Saturday, August 07, 2010

My followers on Twittle and Facebook have gone beyond 5000!

I know!
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10:49 PM: So upsetting - the counter does not go beyond 5000 so I don't know who really likes me.  If your name is not among the 5000, I don't know if you are good or bad or if you really, really like me.
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10:51 PM:  Larry's still up - I called and hung up - but that was him who answered the phone.
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10:56 PM:  I just watched Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont - excellent film - book written by Elizabeth Taylor - I had no idea she was literate.  Story:  so sad - about lonely old people.
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10:58 PM:  I just called Cathy's - someone answered but I couldn't quite make out what they said.  I asked if their refrigerator was running and told them they better catch it after they said "what business is it of yours."  Grouch.
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10:62 PM:  Called Larry again - no answer.
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10:63 PM:  Men's hygene tip:  If you don't want to shower and have to run out someplace, take those anti-bacterial wipes, wash the hot spots with them, and then apply deoderant.  Works all the time.
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10:65 PM:  Off to prayer, then bed.  Oops, clean cat box first.
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Twitteded update...




Just pretending to be on Twitter and Facebook BTW.

6:31 PM:  Just got home from church - very special - I realize my best thanksgivings are when everyone is yelling and screaming in church after Mass.  I'm not kidding.
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6:35 PM:   Changed from my jeans and polo shirt back into my ripped jeans and t-shirt.  Two baptisms during Mass.  I'm not complaining - but I thought if I had a cell phone I could have tweeted through it.  I know!
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6:39 PM:   Got a drink of water and thought - I should go get some pre-mixed Margarita's...
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6:53 PM:   People on social network deals - like Twitter and Facebook - are such losers.  Just kidding.
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7:21 PM:   I might go out and chop some stuff down... the lilacs need pruning.

3:53 Twitsi/Twatsi Update

3:54 PM:  Still haven't left - rinsed hair and then blow-dried it.  Men's grooming tip:  Don't wash your hair w/soap and water every day - sometimes just wet it and dry it and the result is even better. (See photo!)
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4:01 PM:  Okay - now I'm off to church for real.

Pretending I'm on Twitter and Facebook...

I will post updates for the rest of the weekend - just little twits and twats - like I'm famous or something.

3:31 PM:  Okay - now I'm going to brush my teeth and my hair and head off to church. 
3:34 PM:  I haven't left yet.  (I have no life.)
3:36 PM:  I had to edit 'me' to 'my' - LOSER!
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Hat-tip to Angie for this idea!  She's Dutch-Canadian!

Rainy Days and Saturdays...


Quick thoughts... unedited, uncensored...
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Karin Carpenter inspired the 'Rainy Day' title - I never liked her when she was popular - her appeal was too family oriented for me back then - I thought she massacred most songs - oh what she did to Leon Russell's music.  But now that I'm more grown up - I appreciate her a bit more.  I know the music industry is just that, an industry and it works to make money by appealing to all sorts of tastes.
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Kind of like pop-Catholicism.  One of the reasons I can get so pissed off about trend in Catholicism is that it is so worldly and manufactured.  Holy and sweet as he was, when Blessed Pope John XXIII said 'open the windows to the world', not only did a ton of religious people strip off their habits and run off to Woodstock, a ton of vermin ran into the Church as well.
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Some may ask why do I bother discussing issues like TOB, or wacky priests promoting dubious mystics, or monks and nuns with direct lines to God, or the numerous evangelical-Catholic money making enterprises, and/or all the other crap (sorry Alice) everyone tries to make a living from.  (Don't forget the warning, "There is great gain in religion..." - Paul to Timmy.  Kind of like Pastor Haggard to Oprah, "Hey! Let's start a church in the barn!")
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Yeah, so - I'm a little cynical.  There are many reasons for this but chief among them is that I have been fooled more than once by several of these types over the years.  Many 'months' before a lot of my readers even knew what the word Catholic meant, there were similar trends picking up steam - there always have been really.  Yet since the Council it seems there has been one novelty after another devout and enthusiastic souls have run after and promoted this or that as the curriculum of the age.  So I confess I'm a bit jaded - testing the spirits - or discernment is more easily done by the genuinely spiritual man or the one who made a lot of mistakes - in other words experience often times counts more than any degree.
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I suppose first and foremost the biggest bill of goods sold were all the non-mandated liturgical changes handed down by bishops and priests and liturgical reformers, upsetting the apple cart to such an extent many Catholics believed no one 'had' to do anything anymore, while Mass became one big hootenanny.  I lived through so many abuses it would make you leave the Church.  I lived through Catholic U's Charles Curran and his disciples - the effects of which we all continue to suffer from.  And as I've mention before, I've lived through confessors and directors who insisted such things as masturbation, pornography, and some sexual acts were not mortal sins - in fact, I was told more than once human beings were incapable of mortal sin.  I lived through homosexual advocates such as Boswell and McNeil and others who spent their lives researching and teaching that homosexuality is not sinful.  So you see, at this point I have had enough false teachings thrown at me, almost tripping me up more times than I'm willing to admit.
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So that is why when a bunch of academics and self-promoting new springtime evangelicals come along in procession with laced up bishops and their entourage - I look for the money.  I see the trend.  I see the marketing.  I see the clique.  There is a reason why there are time limits established in the process to canonize a saint, there are reasons why Rome studies and examines 'new' doctrines and spiritual novelties.  Perhaps they missed a few things or were deceived for a time by the likes of Fr. Maciel or that other guy, Duran, the founder of Miles Jesu - but "nothing is hidden that will not be uncovered" as the Gospel makes so very clear.  Remember - the New Testament is filled with warnings about false teachers and new doctrines - therefore to question "where the conflicts and disputes among us originate?" does not mean one is stirring up dissension or passing judgement.
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Anyway - all I'm saying is watch out for the bandwagon - be discerning.  If it is too good to be true - it isn't.  And don't blame me for discussing the cliques and factions and institutes - I didn't start any, I don't promote any, nor do I follow any.  I think that is how the Holy Spirit guarded me all of these years.
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Art:  Death's Bandwagon.  Detail: The Triumph of Death, Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Can Same Sex Marriage Really Harm the Church?


"Fact finding" in overturning Prop. 8...
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The ruling which overturned Prop. 8, issued Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, included direct references to Catholic teaching:
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The legal decision listed as its 77th “finding of fact”: “Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.”
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In a list of supporting citations, the ruling quoted a 2003 document issued by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), “Considerations Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition To Unions Between Homosexual Persons.”
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“Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts as ‘a serious depravity’,” is the first CDF phrase quoted in Judge Walker's decision.
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The document was signed in 2003 by the CDF’s prefect Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who was elected to the papacy in 2005.
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The Prop. 8 ruling cited other passages from the same CDF document, apparently attributing it to the group Catholics for the Common Good. Quoted passages rejected the argument that homosexual unions are “in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan” and described the homosexual inclination as “objectively disordered.” The passages also describe homosexual acts as contrary to the moral law and “gravely contrary” to chastity.
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The ruling of Judge Walker, who is reported to be homosexual, also cited the document’s statement that “legal recognition of homosexual unions … would mean … the approval of deviant behavior.”
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Declared “findings of fact” play an important role in the appeals process.
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CBS News’ chief political consultant Marc Armbinder, writing at the CBSNews.com blog “The Political Broadsheet,” said the ruling itself matters “less than the facts Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker finds". - CNA
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Walker's citation wasn't one of approval.  It won't be long before the courts take a more direct aim at the Church.

Little Known Saints For the Month of August.

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Blessed Martin Martinez Pascual, priest. Born at Valdealgorfa in the province of Teruel, diocese of Zaragoza.  Died at Valdealgorfa on August 18, 1936, at the age of 25 years, he was Mayor in the College of San Jose de Murcia and professor of the Seminary of San Fulgencio in that city. - Spanish Martyrs
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The martyrs are especially efficacious intercessors before the Lamb that was slain for those of us still on earth.


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Thanks to Angelo at Siete en Familia Blog

Friday, August 06, 2010

"You like it dahling?"

"I got it at Bergdorf's when I was in NY."

Pictures of what I'm cooking...


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My friend SF suggested I could post pictures of what I am cooking when I have nothing to blog about.

Theology of the Body: Rewriting Mystical and Moral Theology for the Third Millennium.


More pop-culture than academic...
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I'm not a scholar or a theologian, but even I see problems in the popular interpretations of John Paul II's Wednesday Audience catechesis on the theology of the body.  Since I am not a member of the 'academy' I understand my opinions have little import much less consequence.  Not a problem for me - it is simply another one of the benefits of being 'little'...
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That said, Fr. Angelo Mary of Mary Vitrix blog has posted an accurate critique based upon statements coming out of the recent Theology of the Body conference ("God is a stalker"), while providing a bit of perspective upon the 'doctrine' as promulgated by Fr. Thomas Loya.  Some of my readers will be familiar with his name since I published portions of his handout/address at last weekends Courage Conference.  Dr. Janet Smith also spoke at the event, but I have no documentation as to what she said.  Both promote TOB and seem to oppose criticisms of Christopher West's enthusiastic interpretations of JPII's work.
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I had some minor reservations regarding Fr. Loya's talk - or at least what was published in the handout.  My issues stem from what I see as a danger from what can and probably will be extrapolated from his conversation by compassionate spiritual directors as regard same-sex couples/partners in disinterested friendships, a concept seemingly in the process of development by among others, John Heard of Dreadnought.  I've alluded to these things in the past.
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There is of course no problem with same sex friendship in the case of same sex attracted persons - so long as chastity is observed and the homosexual lifestyle is not promoted.  Loya does not appear to be advocating anything beyond those parameters - but seeing how easy it is to adapt popular interpretations of  TOB to just about any sexual appetite, so as the end result is 'spousal' - I sense the foundation for a development of a more precious "gay spirituality" in the works.  Fr. Loya seems to guarantee that could never happen based upon his premise that a same-sex attracted person really only thinks he is a homosexual.  His concept is more involved than that of course, and maybe I'll discuss the point later.  For now, suffice it to say - based upon experience - I see the TOB notion for homosexuals evolving very close to the bad advice a Trappist monk, who once taught at Duquesne, gave to a 'student' who was struggling with SSA and in a relationship with another man:  "You must see X in the transfiguring light of Christ - see Christ in his limbs, in his... love the Christ in him..."  - enough said. Although it seems to me the Trappist Fr. X may have anticipated some of the trends within TOB catechesis long before these people even graduated from high school.
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I digress however, and perhaps I'm reading too much into what Fr. Loya said in his handout.  Read Fr. Angelo Mary's post however - I find it to be rather informative - not simply for those of us in the blogosphere who have learned to wary, but for the members of the academy at large.  Anyway, I especially appreciate Fr. Angelo's concluding remarks in his post:
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The Theology of the Body Institute is engaged in mystagogery disguised as orthodoxy and sentimental enthusiasm disguised as orthopraxy. According to Katherine Blanchard, the Theology of the Body Institute’s director of development, the disagreement between the Institute and its critics
is really on a philosophical level, and we’re focusing on the practical application of the theology. We’ll let the academics work out the details and respect their conclusions. This is such an original message that there are always better ways to learn and teach about it. That’s what we’re here to do.
This is an obfuscation. This radically new approach to chastity formation, which suggests, as it does, that one may and should play fast and loose with the occasion of sin is based on doctrinal sleight of hand. I am not sure which came first: playing fast and loose or the sleight of hand. My guess is that difficulties with concupiscence and conscience has lead some to use the Holy Father’s writings in a rationalistic way, in ways he never intended. Perhaps the “Spirit” of the Theology of the Body needs a good exorcism. - Theology of the Body and the Mystical, Magical Train
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Links:

Barbara Nicolosi enters the discussion here.  Very good commentary.

Nicolosi also links to Open wide the doors to Christ blog, which occasioned Barbara's excellent response in support of Dawn Eden's thesis.

Transfiguration

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"When, I wonder, did we in America ever get into this idea that freedom means having no boundaries and no limits? I think it began on the 6th of August 1945 at 8:15 am when we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima... Somehow or other, from that day on in our American life, we say we want no limits and no boundaries." — Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
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More reflections at Western Confucian
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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Five Favorite Devotions Meme.


I was so tagged!  Thanks Leddy!
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I haven't been tagged for anything for so long I was really beginning to feel discriminated against - due to my age of course - ageism is rampant on the internet and I feel blueballed!  (I didn't want to say black because it could be interpreted as racist - and then before you know it - Shelly shows up on your doorstep.  I know!)
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So here are my 5 favorite, indispensible devotions:
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  1. Mass and Holy Communion and Eucharistic Adoration.
  2. Daily Lectio Divina.
  3. Daily Rosary and mental prayer.
  4. Fasting.
  5. Twice daily examine of conscience and frequent confession.
I tag the following people:

Tom in Vegas
Monsignor Ganswein  (Oh yeah Kat - we're tight.)
Enbrethiel
Belinda
Paul Stilwell
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Questions I ask myself...  "And this is important why?"
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Because spiritual friends share things like this, and we can learn more about devotion and spirituality this way too.  Now raise your hands in praise and testify!  Do ah hear an Amen?
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Shelly Vacations in Racist Spain.

Work it girl.

Shelly strolling with a few friends through the streets of Marbella while she and Sasha take a vacation break in the middle of the depression.

Attitude!

 
Shelly and her entourage of 40+ are cramming themselves into this little hotel, Villa Padierna in Marbella.
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How's the economy going for the rest of us?
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About a half mile from my house, on what was the outskirts of Minneapolis, sits an old motel that only survives these days because indigents coming into the city and who qualify for emergency assistance from welfare, receive vouchers to stay there.  They also get money for food and other necessities.  Many times these folks walk through the neighborhood on their way to a nearby supermarket to pick up groceries.  Many of them come in from Chicago and have something of an entourage themselves - several kids and an occasional boyfriend/husband.  They tell me Minneapolis has better benefits than Chicago.
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I just heard of an acquaintance who was laid off.  He and his wife have 2 kids, a house in the burbs, 2 SUV's, and don't forget 2 kids - who must be clothed, fed, educated, and so on.  His wife has been out of work for a year and a half.  The family's health insurance alone costs them almost $2000- a month.  The husband, who is around 60 years old, suggested to his wife the family would be better off if he killed himself.
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You just watch - there is going to be a backlash in this country and it is so going to hurt.

Caring for Retro-Catholics


Condescending lip service.
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I think it's getting to be a trend.  Progressives/liberals must have a be kind - do no harm tolerance strategy at work these days.  I noticed an article on another blog pretty much discussing how men with unwanted same-sex desire have a condition that more or less requires them to seek shelter, solace, and support in ex-gay/chastity support-type programs, therefore these vulnerable, miserable souls deserve the sympathy and understanding of the otherwise well adjusted gay community.
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Likewise, The Washington Post's Anthony Stevens-Arroyo writes inclusively about so-called Retro-Catholics as having a place in the overall scheme of things of the Church universal - meaning the Roman Catholic Church.  I'm verklempft.
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"Admiring the wonderful diversity of the Catholic experience, I think of our different movements, cultures, and commitments - including Retro-Catholicism -- as analogous to the side chapels in a magnificent cathedral. Catholics coming to pray may start at a side chapel where they express special devotion in smaller groupings, but when the call is made for common worship we come together at the main altar under the same lofty roof. The mistake would be to substitute the side chapel of Retro-Catholicism (or Latino Catholicism) for the universal Church.
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What characterizes Retro-Catholicism? The first and most prominent trait is fervor for upright sexual morality and the family - most notably a crusade against abortion. In this chapel, elective abortion is labeled "intrinsically evil" and supersedes all other issues. The special character here is not opposition to abortion - every Catholic agrees on that! - but rather Retro-Catholicism's all-or-nothing-at-all confrontation of contemporary politics. It seeks an absolute legal ban in the U.S. of all abortions (or use of condoms, or fetal stem-cell research, or equal rights for gay partners, or distribution of birth-control information, etc.) The issue is so deeply felt that it has occasioned the denial of communion when a Catholic deviates from this hard line.

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Catholic America needs to welcome passionate opposition to abortion as long as such a commitment does not prejudice the rest of the pro-life mission to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, etc.." - Read more here.  (Little does he know he's actually the retro guy.)
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"Gee!  Everyone is so nice!"  Quote from my sister in response to the question, "Why do you like funerals so much?"
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And I suppose it's about time I admit that I really do understand why so many people can't wait for the Boomers to die off.
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Photo:  Fr. McPheeley and Sr. Glinda, DRE at the Dignity picnic.



 

Happy Birthday Tim.

Today is my little brother's birthday.  His name is Timmy.  Timmy lives in Germany.  I love Timmy very much.  Happy Birthday Timmy.
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Love, Terry
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PS - Please pray for Timmy and me too.  Thank you.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

When Fr. Z is away...


I don't know what to do with myself - I get a lot of material from him and his commenters.  I'm serious.

California Judge Overturns Prop 8...


Overturning the will of the people.
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This is a much bigger deal now than it was before... 
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Walker found that the gay marriage ban violates the Constitution's due process and equal protection clauses while failing "to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license."
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"Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples," the judge wrote in his 136-page ruling. - Judge overturns Calif. gay marriage ban .

“Marriage exists prior to the state and is not given to redefinition by the state. The role of the state is to respect and reinforce marriage.” - Bishop Joseph Kurtz

For Angela and Nina...



Don't diss the Kennedys!  ;)

False visionaries...

Get a lot of attention, don't they.
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No, that wasn't a question - just a reaction to yesterday's post.  Viewing some Bayside videos on YouTube last night - yes, I was going to post one just to be funny - I decided this type of spiritual junk food is not comedic at all - sadly, it is very serious, and even poisonous.  Oddly enough, if you watch and read these things, they kind of begin to make sense after awhile... pinch me now!  What I noticed however, is how these things incorporate all the old 'prophecies' and conspiracy theories and present them in a novel way.  For instance, I had no idea that Bayside started lining itself up with Garabandal in Spain.  In fact in one video, the narrator was saying the same stuff a certain local hospital chaplain used to tell his hearers in a Twin Cities parish.  Obviously these things infect spiritual groups like a virus.
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Corruption threatens to permeates just about everything in the Church - which is why we have a Magisterium and a Pope - to ensure that Catholic Doctrine remains untainted.  It takes time, but in the end the truth comes out.  Not just regarding spurious apparitions, but as regards religious groups and foundations, theological movements, proposed social innovations, and so on. 
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If not for the teaching authority in the Catholic Church, we Catholics would splinter into factions and cults just like the Protestants do - nearly every day.  Ted Haggard founding a church in his garage isn't so much different than a group of dissenters leaving a local parish and forming their own Catholic church in a community center.  The big difference is that faithful Catholics know these people 'left THE Church.
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When it comes to foolish debates over unapproved private revelations such as Medjugorje, Vassula Ryden, Mirjana whatever her name is, or the Get Us Out of Here mystic, even though local ordinaries, along with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith warn and condemn such novelties, human nature still wants to break away, separate, and form some sort of exclusive and/or remnant cult.
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Have nothing to do with them.  I say this because I've seen a lot foolishness over the years... a lot!
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Strangely enough I got an email from a stranger, suggesting he would like to see me paint something our Lord told the disciples, "I saw Satan fall like lightening from the sky."  I thought about what that means.  Not every fall is that spectacular.  Not everyone gets national attention like Anne Rice.  She's a celebrity, and as the psalmist says, human nature 'prizes the worthless'.  Satan's fall was spectacular obviously - something I wouldn't want to document beyond what our Lord taught. 
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We've all seen big falls - the example of Fr. Francis Mary Stone (Dave) and Fr. Cutie leaving the priesthood to get married, immediately comes to mind - and these two were among the 'good' guys.  Then there were the bad guys - bishops and priests falling from grace due to whatever part they played in the sex scandal - around the world no less.
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I've seen monks and nuns leave their respective monasteries - in some cases because they just weren't happy there, in other instance to reform the order, because God told them to - only to come to nothing.  Others left losing their faith and morals in the process.  I've had other friends leave the Church for another sect all together, renouncing the Catholic faith.  I've seen people chase after apparitions and the newest locutionist yet never progressing in authentic faith, much less develop a spiritual life.  Just because one is spiritual or religious does not mean one has faith.
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Anyway - this is why I tend to be so critical and hesitant to jump on board with all the novelties which come along, or believing every locutionist - especially when they promote themselves as this or that.  Same with the authorities on new theologies and curriculums... many of whom claim to be on the inside track, and love to name drop for their approval ratings to skyrocket.  Religious people can also make a lot of money speaking tours and conferences - but even the best and brightest have to be scrutinized these days.  I'm reminded of what St. John said regarding another vice:
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"... Who fails to drink little or much from the golden chalice of the Babylonian woman of the Apocalypse? [Rev. 17:4]  By the fact she is seated on that large beast with the seven heads and seven crowns, it is signified that there is hardly anyone of high rank or low, saint or sinner, who does not drink of her wine, subjecting his heart somewhat.  For as is pointed out there, all the kings of the earth were inebriated with the wine of her prostitution. [Rev. 17:2]  She reaches out to all states, even to the supreme and illustrious state of the sanctuary and divine priesthood, by setting her abominable cup in the holy place, as Daniel asserts [Dn. 9:27], and she hardly leaves a strong man who has not drunk a small or large quantity of wine from her chalice...  As a result it is said that all the kings of the earth were inebriated by this wine, since so few will be found, no matter how holy, who have not been somewhat ravished and perplexed by this drink..."  - St. John of the Cross, Ascent, Bk. III, Ch. 22:4
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I may be wrong to appropriate this excerpt from St. John, but somehow it seems to fit with what I'm trying to say.

German Bishop On How the Homosexual Networks...



One attracts the other...
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Especially those who are from youth deeply affected by homosexuality, may not be ordained as priests, answered Küng to a corresponding question from "Standard". Homosexual networks are a threat for a Cloister or a Diocese, because "one attracts the other". Then there exists in a place a certain atmosphere, which becomes an attractive place for homosexual candidates, said Küng. Then, only a radical solution is possible. "If I become aware, that such a situation has the upper hand in a seminary or a cloister, I can only lock it up", said the Bishop. - St. Pöltner Bishop Klaus Küng 

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I've said the same thing, in fact I know of a couple of places up...  Oops!  That would have to be another post.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

John of the Cross shares his concerns about private revelations.


"Even in our time God grants revelations... to whom He wills"... but ...
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"The devil can be a great meddler with this type of revelation.  Since the words are imparted through words, figures, and likenesses, etc., he can make counterfeits more easily than when the revelations are purely spiritual.  If some new truth about the faith is revealed, or something at variance with it, we must by no means give assent, even though we may have the evidence that it was spoken by an angel from heaven.  Thus St. Paul states: 'Though we, or an angel from heaven, declare or preach something other than what we have preached, let him be anathema.' [Gal. 1:8]
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Since there are no more articles to be revealed to the Church about the substance of our faith, a person must not merely reject new revelations about the faith, but he should out of caution repudiate other kinds of knowledge mingled with them.  In order to preserve the purity of his faith, a person should not believe already revealed truths because they are again revealed, but because they were already sufficiently revealed to the Church." - Ascent, Bk. II, Ch. 27
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As Catholics we have the Scriptures, the Fathers and the Doctors of the Church, the Catechism, and the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him...  if that is not enough, "they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." [Luke 16:31
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"To deceive and introduce lies, the devil first lures a person with truths and verisimilitudes that give assurance; then he proceeds with his beguilement."  - St. John of the Cross

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Photo:  False visionary Veronica Leuken, Bayside, NY.  Very crazy, occult influenced, false apparitions which gained a large following in the 1970's and '80's.  Interestingly enough, these alleged apparitions were connected to the San Damiano events linked to the seer, Mama Rosa, raising questions of an international deception invoking devotion to "Our Lady of the Roses" along with dubious revelations concerning the post-Vatican II Church.

Mystical Theology Add-Ons...


On notifications and clarifications.
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One of the reasons I believe seminarians need extensive training in mystical theology in our times is precisely because of all the spiritual frauds and their delusional devotees running around parishes and the archdioceses of the world these days.  Last week I came upon a post on mysticism and discernment written by a British Third Order Carmelite priest who claims to be an exorcist - (whenever he speaks to anyone it seems he makes this fact known) - in addition to being a mystical theologian.  His name is Fr John Abberton.  Fr. Abberton may indeed carry all of those credentials, but he has a lot of baggage on top of that - he promotes the false visionary:  Vassula Ryder.
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The CDF issued the following notification on Vassula Ryder - who some say is more an occultist than mystic - as far back as 1995.  Fr. Abberton goes to great lengths trying to explain away the notification, but his arguments are less than convincing, if not without authority.
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NOTIFICATION ON VASSULA RYDEN
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Many bishops, priests, religious and lay people have sought an authoritative judgement from this Congregation on the activity of Mrs. Vassula Ryden, a Greek Orthodox residing in Switzerland, who in speech and in writing is spreading in Catholic circles throughout the world messages attributed to alleged heavenly revelations.
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A calm, attentive examination of the entire question, undertaken by this Congregation in order to "test the spirits to see whether they are of God" (cf. 1 Jn 4:1), has brought out-in addition to positive aspects - a number of basic elements that must be considered negative in the light of Catholic doctrine.
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In addition to pointing out the suspect nature of the ways in which these alleged revelations have occurred, it is necessary to underscore several doctrinal errors they contain.
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Among other things, ambiguous language is used in speaking of the Persons of the Holy Trinity, to the point of confusing the specific names and functions of the Divine Persons. These alleged revelations predict an imminent period when the Antichrist will prevail in the Church. In millenarian style, it is prophesied that God is going to make a final glorious intervention which will initiate on earth, even before Christ's definitive coming, an era of peace and universal prosperity. Furthermore, the proximate arrival is foretold of a Church which would be a kind of pan-Christian community, contrary to Catholic doctrine.
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The fact that the aforementioned errors no longer appear in Ryden's later writings is a sign that the alleged "heavenly messages" are merely the result of private meditations. - Read more here.
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"Merely the result of private meditations..."
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I believe that has been the same assessment on the messages of Fr. Gobbi to the Marian Movement of Priests; not surprisingly, Fr. Abberton is also a member of MMP. 
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Fr. Abberton, who also appears to be supportive of the alleged apparition at Medjugorje,  just posted another defense of Vassula Ryder today, 3 August 2010:
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I write as a priest who has had over twenty-five years experience as a spiritual director of a mystic soul. Some who read this may want to ask how I know she (Ryder) is a mystic. The answer is that according to the usual rules of discernment in these matters, and through my own experience, and the experiences of others who know her, along with the general acceptance of those who have read her writings that she has not deviated from the teaching of the Church, my considered opinion is that she is genuine. A priest who gained his doctorate in a specialised study of mysticism agrees with my judgement, and she was accepted as genuine by a bishop who told her that he had never really understood the “Song of Songs” until he had read her writings. I do not mention this lady to distract from Vassula but in order to show that I have some knowledge and experience in these matters. - Omissions? Blank pages? Changed Messages?
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On another site I found a rather disturbing warning regarding Fr. Abberton, written by someone who identifies as a Fr. Rabit - most likely a pseudonym, but the comment is worth considering:
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Fr John Abberton is ‘the’ Catholic apologist for the occult ‘seer’ Vassula Ryden. Yes, there’s only one Catholic priest in the UK who speaks up for TLIG – just do a Google search and you’ll see what I mean. As such, Abberton is completely ignoring the CDF’s instruction on Catholics keeping a distance from this woman and her dangerous ‘ecumenical’ sect. - Medjugorje – Genuine or Hoax?
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The CDF's warning ought to be enough for Catholic faithful:
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Given the negative effect of Vassula Ryden's activities, despite some positive aspects, this Congregation requests the intervention of the Bishops so that their faithful may be suitably informed and that no opportunity may be provided in their Dioceses for the dissemination of her ideas. Lastly, the Congregation invites all the faithful not to regard Mrs. Vassula Ryden's writings and speeches as supernatural and to preserve the purity of the faith that the Lord has entrusted to the Church. - Vatican City, 6 October 1995.

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Yet Fr. Abberton seems to devote a great deal of effort spreading these messages through his website, blog, and any other web opportunity which presents itself - around the world.  Unsuspecting Catholics pick up his writings, post what sounds good, and then link to his site.  The errors are thereby spread.  Whenever there is a valid question of error or vanity, self-will and pride, one cannot be certain the Holy Spirit is guiding the effort.  Even more so, when anyone acts in opposition to official Church teaching - in this case, a notification from the CDF - one cannot be assured that the other person's doctrine is orthodox, no matter how well educated the person may be.
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Watch out for frauds and deceivers and their cults.
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Links:
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True Life In God Doctrinal Errors
CDF Clarification of Original Notification on Vassula Ryder   (Fr. Abberton goes to great lengths to dismiss this 1996 Notification as well.)
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Many thanks to Diane at Te Deum Laudamus blog for the source material regarding the notification.
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Photo:  One Clothed with the Sun Appears Enshrouded in efulgent light in Front of Vassula Ryden during a talk she gave on January18, 2009.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The 2010 Conference: I'm so glad it's over.


Protestors outside the Theology of the Body Conference this past weekend.

Final Report on 2010 Courage Conference


First:  The Final Part of Fr. Loya's Address.
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although we have used the example of men in terms of same sex attraction, the principle of honesty applies to women also. the fact of the matter is that for women same sex attraction is a different phenomenon than for men. for men same sex attraction is a developmental issue. for women it is an issue of intimacy. it is not sexual. this is why most women who are in supposed 'lesbian' relationships either have been in or are simultaneously in, or who in the future will be involved in relationships with men. women who are involved with other women have been hurt in some way in the area of intimacy. the language of the female body says that womanhood is made for intimacy and women will seek intimacy one way or the other. men will seek maleness one way or the other.
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for those who struggle with same sex attraction, is is the Church and she alone who most sympathizes with you, who is in your corner, and who will walk with you every step of the way. and no matter how angry people might get at the Church, no matter how badly the Church is maligned, the Church will never change on these issues for two reasons. first, as we said earlier, the Church simply points to the created order and tells us about it. she is God's 'press secretary.' since God has not changed the created order the Church is not free to change its teachings on matters pertaining to the created order. secondly, the Church and God love us all too much to agree to that which is less than honest, because in the end only that which is honest to God's created order will bring about the happiness for which we all so deeply long. i suspect the message from the Church to anyone who believes they have a sexual attraction to the same gender is that if you will persevere to live according to God's created order that you will be in Heaven before any of us. it is the Church who is truly compassionate, who truly loves anyone who believes they have a sexual attraction to the same gender. true compassion is based on an uncompromising honesty to the created order. that is often the road less traveled. but it is the Church and She alone who will walk that road with anyone every step of the way."  - Conclusion of Fr. Loya's Address at 2010 Courage Conference.
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Second:  Remarks from Our Friend At the Conference.
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the final talk on sunday morning was given by fr. check on humility. he said that humility is the foundation of the moral and spiritual life. if we find ourselves bristling against humiliations, that is a good thing, for it shows us what we need to let go of; what we need to change in our lives. he also said that if we are truly humble, we would have no business being resentful about anything the good Lord permits to come our way. be it good or bad, we need to accept all from the hand of God. to resent something happening to us, as if we did not deserve it < and we truly may not deserve it, but that's not the point > would be to say "this should not be happening to me. i deserve better. i am better than this." and that is pride. if our Lord, who emptied Himself to take on the human condition, and was perfectly innocent, did not protest when mocked, scorned, ridiculed, spat upon and tortured even to death; if even HE did not state "i do not deserve this," then who are we to say such a thing? our job is to imitate Him who said "follow Me, for I am meek and humble of heart."
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we are blessed to have fr. check. the office is moving from NYC to connecticut, as fr. check is still obliged in obedience to his local ordinary to continue with his pastoral duties for the archdiocese of bridgeport. so in order for him to function effectively, the national *courage* office is being relocated. fr. check also made the call for members of *courage* to 'come out,' so to speak. to step forward and be willing to give testimony to the Church in areas that is lacking either a *courage* chapter or support for the apostolate. i'm volunteering to be one such person, because i think the Church's position - the truly compassionate one on this issue - is being misrepresented and misunderstood. we're not here to 're-program' people. we are here to offer support and encouragement for those Catholics living with SSA who do not want to be sexually active; who see the erroneous message of the gay community that in order to have peace, you have to be 'true to yourself' and feed your disordered passions. there is no peace in such a life. the heart of a true Catholic knows the truth, but where to go to have the truth nurtured in your soul, and not have the smoldering wick extinguished as groups like Dignity or the HRC would do. the answer is the Courage Apostolate. we are growing. we are becoming more vocal. the Truth cannot be suppressed. it cries out from the heart. - Courage correspondent and friend.
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I am very pleased by what I have heard and read from this year's Courage Conference.  I am confident Courage Apostolate continues in its fidelity to the teaching of the Catholic Church and offers a way of sanctification and support for men and women struggling with same sex temptations.  Thanks be to God.

Just for fun: What I think of Anne Rice.

The quick answer:  Not much.
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Like I wrote in the com box of another blog, "I doubt she brought many souls back to the Church when she decided to be Catholic again, and I doubt she will lead many souls out of the Church now that she quit."

People do this everyday - they fall away.  There was a parable about the phenomena, something about seed falling on various surfaces, sprouting, dying, etc..  I think this photo of Rice is very telling - Catholic chic - many people love the accoutrements... big rosaries, lovely architecture, classy music, ancient artifacts, gold and lace and satin and embroidered slippers.  It feels so holy in a romantic sort of way, huh?  And what is more Goth than Catholic Gothic? 

I've never been able to read an Anne Rice novel, or sit through a film based on one.  I've enjoyed televised interviews with her - but she's just a 'gal' - she could be my sister or the woman across the street, or any romantic novelist.  So what?  She's as screwed up as the next person.  (In fact - she just might be nuts.)

Waddja think 'bout that Clinton wedding, huh?   
 

Filthy Porn Addicts


Whoa, you like to think that you’re immune to the stuff, oh Yeah it’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough,you know you’re gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to... (Robert Palmer, Addicted to Love)
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Just kidding with the title of the post, I know it's a problem for a lot of people - the fact that women are into it is a real sign that civilization is crumbling and the chastisement is near - kidding again (kinda) - I get that thinking from James Mitchner (The Source).
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Anyway - I read about a program on the OSV site to be used in training priests - in NY I think - on how to deal with men who are addicted to online porn.  I have heard it is the most common sin confessed these days.  A psychologist is going to be training priests on how to counsel these filthy addicts guys.  Now I have nothing against psychology and therapy and support groups of course, but I have to ask:  Aren't priests trained in moral and mystical theology?  A little psychology is good - but we Catholics have THE power of the sacraments.
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Though sexual addiction is real on various levels, the person still has free will and certainly can overcome such sins through sacramental grace.  I recognize therapy and support groups are helpful, perhaps even to most - but there will naturally be some people unwilling to participate in therapy or support groups.  And don't forget St. Paul says something about the fact our battle is with evil spirits as well.  Some guys just aren't joiners.  My concern is that many might get the impression it is the only way to get over it.  One must remember that not all alcoholics benefit from AA programs, and not all people with SSA believe Courage is the only solution either. 
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Sometimes I think Church personnel tend to handle issues of faith and morals more like a big corporation implementing various strategies to keep everything operating smoothly and efficiently - in a dysfunctional kind of way. It's like they are substituting psychology and marketing strategies for real pastoral and spiritual care.  In the past the bishops depended upon popular psycho-therapies to heal sex offenders within the clergy - it didn't work so well, did it.  Unless you buy into the  "I'm okay/you're okay" clap-happy school of thought of course.  Again, I'm not diminishing the importance of psychology and therapy, although it must be admitted we have been sort of an overly-psychologized culture.
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Of course I don't know enough about the program to really critique it - just to question it - and right off the bat a couple of the recommendations in direction seem problematic to me:
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Confessional Advice (sidebar)
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The Archdiocese of New York recently provided formal training for priests in how to help those who have ongoing problems with pornography. Here are suggestions of what might be helpful to say to a penitent:
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  • Do you want to be free from this sin? Are you willing to pay the price?
  • Healing and freedom from this sin is possible, but know that you can’t do it alone.
  • It requires God’s grace, professional help, and support from other men who understand your struggle.
  • Here is a card that will direct you to helpful resources. If you’re serious about overcoming pornography use, I urge you to explore them. (The cards refer penitents to: www.flrl.org/TrueFreedom.htm
  • Know that God, the Father of Mercy and Love, will provide the grace to overcome this sin. - OSV
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Lust is lust.
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That last line "Know that God, the Father of Mercy and Love, will provide the grace to overcome this sin" saves the whole thing from being a promotional advertisement for the self-help/therapy organization.  Healing from an apparently addictive sin is possible of course, but everyone may not need a self-help group - and it does not always "require professional help" - professional psychiatric help can be helpful, and it usually is to an extent - but not everyone can afford it, much less "require" it.  The confessor is instructed to "urge" a penitent to explore True Freedom.org.  A penitent can take that as a mandate.  
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I may be wrong, but it seems to me sometimes, some priests can pass the buck on spiritual direction, handing off penitents to therapists, support groups, and so on.  Not unlike the time I mentioned to a priest that I quit drinking (for Lent), the first question out of his mouth was, "How long have you been sober?"  Joined with, "Are you going to the AA meetings here on Thursdays?"  I was so surprised, I didn't know what to say.  The answer to the first question might have been, "I wasn't drunk."  If memory serves me, the only thing I said in response was, "No.  Why would I go to AA?"*
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Over the years it seemed to me some priests can become so accustomed to handing people off to therapists I think they may forget what Our Lord told the disciples who were unable to deliver a penitent; "This type can only be cast out by prayer and fasting."
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I'm no authority of course.
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*Editor's note:  Memory did not serve me well in this anecdote.  The situation wherein the priest asked me how long I was sober took place in confession, and I only thought of the answer, "I wasn't drunk" after the fact.  The other situation happened with my parish priest after Mass as stated, and I answered,  "No.  Why would I go to AA?"  Sorry for the oversight.  (My angel brought the matter to my attention this morning, 8/7/10.  Thanks my angel.) 

More of Fr. Loya's Talk From the 2010 Courage Conference


Not born that way...
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like all physical things in the created order our bodies speak a language. they point to something beyond themselves. there are no such things as 'homosexuals' because God does not make homosexual bodies. the male body, for instance, only makes sense in relation to the female body. the male body says: 'i am designed to fit in her' (physically, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically.) even if a male feels differently about this it does not change the reality that is spoken in the very theology of his male body-person. (at this point the example of persons born with the sex organs of both genders is often brought up. but rare aberrations to the created order do not change the fundamental created order which throughout creation is expressed in terms of complementarity. even the sun and the moon are often metaphorically referred to in terms of man and woman). so what does explain same sex attraction and how do we respond to this honestly?
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first of all, persons who believe they have a sexual attraction to the same gender are not born that way. repeat: persons who believe they have a sexual attraction to the same gender are not born that way. studies that supposedly proved this were done by 'homosexual' activists and the findings were skewed to serve an agenda. besides, what if it were true? how does that change anything? what if we discovered that rapists and child molesters were born that way? would we celebrate those disordered conditions and demand that their condition be given legal status and that they be allowed to live that lifestyle because it 'makes them happy?'
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now, back to why i qualified the words believe and sexual in regard to the same gender. the attraction that the insensitive secular world refers to as 'homosexual' is actually an attraction that comes out of a developmental need and is only translated as sexual. the person believes they have a sexual attraction to the same gender. this is because in our culture we erroneously translate any type of intense attraction as sexual. but this attraction is not sexual. now we get into the honest meaning of words. 'sexual' can only mean involving complementary genders. if it does not involve complementary genders or complementary body parts than the attraction or actions are in fact not sexual. there is definitely an attraction and indeed a strongly felt one. but if it is not sexual what is it?
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males receive critical developmental messages from outside of themselves, first of all from their fathers and then from the male world and lastly from the woman in their life. if a male does not receive this message or if he has received a very confusing and injurious message through sexual, verbal or psychological abuse, he can often retreat from the male world and identify with the feminine. however, this body-person has not changed and the hunger he has for what he needs from the male world stays with him. consequently his deep body-person is going to be strongly attracted to males. this attraction, because it is so strong, will be translated and attempted to be lived out sexually. but this is not really possible. male bodies do not 'fit' together and therefore on the sexual level their persons do not fit together as do the body-persons of complementary genders. the fact that sexual organs may be involved and even stimulated does not make the action honestly sexual; it cannot be sexual if it does not involve complementary genders.
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so as you can see, it is impossible to speak honestly about 'homo-sexuals,' and the Church is being compassionate by pointing this out to persons with same-sex attractions. remember, we find the key to this question and all issues of morality by going to the 'H-Zone.'
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when it comes to same-sex marriage, we often hear it asked today: "what if two men really love each other? why can't the Church let them be married so they can be happy? if it is meaningful to them who are we to judge? to understand the Church's answer to this question we must once again head into the 'H-zone:' the Honesty Zone. let's see how the H-zone gives us the most compassionate answer to these questions.
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To be continued.

Porziuncula Indulgence

The Great Pardon of Assisi
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In a vision at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels, the Lord, accompanied by the Blessed Virgin, instructed St. Francis of Assisi to ask whatever favor he desired. St. Francis asked for what came to be known as the Porziuncula Indulgence, otherwise known as the Great Pardon of Assisi. He asked that those who would devoutly visit the Chapel would be forgiven all of their sins and the punishment due them. (This remarkable pardon is similar to the 20th century feast of Divine Mercy.)
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At one time, the Pardon was reserved for those who would visit the Chapel on the afternoon of the 1st and all day on the 2nd of August, the 2nd being the feast of Our Lady of the Angels. Over the centuries, the Popes have extended the favor to include every parish Church, beginning at noon of the 1st and ending at midnight of the 2nd of August. (This type of plenary indulgence is known as toties quoties.)
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To obtain the plenary indulgence, a person must visit the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels at Assisi, a Franciscan sanctuary, or one's parish Church, with the intention of honoring Our Lady of the Angels. (At the Chapel in Assisi, the indulgence may be gained on any day throughout the year.)
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One must be free of any attachment to venial and mortal sin, and truly repentant. Therefore, it is necessary to make Sacramental Confession, preferably 8 days before or after the visit. It is also necessary to assist at Mass and receive Holy Communion 8 days before or after the feast, although communicating on the feast is customary. It is also required that a person recite the Creed and pray the Our Father, for the intentions of the Holy Father.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Courage Conference 2010: 4th Report


Editor's note:  The address by Fr. Loya was emailed to me in it's entirety, but it is much too lengthy to post all at once, therefore I will just post pertinent excerpts at this time.  First I want to offer a bit of commentary before posting those sections of the transcript.
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"What profit comes to a man from all his toil?" - Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, First Reading, Ecclesiastes 1-2
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Today's second reading at Mass struck me as especially providential for the last day of the Courage Conference, it speaks to something I have always thought of actually, especially concerning those men and women who leave everything for Christ.  Men and women with same-sex attraction actually 'leave everything' behind, they in effect 'deny their very selves' or the persona they perceived themselves to have been - you will understand this better after reading Fr. Loya.  In many cases they leave friends and lovers, sometimes jobs and careers, and frequently, find themselves marginalized even within the Church.  It is just a fact of life, something one comes to accept with a certain peace and joy knowing they have something to suffer with Christ who "died outside the camp...hence they too share in the insult and contempt he bore, with the rest of the saints in light." 
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More deeply, they have found their true life hidden with Christ in God.  Their ascesis consists in putting to death the parts of their life that are steeped in earthly values and disorders: fornication, uncleaness, passion, evil desires, and that lust which is idolatry.  (I use the original New American translation for Colossians 3, since I think it accords better with the authetic text - even the old RSV translation used 'coveteousness' rather than 'greed' - to my mind, 'lust' is more accurate.) 
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Perhaps more profoundly, the truth, not always immediately perceived or experienced in its fullness, is what the work of Courages actually accomplishes in these people who have embarked upon the narrow way:  Essentially, they have "stopped lying to one another", as St. Paul exhorted the Colossians.  "What you have done is put aside your old self with its past deeds, and put on the new man - one who grows in knowledge as he is formed in the image of his Creator.  THERE IS NO GREEK OR JEW (OR HOMOSEXUAL) HERE... RATHER CHRIST IS EVERYTHING IN ALL OF YOU."  Colossians 3, 1-11  (Read the whole passage.)
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The Report from the Conference.
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terry, i can't even begin to unpack the follow-up workshop of suzanne baars on affirmation. i bought the audio cd that the DSP made for the conferees. looking forward to sharing it the the rest of my chapter back home. 
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this evening we were presented with a byzantine priest named fr. thomas j. loya, STB, MA. he was well-spoken and funny. never thought i'd be listening to a funny byzantine priest. anyway, it was another densely-packed theological presentation. this year's conference has been for me the most philosophically and theologically charged that i've attended.
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in his kindness, fr. loya provided a handout that summarizes nicely his 90-minute talk entitled "same sex attraction and true compassion." i'll leave it to you what you'd like to excerpt for your blog, should you choose to publish for your readership.
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Father Loya:
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"in order to understand what the Church truly has to say about same sex attraction (commonly known as 'homosexuality') and what the Church truly says on related topics such as same sex marriage and also to be truly sensitive and compassionate about these issues it will be necessary first to understand what the Church is and secondly to step into what i call the 'H-Zone' - the Honesty zone. 
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in a certain sense the Church is the 'Press Secretary' for God. the Church simply looks at the entire created order, most especially the human person, and reports on what God has said and done in that order. then the Church advises us to step into the 'H-Zone;' in other words, to be honest to that order. the H-Zone works like this: if we are Honest to the created order, especially to the theology and language of our human body-persons we will be Holy. Holiness is the only ticket to real Happiness and that happiness will last forever in Heaven. Conversely if we 'dis'-honesty we will end up with another 'H' word - Hurt. enough hurt can end us up in the other big 'H' - Hell. 
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so, now let us enter the H-Zone. it will be necessary to stay with me the whole way because you are probably going to hear something very different on this topic of same sex attraction. but in the end i think you will better understand what the Church really has to say and more importantly why the Church says what it does on these issues. you will definitely hear true compassion and sensitivity precisely because our goal is honesty, and true compassion comes by way of that which is honest.
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The Cruelty of Labels.
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we are living in times where words do not mean anything and the venerable meaning of words can be arbitrarily changed. the truth is words do mean things because they are expressions of concepts, principles and truths. in all honesty, the word 'homosexual' does not exist. this word is of recent usage and it is self-nullifying. something cannot be 'sexual' unless it involves both complementary genders. having to do with complementary genders is what the word 'sexual' actually means. therefore to translate 'homosexual' honestly we come up with the self-nullifying, self-contradictory: 'same' (homo)-complementary genders' (involving male and female). if there is no such word as 'homosexual' then there is also no such thing as a 'homosexual.' now stay calm! stay with me. remember, you are wandering in the H-Zone and you are about to hear real compassion. 
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to size someone up, label them and dismiss them (even if they insist on being labeled) is never compassionate sensitive or honest. no, in truth, there are no 'homosexuals.' there are only persons who through no fault of their own have developed what they believe to be a sexual attraction to their same gender. notice how i qualified the words 'believe' and 'sexual.' we will come back to this. 
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the word person has its meaning in God. a person is a being of will and intellect made for his or her own sake and worthy of respect, dignity, and love. notice how the supposedly insensitive, archaic, homophobic Church does not use the word, 'homosexual.' rather the Church refers to persons. it is the supposedly 'sensitive' secular world that insists on labeling and categorizing people in the false presumption of being 'sensitive' and compassionate.
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Proper Notions of Theology of the Body.  [Ed. note:  I've been so disillusioned by the Chris West version, I forgot some people actually get TOB right.] 
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the theology of the body is especially helpful here because the body does not lie. we all have bodies and they are either masculine or feminine. in the Creation story in the Bible we see that gender is part of the very definition of being human. gender is not arbitrary. gender is not a preference. gender is not God's practical joke. gender defines our humaneness. it is through gender that we can enter into a union and communion of persons, that we can love spousally in the way that God loves. this is a love that both unites and is fruitful. the truth of the matter is that in the order of creation love and fruitfulness are inseparable. life and love go together. our human sexuality is an icon of the very interior life of the Holy Trinity.
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but we are also a 'package deal.' the physical makes visible what is invisible. our bodies reveal our persons. God is the perfect artist, designer and creator. this means He creates things that are integrated. the human persons is a composite of body-mind-soul-spirit which is designed to be completely integrated. we cannot say that my body is male but my mind says i should really have been a female and this is the way that God made me. God only makes integrated persons; otherwise God would be a bad artist, creator and designer. God has nothing to do with the creation of that which is disintegrated, disordered, deformed, etc. Disintegration comes about through the effects of original sin and disintegration is not something to be celebrated. this is what is meant by 'dis'-order. it simply means something is not according to the created order of things. the word 'dis'-order is not a comment on the person.  - Fr. Loya, Courage Conference 2010
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It's a lot to take in, so I will post more installments later.  Fr. Loya articulates many things I have thought of and understood intuitively, yet I have not been able to put into writing.  His teaching appears to me to be very sound indeed.
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Many thanks to my 'reporter' from the Conference for the edifying reports.

Courage Conference 2010: 3rd Report

News from the front...
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Saturday July 31, 2010
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hello. fr. knapp's homily was about how st. ignatius of loyola was not a really virtuous guy growing up & in his youth. conceited, hot-tempered, a woman chaser "of the first order" he said, he cared more about the material life. his main goal was to marry a princess < a real one > and settle into a noble life. a cannonball to the leg, however, had him convalescing at the family castle and while he wanted trashy novels to keep him occupied, there weren't any. his sister instead gave him a book on the the life of st. francis and the imitation of Christ.
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these two books changed his life. father knapp compared st. ignatius' view of life to a poker game term. when someone playing poker puts all his wealth, all his chips, into the pot, it is said that he is "all in." st. ignatius lived his life "all in." he gave it everything he had. at first, he led a zesty life pursuing the things of this world. but in seeing the examples of st. francis and st. dominic living for God, combating heresies, he decided to turn his life around and go "all in" for God. and what a manly man he was.
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that's MY chaplain! :) wish you could've heard him preach.
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this afternoon's workshops:
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1. "honor your father and mother" by dr. timothy lock and fr. paul check.
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2. "discovering the roots of chastity within the Holy Mass," by presenter paul francis. 
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3. "same sex attraction: a study in attachment," by deacon barry levy.
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4. "what do we do now? applying understanding for growth and healing," by dr. suzanne baars (this is the one i'll be going to). her summary says, "having looked at SSA through the prism of emotional deprivation disorder (EDD/the unaffirmed state), we have identified two problems: 
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a. the person with SSA has not felt unconditionally accepted/loved, manifested by specific symptoms, and therefore, 
b. the emotional life is underdeveloped.
the main focus of this talk will be to discuss first how to wait patiently for others to affirm, and to learn about what it looks like to self-affirm, which is a futile endeavor. SSA is about sexual identity rather than sexual behavior --- so how do we find our true identity/our true self? who am i? secondly, we will discuss the meaning of living the affirming life, and how it is helpful to developing (and healing) the emotional life."
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later this afternoon, fr. livingston from minnesota is going to meet with EnCourage for spouses and then there's a Group Leader meeting with fr. check < which i'll have to attend, even though i'm wanting to take a break from leading >. - Courage Conference Correspondent