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, February 04, 2012

Double talk...



And dissimulation...  pervades the culture.

At least it strikes me that way.  The Susan B. Komen for the Cure playground fight is the most recent example of it.  Most of us already knew that the Planned Parenthood extermination camp industry is based upon lies, enthusiastically endorsed by lying politicians, the women's movement, the MSM and God knows who else.  Although I suppose the height of dissimulation is exemplified by President Obama now passing himself off as a religious man, with the claim he bases his policies upon the teaching of Christ...  Although, what if he really believes that?

Even genuinely religious men seem unable to get their stories straight these days.  I'm not saying they are lying, nor do I believe they are trying to deceive, rather I wonder if they are deceived - in other words, deluded?  Like Obama?

The "Pope chased demons from St. Peter's Square"?

Take Fr. Amorth for instance.  He has made some extraordinary claims in the past, in addition to more or less having endorsed dubious mystical revelations and apparitions.  Once again his recent claim that the Holy Father's blessing exorcised two men who were said to be possessed, while attending an event in St. Peter's Square, doesn't exactly square with what the Vatican says happened. 
VATICAN CITY - A blessing by Pope Benedict XVI exorcised the devil from two howling men during a general audience in St. Peter's Square in 2009, a leading Catholic exorcist says in an upcoming book.

Extracts from the book by Gabriele Amorth, a well-known exorcist for the diocese of Rome who has already written two books on treating demonic afflictions, were published in Panorama magazine on Thursday.

The Vatican has denied that the pope performed an exorcism on the men. - Read more here.
I loved that headline though - 'the pope chased demons' out - he doesn't even walk down aisle of the basilica any longer, so I really doubt he could chase anyone - unless his moving platform goes into high speed of course.  Just kidding.  Yeah.  So anyway, what's up with Fr. Amorth?

One thing I am convinced of however: the world is definitely engulfed in one huge diabolical delusion.

Photo:  Exorcism scene from 1961 Polish film:  Mother Joan of the Angels.

[Editor's note:  See how delightful and informative my blog is?  I post on numerous subjects in one succinct post, filled with innuendo and brain teasers, punctuated by intriguing photos...  if I must say so myself.  I'm banned in Boston, you know.]

Friday, February 03, 2012

The Susan B. Komen reversal.



At least they tried, huh?

Never trust nonprofits too big to fail - they'll always disappoint you. 

If you are unhappy - just don't support them.  Oops!  You already did.  Donations went up a 100% in 24 hours after the big announcement they were dropping Planned Parenthood.

I hate pink.

UPDATE!  It is official.  Thomas Peters has issued a statement saying everyone needs to take a deep breath - he says there is more to this story than the liberal elite/MSM spin:  Read it here.  To donate to Catholic Vote go here.

What?

Well, this is refreshing...




A Canon 603, consecrated, diocesan lay-hermit - who doesn't promote herself.

Teresa Thomas, obviously edified and filled with admiration for her sibling's vocation, wrote a very nice article titled, My Sister the Hermit.  Perhaps I'm too literal when it comes to hermits, but I can't help being surprised that so many new contemplatives seem to find so much time away from their prayerful lives to spend online discussing the greatness of their eremetical vocations and spiritual adventures, not to mention the fundraising for upgrades to the hermitage and web access.  Anyway - this hermit's story is strikes me as completely genuine and authentic...
My sister is a hermit. No, she’s not shy. I don’t mean that.  When I say that my sister is a hermit, what I mean is that she is a religious hermit, a consecrated person, a diocesan hermit to be exact. 
“We have great reason to rejoice,” said the bishop in his homily at the Mass of the Rite of Public Profession of the Evangelical Counsels for a Person Following the Eremitic Life, “for Mary becomes the first professed hermit in the diocese … the consecrated life of a hermit goes back to the early years of the Church. Today, Mary embraces a station of life where she separates in some ways from world to be more united with the Lord Jesus.” Encouraging her assembled family he continued, “Be assured we can still talk to her, but most of her day will be spent in prayer. “


The hermit’s life of silence and solitude is not absolute. Mary’s life follows a plan of life daily including times of complete silence/solitude, but also allows for times of “work” which can include manual labor, language study, works of mercy if a dire need arises, personal spiritual growth, and some very limited spiritual correspondence/direction with people seeking help, as well as occasionally giving retreats or talks, all under the direction of the bishop.


Mary lives a simple life. She dresses plainly, although she has no formal “habit”. Some of the younger nieces and nephews (she has more than 50) call her “Auntie Brown” because of the shades-of-brown clothes and sandals or boots that she wears most of the time. She’s allowed to have some visit time – just not much, and she doesn’t attend social events, parties or get togethers, as a general rule.


Mary’s favorite thing to do, when she is able to visit with family, is cuddle with the youngest nieces and nephews or to strum the guitar and sing with them. She always has a baby on her hip. Mary, the ninth of 13 children, lives in her parents’ home and has a small retreat hermitage on part of their property, where she spends additional prayer time. The building is simple, unheated, and has just enough room for a rocker, a kneeler, a huge crucifix and a blanket. It is there that Mary, when she is not in church, brings her intentions before the Lord.


Mary really did not want me to write this article, because she doesn’t want the attention put on herself. She points to God; she loves Him fiercely. But I convinced her it was okay, telling her that you all would want to know about his as an option – for yourselves or your children – and to know how this all might work if you choose it. Besides I’m her godmother, and older sister. I know how to pressure, even a hermit.


My intention is not to laud the praises of my sibling, though. Oh no, she herself would shun the attention. - Read the entire story here.
"She herself would shun it..."  Now that's a hermit!

Photo source.

Painting


The Garden of Death -  Hugo Simberg

I'm trying to paint.  I told myself I would do an icon-style painting of Blessed Alberto Marvelli, and I did the drawing and the transfer onto the panel, but I cannot tie myself down to painting something quite so carefully as such a project requires right now.  I haven't painted in over a month.  Part of my neurosis is that I allow myself to become intimidated after going so long without painting.  I lose my focus and can't figure out what to do - and i think everything is worthless.  I spiral down from there. 

Yesterday I decided to paint something fun instead of something so serious as a saint.

Turns out I'm painting a priest levitating holding his tablet, and maybe a cell phone - just for fun - no studies, no drawings - just an untrained amateur painting without rules.

The art shown here is Finnish, it is a detail from a fresco in a cathedral, by 19th century painter Hugo Simberg. 

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Horns!




FROM THE MAIL: UNNERVING SOUNDS RECORDED WORLDWIDE REMIND SOME OF ANCIENT ISRAELI HORN
I think I found the source of the horn sounds Spirit Daily reports on.

Curiosity


St. Thomas on the vice of curiosity.

To apply oneself then to the eager knowing of sensible things may be vicious in two ways: in one way, inasmuch as the sensible knowledge so gained is not directed to anything useful, but rather turns a man away from some profitable inquiry;  in another way, inasmuch as sensible knowledge makes for some evil end, as the looking at a woman makes for lust, and diligent inquiry into others’ doings makes for detraction.

Never before seen: NASA Probe Captures 1st Video of Moon's Far Side


A gravity-mapping spacecraft orbiting the moon has beamed home its first video of the lunar far side — a view people on Earth never see. - Full story here.

I like this guy's work.


"Scrap Bottles"  2009

Michael Kareken

Minnesota Public television did a spot on this artist.  I heard that one of the influences in his work has been the art of Jackson Pollock. 

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

After the Dance: In memorium...

Just a comment...


Hilary kinda looks like an old Soviet commandante in this photo.

Shakespeare on love...



Well, actually Joseph Pearce included it in something he wrote...

Someone asked him if Shakespeare was a homosexual, based upon Sonnet 20.  Dr. Pearce responded:
The problem with "gay history" is that it is an invention of the last fifty years. It never existed prior to its invention. This is not to say that homosexual practice did not exist, of course, though it would not and could not even be called "homosexual" in Shakespeare's time because that word is itself an invention of the late nineteenth century, when it was employed to signify something pathological. The word "gay", of course, is even newer, deriving from mid-twentieth century homosexual underworld slang. The point is that Shakespeare would have been baffled at first and then horrified to discover that gutter-minded "academics", employing the doubles-entendres of twentieth-century adolescent toilet humour, had inverted his meaning to signify sodomy, which would probably be the only word he would have used to describe the practice of homosexuality.

This being said, let's humour the inventors of "gay history" by looking at the evidence they present. Sonnet 20, to which you refer, seems to be the strongest evidence that they have to offer. It does talk of "love", though love meant love to the Elizabethans, not fornication or copulation, and still less sodomy. The word "love" was not used as a mere innuendo, nor would Lennon's understanding of love as something self-centred and lacking in self-sacrifice have been comprehensible to an Elizabethan. Of course, a cad might feign "love" for vicious purposes but that would make him a liar, not a lover. Since "love" meant "love", it was often employed to describe a man's feelings towards another man. Love meant love, as in caritas, something which every Christian is commanded to feel towards every other person, male or female.

To the extent that Shakespeare uses healthy bawdiness in the sonnet, it is absolutely clear that the poet is not interested in the one thing in which homosexuals are obsessed. The "addition" of male genitalia to the person to whom the sonnet is addressed is the "adding [of] one thing to my purpose nothing", i.e. the poet has no purpose for the additional appendage, which signifies that "Nature [had] prick'd thee out for women's pleasure". Shakespeare's meaning is clear enough. Men are not interested in something that Nature has designed for women's pleasure. If Sonnet 20 is the best that "gay historians" can do to make a case for the "pinking" of the Bard, they are not likely to convince anyone other than their own in-crowd, or should that be out-crowd! - St. Austin Revue

Obviously Joseph Pearce is not happy that gay historians are trying to claim Shakespeare as their own - I don't like that sort of thing either, and I've often noted, as Pearce does, that homosexuality as we know it and refer to it today, didn't exist before the 20th century.

That said - I'm not a student of Shakespeare, but what most interested me in Joseph Pearce's rebuttal is how he presents love from Elizabethan times:
"...love meant love to the Elizabethans, not fornication or copulation, and still less sodomy."
It means the type of love between friends no one can condemn - and friends themselves would dare not corrupt. 

  

Quick shots...


About nothing.
  • King David and stats.  Today's first reading at Mass concerns the census David ordered and how he displeased God by it.  I wonder what God thinks about we who can get caught up with how many readers and followers and hits we get?

  • A friend sent me an email informing me what her pastor's homily was about at Mass last Sunday - I replied to her that he must have had me in mind when he composed it:
"Father's homily this morning... was this big rant about how we're just fine watching TV and surfing the net but most of us don't go to daily Mass, pray the rosary, go to adoration or any other spiritual thing." 
  • A day or so ago I finally got out to remove the little bit of snow we received and I shoveled instead of using the snow blower.  Later I had chest pains - but I knew they were just muscular.  Yesterday they were back - just for a moment.  This morning while I was praying, I heard four or five light knocks - or tapping - as if someone was tapping on the wall.  I mention this because one of my patrons, St. Pascal Baylon, is said to make tapping sounds for his clients to warn them of their impending death.  However, I don't think it is my time yet.  If I went to the doctor every time I feel chest pains I would be naked and starving, living on the street.
  • Did you know Matt Talbot collapsed and died on the street on Trinity Sunday?  Benedict Joseph Labre collapsed in the same way - but before he died, he was carried to someones home and died there.

Every day I pray for a happy death.*** 

  • Fear of God is the first stage of wisdom, you know.  A healthy fear of God is very good.  "Though he should kill me, I trust in him."  That is from Job, though Therese made it her own - and meant it.  I do too.

  • Terry at Idle Speculations, whom I like very much because we share a first name, has a nice post on holy fools.  (I also have a special fondness for people who share my birth date.)

Speaking of fools... "I am fortune's fool!" - I love that line from Romeo and Juliet and occasionally apply it to myself.

Image: Virgen de los Desamparados  (Virgin of the abandoned ones; the helpless, the powerless.)

***(Don't over react - I'm just fine - I know all the rules and cautions - I'm not at all concerned. The pains are gone now, and anyway they are from something else unrelated to the heart.)


Wounded Angel - Hugo Simberg

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Nixon's Political Correction




That was quick.

In a new interview with The Advocate, actress Cynthia Nixon felt the need to clarify what she meant in an earlier statement reported by the NYT:
For 15 years, until 2003, she was in a relationship with a man. They had two children together. She then formed a new family with a woman, to whom she’s engaged. And she told The Times’s Alex Witchel that homosexuality for her “is a choice.”
“For many people it’s not,” she conceded, but added that they “don’t get to define my gayness for me.” NYT
They may not get to 'define her gayness' for her, but obviously their negative reaction more or less persuaded Nixon to clarify what she really meant to say.
Cynthia Nixon... giving a statement to The Advocate to explain what she meant in the interview -- saying bisexuality is not a choice, but her decision to be in a homosexual relationship is.
"My recent comments in The New York Times were about me and my personal story of being gay. I believe we all have different ways we came to the gay community and we can't and shouldn't be pigeon-holed into one cultural narrative which can be uninclusive and disempowering," Cynthia said.

"However, to the extent that anyone wishes to interpret my words in a strictly legal context I would like to clarify: While I don't often use the word, the technically precise term for my orientation is bisexual. I believe bisexuality is not a choice, it is a fact. What I have 'chosen' is to be in a gay relationship." - Source

Disordered and unstable.

I expect the gay community will be satisfied with that clarification, but I personally think it doesn't change anything - her first statement may have been closer to the truth.  In my opinion, bisexuality by its nature implies choice.  Sexual fluidity results in choice - one chooses to follow his or her attraction.  Concupiscence... lust... perhaps the falling in love with love... aroused by our passions... the feelings and emotions, work together to convince us that we have no choice.  Even when we don't permit ourselves to realize we do.

A friend* sent me a link to a great article on the subject of bisexuality and sexual fluidity which may be helpful in understanding what all of this means in today's political battle for equal rights.
Unstable behaviour.

Sexual orientation is much more accurately thought of in the category of a conditioned (and often variable) preference than a determined biological condition.

Most researchers now accept that sexual orientation (the predominant direction of sexual attraction one feels) is the result of a complex interaction in which nature, nurture and choice all play a part. But whether one acts on those feelings by having same sex relations is actually a matter of personal choice.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has stated, ‘some people believe that sexual orientation is innate and fixed; however, sexual orientation develops across a person's lifetime’. The APA also says that ‘for some the focus of sexual interest will shift at various points through the life span...’

A report from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health similarly states, ‘For some people, sexual orientation is continuous and fixed throughout their lives. For others, sexual orientation may be fluid and change over time’

And in a recent Huffington Post article, ‘Future Sex: Beyond Gay and Straight’, a leading British gay rights activist, Peter Tatchell, affirms the fluidity of sexual attraction.

So what?

Well, like many, I am getting rather tired of the term ‘homophobic’ being used as an accusatory label to tar anyone who does not accept, approve and celebrate same-sex sexual relationships and believe that homosexual orientation is a biological characteristic like race or sex. 
There are a large and growing number of people (I call them ‘homosceptics’) who neither hate nor fear ‘gay’ people but simply believe that sex outside a lifelong exclusive heterosexual marriage is morally wrong and the fact that we have certain feelings of sexual attraction does not mean that we should therefore act on them. - Read the rest here.
Works for me.

[Editors note:  Sexual fluidity theory is one reason why we are witnessing the rise of gender neutral discussions/policies/influences around the globe in marketing, politics, media and education... even biblical translations.]

*h/t to Raydar.

Noah released a dove...



But the dove could find no place to perch, and it returned to him in the ark, for there was water over all the earth. Putting out his hand, he caught the dove and drew it back to him inside the ark. - Genesis 8

Then the pope released two doves to ask for peace. One remained on his window sill, while the other flew a few yards, but then returned to the safe refuge of the papal apartment... for there was conflict over all the earth.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Out damn spot!




Gay won't go away - at least that's what the NY Times says.

Even though Frank Bruni, a writer for the NYT concedes that it ain't necessarily so, that gay people are born this way - or rather, that way - he seems to draw the conclusion that in the end - it really doesn't matter.  My own theory has shifted throughout the years, especially during the last few spent writing this blog, and getting all sorts of feedback from gays and straights and those in between.  It's like some the personalist project - each person is unique... 

There are of course many same sex attracted persons who agree with Bruni and insist that the why or wherefore - how they got this way, doesn't matter.  Even those folks with SSA who embrace Catholic teaching and choose to live chastely will often agree the genesis of their same sex attraction doesn't matter.  Perhaps it explains why more and more of these folks identify as gay and Catholic - something I used to take issue with but decided there are more important things to worry about.  In essence - it's none of my business.  Anyway, the Catechism says as much.
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
What I find interesting in Bruni's article however, is the fact that he points to a woman, an actress, who said she chose to be gay... and started a little tempest in a teapot in the process: 
Cynthia Nixon, 45, whose comments in The New York Times Magazine last Sunday raised those very questions. 
For 15 years, until 2003, she was in a relationship with a man. They had two children together. She then formed a new family with a woman, to whom she’s engaged. And she told The Times’s Alex Witchel that homosexuality for her “is a choice.”
“For many people it’s not,” she conceded, but added that they “don’t get to define my gayness for me.” NYT

All things being fair, one must ask:  Then why do gay people get so upset when they hear of men and women with unwanted homosexual attraction changing their orientation, or at least attempting to do so through reparative therapy?  No one forces gay people into reparative therapy these days, nor does the Catholic Church demand SSA persons attempt to change their sexual orientation.  The fact is, some people seek such therapy, and some of them appear to come through it successfully.  Perhaps Cynthia Nixon's case may help gay activists lighten up a bit on that issue.  

Although I doubt these discussions will ever be resolved to everyone's satisfaction.  For the Catholic Church, what matters most in the case of individuals with SSA is their salvation and sanctification.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. - CCC

One must keep in mind that the Church condemns the 'acts', not the individual.  Since homosexual acts are contrary to natural and divine law, the Church has no authority to approve of homosexual behavior.  The Church has the authority to forgive sins, but She cannot declare that a sin is no longer a sin.  Likewise, the Church defends traditional marriage against civil attempts to redefine it.  Essentially what secular people and homosexuals who reject Catholic teaching find troubling is that the Church declares homosexual acts to be immoral - while civil law does not.  It seems to me that is the root of the conflict. 

That said, the Church never binds up burdens too heavy to carry for Her sons and daughters.   Every Catholic is called to chastity according to their state in life.  The person with SSA is no different.  Individuals are not expected to live solitary lives cut off from friends and family.  The Church offers support through the sacraments, pastoral care, and for those who desire it, access to support groups such as Courage, while allowing for the 'support of disinterested friendship'. 

In some cases, I believe that means men (and women) can live together in chaste friendship.  I say that because there are men (and women) who share their lives with a friend, while remaining chaste and live in accord with Church teaching - and who have no desire to have their friendship/relationship represented as a marriage.  I know men who have mutually worked out all of their end of life legal details through wills, power of attorney, beneficiary benefits and so on.  At some point in their lives, they agreed to live chastely in accord with Church teaching - remaining together providing moral support for one another.

As Bruni noted and many adults with lifelong SSA would agree,
“Most people’s sexual attractions are pretty much fixed” once they take root, said Jack Drescher, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who has written extensively about homosexuality. NYT 
So, who's to tell a 45 year old man who is repulsed by the idea of sleeping with a woman, who came out in 9th grade, that he 'just thinks he's gay'?  The Church doesn't.

But like I said - some people want to be free of SSA and choose to be straight - so let them.  Cynthia Nixon chose to be gay.  It seems simple, but it doesn't end there, does it.

The point of the article seems to be a bit of damage control for the Cynthia Nixon statement, as well as to dispel fears that it is a game changer, while supporting the lobby for same sex marriage:
We don’t need to be born this way to refute the ludicrous assertion that homosexuality poses some special threat to the stability of the American family. We need only note that heterosexuality — as practiced by the likes of Newt Gingrich and John Edwards, for example — isn’t any lucky charm, and yet no one’s trying to heal the straights. 
We don’t need to be born this way to call out Chris Christie, currently trying to avoid responsibility for a decision about same-sex marriage in New Jersey, for being a political wimp. Andrew Cuomo showed courage and foresight in fighting successfully for such legislation in New York. Christie, who fancies himself a dauntless brawler, should do the same in the state next door. NYT
Superficially, I have to admit that I can get caught up in the propaganda and I don't always immediately understand how legalizing same sex marriage will lead to the collapse of Western Civilization or the destabilization of the family - I happen to be one of those people who think the collapse has been well under way for several decades now.  As one who was raised in an incredibly unstable family, on the surface at least, gay families I've seen in the media appear happier and more solid than what I experienced.  That is a subjective observation of course.  Many of us thought the same thing about no-fault divorce, contraception and abortion at one time - what harm could these things do?  Yet we see the cumulative effects these things have had on culture... which brings us to the issue of gay marriage.  Think it through - objectively.

I'm against it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Comments on comments.



For some reason a copy/notification of every one's comments does not always make it to my email.  Some comments do, but not all of them.  So unless I get to my blog before you delete your comments, I have no idea what you wrote.  Other commenters may have responded to a particular comment, and I can usually figure things out that way - but I still don't always know what was written.  That's fine - you can get away with just about anything on this blog - but I usually will eliminate the remaining ghost comments.  Again - no complaints from me.  Although in some ways the ghost comments hanging out there are kind of fun - any thoughts on it?  Should I leave them or delete them?

Here's another thought - on faith.

Kind of off topic - or not:  "We should see all the events of our lives, whether agreeable or painful, in the light of faith in order to live truly by the spirit of faith...
In the injustices of men which we may have to undergo, we would also often discover the justice of God and, when wrongly accused of faults, we would see a well-merited punishment for hidden sins for which no one reproves us. We would also comprehend the meaning of the divine trials and of the purification which God has in view when He sends them to us." The Spirit of Faith and Its Progress, Garrigou-Lagrange
Considering that in the past I have been so well served by anonymous, sometimes even mean-spirited comments, I have decided to re-open comments for those who wish to remain Anonymous.

Disclaimer:  I also reserve the right to remove any comment I choose.  Arbitrarily.  And I laugh.

When the Son of Man returns, will he find any faith on earth?




A critical moment.

“In vast areas of the earth the faith risks being extinguished, like a flame without fuel,” the Pope told assembled members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who met in a plenary session on Friday.

“We are facing a profound crisis of faith, a loss of a religious sense which represents one of the greatest challenges for the Church today.” - CNA