Sunday, March 31, 2013
Saturday, March 30, 2013
The Harrowing of Hell
|From an ancient homily for Holy Saturday|
|The Lord's descent into the underworld|
Harrowing comes from the Old English word "hergian" that means "to despoil". By the sin in the Garden, Adam & Eve had given authority over all mankind to Satan. But that was not the end. By Jesus' death, Satan was defeated. As the old saying goes "To the victor belongs the spoils." Jesus is the victor. He despoiled hell, set free the righteous & brought them triumphantly into heaven.
Friday, March 29, 2013
Behold the Wood of the Cross
Come let us adore.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Nearing the End of the Lenten Race
Today is Spy Wednesday for 2013
It refers to the opening from the Gospel at today's Mass:
" Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests, And said to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? But they appointed him thirty pieces of silver. And from thenceforth he sought opportunity to betray him." Matthew 26:14-16
In short, Judas became a spy or double agent, hence the name.
Top to Bottom: James Bond, Man From U.N.C.L.E., Get Smart
Monday, March 25, 2013
Lifestyles of the Liturgically Screwed Up
If the need for the Holy Water to touch every piece of palm then somebody better tell the Pope he is doing it wrong:
& you thought using a super soaker at Mass was bad?
Which leads me to this question, what next, using a hose at the Easter Vigil & at other Masses where they use the sprinkling rite to ensure everyone is getting hit by the Holy Water?
I hope not, while it is nice to have some of the water fall on me if the priest is blessing the congregation, I still receive all the blessings & graces if I remain entirely dry. There is nothing in the rubrics that says everyone in the congregation has to be directly sprinkled, just the congregation as a whole. & as a whole we receive the blessings & graces, just as every palm frond is blessed even if it isn't one of those that has the Holy Water touch it.
I am sure this isn't the end of ridiculous ideas like these. Lord, deliver us from well-meaning but mistaken ideas like these.
H/T: The Badger Catholic
Sunday, March 24, 2013
From "Hosanna!" To "Crucify Him!"
Instead, He provided, as I pointed out, the way we can receive all the mercy we need.
Part of God's plan for helping us to do so is through the private revelations he made to St. Faustina. He called her to be the apostle of His Divine Mercy. One of the tools he gave was the Novena of Divine Mercy. The Novena begins on Good Friday & runs through the Saturday after Easter. The next day is the Feast of Divine Mercy
There is not a single person alive who doesn't need God's mercy. I know how much I need it. Despite my best efforts, I still fall. I don't presume on God's Mercy to justify sinning. But when I do, I call on it.
From the beginning, through the time of St. Faustina, up to now, God keeps calling us to His Mercy, no matter how many times we fall, no matter how bad our sins. God still calls to us. I challenge you to learn more about God's Mercy, especially as revealed in the Divine Mercy devotion. In addition to the 2 links already provided, you can find out more here at the website for the Marians of the Immaculate Conception.
As an aside, the Rosary you see in the picture of my sick-call crucifix is the one I received 51 years ago when I received my 1st Communion. In my younger days, it saw its share of use. Now it is retired to a place of honor & a reminder to pray the Rosary as well as the Divine Mercy Chaplet regularly.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Is This What They Asked of God When They Prayed Together?
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Why Do I Suspect the "Coexist" Wackos Wouldn't Want to Do So With This
Could It Be, SATAN?????????????
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The World's Second Love
St Lawrence of Brindisi in his writings on what he called The Incarnational Circle mentions Mary as being planned as the virginal mother. That meant there was also the need for a virginal father. That father was San Giuseppe. While I haven't read the work in its entirety, what little I know, as well as what I have read by Archbishop Sheen, Gerson, Suarez & others have been the inspiration for this reflection.
Mary was planned from before time by God as the perfect or ideal mother for His Son. So, here having the perfect or ideal spouse for her & earthly father for Jesus was also a part of that plan.
Since Mary was to be the biological mother of Christ, than her being immaculately conceived was only logical. All the other gifts she was given to enable her to fulfill that role & the Church extols are only logical. Joseph, on the other hand, was not the biological father, but that is the only sense in which he was not the father of Jesus. So that means that he had to be equipped with all the gifts & attributes to ensure he would be the ideal father of Jesus as well as the ideal spouse of Mary.
Additionally, by the angel telling Joseph to name Jesus, we see God giving Joseph a unique gift, a portion of His Divine Fatherhood. Joseph was able to exercise all the rights over Jesus as a father that His Heavenly Father would. Jesus had to submit to Joseph's authority as that of His Heavenly Father.
I am not saying that Joseph was immaculately conceived. That has never been taught. But what has been widely suggested, & I agree with, is that, like St. John the Baptist, he was freed from original sin in the womb. Also, like the Baptist, he was graced to be able to avoid sinning throughout his life as well.
All this was done, like Mary's conception, because of what Jesus did on the cross, not through any merits of their own. Mary & Joseph both had free will, they were both tempted & both rejected sin. I won't go into more about Mary as there is plenty out there about why this is true.
In Joseph's case I will point out that Scripture itself strongly hints at this by his being called a righteous or just man. (Matthew 1:19) That term is almost never used to describe a human. Instead we here Scripture talk about how humans usually fail to be righteous before God.
What we can be sure of is that this means Joseph was a man of prayer as well as familiar with what we now call the writings of the Old Testament. It also meant that he lived out his faith in a way that was only equaled to by Mary.
Like Mary, he was totally submissive to the will of God. Like Mary, he was humble as well. Like Mary, he also took a vow of virginity. (more on this later) We see that in how he handled the news about Mary's pregnancy. Many people think that Joseph wanted to divorce Mary because he thought she had violated her vow of virginity. But what is more likely is that he was aware she had conceived by the Holy Spirit. In his humility he felt unworthy for the role he knew he would have to play, so he tried to quietly bow out. If he thought she had sinned, his righteousness would have required he publicly divorce her.
I want to make it clear, as have many other preeminant authors on Joseph, that the marriage between Joseph & Mary was a real marriage. They were truly one. They loved each other perfectly. & in a sense, Jesus was the fruit of that union.
Mary's virginity was made fruitful by her bearing Jesus. In Joseph's case his fruitful virginity was the result of his taking the role assigned to him by God, to be Jesus' father. By the angel telling him he was to name the child Jesus, Joseph was told that he was being appointed to truly be Jesus father as the earthly image of the Heavenly Father. This means that what we see in Joseph's actions toward Mary & Jesus are a reflection of the love & care the Heavenly Father has for each & every one of us.
Scripture make's it clear in many places that nothing he did gave those in Nazareth any reason to doubt that he was the father of Jesus. That was because he exercised his role as husband, as well as father, exactly as a righteous man would.
He cared for Mary, he protected her & provided for her. Like any father, he protected & provided for Jesus' needs. He also taught Jesus what it meant to be a real man as well as the skills needed to earn a living. Part of that teaching included Joseph's living out his faith in word & example.
I honestly believe that wherever the Holy Family was, there was a small sampling of Heaven here on Earth. I say this for several reasons. The most obvious is that wherever God is, there is Heaven. Jesus is God. So He brought a bit of Heaven with him. Additionally, what we say in Nazareth was a glimpse of what we will see in eternity.
Mary, as the Queen of Heaven (seen in the Queen mother of Ancient Israel), is there at the side of Jesus. Where Mary is, then her spouse, Joseph, is bound to be. Many saints & mystics have held to this. While the Church has never ruled this to be a doctrine of faith, it has constantly allowed it to be acceptable.
The following is just my opinion. I have not seen this elsewhere, though someone else may well have said so before. When the mother of James & John asked that one be seated at His right, the other at His left, in the kingdom, Jesus said they were reserved from before time for those chosen by the Father. We can be fairly certain that one of them was for Mary as Queen. As I said, logically Joseph would be nearby. So might the other seat (throne) have been reserved for Joseph as the other part of the Incarnational Circle?
Also, since Jesus gave Mary to be our Mother, by His giving Joseph that share in His Fatherhood, Joseph is our Father as well. Think about it. Jesus is our brother. We are adopted sons of the Father. A portion of that Fatherhood eternally resides in Joseph.
That means that we can ask for his intercession, knowing that Jesus cannot say no to the requests of Joseph without being disobedient. We can also be sure that since both Mary & Joseph seek only the will of God & that their will is God's will, then we can be assured that Joseph will know what is God's will for us in all situations & make intercession for that will to be done. & we can be sure that request will be granted.
Another idea that I claim as only my own is that Joseph had to die before Jesus' public ministry. At that time Joseph's role as protector had to end. If he remained on Earth then he would have had to protect Jesus from even being crucified. Since he couldn't, he gladly accepted death at what was about 50 to 55 years of age so that our salvation would be assured.
But now that he is in Heaven, that role as protector has been extended far beyond the Holy Family to the entire Catholic Church. That is a truth we cannot deny as the Church has declared him to be the universal patron of the Church.
Some mystics have said that Joseph conversed with angels for his entire life, fromrly childhood on. That makes perfect sense when we look at the 1st time we hear of an angel appearing to Joseph. What was his reaction? He simply did as the ngel told him. It could only be so if he was familiar with his guardian angel, or angels as some mystics have said he had 2. As a man of faith he would have grown to know & recognize when God spoke to him through them. That is why we see his immediate obedience every time.
Mary too, accepted what Joseph said without question. She is a perfect example of Biblical submission to the husband by the wife. She knew Joseph wouldn't abuse his place as head of the household. So, if he woke Mary up & said that an angel said this, she would trust him to be telling the truth & abey him just the same as if the angel had appeared to her.
Finally, I would like to make a comment on the subject of Joseph's assumption. Again, the Church has never ruled one way or the other, but it does seem logical that given his unique role, he would have been taken body & soul into Heaven. I have no proof, but I suspect one of those saints mentioned as coming back to life at the time of Jesus' resurrection was Joseph. He was allowed a visit to Mary to encourage her. Then he was lead into Heaven by Jesus at the head of all those who had been waiting in the Bosom of Abraham for Jesus to open the Gates of Heaven.
As Papa Francesco said earlier today, Joseph is our perfect example of how to live as a follower of Jesus.
I pray that these poor efforts of mine may be of some use in helping you to better see why San Giuseppe is the perfect model. Also, that they may help increase your devotion to him. According to many mystics, this is the desire of Mary. & if it is what Mary wants, since her will is to do the Will of God, then you can be sure it is God's Will.
May San Giuseppe richly bless you this day with all the graces of Heaven so that you may grow in faith, die more to self & one day join him in Heaven around the Throne, eternally praising & worshiping God.
Note: I wish to make several things clear. 1st of all, nothing I said is to be construed as making Mary & Joseph equal to God. Everything the do is through the Holy Spirit & finds its ultimate source in God.
Next, I wish to remind everyone that the revelations to mystics are private revelations. So, even if they have been approved by bthe Church we are not required to believe them.
Finally, my opinions are just that, opinions. I submit them to the discernment of the Catholic Church. & if at some time the Church should decide something contrary to what I wrote, then I gladly submit to the Church's discernment & authority as the final say.
Labels: St. Joseph (San Giuseppe)
Papa Francesco - Take San Giuseppe As Our Role Model
That also means that abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage & birth control are right out since they go contrary to God's plans. Papa Francesco also made it clear we must reject these & all other evils, even if they weren't mentioned by name.
Naturally, the media tried to paint the direction taken by Papa Francesco as a complete change of priorities rather than being the same basic priorities that all popes have had. & that is only 1 part of the poor coverage that shows their lack of understanding of the Catholic Church as well as its rituals. It also shows their agenda as well. By creating this false division they are trying to divert attention from how Papa Francesco has lived out those words. In his speaking out against abortion, etc, as bishop & cardinal, Papa Francesco followed exactly the same direction as Papa Benedetto & Pope John Paul II.
Papa Francesco has called on us to take San Giuseppe as our role model. That means we must defend the unborn as well as the elderly from the attacks our society is making on them. It means we must be good stewards of the environment. It also means we are to be a people of prayer, constantly seeking God's guidance in all things, learning what His will is. & then living it out. It is a hard path, but no harder than that of San Giuseppe, or any other true follower of Christ. & like them, if we seek God, He will gift us with all we need tyo do so.
Labels: St. Joseph (San Giuseppe)
Monday, March 18, 2013
Papa Francesco & San Giuseppe
At the time of his election, I didn't pay much attention to the coat of arms that Papa Francesco had as bishop & cardinal. I should have. But better late than never.
Today the Vatican released his official coat of arms as the newly elected Pope. Papa Francesco opted, as I expected, to keep the same coat of arms.
The symbol at the top is obviously that of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) that he is a member of. It is on top of a sun that symbolized Jesus Christ. The gold star & the blue background are symbolic of Mary & his deep devotion to her.
But what is that other symbol in the lower left (your right) of the arms? No, it isn't a bunch of grapes pointing the wrong way. It is a bit of spikenard (nard) in flower. Using spikenard to symbolize San Giuseppe is a part of Hispanic iconography. According to the Vatican, in that tradition San Giuseppe is seen holding a branch of spikenard rather than the staff with lilies in bloom at the end.*
So our new Pope has a devotion to San Giuseppe. That is encouraging news to me. As I said in that post, the Catholic Church needs San Giuseppe's protection & guidance more than ever because of the attacks from within as well as without.
I also have to wonder if Papa Francesco intentionally opted for tomorrow as the day of his installation because it is the main feast of San Giuseppe. But whether he specifically chose it, or it was just the most optimal date, I have no doubt that he will talk about San Giuseppe in his homily. & in doing so, we will get a better sense of his devotion to the Padrone of the Universal Church. I am also sure that it will lead to a greater devotion to San Giuseppe by the entire Church as well.
For that reason, among others, I will be looking forward to what Papa Francesco will have to say to us tomorrow.
* The lilies blooming on the staff comes from the apocryphal story that there were 3 suitors for Mary. The temple priests decided to have each suitor leave his staff there overnight. The one that would burst into bloom would belong to man chosen by God to be espoused to Mary. San Giuseppe's was the one that bloomed. The traditional use of the lily was because it symbolized purity. This was to remind people that he, like Mary, had remained chaste as well as celebate throughout his life. It was also a reminder of how he protected Mary's purity as well.
I will have to do some more reseacrh in the days ahead to see how the connection between spikenard & San Giuseppe came about.
Labels: St. Joseph (San Giuseppe)
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Cardinal Dolan Schools CBS' Charlie Rose On Women's Role in Catholic Church
It shouldn't be surprizing that the Main Stream Media has quickly begun its attacks on Papa Francesco. Or that they are continuing to push their agenda to undermine Catholic Church doctrine, especially that on women not being allowed to be ordained. The failure to allow that to happen is often painted by those inside as well as outside the Church as treating women as 2nd class members. A claim that rarely goes challenged because they usually don't allow a response to the claim.
But when Timothy Cardinal Dolan was challenged on this point in an interview filmed last night by CBS' Charlie Rose, he was quick to point out the real status of women in the Catholic Church.
Here is the text of that conversation:
ROSE: You do not expect to see, as you didn't with Pope Benedict or Pope John Paul II, doctrinal changes-
DOLAN: No, never-
ROSE: On ordination of women, on celibacy, on divorce.
DOLAN: Doctrine can't change. So, to use the word (sic) doctrinal changes, for a Catholic, is almost an oxymoron. There are things that a Pope can change that would not be doctrine, but more matters of Church discipline. Priestly celibacy is not a doctrine of the Church. It's a discipline in the Church. Do I expect him to change it? No. Could he change it? Yes – possible, yes; probable, no. But there's that distinction. Ordination of women – that's a doctrinal thing. That's not discipline. John Paul II-
ROSE: But how do you respond to the fact that this really is the century of women, and this is a Church that needs to have women as part of its-
DOLAN: Sure. Well, I'll tell you this: when we walked into the Sistine Chapel, we were saying the Litany of the Saints, all right? Now, the highest you can be called to, in the Catholic Church, is to be a saint, and of the saints that we prayed, more than half were women, so (laughs). The woman who – who is the greatest human being model for – the person who's the greatest human being model for us happens to be a woman [the Virgin Mary]. That's where the Church is at her best. That's where – that's where the Church has also been known for lifting women up, ennobling them.
Yup, the Catholic Church actually ennobles women, not treats them as 2nd class. A fact that the Church's enemies inside or outside of the Catholic Church ignores. Despite what Cardinal Dolan said, I am willing to bet that the media will continue to ignore the truth & carry on its anti-Catholic Church campaign.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Habemus Papam - Francesco
Dominum Georgium Marium
Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Bergoglio
qui sibi nomen imposuit Franciscum
From this, it is very clear that we can expect some clashes between him & Obama as well as the pro-abort Catolics in his administration.
It is also clear that he has a strong concern for the poor & has been very pastoral in his approach as Archbishop.
In the days ahead, I suspect you will see the long knives come out because he didn't do all the left thinks he should of done in speaking out against human rights abuses during the time the country was ruled by a dictatorship/junta. But from what it sounds like to me, he did more behind the scenes just as Pope Pius XII did in WW II.
Note: (2:33 pm 14 March 2013) I have gone back & edited out the 2 uses of I after Papa Francesco's name as the Vatican has asked that it not be used. Technically they are right. It began with John Paul I using it but even then it shouldn't have been. But with his short pontificate & his successor, Blessed John Paul II, taking the name, the issue was moot.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
When Confronted With the Truth, Liberal Catholycs Attack With Lies & Personal Attacks
That I was attacked & that he deliberately lied about what I said is no surprize. This same thing happened to me in January when my previous letter to the TH about the goings on at Sinisinawa appeared.
I honestly do not expect a reply from him. I have yet to hear a reply from that priest to the letter I sent him. These people do not want an honest conversation. They just want to destroy the Catholic Church. & they will do so by any means possible. However, as I pointed out, they will fail, as all attempts in the past have failed.
You began by accusing me of "demonizing" Sr. Donna Quinn's efforts. Over the years I have seen that when a liberal uses that term, it means that the person so labeled is actually the one being demonized. The reason for doing so is because that person has hit the nail on the head when it comes to telling the truth. Thus instead of admitting that what he said is true, the speaker of the truth is attacked in an effort to destroy his reputation. Since this is one of the big guns used by liberals & the left to do harm to the truth teller, I feel like I have arrived in the big leagues. I am humbled that God has so used me that I am attacked this way. This attack on me for speaking up is a blessing of the type mentioned in Matthew 5:11-12.
I stand by my claim that what Sr. Donna is doing, aided & abetted in doing by the Sinsinawa Dominican leadership, IS heresy. Heresy is "the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith." (Catechism 2089). The Catholic Church has taught from the beginning that abortion is a sin, that marriage is only between a man and a woman & that only men (vir) can be ordained priests. These truths cannot be denied without falling into heresy.
By saying that she is attempting to "modernize" the Church you have also admitted that she is promoting the heresy of modernism that was condemned by Pope St. Pius X in his encyclical "Pascendi".
As for your claim that it "seems many young adults are presently turning away from the Catholic Church", the facts present a different picture. When I worked at a college, I saw a hunger for the truths of the Catholic Church, not a turning away because those views were what you labeled "ultraconservative". They welcomed what the Church teaches. The huge number of young adults and teens at last January's March for Life is proof of that. Those facts were ignored by the pro-abortion media because it didn't fit into their agenda of attacking the Catholic Church.
Additionally, I saw an upswing in the desire for Eucharistic adoration among those college aged people.
As for vocations, unlike the Sinsinawa Dominicans, the numbers are up for those Women's religious orders that are supportive of the Church's teachings. Two examples, among many, are the Nashville Dominicans and the Ann Arbor Dominicans.
There is also an upswing in vocations to men's religious orders as well. These vocations are not only to orders that do the Novus Ordo reverently, but to groups like the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter as well. Additionally the number of young men who have vocations to the diocesan priesthood is up as well.
I also see plenty of young adults at the parish I attend who embrace those teachings. Many of them are married with families of 3, 4, 5 or more children.
You out and out lied when you claimed I said that I stated in the letter I wrote that my views may be "counter-cultural" to those young adults. I said no such thing, about young adults, or Catholics in general. The term appeared nowhere in my letter, in any context & you knew it when you wrote what you did. But, since you brought it up, may I point out that the Catholic Church has been counter-cultural from the beginning. It hasalways stood up, called sin. It has refused to bow to the dictates of those in charge, whether it be to worship the Roman emperor as a god or allow abortions.
You are right about one thing. The Catholic Church will never change from within. The Holy Spirit will ensure that, as well as protect it from attacks from without. That can be seen by the failed attempts of everyone from the Gnostics, to the Arians up to the modernists to do so from within. Additionally we can look & see the same result from those attacking from without, that includes people like Nero, Hitler, Stalin & many others down through the centuries.
Whether it is Sr. Donna or Ray Bourgeous or supporters of their heresies, like you, your actions are NOT based on the principles of Jesus Christ. In fact they are in opposition to them. Jesus' principles were based on the unchanging Divine truths He proclaimed. What you are doing is an attempt to destroy those principles as well as deny the truths behind them.
As an aside, I have a copy of the "Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church" that contains what the Catholic Church actually teaches on social justice. I have & will continue to devote time to studying that compendium as well as the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" so I can grow in my knowledge of the magisterial teachings of the Church as well as more fully live them out.
Might I suggest you that you join a church that embraces your views? The Episcopal Church could use some new members as they have seen a huge decline of 1/3 of their membership over the last 3 decades or so. A huge part of that decline has been because of their embracing the very things you want the Catholic Church to embrace. Many of those individuals who left as well as many of the parishes have joined the Catholic Church because we still hold to those teachings you attack. This has happened not only in America, but elsewhere in the Anglican communion as well. While we have yet to see a whole Episcopal/Anglican diocese seek to reunite with the Catholic Church, I suspect the day where that happens is not very far off.
While there is so much more I could respond to, I will end by saying that I am praying that the Holy Spirit will open your (& the Sinsinawa Dominicans) eyes to the truths He has revealed through the Church. Also that you will open your hearts, receive them & reject those heretical viewpoints you now hold. That prayer has included offering up the Mass I attended last Sunday as well as spending time at the 2 Adoration Chapels in the area praying for you as well.
Please pray for these people, that they will see & accept the truth, before it is too late.
Additionally, I am not writing this for any sympathy or glory. All I am doing is trying to educate those who are not aware of the liberal Catholics in Name Only tactics. Hopefully, I will also give you some ideas of how to respond in a respectful manner while standing up for the truth as well.