"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.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Yes, yes, yes. Even TMZ is talking about it.
Now, my angel, I'm waiting for the world to decry the nasty tweets he gets in return.*
You walk into traffic - you're going to get hit.
BTW - I did - my laptop was invaded by a sort of porno virus claiming to be US Government and I'm locked out as it eats my files.
Thank you Holy Mary of Guadalupe for rescuing me from being online!
Let us pray:
Pray for us, and pray for the Holy Father, O Mary, conceived without sin; as Virgin of Guadalupe, you continue to evangelize culture and demonstrate for us how to draw souls to Christ, our Saviour.
*They ought to be beaten with fists!
"Patroness of the Americas
and of the Philippines"
Modern researchers say the star alignments represented on the mantle of Our Lady, as imprinted on the tilma of Juan Diego, match exactly the night sky as it was on Dec. 12, 1531.
By superimposing the night sky over Our Lady's image a miraculous story unfolds.
For instance, the Corona Borealis, a small constellation in the northern sky whose Latin name means "northern crown," is located on Mary's head — a crown representing Mary as the queen. The constellation Virgo, Latin for Virgin, is located on her heart.
Over her womb is the constellation Leo. "Leo represents the lion, and Jesus was called the 'Lion of the tribe of Judah,' in Revelation 5:5 to symbolize His victory over sin," says Fr. Anthony. "The star Regulus, meaning royalty, is Leo's brightest star and symbolizes Christ's kingship."
The constellation Orion is located where the Aztec warrior (or St. Michael or Juan Diego) is located. Orion represents the hunter. The hunter is pointing his bow at the constellation Taurus, the bull with the two horns. "There you have a battle between the warrior, or St. Michael, and the beast," says Fr. Anthony.
Indeed, just to review, Revelation 12:1-2 describes how "a great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars. She was with child." Sound familiar?
Revelation 12 goes on to portray the power of evil, represented by a dragon, in opposition to God and His people. First the dragon pursues the pregnant woman, but her Son is saved and "caught up to God and His throne" (Rev 12:5). Then Michael and his angels cast the dragon and his angels out of heaven. After this, the dragon tries to attack the Child by attacking members of His Church. A second beast arises from the land, symbolizing the Antichrist, which leads people astray. The dragon continues to wage war against the rest of the women's offspring, "those who keep God's commandments and bear witness to Jesus" (Rev 12:17). - Read the whole story here.
Happy feast day!
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Wisdom Well - turns out to be a leaky cistern.*
This story demonstrates - to me at least - though we do not often see public rebukes, corrections, disciplines applied to 'recalcitrant' religious persons or groups, Bishops do indeed take action to correct, admonish, and do whatever else is necessary before canonical censure, interdict, or excommunication is applied.
Bishop Morlino bans Madison Dominican sisters from conducting workshops and offering spiritual direction.
Two longtime Madison nuns who lead an interfaith spirituality center have been banned by Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino from holding workshops or providing spiritual direction or guidance at any Catholic churches in the 11-county diocese.
Sisters Maureen McDonnell and Lynn Lisbeth, both Sinsinawa Dominicans, have diverged too far from Catholic teaching, according to a confidential memo sent Nov. 27 to priests on behalf of Morlino. A copy of the memo was leaked to the State Journal.
Two other women connected to the interfaith center, called Wisdom's Well, also have been banned as part of the same action.
The memo says Morlino has "grave concerns" about the women's teachings, specifically that they "espouse certain views" flowing from such movements as "New Ageism" and "indifferentism." The latter, according to the memo, is "the belief that no one religion or philosophy is superior to another."I suppose the Wisdom Well Holiday Retreat Cruise is off now too?
The women "may not share an authentic view of the Catholic Church's approach to interreligious dialogue," the memo said.
Brent King, a spokesman for the diocese, said three other potential parish guest speakers, all male, have been banned "in recent years." The women are not prohibited from attending Mass or, if Catholic, from receiving communion, King said. Asked whether they could contribute to parish life in other ways, such as reading Bible passages from the pulpit or chairing a church committee, King said that would be up to individual priests. - Read more here.
* Click here for musical accompaniment to this post.
h/t to Badger Catholic
If you haven't made the novena - you can start and finish one today - the day before the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Offer your prayer today, and ask Our Lady to accept it as if you had prayed and fasted all nine days.
If you can't make a pilgrimage to Guadalupe, you can visit your parish church in honor of Our Lady and ask her to accept your visit as if you had walked barefoot to her shrine in Mexico City.
If you can't do that, you can sit quietly in your room, prayerfully unite yourself to all of those who have made the pilgrimage, as well as the whole Church, who honors Our Lady on her feast, and be confident that your desire to honor Our Lady is pleasing to her and gives glory to the Blessed Trinity.
The laborer, the poor, the lame, the shut-in cannot always make costly pilgrimages, but they can do so spiritually, in their hearts. It can be as efficacious as making a Spiritual Communion. Some of the saints did such things with so much fervor, some were given the grace of bilocation.
You don't have to do any of that however, and you surely do not have to take my word for it.
Monday, December 10, 2012
I like habits like the one shown here for nuns.
Notice the soft-skull wimple - no greasy hair showing.
The veil without any coronet or molded plastic insert.
She's free to drive a car, and even use her peripheral vision in the classroom, when she needs to.
Natural fabrics, light and carefree.
A healthy fear of hell is good. It is a sign of good faith.
The discussion-mushion about hell these days is good too.
Not everyone is saved, that is pretty much the non-mushy side of the discussion, and it's the right one.
No one knows exactly who is in hell - but it's probably pretty crowded. A few excellent points from Monsignor Pope helps us to understand:
And I might add, don't be afraid to teach your kids that either - Our Lady wasn't.But permit just a few summary bullet points:
- The biblical teaching, that there is a Hell, and that many go there is in no way ambiguous. When asked directly whether many would be saved Jesus answers soberly, and I would suppose with great sadness, that “many” were on the wide road that led to perdition, and that the road that led to salvation, was narrow, and difficult and that “few” found it.
- Jesus the main source – No one loves us more than Jesus Christ, and no one has worked more to save us than Jesus Christ. Yet no one spoke of Hell more than Jesus Christ, or warned of judgment with greater sobriety.
- Words mean things – However one may wish to interpret the biblical data, “many” does not mean few, and “few” does not mean many.
- Hell is, in a sense, necessary if human freedom is to have any meaning. All while Hell has mysterious aspects, understanding its existence must be rooted in the fact that God respects the freedom he has given us, even if he may regret the choices we make. But we are summoned to love, and love requires freedom, and freedom requires that our choices be about real things.
- That hell is an eternal reality is also mysterious, but is caught up in the mystery of the eternity itself. It would seem that as we move from this temporal world toward eternity, our decisions become forever fixed and final.
- Devastating – It does not require an advanced degree in sociology to understand that, to remove the unambiguous biblical teaching on the very real and possible outcome of Hell, is to remove strong motivation to seek a Savior and salvation. It is therefore no surprise that as the teaching on Hell has been largely set aside by the modern world, that recourse to the sacraments, prayer, Church attendance and any number of spiritual remedies have suffered significant declines during the same period.
- More can be read, if you wish, in the articles I have written elsewhere, referenced above. - Monsignor Pope
After showing the children the vision of Hell, Our Lady said: "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." - OL of FatimaWhich is why this prayer Our Lady taught is so necessary as a work of charity, mercy, and justice:
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, help those especially in need of thy mercy. - OL of Fatima
Who could refuse our Blessed Mother's urgent request to pray that prayer at the end of each decade of the rosary, or whenever?
Our Lady of Lipa.
Shopping all by himself. Toronto animal services eventually caught the monkey inside the store.
...and shot it.
Just kidding - it happened in Canada, not Texas.
Jean Valjean shot in Walmart parking lot by off-duty sheriff's deputy working security...
An off-duty Harris County sheriff's deputy said Friday that he was afraid for his life when he fatally shot a suspected shoplifter in a Walmart parking lot.Sounds like over-kill to me.
Deputy Louis Campbell was working an extra security job at the store in the 10400 block of the North Freeway about 9:45 p.m. Thursday when he fired the shot that killed 27-year-old Shelly Frey. - Finish reading the story here.
When I worked in retail, security guards maybe wrestled people to the ground - but even then, the store could be sued if the suspect was injured. Security guards were trained to never put themselves in danger.
The Holy House...
Once again, we remember the feast of Our Lady of Loreto, or the miraculous translation of the Holy House of Our Lady from the Holy Land to Italy. People don't believe it happened though. I do, and several saints and popes believed it too. I'm not bragging - indeed I lost that grace long ago - but while I was in Loreto, I stayed in the Holy House for hours, and outside it, for hours, every day - with no concept of the passage of time until one day a Capuchin priest grabbed me by the hair, shook my head, and said in Italian, "God has grasped you!" I left the shrine shortly after, and the next day I returned to Assisi, never to return to that little paradise. But I knew the house was the House of the Virgin, the Gate of Heaven, the House of God. I knew it.
My brother died on this date. One day he confided to me, just before his illness was diagnosed terminal, that Our Lady had recently appeared to him in a "Flash! A second!" - while he was trying to exercise. I asked what she looked like and he described Our Lady as she is depicted upon the Miraculous Medal - the Immaculate Conception.
"Did she say anything?" I asked.
"No, she just smiled."
"What did you think?" I inquired further.
"I don't know. I felt good... I felt at peace... I felt as if everything was going to be okay," he stammered, asking, "do you think it was her?"
"Yeah. Skip. I really do. She does that - that's just how she does it sometimes, and you know it's her." I assured him.
My brother made his confession and received the sacraments shortly before he died on the feast of Loreto, 1990.
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee and for those who do not have recourse to thee, especially the enemies of the Church and those recommended to thee.
Trust Our Lady. Consecrate yourself to the Madonna. Pray the rosary every day. Our Lady is refuge of sinners: God gives the lonely a home to live in!
Sunday, December 09, 2012
Our Lady of Czestochowa attacked.
Man throws paint at icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa
AFP - Polish police detained a 58-year-old man Sunday after he threw vials of black paint at the Black Madonna of Czestochowa, an ancient Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary believed to work miracles.
A protective pane of glass over the painted protected it from any damage, local police spokeswoman Joanna Lazar told reporters.
Guards at the monastery in the southern city of Czestochowa had quickly overpowered the man responsible and handed him over to police, she added.
The detained man had been questioned and was expected to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, Lazar said. His name has not been released. - Finish reading here.
**"Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say often whenever you make a sacrifice: 'O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.' " (Our Lady of Fatima, July 13, 1917) - Rosary Center
Pray the rosary every day.
"Dad! Is that why I'm called
a Snow-Shoe cat?"
"Dad! Mrs. Rabitowitz taught me how to sit like a rabbit
when the snow gets really deep!
Can I go out and play in it?"
Gabby will be one year old on December 29.
One day I asked Gabby if she wanted to go to church with me and she said, "No, cats do not need to go to church. Anyway - they don't even let animals in church - so no wonder they say animals can't go to heaven." I told her not to listen to people who talk like that. She answered, "I don't."
Being... Imitating the silent, loving action of Jesus in the Eucharist...
Amidst ordinary life...
A reader sent me this excerpt from Little Brother, Blessed Charles of Jesus:
"I am not the slightest interested in geography or exploration. Neither am I interested in evangelization as such. Of this I am neither worthy or capable; and the time for it has not yet come. My work should be the preliminaries for evangelization, the cultivation of trust & friendship, for gentling, you might say, for fraternization... " - The Sands of TamanrassetI knew that, but I had forgotten it. Rather, I lost track of that call.
The Church calls us to evangelize culture. To be sure, there are many in the business of telling one how to do that too. Yet evangelization means different things for different people.
I was watching "Journey Home" last Monday evening, a Baptist convert was on telling his story. I love those stories of conversion - his faith was alive, and he spoke about how his faith was enlivened in and through reading the Catechism. It was a powerful witness. It was almost as if I could see the Holy Spirit at work in him as he spoke. I looked the guy up online and found he had a website and what looks like a full-blown 'ministry' already. I didn't notice if there was a donate button or not.
It seems to me as if almost everyone converting-reverting to the Catholic Church feels they have to have a ministry or an apostolate. And of course, not a few who decide they have one, seem to rely on the scripture which says the worker should be supported/paid in his ministry. It seems to me rather Protestant - and indeed such methods are often based upon that model. It worked for them before 'coming home', I expect it will work for them as Catholics too. However, I wonder if there is an over emphasis on apologetics and theology degrees? And why is everything one does in the name of Christ suddenly called a ministry or an apostolate?
It strikes me as rather odd. Whatever happened to converts entering religious life or the priesthood after a significant conversion experience? What happened to them living ordinary, yet faithful lives in the state of life wherein they were called in the secular world? I know Opus Dei members do that, hence it is already an established custom in the Church. They neither call attention to themselves nor seek financial support - they seem to have jobs.
Just imagine if Mary Magdalen, instead of doing penance, studied theology and wrote her own gospel account? What if Francis of Assisi decided to live in palaces and associate with the rich and powerful, instead of doing as St. Paul instructed: "associate with the lowly"? What if Thomas Aquinas decided to continue to write books and do the lecture circuit after his revelation before the crucifix, rejecting the notion his academic achievements were simply straw? What if Dorothy Day ran for Congress instead of sitting in jail for peace? Just imagine if the saints all wrote best selling books, charged fees for their speaking engagements and healing ministries, and asked for donations to go on exotic retreats and luxury pilgrimages?
Today, it seems the trend is for people to convert/revert to Catholicism, get a book deal, television interview, and then hang up a shingle and expect people to support them in their "ministry".
God bless them! They just might already have their reward.