Saturday, January 03, 2015

Austin Ruse on the "New Homophiles" - again.



The Church Needs The "New Homophiles".

Really?

I don't think so.  Or at least I wouldn't put it like that.  Truth be told, the New Homophiles need the Church - just as anyone else - we need the Church to be saved, yes, but also to be trained, guided, taught, corrected, and sanctified.  The Crises title misses the mark, but I think I get the conciliatory tone.  Homosexual, heterosexual, gay, straight, ssa, msm, LGBTQ-EPIC - whatever one calls oneself - we need the Church.

That said, Austin Ruse has another good article expressing his concerns over the New Homophile movement, (otherwise kinda/sorta known as Spiritual Friendship/Gay-Catholic 'movement').  The article articulates his concerns, as well as clarifies his position, that he is not condemning the 'spokesmen' for the group, nor is he calling them bad Catholics or heretics, asserting they are 95% correct, and so on.  Ruse also rebuts accusations made by other writers that his criticism of the New Homophiles was 'appalling' and 'vile'.  It wasn't and Austin demonstrates why.  (Read the article here.)

Everyone online or off seems to take issue with 'tone'.  All of us, straight, gay, ssa, or nuts are so easily insulted and offended these days.  It appears the combox can be a form of torture for many readers - be it on my blog, Fr. Z's blog, or on Crises Magazine.  Contempt, sarcasm, invective of all sorts is spewed therein - and the blog authors share some responsibility in how all that goes down.  Hence, the accusations of appalling and vile rhetoric may be attributed to the whole.  Try to get over it.

I originally took issue with tone as well, yet upon closer evaluation and considering past as well as  ongoing conversation involving Ruse and the Spiritual Friendship people, I interpreted the 'tone' as a matter of style - rather than a sneering attack.  In Ruse's current article - that really is made clear.  Sadly, some of his commenters go in for the kill, beating up on Eve Tushnet in particular.  That is unfortunate, but Ruse does step in to defend his position, as in this comment:
I hope I made it clear that they do not hold heretical views. They hold views that are not fully in comportment with the Church, but their views are not damnable. For instance, the Church recommends that people not even come out except to a few close friends, confessor etc but never publicly . I quote them pretty fully in previous columns on this subject as do other authors, Jim Russell and Dan Mattson. We've been working on this issue here at Crisis for months!
The article clarifies his position, as I said, and it also offers praise and encouragement for the one apostolate that is widely endorsed by the Church - generously promoting Courage Apostolate as the alternative to the Gay-Catholic movement.  (One must be aware that there are those in the USCCB who are not in favor of Courage Apostolate as the standard.  Courage leaders are aware of that.)

Indeed, Courage is a point of contention for some in the gay-Catholic movement.

As I said at the beginning, the 'New Homophiles' need the Church.  Indeed, Ms. Tushnet's book Gay and Catholic will attract the attention of the hierarchy, no doubt, some of whom even endorse her thought and work.  Yet this is exactly why it is important for those who differ with the gay-Catholic POV to stop trying to silence these people.  I've said it before, but Catholic authority needs to study what is being discussed since their influence is catching the attention of many people who have been educated to believe their so-called sexual orientation is natural/normal, and even a gift from God.  The bishops and qualified theologians need to examine their work, and for these folks to remain faithful to Catholic teaching, they need the Church to do that.  They are Catholics, they are faithful Catholics, but they cannot change doctrine.

Sexual differences.

Some Catholics who experience same sex attraction don't even act on it.  They do not even participate in any type of gay lifestyle.  I know people like this.  They've integrated themselves into the Church, they live normal lives, they have jobs, some have vocations, and so on.  They don't need Courage because they have a solid spirituality and live a devout life already.

Others may have turned from a sinful past, needed something like Courage and then integrated into the Church.  I think the key is integration.  Some people may need Courage for a time and then move on - as in SA recovery, or recovery from any addiction.  Some may need the support for their entire life, now and then, or find fulfillment in an integrated life - say, serving the poor.

Then there are those who do not like self-help groups.  For instance, Eve Tushnet discusses how she never fit into the AA mold.  I've known alcoholics who were never able to do AA either, but managed to remain sober more or less on their own or through alternative groups.  Matt Talbot exemplifies that type - and grace is available to do that.

What I'm saying is that a person maybe just can't do the Courage group thing - at first, later, or ever.  What I always recommend is that they use the literature, that they follow as best they can the spirituality of Courage.  Doing so can make you a saint.  The important point is to integrate oneself into the Church, to be nurtured and consoled by authentic teaching, the sacraments, the devotions, and chiefly, the Eucharist.  It is essential to develop a deep spiritual life.  To do that one must fall in love with Christ.  Ask for that grace and he will grant it.

If you do so, no matter how many fallings and risings, you will eventually attain freedom of spirit.  So many people expect total change instantly, or even within a month, a year, or two years.  It takes time - for many it takes a long time - several years - even decades.  The key is perseverance, patience - divine suffering.  Temptations, falling and rising, loneliness, depression - these are purifying trials which unite us to Christ.  Every time we fall and turn with humility to Christ, asking his forgiveness and mercy, we are deeply united to him at once.  But I digress.

Where was I?

Courage is good - it is excellent - it is superb, but it is not a sacrament, it is not required for salvation.  It is a means to an end.  The ordinary means of sanctification in the Church is the sacraments.  Prayer, Mass, confession, communion, prayer, prayer, prayer.  As Teresa of Avila said, 'prayer cannot be accompanied by self-indulgence' - so the faults and sins we have clinging to us are gradually purified - they fall from us through self-imposed, as well as Church sanctioned mortification and penance - and if not entirely by those means - sometimes the Lord is so generous he takes them from us himself.  That is why our sufferings and afflictions are so many pledges of his love - it is the purifying torment of his love which removes every encumbrance of sin which clings to us.

Call yourself gay if you want - or don't - just try to be Catholic.  Be Catholic.  Don't tell others how to live or what to call themselves, just work on the log in your own eye.

When you insist people do this or that, or tell them they can't be Catholic and who they think they are - not a few of these people start living a lie.  It exacerbates ordinary depression and neurosis.  Especially if they have other emotional baggage in their lives.  One also has to remember that not all people need therapy, and even more may not be able to afford it - though being white and gay in America makes one rather privileged and elitist and one presumes they can afford anything.  Nevertheless, good, psychological self-help is indeed available - which is why I recommend the Courage website as well as NARTH (I know - that scares people!) as a resource because the research is extremely helpful in understanding the homosexual condition - and yes - people can and do move beyond it.

Nevertheless, many gay people who seek salvation in and through the Church have a host of other problems.  They have to be met where they are at.  Some guys I know have been in and out of churches - denominations, they've been up and down, in and out with the identity thing - 'I'm gay', 'I'm not gay', 'I'm recovered - I'm not'.  They make themselves crazy.  They are told do this, do that, deny this, don't tell people that - it's craziness.  Herding people into this or that category makes people more nuts.  They fall and feel condemned.  They rise and are congratulated and think they are fine - then some trick comes along and they fall again.  They write their conversion stories and claim they are totally normal only to breakdown and backslide again.  This behavior gets reinforced by well meaning church people who bang them over the head with doctrine and terminology they insist they must adhere and conform to.*

The Church does not need these people - these people need the Church.


Why is this so hard to figure out?  Where is the Faith?  Where is the Charity?




Art: A Cold,Cold Warmth - Tyler Alpern.  The artist wrote: "The painting is a visual metaphor for the bullying and personal attacks I endure everyday of my life."


*I am not suggesting any one dispense with doctrine and authentic teaching - God knows I have emphasized Catholic teaching repeatedly on this blog.  Most gay-Catholics already know Catholic teaching on sexuality and marriage, as well as why terms such as gay and/or gender identity/non-binary language is inappropriate language for the Church to use.  Many may even know specific CDF documents which lay all of that out.  Thus to simply repeat the citations in order to silence conversation or exclude others is not very productive.  Likewise, incessant citing of statistics on gay men's health as a deterrent to homosexual behavior is pretty much useless in the work of evangelization of same sex attracted individuals.  They know this stuff already.  I hope that explains what I meant.

The Most Holy Name of Jesus


JESUS!


The Holy Name is a powerful prayer. The Holy Name Jesus is a prayer in and of itself and contains the entire Gospel. JESUS.

Different schools of prayer place much emphasis upon the formula known as the Jesus prayer, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me a sinner." It is a way of prayer for lay people and monks, known especially in the East. It is an ancient practice. Those who practice it unceasingly and exclusively are sometimes known as hesychasts, and they employ a technique of breathing to coincide with the recitation of the prayer. Some remain suspicious of the 'controlled' practice, suggesting it is a form of quietism - a criticism some people also make regarding the practice known as Centering Prayer. Many people find themselves attracted to such mystical techniques, but the Holy Spirit is not limited by nor subject to technique. That said, there is nothing wrong with praying the Jesus prayer in the hope of praying unceasingly and as a means to union with God. (CCC 2616)

Nevertheless, the Holy Name alone, JESUS, is sufficient in itself. The Holy Name contains all, encapsulates all, embraces all, consumes all: To the extent that it is the very heart of the Hail Mary, and every prayer of the liturgy is offered in that same Holy Name when we say, 'through Jesus Christ'.   Amen.

When undergoing temptation or suffering of any sort, or when you can't pray at all, repeat the Holy Name of Jesus - over and over, it creates a sort of spiritual communion.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Oh yeah? Get this: 18 Things Twenty-somethings Want You to Know ...

He says he can ...

Why that filthy-twenty-something-little Catholic son of a %*!#@< ... JUST KIDDING!  

Actually he is though.  He's Catholic and gay.  People can be that.  I think it is easier just to be Catholic myself, but c'est la vie.

It's a cool list really - I came across it on a Jesuit site here - but you can read the other 18 Things here.

I have to get to my therapist now.  What?  JUST KIDDING! (Although the guy in the photo probably won't ever need a therapist because he has nothing to hide.)

[I was twenty-something once.]

Today is the Birthday of Little Therese of Lisieux

"I am resigned to being always imperfect, and I even find happiness in it.  
I keep an eye on myself to see if I can discover any new imperfections." 
- Therese to Mother Agnes of Jesus


Patroness of the no damn good.

What?

She kind of is, you know.  Little Therese really, honestly, truly thought she was the worst of sinners - despite the fact that Jesus preserved her from mortal sin.  Was she just pretending to be humble and account herself as nothing?  Not a few really, really devout Catholics believe that - not just about Therese but other saints as well.  We can think we know so much from studying mystical writers and theologians, but it seems to me rather pretentious to claim to know their conscience, their intimate being before the Divine Light.

Little Therese was fond of saying that she wished to be found at the 'table of sinners'... astonishingly expressing that sentiment in the depths of the dark night, her trial of temptations against the faith before she died. In that abject state, she experienced the faithlessness of the atheist, the bitter taste of rancor and envy of the unbeliever, even the hollow, vacuous, hopelessness of those who hate the faith. Like her Master, "who had not known sin, yet became sin," thus she, who was innocent (as she had been once assured she had never committed a mortal sin), became sin, as it were. Not in the exact same sense of Christ of course, but she shared, or imitated His redemptive suffering in and through that experience... seated with Christ crucified, at the table of sinners. True to her word, there was no attitude of condescension whatsoever - she found herself annihilated and in need of mercy.  That is the secret of St. Therese.

Many people - would-be clients and followers of St. Therese, complain that they lack her innocence, that they lack her love, that all they find in themselves is misery and the awful despair of knowing they are too sinful to attain the heights of sanctity. Yet it is precisely for those of us who find ourselves powerless and unfaithful, "miserated" by our selfish self indulgence and sin, who attract Therese and are most fitted to her little way. We do not have to worry about merit or accomplishments to attract her patronage, or more precisely, to attract the merciful love of God. This is what Little Therese teaches and demonstrates in her little way of confidence and love. It is our misery which attracts the divine mercy. It is our sins and our faults which so attracts God that he sent his only Son to be crucified for our sins. Therefore, who can not trust in merciful love when one is vulnerable enough, humble enough, to be embraced by it? The mystery is so deep, so wide, I can't express it.

“Do not be afraid of holiness, of letting yourself be loved and purified by God. … Let us allow God's holiness be transmitted to us. Every Christian is called to holiness; and holiness does not consist, first and foremost, in doing extraordinary things, but rather in letting God act. It is the encounter between our weakness and the strength of His grace”. - Pope Francis

Fernando Botero

H/T to Angela.  Happy birthday Little Therese! 

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Just as I thought: CIA responsible for many UFO sightings.

Ten years later Cardinal Mahony 
was appointed auxiliary bishop of Fresno...
Oh!  Oh!  Carrot Top was born that year too.


I think it is the same today.

How many UFO sightings had to be experimental aircraft, drones, stealth bombers, and so on - in the past and up to and including our own time? It has to be our government, a foreign agency, or even private enterprise - don't you think?  I do.  It explains so much.

December, the agency began tweeting a ‘top ten” list of its most popular articles.
It culminated with, "reports of unusual activity in the skies in the '50s? It was us."
The CIA claims the U2 spy plane, and its tremendous test altitude was responsible for most of the sightings.
"Consequently, once U-2s started flying at altitudes above 60,000 feet; air-traffic controllers began receiving increasing numbers of UFO reports," a portion of the report says. - Source

CIA agent, Bella Dodd.
She never really died.


Of course the alien abductions must be attributed to the CIA as well, although they will never admit it.  It accounts for the obesity epidemic and even the clergy sex abuse scandals, including Bella Dodd.  Not only that, homosexual genes were implanted in grain (the evidence is in the crop circles), and when consumed by dairy cows, the beef we eat, the milk we drink makes people queer.

Bayside too!


It explains so much!  Oh! Oh!  And the New Mass!  The CIA!  Ann Barnhardt knows all this stuff and has been hounded by the IRS ever since she bought that pink ray gun.

I see drones over my house all the time so I'm lining the walls and windows with invisible lead sheets to protect my privacy.


On the Eighth Day of Christmas: Oh! Wait! It's the Octave.


The Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God.



Catholics have many obligations, don't they?  One just can't have Christmas and be done with it, can they.  Not a question ...

Perhaps one day they'll be able to transfer it to Sunday.

What?

Or, why I would never transition over to Patheos.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

On the Seventh Day of Christmas: Pope St. Sylvester sewed the mouth of a dragon shut.


Sylvester, Pompous Maximus

Yes he dee-id.
Thus as S. Peter had said, S. Silvester did. And when he came to the pit, he descended down one hundred and fifty steps, bearing with him two lanterns, and found the dragon, and said the words that S. Peter had said to him, and bound his mouth with the thread, and sealed it, and after returned, and as he came upward again he met with two enchanters which followed him for to see if he descended, which were almost dead of the stench of the dragon, whom he brought with him whole and sound, which anon were baptized, with a great multitude of people with them.
Story here.

Anyway.

Merry Christmas, dear, brave defenders of the true faith, embattled warriors on the front lines, saving the Church from Pope Francis and the Novus Ordo!

And now, for your listening edification, the solemn Christmas chant for the 7th day of Christmas, originally composed by Sylvester I ... click here.

New Year's Eve trivia:
The dragon's name was Bonnie.
(I bet you thought I'd say Tweety Bird, or Corky.)


Bonus:  Did you know St. Hyginus was the 9th pope?  He promoted good hygiene and mandated hand sanitizers at all the holy water fonts in the catacombs of Rome.

Miracle of the Sun repeated, Cataract surgery, and anesthesia-dreams about Fr. Z




I finally had cataract surgery - at such a young age - I know!  Everyone remarked about me being so young and thin and handsome and how much they liked my full head of hair, but I digress.

Seriously, my doctor said it was an extraordinarily large cataract, which is why I heard all the Star Trek type noises from the ultra sound cataract vaporization equipment.  The surgery went well.  A few hours ago I already returned from my post-op and everything seems to be going well.  So we'll see - I have many drops to use.  As I write, the lap top screen is really, really bright now - so I may not be online very much.  (My expose of more-Catholic-than-the-Pope-fanatics will have to wait.)  Thanks to all the (two) people who wished me well before I went in for surgery yesterday.  What would one do without friends, huh?  Again, I digress.

Where do cataracts come from, Dad?

(Cats always want to know.)  Well, I spent too much time in the sun, without ever using sunglasses.  That was bad enough.  But I'm thinking looking directly at the sun may have contributed to the problem, disorder, what have you.

Frequently, at false apparition sites, people shout 'miraculo!  miraculo!' while pointing at the sun, and then everyone looks up to see it.  I fell for that several times at San Damiano in Italy as well as at a couple of other places, some approved, others not - Fr. Gino's ...

It doesn't matter where these things happened - because I'm quite sure someone in your parish probably sees the sun spinning in their backyard all the time, in between locutions about the anti-Pope.  Just don't go there, however.  I stupidly looked up, directly into a stationary sun - too many times.  Don't be so flipping gullible.

All I'm saying is, don't ever do that.

Anesthesia.  I used to love that stuff.  Not so much anymore.  The effects remained with me through the night.  I had nightmares about Fr. Z.  Candice Bergen was the prioress of a Poor Clare monastery and she was curator of an exhibition of my art, which Fr. Z was trying to destroy and then I exposed his connections to a money-laundering scheme he was conducting by increasing the number of donation apps on his website, setting monthly fundraising goals beyond imagining.  His cronies and followers were sent after me to kill me and destroy my artwork and writings - crazy Tenth Crusader people were after me and I took refuge in the Poor Clare enclosure - where it turns out Candice Bergen was just portraying St. Clare in a docu-drama on monastics who made Medieval GIF's instead of illuminations.  We were making it for Steven Spielberg.  Which was another reason why Fr. Z wanted me killed.

Isn't that sad though?  Not that anyone wanted me killed, but it's sad my hallucinations were about the blog and blogging personalities and stupid rumor mongering.  None of that is real.  None of it - even if you live off of donations - that is not real life.

Oh!  I don't like drugs no mo!

Happy New Year!

If you are having visions and seeing solar miracles,
wear sunglasses.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sixth Day of Christmas



I thought of the soul as resembling a castle*, formed of a single diamond or a very transparent crystal, and containing many rooms, just as in heaven there are many mansions. If we reflect, sisters, we shall see that the soul of the just man is but a paradise, in which, God tells us, He takes His delight. What, do you imagine, must that dwelling be in which a King so mighty, so wise, and so pure, containing in Himself all good, can delight to rest? Nothing can be compared to the great beauty and capabilities of a soul; however keen our intellects may be, they are as unable to comprehend them as to comprehend God, for, as He has told us, He created us in His own image and likeness. - Interior Castle


*I thought of the soul as resembling a nebula.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Who are these people?



I have nothing to blog about for the 5th Day of Christmas.  Nothing.

Really.

I even checked all the legitimate news sites, as well as all the Catholic gossip portals, and those blogs I link to, including some I don't - and nothing interests me.  I don't care.

Who cares what I think?

Who cares what you think?

Who do we think we are?

What fools.

Saving the Church from the Pope - my ass foot.

St. Thomas Becket



What happened when the powers that be turned on him... 

They always do, you know.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

I didn't know this: A couple of weeks ago, Sister Hatune Dogan visited Minneapolis and spoke about ISIS ...


On Sunday, 14 December at the historic Ft Snelling Memorial Chapel (MN), our Christian Education Class heard a first-hand report about the persecution of Christians as victims of jihad and Islamic Sharia law. The presentation was by Sister Hatune Dogan – a Syrian Orthodox nun who has been ministering to these victims. She was accompanied by Father Dayroyo Gabriel. From the almost 40-persons in attendance, a $400 freewill offering was collected and presented to their ministry. Photo: Sister Hatune Dogan and Father Dayroyo Gabriel with Chaplain Ken Beale at the Chapel altar.

What did she talk about?  What is the warning she issues?
An Orthodox Christian nun, Sister Hatune Dogan, is struggling finding a location that will allow her to speak on the atrocities she has witness in the Middle East and around the globe. Though Sister Hatune has spent her life helping Christians who have been persecuted, and helped countless people in need, the nun has found that her message is not welcome in many communities.
What is so controversial about the nun’s speeches? Sister Hatune uses her speaking platform as a way to warn against the atrocities of the Muslim faith.
Though her message is not always welcome, Sister Hatune seems to remain consistent in her message that America is inviting a slaughter into their country. 
“America is inviting its own slaughterers to its door. You have already a parallel society in America. In 50 years they will kill your grandchildren before your eyes. The Middle East is already here. It is here. It is not far from here. It is at your door.” - Link
Something to think about.

Much to pray about.

Song for this post here.

Why Jesus is depicted naked, lying on the bare ground - the Virgin, fully clothed, adoring the Lord?



The Virgin Birth.

Many Christians, even Catholics I've encountered, no longer really believe in the Virgin Birth, despite the dogma and the definition that Our Lady, Holy Mary, Mother of God is Ever-Virgin, before, during and after the Birth of Christ.

"The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary's real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ's birth "did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it." And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the "Ever-virgin." - CCC

In art, painters have attempted to represent this truth in various ways.  Iconography does so magnificently in icons of the Mother of God of the Burning Bush and those like it.  Western painters have done likewise, as in the image at top.  It has been the way mystics have described the moment of birth, as well.  Western artists have shown the Child Jesus lying naked upon the bare ground, our Lady serenely adoring the Divine Child - St. Joseph often in the 'wings' fast to sleep - or more correctly, in ecstasy, the sacred moment hidden from his view.  Its mystery only matched by the unseen moment of the Resurrection.

The Gospel is masterfully depicted
in this narrative by Lippi.


Although the naked Christ in the Nativity is meant to convey several layers of meaning and inspire the hearts of the viewer, it is also meant to convey much deeper, doctrinal truths.  God became man - but his birth was miraculous - it wasn't like ours - it couldn't be if the virginal integrity of the mother was to remain intact.  But how does this happen?  How did the Incarnation happen?

In art, His nakedness and the impression of abandonment on the bare ground in the cold of winter definitely reflects the hearts of men and their rejection of God, as well as the human condition of poverty and want.  Yet the painter also attempts to depict the precise moment, as well as the 'nature' of His miraculous birth ... and as in the Lippi interpretation above, one may immediately recognize a connection to the creation story of Adam ... taken from the earth, naked, and so on.  Christ is the new Adam.

Who is this gate (Ezekiel 44:1-4), if not Mary? Is it not closed because she is a virgin? Mary is the gate through which Christ entered this world, when He was brought forth in the virginal birth and the manner of His birth did not break the seals of virginity. (St. Ambrose of Milan, The Consecration of a Virgin and the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, 8:52; c. 391 AD)

Perhaps no greater sign of creeping apostasy just may be the denial of these mysteries, these dogmas:  The cornerstone of Christian faith ...

I wrote about this before here.

Holy Family, Holy Innocents, A Christmas of Tears



He shall seize and shall dash
your children on the rock!
- Psalm 137

Families are killed, their homes burned - one couple buried alive.  

Babies and children are beheaded and dashed against rocks.

Another airbus has gone missing with 162 people on board.

Another priest was murdered in Mexico.

These are just the latest on the list of atrocities ...

A Christmas of tears.

Carry on.