Saturday, October 17, 2015

I'm not laughing today.

I read a story of two toddlers gang raped in New Delhi.

New Delhi (AFP) - Angry crowds gathered Saturday in New Delhi to accuse police of failing to act over the rape of a toddler, with outrage mounting after the gang-rape of a five-year-old girl in a separate attack.The two-and-a-half-year-old girl was abducted from a religious event in west Delhi by two men on Friday night and raped before being dumped in a park near her home, relatives and police said.
In a separate incident on the other side of the city, the five-year-old was lured to a neighbour's house and raped by three men, a police officer told AFP. - Source

Friday, October 16, 2015

How cool is this? Could it be caused by the Vortex? Is it the Synod of Doom suddenly glimpsed?

CHINESE TV news reports have told how 
thousands of residents in TWO areas reported separately 
seeing a huge city form in the skies. - Source

City in the sky.
Onlookers, some who are said to have videoed the bizarre event, were said to be mesmerised as a towering city of sky scrapers appeared from the clouds.
First thousands reportedly saw a ghostly alien city floating over Foshan in the Guangdong province of China. 
A few days later people in the province of Jiangxi, China, also reported seeing a similar cloud city. - Source

Iron sky.

How cool is that?  One thing I didn't know was the conspiracy theories connected to these apparitions.  Holograms in the sky, simulating star wars or the Second Coming of Christ to deceive people.
Project Blue Beam is a prolific conspiracy theory which believes NASA will one day
simulate an alien invasion of Earth or second coming of Christ through holograms. - Source
It happened in 2011 too.

Makes you think...

Does the sun revolve around Uranus?

I think Flannery O'Connor is over rated.

"There's many a blog that could have been prevented by a good teacher." - Flannery O'Connor

Yeah.  Well.  No one cares.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

The walk-out petition-letter for the Synod Fathers - it's not that bad.

I read it.

I read it and skimmed through the signers, surprised to find Anthony Esolen signed - so I read through the letter again. It's fine and good that the laity voice their concerns, after all, 13 prelates did as well.  The letter itself seems fine to me in so far as it expresses reasonable concern.  Some of the signers strike me as rather panicked.  The following quote is signed Anthony Esolen - he doesn't seem to be as panicked.
I am weary of the prelates of my church playing for chumps those young people who try with all their hearts to follow the moral law as regards sex. THEY are the most "marginalized" among us, and THEY get no attention from anyone. They need our help and our encouragement. They do not need betrayal, neglect, and contempt. - Source*

I wouldn't sign it.  I think it is wrong to ask participants in the synod to walk out.   It's a Protestant thing to do and is not Catholic.  Fr. Blake disagrees with the idea as well.  I've been reading some of his commentary, which seems more balanced than some of the others who have expressed misgivings about the Franciscan papacy.

What I don't get is this:  The Gay Synod.

Why are gay people so important?  How did this get to be such a major point of discussion?  Not just at this synod, but all along; gay rights/equality has been an issue with activists and dissenting Catholics for years.  Some priests and bishops continue to express the hope for a development of doctrine - to permit gay unions.  I don't understand how that can happen?  Has the contraception mentality of separating sex from marriage contaminated our understanding of sex all together?  To be in a sexually active homosexual relationship/union is sinful.  Same sex partners, setting up a household and creating a family, to put it bluntly, is still living in sin.  It can't be approved.

That said, my question stands.  Why is this such a major point of discussion at the synod?  It is the traditional family which needs attention, promotion, pastoral care, and so on.  I believe it is media blowing the gay agenda way out of proportion.  As well as gay lobbyists.  I don't believe it will change Catholic teaching.  Dissidents have tried to wipe out the record, the teaching - they want to eliminate language they find offensive, they want to strike it from the Scriptures, from the Catechism, and CDF documents.  They want to undo it.  They've been trying for decades.  Today they seem to have captured the limelight, and the issue is front page news.  It can't change Catholic teaching.

I don't understand how or why gay people and gay issues have commanded such attention and significance - even dominance.  As Fr. Blake noted, what was once a shadowy lobby is now front and centre out of the lobby and sitting in the drawing room.  

The Synod presenters, if not the discussions themselves, seem to be obsessed by the homosexual issue. Perhaps this is a peculiar quality of the Roman Church, non- pastoral priests with 'issues', let go by their own bishops, sent there and failing to cling on to their vocations. It was not long ago that the entire community of Rome's Cistercian Abbey of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, where the relics of the Passion are kept, were dispersed following grave rumours of moral turpitude. Perhaps the Holy Father needs to address his own diocese' problems, and perhaps the Synod needs to address chastity and fidelity with great clarity but then the Holy Father seems happy not to judge where gay issues are concerned.
There is a petition on-line suggesting right thinking bishops should walk out of the the Synod, I can't think of anything more foolish, now is the time for truth about the real position of the Church, for 'parhesia', the word much used by the Pope. - Fr. Blake

Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed.

I am completely confident the Holy Father is faithful to the Gospel, in fact, I get the impression he is permitting the 'impurities' to rise to the top, as it were, with his desire for open, unrestricted discussion.  Just as Cardinal Dolan affirmed, “I said ‘Way to go, Pope Francis. You told us to be honest; we were. You answered right to the heart, I’m grateful that you paid attention, let’s get on with the work.’”  Like I said - that is one reason why I don't worry.

"Thou hast placed men over our heads."  I think of that often, St. Benedict reiterated that in his Rule, discussing obedience.  We need to know and believe, Our Lord will not abandon us.

I don't understand the panic and lack of faith.

I tend to think it is because Catholics have gone after novelties - both progressives or liberal Catholics, as well as traditional and conservative Catholics.  We've neglect they 'key of Knowledge' as today's Gospel tells us:
Woe to you, scholars of the law!You have taken away the key of knowledge.You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”
Each of us imagine ourselves to be scholars on some level - be we liberal or conservative - yet we are without charity.  We don't have an interior life.  We can't possibly if we are distracted out of our wits. It seems to me most of us have not entered into that interior castle where the Blessed Trinity dwells - if we have - it seems obvious we do not reside there.   As the Gospel says, we also stop those who would try to enter.  That is, enter into that same loving relationship in the heart of the Church, where we proclaim ourselves to be.

Today's feast of St. Teresa reminds us of these things, how we need to seek Love who is not loved by men.  We need to give up everything for this one thing necessary and all will be given us ...  What I'm trying to say, albeit awkwardly because I don't have language to express it well - what I'm trying to say is, if we ourselves work and labor and sacrifice ourselves, entering into deeper communion with Our Lord in prayer - in love - we need not worry.  Precisely because wknow that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.  We can know that experientially.

The key is charity, love.  Confidence and love is what Little Therese taught, and she learned it from her parents who will be canonized this week end.  Let's not grieve the Holy Spirit with our fears and resistance.  Rather, let's take the big St. Teresa's advice to heart:

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices. - St. Teresa of Avila

Works for me.

_ _ _

An update:

*Steve Skojec has a smart post explaining why a walk-out is appropriate and attempts to explain why it is not unprecedented.  He cites earlier councils and synods where there was great division and controversy - in the end the reigning pontiff condemned the errors.  Even in Vatican I when American bishops resisted the decree of papal infallibility - the decree passed.  Walking out in protest in some of these instances was indeed an act of resistance - it doesn't make it right.  The reason I think much of the concern over the synod is over the top is because the synod isn't over.  The Pope - the supreme law giver in the Church - hasn't signed off on anything proposed.  Without mincing legal and theological definitions - it seems to me that is what is being challenged is the leadership of Pope Francis - and these efforts by laity and clergy are disruptive.  It seems to me to be part of the anti-Vatican II cult which seeks to discredit the Magisterium.  Cited is last year's Extraordinary Synod, as well as Edward Pentin's sensationalized book, investigating the so-called rigging and manipulation of Synod proceedings, as well as the platform laid out in the final Relatio.  This year's synod is indeed a continuation and the controversial problems appear to be addressed and noted, and are in process of being worked out.  Nevertheless, people are publishing leaks and sound bites, upsetting the faithful and stirring things up.  That's unfortunate in so far as it is not possible at this point to come to any sort of conclusions about the end result of the synod before it is over.

The best Skojec's essay has to offer is that he demonstrates similar disputes have happened in the past - throughout Church history.  One is not the same as the other however.

There is also an element of anti-clericalism entwined in the anti-Vatican II/anti-Magisterium mindset.  Both progressive/liberal Catholics, as well as traditional/conservative Catholics run the danger of having their fidelity compromised or contaminated by it.

I'm convinced, in the case of traditional Catholics at least, that very often, select private revelations of the last two centuries have infected popular piety and devotion to such an extent that a mistrust of papal authority and the hierarchy and magisterial teaching has become commonplace.  It is amazing how deeply embedded in popular piety the dubious, unapproved messages of LaSalette have become.  Especially the claims of a precursor of the Antichrist and the prediction Rome will lose the faith, and so on.
Those most vulnerable to this story are those unwilling to accept the non-doctrinal changes of Vatican II. Others have been scanda1ized by some clergy misusing the Council’s decrees to propagate their own false ideas. Although disgruntled they have stayed within the Church, but the purveyors of Melanie’s prophecy aim to encourage them to treat bishops as untrustworthy and to see the pope as disloyal to the desires of Christ and his mother. - Source

  Likewise, the revelations of Bl. Katherine Emmerich.  Recently a contemporary 'locutionist' has been disgraced because specific prophecy turned out to be false.  In many instances, the hallmark of false prophecy and revelations has been subtle anti-clericalism fostering a mistrust in the Papal authority and Magisterial teaching.  This mindset has infected cults and movements within Catholicism - especially traditionalist movements.  That's another post, however.

If I were in a position of offering advice I would suggest prayer - authentic prayer and devout assistance at Mass when possible, the rosary and fidelity to the duties of one's state in life.  Cultivating a spirit of continuous prayer keeps us in communion.  We need to pray for the Holy Father and the bishops in union with him - this has always been the Catholic way.  It was recommended by Our Lady at Fatima, the centennial of her apparitions is fast approaching.  (Myths have popped up about these apparitions and messages as well, but Vatican archives has the official interpretation of the events.)

The Feast of Our Holy Mother St. Teresa of Avila

The Fifth Centenary of her Birth.

I do not want to distract from devotion to St. Teresa on her solemnity, except to say - her teaching informs my life and her influence is very often manifested on my blog.  If I lived in her time, and somehow we were acquainted, I would have been the toad the Lord sent to warn her about vain conversations and inordinate friendships.  May she pray for my salvation - the forgiveness of my sins and the grace to love the truth.

St. Teresa of Jesus, pray for for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

Happy feast day to all my Carmelite friends!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Signs in the heavens: This Sunday we will be able to see Uranus.

Reminds me of an ancient Irish quatrain, discovered on a pauper's tombstone, excavated next to a lonely hermit chapel near Dingle, Co. Kerry:

Deireadh Fómhair* dark o'night,
waked from compline to lauds, 
Uranus shineth bright,
aye, the whole world be in blight.


“I said ‘Way to go, Pope Francis. You told us to be honest; we were." - Cardinal Dolan

Good ol' American Cardinal.

This is funny:

"‘Boy, that sounds good to me. If you have a letter to the Pope, count me in.’ And sure enough I signed it.” - Cardinal Dolan Gives the Details On the 'Letter'

And that is exactly why I don't worry.

God bless Cardinal Dolan.

Song for this post here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Miracle

rain on me ... rain on me ... oh, rain on me.

Listen to to the prayer of the faithful ...

o my jesus forgive us our sins ...

o my jesus forgive us our sins ...

save us ...

save us from the fires of hell ...

help us ...

help us ...

save us from the fires of hell ...

help us ...


help those especially

... especially


most in need

of thy mercy.

O my Jesus!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Kind of the way God might see us?

Monkey business. 

Sometimes people say they do not get my humor.  I understand that.  Because it's weird.  When you come from a weird background, humor gets a little twisted.  Yet it allows you some distance, a sort of respite or distraction from the pain.  It also helps to view things from a different perspective - avoiding the pitfall of taking oneself too seriously amidst much confusion.

Watching a PBS story on Japanese Snow Monkeys helped me to understand this.  Their human like behavior is what we find so endearing about them.  A scene repeated in the ads for the documentary shows one monkey ambushing another,  jumping on the back of the unsuspecting bather.  I'm not sure if a fight ensued - but it reminded me of how we interact with one another - how we fight.  In an earlier post I said I thought it was funny how one blogger takes down another.  They fight and tear each other to pieces - using their blog and website.  Though all the contenders are Catholic - they upset themselves and the entire 'blogosphere' with their issues.  One sees that with discussions on the Synod.  Though mostly speculation by a lot of people who know little to nothing about what is really going on - save from negative news sources or scandal 'journalists' they subscribe to .  If you are able to step back, disengage for a few moments - or a few days - you get a glimpse of the behavior.  I think it pretty closely resembles that of the Snow Monkeys.

Long story short - I playfully wondered if that is how God sees things.  I can't imagine God is agitating Catholics into a panic over the Synod, nor that he stirs people up to lambaste fellow Catholics who have different points of view on all the clamor surrounding discussions by the Synod Fathers.  The Synod is more or less closed - so who can know what the results will be? Hence my consideration - maybe God laughs at us - just a little.  The way we say things?  After all, those who do not hold back on condemnations seem to believe God will excuse them, saying, "you were a little hard in that battle but I forgive you because you did it for me and my little ones."  I trust God is merciful.

I don't know - but I get a kick out of it.  Catholic blogisticians online crack me up.   One blogger says the Synod is demonic yet admits she doesn't know what is really going on.  Another blogger who has a continuing campaign against Fr. Rosica says he's sacrificing everything else - hopefully not duties in his state of life - to blog breaking news reports on what is going on at the Synod - for the sake of those who have no voice.  I don't know - but I think that is sitcom material.  I'm not being sarcastic, nor am I mocking these folks. I'm not pretending to be above them, or better than them - I simply think it's funny.  After all, how many people use the cliche, "sick back with popcorn to watch" the silliness unfold?

I totally cracked up over this line from Fr. Z (Larry coined it): "Gnostic pool of crackpottery".  That just works, doesn't it?

When we take ourselves so seriously, and imagine that we are indispensable - it's funny.  Especially when you jump on another monkey's back while he's totally unaware, and the two of you wrestle each other in the pool.  It's very childlike.

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices. - St. Teresa of Avila

This pretty much says it all.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!

I love Canada and Canadians.

Happy Indigenous People's Day

You people immigrant - we here first.

Song for this post here.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

We do not have to go far to find God.

S. Peter of Alcantara giving Communion to St. Teresa.

We are his tabernacle ...

"I wish I could tell all souls what sources of strength, of peace, and of happiness they would find if they would only consent to live in this intimacy." (Prayer of recollection)
I am offering a prayer for you that St. Paul made for his followers; he asked that Jesus dwell through faith in their hearts so they might be rooted in love.  That thought is so profound, so mysterious ... Oh yes, may the God who is all love be your unchanging dwelling place, your cell, your cloister in the midst of the world; remember that He dwells in the deepest center of your soul as if in a sanctuary where He wants to be loved to the point of adoration.  He remains there to fill you to overflowing with His graces, to transform you in Himself." - Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Everything is found there.  It is the secret of unceasing prayer.  Let nothing disturb your peace.  It is heaven on earth.  Nothing can separate us from Him.

If we stay a long times after Communion, we can follow in the interior footsteps of Jesus, into the very bosom of the Holy Trinity, and there accustom ourselves to this prayer of recollection, in the company of the Blessed Virgin and all the angels and saints in heaven - because heaven is truly within.  We never have to leave - no matter what our duties, even our sufferings, exiles, whatever loneliness.  We do not have to be saints to do this - we simply need faith, so that we may be rooted in love.  Amidst all the clamor and confusion - even terror - we have the one thing necessary within us.

Blessed Elizabeth tells us that in the beginning we have to know how to wait.

Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, pray for us.

Song for this post ...

I want to paint this.