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, July 10, 2010

Prayer request.

Please remember me in your prayers.  Thanks.

An urgent appeal from Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio s.j., Archbishop of Buenos Aires


More evidence of the spiritual battle for souls...
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[Letter of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, to the Carmelite Nuns of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires (June 22, 2010)]
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I write this letter to each one of you in the four Monasteries of Buenos Aires. The Argentine people must face, in the next few weeks, a situation whose result may gravely harm the family. It is the bill on matrimony of persons of the same sex.
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The identity of the family, and its survival, are in jeopardy here: father, mother, and children. The life of so many children who will be discriminated beforehand due to the lack of human maturity that God willed them to have with a father and a mother is in jeopardy. A clear rejection of the law of God, engraved in our hearts, is in jeopardy.
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I recall words of Saint Thérèse when she speaks of the infirmity of her childhood. She says that the envy of the Devil tried to extort her family after her older sister joined the Carmel. Here, the envy of the Devil, through which sin entered the world, is also present, and deceitfully intends to destroy the image of God: man and woman, who receive the mandate to grow, multiply, and conquer the earth.
Let us not be naive: it is not a simple political struggle; it is an intention [which is] destructive of the plan of God. It is not a mere legislative project (this is a mere instrument), but rather a "move" of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God. - Rorate Caeli 
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"He took up his position by the shore of the sea." - Revelation 12:17

Virgin of the Apocalypse


Catholic militancy is in the first place about the interior life and that our real adversaries are not men who are “enemies of the Church,” but principalities and powers. This can also be taken a step further. Even in the external order where Catholic Action comes into play, the greatest opposition will come from the dark powers, whether through temptation or something more extraordinary like oppression and obsession. - Fr. Angelo Mary: Know Thy Enemy
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Blood of Christ, Victor over demons, save us.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Multo bello!


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Hot fun in Manhattan.
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I don't know why it is but every time Fr. Z schedules a blognic in NYC I imagine it to be quite like something out of Mapp and Lucia and company.  I wonder who could play Georgino
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I imagine the conversation centering around such important matters as the length of a cappa and the number of jewels embedded in a papal tiara.  Jumping to the horrid heretics who do not appreciate the finer details of liturgical furnishings - lace and watered silk and the like.  And of course the countless boasts of how many followers one has on one's blog, Facebook, or Twitter, as well as the count of hits per hour one receives... stats, stats, status!  Waving iphones and ipads and blackberries about like girls showing off engagement rings.  The room abuzz - Vatican whispers in the pub, as it were - SNAPping at the LCWR crones, dissecting what the rebuke of cardinals really says.  Slavishly accurate appraisals of the Episcopate, and so on.  Such fun!  
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Au reservoir!

Never Known to Fail Prayers

Prepare yourself.

For the first day of the novena to Our Lady of Mt Carmel I posted a prayer that carried the claim, "never known to fail".  The phrase was contained in the title of a prayer which I copied and pasted from another site.  I left it in because I have always seen that particular claim accompanying that prayer.  I can think of several other devotional prayers with similar claims attached.  Since my youth, I never really questioned such things, convinced they must be true - little children, like the virtue of charity, believe all things (1 Cor 13).  Perhaps whoever propagated the prayer originally, experienced these prayers in that way.  In other words - people who sought graces through such prayers must have received an answer they were happy with.  Does that mean if we use the prayer and do not receive an answer or one that accords with our desires that the claim is false?  Does it mean it didn't work for me?  Or for you?
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God's free gift.
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I don't know.  I'm not a theologian.  Nevertheless I will share some ideas I have about it.  First of all, prayer disposes us to receive God's grace and ultimately unites us to God.  However, God's grace is not dependent upon our virtue or good works, or being good enough to deserve his grace or mercy.  It is his free gift - which explains why irreligious people are often granted signal graces seemingly out of the blue.  So the answer to our prayer doesn't depend upon just the right formula used, the right words, the duration of the prayer, personal ceremony, private ritual, pious accoutrement's, etc..  Such means - in keeping with Catholic tradition - may be efficacious for some, others not so much.  (To be sure, I'm not saying official prayer(s) and devotions of the Church are not efficacious, or that a person does not need to be in the state of grace to please God and thereby gain his blessing - not at all.  We know these things to be true.  I'm speaking of private prayer and devotions with claims of "never known to fail".)
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"The Father is at work..."
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I think it is unfortunate when people say prayer "works" - but I know what they mean.  In truth it is God who works - "My Father is at work now and so am I" - Christ made that clear.  In fact Jesus taught us all we need to know about prayer.  The perfect prayer of course is embodied in the Lord's prayer, the Our Father... it is Christ's prayer and therefore the prayer of the Church.  Hence all true prayer is at once the prayer of the Church.  As such we have a guarantee, as it were, that it is "never known to fail" - more precisely, "the Gates of Hell shall not prevail".  And of course, Jesus promised, "whatever you ask in my name you will receive."  (Therefore we pray to Our Lady to "make us worthy of the promises of Christ."  Indicating there is a process involved... )
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Perseverance
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Thus when we pray according to God's will, and especially when asking the intercession of Our Lady, the Mother of God, our prayer cannot fail to reach the heart of God, the Father who cannot give his son a serpent when he asks for an egg.  Novenas are like the one who knocks - thus, like the widow in the Gospel, perseverance and persistence gains all.  If the answer to one's prayer is not immediately forthcoming, perhaps one must be persistent and persevere in praying the prayer "never known to fail".  I know this from experience.  I prayed for 30 years to be delivered from something - I went on numerous pilgrimages, prayed countless prayers, sought spiritual direction, prayed many rosaries, and then one day at Adoration I heard the words, "You are free."  My prayer had been granted.  Sheer, undeserved grace.  The prayer was heard the first time - but I needed to be prepared to receive the answer.  You see, sometimes our prayers are granted immediately and we in turn squander the grace and lose it through sin.  To recover it can sometimes take much effort and penance and suffering, accompanied by humble prayer - and even after all of that, it is only a preparation to receive God's free gift.  We have no right to it.
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"You don't know what you are asking."
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The Scriptures teach us all about prayer, it is God speaking to us.  The Word Himself instructs us, while the Holy Spirit intercedes for us since we do not know how to pray as we ought - in this we can understand how it is that God himself guarantees our prayer, as it were.  Our Lord demonstrated we do not know how to pray as we ought when he responded to the disciples request to sit at his right hand in glory, Jesus told them, "You don't know what you are asking."  One must think about that when one imagines his prayer has not been granted.  In many cases we do not know how a literal answer to this or that prayer would turn out for us.  For example, what if you prayed to win the lottery in order to pay the bills, save the house from foreclosure, or to do this or that?  And if you won, what if you did all of those necessary things, gave to charity besides, but indulged yourself in luxury as well, only to abandon your dependence upon God and the service you owe to Him.  Oftentimes success spoils the most virtuous man. 
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Another thing to consider regarding unanswered prayer is that what we ask for may not always be necessary for heaven, or more specifically, for our salvation.  It doesn't mean God did not hear it.
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It seems to me it is not the prayers that fail, it is often we who fail, especially in our understanding of what prayer is.  I have always found that humbly acknowledging that in sincere contrition and repentance sometimes gains for us far greater graces than we can ask or imagine.  Yet we often even need to ask for the fundamental grace of humility, contrition and repentance - to realize our utter and complete dependence upon God's mercy:  His love moved by our misery...
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That said, always, always trust in the mercy of God.  Confidence and love is what never fails - nor does Our Lady:  Never was it known that anyone whoever sought Our Lady's help or implored her intercession was ever left unaided.
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And - pray the rosary - it has never been known to fail.  For sure.

The bones you have crushed...

Larry has an intriguing post on how to dispose of your body after you are dead - if you're not raptured first, that is.  Let's Flush Our Dead

A Tyrant State...


[W]hat is happening also at the level of politics and government: the original and inalienable right to life is questioned or denied on the basis of a parliamentary vote or the will of one part of the people-even if it is the majority.
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This is the sinister result of a relativism which reigns unopposed: the “right” ceases to be such, because it is no longer firmly founded on the inviolable dignity of the person, but is made subject to the will of the stronger part. In this way democracy, contradicting its own principles, effectively moves towards a form of totalitarianism.
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The State is no longer the “common home” where all can live together on the basis of principles of fundamental equality, but is transformed into a tyrant State, which arrogates to itself the right to dispose of the life of the weakest and most defenceless members, from the unborn child to the elderly, in the name of a public interest which is really nothing but the interest of one part. - Source

Thursday, July 08, 2010

More On American Cultural Imperialism...


Why is Hilary pushing gay rights on Africa?

I came across this article on Western Confucian - it's an appropriate segue from my earlier Biden post.  The original  Western Confucian post linked to the following:

Hillary Clinton recently told “LGBT members of the State Department family” that gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay and that her first concern for Africa is how LGBT persons are treated on the continent. “Our regional bureaus are working closely with our embassies on this issue. The Bureau of African Affairs has taken the lead by asking every embassy in Africa to report on the conditions of local LGBT communities. And I’m asking every regional bureau to make this issue a priority. ”
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US Vice-President Joe Biden’s recent trip to Nairobi seemed part of an effort to impose Uncle Sam’s values on Kenyans. It was a typical operation: arrogant and extreme security measures, chaotic traffic jams, and the token visit to a Kibera slum. He went, at huge expense to the US taxpayer, to boost the proposed Kenyan Constitution, and promise that “once it’s approved” his boss will make his first official visit to Kenya.
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The proposed Constitution leaves the way clear to sign the right to abortion – and later on, gay and lesbian rights -- into the new document without passing through Parliament. From an African point of view this seems to be one of the top priorities of the Obama/Biden/Clinton triumvirate. - Mercatornet
But they hang homosexuals.
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Yep.  I know that.  It happens in Iran, and African countries such as Uganda want to criminalize and re institute capital punishment for homosexuality.  African and Islamic justice may call for the death penalty for homosexuals - and I'm not saying that is right or just, neither do I condone that.  Let the Administration work to reverse that type of sentence, but stay out of the religious and cultural affairs of other nations.  Or else don't be surprised when the other terrorist shoe drops.

If the truth about all this were to get out, the embers of anti-Americanism, which have been smouldering since the invasion of Iraq, might burst into flame. Africans are ambivalent about the US. “Let us in to share your wealth, expertise, high standards and your experiment with democracy,” Africans say. “Your hand-outs are welcome too, provided they reach the people they’re intended for, and provided that there are no strings attached. But leave us to run our own affairs, and do not interfere with our culture, our values and traditions. We may not have got our act together politically and economically, but we know what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. So leave us alone!” -Ibid

Abbey Fruitcakes

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Captain of My Heart...


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He couldn't wait another day for

The captain of his heart...
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I'll be on retreat today - Adoration this afternoon.  Praying for all of you and especially Tara, Vincenzo, Larry, Walter, Jeron, Cathy, Nan, Ray, Julie, Monica, Maria, John-Mary, Eric, Z, V, Patrick, Carlos, Gary, Mark and Thomas, Ray Wadas, all my priest friends I may have left out, Amy and Michael and the kids, Jamie and Wayne, Michael B and Michael R, Thom and my Franciscan brothers and sisters, Tom and his critter, Tom ocso, Tom and Pam, Terry, Virginia, Anne Marie, Brenden and Gilbert and the rest, Belinda and Paul, and Sara and all the people she has requested prayers for - esp. Gary and Lester, and Lou and Louise, Paul and Paul, Paul S, Dan, Jeff, Jeffrey, Andrew, Andrew and Alyssa, Cristina the Astonishing from Philipland, Lady Elena and her prince, Ty and Lana, Danielle, Keevin and Susie, Cathy, CathyW, Ann, Pete and Diane, John, Shane, Joe, Karen, Heather and her soldier, Petra, Kat and her kid, Melody, Paramedicgirl and her sister blogger, my carmelite sisters and brothers,  Mary, Mary, Mary, Gj, William of the Orient, Jerry and Alphonsus, David, Dan, Greg, Greg S, Rick and David and Stephanie, and Aceman and partner, and Linda and Donna, and Darold, and Dorothy, Fran, Alice, Dymphna, Doreen, Fran, Angela, Betty, Angela-Linda and family - esp. Luke, Patrick and Patrick, Paula and Bruce, Ale and her family, Susan and her's - and Ben, Gina, Maria, DK, Paige, Janice, Mario and Bob and Roxanne, Jeane-Austringer and her husband,  All artists, Robert, Adrienne and the guy she lives with, Clare and family, Cyril, Chris, JPS, Mary Kay and Lynn, Timmy and Beth, Judy and Gioa, Judith, Mitchel and Judith, all the people who are dead - but not to me, Lucy and Sherrie and Jackie and Karen and Sandra and all the bi-polars, Louise and Lou, John, Jim, John, John, John, John, Dawn, Angelo Mary, Ronnie, Andy and Mara, my neighbors, Joe and Mary, Shadowlands, Ray Blake, POTUS, Gette, Bob, Dan, Benedict and George, John Hemp, Owen, Marion and Fred, for those who asked  for my prayers and for those I asked to pray for me - and those who have so much charity they pray for me without my asking, homosexuals everywhere, alcholics and drug addicts every where, all children - especially the most abused and exploited, all prisoners and slaves, all soldiers - especially ours, all priests - especially those most in need of mercy - Paul, everyone in my Followers box, all readers, all who link to me or I to them or who read me, my bishop friends, monk friends, nun friends, those closest to suicide, for the people affected by the Gulf oil spill  for the wildlife and wetlands and ocean, for every creature who suffers and is in travail until the end, and most especially for those who hate me, dislike me, those I have hurt, offended, scandalized, and worst of all caused to sin... and everyone I forgot to list.

Above all I seek to make reparation for the grave sins I have committed against Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Please pray for me too.  Thanks.

No one picked up on this...

No one picked up on the remarkable resemblance of this statue to Kathy Bates in 'Misery' and/or Cathy of Alex threatening her neighbors.

Novena for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.


The novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel begins today, July 7.  Our Lady's feast day is July 16.  It is a toties quoties feast, in other words a plenary indulgence may be gained on that day by visiting a Carmelite chapel.  Devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is ancient and very much connected to the Prophet Elijah.  In later times, the Scapular of Mt. Carmel was given to St. Simon Stock.  It is one of the most richly indulgenced sacramentals in the Church and is considered the sign of one's consecration to the Blessed Virgin.  I will try to write more on these things as we approach Our Lady's day.  In the meantime I will post a few links for those interested is consecrating themselves to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
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PETITION PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL (NEVER KNOWN TO FAIL)


Oh, most beautiful flower of Mt. Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven. Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity, Oh Star of the Sea, help me and show me here you are my Mother. Oh Holy Mary, Mother of God Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech thee from the bottom of my heart to succor me in my necessity (make request). There are none that can withstand your power. Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee (say three times). Holy Mary, I place this prayer in your hands (say three times). Amen.

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Links:
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A Brief Catechism on the Brown Scapular (Official)
Devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
Scapular Devotion
Carmelite Devotions
Brown Scapular: Sign of Consecration

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I want to go back....

Comments Gagged!

This is horrible!
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Comments are not publishing on Blogger!
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My Comment Notification isn't even functioning!

This was the day I was going to post my poll asking: 


"What kind of shoes should one wear with a cappa magna when it is so hot in NYC?"

o Red Damask
o Red leatherette
o Strappy red sandals

Photo source

Byrd... Klansman to the end.


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Saying anything to get in office, and anything to stay in office.  White Rabbit.
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H/T to Cathy Ward

The New Great Depression?

Is the oil leak in the Gulf the New Dust Bowl?  How many lives and industries will be affected by the Gulf oil spill?
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Dow repeats Great Depression pattern.

St. Maria Goretti

A young girl.
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At the age of twelve, St. Maria was not simply a pious young girl, she was actually a very virtuous and mature - as in responsible - young woman.  She helped her mother raise, nurture and educate her siblings while attending to simple household duties.  Attach to these attributes a deep devotion to our Lord and the Blessed Virgin, and we come to understand the authenticity of her piety and heroic virtue, which was proved by her martyrdom.  While it is true Maria Goretti resisted her attacker to preserve her own chastity, we also must understand that what is so remarkable about her resistance was her concern to prevent her attacker from committing mortal sin.  Crazy as that sounds since Alessandro did in the end commit the mortal sin of murder, the Saint herself saw to his conversion after he had been convicted for his crime and was in prison serving his sentence.
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In this story of modern martyrdom I think it is important that we see how God in his grace and mercy draws good out of evil.  When some of us ask ourselves why we are like we are, or why we were sexually abused and bad things happened to us, or why little innocents suffer, I'm convinced the example of martyrs such as Maria Goretti demonstrate to us that it is because God in his mercy may draw even greater good from such evils.  We keep forgetting that this life is passing, a short stay in an often-times bad Hotel California on the road to eternal life.  Hence we are astonished when God raises to glory young children, and through them extends his salvation to perverts and murderers.  The holy purity and charity of slaughtered innocents can touch even the hardest hearts and move them to compunction and deeper conversion.
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For those of us who have not 'resisted sin to the point of shedding blood' remember that the Precious Blood of Jesus brings forth virgins... even after virginity is lost.  I think the example and intercession of Maria Goretti is especially important for young men and women who have lost their virginity, especially victims of rape, as well as the offenders.  Sometimes the example of the saints can be intimidating, and often times well intentioned religious people use the saints to castigate or shame the worldly - and yet it is just the opposite with God.  He makes saints to attract us to virtue, to holiness, to Himself.  The example of the saints should never be used to denigrate, intimidate, condemn or repel a soul attracted to virtue.  St. Maria Goretti proves this through her apparition (intervention) to her murderer, convincing him of God's merciful love.  I think it is through their example that many of the saints condemned a sinful world, yet charity remains the compelling force which moves them to heroic love for the sinner.
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Link:
Biography of St. Maria Goretti

"God anticipates us always..."

Don't give up.

"God anticipates us always. Each individual life contains good and beautiful things that we can easily recognise as His Grace. ... If we learn to recognise God in His infinite goodness then we will be able to see, with wonder, the signs of God in our lives, just as the saints did". The signs of a God "Who is always close, Who is always good to us, Who says: 'Have faith in me'". - Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of his visit to the tomb of St. Celestine


This reminds me of the Gospel of the Prodigal Son.  The Father not only sees us coming to him in repentance as the father in the Gospel story spied his son returning to him, but the Father already sees us in the misery of our sin and anticipates us - anticipates and awaits our calling out to Him for mercy and forgiveness - for love!  I think this is one meaning of the psalm, 'deep calls unto deep' - the depths of God's love calls unto the depths of human misery and sin.  'No pit is so deep that His love is not deeper still.'  Hence no fall into sin, no relapse is too great for the Divine Mercy.  God has anticipated our fall and offers the remedy.  God is not ashamed to forgive our sins and restore His sons.
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Photo:  Holy Father venerating the relics of St. Celestine V.
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Brief biography of Celestine V.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Martyrs for purity - redux.

Blessed are the pure of heart.
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Tomorrow is the memorial of St. Maria Goretti, the young girl murdered for refusing the advances of a teenage man, Alessandro Serenelli, who lived and labored along side the Goretti family. Maria's story is quite well known.
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Since I'm sure everyone knows Maria, I would like to call your attention to another young woman, closer to our time, who happened to be at Maria's canonization, and who suffered a similar fate in 1957. Pierina Morosini. Pierina was 26 when she was murdered while returning home from her job in a factory. Her attacker attempted to seduce her, and as she refused his advances and tried to fight him off, he beat her to death with a large stone, crushing her face.  Blessed Pierina is today venerated as the patron of rape victims, as well as a martyr for chastity.
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Born into a poor family of eight children in 1931 in the Diocese of Bergamo, Italy, Pierina at one time desired to enter religious life but remained a lay woman consecrated to God by a private vow of chastity. She remained with her family offering support to her mother, while teaching catechism in her parish. Trained as a seamstress, Pierina began to work in a factory at age 15. On October 4, 1987, John Paul II beatified Pierina along with another Italian martyr for purity, Antonia Mesina , the 16 year old Sardinian murdered by a teenage rapist in 1935.

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The dignity and the vocation of women - as well as those of men - find their eternal source in the heart of God. And in the temporal conditions of human existence, they are closely connected with the "unity of the two". Consequently each man must look within himself to see whether she who was entrusted to him as a sister in humanity, as a spouse, has not become in his heart an object of adultery; to see whether she who, in different ways, is the co-subject of his existence in the world, has not become for him an "object": an object of pleasure, of exploitation. - THE DIGNITY AND THE VOCATION OF WOMEN, John Paul II
Another holy martyr for purity is Bl. Albertina Berkenbrock.
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Sunday, July 04, 2010

Battle Ax of the Republic

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Or maybe Janet fits that job description better...
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Top photo credit:  Vincenzo

Hammer of heretics.



What? 


Let your 'Yes' mean 'Yes,' and your 'No' mean 'No.' Anything more is from the evil one. - Mt 5:37


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Not to be swayed by emotions.
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I love the account of the Centurion who sent Jewish elders to ask Jesus to heal his servant, when the Lord decided to go to his home, the Centurion sent word protesting, explaining that Jesus' order would be enough - as a soldier he understood authority and obedience.

And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.  Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed.  For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." - Luke 7 

In other words, emotion, feelings, did not dictate matters in this scenario.  By way of another example, cold-hearted as it may sound, take for an example a combat soldier in Afghanistan.  He sees a little kid running towards him in a combat zone and he may not have time to waste thinking, "Aw, what a cute little kid..."  He may instead have to shoot the kid because the kid may be wired as a suicide bomber.  As one veteran told me, "Next time it won't happen because the mothers will have warned their kids - 'don't go running towards soldiers'"  Sounds hard hearted and cruel, huh?  But it is reality.  (Hope I got that right Sara.)  Sometimes we simply have to man up about stuff.
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Reality bites.
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Last week I wrote a post or two concerning a local brouhaha over a gay magazine outing a Lutheran minister who participated in an anonymous Catholic support group for same-sex attracted men seeking to live chaste and celibate lives in accord with authentic Catholic teaching - I can never recall the name of the group, but the group is the same as the well-known Courage Apostolate - the local name had to be changed because Minneapolis is home to another organization bearing the same name.
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Homosexual attraction, SSA, gay, gay rights, LGBT issues carry a lot of baggage.  It is a very emotional subject.  Thus even Catholic Church officials are sometimes swayed by the emotional appeal of gay activists and claims of unjust discrimination against the gay community.  In many cases, Church teaching is watered down to be less offensive to gay sensibilities.  Sometimes the 'victims'  protest too much however, and clergy cannot cave and say things like, "Well, it's okay then just as long as Bob and Bill are monogamous."  You know what I'm saying.
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It's just emotion making me over.
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I've used that line from the BeeGee's before and I've said this stuff before, but sometimes my care not to offend is misinterpreted as approval of homosexual acts or SS mariage when it comes to active gay people.  That may be my fault because I do get emotionally involved - I want friends of mine to be saved and not driven away from the Church by uncharitable name-calling, or personal invective.  Nevertheless, the truth needs to be spoken in charity - and sometimes, as I always say, "the effeminate mistake the truth as cruelty."  (From Cary Grant, "Women always interpret a man's honesty as cruelty."  Or something like that - you know, "It's not the dress that makes you look fat...") 
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People also hate it when I use the term effeminate - I mean it in the sense of the 'vice of effeminacy' and not in the sense of acting femme or butch - heterosexual men and women can and do share the vice as well.  Saint Thomas includes effeminacy under the vices opposed to perseverance. It is from the Latin Mollities, which literally means “softness.” Mollities is the verb used in 1 Corinthians 6:9 which deals with the sexual sin of sodomy. It involves being inordinately passive or receptive.
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So where am I going with this?
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I read a comment on another blog discussing the Lutheran pastor and the journalist who outed him - John Townsend wrote a defense as to why and how he had to write what he did.  One critic changed his mind on the whole matter and now says he understands and accepts the journalist's tactics and purpose.  He goes on to say how he chooses to live celibate but sympathizes with the author's point of view - and he doesn't like Courage either.  He identifies as a gay Catholic and is open to the possibility he may not always be celibate - he's just celibate for now.  Reading his 'namby-pamby' approach to Catholic doctrine I realised this guy doesn't have a chance in hell of supporting Roman Catholic teaching on sexuality.  He has changed his opinion on the issue with every new study, disclosure, experience, emotion he has experienced or read about.  Evidently at one time he supported the straight and narrow route but now minces words about it. 
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This demonstrates the huge temptation encountered by homosexual persons seeking to amend their lives:  Because of the culture and one's own emotional baggage, many are tempted to waffle on homosexual issues.  This temptation does not only afflict SSA men and women, but those most attached to them in some way - namely relatives, friends, and overly empathetic clergy.
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Delicacy...
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For me such instability is one huge reason why homosexual men should not be ordained.  (I've gone back and forth on that issue, I know - thank God I have no authority in the Church to make such decisions.)  I'm convinced that priests who identify as SSA - gay, do not really do their penitents any favors by doing so.  Precisely because  persons with homosexual tendencies struggling with chastity and emotional maturity need strong masculine men to guide them and model celibate behavior for them - since any gay man who wants to be Catholic is going to have to be chaste and celibate.
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And yes - homosexuality is a disorder, a vice - it is a perversion.  (Just look up the meaning of perverse.)  Tough to hear, but repentance and conversion is only authentic when sin is recognized as sin and one turns away from it.  One cannot be expected to persevere if one is always changing one's mind about what the Church teaches and popular psychological studies on the nature of the sin one is expected to avoid.  So, our 'yes' has to be 'yes' and our 'no' 'no' - anything more is from the evil one.  In charity of course.
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By your perseverance you will save your souls. - Luke 21:19
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[...] Perseverance is when “a man does not forsake a good on account of long endurance or difficulties and toils.” An “effeminate man is one who withdraws from good on account of sorrows caused by lack of pleasures, yielding as it were to a weak motion.” St. Thomas states that this effeminacy is caused in two ways. First, by custom, where a man is accustomed to enjoy pleasures and it is, therefore, more difficult for him to endure the lack of them. Second, by natural disposition, less persevering through frailty of temperament, and this is where Thomas compares men with women and also mentions the homosexual act of sodomy and the receiver in this act as being effeminate or like a woman. The vice of delicacy for Thomas considers those who cannot endure toils or anything that diminishes pleasure, and thus delicacy is a kind of effeminacy.   
  
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Thanks to Fr. Eric for the heads-up on the video.  The best commercial of the year.

July 4 - Memorial of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati


A patron saint for young and old.

"Born to a rich and politically influential family; his mother was the painter Adelaide Ametis; his father was an agnostic, the founder and editor of the liberal newspaper La Stampa, and became the Italian ambassador to Germany. A pious youth, average student, outstanding athlete and mountain climber, he was extremely popular with his peers, known by the nickname "Terror" due to his practical jokes. He was tutored at home for years with his younger sister Luciana. He studied minerology in an engineering program after graduating high school. He worked often with Catholic groups like Apostleship of Prayer and the Company of the Most Blessed Sacrament that ministered to the poor and promoted Eucharistic adoration, Marian devotion, and personal chastity. He became involved in political groups like the Young Catholic Workers Congress, the Popular Party, the Catholic Student Federation, Catholic Action and Milites Mariae that supported the poor, opposed Fascism and worked for the Church's social teachings. Enrolled as a Dominican tertiary on 28 May 1922, taking the name Girolamo (Jerome). Especially devoted to the teachings of Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Thomas Aquinas. He spent his fortune on the needy and visited the sick; during this ministry he contracted the disease that killed him." - Patron Saints Index

Photo: Altar donde resposa su cuerpo incorrupto en la catedral de Turín.

Blessed Pier Giorgio - A Pictorial