Saturday, December 30, 2006
"Homosexuals hurt themselves."
Pictured, Albrecht Durer, "The Men's Baths"
"In his most powerful statements to date on issues involving sexual morality, Pope Benedict XVI said homosexuals end up destroying themselves so the Church has a duty to speak out on moral issues that affect the very spiritual and physical lives of man.
"In seeking to emancipate himself from his body (from the 'biological sphere'), [man] ends up by destroying himself," the pope told cardinals, archbishops, bishops and members of the Roman Curia last week in a traditional meeting overlooked by most of the world's press. "Against those who say that 'the Church should not involve herself in these matters,' we can only respond: does man not concern us too? The church and believers must raise their voices to defend man, the creature who, in the inseparable unity of body and spirit, is the image of God." - World Net Daily
Most homosexuals will fail to see the compassion in the Holy Father's words, as they fail to understand the teaching of the Church as regards homosexuality, in both the Catechism and various episcopal statements on the problem so mysteriously prevalent in contemporary times.
Many gay people would assert that homophobic tendencies in culture, and society are what hurts homosexual persons. Evidence of discrimination, gay bashing, and alienation would be their criteria in support of this claim.
When AIDs first appeared in the early 1980's, there was a huge denial amongst most gays that there could be any relationship to homosexual sex, and if there was, conspiracy theories abounded as to who was really infecting people. Gradually, places of free-range sex were closed, gay bathhouses were closed down, and gay public sex meeting places were policed. Homosexuals themselves began a campaign for safe sex, such as condom distribution and use, mutual or group sex that did not involve penetration or sharing bodily fluids, etc.
With the advent of new medications, persons with HIV found they could live longer and healthier. The plague mentality waned, and many, especially the young, thought the worst was over, or at least, the disease became more manageable. Sex gradually became freer and more unsafe, and infections once again began to rise.
Most likely, this will be what public opinion will assume the Holy Father is referring to - destruction of gay persons through STD's. I highly doubt the Holy Father was being so simplistic and superficial in his statement.
So how does a homosexual destroy himself? We concentrate all of our values upon the here and now. Hence, HIV and AIDS aside, if we look for how a homosexual can destroy himself, we may find other more obvious means, when we examine the lifestyle and values of gay culture.
As a sex based lifestyle, gay culture exalts physical beauty to the point of idolatry. Almost every attractive male becomes a sexualized, or romanticized object. Homosexual literature and publications are the clearest example of this predacious inclination, pornography is normative in the homosexual subculture. In this sense, homosexuality debases and dehumanizes sexuality. This erotic 'love' withers the soul, and diminishes the human spirit.
Depression, chemical dependency, compulsive behaviors often accompany this disintegration - even in the best of homosexual persons - the most balanced and functional. The widespread use of anti-depressants and prescription sleep aids may often take the place of drug abuse or alcoholism, yet there remains the underlying problem. Again, societal marginalization or prejudice may be claimed as the reason for this psychological imbalance - what they like to refer to as homophobia. Yet, even in a perfect world of total acceptance and all that goes along with that, such as gay marriage, adoption of children, freedom to be promiscuous, etc. - even in this situation, there would remain an underlying, fundamental discontent. That is because homosexual sex is intrinsically disordered, no matter how romanticised or emotionally captivating. And the acts are DOA - dead on arrival - they are always unproductive ( not life generating), except in the sense of selfish sensual gratification.
Ultimately, and this is controversial, homosexuals destroy themselves the more they force their lifestyle choice upon the public, disrupting the common good. Nature rebels against any perversion, and there is inevitably a natural consequence, even chastisement, for sin . The Church warns against any discrimination or persecution of homosexual persons, and has spoken out against these evils and resulting violence. The Church compassionately invites homosexual persons to conversion of life, to share fully in the sacramental life of the Church, and thus to inherit eternal life.
Which leads me to the conclusion that the Holy Father, when saying homosexuals destroy themselves, he must ultimately be referring to one's eternal salvation. All the evils I refer to are nothing compared to the loss of one's immortal soul.
Of course, I'm just a blogger, and I've only read an article about what the Holy Father said, I do not know his mind, nevertheless this is my take on his statement. Although I do believe, one's active rejection of the teaching of the Church and the commandments, while embracing and advocating an illicit lifestyle, for the sake of some semblance of happiness in this life can indeed result in the loss of heaven and the pains of hell for all eternity. In this sense, even the successful, happy and well adjusted homosexual can destroy himself.
Friday, December 29, 2006
On Catholic blogs and the coming indult:
"What is coming clear, now, is that a parting of the ways is coming: I predict the pope's expected Motu Propriu will expose a fault-line -- between those who genuinely want to pursue the "reform of the reform," and those who really couldn't care less about that, but rather are focused on the restoration of the old rite. Many of these self-styled "traditionalists" are being very plain: entirely scrap the Rite of Vatican II they derisively call Novus Ordo, a title they claim the Church herself gives the Mass (true in the barest technical sense: Paul VI used the expression, in a speech, once). A number of these folks, with little prodding, will proceed to tell you how heretical and evil the current rite of Mass is. And they don't stop there." Bonfire of the Vanities
Read Fr. Martin Fox on the Old and New Mass...he has some very good insights.
I drive, and don't mind driving to a Church where liturgy is celebrated well. I'm still attending St. Agnes. Good solid young priests are there, just like Fr. Fox. I so hate the constant arguing about rites however. No, I do not like the abuses, and I've experienced many, I never have liked them, why do you think I hate contemporary liturgical music? - yet the Mass of Paul VI is the prayer of the Church, it is legitimate, valid, holy and efficacious and does indeed give glory to God. To claim otherwise is a source of scandal that has kept not a few from benefiting from the grace that flows from what has been condemned by some as the Novus Ordo Church.
There are a few traditionalists who like to say they are indeed more Catholic than the Pope on the basis of the rite they celebrate - perhaps, and that is a very slim perhaps - what they fail to realize however, is no one can be more holy, nor more Catholic than the Church, of which, Benedict XVI is the head, the Vicar of Christ.
Let the Motu come when it will - the Church remains One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic - with or without it.
1. Favorite devotion or prayer to Jesus?
Frequent spiritual communions throughout the day and uniting myself and all I do to His silent loving action in the Eucharist. The Divine Mercy chaplet and the prayers of the chaplet - it brings one into immediate union with the holy sacrifice of the Mass being celebrated throughout the world.
2. Favorite Marian devotion or prayer?
The Little Office of the BVM - the pre-Vatican II version, and of course the rosary, as many as I can pray each day.
3. Do you wear a scapular or medal?
Yes. The brown scapular and medal - the medal was for times I could once go shirtless - too fat now. Also a Miraculous medal and a St. Joseph medal.
4. Do you have holy water in your home?
Yes. But not in a font - it evaporates too quickly. I bless myself and the cats frequently with it.
5. Do you 'offer up' your sufferings?
Of course - the morning offering and acts of union with the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus takes care of that. However, I prefer to thank Our Lord for the sufferings I may experience. A holy Carmelite, Mother Mary Electa of Christ said, "Prayer is good, suffering is better." I would add, "Gratitude in both is best."
6. Do you observe First Fridays and First Saturdays?
I have done so several times over - there are specific requirements you know, 9 and 5 in a row, respectively. Having done that, I keep them more freely now.
7. Do you go to Eucharistic Adoration? How frequently?
Yes. Often. Not always in a specified Eucharistic chapel however. I never mind praying before a closed tabernacle. In addition, I neither count the visits, nor do I keep track of how long I'm there.
8. Are you a Saturday evening Mass person or Sunday morning Mass person?
Earliest and quietest Mass possible on Sunday morning.
9. Do you say prayers at mealtime?
Yes, even for snacks - but no one notices when I do - I don't make a production out of it.
10. Favorite Saint(s)?
That's a long list. Our Lady and St. Joseph and my guardian Angel and St. Michael are the first, and in that order. Otherwise, Therese and Francis. John and Teresa. Alberto Marvelli and Pier Giorgio Frassati. Benedict Joseph Labre and Joseph Moscati. John Macias and Martin and Rose of Lima. Pierina Morossini and Maria Goretti. Dominic Savio. Br. George and Conrad of New Melleray. Laura Vicuna and Charles Untz. Dorothy Day and Mother Grace of the Eucharist. Matt Talbot and Angela of Foligno. Bernardo of Quintivalle and Roch. Margaret of Cortonna and Catherine of Genoa. And two popes, John XXIII and John Paul I. These are just a few who immediately come to mind.
11. Can you recite the Apostles Creed by heart?
Of course - how can one be a Catholic otherwise?
12. Do you usually say short prayers (aspirations) during the course of the day?
Yes - but I mostly think and share my thoughts with Our Lord and Lady and St. Joseph all day long - And, I frequently say the act of contrition throughout the day for all the slips of my tongue and sins of pride.
13. When you pass by an automobile accident or other serious mishap, do you say a quick prayer for the folks involved?
Yes indeed - the school sisters taught us that. I also pray for people whose cars I notice abandoned on the freeway from the previous night, certain they may have been arrested for a DUI. And I pray for anyone having car problems. I like to pray for pedestrians I see as well - just in case no one prays for them. I designate all of these with a discreet sign of the cross using my forefinger as I pass by. And of course, I pray for ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars - the public servants in them, whenever I see or hear them.
14. (This should be here.) Do you tip your hat or make the sign of the cross when you pass a Catholic Church out of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament?
Without fail - usually by tracing the sign of the cross with my thumb over my forehead with a silent "O Sacrament most holy..."
So - whoever wants to do this meme, go ahead - it's a good examine in a way. When younger and seeking my vocation, I often asked contemplative monks and nuns how they prayed. A meme is kind of like that, we can learn from others when we share some of our practices with one another.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Jeff was in Assisi because he loved St. Francis and was spiritually seeking after acting in "Godspell". He was very humble - he told me he was in "Godspell" but I hadn't realized he had a starring role in it. We became friends in that short time. We went to the Carceri together, I stayed for a few days, when I returned, he was gone.
Tonight, as I was looking for a good looking character to post for my profile photo, I came upon Jeff. I was so sad to learn he had died. I know we all die, but it's stunning to find out, no matter when. I'm absolutely stunned.
Don’t get me wrong. I try to present accurate facts. I never re-produce something that I know is wrong and I often check and verify my facts. Just last month, for instance, I started to refer to Jacques Maritain as a convert to the Catholic faith from Judaism. Something told me to look that up and, indeed, I was wrong. Maritain was raised Protestant." Eric Scheske
It was the day when people would give a present or Christmas 'box' to those who have worked for them throughout the year. This is still done in Britain for postmen and paper-boys - though now the 'box' is usually given before Christmas, not after.
In feudal times, Christmas was a reason for a gathering of extended families. All the serfs would gather their families in the manor of their lord, which made it easier for the lord of the estate to hand out annual stipends to the serfs. After all the Christmas parties on 26 December, the lord of the estate would give practical goods such as cloth, grains, and tools to the serfs who lived on his land. Each family would get a box full of such goods the day after Christmas. Under this explanation, there was nothing voluntary about this transaction; the lord of the manor was obliged to supply these goods. Because of the boxes being given out, the day was called Boxing Day.
In England many years ago, it was common practice for the servants to carry boxes to their employers when they arrived for their day's work on the day after Christmas. Their employers would then put coins in the boxes as special end-of-year gifts. This can be compared with the modern day concept of Christmas bonuses. The servants carried boxes for the coins, hence the name Boxing Day.
In churches, it was traditional to open the church's donation box on Christmas Day, and the money in the donation box was to be distributed to the poorer or lower class citizens on the next day. In this case, the "box" in "Boxing Day" comes from that lockbox in which the donations were left." Wkipedia
While mostly known as a British holiday custom, the appointment of a Lord of Misrule comes from antiquity. In ancient Rome, from the 17th to the 23rd of December, a Lord of Misrule was appointed for the feast of Saturnalia, in the guise of the good god Saturn. During this time the ordinary rules of life were turned topsy-turvy as masters served their slaves, and the offices of state were held by slaves. The Lord of Misrule presided over all of this, and had the power to command anyone to do anything during the holiday period. This holiday seems to be the precursor to the more modern holiday, and it carried over into the Christian era." Wikipedia
Monday, December 25, 2006
My Bambino on Christmas Eve...He has His toys, St. Nicholas came from the Orthodox Church and the Latin Church. The relic of St Francis de Sales has been there all along with The Virgen of the Apocalypse...St. Joseph is in the illumination from the minature book. The angels brought the crown that usually adorns the top of the Christmas tree.
Fond reminiscences of Christmas past...I'm verklempft!
(Caution, do not read unless you received a sense of humor for Christmas.)
"I am so sick of this Christmas B--- S--- ...put your Christmas presents away and get out!" -My mum on Christmas afternoon.
I can't stand it. I've been way too serious for too many days in a row - Christmas is fun - I can't be so solemn! I have to break the holy-holy atmosphere here.
I was like this in the monastery as well - I always had to do something stupid to make people laugh - and get myself in trouble in the process - like pretending to be extremely drunk as I walked down the cloister after compline. How was I to know we had tipplers in the Abbey who thought I was making fun of them? Geesh! Monks can be so sensitive.
Or when I had to call the other novices after work detail in the garden, "Aelred, Isaac, c'mon honey - it's bath time!" I was pretending to be Ward Cleaver, you know, Beaver's dad, although I said it in June's voice. I had no idea it sounded gay - nor was I aware we had...
Of course, there is nothing like those wonderful family Christmas memories to crack me up either. (I imagine most everyone has delightful holiday memories like these.)
Such as the Christmas when my dad finally got a job and all my mother wanted was a coat for Christmas. He was gone all Christmas Eve day - shopping, although, he spent most of the day in a bar - just making it to the department store before it closed. When he arrvied home, drunk and late, he proceeded to show Skip and Beth and myself the coat. Of course I, the budding ready-to-wear expert asked, "Are you really going to give her that?" It looked like an old ladies coat made out of foam with a dead rat collar. Well, he gave it to her, and she opened it - knowing, I'm certain, it would be ugly.
Sure enough, it hit the fan.
"Where'd you steal this rag? The Goodwill?" said Betty, dryly and ever so coldly. "Beth, fix me another drink." Then the tears came flooding out and complaints on how she never got a decent Christmas present in her life, and how she bought a mink coat for her sister-in-law when her brother was broke and she was never paid back. And suddenly, "Baby Jane" was in the house. Tears turned to wild eyed fury, and shouts. Oh! The drama!
Enter Jack Nicohlson from "The Shinning" - shouting over mom, "I bought that G-- D--- coat at the Emporium and the sales clerk said it was the current fashion."
"For your bitch of a mother maybe!" At this point she was ready to fight - my mom and dad had such chemistry!
"Don't call my mother a bitch!"
"Well, she's nothing but a slut - married six times - give her the G-- D--- coat! You were drunk when you bought this Sunny Boy! It's a markdown - the tag is still on it!" She screamed, throwing the coat onto the Christmas tree - in other words, she threw down the gauntlet.
Whack! Her glasses go flying across the room. Before new tears and laments, my mom - who could be very funny, calmly asked my dad, "Oh! So now you're going to buy me a new pair of glasses for Christmas as well! Aren't you just a giver though!"
The kids were in the kitchen pretending to appreciate their presents - hoping to eat...my dad leaves...mom fixes another drink...we eat...I'm old enough - 6th grade I think, to get out for midnight Mass - while Skip and Beth took off for friend's houses.
Christmas is fun - just wait until twelfth night - that is the most fun! (I wonder if I should do a twelve days of Christmas series of Christmas memories?)