Saturday, August 05, 2006
Fun Family Entertainment! (Photo from "Serial Mom" - I love that movie - tomorrow morning - call a neighbor!)
Here's a quip from the Daily Eudenom:
From Jay Leno's monologue:
"You know I keep hearing and reading regarding the Mel Gibson story that they know that Mel meant what he said because alcohol is a truth serum. Keep hearing this over and over. Alcohol is a truth serum. Really? Since when? Women, when’s the last time you met a guy in a bar drinking heavily and he told you the truth? “Married? No, I’ve never been married. Kids? I don’t have any kids?”"
Everything Eric writes has a lighter take, it's a witty and intelligent blog. Very good stuff! Such a relief from all the dark, serious stuff I tend to post.
Friday, August 04, 2006
aka - Madonna
Madonna - thank God I never liked her music - it belonged to gays and teenie-bopper girls - still does.
She's in Rome with her "Confessions" concert, not far from the Vatican I hear. This girl has made money, big money, flying in the face of Roman Catholic teaching. Now hitting the big time in Rome, with her offensive in the heart of the Eternal City. Not bad for a Catholic school girl still in rebellion of Catholic morality. You know the type, the slutty girl in school the nuns reprimanded for too much make-up. The defiant little spoiled brat that surlied her way around school, snapping her gum, hiking up her uniform skirt. She's still battling the rules, trying to shock. It's pretty adolescent and very gay. Nevertheless, she's rolling in the dough - her plan. So that qualifies her as a smart business woman - wow! She's not a dumb blonde! She's way more savvy than Paris Hilton?
Poor Fr. Benedict Groeschl may be the only one praying for her conversion. (He says he is doing that.) Disgruntled Catholic public sinners love to flaunt their sin in front of the world. It's pretty shallow. They are miserable, and their misery is exhibited as mockery, parody, and rebellion. Can't her so-called fans see through that? That's right, they are gay and teenage - kind of the same thing. If you tell me that her audience are adults, I will tell you about what is called "arrested development" that of which she is the Queen. (Sorry Elton!) Here is the story of her invitation to the Pope - how vulgar:
"Madonna Invites Pope To See Her Crucified On Stage
Madonna has invited Pope Benedict XVI to be the guest of honor at her Rome, Italy, Confessions concert on Sunday, which features the mock crucifixion of the singer. Religious leaders in Italy and The Vatican have united to publicly denounce the singer's controversial stage act, in which she is 'crucified' on a diamante-studded cross, while wearing a crown of thorns.
Ersilio Cardinal Tonino, speaking on behalf of The Pope, said yesterday, "This concert is a blasphemous challenge to the faith and a profanation of the cross. She should be ex-communicated. To crucify herself during the concert in the city of Popes and martyrs is an act of open hostility."
Madonna's spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg tells the New York Daily News, "I think the Pope would enjoy the show and would applaud her performance. He has an open invitation to see for himself the eloquence and beauty that Madonna expresses for humanity while performing her poignant* song 'Live To Tell.'"[snip]
*"poignant" does anyone believe she's at all sincere?! She is a dumb blonde - ambition or not.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
"Miraculous" photos and vague messages.
The photo here is over St. James Church in the hamlet of Medjugorje. It is called "Our Lady's Eyes" a supposed miraculous photo showing Our Lady's eyes in the clouds. It's a stretch if you ask me. As an artist I can see faces in any pattern, from wood to marble to ceiling tile in a Dr.'s office, and especially clouds. I used to do a lot of "smoking" when I was younger - I could make out entire tableaux in clouds.
Medjugorje is a phenomenon I have a lot of trouble with. For how many years did Our Lady visit every day? Now I think she only appears once a month to one seer with pretty much the same message. This visionary will stop receiving apparitions after she receives the tenth secret. Here is the latest message from July's apparition:
"Mirjana reported that Our Lady gave the following message: 'Dear children! In these peaceless times I am coming to you to show you the way to peace. I love you with an immeasurable love and I desire for you to love each other and to see in everyone my Son – the immeasurable love. The way to peace leads solely and only through love. Give your hand to me, your mother, and permit me to lead you. I am the Queen of peace. Thank you.' "
If the communication is from Our Lady, it is a nice message, yet remains enigmatic. At Fatima the Holy Virgin also repeated herself saying, "Pray the rosary everyday." Nevertheless there was much more to it. In addition, Fatima is an approved apparition, verified with a miracle, as well as prophetic fulfillment. Even Pope Benedict has purportedly expressed incredulity at the apparitions going on for so long with very little content to the messages. However both Popes, JPII and Benedict, have expressed themselves favorably in regard to those who have had their faith revitalized as a result of the influence of the Catholic Church and her ministers at Medjugorje. Regardless, that unofficial approbation would only be in regard to people returning to the sacraments and prayer with no tacit approval of the events at Medjugorje.
Devotees of Medjugorje have returned to their homes and some have had their own locutions and apparitions. We have a woman in the suburbs of Minneapolis, actually a few of them, who claim supernatural revelations. Many people attend the prayer meetings of these mystics and look forward to the messages. In the spring, on Rome-ing Catholics, I did a post on some of the imminent things that were to happen. For one, the "warning" was supposed to occur this year by May. It did not. That whole warning thing emanates from the Garabandal apparitions in Northern Spain from the late '60's; it is expected to be some sign that will illuminate the consciences of all mankind, revealing their sins and causing mass conversions, followed by a chastisement within the year of the warning. It could happen. Many saints and mystics have foretold the same event. When prophecies do not happen, devotees of the apparitions and locutions claim the events were mitigated by prayer and penance. I worked with one fellow who every year said that would be the year for the warning and chastisement - for years he said this.
As a pilgrim in Europe I visited my share of sites where apparitions were said to have taken place. The approved ones, Fatima and Lourdes certainly are authenticated. Garabandal seemed reasonable and I experienced only peace there. I went to San Damiano in Italy and actually met the seer, Mama Rosa. She and the entire place seemed false, there was a disturbing lack of peace I felt there. People claimed to see the miracle of the sun there, I looked, I could look straight at the sun. It is in the Po valley where mists sometimes allow one to do so, while the sun appears as a silver disk. No one said it danced, they were just impressed that they could look directly at the sun.
When I met Mama Rosa, she was being wheeled to the apparition site for her appointment with the Madonna of the Roses. I asked her to pray for me and she waved me away rudely saying "I pray for the whole world." I wasn't impressed.
People simply cannot base their spiritual life upon revelations and apparitions, nor mystics with spurious communications. (And watch out for dates and times with complicated details. "No one knows the date or the hour.") Founding one's spiritual life upon extraordinary phenomena is like building one's house upon sand. I do not believe God is ever pleased with curiosity, nor is He pleased with extraordinary communications needed to warn people to repent - "We have the law and the prophets" - the Gospel, Jesus and the Church. I love the story of John of the Cross on an outing with the novices who were excited to visit a local stigmatist. St. John gave them permission to go see the mystic saying he would rather stay away and read scripture. This anecdote is very much like something from the wisdom of the Desert Fathers.
I am not saying that we should ignore possible mystical revelations or purported apparitions or locutions, rather we ought to be careful and discerning, guided by the Church. God does speak to us, to each soul, while common sense enables us to read the signs of the times. The Church is our ark of salvation, we ought to listen to Her and wait for approval of purported apparitions and miracles, in obedience, humility and charity. We must be obedient to our Bishops, our pastors, without argument or defiance. Some of these modern 'seers' and 'hearers' and their followers seem to want to circumvent the cautions expressed by their local Bishops.
"Obedience is better than sacrifice."
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Curious painting, I'm sorry I do not know the artist. For me it represents Judaisim's history since the death of Christ. Well not really from then; the first Christians were Jews. Later on in history it all began, ebbing and flowing, until it embedded in the gentile unconscious - the determination to kill the so-called "Christ killers" - if not kill, then to marginalize and persecute.
Mel Gibson's outburst pretty much betrayed the perennial prejuduice laying dormant in many Christians, especially the very traditionalist, fundamentalist, Eastern European descendant element in Catholicism. (Although it's alive and flourishing amongst Hispanic and and Irish cultures as well.) When Dukakis was running for President of the U.S. I was talking to a Dominican nun, answering her question, "Who will you vote for?" I said I was thinking about Dukakis and she said, "You know his wife is a Jewess, don't you?" She was an older Irish immigrant and out of respect I never said what I was thinking, which would have been, "What difference does that make?"
Why are Jews so mistrusted? They possess a culture, a "sticking together" not unlike Italians, Mexicans, or the clannish Irish. What's the deal? They are not all rich, does anyone think for a minute Gibson's arresting officer was rich - on a policeman's salary yet? (It turned out he was Jewish.)
In our Store I have been told we are "Jews" because our prices are high, which they are not! (I'm going to write about "spiritual gluttony" in one of my upcoming posts - just because a person over-spends doesn't mean we are too expensive.) However there has to be a mark-up in retail; it pays for shipping fees, import fees, employee's salaries and benefits, not to mention electricity and equipment and the insurance needed to run a business.
Amongst conservative, traditionalist Catholics, let me tell you, there is an anti-semitic vein. A comment I received on another post said that this person did not "hate the Jewish people" but she said she hated the Jewish religion - how she made that distinction I'll never know, it contradicts the teaching of the Catholic Church. (See "Dominus Jesu".) I might better accept hating the secular nation of Israel for inflicting such damge upon innocent civilians in Lebanon, but never hating the Jewish people or their religion, especially since Christ came to fulfill the tenets of their faith and create the new Israel in the Church. As a Christian, the only thing one may hate is sin.
Disturbed when a contemplative nun began telling me about the Jewish conspiracy to take over the world, (those Jewish Masonic bankers, rooted in the myth traced back to the bogus "Protocols of Zion") she also told me that the Jews themselves were responsible for the Holocaust. Scandalized, I asked a very knowledgeable priest about it and he said she was correct - in part, because the Jews controlled the entertainment industry and the good Germans were scandalized at the perversion and decadent culture they were feeding them. In that sense, he felt they brought it upon themselves. I was taken aback.
Because there has been a disproportionate number of people of Jewish extraction calling the shots in media today does that warrant mass extermination? It just does not make sense to me. Everyone blames the Jews.
I think because of the war between Israel and Hezbollah there is a new , re-cycled ant-semitism emerging, that I am branding, "New Age Anti-Semitism". It's more prevalent than you think. In Rome neo-Fascists have been spray painting swastikas on Jewish businesses - that stuff spreads.
Gerald, from The Cafeteria is Closed has some good stuff related to this topic - thank you Gerald for your excellent blog.
I don't really think it's about Mel anymore.
(An autobiographical note: Before my conversion I investigated Judaism, convinced it was the true faith. In my studies I became aware of how Christianity was the actual fullfilment of the law and the prophets - which I understood in Jesus Christ. It has been said by some relatives that we have Jewish blood, I thrilled to that thought. I left my pursuit of Judaism,which helped me value my Christian roots, peripheral as my Judaic studies may have been, I eventually came home to the Roman Catholic Church. I can never understand how Christians cannot understand that they are grafted onto the family tree of Judaism, co-heirs with Christ. Do they never read the epistles of St. Paul?)
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Painting of Jesus Crucified, Alphonsus Liguori.
Over night I read a few reports on Mel Gibson and his struggles with alchoholism. A person close to him said he was suicidal over the inability to stop drinking and take control of his life.
His mug shot looks so pathetic, you can see the shame he felt. Alcholics say crazy things. Lashing out as he did may have emanated from that place of pain in his heart - hurt trying to hurt. Drunks say and do crazy things that they regret.
He's "fixin' a hole" through drink. When someone is drunk they can easily believe the good feelings they have about themselves and believe they see how others are out to get them. Drunks who stop drinking without healing the inner depression and lack of self-worth can find similar consolation in their conspiracy theories and criticism of others - blaming others for their misery. The need for ritual and rules and regulations becomes for some a source of stability and assures them that they are doing the "right thing" - they are good. External "observance of the law", if you will, does little; what matters is the conversion of heart in humility, obtaining healing of the wounds of the soul by the wounds of Christ. It seems to me that only the holes in the body of Jesus are able to heal the hole in our hearts. Sometimes it's a lifelong struggle with many, many defeats.
My parents were alcoholics; my older brother died of alcoholism - at various times my little brother tried to kill himself, I know how alcoholics act and think. They were all depressed people as well. Sometimes pretty paranoid about other people. They knew they weren't as bad as other people may have thought they were, yet, strangely enough they felt they were even worse. They believed they had to relieve and medicate the pain with alcohol, and then they did the things they were later ashamed of...deeply angry with themselves and others. Themselves because of their weakness, their sickness; with others because they couldn't possibly understand that and they knew they couldn't be like them. It's such a terrible struggle. My mother tried to kill herself as well. So I just bet I know something about Mel Gibson that his peers who want him blacklisted do not. I'm praying for Mel.
In today's meditation frrom Magnificat, there is a gentle, loving passage frrom St. Alphonsus Liguori, whose feast we celebrate today:
"The more we distrust our own strength, the more we should confide in the divine mercy. This is a balance in which the more the scale of confidence in God is raised, the more the scale of diffidence in ourselves descends.
"Listen to me, O sinners: if the devil tells you that but little hope remains of your eternal salvation, answer him in the words of Scripture, 'No one has hoped in the Lord, and has been confounded.' [Eccl 2; 11] No sinner has ever trusted in God, and has been lost." - St. Alphonsus
Incidently, my mother and dad and brother all died reconciled to the Church with the Sacraments. They finally found healing and peace.
Monday, July 31, 2006
"Perhaps I've been a bit too harsh." Nurse Diesel from"High Anxiety".
I used Gibson's anti-semitic slurs and his unfortunate arrest to point out that I have often heard many traditional, devout religious people make similar statements. I was implying that there seems to be an almost latent anti-semitism laying dormant in a lot of us. I received a comment on that post which I found offensive and subsequently removed, yet it pretty much proved my point. That being said, I really do not want to visit that topic again.
However, the comment harsh as it was, caused me to once again consider that what a person says or writes often comes off more harsh than the person intended. My citicism of Mel Gibson for example. Dianne Sawyer aired an earlier interview with him where he discussed issues he once had with addiction; drugs and alcohol. Evidently he has had something of a relapse, an experience I ought well to understand, as I'm always falling back to smoking my cigarettes. Much to the chagrin of my Dr. and my boss.
The interesting part of this morning's discussion was when Sawyer interviewed a psychologist, expert in addictions and he spoke about that place in the brain that finds gratification and relief when one indulges in any pleasure that can be addictive. It is to placate that need. In reference to Gibson, he does have a dark side, a suffering that accompanies his struggle and loneliness, and he has used substances to assuage that pain. His film work obviously is nourished and enriched by his torment. I understand that.
I immediately felt compassion for him and saw in his public apology a genuine sincerity, as well as pain and sadness. I sometimes pontificate and become hyper-critical of religious people, (who do the same thing - pontificate and act holier than thou) when they slip and fall and betray the same weaknesses and mistakes I am responsible for in my own life - if not for the grace of God...
Yet the refuge some may find in traditionalist religious discipline, maybe - just maybe - especially in the black and white world of ultra-traditionalism, becomes their refuge and help to keep them on the straight and narrow. Now of course our faith is our refuge and strength, as it should be. What I'm suggesting is that the more "fundamentalist" expressions of it may be an answer to the peciliar needs of those struggling with addiction or coming from a background of instability. Mel is known, or at least suspected of being a sedevacantist, ultra-traditionalist, as is his father.
Whatever, Mel has taught us a lesson, the bigger the ego, the bigger the fall sometimes. Gibson has probably realized he doesn't own Malibu by now, and it wasn't the Jews who got him in trouble either.
Check out "Mel's Church" on the "Cafeteria is Closed" for some more background on Gibson's traditionalism.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Knock it off!
Pictured, Joan Houk, who is to be "ordained" Monday, July 31 on a boat in Pittsburgh. Here's a statement from the diocese:
"This unfortunate ceremony will take place outside the Church and undermines the unity of the Church. Those attempting to confer Holy Orders have, by their own actions, removed themselves from the Church, as have those who present themselves for such an invalid ritual," according to the statement released by the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, a spokesman for the diocese.
Like most guys, I absolutely must watch the evening news, national as well as local. This evening on ABC they had a segment on the so-called "ordinations" of women that are to take place tomorrow - the "first of it's kind in the U.S.!" (I doubt it - I've heard of a few CSJ's who say mass- they must have been ordained.) A German "woman bishop", who alledgedly had been ordained by an unnamed sympathetic real bishop, will "officiate" at tomorrow's ceremony. (The group ordained by this mysterious Roman Catholic bishop were subsequently excommunicated. Nevertheless these women assume, like many Anglicans, that the line of succesion would be intact. Crazy as that may sound - the original ordinations would have had to have been valid in the first place, and since there has never been an allowance for the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church's discipline, there is no validity whatsoever. Dah!)
The woman pictured was presented as a devout Catholic all of her life, still married, and a grandmother - "She loves the Church"! (Celibate priesthood - that's another rule lady. Oh Ladyeeeee!) They said she worked for years for the Church and came to finally realize her call to priesthood. She knows she is defying the Pope yet explained "rules must be broken". As a devout Catholic she claims her love for the Church, yet in her disobedience, "she must stand up for the faith". ABC News acts as if these women are members in good standing with the Roman Catholic Church...instead of acknowledging they have their own little sect. It's like playing house, or dressing up for Halloween. She vested for the camera and was as nice as pie. She is so not a priest, no more than I was when I was little and cut up bed sheets and with color crayons, made vestments and had mass for my cat and dog. Don't they know this? They will never be priests of the Roman Catholic Church, no matter how many vestments they put on or how many rituals they imitate.
These women are like a housewife I came across online while researching nun's habits. She has a website about how she dresses up like a nun at home and wishes that she could go out dressed like that, but fears what the neighbors might think, while her family understands her. (Some transvestites have wives that understand them as well.)
Either that scenario, or they have worked so long in parishes or some Catholic charity or other agency, they think the Church is just a social agency - and obviously seem to understand the priesthood as "just a job". Their ecclessiology and theology is really screwed up, not to mention their spiritual life.
Check out Christus Vincit and Cafeteria is Closed for the latest updates - Brian Michael Page of Christus Vincit was highlighted in the Washington Post article on the subject (no, not his hair, his post on the subject!) - Good going! Christus Vincit! (This is every bloggers dream!)
And they said it wouldn't last!
Long term, faithful monogamous relationships between same-sex couples is very rare indeed. Some people do manage to stay together, but many barely make it to two years. Couples that do stay together often seem to have, at one time or another in their relationship, sexual dalliance as a part of the longevity factor, independent of one another or as a team. Women's relationships are perhaps more stable, I don't know many lesbians so I couldn't say- although the once famous Boston couple recently split up - after all that rucous they caused!
I have known, worked for, worked with, gay men throughout my career and so I'm not unfamiliar with their lifestyles. I know for a fact that not a few couples are deeply into pornography, possibly as a continuum of adolescent behavior that may help to satisfy their narcissism, if not just to keep the "fire" going.
All along I have believed that the gay agenda is so impassioned about the recognition of same-sex marriage because this would legitimize the homosexual in the eyes of society, placing them on par with heterosexuals. The gay agenda is intent upon this accomplishment, no matter what the cost, even to children, whom they adopt into an irregular lifestyle - with a sort of Neverland-dreamscape delusion thing going on. No matter how many blue and yellow Equal stickers or Rainbow stickers people put on their cars, the lifestyle, that is, the sub-culture, can never be on a par with heterosexual life. It's a sad but certain fact.
What follows is an interesting piece on the same-sex marriage topic that may or may not surprise people, it looks as if few same-sex couples really want to tie the knot after all. (Although with medical insurance costs climbing higher, some couples may want to pretend to be married in order to get the benefits, if and when they are available.)
"Even when they couple, homosexual relationships are relatively short-lived. A study of homosexual couples in Holland found that same-sex unions lasted an average of 18 months and included an average of eight additional sex partners outside the "monogamous" relationship.
Surprisingly, in France, despite the legalization of homosexual civil unions in 1999, a government commission issued its report in January of this year and recommended against legalizing same-sex marriage. The "Parliamentary Report on the Family and the Rights of Children" said the government should "affirm and protect children's rights and the primacy of those rights over adults' aspirations."
After canvassing experts in France, and traveling to Spain, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and Canada in order to assess the reforms that have occurred in those nations, the commission said that the best interests of children argue against same-sex marriage.
The commission determined that it "is not possible to think about marriage separately from filiation: the two questions are closely connected, in that marriage is organized around the child."
As a result of that determination, the experts on the government panel realized that the right of homosexuals to marry would simultaneously or subsequently also have to include the right to adopt. "A majority of [the commission] does not wish to question the fundamental principles of the law of filiation, which are based on the tripartite unit of 'a father, a mother, a child,' citing the principle of caution," the report said. "For that reason, that majority also, logically, chose to deny access to marriage to same-sex couples."
If so few homosexuals want to get married when they are given the opportunity, why are "gay" and lesbian activists fighting so hard for legalizing same-sex marriage? Probably because homosexual activists are interested in the cultural victory that legalized same-sex marriage would represent, said Price.
"While winning the right to marry may be the 'crown jewel' of the gay-rights movement, what homosexuals really want is for homosexuality to be declared normative, natural and God-ordained," he said. "Their deepest desire is that homosexual behavior would no longer be sin." -Agape Press
If you know of anyone who is trying to break free of the gay lifestyle or who is seeking to live a faithful Roman Catholic life while dealing with this issue, there is a support group known as Courage, check it out.