - they kissed in the Cathedral.  I'm not being a prude - but I think it is inappropriate.  Public kiss-ins in Europe and the Americas have been a tactic used by gay activists to make a political statement against civil law and Catholic teaching, which prohibits same sex behavior and marriage.

In Argentina, the Archbishop permitted the lesbian moms to have their child baptized in a Catholic church.  Elsewhere around the world, not a few bishops and priests may not have permitted this to happen.  I am all for it however.  I believe a child should be baptized if the parents request it, be they same sex or opposite sex unmarried parents.  Nevertheless, it should be done without fanfare, discreetly to avoid scandal, quietly to avoid giving ordinary Catholics the impression marriage is optional, or in this case, same sex relationships, partnerships, marriage - whatever you call it - is able to be approved.

The Argentine baptism has been politicized, especially in consideration that Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner had been chosen to be god-mother of the child.  The public kiss was too.
After the celebration of the sacrament, the couple, Karina Villarroel and Soledad Ortiz, kissed while posing for photos with the child, Umma Azul, at the front of the Church.
Villarroel, the non-biological “mother,” told local press the Catholic Church’s decision to grant the baptism was important “because it signifies that there is a real social change and acceptance" following the passage of the country's "marriage equality" law.  
The final step, she said, would be “to be able to have the church consecrate their (gay) marriage, as right now it is only a civil marriage.” - Source

It's a game changer.

It's been done.  In a big way.  It's another chink, another crack, another fissure ...

The Little Way of the Infant Jesus

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I told you so. Fr. Z seeking nomination...

Fr. Z's latest 'call to action'.

Some people in my native place, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, have a project to nominate the next Archbishop. 
If you want to help them nominate a priest to become the next Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis… my native place, I’m just sayin’… they have an online form HERE
I’m saying that you should nominate anyone in particular but… well… it is my native place, after all… I’m just concerned for their welfare.


Seriously, don't have a SFN, - Fr. Z is just being facetious, (and so am I), but Catholic Coalition for Church Reform is seriously delusional.

Do go vote - I'm going to.


I voted for Fr. Z noting these qualifications: pastoral experience in Rome, Catholic Internet leader, Augustine scholar, liturgist.

Go towards the light ... go towards the light ...

Story here.

Mysterious light on Mars!

Seriously, how weird is that?  Remember last week I saw a green ball of light fall to earth?

Next week the first of four 'blood moons' occurs.  Tetrad.  I know!
 "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD comes," [Joel 2:31].

The ball of redemption.

Song for this post here.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

This is an interesting meme.

I just mentioned to a friend that I am battling discouragement.  I told him after what happened to Sr. Jane Dominic in Charlotte, I'm even less convinced the Spiritual Friendship crowd is helping the Church.  It seems to me Catholics are willing to accept ss marriage and all things 'gay' in the exact same way they have embraced contraception.

Monday, April 07, 2014

The Temptation of Susanna

God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. 

I don't usually think of Susanna as being tempted when confronted by the two men who would take advantage of her.

Today's first reading from the Book of the Prophet Daniel recounts the story of the two elders appointed judges who falsely accused Susanna in retaliation for her refusal to give in to their lustful demands.  They propositioned her.  She refused.  She did not consent.  Though she was vulnerable, naked before two men aroused to assault her.  Trapped she could not flee the temptation, thus she reasoned;
“I am completely trapped,” Susanna groaned.“If I yield, it will be my death;if I refuse, I cannot escape your power.Yet it is better for me to fall into your power without guiltthan to sin before the Lord.”Then Susanna shrieked, and the old men also shouted at her,as one of them ran to open the garden doors. - Daniel 13
She suffered the consequences of resisting their advances and the lies they told, tarnishing her honor. She did not consent to the temptation and was falsely accused.  She was without sin and only later justified, delivered from death, her accusers condemned.

I also never considered the elders as being tempted, albeit by their own lust, rather I've always considered them as evil perpetrators, dirty old men, potential rapists.

The story of Susanna is all about that which seems so commonplace today.  Sex-lies-videotape: Lust, voyeurism-porn, covetousness, infidelity, hypocrisy, lies.  How seductive is grace and beauty, vain rejoicing in natural goods.

The men lusting after Susanna were old, respected elders and judges, reputed to be religious.  Their story helps to understand the 'stages' of temptation and sins of the flesh;
Susanna used to enter her husband’s garden for a walk.
When the old men saw her enter every day for her walk,
they began to lust for her.
They suppressed their consciences;
they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven,
and did not keep in mind just judgments. - Daniel 13
They suppressed their consciences - they wouldn't look to heaven, that is - they did not pray, pray in the midst of temptation - while no fear of just judgment for sin could deter them from following their lust.  As the Prophet Daniel exclaimed: beauty has seduced you, lust has subverted your conscience.  That is exactly how we fall into sin - young men and old.

Susanna prayed and was delivered.  Never discount the power of prayer.  Unceasing prayer, persevering prayer.

Lead us not into temptation.