Saturday, November 14, 2009

Obama 'boweled' over... again



Begging for a caption call!
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"Obama gives new meaning to the phrase, 'Ass to the moon'."
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"Pantywaist"
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"How do you do Mr. Obsequious."
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Seriously - is this proper protocol?  Should a sitting President of a sovereign nation bow to another country's royalty?  I would think shoulders straight at attention, a professional handshake and a slight nod would be the right way of doing things.  Does anyone know the protocol on this?  Or was this just a private visit and goodwill photo op - unlike his meeting with the Saudi King, wherein he half genuflected as well?

Say something nice about a priest meme.


Cathy tagged me for this meme.  This strikes me as a woman's thing - memes.  Especially in this case, the person tagged is supposed to say something nice about a priest.  To deliberately sit down and write something nice just strikes me as something too sentimental - I originally said schmaltzy.  I can't really do that. 
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I know a lot of priests - really good priests - not always faithful - but always good.  What can I say? 
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I am friends with some priests - although I've probably managed to offend most of them.  To pick just one priest to say something nice about him is next to impossible for me - and entirely inappropriate - they are just guys.  Although pressed, what do I love most about these guys?  That they are indeed other Christs - they have acted in persona Christi for me, time and time again.  Even in the middle of the night some have heard my confession and absolved me of sin.  At times, they gave me the Eucharist when I was even less than unworthy to receive Him.  I love priests and have the deepest respect for them, but to single one guy out and say something nice?  Not my thing.  Now if the meme asked that we write about a priest we most admire, that might be different.  "Nice" isn't my thing.
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That said, there is one guy I could say a lot about, but he's dead.  Fr. Darin Didier.  A most holy priest... read about him here.
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I'm not going to tag anyone for this.
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Photo:  Fr. Didier

Friday, November 13, 2009

Locution, locution, locution.



Leading astray even the elect - if that were possible.
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The Bishop of Cleveland, Richard Lennon issued an official Decree ruling the alleged apparitions to Maureen Sweeny Kyle are not supernatural in origin, while forbidding clergy to celebrate the sacraments on the site of Holy Love Ministries, as well as declaring the associated confraternity not an approved association of the faithful and may not legitimately use the name Catholic or represent itself as a Catholic group. - Document
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These events have gone on since the 1980's.  I tend to think the apparitions at Medjugorje sparked a flood of spurious visions, locutions, signs and wonders elsewhere in the world, and especially in the U.S..  Medj attracted charismatics who up until then lacked a solid Marian dimension to their piety.  In other words, the charismatic movement was marked and influenced by a great deal of Protestant characteristics. 
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I've heard many a liturgist say some of the liturgical innovations (abuses) we see today developed with children and youth Masses.  I disagree, I think the Charismatic Renewal was the source of most of the novelties introduced into the liturgy - and they were accepted because of the obvious fervor and devotion of the charismatics.  The popularity of communal Masses with the people literally gathered around the altar gained favor within the Charismatic movement, along with a more casual approach to Communion and the sacraments; holding hands, the inclusion of Protestant hymns and contemporary-light-rock-folk songs, and of course the unintelligible gift of tongues.  In the early to mid 1970's prophetic utterances of persecution and dark times emerged, which dove-tailed nicely with the ecumenical Madonna of Medjugorje messages.
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This grass roots 'new Pentecost' influenced the Church in the United States profoundly - it is what you see.  Obviously, the inclusion of a proper Mariology gave the movement a sure sign of orthodoxy in a post-Fatima, post-Traditionalist Church.  Not only were sons and daughters prophesying in tongues no one could understand, they were having visions and hearing locutions from God the Father, Jesus, and most popularly, Our Lady.  Even in my Archdiocese, we have a locutionist,  'Little Mary'  - although I believe she has been formally dis-approved as well.  Curiously, she is a humble housewife much like the Cleveland lady.
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The worst thing about these parallel spiritualities, novel faith communities and cults, is that they give rise to doubt and confusion, especially regarding the competence of the ecclesial authorities: namely the local Bishop's authority to teach and rule on the authenticity of the supernatural character of the phenomena and messages.  This leads to a lack of confidence in the hierarchical structure of the Church as well as outright disobedience, a failure to think with the Church  - or disunity, and ultimately a lessening of authentic faith.  So much evil can result, leading believers and followers into vain presumption, self opinion and exaggerated self esteem.  Delusions can increase to the point one mistakes the natural for the supernatural, and the devil is able to deceive these subjects much more easily. 
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"Some spiritual persons convince themselves that their curiosity to know of certain things through supernatural means is good because God sometimes answers these petitions.  They think this conduct is good and pleasing to God because he responds to their urgent request.  Yet the truth is that, regardless of God's reply, such behavior is neither good nor pleasing to God.  Rather he is displeased; not only displeased but frequently angered and deeply offended." - Ascent Bk II, Chp 21: God's displeasure at the quest for revelations and locutions...
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Photo:  From the website Holy Love Ministry - the page with various ecclesial endorsements.  I know!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Best Holiday Ad 2009 - so far.


Gap is back!
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The Gap Christmas TV ad.  So far, the best Holiday ad for target market I've seen so far this season.

Giving credit where credit is due.




Courtesy
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Once I used a Spanish artist's work without permission, although I posted proper attribution and linked to the site of origin, which in turn provided information on the artist, including contact info.  The artist was not at all pleased, simply because I never asked permission.  I was a little offended, but I understood that his art is his intellectual property.  I took the artwork down from my post and guaranteed him I would never link to him or reference his art again.  Ever.
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I am not so protective of my own work, although I once noted that the Institute of Carmelite Studies used an icon I did of OL of Mt. Carmel with St.s Teresa and John for a booklet or catalog they printed a few years ago.  I never said anything, although I was a bit offended credit for the art work had not been attributed to me.  I figure if someone is going to appropriate another person's work for their own purposes, they at least should have the courtesy to acknowledge the source, if not the creator of the work.  Especially if they are solicitors and using the work for profit or financial support.
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The art you use is part of your post just as much as any quote or material from another source that you link to.
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Many people depend good photography as well as fine art to illustrate their blog posts, albeit without any attribution whatsoever - often times failing to provide even a simple title of the work.  I have learned to at least identify the art I use and try to link to the source whenever I can.  The only exception may be photos I sometimes re-work in paint, those in public domain, or those whose source I want to keep private for future use.  I do not always identify works of art that are self-explanatory, easily recognizable and part of public domain - which includes well known master works, photos of entertainment personalities, generic images of popular culture, marketing, and so on.
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Anyway - the above painting - now used with permission - Mosh 1 is by Dan Witz, an artist whose work I admire, but whose name I never knew until today.
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Link:

Obama's new opaque era of transparent government...



CDC ignoring FOIA mandate to  “restore the public’s ability to access information in a timely manner.”
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Sharyl Attkisson wrote an interesting report concerning her inability to retrieve timely information regarding why the CDC issued instructions to stop testing for the Novel H1N1 flu virus.  On behalf of CBS News, Attkisson "made a simple request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for public documents, e-mails and other materials CDC used to communicate to states the decision to stop testing individual cases of Novel H1N1, or “swine flu.” When the public affairs folks at CDC refused to produce the documents and quit responding to my queries altogether, I filed a formal Freedom of Information (FOI) request for the materials. Members of the news media are entitled to expedited access, which I requested, since this was for a pending news report and on an issue of public health and interest." - Source


I find it odd this story is not more prominent on network news, but rather on a CBS blog.  Perhaps it is covered in the newspapers, I don't know.  But it seems to tie in well with other reports found on more conservative websites - that something is veddy, veddy wrong with the entire pandemic diagnosis, as well as the novel vaccine to protect the public against it.
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Links:
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Baxter admits contamination
Million now infected in Ukraine
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Photo:  (No - it's not Sr. Regina!)  Sr. Teresa Forcades - (No - it's not really Sr. Forcades either!) - Anyway - remember the Spanish physician-nun who blew the whistle on WHO and Baxter pharmaceutical in Europe?  Sister is currently discredited because of alleged pro-choice sympathies.  I know!  Story here.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I don't know.



I'm just not sure - are their habits ripped and torn?
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I don't really know.
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Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters from Huntington, Ind.

Cat Fight

CATFIGHT!

Veterans Day



The difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day
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Memorial Day honors servicemembers who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. Deceased veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day but the day is set aside to thank and honor living veterans who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime.
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Armistice to Veterans Day
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In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress -- at the urging of the veterans service organizations -- amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. - Source
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On this day, it seems to me that everyone in the United States ought to stop to honor, to thank, and to pray for our military men and women, the living and the dead, active or retired.  We especially must see to the care of those returning from war, the sound and the wounded.  They fought for us and served our country, therefore our country owes them a living, as it were:  Support and proper medical and psychiatric care - including all forms of rehabilitative and restorative care they may require.
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St. Martin of Tours, pray for us. 
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While Martin was still a soldier at Amiens he experienced the vision that became the most-repeated story about his life. He was at the gates of the city of Amiens with his soldiers when he met a scantily dressed beggar. He impulsively cut his own military cloak in half and shared it with the beggar. That night he dreamed of Jesus wearing the half-cloak Martin had given away. He heard Jesus say to the angels: "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptised; he has clad me." (Sulpicius, ch 2). - Source
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Today I like to imagine the beggar to whom Martin gave his cloak may have been a poor, uncared for veteran.  Of course this does not take away from the fact that St. Martin's act of charity was done for Christ himself.  As the Saint's dream points out, and today's Communion antiphon affirms, "I tell you, anything you did for the least of my brothers, you did for me, says the Lord." (Mt 25:40)
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Art: St. Martin of Tours  Photo: Unknown soldiers near Abu Graib

No respecter of persons...



Dear Congressman Kennedy
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Bishop Tobin, exercising his pastoral duties, extending a fatherly rebuke to Patrick Kennedy, writes:
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Your letter also says that your faith “acknowledges the existence of an imperfect humanity.” Absolutely true. But in confronting your rejection of the Church’s teaching, we’re not dealing just with “an imperfect humanity” – as we do when we wrestle with sins such as anger, pride, greed, impurity or dishonesty. We all struggle with those things, and often fail.
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Your rejection of the Church’s teaching on abortion falls into a different category – it’s a deliberate and obstinate act of the will; a conscious decision that you’ve re-affirmed on many occasions. Sorry, you can’t chalk it up to an “imperfect humanity.” Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your communion with the Church.
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Congressman Kennedy, I write these words not to embarrass you or to judge the state of your conscience or soul. That’s ultimately between you and God. But your description of your relationship with the Church is now a matter of public record, and it needs to be challenged. I invite you, as your bishop and brother in Christ, to enter into a sincere process of discernment, conversion and repentance. It’s not too late for you to repair your relationship with the Church, redeem your public image, and emerge as an authentic “profile in courage,” especially by defending the sanctity of human life for all people, including unborn children. And if I can ever be of assistance as you travel the road of faith, I would be honored and happy to do so.

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Sincerely yours,
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Thomas J. Tobin
Bishop of Providence - Rhode Island Catholic
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Praise God for our good and courageous bishops.  Pray for our bishops and priests.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Rosary


The weapon of choice for the contemporary Crusader knight of Our Lady.
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"Thou art beautiful and comely, O daughter of Jerusalem:  terrible as an army set in battle array." - Antiphon, LOBVM
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Art: St. Dominic and OL of the Rosary

More on the traitorous Fort Hood Gunman


Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman who killed 13 at America's Fort Hood military base, once gave a lecture to other doctors in which he said non-believers should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats.
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The fanatic also told colleagues at America's top military hospital that non-Muslims were infidels condemned to hell who should be set on fire. The outburst came during an hour-long talk Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, gave on the Koran in front of dozens of other doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington DC, where he worked for six years before arriving at Fort Hood in July.
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One Army doctor who knew him said a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim soldier had stopped fellow officers from filing formal complaints. - Source
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Traitors amongst us...
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US officials were aware months ago that Fort Hood jihadist was trying to contact Al-Qaeda.
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Muslims in New York celebrate the deaths of Americans in the Fort Hood jihad.
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I chose the image of St. James (Santiago), who is credited with miraculously driving out the Moors from Spain, to indicate that what we are involved in - like it or not - is indeed a Holy War - similar to every other onslaught of Islam against Western Civilization and Christianity.  Only this time Western Civilization has indiscriminately welcomed them in.
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Monday, November 09, 2009

In and Out: Howard Dances

San Francisco, Calif., Nov 6 (CNA).- Pennsylvania Catholic priest Fr. Larry Richards, aiming to clear up “gender confusion” and to challenge men to pursue holiness, has released a new book titled Be A Man: Become the Man God Created You to Be.
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“Read the book. Accomplish the tasks at the end of each chapter, no matter how hard or how “hokey” you may think them to be,” Fr. Richards urged. “I guarantee that if a man commits himself to each task and challenge, in the end his life will be changed forever!”
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Read the rest here: http://calcatholic.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?id=cdfa5866-58f1-468e-8302-86f654524c08

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan - the only one?


Call me crazy, but what if there are others?
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What if the FBI, Military Intelligence, or Homeland Security know of others - in the military, or driving a cab in Manhattan - and haven't told one another or us.  Or what if some U.S. intelligence agency gave them a free pass so as not to be perceived as politically incorrect or racist - you know, so as not to discriminate against Muslims?  After all, the U.S. knew of Hasan's ties to a radical cleric.
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There have to be others out there, doncha think?

Dedication of the Lateran Basilica


"Brothers and sisters:  You are God's building." 2nd reading, Romans 3
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Today the Church celebrates the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica.  I always associate this feast with the memorial (November 8) of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity.  Not so much due to the fact her celebration precedes today's,  but because - to my mind at any rate - the Carmelite mystic interiorizes an aspect of the meaning and significance of today's feast for the baptized Catholic.  Nevertheless, it is difficult for me to explain how that is or what I mean by that.
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Blessed Elizabeth possessed marvelous awareness that she was the temple of the Most Holy Trinity - as is every baptized person - her entire doctrine is based upon the consciousness of this reality.  It seems to me in this recollection is contemplation  of the most sublime truth in charity, albeit darkly, as in a mirror.  The physical edifice of the Church reflects this reality, while the saints demonstrate it.
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"If I want my interior city to have some similarity and likeness to that 'of the King of eternal ages' and to receive this great illumination from God, I must extinguish every other light and, as in the holy city, the Lamb must be 'its only light.' - Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity
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"No one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely Jesus Christ." - Romans 3
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The readings from today's liturgy define these mysteries for me - but I don't know how to express it or talk about it.  It is like knowing without knowing - it is a great joy - which makes me think immediately of the Blessed Virgin, who is a sign of the Church... and where Our Lady is, there is always joy.
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"[The angel] led me outside by the north gate, and around to the outer gate facing east, where I saw water trickling from the southern side [of the temple]." - 1st reading, Ezekiel 47
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Shortly after my conversion in 1972, I had a dream of brilliantly colored angels - each a different species - constructing a massive church, lifting great stones as if they were dust, flying upwards to enclose a particularly intricate Gothic window frame.  As they were setting the capstone someone told me I was being built into the temple of God.  Immediately I found myself  in a chapel.  Coming from the altar was a stream of water, alongside which were monks clothed in white, bowing profoundly at the Gloria.  I turned to a figure I perceived to be the priest and asked, "When does Mass (the sacrifice) begin?"  I never knew what the dream meant, but I think of it every year since - on this feast day.
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I can't tell you what this feast means, all I can tell you is what it does for me, as the responsorial psalm proclaims:
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"The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!" - Ps. 46

A day in the life...


The newspaper story about bloggers.
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Yeah.  So like the excerpt from my blog post that was supposed to be printed never appeared in yesterday's paper - just my response as to why we blog:  Answering for myself, I stated, "For attention - that's pretty much it."  And that was my big exposure in print for the St. Paul Sunday paper - oh - the quote included my name and blogsite.  (The title of the article was "A Day In the Life".)
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That's pretty much it.
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....
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Okay then.  I spent Sunday afternoon raking leaves and filling soon to be outlawed plastic contractor bags with them.  Another law to control our lives will go into effect in a couple of years banning the use of plastic bags.  As Americans we are rapidly losing our rights - we have been for some time.
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.....
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Almost forgot.  I noted on Vincenzo's blog that a commenter alerted him to the fact he links to the Sisters of Carmel website and evidently they are a trad group which rejects Vatican II.  I checked their website but I did not find any indication of that.  They look like good Discalced nuns - to me at least.  Evidently they are not official Discalced nuns.  Like I said - I did not notice anything bad on their site - they seem like harmless nuns to me.  In fact, there are many unofficial Novus Ordo discalced hermits and nuns around the country living similar religious lives, some even using the Carmelite name - so I do not really see a problem.
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Although I have to wonder, if they live devout lives, and are good religious, and even very observant and fervent religious, does that count?  Do their prayers and penances count?  Does Our Lady listen to them - are their communions sacrilegious?  Are they worse than radical feminist sisters?  Are they wasting their lives?  And what about vocation - is it a vocation.  See what I mean?  Oh!  Oh!  Are the scapulars they make and sell invalid?  (I actually know the answer to that.)
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....
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So anyway - I'm writing this Sunday night and TV is on in the background - Sally Field is crying - I hate that show - it's only on while I'm waiting for the 10PM news.  I've always wanted to blog about how much I hate it when women cry.  I hate it when women cry.  It's really annoying.  That's all. 
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...
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I think I'm kind of cranky. 
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So good night.
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This will post for Monday... so good day.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Seinfeld - Kramer (the Merv Griffin set)

Good night Gracie.

Thinking with the Church.



Something so counter cultural...
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Sometimes - well maybe often times these days - we encounter Catholic people, parish communities, men and women religious, entire religious communities, groups and organizations who disagree with the teachings of the Catholic Church on faith and morals, hierarchical structure, and so on.  We all know this - especially bloggers - why else would we blog?  I suppose a good example of such people would be the LCRW (Leaders Conference of Women Religious) whose congregations are the subject of a Vatican inquiry.  I read in another blogger's comment box a suggestion men's religious groups should also be investigated as well.  Whatever the case, the need to ensure that groups representing the Church think and speak with the Church is vitally important.  Why?  Because it is a matter of the salvation of souls.
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The Rules
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The best tradition on the origins of the rules (for thinking with the Church) says they were written either at Paris or in Italy (by St. Ignatius), perhaps fifteen years after the retreat at Manresa where the Exercises were first begun. Scholars have partly traced the Rules to a list of seven questions which Francis I, King of France, ordered in 1535 to serve as the basis for conferences between theologians at the University of Paris and German Protestant divines. The latter were asked, e.g., “Whether they are willing to confess that the Church militant founded by divine right, is unchangeable in faith and morals, and under our Lord Jesus Christ is headed by St. Peter and his successors down the centuries.” [1] However, no single document did any more than suggest the rules as they stand in the book of the Exercises. Their real cause was the Protestant Reformation, from whose errors Ignatius wished to spare the faithful sons of the Church and inspire them with an intelligent zeal for the conversion of those who had lost the true faith. According to their author, the Rules of Orthodoxy “should be observed to foster the true attitude of mind we ought to have in the Church Militant,” which, the earliest commentators explain, refers to all types of retreatants, but especially two classes of persons: those who live and work among non-Catholics, and those engaged in the active apostolate. In modern times, this means practically everyone, priests, religious and the laity in every walk of life.
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The Church and Private Judgment
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We must put aside all judgment of our own, and keep the mind ever ready and prompt to obey in all things the true Spouse of Christ our Lord, our holy Mother, the hierarchical Church.
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In the first rule, St. Ignatius isolates the basic error of non-Catholic Christianity which claims that private judgment in doctrine and morals is according to the will of God. “You have been baptized and endowed with the true faith,” Luther told his followers, “therefore you are spiritual and able to judge of all things by the word of the Gospel, and you are not to be judged by any man. Say, “My faith is here a judge and may declare: This doctrine is true, but that is false and evil.” And the Pope and all his crew, nay, all men on earth must submit to that decision.” [2] It was against this pretension to autonomy that Ignatius strove so zealously, because better than most of his contemporaries he foresaw what a brood of evils this spirit of independence would generate in the western world.
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Where the original Reformers were satisfied with proclaiming man’s freedom to interpret the Scriptures with no other guide than the Holy Spirit, their infidel disciples have since been emancipated even from a personal God. “If there were a God.” Writes Bertrand Russell, “I think it very unlikely He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence.”
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As a sane alternative to this mad subjectivism, Ignatius offers the objectivity of the Catholic faith which cannot err because it is founded on the word of God. Assuming that his listeners are Catholic, he urges them to cultivate a disposition of soul which makes the will prompt and the mind prepared to obey whatever the Church prescribes. The will must acquire an instinctive desire to submit to the Church’s authority and the mind should ever be ready to nourish the will with necessary motivation. Two motives are proposed: because the Church is the Spouse of Christ and because she is our Holy Mother. - Finish reading:  Fr. Hardon:  Norms of Catholic Orthodoxy
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Never, ever allow yourself to be discouraged or deterred by self-opinionated detractors of the Church, the Holy Father, and the authentic Magisterium.  Thinking with the Church - it's a good thing.  "We must praise all the commandments of the Church, and be on the alert to find reasons for defending but never for criticizing them."
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What should this mean to me as a Catholic? It assures me that because I have a certain position in the Church’s juridical structure; as layman or religious, priest or prelate, my obedience is not a vague submission to some undefined ecclesiocracy, but acceptance of the human agency placed above me as speaking with the voice of Christ. - Fr. Hardon
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Art:  Conversion of St. Antony of Egypt

Pastoral care.


Post Halloween Mass.
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Last evening Father invited all the little kids to wear their Halloween costumes to Mass because there would be a pizza party afterwards, and because he wanted to celebrate the Christian side of Halloween as well.  (I don't know - that's what he said.)  Last Saturday was Halloween of course, and I expect the little nippers would have been much too distracted and way too busy trick-or-treating to come dressed up or stay for a party.
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It was very cute really.  All the little animals, super-heroes, princesses and witches processed in with Father and Deacon.  Then at collection time they all ran up front to put their money in the kid's collection box - OH!  And then!  And then - after Mass - but before the final blessing, they all assembled on the altar steps to a round of applause and photo op. 
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I know!  I didn't get it either.