Friday, October 04, 2019

St. Francis of Assisi

St, Francis before the Pope

Humility and obedience.

He loved poverty and was poor, wandering about in rough penitent cloth.

He loved chastity, and was chaste, once throwing himself in a thicket of thorns to resist temptation.

He loved obedience, humbling himself before bishops, fallen priests, and the Lord Pope.

He loved Jesus Crucified, sharing in his passion, showing the Holy Wounds to a world grown cold.

He said once unto his companion: “I esteem not myself to be a Brother Minor unless I be in the state that I shall describe unto thee. Lo now, I suppose me to be one set in authority over the Brethren; I go unto the Chapter, I preach unto the Brethren and exhort them, and at the end they speak against me, saying: “Thou mislikest us, for that thou art unlettered, slow of speech, a fool, and simple,” and thus I am cast forth with reviling, little esteemed of all. I tell thee,—unless I can hear such words with unchanged countenance, with unchanged gladness of spirit and unchanged holy intent,—I am vainly called a Brother Minor.” And he added, “In exalted place there is the fear of fall, in praises a precipice, in the humility of a submissive spirit there is profit. Why then do we look for perils rather than profits, when we have had time bestowed on us that we may make profit therein?”
From this same reason of humility, Francis was minded that his Brethren should be called by the name of Minors, and that the rulers of his Order should be called Ministers, that thus he might employ the very words of the Gospel that he had vowed to observe, and that his followers might learn from their very name that they had come to learn humility in the school of the humble Christ. For that Teacher of humility, Christ Jesus, when He would teach His disciples what was perfect humility, said: “Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” - St. Bonaventure

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

I get emails.

I have no authority, no office to speak for the Pope or the Church...

A good friend of the blog expressed concern over my recent postings, as well as my post poking fun at Voris.  I share my response publicly, since I know others most likely have similar concerns.

Thanks for letting me know your concerns – I removed the Michael Voris post. 
I don’t think I have changed much at all, but I’m deeply disappointed with the numerous critics taking jabs at the Pope and suggesting he is tainted by heresy. Your friend’s post is just fine, I feel sorry she takes offense at what the Holy Father says and feels insulted. I don’t understand how anyone would take what he says as an insult? He speaks from great experience and years of study and discernment, so if a good man reprimands someone, it is indeed a kindness, as one of the psalms tells us. 
I don’t hang on his every word he says, especially if what is said finds no application in my life.  To my knowledge, he has never contradicted the teaching of the Church – or changed any doctrine. He’s obviously shares his experience of opening doors and helping people ‘untie the knots’ of their particular state in life. What he says and does privately is known to him and the soul he is dealing with. It’s private, unless a person discloses something the Pope told him. Then, it is the person’s interpretation being repeated, not necessarily what the Pope actually said. Likewise, it is not any of my business. 
I do get tired of all the attacks against the Holy Father and will post about them, as well as post the good things the Pope does. My moral life, my faith, and my obedience has not changed. I adhere to Catholic teaching and I trust the Holy Spirit guides the Church. We have good bishops who speak about their concerns publicly, which sometimes feeds into a negative POV among the reactionary segments of laity and clergy - who are confused by social media and press reports – esp. concerning the upcoming synod. Yet they are good bishops who have made their concerns known to the Holy Father. The Holy Father knows about these concerns, and in good faith, I trust he is working towards a solution - in his own way.
Good to hear from you! You know I never mind it when people delete me from their links – it’s always a grace – for both parties – I hope. I have no authority, no office to speak for the Pope or the Church - I simply log my personal opinion and experiences.
Wishing you a lovely feast day of the Angels!


I removed a post. 

I featured a photo of Michael Voris in a blonde wig and a muscle shirt working in the cafe of the hotel he was staying at in Rome.  Some people didn't get the humor, others were offended.  So I removed the post.

Michael Voris and Church Militant is not a go-to news source for me.  Never has been.  It's a site structured on gossip and harassment of bishops.  It's a Catholic tabloid.  Now that Voris and crew have turned on the Pope, I think it is fortunate that they were forced to remove the word Catholic from their brand.

I made a mistake, thinking it amusing that the broadcast is anchored by an older guy in a blond hairpiece, with white side-burns, dressed in shirts to show off his physique.  I just do not take the reporting seriously, and when the anchor tries to be so hip, he becomes a sort of parody of  himself. Maybe I'm jealous?  That's probably it.

I will try to be more charitable.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

The Essential Therese...

"I am resigned to being always imperfect, and I even find happiness in it.  
I keep an eye on myself to see if I can discover any new imperfections." 
- Therese to Mother Agnes of Jesus

"I will come down..."

I post these thoughts on St. Therese over and over.  For me the secret of St. Therese is her consent to be found at the 'table of sinners'.  She expressed that desire in the depths of her dark night, her trial of temptations against faith before she died. In that abject state, she experienced the faithlessness of the atheist, the bitter taste of rancor of the unbeliever, even the hollow, vacuous, hopelessness of those who hate the faith. Like her Master, "who had not known sin, yet became sin," thus she, who was innocent (as she had been once assured she had never committed a mortal sin), became sin, as it were. Not in the exact same sense of Christ of course, but she shared, or imitated His redemptive suffering in and through that experience... seated with Christ crucified, at the table of sinners.
Even if I had all the crimes possible on my conscience, I am sure I should lose none of my confidence. Heartbroken with repentance, I would simply throw myself into my Savior's arms, for I know how much He loves the prodigal son. I have heard what He said to Mary Magdalene, to the woman taken in adultery, and the Samaritan woman. No one can make me frightened any more, because I know what to believe about His mercy and His love; I know that in the twinkling of an eye all those thousands of sins would be consumed as a drop of water cast into a blazing fire. - Story of A Soul
"While Jesus was at table many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him... " - Mark 2: 13-17

Ordinary people complain that they lack her innocence, that they lack her love, that all they find in themselves is misery and the awful despair of knowing they are too sinful to attain the heights of sanctity. Yet it is precisely for those of us who find ourselves powerless and unfaithful, "miserated" by our selfish self indulgence and sin, who attract Therese and are most fitted to her little way. We do not have to worry about merit or accomplishments to attract her patronage, or much more, to attract the merciful love of God. This is what Little Therese teaches and demonstrates in her little way of confidence and love. It is our misery which attracts the divine mercy. It is our sins and our faults which so attracts God that he sent his only Son to be crucified for our sins. Therefore, who can not trust in merciful love when one is vulnerable enough, humble enough, to be embraced by it? The mystery is so deep, so wide.

Whoever is a little one, let him come to me... seated at the table of sinners.

I have so much trouble trying to express these things, but I'm convinced that St. Therese is much more the patron saint of sinners than she is anything else. It is almost like saying that Jesus Christ is the God of sinners as far as he made himself the bread of sinners, likewise he ate and drank with them, and most certainly, he came to call sinners, not the righteous... the Gospel proclaims that, and so does the life of St. Therese.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Fr. James Martin, S.J. is received in private audience with Pope Francis.

The Argentine Jesuit (Pope) also has spoken of his own ministry to gay and transgender people, insisting they are children of God, loved by God and deserving of accompaniment by the church. - AP

I'm so happy for Fr. Martin!

Fr. James Martin, SJ3 hrs
Dear friends: Today Pope Francis received me for a 30-minute private audience in the Apostolic Palace, where I shared with him the joys and hopes, and the griefs and anxieties, of LGBT Catholics and LGBT people worldwide. I was so grateful to meet with this compassionate pastor.
The only other person in the room with us during our meeting was his translator.