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, March 21, 2009

St. Agnes, St. Paul, Minnesota


The sanctuary of the Church of St. Agnes.
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I still think the statues of St. Peter and Paul are much too over-scale for the church - they seem ostentatious. I think the parish ought to donate them to the Cathedral of St. Paul. I'm probably alone in this opinion. I never liked the use of onyx at the base of the columns either.
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Nevertheless, it is a beautiful little church. Visit here for more photos.

Embarrassing moments...

"The Deep" - Oils, acrylic, colored pencil on paper. 5" x 7" .
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Your barn door is open. Yeah. A couple of weeks ago I thought I had closed my art blog to viewers, yet when I went to 'clean' it up and add more work, I discovered that it had remained open all along, the only thing I had closed was comments. (No wonder my stats have crashed, I've scared people away!) The little piece shown above is part of my daily exercise, stuff I do when I'm not working on a major piece - fun things to sell on the cheap.
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I have always done stupid, thoughtless things that embarrass me... the embarrassment usually doesn't last of course, and I eventually see the humor in it, and benefit (I hope) from the lesson learned.
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Did anyone watch The Office this past Thursday? Michael quit you know. I swear the writers for that show know me - because the way Michael quit is very close to how and why I quit my last job. I know! So if you're asking yourself, "Is Terry nuts?!" I will answer, "Lil bit." And if Michael starts blogging all thee bad things about Dunder-Mifflin then I will know for certain someone is basing his character on me. Like Michael, I don't like to be managed, nor do I like to do painting commissions.
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My most recent embarrassment occurred as I proceeded to answer an email wanting to know the meaning of one of my paintings. The sender's name was the same as two other commenter's. I assumed it was one of the others asking the question and unwittingly replied to the wrong person. Normally I would double check to make sure I was responding to the correct person, but since I had just received a couple emails from all three, I was sure I knew to whom I was replying. But no, I did not. I'm sure I embarrassed the other guy just as much as myself - I gave out way too much information. I haven't heard from him since.
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I once did something similar at my old job. I was in the habit of writing out my frustrations with the employer, and especially my boss, as if I were sending an email. I'd save the document and go back a day later to re-read it, eventually I'd edit it to be very PC and professional and positive sounding, and when completely neutralized of any emotion, I'd send it along, requesting a meeting to discuss things. Naturally, my boss would be unaware that I was unhappy about anything. One day, not too many months before I resigned, I wrote a blistering first draft - just to vent, and maybe later to rewrite for a more positive presentation. But instead of hitting 'save' I hit 'send'. I know! Of course I freaked - but then I just had to laugh out loud.
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More than a few times I showed some of my rather 'out there' paintings to people who seemed genuinely interested in my work. I can be rather naive. For instance, I once entered "The Descent" into a Christian Art Festival. OMIGOSH! The curators almost freaked - I felt like Rodney Dangerfield in Caddy Shack. Another time I showed my "Seminary Visitation" to a co-worker. He was at a loss for words - which is funny in itself - however, a while later he asked a little indignantly, "Why would you even show me that?" That was just embarrassing and freaky. I felt as if I did something bad. We laughed about it later.
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I've never claimed my art is good art.
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And as far as being embarrassed? Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed.
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So anyway - the art blog, "Up Your Street" is open. Enter at your own risk. I'm in the process of creating a portfolio of sorts.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Obama the celebrity.



On the Leno Show.
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I didn't watch. I knew I'd hear about it today. So he made fun of Special Olympians - people who are well will do that. On the road to euthanasia, the disabled are the types who will most likely benefit from Obama's cultural revolution... er, healthcare reform.
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In response to critics of his appearance on Leno, Obama said, "...somebody was saying the other – today, I think – that I shouldn't be on Leno. I can't handle that and the economy at the same time.” (Story) That isn't the point Mr. President - it's about the impression you are making upon the unemployed, the people who have lost everything, and the troops defending a morally bankrupt society...
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Obama was too busy to follow protocol when the British PM visited the White House, yet he can fly around the country giving speeches on a sort of never ending campaign tour, and then show up on Leno cracking jokes. This guy has no manners - just a huge ego.
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Don't be surprised if he follows Hugo Chavez and gets his own television show. He likes to talk.
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Photo: GMA host, Robin Roberts look-a-like.
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"The company of scorners." Psalm 1

Help, O Lord, for good men have vanished;
truth has gone from the sons of men.
Falsehood they speak one to another,
with lying lips, with a false heart. - Psalm 11
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Sorry, comment moderation has been enabled once again.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The increase of evil.



What are the signs?

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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. - Message of Akita

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These days the Holy Father, along with the bishops and priests in union with him, including faithful Roman Catholics, are being attacked, mocked, and scorned with increasing ferocity. Now, more than ever, faithful Catholic bloggers need to support one another, and witness to the Faith as best they can. More importantly, we need to stand fast, united in prayer.

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On the feast of St. Joseph, May 1, 1976, the angel told Sr. Agnes after Communion:

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"Many men in this world afflict the Lord. Our Lady awaits souls to console Him. Remain in poverty. Sanctify yourself and pray in reparation for the ingratitude and the outrages of so many men. The Rosary is your weapon. Say it with care and more often for the intention of the Pope, of bishops and priests. You must not forget these words (of Mary). The Blessed Virgin prays continually for the conversion of the greatest possible number and weeps, hoping to lead to Jesus and to the Father souls offered to Them by Her intercession. For this intention, and to overcome exterior obstacles, achieve interior unity, form a single heart. Let believers lead a life more worthy of believers! Pray with a new heart. Attach great importance to this day for the glory of God and His Holy Mother. With courage spread this devotion among the greatest number. Inform your superior and him who directs you of what I have told you." - Source

Watchmen

I'm experimenting.
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I'm playing around with my watchmen series. Shown above: "The Novice" - Oil, acrylic, colored pencil and water color on paper. (Sort of like a Pompeian wall painting.)

Solemnity of St. Joseph

I am late posting about Our Holy Father St. Joseph due to the fact I am unable to find an image of him that I like. The above is the best I could come up with.
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Things I know for certain about St. Joseph:
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As St. Teresa of Avila explained to us from her experiences with the patronage of St. Joseph, he is a saint who is ready to help us in every need. Thus, upon her recommendation I attached myself to him many years ago. Lately, images of St. Joseph no longer attract, nor do they tell me about him; neither do writings about his prerogatives, much less the well intentioned speculation concerning his earthly life. No. Rather it is his patronage, his spiritual assistance accompanied by his companionship, that enlightens me most.
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St. Joseph has helped me in every need. For example, he has always found lodging for me on my pilgrimage, as well as a sufficiency to satisfy my needs. And after I settled in one place, he always found suitable employment for me to earn my living. He obtained for me the grace of continence in my friendships, as well as the gift of chastity. He has taught me how to pray - or at least to keep trying to pray. He has obtained for me the gift of temperance, as well as the grace to stop smoking. Through his fatherhood he more or less re-parented me, and taught me to forgive and understand the mystery of God's love despite poverty, hardship, and neglect.
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Yet the greatest grace of all has been his fostering in my soul devotion to the Immaculate Conception and the Divine Infant Jesus.
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St. Joseph ought to have the title of "Wonder-worker" - although there is no more glorious title than, "Foster-father of the Son of God, and chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary."
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Go to Joseph if you find it difficult to live according to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church - he will obtain that grace for you if you ask with holy dispositions - and he will sustain you throughout your life, without sparing you the joy of suffering something for Christ in the process.

What the Holy Father really said concerning the spread of AIDS in Africa.

The media twists everything.
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The Holy Father: “I would say that this problem of AIDS cannot be overcome with advertising slogans. If the soul is lacking, if Africans do not help one another, the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem. The solution can only come through a twofold commitment: firstly, the humanization of sexuality, in other words a spiritual and human renewal bringing a new way of behaving towards one another; and secondly, true friendship, above all with those who are suffering, a readiness - even through personal sacrifice - to be present with those who suffer. And these are the factors that help and bring visible progress.
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“Therefore, I would say that our double effort is to renew the human person internally, to give spiritual and human strength to a way of behaving that is just towards our own body and the other person’s body; and this capacity of suffering with those who suffer, to remain present in trying situations.
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“I believe that this is the first response [to AIDS] and that this is what the Church does, and thus, she offers a great and important contribution. And we are grateful to those that do this.” - Source
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As to be expected, the Roman Catholic Church continues to be in the forefront regarding the AIDS crises, as it had been from the very beginning. Many people seem to forget how in this country, beginning with the ministry of the Missionaries of Charity in lower Manhattan, when at the behest of Cardinal O'Connor, Mother Teresa opened the first home for AIDS patients in the Village. The Holy Father reminds us of the charity of the Church in his reference to the ongoing work of the order of St. Camillus, the Community of St. Egidio, as well as the work of so many religious engaged in serving the sick.
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Fr. Blake has a more precise clarification on what the Pope said than I do, visit him here.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mounting evidence of Internet bondage...



A nation of twits - as in Twitter.
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Almost daily it seems I come across articles concerning America's addiction to online networks - cell phones, laptops, blackberrys and so on. We have definitely become a turned on culture - forget the drugs - although people still like that stuff too.
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"According to a 2005 survey, most Americans—including children—spend at least nine hours a day watching TV, surfing the web, or talking on their cell phones. Of those hours, one-third of the time is spent using two or more of those media at once.
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While technology has many worthwhile purposes, it demands a high price from us. Studies have shown that our increasing media dependency is crippling our attention spans, wounding our ability to create meaningful relationships, and generating a false expectation that we should be able to be contacted at every hour of the day.
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But getting away from technology is easier said than done. Many of us couldn’t do our jobs if it weren’t for computers, cell phones, and PDAs. But here’s the problem—when we leave work, technology is following close behind us in a constant stream of text messages, Facebook posts, and emails. We’ve become addicts to the god of information." Source
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Terry will be offline most of the day. Him going to adoration, God willing...
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Unless I bring the laptop along and post my prayers... What if people prayed online, would that be bad?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Communion in the hand.

We kneel for adoration before an elaborate monstrance containing a consecrated host enclosed in a protective luna... and yet...

The practice of receiving Communion in the hand has been an ongoing controversy amongst Catholics. Indeed, many traditionally minded Catholics sometimes support their opposition with quotes from private revelations claiming those who received communion that way undergo special punishments in purgatory. I don't know what I think about that.
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However, Fr. Zuhlsdorf has twice posted on the subject of Communion in the hand in the past several days, with the inclusion of documentary photos of the effects. The photos are compelling arguments against the practice. (You will immediately notice how the hands turned black... KIDDING! I'm so kidding.)
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Despite the fact that the practice is approved by most of the Bishops of this country, I prefer to receive on the tongue while kneeling - although it is not always easy to do in some parishes.
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Art: St. Pascal Baylon - Mexican retablo

O'bama, St. Patrick, and ardent Catholics.



St. Paddy's Day parties at the White House.
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The theme at the WH will be green all day. Starting at the top o the morning--or more like 11a.m. -- Obama and Joe Biden will meet with the Taoiseach of Ireland in the Oval Office. A little while later, they'll attend a Shamrock Ceremony in the Roosevelt Room. After meeting with the Northern Ireland officials, Obama will travel to the Capitol where he will deliver remarks at Speaker Nancy Pelosi's St. Paddy's Day lunch.
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Then, later in the evening, Obama will deliver the remarks at not one but two St. Patrick's Day receptions at the WH, where he's hosting Irish American lawmakers and other Irish Americans, a White House aide said. - Source

Blog Culture


I almost deleted my blog.
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The comment I received the other day was so disturbing, I thought I should quit blogging all together - and just as I was planning to develop my art blog and possibly connect with other online art sites to sell some of my work. Today I decided to stay with it, but with a few changes.
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First of all, comment moderation will be enabled. I will screen the comments before posting them.
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Secondly, and more importantly, I will be very careful in the future to respect the dignity of the priesthood - no matter what.
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Since the incident, which had the effect of a swift kick in the butt, I realized I may have inadvertently invited this type of comment due to some of the more off-beat subjects I post about, as well as my off-the-wall humor. I've since been trying to figure out how and why I find it so easy to write something cheeky, or even critical of any priest I come across who happens to strike me as rather eccentric - including cardinals and bishops. From time to time, we all run into this type of post on various Catholic blogs, from the very traditional to the very dissident, and those in between, as well as some written by priests. For instance, the Cardinal of L.A. is a frequent target for many bloggers. Frequently such critiques lead to mockery and scorn, while inviting a variety of opinions which quickly degenerate into factions. When I started to blog, I pretty much got on that band-wagon, so to speak. Over time, after frequent confessions, I've made attempts to be more careful about what I write and how I phrase things, so as not to elicit derision upon the subject of my post. I frequently fail however.
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Therefore, I have decided not to play the critic of those in Holy Orders, even if one of them runs naked through the streets in the early morning hours, as one guy did a year ago. I suppose the freedom Catholics now feel to criticize priests stems from circumstances such as the sex abuse scandals, or serving as 'ministers' of this or that in parishes, along with working closely with the pastor in parish offices, and of course, the disparity in liturgical practice. Another consideration would be that the sacred character of the priesthood is often forgotten or ignored as the emphasis upon the priesthood of the laity grew in importance since the Council.
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In my case I believe it began quite early on, as I became friends with seminarians and priests soon after my conversion, and later, as a result of my monastic experience. Naturally, in that milieu, debate takes place regarding fellow clergy and the episcopate. I've concluded it much more prudent that I limit my my participation in such situations, considering it improper for me to be privy to so much information about the private life of priests and the politics of diocesan life. Working in a Catholic book store proved to be even more detrimental - gossip, calumny, detraction, and slander was much more prevalent in that situation. Too much familiarity... as the Imitation instructs:
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"We must have charity for all, but familiarity is not expedient. It sometimes happens that a person, when not known, shines by a good reputation, who, when he is present, is disagreeable to them that see him.
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We think sometimes to please others by being with them; and we begin rather to disgust them by the evil behavior which they discover in us." - Imitation: Bk I; 8:2
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Of course, that chapter describes me - readers know it. But it also describes the effect familiarity with priests and religious can have upon others as well. Hence, my effort to maintain certain boundaries, albeit frequently failing after becoming passionate about a topic, and then permitting myself to write about what I know. No more.
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I've decided that I may never gossip about, or criticize any priest ever again , no matter if he is a bishop with a liturgical dance team, or a parish priest with a mistress, gay or straight, or just an eccentric computer geek. He is the representative of Christ and the dispenser of his mysteries. As St. Francis De Sales said of priests, "I will close my eyes to their faults, and only see in them God's representatives." Even when it may seem obvious the priest's life does not correspond with the requirements of his office, we owe him respect, and this respect is due his office, since he represents Christ himself.

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That is my policy. I also offer my sincere apology to every priest I may have offended, even when my only intent was either to tease or to make light of something I thought was humorous. I also apologize to anyone I may have caused to disparage any priest. I am very sorry.



The Art of Anthony Visco

The Deposition of St. Andrew
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Visit Mr. Visco's website to view the rest of his portfolio. (He is Master Artist for the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe at La Crosse Wisconsin.)
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St. Andrew the apostle is the patron saint of Scotland.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Patient endurance.


Reflections upon the virtue of patience (from another source).
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"A monk can allow himself to become depressed to the point of desperation, or he can punish himself and others by becoming angry at everything he sees as a factor in his sorry condition, or he can dedicate himself to a life of unceasing escapism, throwing himself into work and hobbies and mindless entertainments to such a degree that the pain is temporarily assuaged. In any case he has ceased to operate as a monk; he is the plaything of his own anxieties.
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The solution, if he retains any interest in finding one, is to be found in a realistic confidence in the providence of God, who leaves even serious faults in persons otherwise 'holy', and allows those whose confidence is in themselves to perceive the hollowness of their boast. All that comes from the hand of God is good, even when it bears to the light the ignominy of human weakness.
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Ambrose of Milan: 'There are many who seek Christ in times of quiet and do not find him, but they find him in persecutions and find him quickly. The same is true after temptations since God is present to his faithful in their dangers.' It goes against all our theoretical conceptions of lineal progress in the spiritual life, but the strange fact is that God seems more present when things are at their worst. Negative situations have the potential to be transformed by the impress of the cross of Christ.
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Therefore, 'bear one another's burdens, and so you will fulfil the law of Christ'. (Gal 6:2)" - Michael Casey, O.C.S.O