Monday, July 17, 2017

St. Telemachus, pray for us





Thank you to Mary Ann Kreitzer of Les Femmes for reminding us of the incredible bravery of St. Telemachus. 

Saint Telemachus
by 
Alfred Tennyson
HAD the fierce ashes of some fiery peak
Been hurl’d so high they ranged about the globe?
For day by day, thro’ many a blood-red eve,
In that four-hundredth summer after Christ,
The wrathful sunset glared against a cross
Rear’d on the tumbled ruins of an old fane
No longer sacred to the Sun, and flamed
On one huge slope beyond, where in his cave
The man, whose pious hand had built the cross,
A man who never changed a word with men,
Fasted and pray’d, Telemachus the Saint.
    Eve after eve that haggard anchorite
Would haunt the desolated fane, and there
Gaze at the ruin, often mutter low
‘Vicisti Galilæe’; louder again,
Spurning a shatter’d fragment of the God,
‘Vicisti Galilæe!’ but—when now
Bathed in that lurid crimson—ask’d ‘Is earth
On fire to the West? or is the Demon-god
Wroth at his fall?’ and heard an answer ‘Wake
Thou deedless dreamer, lazying out a life
Of self-suppression, not of selfless love.’
And once a flight of shadowy fighters crost
The disk, and once, he thought, a shape with wings
Came sweeping by him, and pointed to the West,
And at his ear he heard a whisper ‘Rome’
And in his heart he cried ‘ The call of God!’
And call’d arose, and, slowly plunging down
Thro’ that disastrous glory, set his face
By waste and field and town of alien tongue,
Following a hundred sunsets, and the sphere
Of westward-wheeling stars; and every dawn
Struck from him his own shadow on to Rome.
    Foot-sore, way-worn, at length he touch’d his goal,
The Christian city. All her splendour fail’d
To lure those eyes that only yearn’d to see,
Fleeting betwixt her column’d palace-walls,
The shape with wings. Anon there past a crowd
With shameless laughter, Pagan oath, and jest,
Hard Romans brawling of their monstrous games;
He, all but deaf thro’ age and weariness,
And muttering to himself ‘The call of God’
And borne along by that full stream of men,
Like some old wreck on some indrawing sea,
Gain’d their huge Colosseum. The caged beast
Yell’d, as he yell’d of yore for Christian blood.
Three slaves were trailing a dead lion away,
One, a dead man. He stumbled in, and sat
Blinded; but when the momentary gloom,
Made by the noonday blaze without, had left
His aged eyes, he raised them, and beheld
A blood-red awning waver overhead,
The dust send up a steam of human blood,
The gladiators moving toward their fight,
And eighty thousand Christian faces watch
Man murder man. A sudden strength from heaven,
As some great shock may wake a palsied limb,
Turn’d him again to boy, for up he sprang,
And glided lightly down the stairs, and o’er
The barrier that divided beast from man
Slipt, and ran on, and flung himself between
The gladiatorial swords, and call’d ‘Forbear
In the great name of Him who died for men,
Christ Jesus!’ For one moment afterward
A silence follow’d as of death, and then
A hiss as from a wilderness of snakes,
Then one deep roar as of a breaking sea,
And then a shower of stones that stoned him dead,
And then once more a silence as of death.
    His dream became a deed that woke the world,
For while the frantic rabble in half-amaze
Stared at him dead, thro’ all the nobler hearts
In that vast Oval ran a shudder of shame.
The Baths, the Forum gabbled of his death,
And preachers linger’d o’er his dying words,
Which would not die, but echo’d on to reach
Honorius, till he heard them, and decreed
That Rome no more should wallow in this old lust
Of Paganism, and make her festal hour
Dark with the blood of man who murder’d man.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

And the hits just keep on comin'




The no complaining sign on the Pope's office door


Once a person who had been abused as a child remarked that he learned not to cry when he was being beaten because that just made his father even angrier. He had to take his beating and then give his father a kiss afterwards. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Big fat weddings and shrew princess brides





Recently a friend of Rocky's was terribly upset  because of a nasty wedding party. The bride and her parents were behaving like poor examples of Catholics  to a very decent person who has the misfortune of being the parish (I will not name the parish) wedding coordinator. Ladies, if your princess wedding fantasy means so much to you that you can become a shrieking, tantrum throwing banshee because you can't wear that strapless, booty hugging dress in the house of God, or can't cover the altar in a canopy of wisteria like the Twilight movie wedding (well, unless you are marrying a vampire*)  and you can't have the Beyonce "Halo" or "Ave Maria"songs during Mass then you need to grow up and reconsider getting married at all.


You are not a Kardashian, I hope and you are not Kate Middleton, who truth be told was not living an edifying life before her marriage either so why demand a big fat Protestant style faux royal wedding? Why not put that money into setting up your household or at least concentrating on the reception? The three best weddings I've ever been too either took place immediately after a regular Mass, during a regular Mass or in the case of the last one was a dignified nuptial Mass with no extra decorations in the church,  no flower petal sprinkling (those petals look pretty until someone slips, falls and sues the parish) and no secular music.


Oh and one more thing for the grooms. Do you really want to marry a woman who is capable of screaming at an elderly person over music?



* If you are marrying a six foot tall, reanimated leech-like, demon possessed corpse who would turn to ashes if he tried to enter a church anyway-- you clearly have enough problems so go ahead and have the wisteria.

Friday, July 14, 2017

A word from St. Alphonsus

"Tell me, blasphemer, of what country are you? Allow me to tell you, you belong to Hell."


-St Alphonsus Ligouri, Doctor of the Church

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Horror




The first step of Müller’s Calvary was a disconcerting episode in the middle of 2013. The cardinal was celebrating Mass in the church attached to the congregation palace, for a group of German students and scholars. His secretary joined him at the altar: “The pope wants to speak to you.” “Did you tell him I am celebrating Mass?” asked Müller. “Yes,” said the secretary, “but he says he does not mind—he wants to talk to you all the same.” The cardinal went to the sacristy. The pope, in a very bad mood, gave him some orders and a dossier concerning one of his friends, a cardinal. (This is a very delicate matter. I have sought an explanation of this incident from the official channels. Until the explanation comes, if it ever comes, I cannot give further details.) Obviously, Mūller was flabbergasted. 


If this scene from Marco Tosatti's First Things article is true then it's horrifying. 

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Fr. Martin and the whirlpool




Fr. James Martin, S.J. who is well known for his obsessions with worldly things recently said  that homosexual priests should come out and tell their parishes so everyone can see that a man who is attracted to other males can live chastely.  I sighed when I read this. In most parishes with a homosexual priest most of the non sheltered adults are already aware of it. Years ago Rocky and I were in another town and went to Mass. The priest behaved like an flirty old actress playing a part written for an ingenue. After Mass a number of ladies gathered round him to giggle and coo. Except for the sacristan and the security guard (this was a tough part of town) and Rocky who stayed with me to pray, all the men who were at Mass left. Able bodied men, men on walkers, and men with canes just about got into a flying wedge formation in the rush to get out.

The old men, who have seen life, the young and not so young single men, and the fathers are not going to happily follow one of Father Martin's friends. Many of them won't say a word about it except in the most noncommittal, vague way. They will simply either leave the parish, leave the Church, or if their wives give them too much trouble about that they will  use the passive resistance method of withdrawing from parish life. They will attend Mass and stampede for the door as soon as the recessional hymn starts playing. No amount of nagging or haranguing them not being involved enough will move them. A few men will take the Barnhardt position and will make some listeners squirm and gasp as they get graphic about the supposedly harmlessness of Father Martin's friend why they don't believe in  it. These few will be quickly dismissed and ignored for being "mean" and crude but they will cause a ripple and the polite men quietly withdrawing will be a whirlpool.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Scenes of the Life of Our Lady by Robert Anning Bell





Visitation


Mary in the House of Elizabeth


Nativity


Going to the tomb

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Cardinal Pell and Other Random thoughts on a Saturday afternoon


  • An old man in Australia says he saw Cardinal Pell expose himself to boys in a locker room  back in the 80s. He claims that he confronted Pell and reported the incident to the police. The old man could be lying now and he could have been lying back then. Cardinal Pell's main accusers from another incident are apparently not very successful men, and could easily be lying for money and attention. It could be possible that some enemy is just paying them to parrot whatever they've been coached to say. It could all be part of a plot to get Pell, whom just about everyone in Catholic blog land declares to be a staunch conservative, a good guy and "one of us."

    On the other hand, it has to be admitted that there has been talk about Cardinal Pell for a long time now. There is one incident that is supposed to have occurred more than 50 years ago.  You can't blindly defend a man because he's supposedly on your side in church matters. Conversely, it is very, very evil to wildly accuse a man of a vile sin against God and nature because he is not on your side in church matters.

    I don't trust cases where there is not a shred of usable physical evidence or a corroborating witness but the accusers in this case say that they have been telling their stories for years and nobody paid them any mind. What is true? I say wait for the trial in this case. Let the testimony be stated openly in court and pray that the judge(s?) and jury (if there will be one) are not hopeless anti Catholics but decent, fair and intelligent people. If Cardinal Pell has a good lawyer he should be able to shred the accusers to bits if their story has any weak points.

    I'm not ready to get the pitchforks and tar out yet but I'm not ready to get on the "Stand by our man. This is all an evil plot by Pope Francis and the liberals in Australia. Deus vult, let's ride!," bandwagon either. Somebody is going to be left with egg on their faces at best and souls are going to be lost at worst.  


Oh Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.  Arise Oh Lord, and let Thy enemies be scattered. Let them that hate Thee, flee before Thy holy face.



  • I was a Mass a few weeks ago and suddenly smelled what seemed  like  manure boiling over a campfire. I looked up, utterly astounded. A few other ladies shifted and looked around. The men stared stoically ahead.  One of the ushers sitting in front of me clenched his jaw and sat up a little straighter. I whispered to Rocky, "Do you smell that?" He nodded and shrugged and jumped up with the other ushers to get the collection baskets. It got worse and worse and I was about to go sit elsewhere when a tiny little voice a few pews ahead of me spoke up. "I pee pee!" The toddler reached into his diaper bag and waved a fresh(?) one over his head. People chuckled and there were some sympathetic smiles while the child's mother grabbed him and ran for the rest room. A gentle breeze from the open stained glass window wafted fresh air over us and suddenly it was time for Communion.  God is good. 




  • When you have free healthcare paid for by the government your body belongs to the State. Some official decides if you are worth treating and if it makes more financial sense to either let you die or kill you slowly. Once the State decides you must die you will not be allowed to try for private treatment. When you belong to the State you belong until you die. Period. 




  • I visited a Catholic discussion group and was disappointed because despite the valiant efforts of the moderator several posters kept doing things like refusing to stick to the point of  a particular discussion and doggedly harping about their own magnificent obsessions. Some people were rude to the African Catholics who asked questions (this appalled me), and the final straw came when I read comments from male posters carrying on like teen-aged girls over how manly the Eastern rite priests look compared to Latin rite priests. Whoah! Whenever I see that kind of talk in a Catholic discussion group I am gone like the wind. I unregistered quick, fast and in a hurry as my husband would say.
  • Stay strong. God is in command.