Saturday, July 29, 2017

Anyone recognize this nun?

I'm fairly certain the sister on the left is Sr. Lillian, CSJ who taught 6th grade at St. Patrick's on the Eastside of St. Paul, Mn, circa 1961.  Anyone recognize her?  She was very much into Fatima, and wore her habit until the end of her life.  She didn't like me, but I liked her.  She put out little booklets on copulation and gonads and I copied them, and my mother found my notes and called me a little pervert.  "What the hell is wrong with you?" - yelled my dad as he slapped my head.  Thanks Lil.

Friday, July 28, 2017

The LGBTQ lobby has been right in front of my face all along?

Bishop Paprocki

Bishop Paprocki on Fr. Martin, S.J.

At first I simply associated the so-called gay lobby with those rumors of gay orgies and that kind of salacious news people like to publish online.  I wasn't thinking of how some authors and priests could be part of it in and through their work for LGBTQ rights.  I never really considered New Ways Ministry or Sr. Gramick as part of a gay lobby because they were more or less condemned by the CDF and forbidden to 'promulgate' their errors.  New Ways was also banned.  Even though sympathetic Catholics continued to review their work, attend their conferences, and embrace their teaching.  I still didn't consider them part of the lobby which 'infiltrated' the Church.

In my naivete, I pretty much imagined a gay lobby as a bunch of gay priests conspiring to have sex and get promoted and live grandly.  I'm being somewhat facetious saying that, but I just never considered that straight priests would be involved.  But I digress.

That said, Bishop Paprocki clarified some aspects of the gay lobby which may have been obscured by sensationalist claims of perversion and satanism and to be sure - those gay orgies.

A U.S. bishop said that the outcry from “within the Church” against his statement prohibiting unrepentant homosexuals from receiving Communion or a public funeral within his diocese shows the existence of a “strong…LGBT lobby” that has infiltrated the Church. 
Paprocki said that the “fact that there would be such an outcry against this decree is quite astounding and shows how strong the LGBT lobby is both in the secular world as well as within the church.”
- Citing Pope Francis’ comments against judgementalism, the bishop noted that the Pope had warned against any form of lobbies, including a “gay lobby.” - CNA
The spirit of the age.

Actually we see the evidence more clearly now than ever.  Not just in the hostile response to Bishop Paprocki's decree on same sex marriage*, but just this week in the outrage expressed after Trump's tweet banning transgender persons from military service.  (Which may or not be implemented.)  It seems to me the culture is almost totally gay now.  It's amazing.

I noticed online that even a couple of Courage Catholics had a knee-jerk unfavorable reaction towards Paprocki's letter, as well as Trump's ban on transgender persons, while expressing opposition to the DOJ's attempt to target employment protections for LGBTQ persons.  E.g.'An employer who discriminates based on sexual orientation alone does not treat similarly situated employees differently but for their sex,' the Department of Justice, which isn’t a party in the suit, said in a brief. 'Gay men and women are treated the same, and straight men and women are treated the same.'**  (I'm not well informed on the political controversies stirred up by the Trump administration, so I have no response to any of that.)

Agree or disagree on what is just or unjust discrimination, what many regard as settled law could one day be reversed - especially if it is found not to be settled law.  Not a few people seem to be in agreement with the opinions expressed by the Justice Department, just saying, insisting sexual orientation is not a protected right, or something to that effect.

As Bishop Paprocki's statements demonstrate, Catholic teaching is settled and cannot be changed, no matter how packed the lobby becomes.

Resisting the zeitgeist.

It really is stunning how contaminated one can become by 'the world's slow stain', as St. Catherine of Genoa called it.  Today we identify it as 'the spirit of the age' or the 'zeitgeist'.  It's what permeates culture, drives it, infects it.  For instance, Fr. Martin's book - caters to it.  Not everyone recognizes that immediately, until reasonable people, like Archbishop Chaput and Bishop Paprocki calmly point out errors in conflict with actual Church teaching.  When harsh critics cry out, contrasted with the 'generosity' shown by Fr. Martin's POV, we recoil.  Yet when a bishop responds in charity, the truth becomes clear - and attractive.

However, even then, many otherwise faithful Catholics can resist Catholic teaching because they are steeped in the 'spirit of the age' - on some level they resist the Holy Spirit.  Something I read the other day helped me understand that:
The natural corruption of man inclines him to what is evil, and inspires him with a secret aversion to what is good. His passions overpower and obscure his reason; his ignorance and weakness are extreme. - Fr. Jean-Nicolas Grou, S.J.

Grace frees us from the contagion of the world's slow stain.

Fr. Grou continues, "he needs a far stronger grace if he would do what is right and persevere in it."  Just the simple realization of this is itself a grace.  It accounts for our need of repentance.  Repentance is also a grace - God's gift.  To pray for the grace of repentance - to repent daily, hourly, even minute by minute, frees one from the world's slow stain - cleanses us from it - immersing us in the Holy Spirit, swimming in the mercy of God, as St. Teresa Margaret Redi described it.  The Hesychasts used the Jesus prayer in that way - although this is not well understood in the West and can be 'contaminated' as well.  (e.g. Centering prayer, Eastern meditation, and so on.)  Whatever immerses you in the presence of God, which is described by the Carmelites as the prayer of recollection, obtains that freedom of spirit we so desperately need, especially when the spirit of the age seeks to enslave us.  Prayer obtains all things.

Man, if he is not assisted by a heavenly light, which makes things clear to his mind, and by a good inspiration acting on his will, can never form one holy thought, one good desire, or perform one action which is worthy of eternal life. His free will needs to be continually prevented and assisted by grace. - Grou, S.J.

 Beware the 'spirit of the age' - resist the zeitgeist - the contagion of the world's slow stain ...  That said ...
"I am glad that we are talking about 'homosexual people' because before all else comes the individual person, in his wholeness and dignity. And people should not be defined only by their sexual tendencies: let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love." - Pope Francis, The Name of God is Mercy

How cool is this?
Paprocki loves hockey!

*It needs to be reiterated:

Bishop Paprocki rejected the characterization of his decree as focusing on “LGBT people.” Rather, he said, it focused on “so-called same-sex marriage, which is a public legal status.” 
“No one is ever denied the sacraments or Christian burial for simply having a homosexual orientation,” the bishop continued. “Even someone who had entered into a same-sex marriage can receive the sacraments and be given ecclesiastical funeral rites if they repent and renounce their marriage.”
The bishop further explained the Church’s response to church burial rites.
“This does not mean that unrepentant manifest sinners will simply be refused or turned away,” he said. “Even in those cases where a public Mass of Christian Burial in church cannot be celebrated because the deceased person was unrepentant and there would be public scandal, the priest or deacon may conduct a private funeral service, for example, at the funeral home.”
Citing canon law, the bishop said everyone conscious of grave sin should not receive Holy Communion without first going to confession and receiving absolution. This is relevant to everyone who has committed a grave sin, whether it is sexual sin, missing Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation without grave cause, procuring an abortion, or having attempted remarriage after a divorce without obtaining a decree of nullity.
The bishop noted that a couple who agrees to live as brother and sister in an irregular union, if there is no public scandal, could receive Holy Communion after repenting, going to confession, and amending their lives. This similarly would apply to two men or two women who live chastely with each other. - CNA

**On just and unjust discrimination:
Homosexual persons, as human persons, have the same rights as all persons including the right of not being treated in a manner which offends their personal dignity (cf. no. 10). Among other rights, all persons have the right to work, to housing, etc. Nevertheless, these rights are not absolute. They can be legitimately limited for objectively disordered external conduct. [...]
Including “homosexual orientation” among the considerations on the basis of which it is illegal to discriminate can easily lead to regarding homosexuality as a positive source of human rights, for example, in respect to so-called affirmative action or preferential treatment in hiring practices. This is all the more deleterious since there is no right to homo- sexuality (cf. no. 10) which therefore should not form the basis for judicial claims. The passage from the recognition of homosexuality as a factor on which basis it is illegal to discriminate can easily lead, if not automatically, to the legislative protection and promotion of homosexuality. A person's homosexuality would be invoked in opposition to alleged discrimination, and thus the exercise of rights would be defended precisely via the affirmation of the homosexual condition instead of in terms of a violation of basic human rights. - Some considerations - CDF

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I have a theory on President Trump.

The new 'saints' Boris and Gleb.
Restoring moral order?

I think he deeply respects Putin.

Doh! Like we didn't know that already.  Yet we are not completely sure why, are we?

I think it's becoming clearer the longer Trump is in office.  It seems to me his fascination with the Russian leader stems from his desire to emulate Putin's style of governance, and exercise of power.  (Trump doesn't have people killed, he just fires them and shames them by character assassination, to some extent.)

That said, he admires Putin's strength, his sense of command, and most of all, his decisiveness.  I think he sees Putin as a moral leader, and he desires to be respected in the same manner.  Don't freak out, don't jump to point out all of his flaws, don't say, 'but, but, but!'  Set aside all the negative narratives and just imagine him in the way he sees himself, and as his supporters do - some even see him as a Charlemagne, or the savior white knight, riding in on a stately white horse, making America great again.  Kind of like Putin.

Reversal of fortune for LGBTQ?

I started comparing notes a while back, but yesterday's sudden tweet about banning trans-genders from military service signaled to me his determination to be like Putin.  (Perhaps they even discussed it in the secret hour long meeting recently?)  Again, don't freak out - whatever you think about LGBTQ notwithstanding - look at his decision objectively.  He fundamentally betrayed a whole group of people, many of whom supported him, whether they admit it or not.  Trump was supported by many gay Republicans, as well as trans people.  Many means just a certain unknown percentage, to be sure, but they were there.  And he betrayed them.  It's well known that Ivanka and Jared influenced Trump to abandon executive orders that would overturn LGBT rights, and maybe they've stepped in once again this week, but Trump seems determined to restore the moral integrity of the United States - or impose it - even by draconian methods if necessary.  Scrapping previous privileges and rights granted by executive orders to LGBTQ persons.

Consider Russia's treatment of homosexuals and banning LGBTQ rights - even tolerating the Chechen campaign against gay people.  Trump seems to like that sort of power - again, it is what he admires about Putin.  So, yeah, I'm basing my idea on how Trump will govern pretty much totally on how Trump deals with LGBTQ issues, perhaps under the influence of Putin.

S.s Boris and Gleb deliver us.

It may be too early to call it, but I think there will be a backlash - to be sure from LGBTQ activists - but even more so from right wing moderates and more surely, right wing extremists.  The transgender revolution may just be the red line conservatives are not willing to let them cross.  I may be wrong - maybe.  But there seems to be a movement brewing and Trump wants to be the hero.  He wants what Putin has grabbed.  In fact, I think he envies the Russian palaces and pomp Putin restored - to make Russia great again.  This should be no surprise to anyone, since Trump early on had his personal residences designed and embellished in a very regal manner - suitable for a monarch - or at least, an oligarch.

Just something to think about.  I may be wrong - I am frequently.

First Family.  Trump penthouse.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pere Jacques Hamel

Today is the anniversary of his death... some thoughts:

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" - Mark 8:36
For "life is so short, the path leading to eternal life so narrow, and I know the just man is scarcely saved, while the things of the world are vain and deceitful, and all comes to an end and fails like falling water. The time is uncertain, the accounting strict, perdition very easy and salvation most difficult... My life has vanished, I know well I must render an account of everything - from the beginning of my life as well as this later part - unto the last penny, when God will search Jerusalem with lighted candles, and it is already late - the day far spent - to remedy so much evil and harm..." - St. John of the Cross

Pere Hamel, pray for us!
Painting by Neilson Carlin

Apotheosis of Jacques Hamel

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Santiago de Compostela


Today is the feast day of my baptismal patron, St. James.

I did the Franciscan pilgrimage, imitating the early friars, going from Assisi to Santiago de Compostela.  Medieval and modern pilgrims walk to Compostela, I took trains, hitched rides, and walked - at times working for my keep at hostels - I have fond memories of one in particular at Lourdes.

Porziuncola, Assisi

I left Assisi by train, arrived in Lourdes.  From Lourdes it was walking and hitching a ride.  I stayed in San Sebastian before walking to Garabandal, and then on to Compostela.

No pilgrim's shell, no papers were awarded to me - except the Guestmaster was kind of rude ... perfect joy!

I did the northernmost route - I visited
Garabandal on the way.

It was a quiet, prayerful, and poor pilgrimage - albeit unconventional.

St. James on panel in antique frame.
T. Nelson

O glorious Apostle, Saint James, who because of your fervent and generous heart was chosen by Jesus to be witness of His glory on Mount Tabor, and of His agony in Gethsemane; you, whose very name is a symbol of warfare and victory:
obtain for us strength and consolation in the unending warfare of this life,
that, having constantly and generously followed Jesus, we may be victors in the strife and deserve to receive the victor's crown in heaven. Amen.

I think I'll go on a spiritual pilgrimage now - to live as a pilgrim and a stranger ...

The pilgrim "withdraws from his acquaintance and those dear to him, and keeps his mind disengaged from all temporal comfort, so the blessed apostle Peter beseeches the faithful of Christ to keep themselves as strangers and pilgrims in the world." - Imitation of Christ

Monday, July 24, 2017

Thinking things through.

The Gossips
Carol Dameron

Gossip online.

I posted a couple of quotes from Fr. X which I interpreted as a slam against another priest whose professional interest includes the study of a famous Italian writer who experienced conversion and received the gift of repentance before he died.  The repetitive statements by Fr. X seemed to me intended to impugn the character of the other priest, or to suggest something about his sexual orientation.  Why am I talking like this?  When regular readers of this blog know who and what I'm talking about?  (Because even in this discussion I run the danger of unjustly imputing sins or faults to my neighbor.)

I don't know?  Maybe it's because this appears to be a common type of innuendo bordering on detraction, and is exactly why otherwise good priests do not support people leaving a homosexual lifestyle, or are willing to work for, or sponsor a Courage group, and so on.  At least that is what I've experienced in my repentance.  There were many good priests who did not want their names attached to this stuff because they too might be branded - or have it pointed out they are 'gay-friendly'.  Know what I'm saying?

There is also a sense of irony when one person impugns the reputation of another by insinuating homosexual inclination - especially when one's friends or colleagues, or those they support may have struggled with similar issues in their lives.  Life is full of double standards, isn't it.

Scandal and gossip.

I came across a piece last night, written in defense of Michael Voris and as a put down to his critics.  Former priest Thomas Williams was maligned for saying that Church Militant has some crazy right wing ideas.  The author of the blog freely impugns the reputation of the former priest, who is now married to the woman with whom he fathered a child.  I never knew the two were married - I knew the priest married the woman - I just didn't know who it was.  The author was trying to capitalize on the original scandal when it was discovered the priest fathered a child.  The author also went after a priest with a homosexual past.  Long story short, he is publishing all of this stuff, old news to many, in an effort to defame and slander their reputation.

Rash judgement.

I've done that too.  When I first began blogging I went after a couple of Catholic writers, without really knowing who they were.  I followed the lead of former bloggers whose criticism at times could only be described as detraction, defamation and slander.  My criticism was based upon their blog posts, totally ignorant of their personal lives and in one case, the regularization of their relationship and family.  They were, and are, all faithful Catholics.  Just as the former priest and his wife mentioned in another blog post are faithful Catholics.  The husband was laicized, the couple married, and all is well.  This is how the Church works - how it has always worked.

Yet Church militant types, engaging in their spiritual combat, use the weapons of the devil to attack those they consider their enemies.  The author of the blog defended his post claiming:
Dear readers, just this brief post demonstrates to you the intricate and powerfully monied Americanist establishment within the Church in America. It, along with the usual suspects is now joining hands to attack Church Militant. - TC
An anonymous comment (not mine) objected to the content of the post, writing:

I am appalled at this post. I live in Rome, I work with many people who are giving their all here in a very difficult climate, and I know many of them personally whom you have dragged through the mud. - Anonymous

Detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.

It was a long comment by an anonymous, which I shortened here because it named names.  The comment hit the mark, defending the reputations of those the author sought to defame.  These posts, so full of gossip and innuendo remind me of a dog chasing his tail.  People just begin to look dumb and dumber as they spew such vomit.

I've brought up stuff to try and fling it back - but that's wrong.  I am wrong to do that.  It's a total waste of time.  It's worse when people agree with you or include their own contentious remarks.  We don't change people with such tactics - we just destroy our own credibility, and often the reputation of others.

Unquestioning conviction about another person's bad conduct without adequate grounds for the judgment. The sinfulness of rash judgment lies in the hasty imprudence with which the critical appraisal is made and in the loss of reputation that a person suffers in the eyes of the one who judges adversely. - Fr. Hardon

My apologies to everyone for my grievous faults.

. . .

UPDATE:  Now there is this poisonous gossip which is repeated here.  They keep repeating the stories, with the intention of destroying the reputations and lives of others.  Spiteful religious people are dirty.

FROM rash judgments proceed mistrust, contempt for others, pride, and self-sufficiency, and numberless other pernicious results, among which stands forth prominently the sin of slander, which is a veritable pest of society. 
 I entreat you never speak evil of any, either directly or indirectly; beware of ever unjustly imputing sins or faults to your neighbour, of needlessly disclosing his real faults, of exaggerating such as are overt, of attributing wrong motives to good actions, of denying the good that you know to exist in another, of maliciously concealing it, or depreciating it in conversation. In all and each of these ways you grievously offend God, although the worst is false accusation, or denying the truth to your neighbour’s damage, since therein you combine his harm with falsehood. 
Those who slander others with an affectation of good will, or with dishonest pretences of friendliness, are the most spiteful and evil of all. They will profess that they love their victim, and that in many ways he is an excellent man, but all the same, truth must be told, and he was very wrong in such a matter; or that such and such a woman is very virtuous generally, but and so on. Do you not see through the artifice? - Francis De Sales, Introduction, Chapter XXIX

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Who will play Cardinal Muller in the new tell-all film on the Vatican?

Mr. Pitt - Ian Abercrombie
He died though.


Our Lady Mother of Divine Grace

Octave of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
Mother of Divine Grace

God of eternal wisdom, in Your providence You willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary should bring forth the Author of Grace, and take part with Him in the mystery of man's redemption. May she obtain for us grace in abundance and bring us to the haven of everlasting salvation. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

He's absolutely obsessed ...

Once again, Fr. notes ...
Spadaro, who is so focused on the life and works of Italian homosexual writer Pier Vittorio Tondelli that he created his own website about him (HERE).
It is at least the third time he mentioned it in as many days.  This time Tondelli is actually identified as a homosexual - I expect in case his readers did not know.  Earlier Fr. simply wrote:
The vicious attack piece is penned by Fr Antonio Spadaro, the Jesuit editor of InciviltĂ  cattolica. Fr. Spadaro is so interested in the life and works of Pier Vittorio Tondelli that he created his own website about him (HERE). - Z

What does it mean?