Saturday, April 16, 2016
He tried his vocation several times, he couldn't settle down. He maybe had ADD?
Some say he had mental illness, maybe bipolar - but I'm not so sure about that - these are all 20th century diagnoses. If you need that, that's fine. He will be whatever you want him to be, because his sole occupation was love.
He lived on the peripheries of everything and everyone. He didn't - or couldn't fit in. Our Lord told him to imitate St. Alexis, an earlier pilgrim saint - who couldn't be married. They sanctified their lives, poor, and living on the margins.
Benedict Joseph was a Cordbearer of St. Francis. He wasn't an oblate. He had no initials after his name, like osf or ocds. He wasn't a monk or a pseudo monk. He wasn't a religious. He wouldn't ever even consider himself a contemplative. He was a nothing. He had no status. He was a single, Catholic man. Oh. And he was really, really poor too. Penniless, no home, no bike, no nothing. What he had, he shared with his fellow destitute companions in the streets.
Kids used to throw stones at him. He suffered humiliations because he was a 'stranger and a pilgrim' not because he acted a fool. He was dirty, stinking, lice infested ... but his sole occupation was love.
Pray for me my dear father St. Benedict Joseph, that I may repent, and no longer care what people think, so long as I can love God ... We are coming very close to one another now - and I'm still scared and have no courage - rescue me my brother, my father. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death. Thank you.
Thank you Most Holy Trinity, and Our Blessed Virgin Mary, for the graces lavished upon the little poor man, Benedict Jospeh Labre. Oh, for a double portion of his spirit!
Song for this post here.
What an amazing visitation...
MORIA, Greece (AP) -- Pope Francis gave Europe a concrete lesson Saturday in welcoming refugees by bringing 12 Syrian Muslims to Italy aboard his charter plane after an emotional visit to the Greek island of Lesbos, which has faced the brunt of Europe's migration crisis.
Refugees on the overwhelmed island fell to their knees and wept at his presence.
The Vatican said Francis wanted to make a "gesture of welcome" at the end of his five-hour visit to Lesbos, where he implored Europe to respond to the migrant crisis on its shores "in a way that is worthy of our common humanity." The Greek island just a few miles from the Turkish coast has seen hundreds of thousands of desperate people land on its beaches and rocks in the last year, fleeing war and poverty at home.
"Today I renew my heartfelt plea for responsibility and solidarity in the face of this tragic situation," Francis said.
Many refugees wept at Francis' feet as he and the two Orthodox leaders approached them at the Moria refugee detention center, where they greeted 250 people individually. Others chanted "Freedom! Freedom!" as the religious leaders passed by.
Francis bent down as one young girl knelt at his feet, sobbing uncontrollably. Clearly moved, the pope also blessed a man who wailed "Thank you, God. Thank you! Please Father, bless me!" A woman told Francis that her husband was in Germany but that she was stuck with her two sons in Lesbos. - Source
Song for this post here.
Friday, April 15, 2016
Mark Rothko Series 2
I'll keep talking though ...
Last night I happened upon the film-documentary, The Desire of the Everlasting Hills, with Dan, Paul and Rilene. It was the most I ever watched of it. I knew it was good - but never took the time to really watch the entire film at one sitting. (I may have Attention Deficit Disorder.) I know the stories however - I'm old, remember?
It was really well done however. I've always admired Dan, and I was happy Paul mentioned he changed, and his 'partner' accepted that, and they continue to live together. That is important for people to understand - that can happen. No matter what others may say. It is very similar to older couples in a second marriage after divorce, living as 'brother and sister'. Obviously that is a controversial topic these days after Amoris Laetitia, but that's life in the Sanhedrin.
That said, the three people in the program seemed to be rather lonely. Which accounts for a need for a support group like Courage, I suppose. People need friends, chaste friendships, close friendships. There are stages one goes through in conversion, and one needs patience to persevere. "By your patience, you will save your souls." With people like Dan and Paul and Rilene speaking publicly, many people will be touched and be encouraged - no doubt about it. I don't need to add to their stories, although it might be good to get others to tell their stories. Everybody's stories are unique - as is everyone's conversion experience. I can remain silent, except to remind people, it takes time to do God's will.
Today is a 'Day of Silence' for LGBTQ youth: National youth-run effort using silence to protest the actual silencing of LGBT people due to harassment, bias and abuse in schools. They would not like the film, Desire of the Everlasting Hills. Which is why Spiritual Friendship groups exist with other Christian groups to work and live among those who seek God, although they may be attached to LGBTQ identity. This now makes sense, especially after the exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.
To be honest I have difficulty with LGBTQ youth. Local news has featured trans-gender youth who want inclusive restroom privileges and so on. The gender thing is very difficult for me to accept. I also do not like the images gay twits present on prime time television - especially by Disney. If kids acted like that in my neighborhood when I was growing up, they would have toughened up really fast. But I digress.
The Holy Father upholds the teaching of the Church regarding homosexuality and gay marriage, no doubt about it. No matter how people spin it or suggest he opened a door for a change in doctrine, he did not. While emphasizing Church teaching, he also emphasized the need to avoid unjust discrimination:
In paragraph 250, the pope quotes the Catechism of the Catholic Church that “every sign of unjust discrimination” based upon sexual orientation is to “be carefully avoided, particularly any form of aggression and violence.”
Those with a homosexual orientation, he says, “can receive the assistance they need to understand and fully carry out God’s will in their lives.” - Source
What this does is permit a greater 'freedom of spirit' to minister to those attached to LGBTQ identity. Hence the mission of Catholic men and women such as Eve Tushnet, Ron Belgau and so on. Though I may not agree with them, I don't see them as 'enemies of the cross' as others do.
Interestingly, the stories in Desire of the Everlasting Hills, though varied and unique to each individual, it demonstrates the limitations in such a documentary. What is key to each story however, is the conversion experience - the experience of reconciliation in the sacrament of penance. Their testimony or witness of their experience in confession gets to the heart of what Pope Francis teaches. The need to bring the sacraments to the 'peripheries' as it were. Every confession seals the conversion in the Blood of Christ, as it were. Our sins are washed clean, and the soul is sealed by the Blood of Christ. You see that when these people discuss their first confessions.
Anyway - I'm just rattling on, but don't listen to those people who condemn the Pope and the exhortation for what it said or left unsaid. Many bishops have praised the document, Cardinals helped compose and edit it - the same Cardinals some call heretics or 'company men' - although in times past they praised the same. If these clerics were so bad, how is it they remain part of the Magisterium? How is it they remain in office?
Avoid those who mock the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him. Avoid the 'prophets of doom' who assume they know how the exhortation will be abused. Avoid those who condemn everything as "Francis-mercy". These people reject everything the Pope says or does.
They claim to hate the sin but insist they love the sinner. Their words betray them every time they open their mouth or write something online.
Sacred Heart Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
have mercy on us.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Cuzco. Taytacha Temblores (as in father of the earthquakes).
Rocking our world as I write.
Huge earthquakes in Asia - just today I think there have been four - Japan fears the 'big one'. Scientists do too. April 18 is the anniversary of the San Francisco quake in 1906. Seattle had a big one in April of 1965.
That may explain why I always think of April as earthquake month. Spring and fall seem to be active periods for all sorts of disasters.
Song for this post here.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
On a spring morning, on the shore of the Lake of Tiberias ...
In Greek, the word "fileo" means the love of friendship, tender but not all-encompassing; instead, the word "agapao" means love without reserve, total and unconditional. Jesus asks Peter the first time: "Simon... do you love me (agapas-me)" with this total and unconditional love (Jn 21: 15)?
Prior to the experience of betrayal, the Apostle certainly would have said: "I love you (agapo-se) unconditionally". Now that he has known the bitter sadness of infidelity, the drama of his own weakness, he says with humility: "Lord; you know that I love you(filo-se)", that is, "I love you with my poor human love". Christ insists: "Simon, do you love me with this total love that I want?". And Peter repeats the response of his humble human love: "Kyrie, filo-se", "Lord, I love you as I am able to love you". The third time Jesus only says to Simon: "Fileis-me?", "Do you love me?".
Simon understands that his poor love is enough for Jesus, it is the only one of which he is capable, nonetheless he is grieved that the Lord spoke to him in this way. He thus replies: "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you (filo-se)".
This is to say that Jesus has put himself on the level of Peter, rather than Peter on Jesus' level! It is exactly this divine conformity that gives hope to the Disciple, who experienced the pain of infidelity.
From here is born the trust that makes him able to follow [Christ] to the end: "This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God. And after this he said to him, "Follow me'" (Jn 21: 19).
From that day, Peter "followed" the Master with the precise awareness of his own fragility; but this understanding did not discourage him. Indeed, he knew that he could count on the presence of the Risen One beside him. - Benedict XVI
I've been reading a lot of Pope Benedict the past few days.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
"Burke throws biggest fans under the bus."
I love that expression. Another site asks, 'is it time for Burke to turn in his man card?' LOL! I didn't know there was a Cardinal Burke fan club - but "fans" is the word Hilary White uses. Says a lot about their agenda, their ideological purpose.
Nevertheless, it's a good sign - for Cardinal Burke that is. May he lose even more 'fans' like these and only attract souls who seek to follow Jesus Christ.
"How can you believe, when you accept praise (affirmation and approval) from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?" - John 5: 31-47
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. - Matthew 5:11
You will soon be deceived if you only regard the outward show of men. - Imitation, Bk. II, Chp. 7:3
John of the Cross, quoting Isaiah wrote, "He who praises you deceives you."
Turn in your cappa! LOL!
Monday, April 11, 2016
Heaven smiles on Fr. Longenecker ...
“Tell My priests that hardened sinners will repent
on hearing their words when they speak about My unfathomable mercy,
about the compassion I have for them in My Heart.
To priests who proclaim and extol My mercy,
I will give wondrous power;
I will anoint their words and touch the hearts
of those to whom they will speak.” (Diary, 1521)
The Divine Mercy miracle.
The Divine Mercy 'miracle' took place on a clear day in Greenville, South Carolina.
On Divine Mercy Sunday our parish organized a walking pilgrimage across town to our local Holy Door. It was a beautiful, clear, sunny afternoon as the cars began arriving. Groups from all the local parishes were there with a range of ages and ethnic backgrounds. Nearly 500 people turned up, and this was in Greenville, South Carolina — the heart of America’s Bible Belt.
After the pilgrimage walk we gathered for prayer and then went into church where the Divine Mercy chaplet was chanted, and we heard an inspiring talk on St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy. It was a great afternoon of fellowship, prayer and public witness to our Catholic faith.
That afternoon a couple of our parishioners began circulating the photos they had taken of the event. Only then did we notice something remarkable. In one set of pictures taken outside the Holy Door there is a ray of light beaming down from the sky right onto the heart of Jesus. Then on Monday morning another photograph came in with a strong beam of light radiating out of the totally blue sky onto the Divine Mercy image as it was being carried in procession. - Aletetia
This took place within the same time frame of Fr. Longenecker's "Remnant" controversy. Fr. L was certainly suffering as a result of being misquoted and then threatened with a lawsuit. He continues to take heat for his support of the Pope and now, his defense of Amoris Laetitia. Perhaps this 'sign' from Our Lord is a sign of favor, meant to edify and encourage - not only the parishioners, but Fr. Longenecker as well?
God works in mysterious ways.
I might be feeling guilty because I had included Fr. L's run-in with The Remnant in a sort of belated April Fools post. I soon felt sorry for him considering the vindictive reaction from the Remnant crowd. I regretted my post and before too long, I removed the post which could only have resulted in more scorn for Fr. L.
For me, the Divine Mercy image is a powerful sign in itself - and now, this mystery of light seen in the Divine Mercy procession is another indication of the efficacy of the message and meaning of the devotion.
My prayers for Fr. Longenecker, and my sincere apologies for being disrespectful.
Worth reading: Fr. L's post, Cardinal Burke Knocks the critics of the Holy Father and the exhortation.
CONSCIENCE IS NOW MADE
PARAMOUNT, AND WE CAN'T SAY PEOPLE
ARE IN MORTAL SIN' ANYMORE!
So you thought I was kidding when I said all I've written is straw?
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Do you love me?
Every Sunday we profess our faith, and together in all the parishes throughout the archdiocese, even throughout the world, we confess:
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.Today I see it. Despite all the apparent division there is something greater.
At morning prayer, I was impressed by the unity of the Church - all the different parts working as one ... even though there is dissent and apparent confusion.
Call me crazy.
There is no Greek or Jew, liberal or conservative, gay or straight, male or female, slave or freeman - we really are all one in Christ Jesus... We come from the same place, we're part of the same time, we all share the same Blood, we all have the same mind ...
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Song for this post here.
In his long, long, long, long letter, Francis speaks of these problems with a refreshing bluntness, and honesty, which I have never seen come from a pope, before. I welcome it. This pope is for real. He is undoubtedly in touch with the reality that we parish priests deal with in marriage, and post-marriage, counseling. It is rare that we can fit, easy and tidy, the mess of love and marriage and divorce and annulment, into the solutions and pat answers that many people think are just that easy. - Fr. Angel