Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dire warning to the world...

WWIII anyone?

FYI:  This was sent to me today.  I hate all the political cartoons and bad editing - but otherwise it's kind of scary...


Trial of the Century... The Pope's Butler...

Witness for the Prosecution:
The Pope's housekeeper,
Sr. Priscalina Guffensphincter
is slated to take the stand on Tuesday.

Fr. Z is in Rome too ...

I know!  The trial of the century is taking place in Rome today as I am writing this - and Fr. Z is in Rome as well - don't tell me there is no connection.  (Did you ever wonder who he works for?)

Fr. Z is publishing daily coded reports, pretending to write about Vatican II and the discussion no one can stop - you don't have to be a Zagano or Opus Dei operative to know there is more to the story than what Fr. Z is offering, and the garbage CNA dishes out (CNA is now under the control of EWTN News and that madman, Mother Angelica voice-impersonator, Ray Pee-Wee Arroyo):
.- The trial of the Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler began this morning at the Vatican as the 46-year-old Paolo Gabriele faced charges that he stole confidential Vatican documents.

Gabriele made no plea and remained silent throughout his appearance before a panel of three judges in the Vatican courtroom on Sept. 29. Wearing a light grey suit, eyewitnesses say Gabriele’s demeanor varied from tense to jovial.

The hearing lasted for just over two hours before being adjourned until Tuesday, Oct. 2. The trial could be dealt with in as little as four sessions.
It's going to get ugly.

Today the court decided that the trial of Gabriele would only admit evidence amassed by the Gendarmerie but not material gathered by the cardinals.  The news was greeted with protests and jeers by traditionalists standing outside the court.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Couples who share household tasks... not so happy.

I knew that!

Anyway - another new study folks!  It says that when the husband dresses up in the wife's housedresses and does the vacuming, it may threaten the marriage.  What?  That's not what the study said? 

Divorce rates are far higher among “modern” couples who share the housework than in those where the woman does the lion’s share of the chores, a Norwegian study has found.

“What we’ve seen is that sharing equal responsibility for work in the home doesn’t necessarily contribute to contentment,” said Thomas Hansen, co-author of the study entitled “Equality in the Home”.

The lack of correlation between equality at home and quality of life was surprising, the researcher said.

“One would think that break-ups would occur more often in families with less equality at home, but our statistics show the opposite,” he said.

The figures clearly show that “the more a man does in the home, the higher the divorce rate,” he went on.

The reasons, Mr Hansen said, lay only partially with the chores themselves.

“Maybe it’s sometimes seen as a good thing to have very clear roles with lots of clarity ... where one person is not stepping on the other’s toes,” he suggested.

“There could be less quarrels, since you can easily get into squabbles if both have the same roles and one has the feeling that the other is not pulling his or her own weight.”

But the deeper reasons for the higher divorce rate, he suggested, came from the values of “modern” couples rather than the chores they shared.

“Modern couples are just that, both in the way they divide up the chores and in their perception of marriage” as being less sacred, Mr Hansen said. “In these modern couples, women also have a high level of education and a well-paid job, which makes them less dependent on their spouse financially.

They can manage much easier if they divorce,” he said. Norway has a long tradition of gender equality and childrearing is shared equally between mothers and fathers in 70 per cent of cases. - Source

So see?  See how important gender is?  See how important it is to be man and wife.  See how critical it is for men not to do housework?  No wonder kids are so screwed up. 


Dr. Peters on Archbishop Myers Letter on Marriage

I think he likes it.

Dr. Peters offers a 'canonical gloss' on the letter - especially regarding the section dealing with the  statement that those who dissent from Church teaching should refrain from receiving Holy Communion.  Dr. Peters:
If anyone wants canonical trappings to be appended to these lines, they would be easy enough to supply: Catholics are required in all things to maintain communion with the Church (c. 209); denial or obstinate doubt regarding teachings requiring the assent of faith is heresy (cc. 750-751); rejection of doctrines embraced by Canon 750-752 is an ecclesiastical crime (cc. 1364, 1371); and so on. But Myers did not recite these kinds of technical considerations in a letter aimed more at conversion than at compliance.

Instead Myers has issued, in effect, a pastoral admonishment to observe Canon 916 of the Code of Canon Law. Canon 916 directs would-be recipients of holy Communion who are not in interior communion with the Church to refrain from receiving holy Communion. Indeed, not only is Myers not invoking penal canon law here, he is not even invoking Canon 915, a sacramental disciplinary norm that—among other differences between it and Canon 916—applies to ministers, not recipients.  
Basically, Myers is reminding Catholics that responsibility for worthy participation in the holy Communion begins with individual Catholics. Hopefully, people will read Myers’ letter with the same degree of care with which he wrote it and will recognize the spiritual seriousness of dissenting from Church teaching on the nature of marriage, leading them in turn to avoid actions that would make them ineligible for holy Communion.  - In the Light of the Law

I think that is very helpful.  I'm also deeply impressed with the Archbishop's pastoral letter, it seems to me he covers every aspect of the issues surrounding marriage in our time.  I will be re-reading the letter more closely and prayerfully.  The text of the letter can be found here.  I'll refer to it more often in future posts.

Workplace shootings - this time in Minneapolis.

I haven't noticed much online regarding the story, and I missed the news this morning.  Here are the details:
A man who apparently had just lost his job at a small business in Minneapolis' Bryn Mawr neighborhood returned to the building Thursday afternoon and opened fire, killing the company's founder and three others and wounding four others before taking his own life.

Two other company executives, director of operations John Souter and production manager Eric Rivers, were in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center. Hospital officials said one other victim was in critical condition and a fourth was in satisfactory condition. Those two wounded victims have not been identified.

Police swarmed to the chaotic scene, which unfolded just after 4:30 p.m. inside Accent Signage Systems, 2322 Chestnut Av. W. One of the dead was company founder Reuven Rahamim, a business associate of Rahamim said late Thursday.

As those from the neighborhood who heard the shots fled in fear or gathered nearby seeking information, officers from many law enforcement agencies, including SWAT team specialists, swarmed to the scene. About an hour into the incident, scanner reports came that the shooter was dead of a self-inflicted gunshot in the building's basement. Although his name was not released or confirmed by police or the company, sources identified him as Andrew J. Engeldinger, 36. Late Thursday, the south Minneapolis house Engeldinger owns and occupies was searched by rifle-toting law enforcement personnel wearing body armor. - Read more at Strib
I was at adoration when this happened and so I hope Our Lady accepts those prayers and my continued prayers for the souls of those who died in the shoot out.

The lack of press attention - local press seems to be taking this in stride - suggests to me we are becoming hardened to the news of murder and violence committed by disgruntled workers, as well as the mentally unstable.  Multiple killings are perhaps becoming commonplace.

Roman Holiday Fashions

Sorelle Fontana was the first to base designs upon clerical wear. Inspired by the habits of nuns and priests strolling Rome everyday, they created the “Pretino” in 1956, here worn by Ava Gardner. Federico Fellini fell so in love with this dress that he decided to use it for his film “La dolce vita” in 1960. Fellini went on to celebrate liturgical fashion with his Ecclesial fashion show in the 1972 film “Roma”. - Source


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Patheos watch: The Catholic literati.

They've got Dawn Eden now!

The thrill of the chased and captured - thanks to Ms. Scalia the predator editor.

Very seriously, congratulations Patheos bloggers - you are the creme de la creme of Catholic bloggery!

Truly, some of the best writers online can now be found on the Catholic portal at Patheos.  Many of the writers are respected, published authors, while the others may well find themselves published one day as well.  Writers need a place like that, and it's not a bad place to be.

That said, my sincere best wishes.  As the responsorial psalm of the day concludes, my prayer for them is: "Prosper the work of their hands!"  I wish them well.

Dawn's new site:  East of Eden, oops!  Feast of Eden.

Banal Messages from Heaven

In our days with so much unrest and division, error and apostasy, wars and rumors of wars, as well as persecution of Christians, do you really think all Our Lady has to say is this:
“Dear children! When in nature you look at the richness of the colors which the Most High gives to you, open your heart and pray with gratitude for all the good that you have and say: ‘I am here created for eternity’ – and yearn for heavenly things because God loves you with immeasurable love. This is why He also gave me to you to tell you: ‘Only in God is your peace and hope, dear children’. Thank you for having responded to my call.” - September 25, 2012

Imagine Our Lady saying such things at Fatima.

Fr. Z Before the Inquisition

Actually he is just visiting Rome.

But listen to this - or read it.  Last night I posted about Giordano Bruno, the man who was burned at the stake by the Holy Office in 1600.  The post was scheduled to publish at midnight though I composed it much earlier.  Low and behold, today Fr. Z does an article about the trial of the century at the Vatican (it's a really small place - city-state - so news stories just seem big).  Anyway, the news item Fr. Z links to mentions the Inquisition and Giordano.  I know!  My post was already in queue for today, way before Fr. Z even got up this morning - on the same guy!  I originally wanted to connect my post to Fr. Z's Swimming the Tiber Tour, but didn't know how to work it in.  I know!  It is so spooky how much Fr. Z and I are on the same wave-length.  I bet it is more spooky for him than me however.

So here's the deal - story - err, connection:
There has been no such vote of confidence for the Vatican’s onetime Congregation for the Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition, [?!?] the commission created in 1542 that functioned as a tribunal to root out heresy, punish crimes against the faith and name Inquisitors for the church. [Just in case you didn't catch that whole "Inquisitor" thing, she made sure to repeat it.]

One of its more famous victims was Giordano Bruno, burned in Rome in 1600 after being tried for heresy. [From this stupid trial to Giordano Bruno? Really?]

The Inquisition? That’s the lead? That’s the closure? - WDTPRS
The Inquisition - that's my connection too!  This stuff happens to me all of the time.  Most Catholic bloggers pick up their stories from me because I'm so far ahead of the breaking news items.  Patheos would be lost without me.


I like this.

Giordano Bruno, surrealistically depicted above by Czechoslovakian artist Zdenek Janda, was burned at the stake in 1600 AD after being found guilty of heresy by the Roman Inquisition. There’s historically been some controversy about precisely why he was brought to trial for that. But for one thing, he believed that our sun is a star, among an infinite number of other stars, and that our planet is therefore not the center of the universe. Even worse, he also proclaimed that God and Nature are One, that the physical universe is therefore its own Creator. Back in those days, a public statement of either of those ideas (especially the latter) might’ve been enough to seal his fate. - Source

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Swimming the Tiber

Fr. Z is back in Rome.

Churches vandalized...

In retaliation?  Or as a warning?

"They" think the vandalism is connected to the marriage amendment vote coming up in November.  I do too.  My non-religious friends speak to me, rather, make derogatory, sometimes hostile remarks to me, on how religious people and bishops should stay out of politics and stay out of the personal lives of others.  The non-believer, the non-religious and the non-catechized simply do not understand how or why the Church has anything to say in the matter.  It is that simple.  The divide is getting wider.
In what Buffalo Police are calling a hate or bias crime, six Buffalo churches have been vandalized over the last several days. Damage ranges from broken doors to smashed stained glass windows and some of the churches were left with a derogatory and profane poster as well.

"Stained glass window damage was found at Buffalo United Methodist Church Tuesday morning," Police Chief Mitch Weintzel told Twin Cities media.

The churches that have been affected besides Buffalo United Methodist are: St. Francis Xavier, Zion Lutheran, 7th Day Adventist, Buffalo Presbyterian, and Hosanna Lutheran churches. - Source
Why do "we" think it is in retaliation to the marriage amendment?
The Buffalo Police Department responded to incidents at several local churches between Saturday and Monday, with four of those incidents involving placement of handwritten posters containing inflammatory messages.

Police found damage to church buildings at five locations. Police say nothing in the posters left behind referenced the upcoming marriage amendment vote, but most of the churches targeted define marriage as between a man and a woman. 
Rob Jarvis, pastor of Hosanna Lutheran, said he found a poster depicting Jesus as being gay.Source

“It was (the suspect’s) idea of Jesus and then describing homosexual acts, and things like that,” Jarvis said, as his church’s doors were busted out 24 hours later. - Source


Yom Kippur - Day of Atonement

Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One!
Blessed is the name of His Glorious Majesty forever and ever!

United in prayer.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Worthy of note: New Prior General for the Carthusians

Dom François Marie Velut O. Carth. AKA: Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite.

If you are neither interested in Fatima or the Carthusians, this is not important news.  Who even knows who Dom François Marie Velut O. Carth. was?  Who has access to anything about the Carthusians?  Who pays any attention to Fatima any longer?

First question:  What are the Carthusians?

  The  Carthusians are the strictest monastic order in the Latin Church, virtually unchanged since they were founded.  Even after Vatican II, the changes the order underwent were minimal.  The Carthusian rite of Mass experienced minor changes, and the distinctions between lay brothers and fathers was somewhat mitigated.  Brothers could wear the fathers habit and also live in the seclusion of the hermitage like the fathers.  In other words, the 'dogma of faith' is fairly well preserved in the Carthusian Charterhouse.

Second question: Who is Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite?

  From 1970 to 1989 he was a professed founding member of the Little Brothers of the Heart of Jesus, a community formed after the model formulated by Blessed Charles de Foucauld.  Brother Michael became an authority on the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, and a formidable expert on the messages.  His insights were especially valuable before the actual third secret was revealed.
In June 1981, after having preached a retreat in Brittany on the Fatima revelations, our Father Superior, the Abbé Georges de Nantes, entrusted a member of his community, Brother Michel de la Sainte Trinité, with the task of taking his study forward in a scientific and exhaustive manner, in a work that presented the apparitions and requests of Our Lady as well as the relevance of Her message to our times; in short, Everything about Fatima. Brother Michel immediately set to work on this monumental study which well deserved its title: The Whole Truth about Fatima. The first volume, entitled Science and the Facts, appeared in March 1983; the second volume, The Secret and the Church, in January 1984; and the following volume, The Third Secret, in July 1985.
Brother Franсois de Marie des Anges
  Though the specificity of br. Michael's work may be disputed, his insights helped many get beyond the fears of nuclear annihilation and focus upon the real chastisement which is finally being acknowledged - more or less - as the crisis of faith and morals and sound teaching in the Catholic Church.  Who can dispute the following conclusion from br. Michael's  The Truth About Fatima?
Having reached the end of our inquiry, we are able to discern, with near certainty, the essential elements of Our Lady’s final Secret: 

While «in Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved», in many nations, perhaps in almost the entire world, the Faith will be lost (prt.III, ch.IV). The pastors of the Church will fail gravely in the duties of their office. Through their fault, consecrated souls and the faithful in great number will let themselves be seduced by pernicious errors spread everywhere (prt.III, ch.V). This will be the time of the decisive battle between the Blessed Virgin and the devil. A wave of diabolical disorientation will be hurled over the world. Satan will introduce himself even to the highest summit of the Church. He will blind the minds and harden the hearts of pastors. For God will deliver them to themselves as a chastisement for their refusal to obey the requests of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (prt.III, ch.VI). This will be the great apostasy predicted for the «last times» (prt.III, ch.VIII; the «False Lamb» and «False Prophet» will betray the Church to the profit of «the Beast», according to the prophecy of the Apocalypse (prt.III, ch.VIII).
Does perhaps the Secret also announce some of the chastisements prophesied by the Scriptures for the «last times»? Perhaps it evokes the persecutions which the Holy Father will have to suffer, when he «will return» to «confirm his brethren» (Luk.22:32), and finally obey Our Lady’s requests.
Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite
The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol.III,

Yes I know, his books are promoted by some groups not friendly with or towards the Vatican.

That said, the fact that Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite was admitted to the Carthusians at the age of 41 in 1989, at Grande Chartreuse, and now as Dom François Marie Velut, has been chosen to be Prior General for the Carthusians, validates - for me at least - more than I can express here.

Pray the rosary every day!


The healing of sexual wounds.

Dawn Eden's champion cause.*
For people who have been abused, one of the hardest things can be to realize that God was there loving her even in the most painful parts of her life.

God never positively wills that anyone should sin or that anyone should commit any kind of evil or have evil done to them. God only permits evil because He can bring about good that is greater than the evil. God permits evil because He wants us to be able to freely know and love Him. In a world where people have free will, there is evil. But the object in God’s eyes is always that this greater good be brought forth, and the greater good is our knowing and loving Him. - Dawn Eden, Washington Post 

From my perspective.  Some thoughts for those who might wonder -  'How could you have let that happen?'

A lot of us didn't understand that we were abused, nor that we were 'victims' - I dislike that word on so many levels!  Many of us didn't know that we were not responsible for what happened 'to us' - Many of us just thought we were bad or dirty, and that we somehow were at fault or even 'asked for it'.  I'm really talking about myself here, not every one's situation is the same.  Some kids have been suddenly, horribly, violently abused.  Each persons experience is unique. 

Having said that, when it happened to me, as well as to other men I've known who had been abused, a common experience was that it felt pleasurable, or as a kid might say, it felt good.  A boy can become aroused. When such spontaneous and natural reaction to sexual stimulus or suggestion occurs, the experience causes confusion, and the child often thinks it's his fault, or that he consented in some way. 

A kid is also curious - especially if he had been sexualized at an early age.  A grown-ups body, fully developed, is fascinating to a young kid.  Adding to the confusion, to be noticed and the object of interest to someone older than oneself, especially an adult who wants you as a friend, can be exciting for a kid.  Especially in the case of children who have suffered neglect or were accustomed to being simply ignored, dismissed, or marginalized in some way.  Likewise, there may be physical and emotional abuse at home contributing to the child's sense of alienation.  Therefore, to have an adult say they want to make love to you, or go out of their way to show a special affection for you,  can be very appealing to a little kid.  The kid  can feel like a grown up when that happens.  To have a special little secret like that can make a kid feel special and unique, though he may otherwise be thought of as not fitting in. 
At least that's how it felt for me, and how it felt for some people I've discussed it with, and it helps to know that since it is one reason why those who have experienced abuse frequently make the mistake of blaming themselves for what happened to them.  What we must remember however, is that the adult, the perpetrator, is always the responsible agent/actor.  The perpetrator is the adult and therefore the one responsible - he is the "offender" - the kid is a kid - no matter what or how shamed they may have been - they are/were the child - the shame is not theirs - it belongs to the offender.  The offender can not claim seduction by the victim - because the offender is the one in control - the perpetrator is the responsible actor.
Victims of abuse — from within their churches, their schools and even their families — carry heavy burdens of crippling shame. This sometimes results in "self-treatment" to deaden the pain with drugs and alcohol. There can be difficulties with relationships, trusting others or managing anger.
Sadly, many lose their faith in God and even end their own lives.
The destructive impact abuse has on the lives of victims is particularly tragic because the shame is not the victim’s; the real burden of shame belongs to the adult offender.
Adults are responsible for their own behavior, and adults are responsible as well for protecting children. 
Child sexual-abuse perpetrators go to great lengths to gain the confidence and trust of children, families and communities. They know that parents and others will resist allowing their children to be with adults they perceive as "creepy."
Offenders depend on a grooming process that gives them access to children, lulls responsible adults into compliancy, and attempts to make the victim feel complicit in the abuse. This keeps victims confused and silent and the perpetrators’ reputations intact.
Most victims are abused by someone they thought they could trust. Child sexual abuse is a violation of that trust, made all the more heinous when a member of the clergy perpetrates it. - Bishop Conlon

This may not be the place or time to say this... but...

I probably should stop here - but I want to mention one other matter.  Though the child/victim is never culpable or responsible for the abuse, it should be remembered that kids who have reached the age of reason are capable of committing sin.  That is why we have first confession at an early age.  So yes, when it happened to me, I felt I had sinned.  I confessed my first experiences of abuse, but the priest did not know how to handle it.  He suggested I tell my parents, but I can't recall if he said anything about me not having committed a sin.  After I explained to him I couldn't tell my parents, he gave me absolution and that was that.  In fact, I was happy with that.

As an adolescent, I also confessed sexual abuse - albeit I accused myself of sexual sin with another, but never explained the exact circumstances - I was too ashamed.  My sacramental training was by the book - just confess number and kind.  (One still hears that instruction today.)  Anyway, the confessor freaked out and yelled at me that I would go to hell if I kept doing that stuff.  Not long afterwards, I stopped going to confession.  Priests today are better trained, I'm sure.

Please don't read more into this than I intend.  I am neither blaming the victim here, nor am I speaking from some pathological state of un-wellness or victim abuse syndrome when I mention that children are capable of committing sin.   That said, the subject of culpability is a matter of conscience for the victim, it is personal and private, between the soul and God, and therefore inviolable, and as such, it is not open to our scrutiny or judgement.  I have such confidence in the Sacrament of Reconciliation however, that it is beneficial to bring these matters to confession.  Despite my earlier experiences, the sacrament has been, and continues to be, the source of grace, healing and spiritual growth.  As with any disorder or sin which has affected the soul, the need for sacramental confession can never be underestimated.

Nevertheless, morally and legally there can be no question of the minor child's innocence, and lack of culpability.  I am not blaming the victim here.

* Dawn's deeply insightful book, My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints is available here.  Check out Dawn's website here - she seems to be planning something new.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Catholic Governor Jerry Brown signs new abortion bill.

The new, legal, certified stregas.

The same Governor who boasts of his work with Mother Teresa of Calcutta...

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation extending an ongoing pilot program allowing nurse practitioners and other clinicians to perform non-surgical abortions, his office announced this afternoon.

Senate Bill 623, by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, was supported by Planned Parenthood and opposed by abortion rights opponents.

The bill extends until Jan. 1, 2014 a pilot program to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of allowing nurse practitioners, midwives and physician assistants to provide aspiration abortions. - Source 
I'm not sure if this is done elsewhere, if it isn't, I'm sure it will be, which for me, raises the question: "I thought abortion was legalized to prevent back alley abortions performed by midwives, and to provide for safe clinical abortions performed by real doctors?"

Even with that, considering the recent botched abortions at a couple of Planned Parenthood 'outlets', I'm not sure letting a nursing assistant do the dirty work will be all that safe - and it will come to that - letting the assistant do the routine work - and then the mid-wife will be certified as well.  So how different is that from the neighborhood Strega performing an abortion for little Amelia Tuscolinni because she got knocked up by her cousin Vinni?

I say that because back in the day, in my neighborhood at least, there was a Strega - a witch.  She got rid of the evil eye and gave advice (fortune telling), and she also did abortions.  I never knew her name - my friends mothers did.  One friend was taken to her after he came home sick from smoking cigarettes.  Seriously - his mom thought he got the 'evil eye'. - he never told me where they went or who she was.  These families were Neapolitan descent... I know!  Other friends thought they knew who she was, but they couldn't tell me her name - claiming their mothers wouldn't confirm her identity - I think they were afraid of being cursed.  Whoever she was, she could get rid of an unwanted pregnancy - and probably not just for the girls who got pregnant, but most likely for some of the moms with too many kids too.

To me the legalized abortion will be going down that same road.  Some day there may be nurse practitioners at Walgreen's or Target - maybe even at the hair salon; "Get a bikini wax and an abortion special!" - "We perform routine aspiration abortions, Walk-ins welcome."  I had to look up what an aspiration abortion is, it the type of abortion done by suction:
Vacuum or suction aspiration uses aspiration to remove uterine contents through the cervix. It may be used as a method of induced abortion, a therapeutic procedure used after miscarriage, or a procedure to obtain a sample for endometrial biopsy. The rate of infection is lower than any other surgical abortion procedure at 0.5%.[2] Some sources may use the terms dilation and evacuation or "suction" dilation and curettage to refer to vacuum aspiration, although those terms are normally used to refer to distinct procedures. - Wiki
What a disgusting way to kill kids.  I also think sometimes body parts can remain in the uterus.  "Other complications occur at a rate of less than 1 per 100 procedures and include excessive blood loss, infection, injury to the cervix or uterus, including perforation, and uterine adhesions."  How inconvenient for the poor mother.  C'est dommage.

I rather think the collapse of civilization is well underway already.

I totally blame the parents.

Art: Tomie dePaola

Read more here:

Feast of Our Lady of Mercy

To my knowledge, this is the only title of the Virgin or devotion to Our Lady directly related to Islam:
The Blessed Virgin appeared to Saint Peter Nolassco, to his confessor, Raymund of Pennafort, and to the king, and through these three men established a work of the redemption of captives. She desired the establishment of the Mercedarian religious order. (derives from the Spanish word for mercy - merced) Its members would seek to free Christian captives from the Moors and offer themselves, if necessary, as an exchange. The complete name of this order is: Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Ransom of Captives (OdeM).*
The Order was legally constituted at Barcelona by King James of Aragon was established in Spain and later approved by Gregory IX under the name of Our Lady of Mercy. St. Peter was the first superior, with the title of Commander-General; he also filled the office of Ransomer, a title given to the monk sent into the lands subject to the Moors to arrange for the ransom of prisoners.

Requests of Our Lady to St. Peter Nolasco - August 1, 1218:.
The Blessed Virgin Mary:

“Find for Me other men like yourself, an army of brave, generous, unselfish men, and send them into the lands where the children of the Faith are suffering.”
St. Peter Nolasco:

"Who am I that God should honor me like this? And who are you, who knows so well, the secrets of my heart?'
The Blessed Virgin Mary:

"I am Mary, the Mother of God. My son, the Redeemer of the world,
who came to give liberty to the captive, has many people bound in captivity, and wishes the order to be established." - Source

Today, who can we send?

There is no one to take the place of prisoners these days.  Today there is no bargaining with terrorists.  Neither is there any real defense enacted for Christians suffering in Pakistan, Nigeria, Syria, Iran, Iraq and other Muslim countries.  In the time of St. Peter Nolasco, ransom would be paid to free those held captive and forced into slavery, and failing that, the Mercedarians offered themselves in exchange for those held captive.  St. Raymond Nonnatus, the successor of St. Peter Nolasco, after running out of ransom money, exchanged himself for the freedom of a captive soldier.  The Saint was enslaved for a time, and the Saracens pierced his lips with a padlock to prevent him from speaking about the Catholic faith. St. Raymond was later ransomed by his fellow Mercedarians.

Another interesting factoid about devotion to Our Lady of Ransom - or Our Lady of Mercy as she is known since Vatican II:  During the English persecutions under the reign of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, devotion to Our Lady of Ransom enjoyed a greater fervor in the hopes of bringing the Church of England back into "Our Lady's Dowry".

In our day it seems to me it would be good if the devotion was revived and given greater attention, considering the continued threats of terrorism, and above all, the ongoing persecution of Christians in Muslim lands.  Our culture is faced with many moral afflictions as well, such as addictions to vice and various obsessive-compulsive disorders. Our Lady of Ransom would seem to be an efficacious title one might use to implore the Blessed Virgin's help to obtain freedom from those sins which most ensnare us.
Prayer to Our Lady of Mercy
Blessed be Thou, O Mary, the honor and the joy of Thy people! On the day of Thy glorious Assumption, Thou didst take possession of Thy queenly dignity for our sake; and the annals of the human race are a record of Thy merciful interventions. The captives whose chains Thou hast broken, and whom Thou hast set free from the degrading yoke of the Saracens, may be reckoned in the millions. We are still rejoicing in the recollection of Thy dear Birthday; and Thy smile is sufficient to dry our tears and chase away the clouds of grief. And yet, what sorrows there are still upon the earth, where Thou Thyself didst drink such long draughts from the cup of suffering! Thou alone, O Mary, canst break the inextricable chains, in which the cunning prince of darkness entangles the dupes he has deceived by the high-sounding names of equality and liberty. Show thyself a Queen, by coming to the rescue. The whole earth, the entire human race, cries out to Thee, in the words of Mordochai: "Speak to the King for us, and deliver us from death!" (Esther 15: 3)

*Similarly, St. Felix of Valois founded the Trinitarians for the Redemption of Captives.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The novena in preparation for the feast of St. Therese

September 22 to September 30.

To think about her more than pray many prayers.

To listen to her - read her words - and ponder them, rather than speak much about them. 

To allow ourselves to be taught and guided by her, rather than interpret her teaching.

To be with her, pray with her, in the presence of God.

I need to return to the little way of confidence and love...

"To reveal God as Love to souls is the central and essential point of the mission of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. This message has as its foundation the most important and deep grace of her life, namely, a very profound experimental knowledge of God inasmuch as He is Love.

Divine Love does not want to limit His action to a few privileged souls, He longs to give Himself everywhere - to conquer the entire world.
Confidence is theological hope wholly impregnated with love; abandonment is confidence which no longer expresses itself solely through distinct acts but has created an attitude of soul: 'We can never have too much confidence in the Good God, He is so mighty, so merciful. As we hope in Him so shall we receive.'
One must (accept to) be poor, miserable, and must lay open one's poverty (littleness, helplessness) to the enlarging power of Divine Love, in order to attract and satisfy Him. Such is his Law.
The secret of St. Therese is no different from that of St. John of the Cross. The Theresian love of littleness and of poverty united to blind trust in divine mercy, is that not the same as the Joannine hope that is detached from everything and that God immediately fills?
For St. Therese, trust and poverty are not simply virtues, like so many others, that one must practice at certain times; they are basic virtues, deep-seated dispositions, governing all the movements and attitudes of the soul. They of themselves create and become a complete spirituality; they constitute, as the Saint proclaims, a way to go to the good God.
Because the way of spiritual childhood offers us a felicitous example, in concrete and living form, for the practice of the virtue of hope, its teaching is particularly precious for the period that we are now studying." - P. Marie-Eugene, O.C.D. - I Am A Daughter of the Church, Chapter IV The Conduct of the Soul 

"IF" you attended the Ordinary Form of Mass today...

You will hear readings we Catholic bloggers may do well to take to heart - some days more than others ...

"The wicked say: Let us beset the just one..."

"Beloved: Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice...
      where do the wars and where do the conflicts come from among you?"

The disciples "had been discussing on the way who was the greatest..."

Polish priest and the rite of initiation for children....

... I found this in my spam box, sent to me by my friend Thom.

It is one in a series of photos showing school kids licking whipped cream off the knees of the parish priest/headmaster of the school.

The images - which are apparently part of an 'initiation ceremony' at Salesians High School in Lubin, southern Poland - show both male and female 13-year old pupils taking part in the bizarre practice.

Father Marcin Kozyra, who is also the school's principal, has defended his actions by saying such ceremonies for first year pupils have been an annual event for many years. - Read more here. 
I wonder what Paris Hilton would say?  I read somewhere she is Catholic and something of a moralist lately.  Don't let Novus Ordo watch see these photos. 

Mass Chat: Protests way too much...

I'm tired of all the SSA crap.

Can't people just repent and reform their lives and believe in the Gospel? 

Can't people just be converted to Jesus Christ? 

Can't you just fall in love with Jesus Christ and follow him?

I get really tired of the gay bullshit.  What makes LGBT-SSA people so special?

I get really tired of the victim mentality people assume as well.

How's that for "Mass Chat"?

Is it bad I said all that?  What?