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, July 04, 2009

Weird politics...



What's the deal with Palin? Is she quitting to head the secessionist movement up in Alaska? Is there some scandal going to break about her?
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Looks to me like she couldn't finish the job she started. So far I haven't been impressed by any woman in politics. Can't think of one I'd want as President.

True friendship

Happy Independence Day.

Another POV on TOB.


Not your ordinary pop-theologian-sex-therapist's POV either...
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Fr. Maurizio Faggioni, OFM, a professor at the top pontifical institute for moral theology, the Pontifical Academy “Alphonsianum,” said in a recent interview with Catholic News Agency that the teachings of the Church suggest “far more prudence” in approaching some of the issues raised by Christopher West in his presentation of the Theology of the Body.
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Faggioni, a Franciscan who teaches at the Alphonsianum, an academy named upon the father of modern Moral theology, St. Alphonsus of Liguori, is one of the most consulted moral theologians and is an advisor to several Vatican dicasteries.
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In a conversation with CNA, Fr. Faggioni explained that some of the issues discussed publicly by West, such as the appropriateness of anal sex or other forms of sexual “foreplay” in married relationships, have to be dealt with using great care, since “the risk is of displacing the attention from marital love and the anthropologic meaning of lovely gestures to merely the genital aspects.”
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“Sexuality,” Fr. Faggioni said, launching into his analysis West's presentation of the Theology of the Body, “is the language of love and this language is authentic only when it is respectful of the meaning of human love.”
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Fr. Faggioni said that “it is simply not true that the traditional Catholic morality supports the use of acts that Thomas Aquinas call contra naturam -against nature- (such as anal sex) as something ordinary.”
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Regarding the practice of blessing the genitals before a sexual relationship, Fr. Faggioni expressed “real perplexity.” “Without doubt, all the body in each one of its parts is God’s creation and deserves honor. We precisely respect our private parts by surrounding them with greater respect and modesty.”
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“In itself,” he continued, “nothing forbids thanking God for the sexual body of oneself or the spouse, but from the perspective of Christian anthropology, it is not right to emphasize the genitals as if our sexuality could be reduced to them. “Love is made with all the body, with the entire person’s humanity, not only with the genitals.”
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“This is not prudishness, but the wisdom of the Church that has time and again demonstrated the importance of discretion and prudence when it comes to sexual issues,” he added. - Finish reading here.
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Art: Adam and Eve - Tamara de Lempicka

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati


July 4 is the feast day of Bl. Pier Giorgio, shown above partying with his friends. [Pier Giorgio is the one wearing the paper hat.]
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Friday, July 03, 2009

Amazing face found on pebble...

Full frontal.
Profile.
Profile detail.

THE FACE IN THE ROCK.
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As I sat in my garden praying the rosary today, I noticed this pebble (shown) amidst the gravel. I tried to ignore it, but I kept looking back at it, no matter how hard I fought against the temptation to curiosity - my eyes were drawn to it. I got up to walk about the yard, yet something pulled me back to the strange little rock which seemed to stand out from the countless other stones. Once I finished my prayers, I picked up the tiny stone and immediately noticed the face. I stared in stunned silence, tears streaming down my face. I dropped to my knees and let out a loud, extended breath.... ohhhhhhhhhhhhh! It was the face of John Paul I! I immediately decided to photograph it - as you can see, my hands were trembling. I mounted the face on a brass orb with a miniscule piece of wax - and suddenly I understood: Volto Santo Padre! Faccio d'luna!
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The face on the moon - John Paul - the prophecy of Malachy - De Medietate Lunae! IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW!
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Rabbits really do dance at midnight.

One dark night...
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Last evening my friends, Puppy and Kitty came by on their way home from Kitty's birthday dinner. Kitty had on a very pretty pink dress with lots of ruffles and petticoats, which filled the front seat of the little truck they drive - her skirt popping up every once in awhile hiding her pretty little face. Puppy of course was wearing the smart little tux he wore at their wedding, along with his little top hat that he cut holes in for his big floppy ears.
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We visited for quite awhile and waved at one another through the bay window. Puppy was on his cell phone with Kitty, and I was in the house on my phone of course. I explained to them that the doors were locked and the cats in bed and I was just going to fix a late supper - I eat very late you know - so we contented ourselves with speaking on the phone and waving through the bay window, laughing and making silly faces. I love guests!
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Later, much later, as I was just getting into bed, I noticed the rabbits prancing about the yard, in circles and roundabouts, sometimes leaping, sometimes rolling. They made their way across the street into the park where they seemed to chase one another zig-zagging their way through the flower beds, almost flipping their way back onto the street. Then suddenly, they became very still, flopping down as if lounging together, perhaps absorbing a bit of the warmth yet remaining in the day-warmed pavement, they appeared to rest. Before I knew it, actually in a split of a split second, with a great leap, one of the rabbits seemed to fly onto the front lawn again, followed in quick pursuit by her partner, dancing about until they finally disappeared into the hedge.
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I remained standing in the dark, gazing out the window for I don't know how long a time, pondering a few stanzas from a poet I love....

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one dark night,
i went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.
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on that glad night,
in secret,
for no one saw me,
nor did i look at anything,
with no other light or guide,
than the one that burned
in my heart...
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but where have you hidden,
beloved, and left me moaning?
you fled like a stag
after wounding me;
i went out calling you,
and you were gone.
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why since you wounded
this heart
don't you heal it?
and why since you stole it from me,
do you leave it so,
and fail to carry off
what you have stolen.
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extinguish these miseries
since no one else can...
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do not hold me bound
with these so strong bonds;
how i long to see
you;
i am so wholly miserable
that i die
because
i do not die.
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After my prayer, as I crawled into bed I whispered to the cats, "rabbits really do dance at midnight!" But they knew that.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Change, change, change...

Mother of Cherilyn Sarkasian LaPier, are these people nuts?!
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In the gay community coming out is a sort of ordination ritual proclaiming, "You are a gay forever, according to the order of... whatever." - and there are no dispensations after that - unless the person decides to go transgender. That doctrine could change however if recent studies can be verified. Heresy you say? Read on...
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"Back in 1973, Dr. Robert Spitzer persuaded the American Psychiatric Association to stop classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder. More than two decades later, the same Dr. Spitzer finds his new research out of step with the prevailing view of homosexuality that he helped create. He says his five-year study of 200 people shows that homosexuals can change their sexual preference.
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“I think I’ve always been somebody who likes to challenge prevailing orthodoxies,” said Spitzer, chief of biometrics research and professor of psychiatry at New York’s Columbia University. “There was an orthodoxy in 1973, and there is a recent orthodoxy in the mental-health profession which makes this kind of a taboo question to even ask.”
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Spitzer’s study of 143 males and 57 females was presented May 9 at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting and since has been met with praise from conservative groups and criticism from homosexual activists. He will also present it to the Catholic Conference on Healing for the Homosexual next month at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons of the Catholic Medical Association, which in November released “Homosexuality and Hope” for Catholic physicians, educators, clergy, parents and mental health professionals, said he feels vindicated by the Spitzer study. “It’s encouraging to see a man of science who is able to document what we are stating.”
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“Homosexuality and Hope” calls homosexuality a preventable and treatable condition and says it is not genetically determined and unchangeable. “Our statement says that there is no such thing as a homosexual identity. ... It is a state of emotional woundedness which can be healed,” said Fitzgibbons, a Philadelphia psychiatrist who helped head the task force that produced the document. " - Continue...
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Shifters.
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Other researchers presented opposing studies showing that their subjects reported suffering mental stress or emotional pain from the treatment used to overcome homosexuality. "Of the few [24 out 202] who succeeded in making changes, Schroeder and Shidlo said six were what researchers called “heterosexual shifters,” people who were able to shift from being attracted to the same gender to the opposite sex. The other 18, they said, continued to struggle with same-sex desires. “Some labeled themselves as heterosexual, eight or nine took no label at all, and many were asexual or celibate,” Schroeder said.
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Shidlo said the study found that most people felt they experienced success early on in their therapy, but failed later: “Some people that we spoke to who failed to change said that had we spoken to them at some point earlier in their journey, they would have told us that they succeeded.” - Same Source
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My thoughts.
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As I've said before - any individual seeking any sort of therapy must be strongly motivated to do so - few in this culture have that motivation - wanting it for them is neither practical or effective. One needs to remember what the Catechism teaches: “Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection” (No. 2359).
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In other words such persons are called to holiness, and by following this path, one's passions are eventually quelled and the person actually begins to experience the freedom of spirit and peace that are the guarantee of the promises of Christ... and persecution besides. Temptations are never absent to anyone in this life however, and in many cases, especially with young people, subsequent falls - but as Catholics we have the assurance of the sacrament of penance to restore us to grace. So not to worry so much about changing orientation - just stay in the state of grace: "Seek first his kingship over you, his way of holiness, and all these things will be given you besides." - Matt. 6:33
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"Do not, then, surrender your confidence; it will have great reward. You need patience to do God's will and receive what he promised." - Hebrews 10: 35-36 (The virtue of patience is sustained by the infused virtue of fortitude and the Holy Spirit's gift of fortitude, if it is lost, we can recover it through the sacrament of penance, this trust in the mercy of God bolsters our confidence.)

The Spendthrifts in Congress...

Nice work if you can get it.
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A couple of weeks ago Barry took Shelley to dinner - in NYC - they live in Washington - but you knew that. Kind of an expensive date, huh?
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Today the WSJ filed an interesting report concerning the extravagant travel budget enjoyed by Congressional representatives, and in some cases - their partners, keep in mind these are some of the same people who blasted auto executives for flying around in corporate jets.
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WASHINGTON -- Spending by lawmakers on taxpayer-financed trips abroad has risen sharply in recent years, a Wall Street Journal analysis of travel records shows, involving everything from war-zone visits to trips to exotic spots such as the Galápagos Islands.
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The spending on overseas travel is up almost tenfold since 1995, and has nearly tripled since 2001, according to the Journal analysis of 60,000 travel records. Hundreds of lawmakers traveled overseas in 2008 at a cost of about $13 million. That's a 50% jump since Democrats took control of Congress two years ago.
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The cost of so-called Congressional delegations, known among lawmakers as "codels," has risen nearly 70% since 2005, when an influence-peddling scandal led to a ban on travel funded by lobbyists, according to the data.
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The Journal analysis, based on information published in the Congressional Record, also shows that taxpayer-funded travel is a big and growing perk for lawmakers and their families. - Story

The Blood of the Lamb

Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent, save us.
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As we now approach the feast and month devoted to honouring Christ's Blood ---- the price of our redemption, the pledge of salvation and life eternal -- may Christians meditate on it more fervently, may they savour its fruits more frequently in sacramental communion. Let their meditations on the boundless power of the Blood be bathed in the light of sound biblical teaching and the doctrine of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. How truly precious is this Blood is voiced in the song which the Church sings with the Angelic Doctor (sentiments wisely seconded by our predecessor Clement VI [10] ) :
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Blood that but one drop of has the world to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin. [11]
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Unlimited is the effectiveness of the God-Man's Blood -- just as unlimited as the love that impelled him to pour it out for us, first at his circumcision eight days after birth, and more profusely later on in his agony in the garden,[12] in his scourging and crowning with thorns, in his climb to Calvary and crucifixion, and finally from out that great wide wound in his side which symbolizes the divine Blood cascading down into all the Church's sacraments. Such sur passing love suggests, nay demands, that everyone reborn in the torrents of that Blood adore it with grateful love.
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If only Christians would reflect more frequently on the fatherly warning of the first pope: "Look anxiously, then, to the ordering of your lives while your stay on earth lasts.
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You know well enough that your ransom was not paid in earthly currency, silver or gold; it was paid in the precious blood of Christ; no lamb was ever so pure, so spotless a victim."[15] If only they would lend a more eager ear to the apostle of the Gentiles: "A great price was paid to ransom you; glorify God by making your bodies the shrines of his presence."[16] Their upright lives would then be the shining ex ample they ought to be; Christ's Church would far more effectively fulfill its mission to men. God wants all men to be saved,[17] for he has willed that they should all be ransomed by the Blood of his only-begotten Son; he calls them all to be members of the one Mystical Body whose head is Christ. If only men would be more responsive to these promptings of his grace, how much the bonds of brotherly love among individuals and peoples and nations would be strengthened. Life in society would be so much more peaceable, so much worthier of God and the human nature created in his image and likeness.[18] - ON PROMOTING DEVOTION TO THE MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, Bl. John XXIII

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Chip 'n Dale reenact...

Islamic extremists behead Christian boys in Kenya.

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 1 (Compass Direct News) – Islamic extremists have beheaded two young boys in Somalia because their Christian father refused to divulge information about a church leader, and the killers are searching Kenya’s refugee camps to do the same to the boys’ father.
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Before taking his Somali family to a Kenyan refugee camp in April, 55-year-old Musa Mohammed Yusuf himself was the leader of an underground church in Yonday village, 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Kismayo in Somalia. He had received instruction in the Christian faith from Salat Mberwa.
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Militants from the Islamic extremist group al Shabaab entered Yonday village on Feb. 20, went to Yusuf’s house and interrogated him on his relationship with Mberwa, leader of a fellowship of 66 Somali Christians who meet at his home at an undisclosed city. Yusuf told them he knew nothing of Mberwa and had no connection with him. The Islamic extremists left but said they would return the next day.
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“Immediately when they left, I decided to flee my house for Kismayo, for I knew for sure they were determined to come back,” Yusuf said.
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At noon the next day, as his wife was making lunch for their children in Yonday, the al Shabaab militants showed up. Batula Ali Arbow, Yusuf’s wife, recalled that their youngest son, Innocent, told the group that their father had left the house the previous day.
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The Islamic extremists ordered her to stop what she was doing and took hold of three of her sons – 11-year-old Abdi Rahaman Musa Yusuf, 12-year-old Hussein Musa Yusuf and Abdulahi Musa Yusuf, 7. Some neighbors came and pleaded with the militants not to harm the three boys. Their pleas landed on deaf ears. - Read the rest here.
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I'm amazed by what Americans consider a hate crime after reading something like this.

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool Helen Thomas

White House Reporters Grill Gibbs Over ‘Prepackaged’ Questions for Obama.
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"The point is the control from here. We have never had that in the White House. And we have had some control but not this control. I mean I'm amazed, I'm amazed at you people who call for openness and transparency and you have controlled..." veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas said Wednesday. - View the video.

Wait a minute, wait a minute!

Snap out of it!
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I decided I'm not going to shut up regarding the truth...
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"...the Congregation took note of the distinction commonly drawn between the homosexual condition or tendency and individual homosexual actions. These were described as deprived of their essential and indispensable finality, as being "intrinsically disordered", and able in no case to be approved of (cf. n. 8, $4).
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In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.
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Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not." - LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE PASTORAL CARE OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS
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Thanks to Ignatius Insight Scoop for the critique of the Obama group hug of the gay community yesterday, I don't feel so alone...
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After so much propaganda, mythology, falsehoods, spin, social pressure, educational programs, television shows, movies, and, now, presidential public relation campaigns, there are still some of us who believe that "homosexual acts [are] acts of grave depravity", they "are intrinsically disordered", they "are contrary to the natural law", they "close the sexual act to the gift of life", and they "do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity." I, for once, still believe, in the words of the Catechism, that "under no circumstances can they be approved." And I also believe, just as strongly, that those with deep-seated homosexual tendencies "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided" (CCC, pars. 2357-9). - A couple of thoughts about Obama's "Hey, You're Gay, Hurray!" Day

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Yeah - It ain't over 'till the fat lady sings.

Dancing on Michael's grave.

The spectacle.
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Everyone is out to make a buck or get themselves on camera - the shot above is the Rev. Al Sharpton dancing at the Apollo in a "celebration" of Michael's life. The black community is obviously very forgiving of Jackson's life-long effort to make himself white - although in the past he was roundly mocked, criticized, and generally disavowed for it.
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Sharpton told the crowd that Jackson "broke down race barriers." He and Director Spike Lee urged the audience to revel in Jackson accomplishments and disregard what they characterized as negative news coverage of the star.
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"Michael made young men and women all over the world imitate us," Sharpton said. "Before Michael, we were limited and ghettoized. But Michael put on a colorful military outfit, he pulled his pants up, he put on the one glove, and he smashed the barriers of segregated music." - Story
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What an opportunist. What a racist.

New focus for the blog.

July.
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June is over and July is here. July is full of feast days I love. Today is the Precious Blood and Bl Junipero Serra. Saturday is Bl. Pier Giorgio, Monday Maria Goretti, and the crown jewel of feasts is July 16, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel... I'll save my fireworks for Our Lady.
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Pride month - the President declared it such - is over. There will be a moratorium on that subject on this blog for as long as I can keep my mouth shut. (And don't start counting the days.) I hate to sound defeatist, but like I said in a post a day or two ago - it's over. Gay marriage, gay education, gay, gay, gay - it's gone mainstream - just like contraception and abortion.

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Better start homeschooling and hurry into the ark.

There are unjust laws to overturn and unfair practices to stop. - Barack Obama



The President closed LGBT Pride celebrations and offered the gay community a bone...
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Gay activists have been pretty upset with the Obama Administration for not moving fast enough with their agenda. Last night Obama may have calmed a few of their fears.
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"President Barack Obama implicitly endorsed the entire homosexual agenda in the remarks he made yesterday commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots by homosexual activists in New York.
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Here is Obama’s blanket endorsement of homosexual rights, delivered near the conclusion of his comments:
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'We must continue to do our part to make progress — step by step, law by law, mind by changing mind. And I want you to know that in this task I will not only be your friend; I will continue to be an ally and a champion and a president who fights with you and for you.'
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Earlier in his talk, delivered at the first-ever “LGBT Pride Month reception” at the White House, Obama provided a detailed shopping list of the specific actions he has made or intends to make in order to accommodate the demands of the homosexual lobby. And the president made some dismissive references to the majority of Americans who continue to oppose the bid by homosexual activists to portray homosexuality as normal sexual behavior and their efforts to redefine marriage to make homosexual unions equal in law to authentic marriages between men and women.
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Said Obama, “There are still fellow citizens, perhaps neighbors or even family members and loved ones, who still hold fast to worn arguments and old attitudes; who fail to see your families like their families; and who would deny you the rights that most Americans take for granted.” - Source
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(When asked how citizens might be convinced to accept gay lifestyles as equal to heteronormal ones, a source close to the White House stated emphatically, "Zhay vill be reprogrammed immejiately!")
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And they all lived happily ever after.
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THE END
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Links:
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REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENTAT LGBT PRIDE MONTH RECEPTION

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Minnesota's newest Senator!


Al Franken
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"I'm good enough, smart enough, and dog-gone-it - 300+ people liked me more than Norm Coleman."
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I never liked either one of you.

Gays Stonewalled in Texas?

Texas Rangers don't tell.
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I came across the story on Ad Dominum. Not one major news agency seems to have picked up the story - which is why I doubted it - but here it is:
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"Seven customers were arrested for public intoxication at a Fort Worth, Texas, gay bar shortly after midnight Sunday.
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Angry gay activists said the incident mimicked the famous police raid on the Stonewall Inn gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village exactly 40 years earlier.

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Fort Worth police released a statement saying they conducted a routine “alcohol beverage code inspection,” not a raid, at the Rainbow Lounge, a gay club that opened for business less than a month ago."
- Source
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Gay news sites are reporting the incident and subsequent protests, but not one major news outlet outside local affiliates has covered it. That is weird on so many levels. The mainstream media is usually very vocal in supporting gay rights, so why the hush?
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I'm not sure what the standards of morality in Fort Worth Texas are, I do seem to recall certain areas in Texas were 'dry' - that is public consumption of alcohol was banned, so the excuse police used "jus checkin' licker inspekshuns" might fly with some - but it shor duz soun luk hairassin' ta me.
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“I’ve worked in gay bars in four different counties in Texas,” Rainbow Lounge bouncer Justin McCarty said in the CBS 11 News story. “I’ve never seen anything this aggressive.” - Source
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If it sounds like harassment, is it?
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"Chad Cox, a bartender for another Fort Worth gay bar called Best Friends, said he was not aware of any complaints of police mistreatment of gay bar patrons in his club or in other gay establishments in Fort Worth.
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He said he has worked as a bartender in mostly straight bars in Fort Worth over the past 20 years and has routinely observed public intoxication arrests.

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“In Texas you can get a PI in a bar,” he said. “You can get a PI walking from a bar to your car. If the cops believe that you’re drunk, they can give it to you any time. That’s Texas.”
- Source
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One man is reportedly in serious condition after being roughed up by police and thrown to the ground, causing a head injury. In all a total of 7 people were arrested at the gay bar, although there was no 'round-up' or closing of the facility as in the case of the historic Stonewall incident. Included in the arrests were intoxicated persons from at least two other straight bars.
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I had friends from Texas who told me (several years ago) this type of thing did take place in various counties, although I never realized it continued to exist. Apparently bar owners used to pay off the cops, and as one commenter on a gay site noted, the raid could have been because the pay-offs weren't made - all speculation and hearsay of course.
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It will be interesting to see what comes of this. My friend at Ad Dominum suggests this is proof the hate crime legislation is needed. Maybe. It could also be that certain power structures such as some local police departments are corrupt and in need of reform. Reportedly Fort Worth's city council seats a gay council member, therefore one would assume if gays have representation in local government, discrimination is not an issue.
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All in all - the story seems surreal in this day and age - it's just a bar. Southerners are weird though - remember a few years back - maybe still - Boss Hog-type State Patrol guys would just stop you for nothing in redneck country?
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Just trying to be fair here.

Watch your purse girls!


See, I'm looking out for you.
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I picked up the following story about a woman stealing from the purses women leave behind in the pew as they approach Holy Communion:
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"Long Island cops say they've caught a woman robbing congregants during church. Patricia Adams saw an opportunity during services at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church – and it wasn't for worship. While a devout parishioner knelt down in prayer, the 46-year-old leaned over a church pew and stole cash from her purse, police said. An usher saw her do it and called the cops." - Story
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I see this all the time ladies - not the stealing, but women leaving their purses in pews, in grocery carts as they pick out produce, on counters in stores, on the seat of their car, hanging over the back of their chair in a restaurant, on their desk in the office, and so on. You can't do that stuff anymore ladies - especially now that the economy is in the toilet - but even when the economy was good you should have been more cautious.
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I think women would do well to take the Queen for their model. Betty never goes anywhere without her purse, she carries it around the house wherever she goes, no matter if she is dusting or vacuuming or doing her workout routine. She takes it to the bathroom, washing dishes, she even takes it to bed. She dances with it, walks around the palace grounds inspecting the guards with it, greets visitors with it - she's never without it.
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Watch your purse girls.

Isolated case...

Gay adoption.
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One of my friends emailed me a news item a week or so ago concerning a gay couple in the UK who sexually abused one or more of their adopted kids. Such isolated cases have popped up in the news over the past couple of years, but they tend to be pretty much ignored - unless it involves a priest or religious of course.
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Sadly another case has emerged: "Sitting in a Durham County jail cell, Frank M. Lombard, the Duke University researcher accused of offering his adopted 5-year-old son for sex, awaits a trip to Washington, D.C., this week to face federal criminal charges. Federal authorities say Lombard, 42, of 24 Indigo Creek Trail, performed sexual acts on his son and invited an undercover investigator online to fly to North Carolina and do the same." - Story
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A 5 year old.

Just when you think you know someone...

Christ's kinsfolk and neighbors thought they knew him; "Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not his sisters our neighbors? [Mk 6:3] They found him to be too much and accused him of being "a glutton and a drunkard, a lover of tax collectors and those outside the law." [Matt 11:19]

Monday, June 29, 2009

The chiden.

Joe and Katherine have filed to get Michael's chiden today. Those poor kids.

World-wide pants...

Over thinking blue jeans.
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A couple of blogs have posts concerning blue jeans and I suppose you could say, their role in the revolution. Don't ask. I have to object when people get historical things wrong and think they know anything about fashion. Oh - lighten up - I'm playing with you. Anyway - in order to set the record straight, I'm posting the following data concerning jeans - the label blue jeans was a later appellation invented in the 1950's and '60's. People of a certain age and education seem to think pop culture was born in the '70's - it wasn't. But I digress.
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Denim jeans were invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873 as a more durable type of waist overalls for working men. They eventually evolved to become the American working man's overall - cheap, affordable, practical. They were born to the working class.
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As cinema became more accessible, and the Westerns became a popular genre, the jean caught on with Americans - in the 1930’s especially. Movie fans admired the manly cowboys and ranch hands who graced the screen in their rough and tumble dust-washed denims - the jean soon became identifiable with manliness.
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Going forward, but before the Last Picture show ended and the Happy Days began, just about every small town kid had a pair of jeans to play in - they just couldn't wear them to school. In the 1950's they were no longer just for work, guys wore them cruising around town, hanging out at the drive-in, and just about every place else they didn't have to dress up for. James Dean perfected them as a sign of teenage rebellion - and so for a time, only hoods wore them... Until the 1960's. (Although there is evidence they had already been picked up by the avante-garde, even in Europe.)
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In the '60's preppy guys like Dobie Gillis did the white jean thing for a time, while beat guys like Maynard G. Krebs hung out in sloppy blues - but by the time the Beatles landed, the blue jean went mainstream. In the late '60's they became uniform, thanks to the hip generation. I suppose it can be argued jeans were identified as a symbol of revolution, like the Mao look - maybe. Yet for the most part they were simply practical, unisex, very available and very inexpensive pants. That is until they became big business and got to be a fashion wholly identified with the United States.
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In the 1970's the fashion industry began its exploitation of the trend, continuing into the '80's as designer labels were sewed on everything; the price surged and the jean suddenly became fashion - American casual became casual chic. Hence, jeans made it to evening wear, both for guys - tux top, jeans and cowboy boot bottom, and for women - anyway they wanted. So in this respect, yes, jeans symbolized freedom from convention, as well as a sort of libertarian spirit. Nevertheless, when blue jeans became a status symbol for the wealthy elite, it seems reasonable to assert that any so-called revolutionary symbolism finally lost its significance as well as any notion of rebellion. That is what fashion is and does.
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Today the jean has evolved and become so popular even the Pope noted its unifying dimension across nationalities. It is no different today than the Roman toga was to its time - I'm playing loose with Roman history here - but the jean has become a style that is as commonplace as a pair of flip-flops. I doubt anyone wears blue jeans with any consciousness or intention of rebellion, revolution, or egalitarianism. We just wear them - just like the t-shirt. And although the fashion industry still likes to capitalize on the status appeal - the proletariat has smartened up and returned to the commie-loving-Jew-manufactured basic jean, in regular or loose fit, depending on your taste and size.
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No offense, but this is not an important issue whatsoever - so don't take it too seriously. Change the world - ban jeans. LOL! Oh, and BTW, pierced ears for men did not start with gay men cruising bars - the modern trend developed in hippie culture, probably somewhat rooted in an appreciation for Elizabethan fashion, as well as a slight nod to neo-paganism. Gays didn't invent everything, they just know how to market it.

It's over.


What's over?
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It's over. We are definitely in the post-Christian era. Even Fr. Blake seems to have noted it (Although not quite in the same sense I have.):
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"I had to concede the battle is lost in the UK, and for that matter most of Europe, over abortion, over the family, over adoption. Catholics are increasingly finding it difficult to work in the health service, in certain areas of social services, soon maybe in education. Many of our flagship charities seem to be less than faithful to the magisterium. We are fighting a rear-guard action to save our schools, if militant secularists remain in government that battle could soon be lost too." - Source
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They have legislated morality while they were telling Christians morality can't be legislated. They say there is a generation gap now. A recent poll suggests most young people (18-29) have no use for religion, It appears they have been educated to reject the old morality and social conventions regarding lifestyle, definition of family, and so on - in other words, the revolution of my generation worked. Same-sex marriage will be universally legalized, abortion will remain an option in birth-control and gender selection, and for those to whom religion is a "nice thing" - barring any intervention by Islam - it will be remain the relativistic version of neo-Pantheism modern culture and religion has evolved towards. In the U.S. it is reported the 18-29 year old demographic is largely responsible for putting Barack Obama in office, which may indicate they must agree with his policies. (So they must be the new they now.)
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So anyway. The old saying appears to apply here; the genie is out of the bottle - it has been for quite sometime - society and culture is on its own trajectory. The dividing lines have fallen, the sheep and the goats are taking their places. This isn't meant to be defeatist however, I think it is great that Catholics work to try to take back culture and tradition, but I can't help think back to the early Christians in pagan Rome, conversion happened one person at a time, one family at a time, one community at a time. It was the fire of divine love, burning in the hearts of the laity, that contributed to the spread of Christianity - accompanied by martyrdom - that was how they evangelized culture. As a commenter stated on Fr. Blake's post:
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"I think if we could be transported back to the 1st or 2nd century Roman Empire, we would find our fellow Christians not even attempting to convert the whole empire by changing its laws and culture. I think their emphasis may have been more individual-to-individual contact, converting individual Romans, until the Christian "salt" had seasoned so many people that the empire, as a whole, could change. In other words, conversion of a culture is from the bottom upward." - Source

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So. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

Santo subito...

Oh shut up - I'm kidding.

What?


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Three Little Pigs 1961 - Fractured Fairy Tales

Did you see what I saw?

Virtues and the contrary vices.

Peabody here.
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It seems to me that many people appear to go along in life somewhat unconscious or oblivious to the moral virtues. The acquired moral virtues are obtained by the practice of moral acts directed by natural reason and human goodness, while infused moral virtues are supernaturally placed in the soul at baptism. We can lose these infused moral virtues through sin - vices contrary to the virtue, yet they are restored to the soul through the sacrament of penance. I think confessors and spiritual directors might agree that even with penitents striving to amend their lives, many often do not focus a great deal of attention upon the acquisition or development of the virtues. Understanding their importance can often be far from one's thoughts in the everyday occupations and diversions which comprise our lives. Even with prayerful persons eager for contemplative graces proper attention can be lacking.
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Spiritual writers point out that the importance of virtue is made manifest by the vice or sin that is it's opposite. Although many people tend to focus on eliminating a particular vice, they may not understand the need to understand and practice the mortification necessary to acquire the virtue opposed to it. I may not be explaining this well, but take for instance a guy who has a problem with chastity. He may not understand that chastity is connected to the moral virtue of temperance, which corresponds to the Holy Spirit's gift of fear - fear of the Lord. Connected, or allied to the cardinal virtue of temperance and the virtue of chastity are the virtues of humility and meekness - which when accompanied by mortification, act as the guardian of chastity. Of course, all of the virtues are necessary for perfection, and these "human virtues are rooted in the theological virtues, which adapt man's faculties for participation in the divine nature." - CCC 1812
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I don't want to make this too long however. So, for what it is worth, this is the point I was going for: Temperance, and it's allied virtues of sobriety and chastity, meekness and humility is opposed by the contrary vices of intemperance, lust, anger, pride, and curiosity. Taking all of these things into consideration, wouldn't you say that the LGBT Pride movement is inherently sinful and in total opposition to Christian perfection? I'm even thinking that intemperance may be the predominant fault, or underlying vice of homosexualism, since it is dominated by pride, lust, anger, and curiosity.

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Just a thought - take it with a grain of salt.

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I bet you didn't even know I was going there, did ya. LOL!

Sermonizing Michael.

Sunday morning.
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Friday night I got really pissed over some of the goody-two-shoes remarks about Michael Jackson that were popping up immediately after his death had been announced - well, in the first 24 hours after his death. I only came across one religious person's critique that I found acceptable, and it was by a rabbi. I also noted on another blog (whose owner recently posted on the niceties of a gay pride celebration) a link the author posted to some sort of preacher-man referring to the media event, and possibly the star's life, as a product of freak show culture - I didn't really read it close - but I shot back in exasperation (just like people so often do with me BTW). I left this comment:
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"Speaking of freak show culture - the Minneapolis Gay Pride celebration takes place this weekend..' Adapting a line from the post I added, 'There are plenty of folks who think America is a Christian nation. I’d like to ask them: What does The Gay Pride Parade of drag queens and leather queens and male strippers say about our country, our culture, and our celebrity-crazed nation’s spiritual health?'. See how this bible-banger shit works?"
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I wasn't interested in a response, but between that and a comment left here by someone else, "I laughed when I heard he died." I decided to turn off comments on the blog for awhile.
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After I cooled down a bit, I realized once again I'm no better than anyone else, and once again I found out the hard way that I always, always forget that. ALWAYS! I can be just as holier than thou as the next blogger; sermonizing on this or that, laughing at this person and that eccentricity, criticizing this or that behavior - because I've been there done that, getting all scandalized after someone gets caught not living up to their profession of faith - forgetting my own hypocrisy, and so on. This is one reason why non-religious folks hate religious people - it isn't always because we are such saintly disciples of Christ. So anyway...
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I'm bad.
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Enough said. I get pissed - I get over it. Hey, but now it's really going to hit the fan - the soap opera has taken off! Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton have honed in on the Jackson clan for their close-up. Janet and the rest of the family are already at the house clearing stuff out before the creditors get their hands on Michael's personal possessions - and Michael isn't even buried yet. It's gonna be like a huge chase scene in a movie, a huge brouhaha unlike any ever witnessed - maybe like the ending of "It's A mad, Mad Mad World".
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How queer.
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And yep - today really is gay pride in Minneapolis. Today is the anniversary of Stonewall, the name given the 'riots' which took place outside the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in NYC in 1969. (It is still a dive BTW.) I remember the event well - it was all over the news and the talk of morning coffee at Dayton's. Young people and foreigners may not know this, but in those days gay bars were often owned or protected by the mob or some crooked underground organization - just like strip joints and bathhouses were. The cops - here in Minneapolis and Manhattan - were paid-off, bribed to turn a blind eye. At the time NYC was undergoing one of it's moral face lifts when Stonewall erupted - the cops had been harassing the seedier gay bars at the time. Stonewall was a dive, a sleaze joint; drags, hookers, druggies, and neighborhood gays frequented the place. It was a shade shady, the cops raided, the queens protested and threw rocks and got arrested.
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Gay people around the country took notice, not a few denounced it privately - believe it or not, privacy still existed back then - but the event did indeed spark a movement. The rest is history of course, oftentimes mythologized beyond recognition, which is why today has become the gay Cinco de Mayo. Only these days critics are no longer free to call it - for fear of hate mongering - a great big freak show.
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The Whore of Babylon. (One last bible-bang for your buck.)
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Pop culture is a funny thing - we are all part of it - or at least touched and influenced by it, like it or not. Catherine of Genoa referred to it as "The contagion of the world's slow stain". John of the Cross was more explicit: "Where does this poisonous harm fail to reach? And who fails to drink little or much from the golden chalice of the Babylonian woman of the Apocalypse? ...There is hardly anyone of high rank or low, saint or sinner, who does not drink of her wine, subjecting his heart somewhat. For as pointed out in Revelation 17:2-4, all the kings of the earth were inebriated with the wine of her prostitution. She reaches out to all states, even the supreme and illustrious state of the priesthood, by setting her abominable cup in the holy place, as Daniel asserts [Dn. 9:27], and she hardly leaves a strong man who has not drunk a small or large quantity of wine from her chalice..." - Ascent III, 22:4
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(Comments off for another day or so.)

The year of the priest and stuff.


I discovered this graphic on Jackie's blog - I like it very much, don't you?
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I went to a different church for the vigil mass last evening. I decided beforehand I'd go and put on a front like the scary old guy who lived next door to the kid in Home Alone. I figured if I'm unfriendly looking enough and sit way in the back, people will will not want to come over to me and tell me about their visions.
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At the sign of peace some Miss-Glad-Hands old lady walks about 15 pews back to shake my hand. Then at the end of Mass she special delivers a bulletin back to me. And what did I do? I acted all nice and polite and smiley and grateful.
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I don't know what I'm going to do now.