"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.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

The Holidays are the time to give and share ...





Okay then.  Gotta go out and shovel snow.

December 4 and Advent



Today is the feast of St. Barbara, which reminds me it's my mother's birthday.  She's been dead since 1982.  If Gregorian Masses are efficacious, and I see no reason why they shouldn't be, I'm sure she is in heaven.  I still pray for her of course, but her birthday always brings back memories - not always good.  Evidently it does for my sister as well, since she called me last night in a nostalgic mood.  I didn't answer - but I'll call her back at some point.

I try to escape memories - but it doesn't always work.  I pretend I'm fine - but I'm not.  That may explain my 'critical spirit'.  I hate it when that happens.  I always say the wrong thing and things get worse.  I wish I could disappear sometimes - but that doesn't work.

St. Barbara, Virgin Martyr:

Since early times St. Barbara is invoked as the patroness against lightning and explosions, and is called upon by those who desire the Sacraments of the dying in their last illness, and many are the instances of the efficacy of her intercession.

St. Barbara, at my last end
Obtain for me the Sacrament;
Assist me in that direst need
When I and my God and Judge must meet:
That robed in sanctifying grace
My soul may stand before His face.

I ask that grace for myself and my family.  Barbara definitely arranged that for my mom, my dad, and my brother.  I hope and pray she does the same for the rest of my family.

It's pretty much all I ask for as well.

St. Barbara brought communion to St. Stanislaus when he was very ill and unable to receive ... I've always liked that story.
"Kneel down, kneel down!" Stanislaus said, in a clear but low voice. "Two angels of God are bringing the Blessed Sacrament, and with them comes Saint Barbara!" 
Then, worn out though he was by his long sickness, Stanislaus raised himself, knelt on the bed, and struck his breast as he three times repeated: 
"Lord, I am not worthy!" 
Then he raised his face, and opening his lips received his sacramental Lord. Bilinski looked on with awe and almost terror, unable to say a word. Stanislaus, when he had received the Blessed Sacrament, lay down again in bed and began his thanksgiving. - Source

Isn't that charming?  Stanislaus was only sixteen at the time.  Our Lady later appeared to him and directed him to the Jesuits, and he died shortly after, he was only eighteen.

St. Stanislaus Kostka, S.J.

Stanislaus and Barbara were sanctified by their sufferings,
through which they bore witness to Christ.
I'm grateful for the difficulties I've had in life,
I regret that I squandered them and sought 
my consolation in selfish satisfactions
and seeking the approval of men.

I will never criticize priests, bishops, cardinals or popes again.


Mr. Nelson, I want you to write that on the black board until you are cross eyed.
Yes sister.  Thank you sister.

I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again. I will never criticize priest, bishops, cardinals or popes again.

Mr. Nelson, you left off the 's' on priests - now begin again
and this time write faster!
Yes sister.  Thank you sister.

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cardinals or popes again.

And don't forget it!




At the sign of peace ...

I wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

I was 'corrected' after Mass for doing so.

I enjoy doing stuff like that.

Happy Holidays!

St. Nicholas is on his way!

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Accompanying sheep.


Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. - Today's Gospel

I knew a priest who sat back and relaxed, wine glass at hand, and puffed on cigarillos, making fun of a couple who lived together and suddenly wanted to get married.  He thought they were so stupid to think they could still live together while doing marriage prep - even if they said they could abstain from sexual relations as they went through the process.

I've known a few young priests who would treat sincere people as inferiors.  As if they were so stupid for not understanding doctrinal problems or Catholic devotion.  In fact I heard priests say as much.  For instance, another priest told me "They" expect just to show up at church and have the kid baptized - they don't even go to Mass.  Of course I know there needs to be a reasonable expectation to raise the child in the faith, but to wave the family off with "No baptism for you!"  And treating the family like idiots, isn't exactly pastoral.

When a new pastor starts out a homily with "If you really want to see me get angry - ask a stupid question like, 'why does Mass have to be so long?'"  He's preaching to the choir, because everyone at 'his' Mass wants to be at Mass.   People who don't often go to Mass may not have encountered Christ  - yet.

I think this is what Pope Francis may criticize in priests and seminarians when he warns against rigidity.  It's an attitude, an orientation of superiority, which is indeed clericalism based in a sense of 'professionalism' which may be hidden by evangelical enthusiasm and a critical spirit.  Even though the priest posses a living faith and sincere devotion, sometimes even there the spiritual exercises only bolster his self opinion and pride.  Very often, the younger priest launches into the apostolate with a 'reformer's mentality' or 'zeal' intent upon correction and putting people in their place, treating them as ignorant inferiors, rather than as 'sheep without a shepherd'.

Being a priest shouldn't be so hard, exasperating, or even tiring when you believe yourself to be accompanying a flock of beloved sheep - serving instead of dictating or impatiently correcting - or just being a pompous know it all.

Separating the sheep from the goats is Christ's job - at the End.

I want to apologize to priests.  You do have a tough job and are under a great deal of pressure.  I am wrong in suggesting my Mr. Rogers version of ministry and pastoral care.

Once again I'm reminded of how wounded priests can be by the criticisms made by Pope Francis.  I obviously don't understand the impact such criticism has upon them.  Again, I'm sorry, and I'll say no more.



  

Friday, December 02, 2016

Worried about the end of Catholic marriage?



I didn't even bother reading that.

It's a great hook for my post though.

I also came across another piece proclaiming, "I changed my mind about Pope Francis" and I think that one could be subtitled, 'and not in a good way.'  So.  What.

I've heard of people going into the wilderness to escape the chastisement or to pray and do penance for the apostasy.  Nothing wrong with that of course.  Prayer is good.  If they are really truly praying and avoiding the constant breaking news reports on every little bit of gossip and detraction which comes out, they just might experience God's presence in the midst of chaos.  The alarmists seem to think that by calling out every possible error and ambiguity, one is somehow going to save innumerable souls in danger of being lost because they will now no longer have to get married to go to communion.  They are wasting their time.  Of course I'm being facetious in the way I stated that, but you get my point.

Truly, if you quiet down and turn off all the drama, you'll experience such a peace that 'all will be well'.  If you really pray - not mouth words, not spin off intentions, but just shut up and pray, you will find that peace... an interior peace and joy that no one can take from you.  Even as you don't understand, even while all is collapsing around you ... so long as you do not turn back to look at those people and their concerns which are perishing, you will encounter Christ in your soul.

Really listen to the prayer of the Church these days.

Don't trivialize the prayer, 'Stir up your power' ... it is the prayer of the Church, praying God's protection that 'we might find rescue - from the pressing dangers of our sins' ...  Our sins.  Not their sins, 'our' sins.  If we are worried about many things and many issues and many sayings and claims online, we neglect our own souls.  Especially when these concerns are beyond our domain, or responsibility.  What is even worse, is that we neglect God's presence, in our soul, in the Church and in the world.  We miss what he is doing in our midst.  We stop to look and we freeze into a pillar of salt - like Lot's wife.

If you really pray, quiet your soul and seek God alone, you will certainly understand - no matter your state ...

From Today's first reading:

You shall have nothing to be ashamed of ...
you shall see the work of God's hands in your midst ...
Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding,
and those who find fault shall receive instruction. - Isaiah 29:24

'We should not be concerned about such matters at all. It is true that I would be of your opinion and act perhaps in the same way had I any responsibility in the matter. But I have no obligation whatsoever. Moreover, our only duty is to become united to God. Even if we were members of those communities which are being publicly criticized for their defections, we would be greatly at fault in becoming disquieted on that account.'" - "My Sister, St. Therese" - Sr. Genevieve of the Holy Face

Don't listen to me though - I'm just as much in need of understanding and correction as the next guy - perhaps the only difference is that I have confidence in God who is at work in our midst, even now.  When Christ walked the earth, many people ignored him then as well.  Those who recognized him found peace... they acquired understanding, they stopped find fault with others.


Today's Gospel.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Defending Trump ...

Tom Ford blowing bubbles with Richard, 1986



From the 'liberals'?

Does he need anyone to defend him?  He's sort of like Pope Francis - he doesn't need anyone to defend him from his critics, or so I'm told about Francis.  So what is with those who supported Trump rallying to his defense over stupid comments made by a fashion designer?

Tom Ford, along with a few other fashion designers, said he wouldn't dress Melania Trump - she doesn't fit his image.  The new First Lady can dress herself, and has been doing so all along.  The statement by Ford was in response to an interview question posed to several other designers.  Ford has made rather direct comments about his clientele, reportedly telling potential customers they were 'too fat' for his clothes.  Suggesting Melania didn't fit his image may have been a polite way of saying something less cordial - so he maybe was being nice.  (He's a recovered alcoholic and said he's much nicer now that he quit drinking.)

On Facebook I came across a quote from Gerard Nadal, not sure who he is, but he took offense to Ford's remark, and in his defense against 'liberals', he stated:  "What they consistently fail to see is that the poor and lower middle class do not want Donald Trump and his family to live as they do. Quite the opposite. They wish to live as Trump does."

I hope not.  

From what I've read from the so-called 'Rust-belt' out of work people simply want their jobs back - they want to earn a living and raise a family.  I never heard anyone say they wanted to live like Trump - unless they were contestants on American Idol or were out of work actresses looking for a billionaire.

The fashion designer statements are business as usual in a superficial, consumer, ego-driven culture.  Tom Ford is promoting his films and his clothing line.  Others would jump at the chance to have their label on Mrs. Trump's clothes. The discussion of this issue is pretty much vain and foolish and superficial compared to the reality of the working and non-working poor.  It is snob talk - just like the industry these people work in.  It's ad copy for them.

As for the poor and working class desiring to live as the Trumps do, that's not what this is about, and if it is for some, it's misguided and patronizing - and perhaps equally elitist. The Trump lifestyle is no more enviable than the fashionistas and their Hollywood counterparts.  Do you really want to be Miranda Priestly?

If you voted for Trump, if you like him, that's just fine.  We should in fact support our President, but you don't have to like him, much less defend his lifestyle.  There's nothing wrong with being rich and famous, if that is what you aspire to, fine - but the unemployed, the working poor and ordinary people are pretty much content with a sufficiency.  They want a home, an income, food on the table, healthcare, education, and family stability.  I don't believe ordinary people envy the rich and famous any more than I believed Imelda Marcos, who once defended her extravagant wardrobe saying, "Never dress down for the poor, they won't respect you for it."

Tom Ford being nice.

What a relief! Monsignor Pinto didn't say it.




So now they are saying that Msgr. Pinto did NOT say that the Pope could remove the Four Cardinals from the College.  Instead under a different Pope perhaps that might happen. HERE

So.  On second thought, ladies and gentlemen, do follow the locutionists and seers and just avoid the Breaking News Flashes and Acton Alerts from Catholic blogs and news aggregators.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Good advice ...



I found it on Spirit Daily actually.

It's goes along with the stuff I often write about - especially as it concerns Catholic soothsayers, mystics, locutionists, and prophets.
The renowned mystical theologian Father Augustin Poulain, in his classic, The Graces of Interior Prayer, said: 
"When a seer wishes to be believed on his bare word, we can generally get rid of him by saying: 'You assure me that God speaks by your mouth. I have no right to believe you unless you prove it. What sign do you bring?' In his ingenuousness he had not expected this question, and retires abashed." 
Beware, said Poulain, of a seer who tells you that Heaven has mentioned or chosen you (as a spiritual director, in the case of a priest). 
When a seer has had prophecies that did not materialize, this is most certainly a warning signal. The person who mouths a false prediction or posits dates is what Scripture calls "presumptuous." Nor are we to become overly attracted and attached to alleged mystics (and hostile to those who differ). Fanaticism, cult, and rancor are bad fruits for certain (as opposed to heartsease, patience, and joy). 
Imagination? "When people strongly desire a thing, the imagination makes them fancy they see or hear it, just as when one's mind is set on a subject all day, one dreams of it at night," said Teresa of Avila. The evil, she says, is not usually in the vision so much as in the person. 
At the same time (here comes that balance again -- or is it a tightrope?): there are those too disposed toward skepticism and even caustic disregard due to a mechanistic mindset nurtured strongly by the current educational culture. 
If we are humble, said Saint Teresa, a vision, whatever the source, will do us no harm. "The good or the evil is not in the vision," she said, "but in him to whom it is given, and who does not profit by it in humility." - Read the rest here.

When the seer gets mad because you don't believe him, or when he claims as proof that he is right by reminded his critics of what he was right about in the past ... I think that's a fairly certain sign he's self-promoting as well.




St. Nicholas is on his way ....

S. Nicholas Icon Pendant/Ornament
$19- available here.


I didn't make this, and I am not selling it - I'm just suggesting a great gift for St. Nicholas Day.  We should all celebrate St. Nicholas and turn to him in prayer  he is a Wonder-worker and great patron of children and the unfortunate.  

We need him now.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Immaculate Conception ... Days of preparation.


The novena begins.

The Immaculate Conception is the Patroness of the United States.  Our Lady of Guadalupe is Empress of the Americas.  They are the same Person.  The Church conveyed these titles.

I like to enter into this novena without any specific intention or request - if that makes sense.  For me it is similar to Pentecost - the nine days of prayer become days of preparation.  The Immaculata encompasses and fills our souls, as it were.  She, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit fills our soul, I think.  She forms our soul.  She unites our soul to Christ most chastely and devoutly, somehow.  I don't know how to express myself on the subject ... but I'm convinced these days of preparation inform those who seek her.

That said, it occurred to me that when Our Lady appeared at Rue du Bac, she indicated we should indeed ask for favors and graces.  There were jewels of light on her fingers, as well as jewels which radiated no light, and St. Catherine asked Our Lady about them.  Our Lady said they signified the graces people do not ask for.  God is glorified when we ask for favors and graces, and the Blessed Virgin is too - she delights in obtaining and pouring out grace upon grace - especially for our sanctification.

So now I will ask for grace upon grace every day in preparation for this glorious feast.

I like to use prayers such as these ...

Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, 
fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary,you alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world. - Little Office
Thou art all fair O Mary
and the original stain is not in thee,
O Mary!
O Mary, by thy holy and Immaculate Conception
make my body pure and my spirit holy.


HAIL, Virgin, most wise!
Hail, DEITY’S shrine!
with seven fair pillars,
and table divine!

Preserved from the guilt
which hath come upon us all!
Exempt, in the womb,
from the taint of the fall!

O new Star of Jacob,
of angels the Queen!
O Gate of the saints!
O Mother of men!

To Zabulon fearful
as the embattled array!
Be thou of the faithful
the refuge and stay.
Amen.


The Dean of the Roman Rota Archbishop Pio Vito Pinto warned that the Four Cardinals could be stripped of their cardinalate!

Devested?


I wonder if they get to keep the clothes?

I saw the story on Badger's blog.  It's from EWTN UK - which seems to be more candid with this type of story than the US EWTN World Over Live entertainment news, with Raymundo Arroyo.  Here's an excerpt of the UK piece.  From the Dean of the Roman Rota:
Archbishop Pio Vito Pinto, Dean of the Roman Rota, told a conference in Spain that Cardinal Burke and the three cardinals who submitted the dubia to Pope Francis "could lose their Cardinalate" for causing "grave scandal" by making the dubia public. The Dean of the Roman Rota went on to accuse Cardinals Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandm├╝ller and Joachim Meisner of questioning the Holy Spirit. Archbishop Pio Vito Pinto made his astounding accusations during a conference to religious in Spain.
Archbishop Pio Vito's indictment against the four cardinals, and other people who question Pope Francis and Amoris Laetitia, was that they not only questioned one synod of bishops on marriage and the family, but two synods, about which, "The action of the Holy Spirit can not be doubted." - Read more here.
Quite honestly, I am scandalized, I just don't know who to blame.

Shirley not the Pope.

Part of my resistance to these stories has to do with the fact I don't want the crackpots online to be right.  They keep writing these stories, laying charges upon charges.  It's one thing to read eccentrics like Ann Barnhardt and her Canadian Kickers polka-band followers, but it's a bit more disturbing as qualified writers express doubts and concerns and even harshly criticize the Pope.

The stories are disturbing and distracting and worst of all, it harms the spirit of devotion and prayer.  I'm serious about that, even though I make fun of the stories as a sort of release, I suppose.  No one really knows how the Pope will respond and what will happen - hence the speculation is indeed vain - and in not a few cases, gravely presumptuous.  That is where the scandal is.

I just do not want the pearl-clutching crackpots to be right.  It's like the Charlie Johnston Steppers - I'm hoping Charlie is wrong about the election just because I do not like all this trust people place in locutions and so-called mystics - it seems contrary to the virtue of faith.  I'm hoping all the fringe is wrong about all their fears and survivalist plans - this too seems contrary to faith in some respects.  Prudence is one thing, but self-sufficiency can lead to presumption.  Most especially, I hope all the anti-Vatican II big 'T' Traditionalists are wrong - because that means the Church is wrong - and that is protestant and contradicts the promises of Christ.

I love the papacy - it is in part why I am Catholic.  I like all the popes since the Council - including Francis.  If people need more clarity, I hope he will provide it.  In the meantime, his enemies are indeed searching for stories to condemn him.  One site has a story that JPII was warned about Bergoglio as being unstable and unreliable.  Others are claiming Francis' election was illegitimate - orchestrated by a group of anti-Benedict cardinals who lobbied for Bergoglio.  That is gossip as well as detraction, if not calumny, it serves no purpose but to discredit and foment mistrust.  It's evil.

In some really strange way, it just maybe all about clothes ... after Francis was elected and he refused the traditional vestments, specifically the ermine-trimmed red velvet mozzetta, allegedly saying, 'Carnival is over.'  The extraordinary dressers were very much disturbed.  And now, Cardinal Burke may be ordered to turn in his 'flair'.  Kidding - kinda.



+ + +



Bonus:  And now, for your edification, a new video from Fr. Pavone ...


What?





Monday, November 28, 2016

I think I got it figured out ... On Pope Francis and Benedict and Cardinal Burke ...




The Esurance ad was prophetic ...

See ... Beatrice is Pope Francis ... the lady on the couch who likes her wall with the vacation photos is Pope Benedict ... the woman with the flair who contradicts .... or rather, 'offers a correction' .......... is Cardinal Burke:  "That's not what any of this is about."  And so Francis unfriends him.

A Cardinal scorned ... well you know.

Thunderstorms and hail and darkness in Minneapolis ...

I blame the Illuminati.



I'm getting out the blessed candles and sacramentals after I shutter the windows ... just in case.

In Havana - They're shouting - Santo Subito!

... it could happen.

#fideli-santo-sibito

Crackpot News.

I've read so many edifying testimonies online from Catholics.  People are so good.  So thoughtful and caring.  So sympathetic.  Kidding.

Kind of seriously however, I wonder if Castro was simply an instrument to chastise a corrupt and decadent culture, oppressed by the wretched Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista - who was financed by links to organized crime and allowing American companies to dominate the Cuban economy.  Havana was an amoral playground for the rich.  As Catholics know, If Our Lady's requests at Fatima - especially that men amend their lives and stop offending God, who in 1917 was already so much offended, Russia would spread her errors across the world, as an instrument of chastisement.  Castro nearly caused nuclear war when he allowed the Soviet Union to construct missile bases.  True - he spread revolution, training African and Latin American troops ... he committed grave crimes.

However, if viewed from the perspective of eternity - throughout world history governments have done similar things.  Even in the United States, we have displaced peoples, confiscated their lands, forced them to conform to our ideological and sociological status quo ... I'm referencing our treatment of Native Americans and the African slave trade.  In fact even today, the United States promotes 'ideological colonization', imposing what we call 'women's reproductive health' rights in Third World countries in return for aid.

I certainly understand Cuban Americans celebrating the death of a dictator who caused their exile, separated families, confiscated their businesses and properties, imprisoned and executed their loved ones, and so on.  I'm just surprised by the vehemence and contempt shown by some bloggers and commenters online - give them a 'righteous' cause and they blow hard, so ready to condemn those who contradict or disagree with them - or simply send condolences and offer prayers for the dead.

Very seriously, I never could have supported Castro, neither could I have supported Batista.  Many of the very rich displaced by the revolution got out with their money and would love to return and recreate that old status quo ... something tells me a few non-Cubans would like to trump up anti-Castro rhetoric, hoping to move in and open luxury hotels and casinos, now that Castro is dead.


Abbey Roads crackpot news.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Medieval Nativity
The Animal's Christmas



I reopened my shop on Etsy, but I think it's too late in the season.

I don't really want to sell things as much as I like to make them.  I find if you give things away, some people may not like the work, or tire of it and throw it away.  I often fantasize that some of my work will live on - long after I'm dead.  See how vain I am?

I want to spend time making more curiosities - so I won't let the idea of sales and seasonal things trouble me.

I love holiday crafts and art - making things.  Today's fog with traces of snow and patches of greenery amid bare trees is enchanting.  The holidays are enchanting if you can let go of all that is commercial.  Strange to say when I make things to sell - but I guess I have to pay for materials and shipping and time and talent ... but it should be free.

I dropped my old camera and broke it while taking photos and so I have to go out and buy a new one.  The photos I take for Etsy, as the one above, aren't very good - I also should have styled the item to warm it up.  I like to make things, but I don't like to work.  Presentation and sales are work.

So there you go ... I'm Lloyd.


 

In a fog in Minneapolis



When I woke up and looked out the window I wondered why the windows were so fogged up, and then when I got closer, I saw that it was foggy ... and I immediately dressed, left the cottage, and ran into the woods to look for elves.

This is a tree sprite.

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.







On November 27, 1830, Our Lady gave the Miraculous Medal to St. Catherine Laboure, promising great graces to those who wear it.
Catherine saw Our Lady standing on a globe, with dazzling rays of light streaming from her outstretched hands. Framing the figure was an inscription: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” Then Mary spoke to Catherine: “Have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck.” - Story of the Miraculous Medal

 

I have no other recourse than you ... O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.  I am alone and afflicted, I have no one but you.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Castro is dead ...



(I'm sure everyone knows this by now - I came online late today - so it's news to me.)

He wasn't doing well so his death isn't such a shock, although it is something of a milestone.  He outlived all his revolutionary comrades, as well as his Kremlin backers.  He was the man who nearly caused nuclear war in the early 1960's - for that he will always be remembered.

Toward the end of his life the last three Popes were very kind to him, I think.  JPII, Benedict, and now Francis 'negotiated' with the man, not so much the dictator, and Castro seemed anxious to see them - perhaps a bit like Zacchaeus in the Gospel?  For me, the papal visitations are a clear example of dialog, diplomacy, and even friendship - working together to secure religious freedom, reconciliation and peace.

Holy Father Pope Francis sent his condolences:
On receiving the sad news of the death of your dear brother, His Excellency Mister Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, former president of the State Council and of the Government of the Republic of Cuba, I express my sentiments of sorrow to Your Excellency and other family members of the deceased dignitary, as well as to the people of this beloved nation. At the same time, I offer prayers to the Lord for his rest and I entrust the whole Cuban people to the maternal intercession of our Lady of the Charity of El Cobre, patroness of that country. - Francisco, PP.
The death of a man like Castro is difficult to process.  I have already come across articles detailing his 'crimes' - executions, confiscation of property and goods, disruption of free trade and persecution of the Church, and so on.  History will judge him, but God's judgement is the one that matters.

His mercy endures forever.







"I would give a thousand lives to save even one soul." - St. Teresa of Avila

Friday, November 25, 2016

But Father! But Father! The Pope said that ...



‘But father, what can we do to avoid being deceived by the devil?’

From the Holy Father's homily for Today:
Continuing his reflections on the end of the world, the Pope’s homily focused on the day’s reading from the Book of Revelation that describes how the angel seizes the serpent, chains it up and throws it into the abyss which is then locked and sealed. He said the serpent or devil is thrown into the abyss “so that it would no longer lead the nations astray” because it is the seducer.
“He is a liar and what’s more is the father of lies, he generates lies and is a trickster. He makes you believe that if you eat this apple you will be like a God. He sells it to you like this and you buy it and in the end he tricks you, deceives you and ruins your life. ‘But father, what can we do to avoid being deceived by the devil?’ Jesus teaches us: never converse with the devil. One does not converse with him. What did Jesus do with the devil? He chased him away, he asked his name but did not hold a dialogue with him.”
Pope Francis went on to explain how when Jesus was in the wilderness he defended himself when replying to the devil by using the Word of God and the Word of the Bible. Therefore, he said, we must never converse with this liar and trickster who seeks our ruin and who for this reason will be thrown into the abyss. - Pope Francis
I thought of having fun with this, but then thought against it.

What the Pope says however, is why I don't read exorcist's stories about conversations with the devil.  We can't believe what the devil says.   It goes the same for private revelations and locutions - unapproved by the Church - the devil deceives many.

He also deceives through pop-culture and entertainment ... tempting us fall in love with the glamour of evil.

. . .

To be honest, I'm very troubled by the problem of the 'Four Cardinal's' dubia as well as
Bishop Athanasius Schneider's commentary on the problem.