Friday, May 22, 2015

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Weight gain can be a side-effect of blogging ...

Weight is also a cultural bias.

Fat women used to be the most desirable - especially fat wives - fat husbands showed off their wealth, decorating their wives like floats.  Ask Rubens.

Ever since Twiggy in the late 1960's, really thin was in.  You may say models were always thin, that's not exactly true - we'd call them fat today.  Flat chested was fashion.  Big breasts were for Hollywood and pin-ups.  Big breasts came with a bit of meat.  Though thin was always considered svelte since Coco Chanel, the standard was never as bad as when heroin chic came along.  And now androgynous boy models keep the anorexic movement going.

It's always something.

Kat's on a diet and preaching against the dangers of obesity.  That's fine.  People recovering from smoking or alcoholism do that stuff too.  Nothing wrong with that.  However, there is fat, obese, and morbid obesity.  All of which gets condemned and fat people are scorned ...  (Doctors like it because they can offer bi-pass surgery or lipo, - it's a lucrative industry - shame people into medical intervention.)

Except!  Wait!

Fat fashions for fat girls here.  It's a huge market that has been pretty much overlooked until recently.  (Pun intended.)  Fat people help the economy - dress them up and make them feel good about themselves - build profits for the overseas textile industry as well as Chinese manufacturers.

Oh!  Oh!  And guess what is sexy to women now?  The dad's bod!  Normal guys with a bit of a tummy... go here.

So here's my Jennifer Fulwiler quick take on all this.  

Quit obsessing about your body - it's a bit narcissistic and can be a form of idolatry.   Vanity is the devotion of self.  It is the main idol of body culture.  Always has been.  We lose weight and get in shape for better health, yes.  We look in the mirror, like what we see, and va-va-voom!  The mirror has two faces!

I know guys who get in shape and trick out because they are now 'gorgeous'!

I know women who left their husbands after losing a ton of weight and got a make-over.

I know women who found live-in boyfriends after getting shape.

Take care of the interior first - the exterior will start looking better before you know it or even care.

Thin fat people are always fat on the interior - you have to take care of your selfish self-seeking first.  Catherine of Siena writes about that.  Nowadays she is reputed to have been anorexic - but we miss the point on that because we are eating-disordered and obsessed with weight and appearance.  Catherine wasn't.  She was fixated upon her Beloved, her Christ.  Her heart was single, unencumbered.  It is the self which weighs us down.

And she was definitely thin...


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Why men don't go to Mass: Professional actors coach seminarians on 'preaching'.

And now students, we will work on how to master timing in order to deliver a Biblical truth or a laugh line.

Really?  People already complain about the Mass as performance art, required applause for the music ministry, and standing ovations for liturgical dancing altar servers, as well as accusing priests of being narcissistic, claiming they act as if it is all about them.  So why add more theatricality to the mix?

Deacon Kandra reports on a Preaching Boot Camp for Seminarians:
Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary has hired two professional actors to put priests-in-training through an acting/public speaking workshop nicknamed Preaching Boot Camp. 
For the last several years, actors Arthur Beer and Mary Bremer-Beer have conducted the three-week workshops at the seminary. The seminarians are taught how to project, how to control tempo, and how to master timing in order to deliver a Biblical truth or a laugh line. - Read more here.
Prayer works.  If a priest prays - if he ruminates the Scriptures - he doesn't have to worry about technique, style, presentation, or getting a laugh.
To get them to tap into their emotions, the men were asked to write and deliver speeches about their mothers — and to read those speeches to their moms. - ibid
Really?  Pray. Be men of prayer.  Eat the Word of God.  Fall in love and live in union with Christ in the Eucharist.  Some of the best saints were not polished speakers but they prayed.  Nothing wrong with speech therapy - but the emphasis shouldn't be on performance.  Be natural and learned and holy, and speak from the heart.

Jim and Tammy Bakker were dramatic preachers.  So was Kathryn Kuhlman.  Joel Olsteen is great too - maybe get a teleprompter then.  Entertaining the faithful is not what it's about - you don't need schtick.

Please don't add any more drama or comedy to the homily 'segment' - and don't try to master timing or deliver punch lines.  It's already too much with all the musical numbers, orchestrations, and laity prancing around the sanctuary.  How much do we have to endure?


Okay boys.  More drama!
You need pathos!
Throw open your arms
as if to embrace the congregation!
Then throw in a joke!
End with a Marty Haugen tune ...
Try, "All are welcome ..." 
Then ask them to be generous 
in the collection basket.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Not important enough for American Loons ...

Investigating mystics.

I was reading some material on Monsignor Esseff and new messages from Mary supposedly dictated to a locutionist under his direction.  I was trying to find out who the unnamed mystic is, apparently she is a cloistered nun.  The messages strike me as too political and a bit pro-American.  For me I find nothing edifying in them - much like Medjugorje.  Obviously it isn't meant to be - for me.

That said, I came across an American theologian, Ronald L. Conte, Jr. who discredits the Esseff locutions as well - so he must be right, since it accords with my intuitions on the subject.  Just kidding - I only say that because when we want to be right we can usually find someone who agrees with us - even a theologian.  However, I don't care about being 'right' on this - I was simply looking to find out more about the Essef messages - as they seem to be well received in my part of the Church.  I should point out Conte also accepts the following revelations as 'trustworthy':
Fr. Stefano Gobbi
Me, not so much.

Ranking #205 in his list of false revelations, he states:
205. "Locutions to the World" - Anonymous visionary at, whose messages are announced through a retired priest, Msgr. John Esseff. Messages claim that Russia was never consecrated as requested at Fatima, even though Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Ratzginer (now Pope Benedict XVI) and sister Lucy, the visionary of Fatima, all said that Russia has been properly consecrated. The messages are similar to the other false messages of the above false visionaries, including profane commentary on politics, economics, and current events. - Conte
Works for me.  The Esseff locutions are also pro-Medjugorje - an irony because Conte accepts Medj as true.  It isn't a contradiction however, since they all accept Catholic teaching and remain Catholic.

Investigating the investigators.

Interestingly, Conte rejects Mark Mallet, a charismatic who supposedly misinterpreted a word of knowledge he received and speculated upon the three days darkness.  That's all such iffy stuff as it is - so who can judge?  I've noted some bloggers seem to follow Mark Mallet, but I know very little about him or his prophecies.  Remember John of the Cross has much to say on these things and I've often referred to his writings, especially when people interpret locutions in a literal sense.

I cited the extensive list of false revelations simply to demonstrate how popular spiritual prophecies and warnings and predictions are today - it goes hand in hand with the popularity of the occult I think.  That in itself should be a warning for devout souls.

When I googled Conte, his name came up on a fun site called American Loons - which pretty much diminished his credibility right away, for me at least.  I searched the site for other Catholic bloggers such as Barnhardt, Mckinley, Fernandez, Jeffie, Skovran, Verrechio, Zuhlsdorf, Poodles, and so on, but they weren't listed.  (Neither was I - but I'm not important enough.)  I did see Ann Coulter and Pam Geller - which is what prompted me to seriously look up Ann Barnhardt - but I didn't find any other personality I've met online ... except for this guy:
Dec 08, 2014
Michael Voris is a hysterically fanatic, militant religious (Catholic) fundamentalist. He is the president and founder of St. Michael's Media, which creates short videos and full length programs for the website ...

Did you know? St. Mary of Jesus Crucified is said to be among those who foretold the Three Day Darkness?

St. Mariam Baouardy, who was canonized yesterday is reputed to have joined those saints and mystics who have prophesied the three days darkness. I've never been able to find her prediction in the literature I have on the saint.  I've only seen the quote on sites which promote prophecies on the warning and chastisement.

"All states will be shaken by war and civil conflict. During a darkness lasting three days the people given to evil ways will perish so that only one-fourth of mankind will survive." - St. Mary of Jesus Crucified.

Fifth Centenary of the Birth of St. Felix of Cantalice

 La Vierge Marie et l’Enfant Jésus avec  Saint Félix de Cantalice.

To commemorate the centenary, Fr. Charles, OFM, Cap. notes there is an opportunity to gain a plenary indulgence beginning today until May 18, 2016.  Details here.

St. Felix was one of those humble lay-brother saints.  A quaestor for the Roman friary, he was popularly known as Br. Deo Gratias, because he used that blessing whenever he received an alms or greeted passersby.  Gratitude and joy was a hallmark of his spirituality.  He was a dear friend of St. Philip Neri, as well an acquaintance of St. Charles Borromeo.  He was beloved by the people of Rome, revered for his sanctity, healing, even preaching.  Exhorting young men to live chaste lives, rebuking corrupt city leaders, teaching little children their catechism and leading them to devotion, while especially concerning himself with poor mothers - he was loved by all.  He is buried in the Capuchin church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini on the Via Veneto - one of the first churches I visited when on my first visit to Rome.

Read more about St. Felix here.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Canonized May 17: St. Mary of Jesus Crucified, OCD

Saint Mariam Baouardy -The Lily of Palestine

The story of St. Mary of Jesus Crucified is amazing.

From Mystics of the Church:

Saint Mariam Baouardy -The Lily of Palestine - Extraordinary Mystic, Stigmatic and Victim Soul (1846-1878) 
Saint Mariam Baouardy, known in religion as Mariam of Jesus Crucified, was born in Ibillin, located in the hill country of upper Galilee, Palestine. Her family originated in Damascus, Syria. They were Catholics of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Rite, descendants of the Archeparchy of Antioch, the place where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians. Her father, Giries (George) Baouardy, came from Horfesch, Palestine; her mother, Mariam Chahine, came from Tarshish, Palestine.

Her martyrdom and miraculous cure through the Blessed Virgin Mary
In her isolation from her uncle’s family, she turned to a Muslim servant to have him deliver her letter to Nazareth. For his part, the young man encouraged Mariam to reveal her personal troubles. He became outraged at her uncle’s treatment of her and played upon the mind and feelings of the young girl. He introduced conversion to Islam as a remedy to Mariam’s problems. His words and actions focused young Mariam directly upon her Christianity. However, she soon realized the young man’s true intentions, and this caused her to draw back. She denied his advances and loudly proclaimed her faith in the Church of Jesus. “Muslim, no, never! I am a daughter of the Catholic Church, and I hope by the grace of God to persevere until death in my religion, which is the only true one.”

Her so-called protector, furious at being rejected by this young Christian, became violent. Eyes flashing with hatred he lost control and kicked her to the floor. He then drew his sword and slashed her throat. Thinking her dead, he dumped her bloody body in a nearby dark alley. It was the feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 8,1858. What followed was a strange and beautifully moving story, told years later by Mariam to her Mistress of Novices at Marseilles, France:“A nun dressed in blue picked me up and stitched my throat wound. This happened in a grotto somewhere. I then found myself in heaven with the Blessed Virgin, the angels and the saints. They treated me with great kindness. In their company were my parents. I saw the brilliant throne of the Most Holy Trinity and Jesus Christ in His humanity. There was no sun, no lamp, but everything was bright with light. Someone spoke to me. They said that I was a virgin, but that my book was not finished. "
She then found herself once again in the grotto with the “nun dressed in blue”. How long did Mariam remain in this secret shelter? She later spoke of one month, but she was not sure. One day, the unknown nurse prepared some soup for her that was so delicious that she greedily asked for more, and all her life she was to remember the taste of this heavenly soup. On her death bed she was heard to say tenderly, "She made me some soup! Oh, such good soup! There I was a long time, looking, and never ate soup like that. I have the taste in my mouth. She promised me that at my last hour, she will give me a little spoonful of it."
Toward the end of her sojourn in the grotto, the nurse in blue outlined for Mariam her life`s program, "You will never see your family again, you will go to France, where you will become a religious. You will be a child of St. Joseph before becoming a daughter of St. Teresa. You will receive the habit of Carmel in one house, you will make your profession in a second, and you will die in a third, at Bethlehem." - Read the entire story here.

A priest friend, founder of a Carmelite community of men gave me a first class relic of the saint on the occasion of her beatification.  I am so happy for her canonization.

I'm Not Sure That's News (First edition): Girls Scouts Now Welcoming Transgender Boys...

I thought they always had?

Apparently not.

A new Girl Scouts of America policy extends membership to boys who identify as girls. In other words, this girls group is now embracing transgender boys. 
"Girl Scouts is proud to be the premiere leadership organization for girls in the country. Placement of transgender youth is handled on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of the child and the members of the troop/group in question a top priority," the group says in an FAQ on its website. "That said, if the child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe." - Source

Something is off.

Gender ideology may be the clearest indication we have that aliens are among us - right now on planet earth.  Transgender boy/girl?  Cis-male?  Genderqueer?

Here's a comprehensive Glossary/Definition of Terms to help potential adoptive parent(s) in guiding their child in determining what it is.  If the push is for non-binary - why all the terms?  

I watched "Into the Woods."

The film, Into the Woods.

I didn't like it.  Bad message.  Bad.

Prince Charming is a womanizer.  Red Ridding Hood is a brat.  Jack steals gold from the Giant and kills him - then the rest of the characters go after the Giant's avenging widow and kill her.  Jack robbed their house!  He should have been killed.

Then, most of the dialog was singing.  I hate musicals.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Weekend of Saints

Today, May 16, and tomorrow, May 17 is adorned with holy men and women.

Today is the feast of St. Margaret of Cortona, penitent.  Our Lord called her the Magdalene of the Franciscan order.  She could be a patron for single mothers who were sinners.  It would be better to rely on Margaret's merits than their own however - since Margaret was quite extreme in her penance and probably not the best mother for her poor son - who later was entrusted to the Franciscans - which had to be a better life for him.  Margaret suffered all her life from gossips who never forgot her sinful past and accused her of continuing indiscretions even after so many years of penance.  Perhaps she could be a patron for gay people as well - who once gay, always gay - in the eyes of so many of us.

St. Margaret, pray for us!

St. Simon Stock is also commemorated today.  Modern hagiographers tend to discredit the traditional stories about this Carmelite saint, yet he has always been venerated as the one to whom the Blessed Virgin gave the scapular of Mt. Carmel.  Scapulars had been around since the first monks - Pachomius was given a version of it by an angel - yet the gift of the Brown Scapular to Simon Stock was indeed special and set apart, and became a sign of consecration even for lay people.  I accept the traditional story of St. Simon who is so named because he began his eremetical life living in the hollow of a tree.  I like that.

Today is also the memorial of St. John Nepomucene.  He is the patron of Czechoslovakia, and of confessors.  He was martyred because he refused to divulge the content of the Queen's confessions to the King, who promised him honors if he did so.  He didn't and was thrown off a bridge in Prague.  His image and story was used by missionaries to the New World to catechize aboriginal people on the Seal of the Confessional.

Ah! Tomorrow, May 17 is especially illustrious!

First, it is the memorial of St. Paschal Baylon.  The humble Franciscan lay brother so devoted to the Blessed Sacrament.  I love him so much - I pray he grants me an increase of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament - a deep union ...

On this day, May 17, 1925, the Blessed Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face was canonized by Pius XI.

Ninety years later, the Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified, also know as Mariam Buoardy, the Little Arab, will be canonized by Pope Francis, along with fellow Palestinian Bl. Marie-Alphonsine Ghattas.

Bl. Mary of Jesus Crucified will be celebrated throughout the Church, in Catholic news and on Catholic blogs, so I don't need to say much.  The Little Arab is a modern thaumaturge - her life is filled with miracles and wonders, much like the early saints, whose legends have been more or less discredited by contemporary hagiographers who no longer believe in miracles.  The wondrous life of Bl. Mary has been documented by contemporaries and studied by mystical theologians.

So.  This weekend is filled with saints, revealed in and through the glorious splendor of the Ascension of the Lord.


"Lies that are based on what we want to be true are the hardest to disprove. A lie that is tied into identity cannot be touched without destroying the entire identity of an individual or a movement." - Daniel Greenfield

Friday, May 15, 2015

Boston Bomber sentenced to death.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death Friday for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the terror attack on the finish line of the storied race that killed three people and injured more than 260 others. - Story

Works for me.

B.B. King, RIP

+1925-2015 +

I got a mind to give up livin' ...

... oh! and go shoppin' instead ...

to pick out a tombstone ...

oh!  when I heard it this mornin' ...

that's when I decided ...

Love you B.B. King.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

Song for this post here.

Creepy story ...

Let the dead 
bury the dead.

The nun who knew too much.

This is one of the creepiest stories I have ever come across since a friend of mine told me she slept with her spiritual director therapist while a novice with a well known community of nuns somewhere on the East coast.  I know!

What is with the East coast?  I think the worst stuff happened there - and continues to happen.  Boston, NYC, Washington, Baltimore.  Actually, Washington is probably the hottest spot, but I digress.

Back to the story... my synopsis.

Picture it.  Baltimore 1969, Archbishop Keough High School.  Notre Dame nuns in girl's-school style uniforms, veil optional - but still homely.  Horny, newly ordained priests -  homely, but still thin.  Catholic school girls in an all girls school, pleated-plaid skirted uniforms, the pretty ones in need of psychological counselling and the sacrament of penance ... number and kind ...  A young nun gets murdered - it had to be the nice one too.  Although she lived in an apartment with another sister, she somehow managed to have an affair with another priest.  Brutally murdered, thrown in a dump, the molester priest takes his student victim there to see the body and is told, "See what happens when you say bad things about people?"  The girl and other victims remained silent for years.  Then, when they were older, and felt safe, they spoke up.  It appears the diocese and the police tried to either, a) cover it up, b) discredit the victims, c) distance the priests from police investigations ....  Stuff like that.

It should be made into a movie.

On a frigid day in November 1969, Father Joseph Maskell, the chaplain of Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore, called a student into his office and suggested they go for a drive. When the final bell rang at 2:40 p.m., Jean Hargadon Wehner, a 16-year-old junior at the all-girls Catholic school, followed the priest to the parking lot and climbed into the passenger seat of his light blue Buick Roadmaster.
This time, though, Maskell didn't bring Wehner home. He navigated his car past the Catholic hospital and industrial buildings that surrounded Keough’s campus and drove toward the outskirts of the city. Eventually, he stopped at a garbage dump, far from any homes or businesses. Maskell stepped out of the car, and the blonde, freckled teenager followed him across a vast expanse of dirt toward a dark green dumpster.
It was then that she saw the body crumpled on the ground.
The week prior, Sister Cathy Cesnik, a popular young nun who taught English and drama at Keough, had vanished while on a Friday-night shopping trip. Students, parents and the local media buzzed about the 26-year-old’s disappearance. People from all over Baltimore County helped the police comb local parks and wooded areas for any sign of her.
Wehner immediately recognized the lifeless body as her teacher. "I knew it was her," she recalled recently. "She wasn’t that far gone that you couldn’t tell it was her.” - It's a long story - finish here.

What happened in the 1950's and '60's to turn out vocations like these?  Was there any faith or was formation simply like basic training in military service?  You get out of basic and pursue your career?  What was wrong with the bishops and cardinals back then?

Now I'm tempted not to make so many excuses for Sr. Vivian and Fr. Reynolds and the others.

Song for this post here.

John Waters is from Baltimore too.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The convincing power of the Holy Spirit ...

The convincing of sin is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

The emphasis on 'the convincing power of the Holy Spirit' is a favorite source of meditation for me, it is part of my deepest prayer. It is the Holy Spirit who convinces us and the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgement. How essential this action is, not just once, in a sort of baptism of the Spirit, or confirmation, but ongoing: deep calling unto deep, drawing us deeper into the mystery of the Trinity; the abyss of mercy and love, calling to the abyss of sin and misery, convicting the soul in an embrace of the merciful love of Christ crucified. Things I can't put into words because I have no higher degrees in theology, no skill in writing, but they are things that one can know, without knowing as it were - experientially - in and through prayer and sacred reading.

St. John Paul II wrote:

The Spirit of truth, who "convinces the world concerning sin," comes into contact with that laborious effort on the part of the human conscience which the Conciliar texts speak of so graphically. This laborious effort of conscience also determines the paths of human conversion: turning one's back on sin, in order to restore truth and love in man's very heart. 
We know that recognizing evil in ourselves sometimes demands a great effort. We know that conscience not only commands and forbids but also Judges in the light of interior dictates and prohibitions. It is also the source of remorse: man suffers interiorly because of the evil he has committed. Is not this suffering, as it were, a distant echo of that "repentance at having created man" which in anthropomorphic language the Sacred Book attributes to God? Is it not an echo of that "reprobation" which is interiorized in the "heart" of the Trinity and by virtue of the eternal love is translated into the suffering of the Cross, into Christ's obedience unto death? When the Spirit of truth permits the human conscience to share in that suffering, the suffering of the conscience becomes particularly profound, but also particularly salvific. Then, by means of an act of perfect contrition, the authentic conversion of the heart is accomplished: this is the evangelical "metanoia." 
The laborious effort of the human heart, the laborious effort of the conscience in which this "metanoia," or conversion, takes place, is a reflection of that process whereby reprobation is transformed into salvific love, a love which is capable of suffering. The hidden giver of this saving power is the Holy Spirit: he whom the Church calls "the light of consciences" penetrates and fills "the depths of the human heart."  -Dominum et vivicantem

The convincing power of the Holy Spirit ...

Denuding, stripping away all that we cling to, making us even poorer -  is his gift.

A particularly important kind of denudation, through which the Holy Spirit prepares us for his 'decent,' is the process of stripping us of the false image we have of ourselves and freeing us from living a falsehood.  In the Gospel, St. John relates the promise of Christ to us that the Paraclete - the Holy Spirit - will convince the world about sin when he comes.  Thus one of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to convince us of our sin, therefore bestowing upon us the grace of humility.  This is the fundamental grace of the Holy Spirit. - Fr. Tadeuz Dajczer

"If the Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can call evil by its name, it does so only in order to demonstrate that evil can be overcome if we open ourselves to 'love for God to the point of contempt for self. This is the fruit of Divine Mercy...'" - John Paul II, Memory and Identity

Holy Spirit, inspire me.
Love of God consume me.
Along the true road, lead me.
Mary, my good mother, look down upon me.
With Jesus, bless me.
From all evil, all illusion, all danger, preserve me. 
- Bl. Mary of Jesus Crucified, OCD


Mother of God, Unexpected Joy, pray for us.

The icon was originally painted to commemorate the conversion of a sinner.  As he was at the point of committing a grievous sin, the man actually prayed to the Virgin to assist him to accomplish his deed.  The Mother of God appeared to him, demonstrating her disdain, and pointing to the wounds on the hands and feet of the Divine Child in her arms, which opened and bled, the Blessed Virgin admonished the sinful man and explained that every time someone chooses to commit grave sin, the wounds begin to torment Christ. Fearful of the divine wrath, the man prayed for forgiveness and began to lead righteous life. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

This is one of the most edifying pieces I have read in a long time ...

"When Christ took pity upon me..."

"When Christ took pity upon me, I knew it was all over - it was just over and done with; I never would have imagined tagging myself gay, or extolling the minuscule and narrow virtues that an existence so lost and disgusting ever held. Imagine Mary Magdalene ruminating about the few brief moments of spurious happiness she had back in whoredom; or preserving her former good-time-girl moniker. Like Mary, my shift was extreme - for me, the whole gay thing was just evil - and, for so many years, it kept me away from Christ; it cost the lives of many dear friends, and almost took my own. Call me a former-homosexual, ex-gay, even a penitent, but never ever call me gay." - Joseph Sciambra

Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

Today is also the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, Portugal, on May 13, 1917, the date coincided with the feast of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament as well.

The image shown here is similar to the very first picture I saw of Our Lady of Fatima when I was little, and I was immediately attracted.  It is one of my favorites.  I soon learned about the apparitions, the children, and the message, taking to heart Our Lady's request to pray the rosary every day.

Pray for little children who suffer and for those who are abused, abandoned, or neglected - especially those who have no religion and do not know the love of God.

Love little children.  Always show them patience and kindness and always make them feel protected and loved.  Never make fun of them or be mean to them.  Preserve them from vanity, impurity, greed and selfishness.  Teach them devotion to Our Lady and Our Lord.  Teach them how to pray the prayers of the rosary.

Blessed Francisco (9), Lucia (9), and Blessed Jacinta (7).

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Catholic Dioceses Can Be Like Dysfunction Families: Episode 1

"Can you get me a job as an executive in your agency - while I still have my looks?"

Priests on the shelf - or in the chancery closet.

So here's the deal.  I wrote about priest stuff the other day - "why priests leave" - because they do.  Which only adds to the priest shortage - not to mention low morale.

Then, when the new priests are put to work - some placed as pastors right out of seminary - they can be overwhelmed, and some have breakdowns or just throw in the towel and leave - especially if the bishop is too busy for them.  Yet there are seasoned priests available, working desk jobs in chancery offices, chaplains in health care facilities, teachers, while some guys are just sitting around on call in the tv room of the rectory.

Why?  Oftentimes because they were accused of something they didn't do, got caught doing something naughty, or the personnel board just doesn't like them because they may be too traditional or too opinionated - or they got to be too aloof.

That's just wrong.  I could name names of priests who should be 'out there' rather than hidden away - or sent away to pursue their 'career' elsewhere.  (There's a guy in Boston ...)

Even if they are under scrutiny, disliked, falsely accused, or sort of a jerk, whatever - they should be in active duty.  They should take it on the chin - work through the strife - don't lay low until the lawyers are through with them.  If the Church hasn't judged them, and they're not in jail, put them to work.  Stop hiding them away.  The bishops leave the liberal, dissenting priests in place - why not even the score and give assignments to the conservative ones.  If the parishioners leave because the priest is too traditional or they don't like the guy, then you know which parish to shut down and sell the church to pay off lawsuits.  Why is that so hard?


St. Leopold Mandic

St. Leopold's liturgical memorial coincides with his natural birth date, May 12, though he died July 30, 1942.

Just yesterday I read a comment from a reader on another blog who said something about light penances given by priests, explaining, "priests give us light penances because they do our penance for us."  I'm pretty sure that's not true - yet St. Leopold certainly did as much:
  • "Some say that I am too good. But if you come and kneel before me, isn't this a sufficient proof that you want to have God's pardon? God's mercy is beyond all expectation."
  • "Be at peace; place everything on my shoulders. I will take care of it." He once explained, "I give my penitents only small penances because I do the rest myself."
  • "A priest must die from apostolic hard work; there is no other death worthy of a priest."
I love this little saint and pray him to obtain forgiveness for my sins and an increase in devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, the sacrament of penance, and a deeper devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

He also wrote the following testament (which I keep posting):
"I. Fr. Leopoldo Mandie Zarevic. believe that the Blessed Virgin as Co-Redemptress of the human race is the moral cause of all grace - everything we receive comes from her fullness. " On another occasion he solemnly wrote: "The August Mother of God is in truth Co-Redemptress of the human race and source of all Grace. In fact, on the one hand we have in her the most perfect obedience to God's laws and, after her Son, the most perfect innocence: He, impeccable by His nature, she, impeccable by Grace. On the other hand we see her as Our Lady of Sorrows, as He was the Man of Sorrows. If, therefore, by eternal decree of God, the Immaculate Virgin was the moral victim of sorrow as her Son was the physical victim, and if God's avenging Justice found no shadow of fault in them, it follows: inevitably that they were paying the price of the sins of others, that is of mankind."