Saturday, May 17, 2014

Baby Stroller Disparity

Now that the weather is warmer I've noticed men and women walking their kids in baby strollers.

People with money have some pretty classy strollers.

Welfare people and lower income people, not so much.

Just saying.

Cramped style.

Shabby doll strollers for poor kids.

Buy it now on ebay @ $984.

Song for this post here.

St. Pascal Baylon, Defender of the Real Presence

May 17

St. Paschal, obtain for us true devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

Catholic Bloggers and Writers: Drop the Polite Silence and Speak Out ...

Against fanatics.

Who are these people?

Gay Catholics and the New Homopeople ...

No it's not.


They're wrecking it.

I blame gay activists and gay dissenters - like New Ways Ministry - and now, the New Homophiles*.  I also blame the decades long rad-feminist campaign to emasculate culture and indoctrinate children at a very young age to think that girls are equal to boys and boys must be passive and non aggressive, noncompetitive and doped up on Ritalin - oh, and not play with guns.

It has gotten to the point where gay is so not cool anymore.  Who wants to be gay and just like everyone else?  What happened to, "If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right"?  What is so bad about abnormal and disorderly?

Who ever wanted an Ozzie and Harriet family in the first place?  Who ever wanted to be tied down and living in the suburbs and on the PTA and the Parish Council?  Really?  C'mon.  Gay used to be interesting, avant-garde, chic and tacky at the same time.  Lesbians hated men - including gay men; gay men hated lesbians.  What could be more natural than that?  It all just worked so well.

Now they've made it boring.  It's twisted.

All this endless compassion BS, and the all are welcome-gather us in crap has gone way too far.  The "How to be nice to your gay friends who need you in their lives so badly because they can't make friends with cool people unless you bend over backwards to understand them and accept their annoying manners and very weird desire to be hugged real tight by you" is just 'much too much', to quote Maggie Smith's character in Room With a View.  Let these poor bastards keep something to repent of.


*I just read another Crisis article.

Video here.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Margaret of Cortona, penitent.

May 16

'Penitent' not 'celebrity'.

If Margaret lived today I wonder if she would have her conversion story online or published in a best seller?

In her day - as in Matt Talbot's day, penitents actually did penance.  They didn't publicize their repentance and piety.  Although their manner of life witnessed to it.  Like Matt Talbot, Margaret knelt upon the steps of the church before Mass.  She with a rope around her neck - penance was still somewhat public in her day.  Penance was not a boast however - the penitent was hardly a celebrity.  Margaret's celebrity had been her beauty and her sexuality - her penance was reparation for her misuse of that.  In fact, her desire to publicly express her penance had to be restrained by her confessors - that she not call attention to herself.

Margaret is a saint for our times.  How many use beauty and grace to attract attention to oneself?  How many seek riches and comfort and sexual pleasure in bad relationships?  How many youth run away to seek fame and glamour?  How many runaways end up homeless and alone, addicted?  Fortunately for Margaret, in her lonely sorrow she returned to Christ, since she had been trained in the faith as a young child.      

Margaret was a lonely soul, all of her life - even with her lover and son.  It was the cross she sought to escape through promiscuous behavior and ultimately an illicit relationship - but everywhere she (we) met that cross.  Was she celibate after her conversion?  Technically, yes.  Would she make a big deal of that the way we do in our culture?  I hardly think so.  It was her state in life, the condition of her life - even as a 'single' mother.

She retired into greater solitude at the end.  Even then they gossiped about her, some doubting the authenticity of her conversion - yet she didn't try to defend herself by publishing her penance, much less the Divine revelations and communications Our Lord shared with her.  It was after her death that her conversion and penance was made known by her confessor, and the rumors and innuendo finally ceased.

She has so much to teach us in our day.  To read her complete story, go here.

Art: Artist unknown.  Source.  

Heroic Cat Saves Young Boy.

Everyone has probably already seen this amazing cat saving her little boy from a man-eating attack dog.  This cat should be canonized.

My cat explained to me what happened.

Gabby:  Meow meowatched mewhole meowing.  Meow hiss-yeowl dognuts meow hisshissyeowlmeow (scratch, bite, spray) meoweoweow...

Oh wait - Google translation:

"I watched the video over and over and the dog is obviously trying to steal the kid's bike to sell it and get money for dog-crack (Beggin Strips).  The dog is an addict as well as a pueriphobe.  That's why he attacked the little boy.  The dog had been stalking the boy for weeks.  He took advantage of an opportunity and lunged.  The boy's cat thinks of the boy as her son and therefore went into defense mode and counter attacked - as soon as the dog was running away the cat returned to take care of the boy.  They are best friends.  The dog should be killed and the neighbors who own him sent to prison." - Gabrielle van der Mall, S.C. 

There's a movie deal in this story.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

San Ysidro Labrador

One of the very best contemporary retablo
of S. Ysidro by  Belarmino Esquibel.

Layman, farmer, day-laborer, ordinary contemplative.

His wife is a saint too: Santa María de la Cabeza.  His co-workers complained that he wasted his time in prayer and didn't get his work done.  The Landowner spied on him and saw an angel doing his work while he prayed.  St Isidore was canonized in good company - forty years after his death, along with St. Teresa of Avila, Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, and Philip Neri.

The saint is an important figure for immigrants and day laborers - migrant workers.  Yet he edified kings and nobles, bishops and cardinals, professionals and ordinary workers.  He is an example of ordinary sanctity - ordinary contemplative life.  Simple, humble, faithful.  Despite the image of an angel doing his work, the saint earned his living by hard work without neglecting the interior life.  How awesome is that?  It is like our holy father St. Joseph who was dedicated to work and yet is the patron of the interior life.  Ordinary life - St. JoseMaria Escriva pointed to the greatness of ordinary life throughout his ministry.

We can be saints right where we are - no matter where we are.  The Kingdom of God is within.  We are the tabernacle of the Most High - in the midst of our milieu.  Our faith is weak.  May St. Isidore obtain for us a deeper, living faith.

Maria de la Cabeza could be a
patron for some of my readers who may be
loco en la cabeza.

One more and I'm outta here ...

The fairy lady told me, "When it reaches 300, you must stop blogging ... or else."

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Some thoughts on chastity and celibacy.

It takes courage.

“When he found one really valuable pearl, he went back and put up for sale all that he had and bought it.” - Matthew 13:46

Chastity is difficult when our affections are dissipated, inordinate, all over the place.

You can be celibate and remain unchaste.  So celibacy is not the goal.

Chastity frees us, open us, expands all our faculties to love God with our whole being, and our neighbor as our self.

Lust and attraction are not synonymous.

Pier Vittorio Tondelli came to understand chastity as a “a mystic virtue for those who have chosen it and perhaps the most superhuman use of sexuality.”

It seems to me that celibacy is more a condition of single life.  All are called to chastity.  In contemporary understanding, chaste single life pretty much equals celibacy.  Religious life does too - yet ordinarily, religious do not make a vow to be celibate, but to be chaste.  To love God with their entire being, otherwise celibacy is a burden.

Just like love, chastity is misunderstood and 'not loved' in our culture.  It's not a curse.  Tondelli suggests it is chosen - on some level that is true - we can eat of the tree of forbidden fruit, or not.  We have free will.  More deeply, it is a grace, a gift, a valuable pearl, that one needs to sell everything to obtain.  Like love, it requires sacrifice.
"Love is a teacher, but one must know how to acquire it, for it is hard to acquire, it is dearly bought, it is won slowly by long labor. For we must love not occasionally, for a moment, but forever." - Dostoevsky, Fr. Zosima
We have to desire chastity - to love chastity - the Church, the ascetic and mystical life of the Church supports us, fostering our total gift of self to God.  Chaste love - it is the crown of all the saints, it is the life of the Trinity.  The cross is our misery crucified with Christ.  Chaste love unites us and lifts us up, our life hidden with Christ in God.

We fail, fall short, but the sacraments are there to reconcile and sustain us.  Prayer and recollection in the cell of self knowledge anchors us and stabilizes the passions and inordinate affections.  Self love is an even greater suffering than the loneliness we imagine is our lot, convincing ourselves we are condemned to be forever celibate.  Self love is in opposition to the love of God and neighbor.  It is what keeps us from loving chastity.  The desire to be chaste may start out weak - or even just a prayer we hardly understand - but our desire grows as we pray.

When I was younger I thought it was impossible.  It's not.

Prayer obtains all.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"Gay people need to be more tolerant."

Newt Gingrich said that - and more.

“You guys talk about how you want to be inclusive, except of course, if somebody tweets this, then having a death threat or ‘let’s send them off to sensitivity training.’ It strikes me, that’s repression, that’s not inclusive.  [...] Shouldn’t you also be teaching people who are gay to be open and understanding of people?"  - Source

Works for me.

Yeah, but.  They'll have come backs like:  "Hey, we had to tolerate straight people forever!"   Or, "This is payback for your homophobia."

On some level reverse repression from LGBTQ politicos can be a means to enforce acceptance as well as to prevent regression to former societal and moral norms, which regard homosexuality as less than equal to heterosexuality.  LGBTQ politics are fundamentally repressive in so far as they attempt to deconstruct gender, or heteronormative identity - which entails the deconstruction of traditional marriage and family.

Someone was wrong on the Internet.

So I removed the post.

The Harvard Procession

More photos here.

A powerful procession in reparation for blasphemy and profanation of the Blessed Sacrament.  The 'public' black mass was averted.*  Thanks be to God.

These are the weapons of choice in the spiritual battle:  The Eucharist, the Rosary, the Community of believers joined in prayer, penance, and reparation.  Looking at the photos and the reactions of passers by is awesome.  This is Catholic.

Fr. Z has a quote from an Italian bishop regarding the efficacy of public processions:
“Meno chiacchiere – più processioni. … Less jabbering – more processions.”

God willing.

*A priest friend informs me the event most likely will take place elsewhere and that there are probably consecrated hosts already obtained.  Prayers of reparation need to continue.

Oh Most Holy Trinity,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
I adore Thee profoundly.
I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity
of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world,
in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and
indifferences by which He is offended.
By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I beg the conversion of poor sinners.

So. Did the Pope really say 50% of marriages are invalid?

I don't know.

Some people seem to think so, writing posts saying, "even if the pope said it, it was reckless to repeat it ..."  while others are "stunned at the pastoral recklessness of such an assertion. Simply stunned."  They are talking about what Cardinal Kasper has been saying in interviews of course.

I wonder what they would say about what Our Lady said?

Our Lady of Fatima told Blessed Jacinta, "Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord and are not of God."  That was nearly 100 years ago in Portugal.  If it was that bad then, what is the state of marriage today?

Catholics don't have to believe that however - nor do they have to believe Cardinal Kasper repeating tales out of 'college' of what the Pope might have told him privately.

Of course, some people think Our Lady was reckless showing the children of Fatima a vision of hell.

Come to think of it - Pope Francis talks about the devil and hell too.  I wonder if there is a connection?

Happy feast day!

Feast of Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament

In thanksgiving to Our Lady of the Rosary.

Each time Our Lady appeared at Fatima she said, "Pray the Rosary every day."

At the first apparition, Bl. Francisco was able to see the light of the apparition but he was unable to see or hear the Blessed Virgin.  Lucia told her, "Francisco cannot see you."  Our Lady responded, "Let him say the Rosary, and in that way he too will see me."

Works for me!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Prayer in Reparation for Blasphemy and the Profanation of the Blessed Sacrament

The Golden Arrow
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.

Prayer, fasting, Masses and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament are being offered tonight in reparation for the proposed 'Black Mass' to be demonstrated at Harvard.  Tonight is the vigil for the feast of Our Lady of Fatima as well - pray the Rosary in reparation.

Frank Weathers has more information here.

Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, My God,
I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament. 
My God, I believe, I adore, I trust, and I love Thee!
I ask pardon for for those who do not believe,
do not adore, do not trust and do not love Thee. 
Oh Most Holy Trinity,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
I adore Thee profoundly.
I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity
of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world,
in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and
indifferences by which He is offended.
By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I beg the conversion of poor sinners. Amen.

Kissing the hands of the unclean ...

For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, 
   And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.

This past weekend I encountered something online that kind of troubled me.  One was a photo of the Holy Father kissing the hand of a priest who was described as a homosexual activist.  He is known for his good works as well, and Pope Francis obviously holds him in great esteem - or at least respect for his priesthood.  It's long been a Catholic tradition to kiss the hands of priests - because they are consecrated.

Likewise St. Francis made a show of kneeling before a wayward priest to show his respect - to demonstrate the reverence due to Christ in front of the townsfolk who were scandalized by the priest's lifestyle.  Some say the priest lived openly with a woman - others suggest he may have held heretical views.  Francis showed him reverence and respect, and the priest changed his life.

It is good to recall that St. Teresa of Avila confessed to a priest who was also involved in a sinful life - indeed they became friends and she frequented his confessional.  Her fondness never became dangerous, although she voiced those concerns.  Ultimately she was instrumental in obtaining the priests conversion and he broke off a relationship he had with a woman.  Teresa went away and soon learned that the priest died a holy death.  What if - rather than befriending him - she had scorned him?

All things considered, I'm not sure there is the slightest reason for Catholics to be scandalized that Pope Francis kisses the hands of a priest, a leper, a Muslim, a homosexual, or the hands of Jesus Christ.

Don't forget St. John Paul kissed a Koran.

Pope Benedict gave communion to Brother Roger of Taize.

Popes do stuff we may not always understand - but surely Francis kissing the hand of Don Michele de Paolis cannot be a scandal.

I un-Friend you then.

"That's not how it works - that's not how any of this works."  That's a line from my favorite commercial - you have to watch it if you don't watch TV - and you live online.

An online acquaintance sent me an email this past weekend.  Evidently he received a 'friend request' from someone we know on Facebook.  The guy refused the friend request ...  for reasons which kinda-sorta seem to tie in somewhat with the criticism leveled against the Pope for kissing the activist priest's hand.

Before I go on, just let me point out that one's membership or participation on Google, Facebook, and other social media sites such as LinkedIn automatically generate 'friend requests' without our knowledge.  I've had many requests and at first, in some cases, I responded sending personal emails explaining I'm no longer on Facebook, or though I'm on Linkedin, I am not active.  The blog is more than enough exposure for me.  Long story short, the recipients responded that they never sent a request - it is either our personal computer or the sites we belong to which recognize links/cookies what have you, and automatically generate the requests.  So how does one respond when one receives a friend request?  I don't.

Having said that - a legitimate friend request should be a personal thing - between you and the person who wants to friend you.  If you don't want to be-friend them - don't acknowledge - unless you have something to say - yet as I said - it should be between the two of you.  Unless you want to write an 'open letter' to them and get a link on some Catholic portal for being a defender of the faith.

I don't know either of these people personally - we've never met.  So what is an online friendship?  How can it exist without personal interaction?  That's another post - in fact I've written about this stuff before.  I've had online 'friends' I never ever heard from again.  I'm also un-friended or have people drop me in their links for whatever reason - and believe me when I tell you, more than likely I never knew you were there in the first place.  Is that 'friendship'?  Can I trust you'll be there for me when I need you?

The point here is that I don't need to be apprised of any ones personal rebuke of another person.  When you share your personal communication to another person with me, how do you expect me to trust you to keep confidence with me or anyone else?

I can't trust people who do such things.  I don't trust people who make contact with others in order to report back to someone else what is going on in the other person's life.  There is something dishonest about that.

Fraternal correction.

Years ago I had a friend who insisted 'we' write a letter to a friend who happened to be the sister of my sister-in-law.  Her fiance had been waiting for an annulment, but the two decided to get married right away - before the annulment came through.  My friend - a former seminarian objected and warned they would be sinning.  The couple knew all of this but decided to marry anyway.  My friend said it was incumbent upon me - it was my duty as a Catholic to pen a letter declaring that we would not attend the wedding - since we could not witness an invalid marriage.  Fine.  I wasn't even going to be in town when the wedding took place, and chances are I would have quietly avoided the wedding anyway.  I don't like going to weddings or funerals.

Long story short, my friend had a letter all prepared, had me sign it and sent it along.  The censure simply added to the dysfunction already blazing with my friends, the in-laws and my brother.  The wedding took place, the couple eventually had the marriage blessed, although truth be told, it is questionable the marriage was ever consummated - don't ask.

My self-righteous friend eventually left the Church and joined a Protestant sect and has led a rather curious life himself.

What's my point?  Not sure.

No man can be trusted - all have left the right path.

All things re-considered here, if, in your practice of Christian charity and evangelization you want to blow people out of the water - just be careful.  As St. Paul said, 'If you think you are standing - watch out, lest you fall."
Now it is of course required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. It does not concern me in the least that I be judged by you or any human tribunal; I do not even pass judgment on myself; I am not conscious of anything against me, but I do not thereby stand acquitted; the one who judges me is the Lord. Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God. - 1 Corinthians 4
I am, on the other hand, very much aware of my failings and shortcomings.  I am a weak man.  I cannot even trust myself.  Indeed, I trust very few people, precisely because of stories like these, and other situations of betrayal and denial I write about.  Yet as I said, most especially I do not trust myself - I like to repeat the prayer of St. Philip Neri from time to time, "Lord, I want to love you, but you know you can't trust me!"  Therefore, how could I rebuff someone who might extend his hand in friendship?

Over the years I've received sharp criticism from Courage members, gay-Catholics, as well as from people who despise gay people - because they believe I am 'soft' on people who are so-called gay-activists or who simply do not accept Catholic teaching.  What can I say? Who am I to rebuke or condemn?  I always pray for forgiveness and hope our Lord will have mercy upon my weakness.  I'm not better than anyone.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall stretch out her hands unto God. - Psalm 68

Princes shall come from Ethiopia...

I live across the street from an old Lutheran church given over to the Seventh Day Adventists.  Apparently now the Adventists rent out the church on Sundays to a group of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Catholics.  Their strain of Orthodoxy is pre-colonial.  The uniate Orthodox developed during the colonial period in Africa.  The Church traces its origins back to the origins of the Faith:
Then the angel of the Lord said to Philip, Start out and go south to the road that leads down from Jerusalem to Gaza. So he set out and was on his way when he caught sight of an Ethiopian. This man was a eunuch, a high official of the Kandake (Candace) Queen of Ethiopia in charge of all her treasure. (Acts, 8:26-27)

This morning I met with one of the members before he entered the church to confirm they were truly Ethiopian Orthodox.  They are.  I was so happy.  Years ago I buried a scapular and some medals on the church property, praying Our Lady the church would become Catholic.  This is the next best thing.  To learn more about their beautiful tradition go here.

They are so amazing, the men and women wear white* over their clothes - the women are veiled and wear long dresses.  They do prostrations before entering the church, making the sign of the cross three times - they also remove their shoes.  I believe they use drums and chant outside the Iconostasis or sanctuary - those who do not take communion at least.

I think I know why many Orthodox do not want to be united with Rome - they want to preserve their traditions.  When I told the man I spoke with that I was Roman Catholic he said something I didn't understand and just smiled.  I don't think he was as impressed as I was.

I told them I pray with them and that I am so grateful they are here.

I'm so happy.

It is tradition to wear white or traditional Ethiopian clothes, 
(symbolizing the purity of Our Lord Christ), it is not mandatory. 
However, if you intend to take communion, then you must wear white. 

It's official. Pope Paul VI to be beatified October 19, 2014.

But which one?

Miraculous photo taken by a woman visiting Rome, Italy, of Pope Paul VI during a Papal audience. The shadowy figure of the Pope above him would suggest a double exposure except that other figures would thus be duplicated. Please note, only ONE right hand reflects the Papal ring.

I know!

Fashion footnote:  Notice the women are wearing scarves - not mantillas.


Pretending a poodle is a sheep ... I just said that.

A lone young shepherd lived in pain
withdrawn from pleasure and contentment,
his thoughts fixed on a shepherd-girl
his heart an open wound with love.

He weeps, but not from the wound of love,
there is no pain in such affliction,
even though the heart is pierced;
he weeps in knowing he's been forgotten.

That one thought: his shining one
has forgotten him, is such great pain
that he bows to brutal handling in a foreign land,
his heart an open wound with love.

The shepherd says: I pity the one
who draws herself back from my love,
and does not seek the joy of my presence,
though my heart is an open wound with love for her.

After a long time he climbed a tree,
and spread his shining arms,
and hung by them, and died,
his heart an open wound with love. - St. John of the Cross