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 15, 2010

Cardinal O'Malley of Boston

NCR has a good interview with the Capuchin Cardinal Archbishop of Boston.
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John Allen:  On the way to Portugal, the pope made some striking comments on the papal plane about the sexual abuse crisis. In effect, he said the problem isn’t so much outside attacks but rather the reality of sin inside the church. What did you think of that?
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The Cardinal:  I think it’s very helpful that the Holy Father wants us to focus on the cause of the crisis, which is not anti-Catholicism. That’s always there, and people will always find things to criticize. Fundamentally, however, this is a problem that is of our own making. In great part, it’s due to our sinfulness, our human frailty, cowardice, many different failings that contributed to the crisis. It was helpful for him to articulate that, particularly because while we were getting beat up constantly in the Times, you did kind of want to strike back. But it begs the question as to why this happened in the first place. - Entire interview here.
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I like this guy.  His blog here.
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Photo:  Cardinal serving the homeless at Pine Street Inn of Boston.  This is really what I was talking about in my Chancery Stuff post:  So why does it seem like many bishops only preach prepared homilies from the pulpit or write exortations in diocesan newspapers - why are they not amongst their people - rather than sending spies to find out what they are up to?
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Even the Pope seems to be saying the same thing:
"We must overcome the temptation to restrict ourselves to what we already have, or think we have, safely in our possession: it would be sure death in terms of the Church’s presence in the world; the Church, for that matter, can only be missionary, in the outward movement of the Spirit. From its origins, the Christian people has clearly recognized the importance of communicating the Good News of Jesus to those who did not yet know him. In recent years the anthropological, cultural, social and religious framework of humanity has changed; today the Church is called to face new challenges and is ready to dialogue with different cultures and religions, in the search for ways of building, along with all people of good will, the peaceful coexistence of peoples. The field of the mission ad gentes appears much broader today, and no longer to be defined on the basis of geographic considerations alone; in effect, not only non-Christian peoples and those who are far distant await us, but so do social and cultural milieux, and above all human hearts, which are the real goal of the missionary activity of the People of God." - Source

Friday, May 14, 2010

Arrogance, self-opinion and pride.


"They said of Ammon that some people asked him to arbitrate in their quarrel but the hermit took no notice of them.  So a woman said to her neighbor, 'What a fool this neighbor is!'  Ammon heard her and called her, and said, 'You can't imagine how hard I have tried in different deserts to be thought of as a fool!  But now you have recognized that it is part of my nature to be foolish and you have made all my efforts to pretend to folly pointless." - Sayings of the Desert Fathers
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"Ammonas said that for fourteen years in Scetis he had been asking God day and night to give him strength to control his temper." - Ibid
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"Poemen said about John the Short that he asked the Lord to take away his passions.  So his heart was at rest, and he went to a hermit and said, 'I find that I am at peace, with no war between flesh and spirit.'  The hermit said to him, 'Go and ask the Lord to stir up a new war in you.  Fighting is good for the soul.'  When the conflict revived in him, he no longer prayed for it to be taken away, but said, 'Lord, give me the strength to endure this fight.'" - Ibid
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************
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It is good to have our sins uncovered so that we can struggle against them.  It is good to endure temptations which expose our arrogance, self-opinion and pride.  Every affliction and temptation is a sort of reproof which reveals our self-deception and the propensity for sin within us, setting them in motion.  Before troubles, a man imagines himself to be at peace - until some annoyance arises, some temptation or set-back comes along, causing the emotions and the temper to rise up.  This is good, since such troubles reveal what we are, convincing us of our weakness, instructing us in humility, urging us to trust in God alone.
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As the psalmist says, "It was good for me to be afflicted, that I might learn your decrees." - Ps. 119:71

+Lena Horne+


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I was waiting to post something on the death of a wonderful lady - well really, waiting for Mitchell Hadley of Our Word to write something, I should say.  Read his tribute here.   Thanks Mitchell.
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Lena Horne died May 9, 2010 at the age of 92.

Nothing done for show.

Macarius said, 'If you are stirred to anger when you want to reprove someone, you are gratifying your own passions.  Do not lose yourself in order to save another.'" - On self-control.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Leo XIII on YouTube


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The oldest footage of a Pope.
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Just think - St. Therese met this Pope nine years earlier, and she died one year after this was filmed.  The Holy Father died in 1903.
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Thanks to uCatholic.com and Pewsitter.com

The Pope to Bishops


You maintain a strong prophetic dimension, without allowing yourselves to be silenced, in the present social context, for “the word of God is not fettered” (2 Tim 2:9). People cry out for the Good News of Jesus Christ, which gives meaning to their lives and protects their dignity. In your role as first evangelizers, it will be useful for you to know and to understand the diverse social and cultural factors, to evaluate their spiritual deficiencies and to utilize effectively your pastoral resources; what is decisive, however, is the ability to inculcate in all those engaged in the work of evangelization a true desire for holiness, in the awareness that the results derive above all from our union with Christ and the working of the Holy Spirit.  [...] 
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Before concluding, I would like to ask you, in your role as leaders and ministers of charity in the Church, to rekindle, in yourselves as individuals and as a group, a sense of mercy and of compassion, in order to respond to grave social needs.  [...] 
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Join your voice to the voices of the least powerful, whom you have wisely helped to gain a voice of their own, without ever being afraid of raising your voice on behalf of the oppressed, the downtrodden and those who have been mistreated. - Full text
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My new profile photo is up...

Tom Ford auctioned off his Warhol.


An Andy Warhol work (shown) sold by designer Tom Ford has fetched more than $32 million (£21.5 million) at Sotheby's. [...]  The other star lot was an untitled 1961 Mark Rothko, which sold for $31.44 million (£21.17 million) including commission, beating the $25 million (£16.8 million) high estimate. - Source
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I'm not a big fan of Warhol, although I have a socio-anthropological interest in him, his work, and his cult.  I do like Rothko however.  Amazing what art sells for these days, more amazing, how much money some people have.
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How absolutely nothing everything is... 

The Call of Fatima


Listen to the Pope.
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Photos like that above always reminds me of some of the visions Bl. Jacinta Marto experienced of the Holy Father, outside of those documented visions of the Virgin to the three children which most people are familiar with now.  I have always felt that Benedict XVI is part of the secret Our Lady revealed - along with all of the popes of the mid-20th century onward.  People "new" to the Fatima message should understand that the Blessed Virgin revealed one secret which was separated into three parts - all of which have been revealed.
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Pope Benedict stated in his homily today, "We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete."  This statement hearkens back to John Paul II's insistence that "the message of Fatima is more relevant today than ever."  Vigilant souls ought to recall that when Cardinal Ratzinger issued a theological interpretation of the third part of the Fatima secret he simply stated, These events "seem to be part of the past" - he never definitively relegated the secret to the past - he simply indicated they seemed to be.  Today we know otherwise.
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Every allocution from Pope Benedict does not really need theological commentary or interpretation, the Holy Father speaks simply and humbly for our instruction, while his actions - his presence and visible devotion at Our Lady's feet - speaks more than words or commentary can convey.  Those of you who have hoped that the Holy Father would indicate something hidden regarding the third part of the secret would do well to remember what the theological interpretation of the Fatima Message from the Congregation For the Doctrine of Faith clearly states:  "Thus we come finally to the third part of the “secret” of Fatima which for the first time is being published in its entirety."  The document was signed by Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2000.  (Approved by JPII)  
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Those interested in the Fatima message and secret would do better studying the Vatican documents on the subject than listening to, or reading sensationalized speculation on what the secret really says.  The Pope, the CDF, the Church is not out to deceive the faithful, but to save them from error.
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That said, Rorate Caeli has posted the text of the Holy Father's homily here - without speculative commentary.

Reminds Me Of George Rekers' European Vacation.

Chancery stuff.


This will not do.
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I mentioned the other day how someone asked me if I wanted to infiltrate a group at odds with the Archdiocese and report my findings to the chancery - expenses would be paid.  After giving it more thought, I have to ask, why can't the Archbishop meet with these people himself?  Why do Archbishops and Cardinals keep aloof from the people they are meant to shepherd, to teach and guide?  Yesterday's reading from Acts tells us how Paul went to Athens and mingled with the pagan Athenians, recognizing their cults yet teaching them about true worship.  He taught them - he went into their midst.  They scoffed at him, but some of them said, "We should like to hear you on this another time."  So why does it seem like many bishops only preach prepared homilies from the pulpit or write exortations in diocesan newspapers - why are they not amongst their people - rather than sending spies to find out what they are up to?
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The Pope doesn't hide himself in his palace.
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Photo: Bishop of Assisi from the film,  Brother Son Sister Moon

Out and about in Europe...

Preaching the Gospel on a massage table.
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Last week Craig Ferguson made a joke about political and religious leaders who are anti-gay yet claim they are not gay - despite the fact they do things like hang-out in men's room stalls or hire gay escorts to accompany them on European trips.  He said maybe these guys should just get together and find a new strategy to convince people how evil homosexuals are.  Ferguson was referring to the news George Rekers hired a baggage handler from Rentboy.com "where visitors can choose from hundreds of male escorts in suggestive and revealing poses."  Who is George Rekers?  From CNN: 
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"The anti-gay rights activist who recently toured Europe with a male escort has resigned from a group that promotes counseling for people who "struggle with unwanted homosexuality," though the man insists that he is not gay.
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George Rekers resigned from the board of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, the group's website said Tuesday.
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George Rekers resigned from the board of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, the group's website said Tuesday.
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He received about $120,000 to appear as an expert witness in a 2008 case challenging Florida's ban on gays and lesbians adopting.

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Rekers has written that gays are a "deviant segment of society." - Story here.
Evidently Rekers would know.  Although Rekers claims he was attempting to evangelize his companion while insisting there was no sex - he did receive a nude therapeutic massage daily, which included "a move" called the long stroke - but no sex.  Rekers defended himself in an interview saying:

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"My hero is Jesus Christ who loves even the culturally despised people, including sexual sinners and prostitutes," he said. "Like Jesus Christ, I deliberately spend time with sinners with the loving goal to try to help them." Rekers is a board member of the gay-cure organization, after all. "If you talk with my travel assistant that the story called “Lucien,” you will find I spent a great deal of time sharing scientific information on the desirability of abandoning homosexual intercourse, and I shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him in great detail." - Source


No doubt this is a major set back for advocates of NARTH as well as support groups like Courage Apostolate.  However this is what scandal does.  This is what fuels gay activists and gay politics. 
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Art: Bar Italia - Paul Cadmus 
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Link:
NARTH

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The light that was God.


"The Lord loves his foundation upon the holy mountain." - Ps. 86
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To fixate upon the contents of the Third Secret of Fatima does a disservice to the message of Our Lady and the message of Pope Benedict XVI.
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I think we should listen to the Holy Father.  I think we ought to be amazed and grateful that he has gone to Fatima as a humble pilgrim, announcing as he does so; "I bring with me the worries and hopes of our times, the sufferings of our wounded humanity and the problems of the world, and I place them at the feet of Our Lady of Fatima".
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The Holy Father thus deepens our understanding of the message of Fatima for our times:
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In our time, in which the faith in many places seems like a light in danger of being snuffed out for ever, the highest priority is to make God visible in the world and to open to humanity a way to God. And not to any god, but to the God who had spoken on Sinai; the God whose face we recognize in the love borne to the very end (cf. Jn 13:1) in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. Dear brothers and sisters, worship Christ the Lord in your hearts (cf. 1 Pet 3:15)! Do not be afraid to talk of God and to manifest without fear the signs of faith, letting the light of Christ shine in the presence of the people of today, just as the Church which gives birth to humanity as the family of God sings on the night of the Easter Vigil.
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Brothers and sisters, in this place it is amazing to think how three children entrusted themselves to the interior force which had enflamed them in the apparitions of the Angel and of our heavenly Mother. In this place where we were repeatedly requested to recite the rosary, let us allow ourselves to be attracted by the mysteries of Christ, the mysteries of Mary’s rosary. The recitation of the rosary allows us to fix our gaze and our hearts upon Jesus, just like his Mother, the supreme model of contemplation of the Son.

The Holy Father focuses our attention upon God, reminding us how Moses recognized Him in the light of the burning bush unconsumed, while in our modern times, the children of Fatima recognized Him in the light which emanated from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who appeared in 1917 upon a bush, upon a mountain, in a lonely pasture.
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"His presence within us renews the mystery and the call of the burning bush which once drew Moses on Mount Sinai and still fascinates those aware of the light within us which burns without consuming us (cf. Ex 3:2-5).  We are merely a bush, but one upon which the glory of God has now come down. To him therefore be every glory, and to us the humble confession of our nothingness and the unworthy adoration of the divine plan which will be fulfilled when “God will be all in all” (cf. 1 Cor 15:28). The matchless servant of that plan was the Virgin full of grace: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). - Words of the Holy Father at the Recitation of the Rosary

From the memoirs of Sr. Lucia of Fatima:
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Lucia relates that as the Lady pronounced these words, she opened her hands, and we were bathed in a heavenly light that appeared to come directly from her hands. The light's reality cut into our hearts and our souls, and we knew somehow that this light was God, and we could see ourselves embraced in it. By an interior impulse of grace we fell to our knees, repeating in our hearts: "Oh, Holy Trinity, we adore You. My God, my God, I love You in the Blessed Sacrament."
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Art: Icon of Our Lady of the Burning Bush.  "In the bush seen by Moses we recognize the preservation of thy glorious virginity, O holy Mother of God, intercede for us." - Ancient antiphon.
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To find out what the sensationalism is about, check out John Allen's piece here.

This seems about right.

Fr. Z has a poll up...

Fatima Third Secret Poll.
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I know.

What Does the Cardinal Really Say?


Fr. Fessio on Schonborn's alleged endorsement of homosexual relationships and the divorced/remarried.
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This is better news than I expected and much more credible than what I'd expect from Catholic blogs, or even a Vatican spokesman.  Fr. Fessio offers some background to the soundbites taken from Cardinal Schonborn's interview as reported in The Tablet this past weekend.  The cardinal, known for his 'openness and transparency', invited leading editors to his residence for an 'off the record' discussion on the intricacies of Catholic moral teaching.  Fr. Fessio:
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...[T]he context for the cardinal’s saying: “We should give more consideration to the quality of homosexual relationships,” adding: “A stable relationship is certainly better than if someone chooses to be promiscuous.” This does not at all mean that the cardinal was advocating or even suggesting that the Church might change her teaching that homosexuality is a disorder and homosexual activity is always a grave evil. It is always grave, but there can be gradations of gravity—or, to call it by its true name, objective depravity.
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This is also the context of the Tablet’s statement: “The cardinal also said the Church needed to reconsider its view of re-married divorcees ‘as many people don’t even marry at all any longer’.” This “reconsideration” does not mean a change in the Church’s teaching that a valid marriage is indissoluble, and that someone who is validly married cannot remarry validly. It means that perhaps—but only perhaps, because this is an opinion that does not have the authority of a magisterial pronouncement—the Church should find new ways of leading the weak and confused to the difficult but liberating challenge of Christ’s demands.
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In the course of this “off the record” meeting, the cardinal also frankly expressed his belief that a “reform of the Roman Curia” was needed. It’s not as if nothing had been done. In fact, the cardinal recognizes that the transfer of all sexual abuse allegations against priests to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (then headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) in 2001 was already a major reform. He was referring to an attitude of secrecy and defensiveness, as well as an inability to comprehend the gravity of the scandal. He cited Cardinal Sodano’s Easter remark as an example. It was a criticism, not an attack, of a fellow cardinal. It was much milder than what he could have said.
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In sum, Cardinal Schönborn is not calling for any change in the Church’s teaching or discipline. He is calling for a deeper understanding of the struggle to live the high demands of the moral law. He is critical of an attitude of defensiveness and dismissiveness still present in the Roman Curia (not to mention many episcopal curias—but the meeting was not about that). And he is trying to be transparent and responsive to the press. - No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
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See, I knew that. 
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Obviously I did not.  Yet when will I learn not to react in haste to a news story or something someone says or does, without first checking sources, finding out the full context, and so on?  See - you have to watch out for me too.
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As for Schonborn, I'll let the powers that be sort all of that out.
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Art: Cardinal Burning Papers - John Pettie

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Exhortation to martyrdom.

"Pluralism, the pope said, requires a believer to make 'a journey to the core of one’s being and to the nucleus of Christianity, so as to reinforce the quality of one’s witness to the point of sanctity and to find mission paths that lead even to the radical choice of martyrdom.'” - Benedict XVI in Portugal

Accompanying the Holy Father in Portugal


"Mercy and truth have met, justice and peace have kissed."  Penance and the cross.
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If one is physically prevented from going on a pilgrimage one may always do so in spirit.  I have been anticipating the Holy Father's pilgrimage to Portugal, 'where the dogma of Faith will always be preserved' - the promise of Our Lady at Fatima.  The visit of a reigning pope to any Marian shrine is always significant, but none more so than to Fatima, since the apparition in 1917 were very much concerned with the pope and the Church.  This week I will unite my prayer and activities to the Holy Father, praying with him and especially for him.  In this way I will be at his side spiritually, listening and praying.
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Diehard Fatimists
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Anticipating his pilgrimage, the skeptics - no not those who deny that Our Lady really did appear in 1917 - but those who insist the secret of Fatima, revealed by Our Lady, has not been disclosed in its entirety.  In their denial, these otherwise good people harshly criticize members of the hierarchy as well as former Cardinal Ratzinger, claiming the entire third part of the secret has not been revealed.  In doing so, they foment dissent and the critical spirit, casting doubts upon the authority of the Church to govern, direct and rule on such matters.  Indeed, these scoffers resemble those who advocate purported apparitions and messages elsewhere in the world which are not approved by the Catholic Church.  They seek to isolate the messages of Fatima and somehow make it into a sort of parallel gospel, or their private Book of Revelation.  In effect, they derange the apostolate into something of a cult, offering speculative theories as to what Our Lady revealed to the children in 1917, as if their ideas were fact.
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On the other hand, no one is more reasonable and grounded in the faith as our Holy Father, and he never sensationalizes the message of Fatima.  In fact, he seems to me to have penetrated to the essential component of the message, "Penance, penance, penance."  Priests and laity must understand that the so-called third secret was intended for the Holy Father - it has always been up to the Pope's discretion to reveal it or not.  I hardly think that JPII and his curia would lie to the Church and the world when they announced that the complete secret has been revealed, or when they revealed from Sr. Lucy that Heaven had accepted the consecration of Russia as it was performed by JPII and the bishops of the world.  As many whose devotion has been enriched by the message of Fatima know already, these are matters some Catholic diehard Fatimists in the so-called "Fatima Challenge" movement contest.
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What the Pope says about his pilgrimage.
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LISBON — In his most direct condemnation of the sexual abuse crisis that has swept the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday said that the “sins inside the church” posed the greatest threat to Catholicism, adding that “forgiveness does not substitute justice.”
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“Attacks on the pope and the church come not only from outside the church, but the suffering of the church comes from inside the church, from sins that exist inside the church. This we have always known but today we see it in a really terrifying way,” Benedict told reporters aboard his plane en route to Portugal.
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“The greatest persecution of the church does not come from the enemies outside, but is born from sin inside the church,” he added. “The church has a profound need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn on the one hand forgiveness but also the necessity of justice. And forgiveness does not substitute justice.”
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In his remarks, Benedict appeared to distance himself from other church officials who in recent weeks have criticized the news media for focusing on the sex abuse crisis, which they called attacks on the church.
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On the plane, Benedict told reporters that the church had to relearn “conversion, prayer, penance.”** - NYT
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As Benedict XVI arrived in Portugal he announced: 

"'I come as a pilgrim to Our Lady of Fatima", said the Pope at the beginning of his address, "invested from on high with the mission of confirming my brothers and sisters as they advance on their own pilgrimage towards heaven'". - VIS
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**The following is a more complete text from an earlier interview with the Pope: 
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"In terms of what we today can discover in this Our Lady's message, attacks against the pope or the church don’t come just from outside the church. The suffering of the church also comes from within the church, because sin exists in the church. This too has always been known, but today we see it in a really terrifying way. The greatest persecution of the church doesn’t come from enemies on the outside, but is born in sin within the church. The church thus has a deep need to re-learn penance, to accept purification, to learn on one hand forgiveness but also the necessity of justice. Forgiveness does not exclude justice. We have to re-learn the essentials: conversion, prayer, penance, and the theological virtues. That’s how we respond, and we can be realistic in expecting that evil will always launch attacks from within and from outside, but the forces of good are also always present, and finally the Lord is stronger than evil. The Madonna for us is the visible maternal guarantee that the will of God is always the last word in history." - NCR

Pray for the Holy Father.

Ray Marshall Update: He's going home!


Ray called this morning and said they're getting ready to release him from the hospital.  That is good news, but continue to keep him in your prayers please - for a full recovery at home.  He said he is most grateful for all the prayers and good wishes.  He wasn't able to talk much as he was busy packing up sheets, towels, toilet paper, and anything else he could grab from the dispensary to take home with him.
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That last statement is a lie.

St. Ignatius Laconi


Another humble lay-brother saint.
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He was the second of seven children of peasant parents in Sardinia. His path to the Franciscans was unusual. During a serious illness, Ignatius vowed to become a Capuchin if he recovered. He regained his health but ignored the promise. A riding accident prompted him to renew the pledge, which he acted on the second time; he was 20 then. Ignatius’s reputation for self-denial and charity led to his appointment as the official beggar for the friars in Cagliari. He fulfilled that task for 40 years; he was blind the last two years.

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While on his rounds, Ignatius would instruct the children, visit the sick and urge sinners to repent. The people of Cagliari were inspired by his kindness and his faithfulness to his work. He was canonized in 1951May 11 is the feast of St. Ignatius. - Source
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In the Roman Catholic Church, extraordinary phenomenon, visions, locutions, and miracles during the person's life do not count in the canonization process - only heroic virtue.  St. Ignatius could have gone all of his adult life without food or drink, but his holiness would not have consisted in that.

Magical Mystic Tourist

Yogi-man.
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The story of the starving yogi is one more reason not to fall for every extraordinary mystical phenomenon that comes down the aisle.
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An 83-year-old Indian holy man who says he has spent seven decades without food or water has astounded a team of military doctors who studied him during a two-week observation period.
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Prahlad Jani spent a fortnight in a hospital in the western India state of Gujarat under constant surveillance from a team of 30 medics equipped with cameras and closed circuit television.
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During the period, he neither ate nor drank and did not go to the toilet.
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"We still do not know how he survives," neurologist Sudhir Shah told reporters after the end of the experiment. "It is still a mystery what kind of phenomenon this is." - Rest of story.
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One report stated that he stopped eating when the nursing home in which he lived told the residents they can't pray before meals anylonger.  Government regulations - not everyone was Hindu in that particular nursing home.
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Actually, that last statement is a lie.
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Vote for Larry!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ray Update.

Monica went to see him today!  Yay!  Monica!  Anyway - he hasn't heard anything new from the doctors so he's kind of the same - sick.  So keep praying - and he thanks everyone for the prayers BTW.
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What?  I don't know what else to say.

Post removed.


The Vote For Larry - Ask Sr. Martha If She's a Nun post has been removed due to Catholic Blogger Personality Disorder. 
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UPDATE:  Nevermind.

Is Sr. Mary Martha really a nun?



I was just Wanderer-ing.
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Crescat has her awards thing going on - Vote for Larry!  When he wins I'm going on YouTube with my version of Canned Heat in his honor!  Anyway - like I said, Kat has the awards thing going on - even if Kat doesn't win anything - her stats go through the roof whenever she hosts a contest.  (Is she really a nurse?)  Kidding.  I'm just jealous. 
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Anyways - I noticed at Kat's contest site that the Ask Sr. Mary Martha nun scandal has been reactivated, evidently, a sharp-eyed Catholic blogger thinks she has figured out that the author of the blog is not a nun but a professional writer or playwright - no proof of course, but it sure is a high compliment to Mary Martha - I mean, that makes her a damn good writer.  (Such an old story BTW.)
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What's up with that?
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Is it really a big deal?  Is Mary Martha nominating herself for Best Blog by a Religious or Priest Not Fr. Z?  No she's not - her fans have done so.  (I feel so sorry for Fr. Z BTW - once ostracized by the St. Paul seminary - now this - excluded from Kat's contest!  2nd year in a row.  No Boeuf Bourguignon for her.  Kidding - everyone understands why.)  Whatever - Mary Martha is one of the funniest blogs online and I have never read anything heretical...  Oh, but some say she is irreverent.  You look hard enough, you'll find chinks in every one's armor, isn't that right Corapi?
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Let's investigate everyone on line.
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By the way, if you are on Facebook do NOT publish that you are going out of town because your friends of friends may go to your house and steal your stuff. 
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That said, it is good to be careful online - I write about it all of the time.  There are frauds out there, as well as a lot of crazy people.  I think there are quite a few nut cases online - I've met a few bloggers who probably are on and off medication.  (Nothing wrong with that BTW - it just explains a lot.)  But there are crazies out there.  At best - delusional.
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"But y'are Blanche, y'are!"
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Nevertheless, do be careful online.  Remember, people write blogs.  People are weird, so don't expect too much.  Priests color their hair, women dress up like nuns and clean house - it's just people stuff.  If you are writing a blog, chances are you're pretty weird too.  If you're judging others and digging up dirt on others, you've probably got something to hide yourself.  Beware of blogger envy... petty jealousy... vanity and pride... inordinate cravings for approval and esteem... recognition... presumption...  all of the things that keep me awake at night!  KIDDING!  Or am I?
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Seriously folks - do not take this stuff too seriously.  It's just a blog and in the end we will all be judged on what we say.  And in 99.9% of the cases there won't be a reward either.
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UPDATE:  Edited for sensitive bloggers.

Cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops.

The Message of Akita.
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"The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres ... churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord." - Our Lady of Akita
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This might explain a few things.
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Art:  Our Lady of Japan - Luka Hasegawa

I really like this guy.


Fr. James Martin S.J.
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He has a good post on Everyday Mysticism - his writing resonates with me and accords with another spiritual writer's book I treasure entitled Common Mystic Prayer.  A Capuchin, Fr. Gabriel Diefenbach wrote it many years ago.  Fr. Gabriel was the priest who heard my first confession when I returned to the Church - he was a very practical man.  He is dead now, but I imagine he has been among those who have  influenced me the most in the way of practical spirituality.
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I've always liked Jesuits.
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(Fr. Martin reminds me of Stanley Tucci.)  

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Prayer Request

Please remember in your prayers Ray Marshall of Stella Borealis.  He was admitted to the hospital last Friday evening with pneumonia.  He expects to remain at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis through next Tuesday.  Thank you.

Happy Mother's Day.

Église Notre-Dame-du-Travail, Paris

Literally translated - Church of Our Lady of Work.
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I came across this church at Paris Daily Photo.  I found the interior rather interesting since the architectural photo Eric Tenin published (not the one shown here) is a rather stark study, artfully revealing the interior metal skeletal-like construction of the church nave.  (More photos here.)  Eric explains,  " I did some research, and found out that yes, by all means this church is definitely a must see and that, incidentally, very few Parisians even know about it. It was built around 1900 for the workers who used to build the pavilions for the world exhibitions that took place in Paris at that time. This Church is fascinating indeed, because it looks like a regular Roman church, except that its frame is made of cast iron." - Paris Daily 
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From what I can tell, the parish seems to be a vibrant inner city community, and from the looks of the parish  website, the liturgy appears to be reverent and dignified - and well attended - contrary to what we usually hear now days about French churches being empty.
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The framed construction is reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower workmanship, and yet it feels completely contemporary.  I love the idea of using new materials to interpret classic architectural constructions.  I appreciate the contrast of the modern with the classic - a visible testimony as it were, of Eucharistic Prayer III:  "from age to age you gather a people to yourself". 
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Photo Credit:

The Cardinal Speaks


Repeat that again.
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Austria's Cardinal Schönborn publicly attacked Cardinal Angelo Sodano for Sodano's inappropriate response to the sex abuse crisis.  And then!  And then!  Schönborn called for the Church to reevaluate its position on gay relationships and divorced and remarried Catholics.  It appears the Cardinal  has been convinced of the need due to the fact that “many people don’t even marry at all any longer” - so therefore it is necessary to reconsider these issues?  As for gay relationships he seems to believe, “A stable relationship is certainly better than if someone chooses to be promiscuous.”   Who is he kidding with this?  Has he first hand knowledge of a lot of successful, faithful, long term gay relationships? 
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As Fr. James Martin S.J. writes, "On those last two topics (gays and remarried Catholics) let's see how long it takes for (a) the Vatican to distance itself from Schönborn's comments; or (b) Schönborn himself to say he was misquoted. If (b) doesn't happen, don't be surprised if he starts turning up at your local Voice of the Faithful meeting." - America
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Holy crap!
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As a friend of mine said to me in an email:  "Isn't Schoenborn the one who allowed the pornographic gay re-interpretation of Christ's passion in the Cathedral run museum? Wasn't it Schoenborn the one who eliminated one or two pieces of very offensive artwork from the show only after global internet outrage from Catholics? Am I mistaken? And isn't it Schoenborn who is aligning himself with the seers of Medjugorje?"
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I know I mentioned some of this stuff here - but the story can only get bigger after the weekend.  Vatican spin doctors are funny.
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Photo source.