Saturday, June 18, 2011

Crazy Stuff Dad's Say - an idea I got from Jim Anderson's son.



On the light side.
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Larry did a post for Father's Day titled Crazy Stuff Dad's Say.  It's a fun read.  Inspired by Larry, I decided to list some of the crazy things my dad used to say.
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If Larry comes from a "Father Knows Best" style home, I come from a ...  err ... Charlie Sheen's house.
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Printable stuff my dad said.
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"Why you little son of a bitch!"
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"Shut up or I'll shut you up for good!"
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"You talk like you have a paper ass!"
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"Your ass sucks buttermilk!"
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"Blow it out your ass!"
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"You wouldn't make a pimple on a priest's ass!"
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"You wouldn't make a pimple on an artist's ass!"
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"You're no damn good!"
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"I love you with all my heart and soul."
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"I'd cut off my right arm for you!"
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Yelling out the door after me when I left home for good:  "Get the hell outta here and don't come back you..."
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So anyway dads, love your kids, stay close to your sons, train them well - with love and esteem and basic support - like food and clothing and shelter.  Try to stay out of jail.  Don't get drunk, don't swear and curse, don't commit crimes, don't lie, don't cheat, don't molest, don't terrorize.  Be a man - a man of God preferably.
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My dad finally embraced Catholicism and died a happy death about 20 years ago.  Praise God!
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Photo:  Mums and dadums after the Lawrence Welk Show on Saturday night.

Capital sins that can bring down even the great.


Pride, vainglory, and avarice.
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Pride is "an inordinate desire for one's own excellence." Pride is said to be "complete" when a person is so filled with it that he refuses to subject his intellect and will to God, and to obey His commandments. Such a person has contempt for God and those who represent Him. In a sense, a person with complete pride makes himself a god.
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However, pride may also be incomplete: Here a person does not reject God or his superiors; rather, he simply thinks of himself too highly. 
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Associated with pride is "vainglory," whereby a person has an inordinate desire to manifest his own excellence and to receive praise. Of course, every person should be proud of accomplishments and be thankful to God for the ability to perform well. However, such a disposition differs from the person on "the ego trip" who is motivated to do something simply for future praise and recognition, or always has to talk about "I did this" and "I did that" so as to impress people and receive their praise.

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St. John Vianney taught, "Pride makes us hate our equals because they are our equals; our inferiors from the fear that they may equal us; our superiors because they are above us."
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Avarice "is the inordinate love of having possessions or riches." A person, motivated by greed, is preoccupied with having and having more. A greedy person attaches such value to wealth and possessions that the accumulation and retention of them become the major goal of life and take priority over everyone and everything else. Greed comes in different forms: For instance, some are greedy with material things, always wanting more and only giving the surplus, the "little tip," the something that will not be missed. Some are greedy with time, only doing what will benefit them in some way. Some are greedy in their relationships, collecting people for status or using people for advantage. A person easily becomes hard-hearted and blind to the needs of those less fortunate. Sparked by greed, a person can take on a sense of self-sufficiency, complacency and independence of God. - Source
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"Work out your salvation in fear and trembling."  Let's pray for the conversion of sinners - in other words - one another.

Corapi - The words of a disgruntled employee/business owner.



Creepy.
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Corapi's announcement sounds and reads like a disgruntled employee's desperate attempt to defend his work history, defame and blame his management for his failings, and reinvent himself by the launch of a new business.  I find it ironic that the unidentified female former employee who initiated the 'morals' investigation was referred to as a disgruntled employee by Corapi's media company, and as Corapi lamented, she's the 'one for whom I did so much'.
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I've received a few emails asking what I think of Corapi's statement.  I haven't ever changed my mind about him since the accusations first surfaced.    His recent announcement and public reaction have been fairly predictable.  In my opinion, the announced continuation of the 'business' under a new name is typical SOP by for-profit evangelists.  Unfortunately, when the money comes in, the Spirit goes out.
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I'm just responding to Corapi's announcement here, his statement and my reaction means nothing - both are simply personal opinions.  Instead I will wait to hear what the Bishop has to say on Corapi's status as a priest, and possibly what his religious superiors have to say regarding the investigation.  Then there is something to discuss.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Carl Jung


 The Red Book
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Clicking on a link I found at Spirit Daily, I read an article on Carl Jung, Fascinating Facts You May Not Have Known about Carl Jung.  The author discusses the fact that Jung had taken an interest in the occult and wrote his dissertation, “On the Psychology and Pathology of So-Called Occult Phenomena”.  I'm not surprised, who amongst the modernist thinkers of the late 19th early 20th century hadn't dabbled in the occult?
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I believe Jung's openness to religious experience is one reason for his popularity amongst the more progressive post-Vatican II contemplative communities of nuns and monks.  A fact which may help explain to some extent, their openness to New Age spirituality.
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"He who wishes to go to Paradise must be an honest man and a good Christian, and not give heed to dreams." - St. Philip Neri


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Art:  The Shadow, from The Red Book

Thursday, June 16, 2011

News on Fr. Corapi



Talk is that Corapi will be making an announcement very soon, and it sounds as if he will be resuming his  apostolate where he left off.  One account quotes Corapi as declaring he is “not extinguished!”  The hope is that the accusations against him were proven to be not credible. If that is the case, it is very good news for the Church to have a priest declared wrongly accused and innocent of all charges.

Update:  Corapi made his announcement.  It looks as if he will be resuming his 'ministry' outside the narrow confines of the Roman Catholic priesthood.

Answering a question about gossip.



I've read it numerous times online, 'gossip is a mortal sin.'  Numerous times I have said, 'no, it is not.'  So is it or isn't it?  Idle chatter is generally an imperfection.  Idle chatter generally includes harmless gossip and sometimes juicy tidbits.  What is needed for it to be mortal sin?  Grave matter, full knowledge, and full consent, which, for all intents and purposes, involves intent.  For gossip to be grave, that is - a mortal sin - it usually consists of detraction, calumny, and rash judgement.  Rumor mongering and tale-bearing, when it harms the reputation of another or relates a fact otherwise unknown can be gravely sinful, depending upon the harm caused, damage done, etc.  If the rumors are true, consent and intent comes into play, as well as the 'need to know'.  If the story is factual and public knowledge and one repeats it to comment or ask a question - well it can get to be rather complicated.  Therefore one has to understand what mortal sin consists of.  Briefly, it has to be:
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a) An act of grave matter that is...


b) Committed with full knowledge and...

c) Deliberate consent.

All three dispositions must be present.
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If we go with the 'all gossip is a mortal sin' idea, that means that most bloggers, journalists, news anchors, reporters, as well as church basement  donuts and coffee clutches are rife with gossip and all of us are going to hell.  If one is so concerned then one ought to cease from blogging and commenting online and enter a monastery.  Oh wait - they're online now as well.  See, John of the Cross was right, "the majority of humanity will be lost!"
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Sarcasm aside - don't mistake what I say for spiritual direction.  Instead, study your catechism and ask your confessor or spiritual director, and sometimes ask him to explain it further if you are still confused. 
   

Sometimes a way seems right to a man, but the end of it leads to death.



The enigmas of the lived life...
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But will I ever learn?  I received some provocative emails and phone calls in the past few days.  These days so much information assails us - all at once - that discernment can become clouded and confused if we are not careful.  Much of the information I would rather not know, especially since most of it only confirms what I already knew.  Lately I've encountered very deceptive people who harbor a great deal of rancor and anger in their hearts, a few are even vindictive and downright hateful.  A sure sign of the absence of the Holy Spirit.  I frequently find refuge and counsel in the prayers of the rosary, in the scriptures, and in my art... "Realistically painted subjects function as signs whose meaning reveals itself to those responsive to the enigmas of the lived life."

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The precautions from proverbs. 
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He who corrects an arrogant man earns insult; and he who reproves a wicked man incurs opprobrium.

Reprove not an arrogant man, lest he hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
Instruct a wise man, and he becomes still wiser; teach a just man, and he advances in learning.

The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the LORD, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
If you are wise, it is to your own advantage; and if you are arrogant, you alone shall bear it.

The woman Folly is fickle, she is inane, and knows nothing.
She sits at the door of her house upon a seat on the city heights,
Calling to passers-by as they go on their straight way:
"Let whoever is simple turn in here, or who lacks understanding; for to him I say,
Stolen water is sweet, and bread gotten secretly is pleasing!"
Little he knows that the shades are there, that in the depths of the nether world are her guests! - Proverbs 9
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False scales are an abomination to the LORD, but a full weight is his delight.

When pride comes, disgrace comes; but with the humble is wisdom.
The honesty of the upright guides them; the faithless are ruined by their duplicity. - Proverbs 11
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Evil is cleansed away by bloody lashes, and a scourging to the inmost being. - Proverbs 20

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I am more and more convinced that, as Edith Stein once said, "Words cannot save us now, only the Passion of Christ..."  Hence my tendency to believe that suffering opposition in patience and charity is better than ranting and railing against the wickedness that besets and surrounds us.  Even when I fall at every step - perhaps especially then.
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Art:  Allegory of Painting, Vincent Desiderio

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fr. Richard Hogan



Fr. Hogan died.
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STATEN ISLAND, NY (Priests for Life) - Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, expressed sadness today at the death of Father Richard Hogan, a priest of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St Paul who was released in 1995 to be the full-time Associate Director of Priests for Life. He served in that capacity for five years. - Read more.
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Brief biography.
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Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.





Gangs of Poodles terrorize South Beach residents.



Homeless poodles have been found wandering exclusive neighborhoods in American cities due to the recession - owners just cannot keep up with the popular but high maintenance pet - bi-weekly grooming/clipping/pedicures, special diets, clothing, boots, jewel encrusted leashes and tiaras.  "Poodles are not only demanding but they are expensive," chirped ChaCha Raimundo, "we are in foreclosure on our condo, we're stretched beyond our means!"
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This last holiday weekend, poodles seemed to be turning on their cash-strapped owners who had abandoned them on the beaches.  In a very scary situation in South Beach on Memorial Day weekend, there was an actual poodle stampede; poodles snatched purses and jewelry from unsuspecting tourists and the bar-hopping crowds, defecating on beach chairs, pulling off thongs and flip-flops while biting people's ankles.  Witnesses said it was mayhem.  Authorities are investigating and animal rights groups are demanding compensation for the abandoned pets as well as government funded health care. 

The source of our problems.



Sin speak to the sinner in the depths of his heart.  There is no fear of God before his eyes.
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He so flatters himself in his mind that he knows not his guilt.  In his mouth are mischief and deceit, all wisdom is gone.
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He plots the defeat of goodness as he lies on his bed.  He has set his foot on evil ways, he clings to what is evil. - Psalm 35

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gospel creeps.



"To suffer and be despised." - St. John of the Cross
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That prayer of John of the Cross always fascinates me.  Our Lord invited the Saint to ask him for any favor he desired, and John prayed, "To suffer and be despised."  John of the Cross did suffer and he was despised - by members of his own order, in fact his prior despised and persecuted him. 
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To suffer and be despised seems to me a very hard thing to embrace - human nature absolutely rebels against it.  People are usually despised because they are perceived as bad, or they are of a lower, meaner status.  In the Gospel, many despicable people followed Jesus or sought his attention - some were even kind of creepy.  The Samaritan woman, the Magdalen, Zaccheus, the lepers, and so on.  Social outcasts.  Peter himself was despicable when he denied Christ three times.  And of course, Christ was despised and put to death.
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So what's my point?  I'm not sure.  Just that to suffer and be despised is difficult to bear - especially when you realize you really deserve such treatment.  I think that is what fallen human nature rebels against most and seeks to deny.  It's such a mystery.
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Anyway - I've been pondering the issue lately...  But I'm running out of answers.   

Michele Bachman announces candidacy...



No surprise there.
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Here is one reason NOT to even consider voting for her:
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Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, are born-again Christians, and it was God, she says, who encouraged her to run for higher office. - CNN
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The other reason for me is that I could never take her seriously - much like Sarah Palin - too pretty.  All she's got is her Mary Tyler Moore charm and the fact that she's one of the few truly pro-life candidates ever to seek the nomination.  Like Palin however, I'd be afraid she'd nuke the Middle East to hurry the rapture along.  I laughed at this comment to the article linked above, it's from one of her constituents:
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Brad:  I live in Bachmann's hometown of Stillwater MN. She is completely NUTS! Most of us are ashamed of her. Please focus your attention on other candidates, she doesn't deserve any more time in the spotlight. Cheers.
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Deserve it or not, she and all of the others will be driving us nuts for the next year and a half.  Politics is nothing but an endless campaign.  So, who really runs government when these folks are always on the trail?

Monday, June 13, 2011

What is worse than women in pants?


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What?

Chill

June 13, The second apparition at Fatima.



On this date in 1917, Our Lady appeared to the three children at Fatima a second time.  The day is not only the feast of St. Anthony, but the feast of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament as well.
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13 June 1917
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About fifty people turned up at the Cova da Iria on June 13, as the three children assembled near the holmoak tree where the Lady had appeared. The children then saw a flash of light followed immediately by the apparition of Mary, as she spoke to Lucia: "I want you to come on the 13th of next month, to pray the Rosary every day, and to learn to read. Later, I will tell you what I want."
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Lucia asked Mary to take them to heaven and was reassured in this way: "I will take Jacinta and Francisco shortly; but you will stay here for some time to come. Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne." This last sentence is found in a letter written in 1927 by Sr. Lucia to her confessor.
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Lucia was sad at the first part of this reply, saying: "Am I to stay here alone?" Mary replied: "No, my daughter. Are you suffering a great deal? Don't lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."
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One of the witnesses to this apparition, Maria Carreira, described how Lucia then cried out and pointed as Mary departed. She herself heard a noise like, "a rocket, a long way off," and looked to see a small cloud a few inches over the tree, rise, and move slowly towards the east until it disappeared. The crowd of pilgrims then returned to Fatima where they reported the amazing things they had seen, thus ensuring that there were between two and three thousand people present for the July apparition. - Source

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Pray the Rosary every day.
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At every appearance Our Lady asked that the Rosary be prayed every day: "Pray the Rosary every day."  It is also important to note that Our Lady promised the children:  "He (Jesus) wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."
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Our Lady never said go here or there to find out secrets and see signs, she came to call sinners to repentence, to ask that we consecrate ourselves to her Immaculate Heart; she came to help us on the narrow path to salvation for the glory of God.  All of this is contained and obtained in and through the secret of the Rosary.  Our Lady's assurance to Lucia is for us as well: "My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."

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Don't go to strangers.
  
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Icon: T. Nelson

St. Anthony of Padua



In thanksgiving for the patronage of St. Anthony and favors granted.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Snark Bait



A new feature.
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Call it a synopsis of nothing if you like, but this new feature is simply a redux of my old random thoughts posts with a little bit of 'pepper' - which ought to excite some of my more unstable commenters to some degree, and possibly generate a bit of snark and lots of back-talk - or rather, behind-the-back-talk via emails and twits, that is.
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Ageism, or another reason why Fr. Z will never be a bishop.

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Fr. Z writes about the Detroit ACC, a convention that would be of interest to only a very few progressive Catholics as well as a few people in the Detroit area.  These types generally belong to the same group of Catholic liberals who would have sought to block men such as Fr. Z from ordination.  Thus one can understand the animosity.  I lived and suffered through the same progressive church people so I know what these people can be like.  That said, the contempt shown by Fr. Z and his ilk regarding the age and infirmity of these Christians is hardly charitable.  God permitting, Fr. Z and his host of followers will live to see their lives fall apart in sickness and old age and mockery as well.
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On the Detroit ACC - How a Bishop responds.
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As you may be aware, a group calling itself the American Catholic Council will be meeting at Cobo Hall on the weekend of June 11 and 12. Despite my attempts to engage in a dialogue with them about this planned event, the organizers of this conference have not replied to me directly. I have a number of concerns about this event and caution any Catholic against participating for reasons expressed already in previous communications sent by the Archdiocese.

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In order to fulfill my responsibilities, so clearly enunciated by the Second Vatican Council, of fostering of communion with both the local and the universal Church, I am compelled to caution any priests or deacons who may be considering participation in this liturgy. It is not being celebrated with my permission as required by the law and the good order of the People of God. Further, clergy should be aware of the impact of forbidden concelebration with those who are not in full communion (canons 908 and 1365). This is a serious delict, for which recourse to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is required, and which may result in dismissal from the clerical state (cf. Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela, 2001 and 2010).
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I ask that you pray with me for the unity of the Church. As we commemorate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin in this upcoming Solemnity, may the Holy Spirit come afresh on all of us, keeping us united in the love of God and keeping our attention and energies focused on the task of sharing Christ in and through His Church.
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Sincerely yours in Christ,
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The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit - Te Deum blog
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"I ask that you pray with me for the unity of the Church." - Archbishop Vigneron  (See the difference?)
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Photo credit for the walker photo: Fr. Z at the Detroit ACC.




On the Acquisition of the Holy Spirit



"How great is God's compassion on our misery, that is to say, our inattention to His care for us, when God says: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock" (Rev. 3:20), meaning by "door" the course of our life which has not yet been closed by death! Oh, how I wish, your Godliness, that in this life you may always be in the Spirit of God! "In whatsoever I find you, in that will I judge you," says the Lord.
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"Woe betide us if He finds us overcharged with the cares and sorrows of this life! For who will be able to bear His anger, who will bear the wrath of His countenance? That is why it has been said: "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation" (Mk. 14:38), that is, lest you be deprived of the Spirit of God, for watching and prayer brings us His grace.
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"Of course, every good deed done for Christ's sake gives us the grace of the Holy Spirit, but prayer gives us this grace most of all, for it is always at hand, as an instrument for acquiring the grace of the Spirit. For instance, you would like to go to church, but there is no church or the service is over; you would like to give alms to a beggar, but there isn't one, or you have nothing to give; you would like to preserve your virginity, but you have not the strength to do so because of your temperament, or because of the violence of the wiles of the enemy which because of your human weakness you cannot withstand; you would like to do some other good deed for Christ's sake, but either you have not the strength or the opportunity is lacking. This certainly does not apply to prayer. Prayer is always possible for everyone, rich and poor, noble and humble, strong and weak, healthy and sick, righteous and sinful.
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"You may judge how great the power of prayer is even in a sinful person, when it is offered whole-heartedly, by the' following example from Holy Tradition. When at the request of a desperate mother who had been deprived by death of her only son, a harlot whom she chanced to meet, still unclean from her last sin, and who was touched by the mother's deep sorrow, cried to the Lord: "Not for the sake of a wretched sinner like me, but for the sake of the tears of a mother grieving for her son and firmly trusting in Thy loving kindness and Thy almighty power, Christ God, raise up her son, O Lord!" And the Lord raised him up.
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"You see, your Godliness! Great is the power of prayer, and it brings most of all the Spirit of God, and is most easily practiced by everyone. We shall be happy indeed if the Lord God finds us watchful and filled with the gifts of His Holy Spirit. Then we may boldly hope "to be caught up . . . in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thess. 4:17) Who is coming "with great power and glory" (Mk. 13:26) "to judge the living and the dead" (1 Peter 4:5) and "to reward every man according to his works" (Matt. 16:27). - St. Seraphim of Sarov

My Killing Fields


PUBLIC NOTICE: Some one is killing my ivy hedge.
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I have chain link fence on the property that I planted with Engleman ivy.  After a few years it forms a hedge in the summer, and in the winter the bare vines catch snow and are rather nice.  The ivy hides the industrial looking fence quite well.  Unfortunately my neighbors never liked the fence nor the ivy.  The ivy sends out trailers into the lawn, although while mowing the lawn the trailers can either be mulched or easily pulled out as you go.  The photo shown above illustrates the healthy ivy hedge, the photo's below show the dying hedge which borders my neighbor's front yard.  Both the fence and the vine is planted on my property.  In the back yard, another manicured hedge layers the ivy hedge.
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Facing the neighbor's.

The fence from the neighbor's side.

Dead portions of the hedge.

I have made it a point to be a good neighbor to these people, so I am quite surprised they would hack away at my hedge, cutting it off my fence and possibly even attempting to kill it out.  I have always been friendly and generous towards the family, often initiating conversations and so on - therefore one would expect they would have had the decency to approach me if they were having problems.  For the past few days I have tried to catch their attention to discuss the matter, but they seem to be avoiding me.
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I have a very low tolerance for two-faced people, but that doesn't deter me from addressing such issues as they arise.