Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saints like us.






Wanting someone to understand our pain.
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I've been thinking about Dawn Eden's new book on the lives of the saints who were abused as children.  I thought I'd try to find a few she may not have heard of and send their stories her way to consider for the book.  I'm sure she would appreciate input from others who may know of saints who suffered sexual abuse as children.  For instance, Melody, one of my readers reminded us of St. Germaine Cousin, whose childhood was filled with all sorts of abuse. 
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What is difficult to know for sure however, is which saints may have endured some sort of sexual abuse or sexual violation as children, because before the mid to late 20th century, cases of abuse were rarely ever discussed or reported outside of the confessional.  In fact, as the Oprah Show demonstrated, no one told anyone if they had been sexually abused - until Oprah had them on her show.  Likewise, rapes were not always reported, frequently out of shame.  God only knows what actually happened to the martyrs of the many social upheavals since the French Revolution, or the mass persecutions of Christians in pagan countries throughout Asia.  Thousands were martyred - so how many were not only tortured but sexually violated?
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Secrets of the saints.
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In my research, I have yet to find a saint who had actually been raped and survived, and as for the martyrs of purity, none of the documents I have found say that the martyr was actually raped, although the victim was killed while resisting the attacker.  In an early account of the life of Blessed Pierina Morosini, I seem to recall reading that the saint had been raped, although the fact seems to have been expunged in later biographies.  (I may have been mistaken in my perception.)
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In the process of looking for these saints I've reflected on the very human need we all have to understand the bad things that happened to us in life, as well as the desire to have some one understand our pain.  That said, our good fortune in finding a saint who went through the exact same terrible things we may have endured, seems to me to represent a sign of hope for us that good really can come from evil.  That through the blood of Christ virginity is restored, sanctity triumphs over wickedness, and so on.  Hence our desire to find saints just like ourselves.  Maybe.
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Yet the question remains:  Is there no saint who was actually raped and martyred?  No saint who was sexually abused and survived?  Does the Church hold virginity to such a lofty position that heroic virtue some how doesn't count if the victim was actually violated?  Are we Christians like the Muslims who blame rape victims for the crime?    No, I don't think so, despite the fact I am unable to find a saint who was sexually abused.  To me it seems reasonable to conclude that most likely matters concerning sexual abuse and rape, if known, were not revealed or frankly discussed in a process out of a sense of justice, since the victims were not at fault.  Likewise prudence and discretion may have been strictly observed for the sake of modesty.  I'm only speculating of course, although it is more likely the victims themselves kept it secret.  Outside of martyrdom, saints are made saints on the basis of their heroic virtue.
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Pious narcissism.
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For a variety of reasons, homosexual persons have long looked for a saint who was 'gay'.  Gay activists speculate about many great souls, insisting they were gay.  Their conclusions are based upon 19th and 20th century understanding of homosexual behavior and culture.  The modern concept of homosexuality did not exist before the late 19th century.  In this case, I think looking for 'gay' saints represents a kind of 'pious narcissism' - with the aim to canonize same sex attraction.  
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I once asked a monk if he thought any of the saints had been gay, and he answered that he did not know of any.  He went on to explain that the temptation to homosexual acts was likely to have afflicted some of the saints, but it wouldn't have been any different from other temptations to lust.  Before the 20th century non-sexual same sex friendship would have known and preserved boundaries, especially as regards that sin they used to say was too awful even to name.  We today can't even imagine that kind of discretion.
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Now days many people want to claim this or that saint was gay.  Even very good Catholics do this.  Not a few insist Blessed Cardinal Newman was gay because of his extraordinary friendship with Fr. Ambrose.  Others speculate that the Carmelite Fr. Hermann Kohen was involved in intimate same sex relationships, yet there is absolutely no evidence for such a claim, especially as it is well known that before his conversion he had love affairs with women.  Such speculation demonstrates the human desire to have saints be just like ourselves.  There is nothing wrong with that, although in some cases it opens the door to validating immoral inclinations or acts, and leads to what I mentioned, a 'pious narcisissm'.  Wishful thinking is nothing but a deception and a trap.  But I digress.
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The penitents.
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Though we may not find actual evidence of virginity deflowered, I think we might assume certain saints may have been sexually abused as children by the direction their lives took later in life - especially as concerns penitents.  For instance, before her conversion, St. Margaret of Cortona was the lover of a young nobleman, to whom she bore a son.  It was only after discovering his murdered body that Margaret repented of her sinful lifestyle.  She eventually became a great mystic of the Franciscan order.
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You may protest that victims of sexual abuse are not culpable for what happened to them and that unlike innocent victims, Margaret deliberately consented to a sinful lifestyle when she moved in with her Count.  Yet today we know that some children, boys and girls, who had been abused end up being promiscuous later on - often in adolescence, others cohabit with a partner rather than getting married.  My theory regarding Margaret of Cortona is based on that assumption.  Hence the penitents, perhaps more numerous than the martyrs of purity, might well be considered part of the group of patrons for the sexually abused as well.
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We are all called to be saints.
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Having said that, all of the saints are powerful intercessors and models for the faithful for a variety of needs, thus it is good to look for those with whom we have some affinity and can identify with.  Yet even the most pure and chaste, such as Therese of Lisieux knows and understands the suffering of souls, her sensitivity for the weakest amongst us surely makes her one of the greatest helps and models for survivors of all kinds of abuse.  Of course, it is the Heart of Jesus who understands the suffering, wounded soul the best - he alone knows the most hidden recesses of our hearts and descends into depths of our misery to redeem us in his Blood.
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I think in our day and going forward, we will get to know of candidates for sainthood whose intimate lives are very well known.  I'm sure we will be hearing of saints who were raped and died, or those who survived to become saints, as well as survivors of abuse.  And undoubtedly, there will be saints who had been former sex workers, as well as former active homosexuals, who repented and abandon those lifestyles.  Perhaps some of these will even be martyrs.  
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Art:  My special patron, St. Peter Martyr.  I chose him as a kid because he grew up with heretical parents and later died for the faith, writing the credo in his blood. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

More 'No More Bullying' Crap.



Watching the Stanley Cup Finals I gotta wonder what the anti-bullying people think about a good hockey game/fight?  Huh?  Huh?  Huh? 

Cultural Marxism - a quick tutorial.

Dalai Lama a Marxist...



"Russia will spread her errors." - Our Lady of Fatima
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His Holiness, the Dalai Lama announced it right here in river city, Minneapolis, Minnesota that is:  “as far as socio-political beliefs are concerned, I consider myself a Marxist.”
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"Well slap my butt an call me Gladys."  One student responded, going on to speculate.  "Why I'll bet every religion has been infiltrated with Marxists - maybe even the Jesuits and the USCCB."
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Asked about Richard Gere and the the role gerbils played in the actor's conversion to Buddhism, His Holiness replied:  “He has a very cute personality."
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What?  Here's a Tibetan riddle:  "Which quote is taken out of context and which quote is made up, so WDTDLRS?"
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All kidding aside, I think many religious leaders and other 'elites' share the DL's views... Marxism is alive and well... although if they are truly peace-loving and compassionate, they usually add the following distinction, 'But not Leninism'
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Seriously, this is what Dalai Lama really said:
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Midway through the conversation, His Holiness, much to their surprise, told them “as far as socio-political beliefs are concerned, I consider myself a Marxist.” “But not a Leninist,” he clarified.

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During the question and answer session, a student said that the Marxists these days criticize consumerism because they do not understand the difference between “consumption” and “consumerism.” He also asked about the contradiction inherent in the Dalai Lama’s economic philosophy and Marx’s critique of religion. The Tibetan leader answered that the Marx was not against religion or religious philosophy per se but against religious institutions that were allied, during Marx’s time, with the European ruling class. He also provided an interesting anecdote about his experience with Mao. He said that Mao had felt that the Dalai Lama’s mind was very logical, implying that Buddhist education and training help sharpens the mind. He said he met with Mao several times, and that once, during a meeting in Beijing, the Chinese leader called him in and announced: “Your mind is scientific!”—an assessment that was followed by the famous line, ”religion is poison.”
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Now, Marxism, purported to be the guiding philosophy of the Chinese Community Party, has been replaced by American style capitalism in China. But the author of Das Kapital must be laughing in his grave for gaining new converts in the West, particularly in the academia, following the global financial crisis. - Source

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My sixth grade teacher, Sr. Lillian, CSJ was probably right: "They will infiltrate the education system, the Church and religious orders, the courts and even the highest positions of government."
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BTW - speaking of Marxists, I guess Hillary Clinton wants to head the World Bank now.
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Photo:  From Western Shugden Society. A Great Deception follows knotted threads of political ambitions, hypocrisy, subterfuge and betrayal to unravel the popular mythology that surrounds the iconic Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Poverty and the priest.



Not to regard an ecclesiastical office as a source of profit...
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Bishop Tobin on the promises of the priesthood:
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And what of poverty? Unlike celibacy and obedience, there’s no formal liturgical promise of poverty required of priests at their ordination, but perhaps there should be. After all, the virtue of poverty in the life of the priest has the same motives as celibacy and obedience: imitation of Christ and freedom to serve God’s people.
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Priests are not expected to live in abject material poverty. But the “spirit of poverty” is a Gospel value for all Christians, and it has particular consequences for priests. It speaks of priorities, detachment and proper use of material goods.
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The Second Vatican Council was rather clear on this point: “Priests are invited to embrace voluntary poverty ... [Priests] are to use money acquired in the exercise of their ecclesiastical office primarily for their own decent support and the fulfillment of the duties of their state. They should be willing to devote whatever is left over to the good of the Church or to works of charity. So they are not to regard an ecclesiastical office as a source of profit and are not to spend their income for increasing their own private fortunes.” (Presbyterorum Ordinis, #17)
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[...] priests need to examine themselves very closely on this point, lest they fall into the quicksand of materialism or unhealthy priorities. Priests have to be careful that they don’t feel sorry for themselves, abuse their privileges, or use their ministry for personal gain. - Bishop Thomas J. Tobin

The Fourth War



How many wars does it take to make it a World War?
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U.S. Is Intensifying a Secret Campaign of Yemen Airstrikes.
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WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has intensified the American covert war in Yemen, exploiting a growing power vacuum in the country to strike at militant suspects with armed drones and fighter jets, according to American officials. - Source




Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Novena for Pentecost



I did a post earlier which was misunderstood about how the liturgical prayers and readings actually comprise the prayer of the Church in preparation for Pentecost.  I wondered aloud why anything else was needed, when these prayers are so rich.  I forgot about community prayers outside the liturgy that enhance, such as novena prayers one might have found in the Roman Rota, or the litanies, and so on.  The tone of the post came off as if I was denigrating such prayers - which happen to be just as efficacious and instructive, and may inspire even deeper devotion.  I took the post down lest an unknowing reader think that I was teaching on the subject, rather than simply sharing an observation.

Having cleared that up, I am daily deeply impressed by what the 'Spirit says to the Churches' in the daily psalms and readings at Mass.  Every day is a grace, deep calling to deep.  These days, hearing the Lord's prayer from John's Gospel, it seems to me that the soul is brought into the most intimate recesses of the Heart of Christ, plunged as it were into the very bosom of the Trinity.  As one ruminates the Lord's prayer it seems as if the soul begins to understand and experience the love between the Father and the Son, how the Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son and so on.  What is so incredible is the knowing that the Father has given us to the Son - which means the Father loves us as he loves the Son - and he gifted us to the Son who is in turn his gift to us for the salvation of the world, 'the grace of God has appeared'.  Those who believe, who accept him, are in turn gifted with the Holy Spirit - who proceeds from the Father and the Son and is as theologians say, the love between the Father and the Son.  In the Holy Spirit we go in and out as it were, traveling without moving, if you will, yet we remain in Them and They in us.  In communion.  In time and eternity.

What?


Rowan Williams of course... Yeah, someone mentioned something about a meltdown?
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I can't control the ads.

A Bully Old Chap.



About that bully post - get it?  Bully-post?
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Anyway, that post really got to some people, didn't it.  Not a question.
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However, the comments and reactions are amazing.  I am always, continually, repeatedly, incessantly surprised at how little we all know ourselves.  Astonished really - how we even know our own names is  incredible.
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We are all bullies - well most of us are - at one time or another.  We all bully and badger and taunt our neighbors every day as we insist on our own way or try to persuade those who disagree with us that we are right and they are wrong.  As bloggers we rant about our favorite issues all of the time - the blog can become a bully pulpit.  I can name several bloggers who taunt and sling barbs nearly every day.  Comboxes are the worst on many blogs.  Of course we all object, "I'm not being a bully!"  And then turn around and bash some politician we don't like, or some bishop or priest we think is unorthodox, or some guy we think is an X-man.  Think about it - it's a bar fight most of the time.
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Yes, yes - it's all right though - because we say we're praying for the other, or we are evangelizing.  Not every one is like that of course - not the really good bloggers - just the mean ones.

How to handle a bully... road-hog I mean.


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My little mud-turtle... dove.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Boston's St. Cecilia's... Gay?



Once again, in the diocese where “relativism” is a household word, we’ve got a Boston Catholic parish hosting a Mass to celebrate “Gay Pride” with the full knowledge of the archdiocesan hierarchy. The same parish’s “Rainbow Ministry” is also sponsoring a trip to see the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and on the same page with those notices, they ask parishioners to support the retirement, medical and financial needs of the priests of the Archdiocese who have have given their lives to faithfully serve Christ.

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The parish is St. Cecilia in Boston. - The entire story here.
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I used to work there in the '70's.  At the time it was a rather run down, traditional parish ruled by a Monsignor Mackey.

Is St. John's Abbey in Collegeville Minnesota a hotbed of decadence?



Tancred of Epoymous Flower seems to think so - and if it is not true, why doesn't the Abbey sue those who carry such tales?
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[Collegeville] Back up at the GM of Catholic Education, more paint is falling from the mask that hides the evil of the Modernist Abbey that has dared to call itself Catholic for more than fifty years. Today, it's nothing more than a getaway for a large population of bachelor social workers who like to go antiquing and enjoy what Downtown Minneapolis has to offer. This fish has been dead at the head for along time. These Marxist and Modernist implants have been doing a lot of damage. They've destroyed the architectural integrity of the Romanesque Architecture of the Abbey, kept vandals posing as artists working for years, produced ugly music, destroyed their philosophy program and turned out over three generations of what Collegeville's own Father Virgil Micheal once called, ironically, "moral parasites". What more proof do you need? In the past, one of the homosexual enabler Abbot Kelly's predecessors was a vicious predator who "inspected" his Novices in the nude before he took advantage of them. - Tancred
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While I was a novice in another monastery I heard many, many sordid tales.  But it was all hearsay you know.
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Photo:  St. John's stunning abbey church designed by Marcel Breuer - the older abbey church can be seen in the background.

Sarah Palin may be Pro-Choice.



I read it on the internets.
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I think she'd be pro-anything to make money.

Is the X-men a gay parable?



Yes Poodle, it is.
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In X-Men: First Class, one young mutant-human tells another, "You have no idea what I'd give to feel ... normal." It's a moment anyone who went to high school can empathize with, though it might mean something more to those who grew up gay—the adolescent experience when you discover, like the X-Men, something in your nature that makes you different from the majority of the people around you.

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Parallels between the mutant experience and the gay experience pervade First Class, which opened on Friday to a weekend box-office haul of $56 million. The film, a prequel to the modern X-Men movie series, tells the franchise's origin myth: Genetic mutations create a cadre of young superheros who use their powers for good—in this case, by attempting to defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis. The mutants are, unmistakably, a social minority. The film's catchphrase is "mutant and proud," a playful riff on post-Stonewall self-acceptance, and a "don't ask, don't tell" joke even finds its way into the dialogue.  Read on: The Atlantic
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I know.  So what?  Gay seizes the day.

Born this way.



Taunting and bullying.
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I woke up this morning with Gaga's Born This Way running through my head.  I watched the Anderson Cooper interview Sunday night, I had seen the interview before, but watched the rerun again - thus embedding the music in my head.  The worst thing about Gaga for me is the flaunted, in your face eroticism of her act and clothing.  Outside of her performance art, I'm sure she is a 'nice' person, who vehemently disagrees with Roman Catholic teaching.  Her anthem to encourage youth and the arrested developed to believe they were born to be a freak, for some reason has even influenced the most sober journalists like the senile Barbara Walters, talk show hosts like Pastor Oprah, and now seemingly, the federal government - as in the Obama Administration.  Acts of the Apostasy has some good coverage on the government lying to gay youth, so I won't get into that here.
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I'm not sure Gaga is really all that influential with her anti-dogma - she's a showgirl after all, parroting provocative concepts on how to incorporate performance art into one's lifestyle.  Perhaps her devotion to Madonna of the Perpetual Rebellion is a result of feeling alienated in Catholic girl's school.  I don't care - it's her schtick.  Yet the political opportunists are the ones who seem to believe she's a prophetess of some sorts, and therefore exploit her in the process of exalting her.  Manufactured pop stars with an agenda get to be boring really fast - which may explain why Born This Way dropped in the 2nd week of sales.
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"Do you really want to hurt me?"
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Yes we do.  Anyway - believe it or not, this post isn't about Gaga.  Nah-uh.  Last evening I went out to eat and this kid comes in with his mom and brother.  The kid was dressed with cat-in-the-hat stripped elbow length gloves with the fingers cut out, a top hat, lots of chains, skin tight really low rise pants, lots of piercings and accessories and belts, and he kind of, sort of looked like Ron Weasley trying to be Harry Potter. 
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My first thought was, "Now how can this kid go to school without getting beat up."  Then I said to my dinner companion, "This is the type of kid who should be bullied."
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My friend protested, "That's disgusting.  What's wrong with how he looks?  If he was bullied, he might be the type to bring a gun to school and kill everyone."  My friend obviously knew he was a weird kid and a potential mass murderer, yet he disagreed with my hyperbole.  I of course deliberately failed to moderate my tone.  I so wanted to call Dottie Hinkle at that moment.
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Seeking attention.
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Seriously, the kid obviously had issues and his mother is probably an alcoholic or insane.  No - I don't know that for sure - the mother being insane, I mean.  Single mother, permissive, tolerant, and incapable of discipline is the more likely situation.  The kid obviously doesn't get enough attention from one parent, hence the cat-in-the-hat costume.  Someone should tell him that bullying is a form of attention.  Nevertheless, it occurred to me that a little bit of criticism from one's peers, even mockery for dressing like a comic book character, or getting pushed around a'la Napoleon Dynamite can be character building and go a long way to help a kid to mature and better assimilate into society.  Quite honestly, I am of the opinion that a certain amount of taunting and bullying is not all that bad - it helps form a person; suffering develops empathy, and so on.  If my friends never taunted me about using drugs and drinking so much, I might be dead today.  Everything in moderation of course.
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I know there are those who will say bullying is responsible for teen suicides - but I'm not so sure.  As for the issue of teen suicides, I think as a culture if we stopped advocating killing unborn children, the sick and the elderly, teens would no longer get the message that death is a way to deal with the problems of life, or to avoid conflict, or as a way to gain fame and recognition.
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What?
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Editor:  Serious posting will resume shortly.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Dawn Eden's new project.



A book of saints who were abused.
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I've always wanted to do a book on the lives of saints who were abused - be it sexually or physically - to be a help to kids who live in abusive situations, as well as those adult children who had been abused.  The saints are truly our help and models in our earthly pilgrimage - their example and intercession can sustain us in any difficulty.  As a kid I read the lives of the saints in every available book from the library - I still do, which is one reason I love Magnificat - the editors always include biographies of the saints for each day.  The lives of the saints certainly helped me endure a difficult childhood.  Devotion to the saints, as well as to the Divine Child Jesus is especially efficacious in healing the wounds left behind by childhood abuse - wounds that always remain as a sort of stigmata, but are transformed by the merciful love of God reflected in the wounds of Christ and his saints.
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New book.
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New York City, N.Y., Jun 7, 2011 / 06:00 am (CNA).- Dawn Eden, a popular Catholic author known for her work on chastity in the modern world, is set to release a new book on the central role of the saints in healing wounds from childhood sexual abuse.

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“I was struck by the sheer number of saints who experienced childhood sexual abuse – there were many more than I had imagined – and how relevant their stories were to people living in the present day,” Eden told CNA in a June 2 interview.
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Eden, the author of the 2006 bestseller of “The Thrill of the Chaste,” said the inspiration for her new book came from her discussions on chastity with thousands of young people.

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“It became apparent to me that a major reason people resist the Church's teachings on chastity and the culture of life is because they have suffered childhood sexual abuse, or have witnessed sexual inappropriateness,” Eden said.
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She said that victims of this kind of abuse often believe that they are impure or have been defiled by what happened to them. - Finish reading here.
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A couple of saints I hope Dawn Eden might consider including in her book:
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Blessed Nunzio Sulprizio:  Born in Pescosansonesco, Pescara, on 13 april 1817 - died Naples 5 may 1836. The short life of the young blacksmith was marked by a series of tragic losses (his father, then his mother) and a painful disease in a leg, as well as severe abuse from his employer. In Pescosansonesco there is a sanctuary, and behind the altar there is still the spring used by young Nunzio to wash his wound. That water is believed to be miraculous. His shrine is one of the most famous and popular in the Pescara Valley. - Source 
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Santo Nino Cautivo:  Protector of the kidnapped or abducted, especially those children of any age who have been similarly caught up in vice, drugs, slavery, difficult circumstance and life problems. - More information.
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Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha:  She certainly suffered abuse from pagan tribesmen.
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The Uganda Martyrs.
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Albertina Berkenbrock: Albertina Berkenbrock was born on 11 April 1919 in São Luís, Imaruí, Santa Catarina, Brazil. She was baptized on 25 May 1919 and confirmed on 9 March 1925. She made her First Holy Communion on 16 August 1928.   Albertina grew up in a devout family. She willingly helped her parents at home and on the land.  At an early age she learned to pray with deep devotion and was strong in the practice of her Catholic faith. She spoke of her First Communion Day as the most beautiful day of her life and had special devotion to Our Lady and to St Aloysius Gonzaga, a model of purity and the Patron Saint of São Luís.  Albertina was murdered by a would be rapist. - Vatican website.
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Prayers and best wishes to Dawn for the success of her book - I think it is very much needed.
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Art: Blessed Albertina Berkenbrock

Weiner weinen...



Why do guys do that?
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Why do they lie and cry?  Anthony Weiner crying on television, apologizing for showing off his junk and hurting his wife and friends and family.  Frequently when you are caught with your pants down, any tears that start to flow are because you got caught doing something wrong, and the lies just won't work any longer.  The guy is most likely more sorry he got caught and might lose his job.  If the guy was so cavalier about sexting to strangers, you'd think he'd just shrug the whole thing off after he was exposed.  The lying always makes it worse, especially if you are not popular to begin with.  (Clinton was popular and so he got away with it.  He also had a sense of humor, Weiner just seems to be a prick.)
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A man and his dog.
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The real question is why do guys like Weiner flash?  He's a newly-wed after all, and an up and coming politician.  Why be so stupid, stupid?  Because the sensual man's best friend is his ____.  Weiner is a typical, conscienceless, numb-nuts narcissist who goes to the gym and is proud of his junk.  It's kind of gay really.  Guys like Weiner are really exhibitionists, flashers.  "Show hard."  Creep is cool these days - creep has gone mainstream.  How many guys with cell phones do that stuff now days?  What is Facebook for?  Twitter?  Craig's List? 
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Never use a younger man's cell phone - remember Monica Lewinski's stained blue dress...  ick!   

Monday, June 06, 2011

Kevorkian's art.



Commenter ck suggested I Google Dr. Kevorkian's art...
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Try it yourself and see what you think.
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"His work tended toward the grotesque; he sometimes painted with his own blood, and had created pictures such as one "of a child eating the flesh off a decomposing corpse."  Of his known works, six were made available in the 1990s for print release. The Ariana Gallery in Royal Oak, Michigan is the exclusive distributor of Kevorkian's artwork. The original oil prints are not for release." - Wikipedia
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In the 1960's Dr. Jack Kevorkian enrolled in an adult education oil painting class in Pontiac, Michigan. He combined his understanding of the human anatomy with his fascination with death and created, as author Michael Betzold describes in his book Appointment with Doctor Death, 18 canvases that "are as bold and strident, as critical and unforgiving, as pointed and dramatic as Kevorkian's own fighting words. They are strikingly well-executed, stark and surreal --and frightening, demented and/or hilarious, depending on one's point of view." - Frontline

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Interestingly, Kevorkian never considered himself an artist.
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Art shown:  For he Is Raised.  Kevorkian's narrative:  "The annual resurrection by dumb bunnies of a pathetic, despairing, almost scorned image of the purported divinity is hardly noticeable amid the tawdry paraphernalia of irresistible paganism at its vernal orgy. It is a spectacle badly conceived, badly manipulated, and superbly desecrated by those hare-brained disciples of Mammon, who, with armfuls of brilliant multi-colored eggs and gleeful joy, framed in parade-stopping millinery, might, in a rare pseudo-pious mood briefly condescend to acknowledge some sort of disquieting mystery pervading it all. Such is the perfunctory Easter of modern western society which seems to have lost appreciation for anachronisms like rods and staffs and angels and lambs."
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I think Kevorkian must have been a very bitter, hateful man who hated God and humanity.

The Pride


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To know the true nature of pride, we should first note that it is a spiritual sin, in itself less shameful and less debasing, but more grievous, says St. Thomas,(1) than the sins of the flesh, because it turns us more away from God. The sins of the flesh could not be in the demon who was irremediably lost through pride. Scripture on several occasions says that "pride is the beginning of all sin," (2) because it does away with the humble submission and obedience of the creature to God. The first sin of the first man was a sin of pride,(3) the desire of the knowledge of good and evil,(4) that he might be his own guide and not have to obey. In the opinion of St. Thomas,(5) pride is more than a capital sin; it is the source of the capital sins, and particularly of vainglory, which is one of its first effects.

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Some are deceived, at least practically, about the true nature of pride, and as a result, without wishing to do so, may commend false humility, which is a form of hidden pride more dangerous than that which displays itself and makes itself ridiculous. - Garrigou-Lagrange

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What is more ridiculous than the burlesque theatrics of a gay pride parade?

The importance of the family.


The Holy Father speaks in Croatia.
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Yesterday morning the neighbors prepared for their son's graduation party.  They moved in shortly after I moved into this house, so I watched the kids grow up.  They are a wonderful family and the boys well behaved.  Interestingly enough, they rarely go to church on Sunday.  I know the boys were confirmed in the Lutheran church - yet there is hardly a Sunday anyone attends church.  My sister's family is the same way, as are many American families, Catholic or Protestant.  People fail to realize the worship that is due to God on Sundays, but more seriously, their indifference to the Sunday obligation reveals a certain secularism, a compartmentalizing of religion.  Such attitudes affect societal morals and values far more than they realize or understand.
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That said, I think the Holy Father's words in Zagreb are important for all families to listen to and to put into practice.
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"Be courageous!"
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In today's society the presence of exemplary Christian families is more necessary and urgent than ever. Unfortunately, we are forced to acknowledge the spread of a secularization which leads to the exclusion of God from life and the increasing disintegration of the family, especially in Europe. Freedom without commitment to the truth is made into an absolute, and individual well-being through the consumption of material goods and transient experiences is cultivated as an ideal, obscuring the quality of interpersonal relations and deeper human values; love is reduced to sentimental emotion and to the gratification of instinctive impulses, without a commitment to build lasting bonds of reciprocal belonging and without openness to life. We are called to oppose such a mentality!

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Alongside what the Church says, the testimony and commitment of the Christian family - your concrete testimony - is very important, especially when you affirm the inviolability of human life from conception until natural death, the singular and irreplaceable value of the family founded upon matrimony and the need for legislation which supports families in the task of giving birth to children and educating them. Dear families, be courageous! Do not give in to that secularized mentality which proposes living together as a preparation, or even a substitute for marriage! Show by the witness of your lives that it is possible, like Christ, to love without reserve, and do not be afraid to make a commitment to another person! - Catholic Online

Dr. Kevorkian hailed as a hero, a martyr.



I knew it would come to this.
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As news broke of Dr. Jack's Kevorkian death on Friday, MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing invited on defense attorney and friend Geoffrey Fieger to praise the convicted criminal known as 'Dr. Death': "Dr. Jack Kevorkian will be looked at as a hero, a true hero, and as a martyr for what they did to him for nine years. Putting him in prison..."
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"I doubt very many people will ever remember him as a cold-blooded killer. Obviously there's some on the fringe, but I think most of us would recognize his, not only his greatness and his kindness and his beneficence and his importance." - Source

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I guess it is only the 'fringe' element then, that knows we have contracepted and aborted our way into esteeming euthanasia as the only 'happy death'.  I suspect few in the world know that the only real happy death is to die in the state of grace.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

"Frankly my dear..."



"I don't give a damn."
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Some days I feel like that.  I wonder why I bother to blog about the things that I do.  Who appointed me to do it?  No one.  I feel completely alone sometimes.  Especially when I read articles about bishop's like Brooklyn's retired Bishop Joseph Sullivan, or Fr. James Martin SJ praising the Bishop for his profound sensitivity to gay issues.  I'm sure I would like Bishop Sullivan, I'm sure he's nice.  I do like Fr. Martin SJ - and since he's involved with theater people, I totally understand his sympathy for the personal lives of homosexuals.  When you are very close to individuals you arrive at a greater understanding and acceptance - ostensibly of the person, not necessarily their sin.   One can try to understand the genesis of their sin and come to some conclusions without approving of it, but familiarity often breeds approval.
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"So the people turn to follow them and drink in all of their words.'
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Whenever I write about gay agenda and the homosexual political movement and infiltration into every level of society - especially religious sects and institutions, I am frequently dismissed as homophobic, old, a dinosaur since the gay lifestyle has been all cleaned up and presentable for general consumption, and or I'm completely ignored because I lack scholarship on the subject... I don't have a theological degree as some do from some rural Bible college or online degree mill.  However, whatever my deficits, it hardly means I lack any experience, knowledge, or that I haven't studied the same sources, read the same books and studies, and so on.
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'Yet my feet came close to stumbling...'
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Over the years, in my struggle against sin I have studied and read practically all of the literature available - everything, and there is nothing new these days that wasn't proposed thirty or forty years ago.  The difference today is that academia is saturated with the very inventive, novel research of years gone by; gay studies professors and theologians have been using the same propaganda for decades and it has been ingrained upon their students who've entered the professions, especially teaching, clergy, law, and psychology.
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'They scoff; they speak with malice...'
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Throughout the years, I too even tried to live unconstrained by the Church's moral teaching, trying to believe and put into practice the new theology as proposed by activists such as Fr. McNeil and Sr. Grammick, or the proof for gay unions by Boswell.  I looked into groups like Dignity way back when.  I tried to balance the lifestyle with authentic Catholic teaching and found many gay priests to help me do so, claiming monogamous relationships were just fine, just like marriage.  Promoting pornography as better than promiscuous cruising, and so on.  I read and praised people like Larry Kramer and other non-religious activists who called for the gay community to clean up their act and make themselves more respectable, and so on.  I can provide 'credentials' and experience, believe me.  All of that means and proves nothing to the know-it-all activists who continue to try and convince society gay is good and that God made them that way, and everyone should feel so sorry for them because they've been discriminated against and have been bullied.  I can tell you right now there is no bigger bully than a gay activist demanding their so-called rights.
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'I strove to fathom this problem... until I pierced the mysteries of God...'
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So.  Believe it or not, I know what I'm talking about.  However, by some miracle of grace I was not able to continue long in compromising my faith and betraying my conscience, 'to sell my birthright for a meal', as it were.  To be sure I know what the struggle entails if you want to be genuinely faithful, to be in communion with the Roman Catholic Church.  I have learned from experience that as Teresa of Avila said, 'prayer cannot be coupled with self-indulgence':  Likewise, one cannot engage in homosexual acts and remain in the state of grace.  Similarly one cannot condone or support the gay lifestyle and agenda and remain faithful to Roman Catholic teaching.  Yet I'll never say one can't be Catholic, because just claiming to be Catholic is no guarantee of salvation - no matter how traditional the liturgical pomp and circumstance.
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'And so when my heart grew embittered...' 
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I know what it is to be discriminated against as well.  It's part of the cross.  Even those who one would imagine should be your friends whisper and speculate about you.  It doesn't matter if you are faithful or not.  The self righteous gossip and slander you.  After monastic life, I tried to avoid any public work in association with Catholic groups, even renouncing an active participation in the Third Order or taking up the collection in the local parish.  At times it made me angry and I blamed others for it, eventually I understood it was necessary to avoid giving scandal.  I think it is human nature to blame others for our weakness, our inconsistencies, and our failures.  Sometimes we lash out and 'protest too much' - but in my case, that was how I came to understand what was and what was not my responsibility.  Forgoing active participation despite the protests of volunteer-do-gooders and idealistic pastors, it was necessary for me not to be involved.  Sometimes one's active participation is more spiritual and therefore silent and hidden.
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'Yet I was always in your presence...'  
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Sadly, for others who struggle to be faithful, they simply can't understand the paradox of being 'damned if you do and damned if you don't'.  I'm talking about faithful Catholics with SSA, who accept the Church's teaching and face bigotry both in the pews and from active gay people.  It's a double-cross.  It is part of the whole cross - a penitent needs to understand that - without self pity, or seeking affirmation or praise for their conversion.  If they demand special recognition they are making the same mistake as gay rights people are making.
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'All those who abandon you will perish...'
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Finally, the Holy Father recently said that every Catholic needs a spiritual director.  God bless him.  I hope he realizes I've had many whose counsels, if I followed them would land me in hell.  I've had confessors I needed to beg to give me absolution despite the fact they told me I had not sinned.  The Church is infiltrated.
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+++

To be near God is my happiness...
Though I said in my alarm,
'How useless to keep my heart pure.'
Then I said:
'If I should speak like that,
I should betray the race of your sons.'
I have made God my refuge.
I will tell of your works
at the gates of Zion.

+++
      


"Yes, I would say that the homosexual network is alive and "well" here in the U.S. - and worldwide. Queer theology has permeated many of the seminaries and chanceries. And now, homosexual "marriage" is making inroads. Gay is good, you see.Not that the American church can be blamed entirely for the advancement of the homosexual agenda; there are other factors that must be taken into consideration. But it isn't much of a stretch to say that "gay-friendly" bishops, along with "gay-friendly" priests, along with "gay-friendly" theologians, along with "gay-friendly" chancery bureaucrats, along with "gay-friendly" teachers, along with "gay-friendly" politicians, have facilitated this advancement in recent years." - Matt Abbott

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Fresco: Ascension, Basilica di San Clemente, Rome  "No ruined wall no exile" - Someday... but not at this stage in history.  For me images of the ruins of old churches tell the story of what has happened to the faith in our century.

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