Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Benedict Option ...

Say what you will - but this is what I think that option be like ...

Trident Lakes ... Underground doomsday neighborhood for the well-to-do ...

“People are getting fearful of this world — there’s ISIS, there are things like Zika virus to race relations and the police brutality they see on TV — people are nervous. People want a place they can have safety for themselves and for the future of their families,” Whitt added. “If need be, it’s going to be one of the safest places on Earth.” - Source

Him likes ...

The Omen ... remember that story?

Song for this post here.

The Pope is just like my mother: "What are you trying to hide?!"

What's under that cappa?

I laughed out loud when I read what Pope Francis had to say about young people, who were not raised with the traditional Latin Mass, yet prefer it to the Ordinary Form of Mass and said:

“And I ask myself: Why so much rigidity? Dig, dig, this rigidity always hides something, insecurity or even something else. Rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid.” - Source

I bet they're homosexuals - and I'll explain why.

When my mother said, "What are you trying to hide?!"  She followed that up with a seething, "You little homosexual" - before I even knew what the word meant.  She was very suspicious, just like the pope.

So it just follows ... right?  I mean all that satin and lace, matching gloves and bushkins.


I'm so just kidding.

No, really.

Get down to the 'lobby' right away,
they're hiding something!


Friday, November 11, 2016

Cher is leaving the planet!

Cher didn't hold back her feelings about Donald Trump ... According to Page Six, the singer said that if Donald Trump wins the presidential election, "I’m gonna have to leave the planet." - Source

Song for this post here.

I like these icons a lot ... I believe they are painted - not written. What?

What?  So anyway, I didn't paint them - and I don't know who did ... just enjoy them.

Second runners up:

In this year’s election, voters went against nearly all of the ballot initiatives backed by Catholic leaders and advocates, except the referendums on minimum wage increases and gun control measures.

Putting people first, huh?

Huh?  Really?

Catholic Spirit printed an article lamenting that voters went against nearly all the initiatives backed by Catholic leaders.  WTH?  

It's never good enough for these people. 

Fr. James Martin, the day after the election posted about anger over the Trump win.  That was essentially his focus.  Where was the expression of gratitude, or at least hope, that now maybe SCOTUS may swing more pro-life?  Or that a solidly pro-life platform finally won the presidency and both houses?  Instead it is anger and rejection of the democratic process.  I don't get it.  I don't get Catholics.  I don't get Catholic leaders.  I don't get Catholic pundits.  It's never good enough.  Ever.

You are always, always - damned if you do, or damned if you don't.

Where are their priorities?  

The following is my comment on the Catholic Spirit article - I would never have seen it if a friend hadn't sent it to me.  It's an innocent enough column - but it hit me the wrong way:

So voters reject ballot measures of Catholic concern? Really?
Many people voted for Trump and a Republican platform out of a major sense of urgency and concern for preeminent pro-life issues related to Supreme Court judges and major religious freedom issues, such as those which affected the Little Sisters of the Poor. Do you even realize what kind of sacrifice many voters - including Catholics - made in voting for Trump? - Me

Seriously.  What do they want from people?

Do these diocesan functionaries even know the turmoil Catholic leaders put ordinary people through?  Do Catholic leaders even know the confusion they sow?

One tells you you can do this or that, and the other tells you you are going to hell if you don't do this or that.  You can't be pro-life if you don't do this or you're in favor of the death penalty or gun ownership.  And besides, it's charity to be pro-choice - you know, on account of those women without college degrees who don't accept the notion abortion is sinful - as Catholics teach - but that it is her choice, no matter what.  What an elitist bunch, if there ever was one.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Little Pope ...

"Guard it with patience."

Today's papal homily made me think of Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince ...
"One sees clearly only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eye." - Saint-Exupéry
“The Kingdom of God is not a ‘show’ religion: one that is always seeking new things, revelations, messages … God spoke through Jesus Christ: this is the last Word of God..." - Pope Francis

The Pope was reflecting upon Today's Gospel - admonishing against running off to here or there, following sensational claims of supernatural significance, and so on.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
There will be those who will say to you,
‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’
Do not go off, do not run in pursuit
. - Luke 17:20
I like it when the Holy Father talks about these very human tendencies - he reminds me of Bl. Jacinta when she told Lucia not to go 'run and hide' when it came time for her to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  It seems to me the pope's message today is a bit like telling those 'TNRSteppers-Storm-chasers-after-the-Rescue people', as well as those who expect to take the 'Benedictine option' to get a grip.
Asking what we should do whilst awaiting the fullness of the Kingdom of God, Pope Francis explained that we must guard and take care of our hope.
“Guard it with patience. Patience in our work, in our sufferings… Guarding it like the man who has planted a seed and who takes care of the plant, ensuring there are no weeds close to it, so it will grow. Guard our hope. And here is the question that I put to you: if the Kingdom of God is among us today, if all of us have this seed inside us, if we have the Holy Spirit there, how do I guard it? How do I discern this, how can I discern the good plant from the seed of the darnel? The Kingdom of God grows and what must we do? Guard it. Grow through hope and guard that hope. Because we have been saved through hope. And this is the thread: hope is the thread in the history of salvation. Our hope of meeting the Lord for sure.
“Let us ask ourselves: Do I have hope? Or do I go ahead as best I can without knowing how to tell the good from the bad, the darnel seed, the light, the meek light of the Holy Spirit from the brightness of this artificial thing?" - Pope Francis
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.” - Luke 17

"And no grown-up will ever understand that this is a matter of so much importance!" - Saint-Exupéry

“People have forgotten this truth," the fox said. 
"But you mustn’t forget it. 
You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. 
You’re responsible for your rose.” 

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

I think I know why he never made it as a gay man ...

No one would dance with him.

Song for this post here.

[Just having fun with Michael.]

Thanks for the laugh dxv515

Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica ... A memorial to religious freedom for Christians ...

... and a reminder that each of the baptized are the Temple of God.

Behold God's dwelling with the human race!

The Edict of Milan (313) secured religious freedom and legal recognition of Christians. By imperial edicts, Constantine restored Christians' property and strengthened the Church hierarchy. He donated his personal property, received in dowry from his wife, for the first papal cathedral and residence in Christian history. So begins the story of St. John Lateran. - Read more here.

The readings for Today are beautiful ...

Responsorial Psalm

R. The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!

God is our refuge and our strength,
an ever-present help in distress.
Therefore, we fear not, though the earth be shaken
and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.

R. The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!

There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,
the holy dwelling of the Most High.
God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed;
God will help it at the break of dawn.

R. The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!

The LORD of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Come! behold the deeds of the LORD,
the astounding things he has wrought on earth.

R. The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!

Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple,
God will destroy that person;
for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.

+ + +

God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed;
God will help it at the break of dawn.

Our Lady of Victories

Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, 
fair as the moon, bright as the sun,
 terrible as an army set in battle array?
 - Little Office BVM

O Blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily give you the just dues of praise and thanksgiving, you who by the wondrous assent of your will rescued a fallen world? What songs of praise can our weak human nature recite in your honor, since it is by your intervention alone that it has found the way to restoration?
Accept, then, such poor thanks as we have to offer here, though they be unequal to your merit; and, receiving our vows, obtain by your prayers the remission of our offenses. Carry our prayers within the sanctuary of the heavenly audience and bring forth the gift of our reconciliation. 
Take our offering, grant us our requests, obtain pardon for what we fear, for you are the sole hope of sinners. Holy Mary, help the miserable, strengthen the fainthearted, comfort the sorrowful, pray for your people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God.
Be ever ready to assist us when we pray and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it your continual care to pray for the people of God, you who, blessed by God, merited to bear the Redeemer of the world who lives and reigns, world without end. Amen. - St. Augustine

In Thanksgiving for the Victories of Our Lady of the Rosary ...

O God, we praise Thee, and acknowledge Thee to be the supreme Lord.
Everlasting Father, all the earth worships Thee.
All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,
All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to Thee:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory.
The glorious choir of the Apostles,
The wonderful company of Prophets,
The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges Thee:
The Father of infinite Majesty;
Thy adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
O Christ, Thou art the King of glory!
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When Thou took it upon Thyself to deliver man,
Thou didst not disdain the Virgin's womb.
Having overcome the sting of death, Thou opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all
Thou sits at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou will come to be our Judge.
We, therefore, beg Thee to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy
Precious Blood.
Let them be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.

V. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thy inheritance!
R. Govern them, and raise them up forever.

V. Every day we thank Thee.
R. And we praise Thy Name forever, yes, forever and ever.

V. O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.
R. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.

V. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in Thee.
R. O Lord, in Thee I have put my trust; let me never be put to shame.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

WOW! President Trump! The World Is In Shock!

I never thought it could happen.

Together again ...

President Trump will attempt to reconcile with his friends the Clintons, and go ahead and appoint Mr. and Mrs. Clinton as ambassadors to Iraq and Libya, respectively ...

Get out and vote ... and keep voting ... as often as you can.

I voted...

I'm going back out.
Just under 4 hours before the polls close.

This is really strange though ...

Bob Schieffer said he had never seen a campaign like the one this year ...

“I have seen a few, but I’ve run out of ways to say I’ve never seen one like this. It’s as if the nation is enduring some kind of curse.  What should we expect next – that it will rain frogs? I wouldn’t bet against it.” - Source


Another saint for today ...

Humility, like charity is always capable of increasing ... - St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.

Humility ...

A friend asked me how and why a person can keep falling into mortal sin.  I answered, fallen human nature. 

Years ago I found what Pope John Paul I had to say about the phenomenon deeply edifying and encouraging - especially after numerous failures, repeated confessions, and so on.  I like to repeat the quote today ...  It goes something like this: God loves humility so much he sometimes allows us to fall - even into mortal sin - why? - so that in repenting we become more humble.

As Betsy Ten Boom stated in the horrors of the Nazi camps: 'there is no pit so deep that his love is not deeper still.'  I think of that often.

Providentially, today, I found these intuitions affirmed again in the writings of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, who wrote: "To be plunged into humility is to be plunged into God, for God is at the bottom of the abyss."

God is at the bottom of the pit.

even there your hand shall lead me...

Over the years, I have come to understand God never forsakes us when we turn to him - he is there.  He is always there.  That is why, in every fall, sometimes still on the ground, as it were, I looked to see who was with me in my fall.  At first sight - no one.  I am all alone.  Until I eventually understood that Christ was there ...  Be it Christ who had fallen carrying the cross for me, or Christ, just as he was there for the woman caught in adultery, when he stooped down to her level - not condemning - but pardoning.  Even when my guilt and shame plunged me into hell itself, I remembered that Christ descended even there.  He descended to the dead.

God is at the bottom of the abyss ... the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me. 
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.

for darkness is as light with you.

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

“O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely so to establish myself in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity.”
Today is the feast of Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity. She lived out this truth to her last anguished heartbeat, bedridden with an incurable disease even as the political powers of her day threatened those she loved the most, and the Church was rocked by all kinds of scandal. This Carmelite Mystic, the Mystic of Dijon, believed her mission was to help souls enter to a transforming encounter with Christ, one that requires a journey out of ourselves where we are vulnerable enough to be touched by Him. Her words encourage us to call out to the Word, and to let His great Canticle of love resound in our hearts with all its fulness — for to know this saving truth is to live as if already in eternity. - Dr. Anthony Lilles

Monday, November 07, 2016

It's going to be a big let down after tomorrow ...

I'm already feeling withdrawal symptoms.

I wish the Presidential campaign would never end ... oh wait - it doesn't - the new campaign begins Wednesday.  In this country the campaigns never end any longer.

So anyway.

What did Charlie Johnston predict?  Obama will not finish his term?  No election either?  No inauguration?  Well, that's something to wait and see, huh?

"I have often said there will be no presidential election this year. Actually, there are some narrow circumstances in which there could be, but the results would be irrelevant. What I was told was that President Obama would not finish his term and that our next stable national leader will not come from the election process. You could have an explosion of events after an election and before an inauguration. You could have Obama declare a national emergency, cancel elections, extend his term and then depart before the extension was up. The most likely scenario is that everything will be up in the air before election, but there are narrow circumstances where that may not be." - Charlie Johnston, Source

Lacking that, we'll have all the online Catholic pundits to follow if we miss the controversy and mudslinging of the constant campaign and politics.

Here's a thought.

Maybe try living in the present moment.

"Look at every suffering and every joy as coming directly from Him, and then your life will be a continual communion, since everything will be like a sacrament that will give you God." - St. Elizabeth of the Trinity 

Signs in the sky and that strange trumpet sound ...

An alleged trumpet sound in Israel. We know what biblical trumpets (and shofars) signify. - Read more here.

Shofar experts have been unable to explain the phenomenon of the trumpet sound.


St. Didacus de Alcala

St. Diego

I love Franciscan lay-brother saints.

He could be my Baptismal patron, since the name Diego is a derivative of Santiago, for St. James.

So humble, so little, a porter and I think questor for the community of Observant Friars, he was nonetheless appointed Guardian, something unusual for a lay-brother.  Called back to Spain at the end of his life, he returned to his humble, penitential life.  He was the first saint to be canonized after the Reformation, and the first lay-brother of the Friars Minor.

St. Diego, pray for us, and for my friends in the Philippines Diego and his sister 'Tina'.  ;)

Happy feast day San Diego, California!

Cats like Franciscans.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Hillary directed her maid to print off classified documents ...

But the maid lacked security clearance to handle such material.

Story here.

OMGOSH! First the earthquakes and now the storm ... Tornado in Italy.

“Divine punishment” for “the offence to the family and the dignity of marriage, in particular through civil unions.” - Fr. Cavacoli said it first, and he's sticking to it.  I made an outrageous comment on NCRegister suggesting it could just as well be punishment for traditionalist preference for the Extraordinary Form and Baroque splendor, as well as their opposition to the reforms of Pope Francis. Evidently NCR didn't appreciate my sense of irony.

At the end of my comment I simply noted that 'earthquakes happen'.

But now ... with the tornado and the flooding of the Coloseum ...

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

After earthquakes, storms hit Italy. Two killed by tornado in Cesano, now Rome Colosseum under water (via @maus75)

Preppers - are you ready? I mean, really, really ready?

Public execution of Polish priests and civilians by Nazis 
in Bydgoszcz's Old Market Square on 9 September 1939.

Ready for the storm?  Expecting a big rescue ASAP right after that storm?  How about a Rapture instead?

It never fails, I can't get into the prophecies of doom and gloom.  I can listen to reasoned observation on what is happening in the world, the things we all can see if we look honestly, and by that I mean humbly.  No doubt we live in perilous times, but as one Protestant minister I just happened to come across on television said, "We must repent!"  His Bible study - sermon was practical, and deeply moving.  It was exactly what Christians need to do - because 'faith' - or rather 'Truth has dwindled among the sons of men, falsehood they speak one to another, with lying lips, with a false heart.'  We know and need to acknowledge these things - to stand firm.

I've been thinking of the attitude Catholics maybe should strive for today ... it's the opposite of what, 'the false prophets who exploit the fear and hopelessness' are saying.

First and foremost - I think it is a mistake to run and hide - although some may want to do that, and even need to do that - to do what is best for their families and so on.  Yet, not everyone can do that, therefore, staying 'in place' seems to me to be the more Christian thing to do, for those who are able and have no other choice.  The so-called 'Benedictine option' leaves a lot of people out in the cold.  (If there is any lesson to be learned from Norcia - it just may be that.  The perfect monastery, the perfect liturgy, the perfect life ... and now everyone is out in the cold, so to speak.)

Staying in place ...

The 'ordinary people of the streets' have always done that.  They remained faithful through Vatican Councils, liturgical changes, societal changes, through scandal and sometimes doing so with social acceptance.  Today, they continue to persevere amid dominate secularization and even apostasy.  They are ordinary people in ordinary time worshiping God in ordinary form - they do not need to flee to extraordinary forms of life, living aloof from the riff-raff.

Recent history offers numerous examples of ordinary Christians staying in place.

The Catholics in the Middle East have stayed in place - amid bloody persecution.  The Catholics in China have done that.  The Catholics in the Soviet Union did that.  Just think, Pope St. John Paul II came from Poland, a Communist country.  The Polish Church lived through Nazi brutality and persecution, as well as Soviet repression.  Vocations flowered under oppression, the faith grew strong and fervent under such anti-Christ-anti-Catholic propaganda and persecution.

So what is wrong with Catholics in the United States that everyone is so bent out of shape with the prospect of looming religious discrimination and persecution on the horizon?  Prophecies claiming disaster upon disaster, signs and portents, financial collapse ... gossip and fear mongering.  I appreciate what the Holy Father said yesterday:
"No tyranny finds support without tapping into our fears," Francis said. "This is key. Hence, all tyranny is terrorist. And when this terror -- which was sown in the peripheries, with the massacres, looting, oppression and injustice -- explodes in centers with different forms of violence, even hateful and cowardly attacks, citizens who still retain some rights are tempted to the false security of physical or social walls.
"Walls that enclose some and banish others. Walled citizens, terrified on one side, excluded, exiled, and still more terrified on the other. Is that the life that our Father God wants for their children? 
"Dear brothers and sisters -- all walls fall. All of them. Do not be fooled." - Source
Do not be fooled.

This is what I think may be a better option, or something ordinary people might aspire to, and even prepare themselves for ...

Repent, every day.  Seek God and his will. 'Put no trust in princes, in mortal men in whom there is no help.'  

What if real religious oppression comes, what if real persecution comes?

The Gospel says:  "Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you ..."
"To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic.  
Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back."

"Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles"  Go with them, one, two miles, or as far as they want you to go - as far as you can - without compromising your faith.

"If anyone wants to go to law with you over" your business, or your house, or your possessions, or your income - let them take your life as well - and give thanks.  Forgive them, thank them and promise to pray for them.

Bless them.

Do not curse them.

I think I want to pray for that grace, that generosity, to live in such a way now, that I might obtain that grace, rather than heaping insults and condemnations upon those who harbor hatred for the faith.

As Pope Francis said, to give one's life doesn't only consist in being killed, but rather, “to give one's life, to have the spirit of a martyrdom, is to surrender it in duty, in silence, in prayer, in the fulfillment of duty; in this silence of everyday life; to give one's life little by little.

It seems to me that is the correct preparation for martyrdom 'in place'.

Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko