Saturday, September 09, 2017

My disgust over sectarianism and radical heresies ...

Dave Armstrong has a timely article on Luther's disgust over Protestant sectarianism ...

It's weird, but I was thinking along these lines myself.  I was thinking the division on Catholic social media and among traditionalist Catholics is veering close to a similar sectarianism and buffet of claimed 'heresies' which ultimately reject infallible authority.  Armstrong doesn't make such a comparison in his article, although I wonder if he may have had it in mind?

Protestant founder Martin Luther's radical change of the rule of faith from an infallible Bible and Church and tradition to private judgment and sola Scriptura (Scripture as the only infallible authority) and comments about plowboys being able to interpret Scripture without the checks and balances of that Church and tradition, naturally led to excesses of individuality and sectarianism.
People reasoned (consciously or not) that since Luther felt free to break away from Catholicism and gave the example of an ongoing smear campaign of propaganda and calumny against the existing Church, that there was little reason why they could not reject both the Catholic Church and him. - Dave Armstrong

Seems to me we have a lot of protestant Catholics vigorously critiquing other protestant Catholics these days.

Bunch of flamers.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Our Lady's Birthday

Birth of the Virgin
Bartolomé Esteban Perez Murillo 

Sweet Child Mary, destined to be the Mother of God and our sovereign and loving Mother, by the prodigies of grace you lavish upon us, mercifully listen to my humble supplications. In the needs which press upon me from every side and especially in my present tribulation, I place all my trust in you.

O Holy Child, by the privileges granted to you alone and by the merits which you have acquired, be merciful to me this day. Show that the source of spiritual favors and the continuous benefits which you dispense are inexhaustible, because your power with the Heart of God is unlimited. Deign through the immense profusion of graces with which the Most High has enriched you from the first moment of your Immaculate Conception, grant me, O Celestial Child, my petition, and I shall eternally praise the goodness of your Heart.

Hail Mary!  Full of grace!  Hail Mary!  Full of grace!  Hail Mary!  Mediatrix of all grace!  Have mercy upon me a sinner!  Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee!

"I am all thine, and all that I have is thine, O most loving Jesus,
through Mary Thy most holy and Immaculate Mother."

Thursday, September 07, 2017

When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because ...

Your redemption is near at hand. - Luke 21:28

That's it.  The reason for my peace.

I like this translation better, "when these things begin ... hold your heads high, for your deliverance is near at hand."

Fear is useless.

I've read several people saying things like, "The only thing keeping me in the Church ..."  Then they go on to cite this or that priest or bishop, this or that parish.  I have no faith in men.  As the Imitation points out:
"On the other hand, every man is a liar, infirm, unstable, and subject to fail, especially in words; so that we ought not readily to believe even that which in appearance seems to sound well.  
How wisely did you forewarn us to beware of men, and that a man's enemies are they of his own household, and that we are not to believe, if anyone should say, 'Behold here! or Behold there!'" - Imitation, Bk. III, Ch. 45
"It is better to leave everyone to his own way of thinking, than to give way to contentious discourses." Ibid, Ch. 44

Undoing knots ...

Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted 
the undoing of the knots in the lives of his children,
 I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life. 
No one, not even the evil one himself, 
can take it away from your precious care. 
In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.

Every day.

I'm finding the greatest consolation in this devotion, with little miracles every day. I am not even asking for specific things, instead each morning I'm leaving it to Our Lady to sort out. I've always had a lot of problems - now it is time for Our Lady to finally straighten everything out.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Carlo Cardinal Caffarra has died.

The second of the Four Cardinals of the Five Dubia to have gone to the Lord – in two months. - Source

[My first thought:  Angels and Demons - you know, the novel/film.  Robert Langdon, Harvard symbologist.  (I think Langdon may be in the Philippines right now, deciphering symbols embedded in plastic rosaries.)  What?
Anyway.  Don't get mad at me - that's the climate created by Catholic nut-jobs online who spark controversy with tall tales and conspiracy theories and reports of devils and heretics taking over the Vatican.]

Seriously ...

His Eminence, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna today returned his soul to his Lord, whom he faithfully served all his life without reservations of love, generosity and intelligence, serving generously wherever He called him.
The Archbishop of Bologna expresses the deep and affectionate condolences of the entire Diocese, the presbyterate, and his staff, and invites the faithful to join in prayers of suffrage.
The chapel of rest will be set up in the Sala Bedetti at the Archbishopric, starting tomorrow, September 7, at 4 pm.
The Vigil of prayer for his soul will be celebrated on Friday 8 September at 9 pm in the Cathedral.
Archbishop Matteo Zuppi will preside at the funeral ceremonies on Saturday 9 September at 11 am in the Cathedral. Following the ceremony, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra will be buried in the Crypt of the Cathedral. - Archbishop Matteo Zuppi
+ 1938 - 2017 +

Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace. Amen.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Why Jesus commanded the demons not to speak ...

It's mentioned in today's Gospel.

Why Jesus commanded the demons he drove out, not to speak.

"The reason why Jesus forbade the devils to speak was to teach us not to believe them, even if they say true. For if once they find persons to believe them, they mingle truth with falsehood." - Theopylact of Ohrid

The desire for signs.

It is a very ill sign when we desire signs to make us believe in God. The signs which we demand to fortify our faith are often marks of our infidelity. There is not a more dangerous plague in the events of worldly affairs than to deal with the devils or to play with predictions. All these things fill men with more faults than knowledge. For divine oracles have more need to be reverenced than interpreted. He that will find God must seek him with simplicity and possess him with piety. Fr. Nicolas Caussin, S.J.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Sometimes I get books to read ...

Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary,
 shall receive signal graces. - Promises of Our Lady to those who pray the Rosary.

It always seems like a job, and so I'm not very good at it.  I've read books and reviewed them on the blog from time to time, but I'm not very good at that either.  I must be a disappointment to the authors, and I apologize.

Today I received a book I ordered myself - and I am very excited to read it.  It is the biography of Sr. Lucia of Fatima by the Carmel of Coimbra - Lucia's monastery.  "A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary".  I was moved to send for the book after reading the circular letter from her Carmel - which I've read over and over by now.  These writings dispel every foolish notion, interpretation, and conspiracy idiocy regarding Fatima and the secrets - as well as the absurdities regarding Sr. Lucia herself.

Even historians of good will who write solid books on Fatima, do not come close to the testimony of Sr. Lucia, her Carmel, and most especially, the Holy See.  Likewise, no one can grasp the meaning and mission of Sr. Lucia without responding to the message of Fatima intended for all the Church - that secret has been known since the beginning, as Sr. Lucia always affirmed.

What a treasure has come into my hands these last few weeks before the anniversary of the Miracle on October 13.  What a joy, what a grace.

St. Teresa of Calcutta

She inspires joy in me whenever I look at her or read about her or see her depicted in film.  She makes me want to do good, to be better, and this desire is always accompanied by compunction, and a prayer for her assistance.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Exorcism and exorcists ... and popular piety.

Supposedly haunted and cursed  by Illuminati.

An Exorcist's Claim.

MANILA – An exorcist warned the public about the circulation of Satanic rosaries and religious items in the country, during the most recent airing of the once-a-month spiritual warfare episode of the Diocese of Novaliches’ Radio Veritas segment “Hello Father 911”, on Aug. 7. 
“Kapanalig listeners, be careful as the rosaries you might be using could actually be infested or cursed,” warned Libera Nox chief exorcist Fr. Ambrosio Nonato Legaspi in Filipino. - Story here.
 I've written about this stuff many times before.  (I've searched my archives but wasn't able to find the exact post where I discuss the so-called Masonic/satanic symbols.)  The crucifix Fr. Legaspi is warning about is similar in kind to other plastic rosaries distributed free at shrines around the world.  The iconography/symbology is misrepresented as New Age, Satanic, or Masonic.  If that is what you want to believe, then don't use it.  If you don't believe the Roman Ritual for blessing of sacramentals is not enough, then don't use this type of rosary.  The cited article says the 'haunting' is harder to get rid of if the ritual was 30 minutes or longer.  “These were made not only to be simply given away but to deceive Catholics…so that evil spirits will haunt them. - Fr. Legaspi.  I can't imagine that to be true, much less imagine that it would work.

I'm not familiar with Filipino culture, but in general I consider this idea superstitious and sensationalized.  The images on the rosary crucifix are not demonic or Masonic in and of itself.  They may appear to be, but they are simply impressed designs, not highly defined, yet the design has Biblical and Christological  roots.  Today, so many symbols have been used for a variety of reasons or causes, adding to the confusion.  Likewise, today there is a blending of cultures and cult, which can seem foreign to many, and the original meaning of archetypal images has been convoluted if not completely lost.

If you believe the Church, the Mass, and the episcopacy has been infiltrated by satanists and Masons, you will soon imagine you see evidence for it.  The idea of a cursed or enchanted rosary - especially once that has been blessed, is absurd.  It reminds me of the Monastery Icon rumours warning that the makers performed satanic ritual blessings over them prior to sale.  It also reminds me of people who believe the Divine Mercy image is satanic, due to a fold in a sleeve which resembles a demon, meant to corrupt the devotion.

Ordained priests believe this crap.  

Fr. Amorth wanted more priests trained as exorcists, but I think even a well trained exorcist can be susceptible to delusion or a form of obsession - I may be wrong.  I base that conclusion on exorcist priests who have been eager to support spurious mystics and locutionists and apparition sites even when the locution or site may have been put on notice by the CDF, or simply proven false when prophecies don't come true.

I've discussed this stuff on my blog many times - it's the other side of the coin of following private revelations and messages from heaven, or traveling to the ends of the earth to see an image of the Virgin on the underside of a turtle.  As St. Teresa of Avila once noted, one sees devils around every corner.  Certainly amulets can be enchanted or cursed, as demonstrated by the priest St. Teresa convinced to get rid of the charm given to him by his mistress.  Yet that was a pagan charm.  [Although Santeria openly uses Catholic images and sacramentals, I'm not sure this is the same thing as what Fr. Legaspi*  warns about regarding the 'satanic rosaries'.]

That said, one can get to the point one can't tell the difference between a devotional image from a natural eidolon - the phenomenon may be called pareidolia "the human tendency to read significance into random or vague stimuli (both visual and auditory)."  Likewise, one may mistake more archaic Christian symbols for occult symbols.  One clear example is the serpent mounted on a pole - which appears on the rosary crucifix as well.

While it is true Masonry may use 
the same symbol, it's origins
are Biblical.

Moses simply “mounted” a serpent upon a pole.

Orthodox prelates use a crosier or paterissa surmounted by a cross flanked by two serpents.  It is a reference which goes back to the Book of Numbers 21 and corresponds to Christ's statement in the Gospel of John 3:14; "Just as Moses lifted up the Serpent in the desert, etc."  It also represents the staff of Moses, which transformed into a snake in the presence of Pharaoh.  Moses used the same staff to part the Red Sea, to pierce the rock from which water flowed and so on.  The same image has been used in various forms in the West, and one finds the serpent mounted on a pole or a Tau cross in churches, on medallions, in illuminated manuscripts, and in liturgical design.  The snake on the rosary crucifix story has been around for awhile and keeps getting recycled - even priests fall for it, in much the same way Protestant deliverance ministry believe Catholics are idolaters and images should be destroyed.

And the LORD said unto Moses, 
Make thee a fiery serpent, 
and set it upon a pole:
 and it shall come to pass, 
that every one that is bitten, 
when he looketh upon it, shall live.

"Whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God."

It strikes me as rather ironic that a diocesan official would make such a big deal about this.  It seems to me it feeds morbid curiosity by suggesting that a Christian object, decorated with obscure imagery has such power over an individual who might unwittingly use it to pray Our Lady's rosary.  The priest's radio program is about Spiritual Combat, which I suppose helps explain why he discusses it - but I'm not sure how effective his catechesis is, since it seems to me to be steeped in ignorance and superstition and does little to dispel the problem.  This is a problem of catechesis and correct understanding of the use of sacramentals in popular piety.

Today the real and present danger of diabolic delusion and influence is omnipresent in popular culture.  Take into consideration problems of catechesis, ecclesiology, not to mention gender politics, marriage and family issues, and even Islam.  In the United States, and perhaps in the Philippines, New Age ideology/spirituality has often infected diocesan programs and parishes, retreat centers and convents.

Orthodox prelates use a crosier or paterissa 
surmounted by a cross flanked by two serpents.

Yet people blame the Illuminati.

"And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, 
so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

* Disclaimer:  Sure enough, there does seem to be a cultural anomaly.  There is a serious problem with poorly catechized Filipinos buying these rosaries which have been adopted by 'folk-religionists'?  As a friend kindly explained to me on my Facebook page: 

David Quiambao It is not superstition. I am sorry Terry, I always agree on your posts and have always thought of you as a good and holy person, but with this particular issue you are making a big mistake thinking this is an over-exaggeration by exorcists. I do hope you did your research first about the reality of Folk-Catholicism here in the Philippines and how it has become a genuine problem especially in the rise of demonic cases. Please do not belittle (I know it's not your intention) the works and service of those who are discerning and praying in this ministry of deliverance. Prudence dictates that we should take into consideration many things before taking actual actions and conclusions. I personally attest that these objects can and have become problems.
Our Faith also warns us that even objects can be infested by the evil one. To clarify, i am not saying the devil is more powerful by God. Actually the person who took this picture told us that the objects by themselves are harmless, and the "curses" placed upon them will be broken by the simple blessing of sacramentals by a priest. Please do realize that a lot of Filipinos buy these rosaries from faith healers, sidewalk vendors without bringing them to priests to be blessed. That's the spirit behind why the CBCP came out with a news bulletin. To warn those Filipino brethren of ours who are susceptible to these kinds of harmful objects. - David Quiambao
Bonus Link:  One more link disputing the claims about the satanic rosary and the Illuminati symbolism here.  H/T Juan Taylor

Blessed Catherine of Racconigi

Blessed Catherine of Racconigi
1486 – 1574
Feast day September 4

An extraordinary mystic and stigmatic - although the wounds not visible until after her death. A Third Order Dominican, towards the end of her life she was pretty much ostracized by townsfolk and even the Dominicans, due to the strange lights and sounds which emanated from her house.

Her situation reminds me of Margaret of Cortona who also fell out of favor with the Franciscans because so much gossip followed her all her life, and she too was sent away from Cortona towards the end of her life.

Gossip and malicious stories follow a person, sometimes all of their lives.  St. John of the Cross prayed 'to suffer and be despised' - he too was badly treated by his confreres.


Sunday, September 03, 2017

So happy today - Sunday.

What a joy to Communicate!

It was palpable - such a grace to be able to receive Holy Communion.

I'm so happy.