"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Friday, January 20, 2017

I'm happy for the peaceful transition of power ...

Looking good!

Thanks be to God!

If you hate Trump, or you hate Obama ...

I have friends who hate hate Trump and spend their time searching for hateful gifs to post about him.

I have friends who hate Obama and spend their time searching for hateful gifs to post about him.
If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. - 1 John 4:20
I may be a jerk and I may have said, and may have done some pretty awful stuff - but hatred is soul destroying.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

When you see things become more complicated ...

Don Dolindo Ruotolo
pray for us.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything!

"How many things I do when the soul, in so much spiritual and material need, turns to me, looks at me and says to me: ‘You take care of it,’ then closes its eyes and rests."

“When you see things become more complicated, say then with the eyes of the soul closed: ‘Jesus, take care of it’. And don’t think about it anymore, because your mind is acute, and for you it is very hard to see evil and to trust in me and to not think of yourself. Do this for all your needs; do this all of you and you will see great, continual, silent miracles. By my love, I promise this to you. And I will take care of things. I promise this to you. Pray always in readiness to surrender, and you will receive from it great peace and great rewards, even when I confer on you the grace of immolation of repentance and of love. Then, what does suffering matter? It seems impossible to you? Close your eyes and say with all of your soul: ‘Jesus, you take care of it’. Do not be afraid, I will take care of things and you will bless my name by humbling yourself. A thousand prayers cannot equal one single act of surrender: remember this well. There is no novena more effective than this:
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything!
- Jesus to Don Dolindo Ruotolo a Neapolitan priest (1882-1970).  More here.

A friend sent me a novena prayer from Don Ruotolo - I prayed the prayer, "Oh Jesus, I surrender to you, you take care of it” - repeating it 10 times and peace returned immediately.  The novena may be found here.

And when I must lead you on a path different from the one you see, I will prepare you; I will carry you in my arms; I will let you find yourself, like children who have fallen asleep in their mother’s arms, on the other bank of the river. What troubles you and hurts you immensely are your reason, your thoughts and worry, and your desire at all costs to deal with what afflicts you.
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

The Mike Pence Dance Party

A big ‘queer dance party’ was thrown outside the Washington home of Vice President-elect Mike Pence to protest his stance on LGBT rights. - Source

I do not want to offend anyone, nor do I want to cast aspersions here, but when I came across this story, I thought of the passage in Genesis about the inhabitants of Sodom, demanding their way (with the visitors) outside the house of Lot. 

Last week, LGBTQ activists demanded Jennifer Holliday refuse to sing at the Trump Inaugural.  Ms. Holliday is not a political person but an entertainer - LGBTQ demanded she withdraw.  That was unfair and an example of LGBTQ bullying.  (Black people against Trump also pressured her, but I think Jennifer was most concerned about the LGBTQ lobby, because gay people have long been her fan base and she may have felt obliged.)

I'm not sure what rights gays are afraid of losing?  Ms. Hudson was told, "It's not just about marriage."  So what is it about?  Are there special rights just for LGBTQ people?  I know Pence was in favor of so-called 'conversion therapy' but there is no way it would become a law that people must go through conversion or reparative therapy, regardless if they are unhappy with their sexual and affective orientation, or not.  People have a right to choose to seek help if they desire to do so.  I know the background on the issues, and I think LGBTQ groups are wrong.  They protest too much.

Yesterday, the guy who cuts my hair was talking 'concentration camps' and mandatory reprogramming-rehab centers for gays - because of Trump.  He wasn't kidding.  It was like being in that Esurance over-sharer commercial with Beatrice - I just responded with crazy remarks.  It's the only way I know to avoid getting into a serious discussion.  

I walked out of the shop thinking, 'What if we are all nuts?'

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

If I could turn back time ...

Cardinals showing homage to newly elected John XXIII.

I remember that of course.  Because I'm old.  I wrote to John XXIII when I was little.  He was the first Pope I ever wrote to.

Today I'm wishing I could have run away and gone to Rome to be an orphan and never grew up to what we have today.

I appreciated the cappas back then.  I love the worn fresco - it seems now the frescoes are the only thing restored in the Church.  It's ironic, isn't it.  Not a question.

"They" say Cardinal Spellman didn't like Pope John and disparaged him.  Nasty American.  He should be around today.

Earthquakes and impending doom: Though the mountains leave their place, and the hills be shaken ...

I was meditating that passage from Isaiah this morning.

I came across it in my prayers.  I was reminded of a time long ago when I was in the friars chapel at Carmel in Arkansas, we just began to pray Psalm 46, when a small earthquake rumbled the building:
God is for us a refuge and strength,
a helper close at hand, in time of distress,
so we shall not fear though the earth should rock,
though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea;
even though its waters rage and foam,
even though the mountains be shaken by its waves.
Therefore whenever I randomly come across these prayers of confidence in liturgical prayer, I'm always reminded of that experience so many years ago, and I wonder if an earthquake maybe just ccurred someplace in the world.  A childish thought, no doubt.

Although, when I came onloine I noted a report that Umbria and Rome were shaken by multiple earthquakes today - 3 consecutive quakes measuring magnitude 5+.  The area has already suffered much, one resident stated: "This is totally unnerving. It's never ending. We are all shaking."  Story here.

Only a blind man can deny there is great confusion ...

So.  Even the stones cry out.

I came across Monsignor Pope's essay on St. Michael and Our Lady and why 2017 is so critical.  He's a good priest, a good pastor, he is observing the Fatima Jubilee encouraging prayer and penance - just as Our Lady requested.
Will you join me in praying with special fervency this year? In my own parish, we will be observing the First Saturday devotions that were requested by Mary at Fatima. This will be a communal way to engage the call to prayer. It involves attending Holy Mass, praying the Rosary, and going to confession (that day or within one week) on the first Saturday of five consecutive months. Others also add the wearing of the scapular and/or making a consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. - Monsignor Pope

I'll leave it at that.  It's the best advice I've come across online.

I'm tired of the negative discussions and essays on how bad everything is.   Only a blind man can deny there is great confusion ...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Bad Habits: New design for the Dominicans

I don't mind habits for enclosed religious or as choir dress ... but ...

I could never be a religious or priest because I don't like the clothes - I've always said that.  I used to ask my friend in the novitiate if the habit made me look fat - and I was anorexic.  (No one knew that at the time.)  I'm so vain.  So I'm not one to critique habits.  My problem with white tunics is that you can kind of sort of see through them - so a scapular helps - and for that reason I can say, 'looks good!'

All kidding aside - it's none of my business what religious wear - except some 'habits' really were dumb - precisely because, in the cases of women religious, they wore the current fashion for widow's weeds, their coifs were starched according to local custom, and so on.  Traditional men's habits were monastic or clerical - although fashionable updates were made and as fashion changed - they looked dated and ridiculous.  So much could be said ... but I digress.

Confrater Claes go to choir now.

It now looks as if one design firm hopes to revive the tradition of the dumb-fashion-victim habit for the 21st century.
Dutch clothing brand Byborre has collaborated with the Dominican Order of Preachers to create an updated unisex version of the friar's habit. The New Habit capsule collection consists of several unisex garments, including tops, track trousers, tunics, hooded gilets and coats. - Read more here.

I like my designs better...

"Got a match?"

I remember when I was fooling around with these ideas, and a friend asked me if I was nuts.  LOL!  Maybe a little bit.

All I have to say is this, just wear men's clothes brothers - black and white around the collar - and women should always have a little (or plus size) black dress.  Stick with the classics.

Like I said - it's none of my business.  But it seems to me the problem isn't so much the habit, but the fact 'they' just don't want to be obligated to wear one - so no matter how you redesign it, it's never going to work for those who 'don't like the clothes'.  Of course, then you have the problem of those who like them a little too much ...


I obviously enjoy posting about this subject - more here.

I suppose this could work too.

"Hold onto the rope, and endure." - P. Francis

St. Anthony of Egypt.

Narrative here.

Anthony is often depicted in his temptations - especially by more or less secular artists.  I often think of what Christ said, 'what did you go out to the desert to see?'.  Anthony went out to the desert and their confronted demons, and himself ... that is, fallen human nature.  Fallen human nature, perhaps scarier than demons.


You tell me there's an angel in your tree
Did he say he'd come to call on me
For things are getting desperate in our home...

I wish I could be back in Lourdes.  Maybe I could be transported by my angel ...  

Monday, January 16, 2017

Just when I thought it couldn't get worse ...

I found something encouraging ...

If - Rudyard Kipling

 If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, 
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, 
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, 
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: 

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken 
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, 
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools: 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, 
And lose, and start again at your beginnings 
    And never breathe a word about your loss; 
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you 
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, 
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, 
    If all men count with you, but none too much; 
If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

. . .

When I grow up - I want to be such a man.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Here's a thought on that ...

Cardinal Burke is not afraid to lose his title.

Apparently the other three cardinals aren't either.  Although the other thirty cardinals claimed to be with them might be, since they remain anonymous.  I'm just guessing of course.

Since the Four Cardinals with the Five Dubia want answers, and feel they haven't received them, and contradict Cardinal Mueller who says the Faith is not in danger, why don't they say something directly and in person to the Holy Father himself?  They were face to face with him at Christmas, which everyone seems to think was another mean-spirited Christmas address to the curia.  It wouldn't be like casting a pall over the reception afterward, if they would have broken protocol and spoke directly to the Pope, since they felt insulted already.

Nevertheless, they continue to give interviews and talk around the Pope without ever confronting him face to face.

The Pope lives in a hotel - he's not living in the Apostolic Palace, tucked safe away by miles of corridors and endless doors.  Even if he was, these guys have the opportunity to break protocol and speak to the Pope man to man.

Remember Henry IV?  How he stood penitent in the snow outside the Papal residence, for three days at Canossa?  You'll say the Cardinals have nothing to repent for.  Fine.  But they need to get off their high horse, take off the cappas magna and maybe even put on penitent's garb - a Franciscan of the Immaculate habit would be awesome, and stand outside in the piazza and wait for the Pope to come out - or better yet - stand outside the dining room of Santa Marta and force the issue face to face.  Dispense with protocol and the niceties of office they are so attached to, get offline, stop the phone calls and interviews, and talk to the Pope.  I just read the outcries about the Bishops of Malta, and a post about an interview Cardinal Caffarra gave, again 'reportedly' contradicting Mueller, and discussing how confused and therefore unhappy, many priests are, and so on.  Do something about it.

Speaking of unhappy priests, unfortunately it was Fr. Z who may have misinterpreted the interview - or at least the circumstance.  (Here.)  It may be that Caffarra was not contradicting Mueller's recent statements at all.  Nevertheless, Fr. Z jumped on the story, which I found disturbing combined with the reports concerning the Maltese Bishops Conference letter.  How often does this happen?  How often are interviews taken out of context?  How often is a sound bite enough to cause great confusion and argument?  How often does a Catholic online scandalize readers?

Double talk, whispers in the loggia, gossip, back-stabbing complaints to save your soul without action to stop the spread of more gossip and attacks upon the Papacy, does nothing to quell the confusion and strengthen the faith or ordinary Catholics.  Burke giving interviews to The Remnant doesn't help matters.  He has plenty of opportunities to speak directly to the Pope.  Since he's not worried about his title - drop the princely protocol and go to him disguised as a beggar.  Perhaps he forgot his own admonition to Mary Therese Helmueller when she called him out?

I'm not scandalized by the Pope, but I am deeply scandalized by the controversies generated from interviews given by the Four Cardinals.  Interviews given to news sources which are anti-Francis, anti-Vatican II, and anti-Novus Ordo.

In the meantime, I have my own repenting to do for stuff I've written and said.  But I'm not selling out the Holy Father.

People who want a vision or
private revelation to apply 
to our times maybe should
ponder this one.

I recently discovered the identity of a longtime negative commenter ... aka troll.

The sad thing about it is that over the years I thought it was a couple of different people doing it, and I made some uncharitable statements about them, and to them - that's rash judgement.

Anonymous comments can be a sort of scourge.

Unnamed sources can create a lot of problems for many people.

But God knows who you are.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Some days ...

Looks like the Church militia men 
want the 'church of nice' after all.

The gossip online passed off as news because they are reported in Catholic publications is very disturbing, very soul-destroying.

Damien Thompson.  Edward Pentin.  'Journalists' and bloggers alike report allegations made by 'sources close to the Pope', unnamed Vatican sources.  Cardinals claim 30 or more anonymous Cardinals are with them in their doubt... waiting for the Pope to say something.  Social-media clerical-wanna-be's condemn 'ordinary Catholics' as 'too stupid to understand' what all of this means.

I was playing on Facebook yesterday, writing really stupid stuff - as usual - and I was amazed how frequently people update their timeline with trivia.  So that's what people do when their faces are always buried in their phones.  That's what they do in between projects at work.  (I'm not exempting myself in this - since that's also how I see all the gossip and slanderous comments in comboxes.)  Trivia is fine - having fun is fine - but slandering the Pope is evil.

Delusion on a massive scale.

Those so scandalized by the coprophilia statement by Pope Francis really ought to consider the shit they are saying and repeating to understand the profundity of that expression.  In Scripture the Holy Spirit gives the Word to the prophet* and the apostle to eat and consume ... the Word of God gives joy to the soul.  On the other hand, the devil gives the excrement of gossip and derision and scandal to consume and spew - and this is what is repeated in the gossip columns of social media. The effects of this is sadness - faith destroying sadness.

The Holy Spirit says:
Oh, that today you would hear his voice,"Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion ...
Take care, brothers and sisters,
that none of you may have an evil and unfaithful heart, so as to forsake the living God.
Encourage yourselves daily while it is still "today," so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin.  - Hebrews 3: 7-14

*When I found your words, I devoured them;
your words were my joy, the happiness of my heart,
Because I bear your name,
LORD, God of hosts.
- Jeremiah 15:16

Snap out of it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Two Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate slashed in Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

Unrelated photo showing Friars with Pope.

Father Angelo Gaeta, and Father Adolfo Ralf were attacked by a man, their faces slashed by a broken bottle.  The man is described as deranged and reported to have said "The Church doesn't understand me."

Nothing was reported on whether or not he suffered from the same “crypto-lefebvrian and definitely traditionalist drift” which afflicted a segment of the Franciscan Friars under the direction Fr. Stefano Manelli.  The two friars who were attacked were among those who filed the original complaint against Fr. Manelli. 

The friars are recovering from the attack.

Full story here.

Ferocious tiger cat ...

What if you went to work and found a ferocious tiger in your inbox?

Snow in Minneapolis ... and a Trump television special! LIVE from New York!

Him like!


Press Conference over ...

He did good.

I love the way he called out the press.

Don't hate me for this - but I think he's got it together.

We have to go forward and hopefully get behind the President-elect.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

My apologies to Charlie Johnston

As I say on Facebook, 
I'm a man who paints pictures and writes nonsense.

A friend alerted me that I've taken things out of context to make Charlie look stupid.

That wasn't my intention - I wasn't trying to make Charlie look stupid, much less his followers or commenters.  I apologize if I gave that impression.  When I've written about him, I use quotes with a source link for the reader to click on to read the quote in context.  It's a standard practice with blogs.

Let me first say, Charlie Johnston is a very intelligent man with a great deal of experience and knowledge of political and financial systems.  He definitely appears to be a devout and faithful Catholic.  I have no doubt that he is.  He believes he has a call and a message from God for the world.  He has priests who direct and guide and approve of his spirit.  I can never contradict or condemn Johnston or his message.  I have never said he is a liar.  I'm not qualified nor allowed to judge another persons soul

I do not have to accept literally what he says, nor do I have to believe him.  At times I've said I don't want him to be right - for various reasons, but mostly because I would prefer to look to the Church to teach, guide, and form my faith - or to explain the meaning of private revelations such as they have done for Fatima.  I also do not like to look outside ordinary circumstances to project or interpret the signs of the times as the fulfillment of this or that private revelation, or the combination of several revelations.  (Some Catholic sites attempt that, connecting a series of approved and unapproved revelations to explain what the global unrest we are experiencing today means or signifies.)  It is also worth noting that no saint was ever canonized for mystical-charismatic gifts such as prophecy or stigmata, and so on - but for heroic virtue and holiness of life.

Charlie Johnston offers practical advice and that is good.  He's forecast certain events which may or may not happen as predicted.  That's how prophecy goes.  John of the Cross writes all about it, so I do not need to repeat it here.  Many things, such as the Storm or some form of chastisement can be known naturally.  If people do not know that by now, then they must be anesthetized as Pope Francis uses that term.  Charlie seems to want to be correct and makes it known when people approve or seek his advice.  He seems to want to be his own witness - a concern he would be more credible without.

That said, in general, the amazing thing to me about private revelations and their attraction is this:  We have the Church, the Pope, the bishops in communion with him, the Scriptures, the Catechism, yet so many today will believe prophecies by old and new mystics regarding fearful events that more or less coordinate with contemporary experience.  They prophecy doom and gloom when we have a Pope indicating - actually demonstrating - how to live the Gospel in modern times - how to follow Christ in today's world - how to associate with the lowly and suffering.  He lives the Gospel - without anxiety over politics and finance - without seeking human respect and approval.  God is his witness.

So many appear to reject the Pope these days - not Charlie of course, he seems to me to be supportive of the Holy Father - but many other good Catholics do condemn and reject the Holy Father.  They prefer their private interpretation of Fatima and dubious mystics, like the Locutions to the World seer, Vassula Ryden, Christina Gallagher, and other Remnant types to what the Church teaches, accusing the Pope of heresy and apostasy when in fact the rejection of Peter is the bridge to at least schism, if not apostasy.

If it helps your faith - do it, I guess.  It's your choice.

I've encountered mystical phenomenon all my life.  I've met true and false mystics - some I felt were false, others proved to be.  Fr. Gino Burresi, alleged stigmatist is one.  Mama Rosa of San Damiano, Italy is another, and the most theatrical of them all was of course, Veronica Luekin.  I know and have known people who claim locutions - true or false?  I don't know - mys sense is that much of it is personal meditation - which is not to say the Holy Spirit is absent.  I just know I wasted a lot of time with this stuff.  It can make you 'feel holy' to be around these people and fervently respond to their 'call', but it can also feed your curiosity for more experiences.  It's a false spirit that leads you when you do that.

Faith is a supernatural gift - not a feeling or an experience.

So I hope this explains my skepticism and why I treat these things lightly.  I'll be more careful in the future to avoid giving the impression I'm making fun of people of good will - silly things they do or say is another matter all together.

Remember, it doesn't matter what I think or say, I'm just a layman with an opinion.  If you disagree with me and dislike what I share here, by all means, unfriend me, delete your follower app, and shake the dust from your sandals.

If no one read me or commented I would probably stay offline - and be just fine.  The blog is vain and superficial and quite a waste of time.

Yup! That's me.

I'm working on a project...

Hail, thou Star of ocean,
Portal of the sky !
Ever Virgin Mother
Of the Lord most high !

Oh ! by Gabriel's Ave,
Uttered long ago,
Eva's name reversing,
Stablish peace below.

Break the captive's fetters ;
Light on blindness pour ;
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.

Show thyself a Mother ;
Offer Him our sighs,
Who for us Incarnate
Did not thee despise.

Virgin of all virgins !
To thy shelter take us :
Gentlest of the gentle !
Chaste and gentle make us.

Still, as on we journey,
Help our weak endeavor ;
Till with thee and Jesus
We rejoice forever.

Through the highest heaven,
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son, and Spirit,
One same glory be. Amen.