Recent Posts

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

I am so relieved. Hollande is getting a new camel

Not this one, but this photo is cute!
"It was a present that did not deserve this fate," said an unidentified Mali spokesman.

Thanks to Catholic Bandita: RNC will vote on this-pray

hope you can read this--here is the original post where you can make it larger...

Bravo Cardinal Burke-Catholics Cannot Cooperate with Obamacare

a snippet

Thomas McKenna: “So a Catholic employer, really getting down to it, he does not, or she does not provide this because that way they would be, in a sense, cooperating with the sin…the sin of contraception or the sin of providing a contraceptive that would abort a child, is this correct?”
Cardinal Burke: “This is correct. It is not only a matter of what we call “material cooperation” in the sense that the employer by giving this insurance benefit is materially providing for the contraception but it is also “formal cooperation” because he is knowingly and deliberatelydoing this, making this available to people. There is no way to justify it. It is simply wrong.”
Responding to the comments, Giroux says, “This comment by a high ranking Cardinal is the clearest explanation to date on the issue of an employer’s culpability when providing contraception, sterilization, and abortion inducing drug options in the insurance plans for employees.”

Fifteen Posts This Morning and Early Afternoon

Much going on....

from today's Tablet

Latest News

CofE calls for priests to ‘better accommodate' gay couples

10 April 2013
The Church of England has urged its priests to be more flexible in helping gay couples achieve a "closer approximation" to marriage.
A report by the church's Faith and Order Commission - its doctrinal watchdog - said priests should "devise accommodations" for same-sex couples in their parishes but stopped short of encouraging formal public blessings of gay civil partnerships.
Revd Colin Coward of the pro-gay Changing Attitude group said the Church's refusal to encourage same-sex blessings was "deeply offensive". But Revd Dr Giles Fraser, a former canon chancellor at St Paul's Cathedral, said the report, Men and Women in Marriage, gave clergy a green light to conduct blessings for same-sex couples in all but name.
The Church of England opposes same-sex marriage, although the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has referred to gay couples he knows as having a "stunning level of commitment' to each other.

Damian Thompson on the Pope Emeritus' Health This Morning AND UPDATE FROM LOMBARDI

FrLombardi says B16 not suffering from illness, "his problems are age-related", after Spanish author claims his health is rapidly worsening.

You might be interested in such a note from the Vatican

Sunday, April 14, 2013, at 17.30, in the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the Holy Father Francis will celebrate Mass on the occasion of the first visit to the Basilica.
Concelebrate with the Holy Father Eminent Cardinals James Michael Harvey, Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, Francesco Monterisi and Father Abbot Dom Edmund Power, OSB
All those who, in accordance with the Motu Proprio " Pontificalis Domus ", make up the Papal Chapel and wish to participate in the liturgical celebration are requested to meet, at 16.45, in the Basilica to occupy the place that we tell them.
As for the dress, want to follow these guidelines:
- The Cardinals, Patriarchs, Archbishops and Bishops on the vestment proper to wear the spool, the mozzetta and cap;
- The Abbots and religious: the choir dress;
- The prelates: the spool and the cape, or a surplice over the purple robe with purple band, depending on their level;
- Chaplains of His Holiness the surplice over a black cassock with purple sash.
To the members of the Papal Chapel will provide a bus service, departing from the square in front of the entrance to the Paul VI Hall at 16.30. Those who wish to use the service are asked to notify the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.
Vatican City, April 10, 2013.
By mandate of the Holy Father
Monsignor Guido Marini, 
Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations

Spanish Report on Twitter and Blogs: Pope Emeritus Very Ill

09/04/2013 23:36:55Benedict XVI is in very bad health


The health of Benedict XVI has dramatically diminished in the last two weeks, Paloma Gómez Borrero wrote Tuesday night in the Spanish paper El Mundo. According to her, Benedict suffers from something – quote – “very severe”. She adds: “We won't have him with us for very much longer”.

Gloria TV

For Cute Wednesday: Cute American Habits

Seder Meal, 2013

I am the one in the blue sweater lighting the candles. A woman helps with the hand washing three times, which we cut down to one for time. It lasted three hours. The grapes are extras and symbolic of Christ and the Eucharist, as we are all Christians. Seminarians learn about the Holy Mass by such a dinner. Some of the prayers are used in the Mass.

The plate with the "stuff" on it is the main Seder Plate. Each item is symbolic.

The lamb shank (zeroah) is on a separate plate for space. The matzoes are the unleavened bread. The symbolic food also includes the bitter herbs (maror); the mortar for the bricks to build the pyramids of slavery (charoset); the vegie (karpas) to dip in the salt water, the bitter waters of slavery; the boiled egg, both a symbol of mourning for the Jews, and new life for the Christians (beitzah). The white splodge on the plate is horseradish, another variation of the bitterness of the slavery in Egypt, and it goes nicely with the roasted lamb.

We had it earlier this last month before Easter. It was attended by two seminarians, a married couple and baby and a single gentleman, plus a priest.

I have done so many of these I have lost count, maybe 27. This haggadah includes praising Christ the Messiah and Saviour at the end. We also sang many songs together.

What does one do at the end of a civilization? Part One.

When I was in Malta and watched the anarchists destroying a shrine of Mary, Our Mother, in Rome in the Autumn of 2011 on television, I knew the persecutions would come more quickly than most people admit.

Anarchy is the undergrowth of larger problems. I and other kids liked lifting up a medium-sized stone in Iowa in the summer to see the insects which only lived in the dark and damp; anarchy grows unnoticed until the environment is disturbed. Many of those animals could not see in the light. Anarchists have chosen the dark, but the darkness is created by another.

They are blinded when we disturbed the environment.

We are in the last stage of persecution, which will lead to laws against Christians and specifically Catholics in the future, the near future.

Here are some things people have done in history at the end of civilizations.

One, create communities, real ones. Create groups to care for the vulnerable and meet regularly. Do not wait for a crisis, start now. Make a support group from your TLMs or from your parishes. Do not pretend that commuting to Mass is always going to be a possibility. Work at local Catholic, orthodox communities.

Two, learn as much as possible your Faith, including memorizing prayers and important documents, such as the Creed. Do not imagine you will have access to these things to pass on to your children or grandchildren. One woman I know who is now in her forties grew up in Soviet Czechoslovakia. At the age of 23, when I first met her, she had never seen a Bible and had never heard of Jesus Christ. That was in 1992. a mere twenty years ago.

It will be like this again.

Three, train your children to be counter-cultural. Do not let the culture snatch them away from you. Discipline them in love and care and "train them in the way to go". Home school.

Four, encourage your older children to choose careers and vocations which will not make them compromise their Faith. There will be more and more jobs closed to Catholics with consciences. Do this NOW. For example, one cannot be a Catholic and a pharmacist in Illinois. A Catholic cannot work for some school systems where sex education is demanded of elementary teachers. Catholics in England who are teachers will fact the gay agenda in the curriculum immediately, causing some who are good Catholics, who have formed their minds to the Mind of Christ to leave the profession. Make choices.

Five, teach and form children in the way of virtue.

Six, choose basic Catholic catechetical books and Catholic Bibles for the home and keep them there. These may disappear. Many things have already gone out of print. Do not rely on future publications of Catholic classics.

Seven, create a "home church" where you are praying daily with the children and inviting others in. Do Bible studies together which center on being strong in persecution. Saints are made, as well as born.

To be continued...

Unreal City

Sometimes, some of us are blessed with being in the right place at the right time, or the wrong place at the right time.

In my life, since my twenties, when I was living in Minneapolis in a lay community, I had premonitions in my soul and input from friends and spiritual advisors that things in the next thirty years or more, were going to get bad.

The fact that the cultures of Europe and America are not only post-Christian, but anti-Christian has not shocked me.

I have been prepared for over forty years for persecution and have tried to cooperate with grace in order to be strong.

I am strong in my spirit and in my mind. I wish my body were stronger, but no matter, God is in charge. I must pray for perseverance. We all must.

We are now at the crossroads of massive changes in all countries of the West. Catholics will and must choose between being cultural or counter-cultural.

Thankfully, my dad, when I was 16, a long time ago, told me that to be a Catholic was to be counter-cultural.

He was correct then, and more so now.

If there are any Catholics still living with the old head in the sand syndrome, they must stop hiding from the reality of these massive changes which were predicted and known by some of us for a long time.

For some, life is the status quo. May I quote T. S. Eliot from The Wasteland, which I first studied in depth in 1979:

I. The Burial of the Dead
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar kine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke's,
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

   What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
               Frisch weht der Wind
               Der Heimat zu,
               Mein Irisch Kind,
               Wo weilest du?
"You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
"They called me the hyacinth girl."
–Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Oed' und leer das Meer.

   Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations.
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
One must be so careful these days.

   Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying: "Stetson!
"You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!
"That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
"Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
"Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
"Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men,
"Or with his nails he'll dig it up again!
"You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable—mon frère!"

If you are a Catholic in denial about the coming great persecutions, wake up out of your sleep. Otherwise, you will not be prepared for what is to come.

In my next post, I have some suggestions....

Two Christians Being Burned with Molotov Cocktails Outside Cairo Cathedral on Sunday/Tear Gas Used

And, America has just sent the Egyptian government tear gas. I am not kidding. From the Commentator, on line

What is the US government up to? Looks like it supports the persecution of Christians and other non-Muslim Brotherhood groups. From the article:

Five containers carrying around 140,000 teargas canisters were apparently shipped to the Egyptian Interior Ministry by the Aramex International courier service.
The Egypt Independent reports that the shipping documents state that only the Egyptian government may use the canisters, and that they are forbidden to re-export the shipment or sell it to third parties.
The documents state that the shipment set sail from the port of Wilmington in Pennsylvania on 14 March on board the SS Jamestown. A letter of credit was forwarded without specifying the name of the bank. The Egyptian government paid the freight fees.
Shocking television images showed police fire tear gas at St. Mark’s cathedral — symbol of the Coptic community which has long complained of discrimination and has been the target of frequent sectarian attacks.
Morsi “promised to do everything to protect the cathedral but in reality we don’t see this,” Tawadros (head of the Coptic Church) told the private ONTV channel in a call-in.
When asked why, Tawadros said he believed “it comes under the category of negligence and poor assessment of events.” Two people died in Sunday’s clashes which erupted after the funeral service of four Christians killed in earlier violence in a town north of Cairo. One Muslim was also killed in those confrontations.
Tawadros said the church had never before in its history witnessed this level of attack.
“This flagrant assault on a national symbol, the Egyptian church, has never been subjected to this in 2,000 years,” Tawadros said.

Prehistoric Googling

I hope today to find, with the help of a friend, as I am still under the weather, a copy of Bellarmine's On the Mind's Ascent to God on the Ladder of Created Things.

If I cannot, I shall move on to Peter Canisius.

More later....UPDATE LATE

Will move on to Peter Canisius. The library my friend checked for me had one copy of Bellarmine's famous book, and it is checked out.

We have lost leaders in the Church and in society for one reason; the destruction of liberal arts education based on Christianity

I am reminded of a fantastic book I read over twelve years ago on the ending of religious faith in the major universities in the States.

If one has followed this blog, one knows that I was a classical education teacher and curriculum advisor, and have much experience in giving talks to boards and parents on liberal education.

The liberal arts were created to help a young person learn how to think.

That the Christian and Catholic schools at all levels did this well for over two centuries in some cases and a century in others, in the States (and colonies) was, in my opinion, part of God's plan for the raising up of leaders who would not only spread the Gospel, but who would incorporate Christianity into the government and culture. 

Western Civilization was created by the Catholic Church through Catholic education.

If you are lamenting the lack of leadership in the Church, the lack of leadership training in the schools, which caved into leftist ideologues, who despise elitism and especially religious elitism, is the main reason for this disastrous consequence.

One reason we have a leadership crisis in the clergy, including weak-minded bishops and even cardinals, is this lack of training in the liberal arts-one must learn how to think and use the virtues.

Virtues are connected to learning and formation. This has been totally lost in most Catholic schools and long gone in the public sector.

The Light is gone. Do not kid yourselves, parents. If you send your children to a school which is not teaching the liberal arts, your children will not only not learn how to think, but will become automatons of the culture. That is exactly what tyrants want-unthinking publics.

For more on this discussion and some of the ramifications today, go here to this blog for more...

To know your history-rebel group wants caliphate,0,6119945.story

And, if you do not know what the caliphate is, read this good summary.

Are American schools teaching World History or Western Civilization?

Part 111: Doctors of the Church and Perfection: Bellarmine

Sadly, I cannot find a copy of the great book On the Mind's Ascent to God on the Ladder of Created Things, which is a seminal work by Bellarmine. The old series of the Classics of Western Spirituality had a volume which included this work in pieces, but that series is out of print. The footnotes are horribly liberal as well as the commentary.

However, I can briefly share three overview points about his work, which he purposefully modeled on Bonaventure's great work, The Ascent of the Mind to God. That Bellarmine was also influenced by Bernard of Clairvaux, we have seen here already.

Three quick points. One, Bellarmine is follows the via affirmativa not the via negativa. This is a departure from Bernard and to me, a very Baroque ideal. God is to be found in the beauty of Creation and the world around us as well as in ourselves.

Secondly, the soul, the anima, holds the will and imagination, which we would see in St. Ignatius of Loyola's writings. The soul is the seat of the intellectual, which is an important point to Bellarmine. Also, as an Aristotelian, Bellarmine used Aristotle to help the reader understand humanity and how to become more human, that is, more holy or spiritual.

Thirdly, Bellarmine in good Jesuit fashion, sees God in the world, working out our salvation with what comes our way. God is ever-Present to us Catholics in grace and we only need to see.this.

A very cursory look at a huge work, but I cannot get to the libraries this week.

Next, I shall look at St, Peter Canisius.

Part 110: Doctors of the Church and Perfection: Robert Bellarmine

Bellarmine's On the Ascent of the Mind to God is a treatise on the way to achieve perfection.

I laid the groundwork from his other work yesterday, and now go more into detail.

Here is a snippet for meditation:

From a treatise On the Ascent of the Mind to God by Saint Robert Bellarmine 
(Ante exsilium, nn 1-3: PG 52, 427*-430)

Incline my heart to your decrees 

Sweet Lord, you are meek and merciful. Who would not give himself wholeheartedly to your service, if he began to taste even a little of your fatherly rule? What command, Lord, do you give your servants? Take my yoke upon you, you say. And what is this yoke of yours like? My yoke, you say, is easy and my burden light. Who would not be glad to bear a yoke that does not press hard but caresses? Who would not be glad for a burden that does not weigh heavy but refreshes? And so you were right to add: And you will find rest for your souls. And what is this yoke of yours that does not weary, but gives rest? It is, of course, that first and greatest commandment: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart. What is easier, sweeter, more pleasant, than to love goodness, beauty and love, the fullness of which you are, O Lord, my God?

Is it not true that you promise those who keep your commandments a reward more desirable than great wealth and sweeter than honey? You promise a most abundant reward, for as your apostle James says: The Lord has prepared a crown of life for those who love him. What is this crown of life? It is surely a greater good than we can conceive of or desire, as Saint Paul says, quoting Isaiah: Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love him.

Truly then the recompense is great for those who keep your commandments. That first and greatest commandment helps the man who obeys, not the God who commands. In addition, the other commandments of God perfect the man who obeys them. They provide him with what he needs. They instruct and enlighten him and make him good and blessed. If you are wise, then, know that you have been created for the glory of God and your own eternal salvation. This is your goal; this is the center of your life; this is the treasure of your heart. If you reach this goal, you will find happiness. If you fail to reach it, you will find misery.

May you consider truly good whatever leads to your goal and truly evil whatever makes you fall away from it. Prosperity and adversity, wealth and poverty, health and sickness, honors and humiliations, life and death, in the mind of the wise man, are not to be sought for their own sake, nor avoided for their own sake. But if they contribute to the glory of God and your eternal happiness, then they are good and should be sought. If they detract from this, they are evil and must be avoided.

To be continued...