Saturday, April 06, 2013

Even when your parish doesn't offer special devotions for the Feast of Divine Mercy...

"I desire that the Feast of Mercy
be a refuge and a shelter for all souls,
especially poor sinners."

You can still receive the promises of Christ.
"It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church, will be called Divine Mercy Sunday." - Pope John Paul II, Canonization of St. Faustina 
"Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity.'' JPII, 2001

You can do everything required without participating in any special observance.  Some priests aren't 'into' the Feast of Mercy.  Some do not understand why Blessed John Paul II instituted the feast in the first place.  Some think it is just a private revelation and that the Second Sunday of Easter should be left alone.  Some even associate it with post-V-II-Novus-Ordo-hocus-pocus.  Too bad.

Before I knew of the devotion, before I was reconciled to the Church through the sacrament of penance, I experienced the Divine Mercy on the Second Sunday of Easter - at that time the devotion was not well known.  It was a remarkable grace... I've mentioned it in the past, in bits and pieces, but maybe some day I'll pull it all together into one post.  Maybe not.
"The first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy....I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me." (Diary, 742)

To be merciful to others...  there are three ways to do it:
The first: an act of mercy - of whatever kind.
The second: a word of mercy, when one cannot carry out a work of mercy.
The third: prayer - when we cannot show mercy by deeds or words - we can always do so by prayer.  Prayer reaches out even there where we cannot reach out physically.
This then is essentially what is required to obtain the Great Pardon on the Feast of Divine Mercy - a refuge for sinners:
"The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.... Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy." (699)  Read more here.       
You can do it.  

On the Ninth Day of the Novena...

Our Lord asked St. Faustina to bring to him SOULS WHO HAVE BECOME LUKEWARM.

He didn't ask her to call them out publicly or to condemn them, or to point out their unworthy Communions, nor to appeal for their excommunication...
Today bring to Me SOULS WHO HAVE BECOME LUKEWARM, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: 'Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.' For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy.
Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love, let these tepid souls, who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.


Franciscan Poverty...


Fr. Angelo has a very good post on the problem of interpretation of "Franciscan" poverty as it has been debated in the light of Pope Francis' simplicity. 
The life of St. Francis is subject to much sentimental hype because of his love for creation and his identification with the poor. The saccharine images on holy cards and sculptures in gardens don’t help the matter.  Pope Francis seems be subject to the same kind of misinterpretation.
St. Francis’ love for poverty was almost immediately misinterpreted, even by the friars, and turned into an ideology. The Order was almost suppressed in the time of St. Bonaventure because of the internal strife that resulted from this misinterpretation. But the problem was that the Franciscan charism is both radically evangelical and radically ecclesial. St. Francis was a reformer, who wished to have for himself and his friars “nothing of this world.” But he distinguished himself from other evangelical movements that were anti-ecclesial by his radical obedience to the See of Peter. The rebuilding engaged in by St. Francis had this dual characteristic of restoration and reform. - The Franciscan Papacy


Friday, April 05, 2013

Melinda Selmys responds to Michael Voris...

It's quite a read... almost exhausting.  Really.  Go here.

FYI: I'm still painting...

Narrative here.

Though my sight is getting worse... and my photography not much better.


One reason why Pope Francis is so recollected and prayerful...

"He has never used the internet, not even for e-mail." - Sandro Magister

Prayers for the dying - and the dead.

On this the 8th day of the novena, the Lord asked Sr. Faustina to pray for the souls in purgatory.

I'm hoping some of the people I've known and loved made it there.

The other day, after waking from a dream, I recalled a few people I've prayed for as they were dying.  Thinking of one dear friend - actually, my best friend's mother, my dream reminded me of the night she died.  Thinking she would make it through the night, my friend and I decided to leave the nursing home so each of us could get some rest.  The nurse pretty much assured us my friend's mom wasn't close to death yet, just very tired.  Before leaving, she cried out,  "Terry can't you do something?"  I think she said it that way because she knew I was religious.  I didn't know what to do, and I tried to comfort her, telling her I was praying.  As luck would have it, the chaplain happened by and I went out into the hall to ask if she could be baptised. (I wasn't sure she had ever been baptised.)

Father said he had seen her earlier and that the Lord knew her soul and she would be fine - besides, she never asked to be baptized.  I know the story sounds nuts, but I'm not revealing everything about the situation.  Long story short, I assured her I'd pray and would be back to see her.  She died shortly after we left.

I still pray for her today as if she is just now dying.  I pray the chaplet for her and offer communions and penances, and I've had Masses said.  I always regret leaving her alone.  There have been other friends who've died alone as well - I regret not being there to pray with and for them as they arrived at the moment of death - so I pray for them now, hoping they are in purgatory... placing myself in spirit next to their deathbed.  I'm sure that sounds crazy too.

It seemed I was around a lot of dying at one point in my life.  At times I was afraid of looking too holier than thou, praying next to the deathbed of someone I was not related to, and who wasn't even Catholic.   Then of course, there were those situations when all seemed well for the night, so I'd go home with the intention of returning the next day, only to find out they died a few hours later, or the next morning. 

Our Lord once instructed Sr. Faustina, "Pray as much as you can for the dying.  By your entreaties, obtain for them trust in my mercy, because they have the most need of trust, and have it the least.  Be assured that the grace of eternal salvation for certain souls in their final moments depends on your prayer." [1777]

I try not to lose my peace over such failures and fears, since I place all of my trust in the Divine Mercy to remedy anything that I failed to do through human weakness or ignorance.  I even hope he will have anticipated the prayers I offer now for their salvation.  If they be in purgatory, I hope they will likewise benefit from the prayers of the chaplet.


Thursday, April 04, 2013

This is amusing: Pope Francis says complaining can too often distance us from Jesus...

In response, a commenter to the news story complained that the Holy Father's homily was "Not the best bit of exegesis."

The Holy Father was simply commenting on the Gospel of the day, at his daily Mass with the workers.  Kind of an everyday homily/commentary a parish priest might offer.  A fruit of his private prayer/lectio.

What the Holy Father said is very true.  In fact the critical spirit fosters a negative culture around ourselves which can blind and close us in.  The Holy Father describes it well:
"They were afraid. All of the disciples were afraid,” he said. As they walked toward Emmaus and discussed everything that had happened, they were sad and complaining. “And the more they complained, the more they were closed in on themselves: They did not have a horizon before them, only a wall,” the Pope explained, according to Vatican Radio.

The disciples had had such high hopes that Jesus would be the one who would redeem Israel, but they thought their hopes were destroyed, he said on Wednesday. Finish reading here.

I wonder if the message was lost on the man who complained?  All he seemed to pick up was that the point wasn't "the best bit of exegesis."

Think of how we miss Jesus, even in the breaking of the bread - the point wherein the disciples finally recognized the Christ.  Think of how we can be so distracted by what someone is wearing to Mass, or how the priest missed that action, or was incoherent in that part of the prayer, or how he forgot to genuflect... just think how we can be so caught up in finding liturgical abuses that we actually miss recognizing Jesus in the breaking of the bread.

The Pope ended his 'feverino' saying:
Complaining and griping, about others and about things in one’s own life, is harmful “because it dashes hope. Don’t get into this game of a life of complaints.”

John of the Cross said, "He who complains isn't even a good Christian."  The Pope is obviously much kinder.

Photo:  Pope's daily Mass with the workers.  What a contrast to the private chapel Masses.

When you least expect it...

"My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, especially for poor sinners... It is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a font overflowing with mercy.  For them I dwell in the tabernacle as King of Mercy. [Diary 367]


Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Catholic Church's 'acceptance' of gay people...

First, why do I hate writing about gay stuff?

Because no matter what I say, it will be opposed.  I will be accused of self-hate if I refuse to identify as gay.  If I use the word gay, I will be corrected that I need to use the term SSA.  If I say I'm against homosex... well, you know ...  If I question anything the 'new gay and Catholics' write, I'm stuck in a former generational mindset, unduly influenced by Catholic bigotry.  I hate writing about the subject because I'm not scholarly enough, and I can't hold a candle to the experts. I also don't want to offend people who are being called to repentance, or come off like Michael Voris and others even more severe, who insist they hate the sin but refuse to accept the person they deem disordered.  Likewise, the "new still-queer and Catholic" keep coming up with new explanations why gay is normal. And people are buying into it. It's almost as if a new species has been discovered.

Recently, another blogger excused himself from writing about gay marriage because he might lose his straight friends - and gay ones - who approve of same sex marriage.  I laughed to myself because it is not uncommon for formerly active gay people, who return to the Church - to lose all of their gay friends in the process, and have trouble keeping their new Catholic ones - when and if the new friends find out they were, are, or maybe always will be - gay - even if they don't identify as such, or experience the same temptations.  Damned if you do, damned if you don't.  (The same guy has posted snarky comments on this blog.  God love him.)

BTW.  The friends who approve of same sex marriage usually approve of divorce and remarriage, contraception and abortion, euthanasia, IVF, gender reassignment surgey, embryonic stem cell research, and a wide variety of other practices condemned by the Catholic Church.  It's a package deal usually.

The Church's approach to homosexuals.

Cardinal Dolan said we have to do better.  Melinda Selmys says we have to do better.  We must accept people - gay people.  I have said the same thing.  We have to accept the reality we live in a culture that promotes homosexuality as the new normal.  We have relatives and friends who are gay - they are persons.  We are against behaviours and lifestyles that seek to equate traditional marriage with gay marriage, traditional family with queer family.

That's the new reality, not the new normal.  If I were a priest, I'd baptize gay people's kids.  I would accept them in Catholic school.  I would be nice to their parents, but they would know Church teaching.  But I'm not a priest of course - I'm just saying that to demonstrate how far my acceptance could go.  Not many days ago, at the Deacon's Bench, another deacon wrote this about the new Pope:
What Pope Francis will do in the future remains to be seen. What he has already done has generated hope and enthusiasm for the papacy itself and the Church. One person admitted to me recently that, as a gay man, he struggled with many aspects of the church’s approach to homosexuals. I reminded him that he shouldn’t expect the new pope to make any substantive changes to the teaching itself. He readily acknowledged that, but then said something quite remarkable: “Oh, I understand that, Deacon. But you know something? There’s just something in this new pope’s approach that shows me that I am loved by God. If the teaching doesn’t change, I can live with that because I know now that God loves me and that this pope truly cares.” - Link
That's the ticket.  You gotta live with that - and I am here to tell you you can.  Celibacy and chastity won't kill you.   It's what I hope Dolan and Wuerl are talking about as well, although something tells me they may be running ahead of Peter on this issue:
(RNS) When New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan told national news programs on Easter Sunday that Catholic leaders need to do a better job of showing that their opposition to gay marriage is not “an attack on gay people,” the nation’s top Catholic bishop seemed to be signaling an important shift in tone, if not policies, that acknowledges two new realities.

One is the election of a new pope, Francis, who in less than a month has demonstrated a clear preference for engagement and inclusion (washing the feet of women and Muslim inmates at a Rome youth prison, for example) rather than the confrontation and political purism that often found favor under his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

The other is the ongoing shift in favor of same-sex marriage in the court of public opinion and — if recent arguments on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act are any guide — perhaps soon in the U.S. Supreme Court. - WRONG Analysis
 Fatal Error!

As Cardinal the Holy Father did not endorse same sex unions.  As everyone knows, same sex union legislation is one short step from redefining marriage - even a grade school kid knows that from watching television sit-coms.  Yet...
Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, and his predecessor, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, were also on Sunday morning news shows addressing the issue of gay rights and stressing that the church needed to be welcoming. As McCarrick put it, the church could be open to civil unions as an alternative to gay marriage. - WRONG Analysis
'Welcoming' and 'acceptance' = multiple meanings, depending on who is saying it, when, and on what forum.  Fun with linguistics!

Monsignor Pope on "What does the Catholic Church offer to homosexuals."

Listen, read, what the Monsignor has to say.  It is clear, compassionate, welcoming, accepting, and it is Catholic.  I'll post a couple of segments, but please, go read what he writes.  Pay no attention to me, and little attention to the new online gay-Catholic apologists, or their Savonarola counterparts.  As I always say, don't go to strangers, but solid Catholic priests whom you can trust.
[T]he claim is often made that the Catholic Church has “nothing to offer” Gay persons, homosexuals or the slightly wider group often called the LGBT community.

Of course this claim has a kind of rhetorical flourish built in since it would appear that, in order to have “something to offer” we would have to meet a rather specific list of demands, wherein we essentially set aside biblical, theological and natural law teaching, and embrace homosexual activity as natural, normal, and even virtuous.

This we cannot do. And thus, many of our modern critics engage in kind of all-or-nothing approach which demands 100% approval, or by definition we have “nothing to offer.”
“What does the Church offer Gay People?”

To begin, the Church offers Gay people what she offers anyone else: the truth of God’s Word authoritatively interpreted, the Sacraments of Salvation, a vision for life, and the witness and support of the communal life, a communion with those now living as well as with the ancients whose voice and witness we still revere. We also offer respect rooted in truth.
The Church can say nothing other than what she has heard from the Lord. And thus we teach:
Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. (Catechism # 2357) - Please read the entire post here
A comment on Courage. 

Courage is an approved apostolate in the Church.  It is a valuable aid to those who feel the need for support and direction in living the life the Church calls us to.  Like other support groups, not everyone sees it as a good fit, nonetheless the research contained in the archives, as well as the spiritual direction by the founders and spiritual directors is invaluable - whether you are a member or not.  It may interest younger readers that the U.S. bishops as a group have never been 100% on board with Courage - years ago they refused to endorse it or recommend it in one of the USCCB statements - although Bishop Fabian Bruschewitz and a few others pushed for it.  May I suggest there is a somewhat remote chance there was a 'conflict of interest' with some of those who opposed it then as some do today?

Editor's note:  If you say bad things about the bishops/cardinals I will delete your comment. 

Song for this post:  "They'll take your soul, if you let them ..."

Now I'll 'duck and cover'.

A couple of other good posts:

Taylor Marshall: Homosexuality: Does the New Testament condemn it?
Frank Weathers: Reason why the Church won't support same sex marriage.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

I may have a post or two coming after this...

But I'm not sure.

There's a lot of stuff I just don't care about any longer ... or at least today I don't care...

Some of the people I read online remind me of the Energizer Bunny.  They just keep going and going and going.

Today, I'm gone...


St. Mary of Egypt

Today is one of her feast days.

Some Catholics observe her memorial on other dates - during Lent mostly.

Not long ago, I read another bio of her stating she came from a wealthy family...

Once upon a time, there was a young beautiful girl who wanted to be a big star.  Attracted to the theater and a life of glamour and luxury, she became a locally renowned entertainer, a famous exotic dancer (remember the musical Gypsy?)  and a sort of high class pole-dancing-call-girl/prostitute - catering to wealthy Christian businessmen.  She latter wrote a book called, "Accepting Sexual Promiscuity" although few could read back then, and it was soon forgotten.

A little later, while on a pilgrimage, she continued to work her trade until something queer happened.  So she wrote another book titled, "Imitation of Sexuality" - although that one didn't work out either.  Yup, you guessed it, because few people could read back then, and, it did not have an orthodox imprimatur.  Although the book received modest success over the first one, simply because she illustrated it - which is why the imprimatur was withheld, BTW.  Still, she made little cents - I mean, she couldn't make a profit. 

Anyway - long story short - her repentance bore fruit when she finally fled into the desert to do actual penance.  No one heard from her again until an old monk, Zosimas, troubled by temptations to celibacy, chased a naked figure across the desert - saying to himself:  "I must give that naked man my cloak!  Poor thing is so cold - it's shrunk to nothing!"  When he caught up to her, he discovered she was not a handsomely-striking, metrosexual-looking young man at all, but a scarecrow-looking, severely anorexic  - woman!  "Oh!  How icky!"  the monk said, breathing a great sigh of relief, since he no longer felt the urgings of lust. "If that won't make me stay chaste, nothing will!"  The monk said beneath his breath.

Zosimas soon got to know Mary and realized she was a penitent and not a destitute Parisian runway model, much less a man.  He gladly became her confessor and was edified to bring her Communion whenever he happened by. 

Then one Holy Thursday evening he found the poor thing dead, after someone evidently broke the liturgical rubrics and washed her feet in the Jordan... "How very odd!"  Zosimas whispered to the lion.  "A lion!" He shouted - surprised and shaken by an immense cat which appeared out of nowhere.  (After all, he was in the desert - which is pretty nowhere.)

After shaking hands - err, paws, the lion helped him bury Mary - "You do it pussy!  I can't look at her naked body because I'm... well, you know!  Fasting."  So the lion dug her grave and kicked her into it, covering her all up like a kitty does in the kat-box. 

On the way back to the monastery, Zosimas came to his senses and discovered the lion was just a very large domestic cat, with a St. Francis ID medal around it's collar, so he shooed him home, lest the other monks be disappointed - and sceptical - that a lion had helped him bury the body.  Besides, someone told him that keeping a pet could be idolatrous, so he wanted nothing to do with pets or former harlots.

After he arrived back at the abbey, the abbot had him write a book about Mary and all that happened to him, which he called The Dance of the Seven Veiled Mountain.  The book became so successful, he travelled to India to found a new monastery, only to die in a strange accident with a fan - a fan of the book, that is.

The End

To read the traditional story of St. Mary, go here.


Divine Mercy

Jesus, I trust in you.

Usually I try to post something on the novena to Divine Mercy, but this year I was distracted ...

I did not forget to begin the novena on Good Friday however.  If you forgot, it is never too late to join in.  It ends on Sunday, the Feast of Divine Mercy.  Keep in mind that praying the chaplet of Divine Mercy is the essential prayer of the novena - our intentions may be the same as St. Faustina's, or we may make our own.

The devotion also requires us to show mercy to one another.  Our Lord told Faustina:
I demand from you deeds of mercy which are to arise out of love for me.  You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere.  You must not shrink from this or try to excuse yourself from it. [Diary, 742]
Blessed Alberto Marvelli always prayed, "for the grace to be merciful to others."
Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors souls and come to their rescue. - St. Faustina

Monday, April 01, 2013

The Pope Francis kitsch has arrived!

 Order now

Why don't priests wear the maniple?

Carthusian Nun
wearing stole and maniple.

Quick answer:  Wearing the maniple is optional.

I know.  So the priest doesn't have to wear the maniple* anymore?  But, but it has never been abrogated or banned.  (Neither has the head-covering for women.)  But I want him to.  I can't pray if he doesn't wear it.  I'm distracted all through Mass.  As soon as he processes in, I notice if he is not wearing it and for the rest of the Mass I keep looking for more liturgical abuses...

If only the SSPX celebrated a good Novus Ordo!...  Oh wait!  I think they ...
In a surprise move, the followers of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefevbre in the Society of St. Pius X, have issued a document creating within their ranks an “ordinariate” for Catholics who wish to celebrate the Novus Ordo according to the official rubrics.
According to the press release, the SSPX saw the need to provide a refuge for priests and lay faithful alike to preserve the few vestiges of Catholic identity they retained in the midst of their modernist errors. - WDTPRSNEWS.COM – Ecône, Switzerland
Song for this post here.

*The maniple is a liturgical vestment used primarily within the Catholic Church, and occasionally used by some Anglo-Catholic and Lutheran clergy. It is an embroidered band of silk or similar fabric that when worn hangs from the left arm. It is only used within the context of the Mass, and it is of the same liturgical colour as the other Mass vestments.[1]

Action Alert! Boycott Google!

Really?  Really?
Story here.

They're kidding, right?

Sorry we missed it...
But we're really busy right now
still tabulating how many parishes
washed women's feet on Holy Thursday. 

 Patheos is on it! 

How many saints top the colonnade of St. Peter's?

And who are they?

Did you ever wonder?  There's a listing of course.  The names of all 140 saints, and their locations on the colonnade can be found here.

My Italian friends in St. Paul may be pleased to know that a sculptor by the name of Lazzaro Morelli sculpted nearly half of the figures.

The colonnade is under renovation today - getting a face lift.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

On the evening of the first day of the week...


The 'New' Pentecost... A personal reflection.

On the evening of Easter, ' He breathed on them'...

The Spirit has certainly stirred things up, hasn't he?  I'm referring to the light that has come into the Church with Pope Francis.  It seems to me the Pope notes the 'upheaval' in his Easter Vigil homily, when he refers to something new happening to the women at the tomb... comparing our own experience to theirs; "Doesn’t the same thing also happen to us when something completely new occurs in our everyday life? We stop short, we don’t understand, we don’t know what to do."  We are confused by this new Pope - I think all of us are trying to figure him out, and in the process we are discovering 'new' things about ourselves and our relationship to God, to Christ, to the Church, to one another, to the poor and outsiders.

The Holy Spirit and Easter night...

"On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you.' When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.' And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'"

"It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you."

I'm reminded of the Encyclical On the Holy Spirit from Pope John Paul II...  I'm thinking of the Holy Spirit: "The Spirit of God," who according to the biblical description of creation "was moving over the face of the water," and how he stirred everything up at that first Pentecost as well.  How unsettling his action can be.  Even today.

Piously, I continue to consider the renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI and its meaning.  In that regard, I reflected on Christ's revelation to the disciples on Holy Thursday: "If I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you."  Of course, I'm not suggesting that the two popes are actually reenacting in a literal sense the Paschal mystery, yet the promise of Christ seems - to me at least, to be more understandable in the morning light of Easter.  Oddly enough, the passage from John helps me to see a continuity, a continuum between the two popes, and again I only apply Christ's words for the sake of analogy, placing them as it were, on the lips of Benedict:  "He will take what is mine and declare it to you."  Without deprecating Pope Benedict in the least, I have to believe Pope Francis is doing that - although it just doesn't look the same.

Implementing Vatican II:  The work of the Pope.

That was the work of the new Pope's predecessors, and it is his work too:
As the Council writes, "the Spirit dwells in the Church and in the hearts of the faithful as in a temple (cf. 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19). In them he prays and bears witness to the fact that they are adopted sons (cf. Gal 4:6; Rom 8:15-16:26). The Spirit guides the Church into the fullness of truth (cf. Jn 16:13) and gives her a unity of fellowship and service. He furnishes and directs her with various gifts, both hierarchical and charismatic, and adorns her with the fruits of his grace (cf Eph 4:11-12; 1 Cor 12:4; Gal 5:22). By the power of the Gospel he makes the Church grow, perpetually renews her and leads her to perfect union with her Spouse."
Pope Francis seems to me to be the one ushering in the 'New' Pentecost envisioned by the Council, and 'predicted' by JPII and B16.  So far his actions have upset nearly everyone in the Church.  But that fact alone, on some level - I'm convinced, is the action of the Holy Spirit.
When Jesus during the discourse in the Upper Room foretells the coming of the Holy Spirit "at the price of" his own departure, and promises "I will send him to you," in the very same context he adds: "And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment."102 The same Counselor and Spirit of truth who has been promised as the one who "will teach" and "bring to remembrance, " who "will bear witness," and "guide into all the truth," in the words just quoted is foretold as the one who "will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgement."
Convincing the world concerning sin... righteousness... judgement.

Charismatics use the term 'convicted' when describing the action of the Holy Spirit convincing them concerning sin.  I love that expression.  Such convincing brings repentance, contrition, enflaming the heart with compunction - it's a great 'light', a grace, a ' divine touch' of love.  So far Pope Francis' actions have convicted me of my sin - or propensity towards it, my inconstancy, as well as my self-righteousness... and judgement.  I wonder how many others he has touched in this way - without their understanding it?
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." This revelation of freedom and hence of man's true dignity acquires a particular eloquence for Christians and for the Church in a state of persecution-both in ancient times and in the present-because the witnesses to divine Truth then become a living proof of the action of the Spirit of truth present in the hearts and minds of the faithful, and they often mark with their own death by martyrdom the supreme glorification of human dignity.*
*All quotes taken from Dominum et vivificantem, Bl. Pope John Paul II

Happy Easter!

NB: These are just my 'pious' reflections of course - and I'm probably wrong.  Pray for me.


Happy Easter!

V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia.
R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.

V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

"Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust him, be confident that he is close to you, he is with you and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do." - Pope Francis