Saturday, May 12, 2012

Strike the pose.

I can't wait to see what he does with the cappa magna!


Mother of the Year Award... goes to:

I wonder why Octo-mom wasn't nominated this year?

Next year maybe Christy Turlington will get it.

Years ago my mom used to call us up and announce:  "Your father and I will not be available for Mother's Day!"  Then she hung up.  I always appreciated that.

Our Lady of the Forsaken

Patroness of the insane and abandoned.

Today is her feast day in some places, although in Spain it is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.  The devotion stems from Valencia (with a Castilian lisp, Valenthia - I know!  I'm so Spanish!).  But seriously, it is a lovely devotion, and instead of wrecking it for you with my narration, I'll cut and paste some of the details:
On February 24, 1409 the priest Father Jofré was going to the cathedral to deliver a sermon during Lent when he witnessed the lynching of a mentally ill man on a street near Santa Catalina Valencia (now Martin Mengod, formerly known as Silver). In response, he founded a hospice for the mentally ill.

The brotherhood was founded under the invocation of Sancta dels Folls Dona Nostra i Desamparats Innocents (Our Lady of the Insane and the Forsaken Innocents). The goal of the brotherhood was to help the mentally ill; however, due to a famine and the high rate of orphans during the plague, there were many homeless children on the streets of Valencia. The brotherhood was extended from a hospice to care for homeless and abandoned children.
Two years later the Virgin, as patron of the brotherhood that now cared for both mentally ill adults and homeless children, was renamed Our Lady of the Forsaken. In the year 1414 three young men dressed as pilgrims came to the brotherhood. They claimed that they could make an image of the Virgin within three days in exchange for a place to create the image and board. They were taken to a place known as The Hermitage and after four days without any sound from inside, the brothers forced the door and found the image of the Virgin Mary. The mysterious pilgrims had disappeared shortly healing the wife of a member of the brotherhood who was paralyzed and blind. The incident gave rise to the legend of "el feren els àngels" ("the angels did it").  On April 21, 1885 Pope Leo XIII granted a Papal Bull naming the Virgin of the Forsaken patroness of Valencia.

For many centuries those faithful to the Virgin have helped children, the elderly, the blind, and the mentally ill.  - Source
It is lovely and consoling to know that Our Lady cares so much for her children, no matter how forsaken, misshapen, mentally ill, abandoned, rejected, aborted or not, that she would never, ever turn her back on us.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day in the United States, and selfish, heartless, celebrity moms are calling for women to turn their backs on their children, and reject the celebration in support of reproductive rights throughout the world: in support of mothers murdering their children through abortion.  How completely insane is that?
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, May 11, 2012, ( – This Sunday, children of all ages will celebrate the role mothers play in their lives. But Vogue model Christy Turlington Burns and a host of female celebrities are encouraging mothers across the nation to ignore their children as part of “No Mother’s Day,” a sign of their support for reducing maternal mortality by supporting family planning and global access to abortion. - Read more

Our Lady of the forsaken and mentally ill, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death!  Pray for the most abandoned...
Though father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me. - Ps. 27

Thanks to SF for the reminder.

Fractal Catholicism

Twin opposing vortices + standing waves = fractal matrix.

Some discrepancies, 'they' say...

What if the Church just split into little fractal entities... personal prelatures, ordinariates, whatever one ends up calling them?  There are now fears the SSPX may split apart: 
"There are some discrepancies in the society," Bishop Fellay told CNS. "I cannot exclude that there might be a split." - Rorate Caeli
I always thought "if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand." 

No one says schism any more - so fractal might work, huh?   I'll bet 'they' could even formulate a LCWR personal prelature if 'they' wanted... all of these united to the fractal matrix.  Not.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The ghost of Professor John Boswell now haunting gay history.

This is so 1980's: Evidence for same-sex unions in pre-modern Europe.

The late Yale professor John Boswell wrote extensively claiming the Early Church somehow approved of gay unions - even blessing them.  He also tried to refute most Biblical condemnations of homosexuality.  His 'research, studies, and conclusions have been repeated and expanded upon by gay advocates and academics ever since Boswell published them.  It continues to be taught in gay studies programs in liberal church basements and elsewhere.  It resurfaced again today here.  Rumours and falsehoods never seem to die; they soon become myth, which somehow manages to be promoted and even accepted as truth.  It is happening right before our eyes these days.  Very quickly, the following explains Boswell's claims, as well as a refutation.*

Adelphopoiesis: Brother-making.

Boswell's claims:
Rites of so-called "same-sex union" (Boswell's proposed translation) occur in ancient prayer-books of both the western and eastern churches. They are rites of adelphopoiesis, literally Greek for the making of brothers. Boswell, despite the fact that the rites explicitly state that the union involved in adelphopoiesis is a "spiritual" and not a "carnal" one, argued that these should be regarded as sexual unions similar to marriage. This is a highly controversial point of Boswell's text, as other scholars have dissenting views of this interpretation, and believe that they were instead rites of becoming adopted brothers, or "blood brothers". Boswell pointed out such evidence as an icon of two saints, Saint Sergius and Bacchus (at St. Catherine's on Mount Sinai), and drawings, such as one he interprets as depicting the wedding feast of Emperor Basil I to his "partner", John. Boswell sees Jesus as fulfilling the role of the "pronubus" or in modern parallel, best man.

Boswell made many detailed translations of these rites in Same-Sex Unions, and claimed that one mass gay wedding occurred only a couple of centuries ago in the Basilica of St John Lateran, the cathedral seat of the Pope as Bishop of Rome.

Boswell's writings touched off detailed debate in The Irish Times, and the article that triggered off the debate, a major feature in the "Rite and Reason" religion column in the paper by respected Irish historian and religious commentator Jim Duffy, has been reproduced on many websites.
Adelphopoiesis: Brother-making.

What it really meant:
The historicity of Boswell's interpretation of the ceremony is contested by the Greek Orthodox Church, which sees the rite as a rite of familial adoption, as the term adelphopoiesis literally means "brother making". Other historians, including Robin Darling Young and Brent Shaw, have also criticized Boswell's methodology and conclusions.

Archimandrite Ephrem Lash criticized Boswell's book in the February 1995 issue of Sourozh. According to Ephrem, Boswell mistranslates, misinterprets, and tendentiously organizes texts, and his "knowledge of Orthodox liturgiology is, in effect, non-existent." 
With regard to Boswell's central claim to have found evidence for the use of wedding crowns in the rite for making brothers, Ephrem notes that what the relevant text says, "somewhat literally translated," is this: "It is inadmissible for a monk to receive [anadochos is a standard Greek word for 'godparent'] children from holy baptism, or to hold marriage crowns or to make brother-makings. 150:124]" In other words, "monks are forbidden to do the following: 1. To act as godfathers at baptisms, 2. To act as supporters of bridal couples, 3. To enter into brotherly unions. These are, of course, the natural consequences of a monk's having given up all ties of earthly relationships." 
Turning back to Boswell's thesis, Ephrem writes, "What does Boswell make of this? Here is his paraphrase of the text given above: 'monks must also not select boys at baptism and make such unions with them'. There is absolutely nothing in the text to suggest that the three prohibitions are linked in the way Boswell implies, nor that the 'children' are 'boys' – the Greek has the neuter, paidia. In short, this first piece of evidence for the use of crowns in the ceremony of brother-making is not evidence for anything, except Boswell's ignorance, not to mention the prurient suggestion that Byzantine monks went round selecting suitable boys at baptism so as to 'marry' them later on."

In his review of the book, Miodrag Kojadinović says: "The book is a scientific treatise abundant with references. But it starts from a premise that to me seems insufficiently proven. It chooses to see, based on relatively meagre evidence, a very idiosyncratic relationship sanctioned among certain ethnic groups as a precursor to California bunnies' white weddings. It goes so far to refer to the emperor Basil as a 'hunk'. It neglects the fact that adelphopoiesis/pobratimstvo can be achieved through simple invocation: 'My-Brother-Through-God!' in case of peril. A foe suddenly turns an ally."

Alternative views are that this rite was used in many ways, such as the formation of permanent pacts between leaders of nations or between religious brothers. This was a replacement for "blood-brotherhood" which was forbidden by the church at the time. Others such as Brent Shaw have maintained also that these unions were more akin to "blood-brotherhood" and had no sexual connotation.

There also is a Medieval French 'affrèrement' ceremony: ordo ad fratres faciendum.examined by Allan Tulchin of Shippensburg University in an article in the Journal of Modern History.

Such myths and fables will continue to emerge as the campaign for the legalization of same sex marriage rolls through the United States.  It is propaganda similar to that used to promote the notion of early Church ordination of women, and the false claims regarding the existence of Pope Joan.

I also want to comment on the Sinai icon of Bacchus and Sergius.  It is not a wedding icon, and Christ is not fulfilling the role of pronubus.  It is not uncommon to show Christ in conjunction with saints in that manner.  If there was any nuptial meaning at all it would be in accord with the Gospel parables of the wedding feast, Christ is the Bridegroom, and welcoming the saints to the Heavenly Banquet.  The modern interpretations of the lives of Sergius and Bacchus are false interpretations of their passion and death.  The same interpretive manipulation occurs with the lives of other so-called gay saints, such as Sebastian and Joan of Arc.

*Yep - I took the information from Wikipedia because it was convenient to do so - it is accurate nonetheless. 

Have you been saved?

"...always on the way and therefore always at risk..."

From Salt of the Earth, the Peter Seewald interview with Cardinal Ratzinger.  Discussing issues of sexuality, and the contemporary tendency/danger of making sex a commodity:
So if someone who lives strictly in accord with Catholic teaching proof against these temptations?

You can't say that, if only because man is never simply complete but is, as we have observed, always on the way and therefore always at risk.  He must become himself anew again and again. He is never simply there.  He is always free, and freedom has never reached its conclusion.  But I think that someone who is really living in a living community of faith in which we support one another, in which mutual support creates encouragement, can also live his marriage well. - Cardinal Ratzinger

I expect the same can be applied to the unmarried, single person striving to live chastely.  I was reminded of that quote while thinking about conversion and the danger of backsliding and/or falling away from that first grace.  St . Peter points out the danger, warning:
"When men have fled a polluted world by recognizing the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and then are caught up and overcome in pollution once more, their last condition is worse than the first." - 2 Peter 2:20

In this life, there is no resting point, no finish line; "man is never simply complete."  Which says to me, we can't rest on our laurels or ever claim to have arrived...
"When an unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it wanders through arid wastes searching for a resting place; failing to find one it says, 'I will go back to where I came from.'  It then returns to find the house swept and tidied.  Next it goes out and returns with seven other spirits far worse than itself, who enter in and dwell there.  The result is the last state of the man is worse than the first." - Luke 11:24-26

In past ages, people usually became penitents after their conversions, not teachers and celebrities.

So if we think we are standing, we better watch out, lest we fall.

Art: Prodigal Son, no further information available.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Where are they now?

Gerald Naus.
Gerald August Naus lives in California but was born in Vienna, Austria. His passion for photography is inherited - he follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, highly decorated Austrian photographer August Binder. He specializes in erotic and travel photography.  
I suppose erotic art is a legit art form... I'm sure Christopher West could defend it somehow.  I'm not judging here.

Posting your conversion story online is a lot to live up to people.  For those who may not remember, Gerald had one of the most popular Catholic/papist-loving blogs online: The Cafeteria is Closed.  A veritable pioneer of staunch Roman Catholic, anti-modernist bloggery.

(In the com box)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Hillary Clinton: "Makeup Free Zone"


“I feel so relieved to be at the stage I'm at in my life right now, Jill, because if I want to wear my glasses, I'm wearing my glasses.”

“If I want to pull my hair back, I'm pulling my hair back,” Clinton, who’s known to sport scrunchies occasionally, added. “At some point it's just not something that deserves a whole lot of time and attention. If others want to worry about it, I'll let them do the worrying for a change.”  - Hillary Clinton
That said...

I think makeup looks good on many women - I love smokey eye shadow, or heavy eyeliner - on beautiful young women, that is.  Like Sophia Vergara or Kat.  I remember Janet Jackson's makeup from the "Scream" video - she looked really hot.

But old women, especially those who aren't all that attractive seem to me to look better without a lot of makeup.  Those who may retain some attractiveness - sans surgical/chemical intervention - should definitely go easy on the color, eye shadow, rouge and so on.  Nothing uglier than a woman with caked turquoise eye shadow crusting up her wrinkles, or brilliant crimson lipstick smeared across her lips and all over her martini glass - oh - and that shaky lip-liner outline doesn't scream "I'm so pretty" either.  The sunken-cheek-shadow-look isn't fooling anyone - especially when the cheek flab hides the jaw-line in your profile.**

I'll never understand why women over 40 do that stuff to themselves. 

I honestly think natural is better for most women of a mature age.  Like I always tell women friends my age, "Hon, you just end up looking like a clown.  Even that touch of mascara ends up calling attention to the bags, crow's feet and bloodshot whites."

It's about time Hill!

Anna Piaggi

Lynn Yaeger

Top of the post photo:  Mrs. Clinton

St. Pachomius and the monastic habit.

St. Pachomius is credited as one of the founders of cenobitic monasticism, in so far as he composed an actual written rule of life, codifying communal life.  It is said an angel dictated portions of the monastic rule to him, and also designed the monastic habit to be worn, hence the term, angelic habit in Eastern tradition.  The saint's feast day is celebrated on May 9 and May 15, depending on rite. 

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Feast of Our Lady of Pompei.

O Mother, implore for us the mercy of your divine Son and conquer with clemency the heart of sinners. They are our brothers and your children who cause the heart of our sweet Jesus to bleed and who sadden your most sensitive heart. Show all that you are the Queen of Peace and of Pardon.

The Supplica

May 8th is the Feast of Our Lady of Pompei. In Italy and in places all over the globe the feast will be marked by the solemn recitation at noon of Blessed Bartolo Longo's moving prayer, the Supplica, meaning supplication or petition.

The Prayer of People the World Over

The Supplica is, of Blessed Bartolo Longo's published prayers to the Mother of God, the most famous. Its incandescent words have opened countless souls to the grace of Christ through the all–powerful intercession of His Mother.

The Supplica is a prayer that people have made their own. It is known on every continent; it has been translated into hundreds of languages. No authority ever imposed it, it is not part of the liturgy of the Church, it was never submitted to revision by ICEL, and yet, it has become universal. - Continue reading at Vultus Christi.

A couple of days ago a commenter thought it unlikely that an unbeliever could ever be found praying the rosary, and yet Blessed Bartolo Longo was freed from Satanism through the recitation of the rosary.

"Pray the rosary every day."  Our Lady told the children of Fatima that at every apparition. 
O blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain which unites us to God, bond of love which unites us to the angels, tower of salvation against the assaults of hell, safe port in our universal shipwreck, we shall never abandon you. You will be our comfort in the hour of agony: to you the last kiss of our dying life. And the last word from our lips will be your sweet name, O Queen of the Rosary of Pompeii, O dearest Mother, O Refuge of Sinners, O Sovereign Consoler of the Afflicted. Be blessed everywhere, today and always, on earth and in Heaven. Amen.

Thanks SF for reminding me of today's special feast day.

Cherilyn Sarkisian tweets.

If I could turn back ti-o-o-o-o-o-om!

Cher: “you know dude it is a lil weird that your talking to a doll.”
Jack: “um, i don't think i need a drag queen to define normal behavior.” - Will and Grace

All you have to do sometimes is just be patient and wait for celebrities to open their mouth and you don't even have to try to make up comedic lines for them to say.  From Chaz's mom:
If ROMNEY gets elected I don't know if i can breathe same air as Him & his Right Wing Racist Homophobic Women Hating Tea Bagger Masters

Whatever.  I loved her in Moonstruck though. 

The Apparition of St. Michael

The feast of St. Michael at Monte Gargano.
"Throughout history, in both the East and west, various apparitions of this powerful Angel have proved the protection of Saint Michael over the Church. Well known to Latin rite Catholics is his apparition in Rome, where Saint Gregory the Great saw him in the air sheathing his sword, to signal the cessation of a pestilence and the appeasement of God’s wrath. Another apparition to Saint Ausbert, bishop of Avranches in France, led to the construction of Mont-Saint-Michel in the sea, a famous pilgrimage site. May 8th, however, is destined to recall another no less marvelous apparition, occurring near Monte Gargano in the Kingdom of Naples.
In the year 492 a shepherd named Gargan was pasturing his large herds in the countryside. One day a bull fled to the mountain, where at first it could not be found. When its refuge in a cave was discovered, an arrow was shot into the cave, but the arrow returned to wound the one who had sent it. Faced with so mysterious an occurrence, the persons concerned decided to consult the bishop of the region. He ordered three days of fasting and prayers. After three days, the Archangel Saint Michael appeared to the bishop and declared that the cavern where the bull had taken refuge was under his protection, and that God wanted it to be consecrated under his name and in honor of all the Holy Angels." - Source
Devotion to St. Michael Archangel is very important in our day. I notice Fr. Z frequently asks people to recite the prayer to St. Michael whenever some new attack upon the Church or the clergy occurs. It is a good thing to do, especially these days when doctrine, morality and authority is scorned, mocked, and rejected. St. Michael is especially close to the Blessed Virgin, who is Queen of Angels. Hence devotion to St. Michael is right next to devotion to Our Lady, especially following the prayers of the Holy Rosary, and in some places still, after every Mass.

Monday, May 07, 2012

A new methane theory concerning the end of the dinosaur age.

There goes another theory - Michael Sowa

Climate change generated by methane emissions of giant Sauropods...

Huge plant-eating dinosaurs may have produced enough greenhouse gas by breaking wind to alter the Earth's climate, research suggests.

I've heard something like that before.

Bursting the bubble of reputation...

Once a brother came to Theodore of Pherme, and spent three days asking him for advice.  The abba did not answer and the brother went away sad.  Theodore's disciple asked him, 'Abba, why is it you would not speak to him?  Now he has gone away sad.'  Theodore replied, 'As a matter of fact, I said nothing to him because he's only interested in getting credit by repeating what others have said to him.'

Photo: Bubble Wrap World.

More sayings...

Photo by John Howard Griffin

"A brother, being tempted by a demon, went to a hermit and said, 'Those two monks over there who live together live sinfully.'  But the hermit knew that a demon was deceiving him.  So he called the brothers to him.  In the evening he put a mat out for them, and covered them with a single blanket, and said, 'They are sons of God, and holy persons.'  But he said to his disciple, 'Shut this slandering brother up in a cell by himself; he is suffering from the passion of which he accuses them'" - The Desert Fathers

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Pictures at an exhibition.

Blessed Alberto Marvelli, T. Nelson  2012

The painting shown here was accepted for show at an annual juried art festival at Cross View Lutheran Church, Edina, Minnesota.  The exhibit remains open through May 13.

A few of my readers were interested in how the image turned out, so I visited the exhibit today and took this photo.  My apologies for how the photo turned out.  I think if you click on the image you may see a blurrier close up. 

The frame is painted as an extension of the panel.  The background is meant to resemble deteriorated fresco, with images of Our Lady, and Christ.  The decay represents the ruin of WWII.  The street scene is from Rimini.  I also painted a sort of holy card image of St. Gemma, one of Marvelli's patrons.  Marvelli was active in WWII, and afterwards, because of his engineering skills, played a role in planning and rebuilding Rimini, which had been nearly destroyed in the war.  Marvelli died after a bike accident at the age of 28 in 1946.

My poem is called The Grand Inquisitor; it's a ridiculous thing...*

...for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say. - Luke 11:54

*Ivan Karamazov

Thinking of Our Lady.

Cause of our joy.

It is May and Our Lady's month.  Yesterday was First Saturday and as is my custom on every Saturday, I keep Our Lady company for an hour, meditating on the mysteries of the rosary, in a little chapel dedicated to her at my local parish.  The hour goes very fast and before I know it, the bells ring for Mass.  It is a good way for me to prepare for Mass.  Anyway, I just wanted to say that the rosary is such a good prayer to accustom oneself to - even if in the beginning, one can only get through a decade, or maybe one is only able to just hold the rosary, in their attempt to pray it.  Our Lady seems to me pleased with our little attempts to honor her...  because she never fails to console and fill our hearts with joy.

Yesterday, a reader left a beautiful comment about the rosary, I'll reprint it here, because it is so consoling for those of us who are sinners:
St Louis de Montfort said to sinners: 
If you say faithfully the Rosary until death, I assure you, despite the gravity of your sins you will receive a “never fading crown of glory” [1 Pet 5:4]. Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted. You will amend your life and save your soul if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly, every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth; and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins. - St Louis de Montfort, “The Secret of the Rosary”

Thanks SF.