Saturday, October 04, 2014

+Fr. Benedict Joseph Groeschel+ Santo subito!

We give you thanks for the blessings
which you bestowed upon Fr. Benedict Joseph in this life:
they are signs to us of your goodness
and of our fellowship with the saints in Christ.

 Santo! Santo! Santo!

How blessed to make his transitus upon the Transitus of our holy father St. Francis ...

How blessed to surrender his soul upon the holiest of Jewish holy days, the Day of Atonement ... the day all debts are cancelled ...

How blessed to die on the same day as his Savior and the First Friday of the month - his heart and soul united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus ...

May the angels lead you into paradise;
may the martyrs come to welcome you,
may St. Benedict Joseph with Our Lady,
Queen of the Friars Minor 
accompany you
and take you to the holy city,
the new and eternal Jerusalem.


Friday, October 03, 2014

Rabbi Yehuda Levin on homosexual unions: "What's to discuss?"

A Jewish rabbi more Catholic than (some of) the Synod fathers?

Maybe so.
Rabbi Yehuda Levin, 60, a Brooklyn rabbi with a weekly radio show who is the official spokesman for the 850-member Rabbinical Alliance of America, told LifeSiteNews, “the fate of the Church might very well hang in the balance” at the upcoming Synod. 
Levin was referring to the planned discussion at the Synod in Rome on the Church’s pastoral response to homosexual unions. 
According to Levin, who said he was not speaking for the Rabbinical Alliance, “The Catholic Church is a real bulwark at the United Nations and internationally, the premier defender of family and pro-life values.” Orthodox Jews share those values and rely on the Catholic Church as an ally. Moreover, “As things go in the Christian community, they soon go in the Jewish community,” he said. 
“Why discuss homosexual unions at all?” Levin asks. “What’s to discuss?” The rabbi said Scripture is clear on the immorality of homosexuality and “true compassion” demands that we call our neighbour out of their sin. - Source

What's to discuss?  What's to talk?

I agree.

Everybody talks and doesn't tell the truth.  It's a sin.  You can't be married to the same sex.  You can't have homo-sex.  What's to discuss?
Levin worried that some Catholic leaders are falling prey to a “militant methodology” organized by radical homosexuals that has already forced public schools, governments, and professional bodies such as the American Psychological Association to accept homosexuality as normal. - ibid

That's what we keep telling people and they don't listen... 'militant methodology' - it's like an agenda, a political-sociological movement.  Like The Homosexual Network - loosely organized, not so monolithic but highly promoted and propagandized - for acceptance and inclusion.  It's happened already.  The Church is the last opposition, the final confrontation.  The final confrontation.   But it's crumbling.
Levin is even appealing to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. 
Benedict, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, “served as Pope John Paul II’s spiritual and moral backbone. I would plead with him to step forward and preach the unadulterated truth.” 
The truth, he added, is that homosexuality is wrong, and taking a so-called non-judgmental approach to it can only encourage its growth. - ibid

So-called gay-Catholics want to know how they fit in.  You know how you fit in?  You keep the commandments.  You follow Christ.  You deny your very self, and follow Christ.  There can be no 'gay in Christ'.  (Galatians 3:28)  God made them male and female...

Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man's belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman. 
The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift. 
The integrity of the person...
The chaste person maintains the integrity of the powers of life and love placed in him. This integrity ensures the unity of the person; it is opposed to any behavior that would impair it. It tolerates neither a double life nor duplicity in speech. - CCC
What's to discuss?  What's to talk?

How to get around it, maybe?  Mashuga.

Yom Kippur starts in a an hour or so.  Go pray.


If I could turn back time...

What happened?

Blessed Charles of Austria-Hungary and Empress Zita... Kneeling for Communion.

The Emperor and Empress kneel on the bare railway tracks.

A friend sent me this photo yesterday.  October 3 just happens to be the tenth anniversary of the beatification of Blessed Charles of Austria.

Upon seeing the photo I immediately thought of the following story I had seen on Fr. Z's blog:

I received this text message yesterday (Sunday) from a young man who is a member of “Juventutem” and had to go to Seattle for work. When he went to mass there, this is what happened:
“In the Seattle Cathedral I was just denied communion kneeling and made a scene of. He eventually, after a minute standoff scoffed, said I ought to learn obedience, and then threw the Sacred Host sideways into my mouth.” - Fr. Z

Punished for kneeling.  Imagine. 

Thursday, October 02, 2014

‘Sensus fidelium’ ...

Dottie Hinkle: "I'm a divorced woman, please help me."

"...when we discuss marriage and family we have to listen to people who are living this reality. There’s a ‘sensus fidelium’ (‘sense of the faithful’)." - Cardinal Kasper

The Fine Art Collection of Mrs. Marcos.

Mrs Marcos is said to be a keen art collector. 

From BBC:
Artworks belonging to former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos have been seized by authorities who claim they were acquired with stolen state funds. 
A small number of works were taken away from properties owned by the 85-year-old on the order of the courts. - Read more here.
The lawyers for the Marcos family will appeal.

Couldn't the State have at least waited until after her death?

"Continuous persecution of widows and orphans is a crime. 
Even the Bible says there is a specific place in hell 
for those who oppress widows." - Imelda Marcos

Guardian Angels

I've always wondered what my angel would look like if I could see him, I've made a couple of drawings.  I don't believe he looks like what I imagine.

Some saints saw their angels, like St. Catherine Laboure, St. Angela Meici, St. Gemma, St. Pio; I suppose many saints were able to see them.

I've never seen him but I have experienced his protection.

I think angels are quite detached - or free from attachment.  They love us of course, but it is a pure and chaste love - a supernatural love.  To think we are loved by such a being.  Loved and protected and directed and guided - without any attempt to control or interfere with our freedom.  That is a love I never want to be separated from.


“My guardian angel, you always behold the Holy Trinity. You are deeply loved by the divine Majesty. You know how desperately I need the grace of God to know what He wants me to do and the strength I need to surrender my stubborn will to His divine will. How I need your powerful intercession with the Almighty. I trust you will hear my prayer and I am confident that with your help I will live my life as a sacrifice of myself to God and thus merit to join you in that celestial glory where you are waiting for me. Amen.” - Fr. Hardon Archives  

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Something to think about.

I'm not big on promoting private revelation, but I came upon something rather important today.

Going from light to darkness ... 
Come, I want to take you into the darkness of hell. Only then can you understand the events that are taking place and the hideousness of sin. There will be stages of this darkness and at the very end, we will come to the center, face to face with Satan and his legions. 
The road from light into darkness begins slowly. It is like a twilight. The person still believes, still practices their faith, but in certain areas of life they begin to leave God’s law behind. Attractions grow that were never tolerated before. Religious practices become secondary and routine. The flower is cut off from its deep roots of faith and no longer draws nourishment from the soil. 
The person can no longer fight the culture and soon becomes one with it. The joys found in religious practices fade and the heart is consumed with worldly goals. The soul becomes powerless in the face of temptations and more and more succumbs to a lifestyle that it would previously have rejected. 
The soul has not yet fallen into darkness but it skirts the edges, stumbles often, rises slowly and is greatly weakened while Satan waits for his moment, ready to claim a soul that had lived in the light. 
Comment: O reader, if these words describe you, know that Our Lady loves you and is offering you the help you need to return quickly to the light. - Source

That is perhaps the very best description I have ever read as to how the soul is lead astray and can fall away completely... and so quickly.

Art: Wings of Desire (1987) Dir. Wim Wenders

My Little Therese

I love this passage from her writings so much:

"Although Jesus is giving me no consolation, he is giving me a peace so great that it is doing me more good!"

It seems to me that is the ecstasy of little souls.

Feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

Happy Feast Day!

If interested, check out the Carmelite habit of the 19th century here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Refugees fleeing advancing Islamic State militants flooding Turkey ...

Story here.

My first thought when I looked at this photo: "St. Joseph and the Child Jesus on the flight to Egypt."

My Matt Talbot

Matt Talbot
T. Nelson, 2014

I never posted the finished painting - this is the final version. I added a marble ledge as often seen in medieval works.  I thought it would add another dimension to the composition and relate to the color in the Crucifix scene.  I also obscured the background for a misty, drizzle effect, allowing the figure to stand out more from the background.

Ven. Matt Talbot pray for us!

Cardinal against Cardinal: Heads exploding over the Synod.

Everything online has been, is, and will be about the Synod...

I suppose it's something to write about and get passionate about - but I don't see how all the arguing and name calling and fear mongering accomplishes anything?  Phantom fears.  How can worrying and complaining about something that hasn't even happened yet be profitable?  "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

Of course, it really is our business to discuss it - especially since "there is a sensum fidelium" worth considering. Cardinal Kasper pointed that out in his interview.

Contrary to what his critics have been saying, I think Cardinal Kasper actually makes sense.
“Everyone is free to express their own opinion, that's not a problem for me. The Pope wanted an open debate and I think that this is something new and healthy, which is very helpful for the Church.” - Cardinal Kasper Interview, CNA

Although he wasn't happy about the book written by the five Cardinals.  It seems to me that book, zealously promoted by Fr. Z, would come under the heading 'free and open debate'.

One thing the Synod will most definitely have to address is the problem of homsexualism, same sex marriage, gender ideology, and other screwed up concepts aiding and abetting the destruction of the family.

“Maybe I was imprudent. But many people are saying so, 
you can hear it in the streets every day. 
I don't want to judge anyone, 
but it is obvious that there are people who are not 
totally in agreement with this Pope, 
something that is not new and already happened 
during the Second Vatican Council, 
when many where against the aggiornamento 
of John XXIII and Paul VI.” - Kasper

Fr. Z fisks the Kasper interview here.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Vatican visitation of Bishop Finn

This is an interesting development in the reform process of Pope Francis.

Fr. James Martin said the visitation demonstrates "that Pope Francis is prepared to take a step that has been long overdue: holding bishops accountable for their roles in the abuse crisis. It is an absolutely essential step."

Depending upon the way media 'spins' these stories, especially social media, gossip and negative reaction is inevitable, and unavoidable.  It is best to take all such speculation with a grain of salt and allow the process to take place.  It shouldn't be open to public speculation anyway.  In former times, the reform of the hierarchy/clergy must have been equally as upsetting and disorientating - but the Church came through it.

As NCR noted, Bishop Robert Finn, (is) the first Catholic prelate to be found criminally guilty of shielding a priest in the ongoing clergy sexual abuse crisis.  Readers may or may not be familiar with the unfortunate case, but Bishop Finn was never jailed (nor should he have been) for his failure to report a suspected former priest accused of producing child porn.

The Vatican investigation underway is to determine whether or not Bishop Finn is fit to be a leader.  Bishop Finn has been criticized both within and outside the diocese, and his critics would be happy to see him replaced.  The story here.

Perhaps the St. Paul/Minneapolis Archdiocese is next in line for a Vatican visitation?  Just wondering.

"I know well I must render an account of everything - from the beginning of my life as well as this later part - unto the last penny, when God will search Jerusalem with lighted candles, and it is already late - the day far spent - to remedy so much evil and harm..." - St. John of the Cross

The Pope mentioned "the reality of the abandonment of the elderly" - a reader, a nursing home worker wrote to me about that...

A difficult life.

Years ago, after I left the monastery and attempted to live as a pilgrim - more in the poustinik sense of the Russian vocation, I worked in a small nursing home in Roxbury, Boston - to earn enough to support myself in a room on Beacon Hill and to put aside enough to move to Italy to follow in the footsteps of St. Benedict Joseph.

The nursing home where I worked was a nightmare of abuse and neglect.  I started out as the janitor and when the cook didn't show up for several days, I filled in - the residents and staff liked my cooking and I was given that position.  A Little Sister of Jesus I was acquainted with took over as janitor.  She was so appalled by the conditions, she quit...

I know the bad side of nursing homes, as well as the good side of the better ones.  However ... there is always suffering - no matter how nice the residence, no matter how wonderful the care.  As Pope Francis pointed out yesterday in his address to the elderly:

But there is also the reality of the abandonment of the elderly: how many times we discard older people with attitudes that are akin to a hidden form of euthanasia! The culture of discarding human beings hurts our world. We discard children, young people and older people under the pretense of maintaining a "balanced", economic system the center of which is no longer the human person, but money. We are all called to counter this culture of poisonous waste! 
We Christians, together with all people of good will, are called to patiently build a more diverse, more welcoming, more humane, more inclusive society, that does not need to discard the weak in body and mind. On the contrary we need a society which measures its success on how the weak are cared for. - Pope Francis meeting with the elderly.

"I hope Pope Francis continues to talk, loudly, about the elderly ..."

I received a comment from a friend of the blog who works in a nursing home operated by religious.  Even in these homes, all the minuscule needs of the residents cannot possibly be met, and due to the stresses of daily life, the anxieties of residents and caregivers can tax patience and charity.  It is very challenging work.  As is life.

Anyway, my friend's comment helps us understand more deeply the difficulties involved in nursing care.  Perhaps the most overlooked and under appreciated are those good people who work in dietary and housekeeping, performing the most menial yet essential tasks.  Their work is hidden and often humbling, not always well compensated nor appreciated - nonetheless it is honorable and dignified work, exalted in the eyes of God.

The testimony of a care-giver.
"I hope Pope Francis continues to talk, loudly, about the elderly - in fact, I wish he would visit 'some' nursing homes on his visit the United States, or while visiting anywhere. Conditions are .... sort of ... awful ..... in the sense that the really old all get warehoused. Although the good homes give the visual sense of an up-scale college dorm, it is still just very difficult. 
I do not see many/any of the residents calling upon their reserves of spiritual strength: I see them clinging so hard to life, becoming increasingly needy, often verbally/physically abusive to staff/nursing, fussy in all their superficial needs, and, generally, exhaustively demanding. 
Yesterday, in the oh-so-nice dining room (where it is 80 degrees and I nearly melted from the physical work in this heat for hours) I was actually ready for their arrival after Mass... the one day that almost all of them get assistance in getting wheeled in, the only day that the nuns who own the place show up: family members come: the priest is there: always, the food is amazingly good, which is helpful as I still go to a food bank and hope I can continue to qualify for $100 a month food stamps: I went to work there knowing I'd be able to eat there. An important thing, when people everywhere in the US are vastly underpaid, as am I, at 8.60 an hour. 
The thing is: this population is a cash-cow for the nursing home/medical industry: even for nuns, which surprised me....none of whom are 'nice' to the workers. Ever. Despite everything, the staff are unfailingly kind to the residents. me, included. 
This rant is because....I really do not understand why the elderly themselves seem to never reflect on their end-of-life status.  There is never a mention of death, and when it occurs it is so quickly swept away.  Nary a word of reconciliation with one's state, nary a suggestion that to be kind to others is not an adage to be thrown out the door upon reaching 80 (or 70, in some cases). 
It is extremely stressful: if this is read, I am sure most of you have gone through the last years, moments of your parents/partners lives, and know what a run-away train it can be. It is, really, the time when it is most, most essential to speak and pray about Mercy. In my mothers last years, she wrote poetry almost every day and it was usually addressed to God, and full of questions about why she was still alive ( she died shortly after her 93rd birthday), as well as intimate thanks to Him. I have a box-full. Well, that's how I know that awareness of one's state and impending death is possible.

Of course I do feel compassion, most/much/some of the time... I'm always aware of the fact that these often pitiful people have an angel nearby, their witness, all these years, and I wonder about it all. Pneumonia used to be called 'the old persons friend': now, with much medical intervention, it is no longer. Old age is a very sorry state, a time when one is so dependent upon others for the most intimate of needs - a time, I have seen, not of peace, prayer, acceptance, penance, but rather one of lashing out in anger that the 'good years' of strength, power, independence are no more. A time of surliness & often rage. And no, I am not speaking of the ones with dementia - but of those just like us, with all of these human failings often just under that thin surface. I do not know the purpose of this rant of mine, but to respond to the Pope - to please speak even louder, and explain it all to me.

This is my day off, I'll be back up at 4 am Tuesday to get to work.  Today I must finally get an on-sale phantom hydrangea into the hole I dug a week ago. There is a Mass at 6 pm I can get to, as I work every weekend (I get 50 cents an hour more for working weekends) and I'm too exhausted to get to Mass..." - Signed: C

Many thanks to my friend and all of those who do this work - it is so much more than just a job.  God reward you!

Do the right thing. The Catholic music director, Jamie Moore did.

I'm really impressed with this story.

Jamie Moore married his boyfriend, was asked by Archbishop Nienstedt to resign, and he did.

Evidently an attorney offered to represent him in a lawsuit against Nienstedt.  Jamie said no.

The pastor of his church, Fr. Bob White, explained to the parishioners what happened.

Weekend masses at St. Victoria included comments from the Rev. Bob White about Moore’s departure, which the pastor said was like losing a loved one. “It’s a deep loss,” he told the Carver County congregation at a 10:45 a.m. mass. White called Moore his friend and the “voice of the church.”
White explained the process that led to Moore’s resignation and expressed his hope that the congregation would come together. He received a standing ovation as he left the podium to begin the mass.
“How he came to this decision is consistent with the man I’m proud to call my friend for the last 18 years,” White said. “He did it in a way that was an expression of who he is and how he lives.” - StarTribune

Rejecting a lawsuit, and quietly resigning in obedience to the Archbishop's request is a faithful response from Jamie Moore.  Fr. White's comments to the congregation is a wonderful testimony as well.

I wish them well.

Invoke the Angels.

If we do not struggle, we will be defeated. - Pope Francis

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Geezer day at the Vatican...

Funny - Pope Francis didn't mention "the biological solution" - not even once?

No wonder all the 25-30+++ year old trad-lodytes despise him.

(Vatican Radio) A brilliantly sunlit St. Peter’s Square was the scene Sunday morning for a great gathering of senior citizens – and especially grandparents – who had come to Rome to be with Pope Francis, to exchange life stories and hear the Holy Father’s reflections on the importance, the struggles, and the beauty of life in the old age. People of every state in life were present: elderly clergy and religious, including Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI; single people; married couples, including a couple of elderly refugees from Iraq, Mubarak and Aneesa Hano, Christians from the country’s north who have been forced to flee their home by Islamic State militants; and widows and widowers.
“Old age, in particular, is a time of grace,” said Pope Francis, “in which the Lord will renew His call: He calls us to preserve and transmit the faith, calls us to pray, especially to intercede; calls us to be close to those who maybe in need.” The Holy Father went on to warn against losing sight of and appreciation for the inestimable worth of those, who are in the twilight of life. “A people that does not have care for [the elderly], that does not treat them well, has no future: such a people loses its memory and its roots.” - VR

Save the elderly-save the world.

Put that on your bumper sticker.