Tuesday, October 06, 2015

St. Bruno

Every year I make my lament...

"Many wish to come into this port, and many make great efforts to do so, yet do not achieve it. Indeed many, after reaching it, have been thrust out, since it was not granted to them from above.

Therefore, my brothers, you should consider it certain and well established that whoever partakes of this desirable good, should he in any way lose it, will grieve to his death, if he has any concern for the salvation of his soul." -Letters of St. Bruno. Office of Readings.

Each year I read it, what I know by heart...

Pray for us St. Bruno, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

In a parable to Br. Leo, I think it was, St. Francis explained it was perfect joy to be rejected and not admitted to the friary.  Thus, barring admittance to the ermetical life, it seems to me St. Catherine of Siena tells us where we can go to find that holy solitude which unites us to God:

Build yourself a spiritual cell, which you can always take with you, and that is the cell of self-knowledge; you will find there also the knowledge of God's goodness to you. There are really two cells in one, and if you live in one you must also live in the other, otherwise the soul will either despair or be presumptuous; if you dwelt in self-knowledge alone you would despair; if you dwelt in knowledge of God alone you would be tempted to presumption. One must go with the other, and thus you will reach perfection. - St. Catherine of Siena

Oh, a storm is threat'ning ...

My very life today
If I don't get some shelter
Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away...

Jerry Brown once worked with M. Teresa.
Changed his life, he said.

Speculative spittle-flecked-nutties over the Synod is simply a diversion from real life.

You want something to worry about?  I'll give you something to worry about.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a dangerous bill today to make the state the 4th to legalize assisted suicide, following Oregon, Washington and Vermont.

In his signing message, Brown said he signed the bill because he wouldn’t want to be in pain in his final days — regardless of the fact that pain relief is readily available without killing patients. - Source

Storms and earthquakes forecast for October.

It's so strange how news items like legalizing assisted suicide can be taken in stride.  The recent murders in Oregon - I heard it on the news, and pretty much took it for granted.  In Minnesota it seems there is a shooting or knifing nearly every day - a murder every week or so.  Last I heard Minneapolis has had 35 murders so far this year.  Domestic abuse can be deadly.  What did Mother Teresa say about a country which permits mothers to kill their child in the womb?

One doesn't have to be a prophet to know a storm is threatening.  A 1000 year flood on the East Coast?  I bet that confirmed a lot of prophecies, huh?

Song for this post here.

Synod fatigue. Already? Really?

Such drama ... unbecoming a priest.

Snap out of it.

Lorenzo of Detroit has some suggestions on how to cope here.

Works for me.

Monday, October 05, 2015

October is Domestic Violence Month. Just in time for the Synod on the Family.

I wonder if you can buy greeting cards to send?

Always use soft foods and liquids when hitting in the face.

October is filled with holidays, huh?

I have fond memories of how my parents handled things.  After many years of domestic violence, and great expense for emergency care and glasses replacement for my mom, my dad stopped hitting and would grab the glasses from my mother's face and pop the lenses out.  Then he'd slam her head into the wall.  One Christmas we came over and though she was black-eyed and puffy, and the phone was pulled out of the wall and there was a huge hole in the sheet-rock, her glasses were just fine.

"What happened to the wall mom?"


And everything was fine after that.

“There are always fights in a marriage, aren’t there? Sometimes plates fly. You’re laughing, but it’s the truth." - Pope Francis

Isn't that cute?  Isn't that true?

"Just be careful when you fight, family - don't create a lot of unnecessary expense.  We love you!" - Bob and Penny Lord.

Guys, if you're unmarried and still living in the basement,
be kind to your mothers.

Saints and Blessed for Today ...

Among them, my special patron, Blessed Alberto Marvelli.

Blessed Albert Marvelli

Alberto Marvelli was born at Ferrari on 21st March 1918, the second of seven brothers. Later, he began to attend the Salesian Oratory. He was always available and became a catechist and leader: the Salesians’ right arm. He loved to play all kinds of sports. He joined the Oratory group for Catholic Action soon becoming its parish president. In June 1942 he graduated from college as an engineer and began working with Fiat in Turin. He did his military service and succeeded in bringing many of his friends to Mass. During the Second World War he became an apostle amongst displaced persons and a real source of providence for the poor. His Marian and Eucharistic devotion really were the supporting columns in his life: “What a new world opens up to me contemplating Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament”, he wrote in his diary. Each time I receive Holy Communion, each time Jesus in his divinity and humanity enters into me, in contact with my soul, it awakens holy ideas in me, a burning and consuming flame, but one that makes me so happy!”. He died when he was hit by an army truck on October 5th 1946. He was, as Don Bosco wanted, a good Christian and upright citizen, committed to the Church and society with a Salesian heart. As a youth his motto was: We go forward or we die. - Bosc.org
Tomba B. Alberto Marvelli

I also found this prayer card here.
Praise God in his angels and his saints!
Bl. Alberto, pray for us.

Other patrons whose feast is today:

St. Faustina, pray for us.
St. Placid, pray for us.
Bl. Raymond Capua, pray for us.
Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos, pray for us.
Bl. Bartolo Longo, pray for us.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Francesco ... One Love

Happy feast day to all the little ones.

Song for this little portion here.

The sad story of Monsignor Krzystof Charamsa ... more thoughts, and prayers.*

Thinking about the story of Fr. Krzy (Monsignor Krzystof Charamsa)

There is a lot of hateful stuff on line - understandably so, since the priest in question appears to have made an attempt to hijack the Synod on the Family which began today.  Sodomite is the operative word to drive home the point this guy is a filthy homosexual.  That's the language I'm encountering - not unfamiliar to my ears either.

I've never felt more sad over a story like this.

When I first read the story, I thought it was sad, unfortunate, and felt badly for the guy.  I imagined something sudden must have happened - and he fell in love and simply wanted to find 'happiness' with his lover and attempt to live happily ever after.  Turns out he had a sort manifesto, a list of demands that the Church change her teaching, even rewrite Scripture, to accommodate and approve LGBTQ lifestyle and relationships, and so on.  Equality and liberty for all.  That's essentially Antichrist, anti-Christian.

How do people fall away like this?

For a religious person, I think it usually begins with a falling off of interior devotion.  Faith without devotion, that is, love, weakens and is easily shaken.  In Krzy's case, it might have begun shortly after arriving in Rome.  Rome is incredibly romantic and dazzling, the Italians are fun, beautiful, and seductive.  He may have been impressed by the glamour.  He may have been seduced by the prestige of working in the Vatican.  Encountering and dining with influential visitors, young acquaintances, perhaps - always happy and fun and in a Roman holiday spirit - all of which is enough to sap devotion.  To neglect prayer and mortification and self-denial.  To blunt humility.

One kiss ...

The lyrics from a Bozz Scaggs song came to mind as I was thinking of these things.  Strange as it seems, I was reminded of St. Teresa of Avila's account of her 'falling away', as well as her tale of a priest she'd met, who had been 'charmed' by a woman.  Not following that?  Here's the lyric that influenced my thoughts, occasioned by some of the photos of Krzy and Edouard.
I can still remember
What you told me with your eyes
One kiss
Now it's down to this
Guess it's time you realize ... song here.

Mix that song, or one like it, with a sexually attractive person gazing at you from across the room, penetrating your 'heart' with his eyes - and you can fall - just like lightning from the sky ...

One kiss, with the eyes ... when faith and love and devotion has grown cold it is amazing how easily, how quickly we can be seduced.  Like lightning - a tsunami of hot, flowing, emotion enveloping the depths of your being.  The time must be ripe, the lonely heart shivering cold, the danger signals muted, the emotions and senses open to the occasion.  It can happen in an instant.  Through a simple, though evocative scent, a familiar taste reminding you of an earlier encounter or fantasy.  Suddenly ....  the fall.

The more serious the sin - or the propensity for it - the more fervent our prayer - our devotion must be.

Prayer - devotion - is incompatible with self-indulgence.  (Hence my tie-in to Teresa of Avila.)  Self-love, self-pleasure and self gratification cannot exist together in the devout life.  Either little by little, or in one fell swoop we can return to our former way of life - which tugs at our heart - sometimes violently, inviting us to look back - perhaps just for an instant, just to glimpse the destruction of Sodom - which has a strange, fantastic appeal and exhilarating music all its own.

Back in my arms again...

The love, the passion, the vain rejoicing in natural goods ... the misappropriation of  a false mysticism, leading to coveting what is lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not yours - all of that is forbidden to celibates, and when indulged, foments contempt of what is holy and sacred.  The person rebels against nature.  Then God and his Church.  He blames the Church for his sin - and insists the Church absolve and erase the law from its books - because only the law defines it as disordered.  The person sets himself in opposition to Christ - and is therefore, anti-Christ.

That.  That is the scary part, as well as the extremely sad part of this story.  Obstinacy in sin, rejection of the Commandments, leads to the denial of God - it makes us enemies of Christ and his Cross.  We declare: I will not serve.

Yet we ask why the Blessed Virgin weeps... 

I hope and pray this priest and his friend will come to understand the delusion homosexuality and lgbtq-gender-theory presents today.  Fr. Krzy's apostasy demonstrates why it is so necessary to take care to avoid that 'an all too benign interpretation be given to the homosexual condition itself'.  Sometimes this benign interpretation leads to the very fall we seek to avoid.

Be careful how you condemn as well - lest a worse fate fall upon you.  Fr. Krzy and Edouard have the opportunity to repent and return - we may not if we condemn.  And remember - no Pope caused this or accommodated this situation.  Not any more than the Law or the Church invented this sin, as Krzy seems to suggest.  Christ warned us and left an example of all of this in and through the conduct of his disciples.

Go and sin no more.

Jesus, I trust in you.
Our confidence is our salvation.

*If anyone reading this sees or knows these guys, tell them I will pray for both of them, Krzystof and Eduard, for the rest of my life, and give them a hug.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi


[READER 1] Then Francis asked to be laid on the bare floor without his habit. With his back to the cold floor he raised his face to heaven and was completely taken up by the glory of holy Poverty. Covering his wound on his right side with his left hand he spoke thus to the brethren:

[LEADER] I have done my part. May Christ teach you yours.

[READER 2] Meanwhile, the Guardian rose hastily and took a habit to St. Francis. “Consider this habit,” he said, “as something I have lent to you. I deprive you of the right to give it away to others.” Then St. Francis exulted, because he saw that he had been true to Lady Poverty to the end. Now he asked for bread, He took the loaf, blessed it, broke it, and gave a piece to everyone to eat. Thus he held a memorial service of the Last Supper which the Lord had celebrated. He did this to show the deep love he had for his brethren.

[READER 1] At last, when all the mysteries of Christ had been fulfilled in him, he went up joyfully to God. When St. Francis died the people were filled with sorrow, but on seeing him in a clear resemblance of the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world, they rejoiced. He was, as it were, just taken down from the cross- with the wounds of the nails in his hands and feet, and that of the lance in his side. They came near and kissed these marks which reminded them of him who had reconciled the world to God.

Pray for us holy father St. Francis,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Confirmed. Homos in the Vatican: Polish priest fired from the CDF after he publicly comes out as "gay"...

Monsignor Krzystof Charamsa
(He just thinks he's gay.)

True story.

I'm a little surprised because I didn't think Polish priests could be gay.  (I wonder if he had said he was same-sex-attracted things would have been different?)  Turns out this priest also has a partner he fell in love with. That's hard to understand considering priests and religious are expected to live chaste, celibate lives.  How do you say Mass while living a double life?  That's got to be difficult.  After reading more, turns out the priest understood he would have to leave the priesthood, but not before making a 'mess'.  It appears he was hoping to influence the Church to change it's teaching on homosexuality.  Possibly giving credence to several conspiracy theories of homosexuals exerting undo influence upon the Synod, not to mention the CDF.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican dismissed a priest from his post in a Holy See office on Saturday after he told a newspaper he was gay and urged the Catholic Church to change its stance on homosexuality. 
Monsignor Krzystof Charamsa was removed from his position at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's doctrinal arm where he had worked since 2003, a statement said. 
Charamsa, 43, and a Polish theologian, announced he was gay and had a partner in a long interview with Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper on Saturday. 
He later held a news conference with his partner, a Spanish man, and gay activists at a Rome restaurant. They had planned a demonstration in front of the Vatican but changed the venue several hours before it was due to have started.

The Vatican said Charamsa's dismissal had nothing to do with his comments on his personal situation, which it said "merit respect". 
But it said giving the interview and the planned demonstration was "grave and irresponsible" given their timing on the eve of a synod of bishops who will discuss family issues, including how to reach out to gays. 
It said his actions would subject the synod, which Pope Francis is due to open on Sunday, to "undue media pressure". 
The issue of homosexuality and the Church has dominated the aftermath of the pope's visit to the United States last week. 
In Saturday's interview, Charamsa said his partner had helped him come to terms with his sexuality and knew he would have to give up the priesthood, although the Vatican statement made no reference to this outcome. 
"It's time for the Church to open its eyes about gay Catholics and to understand that the solution it proposes to them -- total abstinence from a life of love -- is inhuman," he was quoted as saying. 
The Catholic Church teaches that homosexuality is not a sin but that homosexual acts are. - Source

It's always something, huh?

I'm not really surprised, I guess.  Although the timing appears to be a calculated move - to embarrass and to exert pressure upon the upcoming Synod?  A somewhat underhanded attempt perhaps.

Obviously this sort of 'behavior' within the curia, or 'papal court', as well as chanceries, has existed for centuries.  Doesn't make it easier though.

Another reminder why Little Therese prayed so much for priests.

. . .

They look like decent guys.

Post script: The Monsignor is in his mid-forties.  His friend appears to be about the same age - there goes another theory, I suppose.  So what happened?  How did they meet?  Did he go out to bars which cater to the same-sex-attracted?  Did he have a circle of same-sex-attracted friends he was inordinately interested in?  Was he suffering from SSA?  Was he sexually abused as a kid?  Did he get into porn?  Were bathrobes required in seminary?  Is he really into fashion, dance-trans, opulent lifestyle?  So many questions - facetious and serious.

I hope and pray for their salvation.  New guys to add to my prayer list.

*PSS: Central casting:  Bradley Cooper and Ben Affleck should portray these guys if Barb Nicolosi and Act One ever get into film production.  What?

Pope met with former student and his partner ...

"As noted in the past, the Pope, as pastor,
has maintained many personal relationships with people
in a spirit of kindness, welcome and dialogue," - Fr.Lombardi.

They're friends...

Pope Francis met with his former student, Yayo Grassi, and his friend last week.  Grassi and friend had met the Pope in Rome as well.  The Pope invited Grassi to come for a visit during his papal trip to the United States.  The former student-friend of the Pope suffers from same sex attraction and has lived for 19 years with the same-sex-attracted friend who accompanied him to meet the Pope at the Vatican embassy in Washington.

Catholic and non-Catholic journalists and bloggers, along with secular news sites have been writing articles claiming that the Pope met with a 'gay couple'.  We know that's impossible because people are not gay and two men do not a couple make.  What?

Yayo Grassi, an openly gay man, brought his partner, Iwan Bagus, as well several other friends to the Vatican Embassy on September 23 for a brief visit with the Pope. A video of the meeting shows Grassi and Francis greeting each other with a warm hug.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Grassi said the visit was arranged personally with the Pope via email in the weeks ahead of Francis' highly anticipated visit to the United States.
"Three weeks before the trip, he called me on the phone and said he would love to give me a hug," Grassi said. - CNN

He met with them?!

Post script:  Seriously, this is an interesting story which more or less supports a decision I made several weeks ago.  I have a little bit of a reputation - pretty much because of this blog - although I'm not a notorious public sinner, some people use the 'G' word about me.

Anyway - a member of the clergy I've known since college days, was recently, unjustly, and falsely accused of a single, unsubstantiated act.  I called him, offered my support in prayer and he suggested we meet for lunch, since he had the time.  I declined because I didn't think it would be appropriate for him to be seen with me, during the investigation, fearing people might talk.  (Like the Pope, my friend is straight.)  Unfortunately, my friend couldn't understand that - because he knows I live a chaste, celibate life in accord with Catholic teaching, etc., etc.  Nevertheless I declined his invitation.

I haven't talked to him since he was cleared of all suspicion and charges.  I maybe lost a friend?  Just disinterested?

What I'm saying is that though I may be overly discreet and overly cautious and deeply disinterested - despite the fact the Pope certainly wasn't embarrassed to welcome his friend and companion to meet and greet and be photographed with him in Washington - I know how people talk.  I actually made a similar mistake myself once - or twice - maybe more than that.

I have to mind my own business.

Snap out of it!

Song for this post here.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Here's a question. Why Don't Catholic bloggers pick on the Catholic Channel at Patheos any longer?

Because Elizabeth Scalia moved to Aleteia.

Yeah.  That's right.

No one reads Patheos blogs any more.

No one cares Larry.


The Secret Audience With Pope Francis: Why did the Vatican sit on this story until now?


Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, issued a final clarification on Pope Francis’ brief meeting, downplaying its significance.  It's well known that in the past, Pope Francis has been critical of American's fawning over pets.
Fr. Lombardi stated that along with Bo and Sunny, several dozen people were also invited by the Nunciature to greet the Holy Father before he departed for New York City. “Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope’s characteristic kindness and availability,” he stated. “The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.”
“The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of the First Pets and his meeting with them should not be considered a form of support of pets in all of its particular and complex aspects.”
"I have no further comment on this,” Lombardi told journalists, cuddling his own black poodle named Jorgie. - ZaniNews

Vatican insists Pope did not know the dogs
would be presented in audience in advance
of the Assisi blessing of pets.


Guardian Angels

Remember, your angel isn't your lover, romantic fantasy, or gorgeous imaginary friend who is yours to do with as you wish, to name, or imagine cuddling with.

Most contemporary angelic iconography tends to be neo-pagan-new-agey, idealized mythic-romantic idols of sexual fantasy, while much of the male images are decidedly homo-erotic.

Angels are pure spirits.
329 St. Augustine says: "'Angel' is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is 'spirit'; if you seek the name of their office, it is 'angel': from what they are, 'spirit', from what they do, 'angel.'"188 With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they "always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven" they are the "mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word".
330 As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness. - CCC

Well, you look about the kind of angel I'd get.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Friendly fire.

An apology.

I wrote a rather flippant post the other day challenging Joseph Sciambra and his objections to the use of the colloquialism gay in discussing other Catholics who employ the term to describe themselves.  One is supposed to use same sex attracted, and not identify oneself as gay.  I feel it's sometimes disingenuous to insist upon this point, and fired off a post I thought demonstrated the irony of Joe's position on the subject.  The post was misinterpreted as a sort of attack on Joe.  In retrospect, I also see it was indiscreet due to anecdotal references to the experiences of former friends, acquaintances, and even my own former behavior in order to point out how 'gay' people - or those struggling with same sex erotic attraction can inadvertently deceive themselves and others.  A couple of people thought I was referencing their particular experience.  I apologize for that, and the subsequent confusion and misunderstanding generated by my original post.

I should have known better and treated the subject with greater sensitivity and seriousness, rather than relying on my quirky sense of dark humor.  I should have known better and revised the post - which I did when I realized it had been misunderstood.  I probably should have removed it as soon as I began to defend it by adding multiple corrections.  I apologize for my self-opinion and pride and insistence upon my personal point of view, as well as my lack of consideration for the good name of others.   I'm very sorry.

For all of its faults, the original post was well intentioned, though admittedly very poorly written.

Essentially I wanted to express openness to the Spiritual Friendship group who identify as gay-Catholic and devote themselves to reconciling gay people with Catholic teaching.  It seemed to me their apostolate is very similar to Joe Sciambra's apostolate - accompanying and meeting gay people where they are at, in the reality of their existence, as they are - not as we would like them to be.  It's a discussion over my head, beyond my expertise.

My criticism came off as sarcastic, scornful and contemptuous.  I'm very sorry.

Joe Sciambra wrote a very good post explaining why he does not use the term gay to describe himself or others.
"Despite this, time and the healing power of prayer can calm all things: after over 15 years, I can at least now utter the word - though sparingly; I never call myself “gay” or anyone else for that matter. I only use it during outreach to the “gay” community; in the form of my two web-sites: www.jesuslovesgaymen.com andwww.jesuslovesgaywomen.com. I do this because, in the homosexual world, I am dealing directly with a group of human beings that are in a communal state of euphoric denial; its sort of The Coconut Grove gone berserk - since no one tries to flee as the burning building falls about them...." - Joe Sciambra
I had apologized in the combox of the original post, explaining why I called out Joe's post on the Folsom St. Fair:  (Edited for clarity.)

Actually I admire him for what he does - I simply find it ironic that he doesn't recognize or appreciate the fact that Tushnet, Belgau, Selmys and company are doing the same thing. Likewise, Joe's criticism of Cardinal Schonborn for suggesting: " the Church should not look in the bedroom first, but in the dining room! It must accompany people" impressed me as a bit over the top considering that Joe meets these people where they are at - the Folsom St. Fair. Nothing wrong with that - but it seems to me that it pretty much measures out to be the same thing.
Joe is doing a good thing - provided he's not placing himself in the occasion of sin - Folsom St. can be pretty raunchy. (I said that because it is often suggested same sex friendships are an occasion of sin for gay people.) That (occasion of sin talk) opens another can of worms - the occasion of sin argument for same sex friends. It's a topic Joe rails against. Likewise the photos - I've had more innocent photos guys have asked me to take down because they were tempted to lust.
Yesterday's Gospel spoke to this issue - when John complained to Jesus about someone casting out demons in Jesus' name and Jesus pretty much said, "C'mon - do not prevent him - whoever is not against us is for us."
I wasn't condemning him - just pointing out how he's doing the same stuff those he has criticized in the past do. I've said it over and over - there is nothing wrong with his 'outreach' here - 'accompanying' these people. I'm not criticizing his photos. - My comments on my post here.
Joe Sciambra is a good man, doing a very good work - truly going out to the peripheries.  No doubt about it.

My prayers today are for him and those caught in the crossfire of this spiritual combat.

I will try to mind my own business from now on.  God bless.

Thanks to JR for linking me to Joe's post.

This just in*: Pope Francis met with Kim Davis.

Francis and Kim Davis

It's an edifying story.

Pope Francis met privately in Washington last week with Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who defied a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, adding a new element to an American tour that saw Francis attract huge crowds and articulate left-leaning positions on poverty, immigration, the environment and inequality.
On Tuesday night, her lawyer, Mathew D. Staver, said that Ms. Davis and her husband, Joe, were sneaked into the Vatican Embassy by car on Thursday afternoon. Francis gave her rosaries and told her to “stay strong,” the lawyer said. The couple met for about 15 minutes with the pope, who was accompanied by security guards, aides and photographers.
“I put my hand out and he reached and he grabbed it, and I hugged him and he hugged me,” Ms. Davis said Wednesday in an interview with ABC News. ‘Thank you for your courage.’” 
“I had tears coming out of my eyes,” she said. “I’m just a nobody, so it was really humbling to think he would want to meet or know me.” - NYT

As most Catholics know, Pope Francis is against same sex marriage, so his encouragement to Kim Davis shouldn't surprise anyone.

“It was like touching the face of Jesus. I mean that. 
He is a very warm, spiritual, loving man and he has the heart of Jesus.”

The Holy Father also received Mary Jo Copeland, a local woman who has dedicated her life to serving the poor.

*I say 'this just in' because the Vatican finally confirmed the meeting between the Pope and Davis.

The feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

"Even if I had committed all possible crimes, I would still have the same confidence; I feel that this multitude of offenses would be like a drop of water thrown into the flaming furnace of God's love." - St. Therese

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Maureen Mullarkey - fired from First Things

I love her art though.

I've not read Mullarkey's essays - just the one in defense of the Manhattan church of Our Savior and the iconography which was in process of being removed this past year.  I agreed with her on that - otherwise I don't often read First Things and I have rarely read her stuff.

I love her art though.  I've been familiar with her paintings for a few years now, and she is one of the few contemporary female artists I really like and admire.

It's too bad she involved herself with religious people and writing conservative diatribes.  Maybe stick to painting.

(I didn't think the painter and the writer were the same Mullarkey.  Guess I was wrong.)

Never mind.

Mo Rocca. Who invited you?

Oh what the heck, I'll step in it ...

First of all, I never knew Rocca was gay.  I thought he was married - to a woman - and liked cats.  But I could be thinking of Dan Harris.  I've seen Rocca before and really liked him - he seemed like a lovable geek - totally nerd and unattractive.  Suddenly, last week, he captures the imaginations of Catholics across the country - because he was chosen to lector at the Pope's Mass in Madison Square Garden.  (I didn't watch it.  Papal Masses, lovely as they may be, are way too long.)

Online sites are claiming a Lavender Mafia conspiracy because Rocca was chosen to do the readings:  "When Rocca appeared on live news feeds last night as the lector for the Papal Mass, Twitter blew up with scandalous praise as everyone saw this as the Church's — and specifically Pope Francis' — acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage." - CM

[Disclaimer: In the past, I've been reprimanded for using the term 'lavender mafia' - so be advised I am not suggesting one exists, or ever existed - I'm simply quoting the source.]

But somebody chose Rocca to do the readings - and Cardinal Dolan knows Rocca - and Dolan looked right at him.  What?  I don't know what was going on.

Elizabeth Scalia posted something on Aleteia defending the situation, offering a sort of 'salvo' for the story.  (I said 'salvo' - I'm kind of like a journalist using words like that, huh?)

Surprisingly, most of the comments on Scalia's post are less than supportive.   Scalia does her best to support the situation pointing out that Rocca most likely refrained from the reception of Holy Communion.  Readers think he should have refrained the office of lector.
On social media, I have read – but have not yet been able to confirm — that Rocca refrained from receiving Communion during the Mass. If that is true — and since no one ever knows the state of another’s soul — then there really isn’t much to say, except that one day last week a brother on a journey knew he was not fit to receive Communion. That’s more than many of us ever know.
Here is the last true thing: Nothing prevents a Catholic – any Catholic – from engaging in daily parish life, or from licitly participating in worship at Mass; we are bound only by the obligation to abstain from receiving Holy Communion, unless we are in a state of grace. 
Obedience to that obligation is a kind of witness in and of itself: it proclaims that while one might currently be holding to one’s own conscience, one recognizes something greater than even that — the reverenced respect due to the Real Presence of Christ Jesus.
Such obedience is, in fact, a worthy and admirable demonstration of humility; one to shame any Pharisee. - Aleteia
Once I was helping a priest friend prepare for Benediction
and he asked me to light the charcoal.  I did so with my 
cigarette lighter, and the transitional deacon - who already
eyed me suspiciously, almost audibly gasped and looked 
at Father as if to say: "Are you going to allow him to do that?"
Of course it was only about the lighter...

Right or wrong - Mo Rocca has pretty much been condemned.  Even though we don't know the state of his soul - he's a marked man and people have been scandalized.  Catholics now have another reason to condemn Dolan and criticize the Pope.

I'm a big sinner, a hypocrite.  I believe, accept, and embrace Catholic teaching on marriage and sexuality.  I'm against gay marriage and homosexual activity.  I've lived a chaste and celibate life, but I wouldn't go near an ambo or volunteer at a parish near me.

I've given the same advice to others - and I've been derided by gay-Catholics for that as well.

Active participation - for me at least - is prayer and penance and fidelity to the duties of my state in life, taking care of widowers and orphan cats.  I'm working out my salvation with fear and trembling and I'm just hoping and praying I can die a good death and have a Catholic funeral.

Just saying ...

Maybe look for an organist job 
at a baseball park instead of the Basilica.

Song for this post here.

The Penitent St. Jerome

The old man beat his breast with a rock
in penance for being a jerk 
and his sins of the tongue.

What heavy handed Catholic writers and apologists and bloggers could learn from this guy...

Whether people read us or not - we will all be judged on every word we say or write.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

You are coming from a great tribulation...

The Holy Father said something on his return to Rome.

I cite it because so many contemporary 'prophets' speak of a great shaking, a storm, or tribulation ... begging the question - what has been happening all along?

He also explained the reason for his meeting with the United States episcopate in Washington D.C., where he felt the need to express to the prelates his compassion with regard to cases of sexual abuse. “A horrible thing”, he said, “and many suffer because they did not know about it and are true men of the Church, true pastors. … And I spoke to them using words from the Bible, from the Book of Revelation: you are coming from a great tribulation, because what happened was a 'great tribulation'. .. I would say almost a sacrilege. … We all know that abuse has occurred in many places: in families, in the neighbourhood, in schools, at gymnasiums … But when a priest commits abuse it is very serious, because the vocation of the priest is to make that boy or girl grow in God's love, towards emotional maturity. And instead this is crushed, it is damaged. And this must not be concealed: those who have covered up these events are equally guilty. It is dreadful. And the words I spoke were not intended to say, “Don't worry, it's nothing”. Instead I wanted to say, “It has been awful and I imagine you have wept a lot”. This was the meaning of what I said, and I spoke firmly”. - VIS
What does Peter do?  He strengthens and confirms the faith of his brothers.

Today a website is running a story on Evangelicals warning Catholics away from the Pope.  Catholic sites have run anti-Papist stories for the last week - mocking every word and gesture of the Holy Father.

That is extremely troubling and leads many away from the Faith, from the Sacraments, from the Church.

"Have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs?" - James 2

Feast of the Archangels

O glorious prince St. Michael,
 chief and commander of the heavenly hosts,
 guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits,
servant in the house of the Divine King
and our admirable conductor,
 you who shine with excellence
and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil
, who turn to you with confidence
and enable us by your gracious protection
 to serve God more and more faithfully every day.

You can't condemn Eve Tushnet and Ron Belgau who simply seek to befriend gay people and then go to the Folsom Street Fair for photo ops like you are Mother Teresa.

I apologize in advance for this, but ...

Really?  So Tushnet goes to a church that welcomes gay people no 
matter where they are at in their conversion process.  They identify as gay.
  What's the difference here?

Ed. note:  I've edited - added commentary in red italics for greater clarity.
I also clarified points in the comment section.

C'mon. - (In the Second Reading Sunday - the Apostle wrote, "Come now ..." - C'mon is like that in tone.)

You can't say gay but you can say 'Jesus loves gay men'? - (You just did.  Your t-shirt said gay - you said, Jesus loves gay men.)

Yeah, he does - Jesus does love gay men.  But will you please knock it off?  Please? - (That is - knock off making an issue out of people using the term gay.)

You never met a gay man?  Really?  Who are you talking to and posing with in these photos? - (Joe wrote a post titled, 'I never met a gay man'.  - I think he did.)

Gay people like to pretend. - (They say, don't say gay - say SSA - until they are in that milieu.  It's dishonest.)

Don't keep pretending... gay people are never going to get beyond this phony conflict if we don't stop pretending.

Let me tell you ...

I love you Joey Sciambra. - (But give people a break and stop lecturing them about 'how' they 'accompany' others in their journey.)

Seriously, you are a good man doing good things - but as Christ told the disciples in the Gospel, 'Whoever is not against us is for us.'

Seek to please God - not men. - (So many critics try to put obstacles in the way of those who want to share the joy of the Gospel - last weekend the Pope reminded us how Jesus “keeps telling his disciples to go, to go out. He urges them to go out and meet others where they really are, not where we think they should be.")

PS: Joe Sciambra is doing that in his own peculiar fashion - nothing wrong with that.  However, it seems to me Catholics associated with Spiritual Friendship are doing the same thing - so I'm having trouble understanding all the opposition from Joe on this topic.  It strikes me as a bit disingenuous.

That's all.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Papal visit - it's not over till the fat lady sings ... and I'm sure she will.

Pope Francis visited the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major on Monday, 
after his arrival at Rome’s Ciampino Airport. 
The Pope had just concluded a 10-day Apostolic Voyage 
to Cuba and the United States. - Source
The return home interview here.

Craziness ensues ...

I've purposely ignored all the conspiracy stories while the pope was here.  I've tried to read normal reports and avoided the radicals online.  

You heard about Cardinal Daneels, right?  A friend sent me an inquiry regarding the story - I had seen the headlines of course, but never read the story.  Until my friend asked about it.  As soon as I saw Ann Barnhardt did a post on it - I didn't need to read any more.  Though I noted today the authors of the book on Danneels retracted comments on the mafia plot to oust Benedict and elect Francis.

Seriously people, we have got to get a life.  These conversations are insane.  Obviously some of the people writing these stories have serious mental illness, or are simply agitators and contentious fear mongers.  Nut cases.  You know, things haven't been this nuts since the Bayside claims that Paul VI had a double, and later, the conspiract theories that JPI was murdered.  You people keep digging up and following false mystics and conspiracy theories as if they are Catholic teaching.  It's not.

As Mark Shea put it:
As Francis’ spectacularly successful visit drives reactionaries into shrieks of hysterics beyond the pitch of human hearing, St. Blogs is ringing with disinterred rumors that a Sinister Liberal Conspiracy forced Benedict out and replaced him with the invalidly elected antipope Francis.
This is the latest buzz from the Conspiracy Theorists of St. Blogs and the not-at-all crazy Right Wing Noise Machine. A New Hope is kindled! Francis haters around St. Blogs from One Peter Five to Roarhate Daily are abuzz with excitement and helpfully suggesting that it’s a whole new ball game! Francis may well be an antipope (they hopefully offer without having the stones to come out and say it) and we can ignore him (which they are already trying to do anyway), the Church is saved from him, etc.
Good news. You don’t have to worry about absurd rumors like this. Indeed, you don’t have to worry about it even if Danneels really has made the claims attributed to him (which is by no means proven). He can either honestly or dishonestly take the credit for Benedict’s resignation. But the reality is that the most expert theologian on planet earth has made it clear that Benedict’s resignation was freely undertaken.  (Pope Benedict himself.) - Mark Shea

Get a hobby or something.

The Blood Moon - it's over.

1/4 of humanity has been wiped out.

I watched the whole thing.

I saw a UFO too - neighbors said it was a drone - and then they all disappeared - the neighbors, I mean.

The UFO remained stationary for a time and then vanished.  My canned Ham radio jammed, so I couldn't pick up any signals bouncing off the moon.

I'm the lone survivor in my neighborhood.  My house was spared.

If you are still alive and still have money after the Global collapse, please contact me ASAP.

Thank you.

I'm OK - I'm OK!

Song for this post here.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Closing Mass

Very moving, beautiful Mass.

Thanks be to God.

Prayers for the Holy Father.

And this I love - to see the Pope visiting those who can't attend the scheduled events ...

Pope Francis greets inmates during his visit to
 Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia, 
Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pool)

Prayers for the Holy Father ... never a day off.  Never a vacation.  Going out of his way to visit the imprisoned.

Last Day for the World Meeting of Families ... An Abbey Roads Exclusive: A very special presentation not aired at last night's spectacular for the Holy Father ...

...Family presenters rejected by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

I'm so sick of this Pope crap.  


I switched back and forth with the remote last night, waiting to see what Aretha would do - and then I turned it off.  Her mink obviously didn't fit and when she sang, she sort of sounded as if she needed last rites.  The WMF is probably the least interesting aspect of the Papal events.  I haven't watched the Masses because they are way too long and staged for me.  Last night's event was far too scripted and the EWTN commentary was getting tedious, to say the least.  I felt sorry for the Pope forced to sit through the performances and the presenters - but he has to do the same for World Youth Day.

My favorite part of the Philadelphia visit - so far - was the arrival of the Pope at St. Charles Borromeo and all the seminarians in cassocks.  I like that.

I also came across an article critical of Mark Wahlberg as celebrity host:

Conservative Catholic blog Rorate Caeli called Wahlberg out for his support of gay marriage, which the Church strongly opposes. - Jerusalem Post

I'm so glad I didn't have to see that!

Song for this post here.