Saturday, May 19, 2018

What the Pope says privately...

Juan Carlos Cruz

It is reported ...

In an interview with Juan Carlos Cruz, the spokesman for the victims of sex abuse in Chile, said the Pope told him that God made him gay.  I'm using Google translate for that portion of the interview:

Q. Did you talk about your homosexuality and how did you suffer more for that?
R. Yes, we speak. He had been told practically that I was a wicked person. There I explained that I am not the reincarnation of San Luis Gonzaga but I am not a bad person, I try not to hurt anyone. He told me "Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like that and he loves you like that and I do not care. The Pope wants you like that, you have to be happy with who you are " - InfoVaticana
If the translation is accurate, and Juan Carlos heard the Holy Father correctly, many people will be upset by that.

Today's Gospel response of Jesus to Peter works very well for me in this case:
"What concern is it of yours? You follow me." - John 21:20-25

This is enough for me.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken ..

My love shall never leave you. - Is. 54:10

I read that regularly in the Little Office, when reciting Psalm 46:

God is for us a refuge and strength,
a helper close at hand, in time of distress,
so we shall not fear though the earth should rock,
though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea;
even though its waters rage and foam,
even though the mountains be shaken by its waves.
The Lord of hosts is with us:
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Every time I worried, or wondered, or was confused, this psalm consoled me.  It consoles me today.

Mountains sliding into the sea in Hawaii.  Bishops resigning in Chile.  American students shooting and killing other students.  And that's only today's news. 

So anyway.

I love Pope Francis, and I love what he had to say today:

‘Don’t be a busybody’ 
In conclusion, Pope Francis focused on one final, pervasive temptation: the desire to meddle in the lives of others, without being content with minding one’s own business.
“Put yourself in your own shoes, and don’t stick your nose in other people’s business. The pastor loves, tends, and prepares himself for the cross… Don’t waste time being a busybody, even regarding ecclesiastical rumors. Love, tend my sheep, and prepare yourself not to fall into temptation.” - VR

Thursday, May 17, 2018

This made me laugh.

I came across something on Facebook again ...

A friend posted a link to a locutionist from Australia who receives messages from Heaven.  I can't understand how or why people follow these 'seers'. 

Heavenly Visitation in my Home

In the morning, while I was in my kitchen, I was saying my prayers, when all of a sudden my house was filled with a Heavenly presence of many, many angels. There was a lot of loud chatter going on amongst these heavenly beings. They were all very happy and very joyous.

I thought to myself, ‘What a privilege that I received this Heavenly visitation’, when, suddenly, I could see God the Father among the angels. Our Blessed Mother was also present in this Heavenly group. I immediately said, “Glory to You, my Father.”

God the Father went and sat on one of my kitchen chairs, which was closest to the window. He was wearing a white tunic with a light brown mantle. I was made to understand from previous visions that the brown mantle represents the priesthood. God the Father was of a younger appearance, with blue eyes and the most beautiful skin. He had no beard. His hair was short and of a greyish colour.

He said to me, “Today, you are very blessed and privileged that we all came to see you and console you because we know that you still grieve after your son. Come close to Me, My daughter, so that we can talk.”

I moved closer to God the Father and said, “My Father, this is such a privilege and a great joy for me that you come to visit my house, but Father this is just an ordinary little house and You are God Almighty.”

He said, “My daughter, don’t think like that. We are very united. Your house belongs to us, so we come to visit you. I have many good friends on earth that I visit, and you are one of them. When you open your heart and you tell us you love us, and are obedient to My Will then we become connected.”

“Tell Me My daughter, what can I do for you today?” - From Valentina Papagna

These locutions are the craziest I have ever come across.  People who follow private revelations leave themselves wide open to be misled.

"Getting Ready" J. Michael Walker

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Today is also the feast of St. Margaret of Cortona. Yes it is.

St Margaret of Cortona.

In the new calendar, as well as the Franciscan calendar, the feast day was moved to May 16.

Our Lord told the Saint about his presence during her sinful life. She was never out of his sight, as it were. I find that consoling, because no matter how far we fall - he is there already. That is how I understand the falls on his way of the cross ... he fell to the level of our gravest fall from grace - to meet us there.
But at the same time, the old serpent, seeing you driven forth by your father, to his shame and for your destruction, seized this opportunity to make you vain of your beauty and your youth. He suggested to you that, abandoned by fortune, you had every excuse for giving yourself up to sin: that, wherever you chose to go and live, you would find rich and voluptuous masters to love you for the sake of your exterior loveliness.

But I, the Maker of your inward beauty, which you had deformed and which I wished to renew, I bore Myself towards you with a true love. By My inspirations and My light I touched your conscience. I urged you to set out immediately for Cortona, and there to submit to the obedience of My Friars-Minors.

You were filled with strength, and you set out on your journey. In obedience to My commands, you presented and offered yourself to My Friars; and with great zeal and courage you brought your soul under subjection to their rules and instructions.

Think of how, at the very outset of this career of salvation, you found balm for your heart, in the respectful, filial fear with which I filled your soul towards the religious to whose care I confided you.

This fear vanquished the invisible enemy, who had the hardihood to present himself to you in the hour of your affliction. Did you not tremble from head to foot, were not your cheeks suffused with blushes, when a friar of the Order of our ever-blessed Father appeared in the Church, in the house, or in the street? You dared not sit down or speak in their presence.

Think of how I molded your soul; how, from that moment, I inspired you with a supreme contempt of worldly ornament, and drew you, little by little, for My love's sake, to a most lawful position in relation to your fellow-creatures. - Source
"You dared not sit down or speak in their presence."

I believe my sins are so much worse that those of St. Margaret. So how do I dare speak of the evils of others?

The Lord drew the Saint - 'little by little' to a most 'lawful position in relation to your fellow creatures.' See, that is what happens after a good confession - otherwise, living in sin is all disorder, placing us in an unlawful position in relation to our fellow creatures.

Margaret suffered all her life from gossips who never forgot her sinful past and accused her of continuing indiscretions even after so many years of penance.  That just happened to me again, and once again I forgot to thank God for such a special grace.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

So you keep trying to justify passing judgment on others?

Even after the Lord commanded, "Do not judge"?

People need to judge, they defend it, over and over.  I just saw a piece on Crisis about the 'need' to judge: Being our brother's keeper requires moral judgment.  One commenter noted in self-defense:
I am often accused of violating Matthew 7. But I have a different take on it: The best person to remove the splinter from his brother's eye, is the one who has already removed the log from his own eye. For who better to recognize the difference between wood and eye?
That's sweet, huh?  I never read these sites as a habit, only when someone I know links to such articles.  I never ever listen to talk radio, conservative or liberal, Catholic or secular.  I still think talk radio and the companion sites online are the reason people are such fanatics, but I digress.

I just think it's funny how people who incessantly complain about being judged and criticized and even claim persecution, constantly insist they have a right to judge others,  and even have a duty to do so.  Of course we are expected to judge between right and wrong, and need to point out what is harmful to ourselves and others - common sense dictates that.  Likewise, everything is based upon our responsibility in particular situations - according to our state in life.  Parents, teachers, employers and so on have a duty to make judgement calls.  Most adults do not need anyone to tell them that.

Many Evangelical Catholics seem to think that when the spiritual fathers, the saints, and even the Pope offer the precaution, "Do not judge" it means look the other way and ignore moral evil - the sins of others.  That's missing the point.  They especially misinterpret Pope Francis on the meaning of mercy.  They resist him, and given the chance, they would resist him to his face. 

A hermit said, "Do not judge an adulterer if you are chaste or you will break the law of God just as much as he does. For he who said, 'Do not commit adultery' also said 'Do not judge'"

Most of the problems online and offline, the fights, the contentious exchanges in judgment-based gossip which circulates, along with all the condemnations, they occur because people judge one another.  For example, instead of judging the recent Met Gala for what it was, the devout focused upon those in attendance - especially the Catholics there, and by extension, the Vatican authorities who cooperated in it.  Actually, there was nothing wrong with the exhibit itself - in a sense it was a neutral museum exhibit focused upon the art of costume.  I responded negatively at first, avoiding any criticism of persons, choosing instead to discuss the vanity of fashion.  That is a discussion worthy of a good exhibit.  Judging and condemning Cardinal Dolan and Fr. Martin, and guilting by association Vatican personalities such as Mons. Ganswein, is taking it a step beyond.   This sort of gossip and detraction feeds the judgmental attitudes already embedded in online Catholic minds.  It's indefensible.

The Lord asks us to be merciful. He asks us not to judge. Often, said Pope Francis, “It seems that we have been named judges of others: engaging in gossip, talking behind people’s backs, we judge everyone.” The Lord, however tells us not to judge, lest we be judged ourselves. “Do not condemn [others],” said Pope Francis, “and you will not be condemned.” The Lord asks us to forgive, that we might be forgiven. “We say it every day in the Our Father,” noted the Holy Father, “forgive us as we forgive others – and if I do not forgive, how can I ask the Father to forgive me?”
“This is the Christian life. ‘But Father, this is folly!’ one might say. ‘Yes’, one might answer, ‘it is’. We have heard in these days, though, St Paul, who said the same: the foolishness of the Cross of Christ, which has nothing to do with the wisdom of the world. ‘But Father, to be Christian is to become some sort of fool?’ [one might ask]. ‘Yes’, [I would say], ‘in a certain sense, yes. It means renouncing the cunning of the world in order to do everything that Jesus tells us to do and that, if we do the sums, if we balance the ledger, seems to be against us.” - Vatican Radio

"A dog is better than I am, for he has love and he does not judge." Abba  Xanthios  

Catholics online search and research other Catholics online, very often to find something on them.  To confirm their private judgment that something is wrong with them.  They even create private groups on Facebook, attacking this or that apologist, a priest they dislike, or the pope they deem to be a heretic.  They are so embroiled in self-righteous anger, they can't stop judging and condemning.  They devote their websites and newspapers to the work of scandal and detraction - judging and condemning one another.  They even turn on each other.  It's really a sick and perverted religiosity which motivates them.  Even Christ refused to be considered a judge or arbitrator in mean-worldly affairs, asking “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?”

What is it that religious people do not understand about the command, "Do not judge"?

Writing in 1 Corinthians, St. Paul went so far as to insist: "I do not even pass judgment upon myself; I am not conscious of anything against me, but I do not stand acquitted; the one who judges me is the Lord." [...] the Lord "will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts ..."

So how can we judge each other?

How can we best be our brother's keeper?  How can we love our neighbor and avoid judging one another?

Let love be sincere;hate what is evil,hold on to what is good;love one another with mutual affection;anticipate one another in showing honor.Do not grow slack in zeal,be fervent in spirit,serve the Lord.Rejoice in hope,endure in affliction,persevere in prayer.Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,exercise hospitality.Bless those who persecute you,bless and do not curse them.Rejoice with those who rejoice,weep with those who weep.Have the same regard for one another;do not be haughty but associate with the lowly;do not be wise in your own estimation.  - Romans 12: 9-16

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Our Lady of Fatima

Commenting on Our Lady's request for penance, Sr. Lucia wrote: "The part of the last apparition which has remained most deeply imprinted on my heart is the prayer of our heavenly Mother begging us not to offend any more Almighty God, Who is already so much offended."
Our Lord explained to her: "The sacrifice required of every person is the fulfillment of his duties in life and the observance of My law. This is the penance that I now seek and require." - Sr. Lucia

As I said on Facebook:  I think the conspiracy theorists and Fatimists, along with those dubious mystics and seers who claim to offer the 'missing parts' of the Fatima Secret, have drained the devotion out of Fatima and turned it into a cult of suspicion and conspiracy. The continual search for secrets and all too worldly interpretations of what is reported to have been revealed (and or suppressed) has distorted and corrupted Our Lady's original message calling us to repentance, prayer, penance and amendment of life.