Sunday, November 23, 2014

Silence Ended, Discernment Completed, and Faithful Allegiance

After nearly two years of straightening out through God's grace what was entangled, I am freely able again to blog. Pardons for the long silence, but it was necessitated by a deep need for spiritual discernment and direction, which has now been completed.

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"Pope Emeritus" greets new "Bishop of Rome"

We are living in strange times.

We have two popes. One who has 'retired' and is called 'pope emeritus'. The other, who, until recently, preferred to be called 'Bishop of Rome'.

My only experience with the word 'emeritus' is its usage for retired professors. A retired professor, however, remains a professor. I suspect that a 'retired pope' is no less a pope merely because he is now retired.

Perhaps there is a legal reason why the new pope, Francis, preferred the title of 'Bishop of Rome' over the title 'pope', or did so at least until the recent extraordinary synod. Noting the history of the papacy, it would seem reasonable to assume that no one wants the confusion or factionalism of pope versus anti-pope.

And yet it is clear the new Pope/Bishop of Rome is trying to shake things up - or, as he told the youth in Rio on World Youth Day in 2013, make a mess.

Mess or no mess, as Catholics, we owe our prayers and allegiance to the Holy Father. Both of them.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

December 29 - St. Thomas Becket

St. Thomas Becket - Pray for us
If I am disagreeable, or if you find what I have to say offensive, I ask your pardon. Please pray for me, a sinner and pilgrim.

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What, man, can you do in this world?  Mind your thoughts and your tongue; always guard your actions. But most important of all, mind your heart which is the throne of your soul, the place where God wishes to reside. Pray, and offer Him humble entrance.

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The wonderful thing about Rome is that she welcomes all pilgrims.

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The Evil One has many weapons in his arsenal, and all are effective in changing our focus from God to less worthy things. These are the weapons he commonly uses:

  1. Anger
  2. Confusion
  3. Fear
  4. Politics
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What does it say about us that we disrespect the dead, that we do not pray for the souls of the faithful departed? What does it tell us about who we are?

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On Icons

An icon is like a picture, a photograph of someone who is dear to us, whom we love. Just as we do not confuse the photograph with the person, so, too, we do not confuse the icon with Our Lord, Jesus Christ, the apostles, the saints or martyrs. Therefore, we are not idolators, for we do not worship created things. It is alien to us to think or believe otherwise. We do not love the picture, but we do love who is represented therein. In Deuteronomy 4, the issue is worshipping an image in and for itself (and the moon and the stars, too). That is idolatry. Icons are not.

H.M.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

NCRegister | Good vs. Evil: Spiritual Warfare



About 12 years ago, Donna, a Catholic mom from the Midwest, began doubting her ability to be a good wife to her husband and mother to her children. There were no family problems or marital discord to provoke such thoughts, yet the feeling remained with her relentlessly.
"I was very new in my spiritual journey," Donna said. "And, looking back now, I see that Satan was trying to brainwash me [by planting those thoughts in my head], and he was right. There was another, better Christian woman to take care of my family: It was me — I just had to keep growing in my faith."


Read the rest here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 28 - The Holy Apostles Simon and Jude


Sts. Simon and Jude - Apostles and Martyrs
Ora pro nobis

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Prayer

Glorious Saints Simon and Jude Thaddaeus, by those privileges with which you were adorned in your life times, namely, your friendship with our Lord Jesus Christ and your vocation to be apostles, and by that glory which now is yours in heaven as the reward of your apostolic labors and your martyrdoms, obtain for us from the Giver of every good and perfect gift all the graces that we stand in need of. Amen.

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St. Simon was a Chananean, and was known among the apostles as "the Zealot". Before Christ called him to be an apostle, Simon belonged to the patriotic party known as Zealots, who, impatient of foreign rule, prepared for a war of independence. This circumstance was not forgotten, and even after he had become a disciple of the Lord, he was still known by the appellation of the Zealot. He suffered martyrdom in Persia (modern Iran), according to tradition.

St. Jude is the brother of James the Less, first bishop of Jerusalem, and therefore a cousin of Our Savior. The New Testament includes a short letter written by St. Jude, who is daily commemorated in the Roman Canon of the Mass under the name of Thaddeus. It is believed that the relics of these two apostles are in St. Peter's in Rome. Tradition says that he preached in Mesopotamia, where he died for the Faith. He is the patron of difficult cases.  (Source: The New Roman Missal (1945). Fr. F.X. LaSance)

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Jesus, the Image of God

The Shroud of Turin
"He is the image of the invisible God..." - Colossians 1:15

Tuesday, October 23, 2012