Saturday, October 18, 2014

Is the Church not merciful?

A faithful son of the Church.

"We cannot use language that is more or less ambiguous to please the world." - Cardinal Burke

I think one of the meanest and most subversive suggestions allegedly coming from a few of the synod participants is that the Church has not been merciful.

Hasn't Catholic teaching always been characterized by mercy?  Isn't that what the Church stands for?

It seems to me some prelates may be mischaracterizing Catholic teaching as harsh and intolerant, lacking in mercy, with the implication that Church teaching forges burdens too heavy to carry.  In other words, suggesting that up until now, the Church has been a cruel task master, governed by Pharisees?

"I am offended by the abysmal idea that, until today, bishops and priests could not have been merciful." - Cardinal Burke
They say that times have changed, that we can no longer talk about natural law, or of the indissolubility of marriage…But man has not changed. He continues to be as God has wanted him to be. It is true that the world has become secularized, but this is a reason to all the more speak the truth in a clear and forceful way. It is our duty, but to do this, as St. John Paul II taught in Evangelium Vitae, we have to call things by their own name. We cannot use language that is more or less ambiguous to please the world. - Cardinal Burke

Jesus, I trust in you.  You alone.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Church History is so fun... Boniface VIII

Boniface VIII
Song for this post here.

As rumors fly...

Boniface succeeded Peter Celestine - the 'Benedictine' pope-to-resign prototype, kinda, sorta.  I'm thinking and reading about these guys because of the mess in Rome now days...

We live in exciting times, I tell you!

Did you know?

Boniface was denounced by some as a heretical criminal?

He had a tumultuous papacy.

He cancelled everything his predecessor decreed - which wasn't much.

Oh!  Oh!  Pope Celestine was said to have been persuaded to resign - and Boniface was one of his advisers... I know!  He had him imprisoned - quarantined ...

14th century miniature.

And then, and then ...
On 7 September 1303, an army led by Nogaret and Sciarra Colonna surprised Boniface at his retreat in Anagni. The King and the Colonnas demanded his resignation; Boniface VIII responded that he would "sooner die". In response, Colonna allegedly slapped Boniface, a "slap" historically remembered as the schiaffo di Anagni ("Anagni slap").
Perfect for Halloween.

Oh! Oh! And then ...
Boniface was probably beaten and nearly executed, but was released from captivity after three days. He died on 11 October 1303. He had died of suicide from "gnawing through his own arm" and bashing his skull into a wall. - Wiki

What a wonderful Church we have, such a rich, fascinating history.  Who needs fiction when the truth is so captivating?!  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Not to worry!


Quote of the day:
Unam sanctam ecclesiam catholicam et ipsam apostolicam urgente fide credere cogimur et tenere, nosque hanc frmiter credimus et simpliciter confitemur, extra quam nec salus est, nec remissio peccatorum. - Boniface VIII

Disclaimer:  No harsh accusations of living or dead embedded in this post.  No hidden agenda or meaning intended.  No judgement against the living or the dead proposed.    

I'll say it again - Catholics need to apologize to Dan Brown and Ron Howard ...


What you said in the darkness ... what you have whispered behind closed doors ...

Remember when everyone was up in arms because Dan Brown and Ron Howard 'conspired' together to destroy the Catholic Church with the very, very, outrageously fanciful-fictional "Da Vinci Code" and "Angels and Demons"?  They were called anti-Catholic bigots, out to destroy the Church.  Though the plot was clearly fictional and not a few details were so completely far out that it might have bordered on camp in the hands of a lesser director.  I think the films are highly entertaining and delightfully suspenseful.  I love the sets.  (If only Brown would have used the Legion of Christ instead of Opus Dei for the bad guys - it may have been more believable.  What?)

Just a reminder...

The Dan Brown films, along with "Priest" and "Philomena" and other so-called anti-Catholic films and novels pale in comparison to what is happening in real time, in Rome, online, and in mainstream media... I doubt even the most talented conspiracy theorist could come up with greater drama and scandal.  And it's the Catholics themselves doing all the damage.

Ya gotta laugh...

And apologize to Dan Brown and Opie Taylor Ron Howard.

"Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed." - Today's Gospel

Pa, just what did I do that was so bad?

Don't read stuff into the Holy Father's homilies...

 ‘Supposing the Pope looked up and saw a cloud and said 
‘It’s going to rain’, 
would that be bound to happen?’ 
‘Oh, yes, Father.’ 
‘But supposing it didn’t?’ 
He thought a moment and said, 
“I suppose it would be sort of raining spiritually, 
only we were too sinful to see it.’”
Brideshead Revisited

People seem to be reading the daily homilies of Pope Francis as if they are a sort of horoscope, or worse, code for what he thinks about the Synod and the Synod Fathers.

Don't do that.  Don't read things into what the Holy Father says in the daily homilies.  If it seems to you he is speaking code, that he is commenting on the Synod in a passive aggressive sense - ignore it.  That isn't the Gospel, and the Mass cannot be used as a political weapon.  These ideas are from the Evil One.

If the Pope doesn't make sense, if you believe you have to interpret what he says to fit some agenda, ignore him, move on.  Instead, read the Gospel, go to Mass, pray the Rosary - pray and be patient and trust God.  Every priest offers commentary on the Gospel at his daily Mass - sometimes it may not be all that meaningful to us in the moment.  If that is the case, then meditate the readings of the day on your own.

That said - it is perfectly alright - even a duty - to object to the very bad doctrine being circulated these days ...  Fr. Z said something I have to agree with regarding social media:
Had the social media existed at the time of the Second Vatican Council, it would never have been possible to ram through the radical liturgical “reforms” of the 60′s and 70′s. - Fr. Z
I hope so.

Looks like rain.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

To be honest ... I'm sad.

Chastity is “a mystic virtue for those who have chosen it 
and perhaps the most superhuman use of sexuality." - Tondelli

Now that Fr. Check of Courage has said something, I can admit that.

I was consoled to read that Fr. Check also had concerns over the confusion generated by the 'relatio':

Now Father Paul Check, who leads the international Courage apostolate, which helps Catholics with same-sex attraction live in accord with Catholic teaching on chastity, has expressed concern about this passage. During an interview today, he said that Courage members are worried and confused about the message from the Synod:

"I am most concerned for the people who are part of the Courage apostolate. They trust that what the Church teaches on homosexuality is true. They are striving with God’s grace to live that teaching, amid other voices — including their own families — telling them to live another way and find a partner. 
They look at this language with dismay, concern and some pain. They count on the voice of the Church to keep them strong and reassure them that the choices they have made are true. The Church gives them strength to persevere. 
I also think about our EnCourage parents and their struggle to trust what the Church teaches is true, when there are many other voices in the legislature and judiciary that want to normalize same-sex unions.
When I read the statement, one thing that went through my mind was to ask the question, “Do we have the conviction that a chaste life is part of the good news of Jesus Christ, no matter what our state of life?"
We don't do someone any justice by allowing them to remain in a sinful way of life. but the call to conversion does not ignore the conditions in which someone is living. - Source

I'm not a member of Courage, but I embrace the spirituality and encourage others to embrace it.  I have struggled to live faithfully to Catholic teaching ever since my conversion in 1972.  I have failed, fallen, too many times, but I kept trying to live a chaste and celibate life for 30+ years.  The Lord heard my prayer and mercifully granted me that grace through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary during the Great Jubilee of 2000.  As the late Italian author, Pier Vittorio Tondelli said after his conversion, chastity is “a mystic virtue for those who have chosen it and perhaps the most superhuman use of sexuality."

Chastity is possible and obtainable.  If only I could convince others of what a beautiful grace it is.  To love chastity - pray for that - God always hears and answers our prayers which accord with his will.  Chastity imbues the soul with the most delightful freedom of spirit.

So yes.  To be honest.  I was sad.  I was sad that there are those seeking to convince the Synod Fathers otherwise.

What do I really do when stuff like that happens?

I double down in repentance - because I have so often compromised in the past.  I repent - convinced of my own infidelities.  I pray for mercy.  I pray Our Lady's Rosary.  I pray in reparation.  I make acts of faith and hope and charity.

I also try to laugh and pretend I'm not upset.  Like St. Therese used to do so as not to upset the Child Jesus - I pretend that I'm not sad.  Sounds childish and pious, I know.  I don't care.

It works for me.

Many thanks to Fr. Check for his support, encouragement, and guidance of same sex attracted people.  That's the kind of support the people of God need and desire.

Ed. note:  Sorry - I'm closing comments for this one... I might even remove my own commentary as well.  I always say too much.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Synod Chat: Call in the exorcist!

Crazed nuns from "The Devils" a film by Ken Russell.

I wrote an email response to a friend just this morning regarding the confusion generated because of the Synod.  I actually give credit to Francis for this.  I think this is what he meant by making a mess.  I'm serious - even if he didn't intend for it to be quite as messy as it has become - way before any resolution is even proposed!  The thing just started - it's not even close to being concluded.

The scene shown above is from the film, The Devils.  It shows the nuns being convinced to partake in the conspiracy of diabolic possession ... more or less.  Huxley's novel is more complicated than that - yet I thought of the scene in relationship to what I've seen online this morning.

People have to get a grip - there is a hysteria brewing and sweeping through Catholic social media, and it seems to me it is rather morbid - if not diabolic.  And many people are being convinced by it ...

Watch what you read and say, who you read and listen to.  I have to agree with something Eve Tushnet wrote on the subject: Obviously the “relatio” is not official Church doctrine etc etc etc, and I have no idea how much it even reflects the conversations and thinking of the bishops. I tend to expect the worst from them; put not your trust in princes of the Church and all that.  Although I distrust social media commentators - like myself - even more.

That said, what was stated in the relatio sounded rather familiar to me.  It's the type of thing I have heard pretty much all of my life.  Now the whole Church gets to hear it.

Trust God.

I trust God.  I trust Divine providence.  I believe God is allowing this 'division' amongst the hierarchy to become manifest so as to reveal the real state of our Church and society.  It mirrors the division in our families.

As the Lord told Peter - Satan will sift 'all of you'.
“Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.” - Luke 22: 31-32
In other words, God is allowing this sifting of the hierarchy - and the faithful.  Keep in mind, "nothing is hidden that will not be revealed."  Thus the unmasking of the crisis in the Church.  This must be a purification, a distillation of sorts, and we need to stand fast and have confidence the Holy Spirit is purifying the filth in the Church.

We all know there is division in the Church, in our archdioceses, our parishes, our families, our country.  If you are looking for a chastisement - I've got the feeling this is it - and it starts with the Church.

"Pray and don't worry." - Padre Pio

"Be not afraid!" - John Paul II

"Sins of distrust wound Me most painfully." - Jesus to St. Faustina

Make frequent acts of faith, hope and charity.  That's how the saints endured their trials.

And laugh.  It really helps.


Feast of St. Teresa of Avila

Today is the feast of St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila).

One of my favorite quotes from St. Teresa is, "Prayer is the trap door out of sin."

So often people are told that if they are in a state of mortal sin they cannot merit any grace, and their prayers and good works are not efficacious.

Nevertheless, it is important that the sinner never give up prayer.  Pray as best as he knows how, and as often as he can - even when he feels he cannot quit his sins. God never fails to hear prayer, especially the prayer to be free of ones sins, placing all of ones confidence in the mercy of God.  We do not have to be perfect to pray. The idea of merit?  Leave that to the Blood of Christ.

Pray, pray, pray without ceasing, this is how you will attain eternal life.

St. Teresa, teach us how to pray and obtain for us a greater thirst for prayer.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Michael Voris in the field.

Inside the Vatican Press Office.

He's the best.

In this segment, Voris clears up all the misunderstanding from yesterday.

He's really holding up well.  He still looks really great too.

I also watched EWTN News tonight - Cardinal Schönborn was interviewed and helped clarify the confusion as well.

Clear sailing here on.

Thanks be to God!

H/T Ray (Thanks Ray!)

Cool Haircuts

Monday, October 13, 2014

Indigenous Peoples Day in Minneapolis - Officially

The first year ever.

I'm Scandinavian descent - mostly - German/Austrian/Irish on my mother's side - which means I believe the Vikings were here first.  Columbus discovered America for the Europeans.  The Spanish brought the Gospel.  Someone had to do that.

Indigenous people were already here - obviously they discovered the landmass first, and formed their own civilization - I have no problem with celebrating that.  I also think it is important for us to understand the grave injustices done to indigenous peoples by Europeans and to acknowledge that.

Giving up Columbus Day doesn't change anything for me.

Synod Chat: Not interested...

I'm not sure poor homeless families
are all that interested in who goes to communion - or not ...

I have no say in the proceedings either.  I'll wait for the decrees.

The End.

October 13, 1917 - 97th anniversary of the apparition and miracle at Fatima.

On 13 October 1917 the children surrounded by a crowd of 70.000 persons under a torrential rain, Lucy asked again of the Lady:"What do you want from me?" she answered: "I am the Lady of the Rosary, I desire here a chapel in my honor to be built, that people continue to recite the Rosary every day."  
"Will the war finish?" 
"The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes." 
Then Lucy asked: "may I ask you for cures and conversions, will you grant them?" 
"Some yes, others no. It is necessary that they ask pardon for their sins, that they no longer offend God our Lord, he is already too much offended." - Source

I ask pardon for my sins and the grace to no longer offend Our Lord, who is already too much offended.

Sr. Lucia to Fr Augustin Fuentes in 1957:
Father, the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Blessed Virgin. And the devil knows what it is that most offends God and which in a short space of time will gain for him the greatest number of souls. Thus, the devil does everything to overcome souls consecrated to God, because in this way, the devil will succeed in leaving the souls of the faithful abandoned by their leaders, thereby the more easily will he seize them.
That which afflicts the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Heart of Jesus is the fall of religious and priestly souls. The devil knows that religious and priests who fall away from their beautiful vocation drag numerous souls to hell... The devil wishes to take possession of consecrated souls. He tries to corrupt them in order to lull to sleep the souls of lay people and thereby lead them to final impenitence...

“Father, the Blessed Virgin did not tell me that we are in the last times of the world, but I understood this for three reasons:

“The first is because she told me that the Devil is engaging in a battle with the Virgin, a decisive battle. It is a final battle where one party will be victorious and the other will suffer defeat. So, from now on, we are either with God or we are with the Devil; there is no middle ground.

“The second reason is because she told me, as well as my cousins, that God is giving two last remedies to the world: the Holy Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And, being the last remedies, that is to say, they are the final ones, means that there will be no others.

“And the third, because in the plans of the Divine Providence, when God is going to chastise the world He always first exhausts all other remedies. When He sees that the world pays no attention whatsoever, then, as we say in our imperfect way of talking, with a certain fear He presents us the last means of salvation, His Blessed Mother.

If we despise and reject this last means, Heaven will no longer pardon us, because we will have committed a sin that the Gospel calls a sin against the Holy Spirit. -