Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Saturday, 3 December 2016

"My Dad's really mad at me, He's always tick off about something...."

A friend posted
"Jesus told St. Faustina that He comes to every soul three times at the time of death." My ex-husband committed suicide, and I have always hoped that at the hour of his death that he realized that God wasn't the Big Meanie in the Sky that he had been fighting."
I repeat this because I have been looking for ways to explain various situations, doctrines, practices, etc. of the Faith - to children.
It's hard.
It's really hard.
Sometimes when you are fooled, rather, you've fooled yourself into thinking you've succeeded, you find yourself like the couple who thought they'd succeed with their children and the Ten Commandments.
"Hey," said a small one at bedtime, who really glommed onto the 6th, "We should write a book! Curious George commits Adultery!"
Anyway, I'm not sure this is good, or true, or non-insulting to the Chosen People, but it occurred to me recently, that the Big Meanie in the Sky, the one in the Old Testament that Abraham had to try to wheedle  the safety of the Gomorrahans out of, had a bit in common with the parents of adolescents.

Teenagers often completely misunderstand the emotions on adults' faces.
"My parents are pissed off because I went and and did xxx ...." when the expression on Mom and Dad'sf aces was really terror and relief at the stupid and dangerous thing their child has just survived.

Is the Angry Father glowering down from the heavens, the vengeful law-giver simply a misinterpretation on the part of adolescent humanity?

Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of ...

... you thought I was going to say, "Christ," didn't you?
No, the'res more than one answer, boys and girls.
It turns out ignorance of scripture leaves a gaping lacuna in the study of sexual sociology.
To whit:
The work of sociologists has long been concerned with the relationship between urbanization and sexuality, especially in the form of visible clusters or neighborhoods typified by specific sexual moralities or practices. Identification of 'vice areas' and, latterly, 'gay villages', has been a stock in trade of urban sociology since at least the time of the Chicago School.
Really? at least since the 1920s or '30s?
No one noticing the phenomenon, and how it would affect both the denizens of such areas and, you know..... visitors, and, when you think about it, migration from said urban enclaves, a bit earlier?

Notes From a Dying Tablet

It's old, it was dirt cheap, and it's starting to malfunction so frequently, and freeze requiring restarts thats it is almost useless.
So, I'm going through everything actually on it, rather than preserved for posterity somewhere in the ether, and I am at a loss - why did I once think it necessary to remember that Sheldon Cooper's proposed nicknames for Amy Farrah Fowler included Princess Corncob, Gollum, and Fester?

The Pope Gives Definitive, Clear Answer to Questions of Divorce, Remarriage and Sacraments

Assuming post-synodal exhortations are magisterial, (I am not convinced they are) and magisterial teachings may lawfully be developed, but not negated, (of this, I am convnced.)
Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage.
This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they "take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples."
Similarly, the respect due to the sacrament of Matrimony, to the couples themselves and their families, and also to the community of the faithful, forbids any pastor, for whatever reason or pretext even of a pastoral nature, to perform ceremonies of any kind for divorced people who remarry. Such ceremonies would give the impression of the celebration of a new sacramentally valid marriage, and would thus lead people into error concerning the indissolubility of a validly contracted marriage.

Well, that answers that.

So, dubia schmubia.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Monsignor Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz SJ of the Galactic Twitter Hyperspace Amoris Laetitia Planning 'Splaining Council Congregation

“Answers to dubia are devices that allow some people to reconcile point A to contradictory point B very fast while other people reconcile point B to point A very fast. People who believe point C, being a point contradicting both A and B, are often given to wonder what's so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to understand it, and what's so great about point B that so many people from point A are so keen to understand it. They often wish that people would just once and for all work out what the hell they wanted to believe and be able to laugh when people compare them to one of Brad Dourif's more unsavory characters.”
"Crewman Lon Suder?"
"No."
"But what ARE the answers? no one will tell us!"
“But the answers to the dubia were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
 “That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
 “Yes,” said Cardinal Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in a footnote on page 237 of the longest document in papal history - I stopped counting at 59,000 - and in a contradictory private letter, which was marked... well, 'private', and they were in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”
 "Well, there you are."

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Why the hate?

I wonder why some elderly people, who were raised with the old Latin Mass, nevertheless hate it. And I ask myself: Why so much rigidity? Dig, dig, this rigidity always hides something, insecurity or even something else. Rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid.
But who am I to judge?

The Pope said this, or something similar.

I think....

The Poor, the Marginalized, the Outcast, the... Shepherd?

I reflected on something listening to the readings this morning, not for the first time.
I'm sure everyone has heard the standard Christmas sermon more than once, the one where the shepherds play a large, heart-tuggin part.
"Isn't it remarkable," says Father, "that the angel firt gives the glad tidings to the lowliest of the lowly, the shepherds. Shepherds was despised by decent people in the first century, they were not allowed -"

Wait a minute.
David was a shepherd.
Abraham was a shepherd.

God promises, over and over again in the Old Testament, to send a Shepherd to govern His people! was He thus threatening to shame them?

Or, despite what The First Nowell says, are sermonizers making too much of the poverty of the shepherds the better to preach on the purported "preferential option for the poor"?

(Exodus, of course, instructs the chosen people NOT to "favor the poor in a lawsuit".)

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

"Purposefully Making Christ Anonymous"

A compelling faux dialogue between an older parish priest and a younger.
A bit of polemic, some improbable as conversation, but it covers some very important matters about liturgy, the "new evangelization", misguided empowerment of the laity, and above all, catechesis - that is, the handing on as if an echo The Truth.
If the standards are set low, it sends the message that what is taking place is not of great importance.  Therefore it makes sense that about 70 % of Catholics do not believe in the true-presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Even our social-justice events rarely speak the name of Jesus and give him the glory in such activity.  We have pushed God aside as a politically incorrect name to avoid mentioning.  We are purposefully making Christ anonymous, and someone who loves Him wouldn’t do that…ever.

Chomsky is Right and He's Wrong

In sharing this, I wish to declare up front that I believe in climate change, I believe human agency is behind some of it and I believe there are steps we can take to either slow or exacerbate it.
I know to some FbTw & IR LFs this means I am only common-sensical, to other Fb Tw & IRL Fs that I am a Useful Idiot. Fine, not germane to my point.
My point is that hyperbole helps no one convince others, and ignoring or belittling others' priorities is unlikely to sway them to your POV.
And I believe anyone of faith, (and despite the rise of the "nones" we are mostly people of faith, even if we belong to the Temple of I'mNotReligiousButI'mSpritual,) anyone who believes that this life is not the whole of our existence, would have trouble with this line of reasoning:
"Humans are facing the most important question in their history..."
Because yes, they are, but,
...whether organized human life will survive in anything like the form we know."
ain't it.
The most important question is faced by each of us individually and in concert, and we face it today and we have all faced it throughout human existence.
The long term inhabitability of the rock on which we live only matters in so far as it is useful to us in the pursuit of virtue, which lies in valuing our fellow man.
Damaging the earth and the environment is wrong because it makes the lives of the least fortunate among us harder or even impossible.
That is why, pace Pope Francis, care for the earth, specifically, will never be one of the chief works of mercy - hypothesizing some sci-fi scenario of destruction of this planet from without, and mass emigration to some other world in some other star system possible demonstrates that preservation of this particular planet and its environment is only a means, not an end.
Care for Creation (which I believe is what the Holy Father said,) is vital, morally speaking, care for the earth no more so than care for the sidewalk in front of my house on which my neighbor might tip.
So any agenda, any plan, any ideology for arriving at the best we as a race, as a species can be, that prioritizes the atmosphere, a river, other species, in other words mere resources while countenancing the murder of our inconveniently resource-grabbing unborn fellow human beings, is so self-contradictory and short-sighted as to be doomed to failure.
Eternity.
Strangely, the author of the article seems to realize it deep down:
The consequences of this election cannot be understated, and we will have to live with them forever.
Why yes, yes we will.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Amoris Laetitia - Pope Francis Explains It All For You

Wait now, what?
No, of course not. But the request has been made, the dubia submitted.
Out of “deep pastoral concern,” four cardinals have taken the very rare step of publicizing five questions they have sent Pope Francis in a bid to clear up “grave disorientation and great confusion” surrounding his summary document on the Synod on the Family, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love).
The cardinals — Italian Carlo Caffarra, American Raymond Burke, and Germans Walter Brandmüller and Joachim Meisner — sent the five questions, called dubia (Latin for ‘doubts’) to the Holy Father and Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on Sept. 19, along with an accompanying letter.
You've gotta admire the charitable persistence of these men.
And this seems an apt quotation with when considering what the ambiguities we so far have concerning the Holy Father's document:
The Church is intolerant in principle because she believes; she is tolerant in practice because she loves. The enemies of the Church are tolerant in principle because they do not believe; they are intolerant in practice because they do not love.
-- Rev. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange O.P.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Mutatis Mutandis

"We should remember why the [changes happened] in the Roman Rite - it was in response to the Council ....which, while not mandating [them] did ask for greater visibility. It’s a judgement call! 

Hmmm... what is being discussed here? The celebrant turning around? the altar moving closer to, or even into the nave? the tossing of the tabernacle veils? The glass kool-aid pitchers?

Strangely, no - not even the correct council! It's the disappearnce of the rood screen curtain in the wake of Trent.

All things are changing, but not as much as we might think.
Patterns, you know.

Because. Human nature.

Is it safe to come out?

So, anything goin' on?
I was ambivalent about casting my vote[s], I am ambivalent about the results.
But truly, it would be an ill wind that blew nobody good, and I am quite positive somebody will be blown.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

"So ask YOUR doctor is cyanide is right for YOU!"

Outlandish science fiction about a dystopian future.....
BECAUSE,  WHY  WAIT  FOR  THE  FUTURE?????
Maybe they could get Michael Caine to do the adverts - get a bunch of happy old people sitting around enjoying life, er.... I mean, enjoying death.
It'll save the insurance companies crazy money.


You've reached the age when giving up is exactly who you are, this is the age of knowing how to make things stop happening. So why let the preciousness and dignity of life or morality get in the way? Talk to your doctor about Offex. (And talk to your parents' doctors, while you'r at it - it's the loving and fiscally responsible thing to do.)

Should I copyright that drug name? It seems right for an assisted suicide pill, and it's got an "x" in it.
But perhaps "Assisteeze" would be better, "z" is a kewl letter too.

(They'll need a catchy jingle like the one for pills for erectile dysfunction)

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Harpies Attacking Holy Place, a Shepherd Shirks His Duty, and the Demonic Offers More Proof of Its Existence.

You see, this "MUA" atrocity happens every year in some lucky Argentinian city.
According to police reports, the "National Women's March"...
 ...attempted to burn down the Cathedral Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in the city of Rosario...The attack was planned for the night of Sunday 9th September during the 31st National Women's march attended by 70,000 women. Maximiliano Pullaro, the Minister of Security for Santa Fe, acknowledged that if police had not intervened with tear gas and rubber bullets the protesters would have burnt down the cathedral with eight firebombs.
In previous weeks pro-abortionists had used social media to incite protesters to burn down the cathedral. In response to this, the group Argentina Alert circulated a petition calling on the authorities and police to protect the cathedral, collecting over 13,500 signatures. A barrier was erected around part of the cathedral in an attempt to protect it from arson.
In recent years the National Women's March has been the occasion for violent and blasphemous attacks against the cathedrals in which the protests have been held. In 2013 1500 young Catholic heroes formed a human shield to protect the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista
But this year, there was a special twist.
The police intervened! (Hard to fathom, but they don't, always.)
 During Saturday afternoon semi-naked women danced around an effigy of Pope Francis chanting slogans demanding the legalisation of abortion... [the mob] made a determined attempt to burn down the cathedral with a group tearing down the protective barrier in order to enter the cathedral. A squad of police emerged from inside the cathedral to push back the attackers with their shields. The feminists attacked the police with stones, bottles and iron bars, injuring some of the police. One was injured by a gunshot and another policeman was burnt by a Molotov bomb thrown by an abortionist. The battle to protect the cathedral from being firebombed by the protesters lasted 30 minutes. 
 Sadly, there was another surprising feature of the Rosario event
The Archbishop of Rosario, Eduardo Martin, did not support the action taken by the young men to defend the cathedral by praying the rosary and putting themselves in harms way. Archbishop Martin went so far as to describe them as "ultras" whose presence provoked the women.
Watch the video linked on the EWTN site to see on which side the blame for "provocation" lies.
I weep, every year, in gratitude to, and pride in, the men, and this year some young women, who pray and protect the churches.
And I weep, for shame that other members of my sex would behave so shamefully, and I weep in utter in mortification that a member of the Catholic hierarchy could be so spineless, and could be so cruel as to criticize those laypersons who were DOING  HIS  JOB.

I wouldn't depend on that shepherd to lay down his life for his sheep....

And yet more proof, were it needed that support for abortion -- not those who support abortion, mind you, but the support itself -- that support for abortion is diabolical.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Nonsense, John Halpin

This strikes me as spin. Trying to spin gold out of not dross, but BS.
Emails out of context, fine.
Larger point, fine.
Rupert Murdoch's a bad guy, fine.
Explain this phrase, fine.

This is so typical of what's put out there by the conglomerate of agenda-driven media and political hack spin-meisters, lots of words explaining away everything EXCEPT  WHAT  PEOPLE  ARE  REALLY  OFFENDED  BY.
“It’s an amazing bastardisation of the faith."
Maybe it is. I don't know Murdoch, I don't know what he believes. He strikes me as an insincere opportunist, but he didn't convert, he merely allowed his children to be perhaps raised in the Faith, so he can't be all THAT attracted to it....
"They must be attracted to the systematic thought"
See above. (Though it must be asked at this point, is there something attractive about unsystematic thought that I'm missing, which makes attraction to the systematic objectionable?)
"and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.”
Okay, there we are.
Can a reference to the Church's Severely. Backward. Gender Relations. when expressed by an activist for a political movement that seeks to, (and so far has been pretty damned successful at it,) redefine marriage, masculinity and femininity ever really be "simply a fleeting reaction from within the Catholic tradition to something [he] read"?

How can it be anything OTHER than, I would agree, not "an expression of contempt for people of faith" as he maintains, but an expression of contempt for the Faith itself, (his faith, putatively) which is the source of the outrage.

This is so common from both sides - someone says, or does something awful, someone else expresses outrage, first person refutes accusation no one was making, first person's allies say, "see?"

It doesn't wash, John Halpin.

Neither Hillary Nor Donald Likely To Have Been At Mass This Morning, But...

I try to read the Mass lectionary before I attend, sometimes several days, even a week ahead, sometimes my resolve falls through the cracks.
I've been a bit scattered lately, hurricane, laziness, family obligations... I can always find an excuse, not always for what I've done, but certainly for what I've failed to do.

Anyway, hadn't noticed this, but pretty sure I'm not the only one who boggled at the Gospel today
Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees – that is, their hypocrisy. Everything that is now covered will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. For this reason, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in hidden places will be proclaimed on the housetops.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Haven't decided who I'm voting for yet, honestly, but this picture made me laugh...

I've always been fond of the "dead stare."
Teachers and Moms can use it to terrifying effect. TV cops deploy it in interrogations.

It's as if she's asking us, telepathically,
"Are you listenin' to this guy? Seriously, America? SERIOUSLY??? ARE  YOU  FREAKING  LISTENING??!??!??!?? "
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CuX0zU7UIAAE2Zp.jpg

New Cardinals Announced... Am I the Only One Who Sees This?

At the next consistory there will be 17 new "Princes" of the Church.
http://www.corbeaunews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/centrafrica-Dieudonne-Nzapalainga.jpg
The youngest is Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui.

Anyone else notice a resemblance?
Skeptical Third World Kid meme

Saturday, 1 October 2016

"We did nothing wrong, but we'll do things differently next time," say

(Upfront, that is not an actual quote from any of the miscreants in this story, it is a characterization of the CYA of the miscreants in this story.)
About 60 miles southwest of Orlando, a massive sinkhole recently opened up near Mosaic phosphate processing plant in Polk County, allowing an estimated 215 million of gallons of contaminated waste to seep into the Florida soil and aquifer.
The company and government officials have kept the contamination, (not the sinkhole because it's um... HUGE,)  secret from the public, the press, and worst of all from nearby residents who live off well-water  for several weeks, as millions of gallons of plant waste and byproduct ran through a 45-foot-wide hole into the earth.
But it's okay, because it's not VERY radioactive, and the governor doesn't own SO much of the companies stock, and only once has the company  paid TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS at a county fair for a cake made by the child of the agriculture commissioner.

So trust'em.
They didn't do anything wrong and they won't do it again, even though it wasn't wrong, and even if it was that was the last time, and....

Well, I guess the "and" is that  rural resident of Florida have about the same status as inner-city folks in Flint.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

US Bishops Laud Amoris Laetitia's 'Hopeful, Positive Tone"

The USCCB says they like the "hopeful, positive tone" of the Holy Father's post-synodal exortation on marriage.
What a joyful optimism must the Holy Father enjoy, to be hopeful and positive about unions, 50% of which he guesses are invalid.
I just don't think it is "myopic" to see the contradictions and ambiguities that rise almost to the level of error, nor do I think to call attention to them indicates a lack of love for or obedience to the Pope.

I had a friend in theatre who used to say of appearing in a lousy vehicle and still giving the best performance you know how, "It's like draggin' a dead horse around the stage and pretending it don't stink."
The USCCB has set itself the task of dragging a rather noisome animal there.
God bless them.