Saturday, February 22, 2014

Gay people can be so bitchy.

Beware final impenitence.

I'm not sure they are possessed though.

You heard the story about the guy in Washington who cursed the hospital chaplain out of the room?  Most Catholic bloggers heard about it by now.  There may have been some misunderstanding, I'm sure, but some are calling it a gay ambush.  I don't think so.  I'm not sure what happened but it sounds to me as if a gay man, who asked for the sacraments, didn't think homosex is a sin, and a sincere priest felt he couldn't administer the sacraments if he wasn't in the state of grace.  The patient, evidently not willing to be reconciled - the priest, in his charity, offered to pray with him instead.  Something like that, I guess.

Then the guy goes all Walt Kowalski (Gran Torino) on the poor priest, and the priest - respectful of 'patients rights' quietly excuses himself when told to 'get the f--- outta the room' by the patient.  There is a media-skewed version of that story here.

Anger and resentment sets in and eats away...

Fr. Z has another story of ungodly gay rage at a priest from a transsexual would-be parishioner.  The transsexual contacted a priest to ask about coming to church - priest told the person fine but some parishioners might be uncomfortable.  Priest doesn't see any transsexual at Mass, emails the person back, wondering if the person was still interested.  Long story short, the transsexual went crazy in a reply email using the F-word worse than Kat and Digit ever would, thus freaked the priest out, which moved him to write to Fr. Z wondering if the devil made the transsexual respond like that, or what?  Story here.

Not always the devil.

People have their own disorders which can be exacerbated by all sorts of issues, from mild depression to raving drunkenness.  If they are deeply wounded and worse - trapped in a sinful life - a slave to sin, as the Gospel says - they kind of have one foot in hell already.  If we live in a state of mortal sin - we can be worse than the devil - we lack charity.  If we drink and get drunk we can be a bit out of our senses, judgement impaired and out of control.  If and when we get a nice email from someone we think is holier than thou and hates us or our sexual inclination, we can go nuts and be as vile - or worse than the worst demon.

Mortal sin separates us from God.  If we die in mortal sin we are damned.  Just as a holy contemplative like Elizabeth of the Trinity could say she lived in heaven on earth by faith, an anticipation in loving, interior recollection*, the opposite may be true as well.  So maybe, just maybe, one can conjecture that a soul in mortal sin, obstinate in mortal sin, can be living a sort of anticipated hell on earth.  Certainly rage and hate spring from a place of pain and suffering and blind rejection.

The devil does his thing, and he is the author of these things, the father of lies - but we always have free will.  Gay pride can keep a soul from being reconciled with the Church, the Body of Christ - God.


In fairness to the priest who wrote to Fr. Z - I'm convinced - through experience - that there is indeed a diabolical element to the sexual-gender-revolution, as the priest suggested in his email to Father:
I have to admit that this left me deeply disturbed. I’m beginning to seriously wonder if there might be a demonic element [YES] to segments of the sexual liberation movement, and now I think I have a glimpse of what people might be thinking when I get hostile looks while wearing my Roman collar in public.
Ask your readers to pray for us. Ugly persecution is coming. - Fr. Z 

I agree.  I will be praying for Fr. Z and priests even more.  As well as the conversion of sinners.

Now I need to go to confession.

Scene from Gran Torino

*BTW - This is why the penitent sinner must strive to practice prayer.  The prayer of recollection keeps the soul fortified within the interior castle of grace - the soul in the state of grace - the presence of God, safe and secure from the onslaught of hell.

Roads are still treacherous in Minneapolis ... drive carefully.

Liquor store shelves are running on empty.

Did I ever tell you about the time my dad hi-jacked a liquor truck?  My mom got so mad.

Pictures at a Consistory.

Cardinal Bertone with Emeritus Pope Benedict.

Two Popes.

Fr. Z has photos from the consistory today, the feast of the Chair of Peter.  Pope Benedict was invited and participated.  It is an excellent symbol of continuity of the papacy, and in itself it is no small consolation and assurance that the Holy Spirit is guiding the Church.  Fr. Z has more photos here.

It warms my heart to see Pope Benedict.  I also love Pope Francis, but I'm tired of reading what others write about what he says, as well as reading stories based upon incomplete soundbites intended to suggest he changed Catholic teaching.

Pray for us who have recourse to thee.

O Maria Santissima Dei Miracoli, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, pray for us that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Every person has a fundamental Identity ...

Many Catholics do not believe what the Church teaches.  There lies much of the problem.  If they did believe what the Church teaches, they wouldn't be "making distinctions among themselves" - "showing partiality" as the Letter of St. James says.  Nor would Catholic queer theorists be busy re-inventing gender identities.

The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, can hardly be adequately described by a reductionist reference to his or her sexual orientation. Every one living on the face of the earth has personal problems and difficulties, but challenges to growth, strengths, talents and gifts as well. Today, the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person as a "heterosexual" or a "homosexual" and insists that every person has a fundamental Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life. - CDF

As Michael W. Hannon noted in a recent essay:  "I am not my sin. I am not my temptation to sin. By the blood of Jesus Christ, I have been liberated from this bondage."

I think I understood his essay - but I'm still not sure.

Fashion ... Weak: On the Red Carpet - What the stylish Cardinals are wearing ...


Nicaragua's Cardinal-designate, Archbishop Leopoldo Brenes viaja a Roma.

Looks like he also cut his hair...


Song for this post here.

*Nothing wrong with jeans BTW - especially for a long flight.


Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco Marto

Two little kids who saw Our Lady and did penance and made reparation as if they were the greatest of sinners.

Jacinta died on this date in 1920.  Francisco died in April the year before.

Pray for us Blessed Jacinta and Francisco, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Tell everybody that God grants us graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; that people are to ask her for them; and that the Heart of Jesus wants the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be venerated at his side. Tell them also to pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for peace, since God entrusted it to her. - Bl. Jacinta to Lucia

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

An 18th Century Spanish Campaign Altar

H 8' W 6' D 28"
Approximate cost: $29000.00

For your home chapel, or that special itinerant priest on your donation list.

I wish I knew a cabinet maker who could replicate something like this for me to paint.  I love this stuff.  (I can't afford the original much less an unpainted reproduction.)


An 18th Century Painting of An Unidentified Carmelite Nun

Early 18th c. French Portrait of a Nun

Could it be Madame Louise-Marie of France who became Soeur Thérèse de Saint-Augustin?

Or could it be Louise Françoise de La Baume Le Blanc de La Vallière, former mistress of Louis XIV?

I found the painting on 1stdibs, but it is offered for sale by Chateau Domingue, Houston.

Does anyone recognize her?


Soeur Louise de la Miséricorde, former Louise de la Vallière mistress of Louis XIV

Louise de la Vallière mistress of Louis XIV

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fashion ... Weak



H/T Sartorialist - photo credit.

Temptation isn't a gift from God.

"No one who experiences temptation should say, 'I am being tempted by God'..." 

St James explains, "for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and he himself tempts no one."  God allows temptation, man benefits from persevering through temptation, yet the inclination to evil is not a gift.  As the Holy Father clarified today:
“Where does temptation come from? How does it work in us? The Apostle tells us that it is not from God, but from our passions, our inner weaknesses, from the wounds left in us by original sin: that’s where temptations come from, from these passions. - Pope Francis
At the beginning of the Letter, the Apostle tells us to "consider it pure joy when you encounter various trials or temptations - because the testing of our faith produces perseverance."  The temptation is not 'the' gift however.

St. James also speaks to those of us who doubt and waver in the faith - this can happen in and through our trials, it is another temptation.  Entertaining our doubt leads to instability; we vacillate, we fall prey to every wind of doctrine and theory, driven and tossed about by whatever justification that comes our way, believing the temptation itself to be good - because we allowed it to develop or 'grow' as Pope Francis suggests.  We believe that it is something non-binding and fluid - naturally progressing towards a greater freedom - a liberation, when in reality, we fall into the trap of becoming that 'man of two minds, unstable in all his ways'.  As the Holy Father points out, "the temptation closes us in, in an environment where you can’t get out easily.”  In fact some are thereby led completely astray, even abandoning the Church for an ideology.

It seems to me that today's reading is a kindly warning to us, a reminder to trust, to endure our trials - even as the discipline of God - his grace is 'the' gift which sustains us and rewards us.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers: all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. - Letter of James

The struggle.

I once wrote a post about the struggle - the wrestling of Jacob with God in that dark night wherein Jacob's hip is injured and he was given a new name, that of Israel. It is an important event in salvation history, yet is also an important image of the life of prayer as well. Especially the role prayer plays in overcoming personal sin, wrestling through temptation.

Every sin after baptism is a choice. The temptations - as well as the tribulations and seductions of life - test our fidelity. In every life one is faced with a fundamental choice - to choose between good or evil, Christ or the Antichrist. Some people may live in such severe testing, the choice may even be every day. Sometimes we lose, sometimes we win - yet so long as we live in the body we have access to hope, and mercy is available to us - thus we can lose a battle, recoup, and begin anew. But we have to keep trying, we have to persevere in the struggle - just as Jacob, the deceiver, struggled in the darkness with the angel, and was finally freed - though left with a dislocated hip as a sort of thorn in his flesh to keep him humble.

The deception of the false self...  an invented, false identity.

Our identity can never be limited to our sin or our disordered natural self - from which spring our temptations. In fact it is in and through prayer and mortification and surrender to the grace and mercy of God that we find our true identity in Christ. Christ is the one who defines our identity - our eyes fixed upon him, we are stable in faith - thus we are not tossed about by the wind, or a slave of our ever changing desire.

Pope Benedict XVI spoke of this struggle exemplified in the story of Jacob's encounter with the angel. It speaks to the necessity of prayer and the struggle therein, as well as the trial temptation poses. It touches upon the notion of identity as well. Perhaps it will make sense as a conclusion to this post.

Once the fight is over Jacob says to his opponent that he will only let him go if he blesses him. Jacob "who had defrauded his brother out of the first-born's blessing through deceit, now demands [a blessing] from the unknown man, in whom he perhaps begins to see divine traits, but still without being able to truly recognize him. His rival, who seems restrained and therefore defeated by Jacob, instead of bowing to the Patriarch's request, asks his name. ... In the Biblical mentality, knowing someone's name entails a type of power because it contains the person's deepest reality, revealing their secret and their destiny. ... This is why, when Jacob reveals his name, he is putting himself in his opponent's hands. It is a form of surrender, a complete giving over of himself to the other".
Paradoxically, however, "in this gesture of surrender, Jacob also becomes the victor because he receives a new name, together with the recognition of his victory on the part of his adversary". The name "Jacob", Benedict XVI continued, "recalls the verb 'to deceive' or 'to supplant'. After the struggle, in a gesture of deliverance and surrender, the Patriarch reveals his reality as a deceiver, a usurper, to his opponent. The other, who is God, however, transforms this negative reality into a positive one. Jacob the deceiver becomes Israel. He is given a new name as a sign of his new identity ... the mostly likely meaning of which is 'God is strong, God wins'. When, in turn, Jacob asks his rival's name, he refuses to say it but reveals himself in an unmistakable gesture, giving his blessing. ... This is not a blessing obtained through deceit but one given freely by God, which Jacob can now receive because, without cunning or deception, he gives himself over unarmed, accepts surrender and admits the truth about himself".
"Our entire lives", concluded the Holy Father, "are like this long night of struggle and prayer, passed in the desire of and request for God's blessing, which cannot be ripped away or won over through our strength, but must be received with humility from Him as a gratuitous gift that allows us, finally, to recognize the face of the Lord. And when this happens, our entire reality changes: we receive a new name and God's blessing"... - Benedict XVI 

Monday, February 17, 2014


Fr. Z really seems to enjoy watching Curling at the Olympics.  (I like watching the maintenance staff cleaning the ice as the stone slides along.  Those Russians are so clean and neat, aren't they?)

Nyuk nyuk nyuk!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Genderqueerness - getting lots more attention.

Grandma thinks the kids are just confused.

I say that jokingly.  Mary Ann Kreitzer is an openly-female/admitted-grandparent, and a very smart woman who writes at Les Femmes.  Today she wrote a common sense essay on an article she read in The Washington Post, Genderqueer at the Gym.    At first reading, it seemed to me Mary Ann Kreitzer thought the entire story was a typical WaPo agenda driven propaganda piece exaggerating an issue which is really more about kids being confused and unhappy, or even maladjusted, than a serious story about that newfangled gender theory:
"... in the end it is all a childish demand to confirm the make believe, like my little granddaughter who occasionally insists she's a dog." - Les femmes
Yet it really is about gender queerness - it really is an ideology.  It's not a phase or a Facebook option to choose your gender.

The author of Genderqueer at the Gym is not a little girl.  She is not a confused teenager, unhappy with her body.  She is a young woman and a good looking young guy at that.
 Marion Cory is a law student at Georgetown University. 
Genderqueerness - non-binary.

New homo-celibates* like Eve Tushnet, Melinda Selmys, Gabriel Blanchard and Johnny Weir would likely praise the article.  I suspect they would laugh Rudolf Allers out of the discussion as well.  This issue is beyond feminism and homosexuality - it is a whole new ideology, as the Polish Bishops and Pope Benedict XVI before them, have recently recognized.

In 2010 The head of the Vatican’s delegation to the UN has identified “gender ideology” as “violent” to the unborn and to the “integral needs of women and men within society.”
Gender ideology, or “gender theory” is a key concept in the radical feminist and homosexualist ideologies. It proposes that the concept of “gender” is distinct from biological sex and that it is a learned set of behaviours or models that can be changed either at will or by social environmental factors. 
Gender ideologues have proposed that there are not two, but as many as eleven possible “genders” for human beings. They hold that the belief that “gender” is synonymous with biological sex is the foundation of homophobia and bigotry. 
In 2008, German author Gabrielle Kuby wrote in an essay that “gender mainstreaming” is a force that is being used to “dismantle civilization.” 
“The gender ideology,” she wrote, “is in the process of creating a new man, whose freedom should include the choice of his sex and sexual orientation.” 
“This view of freedom and sexuality, according to the will of the UN, EU and most European governments is to be imprinted onto the minds of children from the nursery onwards.” - Source
As to be expected, gender ideologues deny it is an ideology and ridicule such warnings from Catholic hierarchy as exaggerated and 'patriarchal'.

*H/T Thom for the 'new' term. 

Blessed Rolando Rivi

Bl. Rolando Rivi

The young seminarian martyr.

After reading about the young saint, I suddenly was granted a deeper appreciation of the traditional garb of priests, the cassock and saturno.. In 1944 after the German invasion of Italy and seminaries were closed, the young seminarian Rolando Maria Rivi returned home, yet continued to wear his cassock, insisting "I am studying to be a priest and the cassock is the sign that I belong to Jesus.” Despite anticlerical sentiment in his area, Rolando wore the outward sign that he was still a seminarian and candidate for the priesthood. [Bl. Rolando's example reminded me of another young martyr, Bl. Isidore Bakanja, the Africa Scapular martyr - when his persecutors ordered him to remove his scapular, Isidore refused and was severely flogged.]  Anyway - now I have a deeper respect for priests and seminarians who choose to wear the cassock.  It is a wonderful witness.  (My sincere apologies to Fr. Longenecker too.)

The martyrdom of Blessed Rolando.
On April 10, 1945, Rolando was taken by a group of Communist insurgents, who forced him to go with them into the woods.   
Friday, April 13, 1945, after three days of torture and humiliation, the insurgents brought him to a forest in the village of Piane di Monchio, where there was already a grave dug. It was about 3:00 in the afternoon. They hurled him to the ground and then forced him to kneel on the edge of the grave. Before they killed him, Rolando asked for – and was granted – a moment to pray for his parents. Even then, he reaffirmed his belonging to Christ. The Communist insurgents then murdered him with two shots of the pistol.  He was fourteen years old. - Read more here. 
Blessed Rolando, pray for us, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Art: I've been doing some sketches of Bl. Rolando, this is one study in pencil and crayon. 

This is my post for Sunday

No shop on Sunday.