Saturday, June 16, 2012

Distractions in prayer.


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

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.



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.


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!

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."

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 Delbrêl

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.)

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.