Saturday, May 12, 2018

The overly suspicious hermeneutic of a conspiracy theorist.

I came across that line on another blog.

It just fits many people online today so well.  It's an attitude spiritual masters warn about.  Teresa of Avila often expressed exasperation with such a morbid spirituality, says she feared those who saw the devil behind every undertaking than the devil himself. 

It's good to know there are still healthy Catholics online.  The problem with many tradsters, as well as locution and private revelation junkies, is they live in a little Catholic bubble of sorts.  In turn, they judge and relegate their opponents into other little bubbles of identity, heresy, or whatever disqualifies them from communion with their perfectionist version of Catholicism.

There has been a parallel Church in existence, since the Council, which, according to the newest generation of devotee is spreading - especially among younger people.  I'd say trending, as opposed to spreading.  There is nothing wrong with that, except the more vocal among their online spokesman view everything through the lens of an overly suspicious hermeneutic of a conspiracy theorist.  They feel persecuted and sidelined, while on another level they reject anything to do with the post-Conciliar Church.  Especially Pope Francis.

(Art: Andrew Hunt)

I know I always write about this stuff and I am tired of doing so.  Yet Catholics online keep feeding this monster of misinformation and lies.  I just ran across a friend speculating on details of the Third Secret again.  The fake messages continue to be promulgated.  Feeding morbid curiosity and suspicion, adding to the confusion so many complain about in the Church.

Even priests and bishops can fall into this trap.  Some are misled by these Catholic conspiracy theories which spread  online.  The worst deception may be perpetrated by the locutionists they so easily give credence to, based upon some respected monsignor's claims about this one or that one.  If reading a horoscope, or doing yoga can open one to the occult, just imagine how following the locutions or private revelations of a dubious mystic or apparition can open one to delusion.  Is there no stable cardinal, bishop or priest to make the faithful understand this?  Aren't the fallen priests over the past few decades warning enough about these dangers?

Morbid fascination with apparitions and visionaries can lead one into error and away from the Church, which is why the Church has rules governing discernment of private revelations, in order to guard the faithful from error. Naturally, I'm thinking of the 'consecrate Russia' and everything will be fine theories, as well as blame the apostasy on the bad council/bad liturgy groups who are engaged in a war against so-called Catholic 'leftists' who support the Pope.

"Since the devil apes divine works, diabolical phenomena are known to occur at times among the mystics." (All quotations from Tanquerey.) "A revelation may be true in the main and yet contain some incidental errors." Thus, in private revelations the errors of the times as regards physical or historical science may get included in the interpretation of the revelations. So too the prejudices and training of the spiritual directors of the seers can affect the message. Details involving historical errors may also be introduced, sometimes arising from the seer's meditation or intelligence, often contradicting historical documents or revelations of the saints.

Private revelations may not only be wrongly interpreted, they "may be unwittingly altered by the seer himself as he attempts to explain, transcribe, record, or dictate the experiences to another. St. Brigid realized herself that at times she retouched her revelations, the better to explain them; such added explanations are not always free from errors. It is acknowledged today that the scribes who wrote the revelations of Mary of Agreda and Catherine Emmerich modified them to an extent difficult to determine." (Spiritual Life, Tanquerey, Book III, Chapter III.)

Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. - 1 Timothy 


Friday, May 11, 2018

Gesu pensaci tu.

“I as totally poor, a poor nothing. 
My strength is my prayer, 
my leader is the will of God 
which I let Him take me by the hand. 
My security over the uneven path
 is the heavenly mother Mary.”

Why do you confuse yourselves by worrying? Leave the care of your affairs to me and everything will be peaceful. I say to you in truth that every act of true, blind, complete surrender to me produces the effect that you desire and resolves all difficult situations.
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! 

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Just some thoughts on the Met Gala ...


Why?  Because Anna Wintour and I are the same age.  What?

Seriously, I used to work in 'fashion' - or thought I did.  I worked in display at a well known department store which no longer exists.  Being involved with anything associated with fashion, ready-to-wear and or couture, carries with it an ambience of prestige.  From the very top of the industry down to the lowly mannequin dresser.  Fashion creates a mystique in every age.  It is frequently a sign of wealth and grandeur, as well as prominence and taste.  It is for the elite - or that is what those who 'work it' need to convince themselves and their clientele of.  No one is more deluded by that notion than the directors and promoters of the industry.  No one basks in the glamour more than those privileged to hob nob in that society.

Martin, Dolan, Clooney

The Devil really does wear Prada.

Carlo Caretto wrote about fashion in his book on the spiritual life, The God Who Comes.  I was especially struck by his writing at the beginning of my conversion, when I first left that little bubble of the fashion world which I considered myself an authority on.  (LOL!)  Caretto wrote: "To begin with, we must go against the ideas of the day, for these are always opposed to the Gospel. We must resist 'the latest fashions and the spirit of the times,' which are almost always influenced by the evil one."  Keep that in mind the next time you page through a fashion magazine or tune in to most any Red Carpet photo shoot.

It is also good to recall what St. Jacinta Marto had to say about fashion and the Church: "Fashions that will greatly offend Our Lord will appear. People who serve God should not follow fashions. The Church has no fashions. Our Lord is always the same."  Elsewhere is another quote from the saint on the subject:  "Many fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much - do not follow fashion." That was in 1918.

Former Abbot Fioraso

Before the Met Gala - Friends of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme...

Several years ago, Pope Benedict shut down the playboy mansion style Abbey of Santa Croce in Rome.  The abbot of Santa Croce was "Simone Fioraso, a flamboyant former Milan fashion designer, who had bee already moved out of the basilica two years" before to abbey was suppressed.  I have no idea what happened to him or if he remains a priest today.  The fashionable Friends of Santa Croce were entertained in the cloister-refectory, a classic sign of decadence as depicted in the art and filmography of life in the great abbeys of history.  "The basilica had become a hub for the Friends of Santa Croce, an aristocratic group, and had been criticized for some unorthodox practises including dances in which nuns pranced around the altar."

Fundraising is easily corrupted when Cardinals, Bishops, Abbots, monks and priests adopt an entrepreneurial spirit to obtain donations and support for their lavish residences and lifestyles.  Know what I'm saying?  Religious people just do not want to acknowledge that, and whenever anyone, even a Pope points out the corrupting influence of worldliness, money and prestige, they turn on him and anyone else who dares to question their involvement.

Dance at Santa Croce

"How ought Catholics to receive the Met Gala and its supposed sacrilege."

So asks America magazine.  First - Catholics can and do receive, reject, and opine about the Met Gala any way they want to.  Some see it as decadent and sacrilegious, others see it as a sort of abomination and one comment I came across likened it to the scene in the Book of Daniel asking: "Did the Met guests happen to notice a hand writing on the wall?"  That was a wonderful comment.

The America magazine coverage of the event is trending and cool and superficial.  Justin Shaun Coyne's opinion piece was naive and condescending, with a ridiculous connection to the passion of Christ, expounding upon his hypothetical question, "What has Golgatha have to do with the Met?"  It's a smart article, but it misses.  

The Gala and the exhibit are two different things.  Society ladies and their escorts will attend an 'opening of a door' as Nan Kempner once famously stated, and so will society clergymen.  The exhibit is just okay, in my opinion - a wonderful opportunity to see examples of real couture and the very best in religious vestments.  The connection between fashion and sacred vestment is a great commercial idea, especially today when the rich and famous love to accessorize their own homes with religious artifacts and textiles, often deaccesioned and/or ransacked from Catholic monasteries and churches and their treasuries.  The Gala is what it is - kind of a joke played by the fashion world on the Church.  The exhibit is a marketing strategy.

Prelates and priests have always hob-nobbed with society types.  Prelates and priests and religious have always scandalized the faithful, especially the poor and the marginalized and humble.  That's what they did at the Met Gala.  Closing churches and selling off church goods is a lucrative market these days.

So yeah, as America Magazine's Justin Shaun Coyle observes: "Maybe it constitutes sacrilege after all. But it might remind Catholics that our aesthetic positively thrums with apocalyptic irony ..."  

"Apocalyptic irony" indeed.


Tuesday, May 08, 2018

A House Is Not a Home

Missing Gabby.

Just a heads up.

Apparition of St. Michael
May 8

To whom it may concern.

My cat has been sick for a couple of weeks.  Today she is in the hospital.  I don't know what is wrong with her and I will spare you (and me) the list of symptoms.  I am waiting to hear from the hospital.  I was there all morning.  The only reason I'm stating this is to explain why my humor is a bit strained, and my patience wearing rather thin - especially when I encounter contentious comments I believe are stupid and obnoxious and bigoted.

When you get old, and you take care of sick friends and cats, and you don't do all that well yourself, a lot of stuff you all may think is important, is not important - for me at least.

Moralists, pearl-clutching-homo-tradsters cleric or lay, as well as self-appointed inquisitors of the holy office, are not well tolerated here these days.  I'm not going to keep looking back at your inflammatory statements or arguments.  Please feel free to unfriend me or stop following/linking if I don't fit into your particular brand of Catholicism.

Begone - with the Pope's advice:
Unlike Eve who thought herself a “great theologian” and fell, the Pope said we must never dialogue with the devil because he wins, he is more intelligent than us. On the contrary, Jesus in the desert responds to the devil with the Word of God, hunts down demons, sometimes asking his name but doesn't dialogue.
Pray, watch, fast. 
Recalling the advice of Jesus to watch, do penance and fast, Pope Francis said we too must do so but never enter into dialogue with the devil. And in moments of temptation we must approach the mother, like frightened children do. According to the Russian mystics, in times of spiritual upheavals, take refuge under the mantle of the great Mother of God, the Pope said. - Homily

I'm very sorry if I offended you.  I'm not a good man.

Monday, May 07, 2018

This never gets old for me...

I love Melvin's response to this woman. It's a response which works for so many religious people who are overly concerned about the personal lives of others.

Forgotten saints...

May 5

Blessed Nunzio Sulprizio

I forgot his feast day because of Matt Talbot's birthday I guess.  Anyway - Nunzio is the saint I hope to paint next.  A poor kid, orphaned and mistreated, he died when he was nineteen.  He's a special intercessor for abused children.    A brief biography here.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Who told you that?

"God graciously arranged that the things he had once revealed for the salvation of all peoples should remain in their entirety, throughout the ages, and be transmitted to all generations." - CCC

I was reading comments on Fr. Martin's FB post on the Belgian Cardinal de Kesel's statement that Catholic teaching on homosex is untenable and needs to be changed.  Two women responded in favor of what the Cardinal said by pointing out that the Biblical prohibitions were outdated and no longer apply to our times.  One cited Romans and that Paul's condemnation was against pederasty.  Another cited Genesis and said the Sodomite were intent upon raping the visitors.  (Modern exegeses interpreted that exclusively as 'inhospitality' based upon a passage in Ezekiel.)  Hence my response, "Who told you that?"

If you Google these questions it all shows up.  The condemnations aren't against homosexuality but pederasty, rape, and inhospitality - oh, and not being nice to the poor.  These interpretations have become canon among those who seek to undermine Catholic teaching and authority.  The mid-20th century exegeses and revisionists claims have become embedded in the literature and curriculum of universities.  It is generally accepted by Protestants and Catholic like Fr. Martin, SJ and Cardinal de Kesel.  It's an exclusive interpretation with the intent of approving homosexual acts and gay marriage.

"The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ." This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome. - CCC

Cardinal Ratzinger disputed these interpretations of scripture, as Pope he wrote privately on the errors of dismissing traditional exegesis on the major scriptural prohibitions and so on.  The Holy See is responsible for correct interpretation of scripture and doctrine - there is no 'sola scriptura' clause in Roman Catholicism.  Tradition and the Fathers of the Church handed down the understanding of these passages which condemn homosexual acts.  As Cardinal head of the CDF, Ratzinger clearly emphasized the veracity of the passage:

Thus, in Genesis 19:1-11, the deterioration due to sin continues in the story of the men of Sodom. There can be no doubt of the moral judgment made there against homosexual relations. In Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, in the course of describing the conditions necessary for belonging to the Chosen People, the author excludes from the People of God those who behave in a homosexual fashion. - Holy See

It is one thing to welcome and accompany, to even live and let live as regards the homosexual person.  It is another to lie and revise scripture to remove the prohibition against homosexual acts.  I've sometimes wondered if the final sin of Sodom wasn't so much the generalized decadence, corruption and 'radical inhospitality', but was the insistence that Lot and his family conform to Sodomite cult and ritual?  Demanding Lot hand over his guests so the Sodomites could 'have their way with them' is kind of what is happening in our day.  People are demanding the Church conform her teaching to suit contemporary morality, accepting and approving homosexual acts and 'marriage'.   That's my own crackpot-private meditation/opinion BTW - nothing more.

It seems to me that the attacks against Church teaching, as well as demanding homosexual inclusion in ritual, along with forcing approval based upon false interpretations of scripture, is sacrilegious and idolatrous.   Which is why I understood the homo-sex acts reported in the Irish parish church the other day to be a cult-like attempt to defy Catholic teaching on homosexual acts, which states: under no circumstance can they be approved.   (Again, my private interpretation/opinion.)  Even gay Christians  don't like to hear that.

Honey, this sounds like a cult!