Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pope Francis... 'I'm so happy, I can't stop crying!'

"I'm laughing through my tears!"

The lines are from a song by Sting off his Mercury Is Falling recording.  The song keeps going through my head as I read something new online about the new Pope, or hear it on network news.  (Charlie Rose BTW, has had excellent interviews with key churchmen ever since the election.  Secular news has done a great job so far.  As a layman - I appreciate hearing the secular take.)  But I digress.

I especially love Rocco Palmo titling the Holy Father, Il Poverello del Vaticano, as well as his notes regarding the new style of the poor Pope.  I never, ever thought I would see such things in my lifetime.  From Palmo:
Cobbled together from what's floating around, a couple more notes on the new Franciscan Style, all of 36 hours in.

Beyond scaling back the pomp surrounding his early morning stop at St Mary Major – where he spent a solid half hour in prayer before the protectress of Rome, the ancient image of the Salus Populi Romani – this morning's La Repubblica reports that the new Pope wanted his retinue to ensure that the basilica would be kept open to the public during his visit.

"I'm a pilgrim, and I just want to be one among the pilgrims" Papa Francesco reportedly said.  [...]   Still, Francis did get to greet some of the staff and the confessors of the basilica, whom he urged to "be merciful to souls [who come to you] – they need you." 
[...]  And on one final symbolic-yet-substantive note, the pontiff has already taken it on himself to extend the simplicity outward.

Defying standard Vatican protocol – as the USCCB's eminent Sister Mary Ann Walsh first noted – Papa Bergoglio called on the cardinals to leave their red choir cassocks aside, and instead wear the less-formal black robes under their albs for last night's Sistine Mass.

Albeit not vested as concelebrants, the request was likewise hewed to by the two archbishops in attendance as the Pope's retinue: the Almoner Guido Pozzo, and the prefect of the Household Georg Gänswein, who remains private secretary to B16. - Il Poverello

I'm so happy, I can't stop crying.  It is as if St. Francis came back to become Pope - or Christ himself...  I know!  I'm laughing through my tears.  Tears of joy.


St. Francis and the Blessed Virgin Mary

Perfect joy!

St. Francis was aflame with seraphic love of the Blessed Virgin!  His devotion overflows into our hearts today ...  praying ...

In thanksgiving for Our Holy Father Pope Francis...

Salutation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Hail Lady, Holy Queen, Holy Mary, Mother of God, who are the Virgin made Church and the one chosen by the Most Holy Father of Heaven, whom He consecrated with His Most Holy Beloved Son and with the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete; in whom there was and is all fullness of grace and every good. Hail His Palace; Hail His Tabernacle; Hail His Home. Hail His Vestment; Hail His Handmaid; Hail His Mother and hail all you holy virtues, which through the grace and illumination of the Holy Spirit are infused into the hearts of the faithful, so that from being unbelievers, you make them faithful to God. -- Saint Francis of Assisi

Friday, March 15, 2013

Santo Padre Francesco

Humility and Poverty
Perfect joy.

I think

the reason why St Francis of Assisi

is so often portrayed as a simpleton
and fool
is because he was
... intoxicated by the Love of Christ .

When he heard the Word:
any man who would come after me
must deny his very self
take up his cross
and follow me...

The Holy Father
- because of his great love -
only heard:
come to me ...
all you who labor
and are burdened...
I will give you rest...
take my yoke upon you,
and learn from me
for I am
humble of heart...
for my yoke is easy, 
and my burden light...

Little Francis lost himself
... fell to the ground
and died...

in the perfect joy
 and humility...
of the naked Jesus.

Humility tames the fiercest wolves.
Come!  Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Fatima and Pope Francis... kind of.

THE Holy Father will have much to suffer.

Just remember, Our Lady is the one who emphasized the papacy at Fatima, and called for prayers for the Holy Father.  I somehow doubt she was referring to just one specific Pope... as Cardinal Ratzinger noted in his commentary on the Third Secret: "Beginning from Pius X up to the present Pope, they all shared the sufferings of the century and strove to go forward through all the anguish along the path which leads to the Cross."   Post election reaction reminds me of something Blessed Jacinta said:
I saw the Holy Father in a very big house, kneeling by a table, with his head buried in his hands, and he was weeping. Outside the house, there were many people. Some of them were throwing stones, others were cursing him and using bad language. Poor Holy Father, we must pray very much for him.”
"the Holy Father will have much to suffer."
Along with the enemies of the Church, there are many devotees of Our Lady, crusaders for the Truth, cursing, using bad language, against Pope Francis since his election.  I doubt Our Lady would be pleased. 

Pope Francis and the 'Biological Solution'

Not yet accustomed to all the staging.

Apparently, the Pope doesn't see it quite that way...
“Courage, dear brothers! Probably half of us are in our old age. Old age, they say, is the seat of wisdom. The old ones have the wisdom that they have earned from walking through life. Like old Simeon and Anna at the temple whose wisdom allowed them to recognize Jesus. Let us give with wisdom to the youth: like good wine that improves with age, let us give the youth the wisdom of our lives.” - VIS
As I said, I keep thanking God for our wonderful Pope Francis.

And he likes Tango.

 BTW - Fr Z has another pole poll up ...  "On a scale of 1 - 10"  ... I gave the new Pope a 10.

I keep thanking God for our Holy Father Pope Francis

That is my prayer since the election of the Holy Father... ever since his blessing from the loggia of St. Peter's - which was an indulgenced blessing, a plenary indulgenced blessing - extended to those viewing on television, or listening on radio.  What a magnificent grace.

I must say I'm surprised by chatter from secular and religious venues, and the outrageous criticism against the Holy Father, analyzing and dissecting every move he makes, and the legends associated with his life and ministry.  The Holy Father was a priest, bishop like 99% of the clergy in the Roman Catholic Church.  Like the Pope before him, he celebrated the Ordinary Form of Mass, and promulgated the authentic teaching of Vatican II, implementing the reform perhaps much more generously than most bishops, taking his religious vow of poverty quite literally.  His faith is deeply Marian and above all Eucharistic.  His doctrine is totally Roman Catholic, entering into the Petrine office, he arrives with a clean record of upholding Catholic teaching in faith and morals. 

He has now been chosen by God to lead the Church.

Here is something I wrote to a friend the other day:
In response to something I wrote on my blog, a friend asked me:  "But how could the Church of 1972 have been good - that's when people began to leave and the scary stuff happened?"
I simply said "He will undo that scary stuff as he implements the reform." The good work initiated by the Council has been obscured by extremists and above all, by the Council of the media, as Pope Benedict noted. Benedict has restored the equilibrium of the liturgy and doctrinal teaching, and restarted the reform, Francis will continue it. I sense a wonderful freedom of spirit at work, tempered by a mature sense of authentic Ignatian discernment occurring, amidst a wonderful Franciscan simplicity and joy.
God is so good - he has done something beyond all our imagining.
And I might add, he will confound the proud, the haughty, the comfortable - just as Christ did, just as Francis of Assisi did. 
 It "is Christ who guides the Church through his Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church with its life-giving and unifying force: he makes one body of many, the Mystical Body of Christ. "  
"Let us never give in to pessimism, a bitterness that the devil offers us every day: Never give in to pessimism and discouragement, we have the firm conviction that the Holy Spirit gives the Church, with his mighty breath, the courage to persevere and also to seek new methods of evangelization, to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Christian truth is attractive and persuasive because it answers the deep need of human existence, announcing convincingly that Christ is the only Saviour of all man and of all men. This announcement remains as valid today as it was at the beginning of Christianity, when the first great missionary expansion of the Gospel took place. " - Pope Francis
The hermeneutic of continuity remains unbroken.

But who am I?  I only write my personal impressions, and I'm a nobody.

Pope Francis and Devotion to the Blessed Virgin

All the Popes of modern times have been devoted to the Blessed Virgin.

I think Thursday's visit to St. Mary Major demonstrated to the Church the Holy Father's devotion to Our Lady, but as time goes on, I think we will see just how deep the Pope's devotion really is.

I'm told he led many pilgrims to the shrine of Our Lady of Lujan, the patroness of Argentina, but I also found out that he more or less introduced devotion to Our Lady, Untier of Knots to the faithful of Buenos Aires.

I came across a story of a goldsmith who is creating a special chalice for the Holy Father, a gift from the Argentine people.
“It’s a particular gift, it’s for a friend, for a good man, but this is not just a gift coming from me. It comes from the Argentine people,” goldsmith, Juan Carlos Pallarols said, still moved by the news of "Pope Jorge's" election.

“It will be simple. It will feature images of Our Lady of Lujan and Mary Untier of Knots, whose first painting was brought into the country by him. It will also feature Jesuit symbols and Argentine icon. It will be made of silver, a metal that represents our country.” - Read more here.
The Holy Father is devoted to the Rosary; inspired by the example of Blessed John Paul, he prays the full Rosary every day.  Story here.

People may recall that in the 1980's a series of apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary to Mrs. Gladys Quiroga de Motta took place at San Nicolas de los Arroyos, which is located in a Buenos Aires province, in Argentina.  The apparitions/messages were approved by the local Bishop, although I haven't come across Cardinal Bergoglio's name in connection with the site.  I noted on a news program that he frequently said Mass at a little chapel in the slums of Bueno Aires, which contained a large retablo of what appeared to be Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolas.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pope Francis on the subway...

When he was still a Cardinal, of course.


I found it! How Pope Francis is linked to Peter the Roman and the prophecy of St. Malachy!

But.  But.  But how does the name Peter enter into the equation?

Pietro di Bernadone - the father of St. Francis!  And the Abbazia San Pietro in Assisi!  A Benedictine abbey with olive trees, the glory of the olive lives on in a monastery!  I'm so sure!  Oh, oh!  And Pope Francis is Italian descent and Bishop of... Rome!  And, and, and, he's living in Rome now  - at St. Peter's!  Peter the Roman!  I know!

Cheer up! 

Yeah, it was only a matter of time
before the 3/13/13
prediction went to his head.

Please hold the Pope Francis kitsch...

Don't start this crap.

Please leave the new Pope off your mugs and bumper stickers and waving pope avatars in your sidebars.

I received an email last night advertising the mug shown in the photo.

Catholics - knock it off. 

Holy Father Francis Visits Madonna Salus Populi Romani

His first official act...

He slipped into the Basilica of St. Mary Major around 8 AM to present his votive offering to Our Lady. 

He then prayed before the relics of the Creche.

I find it hard to express my thoughts about him.  The joy is so deep.

His Holiness somehow has reignited something deep in my soul...
He represents the Church I returned to in 1972...   
At the time, I was fully aware of the flaws and wounds in the Body of Christ, but I had fallen in love with the poor Jesus, the naked, wounded, disfigured Jesus.  I was grateful for the Eucharist - even when the tabernacle was pushed aside in some closet, where I was able to pray and adore Him - wounded heart to Wounded Heart.  Even when the minister, the priest may not have followed the rubrics or was less than edifying - he gave me Jesus.  Whether he absolved me of my sins in a downtown skyway in mid-afternoon, without a stole, or in a confessional, he reconciled me to Jesus... 

I'm rambling, I can't do more.  I recognize now how far I have fallen from my first love.  Francis has given me that insight. 

Francis is the Pope.  All the silly prophecies mean absolutely nothing today.  All the Peter the Roman stuff is finally at an end - the tales of St. Malachy finished.  The voices of the few, a figment of pious meditation, filling a void only the grace and mercy of God can fill.

The Church continues, survives, endures, lives.

The cappa magnas and pomp cannot impress me.  The scandals will be straightened out...

The Church will follow the poor Jesus... and when lifted up... like Jesus crucified, the Church will draw all men to Himself - Jesus ...

Prayers in thanksgiving to the Most Blessed Trinity for our Holy Father Francis.


As Cardinal Bergoglio... I've written about Pope Francis before...

Baptizing Children Out of Wedlock... September 7, 2012
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires has criticized Catholic pastors who refuse to baptize children born to single mothers.

The cardinal expressed his sympathy for a young woman who, after becoming pregnant, resists temptations to abortion and gives birth to the child. Then, he said, she finds herself “on a pilgrimage, going from parish to parish, trying to find someone who would baptize her child.”

The priests who reject this woman, Cardinal Bergoglio, are “hijacking” the sacrament, using rigid rules to preserve their own status, and are likely to “drive God’s people away from salvation.” He likened them to the Pharisees, and reminded them that Jesus regularly condemned the Pharisees, while spending his time with those they regarded as sinners.

“I say this with sadness, and if it sounds like a complaint or an offensive comment please forgive me,” the cardinal said. But he insisted that priests should serve the spiritual needs of the people and not “the interests of religious power.”  - Link

More evidence of the spiritual battle for souls... July 10, 2010
  [Letter of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, to the Carmelite Nuns of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires (June 22, 2010)]

I write this letter to each one of you in the four Monasteries of Buenos Aires. The Argentine people must face, in the next few weeks, a situation whose result may gravely harm the family. It is the bill on matrimony of persons of the same sex.
The identity of the family, and its survival, are in jeopardy here: father, mother, and children. The life of so many children who will be discriminated beforehand due to the lack of human maturity that God willed them to have with a father and a mother is in jeopardy. A clear rejection of the law of God, engraved in our hearts, is in jeopardy.
I recall words of Saint Thérèse when she speaks of the infirmity of her childhood. She says that the envy of the Devil tried to extort her family after her older sister joined the Carmel. Here, the envy of the Devil, through which sin entered the world, is also present, and deceitfully intends to destroy the image of God: man and woman, who receive the mandate to grow, multiply, and conquer the earth.  - Link

The comments on the first post concerning baptism were interesting... 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Viva il Papa! Our Holy Father Pope Francis

Servant of the servants of God.

I am so happy... so deeply moved.

I just read about Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina this morning and was so edified by his life... I never expected he would be made Pope.

In thanksgiving to the Most Holy Trinity for the election of the new Pope.  Tomorrow he goes to see the Madonna.

Scenes from the Life of St. Francis.


Vatican in Violation of Clean Air Act: European Environmental Agency to step in - shut down Sistine Chapel burner.

From the website of the EEA:
Clean air will be the focus of EU environmental policy discussions throughout 2013, the Year of Air. The European Environment Agency (EEA) provides a wealth of information underpinning the review of air pollutant legislation.  - source

Anonymous sources claim American Sister Simone  intends to take advantage of the sede vacante period to speak publicly to American Catholics urging them to register complaints with the EPA of the United States against the 'deliberate poisoning of the environment, not to mention the minds of consecrated women religious!'  (Ed. note: I'm unable to verify that statementt as Sr. Simone's or Sr. Patricia's.)

However, another outspoken nun, Sr. Fiedler has made her protests known in the latest issue of the NCR:  "Am I the only one who finds that this truly disconcerting?  It’s not just the pomp of the Vatican, the garb of the cardinals and the Swiss guards. It’s the monarchy of it all. This could be a pageant from the 15th or 16th century!"  She  said, visibly shaken, choking back tears in the massive smoke cloud released from the chimney of the Sistine, she coughed,  "Our views, in other words, are irrelevant in this process." 

Vatican spokesmen have insisted the smoke emissions are not 'all that toxic', explaining that is why the seagull is positioned on top of the chimney. "If smoka wasa datta bad, he'da be caputa!" Claimed the Vatican plumber who installed the stove.

This just in:  Interestingly enough, visionaries stationed in St. Peter's square awaiting the signal for the new pope - they already know who it is of course, but it's a secret.  Anyway, the visionaries who arrived by bus from The Roses shrine near Bergamo, claimed to see demons escaping the Sistine in the latest of black smoke emissions.  They insist that these negative votes exorcise the evil spirits seeking to corrupt the election process.  Another seer contradicted the visionaries claiming  exactly the opposite, "The blacka smoke is a good, it's a sign of faith - like a darka night!"  Another more vetted locutionist described it as a symbol - like the cloud of Exodus, leading the Church out of Egypt into a new era...  "A period of environmental purity!  Earth, air, fire, and water - the four elements... all together ... 1, 2, 3, 4!  All coming together on 3/13/13!"
That's so awesome. 

Last night I was reading more 'prophecies' and 'locutions' online ...


Why do I do it?  Last night I came across a reference in the com-box of another site dedicated to such matters.  So much of the private revelation stuff seems so very convoluted.  I bet most of the Cardinals in the Conclave do not even think on the same terms as these visionaries... I can't imagine Pope Benedict giving them much credence.  A lot of it seems rather extra Ecclesiam if you ask me...

Disclaimer:  Just remember I predicted the new Pope will be elected today, 3/13/13.  If the Cardinals don't signal white smoke - or, when they do, it looks black - it still happened, but only the good will see it.  What?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Conclave - Interregnum Period.

Reminds me of the lull between Good Friday and the Easter Vigil... without the sadness.


Is it a sign? Black smoke after the first ballot.

You all knew that anyway...

I had a thought on it, but I can't say what it was...

I also removed my last post because it was inappropriate for the first day of the Conclave.  A kind friend let me know that.  I should have known better.

So I'm tapping my fingers on what kind of post I can do so that people will remember I'm not a nice man... you know, because I've been so nice lately.

Then I came upon the photo shown above, of Marini kicking everyone out of the Conclave.  'This is it!'  I thought.  I can critique the clothes.  No harm in that.

The vestment Monsignor Guido Marini is wearing is one that I dislike the most in ecclesial wear - aside from the cappa magna of course.  I hate that sleeveless coat thing - especially on shorter, stouter prelates.

I think it is called the chimere.
The chimere is a sleeveless gown, usually of red, but sometimes of black material of quality and derived from the Spanish word "Zammarvia" that means "riding cloak." It is an upper robe of a Bishop. This garment serves as a symbol of the mantle of a prophet. The chimere is only worn by the Bishop because it signifies him as chief proclaimer and defender of the faith in the apostolic tradition.
Now I'm thinking it is really the mantelletta.

The mantelletta, while formerly worn by all bishops and some of the monsignori, is now only used by the seven protonotaries apostolic de numero. It is a short, violet mantle with slits for the arms, worn over the rochet and choir cassock. - source
I dislike them both.

"Don't mention the war palazzo story, I did, but I think I got away with it."


 Here's an interesting link on ancient Roman clothing.

My true colors... Papal.

My true colors come out at the election of a Pope.

I have remained Catholic all of these years precisely because Christ is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, and that he has given us his Vicar on earth, the Pope, and of course, the Blessed Virgin as Mother of the Church.  Everything flows from that, in a sense.  To have the Eucharist we must have a Pope and the bishops who ordain the priests who minister the sacraments.  The Pope shepherds, guides, teaches, protects the sheep.  The Mother is the Blessed Shepherdess of the sheep.  But I'm mixing up an otherwise very simple profession of faith and reason why I am Catholic, which is a preface for the following.

When it comes to solid Catholic commentary on the conclave, I'm going with Fr. Z - if he manages to stay online, and those like him - if there are any.  This morning I especially liked his commentary on Cardinal Sodano's homily.
[This next part seems to me to be what the Dean, Card Sodano, is suggesting as a major point for the Cardinal Electors as they go into the Conclave. Remember, Sodano is over 80 and cannot vote even though he is the Dean of the College.] In the wake of this service of love toward the Church and towards all of humanity, the last popes have been builders of so many good initiatives for people and for the international community, tirelessly promoting justice and peace. Let us pray that the future Pope may continue this unceasing work on the world level. [Look. Yes, Pope's do these things. But is that their principle role? Is that the principle role of the Church in the world? To promote initiatives of justice and peace in the international community? I noted with interest that the Dean quoted Paul VI's Populorum progressio, which was not a little controversial in its day. At the time, there were concerns that to smacked of Marxism. It also spoke to the North/South divide. Perhaps I am reading this wrong, but I have the sense that this is a call for Paul VII. It is without question that Benedict XVI wrote eloquently of initiatives of justice and peace in Deus caritas est, etc. But to stress this, during the Year of Faith, when Benedict XVI tried to launch the Church on a project of NEW EVANGELIZATION, that is, the recovery of Catholic identity in those places where it has been dying and a new direction even in places where the Church is emerging, the Dean flips back the calendar to the 1970's. This is my first reaction. I may add and revise later. To be fair, the Dean quoted Benedict XVI in a way that opens what Paul VI said in a more expansive way than I have suggested. Here is what he said earlier in the sermon when he quoted Paul: "This is what Benedict XVI wrote in his Lenten Message for this year (n.3). "Sometimes we tend, in fact, to reduce the term "charity" to solidarity or simply humanitarian aid. It is important, however, to remember that the greatest work of charity is evangelization, which is the "ministry of the word". There is no action more beneficial – and therefore more charitable – towards one’s neighbour than to break the bread of the word of God, to share with him the Good News of the Gospel, to introduce him to a relationship with God: evangelization is the highest and the most integral promotion of the human person. As the Servant of God Pope Paul VI wrote in the Encyclical Populorum Progressio, the proclamation of Christ is the first and principal contributor to development (cf. n. 16)." BUT... let's continue to be fair. This sounds like Sodano contra Sodano. Quoting Populorum progressio is a signal.
We won’t get another Ratzinger in that sphere, for there isn’t one. But we can pray for a Pope who will embrace that vision and continue it. No initiative we undertake as a Church can succeed unless we revitalize our liturgical worship, exactly along the lines that Benedict XVI pointed to. - Fr. Z

I also want to say, if Cardinal Burke were to be elected Pope, I wouldn't be disappointed, because my greatest concern is that the Roman Catholic Church should remain, as Fr Z stated, "exactly along the lines that Benedict XVI pointed to."

I have always loved the martyrs of Gorcum who were martyred simply because they would not abandon belief in the Blessed Sacrament and in Papal supremacy.  At the end of my life, I hope I can proclaim with the Gorcum Martyr, Andreas Wouters of Heynoord, who stated, “Fornicator I always was, but heretic I never was.”  - Source 


Into the Conclave...

All the hidden cameras are installed, as well as the bugging devices, looks as if Vatican police are on the ball this time. 

This morning, Tuesday, March 12, the Cardinals will soon be in their seats, placing their bets; then the first vote...  finished off with a smoke. 

*Rodney Dangerfield quote.

Monday, March 11, 2013

How did I miss this? Retreat at Sea Launched Yesterday, March 10

Our prayers are with you as you cast off to your Lenten reflection. May you have a fruitful, enlightening, and peaceful retreat.

God bless you and thank you all again for your continual support.

God speed! - Facebook

I missed the boat.


An Onion...

"You see, Alyosha," Grushenka turned to him with a nervous laugh. "I was boasting when I told Rakitin I had given away an onion, but it's not to boast I tell you about it. It's only a story, but it's a nice story. I used to hear it when I was a child from Matryona, my cook, who is still with me. It's like this. Once upon a time there was a peasant woman and a very wicked woman she was. And she died and did not leave a single good deed behind. The devils caught her and plunged her into the lake of fire. So her guardian angel stood and wondered what good deed of hers he could remember to tell to God; 'She once pulled up an onion in her garden,' said he, 'and gave it to a beggar woman.' And God answered: 'You take that onion then, hold it out to her in the lake, and let her take hold and be pulled out. And if you can pull her out of the lake, let her come to Paradise, but if the onion breaks, then the woman must stay where she is.' The angel ran to the woman and held out the onion to her. 'Come,' said he, 'catch hold and I'll pull you out.' he began cautiously pulling her out. He had just pulled her right out, when the other sinners in the lake, seeing how she was being drawn out, began catching hold of her so as to be pulled out with her. But she was a very wicked woman and she began kicking them. 'I'm to be pulled out, not you. It's my onion, not yours.' As soon as she said that, the onion broke. And the woman fell into the lake and she is burning there to this day. So the angel wept and went away. So that's the story, Alyosha; I know it by heart, for I am that wicked woman myself. I boasted to Rakitin that I had given away an onion, but to you I'll say: 'I've done nothing but give away one onion all my life, that's the only good deed I've done.' don't praise me, Alyosha, don't think me good, I am bad, I am a wicked woman and you make me ashamed if you praise me. Eh, I must confess everything. Listen, Alyosha. I was so anxious to get hold of you that I promised Rakitin twenty-five roubles if he would bring you to me. Stay, Rakitin, wait!" - Grushenka, Brothers Karamazov

Whatever you did to one of the least of these my brethren, you did to me. - Matt 25:40

I was in a hurry,
determined to get things done,
before going to pray...
then everything would be
out of my way -
after Mass, I could
return home and do as I please,
everything done...
but someone got in my way,
wanted my attention -
and I began kicking,
to get her to leave
me alone...

The Present Moment - Living in the Presence of God.

Our lives are moulded and fashioned
  by all the graces we have received or refused;
by all the gestures of love as well as the acts of hatred
  or indifference;
by our successes as well as our failures.
Absolutely everything is engraved in our being.
So the experience of being loved by God
  does not change our lives completely,
yet something is changed
  when we realize that God loves us just as we are,
not as we would like to be
nor as our parents or society would have liked us to be.
God loves us today
with our gifts, our qualities, as well as our failures and our fragility.
If we have the impression people are disappointed in us
because we do not live up to their expectations;
if there seems to be a gap
  between the way in which others perceive us
  and who we really are,
between what we like to think we can do
  and what we actually can do,
we need to discover God is never disappointed in us.
God knows us;
God knows our abilities and disabilities;
God knows we are a mixture of light and darkness.
Others may be disappointed
  because they have an ideal image of Him,
  but not God, who knows me today just as I am.
God does not live in the past or the future
  but in the "now" of the present moment.
God sees me in my present reality
  as I am in each present moment.
-Jean Vanier, Befriending the Stranger

 Art: St. Margaret of Cortonna, penitent

What Kind of Pope Should the Cardinals Elect?

The Locutions to the World ... continued ...

The locutions from Monsignor Essef's spiritual child continue to be published.  I became aware of it while reading another person's blog on the end times.  Everyone has their gift from God, so I'm not making fun or scoffing here.  Admittedly, I don't get it, but I'm not scoffing either.  That said, I don't understand why people want to divine the future so eagerly, nor do I understand why Heaven would feel it necessary to discuss with us the goings on in preparation for the Conclave.  Especially since we can pretty much know what is going on through natural means - not to mention media reports.

The following quote allegedly from Our Lady strikes me as particularly unusual, or at best, way out of character for the Blessed Virgin.
I will speak clearly. The words must be like a knife, cutting to the heart. Do not give me a pope who will not consecrate Russia to my Immaculate Heart. Let him not be vague on this issue. It is already late, very late. This must be his primary goal. Consecrating Russia must have been in his heart years ago. I will reject every candidate for whom the consecration of Russia is not first in their hearts. If their names are put forth, I will personally defeat them. I will act through those who are my closest friends. - Locutions to the World, March 2, 2013

Today it is one month since Pope Benedict announced his resignation.  I wonder if he was able to imagine how crazy things would get?

"What? 'Vote for Turkson' posters?!"

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I need to repent...

Thinking about the readings this morning...

It occurred to me that a truly repentant gay man - who led a very promiscuous life - could indeed be called by God to be a priest.  If he returned to the Church and reformed his life and renounced the lifestyle completely, he could be like the prodigal son in today's Gospel... clothed in priestly garments.  Perhaps that is Fr. Sirico and others like him?  Interestingly, Sirico never talks about his conversion and reformation and he remains a priest.  On the other hand, I can think of one famous penitent priest who talked about his dramatic conversion all of the time, yet he left the priesthood and apparently returned to the world.

I need to repent.

Yesterday something happened to me.  I went to confession instead of going to pray the rosary when I got to the church.  I left home early, hurried to accomplish an errand before I got to church for my hour with Our Lady before Mass.  On the way - I had a run in with a young woman.  Literally - I bumped her car ever so slightly while squeezing in to a tight parking spot.  No damage done - but she was very upset.  I was so startled by what I considered her over reaction that after being really nice about it, giving her all my information and so on, I tried to blow her off.  She then shouted at me - in tears, and I came to my senses.  I listened to her - really listened - and realized I had treated her with disrespect by trying to blow her off.  I was so shaken by my hardness of heart, that after everything was settled - I apologized and thanked her for her reprimand.

I abandoned my plans, went to church, and made my confession.  This woman broke through my self-righteousness, my smugness...  I can't adequately explain how deeply the encounter affected me.  It's an amazing thing to have one's conscience suddenly, unexpectedly revealed.  "If a good man reproves me, it is kindness," as the psalm affirms. 

I need to repent.

I came across a note I made in my book of the sayings of the desert fathers.  I had written:
The odd thing about Christians is how they turn around the commandments, 'Do not judge, do not condemn, and give without counting the cost' to argue on how and why they must judge, they must condemn, and how they need prudence and discretion in how and what they give.
And that is one of the ways I can become convinced of my own self-righteousness, while looking down on everyone else... even when I'm in the wrong.

I need to repent. 

Art: Prodigal Son, Giorgio de Chirico 

Mass Chat: I haven't adopted a Cardinal.

Why not?

I don't know for sure.  I think I'm trying to avoid cheering for this one or that one to be pope.  It seems to me a rosary and other prayers for the election of the new pope suffice.  Besides, I dislike adding devotions on top of devotions.

I've concluded I should no longer post critiques of those Cardinals entering the Conclave, and I'm absolutely against praying for a specific Cardinal to become Pope - as if I know what is good for the Church.  It seems to me we Americans get ourselves caught up in cheering 'candidates' on as if it were a competition or a campaign for political office - which is precisely why I would never want an American as pope in the first place. I'd hate to see the Roman Catholic Church become any more Americanized than it has.

Imagine using a Wisconsin cheese-head-hat for the Papal Coronation, with the Pope wearing 'We're #1' foam fingers for the Apostolic Blessing, while the crowds chant, "USA! USA! USA! USA!" -  Only to show up on Colbert or Letterman the next time he makes a home visit to the United States.


Her Majesty...

So much for continuity...

The Queen will tomorrow back an historic pledge to promote gay rights and ‘gender equality’ in one of the most controversial acts of her reign.

In a live television broadcast, she will sign a new charter designed to stamp out discrimination against homosexual people and promote the ‘empowerment’ of women – a key part of a new drive to boost human rights and living standards across the Commonwealth.

In her first public appearance since she had hospital treatment for a stomach bug, the Queen will sign the new Commonwealth Charter and make a speech explaining her passionate commitment to it.

Insiders say her decision to highlight the event is a ‘watershed’ moment – the first time she has clearly signalled her support for gay rights in her 61-year reign.  
Before the Queen makes her speech tomorrow, she will celebrate the new charter at a service at Westminster Abbey, where she will be joined by celebrities including soul singer Beverley Knight, rock band The Noisettes and businessman Sir Richard Branson.- Daily Mail
 Anything to preserve the Monarchy, I suppose.