See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Keyes: Stop Obama or U.S. will cease to exist

Keyes nails it with this one! Yet no one listens.

I'd like to thank the Academy.

Faerie dust.
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I always enjoy watching the Academy Awards. Although I'm not fond of the hype and the posers on the red carpet answering really, really dumb questions.
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I appreciate the real actors who are nominated, especially admiring the professionalism and style of the British actors, who always seem more interested in the craft rather than the idolatry of stardom.
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An exception here would be Meryl Streep, one of the greatest actresses in cinema, as well as one of the most 'normal' and down to earth. I would love to see her win, but I think if justice be well served, Kate Winslet ought to get Best Actress. Although Hollywood is bitchy, and they could just give it to someone else, especially since Winslet once said, "Do a holocaust film and you are sure to get an Oscar." Hollywood big shots may not appreciate that. I read where Anne Hathaway could upset the competition because of her break-through performance in... What was the film? No way - they are just playing with her - kind of like the cast in "For Your Consideration". (If only Hathaway had half of the talent of Parker Posey. Dream on.)
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Who ought to get Best Actor? Mickey Rourke of course. He was beyond great. Sean Penn in the "Milk" faerie tale annoyed me - he always does anyway - why is he even nominated? The movie was the worst twisting of history I had ever seen. The film should be shot. Frank Langella in "Frost Nixon? What a joke - a bad impersonation of a creepy president.
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Best film? I think it should go to "The Reader" - but "Slumdog" will probably get it.
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Best Supporting Actor? Josh Brolin really should get it - despite the fact the role lied about Dan White's motives and sexuality. (St. Thomas Aquinas said acting is lying anyway, so does it matter? Oliver Stone got away with it in JFK.) Of course - Heath Ledger will most likely win. Why waste the award? You can't take it with you, and human awards don't count in the after-life.
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Question: "Is everyone gay?"
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Answer: "Just to gay people."
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Best Supporting Actress? I would hope Viola Davis in "Doubt" - excellent acting. Baffling Sr. Aloysius' idea of what a mother should be. Nuns, formerly married or not, just don't get what it is like sometimes... right or wrong.
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That's all.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Socialist compassion and human rights.



Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, speaks...
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On her way to China, Madame Secretary of State affirmed the United States commitment to human rights, BUT...
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"Our pressing on those issues can't interfere on the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis," Clinton told reporters in Seoul just before leaving for Beijing. - Source
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"...workin' for the man every night and day... rollin', rollin', Hillary keeps on rollin'!"

Down the rabbit hole...



The Internet is evil.
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I'm right back where I was with it. It is an addiction... It is the dragon's tail, sweeping the stars from heaven... the good and the bad alike. It is the road to perdition...
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(Laughs insanely!)

Pelosi and the Church.



Ready for her close-up, but no photo-op with the Pope.
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I don't want to link to anyone or any specific article regarding the controversy over Speaker Pelosi's claim to ardent faith and the Catholic reaction to her obstinate public sin in endorsing abortion and embryonic stem cell research. It has been done to death, a day or so ago Damien Thompson referred to her as "the ghastly Nancy Pelosi". Such drama.
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Bloggers claim the pope "lectured" Mrs. Pelosi, which comes off sounding a bit more dramatic and negative than what the Vatican press release said. Catholic headlines imply the Pope had been disciplining, scolding, or shaking a finger at her in the manner JPII did with that Nicaraguan priest years ago. I rather think Pope Benedict may have been more gracious in offering his rebuke. It seems to me he guides and instructs, intelligently and respectfully, like a loving father; I'm sure his words were full of charity, although frank and to the point. The Vatican press release clarified the essence of the meeting, informing us that the Holy Father indeed reminded the Speaker of the House of Catholic teaching and the responsibilities for those in government or positions of power and influence - especially Catholics - to support life from conception to natural death. I'm quite certain Pelosi expected to hear that. Ignore it, she probably did, since she has yet to comment upon that portion of her conversation with the Pope.
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Nevertheless, the controversy over the reception of the Eucharist must be addressed, and finally settled, by her bishop and/or the bishops of the United States, who can then instruct their priests. It is my understanding, as things stand now, any priest or deacon can, may, maybe should, deny communion to any notorious public sinner to prevent scandal. Although one problem I see with lay extraordinary ministers of the sacrament is that they have no competence to arbitrarily deny communion on their own. (Yes, that's right - I do not like the use of lay people to distribute communion at Mass - taking it to the sick is another matter entirely. But I digress.)
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I also read today, in an interview Archbishop Chaput has stated Mrs. Pelosi should not present herself to receive Holy Communion because of her advocacy of abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and so on. One hopes the Archbishop will work together with the other U.S. bishops to make a definitive statement and require pastors to enforce the decision.
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That said, I also read somewhere that Pelosi met with her local ordinary, Archbishop Niderauer of San Francisco and that she left the encounter "agreeing to disagree", as Obama might say, with Church teaching. Well then... if true...
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I may be wrong, but I have to wonder if the bishops are a little too permissive and perhaps a bit too concerned about public opinion when it comes to political figures and unpopular issues? They sometimes come across as rather weak-willed, and seem to rely too heavily upon a secular notion of diplomacy, scared to death they might scare away unfaithful Catholics if they assert Catholic teaching. I'm not suggesting priests and bishops start screaming hell and brimstone threats to the miscreants, but they need to say something definitive. Right now it appears there is an exaggerated concern for human respect (political correctness) on the part of more than a few churchmen, which only retards action, as well as undermines the credibility and authority of Catholic teaching. We have arrived at a point where laicism has become dogma in the American mentality, to such an extent even self-proclaimed "ardent" Catholics in government feel free to legislate immorality in defiance of Church teaching and natural law.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another cartoon try...


Maybe I'll try cartoons?

Maybe not.

Black History Month For Racial Cowards.

"Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards," - Eric Holder, nation's first black attorney general. - Source
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Locally, Rainbow, a supermarket chain owned by Roundy's, ran a print ad promoting black history month offering specials on collard greens and chicken, and other foods traditionally associated with African American culture. A small outcry ensued. Many white people and a black minister or two were offended, claiming the ad was racist.
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Supposedly it promoted racial stereotypes. This is bad because the African Americans at one time were an oppressed minority. Unlike Asians and Hispanics, African Americans were enslaved, terrorized by segregation and vigilante rule that included lynchings, tar and feathering, and so on. I get that. But black folk I know love greens and fried chicken and all sorts of good Southern style food. (Me too!) Just ask Oprah or Patti Labelle, or Betty Lou - a cook I happened to have worked with at one time.
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Jews eat Kosher. Mexicans eat tacos. They say the Irish eat corned beef and cabbage, but an Irish nun told me that is not true. Polish people eat pirogi. Italians eat pasta. Slap my butt and call me Galdys, grocery stores even have ethnic food sections for all sorts of people - colored or not.
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Holder claims "we, as average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about race." Really? So how can we talk about it if we are continually censored?
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I'm so tired of their double standards - we should be more worried about honesty in politics, business, finance, and society - as well as not exterminating unwanted children. These matters are the real injustice afflicting the country.
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We have a black administration now - let's move on to more important business. Quit playing the race card - and do not talk race for 4 more years.
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Photo: Cast of the hugely popular 1950's sit-com, "Amos and Andy" - now considered racially offensive. It was funny.

How to dance at a rave

This is a public service video. I posted it for Cathy of Alexandria and Little Freak.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The visit.



Mrs. Rabitowitz.
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I was outside, sweeping a light snow and some of the bird droppings into the hedge, when I heard, "Good afternoon Mr. Nelson." Without turning about I said smiling, "Ah! It must be Madame Rabitowitz! And to what do I owe this pleasure?"
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Turning around completely, I noticed a rather sad look upon the rabbit's face, and asked, "What is it my dear? Why do you look so melancholy?"
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"You saw the murder last week, did you not?" Mrs. Rabitowitz asked, as she began to pick up a few raisins I had put out for her.
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"Oh my. You saw it too." I answered. "Yes, I tried to clear away the evidence right away, very much afraid you or the children would come across it. I noticed one of the Finches happened across a piece of the entrails and spit it out. I'm so sorry that happened. I never realized hawks would be out before dawn."
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I awoke one morning to see a hawk finishing the remains of a Junco, all that was left was a great deal of down and a few feathers, a claw, and entrails, which I swept away. I was so upset: At first inspection, the down appeared to me to be fur, and I feared for Mrs. Rabitowitz.
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"Oh, yes, yes. We witnessed that." Mrs. Rabitowitz assured me. "You people are much more upset by this kind of thing than we are - the animals and birds, I mean."
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"How so?" I inquired.
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"Oh sweetie, all of this is quite natural you know, disturbing though it is. We are meant to be food for one another. Of course we try to preserve our lives, yet our purpose is to please men and to support life - although it may result in such a grizzly annihilation for some of us... Not a species of course." Laughing she added, "Men are the only ones who do that type of thing. Sad really..."
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"Well, if you don't mind me asking, why is it you seem so sad?" I asked.
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We then sat down on the steps, looking into St. Joseph's Wood, as evening grew dark. Mrs. B responded quietly, "Papa is ill."
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"You mean Mr. Rabitowitz?" I asked with surprise, since I assumed she had been a widow already.
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"Yes dear. He is rather reclusive and no one ever sees him about, except late at night, when he goes for a walk and sneaks a cigarette or two."
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I laughed out loud and exclaimed, "Omigosh! I've run into him - he smokes! Yes indeed - we've met! In fact, he knows Cyril."
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Giggling, Mrs. B said, "Yes - he likes you quite a lot - he likes Cyril too, but says he is a bit hi-brow for him. Papa thinks you are quite funny. He told me he likes it very much when you touch him."
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"Oh! Mrs. B! I assure you, I like it very much when he lets me touch him." Turning more serious I asked, "What is it, what is wrong? Have you been to the doctor?"
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"Oh Mr. Nelson, we can't visit doctors. No, no, no, no, no. You see, they put animals to sleep, after endless tests of course. Oh no, we take care of ourselves alright, we do."
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"So please tell me then, what ails him, what are his symptoms? Is there anything I can do?" I asked with growing concern.
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"Papa has problems with his prostate, in fact, it seems his lymph glands are infected as a result, and of course he has those skin problems from the sun." Mrs. Rabitowitz stated this so matter of fact, it at first seemed she was totally unconcerned, which told me they have been living with this for quite a long time.
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"Oh dear! I'm so sorry to hear that. How is he doing now?" I pleaded.
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"Quite well surprisingly. He sleeps rather late, and stays inside a great deal, but he remains rather chipper." Mrs. R looked away, hiding a little tear from me.
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I gently touched the back of her ear and whispered, "I'm so very sorry. I will pray."
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Jumping down from the stair, gathering her raisins and nuts, Mrs. Rabitowitz turned and replied, "Thanks so much. I knew I could count on you." And she hopped away.
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I sat there, reflecting on the brevity of life. Just then, I craved a cigarette.

The Pope



The Holy Father: Attacked from all sides.
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Fr. Z posted a request for prayer and sacrifice to be offered for the intentions of the Holy Father, in view of the very public dissent he suffers from priests, bishops, cardinals, and of course, dissenting Catholic groups as well as secular groups and media. It truly is unprecedented what is happening worldwide. It may seem as if the general dissent simply coasted into place, but that is not the case. It has been fermenting for a very long time, and it required only a few determined statements concerning Catholic teaching, faith and morals, as well as liturgical direction, for the venom to explode.
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Just look at the headlines in Catholic media. Austrian bishops and clergy are in open revolt , priests of the diocese of Linz have forced the resignation of a newly appointed bishop for their diocese, the Cardinal in the UK refused to allow Archbishop Burke to celebrate Mass in Westminster in June - the list goes on. Indeed, the Holy Father is being attacked from all sides.
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What's going on.
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Such things were foretold in the prophecy of St. John Bosco, and later in the Fatima revelations - "The Holy Father will have much to suffer." Even more specifically, in the approved apparition at Akita, Our Lady left the following warning - which appears to be reaching fulfillment in these days:
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"As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms that will remain for you will be the Rosary and Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the pope, the bishops, and the priests."
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"The work of the devil will infiltrate even the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate Me will be scorned and opposed by their conferees…churches and altars sacked, the Church will be full of those who accept compromise and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of My sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them." - Source
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Art: Vision of Don Bosco. Recently the Holy Father asked for prayers for the "Barque of Peter". It seemed to me this was an (inadvertent) allusion to the prophecy of Don Bosco. The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ryan Seacrest found on a piece of toast...

YES!
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I saw this very same image on a piece of toast and had to draw it - I was so hungry, I ate it... with psychedelic peanut butter of course - you know - that stuff from Georgia.

I didn't paint today...

I did research instead.
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I can't live with my art you know. I have so much now, I don't know where to hide it. The process, the making of art is all that interests me - the product is always a let down for me.
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Anyway - I'm planning something religious now - I want to paint the Fatima kids and the apparition of the Angel of the Eucharist. It will be serious.
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Researching images of the Madonna, I paged through a book of essays called, "Divine Mirrors: The Virgin Mary In The Visual Arts". I'm not looking for a Madonna to copy, since I will paint the Virgin as she is represented in the Fatima images - I also will paint the panel in a more naturalistic manner rather than anything Italo-Byzantine. I'm left rather cold by most images of Our Lady, save those that happen to be Spanish Colonial, and a bit naive, I don't know why.
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I came across some Coptic and Ethiopian images - I like those very much. They can be rather garish or primitive for some tastes. Although their exotic style led me to consider the eidolonic images people claim to perceive in stains on their sinks, under freeway bridges, and so on. A rather famous eidolon was the image within the glass of an office building in Clearwater, Florida during the '90's. Most readers know I'm skeptical of such things, but I wonder if I should dismiss them so casually - for someone may have been moved to devotion by such phenomena. After all, people buy ugly religious art all of the time, and as mentioned, some of the Ethiopian images are difficult for Europeans and Americans to find edifying or devotional.
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Anyway, I came across the following in the lead essay of the book Divine Mirrors, written by Robert Orsi: He writes; our Lady's presence at places of pilgrimage "is not exhausted at them; rather she is repetitively present, generously and lovingly so, as her devout see it. The Blessed Mother does not have strong feelings about what constitutes appropriate or inappropriate venues for her visits, either: In the mid-1990's, for example, she began appearing on the glassy side of an office building in Florida." - Robert Orsi, Harvard Divinity School.
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Of course the Florida 'apparition' is not approved - and keep in mind Catholics are not required to accept or follow any apparition, recognized or unrecognized - yet what Orsi says is quite compelling. Anyone may encounter the grace of God in any circumstance, through various signs, images, sounds, or impressions of the sacred presence. Perhaps even in tattoos upon Latino gang members. Therefore, I'm going to try and be more respectful of such phenomenon in the future - even if I don't believe it, or when it doesn't fit my cultural experience or taste.
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(BTW - I saved a miraculous image of Ryan Seacrest I found on a dirty cat food plate. I'll post it another time. I also want to mention an entertaining blog I found today while looking for images, Robot Nine. Very fun.)

Who am I?



"I belong to a literary ground, comprised – including retired profs of literature, history and philosophy – mainly of very educated priest friends and a pair of physicians."
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(Oh my.)

What the...



Are Catholic people going nuts?

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Who's causing a bigger scandal now? These matters are up to the bishops. And the Pope already knows about it. The Church is not a damn democracy.

Maciel

Father Marcial Maciel Degollado
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I was away while the news broke on this man. Returning, I noted the priests I read are very understanding of Fr. Maciel's weaknesses and chose not to cast any stones. That is as it should be. Pope Benedict sent him off in silence to do penance and Fr. Maciel did so humbly. As Catholics, we all sin; we confess, receive absolution and a penance - and we try to sin no more.
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Anyway. A year or two ago I wrote about the rumors and the cloak and dagger atmosphere surrounding the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi. I actually knew men and women associated with the organizations - so I wasn't just speculating about these things. Anyway - my writings are lost, but there is plenty of docu-drama coverage elsewhere online if anyone is interested.
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Secrets and denial.
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There is really so much to say about all that has been revealed. For starters, I think we can now understand a little better the closeted secrecy of the Legion, their strict discipline, radical commitment to the founder, and silence concerning the religious life they led, as well as the process of government. On some level this seems typical of a dysfunctional family, wherein someone, very often the dad, had been leading a double life.
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Codependent behaviours.
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Therefore it seems likely that it was important for the founder and perhaps unwittingly, the superiors of the Legion to keep outsiders at bay in order to protect the secret. Controlled effort to appear normal, while projecting a sense of moral and doctrinal superiority - even elitism, while maintaining a traditional religious decorum, horarium, and dress, worked to project a certain mystique of perfection and stability. Many were convinced, especially new recruits, that the rumors about the founder had to be false: Indeed, Fr. Maciel was very much admired by John Paul II.
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Not a few people, among them priests and religious, believe the Legion should distance itself from its founder. One priest wrote, "For P.R. purposes, the L.C. needs to distance itself from its founder, that is, quickly and irrevocably disconnect its spirituality from the man who founded it." - Source. With all due respect to Fr. Philip, I must disagree. Making such a disconnect would only perpetuate the culture of lies and cover up that became the foundation of the order's discipline. It would be very unhealthy to do that, albeit typical of flawed Catholic practice.
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Their first purification ought to be to remedy the effects of the hero worship they once had for Fr. Marciel. How many times do we all find ourselves woefully disappointed in those people we admire and maybe even idolize? We make our heroes into idols, own them as role models and examples - failing to understand that only Christ and His Mother and the saints are such. Men are men. Michael Phelps smokes weed. Governor Blagojevitch sells senate seats. Bill Clinton liked cigars. Some priests get married or sleep with men. Ted Haggard used male prostitutes but stayed married. (Hoochimama - Just imagine the dysfunction that family has to work through.)
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"Take no man for your example, the devil will show you his faults." - John of the Cross

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Thus, even the strongest men may fall - "The just man is scarcely saved." As John Paul I said, "God loves humility so much, sometimes he permits a man to fall even into grave sin, in order that, after repenting, he becomes even more humble." That works in the order of nature and grace. (My quote is from memory.)
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Fr. Maciel humbly went into exile to do penance, and he died, hopefully in the state of grace. But I'm convinced it would be wrong for his sons to disown their father. We live in times of flagrant sin, therefore we need to know and understand and accept that some men have battled apocalyptic-sized demons and have often fallen... some even lost. Yet others were able to rise, clinging to their faith and the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church, and they continued on, struggling and suffering to the end. Hiding Fr. Maciel would only be another denial of the truth - and perhaps a denial of the mercy of God.
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What to do about the victims is another story.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Finished the emails.

Wow! I was gone a long time.
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Michael Dubriel died. Susan let me know by email - I just read it. I'm so shocked and so very sorry for Amy and the boys. I find it so difficult to comprehend. No, I did not know them.
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Did I read them? Yes.
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Know them? No.
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Oh I referenced them a couple of times - without knowing them. Then I began reading them, got to like them - and respect them. I feel so badly. Prayers for them.
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You see however... This proves my point. These blogs we do are nothing. We are nothing... at least we are NOT our blogs. We are NOT! These blogs are NOT important.

THE WRESTLER film clip #2-

Baby got back.


My laptop is home again!
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It has been a long time - but we are back together again. Oh! Toto - I learned so much while you were gone. I just forgot to take notes and now I can't think of anything to blog about.
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I definitely finished the painting - I'm calling it "Domestic Scene; 1959: The Sin of Ham" - maybe I mentioned that already. It took me 9 days to paint, working 6 hours a day - a total of 54 hours - the length of days a rosary novena takes. The painting is only 12"x12". Fr. Mark mentioned in a comment he expects the panel would be a Norman Rockwell type of image, I'm sure he was joking. Although that is actually very funny since I thought of Norman Rockwell's work throughout the process. My panel is not nearly as well painted as Mr. Rockwell's art. (Later, I may reopen "Up Your Street" and show the panels on that blog.)
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Shortly after finishing the painting, I opened to Ecclesiates 6, 10-12: "A man cannot find out what is good for him to do. Whatever is, was long ago given its name, and the nature of man is known, and that he cannot contend in judgement with one who is stronger than he. For though there are many sayings that multiply vanity,what profit is there for a man? For who knows what is good for a man in life, the limited days of his vain life (which God has made like a shadow)? Because, who is there to tell a man what will come after him under the sun?"
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My paintings are meant to be for after my death.
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Moving on.
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I have 230 emails to check. Do you know how difficult that will be? LOL! (I'm sure Fr. Z probably gets about 230 emails an hour.)
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Art: Norman Rockwell "Breaking Home Ties" - Source

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'm not at Kinko's

I'm at some friend's, and they are allowing me to use their PC - it's an Apple - very brand new, state of the art. I will be cat sitting while my friends are in NYC and Washington - so I may be using their PC at times. Mine is supposed to be ready for pick up tomorrow. I think this is payback time for me for all the times I procrastinated over work I was expected to do for other people in the past.
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Anyway, I just breezed through comments but I haven't checked my email - so please do not be offended that I haven't responded to any of you - time is short. Belinda - glad you were not mad about the joke. Mary - I was hoping someone took issue with the octuplet's mom comment - I love reactions to what I write. Thanks.
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I finished the painting today - well there are a few details to add. I'm not totally happy with it - it is rather disturbing but I think it an interesting interpretation on the sin of Ham nonetheless. For Lent I'll do something religious. I can't wait for Lent - I have so much penance to do.
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My friends have a web cam - I should do a show - disguised as Joaquin Phoenix of course. But I can't do it now.
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It will be nearly 3 weeks since I've had Internet. I'm quite certain I'm not the only one who is either addicted or very attached to the net - surfing, reading, writing, corresponding. Now there is Twitter - in addition to Myspace and Facebook and who knows what else. I'm not judging anyone - but I suspect many people spend way too much time artificially connected to others online. We think it's real and we think we are contributing something to the conversation - but we aren't so much. If a person posts a lot - they are online a lot. Hours slip by, we check - even wait for comments - we want the feedback. (You know who you are.) Something is not right with that. Something is off in one's life, in one's vocation... (You know who you are.)
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Anyway - if the just man is saved only with difficulty - then what about the rest of us? Oh yeah - and did you know that if you are not in the state of grace, then you are in mortal sin? Think about it.
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Hopefully I'll be back online tomorrow or Tuesday.
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Hugs and kisses!