Saturday, April 09, 2016

Minnesotans banned from travel to North Carolina and Mississippi by Governor Dayton.

Mass exodus of Minnesotans leaving the Southern States.

Dayton recently banned travel to North Carolina and Mississippi because of their discriminatory laws.  It's quite a courageous act, and demonstrates the need to resist the far right wingnuts attempting to take control of the United States.

Dayton is a very insightful and cautious man, though he retains the same courageous leadership style he exhibited as a U.S. Senator.  Recognizing the imminent terror threat on Washington at the time, in 2004 he closed his D.C. office due to terrorist worries.  He should be president.

I think a trade embargo is the best next step.
Or maybe a bit of localized weather modification.

I wasn't even thinking of visiting North Carolina or Mississippi anyway.  

I'm too afraid to leave the house.


Disinterested friendship ...

Best friends support one another.

Do not be afraid!

Today's Gospel - Jesus walking on water telling the disciples: "It is I!"

Through the years I've known many fine religious and orthodox priests, who after ordination were eager to preach the Gospel without compromise, especially without moral compromise.  To correct consciences, to not only propose, but to practically 'impose' Church teaching and every liturgical rubric.*  With zeal they were zealous for the Lord.  Pastoral experience mellowed them - the ones who remained priests, that is.

One friend, in his new assignment was asked to do an infant baptism for a couple living together without benefit of marriage.  Father refused, and after he told me he had done so, I asked why.  In part he said new thinking had it that infant baptism may not be the right thing to do, as well as telling me the more Catholic sense would be to refuse if the parents are not practicing Catholics, and so on.  You all know those reasons.  I explained that if that would have happened in my case, I may never have been Catholic.

Another young priest I knew wouldn't give marriage instruction/prep counselling to a cohabiting couple unless they separated and lived a part.  I remember saying - but what if they just sleep in separate beds - considering the added expense of moving out and so on.  He laughed and said I was naive to think they could live together chastely until marriage.  Hopefully, such examples will be less likely to happen after this exhortation is promulgated.  We underestimate ordinary people, who if shown the way - the ideal - and trusting that their inclination to seek to regularize their domestic situations is sincere, respect them enough to take them at their word when they agree to live chastely.

The new exhortation from the Holy Father speaks to these issues, the reality of family life in modern times.  I've only read parts of it of course, but what I've read strikes me as just fine.  In fact, it pretty much addresses issues honestly and clearly, and promotes pastoral care in a way that has been pretty much practiced for decades.  The Holy Father doesn't depart from Catholic teaching, nothing is changed, but going forward, condemnations of 'public sinners' may be even less common than it is now.  Despite the fact many online are already saying the Pope has abandoned Catholic teaching.  He has not.

Bishop Barron posted a wonderful commentary on the Exhortation, and Padre Steve reprinted parts of it on his blog.  I'll reprint just a couple of things Bishop Barron said.

On a spring day about five years ago, when I was rector of Mundelein Seminary, Francis Cardinal George spoke to the assembled student body. He congratulated those proudly orthodox seminarians for their devotion to the dogmatic and moral truths proposed by the Church, but he also offered some pointed pastoral advice. He said that it is insufficient simply to drop the truth on people and then smugly walk away. Rather, he insisted, you must accompany those you have instructed, committing yourself to helping them integrate the truth that you have shared. I thought of this intervention by the late Cardinal often as I was reading Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
[...] the Pope also honestly admits that many, many people fall short of the ideal, failing fully to integrate all of the dimensions of what the Church means by matrimony. What is the proper attitude to them? Like Cardinal George, the Pope has a visceral reaction against a strategy of simple condemnation, for the Church, he says, is a field hospital, designed to care precisely for the wounded (292). Accordingly, he recommends two fundamental moves. First, we can recognize, even in irregular or objectively imperfect unions, certain positive elements that participate, as it were, in the fullness of married love. Thus for example, a couple living together without benefit of marriage might be marked by mutual fidelity, deep love, the presence of children, etc. Appealing to these positive marks, the Church might, according to a “law of gradualness,” move that couple toward authentic and fully-integrated matrimony (295). This is not to say that living together is permitted or in accord with the will of God; it is to say that the Church can perhaps find a more winsome way to move people in such a situation to conversion. - Da Mihi Animas
These matters are way over my head of course, but what I see is the Holy Father opening doors, windows, and untying knots for ordinary people to come into the Church.  Effectively ministering to them, going out onto the highways and bi-ways to accompany them back home.  I also see him affirming those pastors who have already, for decades, ministered to the so-called misfits, outsiders.  Those pastors we've often condemned as liberal - too liberal - who nonetheless ministered to those in irregular situations.  Who knew, until now, these so-called liberals have been missionaries, chaplains in a field hospital, truly ministering - giving the Bread of Life to those who would otherwise maybe not fit in so well at a 'normal' parish?
Will Amoris Laetitia end all debate on these matters? Hardly. But it does indeed represent a deft and impressive balancing of the many and often contradictory interventions at the two Synods on the Family. As such, it will be of great service to many suffering souls who come to the Field Hospital. - Bishop Barron

*"Then I feel it is helpful to reaffirm that the Church does not impose but rather freely proposes the Catholic faith ..." - Pope Benedict XVI

a single man ...

When you get news you can't share ...

Friday, April 08, 2016

I could have seen the Doobie Brothers in Bayonne, but I journeyed on to Lourdes

I was invited to Paris too ...

Bayonne is a city in the Basque Country region of southwest France, where the Nive and Adour rivers meet. Narrow medieval streets characterize the old Grand Bayonne district. Here lie the Gothic-style Bayonne Cathedral, with its 13th-century cloister, and Château Vieux castle. Across the Nive river in the Petit Bayonne district is the Musée Basque, a museum devoted to the region’s arts, crafts and traditions.

Things I know for sure.

What Laetitia says.

Amoris Laetitia
"In Rome people seem to love with more zest,
murder with more imagination, 
submit to creative urges more often, 
and lose the sense of logic more easily than in any other place."

"Always be appropriate and considerate."

I think that about sums it up.

I also think Pewsitters* crashed - all I wanted to do is see the scare quotes, but I can't even access the site.  It's a popular website.

Fr. Z had an advanced copy of the document and seems to have discussed the contents of the new Apostolic Exhortation with confreres through the night.  Rorate - obviously in a chase to be the first to post on it, time stamped their post at 1:24 AM.  The breaking news is about the recent exhortation, which, I am sure, the average person in the pew could care less about.

It changes nothing.


NB: Very seriously, Rocco Palmo has a great, positive critique here.

* I got through and was not disappointed.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Fr. Z On the Road Again: Amazing UFO Photo.

Before it's news:

Meanwhile:  KKK sighting at U Indiana, Bloomington:

In the past, Klansmen were secretive and only came out
at night with their robes on.

Minnesota Gov. Dayton announced he is 
considering banning travel to Indiana now as well.
He recently banned travel to North Carolina and
Mississippi because of their discriminatory laws.
It's quite a statement on the drastic turn to the far right
Americans are witnessing these days.

Dayton is a very insightful and cautious man.
Recognizing the imminent terror threat on Washington
due to terrorist worries.

Remember - you saw it here first!

Wednesday, April 06, 2016


Still sick.

When you're sick you really get to examine your conscience.

Today's the feast day of Blessed Pierina Morosini.  She died fighting off a rapist - he crushed her face with a stone I think.  She was coming home from work.  There is something about her that reminds me of my old neighborhood.

I've been able to paint a bit.  A couple of hours a day.  I'm disappointed in the work however.

I was reading a few conservative blogs or sites.  Came across a Hilary White article discrediting the Divine Mercy devotion - incredibly, she discredits Pope John Paul II as well - and most devotions newer than 500 years?  I didn't read her that closely, but these people who studied in Rome or happen to be Steubenville grads sure seem to think they know everything.

I don't like religious people.

I wonder why I read them?  I suppose not reading them would help solve the problem.

After I stopped reading most gay Catholic blogs and articles about SSA online - it's amazing how all of the controversy, the preoccupation with that stuff vanishes.  It reminds me of Paul's admonition to the Corinthians, which I'm not sure gay people would be ready to accept or believe:

You are not constrained by us; you are constrained by your own affections.
Do not be yoked with those who are different, with unbelievers. For what partnership do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?
What agreement has the temple of God with idols?
"Therefore, come forth from them
and be separate,” says the Lord.  - 2 Corinthians 6

Back to the Lilly Whites online.

Those people online who call themselves Catholic have no authority, despite their degrees.  If what they say contradicts the Pope and the bishops in union with him, pay no attention to them.  They are vain and seek praise from one another.

"The task of authoritatively interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on [Scripture or Tradition], has been entrusted exclusively to the living Magisterium of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ." Dei Verbum # 10

They are no different than false prophets or modern locutionists who foretell the stock market and the political fates of leaders, perhaps they are worse, since they are self-directed, convinced of their superior knowledge and virtue?  They judge and look down on the ordinary person who seeks God in simplicity, confident in his merciful love.

Only God knows their souls - but it is better to stay away from their websites.

As I mentioned to a friend the other day, I think some of the people who write against the Divine Mercy devotion, or what they disdain as 'Francis mercy' may be described as Jansenists. St. Therese contended with similar opposition to her ‘little way’ within her own community. In almost every private revelation wherein our Lord speaks of his mercy, he always says this lack of trust or confidence is what wounds his heart the most. Be it to St. Margaret Mary, Sr. Benigna,, Sr. Consolata, and/or other saints to whom he revealed his merciful love.  I suspect they would even attempt to correct St. Alphonsus Liguori's teachings on the merciful love of God, or St. Francis De Sales in his Treatise On the Love of God.

Let nothing ever destroy your confidence - Do not be yoked with those who despise - or worse - despair of the mercy of God.  God's mercy and love excel all we ever knew of him, his mercy is inexhaustible, his mercy endures forever.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

St. Vincent Furrier, O.P.

The O.P. stands for 'Oh Please!'

Now St. Vincent Ferrer, the Spanish Dominican, gained acclaim as a missionary and a logician.  A fiery preacher, he was known as the Angel of the Apocalypse, yet he was always solicitous for the ordinary people, especially sinners.

Today is the Feastday of The Lesbian Martyrs

Five virgin Christian maidens who suffered martyrdom for the faith on the Greek island of Lesbos.

They were early martyrs and therefore very little information seems to be available on them.  I could not even find an icon.

I thought it would be fun to post on them, considering Pope Francis is invited to visit the island:
The Orthodox Church of Greece on Tuesday said it would welcome a visit of Pope Francis to the island of Lesbos to meet with migrants and refugees arriving across the Mediterranean sea. - Vatican Radio
It appears the visit is scheduled for April 15:
The papal visit is one of the “monthly trips” to places of suffering, which Pope Francis decided to embark on once a month for the duration of the Holy Year of Mercy. Naturally, this visit is taking place in the context of the migrant tragedy in the Mediterranean, which sees scores of people trying to cross the Mare Nostrum to get to Europe. - Vatican Insider
Like the multicultural washing of feet, the going out to the peripheries such as the Isle of Lesbos, the Holy Father leaves himself wide open to misinterpretation.   Too bad for those who are not open, who do not accept such acts of mercy.

Anyway - what concern is that to you and to me?

There are 'New' Martyrs of Lesbos.

They are St.s Raphael, Nicholas and Irene, their cult seems to have re-surfaced miraculously.

For almost five centuries the inhabitants of Lesvos would visit the ruins of a monastery near the village of Thermi, northwest of the capital Mytilene, on Bright Tuesday. These people had forgotten the specific reason for the annual pilgrimage but remembered that Turkish soldiers had murdered monks in the old monastery there many years ago.
The devout Angelos Rallis chose to construct a chapel by the monastery ruins in 1959. That July 3, workers found the holy relics of St. Raphael of Lesvos as they cleared rubble, and shortly thereafter St. Raphael, along with Sts. Nicholas and Irene, started appearing to many Lesvos residents and told them the stories of their lives. After St. Irene revealed to the residents of Lesvos the place of her grave, her holy relics were discovered on March 12, 1961 in the clay cask in which she was martyred.
When Turkish soldiers invaded Lesvos, the 12-year-old St. Irene and her parents Maria and Basil, the village mayor, rushed over to the Monastery of the Nativity of the Theotókos near Thermi to warn the monks. The soldiers murdered the holy abbot St. Raphael of Lesvos while the holy deacon St. Nicholas of Lesvos watched, and then proceeded to murder St. Nicholas.
The Hagarenes severed one of Irene's arms and threw it down before her parents. While her parents watched, the soldiers put her in a big clay cask and started a fire beneath it, causing Irene to suffocate inside. Then the soldiers murdered her parents; they also beheaded the village teacher named Theodore and killed St. Irene's 15-year-old cousin, Eleni. Thus Irene and her family and neighbors received the crown of martyrdom. - Read more here.
May the new Martyrs intercede for those facing martyrdom today.

Monday, April 04, 2016


St. Clare washing the feet of her sisters ...


fra Emanuele della Croce
(Fhilippe Audemard d'Alancon)
15 settembre 1943
30 giugno 1978

Searching online for something else, I came across an obituary for a friar I met in Naples.  He corrected me for something - a trifle really - and I snapped at him uncharitably.  I discovered today he died a holy death just a few years later.   I have always lacked charity and humility ... always.

Fra Emanuele della Croce, forgive me.  Pray for me.  I went away sad, and you followed Jesus and him crucified.  Pray for me for the grace of final penitence.  Thank you.

Fra Emanuele with fra Egidio at the friary in Naples.
They are Frati Minori Rinnovati and 
 live in old train cars in this friary.

This is me with another friar at the Naples house,
probably on the same day I answered uncharitably
to fra Emanuele.  As far as I know, the friars I met
have all persevered.  Like the rich young man,
I went away sad.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Divine Mercy Sunday

Jesus I trust in you!

I love this image from Br. Claude, OSB
found here.

Br. Claude depicted Christ so meek and humble,
in a sort of Umrian style similar to how 
St. Francis of Assisi used to be depicted.