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, June 16, 2012

Distractions in prayer.



Not.

I've come to a point where I usually treat distractions like nothing.  Just ignore them - like 'white noise'.  At least I try to do that, doesn't always work of course.  Then again, sometimes, if I'm patient enough, they can become my prayer.  I think Therese did that - remember the episode of the older sister behind her in choir during mental prayer, who made annoying noises with her dentures, and St. Therese offered the sounds and their effects as a sacrifice?  That's one way to handle distractions.  Sometimes recollection can be so deep that all the noises and distractions around us do not bother us - but that is surely a grace.

Many times distractions occur during the rosary, while praying the office, or reciting prayers for a novena.  We are saying the words but thinking about something else.  It happens.  I noticed something about that however.  Sometimes we can be thinking about people and situations in or out of our lives, and not always in a good way.  We might suddenly recall something someone did or said against us - or we may recall something we dislike about them.  Do we treat it like a distraction and move on?

I will run the way of your commands;
you give freedom to my heart. - Ps. 119:32


This morning it occurred to me that something more was needed: Recalling the Gospel passage, "if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift."  It suddenly seemed to me that the distraction wasn't a real distraction at all, but a sort of gentle rebuke.

I needed to go back over my prayer with more attention, but I also needed to recognize what was happening.  This "remembrance of wrongs" was necessary for me to recognize what may be on one level, simply a natural antipathy towards someone, or perhaps it was something more serious.  Whatever it was, I needed to be reconciled.  Which doesn't mean I leave off prayer - not at all.  Rather it is a call to a deeper self knowledge and a direction to pray from the heart for those I more or less unconsciously regard as my 'enemies'.  In my particular situation, I was able to recognize that my so-called 'enemies' were probably correct in their assessment of myself, and that I was truly the 'bad guy' in all of this.  I was the one harboring the resentment.   

Long story short, sometimes our distractions have a purpose.  They serve to take us from our superficial, more routine habit of prayer, and plunge us more deeply into the abyss of our nothingness... exactly where deep calls unto deep... the abyss of our misery calls unto the abyss of merciful love... and even more deeply, the reverse of that is true - the abyss of merciful love initiates the call...

In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. - Romans 8: 26

As St. Teresa says, "Prayer is the trap door out of sin."  It is most especially when we allow the Holy Spirit to pray in us, allowing him to direct our prayer - because we really do not know how to pray as we ought.  I think it is better to pray as we can, not how we think we are supposed to - although I might be wrong.  (We need to be instructed in prayer and use the support of structured prayer - with attention and devotion - and the Holy Spirit helps us do so.)  Happily, my rosaries have sometimes been filled with distractions like the one I mentioned, which may explain why they can take so long for me to recite.

Every great grace I have ever received in life came through the rosary.

Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary


We then looked up at Our Lady, who said to us so kindly and so sadly:
“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world”.  -Vatican website. 

I just did this last night...



When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage. - The Art of Disappearing - Naomi Shihab Nye

One-a-Day: Greatest hits.



I've put this up before...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Just for men.



Hackett, London  2013

People no longer know what friendship is.



The things of this world are vain and deceitful. - Eccl. 1:2

People no longer know what true friendship is.  Or so it would seem.  I'm not talking about friending relative strangers on Facebook and other social media sites eithr.  I'm talking real friendship. 

Eros, philia, agape are words getting hurled around a lot these days on the web.  There are close examinations into same-sex friendship, reworking eros into chaste love, along with all sorts of other discussions happening on the subject of gay-chaste friendship. 

I smiled not too long ago as I read on one of my blogger friend's site his counsel to hetero guys not to be freaked out if a new ssa friend develops a crush on him.  I suppose it happens, but I wouldn't advise telling a straight guy you've developed a crush on him.  I'd have to tell you rather, to keep it to yourself and deal with it privately if you are either that needy, or worse, predatorial.  (I say that with all charity, BTW.) 

Some men, but clearly not all men, can develop what is popularly called a mancrush ** on a male friend - it happens and has nothing to do with erotic or romantic infatuation - for normal people that is.  It's just being excited about a new friend.  Don't be like a dog trying to hump his leg.  How uncomfortable to think that friend you are showering with at the gym has Sandusky eyes for you?  You'll never get normal friends if that is how you think or act with potential BFF's.  It is so much the opposite of 'disinterested friendship' - instead, 'selfish self-interest' is what's at play there.

Anyway - I'm reading all this stuff on friendship and 'that' particular inclination, which reminded me I once copied for another post something from Francis de Sales which I thought might apply to this discussion.
"Whatever is founded on mere sensuality, vanity, or frivolity, is unworthy to be called friendship. I mean such attractions as are purely external; a sweet voice, personal beauty, and the cleverness or outward show which have great weight with some. You will often hear women and young people gay men unhesitatingly decide that such an one is very delightful, very admirable, because he is good-looking, well-dressed, sings, or dances, or talks well. Even charlatans esteem the wittiest clown amongst them as their best man. But all these things are purely sensual, and the connections built on such foundation must be vain and frivolous, more fitly to be called trifling than friendship. They spring up chiefly among young people, gay men who are easily fascinated by personal attractions, dress, and gossip—friendships in which the tailor and hairdresser have the chief part. How can such friendships be other than short lived, melting away like snow wreaths in the sun!" - St. Francis De Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life
Not that simple?


Les Liaisons dangereuses.*

I came across a discussion on another site dealing with the issue of homosexual friendship, and was caught by the following quote from C.S. Lewis:
“Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love, but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros, betray the fact that they have never had a Friend,” - C.S. Lewis
It seems to me, since the 19th century invention of the term 'homosexuality' the traditional understanding of friendship has been confused, and become nearly incomprehensible to many in our day of overt sexuality.  Perhaps authors such as E.M. Forster and Christopher Isherwood were still able to differentiate the platonic-philia love from the erotic - which they popularized in their writing - thus contributing in no small way to our contemporary acceptance of homosexual erotic relationships.  For instance, in the Forster novel, Maurice the main character, enjoys a close platonic relationship with his friend Clive Durham while at school.  Clive intended to marry and have a family and had no interest in a homoerotic relationship - though the friendship between the two was indeed exclusive and mildly intimate.  Later, disappointed in that prospect with Durham, Maurice falls in love with a woodsman and (unrealistically) is supposed to live happily ever after, hidden away in the woods with the love of his life.

The friendship between Maurice and Clive is a bit reminiscent of Brideshead, and the friendship between Sebastian and Charles.  Though their friendship may have had homosexual overtones, it isn't exactly clear that the two shared homoerotic interests or relations - despite this insightful comment from Lord Marchmain's mistress:
"I know of these romantic friendships of the English and the Germans. They are not Latin. I think they are very good if they do not go on too long... It's the kind of love that comes to children before they know its meaning." - Cara, Brideshead Revisited

I mention these friendships in particular, since they may help to explain the deep platonic friendships men forged with one another, and given the context, with or without homoerotic interest.  Albeit in the case of Maurice, he desired to have had such intimacies with Clive Durham; and as I say, the situation between Sebastian and Charles may have included at least a one sided homoerotic attraction.  Be that as it may, a healthy sense of non-sexual close friendship was not unknown in the early 20th century.

However, the very best example of dignified same-sex friendship is perhaps best exemplified in the friendship between Bl. Henry Cardinal Newman and Fr. Ambrose St. John.  I think Francis De Sales may have described the ideal friendship they shared in his illustration of good, wholesome spiritual friendship here: 
DO you, my child, love every one with the pure love of charity, but have no 202 friendship save with those whose intercourse is good and true, and the purer the bond which unites you so much higher will your friendship be. If your intercourse is based on science it is praiseworthy, still more if it arises from a participation in goodness, prudence, justice and the like; but if the bond of your mutual liking be charity, devotion and Christian perfection, God knows how very precious a friendship it is! Precious because it comes from God, because it tends to God, because God is the link that binds you, because it will last for ever in Him. Truly it is a blessed thing to love on earth as we hope to love in Heaven, and to begin that friendship here which is to endure for ever there. I am not now speaking of simple charity, a love due to all mankind, but of that spiritual friendship which binds souls together, leading them to share devotions and spiritual interests, so as to have but one mind between them. Such as these may well cry out, “Behold, how good and joyful a thing it is, brethren, to dwell together in unity!” 106106 Ps. cxxxiii. 1. Even so, for the “precious ointment” of devotion trickles continually from one heart to the other, so that truly we may say that to such friendship the Lord promises His Blessing and life for evermore. 203 To my mind all other friendship is but as a shadow with respect to this, its links mere fragile glass compared to the golden bond of true devotion. Do you form no other friendships. I say “form,” because you have no right to cast aside or neglect the natural bonds which draw you to relations, connexions, benefactors or neighbours. My rules apply to those you deliberately choose to make. There are some who will tell you that you should avoid all special affection or friendship, as likely to engross the heart, distract the mind, excite jealousy, and what not. But they are confusing things. They have read in the works of saintly and devout writers that individual friendships and special intimacies are a great hindrance in the religious life, and therefore they suppose it to be the same with all the world, which is not at all the case. - Introduction to the Devout Life

I'm hoping those who explore the meaning of authentic friendship, do so in the light of traditional Catholic teaching.

To be continued.

*The novel, and the film, Dangerous Liaisons illustrates perfectly the exact type of vain, frivolous friendships and fond loves St. Francis condemns in his Introduction to the Devout Life.

**Related: Bromance:  The contemporary circumstances of bromance separate it from more general homosocial practices and historic romantic friendships.[3][4] Aristotle's classical description of friendship is often taken to be the prototype of the bromance. He wrote around 300 BC, "It is those who desire the good of their friends for the friends' sake that are most truly friends, because each loves the other for what he is, and not for any incidental quality."[1] There are numerous examples of famous intense male friendships throughout most of Western history, and such relationships were likewise common. It has been posited that in the late 19th century, Freudianism and the emergence of visible homosexuality directed heterosexual men to avoid expressions of intense affection. - Wiki   

Note:  I'm not promoting the concept or adaptation of terms such as mancrush or bromance, I'm simply using it to frame non-sexual, ss friendship with another expression adapted from popular culture.  Personally I find such labels or distinctions annoying.

Finally. Isn't It Obvious?


Unmanned hovercraft.

Isn't it obvious now that almost all the UFO sightings have most likely been some sort of experimental aircraft?  The others were probably hallucinations by drunk people, or people on or off their meds.  In ancient times they were probably either hallucinations due to some sort of bread-mold or wild mushroom ingestion, alcohol poisoning, or visionary-view into the future. 
Military drone mistaken for UFO along DC highways.

WASHINGTON - A saucer-shaped object on a very wide flatbed truck had some people wondering if the government was moving a UFO in or near Washington, D.C., Wednesday night. The truck came south on I-270, then took the inner loop of the Capital Beltway from Montgomery County into Prince George's County.
When motorists snapped photos of the strange object and posted them on Twitter, some people became concerned enough to call local police. One man called 911 in Prince George's County because, he said, he was concerned about a relative who lived along the route.

Asked by a befuddled dispatcher what the object looked like, the caller replied hesitantly, "…ah... a UFO. I mean, I don't really know. I don't see too many UFO's on a regular basis."
Well, it turns out the mysterious object on the truck cruising around the Beltway is capable of flight. It's an experimental, unmanned aircraft called an X-47B, according to Northrop Grumman spokesman Brooks McKinney.
The company spokesman said the saucer-like shape of the aircraft is a deliberate effort to make it harder to detect.
"[It's] a shape that minimizes its refection of potential ... enemy radar signals," said McKinney, who also pointed out that the aircraft has no tail. - Source

 
Well, let's just tell and show the world our military secrets.

So anyway, I was abducted once.

What?



 

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus


Altar of the Sacred Heart in Notre Dame, Montreal, Quebec to which I felt irresistibly drawn when I first visited the church. It was before this image of Christ appearing to St. Margaret Mary that my conversion 'began' in the summer of 1971.  The chapel was very dark and I was attracted to the image of Christ.  I lit a candle and asked the Sacred Heart of Jesus to "be patient with me because I can't give it (sin) up just yet." The following spring I returned to the sacraments after another call from the Sacred Heart at a Mass I attended at St. Agnes in St. Paul.

A very efficacious prayer to the Sacred Heart: "Sacred Heart of Jesus I place all my trust in you." Your salvation may depend upon it.

One-a-Day: Greatest hits.




Never get tired of this... I wouldn't change a thing...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

ActonU Update.

Clique and listen:  Best version ever!


Mr. and Mrs. Drysdale arrived today with Drysdale's secretary, Ms. Jane Hathaway, who will be introducing Eric Metaxas at this evenings after-supper talk.  Ms. Hathaway, an avid admirer of Mr. Metaxas, told the undersigned, "I love a man in horned-rimmed glasses!"  Mrs. Drysdale headed straight for the afternoon conference held in the bar, and was unavailable for comment.

Catholic Merchandising Concepts

Design spec: Translate/sculpt figures after live photo of dance troupe; insert dramatic Christ dance figure - elevated as if levitating or enacting a pas de chat; engineer to spin in place.  Construction: resin with wood base.



Christ Glee figures...

I think it can work, and it may help put an end to bullying too.  The intent here is to help educate children to be more accepting of their peers who have more refined sensitivities and aesthetic tastes.

Presented here a few prototypes I've been thinking of, tweaking the art a bit, but with a commitment to the classic kitsch style so popular these days.  Please read the notes for each offering.

I'm looking for a financial backer to launch this new business. 


Design spec:  Change children figures to dance leotards, levitate Christ figure in a pirouette - with hair pulled back in chignon, add musical app to ensemble, playing "Maniac" from "Flashdance".

Design spec:  Ensemble is close to perfect for ssa kids; dancers need to be made available as two boys in dance costume as well.

Note:  I was unable to have original prototypes available for view, due to copyright pending, therefore, I've used existing figures from another manufacturer to illustrate the concept.  My apologies.

AVAILABLE SOON!


Same-sex wedding cake toppers!
-Hair color choices available.
-With and without make-up.
-Male figures not shown, 
available in men's tuxedos only -
interchangeable with
female figures too!

Homo-sexual fluidity and the other gay marriages...

Joan Cusak in "In and Out" - 'Is everybody gay?'


True confessions.

Confessions of a recovering lesbian* -  Gay man happily married to a woman.

Chaste Gay-Catholics share their stories... and they all hang on to the gay.

I'm really trying to understand.

I have good friends who were gay and wanted a family, they met and fell in love with women, got married and passed for straight.  Personally, I think they are straight - sure, they fell off the wagon once or twice, but like a dog who once tasted blood, they slipped up.  Nevertheless, they have integrated their lives successfully, and have lovely families, and yes, their wives knew of their past and accepted them.

On the other hand, I have worked with and for numerous closet cases - married men who never were 'out' before marriage.  These men could be quite wicked.  Essentially, most of them were serial offenders - perhaps like a popular coach who has been in the news recently.  Others spent their free time at parks and in restrooms, looking for anonymous, adult sexual contact.

But now things appear to be changing.  Some lesbians and gay men renounce the homosex and marry and have families, while continuing to identify as gay - but their sexuality is re-oriented to, err, they live chastely according to their state in life, which happens to be heterosexual marriage, which then neutralizes the gay sex part... or something like that - but they can still appreciate a nice-looking...

Yep, that's normal.


How do you explain this to kids?

*I'm thinking this story is by Melinda Selmys - UPDATE:  Nope.  Not her.  Melinda graciously cleared that up.

One-a-Day: Greatest hits.



Awesome.  RIP Ms. Snow.

And by Mr. Simon.

I'd sing it like Simon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Please pray for a friend of mine.



She needs a job really bad.  Seriously, she does.

Quote of the Week

Inquisition at Loudun.


"The church is a broad umbrella, and it doesn't quickly exclude people, even people who disagree on one point or the other," he said. "But ultimately, this is about a group that represents the church doing so in a way that is accountable to the teaching and tradition of the church." - Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  Levada made the comments in an interview with NCR held shortly after the meeting between officials of his office and Sr. Pat Farrell, president of the LCWR, along with Sr. Janet Mock, the group's executive director.

See, what it comes down to is honesty... Truth.  The Church, the Magisterium is so NOT picking on the nuns.  As one critic put it; "What people forget is how mild and rare Rome's reactions now are, compared to what they used to be."

Fr. Robert Pierson, OSB - defender of the cause...



For the canonization of LGBTQ Catholicism.

Fr. Bob has been in the news a couple of times this past year.  Recall the LGBTQ retreat he scheduled at his abbey in Collegeville, MN, St. John's.  After very public objections, Fr. Bob cancelled the retreat, as I noted here:
The Guestmaster at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, Fr. Bob Pierson O.S.B. sent a letter announcing that a very strange LGBT retreat, sponsored by the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministries had been cancelled:
Dear Mr. X: Thank you for your message. After reviewing the content of the retreat, it is clear that the program is not consistent with the purpose and mission of the Abbey Guesthouse. Therefore, the retreat has been cancelled.
Oddly enough, the Guestmaster happens to be the treasurer for the board of directors of CALGM, yet from the sound of the letter cited here, Fr. Pierson gives the impression he did not know the 'content' of the retreat program. His letter sounds to me as if he only learned about the program after people complained that it was not Catholic. That strikes me as unlikely. - This is weird...
Most recently, Fr. Bob made the news for speaking in support of same sex marriage and the Catholics right to vote against a marriage amendment scheduled for the ballot in the upcoming elections this fall.  He stated:
“My faith suggests that I cannot in good conscience remain silent,” said Father Pierson. “I am speaking up now to say that I believe this amendment violates an important principle of Catholic teaching, and that as Catholics, we can vote no. As a Catholic priest, I am not here to criticize our Church’s teaching, but rather to lift up an aspect of the Church’s teaching that seems to have been forgotten by some who are supporting the amendment. The issue I am talking about is “Freedom of Conscience.” - Progressive Catholic Voice
Admittedly, he makes a compelling argument - for the uninformed, or badly formed conscience, that is.  His observations here:
A young theologian by the name of Joseph Ratzinger, whom many of you know now as Pope Benedict XVI, put it this way in 1967:
Over the pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one's own conscience which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority.

My conscience tells me to vote NO on the amendment because I have yet to hear a convincing reason why we need such an amendment to our state constitution. In fact, I believe that the church does not have the right to force its moral teaching on others outside our fold. When the religious beliefs of any particular religious group become the law of the land, we run the risk of violating everyone’s freedom to believe and their freedom of conscience. Allow me to mention three examples of where I see the church “fudging” the facts.

We have heard it said that civil marriage for committed, same-sex couples “will destroy the sanctity of the Sacrament of Matrimony.” But the truth is, until now the church has not concerned itself with civil marriage. The church does not recognize the civil marriage of its members. If a Catholic is married in a civil ceremony, they are said to be married “outside of the Church” and the marriage is not recognized as a sacrament due to “lack of canonical form.” Civil marriage for committed, same-sex couples is not the Sacrament of Matrimony, and the government cannot tell churches who they may or may not marry. - Fr. Pierson, Sensus Fidelium
Adding to the confusion is a post by Fr. James Martin, SJ, my favorite Jesuit, BTW.   (He seems to me to be like a gateway drug - in a good way - for those who want to be Catholic, but just can't accept everything the Church teaches at this point in their journey.  He strikes me as a priest who ministers in the midst of them.)  If you recall, at the LA education conference, Fr. Martin expressed hope that gay Catholic priests would make their presence known to faithful Catholics.  Personally, I have always been helped the most by straight Catholic priests... think 'disinterested' friendship... which, for the narcissist should also be interpreted as 'without/devoid of self interest' ... without neediness, without indulging in vain rejoicing in natural goods, etc..  But I digress. 

Thus it would seem (to me) Fr. Martin points to Fr. Pierson as a model 'gay priest'.  That is too bad.  Especially since Fr. Pierson speaks in opposition to the local ordinary's directive, asking priests not to speak publicly against the marriage amendment, as Fr. Martin notes:
Needless to say, his comments on same-sex marriage are in direct opposition to the U.S. Catholic bishops, including Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis, who has vigorously supported the amendment (that is, opposing same-sex marriage) and asked parishioners in his archdiocese to recite a "A Prayer for Marriage"* as part of the Prayers of the Faithful (petitionary prayers) at Masses. The bishops could not be clearer in their opposition, which rests primarily on the Christian tradition of marriage as between a man and a woman (as well as on the church's opposition to homosexual activity).
 I'm not judging his soul, but I get the impression Fr. Pierson has perhaps been a tad duplicitous in his ministry - and I base that mostly on his note regarding the cancellation of a retreat he would have had to have known all about.  Add this to the ever growing list of reasons why Fr. Pierson's finds himself unable to "honestly represent, explain and defend the church's teaching on homosexuality" Fr. Pierson just might  end up leaving the Catholic Church all together.

*The prayer is not said at any of the parishes I attend.

St. Anthony of Padua



St. Anthony loved the Infant Jesus so much, Jesus thought he was his dad.

St. Anthony, much like St. Joseph, can obtain anything he asks from the Infant Jesus.

St. Anthony, much like St. Joseph, is a very special patron and protector of chastity - especially for those who desire to recover the virtue.

That's what I think anyway.

One-a-Day: Greatest hits.




So what?  I really liked this group.

And this one: That's how much I feel...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Disaster preparedness update...

Catfood breadline.


People are talking about it.

Even Fr. Z posted something - again - today.  Donating blood.  The blood supply.  This is like the threehundredandsixtyfifth emergency preparedness post he has done.  Remember the others?  "What would you grab if you had to evacuate the house right now?"  "I'm going for my Ham radio license."  "I was thinking of taking paramedic training."  "I'm building a fall-out shelter in the Cotswold's."  And now:  "Blood!"  What the hayel?

 
A day or so ago, a friend alerted me by high-priority email that Costco is selling "emergency supply kits for a month" - not a bad idea, really.  Check it out here.  All Target sells is Gay Pride crap.

Adrienne and Howard are opening up bed and breakfast fall-out shelters on their mountain-view estate, while satellite photos caught Larry and his wife Maebelle building a bunker under the lake in their back yard - they big shots in Michigan, you know.

If something goes down, I'm packing up the cats and heading out to Idaho to stay with Adrienne and the rest of the militia. 


Idaho cat militia.

What do you want on your tombstone?


"He died young."

What I meant to say was ...



Le silence n'est pas une evasion ...

On vocation:

"There are some people God calls and sets apart in convents and monasteries. There are others God calls and leaves in society, the ones God does not `withdraw from the world.'

"These are the people who have an ordinary job, an ordinary marriage or an ordinary celibacy. The people who have ordinary sicknesses and ordinary sorrows. The people who live in ordinary houses and wear ordinary clothes. These are the people of ordinary life. The people we meet on any ordinary street. - Madeleine Delbrel

On poverty:

"We believed that we lack nothing necessary here in the streets; if we did need something more, God would have already given it to us. - Madeleine Delbrel

On the solitary life:

"We, the ordinary people of the streets, have the distinct impression that solitude is not the absence of the world, but the presence of God.

"Our solitude is the encounter with God everywhere. For us, being alone in a crowd is participating in the solitude of God.

"God is so great that there is no place for anything else., everything is within God.

"For us, the whole world is the meeting place with the One whom we cannot avoid. We encounter God's living plan right there on the busy street corners. We encounter God's splendor in the laws of nature and science. We encounter God's imprint on the earth. We encounter Christ in all these `little ones' who are his own, the ones who suffer in their bodies, the ones who are bored, the ones who are troubled, the ones who are in need of something. We encounter Christ rejected in countless acts of selfishness. - Madeleine Delbrel

On friendship:

"How could we possibly have the heart to mock these people or to hate them, this multitude of sinners of whom we are a part?  - Madeleine Delbrel

And then ...

"When you finally discover that you are just one of the little people, don't conclude that this makes you special." - Madeleine Delbrel
Madeleine DelbrĂȘl

I am most interested in the lay saints.

The Polish Martyrs



108 Martyrs

June 12 is their feast day - they are just one group of many martyrs from WWII and beyond.

The Nazis beheaded many.  I didn't realize that.

The 20th century was filled with numerous martyrs.

The martyrdoms continue into this century.

We are not worthy of them.

We do not change.

What is coming?

Art source.

One-a-Day: Greatest hits.




My all-time favorite from CeCe!  THE BEST!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Here's something...



Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church. —POPE PAUL VI, Address on the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions, October 13, 1977

(Found it here.)

How do you know if you have a vocation?


Unscientific reflections...

Actually, a day ago, a friend asked me how I knew I didn't have a vocation - which I understood as nearly the same question as, 'How do you know if you have a vocation?'

I don't know. 

However, I explained that I only knew with time, and only after searching and trying out a couple of religious orders: Discalced Carmelites, Little Brothers of Jesus, Trappists, Carthusians.  Initially, on my first retreat after my conversion, I asked our Lord out loud, "Do I have a vocation to religious life/priesthood, Lord?"  I heard a distinct interior voice say "No."  So I proceeded to try my vocation in the above named orders, and went back and forth for several years wondering, Should I go?  Should I stay?  Do I have a vocation?  Or not?  I wonder if the Lord was standing there talking through his teeth, "I already told you..."  But that isn't how it works - the process, the attempts - it's all part of it.

Anyway, as time went on, I knew I could never stick it out anywhere beyond a couple of years.  When I was 'in' the monastery, I loved it, but I couldn't settle down - which is my natural explanation why I tried the Benedict Joseph Labre thing - which only made me long for the security of the monastery again.  That said, supernaturally, the entire experience had been a novitiate for my life, a training in the spiritual life and prayer.  Sort of special-ed for me to know how to be normal and live an ordinary life - because I had never known what normal was, or what ordinary life meant. 

It appears my voice was right the first time - but I had to go through all the attempts to find that out.  In retrospect, the Lord saved the Church from me, he preserved the religious houses I tried out from me:  And countless souls may have been saved because I stayed out of the monastery... horrible scandals were averted.  I exaggerate perhaps - maybe not.  Other people may think I had a vocation but lost it.  They are wrong of course.  Like Benedict Joseph Labre, I never had the temperament for it.  I really do know that now.

That said, I don't really know how one discerns a vocation.  It seems to me a vocation happens - like falling in love.  But I'm a romantic.  Some people just seem to be able to make a decision and stick to it.

Morally bankrupt, culturally dishonest...


"I know!  And yet they still did the pat-down!"

One-a-Day: Greatest hits.



What?   I can still like this.  Insane laughter...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mass Chat...

SSPX Superior General Bishop Fellay.
Doesn't he look papal here?  What if?


Always Low Mass.

I do my best, I think.  I go to my local parish church for Mass and the sacraments.  I go to adoration there, I pray there.  I'm always so grateful there are so many Catholic churches in my immediate area, three within walking distance - so I'm not really complaining.  I'm likewise just as grateful that Mass is available at all, and the Blessed Sacrament reposes in the churches.  It's just always Low Mass however.  Crappy music, untrained servers, chaos on the altar, the priest has trouble with his lines, there are announcements and speeches and applause during the communion thanksgiving, not to mention greet and meet at the beginning of Mass - and the shouts and screams and laughs and loud crowd-talk after Mass.  I do okay.  I pretend I'm deaf and dumb and pray - by the grace of God I can do that.  Unless there are just too many calls for my attention.

Like last night.  Father did the anointing of the sick - right after the announcements after communion.  People who weren't participating were leaving while all the old people went forward for the anointing - I did too - because I'm going blind and have so many health problems.  After the anointing - people just walked out of church - no concluding prayer - no nothing.  It was a free for all.  Bless, dab, thank you man, and out the door.

It's a free for all, I tell you.

Photo:  Bishop Fellay.  He says if the SSPX is reunited there will be an "explosion" in the Church.  God! I hope so!  I really hope so.

I'm sorry.  I'm human and a sinful man - sometimes I just have to vent.  This post may self-destruct...

Corpus Christi

One-a-Day: Greatest hits.