Saturday, September 28, 2013

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Rainy Saturday Morning

Squirrel and rabbit gossiping - William Holbrook Beard

I love cloudy, rainy Fall days.

I'll share some thoughts here.  No order or composition intended.

The Pope told the gendarmes not to gossip.  I like what he said:
“There is a temptation – I would like to say it is thus for everyone , even for me , for everyone – a temptation that the devil likes very much: that against unity, when hidden dangers work directly against the unity of those who live and work in the Vatican – and the devil tries to create internal war, a kind of civil war and spiritual, is it not? It is a war that is not waged with the weapons that we recognize: it is a war waged with the tongue.”
"We ask St. Michael to help us in this war : never speak ill of each other, never open your ears to gossip." - Vatican Radio
"We ask St. Michael to help us in this war : never speak ill of each other,
  never open your ears to gossip. And if [one hears] someone gossiping, stop him!
  [Say] , ‘Here there can be none of that: walk out of St. Anne’s Gate.
Go outside and talk there! Here you cannot!’ That’s it, isn’t it?
The good seed yes: speak well of one another ,
yes, but [do not sow the poison seed] of gossip.” -ibid

Yeah.  So.  How can I or anyone else keep blogging after that?  How?  (Song for this thought here - just change the words to "Tell me how I'm supposed to keep blogging after that?")

Take my advice - don't speculate about what the Pope does anymore.  Just shut up.

This morning at prayer, I realized we are in the middle of the novena to St. Therese, so I came in late - again.  I'm using the Imitation of Christ for meditation, because Therese knew it by heart and therefore it really contributed to her spiritual formation. 

I had been wrestling with something and I opened to this:
"Son, be not curious nor give yourself to useless cares... 'What is this or that to you?  Follow me.  For what is it to you whether this man be such or such; or that man do or say this or the other.  You are not to answer to answer for others, but must give an account for yourself - why, therefore, do you meddle with them?" - Imitation, Bk. III, Chp. 24
And when I got online, I discovered what the Pope said.

Providential, huh?

I was actually going to write about some stuff that has bothered me lately.  Now I'm not sure it is worth my time.

Remembering John Paul I
on the 35 anniversary of his death.

Which reminds me - just say death - died, not passed on.  Thanks.

Punch a Femen Protester Day...

Good for Parisian model Hollie-May Saker (I know!)*.

A Liverpool model said she "punched" two Femen protesters who broke onto the catwalk at Paris fashion week and grabbed her arm.

Hollie-May Saker (I know!) was modelling for designer Nina Ricci in the French capital when protesters from the radical feminist group ran on stage, with the words "model, don't go to brothel" painted across their torsos.
When one of the two women grabbed Ms Saker's hand, she can be seen pulling her hand away in response, before both members of the Ukrainian group were dragged away by a security guard who quickly rushed onto the stage. - Source

I think the next time they attack a Catholic Bishop - the Bishop should punch them out as well.

Or at least restrain her until the police come - kind of like this:

*Holly Golightly aka Lula May = Hollie-May.  It's pretty obvious folks.

"Gracious! Do you think she's handsomely paid?"

Thursday, September 26, 2013

St.s Cosmas and Damien - Transplant Surgeons

The Holy Helpers.

Twin brothers from Syria, the two physician saints are depicted here by Fra Angelico in one of their most famous posthumous miracles. They replaced the diseased leg of a man with the leg of another man who had died. It was obviously from a man of color. Hence, the worlds first leg transplant...probably not so astonishing for self-sufficient moderns, who have become accustomed to transplant surgeries. If you are going in for a transplant, I think I would pray to these two saints if I were you. If you're waiting for a transplant, all the more reason to invoke their assistance.

Oh!  Oh!  Poodles, they were not gay lovers either.  Martyrs... and as you know, martyrs are good intercessors-helpers for all sorts of disorders.


Mark Shea and Michael Voris to debate.

In a church basement.

In South St. Paul, Minnesota.

It is called the Argument of the Month - Mens Forum for Catholic Apologetics.**

Details here.

Admission is $15 at the door.*

Two professional Catholics will be engaged in a debate.  How much are they paid?  Who paid for the air fare?  The accommodations?  The speakers fee?


I'm so just kidding.  Someone made a big deal about professional Catholics and their salaries not too long ago so I just thought I'd bring it up for fun - or a possible discussion point.

Seriously, I haven't heard if Mark Shea will have security or not, but he should be okay as long as he doesn't mention anti-Semitism, Fr. Corapi, reactionaries or gay saints.

*Price includes a "Manly Meal” - which is always delicious, BTW.

** FYI: I'm told local women have organized a similar club, but no one can hear anything because everyone talks at once.


I called the Pope...

Whoever answered, I asked:  "Do you have Prince Albert in the can?"

And then!  And then!  Before I could say, "you better let him out!"  I heard the guy on the other end say: "Che?"


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Adding to the confusion: Pope Emeritus writes letter to athiest...

"Big hug!"

It's nice to hear from him, but...

It's weird to have two popes.  I don't care what anyone says.  This has never happened before in any one's memory.  Two popes.  No schism.  No rivalry - except that which the media fabricates.

Benedict and Francis are not much different from one another - that's what I think anyway - they just have a different way of expressing themselves.

If you are interested in the Benedict letter, there's a story on it here.  I like what he said to the atheist professor Piergiorgio Odifreddi:
“Dear professor, my criticism of your book is in part harsh. Frankness, however, is part of dialogue: Only in this way can understanding grow. You were quite frank, and so you will accept that I should also be so. In any case, however, I very much appreciate that you, through your confrontation with my Introduction to Christianity, have sought to open a dialogue with the faith of the Catholic Church and that, notwithstanding all the contrasts in the central area, points of convergence are nevertheless not lacking.”
People do not like 'harsh' - they do not like it because they think people are 'mean', and mean is not nice.  Yet Odifreddi took it very well:
Writing in Monday’s La Repubblica, Odifreddi said few people “can understand the surprise and excitement” you feel on receiving “an unexpected letter from a pope.” He said the letter was delivered on Sept. 3, and he waited to publish it to make sure he had Benedict XVI’s permission. The depth of his answer was “beyond reasonable hopes,” Odifreddi said, and he was particularly surprised that Benedict read his book from cover to cover and wanted to discuss it, as it had been billed as a “luciferian introduction to atheism.”

Odifreddi said the entire 11-page letter will be included in a new edition of his book. He said that he and Benedict may disagree on almost everything, but they have “united in at least one common goal: the search for the Truth, with a capital ‘T.’” - NCRegister
I bet both popes are getting tons of letters in hopes they will respond personally or call them up.


Blessed Herman ... the Disabled.

AKA the Cripple.

You just can't say it that way any longer.


Bl. Herman became blind visually impaired in later life, and it was then he composed the Salve Regina.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Have you ever had a comment rejected? I did today - at First Things.

Elizabeth Scalia posted a good story titled, "Is There Room For Sarah?"

Reflecting upon the 'new openness' of Pope Francis, and Cardinal Dolan's accolade, “He’s a great relief to all of us.”  Elizabeth tells the touching story of an online friend she maintained contact with, who happened to be a transgender -  a post-operative, transgendered woman, named Sarah.

Sarah wasn't Catholic, primarily because she was convinced the Church would not accept her.  It's a beautiful, poignant story of faith.  Take a moment to read it here.

Elizabeth searched for an answer and her post is an extension of that search...

Must Sarah confess as a sin the surgery through which an identity had been formed that put a lifetime of suicidal thoughts to rest and brought a measure of peace? Must Sarah (whose baptismal name I never knew) do what was possible, within constraints of health and finances, to henceforth present as a man in order to come to church? - Elizabeth Scalia

Personally, I doubt the issue is as complicated as it may sound.  I suspect that Sarah could be welcomed into the Church just as she was - quietly, discreetly perhaps - or without any provision of anonymity.  Especially since she was post-operative.  I'm not sure why that would be a problem - after all gender identity dysphoria remains classified as a disorder.  Certainly any person with a disorder can become Catholic.

In my comment on First Things I noted that while he was Bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Cardinal Burke permitted a transgendered woman to begin a religious community, or pious association of the faithful.  As Bishop, Burke said he did so in consultation with the Holy See.  A concerned lay woman, went over the Bishop's head and complained to the Vatican.  As a result, the community was disbanded.

In a letter, Bishop Burke responded to the complaint, writing:
"With regard to Sister Julie Green, F.S.J., the recognition of the association of the faithful which she and Sister Anne LeBlanc founded was granted only after consultation with the Holy See," he writes. "These are matters which are confidential and do not admit of any further comment.... I can assure you that Sister Julie Green in no way espouses a sex change operation as right or good. In fact, she holds it to be seriously disordered. Therefore, I caution you very much about the rash judgments which you made in your letter to the Apostolic Nuncio." - Source

My comment was meant to shed some light on the issue of transgender persons coming into the Church and one instance of pastoral accommodation.  Although the woman could not continue as a woman religious, she was obviously admitted-accepted in the Church, and I believe she remains a faithful Catholic.  First Things editor Joe Carter rejected the comment.  Pity.

Art: Origen.  He castrated himself.


Our Lady of Mercy, Our Lady of Ransom

B. Mariæ V. de Mercede
Merciful Father and God of all consolation,
you have shown yourself
to be wonderful in the glorious Virgin Mary,
Mother of Christ, and have given her to us
as the Mother of Mercy.
May all of us who venerate her with devotion,
always experience her powerful intercession,
and enjoy Your immense mercy.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Nothing is more natural, nothing more desirable than to seek a refuge in the protection and in the loyalty of her to whom we may confess our designs and our actions, our innocence and our repentance, our torments and our joys, our prayers and our desires-all our fears. All men, moreover, are filled with the hope and confidence that petitions which might be received with less favor from the lips of unworthy men, God will accept when they are recommended by the most Holy Mother, and will grant  all favors.

This storm of evils, in the midst of which the Church struggles so strenuously, reveals to all her pious children the holy duty whereto they are bound to pray to God with insistence, and the manner in which they may give to their prayers the greater power. Faithful to the religious example of our fathers, let us have recourse to Mary, our holy Sovereign. Let us entreat, let us beseech, with one heart, Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, our Mother. "Show thyself to be a mother; cause our prayers to be accepted by Him Who, born for us, consented to be thy Son." - Leo XIII

Since I received my first Missal, I was always attracted to Our Lady under this title.  I suppose the feast has even deeper meaning, and greater urgency for me now.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Charlie Rose Interview with Fr. Malone, S.J. and Fr. McShane, S.J., September 20, 2013

If you can watch the entire interview it is well worth your time - it is great. 

A simple thought ...

On why the Pope's words are so consoling to so many.

Because we hunger and thirst for love and acceptance, to be recognized, acknowledged, affirmed in our humanity, our existence.  The Pope does that - he says God does that - he tells us God looks upon us with love.

I talked to a friend last week, right after the Pope's interview.  My friend is an old man, and he is not Catholic, not religious.  He was crying as he tried to tell me how he felt after hearing news reports on what the Holy Father said in the interview.  He struggled to repeat what the Pope said here:
In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this.
A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing..." - A Big Heart Open to God
And he repeated, "... I've always felt so condemned ..."

The Pope's words opened my friend's heart to the Church, to the Gospel.

Catholic bloggers and media - please stop criticizing the Pope, please stop dissecting, dismantling, tearing apart what he said.  Please stop ridiculing mainstream media for how they report on what the Pope said.  Please stop putting obstacles in the way of people who do not have a sophisticated understanding of theology and catechesis...
The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. - Pope Francis 
Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.


St. Pio

"Keep close to the Catholic Church at all times, for the Church alone can give you true peace, since she alone possesses Jesus, the true Prince of Peace, in the Blessed Sacrament." - St. Pio

I'm praying for all my friends who fell away ... it is easy to do.

Song for this post here.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bronze relief...

In preparation for the Holy Year of 1950, Pius XII held a competition for three new bronze doors to lead from the portico to the basilica. Of the winners, the most distinguished artist was Giacomo Manzù. His door has large modeled panels of the Crucifixion and Annunciation, and lesser panels of prophets, apostles and saints.

The first door on the left is called the Door of Death because at one time it was the exit for funeral processions. The scenes sculpted between 1961 and 1964 by Giacomo Manzù (1908-1991) in accordance with the wishes of John XXIII (1958-1963), express the Christian meaning of death in ten episodes. - Source
+ + +

It's often criticized by some as too modern - therefore decadent.  Yet the sculptor chosen, Giacomo Manzu, whose style was familiar to Pope Pius XII, was chosen for the project while Pius was alive.


We need a little fashion break...

Spring/Summer 2014

I call this the "Kat's Pajamas"
This makes so much sense.  What?
Song for this one here...
"What's that Poodle?"
Photo credit:  The Sartorialist

Much more serious matters ... The Pakistani Attack ... The Kenya Attack ...

Let us all say, “Mother, look upon us! Mother, look upon us!
Mother, look upon us!” - Pope Francis

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A suicide attack on a historic Christian church in northwestern Pakistan killed at least 75 people on Sunday in one of the deadliest attacks on the Christian minority in Pakistan in years.
The attack occurred as worshipers left the All Saints Church in the old quarter of the regional capital, Peshawar, after a service on Sunday morning. Up to 600 worshipers had attended the service and were leaving to receive free food being distributed on the lawn outside when two explosions ripped through the crowd. - NYT 
+ + + 
Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) -- Fifty-nine dead. At least 175 injured. About 30 hostages still inside, as well as perhaps a dozen gunmen. 
Those are the grim numbers, a day after attackers stormed an upscale Nairobi mall, spraying bullets and holding shoppers captive. 
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta told reporters Sunday afternoon the tragedy was personal; one of his nephews and his fiancee were among the 59 people killed. - CNN 

Pope Francis on social communication...

Maybe a reason to stay online...

Even in the context of social communications, the Church is required to bring warmth, to warm hearts...

Dear friends, the concern and the presence of the Church in the world of social communications is important in order to dialogue with the men and women of today and bring them to meet Christ, but the encounter with Christ is personal. It cannot be manipulated. In these times we see a great temptation within the Church, which is spiritual harassment: the manipulation of conscience; a theological brainwashing which in the end leads to an encounter with Christ which is purely nominal, not with the Live Person of Christ. In a person’s encounter with Christ, both Christ and the person need to be involved! Not what’s wanted by the “spiritual engineer”, who wants to manipulate people. This is the challenge. To bring about the encounter with Christ in the full knowledge, though, that we ourselves are means of communication, and that the fundamental problem is not the acquisition of the latest technologies, although these are necessary to a valid, contemporary presence. It is necessary to be absolutely clear that the God in whom we believe, who loves all men and women intensely, wants to reveal himself through the means at our disposal, however poor they are, because it is he who is at work, he who transforms, and he who saves us.  - The Vatican Today

Do we do that with our blogs?  Do we do that with our tweets?  Our comments?  In our personal contact with others, our conversations?

Toxic blogs.

I came across a post on another blog, tearing down what the Holy Father had to say in the America interview, making fun of him, making him out to be a simpleton and a fool.  I checked to see what people in the site's com box had to say.  One reader cheered the author and expressed relief the blogger had finally come out and expressed an opinion.  The blogger apologized for the delay in making a statement but promised to continue studying what the pope said and counseled the reader that more commentary defending Catholic teaching will be forthcoming. 

The blogger imagines that people wait for the blogger's opinion ...