Monthly Archives: June 2013

@ManwithBlackHat tells us “Sometimes you feel like a nut …”

29 June 2013

29 June 2013 Anno Domini
Posted by David L. Alexander, at his blog,
“ManwithBlackHat”

Today, the Christian world celebrates the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. In the reformed Roman calendar, it is recognized as a solemnity, and is a holyday of obligation in many countries (if not the USA). The traditional Roman calendar notes it as a double octave of the first class. Either way, it’s up there on the food chain.

And speaking of food …

The Catholic blogosphere has plenty of meditations on this day. This writer has decided on a different approach:

For the rest of this different view of how to celebrate a saints feast day, click HERE to go to Mr. Alexander’s blog.


Novena in Honor of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati – Day Four via “Journey of a Catholic Nerdwriter”

28 June 2013

From Emmy Cecilia at her blog,

  Day Four:

Jesus says: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Pier Giorgio responds: “What wealth it is to be in good health, as we are! But we have the duty of putting our health at the service of those who do not have it. To act otherwise would be to betray that gift of God.”

–>For the rest of the Novena and for the Litany of Blessed Giorgio (for private devotion) please go HERE!


ROME: Sacra Liturgia Conference – Day 3

27 June 2013

27 June 2013
Posted by Father John Zuhlsdorf at his blog,

The first speaker is Fr. Michael Uwe Lang of the Brompton Oratory, one Sacred Architecture at the Service of the Church.

Non linguistic signs may be more important than words.

Fr. Lang examined what happens to church architecture when the wrong starting points are adopted. He assigned more blame to ecclesiastics rather than to architects. If the theological starting points are wrong-headed, the building will not serve its proper purpose. Lang posited that many modern (really ugly, failure) churches take as their starting points the notion of Rahner, and then Schillebeecxk, that sacraments recognize preexisting realities rather than confer grace. Contrast that with Sacrosanctum Concilium 7.

For the rest of the post please click HERE


Got Anger? Read this Homily and then…

27 June 2013

Posted by Sofia Guerra
27 June 2013 Anno Domini

A Biretta Tip to our Internet Pastor, Father Z for posting this today. A much needed post. Particularly for me.

I have mentioned several times in posts that I have a very hard time with the sin against charity. My friend and sister in Christ, Lisa Graas has helped me tremendously with this. I should have been totally forthwright with her as it is truly anger which precedes the sin against charity.

I have struggled with the sin of anger for many years. I always try to justify it. I usually get angry when I help people (who have come to me for help) and then they will argue with me at my advice or ignore the advice and then expect me to get them out of their problem. Most people upon looking at the situation would say that my anger was righteous or justified. Not true. If I am angry at evil, then yes, it is justified. How do I make the distinction?

In the last couple of months I have been very angry concerning a certain battle on the Catholic blogosphere. I wrote and wrote until I came up with what I thought was the perfect retort to a certain well known blog and it’s bloggers. The battle has been ugly and has divided people. It started with one blog’s knee jerk reaction to something and then this well known blog and its bloggers counter attacked. The Editor unfortunately kept the fires stoked as I am sure the blog was getting high traffic because of the drama. Everyone of the bloggers who retorted knew nothing of the subject and committed the ad hominem attack. the original instigator did know the subject and acted foolishly and more important, uncharitably.

The post I wrote wasn’t kind and dealt with both sides equally. I met with my Spiritual Director at our monthly meeting. I discussed the piece with him. He referred me to my confessor who then ordered me under obedience not to publish it as it would keep the fires going and would be a sin of anger and a sin against charity if I did.

Most of you are probably saying “ordered you? under obedience?” I am a former Religious and now a member of a Third Order and I take my Catholic faith seriously. I agreed to be treated as a Religious since I technically am still one. I am not married, chaste and took vows as part of both Orders.

I know that both sides of this battle on the Internet were wrong. The original offenders sickened me because they do know the subject but can be extremely uncharitable, a misnomer usually given to this type of people. In this case, they deserved it. The other group, completely devoid of any real education on this particular subject showed their level of being uncouth by calling a certain group of people a stupid name. (and continue it to this day to describe a type of person who has certain preference with the same ridiculous descriptor) The blogposts by this group of bloggers were nasty, unintelligent,basically classless and beneath them. Just because you are baptized a Catholic and perhaps consider yourself devout and practicing, doesn’t give you the right to act as an expert on everything Catholic on Social Media. (Myself included)

Given all this, I must say not publishing the piece was a bitter pill to swallow. Still reading bloggers who use this name to describe Catholics like myself, hurts. Instead I pray for both sides to stop, breathe and forgive. I pray particularly for the Editor of this well known blog as this person has lost their way.

I pray for myself now to acquire humility, patience and meekness. This is a big task for me as I rarely pray for myself. My Spiritual Director said this is the first of my sins which causes all the others. Neglecting my soul…then and only then when I pray for myself will I acquire the humility needed to pursue all the other virtues. He is correct.

Normally I would crosspost something like this back to the original person who posted it. I found it so important that I only linked it back to Father Z and I hope he forgives me for that. I bet he will since I know how generous of spirit he is. Now, only to be as generous as he is, that’s the rub!

God love you.

Sofia

The Three Degrees of Anger
by Fr. Cassian Folsom, O.S.B.
Monastery of San Benedetto, Norcia, Italy

Today’s Gospel speaks of anger. The context is a debate against those who observe the Law of God superficially and exteriorly, but sin in their heart. He who lives superficially protests by saying “I’ve never killed anybody”, and therefore I’m not guilty of breaking the fifth commandment. But Jesus responds: “Look at the intentions in your heart: have you ever had feelings of anger or hatred towards your brother? The crime of murder has its roots in the heart!”

Therefore, the Lord directs this appeal to us, so that we can be more sensible to the presence of sin in our life—not only big sins, but especially those small ones.

Note how the Gospel distinguishes three degrees of anger, and assigns to each degree a suitable penalty.

1. He who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment, i.e. a trial.
2. He who insults his brother saying “Raca”—a word in Hebrew which is pejorative and strong—shall be liable to the council (a panel of judges)
3. He who says “you fool”—another word similar to “Raca”—shall be liable to hellfire.

It seems like a disproportionate punishment for so little! But the point is that the heart speaks through the mouth. Wrath that spreads throughout the heart and soul must be confronted and healed—so that our actions might be free from the consequences of anger.

The patristic tradition takes these considerations seriously. Let’s look at what St. Augustine and St. John Cassian have to say.

St. Augustine interprets these three degrees of anger in a psychological sense (cf. Breviarium Monasticum, V dominica post Pentecosten). In other words, by his acute observation of human behavior, Augustine makes this diagnosis:

1. Anger begins with an interior turmoil.
2. This turmoil is unleashed on the outside with a cry of wrath, a sound—but not yet articulated in words.
3. Finally, a cry rises from the wrath of a word—as, for example, “raca” or something similar.

Parallel to these three degrees of anger are three degrees of the judicial process.

1. The first degree is the meeting of the judges, St. Augustine says, where the case is discussed. There is still the possibility to exonerate the accused, because it deals with interior turmoil, which has not yet been expressed exteriorly.
2. The second degree presumes that the accused is guilty, and the panel of judges discusses the sentence, the punishment.
3. The third degree carries out the sentence with the fire of hell.

Summarizing the thought of St. Augustine, one notes the various degrees of anger from the interior turmoil to the explicit appearance in sounds and words. The punishment is very severe, as if it were not only a wrathful word, but actually homicide.

St. John Cassian, too, describes three species of anger (Conf. V,11).

1. The first is that which glows interiorly—here he repeats the concept of St. Augustine.
2. The second is that which breaks out in words and gestures—here he unites the second and third degree of St. Augustine.
3. The third is that which is not disposed of in a short time, but is cultivated for days and days. This third species, Cassian continues to develop, saying that such people who prolong their anger “for several days, and nourish rancorous feelings against those against whom they have been excited, they say in words that they are not angry, but in fact and deed show that they are extremely disturbed. For they do not speak to them pleasantly, nor address them with ordinary civility, and they think that they are not doing wrong in this, because they do not seek to avenge themselves for their upset. But since they either do not dare, or at any rate are not able to show their anger openly, and give place to it, they drive in, to their own detriment, the poison of anger, and secretly cherish it in their hearts, and silently feed on it in themselves; without shaking off by an effort of mind their sulky disposition, but digesting it as the days go by, and somewhat mitigating it after a while” (Institutes, VIII, 11).

In this precious description of the three species of anger, we can recognize ourselves and, with compunction and repentance, realize the negative consequences of our anger both for us and for those with whom we live.

What is the cause of anger? Normally, our wrath is provoked because we cannot have what we want. Our ego encounters an obstacle; our own will, in some way, is denied: and then boom, anger. To heal the wounds of wrath, according to this analysis, we must examine our desires: what do we want? That which we want: is it more or less reasonable? Should I change my expectations?

The opposing virtues are patience and meekness. Patience undergoes an injury and accepts the suffering experienced in the midst of the difficult situation. Meekness renounces the aggression of its own will, and says with St. John the Baptist: he must increase, but I must decrease (Jn 3:30). In this way, we will become like the disciples described in today’s Epistle: All of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love of the brethren, a tender heart and a humble mind (1 Pet 3:8).

Our model, as always, is our Lord Jesus Christ, who comforts us with these words: Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart… (Mt 11:28-29).


Novena in Honor of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati – Day Three via “Journey of a Catholic Nerdwriter”

27 June 2013

From Emmy Cecilia at her blog,
Journey of a Catholic Nerdwriter
June 27, 2013

Novena in Honor of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati – Day Three

  Day Three:

Jesus says: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Pier Giorgio responds:“Our life, in order to be Christian, has to be a continual renunciation, a continual sacrifice. But this is not difficult, if one thinks what these few years passed in suffering are, compared with eternal happiness where joy will have no measure or end, and where we shall have unimaginable peace.”

–>For the rest of the Novena and for the Litany of Blessed Giorgio (for private devotion) please go HERE!

For more information about Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and the youth he has inspired here in the U.S. please visit FrassatiUSA . You may leave your Novena intentions there. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, ora pro nobis!


ROME: Sacra Liturgia Conference – Day 2

26 June 2013

<Posted by Father John Zuhlsdorf at his blog,
Father Z’s Blog (WDTPRS.com)
26 June 2013

Day 2 of the Sacred Liturgy conference in Rome is underway.

The first talk this morning was by Benedict Steinschulte on sacred liturgical music. He is the nephew of the late, great Msgr. Johannes Overath (a friend and colleague of my old pastor and mentor Msgr. Richard Schuler). Alas, he spoke way too quickly for the simultaneous translator to keep up well, a usual problem with Germans at international conferences.

The second talk was by Bp. Peter Elliott on are celebrandi. He was, as usually, informative and humorous. He paced his talk very well for the translators and even warned them along the way when he was condensing or moving to another page. Experienced and thoughtful!

For the rest of the scoop from Rome, please go to Father Z’s blog HERE and for Day Two Part Deux click HERE

Father Z's seat in choro for Mass


Novena in Honor of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati – Day Two via “Journey of a Catholic Nerdwriter”

26 June 2013

From Emmy Cecilia at her blog,
Journey of a Catholic Nerdwriter
June 26, 2013

Novena in Honor of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati – Day Two

  Day Two:

Jesus says: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Pier Giorgio responds:“Our life, in order to be Christian, has to be a continual renunciation, a continual sacrifice. But this is not difficult, if one thinks what these few years passed in suffering are, compared with eternal happiness where joy will have no measure or end, and where we shall have unimaginable peace.”

–>For the rest of the Novena and for the Litany of Blessed Giorgio (for private devotion) please go HERE!

For more information about Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and the youth he has inspired here in the U.S. please visit FrassatiUSA . You may leave your Novena intentions there. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, ora pro nobis!


Supreme Court Decisions on Marriage: ‘Tragic Day for Marriage and our Nation,’ State U.S. Bishops

26 June 2013

June 26, 2013
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court decisions June 26 striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and refusing to rule on the merits of a challenge to California’s Proposition 8 mark a “tragic day for marriage and our nation,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

The statement follows.
“Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Supreme Court has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so. The preservation of liberty and justice requires that all laws, federal and state, respect the truth, including the truth about marriage. It is also unfortunate that the Court did not take the opportunity to uphold California’s Proposition 8 but instead decided not to rule on the matter. The common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts in witness to this truth. These decisions are part of a public debate of great consequence. The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance.

“Marriage is the only institution that brings together a man and a woman for life, providing any child who comes from their union with the secure foundation of a mother and a father.
“Our culture has taken for granted for far too long what human nature, experience, common sense, and God’s wise design all confirm: the difference between a man and a woman matters, and the difference between a mom and a dad matters. While the culture has failed in many ways to be marriage-strengthening, this is no reason to give up. Now is the time to strengthen marriage, not redefine it.

“When Jesus taught about the meaning of marriage – the lifelong, exclusive union of husband and wife – he pointed back to “the beginning” of God’s creation of the human person as male and female (see Matthew 19). In the face of the customs and laws of his time, Jesus taught an unpopular truth that everyone could understand. The truth of marriage endures, and we will continue to boldly proclaim it with confidence and charity.
“Now that the Supreme Court has issued its decisions, with renewed purpose we call upon all of our leaders and the people of this good nation to stand steadfastly together in promoting and defending the unique meaning of marriage: one man, one woman, for life. We also ask for prayers as the Court’s decisions are reviewed and their implications further clarified.”

Editors: Background information can be found at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/backgrounder-on-proposition-8-and-doma.cfm


Sacra Liturgia 2013 – Opening Day

25 June 2013

Posted by Sofia Guerra
25 June 2013 Anno Domini

An international conference organised by the Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon, France, to study, promote and renew the appreciation of liturgical formation and celebration and its foundation for the mission of the Church, particularly in the light of the teaching and example of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, falling within the Year of Faith to commemorate 50 years since the start of the Second Vatican Council, in accordance with the pastoral recommendations for the Year of Faith issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Church throughout the world is preparing to celebrate the Year of Faith to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council an event which launched the most extensive renewal of the Roman Rite ever known. Based upon a deepening appreciation of the sources of the liturgy, the Council promoted the full and active participation of the faithful in the Eucharistic sacrifice.

At our distance today from the Council Fathers’ expressed desires regarding liturgical renewal, and in the light of the universal Church’s experience in the intervening period, it is clear that a great deal has been achieved; but it is equally clear that there have been many misunderstandings and irregularities. The renewal of external forms, desired by the Council Fathers, was intended to make it easier to enter into the inner depth of the mystery.

Its true purpose was to lead people to a personal encounter with the Lord, present in the Eucharist, and thus with the living God, so that through this contact with Christ’s love, the love of his brothers and sisters for one another might also grow. Yet not infrequently, the revision of liturgical forms has remained at an external level, and “active participation” has been confused with external activity.

Hence much still remains to be done on the path of real liturgical renewal. In a changed world, increasingly fixated on material things, we must learn to recognize anew the mysterious presence of the Risen Lord, which alone can give breadth and depth to our life.

– Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the Closing of the International Eucharistic Congress, Dublin, 2012

For more on the Sacra Liturgia conference the website address is: http://sacraliturgia2013.com/

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ROME: Sacra Liturgia Conference – Day 1

Posted by Father John Zuhlsdorf at his blog.
Father Z’s Blog (WDTPRS.com)
25 June 2013 A.D.

The long-awaited conference on sacred liturgy in Rome is underway.

We began with Vespers, sung in the Church of Sant’Appolinare near the Piazza Navona.

A shot from my angle.

Now for the rest of this glorious post, please click HERE!


Identity in Christ is the Answer, Mr. Gershom

25 June 2013

We support Lisa Graas in her mission of mercy to teach all of us about our identity. Particularly those struggling with same-sex attraction, that identifying yourself as a homosexual is not Truth. Our identity is in Christ, not in our sexuality. Lisa teaches us in charity this basic Truth. We, here at Always Catholic support Lisa, unconditionally. She is teaching the Truth of Christ and His Holy Church.

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An Appeal to Steve Gershom

by Lisa Graas at her blog,
CatholicBandita
25 June 2013 A.D.

Note: I admit that I am, at the moment, ill. I do not have my usual capabilities of reason. Please know that as you read, and make up your own mind about what the truth is.

Steve Gershom has two articles on line that contradict each other on a major point: whether or not it is okay to identify yourself as “gay.” I ask him to remove one of them, to ask everyone who has published it to remove it, because it is a critical point in Catholic spirituality and his two articles are contradictory. He should decide which of the two points is the wrong one and which is the right one and he should remove the one he thinks is wrong.

The first article is “Gay, Catholic and Doing Fine” which is published at Little Catholic Bubble, LifeTeen, and other places. In this article, he identifies as “gay.” You can find it if you search the internet for the title.

The second article, written later, is at Our Sunday Visitor and, perhaps, other places, too. It is “After the desert: A faithful Catholic’s reflection on same-sex attraction.”

In the second article, he begins:

What would I know about vocation? I’m 28, a faithful Catholic and gay. A little explanation of that last part: It would be more accurate to say that I have same-sex attraction than that I’m gay.

Later in the same article, he writes this:

In the middle of my desert I encountered a different set of premises, from a variety of sources: mostly my spiritual director, Father T, but also from good books (“Growth Into Manhood,” by Alan Medinger), good organizations (People Can Change), good experiences (three months in Peru), and good friends (you know who you are). Up until that point I had believed that the statement “I am gay” is the same sort of statement as “I am male” or “I am human.” Homosexuality was supposed to be an essential, rather than an accidental, part of me, just as deep as gender or species, or deeper.

This idea comes from the gay rights movement, but an awful lot of Christians believe it too. It is utter poison. If gay is what I am (or “who I am,” as the saying goes), then Catholicism really does require a mode of existence in direct contradiction to the deepest parts of me. That didn’t make sense to me, because I had always understood the Christian life as the only thing that could fulfill the deepest parts of me. But I was still trying to believe both things. No wonder I was lost.

If, on the other hand, my homosexuality is a part of me, rather than being my nature — something I have, rather than something I am — then things are different. It became apparent that I could change. I don’t mean stop liking men and start liking women. I mean everything else: my self-imposed vocation of suffering, my self-pity, my self-isolation, my chronic fear and regret and loneliness. Next to those things, a little celibacy isn’t too bad.

The rest of the post can be found HERE. I ask you please to go to read the rest of the post at CatholicBandita as it is very important to support Lisa in the mission. It is our souls at stake here readers.


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