Sunday, May 03, 2015

The Body, Blood, Soul, AND Divinity of Christ.

Unless you believe that I Am ...

Yet the Divinity of Christ is often left out or skimmed over.

Have you ever watched a PBS documentary on the Life of Christ, with all the PhD's and their narrative on the historical Jesus, the man Christ?  They go into great detail, defining characteristics of the politics of the time, the social milieu, even the archaeological traces of ancient lifestyles and so on?  Even when their exegesis gets a bit too 'modern' - dismissing the Biblical texts or judging them to be middle eastern exaggerations or hyperbole - they completely avoid giving the impression Jesus knew he was God, and more telling, they avoid saying directly that he is God.  One accepts such doctrinal neutrality since the documentaries are secular narrations, historical and academic in purpose.  That's fine and I can easily ignore that feature.  My faith isn't shaken by it.

The following example from the Frontline series, From Jesus to Christ is an example of what I'm saying:
"From Jesus to Christ" reveals that Christianity did not arise as a single, uniform, and coherent movement, but as one marked by diversity of opinion, practice, and belief. From the beginning, the movement was forged by conflict as the early Christians wrestled with their Jewish heritage, collided with paganism, challenged the authority of the Roman Empire, and clashed with each other. - Source
This type of 'Biblical-study' may be another reason why men and women do not go to Mass, pretty much because religious educators and priests sometimes simply take it for granted that the 'choir' they are preaching to already fully believes that Jesus Christ is Lord - that he is God - the Son of God, consubstantial with the Father.  (One in being: Father, Son, Holy Spirit - One God.)  Christ is the full revelation of the divinity, the complete revelation of the Father.  As stated in Colossians 2:9, "For in him dwells the whole fullness of the deity bodily."  Sometimes - even frequently - that seems to get glossed over.  Sadly, some priests seem to think the historical Jesus is much more important to discuss - more 'relevant' to the ordinary person in the pew.  Sometimes it seems they may not even believe it themselves - that Christ is God - truly present...

Well catechized Catholics know that the Eucharist is the real Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ ... don't they?

Not long ago I mentioned an essay in Magnificat by Fr. Robert Barron.  My point was obscured because I think a couple of people thought I was taking some sort issue with Barron's theology.  People online do that when a popular Catholic personality is referenced - as if everything and everyone must be defended - and it's that type of dialogue online which gets to be frustrating and distracts one from more important issues.

The essay I referred to is in this month's Magnifcat and appears today.  It's fine - nothing wrong with what Fr. Barron wrote - it's short, just a couple of paragraphs.  Fr. Barron discusses Buddha, Mohammad, Confucius and compares them to Christ.  Yes, Fr. Barron affirms the divinity of Christ, writing, "He is, in his own person, the divine life ..."  That's true, that's good.  It echoes St. Paul.  Yet it seems to me it should be the the first and foremost distinction in an age marked by religious and moral syncretism.  Of course Fr. Barron was writing for readers who already know that Christ is God - I'm not criticizing him (or other homilists) for what he said or neglected to say.  I simply used the piece as an example.  Some may read on where Fr. B. mentions Christ's "Body and Blood, which he invites them to consume."  Well catechized Catholics know that the Eucharist is the real Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ ... don't they?

Frequently such snippets become part of a homily, they can be like an abridgement within a feverino.  Likewise, the language of PBS specials can creep into a presentation - to avoid sounding 'overly pious' and to appeal to the more academic sensibilities of the hearers.  For instance, how many times have you heard, "John records Jesus saying 'I Am' x number of times.  'I Am the vine' - he's comparing himself to God - he's using that language which gets the Pharisees so upset."  First, who cares how many times something is repeated in Scripture - if Christ said it once, it should be enough. The homilist then goes on to call out the Pharisees of our day and sums it all up with some moral lesson telling us we have to be more welcoming or something.  Yet - the most rapturous dimension of what Christ revealed in identifying himself as "I Am" is that he is God in whom dwells the fullness of the Divinity.  That should 'slay us in the spirit' as it were.  I mean, just think - we should have to tear ourselves away after Holy Communion if we could real-ize - for just an instant, the awesomeness of what we have consumed.

If people really believed Jesus Christ is God they would knock down the doors of Catholic churches not just for Mass but for prayer throughout all hours of the day and night.  They would be like the Samaritan woman who ran to the townspeople - those from whom she hid and shied away from because of her lifestyle, and she told them to come meet the Christ.

You see, once we diminish the identity of Christ as the Son of God, we are left to view Him as simply a historical figure that was a nice guy... - Fr. Heilman

Sorry for the long intro, which isn't artfully written at all, but I wanted to share with you the following post by Fr. Richard Heilman on "Stealth Arianism".  It expresses many of the ideas and thoughts floating around in my head, and my heart, for the past few months.

Stealth Arianism: The pervasive heresy of our times.
For the past two years I have been confiding to close friends my own growing sense that something is happening, that something unholy is stirring. I have spoken with others who have admitted the same suspicion. The way I have tried to describe it in the past is like the rumblings felt just before a volcano explodes.
Now, I find myself wondering if the eruption is upon us.
Many have pointed to “Modernism” as the heresy of our times. Modernism, while it takes many forms, is basically a break or rejection of our past in favor of all things new. And, while it seems evident that our Church is fully infected with the heresy of Modernism, I believe that it, too, is a symptom of this more fundamental threat.
What am I referring to? Something that impacts the very nature of human existence and the opportunity for our salvation. Lacking an official name, I call this monster, “Stealth Arianism.” Students of history know that the Arian heresy – the worst crisis in the Church before our present age – was rooted in the belief that Jesus Christ was merely a created being, not equal to God the Father. Stealth Arianism follows the same fatal error, but with a twist: while the Arians of the fourth century openly denied Christ’s divinity, today‘s Arians will profess Jesus as God, and yet through their actions deny it. In other words, they don’t even know they are heretics. Many even believe that they are doing God’s work in their attempts to elevate Christ’s humanity at the cost of His divinity.
You see, once we diminish the identity of Christ as the Son of God, we are left to view Him as simply a historical figure that was a nice guy, a respectable teacher and a good example for how we are to live. Religion is then reduced to a nice organization that does nice things for people as we seek a kind of psychotherapy for self-actualization. And this is not only not what He came to give us, but it’s something He made sure to leave no room for.
How do we recognize this pervasive Stealth Arianism?” - Finish reading here.

THAT'S IT!  I think that's pretty much what I've been trying to articulate.

Thanks to Ray for the Fr. Heilman piece - providential timing.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

ISIS Strikes Again. This time Yasidi

More than 300 Yazidi prisoners have been slaughtered by Islamic State militants near Mosul in Iraq. 
According to the Yazidi Progress Party, hundreds were murdered by Isis on Friday in the Tal Afar district, although it is not known how they were killed. 
Around 40,000 people were kidnapped at gunpoint when the terrorists attacked Yazidi villages last summer. - Daily Mail

Is anyone surprised about this? The connection between the Soviet Union and Liberation Theology in Latin America.

with Bernardo Martinez 1980

Remember what Our Lady of the Rosary told the children at Fatima in 1917:

‘If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, etc.'. - Secret

So.  Who didn't know Liberation Theology was Marxist?  Kinda-sorta?

John Paul II publicly scolded Ernesto Cardenal.
He used his power to denounce liberation theology. 
"When they begin to use political means, 
they cease to be theologians." - Source

Why did John Paul II denounce liberation theology?  He recognized the Marxist-Communist footprint.

Recently friends have sent me many articles concerning the KGB roots of Liberation Theology.  I've never been a fan of the movement nor its representatives - secularists or religious.  I always agreed with JPII when he told priests and religious to stay out of politics and to "Pray!"

Few in the Americas listened.  They're still here, easily recognized as the feminist-lgbtq-liberation-front-nuns-on-the-bus we see supporting Obama and Clinton and reproductive rights policies, as well as same sex marriage.  Hillary Clinton is the most dangerous however.  She is steeped in Liberation Theology and is rather ruthless about it.

“Something has to be taken away from some people.” That is the key takeaway from her organizing principle.

That said - this shouldn't come as a surprise as the truth is being revealed these days - unless you were duped in the first place - which brings us back to Fatima:

Since we did not heed this appeal of the Message, we see that it has been fulfilled, Russia has invaded the world with her errors. And if we have not yet seen the complete fulfilment of the final part of this prophecy, we are going towards it little by little with great strides. If we do not reject the path of sin, hatred, revenge, injustice, violations of the rights of the human person, immorality and violence, etc.

And let us not say that it is God who is punishing us in this way; on the contrary it is people themselves who are preparing their own punishment. In his kindness God warns us and calls us to the right path, while respecting the freedom he has given us; hence people are responsible” - Sr. Lucia

Anyway, this is a synopsis of the story/interview I refer to in the header:

In general, could you say that the spreading of Liberation Theology had any kind of Soviet connection? 
Yes. I learned the fine points of the KGB involvement with Liberation Theology from Soviet General Aleksandr Sakharovsky, communist Romania’s chief razvedka (foreign intelligence) adviser – and my de facto boss, until 1956, when he became head of the Soviet espionage service, the PGU (Pervoye Glavnoye Upravleniye, or First Chief Directorate of the KGB), a position he held for an unprecedented record of 15 years. 
On October 26, 1959, Sakharovsky and his new boss, Nikita Khrushchev, came to Romania for what would become known as “Khrushchev’s six-day vacation.” He had never taken such a long vacation abroad, nor was his stay in Romania really a vacation. Khrushchev wanted to go down in history as the Soviet leader who had exported communism to Central and South America. Romania was the only Latin country in the Soviet bloc, and Khrushchev wanted to enroll her “Latin leaders” in his new “liberation” war. - Read the rest Source
 Again, I could be wrong in my opinions, and that's fine.

Justice Scalia on same-sex marriage and ministers forced to comply ...

LifeSite and some Catholic bloggers are repeating something Justice Scalia said concerning same-sex marriage.

The thing is, Justice Scalia didn't directly mention Catholic priests being forced by the State to perform same-sex marriage, he was speaking of ministers from other denominations:
If the Supreme Court rules that same-sex “marriage” is a constitutional right, one justice has said that the government could force clergy of all denominations to perform gay “weddings” or lose the ability to officiate any state-sanctioned marriage. 
Justice Scalia repeatedly suggested that once a constitutional right to marry by same-sex couples was enshrined by the court, a member of the clergy could not be given civil marriage powers by the state unless he agreed to perform any and all marriages that the nation legally recognizes. - Source
I don't see how that can happen - at least to Catholic priests and Catholic parishes.  Simply because the Catholic Church already discriminates when it comes to the Sacrament of Matrimony.  The Church will not marry divorced couples - men or women who were in a valid marriage, divorced and seek to remarry in the Church without an annulment.  Canon law also identifies certain impediments to contract marriage which prohibit witnessing/blessing the marriage in the Church: no wedding for you, you, and you - unless you meet certain canonical criteria.  A very long precedent seems to have already been well established in the Catholic Church.  As far as I know, the state has never forced Catholic priests to officiate at weddings of couples deemed canonically unsuitable to contract a valid marriage, whereas the same couple could easily be married in a state sanctioned civil marriage.

The Catholic Church doesn't marry just any one.

Therefore, it seems to me the other Justices had a valid point, when they argued, the "free exercise of religion" clause in the Bill of Rights would allow for such an exception.

I might be wrong though, and that's fine.

Just trying to quell the panic.

And just a reminder - I'm against it.  Same sex marriage - I'm against it.

Friday, May 01, 2015

This made me laugh.

What ze Peup sayz aujourd'hui: Catholic teachings on papal infallibility are "rarely" seen in reality.

Works for me.

The Holy Father said that this week while speaking to an audience with members of Cursillo.

Many years ago now, after my conversion, when I made my first confession to a holy Capuchin priest, I asked about two things, one of which was papal infallibility - which I clearly didn't understand, and the priest said, "Ah! Don't worry about that stuff.  The Pope rarely speaks infallibly anyway; the last infallible statement was the Dogma of the Assumption."

From the start, I haven't worried about it.  From the start, I never paid a lot of attention to bishops and academic debates and infighting by clergy and religious people about this or that issue - unless it seriously affected my life - and that too has been rare.

I accept Catholic teaching - I don't have a problem with it.

Instead I've always tried to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus.  I have to get to that again.

I'm waiting for Him ... "I will come back and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.  Where I am going you know the way." - Jn 14:1-6 (Friday of Fourth Week of Easter)

Feast of St. Joseph the Worker

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

Prayers for the Holy Father.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Fr. Z at his best!

I don't care what anyone says - Fr. Z is an excellent Catholic priest/confessor who cares about the salvation of souls ...
"God loves you and has never stopped loving you no matter how far you feel you’ve run from His love." - Fr. Z
Please read his post advising a woman on her way to reconciliation with the Church:

ASK FATHER: Three questions from a sinner who wants to come home.
One of Satan’s biggest tricks – lies – is to convince us, before we sin, that the sin we are tempted with at that moment is minor (“It’s no big deal, just go ahead and do it, it’s really not all that bad). Then, once we have committed sin, the Enemy changes his tune and tries to convince us that our sins are so horrible that God couldn’t possibly love us, that we should just stay away from the Church, stay away from Mass, stay away from prayer and sacramentals because we are so filthy and disgusting and sinful. Don’t let the Enemy trick you. Yes, your sins may be serious, but God’s grace and mercy are vastly bigger. If you haven’t already, get a small bottle for some holy water from the Church, get a blessed Rosary and pray it. Keep it in your pocket or your purse. Get a blessed Crucifix and keep it in your home. These steps will help you move more and more close to God. - Fr. Z

Pope Francis couldn't say it better.


Man Crisis Intervention: Scary shrieking women taking over.

Shrieking woman.  
Dresses like man - shrieks like woman.

What if?

What if we woke up to this one morning and it was in the White House.

Right there is one big reason for the Man Crisis problem.

Women have taken over media too.

One local CBS affiliate features mostly women anchors, weather-girls and reporters, all very fashionably, tightly attired - lots of leg and hair extensions, and ooooh and aaaaah clunky jewelry; Red Carpet types.  Shrieking the news, giggling, eye-rolling, baby talking weather and animal shelter stories to fill time avoiding actual news.  Other channels have their own stable of similar on-air Stepford women - and men.  Sensitive men.  Really, really sensitive.

Remember the press conference recently when Obama only called on women?  Women are dominating the news media and slowly taking over politics and business and parishes.

That's your man crisis right there.

Oh, and gays in the military.


Mr. Catholic recommends
men drink strong, black coffee - no femme green teas
or healthy substitutes - and quit shaving your chest.

Song for this post here.

St. Pius V

April 30 is the feast of St. Pius V.  A Dominican, Pius V was a reformist pope in a very decadent era.  He was disliked by those he provoked by his reforms.  Upon ascending the Chair of Peter, he launched a reform of the Papal Court, restricting expenditures.  His reforms extended to the living arrangements of the clergy, going so far as to expel prostitutes from the city.  He also advocated that immoral homosexual clerics be handed over to the civil authorities for punishment.  He was a controversial figure who confounded the secular powers of his day as well.

Do you remember the very first thing Pope Francis did the day after his election?  He visited the tomb of St. Pius V.

I wonder why?

Man Crisis Intervention: Every man MUST wear a beard.


Now that is manly.

ISIS mandates that all the men in Mosul grow a beard.

The Islamic State (IS) group has reportedly issued a decree ordering all men in the Iraqi city of Mosul to grow beards on the grounds that the shaving of facial hair is haram (forbidden) under Shari'a law. - Source
Forget about suits and ties - women wear those now - but they can't grow a beard before menopause.

Islam clearly has no problem with Emangelization.

Alert Catholic media!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dress like a man ...

The habit of St. Francis.

Stray thoughts: Man Crises Intervention - Dress Like a Man for Mass.

Mr. Catholic

Suit and tie required.  

For Mass.

If men dress like a man that means suit and tie.

For Mass.
Many are beginning to recognize the severe Catholic “man-crisis” and the necessary imperative to aggressively “emangelize” Casual Catholic Men. While new ardor, methods and expressions are needed from the Pope to the parish priest, laymen need to step up to their personal responsibility and respond to Christ’s commandment to make disciples. 
But the average Catholic man who is beginning to take Christ seriously about His call for all men to bring Him disciples, might be at a loss: “How can I evangelize other Catholic men? I haven’t been taught.” 
For those men (and all men), here is a simple but powerful way to immediately begin to make a difference: Dress like a man for Mass. - Finish reading here.

There's more to it than that of course, as the author details in his essay.

It sounds so 'Stepford' to me however.  Perfect uniformity, safe and secure in your parish.  Wife perfectly coiffured, dressed modestly in a dress, hat or mantilla covering her long uncut hair appropriately tamed in a French twist, kids all spit and polished in really smart clothes - polished shoes.  Nothing wrong with that.  Protestants do it.

They will know we are Christians by the way we dress.

A lot of guys have said one reason they don't go to church is because people are always watching to see what others are wearing.  Maybe modern Catholic Evangelicals haven't heard that before.

A suit is pretty much a corporate uniform in the eyes of ordinary people.  Some people don't even own a suit.  Just saying.

First place at banquets.

Something is off with Catholic Evangelicals.  There seems to be a Protestant ethic about them which I have trouble recognizing as Catholic - a sort of Prosperity Gospel mentality seems to have pervaded contemporary Catholic evangelization.  To put it bluntly, I had this to say to a couple of friends concerning a similar topic ...

There's something which strikes me as rather phony about some of these Catholic evangelists - something businessy, a little too well heeled, a little too commercial perhaps. It seems to me they place their trust in organizational skills, based upon business models and strategies, projecting goals/growth strategies. They get air time on Relevant Radio, they're showcased on EWTN, then launch themselves onto the lecture circuit. Catholicism becomes a career. They get awards and accolades for their work. They initiate surveys and institutes for special studies ... they run the Church like a business and they profit from it. Something is off.

How to get men back to Mass and why...

Gotz family to raise.

Song for this post here.

Sr. Mary Ann Walsh

Sr. Mary Ann Walsh died yesterday.

I liked her.

NEW YORK (RNS) Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a quiet nun with a keen wit who led a very public life as a journalist and a longtime spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, died on Tuesday (April 28) after a tough battle with cancer. 
She was 67 and passed away in a hospice in Albany next to the regional convent of the religious order she entered as a 17-year-old novice in 1964. 
Walsh had moved to her native Albany from Washington last September after it was discovered that the cancer that had been in remission since 2010 had returned. - Finish reading here.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen. 

Catholics have a lot of rules: Natural Family Planning Edition

Serious burtations.

By now everyone knows that some Catholics say that you can't be gay and Catholic.

Even if you are chaste and live a celibate life - you may not be a really good Catholic if you say "I'm gay."

Likewise, you can't be SSA and celibate if ... wait - has that been defined yet?

I'm exaggerating - but you know what I'm saying.

Who am I to judge?  Jesus said something like that when he asked Peter: "How does that concern you?" - John 21:22

All sarcasm aside, it now seems that you can't use NFP - Natural Family Planning to avoid having children unless your reasons for doing so equal 'heroic virtue'... otherwise it's just plain contraception and couples that do that are selfish pigs - just like the Sodomites.

BTW.  Did you know not all of the people of Sodom were gay?

So anyway - Catholics online are arguing about NFP again, and pointing out the evil side of human nature and lust.  Of course, there are those who say NFP is not contraception - and those who think it is - and those who don't know anything about it.

See what I've been trying to tell you?

So even if I just called a cab for Bruce Jenner, to take him to his sex-reassignment surgery I would be condemned, no questions asked. (JK)

I know you aren't following what I'm saying...  I blame myself.


"Take warning from the example of Lot's wife who, because she was disturbed at the destruction of Sodom, turned back to look at it." - John of the Cross

Over the years, something Jean Vanier wrote reminds me of what I have seem to have always known to be true. It is our lives which give witness to the truth of the Gospel. If we are faithful, the Holy Spirit attracts those around us to the Church. The Church waits with open arms, Catholic teaching is recognized as lovely and true. The Church's ministers are there to reconcile and counsel those who return.

Evangelization is not about 'fixing' people or seeing success or telling them what and how to do things - it is about living - a living witness, even when it is only a silent, loving action at work in the midst of them. "Jesus walked in peace through the midst of them." Without thinking of them as 'them' however, as if we are, or I am different from 'them'. As Madeleine Delbrel explained, "To be people immersed as deeply as possible in the midst of the world ... just like people you find everywhere."*  Christ dwells in our midst...

“Many people are good at talking about what they are doing, 
but in fact do little. Others do a lot but don't talk about it; 
they are the ones who make a community live.” 
― Jean Vanier

*"To be people immersed as deeply as possible in the midst of the world, with no rules, no vows, no habits, and no convents separating us from the world; to be poor, but just like people you find everywhere; to be chaste, but like people from every social stratum; to be obedient, but just like people of every nationality.  We will not be the Church, and salvation will not reach the ends of the earth, unless we help save the people in the very situations in which we live. And we will not be working toward salvation, we will not let it pass through us, unless in their very midst, we remain purely and unchangeably the Church." Madeleine Delbrel

Never mind.

St. Catherine of Siena

St. Catherine at the beheading of Niccolo di Tuldo

"What the devil can't do himself he does by using other people. He takes up his position on the tongues and in the hearts of his servants and before their mind's eye. He makes them see what doesn't exist. So they conceive within their hearts all sorts of evil thoughts and resentments regarding their neighbors - often regarding those they most love." - S. Catherine of Siena

St Catherine, pray for us - pray much for those facing execution throughout the world, especially those facing beheading and all of those killed unjustly.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What is important: Prayers and aid for Nepal

Prayer in time of earthquake.
God our Father,You set the earth on its foundation.Keep us safe from the danger of earthquakes
and let us always feel the presence of your love. May we be secure in your protection and serve you with grateful hearts.We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
-Roman Missal, Prayer in Time of Earthquake

Dirty low-down ... The F-word online and other vulgarities.


Where to start?

Recently I watched some deleted scenes from Seth Rogen's film, The Interview, one of the worst films ever made BTW.  The scenes contained a constant use of the F-word and other vulgarities - much worse than some Catholic blogs ...

Which prompts me to ask:  Why do you people have to use the F-word when you write your egregious posts?


Transgender issues.

I think I am as repelled by transvestite/transgender stories - including transgender celebrities - as most ordinary men and women are repelled by the very notion of homosexual sex.  (I too regard homosexual acts as repellent.)  I guess what I'm trying to say, without any self-righteousness, is that transgender-ism is completely foreign to me - and literally disgusting.  Hence my inability to discuss intelligently the Bruce Jenner story, which aired last Friday evening.  Jenner did not impress me as someone sane - in fact, if he hadn't stressed how serious he is, I would have thought the interview was a stunt.

Nevertheless, I can't speak to the issue because I honestly don't understand it and I find it repulsive.  Trans-stuff has been around for a long time - I've known men who became women.  I went to school with one guy.  I never hung out with these people.  I always viewed drag as a joke - the serious drag queens I considered as freaks.  I simply had nothing to do with them.  When I heard that some of the guys I knew went in for the surgery, I thought it was a gross deception.  When I heard their stories discussed in documentaries, my visceral reaction was that their life stories were creepy - like a Steven King novel.

Self-referential trans-analysis.

Yesterday I came upon an analysis of Jenner's psychological state.  The person writing seemed to rely on some sort of gay diagnostic system purporting to explain what happened in Jenner's childhood to make him this way.  One can't do that without all the facts; medical, pharmaceutical, therapeutic and psychological analysis, the subject's diagnosis history, and so on, are necessary to discover what may have happened to cause him to choose such a drastic life-style change.  Not even a professional therapist, psychologist-psychiatrist, who never met Jenner could do that.  We can't diagnose or judge a person based upon our limited personal experience - be it gay or straight - nor can we compassionate another based solely on clinical research and diagnostics from a biased source.

That said, I came upon a transsexual story written by Walt Heyer, a man who underwent transgender surgery early on, yet lived to regret it, and warn others about it.  If you want to know more about transgender - read a person's account who actually went through the process.  He was not a gay man - like Jenner - he was never attracted to men - hence the diagnostics used in the post I read yesterday, based on homosexual experience, behavior, etc., can't automatically be overlaid onto the pathology of a transgender person.

Heyer's story begins like this:

The dark and troubling history of the contemporary transgender movement, with its enthusiastic approval of gender-reassignment surgery, has left a trail of misery in its wake.
Bruce Jenner and Diane Sawyer could benefit from a history lesson. I know, because I suffered through “sex change” surgery and lived as a woman for eight years. The surgery fixed nothing—it only masked and exacerbated deeper psychological problems.
The beginnings of the transgender movement have gotten lost today in the push for transgender rights, acceptance, and tolerance. If more people were aware of the dark and troubled history of sex-reassignment surgery, perhaps we wouldn’t be so quick to push people toward it. - Finish reading here.
Mr. Heyer's story is deeply unsettling.  His experience of childhood abuse - dressed in grandma's clothes - is just plain creepy.  His photos - then and now creep me out.  Like Bruce Jenner's or Chaz Bono's current photos creep me out.  Transgender creeps me out.  I sincerely apologize for having made fun of transgenders - their stories are horror stories on several levels.  Without doubt, the person needs to be accepted and compassionated - a spiritual act of mercy which is very difficult without charity.  I need to pray for charity.

When you write your story, your conversion story online, in a book, on EWTN ...

Try being discreet.  There is an SSA blogger who writes about stuff I never even heard of before - really creepy porno stuff.  Maybe that helps others - but maybe it's like another variation of porn?

Likewise, there's a woman online who had a nearly unbelievable sinful life, she claims she was a pole dancer and slut, had a few kids, put herself through school, married a wonderful man and lives happily ever after as a Catholic notable.  She has kids - I left a comment once on being careful about going into details about her sordid past - because some day the kids will go online and read that mommy was a slut.  I may be mistaken, but the last time I checked, her profile-bio changed - she appears to have cleaned it up.

Pornified lives.

I think people have to practice discretion and not make their blogs into some trashy novel or 'B' movie screenplay - even when it may be an underlying motive for writing.  Many times we write and speak using foul language that is out of place on a Catholic blog.  The following from St. Paul may shed light on what I'm trying to say here:
As for lewd conduct or promiscuousness or lust of any sort, let them not even be mentioned among you; your holiness forbids this. Nor should there be any obscene, silly, or suggestive talk; all that is out of place. Instead, give thanks. Make no mistake about this: no fornicator, no unclean or lustful person--in effect an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with worthless arguments. These are sins that bring God's wrath down on the disobedient; therefore have nothing to do with them. - (Eph 5:3-7)

Clean up your act.

When I read such disingenuous twaddle on your blogs I mistrust your judgement, I question your sincerity, I don't trust your 'witness' and fidelity, and I remind myself that none of us have any authority over the lives of others - and none of us really know what the 'real' problem is - even though we make claims that we do.  Hence, advice bloggers seem to me to be more like snake oil salesmen - with a Donate button.

And I laugh out loud.  I react with nonsensical posts - twaddle of my own - about all the topics you write about with such vigor, hoping to keep your imaginary Henry VIII title of Defender of the Faith.

Song for this post here.

Our Lady of Quito "Our Lady of the Earthquake"

"Pray much and make sacrifices for sinners,
 for many souls go to hell because there is 
no one to make sacrifices for them."

Providentially, I discovered April 28 is the feast day of the Miraculous image of Our Lady of the Earthquake, also venerated as the Dolorosa del Colegio, in Quito, Equador.  Story here.

Perhaps we can invoke Our Lady of Quito in our prayers for the growing number of victims in the Nepal earthquake, as well as asking Our Lady's protection from those earthquakes which are coming.

Monday, April 27, 2015

If I was a dress designer and Bruce Jenner wanted me to design (and to purchase from my bakery) a dress to wear and I refused would that be reason enough to get a GoFundMe page for a gym-membership fund?

What women should wear to church.

Or, how I deal with trauma.

So anyway.

Should a woman go to church wearing a Mantilla and shawl over a tight mini dress with stiletto high heels?  Does it make sense?  No - I don't think it does.

I'm against it.

Shouldn't the Church do more for fat people?  It's one crisis after another these days.  Many Catholics are morbidly obese and the Church does nothing for them.  Nada.  Parishes keep doing donuts and coffees after Mass, Pancake Breakfasts, pot lucks - and you know how pot gives you the munchies.  Why don't the bishops do anything about fatties?  Is there a special patron saint, a shrine, a pilgrimage destination with a fat farm?

No wonder people don't go to church.

St.s Zach and Ryan

BTW - The Wild won their first round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

So why would Archbishop Nienstedt snub them and host the girls hockey team from a local high school at a private Mass and dinner at his residence?  Girls should not be allowed to play men's sports.  It leads to gender confusion.  (JK)

I'm against it.

Hey!  Abercrombie and Fitch is changing their image.  Really!

Perhaps a bit off topic - I know!  What topic?

I was talking to a friend about how much money can be made writing a blog or hosting a website - without even offering anything for sale - not even good writing.  He was surprised that just by having a donation app and a special needs app you can send your kids to college, buy a house, get a car, go to Europe, buy fancy Mantillas and high heels, buy mini dresses for your husband, get tickets for hockey games - and almost unbelievably - there are actually people out there who will donate.  (I told him about Fr. Z how he used to ask for donations to as protest against NCR.  He didn't get that either.)  But if a homeless person on the street asks them for a couple of dollars they won't give them any money.  They might buy them a sandwich, but they don't want to give them any cash because they might use it for junk food and gain weight.  (Just kidding - they don't want them to use it for drink or drugs.  Our homeless people must be respectable... if they want money for that crap - let them get a GoFundMe page.)

The Church has to do more for fat people.

And another thing...

What if I owned a limo company and Bruce Jenner wanted to rent a limo to go to have his reassignment surgery and I refused because I would in effect be providing the transportation to his surgical appointment?  Worse, what if he was wearing a mini skirt with high heels and as he was getting into the limo I could see ...

I'm afraid to leave the house again.

Should I apply at Patheos?

Our Lady of Montserrat

Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.

"La Morenata"

The statue of Our Lady of Montserrat is crafted according to the traditional iconography of Our Lady under the scripture-based title of Seat of Wisdom.  The sacred image is one of several famous images of the Madonna which became the focus of shrines, pilgrimages and miracles throughout Mediterranean Europe, which had to be hidden away to save it from desecration by Islamic invaders.  The rediscovery of the images were oftentimes marked by supernatural prodigies such as visions, and mysterious lights.

Legend relates that the figure of Our Lady came from Jerusalem to Barcelona, and was brought into the mountains to save it from the Saracens. It is true that the Montserrat statue has oriental features, but this could well be traced to the Byzantine sculptors who were constantly employed in the West. The legend goes on to say that in the eighth century shepherds one night saw strange lights on the mountain and heard Seraphic music.
Guided by the shepherds, the Bishop of Manresa found, in a cavern, a wooden figure of Our Lady and the Holy Child. He ordered that the statue be carried into the cathedral immediately. However, the procession with the statue never reached the cathedral because, after much marching, the small wooden figure became too heavy so that the Bishop decided to accept it as a sign and left it in a chapel of a nearby hermitage. The statue remained there until a church was built on the site of the present abbey on the top of the rocks near where the statue was discovered. - Source

O Blessed Virgin Mary, our Lady of Montserrat, protect your children so fiercely threatened by Islamic extremists and terrorists, deliver those enslaved by Islamic invaders, rescue those lost at sea, give safe refuge those fleeing their homeland, console the afflicted, give hope to the oppressed.  Pray for us who have recourse to you.  Queen of martyrs, help us who have no one but you, we place our lives in your hands. Show yourself our Mother.  Amen.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Who Knew? Thousands march in Washington against same-sex marriage yesterday.

Hiss a genius and we need his maaaaand! - Franck Eggelhoffer

Saturday.  April 25, 2015...

I did not know that.  I saw nothing on local news about it - although I didn't see anything on the earthquake in Nepal either.  (I watched News at 6PM yesterday.)  Maybe I'll catch it tonight.

It's weird though, things like that just don't get attention I guess.
Washington (AFP) - Several thousand people including religious leaders marched in Washington on Saturday against same-sex marriage as the US Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on the deeply divisive issue in the coming days. 
Crowds rallied from the US Capitol to the Supreme Court, carrying placards reading, "A Child Needs a Father and a Mother" and "March for Truth. - Source
Fr. Z is in the news - can haz cake and eat it too.

Just a Heads up - no action item yet!  He came up with a plan to save Christian business owners who would otherwise refuse to provide services for gay weddings - and the Wisconsin State Journal picked it up.  He is treated fairly and apparently had been interviewed for the story as well.  Fr. Z's plan is kind of a dumb idea - but it makes a point.  I doubt anyone is rich enough to donate their profits to a pro-marriage campaign while buying religious uniforms for their employees - but the plan sends a message, doesn't it?

What goes around comes around.

The GoFundMe business refused service to Melissa's bakery, which had refused to bake a cake for two women who wanted a wedding cake for their wedding to one another.   GoFundMe dropped the fund: 
Because pro-marriage Sweet Cakes by Melissa has already been charged with violating an Oregon law against "discrimination," the crowd-funding company has pulled the bakery's campaign. - Story

Fair is fair - right?

The CRS VP in a same sex marriage - what's the big deal?
It turns out that CRS has a non-Catholic employee working in a technical post, nothing to do with faith or morals, who’s in a same-sex marriage. - John Allen, Crux
So why is that a big deal?  Because lesbians are denied Communion at their mom's funeral.   A Catholic teacher is refused a job because he's gay and lives with his lover.  A lector is kicked out because he lives with a long-time-companion.  Two old queens in the choir are told to sell off their house and possessions, move apart, if they want to receive Communion and sing in the choir.  It's a big deal because gay Catholics are fired from their jobs in Catholic parishes and schools - right down to preparing meals for Loaves and Fishes.  It's a big deal because pro-LGBTQ theory and policy has long been part of the Catholic education system, as well as Catholic aid programs - until someone is outed or called out for another person's definition of a cover-up.  Then they get fired.  While CRS functionaries have the ability to operate as a sort of NGO or ideological colonists - those are the Pope's words, and I highly doubt he is speaking exclusively about Governments when he points to such corruption.  A vice-president has a hell of a lot more influence on LGBTQ rights within the Church than a Loaves and Fishes lady making sandwiches, or a music director for some parish.

It isn't because we are so rich and have the luxury or leisure time to address this stuff - it is because there appears to be a deliberate, blindsided approach to handling domestic issues such as these within the USCCB, CRS, and other agencies under the Catholic Bishops' purview.  The problems start at the top - and trickle down.  Like I said, a vice-president has a hell of a lot more influence on LGBTQ rights within the Church than a Loaves and Fishes lady making sandwiches, or a music director for some parish.

As Catholics we are concerned about doctrine and Catholic teaching - here in our country, our dioceses and our parishes - just as we are concerned about those Christians suffering in other lands.  As Catholics many of us have been longtime contributors to CRS - despite not being rich, maybe we can find another agency more willing to accept donations.  Organizations with less overhead, bureaucracy, and political interests.

They all want money.

That's what they want.

Song for this post here.

I read the news today, oh boy ... Over two thousand dead in Nepal ...

And though the news was rather sad ...

I only read the Pope's message of consolation ...
His Holiness commends the souls of the victims to the loving mercy of the Almighty and he offers encouragement to the civil authorities and emergency personnel as they continue their rescue efforts and assistance to those touched by this tragedy. Upon them all he invokes the blessings of the Almighty as a pledge of healing and consolation. - Zenit
The death count will grow.

There will be more to come.

Prayers for the victims.


Our Lady of Good Counsel

Holy Virgin, moved by the painful uncertainty we experience in seeking and acquiring the true and the good, we cast ourselves at thy feet and invoke thee under the sweet title of Mother of Good Counsel. We beseech thee: come to our aid at this moment in our worldly sojourn when the twin darknesses of error and of evil that plots our ruin by leading minds and hearts astray.
Seat of Wisdom and Star of the Sea, enlighten the victims of doubt and of error so that they may not be seduced by evil masquerading as good; strengthen them against the hostile and corrupting forces of passion and of sin.
Mother of Good Counsel, obtain for us from thy Divine Son the love of virtue and the strength to choose, in doubtful and difficult situations, the course agreeable to our salvation. Supported by thy hand we shall thus journey without harm along the paths taught us by the word and example of Jesus our Savior, following the Sun of Truth and Justice in freedom and safety across the battlefield of life under the guidance of thy maternal Star, until we come at length to the harbor of salvation to enjoy with thee unalloyed and everlasting peace. Amen. (By Pope Pius XII, 23 January 1953)

In thanksgiving for
favors granted.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Hillary Clinton makes her position clear: "Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed."

You can believe her on this one.

Ah!  The Clinton's.  They can charm and entertain and promise you the moon.  I can't help but like them.  Seriously, Bill cracks me up, I admire is intelligence, his down-to-earthiness.  Hillary always seems reasonable, intelligent, open-minded and ever so capable at whatever she does - and these two together, make the most adorable, loving grandparents - sort of a Hepburn and Tracy kind of couple - huh?  How about that analogy?  I'm actually serious - they can just seem so darn likable!  And their daughter - Chelsea - I almost feel proud of her - like she's part of my family or something.

Then there is always something to remind me ... they're tricksters.

Mrs. Clinton rarely speaks as clearly as she did recently - giving us a glimpse into her agenda - pretty much unchanged from the trajectory of the current Administration's foreign and domestic policies...
“Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper,” Clinton said.
“Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will,” she explained. “And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed. As I have said and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their societies is the great unfinished business of the 21st century and not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.” - The DC

You can't trust the Clinton's.

Song for this post here.

The interview with Bruce Jenner ...

In the development of masculine identity 
it is important to be good in sports. 
Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons

I watched Diane Sawyer's interview.

I realized there is nothing funny about transgender.

I do not understand it at all.

People say he can't ever be a woman because of XY chromosomes.  He can make himself look like a woman -WHY?! - but biologically he will always be a man.

I get that.  

So anyway - he will be a transgender man then.  Right?

I don't know.

I can't understand it.

Friday, April 24, 2015

"Remember how dumb I used to be?"

Gay people and friendship: Spiritual friendship... or spiritual lover-friendship-lust.

Caritas has nothing to do with cupiditas.

Sometimes - it seems to me - gay people don't really know how to have friends.

If they have to endlessly write and research friendship, it seems to me they just don't know how to make friends or keep friends.   Get all upset with me if you want, but one theory as to why some people turn out gay in the first place is because they felt excluded - friendless.  In childhood, it wasn't uncommon for some to have had trouble with same sex peers - they didn't fit in, weren't accepted, couldn't make friends, felt inferior, and so on and so forth.  Of  course it's a theory which is roundly denied by gay people today - which, BTW could be the result of repressed memories perhaps?  It only had to happen once or twice, or be inflicted on a person by the same bully for an extended period of time to cause damage to the ego.  Like I said - most people will dismiss that notion as unsubstantiated and unverifiable.  That's fine.

But why do they constantly talk about loneliness and friendship and not fitting in then?

Why don't gay people know how to make friends without sexualizing-eroticizing the experience on some level?  If you are really nice to someone, want to hang out with someone, does that mean you want to be intimate?  If someone smiles at me does that mean we should touch?  Especially when it is 'friendship at first sight'?  I think a lot of gay people think it does - or quickly leads to that level of seriousness.  Or else they just don't know how to be friends - normal BFF's.  Normal attraction.  Normal joy in friendship.  Do they get it or not?  Why do they over-analyze it then?  Sounds to me as if something may indeed be disordered.

One could write a book on the subject or fill a blog about the challenges of friendship - because people - straight and gay - don't know how to be friends with one another.  I'm talking about close friendship.  It's becoming a science today, especially amongst gays who want a close, live-in or close-by, best friend with whom they can lay their heads upon one another's chest and watch TV together or nap.

See!  Right there!  They don't know how to be just friends - they have to complicate it.  Then they write volumes on what it is, what it means, sort of like how far one can go before one ejaculates?  Involuntarily, of course.

St. Aelred's Spiritual Friendship

Deacon Jim Russell tackles the Spiritual Friendship group's reinterpretation of St. Aelred's treatise by the same name.  I've written on this topic very often in the past - on my blog and the comboxes of other blogs.  Gratefully, Deacon Jim takes up the matter on his own and helps to clear up the misunderstandings and errors the SF writers have layered on top of a very useful treatise on the subject of spiritual friendship - as differentiated from spiritual same-sex-lover-friendship-lust.

Read Deacon Jim's essay here.  I disagree with nothing that he writes - I'm grateful that he corrects what is misleading in the reinterpretation of Spiritual Friendship for the same sex attracted person.  Deacon mentions how academics and many of the Spiritual Friendship scholars insist St. Aelred was gay, and he politely dismisses it.  I tend to be a bit more vehement about it - simply because the vice was considered exactly that - a mortal sin not to be entertained on any level of consciousness.  Aelred wouldn't have tolerated it, much less provided for it.  I've written about it here.

"If you want to be “spiritual friends” with someone, whether you have same-sex attraction or not won’t make a difference." - Deacon Russell

There is nothing wrong with gleaning what is true, what is pure, what is noble from the saints on friendship, but to manipulate the teaching to permit some sort of approbation on exclusive same sex romantic friendship is in error.  Perhaps privately one might consider these ideas in reassessing friendship in accord with Catholic teaching, but it certainly can't be taught as an alternative to same sex marriage and promoting a queer chaste vowed friendship.  That is 'spiritually retarded' at best - to use a real term from Garrigou-Lagrange.  Again, Deacon Jim speaks directly to that notion and does so very well.

I will close this with what Deacon Jim closes his essay with, my apologies this post is so long - but I really wanted to offer my POV as well, since I didn't comment on the Crises essay.
What “Spiritual Friendship” is Not
So, what about the “vowed friendships,” solemnized by publicly professed vows culminating in the Eucharist, for same-sex “friends”? The New Homophiles are proposing that two people with SSA should be able to publicly vow lifelong commitment to one another, within their Church communities. 
St. Aelred’s writing doesn’t support this notion, for two main reasons. First, we’ve just noted that “exclusivity” is not a feature of spiritual friendship. Second, as mentioned above regarding the temporal vows of marriage, spiritual friendship has to do with a union, in Christ, that is endless rather than earthly. Making a vow of friendship is superfluous to the meaning St. Aelred actually gives to spiritual friendship, which is already by nature an everlasting bond, if authentic. Plus, it would be presumptuous for two persons to try to make and extend such a vow to apply to eternity (what if both of you don’t end up in heaven?). No, spiritual friendship is not about nuptial or family bonds—nor would it seem possible that St. Aelred would have viewed exclusive friendship vows as being in any way compatible with the vows the monks themselves take in order to form the broader monastic community. 
In conclusion, St. Aelred deserves to have the rubric of “spiritual friendship” returned to him, unaltered. If you want to be “spiritual friends” with someone, whether you have same-sex attraction or not won’t make a difference. Just do what St. Aelred did: set aside everything that is carnal or worldly; seek spiritual progress toward Christian perfection and intimate union with the Divine; and prayerfully choose, test, and accept those others who have done similarly, with whom you can experience the spiritual heights of “love of neighbor” both in this life and the next. 
Then, and only then, will you really have the beginning of a beautiful—and spiritual—friendship. - Crises

I will be adding something to this in the future.  A friend sent me some information on the subject from an Orthodox perspective, and I'd like to share it when I get a chance.  As I mentioned, this post is long enough.

Photo:  Characters from Grantchester: James Norton as Sidney Chambers and Robson Green as Inspector Geordie Keating.   I use the photo as a reference to their friendship which develops with the series.  Neither are gay but their close friendship offers a good insight into close friendship between men.  We've frequently seen the same type of close friendship in war films and films depicting military buddies.