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, September 19, 2009

Attention Monastery cooks!

This is very cool - great for celebrating feasts of martyrs such as St. Januarius!

1930s Futuristic Fashion Predictions

For Susan and Cathy and Angela and Adrienne... oh, and Bob.

St. Januarius

Guys really like the martyrs - the bloodier the better. 19 September is the feast day of St. Januarius.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I don't get it...

- the look I mean.

Obama the sell out?

WARSAW, Poland – Poles and Czechs voiced deep concern Friday at President Barack Obama's decision to scrap a Bush-era missile defense shield planned for their countries.

"Betrayal! The U.S. sold us to Russia and stabbed us in the back," the Polish tabloid Fakt declared on its front page. - More here.
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Anyone know what happened in September of 1939 in Poland?

The secret decoded


Click here to read the narrative.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Reluctant Saint The Life of St. Joseph of Cupertino Part 5

My Santo!

The Secret is out.


Click here.
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The Sacred Stigmata


Penance
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Today is a feast of St. Francis of Assisi, since on this day he received the sacred stigmata, or the wounds of Christ crucified, in his own flesh.
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The Third Order of St. Francis was founded for those who wished to follow the spiritual discipline of the Friars Minor while remaining in their particular station in life. As we know, observing the duties of one's state in life is sometimes the greatest penance of all. For example, the single person must remain chaste while earning his own keep or possibly caring for an aged parent or friend. The married person must remain faithful no matter what - not abandoning his spouse, earning a living, raising a family, and so on. All Christians first duty is to God of course, keeping the commandments, assisting at Mass, constancy in prayer, fidelity to the laws, discipline and teachings of the Church, etc.. All these ordinary things comprise the duties of one's state in life - they are little things, but the means of sanctification.
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The Brothers and Sisters of Penance, as the first secular Franciscans were called, undertook much more however. They added more daily prayers and special fasts and abstinence to their lives. They dressed more modestly and poorly, lived more frugally with out luxury and unnecessary convenience, and either gave alms or served the very poor as best they could, according to their means and abilities. Their life took on the character of the religious they so admired, and the poor they served. The very poor and illiterate did likewise, often increasing corporal penance and prayer to a heroic degree.
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I'm amongst those of us who have lost the sense of penance, or the idea that one is morally obliged to be faithful to what is routine and mundane in one's responsibilities. For instance, when I got tired or bored with my job, I would stay home and use a sick day - a lot! When I got really bored, I quit that particular job. Even now, when I don't feel like painting, I don't. If I'm too tired for daily Mass, I stay in bed. If I don't want to clean the house, I don't. If I want a beer, I have one. If I want steak, I eat one. If my computer goes down, I get mad and complain. If my life isn't comfortable, I do what I can to make it so.
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So the feast of the Sacred Stigmata reminds me of the penance I owe for the many sins of selfish self-indulgence I continue to commit, wallowing in my sloth, while criticising priests and religious and other good people whom I envy and I'm jealous of because they are better Catholics than I am.
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Art: "St. Francis carried dying to St. Mary of the Angels offering a last blessing to Assisi." Leon Benouville

What 'fashion' is, and what it is not...



I just received and watched the DVD "Valentino - The Last Emperor" - it is a fantastic view into the world of haute couture - which, as Amanda Priestly** would tell you, has a great impact upon what the ordinary woman buys on sale at Marshall's. That said, what goes into a piece of apparel - from the original design, to construction, to finished masterpiece is amazing. It is not only art and architecture, but an enormous industry which employs countless people. I highly recommend the documentary. (If you have ever worked in any segment of the business, you will definitely appreciate the film.)
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What I can't recommend as fashion or design is something naively referred to as Pure Fashion. The concept is laudable - the product, the shows, the marketing - not so much. There is no fashion whatsoever in anything I have ever seen regarding this effort. Jeans, skirts and t-shirts - ordinary-every-day-wear is not fashion. Tips On How To Dress Modestly is a better descriptive than misappropriating the appellative "fashion" to this "stuff".
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** [To Andrea] "This... stuff? Oh... okay. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out — oh, I don't know — that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean. You're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002 Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St. Laurent, wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets? (I think we need a jacket here). And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff." - Wikiquotes

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"The Secret" unveiled...


Detail of my painting, "The Secret of Fatima"...
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Remember, this is all most people really knew about the so-called third secret until the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco Marto on May 13, 2000... And yet there were quite a few variations of the contents of the envelope floating about the world before that.
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Very funny.

I'll be at adoration this afternoon.

The Pope speaks...

This is it!
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This is my point exactly, but I have not been able to articulate it. The Holy Father said it well in this morning's allocution concerning St. Symeon the New Theologian:
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In the nine volumes of his works, Symeon “insisted that true knowledge of God comes not from books but from the spiritual life, born of a journey of inner purification that begins with conversion,” the Pope summarized. The New Theologian "calls us all to the spiritual life, the hidden presence of God in us, to the purification of conscience, so the Holy Spirit becomes present in us and guides us." - CNA
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Yes, yes, YES! The 'purification of conscience', which at times can be a great suffering... an arduous 'journey' which only 'begins with conversion'.
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"More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy." —Jeremiah 17:9
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Deep calling unto deep...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yesterday


I finished "The Secret" Sunday afternoon, 13 September, the 92nd anniversary of the 5th apparition at Fatima.
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I have never worked so long and hard on a painting and come away so disappointed with it. I did some detail work and glazes today, and signed it, but I have to let it go for awhile. I don't know what to do with it. I decided it should be titled "Fatima, The Secret" - otherwise people may not get it. I'm too embarrassed to show it right now - maybe later...
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It was beyond my ability - that is all I can say about it.
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For the past few months I have been immersed in the message and accounts of the apparitions at Fatima. I have read and reread every detail it seems to me. I have prayed many rosaries, and will continue to do so. Did you know Our Lady asked for more than prayer for the conversion of sinners? She asked for sacrifices - sacrifices. Imagine. Our Lord explained penance as the fulfillment of the duties of one's state in life. Imagine.
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Did you know Our Lady predicted WWII but never said anything about concentration camps and the holocaust? Of all the horrors of the 20th century, the war and immorality, Our Lady chose to remind us of the existence of God, that he is gravely offended by sin, and that the souls of sinners end up in hell, "because there is no one to pray and make sacrifices for them."
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Stunningly, after the 3rd part of the secret was revealed, people were disappointed - they claimed it was not revealed in it's entirety because nothing apocalyptic had been revealed, errant bishops weren't condemned, the Vatican Council wasn't anathematized, and so on.
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The Blessed Virgin did not come to tell fortunes - she came to urge the faithful to return to God, to be converted, to pray and make sacrifices for sinners. She came to make us understand that God exists - that hell is real, that Satan exists, and the souls of unrepentant sinners go to hell. She came to announce that her Immaculate Heart would be the way that leads us to God - that the peace of the world was in her hands.
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The secret and the October miracle at Fatima were of such significance for our times, not unlike the great prodigies of the Bible, that to be ignored and shuffled off to the archives of history must be a great offence to God. To say that "Fatima is over! It is this or that revelation or apparition that is important now" must be a great insult to Divine Providence and the most sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
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If nothing else, working on the painting caused me to understand anew that the message of Fatima is more relevant today than ever.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I pulled the girls out of school...

I wasn't about to allow them to be brainwashed by Obama's speech.
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ROFLMAO!
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I was offline for the hysteria...

This is how bad I am.

Entrance antiphon.
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I turned on EWTN yesterday afternoon and there was a televised Mass for the dedication of a statue of Mother Teresa of Calcutta at the National Shrine in Washington, D.C..
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I couldn't stand the singing, the processional, the choir robes, the Missionary of Charity entering the sanctuary for the reading, or the bishop smiling his way down the aisle, or his vestments, or anything else about it. But it was the singing that really annoyed me the most.
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I turned it off.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"I'm every woman"


Kidding - I mean, every sinner.

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I used the Chaka Kahn song title because of a meditation I've been pondering this past week. Last Sunday or Monday I decided to read the Gospel as if all the sinners, cripples and other outcasts that Jesus either encountered or spoke about in his parables, were actually me. The idea, "I'm every sinner" originated one morning at prayer, which led to my search for Gospel stories to see where I fit in. It remains a good spiritual exercise.

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Anyway. That is why I've been offline for so many days. I had nothing to write about... I have this huge log in my eye which makes it difficult to even see the keyboard... so I kinda lost interest.

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Oh. I've been busy painting as well.