Sunday, October 22, 2017

Mass chat: The children's teeth are on edge.

The power of silence.

Pope Francis' correctio of Cardinal Sarah.

As Fr. Z might say - it's a dust up, not to worry.  Although it is sure to to become a big storm within the 'remnant'.  I picked up the story from Fr. Martin:
Breaking: In an extraordinary public correction, Pope Francis has corrected Cardinal Robert Sarah on a statement that Sarah recently made contradicting the Pope on the liturgy.
In what Massimo Faggioli calls a "paternal correction," the Pope reaffirms that, as he said in his motu proprio, authority for liturgical translations rests with local bishops conferences. (Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, had recently said that what the Pope said does not apply.) - Fr. Martin
Works for me.

The Ordinary Form is Holy.

This weekend another priest from the seminary had Mass at my parish.  He's one of my favorite priests in the Archdiocese.  Wonderful guy.  His homily was 'firey' - all about the love of God and our rendering to God what is God's in and through Holy Mass.  I can tell this priest prays, and prays the Mass.  I won't say anything more on that however. 

It is a scandal to me how Catholics not only malign the Holy Father, but denigrate the Mass as well.  Especially the Ordinary Form - which is the ordinary form for Holy Mass in the Latin rite.  Some even suggesting it is a diabolic deception.  So now, I am certain, they will say the Holy Father, in his correction of Cardinal Sarah is bent upon destruction of the Sacred Liturgy.  Their 'teeth are on edge'.

I came across a post from Michael Matt of The Remnant.  He is descendant from The Wanderer newspaper which has pretty much always been a stronghold of conservatism and resistance to the 'spirit of Vatican II'.  'They' were not wrong about that, but they were frequently without 'charity' in their 'resistance'.  Only recently has that segment turned hostile and vindictive, at times, resisting Peter to his face.  Readers know what I'm talking about here.  I think a 'correctio' for these groups would be fitting.

To see how far they have come in their resistance astonished me.  I knew individuals formed themselves on private revelations and spurious interpretations of apparitions and mystical writings such as those from Bl. Catherine Emmerich, but I didn't think they could be as literal about it as they seem to be.  I came upon the following from Michael Matt in an introduction to a post  suggesting Cardinal Burke as the 'new apologist for sedevacantists'.  (LOL!)  The criticism of the Ordinary Form of Mass is shameful, to say the least.

We were warned that these days were forthcoming. Well now they’ve arrived, and the question is: Are we up to the challenge to keep the faith in spite of them? For us it is important to recall that the forces of darkness have tried and failed to crush the Bride of Christ outright, and that out of that failure a new and even more diabolically clever strategy seems to be emerging—to leave the Church standing but to infiltrate her, as Pope Pius X predicted they’d do. “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church,” predicted Our Lady of Akita, as well. And so gathered here behind enemy lines, in occupied territory, we’re up against Luciferian deception where there are no easy answers and no easy way out.
So rather than outlawing the Catholic Mass (as they did so often in history), for example, they "reformed" it this time. And their New Mass is a disastrous novelty that may nevertheless retain its technical validity—with Christ truly present to be reviled, ignored, effectively mocked on Novus tables just as He was on Calvary’s Cross. It may be tempting in the face of such devastating sacrilege to stand up and denounce all New Masses as “invalid”. But are they? Sacrilege does not guarantee invalidity, and to suggest that it does may well be to miss the more horrific point of what’s really going on here. (Nor does mere technical validity translate to mean that we have a moral right to expose ourselves or our children to something that has done so much documented damage throughout the world to the belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.) Retaining technical validity may well be Satan’s masterstroke, for if the abuse-ridden New Mass is invalid then only mere bread and wine are being ignored, abused, reviled or in some other way disrespected. Would the Father of Lies settle for that?  
And so too with the Pope—if only it were true that Francis is not the pope! But what if the diabolical nature of the crisis at hand is to be found in the very fact that he is, despite the myriad scandals? In the face of the growing scandal, it’s understandable that some want to proclaim Peter’s chair empty but, again, would the Father of Lies settle for that, or would he demand the real thing to hold up in triumph before the Face of Christ Crucified? In his pride, would Lucifer settle for some harlot imposter, propped up in the place of Christ’s spotless bride? These are the questions that must be discussed. And, of course, since diabolical disorientation impacts each and every one of us, we could certainly be wrong in how we see it all. But what is not up for debate is this: When we “defend” Pope Francis as a valid pope (as John Salza does in the following article) we are not defending his multitudinous scandals. In fact, it would be so much easier for us to simply announce he’s lost his office. But we believe that he has not, and that's the problem! - Michael Matt

Michael Matt is getting as strange as Ann Barnhardt.  They use 'Biblical prophetic' language and private revelation quite well to support their claims, but the Pope is the final authority. 
The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful." "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered." - CCC 832

What if this is my very last post ...

Our Lady's Chapel
Icon of OLPH on copper
artist unknown.  
(The flash is from a too bright of a spot light.)

Some photos of the chapel where the icon of the Annunciation resides.  The icon is currently in the niche at the back of the chapel, as seen below. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Fr. Martin, S.J. and the Catholic resistance to LGBTQ

“Homosexuals are not as a group able-bodied. 
They are known to carry extremely high rates of disease 
brought on because of the nature of their sexual practices 
and the promiscuity which is a hallmark of their lifestyle.”*

I should have said 'Christian resistance'.

Yesterday on Facebook I noticed a friend from high school posted some things VP Pence allegedly stated in the past against gays in the military and so on - all very homophobic.  The statements attributed to him may or may not be true - and some are definitely false, but I think it is safe to say Pence is not in favor of equal rights for LGBTQ persons in the sense activists hope for.  Which may be one more reason why James Martin felt called to write his book.

That said, if you take a screen-shot of a couple ultra conservative Catholic websites, you encounter links to posts and news articles focused on the subject of Catholic teaching and homosexuality.  The divide is huge.  The opponents targeting Pope Francis and 'Francis-bishops', along with the James-Martin-is-a-heretic faction are indeed taking on hostile characteristics similar to the Westboro Baptists. There is absolutely no denying that.  Disagree with me all you want, but that is my impression and experience of the phenomenon.

For the past three years, the emphasis of Pope Francis and those close to him has been on “respect” and “listening”, with little or no reference to holiness, chastity, or the objective truth about sexual morality.
Concerning homosexuality and homosexual acts and relationships, there are only two passages in Amoris. Neither refers to doctrine or moral theology. In a sort of sociological observation, Pope Francis says that “de facto or same-sex unions” are not “beneficial” to society. (52). As for “persons who experience same-sex attraction,” Francis holds that they “ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration, while ‘every sign of unjust discrimination’ [citing the Catechism]is to be carefully avoided.” (276). He goes on quote the “Synod Fathers” that homosexual unions “are not remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.” (251). - CWR

 Roughnecks or Brownshirts?

I'm not really going there, but the comparison has been made and if the shirt fits, so be it.  The growing hostility against the 'sodomites' is obvious - even among some of the Courage Catholics, and especially Catholics opposed to LGBTQ political pursuits.  They see it as an ideology to be destroyed.  One blogger proclaiming:
Sodomites are one of the extremes of the Left, and the Left has convinced itself that everything it does, no matter how heinous, no matter how evil, is good by definition.
There are no limits to the extremes, to the utter depravity to which people so convinced will sink. This movement must either be crushed, or they will crush us. - Anonymous Catholic blogger.
Left?  Right?  Alt-Left?  Alt-Right?  Political stuff entering the sanctuary.  That's what they accuse Pope Francis of doing, and so they make the Pope a leader of the Alt-Left.  They are immersed in ideological thinking.  They are siding with ideologues and ideology.

Some Catholics go after Voris - calling him a sodomite, because he defended statements from another sodomite Milos, because what he said was useful to him in condemning Fr. Martin.  On some level, it strikes me they are all part of the same axis working against Catholic bishops and priests in union with the Pope.   They use one another when it suits their purpose.  They rely on the same conspiracy theories, tweaking them here and there with excerpts from the right prophecy or even the right canonist or theologian, to boost their credibility.

I've upset enough of you at this point, but something is wrong here, and it is so not the Pope.  As the Holy Father stated the other day: "The Pharisees, doctors of the law are not people of the past, even today there are many of them."

Back on point.

Catholics may be fearful LGBTQ ideology will oppress the Church and freedom of religion, but I would be more concerned for gay persons interested in either returning to the sacraments or becoming Catholic.  Catholic or not, the emergence of the Alt-Right in the the United States and Europe seems to me far more dangerous - especially in its current assault on the Church, fomenting opposition to the Pope and Catholic teaching.  It's so much more than the 'Save the liturgy-Save the world' mind-games.  It seems to me quite probable, that 'even the elect - if that were possible - have been led astray.'

Everything wrong in the Church gets blamed upon 'gay mafia' or homosexuals in the Church and especially among the clergy.  (Are they good homos or bad homos?  Because there are both.)  The more the Church seems to reach out in a less offensive** manner, the more the reaction and hostility towards homosexuals in general increases.   It is clearly used to attack the Pope - who frustrates the hell out of his enemies because he has not taught anything contradictory to Catholic teaching, or promoted heresy.  This fact itself is being whipped up into a new conspiracy theory, a sort of 'development of doctrine' for those who rely on private revelation to substantiate claims of 'apostasy at the top'.  The political climate adapted by traditionalist Catholics and those who support Trump as a sort of savior and restorer of Christianity, seems rather foreboding.  Especially when suggestions of a 'final solution' to 'crush the (LGBT) movement' get circulated - a sentiment very close to a proposal of criminalizing homosexuality itself.  The Church is against that.

But traditional-alt-right style Remnant Catholics may not be against it - quite the opposite.  Some rad-trad Catholics hate homosexuals and will never trust those who say they are ex-homosexuals or Catholics with SSA, or simply Catholic penitents.  Just saying.

"They" say, "hate the sin, love the sinner" - but - as I like to remind everybody, many hate the sinner just as much as the sin.  Just as much.  I know this from experience.


*This statement misattributed to Pence personally, stemmed from a 1993 journal article about homosexuals serving in the military. Mike Pence was in charge of the organization that published the journal, the the Indiana Policy Review Foundation (IPRF), but he did not himself pen the article in question. - Snopes

**causing someone to feel deeply hurt, upset, or angry.
"the allegations made are deeply offensive to them"
    synonyms: insulting, insolent, derogatory, disrespectful, hurtful, wounding, abusive;

"Faith is a great companion of life 
when it allows us to experience the presence of a Father 
who never abandons his creatures, 
whatever their condition of their life."

Friday, October 20, 2017

These things look similar to me ...

I was looking for something on St. Francis and 'perfect joy' and the Canon 915 photo popped up, which reminded me of the Westboro Baptist photo. It's what some religious people feel called to do - and they call it 'truth in charity'.

I know the photos are different, and the Catholic one is (supposedly) expected to be 'remedial' - yet the tone/expectation is often the same among Catholic correctors.  

Last evening I watched a bit of Catholic TV, switching from Arroyo, I caught a video from Fr. Mike Schmitz on confession for adults.  I love that guy.  Afterword, Voris' Church Militant aired.  What a huge difference between the two.  As is typical, Voris slammed the Church of nice and went after Fr. James Martin, SJ.  Like I said, what a contrast.

That's all.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Pharisees, doctors of the law are not people of the past, even today there are many of them.

The Good Samaritan
William Small (1843–1931)

What the Pope said. 

In my country, said the Pope, "I have heard several times of parish priests who did not baptize the children of the mothers because they were not born in canonical marriage. They closed the door, why? Because the heart of these parish priests had lost the key to knowledge.
Three months ago, in a country, in a city, a mother wanted to baptize her newly born son, but she was married civilly with a divorced man. The priest said, 'Yes, yes. Baptize the baby. But your husband is divorced. So he cannot be present at the ceremony. ' This is happening today. The Pharisees, doctors of the law are not people of the past, even today there are many of them. That is why we need prayers for us shepherds. To pray that we do not lose the key to knowledge and do not close the door to ourselves and the people who want to enter. " - Pope Francis

I was baptized and received the sacraments despite the fact my mother was divorced and remarried to my dad.  They did not go to church, but I was educated in Catholics school.  The priest who baptized me joked with my father and was incredibly kind to my parents - no scolding - nothing.  That was many years before Vatican II.

The Pope is Catholic.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Ganswein stated he never said that.

(File photo)

Rumors of Benedict XVI being close to death circulated on social media following a quote attributed to Ganswein, which reads, “Pope Benedict is like a candle that fades slowly. He is serene, at peace with God, with himself and the world. He can no longer walk without help and can no longer celebrate Mass.”
He never said that.
Archbishop Ganswein called this quote “pure invention.”
“It is false and wrong! I would like to know who the author of this is,” he said, according to German media outlet
“I have received in the last two days many messages that refer to this phrase, and people are worried,” he said.
Last week, Ratzinger’s brother was at the Vatican to visit, and he has now returned home, Ganswein confirmed, adding, “Both had a good time.” - CNA

“It is false and wrong! I would like to know who the author of this is."

I'll tell you Georg, Church Militant spread the rumor here.

Drama Queen ...

Cardinal Raymond Burke leaving the church of St. Dunstan's in Canterbury, England, 
after praying at the burial place of the relic of the head of St. Thomas More, Oct. 15, 2017.
Story here.

I think Cardinal Burke really likes drama.  He has a gift for theatrics.  Just an observation - not a criticism.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Archbishop Georg Gänswein asks us to pray for Pope Benedict ...

A friend sent me this:

His Eminence, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Papal Household and personal secretary to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, asks the world to pray for the Holy Father. His Eminence states that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI “is like a candle which is slowly, serenely fading. He is serene, at peace with God, himself and the world. He is unable to walk without assistance and is no longer able to celebrate Mass.”

Sainte Marguerite-Marie Alacoque

« Ô très amoureux Coeur de mon unique amour Jésus, ne pouvant Vous aimer, honorer et glorifier selon l’étendue du désir que Vous m’en donnez, j’invite le ciel et la terre de le faire pour moi ; et je m’unis à ces ardents séraphins pour Vous aimer.

Ô Coeur tout brûlant d’amour, que n’enflammez-Vous le ciel et la terre de Vos plus pures flammes pour en consommer tout ce qu’ils enserrent, afin que toutes les créatures ne respirent que votre Amour !

Changez-moi tout en Coeur pour Vous aimer, en me consommant dans Vos plus vives ardeurs.

Ô Feu divin, ô Flammes toutes pures du Coeur de mon unique amour Jésus, brûlez-moi sans pitié, consommez-moi sans résistance !

Ô Amour du ciel et de la terre, venez, venez tout dans mon Coeur pour me réduire en cendres !

Ô Feu dévorant de la Divinité, venez, venez fondre sur moi !

Brûlez-moi, consommez-moi au milieu de Vos plus vives flammes, qui font vivre ceux qui y meurent.

Ainsi soit-il ! »  - Sainte Marguerite-Marie Alacoque (1647-1690)

A Letter of St. Margaret Mary 

Would that I could tell all I know about this lovable devotion and reveal to the whole world the treasures of graces which Jesus Christ keeps in his adorable Heart and wishes to shower with profusion on all those who will practise it ! Yes, I am certain that if people knew how pleasing this devotion is to Jesus Christ, there would not be a Christian with so little love for this lovable Saviour as not to practise it at once. It is perfectly clear that there is no one in the world who would not receive every kind of help from Heaven if he had a truly grateful love for Jesus Christ. It is such a love one shows by practising devotion to his Sacred Heart.  -  St. Margaret Mary, L. 141 to her Spiritual Director

Most amiable Jesus, 
You who let Yourself be crushed 
under the weight of the sins of the world, 
receive our love. 
I particularly adore the holy wound of your open side, 
your Transfixed Heart. 
Be our refuge; 
it is through your Holy Wounds 
that we are healed.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Blood and water, flowing forth from the side of Christ ...

Confession: manifestation of God's mercy

"The soul also receives Baptism in another way, speaking in figurative terms, by special providence of my divine love. I was well aware of human fragility and weakness, that leads human beings to offend me. Persons are not constrained by this nor by any other thing to commit the fault, if they do not wish, but being weak they commit mortal sins, thus losing the grace they received in holy baptism by virtue of the Blood. For this reason it was necessary that Divine Love should make available a continual baptism of the Blood. This baptism comes about through a contrite heart and through confession of sins to a priest, when possible, for they have the keys of the Blood, the Blood the priest pours upon the soul when he absolves the person. If some one is unable to confess, contrition of heart is sufficient. Then my mercy bestows on you the fruit of this precious Blood, but if you can confess I want you to do so, and whoever being able does not confess, will remain deprived of the benefit of the Blood. However, it is true that whoever, at the moment of death wants to confess and is unable to do it, he likewise shall receive the fruit of the Blood. But let nobody be so foolish at life's end, hoping to set his soul in order, because it is not certain that I, due to his obstinacy, may say in consonance with my divine justice: "You did not remember me during your life, when you had time. I do not remember you now at the point of death!"
Let no one procrastinate it, but even if there should be somebody who has wilfully done so, he ought not omit baptizing himself with hope in the Blood even if it were the last day. You see then how this baptism is continual and the soul must be baptized in it until life's end, as I have indicated. Through this baptism you can understand that the torment of the cross ended, but the fruit of this torment, which you received from me is infinite. This is due to my infinite divine nature, united to finite human nature. This human nature suffered in me, Word, clothed with your humanity. Since one nature is joined and kneaded with the other, the eternal divinity brought upon itself the torment which I bore with such ardent love.
That is why this my action can be said to be infinite, not because the torment suffered bodily is infinite, nor the torment of my desire of accomplishing your redemption, which really finished and came to an end on the cross when the soul was separated from the body. But the fruit that sprang from that torment and the desire for your salvation are infinite. That is the reason why you can unsparingly receive this fruit. If it had not been infinite then humanity would not have been redeemed: people of the past, the present and the future. It would not have been possible for persons who sin to be purified from their sins, if this baptism of blood had not been offered without measure, because the fruit of the Blood is infinite.
I showed you this in my open side, where you discover the secret of my heart: namely, that I love you much more than what I could show you with the finite torment. I have shown you that my love is infinite. In what way? With the baptism of the Blood, joined to the fire of my charity, that out of love was poured out; and through baptism, understood in the common sense, given to Christians, to whoever wishes to receive it, baptism of water joined to blood and to fire, in which the soul is kneaded with my blood. To show you all this I wanted blood and water to flow forth from my side. Now I have answered your request." - St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church: The Dialogue LXXV
Oh God, You showed St. Catherine the infinite love which burns in Your Heart for all Your human creatures. She generously shared this revelation and imitated its consequences to a heroic degree. Grant that we may follow her example, trusting in Your promises and increasing our faith in Your presence in every sacrament, especially in the sacrament of Your forgiveness. We ask this through Christ, Our Lord...... Amen.

Tres Beatos Niños de Tlaxcala, Cristóbal, Antonio y Juan, protomártires de América

"Soon we shall reach the wedding feast!" - Words of S. Catherine of Siena
to Niccolo di Tuldo moments before his execution.  The wedding garments of
the martyrs and the penitents are washed in the Blood of the Lamb...
Christ receives their "blood into his own blood."

So many martyrs canonized today.
The newly-declared saints include 30 so-called “Martyrs of Natal,” who were killed in 1645 in a wave of anti-Catholic persecution by Dutch Calvinists in Natal, Brazil.
Also from Latin America was a group of three indigenous martyrs from Mexico - Cristobal, Antonio and Juan - known as the “Child Martyrs of Tlaxcala.” Aged between 12 and 13, they were among the first indigenous Catholics of Mexico, murdered between 1527 and 1529 for refusing to renounce their faith and return to their ancient ‎traditions.‎ - Vatican Radio
This is a great sign.

The Pope is the Pope.  The Church is Catholic.  One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. 

Love is the only way to defeat evil
This is what love does, the Pope said, because this is the only way that evil is defeated.
And inviting us all to live in true love and “practice” love every day, Francis said “the Saints who were canonized today, and especially the many martyrs, point the way: They did not say a fleeting ‘yes’ to love; they said they ‘yes’ with their lives and to the very end”.
At Baptism, he concluded, we received a white robe, the wedding garment for God: Let us ask him, through the intercession of the saints, our brothers and sisters, for the grace to decide daily to put on this garment and to keep it spotless” by approaching the Lord fearlessly in order to receive his forgiveness”.
“This is the one step that counts, for entering into the wedding hall to celebrate with him the feast of love” he said. - VR

S. Teresa de Jesus

Aparición de Cristo crucificado a santa Teresa de Jesús 
Aparición de Cristo Salvador a santa Teresa de Jesús
Alonso Cano (1601-1667)

Happy feast day to all Carmelites and those named Terry!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

On the Dissolution of Monasteries: Kloster Himmerod closing after 900 years.

This is sad.
A Cistercian monastery that's existed for almost 900 years in what is now western Germany is closing down for good, due in part to a shortage of monks.

The Himmerod Abbey was founded in 1134 by the French abbot Bernard of Clairvaux.

But it had just six resident monks before the closure that was decided this week. That's down from about 30 monks in the 1970s. - Vatican Radio
Modern times.

Catholics online will invariably point to the decline in religious vocations, especially monastic vocations, blaming the changes since Vatican II and especially the liturgical reform.  Save the liturgy save the world - save vocations.  You think.  I'm not so sure.  I'm not an expert, but I think the problem has more to do with modern times and affluence than liturgical ritual.  Monastic discipline and community life just isn't that attractive to younger people, when you can be just as holy living in a house with a great job as a single person - or a married man.  Why, you can even brew your own monastic beer right in your own kitchen.  You can travel at will, and do anything you want, and become a saint too.

I'm being a tad facetious, but I'm not the only one who thinks this way.  A friend directed me to a Crisis article on the subject of vocations by Br. Justin Hannegan, titled Sacrificing Religious Life On the Altar of Egalitarianism.
What happened to religious vocations? Some commentators blame heterodoxy within American orders. Others blame our glitzy, debauched culture. Still others blame a prevailing spiritual malaise amongst Catholics. But there is another cause for the vocations crisis that commentators fail to recognize: vocations directors, counselors, and authors, despite their best intentions, systematically undermine religious vocations.
Suppose that you are considering religious life. Today’s vocations counselors will advise you to search your heart for a desire to live religious life; and they will tell you that if you don’t find this desire you are probably not called.
The prevailing opinion amongst those who talk and write about discernment is that God calls men and women to religious life by placing an innate desire for religious life in their hearts. If you have no such desire, it is unlikely that you are called.
This advice, although it looks harmless on the surface, ends up thwarting religious vocations. Men and women who prayerfully examine their desires almost never find a strong desire for religious life lodged in the depths of their hearts. Religious life, in itself, is not a desirable good. Religious life is a renunciation. It is a kind of death. It involves turning one’s back on what is humanly good and desirable. 
Consider the life of a Trappist. A Trappist monk deprives himself of sleep, deprives himself of food, gives up a wife and children, puts aside the joys of conversation, gives up his personal property, rises at 4:00 in the morning every day to chant interminable psalms in a cold church, loses the opportunity to travel, and even relinquishes his own will. The thought of being a Trappist is not an appealing thought. It instills a kind of dread—the sort of dread that we feel when we contemplate a skull, or when we stand over a precipice, or when we look across a barren landscape. All forms of religious life have this repulsive effect. All forms of religious life, at their very core, consist of three vows—poverty, chastity, and obedience—and each of these vows is repulsive. The vow of poverty means giving up money and property; the vow of chastity means giving up a spouse and children; and the vow of obedience means giving up one’s own will. No one has an innate desire to sever himself from property, family, and his own will. No one has an innate desire to uproot three of life’s greatest goods. Such a desire would be mere perversion. - Read the rest here.

Religious life goes against nature, one sacrifices one's very self to follow Christ.  One has an innate desire for union with Christ, and to be sure, there is a universal call to holiness, but religious life is  total abnegation.  It's different.  It really is a higher calling, 'many are called' but few choose to follow.  I'm not sure the devil induces many to leave religious life, I think it may be man's concupiscence following legitimate goods, preferring a comfortable life to a difficult one.  As Hannegan said:
If we want to revitalize religious life, we need to rethink our methodology. We need to stop telling people to look within their hearts for an innate desire for religious life. They have no such desire. Instead of asking people whether they desire religious life, we should ask them whether they desire salvation—whether they desire to become saints. If sanctity is the goal, then religious life and all its harrowing renunciations begin to make sense. Although religious life is the hardest, most fearsome way to live, it is also the most spiritually secure, most fruitful, and most meritorious. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux tells us that because they renounce property, family, and their own wills, religious “live more purely, they fall more rarely, they rise more speedily, they are aided more powerfully, they live more peacefully, they die more securely, and they are rewarded more abundantly.” - ibid
It is too bad the abbey is closing, having survived the Reformation.  It will be transferred to the Diocese of Trier now, which isn't much of a guarantee for preservation.  Collectors of religious artifacts and antiquities might want to make inquiries.  Too sad.

Available for weddings and Mystery Dinner theater parties.
Hotel and spa opening soon.

Friday, October 13, 2017

High School Reunion

Dancing to the Beach Boys.

I'm glad I didn't go now.

Friends are posting photos on their Facebook pages and almost all of those photographed looked old.  I recognized one woman who maintained her youthful beauty, posing with some old guys I thought must have been faculty members - turns out they were students.  For the most part, I was only able to recognize one or two people I actually knew.  Then it dawned on me, I didn't really know that many kids at school in the first place.  Oh!  Oh!  And the lights were so bright.  I thought they could have at least kept the place dim.  Everyone looks better in dim light.

Not sure what was happening here.

Or here.  I don't recognize any of them.

Now I'm thinking I was never in their class - in more ways than one, I guess.  What?  I'm so kidding.