Saturday, March 01, 2014

20 Feet From Stardom - Best Feature Documetary

Cross your fingers!

I just watched it tonight - finally!

I had all Merry Clayton's albums.

Yes I did.

Dumb stuff...

Palin on Ukraine: "Yes, I could see this one from Alaska."

She's still hot!

Cat fight!  Yay!

"I don't want anymore."

She's sick of the snow.

Glenn Close as Norma Desmond.

The Oscars are tomorrow night.


Since it is "Oscar Sunday" I wonder if the Pope will address the audience?

Friday, February 28, 2014

FYI: Tomorrow is the last day of the Novena for the Oscars.

Fine Nun's Habits Friday

"Mr. Nelson!  You'll never amount to anything!"

"Thank you Sister."

"Sister, may I be excused to go to the lavatory?"

What should I do with my old Magnificats?

I have several years worth of magazine prayerbooks.

They contain the Word of God and Mass texts.  What to do with them?

They also contain great art and very good writing.

Any suggestions?

"Russia may act in a surprise way..." - Maria Esperanza

Russia may act in a surprise way, when you least expect it… [God's] justice will begin in Venezuela. - The Bridge to Heaven: Interviews with Maria Esperanza of Betania

I've not been a follower of the Servant of God, Maria Esperanza, but the recent developments in the Ukraine and Crimea seem to be cause for concern.  Venezuela is having its problems as well.  Hence her prophecy comes to mind as I watch the news and read about the latest developments in Russia.  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Why it is wrong to disparage the Eucharist.

"... may all of us who share 
in the body and blood of Christ 
be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit."
- Eucharistic Prayer II

"The unity of the Mystical Body: the Eucharist makes the Church."

1324 The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life."136 "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch."137

1325 "The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God's action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit."138

1326 Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.139

1327 In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: "Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking."140 - CCC

+ + +
"The Eucharist is thus constitutive of the Church's being and activity."

When we dedicate ourselves to reparation for offenses committed against the Eucharist through adoration of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass, it seems to me we should be even more scrupulous to avoid any suggestion or attitude that could be interpreted as divisive to the Body of Christ.

"It is significant that the Second Eucharistic Prayer, invoking the Paraclete, formulates its prayer for the unity of the Church as follows: "may all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit." These words help us to see clearly how the res of the sacrament of the Eucharist is the unity of the faithful within ecclesial communion. The Eucharist is thus found at the root of the Church as a mystery of communion (35)." - The Eucharist and Ecclesial Communion

Not to be discouraged.

"Don't give in to discouragement....... If you are discouraged it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own powers. Never bother about people's opinions. Be obedient to truth. For with humble obedience, you will never be disturbed." - Teresa of Calcutta

"We must put aside all judgment of our own, and keep the mind ever ready and prompt to obey in all things the true Spouse of Christ our Lord, our holy Mother, the hierarchical Church." - Ignatius of Loyola

“What seems to me white, I will believe black if the hierarchical Church so defines.” - Ignatius of Loyola

"Discouragement is not from God." - Ignatius of Loyola

Look what I found!

As Fr. Barron might say: "Don't read it literally."

I came across this photo while looking for another image on Google.  I had reworked it in paint for another post - a long time ago.

"Oh how lovely!  Don't you think this version is so much more modest than the vulgar original, Lady Violet?"  

"Indeed!  It should replace all those racy Biblical illustrations in the King James, don't you agree?"


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Why it bothers me that faithful Catholics are pronouncing 'the reform of the reform' dead.

There is one Mass.

I do not follow the liturgical wars.  I'm not a priest or a religious, I'm a layman.  I am so happy and grateful to attend Mass and receive Holy Communion.  I know there have been serious liturgical abuses since Vatican II - I've lived through all sorts of them.  I try to go to churches where Mass is celebrated faithfully and devoutly, according to the rubrics.  I appreciate the Novus Ordo, whether celebrated in Latin or the vernacular.  I grew up and was trained as an altar boy in what is now known as the Extraordinary Form - in my youth it was the only form.  In Catholic school we learned the Latin responses for Mass and we learned Gregorian Chant for Mass.  I studied Latin in high school, thinking I wanted to be a priest.  I have nothing against Latin.  Today we have the Ordinary and the Extraordinary form of Mass.  I love both, but I personally prefer the Ordinary Form in English.  Privately, I pray the old Office of the Blessed Virgin in English.

What bothers me today when people write or speak about Mass is that many who prefer the Extraordinary Form seem to denigrate the Ordinary Form of Mass, as if it isn't pleasing to God, or in extreme cases, as if it isn't licit, and worse, as if it isn't valid.  There is one Mass in two forms - two missals.  As Bishop Elliot said in his essay at NLM:
However, the integrity of the two forms needs to be preserved and respected, even as the two are meant to influence each other in these times. My hypothesis about a reform of the Extraordinary Form would also be constrained by that current approach.
Please let us keep this important conversation realistic, patient and moderate. The gift of Summorum Pontificum and Pope Benedict’s vision should not be compromised by loudly proclaiming the total failure of the Paul VI post-conciliar reforms. Sweeping claims and an imprudent triumphalism do no credit to some advocates of the Extraordinary Form. Nor is the Ordinary Form respected or supported by those who grumble about the new ICEL translations and others who draw absurd conclusions from a simpler papal liturgical style. 
Polemics also demean and discourage those of us who are still working to enrich the liturgy that is celebrated in most Roman Rite churches around the world. However, to maintain Pope Benedict’s Pax Liturgica, we all need much patience, and often that is hardest virtue on the Christian journey. - NLM

“News reports and judgments made without sufficient information have created no little confusion.” - Pope Benedict

The criticism and mockery of the "Novus Ordo" harms the Faith as much as the liturgical abuse does.  When leading voices in the 'new' liturgical movement disparage the Church by claiming the 'reform of the reform is dead' - it has an effect upon those of us who are  perhaps less enlightened - not part of the liturgical elite, those of us who struggle to live an ordinary Catholic life in fidelity to Church teaching.  The incessant criticism of liturgy, and liturgical styling, and the innuendo over the loss of grandeur in the papacy of Pope Francis can eat away at the spirit of devotion of ordinary Catholics.  It foments doubt among simple believers, and widens the divide among traditionalists and ordinary Catholics.  Those whose faith has been shaken by scandals and mishandling of Church funds, even those prodigals who may be experiencing a sort of 'dark night' of faith, can suffer from the open dissent on the part of their 'older brothers' in the Faith.   When academics use their sites to declare their disenchantment while declaring the death of the reform, it seems to me it only fuels the spirit of dissension.

Two prominent bloggers have written some things that may help explain what I'm trying to say.  It has to do with the indiscriminate nature of media, not unlike what Pope Benedict discussed when he contrasted the influence of the Council of the media to that of the Council of the Fathers when speaking about the implementation of Vatican II.  It seems to me the same dynamic is at work today when people declare the reform of the reform DOA.

I’m just old enough to remember when Catholic theological rumination, especially moral speculation, was restricted to scholarly journals and professional conferences. The understanding in those days was that, whatever merits the latest theological or moral theories might enjoy, it was inappropriate for experts to parade such novelties before rank-and-file faithful lest they jump to premature or erroneous conclusions thereon.
In our day, however, the internet, to a degree that dwarfs the impact of the printing press in its day, has destroyed the old physical and technological restraints on the dissemination of doctrinal or disciplinary speculation. As a result laymen (in the sense of that word implying non-experts) are at the mercy of any Catholic intellectual—and for that matter of any Catholic prelate—who thinks that swaying public opinion in this direction or that is a good way to prove the soundness of this idea or that. - Dr. Peters

The upcoming synod on the family is being shaped by the same phenomenon that influenced Vatican II. But this time the duplication appears intentional, with all of the risks that it involves. - Sandro Magister

For what it's worth.

I'm not sure if the following personal meditation is of any value, but this morning while praying I came across Psalm 78, which opens:
God divided the sea and led them through
and made the waters stand up like a wall.
He split rocks in the desert.
He gave plentiful drink as from the deep... 
We have two walls protecting us on our pilgrimage - two walls - one rock - that gives drink to the thirsty. We have two forms of one Mass.  One Mass - which gives 'plentiful drink from the deep.'

We must trust God.  We must trust God who gives such plentiful drink in the desert.

My apologies if I have offended my readers in sharing my opinions on news items that affect me.  If you find my posts disturbing, please do not link to me and avoid reading what I post.  Your criticisms and corrections are most welcome however.  God bless you.

Secrets of the Vatican - Frontline

I watched it.

Read about it here.  View it here.  It is excellent.*

Although it really opened old wounds and reminded me of things we've all discussed on our blogs.

Frontline covered the Maciel scandal as well.  I almost forgot how perfectly hidden and protected - even supported - Maciel was ... freaky.

I think one reason Pope Francis is ignored, and in some cases is opposed, is because he is bringing authentic and essential reform to the Church.  Corruption and immorality can no longer hide behind ecclesiastical window dressing and decorum.

NB: The day after - other viewpoints here.

UPDATE 2/28/14:  Finally Fr. Z chimes in - he has a very good review here - "It is beautifully filmed, and the production values are very high."   *See - I told you it is excellent!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Uganda criminalizes homosexuality.

Follow up.

Uganda newspaper outs 200 ...
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) -- A Ugandan newspaper published a list Tuesday of what it called the country's "200 top" homosexuals, outing some Ugandans who previously had not identified themselves as gay one day after the president enacted a harsh anti-gay law.
Many of those named fear violence, and some want to leave the country, an activist said. - AP
India re-criminalizes homosexuality.
Back in 2009, Lesley Esteves was dancing in the streets after judges in Delhi decriminalised homosexuality. When the Delhi High Court suspended the draconian Section 377 of the Indian penal code which dated from the days of British rule, India’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community thought there was no turning back.
Five years on the euphoria has gone. In December, the country’s highest court overturned the lower court’s ruling, once again making gay sex a crime punishable by up to ten years in jail and putting tens of millions of Indians at risk of prosecution or harassment. Last month, that court – which had said gay people in India were just a “minuscule minority” – upheld its decision against an appeal and said it was up to the government to change the law. - The Independent 
Gay people say the Catholic Church endorses such legislation.  That is not true.
VATICAN CITY -- After opposing a United Nations declaration that called for the decriminalization of homosexuality last month, the Vatican issued its own call to eliminate criminal penalties for homosexuality.

“The Holy See appreciates the attempts made in [the declaration] to condemn all forms of violence against homosexual persons as well as urge states to take necessary measures to put an end to all criminal penalties against them,” the statement said.
But the Vatican said that the U.N. declaration “goes beyond this goal and instead gives rise to uncertainty in the law and challenges existing human rights norms.” 
“The Catholic church maintains that free sexual acts between adult persons must not be treated as crimes to be punished by civil authorities. - NCR 

Clearly, the Roman Catholic Church opposes unjust discrimination and violence against homosexual persons.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. - CCC
Statement of the Holy See to the UN condemning " all forms of violence against homosexual persons as well as urge States to take necessary measures to put an end to all criminal penalties against them.":
The Holy See appreciates the attempts made in the statement on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity –presented at the UN General Assembly on 18 December 2008- to condemn all forms of violence against homosexual persons as well as urge States to take necessary measures to put an end to all criminal penalties against them.
At the same time, the Holy See notes that the wording of this statement goes well beyond the above mentioned and shared intent.
In particular, the categories ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’, used in the text, find no recognition or clear and agreed definition in international law. If they had to be taken into consideration in the proclaiming and implementing of fundamental rights, these would create serious uncertainty in the law as well as undermine the ability of States to enter into and enforce new and existing human rights conventions and standards.
Despite the statement’s rightful condemnation of and protection from all forms of violence against homosexual persons, the document, when considered in its entirety, goes beyond this goal and instead gives rise to uncertainty in the law and challenges existing human rights norms.
The Holy See continues to advocate that every sign of unjust discrimination towards homosexual persons should be avoided and urges States to do away with criminal penalties against them. - Vatican 

As far as I know, the Holy See has not responded to the latest developments in Uganda and elsewhere, but neither have they given evidence they support criminal penalties against homosexuals.

Spiritual, not sexual.

You've heard 'spiritual, but not religious' right?

How about Consensual Sadomasochism as a spiritual experience?

Consensual sadomasochism was long considered pathological, but psychologists studying people interested in BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism) have failed to find evidence that these sexual practices are harmful. One study, published in May 2013, actually found that practitioners of BDSM were better off than the general population in some ways, including having secure relationships and lower anxiety. Currently, the psychiatrists' definitive handbook, the DSM-5, lists BDSM as a paraphilia, or unusual sexual fixation, but only classifies it as a disorder if it causes harm.
The findings hint that sadomasochism isn't entirely about sex. A second study, conducted by Ellen Lee, a graduate student in psychology at Northern Illinois University, with her advisor, Brad Sagarin, and their BDSM Research Team, focused on a nonsexual — but very painful — ritual performed by some in the community.
Called the "Dance of Souls," this ritual involves people getting temporary skin piercings, through which hooks attached to ropes are placed. The ropes of one person are connected to those on others in the group or to a fixed object and are pulled taut as music or drums are played. These events are also known as "energy pulls" and are seen as primarily spiritual, not sexual, Sagarin told Live Science.
The researchers surveyed 22 participants in one of these rituals at a kink community conference in California. Five participants who were hooked agreed to participate, as well as nine supporters (who make sure group members are OK during the ritual) and eight observers. The participants filled out surveys about their stress, emotions, flow and the extent to which they felt their own selves overlapped with others at the event. They also gave saliva samples to test their cortisol, a hormone that spikes during stress.
Unsurprisingly, given the pain, cortisol levels went up during the ritual. But something odd happened: Participants reported feeling less stressed.
"We see this interesting disconnect," Sagarin said. "We think this may be indicative of the types of altered states of consciousness people might be seeking." - Source

Spiritual?  Really?

I once wrote a post related to this subject as it involved sexually active priests I had met. Over the years, several of the priests I've encountered had been into the leather scene, and I would surmise, sadomasochism.

These otherwise compassionate, gentle men, sometimes very spiritual, when tempted towards homosexual activity, appear to go in for rough, punishment-for-sexual-pleasure. The parody of exaggerated masculine stereotypes found in BDSM seems to attract the 'meek'.

In the case of those with homosexual inclination, it seems to me it must be an attempt at 'obtaining' or 'feeding' off an idealized masculine archetype in order to bolster one's emotional need to 'feel' masculine, or as a sort of affirmation of one's maleness. At the same time, I wonder if it could represent some type of search for masculine authority, dominance, and approval - I can't be sure however, it's not my experience, and I may be stretching here to find some understanding.

The only spiritual dimension I can imagine would originate from fallen spirits.

Decidedly, the degrading aspect of discipline and bondage suggests to me a perverted taste for punishment experienced as sexual pleasure. The painful effects heightening the sexual excitement. It seems to me to be particularly diabolic - hence the exaggerated attraction for consecrated persons. I'm just speculating here, but I think spiritual persons experience temptation in a manner more spiritual, albeit, fallen spirits. Whereas, carnal persons are more often tempted by their own concupiscence - hence, the devil doesn't have to work so hard - although, both work hand in hand. Naturally, the sexual degradation of a priest would also be the manner in which the devil could mock the Passion of Christ as well.

That said, wouldn't the devil love to tarnish the priest or religious, nay, destroy him with these perverted attractions and practices? The devil, in his machinations and temptations could easily play upon the consecrated person's weaknesses, the psychological need for male relationship, such as with a father or one in authority, or the man's own sense of male inferiority, by alluring the person towards exaggerated macho stereotypes. While at the same time causing shame and degradation in the person, compelling him to accept abuse as a means to sexual gratification. Remember the film "The Exorcist"? The exorcist told the younger priest the devil would use his weaknesses to his advantage. I suspect he does this with the sexually tormented priest or religious too.

One shouldn't overlook the tendency to masochism inherent in the homosexual inclination to self pity either, but that is another post.

I could be wrong. However, looking at the scenes of hell depicted in traditional iconography - it sure looks to me as if the spirituality involved with BDSM sex is nothing more than a foretaste of hell.


A friend sent me some links on this issue from the American Academy of Religion, offered by The Gay Men's Issues in Religion Group - ten years ago!
The Gay Men's Issues in Religion Group has come up with an interesting theme for one of their sessions at the American Academy of Religion's (AAR) 2004 Annual Meeting (Nov. 20-23, San Antonio, TX). (For the uninitiated, the American Academy of Religion is the U.S. national umbrella organization for professors of religion--church historians, theologians, ethicists, scholars in world religions. Biblical scholars have their own national organization: the Society of Biblical Literature.) The theme is: "Power and Submission, Pain and Pleasure: The Religious Dynamics of Sadomasochism." If you, bless your heart, do not know what sadomasochism is, here's a definition: "the combination of sadism and masochism, in particular the deriving of pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting or submitting to physical or emotional abuse" (The American Heritage Dictionary, 4th ed., 2000). Or, more succinctly, "the derivation or pleasure from the infliction of physical or mental pain either on others or on oneself" (Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, 2002). - Source

So gay. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

A sobering "Ask Father" post at Fr. Z's

Seriously and respectfully.

Fr. Z has a post answering a reader's question "What items should a Catholic include in a bug out bag [BOB] besides the usual survival gear?"

Fr. Z references Fr. Walter Cisek and what he had to say about being undercover in the Soviet Union.  Fr. Z offers his own good advice as well, yet what struck me most was a comment from a man whose wife came through the Communist Chinese repression-persecution of Catholics (ongoing, BTW).  The comment here:

cpttom says:
I ask forbearance if this sounds like tin-foil hat territory, but My wife’s family lived through the persecution in China, with one uncle jailed for thirty years for refusing to denounce the Pope and Church, and the other beaten near to death by the secret police because he was an outspoken student with a Catholic campus apostolate. He later became a priest. We suspect they still have ties to the underground Church. My wife was baptised by her mother and had her first communion and confirmation were at the hands of an underground priest. This is all very real to me and my wife, and considering some of the parallels to China and late 1930s Germany, we better take the possibility of hard persecution seriously that it could happen here
Among any preps should be supplies for the priests (who may be on the run or in hiding) such as appropriate wine, hosts, candles, vestments, books of ritual and prayer, bibles, sacred vessels (portable and hideable), linens, holy metals, olive oil, salt, etc, so the priest doesn’t have to bring them with him. Much of the consumables are relatively cheap and available now, and will be too bulky for the priests to carry if they are on the lamb, and may not be available or will draw attention if purchased once the troubles begin.. We laity will have to protect, hide and supply them, and we will have to watch over each other. Start cataloging mentally the true sons and daughters of the Church now, and keep track of the goats. Remember the take down of the Chinese Church was an inside job…the Communists subverted those priests and Bishops that had skeletons in their closets and turned them against the Church. All that may happen has happened before, so go read about the Chinese and English persecutions if you want to understand what may happen.
Keep in mind You better think in terms of hiding this stuff if a hard persecution hits. In my parlor is a unremarkable 2 1/2 foot tall statue of Jesus, except that my wife’s family hid it under the floor boards of their apartment during the Revolution. It is the only possession they were able to save other for some jewelry that they were able to barter for their survival. It is on the mantle piece to remind us what has happened and what could happen.
In all things, pray, think and prepare. Don’t panic, God is with us, but he expects us to do our part as members of the Church Militant. St Michael Defend us in Battle, Viva Christo Rey! - WDTPRS

A few weeks ago a major winter snow storm was forecast  for Minneapolis, the schools were closing and so on.  I had to go to the store to pick up some groceries.  It was late afternoon, just as the snow was beginning to fall.  Many of the shelves were shopped down - some were empty.  I asked the check out lady what was going on - she said people were getting ready for the storm.  I thought, wow - if just a little storm caused such a rush on the stores, what would a major disaster be like?

I just hope Catholics do not forget Christian charity when the time comes.

People get ready.

UK: Men can't be Queen or Princess of Wales if they marry the Crown Prince.

"We do things a bit differently in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick!"


I expect women can't be Prince Consort either.

This is very confusing.  What about Camilla then?  What?
Men are to be banned from becoming Queen or Princess of Wales as part of an unprecedented effort to rewrite more than 700 years of law to prevent unintended consequences of gay marriage.
Even a 14th Century act declaring it high treason to have an affair with the monarch’s husband or wife is included in the sweeping redrafting exercise.
Civil servants have drawn up a list of scores of statutes and regulations dating back as far 1285 to be amended or specifically excluded when the Government’s Same-Sex Marriage Act comes into force next month.
Under proposals to be debated by MPs and Peers as early as next week, terms such as “widow” will be deleted or reworded in legislation covering topics as diverse as seamen’s pensions and London cab licences to take account of the new definition of marriage.
References to mothers, fathers, husbands and wives are also to be amended to avoid future confusion. - Read on.
How very queer.

H/T Mercury, who wrote: "The UK is railroading through a law to redefine marriage, but is scrambling to edit 800 years of law to make sure designations like "queen" and "duchess" remain set. No problem redefining "marriage" though ... " 

Exceptions have been made in the past of course.

This is all a big mistake.

"Like" my new profile photo.

I watched a thing on Frontline last week about people on Twitter and Facebook - Generation Like.  Their whole deal is about how many 'likes' they get - how many 'followers' they have.  It's not just about stats - well, it is - but people want to be 'liked'.  Then they want to become a 'brand'.

What does it profit a man?

Photo credit:  What?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The requirements to be a Cardinal

Canon 351 § 1 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law:
“The Roman Pontiff freely selects men to be promoted as cardinals, who have been ordained at least into the order of the presbyterate [i.e., priest] and are especially outstanding in doctrine, morals, piety, and prudence in action; those who are not yet bishops must receive episcopal consecration [i.e., consecrated as a bishop].”
Pope Francis presided over Mass today with the new Cardinals - a portion of his homily here:

The Book of Leviticus says: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart … You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge… but you shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Lev 19:17-18). These attitudes are born of the holiness of God. We, however, are so different, so selfish and proud … and yet, God’s goodness and beauty attract us, and the Holy Spirit is able to purify, transform and shape us day by day. 

In the Gospel Jesus also speaks to us of holiness, and explains to us the new law, his law. He does this by contrasting the imperfect justice of the scribes and Pharisees with the higher justice of the Kingdom of God. The first contrast of today’s passage refers to revenge. “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you … if anyone should strike you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Mt 5:38-39). We are required not only to avoid repaying others the evil they have done to us, but also to seek generously to do good to them.

The second contrast refers to our enemies: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy’. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt 5:43-44). Jesus asks those who would follow him to love those who do not deserve it, without expecting anything in return, and in this way to fill the emptiness present in human hearts, relationships, families, communities, and entire world. Jesus did not come to teach us good manners, how to behave well at the table! To do that, he would not have had to come down from heaven and die on the Cross. Christ came to save us, to show us the way, the only way out of the quicksand of sin, and this way is mercy. To be a saint is not a luxury. It is necessary for the salvation of the world.

Dear brother Cardinals, the Lord Jesus and mother Church ask us to witness with greater zeal and ardour to these ways of being holy. It is exactly in this greater self-gift, freely offered, that the holiness of a Cardinal consists. We love, therefore, those who are hostile to us; we bless those who speak ill of us; we greet with a smile those who may not deserve it. We do not aim to assert ourselves; we oppose arrogance with meekness; we forget the humiliations that we have endured. May we always allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit of Christ, who sacrificed himself on the Cross so that we could be “channels” through which his charity might flow. This is the attitude of a Cardinal, this is how he acts. A Cardinal enters the Church of Rome, not a royal court. May all of us avoid, and help others to avoid, habits and ways of acting typical of a court: intrigue, gossip, cliques, favouritism and preferences. May our language be that of the Gospel: “yes when we mean yes; no when we mean no”; may our attitudes be those of the Beatitudes, and our way be that of holiness. - Source

Oddly enough, the Holy Father said nothing about Conceal and Carry - keeping a gun for self-defense.

Self love. Self pity.

"I know what it is to suffer!"

Just some thoughts on the subject of self love and self pity.

I took a post down the other day because it seemed to me it wreaked of self-pity masquerading as virtue - or humility.  Ah.  Self pity - an aspect of self love.  Today I'm beginning to examine these vices in preparation for Lent ...

"St Augustine, with extraordinary perceptiveness, described the nature of sin as follows: 'self-love to the point of contempt for God'. It was self love which drove our first parents toward the initial rebellion and then gave rise to the spread of sin throughout human history. The book of Genesis speaks of this: 'You will be like God, knowing good and evil', in other words, you yourselves will decide what is good and evil.
The only way to overcome this dimension of original sin is through a corresponding 'love for God to the point of contempt for self'. This brings us face to face with the mystery of man's redemption, and here the Holy Spirit is our guide. It is he who allows us to penetrate deeply into the 'mystery of the Cross' and at the same time to plumb the depths of evil perpetrated by man and suffered from the very beginning of history. That is what the expression 'convince the world about sin' means, and the purpose of this 'convincing' is not to condemn the world.
If the Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can call evil by its name, it does so only in order to demonstrate that evil can be overcome if we open ourselves to 'love for God to the point of contempt for self. This is the fruit of Divine Mercy..." - John Paul II, Memory and Identity
Sadness ... self pity.
Sadness, or self-pity, is the twin sister of acedia. They are similar in some respects, but not identical. The sad person finds relief more easily, whereas the one besieged by acedia is trapped. Sadness is a temporary, part-time experience, but acedia is global and permanent. In this sense it is opposed to human nature.
The chief symptoms of this devilish “scourge that lays waste at noon” are inner instability and the need for change (with wandering fantasies of a better place), excessive care of one’s own health (with special emphasis on one’s food), escape from manual work (with laziness and inactivity), uncontrolled activism (under the appearance of charity), neglect of the monastic practices (reducing observance to a minimum), indiscreet zeal in a few ascetic exercises (with extreme criticism of one’s neighbor), generalized discouragement (with the beginnings of a depression). - Dom Bernardo Olivera, OCSO

Self pity ... anger, resentment.

As a culture, it seems to me the homosexual movement mirrors many of the traits often associated with the same-sex-attracted personality. For instance, arrested development - remaining emotionally adolescent, alternating with adult behavior when needed.  Continually focused upon self-definition and identity, and so on.
" especially common view of self (for the homosexual) is that of the wronged, rejected, 'poor me'. Homosexuals are therefore easily insulted; they 'collect injustice', as psychiatrist Berger has so well put it, and are liable to see themselves as victims. This explains the overt self-dramatization of the militants, who adroitly exploit their neurosis to gain public support. Attached to self-pity, they are inner (or manifest) complainers, often chronic complainers. Self pity and protest are not far apart. A certain inner (or overt) rebelliousness and hostility to others who do them wrong and to 'society' and a determinate cynicism, are typical of many homosexuals." - The Battle For Normality 

“Fits of anger, vexation,and bitterness against ourselves tend to pride and they spring from no other source than self-love, which is disturbed and upset at seeing that it is imperfect.” - St. Francis de Sales
The wound of malice.
Without falling into the exaggeration of the first Protestants and the Jansenists, we must say that we are born with a will inclined to egoism, to inordinate self-love. This is called the wound of malice; (4) it often manifests itself by a gross egoism, against which one should guard, an egoism that mingles in all man's acts. It follows that the will, which has become weak by reason of its lack of docility to God, no longer has absolute power over the sensible faculties, but only a sort of moral power or persuasion to lead them to subject themselves.(5) Doubtless after baptism, which regenerated us by giving us sanctifying grace and charity, this wound, like the others, is in the process of healing; but it also reopens by reason of our personal sins.
The principal defect of the will is the lack of rectitude, called self-love or inordinate love of self, which forgets the love due to God and that which we should have for our neighbor. Self-love or egoism is manifestly the source of all sins.(6) From it are born "the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life." (7) The sensible appetites, which are no longer firmly led, incline man to thoughtlessness, feverish eagerness, fruitless agitation, selfish search for all that pleases, flight from all that is painful, nonchalance, discouragement, in which he sees that his will has lost its strength, and to all sorts of bad examples. (8)
It is clear that self-will, which is defined as that which is not conformed to the will of God, is the source of every sin. Self-will is extremely dangerous because it can corrupt everything; even what is best in one may become evil when self-will enters in, for it takes itself as its end, instead of subordinating itself to God. If the Lord perceives this will in a fast or a sacrifice, He rejects them because He sees therein a divine work accomplished through pride in order to gain approbation. Now, self-will is born of self-love or egoism; it is strong self-love that has become imperious." - THE PRINCIPAL DEFECT OF THE WILL: SELF-LOVE (Three Ages of the Interior Life, PART 2 - The Purification of the Soul in Beginners)
Self love and pride go together... leading to rivalry, sloth, contempt for spiritual things, rancor, discouragement - and of course, envy and sadness at the success of others - and self pity.

Blue Jasmine

I finally watched it.


The best Woody Allen film ever.  The come down of Jasmine French (Blanchett's character) is stunning.  The fall from social grace, the unreality, the lies, the loss of self.  What a revelation.
Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away. - Luke 8: 18