Sunday, June 26, 2016
Seminarians gathered in Rome for the Pope's talk.
He might have meant to say, 'Don't treat people like animals' ...
Monsignor Pope, whom I admire very much, appears to be offended by the Holy Father's remarks. It seems to me he may think, as do other priests, that the Holy Father doesn't like priests. That's sad.
I hope the Holy Father will respond to Monsignor's concern:
Please, Holy Father: Enough of these ad hoc, off-the-cuff, impromptu sessions, whether at thirty thousand feet or at ground level. Much harm through confusion has been caused by these latest remarks on marriage, cohabitation, baptism, confession, and pastoral practice. Simply cleaning the record in the official transcript is not enough; this is an era of instant reportage and lots of recording devices, tweets, and Instagrams.
Just this priest’s perspective. But I can assure you, dear reader, that the impact hits priests hard, and I cannot deny a certain weariness and discouragement at this point. I realize that such remarks of the Pope are not doctrinal, but just try and tell that to gleeful dissenters and the morally confused or misled in this world.
Let us pray for our Holy Father and for the universal Church. - NCRIt is what it is I suppose.
Obviously several priests feel this way. It is really unfortunate that they do. I sincerely hope the Holy Father will respond directly to the concerns Monsignor expressed. (I would go to Rome and speak to him personally if I felt that way.)
However, I keep wondering about the Church in Latin America and South America - what is different? North Americans seem to have difficulty understanding other cultures. Maybe that's part of the problem?
Locally, in this archdiocese, I've heard of priests treating people badly. Pastors talking down to the pious seeking spiritual direction, turning the not so faithful away because they won't baptize their little 'bastards', mocking and degrading parishioners and visitors for kneeling-not kneeling-what they wear-holding hands-etc-etc-etc. Some of these priests who blew female penitents off but doted on the big contributors or offered preferential treatment for teen boys from single parent households have been suspended, others left ministry, a couple have been sent to jail - not for treating people like animals necessarily - but acting like animals and abusing them in other ways. If you've ever lived or worked in a parish, a rectory, or a Catholic institution, you know what I'm saying and you also can understand the Pope's hyperbole concerning brother priests. I suspect the Holy Father speaks from experience - and that he himself has been guilty of the same clerical-isms.
But what do I know? I know nothing because I'm just a layman, steeped in sin since birth.
Here's a thought: Just imagine if a priest called a person an animal, or worse, a rat-bastard-queer.
Would that be bad?
"'Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?' Jesus turned and rebuked them ..." - Luke 9:51-62
I pray for the Pope several times a day - and I pray for priests too. Especially those most in need of mercy.
The Holy Father welcomes animals and eats with them.
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Fun for the whole family.
I never got into it.
Just a few thoughts on what's going on in the world of gay today... kind of like things I don't get and things I do get.
I think parades are dumb - I think when I was little I liked to make floats from shoe boxes, but otherwise just sitting watching people I don't know waving as they go by was pointless. I don't like circuses either - nor zoos - but that has nothing to do with my dislike of parades.
Minneapolis is billed as the biggest Pride festival in the country. I wonder - because San Francisco's is pretty big. In fact I came across an article on this years parade in San Francisco. Queer people are against it - against the commercialization of it. And I get that. That's what is wrong about the homogenization of gay culture - making them like everyone else. Another article I came across covers the development of cultural conformity by lgbtq-ers settling down - getting married, having a family - all of that stuff. Stepford gays.
It doesn't work - it won't work. If Pope Francis thought most Catholic marriages are invalid because couples do not understand committment and for life - imagine gays married, Missy Etheridge. Unless it's an Elton John type arrangement ... open marriage ... mutual consent ... That's not what real marriage is about however. But I digress.
Back to queers avoiding San Francisco Pride.
Why? - and this is so key as to why - because gay is big business. Big. And queer people are avoiding the organized festivities because it is too straight, too white, and too corporate. Because they know when they have become a brand to be marketed.
San Francisco resident Katy Birnbaum is eager to gather with other queer people on Pride weekend, especially after such a violent attack against LGBT people in Orlando. But when roughly a million people pack into downtown on Sunday for one of the largest, most high-profile Pride parades in the world, Birnbaum won’t be standing in the crowd.
“It just feels like a big Miller Lite tent,” said Birnbaum, 31. “With the corporate floats … it’s co-opting queer identity as a way to make money.” - Source
Gay as become a product, to be processed, homogenized, and presented as Disneyesque-Stepford-family entertainment and promotion. Gay is so normal now - because it is so profitable to market it that way.
If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right.
Lyrics from a song I have always loved. It fits my next point. When I sinned, I knew even if a priest in the confessional told me it wasn't a sin that it really was a sin. I neither expected, nor did I want the Church to change her teaching to suit my lifestyle. Because I had a conscience - it was my conscience, my sensitive, well formed conscience which could not tolerate a compromised moral life - no matter how hard I tried. My conscience tormented me - not the Church. How did I know? Because I couldn't pray - I mean I couldn't pray deeply, I couldn't recollect my senses - I couldn't commune interiorly - and of course, I couldn't receive Holy Communion worthily. When I came to my senses - I returned, reconciled to Christ and the Church through the sacrament of penance - joyfully accepting Christ's teaching.
Yet here is what I don't get.
German Cardinal Marx says the Church must apologize for how gays have been treated. Other bishops and priests have said the same thing. I have to agree with Archbishop Wenski when he called out those who make such claims:
Where in our faith, where in our teachings — I ask you — do we target and breed contempt for any group of people? In today’s second reading, St. Paul teaches us: “Through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. There is neither Jew nor Greek… there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Our faith, our religion gives no comfort, no sanction to a racist, or a misogynist, or a homophobe. - Archdiocese of Miami
The Archbishop is right. Unfortunately - there are individuals in the Church who do target and foment contempt for gay people - it comes out when they're challenged, angered, disappointed, feeling powerless-out of control and afraid. (Which may be why they like guns.) Though they be priests and perhaps teachers of the law, they nevertheless do not speak for the Magisterium when they express that type of invective.
Similarly, individual groups, such as the French Baptized Catholic Conference do not speak for the Magisterium. This group wants "the Catholic Church to withdraw its catechism paragraph that calls homosexuality a "grave depravity," "intrinsically disordered."
Hate the sin but love the '
Changing language - or eliminating it - doesn't change reality. It will never make the guilt go away - nor the hate of individuals. Queer people are just fine as they are - though their sexual acts be 'depraved' and 'intrinsically disordered' - evidence is mounting that they don't care. What they do care about - I am pretty sure - is the hate from self-righteous individuals who claim they only hate the sin but love the sinner. I'm not sure these people who say such things are sincere.
I feel as if I've moved beyond this stuff, but from time to time I get distracted by the articles and comments on Catholic blogs. The 'ex-gay' stuff is always rather incredible for me. It presupposes there really is a gay identity - a memory. So you were gay but now you aren't? Being ex-gay means you were gay - but people can't be gay - just ssa, you say? The fact remains that the Church only condemns homo-sexual acts. Same sex sexual relations. But people say they are ex-gay - which is, on some level, a little bigoted at worst, at best it's like the Pharisee thanking God he is not as wicked as the rest of sinful humanity. Every person has dignity - no matter how he identifies. As Mr. Naulings one of the survivors of the Orlando shooting explained it: "We were never a disease or abomination. We are human."
Again - as Wenski pointed out - the Church does not target or breed contempt for any group of people - but I think it is clear, many individuals and groups within the Church do.
‘Metz Yeghern’ (Armenian for ‘Great Evil’)
“May God preserve the memory of the Armenian people. The memory must not be either watered down or forgotten; memory is the fount of peace and of the future.” - RV
Once again it seems the world ignores the Armenian people, who welcomed Pope Francis on his visit to the land where in 1915 the first holocaust-genocide of the 20th century took place. Mount Ararat in the background reminds the believer of Noah's Ark and the flood ... somehow, for me, the evil of ethnic cleansing, genocide, and persecution makes me think the evil initiated in 1915 was but a sort of warning of what was to follow.
In 1915 Sr. Lucia of Fatima encountered a vague vision of an angel - a preparation of sorts, for the angelic apparitions in 1916:
Although I cannot give the exact date, it seems to me that it was in 1915 that the first Apparition took place. As far as I can judge, it was the Angel, although at that time he did not venture to make himself fully known. From what I can recall of the weather, I think that this must have happened between the months of April and October in the year 1915. - Sr. LuciaReaders may know I connect a great deal to Fatima, and believe that what was foretold there continues to unfold. I also see in the revelation and message, a means of sanctification and the way of peace. Most especially, in and through devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as the Blessed Virgin said to Sr. Lucia: "My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God." So is Our Lady for those who consecrate themselves to her.
That said, the significance of the Papal visit to Armenia is not lost on me.
“I pray here with sorrow in my heart, that there might never more be tragedies like this one, that humanity might never forget, and might know how to overcome evil with goodness; may God grant to the beloved Armenian people and to the whole world peace and consolation.” - Pope Francis
A bishop dressed in white ...
Friday, June 24, 2016
Many people believe ...
June 24, 1981, Feast of St. John the Baptist. It was on June 24, 1981, the Feast of St. John the Baptist, that Our Lady was first seen, on that now famous small mountain, known as Podbrdo, overlooking the parish of Medjugorje ... - source
Looks like everything's coming up rose-colored vestments for him lately.
You’ve seen the recent stories about leaders of US women religious being summoned to Rome for to explain the situation.Closer to his home base ...
On the heals of another such story today (HERE) comes this, which I spotted at Church Militant.
Apparently the US weird sisters are now praying TO – not for – our old pal Sr. Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B. Perhaps it was her Triumph in Tahir Square that put them over the edge. Or could it have been theZoom to Zuccotti Park?
The Self-absorbed Promethean Neopelagians of Sr. Joan’s community thinks very highly of her, it seems.
The leaders of the Sisters of Loreto were called to Rome to talk about issues of doctrine and morals.
Then the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary were called.
Now I read at panicky Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter) that the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are next.
And across the pond as 'they' say ...
... watching the results of BREXIT. So far London is still not counted, but right now it is looking like OUT will win.
The Pound is getting slammed. Today it started at $1.50.
It's a nice change from yesterday's rant about ...
Travel cheap ...
Wisconsin woman calls 911 to report she and her husband are held hostage by their cat.
The cat savagely attacked her husband.
The cat was turned over to the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission and no one was “seriously” hurt. - Full story here.
911 audio of Mrs. Badger here.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Tonight the fireflies are but sprites ...
When I was little I loved the idea of little people in the woods
- in my case, the hedges which surrounded the building where we lived at the time.
Now I pretend they are in my lilac wood, at the back of my yard ...
There are many traditions associated with St. John's Eve,
and the best have to do with light
- the Summer Solstice being the longest day of the year.
Which is why fires are lighted ...
Mountaintop fires are popular across the Alps.
They have their roots in pagan ceremonies marking the summer solstice,
along with signal fires that were used to communicate with other villages
before the advent of the telephone.
In most areas, fires still mark the longest day of the year.
The Herz Jesu celebrations, however, are specific to Tyrol.
In 1796 the region was threatened with
invasion by French troops under Napoleon.
As thousands of Tyrolean volunteers
organized local militias to defend their homeland,
representatives formed a parliament and decided to dedicate
Tyrol to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. - Source
The torches soon lighted in my garden ...
“If we shadows have offended,
Know but this and all is mended.
That you have but slumbered here,
While these visions did appear,
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding, but a dream.”
Tomorrow, the Nativity of John the Baptist
is also the 35th anniversary
of the first apparition at Medjugorje.
"So, good night unto you all." -Puck
Farewell to Europe - Aleksander Sochaczewski
“God’s will was not hidden somewhere ‘out there’ . . .
the situations [in which I found myself] were his will for me.
What he wanted was for me to accept these situations as from his hands,
to let go of the reins and place myself entirely at his disposal.” - Ciszek
On living the faith ...
The key word, in fact, of our priestly apostolate in the camps had to be the word 'witness'. It wasn't so much a matter of preaching God and talking religion to the men around you as it was a matter of living the faith that you yourself professed.
It was not always a matter of preaching God and religion. It was enough at times to simply respect each of your fellow men in the camp, to do good to each no matter what he himself did or said, no matter how he acted toward you ... There was little call to preach about sin or damnation or hellfire to men who experience daily the hell of loneliness and separation and anxiety. A great deal of tolerance and a great deal of understanding were required of a priest if he wished to be effective among these unfortunate and almost degraded human beings. Common sense and intuition, a feeling for the finger of God's grace behind a question or a conversation or an encounter, was much more necessary than textbook answers in theology." - The Priesthood, He Leadeth Me, Walter Ciszek, S.J.
"Common sense and intuition, a feeling for the finger of God's grace behind a question or a conversation or an encounter, was much more necessary than textbook answers in theology."
I'm reading Ciszek again.
Keeping loved ones safe.
Imagine a gay bar on Saturday night with a bunch of drunks packing pistols.
I came across this article yesterday:
Gun club membership among those identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual has spiked since the deadly shootings at a gay nightclub in Orlando on June 20. Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded another 53. The Pink Pistols -- which describes itself as an "international GLBT self-defense organization -- reports that since the massacre, the number of its additional chapters has increased. Pink Pistols’ Facebook membership also increased from some 1,500 before the shooting to 6,694. - SourceRight after the Orlando shooting I came across another article about gays lobbying for gun rights - I didn't read it. How strange is that - gays - a special lobby group - for gun rights. It's so exclusive?
FYI - The guy who shot up the nightclub in Orlando was some kind of GLBT too. The latest news on that is from a former lover who claims Omar shot up the joint because he was pissed at Latino men.
Gay on gay violence.
Now that just might be a story. Gay on gay violence - crimes of passion and self-hate or hate? At least it's not terrorism.
Guns in gay bars and cruising areas - what a great idea.
Kelly Phillips shot and killed
by former partner 2014.
Matthew Rairdon shot and killed by his partner
who in turn killed himself 2013.
Remember this guy?
Andrew Phillip Cunanan was an American serial killer
who murdered at least five people,
including his ex-lover,
as well as fashion designer Gianni Versace,
as well as fashion designer Gianni Versace,
during a three-month period in 1997.
I know, I know straight people have guns too, they also shoot friends and family just like gay people, so what's my point? I forgot.
Ann Barnhardt even has a pink gun.
Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
First Anti-Pope Clement VII
1P5 editor Steve Skojec weighs in on Barnhardt's claim Francis is an anti-pope.
At least he disagrees - to an extent. He declares that Barnhardt -
... is NOT a sedevacantist, as she makes clear. She just thinks we still have the same pope we had in February, 2013. Is she right? Not my call. Does it matter? On an objective level, of course it does. To know the true pope from the false one is better than not to know it. But we can’t know that with the certitude of an ecclesiastical judgment. Not yet. - 1P5Not yet?
The discussion is ludicrous, albeit it fascinating to read how these people seem to have gone from anti-papist to practically judging a validly elected Pope to be an anti-pope. On some level it means they believe Benedict XVI to have been forced into retirement-resignation, and Francis covertly made pope. Even after statements from Benedict refuting these and so many other conspiracy theories. It's as crazy as the impostor pope stories about Paul VI and Sr. Lucia. It fits with the sedevacantist theories about the suppressed election of Cardinal Siri as Gregory XVII in favor of John XXIII. Theories pretty much based on the active imaginations of Euro-trad-monarchists, as well as the dubious revelations of Bl. Anna Katherine Emmerick and the prophecies of a handful of other mystics.
If there is anything worthwhile in Skojec's essay, it is his refutation of Barnhardt's selection of private revelations and prophecy to support her claims. Anyone familiar with the promotion of conspiracy theories on the apparition of Fatima and the so-called third secret will spot the same old fake messages immediately. It's Bayside-Necedah revisited. It is amazing how embedded in Catholic culture these false prophecies have become. I can't help thinking of the extended secrets of LaSalette, repeated so frequently since Vatican II. But I digress.
Skojec helps his readers out by pointing to the errors of the works of prophecy Barnhardt depends upon:
I’m not going to devote the time and research necessary to write a deeply substantive critique of Ann’s theory. Briefly, though, I do want to address some issues I have with her argument.
To begin with, three of the five prophecies she cites are of questionable provenance. The St. Francis of Assisi prophecy is the most significant of these, since to read it one feels as though it is meant for our present time. - Read the rest here.
I don't know, but there is something rather likable about Skojec, he's a good writer, seems like a great guy with a good sense of humor, a good Catholic - why he goes off on this stuff I'm not sure. Like I said, he does a good job sourcing and discrediting - or at least judging unreliable the prophecies Barnhardt sites. In addition to the St. Francis false prophecy, he locates the source of the fake Fatima message, and gives some good background information. However, he seems to leave the door open to the possibility these 'could be' true.
Reading private revelations literally, and forming private opinion about what is related therein, while attempting to configure it with current events, is a sure way to end up with the sedevacantists and schismatics who have alienated themselves from the Church. At least Skojec has the good sense to recognize all of these issues mean nothing without an ecclesiastical judgment, that is, an authoritative judgment from the Church... aka the Pope and the Magisterium - the bishops in communion with him.
Skojec concludes his essay directing readers to seek the clear, authentic teaching of the Church and to disseminate that - and not to worry about who is the true or false pope. Not bad advice - yet he still leaves that Barnhardt foot in the door - Francis might be an anti-pope - we just can't know it yet.
And the Resignationism theory spins on, along with the 'bad council, bad Mass' trope.
The men shall wear white berets and the women shall wear blue.
I want you to wear something borrowed,
like that pretty chapel veil with your blue jumper...
Oh. And tell all the people Paul VI has been replaced with an impostor.
And his critics tear their garments and cry out, 'he blasphemeth'.
The pope "strung together a series of inconceivable other “pearls” reaching the limits of blasphemy: Jesus in the episode with the adulteress “plays the fool a bit ” (a shocking phrase which the Vatican site changed to “pretended not to understand” , but we have the recording...)" - Rorate
Haven't these people ever read what St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians?
"For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."Or the claim made by St. Therese of Lisieux, that Jesus loves us unto folly?
What happiness to suffer for Him Who loves us even unto folly, and to pass for fools in the eyes of the world! We judge others by ourselves, and, as the world will not hearken to reason, it calls us unreasonable too.
We may console ourselves, we are not the first. Folly was the only crime with which Herod could reproach Our Lord . . . and, after all, Herod was right. Yes, indeed, it was folly to come and seek the poor hearts of mortal men to make them thrones for Him, the King of Glory, Who sitteth above the Cherubim! Was He not supremely happy in the company of His Father and the Holy Spirit of Love? Why, then, come down on earth to seek sinners and make of them His closest friends? Nay, our folly could never exceed His, and our deeds are quite within the bounds of reason. The world may leave us alone.
I repeat, it is the world that is 'insane,' because it heeds not what Jesus has done and suffered to save it from eternal damnation.
Remember the scene in the house of Lazarus: Martha was serving, while Mary had no thought of food but only of how she could please her Beloved. And "she broke her alabaster box, and poured out upon her Saviour's Head the precious spikenard, and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment."
The Apostles murmured against Magdalen. This still happens, for so do men murmur against us. - Therese to Celine
And men murmur against the pope.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Fun facts about the great St. Aloysius.
If you are an Italian and your name is Luigi you can be fairly certain your patron is St. Aloysius and not St. Louis King of France. (The Irish like the name Aloysius. Happy feast day to the Aloysius who reads me.)
In the 20th century, effeminate boys often felt attracted to the saint and chose him as their patron - devotional images of the youthful saint may help explain why they chose to go into dance as a profession. What?
Though it seems to be compulsory for contemporary priests and religious to make excuses for Luigi's tights and ruffles in devotional art, it strikes me as rather ironic when they themselves carry on about lace and water-stained silks and lavish brocades and trims on their shopping trips to their favorite liturgical tailor shops and monastic liturgical studios. (Of course, if they own a gun, one can be assured of their manliness.)
Nevertheless, Luigi was a virile little chap and joined his father for war games and learned to swear like a trooper, until he found out what the 'F'-word meant - or rather, its synonym in the 1500s.
From a very early age he loved chastity and was deeply devoted to the Blessed Virgin. It was said he would never look directly at his mother's in order not to be moved by vain rejoicing in her beauty. Although one biographer suggested it was because she was terribly cross-eyed and had protruding upper teeth. (Sorry, I just made that up.)
More seriously, though his youth was surrounded by many occasions of sin, he preserved his virtue through prayer and mortification. Hence, from an early age he developed a virile and courageous temperament.
Personally, that is what I especially loved about him. He and St. Stanislaus Kostka always impressed me since their childhood and adolescence seemed to me to be filled with many challenges to their faith and devotion. Their example and legacy as saints even seemed to be dismissed as too 'sweet', too 'saccharine' for contemporary boys. Yet their perseverance and endurance in the preservation of their innocence ought to inspire and encourage us today, considering how we are pretty much surrounded and nearly smothered by immorality and faithlessness.
The Collect for his memorial asks, 'grant through his merits and intercession, that though we have failed to follow him in innocence, we may imitate him in penitence.'
St. Aloysius renounced his aristocratic lineage and title at the young age of seventeen, joined the Jesuits, and died at the age of twenty three while still in studies, nursing victims of an epidemic. He is indeed a manly Jesuit saint, a model for boys and young men - and especially seminarians, I should think.
St. Aloysius, pray for us.
The pilgrim pope.
Blessed Paul VI, Giovanni Battista Montini was elected as Successor of Peter on the 21st June 1963. - Vatican Radio
I considered him the first Fatima pope.
The Holy Father in Jerusalem.
I also considered him 'my' pope - he was pope
when I fell away from the sacraments,
and he was pope when I returned.
I was happy to be in Rome a couple of summers
before his death. I was able to attend
some of his Masses.
I love him to this day
and rejoice he is beatified.
"For I decided to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ and Him crucified ..."
I loved the crucifix of Paul VI
and always wore a replica of it
while on pilgrimage.
... fill in the blank.
Male dress changes the psychology of women. - Cardinal Siri
Alert the media.
Sedevacantist site, Novus Ordo Watch spotlighted Barnhardt's most recent announcement. It was not unexpected, considering her anti-Francis rants, but will her 'publishers' respond in kind? Will they feature her announcement, perhaps with a podcast interview by either Pat Archbold or Steve Skojec? Will they follow her into what Novus Ordo Watch calls Resignationism?
The announcement from Barnhardt:
It is now clear to me, and I feel it morally incumbent upon me given my position to publicly state that I believe Jorge Bergoglio, “Francis” to be an Antipope, never having been canonically elected, and that Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI is still the Roman Pontiff. -“Vocem Alienorum”"Morally incumbent ... given my position ..."
What position would that be?
Monday, June 20, 2016
Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio speaking at a drug rehabilitation center
in the neighborhood of Bajo Flores in Buenos Aires in 2011.
in the neighborhood of Bajo Flores in Buenos Aires in 2011.
"All things to all men."
St. Paul wrote, perhaps to assure his critics: "To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some."
That is what I think Pope Francis does when making ordinary, down-to-earth, off-the-cuff remarks. He likes to speak in the ordinary language of ordinary people of the streets. Sometimes when I read Alfred Delp, or Walter Ciszek, I am reminded of Pope Francis tends to speak from his pastoral experience as an archbishop, one who spent much time with people who were poor, whose circumstances in life distanced them from the Church. How much he learned on the 'peripheries' seems to me to parallel what so many priests and religious learned in the prison camps of the 20th century. We see similar experiences in the lives of laity such as Betsy and Corrie Ten Boom, Bl. Franz Jägerstätter, Madeleine Delbrel, Dorothy Day, and so many other saintly figures of the last century.
It's unusual to see a Pope like him in modern times.
So anyway. I'm no expert to be sure. I grew up a bastard - or called that, because my mother was a divorced and remarried Catholic to my dad who was raised Lutheran - and destined for hell because he was not Catholic. So I was told. My mother's sin maybe added to her craziness and definitely, along with alcohol, fueled their fighting and much more. It was a turbulent experience, involving prison, mental hospital stays - in those days that was how they treated alcoholism, abuse, and abandonment, near homelessness with eviction after eviction, failed suicides, attempted murder - very screwed up stuff. Incredibly, my mother insisted upon a Catholic education and that all of her kids receive the sacraments and attend Sunday Mass. Amazingly, she prayed - a lot - every day. She just didn't go to Mass - she was too ashamed.
There were 'better' people, better families than us - though living in similar circumstances - poor, unemployed - but not crazy. They maybe didn't drink or weren't promiscuous, and they were decidedly more responsible. Though married, it may not have been a sacramental marriage because it was a second marriage. The family maintained stability, the kids were raised Catholic, the parents were honest and good people. (I'm thinking of friend's parents I got to know growing up.) I think these are the types the Holy Father thinks of when he converses about irregular marriages and families. Often he says he sees more fidelity, more faithfulness in these situations than he did in 'faithful Catholic' marriages. I understand that.
I don't know the literary term for it - if there is one - because I've noticed I'm beginning to forget such things, but in my opinion, it is not unlike what our Lord would say when he'd remark, 'such faith I have not seen in all of Israel', or illustrate in the parable of the good Samaritan, how the sinner-outcast-untouchable showed compassion for the man left for dead. I forgot the name of the Orthodox Bishop author who was so popular in the 1970's - in his book - Beginning to Pray he wrote about a prostitute who out of devotion kept an icon with a lamp burning before it - I was always impressed by that story. Remember one of Francis' favorite films is La Strada, and I think a few other Fellini films which seem to be all about 'street life' - the poor, the sinners, and their devotion and longing for love.
On that day there shall be open to the house of David
and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
a fountain to purify from sin and uncleanness.
- Zechariah 13:1
Perhaps we have a Fellini pope? I like that. I love him so much, and I love what others see as contradictory messages. For me it is so fascinating. Ask yourselves, what is the greatest contradiction in the world? What is the sign of contradiction which most marks the life of the Christian?
The cross. Jesus and him crucified. How many times did he rebuke his disciples - his priests? He told them they didn't even know of what spirit they are. He rebuked them for so many things. Yet when the Holy Father offers a gentle rebuke, many of us get upset, or feel hurt - or imagine he is changing doctrine or abolishing canon law. That makes me sad.
I don't see the pope saying people no longer have to be married, or priests are animals, or that second marriages are better. I see him using anecdotal experience, examples from ordinary life to illustrate how one ought to accompany and minister and be with the outsider, the excommunicated, the people we used to assume were fated for hell - like I was told my dad was. The Holy Father seems to me to call all of us to respect their dignity and their humanity, without condemnation and lording our 'holiness' over them. I do not see him asking for a change in doctrine - far from it.
I'm sure no one will pay attention to this, and that's very good. Pay no attention to me - one who has been steeped in sin since birth. I have no authority, and to be sure, the pope doesn't need me to defend him. I just feel badly that so many get upset, come unglued as it were.
For the most part, these discussions do not concern me - I'm a single, Catholic man. Never married, never a father, never a priest. I count for nothing ...
Scene from Nights of Cabiria, Fellini, 1957.
The film is about a prostitute.
In the scene, Cabiria and friends join a procession to
a shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Cabiria prays tearfully, “Madonna, help me to change my life.”
The next day she said
everything is the same ...
Sunday, June 19, 2016
St. Margaret of Cortona, laywoman, Franciscan penitent.
"Then He said to all, 'If anyone wishes to come after me ...'"
After confession yesterday, St. Margaret of Cortona suddenly came to mind.
I recalled how she had been rejected by her lover's relatives and friends after his death, as well as shunned by her own. Her step-mother wouldn't allow her to come home after the murder of the nobleman who kept her as his mistress. After her father sent her away she was near despair, the mother of an illegitimate son. Our Lord inspired her to go to Cortona, to seek refuge with the Franciscan friars there.
Still young and beautiful, as a homeless, unmarried woman with a child, the friars were skeptical of her conversion and penance. She sought entrance into the order of penitents, but the friars put her off for three years. She was gossiped about, rejected by townsfolk, yet finally she was clothed in the habit of penance as a tertiary. Margaret experienced many mystical gifts and favors, nevertheless the friars and the people remained skeptical. Her scandalous past caused her to remain something of an outcast for the rest of her life.
Towards the end of her life she was considered a fraud, if not delusional, and as a result of continual gossip, her virtue was questioned. In fact she was banished from the cell she inhabited near the friary, and sent to a poor church outside the city and lived in great austerity, enduring all in patience.
For me, it was a special grace to be reminded of the outsider state which Margaret experienced. Especially to recall how she endured suspicion and scorn from her detractors - all of her life.
Italians are known for their hospitality, and especially their closeness to family, as well as their loyalty in friendship. How much Margaret must have suffered the rejection and alienation she experienced from those closest to her, even the friars she held in such reverent esteem.
St. Margaret, pray for us.
Help me to accept
the lot marked out for me.
St. Alexis, pray for us.
Obtain for me patience,
humility, and charity.
Saturday, June 18, 2016
What does it mean? It means we were never
really married in the first place!
Or that mom and dad are living in sin?
Song for this post here.
Friday, June 17, 2016
Looks like she won the lottery. Superstar.
Pope Francis "recounted his encounter
with a man engaged to be married
who was looking for a church that would
complement his fiancée’s dress
and would not be far from a restaurant."
"Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord and are not of God."
This week Pope Francis stated, “the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null...” The statement was revised for the transcript, with the Holy Father's approval of course, and reads, “a portion of our sacramental marriages are null.” A 'portion' - or perhaps 'many' as Our Lady said in 1917.
The comment was once again taken out of context.
The initial comments had come as the Pope was addressing the Diocese of Rome’s pastoral congress. After his initial scripted remarks, he held a question-and-answer session.
A layman asked about the “crisis of marriage” and how Catholics can help educate youth in love, help them learn about sacramental marriage, and help them overcome “their resistance, delusions and fears.”
The Pope answered from his own experience. - CNA
An experience perhaps quite foreign to many readers, expressed in ordinary language, in a casual question and answer circumstance. He shared anecdotes to illustrate what he meant - unexpected stories to demonstrate the significance and permanence of sacramental marriage.
It works for me - but I grew up in an Italian neighborhood with second generation children of immigrants, where old timers spoke like that. I think the 'ordinary people of the streets' understand this pope.
I love Pope Francis.
“Do you have any idea how many times
I’ve had to watch Funny Lady?”