Friday, March 29, 2013

Is there any sorrow like my sorrow?

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow...." Lamentations

Good Friday

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Why are you so far from saving me,

so far from my cries of anguish?

 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,

by night, but I find no rest.

 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;

you are the one Israel praises.
 In you our ancestors put their trust;

they trusted and you delivered them.

 To you they cried out and were saved;

in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm and not a man,

scorned by everyone, despised by the people.

 All who see me mock me;

they hurl insults, shaking their heads.

 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say,

“let the Lord rescue him.

Let him deliver him,

since he delights in him.”

Yet you brought me out of the womb;

you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.

 From birth I was cast on you;

from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

 Do not be far from me,

for trouble is near

and there is no one to help.

Many bulls surround me;

strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.

 Roaring lions that tear their prey

open their mouths wide against me.

 I am poured out like water,

and all my bones are out of joint.

My heart has turned to wax;

it has melted within me.

 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,

and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;

you lay me in the dust of death.

Dogs surround me,

a pack of villains encircles me;

they pierce[e] my hands and my feet.

 All my bones are on display;

people stare and gloat over me.

 They divide my clothes among them

and cast lots for my garment.

But you, Lord, do not be far from me.

You are my strength; come quickly to help me.

 Deliver me from the sword,

my precious life from the power of the dogs.

 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;

save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

 I will declare your name to my people;

in the assembly I will praise you.

 You who fear the Lord, praise him!

All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!

Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

 For he has not despised or scorned

the suffering of the afflicted one;

he has not hidden his face from him

but has listened to his cry for help.

 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;

before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.

 The poor will eat and be satisfied;

those who seek the Lord will praise him—

may your hearts live forever!

All the ends of the earth

will remember and turn to the Lord,

and all the families of the nations

will bow down before him,

 for dominion belongs to the Lord

and he rules over the nations.

 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;

all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—

those who cannot keep themselves alive.

 Posterity will serve him;

future generations will be told about the Lord.

 They will proclaim his righteousness,

declaring to a people yet unborn:

He has done it!

Agony in the Garden

Gethsemane by Adam Abram

The most unsusual Agony painting I've ever seen. This one, by Fra Angelico shows Our Lord, the sleeping Apostles and Our Lady and Mary Magdalene.

The Agony in the Garden by Hoffman
My grandmother had a print of this painting in her back bedroom. Staring up at it is one of  my earlierst memories.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Holy Thursday

The Last Supper by James Tissot

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday of Holy Week

Woe to you hypocrites by James Tissot

Monday, March 25, 2013

Holy Monday

After the events of the day Our Lord left Jerusalem and returned to Bethany for the evening.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Man of Sorrows

by Colijin de  Coter

Saturday, March 23, 2013

being conformed to the world-- let's have a rebellion

When I was in college I listened to the wrong women, and became conformed to the world.  Thank God I was too shy and had the remnants of too much sense to follow the cool kids as much as I wanted to.  Thank God I started going back to Mass. A lot women can't say that. They got messed up and are still miserable but don't even know why.

A few weeks ago there was a cheerleader/dance team convenetion in DC. Rocky, my mother and I were driving past the convention center on the way back from visiting my uncle in his nursing home. We saw a teenaged girl in a leotard and a jacket walking with her group back to their hotel. All the other girls pouring out of the convention cetner were wearing their team sweats, or their own clothes. This one kid was showing her  thighs and exposed lower portion of her buttocks on the street in 20 degree weather. She had to be cold, her skin was pasty white with blood red blotches. It was more importatnt to this poor kid to show her semi naked self than to the be warm or even comfortable and none of the adults with her seemed to be the least bit perturbed. Later that week we saw a prostitute working near Massachusetts Avenue. The prostitute was more covered than the middle to upper class (cheerleading and dance cost a LOT of money) teen. We live in a culture gone mad.

Another example of this was a young woman we saw in Costco. She was wearing jeans so tight that from a distance it looked like she was naked and painted  blue from the waist down. She immediately reminded me of the display female babboons put on when they are in heat. Women and girls are told by our society that we are supposed to make a crude show of ourselves but be outraged should any man respond to it in kind.  How schizophrenic is that? No, I'm not suggesting that we dress like Saudi women or the sour faced modernist pantsuit nuns but why does a girl have to be nearly naked in public in order to be  hip and "free?"  And why do we listen to the freaks who preach this? Love of public nudity is a sign of insanity, and/or the diabolical. We are in the world but it's dangerous to be of it. I'd rather be called a frump than be a "hot" mess of a spiritually deluded fool.

Angus Dei

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Meek Christ

This is one of the most amazing statues of Our Lord, I've ever seen. I don't know who the artist is or when it was done but it's on display during a Spanish Holy Week procession. It shows Him stripped (a humiliation for any normal person but particularly so for such modest people as the ancient Jews), and about to be scourged. He looks calm, resolute. He has set His holy face like flint. He could stop this at any second. One word, one thought would send His persecutors to Hell or even, if you can imagine completely into non existence. He is willingly going submit to one of the most fearsome tortures ever devised by man and He is meeting it head on. He is meek but no sniveling weakling,  He is in control. His power is held in check only because He wishes it so.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Today's Gospel---caught but bring me to Jesus

One of the best reflections I've ever read on today's Gospel came from a Protestant woman who was giving her testimony about her old life before she found God. She said that although the woman taken in adultery didn't know it at the time being dragged out of her house and exposed to the whole world was the best day of her life. She was caught but the proud Pharisees made a mistake. They took her to Jesus. The Protestant woman said hitting rock bottom...having everyone know about what you've been doing is nothing if it brings you to the Lord. And the woman in the Gospel did not run away or deny everything. She waited, perhaps in a daze or perhaps in calm for Jesus to judge her and when He said "Go and sin no more." She was completely changed.

Friday, March 15, 2013

random thoughts

Look at Christ. Keep looking at Christ.Keep your eyes on Christ and remember, He's already walked a more lonesome valley than we ever could.

*A lot of people are pretty heated right now and need to calm the heck down down. Flipping out does not help.

*I just finished reading all five volumes of The Rite of Sodomy by Randy Engel. It's like being plunged in ice water. Although Miss(?) Engel is a very good writer I can't call it an enjoyable read but I'm glad I did.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hello Pope Francis!

What does it mean for the future? I haven't the foggiest, glimmerings of an idea and neither do any of the "experts". This is the pope that God has given us. Pray for him.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Paging St. Paul.....

And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.

And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient .....Paul to the Romans.
A priest removed a photo of Pope Benedict the XVI, in order to please his homosexual parishioners. When I first read about this I glanced at a headline on an RSS feed and thought it was a joke and read no further. Later I came across the story again and realized that it's a joke alright but not a funny one. HT, A Shephered's Voice.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Behold the Man

The Crucifixion by Bartłomiej Strobel

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Judas has a lot of sons

Judas has a lot of sons and it's easy for people to get discouraged and cynical but remember, Judas destroyed himself. His evil, his faithlessness, his smiling treahery availed him nothing. 

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

A Withered Rose by St. Therese


Jesus, when Thou didst leave Thy Mother’s fond embrace,
Let go her hand;
And first, on our hard earth, Thy little foot didst place,
And trembling stand;
Within Thy pathway, then fresh rose-leaves would I spread, —
Their Maker’s dower, —
That so Thy tiny feet might very softly tread
Upon a flower.
These scattered rose-leaves form true image of a soul,
O Child most dear!
That longs to immolate itself, complete and whole,
Each moment here.
On Thy blest altars, Lord, fresh roses fain would shine,
Radiant, near Thee;
They gladly give themselves. Another dream is mine, —
To fade for Thee!
How gaily decks Thy feasts, dear Child, a rose new­blown,
Fragrant and fair!
But withered roses are forgot, — the wild winds’ own, —
Cast anywhere.
Their scattered leaves seek now no earthly joy or pelf;
For self, no gain.
Ah, little Jesus! so, I give Thee all! Of self,
Let naught remain.
These roses trampled lie beneath the passer’s tread,
Unmarked, unknown.
I comprehend their lot; — these leaves, though pale and dead,
Are still Thine own.
For Thee they die; as I my time, my life, my all
Have spent for Thee.
Men think a fading rose am I, whose leaves must fall
At death’s decree.*
For Thee I die, for Thee, Jesus, Thou Fairest Fair! —
Joy beyond telling! —
Thus, fading, would I prove my love beyond compare,
All bliss excelling.
Beneath Thy feet, Thy way to smooth, through life’s long night,
My heart would lie;
And softening Thy hard path up Calvary’s awful height,
I thus would die.
May, 1897
(*St. Therese was dying when she wrote this. Her earthly life ended in September 1897)­

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Lent competition

Every year someone has to criticize everyone else for not doing enough for Lent. Usually they do it by comparing and contrasting the rest of us with their own righteous selves. I just read a post on another blog in which the author knocked people who enjoy a delicious meatless meal on Fridays and noted that his Friday meals are simple: soup and a  cheese sandwich typically and apparently not all that tasty. I was supposed to be edified but instead I thought, “Well, aren’t you a little snob.”

We don’t eat meat on Fridays throughout the year but I’m not proud of it and I don’t use my penance to put anybody else down. Some Fridays we have pasta, some Fridays it’s a grilled cheese sandwich and some Fridays it’s a big ole shrimp dinner. Rocky works very hard for nine or more hours a day, six days a week. A cold cup of lentils served in a cracked cup isn't enough to keep him fueled for the day.

Don’t judge other people because you think their penance isn’t big enough. The woman eating a lobster roll might also be spending her Lent by sleeping on the floor or taking ice cold baths or she might even stay up all night praying for….you. The man eating a flounder with macaroni and cheese, cornbread  and a beer might be a fireman who will be carrying 190 pounds of unconscious person out of a two story building tomorrow. You just don’t know and besides I’m sure that there is someone out there who can look at Mr. Smug blogger and his sandwich and mutter “Humph! I only have water and two saltines on Fridays, you slacker!"

Monday, March 04, 2013

Cardinal O'Brien

There were some very nice people who said that Cardinal O'Brien was innocent and that it was awfully suspicious that accusations against him were just now coming to light. Well, he has admitted the whole thing.  Sometimes when the whispering won't stop it's because the story is true.  Thank God this has come to light. Now may the other Cardinals and Bishops who have done the same thing and continue to do the same be exposed as well.