Saturday, February 24, 2018

random thoughts on a Saturday

  • I was reading a Catholic discussion page and saw disapproving comments about the woman who reads the news on the SSPX videos. The poster and one other seemed to find her too sexy. I looked at the video and all I can say is that if this well dressed, dignified young woman strikes you as a scantily clad temptress then dude, you need to take a trip to Saudi Arabia and don't come back until you get whatever's eating you purged out of your system.

  • It looks like Paul VI is going to be made a saint. This is weird to me because I vaguely remember that when he died  none of the adults seemed unhappy.  Granted, no sensible adult was going to go into a weeping jag in front of little kids but there didn't seem to be any feeling about the man at all. There does not appear to be a genuine cultus around him. Although there is a Paul VI High School in my diocese I've never met anyone whose prayer group or knight's council is named after Paul VI.  Except for the smoke of Satan quote I've never heard anyone quote him either from the pulpit or in a parish hall lecture. I've never had a nun in elementary or high school say, "Remember what Pope Paul VI said about ...". Even the people who bang on about Humanae Vitae seem to be oddly apologetic and frame it as the one good thing Paul did.  I've come across groups that are working for the cause of canonization of Fr. Augustus Tolton, Mother Mary Lange, Mother Henriette Delille, Archbishop Sheen and Cora Evans but I've never seen online or met anyone who was wildly passionate about promoting the cause of Pope Paul VI.

  • When I saw this tweet from Cardinal Tobin I wondered if he wasn't attempting humor. He says  "baby" is one of his eight younger sisters. Judging from the comment section in all the news sites I've come across that are covering the tweet, nobody really believes him.  I suspect the cardinal will be more careful in his communications with his intimates in the future.

  • I guess I'll be the skunk at the garden party but somebody has to say it, the Reverend Billy Graham was not Catholic. Some of the Catholic prelates and writers who are doing a folk canonization of him should mention that. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

God bless Cardinal Zen

“Yesterday not a few individuals came to see me or telephoned me to offer me some comfort, following the accusation made against me by the spokesman for the Vatican. But they have misunderstood, because I do not need to be comforted. It would have been better for them to have gone to comfort that spokesman. He is the one who is a caged bird, forced to perform such an embarrassing rôle.”  
                                                                                              Cardinal Zen of China

The cardinal is an old man who has seen much tragedy in his life. Seeing him and the Chinese Catholics being sold out is intensely shameful.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Hours of the Passion, Lenten Reading

I just found a wonderful little book by Fr. Jude Mead called The Hours of the Passion

Fr. Sarda Y Salvany has a few things to say to you...

Many Catholics, by far too naive (even some engaged in Catholic journalism), are perpetually seeking to pose as impartial and are perpetually daubing themselves with a veneer of flattery. They lustily beat the bass drum and blow all the trumpets of their vocabulary in praise of no matter what work, literary or scientific, that comes from the Liberal camp. They are fearful of being considered narrow-minded and partial if they do not give the devil his due. In the fulsomeness of their flattery, they hope to show that it costs a Catholic nothing to recognize merit wherever it may be found; they imagine this to be a powerful means of attracting the enemy. Alas, the folly of the weaklings; they play a losing game; it is they who are insensibly attracted, not the enemy! They simply fly at the bait held out by the cunning fisher who satanically guides the destinies of Liberalism.
Let us illustrate. When Arnold's Light of Asia appeared, not a few Catholics joined in the chorus of fulsome praise which greeted it. How charming, how beautiful, how tender, how pathetic, how humane; what lofty morality, what exquisite sentiment! Now what was the real purport of the book and what was its essence? To lift up Guatama, the founder of Buddhism, at the expense of Jesus Christ, the Founder of Christianity! 

..... Here was a work of literary merit, although it has been greatly exaggerated in this respect, praised extravagantly by some Catholics who, in their excessive desire to appear impartial, failed or refused to see in Edwin Arnold's Light of Asia a most vicious, anti-Christian book! What difference does it make whether a book be excellent in a literary sense or not, if its effect be the loss of souls and not their salvation? What if the weapon in the hands of the assassin be bright or not, if it be fatal? Though spiritual assassination be brilliant, it is nonetheless deadly.....

Si quis non amat Dominum Nostrum Jesum Christum, Sit anathema ["If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema"], says St. Paul. Liberal literature is the written hatred of Our Lord and His Church. If its blasphemy were open and direct, no Catholic would tolerate it for an instant; is it any more tolerable because, like a courtesan, it seeks to disguise its sordid features by the artifice of paint and powder?

Excerpts from Chapter 18 of Liberalism is a Sin by Fr. Felix Sarda Y Salvany  
(Bolded emphasize is mine)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Public High School is a Misery Factory

I know. I know. Somebody just read that and rolled their eyes so hard it gave them a headache but let's be honest about this. You have a thousand kids trapped in a prison-like building with kids who are mean and crazy and teachers who either frequently sadistic, useless, burned out or just trying to survive the day until their retirement--I have several teachers in my family and both my father and mother in law taught in suburban Virginia schools. They all had stories that would curl your hair. Why is there so much misery at school? Well, it's cruelly designed system. Education is not the main point of high school or even elementary school for that matter. Babysitting and molding children to whatever society says is cool right now is the point.

 Talk to ten people who object to home schooling, private school or the hiring of professional teachers to come to your home and teach your child and they will all huff and sputter about "socialization."  What's socialization? Mostly it seems to be about crushing kids until they are like everybody else. If  your kid is a square peg in a round hole he will be picked at  and drugged if need be until he fits in that square peg or at least sits there quietly and doesn't get on the teacher's nerves. If your kid doesn't spout propaganda about the goodness of abortion  and the superiority of homosexuals then he will be harassed until he complies. This has nothing to do with education.

Ask ten people what they remember fondly about school and they'll mention the prom, being on the sports team, watching the football or basketball game, the homecoming parade or band or drama class. None of that aforementioned stuff has anything to do with academics. Highly ritualized and controlled social life is also part of the  molding process  and it functions like that of a hyena pack. Once your child gets "assigned" his place in the hierarchy of the pack that's it. Forever. If your child is an alpha or one of the cool kids in the core of the pack or even the Lone Wolf-but-we-like-him kid then things will be okay. If the cool kids decide that your child is  the one who all members of the pack may vent their hostility on that's it. Forever. In Disney movies the cool kids learn to like the outcast but it doesn't happen like that in real life. You can go to school and beg the teachers to watch your child and the threat of expulsion can be used to force the other's to leave their victim in peace but that's the best you can do. As I said before, I've heard a lot of teacher's candid stories. This will shock you but it's not uncommon for teachers to look a child who has been rejected by the pack the same way a farmer does who finds a piglet or lamb that has been rejected by it's mother. The farmer must decide if it's worth it to intervene or let nature take it's course.

In order to get your kid out of a bad situation you have to leave the school district. Most parents either can't or won't pack up and move abruptly so the misery goes on and since it's a rite of passage  that most of us went through, and turned out just fine (?), many parents unconsciously feel that they survived and their child is going to be a misfit if they aren't tough enough to survive it too. Why do we do this and how did it get this inhuman?

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Communicantes Saints

We pray in union with and honor the memory, especially of the glorious ever Virgin Mary, mother of our God and Lord Jesus Christ: as also of the blessed Joseph, her Spouse, and of the blessed Apostles and Martyrs Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon, and Thaddeus; Linus, Cletus, Clement, Xystus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and of all Thy Saints, through whose merits and prayers, grant that we may in all things be defended by the help of Thy protection.  Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Communicántes prayer is said during the Canon of the Mass shortly before the Consecration. 
We are familiar with Our Lady, St. Joseph and the Apostles but except for St. Lawrence,the second set of saints are less studied by today's Catholics. 

What must it have been like to be the second pope? Tradition tells us that Linus was a Roman who converted after hearing St. Peter preach and became a disciple. He is only pope who was chosen by his predecessor. He  witnessed Peter's crucifixion and helped to bury his body. Pope St. Linus was martyred by beheading in 76.

Cletus was the third pope. He was also converted by St. Peter. He wrote the first papal letters to the Faith and was martyred in 89.

Pope St. Clement was a high born Roman  and like Linus and Cletus, he met St. Peter was converted. According to tradition, Clement made a point of recording the details of the trials and martyrdom of Christians brought before the Roman persecutors. In 96 he  wrote a letter to the fractious congregation of Corinth. He was exiled during the Trajan persecution and eventually martyred by drowning.

Pope St. Sixtus must have known that his life would end in martyrdom but he did not shirk from becoming pope. He is credited with the decree that none but the priest should touch the sacred vessels.

 Cornelius was a Roman priest. He became pope at a time when the persecutions were so bad that the clergy and people of Rome could not get together to elect a pope for 14 months. When he was elected he had to deal with a heretic, an anti-pope and the serious question of how to deal with laity and clergy who had apostatized during the persecution oDecius. Emperor Gallus banished Cornelius to Cevita Vecchia where he kept up a correspondence with St. Cyprian and converted a large number of pagans before his martyrdom.

Cyprian was a bishop and a devoted friend of St. Cornelius. He came from a well to do family in Carthage and is said to have been highly educated man who gave it all up to become a Christian. He was put to the sword in the year 258.

Saint Lawrence is one the most famous and beloved of the early saints and he's the most familiar saint from the Roman Canon to most people. He was the archdeacon to Pope St. Sixtus II and when the holy pope was being dragged to his execution St. Lawrence asked to go with him. Pope Sixtus told him that he would come after him in three days. Lawrence was arrested and tortured horribly all night before finally being placed on the gridiron.

Not much is known about St. Chrysogonus. He was a Roman layman who converted many people by his example and he was the teacher of  St. Anastasia, who went through many trials when she decided to follow Christ. Chysogonus was martyred under Emperor Diocletian.

John and Paul were brothers. They had high places at court and devoted themselves and their wealth to helping the poor. Out of spite Julian the Apostate asked them to join his household and offer sacrifice to the old gods. They refused and received the crown of martyrdom.

Saints Cosmas and Damian were twins and physicians whose piety impressed many people who converted because of their example. They were martyred by beheading under Diocletian.