Saturday, August 10, 2013

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Yesterday was the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki.

A few days before, the anniversary of Hiroshima.

In Japan Catholics observe what is called The Ten Days for Peace.  Cardinal Turkson visited and called the bombing, "a “frightful wound inflicted” upon the people of Japan and the whole human family."
"That wound affected the whole of the human family. Hiroshima and Nagasaki: few events in history have had such an effect on man's conscience." - John Paul II

Friday, August 09, 2013

Drink Vodka to Support the Russian Olympics!

Russian vodka lovers unite!

Man!  If there ever was a cause I could get behind!

Off to the liquor store ...

Ban the boycott. 

What a wonderful excuse to drink!

Ed. Note: What are people protesting?   
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the legislation into law in June, which imposes fines on individuals accused of spreading "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to minors. It also imposes penalties on those who advocate homosexuality online or in the news, and it bans gay pride rallies, according to an Aug. 1 Associated Press article.

The "Angel" Priest.

By now everyone has heard the edifying story of the mysterious priest who appeared at a tragic accident in Missouri...
Emergency workers and community members in eastern Missouri are not sure what to make of a mystery priest who showed up at a critical accident scene Sunday morning and whose prayer seemed to change life-threatening events for the positive. 
Even odder, the black-garbed priest does not appear in any of the nearly 70 photos of the scene of the accident in which a 19-year-old girl almost died. No one knows the priest and he vanished without a word, said Raymond Reed, fire chief of New London, Mo. 
"I think it's a miracle," Reed said. "I would say whether it was an angel that was sent to us in the form of a priest or a priest that became our angel, I don't know. Either way, I'm good with it." - Finish reading here.
I love this story.

It is meaningful on so many levels.  It shows how important it is for priests to wear their clericals - to dress as a priest.  It shows the world how important and efficacious the ministry of the priest is - remember Boston when they weren't allowed on the scene to assist the injured?  It demonstrates the power of prayer when led by a priest, when two or three are gathered.  It also demonstrates the reverence due during such a sacred act - everyone there knelt in prayer.  It is a beautiful example of faith, demonstrating the power of prayer, the power of the priesthood.  It also seems to be a miracle.

So who was the priest?

He disappeared, he doesn't appear in any photo.  Some suggest he was an angel dressed as a priest.  I think it is more likely he is a real priest.  Perhaps a deceased priest?  An unknown saint? 

Or maybe he is a living priest?  A priest who bilocated?

I'm going with that - bilocation.  Now we need an accurate description of him.  So far I've read he has silver hair:
The silver-haired priest in his 50s or 60s in black pants, black shirt and black collar with visible white insert stepped forward from nowhere.

What do you think?

Composite from The Blaze.
Now if it wasn't bilocation and it turned out to be a saint...
A 'dead' priest I think resembles the composite shown above:


NASA Discovers Gay Planet!

The pink planet orbits its star at nearly nine times the distance Jupiter orbits the sun - and much faster! 

It pulsates - like a dance bar!  The discovery presents a challenge to theoretical ideas of the origins of gay people.

New proof!
Astronomers at NASA have discovered a pink alien planet orbiting a star like our sun 57 light-years away that they said is the smallest by mass photographed so far. (2%-3% of the population.)
Scientists believe the planet, GJ 504b, is thought to be a magenta-pink colour, based on infrared data from the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii. 
While GJ 504b is the lowest-mass planet ever detected around a star using direct imaging techniques, but it is still several times the mass of Jupiter and similar in size. - Source
Don't tell the Russians

Memorial of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

"In aridity and emptiness the soul becomes humble. Former pride disappears when a man no longer finds in himself anything that might cause him to look down on others." - Science of the Cross

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Mass chat: The feast of St. Dominic

Dominicans are friars* not monks.

Did you know?

The Dominicans actually created a cologne.

Dominican friars were also apothecaries -
at least in Florence in 1612:

Perfume has been made by the Dominican monks at the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica at Santa Maria Novella, in Florence, since the 1220s. It is the oldest pharmacy in the world and was founded when the friars began to distil herbs and flowers to make essences, fragrant waters and elixirs. - Source

St. Dominic is often shown in art with a dog.
I think he should be the patron of poodles.
[According to the Golden Legend St. Dominic's mother while pregnant dreamed that she would give birth to a dog who would hold a torch in its mouth and would "burn the world." It has been suggested that the dog represents a pun on Dominicanus, the word for a Dominican friar, and domini canis, "dog of the Lord." At any rate, a dog is often shown at the saint's feet holding a torch in its mouth.]

Did you know there are Dominican nuns?
Did you know that Debbie Reynolds became a nun
in order to launch her signing career?
I never knew that?
(I just made that up BTW.)

The real singing nun: Sister Luc-Gabrielle
Did you know she eventually left the convent and became a lesbian?
A postulant once told me that is what happens to:
A) celebrity nuns
B) who leave the convent.
There is a former Dominican priest - self-described near genius - who left
to become a homosexual. 
He has a blog but I can't link to it because
of the nude photos.
Which proves that homosexuality
is a form of idolatry.
*Today, Dominican friars enjoy barbecues,
although at one time they
had more serious work to do...
grilling heretics.
Modified Dominican habit for men.
(Strict observance friars prefer fleece hoodies.)
Blessed Virgin gives the habit to St. Dominic.
Our Lady gave him everything...
every thing!
Happy feast day!
St. Dominic, pray for us!
Photo credit: Google 

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

August 7 - An Unofficial Feast Day: God the Father of All Mankind

I don't get it.

I seriously don't understand the private revelations to Mother Eugenia in the 1930's.  I know a bit about the messages, requesting a sort of separate devotion to the Father, as well as the promotion of a special feast day, liturgically established to honor God the Father, including a special mass and office.  There is also an image to be venerated, special prayers, a chaplet, and a white scapular.  It's all there.  The messages, attributed to God the Father, explain why we need the devotion in our times.  A few good priests have joined in the movement in order to explain the 'urgency' of the need in our times.  Matthew Kelly has also been associated with the devotion - perhaps because when he first started out - he too claimed locutions from God the Father.  (However, I do not know if Kelly has involved himself in the M. Eugenia 'cult', or rather some have used his earlier locutions to their advantage.  It is my understanding that Kelly now keeps his private meditations private.)

Why I don't get it?

Because Christianity is all about devotion to the Father.  The Son's obedience to the Father - the Son's love of the Father - and the Father's love of the Son.  We just observed one of the greatest feasts commemorating the theophany on Mt. Tabor, the Transfiguration.  God the Father reveals Himself in the Son.  Jesus told Philip, "He who sees me sees the Father."
"He who sees me sees the Father." The New Testament is completely marked by the light of this Gospel truth. The Son is the reflection of the Father's glory, he is "the very stamp of his nature" (Heb 1:3). He is the "image of the invisible God" (Col 1:15). He is the epiphany of God. When he became man, taking on "the form of a servant" and "becoming obedient unto death" (cf. Phil 2:7-8), at the same time he became for all those who accepted his teaching "the way", "the way to the Father", whereby he is "the truth and the life" (Jn 14:6). - JPII July 8, 1987
"One Word the Father spoke..." - John of the Cross

Of course God can do whatever He wills and how He wills, but I'm stuck in the Scriptures, in the teachings of the Fathers and the Doctors of the Church, I'm stuck in the Liturgy.  Everything in the liturgy is addressed to the Father, it is the prayer of Christ to the Father.  The Mass, the Eucharist is the ultimate sacrifice, oblation, worship offered to the father.  We hear the words, the liturgical prayers addressed specifically to the Father every Sunday, every day, at Mass.  How?  Why is there need for a special feast day, a special Mass? 

"No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." (Mt 11:27; Lk 10:22)

It is the Son who reveals the Father.  He has shown us the Father, and continues to reveal the Father.  However, in the private revelations to M. Eugenia Ravasio, the Father supposedly told her: "My hour has come, I must be known, loved and honored by men."  Yet how does that fit with the 'consumatum est' of the Son:  "I have accomplished the work which you gave me to do"?  (cf. Jn 17:4)   Has Christ, the Church, the Liturgy failed to reveal the Father?  Has the prayer Christ taught us no meaning?  When we say, "Our Father" to whom are we speaking?

You see my difficulty?

Everything in the Church, in the Gospels, in the Liturgy points to God the Father - all of creation tends toward the Father.  The Popes have consistently directed the faithful to God the Father - likewise, as I mentioned, the Liturgy of the Church, the prayer of the Church is directed to the Father.  On the occasion of the Baptism of the Lord, Pope Benedict reminded us:
[B]efore God we are all children. God is at the root of every created being’s life and is the Father of every human person in a special way: he has a unique and personal relationship with every human being. Each one of us is wanted and loved by God. And also in this relationship with God, we can be “reborn”, so to speak, in other words become what we are. This happens through faith, through a profound and personal “yes” to God as the origin and foundation of our existence. With this “yes” I receive life as a gift of the Father who is in Heaven, a Parent whom I do not see but in whom I believe and whom, in the depths of my heart, I feel is my Father and the Father of all my brethren in humanity, an immensely good and faithful Father.
On what is this faith in God the Father based? It is based on Jesus Christ: he himself and his history reveal the Father to us, enable us to know him as much is possible in this world. Believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, makes it possible to be “born from above”, that is, from God, who is Love (cf. Jn 3:3). - Angelus 8 January 2012

Yet even the Papal Preacher, Fr. Cantalamessa  is used to promote the establishment of a 'new' feast, honoring God the Father of All Mankind, based upon the private revelations of M. Eugenia. 
“It’s sad that in the whole liturgical year there isn’t a feast dedicated to the Father, that in the whole Missal there isn’t even a votive Mass in His honor. Come to think of it, it’s very strange; there are many feasts dedicated to Jesus the Son; there is a feast of the Holy Spirit; there are many feasts dedicated to Mary… There isn’t a single feast dedicated to the Father, “source and origin of all divinity.” We could almost say that the Father, and no longer the Holy Spirit, is “the unknown divinity.” - Cantalamessa, Life in the Lordship of Christ, 1990
Fr. Cantalamessa goes on to suggest there would be ecumenical benefits to the establishment of a 'universal' feast.  Perhaps.

I have to wonder why the proclamation of the Gospel isn't enough?  Why the Liturgy of the Church isn't enough?  It seems to me the world would not need such novelties if the Church taught the Credo* in all of its fullness, if the Liturgy was restored to its proper centrality and dignity.

The "movement" seems to be picking up followers, as well as new locutionists.  One author even quoted Richard Rohr, "Fatherlessness is described by Father Richard Rohr as the 'most universal wound on this earth.'"

(I have no doubt about that, but I wouldn't quote Rohr to promote it.)

Anyway.  I don't get it.  The Father is already honored, adored and glorified in every action of the Church.

*CCC 198 Our profession of faith begins with God, for God is the First and the Last,1 the beginning and the end of everything. The Credo begins with God the Father, for the Father is the first divine person of the Most Holy Trinity; our Creed begins with the creation of heaven and earth, for creation is the beginning and the foundation of all God's works.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

In Memorium PP Paul VI

One of these men died on this date in 1978.

Or maybe both?

Why isn't the Roman Catholic Church doing more to welcome Scientologists?


Hopefully Ennis held onto his _enis!

Don (aka Dawn) Ennis woke up from a bout of amnesia and couldn't figure out why he was dressed as a woman.  Seriously.
He thought he was a woman trapped in a man’s body — but it turns out he’s “just another boring straight guy.”
ABC News editor Don Ennis strolled into the newsroom in May wearing a little black dress and an auburn wig and announced he was transgender and splitting from his wife. 
He wanted to be called Dawn. 
But now he says he suffered from a two-day bout of amnesia that has made him realize he wants to live his life again as Don. - Source

I think he just realized women are not paid as much as men and decided to change back.

H/T to Nancy Drew and the Case of the Missing High Heels.

I never met the guy!

In a resplendent cloud...

A cloud came and cast a shadow over them...


Monday, August 05, 2013

The Papacy in the New Era ...

Votive offering.

"The change has already arrived."

John Allen refers to it as a revolution underway.

He also points out, "With Francis, what you see is basically what you get." 

I knew that.

I find it difficult to find anything online as objective as John Allen or Fr. James Martin, S.J. when it comes to reports on Pope Francis.  Otherwise I feel as if I'm caught in some sort of weird vortex, with the same old string of pundits spewing their same old negative crap, labeling and pigeon holing everything and everybody.  It's a small, petty, world, isn't it.  (EWTN and its affiliates I mean.)
Francis is the solution, not the problem. 
Truth to be told, most ordinary folk aren't paying attention to such inside baseball anyway. Vatican watchers may fixate on questions such as who Francis will name as the next cardinal secretary of state, or what changes he'll make at the Institute for the Works of Religion (the Vatican bank), but the only question most people have about a pope is, "Does he inspire?" 
For now, the answer seems to be yes. Given all the scandals, bad press and controversy the Catholic church has weathered over the past decade, if that's not a revolution, it's hard to know what one would look like. 
In Rome, too, there are clear signs that a new order has already arisen.
Clergy who chafed under what they perceived as a mounting liturgical fastidiousness during the late John Paul II and Benedict years -- showing up for a papal Mass, for instance, only to be told they weren't properly dressed because they weren't sporting enough crimson and lace -- report all that ended in mid-March. 
Francis' humbler lifestyle is having a ripple effect. Princes of the church today are more likely to be spotted wearing simple black clerical dress rather than the usual sartorial splendor, and some have begun to sign their names in official correspondence simply as "Don So-and-So," avoiding "His Eminence" or other bits of court nomenclature. 
Even beggars who ply their trade around the Vatican have clued in that something has changed. Vatican personnel say that if they spurn a request for spare change today, they're likely to hear back, "Cosa direbbe Papa Francesco?" -- meaning, "What would Pope Francis say?" - John Allen
I like that! 

Diana Vreeland - The Eye Has to Travel

"Though one may be rich, one's life does not consist in possessions."

Yesterday's readings at Mass were all the more striking for me since I had been watching, "The Eye Has To Travel" a documentary on the life and career of Diana Vreeland.

As a young man, I worked in the low end of fashion - fashion display - aka Merchandise Presentation.  I did windows and cases, and dressed myself very well, and followed the fashion industry attentively.  Later, after a brief time away, I returned to the business- or retail; it had grown in esteem and importance - but it was essentially the same.  In the '80's money was poured into every aspect of retail and merchandising, therefore the illusion became more glittery and vibrant and expensive.  Fashion is all about illusion and artifice, exaggeration and pretense.  It is a business, exploiting beauty and glamour, gilding lilies and weeds. 

Diana Vreeland excelled in gilding both. 

"She was practiced at the art of deception." - Rolling Stones

The film is so good.  It details everything about the woman and the development of fashion, the growth of the industry, throughout the 20th century.  She mastered the art of performance, the mythology of fashion, and the illusion of beauty.  She draped and accessorized homely mannequins and made them fantasy images of great beauty.

Vreeland lived a grand illusion, and promoted a mystique, discovering and elevating celebrity into high cult.  She was a genius.

If you are at all interested in fashion and the role it played in the 20th century - especially as it relates to the revolutionary spirit of the time - the 'emancipation' of women and sexuality - you should watch the film.

Mrs. Vreeland invented and exaggerated herself to the extent she became a legend in her own lifetime, and even now after her death, she retains a certain cult status.

The greed that is idolatry.

I've watched the film at least 4 times now.  I'm still trying to make sense of the 'period' and why I was so captivated by it.  It was quite a superficial time of course, though fictional characters such as Miranda Priestly would insist that fashion is a reality which makes the world go 'round - especially the world of consumerism, which feeds finance and big business.  Vreeland adored money and said she couldn't live without it.  She kept herself busy - in an interview she told Dick Cavett, 'I don't reinvent myself, I go on from project to project - I'm doing the same work all of the time.'  She also boasted she had worked 7 days a week for 30 years - and I do admire her for it.  I'm also impressed by her accomplishments and insights on culture.  Her work was her life - and it was a gala, a banquet, as Auntie Mame might say.  In fact, she was the original Auntie Mame in many respects.  She was also the original Miranda Priestly - the Devil Wears Prada - her favorite room designed by Billy Baldwin was affectionately called, 'My garden in hell'.

Diana Vreeland intended to remain young, and to die young - no matter what her age.  In some sense, she did so, I think.  Perhaps she never really grew up... she believed so strongly in pretend.

Haute couture or fashion always appears to be forever young and new, but in some sense, it is really a rearrangement of costly things people consider important to enhance themselves with, to make them beautiful or glamorous, desirable or envied - it is an ostentation, a masquerade.  It is a project that goes on from era to era - it is essentially the same work all of the time.  Much as Diana described herself.

Although, something Mrs. Vreeland said actually goes beyond fashion and 'beauty'; "Style is everything... style is a way of life.  Without it, you are nothing."

Diana Vreeland had that.  Sadly, it too is vanity... in the end, it too is nothing.

The Pope's Madonna: Salus Populi Romani

“We Romans” remember our Mother “Mary, Salus Populi Romani” - Pope Francis

I pray for Tim today, wishing you much love, and a happy birthday.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Fr. Peacemaker of Chicago.

Blessed are the peace makers.

Seriously.  Fr. Pfleger was highlighted on ABC News Sunday.
While Chicago is no stranger to violent crime, since the beginning of the year, crime citywide has gone down.
And one Chicago neighborhood seems to be escaping the bloodshed thanks to a determined priest.  
Rival gang members are battling on the court instead of on the streets -- with the prize not being a trophy, but lives saved.  
"Nobody wins in a shootout. We are trying to create an atmosphere that when something comes up and we to talk it out rather than shoot it out," Father Michael Pfleger said.
Pfleger started an ongoing weekly basketball league last fall in one of Chicago's most dangerous neighborhoods.  
As a result, violence is dramatically down in the community. 

Pfleger said among his players, there hasn't been a single shooting. He has received calls from four other gangs who want to become part of the tournament and encourage peace. - ABCNews

I'm impressed.  I even teared up.

Song for this post here.