Saturday, January 21, 2017

His relatives said: "He is out of his mind."

"God does not answer man's expectation, the expectation of pride, of flesh and blood, not of the Spirit of God who wills all that is best for man.  God does not do what man expects him to do, does not approach him in the form he wants, which at the deepest level means that God, far from boosting man and making him feel grand, does exactly the opposite." - Sr. Ruth Burrows, O.C.D.
Jeremiah 7:1-11: Put not your trust in deceitful words.

Put not your trust in princes,
in mortal man, 
in whom there is no salvation. - Ps. 146

NB: That goes for prophets and presidents as well.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The problem with prophecies ...

A novena ...

“I as totally poor, a poor nothing. 
My strength is my prayer, 
my leader is the will of God 
which I let Him take me by the hand. 
My security over the uneven path
 is the heavenly mother Mary.”

Day 1
Why do you confuse yourselves by worrying? Leave the care of your affairs to me and everything will be peaceful. I say to you in truth that every act of true, blind, complete surrender to me produces the effect that you desire and resolves all difficult situations.
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

I'm happy for the peaceful transition of power ...

Looking good!

Thanks be to God!

If you hate Trump, or you hate Obama ...

I have friends who hate hate Trump and spend their time searching for hateful gifs to post about him.

I have friends who hate Obama and spend their time searching for hateful gifs to post about him.
If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. - 1 John 4:20
I may be a jerk and I may have said, and may have done some pretty awful stuff - but hatred is soul destroying.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

When you see things become more complicated ...

Don Dolindo Ruotolo
pray for us.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything!

"How many things I do when the soul, in so much spiritual and material need, turns to me, looks at me and says to me: ‘You take care of it,’ then closes its eyes and rests."

“When you see things become more complicated, say then with the eyes of the soul closed: ‘Jesus, take care of it’. And don’t think about it anymore, because your mind is acute, and for you it is very hard to see evil and to trust in me and to not think of yourself. Do this for all your needs; do this all of you and you will see great, continual, silent miracles. By my love, I promise this to you. And I will take care of things. I promise this to you. Pray always in readiness to surrender, and you will receive from it great peace and great rewards, even when I confer on you the grace of immolation of repentance and of love. Then, what does suffering matter? It seems impossible to you? Close your eyes and say with all of your soul: ‘Jesus, you take care of it’. Do not be afraid, I will take care of things and you will bless my name by humbling yourself. A thousand prayers cannot equal one single act of surrender: remember this well. There is no novena more effective than this:
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything!
- Jesus to Don Dolindo Ruotolo a Neapolitan priest (1882-1970).  More here.

A friend sent me a novena prayer from Don Ruotolo - I prayed the prayer, "Oh Jesus, I surrender to you, you take care of it” - repeating it 10 times and peace returned immediately.  The novena may be found here.

And when I must lead you on a path different from the one you see, I will prepare you; I will carry you in my arms; I will let you find yourself, like children who have fallen asleep in their mother’s arms, on the other bank of the river. What troubles you and hurts you immensely are your reason, your thoughts and worry, and your desire at all costs to deal with what afflicts you.
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

The Mike Pence Dance Party

A big ‘queer dance party’ was thrown outside the Washington home of Vice President-elect Mike Pence to protest his stance on LGBT rights. - Source

I do not want to offend anyone, nor do I want to cast aspersions here, but when I came across this story, I thought of the passage in Genesis about the inhabitants of Sodom, demanding their way (with the visitors) outside the house of Lot. 

Last week, LGBTQ activists demanded Jennifer Holliday refuse to sing at the Trump Inaugural.  Ms. Holliday is not a political person but an entertainer - LGBTQ demanded she withdraw.  That was unfair and an example of LGBTQ bullying.  (Black people against Trump also pressured her, but I think Jennifer was most concerned about the LGBTQ lobby, because gay people have long been her fan base and she may have felt obliged.)

I'm not sure what rights gays are afraid of losing?  Ms. Hudson was told, "It's not just about marriage."  So what is it about?  Are there special rights just for LGBTQ people?  I know Pence was in favor of so-called 'conversion therapy' but there is no way it would become a law that people must go through conversion or reparative therapy, regardless if they are unhappy with their sexual and affective orientation, or not.  People have a right to choose to seek help if they desire to do so.  I know the background on the issues, and I think LGBTQ groups are wrong.  They protest too much.

Yesterday, the guy who cuts my hair was talking 'concentration camps' and mandatory reprogramming-rehab centers for gays - because of Trump.  He wasn't kidding.  It was like being in that Esurance over-sharer commercial with Beatrice - I just responded with crazy remarks.  It's the only way I know to avoid getting into a serious discussion.  

I walked out of the shop thinking, 'What if we are all nuts?'

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

If I could turn back time ...

Cardinals showing homage to newly elected John XXIII.

I remember that of course.  Because I'm old.  I wrote to John XXIII when I was little.  He was the first Pope I ever wrote to.

Today I'm wishing I could have run away and gone to Rome to be an orphan and never grew up to what we have today.

I appreciated the cappas back then.  I love the worn fresco - it seems now the frescoes are the only thing restored in the Church.  It's ironic, isn't it.  Not a question.

"They" say Cardinal Spellman didn't like Pope John and disparaged him.  Nasty American.  He should be around today.

Earthquakes and impending doom: Though the mountains leave their place, and the hills be shaken ...

I was meditating that passage from Isaiah this morning.

I came across it in my prayers.  I was reminded of a time long ago when I was in the friars chapel at Carmel in Arkansas, we just began to pray Psalm 46, when a small earthquake rumbled the building:
God is for us a refuge and strength,
a helper close at hand, in time of distress,
so we shall not fear though the earth should rock,
though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea;
even though its waters rage and foam,
even though the mountains be shaken by its waves.
Therefore whenever I randomly come across these prayers of confidence in liturgical prayer, I'm always reminded of that experience so many years ago, and I wonder if an earthquake maybe just ccurred someplace in the world.  A childish thought, no doubt.

Although, when I came onloine I noted a report that Umbria and Rome were shaken by multiple earthquakes today - 3 consecutive quakes measuring magnitude 5+.  The area has already suffered much, one resident stated: "This is totally unnerving. It's never ending. We are all shaking."  Story here.

Only a blind man can deny there is great confusion ...

So.  Even the stones cry out.

I came across Monsignor Pope's essay on St. Michael and Our Lady and why 2017 is so critical.  He's a good priest, a good pastor, he is observing the Fatima Jubilee encouraging prayer and penance - just as Our Lady requested.
Will you join me in praying with special fervency this year? In my own parish, we will be observing the First Saturday devotions that were requested by Mary at Fatima. This will be a communal way to engage the call to prayer. It involves attending Holy Mass, praying the Rosary, and going to confession (that day or within one week) on the first Saturday of five consecutive months. Others also add the wearing of the scapular and/or making a consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. - Monsignor Pope

I'll leave it at that.  It's the best advice I've come across online.

I'm tired of the negative discussions and essays on how bad everything is.   Only a blind man can deny there is great confusion ...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Bad Habits: New design for the Dominicans

I don't mind habits for enclosed religious or as choir dress ... but ...

I could never be a religious or priest because I don't like the clothes - I've always said that.  I used to ask my friend in the novitiate if the habit made me look fat - and I was anorexic.  (No one knew that at the time.)  I'm so vain.  So I'm not one to critique habits.  My problem with white tunics is that you can kind of sort of see through them - so a scapular helps - and for that reason I can say, 'looks good!'

All kidding aside - it's none of my business what religious wear - except some 'habits' really were dumb - precisely because, in the cases of women religious, they wore the current fashion for widow's weeds, their coifs were starched according to local custom, and so on.  Traditional men's habits were monastic or clerical - although fashionable updates were made and as fashion changed - they looked dated and ridiculous.  So much could be said ... but I digress.

Confrater Claes go to choir now.

It now looks as if one design firm hopes to revive the tradition of the dumb-fashion-victim habit for the 21st century.
Dutch clothing brand Byborre has collaborated with the Dominican Order of Preachers to create an updated unisex version of the friar's habit. The New Habit capsule collection consists of several unisex garments, including tops, track trousers, tunics, hooded gilets and coats. - Read more here.

I like my designs better...

"Got a match?"

I remember when I was fooling around with these ideas, and a friend asked me if I was nuts.  LOL!  Maybe a little bit.

All I have to say is this, just wear men's clothes brothers - black and white around the collar - and women should always have a little (or plus size) black dress.  Stick with the classics.

Like I said - it's none of my business.  But it seems to me the problem isn't so much the habit, but the fact 'they' just don't want to be obligated to wear one - so no matter how you redesign it, it's never going to work for those who 'don't like the clothes'.  Of course, then you have the problem of those who like them a little too much ...


I obviously enjoy posting about this subject - more here.

I suppose this could work too.

"Hold onto the rope, and endure." - P. Francis

St. Anthony of Egypt.

Narrative here.

Anthony is often depicted in his temptations - especially by more or less secular artists.  I often think of what Christ said, 'what did you go out to the desert to see?'.  Anthony went out to the desert and their confronted demons, and himself ... that is, fallen human nature.  Fallen human nature, perhaps scarier than demons.


You tell me there's an angel in your tree
Did he say he'd come to call on me
For things are getting desperate in our home...

I wish I could be back in Lourdes.  Maybe I could be transported by my angel ...  

Monday, January 16, 2017

Just when I thought it couldn't get worse ...

I found something encouraging ...

If - Rudyard Kipling

 If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, 
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, 
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, 
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: 

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken 
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, 
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools: 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, 
And lose, and start again at your beginnings 
    And never breathe a word about your loss; 
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you 
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, 
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, 
    If all men count with you, but none too much; 
If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

. . .

When I grow up - I want to be such a man.