Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Dec. 24

December 24th, The Vigil of the Nativity, 11:30am and I'm still at work.  I said I'd leave at 12:00 noon, but I'm chaffing at the bit to be out.  I've been trying to slow my mind down since I left Holy Mass this morning, but at work, well, it's my state in life so when I'm here I have to be all here.  But now, it is time to go, to re-focus once again on the searching for shelter, for the Manger, the Birth. To not insert Christ in to Christmas but to allow everything else to flow to Him.  

Not easy in this mad world. 

Monday, December 02, 2013

From a book read by ST. Teresa of Avila

Six Specific Blessings for Which We Should Give Thanks 

  The first thing for which both sinners and just men should bless the Lord is the universal, fruitful redemption he effected by sacrificing his life for our miserable one, paying in his grief over our death and captivity an enormous price for a vile thing, and shedding his precious blood to refresh earthly man and bring him to life so that we who were dead in sin could flourish in life.  He sealed our friendship with God through the kiss of false peace from Judas and was bound and taken prisoner to release Adam who had robbed and committed suicide.  H let false, lying witnesses charge him so that later he would not admit those witnesses the devil surely would set against us who have offended him in so many ways.  His holy countenance was spat upon to cleanse the face of the soul, which is made blacker than charcoal by sin, and his precious face was covered so that the veil of ignorance would be drawn from the soul and its blindness revealed to us.  He was brought before the judges so that we could appear without fear at the universal judgement.  Silent, refusing to speak, he paid for Eve's conversation with the serpent and in his divine person compensated for our evil, excessive talk.  He was stripped of his garments to strip away the old person and garb us with virtue and the attire of eternal betrothal.  He was beaten to ease the sting of justice's whip, which we truly deserve.  He was falsely honored on earth so that we might be truly honored in heaven.  He was crowned with thorns to crown us with glory.  He was made to hold a reed in his hand so the scepter of his empire would be ours.  He was crucified between thieves to free us from the infernal company we had chosen and set us in friendship with the holy angels.  -  The Third Spiritual Alphabet, Francisco Osuna

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Middle Road

This past week two comments from Pope Francis caught my eye. (I try not to pay much attention to his off the cuff comments.)  These occurred in a somewhat "official capacity".  His comments in his Homily and what was said and not said in his meeting with Giorgio Napolitano, President of the Italian Republic. I'm not going to go into it word for word, we all probably know what was said.  And how in his homily the other day he talked about the danger of being to caught up with Marian apparitions.  These and his obvious dislike for the Latin Mass have led me to this conclusion;  Our Pope (and the men who surround him) want to flat-line out the Catholic church to the point where the Church is completely inoffensive. Our Holy Fathers' comments on Medjugorje say to me that the Church wants nothing to do with any type of spiritual event that stands out or is different, or 'offensive to our Protestant brothers.'  For him, I believe, any Marion apparition fits this category.  (Notice he didn't defend, denounce or even mention Fatima or Lourdes.)  And I believe it is the same with the TLM.  Anything that takes away from the simplicity of the Novus Ordo Mass or that causes any division in a parish is not good, so, time to crush it.  No doubt about it, these are dark times for Holy Mother Church. To keep our heads in the sand and just either ignore what Pope Francis says or go along with him is to agree with what is happening to our Church.  To ignore 2,000 years of Christ's and the Church's  teaching and to just show love for neighbor and works of charity, well, anyone can do that.  All the hugging and smiles will not help the Sunday Catholics who never go to confession, don't bury their dead properly, show lack of reverence in Mass, who don't believe in Hell and probably don't even believe in Heaven.  The dumbing down of our Church so as to make it inoffensive fly in the face of Christs own words.    For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 

All because people disagree with Catholics or see us as 'righteous' or any of the denouncements used today, should mean nothing to us.  We should always take the high road, the Road to Heaven, no matter what the cost.  

  Intercede for us O Holy Mother of God, from the anger of God the Father.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pope Francis: A reflection.

When I saw and read this image on Facebook, I asked myself; What about the Rosary?  Not any of the dozens of other questions that came to my mind afterward, but just this, what about our Mother's Rosary. I am still trying to hang on to all the positive sentiments (for lack of a better word) that as a Catholic man I should have for the Pope.  But for me, it is hard.  Not to get into the categorizing mode of 'what kind of a catholic are you,' I will say that I am, as they say, (or I say), an old school traditional Catholic.  I have been blessed to be able to go to only the Latin Mass, (Ecclesia  Dei, SSPX) except on Thursday mornings when I attend a Novus Ordo Mass with my parents.  It's nice meeting them there and going to Mass with them, something I've never done until this past spring.  In these times we must show ourselves through love and charity, and so I do what I must do.  But when I'm there I pray for our Holy Mother Church, that by some Hand of God she comes to Her senses and realizes the error filled road that she is on.  I'm sorry, but I can't help but see the situation this way.  I will not go on about Vat.II.  Enough has been said about that time in church history by men and women 100 times more gifted than me.  I am not a good apologist.  I don't go off looking for more crosses to bear by way of looking for or being argumentative.  But my inner anger was roused when week after week I read or hear of something Pope Francis has said that, to me smacks against the side of what the Church was and still is; a bastion of Truth and Strength in this modern world.  A Church that knows the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, justice and injustice.  It seems to me that Pope Francis, in his zeal to reach out to all people is leaving behind the flock that is his to tend.  Why must he leave behind all that the Church has always been, the Traditions and Dogmas that has helped the Church to be the rock that she is for over 2000 years?  We all know that the first task in this life is prayer, to praise God.  But not the prayer of words?  Then what, contemplative prayer for all mankind?  Many people are not made for that kind of prayer, many know only the Rosary, really.  Many will read this and say, what does he mean, should I give up my Rosary?  I know this line of reasoning sounds absurd but this is the following of the thread Pope Francis gives us.  

   As everyone knows lack of faith in Christ's teaching is widespread in the world.  This constitutes a double danger for men.  It is dangerous for the unbelievers themselves because they run the risk of losing God.  It is dangerous even for those who have the faith because unbelievers fight against the faith.  Believers, especially if they are not too well educated or instructed in the truths of the faith, run the risk of losing their faith in the face of the bad example, false arguments or persecutions with which unbelievers attack the faith.  (from) My Way of Life, the Summa Simplified for Everyone, 1952

  ST. Thomas saw the errors that could attack the Church even then.  Times have not changed much, only now we know we have a true Modernist for a Pope.  Modernism, liberalism, naturalism, all dangers that past Popes have warned us of, now perhaps embraced by our Holy Father in his quest for ecumenism.  I am left with only my prayers, contemplative and, if I want, chattering like a parrot.  The Holy Mass of the Ages and the Rosary of our Blessed Mother was good enough for many Saints and just good Catholics, I know these Gifts from Heaven will be good enough for me.    


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Pope and the President

I have no way to even begin to comment on this article.  I know our President is pro everything, but to hear him talk about life in such a haphazard is chilling.  Combining Pope Francis' remarks along with our Presidents in one article is something I thought I'd never read.  
But there it is.  

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday welcomed Pope Francis' recent remarks that the Catholic Church must shake off an obsession with teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuals, saying the pontiff was showing incredible humility.
"I tell you, I have been hugely impressed with the pope's pronouncements," Obama said in a CNBC interview.
Obama has worked to expand gay rights as president and last year backed same-sex marriage. He also supports the use of contraception and a woman's right to an abortion.
Pope Francis told the Italian Jesuit Journal last month that the Church had "locked itself up in small things" by its obsession with abortion, contraception and homosexuality.
Obama said the pope seemed to be someone who "lives out the teachings of Christ" and shows "incredible humility" toward the poor.
"That's a quality I admire," said Obama, who has yet to meet the new pope.

Our Guardian Angels

I wanted to post this just how I read it this morning, from my Breviary, on this, Oct 2, The Feast of The Holy Guardian Angels.

Reading 3
From the Sermons of St Bernard, Abbat of Clairvaux.
On Ps. xc
He hath given His Angels charge over thee. A wonderful graciousness, and a wonderful outpouring of love. For who hath given charge? And what charge? Unto whom? And over whom? Let us carefully consider, my brethren, let us carefully hold in mind this great charge. For who hath given this charge? To Whom belong the Angels? Whose commandments do they obey, and Whose will do they do? He hath given His Angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways, and that not carelessly, for they shall bear thee up in their hands. The Highest Majesty, therefore, hath given charge unto Angels, even His Angels. Unto these beings so excellently exalted, so blessed, so near to Himself, even as His own household, unto these hath He given charge over thee. Who art thou? What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that Thou visitest him? Ps. viii. 5. Even as though man were not rottenness, and the son of man, a worm. (Job. xxv. 6.) But what charge hath He given them over thee? To keep thee in all thy ways.
V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Holy Father

I'm just going to rant a bit.

    Can someone explain to me (aside from the obvious, as I see it anyway) why the Holy Father would lead us down the road of "de-emphasis of hot button social issues"?  These last two weeks have left me baffled as to why, truly why a man, elected Pope, can say and evidently turn the face of the church so far away from its theological traditions.  I know why, in my heart and soul I know why, but like I said, I'm just going to rant.

I'd rant more but I've got to get back to work. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chapel time.

At our parish we have a 24 hour Adoration Chapel, but it's not really 24 hours anymore, just not enough people to cover the hours.  Attrition mostly, but also people don't like to commit to any certain time, they like to just stop by the Chapel for 10, 20 minutes, a half hour, whatever.  And I understand that, it's a busy world we live in and everyone has stuff to do.  But I'm here from 5-7 pm, and really not too many people show up during the supper hours.  It's very quiet, just me and Him.  It has been 1 hour, 30 min. and I'm still on my knees.  I say this not for any gratification or show-offness, but to make a point.  Sometimes people, myself included, would never in a million years sit during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, but during their Chapel hour, will sit.  Is He not the same God?  For myself, I'm going to try to stay on my knees for however long I'm in the Chapel before the blessed Sacrament.  It's good penance for me and our Lord knows I'm lazy when it comes to penance and sacrifice.  I know not everyone is the same, bad knees, bad back, etc.  This is just me talking and I feel the need to give God all the reverence that is due Him by me.  

I made the 2 hours.

Friday, July 26, 2013

I bought a bike.

 I bought a new bike.
  Actually, I didn't buy it, H did, I just picked it out.  We went into the bike shop, and one of the first things she says, is "Don't look at the price!", which I didn't, sort of.  I looked but ignored it.  I settled for a Trek, one from their Hybrid line, a really nice bike and one that seems good for me.  I haven't really ridden it yet, around the neighborhood near the bike shop, but that's about it.  Tomorrow, perhaps, if all goes well.
  I used to ride a lot, two, three times a week, spring, summer, fall.  Then I got away from it, for many reasons, time, age, other priorities.  I became more focused on other things, and riding did take up a lot of time, two, sometimes three hours a trip.  But back then I had the time, or so I thought, to do things like ride a bike, watch hours of t.v., take on different challenges, adventures, anything to fill up the time in a day, not knowing or realizing that someone was asking me to come home, in a very loud voice, for many years.  It had been so long since I'd heard this voice I didn't even recognize it.  It seemed alien, disturbing.  His voice can be like that, when you've been away for such a long time, a very long time in my case, and the ears of your heart can become encrusted with the grime of the world.  Mine was like that, encrusted, and covered over with many rocks, put there by me, with every action that I offended God with.  His Church I offended.  His Mother I offended, and His Son I offended.  But through all these things that I did, worldly things with no thought of any consequence, I rode.  With a bike ride everything went away, all the cares of the day, the anxieties, doubts, the voice, everything.  It was me challenging me, me pushing myself into oblivion, physically.  In a new-age sort of modern way I guess maybe then I was close to Him, in the silence of the ride or the sounds of the world as I passed through it.  And it did keep me fit, which is probably most important, and that is really why I'm going to get back to it, for the fitness part and also to ride together with H.  We do mostly everything together, and with God's grace we will ride together, this time!  At 58 I'm not going to beat myself up anymore.  I have to take care of my body, not abuse it, for it was given to me by our Father in Heaven, to take care of as best I can. It's the same with the other aspects of my life. I've tried to jettison all of those bad habits and bad choices that kept the rocks and crust surrounding my heart. Through prayer and guidance I've learned how to say "I'm not going to do this" and do it, and "I don't need this", and not have it.  I'll not lie; these actions are accomplished only about half the time, the un-learning of a lifetime of darkness will take the rest of my life.  I look at it this way; for every two or three stones I lift from my heart I manage to replace them with at least one. But I don't really mind the labor.  It is a life of penance, isn't it?  For me it is.  In seeking Him, the silence is supreme.  The Narrow Way is ever so hard, but oh so quiet when one can see the road clearly.  
  So I will ride again, maybe tomorrow, just a warm-up ride.  I'll get my bike blessed by Fr. M., a good blessing from his old black book of prayers and blessings, from the Old Rite, complete with Holy Water.  I will ride and pray, and thank God for His consolations and praise Him for the desolations as He gives them to me.  I hope to write more here or perhaps on my other blogs that I haven't touched in months and months, but time will tell.  I don't want to whine.  

First Rule:  The love that moves and causes one to choose must descend form above, that is, from the love of God, so that before one chooses he should perceive that the greater or less attachment for the object of his choice is solely because of His Creator and Lord.  (from) Christian Warfare  

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The feast of Pentecost

                                                                                                                                                                                       But, behold, now, if I shall ask any one of you whether he loveth God, he will answer with all boldness and quietness of spirit "I do love him." But at the very beginning of this day's Lesson from the Gospel, ye have heard what the Truth saith " If a man love Me, he will keep My word." The test, then, of love, is whether it is showed by works. Hence the same John hath said in his Epistle I. iv. 20, v. 3 "If a man say, I love God, and keepeth not His commandments, He is a liar." Then do we indeed love God, and keep His commandments, if we deny ourselves the gratification of our appetites. Whosoever still wandereth after unlawful desires, such an one plainly loveth not God, for he saith, Nay, to that which God willeth.

Lesson ii, Roman Breviary, Homily of St. Gregory, Pope
Homily 30 on the Gospels

Friday, May 03, 2013

A decision made...

Sometimes there just isn't an easy way to write about things.  I haven't posted much in the last year or so, and to be honest, I'm not that good of a writer to just be pumping out the first thing that comes into my head.  Usually the first thing that comes out of my mouth is nonsense!  Through spiritual reading and prayer I've realized that I'm the type of person who, when the conversation begins to take on weight, I must slow down and keep my mouth closed, and my ears open.  I believe that, when we give ourselves more and more to God, to knock down that invisible wall that we sometimes put up between us and Him, that wall of control that we hate to give up, when we do what God asks and love Him completely, our lives will change with His flow of Grace.  I've found that it's too hard to live with that feeling that I must hold the reins.  There are certain things that, as a man, I must do.  I must follow the three precepts as a man must; God, Family, Duty. But in all the other aspects of my life, I'm done with putting myself out there, and for the sake of what?  The sake of the world?  No, this world holds no interest for me any longer.  A world that has forgotten completely and totally about God.  A world where man comes first in almost everything, and God is a distant last. In the last few years I've come to insulate myself by surrounding myself with like-minded people, devout Catholics who follow the old theology of the church, who attend and believe deeply in the Traditional Latin Mass and who try to put God first before everything.  A daunting task, that is at times.  And through all of this I've tried to live my life in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the path of ST. Francis as a Secular Franciscan.  Francis' complete devotion to Christ, his life of complete abandonment to our God has been a tremendous inspiration to me.  I cannot imagine myself as not a Franciscan.  And this brings me to this juncture in my life, to a place where, as a Catholic and a Franciscan I can go no longer.  I cannot remain as a 'Secular Franciscan'.  The Seculars follow a path that has been mapped out since after Vatican II and follows the Novus Ordo Mass and all the new theology that that Mass brings with it.  I, and H also, we are no longer there.  As of last fall, H and I have been on a one year leave of absence from our Fraternity.  At that final meeting I realized that the gulf between our ways of living the Franciscan Rule was too great.  The Rule of 1221, written and given to the brothers by Francis himself, is, I believe, the only way to live one's life as a Franciscan.  To the letter, to the letter, to the letter.  Francis' own words.  That way of Franciscan life is gone, washed away in this era of modernism and in a world that puts man first.  I informed our Minister to begin the process of withdrawal.  

  Where do we go from here?  Onward with our Journey to God.  For the past year and a half H and I  have been Novices again, as we begin this part of our lives as Third Order Franciscans.  We have joined an Association which focuses on living the Franciscan life by the Rule of 1221.  As members of a Latin Mass community it makes perfect sense to begin living and promoting our lives as the Third Order did before Vat.II.  We have started a Fraternity here.  We have members.  We have called to God, and He has heard us.  This world is a crazy, out of control place.  We must all find our way to God, for He calls and we must listen.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

St. Joseph the Worker


O Joseph, heavenly hosts thy
worthiness proclaim,
And Christendom conspires to
celebrate thy fame,
Thou who in purest bonds wert to
the Virgin bound;
How glorious is thy name renowned.
Thou, when thou didst behold thy
Spouse about to bear,
Wert sore oppressed with doubt,
wert filled with wondering care;
At length the angel's word thy
anxious heart relieved:
She by the Spirit hath conceived.
Thou with thy newborn Lord didst
seek far Egypt's land,
As wandering pilgrims ye fled o'er
the desert sand;
That Lord, when lost, by thee is in
the Temple found,
While tears are shed and joys
Not till death's hour is past do
other men obtain
The need of holiness, and glorious
rest attain;
Thou, like to Angels made, in life
completely blest,
Dost clasp thy God unto thy breast.
O Holy Trinity, thy suppliant
servants spare;
Grant us to rise to heaven for
Joseph's sake and prayer,
And so our grateful hearts to thee
shall ever raise
Exulting canticles of praise.


(from) 1 Vespers, May 1st
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


  I will raise me up a faithful
priest, who shall do according
to my heart, and my soul ;
and I will build him a faithful
house, and he shall walk
all days before my annointed.
Ps.  O Lord, remember David,
and all his meekness.
Glory be to the Father... 

Introit : 1 Reg. ii 35
(from) Mass for the election of a Pope, ST. Andrew Daily Missal

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Feast of the Holy Family (TLM)

"He was subject to them."
"Who was subject?"  St. Bernard asks, "and to whom?"
  A God to men!  Yes, the God whom the angels serve, whom the Principalities and Powers obey.  He was subject to Mary and not to Mary only, but to Joseph also, for Mary's sake.  That a God should obey a human creature; here is humility without parallel.  That the same human creature should command God; here is a height and depth nowhere else attained.  Man, learn to obey.  Earth, learn to consent to a low estate.  Dust, learn to humble yourself, for the Evangelist says of your Creator:  "He was subject to them," and there is no doubt that this means, to Mary and Joseph.  Blush then, proud ashes.  A God humbles Himself; while you exalt yourself.  A God becomes subject to men, while you, seeking to rule over men, put yourself above your Creator.  O Man, if you will not condescend to follow the example of a man, surely it will not be beneath you to follow your Creator. (3rd. Noct.)