Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ah! This is heart warming ...

Recent photo of Pope Benedict and staff
with his brother. - Rorate

You keep talkin' but you ain't sayin' nothin' ...

I love that line.

After spending nearly an entire day at the doctor, I came home last evening, pupils dilated as wide as Ann Barnhardt's, checked out a few blogs, a few news sites, and came upon the latest Church Militant report: The Razor's Edge.

Really?  Is that really a report?  Is that all you got?

It's not news at all.

No offense to Voris - I like the guy - but it just seemed like speculation and opinion and hot air.  Nothing wrong with that - but why would I pay any attention?  (I didn't really, and clicked out midway through.)

Everyone keeps posting.  It is so pointless - so dumb - which could be fun if we didn't take ourselves so seriously.

Are we all completely delusional?  Maybe it's just me?

I'm not sure I can continue doing this much longer.

Friday, November 14, 2014


"Two men will be in one bed, one will be taken, another left."

Another translation has it:

"Two people will be in one bed..."

Followed by:

"Two women will be grinding ... one will be taken, another left."

Today's Gospel reminded me of the inclusive language debate.  So after pondering today's Gospel I wondered why the translation didn't use 'two people' grinding instead of two women.  Of course I know it may be dependent upon the original Greek - but like I said - elsewhere, it does read 'two men' in one bed - so if they used people instead of men, why not use people instead of women?  Are women not people too?  Do they not bleed if you ... ?  Know what I'm saying?

So in a sense - inclusive language may just confuse the language even more - a reverse Tower of Babel type deal - only this time God isn't confusing the language, man is - people is - are?

See, I'm just not sure.

It's like using the term 'gay'...

Religion can make people nuts - especially if they hair-split terms all their lives.

Art: The Rapture - source.  This image is very cool.  What if there really was a church with a dome like this?

Editor's note:  Catholics don't believe in the rapture... although we can be raptured.

I have to have my eyes examined.

I haven't been myself lately.


I go to the eye doctor today.

Did I ever tell you that I tend to procrastinate?

So anyway.  I don't often ask for prayers, but since I haven't died yet - I'd really like to see if I'm meant to live on ... please say a prayer for me.

I'm kind of worried because I don't do well on exams.  What?

Thank you.

(Comments closed because I can't stand it when people say nice things to me.)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Russia to patrol Gulf of Mexico.

Not in the mood for Christmas yet.

Speaking of Cardinals...

Usually I am in the mood by now.  For sure by Halloween or the first snowfall, I'm usually in a holiday mood - and some years the magic happened even earlier... when I was making Christmas stuff for stores.  Though I no longer sell things to stores, I still make Christmas stuff, but this year I haven't made anything - so far.    There's still time however.

I wanted to share with you the ornaments shown above and below, by Patience Brewster - just to get the holiday spirit moving - and perhaps as a gift idea for your favorite wanna-be Cardinal.  (I know a bishop who was recently promoted to another See who loves Christmas ornaments.)

Thank God more important people than myself can be confused ...

A priest friend told me he finds Pope Francis confusing, laughing, he said, "He's different, isn't he?"

I get the feeling Francis confuses many people.

Today I discovered that he even confuses Cardinal George, and Sandro Magister as well.

“He says wonderful things,” Cardinal George said about Francis in an interview on Sunday, “but he doesn’t put them together all the time, so you’re left at times puzzling over what his intention is. What he says is clear enough, but what does he want us to do?”
Cardinal George, who is 77 and being treated for cancer, remains a voting cardinal until age 80 and says he would like to travel to Rome to see Francis: “I’d like to sit down with him and say, Holy Father, first of all, thank you for letting me retire. And could I ask you a few questions about your intentions?” - source

I'm confused about a lot of things though, and I have personal business to take care of, so I'll leave it to the bishops and priests to sort out.

Magister: It is another of the paradigms of expression recurring in this pontificate: reprimands towards both sides. However, if you want to inventory them, his beatings of traditionalists, legalists, rigid defenders of arid doctrine, appear to be much more numerous and focused. When, on the other hand, he gets angry with the liberals, you can’t figure out whom he is talking about. - source


I'm not saying anything...

Song for this post here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Live Photos: Philae lands on Comet 67P!

Rosetta's probe, Philae, has successfully landed on its comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko! - Story and more photos here.

So cool!

UFO At Comet 67P Churyumov Gerasimenko, Sept 2014

Earth-people: This is the first time a spacecraft 
has ever landed on the surface of a comet. 
You have nothing to fear
from us.

Reading Eve Tushnet ...

Her new book: Gay and Catholic is indeed a look inside the woman, the person.

Half way into it.  It's a revelation - seriously.  What a great encounter, as well as an introduction to Eve Tushnet.

I shouldn't write anything about the book before I finish it, but I'm deeply moved by how the Holy Spirit has moved in her life, bringing her into the Church and indicating to her, on such an intimate level, her personal vocation to holiness.

So far, I am pleasantly surprised and edified.

God is full of surprises.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What will become of Cardinal Burke?

Keeping up appearances.

The stories, the discussions online are really fascinating in many ways - they are also pretty nasty in some cases.  I suppose the 'liberals' as Fr. Z calls them may be the worst - or most vindictive.  Of course the anti-papists can be pretty mean spirited as well.  But I have to say, I read what the Pope says in his homilies and at the audiences and he is teaching the Gospel.  He's not changing doctrine, and he's not saying a word against Cardinal Burke.  Everyone else is busy doing that - filling in the blanks, as it were.

Fr. Z asks today why the 'liberals' throw a spittle flecked nutty over the cappa magna.  Personally I think this is the only reason why the Cardinal was 'demoted' - remember what the Pope said after he was elected and they were trying to get him all dressed up: "Carnival is over".  No fancy clothes - ever.  But I digress.

"If you dress down for the poor,
they won't respect you." - Imelda Marcos

It's about perception...

I'm a little surprised Fr. Z asks why 'liberals' hate the cappa so much.  He knows the answer.  It is considered pre-Vatican II.  It isn't just the cappa magna - it's the buskins, the slippers, the galero, the ermine, the gloves - OMG!  The gloves!  The heavy embroidery...  Clothes reserved only for bishops - whith servers needed to hold up, carry, and then arrange.  Clothing reserved, exclusively, and by privilege. Clothing worn in the long procession, with great pomp and solemnity; the drama, the symbolism in our day reserved for the coronations of monarchs.  Courtly attire: It's just so un-Marxist.

That's why.

So anyway.  What will become of Cardinal Burke?
Jesus said to Peter, “... What concern is it of yours? You follow me.” - John 21:22
That is all I can do too.  It is all I want to do.

It's what I did when I first returned to the Church.

Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.

Song for this post here.

St. Martin of Tours

Scenes from the life of St. Martin - Winifred Knights

Monday, November 10, 2014

Is the Church schizophrenic?

Or is it Catholic media?

Or me?

I honestly don't know - but something is wrong.

Today I read excepts from the Pope's homily at Mass:
"When a Christian man or a Christian woman, who goes to church, is part of the parish, does not live in this way, they cause scandal. How often have we heard men and women say: ' I do not go to church because it is better to be honest at home and not go to church like that man or woman who then do this, this, this ...'. Scandal destroys, it destroys the faith! And that is why Jesus is so strong: 'Beware! Watch out! '. It would do us good to repeat this today: ‘Be on your guard!'. All of us are capable of causing scandal". - VR
What? Huh? How's that?

See.  You read what the Pope says some days, and it all makes sense - yes - that's right.  People online say he's a heretic - but he speaks so much the truth.  Really.

Today he could have been saying the same things Cardinal Burke always said.  For instance, Cardinal Burke may have said this or that CINO politician causes a scandal by voting in favor of, and therefore promotes this, that, or the other abomination, and as a consequence should be banned from communion - or even excommunicated.

How is that different from what the Pope said today?

What is noticeably different is what some at the Synod proposed: communion for people otherwise living in scandal.

How does one reconcile this apparent double talk?

Where is all the division among Christians coming from?

Not from the good spirit, that is for sure.

"Children separated from their parents, husbands and wives who have grown distant form each other ... It is so important to think about this ..." - Pope Francis

Don't go canonizing Andy Warhol...

"Christ $9.98 (negative and positive)" (1985-6) - Warhol*

Gay mythology.

This is exactly how it happens, online, in books, in film, back online, on the editorial page, in the Arts section of the NYT's, and so on.  A story gets repeated, a legend is built - even by well meaning deacon's wives seeking to reconcile gay with Catholic - even if unintentionally.  I'm not sure what Kathy Schiffer was thinking with her post.  Andy Warhol a role model?  Maybe she was just eager to have something published on another website?  Stories like these get recycled in new and old media, over and over and over - until they become part of the collective memory and can no longer be refuted, or until some kernel of truth is extracted to lend credibility to the whole story.


Andy Warhol - a celibate Catholic?  He sure was - he never married, and remained a Catholic all of his life.  Warhol had a lot of problems - none beyond the reach of divine mercy, that is for sure, but he had issues.  I've written about it before.

Andy wasn't a model Catholic, but he may have been a 'faithful' Catholic - in a non-actively-participating way.

Fact is, he really was gay and Catholic, before the hairsplitting on what all of that means began to be taken seriously, and subsequently sanitized and legitimized and normalized. Pier Vittorio Tondelli was a gay Catholic too - faithful by the time he died - before, not so much.

People: gay people who are Catholic, remain Catholic, even if they do not practice the faith or live in sin.  Those whose conscience has been formed correctly do not try to say a sin is not a sin. Homosexual orientation is not a sin of course - but the behavior is. Some people who are active homosexuals are like that - hence they stay away from the sacraments. In doing so they do not say the behavior is not sinful - they know it is - and they know that they cannot act out and be a faithful Catholic. And in a very real way - they are faithful in that. Tondelli was like that until his actual conversion, and so was Warhol - to an extent. For all of the issues within the manufactured reality and public persona of Warhol, he remained Catholic - and most likely 'unintentionally' celibate. But chaste? Like a virgin?  That may be what he said.

Perhaps what may be most notable about Warhol is that he did not try to promote homosexuality as something good or equal to heterosexual love and marriage. He did not try to promote sinful behavior as virtuous. In that respect he perhaps can be called a 'proud sinner' - although sitting at the back of the church during Mass pretty much cancels out any pride aspect.  It should be noted that at the time homosexuality was not yet as socially acceptable as it is today, and even then the jet-set tried to maintain a facade of decorum.

His work didn't elevate culture.

Warhol influenced marketing, art, and the 'revolution'... and still does.  I've always appreciated his creative innovation - but I have to wonder if he was more a marketing genius and display-queen than artist. I also thought he was putting everyone on - playing with society and watching everyone make a fool of themselves. He was an observer. He was a documentarian. While seeming to be the antithesis of culture and high society, he craved to be a part of it, the superstar of it all - and of course he achieved that. In fact, he invented the term superstar.

Although he never did drugs, and remained pretty much asexual - save for the eroticism of his art - the pop star sub-culture he created was steeped in deviant behavior. Like a voyeur/provocateur, he documented that - hence the attraction and strange validation his admirers and fans experienced.

Yet I think his work (and he was a hard and prodigious worker) holds a legitimate place in the history of art. He created - and through his creations, changed a culture - or at least, contributed to its change. He broke through barriers with an anarchist's fervor. He documented the precipice of our decline into depravity and amoral behavior. He reflected the narcissism and consumerism of the culture in his art. His art did nothing to elevate the human spirit, rather it denigrated it, or more precisely, brought the superficiality and decay of our society to our attention and glamorized it. In the end, he achieved what he set out to do, he became famous - not for 5 or 15 minutes, but forever - or as long as art exists. His work, in my opinion, is and remains an art form - not unlike the erotic art of ancient civilizations. 

Defining deviancy down.

Dawn Eden had something to say about the Warhol mythology as well.  Two years ago Dawn wrote an insightful post: Defining deviancy down: Andy Warhol as an 'intentionally' celibate Catholic?  Her title says it all!
If you want to praise Andy Warhol for his daily Mass attendance, or for anything else he did to practice or show respect for Catholic faith, I will gladly join you. But don’t tell me that Andy Warhol was not “a proud sinner,” as Barnes seems to say, let alone that he was “intentionally celibate.” To make such a claim goes against the Church’s constant teaching, in the words of Augustine, that “the virtue which makes the life good has its throne in the soul, and thence rules the members of the body, which becomes holy in virtue of the holiness of the will” (City of God, I.16). A “celibate” person who encourages others to commit sexual violations is no celibate at all. - Dawn Eden
For sure, Dawn Eden knows what she is talking about.

* "Christ $9.98 (negative and positive)" (1985-6).  I used this piece by Warhol because a similar image may be found in his 1970 film Trash.  I've always thought aspects of the film were autobiographical to some extent.  A sex scene takes place in a creepy guy's apartment, where he has a kitschy shrine to the Sacred Heart, flashing lights and so on.  Pretty much like the image shown here.  Warhol probably suffered from sexual deviancy all of his life, a conflict made more intense because of a haunting religiosity he was unable to reconcile with the world he created for himself.  In the end, I hope he found the peace he craved in and through the sacraments he needed.

The sacraments of the Church are there for all, especially fallen Catholics, to find reconciliation and peace - Warhol's life is an example insofar as it shows the conflict and depravity which results when we reject that.  The sacraments are more than enough - they are the means to salvation.  In fact, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is the preeminent sign of welcome - not donuts and coffee.

Snow in Minneapolis...

Weatherman going nuts.

Predicting heavy snow and possible power outages.

If you don't hear from me I may have either lost power or died shoveling or just finally quit blogging.

Car trouble? Can't get to work?

Call Minneapolis Poodle Dog-Sled Company 
to get you there on time!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

It is highly unusual for a pope ...

The Argentinian solution.*

It is highly unusual for a pope to remove an official of Cardinal Burke's stature and age without assigning him comparable responsibilities elsewhere. - Francis X. Rocca, Catholic News Service.

Actually, that statement coming from the US Bishops News Service strikes me as highly unusual - or at least provocative.  The Pope counsels against gossip, but this almost fuels the fire.  One cannot avoid seeing, hearing, reading some sort of speculation and harsh criticism of what is happening in the Church.  

It gets confusing at times.

*FYI - The figure in the plane is giving a thumbs up - not the finger.

Today's Solemnity

"Brothers and sisters:  You are God's building." 2nd reading, Romans 3

Today the Church celebrates the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica. I always associate this feast with the memorial (November 8) of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity. Not so much due to the fact her celebration precedes today's, but because - to my mind at any rate - the Carmelite mystic interiorizes an aspect of the meaning and significance of today's feast for the baptized Catholic. Nevertheless, it is difficult for me to explain how that is or what I mean by that.

Blessed Elizabeth possessed marvelous awareness that she was the temple of the Most Holy Trinity - as is every baptized person - her entire doctrine is based upon the consciousness of this reality. It seems to me in this recollection is contemplation of the most sublime truth in charity, albeit darkly, as in a mirror. The physical edifice of the Church reflects this reality, while the saints demonstrate it.

"If I want my interior city to have some similarity and likeness to that 'of the King of eternal ages' and to receive this great illumination from God, I must extinguish every other light and, as in the holy city, the Lamb must be 'its only light.'" -Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

"No one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely Jesus Christ." - Romans 3

... the Lamb must be 'its only light'.

Best bets.

You don't want to look too closely at the hierarchy...