Friday, February 08, 2013

George W. Bush is a painter...

Rather Hockneyesque, wouldn't you say, Sr. Wendy?

Just one more reason why I like him.

I like the paintings too.

We were this close! 

At last.

I think many more Catholics today understand everything I came to understand shortly after I returned to the Church in 1972.

It was sheer grace and I often faltered without support. 

Remember to support one another - especially the weakest and most in need of mercy.

"Only now do I have sufficient insight to see the thing as a whole...." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

This just in...

The Pope and "Emerging Youth Cultures".

The Holy Father has made some provocative statements.

About youth amidst the "widespread climate of instability", as well as an "educational emergency"...
"The uncertainty and fragility that characterize so many young people often pushes them to the margins, making them almost invisible and absent from society's cultural and historical processes. … The affective and emotional sphere, … strongly affected by this climate … gives birth to apparently contradictory phenomena like the spectacularization of private life and a narcissistic selfishness. Even the religious dimension, the experience of faith and membership in the Church are often lived from an individualistic and emotional perspective."
I find the terminology similar to what was said about babyboomers in the late 1960's, to that which  marketers dubbed a "Youthquake".  Obviously this time around things are much different ...
"We cannot, therefore, be content with reading the cultural phenomena of the youth according to consolidated paradigms, paradigms that have become cliches. Nor can we analyse them in ways that are no longer useful, that are based on outdated and inadequate cultural categories. Ultimately, we are facing a very complex but fascinating reality that must be thoroughly understood and loved with great empathy, a reality wherein we must pay very close attention to the bottom lines and to what is to come." - VISNews
"What is to come." 

What is to come?  I wonder.

Perhaps, by stepping outside our paradigms, we can now all move beyond calling the Pope a 'rockstar' and stop trying to promote him as some hip-hop-pop-culture idol for youth.  That really got old with Blessed John Paul.


This just in! Sources in Phoenix tell us...

Phoenician monks, maybe?

Never mind.

Clinical and sanitary... potassium chloride.

“When performing an abortion on a woman who is 21 weeks pregnant or more, in addition and prior to following general procedures, we are instructed to inject digoxin or potassium chloride into the fetus or the amniotic sac. This effectively kills the fetus, thereby avoiding having to deal with a live, aborted infant." - Dr. Christiane Dauphinais

The Nazis won the war after all.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The Baker and Same Sex Wedding Customers: No cake for you!

If I didn't know you were coming, I would have baked a cake.

Once upon a time there was a baker in a far off land called Oregon, who made beautiful cakes for all occasions.  He and his family moved there because the charming little hamlet they settled in had no other bakeries, and the citizens were starving for cake. 

One day two old spinsters came to the shop asking the baker to bake them a wedding cake, as neither of them had been married before and the big one, Marge, said to her friend: "Well let's just pretend then and tie the knot Berty!" 

Arriving at the Bake Shop one day, the two old women explained to the baker they wanted a pretty wedding cake with two men on top.  You see, Marge and Berty could only fit into big and, ah, short sized menswear, or at least that's what they told the curious ones.

Now the baker and his family were good people who didn't approve of pretend marriages... more specifically, baker didn't believe in gay marriage, which kind of explains why he was against baking a cake for their nuptials.  Marge and Bertie were very sad and cried, but they were soon angered as well... 

So what did they do?  They decided to throw a lawsuit instead of a wedding. 

As the old proverb says:  As the baker, so the cake; No baker, no cake... ah, er, or, You can't have your muffin and eat it too... 
The End

So what's it all about Cookie?

It seems these situations have been been happening a lot.  I'm told elsewhere a florist was sued for refusing to do the flowers for a gay wedding.  A week or so ago I wrote about another florist who refused to send flowers to an atheist. 

To be honest, these situations confuse me.  If I were running a business and baked cakes or arranged flowers, I'm not sure I would care if I were making or selling these products to good or bad people.  Gays or straights.  Believers or non believers.  Now if there were abortafacients in the frosting, or cyanide gas in the floral spray, I wouldn't do it - in other words, I can see why a pharmacist would not want to sell contraceptives or the morning after pill.  I can even see how a Justice of the Peace might have trouble performing a same sex marriage.   But baking a cake?  If it were my business, it seems I would regard it as a rather neutral act.  To each his own. 

Other bloggers see the incident(s) quite differently however.  From what I understand others believe the women ordering the cake did so just to make an issue of the situation.  They knew the baker was a Christian and would refuse to bake the cake.  But how did they know that for sure?  Just exactly how the other homosexuals knew a Christian florist would figure out that making two bridal bouquets would have to be for a same sex marriage.  What?  

When is this going to make sense. Bullwinkle?

In conscience they can not do it - because they don't believe in same sex marriage.  Though uninvited to the wedding, and therefor not even a witness to it - marriages to be legal must be witnessed I think - their consciences would be violated because they made the cake and arranged the flowers.  I get that... kinda.  But how did the women know the baker would refuse the couple goods and services?  I don't know - other people are claiming they did and that they were really just trying to make a federal case out of it...  If true...


I'm glad you asked that, because I think I figured it all out after reading Fr. Longenecker's post on the approval of same sex marriage in the UK.  In his com box, someone mentioned civil rights...  Now we know same sex marriage is not a real civil right... but it is fast being promoted as such.  To make a long post short here, I have laid out the reason for these frivolous law suits against business owners who are conscientious objectors to same sex marriage...  Here it is (I left it as a comment on Fr. L's post):
The baby steps of suing bakers and florists and hoteliers for not accommodating same sex weddings is the necessary groundwork needed to make the case for the civil rights claims. Excluding a particular group from goods and services is what happened to blacks in this country, and Jews in Nazi Germany.  Lawsuits claiming discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation form the necessary precedent to establish the claim of civil rights violations. Soon, if not already, same sex marriage is popularly regarded as a genuine civil right.

Like I said,
He totally makes this crap up!

I'm against it.  Same sex marriage, that is.   Although I'd be happy to sell you one of my paintings - no questions asked.


Tired of Monks coffee?

Drink the authentic TRADITIONAL brew instead...  The real Monk-Shots! 

Cyberloafers... the new white collar crime.

Stealing time...

A new trend called “cyberloafing” is making its way into places of work throughout the nation – and in a big way.

According to Newswise, the average worker spends 60 to 80 percent of his or her time Internet time at the office engaging in tasks that have nothing to do with their jobs.

The study that found out about the inefficiency of the American work force was conducted by a researcher at Kansas State University. Joseph Ugrin, an assistant professor of accounting at KSU, reportedly teamed up with John Pearson, an associate professor of management at Southern Illinois University, to look into the matter.

And when they investigated, they found that all employees – old and young alike – are deviating from work tasks during the day at alarming rates. - Finish reading here.

Anyway.  Thank you office workers everywhere for boosting my stats during the week.  Go to confession - you are a time bandit.  You are stealing from your employer, you little hussy.  Cruising the net... and yet you wonder how porn got on your computer.

Now think of all the contemplative religious who used to spend their time praying, before the monastery went online that is.

New evangelization my ass. 


I don't text!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Quote of the day...

"The theological problems of the modern age are nowhere near as serious as those of the Patristic era."*

That's good news.

However, it may come as a shock to those traditionalists who compare the Church and the bishops of our times to those around during the Arian heresy...  I've heard the comparison quite often from faithful 'dissidents' who would oppose Peter 'to his face'.  Only a few days ago I came across the following comment elsewhere:
"I'd like to offer this encouragement from St. Athanasius to those who assist at SSPX Masses. The letter below was written to those Catholics who suffered under the Arians, seeing ecclesiastical authority and church buildings overtaken by these heretics..."
"Even if Catholics faithful to tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ." - (Coll. Selecta SS. Eccl. Patrum. Caillu and Guillou, Vol. 32, pp 411-412).
* But what about:  Save the ____, Save the world?

Downton Abbey's Thomas Barrow

A lesson in seduction.

Watch Downton Abbey closely, if you're at all interested in temptation and seduction - not for prurient interest of course, but to understand how an outwardly prim and proper guy can be deluded enough to put the make on another guy not at all interested in his advances, in an environment hostile to the very idea of the love that dare not speak its name.

So far, the familiarity remains rather subtle.  Mrs. O'Brien knows Thomas' predilection, and out of spite sends Thomas signals - that the object of his affections, Jimmy, thinks well of him.  Thomas has become more and more patronizing and familiar with the new footman, and Jimmy is uncomfortable with it.  At first glance, Thomas simply appears to be fond of the new guy, and uncharacteristically willing to help train him.  It appears to be a simple friendship.  That can happen.  Yet it isn't the case in this story.

Thomas mistakes Jimmy's friendliness and gratitude as mutual interest - sort of like a particular friendship, BFF.  As was often the case, close friendship for ssa men in closeted situations could be best validated in romantic and or sexual intimacy.  Perhaps it was the only way of being on equal footing for some men?  Old psychological theories not withstanding,  a deeper intimacy was desired as a means of affirmation and sense of belonging, a sort of exclusive 'knowing' one another, as it were.

We might detect in the relationship how position and authority plays a role in seduction.  Looking objectively, we may see how strangely easy it for the predator to be deluded into thinking the prey is not only aware, but desirous of the predator's interest.  Likewise, one sees the need Thomas has to be liked and respected, while emotions and romantic desire and fantasy inebriates him, resulting in the loss of right judgement and discretion, leading to deliberate entertainment of seductive temptations.  It seems to me rather evident that Thomas rationalizes it all in the conviction his love will be welcomed and reciprocated.  I may be reading too much into this, but it seems to me to be the case. 

Watch the show.  It's kind of how it happened/happens in institutional settings, the workplace, and other social situations outside the homosexual milieu.  Now that society is more open and homosexuality considered normal by many, I suspect the behavior is no longer as discreet or hidden.

[First draft: I may edit this later.]


Fr. Michael Fugee's appointment is not prestigious.

Well, that's good news, isn't it.

Dr. Ed Peters has the consoling news:
I am open to arguments that, depending on the facts of the case, clergy convicted of or admitting to sexual misconduct with a minor not just be refused assignment but even be dismissed from the clerical state (c. 1395 § 2), but, that being understood, if canon and civil law allow such clerics any assignment, one can hardly attack a cleric’s appointment as “co-director of the Office of Continuing Education and Ongoing Formation of Priests” on the grounds that it is a “prestigious assignment”. No disrespect intended to the men and women serving in such roles, but, in terms of arch/diocesan structures, such offices rank pretty low on the ecclesial bureaucrat’s prestige list. - Light of the Law
Fortunately most clerics are not interested in career or promotion...

NB:  Priests assigned to desk jobs frequently fill in for Masses and sacraments at parishes within the archdiocese on weekends and when a priest is on vacation. Likewise they hear confessions at the cathedral and elsewhere. Just saying.

Disclaimer:  To be fair Dr. Peters is addressing one of the critics who broke the news, claiming Fugee had been appointed to a prestigious position - he's pointing out that it's not very important. 

Monday, February 04, 2013

This is exactly why the UK needs to ban butcher knives!!

I know!
Holding a blade to his own throat, this was the moment a knifeman brought chaos to the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace yesterday.

Talhat Rehman, 54, of Harrow, has been charged with possessing a bladed weapon in public and affray, and will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court today. 
The middle-aged man walked through crowds of tourists clutching two large kitchen knives before police surrounded him and used a Taser stun gun to disarm him. - Story

“There’s an Indian in there!”
Maggie Smith's character, Mrs. Donnelly 

Monday of the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time

Today's reading from the Letter to the Hebrews made me think of the Desert Fathers:
"They went about in skins of sheep or goats, needy, afflicted, tormented.  The world was not worthy of them." - Hebrews 11
I was also reminded of the gift of converts to the Church... tweak Paul's words at the end of the passage:
 "God has forseen something better for us, so that without them, we should not be made perfect." - Hebrews 11: 40

Works for me.

Sunday, February 03, 2013


The man from SNAP.

A man from SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) leaves comments and a link to a list of 173 accused clerics in Minnesota:  Just about anywhere there happens to be a post covering the Cardinal Mahony affair, the man from SNAP pops up.

Mind you, the 173 names are names of accused clerics, accused of some sort of sexual abuse or misconduct.

What is so bad about the list is that some of these clerics have been exonerated - yet their name remains on the list.  Others had 'consensual' relations with women in their parish - 'love affairs' - yet they are on the list one associates with pedophiles and sex addicts.

Even worse, I discovered the name of a cleric associated with my parish - I was able to read the charges. 

News to me. 

I'm against lists like these.