Saturday, January 10, 2015

Happy the man who sits not in the company of scorners ... - Psalm 1

The Rwandan genocide is a warning and a precursor to what could come to all of humanity...
Yet, the warnings of the Blessed Virgin Mary were not just for Africa. For She told the seer Marie-Clare Mukangango : "When I tell you this, I am not addressing myself strictly to you, child, but I am making this appeal to the world. Today, man empties things of their true value. Those who are continually committing sins are doing so without any acceptance that what they are doing is wrong."
Like Segatashya, sadly Marie-Clare Mukangango too was also killed during the genocide. She said the Virgin described the world as “being in revolt against God” and that the world “is on the edge of catastrophe.” And in yet another message to the seers we are told: “ The world hastens to its ruin, it will fall into the abyss… The world is rebellious against God, it commits too many sins, it has neither love nor peace. If you do not repent and do not convert your hearts, you will fall into the abyss." - Source
Recent terror events, indeed the events of the past week, as well as the past year, remind me of this terrible warning from Rawanda.

In the meantime. many private revelations will most likely echo similar prophecies - some will make claims that "He is here!" or "He is there!"   Stay with the Church, the Eucharist and the Rosary ...

Remember ...

Happy indeed is the man
who follows not the counsel of the wicked;
nor lingers in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of scorners ... -Psalm 1

Put not your trust in princes,
in mortal men who cannot save ... - Psalm 146:3

A king is not saved by a great army,
 nor a warrior delivered by great strength.

A vain hope for safety is the horse;
despite its great strength, it cannot save.

Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him,
upon those who count on his mercy,

To deliver their soul from death,
and to keep them alive through famine. - Ps. 33

Holy desire ...

Deep calls unto deep ...

...from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Prayer in Reparation for Blasphemy

May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified, in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.

O Mary, conceived without sin, 
pray for us who have recourse to thee.

"I saw the Blessed Virgin,
... At this moment, while I was contemplating her, 
the Blessed Virgin lowered her eyes and looked at me. 
I heard a voice speaking these words: 
"'This ball that you see represents the whole world, especially France, 
and each person in particular.'" - St. Catherine Laboure

Drew Carey on the upcoming TLC show, "My Husband's Not Gay".

Will and Grace episode. 

"My husband's not gay - but his boyfriend is." ba-dum tshh


"If you have to say he's not gay - he is."  ba-dum tshh

I laughed out loud.

Because it was funny.

It is pretty much what most people think, I'm sure.  It may not be true however.  Some gay people really do not want to be identified as gay.  Some gay people are highly motivated and deeply desire a wife/husband and a family.  Some have blogs - now some will be on TV.  (Some still identify LGBTQ as well - but probably most do not.)

That said, I wish I could get the Will and Grace "Girls Interrupted" episode clip with Karen and Jack at an ex-gay meeting - there was a married couple there, played by Marianne Muellerleile as Jodi, and Loren Freeman as Kevin.  The whole ex-gay concept exploded in the finale - but before that, the highly stereotyped Jodi and Loren introduced themselves to Jack and Karen saying, "Can you believe it - we used to be gay!"

Well it was amusing.

The point is that gay people - especially the activist types - don't want people leaving the fold and telling others they are not gay any longer.  And that goes for the Spiritual Friendship writers as well.  They like to keep the gay categorization.  Some like the LGBTQ, sexually fluid 'identity'.  Others - alas, I can't authoritatively speak for others ... but one may surmise.

I'm not sure what or why they want to keep the moniker.  If they are under 40, they grew up with the term, the notion, the identity.  If they are older, they may use it because family and friends have always accepted them as 'gay'.  As Eve Tushnet points out in her book, using the term SSA is in itself an identifier.  I try not to get into that stuff since I believe it is not my place to insist on how one identifies oneself.  But I digress.

Nevertheless, "My Husband's Not Gay" has to be about that particular debate, and like I said - it freaks people out because they do not want to be pressured to 'change' their sexual inclination in and through therapy, or Gay No Mo pray-overs.  Why?  Because some people can't.  Likewise, for some people, they have all they can do to simply remain chaste - which means vigilance over impure thoughts - replacing impure thoughts about men with impure thoughts about women is not virtuous.  The spiritual struggle for chastity takes place within the reality of one's temptation.  Likewise, as I always point out, the Church does not require the person to focus on orientation change, rather the Church calls persons to repentance and conversion from sin, the person is called to chastity and sanctity.  To be sure, the Church doesn't recognize sexual inclination or attraction as an identity - it doesn't use the same language as the world ...  It's quite simple, really.

That said, the world uses that language.  Education, science, society, pop-culture, media, - even Catholic bishops and cardinals and priests and one pope use the term 'gay' - it's common usage.  "Homosexual" was an invented term adopted in the 19th - 20th century - it has no theological basis - it is simply recognized as a clinical term describing a condition.  The Church addresses the 'homosexual person' in official documents, while adding the disclaimer it is not their identity.  Yet it is common usage.

Hence, pop-culture's incomprehension over the term ex-gay, or my husband's not gay.

Like I said, people do use the term gay, often interchangeably, with SSA and homosexual.  They do that.  As I told a friend in a combox response for another post on the admonition: "You just think you're gay.":
I did see the press on My Husband is Not Gay and I was thinking of writing about that but may not. I don't have cable so I won't be able to watch it. 
You and I disagree on that - but for sure it is not for everybody. Mormons obviously do not have a spirituality of celibacy so I suppose marriage is the only alternative. I dislike that type of spirituality. (Because I'm Catholic.) 
As for gay guys getting married - it works out if they are honest about it - and of course, are in love with the wife. It happens - I have friends who have done so... The men really wanted a family and found the right woman. They stopped being 'gay' - through trial and error, of course.  The wives knew their past and could definitely say, "My husband is not gay". 
I've also worked with closeted gay men, married to women, with families - very sad and sometimes extremely creepy. 
It seems to me most confirmed bachelors do better with celibacy and chaste friendship.
Then there are many who take their chances and have a husband and kids - What can I say? 
When I was younger I felt deep resentment that my friends were getting married - I wouldn't admit it of course. Secretly I felt they were somehow abandoning me - excluding me somehow. They were becoming normal and I was this outsider. I got over that, but the experience suggested to me that many gay people may have some issues with envy and jealousy when it comes to others finding happiness in hetero-normative lifestyles. 
Let me know what you think after watching it - I know you have strong feeling against this - not for the reasons I mentioned above of course. - Terry

My friend, like many others, disagrees with me, and that is perfectly fine - people do that all of the time.  That's life.  I'm just a single, Catholic man, with no authority to dictate to people on what to think or what to say, or how to say it.  Naturally, television audiences will disagree with the TLC show, "My Husband's Not Gay".  But now we may have a better understanding as to why.

Trailer for My Husband's Not Gay here.

"You just think you're gay."

Wonderful news concerning the cause of Archbishop Oscar Romero

Oh God!  The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges Thee...

From Fr. James Martin S.J.

Breaking: "Avvenire" reports that the Congregation of the Causes of Saints has "unanimously" voted that the great Archbishop Oscar Romero was killed "in odium fidei," out of hatred for the faith, that is, as a martyr. The official recognition of Monsenor Romero as a martyr is an immense, and long-awaited, step forward in his canonization. Such a decision will likely mean a swift declaration of his beatification. Santo subito! - Fr. Martin

How could he not be?  Killed at the altar of God, his blood mingled with the Precious Blood of Jesus ... 

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Cardinal Burke called on the carpet: Special audience with Pope Francis today.

What?  See what you can do with headlines?

But this is all they wrote:


Vatican City, 8 January 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Bonus special: Beverly Sutphin's pick for 'song for this post' here.

H/T Nanette Fabray 

So. You don't like liturgical puppets, huh? They have no place in the cosmic liturgy? Think again.

As seen by Hubble

Icons of Creation
Notice how these puppets, and others used at Mass
reflect the Cosmic Liturgy of the Heavens ...

H/T Spirit Daily

I give the best advice.

Chinese lady say:
"Me too."

"Not to worry." 

It's a very Jewish thing to say - "not to worry" - and it is full of wisdom.

"Don't think about it." 

That works too.

Now here's another one:

"You just think you're gay."

It's similar to:

"You just think you want that."

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The "Green Pope"

Before Francis.

The predecessors of Pope Francis had concerns about the ecology too.

Pope Benedict had much to say - but never dedicated an encyclical to the issue - he left that up to his successor.  Pope Francis' encyclical hasn't even been released yet - nor has it been leaked, as far as I know.  But some Catholics are already attacking the Holy Father, going so far as to dismiss the Holy Father as "an ideologue and a meddlesome egoist."  Wow!

What would Benedict say?

In fact, what did he say?

“If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation.” — Message for World Day of Peace, (par. 14), 2010.
'fruit of the earth,' 'fruit of the vine,' and 'work of human hands.' 
"The Eucharistic form of life can thus help foster a real change in the way we approach history and the world. The liturgy itself teaches us this, when, during the presentation of the gifts, the priest raises to God a prayer of blessing and petition over the bread and wine, 'fruit of the earth,' 'fruit of the vine,' and 'work of human hands.' With these words, the rite not only includes in our offering to God all human efforts and activity, but also leads us to see the world as God's creation, which brings forth everything we need for our sustenance. The world is not something indifferent, raw material to be utilized simply as we see fit. Rather, it is part of God's good plan, in which all of us are called to be sons and daughters in the one Son of God, Jesus Christ (cf.Eph 1:4-12)." — Sacramentum Caritatis (par. 92), 2007. 
Linking ecology and human life
"Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person, considered in himself and in relation to others. It would be wrong to uphold one set of duties while trampling on the other. Herein lies a grave contradiction in our mentality and practice today: one which demeans the person, disrupts the environment, and damages society." — Caritas in Veritate, (par. 51). 
Human ecology
“The deterioration of nature is in fact closely connected to the culture that shapes human coexistence: when ‘human ecology’ is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits." — Caritas in Veritate, (par. 51; emphasis in original). 

Catholics have to have confidence that the Holy Father (Pope Francis) will not step beyond Catholic doctrine and teaching in the new encyclical.

Again, from Pope Benedict XVI:
Confronting relativism
“Yet freedom cannot be absolute, since man is not himself God, but the image of God, God’s creation. For man, the path to be taken cannot be determined by caprice or willfulness, but must rather correspond to the structure willed by the Creator.” — New Year’s Address to the Diplomatic Corps, January 11, 2010.
Read everything in context here.

The terror attack in Paris

The last I heard 12 people are dead in a professional hit upon the offices of a satirical magazine which mocked Islam.

This type of terrorist warfare will be repeated, I'm sure.

Prayers for the victims of today's carnage, and prayers for those of us who may fall victim to future attacks.

As Fr. Z always says - go to confession.

And watch your satirical big mouths.

Climate Change in Minneapolis

-6 below 0 at 11:00AM.  -28 below windchill... warming up from -35 below.

Too sinful to feel it though.


Song for this post here.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Catholic Blogs morphing into Novus Ordo Watch

Or Seditious Vaticanistas.

I first ran into this type of negative, suspicious, conspiratorial attitude years ago in Boston, around the time the Bayside 'apparitions' were being foisted upon naive Catholics.  The idea that Bl. Pope Paul VI had been replaced by an impostor was circulated at the same time - how else to explain the crisis in the Church?  I ran into similar followers of false mystics and bogus apparitions in Italy as well.  San Damiano specifically, and Mama Rosa, the visionary.  The followers were convinced the new Mass was corrupt, many in the hierarchy were Satanist, the true Pope a prisoner, and so on.  They stared at the sun to watch it 'dance' and many traveled from shrine to shrine following purported apparitions.  I always kept a distance and moved on from these types, as well as the cults surrounding even 'approved' apparitions with their stories of impostor Sr. Lucias and such.

It wasn't until the turn of the century did I find these same types once again.  When I began using the Internet regularly and later began blogging, I came face to face with the same phenomena - traditionalists and rad-trads mostly.  Now it seems to have reached epidemic levels - this conspiratorial attitude; under the influence of sedevacantism, the Novus Ordo Watch mentality seems to have swept the Catholic blogosphere.  "Devout Catholics" are saying and writing things I never ever expected to hear from people who claim to be the faithful remnant of true believers.

I'm actually used to it however.  I've mentioned growing up in a household that was hostile to the faith and Catholic teaching, an attitude clearly attributed to divorce and remarriage, alcoholism and poverty.  Even in Catholic school I was an outsider because of my 'bad' family.  My mother remarried to a non-Catholic dad - with little hope for salvation - no salvation outside the Church, and so on.  I would never be able to be a priest with impediments like that.  I was told my piety was an escape from reality by pastors and nuns.  My parents instilled in me how much of a hypocrite I am, and siblings made fun of me playing monk and priest.

Even after my conversion I wasn't educated enough - no theology degree and so on - too dumb to know better.  My piety was deemed pre-Vatican II.  In monastic life - my devotion to the Sacred Heart was criticized and so on.  This is no lament or complaint, whatsoever - these were the experiences which strengthened, deepened and stabilized my faith - even when I struggled with sin.  Even when I was told to accept my disordered inclination as a gift...

Therefore I'm accustomed to the contradictions devout, faithful Catholics slap peoples faces with - I'm just surprised it is so commonplace these days - that there are so many 'authorities' outside the hierarchy, condemning the Pope and the Magisterium.  (Not a few of these people perhaps a bit unhinged.)

It seems to me sedevacantism is spreading like a cancer under the guise of faithful resistance and dissent.  When Christ returns, will he find any faith?  In the Gospel, the Lord warns that even the elect will be lead astray - if that were possible.  Alas.

Here is a prayer that always got me through:
My God, I’m so persuaded that You watch over all who hope in You and nothing can be lacking to those who await from You all things, that I have determined to live from now on without any concern, letting go and giving You all of my anxieties. I will sleep and rest in peace because You, O Lord, and only You, have secured my hope. 
Men can deprive me of possessions and reputation; illnesses can take away my strength and means to serve You; I myself can lose Your grace because of sin; but I will not lose my hope; I will conserve it until the last instant of my life and all the efforts from demons trying to take it away from me will be useless. I will sleep and rest in peace.

May others expect happiness in their richness and talents; some may lean on the innocence of their lives, or the rigor of their penitence, or above all on the amount of their good works, or the fervor of their prayers. As for myself Lord, all my confidence is my confidence itself. Because You Lord, only You have secured my hope. - Saint Claude de la Colombiere

I like this ...


From Heather King:
You can't be a Catholic for very long without noticing that there are people who are constantly concerned with other people's sins and utterly blind to their own. Their whole orientation of heart is based not on love but on punishment. They mistake their willingness to judge and punish others for religious conviction. There is no love in them and no sense of humor though, off on their little crusade, they are often full of victimized self-pity. 
Christ's whole ministry was dead set against that way of thinking. No-one knew better than Christ that the most dangerous person is the world is the purportedly religious person whose thoughts and actions stem from fear, who self-righteously preens, and who is driven by the desire to punish rather than to love. No-one is more dangerous, more false, more annoying, more blind, and more intransigent in his beliefs than the man who is focused on the sins of another rather than his own. 
In Jesus' time, these folks hounded him like gnats (before nailing him to a cross): following, circling, pressing in, trying to devise "clever" questions to trip him up. At least in those days they had the courage to show their faces. Now they troll cyberspace. - Heather King
I have a feeling Little Therese likes that lady. Just a hunch.

Monday, January 05, 2015

The SillyBus of Errors

This is the spirit of the antichrist who, as you heard, is to come, but in fact is already in the world. 1 John 3

The Antichrist at the Adoration of the Magi.

The nearly naked king emerging from the background has been generally considered to be the Antichrist.  Herod of course was an Antichrist figure.  Today's reading at Mass discusses the spirit of the antichrist from the First Letter of John.

Many today are looking to identify THE Antichrist - but as we see in the Bosch detail, and know according to Scripture - his spirit is prevalent among us - he is already in the world.  Which is why we must be vigilant - being especially wary of those who attack the Church and the Magisterium.

85 "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ." This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.
86 "Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith."
87 Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me", the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms. - CCC

+ + + 

"We belong to God, and anyone who knows God listens to us,
while anyone who does not belong to God refuses to hear us.
This is how we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit." - 1 John 3

Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me", the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.

Bonus:  A thought about sin.  Today's reading from John also mentions:
And his commandment is this:we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,and love one another just as he commanded us.
If we truly love one another, we would not cause another to sin, nor would we lead them into temptation or use them for sinful pleasure or our selfish self indulgence.  Beloved, do not trust every spirit ...

Twelfth Night

I love Twelfth Night.

I love end of year tributes as well.

Here are mine:

  • Favorite Blogs of 2014:


  • Best new sites of 2014:


  • Best Catholic News Site of 2014:

Vatican Radio

  • Blog Man of the Year for 2014:

The Deacon's Bench

  • Blog Woman of the Year for 2014:

Te Deum Laudemus

  • Blog Priest of the Year for 2014:

Monsignor Charles Pope

Merry Christmas

Carnival starts!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

St. Angela of Foligno

"Through temporal poverty the soul will find eternal riches; 
through contempt and shame it will obtain supreme honor 
and very great glory; 
through a little penance, made with pain and sorrow, 
it will possess with infinite sweetness and consolation 
of the Supreme God, God eternal" - St. Angela

St. Angela died on January 4 but her feast day is January 7.

I've written much about her, as have others, and of course Pope Benedict XVI spoke extensively about her during his weekly catechesis in 2010.

In my opinion, St. Angela remains an excellent, premiere example for penitents - not for converts who write and reference their conversion over and over, but penitents.  Conversion may be marked by an experience - even great mystical experience, but it is an ongoing process.  Great mystical fireworks do not make a saint nor even a good Christian.  The many stages and 'steps' of conversion Angela wrote about demonstrate the difficulties found in following the narrow way of Christ crucified, which is in her words, a "penance as long and as hard as life itself".

All of her family were taken from her - husband, sons, each died in succession.   Talk about sorrow and loneliness.  The long loneliness... widowed.  Eventually,she lived with a companion, and then later others joined her - though she was a Franciscan tertiary, she remained a single, laywoman - celibate, chaste and alone.  What was her strength?  What was her prayer?  The one Book of Life, Jesus Christ and him crucified...  Did she cry out publicly that she was tempted and lonely and suffering?  Hardly.  If she cried out publicly about anything, she would do so only to proclaim her sins, her hypocrisy, imploring those who knew her not to be deceived by her.

Some quotes from Benedict XVI on the Saint:

"We will now consider only some "steps" of the rich spiritual path of our blessed. The first, in reality, is an introduction: "It was the knowledge of sin," as she specifies, "following which the soul has great fear of being damned; in this step she wept bitterly" ("Il Libro della beata Angela da Foligno," p. 39).

This "fear" of hell responds to the type of faith that Angela had at the time of her "conversion"; a faith still poor in charity, namely, of love of God.

Repentance, fear of hell, and penance opened up to Angela the prospect of the sorrowful "way of the cross" that, from the eighth to the 15th step, would then lead her on the "way of love."

The friar confessor recounts: "The faithful one now said to me: I had this divine revelation: 'After the things that you have written, now write that whoever wants to preserve grace must not take the eyes of his soul off the Cross, whether in joy or in sadness, which I grant him and permit'" (Ibid., p. 143).
However, in this phase Angela still "does not feel love"; she affirms: "The soul feels shame and bitterness and does not yet experience love, but sorrow" (Ibid., p. 39), and is dissatisfied."
After this "initial stage", there were great trials and tribulations for Angela: occasions for further "purifications". One conversion experience does not justify the feeling that one is one of the "elect". For Blessed Angela it was only the first step on a long and arduous journey as she set her sights firmly on Christ on the Crucifix. The becoming a tertiary Franciscan was only a stage in the transition. More was required. Total commitment and a life of prayer. Until she was rewarded by an act of grace, undeserved and arising out of Love. The Pope stressed the importance of: penance, humility and tribulations. Especially in an age where there is a danger of living as if God did not exist. Stasis is not and never an option.

The Pope went on to say:

"In the third Instruction the blessed insists on this contemplation and affirms:

"The more perfectly and purely we see, the more perfectly and purely we love. [...] That is why the more we see the God and man Jesus Christ, the more we are transformed in him through love. [...] What I have said of love. [...] I say also of sorrow: The more the soul contemplates the ineffable sorrow of the God and man Jesus Christ, the more it sorrows and is transformed in sorrow" (Ibid., p. 190-191).

To be immersed, to be transformed in love and in the sufferings of Christ crucified, to be identified with him. Angela's conversion, begun with that confession of 1285, came to maturity only when God's forgiveness appeared to her soul as the free gift of love of the Father, source of love:

"There is no one who can give excuses," she affirms, "because each one can love God, ad He does not ask the soul other than that He wills it good, because He loves it and is its love" (ibid., p. 76). - Source

New Cardinals named - not one from the United States.

"My, my, my, my, my! No one from Wisconsin?"

I like that.

I think most Catholics in the U.S. see ecclesiastical office as a promotion - a career move.  Climbing the ladder of success.  "My son the Cardinal."  Jewish moms want a doctor, Catholic moms want a bishop.  This idea of success is apparent among ordinary lay Catholics as well as among religious and clergy, yet maybe more so among clergy.  I'm sure it is the same the world over - but it strikes me that in the United States it may be more pernicious.  It's often connected to success and personal achievement as well as power and prestige - worldly honors.  (I suppose historically Europe was worse because of the nobility and princely attributes.)

One sees this online all of the time in the flourish of honorariums towards this or that prelate, the ambitions of this or that priest, the excitement over titles and choir dress and cappas.  The longing for titles and prestigious appointments, not to mention initials after one's name and the creation of a personal coat of arms while still in seminary ... did I mention cappas?  What?

It's all good though...

As the Pope told the newly named Cardinals last year:
“The Cardinalate does not mean a promotion, nor an honour, nor a decoration. It is simply a service that widens the eye and enlarges the heart,” he said. 
This could only be achieved by “taking the form of a servant,” the Pope added, and following the way of humility and lowliness. 
He told the cardinal-designates to celebrate their appointment humbly, and to keep far from “worldiness”. 
"You should take up the post with elation and joy but make sure this sentiment is far from any expression of worldliness, any celebrations that are foreign to the evangelical spirit of austerity, sobriety and poverty," he said. - Pope Francis

I like that.

Oh.  I'm probably wrong, so pay no attention.

Pope announces new Cardinals.
Whispers in the Loggia

Eleventh Day of Christmas: Liturgical Epiphany

The Mysteries of Light.