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, March 13, 2010

Now for some really important updates...

I picked up my new glasses last evening and I can see clearly now.
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I'm on my way to church.
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I checked my mail.
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I took a nap.
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I also bought new art supplies last evening.
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I'm going to be busy painting.
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Contemporary art is kitsch - I know because I make it.  I just read a great article on the subject and I realized all my work is crap.  Isn't that great and liberating.  My parents were right... I couldn't paint my way out of a paper bag.
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And yet I keep doing it.
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Oh!  Oh!  I'm also writing a new self-help book, "You're No Good and Either Am I".

Rethinking Fr. Amorth's claims of Satanism in the Vatican.


In the light of the current attacks upon the Holy Father and the Church.
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In my former post I included a claim by a parish worker that "He’d rather work “under the radar” of the hierarchy within his parish community as together they quietly dissent from various official positions and be for one another and the people they serve in the wider community"  Going on to explain his belief that the hierarchy or "clerical leadership" of the Catholic Church is "in a state of self-implosion. It’s not going to last.”
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Considering the new sexual abuse scandals now emerging in the headlines in Europe, and the attempts to drag the Holy Father into the fray, I can see how one could be tricked into believing the Church is collapsing.  The idea of parish workers and Church functionaries working under the radar to undermine Church teaching - yet believing they are doing God's work - while nothing new, reminded me of Fr. Amorth's revelation that there are Satanists in the Vatican.
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Reading various interviews with Amorth, that are more than just pull-quotes from the more in-depth interview, one soon realizes he is not necessarily referring to the obvious, in your face Satanic ritual, much less suggesting there are secreted apartments where such things take place.  Rather it seems to me he is speaking about those who make themselves enemies of the Church, perhaps those who ascribe to 'occult' beliefs, such as the Enneagram, or seemingly harmless new age spiritualities and practices.  Most likely, there are those in the Vatican who believe as the little parish worker just referred to who boasts, "he'd rather work under the radar, within the parish, to quietly dissent..."  I think Amorth would likely call these things evil, and since evil is Satanic - such folks may well be part of the group of Satanists he is referring to.
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At any rate, understood in this aspect, it seems to me Fr. Amorth's claims are not sensational at all, but synchronize well with the related assertions by Pope St.Pius the X in his encyclical on the doctrines of the Modernists.
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Pius X
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"The office divinely committed to Us of feeding the Lord's flock has especially this duty assigned to it by Christ, namely, to guard with the greatest vigilance the deposit of the faith delivered to the saints, rejecting the profane novelties of words and oppositions of knowledge falsely so called. There has never been a time when this watchfulness of the supreme pastor was not necessary to the Catholic body; for, owing to the efforts of the enemy of the human race, there have never been lacking "men speaking perverse things" (Acts xx. 30), "vain talkers and seducers" (Tit. i. 10), "erring and driving into error" (2 Tim. iii. 13). Still it must be confessed that the number of the enemies of the cross of Christ has in these last days increased exceedingly, who are striving, by arts, entirely new and full of subtlety, to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and, if they can, to overthrow utterly Christ's kingdom itself. Wherefore We may no longer be silent, lest We should seem to fail in Our most sacred duty, and lest the kindness that, in the hope of wiser counsels, We have hitherto shown them, should be attributed to forgetfulness of Our office.
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That We make no delay in this matter is rendered necessary especially by the fact that the partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church's open enemies; they lie hid, a thing to be deeply deplored and feared, in her very bosom and heart, and are the more mischievous, the less conspicuously they appear. We allude, Venerable Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, nay, and this is far more lamentable, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, feigning a love for the Church, lacking the firm protection of philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, vaunt themselves as reformers of the Church; and, forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not sparing even the person of the Divine Redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious daring, they reduce to a simple, mere man." - PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS
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The great need of prayer and vigilance.
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Now, with greater fervor than ever, we must pray for the Holy Father and the bishops and priests in union with him.  We need to be careful not to believe on first glance the edited, sensationalized headlines and news stories that will be coming out against the Pope, we need to have great confidence in Our Lord's guarantee, "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." [Mt. 16: 18]
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Heretofore I would rely more on people such as Fr. Z for links to what is really being said; after reading his post Scrub Alert: The Times re-opens its bear-baiting pit and subsequent comments this morning, I think one can get a better perspective on what is really going on from his blog.  As in the case of Fr. Amorth, the first reports of what he said were taken out of context by the mainstream press, and it will be the same thing with these scandals.  It's always like that.

The Mythological Trickster

And other things post-Christian neo-pagans misunderstand...
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Thoughts and reflections from a progressive Catholic perspective:
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The Roman Catholic pyramid is imploding under the weight of its own corrupt and dysfunctional clerical system.  All the more reason then for Catholics to start conversing about ways of being Church that actually emulate the gospel of Jesus and offer the world a radiant and inviting sign of God’s compassion, wisdom, and justice.
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A fellow progressive Roman Catholic recently told me that he doesn’t feel compelled to be part of the upcoming Synod of the Baptized being planned by the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform as he feels it’s basically a waste of energy. He’d rather work “under the radar” of the hierarchy within his parish community as together they quietly dissent from various official positions and be for one another and the people they serve in the wider community, a more Christ-like presence than that which they see the “official” Church embodying.
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And the clerical leadership of this “official” Church?
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“Oh, I have no time to worry about trying to reform that part of the Church,” my friend said. “Why bother? It’s in a state of self-implosion. It’s not going to last.” - Wild Reed
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That's what they think.  Their 'spirits' lie to them.
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The deluded always amaze me - I doubt very few people really read and meditate the Passion of Christ these days...
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The gates of Hell shall not prevail.
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Art: Medieval Trickster, a mythological spirit.  The trickster spirit disrupts the laws of the governing spirits or nature, frequently masquerading his malice with encouraging effects and the promise of success.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Another good priest caught up in the chaos.


"They are Catholics looking for salvation along with everyone else."
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Fr. Blake of St. Mary Magdalen's in Brighton (UK) has also come under fire for his use of language in discussing gay issues.  Father got a nasty call for using the term, "elements of the vociferous hedonistic gay lobby".  Of course there was nothing wrong at all with his choice of words because they are quite accurate.  No need to apologize for that.
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Instead, Father went on to explain the difference between the "elements of the vociferous hedonistic gay lobby" and his priestly care for the homosexual person.  I will reprint here what Father wrote since I think it may be helpful in understanding my previous post on a similar subject - Adam and Steve.
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Fr. Blake.
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"By using the term I was trying to suggest there were plenty of "gay" people who are neither vociferous or hedonistic, nor are in the lobby. That there are actually people who had a same sex attraction who might say they were homosexual or had a homosexual attraction or curiosity but would refuse to use the identity of being "gay", in part because it suggests a certain lifestyle and in part has certain political connotations.
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"... and are still faithful; that is heroism!"
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My parish has many single people. Some try to cope others are content with living lives on their own. Many have close friends, some share flats or houses with a particular friend, occasionally some define their friend as a "partner". It could be a business partner or any other form of partnership; I can't see the problem. Some might say they are "gay", I ask them if they believe what the Catholic Church teaches, they say "yes", they come to Mass, they go to confession, they pray, sometimes together; I can't see a problem. They support the Church they tell me about their brothers and sister, their nephews, their nieces, they regret they have never had children themselves; I feel sympathy. In the confessional they might tell me of the battle they have with their sexuality, sometimes of their defeats in this battle; I give absolution and a light penance, assure them of God's strength and often admire their extraordinary heroism and their great love of God and appreciation of his Grace. Are these "elements of the vociferous hedonistic gay lobby"? No, they are Catholics looking for salvation along with everyone else, bearing a very heavy cross. Often these men, occasionally women, have been distanced from the Church and have returned. Often they have misunderstood what the Church is saying and why, sometimes they have met deliberate cruelty and misunderstanding from priests, and are still faithful; that is heroism!
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As a Catholic priest one tends to pick up the debris of peoples' lives...
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As a Catholic priest one tends to pick up the debris of peoples' lives and hear almost too much of their pain and suffering. I am not sure that my caller has done many funerals for young gay men who have died of a drugs overdoses or suicide. I haven't kept a tally and I suspect many don't have a priest at their funeral but there have been a number over the last 10 years, outside of the gay community I can remember only one funeral for a man under 35 years old. There is a larger number of parents who ask for Masses to be said for dead gay children, their lives are torn apart when their offspring have died through suicide or drugs or AIDS. Then of course there are curious young men, exploring their sexual orientation, who have gone into bars and clubs and have got or been gotten high on drugs or drink and found themselves in someone's bed and things have gone much, much further than they had intended. I knew of one young man who had claimed he became HIV positive after one single encounter, I heard he killed himself. One hears of men too, who try to sleep with a different partner each night, of teenagers passed around from one older "lover" to another. I could go on and on, but I suspect you get the taste. This is what I meant by hedonistic gay lobby and I haven't even touched on the various fetish sub-groups. Why is it a lobby? Because it makes money for Brighton: money speaks." - Anger In the Lobby
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Pray for our priests.
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Image:  St. Vincent De Paul

Pinkies up! Tempest in a Royal Doulton Teapot - "with the hand painted periwinkles" no doubt.


"Adam and Steve"
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The gay marriage fight can get kind of silly and I think we church people have to watch out becoming like spokesmen for Pat Robertson's 700 Club.  Fr. Z posts on a brouhaha stirred up at a small Gloucestershire parish in Cheltenham, UK wherein a deacon, offering a homily on Church teaching regarding the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman said marriage was meant to be " between Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."  Fr. Finnegan of Hermeneutic of Continuity explained it thus:
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"Rev Frank Wainwright mentioned civil partnerships in his sermon at St Gregory's, Cheltenham, on Sunday and said that marriage is between Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Apparently five members of the congregation have complained and the deacon has been branded as a homophobe by lesbian and gay groups." - Hermeneutic
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It is estimated about 5 members of the congregation took offense and the clergyman issued a clarification and an apology for hurting the feelings of those offended.  Fr. Finnegan summed it up elegantly:
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"Rev. Wainwright has apologised for any offence he may have caused and the Gloucestershire Gay and Lesbian Community Group has nobly accepted his apology, saying that they do not want to stir anything up. Such as an examination of the vindictive hypocrisy of the complainants perhaps?
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Deacon Wainwright said that he presumed that it was a gay member of his congregation who complained. I wouldn't be so sure. There have been several occasions in the past year when gay groups have distanced themselves from the more strident attempts to instrumentalize "equality" in the secularist attack on the Church. The real issue here is much more likely to be dissent from the teaching of the magisterium. The complainants may or may not have been gay; but you can bet that they probably don't agree with the doctrine of the Church on marriage that Deacon Wainwright was expounding in his sermon." - Hermeneutical
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Noblesse oblige.
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The protesters seem rather silly to me simply because the Adam and Steve schtick has been around for quite sometime - used by gay and straight alike.  The movie poster shown at top, advertising a gay themed movie, demonstrates this.  It's an old joke, a tired cliche - so what?  Nevertheless, it was most gentlemanly of Rev. Wainwright to take the high road and offer a gracious apology.
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Obviously Fr. Z and his commenter's think not, which is their right of course.  They make a valid point as well.  Nevertheless, to err on the side of charity in so minor a skirmish is praiseworthy in my opinion, especially considering how highly charged politically the issue of same-sex marriage has become - not to mention the many real battles that are now emerging.  For me, the Deacon's apology demonstrates the good will of the Church towards those who do not understand or accept Her teachings.  After all, he is an ordained minister and speaks for the Church. 
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As is occasionally the case with Fr. Z's com-box, it is the tone of the comments which contributes to the negative culture too often associated with the blog.  In this case, the insistence that an apology was unwarranted came off as rather arrogant.   While it may be true that an apology was unnecessary, the fact that it was made at all, without compromising Church teaching, may have provided the right antidote to the vindictiveness of the accusers.  I think the the Deacon should be commended rather than castigated for extending a conciliatory apology.  Unfortunately the poor Deacon was criticized in the com-box for using humor in his homily as well.  Sometimes I just have to shake my head - pulpit humor is often dumb - so what?
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"Through real, personal, loyal friendship, you create in others a hunger for God and you help them to discover new horizons." - St. Josemaria Escriva
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That said, another small point within Father's post I found curious was this statement from the Deacon's interview accompanied by Fr. Z's  editorial in red:  "I have plenty of gay friends [?!?]"  I might be wrong, but I couldn't help wonder if the question marks and exclamation mark was made to suggest there is something wrong with a Catholic having gay friends?  (No matter if they are "in" or "out" or "over it".)  I'm of the opinion that sort of innuendo can actually incite (unintentionally, no doubt) some of the more reactionary comments one comes across on Father's blog.  (Mind you, I have a great deal of respect for Father and his writing, however I don't comment on his blog because I have never registered - I just don't like the idea of having to register - although I am a Follower and a daily reader.)
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As Catholics, though we rightly disagree with the politics of gay activists, the lifestyle, and the movement to make same-sex marriage legal, we have to be careful not to demonize the homosexual person, despite the fact that we understand the gay agenda as anti-Christian, anti-Catholic and sinful.  We must keep in mind that not all gay people want to adopt children or want to get married, neither do all of them assume gay people have that right.  Not all homosexual persons are anti-Catholic, even though they may personally disagree with Church teaching.  Many practicing Catholic men and women with homosexual tendencies who have either never acted on these attractions, or if they have, have repented and reformed their life in accord with Catholic teaching, often continue to perceive themselves as homosexual persons, or persons afflicted with homosexual temptations.  Others may no longer identify or define themselves as homosexuals, although they retain friendships and/or professional relationships with others who do.
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Just so, when a category of people are mocked, ridiculed, condemned, marginalized, ostracized, what have you, everyone is hurt by that.
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Many of us - if not all - know and have relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers, teachers, priests, students, service people, and others who may be or have been, actively gay.  It is not a sin to have friends and acquaintances who disagree with what the Church teaches.
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"Jesus walked in peace through the midst of them."  - Luke 4:30
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Love never fails.
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"Love is patient; love is kind.  Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish.  Love is never rude, it is not self seeking, it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood over injuries.  Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth.  There is no limit to love's forebearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure." - 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
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"And if people should mistake me for someone aristocratic, I don't want you telling them I'm not. It would simply confuse them. It's only good manners to let them believe it." - Hyacinth Bucket

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Holy Father on the writings of St. Bonaventure

Of these his writings, which are the soul of his government and show the way to follow either as an individual or a community, I would like to mention only one, his masterwork, the "Itinerarium mentis in Deum," which is a "manual" of mystical contemplation. This book was conceived in a place of profound spirituality: the hill of La Verna, where St. Francis had received the stigmata. In the introduction, the author illustrates the circumstances that gave origin to his writing: "While I meditated on the possibility of the soul ascending to God, presented to me, among others, was that wondrous event that occurred in that place to Blessed Francis, namely, the vision of the winged seraphim in the form of a crucifix. And meditating on this, immediately I realized that such a vision offered me the contemplative ecstasy of Father Francis himself and at the same time the way that leads to it" (Journey of the Mind in God, Prologue, 2, in Opere di San Bonaventura. Opuscoli Teologici / 1, Rome, 1993, p. 499).
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The six wings of the seraphim thus became the symbol of six stages that lead man progressively to the knowledge of God through observation of the world and of creatures and through the exploration of the soul itself with its faculties, up to the satisfying union with the Trinity through Christ, in imitation of St. Francis of Assisi. The last words of St. Bonaventure's "Itinerarium," which respond to the question of how one can reach this mystical communion with God, would make one descend to the depth of the heart: "If you now yearn to know how that happens (mystical communion with God), ask grace, not doctrine; desire, not the intellect; the groaning of prayer, not the study of the letter; the spouse, not the teacher; God, not man; darkness not clarity; not light but the fire that inflames everything and transport to God with strong unctions and ardent affections. ... We enter therefore into darkness, we silence worries, the passions and illusions; we pass with Christ Crucified from this world to the Father, so that, after having seen him, we say with Philip: that is enough for me" (Ibid., VII, 6). - Catechesis in Paul VI Hall
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Art:  Stigmata of St. Francis - I have no other information.

This is a serious request for donations.

Please help Kat (Crescat) get to Malta to see the Pope next month... she has special needs you know.  Donate here.  (If she gets there this year we won't have to go through this begging thing again next year.)
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Photo:  Kat in her nurses uniform.

Praying for the Holy Father and priests.

Go to Joseph.
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The Benedictine monk, Father Mark of Vultus Christi posted a somewhat provocative reflection on the accelerated attack upon the Holy Father and the priests of the Roman Catholic Church in this Jubilee Year of the Priest.
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"... The forces of evil are trying desperately to discredit the Holy Father and to disfigure the face of the Church. Days of shame and darkness have come upon Our Lord's beloved priests in so many countries. Could this not be a sign that the attack on the priesthood, that appears to be spreading and growing, is, in fact, in its final stages?
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We are witnessing, I believe, a diabolical onslaught against the Bride of the Lamb, an attempt to destroy her by attacking the most wounded of her ministers in their carnal weaknesses. More than ever, we must pray Our Lord to dispel the powers of darkness with the radiance of His Eucharistic Face. "Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His Face" (Ps 67:2). Our Lord Jesus Christ will undo the destruction wrought by the devil and his human allies, and He will cause His priests and His Spouse the Church to recover a glorious holiness that will confound His enemies and be the beginning of a new era of saints, of martyrs, and of prophets. 
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Could we not offer the Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of Saint Joseph for the Joseph whom God has set over the household of His Church: Pope Benedict XVI? It is no coincidence that, in these days of battle against the powers of darkness, the Successor of Peter bears the name of Joseph, protector of the universal Church. The providential designs of God are often revealed in such details." - Fr. Mark Kirby
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Visit Fr. Mark's post, "In our struggle with the powers of darkness" for novena prayers to St. Joseph.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Old people.

Wicked.
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Nope, I'm not engaging in the elder bashing I see on other people's blogs - ageing hippies my a...!   No - I'm writing about a dilemma some elderly people face - being too old to sin.  Not long ago I mentioned to a friend that she should call the parish so that Father could visit her elderly mother who was ill.  I explained that he could hear her confession and anoint her and even bring communion.  "Oh, that's an idea - but I doubt she needs confession - she's so good."  I've heard the same thing from elderly women and men at my parish - "What would I confess?  I don't do anything." 
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As I age, I know my sins have changed... (Well kinda - they were there, I just never noticed.)  I see things in myself that I never noticed when I was younger and committing the fun sins - passions flaring, shame searing the conscience afterwards.  Once I was racing to confession after serious sin, running red lights to get in line right away, I even nicked a parked car - I ran into church, got in line for confession - pissed someone got there before me, then I confessed my big sin - neglecting to recognize the others I committed on the way to the confessional.  When you get beyond that stage, and if you really examine yourself, you soon realize all the jerky 'little' sins you never noticed before.  Aside from the practice of prayer, getting older helps if you know how to examine your conscience in the first place.
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Fr. V of Adam's Ale has posted an excellent guide for older people who think they can't sin anymore.  It is not an extensive examine - but it's a good start for someone who may not realize they are not yet perfect.
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"Sin may take on a drastically new and unfamiliar face however. A person may no longer be able to be (or have the desire to be) unchaste or steal a car or fly an airplane into a building. When one is capable of such terrible sins not saying grace before meals may seem so trivial as to not be worth mentioning. We have bigger fish to fry. But when you sin capacity is reduced, things that once seemed picayune are now greater in proportion because to be honest, if we are physically and situationally less capable of sinning, we are also have less opportunities to be loving. So our focus on our examination of conscience must become re-calibrated, more refined, and more thoughtful.
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Here are some things to consider. This is not an exhaustive check off list of sins for shut-ins, but a springboard for further thought..."  Finish reading at, "Too old and sick to sin?"

Why would good parents want their children to learn something they don't believe in?

I reallly think it is important for Catholics to read Fr. Breslin's homily to understand why he acted as he did.  I reprint it here for your convenience.
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What wisdom is at work in not having children of a gay marriage in a Catholic school?

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By Father Bill Breslin, pastor at Sacred Heart of Jesus, Boulder
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If a child of gay parents comes to our school, and we teach that gay marriage is against the will of God, then the child will think that we are saying their parents are bad. We don't want to put any child in that tough position-nor do we want to put the parents, or the teachers, at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Why would good parents want their children to learn something they don't believe in? It doesn't make sense. There are so many schools in Boulder that see the meaning of sexuality in an entirely different way than the Catholic Church does. Why not send their child there?
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The core issue for us Catholics on this question is our freedom and our obligation to teach about marriage and family life as our Faith teaches. If parents see the cultural interpretation of what tolerance has become as more important than the teachings of Jesus, then we become unfaithful to the Lord and we lose the meaning of the beatitude, “Blessed are you when they insult you for My sake, for the Kingdom of Heaven is yours.” Many of Jesus’ teachings were not popular. In fact, He was crucified for His teachings.
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Glossing over differences on essential matters, and pretending that crucial issues are irrelevant, is not tolerance. It is relativism, meaning that nothing is important anymore and everyone can have their own interpretation of what is goodness and truth. This kind of tolerance, which is a decidedly secularist invention, seeks to separate all moral discourse from public life. However, those who embrace this kind of tolerance do not, of course, acknowledge that they are imposing their own moral judgments upon society.
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The Catholic Church invests in parish schools so as to assist children in becoming disciples of Christ and to stand as a light shining in the darkness that has rejected Christianity and the truth of being human, including the meaning of human sexuality. - Fr. Breslin's Homily

Novena to St. Joseph

The novena to St. Joseph begins today.
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St Joseph is the premier patron of impossible situations. 
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Go to Joseph.
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Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them.  Amen.  -  Novena prayers.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

What about the children?


Reflections on the Archdiocese of Denver Catholic School Admissions Policy.
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I expect many people to be blogging about the decision of a Denver priest, Fr. William Breslin, pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Boulder, Colorado to implement archdiocesan policy refusing enrollment in Catholic school to children of same-sex parents.  The Denver admissions policy states:  "No person shall be admitted as a student in any Catholic school unless that person and his/her parent(s) subscribe to the school’s philosophy and agree to abide by the educational policies and regulations of the school and Archdiocese.”
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The official statement from the Archdiocese explains the policy as it pertains to this case:  "Parents living in open discord with Catholic teaching in areas of faith and morals unfortunately choose by their actions to disqualify their children from enrollment. To allow children in these circumstances to continue in our school would be a cause of confusion for the student in that what they are being taught in school conflicts with what they experience in the home." - Source 
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Additionally, Archbishop Chaput further explained the decision in his weekly news column:  “If parents don’t respect the beliefs of the Church, or live in a manner that openly rejects those beliefs, then partnering with those parents becomes very difficult, if not impossible." - CNA
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Exploiting the children for equality?
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Sadly, the children are becoming pawns in the great fight to gain same-sex marriage recognition in the U.S. and abroad, but it is not the Catholic Church doing the exploiting, rather it is the homosexualist movement and the same-sex parents.  I definitely agree with the policy statement of the Archdiocese of Denver, although I regret that it might also mean that a child is denied an opportunity for a Catholic education - specifically solid Catholic catechesis and admission to the sacraments.  Considering the irregularities of my own upbringing, if it hadn't been for Catholic school, I doubt I would have any faith at all.  Nevertheless, my parents did accept Catholic teaching regarding faith and morals, and they had the desire that I be brought up in the Catholic faith.  It is  obvious children in similar circumstances today would never be rejected by Catholic schools, as Archbishop Chaput affirmed:  "Many of our schools also accept students of other faiths and no faith, and from single parent and divorced parent families. These students are always welcome so long as their parents support the Catholic mission of the school and do not offer a serious counter-witness to that mission in their actions." - CNA 
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Unfortunately, so it seems to me, same-sex parents do not share that commitment nor do they have that intention to train their children in the faith.  I strongly suspect enrollment in Catholic school has more to do with quality of education than belief in or acceptance of Catholic doctrine. 
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Case in point is the story of Carol Curoe's family; her same-sex partner, and their children.  Curoe wrote a book with her dad, Robert Curoe, titled, "Are There Closets in Heaven?".   After reading the book, my impression is that Ms. Curoe is a sort of CINO Catholic - Catholic in name only, since she rejects Catholic teaching regarding sexuality as well as Roman Church authority to define faith and morals.  Sadly, her father has been misled by erring theologians and priests (McNeill, Nugent, Sr. Gramick, etc.) into believing the Catholic Church can and will change Her teaching to finally accept homosexuality and bless same sex-marriages.  That is simply impossible, the Church and her ministers do not have the authority to alter moral and natural law.
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Exploiting the Church.
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Reading Carol Curoe's book reveals the extent to which she accepts Catholic teaching on these issues, and my supposition being it most likely reflects the Boulder couple's non-acceptance of Catholic teaching as well.  In her book, Ms. Curoe clearly states:
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"Although I was raised Catholic and had seventeen years of Catholic education, you'd be hard pressed to call me a  'good' Catholic or maybe even 'a Catholic.'  We belong to a Catholic parish and I go to church; in my heart it doesn't make me a good Catholic.  There's so much about the Church that I don't agree with, and I'm always battling its policies in my mind.  I like our parish, I rationalize that we belong to St. Joan of Arc parish, not the larger Catholic Church.
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Susan and I struggled to decide whether we wanted to baptize Patrick, and any future children, into the Catholic Church.  We wanted to baptize him into our parish, but felt baptizing him into the Catholic Church was hypocritical.  It took many months to make the final decision to do it.  A decade later we laugh about it, saying Patrick was the only boy in that group who walked to his own baptism.
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Susan and I don't pretend to be anything we aren't in terms of the Church.  We've made it clear to our sons that the majority of the leaders of the Catholic Church do not think homosexuality is okay...  We do not protect our sons from the knowledge that many people and organizations not only may not agree with having two lesbians for parents - in fact, they may actively work against it.
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... We pointed out that just because people join an organization, it doesn't mean they agree with everything it stands for; our membership at St. Joan of Arc was a simple analogy." - Are There Closets In Heaven?
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Too bad these people, highly educated, informed, and progressive as they are, do not understand that the Catholic Church cannot be reduced to an organization or an institution.
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"We need to examine our hearts with real candor. And we need to ask ourselves how “Catholic” we really want to be. If the answer is “pretty much” or “sort of” or “on my own terms” -- then we need to stop fooling ourselves, for our own sake and for the sake of the people around us who really do believe. There’s no more room in American life for easy or tepid faith." - Archbishop Chaput, 21st Century Bishop
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To support Fr. Breslin, Archbishop Chaput, and the Archdiocese of Denver policy, vist Fr. Z's post: To Arms - Denver priest attacked for his obedience.
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Photo: File; "gay parents".

The Mansions

I finished the first mansion of the Interior Castle - or does the panel illustrate a soul in mortal sin?  Or is it, 'one dark night...'?  Anyway - if conditions are right, I may try to photograph it and post it later. 

Monday, March 08, 2010

Monday catch up...


What I'm doing about it.
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I'm really into my series on the Interior Castle.  I can't sleep at night.  If nothing else, painting about it allows me to think more deeply about what St. Teresa wrote.  I'm realizing my first panel is much too small - and dark - albeit intense.  I'm not sure if I should post the images I finish.  Anyway - I'm preoccupied with this project - but I will continue to blog.
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I also want to thank everyone who prays for me.  As I woke up this morning I was made aware of your prayers.  Thanks very much.
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Feelings. 
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Lately I've been driving myself totally crazy worrying that my posts may offend someone's sensibilities, which means I have been skipping certain controversies so as not to ruffle feathers.  Something Fr. Gjengdahl of Voice of the Vicar wrote reminded me that charity does not mean we refrain from speaking or acting just to avoid hurting someone's feelings.
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"Okay, I have remained silent on this issue long enough. We have come to the point in our society (world, global village, whatever word you want to use) where our concern over feelings is inhibiting people from doing any good whatsoever. Here is another example. Now this is not an isolated incident, but has happened here in the USA in several states already. It is a complete joke that now the Church is not allowed to do good (i.e. helping homeless children find homes) because they will not work to put these children in the homes of people living out their homosexual attractions. The logic here is so warped! The point of adoption agencies is FOR THE CHILDREN! So as a result, we are willing to sacrifice the good lives of children because we don't want anyone to feel bad. We are not willing to make a sacrifice of our own lives, our own wants, our own desires for the good of others. The only thing that we are willing to sacrifice is the lives and well being of others. This is completely antithetical to love. Love seeks the good of the other EVEN at the expense of the good for myself. This is not love."  - Voice of the Vicar
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Repetition.
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Another reason I stopped with the hot button issues is that I realized I was repeating myself and getting somewhat frustrated with it; it was my same old, same old - especially on the gay, gay, gay all day issues.  It almost seemed to me that the other side was winning - and so I stopped writing about Catholic teaching which opposes homosexual acts and homosexual culture.  In the meantime, I have found other people willing to address similar issues head-on.  One of these is Larry of Acts of the Apostacy.
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The reason I find Larry's commentary so valuable is that he is a well balanced husband and father of sons, he's obviously an intelligent and well formed Roman Catholic, and as far as I can tell, he's an all around good guy.  Such ordinary credentials, often overlooked by our culture, carry a lot of weight for me.  This man is a normal guy addressing influences and changes that affect the foundation of society - the family.  He always writes with intelligence and clarity and obvious compassion, yet he points out the truth of the matter.  Anyway - if I'm tired of talking about this stuff - there are men like Larry who have written about these issues better than I can.
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"... Being opposed to same-sex marriage is not discriminatory - the basis for the objection is multi-faceted: to preserve traditional marriage; to protect children; to ensure stability in society. Note that none of those reasons are religious. And as this scientific study seems to show, the results support the reasons for the objection. Kids.Get.Hurt. Even to the point of contemplating suicide." - Acts of the Apostacy
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"... The Church has to be more direct - in a compassionate, Christ-like way - on the grave sinfulness of homosexual behavior and continue to properly catechize the laity. One thing is for certain: the Church will not change Her teachings on these matters - one only needs to see the free-fall the Anglican Church is experiencing to see the chaos and confusion that would result. Not to mention that sin is sin in any age and for every generation. The Church cannot change that which She has no authority to do so." - A of A
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Until I get time to add my two cents, I may be lifting good commentary from other excellent bloggers for awhile.
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Photo:  Miraculous Teddy Bear cloud seen over Cathy's house as she was writing comments on Fr. Z's blog.   (I know.  It has absolutely nothing to do with this post.)
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Thanks to Paula for the heads-up on Fr. Gj's post.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Godspell - Day By Day

Call me crazy - but I still love this. Remember how it was when you first fell in Love with Christ? The intense joy and how you couldn't think of anyone or anything else?

George Tooker still lives...


"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." - Mark Twain
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George Tooker happens to be one of my favorite painters.  Until this morning I had been under the false impression that he was dead.  He isn't - he is still alive.  He happens to be the last remaining artist of a threesome whose work came to influence my own; Paul Cadmus, Jared French, and Tooker. 
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George Tooker converted to Catholicism, having left the Episcopal church shortly after the death of his companion in 1973.  Subsequently, he painted stations of the cross, as well as an altarpiece depicting the Sacraments for the church of St. Francis of Assisi in Windsor, Vermont.

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George Tooker still lives in Hartland, Vermont.
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Thank you Tom for calling my attention to this.  My apologies for the mistake.  It actually happened to me once too - someone in Boston told the story I had died and was buried at New Melleray - the story developed after I left Boston abruptly to move back to Minneapolis. 
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Art: Meadow I - George Tooker
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A word about fact checking:  This is the second incident wherein I made a mistake regarding facts on a particular person.  I can't recall what the one before this was - but I welcome any reader to please comment if you disagree or question the accuracy of any of my statements.  I try to verify data, yet in this case I just assumed my information to be factual.  My sincere apologies.  (At least George may have benefitted from my prayers.)

See!

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Photo credit.