Saturday, December 15, 2018

'Cosa Nostra' Secrets of The Italian Family

You just learn to stay with your family.

'Our Thing'

I'm not talking about the 'mob' or the 'Mafia', but just the average first and second generation Italian immigrant family of the 20th Century.  And it's almost just as dangerous to talk about their family stuff as it is to talk about real Mafia secrets.  They will cut you off and never forgive, much less forget, if you reveal anything.  They insist they don't tell lies, but neither do they admit to anything.  So let's just say they dissimulate.

Do you work?
-No, I don't work!
Why are you dressed as a waitress then?
-No!  I don't work!

I was thinking about this after an in-law lost her partner, whom I never met or was told about, and her daughter mourned him as her step-dad.  All of these years, I never knew.

All Of Them

Hebda bars Nienstedt from celebrating Mass in Twin Cities.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda says he is troubled by the Vatican's failure to conclude an investigation into allegations that former Archbishop John Nienstedt behaved inappropriately with young men.

In a post on the archdiocese website, Hebda said that investigative materials were submitted to the Vatican in 2014, but the Vatican apparently halted any investigation of its own when Nienstedt resigned in 2015.

"Thus, the matter remains unresolved for the accusers, for Archbishop Nienstedt and for the public," Hebda wrote. "I share the frustration that is felt by them, and believe this situation highlights the need for a better-defined process and independent mechanism to resolve allegations made against bishops." - MPR

Religious fruitcakes are like dry alcoholics - you can remove the alcohol but you still have fruitcake.

Friday, December 14, 2018

I'll be right with you ...

My apologies for not responding to your emails ... 

St. John of the Cross and Purgatory

 A person's sufferings at this time cannot be exaggerated...

It is interesting to note that when speaking of the suffering of souls in the "deep, terrifying darkness" of the actual dark night (the initial stages of contemplation or the purgative stage), the intensity of their suffering is likened to that of the soul in purgatory.  Keep in mind John of the Cross is speaking about contemplatives here.  Nevertheless there is something analogous to what every soul experiences sooner or later - later meaning purgatory if we are fortunate.  The following is an excerpt from The Living Flame of Love, by John of the Cross, just for your edification.

All the soul's infirmities are brought to light; they are set before its eyes to be felt and healed. 

19. Before the divine fire is introduced into the substance of the soul and united with it through perfect and complete purgation and purity, its flame, which is the Holy Spirit, wounds the soul by destroying and consuming the imperfections of its bad habits. And this is the work of the Holy Spirit, in which he disposes it for divine union and transformation in God through love. 
The very fire of love that afterward is united with the soul, glorifying it, is what previously assailed it by purging it, just as the fire that penetrates a log of wood is the same that first makes an assault on the wood, wounding it with the flame, drying it out, and stripping it of its unsightly qualities until it is so disposed that it can be penetrated and transformed into the fire. 

Spiritual writers call this activity the purgative way. In it a person suffers great deprivation and feels heavy afflictions in the spirit that ordinarily overflow into the senses, for this flame is extremely oppressive. 

In this preparatory purgation the flame is not bright for a person but dark. If it does shed some light, the only reason is so the soul may see its miseries and defects. It is not gentle but afflictive. Even though it sometimes imparts the warmth of love, it does so with torment and pain. And it is not delightful, but dry. Although sometimes out of his goodness God accords some delight in order to strengthen and encourage it, the soul suffers for this before and afterward with another trial. 

Neither is the flame refreshing and peaceful, but it is consuming and contentious, making a person faint and suffer with self-knowledge. Thus it is not glorious for the soul, but rather makes it feel wretched and distressed in the spiritual light of self-knowledge that it bestows. As Jeremiah declares, God sends fire into its bones and instructs it [Lam. 1:13]; and as David also asserts, he tries it with fire [Ps. 17:3].

20. At this stage persons suffer from sharp trials in the intellect, severe dryness and distress in the will, and from the burdensome knowledge of their own miseries in the memory, for their spiritual eye gives them a very clear picture of themselves. In the substance of the soul they suffer abandonment, supreme poverty, dryness, cold, and sometimes heat. They find relief in nothing, nor does any thought console them, nor can they even raise the heart to God, so oppressed are they by this flame. This purgation resembles what Job said God did to him: You have changed to being cruel toward me [Jb. 30:21]. For when the soul suffers all these things jointly, it truly seems that God has become displeased with it and cruel.

21. A person's sufferings at this time cannot be exaggerated; they are but little less than the sufferings of purgatory. I do not know how to explain the severity of this oppression and the intensity of the suffering felt in it, save by what Jeremiah says of it in these words: I am the man that sees my poverty in the rod of his indignation. He has led me and brought me into darkness and not into light. Only against me he has turned and turned again his hand. He has made my skin and my flesh old, and he has broken my bones. He has surrounded me and compassed me with gall and labor. He has set me in dark places as those who are dead forever. He has built around me that I might not get out. He made my fetters heavy. And besides this when I have cried out and prayed, he has shut out my prayer. He shut up my ways with square rocks and turned my steps and paths upside down [Lam. 3:1-9].  Living Flame of Love

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Our Lady comes to us.

My brother was buried on this date. 

One day he confided to me (just before his illness was diagnosed 'terminal') that Our Lady had recently appeared to him in a "Flash! A second!" - while he was trying to exercise. I asked what she looked like and he described Our Lady as she is depicted upon the Miraculous Medal - the Immaculate Conception.
"Did she say anything?" I asked.
"No, she just smiled."*
"What did you think?" I inquired further.
"I don't know. I felt good... I felt at peace... I felt as if everything was going to be okay," he stammered, asking, "do you think it was her?"
"Yep! I really do. She does that - that's just how she does it sometimes, and you know it's her." I assured him.
My brother made his confession and received the sacraments shortly before he died in 1991 on the feast of Our Lady of Loreto. The way I knew in my heart that Our Lady had come for him is because he was laid to rest on the Solemnity of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 2 days later..
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee and for those who do not have recourse to thee, especially the enemies of the Church and those recommended to thee.

Trust Our Lady. Consecrate yourself to the Madonna. Pray the rosary every day. Our Lady is refuge of sinners: God gives the lonely a home to live in! He protects widows and orphans!

Father of the orphan, defender of the widow,
such is God in his holy place.
God gives the lonely a home to live in ...

O.L. of the Smile.
(I also think St. Therese
had a lot to do with it.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Trappist Martyrs of Atlas

What the Pope said:

The Lord invites us to allow ourselves to be consoled by Him; and this is also helpful in our preparation for Christmas. And today, the Pope said, in the opening prayer from the Mass, we asked for the grace of a sincere joyfulness, of this simple but sincere joy:
And indeed, I would say that the habitual state of the Christian should be consolation. Even in bad moments: The martyrs entered the Colosseum singing; [and] the martyrs of today – I think of the good Coptic workers on the beach in Libya, whose throats were cut – died saying “Jesus, Jesus!” There is a consolation within: a joy even in the moment of martyrdom. The habitual state of the Christian should be consolation, which is not the same as optimism, no. Optimism is something else. But consolation, that positive base… We’re talking about radiant, positive people: the positivity, the radiance of the Christian is the consolation. - VN

21 Coptic Martyrs of Libya.

How prophetic.  Just today another shooting.  In a cathedral in Brazil.  Story here.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Some priests really do follow Ann Barnhardt ...

She should maybe teach Canon Law, she's so brilliant.

Even those who know Latin.

Barnhardt writes for The Remnant, 1P5, and has a Catholic following bigger than any fake-mystic-locutionist alive.  Or so it seems.  She claims her essays are translated into Polish and German as well.  Guess what - Fr. Z is a friend and likely secret-follower.
I have notes from people asking about something that my friend Ann Barnhardt wrote about the Latin text of the address Benedict XVI gave when he announced that he was going to abdicate. Ann contended that the Latin, as written and pronounced, indicated that Benedict did not truly resign. - Z
What is especially curious about subjunctive musings such as these is that Fr. Z gets himself tangled in Barnhardt's fish-nets.  For one, he agrees with her that "priests not knowing Latin" is a problem:
Yes, friends, this is a problem. I think that Latin Rite priests – in their copious free time – would do well to work on Latin, the language of their Rite. - Z
Not that there is anything wrong with that particular agreement.  However, his having read Barnhardt's update, does he agree with her  that 'Bergolio' is an 'Antipope'?  How much does he buy into her insane rants about the Church and the bishops?  Some days there does seem to be at least a semblance of agreement.  Barnhardt is a fringe conspiracy-monger, is that how the slavish-Latinist wants to be regarded?  Why wouldn't he comment on her crazed rants against the pope and bishops, calling them Sodomites?  Yet he will correct a grammatical error with great fervor, and praise her for correcting it.  Strange allies.

One needs to beware false mystics and locutionists as much as those who sow division and hatred in and through their conspiracy theories and speculations against the Pope and Magisterium.

He who walks with wise men will be wise, 
But the companion of fools will suffer harm. - Proverbs