Saturday, September 13, 2014

O my God, I am heartily sorry ...

The Pope said it again...

World War III
Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction…
The shadow of Cain hangs over us today in this cemetery. It is seen here. It is seen from 1914 right up to our own time. It is seen even in the present. - Pope Francis' homily at Redipuglia

It is at least the second time the Holy Father called the current global crises WWIII.

Here's a thought.

Since I was born, the United States has been involved in some sort of 'peace keeping' mission, advisory status - with troops stationed on foreign soil, and even engaged in all out war in one region or another around the globe.  Saying nothing of the Cold War and covert operations to defend American interests in foreign countries already engaged in revolution or civil war.

Providentially, on this date in 1917: 

Words of Our Lady of Fatima, alluding to that same war the Holy Father journeyed to Redipuglia in remembrance today:
Our Lady: Continue the Rosary, my children. Say it every day that the war may end. In October Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world.

God is pleased with your sacrifices, but He does not want you to wear the cords to bed. Keep them on during the day. 
Lucia: "I have the petitions of many for your help. Will you assist a little girl who is deaf and dumb?" 
Our Lady: She will improve within the year. 
Lucia: "And the conversions that some have asked to have brought about? The cures of the sick ones?"

Our Lady: Some I will cure, and some I will not. In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe. - Source

I have an idea for the Pope.

Perhaps the Holy Father could do something for October 13, the anniversary of the Miracle at Fatima - as a way of preparing for the 100th anniversary of the apparitions in 2017.

What if the Holy Father made the following request to all the Bishops of the world:

"I know brothers that the Consecration that Our Lady of Fatima asked for has been accomplished. 

Nevertheless, considering the precariousness of our times, let us join together on October 13, 2014 to renew that consecration, and let us do so exactly as Our Lady requested.  

Considering the dangerous situation in Ukraine, let us join together collegially and consecrate our beloved Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Our Blessed Mother.  Let us also, together with every diocese of the world, begin the devotion of the Five First Saturdays of reparation asking for peace throughout the world - in addition to a worldwide rosary crusade."

I wonder what would happen?

Editor's note: If any reader has contact with the Pope will you please give him my suggestion?  Monsignor Ganswein, if you're reading...  Tell him not to call me though - I don't like talking on the phone, and I rarely answer it - of course you already knew that.  Thanks!

Rob Ford drops out of Toronto mayor's race...

Story here.
"My reasons for withdrawing 
have nothing to do with Cardinal Dolan or with the gays."

I love Rob Ford.  I love Toronto.  I love Canada.


Friday, September 12, 2014

I love this story: Best Mates get married in New Zealand.

The newly weds: Messrs Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick
They're bears too!

And I say, "Why not?"*  

Narrow minded, bigoted, LGBTQ activists have condemned the marriage.  I know!

Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick wrote their wedding vows yesterday, brimming with"nervous excitement" about their big day. 
The Dunedin men will marry tomorrow (today), but their move has horrified gay groups. 
The pair are heterosexual best mates. 
Engineering student Mr McIntosh, 23, and teacher Mr McCormick, 24, will tie the knot to win a The Edge radio station competition and a trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. 
Mr McCormick said from Auckland yesterday opposition to the wedding was understandable but the pair never intended to offend anyone. 
"We are not here to insult anyone. We are here to do our own thing and travel our own path." Mr McIntosh said the wedding was not mocking the institution of marriage.
The pair said their wedding vows would touch on their friendship and recall their time playing rugby together at King's High School in Dunedin. 
Mr McCormick, a teacher at Musselburgh School, said the friendship began after the two met at Pirates Rugby Club in Dunedin when he was aged 6. 
His family, like Mr McIntosh's, was excited about the wedding.
"They're backing us 100 per cent," Mr McCormick said. - Source

Their parents must be so proud.  I'm thinking it will be a Josephite marriage, which is quite edifying.

Gay groups claim the pair are trivializing marriage ... actually making a mockery of it.

Imagine that.

I wonder if they'd be available for St. Patrick's Day?

*Just kidding - kinda - I'm against same sex marriage. 

H/T Ray and Joel

Bill Donohue got the memo: "We will not march!"

Bill Donohue issued the following remarks yesterday:

The Catholic League, which has marched in 
New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade for 20 years, 
will not do so in 2015. - Catholic League

No, no, no, Mike!
My reasons for withdrawing from the parade 
have nothing to do with Cardinal Dolan or with the gays.

Editor's note:  BTW.  I think there is a strong possibility this just might be a way of creating an 'out' for Cardinal Dolan.  The Cardinal can now say, "The Catholic League made me aware of this oversight and in conscience I have to back out as Homecoming King/Grand Marshall of the parade."  When the going gets tough, play the pro-life card and you are so off the hook.  Not that anything's wrong with that.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Introducing The 'cyber caliphate'...

In memoriam - thirteen years after.

"Jihad and the rifle alone ... No negotiation, No conferences, No dialogue."

IS is planning to establish a cyber caliphate.
Islamic State militants are planning the creation of a 'cyber caliphate' protected by their own encryption software - from behind which they will launch massive hacking attacks on the U.S. and the West. 
Both Islamic State and Al Qaeda claim to be actively recruiting skilled hackers in a bid to create a team of jihadist computer experts capable of causing devastating cyber disruptions to Western institutions. 
They are now boasting it is only a matter of time before their plan becomes a reality.


We are in it.  The world has been at war all of this time and many of us only now realize it.  Those anti-depressants are good aren't they?  We never even noticed what was happening.

A large local company recently announced their computer system has been hacked.  According to local news, it is the same Russian hackers that took down Target and other systems.  Notice how no one ever mentions the Chinese cottage industry of hacking and online surveillance?  As Edward Snowden revealed, government agencies and small time hackers can do a lot.  And now aimless, anarchist - yet highly skilled young men and women are being recruited by the Islamic State.  Cool, huh?

It is only a matter of time.

It seems to me the collapse of the towers on 9/11 was prophetic.

Song for this post here.

But Father! But Father! - That's what the Pope said.

 Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light...

What the Pope said.  (He's just like Fr. Z!)

“‘But Father’ [one might say], ‘I don’t feel like behaving that way’. ‘Well’, [one might reply], ‘if you don’t feel like it, that’s your problem, but that’s the Christian way.” This is that way that Jesus teaches us. ‘And what can I hope?’ [one might ask]. Go on Jesus’ way, which is the way of mercy. Be merciful as your Father is merciful. Only with a merciful heart can we do all that, which the Lord counsels us to do – all the way. The Christian life is not a navel-gazing [It.autoreferenziale] one. It is a life in which one gets out of oneself in order to give oneself to others. It is a gift, it is love – and love does not turn in on itself, it is not selfish, but self-giving.”
The Lord asks us to be merciful. He asks us not to judge. Often, said Pope Francis, “It seems that we have been named judges of others: engaging in gossip, talking behind people’s backs, we judge everyone.” The Lord, however tells us not to judge, lest we be judged ourselves. “Do not condemn [others],” said Pope Francis, “and you will not be condemned.” The Lord asks us to forgive, that we might be forgiven. “We say it every day in the Our Father,” noted the Holy Father, “forgive us as we forgive others – and if I do not forgive, how can I ask the Father to forgive me?”:
“This is the Christian life. ‘But Father, this is folly!’ one might say. ‘Yes’, one might answer, ‘it is’. We have heard in these days, though, St Paul, who said the same: the foolishness of the Cross of Christ, which has nothing to do with the wisdom of the world. ‘But Father, to be Christian is to become some sort of fool?’ [one might ask]. ‘Yes’, [I would say], ‘in a certain sense, yes. It means renouncing the cunning of the world in order to do everything that Jesus tells us to do and that, if we do the sums, if we balance the ledger, seems to be against us.” - Vatican Radio

Do not judge.  Do not condemn.

Some days I think this is a harder saying than the Discourse on the Eucharist, when many of the hearers went away sad.

Don't go away sad.

I have friends who have left the devout life, the sacraments and even the Church because they found many of the sayings/teachings to be hard, saying they couldn't accept this or that - or even the scandal given by clergy.

Don't go away sad.

Not in this time when martyrs' blood flows from the temple refreshing the the parched vineyard of the Church.  Not now when saints are rising up all over the horizon, heads held high, awaiting the Bridegroom!  

Don't go away sad.


 The sound of my lover! here he comes
springing across the mountains,
leaping across the hills.

My lover is like a gazelle
or a young stag.
See! He is standing behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
peering through the lattices.

My lover speaks and says to me,
 “Arise, my friend, my beautiful one,
and come!

For see, the winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of pruning the vines has come,
and the song of the turtledove is heard in our land.

The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.
Arise, my friend, my beautiful one,
and come! - Song of Songs

See! He is standing behind our wall,
gazing through the windows...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Something else Dorothy Day said - about martyrdom...

An exhortation.

Dorothy Day was aware of the many priest and religious martyrs in Spain during the Civil War, which prompted her to write:
"We must prepare now for martyrdom–otherwise we will not be ready. Who of us if he were attacked now would not react quickly and humanly against such attack? Would we love our brother who strikes us? Of all at The Catholic Worker how many would not instinctively defend himself with any forceful means in his power? We must prepare. We must prepare now. There must be a disarmament of the heart."
Dorothy Day's concern reminds me of what Archbishop Amel Shimoun Nona said this past summer:
“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future.” - Source
This morning I read about the murders of the Italian nuns in Burundi.  Following that, I saw a headline that Muslims, somewhere, massacred 1000 in one day.   I stopped looking at the news.  Just for a day, perhaps.

Sometimes the violation against consecrated persons, the violence against innocents, is almost too overwhelming to take in.

"We must prepare now for martyrdom–otherwise we will not be ready." - Dorothy Day

Today I need to pray, to "sit alone and in silence."

Bl. Charles de Foucauld

"Live as though you were going to have to die as a martyr today." - B. Charles


I beseech you to remember in all your present contest the great reward laid up in heaven for those who are persecuted and reviled for righteousness' sake, and to be glad and leap for joy on account of the Son of Man (cf. Matt. 5:10-12; Luke 6:23), just as the apostles once rejoiced when they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for His name (cf. Acts 5:41). And if you should ever perceive your soul drawing back, let the mind of Christ, which is in us (cf. Phil. 2:5), say to her, when she wishes to trouble that mind as much as she can, "Why are you sorrowful, my soul, and why do you disquiet me? Hope in God, for I shall yet give Him thanks" (Ps. 42:11). I pray that our souls may never be disquieted, and even more that in the presence of the tribunals and of the naked swords drawn against our necks they may be guarded by the peace of God, which passes all understanding (cf. Phil. 4:7), and may be quieted when they consider that those who are foreigners from the body are at home with the Lord of all (cf. 2 Cor. 5:8).

I think that just as he who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her (1 Cor. 6:16), so the one who confesses some god, especially in the time when faith is being tried and tested, is mingled and united with the god he confesses. And when he is denied by his own denial, which like a sword cuts him off from the One he denies, he suffers amputation by being separated from the One he denies. - Origen, Exhortation to Martyrdom

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Neilson Carlin is a Master of Fine Art

Official image for 2015
World meeting of Families
Artist's website here.

Neilson Carlin has works at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin as well.

Neilson Carlin

For more on the 2015 World Meeting of Families go here.

“Of all hostilities,” Dorothy Day once wrote, “one of the saddest is the war between clergy and laity.”

I've been thinking of Dorothy Day the past few days.

The Cardinal Dolan scandal is the reason why.

Over the years, Dorothy Day had her troubles with the hierarchy - especially Cardinal Spellman and Cardinal McIntyre.  The quote I use for the headline is from an article by Michael Garvey.  It is a short article addressing the perennial conflict between clergy and laity.  The conflict is nothing new.

"There is no room for righteous wrath today.” - Dorothy Day

A good many saints have gone through such conflicts.  Once when the local Bishop placed his diocese under interdict, St. Catherine of Genoa simply went to a neighboring diocese for daily Mass and Communion.  Like Dorothy Day, she could be quite outspoken as well.

Dorothy Day, like the other great Catherine - St. Catherine of Siena - though she may have 'opposed' positions taken by her 'sweet vicar of Christ', nonetheless did so discreetly and respectfully.  In fact, Dorothy Day never resisted her 'sweet Cardinal, the vicar of Christ' to his face, much less did she publicly and directly criticize or condemn him.

Dorothy Day always acted and spoke respectfully of her Cardinal.  In fact she went out of her way to find things she admired in him.  I especially like this anecdote from The Catholic Worker site:
I arrived at the Worker shortly after Cardinal Spellman had sent McIntyre down to read the riot act. What was apparently bugging Spellman was that the paper was called the Catholic Worker. What he was angling for, and didn't get, was for [Dorothy] to drop the word "Catholic." He believed [the name] was an attempt to indicate that this was a Catholic position, and he didn't want anybody else speaking for the church. This was the famous occasion when McIntyre said to her, "What would you do if the cardinal told you to shut down the Catholic Worker?" 
She said, "If our dear, sweet cardinal, who is the vicar of Christ in New York City, told me to shut down the Catholic Worker, I would close it down immediately." She was dead serious. That's what drove me crazy. Dorothy really did go around referring to Spellman as "our dear, sweet cardinal" and "the vicar of Christ." - Michael Harrington
We do not know of what spirit we are.

I think Dorothy Day may be a good example for for us these days when tempted to anger and discouragement over recent issues within the Church.  In fact, Monsignor Pope's action in removing his original post reminded me of Dorothy when he said, "I am a son of the Church".  Dorothy said the same thing: "I am a daughter of the Church".  The proof is in their obedience and love for the Church and their superiors.  As St John of the Cross said:  "To lose always and let everyone else win is a trait of valiant souls..."

Michael Garvey closes his article with a thought that resonated with me today:
But those of us, like me, who don’t mind finding fault with the leaders of church, state and opinion, ought to remember that the need to be right can become idolatrous, that the savor of high dudgeon can become every bit as poisonous as any heresy arousing it, and that, well, we do not know of what spirit we are. - Michael Garvey

I'm thinking Michael Voris might have jumped the shark on the Cardinal Dolan scandal ...

Editor's note:  Never post or tape news coverage in anger.  Mike still looks really good though - I like the dark jacket.

The best thing to do if you disagree with the choice made by Cardinal Dolan is to write a respectful letter expressing your disagreement/confusion politely and intelligently.  One may even request he reconsider his choice to participate in the parade.  If necessary, write a similar letter to the Papal Nuncio, Congregatio pro Episcopis, the President of the USCCB, and if you must, the Pope.  Avoid condemnation and judgemental terminology or quotes - humbly present your position.  Then pray.  Pray very much.

I have a feeling that by the time March rolls around Cardinal Dolan will decide not to participate in the parade and that his runner up, Whoopi Goldberg will act as Grand Marshall instead.


H/T LarryD  Song for his post here.

So, what are you saying?

Monday, September 08, 2014

Our Lady's Birthday ...

Holy Child Mary of the royal house of David, Queen of the angels,
Mother of grace and love, I greet and praise you with all my heart.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

I can't tell you why...

Sin speaks to the sinner in the depths of his heart ... He plots the defeat of goodness as he lies on his bed ... - Psalm 36

That psalm struck me this morning.  It provided new insight into the Gospel of the wheat and the tares ... "But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat ..." [Matt 13:30-40]  It is not an exact parallel of course, since in another passage Our Lord tells us that what comes out of a man is what defiles him.  [Mk 7:14-23]  In other words, from the deep recesses of the heart comes avarice, malice, deceit, lust, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, an obtuse spirit, and so on.  Though fallen nature shares in the blame and we ourselves are often the source of our temptations, the enemy does his part as well, with suggestions which appeal to our concupiscence.

For instance, we can be praying and a temptation arises.  We can be quiet and a thought enters - a suggestion.  Sometimes we call these things distractions and calmly redirect our attention to our prayer.  That is where I connect the scripture of the wheat and the tares to the psalm.  It seems to me that sometimes our prayer proceeds amid distractions ... even gross distractions.  John of the Cross mentions that impure movements of the flesh can happen within the deepest recollection, hence it follows, that temptations to impurity can spring up in ordinary prayer, ordinary recollection - even at times such as the thanksgiving after communion.  In an exaggerated sense, we may so 'flatter' ourselves in our prayer that we no longer know our weakness or propensity to sin.  In other words, our propensity for sin lurks in the deepest recesses of our heart.  It is lodged in our affections - it resides there with our 'holy' thoughts, our prayer.

Which may help explain how one can leave adoration, or Mass, or mental prayer and head straight away into the occasion of sin, or even right smack dab into sin.  That pop-up suggestion or temptation to a particular sin may have turned into a strategy to act out.  Rather than humbly admitting the inclination as part of our prayer, recognizing it and confessing our need for grace - we simply dozed in natural recollection.  We didn't pull the tare up lest we disturb our sense of peace - our prayer time...

And yet we can still wonder why we fall so easily, and beat ourselves up for it.  (Often that initial regret is not out of sorrow for sin but wounded pride and self love.)  I think we sometimes fall so easily because we aren't convinced that we are sinners - that we need God's grace.  Likewise, I think it may be why God allows us to fall repeatedly, sometimes into serious sin.  Our temptations and even our falls serve a purpose, they teach us who and what we are.  They try us, they test us, they prove us - even when they show up in times of prayer, when we 'feel' ourselves to be good.  We must never believe we are okay or that we are immune to falling - or that we have reached some plateau of invincibility.  Perhaps the perfect can do that - but sinners need to understand that they can not trust themselves any more than God trusts us.  He knows us through and through.  We need self-knowledge at every stage of our pilgrimage.

When we fall from grace - Jesus already knew we would.   He wasn't at all surprised.  Therein lies our hope - our confidence in his merciful love.  The scriptures seem to reprimand or rebuke us, possibly increasing our guilt and shame.  Yet it is Christ who speaks to us - lovingly, mercifully.  He gently explains, 'sin speaks to the sinner in the depths of his heart' - he knows our hearts - and he calls us to cast our cares, our sins upon him - thus 'if we cling to him in love, he will free us and protect us'. [Psalm 91]  We will understand the fear of the Lord as love, and we will no longer flatter ourselves in our mind, because we will know ourselves even as God knows us.

Hence, we will no longer trust ourselves but we will place all our trust Jesus.  Confidence and love.

When we fall, we need to get back up.  We need to keep trying.  We need to keep praying.  Only the blood of Christ can purify our hearts, can remove all the tares - but we need to persevere in prayer and frequent the sacraments.  Thus we cooperate with God's grace that comes to us in Jesus, whose power at work in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.  In the end the tares will be purified and removed - some things only God can do, but nothing is impossible for Him.

Since he clings to me in love, I will free him;
protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls I shall answer: "I am with you,"
I will save him in distress and give him glory. - Ps. 90

(I'm not sure if this makes sense - so don't pay any attention to it if it doesn't.)

Art: Fallen angel by geosotal