Sunday, December 29, 2013

Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree

This hymn was published in 1761 and compares the Lord to the fruit of the tree of knowledge.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

random thoughts

*This male is a priest. He is uh....performing at a youth party on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in Spain. Everyone was in costume and I guess he was trying to be hip and "with it". Poor man. When I was a teenager I loathed hip priests and did not like when they tried to be on my level. "Esto vir", Father.  Don't be a grown up kid. Don't be a big ole doofus. You are a priest forever, a son of Adam. You have such great dignity. Don't throw it away. What's even more horrifying is that this priest is in good standing but these are being swatted around like flies. HT Eponymous Flower and Katholishes.


*Christmas Eve Vigil Mass was much, much better this year. Rocky was ushering and it was incredible watching him and the other ushers work. It takes skill, patience and good eyes to do this job when there is a huge crowd. Most folks were well behaved but one man was surprised that Rocky couldn't find seats for him and his whole family. Note: if you come half way through Mass on Christmas Eve, you will probably have to stand. Sorry.


*My aunt Mavis had a colonoscopy in January. It went wrong and she ended up nearly dying and having to wear a colostomy bag. This month she was well enough for the bag to be removed. She's back to her normal life! Praise God.



*St. Joseph was not going to Bethlehem to beg or party. He was there to pay his taxes. Mary was NOT an unwed mother. Please do not tolerate that blasphemy to be spoken in your presence by anyone who should know better.  She was married to Joseph from the day of their betrothal. Recently some "expert" wrote that Our Lord wasn't born in a stable but in the main room of some nice family's house. A poor family with no locked stable couldn't risk having their animals stolen so it was common to  bring one's animals in for the night and to leave hay out for them, hence the manger.  Well okay.... I'm reminded of my Great Uncle John. In his middle age he developed either agoraphobia or a serious depression  and stepped back from the world into his cabin. He brought his chicken flock inside to live with him. Sounds cute? No. Imagine chicken manure everywhere and then consider how "charming" a living room with a donkey or goat would be. Both animals are a lot bigger than chickens and they are not housebroken but go when and where nature calls. In my Great Uncle's case only my grandfather could stand to go visit because it was just plain nasty. Even if Mary and Joseph were inside a house it was no means cozy or sweet smelling.

However,  I do doubt the living room of somebody's house theory because Mary needed privacy if the  birth was to be painless. Had Our Lord been born with witnesses they would've told everybody about it and probably squealed to Herod's men  for the right amount of money.  Mary and Joseph were able to slip out of Bethlehem without anybody taking notice after a year or two of living there because nobody outside of a few shepherds and the Wise Men knew how special the Baby King was.


*This  could've been avoided if Andrea Bocelli had been in the choir loft instead of at the pulpit. HT to Adrienne's Corner 




*WARNING! The following is distasteful. If you don't want to read anything gross skip this post.

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Still with me? Okay. My mother started out as a housekeeper and worked her way up to the inspector level  at a big luxury hotel in DC.  Once, and this is the one of the tamest stories I can relate, she was walking down the hall when she saw two males leave a suite and head to the hotel lobby. One was  middle aged, well dressed and the other was young,  The younger one apologized for well....relieving himself all over the other. The older man patted him on the back and said it was okay. My mother checked the room. Human waste was in the bed, on the floor and in the bathroom.  The bedding was thrown away but the room and furniture had to be cleaned and sanitized and a team of men were paid extra to deal with it.  Austin Ruse wrote  about a few Catholic writers who look at the two males in this little drama and sugar coat the whole thing. I think they are Grima Wormtounges smoothly attacking a sick Theoden while smiling in his face and being oh so reasonable.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Madonna and Child


Thy Almighty Word Leapt Down from Heaven

For while all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, Thy almighty Word leapt down from Heaven from Thy royal throne, as a fierce conqueror into the midst of the land of destruction

The Book of Wisdom, Chapter 18, verse 11.





Friday, December 20, 2013

At Prayer


Rocky's late father has been on my mind every day.Lord have mercy on his soul. Lord have mercy on Rocky's mother. She's suffering an exquisite level of pain right now. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Rocky's Father's funeral was today

Thank you all for your prayers and kind words. Rocky really appreciated it. Sitting and watching my mother-in-law today I realized something that most young women don't get the privilege of knowing. When you truly love even fifty years is not nearly enough.

Support Catholic Artisans this Christmas

I've already bought my 2014 planner but I've admired this lady's stuff for a few years now.



Monday, December 16, 2013

St. Therese and the Holy Child

We often say "oh that baby is adorable," but there really was only one truly adorable Baby and St. Therese joyfully gave her life to Him.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Keep calm and listen to St. Teresa


I am not saying be a Pollyanna.  I'm not saying bury your head in a dark place and pretend to be a mushroom. The Church already has too many people like that. I am saying that Catholics need to stay calm and hang tough.  Go to Mass, pray the rosary, go to Adoration. Check out what St. Teresa said.

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.











Saturday, December 14, 2013

random thoughts

* The Franciscans of the Immaculate (one of the few orders that was actually growing), are going through a horrible time. I imagine that the FSSP, the Canons Regular, and the Institute of Christ the King are paying attention and if you attend a diocesan TLM, don't be complacent about it.  Thank God every single time you get to go to the TLM or a reverent by-the-book Novus Ordo Mass. There is an old expression: nobody ever wants water until the well runs dry. Benedict was not an exciting pope. He wasn't cute or fun. However, I think a lot of us are going to miss that old German.

* I don't ever want to go to Belgium.  Can you imagine what it must be like to be a sensitive little kid there right now? The poor things must wonder if they will be killed if they get sick.


*Is the occult really strong in Colorado? It has endured Columbine, Littleton, Aurora, Arapahoe and now you can go to jail if you don't bake two homosexuals a wedding cake. Has anybody asked out loud why this state seems to have a disproportionate amount of enraged, twisted young males? Fr. Rippenger, a exorcist once said that he was surprised by the huge number of witches in Nebraska maybe someone ought to look at Colorado.


*This young Dominican is a beautiful sight and seeing her and this cake really cheered me up today.

*Speaking of Dominicans this sister's order makes soap. 




 *Regina Magazine's priest issue was a delight to read.



*If you are a homeschooler or just want to enhance your child's education at home this looks interesting.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A word form PXI

Even in Catholic countries there are still too many who are Catholics hardly more than in name. There are too many who fulfill more or less faithfully the more essential obligations of the religion they boast of professing, but have no desire of knowing it better, of deepening their inward conviction, and still less of bringing into conformity with the external gloss the inner splendor of a right and unsullied conscience, that recognizes and performs all its duties under the eye of God.

We know how much Our Divine Savior detested this empty pharisaic show, He Who wished that all should adore the Father "in spirit and in truth." The Catholic who does not live really and sincerely according to the Faith he professes will not long be master of himself in these days when the winds of strife and persecution blow so fiercely, but will be swept away defenseless in this new deluge which threatens the world. And thus, while he is preparing his own ruin, he is exposing to ridicule the very name of Christian.
Pius XI

Divini Redemptoris

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

This year's Christmas Card

  


Last year, Old Bob mentioned that he made a card that had both the imagery of Christ's crib and His cross together. I thought that was great and wanted to do something similar for 2013. I was going to make it myself when I found this card on Etsy.  I bought a pack and sent them out to all our priest friends.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Imaculee Conception



Rocky and I went to Mass today at St. Mary Mother of God Church in DC.  The young Father who heard my confession was so kind.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Eternal rest....






Rocky's father passed away last night.   


Eternal rest grant unto him, Oh Lord, let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace!







Tuesday, December 03, 2013

From the Manger to the Cross

I came across something really wonderful today. It's the 1912, movie, From the Manger to the Cross. For its time and even today it is an impressive piece of filmmaking. The director, Sidney Olcutt and his crew traveled to Egypt and what was then Palestine to make the movie. Olcutt paid a huge tribute to the Life of Christ art work of James Tissot. The details of Our Lady's clothes, the sets and  many of the scenes are Tissot's paintings come to life. Two interesting tidbits are that the actor who played Our Lord originally didn't want to do so because he thought  the new fad of moving pictures was vulgar and could never compare to the artistry of the stage. Later he attributed his survival of WWI to having had the privilege of portraying the Christ. The actress who played Our Lady also wrote the screenplay.



After watching the movie I poked around YouTube and came across this video which is captioned in French but beautifully illustrates Olcutt's careful attention to the details.

Catholic artisans

I try to support Catholic artisans, especially at Christmas time. If you're in the market for a portable altar or need a wooden shrine, St. Joseph's Apprentice does very handsome work.




Saturday, November 30, 2013

Holy Mass in wartime

Somewhere in Afghanistan. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holy Martyrs pray for us

This painting shows a young martyr who's body has been recovered by her fellow Christians.  Cave was a student of one of my all time favorite painter's, William Adolphe Bouguereau.   

Monday, November 25, 2013

a word from Benedict XVI



“It is sad that there are what you might call professional Catholics who make a living on their Catholicism, but in whom the spring of faith flows only faintly, in a few scattered drops.” Benedict XVI

Sunday, November 24, 2013

random thoughts


  • There's a Catholic writer whom I won't identify because it wouldn't do any good, who is highly knowledgeable about Catholic dogma, very well written, and comes off as utterly miserable. He/she seems to think that anyone who isn't doing obvious forms of penance or who has more than a pot to pee in is a horrible sinner. After a few hours of reading him/her I was utterly repulsed. I can't imagine how he/she comes off to non-Catholics. I'm not saying we should go around like blind fools and there is a LOT to be disgusted by in the Church and in our country but  constant bitter joylessness doesn't make for good  Catholics either.




  • Regina Magazine is absolutely lovely.



  • C. S. Lewis was not Catholic.



  • Everything ages, dies and decays : people, countries, civilization. I think the West is in the senile stage.



  • I love Winter. Rocky and I get up in the wee, small hours on Sunday so he can drop me off at my mother's on his way to work. I go to sleep, eat breakfast with my mother and then we head to my uncle's nursing home. The clubs let out at 3 AM in DC and from that time to about 5 AM you need to be very alert because a drunken kid could easily stumble in front of your car. Thankfully DC has a lot of taxis but we've seen drunk drivers too. Right now it's so wonderfully cold on the East Coast that the 20somethings are actually going home instead of trying to hang out on the street.


  • My mother and I ran into the young pastor of Assumption as he was leaving my uncle's nursing home. Father is such an inspiration. He's a great confessor, and has a big heart.



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mother of Sorrows

Artist, Julien Lasbleiz works on movies in his day job and created this image of Our Lady based on looking at the Shroud of Turin. I didn't like it at first but the more I look at it, the more it moves me. We have a lot of Middle Eastern immigrants in Northern Virginia.  I've seen this face a thousand times on the bus, the train and walking the streets.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

Before Augustine became a saint

Before Augustine of Hippo became a saint he was a spoiled brat who partied hard and rolled around in sin like a piglet in slop. The artist Herbert Gustave Schmalz decided to give the viewer a glimpse of what poor St. Monica had to to deal with before her son converted.

St. Monica's Prayer by Schmaltz



Sunday, November 17, 2013

The religious life in four acts



These four paintings were done by different artists, in different countries and different times but all of them  illustrate episodes from the religious life. A Daughter of Charity in France comes to help a sick woman, a young Norbertine or perhaps a Carthusian priest defends a beggar from enraged villagers, a Sister of Charity prays for her the orphans in her care and an old diocesan priest blesses his parishioners with a holy relic. When seeing nuns and priests in their habits going about their business stopped being an everyday sight the Church Militant lost something powerful. 


Friday, November 15, 2013

Cling to the Sacred Heart

Being Catholic right now is....interesting. If you're feeling discouraged that's alright. Just run to Our Lord,  cling to His Sacred Heart  and leave all the rest to him as St. Margaret Mary said.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rosary

 
I once used a chair as as kneeler when I was a girl. It works but don't lean forward or you and the chair will end up in the floor.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Well that was embarrassing

Yesterday a depressing and embarrassing thing happened at the end of Mass. The music was great, as always. The young priest was a gift from God. The problem was the parishioners.  When the head of the parish board stood up to make the annual  financial announcement a woman behind me actually groaned out loud.  People shuffled in their seats like the wood was suddenly scorching them.  While he stood in the pulpit talking, Smitty (that's not his real name)  looked out on pews full of grown people who looked like they'd been weaned on lemon juice. Too many adults were rude during the mere five or ten minute announcement and they poured out of the side doors like they were being pursued by a SWAT team.  The American Heritage Girls who were standing in the vestibule collecting money for the Wreaths Across America project were ignored and I hope their feelings weren't hurt.  If any non-Catholics were present, particularly Baptists I'm afraid that they came away with a very bad impression. 

The American part of my parish is upper middle class and some members are affluent. I wish I'd made the announcement instead of Smitty but I'm sure poor Father would still be dodging the backlash from what I would've said.

"Look people, we're all adults here and we need to talk about the parish's finances.This place does not run on happy thoughts. It runs on money. Father knows that the  roof leaks every time it rains and he knows that it's cold in here.  He aslso knows that you want the kids at school to go on more fun trips. Next week is pledge week so please consider what you are able to do about it. Thank you." 


In my fantasy I then make a beeline through the sacristy to the car to hide out. 

Some people say nobody goes to Hell.

But the fearful and unbelieving and the abominable and murderers and whoremongers and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, they shall have their portion in the pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
Apocalypse Chapter 21











Saturday, November 09, 2013

Friday, November 08, 2013

So I bought a new veil ----photos of the Jesus Mary and Joseph Carmelite's veil

 Here are  my photographs of the veil I bought from the JMJ Carmelites in Elysburg, Pennslyvania.



Mater Dolorosa


Monday, November 04, 2013

So I bought a new veil

I collect church headcoverings. Two  are Spanish, one was  made in Mexico, the others are handmade by clever American seamstresses or are vintage pieces from Ebay of unknown provenance. I just got one from the Carmelite nuns of Elysburg, Pennsylvania and it is not only quite modestly priced, it drapes better and looks nicer than many fancy ones I've seen. If you are looking for a simple headcovering give the  Carmelites of Jesus, Mary and Joseph a peek and if you don't veil, the sisters make other lovely things and could use your help.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

mass without pews--wartime edition

Mass during World War I. I do not know the exact location.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Friday, November 01, 2013

Church triumphant, Church Suffering, Pray for us


Feast of All Saints

Holy men and women, pray for us.

a prophesy

“The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning.”
                   Benedict XVI

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A ghostly tale for Halloween

Years ago when I was still in high school I read a collection of ghost stories called "Haunted Heartland." Most of them weren't a bit scary and were presented in  the dry  businesslike fashion of a folklorist who is merely collecting materials for a dissertation, but one tale stuck with me. It was the story of Fr. Louis Lesches, a priest assigned to St. Mary's College in Minnesota, who tried to kill his superior, Bishop Patrick Hefron. The bishop was saying Mass in the chapel one morning when he turned around and saw Fr. Lesches standing behind him. To the bishop's surprise, the priest was wearing a Prince Albert suit instead of his cassock or clericals. To add to this surprise the bishop quickly realized that  the priest was packing heat. Fr. Lesches fired a gun three times, hitting the bishop twice.

At that time Fr. Lesches was already the number one problem child of the diocese. Although he was said to be brilliant and had done well in the academic part of his seminary studies,  he was also overly emotional, insubordinate, and felt that the bishop was persecuting him. He'd failed at parish assignments and now the annoyed and apparently unsympathetic bishop was keeping a close eye on him.


 Bishop Heffron's vestments, orneriness, and his great physical shape probably saved his life.  Instead of dropping dead or swooning he yelled at his now panicked attacker and chased him out of the chapel. Fr. Lesches was captured and spent the rest of his life in a mental hospital.



 Students have been claiming to see the ghost of Fr. Lesches on campus for decades. It's a spooky tale but I hope everyone who hears or reads it will stop and say a prayer for this poor, strange, unstable man who never should've been ordained but is a priest forever and one who probably really needs our help now. 




Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mass without pews---wartime edition

WWII

Looking at these battlefield Masses was really fascinating.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

random thoughts on a Saturday afternoon

*Thalidomide was the 1950s, wonder drug from Germany that was touted as being a perfect cure for morning sickness.  Dr.  Frances Oldham Kelsy was a pharmacologist, doctor and drug reviewer  for the FDA who realized after time and study that the drug worked but also attacked the fetus. There was pressure put on  Dr. Kelsy by the pharmaceutical company and by lobbyists who claimed the US was just keeping women down, being backwards sticks in the mud and pointing out that the sophisticated Europeans and the Canadians already had Thalidomide. A few American women with the financial ability got on the plane to Europe or had friends sneak the drug back for them. Frances Kelsy stuck to her guns and millions of American children were spared being born with no limbs. In 1962, Frances got a medal from President Kennedy.

Today we hear the same kind of talk about new wonder pills for women and girls and we're told that anybody who says "Hold up. Is this thing safe?" is a fuddy duddy who is just trying to keep women down. Shirley Bassey was right. The next big thing really is just history repeating.


*Georgetown is not a Catholic school anymore. It hasn't been for decades. Think of all those poor parents who were suckered into putting second mortgages on their homes in order to send their kid to a place that seems to be doing everything it can to suck the souls right out of them.




* The  way you dress is powerful. It tells people who you are and what you stand for.



* Rest in peace, prison angel. Mother Antonia was an awesome woman. She walked away from a comfortable life in Beverly Hills and willingly went to one of the worst places on earth to serve,  and save the souls of some of the most dangerous men on earth. She founded the Eudist Servants of the Eleventh Hour, an order of nuns made up of older women -- in their eleventh hour  and is another Mother Theresa. She was 86.



*Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, that there are three kinds of people at the foot of the Cross: purity, represented by Our Lady, the penitent, represented by St. Mary Magdalene, and priesthood, represented by St. John, the only apostle who after running away in Gethsemane, came back and openly followed Him to His crucifixion.






Monday, October 21, 2013

Rest in peace Fr. Pablo!





 
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.
Amen.
 
 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mass without pews--wartime edition

 Khe Sanh 


Fr. Robert Brett was a Marist Priest from Philadelphia. Private First Class Alexander Chin was from Baltimore. They were an incredible team. They  died together a few weeks after my first birthday in February 1968, in Khe Sanh Provice Vietnam and  they buried side by side in Arlington Cemetery. After reading their story I was struck with genuine awe and shed tears.

Eternal rest grant unto them Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.
Amen

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

random thoughts on a sick day


  • I'm sick at home. My nose started running at work yesterday like a waterfall. Since I was sitting at the reference desk that was a nuisance. My eyes are running, my joints ache and I weaved a couple of times while walking to the bus last night. So, I'm giving myself up to bed, Tylenol Severe Cold medicine, weird fever dreams and Net surfing.

  • Rorate Caeli has stopped allowing comments. On one hand I think it was a shrewd move but truthfully the blog  isn't nearly as much fun as it used to be.



  • I was reading a extreme (their description, not mine) prepping site last week and got disgusted after a few minutes. Too many of the posters seem to be looking forward  to a total break down of society and plan to let their inner wild man go free.  That's a totally different mindset than  being  prepared for civil  unrest and natural disaster.

  • Certain people are making themselves look ridiculous concerning Pope Francis' interview with the old atheist.  They are so desperate to make what the Holy Father said go away that they are attacking the 89 year old reporter as being either a liar or senile.  Okay, let's say the quite elderly man  made it all up.  That's possible and he is an atheist with an agenda after-all. And yet, if that's true, why hasn't the Vatican issued a statement to that effect? Perhaps the old man's mind is going, although I doubt that, but there was ample opportunity for a Vatican spokesman to say gently, that the reporter got some stuff wrong. This frantic explaining away everything the Holy Father is embarrassing.

  • Rest in peace Nancy Verhelst. What a tragedy. Poor, poor little unloved girl. People have reacted in justified horror at the callous words of Verhelst's mother but it's obvious that her father failed catastrophically as well.


  • Regina magazine is a very pleasant read.





  • In all the years I've been going to Mass I've only heard two priests who repeatedly preached strongly against abortion and they were considered rare birds by many people. The latter had to put up with rudeness from by the Baby Boomers in the parish who wanted him to preach happy talk instead. I thought of that when I listened to Michael Voris this week.









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Monday, October 07, 2013

Sacred Heart

The unknown artist who painted this work depicts Our Lord wearing  the rope of  his captors and the red cloak used to mock His kingship being adored by Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, the two promoters of the devotion to His Most Sacred Heart.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Mass Without pews---wartime edition

 Mass for Marines in Khe Sanh, Vietnam

Saturday, October 05, 2013

The Novice

 
William Frith Powell was English but didn't seem to be affected by the usual unapologetic anti Catholic sentiment at least in the beautiful rendering of this painting. 

Friday, October 04, 2013

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Crying in the Chapel

This song reached number one on the R&B charts. The Elvis Presley version was number three on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and number one in England. Other recordings, including the original which was sung by the author's son, were big hits in Country Western, Gospel and Ella Fitzgerald had great success with a Jazz version. Can you imagine this happening today?

random thoughts

  • Oh dear. Rod Dreher is whining again. He will never get off the pot and go on with his life. He's just going to sit there screaming for  our attention.
  • New Yorkers really aren't all that tough. They just look the part.  Baltimoreans call you honey and baby but they really are tough.The Church is in no better shape in Latin America than it is here and most middle class people have no idea of what they speak when they talk about the poor.
  • People here in Northern Virginia are freaking out over the government shut down. You'd think the Federal workers were in danger of starving.

  • I'm a librarian (law, not public), but I have no problem with censorship of children's books. If you want Fifty Shades of Gray in the teen section of the public library I think decent people should refuse to acknowledge your presence in a room. I read  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and yes, it is a gripping, unforgettable book but an innocent nine year old doesn't need to read it. A little girl or boy doesn't need to know about what life is like with a mother who is a harlot or what being raped by that mother's vengeful rejected boyfriend is like. Yes, Maya Angelou triumphs (in part) over the nightmare episode of her childhood but this is NOT a child's book.  I think kids should be protected. Oh and those Twilight Moms are creepy. If you are okay with your twelve year old dreaming about sex with a six foot tall, sparkly reanimated corpse  buy the books your own silly self. Don't demand that they be in the youth section of the public library.

a madonna


Monday, September 23, 2013

This made me take a deep breath.

“As Leviathan’s lions begin to roar, the nominal Catholics will skip out of the arena. Roman Catholicism has become for baptized pagans a neuralgic kind of Cute Catholicism, with leprechauns, mariachi bands and Santa Claus instead of confession, prayer and fidelity to doctrine. But behind each leprechaun St. Patrick stares, and behind every mariachi band Our Lady of Guadalupe weeps, and behind every Santa Claus Christ himself judges.”
                                                      Fr. George Rutler.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mass without pews--war time edition

This Mass was in Vietnam. The altar is made of what looks like sandbags and a MRE(?)  C rations (thanks Digital Hairshirt) box.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

To sin is to crucify the Son of God


— to sin is to crucify the Son of God, to tear his hands and feet with hammer blows, and to make his heart break.
St.Josemaria Escriva



This quote from St. Josemaria, gives me chills. I don't have a particular devotion to him but he seems to have an interest in me or Rocky because we keep walking into churches with his relics or meeting Opus Dei priests and finding quotes by him out of the blue.