Saturday, May 21, 2016

I told you so ... Pope Benedict never told Dollinger or anyone else that the revelation of the Third Secret of Fatima was incomplete.

I got an idea - let's make up a new conspiracy:
Pope Benedict cried when he realized 
the Octave of Pentecost was cancelled?
Or. When he read the Third Secret?
Or. When he was forced to resign and forced to say 
whatever the Vatican lavender mafia told him to say?

Vatican News issued the Communique today:
“ Several articles have appeared recently, including declarations attributed to Professor Ingo Dollinger according to which Cardinal Ratzinger, after the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima (which took place in June 2000), had confided to him that the publication was not complete,” – the Communiqué reads – “In this regard, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI declares ‘never to have spoken with Professor Dollinger about Fatima’, clearly affirming that the remarks attributed to Professor Dollinger on the matter ‘are pure inventions, absolutely untrue’, and he confirms decisively that ‘the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima is complete’.” - Vatican Radio
I'm certain I wasn't the only one praying Pope Benedict would say something.  I thank God for prayers answered.

These stories are inventions.  Sheer inventions.  Visionaries and wanna be prophets and Catholics who want to retract Vatican II, the liturgical reforms, as well as every utterance made by Pope Francis - they want everything retracted.  The pope doesn't condemn this or that at every turn, he doesn't say what they want him to say - then he's a bad pope.  These people are the ones who sow confusion.  Consciously and deliberately.

I recall how Mother Angelica - God love her, God rest her soul, and all of that, once said "I for one do not think the entire things has been revealed."  So what?  Except all of her fans picked up on that and ran with it and they ran right smack into the Remnant and rad-trad-Fatimists who not only insist the popes and bishops are lying heretics, they throw into the mix a cocktail of other private revelations, insisting the Fatima secret said the great apostasy has arrived and there's a bad pope and a bad Mass and on and on.

Pundits online feed on this tabloid crap and vomit it back to their crack-pot-Catholic-militants - albeit all dressed up in nice looking websites operated by unemployed stay at home dads reaping in donations, while sowing confusion among faithful Catholics stupid enough to read their crap.  Today, Fr. Z posted the communique and ends his post, "Take it for what it's worth."  (Just a hint that he thinks it's a PR stunt, huh?)  I'm so sick of his bullshit - feeding his adoring fans and contributors with his b.s. - he's the master of open ended statement and innuendo, quoting his prestigious salon buddies to spread the contagion of doubt without actually tarnishing his reputation.  The priest commentators, canonists and bishops and cardinals 'in union with' Fr. Z spin their crap - and they, along with media seem to me to be the ones creating confusion, which they in turn blame Pope Francis for.

Pope Francis gave an interview to La Croix - no one was able go into outrage mode because he said nothing contrary to Catholic teaching - or should I say - say something his critics could spin to sound as if he was 'bending the rules'.  Hell - he's come out in defense of marriage - and against gay marriage.  He's come out in defense of life.  There are so many examples, I don't want to waste time.

The Fatima sensationalism is very interesting - quite similar to the superstition surrounding the Millennium - Y2K.  The Centenary is upon us and everyone is fast predicting this and that - false visionaries and mystics listening to their own imaginary voices - pious and lovely as they may be.  People are in the market to be deceived.  Just remember - Christ foretold, "For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect, if that were possible."

The last group of people who declared Rome was in apostasy, and the pope was a heretic and/or the Whore of Babylon were the Protestant reformers and their followers.  Now it is traditional Roman Catholics who reject Vatican II, the Ordinary Form of Mass, and the papacy of Pope Francis.

What the Novus Ordo watchmen are really telling you.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

My latest Matt Talbot painting.

Matt Talbot
T. Nelson 2016

I finished the Talbot painting - almost, I have some more glazing to do, shading - but the figure and composition is pretty much finished.  I hope to frame it importantly.  I did a quick 'fuzzy' shot of the canvas, as shown above.  It came off a bit too light.

I read that he was an 'undersized, wiry man,' and a laborer.  I read he wore his working clothes everywhere - so I imagined a jacket and collarless shirt, a bit worn - just as I always depict him.  The difference this time is that I have him balding more than in my other paintings.  There are a couple of early paintings, one by a religious sister, depicting him bald, and I wanted to do so as well.  My composition is spare - a few religious mementos and scraps of paper, upon which it is said Matt would make spiritual notes - a small statue of Our Lady of Lourdes and holy cards of Therese and Catherine of Siena comprise the 'still life' of minutia on the mantel.  Above these, a very small image of OL of Perpetual Help hanging by a string.  Matt stands in front of the tall, narrow tenement mantel, upon which these poor possessions are displayed.  Interrupted in his devotion, clutching a crucifix, he looks out at the viewer.

As I painted, I had in mind a young Irish man I had met at Lourdes years ago.  He wasn't very tall either - but a handsome man, and something about him reminded me of how Matt might have been at the time of his conversion.  I tried to imagine him in his 60's now, and made a sort of composite of images of Matt Talbot and my recollection of the man from Lourdes.  The face developed rather quickly.  The paint is quite thin - not as layered as I normally would paint - and suddenly this face appeared, which startled me.  I don't know how I did it, where it came from, or how it came together so swiftly.

Anyway.  Quirky as it is, this is my third attempt to paint venerable Matt Talbot.

Morely Safer


I watched 60 Minutes Sunday night - it was a special devoted to Morely Safer on the occasion of his retirement.  It was a beautiful tribute covering his entire career.  He was a remarkable man.

He died today.
Morley Safer, the legendary reporter who became the longest-serving reporter for CBS’s “60 Minutes” news magazine, has died at 84.

CBS News confirmed Safer’s death on Thursday afternoon. Safer retired last week after 46 seasons. - Huffington Post
Prayers for the repose of his soul.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Memorial of St. Felix Cantalice

Another lay-brother saint.  So lowly, so humble, so faithful in serving the poor and his Roman Capuchin community for whom he begged alms.  He was so pure, so humble, so devoted to the poor, Our Lady moved with pity, laid the Infant Jesus in his arms ...

He was friends with St. Philip Neri and exhorted the young men of Rome to reform their lives - most likely sending them to Neri for confession.  At least I like to think he did.  He wandered the city as questor, while exhorting sinners to repentance, catechizing children, preaching against corruption, distributing alms to the needy, and working miracles.

He died on his birthday, May 18.

St. Felix of Cantalice, pray for us.  
Obtain for us a deep spirit of repentance, the virtue of charity,
and the grace of gratitude to God for his merciful love.  
Thank you, blessed father St. Felix.
Deo Gratias!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Catholic blogs have turned the Internet into a "cesspool of hatred, venom and vitriol, all in the name of defending the faith!"

I'm looking forward to see how some will address that claim.

Father Thomas Rosica, Vatican PR aid mentioned it in a speech in Brooklyn where he was presented with the St. Francis DeSales Distinguished Communicator Award by Bishop DiMarzio.  Actually, Fr. Rosica did more than simply mention the negative culture on Catholic blogs - he pretty much indicted a large section of the Catholic blogosphere in the address.  With good reason, I might add.  In fact, after reading the speech, you realize he knows well what's going on online and that means the Vatican knows, and the Pope knows, and, and, and ...  I bet there's a list with names on it.  ;)

Anyway.  Rosica nails it - and I pretty much agree with him.

There's gonna be a fight ...

“In reality they are deeply troubled, sad and angry people ..."

To hear Father Thomas Rosica tell it, sometimes Catholic conversation on-line is more “culture of death” than “culture of life.”
“Many of my non-Christian and non-believing friends have remarked to me that we ‘Catholics’ have turned the Internet into a cesspool of hatred, venom and vitriol, all in the name of defending the faith!” he said.
“The character assassination on the Internet by those claiming to be Catholic and Christian has turned it into a graveyard of corpses strewn all around,” said Rosica, who assists the Vatican Press Office with English-speaking media, on May 11 as he delivered the keynote address at the Brooklyn Diocese’s observance of World Communications Day.
“Often times the obsessed, scrupulous, self-appointed, nostalgia-hankering virtual guardians of faith or of liturgical practices are very disturbed, broken and angry individuals, who never found a platform or pulpit in real life and so resort to the Internet and become trolling pontiffs and holy executioners!” Rosica said. 
“In reality they are deeply troubled, sad and angry people,” he said. “We must pray for them, for their healing and conversion!” - Crux

Vatican Intelligence can detect internet chatter, online
weblogs and social media communications, including podcasts, Skype, 
as well as Ham radio transmissions.  - The Congregation for Bishops.


[H/T to PHBCofI blog for the photo and gif.]

Feast of St. Paschal Baylon

This image by Murillo doesn't depict St. Paschal - but it could.

This is my saint Paschal.

St. Paschal pray for me - don't forget me.

I wait for you.

Don't forget me.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Those Ridiculous Fatimists ...

Discalced Nuns of the Carmel of Coimbra, Sr. Lucia's community.

They are out in droves.

Questioning everything - accusing popes and saints of lying and cover-up about the content of the 'secret' - hiding the part concerning the great apostasy and 'bad Mass'.  It has grown progressively worse over the years and now when we are entering the first centenary - it's crazier than ever.

The Vatican revealed the secret - one secret in three parts - Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith: The Message of Fatima - read it here.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - CDF - it used to be called the Holy Office - responsible for the dogma of faith. Cardinal Ratzinger was its head when the secret was reviewed under the authority of St. John Paul II. When you or anyone else claims the entire secret was not revealed you are accusing the Church, the Pope and the Magisterium of lying. You are inventing conspiracy theories and promulgating error. Even if an old priest-friend of Pope Benedict claims Benedict told him this or that part of the secret has yet to be revealed - don't believe him.  The third part of the secret was  always for the pope to read - it was never mandated that the secret be revealed to the pubic.  The first parts of the secret already contained what was essential for the faithful to know.

Included in the sensationalist claims of Fatimists is that there was an impostor Sr. Lucia - a ridiculous conspiracy theory. Proponents insist the difference in photos of the young Lucia and the old Lucia is proof positive. Sr. Lucia had bad teeth, most likely she was fitted with dentures which changed her appearance or 'bite'. It is absolutely ridiculous to make such claims that an impostor replaced the real seer. Such claims make an entire community of Carmelite nuns liars and co-conspirators. Likewise, the idea of a bad council and a bad Mass is ridiculous, because the Carmel of Coimbra is faithful to the Magisterium and would have accepted Vactican II as well as the Ordinary Form of Mass. (Look at the photo at top - a bunch of co-conspirators? I don't think so.) In addition, the family of Sr. Lucia would have to be complicit in such a cover-up. It is absurd.

These conspiracy theories and doubts are promulgated by those who wish to discredit the Catholic Church and justify their rejection of Vatican II, the Mass of Paul VI - or the Ordinary Form, as well as the Papacy since 1960.

It doesn't matter who is spreading these stories and doubts, be it Alice Von Hildebrand or Ingo Dollinger or anyone else, repeating what they heard these people say is called hear-say testimony.

Private revelations add nothing to the deposit of faith, they never can assume an authority greater than the Church. The faithful are not obliged to accept private revelations, and they are certainly not obliged to pay any attention to those who take it upon themselves to interpret private revelations. Even Sr. Lucia was instructed and understood it was not her place to offer an interpretation of the visions and messages.

If there is any conspiracy involved in the Fatima revelations, it is to be found in those who discredit the Holy Father and the Magisterium and sensationalize the message of Fatima. Traditionalists would do well to look for Masonic-Communist influences among their own kind.

The Ball of Redemption.
Duck and cover.

Order blue berets here.

Franciscan Penitent St. Margaret of Cortona

May 16 is her memorial and the anniversary of her canonization.

She is always shown with a dog - but don't let that fool you - she was pretty austere after her conversion, and wouldn't have squandered her affections on a pet.  She treated her son fairly harshly as well.  The dog belonged to her lover.  He came to fetch Margaret after he was murdered, leading her to discover his body in the woods - which was the catalyst for her sudden conversion.

Discovering the corpse of her lover, Margaret understood she had been deluded, placing all of her hope in the acceptance and approval of her lover, including the status his lifestyle afforded her. Yet that security pretty much vanished with his death. She was alone, unmarried, with a child - even her father turned her away. The temptation to depend upon her own wits, to return to her old life became overwhelming. Her conversion, so unstable at first, demonstrates for us that our misfortunes are not immediately recognized for what they are - a call from God. Instead, in our panic, fear of the unknown can compromise our choices, making us all the more vulnerable to concupiscence as a means of survival.

Margaret's conversion was painful and a difficult struggle.  She was tested and mistrusted by the friars who guided her, as well as townsfolk.  Only after three years was she allowed to enter the Third Order of St. Francis.  Her son eventually became a friar with some difficulty.  I always imagine life at home with his penitent mother had to be extremely difficult as well.  Margaret isn't the patron saint of the falsely accused, tramps, homeless, insane, mentally ill, for nothing.

Margaret is best known for her penitence, her mystical union with Christ, as well as her charity, caring for others less fortunate - yet she lived her reformed life under suspicion - her past reputation always followed her, and aroused gossip.   Our Lord called her the Magdalene of the Franciscan order.  Although it was only after her death that her conversion and penance was made known by her confessor, and the rumors and innuendo finally ceased.

St. Margaret, pray for us.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Target's policies are going down the toilet.

I don't do boycotts - just write about them.

It's not just the transgender bathroom/fitting room policy that's the problem ...

Target 'Guest Services' policy needs a review, and an overhaul.

I have a friend who is retired from Target - he has had a credit card with them for 57 years - since 1959 - before Target was even born.  He had been a lifetime employee with Dayton's - the department store company which invented and launched Target.  He retired from Target - though most of his career was in design at Dayton-Hudson-Marshal Fields sold off to Macy's.

After the credit card breach a couple of years ago, my friend refrained from shopping Target until things settled down.  Until he got a notice that his credit card would be cancelled due to a lack of activity.  My friend was appalled, called to inquire, and told he needed to use the card or lose it ... because that's the new policy.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  Was the 'Team Member' nice?  Yes.  Helpful? No.

My friend started to use the card, ordering household items and even having them delivered.  The shipping was free.  The packing and shipping was fairly inconsistent - not close to the expertise shown by Amazon.  But that may be understandable, since their online services are difficult to use and sub-standard as well - in comparison to Amazon.

As frustrating as these things were, my friend was surprised by what he termed extravagant waste when it came to shipping.  Oversized boxes for one or two small items, one order split apart and shipped in multiple boxes and so on - suggesting their packer and shippers lack training.  Again - all minor stuff for the customer.

The biggest problem occurred when my friend went over his 'limit' of $200 dollars.  He thought there had to be some mistake, before the breach, his credit limit was around $1300.00 - which enabled him to maybe buy groceries, household goods, a pair of jeans, and a big screen tv on a one stop shopping experience.  He called Guest Services, called Target Credit Dept. and was told there was nothing they could do but submit his request to a 'review board' - which would take about three months.  No good talking to supervisors and managers - these matters are handled by a 'review board'.  As a retired employee, my friend retains the benefit of the employee discount, in addition to the RedCard discount.  The limitations make it difficult to do business with the company.

My friend went online to see if other customers had the same problem.  He found pages of articles with complaints about the credit card limit.  the first one that popped up was this, from a list of 229 top complaints:  "I saw multiple complaints of the same nature online and feel completely taken advantage of. I don't ..... If you want a store cc please don't choose Target."

Target doesn't care.

They boast of excellent Guest Services - but ...
great guest service

Wherever you shop with us, we work hard to ensure your Target shopping trip is always enjoyable and exciting. How do we do it? Friendly service from team members ready to assist with your list, fully stocked shelves and a speedy checkout process—and that’s just the start. - Target - Shopping Experience

I never had anyone ask me if I needed help.  Once, buying a camera, the sales person didn't know anything about it - how it worked, how good a product it was - nothing.  Likewise, my friend's credit card experience, he's a Target retiree remember, pretty much demonstrates the appalling lack of customer service offered by Target.

Therefore, when it comes to transgender restroom policy - it is very easy to see how and why Corporate leaders just don't care about their customers/'guests'.  Policy is governed by committee - problems are reviewed by committee.  They outsource their legal department - which obviously dictates conditions and practise - as would insurance companies.  I'm thinking these are their 'review boards' - that maybe Target is operating under constraint - that maybe they can't guarantee another breach will not happen - hence the credit limits.  Just thinking out loud here.

The transgender restroom issue strikes me as a clear example of just not caring about a significant faction within their customer base.

Is the Target Boycott Different?

I came across an excellent article with that title by Bruce Frohnen at the Imaginative Conservative.  He demonstrates why this boycott is different:
Because this is an issue of safety, going to the core of parents’ understanding of their duty to their children, the Target boycott has secured a level, intensity, and duration of support seldom seen for causes that might be labelled conservative. - Frohnen

I'm not a person who gets involved in boycotts or signing petitions.  I don't know if they work or not.  Frohnen doesn't seem to know either - and chances are, Target is arrogant enough to simply ignore it.
That said, it is rather doubtful that Target will change its policies. The self-satisfaction of virtue-signaling, combined with continued pressure from the progressive left, constitute a strong motivation for the corporation to stay the course in contempt of its clientele. Recent events show that corporations will take on even severe financial costs in the name of progress—and that the mainstream media will reinforce quite strongly activists’ insistence that the company maintain virtue-signaling policies, even as they downplay those policies’ costs (both financial and human). - Frohnen

Target CEO Brian Cornell has spoken publicly concerning the conservative backlash - which in effect is really safety concerns of customers for their children expressed in and through the boycott - yet Cornell dismisses them, declaring the company won't back down.*

Target has lost much since former CEO Bob Ulrich retired.  Target is not too big to fail.  They lost in Canada - they can lose here.  In fact - they are losing here.  The mother ship company, Dayton's disappeared - Target can too.

I'm against it.

*To be fair, Cornell said that many of their stores have 'family bathrooms' where the guest may go in and lock the door for privacy - this in addition to men's rooms and women's rooms.  A large percentage of their stores have these and more will be added.  That seems reasonable - yet parents are also concerned about fitting room privacy.

Come Holy Spirit

"Acquiring the Spirit of God is the true aim of our Christian life, while prayer, fasting, almsgiving and other good works done for Christ's sake are merely means for acquiring the Spirit of God." - St. Seraphim of Sarov