Friday, December 30, 2016

Esteemed Colleagues

Facade Orvieto Cathedral detail.

One Peter Five

I was interested in just who writes for 1P5 other than Steve Skojec.  It appears he's assembled a rather distinguished group of contributors - here.

[I checked it out because 1P5 is one of many sites with pop-ups requesting donations to finance the site whenever you click on the home page.  Does that mean contributors are paid?  I also came across something on another site linking to a Catholic Fundraising site, offering training for Catholic fundraising.  There must be a lot of money in pious gossip, speculation, detraction and dissimulation.  Of course there are good fundraising causes as well, such as replicating grand medieval abbeys in the countryside.]  

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Keep trying ...

Some thoughts ...

Here for the cure?

You know.

For some reason the recent celebrity deaths have been the focus of many news programs, as well as filling social media with commentary.  I liked all three personalities who have just died, George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, but I only knew them by their celebrity, and though I liked them, I didn't know a great deal about them.

Carrie Fisher was better known to me than her mother, because she was so vocal about her bi-polar condition.  George Michael I knew more about because I liked some of his music, thought he was good looking, and he was gay.  He also liked risky, public sex, and frequently got himself in trouble for that.  He famously, unabashedly defended himself saying, "That's what gay people do."  I think he was 'partnered/married' at the time.  I often referenced that statement because I wanted people who think gay behavior is just like monogamous heterosexual relationships/marriage to know that in most cases, it probably is not.  (I say it like that because I have friends who insist that it is no different than heterosexual marriage.)

Having said all of that - I just read a really good article on Crisis Magazine by Dr. Nicolosi discussing The Traumatic Foundations of Male Homosexuality.  Though I really no longer read gay-Catholic blog posts on the subject, nor do I follow other SSA Catholic writers on the issue, I will from time to time read people like Dr. Nicolosi.  I may not be a big fan of reparative therapy as a general 'antidote', I find the studies to be valuable for an individual to understand  himself and the phenomenon.  (It seems to me that older individuals - in their mid-30's and older, are normally not interested in reparative therapy, but rather in living chastely and 'whole-ly'.)

You can't change a person if they don't want to change.

Back to George Michael.

He died young.  He filled his life with a lot of superficial glamour and celebrity.  He sought relief in stuff 'gay people do'.  These are all traits one can connect to difficulties associated with male homosexuality.  I'm not judging, I'm just saying.  Of course not 'all' gay men are like that, or what Dr. Nicolosi describes - but I've known very few gay men who did not fit the profiles Nicolosi talks about.  One can't know or understand this stuff unless one lives an examined life.  I'm just not sure how George Michael was able to do that since he used so many escape mechanisms to avoid pain.

Recently, a public school teacher and his husband Aric Babbitt, 40, and Matthew Deyo, 36 were in the news again.  They used teen boys for sex, taking them to hotels and resorts for sex - late last summer they killed themselves to avoid arrest.  They were convinced they did not do anything wrong, they believed the 'sex' was consensual, and so on.  It was incredibly manipulative and abusive to do what they did.  Somehow, they convinced themselves they were not doing anything wrong, and laws had to change.

I mention this because that type of abuse, is sexual molestation - not paedophilia, but rather homosexual molestation-abuse.  It's important to understand that.  It's important, even critical for the 'victims' to know that, so they may live a healthy, whole life.

I thought of maybe writing one more chapter if you will, in my story I began on this blog several years ago.  In high school, I had relationships similar to what happened to the guys involved with Babbitt and Devo.  Maybe I will, maybe not.  These are issues I feel are more or less resolved in my life now that I'm old.  Nevertheless, I think it's important to know oneself - self-knowledge is necessary for salvation.  Humble, self-knowledge.  Prayerful discernment is absolutely necessary to avoid living a sinful life.  I think Catherine of Siena stresses the 'cell of self-knowledge' as the soul's necessary dwelling place to know and love the Truth.

Anyway, I will conclude this jumbled post with an excerpt from Nicolosi's essay, which demonstrates the problem of using young men and boys for sex - and the trauma it causes - even when the younger male 'consents'.

Still, the general rule remains: If a child is traumatized in a particular way that affects gender, he will become homosexual, and if you do not traumatize a child in that particular way, the natural process of heterosexual development will unfold. 
Many gay men report sexual abuse by a same-sexed person during their boyhood. Sexual molestation is abuse, because it comes disguised as love. Here is one client’s account of an older teen who molested him: 
"I wanted love and attention, and it got all mixed up with sex. It happened during a time when I really had no sexual interest in other boys… I thought he [the abuser] was cool. He never gave me any attention unless he wanted to fool around. When we did get sexual, it felt special… It felt exciting and intense, something between us, a shared secret. I had no other friends and my lousy relationship with my father didn’t help. I was looking for friendship…[but] the intensity of the memory… I hate it. The whole thing is just disgusting, disturbing….This is the root cause of my same-sex attraction." 
This client had made the following association: “In order to receive the good: i.e. ‘love’ and ‘attention,’ I must accept myself as shameful and bad: engaging in activity which is ‘frightening,’ ‘forbidden,’ ‘dirty,’ and ‘disgusting.’ ” - Traumatic Foundations

I hate writing about this stuff, pretty much because it goes against the politically correct attitude towards the issue, and the general acceptance that homosexuality is a natural variant of human sexuality.  Nevertheless, I thought this was important enough to repeat at this time, after all the news stories and celebrity deaths.

Battered Bishop ...

St. Thomas Becket was killed by loyal knights who misinterpreted their king's words ...  they felt obliged to kill the bishop.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I think I get it now ...

Don't make eye-contact, don't bring it up in public.
Just give interviews about it ...

The last interview in which Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke suggested a “formal correction” of an alleged error the Pope made in his Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” has sparked a heated discussion. By brandishing “formal correction”, an institute that cannot be found in canon law, Burke seemed to be presenting Francis with some form of an ultimatum in light of the five “dubia” over the interpretation of the “Amoris Laetitia”. 
In an interview with Vatican Insider, another of the three signatories of the “dubia”, German cardinal Walter Brandmüller, was keen to stress that a potential “fraternal correction” of a point made by the Pope must take place “in camera caritatis”, in other words not in public by means of published acts or written documents. - Source

The Circus at the Vatican ... "camera caritatis"

Making Cardinal Burke and the dubia disappear.
Works for me.

It's called, 'camera caritatis' ...

“I believe,” Brandmüller adds, “that Cardinal Burke is convinced that a fraternal correction must in the first instance be made in camera caritatis”. In other words not publicly. “I must say,” he explained, “that the cardinal has expressed his own opinion in complete independence and may of course be shared by the other cardinals too”. Brandmüller thus leads us to believe that in the interviews following the publication of the “dubia”, Burke was not speaking as a spokesman for the four cardinals who signed the document. - Source

"And you thought Carnival was over! LOL!"

My favorite little painting ...

Prophet St. Elijah
T. Nelson

I was working on a series of little items for the Etsy shop, but didn't get many finished.  My Elijah turned out to be my favorite.  I had some blank panels - little 4"x6" wood panels from a craft store - which I gessoed years ago, I finally got around to painting them.  Sometime ago, in the early 1990's, I did small things like this for a design studio/antiques dealer - mostly using duck and ostrich eggs. I still had my tracings to work these out. They retailed from $125.

I like this one too:

S. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
(Faux-Ivory background.)
T. Nelson

I updated the art blog accordingly, and I'll be updating Etsy soon.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Venerable Matt Talbot update ...

Matt is going to a church in California.

Thanks be to God!

My apologies, the photos are not very good.

He will be packed and shipped this week.

The Wonderful Coincidence of Hanukkah and Christmas ...

The eight days of Hanukkah is a great reminder to Christians that Christmas is twelve days.

Christmas is not just Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  So often people say, 'now that Christmas is over ...' - I heard it on the news yesterday.  It was a lead to discuss the eight days of Hanukkah - which is fine - but just like Hanukkah which began on December 24, so did the Christmas 'season'.

Liturgically, Catholics refer to it as the Octave of Christmas, which is eight days - in other words, Christmas is eight days too.  However, Christmastide is even longer, traditionally concluding on Epiphany - or Twelfth Night - yet very truly extending to February 2, Candlemas, the fortieth day of Christmas-Epiphany season.

Bonus:  Carnival begins on Epiphany, so if you still love to party - you can do so until Ash Wednesday.  Rock on!

Full of grace
 and truth.

One of my favorites for Christmas ...

Monday, December 26, 2016

Feast of Stephen

Merry Christmas and happy feast day to all deacons who serve the Church, especially those permanent deacons and their families.  

The Peace of Christmas

The triumph of Christmas.
Christmas Mass in Aleppo's
Old City, in the war ravaged Cathedral of St. Elias.

Before and after.

Peace to men and women in the war-torn land of Syria, where far too much blood has been spilled. Above all in the city of Aleppo, site of the most awful battles in recent weeks, it is most urgent that assistance and support be guaranteed to the exhausted civil populace, with respect for humanitarian law. It is time for weapons to be still forever, and the international community to actively seek a negotiated solution, so that civil coexistence can be restored in the country. - Pope Francis, Urbi et Orbi

Sunday, December 25, 2016

It's freezing rain in Minneapolis ...

Winter in Siena

Of all the years I've stayed a stranger at Christmas, this year I intended to make surprise visits to family and friends.  Sadly, icy roads and freezing rain, made it too treacherous to drive in.  I should have at least sent Christmas cards!  Maybe next year.

Buon Natale! Ti amo!


Merry Christmas