Saturday, February 11, 2017

Pardon my impertinence ...

On February 11, 2013 ...
Signs?  Fr. Z seems to think so.

That didn't take long, did it.

Just when I try to be really good and shut up, I get online and read stuff I shouldn't.  And then I want to strike ...

I loved this one though: Pardon my impertinence ... but this reign of terror against the faithful must end.  And I laugh.  Not at the bloggist, but at the way he said it.  Such a BettyMae expression - BettyMae was my mother and that is exactly how she phrased things before letting loose - in other words, losing it.

Nevertheless, I really do understand the frustration.  Tourists in Lourdes always complain about the signage.  And I laugh.

So anyway.

Pardon my impertinence, but there is no reign of terror.  Is there someone or something keeping you from Mass and the sacraments?  Is someone or something keeping you from prayer and adoration?   Is Trump threatening to deport you?  Snap out of it - you should know better.

Tourists in Lourdes always complain about the signage, the commercialism, and how the town is so big and filled with hotels and religious shops and kitsch.  Yet if you arrive as a pilgrim, and walk in peace through the midst of all the worldliness; when you arrive at the basilica and make your way to the grotto, you encounter Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, in the sick, and finally Our Lady.  Then you are transported out of your self.

Signs? Lourdes was flooded in 2013 too.
I bet that means something, huh?

Our Lady of Lourdes

Que soy era Immaculada Concepciou

Friday, February 10, 2017

What do you want your last post to be?

I was thinking about that.

What if I never posted anywhere online again, and in the future, someone came across my blog or Facebook page and saw the last posts I did?

So I removed a post this morning.

Someone 'liked' a comment on FB and I felt satisfied, affirmed - because someone I don't know, who doesn't know me, liked something stupid I wrote.

How can you believe if you accept praise from one another? John 5: 31-47


Envy goes hand in hand with that greed for approval and 'likes' or comments.

Envy is a big part of life online wherein our writing necessarily tends to put down someone or something else to make our opinion known.  Not always, but frequently.

Pride, self-opinion, self-love, spiritual sins ...

Among the causes of tepidity in retarded souls, the tendency to derision should be particularly noted. St. Thomas speaks of the derider when he discusses the vices opposed to justice: insult, detraction, murmuring against the reputation of our neighbor. He points out (4) that to deride or to ridicule someone, is to show that we do not esteem him; and derision, says the saint, may become a mortal sin if it affects persons or things that deserve high esteem. It is a grievous sin to ridicule the things of God, or our parents, or superiors, or good persons who lead a virtuous life. Derision may even become very grievous by reason of its consequences, for it may turn weak souls forever away from the practice of good. Job replied to his friends: "He that is mocked by his friends as I, shall call upon God; and He will hear him. For the simplicity of the just man is laughed to scorn." (5) But it is also said of deriders: "He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them." (6) The terrible irony of heaven will chastise that of earth.
The derider is himself a retarded soul, holding others back and becoming, often without being aware of it, the instrument of the spirit of evil. His cast of soul, which is the direct opposite of evangelical simplicity, is the one most opposed to supernatural contemplation. The derider, who wishes "to play the rogue," ridicules the just man who tends truly to perfection; he emphasizes the latter's defects and depreciates his good qualities. Why is this? Because he feels that he himself has little virtue, and he is unwilling to admit his inferiority. Then, out of spite, he lessens the real and fundamental value of his neighbor and the necessity of virtue itself. He may greatly harm weak souls which he intimidates, and, while working his own ruin, he may labor at their perdition. - Three Ages of the Interior Life; Part II, Ch 37

That's me.

There is nothing sound in what I post.  Nothing. 

A pilgrim at Lourdes

Rejoice, assurance of those who pray in silence!

Rejoice, laver that washest the conscience clean:

Rejoice, healing of my flesh:

Rejoice, salvation of my soul!

Rejoice, O Bride Unwedded!

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Me and My Pope

I love these reports that suddenly find the light of day ...
Pope Francis said that clerical sexual abuse is the work of the devil, there’s corruption in the Vatican, warned against new religious orders with a “restorationist” mentality, and even appeared to take a gentle shot at reputed Marian apparitions such as Medjugorje, saying the real Madonna is not “the head of a post office that every day sends a different letter.” - Crux
That's exactly what I think.

Seriously.  The 'restorationist' mentality?  I've seen it.  Some groups which began like that, evolve and find a real apostolate, if you will.  They are open to the Spirit - they do not hold tenaciously to a sort of prototype.  As in iconography - the iconographer cannot 'write outside the lines' as it were - he must strictly adhere to the prototype if it is to be 'Orthodox'.  Some religious communities are like that.  Latin, EF only.  Traditional greetings only: "Benedicite" - "Dominus".  Traditional titles and nunish customs for monks is often another big give-away of a 'restorationist rigidity.  It really is.  In established monasteries, you can spot it in novices who automatically 'ride the walls' as they go down the cloister, arms in sleeves, hood up, head down ... without ever being instructed to do so.  Some of my readers know exactly what I am talking about.  They often leave to found their own monastery which suits their ideal of religious decorum.  That's not always a bad thing - but ...

As for Our Lady on Twitter with constant locutions here or there, the Holy Father's good humor shines through, and I totally agree with him.  It is so reassuring to read his attitude on these matters.

A friend asked me what I would think if the Pope was wrong about this or that ... actually, he wrote:
And let's say for the sake of argument that the pope really is a bad guy - so we keep praying for him, and the Holy Spirit will STILL protect the Church?
I said yes - history demonstrates that. I don't think the Pope is a bad pope though.  However, I think there is a lot of corruption in the Vatican.

One has to cultivate a spirit of detachment, of confidence in God.  The Pope's custom of placing notes beneath the statue of St. Joseph is surely a prayer of abandonment of Divine Providence, wherein a spirit of freedom allows him to adopt a 'healthy-could-care-less' attitude.  If you grew up in an Italian working class neighborhood, you might get that.

Anyway - there's a great story from the desert fathers about a monk making baskets to burn while engaged in unceasing prayer ... someone asked the monk what he would do if the Lord was coming - would he go out to greet him?  The father said he would not, he would keep working and praying, repeating the scripture: "Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival."

Works for me.

Remember, O most chaste spouse of the Virgin Mary, 
that never was it known that anyone who implored your help 
and sought your intercession were left unassisted.
Full of confidence in your power 
I fly unto you and beg your protection.
Despise not O Guardian of the Redeemer my humble supplication, 
but in your bounty, hear and answer me. Amen.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

I always assist at Mass ad orientem ...

I have always assisted, participated at Mass in this way.

In the EF and the OF ... I always pray facing the altar, facing east, facing the Lord.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Trump said ...

Terrorism and terrorist attacks in the United States and Europe 
have “gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported.”
 — Donald Trump on Monday, February 6th, 2017


I was surprised by that, since MSM exists to publicize things like terrorism, mass murder - except of course, for the massacre of Christians in the Middle East and Africa.  So what was Trump talking about?  The Bowling Green Massacre?  

Later in the day, I came across a comment on Charlotte Was Both that may answer my question.  The post is about narratives - the narrative we are told, and pretty much the narratives we invent and retell - kinda, sorta.  Within his comment, Bill Bannon mentioned that:
There’s been 145 terror murders in the US in 50 incidents since 9/11 and the media never reports the host of small ones in that figure…local papers probably do…two decapitations never reported in big media because it counters their pretty picture narrative. - BB
"That's it!" I thought.  That must be what Trump meant when he said,  it's  “gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported.”

"Narrative busted."

I think I feel better about Trump now.

Just kidding.



Was Steve Bannon behind the campaign smear against Pope Francis?

It's all over Internet today.  I saw it first at the NYT.  So listen, I don't know how true everything about the Bannon-Burke friendship is - but the possibility that somehow Bannon is out to undermine Pope Francis makes sense.

I'm convinced papering Rome with anti-papist posters was financed by anti-Catholic entities.  Was it Bannon?  He is reportedly anti-Francis?  So maybe there is a connection?

More intrigue.  

Even if the secular reports are skewed against Bannon and Trump - it demonstrates that the anti-papist propaganda probably has a secular component, and is most likely financed by anti-Catholic/anti-Papist principals.  The smear campaign against the Pope, signed by the poster campaign in Rome, reminds me of the Masonic picketing and leaflet drop St. Maximilian Kolbe witnessed while studying in Rome - which moved him to form the MMI.  It is not something faithful Catholics would support.

If there is a perception that Cardinal Burke is allied with political ideologues such as Steve Bannon and other political persons or entities, it is no wonder that the Pope would lighten the duties of Cardinal Burke to protect him from being manipulated by enemies of the Church.  No doubt Cardinal Burke is a holy man, but even holy men can be deceived and manipulated.  St. John Paul II is a great example of that - considering his endorsement of Marcial Maciel Degollado.

The Bannon connection might be propaganda as well.

Of course, these stories that are circulating in secular media and may simply be part of the 'Never Trump' campaign as well as some other offensive against the Church; albeit taking advantage of Cardinal Burke's high profile and criticism of Pope Francis to give the impression their opposition remains loyal to the Papal office.

That said, it's definitely gossip, innuendo and speculation pretty much intended to discredit the Holy Father and divide Catholics even more.  It's unfortunate that such eminent Churchmen should be involved - wittingly or unwittingly.  It's difficult to know for sure, therefore it's important to avoid giving much credence to reports against the Church, the Pope, and the hierarchy - especially from secular and social media.

Priests and bishops: Avoid politics in and outside the Church - and definitely, refuse all honors, titles, and awards.  Those who flatter you deceive you.

[Oh.  I may be wrong.]

Monday, February 06, 2017

The cancer of anti-Catholic propaganda ... has seeped into the Church.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you
 and for those who do not,
especially the enemies of the Church
and those recommended to you. 

Has seeped into the Church.

I think many of us in the Church, fail to recognize that fact.  It's what is happening right now.  Online and elsewhere... even on Catholic social media.  The posters in Rome this past weekend are part of it - must be part of it. An acceleration of an ongoing attack.
The real issue is that the cancer of anti-Catholic propaganda has seeped into the Church, whose members are often unable to look at the past with a detached viewpoint in order to distinguish human errors from the Church itself, and to understand how propaganda has created such a false image of the Church. - Gagliarducci, MondayVatican
Something about those anti-Francis posters this past weekend in Rome seemed off, way off to me.  A faithful Catholic would never, ever, post propaganda like that.  Never.

This is anti-Catholic

The Pope speaks about avoiding the rigidity of the Commandments.

Freedom of spirit.

It's a gift.  I think an 'ordinary mystical' experience of it is common after making a good confession.  That peace and joy one experiences after absolution, the grace which expands the heart in charity and gratitude.  When the Holy Father talks about these things, I think he echoes the Psalmist:

I will run the way of your commands;
you give freedom to my heart. - Ps. 119: 32
 I wonder if this is what the Holy Father means when he speaks against rigidity?

33 Teach me the demands of your statutes
and I will keep them to the end.
34 Train me to observe your law,
to keep it with my heart.
35 Guide me in the path of your commands;
for there is my delight.
36 Bend my heart to your will
and not to love of gain.
37 Keep my eyes from what is false;
by your word, give me life.
38 Keep the promise you have made
to the servant who fears you.
39 Keep me from the scorn I dread,
for your decrees are good.
40 See, I long for your precepts;
then in your justice, give me life.
41 Lord, let your love come upon me,
the saving help of your promise.
42 And I shall answer those who taunt me
for I trust in your word.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Mass Chat with Bishop Barron ... If the only thing gay person hears from the Catholic Church is you’re “intrinsically disordered” we have a very serious problem on our hands.

Intrinsically disordered?
“He’s quoting you. It’s your words. 
He’s using your words, 
when you use the words and he uses them back, 
it’s circular using of the word 
and that’s from you.”*

Where to begin?

If the only thing gay person hears from the Catholic Church is you’re “intrinsically disordered” we have a very serious problem on our hands.
There are so many things wrong with that statement, right?


Some people online are upset that Bishop Barron used terms like 'gay' and addressed the fact that gay people interpret Catholic teaching as saying persons are intrinsically disordered rather than what is really taught, that the behavior, specifically homosexual acts are disordered.  (Hence, homosexual marriage is disordered - the sexual relationship is disordered.)

Truth be told, it's pretty much the attitude of conservative Catholics that gay persons themselves are indeed disordered and treat them as such - simply because it is impossible for them to separate the individual from the behavior, or in some cases, their friendship/relationship.  Taking it a step further, what other reason do they have for insisting that a man with same sex attraction, even though he is chaste and celibate and seeks God, not be ordained?  (Some will say he can if he is chaste for x-amount of time and doesn't approve of the gay agenda, and so on - but there are many who reject candidates even then.)

It's the vernacular in use today that explains why Barron uses these terms and believes the interpretation is confusing since it has been misused to some degree - even by the well intentioned.  This also may explain why Bishop Barron doesn't feel the need to carry on a major PR campaign against same sex marriage at this point, intimating to Rubin that although the Church cannot approve gay marriage, "I don’t think I want to press it much further, I think where we are right now in the States, I’ll apply the Aquinas principle, I think it would probably cause much more problem and dissension and difficulty if we kept pressing it."  The following seems to me a faithful and clear response to Rubin on the question of marriage:
Ruben: Is this one of the things where, I sense that your heart and your spiritual sense-self, maybe aren’t quite matched up, because I don’t sense judgment from you sitting here, I really don’t and I don’t sense that you want – that you would try to legislate to reverse the decision but I also sense that you can’t fully say to me well it’s okay. 
Bishop Barron: Yeah that’s probably right the way you just put it there is probably right. I wouldn’t want to fully just say that’s great off you go, at the same time I wouldn’t want to get on a crusader’s tank and try to reverse that…”
It works for me.

*So here's the deal.  I'm having fun using Melissa McCarthy's line from her parody of Sean Spicer on SNL last night - but seriously, Bishop Barron is using the terms secular culture uses, as well as 'gay' people and others, in the way they interpret catechetical language the Church uses.  This issue isn't a big one for me, I just wanted to comment on it however, since I very much like Bishop Barron and his approach to the evangelization of culture.