Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Holy Father in Prague

His first stop while visiting the Czech Republic was at the Church of Our Lady of Victories to venerate the Infant Jesus and present the gift of a Papal Crown for the miraculous statue.
Devotion to the Infant Jesus is not just for children.

So... Eminence, are you able to exercise the duties of your office?

"This is way beyond my field." Cardinal Mahoney
The LA Cardinal was actually answering another question - but this works too.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pandemic panic.

See, the thing about liars and conspiracy theorists and psychics and religious visionaries and the U.N. warning everyone that annhilation is just around the corner, is that I don't believe nuthin'.

So anyway - my parish church has taken out all the holy water fonts and replaced them with hand sanitizer pump bottles. I know! How proactive.

So much for In God we trust. (I hope they cut out the hand holding at the Our Father and the inappropriate touching at the sign of peace too.)

Last nite I had a dream that I was talking to Laura Bush and she told me, "Just be ready by March - that's when it's going to happen ."

I looked at my friend Darold and said - "See - even she knows!" Turning back to Laura I asked, "So what should we do?"

"Stock up on water and canned goods - and your prescriptions - you won't be able to get them after March." She said, smiling all the while. I didn't see George.

And wouldn't you know it, I forgot to ask March of what year.

Anyway - I watched a new series on television last night called "FlashForward" - which must have inspired my dream. I think the writers based the plot line on the warning and chastisement stuff from Garabandal. 3 days darkness stuff - yep - I got the candles.

I've always liked George and Laura (Bush).

Virgen de los Desamparados

One of my favorite titles of Our Lady...
Our Lady of the Lunatics, Insane and Forsaken. Read about her here.
September 24 is the feast of Our Lady of Ransom - I did not forget. The feast usually occurs between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur - during the Jewish days of Awe.
"During the Days of Awe, a Jew tries to amend his or her behavior and seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God (bein adam leMakom) and against other human beings (bein adam lechavero). The evening and day of Yom Kippur are set aside for public and private petitions and confessions of guilt (Vidui). At the end of Yom Kippur, one considers one's self absolved by God." - Source
Please pray for this desamparado's conversion.
“If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
May my right arm wither away!
May my tongue stick to the roof
of my mouth if I fail to remember
you....” (Psalms 137:5)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Calling out lies.

"Stop lying to one another." - Col 3, 9
St. Paul makes that appeal more than once in his Letters. Today we experience great doubt in a culture which seems to subsist upon lies. Recently a politician disrupted the President's speech, calling him a liar; while in Europe, Pope Benedict is being accused of lying about what he knew concerning the Nazi sympathies of a bishop of the SSPX. That perhaps figures well with those who accuse the Pope of having been a Nazi because of some sort of mandatory involvement in Hitler Youth. (A fact, if memory serves me, an ill-informed Vatican spokesman mistakenly denied as well.)
Of course we also have the situation of an Internet rife with accusations of lying and deceit by all types of persons and institutions - to the extent that one has to wonder if it is the lies that are so destructive to the common good, or the mistrust, uneasiness, and doubt they generate. Surely they go hand in hand in a corrupt society - the cause and the effect.
We also have the experience in the U.S. of Catholic bishops dissimulating and covering up for deviant priests, and themselves at times, at great expense to the faithful - not simply monetarily, but morally and mortally as well. This is the result of scandal, and why good bishops and priests and Catholic laity must point such things out; clarifying Catholic teaching - the truth - as in the case of Archbishop Burke, offering solid catechesis regarding the Kennedy funeral discussion.
Nevertheless, lying seems to be getting the better and best of us, and is all pervasive, which is why the exhortation from St. Paul is always relevant. We must stop lying to one another.
Politically correct language, diplomatic language, legal terminology, philosophical and theological loopholes, and even socially polite niceties or exaggerations, contributes to an atmosphere of moral ambiguity - especially for the unsophisticated and under-educated. As St. Francis De Sales said, "plain dealing" is always best and is the responsibility and duty of the children of light.
"Your language should be frank, sincere, candid, and honest. Be on guard against equivocation, ambiguity, or dissimulation. While it is not always advisable to say all that is true, it is never permissible to speak against the truth." - Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III: 30

Preserving architecture in a post-Christian society...


Perhaps it is unfair to call our times post-Christian, churches have often been sold off and used for commercial purposes, we have examples of it locally - one I know of is a bookstore. Years ago one of my favorite discos in NYC was an old church called The Sanctuary - it was even used in a film for a location shoot - the movie: Klute.
It is rather unsettling however to come across photos of the Dominican church (above), nicely converted into a fashionable bookstore. The location is Maastricht, Netherlands, and so it is no surprise perhaps. It will most likely be a common occurrence throughout Europe as the faith continues to dwindle. There are more photos on the architect's site here. It really is a very handsome conversion, wonderful use of space without obstructing the lovely art and architecture.
If I were rich I'd love to buy an old abandoned church in France or Tuscany.

H/T Catholic Church Conservation

September Issue

If you have ever worked in fashion, marketing or ready to wear, you must see "September Issue" - the best documentary on the business ever.
The movie is fascinating. There are moments however where the vacuousness of the industry and the persons who work in it emerges. In quiet moments the principals seem to convey a bored disappointment, even sadness... and that is when one can experience a feeling of emptiness and meaninglessness. I think that may in part account for why fashion changes so rapidly and always tends forward to what is novel and glamorous - it removes one from one's reality and spiritual self knowledge. Of course, profit is a driving factor as well. But the everchanging, always in flux creative atmosphere is what generally attracts the superficial.
In the film, the only moments Anna Wintour betrays any authenticity as an actual person is when she is in the company of her daughter - otherwise she seems a rather soulless creature exercising power over equally soulless individuals in a strange antechamber to... nothing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

'The September Issue' Trailer HD

Must see. The best.


I have a Followers box, widget, whatever, in my side bar that doesn't show up now. Does it show up for visitors here? If so, it may be my security settings are blocking it. I can't be bothered with this stuff - but I hate it when stuff doesn't work.

Oh! Oh! What if the CIA blocked it?!


I came across one of the most extraordinary posts I have ever read, concerning the Orthodox Hieromonk Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi, his photo in death shown above. Elena of Fountain of Elias blog has posted the Elder's teaching on prayer. Go here to read. After reading it, I was filled with a blessed peace.
Incidentally, the novena for the feast of St. Therese has begun. And of course, today is the feast of St. Pio.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Victims of racism...

Blind leading the blind.
I kinda feel sorry for Governor Paterson now.

End of summer.

Portion of the back garden.

The red morning glory on the trellis attracts Hummingbirds - which seem to me to be like little angels or fairies as they dart about, often hovering in mid-air to get a closer look at me.
Posted by Picasa

Bishop Talk...

The USCCB on proselytism...
Proselytism, or the deliberate targeting of another Christian or group of Christians for the sole purpose of getting them to reject their church to join another, is not allowed. Some people may feel called in conscience to change from one tradition to another, but “sheep stealing” is unacceptable. USCCB
The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith does not equate proselytism with “sheep stealing,” but with coercion. In its 2007 Doctrinal Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization, the Congregation teaches:
The term proselytism originated in the context of Judaism, in which the term proselyte referred to someone who, coming from the gentiles, had passed into the Chosen People. So too, in the Christian context, the term proselytism was often used as a synonym for missionary activity. More recently, however, the term has taken on a negative connotation, to mean the promotion of a religion by using means, and for motives, contrary to the spirit of the Gospel; that is, which do not safeguard the freedom and dignity of the human person. It is in this sense that the term proselytism is understood in the context of the ecumenical movement. - Catholic Culture

H/T Pewsitters

Monday, September 21, 2009

What's my line? Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

"What's My Line?" - Catholicism as a game show.

I don't get it. This morning at Inside Catholic I noted Archbishop Burke had remarked upon funerals for pro-abortion Catholics:
"Neither Holy Communion nor funeral rites should be administered to such politicians," said Archbishop Burke. "To deny these is not a judgment of the soul, but a recognition of the scandal and its effects." - Source
So far so good - for him - and maybe a few of us. Archbishop Burke is a gem of a Catholic prelate - but does anyone listen to him? A couple of Cardinals just buried a pro-abortion politician in a very public Catholic funeral, while other bishops and priests condemned those who dared criticize it as uncharitable, hate filled, misguided Catholics.
I'm not going to waste time this morning listing the litany of questionable Cardinals and Bishops here, but damn! Where is the consistency in Catholic teaching? Is it now just fine to live however one desires, accepting or rejecting Catholic teaching while professing to be a Catholic and yet maintain "good hope" that everyone is saved? (This was even intimated on last evening's Sunday Night Live with Fr. Benedict Groeschl, CFR on EWTN.)
15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true. -- Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862; Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.
16. Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation. -- Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1846.

17. Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. -- Encyclical "Quanto conficiamur," Aug. 10, 1863, etc.

18. Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church. -- Encyclical "Noscitis," Dec. 8, 1849.
- Syllabus of Errors Condemned by Blessed Pius IX
We live in an age when heresy, apostasy and compromise has infected the Church close to the top - it almost seems all that is left to be accomplished is for the abomination of desolation to take it's place in the sanctuary.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Congratulations Christopher West!

Cardinal Rigali approves.
Cardinal Justin Rigali, as Chairman of the Episcopal Advisory Board for the Theology of the Body Institute and as local ordinary of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia where the Institute is located, and Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Christopher West's local ordinary in the Diocese of Harrisburg, have stated that they are pleased to express strong support for the important work of the Theology of the Body Institute and, in particular, that of Christopher West. - Source
Excuse me while I whip this out.
I really cannot print what I think of this. However, it must be remembered that many bishops and cardinals also hoped that discipline might change concerning the regulation of birth before Humane Vitae was issued. While afterwards, several continued to object - and reject. This isn't the same thing of course, but it certainly helps one appreciate the effectiveness of such a general imprimatur.
Wait, watch, and see what happens... It will make headlines.
That's all.