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, May 01, 2010

Banal theories...



A post with no headers or subdivisions or links to what I'm talking about.
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I posted this clip a couple of days back and then pulled it thinking I'd use it another day when there is nothing to blog about.  But like Andre in the film - I just keep talking and talking so I always have something to write about.  Banal theories - love that line.  I have a lot of them, as well as pointless stories.
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Although this morning I'm sad over a number of things, some of which I can't control.
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The oil spill/leak in the Gulf for instance. What a terrible disaster, it affects people, wild life, industry - the ecology: mercy, mercy, mercy me. Seriously!  I see the photos, it is a disaster and it will only get worse.  It makes me sad.
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The immigrant problem. I am apolitical about the issue - I can empathize with both sides, but my sympathy is with the poor men, women and children who struggle. I see souls. Souls who need salvation - like me and you. So I pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe, San Jose, and San Toribio. Minneapolis has a very large Latino community - I love Latino people and pray for them - I'm especially concerned they remain Catholic.  Actually, that is my greatest concern.
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Banal theories - I told you I love that line. I suppose I have a lot of them - and so it seems other bloggers do as well.   Blogging is like My Dinner With Andre in some ways - forgettable diatribes about nonsense - today everything seems like nonsense to me.  Today is one of those days I wonder, "Is the world nuts or is it just me?"  (Note to crazy people, forgive me for using the "nuts" word.)
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I read a post last night by a priest sort of warning about charismatic founders of new religious communities - and I thought, "I write about these things quite frequently, yet people always get annoyed with me and think I'm criticizing them."   (Honesty is often perceived as cruelty by the effeminate.)
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"But you are crippled Blanche, you are!"  Baby Jane told her sister.
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And so yes - maybe I was writing about them - but criticizing them?  Not so much.  Pointing out that they are crippled?  A little bit.  We all are in some way.  So I wonder if Father was doing that too?  (Now I do sound crazy, don't I.  Well maybe I am Kathy Bates.)
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People criticize me all of the time of course - because "I'm out there, George!  I'm out there!"  They seem to criticize me precisely because I'll point out a few things just as Father does in his post.  So what?  We all make mistakes and it's good to know we are all quite fallible.  It just makes me sad when we pretend we are something we are not.  This probably makes no sense, I know.
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As my regular readers know, I'm sometimes sad about church people - I don't want to get too involved with them.  Recently someone asked me if I wanted to gather some information for the Church - I can't say on what, where, or whom.  I thought about it.  I would be acting "undercover", infiltrating a group, spying.  I just kept thinking, "That's what Judas and the scribes and pharisees did."  I got this creepy feeling in the pit of my stomach.  If something seems bad - it is - follow your gut.  When you sense something is wrong - something is wrong.  But good or bad, I can't do it.  That is not part of my religion.  No offense to my friend who suggested the plot to me.
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The other day, I was reading something from Garrigou-Lagrange and came across a bit of paper I used for a bookmark.  It was a newspaper clipping from several years ago now.  A church lady friend cut out the news story, neatly pasted it on a recipe card with a note explaining when the item appeared in the papers.  She had informed me about the case earlier but I told her I didn't believe it could be true and did not want to discuss it.  To prove to me it was, she gave me the news article which detailed how a married man had been convicted of a crime.  The man in question was a highly respectable member of the local Church, quite active, a third order member, a founder of a religious community, known for his devotion, happily married, and so on.  He did something naughty with a client.
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While it is true I never liked the guy, he was sort of a traditional snob, very proud of his academic achievements, and terribly knowledgeable about liturgy - no English translations for him;  I always treated him with respect and kindness.  In other words, I was friendly and helpful towards him when he asked for a favor - I even did some art work for him gratis.  I did my best to avoid talking about him, although the church lady must have known somehow I wasn't fond of him, which is why I imagine she gave me the news clipping.  Rather than turn me against him completely, his public failing helped improve my attitude towards him.  Despite the fact the entire town knew about his crime - he never changed his mode of life.  He remained as devout and faithful as ever, although he seemed much less officious when dealing with inferiors.  He seemed more down to earth.  I admired him for that. 
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Why do I tell this story?  The man is dead now - when I heard his story I was much younger - and he the same age I am today.  (I thought he was so old that such a crime would be impossible for a man his age.  The Devil laughs at youth.)  Anyway - it was a good lesson for me.  For me it demonstrated first hand what happens when a person, motivated by personal antipathy, even envy, attempts to dig up dirt on another person, exposing their faults, in order to discredit them or turn others against them.  It's creepy isn't it - the fact that we keep going over the same lesson plan until we get it right I mean.  I'll bet this fellow struggled all of his life with these issues.  God allows us to fall that we may become humble and charitable.
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Not infrequently things which bother us in others sometimes reveal more about ourselves than it does the other person.  What annoys us in others often enough is mirroring what we ourselves are guilty of, or in other words, exposes the log in our own eye.  So like when Baby Jane told Blanche the truth, that she was crippled, Blanche might have responded, "And you're mental and your make-up is hideous!"  Does that make sense?
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No, of course it doesn't.  Finish your dinner.
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Anyway, I'm still sad.  Blogging is like My Dinner With Andre - a lot of banal theories and hot air - and like the film, very forgettable.  Although I'd like to see a remake of the film, only this time they would be drinking heavily.
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Icon source and meaning.

St. Joseph the (migrant) worker.


Saint Joseph and Immigrants
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We recommend immigrants to Saint Joseph. He knows their struggles. He knows their anxieties, their hardships, and the fears. Saint Joseph was, after all, an immigrant in Egypt. He arrived there, in a strange land, with his Virgin Spouse and her Infant Son. He had to find housing, to look for work, to endure the suspicion, the prejudice, and the slights that are the lot of immigrants in every time and place. - Vultus Christi
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Fr. Mark has posted beautifully on St. Joseph for his feastday this May 1.

Oh hell - now that's-a-cute.


Now this I like.
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Father has really got a business going.  He won me over.
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Very clever Vincenzo.

Contemporary art and design for sacred places.

A woman clothed with the sun.
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So yesterday, while I'm on another site I noticed a comment on a post which kind of poked fun at "modern art".  The author mentioned something about the unrecognizable character of some of the art at the new shrine in Fatima, Portugal - the site of the 1917 apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I searched online and could not find the artwork the writer referred to, however I did come  across a site which features the mosaic in the main sanctuary of the new basilica.  I actually like it.  The style is evocative of early Christian art, as found in the catacombs and Ravenna. The detail shown above is quite lovely and charming in it's simplicity; appropriately, the entire mural appears to be based upon imagery from the Book of Revelation.
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While it is true I wasn't a big fan of the architecture of the shrine, the massive mosaic certainly enhances the space for me. I watched a video on YouTube touring the space and it seems to me, when seen close up and in context, the church is more beautiful than I expected. I would have to see it first hand to make a personal judgement - but it doesn't offend me. It is definitely large enough to handle a good percentage of the massive crowd who will be there to see the Holy Father this May 12, 13 and 14.
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I wonder what he will say while there? 
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Today is first Saturday BTW.  At every appearance at Fatima Our Lady asked that the Rosary be prayed every day.  Did you know Pope John XXIII never missed a day - and he prayed all 15 mysteries every day.  No wonder he is Blessed. 
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Pray the Rosary every day.
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Link:
Santuario de Fatima
Shrine of the Most Holy Trinity, Fatima

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Bishop Wore Print...


So South Beach.
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Miami Archbishop John Favalora announced an early retirement on April 20, only eight months before he was set to reach the normal episcopal retirement age of 75. Despite the fact that the Vatican usually only accepts early resignations for serious illness or another “grave cause,” the official explanation given by Archbishop Favalora himself says he is in “good health,” and presents no other “grave reason” for the unexpected retirement.
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Meanwhile, a group of lay Catholics in the archdiocese has revealed communications that they have had with the Vatican regarding an alleged gay cabal of priests that the group claims is veritably running the archdiocese, and suggests that this situation is the real cause of the early retirement. The group says that the Vatican has investigated its claims, and found them to be well-founded. - Source
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I don't doubt the story.

The Bishop Wore Tennis Shoes...


Some people.
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You know the type - they complain if altar boys/girls wear anything but black dress shoes under their cassock - St. Agnes in St. Paul used to make kids wear black stocking feet if they didn't have the appropriate shoes - "and never let me see a blue jean cuff down there young man!"  But look at this photo.  Doesn't the Bishop look like he is wearing tennis shoes?  I know!

Of course he's not actually wearing tennis shoes - but they reminded me of tennis shoes at first.  And white ones.

I hope it wasn't after Labor Day. 
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(KIDDING!)
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Photo: On April 27, 2010, feast of St. Peter Canisius, His Excellency Antonio Tobias, Bishop of Novaliches, offered Solemn Pontifical Mass in the convent chapel of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate in his diocese. He was assisted by priests and brothers belonging to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.   I love the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate!
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Okay - gotta go - I have work to do.

Support our troops!


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This is so great!  Our guys in Afghanistan.

Santo Toribio Romo Gonzalez, patron of immigrants.


St. Toribio Romo González
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This young saint is credited with assisting Mexican immigrants in marvelous ways.  It is said St. Toribio sometimes appears to immigrants who travel from Mexico to the United States and guides them safely through the desert.  I am praying to him for the immigrants in our country - especially those subject to Arizona law.
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U.S. Bishops oppose Arizona Law SB 1070
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In a statement released April 27, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops denounced a recently signed Arizona law that criminalizes undocumented immigrants, calling the legislative move “draconian” and saying it “could lead to the wrongful questioning and arrest of U.S. citizens.”
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Writing on behalf of the USCCB, Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the U.S. bishops' committee on Migration, noted that he joins Arizona’s bishops in “strongly opposing” the implementation of SB 1070, which was signed into law by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer last Friday.

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According to ABC news, the new Arizona law makes it a crime to be in the state illegally and allows police to arrest and question suspected individuals about their status without a warrant. It also criminalizes transporting illegal immigrants anywhere in Arizona, even if by family members.
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“This new law, although limited to the State of Arizona, could have impact throughout the nation, in terms of how members of our immigrant communities are both perceived and treated,” Bishop Wester said." - Source 

Short biography of St. Toribio.
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Born in Santa Ana de Guadalupe, which belongs to the parish of Jalostotitlán, Jal. (Diocese of San Juan de los Lagos), 16 April 1900. Vicar functions pastor in Tequila, Jalisco., (Archdiocese of Guadalajara). Priest sensitive heart, assiduous prayer. Passionate about the Eucharist asked many times: "Lord, let me not a single day of my life without saying Mass without Communion hold in'. In a First Communion, to take the Sacred Host in his hands, said: "And would accept my blood, Lord, I offer you the peace of the Church? 'While in Aguascalientes, a location near Tequila that served as refuge and center of his ministry, he wanted to acquaint the parish. Worked on Friday all day and all night. At five in the morning of Saturday February 25, 1928, wanted to celebrate the Eucharist but, feeling very tired and sleepy preferred to celebrate a little sleep better. He had hardly fallen asleep when a group of agrarians and soldiers entered the room and when one of them pointed, saying, "That's the priest, kill him"Father Toribio woke up scared, stood up and received a discharge. Wounded and walked a little hesitant, a new download, in the back, cut the life of the martyr and his generous blood that reddened the land of Jalisco Canyon. - Vatican website
Prayer
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Holy Father, you who sent your Son to proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven to us, and He, obedient to your will, carried out the mission you gave Him to do, we pray that through the intercession of St. Toribio:
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You care for and guide members of our families that have had to leave their homes for distant lands to improve their lives and those of their families. Keep them safe from harm and help them to stay firm in their Faith so that they can soon return to their homes strengthened in soul and body.
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Through Christ our Lord, Amen
(St. Toribio Romo Shrine)


Links:
Toribio Romo Gonzalez
Biography in Spanish
Chronology in English
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Topiary


These are the topiary I trimmed - the top one perched on the bombe style base is a myrtle tree. It had become root bound the winter before last and appeared to be dead, I cut back the roots and pruned back the limbs as they do when pollarding a large tree. The tree grew back sufficiently last summer and winter permitting a nice hair-cut to reshape it into a ball topiary. The rosemary is nearest the cistern, and the olive stands off alone. To me they look like little old ladies in a nursing home who just got a wash 'n' cut and a tight new perm.

If anyone feels so inclined, you might contact Fr. Z and let him know Penjing - who seems to be ailing - just might need some root pruning as did my myrtle. (I don't name my plants BTW - they are what they are.)
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Rosemary


I was pruning one of my topiaries and made bunches of rosemary to place around the house. The aroma fills the place.
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Bishop Geoffrey Robinson's perspective.


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"Priests think abuse 'doesn't break celibacy'"
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Unfortunately a headline or a newspaper article doesn't tell the whole story and often times quotes are taken out of context - we all know that by now.  This morning I had an email waiting for me from a friend who is something of a roving journalist at large, concerning statements by retired Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson regarding priests who molested young people.  Here is the substance of Bishop Robinson's statement:
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Some pedophile priests believe molesting children does not breach their vow of celibacy, a retired Australian Catholic bishop said in a magazine interview.
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Geoffrey Robinson, former auxiliary bishop of Sydney, told The Australian Women's Weekly he had made the observation during years of work with victims of child abuse within the church.
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"We've met it often enough to see it as a factor. That's what the vow of celibacy refers to, being married. If it's not an adult woman, then somehow they're not breaking their vow," the 72-year-old said. - Source

Dogs don't know it's not bacon.
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I think the tag line from the Beggin' Strips ad (Bacon-like dog food for our non-American readers) just may apply to the statement, "priests think abuse 'doesn't break celibacy'".  I'm sure some theologians or psych-nurse will say the Bishop's statement is nonsense and he is simply advocating for the elimination of compulsory celibacy for Latin rite priests.  That may or may not be his motive for saying such things, but that isn't my point here.
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On some level I think Robinson is right on the money. It's like the guy who goes to a prostitute - in his mind he's not really cheating on his wife or girl friend because he doesn't love the prostitute - he's just having sex, so he's not really being unfaithful. Same with married men who go to parks and restrooms to have anonymous sex - it has nothing to do with love, commitment, etc - it's like private auto-eroticism, or even taking a whiz outdoors. There is little or no emotional involvement.  Slam, bam, thank you m'am.  If he is religious, he may know it is sinful, but in his mind it's not breaking his vows.
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So at least Bishop Robinson is thinking like a guy here.  It may explain one dimension of the problem, the why, how, and wherefore, but it doesn't resolve anything.  If celibacy had been eliminated and priests had been free to marry, I doubt that would have changed anything.  Married men (not all of course) have always fooled around:  "Honey, it doesn't mean anything - I still love you."  Ask Larry Craig, or Fr. - oops!
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Yes, we're animals.
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Thanks to PML for the news article.

She just gets prettier and prettier.

Move Over St. Catherine


Today used to be the feast of my namesake, St. Peter of Verona, now it is observed as the memorial of St. Catherine of Siena.  Call me a chauvinist, but the blood of martyrs trumps female mystics - doctors or not.  Just kidding - I love them both.  St. Peter's feast is now observed on April 28.  St. Catherine actually died on April 29, hence the memorial  - although St. Peter died on April 6 - go figure?
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Art:  The Death of Saint Peter Martyr, Attributed to Bernardino da Asola

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gordon Brown and the Bigot.


This is the funniest photo ever.  Gordon Brown just called this woman a bigot.  ROFLOL!  I think she has the same expression my readers sometimes get after they read my posts.  I'm laughing so hard I'm crying.
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Story here.

Correcting the corrector.


Chapter chat.
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Fr. Mark has an excellent post on Controllers, Castigators and Bitchy Religious People - LOL!  That isn't exactly his title of course, but it works for me.  Father weaves his post out of a meditation on Chapter 70 of the Rule of St. Benedict.  His reflection especially appealed to me today since I had been bothered about something at my parish and wrote about it here.  Interestingly enough, while at adoration and before reading Fr. Mark's post this evening, I concluded my concern is nothing but a distraction in that I have no duty or obligation to interfere with how things are done at church.  I ought to clarify that even though I refer to the church as 'my parish' I am not even a registered member - although they treat me as such.  Anyway, I solved my problem by leaving adoration before the prayers of benediction were recited, and left it up to the woman formally in charge to take care of reposing the Blessed Sacrament.  It's not my problem.
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Fr. Mark wrote:
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In Chapter 70 of the Holy Rule, Saint Benedict treats of those monks who, deceived by their own pride, appoint themselves to control, correct, and castigate their brethren. Anyone with a certain experience of community life in a monastery has probably come up against this sort of fellow. Censorious, condescending, brittle, hypercritical, and never content, he is ever on the lookout for the speck in his brother's eye and unaware of the log in his own. He is infected with what Saint Benedict will call in Chapter 72 an evil zeal of bitterness. - Vultus Christi
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"The grace to make corrections gracefully is given to those duly constituted in authority over others."
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Fr. Mark states it very well.  I believe it is something all of us - none more than myself - must guard against.  I try - but often fail -  to ignore many of the things that appear to violate the General Instruction for the Roman Missal (GIRM) so as to keep myself in peace in order to pray and worship.  Once a priest challenged me about such passivity in view of certain abuses or inappropriate musical choices, suggesting I ought to be offended by such irregularities.  Others might say I ought to speak to the pastor, but since I'm just an ordinary layman unattached to the parish, I'm not at all convinced it is my place to offer any suggestions, especially to an ordained priest.  Of course, on occasion I do blog about some things - but usually because they are funny - like the blessing of feet for Earth Day, or a busty, lightly-clad female cantor waving her arms in the air like she's Pam Anderson running down the beach on Bay Watch.  Instead, I'm trying very hard to avoid the critical spirit.
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"They lurk in sacristies, piously fussing about..."
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I should know better anyway - I've known so many serial-correction-officers-of-the-Eucharist before the invention of blogs, it is not funny.  For instance I knew a young nun who constantly complained about her convents chaplain.  Father J. was rather liberal and often neglected sections of the Mass such as the Gloria or Creed on Sundays and Solemnities, changed the wording of the Penitential rite to exclude any mention of sin.  Inserted exaggerated inclusive language, blessed religious objects with a wave but no prayer of blessing, etc..  The sister got to the point she wanted to contact the Vatican about him, but the superior forbid her to complain any further saying, "Chaplains are few and far between, I have seen worse - you have no idea - just be grateful we have someone to say Mass."  The poor sister obeyed and made it through to final vows - and the priest died.  I'm told the sister remains rather vigilant concerning liturgical abuses however.  I suppose there is no polite way to say this, but I always found her attitude a bit imperious and censorious.
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"In their eyes, nothing is ever rubrically correct." 
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I also knew a monk whose monastery wasn't governed very well and the liturgy suffered for it.  The poor monk couldn't abide the lax attitude of the monastery and became dissatisfied by the fact his fellow monks would not follow his musical and liturgical direction, especially since that was his 'obedience' and field of expertise.  He lamented his predicament to friends and family, but unfortunately the situation never improved.  He gradually withdrew from community and as is frequently the case when that happens - he finally left.  He remained a religious however and soon found a monastic community he could abide.
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St. Therese to Celine.
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I'm happy to have quieted my concern, recalling the words of Therese to Celine:  "You have no responsibility in the guidance of souls, so to set about instructing others, even when truth is on your side, is exposing yourself to danger unnecessarily.  You are not called to be a Justice of the Peace.  This right belongs to God alone." - My Sister St. Therese, by Genevieve of the Holy Face
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I hope I've learned my lesson.  If not, I trust someone will correct me.  ;)

What should I blog about today?

Wednesday is my weekly day of recollection and I go to Adoration in the afternoon at my parish.  Somehow it has fallen upon me to remove the luna from the monstrance and place it back in the tabernacle at the end of the day.  An older woman used to do it, but she has trouble getting around these days and has asked me to do it for her.  Believe me, I would prefer not to do this at all, I'm against lay people - me in particular - handling the Blessed Sacrament - no offense to you EMHC's.  For some reason, Father is not available for  Benediction, which means he isn't there to repose the Blessed Sacrament either.  Therefore a lay person has to do it, otherwise we can not have Adoration.
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That's not my issue here however.  I want to ask about the manner the altar is covered.  There is an altar cloth covering the altar of course, as well as a corporal in the center at the edge of the altar, always set up for the consecration.  It's always there, not just on the day we have Adoration - in fact, the monstrance is not even placed upon the corporal.  I've never noticed a fresh corporal being unfolded in the Offertory preparation, likewise I've never noticed it folded after Mass.   
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On occasion I have observed what appears to be crumbs on the corporal as I removed the monstrance from the altar.  This strikes me as sloppy and inappropriate.  I've always thought the corporal was to be swept with the paten and any fragments placed in the chalice as it is purified, and then consumed by the priest.  The next step being to fold it and remove it with the chalice after Mass? 
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So I am asking, is it normal to leave the corporal laid out open on the altar, day after day, Mass after Mass?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

San Francesco

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Daily Painting



Whatcha doin'?
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Some people think I don't do anything but blog - but I really do a lot of stuff. I even had friends stop by this weekend who actually were admitted to my workshop/studio - LOL! - the spooky basement, they can vouch for me.

Anyway - I'll be updating the "obscene" Up Your Street blog with a few examples of my daily painting. (Not everything can be shown.)

Above: Detail of St. Francis Levitating. 6" x 12" acrylic on canvas.  (The figure has been adapted from another painting.)
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Noah's Ark Found in Turkey.


A group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers say they have found wooden remains of Noah's ark in ancient Turkey.  Read more here .

Shepherds


The reform of good holy shepherds...
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"I tell you further: the more the mystic body of holy Church is filled with troubles now, the more it will abound in delight and consolation.  And this shall be its delight: the reform of good holy shepherds who are flowers of glory, who praise and glorify my name, offering me the fragrance of virtue rooted in truth.  This is the reform of the fragrant blossoming of my ministers and shepherds - not that the fruit of this bride needs to be reformed, because it never spoils nor is diminished by the sins of its ministers.  So be glad, you and your spiritual father and my other servants, in your bitterness.  For I, eternal Truth, promise to refresh you, and after your bitterness I will give you consolation, along with great suffering, in the reform of holy Church." - Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue; The Way of Perfection, Chp. 12

Monday, April 26, 2010

Prickly Heat


I guess her tub overflowed or something.
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Kidding!

Do you recycle?

The Holy Father's warning.


Pope Benedict XVI warns about the dangers of the internet.
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Just about every Catholic blogger assumes the Holy Father has given his imprimatur to every Catholic, priests, religious and laity alike, to blog their fingers off online 24-7.  Yet while it is true the Pope encourages evangelization and witness utilizing online social networks, it appears the Holy Father also recognizes some of the dangers.  Although directing his comments towards secular culture, perhaps the Holy Father's latest admonition might well apply to Catholic bloggers as well.
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"The Pope said today that the internet carries a risk of control and conformity of thought.
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Benedict XVI said that while the internet is egalitarian and creates the opportunity to be informed and stay connected, it also comes with risks.
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He also mentioned the “dangers of conformity, of control, of moral and intellectual relativism, which can already be recognised in the decline of critical spirit”. - Source
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Aside from the moral and intellectual relativism reference, which would most certainly apply to the more progressive Catholic bloggers, Twits, and Facebookies, the Holy Father might just as well be addressing some of the more traditional leaning Catholic blogs in his latest warning.
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Let's see, "conformity, control, and the decline of the critical spirit."  I wonder if any Catholic bloggers, Twits, and Facebookies, along with their followers and commenters, fall into that category?  Nah - couldn't be. 
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(Gosh.  I hope it isn't bad to say that.)
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Thanks to Western Confucian for the original news story.
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Image:  Mind control illustration.

Our Lady of Good Counsel



The miraculous image.
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"The ancient painting of Our Mother of Good Counsel is an Eleousa, (the Mother of Tenderness). The Christ Child nestles close to his mother. The image is a half figure. The Christ Child rests on Mary's left arm, her head bends toward him, their cheeks touch tenderly. The left hand of the child gently grasps the rim of her dress, indicating the intimacy of nursing.
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The image as it is known in the West is traced to the year 1467 to Genazzano, Italy, a small town ca. thirty miles southeast of Rome. It is presently located in a side chapel, built between 1621 and 1629, in the church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, whence the image derives its name. Measuring approximately 15-1/2 inches by 17-1/2 inches, the painting is a fresco executed on a thin layer of plaster or porcelain not much thicker than paper. One writer describes it as a fresco painted on a material resembling egg shell. It appears suspended in mid-air in its frame, with approximately an inch of space between it and the wall behind it. The only support is on the lower edge where it "rests on a small base on one of its sides, i.e. from the center to the extreme right." (Joao S. Cla Dias, p. 42) - Source
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Prayer
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Holy Virgin, moved by the painful uncertainty we experience in seeking and acquiring the true and the good, we cast ourselves at thy feet and invoke thee under the sweet title of Mother of Good Counsel. We beseech thee: come to our aid at this moment in our worldly sojourn when the twin darknesses of error and of evil that plots our ruin by leading minds and hearts astray.
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Seat of Wisdom and Star of the Sea, enlighten the victims of doubt and of error so that they may not be seduced by evil masquerading as good; strengthen them against the hostile and corrupting forces of passion and of sin.
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Mother of Good Counsel, obtain for us from thy Divine Son the love of virtue and the strength to choose, in doubtful and difficult situations, the course agreeable to our salvation. Supported by thy hand we shall thus journey without harm along the paths taught us by the word and example of Jesus our Savior, following the Sun of Truth and Justice in freedom and safety across the battlefield of life under the guidance of thy maternal Star, until we come at length to the harbor of salvation to enjoy with thee unalloyed and everlasting peace. Amen.
(By Pope Pius XII, 23 January 1953) - Source
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April 26 is the feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
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Art:  Devotional image of Our Lady of Good Counsel.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Good Shepherd Sunday

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Just a few random remarks.
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Last Sunday was Good Shepherd Sunday in the Extraordinary Form, although it is Good Shepherd Sunday this Sunday in the Ordinary Form - Novus Ordo to some.  That is fine, but it's kind of confusing sometimes - it seems to me the liturgical calender should be the same for both forms.  I know - it's a petit point.
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Sometimes I wonder with all the texting and blogging and emailing people do - without worrying about spelling* and often abbreviating words - if language is beginning to suffer?
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Errors Catholics have about Catholicism - another Henry Karlson post I like - it's sort of his little syllabus I suppose.  A top ten list of things some Catholics don't know how to explain and so they say things like:
1) We don’t worship Mary

... - We do - it's called hyperdulia.
2) We don’t pray to Mary
... - We do.
3) We don’t worship the saints
... - We do, it's called dulia.
4) We don’t pray to the saints
... - We do..
5) The “Latin Mass” was the original form of the Mass
... - Nope.
6) We have to believe everything taught by the Pope
... - Not really.
7) There can be, and are, no married priests
... - Yes, yes, and yes there are Fr. Dwight. Link to Vox Nova
We all make mistakes.
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From time to time I notice errors in the manner I express something too - I'm always afraid to mislead anyone on my blog so I try to be as vigilant as possible and check and re-check facts.  I welcome corrections and happily remove posts if they are at all misleading or inaccurate.  Even if a professor of theology were to tell me something I had doubts about I would go to the source and check the facts, and research the matter using other reliable references, academic and theological as well as spiritual.  As St. Paul warns, "even if an angel of light were to appear..."  (Hence, it goes without saying I also dismiss Internet mystics.)   
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However, there are little errors bloggers sometimes make as well - usually they are oversights.  Once I came across a post on gossip and the author said that gossip was a mortal sin.  That is not always true of course.  Another blogger, in trying to make a point about I forgot what, stated that the Passion of Christ isn't important, it is the Resurrection that is (important).   Unfortunately that statement misses.
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These are petit points, but they stick in a reader's mind, especially if one happens to be new to the faith or rather impressionable.  It doesn't mean one is looking for errors, sometimes they just jump out at you.  Once I was looking for a quote by a saint and by chance came across a post about his writings that wasn't quite accurate.  All of us must keep in mind the Catholic blogosphere is not the Magisterium.  Even priests don't always know what they are talking about when it comes to saints and devotions and the like.  (Don't get me started on nuns.)
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I'll never forget this one priest in Chicago at some Catholic church hosting a visit of a weeping statue of the Mystical Rose.  I stopped there with a friend as we returned from seeing JPII in Michigan.  My friend asked the priest to bless his scapular - something you don't have to do by the way if you have already been enrolled in the Confraternity and are replacing a worn out scapular.  Anyway - the priest refused explaining it couldn't be a scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel because it didn't have any pictures on it.  He still refused to bless it after we explained it was made by Carmelite nuns and images are not required on a scapular - just the medal - making it clear that it is the woolen aspect of the cloth scapular which comprises the habit.  No can do.  Interestingly enough, the Felician nun that was with him told us Cardinal Bernardin was evil and part of the Jewish Masonic Bankers conspiracy to establish the New World Order - Novus Ordo seclorum in Latin.
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Get my point?
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Art: The Blind Beggar - Jules Bastien Lepage  (The dog looks like a sheep.)
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*LOL - I first published this without using spell check.  Does this mean I'm bad?

More thoughts on penance.


"They that are Christ's have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." - Galatians 5:24
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Mortification is clearly imposed on us by reason of the effects of our personal sins. Renewed actual sin engenders a habitual bad disposition which, when grave, is called a vice or at least a defect. These defects are habitual modes of seeing, judging, willing, and acting, which combine to form an imperfect mentality, a spirit which is not that of God. And sometimes they translate themselves to our exterior, so much so that someone has rightly said that at thirty or forty years of age every man is responsible for his own countenance, according as it expresses pride, self-sufficiency, presumption, contempt, or disillusionment. These defects become traits of character, and little by little God's image is effaced in us.
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When sins are confessed with contrition or sufficient attrition, absolution obliterates sin, but it leaves certain dispositions, called the remnants of sin, reliquiae peccati, 24 which are, as it were, im­printed in us, like a furrow in our faculties, in our character and temperament. Thus the seat of covetousness remains after baptism. It is certain, for example, that although a man who has fallen into the vice of drunkenness and who accuses himself of it with sufficient at­trition receives together with pardon sanctifying grace and the infused virtue of temperance, he preserves an inclination to this vice, and, unless he flees from the occasions, he will fall again. This trying inclination must not only be moderated, it must be mortified, made to die in order to unfetter both nature and grace.
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Finally in a spirit of penance, we must mortify ourselves to expiate past sin that has already been forgiven and to help us avoid sin in the future. The virtue of penance leads us, in fact, not only to hatred of sin as an offense against God, but still more to reparation. For this last, to stop sinning is not sufficient; a satisfaction must be offered to divine justice, for every sin merits a punishment, as every act inspired by charity merits a reward.(26) Consequently, when sacramental absolution, which remits sin, is given to us, a penance or satisfaction is imposed upon us that we may thus obtain the remission of the temporal punishment, which ordinarily remains to be undergone. This satisfaction is a part of the sacrament of penance which applies the Savior's merits to us; and as such, it contributes to our restoration to grace and to its increase in us.(27) - Three Ages of the Interior Life, Volume II, Chapter 20
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Art:  Vision of Saint Francis of Assisi - Vicente Carducho, 1691;  Museum of Fine Arts, Budapesst, Hungry