“Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor..." - Evangelii Gaudium

Monday, May 02, 2016

New feature: The parts of Amoris Laetitia 'good' Catholics will probably ignore ...




“Modesty” From Amoris Laetitia by Pope Francis
282 A sexual education that fosters a healthy sense of modesty has immense value, however much some people nowadays consider modesty a relic of a bygone era. Modesty is a natural means whereby we defend our personal privacy and prevent ourselves from being turned into objects to be used. Without a sense of modesty, affection and sexuality can be reduced to an obsession with genitality and unhealthy behaviors that distort our capacity for love, and with forms of sexual violence that lead to inhuman treatment or cause hurt to others.


Yeah.  Just concentrate on the footnotes instead.


Ask yourself,
What would Our Lady wear?





Sunday, May 01, 2016

Him Updated Etsy Shop

Our Lady Undoer of Knots
T. Nelson
Acrylic on 8"x10" Rococo Wood Panel

NLA

[My apologies the photo isn't as crisp as it
should be, but at the base of the painting
I added a scene of refugees in shadow 
fleeing war and terror.]



I added 4 retablos today and marked down a couple of other pieces.  Visit my shop here if you are interested.  Tell 'em Lloyd Braun sent you.

St. Peter Martyr

St. Peter of Verona exorcising a possessed statue
of the Madonna and Child.


St. Catherine is now venerated on April 29, which used to be his feast day.

St. Peter is my special patron - my second middle name is Peter, and I have had a special devotion to him since I was very young.  I was always intrigued that he was martyred with an ax to the head, and finally stabbed to death as he began to write the Creed in his blood.  The fresco shown above is actually a new detail of his life I had not known before.

St. Peter was an inquisitor and exorcist and a great preacher, fighting against the Albigensian heresy.  Therefore it stands to reason the scene depicted here would have occurred.  I just never thought of religious objects, or devotional statues as being possessed.

One more reason to be guarded concerning reports of bleeding statues and weeping icons.

St. Peter elevates the Blessed Sacrament in the rite of exorcism - a good reminder to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith.

Remain united to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and close to Our Lady in the prayers of the rosary.

St. Peter of Verona, pray for us.

The Saint is credited with starting the Fascinator hat
trend British women so enjoy wearing - as well as fashionable
broaches and stick pin accessories 
in memory of the dagger he was stabbed with.
Patron saint of milliners and costume jewelry makers
- he ought to be.




I just made up the part about 
the hats and accessories.
What?



Saturday, April 30, 2016

This is interesting: Kevin O'Brien on Charlie Johnston

Lloyd Braun

Serenity now!

I've written about Charlie Johnston locutionist-visionary-mystic before - and most of my readers at least, never heard of him.  Nevertheless, Mr. Johnston has turned up in Catholic news once again, thanks in part to Kevin O'Brien calling him out.  Mr. O'Brien makes a pretty good case that Mr. Johnston may be 'dissimulating' some facts about himself.  Kevin O'Brien is an excellent commentator - he's always reminded me of Bill Geist, sharp wit, straight commentary - and funny.  He writes well and is a great character actor.  Although he's serious in his take down of Charlie Johnston - who now makes me think of Lloyd Braun - the guy who fooled George and his dad with fake computer phone sales:

 Frank: He's crazy. His phone wasn't even hooked up. He just liked ringing
that bell.

And that's perhaps another reason why I don't get excited about locutionists.  But I sure wish Kevin O'Brien was online on a regular basis.  But I digress, and now, without further ado:


Charlie Johnston is from Belleville. 

If you come from St. Louis, that's all you need to know. 

Charlie is the kind of guy you'd meet in a bar in Belleville, Illinois - a working class community across the river from St. Louis, where I'm from. Guys from Belleville - and from all over Southern Illinois - are characters. They come up with tall tales and you sit on a bar stool listening to them and you take everything they say with a grain of salt because they're from Belleville.

Charlie Johnston is a liar. Or a teller of tall tales. Take your pick. (That's harsh - think of him in terms of Lloyd Braun.  Kidding - but perhaps one may be delusional?  I don't know.)

He says an angel is giving him secret messages. He says, among other things, that the last normal Christmas was Christmas of 2013, and if you didn't notice how abnormal Christmas of 2014 and Christmas of 2015 were, that's not his fault. He says that his angel has told him that Obama will not finish his term; that he will convert and that the 2016 elections will be suspended. He says that the Virgin Mary will publicly appear in 2017 and that there will be a utopia of Christian believers on earth from that point forward. He says he walked across America - even though he appears to be in his 70's, is overweight, admits to having nerve damage, and his own posts on his Facebook page prove that he did no such thing.

On Friday, April 29, the National Catholic Register published a well written and well researched article by Patti Armstrong detailing Charlie's weirdness and the bishops who have warned their flocks about him and banned him from speaking in their dioceses. In that article, Patti quotes me, and my two posts on Charlie (this one and this one).

Charlie's response? - Finish reading here.


Kevin O'Brien is pissed because people are duped.  Johnston offers some practical advice, though his other predictions - such as the US elections being cancelled can be pretty off the wall - desperate people hear what they want to hear - they follow these reports, they listen to visionaries who speak 'without any mandate' from the Church, often upsetting people 'with their teachings and disturbing their peace of mind'.   -Acts 15: 22-31

"Time will prove where wisdom lies."

I often think of John of the Cross of whom it is said remained alone reading scripture while his novices went off to satisfy their curiosity, visiting a stigmatic and visionary in the locale.  St. John chose the better part - and for those who do likewise, it will never be taken from you.

Now with the Fatima Centenary approaching, all sorts of people are projecting events foretold in the Third Secret and its warnings seem to coincide with all the wars and rumors of war, terrorism, weather related disasters, earthquakes and so on.  Just be cautious, remembering,  "If it were possible, even the elect would be led astray."

Stay close to the Church ... pray and don't worry.



And keep your sense of humor - works for me!



Friday, April 29, 2016

The Holy Face

Holy Face - Terry Nelson
10x7
acrylic on wood
2016

Detail


I'm often not happy with my work, but this comes closest to pleasing me than most of my paintings.


This is available at my Etsy shop here.

Works for me ...

St. Catherine in Papal Court

Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest on his bosom. He who rebels against our Father is condemned to death, for that which we do to him we do to Christ: we honor Christ if we honor the Pope; we dishonor Christ if we dishonor the Pope. I know very well that many defend themselves by boasting: “They are so corrupt, and work all manner of evil!” But God has commanded that, even if the priests, the pastors, and Christ-on-earth were incarnate devils, we be obedient and subject to them, not for their sakes, but for the sake of God, and out of obedience to Him.  - Saint Catherine of Siena in St. Catherine of Siena, SCS, p. 201-202, p. 222.

h/t Fr. Z 

Bars


Mums and Dadums.



Just off the top of my head I recalled the names of some of the bars my parents frequented - the ones I pretty much grew up in:

Viaduct Inn
Corteau's
Yarusso's
Gentiles
The Wagon Wheel
The Tin Cup
Belmont Club
Payne Ave Rec.
Arlington Rec.
Mancini's
Depot Bar
Phalen Park
The Lamb's Club
The Chatterbox
Schweitz's
Moose Lodge
Gopher Bar
Raiola's
Skarda's
Parrish's
The Poodle Dog
Gallivan's


Voris covers 'not born that way'.

Isn't this a nice photo of Michael?


The truth needs to be repeated ...

Been there done that - but it does bear repeating, and Voris covers it well.  But he's kind of preaching to the choir.  So much has been written and discussed and there has been several 'developments' over just the past decade - since I began blogging.  That said - read Michael's transcript here.

The only people who will really be paying attention are the CMTV followers and fans.  That is what I mean by preaching to the choir.  That said, there are problems with the one size fits all - or one guy's experience fits all, which may be a better way to phrase that.  I get the feeling Michael will be repeating all the teachings, and that is fine - it's a great way to establish one's fidelity to Catholic doctrine and moral teaching, as well as a means to convey that one is faithful to a chaste, celibate lifestyle.  All that good stuff.  And I mean it - it is good stuff - and you gain credibility for it.

Nevertheless, many, if not most gay people have convinced themselves they were born that way - and some who know such people insist they exhibited 'gay' behaviors as toddlers.  Parents, uncles and aunts, will tell you that.  (And in turn, this early affirmation fixed the kid in that identity - in a loving, co-dependent way maybe?)  And who knows?  The Catechism certainly teaches the Church doesn't fully understand "its psychological genesis" explaining it "remains largely unexplained."  To be sure, the Church consistently affirms the authentic identity of the human person as a child of God - male and female he created them:

The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, can hardly be adequately described by a reductionist reference to his or her sexual orientation.

Today, the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person as a "heterosexual" or a "homosexual" and insists that every person has a fundamental Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life. - CDF
So.  In that respect, we are correct in saying a person is not born gay.

Nevertheless, though you want to rant and rave about it, so many people believe they are 'born that way'.  I don't ... but.  Perhaps there is an over-riding tendency, a predisposition, an inclination which develops over time which convinces people they had to be born that way?  Otherwise, why do people believe they are born that way?  Michael tries to answer that - and it bears repeating, over and over, I guess - but it doesn't always agree with every ones experience of self.

The fact is - not everyone is able or willing to go there.  Not everyone feels able to 'change'.  We need to accept the individual where they are at - as Christ does, as the Church does - without binding up burdens too heavy to carry.  The Church calls gay people to conversion, to chastity, to sanctify their lives - to become saints.

Michael expands his case, and steps into the 'no homosexual can or should be ordained' as well as 'gay priests should resign' - these are not direct quotes, but they come close.  I've covered that before as well - fact is, they are ordained, while some may only figure out they have those 'inclinations' after ordination.  Mike has this to say:
An ordained man of God who in the quiet of his own mind, whether he accepts it or not, detects in himself a strain of homosexuality can be injurious to souls. This is why the acceptance or accommodation of this or the lack of willingness to confront it among Church leaders is so dangerous to the faithful. The message is not being sufficiently preached that no one is created by God as a homosexual. - cmtv

Many good priests will disagree on that point.  One priest who commented on the post did so:
Yes, but as a priest I would want to broaden the discussion to include the way God's grace does work in the lives of those "gay" priests who seek to follow the celibate life and are prayerful and loyal to the Church's teachings. I am not one of them, but I know some, and they are exemplary priests. In other words, God works through them because they have chosen to follow His way and not the way of the world. Nor are these men few in number and we should not bracket them with others who will not or cannot remain faithful. You said before, "do not limit God". That applies even here. Whether they should have been ordained or not is another question. What is clear in their lives is that God is working through them and within them to bring them to holiness.  - Fr. Abberton
I agree with Fr. Abberton.  I like how he repeated Michael's 'coming out' exhortation: "Do not limit God."

I would only add, God knows how to deal with each person - me and you and them, as well as our limitations - we need to trust Him on that, and 'not limit God'..

From yesterday's first reading at Mass, there just may be some good advice to squeeze out for all of us who feel called to moralize on these topics:

"James responded ... It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God, but tell them to avoid pollution from idols, unlawful marriage ... and so on." -Acts 15: 7-12

I don't think it is all that hard, or too much of a stretch to substitute 'gay Catholics' for Gentiles in that passage, for my purposes here at least.  Especially as it concerns insisting people stop saying gay and imposing all the rules people want others to conform to.  I'm fairly certain Pope Francis would say the same thing - or at least it is probably what he meant when he said: "If a person is gay and truly seeks God - who am I to judge?"  Just yesterday, Pope Francis had this to say:

“The Holy Spirit and we have decided….” This is the way of the Church when faced with novelties, the Pope said. Not the worldly novelties of fashion, but the novelties of the Spirit who always surprises us. How does the Church resolve these problems? Through meetings and discussions, listening and praying, before making a final decision. This is the way of the Church when the Spirit surprises us, Pope Francis said, recalling the resistance that emerged in recent times during the Second Vatican Council. - Pope Francis

I may be wrong, so read your Catechism and the Documents from the CDF and seek counsel from your priests and bishops.  And pray and frequent the sacraments.  There are many good priests to help people who truly seek God.  Likewise there is Courage Apostolate,  The primary goal of Courage is to help and support men and women "live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality." [...] "Courage meetings are not group therapy, and no Courage member is required to seek counseling or treatment of any kind."
The focus of Courage ministry is the development of a life of interior chastity in union with Christ. Chastity itself is the fruit of a dynamic relationship with Christ based on love, discipleship, holiness, and charity. Courage believes with the Church that all persons are called to, and are capable of living, a life of holiness and chastity. This is true no matter what our attractions or temptations may be, and even if particular vulnerabilities remain with us for our whole lives. - Courage FAQs

No Catholic is required to join Courage or become a life-long member of any support-self-help group - but Courage is the very best pastoral response to persons with same sex attraction that I know of.  Each group has an ordained spiritual director/moderator - for a reason.  Converted gays sometimes think they have the final say on how gay people need to be evangelized - as I always say - some can be like dry drunks:  Take the booze out of the fruitcake - you still have fruitcake.

God bless and don't let online former homosexuals scare you away from seeking salvation.  Trust in God.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Memo to parents: In the development of masculine identity it is important to be good in sports. (Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons)

Wrestling is especially good for the guys, said Coach Hastert.
Encourage boys to play sports and do boys stuff,
you know, just to make sure they do not turn out gay...
we want them big and strong manly men.


If you get your son into sports at an early age, he won't be a queer.


Today former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison for his attempt to bribe a victim by illegally withdrawing funds to pay him to keep silent.  The judge called him a 'serial child molester' - but the boys-to-young-men victims were not children ...  Hmmmmmmm.  How very queer.


Hastert couldn't be charged with sex abuse because the statute of limitations expired.

Don't say it is child sexual abuse - in this case it really is queer.  Boys in the 1950's and '60's used to be shown films in Health Class about homosexual predators who went after teenage boys - some gay guys do that - there used to be gay slang for it.  Hastert knew what he was doing.  Today, no one will admit to such categorizations and they insist upon calling it pedophilia.  It's not.  Hastert obviously liked teen boys and young men - and liked giving them oral sex.  It doesn't get much gayer than that.  Guys like him don't want a femme boy to have back door sex with - they want a masculine boy.

Get your terms straight - and tell your kids to watch out for their coach.


This is wonderful news: Promulgation of the decree of heroic virtue of the Servant of God María Montserrat Grases García

Montserrat Grases
1941-1959

'While still quite young, Grases (Spain, 1941-1959) received God’s call to serve him in ordinary life. During the sickness that led to her death, she gave exemplary witness to her friends and relatives of the peace that comes from closeness to God.' - Read more here.
All you who are thirsty, who have no money, come - without paying and without cost! - Isaiah 55:1

The key here is Montse 'received God's call to serve him in ordinary life'.  That is the ordinary vocation of the Christian.  Ordinary life sanctified by God's grace.  Ordinary life ... every day ordinary life ...
In her struggle to reach holiness, Montse always stood out for her love for the Sacred Humanity of Christ, her Eucharistic piety, her devotion to the Blessed Virgin, her deep humility and her effort to serve others. She knew how to find God in the loving fulfillment of her work and study duties, in the small things of each day.  - Source

That's it - that is the ordinary way.

You don't even have to join any group, support group or secular religious group.  Christ calls each of us - we have the Church, the sacraments, the Blessed Virgin and Christ.  I am Christ's and Christ is mine ...
"Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine, and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God Himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me." - St. John of the Cross

This news is so refreshing and so edifying to me today, especially in consideration of all the online tumult involving individuals who speak and write against the Church and the Pope these days.  There is one Church, One Holy Catholic Church, it doesn't matter which form of Mass you prefer and attend, Ordinary Form or Extraordinary Form - by baptism we are called to sanctify ordinary life.  We don't need to spend our time exposing lies and falsehoods, or jumping on every boycott wagon or signing every petition which comes along.  Not at all.  We need to learn, as Montse did, how to find God in the devout fulfillment of the duties of our state of ordinary life.  It is the little way, and the ordinary way.  It is the beatitudes.  It is the call of Fatima.  It is the message of Vatican II.

It is God's will.

Blessed Montserrat, pray for us!

If the Presidential election is between Clinton and Trump ...

Trump will be our next president.



We're doomed either way.

This is so funny ...

After reading the Encyclical of Laudato Si, one blogger posted this reaction last year:


Now that's funny!

I love the Encyclical as well as the recent Exhortation, and of course I love Pope Francis - but this is really funny.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Disinterested friendship ...

Disinterested buddies just don't care what people think.

Enough pearl clutching: I think there needs to be an official Diocesan/Canonical inquiry in response to the Voris allegations against the Archdiocese of NY!


"All the members of the Church, have the duty to ask for an authentic interpretation."


Song for this post here.

Our Lady of Good Counsel


Holy Virgin, moved by the painful uncertainty we experience in seeking and acquiring the true and the good, we cast ourselves at thy feet and invoke thee under the sweet title of Mother of Good Counsel. We beseech thee: come to our aid at this moment in our worldly sojourn when the twin darknesses of error and of evil that plots our ruin by leading minds and hearts astray.
.
Seat of Wisdom and Star of the Sea, enlighten the victims of doubt and of error so that they may not be seduced by evil masquerading as good; strengthen them against the hostile and corrupting forces of passion and of sin.
.
Mother of Good Counsel, obtain for us from thy Divine Son the love of virtue and the strength to choose, in doubtful and difficult situations, the course agreeable to our salvation. Supported by thy hand we shall thus journey without harm along the paths taught us by the word and example of Jesus our Savior, following the Sun of Truth and Justice in freedom and safety across the battlefield of life under the guidance of thy maternal Star, until we come at length to the harbor of salvation to enjoy with thee unalloyed and everlasting peace. Amen.
(By Pope Pius XII, 23 January 1953)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Look what I found! Our Lady of Good Help

Made by a Greek iconographer in Athens.
Check it out here.

Disinterested Friendship

Disinterested pals.

This is weird ... Have nothing to do with these forms of 'apostolate' ... Nicholson on Voris?

-source-

Get out while the going is good?

I guess Nicholson was Voris' spiritual director and a CMTV friend.  Now some bloggers are saying the priest completely disowned them.  They are speculating that Nicholson is talking about CMTV in the above statement.  I don't know if it is actually something he said or published, but like the accusations against the archdiocese of NY made by Michael - a lot of mud-slinging seems to be going on.

Fr. Nicholson seems to offer a one size fits all diagnosis of what's going on ...

Those who are the most ardent fault finders are those who suffer from a deep self-hatred. Homosexual acts produces in an individual such self-loathing that it not surprising that the gay culture manifests itself in attacking with hostility. Unwittingly the culture of the Internet is dominated by this gay culture ... And today, many Catholics are so deformed that they have succumbed to it. That is why there are groups and individuals who can make a living off of bashing bishops. They survive on poorly formed Catholics. Do not follow or listen to anyone who bashes the sacred hierarchy. It is an evident sign they experience self-loathing. Even if the person has repented of deep sexual sins in their past, human nature will be infected by those sins. It can happen therefore that the prodigal son can turn into the elder brother. Have nothing to do with these forms of "apostolate". - Source

Man.  There is so much to unpack there.  So much.  Right off the bat I sense a duplicity of 'pastoral care' at the end of that statement, "Even if the person has repented of deep sexual sins in their past, human nature will be infected by those sins."  Which pretty much equals the secretly held prejudiuce, 'once a homo, always a homo'.  And that proves the lie of many who insist 'they hate the sin but love the sinner.'  I read the same type of hypocrisy in those pro-life warriors who praised Trump for saying women who get abortions should be punished.  One woman online pointed out women she considered sluts to support the Trump statement.  Others used their 'experience' in pro-life work to support the same position.

Sunday's Second Reading on how Christ 'makes all things new' as well as the Scripture, 'though your sins be as scarlet he makes them white as snow' simply must not be believed by those people who try to destroy the reputations of others, or hold them to account for their sins that have been forgiven.
'Faithful' Catholics do not want you or me to go out in public without our scarlet letter of sins - number and kind - made public, pasted on our foreheads, and forever holding us in our place of shame.  No wonder gay people suffer from self-loathing - they are loathed by the self-righteous.

Not surprisingly, the good father asks for donations now that he has shaken the dust from his sandals:
Dear friends; I apologize for not providing you with a daily video, and this may be for a while. I have ceased doing business with the company that provided the platform. While my future is uncertain, I entrust myself to the Providential goodness of God the Father. If you could, in your kindness continue your financial support during this adventure, I would be most appreciative. God reward you! Fr. Paul Nicholson


"Have nothing to do with these forms of 'apostolate'."

Works for me.






Note:  I hate it when this happens - the links have been removed because of newer posts on those sites bordering on calumny and detraction.  I'm also closing comments on this post.  My apologies.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

I'm working on a new Matt Talbot ...

May 2, 1856 - June 7, 1925


I feel like I have to keep painting him until I meet him again ...

Song for this post here.

Such an amazing painter: Raúl Berzosa



I had forgotten that Matthew Alderman covered him in 2008 and though I searched for the artist's work, I couldn't recall Berzosa's name until today.

Fifth Sunday of Easter: Archdiocesan priests asked to wear purple vestments for Prince!


Assuming you are Roman Catholic living in Minneapolis, what color vestments did your priest wear today, the 5th Sunday of Easter?
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View Results
So that people feel free to post, would you confine yourselves to posting about your own thoughts, rather than commenting on other people’s remarks?

What?

The choir dressed in purple as well. 
Somehow, they were able to adapt the Glory and Praise,
David Haas/Marty Haugen lyrics to Prince instrumentals/melodies.
On Eagles Wings was remixed with Little Red Corvette.
It was awesome.


Paisley Park covered in flowers.
Story here.

Disinterested friendship ...

Joey and Ross
Best nap ever!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Queen Elizabeth Wears the Purple for Prince ...


But is it enough?

Rumor has it Tony Blair finally talked her into coming to Paisley Park to pay her respects to the fallen musician, explaining to Her Majesty:
"I believe the moment for statements has passed. I would suggest flying the flag at half-mast above Buckingham Palace... and... going to Minneapolis at the earliest opportunity. It would be a great comfort to your people... and would help them with their grief."
If she doesn't show up the people are going to revolt.

What?

First Ave. Downtown Minneapolis.
This is bigger than Diana.

Monos - 'one who dwells alone'

I know this monk.


monk (n.)  Old English munuc "monk" (used also of women), from Proto-Germanic *muniko- (cognates: Old Frisian munek, Middle Dutch monic, Old High Germanmunih, German Mönch), an early borrowing from Vulgar Latin *monicus (source of French moine, Spanish monje, Italian monaco), from Late Latinmonachus "monk," originally "religious hermit," from Ecclesiastical Greek monakhos "monk," noun use of a classical Greek adjective meaning "solitary," from monos "alone" (see mono-).


I switched Mass times ... to be more solitary I guess.

Happy feast day Georg and Jorge!


How Good Catholics Kept Michael Voris' Secret ...



I always think of this scene from "In and Out" when someone is outed.


Will good Catholics continue to accept him?

I won't discuss that here, but I've come across a couple of comments suggesting he may be 'unfit' for his mission.  I won't link to these, but I'm a bit confounded by it, to be honest.  Anyway...

As I worked on a project yesterday, I reflected upon Michael Voris' video 'confession' - I also read several posted comments on his admission of past sins, and I was amazed and edified by the support shown to him.  I think I mentioned that I kind of 'knew' he had some sort of 'experience', but I would never have made any accusation, and would have defended him against such insinuations - unless I was speaking privately to a gay friend, perhaps.  Like I said, I've always liked him, 'accepted' him, and certainly have covered him on this blog - sometimes disagreeing, sometimes agreeing, and so on.  Check it out here.

A couple of my friends were not as sympathetic to Voris' admission, and certainly were wary of accusations leveled against the archdiocese of New York.  I have to wonder if the 'paranoia' that someone is out to get him maybe isn't exacerbated by keeping his past such a well guarded secret.  I've recognized the same fears in myself - which helps explain why I'm so private and do not socialize very much.  I have few close friends and have kept a distance from family, friends, and coworkers.  I've kept to myself - a sort of lone wolf - always have.  So I think I 'get it' with Voris.

What is a bit more difficult to understand is the harsh, vindictive, almost mean-spirited tone he has used against the 'Sodomites'.  I've covered some of his expose videos where he really comes down hard on gay people and so-called 'gay-friendly' clergy and Catholics.  Who knows, maybe he was one of the anonymous commenters I used to get who accused me of being too soft on gays, too gay-friendly, or a closet queen, and/or a homo pretending to be faithful?  I don't seriously think that of course - but I did have people swipe at me like that.

I had one older woman commenter who insisted I admit I was gay because otherwise I'd be deceiving people.  She didn't even know me, we never met - evidently she knew people who knew me - or thought they did.  I've had others tell me I shouldn't - or have no right - to write about this stuff because I live with a guy, or because of my past, and I'm a hypocrite for not going public, etc.  Which is why I often say you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.  But I digress.

This morning I reflected on ex-gays and repentant sinners who condemn and judge others without knowing their interior dispositions, what stage they are at in their conversion, and so on.

It's hyperbole to make the following comparison, and probably a bit extreme, but it kind of worked for me this morning.

Everyone knows the Nazis put homosexuals to death during the Holocaust.  Many also know that there was a homosexual presence in the Nazi party, that was not entirely obliterated after the Night of the Long Knives, when Hitler ordered Lutz, to put an end to "homosexuality, debauchery, drunkenness, and high living" in the SA.  Thus, it seems logical to me that some of those Nazis who sent gay people to the camps and their death could have been recognized by the victims ... I imagined how some Nazis - who maybe had a past like Michael's, joined in the persecution of gays, or just stood by while they were sent to the camps and their deaths. I know it's an exaggeration, but it helped me see just what others have been saying about the vindictiveness involved in calling out others for their 'hidden sins'.

That said - late yesterday I came across a beautiful example of charity and discretion in Melinda Selmys.

In her recent post on the Problem of Detraction, she reveals that when she was engaged in a 'battle' with Voris, 'informants' contacted her about Michael's past:
When I originally published my criticisms of Church Militant back on my old blog, I had a moderated com-box — nothing got posted unless I had approved it first. There were several comments submitted from gay men who were aware of Voris’ past, including one of his former partners. I didn’t publish them in spite of the fact that the commenters themselves were confused as to why they were being censored, why their story could not be told on my platform. - Melinda Selmys
Anyone engaged in such a debate - Selmys needing to defend her fidelity to Catholic teaching and so on - would have yelled "Jackpot!".  She had the goods on Mike!  She admits she wanted to publish the information.  Instead, she sought counsel, and did the right thing - his secret was safe with her.  She avoided the serious sin of detraction.  My respect for that woman soared.  She ends her essay with an authentically Catholic conclusion:

If I had outed Voris all of those years ago, it would not have been good. His supporters would probably have rushed to insist that my sources were lying. There would have been a firefight. Voris himself would have been placed under horrible stress.
It would also have deprived him of the dignity of being able to tell his own story, in his own words, from his own perspective, when he decided that it was time to do so. It might have prevented the outpouring of mercy and support that we’re seeing today from both his fans and his critics. An opportunity for healing and reconciliation would have been lost in order to score a meaningless victory in a meaningless war — a war in which egos are bolstered at the cost of communion in Christ. - Melinda Selmys

We learn so much from one another when we allow ourselves to love and be loved by one another.

Pope Francis talks about this stuff all the time ...

Be merciful to one another.

Love one another.

Do not judge.

Carry one another's burdens ...

But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you. - Luke 6


Every day I have so much to repent of.  

What?