Saturday, October 07, 2017

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

Pope Francis' Prayer to Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii

Virgin of the Holy Rosary, Mother of the Redeemer, our earthly Lady raised above the heavens, humble servant of the Lord, proclaimed Queen of the world, from the depth of our miseries we turn to you. With the faithfulness of children we look to your sweet gaze.
Crowned with twelve stars, you bring us to the mystery of the Father, you shine the splendor of the Holy Spirit, you give us our Divine Child, Jesus, our hope, our only salvation in the world. Comforted by your Rosary, you invite us to be fixed to his gaze. You open to us His heart, abyss of joy and sorry, of light and glory, mystery of the son of God, made man for us. At your feet in the footsteps of the saints, we feel as God’s family.
Mother and model of the Church, you are our guide and secure support. Make us one heart and one mind, a strong people on the way towards the heavenly homeland. We entrust our miseries, the many streets of hate and blood, the thousands of ancient and new poverties and above all, our sins. To you we entrust ourselves, Mother of Mercy: grant us the forgiveness of God, help us to build a world according to your heart. 
O Blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain that ties us to God, chain of love that makes us brothers, we will not leave you again. You will be in our hands a weapon of peace and forgiveness, star that guides our path. And the kiss to you with our last breath, we plunge into a wave of light, in the vision of the beloved Mother and the Son of God, the desire and joy of our heart, with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Amen. - Vatican Radio 21 March 2015

Prayer for the Pope

O God, who in your providential design willed that your Church be built upon blessed Peter, whom you set over the other apostles, look with favor, we pray, on Francis our Pope, and grant that he, whom you have made Peter’s successor, may be for your people a visible source and foundation of unity in faith and of communion. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Many Catholics Online Have Lost Their Minds ...

Or it's mass hysteria sweeping through the trad-o-sphere. Take a look at this screwball screenshot of a so-called Catholic news-aggregate. Fake news bites - to be sure.  The editor is a click bait specialist. (Links to the stories have been removed.)

Register: Catholic parishes are crashing

FrancisVatican online 'child protection' expert: You need people doing this 24/7. People who are actually collaborating with UNICEF, with the United Nations, with Interpol!

Barnhardt and SuperNerd: The civic body should be willing to take steps to protect the citizenry from people like James Martin


FrancisCatholic: Mexican 'Saint Death' believed to be more merciful and forgiving than the Catholic Church

Francis attacks those dangerous nuts who resist his Islamization program: 'They prefer psychological exile from society. It's a disease that does much harm!'

Francis joins list of fiendish world leaders in running for this years’ Nobel Peace Prize

Communist Francis opens two-day DeathAcademy conference by railing against 'technocratic materialism', plugging that seamless garment

Communist Daily Distributes Francis Speeches!

Catholics live in an abusive family, the time to stand up to the abusers is long past - wake up!

"It’s boring, and the list of signatories is unimpressive and badly judged." - Damian Thompson slams Filial Correction and 'dark online Catholic Alt Right propaganda'

Correctio Filialis Signature List Grows, but Still Few Traditional Priests

Filial Correction Spox Dr. Shaw to Opus Dei: If there are problems, we should talk about them, and not pretend they do not exist.

....Why doesn’t Planned Parenthood join the list of Freakish FrancisCardinals and Mouthpieces at Upcoming Boston College ‘Joy of Sex’ Strategy Session?

Saints and Blessed for Today ...

Among them, my special patron, Blessed Alberto Marvelli.

Blessed Albert Marvelli

Alberto Marvelli was born at Ferrari on 21st March 1918, the second of seven brothers. Later, he began to attend the Salesian Oratory. He was always available and became a catechist and leader: the Salesians’ right arm. He loved to play all kinds of sports. He joined the Oratory group for Catholic Action soon becoming its parish president. In June 1942 he graduated from college as an engineer and began working with Fiat in Turin. He did his military service and succeeded in bringing many of his friends to Mass. During the Second World War he became an apostle amongst displaced persons and a real source of providence for the poor. His Marian and Eucharistic devotion really were the supporting columns in his life: “What a new world opens up to me contemplating Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament”, he wrote in his diary. Each time I receive Holy Communion, each time Jesus in his divinity and humanity enters into me, in contact with my soul, it awakens holy ideas in me, a burning and consuming flame, but one that makes me so happy!”. He died when he was hit by an army truck on October 5th 1946. He was, as Don Bosco wanted, a good Christian and upright citizen, committed to the Church and society with a Salesian heart. As a youth his motto was: We go forward or we die. -
Tomba B. Alberto Marvelli

I also found this prayer card here.
Praise God in his angels and his saints!
Bl. Alberto, pray for us.

Other patrons whose feast is today:

St. Faustina, pray for us.
St. Placid, pray for us.
Bl. Raymond Capua, pray for us.
Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos, pray for us.
Bl. Bartolo Longo, pray for us.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

On the feast of St. Francis ...

Everybody is talking about the 'real' St. Francis - reminding little kids and their pets that he was as 'nice' as people say he was. These people are very much like the Grinch who tell kids there is no Santa - and yet - there is. His name was St. Nicholas and he helped little kids escape death, and helped girls escape prostitution, and helped innumerable other outcasts with charitable gifts - not gifs. But I digress.

Yes kids. Francis was rich, then he chose to be poor, just like Christ. He really was poor - but people online say that is wrong - his poverty was something mystical and he wouldn't mind if his followers wore really nice clothes under their really nice habits and living in really nice friaries and driving really nice cars, and so on. In a strange way - those who say he was 'not nice' are right - because he didn't like their brand of nice ... 

Not only was he poor, but he was deeply respectful of the Church and her ministers - and of course the liturgy - so yes indeed he loved beautiful churches, exquisite sanctuaries, and beautiful vestments.  He also once ordered the friars to give a poor woman their only copy of the New Testament, so that the woman might sell it.  He loved Lady Poverty because Christ chose it for himself.  

As for his respect for the 'Lord Pope' and the ministers of the Church, I will share something the Pope said:

Let us return to the life of St Francis. When his father Bernardone reproached him for being too generous to the poor, Francis, standing before the Bishop of Assisi, in a symbolic gesture, stripped off his clothes, thus showing he renounced his paternal inheritance. Just as at the moment of creation, Francis had nothing, only the life that God gave him, into whose hands he delivered himself. He then lived as a hermit, until, in 1208, another fundamental step in his journey of conversion took place. While listening to a passage from the Gospel of Matthew Jesus' discourse to the apostles whom he sent out on mission Francis felt called to live in poverty and dedicate himself to preaching. Other companions joined him, and in 1209 he travelled to Rome, to propose to Pope Innocent III the plan for a new form of Christian life. He received a fatherly welcome from that great Pontiff, who, enlightened by the Lord, perceived the divine origin of the movement inspired by Francis. The Poverello of Assisi understood that every charism as a gift of the Holy Spirit existed to serve the Body of Christ, which is the Church; therefore he always acted in full communion with the ecclesial authorities. In the life of the Saints there is no contradiction between prophetic charism and the charism of governance, and if tension arises, they know to patiently await the times determined by the Holy Spirit.
It is also true that Francis had no intention of creating a new Order, but solely that of renewing the People of God for the Lord who comes. He understood, however, through suffering and pain that everything must have its own order and that the law of the Church is necessary to give shape to renewal. Thus he placed himself fully, with his heart, in communion with the Church, with the Pope and with the Bishops. He always knew that the centre of the Church is the Eucharist, where the Body of Christ and his Blood are made present through the priesthood, the Eucharist and the communion of the Church. Wherever the priesthood and the Eucharist and the Church come together, it is there alone that the word of God also dwells. The real historical Francis was the Francis of the Church, and precisely in this way he continues to speak to non-believers and believers of other confessions and religions as well.
Innocent III's Successor, Pope Honorius III, with his Bull Cum Dilecti in 1218 supported the unique development of the first Friars Minor, who started missions in different European countries, and even in Morocco. In 1219 Francis obtained permission to visit and speak to the Muslim sultan Malik al-Klmil, to preach the Gospel of Jesus there too. I would like to highlight this episode in St Francis' life, which is very timely. In an age when there was a conflict underway between Christianity and Islam, Francis, intentionally armed only with his faith and personal humility, travelled the path of dialogue effectively. The chronicles tell us that he was given a benevolent welcome and a cordial reception by the Muslim Sultan. It provides a model which should inspire today's relations between Christians and Muslims: to promote a sincere dialogue, in reciprocal respect and mutual understanding (cf. Nostra Aetate, 3). - Pope Benedict XVI

In his day, when bishops and priests scandalized the faithful, many openly criticized and spread stories about the sins of priests.  One story in particular is well known.  Villagers approached St. Francis, scandalized by a priest, and Francis knelt before the priest with great reverence, saying:

 "I don't know whether these hands are stained as the other man says they are. [But] I do know that even if they are, that in no way lessens the power and effectiveness of the sacraments of God... That is why I kiss these hands out of respect for what they perform and out of respect for Him who gave His authority to them." - St. Francis

Francis never criticized the Church, the Pope or the clergy.  He never acted on his own initiative or on private revelations.  He submitted to the authority of the Church, he never did anything without permission.   So that, my friends is the real St. Francis.  He also loved lambs and wolves and rabbits, kitties and puppies, birds and squirrels - he placed special food out for them at Christmas.  So don't spoil the legends which surround him with your mean-spirited 'truth in charity' stories.

Happy feast day!

He really did embrace 

I am bi-locating to Assisi today.

Apparition of St. Francis
Josep Benlliure Gil


Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

The Vision Of Saint Francis Of Assisi by Lodovico Carracci

Prayer of St. Francis to obtain divine love.

I beseech Thee, O Lord, that the fiery and sweet strength of Thy love may absorb my soul from all things that are under heaven, that I may die for love of Thy love as Thou didst deign to die for love of my love.

St. Francis pray for us. 

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Monday, October 02, 2017

Prayers for all the victims of the Las Vegas shooting ...

May the angels lead you into paradise

May Christ, who called you, take you to himself;
may Angels lead you to Abraham's side.

Give them eternal rest, O Lord,
and may your light shine on them forever.
May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.  Amen

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Something for the feast of St. Therese.

I want to repost a story about an Argentinian Carmelite nun who reminds me very much of St. Therese.  Therese once confided to her sister, 'If I had not been accepted in Carmel, I would have entered a Refuge (for fallen women) and lived out my days there, unknown and despised among the poor penitents.' - St.Therese of Lisieux

How appropriate that the readings for today speak of Christ who emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, including himself among sinners and outcasts.  In the Gospel Jesus points out 'tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God' before those who believe they are there already.

The story of Sister Monica Astorga, OCD is extraordinary for a Carmelite nun - yet we live in extraordinary times.  I'm sure she must be criticized for her work.  Maybe some are scandalized.  Yesterday I read a friend's comment on a Facebook post calling Pope Francis a scandal machine.  That made me sad - for my friend, not the Pope.  Just as sad as I am saddened by the controversy surrounding Fr. Martin, S.J. - which I pray will be resolved. 

Sister Monica Astorga, o.c.d.
For the past 10 years, Sister Monica Astorga, a Discalced Carmelite in the central Argentine city of Neuquen, has helped a group of transvestites and transsexuals who decided to give up prostitution and addictions to alcohol and drugs. She has started them on the path of recovery and reintegration into society.
But the work has been full of obstacles, she said. “People asked me why there were transgendered people in church. I told them the Church is for everyone. Who was Jesus with? With sinners. What is important here is that they live in dignity, so they don’t have to sleep on the street in cold temperatures—even below zero. What I offer them is a space for prayer and to find a way to work, and the rest is for the judgment of God, which I know is so merciful.” - Read the rest at Aleteia

It's a very moving account.  Sr. Monica has the permission of her Bishop, and the encouragement of the Pope.  Perhaps like Bl. Teresa of Calcutta, Sr. Monica received a 'call within a call'.  I also think of  St. Simon Salus, who left his desert solitude to live amongst the outcasts, criminals, and whores, to demonstrate the love of God, to be a sort of presence of merciful love amidst the unlovable.  I'm so edified by this story of Sr. Monica.  I'm betting Sr.'s penitents may not always manage to be faithful, nor may they change all that much in appearance or their identity, yet the grace of God is available to them and they have indeed found a place in the Church.

We always hear people say we have to make a place for people in the Church - the truth is, there is a place ... a place for all of us.  It is there already.  No special clubs or groups to join is necessary.  The sacraments - the life blood of the Church are enough.  Christ is enough.  So why do those in the Church, those receiving the sacraments, complain and call others out?  Why do they complain like those in the marketplace who have no faith?

Christ can do all things if we ask with the least bit of faith. "O Lord, I want to return to the Church and the sacraments but I don't know how." The Lord finds a way. When I write about two men or two women living together, agreeing to renounce sinful relations and determining to sanctify their lives and return to the Church and the sacraments, I'm saying that Christ can accomplish for them even more than they ask or desire. The Church does not lay burdens too heavy to carry on those who wish to be reconciled. The Church calls homosexuals, transsexuals, prostitutes, sinners to freedom, to chastity, to holiness. The Church does not dictate with whom and where a person must live, the Church doesn't command a person to join this or that group.  

I had a Discalced Carmelite nun as a spiritual sister who died a few years ago.  I came upon a letter from her last night, written many years before.  She is the one who told me, to go to confession after every fall - even if it is every day - and then go to communion.  In time the Lord will free you.  The Lord did free me.  My sister never gave up on me.  I had confessors who nearly did - she never did.  Anyway - I repeat myself - anyone who knows me know that story.

Have faith: Ask, seek, knock. It will be opened for you.