Thursday, June 29, 2006
Remember that this was just after James, the brother of John, was stabbed to death by Herod.
I think about stuff like this — our first Pope thrown in jail, one of our first bishops murdered — when I hear people bemoan (and I'm not excluding myself, here!) "the state of the Church today." And, too, I realize why we pray for our Holy Father and bishops at every Mass.
Saint John Chrysostom observes:
Notice the feelings of the faithful towards their pastors. They do not riot or rebel; they have recourse to prayer, which can solve all problems. They do not say to themselves: we do not count, there is no point in our praying for him. Their love led them to pray and they did not think along those lines. Have you noticed what these persecutors did without intending to? They made (their victims) more determined to stand the test, and (the faithful) more zealous and loving. ("Homily on Acts," 26)
Let's remember our Holy Father and our bishops, not just today, not just at Mass, but everyday and in our own private prayers.
And will you say a special prayer for Boston's Archbishop, Sean Cardinal O'Malley? Today's his birthday.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
How is working to a repeal the same-sex `marriage' decision in Massachusetts "religious discrimination?" Even Boston Globe reporter Michael Paulson puts the phrase in quotes.
Here's an explanation, albeit a rather feeble one:
"While their magisterium teaches one thing, there are plenty of other faith traditions that don't agree," said the Rev. Anne C. Fowler, an Episcopal priest who is the rector of St. John's Church in Jamaica Plain and president of the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry. "Who are the religious voices who get heard? It's the religious right, and around here it's the Catholic Church, so here is the progressive interfaith community trying to take some action."
Fowler was a guest on a radio talk show this evening. When asked if she supported the right of state citizens to vote on the issue, she admitted that she did not.
Hey, I'm a Massachusetts voter...am I being discriminated against?
Source: The Boston Globe
Monday, June 26, 2006
O God, through the mediation of Mary our Mother, you granted your priest St. Josemaría countless graces, choosing him as a most faithful instrument to found Opus Dei, a way of sanctification in daily work and in the fulfillment of the Christian's ordinary duties. Grant that I too may learn to turn all the circumstances and events of my life into occasions of loving You and serving the Church, the Pope and all souls with joy and simplicity, lighting up the pathways of this earth with faith and love. Deign to grant me, through the intercession of St. Josemaría, the favor of ... (make your request). Amen.
(Follow with an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be)
Saint Josemaria, ora pro nobis!
Friday, June 23, 2006
Why, when we, for the most part, celebrate the death of saints, do we celebrate the BIRTH of Saint John the Baptist?
Bonus: what other holy births do we celebrate?
Update: Karen answered the Bonus Question correctly, which leads to an update:
What two great occasions -- in fact, each is a Solemnity -- do each birth mentioned by Karen come to mind? (You have to read Karen's post to get this, unless, of course, you already know the answer.
P.S. Still waiting for the answer to the first question!
Thursday, June 22, 2006
A: Democrat state senator Jarrett T. Barrios wants to ban – or severely limit — Fluffernutter sandwiches in state public schools.
B: Democrat representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein retaliates by proposing an amendment designating the Fluffernutter to the "the official sandwich of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."
C: Democrat state senator Jarrett T. Barrios, according to an aide, plans to sign on as a co-sponsor to Reinstein's bill, (although he still believes schools should ration Fluffernutters to one per week.)
The Democratic Party in Massachusetts...and Fluffernutters. Really outre bedfellows!
(Not that there's anything wrong with that!)
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
The determination of Massachusetts state senator Jarrett Barrios (and, one presumes, that of his spouse, Doug Hattaway) to legislate the definition of "sandwich" is not going unopposed.
The wording of the legislation is still sketchy at this point.
But it goes something like this:
"Be it resolved that the term `sandwich' will be defined as the union of whole wheat bread, and a vegetable or multiple vegetables, according to the conscience of the sandwich maker. In rare cases, and only with judicial approval, will the addition of [shudder] meat AND/OR peanut butter be allowed. Under no circumstances will any substance bearing any resemblance to `marshmellow' be allowed in the sandwiches of the Commonwealth.
"Furthermore, any such union not conforming to the above stipulations will not be recognized as 'sandwiches' in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."
Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein, D-Revere, fights back.
The day after Barrios announced his amendment, Reinstein fired off an e-mail announcing her own legislation designating the Fluffernutter the "official sandwich of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."
More on this landmark legislative battle as it develops.
Monday, June 19, 2006
No, I'm talking about something so horrifying that Massachusetts state senator Jarrett T. Barrios has been moved to seek an amendment that would severely limit — if not eliminate completely! — an insidious attack on the Well-Being of Our Children.
I refer, of course, to the horrific practice of serving these poor innocents...
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Friday, June 16, 2006
In a three-page letter dated May 9, Mrs. Houk, a member of St. Alexis in McCandless, advised Bishop Donald Wuerl of her plans. She has received no response. Mrs. Houk also sent a copy of the letter to all 360 priests in the diocese.
Here's the letter if you really want to read it...it's in PDF format.
Scary, but don't be afraid of this:
Mrs. Houk is a cradle Catholic and mother of six. She has served as a pastoral director in two Kentucky parishes, worked on a marriage tribunal, taught catechism and the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults and worked with her husband, John, to prepare engaged couples for marriage.However, feel free to giggle at this (and pray):
"The church has to take a stand for women ... that they are the image of God and are to be respected and treated on an equal, human level. This is really why I have to do what I am doing," she said in a recent interview.
My dear Mrs. Houk:
The Church already knows that you are created in the image of God. The Church already knows that you are to be respected (you..not your views) and that you should be treated as a human. You are a human, for Heaven's sake!
But if you think that your "priesthood" equals equality with men, you're sadly lacking in common sense. And if "this is really why" you "have to do" what you are doing then I respectfully suggest you re-examine your "calling."
Men don't — or shouldn't — assume a vocation in order to play earthly politics, and neither should you.
"I am a Catholic, and will always be a Catholic," writes the soon-to-be-"womanpriest" (her term, not mine)
Following that statement, she demands that Canon 1024 be changed to accommodate...her. And has the bleeping gall to compare her situation to that of those who worked, and still do work, in the American civil rights movement.
Presiding at the ceremony will be Patricia Fresen, Gisela Forster and Ida Raming, who live in Germany and are bishops in Roman Catholic Womenpriests, an international group of Catholics who support women's ordination.
They may support "women's ordination" but they're not "bishops." Sheesh.
Watch out, Cincinnatti!
One of the outspoken disciples in the women's ordination movement is Ruth Steinert Foote, a board member of the Women's Ordination Conference.
Ms. Foote, an active member of a Catholic parish in Cincinnati, is a medical technologist and married to an Episcopal priest.
"This movement is not just about the ordination of women. It is about making the Roman Catholic Church a just institution. If women are made in the image and likeness of God, they have the same potential to be called by God that men do," she said.
Again, I've gotta ask...why wasn't Mary, the Mother of God, a priest???
Anyway, this is just another load of pure hooey...and wacky logic, at best. Ladies, you've got to somehow swallow the biological fact — if not the theological one! — that you are women! And women — even if they're residents of Massachusetts, by the way — cannot act ad Persona Christi, as the bridegroom of the Church!
(And I don't care how many loaves of bread you "blessed" when you were girls, incidently.)
Pray for these ladies, people, please.
I read the wonderful Augustine quote on your weblog: "Try to acquire those virtues which you think your brothers lack, and you will no longer see their defects, because you will not have them yourselves."
Do you know where it comes from?
Despite my, well, let's call it "exagerrated" Google prowess, I couldn't find the source. I posted it back in September, and know that I read it in a Navarre Biblical commentary for the reading of that day (Luke 6: 39-42) but that's as far as I was able to get.
Do you know the source? Post it here, or, if you're shy, email me (use the "Email Kelly" button on the left.) Thanks loads!
Thursday, June 15, 2006
From this Sunday's Gospel (Mark 14: 24-26)
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.
Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
And therein lies the question.
What does Mark mean about "singing a hymn?" Well, after the third cup is drunk, according to the Passover liturgy, a hymn is sung — actually a number of hymns (disclaimer: I'm no Jewish scholar and I'm not even Jewish) — before the fourth cup is consumed.
Only no fourth cup was consumed!
No indeed, instead they all went off to the Mount of Olives.
The guy in the Bible study class had some really fascinating stuff to say about this. Not being even near a Scripture scholar, but none the less completely intrigued, I did what I usually do in situations like this.
"Kelly! You approached a priest! Or a rabbi! Or you prayed!"
Well, no. I went to Google. Or rather, Pro Life Search (powered by Google).
Parenthetical comment coming up and don't say you weren't warned!
(Please use Pro Life Search, powered by Google) whenever you can. If you don't already know about it, you can find the site here, but wait until I'm done with this post...it won't be long.)
Using the key words "fourth cup passover Jesus" I found this presentation by Scott Hahn. Dr. Hahn does more than expound on the "Fourth Cup," which would be a gift in itself. He also engages his audience — and I hope you're among them — in a reflection on the most incredible Covenant ever.
Well, go back to the Old Testament, to the book of Exodus. Suppose that night as head of my household and father, I sacrificed an unblemished lamb with no broken bones, and I sprinkled his blood on the door post, and then I said, 'Family, we're safe, let's go to bed', and we went to bed. I'd wake up in the morning to tragedy. My firstborn would be dead. Why? You had to eat the lamb. It isn't enough to kill him. That is the satisfaction for sin, but the ultimate goal of sacrifice is not blood and gore and God making sure He sees the death. The ultimate goal is to restore communion, to have fellowship with God restored. And that's what's signified by eating the lamb. Who shares a common meal? Family. What is this a sign of? Covenant. And what is a covenant? A sacred family bond. In the Old Testament any family that sacrificed a lamb and sprinkled the blood had to eat the lamb. It wasn't enough to say, 'Well we don't like lamb do we, kids? Why don't we make lamb cookies? Little lamb wafers that symbolize the lamb? We'll eat those and those'll be enough, right? Symbolic presence of the lamb, and all that?' No, you'd wake up and you'd be dead.
Why not indulge in a little pre-Corpus Christi meditation — and enjoyment — and read the whole thing?
It's very cool. You'll not only impress your friends...you'll strengthen your soul.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Yesterday I received what I believe is an answer that deserves its own post. Responding to my confusion, Luiz Solimeo wrote the following. I received the permission of this man — who is my friend, as well as a stalwart worker for the Church — to post his exposition.
I am not sure I understood your difficulty. But I have seen people present doubts like this:
1) God permits persecutions to the Church and to the faithful;
2) If He permits it, is it not our obligation to suffer them without reaction?
3) Was not that the attitude of the martyrs of the beginnings of the Church? For instance, the Theban Legion which accepted to be decimated and did not react against the oppressors?
4) Therefore, if God wants to preserve the Church it is up to Him to defend her, to impede the wicked to do harm to her. For our part we have to be totally passive.
Of course, I simplified somewhat the argumentation in a didactic manner. I will try to answer the difficulty.
1) Perhaps the confusion came from the notion of God’s permission. One thing is a positive permission, like a father who gives authorization to his son to go to a bad place; another thing is a pure negative permission, which is not properly a permission but only a lack of physical opposition, In the example of the father, if his son is an adult son, although he does not want that he goes to the bad place, because he is already responsible for his acts, he does not use a physical restraint to impede him to go to a bad place.
2) According to St. Thomas, God cannot desire evil nor be the cause of it, even indirectly. Thus, he explains, He only permits the evil in a negative sense, respecting the freedom of men, even if he is to commit a bad action.
3) From the fact that God takes good from the evil, e.g. manifesting the virtue of fortitude of the martyrs or confessors under the persecution of the wicked, this does not mean that He desires or commands that evildoers torture the good.
4) Therefore, when we react against the evildoers and impede them to persecute, physically or morally, the Church, the faithful, we are not going against the will of God, but, if we act in a prudent manner, being His instrument.
5) Because, as the same St. Thomas teaches, Divine Providence directs the world using the using the secondary causes; the participation of the Angels and the men, as well the laws He puts in the universe.
6) Therefore, if He permits that wicked men persecute the Church and oppressed the faithful, combat the Faith, He also gives graces for the faithful to oppose to those actions.
7) It is the same Holy Ghost that, with His gifts, strengthens the fortitude of the Martyrs and of the warriors, the true Crusaders.
8) As far as we can understand how God directs History — with the help of the Philosophy and the Theology of History — we perceive that it was according to God’s wisdom that during the three first Centuries the Church had been “The Church of the Apostles and Martyrs,” as a historian entitled a book of his collection of History of the Church.
9) Because it became clear for all times that the Church didn’t impose herself by the power of the sword (like Islam) or by a civil authority (like the Anglicanism in England). She imposed herself by force of the truth, her moral, the virtue and the detachment of the martyrs.
10) As this truth was being established in a way that no serious historian can deny it (the poor novelist Dan Brown tried to affirm the opposite in his Gnostic novel), the path was free for what the same historian entitled “The Church of the Crusades and Cathedrals.”
11)And the Holy Ghost inspired the Saints that convoked, preached or fought in the Crusades (not only the medieval, but also of the modern times) as Blessed Pope Urban II (First Crusade), Saint Bernard (Second Crusade) Saint Louis of France (Seventh and Eighth Crusades), Saint Pope Pius V (Crusade of Lepanto), Blessed Pope Innocence XI (Crusade to liberate Vienna) etc.
12) To fight against the persecutors of the Church is also an act of charity in relation to the weak, the insecure, the children, etc.
13) God helps man, but He doesn’t substitute him; He made us intelligent and free and wants our free participation in our salvation and in the life of the Church. This is an obligation we contract in our baptism and confirmation: to be Milites Christi, Soldiers of Christ.
I had to read this a couple of times to get it, but I finally do.
Thank you, Luiz.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
But there's something about Trinity Sunday that sends me soaring.
I think it's because it's all about God.
I mean, at Pentecost, God gave us the Holy Spirit. On Corpus Christi, we celebrate Jesus giving us the Blessed Sacrament. And that's sublime!
But on today's Solemnity, we focus entirely on our One, Triune God.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen!
Father "call-me-Walter" Cuenin preached at yesterday's "Gay Pride" worship service in Boston yesterday.
"I told a friend of mine, about a month ago, that I was going to be here today, speaking at the gay pride interfaith service, and she said to me, `What's a Catholic priest doing at a gay pride service?' Cuenin said. "My response was, `Why wouldn't a Catholic priest be here?' In the tradition of my own Christian faith, it seems to me, as I read it, that Jesus was always with those who were often the target of hatred and persecution."
What does this mean? After successfully intervening between with the woman caught in adultery and those ready to stone her, did Jesus advise the lady to go and openly express pride in what she'd done? Get a permit from the Romans, gather a bunch of other adulterers, and stage an "Adultery Pride" parade?
"Hatred and persecution?" Hardly.
I don't know about your state, but here in Massachusetts, gubernatorial candidates are frantically seeking homosexual support. Indiana's Indy Star reports that nationwide, corporations are becoming more and more supportive of "gay pride" events:
It's no surprise, I guess, that Father Cuenin chose to celebrate perversity yesterday. But what an opportunity he blew to preach about courage and chastity!
Speaking of which..."gay pride" events were celebrated in numerous places yesterday. Anybody hear anything from the pulpit today about them? I didn't.
Friday, June 09, 2006
"In fact, all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."
There's no question in my mind that the proposed law in Delaware is aimed at emptying the earthly coffers of the Roman Catholic Church.
H.B. 450 would extend the time to six years after the time of abuse, six years after the abuse is remembered or six years after the time the abuse is recognized as the cause of personal injury.
("Voice of the Faithful" in Delaware is breathless in its support of this new legislation, evidently.)
The American TFP is protesting the bill.
I applaud the group's reasoning.
But I'm torn. Isn't persecution what we're supposed to expect? We're told that the innocent shouldn't suffer, but the innocents have suffered, from the beginning of salvation history. And while I'm under no illusions about what the Church's enemies are after, I wonder...should we expect anything less?
I'm sorry, very sorry, to be such a wimp on this. Unlike most Catholic bloggers, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
On some issues I'm certain. On this one...I'm not.
Any help from you folks? I'd appreciate it.
Sources: Defend the Church in Delaware
Sex Abuse Victims Testify for Bill
Monday, June 05, 2006
Good news. "The incident ended peacefully," according to Dennis McGrath, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
And once again, Jesus is scourged.
Look, this isn't about the idiotic "Rainbow Sash Movement," a rather pitiful attempt by a few narcissistic homosexuals and their bone-headed supporters to subvert Church – and natural — law.
It's about the desecration of the Holy Eucharist and nobody seems to give a rat's behind about it.
"It was confrontational, but we decided not to try to arrest the guy."
This man is not an ordinary minister of Holy Communion, nor was he specially installed to administer the Sacrament as an extraordinary minister.
He just took Jesus and did with Him what he pleased, and the Archdiocese of the Twin Cities insists that the "Mass was not interrupted."
Excuse me, but what is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass all about, if not the Eucharist? Indeed, the Mass was certainly "interrupted" and more than that, it was attacked. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there a law — a Federal Law — against that?
A "teachable moment," once again, ignored.
Forget about the homosexual dissidents for a moment and let's concentrate on the Real Presence of Christ. How did this gentleman get the opportunity to treat Jesus Christ as if He were some sort of liturgical hors d'oeuvre to be whimsically passed about? And why wasn't this abomination addressed by the Church in the Twin Cities?
We're dying, people.
No, correct that...we're killing ourselves. Most Catholics, or so we're told and from what I've seen I've no reason to doubt it, don't believe in the Real Presence. Oh, heck, we go to church on Sundays if there's nothing better to do but that's about it.
How else does one explain:
- The common — yes, common! — way so many people receive the Eucharist. (I call it the "snatch and grab" technique.)
- The frequent, casual pocketing of the Consecrated Host (to what end? one wonders)
- The nonchalant passing of the Tabernacle without so much as a glance, never mind a genuflection.
- The voiced, priestly preferral that people refrain from receiving Jesus on the tongue (what's that about?)
Yes, I hear, as I'm sure you do too, the priest occasionally talking about the Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist (and in the Word, and In Each Other...as if they were all the same thing).
It's time, I believe, for priests and bishops to plainly explain the do's and don'ts about the Blessed Sacrament.
And never the bleep mind calling the incident described here as "confrontational."
It was more than that...it was an attack, pure and simple.
And it's happening again and again and again.
Friday, June 02, 2006
It should've stopped there.
However [sigh], we are next treated to the introduction:
Our organization represents 32,000 faithful, active, and mature Catholics in the United States. We ask that you help us to better serve the Church we love by putting into place processes and procedures that enable more lay participation in the administration of the Church at the local level.
The key word here would be "mature." "Aging baby boomers" would do just as well. And, uh..."32,000" members? The organization started four years ago with...30,000 members. Only 2,000 have joined since then?
Your papal ministry has given us hope as we deal with the crisis in the American Church.
No kidding? Then I must've been dreaming when, a year ago last April 19, I saw some of these same people crying at the notion that Cardinal Ratzinger was the new Pope!
Modestly, the letter continues:
Because we are a group who is well educated and who have been active in the life of the Church, we were gratified when you chose the name Benedict because it disclosed your own model for your new ministry. We are encouraged by your first encyclical and by your welcoming treatment of Hans Küng.
For more idiocy, feel free to follow this link. And do pray for these folks.
Everybody needs prayers. Even the most able among us.
We indeed are competent in many areas that could serve our beloved Church during this time of crisis. We are particularly competent in the areas of the development of children and their needs. We are also highly competent in the various areas of financial expertise as well as in the management and administration of institutions. This has been demonstrated in our schools and hospitals for decades.
After a bulleted list of demands — sorry, "requests" — I think we sorta get to the meat of the letter:
One more request would be to ask the bishops to remove all bans that they have instituted prohibiting the concerned Catholics who make up local Voice of the Faithful affiliates from meeting on church property.
We need your help and we welcome the opportunity to work with you to heal the Church here in America.
Unless, of course, you get all "Catholic" on us...in which case kindly disregard this letter.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
"For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles..."
It struck me today that, yes, the world — much of it, perhaps most of it — thinks we're nuts.
Yesterday, in what I fear was a fit of idiocy, I tried to comment on Eric Muller's blog, "Is That Legal?" Specifically, the post I was interested in — sorta — was one called "The Pope's Disastrous Speech at Auschwitz."
Leaving aside the post by Professor Muller itself — except to say that he not only refused to call the Holy Father "Pope" or even "Benedict" (except for the post's title) but instead repeatedly misspelled the pontiff's Christian name (it's "Joseph," professor, not "Josef") — I was struck by one comment in particular, from someone called "Just Wondering":
"At Auschwitz the Pope said "Where was God in those days? Why was He silent? How could He permit this endless slaughter,this triumph of evil?"I find this statement most revealing. I would expect that Pope Benedict XVI, The Vicar of Christ,should have rather said "Where was Jesus Christ in those days? Why was He silent? How could He permit this endless slaughter, this triumph of evil?" I leave it to the imagination of each reader to speculate on the meaning of this subtle difference in phrasing. I wonder if the God he was referring to was the "Old Testament" God of Israel. If that was the case, then the answer to the questions is obvious isn't it? I refer, of course, to the old Doctrine of Supercession."
This struck me as being...strange. And also...weird. As if the commenter was — albeit, tortuously — implying that the Holy Father was blaming the "Old Testament God of Israel"...in other words, blaming the "Jewish God."
Stupidly, I tried to respond:
Uh...Just Wondering? You can stop wondering. See, the thing is, the pontiff believes that Jesus Christ is God. (Me too.)
Anyway, some translations have it as "Lord," and "Lord," referring to Jesus, is all over the New Testament.
Besides that, you might recall one of Jesus' last prayers -- and I believe the Holy Father was praying in your referenced statement, by the way -- before dying, quoting from the Psalms: "My God, my God, why have you foresaken me?"
I hope this is helpful.Evidently it wasn't. Helpful, I mean. The response:
Dear Kelly Clark: Helpful indeed! You claim, (and you include The Pope in your claim) that Jesus IS God. So I ask you: When Jesus, in His dying moments prayed "My God, My God, Why has't Thou forsaken Me?" to Whom was He praying? To Himself? Also when Jesus, The Son , died, Did God, The Father, also die? If "yes" How could He pray to a dead (or dying) God?; if "no", how could God the Father be alive when God the Son was dead if they are one and the same?
I was, no doubt stupidly so, stunned that the dogma of the Trinity was apparently unheard of. Now, naturally I wasn't about to try to explain the Trinity! But I did try to suggest that the "Wondering" poster maybe google The Apostles Creed, or the Nicene Creed to get a glimpse of what Christians believe.
Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to post, for some odd reason.
Which is why I put my answer here. There didn't seem to be any way to email any of the commenters privately.
Today we remembered a brilliant man who died rather than worship Roman idols.
We preach that God chose to (A) become man, (B) become a rather humble fellow and, insanely enough (C) die an ignominious death.
Add the fact that we believe in One God in Three Divine Persons, and I can see why we're seemed as "foolish."
Which is one reason why I love this line, again, from today's first reading:
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.