See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, August 06, 2011

My dream.



I'm not saying it means anything, but I forgot to mention a dream I had.  Actually I was waking up when I felt as if I should be remembering something important.  I can't recall any details, aside from the impression I had been looking down a wide urban avenue, partially obscured by thick fog or haze.  I thought of the following passage from Genesis: "God made them male and female."  Though the message seemed to be this:  "The acceptance of sin and sins committed has finally gone too far now for God not to act."  I was frustrated because I forgot which particular sin tipped the scales - only to realize the scales had already been tipped and it was too late to do anything about it anyway.   
.
That was it.

Topics I might bring up if I was trying to make conversation with Cathy over coffee...



Stuff like that.
.
Hey - I apologize for not responding to emails and comments - I've been rather preoccupied lately - a lot on my mind...

  • So - get this:  Obama is the first black president and the country may have to go on welfare.  How ironic.
.
  • There is a bobble head doll of Bishop Trautman - who will be the first to send one to Fr. Z?  You know he wants one.
.
  • So - the usual complaints about the travesty of World Youth Day are beginning to be raised on conservative blogs for peace.  Questions and commentary such as: What for?  Oh!  The liturgical abuses!  The nakedness!  The pope-olatry!  Why can't Michael Voris talk about sex there?  Nun's dancing?  All the old church-ladies are complaining about nothing that concerns them...  Not you Kat - I was really thinking of Alice here - you know Alice. 
.
  • Did you see the video of black men shooting up a bus in Philadelphia?  Then at the Wisconsin State Fair black people were attacking white people.  What up with that?
.
  • So Cardinal Burke and Bishop Lori address the K of C at some sort of national convention, and praise the group, but Michael Voris resigned because the Knights of Columbus aren't Catholic enough.  I wonder if Voris doesn't protest too much at times?  FYI:  Voris has Robert Redford looks - not Justin Beiber. 
.
  • The famine.  Somalia.  Stuff like this keeps happening - and it doesn't have to be this way. 
.
  • At the doctor's office the other day, the waiting room was full of Somalis.  They all had insurance cards.  I don't have health insurance so I'm self-pay - I'm fine with that.  But seeing all the Somalis, who cannot speak English with insurance cards was weird however.  Especially when my doctors ask me, 'when are you going to get insurance, so we can do more tests, treatment, etc..'  I find it so strange, because I can't afford insurance, and I don't qualify for Somali-care...  I wondered what St. Francis and his fiars would have done if they were required to have insurance?  Even the poor in this country are not really poor.  Not yet anyway.
.
  • I've been reading Heather King lately.  She strikes me as someone very authentic.  She seems to be  terribly popular now as well - popularity frequently is a stabilizing agent - one can find oneself part of an establishment after achieving some sort of recognition.  I think that can inhibit spontaneity at times.  It's a danger online.  Anyway - King's friendship with St. Therese is refreshing - so she will most likely be fine.
.
  • I've noticed how some blogs - or their authors, usually inhabit certain spaces, or rather become part of a hierarchy within their particular sub-group.  I don't want to label the groups however - especially with terms such as neo-con or something else, since labels always end up being derogatory terms used in a disagreement.  Within these sub-groups there is a sort of conformity of style and interest, as well as purpose...  I'm not sure what I'm getting at, but some sort of conformity is expected, a certain decorum, etiquette and agreement is required in order to be included or accepted by them. 
.
  • Anyway - I can't do that with my blog or my online presence.  I can't post for dollars or hits or comments; and never, ever for followers or 'friends'.  I never want to be popular.  I can't think of anything more restricting or uncreative.
.
Gotta go - all this coffee makes me have to pee.

Enola's 'Little Boy'... and the transfiguration of Hiroshima.




The bomb was named 'Little Boy'.


Dropped on Hiroshima August 6, 1945, Feast of the Transfiguration.


+


2314 "Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation."110 A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons - to commit such crimes. - CCC

Friday, August 05, 2011

Blame the Homosexual Priests.


Keeping up with the posts.
.
I know - I've missed a few breaking news stories about the gays - I've been busy.  It's good to be busy.
.

Now to our feature article...
.
[CNA]  As debate surrounding the recently published John Jay Report (Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010) continues, more and more Catholics are coming to the unavoidable conclusion (contrary to “official findings”) that the overwhelming majority of abuse cases were directly related to homosexuality.
.
One may further deduce that the historical spike in such incidents also likely coincided with an increase in the relative number of homosexual men in the priesthood - a proposition too unsavory (not to mention too politically incorrect) for many to acknowledge.
.
Those who are willing to look at the situation with eyes opened wide are left to ponder, not just the aforementioned abuse crisis, but also the broader implications of homosexuality in the priesthood.
I would submit that the impact of homosexual priests has perhaps been brought to bear in a particularly profound way in the liturgical life of the Church, and I would ask the reader to keep in mind as we proceed the warning issued by St. Paul, “Know you not that a little leaven corrupteth the whole lump?” (1 Cor. 5:6) - The Liturgical Impact of Homosexuals in the Priesthood, Louie Verrechio
.
Ya think?
.
The article is well written and makes sense - to an extent.  But are gay priests the ones solely responsible for dismantling the liturgy too?  I suppose we could ask retired Archbishop Weakland about it, and if he were honest, he might have to say 'to an extent'.  Look what he did to the liturgy and church design.  I know!
.
I've known many priests over the years - several were gay - their influence as regards the celebration of the sacraments and Mass was pretty much the same as any priest's  - not always perfect, but not always bad either.  Not all promoted liturgical abuses, and most of those I knew were very devoted to the proper celebration of the sacraments and Mass, while a couple were even rather staunch traditionalists.  Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that until recently, a certain decadence has prevailed and contaminated religious life as well as the formation of priests in the Church.  The Michael Rose book, "Good-bye Good Men" more or less documents that fact.
.
That said, something I find interesting in the CNA article is the suggestion that the celebration of the liturgy - Mass - lost it's focus while the personality of the celebrant somehow took on exaggerated importance.  The author attributes this to the idea that the homosexual priest 'struggles with an underlying inclination toward narcissism.'  However true that might be, not all narcissists are homosexual.  I know straight priests who make everything all about them as well.  Anyway, here's what Verrecchio says about that:
.
Priests on stage.
.
In the Novus Ordo, however, the priest most commonly offers Holy Mass in the vernacular versus populum (facing the people) wherein his personality (and at times his emotional health) is unavoidably on display. Aware of the impact that his liturgical persona can have on the experience of the assembled faithful, the priest often feels tremendous pressure to draw upon his personal resources to “perform” his duties in a compelling way. Even in the best of circumstances, it is quite natural for the priest to feel moved to so meet the expectant eyes and ears of the faithful such as they are ever cast upon him in the newly configured rite. 
.
For the priest who also struggles with an underlying inclination toward narcissism, the temptation to use the liturgy as a venue for seeking attention and personal gratification can be all but overwhelming.
.
Given the fact that the Council Fathers encouraged neither the dramatic change in the priest’s posture toward the people nor the construction of free-standing altars to accommodate the practice, it is reasonable to wonder what sorts of influences and pressures within the priestly population itself may have allowed for such a radical liturgical innovation to take hold so quickly. - CNA
.
Blame it on the _____________.
.
I think that's a stretch - although containing an element of truth.  Yet the supposed narcissism of the priest leading to his being the focus of the liturgical celebration doesn't seem to me to be the main reason for how the Mass changed, becoming more banal, even profane in some cases.  After all, suspected narcissists such as Cutie, Corapi or Phlegger are definitely not gay, nor is their performance at Mass necessarily the focus of their ministry.  (Corapi as much as said that.)  So while the narcissistic dimension makes some sense, I don't know if that can be used as the excuse for liturgical decline and abuse.
.
However, setting aside the general climate of moral decline in the Church after the rejection of Humane Vitae (not forgetting the 'original sin' of modern times has been the sin of contraception) the big changes to how Mass has been celebrated seem to me to be a lot less sinister - again - just my opinion here. 
.
Active participation.
.
Originally, my understanding as to why the altar was turned around and brought front and center, was, for all intent and purpose to facilitate "greater participation" by the laity - the community gathered together in the "worship space" around the "people's altar".  In effect, priest and laity became one.  If anything, there may have been a certain anti-clericalism at work - the emphasis off the priest and on the Body of Christ - the assembly.  One can argue against that, or claim some sort of an 'organic development', thus placing greater focus on the celebrant - but I've rarely experienced it that way.  Although I'm sure there are people who do and can tell me I'm mistaken.
.
Likewise, I think there was an ecumenical dimension to the changes. Since the Reformation, many Protestant services were conducted in the same way.  For instance, today one could be in a Lutheran assembly, or attend an Episcopalian Eucharist and there would be very little difference from the Novus Ordo.  The altar is turned around, the language is the vernacular, and there is greater participation in the celebration by the assembly.  Thus, perhaps in the rush to ecumenism, the Mass underwent radical changes in externals - but I don't see how that can be attributed to homosexual priests. 
.
To blame it all on the gays seems to me to be a stretch.  I could be wrong. 
.
Maybe it was really Bella Dodd's Communists instead?  Along with the Masons of course.
.
Top Photo:  Archbishop Weakland
.
Bella Dodd

Michael Voris and the Knights: The Real Story.



Why did he leave the Knights?
.
I'm just not sure - he said one thing - but I'm hoping it was the outfits.  Unless they were planning to dump him first?  Nah!
.
Disclaimer:  No Knights were harmed by this post - but they might have been by Michael Voris.  Nah!  The Knights of Columbus are a wonderful fraternal organization that does a great deal of good - and they are endorsed by Cardinal Burke too.
.
BREAKING!  Abbey-Roads London Bureau reports: Michael Voris coming to London.  He has now achieved international status.  Story here.

OMIGOSH! So there I was looking out my window...



And I saw poodles running.
.
Well, just a bald guy walking a big black poodle! 
.
So what has happened to Corapi?  No one covers him any longer.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

News of the very, very nutty...



The end of the Vatican...
.
And I thought TIA and Novus Ordo Watch and Gruner's Fatima Crusader and blogs-like-them were the nuts.  Today I come to find out there is another fringe organization calling itself the Fatima Movement.  I know!  The Fatima Movement purports to have the new translation of the Third Secret of Fatima and they have revealed that "the Vatican will be destroyed on August 17, 2011."  I KNOW!  "According to their claim, the prediction is based on a new translation of the 1944 Vatican documentation of the the Three Secrets of Fatima."
.

.
The Fatima Movement's website also clears up the question, "Why did Sr. Lucy look so different in earlier photos than she did in later photos?"
.
Answer: Sister Lucia was killed by Eastern Star (the women's Freemasonic Lodge) and replaced with an imposter around 1958.
.
Holy crap!  So anyway, I heard the Jewish Freemasons were also forcing little kids to crouch in Muslim prayer postures when they adored the Blessed Sacrament in their efforts to ... what?  I'm just not sure.
.
THIS JUST IN!  Parking meters installed in Medjugorje.  Maybe the Vatican is moving there?
.
BREAKING!  Fr. Z is returning to the Sabine Farm from his well deserved R&R vacation up north.

 
.
H/T SpiritDaily for the Fatima Movement link and the Medj news.

Prayer is good...



Suffering is better. - Mother Mary Electa of Christ, OCD
.
I read that quote early on in my conversion and sometimes - not always - I think of it during those times when I find it difficult to pray, or recollect myself - even at Mass when I fall prey to so many distractions and petty annoyances.  Little Therese of Lisieux understood that as well, while in choir during mental prayer the rattling of an old nun's dentures disturbed the saint's peace.  Therese offered the annoyance as a little sacrifice of praise.  One sees in this how 'suffering' becomes a prayer, and therefore a good. 
.
I'm very interested in modern saints, the closer to our age they lived, the better, since they show us how to live the Gospel amidst great difficulties and opposition.  I was attracted to the blind St. Matrona for that very reason.  She lived through the revolution and under the atheistic regime of the Soviet Union until her death in 1954.  She remained faithful, even though some of the priests and hierarchy may have been agents of the Communist government - or at least cooperators.  Her story is amazing.
.
Likewise, the life of Fr. Walter Ciszek is amazing, a fine example of the spirituality of complete abandonment to Divine Providence.  His experience in Soviet prisons and camps is a wonderful example of living one's faith amidst suffering, tribulation, persecution and uncertainty. 
.
Humility and the will of God.
.
I've made such a long introduction here just to share a couple of passages from Ciszek's story I found edifying.  Maybe you will too. 
.
"This tendency to set acceptable conditions on God, to seek unconsciously to make his will for us coincide with our desires, is a very human trait.  And the more important the situation is, the more totally committed to it or the more completely our future depends upon it, then the easier it becomes for us to blind ourselves into thinking that what we want is surely what God must want.  We can see one solution only and naturally we assume that God will help us reach it.
[...]
It is an awful thing this dross of self that spoils even the best things we do out of the supposedly highest motives.  'Like gold refined in the furnace he tried them,' says the Book of Wisdom about the souls of the just.  Somehow, by the trials and tribulations of this life, our souls must be purified of this dross of self if we are to become ultimately acceptable to God.  For each of us the trials will come in different ways and at different times... -but we are created to do God's will and not our own, to make our wills conform to his and not vice versa...  In large tests and in small therefore, God must sometimes allow us to act on our own so we can learn humility, so we can learn the truth of our total dependence upon him, so we can learn all of our actions are sustained by his grace, and that without him we can do nothing - not even make our own mistakes.
[...]
And the greatest grace God can give such a man is to send him a trial he cannot bear with his own powers - and then sustain him with his grace so he may endure to the end and be saved." - He Leadeth Me, The Interrogations.  
.
Art:  St. Symeon Stylite

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

St. Matrona of Moscow






St. Matrona of Moscow, 1885-1952
.
"She was blind from birth, but from a very young age Blessed Matrona was filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit to be able to clearly see the sins and passions and even the thoughts of people who came to her. Born totally without eyes she was blessed with the ability to foretell future events. This simple, illiterate woman, born in a remote Russian village in a poor peasant family is now known and honored throughout Russia as a powerful intercessor before the Lord and a worker of miracles but is less well known here in America.

Before her death on May 2, 1952 she instructed those around her:

"Everyone, everyone who will come to me: tell me, as if I were alive, of your sorrows, and I will see you, and hear you, and help you. After my death few people will visit my grave, only close friends, and when they die my grave will be abandoned. But after many years people will hear about me and come in crowds for help in their sorrows and with requests for prayer for them to the Lord God, and I will help everyone and listen to everyone."

Blessed Matrona was glorified as a saint of the Orthodox Church on May 2, 1999. Her relics are enshrined in the Protection Monastery in Moscow where every day hundreds of people stand in long lines to bring her their problems, illnesses, and needs as they ask for her prayers before the throne of the Lord.
.
The life of St. Matrona reminds us that all of us are called to a life of holiness and that this is possible for all of us. She was not a nun, never attended a seminary, in fact was an illiterate, peasant woman yet was so filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit that she was able to see people's needs and sins, predict the future, and perform countless miracles even after her death. The Bible teaches that when a person is cleansed of their sinful passions and is filled with the Holy Spirit the presence of the Spirit produces certain "gifts" or "fruit". These include the ability to read the hearts of people, perform miracles, predict future events... (see 1 Corinthians 12:4-11) as well as characteristics of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness... (see Galatians 5:22)
.
Why is it that we do not have people like her among us in America today? Where are these people who can predict the future and perform miracles? St. Matrona was immersed, she was "marinated" in the divine services of the Church, spending countless hours in her village church along with hours daily of her own private prayer. What are we in America immersed or marinated in? To what do we devote our time? Television, internet, Facebook, movies, magazines, shopping.... The Bible also describes the "fruit" of this type of immersion: adultery, fornication, hatred, jealousy, selfish ambition, dissension... (see Galatians 5:19) Which do you prefer in your life, the fruit which St. Matrona had or the fruit of this world?
.
Tropar of St. Matrona of Moscow

Chosen by the Holy Spirit from your swaddling clothes, O blessed eldress Matrona, you received bodily weakness and blindness from God for spiritual cleansing. You were enriched with the gift of foresight and wonderworking and have been adorned with an incorruptible crown from the Lord . Therefore we offer you crowns of praise in gratitude crying out to you: "Rejoice O righteous mother Matrona, fervent intercessor before God for us!


Begging the intercession of St. Matrona.  I have a medical emergency today due to vision impairment in one eye.  Please pray that God's holy will may be accomplished in and through whatever befalls me.  Thank you. 

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Where's Terry?

I've been offline for 3 days.  I'm having work done on the house - new windows installed.  I should be back online sometime tomorrow.  I noticed one or two posts received a great deal of comments - what's up with that?  I didn't have time to read them yet - sorry.  I also received a ton of emails - I will try to respond the next chance I get.  Thanks.

It has been kind of a nice break actually.

Franciscan Feast of Our Lady of the Angels



The "Great Pardon" of Assisi.
.
In a vision at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels, the Lord, accompanied by the Blessed Virgin, instructed St. Francis of Assisi to ask whatever favor he desired. St. Francis asked for what came to be known as the Porziuncula Indulgence, otherwise known as the Great Pardon of Assisi. He asked that those who would devoutly visit the Chapel would be forgiven all of their sins and the punishment due them. (This remarkable pardon is similar to the 20th century feast of Divine Mercy.)
.
At one time, the Pardon was reserved for those who would visit the Chapel on the afternoon of the 1st and all day on the 2nd of August, the 2nd being the feast of Our Lady of the Angels. Over the centuries, the Popes have extended the favor to include every parish Church, beginning at noon of the 1st and ending at midnight of the 2nd of August. (This type of plenary indulgence is known as toties quoties.)
.
To obtain the plenary indulgence, a person must visit the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels at Assisi, a Franciscan sanctuary, or one's parish Church, with the intention of honoring Our Lady of the Angels. (At the Chapel in Assisi, the indulgence may be gained on any day throughout the year.)
.
One must be free of any attachment to venial and mortal sin, and truly repentant. (Don't let that scare you - one may have the 'will' to be free of attachment.) Therefore, it is necessary to make Sacramental Confession, preferably 8 days before or after the visit. It is also necessary to assist at Mass and receive Holy Communion 8 days before or after the feast, although communicating on the feast is customary. It is also required that a person recite the Creed and pray the Our Father, for the intentions of the Holy Father.
.
Photo:  Porziuncula in the Basilica of OL of the Angels, Assisi.  The spiritual heart and home of Franciscans world wide.

Monday, August 01, 2011

St. Alphonsus Ligouri



Memorial.

"The more we distrust our own strength, the more we should confide in the divine mercy. This is a balance in which the more the scale of confidence in God is raised, the more the scale of diffidence in ourselves descends.
.
"Listen to me, O sinners: if the devil tells you that but little hope remains of your eternal salvation, answer him in the words of Scripture, 'No one has hoped in the Lord, and has been confounded.' [Eccl 2; 11] No sinner has ever trusted in God, and has been lost." - St. Alphonsus
.
Art: Painting of Jesus Crucified, Alphonsus Liguori.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mass Chat: Summer distractions...



Heated distractions, distinctions, disintegrations...
.
I wish I had never read a blog post on what people wear to church and immodesty.  I wish I'd never read an article about what does the prayer really say and those slavish translations from Latin.  I wish I never heard a 'hymn' set to pop music.  I wish that I never watched a Michael Voris video.  These experiences come back to haunt you - garbage in, garbage out - as they say.  (I wish I had a cigarette.) 
.
Despite the fact I spent an hour in prayer before, I was still distracted throughout Mass.  A family of little girls sat in front of me.  One little girl between the ages of 5 and 6 was performing wildly for me and her dad who sat next to her.  She was gyrating throughout Mass, vogueing, performing acrobatics, twirling, climbing on her dad's shoulders during the consecration, and kicking the back of the pew in front of her.  All I could think of is Michael Voris and his video titled, "Everyone loves kids, right?"  I have no idea what the video is about - but...
.
So Mass was tough.  Distracted as I was, I kept thinking that the hot looking lector in the really tight white jeans maybe should have worn a shawl - the EMHC's could have used a bit of cover up as well.  Normally I pay no attention to this stuff - but this time I was assaulted by such petty, sanctimonious judgements of my neighbor - impatient with the Gather music and the lady-cantor who sings from her throat instead of her stomach.   I battled such temptations all through Mass, until communion - when they suddenly vanished, and I was recollected and at peace.  After Mass the church emptied out quickly and there I was...
.
Sheesh!  I hate it when I get all holier than thou like that.
.
Fractal Catholicism.
.
This is big!  This is really big!
.
What about that Ordinary Form vs. Extraordinary Form deal?  I think about that on occasion since I often use the readings from Mass for Lectio.  The readings are totally different in the Extraordinary Form.  I don't understand why the calendars remain different either?  If the reforms of Vatican II were followed correctly - shouldn't the EF be reformed as well?  Why, how, can the Church have two different Masses/liturgies and call it the same rite?  Where is the unity in that?  Especially since the OF is so denigrated by EF devotees?  It is one thing to use the Latin - the OF can, and in some cases should be said in Latin - but what we are talking about here is the completely different EF from the OF.
.
I think this is a very big deal which goes beyond slavish translations.  Do the EF people intend to do away with the OF?  I think they do.
.
Call me crazy, stupid, nuts, but it sure seems to me that rupture thing is getting wider and wider.  I love Benedict XVI, yet while he has been hailed as the Pope Of Christian Unity, it sure seems to me the Catholic Church in the States is fractalizing.  
.
Trivia:  Did you realize that fractals weren't even invented, identified, or taught when I was in school?  I know!  And I'm so young!  I knew about them however because I used to drop acid.  Sunshine.
.
Art: A Fractal Church, by Vidom

The Immaculata


The Immaculata, T. Nelson 2011
acrylic on gesso

I told Kat I would post an example of a retablo on gesso/wood with transparent washes.  I painted it for an ornate Peruvian frame.
Posted by Picasa