Saturday, August 20, 2011

Nuns at WYD Madrid



The photos from WYD are edifying.

Who are these people? Redux

Two years ago I wrote this post... the update occurs at "Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed."

The Anonymous Commenter.

Dianah Vaughan, Leo Taxil, and "April's Mom".
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Who are these people?
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Leo Taxil lived in late 19th century France and was a contemporary of St. Therese of Lisieux, who for a time had been taken in by his scam. Taxil had stunned European society with his conversion from Free-Masonry to Catholicism, and subsequent pamphlets detailing the evil Satanic sect within Masonry. (Read more.) Later he invented a persona named Dianah Vaughan, whom he claimed also converted, with startling details of the diabolic cult. Taxil, an anti-clerical free-thinker from the start, delighted in deceiving and mocking the Catholic Church; the Lisieux Carmel and St. Therese just happened to be amongst those duped. It is said the following lament from St. Therese may be directly related to the farce.
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"I was unable to believe there were really impious people who had no faith... [but] Jesus made me feel that there were really souls who have no faith, and who, through the abuse of grace, lost this precious treasure, the source of the only real and pure joy." - Therese of Lisieux
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The recent discovery that a blogger who wrote under the name of "April's Mom" is likewise a hoax, reminded me of the Taxil story.
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The woman behind the hoax isn't "April's Mom" — a single expectant mother who lay awake at night terrified her unborn child would die at any time, according to the Chicago Tribune.
She is actually Beccah Beushausen, a 26-year-old social worker from the Chicago suburb of Mokenka who says she didn't know how to free herself from the web of lies she wove. "I know what I did was wrong," Beushausen told the Tribune. "I've been getting hate mail. I'm sorry because people were so emotionally involved."
- Story
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Pro-life hearts had been touched by her story of carrying a terminally ill baby to term, only to have the infant die shortly after birth. Beushausen made the whole thing up - before long her blog was receiving 100,000 hits a week - she says she didn't know how to stop the lies. Good people cared about her, prayed for her, supported her, only to be scandalously betrayed.
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This stuff happens - and continues to happen.
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Look at Fr. Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ. Not long ago there was a top blogger in California whom everyone believed to be an orthodox Catholic - it turned out he was a lot more 'liberal' in the dissenting sense, than his readers and $contributors$ imagined. 
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Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed.
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UPDATE August 20, 2011:  As I stated at the top, this post is a couple of years old - but now things have gotten markedly worse, haven't they?  Like... 
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First Archbishop Weakland reveals he's gay in a tell-all book - who knew?!  Then the exorcists' stories catch up with him and Tom Euteneuer is revealed as a deceiver - as was his friend Corapi.  Fr. Cutie runs off with a woman.  We all know this stuff - it's old news.  Except it really seems as if it has been one scandal upon another scandal, doesn't it?
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Yesterday I got scammed - by Catholic deceptives online - the 'anonymous' ones.  I'm amazed at how mean-spirited religious people can become.  A friend of mine once told me, "I am frequently taken aback by the hostility shown by so many Catholics towards those who simply disagree with them.  Many of the tactics used by 'good' Catholics mirror those used by those they condemn as CINO or liberals and dissenters.  They strike me as just as dangerous as those they call their enemies."
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But who am I to quibble - what goes around comes around - my hands have been sullied writing little tabloid posts myself, playing the inquisitor and judge at times - yep, I'm guilty as hell.  Sincere thanks to my anonymous commenters for reminding me how I've wasted my time and how much I have to account for.  It is refreshing and truly a wonderful grace to have someone tell you your faults.  Many thanks.
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Anyway - here are a few maxims I've concocted that may be useful to keep in mind:

  • Except for a few exceptions, most online friendships are not like real, personal friendships.  Undoubtedly we make new friends, but not everyone who links, subscribes, comments or signs on to one's Follower app is a friend.
  • Online enemies are real however.  We don't need to know them, as in 'know your enemies'; Christ simply instructed us to love them, do good to them, and to pray for them.
  • As I said before, and I stand by it:  If anyone thinks they are sent by God to save the world in and through their website, their blog, their incessant twittering and Facebook updates, not to mention their not to be ignored comments, I'd really think that one through again.
  • If anyone claims to be more Catholic than the Church - be on guard.
  • Never take yourself too seriously and always keep a sense of humor - even if they 'don't get it'. 

Fun as they can be, Anonymous comments will no longer be permitted on this blog.  Though I find them instructive and helpful to myself, other commenters do not deserve to be insulted and intimidated by strangers.  Thanks for your understanding.
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That's all.
  

The Red Terror in Spain



The Red Terror in Spain (Spanish: Terror Rojo en España) is the name given by historians to various acts committed "by sections of nearly all the leftist groups" such as the killing of tens of thousands of people (including 6,832 members of the Catholic clergy, the vast majority in the summer of 1936 in the wake of the military rising), as well as attacks on landowners, industrialists, and politicians, and the desecration and burning of monasteries and churches. A process of political polarisation had characterised the Spanish Second Republic – party divisions became increasingly embittered and questions of religious identity came to assume a major political significance.

Some estimates of the Red Terror range from 38,000 to 72,344 lives. - Source

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Photo: Spanish leftists shooting Sacred Heart monument.

Friday, August 19, 2011

God bless the child...




Heroic witness in Madrid.
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The photos of participants of WYD in Madrid being harrassed by adult anti-Catholic protestors are taken from Thomas Peters blog.  (He obtained them here.)
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Viewing these images, one cannot help but recall the persecution and martyrdom of Catholics which took place during the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939.

World Youth Day...



In Somalia.
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More photos.

My com-box lately...

We will definitely find out more today...



I guarantee it.
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I already know, but I can't reveal it - yet.  I promised to keep a lid on it. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The world of fanfiction... who's in it? [A follow-up on the Michael Voris 'kerfluffle']



How many Catholics lurk there?
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It appears Simon Rafe, webmaster at St. Michael's Media, has been involved with fantasy fiction for quite some time - so it had to be common knowledge amongst his colleagues and associates what he was up to with his obsession - wouldn't you think?  A 'concerned parent' sent me an email with an attachment, explaining:   "Here is a Medill Report article, 2007, where Simon Rafe is briefly quoted and it appears many have known about his interest in fanfiction.  Given this report was written 4-years ago and that Simon would have had been visible enough prior to this date for a Medill reporter to seek him out, it seems hard to believe other Catholics were not aware of this until the Catholic on-line jrnl knew ..."
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No harm in fantasy fiction, right?  Where's Michael O'Brien when you need him?  From the Medhill Report:
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Online writers reinterpret the word of God
by Elizabeth Gibson
July 31, 2007
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From spiritual poetry to novel-length religious metaphors to action stories about Jesus to X-rated gay affairs between God and mortals, fanfiction has hit the Bible.

Fanfictions, or fanfics, are stories written by fans using their favorite premises and characters from comics, movies, television and books. Fans post their stories, most under pseudonyms, on blogs and archive sites such as fanfiction.net and adultfanfiction.net.
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“I guess I never really thought of the Bible as a text that would be appropriated,” said Kristen Schilt, a Rice University scholar who will join the University of Chicago’s sociology faculty in 2008.
“But on my second consideration it seemed to line up with what’s already out there. The appeal of fantasy fanfiction is re-imagining the world and turning things on their heads.”
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Fanfiction buffs and community leaders say Bible fanfiction, particularly smutty gay sex stories, aren’t likely to become mainstream, but it’s a curious subculture. The majority of stories aren’t risqué and writers say the stories are mostly a personal creative and spiritual outlet.
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Fanfiction.net has 2,273 stories in its Bible category compared to about 309,200 fanfics about Harry Potter. Poetry is the most popular genre in the Bible category, with 830 fanfics. Adultfanfiction.net, a hub for NC-17 fanfics, has 11 Bible entries.
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Most Bible stories aren’t risqué, and many fanfiction writers said they find the proliferation of gay as well as incestuous stories frustrating.
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Simon Rafe of Hazel Park, Mich., writes novel-length fanfics through Catholic allegories based on C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. His “King Edmund’s Crusade” is 170,033 words long with pages of footnotes and character sketches.
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Rafe is Web master for a Catholic evangelical media group in Detroit and is publishing a book about the Bible, but he spends days at a time working through drafts and researching texts like Machivelli’s “The Prince” for new chapters of fanfiction.
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“This is a hobby,” he said. “Although it does kind of take over your life. It is a desire to say, ‘Here is a theological view that I have and this is the story I want to say.’”
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Rafe said he and other fanfiction buffs post to online forums on which they debate issues such as whether C.S. Lewis’ depiction of salvation is theologically sound. Should a character have been saved even though he had prayed to the wrong being when he was alive? - Medhill Report

...


Man! - You just never know who you're dealing/blogging with these days, do you.  Yeah - not a question. 

I wonder how many Catholic blogs are really just fanfiction experiments?  What if "BlackSheepDoggie" was?  Or the popular monarchist site, "I am Isabella, Queen of Aragon-Castille Blog, So Don't Say Nothin' Bad About the EF"?  Or, "The Princess of Ebola-Virus Blog" written by the one-eyed stigmatized Carmelite?   As a friend of mine said, "So-called Catholic 'leaders and experts' sure seem to have a really hard time discerning and monitoring themselves and what they get involved with during their extracurricular activities online." 
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Of course - maybe it is all much ado about nothing, huh.  It's not like occult fantasy fiction then, is it.  And fanfiction has been around a long, long time.  Maybe.
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Thanks to "my friend" for the link. 
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Art:  Soldiers of the Catholic Church, by Skorpi

Keeping things in perspective



How greatly we worry about our honor...
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I often tell you, sisters, and now I want it to be set down in writing, not to forget that we in this
house, and for that matter anyone who would be perfect, must flee a thousand leagues from such
phrases as: “I had right on my side”; “They had no right to do this to me”; “The person who treated
me like this was not right”. God deliver us from such a false idea of right as that! Do you think that
it was right for our good Jesus to have to suffer so many insults, and that those who heaped them
on Him were right and that they had any right to do Him those wrongs? - Teresa of Avila, Way of Perfection, Chapter 3
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For the love of God, never let charity move you to show pity for another in anything to do with these fancied insults, for that is like the pity shown to holy Job by his wife and friends. - Ibid, Chapter 2
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Just something to think about for those of us who often fancy ourselves above reproach.
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Art:  Teresa of Avila

A bunch of bull in Madrid?



"I did not know that."
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People were out to get him... Maybe.  So did they get him now?  Maybe.  Story is that one of Michael Voris' staffers may not have been on the up and up.  And Michael may not have been paying attention to the tax exempt thing. Story from CNA:
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.- Michael Voris, the founder and host of RealCatholicTV, says he was completely unaware of recently discovered troubles within his organization, involving a staff apologist's sexually explicit writings, and his nonprofit corporation's loss of legal status two years ago.
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“I don't know what the issue is on any of this stuff,” said Voris, who is currently in Spain promoting his unofficial “No Bull in Madrid” meetings during World Youth Day.
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Voris told CNA on August 16 that he had “no idea” his nonprofit corporation St. Michael's Media had been automatically dissolved in 2009 after failing to file records with the state for two years. An official at the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs confirmed on August 10 that Voris' nonprofit was “no longer registered and in good standing with the State of Michigan.” - CNA
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I'm giving Michael Voris the benefit of the doubt - he probably really didn't know.  Every one makes mistakes, even many good managers have managed to mismanage their businesses. 
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That said, my advice to prospective online vigilantes, whistle-blowers and reformers:  Just remember - when you go after the big guns, make sure all your ducks are in order first.
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My advice to their supporters, promoters, and defenders:  If they are more Catholic than the Church - at least have the good sense to hold onto your wallets.
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H/T Thom for the story.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

World Youth Day and Communion in the hand, and fashion, and ...



Many, many questions...

Is it bad that WYD isn't at the top of my event list? 
  • No honey, it is not. 

How will all those kids receive Communion?  There have to be liturgical police wringing their hands over that one, huh?  Is it just about the worstest liturgical abuse ever?  Those ginormous concelebrated Masses?  The Conga-line style reception of communion?  And, and, and ...
  • I don't think so - is that bad?

A really old nun, 103 years, is leaving the convent to go see the pope - she hasn't left in 84 years - the poor nun said she would close her eyes all the way so as not to be distracted.  Now that is edifying.  If you were her, would you leave the monastery to go see the pope?
  • I would not.  I think he should go to see her.

At previous WYD's it can be said Blessed Pope John Paul II raised cane at the events.
  • He did - he used to raise his cane in the air like he just don't care.  Rockin'.

Michael Voris is holed up in a hotel for WYD.
  • I know!  That sounds sooooo creepy too.

Will the kids be wearing Abercrombie & Fitch fashions?  Low rise jeans?  And will A&F protest if they do?  (They protested that Mike The Situation wears their stuff on Jersey Shore.)
  • A&F doesn't care because MSM will not cover WYD.  And the A&F protest against Snooky and the Shore is just another genius marketing strategy - nothing more.

One reader asked me, "If you hadn't just turned 30, would you have gone to WYD?"
  • No.
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Shut up grandma.  (This post is for Andrew.)
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Photo found at Hermeneutic of Continuity

Today's morning post has been cancelled.


Post removed.
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I took the post down before I put it up - well it was scheduled to post, but then I saved it to draft.  I wanted to post it, but I decided it might be better if I didn't post it. 
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Not to worry.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

YouCats and Dogs...



Mark Shea covers it.
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I got the same Press Release that he and every other Catholic blogger must have received: 
INTERNATIONAL COALITION CALLS FOR YOUCAT RECALL:
Youth Catechism’s Doctrinal Errors Prompt Global Petition to Pope Benedict XVI

Blah, blah, blah, whatever.  I haven't seen a copy of YouCat, but surely it was approved after extensive review by the appropriate ecclesial authorities - in other words, as far as I know, YouCat carries an imprimatur and nihil obstat.  As Mark points out:
So some press release shows up in my box announcing that "a formal petition for the recall of YOUCAT has been launched by a group of more than 25 theologians, clergy, and Catholics involved in lay apostolates." I click the link (no, I'm not providing it), but have trouble locating who these people are. That smells. Strike one.
After strike two and three he concludes - as I do:
More and more, there seem to be "lay apostolates" whose mission seems to be to "save" the Church from the Magisterium and replace their guidance with the dogmatisms of sectarians. On the whole, if it's choice between the teachers ordained by Christ and Some Guy with a Website, I think I will stick with the bishops and the Pope. - YouCat Recall Looks Pretty Dodgy
Then there is The Black SheepDog's...
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New look.
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Following his truth I guess. 

Cardinal Canizares on Vatican II



Alert the Blogosterium!
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The Cardinal stated recently that Vatican II was not a break with Catholic Tradition - I accept that notion completely - but I doubt many Catholic bloggers do.  Even some bloggers who are priests have made disparaging statements regarding the actual Council; and not just the incorrect interpretation of the documents or the so-called 'spirit' of the Council either.
.- The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal Antonio Canizares, recently explained to CNA that Vatican II “was not at all a break” with the tradition of the Church.

The cardinal’s comments came in response to a question about the main obstacle preventing dialogue between the Holy See and the Society of St. Pius X. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication against four bishops ordained in 1991 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who died excommunicated.

The Lefebvrists have held since their founding that Vatican II was a break with the Church’s tradition, and therefore they have rejected the magisterium of every Pope beginning with John XXIII.

The Spanish cardinal said the main obstacle is that the Lefebvrists do not accept “that there has been no break at all with tradition; tradition continues to be alive and open, and Vatican II is (part of the) tradition.” Unity in the Church cannot be achieved by ignoring the council’s place in the Church’s tradition, he said. - CNA

Didn't every one in seminary or religious life have to read the Council documents? I did - I still have my copy.

The Feast of St. Rocco


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O blessed Saint Roch, patron of the sick, have pity on those who lie upon a bed of suffering. Your power was so great when you were in this world, that by the sign of the cross, many were healed of their diseases. Now that you are in heaven, your power is not less. Offer, then to God our sighs and tears and obtain for us that health we seek through Christ our Lord. - Source
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Art: Source

Monday, August 15, 2011

I predict...



My big prediction: 
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This week something is going to happen.  I saw it in the ether.

Was Our Lady the only person assumed into Heaven?

The Holy and Immaculate Conception, assumed body and soul into Heaven.

By Pontifical Definition - yes... 
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The Blessed Virgin is the only one whose assumption is defined as dogma.
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Pius XII defined the Assumption of the Mother of God into Heaven thusly:
44. For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma:
that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.
45. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith. - MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS

Unassuming souls floating in the ether?

Were there others?
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Well for sure Our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven - that is Gospel and part of the Creed.  There can be no denying that truth either.
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But what about Enoch?   Moses?  Elijah?  Enoch is easy, the book is not in our canonical scriptures, and his story is just 'referred to' in the Epistle of St. Jude.  Moses died however - and St. Michael just hid his body.  But Elijah?  He got taken up somewhere.  It's in the Bible.  Never did a Pope define the assumption of Elijah, although the mystery may be said to foreshadow the assumption of the Virgin, as some of the Fathers speculated.  Interestingly, I found the following reflection upon what St. Gregory Palamas thought about the assumption of Elijah:
He writes: "But neither did he exceed the bounds of the earth's atmosphere; the ascension of each of them was a raising from the earth without being taken from the surroundings of the earth...". From this interpretation it appears that the taking up of Prophet Elijah was in some way a translocation, we could say that it was a kind of death, and that of course in being taken up he did not go beyond the limits of the earth's atmosphere. Therefore only the Panagia (Our Lady) was resurrected and taken up bodily into heaven, and is glorified with her Son, as His mother, in her human nature. - Monachos 

Did you know some of the old Spanish Carmelites believed St. Joseph was assumed into heaven as well?  At least that is what the Spanish fathers told me when I was a postulant in the Southwest province.  I think a few Alcantarine Franciscans believed as much too.  Others, such as the followers of Anna Katherine Emmerich's visions, seem to think that the original paradise of Adam and Eve exists someplace in the ethereal world contained in an immense crystal bubble - and that's where the undefined assumed reside until the end of the world.  Go to the light!  Go to the Light! 
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Thankfully, what we Catholics know for sure is that Our Lady was taken body and soul into heaven - and all heaven and earth rejoices.  Happy feast day to all.

One of those crystal bubbles perhaps?


Art:  Top:  Immaculate Conception, Middle: Hironymous Bosh, Bottom:  Hieronymous Bosch
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NB:  For Catholics in the United States today is a holy day, but not a holy day of obligation in most dioceses since it falls so close to the Sunday obligation. 

Cardinal Protector of Courage.



It takes courage to do God's will.
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Courage Apostolate, begun by Fr. Harvey (with the help of Rev. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R.), at the invitation of the Servant of God Cardinal Terence Cooke, has always had a sort of Cardinal protector it seems.  After Cardinal O'Connor's death, the role of Cardinal protector appeared to remain vacant, until now, when it seems the cause has been taken up by the 'good' Cardinal Burke.  I like to refer to him as good Cardinal Burke since he strikes me as being a very pastoral and spiritual Archbishop, concerned first and foremost for the salvation of souls, from which all his other works flow:  Promotion of liturgical cult, Eucharistic and  Marian devotion, solid theology and spirituality, and so on.  Reproduced here is a piece by the Cardinal from the National Catholic Register on Courage Apostolate.
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For Father John Harvey, apostolates were a dynamic reality, a work that the Holy Spirit inspired the Servant of God Cardinal Terence Cooke to establish and that the Holy Spirit alone could sustain.
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Father Harvey saw his own service as cooperation with the work of the Holy Spirit, service of God in his immeasurable and ceaseless love of his children who suffer with same-sex attraction. What direction for the future can we discover in the manner with which Father Harvey gave his life for his brothers and sisters in the Courage and EnCourage apostolates?
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First of all, the future must continue to develop the profoundly spiritual nature of the Courage apostolate, not reducing it to a method for attaining sexual abstinence, but presenting it faithfully as a way of encountering Christ the Chaste One in order to live chastely in him.
...

A most fruitful tool for the future development of the apostolate would be, in my judgment, a more systematic development of the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales, the spirituality of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as the full context in which sexual abstinence is practiced for the sake of a purer and more selfless love of God and neighbor. There is need to develop more fully the implications of the practice of Father Harvey to begin the recovery of the person affected by the homosexual condition by teaching “the art of meditation, or prayer of the heart.”
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In a similar way, it is the spirituality of the union of heart with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which will bring healing and strength to the family members of EnCourage. Father Harvey wisely observed:
“The real issue in dealing with parents of homosexuals is to help them develop their own relationship with the Lord. They must turn over stewardship of their child to the Lord, allowing him to bring healing to their own hearts and to the hearts of all the family.

“Only in the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus will family members find the gift that their suffering member most needs and, in fact, desires, the gift of love which is purified of all sin and enflamed with divine Love.”
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What I am suggesting here is a steadfast plumbing of the significance of the second goal of Courage, namely “to dedicate our entire lives to Christ through service to others, spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendance at Mass, and the frequent reception of penance and of the holy Eucharist.”
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Sadly, for various reasons, including the lack of a strong institutional support, the work of Courage and EnCourage remains unknown to many in the Church and in the community at large. There is a crying need to communicate the truth which Courage and EnCourage serve with clarity and serenity.
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That truth, like all truth, is attractive in itself. Its effective communication will attract many to rebuild the culture of life and chaste love in our society. The communication will not be easy. There are powerful forces which will resist it and even try to prevent it. But the love of Christ, flowing from his glorious pierced heart into our often poor and confused hearts, will give us the wisdom and strength to go forward.

May God grant to our beloved Father John Harvey of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales the reward of the just. May he bless and prosper the work of Courage and EnCourage for the sake of the salvation of many souls and the building up of the civilization of divine love. - Raymond Cardinal Burke
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It also takes courage for a prelate or a priest to lend their support to these apostolates.  Many thanks to Cardinal Burke for his support.
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Many years ago, I was fortunate to meet with the saintly Fr. Harvey at St. Michael's Rectory in Manhattan, as well as Fr. Groeschel at a later date.  Fr. Harvey subsequently wrote a letter to Archbishop Roach requesting a Courage chapter be establish in the archdiocese.   Nothing was done.  Before Archbishop Flynn came on the scene here, there was not a priest in the diocese that would come near Courage - not even from amongst my friends.  To his credit, Archbishop Flynn had the necessary fortitude to establish the first chapter here, and appointed the current Bishop Levoir as the first chaplain.  The apostolate always needs the support and leadership of the local ordinary to meet with any measurable success.
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H/T to dk for the Burke NCR article.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Let's dance...


Something for the powerless...


From Therese....
"Resign yourself, then, to stumbling at every step, to falling even, and to being weak in carrying your cross.  Love your powerlessness, and your soul will benefit more from it than if - aided by grace - you were to behave with enthusiastic heroism and fill your soul with self-satisfaction and pride."
 - Testimony of Marie of the Trinity, O.C.D., St. Therese By Those Who Knew Her

Mass chat: Another Mass with a baptism...



[exhale] ... but I'm not complaining.
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Baptism was encapsulated within the Mass last evening - just like the Easter vigil. 
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I get it. 
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The going down to the hot tub near the entrance of the church, with the entire congregation - right after the break homily; the photos, the songs, the kids screaming, the applause, the family memories...  I get it. 
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Then back to finish up Mass.
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All is well.