Saturday, October 08, 2016

Cardinal Sarah on the 'reform of the reform' - "It will happen" ...

Thus saith the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

He also said something about ending the hateful divisions over liturgy.  Traditionalists would have to describe Cardinal Sarah as a Vatican II, Ordinary Form/Novus Ordo prelate.  Which is wonderful in my book, especially since so many are bent upon condemning Vatican II and the post-Conciliar Cardinals and Bishops - kinda-sorta - unless they stress the use of the Extraordinary Form and all that entails.

Fr. Z is excited by what Sarah has to say in his new book, La Force Du Silence.  Cardinal Sarah writes beautifully of the need for reform.  Not so much about a preference for the  EF or OF, but rather the need for reform as regards the novelties which have crept in since Vatican II.  Reading just the few excerpts Fr. Z posted are deeply edifying - despite his red editorial commentary, congratulating himself on his correspondence with Cardinal Sarah's text.  Nothing wrong with that, but Cardinal Sarah's text really needs no commentary.

I especially like the following description of the Entrance Procession:
At the beginning of our Eucharistic celebrations, how is it possible to eliminate Christ carrying his cross and walking painfully beneath the weight of our sins toward the place of sacrifice? There are many priests who enter triumphantly and go up to the altar, waving left and right in order to appear friendly. Observe the sad spectacle of certain Eucharistic celebrations. . . Why so much frivolity and worldliness at the moment of the Holy Sacrifice? Why so much profanation and superficiality before the extraordinary priestly grace that makes us capable of bringing forth the body and blood of Christ in substance by the invocation of the Spirit? Why do some believe themselves obliged to improvise or invent Eucharistic prayers that disperse the divine phrases in a bath of petty human fervor? Are the words of Christ so insufficient that a profusion of purely human words is needed? In a sacrifice so unique and essential, is there a need for this subjective imagination and creativity? “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words,” Jesus has cautioned us (Mt 6:7).

I refuse to waste time in opposing one liturgy to another, or the rite of Saint Pius V to that of Blessed Paul VI. What is needed is to enter into the great silence of the liturgy; one must allow oneself to be enriched by all the Latin or Eastern liturgical forms that favor silence. Without this contemplative silence, the liturgy will remain an occasion of hateful divisions and ideological confrontations instead of being the place of our unity and our communion in the Lord. It is high time to enter into this liturgical silence, facing the Lord, that the Council wanted to restore. - Source

Interior orientation.

I like to write about these things as a layman - because that is what I am.  I used to be annoyed and become distracted by 'liturgical abuses' until I learned to spend a great deal of time in prayer - before and after Mass.  After Mass, after communion, is the best time to practice the prayer of recollection - to deeply recollect oneself in the presence of Christ.  Eventually one acquires an interior peace which no one can distract you from - not even the great din of people greeting one another before or after Mass.  I took for my example St. Sharbel, who prepared himself for Mass by the contemplative recitation of the Rosary - he made his thanksgiving after Mass in the same way.  So what I'm saying is, I decided not to complain and become disquieted and 'wish' there was an ideal Mass - but rather to keep myself in peace and turn interiorly toward the Lord.

I do not write these things to 'congratulate' myself, or to tell people what to do, or pretend I know anything about liturgy, I just want to demonstrate how I think the 'reform of the reform' might well begin within our own hearts.  It's important to avoid contention and divisions, preferring one priest, one Mass to another, always looking to discredit the licitness and validity of this or that, and so on.  When we do this, we are no longer 'turning towards the Lord' - we are outside our interior temple or interior orientation - directing traffic, complaining, whistle blowing, and making more noise.

In many western countries, we see the poor leaving the Catholic Church because it is under siege by ill-intentioned persons who style themselves intellectuals and despise the lowly and the poor. This is what the Holy Father must denounce loud and clear. Because a Church without the poor is no longer the Church, but a mere “club.” Today, in the West, how many temples are empty, closed, destroyed, or turned into profane structures in disdain of their sacredness and their original purpose. So I know how many priests and faithful there are who live their faith with extraordinary zeal and fight every day to preserve and enrich the dwellings of God. - Cardinal Sarah

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary

Queen of the most Holy Rosary,
Our Lady of Victories,
pray for us!

A modern victory of Our Lady.

Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme
A modern miracle...

Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri said his vision of Christ encouraged the people of his diocese to believe “that the rosary would ultimately give us victory over this evil.

“Boko Haram is evil, ISIS is evil,” he told the U.K. newspaper the Catholic Herald. “So as long as we go to a place with His Mother, especially by praying the rosary, which is the most pronounced form of Marian devotion, we will be victorious.” 
According to the bishop, “Boko Haram will soon fizzle out, mostly because of the prayers of the people.” 
“Before, Boko Haram members were everywhere. But now they are not everywhere,” he continued. “They have been pushed to the forests.” - Read more here.

O Stupid Galatians

Today's first reading.

I was looking forward to read what Pope Francis had to say in his homily on the readings at Mass today.  The readings are always the focus of my daily prayer, as are the psalms from morning prayer.  The prayer of the Church, the daily readings, are for me what the Spirit says to the Churches every morning ... the expression light and life come to mind.  Without prayer we have neither.

St. Paul sounded rather severe when he addressed the Galatians as stupid, I may be wrong, but I think it was more out of exasperation with the 'rigorists' ... which is why I couldn't wait to read what the Pope had to say.

Liberty of spirit.

It is such a gift, nothing, no one, no ideology, can hold you back.  Which is why devotion to the Holy Spirit - prayer - is so important, so essential.  Our soul can rejoice and say with Christ, "My song is of mercy and justice; I sing to you, O Lord.  I will walk - run - in the way of perfection.  O when, Lord, will you come?"  The Holy Spirit enables us to walk with blameless heart, to avert our eyes from whatever is base.  To hate the ways of the crooked, to avoid the traps laid by the false hearted ... to look to the faithful and dwell in union with them ... with the Lord.  Friendship with the Lord is the way of perfection.

The readings of the day speak of the Holy Spirit, the “great gift of the Father,” the power that allows the Church to go forth courageously even to the ends of the earth. The Spirit, Pope Francis said, “is the protagonist of this ‘going forward’ of the Church.” Without the Spirit, the Church would be shut up within itself, fearful.
The Pope pointed out three “attitudes” that we can have with regard to the Spirit. The first is that which Saint Paul rebuked in the Galatians: the belief that one can be justified through the Law, and not by Jesus, “who makes sense of the Law.” And so they were “too rigid.” They are the same kind of people who attack Jesus and who the Lord called hypocrites:
“And this attachment to the Law ignores the Holy Spirit. It does not grant that the redemption of Christ goes forward with the Holy Spirit. It ignores that: there is only the Law. It is true that there are the Commandments and we have to follow the Commandments; but always through the grace of this great gift that the Father has given us, His Son, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. And so the Law is understood. But don’t reduce the Spirit and the Son to the Law. This was the problem of these people: they ignored the Holy Spirit, and they did not know to go forward. Closed, closed in precepts: we have to do this, we have to do that. At times, it can happen that we fall into this temptation.” 
The Doctors of the Law, the Pope said, “bewitch with ideas”:
“Because ideologies bewitch; and so Paul begins here: ‘O stupid Galatians, who has bewitched you?’ Those who preach with ideologies: It’s absolutely just! They bewitch: It’s all clear. But look, the revelation is not clear, eh? The revelation of God is discovered more and more each day, it is always on a journey. Is it clear? Yes! It is crystal clear! It is Him, but we have to discover it along the way. And those who believe they have the whole truth in their hands are not [just] ignorant ... Paul says more: [you are] ‘stupid’, because you have allowed yourselves to be bewitched.” - Finish reading here.

Ideologies 'bewitch'.

The Pope knows ... he totally knows this.  I examine myself and see how often I have allowed myself to be bewitched - by rigid adherence to my own 'rule of life', as well as by the glamour of evil, by new ideologies, by fashionable identities, by elitist-exclusive-snobbism, while considering everyone else inferior.

"The man of proud looks and haughty heart I will never endure."

It is not just rigid religious groups who constrict the way of perfection, every faction has its rules of conduct which aspirants need to conform to, or they are not 'in'.  The result is as St. Paul challenged the Galatians:  "After beginning with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?"

"Acquisition of love, 
proceeding from 
the Father and the Son, 
alert me to be
 ever aware of thy indwelling!"

Great is the power of prayer, and it brings most of all the Spirit of God, and is most easily practiced by everyone. We shall be happy indeed if the Lord God finds us watchful and filled with the gifts of His Holy Spirit. Then we may boldly hope "to be caught up . . . in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thess. 4:17) Who is coming "with great power and glory" (Mk. 13:26) "to judge the living and the dead" (1 Peter 4:5) and "to reward every man according to his works" (Matt. 16:27). - St. Seraphim of Sarov

Like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal ...

Holy Father St. Bruno...

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.

Each year I read this, what I know by heart, recalling it many times throughout the year.  It is a great sadness.

Pray for us St. Bruno, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Let not there be any fornicator or profane person, as Esau, who for one meal sold his birthright. - Hebrews 12:16

I actually proved the truth of the proverb:  A washed pig returns to the mud.

It's not worth it.

Holy Father St. Bruno,
 pray for us sinners, 
 and at the hour of our death. 

Creepy Clown Sightings sweeping the U.S. ... They are absolutely ruining Clown Ministries in parishes, schools, nursing homes, and prisons across the country.

"It's ruining my Clown Ministry!" Stated Fr. John Heagle

"Mine too!" Sister Fran Ferder added.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, October 1, 2016, ( – The Archdiocese of Los Angeles’Religious Re-Education Congress bills itself as an “opportunity to hear God’s voice in their own lives.” However, some of the featured speakers have been banned from wearing clown outfits and face paint because of increased security concerns.

Song for this post here.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

More Creepy Clown Sightings ...

Debate Control

Pawel Kuczynski 

Last night's debate ...

It was annoying.  Pence certainly did very well - too bad he is not running for President.  As for Kaine, not so good.  I wish his policy towards abortion was at least the same as Pence.  

Bromosexual Relationships ... I told you gay men need straight friends.

Song for this post here.

Healing old wounds ...

As it turns out, straight guys benefit from gay friends as well.  I knew it - and, I told you so.

So if you want to know what disinterested friendship is, this concept adds another dimension of understanding.  That said, if two gay men are in a relationship - it too becomes disinteresting as well.  But that's another post.  The problem with the nuvo-same-sex friendships is they still do not prize chastity as a means to sanctify one's life, and you'll see why in the Bromosexual story.  (BTW - old gay guys often act the same way with their partners as Bromos act with their friends.  Don't agree with me?  I don't care.)

Before posting a few excerpts, let me point out that the article quotes 'old' gay and straight men who became friends.  They have written books on the subject - one guy is 45, another 57, and another 70.  Just remember, old guys have probably worked through a lot of their issues and the homo-hetero hang-ups are pretty much resolved - and the sexual promiscuous element has maybe gone a bit limp.  Just an observation, BTW.

For men of an older generation, there is more distrust to surmount. “Our traditional way of thinking of relationships with gay and straight men is that they are hostile, even bullying,” said Michael LaSala, 57, the author of “Coming Out, Coming Home: Helping Families Adjust to a Gay or Lesbian Child.” “For that reason, gay men have traditionally not felt comfortable in these relationships.”
Mr. LaSala, who is gay, said he could not imagine being close friends with a straight man when he was in his 20s. In the last few years, however, he has formed a warm bond with Dr. Robert Garfield, 70, a straight man who wrote the book “Breaking the Male Code: Unlocking the Power of Friendship.” The two lecture together on the negative effects of homophobia on straight and gay males.
“My relationship with Michael, and with other gay men, is wonderful for me,” Dr. Garfield said. “It expands me as a human being. There’s a playfulness in talking about sex that I don’t hear from my straight male friends.” - NYT
The playfulness in talking about sex get's pretty tired - and gross - believe me.  Just saying.

There is an opening for a certain level of learning what disinterested friendship can be, however.
“There’s a sense of a reprieve,” said Odie Lindsey, 45, a straight fiction writer and gulf war veteran, whose new book of short stories, “We Come to Our Senses,” features several gay characters. “With heterosexual male friends, sometimes a subject comes up that will require a particular allegiance to what guys are expected to say and do. That can feel blustery and false. It’s nice not to have to listen to a chorus of people who feel compelled to act the same way.”
For gay men, Mr. LaSala said: “friendships with straight men can be very healing. When you experience a close friendship with a straight guy and that person is very accepting, it’s a balm for some old wounds.” - NYT
 It's unfair of me to compare this to the Catechism's concept of disinterested friendship.  Neither the straight guy or the gay guy in this scenario are all that interested in chastity, even though they maybe have had to work on the man-crush fears ...
The cliché and lingering suspicion that a gay man may harbor a crush on his straight friend potentially throws off the power balance and erodes trust. “A gay man can worry, ‘What if this guy thinks I’m coming on to him?’” Mr. LaSala said. “‘And what would that mean for the relationship?’” - NYT
'Yet disconnects do linger, some of them concerning sex.'

The most telling point of conflict is integrating into the other friends social group.  It can work, in controlled environments, such as a gay man in a monastic, priestly community.  Yet in lay, secular situations, it can be more difficult - which is why, I think at least, that cultural identities associated with sexuality and gender preference are more divisive than healing.  In any situation.  The following anecdote seems to demonstrate my point.
Sometimes there is dissonance when one friend finds himself in a group dominated by those of another orientation, rather than connecting one to one. “Listening to bunches of straight guys together is like hearing a foreign tongue,” Mr. Toussaint said. “The language is so strangely impersonal: ‘dude,’ ‘brewskies,’ ‘the game.’ They must feel the same way about the things we talk about.” - NYT
 "They must feel the same way about the things we talk about.”  Wow, that's an understatement, to be sure.  Toussaint's comment says a lot about the homosexual condition.  "Connecting one to one" in a group or social situation would just be weird and possessive and just so darn 'gay' Karen Walker!  I hate it when gay guys act like that.

So anyway.

Real disinterested friendship does not mean the relationship is 'impersonal' but neither is it about hugs and kisses and cuddles.  The best Bromosexual relationships can do for the gay-Catholic guy is to demonstrate gay men can, and really should have straight male friendships, and visa-versa.  Just don't be clingy and needy.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

The War in Syria, Hurricanes, Earthquakes ...

Zdzisław Beksiński

Pray the Rosary.  Every day.  

Going to evening Mass now.

The homosexual and the pope...

Pope Francis with Diego Neria Lejárrag (to right of pope) 
and his spouse (to left of pope.)

Actually, the transsexual and the pope.

Remember that story?  OMGOSH - the pope meets with transsexuals and eats with them.  Diego Neria Lejárrag, the Spanish transsexual who wrote to the pope, was invited to visit and met and talked privately to the pope.  It was a story not a few critics took issue with, accusing the Holy Father of error, blasphemy, heresy, and so on, as well as insisting he therefore approved such lifestyles and relationships.  The original story:
Diego is actually a woman and has gained the masculine given name after a sex change. Pope Francis received Diego with his girlfriend.
According to the transsexuals they received a phone call from Pope Francis on Christmas Eve 2014. At the weekend she was now the guest of the head of the Catholic Church in Santa Marta Guest House, received in audience at the Vatican. Neria Lajarraga describes themselves as "practicing Catholics". - RV
Then the condemnations rolled out.

In his latest interview, the Holy Father spoke about Diego once again - as well as speaking about his pastoral care and friendship with homosexuals as a priest.   If you ever doubted the Holy Father, if you think he is naive and doesn't understand LGBTQ life, lifestyle, or theory - think again.  If you are one of those critics who accuse the Holy Father of watering down Catholic teaching, think again - try thinking even harder.

The Holy Father spoke lovingly and compassionately, and most especially, respectfully:
In his address to Francis, Spanish transsexual Diego Neria Lejárrag, used an illuminating example to describe the situation in the Church today. His example summed up the entire interview. This is the account the Pope gave of it: 
“He (the transsexual, Ed.) told me that in the neighbourhood where he lived there was an elderly priest, the old parish priest and the new one. When the new parish priest saw him, he would shout to him from the sidewalk: ‘You will go to hell!’ When he came across the old man, he would say to him: ‘How long has it been since your last confession? Come, come so you can confess to me and go and take communion’.” This difference in attitudes is striking. The younger priest had already convicted Diego. The older priest, who was trained back in the 1950s, tried to approach and accompany him. When he was still Archbishop of Buenos Aires and he was asked what he wanted to have written on his grave, the current Pope said: “Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Priest”. It is prey easy to guess which of the two priests he identifies with, suggesting to others to follow his example.
When one comes into contact with people’s lives, sufferings and sometimes dramatic experiences, whatever condition they may be in, the Pope explained during the in-flight interview, they need to put themselves in Jesus’ shoes. St. Ambrose wrote about this in the “De Abraham”: “When it comes to bestowing grace, Christ is present; when it comes to exercising rigour, only the ministers of the Church are present, but Christ is absent.” - Vatican Insider

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 ...

When he came across the old man, 
he would say to him: 
‘How long has it been since your last confession? 
Come, come so you can confess to me 
and go and take communion.'


Think about that.  It's kind of like 'go and learn the meaning of mercy'...  

It seems to me that the heart of Pope Francis' teaching is the need to bring the sacraments to those who are on the 'peripheries' as it were.  To invite them to the sacrament of penance.  Just like the older priest Francis mentions above: ‘How long has it been since your last confession? Come, come so you can confess to me and go and take communion’.  Every confession seals the conversion in the Blood of Christ, as it were. Our sins are washed clean, washed away, and we are forgiven - and the soul is sealed with the Blood of Christ.

Very seriously, I think gay people make too big a deal about their sexual identity.  At this stage in my life, looking back, I think, 'what a waste'.  Seriously - what difference did it make?  The most important thing is to work out our salvation - to work on it.  To acquire the virtues.  To do good - especially to others.  To do this we need the sacraments.  We can't live, we can't love without the sacraments.

Yesterday I posted what the Holy Father had to say about gender theory and quoted New Way's Ministry spokesman DeBernardo's claim that the Church has to educate herself about the lives and experiences of LGBTQ persons.  I think Church officials actually do that, without buying into the ideology.  My God, Francis is making that clear all the time - outraging conservatives-rigorists every day.  I think New Ways and other LGBTQ groups have to re-educate themselves, to understand Catholic teaching without supplanting it with ideological theories of genderlessness and sexual-fluidity, only to be complemented by the latest queer-theological, theosophical-development of doctrine.

You need a support group?  Join one.  But, the Church is the ordinary means of salvation.  The sacraments - take you directly to the source.  Be holy.  The Church is the support group you most need.  You go directly to Jesus.  Consecrate yourself to the Blessed Virgin Mary - devote yourself to her, and she will devote herself to you.  Pray, frequent the sacraments, keep the commandments, and do good - fulfill the duties of your state in life.  You go directly to Jesus.

“The reason no one has yet been able to come up with a good word to describe the homosexualist (sometimes known as gay, fag, queer, etc.) is because he does not exist. The human race is divided into male and female. Many human beings enjoy sexual relations with their own sex, many don’t; many respond to both. This plurality is the fact of our nature and not worth fretting about.” - Gore Vidal

St. Francis of Assisi

O God, by whose gift Saint Francis was conformed to Christ in poverty and humility, grant that, by walking in Francis' footsteps, we may follow your Son, and, through joyful charity, come to be united with you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Monday, October 03, 2016

"No one chooses a gender identity, they discover it." - Said Francis DeBernardo of New Ways

The Pope recounted a meeting with a French father 
whose young son wanted to be a girl 
after reading about it in a textbook. - CNN

Then they choose?

The Holy Father just affirmed Catholic teaching against gender ideology, telling journalists:

"This is against nature, it is one thing when someone has this tendency ... and it is another matter to teach this in school." 
"To change the mentality -- I call this ideological colonization," the Pope said. - CNN
I agree with the Pope, gender identity theory is a bad idea - and teaching it to children is indeed 'terrible'.

New Ways Ministry disagrees - of course:
"The pontiff's remarks are further evidence that church officials need desperately to educate themselves about the lives and experiences of LGBT people. Nobody chooses a gender identity.  They discover it," said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry.

Then they make their choice.

Pope Francis criticized  
teaching gender identity in schools, 
calling it a "war against marriage."

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Rosh Hashanah 5777

Happy New Year

The Guardian Angels

If it wasn't Sunday - we would observe the feast of the Guardian Angels.

It is a day set aside to honor the Holy Guardian Angels in a special way, and a reminder to each of us to be aware and more devoted to our own Guardian Angels - to pray to them, to acknowledge and thank them for their patronage and protection.

Yet today, I wonder, when we feel so helpless to actually, personally assist those who suffer in our country and around the world, especially in places of terror and war, imprisonment and hospital, in the womb and out - to even send our own Angel, as well as to pray to the Guardian Angels of those who are most alone and abandoned and in most need of mercy:  To beg the Angels to comfort, strengthen, console, support, and especially minister to their charges in a way those who suffer may recognize and be assured by.  That their charges may not lose hope, nor lose peace, that they may lift up their hearts and minds to be embraced by the Divine Mercy.

I hope we can do something like this to help those far away, suffering alone - especially the most abandoned and the littlest ones.  We need to ask Our Lady, Queen of the Holy Angels and Mediatrix of all graces to send the Angels on this mission - if it be her will.

August Queen of Heaven, sovereign Mistress of the Angels, 
who didst receive from the beginning the mission 
and the power to crush the Serpent’s head, 
we beseech thee to send thy holy Angels, 
that under thy command and by thy power, 
they may pursue the evil spirits, 
encounter them on every side, 
resist their bold attacks, 
and drive them hence into the abyss of woe. 

Most holy Mother, send thy Angels to defend us 
and to drive the cruel enemy from us. Amen. 

All ye holy Angels and Archangels help and defend us.

When Mother Angelica EXPLODED!

Mother’s reaction caused a lot of people to run in circles and ring their hands.  - Fr. Z

I know!