Wednesday, September 21, 2022

The Bishops of Flanders


“Being pastorally close to homosexuals: For a welcoming Church that excludes no one.” 

Belgian bishops published Tuesday a new document on the pastoral care of Catholics who identify as LGBT, which includes a text allowing for a ritual blessing of same-sex couples. - The Pillar

I try really hard to be open and accepting of everything LGBTQ+.  I accept Catholic teaching on sexuality and marriage - I know many who do not.  I do not try to impose my beliefs upon them, nor 'preach' - they already know what the Church teaches and either accept it - or don't.  Fortunately, no one I know expects the Church to change Her teaching for them.  I think a lot can be said for 'living in sin' contentedly.  It's a lot more honest.

That said, privately I was asked what I thought about the Blegian bishops making their provisions for same-sex couples to receive a blessing of their 'union'.  I haven't a lot to say.  People already know my position on the matter.  

In fact, people already know what Pope Francis thinks, as well as what the CDF had to say in this regard:

Responsum of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to a dubium
regarding the blessing of the unions of persons of the same sex


Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?



- Source

I think the Belgians are due for their ad limina visit - so maybe we'll hear something then?  In the meantime, keep the faith and pray.

Bishops and priests can say what they will, but Catholic teaching on this subject cannot change, as the above cited CDF document states:

At the same time, the Church recalls that God Himself never ceases to bless each of His pilgrim children in this world, because for Him “we are more important to God than all of the sins that we can commit”[12]. But he does not and cannot bless sin: he blesses sinful man, so that he may recognize that he is part of his plan of love and allow himself to be changed by him. He in fact “takes us as we are, but never leaves us as we are”[13].

For the above mentioned reasons, the Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex in the sense intended above. - Responsum of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith


Monday, September 19, 2022

In paradisum deducant te angeli...


"May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs receive you at your arrival and lead you to the holy city Jerusalem. May choirs of angels receive you and with Lazarus, once poor, may you have eternal rest."

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Where am I?

My brother is visiting from Germany so I am delightfully spending time with he and my sister's family.  It is a wonderful reunion.  I'm so blessed.  

Friday, August 05, 2022

Obstinately persevering in resistance to the Holy Father.

Rebellion to the Holy See.

Those speaking out against the Holy Father, Cardinal Cupich and other bishops in their rebellion against the Holy See's decree limiting the Extraordinary Form should not be followed. I found it alarming that Fr. Z, among other traditionalists online accuse the Archdiocese of Chicago of lying as regards the ICKSP closure. They are close to outright rebellion against the Pope and at the very least they may place themselves outside the Church if they persist. Fr. Z offers a false equivalency comparing the refusal/resistance of the ICKSP to that of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher. No one is denying the authority of the Pope except for people like Fr. Z.
In the same vein, Holy Mass is not being suppressed or denigrated. The Eucharist is not being withheld, nor is the Real Presence denied. The Ordinary Form of Mass is the norm for the Roman Rite. This resistance and the idea that the true Mass will go underground, into the catacombs is a complete exaggeration feeding into ideological polemics. Those who spread this type of persecution propaganda often rely on numerous conspiracy theories of infiltration and dubious prophecies of a false Mass and a bad Council, to bolster their claims against the Pope and Magisterium.

'That kind of thing cannot come from God"

"About 1894 there appeared in France a series of self-styled revelations of the secrets of Freemasonry, published by a certain Dr. Bataille (Leon Taxil) and a woman called Diana Vaughan. These accounts gripped the imagination of the French public for a while. Later they were found to be false. The Servant of God took a certain interest in them at first, but long before there was any official denial of them she told us that they were not to be believed. Her only reason for rejecting them was the fact that Diana Vaughan once spoke against episcopal authority. 'That kind of thing cannot come from God, ' she said." - St. Therese By Those Who Knew Her


Photo: Venezia by Joanna Maclennan

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Teach us to pray.

Today's Gospel

Very simple instructions on how to pray.  Very simple.  

After all of the books and teachings that have come to us - it is very simple.  It is about love and a Father who so loved the world...

O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me forget myself entirely so to establish myself in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to trouble my peace or make me leave you, O my unchanging God, but may each minute bring me more deeply into your mystery! Grant my soul peace. Make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling and the place of your rest. May I never abandon you there, but may I be there, whole and entire, completely vigilant in my faith, entirely adoring, and wholly given over to your creative action. - St. Elizabeth of the Trinity


"O my God, You are in me and I am in You. I have found my heaven on earth, since heaven is You, O Lord, and You are in my soul. I can find You there always; even when I do not feel Your presence, You are there nevertheless, and I like to seek You there. Oh! if only I could never leave You alone!" (cf. Sr Elizabeth of the Trinity, Letters)

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Italian nun splits up two female models kissing for a photoshoot...

The nun in the video is not a joke, nor is she joking.

I saw this video at Fr. Z's, then on Twitter and then on FB at Bree A Dail's page.  The comments on those sites are quite interesting.  The episode strikes me as prophetic and a sign of contradiction.  I didn't post about it on FB because some of my gay Catholic friends and relatives might be offended by my commentary.  Although I think they know I've never changed my thinking, my faith in Catholic teaching on sex and marriage.  Pope Francis has helped me be less judgmental or doctrinaire when it comes to those who reject Catholic teaching and consider same sex sexual relations equal to male/female sexual relations and marriage.  Thus, I take the Holy Father's words to heart - who am I to judge if one truly seeks God?  Adding, and how am I to know if they are not?  

I'm not convinced photo shoots like the one the nun protested are about seeking God or chaste love.  I do not know what the shoot was for, be it an ad, a fashion shoot, or an image for a magazine article - but the message was obviously intended to be provocative.  Sister's reaction was refreshingly candid, simple and sincere.  She was not buying into the ideological image they were selling.

Nevertheless, it really stopped me in my tracks, as it were.  Welcoming, acceptance, tolerance and support has had its effects.  There is an erosion of moral standards and an acceptance of behavior once considered sinful and therefore shameful when exposed to public scrutiny.  Catherine of Genoa feared that, calling it the 'contagion of the world's slow stain.'  Catholic teaching - which cannot change* - is pressured more than ever to change, to approve and bless homosexual acts and unions.  I don't know what will happen as a result.  

The Neapolitan nun was acting out of love - intervening to save these two from committing a sin - I'm convinced that was her reasoning.  She turns to tell the cameraman that this is not good, it is a sin.  Everyone knows what she is talking about - yet her behavior is interpreted as bias, even hate by those who advocate for LGBTQ persons and related issues.  

A woman commented that Sister's actions and the response she received reminded her of Genesis 19: 12-14, when the sons-in-law of Lot thought he was kidding after he told them they must leave with him if they want to escape what was coming.  I couldn't help but agree - hence my calling this nun a prophet.  They laughed at her, thought she was kidding, laughed - considering her old fashioned, out of date - her morality no longer applicable.

"So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had contracted marriage with his daughters.* “Come on, leave this place,” he told them; “the LORD is about to destroy the city.” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking." - Genesis 19:14


Today's readings are also prophetic.  They need no explanation.

Be amazed at this, O heavens,
and shudder with sheer horror, says the LORD.
Two evils have my people done:
they have forsaken me, the source of living waters;
They have dug themselves cisterns,
broken cisterns, that hold no water. Jeremiah 2: 12-13


This is why I speak to them in parables, because
they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.
Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

You shall indeed hear but not understand,
you shall indeed look but never see.
Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their hearts and be converted
and I heal them. - Matthew 13

 *NB: A Vatican statement clarifies that the initiative underway in Germany "does not have the power to oblige bishops and the faithful" to "new ways of governance and new approaches to doctrine and morality."

"In order to protect the freedom of the People of God and the exercise of the episcopal ministry, it seems necessary to clarify that the 'Synodal Path' in Germany does not have the faculty to oblige bishops and the faithful to assume new forms of governance and new approaches to doctrine and morals. It would not be lawful to initiate in the dioceses, prior to an agreed understanding at the level of the universal Church, new official structures or doctrines, which would represent a wound to ecclesial communion and a threat to the unity of the Church." - Holy See intervenes on the German "Synodal Path"

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Why aren't you posting?

A friend wants to know.

I don't know.  I try posting FB concerning Ukraine, the trouble of the TLM.  I post there trying to make sense of everything and it is very difficult to do that - to understand.  (I also probably disgust people with my opinion.)  

I'm quite alone and live very simply, albeit avoiding the responsibilities of disposing of the estate.  I'm very sad and I wouldn't have it any other way.  The sadness is not self indulgent, but a gift of compunction and charity, I hope.

I also just feel I have nothing else to give.

LOL!  I will probably do a flurry of posts now.  Or maybe not.

I'm recovering from a fall - I cracked a couple of ribs.  I was weeding and fell onto a bench I was using.  I'm healing quickly, I think.  

My little brother is coming to visit at the end of August.  I haven't seen him for close to forty years.  He lives in Germany.  I am looking forward to it, but slightly apprehensive as well.  He will be staying with my sister.  We've all been emailing one another, so it isn't as if we aren't acquainted.  I've been such a stranger to them all my life.

So there.  I'm posting.  ;)


Monday, July 04, 2022

Guardian Angel


Invocations of the Holy Guardian Angels

Holy Angel, my counselor, inspire me.

Holy Angel, my defender, protect me.

Holy Angel, my faithful friend, intercede for me.

Holy Angel, my consoler, fortify me.

Holy Angel, my brother, defend me.

Holy Angel, my teacher, instruct me.

Holy Angel, witness of all my actions, purify me.

Holy Angel, my helper, support me.

Holy Angel, my intercessor, speak for me.

Holy Angel, my guide, direct me.

Holy Angel, my light, enlighten me.

Holy Angel, whom God has assigned to lead me, govern me.

Friday, July 01, 2022

"Let us abandon our polemics to listen together to what the Spirit is saying to the Church….”

Not anytime soon.

People will out-talk me, outsmart me with scriptural-liturgical-theological knowledge, but as an ordinary Catholic man, let me tell you there is nothing wrong with the Ordinary Form of Mass.  Many who despise Pope Francis are bending over backwards to pick apart his latest Apostolic Letter "Desiderio desideravi” in their effort to promote the TLM.  They out rightly reject Vatican II and the subsequent liturgical reforms.  There is no hiding that fact.

" I do not see how it is possible to say that one recognizes the validity of the Council — though it amazes me that a Catholic might presume not to do so — and at the same time not accept the liturgical reform born out of Sacrosanctum Concilium, a document that expresses the reality of the Liturgy intimately joined to the vision of Church so admirably described in Lumen gentium. For this reason, as I already expressed in my letter to all the bishops, I have felt it my duty to affirm that “The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” (Motu Proprio Traditionis custodes, art 1)" - Desiderio desideravi

Fr. Z and those like him are on the offensive, dissecting every line of the document for error and lack of clarity.  Many ordinary people without a strong formation in liturgy are gravely misled by their 'resistance' to the Pope and the Council, sowing doubts in the legitimacy and validity of the Novus Ordo sacrament and rites.  

He is talking about the TLM, not the Novus. It is an ERROR to think of the TLM in those shallow ways. - Fr. Z

It seems to me people of good will would see rather, that the Apostolic letter could help put to rest the claims of  priests such as Fr. Charles Murr and promotion of the Archbishop Annibale Bugnini sabotage stories involving Freemasonry and the Novus Ordo. Yet diehards continue to promote the allegations which have circulated since the initial implementation of the Novus Ordo. Wasting no time, they immediately attack the simple intentions of the Pontiff as expressed in the current Letter.

61. In this letter I have wanted simply to share some reflections which most certainly do not exhaust the immense treasure of the celebration of the holy mysteries. I ask all the bishops, priests, and deacons, the formators in seminaries, the instructors in theological faculties and schools of theology, and all catechists to help the holy people of God to draw from what is the first wellspring of Christian spirituality. We are called continually to rediscover the richness of the general principles exposed in the first numbers of Sacrosanctum Concilium, grasping the intimate bond between this first of the Council’s constitutions and all the others. For this reason we cannot go back to that ritual form which the Council fathers, cum Petro et sub Petro, felt the need to reform, approving, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and following their conscience as pastors, the principles from which was born the reform. The holy pontiffs St. Paul VI and St. John Paul II, approving the reformed liturgical books ex decreto Sacrosancti Œcumenici Concilii Vaticani II, have guaranteed the fidelity of the reform of the Council. For this reason I wrote Traditionis custodes, so that the Church may lift up, in the variety of so many languages, one and the same prayer capable of expressing her unity.[23] - DESIDERIO DESIDERAVI 
No doubt in the discussions surrounding the Holy Father's Letter "Desiderio desideravi” one encounters the name of Archbishop Bugnini over and over, as the scoundrel who concocted the Novus Ordo. Fr. Louis Bouyer is often mentioned, conveniently noting his lack of esteem for the Archbishop and his reputation. That is true of course, nevertheless it doesn't cancel out the Ordinary Form/Novus Ordo as the normative rite in the Church.  The other day a former Catholic on Twitter complained, 'how can you attend the NO, a reform based upon lies?' He was referring to Bugnini and an exchange between Paul VI and Bouyer, among other things.  The critics of the OF and devotees of the EF frequently harbor similar sentiments.  Some go so far as to say if they can't attend an EF they won't attend Mass at all.

"But this myopic view must at least be challenged." - Fr. Z

As I said before, I'm not a liturgist and I very much like the OF as it is properly celebrated in my parish. So I have no problem with Pope Francis and his effort to unify the lex orandi of the Roman Rite. I'll just say it might be good to acquaint ordinary fellow Catholics with Louis Bouyer, who ought to be known for much more than his disappointment in protégés at the time and subsequent developments in liturgical reform.

[NB While a novice at New Melleray, Fr. Bouyer gave conferences to the monks, as well as a separate mini conference for the novices.]

A good, quick resource for an introduction to the life and work of Louis Boyer, click here:
Rev. Louis Bouyer: A Theological Giant | An Interview with Dr. Keith Lemna | Ignatius Insight | November 12, 2010.
  Just keep in mind that the Ordinary Form of Mass, the Mass of St. Paul VI was indeed approved and promulgated by Pope Paul VI and his successors.  It is the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.

Ignatius Insight: What influence did his work have on the Second Vatican Council?

Dr. Lemna: It is difficult to assess the precise influence that Bouyer's work had on the council. By the time that the council had convened, many of Bouyer's ideas had become common currency among some of the theologians who were present at the council, even if they were not influenced by Bouyer. Bouyer was a theological expert relied upon by the Church in the period surrounding the council, and he was greatly trusted by Paul VI, who appointed him to the first International Theological Commission after the council and who had wanted to name him a cardinal. Bouyer refused the offer, arguing that it would cause too much trouble for the Holy See. He had been engaged in fierce polemics with the later generation of liturgists in France, and his reputation had suffered as a result. In our own day, especially with the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI, Bouyer's reputation should be restored, as his liturgical vision coheres with that of the Holy Father.

Certainly, if Dom Hugh Gilbert is right about the singular importance of Bouyer's book on the Paschal Mystery, then we might go so far as to say that Bouyer's work was a decisive influence on the council, if only indirectly so. Also, it is difficult to measure just how influential Bouyer's writings and teachings on liturgy and spirituality were in the period leading up to the council.

At any rate, there is no doubt that Bouyer's general approach to Scripture, theology, spirituality, the Church, and liturgy were canonized by the texts of the council. It would perhaps be better to say, rather than speaking in terms of influence, that Bouyer's work enables us to interpret the council through the lens of a "hermeneutic of continuity." Bouyer's work is very much in line with the theologies of both John Paul II and Benedict XVI. He provides further support for their joint effort to inspire the Church to read the council in terms of the meaning of the actual texts of the council rather than according to some "Spirit" that is presumed to have little connection to the texts. Bouyer: Interview

Beware of the online scholars who frequently depend upon undocumented rumors, gossip, hearsay and conspiracy theories to make their case against Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, The Novus Ordo and the Popes.  


Thursday, June 30, 2022

Howard's End

"On the other hand, every man is a liar, infirm, unstable, and subject to fail, especially in words; so that we ought not readily to believe even that which in appearance seems to sound well.  
How wisely did you forewarn us to beware of men, and that a man's enemies are they of his own household, and that we are not to believe, if anyone should say, 'Behold here! or Behold there!'" - Imitation, Bk. III, Ch. 45

Bishop Emeritus Howard J. Hubbard

Not much to say on this story - pretty much just documenting it.  The details are indecent.  The bishop who transferred guilty priests was guilty himself.  Rather creepy, actually.  In this case there appears to be a localized network.  It makes more sense now why McCarrick got away with his crimes.  It really annoys people who were made to feel shame and cast off, just because of who they were or how they identified, even when they strived to live in accord with Catholic teaching, while the upper class hierarchy lived double lives, engaged in binding up heavy burdens too heavy to carry, without ever lifting a finger to help.  

QUEENSBURY — Two brothers who grew up in Warren County in a devout Catholic family allege that Gary Mercure, a former priest in their childhood parish who was later convicted of raping young boys in Massachusetts, had sexually abused them on multiple occasions over a period of years and that ex-Albany Bishop Howard J. Hubbard took part in some of the assaults. - Full story

al Catholic

·Jul 29, 2018

In 2004, Hubbard was accused of having had a regular homosexual affair with one Thomas Zalay in the 1970s. Zalay committed suicide in 1978 at the age of 25. His suicide note was later found by his brother, and read, in part, as follows:

Radical Catholic

·Jul 29, 2018

The same year, one Anthony Bonneau came forward to claim that Hubbard had solicited sex from him during his time as a teenage prostitute working in Albany's Washington Park in the 1970s. Like Zalay's family, Bonneau did not seek financial compensation.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022


We prayed Psalm 90 at Compline every night when I was a novice.

I prayed this verse with all my heart - still do.

Since he clings to me in love, I will free him,

 protect him, for he knows my name.

I love the entire psalm.  I thought of it again today, considering how many seem to be falling away from the faith.  Not necessarily belief in God - but walking away from the Church.  Many are scandalized, feel rejected and abused, finding solace and acceptance elsewhere, and so on.  Never judge, never condemn - we never know what happened - even when they try to explain it.  Remember, even the most fervent can fall away.  Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.  There is a song I love, which reminds me of Psalm 90, and it reminds us that we must trust Jesus as savior and redeemer...

If you're lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I'll be waiting
Time after time - Lauper/Hyman

A popular priest online tweeted, "Dear God, help me to focus on the Catholic faith and not on Catholics."  That's not quite right - the focus must be upon Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith.

Cling to him in love and he will free you, he will protect you and reveal himself to you.

Psalm 91 (90)

1He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High,

 and abides in the shade of the Almighty,

 2says to the LORD, “My refuge,

 my stronghold, my God in whom I trust!”

3He will free you from the snare of the fowler,

 from the destructive plague;

 4he will conceal you with his pinions,

 and under his wings you will find refuge.

 His faithfulness is buckler and shield.

5You will not fear the terror of the night,

 nor the arrow that flies by day,

 6nor the plague that prowls in the darkness,

 nor the scourge that lays waste at noon.

7A thousand may fall at your side,

 ten thousand fall at your right:

 you it will never approach.

8Your eyes have only to look

 to see how the wicked are repaid.

 9For you, O LORD, are my refuge.

 You have made the Most High your dwelling.

10Upon you no evil shall fall,

 no plague approach your tent.

 11For you has he commanded his angels

 to keep you in all your ways.

12They shall bear you upon their hands,

 lest you strike your foot against a stone.

 13On the lion and the viper you will tread,

 and trample the young lion and the serpent.

14Since he clings to me in love, I will free him,

 protect him, for he knows my name.

 15When he calls on me, I will answer him;

 I will be with him in distress;

 I will deliver him, and give him glory.

16With length of days I will content him;

 I will show him my saving power.

Friday, June 24, 2022

With Persecution Besides


I think Catholics can expect some backlash after today's decision.  Perhaps a lot of backlash.

It's amazing to me how many Catholics really probably supported Roe v. Wade, or at least believed it was a woman's choice to make, between she and her doctor.  I definitely thought the admittance to Holy Communion was between she and her bishop, I wasn't sure about the former.

Either way - I'm against abortion, I consider it the worst form of abuse and murder.

In Thanksgiving for Favors Granted

Pintura en óleo sobre tela del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús por el artista Celayense Francisco Eduardo Tresguerras.


Roe v. Wade is finally overturned.

"On Friday morning, the Supreme Court issued its opinion overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey—the two decades-old Supreme Court cases that together guaranteed abortion rights in America. The opinion, authored by Justice Samuel Alito, undoes the constitutional right to abortion and returns the right to regulate the procedure to individual states. The decision will likely lead to the criminalization of abortion, at all stages of pregnancy, in about half of the United States

On Friday morning, Alito’s conservative colleague on the court, Justice Clarence Thomas, disagreed with that. In his own individual opinion, Thomas wrote that, in fact, overturning Roe should only be the first step. “In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” he writes. “Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous.’”

“Demonstrably erroneous.” There is very little that is vague about those words. With the death of abortion rights in America, Thomas has now come out and said, in no-uncertain terms, that cases that enshrined Americans’ rights to marry whomever they want and to make personal decisions about their intimacy and child-bearing are flat-out wrong. For now, that is just Thomas’ opinion—none of what he’s written is legally enforceable. But the fact that he’s stating this explicitly affirms the fears of advocates that for many conservatives the demise of Roe was never meant to be the end—but rather a bleak beginning." - Mother Jones

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Because they believe in their heart.

I'm watching the hearings, listening to testimony and actual calls by Trump. Out and out lies. I'm totally shocked - that people 'believe in their heart' that Trump is innocent. That the election was stolen.
I read this morning that the Republican party of Texas has as part of their platform the belief that the election was stolen. There are so many online who believe that. They can hear Trump's raging as they watch this testimony. You know they reject it - they think all of these people are lying. It's incomprehensible to me. "They believe in their heart" though the evidence to the contrary is right in front of them.

Many of these people are Catholics who also are convinced that Pope Francis is not really the Pope, that Benedict's resignation was invalid. They reject everything from this Pope and follow pre-Vatican II rules and rubrics, because "they know in their hearts" they are right.

It is incomprehensible to me.

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Even the elect now do it...

Diehard opponents of Pope Francis and Vatican II have since pretty much turned on Pope Benedict and JPII - I've noticed a growing number even criticize Pope Pius XII for his reform of the Liturgy of Holy Week and permitting wider participation of the laity at Mass, leading to the experimental 'Dialogue Mass'.

Friday, June 03, 2022

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

 The devil’s knowledge is very wide, in every field. He even knows the verses of the Bible very well and uses them in fighting people such as theologians. In the temptation on the mount, he used the Holy Bible in his own way (Matt. 4:6). He is even the author of all heresies and heterodoxies. He put them in the minds of heretics and offered them wrong concepts for the verses of the Bible. True are the words of St. Athanasius the apostolic, "Our enemy is not the Arians but the devil."

Pope Shenouda III

from “Diabolic Wars”

Thursday, June 02, 2022

We are living in the era of “piccolomini… little men”...

Says a little man.

“When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set.”
– Lin Yutang, 20th century Chinese philosopher

Fr. Z wrote an extremely scornful assessment of the new members of the College of Cardinals, appointed by Pope Francis.  Traditionalists are upset and Z invites them to laugh it off since, "The ploy and play of the list is so obvious that it is hardly to be taken seriously anymore."  Beware - as St. Benedict, citing Scripture in his Rule on the Tenth Step of Humility cautioned: "Only a fool raises his voice in laughter."(Sir 21:23)

Fr. Z appears to be growing more bitter and scornful than ever before.  I wonder if  resentment and the remembrance of wrongs is perhaps part of the cause?  I of course do not know - but I would avoid priests like him and be careful not to be led astray in opposition to the Pope and Bishops in communion with him.

A little man with a big blog.

Fr. Z brings it on himself.  I'm not judging his soul, not even his motivation - though I may wonder about it after I read his critiques of what the Pope has to say.  Today his contradiction of the Holy Father's allocution at yesterday's Wednesday Audience is extremely disrespectful and defensive.  He can do and say as he wishes since he appears to be a 'free-agent' priest, but those who follow him and others who read him, they cannot be well served by it, much less edified.  

"Scorn, bitterness, scoffing, these are no weapons. Belittling others, not seeing Christ in them -- this too is to inflict wounds -- is to do to Christ what we are doing to the least around us. This is an expression of fear -- fear of being laughed at and scorned in turn. If we scorn others we will not win them. There is no love in scorn." - August 13, 1951 - The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day
Fr. Z finds the CNA article on the Holy Father and what the Pope says "amusing." His post makes it clear he wasn't amused. In fact, his response was what he claimed the Pope's 'attack' on people who desire Tradition was - "pretty vicious."
Those who really believe do not attribute too much importance to the struggle for the reform of ecclesiastical ritual. They live on what the Church always is; and if one wants to know what the Church really is one must go to them. For the Church is most present not where organizing, reforming and governing are going on but in those who simply believe and receive from her the gift of faith that is life to them." - Ratzinger: "Introduction to Christianity." Holy, Yet Mingled with Sinners: The Church of the Pope Theologian

Yup.  I use pull quotes too.


Sunday, May 29, 2022

Ascension Sunday

"I have found my heaven on earth, since heaven is You, O Lord, and You are in my soul." - St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

"The meaning of Christ's Ascension," writes Pope Benedict XVI, "expresses our belief that in Christ the humanity that we all share has entered into the inner life of God in a new and hitherto unheard of way. It means that man has found an everlasting place in God." It would be a mistake to interpret the Ascension as "the temporary absence of Christ from the world." Rather, "we go to heaven to the extent that we go to Jesus Christ and enter into him." Heaven is a person. "Jesus himself is what we call 'heaven'."

“Holy Father, I pray not only for them,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me." - Jn 17:20-26

"O my God, You are in me and I am in You. I have found my heaven on earth, since heaven is You, O Lord, and You are in my soul. I can find You there always; even when I do not feel Your presence, You are there nevertheless, and I like to seek You there. Oh! if only I could never leave You alone!" (cf. Sr Elizabeth of the Trinity, Letters)

Friday, May 27, 2022

“only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”


That was then...*

Not true.

The latest school shooting took place while police with guns were outside for an hour waiting for SWAT and backup.  There is more to that story emerging, I'm just saying the good guys with guns were apparently helpless when confronted with a kid armed with an AR-15.  The kid bought the weapons as soon as he turned 18 years old - May 16, 2022.  

The Texas shooter's determination to purchase combat weapons as soon as he turned legal age demonstrates that this problem really is about guns.  His mental state is a separate issue, though it seems to me he was stable enough to plan and execute his 'mission'.  Politicians cannot keep saying this is a problem due to mental illness - it really is about assault weapons and proliferation of guns.  

It seems we all forget the largest mass shooting in American history - the Las Vegas shootout.

A lone gunman unleashed a rapid-fire barrage of bullets from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel late Sunday, killing at least 59 people and injuring more than 500 others attending a country music festival below, officials said.

It was the worst mass shooting in modern American history, and Stephen Craig Paddock was "solely responsible for this heinous act," Assistant Clark County Sheriff Todd Fasulo told reporters Monday night. - Las Vegas shooting.

The shooter had an entire arsenal in his hotel suite.  To my knowledge there is no evidence he was mentally ill, much less a terrorist.  That happened in 2017 and there is apparently no motive, leading to my conclusion that he did it because he could.  Perhaps it was a type of hunting or sport-shooting for him?  Maybe he wanted to add a realistic dimension to some of the online games available to kids and adults?  Google such games and these pop-up:

Mr Bullet Online.
Aliens Attack.
Sniper Ultimate Assassin.
Alpha Guns.
Dead Zed.
Shoot Robbers.
Rooftop Snipers


I don't know if these things play into the shooter mentality?  I don't know if these can be virtual training videos - it just seems to me these games feed into the cult mentality associated with 2nd Amendment gun rights.  Such games are big business.  Weapons is big business for arms trade.  I don't play games nor am I an action film aficionado, so I don't know what influence this stuff has on mass-killers.  Yet it seems to me the morbid fascination with guns and stalking prey has to have an effect upon one's personality, as well as their soul.  Especially anyone with a 'mean-streak' or who lacks empathy.  Then there is the problem of evil. 

Figuring out why a shooter, mass-killer acts is definitely important.  Nevertheless - access to weapons of war like these is ridiculous for civilians.  We need legislation and bans on access and types of weapons.  We need lawmakers who are not corrupted by the gun lobby, and/or fanatically attached to the ideology derived from idolization of the 2nd Amendment.

"The Second Amendment did not come down from Sinai. The right to bear arms will never be more important than human life. Our children have rights too. And our elected officials have a moral duty to protect them." Cardinal Cupich 

It is a problem of evil - it seems to me it is growing in proportion to the increase of hatred among people, a hardening of heart.  Like I said, I don't know, I'm no authority.  What I do know is that even Catholics will reject calls for reform and ignore people like Cupich and Francis when they call for change - precisely because they have hardened their hearts against them.  I dare say, many even end up hating them.  You see?  It's a problem of evil, which enters the heart through hatred.

Vain rejoicing in moral goods.

 There is a certain self-righteousness in those who blindly cling to the letter of the 2nd Amendment and promote unbridled ownership and use of guns for morally responsible, upstanding citizens determined to Make America Great Again.  John of the Cross alludes to it in The Ascent of Mt. Carmel - at least I connect the problem to it.  Vain rejoicing in moral goods.  It's the story of the Pharisee and the Publican.  St. John notes the harm which results in vain rejoicing in moral goods, e.g. one's virtues and good works as a law abiding citizen.

The seventh kind of harm is that human beings, insofar as they do not quell vain joy in their moral deeds, become more incapable of taking counsel and receiving reasonable instructions about the works they ought to do. The habitual weakness they have from working with this vain joy so enchains them that they either do not believe that the counsel of another is better, or do not wish to follow it even if in their opinion it is, because they are without the courage to do so.

Such people become very slack in charity toward God and neighbor, for the self-love contained in their works makes them grow cold in charity. - Ascent, 28:9

It seems to me, that it's a problem not simply confined to the perpetrators - the self-love and lack of charity of the 'good' is in some sense mirrored in the lack of empathy and hatred of the 'bad'.  Both permit evil to triumph.

I will close with the precaution given by the Holy Father at this week's audience:

"I pray for the children, the adults killed and their families," said Francis at the conclusion of his Wednesday general audience. "It is time to say enough to the indiscriminate trafficking of guns."

"Let us all commit ourselves so that such tragedies can never happen again," he continued. - Pope Francis

Yeah. So, "Let us all commit ourselves so that such tragedies can never happen again."

 *Top photo found on Tumbler with a naïve observation: "Guns aren't the problem."

"Guns aren't the problem.

Back in high school - more years ago than I care to count - I gave a speech in an English class. My subject was the M1. I was able to borrow a rifle from our armory (I was on the rifle team), walked four blocks to the school with the rifle slung over my shoulder, and gave my speech on how to field dress the weapon.

Most kids (boys) who were able to drive to school had rifles or shotguns in their back windows if they were driving a truck.

We never heard of school shootings. Period.

Guns aren't the problem."

That was then, this is now.  Guns are the problem.  The kid in Texas bought assault weapons as soon as he turned eighteen.  Snap out of it.