Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Is Mercy "a symptom of a feminized Church"?

Some Catholics seem to think so.

Maureen Mularkey did a post questioning "the integrity of the (Divine Mercy) devotion’s promulgation and the sensibility it encourages." Fr. Z happens to be one of those priests who are not attracted to the DM devotion, promulgated by his hero John Paul II. That's cool - Catholics are not obliged to believe in or follow private revelations or the devotions inspired by them. I know very good priests/bishop who has no attraction for the DM devotion and feast day. Nevertheless, the paintress (to use a Z-ism) who exploits drag queens in her art, has some strange things to say about the 'feminized' devotion.  Fr. Z sums up some of her concerns this way:

  • As anecdotal evidence goes, there seem to be more Catholics uneasy with the Faustina engine—fueled as it is on syrup—than I had expected.
  • My essay said nothing about feminized priests. It mentioned only the painting of a feminized Jesus, cloaked in a gauzy haze and drained of virility.
  • Faustina’s visions conjure a feminized Jesus—a kitchen table Jesus drained of masculinity; one who feels, who talks about his feelings as a woman would. Worse, He Who spoke the universe into existence speaks to Faustina in the phrasings of a dime novel. - Fr. Z

I never thought of devotion to the Precious Blood - and water flowing from the side of Christ as 'syrup'.

Mullarkey and Z-man are smart people.  They know the adage, "what is received is received according to the mode of the receiver."  Or at least they should know it - they seem to know everything. I'd also like to point out that even Faustina disliked the original image, and Christ assured her: "Not in the beauty of the color, nor of the brush lies the greatness of this image, but in My grace." That said, most private revelations between nuns and the Sacred Heart of Jesus are usually expressed in sweetly emotional terms, if not coupled with somewhat dramatic, heartrending laments. Jesus has often repeated how deeply his heart is wounded because of our lack of trust in his mercy. I'm quite certain even in his colloquies with Margaret Mary he expressed himself in that tone. He certainly did so with Consolata Betrone and Benigna Consolata Ferrero. He may continue to speak this way if the locutions to one priest I know of are authentic. I think of his weeping over Jerusalem and lamenting he would like to gather his people under his wings like a mother hen. I can just image the big eye-roll his disciples gave him then, huh? What about the complaint in the garden because the disciples were sleeping? Geez. Gimme a break!

"The soul gets exactly what it expects of God."
- Therese of Lisieux

When the world has grown cold, people seem not to believe in love and mercy. 

I wonder why?  St. Therese had to contend with those who criticized her little way and especially her confidence in the merciful love of God.  Therese, reluctant to debate or argue a point, once explained to one of the nuns who opposed her 'doctrine' that was just fine,  "Sister, if you want divine justice, you will get divine justice. The soul gets exactly what it expects of God."

For those who want a more manly Church, a more manly Jesus, and a more severe mercy, let them embrace great penance and mortification then.  Let them sell their possessions and live in a dump.  Let them give up luxury and live like an alien, an immigrant.  If they think the Church after Vatican II is all about being 'nice', 'feminized' and 'sentimental', let them think that and let them show the world how hard it is to be a Christian.

It is striking that the man who promoted the Divine Mercy devotion and elevated it to a feast, as well as canonized St. Faustina, was so not a feminized man - the complete opposite.  He was a virile pope and now a saint.  Or are his devotees now tougher on him?  Some traditionalists seem to be rethinking their devotion to JPII and Benedict XVI in light of VII documents such as Nostra Aetate.  Perhaps this mercy stuff can get trashed now as well?

Interestingly enough, there is one mystic Jesus was pretty rough on, although he pretty much just humiliated her and called her names, and yet still appealed for the love and devotion and trust of mankind in his merciful love.

“Come all of you to Me and fear not, for I Love you all... I will wash you in My Blood and you shall be made whiter than snow. All of your offences will be submerged in the waters in which I myself shall wash you, nor shall anything whatsoever be able to tear from My Heart its Love for you." - Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez

A bunch of Mullarkey.


  1. "For those who want a more manly Church, a more manly Jesus, and a more severe mercy, let them embrace great penance and mortification then"

    Now that's "severe" Terry. ^^

    Anyway, if it be so, then let them also remember to get off their comfortable laptops, step out into the cold and feed the hungry, pick them up and clean their wounds, bury the dead and visit the sick too. (Myself included, btw)

    Stop with the bashing of the Holy Father and/or with those who are trying to serve as best they can.

    Much prayer is needed in these times! Pray for us St. JPII!

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  3. So many people leave the church or stay away from the church because they think the sin(s) they've committed prevent them from being forgiven, healed and restored. The Divine Mercy is all about reaching out to real people that commit real sins and are really suffering and bringing them back into the fold. If a person doesn't like the DM image/devotion/diary then fine, move along. But I do find it hard to understand how St. Therese (who wrote a far syrupier diary than Faustina) can be lauded as a Doctor of the Church, etc. and nobody bats an eye.

    1. I agree. I think a lot of the criticism has to do with liturgical changes and all thing Novus Ordo - which they are pretty much against. Therese's language is excused because of cultural circumstances - everything was sweet in her day - but Faustina isn't given a break like that. Pope Francis is down to earth like Faustina, and he's pretty much rejected as well. It's all connected.

    2. Different strokes for different folks. That's why we are called 'catholic' or universal. I'm charismatic and I love the Latin Mass. I admire an intellectual giant like Thomas Aquinas and I love simple saints like Brother Andre. Like Therese once said - I want ALL!

  4. "...has to do with liturgical changes and all things Novus Ordo..." Terry, does that mean is it now manly and not at all fem to be pre-Novus Ordo and wear uber-lace albs, birettas and flowing ecclesiastical garments (perhaps even fur-lined?). Just askin'....

    1. :)

      I dunno. I always respect traditional vestments. I think your comment is just playful. I sense that some traditionalists blame VII and the changes which came along liturgically as creating the problems affecting virility. Personally, I don't see it that way, since the problem seems to me more systemic to social changes in the secular realm.

    2. I am offended about your comments regarding lace albs, births, and flowing ecclesiastical garments being effeminate. I know a good, holy, and certainly not gay priest who was called in to his bishops office and accused of being gay for wearing lace albs and fancy vestments. He found it incredibly hurtful. It's sad that people use traditional vesture and traditional liturgy to accuse good men of being gay.

    3. Sorry Aloysius - I didn't say that - just responded to it. I can't speak for anyone else but I think the comment you reference may have been a bit of sarcasm as a way to point out that there have always been effeminate priests and the liturgical reform didn't invent them. Maybe I got it wrong - but I apologize if you were offended. I wish people wouldn't take offense to these quips - they're just remarks.

      That said - I hope your priest friend got through that without resentment. God bless you.

  5. Exactly, Terry. Thanks.

    1. Ah! That's good. I wish we lived near one another.

    2. Yeah...that would be awesome. Oh well....

  6. What a bunch of Mullarkey (sorry, couldn't resist)..


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