Saturday, June 07, 2014

Is the recent desecration of the Blessed Sacrament in Milan a sign?

The desecration of Holy Cross Church of San Giorgio su Legnano, in Lombardy.

It is unspeakable, unthinkable.  I keep praying.

I don't know why it hasn't shaken the entire Church.

Jesus Christ, Son of God, present in the Blessed Sacrament.

Where is the faith.  The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith.  In a couple of weeks elaborate processions will take place - on a scheduled feast day, an annual solemnity.  We schedule our celebrations, we time our periods of adoration, and when we are not looking enemies come along and desecrate the sacred species ... with feces. My God!

Is our faith hollow?  Is it empty?  Is this why we can throw the remains of children into septic tanks, or burn the remains of the aborted to power our homes?  Do we only wait for a memorial day or a feast day to recall and remember and make atonement, but in the meantime go on with our lives?  Do we casually walk by the tabernacle without a genuflection?  Do we go by a Catholic church without a prayer, a nod, or a sign of the Cross?

What is wrong with us?  Where is the faith?

It keeps happening.  So what does it mean?

I read some things from Bishop Schneider that I think may shed some light on how and why we can so easily compartmentalize devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and treat the Eucharist so casually.

The real crisis of the Church is anthropocentrism and the forgetting of Christo-centrism…
Bishop Schneider said the “banal” and casual treatment of the Blessed Sacrament is part of a major crisis in the Church in which some laity and clergy, including some in positions of authority, are siding with secular society. At the heart of the problems, he believes, is the creeping introduction of a man-centred agenda, while in some churches God, in the tabernacle, really is materially put in a corner, while the priest takes centre stage. Bishop Schneider argued that this situation is now coming to a head. “I would say, we are in the fourth great crisis [of the Church], in a tremendous confusion over doctrine and liturgy. We have already been in this for 50 years.”
In the autumn, the synod of bishops will meet in extraordinary session to discuss the family, in the light of the questionnaire which Pope Francis invited the faithful to complete, giving their views on marriage and sexuality. Expectations are growing that rules will be relaxed on a range of sexual matters and in terms of divorced people receiving Communion as a sign of “mercy” from the Church.
Such views, according to Bishop Schneider, reveal the depth of the problem. “I think this issue of the reception of Holy Communion by the remarried will blow up and show the real crisis in the Church. The real crisis of the Church is anthropocentrism and the forgetting of Christo-centrism…
“This is the deepest evil: man, or the clergy, putting themselves in the centre when they are celebrating liturgy and when they change the revealed truth of God, for instance, concerning the Sixth Commandment and human sexuality.” - Source
Holy Communion is not a free for all.

I keep wondering how, why God permits such sacrilege, and I think back to the Sacred Passion of Christ.  What he submitted to, the Lamb without spot, covered in blood, sweat, filth ...  given over into the hands of sinful men.

Like the inhabitants of Sodom, we claim our rights - we want our way with him, to do with him as we please.

Those who desecrate and those of us who should know better, think we have a right to do with Him as we please.

The person who carries the pyx to the sick but stops on the way to eat, or to shop, or has work to do before completing their visitation - before administering the Blessed Sacrament to their charge.

The priest who lays his keys and wallet, along with the sick call set on the kitchen counter with hosts still inside the pyx - to be returned to the tabernacle later - while he has a beer and relaxes.

Then those who receive Holy Communion out of habit or because everyone else is going forward to get something.  Some do not consume the host but slip it into their pocket, hide it in a hymnal.

There are numerous abuses, sacrilege, indifference, indignities, desecration ... things we do not know about, or things so commonplace, we simply ignore.  Dropping the host at the reception of communion - it just happened last week at my parish, an old man fumbled and the host fell to the floor.  He picked it up and consumed it - but were there particles left behind?

I keep praying, asking forgiveness for my own abuses and unworthy, unprepared communions, I keep saying I'm sorry for what happened in Milan.

I need to follow Christ more closely, love him more sincerely - passionately.  I need to draw ever more close to Him in the Blessed Sacrament.  I need to try and make reparation.  I need to try.

Pray, pray, pray.  Pray the Holy Spirit to come.

Come O Holy Spirit, convict me of sin, of righteousness, of judgment.  Teach me and make me entirely teachable, let me remember your presence in my soul, in the Church, in the Blessed Sacrament, and in my neighbor.  Bear witness in and through me, guide me to all truth, grant me the graces you will for me, convincing me concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.  Holy Spirit come and make reparation in and through me - pray in me for I know not how to pray as I ought.  Holy Spirit come and have mercy upon me and the whole world.  Convince the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment.  Convince the world that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, He who is in the Father and the Father in Him in the unity of the Holy Spirit.   O my `Three', my All, my beatitude, infinite solitude, immensity in which I long to be annihilated, I surrender myself to you as your possession. Immerse yourself in me so that I may be immersed in you until, through the merits of the most Precious Blood of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I may go to contemplate in your light the abyss of your infinite splendor!  Amen.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Today, the world should stop and every knee should bend ...

At the name of Jesus

every knee should bend,

of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue confess that

Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

The desecration in Milan...  If the world will not stop - at least the Church can and should.

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.

"I firmly wish that my Face reflecting the intimate pains of my Soul, 
the suffering and love of my Heart, be more honored! 
Whoever gazes upon me, already consoles me" - Our Lord to Blessed Pierina.

In Reparation

ADORABLE Heart of Jesus, glowing with love for us and inflamed with zeal for our salvation: O Heart! ever sensible of our misery and the wretchedness to which our sins have reduced us, infinitely rich in mercy to heal the wounds of our souls, behold us humbly prostrate before you to express the sorrow that fills our hearts for the coldness and indifference with which we have so long requited the numberless benefits that you have conferred upon us. With a deep sense of the outrages that have been heaped upon you by our sins and the sins of others, we come to make a solemn reparation of honor to your most sacred majesty. It was our sins that overwhelmed your Heart with bitterness; it was the weight of our iniquities that pressed down your face to the earth in the Garden of Olives, and caused you to expire in anguish and agony on the cross. But now, repenting and sorrowful, we cast ourselves at your feet, and implore, forgiveness. Adorable Heart of Jesus, source of true contrition and ever merciful to the penitent sinner, impart to our hearts the spirit of penance, and give to our eyes a fountain of tears, that we may sincerely bewail our sins now and for the rest of our days. Oh, would that we could blot them out, even with our blood! Pardon them, O Lord, in your mercy, and pardon and convert to you all that have committed irreverences and sacrileges against you in the sacrament of your love, and thus give another proof that your mercy is above all your works. Divine Jesus with you there are mercy and plentiful redemption deliver us from our sins, accept the sincere desire we now entertain, and our holy resolution, relying on your assistance of your grace, henceforth to be faithful to you. And in order to repair the sins of ingratitude by which we have grieved your most tender and loving Heart, we are resolved in the future ever to love and honor you in the most adorable Sacrament of the Altar, where you art ever present to hear and grant our petitions, and to be the food and life of our souls. Be you, O compassionate Jesus I our Mediator with your heavenly Father, Whom we have so grievously offended, strengthen our weakness, confirm these our resolutions of amendment, and as your sacred heart is our refuge and our hope when we have sinned, so may it be the strength and support of our repentance, that nothing in life or death may ever again separate us from you. Amen.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Old Saint Boniface

Old St. Boniface chopped down a tree
and then after Christmas
they killed him.

+ + + 

Happy feast day Poodle - I just made that poem up - especially for you.  I know!

And ever since, German people cut down trees until Christmas.
Not knowing what to do with them, they give them to the poor people
in Mannheim to decorate and look at when they're drunk.

The End.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Abomination of desolation ....

St. Francis Xavier, Manhattan.
Photo source.

What if?  What if this is the abomination of desolation in the sanctuary? [Matthew 24:14]

Crazy?  Maybe, maybe not.  The Rainbow flag is a distinct political statement, representing an ideology in opposition to Catholic Teaching.  In other dioceses and Catholic churches, those wearing Rainbow Sashes and pins can be refused Communion.  

Just a thought.

St. Catherine of Genoa and despising human respect and vain praise...

St. Catherine of Genoa, lay woman

How impossible it was for vain-glory to enter the mind of this holy creature. Of the light which hatred of self gave her, and of the value of our own actions.

Vain-glory could never enter her mind, for she had seen the truth, and distrusting herself, placed her whole confidence in God, saying always: "Oh Lord! do with me what thou wilt." She had so little esteem of herself that it was pleasing to her to be reproved for any inclination she might have, nor did she ever excuse herself. So clear was the interior vision of that illuminated mind, and such deep things did she say concerning perfection that she could hardly be understood except by the most profound intellects. Among other things she said: "I would not wish to see one meritorious act attributed to myself, even if it were the means of insuring my salvation; for I should be worse than a demon, to wish to rob God of his own. Yet it is needful that we ourselves act, for the divine grace neither vivifies nor aids that which does not work itself, and grace will not save us without our cooperation. I repeat it; all works, without the help of grace are dead, being produced by the creature only; but grace aids all works performed by those who are not in mortal sin, and makes them worthy of heaven; not those which are ours solely, but those in which grace cooperates." So jealous was she for the glory of God, that she was wont to say: "If I could find any good in any creature, (which, however, is impossible) I would tear it from her, and restore it all to God." - Life, Chapter X

"O Love, who shall prevent me from loving thee? not only in the world as I am" (meaning the married state), "but even if I should find myself in a camp of soldiers, I could not be prevented from loving thee. If the world, or if the husband could impede love, what would such love be but a thing of feeble virtue and mean capacity? As for me I know by what I have experienced that divine love can be conquered or impeded by nothing. It conquers all things." - St. Catherine, Chapter XIX: Of her earnest answer to a Friar Preacher who told her how much better he was prepared than herself for the divine love.

For Love is strong as Death, 
longing is fierce as Sheol. 
 Deep waters cannot quench love,
nor rivers sweep it away. -Songs 8

The School of the Sacred Heart.

The Sacred Heart is an abyss of love in which we must risk all our self-love and all the evils which spring from it, human respect and the desire to satisfy nature. - St. Margaret Mary

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Uganda Martyrs: St. Charles and Companions

Ven. Pope Paul VI venerates the ground once soaked by the blood of the martyrs.

Martyrs for chastity.

Though gay bashing and the murder of homosexual men is criminal and unjust, the unfortunate victims cannot be considered martyrs, or canonized by the Church because their murder was a civil hate crime. Saints are made saints because of their heroic virtue and because they exemplify the Christian life and teaching. Martyrs are martyrs because they suffered for the faith, their death is their witness to Christ and the Gospel.

The Martyrs of Uganda are canonized saints because they were killed out of hatred for the faith, and in particular, because they refused to submit to homosexual sin. Though St. Sebastian has been adopted by gay people as a patron (the saint's physique as depicted in art plays a big part here), he was martyred out of hatred for the faith. It is important to understand that martyrs of chastity were killed because they resisted sexual sin, even in cases when they may have been violated against their will.

The martyrs help us and obtain the graces we need to follow Christ.

It is providential that the feast day of this group of martyrs, put to death for refusing King Mwanga's homosexual advances, is celebrated during what has come to be known as Gay Pride Month. Though many Christians were killed by Mwanga, a group of his pages were sentenced to death for resisting homosexual relations with the king. Homosexuality remains a cultural taboo in Uganda to this day, although it is believed the king learned and acquired the practice from the Arabs. (Source) Since certain cultural taboo were more or less ratified by Christianity, while other practices such as polygamy were condemned, Mwanga sought to rid the country of the new religion and all Christians.

The story of the martyrs is at once gruesome and edifying. 

Imagine accepting torture and death rather than committing a sexual sin which has become so commonplace in our day? The sacrifice of the martyrs demonstrates that conquering sin is indeed possible for anyone, and their witness offers the Christian great hope, reminding us how they "endured the opposition of sinners", thus encouraging us to, "not grow despondent or abandon the struggle." Their intercession is powerful before God, for their blood cries out on our behalf, reminding us... "In your fight against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood." - Hebrews 12: 3-4

St. Charles and Companions pray us.  

Fr. James Martin, S.J. has an excellent account on the Ugandan Martyrs here.

Monday, June 02, 2014

The dishonesty behind anonymity and pseudonymity.

How you say?  Carnival is over.

I know people think they can say anything they want online and we do.  I also know there can be good reason to remain anonymous and that it is permitted - however ...

I don't like it.  It's very often dishonest.  I've said it before and I'm saying it again.  I can cite examples of such dishonesty - I save them to my spam folder.  Some call it cowardice - I'm not sure about that - it strikes me more as hypocrisy.  I know the anonymous like being anonymous or using a pseudonym - that's fine.  If you know me or comment regularly here, I prefer you let me know who you are and we can discuss your issues openly.  You can call me out, accuse me of anything you like - just do it openly.  However, if you don't want to be associated with me or my blog, or let it be known you read me, or if you don't want others to know your true character - don't visit the blog or place comments here.  It's a simple solution.

Anyway, I ran across a great post by Fr. Angelo Mary on a slightly different issue wherein he discusses the problems associated with online anonymity and pseudonymity.

There is a new mobile app called Yik Yak that purposes to be an anonymous bulletin board especially useful on college campuses by which persons within the local area can post anything they want up to 200 characters. Needless to say, it is all the rage, not only on college campuses, but high schools as well. Parents and mental health professionals have already raised concerns. I hardly need to add any details. What you imagine is probably not as bad as the reality.
This is the cold-hard context of Internet anonymity and pseudonymity, just as applicable to the Catholic world as to the non-Catholic. How is it that we have come to see delayed adolescence and Machiavellianism as tools to be used in the service of the Church? Face it, the Internet is an occasion of sin for some of us, not just because only because of its more lascivious aspects, but also because it allows us to be unaccountable for our real choices, especially when those choices do harm to others.
The Internet is a place where adults must act the part. There are no baby-sitters in the blogosphere. If you choose to be anonymous or pseudonymous, when you ought to be truly accountable, no one is going to stop you. If you calumniate your sphere’s whipping boy, you’ll get plenty pseudonymous pats on the back and you can delete any comment you don’t like with impunity. If you comment on your own post under a different name so you can say things you would otherwise blush to say, no one will know the difference. But in so doing you act the part of a coward. And to cover it over in the pious language of humility, self-effacement and the service of the Church is not only self-deception, it boarders on the blasphemous.
As it turns out this post seems to me more in-line with my mysticism series than at first was evident to me. False mysticism finds an uncountable number of pretexts to say that God is speaking through us, and that we are speaking for him. The pretended mysticalways has the high moral ground. That is the one thing that cannot be questioned and that justifies everything else. And now we have the school of pseudonymous prophets who speak for Christ against the bishops, the pope, the Church and anyone who has the audacity of not going along with it.
It is a blessing that information has been democratized. I am most thankful. That false prophecy has been democratized, not so much. But that it has now also been made anonymous—that is a real bummer. It’s the Tower of Babble, behind the curtain and on steroids. Yakety-yackety-yak.
The image of the anemic adolescent, dwelling in his mother’s basement like a nocturnal animal, scouring the nether regions of the Internet and uploading viruses is not entirely a caricature of the issue at hand. Granted, it is not the same thing, but neither is it wholly different and that ought to tell us something. These are not the kind of secrets we ought to be keeping. Such behavior has nothing to do with the mysterious character of the Eucharist and it has no parallel with the legitimate defense of our sanctuaries and sacred rites.
The Internet hiding places that have become the new normal of Catholic cultural life are not like the enclosed space of the Upper Room, or the catacombs of the persecuted Christians. They certainly are nothing like the sanctuaries of our churches, or the austere caves of the prophets of God. No, these hiding places are merely the cyber-dungeons of a few punks who continue to resist the accountability of adulthood, and who do more harm to the Church than their teenage-like brains are capable of processing.
The whole thing is a scourge upon the Church, which we probably deserve. That the Church Militant bares the torch for Saul Alinski is, to say the least, ironic. But at least Alinski was a grown up enough to put his name on his own lies. Let’s at least stop pretending that this is the high moral ground of the spiritually enlightened. It is definitely not.

The Pope and the Holy Spirit

“When someone thinks they are important, that’s when the plague hits.”

"You are stewards of God's grace, not 'inspectors'.''

"You, Charismatic Renewal , have received a great gift from the Lord: you have been born from a desire of the Holy Spirit as a current of grace in the Church and for the Church. This is your definition: a current of grace.

What is the first gift of the Holy Ghost? The gift of himself, who is love and helps us to fall in love with Jesus This love changes lives, for it is said 'to be born again to life in the Spirit' . Jesus said so to Nicodemus. You have you received the great gift of diversity of charisms , the diversity that the Holy Spirit brings to service to the Church. 

The Charismatic Renewal is a great power at the service of the Gospel: you have found the love of God for all his children and the love for the Word.

The danger for the Renewal , as is often said, our dear Father Raniero Cantalamessa, is excessive organization : you need it, but do not lose the grace of allowing God to be God. There is no greater freedom than that to let the Spirit lead , refusing to calculate everything, and allow Him to guide us where He will, to enlighten us . He knows what is needed most at all times and in every era.

Another danger is to become "inspectors" of God's grace. Sometimes the leaders become perhaps unwittingly administrators of grace deciding who can and who cannot receive it. If some of you are doing this, I beg you to stop doing so! You are stewards of God's grace , not "inspectors" . Do not carry out a "customs control" of the Holy Spirit.

The Church expects this testimony , and the Spirit helps us to live in consistency with the Gospel for our holiness . I expect you to share the grace of the Church in the Holy Spirit. I expect you to evangelize with the word of God, which proclaims that Jesus is alive and loves all men; to bear witness to our ecumenical commitment: to remain united in the love that the Lord Jesus asks us to have for all men, and  in the Holy Spirit in prayer, to arrive at this unity. Remember that the Renewal is by its very nature ecumenical: the Catholic Renewal rejoices at what the Spirit realizes in other churches . Be close to the poor, the needy, touch in their flesh the wounded flesh of Jesus." - Pope Francis

What a great grace of affirmation and mission for the Charismatic Renewal.

“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”

"Gay Catholics" want patron saints? You got them: St. Charles Lwanga and Companions

Pope Paul VI canonized Charles Lwanga and his companions 
on June 22,1964.

The martyrs were not 'homophobic' either.

They faced their deaths with courage, rather than accede to the culture of the Ugandan court.  They refused to take part in the homosexual acts demanded by King Mwanga.
One of the twenty two Ugandan martyrs who converted from paganism, Charles was the chief of the royal pages in the king's court, as such he also was a moral force amongst his companions and became their leader even in death. He was the best athlete in the kings court and considered "the most handsome man of the Kingdom of Uganda." He instructed his compatriots in the Catholic faith and personally baptised the younger pages. Charles encouraged the boys and young men to live chastely and resist the homosexual advances of the perverted king Mwanga.
A superstitious pagan, Mwanga at first tolerated Christianity. Katikiro, a deputy in the court convinced the king that the Christians were dangerous, persuading him that if they refused to offer sacrifice, partake in the the activities the king desired, and if they would not massacre or make war, they would be no good for the kingdom, and if the kingdom became Catholic, it would destroy the country. Charles was sentenced to death and accepted his sentence with great joy and peace. He was executed by being burnt to death, after first arranging his own pyre and laying down upon it. Never crying out in pain he simply twisted and moaned, "Kotanda! (O my God!)." He died June 3, 1886.

St. Charles Lwanga,
pray for us.

Got questions about the Eighth Commandment?

Such as, who's breaking it?

All of us.

Don't point fingers.  Read your com box.  Read your posts.  Check your attitude.  Examine your conscience.

Example: "When did it become acceptable for these so-called Catholics to use their platforms to sling mud at and besmirch the reputations of any brother in Christ who disagrees with them?" 

That question raised by a blogger who accused Pope Francis of destroying the Church - deriding the Holy Father with such rash judgments as the following: "Pope Francis and his cabal of heterodox prelates and their machinations to undermine Catholic life and thought..."  And questioning the Catholicism of his critics, he calls them out:  "These self-serving, egotistical bloggers and their commenters should be ashamed of themselves, if they are capable of shame."

I'm interested in these rivalries in so far as they are great examples of how screwed up the Catholic blogosphere actually is.  I'm surprised at how we all seem to accuse one another of the very faults we all commit or have committed at one time or another.

Very, very, very few bloggers have taken the high ground in these latest confrontations.

Question on the 8th Commandment?

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.He becomes guilty:

- of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;

- of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them;279

- of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them. - CCC

Disclaimer:  Always, always, check your Catechism - study your Catechism.  Consult your chancery, your parish priest, your spiritual director, and/or your confessor whenever you have questions on Catholic teaching and doctrine, faith and morals, as well as the Teaching Magisterium of the Catholic Church.  Do not depend on bloggers for catechetical instruction or spiritual direction.  Do not depend upon social media for your instruction.  

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Pope Francis at the "Renewal of the Spirit" Convocation in Rome

“Families are the domestic church where Jesus grows 
in the love of a married couple, 
in the lives of their children. 
This is why the devil attacks the family so much. 
The devil doesn’t want it and tries to destroy it. 
The devil tries to make love disappear from there.” - Pope Francis


 This is very affirming for thousands, millions of Catholics who have often been maligned and marginalized by some in the Church for their participation in the Charismatic Renewal.  Pope Francis is the first Pope to participate in such an event.  Praise God.
During his main discourse, Pope Francis said members of the charismatic renewal had “received a great gift from the Lord.”  He said that when he thinks of members of the charismatic movement, a particular image of the Church comes to mind. “I think also of a great orchestra, where every instrument is different from the other, and the voices are also different; but all are necessary for the harmony of the music.” The Pope then reminded them that, like in an orchestra, no one in the Renewal can think of themselves as being more important than another, or consider think of themselves as a leader. “You have only one leader, only one lord: the Lord Jesus.” 
 Pope Francis then addressed the representatives of the family, warning that the devil seeks to destroy the family. He called on the Lord to bless families, giving them strength against these attacks from the devil. - Vatican News

Another report here

In Thanksgiving to The Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart of Jesus!  
I place all my trust in you.

June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

When our hearts grow cold, if we turn to the Sacred Heart with persistence and confidence, He will ignite our hearts in the fire of His Love.

Just like He did to St. Gaetano.

Ascension Sunday

Something else to be thankful for!

"In the liturgy of the Church, it is principally his own Paschal mystery that Christ signifies and makes present. During his earthly life Jesus announced his Paschal mystery by his teaching and anticipated it by his actions. When his Hour comes, he lives out the unique event of history which does not pass away: Jesus dies, is buried, rises from the dead, and is seated at the right hand of the Father “once for all.”8 His Paschal mystery is a real event that occurred in our history, but it is unique: all other historical events happen once, and then they pass away, swallowed up in the past. The Paschal mystery of Christ, by contrast, cannot remain only in the past, because by his death he destroyed death, and all that Christ is—all that he did and suffered for all men—participates in the divine eternity, and so transcends all times while being made present in them all. The event of the Cross and Resurrection abides and draws everything toward life. " - Source