Saturday, August 17, 2013

Revisiting 'Gay' Saints

The Church proposes the example of numerous Saints who bore witness to and defended moral truth even to the point of enduring martyrdom, or who preferred death to a single mortal sin. In raising them to the honour of the altars, the Church has canonized their witness and declared the truth of their judgment, according to which the love of God entails the obligation to respect his commandments, even in the most dire of circumstances, and the refusal to betray those commandments, even for the sake of saving one's own life.
Martyrdom, accepted as an affirmation of the inviolability of the moral order, bears splendid witness both to the holiness of God's law and to the inviolability of the personal dignity of man, created in God's image and likeness. - Veritatis Splendor

"Canonize a gay saint...
Those with same-sex attractions need the concrete example of someone who has known the unique and often lonely struggle they endure and has come out of it successfully. To say that there may be some anonymous gay saint is woefully insufficient as it invites the making of an imaginary construct suited to encompass whatever faults an individual would rather not work on. If the only other example you can point to is a few smoldering corpses beneath the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah, then you’ve utterly failed to communicate anything other than a wrathful God." - An Interesting Letter from a Gay Catholic
The above was taken from Mark Shea's post, "An Interesting Letter..."  Ever since I began blogging I have written on the subject of gay saints.  Revisionists claim many saints were gay - because they fit some modern 'profile' or 'stereotype' of gay behavior.  Some gay activists speculate about many great souls, insisting they were gay. Their conclusions are often based upon 19th and 20th century understanding of homosexual behavior and culture. The modern concept of homosexuality did not exist before the mid to late 19th century.  On some level, looking for 'gay' saints represents a kind of 'pious narcissism' - with the aim to canonize same sex attraction.  The writer cited above clearly does not have that aim in mind, he sees it as a need for "the concrete example of someone who has known the unique and often lonely struggle they endure and has come out of it successfully."

To be honest, I missed that the first time I read it.  I simply read it as a call for a gay saint - not so much someone who came 'out of it successfully.'  I'm not sure how that would work for 'gay-Catholics' who, though celibate and chaste, consider the inclination itself to be morally neutral.  The Church clarifies that misunderstanding here:
  Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder. - Letter to Bishops

The CDF document goes on to recommend "special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition..."  Perhaps canonizing a person who remained faithful to Catholic teaching and lived a life of heroic virtue would be helpful to persons struggling with SSA, but I'm not sure that's the kind of saint 'gay' Catholics are looking for, although the author of the letter to Mark Shea might be looking for a saint like that.

Saints like us.

I once asked a monk if he thought any of the saints had been gay, and he answered that he did not know of any. He went on to explain that the temptation to homosexual acts was likely to have afflicted some of the saints, but it would have been viewed as a temptation to lust, or in some cases, an inordinate attachment to another person. Before the 20th century non-sexual same sex friendship would have known and preserved boundaries, especially as regards that sin they used to say was too awful even to name. We today can't even imagine that kind of discretion.

Now days many people want to claim this or that saint was gay. Even very good Catholics do this. Not a few insist Blessed Cardinal Newman was gay because of his extraordinary friendship with Fr. Ambrose. Others speculate that the Carmelite Fr. Hermann Kohen was involved in intimate same sex relationships, yet there is absolutely no evidence for such a claim, especially as it is well known that before his conversion he had love affairs with women. Such speculation demonstrates the human desire to have saints be just like ourselves. There is nothing wrong with that, although in some cases it opens the door to validating immoral inclinations or acts, and leads to what I mentioned, a 'pious narcisissm'. Wishful thinking is nothing but a deception and a trap.

Saints demonstrate heroic virtue - not vice.

Having said that, all saints are powerful intercessors and models for the faithful for a variety of needs, thus it is good to look for those with whom we have some affinity and can identify with. Yet even the most pure and chaste, such as Therese of Lisieux knows and understands the suffering of souls, her sensitivity for the weakest amongst us surely makes her one of the greatest helps and models for survivors of all kinds of abuse, sexual disorders and addictions, and so on. Of course, it is the Heart of Jesus who understands the suffering, wounded soul the best - he alone knows the most hidden recesses of our hearts and descends into depths of our misery to redeem us in his Blood.

I think in our day and going forward, we will get to know of candidates for sainthood whose intimate lives are very well known. I'm sure we will be hearing of saints who were raped and died, or those who survived to become saints, as well as survivors of abuse. And undoubtedly, there will be saints who had been former sex workers, as well as former active homosexuals, who repented and abandon those lifestyles. Perhaps some of these will even be martyrs. 

Christians who are homosexual are called, as all of us are, to a chaste life. As they dedicate their lives to understanding the nature of God's personal call to them, they will be able to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance more faithfully and receive the Lord's grace so freely offered there in order to convert their lives more fully to his Way. - CDF

If we hope to bring others back to the Church, we must acknowledge that there will be amongst those persons returning some who have been in long-term relationships and partnerships or commitments.  The Church says living out of this (homosexual) orientation in homosexual activity is not a morally acceptable option.  But the Church does not forbid chaste friendship and mutual support.

If there is anything good about gay people claiming particular saints as their patron - if indeed they have devotion to them, which also means seeking to follow their example - then the Holy Spirit may have greater access to their conscience as it were, and perhaps better able to correct it.  The saints are powerful intercessors and God always draws good out of evil.

Saints - male and female he created them.

Going forward, I want to highlight saints who would be good patrons for gay people, commenting on their lives - although I doubt any were 'gay' - nevertheless their example and patronage would be undoubtedly beneficial and inspiring for people seeking to sanctify their lives.  Some may be penitents, others ordinary souls who demonstrate the greatness of ordinary life. 

Unfortunately, as noted in the beginning of the post, many gay people today claim saints and Biblical figures were gay based upon their legends and writings.  If ever there was a favorite amongst gay people, St. Aelred certainly ranks at the top of their list.  (He was mentioned in the combox of Mark's post.)

St. Aelred of Rievaulx.
An English Cistercian abbot and contemporary of St. Bernard, Aelred wrote much on English history and spirituality.  The saint is especially known today for his treatises on charity and spiritual friendship.  The writings on spiritual friendship form the basis for the claim Aelred was "gay" - a novel theory postulated in the mid-20th century.  Again, those who make the claim are looking at this from our 19th-21st century perspective and contemporary understanding of same-sex sexual relations as posited by gay culture today.  The contemporary phenomenon of open, public homosexuality has been unheard of in Western culture since ancient pagan civilizations in Greece and further east to Persia.  That said, even in those times it remains highly doubtful that it was generally practiced, or across the board accepted, as we see and understand promotion of the practice today.

It is not surprising that in monasteries the vice of homosexuality would present itself as a temptation to sin, which is why we read in the desert father's admonitions against admitting boys to the life, or looking long upon a boy, etc..  The vice was reported in some monasteries or hermitages, and the brothers were dismissed.  Cassian also writes about these things and even condemns such things as involuntary nocturnal emissions.  Hence St. Aelred would have been very familiar with the writings of the Fathers and first monks regarding chastity, as well as understanding the writings of St. Paul and other scriptural condemnations of homosexuality, just as orthodox Christians do today.  To suggest he lived a homosexual life, or permitted same-sex familiarity and romantic love within the monastic community is certainly a distortion of authentic monastic observance, spirituality, and Catholic teaching.  In other words - it is absurd.

Perhaps a better patron for those struggling with homosexuality.

Did Aelred experience homosexual temptations?  We do not know - in the lives of every saint, a great variety of temptation enters to purify and sanctify the soul - even as we get older, our concupiscence and the devil suggests unheard of horrible sins - therefore no one should be surprised if this was the case with St. Aelred.  Nevertheless he could not be a saint if he had condoned a lifestyle so clearly contrary to natural law and God's will - or plan for creation.

What St. Aelred does offer however, is sound teaching on wholesome and holy friendship.  It is said he was strongly attracted to a monk named Simon - on account of the other's perfect observance and spiritual demeanor.  As I always say - men and women are naturally attracted by beauty and grace and goodness, but it doesn't mean that the attraction is carnal or sensual.  And this is where Aelred contradicts the contemporary revisionist interpretation of his life and teaching. 

My Francis

I think I'd rather be a wolf-dog with him...  forever... with him.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Feast of St. Roch

Our Lady's pilgrim.
O blessed Saint Roch, patron of the sick, have pity on those who lie upon a bed of suffering. Your power was so great when you were in this world, that by the sign of the cross, many were healed of their diseases. Now that you are in heaven, your power is not less. Offer, then to God our sighs and tears and obtain for us that health we seek through Christ our Lord. - Source

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Maria Assunta

Who is she that goeth up by the desert,
as a pillar of smoke of aromatical spices,
of myrrh, and frankincense,
and of all the powders of the perfumer? - Songs 3:6


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

St. Maximilian Kolbe

The Militia of the Immaculata began on October 16, 1917, around a table at the Conventual Franciscan seminary in Rome. Maximilian Kolbe gathered six like-minded young friars before a statue of the Blessed Virgin and drafted a charter that would establish one of the most influential Marian apostolates ever. - MI

When I was little I was introduced to the Militia of Mary Immaculate through school.  I wanted to be a 'knight' of Our Lady, and signed up.   The life of Maximilian Kolbe made a deep impression upon me, so after I returned to the Church as a young adult, I renewed my membership in the Militia and went through the Total Consecration to the Immaculata, according to St. Louis DeMontfort.

What is the Militia?

Saint Maximilian Kolbe founded the Militia Immaculate in response to the growing threat of Free Masonry (Freemasons). While still a student in Rome; he was walking home to the college and witnessed in St. Peter’s Square an unauthorized demonstration of Free Masonry. They were denouncing the Church, the Pope, and had a picture of Satan crushing the head of St. Michael the Archangel. The Freemasons were and still are a great danger to the Catholic Church. Where Communism and Socialism would stand face-to-face with the Church, the Freemasons would sneak around the back of the Church and pick pocket her from behind. The Militia Immaculate has a two-fold purpose – 1. Re-conquer the universe and return it to Jesus Christ through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and 2. Spiritually battle the evils of Free Masonry. [I will soon do a blog post on the dangers of the Freemasons.] - More at Tom Perna


As everyone knows, Pope Francis recently mentioned lobbies - the gay lobby, Masonic lobby - and yes, the Holy Father used the term gay.  It's the popular-political term that many people argue about.  I don't want to reprise that discussion here. 

However, the fact that there is a "gay" lobby, homosexualist movement, gay rights/gay pride movement/agenda is undeniable.  Undeniable.  Do they demonstrate and protest in front of St. Peter's, the Vatican?  Do they demonstrate outside cathedrals and churches, and even disrupt Masses?  Yes they do.  The Masons may no longer do such things, but gay activists do.

I'm beginning to think that by getting people comfortable with the term - "the Church has to do better with gay people" - we're pretty much capitulating to the demand for approval of a separate gay identity, behavior, lifestyle and spirituality.  It's confusing the faithful, blurring the lines - and I suspect it is intentional.  Maybe not so much when Church leaders do so, but it plays well with the game plan.

Opposition to Church teaching.

When one sticks to Church teaching, one is accused of homophobia and self hate.  On some level, this demonstrates to me that 'gay' has been radically defined as an identity amongst those who have chosen to lobby for universal recognition and approval of homosexuality in all of its forms.  It is a very real opposition to Catholic doctrine and tradition. 

As I read comments on my blog, as well as on other blogs, (I could link to examples, but why give traffic to posts I think are hurting the discussion?) I sometimes detect an underlying and sometimes overt  animosity towards Catholic teaching, if not downright rejection of it - especially by some non-celibate gay Catholics.  It has never been so apparent as now, since Pope Francis spoke in a more conciliatory tone when referencing gay people.  The current Pope is increasingly contrasted with Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict and the language of the documents issued under his watch regarding homosexuality.  As if Pope Francis would deviate from consistent papal teaching on the subject.  He can't.  It appears to be a real obstacle to gay activists, one they would like 'redefined' if not trashed.

 The issue of homosexuality and the moral evaluation of homosexual acts have increasingly become a matter of public debate, even in Catholic circles. Since this debate often advances arguments and makes assertions inconsistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church, it is quite rightly a cause for concern to all engaged in the pastoral ministry... - CDF Letter to Bishops

These passages are very relevant to the original idea of this post and the concept of a lobby.  The Letter to Bishops is not only frequently ignored by those who should be teaching the truth, it is also decried by those who seek to promote gay culture.
Nevertheless, increasing numbers of people today, even within the Church, are bringing enormous pressure to bear on the Church to accept the homosexual condition as though it were not disordered and to condone homosexual activity. Those within the Church who argue in this fashion often have close ties with those with similar views outside it. These latter groups are guided by a vision opposed to the truth about the human person, which is fully disclosed in the mystery of Christ. They reflect, even if not entirely consciously, a materialistic ideology which denies the transcendent nature of the human person as well as the supernatural vocation of every individual. 
The Church's ministers must ensure that homosexual persons in their care will not be misled by this point of view, so profoundly opposed to the teaching of the Church. But the risk is great and there are many who seek to create confusion regarding the Church's position, and then to use that confusion to their own advantage. 
9. The movement within the Church, which takes the form of pressure groups of various names and sizes, attempts to give the impression that it represents all homosexual persons who are Catholics. As a matter of fact, its membership is by and large restricted to those who either ignore the teaching of the Church or seek somehow to undermine it. It brings together under the aegis of Catholicism homosexual persons who have no intention of abandoning their homosexual behaviour. One tactic used is to protest that any and all criticism of or reservations about homosexual people, their activity and lifestyle, are simply diverse forms of unjust discrimination. 
There is an effort in some countries to manipulate the Church by gaining the often well-intentioned support of her pastors with a view to changing civil-statutes and laws.
This is done in order to conform to these pressure groups' concept that homosexuality is at least a completely harmless, if not an entirely good, thing. Even when the practice of homosexuality may seriously threaten the lives and well-being of a large number of people, its advocates remain undeterred and refuse to consider the magnitude of the risks involved. - ibid

In our day, as the issue becomes ever more confused, it may be very good advice to turn to the Blessed Virgin, as did St. Maximilian Kolbe.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, for alone
thou hast put an end to all heresies . . .
O Mary conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you
 and for those who do not,
especially the enemies of the Church
and those recommended to you.

No can do...

I still can't access my email so I don't know if I heard from you or not... and I can't send emails... so you don't know if I tried to answer you or not.

Song for this post here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I got an email from a priest friend asking me that question.

He was referring to the Fr. Dowling 'mystery priest' story.  The 'angel' priest who turned out to be a living priest, not a 'miraculous' one.

My friend added a "What?" to let me know he wasn't really yelling at me.  His point was well taken, to be sure.

Why did so many of us want a miracle priest?  An apparition priest?  A bi-locating priest?  You know why - we like excitement.  We like the extraordinary, the miraculous.  Sometimes we even need it.

Yet when you think about it - what is more wonder-full than having a priest show up when we are most in need, in danger of death?  How providential is that?  Especially in a rural setting on a Sunday morning when priests are busy in their parishes - and even visiting priests, albeit in transit, may need to be at another parish by a particular time in their schedule? 

How good God is that he provides us with priests to minister to us in our need.  Though the woman was not a Catholic, a priest was there to pray with her.  Ordinarily, God chooses to minister to us through his priests.  The rescue workers recognized the presence of God through the ministry of that man - that priest - who showed up at the right time, out of nowhere - in the middle of nowhere.  The rescue workers knelt in prayer - praying with the crash victim at her request.  That is awesome.  That is the presence of God.

How mysterious is the grace of God.  How miraculous is the priesthood.  How wonderful when people unite together in prayer.  "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!" - Ps. 133 

Pray for priests.  Pray for an increase of vocations to the priesthood.  Recognize the gift of God in your priest.

Today all over Christendom there are huge feastday celebrations for St. Pontian and Hippolytus...


Kidding.  I just made that up.

But get this!  St. Hippolytus was like a rad-trad rigorist and an anti-pope!  Is that so amazing or what?  See, you can be anything and become a saint - so long as you repent - oh, and dying a martyr helps too.
Hippolytus was a rigorist, a vehement and intransigent man for whom even orthodox doctrine and practice were not purified enough.
Hippolytus. As a priest in Rome, Hippolytus (the name means “a horse turned loose”) was at first “holier than the Church.” He censured the pope for not coming down hard enough on a certain heresy—calling him a tool in the hands of one Callistus, a deacon—and coming close to advocating the opposite heresy himself. When Callistus was elected pope, Hippolytus accused him of being too lenient with penitents, and had himself elected antipope by a group of followers. He felt that the Church must be composed of pure souls uncompromisingly separated from the world: Hippolytus evidently thought that his group fitted the description. He remained in schism through the reigns of three popes. In 235 he was also banished to the island of Sardinia. Shortly before or after this event, he was reconciled to the Church, and died with Pope Pontian in exile.  


Pontian was banished to exile by the Roman emperor in 235, and resigned so that a successor could be elected in Rome.  
[And the liturgy went downhill from there.]

Isn't that interesting? 

I know!

Downtown Mayberry.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Catholic Identity: Identifying Catholics by what they did, do, don't do, or are inclined to do.

Fat Catholic.

Drunk Catholic.

Recovering Alcoholic Catholic.

SSA Catholic.

Insane Catholic.

Gay Catholic.

Autistic Catholic.

Post-abortive Catholic.

Straight Catholic.

Obese Catholic.

Sinner Catholic.

Bad Catholic.

Married Catholic.

Single Catholic.

CINO Catholic.

Androgynous Catholic.

Widowed Catholic.

Anorexic Catholic.

Catholic Blogger.

Bi-polar Catholic.

Over-eater Catholic.

Ugly Catholic.

Evangelical Catholic.

Pretty Catholic.

Former prostitute Catholic.

Stoner Catholic.

Prostitute Catholic.


Pregnant Catholic.

Contracepting Catholic.

Queer Catholic.

Heterosexual Catholic.

Cool Catholic.

Foul-mouthed Catholic.

High-talker Catholic.

Black Catholic.

Devout Catholic.

White Catholic.

Poodle Catholic.

What are you?


Fr. Dowling mystery solved: Accident victim wasn't touched by an angel.

Fr. Patrick Dowling, that is.  He's the 'angel priest'.

I'm so glad Fr. Z didn't try to come forward.


H/T to Nancy Drew and the Case of the Inflated SiteMeter.

A story from the desert fathers... kinda.

Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’
When it arrives, it finds the house
unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. - Matthew 12:43-45

"A dog is  better than I am, for  he has love and he does not judge." - Abba  Xanthios 

Once there was a brother who resolved to do God's will and therefore determined that he should leave everything in the world and follow Christ in humility.  He found work to sustain himself with a community of nuns who cared for the sick.  After settling in, the brother was pleased with himself for having left his worldly occupations and finding a secure life amongst consecrated souls, where he could live devoutly in silence and prayer, doing good for others. 

Very soon however, the brother was assaulted by all sorts of temptations against chastity and temperance, his patience tried and soon exhausted, he was easily seduced by vivid imaginations.  It wasn't long before he started sneaking out of the confines of the convent, going into the city to engage in all sorts of immoral behavior.  He maintained this duplicitous life for awhile, falling by degrees into a state of dissipation, far worse than what he lived before attempting to live a more devout life.

Seeking out a father, the brother confessed his hypocrisy and sin and asked why his life had become so corrupt, especially when he resolved to leave everything and serve God alone? Yet while in the world he had lived a relatively peace filled, faithful life?

The father explained.  In your former way of life, you indulged your appetites at will, albeit more or less discreetly, convinced you were not like the rest of sinful humanity.  You made your confessions when you sinned, prayed when you felt inspired, and so on.  You enjoyed a relative peace.  You were not aware of your inner attachments because you were already ensnared in your conceit.  Remember the Scripture: "When you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials"?  You believed you fled temptation and the world's seductions only to find you craved them interiorly.  You didn't notice them before because you were already surfeited - you had everything available to you whether you indulged in it or not.  Yet the evil one already had a hold on you, perhaps through some small attachment.

When you decided to give up the external trappings which you were convinced held you back, you acted without counsel.  Your intentions were good, but you lacked self-knowledge.  The Lord allowed you to fall prey to your passions and the seductions of the evil one to expose the false peace of the world and its vanities, to expose the lust that is idolatry which captivates and inebriates souls, he allowed these sorrows in order to expose your attachment to sin.  The Lord permitted you to fall so that you would could finally become humble, and after such serious sin, having repented, might remain humble.  All the while, His love for you never faltered... "though we be unfaithful, He remains faithful."

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood...

I think the lesson here is that sometimes we have an interior attachment to a particular sin or vice, perhaps like a subtle, invisible tether, which only becomes evident when the camouflage of distraction and exterior support or satisfaction is taken away, leaving the soul to its own resources.  As the psalmist says, "from my hidden sins acquit me Lord!"  We oftentimes simply do not understand ourselves.  It is demonstrated by Christ when he rebuked those disciples who wanted to call down fire from heaven upon those who rejected them: "you don't know of what spirit you are!"  And when he rebuked Peter, "get behind me Satan!" 

St. Teresa of Avila greatly feared the false peace the world affords its followers; likewise, Catherine of Genoa feared what she called 'the world's slow stain' which is so insidious and affects all of us on a daily basis.  Similarly, Garrigou-Lagrange discusses the notion in terms of a false charity:
15. There exists, in fact, a false charity, made up of culpable indulgence, of weakness, such as the meekness of those who never clash with anybody because they are afraid of everyone. There is also a false charity, made up of humanitarian sentimentalism, which seeks to have itself approved by true charity and which, by its contact, often taints the true.
One of the chief conflicts of the present day is that which arises between true and false charity. The latter reminds us of the false Christs spoken of in the Gospel; they are more dangerous before they are unmasked than when they make themselves known as the true enemies of the Church. Optimi corruptio pessima, the worst of corruptions is that which attacks what is best in us, the highest of the theological virtues. The apparent good which attracts the sinner is, in fact, so much the more dangerous as it is the counterfeit of a higher good. Such, for example, is the ideal of the pan-Christians, who seek the union of the Churches to the detriment of the faith, which this union presupposes. If, therefore, through stupidity or more or less conscious cowardice, those who should represent true charity approve here and there the dicta of the false, an incalculable evil may result. This evil is at times greater than that done by open persecutors, with whom evidently one can no longer have anything in common. - footnote, Ch 8: The True Nature of Christian Perfection

+ + + 
"Love is a teacher, but we must know how to acquire it, for it is hard to acquire... it is dearly bought... it is won slowly by long labor. For we must love, not occasionally, or for a moment, but forever. " - Dostoevsky: Fr. Zosima

I may be wrong of course.

For the Feast of St. Jane Frances de Chantal

On December 14, 2010, Benedict XVI visited the   of Mater Ecclesiae monastery
inside the Vatican Walls, and celebrated Mass for the sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary
 and preached to the cloistered nuns.

A look back.

Now Pope Benedict is the contemplative cloistered there.  I miss him.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Today's Second Reading From Mass on Faith

It is one of my very favorite readings...

It sheds light upon my 'obedience'... it gives me courage and conviction... it is the reason I am what I am...
"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out - not knowing where he was to go...
All these ... did not receive what had been promised but saw it and greeted it from afar and acknowledged themselves to be
 strangers and pilgrims on earth,
those who speak thus show that they are seeking a homeland.
If they had been thinking of the land from where they had come, they would have opportunity to return.  But now they desire a better homeland, a heavenly one." - Hebrews 11

'For there is no distinction' ... 'all that is important is that one be created anew.'  'There is no more slave nor freeman, male or female'... 'we are a new creation in Christ... old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.'
"Let us go to him outside the camp, bearing the insult which he bore.  For here we have no lasting city; we are seeking one which is to come.  Through him let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which acknowledge his name." - Hebrews 13

+ + +
Some want to be free of their attachment to their sexual orientation, but they want this to be in such a way that they will still retain possession of that identity; so God is to approve what they themselves want, and there is no decision to relinquish it (in order to go to God), even if it might be better for them if they did. - My paraphrase a selection from the writings of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Remembering Eydie Gorme

Singer Eydie Gorme, who enjoyed decades-long success as half of the duo Steve & Eydie and as a solo artist in her own right, has died. She was 84. - Story here.

I loved this woman.  When I was little she and her husband Steve Lawrence were everywhere on TV - and always on Johnny Carson, so it seemed.  She and her husband were married for 55 years.  She was descendant of Sicilian Sephardi Jews and grew up in NYC.  How cool is that.

May she rest in peace.

Favorite song here.  I know - so old fashioned.

Pope Francis sans pellegrina ...

"Honey, what's all this?  What's going on? What's happening here?  What's that all about?"

The Pope visited the workers in the Vatican 'industrial zone' and wasn't wearing the pellegrina.  He's copying Benedict.


A very special Blossom...

A post your family cannot afford to miss...

It's okay to say gay*...

I know!

Bonus factoid: It's okay to say ghee now too.  Julia Child is dead.  Beurre noisette or clarified butter is much too complicated to say.  Just say ghee, and your Indian friends will be pleased.

* I noted that already after the Pope said it. What?

Feast of St. Clare

Clare fixed her eyes on the poor and crucified Christ
She puts it thus in one of her letters: "Look upon him who became contemptible for you, and follow him, making yourself contemptible in this world for him. Your Spouse, though more beautiful than the children of men, became for your salvation the lowest of men, was despised, struck, scourged untold times throughout his entire body, and then died amid the suffering of the cross.... Gaze upon him, consider him, contemplate him, as you desire to imitate him. If you suffer with him, you shall rejoice with him; if you die with him on the cross of tribulation, you shall possess heavenly mansions in the splendour of the saints, and in the Book of Life your name shall be called glorious among men" (2LAg 19-22). - John Paul II