Saturday, April 02, 2016

Divine Mercy calls: “Arise, my friend, my beautiful one, and come! ..."

"Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion." - Our Lord to St. Faustina
Tomorrow is Divine Mercy Sunday.

Today is the last day of the novena, wherein Our Lord asked St. Faustina to pray for 'souls who have become lukewarm' - the neither hot nor cold, the indifferent - "souls without love or devotion, souls full of egoism and selfishness, proud and arrogant souls full of deceit and hypocrisy, lukewarm souls who have just enough warmth to keep themselves alive."

I desperately need the Divine Mercy in my soul.

This year I haven't noticed the devotion promoted as much as it has been in the past - or so it seems.  Perhaps it is because this is the Jubilee Year of Mercy?  Maybe I'm just not exposed enough to know?

Even if your parish doesn't offer special devotions to the Divine Mercy, You can still receive the promises of Christ to St. Faustina.
"It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church, will be called Divine Mercy Sunday." - Pope John Paul II, Canonization of St. Faustina
"Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity.'' JPII, 2001

"I want to grant complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy."  (Diary 1109)

You can do everything required without participating in any special observance. Some priests aren't 'into' the Feast of Mercy. Some do not understand why St. John Paul II instituted the feast in the first place. Some think it is just a private revelation and that the Second Sunday of Easter should be left alone. Some even associate it with post-V-II-Novus-Ordo-hocus-pocus. Too bad.

Before I even knew of the devotion, before I was reconciled to the Church through the sacrament of penance, I experienced the Divine Mercy on the Second Sunday of Easter - at that time the devotion was not well known or permitted.  It was a remarkable grace... 

"On My Feast - on the Feast of Mercy ... run through the whole world and lead souls that fainted away to the source of My Mercy. I will lead and strengthen them." - Jesus to St. Faustina

“Let me rise then and go about the city, through the streets and squares;
Let me seek him whom my soul loves.” - Song of Songs

Friday, April 01, 2016

This just in: Why we don't punish the mothers ...

(This isn't an April Fools post either.)

"I cherish women - I want to help women." - Trump

The most pro-life candidate ever?  Really?

When Trump said we should punish (criminalize) the mothers who have abortions, he demonstrated his ignorance of the law, and exposed our ignorance of how the law was applied in the past as well.

It's a good trick played that's been played out by the pro-abortion crowd.

Turns out - women were never criminalized for abortion - because they have pretty much always been considered the second victim of the act.  I know nothing about birth and babies, and less about women, so rather than trying to pretend I know what I'm talking about, I just want to take this opportunity to share with you an article my friend Mercury linked to in a comment on another post of mine, regarding Trump's proposal women should be punished for abortion.
Why did the states target abortionists and treat women as a victim of the abortionist? 
It was based on three policy judgments: the point of abortion law is effective enforcement against abortionists, the woman is the second victim of the abortionist, and prosecuting women is counterproductive to the goal of effective enforcement of the law against abortionists.
The political claim—that women were or will be prosecuted or jailed under abortion laws—has been made so frequently by Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and NOW over the past 40 years that it has become an urban legend. It shows the astonishing power of contemporary media to make a complete falsehood into a truism. 
For 30 years, abortion advocates have claimed—without any evidence and contrary to the well-documented practice of ALL 50 states—that women were jailed before Roe and would be jailed if Roe falls (or if state abortion prohibitions are reinstated). 
This claim rests on not one but two falsehoods: 

First, the almost uniform state policy before Roe was that abortion laws targeted abortionists, not women. Abortion laws targeted those who performed abortion, not women. In fact, the states expressly treated women as the second “victim” of abortion; state courts expressly called the woman a second “victim.” Abortionists were the exclusive target of the law. 
Second, the myth that women will be jailed relies, however, on the myth that “overturning” Roe will result in the immediate re-criminalization of abortion. If Roe was overturned today, abortion would be legal in at least 42-43 states tomorrow, and likely all 50 states, for the simple reason that nearly all of the state abortion prohibitions have been either repealed or are blocked by state versions of Roe adopted by state courts. The issue is entirely academic. The legislatures of the states would have to enact new abortion laws—and these would almost certainly continue the uniform state policy before Roe that abortion laws targeted abortionists and treated women as the second victim of abortion. 
There will be no prosecutions of abortionists unless the states pass new laws after Roe is overturned. 
This political claim is not an abstract question that is left to speculation—there is a long record of states treating women as the second victim of abortion in the law that can be found and read. To state the policy in legal terms, the states prosecuted the principal (the abortionist) and did not prosecute someone who might be considered an accomplice (the woman) in order to more effectively enforce the law against the principal. And that will most certainly be the state policy if the abortion issue is returned to the states. 
Why did the states target abortionists and treat women as a victim of the abortionist? 
It was based on three policy judgments: the point of abortion law is effective enforcement against abortionists, the woman is the second victim of the abortionist, and prosecuting women is counterproductive to the goal of effective enforcement of the law against abortionists. 
The irony is that, instead of states prosecuting women, the exact opposite is true. To protect their own hide, it was abortionists (like the cult hero and abortionist Ruth Barnett when Oregon last prosecuted her in 1968), who, when they were prosecuted, sought to haul the women they aborted into court. As a matter of criminal evidentiary law, if the court treated the woman as an accomplice, she could not testify against the abortionist, and the case against the abortionist would be thrown out. 
There are “only two cases in which a woman was charged in any State with participating in her own abortion”: from Pennsylvania in 19111 and from Texas in 1922.2 There is no documented case since 1922 in which a woman has been charged in an abortion in the United States. 
Based on this record—spanning 50 states over the century before Roe v. Wade—it is even more certain that the political claim that any woman might be questioned or prosecuted for a spontaneous miscarriage has no record in history and will certainly not be the policy of any state in the future. - Finish reading here.

There is so much double talk on the subject that people have lost their common sense.  They see Trump as some sort of savior to over turn Roe v Wade - a guy who could care less about women and children.  Every pundit that comes down the pike claiming he will overturn Roe v Wade - if elected - doesn't know what he or she is talking about.  It's Stepford-Wives-Syndrome, and Trump  has been the perfect spokesman for it.

 Abortion is huge business - women's rights are unsustainable without the abortion industry.  Obviously the lie is in danger of being exposed because of Trump, who only in the last day or so seems to have been informed that in the past the abortionist was criminalized, not the surviving victim. Will he toe the party line on this now?  By just focusing on a judicial appointment to give the impression Roe v Wade will be overturned?  It will be interesting won't it?

Thanks again to Mercury for providing the excellent link with information on this topic - I found it very helpful.  To be honest - I never understood the 'second victim' theory so well myself.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Donald thinks women should be punished ...

For abortions ...

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said Wednesday 
that there "has to be some form of punishment" for abortion 
if it were banned in the U.S. -- as he says it should be -- 
and that punishment should fall on the woman. - HuffPo

Maybe he's not so bad after all.*


The 3 wives of Donald Trump 
can testify he's a family man 
who loves women.

Ed. Note:  I may be wrong, but it wouldn't surprise me if this story became part of Trump's domestic policy.

*I'm being facetious.

The most edifying post on Mother Angelica so far ...

The final passion of Mother Angelica ...

Many people have noted how fitting it seemed that Mother Angelica passed away on Easter Sunday, the day on which Christians celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection and triumph over death. Now, new details are emerging about her final days that show even more interesting convergences between her life and the liturgical calendar.
“It was on Good Friday,” EWTN Chaplain Fr. Joseph Wolfe explained in a sermon he gave recently about Mother Angelica’s death, “that I heard from one of the caregivers who was helping Mother.”
He continued: “Mother began to cry out early in the morning from the pain that she was having. She had a fracture in her bones because of the length of time she had been bedridden. They said you could hear it down the hallways, that she was crying out on Good Friday from what she was going through. These two people said to me she has excruciating pain.” 
Fr. Wolfe saw a special meaning in her suffering on Good Friday, the day on which Christians remember Christ’s passion and death on the cross. “Well, do you know where that word ‘excruciating’ comes from? Ex, from, cruce, from the cross. Excruciating pain.”
But the pain didn’t last all day. “After the 3 o’clock hour arrived on Good Friday she was more calm, she was more peaceful.” Three o’clock is the time at which Jesus died on the cross, according to the Bible. - Finish reading at Church POP

There are a great many prayers and Masses offered for the repose of the soul of Mother Angelica, and that is totally appropriate.  Although I'm with the Pope who joyfully pointed to heaven saying: "She's in heaven!"  The prayers, the rosaries, the Masses will redound to her glory, no doubt.

Her sufferings, so poignantly recorded as occurring on Good Friday, serve to demonstrate her final sufferings in her religious life as an enclosed Poor Clare nun.  She lived and died a holy Poor Clare - the ring of espousal's received at profession, as well as the crown of thorns the Poor Clare receives, signifies her union with Jesus Christ Crucified.  Mother Angelica was found worthy to share in the sufferings of her spouse, Jesus Christ, conformed to him in his death, that she might know the power of his resurrection.  Persevering in the monastery until death and a life of heroic virtue:  That is why she is a saint.

Funniest posts on M. Angelica so far ...

Fr. L thinks Thatcher and M. Angelica were like two peas in a pod.  Whatever.

Pat Archbold states:  I judge people based upon which picture they post of Mother Angelica.  Who doesn't he judge?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Taking care of cats... a corporal act of mercy.

This is beautiful!

Imam opens Mosque to Stray Cats to keep them warm.

Catholics could learn something from this ...

Mother Angelica knew what to do ...

M. Angelica cared.


Is Mother Angelica in Purgatory?

I don't know.

But I pray for the repose of her soul.  I've been following the coverage on EWTN as well.  It's edifying.  She's very much part of my prayer.  I even have a sort of relic - a letter from her.

That said, in my morning prayer I came across a passage from the Song of Songs, which prefigures the Gospel for today, as Mary searches for the body of Christ ...

The angels ask her why she is weeping - then Christ appears to ask her why she is weeping ...

"I sought him whom my heart loves - I sought him but did not find him ...
I came upon the watchmen as they made their rounds of the city ...
'Have you seen him whom my heart loves?'
I hardly left them ... when I found him whom my heart loves ..."

And unlike Mary at the tomb - She took hold of him and would not let him go.

I think that passage - in the light of the Easter morning Gospels, just might describe Mother Angelica's purgatory - if indeed she experienced it.  I can't help but consider that she 'hardly left' us, when she found him whom her heart loves - and she will never have to let him go away again.

I'm so happy for her.

I'm so grateful for her.

Today Catholics do not like to say someone is in a better place after they die - they believe it is a denial of purgatory.  I don't like that language either - neither do I like saying someone 'passed' instead of saying they 'died' and so on.

However, truth be told, Mother Angelica was always in a better place, being an enclosed Poor Clare nun is a better place in itself - even though she pretty much lived a purgatory on earth.  All of her life, we know she sought him whom her heart loves ... Perhaps - like Mary at the tomb, unable to recognize Jesus immediately - at the moment of her death, Mother may not have recognized Our Lord either?  Yet suddenly, in a blink of the eye as it were, after hardly leaving her body - she found him whom her heart loves.  Never again needing to search, or weep, or sicken, suffer and die.

Just a pious thought.

Only God knows.  I like to think of her perfect union with God, in the bosom of the Blessed Trinity.  Even Pope Benedict said, after receiving the news of her death, to die on Easter was 'a gift' - that is, a great grace.

Mother Angelica, pray for us.

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Couple of Thoughts On Mother Angelica - before she's canonized.

I loved Mother Angelica because she was so normal - down to earth, and ordinary.  No doubt she did extraordinary things.

While she is being piously eulogized, I've been searching online for some of her more off-beat quotes, and can't find them.  As we go forward, I suspect many things she said or did will be sanitized of anything that could be considered unedifying.  I might be wrong - but I think she was a lot like Pope Francis with her off the cuff remarks and snap 'judgments'.

Her locking horns with Cardinal Mahony and Bishop Foley is legendary and well known, and I'm sure it will be discussed online.  I think it was the encounter with Foley that incited M. Angelica to say on the air, if I remember correctly, that she'd rather "blow up the studio than let it get into the hands of the bishops!"  I love her for that.

I also remember one night after reading questions from the audience, she responded to a person who said someone they knew didn't believe in hell, she replied, "he will when he gets there!"

Another time, deeply disturbed by the Scorsese film, "The Last Temptation of Christ", she said she hoped God would punish Hollywood for the blasphemy, even maybe with a great quake and letting it be swallowed up by the sea.

As Arroyo always says - she was feisty.

I like that.

She had a rough and tough childhood. Some of the stories she told sounded a lot like my experiences.  The school sisters weren't that nice to her, she moved a lot, hung out in her uncle's? bar.  She was without guile.  She often cracked me up with her quips and straightforward opinions.

I'm convinced she was the perfect foundress-prioress for an enclosed community - perhaps like Teresa of Avila to some degree.  I also admire her for taking care of her mother in the monastery - I think her mom may have had a difficult personality.

Early on, Mother's Apostolate was an important influence among Charismatic Catholics.  I'm convinced it was she who evangelized them with devotion to the Blessed Virgin, the rosary, and the Eucharist.  Her pamphlets were widely distributed among Charismatics, providing solid catechesis on Catholic doctrine, which otherwise could be watered down and 'protestantized' within the very fluid Charismatic movement. 

This morning I'm thinking of her in heaven, completely dumbstruck and in awe, caught up in the beatific vision.

Padre Steve posted a great tribute from Bishop Barron here.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Mother Angelica Died.

+ 1923 - 2016 +

She pretty much invented the 'New Evangelization'.

God rest her soul and clothe her in glory!

In thanksgiving for the vocation, the virtues and faithful witness of Mother Angelica!

Information on funeral proceedings here.

Sometimes I feel like I'm from another planet.

You realize, don't you, that most Catholics do not read Catholic blogs or dish outside mainstream Catholic media?

So anyway.  An older lady was filling the holy water fonts at church, and I asked her if she gets it from the baptismal-pool-fountain or from a separate holy water reservoir-tank.  She looked at me like I was nuts and told me she takes it from the baptismal font.  She said it is real holy water.

I tried to explain that I was only asking because I read so much online about using the old ritual to bless holy water, exorcists recommend it - so I'm told - because the prayers are this and that and they use salt.  She looked at me like I was nuts again, and politely said, "this is the water Father asked me to use.  He blessed it last night and dipped the Easter Candle in it and everything."

And I felt really, really nuts.

I wasn't challenging her, I just wanted to know if that was the water I was supposed to use to fill my bottle to go.

It was another sign I read too much crap online about exorcists and Fr. Z and how much the devil hates Latin, and The Book of Blessings is crap and you need exorcism salt in the water and the right prayers and you can't receive communion in the hand or else they will turn black in purgatory and if you wear jeans to Mass you're no damn good - would you dress like that for Oscars?  and there's a huge storm coming and 1/3 of humanity will be wiped out on the first Thursday of March April or May on a date which coincides with a major event in the Church and the feast day of a martyr for receiving communion on the tongue only.

Now tell me who is nuts.

Still me?  Fine.  Thanks so much.

BTW - being Easter, there is not one rabbit in my backyard - which just goes to show everyone - they are all out delivering Easter baskets!

Easter Morning ... the empty tomb.

Willem de Kooning
Door to the River

Christ indeed from death is risen.

Sometimes I need abstract art to express an experience.

This painting by de Kooning expresses for me the empty tomb.

I went to early Mass today.  I got up early and prayed before dawn.  I recalled my first experience of the Resurrected Christ - it came to me suddenly again this morning.  It changed everything in my life back then.

I needed that reminder this morning.

Mass was packed, and my recollection was undisturbed.  Even amidst the cacophony after Mass, my thanksgiving was undisturbed.  An older man suddenly grabbed me, his arm around me, his face close to mine, and when I opened my eyes he said, "Good luck!"  I think he meant God bless you.  He hugged me really tight and I thanked him.  Awhile later I heard someone ask someone "Are you OK?"  

They couldn't have been asking me, because I know my Redeemer lives.

A blessed, happy Easter to all!