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, December 05, 2009

Saturday morning hangover.



Catching up on the week.
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Boy!  Was I depressed yesterday.  I realized all of my paintings for the creche at church are too big - although I'm not convinced they still won't work.  (I got the proper measurements after I began work - so it is my own fault.)  My first thought was to remove the canvas from the stretchers and size them down - but then much would be lost.  I tell myself they are not great art - just backgrounds, but then I remind myself I spent a lot on the canvas/stretcher (gallery type) and it wouldn't be wise to just throw the stretchers away... long story short - I can't bring myself to do it.  I don't want to wreck them.  So I bought smaller canvases to redo all of the paintings on - which means I will be rushed.  I am so against tension, rushing, stress, etc. during the holidays - so against it.  I'll do my best however.  Everything will work out.  (This is why I do not like to commissions however... )
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The Cardinal makes no apologies.
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The Spanish Cardinal clarified his statement regarding homosexuals going to hell.  Turns out he was misquoted, however his explanation probably will not satisfy the sensitivities of homosexual activists who continually assault the Catholic Church demanding a change in moral teaching:
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The cardinal, however, said in a statement sent to ZENIT on Thursday that his words were taken out of context. The cardinal said he was referencing the Bible, specifically St. Paul's Letter to the Romans, 1:26-27, which says (in part), "Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity."

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"This is what the Word of God says, it isn't what I said," Cardinal Lozano Barragán affirmed. "Now, I have never said that a particular homosexual cannot be saved, because he can be saved."

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"Many times one is not a homosexual through one's own fault; it all depends on one's education and environment," the prelate clarified.
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Cardinal Lozano Barragán reiterated the Church's teaching on grave sin: "The only thing I can say is that for grave fault to exist, in addition to needing grave matter, one needs full knowledge and full consent: Where one of those three conditions is lacking, there is no grave fault."

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Above all, the cardinal stressed that he is not the one who judges people, since God is. - Zenit
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BTW - The Vatican never did rebuke the Cardinal's remarks - they simply offered clarified teaching.  See here
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Sarah's coming to Minneapolis - keep your moose indoors.
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No kidding.  To promote her book.  I am continually amazed that people are impressed with this woman and her politics.
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“I disagree with the Obama administration on that,” the former Alaska governor told interviewer Barbara Walters.  (The Obama administration’s opposition to Israeli expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.)  “I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon because the population of Israel is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. And I don’t think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand.” - Source
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It is obvious Mrs. Palin thinks Armageddon is coming.  The woman is pro-life, and as a good mother, she didn't abort a down syndrome child - all very good.  She's a nice lady.  Her work for pro-life causes, and especially to stem the tide of aborting special needs kids - excellent.  Yet her politics are way too millenial/millenarianist to run for any office.  
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I think she's an opportunist as well.  The woman quit her job as Governor and now insists on being addressed as Governor - that's one of the things she requires the press to do when they interview her.  Like any good Evangelical-Prosperity-Gospel devote, the lady is making real money now.  Good for her.
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Connection between USCCB and gay rights activist sparks controversy.
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Well, she's just a lesbian - see, I don't take women seriously.  (Kidding... kind of.)  But anyway - I wasn't paying much attention to this one because it sounded like an outing event, or the result of a witch hunt in the USCCB, connected to their Campaign for Human Development fund scandal - I never, ever contributed BTW - I always give to direct service providers - that I know and trust.
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Anyway, so a lesbian woman is a consultant to the USCCB - they say she isn't really a consultant - but they say a lot of different things which don't make sense.  Like I said - I paid no attention to the story - my lawyer is a lesbian - so what - if they know their field and do a good job - let them.  Yet the situation with Mary Kay Henry probably does call for some attention, if only for this reason:
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Henry, the international executive vice president for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was recently named one of the nation's "Top 25 Women in Healthcare" for 2009 by Modern Healthcare. Her biography at the SEIU website explains that “Her faith and values as a practicing Roman Catholic led her to pursue union organizing as a vocation.”
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“Mary Kay is also active in the fight for immigration reform and gay and lesbian rights. She is a founding member of SEIU's gay and lesbian Lavender Caucus,” her description continues.
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According to SEIU, “The Lavender Caucus is the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/ Transgender (L/G/B/T) Caucus of the Service Employees International Union whose purpose is to facilitate open and respectful communication between the L/G/B/T community and the labor movement.”
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SEIU also supports reproductive rights for women. - Source
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"We got heretics right here in River City!"  (Sarah Palin wink.)
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Here comes Sinter Klaus!
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BTW.  Tomorrow is St. Nicholas day - my tree goes up.  Did you Catholic-Puritan people know that the Pope suggests the European custom of setting up the home creche the day after the feast of the Immaculate Conception?  (I know!  It's still Advent!)
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Have a nice day.
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Photo:  Christmas tree scene from Angels and Demons.

Friday, December 04, 2009

The long and winding road.



"Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding, and those who find fault shall receive instruction." - Isaiah 29:24, Today's first reading.
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I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord with courage;
be stouthearted and wait for the Lord. - Ps. 27, Today's responsorial.
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The long and winding road


That leads to your door

Will never disappear

I've seen that road before

It always leads me here

Lead me to your door.



The wild and windy night

That the rain washed away

Has left a pool of tears

Crying for the day.

Why leave me standing here?

Let me know the way.





Many times I've been alone

And many times I've cried,

Anyway you've always known

The many ways I've tried.





And still they lead me back

To the long, winding road

You left me standing here

A long, long time ago

Don't leave me standing here

Lead me to your door.



But still they lead me back

To the long winding road

You left me standing here

A long, long time ago

Don't keep me waiting here

Lead me to your door. - Lennon/McCartney
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Art:  Michael O'Brien

Archbishop Carlson takes care of business in St. Louis...


With excellent commentary by Fr. Z!  Read it here.
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"The Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage is not a demonstration of "hate" toward anyone. Undermining God’s design, however, is not charity toward anyone." - Fr. Z
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God bless the Archbishop and Fr. Z.
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(I'm busy painting, so postings have little commentary.)
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Photo: Source

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Vatican Press Office Director, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. - Apparently on spin cycle.


Rebukes Mexican Cardinal Javier Barragan?  I don't think so.
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As you know from my earlier post, yesterday Cardinal Barragan, referencing the words of St. Paul, stated publicly, "Transsexuals and homosexuals will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven, it's not me who says it but St. Paul."  The Cardinal's comments were posted on a conservative Catholic website called http://www.pontifex.roma/
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After protests from gay activist groups, some in the media are reporting that "the Vatican has rebuked the Cardinal" for his statement.  No it hasn't.  Actually, Fr. Lombardi is doing all the talking right now, and to my knowledge he seems to be working on damage control - and not rebuking anyone:
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The Vatican distanced itself from the comments in a statement that was highly unusual because it indirectly criticized a top Church official.
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Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the website should not be considered an authority on Catholic thinking "on complex and delicate issues such as homosexuality".
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Lombardi quoted from the official Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, which says homosexual acts are a "disorder" but acknowledges that many people have "innate homosexual tendencies" and should be treated with respect and not be subject to discrimination.  The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are sinful but homosexuality in itself is not. - Source
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Anyone who follows Vatican news knows that Lombardi has not always been on top of his game when it comes to the press releases issued from his office.
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Father Lombardi viewed his role at the press office differently from his predecessor. He explained that he does not want to be called the papal "spokesman": "I don't think my role is to explain the pope's thinking or explain the things that he already states in an extraordinarily clear and rich way." But, ironically, Lombardi's stumbles began in 2007 when he began to do exactly what he said he would not: interpret.

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It is surprising that Father Lombardi, given his experience, would have allowed such high-profile blunders. He worked for the influential Jesuit-run magazine La Civiltà Cattolica and served as superior of the Jesuits' Italian province. In 1991, he was named program director, and later general director, of Vatican Radio, and was also made general director of the Vatican Television Centre in 2001. He continues to hold all three directorships (though he does not manage L'Osservatore Romano). - Deal Hudson for LifeSiteNews, 5/25/09
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I am certain that Cardinal Barragan, given the time and platform, would qualify his comments with greater theological clarity, as it was, he stated matter of fact the traditional interpretation of St. Paul's teaching regarding homosexual acts which must be judged "in the larger context of the biblical teaching on human sexuality and marriage.  In the classical texts, homosexual acts is always condemned." - Fr. John Harvey, The Truth About Homosexuality: The value of argument from specific biblical texts, p.138-141
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Gay activists and historical revisionists take the scriptural prohibitions out of context using a process often disparaged as "reductionist manipulation".  These are offered as a basis for dialog by gay activist theologians, and may well influence a great number of Catholic Church clerics and professionals, which affects the careful approach by Church spokesman to such "complex and delicate issues such as homosexuality".
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The fact media gives greater coverage and support to reductionist theories creates doubt in the minds of the faithful who adhere to traditional teaching.  That said - The Cardinal was not rebuked. 
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I think the subject is so dire and the heresies so pervasive, an Apostolic Letter or Exhortation directly from the Pope is called for.
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UPDATE:  Analyst says 'homosexuals will go to hell' likely a misquote of Vatican cardinal - CNA

A Cardinal who actually takes St. Paul at his word...



Homosexuals and transsexuals "will never enter the kingdom of heaven". - Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan
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"Transsexuals and homosexuals will never enter the kingdom of heaven and it is not me who says this, but Saint Paul," Barragan, the retired head of the Vatican's Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers said, in comments reported by the Ansa news agency.
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"People are not born homosexual, they become homosexual, for different reasons: education issues or because they did not develop their own identity during adolescence. It may not be their fault, but acting against nature and the dignity of the human body is an insult to God," he said. - Source 
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I didn't say anything.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Poetry Wednesday... just for the holidays...


An older friend was telling me how sad the holidays are for some people.  "I know," I answered sympathetically, asking, "Are they hard for you too?"
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"No, not really, but I'm writing out my Christmas cards and I realize this person is dead, this one has alzheimer's, that one is in a nursing home, that couple is divorced... so many people have it rough these days.  Some people have lost their job and their home.  There is a lot of sadness out there."  Clearly my friend was deeply moved emotionally.
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What do you say?  What could I say?  So I said, "I know, I know!"
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I really do know too.  What we have to remember however, is that people who find the holidays difficult or sad, more often than not find life difficult and sad.  Christmas just "is" - whatever the situation - it will be just as bad before the holiday as it is after.  If you are having a sad Christmas - that's Christmas for you.  You just go through it like you go through today or the day after - it is what it is.
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Now for the poetry...
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I'll have a blue Christmas without you
I'll be blue thinking about you


Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won't be the same if you're not here with me


And when those blue snowflakes start falling
That's when those blue memories start calling


You'll be doin' all right,
With your Christmas of white,

But I'll have a blue, blue Christmas. - words & music by billy hayes - jay johnson
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I know!
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(I'm so happy Advent colors went back to purple now - at least we won't have to sing this song after communion anymore.)

I'm so sick of this Holiday BS...



A post about Christmas ads, PETA, Theology of the Body, Victoria's Secret revealed, and "Do these GAP jeans make my butt look big?"
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All right - I changed my mind.  I decided the Gap ad is bad - I mean - annoying.  I love Christmas ads - but the Gap ad is getting on my nerves.  In fact, holiday marketing is very crappy this year - and yet I read somewhere that the advertising business is picking up.  Maybe that was a misprint and it meant to say they are just using pick-ups.
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Institutional ads seem to be following suit.  PETA for instance.  Without doubt the organization knows how to produce offensive ads, and sometimes they are just as bad (as in sexy) as what industry does - i.e. Victoria's Secret runway slut Christmas special last night.  (Black Eyed Peas are a class act, huh?)   If Victoria's secret be told, and the models were able to articulate a real thought, their Christmas message might well support Polish-born PETA spokesmodel, Joanna Krupa's statement defending her posing nude as an angel holding a crucifix.
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"I think worrying about going topless in a photo shoot or film is really ridiculous," protested Ms. Krupa.  "And the fact is, Pope John Paul said, since we were born naked, it is art, and it's just showing a beautiful body that God created."
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Responding to Roman Catholic critics, the TOB spokesmodel continued:  "As a practicing Catholic, I am shocked that the Catholic League is speaking out against my PETA ads. I'm doing what the Catholic Church should be doing, working to stop senseless suffering of animals, the most defenseless of God's creation." - Story
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I wonder if she is a member of the TOB Institute?  Perhaps it is cheezy of me to use a Polish spokesmodel's theological genius to critique Victoria's Secret soft porn televised lap dance last night, but I just wanted to hit two bimbos with one stone - without wasting a lot of time on the subject.
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Not long ago a lot of what we are exposed to used to be called "soft porn"...  it may not be called that now, but it still is what it is.  TOB or not.
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BTW:  Models be warned...  vanity kills...  Argentinian Beauty Queen Dies After Cosmetic Surgery on Her Buttocks
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Top Photo:  Angel bridge.  I didn't use the PETA model's photo as it is soft porn and blasphemous.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I never liked this guy.


"The way I would operate is, if someone were to come in and say, 'I have been abused. Has anyone else ever been abused that you can tell me about? and so forth,' I would say, 'This is not appropriate discussion for you and me,'" Egan said.
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Cardinal Edward Egan expressed skepticism over sexual abuse allegations against priests when he was a Connecticut bishop a decade ago:  "These things happen in such small numbers," Egan said in a 1999 deposition. "It's marvelous when you think of the hundreds and hundreds of priests and how very few have even been accused, and how very few have even come close to having anyone prove anything. So it is not a commonplace, by any means at all. It's a unique and unexpected occurrence."
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"I believe that Bishop Egan was aware _ when he took over and during his tenure _ of these complaints, yet in some circumstances let the priests continue and was very aggressive in his defending of these cases and re-victimizing the victims," said Jason Tremont, one of the attorneys for the clergy abuse victims, said the documents "confirm the mishandling and cover-up of sex abuse claims" by Egan and his predecessor, Bishop Walter Curtis, who died in 1997. - Source

Monday, November 30, 2009

So funny...


Dissenters, now calling themselves the American Catholic Council, plan a 2011 conference in Detroit “to create a new Church.”
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Promising that the American Catholic Council will “recapture the universal call to ministry,” organizers claim to have launched the call for the national council in an effort to create a more responsive, accountable Church that “calls on the active participation of its people and more closely models the American experience.”

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Although council leaders have denied that they are attempting to create their own church, the American Catholic Council website states their mission clearly: “We seek nothing short of a personal conversion of all to create a new Church.” And, while the organizers of the proposed council have appropriated the language and trappings of an authentic Catholic council, the reality is that the American Catholic Council will be conducted entirely outside the purview of the Church, flouting canon law, and ignoring input from current Church leaders. - Read more
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Aren't those seniors cute though?  Keeps 'em busy.  I wonder if Michael is going, oh, and Sr. Lou, sosf?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent wreaths and calendars...


Advent wreaths and calendars...
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Neither custom has ever interested me in the least.  I suppose that sounds irreverent, but the practice has never moved me to devotion.  And they are usually awkwardly displayed as well as really ugly.
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BTW - The origins of the Advent wreath dates back to pagan times in Northern Europe and was adapted by the Christians - some say in the Middle Ages, others say during the Reformation.  Of course the Advent calendar does indeed date back to the Reformation - it began as a Lutheran thing.  No big deal though.
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Traditionally, the weeks before Christmas were always observed as a minor lent; prayer and fasting from the feast of St. Martin to Christmas Eve.  In the West, the days of preparation were shortened to four weeks or so beginning with the fourth Sunday before Christmas.  In modern times the Advent Season has lost much of its penitential character, although many traditional Catholics are known to give things up, as in the Great Lent.
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Photo:  Catholic school girls preparing the Advent wreath in the Sister's community room, just before ducking out for a cigarette beneath the gym.  Photo source unavailable.