Saturday, April 01, 2017

From the 'How do I know this stuff?' file: Fr. Z a Monsignor at last!

Pastor Angelicus of the Digital Continent
"Soon will be scheduling conga line dances 
in parishes near and far."

Remember my painting of Fr. Z?

With the angels crowning him with a miter?  Though I went a step further, his desire to be a Monsignor has now been fulfilled, and my prophetic painting anticipated it - in a spiritual way.  You know.  With the cherubs and the miter.

Fr. Z announced it today:
 Okay, that’s it.  I’m not waiting anymore.  I now declare  that, in my conscience, I am officially an ‘internal forum’ Monsignor.  I’m getting my new gear the next time I am at Gammarelli. - Source

Song for this post here

Friday, March 31, 2017

Speaking of Bella Dodd and the Trump-Russian-Connection ...

“I would certainly like to find out 
who is really running things.”
Dr. Bella Dodd

I came across this ...
“I think the Communist conspiracy is merely a branch of a much bigger conspiracy!”
The above statement was made to this reviewer [Cleon Skousen] several years ago by Dr. Bella Dodd, a former member of the National Committee of the U.S. Communist Party.
Perhaps this is an appropriate introduction to a review of Dr. Carroll Quigley’s book,
Tragedy And Hope. 
Dr. Dodd said she first became aware of some mysterious super-leadership right after World War II when the U.S. Communist Party had difficulty getting instructions from Moscow on several vital matters requiring immediate attention. The American Communist hierarchy was told that any time they had an emergency of this kind they should contact any one of three designated persons at the Waldorf Towers. Dr. Dodd noted that whenever the Party obtained instructions from any of these three men, Moscow always ratified them.
What puzzled Dr. Dodd was the fact that not one of these three contacts was a Russian. Nor were any of them Communists. In fact, all three were extremely wealthy American capitalists!  Dr. Dodd said, “I would certainly like to find out who is really running things.” Cleon Skousen, The Naked Capitalist (1970)
That's it!

Oddly enough, many far right Republicans ascribe to Skousen's theories, Glenn beck for instance, as well as Trump supporters, such as Ben Carson, and Rick Perry, although they tend to finger the Democrats as the Marxist-Communists infiltrators.

So, what if the Dodd quote is credible?  Perhaps it could help explain,  kinda-sorta, the Trump-Russian connection - if there really is one?


Coming up: The real story why the NY Archdiocese will not let Archbishop Sheen's body go - yep, the Bella Dodd connection.

Carl Marx’ Seminary Received Only One New Seminarian in 2016

Who even knew that Marx had a seminary?

I suppose Bella Dodd did.

It's all out in the open now, isn't it.

As Alice von Hildebrand confirmed:
"I can only tell you what I know. It is a matter of public record, for instance, that Bella Dodd, the ex-Communist who reconverted to the Church, openly spoke of the Communist Party’s deliberate infiltration of agents into the seminaries. She told my husband and me that when she was an active party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican “who were working for us.” 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

I'm still working on my icon, and other thoughts for Thursday.

I discovered a new artist, Quint Buchholz.

Don't care.

I'm almost finished with the icon and then I need to apply a first coat of varnish before gilding.  I normally gild before painting, but this time I'm doing it last.  Then I will do the calligraphy and final varnish, mount it in the tabernacle frame, and it will be ready for presentation, I hope.  I've never prayed so much over an icon, never labored so long, and yet it doesn't 'show'.  I think I'm so slow with it because I don't want to let it go, I don't want to not paint and pray with it.  I'm also wondering if it will be my last real icon.  

Then, today, a friend sent me a card with a Quint Buchholz painting, and I thought, 'bears need to keep working, no matter what'.

Online stuff.

I decided people take things too seriously... myself included.

No one cares what we think, although every time we post something it registers somehow in the consciousness of those who read it.  So if you're always posting negative opinions and reports, and worse, engaging in detraction or calumny, at the very least, you stain the conscience of your readers.

No one cares.

I think that is something to keep in mind.  Especially when it comes to blog posts.  On Facebook a guy announced today that he's sorry but he's changed his mind about Pope Francis.  In other words he now has doubts about him because the Pope hasn't answered the dubia.  That's fine.  I hope he works that out.  We all have doubts about a number of things from time to time.  I don't know this man personally, but just because he has doubts doesn't make him a bad man.  I just don't care, and I wonder why it's important for him to post about that - because many people don't care.

Now if your doubts cause you to question the faith, that can be a problem - but that too can be worked out.  If your doubts cause your readers to doubt, that's not good.  The best thing to do when you come upon posts like that is just to move along.  Maybe it's just me that doesn't care - so ignore my advice - like you just don't care.

Why do we bother one another with this stuff?  Posts like that remind me of what Isaiah said to Ahaz: "Is it not enough for you to weary people, must you also weary God?"  

Are things not confusing enough?  Do we not complain enough as it is?

I do not need to defend the Pope or the Cardinals or the encyclical or the dubia.  It's not necessary for my salvation.  Critics claim many souls are at stake ... that's commendable to be concerned for the salvation of souls.  So how much penance and prayer are you doing.  Because that is what Heaven asks for.  Penance, penance, penance.  Judging the Pope and the Magisterium and fellow Christians is not our call.

Who cares what I think?

No one.  But you lose me when you start on the Pope.  We'll know when we know - until then, trust God.  People accuse people like me of ultramontanism, but I'm pretty sure they are the ultramontanists, because they desire a Pope who fits their conception of what a Pope should be.  If they had the Pope they want, they would be lapping at his feet, in the same way Trump supporters defend everything he does.

So anyway.  No one cares, but here is what I think.  I wrote it in an email response to a friend:
I think the Pope allows many controversial issues to be discussed and debated openly in order for the truth to shine forth.  Catholic teaching cannot change, despite the fact dialogue with non-Christians and unbelievers may add to the confusion surrounding contemporary moral issues.  Yet that is where Cardinals and Bishops enter in - it is their shared responsibility with the Pope to clarify and correct misunderstandings. The way they've gone about that lately seems more divisive than clarifying however. If it was really any of my business, or if I were Burke and his buddies, I would simply develop a solid catechesis around Amoris and present it, with all due respect for the Holy Father, and not as a correction or contradiction to the Pope, but more at the clarification they want to see. In my opinion the Holy Father's lack of response testifies to the fact he has no intention of changing doctrine but rather desires a more pastoral approach to those who have fallen away who feel they can't be part of the Church because of their irregular state in life.
It's all over my head though, and as I told my friend, I can't defend my theory, more importantly, I don't need to be right.   I can be wrong - I'm happy to be wrong.  I don't need to be right.

I'm more concerned about salvation, and the obstacles to that.  Some day, before I die I would like to arrive at a place of genuine detachment from the world, along the lines of what St. Teresa of Avila wrote:   
"Now that I am out of the world, with companions holy and few in number, I look down on the world as from a great height, and care very little what people say or know about me."

Song for this post here.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Immigration fears and the 'Islamic Takeover' ...

"You become responsible forever for what you've tamed."
- The Little Prince

I see all the headlines online...

Fears that the migrant-refugee problems signal the end of Britain, or Germany, or France, or all the white people in the United States, seems to be a big problem these days.  You people read the news and discuss all of this in the church basement Argument of the Month meetings, so I'm not doing a big post about it.

The only thing I'd like to say is that in a strange way, it seems to me, we are experiencing a phenomenon of poetic justice.  All the nations and peoples exploited and colonized by Western Imperialist powers finally may be doing penance and taking responsibility for past crimes.

What goes around, comes around.

British in Aden

Gays in the Vatican: There has to be a story here ... maybe even a conspiracy theory connection?

Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, second from left, 
and his husband Gauthier Destenay 
arrive at the Vatican 
for an audience with Pope Francis. 
 They were welcomed by 
Prefect of the Pontifical household
 Georg Gänswein.

Have we found the gay lobby?

Just kidding!

Seriously, I think it's nice that the Prime Minister of Luxembourg brings his husband to work.

The only thing I'm thinking may be notable about this story is that the Vatican will reject a gay ambassador's credentials, but when it comes to a head of state, they can't do that.

I don't get it.

Song for this post here.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Newly discovered stuff.

Daniel Mitsui's blog, here.

He's a wonderful artist.

I rediscovered him on Amy Welborn's blog, here.  She writes a lot, and well.  Her boys are fortunate to have such a wonderful mother.  What a fascinating life.

I have to get out more.

I've had it with Pope Francis.

Pope Francis sat in the crypt of Milan Cathedral 
before the Most Blessed Sacrament:
"He did not kneel, sat, 
not once did he remove his pileolous
 and assume an attitude of prayer"
Yeah - who's the lazy one now?!

He turns on you.

Today's homily is nothing but another insult - a direct attack on me - when he talks about the slothful complainer:

The Gospel story at the heart of Pope Francis’ reflection tells of a man who had been ill for thirty-eight years. He was lying at the side of a pool called Bethesda with a large number of ill, blind, lame and crippled who believed that when an angel came down and stirred up the waters the first to bathe in the pool would be healed. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him: “Do you want to be well?” 
When Jesus, the Pope pointed out, asked that strange man if he wanted to be well, instead of saying “yes” he complained there was on one to put him in the pool while the water is stirred up and that someone else always got there before him. His answer, Francis said, was a complaint, he was implying that life had been unjust with him. “This man, the Pope noted, was like the tree planted along the bank of the rivers, mentioned in the first Reading, but it had arid roots, roots that did not reach the water, could not take nourishment from the water”. 
The Pope said this is clear from his attitude of always complaining and trying to blame the other. 
“This is an ugly sin: the sin of sloth” he said.  Pope Francis said this man’s disease was not so much his paralysis but sloth, which is worse than having a lukewarm heart. - Source*

Pick, pick, pick.  Always pointing out sin.  Why can't he ever say anything nice about the lazy complainers on the peripheries?


Monday, March 27, 2017

Male Makeup Alert.

Keep your chins up!

Yes, but notice the priest at the left in this photo...

He's 96 but looks much younger. Why? The 'slight tan' of Jergen's Natural Glow Moisturizer. (And maybe a little help from a top of the line men's makeup brand.) Notice the subtle hi-lighting on the brow bone above the eye, giving lift to the eyes. I picked up on that right away.  Looking more closely, I noticed the slight tan w/shading below the chin - to lessen the effect of the sure to get priestly double chin - from looking down at his Psalter all the time.  Add in a bit of shadow at the cheek bone to define and thin the face, dramatized with a dab of highlighter across the bone, top of the forehead, and down the nose. Crown the head with the very subtle highlighting of the hair-weave to capture that youthful look... And voila - he knocked off 30 years and he's back contending for a curial position.

Fathers, look your best.


Song for this post here.

Catholic Fundraising in Lent ...

Flooding my mailbox.

I don't care what anyone says, religion is a business.

When a church - e.g. the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of the Snows, National Shrine of St. Therese, or any other mega-church sends out unwanted gifts such as calendars, cards, holy oil, plastic rosaries, with a check-off of suggested donations* for the unwanted gift as well as an enrollment form for inclusion in the prayers and Masses offered - with a vigil light option - and a computer generated personalized letter to make me feel special - I call that a fundraising business strategy.  Just like other secular charities who send you nickels, dimes, pennies, and sometimes a dollar bill, while requesting a minimum return donation starting at $75-, if you spend that much money to ask me for funds, go away.  Keep your gifts and your small change and get a Go-Fund Me page.  Businesses hire and pay people to make money for them.

I've given to these charities, once or twice - but now I get multiple mailings and their gifts, my name is also rented to other religious fundraisers.  It's too much.  I've decided to give to charities who do not do that - who do not run seasonal, liturgical-cycle, fundraising campaigns with gifts and awards.

Sorry - I just got a pile of stuff in the mail again today.

So anyway.

Remember - the Missionaries of Charity do not even engage in fund-raising.  From an interview with Mother Nirmala, M.C.:
Q: What about financial means: food, medicines, material goods?

Sister Nirmala: Absolutely nothing is lacking. God provides-- everywhere in India as well as abroad. You know, that is the promise of God for us. When Mother started the society and Mother was called, she did not start on her own, Jesus called her to start this congregation. He wanted her to be poor and the poorest of the poor. He wanted her to be empty-handed and serve the poorest of the poor free. It is such a paradox, isn't? He said: I will provide. That was Mother did, and that is what we are continuing to do: trusting in God's Providence, serving the poorest of the poor, free. And God does it. His promise is fulfilled every day. All we need to do is to keep being faithful to our commitments, to answer the call of God, everything else follows.

Q: But Sister, what would you tell those people who are so afraid of lacking the "indispensable?
things every day, or those who want to possess more material things?

Sister Nirmala: Trust in the Lord and do your best. Let the kingdom of God in your lives and he will provide everything.

Q: How does the Order cope with all the financial and economical demands?

Sister Nirmala: By trusting in God, and he is providing. We never ask for things. People just come and give. Everywhere they want to carry out fundraising activities, we say: "Please don't
fund-raise; we don't want to use Mother's name. No."
We want people acting on their own. We want their spontaneous collaboration. But if somebody is going around fundraising in Mother's name, we don't accept it. We want to depend on God's providence--only. - Source

*If you don't respond you often get a follow up letter asking where your donation is.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Jesus said, "You are seeing him" ...

Think of this after Communion, when you look into your soul, and see Him who dwells there.