Saturday, November 26, 2016

Castro is dead ...

(I'm sure everyone knows this by now - I came online late today - so it's news to me.)

He wasn't doing well so his death isn't such a shock, although it is something of a milestone.  He outlived all his revolutionary comrades, as well as his Kremlin backers.  He was the man who nearly caused nuclear war in the early 1960's - for that he will always be remembered.

Toward the end of his life the last three Popes were very kind to him, I think.  JPII, Benedict, and now Francis 'negotiated' with the man, not so much the dictator, and Castro seemed anxious to see them - perhaps a bit like Zacchaeus in the Gospel?  For me, the papal visitations are a clear example of dialog, diplomacy, and even friendship - working together to secure religious freedom, reconciliation and peace.

Holy Father Pope Francis sent his condolences:
On receiving the sad news of the death of your dear brother, His Excellency Mister Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, former president of the State Council and of the Government of the Republic of Cuba, I express my sentiments of sorrow to Your Excellency and other family members of the deceased dignitary, as well as to the people of this beloved nation. At the same time, I offer prayers to the Lord for his rest and I entrust the whole Cuban people to the maternal intercession of our Lady of the Charity of El Cobre, patroness of that country. - Francisco, PP.
The death of a man like Castro is difficult to process.  I have already come across articles detailing his 'crimes' - executions, confiscation of property and goods, disruption of free trade and persecution of the Church, and so on.  History will judge him, but God's judgement is the one that matters.

His mercy endures forever.

"I would give a thousand lives to save even one soul." - St. Teresa of Avila

Friday, November 25, 2016

But Father! But Father! The Pope said that ...

‘But father, what can we do to avoid being deceived by the devil?’

From the Holy Father's homily for Today:
Continuing his reflections on the end of the world, the Pope’s homily focused on the day’s reading from the Book of Revelation that describes how the angel seizes the serpent, chains it up and throws it into the abyss which is then locked and sealed. He said the serpent or devil is thrown into the abyss “so that it would no longer lead the nations astray” because it is the seducer.
“He is a liar and what’s more is the father of lies, he generates lies and is a trickster. He makes you believe that if you eat this apple you will be like a God. He sells it to you like this and you buy it and in the end he tricks you, deceives you and ruins your life. ‘But father, what can we do to avoid being deceived by the devil?’ Jesus teaches us: never converse with the devil. One does not converse with him. What did Jesus do with the devil? He chased him away, he asked his name but did not hold a dialogue with him.”
Pope Francis went on to explain how when Jesus was in the wilderness he defended himself when replying to the devil by using the Word of God and the Word of the Bible. Therefore, he said, we must never converse with this liar and trickster who seeks our ruin and who for this reason will be thrown into the abyss. - Pope Francis
I thought of having fun with this, but then thought against it.

What the Pope says however, is why I don't read exorcist's stories about conversations with the devil.  We can't believe what the devil says.   It goes the same for private revelations and locutions - unapproved by the Church - the devil deceives many.

He also deceives through pop-culture and entertainment ... tempting us fall in love with the glamour of evil.

. . .

To be honest, I'm very troubled by the problem of the 'Four Cardinal's' dubia as well as
Bishop Athanasius Schneider's commentary on the problem.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

I woke up this morning and I was so glad.

Seriously, there is so much to be grateful for ... even President-elect Trump.  I think he's going to be great.  His appointments are going well, he's listening, he just might be able to unite the country.  I hope.

I think Thanksgiving is important - to thank God in every circumstance - good or bad.  It's all good.

Very sincerely, Happy Thanksgiving and hug each other all day!

Him loves you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

This just in: The Puritans hated Catholics and they didn't kneel for Communion and they didn't like priests in expensive vestments either.

Puritan Thanksgiving.
They didn't have Internet or TV so they had to do something.

So why do Catholics do Thanksgiving?

Puritans didn't like many groups.
If you had to choose a group the Puritans really had a special hatred for, it would be Catholics. (After that came splinter groups like Quakers and Anabaptists, and then anyone else who was not a Puritan.) 
They were hapless precursors of Theology of the Body and 'spousal' spirituality ... 
The Puritans believed that the love between married people was the closest humans could get on Earth to experiencing the joy of being united with Christ in heaven. And love in marriage had no higher expression than sex. The Puritan minister at Cambridge, Mass., Thomas Shepard, often described the passion people felt in marriage in his sermons: “In all marriage bonds there is a choice made, and, if love be great, there is little standing on terms — let me have him though I beg with him.”
Don't kid yourself though - they weren't the 'church of nice' either.
The Puritans didn’t leave England to found a society where all religions would be tolerated. After all, they were granted the pejorative moniker “Puritan” in England because of their efforts to purge Catholic influences from the Anglican Church. - Five Myths about Puritans*

I'm against it.

*h/t E

Thanksgiving is over-rated ...

There is no such thing as an old fashioned Thanksgiving.

It's a marketing tool now.  So many people don't care.  They go shopping instead.

Now 'if' you are expected to show up at a family gathering - like the old fashioned Thanksgivings in the 1940's movies, you can do that.  You can be on your best behavior - or not.  You can have a Stepford Thanksgiving, or depending on income - a Flo's Thanksgiving.  Actually, you can do whatever you want.

So what is my point?

There is no ideal Thanksgiving.  Forced get-togethers with no talking about real life is probably the norm for many families.  Pretending to get along.  Eating too much.  Watching football, going shopping, or going to the casino is what many can hardly wait to do after dinner is over.  Complaining about Uncle Poodle or Mom getting too drunk to serve, or the kid's tattoos and piercings - under your breath, before arriving or after you leave is also pretty common.  You know what I mean?

Even those good big 'C' Catholics grit their teeth when the dreaded 'c'atholic liberals show up.

Anyway - Here's what inspired my post - comments from Stir Up Sunday pretty much reminded me of the dread experienced by the 'best' of them ...
Comment:  4th annual fruitcake baking party at our house and hopefully zero political conversation as most of our visitors are “c”atholics. I figure we can kill them with kindness. 
Response: Yes, be so sweet they will feel like they just ate maple syrup.

And that's fine.  That's 'nice' too.

Remember when Catholic bloggers used to blog about how being nice was bad - you know - it was because it paralleled the 'church of nice' and secular, liberal, tolerance ideals ... you know who and what I'm talking about.

Just remember, some of your guests will be there because they are just being 'nice' and trying to be 'tolerant' of you.  Maybe you should talk about that.

I would encourage guests to be honest with one another while they sit down together for whatever kind of Thanksgiving dinner they choose to participate in.  Don't sentimentalize it - just be who you are and live and let live.

And give thanks.

Bonus:  Did you know?
The Pilgrims and the Native Americans were not particularly identified with Thanksgiving until about 1900, though interest in the Pilgrims as historic figures began shortly before the American Revolution. - Source

Oh! Oh!  The Pilgrims were Calvinists - so I suppose the self-righteous attitudes so characteristic of contemporary  big "C" religious people is a carry over from the original Thanksgiving, and in keeping with tradition.  Enjoy!

Happy Holidays!

Song for this post here.

The Sign of Jonah

“Keeping a journal has taught me that there is not so much new in your life as you sometimes think. When you re-read your journal you find out that your latest discovery is something you already found out five years ago. Still, it is true that one penetrates deeper and deeper into the same ideas and the same experiences.” - Thomas Merton, The Sign of Jonas

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

More Quick Takes (I'm taking most of them from other bloggers)

Holy Card credit/quote credit:
A Bear and a Badger walked into a bar
and axed, "where all the white women at?"

On the role of women in the church:

“Women ought to stay at home; the way they were created indicates this, for they have broad hips and a wide fundament to sit upon.” - Martin Luther, Table Talk, 55

BTW - When Trump goes to Washington, Melania is staying home in NY at the Tower.  He has great respect for women.

Another Quick Take

I saw it on TV.  Tavis had Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz on last night with the real story about Thanksgiving and what we did to the Native Americans and Thanksgiving as we know it with Indians and Colonists was made up in the early 20th century by advertising executives and the real Thanksgiving pretty much began during - or was it after - the Civil War and had nothing to do with Indians and, and, we stole lands from the Indians and we committed genocide and we need to read her book:  All the Real Indians Died

I'm serious - even though I ran that all together.  My dad always claimed I had Indian blood but my mother said he was a lying S.O.B. just like his mother who told him that.  She wanted to be Jewish, and so I went with that one.  Regardless, I'm on the side of Native Americans.  Currently there is great concern over the pipeline issue in South Dakota with the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests.

Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz had some things to say about the issue, and how any support from Trump is probably a lost cause.  She thinks he is a disaster for Native American rights, recalling his lawsuit from the '90's blaming Native Americans for his financial problems:
Donald J. Trump, who owns three casinos in Atlantic City, has sued the Federal Government, maintaining that allowing Indian tribes to open casinos discriminates against him. - Full story here.

 So anyway...

Thanksgiving is cancelled.

Sarah Palin for Interior secretary?
We are all doomed.

I totally forgot ...

Darn it!

My apologies to my Canadian friends.  So.  I won't celebrate our Thanksgiving.  I'll let the family know.  And all my friends.
"Can't make it this year.  Real Thanksgiving happened over a month ago!"

Oh Lassie, I'm so thankful we don't have to go.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Preparing for Thanksgiving ...

"Oh, how you will enchant the angels!"

Malachi Martin

Malachi Martin is in the news again.

Conspiracy theorist, Fatima eccentric par excellence.  Read his novels and the ideas embed in your memory and you end up writing prophetic blog posts, warnings of doom and gloom and anti-papist nonsense.  Oh!  Oh!  And homosexuals lurking everywhere - with demons flying out their butts.

It is so strange to me that this guy, a former Jesuit priest, is given so much credibility, especially by those Catholics who apparently hate the Jesuits and our 'Jesuit' Pope.

(Look!  This post is another quick take!  I'm just like a real blogger!)

Channel surfing last night ...

It looked as if Nicki Minaj was simulating masturbation on the American Music Awards.  I was literally surfing through channels and the screen shot was less than a second - I couldn't click away fast enough.

Talk about an adulterous generation.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Busy week ahead! Getting ready for Thanksgiving ...

Abbey Roads will be posting family friendly posts all week!

Solemnity of Christ the King ...

Today, at the closing the Holy Door, the Holy Father reminded us:

“Because even if the Holy Door closes, the true door of mercy which is the heart of Christ always remains open wide for us. From the lacerated side of the Risen One until the very end of time flow mercy, consolation and hope." - Zenit

I love that the Church exalts Jesus Crucified as King, instead of displaying the mystery of Christ arrayed in pontificals and other earthly attributions of royalty and power.  (Not that there is anything wrong with that.)  The reign of Christ Crucified  is above politics and sects, worldly success and riches, merits and blessings to be counted and totaled up as it were.

It is about mercy and love, justice and peace.

He has scattered the proud in their conceit.  He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly.

"This God does not have a fixed plan that he must carry out; on the contrary, he has many different ways of finding man and even of turning his wrong ways into right ways..." - Pope Benedict XVI