"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Let the holidays begin!


Today is the anniversary of my dad's burial - he died in 1991.  The anniversary more or less confirms the holidays are here - despite the fact we have no snow.  (No - I don't know what that means either.)
.
On my planet, the holiday's really begin on Halloween - why?  Because I worked in retail and we began merchandising Christmas right after Halloween.  So I always get nostalgic - you see, my mother also died in the month of October - then of course my brother died in December - so their deaths spark memories and inspire drama, while tempering the Bacchanal party-spirit just enough to stay out of the hospital.  Although the holiday season can be like one big emotional tilt-a-whirl ride - it's fun.  Yeah, so I'm just saying - warning actually - that posts may be stranger than normal.
.
But I love the season in all of it's aspects.  No - I do not do anything for Thanksgiving - I hate Thanksgiving - gosh! 
.
I'm okay!  I'm okay!
.
So anyway, readers can look forward to my grim fairy tales in the coming month before Christmas.  With my gift and craft ideas.  I will have suggestions for parties and how to start family fights wherein you still come off as 'charitable' and 'deeply concerned'.  And I will regale you with crazy but funny family stories - much in the spirit of that wonderful Christmas film, "It's A Horrible Life!"...  "Every time a siren rings, dad goes to jail again!"
.
I'm all verklempft now.
.
Don't get me wrong - I love the holidays - whatever that means.  Oh - I know, little squirrels and birds and rabbits and deer decorating that teeny-weeny fir tree in the empty lot where the K-mart was just torn down.  Now that's an Xmas card.
.
Happy Holidays!  Gotta love 'em!  (Do NOT drive drunk.)
.
Art: Death in the Rohan Hours

Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, November 21


I guarantee you that very few modern Catholics in the U.S. even know what this feast day means, much less that it exists.  Click here to learn the traditional significance of the feast.
.
Art: Source

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yay! Cathy of Alexandria got her job!

She's all busy getting her clothes ready - to look professional and fashionable... you know.

Out of Africa



The Christian resistance to Western Cultural Imperialism.
.
"Africa must protect itself from the contamination of intellectual cynicism in the West.  It is our pastoral responsibility to enlighten African consciences about the threats of this lethal ideology."  - Archbishop Sarah, Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. 
.
The Archbishop issued this warning during the African Synod in Rome last month.  Thankfully the African Bishops are keenly aware  of the new Western cultural imperialism which demands conversion to insidious ideological conditions.  Recall how contemporary historians condemn earlier eras of Christian missionary activity in similar terms, yet today liberal Western influence and Government agencies demand acceptance of new ideologies in exchange for humanitarian aid and support.  It is the new liberal dogmatism, the "dictatorship of relativism", as Pope Benedict has said.
.
"Gender theory", said Archbishop Sarah, "puts pressure on the legislator to write laws favorable to universal access to ... contraceptive and abortion services ... as well as homosexuality" as part of the concept of "reproductive health.  It places the "right to choose" as the "supreme value of this new ethic" in which "homosexuality becomes a culturally acceptable choice and access to this choice must be promoted." - Source 
.
Archbishop Sarah was speaking explicitly to the anti-Christian ideology of gender theory and sexual fluidity which is currently being propagated - imposed - by Western culture.  He wasn't a lone voice at the Synod by any means:  "One of the major themes of the Synod has been the denunciation of Western anti-life and anti-family programs as a new form of colonialism and "cultural imperialism" from the West, which is trying to impose a set of alien values onto African society." - Source
.
Another Archbishop, in an interview with NCR, explained that "the problem is very real, suggesting that Western organizations are purposely undermining traditional African values. Asked, "Is there really a Western campaign to corrupt African values?" Archbishop Palmer-Buckle replied, "We don't only suspect that there is a campaign, we think it's deliberate."
.
Foreign groups, said the archbishop, are not only trying to influence governments, "but they're out there corrupting the young.  I know of NGOs that are not only supplying condoms, they're also supplying lubricants for boys who want to engage in homosexual relations.  I know of NGOs that are not only supplying condoms, they're also supplying lubricants for boys who want to engage in homosexual relations."
.
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle said that "serious advocacy" was needed to oust these agendas. "We need to target those NGOs and those particular individuals, and tell whoever brought them in there that they're persona non grata." - Source
.
Is it any wonder that African nations would be on the defensive against such incursions upon the very moral foundation of society and the common good?
.
Art:  Icon of Ugandan Martyrs.

Questions...


Please.
.
Does anyone know where I can find better photos of this chapel online?   What is the name of the chapel?  And who did the fresco?  I am very grateful for any information from anyone. 
.
Thanks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Homosexualist lies and deception




"Through them, the true way will be made subject to contempt." - 2 Peter 2:2
.
Homosexual activists love to accuse the Catholic Church of lies and deception when it comes to Catholic  teaching on homosexuality and so-called same sex marriage.  I just read a gay activist's blog post wherein he accuses the hierarchy of the Catholic Church as being a bunch of liars on this subject.  Unfortunately, such activist's deceive themselves and propagate all sorts of lies regarding the history of same sex relationships in the early Church.  Principal heroes to their cause are two soldier saints, Sergius and Bacchus, martyrs whose history is at best obscure and may be confused with other famous companion martyrs.  The cult of St. Sergius developed around his burial place in Syria, which became a source of pilgrimage.  St. Sergius' companion, St. Bacchus came to be associated with his cult, as early icons attest.
.
The two martyrs were high ranking officers in the Roman Army under Maximian.  They were martyred for refusing to partake in a temple ceremony for the military.  Their Acts relate how the saints were humiliated by being dressed as women and paraded through the streets to their torture and death.  Traditional legend contends they were close friends and companions.
.
"In the last days there will be imposters living by their godless passions."  - Jude 18
.
Sadly, modern revisionist scholarship, has attempted to prove their friendship was homosexual and romantic.  That is untrue.  Their friendship was Christocentric, their humiliation in martyrdom was an attempt to shame and discredit their manliness, courage and integrity.  Unfortunately, homosexualists twist these stories to suit their agenda, and through repetition, deceive people into accepting their unverifiable interpretation of ancient hagiography.  A similar situation exists with the gay cult surrounding St. Sebastian, which is based entirely upon iconography which depicts the saint as a nearly nude, handsome young man, often in a rather provocative pose suggesting bondage to modern, eroticized eyes.
.
While researching this subject I came across this comment regarding the platonic same sex friendship of St.s Sergius and Bacchus - I would have written the same thing here had I not read this first:
.
The use, or may I say abuse, of the example of Saints Sergius and Bacchus has been a propaganda tool of the Gay Movement in many churches that acknowledge or know about the early saints. The fact is, as we know, what we call “gay” in the current sense, never had currency in ancient times, not even in Greco-Roman culture.
.
There are many examples from early Christian times until today of two same sex individuals who had given up thought of marriage and decided to live and work together, either as monastics in seclusion or as missionary partners. Most of these, I believe, were male, but only because their stories have come down to us due to their exploits. Females living this way often lived lives of quiet charity unseen by the world, even by the church. To assert that any of these pairs (remember, Christ sent them out two by two, and such has been the way in Christian missionary work ever since) were living in anything even remotely like the modern “gay” lifestyle, is not only wishful thinking and gross anachronism, but disrespectful of the ancients concerned.
.
In the Desert Fathers, there is a story of a perverted monk who came to complain to one of the abbas, that a couple of monastics, living together, were “of evil life,” that is a euphemism for living in a homosexual lifestyle. The old man had the two men come and stay with him awhile, watching them, seeing how after the customary prayers they lay down side by side on their mats, and he did this for many days. He determined that there was no substance to the accusation, and it turned out that the accuser was himself guilty of the offense. It goes without saying that those who attempt to smear the paired saints of antiquity are like this perverted monk accuser. - Romanos
.
"These people, however, not only revile what they have no knowledge of but are corrupted through the very things they know by instinct, like brute animals." - Jude 10
.
 Art:  St.s Sergius and Bacchus, 13th century Crusader icon, St. Catherine's, Sinai  

Quote of the Day

"Questions that are moral before they become political, remain moral questions after they become political." - Cardinal George

Santa Isabel de Hungria




Co-patroness of the Third Order of St. Francis with St. Louis, King of France. St. Elizabeth's feast day is November 17.  Her story here
.
(Happy feast day Betty.)
.
Art:  Artist unknown.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sarah Palin on Oprah


Alaskan whine.
.
The woman makes no sense - Sarah Palin I mean - we already know Oprah's deal... 
.
Palin's memoir, Going Rogue promises to be about as riveting as Vana Speaks.

S. Giuseppe Moscati


Third Order Franciscan, Physician.
.
St. Joseph Moscati was from Benevento in Southern Italy, where most of my friends ancestors came from.  He is noted as the first canonized saint doctor of modern times.  He has been on my list of personal patrons due to the fact he was a single man, living a holy life in the world, faithful to prayer, a daily communicant, and an excellent professional, devoted to the duties of his state in life.  The Franciscan charism acted as a glorious frame surrounding the beauty of his soul; it not only framed his spirituality but became its support.
.
"Working in Naples, St. Joseph understood the need to bring Christ into his daily work. Christ was intimately linked to his calling as a doctor. To quote him:
.
"Remember that you have to deal not only with the bodies but also with the moaning souls coming to you. How many suffering people you will more easily soothe by advising and going straight to their souls, instead of giving good prescriptions to be given to the chemist! Be joyful because great will be your reward; but you will have to set a good example of your elevation to God."
.
There are a number of stories of Dr. Moscati paying close attention to the state of his patient's soul as well as his body, sometimes even bringing the patient back to the sacraments. The Catholic understanding of body and soul clearly informed his understanding of illness and medicine. He saw Confession and Communion as the "first medicine". To help the poor, St. Moscati often donated his medical services or paid for his patients' prescriptions." - CNN
.
St. Joseph's example brings to mind our courageous contemporary physicians, who out of concern for souls, stand against the culture of death, and in particular the politically correct popular-culture which condones and/or ecncourages contraception, abortion, abuses in biotechnology, as well as gender identity and homosexual disorders.  May St. Joseph Moscati pray for those doctors who face such hostile opposition from their contemporaries.
.
Prayer to St.Joseph Moscati

.
"Dear St Joseph Moscati, true model of Christian doctors, in the exercise of your medical profession, you always took care of both the body and soul of every patient.
.
Look on us, who have recourse to your heavenly intercession, and obtain for us both physical and spiritual health, and a share in the dispensation of heavenly favours.
.
Soothe the pains of our suffering people; give comfort to the sick, consolation to the afflicted and hope to the despondent.
.
May our young people find in you an ideal, our workers an example, the aging a comfort, the dying the hope of eternal salvation.
.
To all of us be a pattern of industriousness, honesty and charity; so we may comply with our Christian duties and glorify God our Father."

Amen.
.
November 16 is St. Joseph's feast day.
.
Links:
More on The Life of St. Joseph Moscati
First Modern Medical Doctor Canonized.

I love this guy!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Missing Mass on Sunday - it isn't that bad, is it?



"Emphasis should be placed upon grace, not obligation."
.
"Say something nice" and don't be so intolerant and make people think they have to do anything they don't want to do... that's kinda, sorta the impression I got from the article, Mass on Sunday:  Obligation or opportunity? by Fr. Richard Benson, C.M..  "For us to use the language of "obligation" and "duty" is to minimize the Eucharist, to miss its very centrality."  Then the author goes on to write a small pamphlet explaining why that is so, even though the Catechism states very clearly and succinctly:
.
2180  The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass." 117  "The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or the evening of the preceding day." 118  - CCC
.
Don't tell anyone, but the real reason missing Mass on Sunday is a grave sin is explained in the following paragraphs of the CCC:
.
2181  The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice.  For this reason the faithful are obliged...
.
2182   Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and his Church.  The faithful give witness by this to their communion in faith and charity.  Together they testify to God's holiness and their hope of salvation.  They strengthen (edify) one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  CCC
.
"...stuck at the immature level of a morality of obligation."

.
Fr. Benson's article addresses the concern of a woman in RCIA - a neophyte - someone coming into the Church.  He takes what the CCC says and lays on another requirement:
.
Nevertheless, it would seem that the Catechism answers Janice's question very clearly: to deliberately miss Mass is to commit a grave sin. When a sin entails grave matter and is done deliberately and with knowledge, then it is indeed a mortal sin.  This however, should not be the end of Janice's inquiry but the beginning. - Source
.
Although the priest cites pertinent passages from the CCC, rather than teach clearly and simply what the Church teaches, Benson goes on and on about feeings stuff and exceptions to the rules and idealized dispositions and attitudes and understandings - feelings.  Hugs.  Niceties.  All nicely woven together with theological references and early Church praxis.  I contend he confuses the neophyte and the reader on an otherwise simple subject - as I'm sure many RCIA classes do as well.  He invites Janice (the RCIA student) to somehow act as an arbitrer of conscience in determining if her husband and inlaws are sinning when they neglect Mass.  When in fact, all Janice was seeking was a clarification as to whether or not it is still a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sudays and days of obligation.
.
"Nevertheless, it would seem that the Catechism answers Janice's question very clearly... "
.
Seem?  Yeah - it did father.  Additionally, Fr. Benson never really states the necessity of confession before approaching Holy Communion (in the case of those who miss Mass deliberately or conscious of grave sin), while giving the impression that the point of the Mass or communal Celebration of the Eucharist is sacramental Communion by all in attendence.  Father refers to a mature Catholic attitude despite the notion he is speaking to a neophyte, whose Catholic inlaws clearly lack a sense of devotion, or sensum fidei, and most likey need a great deal of spiritual help as well - something a good confession could jump start.  Ironically, he suggests Janice evangelize her family even though she is having trouble assimilating clear teaching and doctrine.
.
Fr. Richard Benson's article misses. 
.
But it is nice... and I'm sure he is too.
.
Say something nice Gracie.
.
H/T PewsittersNews
.
Photo:  Excuse #1) "Missing Mass on Sunday because Father is gay?"
                              "No, not good enough.  Next!"
Photo source.