Thursday, July 24, 2014

Paul the Prophet

Paul VI and Karol Wojtyla
I am reading Peter Hebblethwaite's biography of Paul VI. Clearly, Hebblethwaite writes as a historian sympathetic to "the spirit of Vatican II" in his account of Paul's life. Nevertheless, it is a worthwhile read for one capable of recognizing those personal aside where the author's' objectivity leaves much to be desired. I was amazed also to read that Paul, sensitive to criticism from both orthodox and heterodox Catholics over his 15-year pontificate, boldly predicted that one day he would be referred to as a prophet! How right he was. Paul VI’s beatification come October 2014 offers an opportunity to reintroduce the world to the prophetic nature of Giovanni Battista Montini, Paul VI. AS readers know, in my book I describe in detail  why the word “prophetic” is used to describe his final encyclical, Humane Vitae. Not only did it fall to Paul to complete and promote Vatican II, it was he who shouldered defining and exemplifying Church teaching and tradition in a world increasingly hostile and alien to it. That his teaching has taken root today is marvelously exemplified here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


"The life of prayer calls for continuous battles. It is the most important and the longest effort in a life dedicated to God.  This effort has been given a beautiful name: it is called the guard of the heart. 
Dom Augustin Guillerand

The human heart is a city; it was meant to be a stronghold.  Sin surrendered it.  Henceforth it is an open city, the walls of which have to be built up again.  The enemy never ceases to do all he can to prevent this.  He does this with his accustomed cleverness and strength, with stratagem and fury.  He puts before us such happy thoughts (and occasionally useful ones), pictures so attractive or frightening, and he clothes it all with reasons so impressive that he succeeds all along the line to distract us and entice us away from the divine presence.
We must always be starting again.  These continual recoveries, this endless beginning again, tires and disheartens us far more than the actual fighting.  We would much prefer a real battle, fierce and derisive. But God, as a rule, thinks otherwise.  He would rather we were in a constant state of war.  He prefers these ambuscades and snares; these precautions and the need for constant vigilance.  He is love, and this continuous warfare calls for more love and develops that love still further."

Women vs. Men: The Feminine Genius

As a single male who has longed to have a helpmate, but has never been able to find one, I am intrigued by recent findings on young American men and womenCatholics believe that
marriage comes as a gift from the hand of God. The Catholic vision of marriage is rooted in Sacred Scripture and is expressed in the teachings and practices of the Church. It has these main elements:

  • Marriage unites a couple in faithful and mutual love
  • Marriage opens a couple to giving life
  • Marriage is a way to respond to God’s call to holiness
  • Marriage calls the couple to be a sign of Christ’s love in the world

In Mulieris dignitatem St. Pope John Paul II wrote: 

When we say that the woman is the one who receives love in order to love in return, this refers not only or above all to the specific spousal relationship of marriage. It means something more universal, based on the very fact of her being a woman within all the interpersonal relationships which, in the most varied ways, shape society and structure the interaction between all persons - men and women. In this broad and diversified context, a woman represents a particular value by the fact that she is a human person, and, at the same time, this particular person, by the fact of her femininity. This concerns each and every woman, independently of the cultural context in which she lives, and independently of her spiritual, psychological and physical characteristics, as for example, age, education, health, work, and whether she is married or single.

It seems one such woman from the culture is on to this!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Moderate Muslims, Please Speak Out!

Whenever I hear fellow Catholics defend abortion or the death penalty, or same sex "marriage," for that matter, I always speak out to defend the faith charitably. Certainly if some Catholics were chanting “death to Muslims" and "nuke Islamic nations", all Catholics would be required to speak against this offense to our Catholic faith.  Watch this video, (NOT LIKELY TO BE AIRED ON CNN) and then pray that moderate Muslims find it in their hearts to condemn this abomination. Here is an upddate....

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Leaving the Gay Life Behind

Just ran across this preview from Fr. Paul of Courageportraits of Catholics who try to navigate the waters of self-understanding, faith, and homosexuality:
  •         Dan, a gregarious artist who spent his life hiding a deep sense of isolation from those who loved him;
  •          Rilene, a successful businesswoman who realized that twenty-five years with her partner did not provide the fulfillment she had hoped for;
  •          and Paul, an international model who, after a life of self-indulgence, found grace in the last place he expected. 
Austin Ruse of C-Fam has a nice write-up as well....

The End is Near: Francis' Catechesis on the Last Days

I am currently reading Pontiff: The Vatican,the KGB, and the Year of the Three Popes, which recounts the latter years of Paul VI’s pontificate, as well as the two conclaves electing John Paul’s I and II and the intrigue surrounding both papal elections. The book contains an in-depth look at the brief pontificate of Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul I. During his papacy as a young man I had fallen away from the Church, and so knew nothing of his view of his role as the Vicar of Christ on earth. Reading about his time at the Vatican, I thought to myself, this account of JPI’s papacy could well be describing how the media portrays Pope Francis: the pope of the poor, enemy of of uncontrolled free-market capitalism, agitator engaged in shaking up the Roman Curia, ecclesiological modernizer committed to consultation, collegiality and decentralization in the governance of the Church.

This description fits the present Holy Father well, as far as it goes. As I note frequently in these pages, to my delight Pope Francis also corroborates much of what I set down in my book. Who would have known? From media coverage it I clear Francis believes the “end times” as understood by the Church are already being played out, and believes  Satan is real and is at work in current events around the globe.

For example, in a homily last November the Holy Father remarked, “The devil pushes us to be unfaithful to the Lord. Sometimes he pushes hard,” adding that Sacred Scripture “speaks to us about a universal temptation, about a universal trial, about the time when ... the whole of the Lord’s creation will be faced with this choice between God and evil, God and the prince of the world.” The Holy Father thinks this time is now, as do I—hence my book.

For Catholics, the terms “end times” and “last days” have to do with the conclusion of history at some future point, and also—even primarily—to the last two thousand years, for it was the Incarnation which ushered in the end times and the last days. Regarding Pope Francis on the end times, several signs emerge:

  •        The end times will be a time when the Church and Christians are persecuted. Francis views the ensuing persecution of the Church as “a calamity: “It will appear to be the triumph of the prince of this world, the defeat of God. It will seem as though he “has taken over the world [and become] master of the world.” As for the persecuted Christians? They are “a prophetic sign of what will happen to everyone.” Francis stresses that the oppression of religion he predicts will involve the shedding of blood. In his Nov. 18 homily, he cited the Old Testament Book of Maccabees, which relates the martyrdom of faithful Jews, “Do you think there are no human sacrifices today?” he asked rhetorically. “There are many, many of them. And there are laws that protect them.” Legalized abortion?
  •     Christianity is more persecuted today than in the early Church. “So many Christian communities are persecuted around the globe….More so now than in the early times ... Why? Because the spirit of the world hates.” In an Oct. 15 homily he declared, “The demon is shrewd: He is never cast out forever, this will only happen on the last day.”
  •    It will be a time, such as the present, of “general apostasy.” “With God’s coming into history,” he said, “we are already in the last times” — and could be for a long while to come. Spiritual forces restless to keep God from being worshipped seek to convince Christians to take a “reasonable and peaceful road” by obeying “worldly powers” bent on reducing religion to “a private matter.” He cautioned today’s Christians against submitting to an “adolescent progressivism” that inspires this apostasy.
Francis analyzes the satanic game plan, paraphrasing Satan’s words: “You become a Christian, go forward in your faith, and I will leave you alone ... But then, once you have grown accustomed to it, are no longer watchful and feel secure, I will return.” The pope thinks the devil is back today. Considering the state of the world, I agree. You should too. Why does God permit the evil to grow alongside the good? Why does He permit some to reject the Word of His kingdom? In his reflection on the readings for today's liturgy, Scot Hahn answers: "Because, as we sing in today’s Psalm, God is slow to anger and abounding in kindness. He is just, Jesus assures us - evildoers and those who cause others to sin will be thrown into the fiery furnace at the end of the age. But by His patience, God is teaching us—that above all He desires repentance, and the gathering of all nations to worship Him and to glorify His name."

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Word About Two Running Themes

In The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God, I wrote of 2 of Pope Paul VI's sagacious recollections of Catholic teaching., made late in his pontificate, when he became wise to the fruits of "the spirit of Vatican II," post-Humanae vitae/Credo of the people of God. They are:

1) The Mystery of Iniquity, i.e., that some evils exist that cannot be explained by human reason alone and must be  attributed to the influence of the demonic. I observe these in my theme of "Dancing with Mr. D." Here is an example.

2) That the unchecked human libido is a crack through which Satan can enter the human experience. These come under Libido Redux. Check out a recent example here. To see all just enter either or both of these phrases in the search engine at right.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Libido Redux: Planned Parenthood?

As it happens, a Planned Planned Parenthood counselor was caught telling what she thought was a 15-year-old girl about the sexy side of defecating. Here is an investigative video presenting what Planned Parenthood “counselors” teach minors in the name of “sex-ed”: sexual bondage and sadomasochism, and steering them to sex stores to “get educated.” In the latest video, a counselor told the investigator (posing as a minor) that “sexual exploration is normal” – and suggested defecating and urinating on men as an possibility.

According to the counselor, “sexual exploration” is “normal” and “can be really fun.” For accepted wisdom to imitate, she referred to “50 Shades of Grey” as well as pornography. She also offered some personal techniques: “There are so many different fetishes out there…. Like, some guys like for women to urinate on them” or “pooping.” Talk about defining deviancy down….

A Catholic Answers: Why Should Everyone be Catholic?

A new book is out which is for the layman on "reasons for the
hope that is in us." One main reason to be Catholic for one believing in Jesus Christ is that, in it’s 2000 year history, though the Mystical Body of Christ has been far from perfect, most recently involving the priest homosexual scandals in the United States, the Catholic Church, despite saints and sinners, good choices and bad, has survived and will continue to survive, as we have Our Lord's Word on this!
Another point. The Catholic Church is THE ONLY Church which traces its roots back to Jesus Christ. No other religion can lay claim to that. Read about many more reasons here!

One reason NOT to be Catholic is if you are easily upset, for, as I can attest, you will be looked down on by many for your faith- BUT-- fear not, JESUS IS WITH US UNTIL THE END OF THIS AGE. Here is a current example:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Off to College and the Culture Wars?

As a high school teacher I witness regularly parents, especially moms, waxing emotional as they prepare to say goodbye to their firstborn, off to those wonderful institutions of higher learning, American colleges. I even helped a friend of mine move her daughter into one, though I must admit, our preparation most certainly did not include, but should have, sage advice given by Matthew Hennessey! Here is why you should check this out, should you be in this group....