Saturday, April 21, 2018

This is salutary ...

Just as I was thinking social media is an incessant, downward spiral, sapping ones energy and sucking the faith from ones being, I came upon an old post.  I was writing about what I so often do, not fitting in - kind of, sort of - and I recalled a letter sent by a monk-spiritual director of mine.  His words encouraged me once again today ...

 "... You will find, as did Catherine of Genoa, that associations do not help you, and it is better for you to be alone.  Only experience will tell you what is best for you." - Fr. Tom

Now I need to do some drawings for a painting of a young Matt Talbot, which I hope to do. 

Barbara Bush


In memoriam.

Such a great lady.

Rest in peace.

You know, I love this ...

I love this Archbishop.

I love everything about the Holy Faith.

"Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine, and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God Himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me." - St. John of the Cross

Friday, April 20, 2018

Former Monk now makes Moonshine: Mayberry Spirits | NC Weekend | UNC-TV

The real McCoy.

If you're curious about what happened to Fr. Bernard McCoy from Our Lady of Springbank ... 

A follow up to 'What happened to Laser Monks?' here.

And Tour of Mayberry.


Ed. Note:  A few years ago I posted about the sudden dissolution of Springbank along with a couple of discussions as to what happened, but I removed most of them simply because they were speculative and bordered on detraction.  It was an amazingly quiet dissolution for a traditional Cistercian abbey with a successful business and having recently relocated to a newly built cloister.  I wish Michael Voris could go down to Mayberry to interview Mr. McCoy.  What's that Granny?


Thursday, April 19, 2018

The 'Papal Posse' and Catholic Vigilantism.

Putting out - or starting fires ... it's a matter of opinion ...
and that's all.

I had what I thought was a really good post on the subject, citing specific commentators and articles, with links and my own commentary, and as I was trying to post a photo, I lost the entire post.

How providential, huh?  A very desert-father-ish experience, I must say.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Ordinary prayer ... or common, mystic prayer

The prayer of recollection can become habitual, and like the sheep pastured by the Good Shepherd, the soul "will come in and go out and find pasture" - all the while remaining in his presence, before his watchful gaze. The prayer of recollection becomes the pasture, as it were. As Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection said, "That it was a great delusion to think that the times of prayer ought to differ from other times."

It is very simple to accustom ourselves to the prayer of recollection - a habit which prepares us for the habitual prayer of recollection.
As St. Teresa taught: “For this is not a supernatural state, but depends upon our own action and by God’s favor, we can enter it of our own accord” -Way of Perfection

Westboro Catholics object to Pope Francis' consoling words. What they would have said...

Your dad is in hell.

That's not exactly what the feedback online has been - but it's pretty close.  Many Catholics wanted a by the book, strict catechetical-theological answer for the young boy.  The little boy who asked the Pope about the eternal salvation of his father who died an atheist, has riled the enemies of the Holy Father once again.  You see it expressed in com-boxes on social media and in the snarky headlines on at least one Catholic 'news' aggregate.  Avoid those who are always judging and condemning.

"In the light of eternity the soul sees things as they really are." - S. Elizabeth of the Trinity.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Pope Francis consoles a boy who asked if his non-believing father is in ...

This was so consoling for me to see and read about.  Just as this little boy, I was worried about a couple of friends who died recently ... and I trust God.

Contemplatives in the streets - S. Benedict Joseph Labre

Sharing the shame.

Today is the feast day of the mendicant/pilgrim saint, Benedict Joseph Labre. It is also Pope Benedict XVI's birthday. St. Benedict Joseph must be a very special patron to the Holy Father - as he is for me.

St. Benedict Joseph Labre was a single layman. God called him to such a life. Some people like to say there is no such thing as a vocation to single life - one is either called to priesthood, religious life, or the married state. The single life is not a vocation of course, it is a state in life. In this state a person is called to work out his or her salvation, to accomplish the will of God - which is our salvation. Hence, one must be prudent when telling others there is no vocation to the single life, lest they discourage them from seeking God according to their state in life - which happens to be the single life.

St. Benedict tried his vocation with the Carthusians and Trappists, although he was subsequently rejected due to a disorder or defect in his temperament. Some believe he may have suffered from a form of mental illness. Whatever the case, the Saint lived a devout life as a layman. Inspired by an interior impulse, Benedict Joseph followed the pattern of life set by St. Alexis, the Roman noble who left his wife on their wedding night and lived the rest of his life as an ascetic - a pilgrim and mendicant.

The Orthodox have saints like Benedict Joseph, the 'fools for Christ'.  They are 'failure saints, who share the lives of ordinary people of the streets, and sometimes those most rejected and shamed by society.  Pope Francis talks about these things and frequently mentions priests who smell of their sheep.  St. Benedict Joseph smelled and had fleas, like a dog.  He is considered a great contemplative saint - but he never had a place to call his hermitage or monastery, and never was clothed in a habit, save for the Cord of St. Francis.

"Let us go to him outside the camp, bearing the insult which he bore.  For here we have no lasting city; we are seeking one which is to come.  Through him let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which acknowledge his name." - Hebrews 13: 13-15