Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Pope and Our Lady of Fatima

This is an important weekend.

The Holy Father will consecrate the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun.  He is leading the Church in prayer and adoration.  Recall what happened in Syria after the vigil for peace.  Something is happening.

I think of the prayer of Esther...
Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish, had recourse to the Lord. Taking off her splendid garments, she put on garments of distress and mourning. In place of her precious ointments she covered her head with dirt and ashes. She afflicted her body severely; all her festive adornments were put aside, and her hair was wholly disheveled...
We have a Pope who set aside his splendid garments, the trappings of his office... who humbles himself in prayer before the Madonna.

Something is happening.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are all gathered for this event of the Year of Faith devoted to Mary, Mother of Christ and of the Church, our Mother. The statue of Our Lady, which has come from Fatima, helps us to feel her presence in our midst. Mary always brings us to Jesus. -  Pope Francis, Vatican Radio

United in the prayers of the Rosary.


More exciting thoughts and reflections on Saturday morning while the cat is out in the backyard hunting for chipmunks and mouses and rabbits.

I love the following quote I posted earlier in the week:
"When you finally discover that you are just one of the little people, don’t conclude that this makes you special." - Madeleine Delbrel
I'm so not special - what a relief.  But I am so one of the little people - one of many - and not special.

I'm often wrong about stuff too.

That said... If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right... remember that song?  (Percy Sledge and Luther Ingram did it best.)  The premise of the song involves adultery - so in that respect it isn't a good message of course, but it occurred to me that just the title speaks to something I discovered about righteous people online.

Righteous Catholics really seem to value being right over everything else.  They have the truth - they know the truth - they own the truth, and they know they are right.  Being right determines who won the debate.  Being right means knowing who goes to hell.  Being right means knowing who is in heaven.  being right means you can go online and call people liars and hypocrites and sodomites and fake Catholics and heretics and cowards and whatever else you deem them to be.  It dawned on me when someone claimed to have won some sort of contest in my combox the other day.  He was happy because some 'point' had been 'conceded' to him, after he insulted another commenter to the post.  It was obvious that being right was far more important to this guy than being civil - and more importantly, being charitable.  An anonymous righteous person thought it important to insult another person he deemed wrong about something the righteous person disagreed with.

Maybe you don't understand what I'm trying to say here...

But if loving a brother or sister is wrong, I don't want to be right.

+ + +


So many fears are, in fact, hidden: for example, the fear of our own violence. When another person does not comply with my desires, I am faced with my own powerlessness. Much of our violence is a reaction to our powerlessness. We cannot control everything. We are rendered vulnerable by all that which reveals our mortality and our frailty. And I think our greatest difficulty is admitting that the essence of our identity is that of being loved by God. Such abandonment to His love can only come at the hour of our death. Martin Luther King said that we can only stop despising others when we have come to terms with that which we despise of ourselves. That is definitely a challenging journey, and it only ends when, faced with death, we can say, "I am ready." - Jean Vanier


From the combox: "No one can be a sodomite and a saint at the same time."

Holy and Righteous Abraham and Lot

You don't say. 

I couldn't resist and had to reply:
... at least one Sodomite I know of became a saint - that would be Lot - he and his family left Sodom of course - which just goes to show you, if someone leaves a sinful lifestyle behind, they can indeed be saved and even become a saint.
The Orthodox commemorate Abraham and Lot twice on the Liturgical calendar:
Holy and Righteous Abraham and Lot, October 9
Read their story in the book of Genesis. They are also commemorated on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers, Dec 11-17.  - Source

Lot has been commemorated in many ancient liturgical canons as well.  See here.

Anyway.  Lot was from Sodom, therefore a Sodomite, and the Church believes he is in Heaven, and therefore a Saint.  Get it?


Columbus did not discover America, he simply claimed it for Spain.  The Chinese discovered it and colonized it way before that.  What?  A Chinese lady proudly explained it to me after I remarked on how much Inca people resembled Chinese people.

That's all.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Good News Friday.

Former Twin City Good News bloggers, Cathy and Ray.*

DoughBoy is finally leaving The Office!  It is his last day!  The office is partying all day!  DB's office in the boiler room will be closed permanently. 

Minneapolis St. Paul has a new auxiliary bishop!  Fr. Andrew Cozzens was appointed by Pope Francis.  People are happy.  He's an excellent choice.

Blessed Angela of Foligno is declared a saint, and Bl. Amato will be - two Third Order Franciscans - lay saints.  Thank you Pope Francis.

LarryD is getting more hits now that he quit blogging than ever before.  Rumor has it that he may be putting together a reality show for EWTN. 

What?  Oh - you mean fifth? 
 Fifth of vodka.

*Really huge shoes to fill. 

Here's a thought...

Madeleine Delbrel (1904-1964)

"When you finally discover that you are just one of the little people, don’t conclude that this makes you special." - Madeleine Delbrel

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Voris vs. Shea Debate: An objective POV.

From In Statu Vitae blog.
Before I start to describe all that I recall regarding the event, in the interest of transparency I have to say that I would place my own views in closer proximity to the Voris camp than to the Shea camp, although I do greatly respect and enjoy reading/watching both gentlemen's work.

Since Mr. Shea was arguing in the affirmative on the topic, he gave his opening arguments. The mic was then passed to Mr. Voris, and this is where things quickly became a bit heated. In his first turn or two at the microphone, Michael Voris focused less on the substance of the debate, but instead started referencing quotes that Mark Shea had written on his blog regarding, Michael Voris, Michael Voris's followers, etc. Michael Voris clearly came to the debate with an ax to grind. - Read the full account here.

Sounds to me as if it was a nice diversion for local Church Militants.

Update:  Mark Shea also posted on the debate here.

Totally decent,
I must say!


Gay Italian Group Writes to the Holy Father...

One report claims the Pope actually responded:

In their letter, a group of gay and lesbian Catholics organized into the group, Kairos of Florence, asked for openness and dialogue, noting that closure to discussion "always feeds homophobia." The members were shocked to receive a personal response to their appeal from Pope Francis. One leader of the group told La Repubblica "no one had ever even given a nod of response" before. The Kairos group said they also received a letter from the Vatican Secretariat of State, which informed them that Pope Francis "really enjoyed" their letter to him and the way it was written, calling it an act of "spontaneous confidence."

The group had written to Pope Francis in a personal appeal to to be recognized as people and not as a "category." A leader of the impromptu committee said as gay Catholics they had in the past written to other members of the church leadership in Italy and had always before been rewarded with silence. - Source

This is what is so amazing - to me at least - in view of what's been going on in my town. 

If the story is true, that means that the Holy Father actually acknowledged, recognized the group - he confirmed that they actually exist, in doing so, he recognized their humanity.  But first, he listened.  He listened.  Then - if the report is true - he responded to their concerns.  He responded to them.

It doesn't mean Church teaching can or will change.  That's not the point.

He responded to them.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Minneapolis Archdiocese has a problem with sex-addict priests?

Dominican Father Reginald Whitt

Set up a new Task Force.
The archbishop has appointed a new vicar for ministerial standards, Dominican Father Reginald Whitt, a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He will assume full responsibility for all issues related to clergy sexual misconduct, the archdiocese said.

Start a new committee.
Father Whitt will appoint the members of the all-layperson task force, which is expected to convene this week. It will consist of at least six people from a variety of backgrounds — none of whom are employed by the archdiocese or any of its parishes.

Once again - it appears this is all about protecting 'children' - not that anything is wrong with that.  But I thought they already had some sort of program for all of that?  Evidently it didn't work?

Archbishop Nienstedt said there is “no room for misconduct among our clergy and our standard must be zero tolerance for abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. We hold a sacred trust. Our very vocation requires the highest standard of conduct so that all may be drawn to the person of Jesus Christ through our witness.” 
While the archbishop retains his authority in the archdiocese, he has committed that he will not interfere in the work of the vicar or the task force. - Catholic Spirit


Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Argument of the Month Club Oktoberfest with Mike Voris and Mark Shea underway...

Red carpet pre-debate coverage...
All the women were promptly removed.
A disguised Mark Shea arrives with his security detail and ran smack into Mike Voris. 

Security - crowd control in the beer garden.
First arrest of the night: No conceal and carry permit.
 Badger Catholic arrived late.
Mike Voris takes his place on stage. 
Cameras, cell phones, recording devices go black ...
the debate begins!
Now I wish I would have attended.

If today you hear his voice...

I like this very much:
“Open up your heart and listen to what God is saying to you. Allow your life to “written” by God”. Just as the Good Samaritan did when he stopped to help the stranger, we must all listen to God’s voice and sometimes put our own projects on hold to do his will.

Speaking to those present for morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Monday, Pope Francis pointed out that it can happen that Christians, Catholics, priests. Bishops and even the Pope sometimes turn away from God!
Not to listen to his voice, not to take heed in our hearts of his proposal and his invitation– the Pope said – is a daily temptation. And he said there are many ways in which one can turn away from God, polite, sophisticated ways… And to better illustrate his message, Pope Francis recalled the parable recounted in the Gospel in which there is a half-dead man lying in the road. A priest walks by – a zealous priest wearing a cassock and on his way to say Mass. The priest looks at the man and says to himself “I will be late for Mass” and goes on his way. “He didn’t hear the voice of God” – Pope Francis pointed out.

Then a Levite passes by – the Pope continued – and perhaps he thinks “If I get involved and the man dies, then tomorrow I will have to go before the judge and give testimony…” so, the Pope continued “he too goes on his way. He too – Francis points out - “turns away from the voice of God”…

Only the Samaritan, a sinner, someone who habitually turns away from God had the capacity “to hear God and to understand his request”. Someone – the Pope observes – “who wasn’t used to participating in religious rites, who didn’t lead a “moral” life, who was theologically “wrong”, because – Pope Francis explained – Samaritans believed that God should be adored elsewhere, not where the Lord had said”. But “the Samaritan understood that God was calling him and he did not turn away. He went to the man, bound up his wounds, poured on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn and took care of him”. He gave up his whole evening for him.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis said, the priest was on time for Mass and the faithful were happy; the Levite’s schedule was not upset…. And the Pope asked: “why did Jonah run away from God when the Lord asked him to go to Ninevah and he boarded a ship to Spain? Why did the priest turn away from God? Why did the Levite turn away from God? Because their hearts were closed, and when your heart is closed you cannot hear the voice of God. Instead the Samaritan - he said - “saw and was moved with compassion”: his heart was open, he was human, and humanity brought him close to God. - Homily for Monday's Mass
If you really listen to the Pope - I think you'll get to understand him.

He speaks from experience I think.  It's the sinner's experience. 

Years ago, when I struggled with habitual sin, I tried to get to confession as soon as I could.  I would get up very early and drive a long distance to a church which had confessions first thing in the morning, right after the 6:30AM Mass.  I drove over the speed limit some mornings, just to be first in line after Mass.  I drove through stop lights - I broke the law.  One day I was going to confession at noon at a downtown church.  As I entered the parking lot I slightly brushed the fender of an old car parked on the street.  I didn't even bother to check for a scratch on my car or the other car - because I had to get in line for confession.  I was so determined to let no one and no thing get in my way.  I'm so ashamed that I acted like that - that I added to my sin.  I have so many stories like that - and at the time I failed to see the significance of my failings, my lack of charity - I was so intent upon being absolved from my 'bigger' sins.  At times, I've acted similarly in my mad rush to get to Mass on time.   Mea culpa!  But doesn't that sound a little bit like what the Pope was talking about?

On the other hand, have you ever been brushed off by a priest?  Have you ever asked for advice or direction, only to be brushed off, your concerns not taken seriously?  Or because he was too busy?  To much in a rush?  Have you ever brushed off some one else because you had better things to do?

I'm so grateful for such a simple, honest, Holy Father.  It amazes me how well he understands the sinner, how he welcomes them and eats with them.


Michael Voris* in the Twin Cities ...

... Tonight, October 8, 2013

"He's keen -
He’s lean -
Church Militant

One night only... 3PM to closing.

AOTM: South St. Paul (near the stockyards)

St. Augustine's Catholic Church
In the basement Lower Level of St. Augustine's Catholic Church.
408 3rd St N.
South St Paul, MN 55075

More information here.

*Mark Shea will be there too.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Happy Feast Day!


Advice for Pope Francis....

from Imelda Marcos...

"Never dress down for the poor,
they won't respect you for it." - Mrs. Marcos

I bet that's what Francis really meant when he said, "I'm no Blessed Imelda."


St. Bruno

Happy feast day Carthusians!
Speaking about the Charterhouse:

"Many wish to come into this port, and many make great efforts to do so, yet do not achieve it. Indeed many, after reaching it, have been thrust out, since it was not granted to them from above.

Therefore, my brothers, you should consider it certain and well established that whoever partakes of this desirable good, should he in any way lose it, will grieve to his death, if he has any concern for the salvation of his soul." -Letters of St. Bruno. Office of Readings.


Mass Chat: Tough Call.

When your Archbishop and all his men are in trouble...

It is so difficult.  So very, very difficult.