Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tell the whole world about My mercy and My love.

"Tell the whole world about My mercy and My love. The flames of mercy are burning Me. I desire to pour them on human souls. Oh, what pain they cause Me when they do not want to accept them! ... do whatever is within your power to spread devotion to My mercy. I will make up for what you lack. Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it with peace. Tell [all people] that I am Love and Mercy itself." (Diary, 1074) - Jesus to St. Faustina

Some priests I've known have said this devotion is out of place in the Octave of Easter, since we just came from Lent and Holy Week's emphasis on the Passion of Christ - Easter week should be celebratory.  I don't think the devotion detracts from the joy of Easter at all.  I think we can forget that when Jesus appeared to the Disciples, he often reminded them of his Passion and how necessary it was for him to suffer all of those things in order to enter into his glory.  Beginning with Moses and the prophets, interpreting to them all that referred to him in the Scriptures.

Likewise, the Second Sunday of Easter is all about the forgiveness of sins, as well as his holy wounds - testimony to his sorrowful Passion.  So, it seems to me the devotion is perfectly situated on the evening of the first day of the week - the Second Sunday of Easter.

Jesus, I trust in you.  You yourself established and confirmed this Solemnity.

Who knew? There really is life on Patheos!*

-image source-


I'm just kidding of course - but I discovered a very good blog on Patheos called, Cosmos In The Lost - from Artur Rosman.  Rosman has an interesting post comparing Bonhoeffer to Alice's 'late husband' - the other Dietrich, Dietrich von Hildebrand ... click here: Mein Kampf Against Hitler.

All of the witnesses from that era are extremely important examples and guides for Christians today.  Rosman includes Alfred Delp, SJ among the witnesses, calling him "a unique and unrepeatable witness, martyr, and thinker in his own right."  A few days ago I mentioned Bl. Franz Jägerstätter - a true hero, a unique, single witness.  There are so many others - many saints, canonized and not canonized, all of whom warrant our attention and study.

*Never mind - my mistake.

Thinking about the Sacrament of Penance

St. Leopold Mandić

Like an early desert father - he took upon himself the penances others thought he should be giving his penitents. Isn't that kind? Isn't that generous? Isn't that love? Isn't that mercy? Carrying one another's burdens. Being moved with pity by the weakness of others. St. Leopold made himself available for confession - like a watchman, he waited at the gates and in the confessional to reconcile those who passed by.

A couple of quotes from St. Leopold...

"Some say that I am too good. But if you come and kneel before me, isn't this a sufficient proof that you want to have God's pardon? God's mercy is beyond all expectation."
"Be at peace; place everything on my shoulders. I will take care of it." He once explained, "I give my penitents only small penances because I do the rest myself."
"A priest must die from apostolic hard work; there is no other death worthy of a priest."

Leopold suffered from esophagus cancer, which would ultimately lead to his death at age 76. On July 30, 1942, while preparing for the liturgy, he collapsed on the floor. He was then brought to his cell, where he was given the last rites. Friars that had gathered at his bed began singing the Salve Regina and saw that Leopold died as they sang "O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary." - Source

St. Leopold pray for us to Our Lady.

Friday, April 10, 2015

As seen on Drudge: Zombie Apocalypse by 2020!

This is scary:  By 2020 there will be nearly 60 million peri- and post-menopausal women living in the U.S. - Source

This is scarier: And that's why Madam Clinton should be president?

Remembering Bonhoeffer

Seventy years ago April 9, 1945, Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was put to death by the Nazis.  Today he is remembered by Christians as a martyr.  Bonhoeffer is well known for his book, The Cost of Discipleship.  Like so many of those Christians who were put to death by the Nazis, Bonhoeffer's witness seems especially relevant for Christians today.

Ron Belgau has a fine essay on Bonhoeffer and offers a famous quote from the Lutheran pastor-theologian on "cheap grace":

In The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer wrote, “Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ living and incarnate.” On the other hand, “Costly grace,” Bonhoeffer says, “is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake the man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ for which the disciple leaves his nets and follows Him.” - Ron Belgau

 Ron Belgau concludes his essay with the following hope-filled reflection:
Dietrich Bonhoeffer—pastor, theologian, friend, martyr—offers us encouragement that even in the most difficult circumstances, grace can strengthen a flawed, sometimes uncertain human being to take up his cross and remain with Christ, even to the end. And, we may hope that, having suffered with his Lord, he has been purified of all imperfection and raised with Him to enjoy a “life together” beyond all his earthly imagination. - Ron Belgau

I like that. 

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Poetry Thursday Returns

on a cloud covered day,
will you go away? - by terrance nelson

on a cloud covered day,
in the distance,
an airport.
a runway.
a plane ascends.

it pierces the clouds.
then vanishes.
where is it

what happened
on board?

they never...


Song for this post here.

More reasons why men don't go to Mass. Seriously.

They will when they need to...

Fr. Z has a post up.

It's interesting.  The blame seems to be placed upon all the abuses generated by the Novus Ordo - leading to the marketable conclusion: Save the liturgy, save the world.

That's an idea!

But are men ever asked why they don't go to Mass or participate in church related activities outside of  a Wiffle Ball Tournament?  Are their wives ever asked?

I know some guys.

I'll list a few reasons I've heard.

"What for?"
Oddly enough, that's a real question.  The men work - more often than not, the wife does too.  They share housework, yard work, chauffeuring kids to various activities and events and are too tired to be bothered.  They are 'spiritual' and they make it to Mass on Sunday, they tithe and donate - they may even show up for donuts and coffee if they have kids in the parish school.  If they are really generous, they may even volunteer for the parish festival.  But that's a lot.  Men do more family-wise than men of former generations, they play with the kids, take them to the park - they do a lot.  Church isn't a priority.

"The sex scandal."
Like it or not, that's still a big one.  Men hold back donations and don't want to go to Mass because of it.  This takes us back to, "What for?"  Not a few lost what trust they had in the clergy.  

"All they want is money."
Because that is what it often sounds like.  Special collections for this and that and weekly collections ... This takes us back to "What for?" and "They lost what trust they had in the clergy."  They've also gone through too many remodels.  Then there are "priests online" who always seem to be upping their donation goal meter.  It's a pattern.

"Too many women involved.  Too many women running things."
Women with degrees.  They are everywhere - frequently religious women are indistinguishable from lay women.  Paid staff demands volunteer staff to direct.  They also need men to do the hard stuff - but the woman is in charge.  Kinda/sorta.  Women and men like them isn't a big draw for guys - unless dad still has kids in school and is required to participate in certain activities.  Church ladies can be loquacious.  Loquaciousness leads to gossip, complaining, rivalry and so on.  Men do that too of course - but  it's different - unless they've already been feminized.
"Church is a woman's thing."
See above.

The Liturgy and the homily.
Review all of the above.  Read: Banal?  Boring?  Just doesn't 'feel' holy?  Maybe.  So I think I can agree with Fr. Z to some extent.  Nevertheless - it can't be just that.  There is nothing wrong with the Ordinary Form properly celebrated, and there is nothing boring, nothing missing from the simplest Mass - men in the armed forces can attest to that. 

Guys may not say that it is secularism, but they will point out that you can do other things and still be a good person.  You can donate to charities, volunteer elsewhere; such as non-denominational/non-religious/non-profit organizations.  If you live a good life, help others, believe in God or some higher power, recycle and strive to live a green life - doing no harm to others - that's pretty good.  It's totally spiritual - and it's God-like. 

Go out to meet them where they are.

Catholic Webinar: A 'couple' discusses, "Disinterested Friendship"... and "Spiritual Friendship".

Disinterested:  "We could talk or not talk forever, and still find things to not talk about."

The Family Dynamic: A wonderful example of "Spiritual Friendship" here.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I baked you that cake you wanted ...

H/T source

This is not like that ...


Photo of transsexual receiving communion - reportedly - 
at Pope's Holy Thursday Mass at a Roman prison with 
the following header:
Pope's Holy Thursday Jail Mass Communion to Transsexual
Blasts Wrong Impression Worldwide...

Is so not like this ...

Former Archbishop of San Francisco, George Niederauer, 
cited by Tradition in Action as a protegé of Benedict XVI,
gave Holy Communion to "genderf--k" 
'sisters of perpetual indulgence' in 2007.

Pewsitters condemns the alleged photo of a transsexual receiving Communion on the tongue from a priest during the Holy Father's visit to a Roman jail last week.  I don't know the source for the photo, but I am not surprised nor scandalized by it.  I post it because it is so not like what the second photo I used for this post turns out to be.

In the top photo is an anonymous person identified as transgender.  We don't know that for certain, nor do we know the circumstances surrounding the trans designation.  Ordinary people - even gay people - mistake transgender/transsexual as always something immoral or a variant of 'gay'.  Many consider it drag or transvestite and totally perverted.  Sadly - it's more complicated than that.

I hate it when people say the same sex attracted person suffers from homosexual inclination/same-sex-attraction, however, in the case of transgender persons, I believe there is a very deep degree of suffering.  That a transsexual person was given Holy Communion is certainly not a scandal.

That a transvestite-genderf--k-pretend-nun is given Holy Communion - that's a completely different scenario, and quite probably a type of liturgical/spiritual abuse, as well as a cause for real scandal.  

That said, Melinda Selmys writes about gender-dysphoria, and it is extremely helpful in understanding what all of this may be about.  Selmys' article is titled: "Is There a Place for the Transgendered in the Church?"

God knows there is - so does the Pope.  Giving Communion to a transsexual is definitely NOT the wrong impression for the world.  If that person confessed, was absolved of his/her sins - and one must assume he/she was - there is nothing wrong with that.  We don't know enough to pass judgement - we do not know the clinical diagnosis of strangers, unless they declare it publicly.

In the prayers for the Divine Mercy novena today, I brought all of those who struggle with some form of gender dysphoria to the font of Divine Mercy.  Jesus, I trust in you.

I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces ...
that vessel is this image with the signature, Jesus, I trust in You." By means of
this image, I shall be granting many graces to souls. (327, 742)

Following one's conscience - even when you are the only one doing so - there's a saint for that.

Blessed Franz Jägerstätter, husband, dad, martyr.

What did Franz do?  He went against the State, the clergy, and popular opinion.  On August 9th, 1943, Jägerstätter was executed in Berlin as a conscientious objector to the Nazi army.

“A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself.” - CCC

Franz Jägerstätter was born on 20 May 1907 in St Radegund, Upper Austria, to his unmarried mother, Rosalia Huber, and to Franz Bachmeier, who was killed during World War I. After the death of his natural father, Rosalia married Heinrich Jägerstätter, who adopted Franz and gave the boy his surname of Jägerstätter in 1917. 
Franz received a basic education in his village's one-room schoolhouse. His step-grandfather helped with his education and the boy became an avid reader. 
It seems Franz was unruly in his younger years; he was, in fact, the first in his village to own a motorcycle. However, he is better known as an ordinary and humble Catholic who did not draw attention to himself. 
After his marriage to Franziska in 1936 and their honeymoon in Rome, Franz grew in his faith but was not extreme in his piety.

In the mid to late 1930s, while much of Austria was beginning to follow the tide of Nazism, Franz became ever more rooted in his Catholic faith and placed his complete trust in God.

Jägerstätter was at peace with himself despite the alarm he could have experienced witnessing the masses' capitulation to Hitler. Mesmerized by the National Socialist propaganda machine, many people knelt when Hitler made his entrance into Vienna. Catholic Churches were forced to fly the swastika flag and subjected to other abusive laws. - Finish reading here.

What can one person do?

Jägerstätter was the only one in his village to vote against Anschluss.  His Catholic neighbors did not support his objection to the war.  Neither did his spiritual advisers support him.  He stood alone.

Today many people feel alone in their conscientious objection to state approval and state ordered acceptance of gay marriage.  Individuals - business owners especially - are punished because they will not violate their conscience and support gay marriage.  Many Catholics are among those who would tell them: "Just bake the cake!"  "Just do the flowers!"  "Just hold the reception!"  Even religious leaders back off from the issue, withholding their support for the individuals who object to gay marriage and other moral compromises rapidly infecting even the Church ...

Something for our times - a letter Franz Jägerstätter wrote from prison:
“Today one hears it said repeatedly that there is nothing any more that an individual can do. If someone were to speak out, it would mean only imprisonment and death. 
True, there is not much that can be done anymore to change the course of world events. I believe that should have begun a hundred or even more years ago. But as long as we live in this world, I believe it is never too late to save ourselves and perhaps some other soul for Christ. 
One really has no cause to be astonished that there are those who can no longer find their way in the great confusion of our day. People we think we can trust, who ought to be leading the way and setting a good example, are running along with the crowd. No one gives enlightenment, whether in word or in writing. Or, to be more exact, it may not be given. And the thoughtless race goes on, always closer to eternity. As long as conditions are still half good, we don’t see things quite right, or that we could or should do otherwise…. 
“If the road signs were stuck ever so loosely in the earth that every wind could break them off or blow them about, would anyone who did not know the road be able to find his way? And how much worse is it if those to whom one turns for information refuse to give him an answer or, at most, give him the wrong direction just to be rid of him as quickly as possible?”  - Franz Jägerstätter: Letters and Writings from Prison

Remember - we are not alone - even if friends, family, church people and pastors abandon us - we have the communion of the saints and our Lord Jesus Christ.  Trust.

Disinterested blogging.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Wow! This sheds a whole new light on the matter ...

Foreign and domestic terrorism.

H/T Mary Ann

Now remember ... and don't forget it ...

Life is beautiful.

It's Official: Abbey Roads refuses to bake wedding cakes for gay weddings. No pizzas. No flowers. No nothing.

Or: New money-making opportunities for Christians.

File under: Work from home opportunities.

Remember when Fr. Z disliked something National Catholic Reporter reported on and he would protest it by asking for donations to himself?  (I never got it either.)

There seems to be an endless string of fiscal opportunities online for the Christian entrepreneur.

Many people now supplement their incomes by asking for donations on their blog.  Nothing wrong with that.  Need a new house?  Ask for donations.  Need a new career?  Ask for donations for school and expenses.  Want to spread rumors that the Pope is the Antichrist?  Get a blog - ask for donations.

That said, a new quicker way to haul in the dough may be to publicly refuse to bake cakes, deliver pizzas, or do floral arrangements for gay weddings.  It seems to be quite lucrative.  Story here.

So.  Not that I need the money - it's for Nan who needs a car - I'm officially announcing that I refuse to open my house for gay wedding receptions.  I will not bake cakes for gay weddings.  No pizzas.  No flowers.  I'm against it.  Please help me.

Disclaimer: I'm just kidding.  Pushing buttons and trying to make people feel guilty.  What?  Larry does it.  I'm available for speaking engagements.

 Nan really needs a car though.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Blessed Pierina Morosini

I almost forgot.  April 6 is the Memorial of Bl. Pierina Morosini, a modern martyr for purity.

I didn't want to neglect her feast day even though it falls within Easter week.  She is an important figure for us today.

In 1957, 26 year old Pierina Morosini was murdered while returning home from her job in a factory. Her attacker attempted to seduce her, as she fought to refuse his advances, he beat her to death with a large stone, crushing her face. Blessed Pierina is today venerated as the patron of rape victims, as well as a martyr for chastity.

Born into a poor family of eight children in 1931 in the Diocese of Bergamo, Italy, Pierina at one time desired to enter religious life but remained a lay woman consecrated to God by a private vow of chastity. She remained with her family offering support to her mother, while teaching catechism in her parish. Trained as a seamstress, Pierina began to work in a factory at age 15. On October 4, 1987, John Paul II beatified Pierina along with another Italian martyr for purity,Antonia Mesina , a 16 year old Sardinian murdered by a teenage rapist in 1935.
The dignity and the vocation of women - as well as those of men - find their eternal source in the heart of God. And in the temporal conditions of human existence, they are closely connected with the "unity of the two". Consequently each man must look within himself to see whether she who was entrusted to him as a sister in humanity, as a spouse, has not become in his heart an object of adultery; to see whether she who, in different ways, is the co-subject of his existence in the world, has not become for him an "object": an object of pleasure, of exploitation. - THE DIGNITY AND THE VOCATION OF WOMEN, John Paul II

This made me laugh ...

I received a Polo Ralph Lauren mailer from Macy's late last week.  The shot of the model in the painted jeans is from that layout.  The painted slim boyfriend jeans are priced at $198-.

That's so funny.  The jeans are ripped and torn and splattered with pretty paint colors.  Perfect for Easter.

What if people really talked liked this?

Catholicly Correct speech ...

How to introduce your formerly 'gay' son and his friend when they arrive for a candlelight dinner party:  "This is my same sex attracted son Sheridan, and his disinterested friend Tarquin."

. . .

The Candlelight Supper, Sheridan rings, and after asking for seventy pounds, the following is heard:

Hyacinth (to Sheridan): "Now you're not spending it on girls, are you, dear? You promised Mummy. We agreed not until after you've finished your education. [she listens] Oh, you and Tarquin aren't interested in girls. What a comfort that is to a mother's heart, dear."
H/T Mack


Why men don't go to Mass

Church ladies.

At the Easter vigil, I said hello to a woman I hadn't seen for awhile and she told me she was recovering from the flu and some other problems - which explained her cane.  I told her I was glad she was feeling better and wished her a happy Easter.

But then.

She had to ask how I was and I mentioned I had eye surgery and everything was fine.  She asked if I've been painting.  I mentioned I was in a slump and hadn't worked on anything lately.  (I must have told her once that I was a painter.)

She immediately diagnosed me with depression and began to tell me about her experience with it - over 20 years ago.  The entrance procession was beginning and she couldn't go into detail - so she invited me to visit her and gave me her telephone number. Today she called.  I didn't pick up.  I didn't listen to the message.

Geez!  You try to be nice to people.

I may have to move.


So glad it's over.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

On the evening of the first day of the week ... John 20:19

ISIS is reportedly in Damascus this Easter.

"Look! Don’t you see many roads, paths and fields full of people 
crying of hunger, not having anything to eat?
. . . And the Holy Father in a Church praying next to the Heart of Mary?"
- Bl. Jacinta Marto

Jesus, I trust in you!

Once, while driving home after Mass one day, I imagined I encountered Christ with masses of people behind him, populating rolling hills as far as the eye could see - it reminded me of the passage in the Book of Revelation (7:9):  "After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands."  I imagined that I fell to my knees and begged for His mercy.

It was only flash of my imagination - lasting less than an instant - but the sudden, unexpected 'meditation' generated great confidence in the Divine Mercy.

"My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls,

especially for poor sinners.

It is for them that the Blood and Water

flowed from my heart as from a fount

overflowing with mercy. For them

I dwell in the tabernacle as King of Mercy."

Prayers for the persecuted, those facing martyrdom.

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, “Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”  I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.” He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 
“For this reason they stand before God’s throne
and worship him day and night in his temple. 
The one who sits on the throne will shelter them. 
They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
nor will the sun or any heat strike them. 
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them
and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
- Revelation 7

Happy Easter Poodles!

Easter in Time of Persecution.

He is risen ...

Prayers for all suffering directly the scourge of terrorism and persecution - especially the newest victims in Kenya.

Blood and water flowing forth from the side of Christ as a font of mercy for us, I trust in you.