Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Father Michael Jude Fay died

Fr. Fay, the fallen Connecticut priest who embezzeled roughly a million dollars from his parish to finance his lavish lifestyle has died in prison. Being a prisoner must have been nigh on to unbearable for him. There are no Waterford crystal goblets, no beautiful decorations, no gorgeous flower arrangements and no pretty, prancing companions. I hope that in that prison he remembered Jesus and found peace.

Pray for our priests, the fallen ones, the straying ones, the ones who have given scandal, and the ones in Purgatory. And pray especially, for Fr. Michael Madden, the parochial vicar who exposed Fr. Fay and says he was threatened by the bishop for speaking up. Fr. Madden said that the four years he spent living in the rectory with Fr. Fay was a living hell and brokenhearted by the whole disgusting spectacle he has since left the priesthood. The priesthood has not left him, however,and God willing, someday he'll come back.


St. John Vianney, pray for us.
Blessed Brother Andre, pray for us.
Blessed Solanus Casey, pray for us.
Servant of God, Archbishop Sheen, pray for us.
Servant of God, Father Vincent Capadano, pray for us.
St. Therese, who did so love priests and sacraficed so much for them, pray for us.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The shadow of death



This is an interesting painting by William Hunt. I don't think it quite succeeds. I like the way Mary is shown as being startled and alarmed by the shadow of her Son that looks like a crucifixion. But why is the Lord shown as being half dressed in public? And why are thy both barefoot in a workshop full of sharp objects and stone and wood chips? It must have been splinter central.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The ghastly King Herod


Queen Mariamne leaving the court of Herod.

I was thinking about King Herod last night. His life would make an epic movie. While still a teenager he became an effective warrior. He fell in love with and asked for the hand of Princess Mariamne, the daughter of the high priest and a descendant of the last true kings of Israel. In order to marry Mariamne, he cast off his first wife Doris and his three year old son. Caesar, Marc Antony and Octavian were well disposed towards him, the son of their loyal friend and when he had destroyed his enemies once and for all he went to Rome and was made king of the Jews. Palestine was his.

And then he turned into something that the Greek playrights and centuries later, Shakespeare would've understood very well. He became insanely jealous of Mariamne, once, according to Jospehus, even fretting that she was intrested in Marc Antony, who by that time was clearly and totally in love with Cleopatra. His subjects hated him-- a foreigner, an upstart son of a servant to the last true king and they resented his Roman connections. Mariamne had a little brother who naturally had far more claim to the throne than he did and when the boy was 19 or 20, Herod had him killed. Though they loathed Herod, Mariamne and her brother were well thought of by the people and this murder must have horrified them.

I'd love to see a young Sophia Loren playing the part of Mariamne. Imagine what she must have felt. Eventually Herod's jealousy led him to listen to ambitious courtiers who claimed that Mariamne was unfaithful. He put her to death and regretted it immediately afterwards. He had what appears to be something a nervous breakdown and fled to his Summer palace for months. When he returned he went on to kill his mother-in-law, his uncle, three or four of his sons, a brother-in-law and menaced his brother, who died on his own before Herod could kill him. And of course he slaughtered his unhappy subjects at will. It's easy to see why killing 20 or so peasant babes in Bethlehem wouldn't have made him bat an eyelash.

He later married Cleopatra of Jerusalem, Mariamne II, Malthace, Phaidra, Pallas, and Elpis. Were any of them happy even for a day, I wonder? History doesn't tell us. Herod was like the Henry VIII of the ancient world, a promising youth who became an ogre. He attempted to Hellenize Israel, but the common people resisted the gentile influence. He famously rebuilt the temple but his lack of religious faith, or sincerity and the inclusion of Roman Eagles to the temple gates shocked and offended the people. Brave young rabbinical students took those eagles down and paid for it with their lives.

Some scholars believe that Herod died of gangrene or a hell of a case of scabies. Others think it was kidney disease. I wonder if his paranoia and depressive episodes didn't stem from secondary syphilis. His story really is one of the most horrifying of the ancient world.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

should John Paul II be cannonized?

This dude says no.

I think he's too harsh and is wrong on a couple of points. Meeting with victims would've accomplished nothing except provide a phot op for a Catholic hating media. The Holy Father should no more apologize for the sins of other people than I am for the sins of my cousin who went to jail several years ago for doing something really, really bad.

Plus, some victims claimed abuse decades after the accused priest was dead. I wouldn't trust that. It may sound unkind, but if you have no evidence either biologicalor material, no witnesses, nothing but your word against a dead guy then your story has to be suspect. That's the deal for Joe Blow and it ought to be the deal for Father.

I do believe, however, that JPII made mistakes. I think he was way too soft and was held back by the fear of schism. And then there is the kissing the koran thing--- St. Francis would've died first. However, his personal holiness has never been in question, even by his harshest critics. At any rate the cannonizatin process needs to be slowed down and cool heads need to look into things.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Enfant Terribles of Catholic blogville


There are three male Catholic bloggers; two are big time, one is arriving to that point, who bother me. I don't read them anymore but I've wondered why they annoy me. Then it came to me. All three remind me of Truman Capote, who was a little monster.
Before anyone get's the wrong idea, I'm not talking their sex lives. I mean that Capote was smart, maybe a genius, and talented but he was horribly spoiled. He was the little prince, the complete center of attention in his circle and when he wasn't, he got spiteful.
He wrote a vicious roman a clef about his friends in his latter years as a payback for some slight, real or imagined and apparently hinted that he wrote To Kill a Mockingbird for his childhood friend, Harper Lee. You either worshipped Capote and agreed with everything he said or you were an idiot, low class, nasty and deserving of scorn.


Like Capote, these three male bloggers talk a good tough game but seem thin skinned when readers don't stick to their script. Commenters better stick to "Gee, you're so smart. Those traditionalists are so dumb. You're so brave. (Brave? Really?) Your book changed my life. All the good Catholics are with you...." or they get banned or mocked.
There is something so small and precious and enfant terrible about all three of these fellows. I get the impression that all of them spent a lot of time on their mama's laps while being told how aborable and brilliant they were and very little time hanging around other guys. It's interesting in a virus under the microscope sort of way but for the life of me, I can't understand how these guys got to be so important in the world of professional Catholics and why so many people take them seriously.
And there's one more thing. When I see a lay person (this may or may not apply to one or more of the bloggers I'm talking about) who makes their living off of the Church I get nervous. My gut reaction is "Hey bud, who the heck are you? By what authority do you teach? What seminary did you go to and what bishop laid his hands on you? Who gave your book a public imprimatur? What reputable clergyman back up your teaching?
Tis a puzzlement as the King of Siam once said.

Friday, August 07, 2009

The First Catholics in Virginia Monument

This crucifix was erected in 1930 by the Catholic Woman's Club of Richmond, in honor of the first Catholic settlement in Virginia in 1650.
Rocky and I try to stop and say a prayer there everytime we go through Aquia, Virginia.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

thank you, Congressman Cao


The Honorable gentleman from Louisiana is not going to vote for the Obama throw-granny-from-the-train bill. God bless you, sir.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

insignificant details

Back in the 80s young Tom Cruise made an appalling movie called Legend. Tim Curry was a demon named Darkness who wanted to kill all the unicorns for some reason and marry the fairy princess. I can only remember two things about the movie; how incredbly cheap looking and corny it was and these lines that were like diamonds glittering in a mud hole:

Blix: "Its just a female lord, she has no power."
Darkness: "Only the power of creation!"

The power of creation, the power to be a mother. The devil hates that and hates womankind. On Lair of the Catholic Cavemen there is a powerful post about a nun, Sr. Simone, who doesn't wear a habit, doesn't teach, doesn't nurse, doesn't spend her days in contemplative prayer who thinks that people are opposing Obama's healthcare disaster in the making because of insignificant details. I don't know what order this nun belongs to but I hope it dies out soon.

Blogger, Vir Speluncae Catholicus has a unflincing photo of one of those "insignificant details," an aborted baby. I gasped at that photo and wondered how in the hell this happens. How does a "normal" person do abortions day in and day out? If I did an animal like that I'd be a sick freak and at the very least my neighbors would avoid me. If I did an adult like that I'd end up in prison. But subjecting a pre-born baby to such cruelty is legal and hip and all the cool kids smile scornfully at you if you object to it. And then I remembered, Hell of course. The devil hates babies almost as much as he hates woman. He whispers in our ears. He tells us that if we are to be free we must be tough, we must be cold, we must imitate the worst aspects of male behavior and we must deny, delay or destroy that power of creation thing. We must out Medea, Medea, we have ignore those insignificant little details.



St Joseph, pray for us

I've never seen an image of St. Joseph and young Jesus that I really liked. This one by artist, John Collier is the best I've ever seen.