Saturday, May 24, 2014

This is creepy: 'Elliot Rodger's Retribution' - a video.

“If I can’t have you, girls, I will destroy you.”

Twenty two year old lonely virgin, angered over rejection ...

It is a chilling video and article - go here to read and watch - I'm sure the video will probably be removed - I'm surprised it hasn't been already.  Rodger's parents are reportedly  Hunger Games assistant director Peter Rodger and his wife Soumaya Akaaboune.

I ignored the original story '7 dead in drive-by shooting' thinking it was gang related - stories it seems we hear all of the time.  When I watched the video, read the text - I realized this story was different - albeit 'school-shootings' related and becoming more common every school year.  It just keeps happening and seems to be getting worse.

This country is in collapse.


The Pope and Our Lady Help of Christians

Auxilium Christianorum
Show thyself a Mother ;
Offer Him our sighs,
Who for us Incarnate
Did not thee despise. 

Today is the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians and it is the first day of the Holy Father's pilgrimage to the Holy Land for unity of Christians.  Once again I'm reminded of the Dream of St. John Bosco.

"It is under the title of Our Lady Help of Christians 
that Saint John Bosco had his famous vision 
about Christ’s Church and the Blessed Virgin."
Read more here.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Pope in Jerusalem ... Tomorrow

What do you think?
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis leaves Saturday morning for his three-day apostolic pilgrimage to the Holy Land, which marks the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s visit to the region. He will visit Jordan, the State of Palestine, and Israel. Vatican Radio’s Philippa Hitchen spoke to Charles Collins on Friday evening from Jerusalem about the anticipation for the trip. - Source
Remember the unknown locutionist of Monsignor Esseff?  "The Pope, the head of the Catholic Church, will go to Israel in its darkest hour and lay down his life for Israel. "

See - that's why I don't like these unapproved private revelation messages from unknown locutionists.

Pray for the Holy Father - and not just for the indulgence attached to such prayers.

Sainted animals.

S. Sergius Radonez

St. Roch was nursed by a dog who licked his wounds.

St. Sergius Radonez and St. Seraphim Sarovsky fed the bears from their hands.

St. Giles

St. Francis tamed a wolf, rescued lambs from slaughter and talked to birds.

St. Anthony Padua

St. Anthony of Padua exposed the Blessed Sacrament and a donkey adored - Anthony also preached to fish.

St. Jerome nursed a lion.

St. Jerome's kitty-lion.

St. Giles had a companion deer, for which he took an arrow, crippling him for life.  The deer is said to have sustained him with her milk from time to time.

St.s Eustace and Hubert both were confronted by deer whose antlers held images of the crucified Christ which subsequently led to the hunters conversion.

St. Martin

St. Margaret of Cortona was led to her lover's corpse by his hunting dog.

St. John Bosco had a mysterious dog Grigio who protected him.

St. Joseph of Cupertino freed little birds from snares, and gave the Poor Clares a little lamb to wake sleepy nuns during the Night Office.

St. Poodle and Roch.

Other saints had close relationships with cats, dogs, sheep, mice.  St. Martin de Porres for one.

How cute is that?

I think of this stuff when my cat comes along to pray with me.

Sainted priest and Blue Jay.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

An apostolate I like very much: Urban Missionaries of the Heart of Christ

I just discovered it after checking out Scott Woltze's conversion story.

As Scott explains his ministry:
On All Saints Day in 2013, God invited me to take up a new ministry. While walking through the city the Holy Spirit revealed the different spiritual conditions of three groups of people, and then showed me that the only religious presence on the street was a fundamentalist pastor and some Mormon missionaries. Unlike previous centuries, the Catholic presence on the street had vanished, and in a time when it is desperately needed. After some reflection, I had my neighbor sew a short tunic with the Jesus Caritas heart and now I walk the Portland Metropolitan area offering a visible presence of Christ's love. In time, I hope other laymen will join me, and we will become a fixture around Portland and other metropolitan areas. If you are interested in learning more about this ministry, please write to  - Urban Missionaries
His model is the Bl. Charles de Foucauld, yet the work sounds very Franciscan - as in Pope Francis Franciscan, going out to the existential peripheries.  The Little Brothers and Sisters of Jesus - a very tiny religious order live similar lives - as do some Franciscan reform communities, as well as the Missionaries of Charity of course.  Scott Woltze does it differently, more simply, as a layman - like a Mormon or an Evangelical street minister - or even better - in the words of Madelaine Delbrel, as 'we, the ordinary people of the streets'.  Where will it lead?  I don't know.

I think the Spirit has grasped him and led him into the heart of the Good News.  It seems to me this is an example - at least one concrete example of what Pope Francis is calling Catholics to do.  Befriending the stranger.

Many years ago I used to day dream about a small chapel of adoration, right downtown - at the time - in the heart of the Combat Zone in Boston.  Open 24 hours for adoration, possibly with priests available for non-stop confessions.  Providing a place to crash, get some food, get medical attention and any sort of help.  Yet the 'presence' would be in the worst areas, where people were most alienated or abandoned - so they could 'see' the presence of God - and respond however and whenever they wanted.  No Bible banging harangue about hell and condemnation - just merciful love.  The Little Sisters - I think in Canada - had a van with the Blessed Sacrament and from what I understand they had adoration whenever they stopped, with local priests coming for Mass.  Those were all dreams on my part.

Now Scott Woltze has taken it to the streets.  He's that living tabernacle - bringing Christ to the existential peripheries.  "A silent, visible sign."  If this be God's will for him may God's will be done.

I thank God and can only unite myself in prayer for Scott and his generous efforts. 

Pope Francis Excommunicates Singer of "We Are One Body"?

Oh no!  Not Dana!


Oh wait - the President of We Are Church was excommunicated for simulating Mass...
Martha Heizer hatte gemeinsam mit ihrem Mann regelmäßig Messfeiern simuliert. Jetzt hat Rom durchgegriffen und beide exkommuniziert - Theologische Fakultät Innsbruck: Heizer soll wegen fehlendem Studium auf Selbstbezeichnung "Theologin" verzichten. - Source - H/T Fr Z 
I'm sorry, I thought it said for 'simulating church-music'.  My German isn't that good since my brother divorced his Austrian wife Tiffany Kristallnacht.

BTW - A new blogger, Larry of Acts of the Apostasy is promoting one of his favorite simulations of church-music-videos here.

Never mind.

Roman Catholic priest Rev. Edwards Beck suggests Pat Sajak is a racist sinner...

“You can’t find a more decent guy than Pat, you know.”

Roman Catholic priest Rev. Edwards Beck, who believes that denying climate change is a sin, on Wednesday lashed out at game show host Pat Sajak after he compared environmental activists to racists.
“The church has indicated that this is a moral issue,” Beck explained to CNN’s Carol Costello on Wednesday. “We’re stewards of creation, we need to care for it. This is God’s gift to us. And if you abuse it, then you are really maligning that gift.”
“I think the argument could be made that it is more racist to deny climate change because those being effected by it are the poor. The global poor are effected most by climate change, not the rich, who can afford air conditioning, and who can get around all the deleterious effects of climate change.” - Source

"Give me a break!"

So anyway - I'm not denying climate change.  However, climate change is so much more involved than air conditioning for poor people, I must say.  Rich and poor alike will feel the effects of climate change...


Evidently he still believes in sin - that's a good sign.

Although Fr. Beck has held some controversial views on other stuff - issues more immediate than climate change.  Such as homosexuality and Catholic teaching.  In 2011, another priest, Courage chaplain Fr. Richard Perozich responded to a 2010 CBS article by Fr. Beck on the sexual abuse of minors by priests saying, 'Father Beck's commentary expresses an opinion not in accord with Catholic truth.'


Yeah, but what did Pat Sajak say?
“I now believe global warming alarmists are unpatriotic racists knowingly misleading for their own ends. Good night.” He tweeted.
So?  He was going to bed, maybe he took Ambien?  Maybe he was drunk?  Maybe he's just old?  He can tweet/say whatever he wants.  There are much bigger sins people.

“You can’t find a more decent guy!"

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Media hypersexualizes men huh?

"Who gets to be clothed and who gets to bare flesh 
(in posed photography) is an issue of power." - Gail Dines

Just men, you say?

Really?  So what about the Myley, Britney, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Gaga monsters, sluts, er fans?  Media definitely hypersexualizes women and girls.  Media has pretty much made girls 'porn ready for dating' as well. (I love pointing this out - and just remember, the cosmetic and fashion industry is also a huge participant, facilitator.)

The effect of media and porn upon men and boys is well known - that is a given.  Yet media, indeed mainstream media, has increasingly objectified men as well - for gays and women and girls.  Additionally, media has emasculated men, portraying them as the 'weaker' sex, submissive or passive and stupid in the role of husband, father, boyfriend.  If you watch television and catch the prime time ads, this fact is fairly obvious - it makes for comedy, but it also 'turns gender roles on their head' and develops into "an issue of power".  It also forms impressionable minds.  If you watch popular women's daytime television, you see the sexualization of men - shirts off by request on Ellen - pretty much every day.

I bring this up because last week, a feminist researcher, Gail Dines said some things at at the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation 2014 Summit in Vienna, outside Washington, that maybe accurate to a certain degree, yet her sourcing the blame strikes me as a little biased and a tad exaggerated. Why? Because she seems to be laying a great deal of the blame on gender inequality - at least that is what stands out in this particular outtake from her speech.

Based on her research, Gail Dines has concluded, "We have basically let the media and the pornographers become the sex educators" and that "the Internet has made boys porn-ready for dating." Dines is a sociology professor at Wheelock College in Boston and the founding president of Stop Porn Culture. Dines, who considers herself a feminist, lashed out at how culture has turned gender roles on their head. "Who gets to be clothed and who gets to bare flesh (in posed photography) is an issue of power," she said. "We take the onus off the perpetrator" -- the media -- "and put it on the woman." - CNS News Briefs

Obviously Dines has important research to communicate and it is important to give credit where credit is due for her anti-pornography work - yet the ill effects of Porn Culture is much more pervasive, albeit subliminal, than what is always reported.  I also think it's effects upon women and men is certainly not based exclusively on "an over-conformity to the gender system as currently constructed."  Although I agree there are issues of power involved - which are related to the deconstruction of gender.

Just adding my two cents here.  Watch out for gender theories, they are pretty much embedded in everything these days.  And keep your clothes on if you want to be in control of your life.

Really dumb dad.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Altered altars and the relic trade.

Did you know?

Altar stones contain relics of saints and martyrs.  They are placed in fixed, permanent altars in Catholic churches.  Altars are dedicated, usually by the Bishop of the place.

I once came across some altar stones containing sacred relics in the basement of a parish church which had merged with another parish and obviously removed them from the altars of the closed church.  The altar stones containing the relics were unattended and carelessly stored, the saints relics contained in the stones were unidentifiable without the original documents.  That is too bad.  Sometimes relics appear online for sale, that is too bad as well.  I used to 'buy' relics - not altar stones - or rescue them when I could, which is why I know about relics and what can be done with them.  A priest once told me that I should never give them away as they belong to the Church and should be returned to the Church if and when I am unable to care for them.  I'm not sure that is rubric however.

Distinguished relics and those which are publicly venerated cannot be alienated or transferred without the permission of the Apostolic See.  I'm assuming that doesn't apply to altar stones?  Can they be given away for private use?

I read someplace that the placement of relics in a movable altar is not allowed - I think that refers to a movable altar in a church, and not a travelling altar however.  I suppose the Bishop would make that call.

[I know how important it is to be faithful to the letter, saying the black and doing the red.]

An example of a very nice movable altar.

Catholics worried about immodest bridal gowns in church?

What about these Communion dresses for your little bachelorettes?

Girls - and yet you wonder why bridal gowns are so revealing, and/or immodest?

"Get a shawl or there will be no wedding."


Song for this post here.

Baptizing Martians and Cats

Fun Guy.

I guess the Pope said something about baptizing Martians, and Vatican astronomer, Guy Consolmagno said that he would baptize an alien.

The idea that the Catholic Church would baptize martians – or baptize aliens from any planet for that matter – may strike some people as a little odd. Pope Francis recently endorsed the idea, though, and Vatican Observatory Astronomer Guy Consolmagno has also gone on the record to say that he would baptize an alien, "no matter how many tentacles it has." On Saturday, Consolmagno spoke to graduates at Georgetown College and elaborated on those thoughts, telling the audience to be prepared for the outside world. - Source

When I was little I baptized everything - including my cats.  I wonder if I should baptize Gabby?  Then she'd have to go to Mass every Sunday and Holy Day.  I would have to get her a First Communion dress and have a reception afterwards, then a Confirmation outfit, party, presents - it's a lot of trouble.

I recently read something about lay people baptizing and I either forgot or never realized the formula was pouring the water 3 times, one each in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son, and in the name of the Holy Spirit.  I think I just did one pour in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  I hope my cats aren't in hell.  Of course, I could get in touch with the Mormons and they might re-baptize them for me.

That said, I always thought baptism only works for the sons (and daughters) of Adam.


Poodle PSA:  Lest anyone be confused, in an emergency situation, this is how the Sacrament must be administered:
How to baptize in case of danger of death
The Rite of Baptism says, “All lay persons, since they belong to the priestly people, and especially parents and, by reason of their work, catechists, obstetricians, ... nurses of the sick, as well as physicians and surgeons, should know the proper method of baptizing in cases of necessity” (Rite of Baptism, 17).
In the case of necessity (e.g., the danger of death), the person who baptizes pours water three times over the candidate’s head, or immerses the candidate three times in water, while simultaneously pronouncing the baptismal formula: “N., I baptize you in the name of the Father (the minster pours water or immerses the first time), and of the Son (the minister pours water or immerses a second time), and of the Holy Spirit (the minister pours water or immerses a third time).” A lay person who administers an emergency baptism must at least have the intention to do what the Church does when baptizing. It is also desirable that, as far as possible, one or two witnesses to the baptism be present.
When baptism has been administered neither by the pastor nor in his presence, the minister of the baptism, whoever that was, must inform the pastor of the parish in whose territory the baptism occurred, so that the pastor may record it in accord with canon 877, §1. - Source

We baptize all the doll children
as soon as they are admitted.

Dear Mr. President

They used Fitz and the Tantrums song Dear Mr. President for the Mazda ad.

Love it.

Another one for the MoneyGrabbers.

And just because I like it.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Doing penance.

No!  No!  Not penance!

"The penance which God now asks is this: the sacrifice which each person has to impose upon himself in order to lead a life of justice in the observance of his law. He wishes this way to be made known to souls with clearness, for many consider the word 'penance' to be great austerities, and not feeling the strength or generosity for such, become discouraged and remain in a life of tepidity and sin." - Sr. Lucia

I love the penitent saints, but every time I write about them people assume I'm recommending that we should be doing penance the way the saints used to.  Frankly, I don't understand their confusion.  Their resistance to the idea of penance makes me wonder how they feel about the martyrs who suffered so horribly in their passion and death.  Should we be repelled by their example and heroic witness?  Do we think we must replicate all the acts and doctrine practiced by various saints in the Church?  I wonder if we are all just a little too near sighted and just want to be always happy - like a room without a roof?  A life without limitations?

I often receive comments and emails asking me what penance is, or what it means to perform penance.

Quite a few people today simply do not understand what it means or entails, especially since the only penance most of us know is the occasional Hail Mary and Our Father we get in confession - if we go at all. Then there is the Lenten observance of course, giving up candy and stuff like that. With the increasing awareness of social justice issues since the 1960's the progressive notion of penance has been activist oriented, in it's simplest expression; alms-giving and or volunteerism. Such things are valid of course, but they are good works and not always a matter of self-denial - modern folks normally maintain a certain comfort level in the performance of good deeds and penance - We don't want it to cost us anything. Kind of like not eating meat on Friday yet having a sumptuous lobster dinner instead.

 The avoidance of sin as penance.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me, modern people just do not know how to do penance, unless of course it is imposed upon us through the deprivation occasioned by calamity, disaster, and war. Yet voluntary penance normally doesn't occur to us, despite the fact Our Lady herself came to places like Lourdes and Fatima calling us to repentance and the amendment of our lives. In fact - the message of Fatima just may be an excellent resource for contemporary penitents to find some practical direction on the subject.

In the first apparition preparing the children for the appearances of Our Lady, the angel instructed the seers; "Pray! Pray a great deal!" And later, "Offer up prayers and sacrifices to the Most High." Explaining, "Make everything you do a sacrifice..."

What does that mean? Sr. Lucia explained it thus: "I feel it would be good to impress upon people... the need for prayer and sacrifice - especially that one needs to avoid sin..." Indeed, the avoidance of sin as a penance!

In 1943, Sr. Lucia wrote; "God wishes that it be made clear to souls that the true penance he now wants and requires consists first of all of the sacrifice each one must make to fulfill his own religious duties and daily duties."

Later, in 1946 Sr. Lucia reaffirmed; "The penance which God now asks is this: the sacrifice which each person has to impose upon himself in order to lead a life of justice in the observance of his law. He wishes this way to be made known to souls with clearness, for many consider the word 'penance' to be great austerities, and not feeling the strength or generosity for such, become discouraged and remain in a life of tepidity and sin." - Sr. Lucia of Fatima;Fatima Today - The Third Millennium, Fr. Robert J. Fox

What recent Popes have said.

St. John XXIII:
"1.Doing penance for one's sins is a first step towards obtaining forgiveness and winning eternal salvation. That is the clear and explicit teaching of Christ, and no one can fail to see how justified and how right the Catholic Church has always been in constantly insisting on this. She is the spokesman for her divine Redeemer. No individual Christian can grow in perfection, nor can Christianity gain in vigor, except it be on the basis of penance ... 

5. Now we have only to open the sacred books of the Old and New Testament to be assured of one thing: it was never God's will to reveal Himself in any solemn encounter with mortal men—to speak in human terms—without first calling them to prayer and penance. Indeed, Moses refused to give the Hebrews the tables of the Law until they had expiated their crime of idolatry and ingratitude.  
  16. But of her children there are some who nevertheless forget the greatness of their calling and election. They mar their God-given beauty, and fail to mirror in themselves the image of Jesus Christ. We cannot find it in Us to threaten or abuse them, for the love We bear them is a father's love. Instead We appeal to them in the words of the Council of Trent—the best restorative for Catholic discipline. "When we put on Christ in baptism (Gal. 3.27), we become in Him an entirely new creature and obtain the full and complete remission of every sin. It is only with great effort and with great compunction on our part that we can obtain the same newness and sinlessness in the sacrament of penance, for such is the stipulation of divine justice. That is why the holy Fathers called penance 'a laborious kind of baptism'." -PAENITENTIAM AGERE

St. John Paul II:
"... Penance also means changing one's life in harmony with the change of heart, and in this sense doing penance is completed by bringing forth fruits worthy of penance. It is one's whole existence that becomes penitential, that is to say, directed toward a continuous striving for what is better. But doing penance is something authentic and effective only if it is translated into deeds and acts of penance. 

In this sense penance means, in the Christian theological and spiritual vocabulary, asceticism, that is to say, the concrete daily effort of a person, supported by God's lose his or her own life for Christ as the only means of gaining it; an effort to put off the old man and put on the new; an effort to overcome in oneself what is of the flesh in order that what is spiritual may prevail; a continual effort to rise from the things of here below to the things of above, where Christ is."  - John Paul II  Reconciliation and Penance

Pope Benedict XVI:
"...Penance is a grace. 
There is a tendency in exegesis that says: Jesus in Galilee had announced a grace without condition, absolutely unconditional, therefore also without penance, grace as such, without human preconditions. 
But this is a false interpretation of grace.
Penance is grace; it is a grace that we recognize our sin, it is a grace that we know we need renewal, change, a transformation of our being.
Penance, being able to do penance, is the gift of grace. And I must say that we Christians, even in recent times, have often avoided the word penance, it has seemed too harsh to us.
Now, under the attacks of the world that speak to us of our sins, we see that being able to do penance is grace. And we see that it is necessary to do penance, that is, to recognize what is wrong in our life, open ourselves to forgiveness, prepare ourselves for forgiveness, allow ourselves to be transformed.
The suffering of penance, of purification, of transformation, this suffering is grace, because it is renewal, it is the work of divine mercy". - Holy Father's Homily, Idle Speculations 

Now why is that so hard to understand?

Recently Professor Robert George spoke at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast - what he said sure sounds to me like a good example modern day penance:
“The days of socially acceptable Christianity are over, the days of comfortable Catholicism are past. It is no longer easy to be a faithful Christian, a good Catholic, an authentic witness to the truths of the Gospel. A price is demanded and must be paid,” he said. - Source

So.  Does anyone still need to ask what penance entails?

"If anyone wishes to come after me, get over yourself, take up the burdens of your daily duty, and come after me." - Maybe Our Lord should have said it that way, huh?

Don't be scared.