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, August 21, 2010

Popular Catholicism


Trends and crazes.
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Thanks to Diane at Te Deum, who sent me a link to Mark Shea's column in that other NCR, I might have thought I'm the only one who thinks exorcists coming out to discuss their work is a bit unusual.  I know we live in an age when not very many people believe there is a devil, while quite a few who do believe he exists, think he's pretty cool.  Of course, most people who believe in God also believe in the existence of the devil - but regardless of their faith, a vast number of people are absolutely titillated by the idea of exorcists and exorcisms.  I came to know of at least one priest who makes sure everyone knows he is an exorcist right off the bat - perhaps to insure his credibility. 
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[In the Roman Church, the order of exorcist was part of the minor orders conferred upon candidates preparing for Holy Orders.  Nevertheless, it is only with the permission of his bishop that an ordained priest can be authorized to perform an official exorcism.]
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"Exorcist groupies"
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Diane coined the term in an email concerning Shea's column - and it works for me.  As she points out, we've lived through several trends in the past few decades.  I consider the Charismatic renewal to have reached cult status at it's pinnacle, just as apparition chasers arrived on the scene.  Actually the apparition followers predate the Charismatic renewal with Neceedah, Wisconsin.  What was before that however?  Communists!  The McCarthy era captured the imagination of Catholic faithful everywhere and coincided with popular piety. 
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I'm not sure how many people today realize that the apparition enthusiasts, currently influenced by Medjugore have the Charismatics to thank for promoting that devotion.  Medjugorje actually unified both groups - to an extent.  Die hard Baysiders stayed with Garabandal.  All too much for you?  It's too much for me to write about, that's for sure.  But I'm just pointing out the biggest trends and crazes I've observed in popular Catholicism.  Not forgetting, as Diane pointed out, neo-angelism, or the angel craze; remember the "Touched By An Angel" TV show and figurines, and John Travolta as a shirtless angel?  Very hot trend.  But I digress - my purpose here was to share with you some of what Mark Shea had to say about the latest trend:
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In a head spin...
What attitude do we take as faithful Catholics when the headlines periodically swell with tales of credulity and incredulity over such matters as demons and exorcists?
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The first thing to remember is St. Paul’s counsel that we “may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14). Paul has in mind the various fashions and fads that whip people up with excitement about the Latest Thing.
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Sometimes such fads are conscious deceptions by people out for power or a buck. But more often we are faced with people who think they are telling the truth. So, for instance, while Dan Brown was clearly lying when he told us that The Da Vinci Code was based on fact and careful research, it is not at all clear that the millions of suckers who bought the hype were lying when they repeated it around millions of water coolers.
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Much the same goes on in the periodic enthusiasms over other spiritual matters. Your friend Bob reads a book about exorcism by an enthusiastic priest. Bob’s a good guy, you figure, and smart, so it must be worth a look. Because Bob’s your pal, you’re already predisposed to trust and defend the book, even when the priest claims to have performed 30,000 exorcisms in a nine-year period. In case you are counting, that’s nine exorcisms per day for nine years. Later, he ups the count to 50,000 exorcisms. This seems rather a stretch, and your atheist co-worker snorts at the book and at your friend. So you get defensive for Bob and for the priest, as though some sacred part of Holy Church is under threat if you don’t buy that 30,000-to-50,000 exorcisms claim, sight unseen.  [...]
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...it’s okay to listen when your skepticism bells go off...
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In all this, my point is to stress the need for prudence and sound judgment in discussing the demonic. The trouble is: Prudence and sound judgment are in short supply in modern media — which is why I think it inadvisable for Catholics to spend too much time discussing the demonic in the public square. Such discussions tend to generate far more heat than light.
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In this, I think I have the backing of Tradition, which tends to give short shrift to Satan, not parade him in lurid tales. Jesus’ exorcisms more or less consist of advising possessors to buzz off. The Lord’s Prayer shunts Old Scratch to the final line and addresses not him, but God the Father (“Deliver us from the evil one.”). Paul scarcely mentions him at all, and only in passing as a hindrance and as a thing Jesus is about to tread underfoot.
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In short: If you want to drive Satan nuts, keep your eyes on Jesus. - Mark Shea, content editor at CatholicExchange.com

Another consideration.
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Shea's precaution is very wise, but I have to wonder who or what came first, the exorcists or those "exorcist groupies".  The first exorcist blockbuster book and movie "The Exorcist" might have actually launched the market for amateur demonologists.  As most people know, Medjugorje spawned several similar apparition claims elsewhere in the world, as well as near cult obsession with the other world in books such as "Get Us Out of Here" by Maria Sima - consisting of crazy stories revealing just who is in purgatory right now, and so on.  And don't forget the cult film "Emily Rose" and the supposed authentic transcripts of that exorcism which accompanied the film.  So just maybe, at least with the credible exorcists such as Fr. Euteneur, some of the books by credible authors may bring necessary catechesis on the subject.  I don't know.

How I feel today...


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Actually, this song has been going through my head for the past two weeks.

The very, very pious.




Catholic pop-culture.
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In his book, Spiritual Direction and Meditation, Merton mentions the popularity monks of 12th century England enjoyed as spiritual directors, often credited with the ability to read souls.  "It was the same kind of credulity that led people to frequent the recluses and anchoresses immured near village churches, who, though doubtless quite pious, had a universal reputation for being gossips."
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So you see, sometimes people can mistake piety and devotion for authentic spirituality and holiness.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gay divorces on the rise - I told you.


Drama and light-comedy.
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I only gave a mention regarding gay divorce in a post earlier this week.  But the fact is, gay marriage leads to gay divorce - no two ways about it!  :)  The divorce rate will be higher amongst gay couples because of the drama.  Drama is important.  Think of all the Hollywood divorces throughout the 20th century one might emulate - who wouldn't want a Taylor-Burton style break-up?  It's the epitome of style and sophistication...  "Oh yes poodle - I've been married and divorced 20 times - well 19 if you don't count that little trick in Paris!  But I did get a nice settlement out of him!"
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Seriously, look at Rosie, Melissa, Ellen, and Neil Patrick Harris, and the others.  And it's always the kids who suffer - imagine Rosie as a mom, dad, what have you.  And then she divorces and she gets custody of the kids - that's not just drama - it's more like a horror flick.  Then there is the more butch Melissa Etheridge - she has kids all over the place with two different women.  Of course no kids for Ellen, but she is on her second wife - while poor Anne Heche went straight after her ordeal.  But I digress, don't I?  (I know - Neil Patrick isn't divorced yet - but they are adopting - and after that they will divorce.)
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From the Telegraph.co.uk:
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Honeymoon over for many same-sex couples as 'divorces' double!
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The honeymoon appears to be over for many of Britain’s same-sex couples as official figures show the number of civil partnerships being dissolved has doubled over the past year.  Some of them getting pretty nasty, fights over custody of the dogs and cats discounted, vicious accusations of infidelity are on the rise as well.  Splitting up a household is not easy - who gets the townhouse?  Who gets the Empire Chaise?  The Hockney lithos?   
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In addition, fewer homosexuals are now forming the legal unions than at any point since their introduction five years ago...  Civil ceremonies are no longer enough - they want church weddings - like Diana's funeral - Elton John to play, and so on.
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Peter Tatchell, the leading campaigner for homosexual equality, said: “If same-sex marriage was legalised, many more lesbian and gay couples would opt for it rather than civil partnerships.  Quite a number of my gay friends want legal recognition but they haven’t opted for a civil partnership – they are holding out for same-sex marriage.  That way, when it comes time to switch careers, house, and partners - legal divorce is much more fashionable - think Wallis Simpson - tres chic!" - Telegraph 

How very dare you!
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I'm against it.

On A Lighter Note: The Catholic Fascist - Pushing the Right Buttons.

The view outside my window.



Marketing to the Members of the Argument of the Month Club.

Thanks to a certain online shopping experience we were able to purchase proper loincloths. Zzzzing!
(Available through Cafepress.)
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Satirical group blogs can manage to stay fresh for only so long - so enjoy this one while it lasts - so far it is the funniest I've ever seen.
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Thanks to Enbrethiliel for the birdwatcher link.
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How very dare you!

Prayers for the Holy Father.


I received the most disturbing email last evening informing me of a couple of blog posts suggesting the Holy Father is a homosexual and that that his relationship with Monsignor Ganswein is inordinate.  I knew this type of vindictive defamation would surface eventually.  Gay people have a way of attributing their particular foibles and follies onto personages they are either profoundly attracted to, or whom they consider their nemesis.  I have prayed every day for the person of the Pope as well as the papal secretary Monsignor Ganswein, and I will continue to do so. 
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These accusations are beneath contempt and are without parallel, the unjust accusations against Pope Paul VI notwithstanding.  This type of libel is reminiscent of the wicked men of Sodom who demanded that the two angels staying with Lot be delivered into their hands:  "Bring them out to us that we may have our way with them!" [Genesis 19:5]  I refuse to link to the sources of these revolting calumnies, or to permit comments on the post.  (FYI:  The blog posts deal with Colm Tóibín's review of Angelo Quattrocchi's book The Pope Is Not Gay.) 

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+ May the Lord rebuke them, we humbly pray.
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+ Arise O Lord and let your enemies be scattered, and may those that hate you flee from before your Holy Face.
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+ Prayer for Pope Benedict XVI
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Lord, source of eternal life and truth, give to Your shepherd, the Pope, a spirit of courage and right judgement, a spirit of knowledge and love.
By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care may he, as successor to the apostle Peter and vicar of Christ, build Your church into a sacrament of unity, love, and peace for all the world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fear of chastisement: Does it work? Not so much.


"He who does not acquire the love of God will scarcely persevere in the grace of God, for it is very difficult to renounce sin merely through fear of chastisement." - St. Alphonsus Liguori
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As you know, there are warnings on cigarette packages about the health risks smokers face from smoking.  Back when I was a smoker - I ignored the labels and television ads and kept smoking.  It wasn't because I thought "it won't happen to me" that I was unfazed by the warnings - I just didn't care, I loved smoking cigarettes.  I only quit because one year I got so sick, I couldn't smoke if I wanted to - once I passed the first week without a cigarette, I was free - if I wanted to be.  It is all in the will, with a lot of help from God. 
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I mention this because people often use the argument that this or that vice carries a lot of health risks or shortens one's life, hoping to scare people out of doing whatever they are doing.  New studies released by the CDC report that gay men die a decade or so earlier than straight men.  I doubt that many gay men are worried, or that they will "hate" their condition because it might lead to an early death.
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To dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell.
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Such sociological health warnings seem to me to have a spiritual correspondence:  Warnings of chastisement for sin.  Of course the fear of damnation is a healthy and necessary fear - which is why it is part of the Act of Contrition.  Nevertheless, as St. Alphonsus states, "it is very difficult to renounce sin merely through fear of chastisement."  For example; at one point in my spiritual life I struggled so violently with sin I was not only exhausted, but I was suffering to the point I was convinced hell could not be any worse.  I'm not exaggerating.  If it had not been for divine grace, I don't know what I would have done.  By some miracle I understood that my only hope was the Divine Mercy and devotion to the Love of God.  Once in confession, after a particularly humiliating fall, while making my act of contrition I emphasized how full of sorrow I was because I had offended God "who is deserving of all my love".  The newly ordained priest caught me and said, "You neglected the part about detesting sin and dreading the "loss of Heaven and the pains of hell".  He wanted the formula.
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Naturally I had not neglected that part of the act of contrition deliberately.  So, full of grief I tried to explain to the priest that I mentioned at the end of my confession how much I detested these sins;  and I went on to say that since my life had been such a living hell already, due to my intense struggle with these sins, which seemed almost addictive, the fear of chastisement alone wasn't able to deter me from repeated sin.  And although I believe hell is the just punishment for grave sin, and that I did not want to spend eternity there, my deepest anguish and sorrow was the awareness I had so repeatedly offended God who is Love.  The young priest then understood and accepted my act of contrition.
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That said, a hatred for sin and a healthy fear of damnation remains a necessary part of contrition - in fact it forms the basis for imperfect contrition.  It's a matter of the will however.  Sometimes we don't 'feel' it - but we can sincerely will it - which also explains why using the traditional  act of contrition, which seems to be the rule these days, is good.
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Just some thoughts.  I hope it is not too much information. 
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Oh - so my point is, trying to scare people into doing good usually doesn't work that well.
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Art:  Marc Chagall

Spiritual Direction and Meditation.

The Sacrament of Penance seems to me to be a most appropriate place to discuss matters of conscience.
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Spiritual Direction and Meditation is the title of a Thomas Merton classic, which at one time was required reading for a mystical theology class at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.  The class was taught by a very holy priest.  (For those concerned about orthodoxy, the manuscript received an Imprimatur in 1959.)
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I referenced Merton's little book yesterday, and realized it had been the source for my claim that most people obtain sufficient spiritual direction from homilies and regular confession, an idea other readers disagreed with me on in another post.  I still maintain that opinion however, especially as it concerns ordinary souls.  Lately there has been discussion on other blogs implying the sacrament of penance is not the place for spiritual direction.  That strikes me as very odd since the priest may be asked for advice on how to overcome this or that sin, or indeed ask if this or that is really a sin - within the context of confessing one's sin.  Therefore a minimum of advice or direction doesn't seem too much to ask for in the confessional. 
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That said, it seems to me the average daily Mass-goer, who is privy to daily homilies and regular confession receives spiritual direction in and through these ordinary means.  Of course members of secular orders and institutes are in the perfect position to receive additional spiritual direction from the fraternity's spiritual director as well as their community.
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Is spiritual direction always necessary?
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"Strictly speaking spiritual direction is not necessary for the ordinary Christian.  But wherever there is a special mission or vocation a certain minimum of direction is implied by the very nature of the vocation itself.
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First, let us briefly consider the place of direction in the life of the ordinary layman.  Strictly speaking, the ordinary contacts of the faithful with their pastor and confessor are sufficient to take care of their needs.  This implies they are known to their pastor and have a regular confessor.  The reason for this is that confession itself implies a certain minimum of spiritual direction.  The confessor is bound to instruct and direct the penitent at least to the extent it is necessary for a fruitful reception of the sacrament of penance.  Where one is sinning gravely, advice and special instruction are certainly necessary if the penitent is to take effective steps to avoid sin." - Thomas Merton, Spiritual Direction And Meditation
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(Disclaimer:  I'm not talking about all the mystics who read me - I'm keenly aware that you people really do need extended, prolonged spiritual direction, on how to get your locutions published, how to get in to see the Pope, and stuff like that.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Target Corporation Getting A Bad Rap.

The gay brouhaha over Target Corporation looking out for its business interests and backing a pro-business GOP political candidate, Tom Emmer for Governor of Minnesota, because said gubernatorial candidate is anti-gay marriage is a case of gays biting the hand that feeds them.  Gay activists are taking advantage of Target's good will.  Target is one of the premier pro-gay companies in the United States, offering same-sex benefits to employees for at least two decades, in addition to being an equal opportunity employer.  Therefore it's not much of a leap to conclude these folks are biting the hand that feeds and employs them.
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Target is good for Minnesota - it is a good corporation - it's not the evil empire a lot of people like to make it out to be.  Not many years ago the company abruptly stopped making contributions to Planned Parenthood, acquiescing to the demands of conservative pro-life customers boycotting the company.  (Yes, it took a boycott.)  It is my understanding that Target does not dispense birth control through it's pharmacy either - unless things have changed since 2005.  I found an interesting 2005 complaint by Planned Parenthood concerning that issue:
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WASHINGTON, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) today expressed outrage at the Target Corporation for misrepresenting Planned Parenthood and attempting to cover up a misguided corporate policy that denies women access to contraception. PPFA has urged Target to implement a policy that respects the rights of its customers by ensuring that Target pharmacies fill prescriptions in-store, without discrimination or delay. Following weeks of discussion, Target announced it was unwilling to implement a customer-friendly policy and would continue to embrace a policy that denies women timely access to basic health care. - PPFA
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To my knowledge, Target hasn't given in to Planned Parenthood.
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Target usually gets a bad rap, but the company is a major contributor to local charities, the arts, education, and so on.  In addition, it is a major employer here in Minnesota and elsewhere throughout the country.  They made a business decision - that's it.
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Time will tell if the Corporation is strong-armed into capitulating to the gay lobby...  They have in the past.

Poor people...


To be near God is my happiness.

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Poor people:  Pronounced 'pour' or 'pore papel' -  if you happen to be part of that elite bubble.
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Anyway...
"For them there are no pains;
their bodies are sound and sleek.
they have no share in men's sorrows;
they are not stricken like others.
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They wear their pride like a necklace,
they clothe themselves with violence.
their hearts overflow with malice,
their minds seethe with plots.
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They scoff; they speak with malice;
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Then I said: 'If I should speak like that,
I should betray the race of your sons.'
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To be near God is my happiness.
I have made the Lord God my refuge. - Ps. 73

Ascribing titular appellations to public figures - prematurely.


Over and over and over...
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You know, like Pope John Paul the Great... and now, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope of Christian Unity.
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Although I suppose coining titles and slogans can be useful for the production of mugs and t-shirts and other kitsch for fundraising.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Reminds me of St. John Bosco...


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Story here:  Hungarian Priest on Skateboard
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H/T Spirit Daily

Same Sex Marriage: "When they do that, it's the end." Fr. Paul Marx


The end of Christian civilization, that is.
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It is amazing what legalized artificial contraception has led to.  Teens who use artificial contraception today probably have no clue that it was once illegal in the United States, along with abortion and infanticide of course.  Likewise homosexual acts were illegal and homosexuality was recognized as a disorder not only by Christianity, but by psychologists and medical doctors alike.  In our day all of these vices have become legal and acceptable behavior and practice.  None of this could have happened however without what we now recognize as the contraceptive mentality, which changed - revolutionized - society's attitudes regarding sex, marriage and divorce. The marital act got separated from marriage as liberal values took hold, sexual relations were neutralized or 'neutered', as it were, in proportion to their becoming non-reproductive and recreational.  It was only a matter of time that tolerance opened the way to acceptance, thus leading to the ultimate imitation of life foisted upon us today, same-sex marriage.
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From Fr. Thomas Euteneur of Human Life International:
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Fr. Marx, in a prophetic sense, saw rightly that a society cannot survive the perverse manipulation of the very structure of reality that God Himself has revealed to us, one very fundamental element of which is the institution of marriage. When we allow that to be changed-"It's the end."
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So why, you ask, is gay marriage wrong? Let me count the ways.

  • First and foremost is because it violates the revealed Will of God as seen in Scripture. There are few things as clear in God's revelation as the sacred institution of marriage between a man and a woman. From Genesis 1 (the marriage of Adam and Eve) to Revelation 21 (the marriage of Christ the Lamb with His Bride the Church) God has had only one model of marriage, and it is not gay marriage. Even polygamy and divorce was done away with in the Christian Church, as Our Lord reminded all of the essence of marriage as it was "in the beginning." This Christian view of marriage became the norm of Western society and its most basic societal unit, undoubtedly allowing the West to flourish.

  • A close second to this is that gay marriage distorts the very concept of parenting as well as marriage. Even if you overlook the fact that gay marriage is by definition sterile, every child of a gay marriage has to be adopted or artificially inseminated, and that in itself is a violation of the whole concept of family.

  • Third but by no means the last reason, all of society suffers because of the public endorsement of an intrinsically disordered lifestyle and practice. Yes, "disordered" is what our Church calls both the homosexual orientation and lifestyle, and gay marriage simply ratifies that disorder on a social level.
We must fight against it with our very lives.

While we respect all people as they are, we don't have to respect such a wholesale assault on everything that is sacred to us and good for our society; no, in fact, we must fight against it with our very lives. The question is not whether or not we can win the battle; the question is whether we will join it. Will we accept the challenge to defend the sacred or not? We are called to be faithful and obedient to the Plan of God for our world, and within that, God will bring forth the victory. There is no doubt that, if it is not already there, gay marriage will be coming to your state soon. If we don't fight it, our souls, our families and basically, our very civilization, will find themselves at "the end" of the line in very short order. - Fr. Thomas Euteneur

"Satire"

Definition:

sat·ire   /ˈsætaɪər/
–noun


1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.

2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.

3. a literary genre comprising such compositions.
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Images of satire:
 





Monday, August 16, 2010

Obama: High Functioning Borderline?


I don't know, but something is wrong with this President.
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Some characteristics of Borderline Disorder:

Borderlines lose their love for the parent of the opposite sex when the idealization of that parent breaks down. As a child, the BP experiences the opposite-sex parent as being narcissistic, cruel, and abusive. The child's love turns to hate and distrust. The opposite-sex parent falls from the idealized pedestal and crumbles in the BP's eyes and heart. In parental relationships the BP feels as though he or she has never really possessed mother. Mother is experienced as the one who abandons and is inaccessible as a real person.

Many borderlines have a perfectly working, pleasant, alluring, seductive, competent, superman/woman facade. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate which self is being presented by the borderline - the false front, the authentic self, or the impaired inner child. In many interactions the BP is not emotionally present. Relating is from only pieces or parts of the self.

It is not uncommon for borderlines and narcissists to turn to drugs, alcohol, and sex in order to deny and repress emotional pain. These activities loosen the ego's control on impulses and feelings that otherwise would be too painful to assert. As such, the pleasure principle overrides the reality function of the ego.

Borderlines have a strong need to control. For them the loss of control signals the onset of some type of emotional or interpersonal breakdown. When borderlines feel the world threatening to cave in, they become involved in external distractions that symbolically provide support, affiliation, and the promise of salvation. - Borderline Personality Disorder
Of course I'm no psychologist and I'm far from qualified to speak about a diagnosis, but I'm convinced something is very wrong with this President, not to mention the wife.  One example of how nuts the guy is comes from Mark Knoller of CBS News (finally mainstream media is acknowledging Obama's shortcomings):
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How many Top Priority issues does Obama have?

After the Senate passed that $600 million Border Security Bill yesterday, President Obama issued a statement asserting that securing the southwest border has been "a top priority" since he took office.  But if you think Mr. Obama can have but a single "top priority," you'd be wrong. He's got a load of them.
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In an Address to the Nation two months ago, Mr. Obama declared "our top priority is to recover and rebuild from a recession that has touched the lives of nearly every American." - Read the list of Obama's "Top Priorities" here:  Mark Knoller
And then! And then!
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Dems may use food stamp money to pay for Michelle Obama's nutrition initiative...

The House will soon consider an $8 billion child nutrition bill that’s at the center of the first lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative. Before leaving for the summer recess, the Senate passed a smaller version of the legislation that is paid for by trimming the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps. - Finish reading here:  Let them eat organic.
These people are clueless as to what they are like or how the country and the world perceives them.  The fictional attributes of a completely apathetic Marie Antoinette surely are appropriate for Shelly - and in her case, factual.

Bl. Isidore Bakanja

The young Congolese martyr whose feast day is August 15, the Feast of the Assumption...  killed for wearing a scapular.
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Blessed Isidore was born in 1887 at northeast Republic of the Congo, and at a young age was hired as a domestic boy. Many of the Belgian plantation owners and their agents were avowed atheists, who hated the missionaries because of the latter's defence of the natives' rights and their denouncing of injustices perpetrated against them. "Mon pere" was a pejorative name given to priests and to all that had to do with religion. Isidore soon experienced the hatred of the agents for Catholicism. He asked for leave to return home; permission was refused. He was told to stop teaching his fellow workers how to pray: "You'll have the whole village praying and no one will want to work", one agent shouted at him. Isidore was told to discard his scapular. When he did not, he was twice flogged.
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The second time, the agent flew into one of his rages. He jumped at Isidore, tore the scapular from around his neck and threw him to the ground. He had two servant boys hold Isidore by his hands and feet and a third domestic flogged him. The whip was made of elephant hide with nails protruding at the end. The writhing Isidore asked for mercy. "My God, I'm dying", he muttered. But the colonizer kept kicking Isidore in the neck and head, and ordered his domestic to scourge him harder still. After 100, those assisting lost count of the number of blows. Isidore's back was one open wound; some of his bones were exposed. After scourging he was thrown, legs chained, into a hut for processing rubber. He could not even move to relieve himself.
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Since an inspector was due, Isidore was banished to another village. But because he could not walk, he fell by the wayside and hid in the forest. He dragged himself before the inspector, who was horrified at the sight of this modern Job. The inspector himself left a written account of his impression: "I saw a man come from the forest with his back torn apart by deep, festering, malodorous wounds, covered with filth, assaulted by flies. He leaned on two sticks in order to get near me -he wasn't walking; he was dragging himself". The agent appeared on the scene and tried to kill "that animal of mon pere", but the inspector even physically prevented him. He took Isidore to his own settlement, hoping to help him heal. But Isidore felt death in his bones. He told someone who had pity on him: "if you see my mother, or if you go to the judge, or if you meet the priest, tell them that I am dying because I am a Christian".
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Two missionaries spent several days with him. He devoutly received the last sacraments. He told them the reason for his beating: "The white man did not like Christians.... He did not want me to wear the scapular.... He yelled at me when I said my prayers". The missionaries urged Isidore to forgive the agent; he assured them that he had already done so and that he nursed no hatred for him. This "animal of mon pere", this convert of two-and-a-half years proved that he knew what it meant to follow Jesus - even to the point of being flogged like him, even to the point of carrying the cross, even to the point of dying. The missionaries urged Isidore to pray for the agent. "Certainly I shall pray for him. When I am in heaven, I shall pray for him very much". His agony - more painful than the actual flogging - lasted six months. He died on either 8 or 15 August 1909, rosary in hand and the scapular of Our Lady of Mt Carmel around his neck. - EWTN
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Blessed Isidore, pray for us that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I'm against it!



Stuff I'm against.

  • The mosque in the Bowery - or the financial district of Lower-town Manhattan.  Only a post Christian, Socialist-led United States of American could be so blind as to believe a mosque at the site of the World Trade Center 9/11 attack is anything less than a monument to the victory of Islam over The West.  Islam is not a religion of peace - except for its members of course.  Try to leave Islam and become Christian - off with your head.  Fall in love and have sex with an infidel or outside marriage, the punishment goes from hanging to stoning and off with the head.  So yeah - it's a religion of peace for those who abide strictly by the rules.  BTW - Ray Stella has a great comment on a Fr. Z post tracing the history of the religion of peace...  

  • Gay marriage.  Same-sex couples can't be married.  I knew that as a kid when a molester tried to kiss me and I said:  "Icky!  Boys don't kiss!"  So you see, even an uneducated, simple little kid knows the difference.  No matter what kind of compromises Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck perform while sucking up to the gay lobbyists - it ain't natural.  But gays have a lot of money, and the celebrities, politicians, pundits and evangelicals alike love it.  (FYI - I have never ever been a follower of the likes of Limbaugh, Beck, and Coulter or Haggard.)

  • Sr. Jeannine Gramick and old pseudo-nuns like her.  They are the modern church-ladies - I'd show a photo but the hair and the outfits are hideous, and I know how sensitive my readers are to appropriate church-apparel.  You'd think someone being so pro-gay would have better taste or at least have one of her followers get her a better hair-do, glasses, and pant-suit.  (I know, Gertrude Stein wasn't much of a looker either, neither is Joan Boss-Hog sChiester.)  Anyway, Gramick makes the outrageous claim that 50% of priests are homosexual.  How does she know?  People like her inflate statistics all of the time - think Kinsey Report.  Oh!  Oh!  And just because a guy likes fine food and wine, has more taste than a dyke-nun, loves theater and opera, and Project Runway does not mean he is gay or homosexual or even same-sex attracted.  (If they like cigars you know damn well they are straight!) 

  • LCWR.  I'm against it.  They ought to be suppressed, prohibited, restrained, banned, blocked, dispensed, dispelled and dispersed.  (ala Jackie Chiles)
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Urgent Update:  Enbrethiliel suggested this could be a meme.  Great idea.  So I will tag some of my favorite feisty bloggers - and people I know still read me and who may actually cooperate...  Don't be offended if you are not on the list - I'm against cry babies - but definitely pro-life.
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Enbrethiliel at Shredded Cheddar On Rye
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Larry at Acts out of the Apostasy - of course!
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And my new hero thanks to Maria:  Carol at Throw the Bums Out
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Belinda at Blogging For Sanity
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Adrienne at Hair's the Place Dance Studio
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Angela at Where Angels Blog and Drink
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Cathy at Call Me A Recovering Dissident Catholic But I'm Against Just About Everything I Don't Like
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Adoro at Adoro.
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Joe at Defend Alaska From Sarah Palin
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Kat at Crescat Online Dating Service
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Fr. John Mary at the Holy House
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Tom Hangs in the Casino in Vegas.
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Jeron at Jeronimo.
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Nan at Tucket
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Monsignor Ganswein at the Vatican.
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Fr. Erik at Orthometer
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Cardinal Sean
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Leo at Rufus and Chaka Kahn
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And anyone else I may have missed - keep in mind that a few in my blogroll seem to be against everything, so that may also account for why they weren't tagged.

Old Jesuits.

Pardon and peace.
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I love Jesuits - especially old Jesuits.  They can be so rough and tough and gruff - but I find they are full of charity.  I have never been disappointed by a Jesuit.  Okay, that's a lie.  But generally I find them to be the best theologians and spiritual directors of all.  I made my confession to a Jesuit yesterday afternoon.  What a blessing.  Anyway - I can't tell you about it.
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Except for this.  Naturally the Internet came up in the context of my confession, and the Father, replying to a matter I brought up, said something like,  Yeah, well, there are a lot of morons online too - don't take your spiritual direction from them.
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Good advice.

Maria Assunta

Happy Feast Day.