Saturday, November 21, 2009

Let the holidays begin!


Today is the anniversary of my dad's burial - he died in 1991.  The anniversary more or less confirms the holidays are here - despite the fact we have no snow.  (No - I don't know what that means either.)
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On my planet, the holiday's really begin on Halloween - why?  Because I worked in retail and we began merchandising Christmas right after Halloween.  So I always get nostalgic - you see, my mother also died in the month of October - then of course my brother died in December - so their deaths spark memories and inspire drama, while tempering the Bacchanal party-spirit just enough to stay out of the hospital.  Although the holiday season can be like one big emotional tilt-a-whirl ride - it's fun.  Yeah, so I'm just saying - warning actually - that posts may be stranger than normal.
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But I love the season in all of it's aspects.  No - I do not do anything for Thanksgiving - I hate Thanksgiving - gosh! 
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I'm okay!  I'm okay!
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So anyway, readers can look forward to my grim fairy tales in the coming month before Christmas.  With my gift and craft ideas.  I will have suggestions for parties and how to start family fights wherein you still come off as 'charitable' and 'deeply concerned'.  And I will regale you with crazy but funny family stories - much in the spirit of that wonderful Christmas film, "It's A Horrible Life!"...  "Every time a siren rings, dad goes to jail again!"
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I'm all verklempft now.
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Don't get me wrong - I love the holidays - whatever that means.  Oh - I know, little squirrels and birds and rabbits and deer decorating that teeny-weeny fir tree in the empty lot where the K-mart was just torn down.  Now that's an Xmas card.
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Happy Holidays!  Gotta love 'em!  (Do NOT drive drunk.)
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Art: Death in the Rohan Hours

Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, November 21


I guarantee you that very few modern Catholics in the U.S. even know what this feast day means, much less that it exists.  Click here to learn the traditional significance of the feast.
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Art: Source

Friday, November 20, 2009

Outing priests and bishops.



Odium fidei.
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Activists in D.C. intend to begin outing closeted homosexual priests and bishops in retaliation for Archbishop Wuerl's anti-same-sex marriage efforts as well as a USCCB pastoral letter, which has been perceived as an 'anti-gay attack' - when in actual fact it is a defense of marriage, defining Catholic teaching on issues of faith and morals.  From the website, ChurchOuting.org press release:
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ChurchOuting.org is a clearinghouse for reports of priests who are openly gay men in social settings yet professionally closeted in their parishes. The campaign will also accept reports of heterosexual priests who are involved in romantic or sexual relationships, yet support the Archbishop’s efforts to harm lesbian and gay families. - Source
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Our local gay activist Michael Bayly joins his support to the organization's efforts:
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I should say from the start that I support efforts to out the hypocrisy of those Roman Catholic bishops and priests who live secretive gay lives while at the same time either publicly support the official anti-gay rhetoric and efforts of the church’s clerical leadership to strip gay people of civil rights protections, or remain silent in the face of such un-Christlike behavior. Indeed, I resonate with ChurchOuting.org’s founder Phil Attey’s hope that this campaign in Washington, D.C., will “inspire similar campaigns in every archdiocese across the country.” - Source
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Nothing new.
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Didn't Act Up launch a campaign to out closeted public figures way back when?  Most recently Larry Craig pretty much outed himself when he was caught with his pants down in a MPLS airport.  Gay activists like Michael say that type of behavior wouldn't happen if everyone was out and being gay was on equal terms with  heterosexuality.  In response I like to cite people such as George Michael who seems to prefer that type of sexual adventure even though he lives in a domestic partnership - he famously and unashamedly defended such behavior saying, "It is what gay people do."  Yet activists maintain such sleazy behavior is motivated by shame and therefore deserving of understanding - although in the case of closeted 'bi-sexual' predators, who may struggle against such sins in spite of themselves, they are roundly condemned as hypocrites, while the guy is held up to public ridicule and shame - by the very people who seek approval for their immoral acts.
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Washington gay activists may be placing all their bets on such tactics of detraction since they appear to have worked so well in the Church of England:
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Furthermore, "outing" (or the threat of "outing") may help persuade some homophobic closet gays to stop doing damage to other gay people, and thereby prevent considerable suffering. It can also very effectively pressure homophobic institutions to reconsider their anti-gay policies.
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This is what happened when OutRage! named ten Anglican Bishops last November. Suddenly, for the first time ever, the Church of England began high-level dialogue with the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement. In January, the Bishops held a previously unscheduled re-examination of their stance on homosexuality, which resulted in a strongly-worded condemnation of homophobic discrimination and anti-gay violence. Church officials have privately admitted that none of these developments would have occurred if OutRage! had not "provoked a crisis" by naming the Bishops. 
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However, perhaps the most significant effect of calling on the Bishops to "Tell The Truth!" is that the whole homophobic establishment is now aware that "outing" is not just an idle threat. OutRage! has ripped open the closet doors of the Church of England. We can, if we decide to, also expose hypocritical and homophobic closet gays in politics, business, the military, judiciary and the police. These people now understand that all those who abuse their power to harm other lesbian and gay people are potential targets. This will probably encourage at least some of them to think twice about being homophobic in the future. - Source
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I thought blackmail was illegal?
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Well, it is certainly not honorable.  I suppose all is fair in love and war, and never forget, this is war.  Consider as well that 'the sin of the Gentiles is they lack charity', therefore these kind of threats should not surprise anyone.  'Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed,' right?
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"Fornicator I always was, heretic I never was." - St. Andrew Wourters, Gorcum Martyr
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The fact is, many same sex attracted men have struggled to live according to the teachings of the Church, and as all of us who admit to being sinners, many fall - and rise again.  Priests are not perfect, to preach the truth about homosexuality is not hypocrisy - even if a priest fails to live up to his vows from time to time.  If he repents and strives to live accordingly, in time he will be victorious.  On the other hand, perhaps there are 'bad' priests living duplicitous lives, and exposure could perhaps bring them to repentance?  I don't know.   I do know that some priests will suffer for the faith if this happens.  Priests wrongly accused, priests who have reformed their lives, and priests actively struggling, as well as priests who reject their homosexual inclination and who have never acted on it.  Priests and Bishops who preach the truth despite their flawed humanity, weakness, and in some cases, past moral failures, are not hypocrites.
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If indeed there are active homosexualist priests living duplicitous lives, I strongly suspect their lifestyle is already known by many of those around them - think liberal priests in liberal parishes - therefore I suspect such outings will have little to no effect.  Publicising it will only confirm that Perez Hilton is not some odd aberration of gay culture, but typifies an essential weakness of the immature homosexual personality: to complain, to attack, to wallow in self-pity, to gossip, to detract, to calumniate, to mock, to scorn.
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Credits/Notes:
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Photo:  Fr. Mychal Judge, O.F.M.  Heroic FDNY chaplain who was killed during the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers.  It is claimed that Fr. Judge did not hide his homosexual orientation, although those who knew him insist he had been unjustly "outed" by gay activists: 
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"Prior to Father Mike's death, everyone who knew him for any length of time would never describe him as a homosexual. In fact, never has even one homosexual activist ever provided evidence that Father Mike was "gay." Yet, in newspapers immediately after the funeral mass, Brendan Fay was quoted saying that Father Mike was a homosexual. Fay arranged a media event where many people spoke of Father Mike's concern for the homosexual community and claimed Father Mike was "gay." This was news to me, and I knew Father Mike for nearly a decade.
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After the first series of newspapers stories reported that Father Mike was a homosexual, suddenly politicians were standing up in Congress lamenting the death of "Father Mike, the gay priest." Concerned that Father Mike was being used by homosexual activists, I began to contact many people who knew him for as long or longer than I did. I wanted the truth about Father Mike to be published. Not one of these longtime friends ever heard or saw anything that Father Mike did that would indicate he was homosexual. I personally spent weeks at a time with Father Mike where he and I spoke about many personal matters. Not once was there even a suggestion that Father Mike was "gay." He was a celibate Catholic priest and nothing more." - Source
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Art:  Gorcum Martyrs.  Amidst the priests and layman martyred by the Calvinists in Holland was the diocesan priest Fr. Andrew Wouters who had not been rounded up but voluntarily joined his priestly confreres in captivity. Fr. Wouters had not been faithful to his promise of chastity and had led a scandalous life that was notorious all over the parish and beyond. Not previously a very spiritual man, he nonetheless showed himself a man of spirit by taking his place among the prisoners. When his past failures were thrown in his face by his captors as a disgrace to his calling and a negation of his creed, he looked them in the eye and said, "Fornicator I always was, heretic I never was." - Source
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Above:  St. Lawrence liberates souls from purgatory.  Source

 
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Unedited notes...



All quiet on Chris West's front.
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Just kidding with the title.  Anyway.  If I post a lot of homosexual stuff these days it is because a lot of homo stuff is in the news.  It's cyclical you know.  As you may have noticed, and homosexuals frequently point this out to me because they don't want to hear nothin' bad about their baby, I tend to address queer issues when they get too queer.  So gay advocates make me out to be the bad guy, the dumb guy, the queer guy.
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New Catholic Sex Abuse Findings: Gay Priests Are Not the Problem.
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Neither are they the solution.  The Bishops (USCCB) funded a study in response to the sexual abuse scandal, which Cardinal George now claims to be over, move on, all of that.  The study contends abuse has fallen off because seminary training in sexuality is better - 'like stand in front of a mirror and...' never mind.  I'm not going there.  The investigation by the John Jay College of Law will be made public sometime next month, while a few details of the report have emerged from the Bishop's meeting in Baltimore this past week.  One item:
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"It's important to separate the sexual identity and the behavior," Terry said. "Someone can commit sexual acts that might be of a homosexual nature but not have a homosexual identity." Terry said factors such as greater access to boys is one reason for the skewed ratio. Smith also raised the analogy of prison populations where homosexual behavior is common even though the prisoners are not necessarily homosexuals, or cultures where men are rigidly segregated from women until adulthood, and homosexual activity is accepted and then ceases after marriage. - Source
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So... celibacy is the problem?  What?  Huh?
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Reading this, along with assorted post comments on various pro-homosexualist blogs, one might get the impression Catholic seminarians and priests are men herded into a lifestyle against their will, imprisoned by medieval rules of celibacy, while constrained in a sort of arrested development limbo, languishing in a metaphorical psycho-sexual torture chamber of unhappiness.  That is so stupid.  I find it totally inappropriate that seminarians would somehow be comparable to prison inmates in the study - I can understand that seculars might do so - I just find it unacceptable.  Such an  analogy could perhaps work for the reform school culture in early to mid-20th century Ireland - but not in seminary or monastic life in the United States during that period - or ever.  (Unless we're talking Legionaries of Christ of course.  Kidding.  Kind of.)
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Arrested development - a symptom of the age.
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Oh!  And for gay people to accuse gay priests - or any priest - of sexual immaturity or arrested development is amazing to me, since most same-sex attraction happens to be a by-product of arrested psycho-sexual development in the first place.  (I know - they deny that.)  So it is like the pot calling the kettle black.  Anyway, most men - straight or gay - if they have not consistently mortified, or at least achieved some level of discipline over their sexual appetites - pretty much revert back to their adolescent fantasy stage when sexual temptation arises - that is what is meant when men are accused of thinking with their...  pp.  That said, the majority of men ordained to the priesthood are usually as sexually mature and balanced as any healthy heterosexual man presenting for marriage.
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Gay is as gay does.
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So anyway - the other thing I want to say is that if a man, any man - a priest, a married man, public school teacher, doctor, guy next door, an uncle or your mother's live-in boyfriend -  seeks out a boy to have sex with - that's gay.  Okay?  It's always a gay act.  And a big NO here - to be sure - not all gay men are pederasts, that is, want sex with boys or teens.  But to try to separate the homosexual orientation from the act is political correctness run amok and another form of cover-up.  Just so, I am sure there are priests with homosexual inclination who have successfully renounced or abstained from sexual activity and romantic involvement for the sake of the Kingdom of God, and who live faithful, spiritually edifying and productive lives, without rebellion and or compromise - that is, 'selling their birthright for a meal' - in other words, settling for fleeting, sensual, worldly consolation, while forfeiting the eternal beatitude of Heaven.
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Courage
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Michael Bayly recently held a meeting for his CPCSM group, which he documented in a post on his blog, slamming Courage apostolate.  He had one guy, a former Courage member, 'survivor' as they say, witness to the horrors of the organization.  Therefore, this one anecdotal experience of a local Courage group is supposed to cancel out an otherwise successful apostolate that has the approval of the Roman Catholic Church?  Come on.
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Yes, Courage has links to NARTH an organization which supports 'reparative therapy' for people who would like to try and change or get rid of homosexual attraction.  Nevertheless, the fundamental principles of Courage do not require that person's with same-sex attraction change their orientation, rather Courage is established to support individuals who strive to live in accord with Church teaching regarding homosexuality.
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Even the American Psychological Association acknowledges that some highly motivated men and women want to change their orientation and that in some instances it is possible for some people to do so.  These people are sometimes recognized as ex-gays.  In addition, to deny that some people can change is to deny the power of Christ and grace - which is somewhat anti-Christian in my opinion.
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Enough said.
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I have to get back to painting, and perhaps I will write more about this later - but Courage is a good help to people struggling with homosexual tendencies as well as those who desire to leave the homosexual lifestyle behind.  It is not a requirement that Catholics with SSA join the group, nor does the Church ever require that they change their orientation - the Church asks only that the person repent of homosexual acts and live chastely in obedience to Church teaching.  This does not preclude chaste and celibate same sex friendships.  The Church recognizes that conversion is a process and that fallen human nature - men and women - are only able to 'strive to enter the narrow way' taught by Christ.  'What is impossible for man is possible for God.'  This is what Our Lord promises through his Church.
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If you don't like Courage or the Catholic Church, don't join - but at least try to keep the Commandments and permit others to do likewise.
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Photo:  Good seminarians.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yay! Cathy of Alexandria got her job!

She's all busy getting her clothes ready - to look professional and fashionable... you know.

Out of Africa



The Christian resistance to Western Cultural Imperialism.
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"Africa must protect itself from the contamination of intellectual cynicism in the West.  It is our pastoral responsibility to enlighten African consciences about the threats of this lethal ideology."  - Archbishop Sarah, Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. 
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The Archbishop issued this warning during the African Synod in Rome last month.  Thankfully the African Bishops are keenly aware  of the new Western cultural imperialism which demands conversion to insidious ideological conditions.  Recall how contemporary historians condemn earlier eras of Christian missionary activity in similar terms, yet today liberal Western influence and Government agencies demand acceptance of new ideologies in exchange for humanitarian aid and support.  It is the new liberal dogmatism, the "dictatorship of relativism", as Pope Benedict has said.
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"Gender theory", said Archbishop Sarah, "puts pressure on the legislator to write laws favorable to universal access to ... contraceptive and abortion services ... as well as homosexuality" as part of the concept of "reproductive health.  It places the "right to choose" as the "supreme value of this new ethic" in which "homosexuality becomes a culturally acceptable choice and access to this choice must be promoted." - Source 
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Archbishop Sarah was speaking explicitly to the anti-Christian ideology of gender theory and sexual fluidity which is currently being propagated - imposed - by Western culture.  He wasn't a lone voice at the Synod by any means:  "One of the major themes of the Synod has been the denunciation of Western anti-life and anti-family programs as a new form of colonialism and "cultural imperialism" from the West, which is trying to impose a set of alien values onto African society." - Source
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Another Archbishop, in an interview with NCR, explained that "the problem is very real, suggesting that Western organizations are purposely undermining traditional African values. Asked, "Is there really a Western campaign to corrupt African values?" Archbishop Palmer-Buckle replied, "We don't only suspect that there is a campaign, we think it's deliberate."
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Foreign groups, said the archbishop, are not only trying to influence governments, "but they're out there corrupting the young.  I know of NGOs that are not only supplying condoms, they're also supplying lubricants for boys who want to engage in homosexual relations.  I know of NGOs that are not only supplying condoms, they're also supplying lubricants for boys who want to engage in homosexual relations."
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Archbishop Palmer-Buckle said that "serious advocacy" was needed to oust these agendas. "We need to target those NGOs and those particular individuals, and tell whoever brought them in there that they're persona non grata." - Source
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Is it any wonder that African nations would be on the defensive against such incursions upon the very moral foundation of society and the common good?
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Art:  Icon of Ugandan Martyrs.

Questions...


Please.
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Does anyone know where I can find better photos of this chapel online?   What is the name of the chapel?  And who did the fresco?  I am very grateful for any information from anyone. 
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Thanks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Homosexualist lies and deception




"Through them, the true way will be made subject to contempt." - 2 Peter 2:2
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Homosexual activists love to accuse the Catholic Church of lies and deception when it comes to Catholic  teaching on homosexuality and so-called same sex marriage.  I just read a gay activist's blog post wherein he accuses the hierarchy of the Catholic Church as being a bunch of liars on this subject.  Unfortunately, such activist's deceive themselves and propagate all sorts of lies regarding the history of same sex relationships in the early Church.  Principal heroes to their cause are two soldier saints, Sergius and Bacchus, martyrs whose history is at best obscure and may be confused with other famous companion martyrs.  The cult of St. Sergius developed around his burial place in Syria, which became a source of pilgrimage.  St. Sergius' companion, St. Bacchus came to be associated with his cult, as early icons attest.
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The two martyrs were high ranking officers in the Roman Army under Maximian.  They were martyred for refusing to partake in a temple ceremony for the military.  Their Acts relate how the saints were humiliated by being dressed as women and paraded through the streets to their torture and death.  Traditional legend contends they were close friends and companions.
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"In the last days there will be imposters living by their godless passions."  - Jude 18
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Sadly, modern revisionist scholarship, has attempted to prove their friendship was homosexual and romantic.  That is untrue.  Their friendship was Christocentric, their humiliation in martyrdom was an attempt to shame and discredit their manliness, courage and integrity.  Unfortunately, homosexualists twist these stories to suit their agenda, and through repetition, deceive people into accepting their unverifiable interpretation of ancient hagiography.  A similar situation exists with the gay cult surrounding St. Sebastian, which is based entirely upon iconography which depicts the saint as a nearly nude, handsome young man, often in a rather provocative pose suggesting bondage to modern, eroticized eyes.
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While researching this subject I came across this comment regarding the platonic same sex friendship of St.s Sergius and Bacchus - I would have written the same thing here had I not read this first:
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The use, or may I say abuse, of the example of Saints Sergius and Bacchus has been a propaganda tool of the Gay Movement in many churches that acknowledge or know about the early saints. The fact is, as we know, what we call “gay” in the current sense, never had currency in ancient times, not even in Greco-Roman culture.
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There are many examples from early Christian times until today of two same sex individuals who had given up thought of marriage and decided to live and work together, either as monastics in seclusion or as missionary partners. Most of these, I believe, were male, but only because their stories have come down to us due to their exploits. Females living this way often lived lives of quiet charity unseen by the world, even by the church. To assert that any of these pairs (remember, Christ sent them out two by two, and such has been the way in Christian missionary work ever since) were living in anything even remotely like the modern “gay” lifestyle, is not only wishful thinking and gross anachronism, but disrespectful of the ancients concerned.
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In the Desert Fathers, there is a story of a perverted monk who came to complain to one of the abbas, that a couple of monastics, living together, were “of evil life,” that is a euphemism for living in a homosexual lifestyle. The old man had the two men come and stay with him awhile, watching them, seeing how after the customary prayers they lay down side by side on their mats, and he did this for many days. He determined that there was no substance to the accusation, and it turned out that the accuser was himself guilty of the offense. It goes without saying that those who attempt to smear the paired saints of antiquity are like this perverted monk accuser. - Romanos
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"These people, however, not only revile what they have no knowledge of but are corrupted through the very things they know by instinct, like brute animals." - Jude 10
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 Art:  St.s Sergius and Bacchus, 13th century Crusader icon, St. Catherine's, Sinai  

Quote of the Day

"Questions that are moral before they become political, remain moral questions after they become political." - Cardinal George

Santa Isabel de Hungria




Co-patroness of the Third Order of St. Francis with St. Louis, King of France. St. Elizabeth's feast day is November 17.  Her story here
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(Happy feast day Betty.)
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Art:  Artist unknown.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sarah Palin on Oprah


Alaskan whine.
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The woman makes no sense - Sarah Palin I mean - we already know Oprah's deal... 
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Palin's memoir, Going Rogue promises to be about as riveting as Vana Speaks.

S. Giuseppe Moscati


Third Order Franciscan, Physician.
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St. Joseph Moscati was from Benevento in Southern Italy, where most of my friends ancestors came from.  He is noted as the first canonized saint doctor of modern times.  He has been on my list of personal patrons due to the fact he was a single man, living a holy life in the world, faithful to prayer, a daily communicant, and an excellent professional, devoted to the duties of his state in life.  The Franciscan charism acted as a glorious frame surrounding the beauty of his soul; it not only framed his spirituality but became its support.
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"Working in Naples, St. Joseph understood the need to bring Christ into his daily work. Christ was intimately linked to his calling as a doctor. To quote him:
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"Remember that you have to deal not only with the bodies but also with the moaning souls coming to you. How many suffering people you will more easily soothe by advising and going straight to their souls, instead of giving good prescriptions to be given to the chemist! Be joyful because great will be your reward; but you will have to set a good example of your elevation to God."
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There are a number of stories of Dr. Moscati paying close attention to the state of his patient's soul as well as his body, sometimes even bringing the patient back to the sacraments. The Catholic understanding of body and soul clearly informed his understanding of illness and medicine. He saw Confession and Communion as the "first medicine". To help the poor, St. Moscati often donated his medical services or paid for his patients' prescriptions." - CNN
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St. Joseph's example brings to mind our courageous contemporary physicians, who out of concern for souls, stand against the culture of death, and in particular the politically correct popular-culture which condones and/or ecncourages contraception, abortion, abuses in biotechnology, as well as gender identity and homosexual disorders.  May St. Joseph Moscati pray for those doctors who face such hostile opposition from their contemporaries.
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Prayer to St.Joseph Moscati

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"Dear St Joseph Moscati, true model of Christian doctors, in the exercise of your medical profession, you always took care of both the body and soul of every patient.
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Look on us, who have recourse to your heavenly intercession, and obtain for us both physical and spiritual health, and a share in the dispensation of heavenly favours.
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Soothe the pains of our suffering people; give comfort to the sick, consolation to the afflicted and hope to the despondent.
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May our young people find in you an ideal, our workers an example, the aging a comfort, the dying the hope of eternal salvation.
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To all of us be a pattern of industriousness, honesty and charity; so we may comply with our Christian duties and glorify God our Father."

Amen.
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November 16 is St. Joseph's feast day.
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Links:
More on The Life of St. Joseph Moscati
First Modern Medical Doctor Canonized.

I love this guy!

Origin of the species


Kumbaya liturgies.
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One morning after vigils, while I was still in the monastery, our Novice Master celebrated an intimate Mass for one of my best friends and brother in the novitiate.  Br. D was preparing to leave the monastery that day and Father felt a private, more casual Mass would be a nice send off - right after vigils.  Father was vested the same as the priest in the photo, and Mass was celebrated on a little table just like what is shown.  The three of us sat around it throughout, in a little speak room of the Guesthouse.  That took place in the summer of 1975.
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So once again, I contend this kumbaya style of Mass could not have originated with teen Masses.  Instead, I stand by my assertion that the relaxed-fit Mass was a novelty that gained popularity in and through the Charismatic Renewal.  BTW - Fr. Master also had the gift of tongues.  I know(Yes he did D - he prayed over me in tongues - LOL!  And yes Michael, it was at NM.)
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Photo:  Florida priest presiding over teen Mass in 1987.  Yes the priest is a guy.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Missing Mass on Sunday - it isn't that bad, is it?



"Emphasis should be placed upon grace, not obligation."
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"Say something nice" and don't be so intolerant and make people think they have to do anything they don't want to do... that's kinda, sorta the impression I got from the article, Mass on Sunday:  Obligation or opportunity? by Fr. Richard Benson, C.M..  "For us to use the language of "obligation" and "duty" is to minimize the Eucharist, to miss its very centrality."  Then the author goes on to write a small pamphlet explaining why that is so, even though the Catechism states very clearly and succinctly:
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2180  The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass." 117  "The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or the evening of the preceding day." 118  - CCC
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Don't tell anyone, but the real reason missing Mass on Sunday is a grave sin is explained in the following paragraphs of the CCC:
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2181  The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice.  For this reason the faithful are obliged...
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2182   Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and his Church.  The faithful give witness by this to their communion in faith and charity.  Together they testify to God's holiness and their hope of salvation.  They strengthen (edify) one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  CCC
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"...stuck at the immature level of a morality of obligation."

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Fr. Benson's article addresses the concern of a woman in RCIA - a neophyte - someone coming into the Church.  He takes what the CCC says and lays on another requirement:
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Nevertheless, it would seem that the Catechism answers Janice's question very clearly: to deliberately miss Mass is to commit a grave sin. When a sin entails grave matter and is done deliberately and with knowledge, then it is indeed a mortal sin.  This however, should not be the end of Janice's inquiry but the beginning. - Source
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Although the priest cites pertinent passages from the CCC, rather than teach clearly and simply what the Church teaches, Benson goes on and on about feeings stuff and exceptions to the rules and idealized dispositions and attitudes and understandings - feelings.  Hugs.  Niceties.  All nicely woven together with theological references and early Church praxis.  I contend he confuses the neophyte and the reader on an otherwise simple subject - as I'm sure many RCIA classes do as well.  He invites Janice (the RCIA student) to somehow act as an arbitrer of conscience in determining if her husband and inlaws are sinning when they neglect Mass.  When in fact, all Janice was seeking was a clarification as to whether or not it is still a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sudays and days of obligation.
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"Nevertheless, it would seem that the Catechism answers Janice's question very clearly... "
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Seem?  Yeah - it did father.  Additionally, Fr. Benson never really states the necessity of confession before approaching Holy Communion (in the case of those who miss Mass deliberately or conscious of grave sin), while giving the impression that the point of the Mass or communal Celebration of the Eucharist is sacramental Communion by all in attendence.  Father refers to a mature Catholic attitude despite the notion he is speaking to a neophyte, whose Catholic inlaws clearly lack a sense of devotion, or sensum fidei, and most likey need a great deal of spiritual help as well - something a good confession could jump start.  Ironically, he suggests Janice evangelize her family even though she is having trouble assimilating clear teaching and doctrine.
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Fr. Richard Benson's article misses. 
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But it is nice... and I'm sure he is too.
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Say something nice Gracie.
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H/T PewsittersNews
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Photo:  Excuse #1) "Missing Mass on Sunday because Father is gay?"
                              "No, not good enough.  Next!"
Photo source.

Loome's Theological Booksellers - and now - Sacred Gifts


Grand Opening Reception, Sunday, November 15, 2- 4 PM
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The proprietors, Christopher Hagen and Andrew Poole and company will celebrate the opening of Loome Sacred Gifts this coming Sunday featuring an Art Show of original works by Catholic Artists and a concert by the St. Agnes Chamber Choir, as well as refreshments and the opportunity to socialize and get to know the staff  and their families.
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The famous bookstore - originally an old church - houses a treasury of books, as well as artistic treasures.  The owners have pulled together antique Solemn High Mass Altar Cards, vintage holy cards, hand illuminated antiphonals on velum, vintage devotional art, and other antiques and artifacts.  Combined with new inventory and antiquarian books, it is much more than a gift shop or religious goods store, I assure you - it is an adventure. 
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As they say on their blogsite, Ex Libris Theologicis, visit this Sunday and:
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Enjoy Renaissance polyphony sung from the highest balcony. Massive original oil paintings on display. Vibrant original icons tucked among shelves of theological books. Caramels made by Trappistine nuns. This Sunday will be a Catholic cultural event for families, priests, and friends alike. You're going to love it. Please join us this Sunday for our grand opening event. - Christopher and Andrew and family and colleagues.
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Loome Sacred Gifts Grand Opening


November 15th

2 -4 PM

2 PM - Concert

2:30-4 PM - Art Show

Loome Theological Booksellers
320 4th Street N
Stillwater, MN 55082 
651-430-1092 
LoomeBooks.com


*Reproduction Latin Mass Card set shown above is not available.  Antique sets are still available however.