Saturday, November 23, 2013

I'm not excusing myself ... but ...


On the sacrifice of being displeasing to oneself and even to others.

"In the course of her religious life she often had to suffer from people's dislike of her, or from clashes of temperament or of mood, and indeed, from jealousy and spiteful behaviour on the part of other nuns.  Not only did she bear all of this with patient equanimity, but she always tried to excuse their behaviour.  She also sought the company of such nuns in preference to that of others, and showed them the greatest kindness.  I considered the conduct of one of these to be particularly reprehensible, but Sister Therese insisted: 'I assure you that I have the greatest compassion for Sister X.  If you knew her as well as I do, you would see that she is not responsible for all of the things that seem so awful to us.  I remind myself that if I had an infirmity such as hers, and so defective a spirit, I would not do any better than she does, and then I would despair; she suffers terribly from her own shortcomings.'" - Therese By Those Who Knew Her, testimony of Mother Agnes of Jesus.
"Therese believed that God frequently allows us to experience in ourselves the same weaknesses which we deplore in others,,,  [Thus] when we see ourselves fallen into those faults we are then more prompt to excuse them in others." - My Sister St. Therese, Sister Genevieve of the Holy Face
"'Sometimes it happens,' she went on, 'that despite their best efforts, some souls remain imperfect because it would be to their spiritual detriment to believe they are virtuous or to have others agree that they are.'" - Ibid 

Art: Clive Hicks-Jenkins 

I hate this ...

Some boys were actually raped.

I read Mudblood's post about his experience.  I responded thusly...

This is very difficult for me to read - I immediately want to freeze up and say 'man up' - not to you, but to myself.  I suppose it's 'defensive detachment' at work. 
Amazingly, my experience is similar to yours - it didn't take place at a church camp however.  It involved a neighbor just a bit older than your predator - it happened repeatedly.  I hate thinking of it.  I had a crazy family as well - very abusive.  It made me an easy target for a predator.  I pretended it was an 'affair' - like in the movies.  I pretended I was sophisticated and adult.  I hated doing it.  For years I blamed myself - completely - not believing that I was really only a child. 
It was a long time ago... but it never goes away completely.  The wounds reopen from time to time - but they no longer become infected - to a deadly degree, that is.  At least I hope not.  It's like the wound in St. Rita's forehead - it can become foul and festering, repellent to others, but it closes sometimes, and you almost don't notice it.
God bless you for being so honest.
Just like Brideshead Revisited - only poorer and creepier.

It's difficult for me because for most of my life I pretended it didn't really happen, and I kept it secret - because I was embarrassed and ashamed.  Keeping secrets became a habit and so everything about me got to be 'protected' information.  I censored myself.  I also claimed responsibility for everything that happened to me - I would admit that "I did it".  Even though my closest friends in high school knew about some of what "I did", the stuff I permitted them to know about, I pretended I had been in control - but I wasn't.  I pretended to be a 'man of the world' due to the experience - but I wasn't.  Then, as any fugitive, I more or less exiled myself as soon as I could, and moved away ...

Oddly enough, while I was sick recently, I thought very much about that period in my life, the neighborhood, the circumstances at home - it all seems so insane in retrospect.  The sense of shame is so overwhelming - I cannot even write about it.  So I won't.  Maybe I'll rewrite a kid's book I did years ago... about the little kid whose bear was given away by his wicked step-mother ...
Once upon a time there was a little kid who had a little bear.  They lived in a little house on a little street named Petit, in a little portion of an Italian neighborhood in St. Paul.
508 Petit St.

Which reminds me - I Googled the old neighborhood and all the houses were torn down - and nothing lives on the land today.  I wonder if it was salted?

Read Gabriel Blanchard's post on his experience here

It helps - so much - to understand things.  Yep - then move on.  (Only to return - from time to time.)

St. Rita
I refer to abuse wounds as a sort of stigmata.
St. Rita's wounds work for me as an analogy 
because her wound was at times repellent
to those with whom she lived.
Similarly, as a result of my wound, 
I sometimes say and do
inappropriate things
which others find

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Day They Killed JFK

Every thing stopped.  The announcement came over the intercom right after lunch, we were immediately sent home from school - we left class, went to our lockers, and walked home in what I recall as nearly complete silence.  Television and radio programming concentrated entirely on every aspect, every detail of the tragedy and subsequent events.  The most comparable experience I can think of would be the 9/11 attack in NYC.  Every thing stopped.

The assassination changed every one who experienced it.  It is often referred to as a loss of innocence, although I'd call it a loss of naivete.  No matter what we have learned since, especially about the private lives of the Kennedys, what turned out to be a series of assassinations (JFK, RFK, MLK) completely disrupted and coarsened the culture.

We cannot forget because we suffered its trauma.

It is good to remember the dead.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's good to know men are still talking about it...

I've been silenced, but other men will keep coming forward to tell the truth about homosexuality.

How have I been silenced, you ask?  It's self imposed - more or less.  I have homosexual friends who have objected, oftentimes vigorously, sometimes with great hostility, other times sorrowfully, that I cease and desist writing about the evils of homosexuality.  I've been blogging for so long that I have developed a 'better' understanding of the complexities of gay life, and a much more compassionate regard.  I've learned that gay people think of themselves as a species unto themselves, and within that category, each person can be a special species, with peculiarities all his own.  I'm not even being facetious when I say that. 

However, it explains why I tend to reject the theory that gay culture is something monolithic, or that it is an organized movement similar to a political machine.  Gay lobby?  More like gay lobbies.  I may be naïve in that regard, but in my experience it seem closer to the truth to describe it as a social 'milieu' more or less comprised of disparate cliques and factions if you will.  As one might expect, there is a sense of unity as regards certain issues, such as ENDA, but not even same sex marriage succeeds in achieving consensus.  Nevertheless, one must admit there is a homosexual movement.  If we can say there is a feminist movement, a women's movement, certainly it is reasonable to identify a 'homosexualist' movement.

But you don't want 'me' to say anything.

Recently two friends were married.  I've known the men for several years.  As gay marriage loomed on the horizon for Minnesota, I asked them if they intended to marry.  Their first reply was no.  As the issue advanced in the polls, they then said they would consider it, if it was financially beneficial to them.  In the end they decided to 'tie the knot'.  One of the men is retired and the other continues to work, in fact, he provided same-sex benefits from his employer - which included health insurance.  When gay marriage was legalized in Minnesota, the company decided to rescind same sex benefits and required couples to get married in order to retain that benefit.  (I think I got that right.)  Anyway, my friends decided to get married - it was their choice.

I would have said they 'had to get married' just as a joke of course, but they suddenly took it all very seriously - even solemnly.  I was invited, but I didn't attend.  I rarely go to weddings anyway, so it wasn't an issue - in my mind.  I respected their sentiment, though I am against same sex marriage.  I know they know exactly what I believe, and after nearly a month, nothing has been said.  I would never mock these men, nor do I need to 'preach' to them.  They have been upset with my beliefs and things I've said about the 'gay lifestyle' so many times in the past, I have no interest in reenacting that drama again.  They know, I know that they know; I know they know.

So there.  Self imposed silence - kind of.

That said, I began this post to bring to your attention a guy who has written extensively on The Truth About the Homosexual Rights Movement.  His name is Ronald G. Lee.  He has written a very long essay - perhaps summing up a lot of what I've blogged about for the past seven years.  My writing is often flippant - Mr. Lee's is rather more intelligent.  His  'witness' is very good because it is based upon experience, extending back in time a couple of decades.  That is important, because many people have been educated to accept a sort of domestic homosexual lifestyle - an Ozzie and Harry style of gay family bliss.  I'm also happy Lee speaks about ex-Father John McNeill's 1976 "classic" The Church and the Homosexual - it influenced a great many, leading many more astray.  I'll post a couple of excerpts from the essay here:
Several years ago, McNeill published an autobiography. In it, he makes no bones about his experiences as a sexually active Catholic priest -- a promiscuous, sexually active, homosexual Catholic priest. He writes in an almost nostalgic fashion about his time spent hunting for sex in bars. Although he eventually did find a stable partner (while he was still a priest), he never apologizes for his years of promiscuity, or even so much as alludes to the disparity between his own life and the passage in The Church and the Homosexual that meant so much to me. It is possible that he doesn't even remember suggesting that homosexuals were supposed to remain celibate until finding monogamous relationships. It is obvious that he never meant that passage to be taken seriously, except by those who would never do more than look in the window -- in others words, gullible, well-meaning, non-homosexual Catholics, preferably those in positions of authority. Or, equally naïve and gullible young men such as me who were looking for a reason to act on their sexual desires, preferably one that did not do too much violence to their consciences, at least not at first. The latter, the writer presumed, would eventually find their way back to the porn section, where their complicity in the scam would render them indistinguishable from the rest of the regular customers. Clearly, there was a reason that in the earlier book he wrote so little about the real lives of real homosexuals, such as himself.

I don't see how the contradiction between The Church and the Homosexual and the autobiography could be accidental. Why would McNeill pretend to believe that homosexuals should restrict themselves to sex within the context of monogamous relationships when his life demonstrates that he did not? I can think of only one reason. Because he knew that if he told the truth, his cause would be dead in the water. Although to this day McNeill, like all gay Christian propagandists, avoids the subject of sexual ethics as if it were some sort of plague, his life makes his real beliefs clear. He believes in unrestricted sexual freedom. He believes that men and women should have the right to couple, with whomever they want, whenever they want, however they want, and as often as they want. He would probably add some sort of meaningless bromide about no one getting hurt and both parties being treated with respect, but anyone familiar with the snake pit of modern sexual culture (both heterosexual and homosexual) will know how seriously to take that. And he knew perfectly well that if he were honest about his real aims, there would be no Dignity, there would be no gay Christian movement, at least not one with a snowball's chance in Hell of succeeding. That would be like getting rid of the books and letting the casual window-shoppers see the porn. And we can't have that now, can we? In other words, the ex-Fr. McNeill is a bad priest and a con man. And given the often lethal consequences of engaging in homosexual sex, a con man with blood on his hands.

Let me be clear. I believe that McNeill's real beliefs, as deduced from his actual behavior, and distinguished from the arguments he puts forward for the benefit of the naïve and gullible, represent the real aims and objectives of the homosexual rights movement. They are the porn that the books are meant to conceal. In other words, if you support what is now described in euphemistic terms as "the blessing of same-sex unions," in practice you are supporting the abolition of the entire Christian sexual ethic, and its substitution with an unrestricted, laissez faire, free sexual market. - Truth About Homosexual Rights Movement

One more thing, as I said the other day, I regard same sex marriage as an act of apostasy.

Art: Range of Motion, 1990, oil and gold leaf on canvas.  Attila Richard Lukacs

Little by little...

So you won't notice.

As it was in the days of Noah - people married and were given in marriage, they bought and sold - their lives went on as normal.  As things changed, they didn't notice.  This changed, that changed, but life went on.  Life was good and the future could only be better.  They didn't need to worry about religious rules and regulations - they could be discarded little by little without any negative consequences.  You can keep your current religious plan.  Embrace the form of religion while repudiating its power...  You can be your own God.

Perhaps unrelated, but I read a former priest's blog from time to time.  He loves sex with men.  It is his greatest joy.  He has gone so far as to say that at times it is like a mystical experience for him: it can be - for him - the highest form of ecstasy - like a bit of heaven.  He once said the Church rejected him, had no room for him - but I see it the other way around.

little by little
though we are making great strides
toward it.

you are told
you are mistaken, deluded
so you won't notice.

How deep will that darkness be.

The appetites, our inordinate desires blind and darken the soul. Otherwise, how could a spiritual man fall into such depravity? 
Wherein is shown how the desires darken and blind the soul. 
THE third evil that the desires cause in the soul is that they blind and darken it. Even as vapours darken the air and allow not the bright sun to shine; or as a mirror that is clouded over cannot receive within itself a clear image; or as water defiled by mud reflects not the visage of one that looks therein; even so the soul that is clouded by the desires is darkened in the understanding and allows neither[140] the sun of natural reason nor that of the supernatural Wisdom of God to shine upon it and illumine it clearly. And thus David, speaking to this purpose, says: Comprehenderunt me iniquitates meoe, et non potui, ut viderem.[141] Which signifies: Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, and I could have no power to see.

2. And, at this same time, when the soul is darkened in the understanding, it is benumbed also in the will, and the memory becomes dull and disordered in its due operation. For, as these faculties in their operations depend upon the understanding, it is clear that, when the understanding is impeded, they will become disordered and troubled. And thus David says: Anima mea turbata est valde.[142] That is: My soul is sorely troubled. Which is as much as to say, 'disordered in its faculties.'
Even an old man can fall away.
6. Oh, if men but knew how great is the blessing of Divine light whereof they are deprived by this blindness which proceeds from their affections and desires, and into what great hurts and evils these make them to fall day after day, for so long as they mortify them not! For a man must not rely upon a clear understanding, or upon gifts that he has received from God, and think that he may indulge his affection or desire, and will not be blinded and darkened, and fall gradually into a worse estate. For who would have said that a man so perfect in wisdom and the gifts of God as was Solomon would have been reduced to such blindness and torpor of the will as to make altars to so many idols and to worship them himself, when he was old?[149] Yet no more was needed to bring him to this than the affection which he had for women and his neglect to deny the desires and delights of his heart. For he himself says concerning himself, in Ecclesiastes, that he denied not his heart that which it demanded of him.[150] And this man was capable of being so completely led away by his desires that, although it is true that at the beginning he was cautious, nevertheless, because he denied them not, they gradually blinded and darkened his understanding, so that in the end they succeeded in quenching that great light of wisdom which God had given him, and therefore in his old age he foresook God.

7. And if unmortified desires could do so much in this man who knew so well the distance that lies between good and evil, what will they not be capable of accomplishing by working upon our ignorance? For we, as God said to the prophet Jonas concerning the Ninivites, cannot discern between[151] our right hand and our left.[152] At every step we hold evil to be good, and good, evil, and this arises from our own nature. What, then, will come to pass if to our natural darkness is added the hindrance of desire?[153] Naught but that which Isaias describes thus: Palpavimus, sicut coeci parietem, et quasi absque oculis attreetavimus: impegimus meridie, quasi in tenebris.[154] The prophet is speaking with those who love to follow these their desires. It is as if he had said: We have groped for the wall as though we were blind, and we have been groping as though we had no eyes, and our blindness has attained to such a point that we have stumbled at midday as though it were in the darkness. For he that is blinded by desire has this property, that, when he is set in the midst of truth and of that which is good for him, he can no more see them than if he were in darkness.  - John of the Cross

Ed. note: Since it is the end of the liturgical year, it seems appropriate to think 'apocalyptically' - since all the readings for Mass lead that way.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Danish Royal Family in Art

Many people seem not to like the new portrait.

They think it's creepy.  Art is too subjective - every one is an expert.  (Hi!)

I like it.  Very surreal and yet ... very real - in a 'Lord of the World' sort of way...

Seriously, the post-post-modern composition is wonderfully theatrical - it reminds me of an ad for a play or a film, posed on set with the entire cast.  How appropriate for monarchy without power.  Which is why I like it - it's honest and real.

Lord of the World

I want to get this book.


"Briefly," he said, "there are three forces--Catholicism,
Humanitarianism, and the Eastern religions. About the third I cannot
prophesy, though I think the Sufis will be victorious. Anything may
happen; Esotericism is making enormous strides--and that means
Pantheism; and the blending of the Chinese and Japanese dynasties throws
out all our calculations. But in Europe and America, there is no doubt
that the struggle lies between the other two. We can neglect everything
else. And, I think, if you wish me to say what I think, that, humanly
speaking, Catholicism will decrease rapidly now. It is perfectly true
that Protestantism is dead. Men do recognise at last that a supernatural
Religion involves an absolute authority, and that Private Judgment in
matters of faith is nothing else than the beginning of disintegration.
And it is also true that since the Catholic Church is the only
institution that even claims supernatural authority, with all its
merciless logic, she has again the allegiance of practically all
Christians who have any supernatural belief left. There are a few
faddists left, especially in America and here; but they are negligible.
That is all very well; but, on the other hand, you must remember that
Humanitarianism, contrary to all persons' expectations, is becoming an
actual religion itself, though anti-supernatural. It is Pantheism; it is
developing a ritual under Freemasonry; it has a creed, 'God is Man,' and
the rest. It has therefore a real food of a sort to offer to religious
cravings; it idealises, and yet it makes no demand upon the spiritual
faculties. Then, they have the use of all the churches except ours, and
all the Cathedrals; and they are beginning at last to encourage
sentiment. Then, they may display their symbols and we may not: I think
that they will be established legally in another ten years at the

"Now, we Catholics, remember, are losing; we have lost steadily for more
than fifty years. I suppose that we have, nominally, about one-fortieth
of America now--and that is the result of the Catholic movement of the
early twenties. In France and Spain we are nowhere; in Germany we are
less. We hold our position in the East, certainly; but even there we
have not more than one in two hundred--so the statistics say--and we are
scattered. In Italy? Well, we have Rome again to ourselves, but nothing
else; here, we have Ireland altogether and perhaps one in sixty of
England, Wales and Scotland; but we had one in forty seventy years ago.
Then there is the enormous progress of psychology--all clean against us
for at least a century. First, you see, there was Materialism, pure and
simple that failed more or less--it was too crude--until psychology came
to the rescue. Now psychology claims all the rest of the ground; and the
supernatural sense seems accounted for. That's the claim. No, father, we
are losing; and we shall go on losing, and I think we must even be ready
for a catastrophe at any moment." - Robert Hugh Benson


Some of my friends online tell me that all of the time:  "Catholics are losing."  Catholic teaching is not compatible with ________ - fill in the blank.

From the moment of my conversion there were things I understood, things that are happening now.  How much I regret, repent, my wavering and doubt, my infidelities and compromises since then. 
"I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of His merciful love."

I missed Tuesday...

OMIGOSH!  I was off line for 24 hours.


Some people just post stuff because they have to keep stats up - hits and ads - that was a song from  Chorus Line, right?  Which explains why they just link to other posts or post banal messages ... thank you for responding to my Donate button.

So anyway.

I was coughing so hard at one point, I passed out - I fell back on my bed, so I did not get hurt, but I saw a white light and heard things.  Then when I came to, I wasn't sure where I was or what day it was.  This is a very bad flu.

I wasn't able to post.  Then I had to clean and do laundry. 

Oh.  Then I had to get my painting area all neaterized so I can start painting again, now that the house is clean and the yard work is just about finished.

I kept working however - pretending I was in a concentration camp - because those people did not have the luxury of calling in sick.

I want to make reparation for all my sins.  Like calling in sick.

I don't think I can however.

St Therese said "I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of His merciful love."

I'm going to keep doing that.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Attention 'Preppers' ...

After the typhoon in the Philippines, entire cities are gone.

After the tornadoes in the Midwest yesterday, entire neighborhoods are gone.

After Fulishima, not only entire neighborhoods and cities are gone, the region is uninhabitable.

Stockpiling didn't do these folks much good.

Just saying.

Don't shoot me.

Pope Francis speaks about apostasy.

The reading from Maccabees.

My thoughts this morning anticipated the first reading for Mass.  I have been thinking of a priest who intends to retire to a hermitage to devote the rest of his life to prayer - I forgot exactly how he said it, but he explained that he was moved to do this in response to 'the apostasy' in our times.  Not too many weeks ago, Cardinal Robert Sarah warned of a "creeping apostasy" in progress - "even among the baptized and the disciples of Christ."

The reading from Maccabees poses many similarities to the conditions of our times.  Rather than share my personal meditation, I'll share what the Holy Father had to say on the subject.
Lord, the Pope prayed, give me the discernment to recognize the subtle conspiracies of worldliness that lead us to negotiate our values and our faith.

During his homily, Pope Francis warned the faithful against what he described as a “globalized uniformity” which is the result of secular worldliness.

Often he said, the people of God prefer to distance themselves from the Lord in favour of worldly proposals. He said worldliness is the root of evil and it can lead us to abandon our traditions and negotiate our loyalty to God who is always faithful. This – the Pope admonished – is called apostasy, which he said is a form of “adultery” which takes place when we negotiate the essence of our being: loyalty to the Lord.

And he spoke of the contradiction that is inherent in the fact that we are not ready to negotiate values, but we negotiate loyalty. This attitude – he said – “is a fruit of the devil who makes his way forward with the spirit of secular worldliness”.

And referring again to the passage in the Book of Maccabees, in which all nations conformed to the king’s decree and adopted customs foreign to their culture, the Pope pointed out that this “is not the beautiful globalization, unity of all nations, each with their own customs but united, but the uniformity of hegemonic globalization, it is – he said - the single thought: the result of secular worldliness”
"With a reference to the 20th century novel “Lord of the World” that focuses on the spirit of worldliness that leads to apostasy, Pope Francis warned against the desire to “be like everyone else” and what he called an “adolescent progressivism”. “What do you think?” – he said bitterly – “that today human sacrifices are not made? Many, many people make human sacrifices and there are laws that protect them”. - Source
Conduct of the soul in the dark night of the apostasy.
Acts of the apostasy can be recognized by the degree of opposition to Catholic teaching proposed, which can lead us to "to abandon our traditions" - especially as regards faith and morals.  The most obvious in our culture is the acceptance of homosexual behavior, same sex marriage, abortion, arguments against natural law, and so on.  Same sex marriage is an act of apostasy.  Legalized abortion is an act of apostasy.  We should know that however.  What we don't know is how do we conduct ourselves in this 'night'? 
First, I want to reinterpret something from Elizabeth Lesuer.
Banish everything that is not love...
Not to accept everything,
but try to understand everything;
not to approve of everything,
but try to forgive everything;
not to adopt everything,
but try to search for the grain of truth that is contained in everything.
Reject every temptation to accept, approve, or to adopt what is contrary to Catholic teaching and from "the spirit of secular worldliness”. 
To love others as Jesus Christ loved them, including persecution, suffering and death. 

Nothing to be afraid of.

Now I would like to share a few considerations  "On the Conduct of the Soul" in the dark night.  Perhaps it will make sense.
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
I may be wrong of course.  So pay no attention to this if what is said here doesn't work for you. 

"I want to see" as the blind man in today's gospel told Christ.  But remember, a blind man cannot lead a blind man because both will fall into a pit.  So it is better if you do not place much stock in what I post.

The Pope concluded his homily:
What consoles us – he concluded – is that the Lord never denies himself to the faithful. “He waits for us, He loves us, He forgives us. Let us pray that His faithfulness may save us from the worldly spirit that negotiates all. Let us pray that he may protect us and allow us to go forward, leading us by the hand, just like a father with his child. Holding the Lord’s hand we will be safe”.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Reflections on the conversion and penitence of St. Margaret of Cortona.

Returning to a most lawful position in relation to your fellow-creatures.

I had a book on the life and revelations of St. Margaret - but I gave it away.  There is one chapter online, which I've been thinking about a lot. 

Our Lord told the Saint about his presence during her sinful life.  She was never out of his sight, as it were.  I find that consoling, because no matter how far we fall - he is there already.  That is how I understand the falls on his way of the cross ... he fell to the level of our gravest fall from grace - to meet us there.

What I liked in reading what he revealed to St. Margaret is how he described her lover.  He called him 'the enemy of your salvation'.  He called her beloved that!  Margaret loved him and was distressed upon discovering her lover had been murdered.  How different our ideas of love than those of God, huh?
"My child," He said to her, "think on the manifold graces and lights with which I have endowed thy soul, in order to turn thee to Me. Think of how, on the death of the enemy of your salvation, overcome with sorrow, with downcast looks, bathed in tears, and clothed in black, you came in confusion to Laviano, to your father's house. Think of how, at the instigation of your stepmother, he altogether forgot fatherly compassion, and drove you from the house.

Deprived of human advice and aid you knew not what to do; you withdrew into the garden, and sat beneath a fig-tree, and wept. You turned towards Me, beseeching Me to be your master, your father, your spouse, your Lord; and you humbly deplored your spiritual and corporal misery.
These misfortunes were the cause of her conversion.  She understood she had been deluded, placing her hope in the approval of her lover, the status he afforded her.  Yet these things failed her upon his death.  She was lone, unmarried, with a child - even her father turned her away.  The temptation to depend upon her own wits, to return to her old life became overwhelming.  Our misfortunes are not immediately recognized for what they are - a call from God.  Subsequently, I think our fears can compromise our choices, base instinct our survival skills, while disordered self-love is easily seduced by concupiscence.
But at the same time, the old serpent, seeing you driven forth by your father, to his shame and for your destruction, seized this opportunity to make you vain of your beauty and your youth. He suggested to you that, abandoned by fortune, you had every excuse for giving yourself up to sin: that, wherever you chose to go and live, you would find rich and voluptuous masters to love you for the sake of your exterior loveliness.

But I, the Maker of your inward beauty, which you had deformed and which I wished to renew, I bore Myself towards you with a true love. By My inspirations and My light I touched your conscience. I urged you to set out immediately for Cortona, and there to submit to the obedience of My Friars-Minors.

You were filled with strength, and you set out on your journey. In obedience to My commands, you presented and offered yourself to My Friars; and with great zeal and courage you brought your soul under subjection to their rules and instructions.

Think of how, at the very outset of this career of salvation, you found balm for your heart, in the respectful, filial fear with which I filled your soul towards the religious to whose care I confided you.

This fear vanquished the invisible enemy, who had the hardihood to present himself to you in the hour of your affliction. Did you not tremble from head to foot, were not your cheeks suffused with blushes, when a friar of the Order of our ever-blessed Father appeared in the Church, in the house, or in the street? You dared not sit down or speak in their presence.

Think of how I molded your soul; how, from that moment, I inspired you with a supreme contempt of worldly ornament, and drew you, little by little, for My love's sake, to a most lawful position in relation to your fellow-creatures. - Source

"You dared not sit down or speak in their presence."

I believe my sins are so much worse that those of St. Margaret.  So how do I dare speak of the evils of others? 

The Lord drew the Saint - 'little by little' to a most 'lawful position in relation to your fellow creatures.'  See, that is what happens after a good confession - otherwise, living in sin is all disorder, placing us in an unlawful position in relation to our fellow creatures.  Think about that.  Deeply.  Think about that deeply.

It's good to be always repenting.

St.s Margaret and Angelo of Foligno sometimes performed public penance, and they sometimes wanted to do some very dramatic things to illustrate the crimes for which they did penance.  Their confessors discouraged them from such excesses, but their desires seem to illustrate what I mean by Christ meeting us where we are.  Of course his mercy is moved by our repentance, yet somehow it is his grace which initiates that movement, that desire of repentance within our souls.  His love is moved by our misery - that is what mercy means - repentance is our response to that.  Which comes first?  Mercy does - always.  That is why I like the example of Margaret's conversion and penitence so much.  He was present to her in her sin and repentance.  He went before her in her penitence.

Once St. Margaret actually walked the streets in rags, disheveled, her face marred by soot and scratches, her body wasted from fasting and vigils, with a rope about her neck, upon which were layered signs of her sins, dead fish and so on... we laugh at such displays now, as surely as the towns folk would have laughed then.  Yet Christ went before her - he goes before us - in penitence.  He walked and stumbled through the streets in bloodied clothes, a rope about his neck, carrying his cross.  See the connection? 

It's good to do penance.

What does that mean?
"Many persons, feeling that the word penance implies great austerities, and not feeling that they have the strength for great sacrifices, become discouraged and continue a life of lukewarmness and sin." Then she said Our Lord explained to her: "The sacrifice required of every person is the fulfillment of his duties in life and the observance of My law. This is the penance that I now seek and require." - Sr. Lucia of Fatima

This is lovely...

"The Lord is weak only in this one sense: He is weak before the prayers of His people." - Pope Francis

For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. - Ps. 103

Art:  Margaret of Cortona in Ecstasy.  Her son really had to be screwed up, don't you think?