Saturday, February 06, 2016

Autoeroticism ... it too is intrinsically and gravely disordered

Dali - Temptation of St. Anthony
I may be wrong but I think early moral theologians
used the word voluptuousness when writing about
this particular vice.  It is also known as self-abuse.


Fr. Charles OFM Cap has a very good post:  On Masturbation

A lot of people have difficulty with this habit, also popularly known as, self-pleasuring, a sexual practice which in the 'world' or secular-pop-erotic culture, is considered healthy and normal and necessary.  (I never knew women did it, much less taught it, until I watched Oprah.)  That's not Catholic teaching however.

It's a habitual sin one can overcome with the help of grace:  By the practice of prayer, recourse to the sacrament of penance as often and as frequently as needed, amid calm, peaceful struggle - which for some means constant struggle - but it is important to have confidence in God - to keep yourself in peace.  Agitation and stress often complicates and confuses one in the heat of battle, as it were, and is therefore not helpful.  Never give up.

Fr. Charles concludes his post with these helpful counsels...

The key thing about any struggle with a sinful habit is just that, to struggle. Even given all these considerations and the probability that a small percentage of acts of masturbation are mortally sinful, it's still a sin and worth struggling against for the sake of blessedness and peace in this life and the next. So be about the struggle. Do the detective work on yourself to find the occasions of sin, the times of the day or the week when you are vulnerable to temptation, the negative emotions that set you up for falls. Look for opportunities to treat others with chastity, that is to say according to their dignity as God's creatures and not according to any use they might have for you. Avoid, as much as is practical, the world's unchaste entertainments and advertising. Receive Holy Communion devoutly and know that in that sacrificed Body your soul is made clean in the righteousness of Christ. Go to confession regularly. Pray your rosary and ask Our Lady to pray for you for the grace of chastity. Read books that encourage chastity and give practical advice on obtaining it, like Benedict Groeschel's The Courage to be Chaste.
When dealing with sinful habits the real moral and spiritual danger is perhaps not the occasional slip or fall into the behavior, but giving into discouragement, despair, or the doubt that God's love is abiding that can lead to scruples. The question of being a Christian is not whether to be a 'saint' or a 'sinner,' but of deciding what kind of sinner you want to be; the sinner who lets sins lead to discouragement and an increasing selfishness, or the sort of sinner who allows the experience of sin to lead to humility and an abiding awareness of the immense mercy of God, a mercy which one can then radiate to others. - Read the entire post here.

Find a good confessor.
St. Leopold Mandic, pray for us.


Friday, February 05, 2016

The importance of being earnest ...

Cappa Magna Cat


This bears repeating: Something from Bishop Athanasius Schneider ...




Expressions like "development of doctrine" and "pastoral compassion" are in fact usually a pretext to change the teaching of Christ, and against its perennial sense and integrity, as the Apostles had transmitted it to the whole Church, and it was faithfully preserved through the Fathers of the Church, the dogmatic teachings of the Ecumenical Councils and of the Popes.
Ultimately, those clerics want another Church, and even another religion: A naturalistic religion, which is adapted to the spirit of the time. Such clerics are really wolves in sheep’s clothing, often flirting with the world. Not courageous shepherds – but rather cowardly rabbits. - Bishop Athanasius Schneider


I agree.  This especially applies to what is going on at Holy Redeemer in the Castro district of San Francisco with Pizzuto and the promotion of 'queer spirituality'.

Humility ... Honesty ...



In this world, only those people who have fallen to the lowest degree of humiliation, far below beggary, who are not just without any social consideration but are regarded by all as being deprived of that foremost human dignity, reason itself -- only those people, in fact, are capable of telling the truth. All the others lie. - Simone Weil

Why this is difficult ...



Very often - or so it seems - every time I find an understanding spiritual director - something happens.

He goes away.

He's taken away.

He leaves ... he dies.



Please pray for a friend of mine ... he's very little - therefore he is very good.

We need to pray very much for priests.  They have this strange notion they are like ordinary people - but that's a sort of luxury they can't hold onto.  That's not a bad thing to say.





Refuse all honors.  Never ask for a position.  Account yourself nothing, and a servant of all.  If you want more ... you are in the wrong business.  Flee.  *

*But who am I to judge?

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Joseph Sciambra unearths the foundations of Queer Spirituality



In his post regarding Rev. Vincent Pizzuto

Joseph Sciambra calls the priest a schismatic - that may be true, yet perhaps a better term explains it better, Celtic Christian.  Joe explains what that means in his post, nevertheless, it is a serious New Age challenge to Roman Catholic doctrine, with rather ancient roots.

For instance. Pizzuto's community, New Skellig is steeped in pagan tradition.  A description of the community is found at their website:
New Skellig takes its name from the ancient monastic settlement, “Skellig Rock,” located twelve kilometers off the South West Coast of County Kerry, Ireland. The island, more formally known as “Skellig Michael,” served as a monastic outpost for Celtic Christian monks who built their monastery there in 588AD and remained until they were forced to abandon it – largely due to Viking raids – at the turn of the twelfth century. The island was chosen for its isolation, much as that sought after by the Egyptian monks (by whom the Celts were deeply influenced) who fled to the desert in the fourth century AD in search of contemplative solitude. As best as can be known, the community of Skellig was rarely larger than twelve to fifteen monks at any given time – and often smaller.


The Celts, whose origins are obscure, are believed to have been the natives of the European continent, traces of whose culture can be found throughout much of Europe as far south as Italy prior to having been driven out or assimilated by the expansion of the Roman Empire. ... - New Skellig
The movement is corrupted by association with New Age Neo-Paganism, Theosophy, and Gender Ideology. In theory, there are many commonalities with contemporary gay Christian movements and and pastoral practice in Catholic circles.  It is a fundamental change to traditional Catholic theology, spirituality and anthropology.  A friend sent me some background information on the errors and danger associated with this heresy.  Dialogue with heresy is pretty much impossible - and dialogue with false teachers is a lie and therefore untenable.

Oddly enough - the occult connections in some strains of Cletic spirituality just may well substantiate some of Sciambra's claims regarding his experience of evil spirits within the realms of seriously deviant homo-erotic activity.  Having said that, the gay-spirituality proposed by Pizzuto is indeed ant-Catholic.



[To contact the Archdiocese of San Francisco about the Reverend Pizzuto being given a teaching forum in a Catholic parish: Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, 415-614-5500.]

Gay Marriage and God, Dara Molloy

Dara Molloy

Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality: Globalization of God - Celtic Christianity's Nemesis

Alternate States of Unreality, Fr. Angelo Mary (Faithful teaching)


h/t to P

My retablo-shrine of St. Martin De Porres ...

Check it out on the Etsy shop:

I like my bunny rabbit peeking around the corner.

Will there be a showdown in San Francisco?



Most Holy Redeemer Church in the Castro: Entertaining angels?

Joseph Sciambra did a story about Holy Redeemer - San Francisco's equivalent to St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis - in the sense of its being a parish home for dissenting Catholics.  Holy Redeemer isn't just a gay friendly parish, it's pretty gay.  Like many dissenting Catholic communities, Holy Redeemer scheduled a controversial speaker - As Joe identifies him, he's an anti-Catholic schismatic priest who performs gay weddings, and he's scheduled to speak. The venue is all wrong.

Queer Spirituality
Mount of Transfiguration, 
Edward Knippers


Embodying Christ: Scripture and the Contemplative Life?  

Really?   That's the topic - sounds innocent enough, right?  There are so many variations on gay spirituality today and so much of it is so new age, pagan.  I've heard it since the early 1970's and now it is embedded in contemporary, progressive, Catholic spirituality.  One recognizes this immediately in this statement from Pizzuto: "the entrenched patriarchalism found within much of our biblical literature must be recognized here, and contextualized historically-critically."

That said, Joseph calls attention to the problems associated with this particular speaker, Vincent Pizzuto.  By now the Archbishop should know about it - and hopefully the situation will be addressed.

An introduction to Sciambra's article.

On February 13, 2016, the Rev. Vincent Pizzuto, Associate Professor of New Testament Studies at the University of San Fracisco, Episcopal priest, and founder and vicar of New Skellig Christian Community, will speak at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in the Castro District of San Francisco. Pizzuto, who is openly “gay,” was raised a Roman Catholic, but left the Church over his disagreement with Magisterial teachings on homosexuality; Pizzuto is honest about his current aims: he recently described efforts to change the Church’s teachings as a “battle very much under way” and said that “the Bible, as we understand it really does not address current issues…what we need to change is not so much the scriptures, which of course we cannot change, but the interpretation that has been given to them.” Over the years, Pizzuto has presided at same-sex weddings, and his published works —including “God Has Made it Plain to Them: An Indictment of Rome’s Hermeneutic of Homophobia,” in the Winter 2008 edition of Biblical Theology Bulletin—is explicitly critical of Catholic teachings. In a discussion, “Is it Ethical to be Catholic? – Queer Perspectives,” given at Most Holy Redeemer Church in San Francisco in 2006, Pizzuto said that ethical questions have “driven faithful Catholics beyond the confines of the Roman church where they might more faithfully live out their catholic faith elsewhere. And I count myself among them.” He continued: “On this at least (homosexuality) the teaching authority of the Church is given no credence by so many gay men and lesbians because it does not demonstrate its own credibility. To the contrary, its teachings on homosexuality are so disengaged from reality as to render them utterly ridiculous.” - Finish reading here.

As of this writing, I think Joseph Sciambra is one of the most honest, courageous, and authentic voices online writing on topics related to homosexuality and Catholic teaching.  He cuts through all the gay-pastoral-rhetoric which tends to intimidate or silence Catholics determined to defend the truth about the homosexual condition.  

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Who is Lord of your life?



Sacred Heart of Jesus I place all my trust in you.

I give you everything, even my sins.

Snow in Minneapolis



It's the end of the Christmas season too ...

Changes



I might be closing my shop on Etsy.

Too distracting.

If I thought blogging was a distraction - the Etsy shop is worse.

I don't want to fool around with $.

I pretty much wanted to get rid of stuff without a middle man after putting some things in a shop on consignment around Christmas.  It's a hassle to do consignment, and it might be worse with an online shop.  Packaging and shipping costs and pricing items low to move them ... let's just say I know nothing about business.

I don't know - I'll think about it.  Just finished another panel to make into a shrine and I'll probably post/publish it - but that may be it.  Not sure yet.

I was going to do some other antiques - but I'm wondering if sending them to auction might not be a better idea?

Possessions are such a burden.  Money is too.  Success is worse.

I lose interest fast.

I remember when I was in management - as soon as the creative part took second place, I lost interest.  I'm sort of dyslexic like that.

Just thinking out loud.




Monday, February 01, 2016

Did you know LarryD left Patheos?



Straight out of Patheos ... back to ... AA!

Yes!


"The only way to humility is through humiliation. David’s destiny, which is holiness, comes through humiliation. The destiny of that holiness which God gives to his children, gives to the Church, comes through the humiliation of his Son, who allows himself to be insulted, who allows himself to be placed on the cross - unjustly ... And this Son of God who humbles himself, this is the way of holiness. And David, through his behavior, prophesizes this humiliation of Jesus. Let us ask the Lord for the grace of humility for each of us, for the whole Church - but also for the grace to understand that humility cannot be achieved without humiliation. " - Pope Francis
Yes!

Humiliations are stepping stones to humility. - Bl. Teresa of Calcutta

Mewly appointed Missionaries of Mercy ...


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Springtime in Minneapolis




It's warm
and sunny
and the snow is melting...

I was told it would rain
and snow,
but it didn't.


Song for this post here.

Just because you may experience attraction to the same sex ...

The Damned, Visconti, 1969


Or experience 'same sex attraction', does not mean you are queer ...

Nor does it mean you are disordered.  The attraction itself is disordered - but that in no way means you are.

Not all people who experience homosexual attraction are gay or queer or disordered?  No way.

Concupiscence: it remains in those that are baptized in order that they may struggle for the victory.

For example, some people are tempted to self pleasuring themselves.  It's a disordered desire - arising from concupiscence.  If they engage in it - it's a sin.  If they don't act upon the attraction or give in to the temptation - there is no sin.  The temptation, the inclination, springs from original sin and incites to sin - it is not formally sin.

In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder. 
Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not. - Letter to Bishops

Therefore it seems to me the CDF Letter to Bishops on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons is talking about concupiscence when warning that the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.  It is not a sin - it is an inclination to sin.  It is the result of the Fall - original sin.  The CDF letter is a pastoral response to what has turned out to be a cultural change in giving an overly benign interpretation to the condition itself.

I believe that is why Austin Ruse and people like Joseph Sciambra point out the unsavory aspects of homosexual behavior, as Mr. Ruse did in his latest essay for Crisis, Their Sexual Proclivities Are Killing Them.  Ruse's essays have a way of upsetting people simply because they are becoming more graphic, and the cultural attitude has changed completely, as a result of  "an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral or even good.” (CDF 1992 Letter)  As I said in a comment on Crisis, 'reality bites'.  It stings.

Gay activists and gay Christians are always uncomfortable with these discussion and resent the terminology of disorder or objective disorder - which are classic moral, theological terms used by the Church.  It seems to me gay Christians are more determined to use terminology intended to give an overly benign interpretation of the condition itself.  It is very similar to late 19th early 20th century homophile or same sex friendship movements, such as the Uranians and others.  (A synopsis of these can be found here.)  One sees that Austin Ruse's reintroduction of the term 'homophile' is in itself a rather respectful term for the Spiritual Friendship, Gay Christian movement/network.

Without fail every time you write about homosexuality, gay/ssa persons, you get flak. "Not every one is like that" is the most common thread, as well as the claim, "That's a problem from an older generation - no longer applicable to the younger more tolerant generation." Same old same old. Truth be told, the re-education of Western culture has been driven by serious efforts beginning in the 19th century by homophile movements working for gender equality, and the elimination of sexual boundaries. It has been going on for well over a century. So yes - younger people and their parents have a greater openness and acceptance of what was once regarded as deviant culture.

It's interesting how much these movements have influenced modern thought, contemporary culture.  Early on the introduction of pants for women - menswear became acceptable pretty much due to early LGBTQ movements.  (For another synopsis of these, go here.)

Having said all that, and involving myself in this discussion needlessly, I believe this is why people like Melinda Selmys and others get really upset over the fact someone like Austin Ruse is willing to take flak for pointing out aspects of the homosexual underworld they know all about, but would rather not hear repeatedly.  Selmys reacted to Ruse's post in a big way here: Sanctioned Bigotry.  She makes some good points but pretty much trashes Ruse and company... conservative bigots.  I'm not really a conservative, neither am I a bigot.

I began this post as my own sort of response, why?  I'm not sure.  I noted today Melinda has another post listing how and why such posts seen in Crisis Magazine do not work as a deterrent to homosexual behavior, much less attract anyone to the Catholic Church.  While that may be true and I can agree to some extent, the fact is not all are going to be 'saved' or even desire to be religious or Christian.  Nevertheless, Selmys recent post is worth considering, she titled it: Telling the Deep Dark Truth About the Sordid Sin of Sodomy in Love.  A strange oxymoron for a title, sodomy in love.

I'll let them duke it out though.  I think it's called dialogue.  Truth in charity, I guess.

Selmys is crazy smart.  Truth be told, gay people are indeed different.  Being different is just fine.  Did you ever see The Imitation Game?   It wasn't Alan Turing's sexual proclivities which killed him.  Being kind to gay people is not being overly benign to the condition itself... as today's second reading says: Love is kind.



Song for this post here.