Saturday, February 28, 2015

Communion in the Hand is Self-Ministry

Whoever handles a sacrament is that sacrament's minister.

If everyone can by right handle the Eucharist, than everyone is an ordinary minister of holy communion!

In fact, "Communion in the hand" is not Communion in the hand at all. Holy Communion of the Most Blessed Sacrament is always through the mouth, administered by the hands. The only question is whose hands, one's own or those of another.

The only people that have a sacramental right (and solemn duty) to administer this most august sacrament to themselves are ordained priests and only (outside of a rare exception, e.g. to avoid sacrilege) at his communion during the Mass he himself offers (in persona Christi).

So, this is a heresy. It is the "everybody is a minister", there is no distinction between priest and people, heresy. Or better, the heresy of Self-Ministry. What the Church is saying by this practice is that Everyone is an Ordinary Self-Minister of Holy Communion.

Self-Ministry of Holy Communion should be opposed and rejected at every level as vigorously as any heresy or sacramental abuse, but instead it is defended and promoted and for any pastor or priest to oppose it world-wide he is thrown out.

The bishops and clergy and laity who are so concerned about the heresy involved in discussions of giving unrepentant mortal sinners communion should be at least equally alarmed about this which seems to me to be a more foundational heresy, attacking the dogma of priesthood and that of the adminstration of sacraments.

I would dare say that the flippancy with which we have all acquiesced to this ordinary self-ministry of holy communion has facilitated the move now to the other abominable question of unrepentent adulterers.

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Lesson From the Habilitation Drama

By far, the most dramatic moment in the very orderly life trajectory of Joseph Ratzinger was the rejection of his habilitation thesis, the requirement necessary to hold a chair at a German university.

Michael Schmaus, his second reader, informed him of the decision "very directly and without emotion that he had to reject my habilitation thesis because it did not meet the pertinent scholarly standards. I would learn details after the appropriate decision by the faculty. I was thunderstruck. A whole world was threatening to collapse around me. What was to become of my parents, who in good faith had come to me in Freising, if I now had to leave the college because of my failure? And all of my future plans would likewise collapse, since these, too, were all contingent on my being a professor of theology. I thought of applying for the position of assistant pastor in the parish of Saint Georg in Freising, which came with a house; but this solution was not particularly consoling." Milestones, 107

That a priest five years into the priesthood could establish a permanent place for himself and for his family is a reality largely foreign to the diocesan priesthood today. Term limits have all but put an end to any notion of that, except perhaps for a very small elite, e.g. intellectuals.

Both Georg Ratzinger and Joseph Ratzinger were, we could say, "career" priests, in a positive sense. They dedicated themselves to a career, to making a name for themselves, to furthering their personal talents, within the priestly ministry, and were largely supported in that, and achieved it, for the good of the Church.


Today, in the diocesan priesthood this sort of thing is apparently largely discouraged.

In any case, it is nice to see that the future Pope experienced a hiatus of what many clerics today experience their entire lives, through no fault of their own. Just simply because they do not get the position, which they never coveted anyway.

The moral of the story, especially given the abdication, seems to be, it's OK to look after yourself. God is OK with that, always under the law of God and of the Church and the requirements of one's state in life.

In the end Joseph chose the professor priesthood over the public ministry, and he says God told him so! Now, two years into the retirement, he still maintains that it was necessary. It is very instructive that the will of God here ended up agreeing with the intention Joseph Ratzinger had from the start.

I do not say this in a critical spirit but rather in a very Catholic spirit.

Mother Teresa used to say you will never regret what you do for the love of God. We have a funny idea as Catholics that our desires and ambitions are to be rejected. Saints serve God with all their hearts, minds, souls and strengths and need not repent for it. The world is all the better for having known them.

Episcopal Motto's Double Edge

Cooperatores Veritatis

Liberals tend to forget the second part,
Conservatives the first.

Do not let your zeal for "the truth" make you lose you head. Let God have something to say about it. Get along with the brothers (your bishop, brother priests, etc.). Everything, everything is negotiable except your soul! Do what you have to do to get along well, in your dedication to the truth. Christ became like us in all things but sin!

Irony. Christ never said anything about whether a Prince of the Church should or should not wear a cappa magna. But he did say that we should be generous with whomever should ask of us an alms. When was the last time you gave a dollar to a beggar on the street? (Those dressed according to their sacerdotal dignity will surely have more opportunities than those in mufti!)

N.B. Peter was "Satan" for opposing the will of the Father to defend the life of Our Blessed Lord! Get your head around that and you will have it all figured out, including The Great Abdication, which also comes from God. Thanks be to God! May it serve to help save our souls!

Virtue, according to Aristotle is doing what one ought when one ought and the way one ought. I would say that Christ is our first Master in doing that and the Saints were expert in it too. Married couples have to become proficient in it, and so do priests, at every level!

...[E]very state of soul has a nature relative to and concerned with the kind of things by which it tends to be made worse or better; but it is by reason of pleasures and pains that men become bad, by pursuing and avoiding these -- either the pleasures and pains they ought not or when they ought not or as they ought not, or by going wrong in one of the other similar ways that may be distinguished. Hence men even define the virtues as certain states of impassivity and rest; not well, however, because they speak absolutely, and do not say 'as one ought' and 'as one ought not' and 'when one ought or ought not', and the other things that may be added. We assume, then, that this kind of excellence tends to do what is best with regard to pleasures and pains, and vice does the contrary.
The following facts also may show us that virtue and vice are concerned with these same things. There being three objects of choice and three of avoidance, the noble, the advantageous, the pleasant, and their contraries, the base, the injurious, the painful, about all of these the good man tends to go right and the bad man to go wrong, and especially about pleasure; for this is common to the animals, and also it accompanies all objects of choice; for even the noble and the advantageous appear pleasant. Nicomachean Ethics Book II, Chapter 3

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Maria Ratzinger (December 7, 1921 - November 2, 1991)

In her obituary, it said that "for thirty-four years she served her brother Joseph at all the stages of his career with tireless devotion and great kindness and humility."

A Pontifical Requiem took place on November 8, 1991, in the Regensburg Cathedral...

My Brother, the Pope, 222

YouTube's UnWelcome Recommendations

You are not catering to my interests if...

+ You repeatedly recommend types of videos which I never pursue.

+ You do not give me a one click easy permanent opt-out of the genre you recommend.

+ You do not offer an easy way to set up my own preferences (the channels and subscriptions are too involved and invasive!).

You should distinguish between what I seek out and watch thoroughly and what I casually come across because of your marketing and am suckered in and click to see and stop when I am sufficiently disgusted at the banality.

N.B. The fact that I click on a video does not mean I like it!

I have a great many preferences and ideas of which YouTube is still apparently quite clueless.

Why not give the consumer complete control over the types of recommendations he prefers!

Wishing I had more user-friendly input.

Repeatedly offended by the banal and often disgraceful "recommended for you" YouTube feature.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

On Natural Religion

Natural religion is not religion at all, but rather simply a philosophy. It dwarfs man and the human spirit making him the product of things beneath him; it eventually corrupts. Man never reaches above and beyond, thus never reaching his stature, which stands in the world and yet above the world.

Natural religion is an abstraction, a commerce in parts, a toy of "science," denying and mocking the Whole and thereby leaving the soul of man unsatisfied. Natural religion is actually a denial of religion by either reducing it to science or relegating it to the realm of myth.
Cf. Sertillanges, Catechisme des Incroyants, 77

Mathematical Religion wish to replace God with “Nature,” the question remains as to who or what this nature is. Nowhere do you define it and it therefore appears to be an irrational divinity which explains nothing. However, I would like especially to note that in your religion of mathematics three fundamental themes of human existence are not considered: freedom, love and evil. I am surprised that with a nod you set aside freedom which has been and still remains a fundamental value of the modern age. Love does not appear in your book, nor does the question of evil. Whatever neurobiology says or does not say about freedom, in the real drama of our history it is present as a crucial reality and it must be taken into account. However, your mathematical religion knows of no answer to the question of freedom, it ignores love and it does not give us any information on evil. A religion that neglects these fundamental questions is empty.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's Letter to Atheist

Buddhism's Negativity

"Buddhism is in large measure an "atheistic" system because of it's negative soteriology the Buddhist doctrine of salvation is based on the conviction that the world is bad,...that it is the source of evil and suffering for man. To liberate oneself from this evil, one must free oneself from this world, necessitating a break with the ties that join us to external reality--ties existing in our human nature, in our psyche, in our bodies. The more we are liberated from these ties, the more we become indifferent to what is in the world, and the more we are free from suffering, from the evil that has its source in the world...

"[But there is no drawing near to God thereby.] We do not free ourselves from evil through the good which comes from God; we liberate ourselves only through detachment from the world, which is bad. The fullness of such a detachment is not union with God, but what is called nirvana, a state of perfect indifference with regard to the world. To save oneself means, above all, to free oneself from evil by becoming indifferent to the world, which is the source of evil. This is the culmination of the spiritual process." Crossing the Threshold of Hope, pp. 85-86


"[Kant] anchored faith exclusively in practical reason, denying it access to reality as a whole." Benedict XVI Regensburg Address

True religion is concerned with the question of the whole of reality.

Christians believe in one God, the Father, the almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible,...the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. We are not striving for indifference to the world but rather to ever more know, love and serve the living God, who knows us and loves us. True religion is personal. It is relational. It is relationship: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And the Son, eternally incarnate, enables and invites every man to share in the divine nature through union with Him, elevating man, not annihilating him or anything else. It is the baptism of creation, it's purification, not destruction.

The goodness of God is the source of all that is and His mercy is the source of the salvation for all that is--real salvation--nothing is lost and everything is gained. What is evil is made good by the infinite Mercy of God. Those who die to this world in Christ's Blood to live for Him save themselves and enjoy the world in Him, which is the only way to truly enjoy it. It amounts to having your cake and eating it too.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Suffering for Goodness Sake

Today's (1st Sunday of Lent [Year B]) second reading in context.

It is better to suffer for doing good than for doing evil,...for Christ died to offer us to God!

Melius est enim benefacientes (si voluntas Dei velit) pati, quam malefacientes. 1 Peter 3:17

Quia Christus semel pro peccatis nostris mortuus est, iustus pro iniustis, ut nos offerret Deo, mortificatus quidem carne, vivificatus autem spiritu. 1 Peter 3:18

In other words, we are made to do what He did: to offer ourselves to God, innocently (or, as innocently as possible [e.g. repentant]) for the guilty! offer them (the guilty) to God! We must become Christ! Die for the sins of others! addition to your own! Killed in the flesh, vivified in the spirit!

Die to the flesh and live for the spirit, albeit in the flesh, offering yourself to God in Christ, in His offering once for all!

I especially like the Latin verb for "to offer" us to God: προσαγαγη.
That is why Christ--the innocent for the guilty--died, to offer us up! Offer them up! Become another Christ! That is the will of God for you in Christ!

Cf. Spe Salvi, the final section on "the settings" of hope: prayer, "offering it up" (35-40), and the judgement.

"All serious and upright human conduct is hope in action." Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, 40.

P.S. An anecdote for the youthful days of Joseph Ratzinger.
Walter Fried of Munich, one of the young men who in 1943 served with Joseph Ratzinger (under compulsion) in the youth soldier anti-aircraft defense batteries, in an Der Spiegel interview relates that a high-ranking officer came by for an inspection, and each man had to say what he wanted to be someday. Many said they wanted to become pilots..."When Ratzinger's turn came, he said he wanted to become a priest. There was some derisive laughter. But of course at that time it did take some courage to give such an answer." My Brother, the Pope, 121.

P.S.S. Mercy is the greatest Power. (Taken from Benedict XVI 2005 Address to the Roman Curia, the first of His Pontificate)
We have behind us great events which have left a deep mark on the life of the Church. I am thinking first and foremost of the departure of our beloved Holy Father John Paul II, preceded by a long period of suffering and the gradual loss of speech. No Pope has left us such a quantity of texts as he has bequeathed to us; no previous Pope was able to visit the whole world like him and speak directly to people from all the continents.
In the end, however, his lot was a journey of suffering and silence. Unforgettable for us are the images of Palm Sunday when, holding an olive branch and marked by pain, he came to the window and imparted the Lord's Blessing as he himself was about to walk towards the Cross.
Next was the scene in his Private Chapel when, holding the Crucifix, he took part in the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum, where he had so often led the procession carrying the Cross himself.
Lastly came his silent Blessing on Easter Sunday, in which we saw the promise of the Resurrection, of eternal life, shine out through all his suffering. With his words and actions, the Holy Father gave us great things; equally important is the lesson he imparted to us from the chair of suffering and silence.
In his last book "Memory and Identity" (Rizzoli, 2005), he has left us an interpretation of suffering that is not a theological or philosophical theory but a fruit that matured on his personal path of suffering which he walked, sustained by faith in the Crucified Lord. This interpretation, which he worked out in faith and which gave meaning to his suffering lived in communion with that of the Lord, spoke through his silent pain, transforming it into an important message.
Both at the beginning and once again at the end of the book mentioned, the Pope shows that he is deeply touched by the spectacle of the power of evil, which we dramatically experienced in the century that has just ended. He says in his text:  "The evil... was not a small-scale evil.... It was an evil of gigantic proportions, an evil which availed itself of state structures in order to accomplish its wicked work, an evil built up into a system" (p. 167).
Might evil be invincible? Is it the ultimate power of history? Because of the experience of evil, for Pope Wojtya the question of redemption became the essential and central question of his life and thought as a Christian. Is there a limit against which the power of evil shatters? "Yes, there is", the Pope replies in this book of his, as well as in his Encyclical on redemption.
The power that imposes a limit on evil is Divine Mercy. Violence, the display of evil, is opposed in history - as "the totally other" of God, God's own power - by Divine Mercy. The Lamb is stronger than the dragon, we could say together with the Book of Revelation.
At the end of the book, in a retrospective review of the attack of 13 May 1981 and on the basis of the experience of his journey with God and with the world, John Paul II further deepened this answer.
What limits the force of evil, the power, in brief, which overcomes it - this is how he says it - is God's suffering, the suffering of the Son of God on the Cross:  "The suffering of the Crucified God is not just one form of suffering alongside others.... In sacrificing himself for us all, Christ gave a new meaning to suffering, opening up a new dimension, a new order:  the order of love.... The passion of Christ on the Cross gave a radically new meaning to suffering, transforming it from within.... It is this suffering which burns and consumes evil with the flame of love.... All human suffering, all pain, all infirmity contains within itself a promise of salvation;... evil is present in the world partly so as to awaken our love, our self-gift in generous and disinterested service to those visited by suffering.... Christ has redeemed the world:  "By his wounds we are healed' (Is 53: 5)" (p. 167, ff.).
All this is not merely learned theology, but the expression of a faith lived and matured through suffering. Of course, we must do all we can to alleviate suffering and prevent the injustice that causes the suffering of the innocent. However, we must also do the utmost to ensure that people can discover the meaning of suffering and are thus able to accept their own suffering and to unite it with the suffering of Christ.
In this way, it is merged with redemptive love and consequently becomes a force against the evil in the world.

Porn and Females

Here is an illuminating text on the peculiarities of female lust; less apparent, yet no less seductive, than the lust typical of males.

N.B. It took the ancient serpent alone ("more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made" Gen. 3:1) to seduce Eve; she then shares her sin with her husband. "She took of its fruit and ate it, and also gave some to her husband and he ate it." (Gen. 3:6 b) The man falls in the fall of the woman! It is with and through the woman that he falls.

We must say, therefore, that the temptation for the woman was necessarily much more subtle and elaborate! With the man there is no foreplay, he readily falls for the woman's evil gift without any complication!

The woman is tricked into the original sin by the most cunning creature in the world, the naked serpent, not the naked man! Yet the fallen naked woman takes down the ever-willing hitherto unscathed naked man. That is why moral theology holds that intellectual seduction is more evil than that of the flesh. Female sexual sins are typically more intellectual and therefore more depraved, even if less dirty pornographically (a double sin, if you will, e.g. vengeance, vanity, hatred, etc. added to the act in the flesh). It reminds me of a priest Saint who upon returning from a cloistered convent remarked that he found the nuns to be "pure as angels and proud as demons!"

Note also that this event of the dual (yet different) fall took place in the age of original innocence, for, immediately afterward, Genesis 3:7 reads "Then the eyes of both were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig-leaves together and made themselves coverings."

I copy the following text from the Standing on my Head blog who got if from a book which is written in the literary style C.S. Lewis' classic Screwtape Letters.

Ms. Pipteazle
Archsecretary Female Division
Lilith Hall, Seventh Circle


Slubgrip has ‘asked’ me to write to you about the temptation of females. Lord below! As if I haven’t got enough to do without wasting my time trying to school  pipsqueaks like you in stuff you should have mastered in basic training. If you had read my manual Vanity and Vixens (which Knobby still has in the syllabus)  I wouldn’t have to take  time now to bring you up to speed. However, when Slubgrip ‘asks’ it is foolish to refuse.

It’s simple squirt. There’s no point trying to tempt females with pornography. The female of the species simply isn’t interested. They’re far too practical to care about pictures of naked people. When they see the stuff they are either disgusted, somewhat curious (that’s a very athletic position to be in!) or they are just amused and dismissive. They’ve got their own peculiar weaknesses, and it has to do not with their eyes, but with their imaginations.

The female equivalent of pornography is romance literature, soap operas, and women’s magazines. Some of our best writers work in this area. The reason women are not attracted to pictures of sexual activity is because they are more interested in the relationship than the sex. If we can get the female to see relationships from our point of view, then we have won. The best way to do this is for them to imagine the sort of relationships we want. Once they have dreamed of romance, they will try to find it in real life. Soap operas, romance literature and women’s magazines are our most important tools.

You see, the females identify with the heroines of the romance stories. All we have to do is make sure the heroine behaves the way we want and the females will soon follow. The ideal modern heroine is a working girl. She is glamorous, beautiful, wealthy and intelligent, and she ‘makes her own choices’ about sexual partners. Our romantic heroine is a girl with high values and standards. She will only marry the perfect man, but until he comes along she sleeps with every good looking man who comes into her life. The men are never quite the perfect prince charming. In fact, they usually let our heroine down very badly, but she bounces back and before long she’s in the sack with another fellow and life is beautiful again. 

Our heroine is a female knight errant—she’s on a wonderful and exciting quest to find love. 
Try to watch one of our best television shows on this: it’s called Sex in the City.

Do you see how brilliant this is Dogwart? The females are far more likely to swallow this stuff, never dreaming that there is anything wrong with it. Unlike your squalid pornography (which often even disgusts the men who look at it) no one dreams that romance novels and women’s magazines are harmful in the least. Furthermore, most men are unlikely to act on the sexual fantasies you tempt them with. With the females the opposite is true. They are very likely to swallow the romance hook line and sinker and fall for the first cad who comes along with a sweet pick up line. They’ll go home with him, go the whole way and wake up the next morning.  He’ll think she was a common slut, but she imagines that she is a glamorous, honest and courageous modern woman who ‘makes her own choices’ sexually.

The whole game is far superior to your crude escapades you little runt. Not only do we have a whole generation of women locked into the lifestyle we want, but they believe they are wonderful people for doing so.

A final word: don’t overlook women’s magazines and gossip columns. I try to get girls as young as twelve and thirteen to start reading these. They’re quite a brilliant invention. Our best gals down below have done a super job. The best of these publications are bright and colorful. They are filled with pictures of happy, good looking teenagers, and the pages are full of harmless chit chat about boys and school, and ‘what color flip flops are people wearing to the beach this summer?” Then we pop in an article about sex which assumes that all healthy teenagers are already engaged in full sexual activity. The article might be a cheerful discussion of contraception, abortion or sexually transmitted diseases, and the ‘write to us for advice’ page will be full of letters from girls who are asking specific questions on advanced sexual matters.

I’m happy to say that this sort of literature is freely available to women and young girls and most of the vapid bipeds don’t even blink twice at it. I have one patient who subscribes to this magazine for her twelve year old daughter because she thinks it helps the girl to ‘cope with the real world.’

Our teen and women’s magazines and all our literature is now a tidal wave of delightful material, and most of the little skirts have never imagined that it might be harmful. I know Slubgrip thinks it is common and cheap, but what do I care? It works. It keeps the ‘down escalator’ crowded, and as you and I know, our Father below does not judge on style, but results. Speaking of results, Dogwart, there are whisperings that Slubgrip is not too pleased with you at the moment.

Watch your back little fellow. Slubgrip has been around a long time. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has plans to have you for dinner, if you catch my meaning.front cover final
More tomorrow,


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Friday, February 20, 2015

Dictatorship of Relativism Still Quite with Us!

"How many winds of doctrine have we known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The small boat of the thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - flung from one extreme to another: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism and so forth. Every day new sects spring up, and what St Paul says about human deception and the trickery that strives to entice people into error (cf. Eph 4: 14) comes true.

"Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be "tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine", seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires."

The Dictatorship of Relativism, we now know all too well, can cajole even Roman Pontiffs (albeit never in their magisterial teaching).
The Historic Homily of the Cardinal-To-Be-Supreme Pontiff

We must each steer our little boats always in line with the Faith of the Church of every age, always in line with Christ!

Joseph Ratzinger's Hometown

Easter Monday 2012 "Georgi Ritt" (George's Ride) Traunstein

In Traunstein, which even today he calls his real "hometown" (1937-1946), a new phase of life began for the ten-year-old Joseph Ratzinger, also. He now started the first year at the "humanistic" gymnasium, the secondary school that offered classical languages. It now took him a half hour to walk to school, but that did not bother him at all, for now at least he had "ample time for looking about and reflecting, but also for reviewing what I had learned in school" (M 22). The instruction in Latin suited him. For the rest of his life he would be grateful that he had learned the language of the Church "with old-fashioned rigor and thoroughness" (M 23), for later as a theologian he could read source material from almost two thousand years of Church history in the original texts. Greek, the language in which the New Testament was originally composed, was also in the curriculum. These two ancient languages became his favorite subjects--[in Traunstein].
My Brother the Pope, George Ratzinger (as told by Michael Hesemann), pp. 94-95

This was the town of the second decade of his life with it's solid academic foundation in which he began the year before the Nazi reprogramming thereof. "But thank God that a concession was made: whoever had already begun under the old system of the humanistic gymnasium could conclude his studies by and large according to that model, the plan being of course that this form of education would die out on its own." (M 24)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Word Best Disseminated by the Catholic Church

A google search for "today's readings" results mainly in Catholic sites. #'s 1 and 2 are of the USCCB. Hurrah for our Bishops (the legitimate successors of the Apostles)! #3 is EWTN's daily Mass video!

Catholics love the daily word like no one else! Or, at least, we are united in our love thereof, with the Vicar of Christ and thereby with the Apostles themselves and with Christ our Blessed Lord!; in every land and nation, from the time of the Apostles to the present, and even to the end of time!

All lovers of the Word of God should take notice and seriously ask what that means personally for you! Take a look, a serious look at the Catholic Church from the inside! You will be amazed!

We are beating the Protestants at their own game. Now why not come to Mass and join the largest body of Bible Christians in the world and until the end of time! All are welcome (to come and convert). That is precisely what the word "catholic" means.

Protestant, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Wicca, etc. Jesus Christ is calling you to come to Him, in the Catholic Church, where He is most perfectly to be found and encountered on this earth and in heaven! If you do not seek Him you are a fool. If you do not seek Him in the Catholic Faith you are a double fool!

Sexual Revolution Curses

  • Widespread concubinage
  • Statutory rape
  • Child molestation
  • Rampant divorce
  • Abortion promotion
  • Contraception praise
  • Homosexualist sensationalism
  • AIDS
  • Further STD (sexually transmitted diseases [e.g. cold sores, "mono", herpes, etc.]) epidemic increase
  • Sadomasochism

I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life, that both thou and thy seed may live..." (Deut. 30: 19 From the first reading of today's Mass, Thursday after Ash Wednesday).
Read the whole chapter (Deut. 30) hereCf. Deut. 11:26 ff.

It seems to me that I have heard very little preaching in the Catholic Church about the curses of God with which He repeatedly promises to visit evil-doers: i.e. those who reject and mock Him. We dwell almost exclusively on the blessings and forget about the curses which are every day more and more clearly pervasive. Cf. Romans 1:18-32.

Gives new meaning to the words "For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death." Gen. 2:17b, Cf. Proverbs 7:27; 5:5; going alive to Hell for rejecting right worship Numbers 16:29 ff; and Sirach 19:3.

N.B. A google search for "today's readings" results in Catholic sites sprinkled with a few Orthodox. #'s 1 and 2 are of the USCCB. Hurrah for our Bishops (the legitimate successors of the Apostles)!

Catholics love the daily word like no one else! Or, at least, we are united in our love thereof, with the Vicar of Christ and thereby with the Apostles themselves and with Christ our Blessed Lord!

All lovers of the Word of God should take notice and seriously ask what that means personally for you! Take a look, a serious look at the Catholic Church from the inside! You will be amazed!

Google's Neo-Gnosticism

Happy New Year! That is the Google Doodle message for today, the second day of Lent 2015.

Under the pretense of being objective and non intrusive Google is fully part of the positivist enlightenment religion of humanity a la Auguste Compte, forever attempting to displace the Christian culture with a neo-pagan culture of Science, Nature and the State.

Today is the Lunar New Year 2015 (so we are told).

Well, in my forty eight years of life in the USA I do not know anyone nor have I heard of anyone that I even remotely know or have heard of who has given any hint at any knowledge of this commemoration, except perhaps in relation to Passover, Good Friday and Easter (all of which Google systematically ignores year after year giving precedence to feasts and supposed commemorations which no one commemorates or celebrates).

Yesterday, Ash Wednesday in every land throughout the world, Google Doodle propagates the birthday of someone of whom most people had never heard and today, the day after, no one can even remember! While the entire world has begun the forty days of Lent and Google remains oblivious to that fact which is all over the world wide web. Surely, with the information at it's disposal, Google must be aware of the internet buzz on Ash Wednesday. Is it right to ignore what everyone is talking about. It reminds me of the Annual Right to Life March and the repeated deafening media silence regarding the same.

Here is a typical example of the close-mindedness of the modern open-mind! God, the one true God, Jesus Christ, and His Church, is expelled. This Neo-Gnosticism will promote every form of false religion: e.g. Holloween, the "day of the Dead," etc. but never a word for our religious heritage and that of those myriad immigrants and nations across our boarders. They are Catholic, Google, Catholic! Hear it! Deal with it! and stop trying to fight it by tacit denial!

Thank you Google Doodle for being so out of touch with humanity and thus informing us about what we never cared to know and celebrating what no one celebrates, as a substitute for your apparent atheism, which most of humanity does not share! Get religion and be sure that it is true religion, the only religion which claims to worship the God Who is Real: viz. Judeo-Christian (which includes what is most noble in every other religion e.g. Islam; just one of many Christian heresies, in that very similar to Jehovah's Witness, Mormonism, etc.).

Compte's experiment along with that of all of the enemies of Catholicism for the past two-hundred and fifty years (approximately the age of our Nation) has failed and is doomed to fail in it's attempt to destroy Christ and His Church, because the Church was founded by Christ upon Saint Peter, and the gates of Hell (according to His infallible Will) shall not prevail against Her, not to mention Google's Doodles.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Memento, homo...

Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.

The Latin formula is the same in the Ordinary and the Extraordinary Form.

Most useful in my urban tri-lingual parish! The Latin is so pastoral. So unifying! So divine!

There are at least a dozen languages represented in the parish with the vast majority not understanding English at all.

Ash Wednesday and Lenten Resolutions

Today is Ash Wednesday (Google Doodle take a hint!)

What are you doing for Lent?

The purpose of Lent is to share with Christ the mysteries of his life, passion and death, because we love Him and are dedicated to Him. That is our glory in which He glorifies us according to His unfailing promise.

Do something extra during this time--for preparation and penance; and also to pray for the conversion of the Jews and the Muslims and the Protestants (and the lukewarm Catholics) and all those who do not yet believe in Jesus Christ--that the Almighty and merciful Father might open their eyes to the merciful and divine truth of Christ our Savior who said "no one can come to the Father except through me." "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father."  (Cf. Jn. 12:45) "The Father and I are one!"

Lenten Resolution Suggestions

Daily Mass and (worthy) Holy Communion

Plenary Indulgenced Works

  • Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament at least 1/2 hour.
  • Devout and prayerful reading of Sacred Scripture at least 1/2 hour.
  • Recitation of the Most Holy Rosary in a church or within family.
  • Devout exercise of the Way of the Cross
  • On any Friday of Lent, reciting after receiving holy communion the prayer before Jesus Crucified (a crucifix): 

Prayer Before a Crucifix

Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus, while before Your face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech You to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope, and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment; while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Your five wounds, pondering over them within me, and calling to mind the words which, long ago, David the prophet spoke in Your own person concerning You, my Jesus: "They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Necessity of Belief

"Credo"...[m]eans that man does not regard seeing, hearing and touching as the totality of what concerns him, the he does not see the area of his world as marked off by what he can see and touch, but seeks a second mode of access to reality, a mode which he calls in fact belief, and in such a way that he finds in it the decisive enlargement of his whole view of the world.

If this is so, then the little word "Credo" contains a basic option vis-a-vis reality as such; it signifies not the observation of this or that fact but a fundamental mode of behaviour towards being, towards existence, towards one's own sector of reality and towards reality as a whole.

It signifies the deliberate view that what cannot be seen, what can in no wise move into the field of vision, is not unreal; that on the contrary what cannot be seen in fact represents true reality, the element that supports and makes possible all the rest of reality. And it signifies the view that this element which makes reality as a whole possible is also what grants man a truly human existence, what makes him possible as a human being existing in a human way.

In other worlds, belief signifies the decision that at the very core of human existence there is a point which cannot be nourished and supported on the visible and tangible, which encounters and comes into contact with what cannot be seen and finds that it is a necessity for its own existence.

Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity, Herder and Herder, NY, 1970, p. 24.

"I don't know how the mother can murder her own child. It is something unbelievable." -- Mother Teresa

This is a remarkable film of a few live interviews (including a conference at New York Catholic Center) with one of the world renowned saints (when she was 75 years old) of our time.
  • "All to Jesus through Mary."
  • God may allow something like AIDS to open the eyes of people to change their lives.
  • Share the joy of loving with the poor.
  • Teach the children how to pray.
  • We are fighting abortion with adoption.
  • The greatest gift of God to a woman is to be a mother, to be a faithful wife.
  • "I want a life of poverty, of prayer, of sacrifice, that will lead me to the service of the poor, virginity, in obedience."

Monday, February 16, 2015

Benedict XVI Baptismal Font

The neo-Gothic baptismal font, made of bright Danube limestone with six angels' heads, over which little Joseph Alois was held on that occasion has fortunately been preserved. It had been banished at first to the yard of the rectory when the church was rebuilt in 1965, and then the inhabitants of Marktl put it in their local museum in 1992. Research at that time found that it was the work of a sculptor in Munich, Anselm Sickinger (1807-1873), who had taken part in the construction of the Victory Gate in Munich. After the election of Joseph Ratzinger as pope, it "was allowed" to return to the church. Since then it stands before the neo-Gothic altar of Saint Oswald, a remnant from the former house of worship. On Easter Sunday 2006, which coincidentally fell on the Pope's birthday and the anniversary of his baptism, it was used again for the first time for the baptism of a child.
My Brother the Pope, George Ratzinger, Ignatius Press, 2011 p. 39


Shechem is modern day Nablus which is the site of the tomb of the patriarch Joseph and Jacob's Well filling the valley between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim.

I was able to go there during by sojourn in Palestine a few years ago and there visited Joseph's tomb en route from Ramallah to Nazareth, then Cana and the Sea of Galilee.

Warning: the crossing over from Nablus to Nazareth is not very easy. At the boarder between Palestine and Israel territory you have to go through a sort of prison compound by foot and take a taxi on the other side. No highway passage!

I have to say, though, that the visit to Shechem is one of my most cherished living memories even though the city is very thoroughly Muslim with only a small Christian presence.

The Missionaries of Charity have a house there for abandoned children and elderly persons, where they invited me to say the daily Mass for them on the day of my arrival and the next morning, having there spent the night.

Shechem was the first place in Canaan that Abraham visited, and the oak of Moreh was a shrine even then (Gn. 12:6).
When Jacob returned to Canaan from Haran, he settled at Shechem (Gn. 33:18-19); and this spot was Jacob's choice gift to the sons of Joseph (Gn. 48:22: Hebrew sekem = "one portion").

Shechem was seemingly in the hands of the Israelites already at the time of Joshua's invasion...; and there, between Ebal and Gerizim, the great covenant of Yahweh with Israel was renewed (Dt. 11:29-30; 27; Jos 8:30-35; 24).

During the time of the judges here seems to have been a mixed cult at Shechem, as the men of the city backed Abimelech for king with money from the temple of "Baal of the Covenant" or "El of the Covenant" (Jgs 9:4,46).

It was at Shechem that the northern tribes rejected Rehoboam son of Solomon in favor of Jeroboam I as king (1 Kgs 12:1-25). This king made Shechem his temporary capital; and even when the center of administration and power in the northern kingdom  moved to Samaria, Shechem remained the focus of the covenant renewal ceremony (from which Dt drew its legal code).

In NT times Jesus stopped at the well of Shechem for a drink and engaged a Samaritan woman in conversation (Jn 4:4-42). This story reminds us that Mt. Gerizim's slope overlooking Shechem was the holy place of Samaritan worship and the site of the Samaritan temple.

Today the Samaritans survive at Nablus, Roman Neapolis, built 2 mi. farther W in the same valley; and at Passover they proceed to Gerizim's summit to slaughter animals for their celebration-the only remnant of the blood-sacrifice of Israel (NatGeog [Jan. 1920]; La Bible et terre sainte 28 [1960]).
The Jerome Biblical Commentary, 1968 p. 650

A Levitical city and district in Mount Ephraim, on Gerizim and Ebal; it was also a city of refuge, and the first residence of the kings of Israel or of the ten tribes. In the time of the Romans it was called Neopolis, and at present Nablus, and is the seat of the Samaritan worship; it was the first city in Canaan visited by Abraham, B.C. 1921; here Joshua addressed for the last time the tribes of Israel, B.C. 1427; Abimelech was elected king by its inhabitants, B.C. 1235; and all Israel was assembled there to make Rehoboam king, B.C. 975; at Jacob's well,in its vicinity, Jesus met with the woman of Samaria, A.D. 27; and Justin Martyr was born here, about A.D. 100.
Young's Analytical Concordance

On Blessings

God blesses us to be a blessing.
If we are not a blessing he curses us to be a blessing (as an example to people). --Scott Hahn

If therefore you will hear my voice, and keep my covenant, you shall be my peculiar possession above all people: for all the earth is mine. Exodus 19:5

Romans 11:26 And so all Israel should be saved, as it is written: There shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
27 And this is to them my covenant: when I shall take away their sins.
28 As concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are most dear for the sake of the fathers.
29 For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance.
30 For as you also in times past did not believe God, but now have obtained mercy, through their unbelief;
31 So these also now have not believed, for your mercy, that they also may obtain mercy.
32 For God hath concluded all in unbelief, that he may have mercy on all.
33 O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways!
34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor?
35 Or who hath first given to him, and recompense shall be made him?
36 For of him, and by him, and in him, are all things: to him be glory for ever. Amen.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Two Palestinian Nuns to be Canonized

Yesterday's Consistory included the solemn Papal announcement of the upcoming 17 May 2015 canonization of three nuns, two of the nuns of Palestine in the Holy Land: Marie Alphonsine Danil GhattasMary of Jesus Crucified Baouardy ("The Little Arab and Lily of Palestine").

Blessed Mary Alphonsine Danil Ghattas was born in Jerusalem in 1843. When she was 15 she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition. She worked tirelessly to help young people and Christian mothers. She had a special mystic affinity with the Mother of God. She founded the Congregation of Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem, to which she belonged. She died in 1927 at Ain Karim (the town of the Visitation) and was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.

Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified Baouardy was born Maria Baouardy in Abellin, a village in Upper Galilee, near Nazareth, in 1846 of Arab parents. She was baptized in the Melchite Greek Catholic Church. From early youth she experienced many sufferings together with extraordinary mystic phenomena. In France, she entered the Carmel of Pau. She was sent to India to found new Carmels, and then to Bethlehem, where she died in 1878. She was beatified by St John Paul II in 1983.

Praised be Jesus Christ for the Christians in the Holy Land. May God bless them and keep them for their living testimony to Jesus Christ, the very people from whom He came!

P.S. During my Palestinian sojourn a few years ago I visited the Ain Karim convent (on the birthday of Saint John the Baptist: 24th of June) and the Bethlehem Carmel, the respective homes of these two saints, both very accommodating religious houses! The Bethlehem Carmel is a veritable fortress, a most worthy structure. The Ain Karim convent is not an enclosure and is in that quaint town of John the Baptist where you still feel the warm hospitality which received Our Lady in the house of Elizabeth.

Concistoro per tre nuove canonizzazioni, il rito il 17 maggio
Dopo la creazione dei nuovi cardinali, Papa Francesco ha presieduto il Concistoro che dà il via libera alla canonizzazione di tre religiose Beate. Si tratta di suor Giovanna Emilia de Villeneuve, fondatrice della Congregazione delle Suore dell’Immacolata Concezione di Castres; Maria di Gesù Crocifisso, monaca professa dell’Ordine dei Carmelitani Scalzi; e Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, fondatrice della Congregazione delle Suore del Rosario di Gerusalemme. Saranno canonizzate il prossimo 17 maggio assieme a Maria Cristina dell’Immacolata Concezione. I ritratti delle tre future Sante nel servizio della Radio Vaticana
Giovanna Emilia de Villeneuve
“È per Dio che vi lascio, voglio servire i poveri, perché dobbiamo andare là dove la voce dei poveri ci chiama”. Così Emilia nel 1836, a soli 25 anni, si congedò da suo padre, il marchese Louis de Villeneuve, per fondare assieme ad altre due ragazze una nuova Congregazione consacrata all’Immacolata Concezione. Le chiameranno le “suore azzurre”, perché tale era l’abito che vestivano, un segno della protezione del manto di Maria che la fondatrice volle fosse anche visibile, in un’epoca in cui tutte le monache vestivano di nero. L’amore per gli altri e la spinta alle attività sociali le aveva imparate proprio dal padre, che in seno alla sua industria per la lavorazione del cuoio aveva creato una società di mutuo soccorso e promuoveva corsi di alfabetizzazione per i giovani, ma furono la morte prematura della madre e della sorella a farla avvicinare alla Vergine, che presto divenne la sua compagna di viaggio. L’esperienza della morte le insegnò che la vita non è l’unica cosa importante su questa terra, ma “si deve vedere Dio in tutte le cose e tutte le cose in Dio, ascoltarne la Parola, raccogliersi in momenti di preghiera profondi per imparare a guardare il mondo con gli occhi di Gesù”. Con le sue nuove sorelle visse accanto agli ammalati, ai carcerati e alle prostitute per dimostrare loro che Dio li ama, fino alla morte per colera sopraggiunta nel 1853.
Maria di Gesù Crocifisso
Veniva da Nazareth e portava il nome di Mariam come la Vergine e Maria di Gesù Crocifisso si chiamò anche dopo aver pronunciato i voti presso il Carmelo di Pau, in Francia, la seconda Beata che sarà canonizzata, al secolo Mariam Baouardy. “Una piccola araba obbediente fino al miracolo”, la definiva la sua madre superiora che le fu vicino quando i mistici doni di cui era ricca cominciarono a manifestarsi. Umile e illetterata, Maria inizialmente nascose le stimmate che le sanguinavano nel giorno della Passione di Cristo, credendo di aver contratto la lebbra e non raccontò subito le esperienze dell’estasi e della bilocazione che attribuiva alla propria incapacità di restare sveglia mentre pregava. Poi, quando si trovò a comporre di getto salmi che il suo analfabetismo le avrebbe reso impossibili, capì: “A chi somiglio io, Signore? Agli uccelletti implumi nel loro nido. Se il padre e la madre non portano loro il cibo, muoioni di fame. Così è l’anima mia senza di Te: non ha sostegno, non può vivere”. Attraverso di lei il Signore volle che fosse costruito un Carmelo a Betlemme, dove presto si trasferì, e poi uno Nazareth, in Terrasanta. Oltre al continuo dialogo con lo Spirito Santo, Mariam iniziò a ricevere anche le visite del maligno che la percuoteva e la ossessionava, ma più la tormentava, più lei si avvicinava a Dio, a cui alla fine, esausta, chiese: “Chiamami a te!”. Fu esaudita nel 1878 e seppellita nel convento carmelitano di Betlemme, dove tutti già la chiamavano “kedise”, la “Santa”.
Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas
Palestinese era anche Sultaneh, la quindicenne figlia di Danil Ghattas che con la vestizione religiosa sul Santo Calvario, entrò a far parte delle Suore di San Giuseppe dell’Apparizione con il nome di Maria Alfonsina. Ma non era questo il suo destino. La Vergine le apparve per la prima volta il giorno dell’Epifania del 1874 e poi di nuovo nel mese a lei consacrato, maggio, ispirandole la fondazione di una nuova congregazione: le Suore del Santissimo Rosario di Gerusalemme, la prima interamente femminile presente in Terrasanta. Era questa la missione della Beata: promuovere il ruolo della donna nella sua amata patria terrena; un compito difficilissimo anche per chi, come lei, aveva una fiducia sconfinata nella divina Provvidenza. Iniziò con nove sorelle, occupandosi dell’insegnamento religioso per vincere l’analfabetismo imperante,ma presto la congregazione si diffuse, tanto che oggi è considerata il braccio destro del Patriarcato latino nei Paesi arabi, in cui si occupa di scuole, parrocchie e altre istituzioni diocesane. Silenziosa e umile fino a sparire dentro la preghiera del Santo Rosario, rimise l’anima al Padre proprio mentre recitava i 15 misteri, nella notte del 25 marzo 1927.

Bethlehem Carmel

Sub tuum praesidium, Latinitas, Romanitas!

Cf. 1:27:50 minute for the Sub tuum praesidium

Learn it! Chant it! Love it!

Entrust yourself to the good care of the Mother of God thereby!

This Marian antiphon after the Mass is a universal tradition among priests for major public priestly celebrations, always in Latin! Solely there, in the priests' Marian antiphons (e.g. the Salve Regina simple tone), and in the rite of benediction Aquinas hymns to the Most Blessed Sacrament (e.g. the Tantum ergo) do we have universal continuity in the Church in the vocally manifest union in faith and worship with the Church of Rome, the Church of all ages. Deo gratias!

N.B. Tota pulchra est Maria

Record Crowd at Today's Angelus

Record crowds continue for His Holiness Pope Francis at the Sunday Angelus today more than two years after the abdication of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Piazza San Pietro and Piazzo Pio XII are both full! Surely many were also present for the Consistory celebrations.

During the praying of the Angelus you can see that about half the people are actually praying the Angelus in Latin along with the Holy Father. That is remarkable! They are not tourists but largely prayerful Catholic pilgrims!

Pace Rorate!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

On Blogs

The great genius of the world wide web in general and of the blogosphere in particular is that it enables the inquisitive to cut through the middle men in the world of ideas.

You can go right to the sources and check the truth of your sources!

Bankrupting the monopoly and censorship of thought.

That's Catholic.

Christ is the unadulterated WORD and the Church is His mouthpiece by the working of the Holy Spirit.

That all men might come to the knowledge of the Truth and be saved: Christ!

A Worthy Altar Cross

Pictures of an hand-carved/painted/gilded Altar Cross (Altarkreuz) which I just ordered and received, very pleased, from Germany.

Needed one for the Parish daily Mass chapel  altar versus populum, for the priest to consider during the Holy Sacrifice!

Sparing no expense. Hurry while the Euro is low!

I will put it on the Altar for the 5 PM Mass this evening and will there bless it (before those assembled before the Mass for the sanctification and edification of all!

SOLEMN BLESSING OF A CROSS (Collectio Rituum 1964)

   If a cross is to be exposed for public veneration, it should be solemnly blessed.

   V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
   R. Who made heaven and earth.
   V. The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.

Let us pray. O holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God, bless this cross that it may be a saving help to mankind. Let it be a bulwark of faith, an encouragement to good works, the redemption of souls; and may it be consolation, protection, and a shield against the cruel darts of the enemy; through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

Let us pray. Bless, O Lord Jesus Christ, this cross by which you have snatched the world from Satan's grasp, and upon which you have overcome by your suffering him who is the prompter of sin, who rejoiced in Adam's deception at the accursed tree of Paradise. Here it is sprinkled with holy water. May this symbol of salvation be sanctified in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and may all who kneel and pray before this cross for our Lord's honor receive health in body and soul. Through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

   After this the priest, kneeling before the crucifix, devoutly venerates and kisses it, and others may do likewise.

Uninhibited Italian Warnings

Smoke (smoking) Kills!

Smoke (smoking) can kill the child in the maternal womb!

The day must come when condoms will have similar warning labels in every land.

Sexual immorality is bad for your health!

Fornication/Adultery/Sodomy kills!

Cardinal Burke's Papal Loyalty

Surely there must be a priest hat for cardinals.
Greca and saturno, please, Your Emminence!

Loyalty to the present Roman Pontiff includes confronting Him when He errs.

Pope Francis has repeatedly and consistently asked for his brother bishops to confront Him when they think He is wrong.

If His Holiness Pope Francis is happy to have dissenters present Him with every form of contrary opinion and error, how much more should He be happy to have loyal cardinals of Holy Mother Church resist Him in His personal error so as not to lead the Bark of Peter away from the Lord.

The present Holy Father makes a fundamental error in His "pastoral" approach.

In the context of openness to everyone, Papa Bergoglio often airs His personal views regarding irregular situations, with vague and ambiguous language, and thereby comes across as a relativist and decidedly anti-clerical. He appears to takes sides with those who hate Jesus Christ and the priesthood and Holy Mother Church and so Himself poses as a self-hating Catholic, which when He speaks on doctrine and morals He apparently is not. A slippery Jesuit!

N.B. Below the video of today's Consistory, the second Consistory with the presence of the "two Popes".

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