Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The rupture between sexuality and marriage.

Garden of Earthly Delights - Bosch



Unexpectedly ...

I found an excerpt from Vittorio Messori's book The Ratzinger Report on Spiritual Friendship blog, part of an extended discussion on the relationship between same sex marriage and contraception as viewed through the writings of Cardinal Ratzinger and Rowan Williams.  I've chosen to emphasize the Ratzinger Report: 

“The issue is the rupture between sexuality and marriage. Separated from motherhood, sex has remained without a locus and has lost its point of reference: it is a kind of drifting mine, a problem and at the same time an omnipresent power.”
After this first rupture he sees another, as a consequence: “After the separation between sexuality and motherhood was effected, sexuality was also separated from procreation. The movement, however, ended up going in an opposite direction: procreation without sexuality. Out of this follow the increasingly shocking medical-technical experiments so prevalent in our day where, precisely, procreation is independent of sexuality. Biological manipulation is striving to uncouple man from nature (the very existence of which is being disputed). There is an attempt to transform man, to manipulate him as one does every other ‘thing': he is nothing but a product planned according to one’s pleasure.
If I am not mistaken, I observe, our cultures are the first in history in which such ruptures have come to pass.
“Yes, and at the end of this march to shatter fundamental, natural linkages (and not, as is said, only those that are cultural), there are unimaginable consequences which, however, derive from the very logic that lies at the base of a venture of this kind.”
In his view we will atone already in our day for “the consequences of a sexuality which is no longer linked to motherhood and to procreation. It logically follows from this that every form of sexuality is equivalent and therefore of equal worth.” “It is certainly not a matter,” he specifies, “of establishing or recommending a retrograde moralism, but one of lucidly drawing the consequences from the premises: it is, in fact, logical that pleasure, the libido of the individual, become the only possible point of reference of sex. No longer having an objective reason to justify it, sex seeks the subjective reason in the gratification of desire, in the most ‘satisfying’ answer for the individual, to the instincts no longer subject to rational restraints. Everyone is free to give his personal libido the content considered suitable for himself.”
He continues: “Hence, it naturally follows that all forms of sexual gratification are transformed into the ‘rights’ of the individual. Thus to cite an especially current example, homosexuality becomes an inalienable right. (Given the aforementioned premises, how can one deny it?) On the contrary, its full recognition appears to be an aspect of human liberation.”
There are, however, other consequences of “this uprooting of the human person in the depth of his nature.” He elaborates: “Fecundity separated from marriage based on a life-long fidelity turns from being a blessing (as it was understood in every culture) into its opposite: that is to say a threat to the free development of the ‘individual’s right to happiness’. Thus abortion, institutionalized, free and socially guaranteed, becomes another ‘right’, another form of ‘liberation’.” - The Ratzinger Report

Contraception, the original sin of the sexual revolution.

Before 1960 there was no magic pill to regulate birth.  Contraception was clumsy.  The contraceptive mentality was there, the convenience wasn't.  Then the pill came along.  Clinical abortion is a consequence of failed contraception.  Sexual liberty, and therefore 'equality' is the consequence of the cultural revolution; “the consequences of a sexuality which is no longer linked to motherhood and to procreation. It logically follows from this that every form of sexuality is equivalent and therefore of equal worth.”

I'm not sure why that is so difficult to understand, or why or how Church leaders in Ireland can be so surprised that same-sex marriage was so easily approved by so many.  In the west, dissenting theologians and clergy have been free to present the teaching on artificial contraception as a matter of personal conscience, ignoring and criticizing Paul VI's Humanae Vitae, which condemned artificial contraception as well as foretelling what some of the consequences would result.
Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. - HV 17

Sunday, May 24, 2015

I think I should write some serious stuff.



If I write for readers the writing isn't worth anything.  It's a put on.

That's why most blogs are boring.  To me at least.

I've been reading Joseph Sciambra.

Some people think he's nuts - I don't.

He's lived a very 'gay' life - his experience was extreme.  He grew up in San Francisco - he chronicles his experience.  His spiritual experiences which led him to conversion may or may not be real to those who read them or read about them.  They may be metaphorical - they may be authentic.  Intense spiritual experiences are not uncommon for converts/penitents from extreme backgrounds.

Some writers online like to discount what Joe has to say, Melinda Selmys even suggested that maybe he wasn't really ever gay, while others say his experience is atypical for gay men.  They write him off and discredit him.  That's pretty hypocritical.  They deny the seamy, creepy side to homosexuality, not to mention the integrity of a man who left the gay scene behind.  There seems to be a sense of denial which underlies the Spiritual Friendship crowd, they offer an 'overly benign interpretation to the homosexual condition itself... going so far as to call it neutral, or even good.'

Sciambra doesn't do that - and that's why people don't like him.  He's probably the most honest writer online.

I like what he wrote recently - it really hits you right between the eyes.  I was thinking about it over night.  I think it maybe explains why gay marriage is so acceptable, and why Irish Catholics were led into apostasy.
[F]ar too many homosexuals trapped in the life have a plethora of straight friends and family members who give them unconditional love, never judge them, or question their initial entrance into the lifestyle; instead, they cooperate in a strange practice of “coming-out;” gushing and heralding loudly the gay person’s boundless bravery. 
After the hugs and kisses - none of those well-wishers follow that soul into the darkness of sexual perversity that awaits them; at 18, on my first day in the Castro, I was set upon by numerous men promising to “make a man out of me;” a new buddy my age, a rather naive Mid-Westerner, after a few months in San Francisco, was HIV+ and died the following year; in the 1990s, I only wore black - as a funeral seemed a daily occurrence; since then, little has changed - while gay men account for about only 2% of the US population, they make up well over half of all HIV infections; young gay men are most affected, with 93% of all infections in the age group 13-19 years resulting from homosexual sex. 
Yet, despite the gravity of the present, and the inherent dangers of the future, many with close friends and family members who are gay - choose to believe the lie, or to stay quiet. For the most part, they remain blissfully ignorant as they fear the truth; or, they deny the truth in order to remain within the circle of friendship and dysfunction. In silence and capitulation, the ties with the homosexual person are preserved, and the dysfunctional family continues to gather and celebrate various holidays and special occasions while the façade of normality perpetuates and bolsters the continuing entrapment within homosexuality. For, by collaborating and remaining dreamily complicit, you are making it extremely easy for the homosexual to stay in the lifestyle; in effect, you are contributing to the darkness; as the Light of Christ remains hidden from view. - Read more here.

I pray for Joseph Sciambra, that he perseveres and grows in holiness, that he stays honest and becomes the saint God wills him to be. 

What?



Years ago I was shopping at Lunds - a grocery store in Minneapolis - and I was picking out cat food.  There was an elderly gentleman standing nearby muttering, "All they do is eat and sleep."  I looked at him quizzically, and he said, "Cats."

He reminded me of George Burns without his signature cigar, but I didn't know how to respond to him.  I was in my 20's and not well socialized with old people.  I wasn't sure if he was joking or being critical.  After he walked away I realized he was being funny.  I ran into him later with his wife, who was shopping and discussing what to buy.  The man looked at me and gave me an exasperated look, nodding towards the wife.  Then I got it and I laughed and she said to me smiling - "Don't pay any attention to him."

I loved that guy.  I loved his deadpan humor, his George Burns style comedy act with his Gracie Allen wife.  I always wish I would have been less self-conscious/self-absorbed, less concerned about being cool in the yuppie-class grocery store near Lake Calhoun, and free to engage the old guy.  He was so funny.

Anyway.  I bring that up because it's kind of my humor as well.  Just saying random stuff.  No ill will intended.  Just dumb stuff.  I crack myself up, though very few really find my humor funny.  You see, I sort of have a sitcom going on in my head.

That said, I don't think that many people online are all that funny.

One guy I really like is Kevin O'Brien - he's funny and talented.  Unfortunately, he's not blogging anymore.  Fr. Z is funny too - I think a lot of people take him way too seriously though - all of the time - but sometimes he is really funny.

I like dumb humor the best.  I don't take serious very well.  Which is why I sabotage my friends' com boxes every once in a while.  Then the wife in my head says, "Don't pay any attention to him."

When most people online try to be funny, they're not.

Including me, obviously.  

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Blessed Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez, Martyr

We knew then that he was a martyr.

In thanksgiving for the beatification of Blessed Oscar Romero, who in the words of Fr. James Martin, S.J.: Oscar Romero was clearly a martyr and should have been declared one decades ago.

We can say that, but we forget these things happen when God allows them to.  We can't discern his purpose.  Otherwise we are like those who criticize the popes because they didn't reveal the third secret of Fatima or carry out some sort of consecration in the manner we expected.

Certainly politics delayed the beatification - but it happened now.  We can thank God for favors granted.  We need to avoid politicizing Romero any further than he has been.

More martyrs are coming, faster and faster.

St. John Paul at the tomb of Bl. Romero.
We knew then that he was a martyr.



Now NYC will have to allow LGBTQ contingents in the St. Patrick's Day parade...

Civil unions are not an alternative - they just pave the way.


Ireland approves gay marriage.
DUBLIN (AP) -- Irish voters have resoundingly backed amending the constitution to legalize gay marriage, leaders on both sides of the Irish referendum declared Saturday after the world's first national vote on the issue. 
As the official ballot counting continued, the only question appeared to be how large the "yes" margin of victory from Friday's vote would be. Analysts said the "yes" support was likely to exceed 60 percent nationally when official results are announced later Saturday. - Read more here.


So in your face.



Friday, May 22, 2015

And suddenly there shall come ...



A 5.4 4.8 quake in Vegas ... today.

Just a 4-pointer yesterday in the Bay area.

It's all probably part of the big build up to the film, San Andreas (May 29).

Strange coincidence.

Can you criticize the Pope?

At Fatima Our Lady urged the faithful
to pray for the Holy Father,
she never mentioned criticizing him.


Of course you can - you have free will.

The pope doesn't speak ex cathedra with every utterance.  Does he deserve our respect?  Absolutely.

Steve Skojec has a very good post discussing the issue.  It's well reasoned and is written in a very respectful tone.  Many people get upset with media reports and Vatican press releases, as well as the daily homilies or comments reportedly from the pope.  The pope himself can come off as pretty critical of all of us - no matter where we stand on the Catholic spectrum - traditionalist to progressive.  I think he is often misrepresented however, and his name taken in vain, as it were, by those who seek to promote an agenda or defend themselves.

My biggest objection to criticism is that it often involves scoffing and ridicule, treating the pope as we might a presidential candidate we disagree with, or some public figure we despise.  Sometimes the critics themselves seem to have serious issues wherein the crackpot blogger title is more than appropriate.  I have no time for Emmerich prophesies or Malachi Martin insights, or drunken rants on blogs, but a frank discussion, respectful and considerate is not a problem - if one feels the need to discuss publicly what the pope really said.

Skojec notes: "It has become an increasingly common problem in the Catholic world these days to find ourselves in the unenviable position of being afraid to say what we really think. This is both institutional — imposed as policy (whether written or unwritten) on those who work for Catholic organizations — and personal — through the various mechanisms of self-doubt. If we notice patterns, problems, and consistent deviations from the mien of previous pontificates, who are we to raise such questions? To borrow a phrase, 'Who are we to judge?'” - 1Peter5

I'm not sure it is our place to judge.  Likewise, those who take sides on any issue jump down the throats of those who disagree with them - therefore sometimes it is best to be silent - unless you want to get into a fight just for ego satisfaction, or you're Irish.

We live in confusing times and we aren't privy to what goes on behind closed doors.  We may not even have a need to know.

I've written before that people have to be careful what they read, especially by people who claim special spiritual insight, discernment of spirits, and sensitivity to the 'signs of the times'. As Fr. Angelo Mary Geiger writes:

[T]he autonomous personal conscience sometimes lays claim to a false discernment when it sets private revelation and presumed personal graces against the magisterium. The desire for union with God sometimes leads individuals to attach themselves to extraordinary manifestations of the “spirit,” but in such a way that weakens their attachment to the Church. Thus, Catholics continue to embrace New Age spirituality, or some dubious private revelation, or a personal insight even though they know that their conviction runs contrary to Church teaching or discipline. 
The discernment of spirits is so important today because there are many voices competing for our attention, and it is all so easy to assume that that what we hear, or even what we think and say comes from God. - Fr. Geiger

I think sometimes we have to step back and pray more and ponder in our hearts the things which confuse us - placing all of our trust in God alone.  As St. John of the Cross taught his novices: "Take Lot's wife as an example, because she was troubled at the destruction of the Sodomites and turned her head to watch what was happening, God punished her by converting her into a pillar of salt. You are thus to understand God's will: that even though you live among devils you should not turn the head of your thoughts to their affairs, but forget these things entirely and strive to keep your soul occupied purely and entirely in God, and not let the thought of this thing or that hinder you from doing so."

"Keep yourself in peace and thousands around you will be saved." - St, Seraphim of Sarov

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Weight gain can be a side-effect of blogging ...



Weight is also a cultural bias.

Fat women used to be the most desirable - especially fat wives - fat husbands showed off their wealth, decorating their wives like floats.  Ask Rubens.

Ever since Twiggy in the late 1960's, really thin was in.  You may say models were always thin, that's not exactly true - we'd call them fat today.  Flat chested was fashion.  Big breasts were for Hollywood and pin-ups.  Big breasts came with a bit of meat.  Though thin was always considered svelte since Coco Chanel, the standard was never as bad as when heroin chic came along.  And now androgynous boy models keep the anorexic movement going.

It's always something.

Kat's on a diet and preaching against the dangers of obesity.  That's fine.  People recovering from smoking or alcoholism do that stuff too.  Nothing wrong with that.  However, there is fat, obese, and morbid obesity.  All of which gets condemned and fat people are scorned ...  (Doctors like it because they can offer bi-pass surgery or lipo, - it's a lucrative industry - shame people into medical intervention.)

Except!  Wait!

Fat fashions for fat girls here.  It's a huge market that has been pretty much overlooked until recently.  (Pun intended.)  Fat people help the economy - dress them up and make them feel good about themselves - build profits for the overseas textile industry as well as Chinese manufacturers.

Oh!  Oh!  And guess what is sexy to women now?  The dad's bod!  Normal guys with a bit of a tummy... go here.

So here's my Jennifer Fulwiler quick take on all this.  

Quit obsessing about your body - it's a bit narcissistic and can be a form of idolatry.   Vanity is the devotion of self.  It is the main idol of body culture.  Always has been.  We lose weight and get in shape for better health, yes.  We look in the mirror, like what we see, and va-va-voom!  The mirror has two faces!

I know guys who get in shape and trick out because they are now 'gorgeous'!

I know women who left their husbands after losing a ton of weight and got a make-over.

I know women who found live-in boyfriends after getting shape.

Take care of the interior first - the exterior will start looking better before you know it or even care.

Thin fat people are always fat on the interior - you have to take care of your selfish self-seeking first.  Catherine of Siena writes about that.  Nowadays she is reputed to have been anorexic - but we miss the point on that because we are eating-disordered and obsessed with weight and appearance.  Catherine wasn't.  She was fixated upon her Beloved, her Christ.  Her heart was single, unencumbered.  It is the self which weighs us down.

And she was definitely thin...

What?


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Why men don't go to Mass: Professional actors coach seminarians on 'preaching'.



And now students, we will work on how to master timing in order to deliver a Biblical truth or a laugh line.

Really?  People already complain about the Mass as performance art, required applause for the music ministry, and standing ovations for liturgical dancing altar servers, as well as accusing priests of being narcissistic, claiming they act as if it is all about them.  So why add more theatricality to the mix?

Deacon Kandra reports on a Preaching Boot Camp for Seminarians:
Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary has hired two professional actors to put priests-in-training through an acting/public speaking workshop nicknamed Preaching Boot Camp. 
For the last several years, actors Arthur Beer and Mary Bremer-Beer have conducted the three-week workshops at the seminary. The seminarians are taught how to project, how to control tempo, and how to master timing in order to deliver a Biblical truth or a laugh line. - Read more here.
Prayer works.  If a priest prays - if he ruminates the Scriptures - he doesn't have to worry about technique, style, presentation, or getting a laugh.
To get them to tap into their emotions, the men were asked to write and deliver speeches about their mothers — and to read those speeches to their moms. - ibid
Really?  Pray. Be men of prayer.  Eat the Word of God.  Fall in love and live in union with Christ in the Eucharist.  Some of the best saints were not polished speakers but they prayed.  Nothing wrong with speech therapy - but the emphasis shouldn't be on performance.  Be natural and learned and holy, and speak from the heart.

Jim and Tammy Bakker were dramatic preachers.  So was Kathryn Kuhlman.  Joel Olsteen is great too - maybe get a teleprompter then.  Entertaining the faithful is not what it's about - you don't need schtick.

Please don't add any more drama or comedy to the homily 'segment' - and don't try to master timing or deliver punch lines.  It's already too much with all the musical numbers, orchestrations, and laity prancing around the sanctuary.  How much do we have to endure?

What?



Okay boys.  More drama!
You need pathos!
Throw open your arms
as if to embrace the congregation!
Then throw in a joke!
End with a Marty Haugen tune ...
Try, "All are welcome ..." 
Then ask them to be generous 
in the collection basket.



Monday, May 18, 2015

Not important enough for American Loons ...



Investigating mystics.

I was reading some material on Monsignor Esseff and new messages from Mary supposedly dictated to a locutionist under his direction.  I was trying to find out who the unnamed mystic is, apparently she is a cloistered nun.  The messages strike me as too political and a bit pro-American.  For me I find nothing edifying in them - much like Medjugorje.  Obviously it isn't meant to be - for me.

That said, I came across an American theologian, Ronald L. Conte, Jr. who discredits the Esseff locutions as well - so he must be right, since it accords with my intuitions on the subject.  Just kidding - I only say that because when we want to be right we can usually find someone who agrees with us - even a theologian.  However, I don't care about being 'right' on this - I was simply looking to find out more about the Essef messages - as they seem to be well received in my part of the Church.  I should point out Conte also accepts the following revelations as 'trustworthy':
Medjugorje
Garabandal
Fr. Stefano Gobbi
Me, not so much.

Ranking #205 in his list of false revelations, he states:
205. "Locutions to the World" - Anonymous visionary at Locutions.org, whose messages are announced through a retired priest, Msgr. John Esseff. Messages claim that Russia was never consecrated as requested at Fatima, even though Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Ratzginer (now Pope Benedict XVI) and sister Lucy, the visionary of Fatima, all said that Russia has been properly consecrated. The messages are similar to the other false messages of the above false visionaries, including profane commentary on politics, economics, and current events. - Conte
Works for me.  The Esseff locutions are also pro-Medjugorje - an irony because Conte accepts Medj as true.  It isn't a contradiction however, since they all accept Catholic teaching and remain Catholic.

Investigating the investigators.

Interestingly, Conte rejects Mark Mallet, a charismatic who supposedly misinterpreted a word of knowledge he received and speculated upon the three days darkness.  That's all such iffy stuff as it is - so who can judge?  I've noted some bloggers seem to follow Mark Mallet, but I know very little about him or his prophecies.  Remember John of the Cross has much to say on these things and I've often referred to his writings, especially when people interpret locutions in a literal sense.

I cited the extensive list of false revelations simply to demonstrate how popular spiritual prophecies and warnings and predictions are today - it goes hand in hand with the popularity of the occult I think.  That in itself should be a warning for devout souls.

When I googled Conte, his name came up on a fun site called American Loons - which pretty much diminished his credibility right away, for me at least.  I searched the site for other Catholic bloggers such as Barnhardt, Mckinley, Fernandez, Jeffie, Skovran, Verrechio, Zuhlsdorf, Poodles, and so on, but they weren't listed.  (Neither was I - but I'm not important enough.)  I did see Ann Coulter and Pam Geller - which is what prompted me to seriously look up Ann Barnhardt - but I didn't find any other personality I've met online ... except for this guy:
Dec 08, 2014
Michael Voris is a hysterically fanatic, militant religious (Catholic) fundamentalist. He is the president and founder of St. Michael's Media, which creates short videos and full length programs for the website ChurchMilitant.tv ...
http://americanloons.blogspot.com/
LOL!



Did you know? St. Mary of Jesus Crucified is said to be among those who foretold the Three Day Darkness?



St. Mariam Baouardy, who was canonized yesterday is reputed to have joined those saints and mystics who have prophesied the three days darkness. I've never been able to find her prediction in the literature I have on the saint.  I've only seen the quote on sites which promote prophecies on the warning and chastisement.

"All states will be shaken by war and civil conflict. During a darkness lasting three days the people given to evil ways will perish so that only one-fourth of mankind will survive." - St. Mary of Jesus Crucified.


Fifth Centenary of the Birth of St. Felix of Cantalice

 La Vierge Marie et l’Enfant Jésus avec  Saint Félix de Cantalice.


To commemorate the centenary, Fr. Charles, OFM, Cap. notes there is an opportunity to gain a plenary indulgence beginning today until May 18, 2016.  Details here.

St. Felix was one of those humble lay-brother saints.  A quaestor for the Roman friary, he was popularly known as Br. Deo Gratias, because he used that blessing whenever he received an alms or greeted passersby.  Gratitude and joy was a hallmark of his spirituality.  He was a dear friend of St. Philip Neri, as well an acquaintance of St. Charles Borromeo.  He was beloved by the people of Rome, revered for his sanctity, healing, even preaching.  Exhorting young men to live chaste lives, rebuking corrupt city leaders, teaching little children their catechism and leading them to devotion, while especially concerning himself with poor mothers - he was loved by all.  He is buried in the Capuchin church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini on the Via Veneto - one of the first churches I visited when on my first visit to Rome.

Read more about St. Felix here.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Canonized May 17: St. Mary of Jesus Crucified, OCD

Saint Mariam Baouardy -The Lily of Palestine
1846-1878


The story of St. Mary of Jesus Crucified is amazing.

From Mystics of the Church:

Saint Mariam Baouardy -The Lily of Palestine - Extraordinary Mystic, Stigmatic and Victim Soul (1846-1878) 
Saint Mariam Baouardy, known in religion as Mariam of Jesus Crucified, was born in Ibillin, located in the hill country of upper Galilee, Palestine. Her family originated in Damascus, Syria. They were Catholics of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Rite, descendants of the Archeparchy of Antioch, the place where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians. Her father, Giries (George) Baouardy, came from Horfesch, Palestine; her mother, Mariam Chahine, came from Tarshish, Palestine.

Her martyrdom and miraculous cure through the Blessed Virgin Mary
In her isolation from her uncle’s family, she turned to a Muslim servant to have him deliver her letter to Nazareth. For his part, the young man encouraged Mariam to reveal her personal troubles. He became outraged at her uncle’s treatment of her and played upon the mind and feelings of the young girl. He introduced conversion to Islam as a remedy to Mariam’s problems. His words and actions focused young Mariam directly upon her Christianity. However, she soon realized the young man’s true intentions, and this caused her to draw back. She denied his advances and loudly proclaimed her faith in the Church of Jesus. “Muslim, no, never! I am a daughter of the Catholic Church, and I hope by the grace of God to persevere until death in my religion, which is the only true one.”

Her so-called protector, furious at being rejected by this young Christian, became violent. Eyes flashing with hatred he lost control and kicked her to the floor. He then drew his sword and slashed her throat. Thinking her dead, he dumped her bloody body in a nearby dark alley. It was the feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 8,1858. What followed was a strange and beautifully moving story, told years later by Mariam to her Mistress of Novices at Marseilles, France:“A nun dressed in blue picked me up and stitched my throat wound. This happened in a grotto somewhere. I then found myself in heaven with the Blessed Virgin, the angels and the saints. They treated me with great kindness. In their company were my parents. I saw the brilliant throne of the Most Holy Trinity and Jesus Christ in His humanity. There was no sun, no lamp, but everything was bright with light. Someone spoke to me. They said that I was a virgin, but that my book was not finished. "
She then found herself once again in the grotto with the “nun dressed in blue”. How long did Mariam remain in this secret shelter? She later spoke of one month, but she was not sure. One day, the unknown nurse prepared some soup for her that was so delicious that she greedily asked for more, and all her life she was to remember the taste of this heavenly soup. On her death bed she was heard to say tenderly, "She made me some soup! Oh, such good soup! There I was a long time, looking, and never ate soup like that. I have the taste in my mouth. She promised me that at my last hour, she will give me a little spoonful of it."
Toward the end of her sojourn in the grotto, the nurse in blue outlined for Mariam her life`s program, "You will never see your family again, you will go to France, where you will become a religious. You will be a child of St. Joseph before becoming a daughter of St. Teresa. You will receive the habit of Carmel in one house, you will make your profession in a second, and you will die in a third, at Bethlehem." - Read the entire story here.

A priest friend, founder of a Carmelite community of men gave me a first class relic of the saint on the occasion of her beatification.  I am so happy for her canonization.



I'm Not Sure That's News (First edition): Girls Scouts Now Welcoming Transgender Boys...



I thought they always had?

Apparently not.

A new Girl Scouts of America policy extends membership to boys who identify as girls. In other words, this girls group is now embracing transgender boys. 
"Girl Scouts is proud to be the premiere leadership organization for girls in the country. Placement of transgender youth is handled on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of the child and the members of the troop/group in question a top priority," the group says in an FAQ on its website. "That said, if the child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe." - Source

Something is off.

Gender ideology may be the clearest indication we have that aliens are among us - right now on planet earth.  Transgender boy/girl?  Cis-male?  Genderqueer?

Here's a comprehensive Glossary/Definition of Terms to help potential adoptive parent(s) in guiding their child in determining what it is.  If the push is for non-binary - why all the terms?  

I watched "Into the Woods."



The film, Into the Woods.

I didn't like it.  Bad message.  Bad.

Prince Charming is a womanizer.  Red Ridding Hood is a brat.  Jack steals gold from the Giant and kills him - then the rest of the characters go after the Giant's avenging widow and kill her.  Jack robbed their house!  He should have been killed.

Then, most of the dialog was singing.  I hate musicals.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Weekend of Saints



Today, May 16, and tomorrow, May 17 is adorned with holy men and women.

Today is the feast of St. Margaret of Cortona, penitent.  Our Lord called her the Magdalene of the Franciscan order.  She could be a patron for single mothers who were sinners.  It would be better to rely on Margaret's merits than their own however - since Margaret was quite extreme in her penance and probably not the best mother for her poor son - who later was entrusted to the Franciscans - which had to be a better life for him.  Margaret suffered all her life from gossips who never forgot her sinful past and accused her of continuing indiscretions even after so many years of penance.  Perhaps she could be a patron for gay people as well - who once gay, always gay - in the eyes of so many of us.

St. Margaret, pray for us!


St. Simon Stock is also commemorated today.  Modern hagiographers tend to discredit the traditional stories about this Carmelite saint, yet he has always been venerated as the one to whom the Blessed Virgin gave the scapular of Mt. Carmel.  Scapulars had been around since the first monks - Pachomius was given a version of it by an angel - yet the gift of the Brown Scapular to Simon Stock was indeed special and set apart, and became a sign of consecration even for lay people.  I accept the traditional story of St. Simon who is so named because he began his eremetical life living in the hollow of a tree.  I like that.



Today is also the memorial of St. John Nepomucene.  He is the patron of Czechoslovakia, and of confessors.  He was martyred because he refused to divulge the content of the Queen's confessions to the King, who promised him honors if he did so.  He didn't and was thrown off a bridge in Prague.  His image and story was used by missionaries to the New World to catechize aboriginal people on the Seal of the Confessional.

Ah! Tomorrow, May 17 is especially illustrious!

First, it is the memorial of St. Paschal Baylon.  The humble Franciscan lay brother so devoted to the Blessed Sacrament.  I love him so much - I pray he grants me an increase of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament - a deep union ...

On this day, May 17, 1925, the Blessed Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face was canonized by Pius XI.

Ninety years later, the Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified, also know as Mariam Buoardy, the Little Arab, will be canonized by Pope Francis, along with fellow Palestinian Bl. Marie-Alphonsine Ghattas.

Bl. Mary of Jesus Crucified will be celebrated throughout the Church, in Catholic news and on Catholic blogs, so I don't need to say much.  The Little Arab is a modern thaumaturge - her life is filled with miracles and wonders, much like the early saints, whose legends have been more or less discredited by contemporary hagiographers who no longer believe in miracles.  The wondrous life of Bl. Mary has been documented by contemporaries and studied by mystical theologians.

So.  This weekend is filled with saints, revealed in and through the glorious splendor of the Ascension of the Lord.

Lies



"Lies that are based on what we want to be true are the hardest to disprove. A lie that is tied into identity cannot be touched without destroying the entire identity of an individual or a movement." - Daniel Greenfield