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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Double Standard: Orthodox Bishop of Bling Gets the Ax, Liberal Super Blinger is A-Okay

"Bishop of Bling"
Remember when German bishop, Franz Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the "Bishop of Bling" got thrown out of his diocese by Pope Francis for his big spending ways? (See here.) Actually, the project was begun by the previous bishop, but oh well. Many of us agree that ostentatious over-spending is inappropriate for clerics. The final price tag for the project which involved maintaining and redecorating ten buildings of a diocesan center including the bishop's house was reported at 55 million euros. (A euro is worth about $1.12 according to currency converter.) The bishop was crucified in the secular media and wasn't treated too sympathetically by the Catholic media either. Latest news on the bishop? He's been assigned a newly-created catechetical position at the Vatican. 

Bishop of Super Bling
Oh...one other thing. The "Bishop of Bling" is orthodox. He suspended a priest who "married" two homosexuals and was holding the ground on controversial issues relating to marriage and sexuality which made him unpopular both in the secular world and in his own episcopate which is filled with progressives who believe in the evolution of dogma.

Now let's turn to another blinger of the German episcopate who's managed to avoid the negative spotlight. ( See here.) Cardinal Reinhard Marx, one of the liberal movers and shakers at the recent Extraordinary Synod on the Family, a man who implies that the German Church will move ahead on its "pastoral" plan to allow the divorced and civilly remarried to receive Communion, spent over 130 million euros on a diocesan center. Let's see, that's more than twice as much as the "bishop of bling." But there has not been one one word in the secular press about his scandalous spending and there's no evidence he is getting called on the carpet by Rome.

So what gives?

What makes one bishop a pariah and another gets a total pass? I could speculate, but I think the facts speak for themselves. You can find the answer in Animal Farm: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

Fairness and Accuracy in Blogging: Let's Try to Get it Right!

A reader sent me some information about the Franciscans of the Immaculate indicating that a lot of information circulating in the Catholic blogosphere is innacurate and damaging reputations. Well, I certainly don't want to be part of that so I updated a post I wrote on February 2nd showing (ostensibly) a video made on the day the seminary closed. Well...apparently not. Read Fr. Geiger's article linked below. Heee's the update:
Update 2/28/2015: Well, there is more to the story than this video which apparently has been misrepresented by bloggers since it was not, in fact, shot the day the seminary closed. I'm linking to a post by Fr.Angelo Geiger that disputes much of what's been circulating on the internet about the papal investigation of the Friars. He doesn't discuss the reasons for the initial investigation or the suppression of the TLM withn the order by the Vatican. 
Frankly, I don't know what to make of a lot of it, but Father is himself a friar so presumably he knows what's what, and he appears to be just seeking truth and justice in the matter. Catholic World Report ran an article in 2013 and even it doesn't get the story completely straight as the comment section shows. Fairness in reporting is important to me and I don't like the thought that other bloggers are posting dishonest material as fact which I may be inadvertently promoting. So read Fr. Geiger's blog post, the CWR article, and pray for the Friars. We live in confusing times. It is sad when Catholic bloggers either deliberately or inadvertently spread false information adding to the confusion.
One of the dangers of blogging is the possibility of passing on information that is factually innacurate and, perhaps, advances an agenda. We are all vulnerable to it I think. I try hard to vet sources, but even that doesn't mean I always get things right. Our times are so confusing, it's easy to pick up and run with things that aren't necessarily correct.

Let's continue to pray for the Friars that things will be sorted out in a way that builds up the faith and respects the integrity of all, even those whose opinions conflict.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Does Anybody Care about the Christian Hostages and Refugees Fleeing Syria?

Turkey has closed her borders. We hear almost nothing from our government about the massacres. Obama is too busy defending Islam as the religion of peace. As for the bishops, they're focused on opening up our borders, not to political refugees in danger of beheading, but invaders looking for generous handouts. God help the poor Syrian people. Does anybody care?

Turkish border closed as Christian hostages in Syria spike to 250

Patriarch urges prayer after at least 90 Christians kidnapped in Syria

These Syrian Christians are the people to whom we should be giving political asylum. I remember back during and after the Vietnam war when Catholic parishes were adopting Vietnamese refugees, helping them find housing and jobs and assisting them to make a new life in this country. Why can't the bishops organize such a program for the Syrian Christians? Hey, they could demonstrate what it means to "welcome the stranger" by taking some of the refugees into their mansions. I'm sure my bishop has a few spare bedrooms. And we would happily participate in such a program.



Is this how the Vatican promotes modesty?

Women in bondage, indeed. Here's a screen shot (taken on February 26th) from the Vatican Pontifical Council for Culture. I deliberately made it small since it's lacking in modesty.




This office gets the loony-tune award for the worst ideas in promoting a message. First it was the blonde bimbo on the Life of Women. Now this. And, despite an outpouring of criticism, this is the response:
Some complaints have reached the Dicastery concerning the image above. While acknowledging the anger, Cardinal Ravasi has chosen not to remove the image as it speaks clearly for one of the central points of the document: many women, alas, are still struggling for freedom (bound with rope), their voices and intellect often unheard (headless), their actions unappreciated (limbless). 
And we needed a naked torso to get that message across? This reminds me of gay pride events where lesbians and homosexuals parade around in sado-masochistic garb. To think that a prince of the Church defends this -- well, I suspect he has a dirty mind. St. Michael the Archangel, please visit him with a flaming sword and set him straight. This picture itself demeans the dignity of women. You don't teach reverence for women by treating them with irreverence. I'm embarrassed for my Church and ashamed of those who allowed this travesty.

Was Pope Francis Lobbied into the Papacy?

Cardinal participants in a conclave are forbidden to lobby for "candidates." However, it appears that there was, indeed, a "team Bergolio" working for the election of Pope Francis. A biography of the pope, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope by Austen Ivereigh was published last Fall. Ivereigh writes that there was indeed an orchestrated lobbying effort to elect Bergoglio. Here's what the London Telegraph had to say about the book:
“Spotting their moment, the initiative was now seized by the European reformers who in 2005 had pushed for Bergoglio,” Mr Ivereigh, who once served as Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s press secretary, explains in the book. 
He wrote that Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, then 80 and no longer with a vote in the conclave, teamed up with the German cardinal Walter Kasper, whose controversial call for remarried divorcees to be allowed to receive communion was one of the main points of division at the synod that Pope Francis held in Rome this year. 
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s role included lobbying his North American counterparts as well as acting as a link for those from Commonwealth countries. 
“They had learnt their lessons from 2005,” Mr Ivereigh explains. “They first secured Bergoglio’s assent. Asked if he was willing, he said that he believed that at this time of crisis for the Church no cardinal could refuse if asked. 
“Murphy-O’Connor knowingly warned him to 'be careful’, and that it was his turn now, and was told 'capisco’ – 'I understand’. 
“Then they got to work, touring the cardinals’ dinners to promote their man, arguing that his age – 76 – should no longer be considered an obstacle, given that popes could resign. Having understood from 2005 the dynamics of a conclave, they knew that votes travelled to those who made a strong showing out of the gate.”
A spokeswoman for Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor said that the then Cardinal Bergoglio was not approached with a view to seeking his assent as a candidate for the papacy.
 Well, this is the claim of one man that Murphy-O'Connor and Kasper were the king makers at the conclave.  But in a 2013 talk at Villanova, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick may have inadvertently let the cat out of the bag when he talked about how he was asked to "talk up" Bergoglio. See the video below. The discussion of the conclave starts around 16 minutes in. And the statement is around 19:30. McCarrick was approached by an "influential Italian" not, apparently a Cardinal, but did he, in fact, join the team to "talk up" Bergoglio? He doesn't say. The episode certainly affirms Ivereigh's claim that a lobbying effort was going on. What do you think?


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Rudy Giuliani Pegs It! Obama Does NOT Love America; He Loves the Islamic World

Have you noticed that Obama will never use these two words together -- Islamic terrorism. Even the liberal "drive-by media" notice. The ISIS monsters just need jobs, one stupid administration official told Chris Matthews.

But Rudy Giuliani (I'm no fan of his but he got this right!) pegged the real problem when he said Obama does not love America. The liberals are after him, but it's hard to argue with his comment. "It hit a nerve," Giuliani said.

Giuliani made the comment during an insightful speech on Islam which unfortunately is being lost in the brouhaha over the Obama remark. Two thumbs up to Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal who were pressured to condemn Giuliani's comment and refused. Two thumbs down to Jeb Bush and Rand Paul who ran the other way. Take a look at the speech below and see what you think.



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Educating Children in the Faith

I thought this quote from Dietrich von Hildebrand on teaching children the faith was totally on target. 
"Religion has often been taught to children in the same way as history or spelling. Instead of presenting the mysteries of Christian faith in a way proper to their unique and extraordinary character, teachers of religion have often taught them with a kind of neutral objectivity suitable to any purely academic matter. 
"The real teacher of religion, on the contrary, communicates the realization that religion is something completely different from any other topic. He appeals to the entire person. He creates a truly religious atmosphere which evokes feelings of wonder and awe in the child and at the same time corresponds to the longing for God that lives in every human soul. The real teacher of religion attempts to awaken and develop a sense of mystery and reverence in his pupil." (From Trojan Horse in the City of God)
When I was home schooling I used to like to start our religion class by looking at a beautiful work of religious art and asking my daughter what she thought the artist was trying to say about God in his picture. It was one of my favorite parts of our religion class. Beautiful objects are just a pale reflection of the beauty of God. When we are awestruck by a natural wonder, it is only a dim reflection of the wonderfulness of God. Teaching religion isn't about a subject, but about a person, Jesus Christ. What a wonderful gift to our children to help them know Him and approach him with a sense of wonder, awe, mystery, and reverence.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Colleague of Fr. Rosica Tweets Cardinal Burke Should STFU!

Ah...life is never boring when "progressive" Catholics who are always so eminently tolerant illustrate the depth of their intolerance. Such has been the Fr. Thomas Rosica soap opera where leading man, Fr. Tom, sues a Catholic father for quoting his statements and commenting on them. Here are the posts at Vox Cantoris that Rosica's lawyers are demanding he remove. And here is the letter from the lawyers.

Adding to the soap opera was the tweet by one of Fr. Rosica's colleagues in the Basilian order that Cardinal Burke, who has been an eloquent voice against the "progressive" agenda, should STFU. Not being an expert in obscenity by shortcut, I had to think about that for a minute. The priest, Fr.Timothy Scott, has now received his fifteen minutes of fame and announced, after apologizing, that he is taking a break from Twitter. Good thing! But, as they say, "Birds of a feather flock together," and in view of Fr. Rosica's history with dissenters, one is not surprised that an associate would object to an orthodox cardinal like Burke to the point of obscenity.

Anyway, Fr. Rosica says Vox Cantoris is damaging his reputation, but, after reading his own statements, I can only conclude that he's doing a pretty good job of damaging his own reputation and making himself both ridiculous and irrelevant. Fr. Rosica and friends are showing themselves for what they are and it isn't a pretty sight. Fr. Rosica is a lover of dssenters and this article about his relationship with former priest Gregory Baum, a man eminent priest scholar, Msgr. Vincent Foy, called an "arch-heretic" speaks volumes about Fr. Rosica and where he stands on the truths of the faith. (Read this article by Msgr. Foy on Gregory Baum whom Fr. Rosica admires and has the gall to call a "faithful, deeply devoted Catholic who loves Jesus and the Eucharist." If such a statement weren't so tragic one would laugh. Msgr. Foy considers Baum's teachings evil and dangerous. Fr. Rosica, on the other hand, treats him like an icon of orthodoxy which shows exactly how pernicious he is.)

Watch Fr. Rosica's interview with Baum in the video below. It should wake up every orthodox Catholic to Fr. Rosica's agenda which is certainly not fidelity to the Church. What can we expect from any role he plays in the upcoming Ordinary Synod on the Family. Can we trust his Salt and Light network to report the truth? Hell no! And I mean that hell literally. When you follow those who admire and promote evil and dissent, they are leading you on the wide road to hell. Run as fast as possible in the other direction!

So sue me, Father!

Oh and I recommend that readers write to the pope and ask him to fire Fr. Rosica as his English language media adviser. How about Phil Lawler as a replacement? Here's the pope's address. His Holiness, Pope Francis Bishop of Rome, Apostolic Palace, Via del Pellegrino, Citta del Vaticano, Vatican City State, 00120, Europe (See other Vatican addresses here.)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Bishop Who Lives Up to His Name: Salvatore the Lion-Hearted

When I was a child there was a great program about Robin Hood on television. It ran from 1955 to 1960. How I loved that hero and his devotion to Richard the Lion-Hearted who was fighting in the Crusades to free the Holy Land from the Muslim invaders. (In those days we knew who the bad guys were.) Well, I feel like that nine-year-old kid again after reading the letter written by lion-hearted Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to seven California Assemblymen who dared to criticize him for establishing Catholic moral standards for those teaching in Catholic high schools. 

You can read the full document including the affirmation of faith at the diocesan website, but here is a brief summary from the document:

Meditation for Sunday: Deliver Us from Evil

by Fr. Tom Collins

The Temptation of Christ: 12th century mosaic at St. Mark's basilica

In Mark's Gospel, we read of Jesus encounter with the devil in the desert immediately after His baptism in the Jordan. Jesus went into the desert to confront Satan, the Father of Evil. It is important to note that evil is not merely a danger, a defect or a shortcoming. Rather, it is a virulently aggressive threat to our character, lives and eternal destiny. Thus it is that Satan and his minions seek to seduce us, so that we adopt attitudes, perspectives and actions, which are seriously detrimental to our lives and relationships. They desecrate ourselves and others. At the same time, they blind us by excuses and resentments to the redemptive graciousness of divine mercy.

In our own age, this has become shockingly evident in the attitudes, perspectives and actions of
Islamic jihadist groups, such as ISIS, Al Q'ueda, Hammas, Boko Haram, and Al Shabab. Yet more
importantly, the vivid portrayal of evil given to us by these groups is merely a reflection of the evils Americans have chosen to embrace over the last half century. While we condemn ISIS for brutally butchering and beheading Christian infants, Catholic politicians and jurists have little or no compunction about promoting and subsidizing the dismemberment and beheading of pre-born children in the womb.

Time out for Grandkids

The world these days is a pretty grim place. With Christians being beheaded by ISIS, wars and violence all over the globe, pornography being mainstreamed in our local theaters....

Well...all I can say is it's important to take time out to forget about all the evil and just play with the little ones. That's what I did yesterday with two of my little granddaughters. We went sledding on our back hill in the middle of a snowstorm and then we made snow ice cream.

We didn't talk about the mess in the Church or the sad state of the world. We stuck out our tongues to catch snowflakes and laughed at the black and white snow dog romping across our sledding track.

Gosh it was fun!

Children truly are the greatest expression of God's love for us -- especially the completely innocent ones, too little to be sinners. Take a break from the miseries of the world and enjoy the company of a child or two or three. Tell knock-knock jokes, sing silly songs, sled down a hill, play cards, read books together, do a puzzle, play dominoes, and, of course, say prayers together. Old fashioned family pleasures are a reminder of what life is meant to be. And for sure what it will be one day in the Kingdom of Heaven.

So enjoy watching my little granddaughter sled down the hill and imagine her grandmother taking her own turn on the saucer with little sister. It was great fun and when we put the girls to bed last night, Anya asked if she can sled again tomorrow. Absolutely!

video

Friday, February 20, 2015

Natural Treatment for Congestion



You can also apply this poultice to the soles of the feet. More info here. With so many people sick with flu like illnesses, this could be helpful. I remember an episode in Catherine Marshall's book Christy (a novel based on her mother's life) where an onion plaster saves a young mom's life. It was a substitute for a mustard plaster. People need to be very careful using these treatments not to burn the person. Next time I get a bad cough I'm going to try one of these natural remedies. Why not? It might save a trip to the ER. I remember a trip to an urgent care facility in Houston when I ended up on a breathing machine. I caught something from my hacking seatmate on the plane and spent half our visit in bed. I wish I'd tried this before going to the urgent care. (N.B. And that's another reason I hate to fly!)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Please, Michael, Save the Big Guns for the Real Bad Guys!

Ever since watching the Mic'd Up episode on "The (Un)Catholic Media," I've been shaking my head. Why, Michael, why? The first thirty minutes on the establishment media and dissent rags like America Magazine and National Catholic Reporter were totally on target. But then the Mic'd Up team turned their guns on the traditionalists. Perhaps it's because the folks at Church Militant TV are, for the most part, young; but they don't seem to have a sense of history and the crisis that led Archbishop Lefebvre to take the steps he did to protect the faith. Their attack, how can I call it anything else, on traditionalists grieved my heart. It began with a video clip by Simon Rafe on "reactionary Catholics." Into this group (specifically mentioned during the segment) were lumped the SSPX, The Remnant, Catholic Family News, Angelus Press, and the sedevacantists as if all these are equivalent. To do that was, in my opinion, a slander. Most traditional groups specifically reject the sedevacantist position.

Here's what Rafe said:

More on Fr. Rosica from The Vortex

Unbelievable! Fr. Thomas Rosica Threatens Lawsuit against Faithful Catholic Blogger



Yikes! Homosexuals, dissidents, pro-abortion politicians all get a pass from the "we can't judge" crowd, but faithful Catholics reporting public acts and statements are threatened with lawsuits?

What the heck is going on?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cardinal Wuerl: Comedian or Hypocrite?

I was just reading an article describing how Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. called an unnamed bishop a dissenter (pretty clearly directed at Cardinal Burke's recent interview when he said he would resist the pope if he attempted to change doctrine on Communion for the divorced and remarried). You can read Cardinal Wuerl's blog post here and the article about his post here. Here's the salient sentence from Wuerl's blog:
They (dissenting bishops) disagree with the Pope because he does not agree with them and therefore follow their position.
What a bunch of hooey! First of all, in the article Wuerl was talking about rejecting teachings in papal encyclicals which are not, by the way, necessarily infallible except to the degree they uphold the unchangeable doctrine of the Church. Cardinal Burke has not dissented at all. he has pointed out over and over that no one has the ability to change Christ's teachings, not even the pope. He has begged for clarity from the pope in the face of the confusion sown at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family where Cardinal Wuerl was among the smoke-blowers.

As for dissenters, the LifeSiteNews article emphasizes Wuerl's own dissent from Vatican instructions, i.e., his refusal to implement Canon Law 915 which is unequivocal in its demand to deny communion to those in persistent grave manifest public sin. And yet Wuerl happily subjects Jesus Christ to sacrilege because doing what Church Law says isn't his "style."

Cardinal Wuerl spins a web in his blog post with lots of nice words. He even implies that he supports encyclicals like Humanae Vitae, but his priests better never preach on that or same sex marriage. A priest friend of mine got the "tone-it-down" call from the chancery after one brave bulletin letter about same sex marriage. Wuerl is the spider at the center of a web of hypocrisy. And if anyone is a dissenter it's himself. He punishes good priests like Fr. Marcel Guarnizo and embraces heretics like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden.

Pray for him. With bishops like this in powerful positions, it's not hard to figure out why the Church is in such a mess! He has been an ambitious man since ordination and his "style" has helped to elevate him in the eyes of the world. Whether that corresponds to his status in God's eyes is another matter. For a history of his rise to the top read this article.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

For All the Marys of the World

One of my newsletter readers sent the following lovely poem which I just had to share. Enjoy it, especially if your name is Mary.

To a Little Girl Named Mary
by M.H. Kennedy

St. Anne with the child Mary
What a precious name you carry,

Little maid with eyes of blue!
Just to think dear Mother Mary
Shares her holy name with you!

Sweetest name in all the ages,
Loved of God and loved of man;
Honored by all saints and sages
Ever since the world began;

Praised by countless voices ringing
In the bright celestial choirs;
Blessed by little children singing
Hymns of thanks and fond desires;

Gracious with a grace supernal,
Lovely as a morn in May,
With a grace that is eternal
This the name you bear today.

Tis a priceless jewel you carry,
Little girl with eyes so blue;
Yet I know dear Mother Mary
Gladly shares her name with you.

Update on Ken Fisher...

...And it's a testimony to the power of prayer. They are obviously being answered. Here's the latest update on Ken Fisher, pro-life hero:
Ken is SINGING the Salve Regina! Also, Ken is now joining us in praying/reciting ALL the prayers of the Rosary!Pass the word... keep the prayers coming... Ken is STEADILY GETTING BETTER... MRI showed no need for neurosurgery and the little blood wisp in his brain will be gone of its own in a few days... and Ken can move all his limbs on command... shook hands with doctor... good right hand lift, extension, grasp and shake. And, Ken sat up in bed this afternoon with the therapists...
If you would like to send Ken a get well card or Mass card his home address is

1415 West Cerritos Ave., #57
Anaheim, CA 92802-2269

God in the Workplace

I found this article really inspiring. Do you say the morning offering? Do you think about God frequently during the day? Do you thank Him for the many gifts with which He showers you? Give God your day, your work, your relationships. He will bless you....not necessarily with material success, but with the things that really matter.

Nutella Founder Dies, Said Secret of Success Was Our Lady of Lourdes

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Truth about Common Core.....

....It's dumbing down your children! Parents need to study the Common Core to understand what's happening to your children. All children will be impacted by this because testing will be developed based on Common Core, textbooks will be developed based on Common Core, etc. Common Core centralizes decision making among a few people who think they know what's good for everybody, although many of these elitists won't subject their own children it. Common Core eliminates choice in education. It treats children as little automatons who can all be wound up and come out according to the goals of the clockmaker. Common Core is an experiment. It was developed without any study, with no impact from parents, and some of it is downright ridiculous.

Education must be individual because children are individuals.

Please Pray for Pro-Life Hero Ken Fisher

On February 10th, Ken Fisher, a stalwart pro-life leader in Southern California suffered a stroke resulting in one side being paralyzed and limited speech. Ken received the sacrament of the sick and is currently at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange receiving treatment. As a long-time Catholic activist, Ken has spent many hours to save unborn babies by sidewalk counseling outside abortion mills. Ken has also put pressure on the Knights of Columbus to follow their charter by disciplining pro-abortion members especially Catholic politicians committing grave scandal by their public support for the murder of unborn children while professing to be practicing Catholics.

For years, Ken has organized a public witness at the West Coast Religious Education Conference exposing the large number of pro-abortion speakers including clergy and religious who publicly dissent from the teachings of the Church. Despite persecution, Ken has courageously persevered in defending the faith and defending the innocent. Ken founded Concerned Roman Catholics of America which has a long record of working to restore the authentic Catholic faith in America. His organization is a member of the Catholic Media Coalition.

Please in charity pray for a full recovery of this staunch, pro-life Catholic hero so he can continue his important work for the Lord.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Meditation: Choosing a Watchword (or watchphrase) for Lent

I went to the TLM at St. John the Baptist in Front Royal today. I love that Mass -- so reverent, so much silence for reflection, so obvious that we are all worshiping together following our shepherd united as one body. I had my old, tattered missal with the inscription from my mom: "To Mary Ann on her ninth birthday (and the date) Love, Mother and Dad." Every time I see her beautiful handwriting tears come to my eyes. That missal is such a connection to my childhood.

But that's just a sidelight. I was thinking before Mass that I want to choose a word or phrase for Lent as the needle and thread that sews together all the days of the season like the pieces of a quilt. I hope that will keep my scatter-brain focused. But what to choose?

As I listened to the gospel, Luke 18: 31-43, there it was. That particular gospel tells the story of the blind man who hears that Jesus is near and begins calling out to Him, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" The apostles and others try to shush him up, but he won't listen and just keeps on calling, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me."

Friday, February 13, 2015

Come Home to Rome

I met a very nice lady yesterday, the cashier in a little museum gift shop. In the course of our conversation we got to talking about people in nursing homes and I mentioned that I'm a Catholic and take Communion on Sundays to the residents of a home in my town. She volunteered that she was raised Catholic but left. She apparently had a bad experience with a priest and committed spiritual Hari Kari. I sensed some hostility, she talked about the "myths" of the Catholic Church. I gently remonstrated with her about the Eucharist. She insisted that all churches were the same and we all believed in the same God. I said I didn't think that was true and that Islam believed in a God who demanded killing the infidel. She responded with the statement that there was a time when Catholics believed in killing people who disagreed with their tenants. I said, "No, that's not true." She said, "Yes it is."Talk about a mythology that has confused so many people about the Church. We could have gone back and forth but I decided that wasn't going anywhere.

The conversation then turned to the two great commandments, love God and love neighbor. Interestingly, she talked about her belief that we all know in our hearts what's right and wrong. She didn't use the term "natural law" but that's what she was talking about. Another belief she articulated was that Christ never founded a Church. I quoted Jesus' statement to Peter about the keys of the kingdom. At any rate, the conversation ended with my acknowledging her as a sister in Christ. I wanted to pray for her by name but was afraid saying that would get her back up. So I introduced myself and she volunteered her name back.

I'm always sad when I meet fallen away Catholics. What a tragedy to walk away from the Bread of Life who is Christ Himself. So please pray for my sister Laurel that she will return to the faith of her childhood. I have no doubt she is a sincere, faith-filled lady -- all the more reason that she needs the Holy Sacraments of the Church to make that fire of faith burst into a blast furnace.

Pray for Laurel and for all fallen-away Catholics that they will be inspired by the grace of the Holy Spirit to come home to Rome.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Lent is Coming......

...How will you observe it?

The three traditional areas of focus are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. What will you do in each of these areas to grow closer to the Lord Jesus who died for you? Will the end of Lent find you unchanged from Ash Wednesday or will you be able to look back and praise God for opening your heart more fully to His will?

"Remember, man, that thou art dust and unto dust you will return."

What really matters in this life?

One thing to fast from is shopping at Target. They are offering "adult toys" based on the pornographic film Fifty Shades of Grey in their stores where any child can pick them up and ask Mom, "What's this for?"

We live in a cesspool of lust. What can you offer this Lent in atonement for the degradation so many poor souls are choosing? Lust always leads to violence whether it's to individual acts of lust like rape and seduction or communal acts of violence like the horror of the French Revolution.

One thing I'm praying for this Lent is to imitate Mary more: her purity, her holy innocence, her complete union to the will of God.

All you holy angels and saints, pray for us!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

No Wonder Parents Don't Trust Vaccines

Merck Senior Management Bribes Scientists to Cover Up Fraud

You can read the legal file here.

Interestingly, seven employees of Disneyland fully covered by Merck's MMR vaccine contracted measles anyway. Maybe the mumps portion of the MMR isn't the only problem. Read about it here.

Think about it. The big push is on using the Disneyland situation to introduce the idea of forced vaccination. But if Big Pharma is lying about the efficacy of vaccinations how can any parent assess the value vs. the risks of vaccinations? Vaccines are known to have serious side effects and even kill. See vaccination statistics.   I'm not anti-vaccine by any means, but I find it interesting that we've heard about the Disneyland cases of measles ad nauseum.  How often do we hear about the vaccine disasters like gardasil? There's more money in promoting vaccines than in promoting vaccine safety.

Monday, February 9, 2015

And While We Are on the Question of Vaccines...

...what about those derived from aborted babies? It may be only remote cooperation with evil if there is no moral option available and the disease is serious, but is a Catholic required to participate in the remote cooperation? Here's a great article by Jeff Mirus on the question. Want to join the conversation?

Thinking Morally about Vaccinations

Measles Outbreak Caused by What?

The politically correct explanation for the measles outbreak is to blame parents who are refusing vaccinations. But isn't it interesting that hardly a word is being said about the illegal alien invasion. The fact that the outbreak started in California makes at least a strong circumstantial case for the likelihood that the "epidemic" is directly linked to Obama's policies of open borders and distribution of potentially sick illegals, especially children, to most states in the nation. (See here.) While the Post article pooh-poohs the idea that illegals are a cause of increased rates of disease, it points out that border security agents are contracting diseases and parasites like chicken pox, scabies, lice, etc. Now if they are getting those is it really unlikely that measles is a problem as well? Most of those officers are probably required to have up-to-date measles vaccinations. Chicken pox isn't mandatory. So how many cases of measles are connected to illegals? Is anyone even looking at it? Disease outbreaks are complicated, but it seems to me that liberals go out of their way to disavow any connection between the massive invasion of medically unscreened illegals and the rise in diseases which have been relatively rare in the U.S.  Political correctness is dangerous when it refuses to consider a common sense question and call for serious study. I agree with Ben Carson who certainly has the credentials to question the politically correct meme.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday Meditation from St. Teresa of Avila

On Prayer:
"All that the beginner in prayer has to do - and you must not forget this, for it is very important -- is to labour and be resolute and prepare himself with all possible diligence to bring his will into conformity with the will of God As I shall say later, you may be quite sure that this comprises the very greatest perfection which can be attained on the spiritual road. The more perfectly a person practises it, the more he will receive of the Lord and the greater the progress he will make on this road; do not think we have to use strange jargon or dabble in things of which we have no knowledge or understanding; our entire welfare is to be found in what I have described. If we go astray at the very beginning and want the Lord to do our will and to lead us just as our fancy dictates, how can this building possibly have a firm foundation? Let us see that we do as much as in us lies and avoid these venomous reptiles, for often it is the Lord's will that we should be persecuted and afflicted by evil thoughts, which we cannot cast out, and also by aridities; and sometimes He even allows these reptiles to bite us, so that we may learn better how to be on our guard in the future and see if we are really grieved at having offended Him.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Take a Hike! Or a Bike Ride...

That expression, "Take a hike." has a pejorative meaning to it. But I think if someone said that me, I'd smile and say, "Don't mind if I do; want to come?" How many people in our lives find us annoying and presume that our thoughts toward them are negative or judgmental, when actually, we simply disagree. It is, in fact, possible to disagree without being disagreeable. I think of G.K. Chesterton who had so many friends, like George Bernard Shaw, whose worldview was diametrically opposed to his. And yet they were good friends. I think it was H.G. Wells who said if he made it into heaven it would be because of the prayers of his friend Chesterton.

I think taking a hike or a bike ride with a difficult family member can be a real experience of communion.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Choosing Starvation and Dehydration, the M.O. of Despair

The End Game

I take Communion on Sundays to six people at a nursing home. Five are suffering from Alzheimers or dementia. One is a lady with many physical problems, but as sharp as a tack mentally. The staff at the nursing home are wonderful. They treat everyone with kindness and gentleness. I have seen an aide spend half an hour patiently feeding a patient who can't remember how to use a fork. That same patient usually smiles when I sing "Jesus loves me..." before I give her Communion. Another Catholic resident is a former organist who can still sit down at the piano and play all the old hymns. We went through a hymnal one day singing half a dozen songs together. He remembered how to play and sang all the words accurately. But he often says things that, in the eyes of the world, would be labeled "crazy." He lives in Alzheimers World most of the time.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The World Would Love to Eliminate People Like Paul Smith

All they see is the disability. How many handicapped people have so much to offer to the world. But as the nursing home worker says, it's Paul, not his art, that is the most important. It's great to enjoy his art, but "not as good as enjoying him." The next time you see a seriously handicapped individual, praise God for the gifts you do not see. May God give us His eyes through which to see the world!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Rorate Caeli Exposes What?

Update 2/28/2015: Well, there is more to the story than this video which apparently has been misrepresented by bloggers since it was not, in fact, shot the day the seminary closed. I'm linking to a post by Fr.Angelo Geiger that disputes much of what's been circulating on the internet about the papal investigation of the Friars. He doesn't discuss the reasons for the initial investigation or the suppression of the TLM withn the order by the Vatican. 

Frankly, I don't know what to make of a lot of it, but Father is himself a friar so presumably he knows what's what, and he appears to be just seeking truth and justice in the matter. Catholic World Report ran an article in 2013 and even it doesn't get the story completely straight as the comment section shows. Fairness in reporting is important to me and I don't like the thought that other bloggers are posting dishonest material as fact which I may be inadvertently promoting. So read Fr. Geiger's blog post, the CWR article, and pray for the Friars. We live in confusing times. It is sad when Catholic bloggers either deliberately or inadvertently spread false information adding to the confusion.

Original Post --

"On December 8, 2013, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Theological Seminary of the Immaculate Mediatrix (STIM) of the Franciscans of the Immaculate (FI) was closed by their Apostolic Commissioner, Fr. Fidenzio Volpi. On the same day, one of the friars filmed the entire day, which presents, along with additional footage, the way of life in that same seminary."



"A great number of the friars seen in this film

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time Again -- Avoid Them Like Poison!



Time to find out what GS really stands for -- girl seduction. I remember back in the 1970s when the Philadelphia council was testing a badge called "becoming a woman." One of the suggested activities was visiting an abortion mill.

I kid you not!

Today, some GS councils actively partner with Planned Parenthood. On March 5, 2004 on NBC's Today show, Kathy Cloninger, GS CEO from 2003-2011 admitted it saying that some scout councils partner "with Planned Parenthood organizations across the country to bring information-based sex education programs to girls."

Just what parents are looking for, eh?

Among other things,

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Pampers' Awesome Ad

I almost cried when I watched the video below because I remember back 25-30 years ago when Pampers was publicly supporting Planned Parenthood. I wrote a letter at the time asking whether it wasn't a crazy business decision to support an organization that kills your customers. But it looks like Pampers left the dark side and all I can say is "Bravo!" Unfortunately, Pamper's parent company, Proctor and Gamble, is still actively supporting the evil empire.

As of 2010 P & G still funded PP and may be today. I couldn't find any information on corporate giving that showed Planned Parenthood. Anybody out there have info? P & G definitely supports the U.N.'s UNICEF program which has direct connections to abortion and contraception. (See here and here.) So while I applaud this beautiful ad from Pampers, it's with reservations considering the position of parent company, P & G. But think how many people will see this ad and perhaps be touched by it. I know a woman who changed her mind in an abortion mill when she saw the Continental Can ad showing the unborn baby in the amniotic sac with the message, "packaging is as important to life as life itself." She walked out of the abortion mill and never looked back. She lived with us for six months while she awaited her baby and I was her labor coach. Sadly, her baby was stillborn. That was many year ago and I still think about her. Please pray for Pat.