Saturday, May 10, 2014


Yesterday I posted a couple of works I had completed.  Seeing the work in a photo is like viewing it with different eyes - especially when you have bad eyesight to begin with.  I noticed a few imperfections - at least a few I could remedy.

I worked on them last night and today.  I realized what I was really doing was trying to keep the process going.  I didn't want to let it go.  When you paint holy people - saints - you can become very close to them.  You talk to them, ponder their lives - you look at them - very deeply.  You almost see into their soul, or at least their heart.  Sometimes you seem to catch them looking at you.  That always startles me.  It happened with both Rolando and Matt.  I got a little embarrassed.

Now the panels are complete and I want to be with them - but I can't go with them yet.  That makes me sad.  So I've been kind of sad.

When I was painting Rolando I pitied him during his passion.  I wanted to protect him as if it was happening now.  I prayed for him - thinking my prayers now may have comforted him then.  That's how real it gets when you paint.

The saints only talk to me when I paint.

Sometimes I'm scared I might not be able to be with them forever.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Thursday, May 08, 2014

A little art exhibition for Our Lady of the Rosary: Blessed Rolando Rivi and Venerable Matt Talbot

Blessed Rolando Rivi, Terry Nelson, 2014
Acrylic on wood.
16 x 20

Ven. Matt Talbot, Terry Nelson, 2014
Acrylic on gesso panel.
11 x 14

Narratives will be post on the art blog here.
Please click on the images to view detail.

Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii

May 8th.

See Fr. Jerabek's blog for the story and the Supplica.

Years ago as a child I took refuge in Our Lady under this title, and I return once again today to Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, refuge of sinners.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Cardinal Kasper - The Pope's Theologian? Okay - now I get it.

Cardinal Kasper at Fordham.
NEW YORK (RNS) The German cardinal who has been called the “pope’s theologian” said fresh Vatican criticism of American nuns was typical of the “narrower” view that officials of the Roman Curia tend to take, and he said U.S. Catholics shouldn’t be overly concerned. 
“I also am considered suspect!” Cardinal Walter Kasper said with a laugh during an appearance on Monday (May 5) at Fordham University. “I cannot help them,” he added, referring to his critics in Rome. - RNS
The article discusses how Kasper's view may be more in line with the Pope's own attitude towards the problem within American religious communities - as if the Pope would not support what Cardinal Gerhard Mueller had to say to the LCWR last week.

On Monday, Kasper told the audience that after Francis praised him by name just days after his election, “an old cardinal came to him and said, ‘Holy Father, you cannot do this! There are heresies in this book!’ ”
As Francis recounted the story to Kasper, he said, the pope smiled and added: “This enters in one ear and goes out the other.” 
It was Kasper’s way of providing context to the news that the Vatican’s doctrinal czar, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, had sharply criticized leaders of more than 40,000 American nuns for disobedience to Rome and for “fundamental errors” in their beliefs. - ibid

So it follows that the Pope is going to ignore what Mueller had to say as regards the doctrinal problems within the LCWR?

No wonder Kasper is considered suspect, it certainly seems to me that he himself is causing confusion and dissent within the Church.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Christian Brothers former provincial: Fondling, not a crime but a moral failing.


That is how things used to be - just about everywhere.  That is why sexual abuse was swept under the rug - in the Church and out of the Church.  We find it incomprehensible by today's standards - but that is how it was.  What am I talking about?

Christian Brothers saw sexual abuse as moral failing, not crime.
Brother Anthony Shanahan, a former province leader of the Christian Brothers in WA, yesterday gave evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Perth. 
The inquiry is examining alleged sexual and physical abuse in four homes run by the Brothers in Perth, Tardun and Bindoon between 1947 and 1968. 
Brother Anthony told the hearing that the mindset at the time meant abuse was not thought of as a crime, but as a moral fault or failing. 'I think they saw it as something that was abhorrent, harmful - although I don't think they understood it as harmful in the way we would now, in terms of consequences for the victim, but something that was abhorrent and harmful and that was the way they dealt with it,' he said. 
The chair of the Commission, Justice Peter McClellan, described the comments as extraordinary. 
Brother Anthony said brothers who had been accused of abusing students at boarding houses were often sent to day schools. Brother Anthony also told the hearing one of the rules laid out in the Brothers' Constitution from 1962 stated that they were prevented from developing particular friendships with their students or fondling them. 
He said a brother accused of fondling a boy might receive a warning and be transferred from a boarding house to a day school where it was thought there might be 'less opportunity for misconduct.' - Source

It explains so much about the culture within institutions and generally, within Western society at the time - but more shockingly so, within the culture of religious life.  I really believe these things demonstrate that something was already wrong within religious life and seminaries far before the Council and reforms of Vatican II.

Likewise, there was a strange sense of sin or moral failing as if removed from civil law, as well as an exaggerated fear of scandal.  Not so much for those scandalized but for being the source of scandal - of losing ones good name.  Often enough, the victim became the scapegoat - sharing some of the blame - a notion entirely unacceptable by today's standard, while the perpetrator could be absolved in confession and sent away elsewhere to amend his ways - until 'temptation' got the better of him once again, and then maybe he would be punished with a retreat and reassignment to another house.  Repeatedly exonerated:  "You see, the devil hates religious life and will do anything to destroy an otherwise good vocation."   See how that worked?  Religious life almost enabled the bad behavior.  Once in religious, life one had a vocation to be protected, and numbers were important to maintain as well.

It makes me wonder about the good old days.  Did all the priests and religious who abused minors really have vocations in the first place?  Did all those who left religious life after the Council really have genuine vocations?  Maybe religious life really needed to be renewed after years of decay from within?  What if religious leadership had already lost faith and simply bore the semblance and form of religion while living in denial of its power?  Believing instead in its 'success' and 'prestige', while the only power left to them was to control those in their charge?

I don't know.  I'm always trying to make some sort of sense of these stories.

Photo: St. Patrick's College, Strathfield was established in 1928 by the Christian Brothers.

Ordinary Saints.

This is the one whom I approve: the lowly and afflicted man who trembles at my word. - Isaiah 66: 2

I often think of some of the old, solitary men I often noticed at daily Mass at a downtown church I used to go to.  They were quiet, sat off to the side, praying quietly - sometimes for very long stretches. If someone greeted them, they would nod, otherwise they kept to themselves.  They didn't exhibit any outward piety save for what is expected, genuflections and so on.  No touching statues, no pious poses, nothing 'put on'.  They minded their own business.  I never tried to inquire about them, never tried to meet them or engage them - I even tried to avoid glancing at them - so strong the impression they were engaged in prayer.  They slipped in and out of church, be it for Mass or adoration.

Many daily Mass goers are like that.  I think many older folks, male and female, live quiet, contemplative lives - unobtrusive.  They don't meddle - they don't watch who or what kind of person goes to communion.  I doubt they looked around to see who was devout and who was not, or how people were dressed.  They were not at church for that.

I noticed them.  Not a few seemed poor, not particularly well dressed - perhaps lifelong bachelors or widowers - and probably retired manual laborers.  They taught me by their fidelity, their quiet devotion, without calling attention to themselves - I admired what I now recognize as their humble dignity, integrity, guilelessness I suppose.  

It seems to me a big problem with online evangelists and their incessant self disclosures on 'their' conversion and advice on how to befriend people like themselves how to be Catholic and effective and successful and - whatever their shtick happens to be - it just seems to me their whole thing ends up being about them - 'all about me'.  I may be wrong of course.  In fact - it is really none of my business.

However, having painted and prayed with Matt Talbot these past couple of weeks I was reminded of the hidden souls I used to admire.  Matt Talbot was like those men.  He lived quietly and humbly - an ordinary, hidden life - no self promotion or self canonization ever came between him and the Lord. 

That is the secret of sanctity, I think - I hope.

“Some of those who follow Jesus do so in search of power. Perhaps they do not do so with full consciousness. A clear example of this is to be found in John and James, the sons of Zebedee who asked Jesus to seat them in places of honour, one on His right and one on His left in his Kingdom. And in the Church there are climbers, people driven by ambition! There are many of them! But if you like climbing go to the mountains and climb them: it is healthier! Do not come to Church to climb! And Jesus scolds people with this kind of ambitious attitude in the Church”. - Pope Francis

Photo: Grandpa Dobri 

It's getting serious.

“Those who follow Jesus for money, trying to take economic advantage of the parish, of the diocese, of their Christian community, of the hospital, or the college… Let us think of the first Christian community that was swayed by this intention: Simon, Ananias and Sapphira… this has been a temptation right from the beginning. And since, we have heard of so many good Catholics, good Christians, friends and benefactors of the Church that – it has been revealed - acted for personal profit. They presented themselves as benefactors of the Church and made money on the side…” - Pope Francis

[W]e must continue to ask ourselves the question: “in what way do I follow Christ? Only for Him, even to the Cross, or do I do it for power? Do I use the Church, the Christian community, the parish, the diocese to gain some power?”

I see the Pope as a reformer of the clergy and the Church.  I think that is why there is a conspiracy of dissent against just about everything he says and does.  It comes from within and without the Church.

Pray for the Holy Father.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Worthy of note ...

From the writings of Blessed Elena Aiello:

My daughter, look upon my Heart pierced by the thorns of so many sins; my face, disfigured by sorrow; my eyes, filled with tears. The cause of such great sadness is the sight of so many souls going to Hell, and because the Church is wounded – inwardly and outwardly’.

‘The rulers of nations make so much ado and speak of peace. But instead, the whole world will soon be at war, and all mankind will he plunged into sorrow, be cause the justice of God will not be delayed in fulfilling its course, and these events are near. Tremendous will be the upheaval of the whole world, because men — as at the time of the Deluge — have lost God’s way, and are ruled by the spirit of Satan’.

‘Priests must unite by prayers and penance. They must hasten to spread the devotion to the Two Hearts. The hour of my triumph is close at hand. The victory will be accomplished through the love and mercy of the Heart of My Son, and of My Immaculate Heart the Mediatrix between men and God, By accepting this invitation, and by uniting their tears to those of My Sorrowful Heart, priests and religious will obtain great graces for the salvation of poor sinners’.

SCOURGE IS NEAR AT HAND, The justice of God is weighing upon the world. Mankind, defiled in the mire, soon will be washed in its own blood, by disease; by famine; by earthquakes; by cloudbursts, tornadoes, floods, and terrible storms; and by war. But men ignore all these warnings, and are unwilling to be convinced that my tears, are plain signs to serve notice that tragic events are hanging over the world, and that the hours of great trials are at hand’. - See more at Blessed Elena*

*According to something I read at the site, these messages were given to Bl. Elena for our times - Our Lady specified it for subsequent generations.  That was in the 1960's.  Just saying.  

Cardinal Gerhard Müller on Conscious Evolution

Do not be afraid.

The Church is in good hands.  Cardinal Müller addresses the concerns of the LCWR - clearly.  Fr. Z has the opening remarks made at the Meeting of the Superiors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with the Presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, made a week ago.  It is an incredible document.  What caught my attention is the remarks on Barbara Marx Hubbard and the Conscious Evolution movement which has corrupted various institutes of Catholic religious and Catholic parishes.

"I am worried that the uncritical acceptance of things such as Conscious Evolution seemingly without any awareness that it offers a vision of God, the cosmos, and the human person divergent from or opposed to Revelation evidences that a de facto movement beyond the Church and sound Christian faith has already occurred." - Cardinal Müller

Let me address a second objection, namely that the findings of the Doctrinal Assessment are unsubstantiated. The phrase in the Doctrinal Assessment most often cited as overreaching or unsubstantiated is when it talks about religious moving beyond the Church or even beyond Jesus. Yes, this is hard language and I can imagine it sounded harsh in the ears of thousands of faithful religious. I regret that, because the last thing in the world the Congregation would want to do is call into question the eloquent, even prophetic witness of so many faithful religious women. And yet, the issues raised in the Assessment are so central and so foundational, there is no other way of discussing them except as constituting a movement away from the ecclesial center of faith in Christ Jesus the Lord. 
For the last several years, the Congregation has been following with increasing concern a focalizing of attention within the LCWR around the concept of Conscious Evolution. Since Barbara Marx Hubbard addressed the Assembly on this topic two years ago, every issue of your newsletter has discussed Conscious Evolution in some way. Issues of Occasional Papers have been devoted to it. We have even seen some religious Institutes modify their directional statements to incorporate concepts and undeveloped terms from Conscious Evolution. 
Again, I apologize if this seems blunt, but what I must say is too important to dress up in flowery language. The fundamental theses of Conscious Evolution are opposed to Christian Revelation and, when taken unreflectively, lead almost necessarily to fundamental errors regarding the omnipotence of God, the Incarnation of Christ, the reality of Original Sin, the necessity of salvation and the definitive nature of the salvific action of Christ in the Paschal Mystery. 
My concern is whether such an intense focus on new ideas such as Conscious Evolution has robbed religious of the ability truly to sentire cum Ecclesia. To phrase it as a question, do the many religious listening to addresses on this topic or reading expositions of it even hear the divergences from the Christian faith present? 
This concern is even deeper than the Doctrinal Assessment’s criticism of the LCWR for not providing a counter-point during presentations and Assemblies when speakers diverge from Church teaching. The Assessment is concerned with positive errors of doctrine seen in the light of the LCWR’s responsibility to support a vision of religious life in harmony with that of the Church and to promote a solid doctrinal basis for religious life. I am worried that the uncritical acceptance of things such as Conscious Evolution seemingly without any awareness that it offers a vision of God, the cosmos, and the human person divergent from or opposed to Revelation evidences that a de facto movement beyond the Church and sound Christian faith has already occurred. - WDTPRS

Already occurred ...

He nailed it.  This 'movement' is not the only one in the Church which has gone beyond Catholic teaching in the quest for a development of doctrine on the path of conscious evolution.

History repeating ... Odessa Jews preparing for the worst.

This is incomprehensible.
Odessa’s Jews are prepared to evacuate should the violence in the western Ukrainian city get significantly worse, several community leaders told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. 
Odessa’s Jewish community numbers some 30,000, down from nearly 40 percent of the city’s population before the Holocaust. 
While Jewish community leaders are unanimous in asserting that the violence is unconnected to the Jewish community and that they do not feel specially targeted, they agreed that, should the situation deteriorate, it would be easy for the spillover to affect their constituents. - Jerusalem Post
Pray the rosary every day for peace - for the conversion of sinners and for peace. 

That's it! Anti-Gay Marriage Ex-Drag Queen Running for State Senate.

No - it's not Michele's husband either.

It's the former "Miss Mona Sinclair."

Republican North Carolina State Senate candidate Steve past life as a drag queen and promoter for the "Miss Gay America" pageant was detailed in a report published by the Winston-Salem Journal Saturday. Business Insider spoke to Wiles, who supports a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in North Carolina, and he explained why he doesn't consider himself "anti gay" and why he no longer dresses in drag.
"I think that everyone has their own choices to make and I'm fine with everyone making their own. For me, from a religious standpoint, just for my life, for me, it just was not something that I wanted to continue ...
Wiles declined to answer when Business Insider asked whether he considers himself an "ex-gay."
"No, no, I really wont make any comments on that," he said. - Read more here.
Really?  C'mon!  And he is so qualified just because he is anti-gay marriage?

"You can take the rum out of the fruit cake, but you've still got a fruit cake."

The disastrous effect of pride is the lack of humility.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

The Third Way - A comment on the SSA 'docudrama'.

"Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart..."

Without fail every time you write about homosexuality, gay/ssa persons, you get flak.  "Not every one is like that" is the most common thread, or now, "That's a problem from an older generation - no longer applicable to the younger more tolerant generation."  Same old same old.  Truth be told, the re-education of Western culture has been driven by gender equality, and the elimination of sexual boundaries.  It has been going on for decades.  So yes - younger people and their parents have a greater openness and acceptance of what was once regarded as deviant culture.  The demand today is for approval.

Matt from Badger Catholic posted the video The Third Way, with a comment that I approved of the video.  Indeed after watching the piece - running through it actually, I was favorably impressed.  Later I heard from some people I respect who had some misgivings on the film, wondering about the purpose behind it, feeling there is something more, perhaps just below the surface.  I got that too - but I picked it up later from the Melinda Selmys commentary.  She seems to always have more to say after her talks - clarifying what she said, what she meant ...  I'll save that one for another post perhaps - if I can maintain an interest.

Anyway, Badger's post received an anonymous comment that may have helped explain what might lie beneath this type of gay docudrama.  The author remarked: "I VERY much liked the video's STRONG insistence that we (the Church) must show strong approval and clear acceptance of people with same sex attraction."  Obviously the comment was intended to be sarcastic, and maybe even directed at me.  That's fine.  Nevertheless, it demonstrates how frustrating it is for otherwise 'normal' people to be constantly berated for their lack of approval and/or acceptance of homosexuality.  As one friend told me, "the lecturing tone that is constantly given out to heterosexuals" is off-putting to say the least.  In a sense, the film may kind of  'guilt' some viewers into an approval or affirmation mode - albeit unintended, I'm sure.  Overall, the film is very good to help people understand the catechetical admonition that ssa persons must be "accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity."  It succeeds in that.

I don't often respond to comments - especially on other sites, but I wanted to make myself clear on what I really think of the film.  I've been busy working and haven't had time for the blog or other online sites, but I decided to make a comment on Badger's post explaining my initial 'positive' review of the film - which ended up as my post for the day.  The original comment here:

I have some reservations about the film and the way, as Anonymous @3:25 PM 4/30 expresses it - "the video's STRONG insistence that we (the Church) must show strong approval and clear acceptance of people with same sex attraction."
I was looking at the conscientious reflections of the subjects as they pertain to conversion from sin and understanding the self - self knowledge.  Overall, that would seem to me to be a good witness of repentance and conversion.  What I missed - or better put - what I didn't have time to reflect on was exactly that - the implication that the Church needs to show approval of the homosexual condition.  Acceptance of the person is necessary, but approval of behavior is in error.  Likewise, acceptance of homosexuality as a natural variant of human sexuality is erroneous.  Which is why the title bothers me - there is no 'third way' of marriage and sexuality.  The film points to the Church as the third way - but it needs to be understood clearly with regard to Catholic teaching - its definition of gender, marriage, and sexuality.
Interestingly enough, that seemed to be clear to 'active' gay people, who opposed the film for simply repeating Catholic prohibitions, and - some of the so-called 'gay Christians' dismissed it pretty much for the same reasons.  It's always a no win situation when it comes to Catholic teaching, which has been so frequently undermined as regards this subject.
Maybe I'll just cut and paste this comment to my blog.
Anyway - always be careful about how Catholic teaching is represented by the gay-Catholic movement.* - My comment @ Badger Catholic

So that's all I got - for today at least.  And believe me when I tell you, I do not imagine that my opinion matters, or that anyone cares about what I think.

Just keep in mind, Catholic teaching hasn't changed on homosexual behavior.  The Catechism talks about acceptance but does not teach approval.

This is why it is important to be the person God intended - read and meditate what the Catechism really teaches.  "There is great gain in religion, provide one is content with a sufficiency."

2338 The chaste person maintains the integrity of the powers of life and love placed in him. This integrity ensures the unity of the person; it is opposed to any behavior that would impair it. It tolerates neither a double life nor duplicity in speech.

2337 Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man's belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman.
The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift.

2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.   Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. - CCC
*BTW - The film is not a 'new homophile' production and is not intended as such - I was responding to the impressions of other viewers and their response to Selmys.  Like I said, that may be another post.

First Sunday in May

Pray the rosary every day.

It seems to me we may be on the verge of something.

Very soon.