Saturday, January 11, 2014

Who is the Pope talking about today?


"Smarmy" ones.
"We are anointed by the Spirit, and when a priest is far from Jesus Christ he can lose this unction. In his life, no: essentially he has it... but he loses it. And instead of being anointed he ends up being smarmy. And how damaging to the Church are smarmy priests! Those who put their strength in artificial things, in vanity, in an attitude... in a cutesy language... But how often do we hear it said with sorrow: ‘This is a butterfly-priest,’ because they are always vain... [This kind of priest] does not have a relationship with Jesus Christ! He has lost the unction: he is smarmy.”

Pope Francis continued: 

“We priests have so many limits. We are sinners, all. But if we go to Jesus Christ, if we seek the Lord in prayer – prayer of intercession, prayer of adoration – we are good priests, even though we are sinners. But if we are far from Jesus Christ, we necessarily compensate for this with other, worldly attitudes. And so [we see] all these figures... priest-wheeler dealers, priest-tycoons... But the priest who adores Jesus Christ, the priest who talks with Jesus Christ, the priest who seeks Jesus Christ and who is allowed to seek Jesus Christ: this is the centre of our life. If that is not there, we lose everything. And what will we give to the people?”

“Our relationship with Jesus Christ, a relationship of anointing for the people,” Pope Francis said, “grows in us priests” more and more each day: 

“But it is good to find priests who have given their lives as priests, truly, of whom the people say: “Yes, he’s difficult, he’s this or that... But he is a priest! And people know! On the other hand, when people see priest idolaters, so to speak, priests who instead of having Jesus have little idols... worshippers of the god Narcissus... When people see [priests like this] they say ‘poor guy!’ The relationship with Jesus Christ saves us from worldliness and idolatry that makes us smarmy, preserves us in the anointing [we have received]. And today, this is my hope for you who have been kind enough to come here to concelebrate with me: Even if you lose everything in life, don’t lose this relationship with Jesus Christ! This is your victory. Go forward with this!” - Chris Wells for Vatican Radio  Deacon Kandra posts Chris' video report here.
"Even if you lose everything in life, don’t lose this relationship with Jesus Christ! This is your victory." 

I love this Pope so much!

Photo: Dancing Priest:  Father Liam 'The Dancing Priest' Finnegan (1956-1996) was a priest who worked in an unknown parish somewhere in Ireland. He had an extreme addiction to dancing, and, despite doctor's warnings, danced at least twelve hours a day.  


Friday, January 10, 2014

Could I be in trouble with the Holy Office of Online Inquisitors because my blog's title is a sort of homage to the Beatles?

Or, Taylor Marshal discovers the Beatles...

The Sgt. Pepper Album was released in 1966 and probably from the first moment of release, critics began trying to figure out what it meant - from the iconography of the cover to WDTLRS - what do the lyrics really say.  (Maybe it would be easier if they had been in Latin?)

I'm being facetious of course, although I find it surprising that anyone is vetting Beatles covers so closely today - especially since Beatles fans and critics pretty much had it figured out way back when.  The fact that figures on the Sgt. Pepper cover have dark histories and some are even gay and others were into the occult and evil secularists, and, and, the cover has a creepy look too - how is this news?

The British rock scene was heavily into drugs and the occult - just like the United States rock scene.  Hippies!  Evil hippies were all doped up and into astrology and all sorts of transcendental meds!  I even dabbled in the occult - learned how to read Tarot cards, curiously searched into the bizarre, sick life of Aliester Crowley ... Until my conversion, which to some extent, came about under the influence of Jesus Christ Superstar and Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven'.  Giving up drugs culminated in an encounter with the Resurrected Christ - hours after attending a Transcendental Meditation seminar.

God definitely draws good out of evil.

I'm not trying to defend the Beatles - the group has thrived on such controversy - and frankly, few people care.  Pop culture at the time - just as it is today - was steeped in evil and licentiousness.  In fact, these days it has never before been more blatant.  Interestingly, way back when, it was the Stones who were the real bad boys of rock.  They were the ones who sang about the Devil.  Yet even someone as simple as good Catholic school girl Leslie Gore sang about drugs - "Sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows" - tell me she wasn't promoting acid and gay equality.  Well, maybe not - but see how I can make sunshine synonymous with orange sunshine acid, and lollipops with all sorts of blotter acid tabs and rainbows with all things gay?

That said - the one good point Dr. Marshall makes is that the banned Butcher cover for the Beatles Yesterday and Today album had something to do with abortion.  I noted the same thing in earlier posts on my blog.  Dr. Marshall suggested the Beatles were dressed in doctor's coats and the intent of the shoot was to promote abortion.  (Not doctors or lab coats - butcher coats.)  I never believed the cover was designed with that intention - I considered that it was more or less a bizarre protest against war.  Dr. Marshall noted that the debate over legalization of abortion was a major story at the time, and therefore the album cover may have been promoting abortion.

Clearly, a grizzly album cover such as the butcher cover would never be acceptable to a culture which had been traditionally opposed to abortion.  There is no way it would have been a positive image to promote abortion.  The fact that the Beatles were dressed as butchers suggests to me - if indeed the promotion of legalized abortion had been the intent - the butcher cover could only have been intended to show the horrors of so called 'back alley butchers' who performed botched abortions, killing both the infant and sometimes the mother.  If that was the case, the Beatles would have been promoting legalized abortion.  Something many naive and deluded young people favored.  Fact is, the butcher cover offended many at the time, and the album was recalled and papered over and reissued; subsequent releases had the new cover.

The world was deceived (as it is now) into believing abortion should be legal, safe and clinical.  If anything - the Beatles cover demonstrated there is little difference between legal abortion and illegal abortion - both dismember and kill.  Way back when I thought the fetus was just tissue - I also believed it was a woman's choice.  I have since changed.  Perhaps the Beatles have as well.  Perhaps not.

The mission of pop culture and fashion is to make evil palatable and attractive.  The Beatles songs were of the time - they defined the time, yet so well composed, they have become classic and can be interpreted in many ways.  Art is like that.  In the Middle Ages, Troubadours did the pretty much the same thing.  In Teresa of Avila's time, popular culture offered romantic novels and songs, which were likewise considered to be a corruption of morals.  Likewise in the mid-nineteenth century the music of Strauss was regarded as a threat to morality.

"Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof."

In our day there is concerted evil in pop culture, manufactured and marketed to effect change in politics, civil law, and morality.  Mass media is the portal.  Marketing and advertising, pop music, film, television, talk radio, books, magazines, blogs, web sites, Disney, American Idol, fashion, retail, Government ... it is pervasive and imminent, and we all partake in it at one time or another.
"Where does this poisonous harm fail to reach? And who fails to drink little or much from the golden chalice of the Babylonian woman of the Apocalypse? ...There is hardly anyone of high rank or low, saint or sinner, who does not drink of her wine, subjecting his heart somewhat. For as pointed out in Revelation 17:2-4, all the kings of the earth were inebriated with the wine of her prostitution. She reaches out to all states, even the supreme and illustrious state of the priesthood, by setting her abominable cup in the holy place, as Daniel asserts [Dn. 9:27], and she hardly leaves a strong man who has not drunk a small or large quantity of wine from her chalice..." - Ascent III, 22:4

Thursday, January 09, 2014


Judi Dench and the real Philomena

I'm told the film is anti Catholic.

A couple of friends stopped by during the holidays and raved about the film Philomena, condescendingly adding, "but you wouldn't like it."

"Why do you say that," I asked?

"Because it is anti Catholic."

I had already read reviews which claimed it was anti Catholic but asked the couple why they felt it was.  After explaining the plot in their own words I remarked I didn't think the film sounded anti Catholic at all.  In fact just that week I had watched a similar story on PBS - an episode of the Fr. Brown Mystery series about mean nuns who took babies away from unwed mothers.  They weren't interested in what I had to say however.

This past week I watched an interview Charlie Rose aired with the director of the film, Stephen Frears.  The story is taken from a well known investigative book by journalist Martin Sixsmith.  For my friends it appears the film may have been the first they heard of this particular story,  despite the fact most Catholic bloggers, as well as critics of Catholic teaching, know about the Magdalene Laundries, while taking into consideration the original story of Philomena was well known before the film.  

Though my friends weren't interested in my opinion, I still tried to explain to them that telling the truth about past problems in the Church is not necessarily anti Catholic.  From the trailers, interviews, and reviews I've seen on this film, I see nothing anti Catholic.  It strikes me as a beautiful story of a mother's search for her son.  Telling the truth is not anti Catholic.

Though the public protests aren't nearly as large as those against the 1994 film "Priest" from director Antonia Bird, the defensiveness on the part of Catholics always helps to promote such films.   Oddly enough, "Priest" turned out to be rather prophetic, considering the clergy scandals which have since been revealed.  I wonder if some of those decrying the film "Priest" and "Philomena" are the same ones casting suspicion on the orthodoxy of Pope Francis?

I'm not running out to the theater, I can wait to see Philomena when it is released on video.  Yesterday a copy was released on YouTube, but was taken down a few hours later.  I could have watched it online.  I'm content to wait.  BTW - I know the ending.

It is working and Catholic bloggers are helping.

The headlines that Pope Francis is a Marxist ... that he endorses Liberation Theology ...

It's a lie.  You are readily and easily deceived.

Catholic bloggers and the Catholic tabloid sites which buy into these stories and then repeat them on their sites foment doubt amongst the faithful.  You love conspiracy theories and buy into what media is feeding you.   You complain about secular media being anti-Catholic, and then suck up the stories of what the Pope supposedly said - which clearly counters Catholic teaching - and you aid in spreading confusion in the Church.

So many of people online will believe dubious mystics and self appointed priests and prophets and yet reject Papal Supremacy when it comes to Pope Francis.

What folly.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Did you know?

Our Lady of Fatima never requested that we should fast on bread and water on Wednesday and Fridays.

That particular request came from whoever is appearing at Medjugorje.

The old traditional fast days in honor of Our Lady were Wednesday and Saturday - it was a tradition attached to the Sabbatine Privlege.*  I believe Ember Day fasts encompassed Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  The Irish consider a fast on bread and water a black fast.  Matt Talbot used to fast like that.  It's a good fast.  Catherine Doherty fasted on bread and tea.  Medieval mystics fasted on bread and beer - my preference.  What?  Anyway, fasts are good.  Anyone can fast.  Anyone can request you to fast.  Fast whenever you like.  St. Margaret of Cortona fasted on Sundays and feast days - despite the objections of her spiritual director.  But I digress.

It's good to keep your apparition requests in order however.  Better yet, heed the approved ones first - but only after heeding the teaching and discipline of the Church: keep the commandments, then sell what you have, and so on.  Oh, and never put words in Our Lady's mouth.

*An indulgence attached to the Carmelite Scapular under these 3 conditions: 1) Chastity according to one's state of life; 2) wear the Scapular; 3) pray the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin or, if one could not read, fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Later, the rosary could be substituted for the Little Office.

Imagine this post is about you.

Remember Lot's wife.*

I don't know most of the people who read my blog.

I don't know most of the people who comment.

And they don't know me.

So yeah, imagine this post is about you now.

I think our imagination is the culprit which occasions much of the combative attitudes we engage in online.
"What the devil can't do himself he does by using other people.  He takes up his position on the tongues and in the hearts of his servants and before their mind's eye.  He makes them see what doesn't exist.  So they conceive within their hearts all sorts of evil thoughts and resentments regarding their neighbors - often regarding those they most love." - S. Catherine of Siena, Magnificat meditation for today.
St. Catherine at the beheading of Niccolo di Tuldo

Take warning from the example of Lot's wife who, because she was disturbed at the destruction of Sodom, turned back to look at it. God punished her for this, and she was 'turned into a pillar of salt' (Genesis 19.26). This teaches you that it is the will of God, even if you were living among devils, you should so live as not to turn back in thought to consider what they are doing, but forget them utterly. You are to keep your soul wholly to God, and not to suffer the thought of this or that to disturb you. - John of the Cross

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Testing ... posting ... posting ... posting.

Virgin of the Apocalypse - scan, detail
12" x 15" mixed media on paper
T. Nelson 2014

As it turns out, I can post images if I use Google Chrome.

I also discovered people have been trying to get a hold of me online.  The art blog is set up to notify me of comments, but neither blogs do that any longer.  It's frustrating to be on blogger lately - after all the updates - which leave me out in the cold.  If you need to contact me my email is tjdotnelsonathotmaildotcom.

I do not like to do posts without images - images compliment my writing and very often I use them to further my point, or in some cases they are the point of the post.  I don't always like trying to explain the images however.

I was reading Deacon's Bench and Deacon Kandra's comments on not permitting comments - in response to the NCR closing comments at their site.  Deacon was kind enough to rebuke me once urging me to repent from some criticisms made on the blog.  He also posted a very good examination of conscience for people online, that I found helpful.  He happens to be one of the very best clerics online, always polite, always uplifting, so I take what he says rather seriously.

I won't close comments here but I do edit and I've tried to keep them civil and not too crazy.  If I close comments I may as well just talk to myself - with no one to correct me.  I'm not sure why people get so angry and mean spirited in the com box.  I notice some bloggers post as negatively as the comments they receive, some do so in a sort of passive aggressive manner which sets the blog up to receive crazy comments.  I've been told I do that - it's not always deliberate mind you, and I try not to get people upset - well, not always.

There are crazy people online, no doubt about it.  I love crazy people.  This isn't a place for those folks with anger issues however.  They are like 'dry drunks' or 'dry gays' - "you can take the rum out of the fruit cake, but you've still got a fruit cake!"

In other words, get rid of the anger.

*What's dry drunk? "Dry Drunk" has been described as "A condition of returning to one's old alcoholic thinking and behavior without actually having taken a drink."  Those who quit drinking but are still angry about it, wind up living miserable lives and usually make everyone else around them miserable too.  I think the same can be said about some 'ex-gays' as well.

Unable to load photos...

Must be a sign to quit blogging.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Monsignor Pope has a blog post on what the Pope said about Monsignors ...

I think his website must have crashed, because I keep getting: The page cannot be displayed.

I wonder if his site has crashed due to all the traffic from priests and seminarians?

Or maybe it's just the cold weather?

The title of monsignor is simply honorary, isn't it?  Perhaps it really is more fitting for a priest 65 and older?

Locally, we do not have many monsignors, evidently the title is more widely used on the East Coast and elsewhere.

Although, while searching online, I came across an Old Catholic site and it appears most of their local priests have the title of monsignor - not that it means anything.

I know two of the Old Catholic monsignors.  One was a permanent deacon in the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minnesota.  I've known him since childhood.  His 'rectory' and 'church' is an apartment in Downtown St. Paul.  The sad thing about these monsignors is that Roman Catholics think there is no difference between these guys and validly/licitly ordained Roman Catholic priests.  My Italian in-laws hire the Old Catholic monsignor to say Mass and lead Italian style processions at their annual festival.  They don't know the difference.  But I digress.

Clearly, the title of monsignor is very often seen as a reward for service.  It's an honorary title.  Sort of like a cappa magna - which is always removed before Mass begins.  Traditions with a small 't'.

 Editor's note:  I finally got through to Monsignor's post - it is well worth the read.  Go here.

Happy Christmas!

Russian Christmas Eve.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Twelth Night

My end of Christmas festivities.

It is Twelfth Night and all is quiet - the lights in the windows were removed already and it's too cold to set off fireworks and light torches in the yard.

I like the idea of it however.

One ought to have some fun tonight. 

Carnival season also begins - maybe the Holy Father will oblige his critics and don a papal mozzetta for the season?

Probably not.

If your Christmas wasn't what you wanted, you can try again and celebrate Russian Christmas.  (Tomorrow is Christmas Eve.)  You don't have to convert to Orthodoxy however.


Mass chat: The Magi were migrants?


That's what I heard.  Today marks the beginning of National Migration Week.

Pope Francis asks for 'a rethink' in how the Church responds to children of gay parents.

I couldn't agree more.

Praise God - apparently the Holy Father doesn't believe in punishing the children for the sins of their parents.
Rome (AFP) - Pope Francis has called for a rethink in the way the Catholic Church deals with the children of gay couples and divorced parents, warning against "administering a vaccine against faith".
"On an educational level, gay unions raise challenges for us today which for us are sometimes difficult to understand," Francis said in a speech to the Catholic Union of Superiors General in November, extracts of which were published on Italian media websites on Saturday.
"The number of children in schools whose parents have separated is very high," he said, adding that family make-ups were also changing.
"I remember a case in which a sad little girl confessed to her teacher: 'my mother's girlfriend (fidanzata) doesn't love me'," he was quoted as saying.
The pontiff said educational leaders should ask themselves "how can we proclaim Christ to a generation that is changing?"
"We must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them," the 77-year-old added. - Source 
As a child of a divorced and remarried Catholic mother, I was able to attend Catholic school.  If that had not been possible I doubt I would be Catholic today.  I wasn't treated the best, but I was taught the faith and received the sacraments.

If the Holy Father gets his way, perhaps now children of gay parents will not be kicked out of Catholic school.

I often think of Bl. Laura Vicuna when I remember little children of irregular marriages or relationships.  Her mother had been the mistress of an abusive man, who beat the little girl so badly once when she was ill,  she died.  She was educated by Salesian nuns.  Perhaps the Argentine mentality understands the importance of the education of children better than Catholics in the United States.