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Tuesday, April 30, 2024

How Seemingly Small Decisions Can Have Big Consequences

Departure of the Prodigal Son by Murillo

Editor's note: Every now and then I repeat a post from the past. The Catholic faith is being lost in many places. How many parents lead their children out of the Church for one reason or another? How many children, brought up by faithful parents, spurn the treasure and embrace another god? I'm reflecting on all this today and praying for the faith to grow in the hearts of all people. Christ is knocking at the door. Will anyone answer?

How Seemingly Small Decisions Can Have Big Consequences

I once had a neighbor, a wonderful Lutheran Christian. We used to walk together around our neighborhood chatting about anything or nothing. One day (I don't remember how it came up.) he mentioned that his father was a Catholic. "Oh Marvin," I said, "You should have been a Catholic."

Monday, April 29, 2024

"Dying Slowly While the World is Watching!"

But does anyone care?

Tucker Carlson recently interviewed a Lutheran priest from the Holy Land. All the people fighting over the war in Gaza need to watch the interview. Frankly, I'm shocked at Catholics who seem to celebrate the war in the Middle East, cheering for Israel no matter what. Any act of atrocity by Israel is justified or it never happened! Maybe someone should ask the Christians of Bethlehem about family members in Gaza whom they can't visit.

Conflict Between History and the Modern World - Then vs Now

Tel Aviv today
(Pro-Palestinian students at Columbia, Yale, MIT, NYU  yell,
"Hamas we love you! Burn Tel Aviv to the ground!")

The famous author Mark Twain managed to hitch a ride on a steam ship to the Holy Land in 1867. The young man joined a group of pilgrims he sarcastically named "the Innocents."

The ship was called Quaker City, a former Civil War ship. A budding writer, Twain's passage was paid for by a Californian newspaper. He wrote about the Holy Land in his novel Innocents Abroad, and unlike other writers of the day who Romanticized the place, Twain drew blood in his usual acerbic style -

Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

"Without contention, without willfullness, without obstinacy...."

Today is the feast of St. Peter Canisius, Doctor of the Church, a Jesuit who knew St. Ignatius. He was a powerful preacher against heresy who participated in two sessions of the Council of Trent called to address the inroads of the Protestant revolution. 

Sounds like a perfect intercessor for own day, eh? As I was reading the entry in Butler's Lives of the Saints this morning I asked St. Peter to be an intercessor overlooking and interceding for those who comment on the blog, including myself and my blog partner, Susan. St. Peter was never contentious. 

He described the "spirit and manner in which Christian apologetics and controversy should be conducted." I think it would be a blessing if all who engage in apologetics and commented anywhere on blogs or social media followed his advice. The passage I quote below relates to Protestants, but it could relate to many other situations as well. How do we react to those with whom we disagree? Are we patient, kind, not rude? Do we engage with anger seeking the elevation of our own opinions above theirs? Do we rejoice in evil to the extent of chortling over the murder of others taking pleasure in the killing as long as the ones who die are the "bad guys" according to our judgment? 

Friday, April 26, 2024

She Said She Couldn't Wait Until We All Die

The demonic hatred and rage was truly amazing

There I was at work last Thursday minding my own business when I looked up and saw a girl about age 22 needing help with her credit card. The man in line ahead of her was from Virginia and mentioned the constant traffic backups in Washington, DC and how that same problem has followed him here to Florida. 

The girl picked up on the tail end of the brief conversation and said, "Well, I wish I were there right now. I'd love to join the protest." The conversation went like this:

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Words, words, words!

King Haakon VII
My mom was a dictionary reader. I don't read a physical dictionary much. Why would I when so much information can be accessed on-line? I do like to look up the etymology of words however. And sometimes I get curious about things -- like words that develop from people's names. There's a word for those words: eponyms! 

We were watching a film the other day about the Nazi invasion of Norway, The King's Choice. Fascinating movie with plenty of historical information. (Prepare for a digression.) I never knew, for example, that the king of Norway was elected by the people. He was actually a prince of Denmark, Prince Carl, but when Norway separated from Sweden and the king of Sweden voluntarily abdicated, Norway asked him to become king. He only agreed if the people wanted to continue the monarchy rather than choose a republic. They voted to keep the monarchy and he ascended the throne in 1905 choosing a historic Norwegian name, King Haakon VII. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A good quote to meditate on. Keep the faith!

“The Magisterium of the Pope and of the bishops has no authority over the substance of the Sacraments. Therefore, no synod – with or without the Pope – and also no ecumenical council, or the Pope alone, if he spoke ex cathedra, could make possible the ordination of women as bishop, priest, or deacon. They would stand in contradiction to the defined doctrine of the Church. “It would be invalid,” - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller

Think about that when the synod starts spouting heresy and taking the local churches in various places into schism.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Propaganda Isn't Necessarily a Dirty Word! Truth vs. Deception!

John Steinbeck wrote The Moon Is Down as a propaganda novel during World War II. (See my original post about it here.) The book was almost immediately made into a film which was released in 1943. I watched the movie last night and in the credits was a note that war bonds could be purchased in the theater. Interesting bit of trivia. 

Monday, April 22, 2024

Monday Meandering Thoughts and Questions

  • Bartolome Esteban Murillo
    I'm currently reading The Life and Glories of Saint Joseph by Edward Healy Thompson, M.A. Despite the lack of information about St. Joseph in scripture, the Doctors of the Church, and many spiritual writers have written widely about this silent saint. We know he was the "son of Jacob" from St. Matthew's gospel which gives us Joseph's natural geneology. St. Luke gives us, on the other hand, his legal geneology as the "son of Heli." Both statements are true. He was the natural born son of Jacob, but the legal son of Heli, as his son-in-law. And who was Heli? According to a number of the spiritual writers who take this view, it was Joachim the father of Mary. The names Heli, Eliachim and Joachim are synonymous in scripture. If this view is correct, and the reasoning presented by the author is convincing, then Jacob and St. Ann, Mary's mother and Joachim's wife, were siblings, so Mary and Joseph were cousins. The author believes that the reason for St. Luke's genealogy was to emphasize Mary's genealogy. The book is fascinating and I recommend it for anyone who wants to know St. Joseph better. 

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Did the SSPX Really "Cover Up" the Fr. Rostand Case?

We're often given one-sided salacious stories framed in the worst possible light. This is especially true when the source has something to gain from putting the worst construction on the events and then magnifies them. The scandal of SSPX child abuser Fr. Arnaud Rostand is being used, once again, to bludgeon the SSPX. Every reader of the scandal is being led to presume that the leadership of the SSPX covered up Rostand's abuse and moved him around like the McCarrick crowd. After all, that's Fr. Rostand's claim and, of course, this priest abuser couldn't possibly be lying. Remember when McCarrick claimed he was really a good guy and didn't understand why he was being treated so badly? Narcissism is common among both homo and hetero sex abusers. Why would anyone believe anything they said?

Friday, April 19, 2024

God Ordained Science! The "Signs in the Heavens" Lead Us Straight to God!

The scientific facts of astronomy lead us straight to God. Did you watch the solar eclipse with a sense of awe? Listen to this sermon and see how science reveals God. God is the God of science! Those who claim that there is a conflict between religion and science know very little about either religion or science. "Mary reflects the Son." Jesus is symbolized by the sun and Mary by the moon. The moon reflects the light of the sun, like Mary magnifies the Lord. And one little fact of trivia. Many heavenly bodies are named after Jesuit astronomers. Science and the Catholic faith are united because the Creator of the world is the Lord of science. Monks, priests, nuns and Catholic laymen gave us many of the scientific truths we know today. (Check these two sources to be amazed: religious scientists and laymen.) Watch this amazing video and pray for God's great gift to us to be magnified: the faithful and holy priesthood!


Thursday, April 18, 2024

Never Lose Hope: A Letter from E.B. White

One of the reasons I remain on Facebook despite its censorship and bias is reflected in the beautiful article below that my sister posted on her wall today. In fact, I liked it so much I looked for the source and found the book it came from on Amazon, Letters of Note, compiled by Shaun Usher. Guess what? I ordered the book.

I've always loved Charlotte's Web and The Trumpet of the Swan. Both those children's classics are filled with hope. Charlotte gives Wilbur hope and saves his life. Louis the Swan, born without a voice, finds a way to woo and win Serena as his mate.

In the story of Pandora's Box, when all the evils are released into the world, one little thing remains -- hope. Let's never forget it!

In 1973, E.B. White wrote the following reply to a Mr. Nadeau, "who sought White's opinion on what he saw as a bleak future for the human race."
"Dear Mr. Nadeau:

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

"The Flies Have Conquered the Flypaper!" The Human Spirit Can Never Be Defeated by Evil!

One of my favorite books is The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck, a novel he wrote as propaganda for the allies during World War II. It tells the story of a little unnamed coastal coal-mining town conquered by an invading force. The enemy have taken over most of an unnamed country across the water from England. I've always thought of it as a village in France, but it could be one of the Scandinavian countries, Norway, Denmark, or Sweden. Steinbeck interviewed many refugees from those countries and used their stories to develop his plot. And the book is a masterpiece in my opinion in both effective propaganda and literary merit. I've listened to the audio book at least half a dozen times and read it as well.

Despite its popularity in the occupied countries of Europe (It was translated, copied, and reprinted in the tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands.), Steinbeck was shocked at the criticism at home. He treated the enemy like human beings rather than cartoon villains. Some thought he was "naive" and the book was too sympathetic to the enemy. On the contrary, it shows how people who are basically decent get caught up in evil, often maneuvered like pieces on a chessboard by godless politicians. Haven't we seen that often enough with the treatment of our own children and grandchildren sent off to fight and die in useless foreign wars? Have you read the book or watched the film, 13 Hours, about the Benghazi debacle? Some things never change!

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Murdered by Hospice and Hospitals: It's Happening Before Your Eyes!

Sr. Philip Burle, murdered!
I read years ago about elderly patients in the Netherlands who feared they would be euthanized if they went into the hospital. It was a reasonable fear. "Termination of life without request" is not a rare situation. It is increasing in every country that promotes assisted suicide. And too often the deliberate murder of the patient is involved even when they desire to live. 

The Bioethics Observatory of the Catholic University of Valencia has a number of alarming articles exposing the increasing incidence of deliberate euthanasia of patients. You can read some of them here. While the high profile cases make the news, most of those hastened to the morgue are invisible.

Sr. Dede Byrne saw her close friend, Sr. Philip Marie Burle, medically murdered. She vowed to expose what happened and worked with others to create a film outlining the last days of Sr. Philip Marie. Watch the trailer No Mercy: The Catholic Culture of Death. You can also request to join the group, Murdered by Hospice. More and more families are experiencing the government-incentivized murder of their loved ones by stealth euthanasia. Please share information about this documentary with others, especially those with loved ones in nursing homes or hospice. 

Friday, April 12, 2024

More on Dignitas Infinita: Is It the Prelude to the Denial of Hell?

Years ago on a Cursillo weekend, I spent several hours in the stairwell late at night discussing hell with a young woman who didn't believe there was a hell or, if there was, that no one went there. At the end of the evening, she had changed her mind.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Dignitas Infanita: "as Hollow as a Sounding Brass or a Tinkling Cymbol"

Does Francis respect the human dignity of all,
or are some animals more equal than others?

Another day, another Vatican document. This one says more by its grave omissions than by its content.

The introduction to the article about Dignitas Infanita (DI) at  Voice of the Family offers a sad commentary on the state of the Vatican's pronouncement: 
...the failure of Cardinal Fernandez to identify the worldwide promotion of the contraceptive mentality, as well as its logical extension, the homosexualist agenda, as a grave threat to human dignity leaves the words of his landmark Declaration ringing as hollow as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

I agree! Contraception is the root of many of today's sexual sins, which threaten the dignity of everyone, especially our youth. The article goes on: 

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Expect to Be Sicker, Dumber, and Less Safe Thanks to DEI Tyranny!

Near misses and close calls in the air are on the rise! Could DEI be the reason?

When you call a plumber or hire a mechanic, or someone to build your house, do you care what color his skin is or just how good he is at his job? The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) crowd care. That's why the woman who runs the Department of Energy has almost no background in anything that matters. A soil geologist with no expertise in physics, no knowledge of nuclear power is running the nation's science programs. What is she good at? Wokism illustrated by puplishing on things like "A Critical Feminist Approach to Transforming Workplace Climate." Yikes! Here appointment testifies to the stupidity of the DEI tyranny! We can all look forward to being sicker, dumber, and less safe thanks to DEI!

Monday, April 8, 2024

Live a Real Life not a Virtual LIfe on the Internet!

All it takes is a click to enter the virtual world of gaming instead of living!

A few weeks ago I posted the Les Femmes lead article from the winter edition about screen addiction. You can check it out here. (Part 1, Part 2)  After the print issue went out (I send it to all the priests in the diocese.), I received a message from a friend, a pastor at a large parish who outlined his own personal experience with a teenager in crisis. 

Sunday, April 7, 2024

The Annunciation and the Solar Eclipse -- Just a Coincidence -- or a God Incidence?

"And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars." [Rev 12:1]

Interesting, isn't it? The Feast of the Annunciation was moved from its normal date of March 25th because of Holy Week and Easter Week. That change in date to April 8th put the feast on the same day as the solar eclipse.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

A Message from the Real Mother Cabrini about Faith, Family, and Country

I did not like the film about Mother Cabrini which missed the essence of her humble and obedient nature and her intense love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As portrayed in the movie, she seemed more in love with herself and her vision than with Christ.

Despite the saint's firmness when following God's will, she was a profoundly humble and obedient religious who treated others with respect. I particularly disliked the screaming scene in the movie where she insulted the fictional mayor's fictional assistant. What a slander against a holy woman who wished to model herself on Our Lady!

The Answer

Friday, April 5, 2024

Got Gratitude? It Does a Body Good!

My Thanksgiving cactus bloomed abundantly at Thanksgiving. It continued to bloom at Christmas. The show continued in celebration of Easter and there is no sign that it is giving up yet. New blossoms continue to form. This has never happened before and I've had this plant for at least a decade. This morning I was reflecting on why I am being so blessed with continuous blooms and I decided that the Lord is giving me a metaphor through this gorgeous cactus.

It's all about gratitude!

Thursday, April 4, 2024

God’s Time Isn’t Our Time

A friend gave me a subscription to a Scripture study site for Christmas. I’m doing the introductory course on the Old Testament. A dozen lessons in, one thing particularly strikes me. God’s time is not our time. God makes a promise and then He waits and watches. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

"A Liturgy from Hell"? Traditionis Custodes Cannot Suppress the Traditional Latin Mass

As regular readers know, I'm a big fan of Chronicles Magazine. The February issue included an article by George Kendall an octagenerian who grew up with the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), but "for much of his life...has been a conservative Novus Ordo (NO) Catholic." Kendall's article, A Liturgy from Hell, illustrates his return to tradition and the realization that the liturgical chaos after Vatican II decimated Holy Mother Church. He laments the fact that "...our hierarchy was foolish enough, all those years ago, to twist a great parable, selling the pearl of great price in order to buy a truckload of trash chosen by committee."

Whoa! Let me pause here to emphasize that the NO, although seriously deficient and more Protestant than Catholic, is a valid Mass. I hesitate to call it a "truckload of trash."

Monday, April 1, 2024

Important Message from Bob Marshall about Protecting Virginia's Children and Parental Rights!

I received the message below today from former Virginia delegate Bob Marshall, a hero for life! We need to stop this evil legislation. Even if you don't live in Virginia, send the governor a message through his chief of staff. Governor Youngkin's resistance to the abuse of children can help parents in other states push back against the mutilation and moral destruction of our children and grandchildren! Please take action!

Write Governor Youngkin:
via his Chief of Staff, Jeff Goettman -
or his Policy Director, Ali Ahmad to VETO HB 609 and SB 237

Thank you, Delegate Bob Marshall

Governor Youngkin:
Please VETO HB 609 and SB 237 to prevent minor’s access (without parental consent) to Abortifacients, Abortion, Contraception, Sterilization or “Transgender” Drugs. Please include the policy points below in your VETO message for HB 609 and SB 237 to secure public support for your actions!

A Time to Laugh: When Trolls Crawl Out from under their Rocks

A troll dressed like an
angel is still a troll!
I thought I'd repeat this post after reading some comments on a group to which I belong that  discusses the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM). I was appalled at some of the unkind and judgmental comments responding to a simple question that could have been answered yes or no. Instead, the writers attacked the motives of the individual illustrating their own sin of rash judgment and an incredible lack of charity. Really? What were you doing in Lent that you responded to a fellow serious Catholic with such sarcasm and vitriol on Holy Saturday. Maybe it's time to go into the silent tomb and lie next to the body of Christ and beg for mercy from His Sacred Heart. We would all do well to spend time doing that. Perhaps the next time I can't sleep at night I will ask my guardian angel to roll back the stone and escort me into the tomb.

At any rate, I wrote this column during the COVID lockdowns as will become apparent as you read it. We all have troll tendencies. I grew up in a sarcastic household and have spent my life trying to purge the temptation to sarcasm from my character.

May all my readers have a blessed Easter week basking in the joy of the risen Christ.