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Blog Lethargy!

     I have been remiss in updating my blog over the past year. There are about fifteen or so ideas I have in mind ready to put down on paper (plus musical references). The reason is that I have devoted the time to completing my manuscript, a Christian historical fantasy and allegory titled Mazeppa the Wolfhound, and searching out a publisher and/or literary agent. Tough work for a newbie. There are very, very few Catholic fiction publishers, and whether they are Catholic, Christian non-Catholic, or secular, fiction publishers prefer contemporary stuff that appeals to a good-sized market. Mazeppa may not be as fashionable as I once thought. I have learned a new meaning for the term “rejection.”

     I have not yet given up. Tuscany Press, a relatively new small Catholic publisher, asked those who have submitted their works in a competition (mine was rejected) to opine on various themes in their weekly blog. The current theme: “Catholic Imagination and You.” Following is my submission as posted in the Tuscany press blog.  I even received some comments! Only the first half was published so I decided to post the entire thing below.  

Playin’ With The Angels Again!

     I cannot imagine the useful employment of my God-given faculties without the word “Catholic” preceding all.  However, that’s the crux of the matter—being Catholic adds a layer of burden on top of an already difficult one. It makes me a worry-wart. Typically after finishing a paragraph, I check off the last box on my checklist by wondering, “Will this get me the Nihil Obstat, or will I be condemned for heresy?”

     Consider Glinda’s words to Dorothy in the movie, Wizard of Oz, “…are you a good witch or a bad witch?” On what basis does Glinda claim to know who and what is good or bad? In the same way, what makes a “good” Catholic writer or a “bad” Catholic writer–is it that the subtext of their writing remains true to Catholic faith and morals?  Presumably, a “bad” Catholic does not like being called bad because they believe they are good. But what if the subtext, for example, is the theology of abortion, the notion that a greater moral good is achieved with the murder of the unborn? Pretty bad stuff if a person claims to be authentic Catholic. Then the question becomes, “Should we admit the bad guy (or woman) into the Good Catholic Writer’s Guild?”  

     Then there is the question of how Catholic writers fit into the broader culture. Good culture makes for good art; likewise, bad culture makes for bad art. I am inclined to think that our culture will get far worse before it gets better, which bodes ill for Catholic inclusion in the thought processes. The temptation to abandon the straight-and-narrow and to conform is great. I understand now Peter’s denial; he is the perfect model for weakness under pressure. It was only when I betrayed my Faith countless times did I discover the true meaning of words. So I say, “Be steadfast. Walk away. Get a day job and light a candle in the catacombs.”

     What is Catholic writing without the pursuit of Christ, without the inspiration that transforms a sinner into a saint?  It would be nothing more than breathing, eating, and bed-wetting, a repetitive exercise in the art of existence, without hope of a better place to come. It would be like the Apostles after the Resurrection, wondering what to do next. What if the Paraclete never came? I picture one of them saying to another, “Well, that’s that. I guess I better get back to the boat. The nets need mending.”  In other words, Catholic writing would become indistinguishable from other writing, redundant, and boring.

     Now, up until this point you may think that I am all doom and gloom, even a bit jaded. I could have expounded upon the possibilities that Catholic writing offers (to illumine the world) as opposed to what it shouldn’t be (to glorify evil and encourage conformity).  But Catholicism is not a psychological or scientific experiment; it teaches that Absolute Truth and Absolute Evil exist, even if pure truth and evil cannot be measured in the normal ways. We believe that the glass is both half-full and half-empty and we can discern the difference. We believe that there is a way out. The Beatitudes pull me in, so does Mary in all her perfection, so do Paul and Augustine, tough guys ready to rumble.  

     (This is where Tuscany Press cut off.)

     My current manuscript, Mazeppa the Wolfhound, dwells on the aforementioned themes. By genre, it is a Christian historical fantasy and allegory. The inspiration came in various ways: the unconditional love of my Saluqis, a fascination with ancient history and pagan/nature worship, the propensity of many humans to take delight in degradation and baseness. These things helped me form the “dark” plot lines, what I would call the half-empty parts, some of which are illustrated in the short excerpts that follow.

      I was of a mind to provide the resolutions, the half-full parts, since what follows may be harsh to sensitive readers. (Maybe one day I will find a publisher and you can read how each character winds up!) On second thought I decided against it. If what follows offends, that is a good thing. On occasion the placid mind must be jarred.

 ****

There weren’t many of Nutter’s kind left. Born to a lifetime of shackles, he demonstrated far too much of his free mind. The story goes that in his slave days Nutter, or Jim–that was his birth name–was one ornery field hand, never meeting his quotas, always misbehaving, and being stubborn about the simplest things. They scarred his back and pulled his teeth out, and lit sticks under his fingertips and toenails ‘til he couldn’t take it any longer and pled for mercy at the feet of the overseer. Not only did they break his body but his mind too. What was left after all the discipline, that is, after Jim confessed his “sins” and repented, they gave a new name too, “crazy ol’ Gummy Jim.”

 ****

So great was Luhki’s despair that for a time she abandoned all that she knew and chose to live like an animal. She befriended a roving wolf pack and learned their ways and language. She tore the clothes off her body and ran naked through the woods in the sun season, and skinned the hides off of dead bears and elk to warm her in the cold. She ate the wild things that grew in the trees, grubbed underground, and trapped small game. She’d kill with one swift slice of her blade, and if necessary, with bare hands around a throat or teeth in the back of a neck. She gutted what she trapped and ate the meat raw unless she came across a wild fire and roasted her kill. If she wanted more than blood or water to drink, Luhki sucked the warm milk from a nursing she-wolf. Even the mountain tribesmen who came across her by chance fled at her approach. They believed her to be half-human and half-animal and that she embodied the evilest instincts found in both, an evil omen sent by the Creators as a warning to those who wished to do harm. To look into her eyes meant an agonizing death, shredded by hungry wolves. 

****

Perkle volunteered his way of thinking. “Well it’s like this ya see. This here ol’ gal used to be my best hunting dog, best hunter around. But she’s gettin’ past her prime, slowin’ down real fast, leastways when I seen your dog run. She has a good pedigree goin’ back a ways. So I thought I could get some of those fast genes out of your dog into her while I can, and get me some decent huntin’ dogs, as long as they keep their scent.” Perkle smiled broadly and spattered a glob of tobaccy juice on the front lawn. “I’ll even give ya a pup out of the litter if ya want it, at no charge.”

Jonathan grimaced at the loutish old brute. Seeing him in person only confirmed in his mind Swayne’s reputation as someone to avoid. He knew what “keep their scent” meant—if any of the pups lost their instinct in the breeding, they would be shot in the head. Twelve weeks was enough time to know…

****

Luhki kept the Hashaim in her prayers more than three hundred years after their cruel deaths. She remembered their courage, their unshakable faith. The Hashaim did not turn apostate as they were led to the hanging place and nailed to planks of wood. She sickened to see the nails bite into their living flesh and the blood burst forth; she quaked with every mallet stroke knowing that it meant indescribable pain and slow death. The Hashaim hung from their crosses for days, shamed upon being stripped of their garments. The blood dripped down and caked their bodies. They’d lean forward exhausted, wheezing and gasping for air, then push up on the nails embedded in their feet and wrists for breath. Each push or collapse worsened their agony. Their groans became like the sounds of screeching animals trapped in a vise, and blood and water gurgled from their mouths. Worst of all Luhki could no longer sense their thoughts, as if they had descended into a dark void where thoughts did not exist… 

****

One day, a new arrival came to the Home, someone that looked oddly familiar to Mama, a very old, sickly woman with a hollowed-out face. She sat in her wheelchair and stared out into space with a desperate tormented look, the kind of look you see sometimes on folks when their eyes are drawn inward and they are unseeing of what is right in front of their noses. When the time had finally come to meet Death face-to-face, and there was no better companion to be had. Mama inquired of the nursing staff.

“Why, that’s Mrs. Esther Harris. She had a stroke some time ago, and even with all her money, they couldn’t heal her the way like she was before. You know, some say she lost everything in that stock market crash. Now, I can’t say anything for sure about that, but I do know that her children refused to take care of her and sent her to us. Seems like they were too busy with more important matters, like divvying up whatever she left behind, thinking she wouldn’t be coming home.”

****

After a time the liquor made him forget his white-folk trouble and look across the room to his other ones. Max shakily pointed a finger at Pattycakes and ruefully smiled. She’d be sitting there grinning into space and squealing happily at some imaginary event she made up in her mind. Playin’ with the angels again, Max reasoned for about the ten-thousandth time in his life. I guess any response is better than none.

Max pulled his chair over in front of Pattycakes, recited her favorite poem and played her favorite hand game:

“Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man;

So I will, master, as fast as I can:

Pat it, and prick it, and mark it with a B,

Put it in the oven for baby and me.”

Pattycakes uttered something unintelligible as she played along with Max, mimicking all his motions, patting at an imaginary cake. It was always the same, she could halfway mumble something or halfway do something, but Pattycakes never had a clue why. It always ended halfway. When she liked it, she got Max to do it again by squealing out in delight “Pah cay now!” over and over until Max had enough and cried out, “No more!” 

     (End Tuscany submission.)

     We tend to think that the great evils are consigned to the past and that they could never be repeated. How I wish that were true! Slavery, torture, ruthlessness, and barbarism still exist, perhaps in different guises than before. So too despair, loneliness, and the plight of the mentally ill and elderly.  Each new generation redefines the old ways.

     It is why I am amazed at the Catholic Church. Despite its failings, its human weaknesses, it is stalwart against the evils of this world.   The Church has remained so over two thousand years. It must be true that the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. A miracle that should make all of us believers.  

But the Pharisees hearing that he had silenced the Sadducees, came together, and one of them, a doctor of the law, asking him, tempting him: Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets. Matthew 22:34-40 (Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition)

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. The Nicene Creed AD 381

Apostasy and Heresy
Perfidiæ is the complete and voluntary abandonment of the Christian religion, whether the apostate embraces another religion such as Paganism, Judaism, Mohammedanism, etc., or merely makes profession of Naturalism, Rationalism, etc.
The heretic differs from the apostate in that he only denies one or more of the doctrines of revealed religion, whereas the apostate denies the religion itself, a sin which has always been looked upon as one of the most grievous.
Source: New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia (Late 19th Century and early 20th Century Version)

This is what happens through neglect.  Jon O’Brien (JB), posted an article in the Huff Post blog dated 10/5/2012, Nobody Gets to Say Who Is and Who Is Not Catholic.

His claims are as follows:

If you are baptized Catholic, no one can say you are not, not even those in authority in the Church.

This is a form over substance argument. Apparently, one may claim to be Catholic even if they are a heretic, an apostate, a hypocrite who says one thing and does another, or someone who does not practice the Sacraments with a true heart, for example, weekly Mass, confession, and receiving Communion free of grave sin. Of course, this is nonsense. JB is nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Catholic Social Justice activities, as defined and practiced by JB, outweigh the Church’s teachings on faith and morals, if such teachings come in conflict with his views.

It seems that JB practices a theology of killing the unborn which justifies the killing, and which far outweighs the notion that God is the maker of all things, including the unborn, and to God does our love and duty precede all else. Does JB not see that in killing the unborn, he “unmakes” what the Maker has made? Is this what JB wishes to profess to God on Judgment Day?

JB considers the Church as simply one brand of religion and not “one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.”

There are over 30,000 Protestant sects in existence. At least Ps have the backbone to leave their mainline faith groups if they believe in something else. Not that I believe that what the Ps do is proper. Anti-Catholics like JB are cowards who do not have the gumption to get up and leave and start their own religious group based on their own profession of faith. Instead they want to make over the Church from within, installing their own false modern theology. Certainly JBs is not a Christ-centered theology, with the goal of steering all souls to Heaven. Sounds more like Hell to me.

JB believes that his positions on faith and morals, which deal with matters considered by the Church to be of great intrinsic evil and cause mortal sin, are a simple matter of legitimate dissent.

Catholics who believe that it is OK to kill babies in the womb are not a legitimate voice of dissent within the Church. Enabling abortions in general, coercing family members to get abortions, having your own abortions, and acting as abortion practitioners are all contrary to Church teachings; these actions are considered evil and the perpetrator commits mortal sin. If JB does not believe in the application of Church teachings to grave matters of life and death, then it is time for him to move on. JBs dissent is illegitimate because there is no “recognition of God” in it.

JB believes that each person must follow their conscience in matters of belief. Therefore each person is guided by their own interpretations of Christ words, the New Testament, and later writings of the Church Fathers, etc. In effect, JB denies the power of the Holy Spirit to guide the Church towards a true understanding of Christ’s words, and he also denies Apostolic Succession. Each person can reject or accept any Church teaching as they see fit and still make claim to their “Catholicity.”

The “right of conscience” is a ridiculous argument used to justify sin. The Church never forces a person to believe. We have free will, so we may choose to believe or not; we have reason, so that we may recognize the baby body parts in a bucket and know that it was once whole and inside the womb; and we have our conscience–in the case of true Catholics, informed conscience, which tells us that the baby is a human being and a gift of God and that the first nine months of life is inside the womb.

JB uses the conscience argument to deny the free will of an unborn human being, to deny that what he sees in a body bag was once a growing human being, and to reject the notion that life is a gift of God. So be it. He distorts the moral basis inherent in conscience and converts immoral notions to moral ones.

JB and his kind believe they have the right to speak for the Roman Catholic Church and its lay members on matters of Faith and morals even if their views are anti-Catholic to the extreme.

I would like any pretend Catholic like JB to prove they are true Catholics by justifying their killing of the unborn with the opening statement of the Nicene Creed. I would like any pretend Catholic like JB to justify the killing of the unborn with the words of Christ regarding the two greatest commandments. Afterall, “the whole law dependeth on these two great commandments.” Pretend Catholics cannot do it!

If they cannot justify their claims to authority, then they cannot make a further claim that they speak for the Catholic Church!

A  reflection on the lost generation of Catholics:

Figlio Perduto

Walls of wind
Night has fallen
Father and son are together.

With a horse
They progress
Through the intense darkness.

But suddenly
The boy trembles with fear.
It gets cold.

Father oh father,
Haven’t you seen
The king of the elves
There he is.

Lost son,
Do you want to play?
I bring you joy,
Come with me.

Father oh father
Have you heard
What he said
And what he will do.

Lost son
If you don’t come with me
I’ll use my power

Father oh father
It’s the king of the elves.
He is touching me,
He hurts me.

 And the boy,
Eyes closed
He doesn’t move
He’s already lost.

Lost
Lost son,
If you don’t come with me
I’ll use my power

Father oh father
It’s the king of the elves
He is touching me,
He hurts me.

And the boy,
Eyes closed
He doesn’t move,
He’s already lost.

…he’s already lost.

Each day I sin, I strike a nail in Our Lord’s cross. 

The other day I was watching a show on EWTN hosted by Fr. Benedict Groeschel. I greatly admire this good and gentle old priest. The topic was “Teaching Orders in the Church.” Fr. Groeschel invited two guests, one of which was Christian Brother (CB) Edward Sheilds (ES). ES, to the best of my knowledge, is not one of the morally bankrupt and disgraced Irish CBs.

I was curious as to what ES would say because I was educated by the Christian Brothers during the 1960s. The Christian Brothers is an order of teaching laity founded by a priest and saint, Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle. However, because the Brothers do not take Holy Orders, they do not take priestly vows nor may they act in the place of priests. This may be confusing to the general population because CBs wear black garb that is similar to a priest. Unsuspecting persons, and that includes parents and their children seeking a good Catholic education, assume because of outward appearances, the CBs think and act like priests. This is not so.

I received as good an academic education as one may receive at any Catholic HS in the country. My school alumni directory is loaded with Brainiacs of every conceivable type—business, science, politics, arts, sports. High IQs abounded among the teaching staff and students. Back when the SATs were 1600 (harder than today!), we had our share of annual perfect or near-perfect score-makers. Alas! A lethal combination of nature and nurture prevented me from attaining such heights.

However, if the goal was to properly form the minds of young Catholic men and equip them with an adult understanding of the Faith, ready to face the moral challenges that were bound to happen, and to lead their souls to Heaven, then the CBs of my time utterly failed and are no less a disgrace to the Church than any of the wolves in sheep’s clothing now leading the Church towards schism.

The CBs did everything possible to steer our minds away from Church teaching, not in direct defiance but in more subtle cunning ways. We did not study Augustine or any of the Patristic Fathers; Thomas Aquinas or any of the Church Doctors; or any of the heroes of the Church, like Saint Agatha, or closer to our own time, people like Cardinal Jezsef Mindszenty, Sister Faustina, or Edith Stein. We did not study modern Church teaching as applied in the Catechism. We studied Darwin and Marx, Utopian theory, situational ethics, and secular humanism. We believed in Holden Caulfield and followed him as if he was the second coming. We learned how to properly apply a condom. In adulthood we learned how to become New Agers, Atheists, Agnostics, or Universalists; and followers of Modernism, Scientism, Malthusianism, or any fashionable belief system, just so long as it wasn’t Catholicism.

Thanks to the CBs, I fell into it all; I was ignorant of the true Faith and rationalized my unbelief, my sins, and my life-avoiding decisions. And if there is one thing that I regret, it’s that because of such beliefs we did not have more children. I miss having more kids and grandkids.

What of the CBs today? By their active support of the LGBT agenda at CB colleges such as Manhattan in NYC, Lewis in Ill., and CBU in Memphis, they still cling to their falsehoods. By necessity, in supporting key planks of the progressive movement, they must support them all in order to maintain position and not antagonize their friends. Directly or indirectly, the CBs support the Culture of Death. My views are known to the CBs at my HS and my classmates on the HS senior blog. The vitriol on the blog is immense, as are the superior claims to brain power and logic leveled against me, as is the rejection of ancient Church teachings; but not that all surprising, coming from such well trained Catholic anti-Catholics.

Sorry Fr. Groeschel. For these reasons I do not support the CBs in any way, shape or form.

UPDATE: Unrelated to the above show, it was announced by EWTN that Fr. G. would not be returning. We hope and pray that Fr. G. will keep the peace of Our Lord in his heart, for he is a kindly old gentleman and deserving of the heavenly gates. (IMHO)

I remember reading an essay on military tactics during the War Between the States—Generals on both sides deployed their troops in 18th Century attack formations using “modern” 19th Century arms. The carnage was both immediate and apparent.

Immediate in that once engaged, the speed at which battles were fought was greatly accelerated and apparent in that if battle commanders did not adapt to the new technology, a great many men were sure to die without purpose.
For Northern Generals, modern military technology gave rise to new and modern theories of engagement, especially the notion that total war was possible, that is, to completely destroy the ways and means whereby an enemy may engage in war and in so doing, destroy their will. In practice this meant the obliteration of entire civilian communities, for example, in Sherman’s March to the Sea.

The lesson of genius is that being a  genius in one thing does not make a person a genius in all things and it is impossible to predict every possibility, whether the results will be beneficial or unsavory. Did the arms-makers of the 19th Century foresee that their inventions would lead to the acceptance of total mass destruction in wartime? The best we can do is admit that possibilities exist, watch them unfold, and take proper moral action when necessary.

Faith is an odd thing. We believe in an Invisible Almighty God, and what He wants from us is predictable and good. It is understood in  properly formed minds through inspiration, prayer, instruction, and practice. Yet we also put our faith in men, often times above God. Men whose actions are unpredictable and may not be good at all and contrary to our beliefs in God. The visible order trumps God’s order. Why do we accept Man over God? What are the consequences?

Occasionally I come across articles that list companies which support organizations and public officials spouting views contrary to Church teaching on faith and morals, especially abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage. The intent is to inform, to encourage you to communicate your displeasure to the powers that be, and to exert pressure by boycotting their goods and services if they don’t change.

The list of companies is endless; I don’t know how I could function in society if I boycotted every company that I think is deserving of my wrath. Food, clothing, shelter are all affected; so too material possessions like the interior furnishings and appliance in my home, my car, even the gas I put in my car, and the garden stuff I buy and where I buy it. The things I enjoy most for entertainment, movies and sports, are affected. The restaurants we choose to dine out. I do what I can (I really do not know if I’m doing enough!) and that’s about it.

But what of the companies themselves, do they not see the possibilities? Consider the more than fifty million abortions in the US over the past forty years as well as the millions more that would have been born if the previously aborted had not been murdered in the womb and come of age. The statistically proven below-replacement rates looming in Russia, China, and Western Europe. What is predictable is a decreasing rate of population growth and then a decline in population altogether as older people die and there is no one to take their place. It doesn’t happen all at once, but over decades.

If true, what of the long range strategic plans of companies like Microsoft, Apple, Kraft Foods, JC Penney, Kellogg, and General Mills, among others? They support in one way or another progressive views on population control, abortion, contraception, same-sex marriage, etc. However, they depend on consumers, but where do consumers come from? Kill off God, freedom of religion, true marriage, family, and babies and in time you kill off consumers. Eventually, such companies stagnate, investment values decline, expansion plans fail, and they become minor players, are bought out, or die on the vine.

God gave us free will and He will not turn us into automatans at this point.  If the people of a country chooses to downsizes its population, then everything worth preserving about that country, not just the big companies, is downsized. Doesn’t make sense to me, but God will let us have our way in the end, even if it means choosing Hell over Heaven.

You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you,   You forgot the God who gave you birth….What a fickle race they are,   sons with no loyalty in them!” “Since they have provoked me with their ‘no-god’   and angered me with their vain idols,I will provoke them with a ‘no-people’;   with a foolish nation I will anger them.” (Deuteronomy  32:18-19) (Nice cuts from recent Msgr. C. Pope blog )

What happened in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany and the gulags of Communist Russia could never happen in the United States, right? The people would not stand for it. We are not a godless, secular nation, unaware of our roots…

We are a nation of ideas, freely spoken and heard, and we cherish our liberty too much to have it taken away by extremists, to be replaced with totalitarian beliefs which deny our right to openly practice our faith as we see fit, to build our families as we see fit, and to demonstrate right virtue and deplore the lack thereof in public as we see fit.

Russia gave us this:

And One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich:

Germany gave us this:

And Applied Eugenics:

America gave us this:

And Catholics In Name Only, leaders in the Culture of Death:

It Could Happen to You—With Apologies to the Warningers of Past Times

  “Harry, what has gotten into you this morning? You have the look of a dog with a collapsed lung. Why are you breathing so hard?”
  “Not so funny today Charlie. I sent my reports to the top days ago and haven’t received my customaries. Days ago Charlie. And nothing!”
  Charlie furrowed his brow in the utmost concern.
  “Harry, I wouldn’t be too worried. Probably a mix up at the bureau; these things happen from time-to-time. They’ve got their hands full with that other business, way down in the southern marshes. Here, let me have your messages for today. I’ll hand-carry them over with my things and look in to it.”
  “Thanks Charlie, I knew I could count on you.”
  Charlie looked winsomely upon his desk companion as he handed over the sealed envelope.
  “Good. I’ll be back before you know it.” Charlie got up and quickly left their cubicle.
  Harry sat back in his chair and looked up at the clock. Nothing but dead silence except for the sound of the ticking.   There he sat the rest of the day staring blankly at the clock hands until he nodded off. Then of a sudden, he heard footsteps in the corridor moving at the quick step, most urgent. It was thirty minutes past closing. But wait! Not Charlie’s heavy footsteps, he knew those by heart. Lighter steps and more than one set.
  Harry rushed the door. As he turned the knob the door flew open. Many hands grabbed him and bound him in metal cords.
  “Damn you all, you bastards!” he shouted out. “Do what you can! You will never take my mind! Never! Do you hear me?”
  They gagged Harry and covered his head in a cloth pouch.
  “So long Charlie, dear old friend,” Harry thought as they dragged him away. 

  The memory of a long-since dead prayer came to him, one he had ordered exterminated many years ago.  But It didn’t matter anymore, not where they were taking him.  It wasn’t like they would torture him in the old ways, the implants made sure of that. If he wanted to believe in an invisible world, then they would give it to him, complete and aware. There would be no more interaction with any kind of living thing, human on nonhuman,  for the rest of his life.  Deaf, blind, and dumb he would become, in the company of whatever angels and demons he conjured up. Then when he breathed his last, they would take his body and make fertilizer of it.

Although the bishops were unable to get it, by luck I got hold of an advance copy of the keynote speaker’s address, from Sister Pearl OC (Order of the Clam),  at the upcoming annual assembly of the LCWR in St. Louis August 7-10. I though it worth repeating here Sister Pearl’s opening invitation to prayer: 

On The Purpose of Life

Thus spake our departed Sister Moon Sun Shi who is here among us in spirit, whispering in our ears her blessed isms : Ye are he who is, as ye are she who is; thus, ye who are he and she are both in is, just as ye are both he and she separate yet together; separate and together do ye abide as he and she within is, yet still be ye both a glimmer of is. Yea, less ye allow unrest to trouble thy mind, let it be known that what is perchance to be that what is, he and she may not be as is truly is, as he and she are not like unto is as is always was and still is the quantum void, but rather ye who are he and she do dwell within it.

Let us pray. Listen to our opening theme music, and be inspired. (Sister Pearl directed to point up to the large screen above her head): 

UPDATE: Dang! It sounds like I was pretty much on the mark after reading about the new age guru who made the keynote speech.  I just might invite her over for dinner (I make a great bean sprouts salad and brew organic basil tea) and listen to my Yanni collection.

How can the sheep let their shepherds know of their displeasure? A recent exchange between me and an internet priest-not Fr. Z or Fr. DL:

To: Fr. X
From: Me

Recently I mentioned in the confessional my anger at Catholic bishops and priests who say and do things in public that are contrary to Catholic teaching, such as Jesuits who publicly support the homosexual and abortion agendas. On the other hand one might read commentary from a Jesuit that is exactly in line with Church teaching. My priest told me there is no need to worry about events that occur in other parishes or dioceses far away from where I live and to find a local church and priest that I like and go there.

I did not find his answer acceptable. I do not think it right for ministers of the Church to foster ideas that are defined as gravely evil by the Church. If there is scandal in one part of the Church somewhere, is there not scandal for the whole Church?

In this day and age of open communications, doesn’t anyone within the hierarchy of the Church realize what confusion, anger, and distrust this creates among us pew-sitters? For example, priests celebrate gay Masses (not in my diocese) knowing that those in attendance reject Church teaching on sexual sin and they receive communion with a clear heart. The bishop of that church says and does nothing. While back in my own little church far away I sweat every day my sexual weaknesses, pray, and abstain from communion until I have made a proper confession. This does not make sense!

Secondly, why is there a tolerance within these Orders and the bishops in general of priests who act in ways-both materially and consistently-that is against Church teaching? I would not ignore them. I would tell them kindly to get back in line or throw them out.

How can the Church say we must evangelize the world when it hasn’t done its own house-cleaning?

Me

To: Me
From: Fr. X

It is odd that God didn’t make me and you bishops. If God had known what He was doing He would certainly have put you and me in charge. Forget the bishops tolerating these things. Someone should straighten out the Almighty. And what was this business about making Judas that thief and traitor the first church treasurer and that coward Peter the first pope? God should have His head examined!

Fr. X

To: Fr. X,
From: Me

Thank you for personally replying. I did not expect it knowing that you lead a very busy life. You need not be sarcastic with me in thinking that I think that God has erred in the selection of bishops, etc. I do not think that at all and it was not the basis for my questions. I believe that we have a right to question the soundness of certain actions, especially in this day and age of instant internet communications, wherein persons in authority may find it hard to keep things private. In this I refer to the teaching of faith and morals only.

It may very well be that God has a very good reason for keeping the wolves in sheep’s clothing in place. It does not mean we should sit back and do nothing. BTW, you didn’t answer a single one of my questions nor did you respond with theological authority.

There is one thing certain when dealing with liberal Catholics-they believe that Our Lord can be half-pregnant. Believe everything Christ said about Heaven and pretend He did not say a thing about sin, judgment, and Hell. (And also the enablers of sin.)
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Credit must be given to John Vennari for saving me the time to look up St. Thomas A. See his entire article: http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/vatican2/wayward.htm

Saint Thomas Aquinas, in many passages of his works, upholds the principle that the faithful can rebuke and admonish Prelates. For example: “There being an imminent danger for the faith, prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects. Thus, Saint Paul, who was a subject of Saint Peter, questioned him publicly on account of an imminent danger of scandal in a matter of Faith. And, as the Glosa of Saint Augustine puts it (Ad Galatas 2,14), ‘Saint Peter himself gave the example to those who govern so that if sometime they stray from the right way, they will not reject a correction as unworthy even if it comes from their subjects’.”

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