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, January 30, 2010

Calling all Minnesota artists!


Pictures at an exhibition.
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Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program will be hosting its once every ten year "Foot In The Door" exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts from February 19 to June 13, 2010.  I'm so excited.  Entries are accepted Thursday February 4 through Sunday February 7.  Go to the website for details: Foot In the Door 4.
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What's so great about it?  First of all it is crazy fun - to see such a variety of works.  Plus - you can say you, or such and such piece, has been exhibited at the MIA - how cool is that.  I exhibited before (a painting!) - I think in 1990 - yes, I have exhibited my work at the prestigious Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
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The work has to be 12" x 12" or under - to fit in the door (actually it is a box).  I paint 12" x 12" all the time - well not always.  I'm torn what to enter however... "The Sin of Ham" or "Watchmen".  I really want to enter "The Sin of Ham".  Memo to self: Call curator and ask if nudity is okay.  (I'm sure it is.)
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So local painters and writers of icons - think about entering your work.  It's soooooo fun!
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Art:  "Watchmen"

Something to keep in mind...


On justice and charity...
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“Both justice and charity require love for the truth and essentially lead to a search for the truth.” - Pope Benedict XVI
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The quote from the Holy Father can be found here in the context of his address to the Roman Rota regarding the danger of easy annulments being used as a sort of church-sanctioned divorce.

A most beautiful icon.

Our Lady of Fatima.
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Story here.
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Thanks to Sanctus Christopher blog.

Catcher in the Rye

Most people know J.D. Salinger died this week.  I actually thought he was already dead.  I can't get over the fact that I am getting old and all these old people I knew of or admired - who were old when I was young - are still alive, or just now dying.  (Gosh.  I'm hoping I don't have to live as long as they did.)
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Anyway.  Salinger was a huge influence in my life - well, not him, but Holden Caulfield.  I'm of a generation you realize.  Holden and Mr. Jones - the thin man (Dylan), gave me the courage to leave an abusive home during senior year and finish school on my own. 
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I hadn't realized Salinger was a recluse, and that he may have been writing - relieved not to be published.  "There is a marvelous peace in not publishing," J.D. Salinger told The New York Times in 1974. "Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure." - Source
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I like that.  Maybe I'm kind of like him.
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Yeah. 
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J.D. Salinger is dead.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bob Dylan - Ballad Of A Thin Man

J.D. Salinger is dead.

Hating the sin, loving the sinner...


"Neither do I condemn you."
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Has anyone else noticed that women who go in for abortions, or have had an abortion are never reviled as murderers or adulterers, or referred to by any other pejorative term?  Women who submit to abortion, choose to abort, or have aborted a child are treated with great compassion, understanding, and care.  I think that is wonderful - I really do.  Sometimes I struggle to have compassion, but that is not to say that I do not have it - compassion and an openness to the possibility that a woman may not have been really all that 'free' in making such a terrible 'choice'.
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On the other hand, most Christians no longer blink at the thought of an unmarried woman carrying to term a baby - often the result of an unplanned pregnancy.  Sarah Palin's daughter was roundly applauded and encouraged, and rightly so - an abortion would be unthinkable.  Morality has changed from the old days when unwed mothers were hidden away and shamed.  Yes, that is a good thing.
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Are 'perverts' the exception to the rule?
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Is there one or two types of sinner one can freely condemn, abuse, deride, humiliate, and hate?  Yesterday I was reading a post on Ad Dominum blog which I found rather unsettling.  In fact, I felt convicted by it.  Thom posted about a friend who walked out of Mass during a homily because the priest began condemning homosexuals from the pulpit.
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"It was going fine until the sermon. The priest talked about the Holy Family for a bit, then how the institution of the family is being destroyed in these modern times, which is true. However he then proceeded to viciously castigate homosexuals – which he called perverts – for the blasphemy of same-sex marriage and the corruption of children. His tone was downright sinister – he sounded like Rush Limbaugh, with the cadence of a Baptist minister, spitting out the words. It may have been the tone of self-hatred. I don’t know.

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If he had said something like, “This is what the Church teaches. I understand some people have difficulty with that, and we love them and only want them to understand. But we cannot and will not change our position.” – That would have been fine. This was something entirely different...  After internally debating whether to stay and speak with Father, or leave, I stood up and walked out. Several others followed in silence." - Ad Dominum
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The "unarticulated desire for enduring truth and the absolute..."
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I realized how my former posts must read/sound when read by gay people.  I accept Church teaching completely as regards homosexuality and the call to holiness through chaste celibacy.  That is a grace I thank God for.  I haven't always expressed that in loving terms, much less allowing that some people cannot accept that teaching and go away sad - like the rich young man; others go away grumbling and angry - like those who could not accept Christ's teaching on the Eucharist; yet no matter their disposition, all go away wounded when charity is lacking... thus a smoldering wick may have been extinguished, a bruised reed broken, a seed on rocky ground crushed.
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Without casting any aspersions, it might be good for us to take to heart the words of the Holy Father spoken last week in his invitation to priests to use the Internet in the exercise of their pastoral ministry. 
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"In Saturday's message - titled "The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: new media at the service of the Word" - Benedict urged special care in contacts with other cultures and beliefs.
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A presence on the Web, "precisely because it brings us into contact with the followers of other religions, nonbelievers and people of every culture, requires sensitivity to those who do not believe, the disheartened and those who have a deep, unarticulated desire for enduring truth and the absolute," he said." - The Washington Post
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If I continue to blog I need to do so in charity. 
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Art: Chagall, "David and Bathsheba".  Today's first reading from Mass concerns David's sin with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah.

The Pope on St. Francis...

"Armed only with his faith and his personal meekness -- St. Francis successfully followed the path of dialogue."
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In 1219, St. Francis went to Egypt and met with the Muslim leader, Sultan Malik al-Kamil.
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"I want to underline this episode in the life of St. Francis because of its great relevance. At a time when there was a conflict between Christianity and Islam, Francis -- armed only with his faith and his personal meekness -- successfully followed the path of dialogue," the pope said.
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St. Francis' desire to speak to the sultan and the sultan's cordial welcome is "a model that must inspire relations between Christians and Muslims today as well, promoting a dialogue in truth, mutual respect and understanding," he said. - CNS

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"Love never fails."  1 Corinthians 13:8
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I have so much repenting to do.






Art:  St Francis Before the Sultan

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thoughts on blogging: "Watch out for that one."


The other day I read a warning about a very fine priest in the com-box of a blog post; "Watch out for Fr. X...".  The commenter proceeded to explain how the priest had appeared to approve of something not approved by the Church.  Evidently the priest publicly corrected the misunderstanding.  Bloggers (me too) make similar mistakes all of the time - and if they are faithful Catholics, they usually try to correct any misunderstanding they've caused. 
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Over the years, some bloggers have stood behind their errors and therefore revealed a side to themselves unknown to their readers prior to their 'coming out of their heterodox closet' as it were.  The most famous case being that of Gerald at Cafeteria is Closed, after readers realized his particular cafeteria was still open.  My big criticism with Naus was that he continued to solicit donations on his blog, even after he began posting things contrary to Church teaching.  I felt faithful Catholics were contributing to a blog they felt to be 'orthodox' when in fact it wasn't.
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Interestingly enough, while I wrote a few posts pointing these things out regarding Cafeteria is Closed, I also received emails with information concerning Naus' history.  Nothing damaging, but I realized there are people who investigate us - readers delve into what they can concerning our personal lives - beyond what we expose on line, and 'talk amongst themselves' as yenta would say.  In other words, some Catholic readers are always on the lookout for dirt, to discredit one another.  Actually, there was a Sedevacantist site that publicly asked people to notify them if they found any dirt on Cardinal Mahoney - I'm not sure if the site still exists or not.
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Perhaps it wasn't the most honorable thing for me to do - that is, writing about Cafeteria's relative 'apostasy', but I wasn't looking for dirt on the guy either.  The errors were just there.  I think it is important to point out a source that claims to be faithful to Catholic doctrine, while it is in effect promoting the opposite.  I also believe fundraising and commercialism changes the stakes. 
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Everyone who reads me knows I've questioned Fr. Z's asking for donations on his blog.  While I have wondered about his status - never have I questioned his orthodoxy or his fidelity, which is impeccable.    I've actually met him, know him as a priest, and I like him very much.  I love his blog - his hobbies, his cooking posts, his posts on doctrine and liturgy, and so on.  Many times he really cracks me up, I think he can be very funny.  Indeed I pretty much agree with him on everything he writes.  I'm not fond of all his readers however, and most especially, many of his commenters.  And because I raise questions, about a public figure, I know people think I'm a bad guy.
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Of course, there are features I don't like on his blog either.  Just as people do not like stuff on my blog.  Yet besides his commenters, I have to say I'm not too fond of the polling which takes place at his site, and the erroneous impression that the results have any basis in reality.
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For instance, the polling about the TLM vs. the Novus Ordo Mass.  In one post an older reader was mildly criticized for saying he liked the Novus Ordo better than the TLM - the response was something to the effect of, "liturgy is not a matter of like and dislike" along with references to "aging hippies" as opposed to young people preferring the NO.  Thereafter, a poll appears questing people's preference - I know.  Later, Father expresses curiosity as to why "older' people do not vote to express their preference for the NO since stats seem to indicate so many favor it.  The answer to that question is relatively easy however.  First of all, the poll is not scientific; secondly, the majority of people who happen to be mainstream Catholics, Sunday Catholics, or even daily Novus Ordo Mass goers do not read blogs - and if they do, very few would be reading our blogs, much less voting on them.
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On the scale of things, these are all minor points - perhaps not even issues when one considers what is going on in the world - not just Haiti or abortion - but everything that is happening.  I find it odd that Catholic blogs - mine included - are not more intent upon building up the Church - the Kingdom of God - as opposed to constantly criticizing and complaining, and in some cases, assessing one's orthodoxy or lack thereof.  Yes, I'm included in this.
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Lately I've been amazed to find that some Catholic bloggers and/or commenters continue to say things like, "I hate the Novus Ordo!"  "The Novus Ordo is not the true Mass!"  "Yet another reason the Novus Ordo Mass is dangerous!"  (No - Fr. Z does not say that stuff or condone it.)  The Novus Ordo is the Ordinary Form of the Roman Catholic Mass.  I do not understand how people can regard it so contemptuously.  One may criticize and report to the proper authorities abuses which take place, but to condemn what the Church has formally approved and promulgated is not setting a good example for other Christians.
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I could go on and on, and maybe I will in future posts.  I have to wonder at the experts who critique and sometimes condemn every form of art, architecture, vestment, music which veers away from the traditional.    As bloggers, I think we are getting smug, know-it-all, wannabes, and busy bodies.  And in several instances I doubt God is really being served by our blogs, nor is the Body of Christ being strengthened, and the Kingdom is definitely not being built up.  We say we blog for the glory of God - I wonder.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Union


His First State of the Union Address.
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I'm listening to the President's first State of the Union address as I surf online.  I'm just imagining the hateful, mean-spirited, nasty remarks; the seething, the drool, the blasphemy, the cursing, the mockery, the derision hurled at their television sets by his critics.  The stomping, the protest, the anger...

Thank you! Thank you so much!

If you happen to be one of those people who likes to post polls on your blog, compete in popularity contests, and census your followers, installing an applause meter just might be the right new app for you.

WHAT?


Dorothy Day



The impossible saint.
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I call her the impossible saint because of the sense I have of a smothering traditionalism encroaching upon  the Church - many think she's too liberal to be canonized.  But that is not true - consider that Catherine of Genoa had been canonized in her day - a woman as Traditional and liberal as Dorothy.  Indeed, Dorothy Day continues to speak in our day - rare interview videos have surfaced on Youtube - well worth your time to watch and listen.  Go here to Vox Nova to view.
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Thanks to Western Confucian for the link.
...
...
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...Better Or Better Off
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1. The world would be better off,
if people tried
to become better.
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2. And people would
become better
if they stopped trying
to be better off.
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3. For when everybody tries
to become better off,
nobody is better off.
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4. But when everybody tries
to become better,
everybody is better off.
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5. Everybody would be rich
if nobody tried
to be richer.
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6. And nobody would be poor
if everybody tried
to be the poorest.
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7. And everybody would be
what he ought to be
if everybody tried to be
what he wants
the other fellow to be. - Peter Maurin, protege of Dorothy Day

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thank you!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Oh.... thank you! Thank you so much! Why, this is just overwhelming! Thank you! Oh my! Thank you so very much!

Rosie


On Oprah.
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I listened to the program yesterday afternoon while I worked - I know.  I'll miss Oprah.  But anyway - Oprah actually pulled off a pretty good interview with Rosie O'Donnell.  I was a little curious as to where Rosie is at now days, after blowing up her career on The View, and all.  She sounds apologetic and humble - but not really 'changed'.
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O'Donnell is a very troubled woman - she thinks she's okay now - I don't.  She's divorced from her partner Kelly and is now in love with a woman, soul-mate she met on her blog.  She is the woman of her dreams and will probably pack up her kids and move to Texas to live with her - or the new wife will move in with Rosie - together they will have 10 kids.  Her new girl-friend/partner/wife has 5 adopted kids of her own - which is one reason why Rosie fell in love her:  "She has so much love to give, she adopted 5 kids."
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Nope, I'm not judging here.  Since I was not watching - but listening - I think I got a different reading than most of Oprah's audience, maybe not.  I'm convinced O'Donnell has serious emotional issues.  She should never, ever be the poster child for gay marriage, gay adoption, much less family life.  I find it absolutely amazing that she has completed a television documentary "A family, is a family, is a family".  Supposedly demonstrating how stable her family life is.  The woman is a screamer and possibly abusive - at least verbally - by her own admission, she scared the hell out of Barbara Walters.  She is a bully, no doubt about it.
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She claims to be re-parenting herself by parenting adopted children - and from what she says about how she's doing it, I think they will be just as screwed up as she is.  The worst part of all of this is that these kids think they have two moms - who are now divorced, and Rosie is going to uproot the brood and move in with a new mom who has 5 more kids.  I think she's living a TV life - she thinks it's the gay "Brady Bunch".  And I'll just bet there is a reality TV show there.
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As far as I'm concerned, Rosie O'Donnell proves that gay adoption is a form of child exploitation and abuse.
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Excerpt from the interview on her 'divorce':
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"As one of the most famous lesbians in the world and a vocal proponent of gay marriage, Rosie says she did feel unspoken pressure to stay with Kelli and be a role model for other gay couples.
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I remember when Melissa [Etheridge] and Julie broke up, I called Melissa and said: 'Come on. There's so few,'" Rosie says. "And she said, 'Ro, your first goal in life is to be true to yourself, and your children will look at you and know when you're living an authentic life.'"

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Rosie says this resonated with her, and from then on, she approached her divorce with honesty. "I wanted to show people that gay families are just like every other family, and sometimes, divorce happens," she says. "No one ever goes into a marriage expecting or wanting a divorce." - Oprah.com

The Jews! The Jews!


"They brought it upon themselves."
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I have actually heard Catholics say that in reference to the Holocaust.  I've written about it in the past, and over time I have noted how 'some' Eastern Catholics have implied to me that the Jews exploit the Holocaust to further their 'agenda'...  Once again, from Poland's Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek:
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"A SENIOR Catholic bishop in Poland claims Jews have stolen the tragedy of the Holocaust and exploited it as a propaganda weapon to gain "unjustified advantages".

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Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek's remarks, during an interview with the Pontifex.Roma website, were published only hours before Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Poland to take part in commemorations to mark the 65th anniversary of the

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While stressing that the majority of people who died in Nazi Germany's death camps had been Jewish, Bishop Pieronek, 75, a well-known figure in his homeland, criticised Jews for apparently claiming ownership of the slaughter at the exclusion of other ethnic groups and nationalities who perished.

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"Undoubtedly, most of those who died in the camps were Jews but also on the list were Poles, Gypsies, Italians and Catholics.
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"It should not be that one group steals this tragedy and uses it for propaganda purposes," the bishop was quoted as saying.
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He then added that the Holocaust had been used as a "propaganda weapon" by Jews to achieve "often unjustified advantages".
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Although Jerusalem and Warsaw enjoy good relations at a state level, some Jews accuse Poles of having had a role in the Holocaust, and still suspect the country of harbouring antisemitic sentiment." - Finish here.
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Ah uh.
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Of course, some Traditional Catholics cannot understand why a Pope would even visit a synagogue or pay tribute to the Jews who died in the Holocaust either.  
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Art: "The Yellow Crucifixion" - Marc Chagall
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UPDATE:  Reports today have it that Bishop Pieronek's comments were taken out of context.  Story here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Moderation

Cathy has a post on moderation - I think it's about Internet use and making bitchy comments. I just watch educational videos.

Santa Rosa Call For Dialog On Women Priests



"As the Diocese of Santa Rosa-- one of the most vocation-poor dioceses in the United States-- continues to struggle to find priestly vocations, a diocesan lay leader has called for “informed debate” on women’s ordination. “There is no point embarking on a project that is not acceptable to Rome at this point,” cautions Yvette Fallandy, executive secretary of the Diocesan Pastoral Council’s board." - Source
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Then why would they embark on it at all?
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Photo:  [Fr. Roy Bourgeois.]  The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat article quotes liberally from Roy Bourgeois.
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Thanks to Pewsitters for the link.

Are you a hetero?



Heterodox
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Whenever I hear the word heterodox I always think of sexual preference.  I know.
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het-ero-dox 1: contrary to or different from an acknowledged standard or traditional form : UNORTHODOX, UNCONVENTIONAL  2: holding unorthodox opinions or doctrines.
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So that is why I took Fr. Ron's link down last week - I do not want to lead Catholics astray or give the impression I'm heterodox.
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Heretics
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"Heretics are heretics and bear the name, because out of the articles of faith they choose at their taste and pleasure those which it seems good to them to believe, rejecting and denying the others.  And Catholics are Catholics, because without any choice or election they embrace, with an equal assurance and without exception, all the faith of the Church." - St. Francis de Sales
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So yeah, to answer whatever questions you may have, I am a Catholic. 
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Art: "Hell" - Kurt Wenner's 3D street art

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Web of Priests



"Go forth and blog all nations..."
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The big news is that the Holy Father is once again encouraging priests to blog - well, to get online, if they aren't already.  (Fr. Blake provides an excellent example of a parish priest online.)  This has been the call of the Church in modern times to use all means of communications to evangelize.  St. Maximillian Kolbe did it, St. Francis De Sales before him, Archbishop Sheen after him (Max), followed by Mother Angelica and Fr. Cutie - just to name a few.  One mustn't forget Fr. Charles Coughlin either.  (I know!)  General media thinks it is a new commandment - but Catholics have been doing it all along.
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Excellent encouragement though.  And the good news is there are many priestly blogs already.  I have a few listed in my favorites, and I have others in my blogroll.  I rarely, if ever read Catholic apologist's blogs - the famous ones that is - in fact Patrick Madrid is about the most famous one I read.  I like him.  I like the priests I link to as well - people think I don't, but I do.  And I trust a priest over some amateur, armchair-church-lady-observer like me.
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Anyway, some of what the Pope said can be taken to heart by lay people who blog as well as the priests and religious who are twittering to be heard.
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"In Saturday's message - titled "The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: new media at the service of the Word" - Benedict urged special care in contacts with other cultures and beliefs. 
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A presence on the Web, "precisely because it brings us into contact with the followers of other religions, nonbelievers and people of every culture, requires sensitivity to those who do not believe, the disheartened and those who have a deep, inarticulate desire for enduring truth and the absolute," he said. 
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Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, who heads the Vatican's social communications office, said that Benedict's words aimed to encourage reflection in the church on the positive uses of new media.

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"That doesn't mean that (every priest) must open a blog or a Web site. It means that the church and the faithful must engage in this ministry in a digital world," Celli told reporters. "At some point, a balance will be found." - Source
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"Is there anything better on earth than gentleness? If there were Jesus Christ would have taught it to us. But Jesus has given us only two lessons. 'Learn from me,' he said, 'for I am meek and lowly of heart.'" --Saint Francis de Sales.  January 24 is the memorial of St. Francis.
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Art: Priests - Simeon Solomon

Mass-chat...


Novus Ordo Watch.
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I went to the vigil Mass last night since I wasn't sure what the morning will bring weather wise - freezing rain can be so slippery when iced. Well, to be honest, I usually go to the Saturday vigil Mass but hate to admit it online because there are people out there who think that doing so is a liturgical abuse somehow. I know - the Church doesn't say that - just church-people. Not a few also imagine the Novus Ordo is not as good as the traditional Mass, today known as the Extraordinary Form. Yet both are valid and equally efficacious -  i.e.:  going to Mass on Saturday evening and the Ordinary vs. Extraordinary Form.

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Anyway - Saturday evening's Mass was beautifully celebrated, and the lector read the Letter of St. Paul as if it was Paul himself speaking - I had never heard it read like that. Father celebrated well - yes he left out something - but I didn't care since it wasn't part of the Mass anyway... And hymn-hater that I can be, the cantor sang beautifully - and I think I did too! All in all it was a beautiful celebration of Mass, according to the Ordinary Form - Mass of Paul VI, in English, etc.. I don't know what came over me that I felt able to worship appropriately.
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I'll bet just having made my confession helped.

Something to think about...




A story from the life of St. Therese.
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"The thought that there were some religious communities who were submitting to unjust laws against the Church promulgated by the anti-Catholic secular power, filled me (Celine) with indignation.  One day in Therese's presence I exclaimed, 'My entire being rises up in in rebellion when I witness such a spirit of cowardice.  I would be cut into a thousand pieces rather than belong to any of these communities or to assist them in any way.' 
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The Saint answered:
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'We should not be concerned about such matters at all.  It is true that I would be of your opinion and act perhaps in the same way had I any responsibility in the matter.  But I have no obligation whatsoever.  Moreover, our only duty is to become united to God.  Even if we were members of those communities which are being publicly criticized for their defections, we would be greatly at fault in becoming disquieted on that account.'" - "My Sister, St. Therese" - Sr. Genevieve of the Holy Face