Saturday, December 01, 2012

Plain talk from two popes and random thoughts

*Pope St. Pius X once said that “All evil in the world is due to lukewarm Catholics.”

* "What thou hast done for the poor man, thou has done for Me,"....Christ's words to St. Martin, the soldier who gave half his uniform cloack to a beggar.

When a homeless person gets to the point where they are blistered, freezing and shoeless they probably have mental illness. Most of us don't have the nerve to deal with that. At my old parish, St. Matthew's Cathedral in DC they have a huge homeless ministry and it takes patience, courage and caution to deal with the regulars. Some-- the crack and heroin users really would stab you in a heartbeat if they thought they could get away with it. Some are hustlers with the warmth of a rattlesnake. Some are severely ill with schizophrenia and other mental conditions. They will come get a sandwich or they'll come to the alley and accept a meal but are too timid to engage any more than that. The monsters in their brains are so horrible that they are terrified most of the time.  The only thing that seems to help is the Mass and being in front of the Blessed Sacrament. This officer did a beautiful act of kindness. St. Martin of Tours, pray for us.

*Father Z got a question about whether it’s okay to listen to the hymns at Mass or are we all required to sing. Father says no which is nice for me because I rarely sing at Mass. It irritates my own terrific young pastor, Fr. Eagle who has mentioned the lack of singing from the pews during one of his homilies but I can’t help it. I don’t want to sing. I want ----no---I need to concentrate on Christ at the altar. I know St. Augustine said singing is praying twice but was the saint talking about hymns or was he talking about chanting parts of the Mass? 

* I've noticed that a lot of people seem really angry lately. Maybe it's the election results, maybe it's the horror of joblessness, maybe it's just the feeling that's hanging in the air that the good times are over in this country. A while back, Rocky and I took a day trip to Baltimore and visited the Cathedral of Our Lady the Queen.  I was standing in the nave looking at artwork when a family walked in and headed to the pews. The father paused, looked at me with such an expression of malevolence that I just stared back at him wide eyed.  He half nodded, sharply turned his head away and followed his wife and kids. I really don't want to know what made him so angry and for his family's sake I hope he doesn't pull that stunt again with a man. St. Julian the Hospitaler, who suffered from rage fits, pray for us.

* Fr. Rutler   rocks. Plus, I always learn new words when I read his parish letters. HT to Mary Anne of Les Femmes.


*I've said it before and I'll say it again. Be very careful of professional laymen who go around giving speeches, writing books and setting themselves up as Catholic experts. If you find yourself saying, "Well, So and So says----  so Father Stuffy (who is quoting the catechism, popes, and giving examples from the lives of cannonized saints)is wrong," then you have a problem.  Again, BE CAREFUL. The guy who pays his mortgage with the proceeds of his talks, and media empire is not going to say anything that doesn't appeal to or excite you.
*Many women ... give in to the tyranny of fashion, be it even immodest, in such a way as to appear not even to suspect that it is unbecoming. They have lost the very concept of danger; they have lost the instinct of modesty.' Pope Pius XII.