Saturday, November 08, 2014

Cardinal Burke Named Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta: The real story...

The REAL STORY here.

It says absolutely nothing about being demoted or any rift with Pope Francis.

It's all good.

(Stay with Abbey Roads for up to the minute coverage: I go right to the source for my news!)

H/T  Victoria Brisbane

Get your cape! We're going to Malta!

Pick up my cappa!

It has been announced - finally.

Since the Pope is always warning against the evils of gossip and backstabbing, I highly doubt he's being 'mean' to Cardinal Burke.  I think media is making a mess here - not the Pope, and not Burke either.  Besides, if the Pope had a problem with Burke - he'd tell him to his face - even if it ended in fisticuffs.

Song for this post here.

Memorial of Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Like Br. Lawrence of the Resurrection, Blessed Elizabeth understood the secret of sanctity, the secret of the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity.   "God gives the lonely a place to live in..."  He in me, I in Him... on earth and in heaven for all eternity.
"I find Him everywhere while doing the wash as well as while praying."  - Bl. Elizabeth
"I think that in Heaven my mission will be to draw souls by helping them to go out of themselves in order to cling to God by a wholly simple and loving movement, and to keep them in this great silence within which will allow God to communicate Himself to them and to transform them into Himself." - Bl. Elizabeth
I am so grateful for Mass and the sacraments and Our Lady and the angels and saints and for the grace to receive Jesus in Holy Communion - who remains with us always...
St Teresa notes that we can obtain the prayer of recollection for ourselves, "for this is not a supernatural state [a passive recollection which can only be produced by divine motion], but depends upon our own volition; and by God's favour, we can enter it of our own accord."
Therefore, it is important to know what the soul should do in order to practise this prayer, and this can be reduced to two things: "The soul collects together all its faculties and enters within itself to be with its God" (ibid, 28). Our senses, imagination, and intellect tend spontaneously toward exterior things, on which they are dispersed; therefore, the soul, by a prolonged, resolute act of the will, ought to withdraw them from these exterior things in order to concentrate them on interior things -- in this little heaven of the soul where the Blessed Trinity dwells. This exercise, especially in the beginning, requires effort and energy and it will not be easy at first. However, the Saint teaches, "let the soul try to cultivate the habit, despite the fatigue entailed in recollecting itself and overcoming the body which is trying to reclaim its rights." Little by little, "as a reward for the violence which it had previously done to itself" (ibid.), recollection will become easy and delightful; the senses will obey promptly; and even if the soul is not entirely from distractions, it will not be so hard to overcome them.
"O my God, You are in me and I am in You. I have found my heaven on earth, since heaven is You, O Lord, and You are in my soul. I can find You there always; even when I do not feel Your presence, You are there nevertheless, and I like to seek You there. Oh! if only I could never leave You alone!" (cf. Sr Elizabeth of the Trinity, Letters) - Divine Intimacy

There is no reason to go here or there looking for our Lord - he is within - we are his tabernacle.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Off your meds? That may not be the problem ...

What if being on your meds is more dangerous?

I was reading the side effects information on the medication guide a friend received with his new prescription from the pharmacist.  One of his prescriptions is for a common antidepressant.  The side effects range in degree, may go away, or may not go away, or - this was my thought, what if the negative reaction to the drug suddenly occurs after longtime use?  That information wasn't included.

Here are a couple of serious side effects listed:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • New or sudden changes of mood
  • Attempts at suicide
  • Acting on dangerous impulses
  • Acting aggressive or violent
There are more side effects listed, but I just noted the scary ones.


I bet almost every single reader of this blog is on some form of medication for some thing - not necessarily anti depression drugs - just any kind of drug.  Most drugs can have side effects.  Likewise, drug interaction may pose another problem, then, if you drink, that may create more problems.  Today many states want to legalize marijuana.  Combine that with alcohol, prescription drugs, more illegal drugs, and emotional instability and what do you have?  Zombie apocalypse when the well runs dry.

Seriously, just last week a kind, gentle, older man in a local hospital freaked out in his room,  dismantled his bed, and went on a rampage savagely attacking nursing staff, beating them with a rod from his bed.  [Story here.]  It was totally out of character for him and he never acted that way before.  What happened?  Was he given a sleep aid or a tranquilizer, a pain killer?  We don't know yet - it is still under investigation.

It made me wonder however.  Adam Lanza for instance; what kind of meds was he taking before he attacked the school at Sandy Hook.  What about all of the other so-called sudden murder rampages, school attacks which happen almost regularly throughout the country?  How many school kids have been on some sort of psychotropic drug with or without therapy, during their formative years?  How many use or experiment with legal or illegal drugs as well?

What are the side effects?  How about long term use?  How does it change the brain?

People are different today.  How have drugs changed cultural-social anthropology?  That's a bigger question.

Back to everyday questions, problems: How many adults on these meds experience sudden mood swings, maybe suddenly get up one day and quit their job, leave a spouse, or freak out on a co-worker?  Or just go nuts in the com box of a blog?

Read the warning labels and medication guide for your prescriptions - I'm not sure the doctors are very good about doing that for you.   Before stopping any medication check with your doctor of course, and before going on a medication - make your doctor explains its function, side effects, and why he thinks you need it.

Where else can a guy talk man to man to a man - and for free?

Only in confession.

Go to confession, and keep going every single time you fall.

You don't have a friend?  Go to confession.

You don't have some one to confide in?  Go to confession.

You don't have a dad?  A brother?  Go to confession.

Pour out your heart.

They're not there to judge you but to forgive you.

Go to confession.

It's free.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Lea DeLaria shouts down a subway preacher ...

A butch Italiana resorts to Blackshirt tactics ...

I love New York.

Lea DeLaria can be pretty funny too.  But gay humor can only tolerate so much, and New York can be stressful, you know.  Ms. DeLarious snapped when a comely Haitian evangelist was preaching the Good News on the subway.  She went all Howard Beale on the poor guy - in public, on the crowded train - and she was all suited up - black shirt, fatigues, with in-your-face signage, her printed Mein Kampf all over herself, forcing anyone and everyone who looked at her to read what she was wearing.  Then, suddenly, when some guy starts reading the Bible - she goes ballistic ... Video here.

No Free Speech for Preachers.  But Lea went to Catholic school for 12 years and knows the Bible line for line so she can tell that preacher guy to shut up.

What do 'they' like to say?  "haters gonna hate".

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

One more for the road.

Eve Tushnet posts a sort of summation of day two of the Gay in Christ colloquium...

I'm told there were about 75 people in attendance - which may explain the lack of coverage.  I seriously thought there would be a bigger crowd.  One friend told me he believed a key element in the conference might be summed up in this phrase,  "rehabilitating the Church's concept of 'eros'".  Eve Tushnet would probably disagree - she concluded her post on day 2 saying:
Overall: I initially walked away thinking we’d advanced the ball a lot on pastoral care, but very little on theology. Having mulled and discussed things a little, I’m less negative about our attempts to trace an orthodox Catholic theology which isn’t anti-gay. And anyway the more creatively, personally, and humbly we approach pastoral care, the more likely we are to understand the theology, since we understand the faith by living it. - Eve Tushnet
I think I had to be there in order to comment on the speakers.

It's a strange life they've chosen.

Gay-celibacy as a vocation?  I see it as a state in life.  Celibacy - not gay.  Gay is a condition.

That said, imagine getting up every day, and going to bed at night saying to yourself, "I'm gay", or "I'm lonely", or "I'm misunderstood"?  I think the focus is 'off'.

I found it interesting that the only religious speaker there brought up L'Arche - a community for disabled persons founded by Jean Vanier.  I love Jean Vanier very much - his spirituality is pure Gospel, deeply Catholic.  It is very much like today's Gospel, where the servants go out into the hedgerows and byways to collect the blind and the crippled to come into the Church.  It is also a very Franciscan concept - as in Pope Francis.  I get that.  That's what the Christian life is.  It's like Madeleine Delbrel, who would be a very good prototype for any effort in evangelization of gay people, BTW.

I still don't get the Spiritual Friendship - Gay in Christ stuff.  Unless it really is about disability... Nah!  They definitely don't think so.

Good patrons for these folks would be Madeleine Delbrel, Dorothy Day, and Jean Vanier - as well as Therese of Lisieux.  I like this thought from the life of Therese:
"To help me accept a humiliation, she once confided to me: 'If I had not been accepted in Carmel, I would have entered a Refuge (for fallen women) and lived out my days there, unknown and despised among the poor penitents. I would have been happy to be taken as one of them, and would have become an apostle among them, telling them what I thought of God's mercy.'" - Therese By Those Who Knew Her
That I get.

A Hybrid Spirituality

Morning on Magdalen Tower - Holman Hunt

Random thoughts ...

I was doing a lot of thinking about the Spiritual Friendship gay-Catholics this past weekend - because they met for a conference at Notre Dame.  I did a couple of posts on the colloquium, but no one read them - which is fine, because I didn't have much to say.  Although I was seriously trying to make sense of the movement as a new gay spirituality.  Gay celibates - I'm not sure how new that is.

I don't want to go through the long history of gay, lgbtq, gay liberation, gay, gay, gay history - but suffice it to say I connect the dots to New Ways Ministry, Dignity, Catholic U .... everything that has gone before leading to now.  Gay as an identity.  It's part of coming out, it's part of being immersed in lgbtq.  So everyone knows that.  The Catholic Church responded offering a very pastoral ministry known as Courage.  Courage has been maligned as being too much like a recovery, 12 Step program - and has even been accused of promoting ex-gay therapy.  That's a misunderstanding which, repeated often enough, is believed, and is even claimed today by some of the Spiritual Friends.

That's not true however.  Courage isn't a gay movement - it is a support group for men and women who wish to sanctify their lives in accord with Catholic teaching.  It is not a hybrid spirituality, such as a 'new' movement, sect or religious community/association may develop into.  Courage is an apostolate within the Catholic Church.  Go to the Courage site here to understand better.

In contrast, the Spiritual Friendship 'movement' strikes me as a bit more exclusive however - as if it is a step above.  Ever since my first acquaintance with the group, it has seemed to me to be a sort of hybrid spirituality, a gay spirituality.  Similar to various movements in history, especially the romantic movement, or as I wrote in a previous post, the Uranians - except the Spiritual Friendship movement is Catholic.  Gay celibate Catholics, aka 'New Homophiles' - in that sense, they seem more like Shakers.

I'm still trying to understand, but I'm not sure it's all that important for me that I do.  I think it's a sort of trend, a movement to something else perhaps, and that's my point.

[Metaphor alert!]

Movements have a short term flowering within an era.

Like Shakers, homosexuals - celibate or not - can't reproduce.  A homophile movement may flower, but it bears no fruit.

Usually movements are transitory, creating a sort of safe haven, or respite from mediocrity.  They offer a periodic sense of belonging and identity, and though non-binary if you will, they inevitably close in upon themselves, forming another species within an existing subculture.

One may witness the effect in various movements within religious groups throughout history - which is why I consider the Spiritual Friendship group somewhat analogous with Shakers.  Off the top of my head, I can only think of a couple of other movements, albeit completely different in purpose from Spiritual Friends; the Spiritualist Franciscans, the Holiness movement, Quietists, Oxford movement, various Protestant sects and revival efforts, even some Catholic religious groups.  Most are more or less experiential, and in many cases unstable and transitory.  That is not to say they do not effect change - they do.

[Metaphor alert!]

I may be wrong, but I actually see some of the late 19th early 20th century religious habits of women religious as a sort of metaphor for the rise and fall, the progress and demise, of hybrid movements.  Case in point, the crazy habit of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary.

The foundress, M. St. Jean

Mid-20th century exaggeration.

The two examples shown above may help to make my point.  The religious women were organized into a community to serve a particular need in the Church at a particular time.  The habit was based upon folk dress of the time - albeit religious.  Perhaps somewhat exaggerated, it nevertheless was common to the time, fabrication natural and functional, and so on.  On the other hand, the 20th century hybrid denied the humanity of the person, confined and restricted vision and movement, and became an obstacle to the performance of duties, as well as restricting authentic freedom of spirit.  Components of the habit were rigid and artificial.  Religious life stagnated and withered.  The RSHM's remain extant, but it seems many religious congregations like them are fading away.  Although that's another post.

"All things are passing away: God never changes." - Teresa of Jesus

(Told you this was random.)

(Oh!  I may be wrong too.)

Song for this post here....

Yup.  That will do for now.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Victim Victorious.

Do you suffer from same sex attraction?

No.  I don't.  I enjoy being attracted to persons of the same sex and the opposite sex.  It is human nature to be attracted to other people.  Nothing wrong with that - unless the attraction becomes inordinate.

Grace and beauty is an attraction - vain rejoicing in it leads to evil.  Even then, one may not 'suffer' or 'struggle' with the attraction per se - rather it seems to me, the person is probably suffering/struggling with a temptation to lust.   We confuse attraction with lust.  The struggle is essentially part of the Christian battle.  The 'suffering' may come more from the effort it takes to resist temptation, as well as the opposition caused by the world, the flesh, and the devil.  The world, the culture, along with the flesh and the devil militate against the spirit.  The world promotes values which attempt to convince us that gay is good, sex outside of marriage is good, and so on.  Further emotional suffering may be the result of disappointment over not being allowed to gratify one's desires/lusts.

Therefore, no matter how you choose to identify yourself, don't allow yourself to be defined and confined by your inclinations or acts.  As Dorothy Day once said concerning her being declared a saint after death, "I don't want to be dismissed so easily."  Neither do I.  Don't let yourself be so easily dismissed as gay, SSA, LGBTQ - or whatever the current trend happens to be.

Huh?  Fine - use whatever term you want but don't make it sound like some sort of terminal disease or martyrdom.

Art: Doug Blanchard

And don't be Victim Victorious.

I came across a gay blogger who took on a priest.  The priest wrote something about gay activists that the gay blogger didn't like.  The gay blogger's post was an all too typical lament about how gays are so oppressed in the Church and in the U.S..  Included in the post was the latest complaint on how so many gay-Christians feel 'unwelcome' in church.


As I've said before:  As a culture, it seems to me the homosexual movement mirrors many of the traits often associated with the same-sex-attracted personality. For instance, arrested development - remaining emotionally adolescent, alternating with adult behavior when needed.  Complaining about being misunderstood, as Van Den Aardweg notes,
" especially common view of self (for the homosexual) is that of the wronged, rejected, 'poor me'. Homosexuals are therefore easily insulted; they 'collect injustice', as psychiatrist Berger has so well put it, and are liable to see themselves as victims. This explains the overt self-dramatization of the militants, who adroitly exploit their neurosis to gain public support. Attached to self-pity, they are inner (or manifest) complainers, often chronic complainers. Self pity and protest are not far apart. A certain inner (or overt) rebelliousness and hostility to others who do them wrong and to 'society' and a determinate cynicism, are typical of many homosexuals." The Battle For Normality

Don't let yourself be so easily dismissed.

All Souls

Kids go there too.

I see dead people.

Since Friday really.  Halloween is about dead people.  All Saints is about dead people.  All Souls is about dead people.

Life goes on.

No, it really does.

There really is life after death...

Mums and dadums too.

Photography source.