Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Major

For Larry.

Bishop Lee Piche

In your charity please pray for our Bishop Lee Piche, I am told he is ailing and may need surgery - I have no other details of course, and I only have this information from emails coming in.  Fr. Z posted a similar request a day or so ago.  Bishop Piche was consecrated Bishop for the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis in 2009.

Jinxed? The Canadian Olympics and other random thoughts...

Bear-able.
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I think the 2010 Winter Olympics might be jinxed - the weather is not cooperating, there has been one death so far, the opening ceremonies were a little 'slow', and the torch lighting malfunction didn't help matters.  (BTW - is Anne Murray really still popular in Canada?  I met her once, setting up a show for her here - years ago.)  I have to admit I liked most of the opening ceremonies however; big bears all lighted up, First Nation people finally getting their place in history, along with their wonderful myths.  That stuff was excellent.  I didn't get K.D. Lang's outfit or song - but she can sure sing - and she's really starting to look a lot like Wayne Newton.  But I digress.
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Overall, the opening ceremonies were too long and slow moving.  The pseudo religious cult aspect of all the speeches, the official "hymn" was especially mind-numbing.  Nevertheless, although parts of it were dull, the most special thing about it is the Canadian people - I love Canada.  Gorgeous country - wonderful people - I love all of my Canadian links, in fact I would like to move in with you after I become incontinent.  (Only if you drink of course.)
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Unfortunately this time around the Olympics seem to be jinxed - so don't blame me.
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Who's counting?
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See - I knew if I mentioned it I would see my 'Followers' app shrink - I lost a follower.  (They really do come and go though.)  I couldn't help but notice this morning.  Was it something I said?  Because I spare no one here.  LOL!  I don't care - I have some people registered as followers who have signed up more than once - so the count isn't accurate to begin with.  And wasn't King David punished for counting... census taking?
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BTW - The Bishops of England and Wales just came out with a pastoral explaining that the Bible is not true.  I know!  Acts of the Apostasy better get moving on this one.
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What I'm painting.
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I'm working on my 'Black Madonna' in remembrance of the victims of the Haitian earthquake and one of my black readers.  (I don't 'know' her but for some reason she reminds me of Nina on "3rd Rock From the Sun".)  A month ago, when I posted on the earthquake I mentioned I wanted to do this and some guy posted something like - "Just what they need - an icon."  Words spoken in frustration I am sure - what does one do in the face of such a catastrophe?  What do you say?  Donate money and services, yes of course - but we are all pretty much impotent to do much else?  A month later, life goes on here doesn't it - and aside from the occasional news report, how many people even think about Haiti?  So watch what you say to people in the heat of the moment - when you want to rule the world, because they may come back to you and ask what you are doing for the Haitian people today?  People move on with their lives, and rightly so.  But they also forget about prayer as a means of aid, or sacrifice and penance as a way to share - to compassionate, to participate - in their brother and sisters' suffering.
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That said, it is a joy to paint an icon again - a very prayerful experience indeed.  There is something nice about painting according to a formula as it were - no uncharted territories, painting from a prototype.  (Yes - I say painting - I find "writing" to be pretentious.  In fact, I came across a professional iconographer who seems to prefer to use the term painting as well.)
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Cape sighting.
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Fr. Z is in New Jersey and was on his way out to dinner with his host and got a flat tire - while the building he is in may be collapsing, and the heat is out in the church, Father is marshalling on.  He posts about the ordeal here, and I lifted the photo to initiate my new feature: "Cape Sightings".  I have a feeling the Fathers went out to dinner like this.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Something to consider.


Conduct of the soul in the 'dark night'.
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I think most people would agree the Church seems to have been in a sort of dark night for the last 40 years, and today we have the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI teaching us how to conduct ourselves, essentially by showing us the way of confidence and love.  His teaching accords beautifully with the doctrine of St. Therese of Lisieux - the little way of confidence and love.  Confidence = hope, and love = charity.  It is the classic attitude an individual soul must adopt in the abandonment of itself to God in the trials of the dark night.  The "path of confidence and total abandonment," in humility.
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Consider the early Christians - did they mock and scorn and revile the pagans?  Did they deliberately foment contempt and dishonor against their persecutors?  What converted so many pagans?  Was it not the charity and hope and joy the Christians exhibited amidst the most terrible sufferings?  Even in modern times, can you imagine Benedicta of the Cross, Maxmillian Kolbe, or Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter shouting condemnations at their Nazi persecutors, hurling insults and demanding their rights?
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An attitude shift.
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Anyway, from one of the masters of Carmelite spirituality, I want share a few considerations  "On the Conduct of the Soul" in the dark night.  Perhaps it will make sense, perhaps you won't follow my association at all.
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"To reveal God as Love to souls is the central and essential point of the mission of St. Therese of the Child Jesus.  This message has as its foundation the most important and deep grace of her life, namely, a very profound experimental knowledge of God inasmuch as He is Love.
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Divine Love does not want to limit His action to a few privileged souls, He longs to give Himself everywhere - to conquer the entire world.
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Confidence is theological hope wholly impregnated with love; abandonment is confidence which no longer expresses itself solely through distinct acts but has created an attitude of soul:  'We can never have too much confidence in the Good God, He is so mighty, so merciful.  As we hope in Him so shall we receive.'
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One must (accept to) be poor, miserable, and must lay open one's poverty (littleness, helplessness) to the enlarging power of Divine Love, in order to attract and satisfy Him.  Such is his Law.
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The secret of St. Therese is no different from that of St. John of the Cross.  The Theresian love of littleness and of poverty united to blind trust in divine mercy, is that not the same as the Joannine hope that is detached from everything and that God immediately fills?
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For St. Therese, trust and poverty are not simply virtues, like so many others, that one must practice at certain times; they are basic virtues, deep-seated dispositions, governing all the movements and attitudes of the soul.  They of themselves create and become a complete spirituality; they constitute, as the Saint proclaims, a way to go to the good God.
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Because the way of spiritual childhood offers us a felicitous example, in concrete and living form, for the practice of the virtue of hope, its teaching is particularly precious for the period that we are now studying." - P. Marie-Eugene, O.C.D. - I Am A Daughter of the Church, Chapter IV The Conduct of the Soul
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I would say, "particularly suited to our times".

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The End

Cool

Guy from Milano.
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H/T Sartorialist

Our Lady of Lourdes: "que soy era immaculada concepciou"

"I am the Immaculate Conception".
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Today is nearly as joyful a feast as is December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception... Cause of our joy!
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Lourdes is all about rescuing sinners, with gentleness and joy, pouring out a Mother's love.  Calling sinners to repentance and prayer, while healing the maladies of sin.  In her apparitions Our Lady taught the faithful how to pray, beginning with the sign of the cross, emphasising the importance of reverence and recollection in such a commonplace Catholic act.
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O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee, and for those who do not have recourse to thee, especially the enemies of the Church and those recommended to you.

Oprah, Lisa Ling, Geishas, Sex, Dominican Nuns, Sex, and Christopher West.


I know!
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Those are great search terms to get someone to read my blog - but there is more to it than that. 
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Fr. Longenecker, links to the Anchoress' post critiquing the whole Oprah/Lisa Ling interview juxtaposing the Dominican Sisters with traditional Japanese Geisha.  Anchoress lady laments Oprah's apparent fixation upon sex and living without sex.  One or two commentators on American Papist do the same thing:  “I’m struck by how fixated on sex she seems to be . . . and how superficial her questions are.”    People - Oprah is NOT a Catholic.  Nevertheless, Catholic nuns got excellent press and evangelized - 'witnessed' publicly - on an immensely popular TV show to their vocation and it's essential meaning.  (I missed it because I was shoveling snow.)  Maybe Oprah should have banned them all together? 
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I have to ask Catholic people:  So you think Oprah and Lisa Ling and their audience is way too concerned about sex?  Is that so unusual a thing in this culture?
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"What disappoints about the teaser (ad for the show) is something that consistently disappoints on those rare occasion when news people talk with Christian religious: the interviewers are so hung up on sex, and so lacking in imagination or depth of thought, that it is the first thing they talk about, and an issue they cannot seem to get past: “you give up sex? How do you not have sex? What about sex?” It is literally the first thing Oprah brings up in her teaser: “they’re young, and gave up sex! careers! and children!” Note the emphasis. And the priority." - Anchoress
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Ah - Anchoress Lady - yeah, that is one of the big sacrifices of religious life BTW.  It is why we get into all the nuptial talk and why some women dress up as brides before taking the monastic habit.  It is a big deal for a young woman to give up sex, a career, and children.
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Theology of the Body... Work it!
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All right - so religious people either hate Oprah (or they are above watching her) - after all, she's the anti-Christ in many people's eyes.  But say something bad about Christopher West's sexploitation of JPII's Theology of the Body and you are just as bad as Oprah.  Truth is, West is not any different - in fact, I'm surprised he hasn't been on Oprah yet.  Alas, she's going off the air.
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Anyway.  Check out Fr. Angelo's post(s) covering this dude - and complain to me afterwards how seculars like Oprah are so obsessed about sex or can't imagine continence.  Here's an excerpt from Father's post.
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"Because the Theology of the Body is rooted in the Catholic sacramental worldview, it is destined to affect all aspects of faith and life—from worship, to how we conduct business, to how we experience leisure, to how we live out our creation as male and female. It is for these reasons that we have been compelled to gather some of the most renowned teachers of the Catholic faith and Theology of the Body." -  Christopher West

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When West uses the term Theology of the Body in contexts like this, read “sexuality,” because when he uses umbrella terms like TOB and “nuptiality,” he is trying to place his preoccupation with sex within the context of the Church’s teaching. The problem is that, as Dr. Lowery indicated, sexuality needs to be taken up into Christianity, not Christianity into sexuality. - Mary Victrix
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And yes - of course, non-religious people are going to question celibacy, perpetual virginity and chastity - most Catholics don't even get it.
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Link:
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Adoro has one of the most objective commentaries on the Oprah show titled:  Oprah, Religious Life, and Real Life

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Awesome photos of 9/11

"Blood and water flowing forth from the side of Christ, I trust in you."
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More NYPD photos here.

St. Rocco


The full panel is up at "Up Your Street".
Posted by Picasa

"Hopey, changey?" - Who talks like that?

Legally blonde.
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I just don't get it.  Palin talks and acts exactly like a small town high school cheerleader.  I doubt it is just feminists who find her annoying.  How many professional women talk like that?  Aside from Elle Woods of course - but she's a frothy little movie character for tweens.  I have to wonder if a female attorney who talked like that defending a client in court, using notes written on the palm of her hand, would be taken seriously?
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Hopey, changey, and dopey.  There are no decent politicians in the United States.

The failure of Toyota... and cultural changes in Japan.


Just a comment.
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I may be mistaken, but at one time I believe Japanese executives might have committed suicide rather than bring shame or dishonor upon themselves, their company, or their nation.
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My understanding is that suicide is a growing problem amongst the young of Asia, therefore a practice once considered honorable is now viewed as a problem.  That is a good thing.
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Art: Seppuku: Japanese ritual suicide, death before dishonor.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

St. Roch

I finished the panel - well I finished the figures and I'm still glazing and adding details to the background.  I say I finish a piece when I sign it - that means if I died, I wouldn't object if people saw the panel.  I actually think I like it - at one point I was deeply moved while painting it - which is scary because that means I'm attached.  Being attached is scary because you can be afraid to make corrections. 

The history of St. Roch/Rocco is in dispute - but I ignore such things - I venerate the saints as I know them - or as tradition has taught.
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Anyway - I may post him on "Up Your Street" in the next day or two.  Unless I fall into deep depression and cut my ear off.  I wish it was as good as the above photo.  Now I'm wondering if it may not be the worst painting I ever did.
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Tuesday schedule:  When I'm not painting I will be removing snow.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Priests are people too.


Random thoughts on priests, celibacy, and stuff like that.
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I love that expression - I picked it up from my friend Paul who used to say, "Kids are people too," right after telling me, "Your father hated you."  Paul could be outrageous and I kind of think it was because his father really had hated him - not sure though.  I know - this has nothing to do with my post - or does it?
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Back to priests.  Sometimes I think of them as just regular guys and maybe go to far with them - I used to do this all of the time with a famous blogger priest, and then once or twice I noted he posted something about being down about something and needing prayers.  I immediately thought - he was offended by my post!  I felt so bad, took the post(s) down, prayed extra hard for him and would try to be nice afterwards.  It's really hard for me to be nice all of the time.  I'm so like my friend  Paul:  Once, at my going away party from the company we worked together at, he went around to all the executives and drunkenly asked, "Who invited you?"  Much to everyone's delight - although most of the exec's didn't get the joke.  But I digress.
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Locally I know of four priests - count 'em - 4 priests who are or have been on leave because of clinical depression - each guy is fantastic - very solid in their faith, devout, down to earth, regular guys - and as far as I know, straight.  Most definitely straight, and committed to celibacy to be sure.  I don't know what happened.  They had not been ordained that long and suddenly they are out to pasture.  Nope - it is so not funny.  I pray for these guys all of the time... they are very humble, compassionate, and even very holy men.
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Fixing a hole.
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Is it celibacy?  I honestly don't think so.  Is it loneliness?  I don't know.  Fr. Charles ofmcap has an excellent reflection on celibacy and loneliness.  I especially liked his comment on how celibates distract themselves, or attempt to fill the void left by continence... actually, it is just a temptation, but one easily falls for it.   Father writes:  "You have to resist all of the ways that would-be celibates medicate themselves against the loneliness with alcohol, anonymous sex, pornography, mania for control, overwork, eccentric and pointless hobbies, and even the internet."a minor friar   He's right of course - but he neglects to mention the most common vice - over-eating.
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Resisting the vices is one thing, being successful at it is another, and if one is prone to depression, melancholia, what have you - it can be pretty difficult.  Now some celibates claim they do not get lonely - but they must be pretty holy and extremely well balanced and live a more integrated life than your run of the mill solitary.  I lived in a rectory once - what a nightmare - it was like a haunted house - which is why some priests need to spend money to refurbish those places.  Although one local guy spent a fortune adding a hot tub and other luxuries.  He was transferred elsewhere.
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What makes you feel like doin' stuff like that?
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Today an Australian priest is in the news because he is something of a story teller - he should probably get a blog.  While we are on the topic, don't you think spoken Australian is the worst English ever?  I was watching a travel show last night and they do not even pronounce words correctly - it's almost like Cockney: " 'm 'enry ei'th i em."  I think the country was founded by criminals anyway, so it kind of makes sense they can't speak well.  But I digress.
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So anyway - the priest who lies - he faked prostate cancer so he could get donations (tell me!) to send him to Lourdes for a "miracle cure".  (I know - see, he needed a blog with a widget.)  That's not a bad idea - the lies are bad of course - but the trip to Lourdes could have helped him - maybe.  Be that as it may - if he was a really good liar he would have said the cancer disappeared when he got back and he'd now like to go to Rome to testify.  Obviously that did not happen.
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"Father Abourjaily was branded "delusional" by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, and suspended from his duties at All Hallows parish church at Five Dock when his lies were uncovered, said the Sydney Morning Herald." - CathNews 
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All is not lost however, since the priest has been reassigned: 
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"Father Richard Abourjaily, who lied about having cancer to raise money from his Sydney flock, has been moved to Perth. His spiritual adviser believes the priest was "repentant" and would not lie about anything so serious in future.
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Father John Flader, director of the Catholic Adult Education Centre, said he was "very confident" the priest would not lie about anything serious again. "All he did was to lie and that's not a good thing. He was very, very repentant of that and, being as repentant as he was, he is not going to reoffend again," Father Flader said." - Source 
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All the lonely people.
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It is not easy being a priest - therefore these news stories are excellent reminders to us that they really do need our prayers and support.  Who knows if the lying priest may crack again?  Hopefully they did some close interviews with him to determine where all of that came from - were his parents con artists?  Parents do a lot of damage.  Is he hiding something else?  God bless him for wanting to continue his ministry.
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I've been rather tongue in cheek about all of this, but I'm quite serious about caring for our priests.  Over my lifetime I've met some crazy ones - but you know what - even those guys helped me through the tough times.  You see, I'm celibate too - and the so-called worst of them had the greatest compassion upon me when I failed.  When I failed "to resist all of the ways that would-be celibates medicate themselves against the loneliness with alcohol, anonymous sex, pornography, mania for control, overwork, eccentric and pointless hobbies, and even the internet."a minor friar.  Actually you could take out pornography for me - I never got into it - 'there but for the grace of God' only.    I once loved eccentric and pointless hobbies - collecting religious artifacts and art - I know two other guys who do this.  And I know many over-eaters as well.  Gratefully, these priests were there for me in confession... they understood me. 
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If one lives long enough, and perseveres through many fallings and risings, one is eventually purified of these vices and loneliness is no longer "empty".  It ceases to be a void we are trying to fill. 
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It is all about the "poverty of love" - the fact that God allows us to participate in the loneliness of all mankind: every homeless person, every old man or old lady in a nursing home, every orphan, every victim of evil, every sinner, every failed priest, and most especially, the loneliness of His Son.
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One gets used to it.
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Art:  "All the Lonely People" - crayon on paper.

More thoughts on Medjugorje.


"Good fruits alone are still no confirmation for the supernatural origin of a visionary phenomenon." - Manfred Hauke
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I came across an extraordinary interview on Pewsitters dealing with Medjugorje.  It was conducted with a famous Mariologist, Fr. Manfred Hauke.  The interview is rather lengthy, but well worth the read.  Here is an excerpt:
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"For pastoral care it is important, to lead the renewal of faith created by the stream of pilgrims to Medjugorje into the roads of the Church, and not let the devotees of the phenomenon fall into the void. Marian devotees would be well advised to concentrate on trustworthy prophetic revelations, approved and well accepted by the whole Church, so that they would deal with, say, Guadalupe, Lourdes, or Fatima. Questionable and unequivocally false phenomena should be presented as such. Therefore it is not sufficient, in my estimation, to pragmatically recognize Medjugorje as a "place of prayer", without reaching a judgment on the events that lie at its basis. German bishops also reacted against this approach: non-recognition of alleged "apparitions" along with simultaneous recognition of the place as an official "shrine" (for example, with respect to Heroldsbach and Marienfried). If a new investigative commission reaches a recognition that certain characteristics indissolubly connected with the phenomenon of the apparitions speak against their authenticity, then the love of truth demands that this be made known with all clarity and that Catholic Christians be warned expressly against "pilgrimages". The principle is valid here: "bonum ex integra causa; malum ex quovis defectu" ("Good comes from an undamaged cause; bad from some kind of defect"). If a drink is mixed with rat poison, it's not sufficient to point out that it contains only two percent strychnine with 98 percent water: the whole drink has to be poured out. If the Church does not, herself, finally lance the boil that is connected with Medjugorje, then anti-Catholic groups will do the job and with pleasure. And then the patience extended to the enthusiasm of Medjugorje could become a boomerang that attacks the Church from inside, if the groups previously connected with the Bosnian "place of pilgrimage", finally disillusioned, should turn against the Faith and the Church. And that could also explain that the devil takes "good fruits" as part of doing his business in Medjugorje: if he can bring forth a vastly greater harm to the Church in the end. Pastoral love must not be separated from the love of truth." - Mariologist Hauke on Medjugorje: "Don't let the devotees fall into the void"
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Fr. Hauke's discernment and analysis is very sound, based upon authentic mystical theology of the Catholic Church. 
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H/T Deacon's Bench

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Nurses Uniforms

Kat wants to dress more professionally when she gets her first nursing job...  Angela has offered her services as personal fashion coordinator, and Cathy has made herself available for hair and make-up.  Digit will be standing by to handle all the malpractice suits.  And of course, dear Fr. R. will take care of the ones who don't make it through recovery.
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Shown here:  Vintage German military nurse uniform - very nice, very modest.

Just calm down.

Looking for abuse... everywhere.
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These blog posts of ours, complaining, complaining, complaining, can foment suspicion and a lack of confidence - rather than building up the Body of Christ. 
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For instance - a few weeks ago I complained that my pastor messed up the liturgy by adding an explanatory prayer of his own making before the Eucharistic prayer.  A well informed friend, who was once a cop - and remains so in some sense - offered that it was perfectly in keeping with the GIRM that Father insert something like that.  Fine.  So be careful when enforcing  "say the black, do the red".  Hopefully, lesson learned.
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A week later I complained that he neglected a couple of words in his added prayer regarding the Eucharist - he was saying, "Soul and Divinity" while neglecting "Body and Blood".  Readers said I should let him know, I stated it probably wouldn't be well received.  Long story short - on his own, the priest has restored his full prayer, using the correct, "Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity".  I'm now thinking it was merely an oversight on his part that he neglected it in the first place.  He's a good priest...  I'm thinking the problem was mine.
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See how that goes though?  We study the GIRM, we read Fr. X, we compare Masses - EF vs. OF, Latin/English, altar girls, women in the sanctuary... the list goes on.  We pick apart the priest's homilies, his performance, his decorum, does he lift the host high or hold it low?  Is the priest gay?  Does he wear clerics?  Does he live in the rectory or his own house?  Does he ignore single people and focus upon families?  Does he favor the richer parishioners?  Does he drive an expensive car?  Take too many vacations?  Does he not appreciate the fact you have a degree in theology?  Or that you met Mel Gibson?  What really annoys us about this guy?  What annoys you about the lector?  The cantor?  The ushers?  The woman in front of you?  Think about it. 
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Is that devotion?  Is that prayer?  Is that active participation?  Is that necessary?
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(Remind me of this post the next time I bitch.)

Who counts?

Catholic capon-bloggers.
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I have a site meter, but I rarely consult it.  I have a followers box, but I do not pay a whole lot of attention to it - you see, they come and they go - readers.  Once in a while I notice fluctuation in the count.  I don't like the idea of followers - no one should follow me - so I ignore it - I'd take it down, but I don't want to offend anyone.  I actually do follow some blogs and only recently began registering - normally I have all I can do to get through a post - especially if it happens to be a long one about brushing one's hair or fixing one's make-up - spiritually speaking of course.
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Anyway, as my eyes move down the post I happen to be skimming, I can't help but notice all of the widgets in the sidebar, and sometimes I may notice if that particular blogger links to me or not.  Lately I have noticed that certain blogs - mostly the trad type - have dropped me from their links - a couple of neo-con blogs have done so as well.  Disassociating themselves from me for one reason or another.  I suppose one's reputation may be at stake, although once in awhile I suspect they may be punishing me for something I wrote, or making a critical comment, or finding out I have an opinion that conflicts with one of their prejudices.
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The first blogger who dropped me - that I actually paid attention to I mean - is a priest friend who wrote long comments on my blog posts when I started out blogging - and to think I'm the one who suggested he start his own blog.  If I remember correctly, he was miffed that I wrote about a gay priest who happened to be an artist, and whose conduct wasn't very becoming a monastic priest.  Some readers may not know this, but at one time I was a vocal critic of gay priests, now I figure it isn't any of my business - especially after they are ordained.  A gay blogger across the sea dropped me because of that too - he may be a seminarian right now - I'm not sure.  Then of course, many gay people have dropped me because I'm supposedly a homophobe.  I'm not scared however.
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It's possible one trad blog dropped me, I'm just assuming here, because I criticized the Remnant and one of their writers, his friend (another blogger) may have dropped me because I laughed at him and said he was "very young" - implying some maturation would help his rigidity.  Today I noted one of my favorite blogs dropped me and I can only wonder if it is because I actually like English in the liturgy?  Now I realize many people think I'm eccentric, but I promise you, a couple of these people are just as nuts - look at their profile photos - what's with the pipe?  And you still live at home?  Get over your self.
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I have had holier than thou, pompous acquaintances since I returned to the Church in 1972.  People come and go - and I'm usually better off when they go, albeit I occasionally miss the laughs.  Kidding.  But seriously, I don't want to belong to anybody's argument of the moment club or catholic offensive league.
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"By God's grace, I am what I am." - 1Corinthians 15: 1-11 - Today's Second Reading at Mass

Cardinal George issues a clarification on New Ways Ministry.


No Way New Ways...
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Just before 4pm Eastern (on Friday February 5), a "clarification" emerged from the USCCB President, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, on the ecclesial standing of New Ways Ministry, the "gay-positive" outreach for Catholic gays and lesbians whose founders were sanctioned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1999 and barred from further ministry to the community.  "New Ways Ministry has no approval or recognition from the Catholic Church and they cannot speak on behalf of the Catholic faithful in the United States." - George on New Ways
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New Ways said "who cares" and were a tad upset because they felt snubbed by the Cardinal:  "We are astonished that Cardinal George released such a statement, since New Ways Ministry has never been contacted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to discuss the nature of our work. We were not even extended the basic courtesy of being informed of the statement as it was being released to the press. Instead, we learned about it only by reading a press account." - New Ways to George
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A little bit of Catholic teaching repeated.
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New Ways is not being entirely honest of course - the group has been condemned since the '80's for not adhering to Roman Catholic teaching regarding homosexual activity.  As the posts cited above explain, Sr. Gramick and Fr. Nugent were forbidden by the Archdiocese of Washington to continue their activities there, while their respective superiors forced them to separate from New Ways completely.  Later, the CDF prohibited the couple from having anything to do with the organization and/or directing homosexual persons.  (I think they ignored the prohibitions however.)  Nevertheless, New Ways persists with the propaganda, trying to convince the faithful otherwise, while attempting to wear down the bishops. 
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At any rate, the Cardinal was obliged to clarify the (non-Catholic) status of New Ways Ministry since the organization has come out so strongly condemning the USCCB's defense of traditional marriage.  New Ways, claiming to be an approved Catholic ministry, has been actively campaigning for Catholic votes in support of legal recognition for same-sex marriage.  Church leaders have to make such clarifications.
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Photo:  I know, it should have been the Cardinal, but I chose this photo of Sr. Jeannine Gramick, the founder of New Ways Ministry instead.   I know!
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Thanks to Whispers in the Loggia for the story.