Saturday, May 02, 2009

The new SA

Straight Advocates of same-sex marriage.
.
Any opposition or criticism to anything related to gay sex, gay culture, gay marriage, and the homosexualist movement is now considered a "vicious" attack upon all persons with homosexual inclination. Indeed, Congress passed the hate crimes bill providing gay people with special protections, a move which could likely lead to criminalizing Catholic/Christian teaching on the subject.
.
Under the "hate-crimes" legislation, pastors could be prosecuted for preaching the biblical view of homosexuality. Similar laws have been used to prosecute religious speech in the U.S. and abroad.
.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, hosted a special meeting last night to highlight the dangers and concerns related to the bill.
.
“Under this legislation, justice will no longer be equal," he said before the meeting. "Instead, justice will depend on the … protected status of the victim, setting up different penalties for the same crime.
.
"I support continuing the American tradition of equal justice under the law, and I oppose this unconstitutional ‘thought crimes’ bill.”
- Source
.
I believe such laws have been enacted in Canada and the European Union, and it is a work in progress in Brazil. Brazilian President Luiz Lula is promising homosexual leaders that he will continue to seek to criminalize speech that is critical of homosexuality. - Source
.
When homosexuality is politically opportune.
.
The Governor of New York, "David Paterson, whose approval ratings have plummeted to all-time lows, has recently deflected attention from the poor state of the economy in New York and begun to publicly push for same-sex "marriage" in the state." - Source
.
Paterson is lying. He is playing into the hands of gay activists and homosexualists, joining them in revisionist distortions of history. He is using gays to promote himself. Gays in turn are using him to promote their agenda.
.
Accusing religious leaders of opposing same sex marriage out of guilt, Paterson stated, ""Where were these leaders of faith when college students of gay and lesbian orientation were beaten and often brutalized for expressing their feelings for each other?" he asked during a speech at the "LGBT Equality Justice Day" event." - Source
.
Is he nuts? When was there such a mass persecution across college campuses? Certainly there have been male and female students and adults beaten or killed in gay bashing, but crimes such as these have never been sanctioned and are against the law. Yes, horrible crimes have been committed, I think of Matthew Shepherd, the kid who was beaten and set on fire - although some say it wasn't a gay bashing, but a robbery and senseless beating. I don't know - sounded like a gay bashing to me.
.
That is not my point however. What about mothers who kill their kids, women who are beaten and raped and murdered by husbands, boyfriends and men who hate women? What about child molesters and killers, and all the other crimes committed against human beings? We already have laws against these crimes, my question is why do gays feel the need for special protection under the law? They already have equal protection under the law.
.
The blind leading the blind - makes no sense.
.
Paterson further went on to support his accusations and play into the favor of LGBT activists who know better, as he asked "why religious leaders didn’t speak out in protection of homosexuals in the past, saying that they were silent when gays were "collectively blamed" for the expansion of HIV in the early 1980s."
.
Actually, the Catholic Church never got into the blame game, and the Catholic Church was the first to minister to and care for these people.
.
"Contrary to the governor's claim that opponents of same-sex "marriage" were silent in the 1980s, Dennis Poust, the Director of Communication for the New York Catholic Conference, said that the Catholic Church in New York was "one of the first responders" to the AIDS crisis. "We’ll hold our record up against anyone’s when it comes to supporting the dignity of all people, including homosexual men and women" he said.
.
"The governor in his remarks, that was the most offensive thing, was the idea that we somehow didn’t do anything for people with AIDS," Poust said. The Church was the first to react in the early ‘80s to the HIV crises, by establishing clinics and care facilities for people suffering from the "death sentence," he emphasized. At the time, recalled Poust, Governor Mario Cuomo "praised the Church for really being the leader in the entire state of serving those with this deadly disease." - Source
.
All in the family.
.
According to Poust, Director of Communication for the New York Catholic Conference, society is seeing the results of "casual divorce" from the '70s and the "out of wedlock children" of the '80s, as the children of this generation now have "all these [psychological] problems" and warned that if gay "marriage" is passed, we will see a "further devaluation of the traditional family" and the result will be a "disaster."
.
Once again, I am reminded of Cardinal Siri's warnings concerning the change of feminine psychology and the harmful effects upon the family:
.
"The changing of feminine psychology does fundamental and, in the long run, irreparable damage to the family, to conjugal fidelity, to human affections and to human society. True, the effects of wearing unsuitable dress are not all to be seen within a short time. But one must think of what is being slowly and insidiously worn down, torn apart, perverted.
.
Why, we ask, ever since men have been men, or rather since they became civilized -- why have men in all times and places been irresistibly borne to make a differentiated division between the functions of the two sexes? Do we not have here strict testimony to the recognition by all mankind of a truth and a law above man?
.
The consequences of such violations are not a new outline of man, but disorders, hurtful instability of all kinds, the frightening dryness of human souls, the shattering increase in the number of human castaways, driven long since out of people's sight and mind to live out their decline in boredom, sadness and rejection. Aligned on the wrecking of the eternal norms are to be found the broken families, lives cut short before their time, hearths and homes gone cold, old people cast to one side, youngsters willfully degenerate and -- at the end of the line -- souls in despair and taking their own lives. All of which human wreckage gives witness to the fact that the "line of God" does not give way, nor does it admit of any adaption to the delirious dreams of the so-called philosophers! - Source
.
.
.
Photo: Members of the Nazi Brown Shirts, known as the SA (an acronym for Sturmabteilung). The SA leader, Ernst Rohm, a close friend of Hitler, and a known homosexual, was eventually murdered by the SS in a purge which became known as The Night of the Longknives. There is evidence homosexuality was more or less condoned within the SA, to what extent has often been disputed. Link removed.

Loving the truth.

Men may come and men may go, because God has left plenty of room for the to and fro of their free-will; but the substantial lines of nature and the not less substantial lines of Eternal Law have never changed, are not changing and never will change. There are bounds beyond which one may stray as far as one sees fit, but to do so ends in death; there are limits which empty philosophical fantasizing may have one mock or not take seriously, but they put together an alliance of hard facts and nature to chastise anybody who steps over them. And history has sufficiently taught, with frightening proof from the life and death of nations, that the reply to all violators of the outline of "humanity" is always, sooner or later, catastrophe. - Source
.
May 2 is the feast of St. Athanasius, as well as the First Saturday of Our Lady.

Friday, May 01, 2009

On anger.


"If you are angry, let it be without sin." - Ephesians 4:26

.

Only the person who becomes irate without reason, sins. Whoever becomes irate for a just reason is not guilty. Because, if ire were lacking, the science of God would not progress, judgments would not be sound, and crimes would not be repressed.

.

Further, the person who does not become irate when he has cause to be, sins. For an unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices: it fosters negligence, and stimulates not only the wicked, but above all the good, to do wrong. - John Chrysostom, Homily XI super Matheum, 1c, nt.7

.

Thomas on Chrysostom

.

In one way, as a simple movement of the will that inflicts punishment not through passion, but by virtue of a judgment of the reason: and in this case, without a doubt, lack of ire is a sin. This is how Chrysostom understands ire when he says: ‘Ire, when it has a cause, is not ire but judgment. For properly speaking, ire is a movement of passion. And when a man is irate with just cause, his ire does not derive from passion. Rather, it is an act of judgment, not of ire.”

.

In another way, ire can be understood as a movement of the sensitive appetite agitated by passion with bodily excitation. This movement is a necessary sequel in man to the previous movement of his will, since the lower appetite naturally follows the movement of the higher appetite unless some obstacle prevents it. Hence the movement of ire in the sensitive appetite cannot be lacking altogether, unless the movement of the will is altogether lacking or weak. Consequently, the lack of the passion of ire is also a vice, as it is the lack of movement in the will to punish according to the judgment of reason. - Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II, II, q. 158, art. 8

.

Therefore, anger does not always cancel out every virtue.


.


But you O Lord, have mercy upon me a sinner.

.

As for the false hearted, keep them far from me.


May Day

Today is First Friday and the feast of St. Joseph.
.
You knew that though. St. Joseph the Worker is my special patron, not just for this year, but always, I have a particular devotion to him and he for me.
.
People ask me, why do I post the things I do? I'm not sure. I post about things I know for sure, as well as stuff I've learned. I post about things that trouble me and possibly trouble others. I post about stuff most people would not. I post about lies and liars and phonies and pretenders - in order to uncover the truth. People who pretend don't like that. Sounds like a grand scheme for an ignorant little man, doesn't it? It is, and I fear I will never become humble.
.
Anyway, I just write what comes to mind, and believe it or not, there is a story there, a continuum, and it all is fit to be burned.
.
Art: Burning Furnace of Charity - T. Nelson, oil on paper

Should women be allowed out of the house?



That question answered here.

Fashion, modesty, decency and menswear for women.

After my post yesterday, I'll be exploring the topic further.
.
First, from the current Catechism of the Catholic Church:
.
2521. Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.
.
2522. Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires ones choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet.
.
2523. There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body.... Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.
.
The catechism says nothing about menswear on women - or is it implied?
.
I'm beginning to think it may be implied. Compare the CCC citations with a document on the subject of modesty and menswear styles for women, composed by Cardinal Siri in 1960 - the same year Sr. Lucy of Fatima stated the secret was to be opened and read, since it would be better understood at that time. And do recall that the '60's were a time of radical change, and not just in women's fashions.
.
"...Clothes to be modest need not only to cover the body but also not to cling too closely to the body. Now it is true that much feminine clothing today clings closer than do some trousers, but trousers can be made to cling closer, in fact generally they do, so the tight fit of such clothing gives us not less grounds for concern than does exposure of the body. So the immodesty of men's trousers on women is an aspect of the problem which is not to be left out of an over-all judgment upon them, even if it is not to be artificially exaggerated either.
.

However, it is a different aspect of women's wearing of men's trousers which seems to us the gravest. The wearing of men's dress by women affects firstly the woman herself, by changing the feminine psychology proper to women; secondly it affects the woman as wife of her husband, by tending to vitiate relationships between the sexes; thirdly it affects the woman as mother of her children by harming her dignity in her children's eyes. Each of these points is to be carefully considered in turn:
.
Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies. - CCC 2523
.
A. MALE DRESS CHANGES THE PSYCHOLOGY OF WOMAN. In truth, the motive impelling women to wear men's dress is always that of imitating, nay, of competing with, the man who is considered stronger, less tied down, more independent. This motivation shows clearly that male dress is the visible aid to bringing about a mental attitude of being "like a man." Secondly, ever since men have been men, the clothing a person wears, demands, imposes and modifies that person's gestures, attitudes and behavior, such that from merely being worn outside, clothing comes to impose a particular frame of mind inside.
.
Then let us add that woman wearing man's dress always more or less indicates her reacting to her femininity as though it is inferiority when in fact it is only diversity. The perversion of her psychology is clear to be seen.
.
These reasons, summing up many more, are enough to warn us how wrongly women are made to think by the wearing of men's dress." - Giuseppe Cardinal Siri, Archbishop of Genoa, 12 June 1960
.
Like I said in an earlier post, I don't really care about this issue - although I don't mind seeing women in Ralph Lauren (photo)... Anyway, I doubt many contemporary women could ever be convinced to go back to house dresses. It seems to me, it is too late, just like the Fatima secret and consecration of Russia - the horse left the stable, the train already left the station. However, I find the Cardinal's warning, as well as the timing of his "notification" to be terribly significant. I can't delve into it at the moment, but I hope to post a thing or two in the days to come.
.
Cardinl Siri was a leading candidate for the papacy in the conclaves which elected John XXIII as well as Paul VI, and I believe those which elected John Paul I and II. Some Sedevacantists believe Siri was indeed elected but shoved aside in favor of John XXIII, I have no interest in that sort of intrigue - way too Ron Howard for me. Suffice it to say, Siri was a very prominent churchman, and his teaching deserving of great esteem and worthy of serious consideration. Likewise, I don't think I should be making fun of people who reject certain contemporary fashions any longer either. My apologies.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The feast of St. Pius V

A Y-Chromoso-minute


Angela and Cathy wanted me to do this day-book thing Larry invented. (I know!) Normally I wouldn't do a meme or anything like this, but since they asked, I will do it, just because I'm so darn nice. Larry, I'm not trying to steal votes from you, because your Y-chromosomal post was very funny and can't be topped.

.


For Today: Thursday, April 30, 2009

.

Outside My Window... Cloudy. Really cloudy and misty - I believe it is a light drizzle.

.

I am thinking about... hmmmmmm….. Janet Reno.

.

I am thankful for… Foxes, and rabbits, and gophers and pigs and dogs and kitties.

.

From the kitchen... Nothing - I get nothing - I'm single. Actually I never eat before 3PM - it's a desert fathers thing. Speaking of - my dad would love this - whenever I called him, he told me in detail what he was doing, what he ate, what he was thinking, just like this meme datebook thing here. "Yeah hon, I just ate some fried chicken and made a little gravy for some mashed potatoes - those instant ones ya know - and I just had a little salad like your mom used to make with some french dressing - not the spicy type, and some milk, I was just gonna do dishes when you called."

.

I am wearing... Larry said, "jeans, sweatshirt, socks, boxer briefs…" Me too! (I also have a t-shirt and a scapular on underneath.)

.

I am creating... A lot of trouble. Lots and lots. But not deliberately - really - I say things and write things and paint things, and for some reason people get all pissed off. I'm also painting a picture of Mrs. Rabitowitz before I kill her.

.

I am reading... Pope Benedict's Jesus of Nazareth - again. Actually that is my new project that will never end. Otherwise - well - now days, for the last few years actually - I rarely read anything cover to cover - I think I have ADD. I have a dozen or more books at my feet that I pick up and read here and there - but I don't want to list them all for fear of intimidating my readers by my scholarship. (Keep laughing Cath!) Do you know I have never read anything by Ann rice? I started one novel and threw it out. I think the stuff she and Stephen King write are stupid - their crap may work occasionally for a film, but otherwise... Anyway - I don't like their stuff.

.

I am hoping... That I can get it together before I die.

.

Around the house... Larry said, "pfft! I’m a guy! Since when does a guy notice anything around the house?" True. Like I said, I'm single - so I just ignore the mess and change clothes when they wear out.

.

I am thinking about.... Still Janet Reno. But then I began to wonder about... never mind.

.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: I'll probably call Janet and see if she wants to do something. Otherwise - I don't have any plans - it's that ADD thing - I'd move on to something else as soon as I made them.
.

That's about it I guess. I know - it is not as good as Larry's - but that's alright.

Swine flu case in Minnesota.

Swine flu has been reported in a small town called Cold Spring. I don't know where that is exactly - I'm from the Eastside of St. Paul - we never knew where anything was. I've lived in Minneapolis for years, but I still can't give clear directions to motorists on how to get someplace in town.
.
Anyway, the just-confirmed case of Swine flu in Minnesota involves a student in elementary school.
.


If I was still employed, I would so call in sick for the rest of the week.

White Castle special promo: Pulled Pork



During the Swine flu pandemic.

.

Talk about bad timing. White Castle is promoting a pulled pork sandwich, just as Swine flu panic sweeps the headlines. What is worse, they show a person dressed as a hog performing a Flashdance parody; instead of water dumped onto the pig, pulled pork is dumped, and hurled onto the audience - like vomit. Great advertising campaign, huh?
.
Now you can understand why the pork industry does not want it called, Swine flu.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bishop Tobin speaks out on the dangers of same sex 'marriage'.


The Bishop warns against Catholic apathy to the issue.
.
Personally, I believe the apathy stems from a laissez-faire attitude of "live and let live", "don't judge", "there but for the grace of God", and ultimately the dictatorship of relativism. I'm convinced this is a direct consequence of the contraceptive mentality which facilitated the irresponsibile exploitation of sexual relations for the sake of pleasure alone; leading to all types of promiscuous behavior and sex without consequences, including the acceptance of homosexual acts as having parity with heterosexual intercourse - since both are impotent when contraception is used by heterosexuals.
.
Bishop Tobin:
.
“Abysmal” Catholic apathy must be overcome to oppose those who are “fiercely determined” to impose homosexual “marriage,” Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island Thomas J. Tobin has warned. Reasserting Catholic teaching on sexual morality, he also said that same-sex “marriage” will endanger religious freedom.
.
“The supporters of gay marriage in Rhode Island are well-organized and well-funded. They’re fiercely determined to impose their politically correct agenda on all the citizens of the state – human history, culture and moral principles not-withstanding. Anyone who opposes them is quickly labeled a bigot,” the bishop observed.
.
However, he said the typical Rhode Island Catholic’s response was indifferent and cited not wanting to judge people. Tobin also said that Catholics give rationalizations about the decline of Catholic influence.
.
Bishop Tobin explained that “homosexual activity is unnatural and gravely immoral. It’s offensive to Almighty God. It can never be condoned, under any circumstances. Gay marriage, or civil unions, would mean that our state is in the business of ratifying, approving such immoral activity.”
.
The movement for same-sex “marriage,” he added, “seeks to radically redefine the most fundamental institution of the human race, the building block of every society and culture. From the beginning, marriage has been defined as the stable union of man and woman, designed by God to continue the human race through the procreation of children.

.
“Homosexual relationships are not marriage – never have been, never will be.”
.
“Proponents of gay marriage say that the Church won’t be forced to witness such marriages. Don’t believe it,” he said, warning that the Church may be required to admit homosexual couples as sponsors for baptism, to rent its facilities for homosexual wedding receptions, or to hire employees despite their immoral lifestyles.
.
“For simply maintaining its teachings in these and many other possible scenarios, the Church will be accused of bigotry and unlawful discrimination. The threat to our religious freedom is real, and imminent,” he said. - Source
.
Photo: Iowa.

I forgot what I was doing...

When they say Don't I know you?
say no.
.
When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
before answering.
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.
.
If they say We should get together
say why?
.
It's not that you don't love them anymore.
You're trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.
.
When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven't seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don't start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.
.
Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble at any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.
.
The Art of Disappearing by Naomi Shihab Nye
.
.
(Thanks for reminding me... I've been forgetting a lot lately.)

Speaking of kilts...

What does a man wear under one?
.
I think it is a myth that men wear nothing under their kilts. Researching ancient underwear for my St. Sebastian painting, I know ancient people wore underclothes; so I'm sure Scotsmen did too. Contrary to contemporary fantasy.
.
But what about cassocks - what do men wear under their cassocks? In the United States, pants of course. Researching this post I came across one from Fr. Longenecker on the subject, and a female commenter wrote, "I have never wondered what a priest wears under his cassock." Good for her - that is because it is a guy thing. Guys wonder what another guy wears under a tunic, kilt, dress, skirt, cassock - what have you. First reason being, they can't imagine wearing stuff like that, and because they wouldn't want to be all exposed if something happened. Well maybe most guys wouldn't give it a thought - but if you ever had to wear something like that, then maybe you would. Obviously Father did.
.
Although I always thought wearing trousers beneath a cassock or a habit must get to be rather warm in the summer, not to mention it seems like over-dressing. I know a motorcycle priest who wears jeans under his cassock - that makes sense. In the monastery, we just wore our underwear beneath the habit - no pants - in winter, we wore long underwear. We changed into work clothes (jeans) when we had to be outside for manual labor, although the monks remaining inside usually stayed in their habits. A Carmelite I knew thought it was distasteful not to wear pants under the habit/cassock - he told me in Italy the friars wore nothing. I don't know how he knew that.
.
Many years ago the monks (Trappists) usually wore long undergarments, like pants and leggings, as well as underwear, and they slept in all of these clothes, including their habits. During the day, as they busied themselves in manual labor, they hitched up their tunics to their belt or a loop on the tunic, maintaining modesty since they were still all covered up, free to perform the task at hand. I suppose some groups of monks may yet wear leggings or pants beneath the habit, but I don't know for sure.
.
Anyway - it's kind of an interesting topic for a blog post, don't you think?

Feast of St. Peter Martyr

In the traditional calendar this day belongs to St. Peter of Verona, my namessake and patron, and I continue to honor him on this day. After the reform of the Roman calendar, St. Catherine of Siena was given prominence. Pity.
.
Art: Fra Bartolomeo: Portrait of Girolamo Savonarola in the guise of Saint Peter the Martyr Firenze, Museo di S. Marco.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Women wearing pants.



Men dressing women.
.
Since most fashion designers seem to be male, one can get the idea that men dictate what women should wear. This may be true on some level, but wearing pants has clearly become a woman's choice and often times a preferential option. (Thanks to women like Coco Chanel.) Fundamentalist Christians and Mormons, as well as some traditionally minded Catholics, consider women wearing pants to be wrong, some claiming it an abomination to the Lord, citing Biblical texts, especially Deuteronomy 22:5, and other passages elsewhere. "A woman shall not wear an article of clothing proper to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's dress..." - Deuteronomy 22:5
.
Anyway. It is very difficult to use this text as an objection for the way men and women dress today - except in the case of drag queens perhaps - but I'm not going there. In ancient times both men and women wore tunics. Proper dress for a woman was a veil or some sort of head covering, and maybe a little pomegranate juice on her lips, with a little oil/wax and lapis powder mixture for eye shadow, along with a soft charcoal eyeliner. Seriously, I think - not sure though - proper dress for a woman was just more modest than for a man - yet they both wore 'dresses'. (Men in tunics or kilts were actually the only ones to wear short skirts.)
.
Much later - this is for Catholics - nuns and monks wore exactly the same habits - only the monks did not wear veils. That said, Eastern Orthodox priests sometimes do wear a veil - I know! Of course, Canon Law instructed women to cover their heads in church, but it is no longer binding - although, once again, some say it is. When it was binding, women wore anything from a piece of Kleenex to a scarf, to a mantilla, or more often in WASP country, a hat. Of course, Hassidic Jewish women must have their head covered as well, and many wear stylish wigs to do so. I digress.
.
Catholic Fundamentalism?
.
So, do some men dictate what a woman should wear? I knew a young lady whose fiancee asked her to start wearing a chapel veil to church, I only found this out because I saw her shopping for one. Teasing her about it she said to me, "I know, but he wants me to try it." After getting married, they are pretty traddy - although I am sure she still wears pants and jeans - not to Mass of course. Some trad guys permit their wives to wear pants in certain circumstances. Some trad women just do so - if they want to. I honestly can't believe this is still an issue with people - but it is.
.
What piqued my attention to this topic was the following comment I found on another blog discussing the difficulties some people may experience getting used to the TLM (Extraordinary Form of Mass). Responding to the writer expressing such difficulties, a commenter answered:
.
"I love that she" (the writer with the problem) "has put so much time into this. And, her reaction is perfectly normal.
.
My wife and I years ago had that reaction at first, but we also couldn’t stomach going to the novus ordo so we kept going. And now we cannot fathom life without it.
.
And these reactions won’t stop here.
.
Once she’s going regularly, she’ll have people suggest she covers her head for Mass and she may reject it. And there will be people suggest she wears a dress or skirt and not pants and she’ll possibly reject that as well. But, slowly, she’ll come to see the beauty behind both practices and lovingly accept them and urge new ladies just like her to do the same.
.
Then, years down the road, if she marries, the traditional ladies will urge her to not work as mothers shouldn’t outside the home, to reject contraception, etc." (Further on, in another comment, the writer suggests women who attend the Ordinary Form of Mass practice contraception, "Yet most who attend Mass outside a TLM are contracepting. No need to debate it—facts are facts.")
.
He continues, "She may struggle with that as well but the TLM and all the graces it provides will help her through that if she has struggles." - Source
.
Another commenter - I think I know who she is - responded to this husband's remarks saying: "Working outside the home? Sorry, but in this economy, your mileage may vary. If it’s simply a question of adopting a simpler lifestyle maybe, but I know plenty of traditional couples where the wife works some hours outside the home. It’s not a “career choice” so that they can spend lavishly, it’s by necessity. It all depends on what your attitudes are toward marriage, children and work. Obviously what kind of work matters too. And women wearing pants? Give me a break! There are practical as well as aesthetic reasons for people’s dress choices. As long as modesty prevails who cares? We aren’t Amish or old church Quakers."
.
(Actually, Quakers are quite liberal and most have no problem with these issues.)
.

Last week I posted a video from a 1950's television show, Mr. and Mrs. North. In that episode, Mrs. North was signing up for modeling classes - just to improve her posture, hair, make-up, and fashion sense. As she was signing the paperwork Mrs. North was asked, "Will your husband permit you to do this?" I laughed because few people would ever ask a woman of today such a thing, except maybe in a church basement, while she and the other women were serving coffee and donuts to the men. (Which is why I titled that particular post, "Brick by brick" - LOL.)

.

All of that said - I see nothing wrong with women wearing pants - anywhere - ever. As I said earlier, I cannot even believe it is an issue in this day and age.
.
Art: An early example of women wearing pants. Women wearing pants really came into its own in the 20th century, especially during WWII when it became more practical for them to do so.

Let's see... whose should I push now?


Monday, April 27, 2009

What killed Cathy's modelling career?

We may never know.
.
But please keep Cath in your prayers as she continues her job search.

Worried about your health?

Bold"I'll give you something to be worried about."
.
Listening, reading, watching the news reports, you would think the pandemic is peaking as we speak. Gosh - get a grip. (Get it - grip?)
.
After all the dire predictions on the economy, do you ever stop and think someone just might want a general panic?
.
I found the following on Western Confucian:
.
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." - H.L. Mencken
.
I agree with Joshua's statement, "I'm worried not about swine flu, mind you, but about those who are stoking fears about it." - The Practical Politics of Swine Flu

Hidden saints.

Simple souls.
.
I watched Rossellini's The Little Flowers of St. Francis once again last night, partly because I am so edified by the simplicity of Br. Juniper. I needed to watch something holy after seeing Fr. Groeschl on Sunday Night Live. Fr. Groeschl, for all of his education and accomplishment is a simple soul, a true Franciscan. Remember, simple souls are not dumb - St. Therese was a simple soul, and she is a Doctor of the Church.
.
This is the one I approve, the lowly and afflicted who heed my Word.
.
That verse is from a psalm, although I can't recall which one. I read it in the Liturgy of the Hours one day at adoration, when I happened to look up and noticed two old ladies. It seemed to me I saw them everywhere the Blessed Sacrament was exposed or the rosary was being recited. They looked rather poor and crippled, even a bit eccentric. I knew they were Third Order Franciscans, and they always had their head covered in church - no veils - just odd little hats. They were Grey Gardens types, but very sweet, meek and humble. I understood these ladies were the types the Lord approves. I also understood why the Franciscans attracted such odd people - it goes back to Francis himself. He was little and odd too, simple and poor, lowly and afflicted, as was Juniper, and John the simple, and Benedict Joseph, and those two old ladies. Misfits.
.
Not a perfect fit.
.
At my parish there is another old lady - one of many actually. She comes to church, minding her own business and prays. She is friends with the others, but she seems to be a bit more on her own. She is a simple soul too. She smokes, I can smell it. Once she told me how much she misses her husband who died a few years ago - we had been talking about a guy who was suffering because his mom died that week. Otherwise she doesn't talk much. I don't know what to say about her, but I know she is a very simple soul. she never complains about church stuff, liturgy, priests. She doesn't talk about holy things, she doesn't seem to know what the latest news is out of the Vatican, but she is faithful. She knows right from wrong. I think that is just fine.
.
The simple lay-brother.
.
Finally, I thought of an old friend, a monk from New Melleray. He was a lay brother named George who worked in the kitchen of the Guesthouse. He had been a medic somewhere, although I'm not sure if he was in the Army, but I know he worked for the Hawthorne Dominicans. He spoke very highly of them, especially Mother Rose, while I 'm not certain if he knew M. Alphonsa, I seem to recall he told me he met her.
.
Br. George was a very kind, generous man, and always had a warm smile for everyone. Once, while on one of my many retreats before entering the monastery, I was helping Br. George clean the dinning room. I can't recall exactly what we were discussing, but he left for a moment and came back and put a $20 dollar bill in my hand. "Here, you may need this."
.
I protested, but he explained to me he received a Social Security check every month and had no other use for it. I was much too proud to admit that I had no money whatsoever, and the $20 surely was needed. I thanked him and said, "God reward you." I cringe at that because it was a pious expression I adopted from the Carmelites, which I used when I wanted to appear spiritual to other people. It wasn't necessarily a conscious case of pretentiousness - more a wanna-be-spiritual thing on my part. It's a beginners thing.
.
Anyway, George stopped sweeping, smiled and sort of looked up to heaven, a tear or two glistening in his eyes, and said, "Oh! He already has. He already has." And he continued sweeping the floor.
.
I'll never forget that.

Sensuality and Catholic spirituality


The principles of lust...
.
There is a tendency amongst some Catholics to exult in what they term the "sensuality of Roman Catholicism". Indeed, the senses are encompassed in Catholic spirituality and worship, nevertheless, scripture and the witness of the saints teaches that our sensuality needs to be mortified, lest our sensual appetites wreak havoc and war against the spirit; once weakened, the spirit becomes bloated by self-indulgence and worldly concerns, leaving us once again enslaved to our passions. As Christians, we may not use our freedom to return to the slavery of the flesh.
.
Chapter 8 of Paul's letter to the Romans teaches these truths clearly. The teaching of St. John of the Cross expounds upon the necessity of self-denial throughout his work, The Ascent of Mt. Carmel. Though written for contemplatives seeking perfection, his doctrine can be accommodated by the ordinary Christian when guided by a good spiritual director. The saint devotes entire passages to demonstrating the harm incurred through sensuality as well as the need to mortify the appetites which arouse it.
.
I am not qualified to explain the doctrine of John of the Cross, nor do I want to spend much time on this subject of sensuality. Although I would like to say that I believe some Catholics deceive themselves, believing they are devout and spiritual, seeking God and living the Gospel, while indulging their sensual appetites in vanities. For instance, a few people may find more satisfaction in the smells and bells and elaborate vestments of a Latin Mass than they do in the worship of God. Others may rejoice and pay more attention to the splendid architecture of churches and finely crafted and ornamented statues than to the saint represented, or the Real Presence within the sanctuary. Still others become inordinately enamored by the physical gifts, grace and beauty they see in their self or another, which left unchecked, can lead directly to sensuality.
.
Sense and sensibility.
.
Now don't get me wrong, such joys are legitimate, some more or less according to one's state in life, nevertheless, all Christians need to practice a certain detachment in their use or enjoyment of sensible goods, and direct one's will to God alone. Christ gave us the sacraments precisely because we are sensible creatures. In fact sensibility is a more precise term than sensuality; I believe sensibility is compatible with virtue, while sensuality degenerates to self-gratification and self-indulgence. Of course, everything created is a grace which should direct our affections to God as our last end. However, what some practice or propose really focuses the affections upon the creature rather than the Creator.
.
I should stop here to explain that I'm actually writing this as a reaction to a post I read on another person's blog, praising the inherent sensuality of Catholicism. It happens to be a very deceptive post.
.
The author shares his views on another writer saying, "Boisvert’s saints are “tactile and sensual,” and their bodies, real or imagined, play a significant part in his religious and erotic life. “My saints are the men of my dreams,” he writes. “They are the companions of my imaginary voyages and my quest for spiritual fulfillment.”
.
His Boisvert seems to understand the saints thus, "Saints are sensual beings, and the forms of piety that they elicit can be equally sensual and sometimes even sexual, in form and content. Anyone who has had the opportunity to observe the veneration of saints’ statues in intensely Catholic cultures – such as Latin ones, for example – is struck almost immediately by the care and attention heaped upon them. They are clothed and bathed, covered with flowers or dripping in bright red droplets of blood, gaudy and almost comical in their painted features, and lit by a reflective glow of a thousand votive candles." - Sanctity and Male Desire, A Gay Reading of the Saints
.
Man, this stuff just twists a whole lot of doctrine and morality around. It is simply bogus spirituality. First of all, devotion to the saints, especially in Latin countries can sometimes be corrupted by superstition or practices long condemned by the Church - this has always been the case, which is why the Church regulates popular piety and devotion. Yes the saints were sensual beings, and most who were not martyrs practiced great self-denial and mortification, sacrificing themselves for Christ and the Gospel. For example, St. Francis of Assisi rolled himself in thorny rose bushes to quell a sudden temptation to sensuality. Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta lived in poverty and continual self denial in her service to the poorest of the poor. I believe the intent of such erroneous "doctrine" as I found on that blog is to generate an illusion of a Catholic homosexual spirituality, wherein homosexual acts are considered good and not sinful. That borders on idolatry. Sorry guys.
.
Finally, the poor man finished his post with quotes from Anne Rice on sensuality and loving.

.

Be on guard against such foolish teachings - just as I once warned about misinterpretations of JPII's Theology of the Body - the devil prowls like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

.

If you want to read John of the Cross on this subject, start at Book III, Chapter 16 of the Ascent of Mt. Carmel. Better yet - if you have questions about what I wrote here - ask your confessor. This stuff isn't easy to interpret sometimes, and I do not mean this post to be an exhaustive study by any means.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Audrey Tautou - Coco avant Chanel

Coco Before Chanel - looks like a great film. Audrey Tautou is perfect.

H/T to Paris Daily Photo.

Our Lady of Good Counsel of Genazzano

Today happens to be Our Lady's feast day. (The feast is celebrated outside Genazzano on 26 April.)
.
The history of the miraculous image of Our Lady of Good Counsel is available on several websites, so I will not go into much detail here.
.
In 1467, on the 25 of April, during celebrations for the feast of San Marco in Genazzano, Italy, a cloud was seen covering a 5th century church dedicated to Our Lady. Shortly after the cloud lifted, the townsfolk, summoned by the church bells, discovered a delicate fresco of Our Lady and the Child Jesus, it was painted upon a very thin piece of unsupported plaster, and floated in a small niche of the church. Later it was revealed the image had been transported by angels from Scutari, Albania, because the region was coming under Islamic control.
.
Today the image still survives, after 500 years, undamaged by earthquakes and war, and it is said a fine thread can be passed on all sides, demonstrating the image remains miraculously suspended.
.
I believe this prodigy as I do the miraculous translation of the Holy House of Loreto.

.

Links:

.


.


.

The new Mexico City Policy?



The Secretary of State was just in Mexico City...

.
"Not to sound paranoid, but there are a few odd things about this virus that are emerging. The most alarming is that it appears to have genetic material from avian flu, human flu, and swine flu. Since flu viruses do not exchange genetic material during their reproductive cycle, how could this be a natural phenomenon?" - Source

.
What? Mrs. Clinton always blames stuff on right-wing conspirators and extremists.
.
Disclaimer - I do not think a potential pandemic is funny, I do not think people dying is funny, I do not believe Mrs. Clinton is responsible. I do seriously wonder if the virus may have been bio-engineered however.

Another patron saint for immigrants and border crossers.



Blessed Ceferino Jimenez Malla, Spanish Gypsy, layman and martyr, popularly known as El Pele, he was also a Third Order Franciscan.
.

In 1936 during the Spanish Civil War, Pele was detained for defending a priest who was being dragged through the streets of Barbastro and for carrying a rosary in his pocket. He refused to throw away his rosary in exchange for his life and thus embraced martyrdom. On August 8, 1936 he was shot while holding his rosary in his hands and shouting, “Long Live Christ the King.” - Source