Saturday, June 11, 2016

More things I don't get ...

Freudian pastoral care.


I watched a bit of Fr. Pacwa interviewing the author Robert Reilly whose new book 'draws from from his extensive knowledge of classic political philosophy to outline the full scope of dangers in modern homosexual culture.'
Robert Reilly was Senior Advisor for Information Strategy (2002-2006) for the US Secretary of Defense, after which he taught at National Defense University. He was the director of the Voice of America (2001-2002) and served in the White House as a Special Assistant to the President (1983-1985). A graduate of Georgetown University and the Claremont Graduate University, he writes widely on "war of ideas" issues, foreign policy, and classical music.
Reilly wrote a very informative book titled: Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything.   I didn't read it when it first came out, just excerpts, but I found nothing wrong with the content.  His appearance on EWTN Live was an interview focused upon the newer, revised edition from Ignatius, sporting a new cover.  (Meant to contrast the incredible change in lgbtq politics from the Reagan White House to the Obama White House.)

When I tuned in Reilly was discussing the American Psychiatric Association removing homosexuality from the DSM, saying it was no longer a mental illness.  Most of my readers know all about that and most also understand it remains a controversial topic.  I turned TV off since I was busy in the garden, and I'm not all that interested in gay stuff anymore.  Nevertheless, I was distracted by what I heard.  Fr. Pacwa was very interested in what Reilly had to say and seemed to be delving into the psychiatric issues.

I understand that priests and spiritual directors are interested in the psychological issues involving homosexuality, yet as the Catechism states, "Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity" - thus homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and contrary to natural law and immoral.   Yet the Church acknowledges its 'psychological genesis remains largely unexplained' and addresses it as a moral disorder.  Therefore, on some level it seems to me the psychological diagnosis is not all that important in pastoral care - nor is pastoral an exercise in conversion therapy - making gay people straight.  The Church never says that.  Likewise, the sacrament of penance - confession - is not to be confused with therapy or psychological analysis.

Of course there is nothing wrong about studying its psychological genesis, especially to understand the homosexual person - but to base pastoral care upon its psychological genesis seems to create a huge obstacle for persons who experience homosexual tendencies.  In other words, does that mean they are nuts?

See, that's what gay people think we mean by using that diagnosis.  I know many successful gay people who have stable relationships - though immoral as regards Church teaching.  Yet they have careers, live quiet lives, in some cases, raise families; many are active in the community, some are in politics, others in ministry - yep - priests.  Are they nuts?  Do they need to be segregated, labeled or diagnosed and stigmatized?  If you examine the lives of homosexual individuals perhaps some have problems - depression, bi-polar, emotional issues similar to straight people.  But are they meant to be in a psychological category all by themselves?  Is there a special medication for it?  If you say you have SSA - same sex attraction, but don't act out, does that mean you're totally sane?

I know a guy who tells gay guys he has SSA all of the time?  Is it empathy?  Disinterestedness to talk like that?  Does it mean he's no longer nuts but wants to help the crazy gay guys he meets?

Which makes me wonder about the ex-gays.  Are they no longer nuts?  Because they renounce homosexual acts and behavior, because they get married, are they suddenly no longer nuts?  I know some ex-gays who are pretty nuts and inordinately focused upon all things homosexual - but they are no longer gay and therefore no longer nuts and everything they say is to be believed because they are no longer nuts.

Get it?

I don't.

Early treatment for hysteria in women.

One more for the road ...

Then there is the case of the transgender woman teaching in Catholic school in San Francisco - approved by Archbishop Cordileone.  (Never forget that Cardinal Burke - as Bishop - gave permission for a transgender woman to be a diocesan religious sister.)

So.  Talk about nuts.  There have been people condemned for coming out as gay - even losing their jobs in Catholic schools and institutions - but transgender is okay under special circumstances?

I'm against it.

Designating homos and trans - the entire spectrum of LGBTQ as mentally ill helps anti-gay people - but does nothing to dissuade persons with these inclinations to 'change' their orientation or their behavior.  Dropping statistical facts on how unhealthy and screwed up the lifestyle can be does nothing to dissuade persons from being 'gay'.

Pope Francis not only speaks about the need to 'discern' but also to 'accompany' and help to 'integrate' those who fall short of Christian wholeness-holiness.  I'm not sure how that works, but I don't think pushing the mental illness diagnosis, or death threats from natural causes work all that well.

I love this photo ...

No words necessary.

Friday, June 10, 2016

What the mouth speaks, the heart is full of ...

The F- word.

I hate it.  I always tell the story of an Irish priest in Lourdes who warned me never to use that word because it is the devil's favorite - he never explained why it was his favorite, but he gave me a severe penance for using it.

Today it is almost common usage - even by people who wear lots of amulets and sacramentals to ward off the devil, even those who drench themselves in old-ritual-blessed holy water and sprinkle exorcism salt around their house and yard.  Or - worry about tunnels in Switzerland.  Yet they speak the devil's language.

I even hear little kids use it - really little kids, "Oh - that's so f-ing cool!"  Where did they learn that sort of language?  Many picked it up at home.  Even moms and dads use the word and make allusions to what it means as they constantly converse on their phones, in front of their kids as they chauffeur them to and from their latest competitive activity.

Immodest dress, immodest speech - and one expects to be chaste and pure, or even Christian?  You think?

"Filthy talk makes us feel comfortable with filthy action. But the one who knows how to control the tongue is prepared to resist the attacks of lust." - Saint Clement of Alexandria
“The man of impure speech is a person whose lips are but an opening and a supply pipe which hell uses to vomit its impurities upon the earth.” - Saint John Vianney
"What could be more out of keeping with our holy religion than impure language? It outrages God. It scandalizes our neighbor. Can a Christian really afford to occupy his mind with such horrible images; a Christian who has been sanctified by contact with the most adorable Body and Blood of Christ?" - Saint John Vianney

O men, how long will your hearts be closed, will you love what is futile and seek what is false? - Ps 4

This is truly right and just ... Philippine priest to bless and dedicate a new chapel inside a garbage dumpsite.

Doing what the saints did.

At first I thought this article would be about the recyclers of Cateura, Paraguay.  In 2013 the late Bob Simon did a report for 60 Minutes on this community or village, built on a garbage dump.  That story here.

This story is about another garbage dump just outside Las Pinas city, Philippines.  From Mystic Post blog:

Fr. Ricky Alcantara Sosm, of The Sacred Order of Saint Michael the Archangel in the PHILIPPINES has asked us to please pray for the children under his care. This Sunday Fr. Ricky Alcantara Sosm will bless and dedicate a new chapel inside a garbage dumpsite.
For a number of years Fr. Ricky organized a program to feed the families and children who began to settle inside the dump site located in Las Pinas city. Today there are 180 familes and over 300 children. - Amazing Priest

I bet Fr. Ricky doesn't spend a lot of time online.

This is what the saints did - they went to the people most in need, who did not have the sacraments or beautiful churches.  St. Vincent De Paul ministered to galley slaves, as did Peter Claver.  The Missionaries of Charity live among the poorest of the poor in whatever country they are in - simple, bare essentials are all they possess - dependent upon Divine Providence, no fundraising, no other business than ministering to the poor and being united to Christ in the Eucharist in the midst of the marginalized and rejected.

Oh men, how long will you love vanity, and seek after falsehood? - Psalm 4

Cardinal Bergoglio, Mass  on a simple table in Buenos Aires slum.

Strange notions...

It is strange how many Catholics, so afraid of the devil and the Antichrist and worried about their money and property and income, seem to think priests and popes and bishops who go out to the peripheries to minister and care for the untouchables are communists and heretics and dedicated to destroying the Church and the liturgy and sacraments.  I don't get it.  Pope Francis calls priests to go out among the people most in need of mercy - yet he is condemned for that.  

Blessed Pope Paul VI visiting the
slums of Tondo, Manila.


Thursday, June 09, 2016

Tunnel Talk News: Remember it is the St. Gotthard Base Tunnel

Shrine to St. Barbara

FYI for the superstitious New World Order conspiracy theorists ...

A Catholic priest blessed the tunnel along with religious leaders of other religions.

Father Martin Werlen

A permanent shrine to St. Barbara, patroness of miners and tunnelers is positioned inside the tunnel.

Do remember Gotthard is a saint.
And as Christians, we know Christ rose victorious over the devil.

Oh - and don't forget the devil has a bridge there.

Just one of many legends ...
The bridges that fall into the Devil's Bridge category are so numerous that the legends about them form a special category ...
One version of the tale presents the bridge builder and the Devil as adversaries. This reflects the fact that frequently, such as in the case of the Teufelsbrücke at the St Gotthard Pass, these bridges were built under such challenging conditions that successful completion of the bridge required a heroic effort on the part of the builders and the community, ensuring its legendary status.
Other versions of the legend feature an old lady or a simple herder who makes a pact with the Devil. In this version the devil agrees to build the bridge, and in return he will receive the first soul to cross it. After building the bridge (often overnight) the devil is outwitted by his adversary, for example by throwing bread to lure a dog over the bridge first, and is last seen descending into the water, bringing peace to the community. In the case of the Steinerne Brücke in Regensburg, the legend speaks of the devil helping in a race between the builders of the bridge and of the cathedral (in fact a significantly later construction), and a slight bump in the middle of the bridge is said to result from the devil's leaping with rage upon being tricked out of his prize. - Source

Nota bene:  If you are really scared, please recall St. Teresa of Avila's remark about exaggerated concerns over the devil, she said, "I don't understand these fears. 'The devil! The devil!' when we can say 'God! God!', and make the devil tremble...I fear those who have such great fear of the devil more than I do the devil himself, for he can't do anything to me." - Life 25; 22. 

Works for me.


Waiting for Gotthard ...

At the opening ceremony for 
the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland.

The provocative ceremony intended to represent aspects of Swiss cultural heritage.
Another triumph for director Corky St. Clair - critics hail it as his best production since Red, White and Blaine!  It was an exciting opening ceremony, depicting an elaborate tableau, interwoven with imagery inspired by ancient folk tales, mountain legends and mythological narratives to represent the struggle of the human spirit to tame nature and penetrate the confines of time and space, bursting through obstacles, opening new horizons connecting people and culture.  The production, so evocative of  Alpine myths, fragments of which carry over into the Christmas tradition of Krampus - the demon of the alps who accompanies St. Nicholas - provoked fears that it was a type of Satanic ritual conducted for the opening ceremony.  Corky's wife and costume designer Bonnie St. Clair, denied any occult connection, claiming both she and her husband are devout Jews and have nothing to do with the so-called 'occult elite'.  In a phone call, Mr. St. Clair decried the conservative critics, saying:
"I can't put up with you people - because you're bastard people! That's what you are! You're just bastard people! And I'm goin' home and I'm gonna, I'm gonna bite my pillow, is what I'm gonna do!"

Read more on Gotthard here.

Ignore the “absolutely false, pure inventions,” of Dollinger, Socci, and those others ...

Benedict XVI at Fatima

There is a letter from Benedict XVI to back up the Vatican communique denying there is more to the "Third Secret" ...

It never ends does it.  Even priests are misled by these false inventions of socalled authorities on Fatima.  Und ze know who ze are.

Right to the point now ...

A letter published by Kevin Symonds:

Benedictus XVI, Papa Emeritus Vatican City, 15. 3. 2016 


In response to your very kind letter of February 22, I can tell you that a fourth secret of Fatima does not exist. The published text is full and there is nothing else. 

When I said that this secret is not just about the past, I wanted to clarify and explain simply the genre of such words, we can never reduce only on a specific point. It’s an ongoing reality that the Church and the Pope are threatened by evil forces.

Even if we can interpret the vision of a specific event, you can still see in it also a reference to ever new threats and dangers that continue. Above all it is important that the call to prayer, which supports and assists the Pope and the Church, remain present after this time. 

I hope I have cleared your request and stay with my greetings and my blessing. 

Yours, Benedictus XVI 

h/t SD

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Garden tutorial: Trying to be a good neighbor ...

#1 - To avoid being a nuisance, remove vegetation which can over hang or invade your neighbor's property and garden space.

My neighbor doesn't like Engelman Ivy which covers my fence 
and which sends out tendrils onto her lawn.  Last weekend she removed some of it,
flipping it over the fence on my side.  I decided I would trim her side of the fence
in the same way so it could be done with the least amount of damage. (About 5 years ago
she killed off the ivy on her side with chemicals, and I wanted to avoid a repeat of that.)

The fence on my side still retains a hedge-row appearance, though
not as lush.  Unfortunately the lawn was excavated last year
and is in terrible shape this spring.
The yew hedge near the house needs shaping, but I want to 
help my neighbor before I tend to that.

This is how the Ivy hedge looks from the street
with a terminus of the untrimmed lilacs
at the alley.

I trimmed all the overhanging branches and foliage
over the neighbor's garage.

Likewise, the trimming is taken right down to the ground.

This is a photo of my alley garden.  In the center you can see St. Joseph atop his column.
The entire area needs weeding.
Sadly, the boxwood topiaries flanking the gate winter killed. 
The kill was confined to their back side so 
I just need to cut off the dead wood and I will allow
them to fill in to a natural shape.
Otherwise, hostas, daylillies and lilly of the valley are
doing well.  Last year I added a 
slow growing dwarf ginko as another
blind in this little hedgerow.

"To lose always and let everyone else win ..."
Works for me.

Song for this post here.

My apologies that the photos are over exposed - it was a very sunny morning.

Back to work ...

Cultivating my hedgerow.

Ohhhhh, and it makes me wonder ...

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, 
don't be alarmed now, 
It's just a spring clean for the May queen.
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, 
but in the long run ...

Happy Birthday

Jeffrey Mylett
June 8, 1949 – May 7, 1986

Prayers for you
pray for me.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

The call to prayer ...

From Pope Francis:
“There are many things one can do, many works of charity, many great things for the Church – a Catholic University, a college, a hospital – you may even be rewarded as a benefactor of the Church with a monument, but if you do not pray, it will be dark and dimly lit” he said.
Prayer, the Pope said, is what lights up Christian life, and he highlighted the fact that prayer is a “serious” matter: “a prayer of adoration to God the Father, a prayer of praise to the Holy Trinity, a prayer of thanksgiving, a prayer to request to God… prayer must come from the heart”.
“May your light shine before men, the Pope concluded, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven”. - RV

The mystery of light ...
Abba Lot came to Abba Joseph and said: Father, according as I am able, I keep my little rule, and my little fast, my prayer, meditation and contemplative silence; and, according as I am able, I strive to cleanse my heart of thoughts: now what more should I do? The elder rose up in reply and stretched out his hands to heaven, and his fingers became like ten lamps of fire. He said: Why not become fire? - Desert Fathers

Venerable Matt Talbot

Tomb of Matt Talbot
June 7, 1925

Pray for us.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Him like this ...

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now
It's just a spring clean for the May queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on ...

and it makes me wonder.

Divine providence ...

The real painting by Luke Hillestad: Dead is Dead
(I used a gif of this painting last week)

Everything that happens to us happens providentially.

Just when you think you are standing - you fall.

Just when you think you are loving - you see how mean you can be.

Instead of turning the right cheek to be slapped, you hold the left cheek in self-defense and contempt.

The Pope spoke today of the Beatitudes, as the 'new law' ...

The Pope continued his homily commenting on the words of the evangelist Luke who also speaks of the Beatitudes and lists what he calls the ‘four woes’: ‘Woe to the rich, to the satiated, to those who laugh now, to you when all speak well of you’.
[...]the Pope said the three steps that lead to perdition are:
“the attachment to riches, because I need nothing;”
“Vanity – that all must speak well of me, making me feel important, making too much of a fuss… and I am convinced to be in the right” he said, referring also the parable of the self-righteous Pharisee and the Tax Collector: “O God I thank you that I am such a good Catholic, not like my neighbor…”
“The third – he said – is pride, the satiation and the laughter that closes one’s heart”.

Of all the Beatitudes – the Pope said there is one in particular: “I’m not saying it is the key to all of them, but it induces us to much reflection and it is: Blessed are the meek. Meekness”.

“Jesus says of himself: ‘learn from me for I am meek of heart’, I am humble and gentle at heart. To be meek is a way of being that brings us close to Jesus” he said.

“The opposite attitude, Pope Francis concluded, always causes enmities and wars…lots of bad things that happen. But meekness, meekness of heart which is not foolishness, no: it’s something else. It’s the capacity to be deep and to understand the greatness of God, and worship Him”. -  RV

That's the lesson for me to be learned, I think.

Meekness.  You can give them your shirt as well as your coat, but if you lack meekness it is still vanity prompting you to repay evil with good.  It's not sincere - you seek your own satisfaction.

You can go with someone the extra mile, but if you do so to have the last word, it is vanity to convince the other that you are in the right.

If you pray for your enemies simply to 'heap coals on their head' you remain the self-righteous Pharisee who thanks God that 'I am such a faithful Catholic, not like my neighbor...'

Charity has no strings.

"I have to remember that the Lord only enters my heart through the failures that cause my spiritual emptiness." Fr. Tadeuz Dajczer

Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine. 

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Sunday morning in the garden ...

Midsummer madness.

I heard something next door - something loud - rustling of bushes and foliage, grunts and groans.  I looked out.  Mommie dearest next door was gardening.  My window was open so I called out to her, thinking she might take her rampage to the front yard where a little wren had her nest in the ivy, on the fence.  She growled, "What?!"

"Oh - hi!"  I said smiling.  "I just wanted you to know there is a little nest up front in the ivy - just in case you'll be working up there."  She kept flaying the vegetation.

A bit later I thought I'd go out to survey the damage - because I could smell Bonide.  I saw the ivy looped over the fence, dangling down on my side like wilted lettuce.  I said - "You know, if you need to remove overgrowth on your property, that's fine, but my fence is on my property and so is the ivy."

She sputtered and yelled and was so angry I thought she'd lose it.  I said I was concerned she had so much anger and said if only you could see your face - and she screamed 'shut up, shut up.'

I felt kind of mad, but felt really bad - kind of shaken actually.  So I decided to remove all the vines on her side of the fence - hoping to avoid her spraying them with weed killer the way she had in the past.  I raked up what fell on her side and did my best to make it neat.  Engleman Ivy is invasive, no doubt, but it is the classic vine to use on fences and looks like a hedge.  On my side, it still looks fine - unfortunately, on her side it looks like wood and cyclone fencing.  I simply cleaned it exactly the way she did when she ripped it off her side of the fence in the backyard and flipped it over on my side - only I actually trimmed it. Later I overheard her husband talking to her - I don't think he liked how it looked on their side.

I feel sorry for the woman.  She's exhibited erratic behavior many times in the past.  Dancing and singing in the yard, waving as if we were the best of friends - and then snap - she'd go crazy like today or just ignore me, not even returning a greeting.  It was only today that I realized she may be bi-polar or have some other mental disorder.  The family is very reclusive, they are estranged from their own families, and they seem to have few, if any friends.  I like the husband - we know people in common and he's an airline steward.  He's very nice.  He seems a bit beaten down at times, but he is often gone for long periods as well - which may be a relief for him.

In 2011 - around the beginning of June,
she sprayed the ivy on my fence and almost
killed it out.  They like to use chemicals.
Herbicides cause cancer - especially in women.
Click here for an interesting article on
the use of glyphosate.

Anyway, I hope to avoid any other confrontation and will try from now on to trim the fence and not have any over-growth effect their landscape.  Tomorrow I have to remove some lilacs that overhang their garage - I removed low growth that touched their garage today.  It was an issue once before, so I'm thinking it could become an issue once again.

I just don't understand the hostility - although it has pretty much been this way for at least 23 years.

I've shoveled snow for them, was always friendly, and even gave them a baby gift for their first child.  He was a twin but his brother died in infancy.  After that - the friendliness stopped - except during what may have been her more manic periods when she would talk your ear off.  Sometimes she exhibited symptoms, that in retrospect could be an indication of mania, as I mentioned, she would dance and sing really loudly in the yard - almost as if she were performing on stage.  Perhaps menopause has complicated if not intensified her condition.  She is usually very quiet and subdued - which could be symptomatic of depression, although controlled by medication?  I don't know, of course.  Other times she looks angry and her face is distorted.  When I'm out mowing or gardening I notice her drive into the alley or sometimes walking down the street, and she usually looks very angry.  (I have a corner lot.)

If she is bi-polar, then I don't feel so badly or take the behavior personally - my gut reaction is to take it personally, yet analyzing from the bi-polar POV helps me understand that the behavior may stem from her 'condition'.  I've often felt sorry for her - as well as her kids.  (My mother had undiagnosed mental problems.)

I hope to avoid complicating her existence, and would love to apologize, but I think it would only make things worse.  She's unpredictable and the behavior is unsettling.  I post this as a way to document the incident and if by chance she reads it, perhaps she will understand how exaggerated her behavior is.

In the meantime, I can only leave her to heaven and avoid upsetting her.

After all, I just live here.

Song for this post here.

Signs: Fr. Robert Altier

An announcement from the Church of St. Raphael:

We are pleased to announce that Archbishop Bernard Hebda has appointed Fr. Robert Altier as parochial vicar (also known as associate pastor) of the Church of St. Raphael, effective June 15, 2016. Fr. Altier was assigned to this parish once before, in 1989-90, shortly after he was ordained. He looks forward to being here once again. The parishioners and staff here also look forward to his return and his dedicated, faithful ministry. - Source
At the bottom of this image of Our Lady 
is the figure of St. Raphael.

H/T P. - The other reason for posting is someone inquired about an email address for Fr. Altier and I expect one may now be able to contact him at St. Raphael's.

Experimenting on children: In the early 1950's ...

Communists infiltrated the Cub Scouts to create gender confusion - especially in boys.  In this way they could weaken the military and masculine identity causing homosexuals to proliferate.  As the Cub Scout handbook demonstrates, scouting began inviting and welcoming those questioning gender and sexual orientation very early on.

Yup. That's exactly how we got here:
One day, gender-dysphoric children will tell their tragic stories-children whose parents were persuaded that allowing their confused children to "transition" was not only the appropriate treatment protocol but also the only way to prevent their children's suicides. - Source

"Toldja" - Bella Dodd

Nota bene:

I think I may have been wrong to have been so skeptical of many apparitions and private revelations concerning our times.

I doubt anyone paid much attention to my speculations regarding such things, but I want to apologize if anyone was misled by my skepticism and under-educated use of citations from mystical theologians and saints.  I also want to apologize for any scorn I've expressed for those experiencing such things, and/or promoting them.