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, August 15, 2009

Goin' to work.

I knoooooooooooooooooooooow!
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Photo credit: The Sartorialist

The culture of dissent.

WDTPRS: What the Pope really says... Or: Why do we need his Definitions defined for us by amateurs anyway?
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The culture of dissent seems to have been born of the spirit of Vatican II - not from the Council itself - the Council did not call Catholics to a state of perpetual questioning of authority. Just as the irregularities and novelties associated with the Novus Ordo were developed after the Council. It is very easy for us to read the documents - or better put - other's interpretation of them, and assign blame or praise to the Council itself. This is what many traditionalists have done, as well as those of us who find some of the post-Councillor reforms to have been implemented badly. On the other hand, dissidents have made an idol of personal freedom, conscience, and dissident theory - convinced the Council set some sort of revolutionary standard.
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Blessed John XXIII, revered by dissidents and faithful Catholics alike, never intended the Council to overthrow the authority of Church teaching. In his opening statements to the Council Fathers the Pope said:
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"In calling this vast assembly of bishops, the latest and humble successor to the Prince of the Apostles who is addressing you intends to assert once again the Church's Magisterium [teaching authority], which is unfailing and perdures until the end of time, in order that this Magisterium, taking into account the errors, the requirements, and the opportunities of our time, might he presented in exceptional form to all men throughout the world.15
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The greatest concern of the ecumenical council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously." 17
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The Holy Father will have much to suffer.
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Every successive Pope has suffered and labored to not only safeguard, but promulgate all that accords with the perennial teaching of the Faith. Many traditionalists like to say the Council did not formulate any dogma, or promulgate any specific teaching, or condemn any heresy, and therefore one is not obliged to accept the documents as infallible. Of course, the cafeteria Catholic also seems to think dissent was declared an infallible right, calling anyone and everyone to dissent from any Church discipline or teaching they happen to disagree with, or that doesn't accord with popular culture. So in essence - the culture of dissent, a corruption of the concept of sensum fidei, has infected every aspect of the Christian life - bearing similarities to the confusion which was the result of the Protestant Reformation.
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That said, as faithful Catholics, we are called to submit to the Pope, Christ's Vicar.
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"This loyal submission of the will and intellect must be given in a special way to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he does not speak ex cathedra, in such wise, indeed, that his supreme teaching authority be acknowledged with respect, and that one sincerely adhere to the decisions made by him, conformably with his manifest mind and intention, which is made known principally either by the character of the documents in question, or by the frequency with which. a certain doctrine is proposed, or by the manner in which the doctrine is formulated." 25
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It is indeed true that within the Council debates heated discussions took place, cardinal was against cardinal, theologians and periti proposed this or that, but in the end, when all the votes were counted and the final draft of the documents were agreed upon and signed, they were then promulgated by the Pope - hence the documents are binding. This is what our current Holy Father is emphasizing in seeking to implement the authentic teaching of the Council and not simply the spirit of Vatican II.
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As Ralph McInerny said:
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"Unfortunately, some theologians, particularly moral theologians, for reasons we will examine in subsequent chapters, have simply rejected this clear teaching of Vatican II. They have come to see their role as one of criticizing, passing judgment on, and even dismissing magisterial teaching.
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There is no surer protection against this attempted usurpation than the documents of Vatican II themselves and particularly the passages just quoted from the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium.26
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There is, of course, something odd in the effort to quarrel with what are obviously teachings of the Church and therefore require religious assent from Catholics. It is almost as if the aim were to discover how little one need believe. But surely, as Vatican II urges, it should be the mark of Catholics that they take on the mind and heart of the Church and show gratitude for God's great gift of the Magisterium.
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...to advise Catholics to ignore clear magisterial teachings is to advise them to reject the clear teaching of Vatican II. How ironic that the council should be invoked as warrant for dissenting from the Magisterium when it is precisely the council that rules this out.
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To accept Vatican II is to accept what the council says about the Magisterium and the Catholic's obligation to obey it. - What Went Wrong With Vatican II - Ralph M. McInerny. (All quotes in italics have been taken from his essay.)
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Therefore, all things considered, I think it goes without saying that Humanae Vitae is infallible teaching. Even though dissenters have said no since the document was promulgated, which in my opinion accounts for much of the immorality we see today.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Terry at Idle Speculations has several posts with lovely art for the feast of the Assumption, accompanied by wonderful stories from tradition.

Friday, August 14, 2009

St. Maximilian

August 14 is the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe.

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Fr. Kolbe is famous for establishing the Militia of Mary Immaculate and promoting total consecration to Our Lady.

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Consecration to Our Lady is not complicated.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Catholic tea party...


OH!!!! MY!!!! GOSH!!!!
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I just stumbled upon a blog with photos of a bunch of Catholic women at a tea party - in the middle of the day... I think the blog background was pink with lace and flowers and the women were kind of pre-20th century looking... all sweet and proper and... traddish?
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It was awful. Horrible. Dreadful. Stepfordish.

What does the priest really do when he is not online?



WDTPRS?
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I'm kidding! I love Father!
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Story here.

Hermits.


Idiorrhythmic monks.
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That is a term used in the East to describe Orthodox monks and hermits who essentially do their own thing. Well kind of - it is a bit more complicated than that however. Suffice it to say it generally implies laxity and some level of corruption of the monastic ideal - I'm not talking corruption as in vice, but deviation from traditional cenobitism... which in my book amounts to doing your own thing. Private, personal piety sets the tone - although in the generally unstable modern aspirant - one may prefer to say it evolves. Very smart, long term idiorrhythmic monks or nuns may therefore consider themselves to be highly evolved. And indeed they may be - only God knows.
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In the East monks can be distinguished by four categories; eremetic, semi-eremetic, cenobitic, and idiorrhythmic. I suppose one might say that idiorrhythmic observance came about by degrees and accommodation to modern life, though it dates back to the 14th century in Greece, a period of decline. However, there is no time like the present for decadence in religious observance. We live in unsettled and unstable times, when theology and liturgy is corrupted, therefore religious life itself will show signs of strain and corruption.
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I'm not offering a critique of modern monasticism or religious life, but I've been thinking about it since my post regarding Br. Roger of Taize, wherein I mention monastic life and got a couple of replies which led me to once again review what I know about contemporary gyrovagues - as Benedict might describe them - or the idiorrythmic monks, nuns, hermits, what have you, that seem to abound today. I'm no expert of course, just a guy with an opinion - who happens to have known many characters who aspired to their own special form of monastic/heremetic life. Some persevere, others do not - and not a few are characterized by a noticeable lack of stability.
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Today anyone can call themselves a monk, a nun, a hermit, an anchoress, what have you, and remain living in their house or apartment, keeping their job or living off of donations or, as seems to be the case lately, supporting themselves through some online business. Nothing is wrong with that either. Others go off to a little piece of property and build a hermitage and a chapel and if they have the bishop's approval, they some times provide space for retreats. Getting the local bishop's approval isn't always that hard and does indeed provide a level of legitimacy to the hermit's life. After all, there are provisions in Canon Law for private hermits, consecrated virgins, and so on. It must be said that many modern hermits have responded to a call or spiritual direction indicating to them that they devote their lives to seeking God in solitary prayer. The bishop's blessing confirms the vocation and the Church recognizes it.
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Nevertheless, many times the religious observance can only be defined as idiorhythmic as opposed to authentic eremitism in the traditional sense - in fact it is usually semi-eremetic at best - but nearly always idiorrhythmic. Again - a personalized cell rule is necessary - although amendments frequently find their way in. "I need a juicer now!" Or, "I need a new blackberry." Life goes on, I know.
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I've known one nun in particular who has moved from diocese to diocese - perhaps unhappy with the former bishop, or to be closer to friends? I don't know. But she always has to set up new housekeeping and facilities. I've known monks like this as well - not you Father. To be fair, I also know generous lay people who have consecrated their lives and live an edifying life as semi-hermits, or full-fledged hermits - away from cities and towns - quite like genuine hermits. Nevertheless, most if not all, live quite comfortably - and even go on vacation from time to time.
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I might mention I also know communities who live an eremetic life in cities - much like the Little Brothers or Sisters of Jesus, whose life is inspired by the monastic example of Bl. Charles de Foucauld. One group I'm familiar with follows the Rule for Hermitages as written by Francis of Assisi - albeit added to with their own constitutions. I'd call their life semi-eremetic, although they consider themselves hermits and contemplatives - another term that may often be used in vain - I think.
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Please - don't get me wrong, all of that is fine, and the more recognition and approval by the Church one receives the better - one's life is regularized and legitimized through canonical status or diocesan approval. And for some, status is an issue. Some may think of themselves as finally having a job, a meaningful position, a status because they can identify themselves as a hermit or an anchoress. It all can sound and appear rather romantic, like a tiny, precious illuminated manuscript, the hermitage within looms in one's imagination like a tiny little cottage nestled in a clearing of a thick woods, self-sustained and contained... From which the hermit can come and go at will, watch TV, listen to music, surf the Internet, email friends, entertain guests - just like me in my little house. Wow! I could be a hermit too.
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I could be a hermit too?! I rarely go out except to the store and church for Mass and confession and adoration. I pray and study and paint icons and religiously themed works, I garden... I must be a hermit - right in the middle of a city. Of course - there are hermits everywhere and anywhere now days - in fact the man in the cubicle next to you may be a hermit - with a condominium of course - or a room in his parent's basement, and he may even have initials after his name... sosf, ocds, osbs.
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I realize third orders and pious associations are charisms provided for the sanctification of the faithful, as well as the edification of the Church. As most of my readers know, I am a third order Franciscan. Nevertheless, I don't know why it is so hard for some people just to be Roman Catholic - whether part of a group or not. I don't know how or why they miss the greatness of ordinary life. That is why I admire Opus Dei - they never sport an external sign of their spiritual affiliation or status - they simply blend into ordinary society.
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Pray for vocations though - we desperately need real vocations to the religious life and the priesthood.
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Please note: This post is based upon personal experience, observation and opinion. It is a generalization and not addressed to specific persons.
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Art: St. Onufrius.
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Link:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

All quiet on the Midwestern front?



'Catholic' Coalition for Church Reform?
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Not so fast Sr. Mary Michael.
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I thought things were a little too quiet locally, and I was right. This from the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis:
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It has come to the attention of the Archdiocese that a group calling itself the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) is planning a 2010 ‘synod’ in the Archdiocese entitled, ‘Claiming Our Place at the Table’.
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While the agenda for the proposed synod purports to be an exploration of the role of baptized Catholics within the institutional Church of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, it is not being conducted under the auspices of the Archdiocese, the universal Roman Catholic Church, or any entity or organization affiliated with the Archdiocese or the universal Roman Catholic Church.
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The Archdiocese wishes it to be known that the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, the 2010 synod, and individuals endorsing the same, are not agents or entities of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis or the Roman Catholic Church. Moreover, the Archdiocese wishes to lovingly caution those members of the faithful participating in the ‘work/study groups’ and intending to attend the synod of the potential that the issues on which CCCR will seek reform are magisterial teachings of the Church, and are therefore to be believed by divine and catholic faith. The Archdiocese also wishes to remind the faithful of its need to shun any contrary doctrines, and instead to embrace and retain, to safeguard reverently and expound faithfully, the doctrine of faith and morals proposed definitively by the magisterium of the Church. - Catholic Spirit
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It is good to know.

Painting Fatima

This is the icon I did of the Apparition of the Mother of God at Fatima for Fr. Frederick Miller who had been the Director of the Blue Army in New Jersey at the time (1991). I publish it now since I am working on a panel depicting the secret of Fatima, which as everyone knows, consists of three parts - not 3 separate secrets. I surprised myself having nearly forgotten this panel, to review the variety of experience by the seers I attempted to illustrate within the composition. My current work is much more surreal, although just as naive as this icon I painted so many years before.

I have no idea if the icon remains at the shrine in New Jersey. So much has happened there since Fr. Miller left. It was quite an odd place, rather cult-like I think. I knew a former nun from there who left because of irregularities within the community of the Handmaids of the Immaculate Heart of Mary - a group which has since been suppressed. The former religious told me how Fr. Miller had been disliked by the establishment at the Blue Army, and suspected of being a liberal.

Anyway - I completely forgot I had painted this and laughed because I also painted the Trinity in my new panel in a rather similar fashion. The similarity ends there - right now I will tell you that the icon shown is better than my current work. Interestingly some folks thought the girls in the image presented above appeared to be Muslim, because of their prayer position and the veils - I never made that connection - although the name Fatima itself is Muslim - Mohammed's daughter in fact.

Anyway - the above panel illustrates two parts of the secret, the vision of hell and the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The background vignettes portray two of the preparatory apparitions of the angel which took place before the actual apparition of Our Lady on May 13, 1917.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bark like a dog.

Maybe Chaz Bono could get turned on - but this cleavage shot is supposed to get Angela Merkel votes? Germans are kinky aren't they?


I'm worried about the Kat.

Crescat - AKA Carolina Cannonball - AKA Kat - needs prayers. She was hospitalized with a torn artery - I heard she is now home. She is a single mom with a small son - so she needs our prayers. I'm praying - please pray. Torn arteries are serious - but I don't know anything about Kat's.

Santa Chiara di Assisi

Today is the feast of St. Clare of Assisi, the protege of St. Francis, together they founded the Order of Poor Clares, at one time one of the most austere order of contemplative nuns in the world. Today many monasteries of strict observance continue to thrive - and I suspect the monastic life lived within those enclosures corresponds well to the original charism of St. Clare.
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In Clare's time their poverty was extreme and the nuns slept in dormitories. St. Clare's love of Jesus crucified was so intense, her asceticism seemed to know no bounds, to the extent that Holy Father St. Francis commanded her to temper it.
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Despite the arduous penances she imposed upon herself, the fasting and the vigils, amidst such extreme poverty, St. Clare was a loving mother to her nuns and exercised her duties as abbess with great tenderness and care, providing for her daughters in all of their needs. Her joyful demeanor and loving accessibility lightened the yoke of obedience and imparted to her nuns the gift of joy - a characteristic seen amongst all Poor Clares to this day.
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For me, the feast of St. Clare is always an occasion of joy. Happy feast day.

Monday, August 10, 2009

See - we can all snap occasionally.


"Whadya mean? I'm the Schecaterry of State, not that womanizing son of a bit - wha? Huh? Ask Bill if ya wanna know what trha hell he's doin' for his damn birthday! I'm the Schecaterry - Chelsea - get your mother another cocktail! An' make it a big one!"
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"The Jews! The Jews!"

"So, a rabbi and a cop were walking..."
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This is a weird story - rabbis trafficking in human organs and money-laundering. It almost sounds like part of the Elders of Zion myth, or those medieval Christian horror stories of Jews sacrificing Catholic children and drinking their blood. So I have to question if these reports are perhaps exaggerated or even false... could such stories help to reignite anti-semitism? Remember how The Passion of the Christ unleashed such violence against Jews? (I don't either.) At any rate, the story appears to be an isolated incident - and if anything, it demonstrates how corrupt New Jersey is.
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The Brooklyn man arrested for organ trafficking in connection with a massive federal corruption and money laundering sting is described a "thug" who reportedly pulled a gun on kidney "donors" who were getting cold feet, according to a Daily News report Friday.
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Levy-Izhak Rosenbaum allegedly bought kidneys from impoverished people overseas for $10,000 and turned them around for $160,000 in the U.S., according to the newspaper. His operation was first brought to the attention of the FBI seven years ago by Nancy Scheper-Hughes, a University of California, Berkeley anthropologist who studied human organ trafficking.
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She described Rosenbaum to the Daily News as "the main U.S. broker for an international trafficking network." One of her sources, a man who worked with Rosenbaum, said he would pull a pistol on nervous kidney sellers, telling them "You're here. A deal is a deal. Now, you'll give us a kidney or you'll never go home."
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Rosenbaum became part of the federal corruption probe, which netted more than 40 people, including rabbis and elected officeholders from New Jersey and New York, after an FBI informant crossed paths with him and learned of his organ trafficking operation. - Full Story
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Yeah. I only bring it up because I found the story on Pewsitters and they link their story to the one on Catholic Forum - Fisheaters.com
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Whaddya willing to bet...

What's going on?

A long digression... (To use the words of the Pope regarding Caritas in veritate: "This may be hard to follow - I packed a lot in it".)
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Back in 1972, when I first returned to the Church, I had no greater respect for nuns, priests, and bishops than I had before my conversion when I considered myself anti-Catholic and non-Christian. In my mind, returning to the Church and the sacraments meant returning to Christ Himself. I was under no illusion whatsoever regarding the frail humanity of His ministers - though deserving of respect because they acted in persona Christi - I knew that they were still men and not angels or saints - with few exceptions. In other words, I was unable to shake off completely my anti-clerical tendencies and mistrust of authority, although I never let it get in the way of my search for God. Such impediments quickly dissipated as I became more and more devoted to the Mass and the sacraments, and found good, holy priests who guided me in the faith and prayer.
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I never got into debates about the liturgy or theology - I deliberately avoided all of that - although I frequently found it necessary to defend my attachment to liturgical prayer - the office, Catholic translations of Scripture, the Rosary and Eucharistic adoration, the sacrament of penance - all of that traditional pre-Vatican II stuff. (Remember - it was 1972.) I stayed away from the Wanderer types - since it seemed to me at the time - religion for them was so much about defending tradition against the changes of Vatican II. And yep, the progressives seemed all about denigrating the traditionalists. I stayed out of the fray - I preferred to pray. If a parish got too liberal, I went elsewhere. If some one invited me to get involved - personally or in a group... I moved on.
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What went wrong? How did I get here? How did I get sucked into the fray? What difference does my opinion make?
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Traditionally when one entered Carmel, or any strictly enclosed contemplative order, the person was gone - they disappeared behind the enclosure wall - they were 'hidden with Christ in God' - their discourse was no longer with the world - their conversation was in heaven. I always felt called to that, even as a layman. Theological and liturgical debates were for the experts - not me. But today everyone gets involved - and I got swept into it. I've lost my early love - I've sought myself and not Christ. I've left the interior enclosure and got caught up in worldly conversation. I've turned into Lot's wife - I've looked back at those perishing and my heart has turned to stone.
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I don't know how or why a Carmelite nun can have a blog. I don't know how or why cloistered monks and nuns surf the net. I don't know how or why people who claim to be religious without controlling their keyboard can keep blogging, posting on Facebook, twittering on Twitter. I don't know how religious people can go on attacking and tearing one another to pieces while claiming to be traditional, devout, and good. And I don't know why I do what I do either.
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Yeah. So. The pope encourages people to blog - to evangelize online. That makes it all okay then I suppose...
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"Yesterday I asked him whether Our Lord had more than one nature. He said: 'Just as many as you say, Father.' Then again I asked him: 'Supposing the Pope looked up and saw a cloud and said 'It's going to rain', would that be bound to happen?' 'Oh, yes, Father.' 'But supposing it didn't?' He thought a moment and said, "I suppose it would be sort of raining spiritually, only we were too sinful to see it.'" - Fr. Mowbray, Brideshead Revisited
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Moving on...
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Yesterday I got an email from a good friend asking advice about something 'ecumenical' - kinda, sorta. I responded saying, "Go ahead, the Pope gave Communion to Roger of Taize." My friend's dilemma was nothing as serious as all of that, although she responded that Roger had been baptized Catholic. I did not know that - although did you know all baptized Christians are baptized Catholic? Kinda, sorta - if the formula is Trinitarian and by water - it is the same - in kind - as Catholic baptism, if the person is received into the Church - the baptism is recognized. I'm not getting into any discussion on that, so save your keyboard.
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That is as Catholic as Roger's baptism got. The pope(s) did give him Communion however, which sent trads reeling. I didn't reel - but I did wonder about it. Therefore this morning I investigated further. Cardinal Kasper cleared up the controversy last year in an interview with Sandro Magister. (I'll print excerpts below - my apologies for such a long post - if you aren't interested in Br. Roger, suffice it to say the issue is what generated this post - I find it all very confusing and I've concluded I need to return to my 'simple regard' for Christ and let the politics in the Church play out without my input.)
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The issue at hand: Was Br. Roger Schutz Catholic? The Pope(s) seem to think so. As does Cardinal Kasper.
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"Born in a Reformed family, Brother Roger had studied theology and had become a pastor in that same Reformed tradition. When he spoke of “the faith of his origins,” he was referring to that beautiful blend of catechesis, devotion, theological formation and Christian witness received in the Reformed tradition. He shared that patrimony with all his brothers and sisters of Protestant affiliation, with whom he always felt himself deeply linked. Since his early years as a pastor, however, Brother Roger sought at the same time to nourish his faith and his spiritual life at the wellsprings of other Christian traditions, crossing certain confessional limits in doing so. His desire to follow a monastic vocation and to found for this purpose a new monastic community with Christians of the Reformation already said a lot about this search of his.
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As the years passed, the faith of the prior of Taizé was progressively enriched by the patrimony of faith of the Catholic Church. According to his own testimony, it was with reference to the mystery of the Catholic faith that he understood some of the elements of the faith, such as the role of the Virgin Mary in salvation history, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharistic gifts and the apostolic ministry in the Church, including the ministry of unity exercised by the Bishop of Rome. In response to this, the Catholic Church had accepted that he take communion at the Eucharist, as he did every morning in the large church at Taizé. Brother Roger also received communion several times from the hands of Pope John Paul II, who had become friends with him from the days of the Second Vatican Council and who was well acquainted with his personal journey with respect to the Catholic Church. In this sense, there was nothing secret or hidden in the attitude of the Catholic Church, neither at Taizé or in Rome. During the funeral of Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Ratzinger only repeated what had already been done before him in Saint Peter’s Basilica, at the time of the late Pope. There was nothing new or premeditated in the Cardinal’s act.
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In a talk he gave in the presence of Pope John Paul II in Saint Peter’s Basilica during the young adult European meeting in Rome in 1980, the prior of Taizé described his own personal journey and his Christian identity with these words: “I have found my own Christian identity by reconciling within myself the faith of my origins with the Mystery of the Catholic faith, without breaking fellowship with anyone.” In fact, Brother Roger never wanted to break “with anyone,” for reasons which were essentially linked to his own desire for unity and to the ecumenical vocation of the Taizé Community. For that reason, he preferred not to use certain expressions like “conversion” or “formal” membership to describe his communion with the Catholic Church. In his conscience, he had entered into the mystery of the Catholic faith like someone who grows into it, without having to “abandon” or “break” with what he had received and lived beforehand. The meaning of some theological or canonical terms could be discussed endlessly. Out of respect for the faith-journey of Brother Roger, however, it would be preferable not to apply to him categories which he himself considered inappropriate for his experience and which, moreover, the Catholic Church never wanted to impose upon him. Here too, the words of Brother Roger himself should suffice for us." - Cardinal Kasper: Chiesa
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Some times when it rains spiritually, it pours. Speaking of Br. Roger, Pope Benedict stated:

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"He often came to visit me and, as I already said in Rome on the day of his assassination, I received a letter from him that moved my heart, because in it he underlined his adherence to my path and announced to me that he wanted to come and see me. He is now visiting us and speaking to us from on high. I think that we must listen to him, from within we must listen to his spiritually-lived ecumenism and allow ourselves to be led by his witness towards an interiorized and spiritualized ecumenism.

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"I see good reason in this context for optimism in the fact that today a kind of network of spiritual links is developing between Catholics and Christians from the different Churches and Ecclesial Communities: each individual commits himself to prayer, to the examination of his own life, to the purification of memory, to the openness of charity.

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"The father of spiritual ecumenism, Paul Couturier, spoke in this regard of an 'invisible cloister' which unites within its walls those souls inflamed with love for Christ and his Church. I am convinced that if more and more people unite themselves interiorly to the Lord's prayer 'that all may be one' (Jn 17: 21), then this prayer, made in the Name of Jesus, will not go unheard." - Source

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That seems new, huh? But it's not I guess.
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Yeah. So anyway. That is why I told my friend to say grace at the wedding and why I'll let churchmen do what they do.

Rules for dissidents...

"There's another reason for working inside the system. Dostoevsky said that taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution. To bring on this reformation requires that the organizer work inside the system, among not only the middle class but the 40 per cent of American families – more than seventy million people – whose income range from $5,000 to $10,000 a year [in 1971]. They cannot be dismissed by labeling them blue collar or hard hat. They will not continue to be relatively passive and slightly challenging. If we fail to communicate with them, if we don't encourage them to form alliances with us, they will move to the right. Maybe they will anyway, but let's not let it happen by default." - Rules For Radicals, Saul Alinsky

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Attention

My new email.
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With the new computer I haven't been checking my old email - I know! And that means I haven't read any - if any were sent. So anyway, if you want to get in touch, here is my new email: tj.nelson@hotmail.com
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If you would rather call and insult me, my phone number is 6-2-8-1-15-5.
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Update: Vincenzo was surprised I would post my #. I decided to take it down after Joe Biden called.
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(Just so you know, I rarely ever answer the phone, although I do pick up messages from time to time.)

Nagasaki

An account.

40 years ago.

The Haywain.
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Yesterday was the anniversary of the cover shot for the Beatles's Abbey Road album -no photos please - of the album that is. My blog is enough.
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This week also commemorates the Woodstock - 40 years gone.
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What it all means? Just that those who experienced it are now old. You people are OLD! Me - not so much...
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When I think of Woodstock I always think of Bosch's Haywain, as well as scenes out of a few of his other paintings - Garden of Earthly Delights, and so on. Many of Bosch's characters remind me of the hippies - as well as a good number of the people we see in entertainment and hip urban areas these days. One surely has to admit that the freak show of today makes Woodstock look tame, what with multiple piercings, bodies camouflaged by garish tattoos, multi-colored hair chopped mental-patient style, awful clothing accompanied by public nudity and sex. In this generation, vulgar has become the new bourgeois.
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The Sanger free-love movement from the early 20th century flowered into the Woodstock generation, and led to what we see today - abortion survivors.
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None of us are any good.