Note: I don’t usually post so frequently but this is something that will only last so long, and I want to tell you about it so you’ll have time to take advantage of it.
Yes, this can be and will be a painful time for some of us, many of us. But we can also use the time to grow in our faith, to study, to reflect, and to pray. And to take advantage of wonderful Catholic media groups like Scott Hahn’s St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.
Seems like everybody is writing and talking about Coronavirus now. I’m working on another post about specifically Catholic ways to spend time during the shutdowns so many are experiencing. But this one is for anyone, Catholic, some other religion, or no religion at all.
Have not yet finished the next post in the Occult Phenomena and the soul series. Aiming now to get it on the site by tomorrow evening, while also getting ahead on my NaNoWriMo word count, so Miss Lucy Dawg and I can go visit my best friend. We’ve been waiting for months to meet her new puppy, Miss Nova Dawg.
I’ve been waiting for Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ, to speak his mind about the Amazon Synod/Pachamama debacle. And on Tuesday, November 5, he did, on his EWTN show, Scripture and Tradition, where the subject, providentially enough, was righteousness. God is so good! His remarks about Pachamama begin at 31:38 and the link I’ve posted it set to start at that time mark. I’m glad to say that my gut feeling (and mental judgment) about the situation continues to be affirmed and confirmed by what I’m hearing from those for whom I have much respect. But Fr. Mitch went further, spoke without mincing words, and revealed some information about the state of religion in the Andes that I have not heard elsewhere. God bless Fr. Mitch! Below is the video.
All of these things are interconnected. All of these movements and trends have led us to where we are now. To combat our enemy, we must know our enemy. We have been complacent or ignorant or asleep for TOO LONG. Wake up, wise up, and RISE UP, Church, NOW.
Psychologist Dr. William Coulson explains what he and fellow psychologist Carl Rogers did to Catholic religious houses, and more, in the 60’s. What they needed was holiness and spiritual training and discipline. What they got was “self-esteem” and not an authentic understanding of the human person as taught by the Church. What a mess. And look where we are today: vocations dropped to almost nothing in those houses that opted for false spirituality; vocations booming in houses that kept or returned to authentic Catholic spirituality and RELIGION. Yes, the R word. RELIGION: That by which we are bound in covenant to and united with God, and without which we have a vague, amorphous and all too often imaginary relationship without any basis at all in reality.
Do I feel strongly about this? I do, but this is not about feelings or opinions or desires or wishes. This is about reality, about the world of the real versus the world of really stupid wishful thinking. The world IS, God IS, and all the playing with words that humans can do will never change reality. Contrary to all the new age nonsense so many have imbibed, we do NOT make our own reality. Reality is a given and we receive it and deal with it, or we can butt our heads against it which won’t hurt reality but can break our hard little heads. Looking around me, I see a lot of people who prefer to bash their own heads against the brick wall of reality instead of learning to see the world as it really is.
But I also see many people who are more spiritually aware than that. We are praying for those who are obstinate and who are determined to harm themselves and others. We are praying for those who insist on living in a way that may bring some sort of temporary pleasure but can never bring lasting happiness. And can certainly never bring eternal joy.
By the way, once one accepts reality as it is (which does not mean giving in to sin or giving in to despair), the brick wall aspect of it drops away and what is revealed is beautiful beyond words. Is there terror in the world, and sin, and horror, and death? Yes. But there is also joy and love and friendship and family and creativeness and intellect and spirit and heart and music and so many things I can’t even think of without feeling overwhelmed by tears at the beauty of it all. The world would be such a different place if people gave themselves over to real Love. And the One Who is Love Itself.
For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Amen!
In my last post I said I was not going to try to write about all the current events going on now. And I’m not. But that doesn’t mean I won’t write about any of them. I have to say something about November 4th. And that is:
Hallelujah! Thanks be to God!
There is hope for this country, after all. Catholics, and all people of good will, we have a lot of work to do. We need to study, speak, write, teach, and, more than anything, we Catholics need to pray, receive grace in the sacraments, remain in a state of grace, and increase in grace. Then, and only then, can we really make a change in this world. Because we will BE that change.
As so many of my compatriots, I speak only English so I’m still in the process of locating, collecting and reading what I can find in translation by and about our new Holy Father, Pope Francis. (And that is Pope Francis, not Pope Francis I, even though he is the first Pope named Francis. No need to distinguish him from any other Popes named Francis since there aren’t any.)
I grew up Methodist and knew absolutely nothing about Catholicism. I didn’t notice popes as they came and went. I didn’t pay attention when Pope John Paul II was elected, though he certainly caught my attention later. I paid some attention when Pope Benedict was elected but mostly I was still grieving the loss of his predecessor for whom I had developed a deep and abiding affection. And when Pope Benedict announced that he had renounced the Chair of Peter, I was truly astonished. When I watched him fly via helicopter away from the Vatican, I actually cried.
Grief morphed into hope as the time of the Conclave approached and I couldn’t stop watching and listening to the coverage provided by EWTN (and secular media when there was nothing else). After I watched the doors of the Sistine Chapel close, signaling the beginning of deliberations in earnest, my excitement began to build. By the time the white smoke was announced, I was ready to jump up and down and grab the nearest person to me for a hug. Which probably explains why the coffee shop I was sitting in, watching coverage on my iPad and listening on my phone–the coffee shop which was full when I got there–was strangely empty shortly after I heard the words, “Habemus Papam!”
I’d like to offer something profound in honor of our new Holy Father but my mind is nothing but a happy, excited mess right now. I can say that watching that humble, gentle man and listening to his soft, tender words, I began to feel a real affection for him. And something deeper than affection. When I realized that he was praying the Lord’s Prayer (even though he was praying in Italian; I’m still learning to say these prayers in Latin but thought I recognized the difference), I felt my heart expand in my chest and more tears came to my eyes. Our new Chief Shepherd was already leading his flock in prayer. (And that prayer was for his predecessor, Benedict XVI. When I heard that, more tears came.) Then before he gave us his blessing, he asked us to pray to the Lord for him.
I’m sure I will love this man more as time goes on. But right now it’s hard to see how this will be possible. I love him very much already. Habemus Papam! Viva il Papa!
I know everybody–and I mean, everybody!–has been talking about the Pope renouncing the Chair of Peter. I don’t have anything profound to offer. But I would like to offer a brief Lenten prayer for the Holy Father. In fact, I did offer it on Valentine’s Day via Twitter. (Most days if you don’t see a post here–and most days you won’t–you might catch me on Twitter if only for a few moments at a time.)
Pope Benedict, Holy Father, I love you and I’ll be praying for you. God bless you now and always. Amen.
Just saw this on EWTN Live: the bishops of the USCCB have called for a simple novena, “Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage” toward a culture of life. The novena will be from January 19-27, 2013. You can sign up for e-mail or text updates and get more information at the USCCB website. I think it’s a great idea. The battle we are in must be waged at the spiritual level and we need to pray together to defeat our common ancient enemy.
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
[A post for the Year of Faith.] Was I surprised by what happened on Election Day? Nope. Am I depressed or in deep despair over the results? No way. I saw it coming in 2008 and I saw it coming in 2012. Do I think we have a huge and serious problem? Oh, yeah, I do. But I think our problem stems more from the fact that we live in a fallen world and the fact that we are a stiff-necked people, much like the ancient Hebrews of the Bible, than the failing of one political party or another. No, the failure was ours. We the people. More particularly, we the Catholic people.
“Praise the Lord, O my soul, in my life I will praise the Lord: I will sing to my God as long as I shall be. Put not your trust in princes: in the children of men, in whom there is no salvation” (Ps 146: 2-3, Douay-Rheims Bible).
We have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten Whom we serve. We have forgotten that we are here, not to be comfortable and in control, but to suffer, sacrifice and serve.
May God forgive us for forgetting what we are about. May we take this reproval to heart. May we repent and change our ways and be truly converted, truly turn back to our One Only Lord and Savior. May we get down on our knees this time before we are brought any lower next time…and then by force. May we remember that Yours are the heavens and the earth, O Lord, and all that exists does so by Your command.
Two ways He set before us and as for me, I still choose to serve the Lord.
Peace be with you. And, please, do not despair and do not be afraid. Put on the full armor of God and get ready, warriors. We lost one skirmish but the battle has only just barely begun!
“Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God)” (Eph 6:10-17, Douay-Rheims Bible).