Saturday, October 22, 2016

Just look at these guys ...

Memorial of St. John Paul II

St. John Paul II, pray for us!

Some important thoughts for our time from St. John Paul ...

"The evil of the 20th century was not a small-scale evil, it was not simply “homemade”. It was an evil of gigantic proportions, an evil which availed itself of state structures in order to accomplish its wicked work, an evil built up into a system."

“IF MAN can decide by himself, without God, what is good and what is bad, he can also determine that a group of people is to be eliminated. Decisions of this kind were taken, for example by those who came to power in the Third Reich by democratic means, and then used their power to implement the wicked programs of National Socialist ideology based on racist principles.

“Similar decisions were also taken by the Communist Party in the Soviet Union and the countries subject to Marxist ideology. This was the context for the exterminations of the Jews, and also of other groups, for example Romany peoples, Ukrainian peasants, Orthodox and Catholic clergy in Russia, in Belarus and beyond the Urals. 

“At this point we cannot remain silent regarding a tragic question that is more pressing today than ever. 

“The fall of the regimes built on “ideologies of evil” put an end to the forms of extermination just mentioned in the countries concerned. However, there remains the legal extermination of human beings conceived but unborn. And in this case, that extermination is decreed by democratically elected parliaments, which invoke the notion of civil progress for society and all humanity.
“Nor are other grave violations of God’s law lacking. I am thinking, for example, of the strong pressure from the European Parliament to recognize homosexual unions as an alternative type of family, with the right to adopt children. It is legitimate and even necessary to ask whether this is not the work of another “ideology of evil” — more subtle and hidden, perhaps, intent on exploiting human rights themselves against man and against the family.” Extracted from Memory and Identity John Paul II

An evil built up into a system.

We often forget that Hitler came to power by democratic means ... "there remains the legal extermination of human beings conceived but unborn. And in this case, that extermination is decreed by democratically elected parliaments, which invoke the notion of civil progress for society and all humanity." 

Hillary Clinton on the notion of civil progress for society and all humanity...

“There is one lesson from the past, in particular, that we cannot afford to ignore: You cannot make progress on gender equality or broader human development, without safeguarding women’s reproductive health and rights,” Clinton said near the end of a speech marking International Women's Day. “That is a bedrock truth.” - Hilary Clinton, CNN
“Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper,” Clinton said.
“Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will,” she explained. “And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed. As I have said and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their societies is the great unfinished business of the 21st century and not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.” - Hilary Clinton, The DC

So this is what I told them ...

"I signed up on Facebook again to say hi to an old co-worker - I regret it now ... While on Facebook I looked at our friends and some of my relatives - it was interesting - I always think of everyone as being the same as when I last saw them, which in many cases, is decades ago. It was helpful to see everyone has their own lives and I was able to see I'm just not part of it. LOL!  Why did I even think I would be?  It was freeing in a way. Kind of sad too - but it helps with the guilt - I can let it go.  I can let go of the guilt.  That's big."

So here we go ...

God bless Mark Shea but the guy who tells everyone it's okay to vote for Hillary is already jumping in and starting the opposition ...
Now that it is becoming obvious Hillary will win, it is time to turn our thoughts toward opposing the still very serious danger she poses. - Mark Shea

This crap is going to go on for the next four years!

Gimme a break.

Friday, October 21, 2016

That's it! That's why I paint. That's why I write.

No one listens to me.

No one has ever listened to me.

So I paint and write.

It's so simple.

If my parents were alive I would totally shout that in their face.

No one ever listened to me.

So I immortalize what I want to say - so to speak - so to paint.

I think I must be close to death - or something - all this honesty.

The honesty is too much.


Avoid arrogance ...

Where there is arrogance, there is always war and the desire to defeat the other and believing one is superior.
“The evil spirit always sows wars. Jealousy, envy, conflicts, gossip…. are things that destroy peace and therefore there cannot be unity. And how should a Christian behave to promote unity, to find this unity? Paul tells us clearly: ‘live in a manner worthy of your call, with all humility, gentleness and magnanimity.’ These three attitudes: humility - we cannot sow peace without humility. Where there is arrogance, there is always war and the desire to defeat the other and believing one is superior. Without humility there is no peace and without peace there is no unity.” - Pope Francis

Dear Jesus, I adore your disfigured outraged Face.  Would that, by an act of pure love, I could remove the congealed blood from your mouth, wipe the tears and spittle from  your eyes and soothe your wounded brow and cheek.

That was interesting.

I love the two guys in front looking down at the floor.

A Hillary Clinton White House will be sooooooooo boring ...

She will single-handedly destroy the fashion industry.

I already miss the Obama family.  She cannot even hope to follow the White House Performances which were the hallmark of the Obama White House.  

What a grey, drab administration it will be.  

Rose, magenta, shocking pink - it doesn't matter.

It's the end of style and taste - and fun.

Phonies.  You really need alcohol to get through it.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Outsider art and a difficult life ...

Blessed Rolando Rivi
(This is one painting I actually like.)

I love to write about how I never fit in - never have - never wanted to.

So I say.  Some of the torment in my life has been a secret desire to fit in - to even be normal.  Yet when I tried, or found a 'space' to do that in - I couldn't stand it.  I couldn't carry it off for very long.  I think my 'inability' to do so, has been a sort of disability.  It's been a difficult life.  I think I'm finally comfortable with not fitting in - but I can't be sure.

When I was a little kid I wanted to be poor like the saints - and we were poor - but I didn't know it.

Later I wanted to suffer like the artists and poets - and I did - but I didn't know it.

Kinda sorta.

Weird, huh?

So anyway - I've been investigating some of the post impressionists and their lives - their weirdness.  I'm not on their level of course - but I felt better about my own work - it's weirdness.  It's been a way for me to sort through many things in my life and thought.  It's been a way to document what happened.  I used to be ashamed of many paintings because they were so representative of things normal people do not talk about.  In many instances, they contradict their expectations of what life should be, what religious experience should be, and so on.

Anyway - I think I've finally finished 3 works.  I just need to photograph them - but I don't have a very good camera and lighting may not be very good now that it is autumn.

All three works were shown before - so the finished works will be familiar.  The one I like best is my version of The Secret of Fatima.  The next one is like it - The Dream - about the corruption in the Church - which may or may not be related to Fatima.  Finally, Ven. Matt Talbot.  Last night I noticed it needed a bit more glazing, so I hope to finish it in a day or two.  I might still do another version of Talbot - not sure.  I've never spent so much time on a painting as I've done on these three.

It's not great art, to be sure - just the best I can do.

I think I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What I thought of the final debate ...

Not much.

Although I think she won.

To save time, Pope Francis is posting his photos to his wall ...

I like that one!

The “Decorum Squad of the City of Rome” quickly unfriended him today.  Story here.

The North American Martyrs and bad sacristans ...

Today is their feast day.


The Iroquois and Mohawks were extremely …. unhelpful to the Jesuits.  Talk about inhospitable and just plain mean sacristans.  They were among the most liturgically (etc.) ignorant of all carbon-based life forms ... also the most likely to share their witless and ill-informed opinions ...


The Iroquois met Isaac Jogues near Lake George, 
stripped him naked, slashed him with their knives, 
beat him and then led him to the village. 
On 18 October, 1646, when entering a cabin he was 
struck with a tomahawk and afterwards decapitated.
 The head was fixed on the Palisades 
and the body thrown into the Mohawk.

Tonight is the final debate between Clinton and Trump! Don't miss it!

It's going to be good.

Call security.

Does this sound disingeuous to you?

"As we pray for a good outcome to the election, let's make sure we include that outcome which most assures the candidates' personal salvation." - Michael Voris

The Venetian Sacristan ... tragic story ...

Death in Venice ...
Allow (Father) to say here that the sacristan at S. Zaccaria sets a new standard for being a total jerk. Italian sacristans can be extremely …. unhelpful. Not are they often among the most liturgically (etc.) ignorant of all carbon-based life forms, but they are also the most likely to share their witless and ill-informed opinions. In any event, the guy at S. Zaccaria is a first class ass. This is not the first time I’ve tried to deal with him. Also, some of the group I am with went by the church as the evening Mass was concluding, the minute the priest finished he started turning out lights and shooing with no regard to the people who were still praying etc. A couple even had to use the lights on their phones to get out without falling. In any event, the sacristan is world-class oaf. - Postcards from the edge.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Breaking NEWS! The real Hillary revealed.

News you can use.
I have always trusted the Enquirer - it's how I found out about Mark Shea.

And Tim Kaine is a Commie!

I'm tongue tied.

San Joselito

Saint José Sánchez del Río 
(28 March 1913 – 10 February 1928)

His Way of the Cross
The guards made José walk ten blocks, barefoot and bleeding, along a rocky path to the cemetery were he would be buried. Along the way, the soldiers screamed blasphemies with satanic hatred, praising the godless government, trying to pressure the boy to deny his faith: “You better learn your lesson!” “We will kill you!” “What a proud and arrogant boy!” they said. 
José’s only response was: “Viva Cristo Rey!” and “Viva La Virgen de Guadalupe!” 
Already at the cemetery, José asked: “Where is my plot?” as he did not want any of the troops to touch him. One of the soldiers suddenly swung his rifle around, breaking José’s jaw with the butt. Without hesitation, the soldiers furiously stabbed him in the neck, chest and the back with knives. At every stab, José proclaimed the name of Christ the King at the top of his lungs, “Viva Cristo Rey!”
José was dying slowly. But he still mustered enough energy to defy the soldiers, saying: “You have done a lot to me, but God still allows me [to continue]! But when I can no longer speak, if I wiggle my feet, that means, ‘Viva Cristo Rey and the Virgin of Guadalupe!’” 
A federal officer approached the dying and bleeding boy on the ground and asked in a sarcastic tone: “What should we tell your father?” José answered: “That we will see each other in Heaven! Viva Cristo Rey! and the Virgin of Guadalupe.”
Overtaken by anger, the officer grabbed his gun and shot José behind the ear. José Sánchez del Río won the crown of martyrdom. - Read more here.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Street scene

Are you hurt, disoriented, frustrated about what’s going on in the Church?

A trip to nowhere ...

This weekend I signed up for Facebook - again - but just to contact an old friend. To say, Hello, old friend. It was fun - I was silly again - making fun and saying dumb things. Then the 'let's get together, let's do dinner' thing came up. I went silent. It's not that I don't love them any more ... I ... have no excuse.

Late last night, I searched for other old friends.  Family and friends and friends who had been my family.  I found several and looked in on them without saying anything.  I looked at their photos and their parties and saw them on their trips.  I saw their families; parents, kids, friends, weddings, Las Vegas trips, on and on.  Many people - most of them - I haven't seen in 10, 20, even 30 years.  I still recognized them.  They all looked good, happy, fit - just like I remember them.

Some of these people I walked away from - some I ran from - some just disappeared.  Again, it's not that I didn't love them.  I was working on a project - that's still not finished.  Like the poem.  If we got together, it wouldn't make sense at this point.  I really do not have anything new to tell them.  It would be useless to explain to them that they were mistaken as to why I left or what went wrong or why I couldn't stay.  They wouldn't believe how much I miss them - but we live so far apart - although they remain deeply in my heart.  

The Art of Disappearing 

When they say Don't I know you?
say no.

When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like 
before answering.
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.

If they say We should get together
say why?

It's not that you don't love them anymore.
You're trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven't seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don't start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.  -Naomi Shihab Nye

Maybe I can write more about it someday.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A wonderful new saint for our times ... St. José Sánchez del Río

San Joselito

“José Sánchez del Río was born on 28 March 1913 in Sahuayo, in the State of Michoacán, Mexico. At the outbreak of the so-called “Cristero War” in 1926, his brothers joined the rebel forces fighting the violent anti-Christian regime which had been established in the country. José too was enlisted. Catholicism flourished in Sahuayo and for this reason the “Cristeros” were deeply rooted in the area. Priests secretly remained in Sahuayo throughout the persecution and never abandoned the faithful, clandestinely celebrating the Eucharist and administrating the sacraments, at which young José assiduously participated.

“In those years, the first Christian martyrs were often spoken of and many young people wanted to follow in their footsteps. During a violent battle on 25 January 1928, José was captured and brought to his city of birth, where he was imprisoned in the parish church which had already been desecrated and laid waste by federalists. It was suggested that he flee in order to avoid being sentenced to death, but he refused. - Finish reading here.

If anyone knows the name of the painter who did this image of San Jose, please let me know.  Thanks. 

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, Laudem Gloriae

Elizabeth with her statue of 
Janua Coeli - she carried it with her
everywhere.  It depicts The Immaculate Conception
as she identified herself at Lourdes.
The Immaculate Conception - Gate of Heaven.

"A praise of glory is a soul that lives in God, that loves him with a pure and disinterested love, without seeking itself in the sweetness of this love, that loves him beyond all his gifts." - St. Elizabeth

Elizabeth Catez 

Dr. Anthony Lilles is an 'apostle' of St. Elizabeth.  He writes well of her.  Below are a couple of insightful excerpts from Dr. Lilles' latest article on the occasion of her canonization:
The Church celebrates St. Elizabeth of the Trinity — canonized Oct. 16 — on her feast day of Nov. 8. Her spiritual mission is to help us pass through the difficulties of our time with a certain greatness of soul, a fitting reminder for Election Day 2016.
On Nov. 9, 1906, at the age of 26, she succumbed to the final stages of Addison’s disease, an adrenal disorder which, at the time, was incurable. Her death came amid great social uncertainty for the Church and her Carmelite community in Dijon, France. Earlier that spring, the French government turned against the Church, by advancing a more aggressive secularism. The local Church was already racked with scandal, the local bishop having been removed from office by the Holy See. The state was taking legal action to confiscate Church property and put the Carmelites in exile. Anxiety over social concerns affected daily life for many — except for, perhaps, St. Elizabeth, her Carmel and those to whom she wrote.
In the midst of their own questions and concerns, Elizabeth helped her friends discover the mysterious and transforming ways God discloses himself even surrounded by distress. As she explained, “Everything is a sacrament that gives us God.” - Read more here.
The Praise of Glory - Laudem Gloriae

I believe that is Elizabeth's name for herself, perhaps her name in heaven.  She is Laudem Gloriae.  The spiritual meaning is not lost on me - but I don't know enough to discuss it.  Yet it is Elizabeth's 'doctrine' received through her understanding of the mysticism of St. Paul which resonates in my heart.  Just this past week, the readings from Ephesians at Mass recall the spirituality of St. Elizabeth, as if in preparation for her canonization:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved. - Ephesians 1 - 1st Reading Thursday
The next day we read:
In Christ we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ.
In him you also, who have heard the word of truth,
the Gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him,
were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
which is the first installment of our inheritance
toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory. - Ephesians
The 'mission' of Laudem Gloria.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory. - Ephesians
I think her mission in heaven is to teach souls, to lead souls to God by the path of prayer - the prayer of recollection - the practice of the presence of God. Dr. Lilles would know more about her 'mission' and her teaching than I - but because I'm more or less 'unlearned' I think I can assure anyone reading this that the way of prayer St. Elizabeth teaches is open to anyone - it is a simple way of prayer, accessible to all. It is, or should be considered, ordinary mystic prayer. It is very simple to accustom ourselves to the prayer of recollection - a habit which prepares us for the habitual prayer of recollection.
As St. Teresa taught: “For this is not a supernatural state, but depends upon our own action and by God’s favor, we can enter it of our own accord” -Way of Perfection
Sometimes it is difficult to read the writings of female mystics, because they sometimes read like extravagant love letters to the beloved - yet buried within is the secret to sanctity, the mystical theology of the saints. It is important to go beyond the sentiment and understand the pure stream of scripture which refreshes the thoughts expressed. That is why Dr. Lilles' writings are so important to understanding the genius of St. Elizabeth.

Since my monastery days - I've been accustomed to understanding this Gospel as an invitation to recollection, the prayer of recollection. I like to imagine Christ, in the deepest center of our heart, of our soul, calling us to leave behind our preoccupation with externals, the distractions we seek and those which assail us. I like to think Jesus calls us to come down, to get out of our brains as it were, to put aside all the intellectual, theological speculation and commune with him in silent, loving prayer. Even when we find ourselves so imperfect. Despite our failures, I think Christ sees us already cleansed of our sins, and calls out:
"O soul, most beautiful of all creatures, that so greatly desires to know the place where your Beloved is, in order to seek Him and be united with Him.... It is a matter of great contentment and joy for you to see that He is so near you as to be within you. Rejoice and be glad in your inward recollection with Him, since you have Him so near. There desire Him, there adore Him, and do not go to seek Him outside yourself." - Spiritual Canticle

This prayer of recollection can become habitual, and like the sheep pastured by the Good Shepherd, the soul "will come in and go out and find pasture" - all the while remaining in his presence, before his watchful gaze. The prayer of recollection becomes the pasture, as it were. As Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection said, "That it was a great delusion to think that the times of prayer ought to differ from other times."

That's enough out of me - just remember - Stay awhile after every Communion and Our Lord will teach you how to pray, how to enter into this prayer of recollection - and each day you will remain in the presence of God, plunging deeper into the Blessed Trinity with every subsequent Communion.

"O my God, You are in me and I am in You. I have found my heaven on earth, since heaven is You, O Lord, and You are in my soul. I can find You there always; even when I do not feel Your presence, You are there nevertheless, and I like to seek You there. Oh! if only I could never leave You alone!" (cf. Sr Elizabeth of the Trinity, Letters) - Divine Intimacy