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, March 05, 2011

The wound of malice.



Egoism and inordinate self-love.
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I think we always need to return to that interior 'cell of self-knowledge' as we approach Lent, and to examine ourselves more closely, because frequently we are so distracted by everyday life, television, entertainment, the Internet in all of its manifestations, that our understanding of what we are can be obscured.  Unfortunately this obscurity can be attributed to our lack of a sense of sin, and oftentimes our acceptance or tolerance of habitual sin - venial or mortal - to such an extent that we no longer understand ourselves, much less understand the meaning and purpose of life.  I'm spot reading Garrigou-Lagrange these days - not a good way to study, but helpful in making a good examination of conscience before Lent.  I want to share this:
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The principal defect of the will:  Self-love.
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"Since original sin, we are born without sanctifying grace and charity, with our wills turned away from God, the supernatural last end, and weak for the accomplishment of our duties even in the natural order.(3)

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Without falling into the exaggeration of the first Protestants and the Jansenists, we must say that we are born with a will inclined to egoism, to inordinate self-love. This is called the wound of malice; (4) it often manifests itself by a gross egoism, against which one should guard, an egoism that mingles in all man's acts. It follows that the will, which has become weak by reason of its lack of docility to God, no longer has absolute power over the sensible faculties, but only a sort of moral power or persuasion to lead them to subject themselves.(5) Doubtless after baptism, which regenerated us by giving us sanctifying grace and charity, this wound, like the others, is in the process of healing; but it also reopens by reason of our personal sins.
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The principal defect of the will is the lack of rectitude, called self-love or inordinate love of self, which forgets the love due to God and that which we should have for our neighbor. Self-love or egoism is manifestly the source of all sins.(6) From it are born "the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life." (7) The sensible appetites, which are no longer firmly led, incline man to thoughtlessness, feverish eagerness, fruitless agitation, selfish search for all that pleases, flight from all that is painful, nonchalance, discouragement, in which he sees that his will has lost its strength, and to all sorts of bad examples. (8)
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It is clear that self-will, which is defined as that which is not conformed to the will of God, is the source of every sin. Self-will is extremely dangerous because it can corrupt everything; even what is best in one may become evil when self-will enters in, for it takes itself as its end, instead of subordinating itself to God. If the Lord perceives this will in a fast or a sacrifice, He rejects them because He sees therein a divine work accomplished through pride in order to gain approbation. Now, self-will is born of self-love or egoism; it is strong self-love that has become imperious." - THE PRINCIPAL DEFECT OF THE WILL: SELF-LOVE (Three Ages of the Interior Life, PART 2 - The Purification of the Soul in Beginners)

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We should pray as follows: "My God, make me know the obstacles which I more or less consciously place to the working of grace in my soul. Show these obstacles to me at the moment when I am about to place them. Give me the strength to remove them, and, if I am negligent in doing so, do Thou deign to remove them, though I should suffer greatly. I wish only Thee, Lord, who alone art necessary. Grant that my life here on earth may be like eternal life begun." - Garrigou-Lagrange
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Art:  The Soul in Mortal Sin - T. Nelson

Right now! Right this very minute!


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Cathy is having a brunch.  Larry was NOT invited.  I was, but I said no.  I told her, "If Larry's not invited, then I'm not going either."  Besides - weekend or not - I never drink before cocktail hour at 5 PM sharp.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Blaming the devil.




Born this way. -Gaga
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Years ago I was convinced I was either being physically assaulted by the devil, or at least helplessly addicted to a particular sin.  I eventually found a wonderful spiritual director who reminded me that we were each endowed with free will, and as baptized Christians we were placed in the state of grace.  Grace can be lost by sin, yet restored by the sacrament of penance.  With the help of the sacraments, prayer and mortification (penance) nothing is impossible for God, and the soul can realize a certain liberty of spirit - or the freedom of the sons of God.  Although it can take many years of struggle, encountering setbacks, falling and rising; sustained by perseverance in prayer and penance and faithful use of the sacraments; the soul finds solace in Christ.
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While it is true some of us can become physically addicted to substance abuse and possibly sins of the flesh, these issues can be treated, frequently with the help of professionals.  It is also true that ones moral responsibility and culpability is often times compromised due to the addiction and or the severity of temptation.  All of this should be matter for the penitent and the confessor to work out, therefore I'm not delving into all the nuances involved in such discernment.
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My point is to make clear that despite all of the various excuses human nature poses in defense of bad behavior - media influences, drugs, alcohol, addiction to porn and sex, or the very Catholic 'the devil made me do it' - none of these excuses completely negate one's personal freedom and responsibility.  We are responsible for our sins, no matter how much we or others deny it or make excuses for it, or even blame the devil for it.  I think we delude ourselves into excusing bad behavior with the excuse someone or something made us do it.
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I think we Catholics need to relearn the importance of the practice of the virtues in the spiritual life, and come to an understanding of the passions.  We need to appreciate the role concupiscence and fallen human nature  plays in causing our down falls.  Of course, while we are very much assaulted on all sides by the world, the flesh and the devil, it seems to me that our loving the world and its pleasures - and ourselves inordinately - plays a larger role than we imagine in our moral failures.  It seems to me that our lack of penance and mortification have left the door wide open to the world and the flesh - even before the devil gets onto the front walk.
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I think we need to stop making excuses all of the time, and always placing all the blame on the devil - or even claiming we were born this way...
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I might be wrong however. 

"Don’t get trapped by partisan politics." - Archbishop Chaput



Feb. 25, 2011 (Fargo, ND) - Archbishop Chaput addressed laypeople of the Diocese of Fargo, with a presentation titled “Building a Culture of Life.” Archbishop offers a few “dos” and “don’ts” for building a culture of life, based on what he has seen in the American prolife experience throughout the past 38 years.

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...[T]he fast pace of party politics, and the illusion that politics rules the “commanding heights” of our society and can satisfy our Christian social obligations, makes political life very addictive. And this illusion gets dangerous when defending the unborn child is too closely identified with any particular political leader or, even worse, one specific party. The more prolifers tie themselves to a single political party, the less they can speak to society at large. Here in the United States, Catholics -- both on the left and the right -- have too often made the mistake of becoming cheerleaders for a specific candidate. - Archbishop Chaput, Building a Culture of Life
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"Here in the United States, Catholics -- both on the left and the right -- have too often made the mistake of becoming cheerleaders for a specific candidate."  Ain't that the truth. 

Jean-Baptiste Henri-Dominique Lacordaire


"Henri Lacordaire 1802-61 at Sorreze"



Isn't this a cool portrait?
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H/T Jamie

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Bishop of Rochester says gay seminarians are just fine with him...


Bishop Matthew Clark of Rochester:
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There was, as you know, a lot of attention given to that by the Holy See over the years, and one of their statements left the impression that under no circumstances could a person of gay orientation be ordained a priest. And that's not so.
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If a person's sense of himself as a gay individual inevitably leads him to campaign against the Church's formal teachings or live a lifestyle that is upsetting to the community or scandalous, such a person would not be an apt candidate for the priesthood. But if a person understands that and lives a lifestyle that is compatible with what we ask of all of our priests, then I'm happy to receive them.
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And then, and then....
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“The fundamental concern of formation for a life of celibate chastity is for sexual maturity, not sexual orientation,” he said at the time. “Good seminary formation needs to provide an environment in which both heterosexual and homosexual candidates can grow to commit themselves wholeheartedly, even joyfully, to chaste and faithful celibacy.” - Source
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It's always worked out so well in the past.
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Editor's Note:  I removed the video of the drunk priest.  My apologies - it was a huge error in judgement.  I actually thought it was funny - which will most likely scandalize my readers even more.  It wasn't my intention to make fun of the priest but rather to use it as a commentary on Bishop Clark's defense of ordaining gay men.  I made a mistake in doing so, my sincere apologies.
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Homosexuals have always been part of the clergy.  According to some, the post Vatican II Church has been over-run with them.  Perhaps there are more today due to sexual liberalism, although it is more likely because homosexuality has become acceptable.  But homosexual priests were around in the 'old' Church as well.  One priest noted recently that it is the homosexuals who make fun of traditional liturgies and vestments, which struck me as the 'pot calling the kettle black' - because the trads have their share of gay priests too - just like the Byzantines and High Church Anglicans (some of whom even get married to women).  So who is zooming who?
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Anyone who knows gay priests and bishops, abbots and rectors, most likely already know all of this:  Bishop Clark's attitude/policy has been pretty much SOP in the Catholic Church stateside.  There are always a few exceptions of course - but apparently relatively few.  Even some very trad-loving Archbishops silently agree with Clark and continue to give a free pass to ssa individuals to Holy Orders - albeit on a case by case basis.
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H/T Pewsitters

Fame and celebrity.




The worthless are prized highly by the sons of men. - Psalm 12: 9
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For the wicked man boasts of his heart's desires;

the covetous blasphemes and spurns the Lord.
In his pride the wicked says: "He will not punish.
There is no God." Such are his thoughts. - Psalm 10: 3-4
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Help, O Lord, for good men have vanished;
truth has gone from the sons of men.
Falsehood they speak one to another,
with lying lips, with a false heart. - Psalm 12:2-3
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No truth can be found in their mouths,

their heart is all mischief,
their throat a wide-open grave,
all honey their speech. - Psalm 5: 10
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They wear their pride like a necklace,
they clothe themselves with violence...
They scoff; they speak with malice...
So the people turn to follow them
and drink in all of their words.
Look at them, such are the wicked,
but untroubled, they grow in wealth. - Psalm 72: 6-12
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God looks down from heaven
on the sons of men
to see if any are wise,
if any seek God.
All have left the right path;
depraved every one.
There is not a good man left,
no, not even one. - Psalm 52: 3-4
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The worthless are prized highly by the sons of men. - Psalm 12: 9
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'Lord have mercy on me,
heal my soul for I have sinned against you.' - Psalm 40: 5


Tired of the incessant "NEW" translations?



The USCCB and the New American Bible.
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The newer translations very often confuse readers and diminish traditional understanding of Biblical texts.  Case in point, the USCCB 2011 translation:
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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said its 2011 translation of the Bible will omit the word "booty" from a verse and replace "virgin" with "young woman."
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The bishops group, based in Washington, said the latest edition of the New American Bible, due out March 9, will be more accurate and more accessible than previous versions, 
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Among the changes in the new version, which was compiled by a team of 50 scholars and translators assisted by language experts, theologians and bishops, is the replacing of the word "virgin" in Isaiah 7:14 with "the young woman," explaining the original Hebrew word, almah, may or may not refer to a virgin.
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"We needed a new translation because English is a living language," said Richard Sklba, the retired auxiliary bishop of Milwaukee and part of the New American Bible's review and editing team. - Source 
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I think it is erroneous and ridiculous to replace the word 'virgin' with 'young woman' - especially in our day when virginity is so often scorned.  I wonder what else they skewed the meaning of.  I'll bet Sklba isn't all that happy with the new Roman Missal translation either.  Yet he praises the Anglican Book of Common Prayer for the elegance of  it's 500 year old English...  Hmmmmmmmmmmm.  500 year old English - shouldn't it be revised?
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I wonder if some church-people are not perhaps enriching themselves with these periodical revisions and new translations?
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H/T Pewsitters

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A good Catholic man.



Maj. Gen. Raymond Charles Bonnabeau Jr., M.D., Ph.D.
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Physician and Soldier Husband, father, grandfather, General, Franciscan, explorer, actor, photographer, disc jockey, friend. Raymond passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on February 26. Survived by wife, Mary; sons, Christopher (Carey) & Raymond (Rhonda); daughters, Mary (Dan) & Margret; grandchildren, Drew, Rees, Ella, Louie, Nora, Nick and beloved cat, Jill. Preceded in death by parents, Ella and Raymond Bonnabeau, Sr. He earned a BS from Fordham University (NYC), MD from the State University of New York, and Ph.D. in Surgery from the University of Minnesota,becoming a clinical professor ofsurgery, participating in pioneering work in heart surgery with Dr. C. Walton Lillehei. Alumnus of the Army War College and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He served in the U. S. Army: in Vietnam as chief of surgery at the 95th EvacuationHospital (China Beach); commander of the 73rd Combat Support Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; the 5501stArmy Hospital in Fort Snelling, MN; the 30th Hospital Center in Chicago; and Deputy Surgeon General of the Army for Mobilization and Reserve Affairs, retiring in 1994 as a Major General. He went to the Antarctic in 1960 as physician for the University of Minnesota Geological Expedition which discovered the Jones Mountain Range, after which a mountain was named for him: Bonnabeau Dome. Until his death he was a physician at the Minneapolis VA Hospital and loved the veterans, saying it was a privilege to serve them. He was a 3rd Order Franciscan and honored and humbled to be a Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. He loved the Cathedral of Saint Paul, where he served the Saturday vigil Mass. His friends will miss Saturday evenings with him at Moscow on the Hill.Visitation Thursday 4-8 PM at O'Halloran and Murphy Funeral Home, 575 S. Snelling Ave. St. Paul. Vigil service 6:30 PM. Mass of Christian Burial 10 AM Friday at the Cathedral of Saint Paul preceded by 9 AM reviewal. Memorials may be sent to the Mary M. and Raymond C. Bonnabeau Jr. Endowed Scholarship at Fordham University, 888 Seventh Avenue, New York, New York, 10019, or to donor's choice. 651-698-0796. - Source
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Dr. Bonnabeau was a very humble and kind man, an exemplary Catholic.  May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen
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Thanks Nan for letting me know.




Fr. Z at his best.

Check out his review of the Pope's new book, Jesus of Nazareth, Vol II.  There had been a publisher's embargo on using the text - Father received a preview copy - but today the embargo was lifted for specific chapters.  The Holy Father's text and Father's review is excellent.  Click here:  Review: Some thoughts about the Pope's new book - part 1

March madness...



Oddly enough my computer is working just fine today.  Go figure.
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And Charlie Sheen.  Go figure.
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I watched the interview last night.  I have no idea how he passed all the drug tests they say he took, but he sure looked stoned to me.  It must be brain damage talking, or busted out ego.  The other day I called him trash and someone said "God doesn't make trash!"  That is true - we trash ourselves - and wallow in it.  For the sake of the kids I hope Sheen's latest ex-wife gets full custody of the twins.  The interview should help her do that.  Imagine raising 2 kids with two porn stars as step-mothers?
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I wonder why we feel so sorry for people like this and continue to reward their bad behavior?
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If you are interested:  The Sheen File

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Internet access has been denied.  I'm using another computer to post this.  Looks as if I have some malware problems.  I have a feeling the problem entered through an email.  A day or so ago I opened an email from a person I thought was a commenter on the blog - the message was "Help me."  Nothing else.  So be careful.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Lent: Catholic Rehab



"What am I Lord... and Who are You?" - Prayer of St. Francis
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I've been looking forward to Lent so much so, that up until last Saturday I thought tomorrow was Ash Wednesday.  Even though it is only a week away, I think I will start my Lent early.  I've come to think of Lent as a sort of rehab for the soul.  I suppose someone else might expound on that thought, but those who need it do not require an explanation.  Except perhaps to say, it's a good reminder not to look down on those who find themselves in and out of real rehab - since every year all of us are required to go through Lent - Catholic rehab for the soul.  Actually, it's a really good time to stop looking down on any one...
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To be what we are before God, Who is Love.
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(My apologies to Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson.)

Medjugorje Daily



Spirit Daily reports favorably on the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje all of the time.  I usually ignore the stories but occasionally I'll skim through to see if there is anything new.  The site actually promotes the apparitions, although the authors usually claim to simply report on developments there.
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I remember a conversation several years ago with a young woman who was convinced the apparitions were authentic.  She was praising the faith of the pilgrims who continued to journey to Medjugorje despite the war at the time.  I asked how she could believe Our Lady was there, telling secrets, while so many people were being killed.  I reasoned, "Certainly the secrets would have something to do with all the horror taking place in that region!"  As typical of Medjugorje devotees, the young woman became very defensive and suggested I was being blasphemous.
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Yet today the apparitions are said to continue, and supposedly not all of the secrets have been told to 3 of the seers.  Daily the world grows more uneasy, global unrest increases, we've lived through the very worst crises in the history of the Church, post-Vatican II reforms, including the ongoing drama of clerical abuse and corruption...  And yet the apparition hasn't finished revealing the secrets to all of the seers, and nothing is ever said in the ongoing messages regarding what has been happening in the Church and the world.  Advocates or promoters of the Medjugorje tourism and lecture industry insist one has to go there to actually "get it".  Get what? 
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As far as all of the secrets having been revealed to half of the seers, one of them claims to have each secret written down - but they are invisible for now.  "Seer Mirjana Dragićević Soldo (says) that her secrets are written on a mysterious piece of parchment that is only visible, right now, to her. That was allegedly given to Mirjana after her last daily apparition in 1982. States her spiritual director, Father Petar Ljubičić, "When the time comes, the contents of the first secret will become visible to me on the parchment and after seven days everyone else will be able to read it because it will cease to be a secret. This will happen until all ten secrets have been revealed and their consequence." - Spirit Daily

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Even Michael Brown thinks that is weird.

Sexual Orientation... So this is what it's coming to.



Pedophilia a ‘sexual orientation’ experts tell Parliament.
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When homosexuality was declassified as a disorder by the American Psychiatric Association in 1973, it was for all intents and purposes subsequently labelled a sexual orientation - a natural variant of human sexuality.  Now experts in Canada are arguing pedophilia is not a disorder but a sexual orientation.
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OTTAWA, Ontario, February 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a recent parliamentary session on a bill relating to sexual offenses against children, psychology experts claimed that pedophilia is a “sexual orientation” comparable to homosexuality or heterosexuality, a definition that was questioned by one Member of Parliament who was present. - Source 
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For those of you not around in the 1970's, whether unconscious, too immature or just doped up - this is exactly how we got to where we are today regarding homosexuality.
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BTW:  A toldyaso moment.
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Remember when I said gay marriage is actually anti-gay?  Marriage is so ordinary, right?  And who wants to be confined to an institution - marriage?  Besides, it is much too bourgeois for the avante garde homosexual.  A lesbian writer and her interview subjects appear to agree with me - kind of:
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"There's the unsettling possibility that we've spent the past couple of decades fighting to fit into an institution that doesn't necessarily fit us." - Natalie Neusch Source

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So don't fall for the Hollywood hype of "The Kids Are all Right" and "Modern Family".  It is just as fake as the family shows of the 1950's,  "Ozzie and Harriet" and "Father Knows Best".

Monday, February 28, 2011

A new painting...


Jesus of St. Teresa - by Terry Nelson, 2011
acrylic on canvas, 9" x 12"

The image is cross posted on my art blog with the narrative here.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 27, 2011

St. Gabriel Possenti, the Gun Saint.



27 February:  Feast of St. Gabriel Possenti
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If I could find a photo of a particular priest with his mouth shut, I'd paint him as St. Gabriel Possenti lovingly contemplating a gun...
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That said, Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows is a greater saint than merely a patron of gun handlers.  His compassion and devotion for the Sorrowful Mother was his greatest achievement in life.  How uninspiring for gun enthusiasts. 
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Interestingly enough, the Gun Saint Society (no kidding!) is observing the feast of St. Gabriel to protest the USCCB...
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"The St. Gabriel Possenti Society, Inc. commemorates the February 27 feast day of St. Gabriel Possenti this weekend with a call for action," Society chairman John M. Snyder noted here today.

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"We urge law-abiding Catholic gun owners to protest the anti-gun, anti-self-defense policy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)," he added.
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"Churchgoers may start to protest the USCCB policy through church financial collections," he said. - Source
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How devout. 
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BTW - Why would Carmelite hermit/monks - who do not eat meat - go out hunting for deer?  At least one bishop knows why. 
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How convenient - not simply a monastery but a hunting lodge.
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So anyway - is the USCCB an anti-American organization?