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, October 24, 2009

Slavishly literal...

Bishop Trautman on the new English translation of the Roman Missal...
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"The vast majority of God’s people in the assembly are not familiar with words of the new missal like ‘ineffable,’ ‘consubstantial,’ ‘incarnate,’ ‘inviolate,’ ‘oblation,’ ‘ignominy,’ ‘precursor,’ ‘suffused’ and ‘unvanquished.’ The vocabulary is not readily understandable by the average Catholic,” Bishop Trautman said. - Source 
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I know what all of those words mean - but for those who may not, the Church offers instruction in the faith through innovations such as the Catechism and religious education, which includes RCIA, priest's homilies and so on.  Authentic doctrine is contained in slavishly accurate translations.

Seinfeld - Interfaith Marriage

This is really what I meant Tom. LOL!

So here's the deal...


I just read Tom of Vegas' blog and commented on his post about celebrities.  He asks:  "Here is a list of celebrities that find popularity across a wide section of the population, but have liberal political leanings, or live a life that is diametrically opposed in some way to Catholic social teaching. Are you a fan despite the incongruity or is there something about their lives that turns you off to their work?"


I liked them all, my least favorite was Martin Sheen - and he's the most Catholic.  But I liked everybody else - even though I disagree with their politics, religious views, and/or what they do in the bedroom. 
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Given the chance, most people are very like-able just for who they are.  Likewise, I try to respect the opinion of other people - at least the fact that they have an opinion, that they think and feel and bleed when you knife them, you know. 
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Of course, I don't agree with their position if it is in opposition to my faith and values - very rarely in my life have I ever met anyone who agrees with me on everything.  I do not insist my friends must believe as I do or else they are not my friends.  (Because I love them and know that I am right, I wish they would though.)  Nevertheless friends stop being friends with me, and often because they disagree with my faith and values.  If they push too hard, I'm no idiot, I step back of course, and maybe keep a safe distance.   Although I never try to convert them to my way of thinking, even though they can get all bent out of shape because of what I think and believe.
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So anyway, when celebrities (or friends) get all militant and attack the Church or traditional morality - I will disagree and will defend myself and/or the Church if and when the opportunity presents itself.  That said, I can still like them or appreciate their work, I can still be entertained by them, laugh at them, share the same planet with them, talk to them civilly if I meet them, eat dinner with them if they like, and so on - I'm just not in bed with them.  If a celebrity or any friend decides they do not like me, or reject me, or make fun of me, that's just fine.  I'm used to it - I grew up like that.  My family never really practiced the faith since Catholic moral teaching conflicted with their lifestyle - it was good training for the world we live in.
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Whatever - did you get all of that?  So get this - among the people Tom listed was Fr. Richard McBrien - believe it or not, I really like that guy.  Of course I do not agree with his liberal theology and stuff, but he is a very like-able fellow - he reminds me of my first spiritual director who had a bit of a crush on a girl friend of mine...  See, I'll go after the junk some of these people teach or represent - but I can still like the person.  (Declared enemies are another category all together of course.) 
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Oh!  Oh!  I have to admit I'm not a big fan of LCWR nuns - sorry Sr. Joan Collins Chittister.  Call me a bigot if you must - but it is really more about the outfits and the hair.
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I'm sure I'm wrong about all of this however.  (Wouldn't I have made a perfect husband?  "Yes honey, I'm wrong again!")
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Oh.  And I'm not a fan of any of the Catholic celebs pictured in this photo either. Joan again.  LOL!  (She is.)

Raphael, Archangel.


24 of October is the traditional feast of St. Raphael, archangel.  He is one of my favorite angels, since he represents the angel as friend, patron, companion, partner, in other words, someone intimately involved in our life.  In that respect, he is much like the angel guardian we all have.  I usually think of angels best unconsciously - only to recognize their presence or action after the fact.  When I attempt to imagine them, I suppose I think of them like ourselves - only perfect.  I do not always imagine wings - but I imagine them always to be male; always strong, always wise, always compassionate and understanding - like an ideal dad or an older brother.  Most often I imagine them exactly my own age - which has nothing to do with my chronological age - I always think of myself as being in my 20's - someplace between 22 and 29.  Strangely, this was the same age I imagined myself to be when I was a teenager too.
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Anyway.  The Archangel's feast day is also the birthday of two of my friends, Fr. Tom and Wayne.  Prayers and best wishes to them both.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Agenda...

(Retitled from Fr. Longenecker's "The Slippery Slope: How Satan spreads his lies")
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1. Natural Law is ignored, undermined or made to look stupid by particular instances where it seems not apply.


2. Subsequently religious and civil authorities have their laws questioned because they are 'too strict' too 'black and white', 'unworkable' or 'lacking in compassion'.

3. Relativism is therefore introduced. An understanding gradually grows that 'there are no objective rule' that apply to all people at all times.

4. Individualism is the next step. 'I guess I have to decide what is right for me in my situation.'

5. Sentimentalism: People who live in a sinful situation demand that they not be judged. They deserve compassion and understanding. They are nice people really...but they have a problem. They're sick. They're wounded. Who are you to judge?

6. Dialogue is demanded. "You need to listen to us and to our stories. Then you will understand we are just like you."

7. Once sympathy is won, the goalposts are moved. Now they are not 'sick' or 'wounded' they're just 'different'. They expect to be accepted despite their 'differences'.

8. Equal rights are expected by those who are acting against God's law. "We are not asking you to approve us. We are simply asking you to tolerate a difference of opinion. Simply allow us to be who we are!"

9. Equal rights are demanded. Legislation and lobbying and protests are now in order. The pressure group for sin starts to get aggressive. They do so out of 'hurt' and 'woundedness.' Once they get their 'rights' (they claim) they will be happy and won't be so aggressive.

10. Tolerance being won, they will not stop. They now demand not only that you tolerate, but that you approve. They've moved from being 'sick' or 'wounded' or 'disabled' by their condition to tolerance, and now they proclaim their condition to be 'good'. As Thomas More was not allowed to remain silent on the King's 'great matter' but had to approve, so the presssure group insists on approval.

11. What was once tolerated now becomes mandatory. Society must integrate the new morality into every level--right down to schools and churches and scout groups. Everyone must adopt the new morality or suffer.

12. Persecution of those who resist.

13. Devil's real happy. - Fr. Longenecker
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BTW - As expected, the Senate just passed the hate crimes bill... "To assure its passage after years of frustrated efforts, Democratic supporters attached the measure to a must-pass $680 billion defense policy bill the Senate approved 68-29. The House passed the defense bill earlier this month.  Hate crimes law enacted after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968 centered on crimes based on race, color, religion or national origin.  The expansion has long been sought by civil rights and gay rights groups. Conservatives have opposed it, arguing that it creates a special class of victims." - Source
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H/T Adrienne for the link to Fr. Longenecker.

Christopher West: Defending his life.


Christopher West seems to have made a very credible defense of his teaching of Theology of the Body.  It's all good - he's good - JPII is good - every body is good - okay, only God is good.  But West attempts a pretty good defense - he cites the following from the writings of JPII to demonstrate his pivotol point:

With the passage of time, if we persevere in following Christ our Teacher, we feel less and less burdened by the struggle against sin, and we enjoy more and more the divine light which pervades all creation. This is most important, because it allows us to escape from a situation of constant inner exposure to the risk of sin – even though, on this earth, the risk always remains present to some degree – so as to move with ever greater freedom within the whole created world. This same freedom and simplicity characterizes our relations with other human beings, including those of the opposite sex... Christ, supreme Teacher of the spiritual life, together with all those who have been formed in his school, teaches that even in this life we can enter onto the path of union with God... [This union allows us to] find God in everything, we can commune with him in and through all things. Created things cease to be a danger for us as once they were, particularly while we were still at the purgative stage of our journey. (Memory and Identity, pp. 29-30)
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In Conclusion:
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One of the most common responses I receive when I present this beautifully challenging and hopeful vision of human life and sexuality is this: I’ve been a Catholic my whole life – why haven’t I ever heard this!? The truth of the matter is that it is rarely taught... - Source
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I'm no expert, but it seems to me the truth of the matter is that it is rarely taught because this grace is normally only given to souls who have been elevated to a certain degree of contemplation and/or mystical union, and usually only after serious mortification and purgation of the senses.  West might do well to study more closely the authentic mystics of the Catholic Church - especially the works of St. John of the Cross.
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UPDATE:  Be sure and Check out Steve Kellmeyer's latest response to West.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What Fr. McBrien said about adoration of the Eucharist.


His opinion is not unusual.
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Yesterday I realized that only about 9 people come regularly to the weekly day of adoration offered at my parish, and every one is old.  Aside from personal devotion, I spend so many hours there because I'm filling in for a couple of people who can no longer make it due to illness or incapacity.  While there, I can't help but on occasion notice some of the parish staff coming and going - religious and ordained.  Most often, no one ever takes the time to spend even a few moments in an attitude of prayer - kneeling, or sometimes even just genuflecting. 
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Of course I have no idea of their interior disposition and I am not making a judgement in that regard.  Nevertheless based upon their comportment, devotion to the Blessed Sacrament appears to have a different meaning for these folks.  Traversing the sanctuary, they appear to ignore the monstrance containing the Eucharist, while nodding to the tabernacle as they open it to remove consecrated hosts for a sick call.  Yesterday, the woman religious who would conduct today's Liturgy of the Word (Regular morning Mass is cancelled when the priest has a funeral Mass later in the day.) arrived minutes before the closing of adoration to prepare the lectionary.  She was quickly in and out.  It appears her Eucharistic piety is most likely focused upon celebrating the Liturgy of the Word... and perhaps her homily.
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Active participation of the laity...
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I suppose I should mention that although the weekly parish bulletin publishes the hours for adoration and notes it's conclusion with Benediction - there is no real Benediction.  The 2 or 3 lay people present simply read the rite for Benediction and one of them reposes the Blessed Sacrament on their own.  That is permitted of course, but the lack of a priest or religious to participate either in adoration and or to officiate at the rite of Benediction suggests to me a relative disinterest in the practice.
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Which calls to mind what Fr. McBrien had to say regarding Eucharistic Adoration.  Indeed, he and other progressive Catholics appear to no longer see a need for such piety, believing the Novus Ordo Mass sums up Eucharistic piety sufficiently for our day.  In fact, piety itself is looked down upon as only useful for the ignorant, illiterate, and the under-educated.  Although the learned and the clever often forget that piety is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit; as such, it ought not to be disparaged or so easily dismissed.
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The Christ in me, the Christ in you; I'm okay, you're okay.
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I think Fr. McBrien and his ilk consider reverence for the Eucharist outside of Mass to be localized exclusively in one another - that is, the Christ in me and the Christ in you - while the sacrament in the tabernacle is just for the sick - activated at the point of communion - or something like that.  Such a loss of faith can engender doctrinal error and alien spirituality, which might explain why some priests and women religious incorporate Native American and/or New Age ritual to supplement their spiritual malnutrition.     
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Anyway - the following is what Fr. McBrien had to say, and like I suggested, I think a number of progressive pastors and sisters agree with him:
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Notwithstanding Pope Benedict XVI's personal endorsement of eucharistic adoration and the sporadic restoration of the practice in the archdiocese of Boston and elsewhere, it is difficult to speak favorably about the devotion today.
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Now that most Catholics are literate and even well-educated, the Mass is in the language of the people (i.e, the vernacular), and its rituals are relatively easy to understand and follow, there is little or no need for extraneous eucharistic devotions. The Mass itself provides all that a Catholic needs sacramentally and spiritually.
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Eucharistic adoration, perpetual or not, is a doctrinal, theological, and spiritual step backward, not forward. - Source
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Such thinking seems to be out of step with the devotional life and popular piety of  faithful Catholics however, while the rule of attrition appears to be having its effect upon the aging progressive element in the Church.  Better days are coming.  I hope.

The Pope of Christian Unity.


I couldn't agree more. 
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Pope Benedict is preeminently the Pope of Christian Unity.

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Pope Benedict has been struggling against forces within his own fold to achieve Christian unity.
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His is decidedly not the unity that liberals (Richard McBrien, Gerald O’Collins) have in mind when they think of Christian unity, with its watered-down version of Roman primacy, liturgy, catechesis, sexual ethics and church discipline. In other words, a Christian unity without a Christian identity (christian with a small ‘c’).
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No, Benedict’s unity is real unity, true unity that costs something, that stretches people, but that does not compromise what is essential to the Church.
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This is not Rahner’s "world church" where anything and anyone goes. It is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Christ Jesus. - WDTPRS
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Fr. Z nails it.
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For some background on the new "Personal Ordinariates" go here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The scarf: Instead of the chapel cap or veil.

Marvin Gaye - Come Get To This

This Saturday I am actually going to a High School reunion. I know! Yep - I'm going - I can't wait.

The state of grace...


Today was my adoration day - my weekly day of recollection.  It is so heaven on earth to be in the state of grace - and that is what a good confession pretty much guarantees every Catholic.  Yet one can feel so discredited, and know - by experience - one is the creepiest of the creepy, and yet God loves me... and looks at me.  It is that "Ah!  I don't know what!" moment...  and you know without any ability to comprehend or explain, that our soul is hidden with Christ in God.

That's all.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jamiroquai - Runaway

Prayers of Thanksgiving


For the new Apostolic Constitution...
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The new canonical structure will allow former Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Church while “preserving elements of distinctive Anglican spiritual patrimony,” said Cardinal Levada. Addressing the status of married clergy, the cardinal said that married Anglican clergy would be allowed to be ordained as Catholic priests just as takes place in the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Similarly, following the same tradition, those priests will not be allowed to be ordained bishops.
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These ‘Personal Ordinariates’ will be formed, “as needed, in consultation with local Conferences of Bishops, and their structure will be similar in some ways to that of the Military Ordinariates which have been established in most countries to provide pastoral care for members of the armed forces and their dependents throughout the world,” the cardinal prefect said. - CNA 
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Makes me think of a story...
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"The new Pope, putting the enemy to rout and overcoming every obstacle, guides the ship right up to the two columns and comes to rest between them; he makes it fast with a light chain that hangs from the bow to an anchor of the column on which stands the Host; and with another light chain which hangs from the stern, he fastens it at the opposite end to another anchor hanging from the column on which stands the Immaculate Virgin.

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At this point, a great convulsion takes place. All the ships that until then had fought against the Pope's ship are scattered; they flee away, collide and break to pieces one against another. Some sink and try to sink others. Several small ships that had fought gallantly for the Pope race to be the first to bind themselves to those two columns. Many other ships, having retreated through fear of the battle, cautiously watch from far away; the wrecks of the broken ships having been scattered in the whirlpools of the sea, they in their turn sail in good earnest to those two columns, and having reached them, they make themselves fast to the hooks hanging down from them and their they remain safe, together with the principal ship, on which is the Pope. Over the sea their reigns a great calm." - St. John Bosco

Monday, October 19, 2009

What I'm up to...

I've been working in the yard - pulling up Engleman ivy trailers - cutting down dead lilac trees, bringing in pots - oh - did you hear Obama is going to pull-off the Feds from going after medical marijuana dealers?  I know!  I can't wait to get sick.  If marijuana was legal, would it still be a sin?   

I cut down a cherry tree today too - I'm making a rough crucifix out of it to mount a 19th century hand carved wooden corpus upon.  I'm going to start selling  a good portion of my collection - I suppose on eBay - any one familiar with how to do that?  I hate to figure stuff out for myself.  Believe me - possessions are such a burden - at one time I wanted all this stuff, but now it weighs me down.

Anyway, in all honestly, I have been really bored with the Internet and blogging.  Doesn't it seem like the same thing over and over?  We keep writing about the same stuff and people who object to our being right about everything - all the time - keep writing their own crap trying to refute us and no one even cares what they have to say in the first place, ya know?

That said - thanks to all of you who read me and comment and stuff - I like you too - really a lot.  I pray for you every day as if you are my family - and some of you feel so close, you could be family, or at least my BFF next door neighbor.  You guys are amazing - you know me and yet still like me.  Big hug!

I have to go now.

Oh! if only this interior abjection were accepted, loved and valued, no one would consent to be without it, because it brings the soul nearer to God.


From the Letters of Fr. Jean Pierre Caussade:
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When the reproaches of your conscience, however well merited they may be, throw you into a state of trouble and depression; when they discourage and upset you, it is certain that they come from the devil who only fishes in troubled waters, says St. Francis of Sales.
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The rebellion of the passions, and that excessive sensitiveness which causes one to be put out beyond measure on the slightest provocation ought not to disquiet, nor to discourage anyone suffering from them, nor to make him think that his desire of sanctification is not sincere. This mistake and the discouragement it occasions are more harmful than all the other temptations. To get rid of them, or to overcome them we must
be well persuaded that these rebellions, and this extreme sensitiveness are sent to us by God to be the ground of our combats and victories; and that these little falls are permitted to help us to practise humility.
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Looked upon in this light our falls will be incomparably more useful to us than victories spoilt by vain self-complacency. This is a very certain and a very encouraging truth. We must be convinced, thoroughly convinced that our miseries are the cause of all the weakness we experience, and that God, in His mercy, allows them for our good. Without them we should never be cured of a secret presumption and a proud confidence in ourselves. Never should we be able to rightly understand that all that is bad is ours, and that all that is good is from God alone. To acquire a habit of thinking thus it is necessary to pass through a great number of personal experiences, and there is a greater necessity for this the more deeply rooted these vices are, and the greater the hold they have on the soul.
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You must never feel surprised at finding that a day of great recollection is followed by one full of dissipation; this is the usual condition in this present life. These changes are necessary, even in spiritual things, to keep us in humility, and a state of dependence on God. The saints themselves have passed through these alternations, and others still more troublesome. Only try not to give rise to them yourself; but should this, unfortunately, happen, then humble yourself peacefully and without vexation, which would be a worse evil than the original one; then endeavour to regain self-control, and to return to God; doing so quietly without over-eagerness, and by means of a total holy abandonment to God’s ways.
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Oh! if only this interior abjection were accepted, loved and valued, no one would consent to be without it, because it brings the soul nearer to God. This great God has, in fact, declared that He draws near to those who humble themselves and who love to be humiliated. If it is good for us to be humbled in the sight of others it is no less useful to be annihilated in our own eyes, in our pride and self-love which are put an end to in this way. It is thus, in fact, that they are gradually extinguished in us, and for this purpose does God permit so many different subjects for interior humiliation. It only remains to know how to profit by them, by following the advice of St. Francis of Sales, and practising acts of true humility, gently and peacefully; and this will drive out false humility which is always in a state of vexation and spite.
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Vexation and spite under humiliation are so many acts of pride, just as worry and irritation during suffering are so many acts of impatience. Let us not forget this, and let us take good care not to look upon the want of feeling we experience for the things of God as callousness; it is simply dryness, and a trial as inevitable and ordinary as distractions. If it is constant it is a still better sign, because it is in this way that God prepares the soul to proceed by pure faith, the most sure and meritorious way. - Jean Pierre de Caussade, Letter XVII
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Art: "Forgiven" by Thomas Blackshear

Why were the North American Martyrs killed?


What were they doing trying to convert Native Americans in the first place?
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"All of these Martyrs were killed for the faith by the Indians because they preached Christ." - Fr. Hardon: On the North American Martyrs: Suffering and Martyrdom
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Yet today, in our age of the New Evangelization,  it seems that Roman Catholics are many times discouraged from proselytizing - to proclaim the Gospel and to make converts - and not just by the groups they are hoping to evangelize either.

Blogs, Twits, and Twats


IMHO