“Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor..." - Evangelii Gaudium

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I don't understand anymore.

I bet I'm just too dumb - I'd like to think I'm too little - but I'm pretty sure I'm just too dumb.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Who is driving this car?

My mother was very inebriated one night and asked "who is driving this car?"  My dad was in the front seat and her first husband was driving, and my mother was in the back with my brother.  They had been out to dinner with my brother's dad because his dad needed to sign some papers for my brother to enlist in the Air Force.  Needless to say, the night ended badly.

If I remember correctly, my brother left for basic training shortly after and my mother disappeared for several days.

Song for this post here.

I love this painter.

Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham

Our Lady, Mother of Perpetual Help ...

I knew it was your feast day yesterday, but I wanted to let others post about you, and praise you.  I hope you will help me, and all of those who sing your praises, understand how ordinary your life on earth was ... how completely ordinary.  Which explains why you are our mother, and remain for us our perpetual help,  You are indeed our mother of perpetual help - especially for those of us most in need of mercy.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Leaving Armenia: What the Pope said.

The in-flight interview. 

Cindy Wooden, CNS: Holiness, within the past few days Cardinal Marx, the German, speaking at a large conference in Dublin which is very important on the Church in the modern world, said that the Catholic Church must ask forgiveness to the gay community for having marginalized these people. In the days following the shooting in Orlando, many have said that the Christian community had something to do with this hate toward these people. What do you think?
Pope Francis: I will repeat what I said on my first trip. I repeat what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: that they must not be discriminated against, that they must be respected and accompanied pastorally. One can condemn, but not for theological reasons, but for reasons of political behavior ... Certain manifestations are a bit too offensive for others, no? ... But these are things that have nothing to do with the problem. The problem is a person that has a condition, that has good will and who seeks God, who are we to judge? And we must accompany them well ... this is what the catechism says, a clear catechism. Then there are traditions in some countries, in some cultures that have a different mentality on this problem. I think that the Church must not only ask forgiveness — like that “Marxist Cardinal” said (laughs) — must not only ask forgiveness to the gay person who is offended. But she must ask forgiveness to the poor too, to women who are exploited, to children who are exploited for labor. She must ask forgiveness for having blessed so many weapons. The Church must ask forgiveness for not behaving many times — when I say the Church, I mean Christians! The Church is holy, we are sinners! — Christians must ask forgiveness for having not accompanied so many choices, so many families ... I remember from my childhood the culture in Buenos Aires, the closed Catholic culture. I go over there, eh! A divorced family couldn’t enter the house, and I’m speaking of 80 years ago. The culture has changed, thanks be to God. Christians must ask forgiveness for many things, not just these. Forgiveness, not just apologies. Forgive, Lord. It’s a word that many times we forget. Now I’m a pastor and I’m giving a sermon. No, this is true, many times. Many times … but the priest who is a master and not a father, the priest who beats and not the priest who embraces, forgives and consoles. But there are many. There are many hospital chaplains, prison chaplains, many saints. But these ones aren’t seen. Because holiness is modest, it’s hidden. Instead it’s a little bit of blatant shamelessness, it’s blatant and you see so many organizations of good people and people who aren’t as good and people who … because you give a purse that’s a little big and look at you from the other side like the international powers with three genocides. We Christians — priests, bishops — we have done this. But also we Christians have Teresa of Calcutta and many Teresa of Calcuttas. We have many servants in Africa, many laity, many holy marriages. The wheat and the weeds. And so Jesus says that the Kingdom … we must not be scandalized for being like this. We must pray so that the Lord makes these weeds end and there is more grain. But this is the life of the Church. We can’t put limits. All of us are saints, because all of us have the Holy Spirit. But we are all sinners, me first of all! Alright. I don’t know if I have replied. - NCR

Works for me.

The Holy Father just clarified Catholic teaching, citing the Catechism.  He also elaborated somewhat, pointing out the differences between political behavior and the individual person of good will who seeks God - and again, he emphasizes the Catechism.  What is new for me is how the Holy Father concedes there is a need to apologize - not for Catholic teaching, but for how the homosexual person has been treated - as I mentioned in another post - by people and groups in the institutional Church.  

For me, he has clarified teaching in this impromtu interview, and helped me see there is a need to apologize and more especially seek forgiveness.  Personally, I think a great apology is due to the Spiritual Friendship Movement, Ron Belgau, Eve Tushnet, Melinda Selmys, and so on.  It should be so obvious they are persons of good will, who identify as gay and seek God.  Not only that, they accompany many LGBTQ persons who seek God and reconciliation.

This latest statement from Pope Francis heralds a certain freedom of spirit, further removing the burden of fear and suspicion from my heart.  I love what he said here:
"(The Church) must not only ask forgiveness to the gay person who is offended. But she must ask forgiveness to the poor too, to women who are exploited, to children who are exploited for labor. She must ask forgiveness for having blessed so many weapons. The Church must ask forgiveness for not behaving many times — when I say the Church, I mean Christians! The Church is holy, we are sinners! [...] We Christians — priests, bishops— we have done this. - ibid
If a good man reproves me, it is kindness.

Since I began blogging I have come across many stories of how sincere men and women, even those in  celibate, same sex  relationships-friendships-partnerships, living chastely, had been active in parishes, until a concerned parishioner(s) complained they should not lector, or help at communion time, or lead the choir - because their mere living together was a source of scandal. [ I can understand that those who contract civil marriages would by that fact contradict Catholic teaching and be considered unsuitable for a 'leadership' position in a parish, but not those who have good will and who seek God, and remain faithful to Catholic teaching.  Nor those who wish to have their children baptized and/or attend Catholic school to be instructed in the faith.]

Just four years ago Mark Shea did a post about a man in Seattle who had died, Perry Lorenzo - and Mark Shea was roundly condemned for citing this gay Catholic man who lived with a friend as "one of the people I admire most in the world, who I regard as an inspiration and, very likely, as a saint".

In 2009 a Canadian case lit up the blogosphere over a man who was banned as lector because he lived with another man - both were gay, yet living chaste, celibate lives together:

Jim Corcoran, was asked by his bishop to no longer act as lector at Mass because of his living arrangements with another man. The difference between Barbara Johnson and Jim Corcoran is that Johnson evidently rejects Church teaching on sexuality, while Corcoran accepts it and lives in accord with it. Two members of the same sex living together is not a sin.
PETERBOROUGH, ON, July 7, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Jim Corcoran, the owner of one of Canada's largest and most lavish spas, has launched a human rights complaint against the Bishop of Peterborough Ontario for refusing him permission to continue to serve as an altar server. Corcoran admits that he is homosexual and lives with another homosexual man, but says that he follows the Church's teaching and lives a chaste lifestyle. According to the Catholic Register, Bishop Nicola De Angelis asked Corcoran to accept his decision that he not serve on the altar based upon the bishops' desire to avoid public scandal. -Source

The Corcoran case has since been settled and I believe the bishop apologized. I'm not sure what happened next. However, as I noted back then, it appears that Corcoran had fallen prey to the 'damned if you do, damned if you don't'reality, zealous religious types can sometimes subject sincere people to. It is a difficult fact of Christian life. While it is true one must avoid giving scandal at all cost, the ecclesial action probably called more attention to the situation than it warranted. It is a tough call - sometimes people suffer for righteousness sake even at the whim of fellow Catholics. The lives of the saints are replete with such examples, founders of religious orders falsely disgraced and dismissed from their congregations, former prostitutes alienated and denied entry into religious life, and so on.
Likewise, these days, there is little consistency from diocese to diocese, parish to parish, as to how such matters should be handled, complicated by a sort of holy vigilantism of some to catch and expose all the sinners - reformed or unreformed. These folks not only hate the sin, they pretty much hate the sinner as well. - Source

I'm thinking these anecdotes may just be a couple of examples the Holy Father believes Christians need to apologize for and ask forgiveness.

I also think people like Elizabeth Scalia and Mark Shea and Fr. James martin, S.J. deserve an apology - they seem to have always understood the so-called 'New Homophiles' and Spiritual Friendship folks much better than I ever did.

The foolish cruelty.

Mark Shea is a better Catholic than I am - and I'm grateful for his faithful witness.  Some time ago he demonstrated this in the following post:

Damon Linker on a truly appalling piece that ran in Crisis recently, treating faithful same-sex attracted Catholics who are in full obedience to the Church’s teaching as though they are enemies or fifth columnists or half-breeds. What is *wrong* with with some people? We say we want people to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and then when they seriously attempt to obey him, we *still* make clear that they are not good enough and should be treated with contempt and punished, not for their sins, but for their temptations.
Is it any wonder that many gay people conclude that Christians simply hate them? God bless Eve Tushnet, Joshua Gonnerman and all SSA folk who are trying to be faithful to Jesus and his Holy Church, despite the best efforts some Catholics make to drive them away. - Mark Shea
I agree.

Something to think about.

I post this in jest, but there's an element of truth to it.
I've lived most of my life a stranger to family and friends,
to avoid giving scandal - not that I've been living in sin,
but because of the 'stigma', so to speak.

After the Orlando shootings I came across a lot of mean spirited, if not hateful comments about gay people, sodomites, and so on.  This thinking, this contempt lays dormant in many good people - it erupts when something bad happens that is difficult to grasp - especially when it happens to 'bad' people.  Like the gays.  I got an email from a friend, who was also conflicted and confused by how to 'accompany' gays.  Below is the edited version:

It's not that straight people don't want them in our neighborhoods, but that we can't consider their relationships as equal. How can we allow the casual mingling of families, block parties, dinners, and all the typical neighborhood stuff encompasses to be extended to gay couples?  True, we're tolerant of divorced and remarried couples, or couples cohabiting, since objectively speaking, their arrangements could be made right under the right conditions.  One wouldn't have as much problem inviting an unmarried cohabiting couple down the block to a yard party as one would have inviting a cohabiting gay couple or two gay guys living together. 
My friend went on to explain the difficulty of knowing what to do, explaining, "It's not bigotry so much as it presents a moral dilemma."

I don't have the answer.  I don't know.

However, his comment helped me understand why I no longer hear from married with children Catholic friends who know that I live a chaste, celibate life - although I live with a friend.  His comment reminded me, if not confirmed my reason for living as a stranger to family, friends, and coworkers.  I didn't want to send the wrong signals or create scandal.  Likewise, the other stories I cited above, explain why I never got involved in parish activities.  I'm fine with that.  I've always been fine with that.

I'm not bitter.  Neither do I want, nor do I expect any apologies.  I'm happy to seek God in solitude.  Which is why I love living alone among people.  As Madeleine Delbrel has described it:

"There are some people God calls and sets apart in convents and monasteries. There are others God calls and leaves in society, the ones God does not `withdraw from the world.'

"These are the people who have an ordinary job, an ordinary marriage or an ordinary celibacy. The people who have ordinary sicknesses and ordinary sorrows. The people who live in ordinary houses and wear ordinary clothes. These are the people of ordinary life. The people we meet on any ordinary street. - Madeleine Delbrel

It is why I like to cite the example of St. Margaret of Cortona, and did so the other day.  After her conversion she was held in suspicion and gossiped about until her death.  That gives me hope.  It is as if I can say with St. Margaret, and St. Paul: "Don't bother me now, for I bear the stigma of Christ!  I am his and he is mine - I go to him, outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore."  It is a great grace.

Sounds grandiose perhaps - but it's not meant in that sense at all.

I don't ask for any apologies - but I do apologize - and I ask forgiveness for being self-righteous and judgmental to those people who are much better Catholics than myself.

And Fr. Z has stepped in it now - setting the record straight?  Being such a minor issue for him, I wonder why he felt the need to say anything at all?  When I posted earlier in the day, I didn't notice that any of 'the usual suspects' in his digital universe had posted on the Pope's comments except MSM.

One post I missed - goes way over the top on what the Holy Father said:  "The damage Francis' reckless words will cause is incalculable. His treatment of homosexuals is so even-handed that it's underhanded." - j vennari

Prophets (profits) of doom.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Be a good dog then ...

St Dominic sending out a pack of hounds 
against the wolves that attacked a flock of sheep.


When the Pope called people 'animals' ...

Seminarians gathered in Rome for the Pope's talk.

He might have meant to say, 'Don't treat people like animals' ...

Monsignor Pope, whom I admire very much, appears to be offended by the Holy Father's remarks.  It seems to me he may think, as do other priests, that the Holy Father doesn't like priests.  That's sad.

I hope the Holy Father will respond to Monsignor's concern:
Please, Holy Father: Enough of these ad hoc, off-the-cuff, impromptu sessions, whether at thirty thousand feet or at ground level. Much harm through confusion has been caused by these latest remarks on marriage, cohabitation, baptism, confession, and pastoral practice. Simply cleaning the record in the official transcript is not enough; this is an era of instant reportage and lots of recording devices, tweets, and Instagrams. 
Just this priest’s perspective. But I can assure you, dear reader, that the impact hits priests hard, and I cannot deny a certain weariness and discouragement at this point. I realize that such remarks of the Pope are not doctrinal, but just try and tell that to gleeful dissenters and the morally confused or misled in this world. 
Let us pray for our Holy Father and for the universal Church. - NCR

It is what it is I suppose.

Obviously several priests feel this way.  It is really unfortunate that they do.  I sincerely hope the Holy Father will respond directly to the concerns Monsignor expressed.  (I would go to Rome and speak to him personally if I felt that way.)

However, I keep wondering about the Church in Latin America and South America - what is different?  North Americans seem to have difficulty understanding other cultures.  Maybe that's part of the problem?

Locally, in this archdiocese, I've heard of priests treating people badly.  Pastors talking down to the pious seeking spiritual direction, turning the not so faithful away because they won't baptize their little 'bastards', mocking and degrading parishioners and visitors for kneeling-not kneeling-what they wear-holding hands-etc-etc-etc.  Some of these priests who blew female penitents off but doted on the big contributors or offered preferential treatment for teen boys from single parent households have been suspended, others left ministry, a couple have been sent to jail - not for treating people like animals necessarily - but acting like animals and abusing them in other ways.  If you've ever lived or worked in a parish, a rectory, or a Catholic institution, you know what I'm saying and you also can understand the Pope's hyperbole concerning brother priests.  I suspect the Holy Father speaks from experience - and that he himself has been guilty of the same clerical-isms.

But what do I know?  I know nothing because I'm just a layman, steeped in sin since birth.

Here's a thought: Just imagine if a priest called a person an animal, or worse,  a rat-bastard-queer. 

Would that be bad?

"'Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?'  Jesus turned and rebuked them ..." - Luke 9:51-62

I pray for the Pope several times a day - and I pray for priests too.  Especially those most in need of mercy.

The Holy Father welcomes animals and eats with them.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

This is truth ...

Story here.

This is love.

Sr. Cecilia Maria of the Carmel of St. Teresa and St. Joseph Santa Fe, Argentina, pray for us!

h/t Mary Ann

Pride Weekend in Minneapolis

Fun for the whole family.

I never got into it.

Just a few thoughts on what's going on in the world of gay today... kind of like things I don't get and things I do get.

I think parades are dumb - I think when I was little I liked to make floats from shoe boxes, but otherwise just sitting watching people I don't know waving as they go by was pointless.  I don't like circuses either - nor zoos - but that has nothing to do with my dislike of parades.

Minneapolis is billed as the biggest Pride festival in the country.  I wonder - because San Francisco's is pretty big.  In fact I came across an article on this years parade in San Francisco.  Queer people are against it - against the commercialization of it.  And I get that.  That's what is wrong about the homogenization of gay culture - making them like everyone else.  Another article I came across covers the development of cultural conformity by lgbtq-ers settling down - getting married, having a family - all of that stuff.  Stepford gays.

It doesn't work - it won't work.  If Pope Francis thought most Catholic marriages are invalid because couples do not understand committment and for life - imagine gays married, Missy Etheridge.  Unless it's an Elton John type arrangement ... open marriage ... mutual consent ... That's not what real marriage is about however.  But I digress.

Back to queers avoiding San Francisco Pride.

Why? - and this is so key as to why - because gay is big business.  Big.  And queer people are avoiding the organized festivities because it is too straight, too white, and too corporate.  Because they know when they have become a brand to be marketed.
San Francisco resident Katy Birnbaum is eager to gather with other queer people on Pride weekend, especially after such a violent attack against LGBT people in Orlando. But when roughly a million people pack into downtown on Sunday for one of the largest, most high-profile Pride parades in the world, Birnbaum won’t be standing in the crowd.
“It just feels like a big Miller Lite tent,” said Birnbaum, 31. “With the corporate floats … it’s co-opting queer identity as a way to make money.” - Source

Gay as become a product, to be processed, homogenized, and presented as Disneyesque-Stepford-family entertainment and promotion.  Gay is so normal now - because it is so profitable to market it that way.

If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Lyrics from a song I have always loved.  It fits my next point.  When I sinned, I knew even if a priest in the confessional told me it wasn't a sin that it really was a sin.  I neither expected, nor did I want the Church to change her teaching to suit my lifestyle.  Because I had a conscience - it was my conscience, my sensitive, well formed conscience which could not tolerate a compromised moral life - no matter how hard I tried.  My conscience tormented me - not the Church.  How did I know?  Because I couldn't pray - I mean I couldn't pray deeply, I couldn't recollect my senses - I couldn't commune interiorly - and of course, I couldn't receive Holy Communion worthily.  When I came to my senses - I returned, reconciled to Christ and the Church through the sacrament of penance - joyfully accepting Christ's teaching.

Yet here is what I don't get.

German Cardinal Marx says the Church must apologize for how gays have been treated.  Other bishops and priests have said the same thing.  I have to agree with Archbishop Wenski when he called out those who make such claims:
Where in our faith, where in our teachings — I ask you — do we target and breed contempt for any group of people? In today’s second reading, St. Paul teaches us: “Through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. There is neither Jew nor Greek… there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Our faith, our religion gives no comfort, no sanction to a racist, or a misogynist, or a homophobe. - Archdiocese of Miami

The Archbishop is right.  Unfortunately - there are individuals in the Church who do target and foment contempt for gay people - it comes out when they're challenged, angered, disappointed, feeling powerless-out of control and afraid.  (Which may be why they like guns.)  Though they be priests and perhaps teachers of the law, they nevertheless do not speak for the Magisterium when they express that type of invective.

Similarly, individual groups, such as the French Baptized Catholic Conference do not speak for the Magisterium.  This group wants  "the Catholic Church to withdraw its catechism paragraph that calls homosexuality a "grave depravity," "intrinsically disordered."

Hate the sin but love the 'rat bastard-queer' sinner.

Changing language - or eliminating it - doesn't change reality.  It will never make the guilt go away - nor the hate of individuals.  Queer people are just fine as they are - though their sexual acts be 'depraved' and 'intrinsically disordered' - evidence is mounting that they don't care.  What they do care about - I am pretty sure - is the hate from self-righteous individuals who claim they only hate the sin but love the sinner.  I'm not sure these people who say such things are sincere.

I feel as if I've moved beyond this stuff, but from time to time I get distracted by the articles and comments on Catholic blogs.  The 'ex-gay' stuff is always rather incredible for me.  It presupposes there really is a gay identity - a memory.  So you were gay but now you aren't?  Being ex-gay means you were gay - but people can't be gay - just ssa, you say?  The fact remains that the Church only condemns homo-sexual acts.  Same sex sexual relations.  But people say they are ex-gay - which is, on some level, a little bigoted at worst, at best it's like the Pharisee thanking God he is not as wicked as the rest of sinful humanity.  Every person has dignity - no matter how he identifies.  As Mr. Naulings one of the survivors of the Orlando shooting explained it: "We were never a disease or abomination. We are human."

Again - as Wenski pointed out - the Church does not target or breed contempt for any group of people - but I think it is clear, many individuals and groups within the Church do.

The Holy Father in Armenia

‘Metz Yeghern’ (Armenian for ‘Great Evil’)
“May God preserve the memory of the Armenian people. The memory must not be either watered down or forgotten; memory is the fount of peace and of the future.” - RV

Once again it seems the world ignores the Armenian people, who welcomed Pope Francis on his visit to the land where in 1915 the first holocaust-genocide of the 20th century took place.  Mount Ararat in the background reminds the believer of Noah's Ark and the flood ... somehow, for me, the evil of ethnic cleansing, genocide, and persecution makes me think the evil initiated in 1915 was but a sort of warning of what was to follow.

In 1915 Sr. Lucia of Fatima encountered a vague vision of an angel - a preparation of sorts, for the angelic apparitions in 1916:
Although I cannot give the exact date, it seems to me that it was in 1915 that the first Apparition took place. As far as I can judge, it was the Angel, although at that time he did not venture to make himself fully known. From what I can recall of the weather, I think that this must have happened between the months of April and October in the year 1915. - Sr. Lucia
Readers may know I connect a great deal to Fatima, and believe that what was foretold there continues to unfold.  I also see in the revelation and message, a means of sanctification and the way of peace.  Most especially, in and through devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as the Blessed Virgin said to Sr. Lucia:  "My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."  So is Our Lady for those who consecrate themselves to her.

That said, the significance of the Papal visit to Armenia is not lost on me.

“I pray here with sorrow in my heart, that there might never more be tragedies like this one, that humanity might never forget, and might know how to overcome evil with goodness; may God grant to the beloved Armenian people and to the whole world peace and consolation.” - Pope Francis
A bishop dressed in white ...

Friday, June 24, 2016

Don't forget ...

Thirty Five Years Ago Today ...

Many people believe ...
June 24, 1981, Feast of St. John the Baptist. It was on June 24, 1981, the Feast of St. John the Baptist, that Our Lady was first seen, on that now famous small mountain, known as Podbrdo, overlooking the parish of Medjugorje ... - source

Fr. Z seems rather happy today...


Looks like everything's coming up rose-colored vestments for him lately.
You’ve seen the recent stories about leaders of US women religious being summoned to Rome for to explain the situation.
On the heals of another such story today (HERE) comes this, which I spotted at Church Militant.
Apparently the US weird sisters are now praying TO – not for – our old pal Sr. Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B. Perhaps it was her Triumph in Tahir Square that put them over the edge. Or could it have been theZoom to Zuccotti Park?
The Self-absorbed Promethean Neopelagians of Sr. Joan’s community thinks very highly of her, it seems.
Closer to his home base ...
The leaders of the Sisters of Loreto were called to Rome to talk about issues of doctrine and morals.
Then the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary were called.
Now I read at panicky Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter) that the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are next.  [Uh huh… go ahead and pretend that you are the mistresses of your fate.] 

 And across the pond as 'they' say ...
... watching the results of BREXIT. So far London is still not counted, but right now it is looking like OUT will win.
The Pound is getting slammed. Today it started at $1.50.

It's a nice change from yesterday's rant about ...
[NAME DELETED – I won’t include the rat-bastard queer Muslim terrorist’s name] 

Travel cheap ...

Badger State Couple Call 911 During Hostage Situation.

Wisconsin woman calls 911 to report she and her husband are held hostage by their cat.

The cat savagely attacked her husband.

The cat was turned over to the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission and no one was “seriously” hurt. - Full story here.

911 audio of Mrs. Badger here.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Midsummer Eve ....

Tonight the fireflies are but sprites ...

When I was little I loved the idea of little people in the woods 
- in my case, the hedges which surrounded the building where we lived at the time.  
Now I pretend they are in my lilac wood, at the back of my yard ...

There are many traditions associated with St. John's Eve, 
and the best have to do with light
 - the Summer Solstice being the longest day of the year.  
Which is why fires are lighted ...

Mountaintop fires are popular across the Alps. 
They have their roots in pagan ceremonies marking the summer solstice,
 along with signal fires that were used to communicate with other villages
 before the advent of the telephone. 
In most areas, fires still mark the longest day of the year.

The Herz Jesu celebrations, however, are specific to Tyrol. 
In 1796 the region was threatened with 
invasion by French troops under Napoleon. 
As thousands of Tyrolean volunteers 
organized local militias to defend their homeland, 
representatives formed a parliament and decided to dedicate
Tyrol to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. - Source

The torches soon lighted in my garden ...

“If we shadows have offended,
Know but this and all is mended.
That you have but slumbered here,
While these visions did appear,
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding, but a dream.” 

Tomorrow, the Nativity of John the Baptist
is also the 35th anniversary 
of the first apparition at Medjugorje.

"So, good night unto you all." -Puck

Something to think about ...

Farewell to Europe - Aleksander Sochaczewski

“God’s will was not hidden somewhere ‘out there’ . . . 
the situations [in which I found myself] were his will for me. 
What he wanted was for me to accept these situations as from his hands, 
to let go of the reins and place myself entirely at his disposal.” - Ciszek

On living the faith ...

The key word, in fact, of our priestly apostolate in the camps had to be the word 'witness'. It wasn't so much a matter of preaching God and talking religion to the men around you as it was a matter of living the faith that you yourself professed.
It was not always a matter of preaching God and religion. It was enough at times to simply respect each of your fellow men in the camp, to do good to each no matter what he himself did or said, no matter how he acted toward you ... There was little call to preach about sin or damnation or hellfire to men who experience daily the hell of loneliness and separation and anxiety. A great deal of tolerance and a great deal of understanding were required of a priest if he wished to be effective among these unfortunate and almost degraded human beings. Common sense and intuition, a feeling for the finger of God's grace behind a question or a conversation or an encounter, was much more necessary than textbook answers in theology." - The Priesthood, He Leadeth Me, Walter Ciszek, S.J.

"Common sense and intuition, a feeling for the finger of God's grace behind a question or a conversation or an encounter, was much more necessary than textbook answers in theology."

I'm reading Ciszek again. 

Pink Pistols - GLBT self-defense organization.

Keeping loved ones safe.

Imagine a gay bar on Saturday night with a bunch of drunks packing pistols.

I know!

I came across this article yesterday:
Gun club membership among those identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual has spiked since the deadly shootings at a gay nightclub in Orlando on June 20. Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded another 53. The Pink Pistols -- which describes itself as an "international GLBT self-defense organization -- reports that since the massacre, the number of its additional chapters has increased. Pink Pistols’ Facebook membership also increased from some 1,500 before the shooting to 6,694. - Source
Right after the Orlando shooting I came across another article about gays lobbying for gun rights - I didn't read it.  How strange is that - gays - a special lobby group - for gun rights.  It's so exclusive?

FYI - The guy who shot up the nightclub in Orlando was some kind of GLBT too.  The latest news on that is from a former lover who claims Omar shot up the joint because he was pissed at Latino men.

Gay on gay violence.

Now that just might be a story.  Gay on gay violence - crimes of passion and self-hate or hate?  At least it's not terrorism.

Guns in gay bars and cruising areas - what a great idea.

Kelly Phillips shot and killed
by former partner 2014.

Matthew Rairdon shot and killed by his partner
who in turn killed himself 2013.

Remember this guy?
Andrew Phillip Cunanan was an American serial killer
 who murdered at least five people, 
including his ex-lover,
as well as fashion designer Gianni Versace, 
during a three-month period in 1997.

I know, I know straight people have guns too, they also shoot friends and family just like gay people, so what's my point?  I forgot.

Ann Barnhardt even has a pink gun.
Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Anti-papist to anti-pope: We can't know it yet?

First Anti-Pope Clement VII

1P5 editor Steve Skojec weighs in on Barnhardt's claim Francis is an anti-pope.

At least he disagrees - to an extent.  He declares that Barnhardt -
... is NOT a sedevacantist, as she makes clear. She just thinks we still have the same pope we had in February, 2013. Is she right? Not my call. Does it matter? On an objective level, of course it does. To know the true pope from the false one is better than not to know it. But we can’t know that with the certitude of an ecclesiastical judgment. Not yet. - 1P5
Not yet?

The discussion is ludicrous, albeit it fascinating to read how these people seem to have gone from anti-papist to practically judging a validly elected Pope to be an anti-pope.  On some level it means they believe Benedict XVI to have been forced into retirement-resignation, and Francis covertly made pope.  Even after statements from Benedict refuting these and so many other conspiracy theories.  It's as crazy as the impostor pope stories about Paul VI and Sr. Lucia.  It fits with the sedevacantist theories about the suppressed election of Cardinal Siri as Gregory XVII in favor of John XXIII.  Theories pretty much based on the active imaginations of Euro-trad-monarchists, as well as the dubious revelations of Bl. Anna Katherine Emmerick and the prophecies of a handful of other mystics.

If there is anything worthwhile in Skojec's essay, it is his refutation of Barnhardt's selection of private revelations and prophecy to support her claims.  Anyone familiar with the promotion of conspiracy theories on the apparition of Fatima and the so-called third secret will spot the same old fake messages immediately.  It's Bayside-Necedah revisited.  It is amazing how embedded in Catholic culture these false prophecies have become.  I can't help thinking of the extended secrets of LaSalette, repeated so frequently since Vatican II.  But I digress.

Skojec helps his readers out by pointing to the errors of the works of prophecy Barnhardt depends upon:

I’m not going to devote the time and research necessary to write a deeply substantive critique of Ann’s theory. Briefly, though, I do want to address some issues I have with her argument.
To begin with, three of the five prophecies she cites are of questionable provenance. The St. Francis of Assisi prophecy is the most significant of these, since to read it one feels as though it is meant for our present time. - Read the rest here.

I don't know, but there is something rather likable about Skojec, he's a good writer, seems like a great guy with a good sense of humor, a good Catholic - why he goes off on this stuff I'm not sure.  Like I said, he does a good job sourcing and discrediting - or at least judging unreliable the prophecies Barnhardt sites.  In addition to the St. Francis false prophecy, he locates the source of the fake Fatima message, and gives some good background information.  However, he seems to leave the door open to the possibility these 'could be' true.

Reading private revelations literally, and forming private opinion about what is related therein, while attempting to configure it with current events, is a sure way to end up with the sedevacantists and schismatics who have alienated themselves from the Church.  At least Skojec has the good sense to recognize all of these issues mean nothing without an ecclesiastical judgment, that is, an authoritative judgment from the Church... aka the Pope and the Magisterium - the bishops in communion with him.

Skojec concludes his essay directing readers to seek the clear, authentic teaching of the Church and to disseminate that - and not to worry about who is the true or false pope.  Not bad advice - yet he still leaves that Barnhardt foot in the door - Francis might be an anti-pope - we just can't know it yet.

And the Resignationism theory spins onalong with the  'bad council, bad Mass' trope.

The men shall wear white berets and the women shall wear blue.
I want you to wear something borrowed,
like that pretty chapel veil with your blue jumper...
Oh.  And tell all the people Paul VI has been replaced with an impostor.

The Pope said 'Jesus plays the fool a bit' ...

And his critics tear their garments and cry out, 'he blasphemeth'.


The pope "strung together a series of inconceivable other “pearls” reaching the limits of blasphemy: Jesus in the episode with the adulteress “plays the fool a bit ” (a shocking phrase which the Vatican site changed to “pretended not to understand” , but we have the recording...)" - Rorate


Haven't these people ever read what St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians?
"For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
Or the claim made by St. Therese of Lisieux,  that Jesus loves us unto folly?
What happiness to suffer for Him Who loves us even unto folly, and to pass for fools in the eyes of the world! We judge others by ourselves, and, as the world will not hearken to reason, it calls us unreasonable too. 
We may console ourselves, we are not the first. Folly was the only crime with which Herod could reproach Our Lord . . . and, after all, Herod was right. Yes, indeed, it was folly to come and seek the poor hearts of mortal men to make them thrones for Him, the King of Glory, Who sitteth above the Cherubim! Was He not supremely happy in the company of His Father and the Holy Spirit of Love? Why, then, come down on earth to seek sinners and make of them His closest friends? Nay, our folly could never exceed His, and our deeds are quite within the bounds of reason. The world may leave us alone. 
I repeat, it is the world that is 'insane,' because it heeds not what Jesus has done and suffered to save it from eternal damnation. 
Remember the scene in the house of Lazarus: Martha was serving, while Mary had no thought of food but only of how she could please her Beloved. And "she broke her alabaster box, and poured out upon her Saviour's Head the precious spikenard, and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment." 
The Apostles murmured against Magdalen. This still happens, for so do men murmur against us. - Therese to Celine

And men murmur against the pope. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

S. Luigi ...

Fun facts about the great St. Aloysius.

If you are an Italian and your name is Luigi you can be fairly certain your patron is St. Aloysius and not St. Louis King of France.  (The Irish like the name Aloysius.  Happy feast day to the Aloysius who reads me.)

In the 20th century, effeminate boys often felt attracted to the saint and chose him as their patron - devotional images of the youthful saint may help explain why they chose to go into dance as a profession.  What?

Though it seems to be compulsory for contemporary priests and religious to make excuses for Luigi's tights and ruffles in devotional art, it strikes me as rather ironic when they themselves carry on about lace and water-stained silks and lavish brocades and trims on their shopping trips to their favorite liturgical tailor shops and monastic liturgical studios.  (Of course, if they own a gun, one can be assured of their manliness.)

Nevertheless, Luigi was a virile little chap and joined his father for war games and learned to swear like a trooper, until he found out what the 'F'-word meant - or rather, its synonym in the 1500s.

From a very early age he loved chastity and was deeply devoted to the Blessed Virgin.  It was said he would never look directly at his mother's in order not to be moved by vain rejoicing in her beauty.  Although one biographer suggested it was because she was terribly cross-eyed and had protruding upper teeth. (Sorry, I just made that up.)

More seriously, though his youth was surrounded by many occasions of sin, he preserved his virtue through prayer and mortification.  Hence, from an early age he developed a virile and courageous temperament.

Personally, that is what I especially loved about him.  He and St. Stanislaus Kostka always impressed me since their childhood and adolescence seemed to me to be filled with many challenges to their faith and devotion.  Their example and legacy as saints even seemed to be dismissed as too 'sweet', too 'saccharine' for contemporary boys.  Yet their perseverance and endurance in the preservation of their innocence ought to inspire and encourage us today, considering how we are pretty much surrounded and nearly smothered by immorality and faithlessness.

The Collect for his memorial asks, 'grant through his merits and intercession, that though we have failed to follow him in innocence, we may imitate him in penitence.'

St. Aloysius renounced his aristocratic lineage and title at the young age of seventeen, joined the Jesuits, and died at the age of twenty three while still in studies, nursing victims of an epidemic.  He is indeed a manly Jesuit saint, a model for boys and young men - and especially seminarians, I should think.

St. Aloysius, pray for us.

AR-15 training for little girls ...

A turbulent papacy ...

The pilgrim pope.

Blessed Paul VI, Giovanni Battista Montini was elected as Successor of Peter on the 21st June 1963. - Vatican Radio

I considered him the first Fatima pope.

The Holy Father in Jerusalem.

I also considered him 'my' pope - he was pope
when I fell away from the sacraments,
and he was pope when I returned.
I was happy to be in Rome a couple of summers
before his death.  I was able to attend
some of his Masses.
I love him to this day
and rejoice he is beatified.

"For I decided to know nothing while I was with you 
except Jesus Christ and Him crucified ..."

I loved the crucifix of Paul VI
and always wore a replica of it 
while on pilgrimage.