Saturday, September 24, 2011

Our Lady of Mercy

September 24
 Feast of Our Lady of Ransom
  (After Vatican II - Our Lady of Mercy.)
To my knowledge, this is the only title of the Virgin or devotion to Our Lady directly related to Islam:

The Blessed Virgin appeared to Saint Peter Nolassco, to his confessor, Raymund of Pennafort, and to the king, and through these three men established a work of the redemption of captives. She desired the establishment of the Mercedarian religious order. (derives from the Spanish word for mercy - merced) Its members would seek to free Christian captives from the Moors and offer themselves, if necessary, as an exchange. The complete name of this order is: Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Ransom of Captives (OdeM).
The Order was legally constituted at Barcelona by King James of Aragon was established in Spain and later approved by Gregory IX under the name of Our Lady of Mercy. St. Peter was the first superior, with the title of Commander-General; he also filled the office of Ransomer, a title given to the monk sent into the lands subject to the Moors to arrange for the ransom of prisoners.

Requests of Our Lady to St. Peter Nolasco - August 1, 1218:
The Blessed Virgin Mary:
“Find for Me other men like yourself, an army of brave, generous, unselfish men, and send them into the lands where the children of the Faith are suffering.”
St. Peter Nolasco:

"Who am I that God should honor me like this? And who are you, who knows so well, the secrets of my heart?'
The Blessed Virgin Mary:

"I am Mary, the Mother of God. My son, the Redeemer of the world,
who came to give liberty to the captive, has many people bound in captivity, and wishes the order to be established." - Source

Navigating the little way...

Third day of the novena...
"Poverty, austerity, fasting, prayer, the gift of miracles, without love of our brothers, all are pure illusion.  To love Jesus without loving those whom he loved to death is not to love him.  There is no true love of neighbor without beginning by loving Jesus; but the love of Jesus is accomplished, perfected, consummated, in the love of neighbor.  'Jesus meek and humble of heart, give me your heart to love my neighbor.'  Have no doubt that it is in the degree to which you change yourself that everything around you will change." - I Believe in Love - Pere jean du Coeur de Jesus D'Elbee
"If any man says: I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar." - 1 Jn 4:20

Friday, September 23, 2011

Second Day of the Novena to St. Therese

How providential...
I haven't written about the novenas I make for a long time, but I thought I'd share the meditation from today from my novena to St. Therese with those of you who just might be interested...
"Therefore charity is a unity:  love of God and love of our brothers are inseparable.  Under the old law it was written, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself' (Lv 19:18), and already that seemed very difficult.  Yet Jesus asked more of his apostles.  he modified this precept of the Old Testament.  he made a new precept of it, his own precept:  'A new commandment I give unto you; that you love one another as I loved you' (jn 13:34).  'I will that you love one another not only as each of you loves himself, I will that you love one another as I myself love you - that means without limits.'
How strong and eloquent are the words in Holy Scripture which call us to this charity: 'Judge not and you will not be judged.  Condemn not and you will not be condemned.  Forgive and you shall be forgiven.' (lk 6:37)  'Love your enemies,' said Jesus.  'And if you love those who love you, what thanks are due you?  For sinners also love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks are due you?  For sinners do as much... Rather, love your enemies: do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be the sons of the Most High.  For he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.' (Lk 6:27, 32, 33, 35)  This is what distinguishes you from others.  They will know you by the fact you love your enemies.  That will be the sign of recognition.  'If any man says: I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar.' (1 Jn 4:20)" - I Believe In Love, Pere Jean du Coer de Jesus
If they don't recognize us as Christians by our love, will God?

Michael Voris sums it up...

This is very good - Voris demonstrates he respects the office of bishop while expressing "the cry of the faithful", as Fr. John Harvey would put it.  I totally support what Voris says here - and how he says it.

St. Pio - he was kinda strict, huh.

Padre Pio and Modesty

“Padre Pio wouldn't tolerate low-necked dresses or short, tight skirts, and he forbade his spiritual daughters to wear transparent stockings. Each year his severity increased. He stubbornly dismissed them from his confession, even before they set foot inside, if he judged them to be improperly dressed. On some mornings he drove away one after another, until he ended up hearing very few confessions. His brothers observed these drastic purges with a certain uneasiness and decided to fasten a sign on the church door”

"By Padre Pio's explicit wish, women must enter the confessional wearing skirts at least 8 INCHES BELOW THE KNEE. It is forbidden to borrow longer dresses in church and to wear them to confession."
"The Church is the House of God. It is forbidden for men to enter with bare arms or in shorts. It is forbidden for women to enter in trousers, without a veil on their head, in short clothing, low necklines, sleeveless or immodest dresses."

(Taken from Prophet of the People by Dorothy Gaudiose, published by Alba House)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Public displays of affection - should they be illegal?

Believe it or not that is an actual discussion going on.
A  couple of weeks ago I was at Mass and the family directly in front of me - mom, dad, and their young adult boy, were sitting quietly waiting for Mass to begin when a middle aged woman came up and slid into their pew.  They were directly in front of me so I couldn't help but notice them.  The woman kept rubbing the back of the young man while they all greeted one another, and continued to do so while she spoke to the young man and seemed to praise him to his parents.  I have no idea what her relationship was to the family, but what struck me about the scene, was the obvious charity, or affection demonstrated by the woman's caresses.  I tried to mind my own business, but I couldn't help being edified by it, and strangely enough, the scene reminded me of the affection one might show a dog, leashed to a fence outside the grocery store - waiting for its owner.  I've often seen strangers walk over and talk to the dog, rubbing his back and so on.  In neither circumstance would I ever imagine something evil.  I would never have suspected the older woman to be a sexual predator, just as I would never suggest that a man rubbing the back of a dog was interested in bestiality.
I worked with a guy once who wanted to file a complaint about another older female employee who used to rub his shoulder as she walked by and said hello whenever she went to her place in the lunch room.  The fellow believed she was coming on to him (She was about 60 years old, while he was most likely in his late 20's).  The woman reported to me so I asked her about it.  She laughed so hard she got tears in her eyes.  She of course explained she is just a touchy feely type of gal and that she was very sorry.  I thought the situation was ridiculous, but I had to speak to her about it.  The same guy had problems with the owner of the company's very attractive, fashionable daughter who also worked there.  He complained that her clothes were too tight - mentioning that women shouldn't wear pants, and therefore she presented a daily occasion of sin for him.  He and another male employee speculated after she had been married for a year and she had no children, that she must be contracepting.  The two men felt that it was a scandal.  Any couple without kids were suspected of contracepting BTW.  (I worked for a Catholic company.)

When I was little I was concerned for my entire family to be saved - because no one went to church, the conversion of my family became the main focus of my prayer.  Once my grandfather was in the hospital and I went to see him by myself.  He was an artist as well, but he had no time for religion, although he liked to talk about faith.  I asked him why he didn't go to church.  He told me I was still too young to understand this, but he tried to explain that the reason was due to the fact that all people did was talk about one another afterwards.  "Go to church on Sunday, but watch out on Monday."  He objected to the gossip and judgemental attitudes he found there:  What so and so wore, who was having marital problems, who was a drunk, who was kind of queer, and so on.  He was right of course, but I didn't let it bother me then, and I try not to let it bother me now.  I know all too well that it goes on, but I don't go to Mass or adoration or confession for other people and though I say I don't care what they think, I have to admit they really piss me off sometimes.  I try to keep my distance however.
There is a wide discussion online these days about public displays of affection between same sex couples/friends.  The woman who more or less initiated the discussion has been unfairly attacked by militant homosexuals, and yet very much praised by Catholic apologists.  The other evening while watching the news I viewed a gay military couple kissing - not passionately, just a peck on the lips - to celebrate the repeal od DADT.  I too actually find watching two men kiss a bit jarring.  I'm not a hugger or a kisser myself, and I sometimes dislike it when old friends want a hug or a kiss from me - even if they are relatives.  I think it may have something to do with my weird parents and their drunken, slobbery kisses - not to mention their mothers, my grandmothers were just as bad.  I don't think people realize how scary it is for a kid to see this great big clown face coming at you to kiss you on the lips.  So gross.

But I digress.  My question is, what constitutes public acts of affection?  Rubbing someones back?  A hug?  Holding hands during the Our Father at Mass.  The sign of peace?  What about two women dancing, or holding hands as they walk?  My in laws are Italian descent, and the girls in the family do that sometimes - their dads kissed their brothers on the lips.  There are all sorts of public displays of non-erotic affection - how does one regulate that?  Once I was gropped on a Boston subway, I didn't know who did it.  I was so offended, and that was obviously bad touching.  I had just arrived in Boston when in another situation I passed by two guys walking arm and arm down the street.  Yep - I was shocked too - having just arrived from little monastery on the prairie and all.  But that was 30 years ago.  It has been going on for a long time, hasn't it? 
A couple of doors down from me two women live together.  My neighbor told me they were lesbians and she witnessed them making out in their back yard.  I always talk to them whenever I'm out front and they are walking their dogs.  So I asked them about it.  They were totally shocked, looked at one another and said in unison, "What?  We would never do that!"  The only thing they could figure out is that earlier in the year one of the women had suffered some bad news one day and the other ran out to meet her as she arrived home, giving her a hug in support and then they walked into the house together.  One of them just might have had her arm around the other's shoulder.
So my question here:  How do you define and legislate public displays of affection? 
"If we could see each other's thoughts, no one would be considered good." - Saint Stephen of Muret

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fractal Catholics

Widening the division.
Cardinal Schonborn is fighting schism.
Vatican Insider reports that the Church in Austria is dangerously close to schism.  Now it's news - but it didn't happen over night, did it.  It has been going on for a very long time, right under the noses of those in charge. 
What is schism and heresy?  Schism is essentially the act of refusing to submit to the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him.  Heresy is the formal and deliberate denial of any revealed truth of the Roman Catholic Church.  Apostasy is the deliberate and complete rejection of the faith by a baptized Catholic. 
Cardinal Schönborn speaks out against a looming schism.
The Cardinal warned that those who are promoting the reform manifesto with its slogan “A call to disobedience”, will not succeed in putting the Archdiocese of Vienna on a collision course with the Holy See. “Everything is possible and I am counting on dialogue and cooperation,” the Archbishop said, extending a metaphorical hand but at the same time excluding any possibility of a break with Rome.

Dissidents, led by parish priest Helmut Scgueller, are advocating a series of radical reforms to the Vatican, in close collaboration with Hans-Peter Hurka’s ultra neo liberal “We are the church” movement. “We are the church” is the real driving force behind dissent in Austria. It is an important movement in terms of numbers and influence within the Country. It rose from the ashes of the Hans Hermann Groër case. Groër was Schönborn’s predecessor in Vienna.

It was after the accusations of paedophilia made against Groër that some Catholics in Innsbruck and Vienna, decided to react and draft the famous “Appeal from God’s people”, an agenda for the church hierarchy, outlining a number of specific points. Between 1995 and today, the Appeal has been signed by over two million and half people. Indeed, it was initially supported by many Austrian bishops.  - Vatican Insider

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Michael Voris, telling it like it is - and how it has been for quite some time.

I can't argue with that.  It has been my experience as well. 
This first presentation is very informative as well:  Something Weird

From the com-box...

All about me - and you.
I've been collecting anonymous comments - the kind we bloggers complain about claiming we are persecuted.  That's funny.
Here's one:
This blog is all about you and your various interactions with what's left of Catholicism. This entails being sorry for things you either haven't done or things you don't intend on remedying. You can always feel good about yourself by taking control of the situation and blocking comments, getting a new hairstyle or even making a new painting of Mathew Shepherd as the Shepherd, or something to really get people angry. Anything to feel superior and judge those who don't share your advanced spirituality and cultural talents. Even in a post about defending Mark Shea, it always can come back to you.
Yep.  It is all about me.  I'm sure if anonymous has a blog - it's all about him too.
Just because people don't like you or what you say doesn't mean you are a persecuted passion-bearer.  If everyone of us knew the thoughts of others in our regard... 
On second thought, maybe anonymous commenters really do us a favor after all.  I believe thanks are in order.

And now: Fr. Cutie has something to say.

About the disappeared and suspended.
Defenders of bad boy priests should maybe cheer Fr. Cutie for this one, huh?  Because a lot of Catholics seem to believe priests like Fr. Corapi and Fr. Pavone have been badly treated by their bishops. Fr. Cutie:
One of the issues I address in my personal memoir, "Dilemma: A Priest's Struggle with Faith and Love," which has caused a significant degree of controversy among certain Roman Catholic circles, is the way the institutional church deals with priests. I highlight especially those moments of personal crisis when priests need the most support, from everyone in the spiritual family they grew up in and gave their lives to, and often find everything but support.  Recently, Roman Catholics have seen the disappearance and/or disciplining of several prominent priests: Father Thomas Euteneuer; Father John Corapi; Father Michael Manning; Father Frank Pavone.
How many people remember these charismatic figures?
Father Ken Roberts; Father John Patrick Bertolucci; Monsignor Euguene Clark; Father Ricardo Castellanos; Father Francis Mary Stone. - Fr. Cutie has more @ Where are these priests?
 I've always thought priests were supposed to be obedient to their bishop or religious superiors?  The Catechism seems to say that:
1567 "The priests, prudent cooperators of the episcopal college and its support and instrument, called to the service of the People of God, constitute, together with their bishop, a unique sacerdotal college (presbyterium) dedicated, it is, true to a variety of distinct duties. In each local assembly of the faithful they represent, in a certain sense, the bishop, with whom they are associated in all trust and generosity; in part they take upon themselves his duties and solicitude and in their daily toils discharge them."51 priests can exercise their ministry only in dependence on the bishop and in communion with him. The promise of obedience they make to the bishop at the moment of ordination and the kiss of peace from him at the end of the ordination liturgy mean that the bishop considers them his co-workers, his sons, his brothers and his friends, and that they in return owe him love and obedience.
Apparently some priests and not a few of their followers disagree.  I don't get it. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Lady of La Salette: WDOLRS?

Fr. Z seems to know: 19 September 1846: Our Lady of La Salette.
The message has been added to and embellished over the years, although some believe the messages from Akita, Japan say the same thing - more or less.  (Approved La Salette message here.)
I read today that the seers at Medjugorje have said that official recognition by the Vatican will not come until after the visionaries are dead.  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

And what our hands have touched... - 1 John 1:1

I came across a beautiful quote from Pope St. Pius X on how holy communion is one of the remedies for venial sin:  
"Though it is extremely desirable that those who practice frequent and daily communion be free from venial sins, or least from fully deliberate ones, and from all attachment to them, yet it is enough that they be free from mortal sins and resolved never to sin again; with this sincere proposal, it is impossible that they should not gradually correct themselves from venial sin and from attachment to it." - Pius X

"Holy Communion is not a reward for ready-made saints, but medicine for sinners still on the way. It is not a prize for the sinless, but itself the ordinary means for growing in freedom from sin."  - A Minor Friar  
Art:  My finished, albeit unframed Sacred Heart of Jesus. Details
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