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Tenebrae wonder and awe?

I caught our 3 Stooges mesmerized by a chanted Tenebrae service in perfect formation on the couch. Is it all the candles or the chanting? Maybe they’ve been meowing in Latin all this time? I am late to recognize many Cat-holic things in my life.

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Watch “Bishop Barron on “Bird Box”” on YouTube

January 26, 2019 Leave a comment

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Watch “NEWS UPDATE: Fr. Mark Goring vs. Fr. James Martin” on YouTube

January 16, 2019 Leave a comment

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Watch “This might get me fired – Fr. Mark Goring, CC” on YouTube

November 18, 2018 Leave a comment

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Watch “Plague in Priesthood: Vigano vs. Lavender Mafia” on YouTube

November 14, 2018 Leave a comment

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Watch “Attending My First Latin Mass” on YouTube

November 5, 2018 Leave a comment

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Watch “93: Pope Francis The Dictator? —Dr. Henry Sire” on YouTube

September 22, 2018 Leave a comment

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Edward Feser on 5 Proofs for God

September 2, 2018 Leave a comment

A great interview with Edward Feser by Ben Shapiro regarding atheism, his reboot of the 5 proofs for God and lots more.

https://youtu.be/9FvYwpyFbIQ

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Watch “Sermon on the Scandals: the Archbishop Viganò Report” on YouTube

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Pope Francis must resign

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Watch “Episcopal Sodomy: Gay Seminarian Pipeline” on YouTube

I hope and pray this is not true or exaggerated. The truth needs to come out so we can confess, accept responsibility, discipline and begin healing the Church. Those of us who love the Church hate to hear about our family being abused but we want to do whatever we can to embrace the cross, restore trust and go back to participating with the will of God to be the true light in the darkness. What can I do to help the Church?

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The Pennsylvania Bomb

A faithful Catholic layperson’s reaction to the latest sex abuse crisis in the Church.

https://wp.me/p27fu-alG

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November Rally for the Catholic Purge

Wife & I just signed up.

It’s the least we can do. The Church needs to purge itself to stay holy. All victims of sexual abuse should be turning TO the Church for healing — not be in fear of the Church for predators & complacency.

http://thebishopsknew.com/index.php

CLEANSING THE CHURCH OF CLERICAL SACRILEGE by Dominic Legge, O.P. 8 . 16 . 18

https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2018/08/cleansing-the-church-of-clerical-sacrilege

(some quotes from article:)

It is time for clergy and laity to begin a movement for the purification of the Church. The shameful sexual sins and crimes of clergy—including cardinals, bishops, and priests—can no longer be tolerated. Tolerance is precisely what has allowed these problems to multiply for decades and persist up to today.

As Fr. Thomas Berg recently explained, the issue is sexually active priests and bishops. In the main, the persistent problem is with homosexually active priests.

Bishops and priests should be holy, they must pray for it, and with the help of grace, strive for it.

When priests habitually commit mortal sins, they lose their zeal for the gospel, they become numb to the truth of the Eucharist’s holiness, and they water down the doctrines of the faith. This leads to many other infidelities, and to a kind of pastoral despair.

(5 good points are detailed in the article)

Hand-wringing and pious platitudes won’t fix things. It is time to confront the real problem with courage and sobriety.

Watch “Scandal in the Church” on YouTube

A homily with great perspective on the latest revelation of the Church scandal regarding the bishops’ handling of sexual abuse.

NPR apology over Easter

This was written by an NPR reporter that claims to be Catholic. NPR apology even sites all his “Catholic” education.

This is why Catholic formation is the greatest needed in the Church today.

If you can’t explain all the errors in this description of the most fundamental core of Christianity, check yourself into a parish RCIA program.

Be sure its a real Catholic RCIA program that can explain the truth and not allow someone to receive Catholic sacraments until they can as well.

If Catholics can’t discover, affirm, live, defend and evangelize the fullness of truth, then who will?

https://www.npr.org/sections/ombudsman/2018/04/02/598029102/npr-catches-hell-over-easter-mistake

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Vatican praises The Simpsons

March 17, 2010 3 comments

I’m not a huge fan of The Simpsons, but I just watched a episode about Bart going to Catholic school called “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star.” [S16E21] In the classic Simpsons’ satire, Bart & Homer become Catholic while Protestant Marge tries to bring them back. WOW! A great episode to use with high school discussion groups. This episode touches on all kinds of questions about faith and religion (and there’s lots of paintball in it, too!).

I also found an article about the Vatican praising The Simpsons show.

Animated US television show, The Simpsons has gathered praise from the Roman Catholic Church for their “realistic” way of dealing with religion and spreading happiness among viewers. An article published in the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano has lauded the long-running show, insisting “many today wouldn’t know how to laugh” if the series hadn’t been aired, reported Contactmusic.

The newspaper story thanked the show’s producers for depicting family patriarch Homer’s struggle with his own faith through its 20 years on the small screen. “Homer finds in God his last refuge, even though he sometimes gets His name sensationally wrong. But these are just minor mistakes, after all; the two know each other well,” the article said. The story also insisted that The Simpsons success is due to its “realistic and intelligent writing”.

The same newspaper had recently paid tribute to ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’, for highlighting the “sacrifice” needed for good to triumph over evil.

WOW! Who would think The Simpsons would be watched at the Vatican?  What next, Family Guy?

explaining IPF to Grandma

Even though I was in my room with food poisoning, a brother seminarian recorded the class for me.  The first hour was Fr Jim Rafferty in the Hall, asking the question to all of us … “How do you explain IPF to your Grandmother (or any non-seminarian)?” Since we’re about half way through the summer program, today was a summary to remind us of what we’ve experienced so far and not to forget the essentials.  He received several good possible responses to the question, but he helped us see an even greater integration of all the different parts of IPF by speaking on “Liturgy.”

We’re beginning a new course titled, “IPF 504: The Mystery of the Liturgy: Receiving in Celebration and Life.” Since we’ll be discussing “Liturgy” in the “big picture” sense, we needed to remind ourselves that Liturgy is not limited to simply liturgical celebration and Mass, but “Liturgy” permeates our lives.  In the Mystery of Liturgy, we don’t just acknowledge the Trinity exists, but live in celebration of that mystery in the Mass and beyond it, encountering the Trinity in all things and responding in our own generosity.  God’s activity is outward toward us beyond our celebration of ritual — it spills out and over into all of life.

Fr Rafferty shared a recent experience stuck in Detroit on a connecting flight to Scranton.  There was a oil leak on the plane, an overbooked flight, a request for volunteers to give up seats, a group that prayed together for volunteers, and more.  Through the stressful situation, a series of people and events brought him to a realization that he “lost his expectation that God was doing things for me.”  That loss of consciousness of God’s Presence in all brought an opportunity to refocus on God instead of self.  Similarly, we come to the liturgy to experience God and receive all the love of the heart of Jesus for us.  My experience of liturgy is enriched by my integration of prayer to my whole life in growing in consciousness of God.

Goal #3 for the Liturgy course is “To equip the seminarian with practical personal skills for deepening the receptivity of that Trinitarian life (interpenetrating liturgical celebrations, personal prayer, and daily life and ministry).”  This is where we reviewed the more prominent “prayer tools” in our IPF Toolbox that we’ve been integrating all summer.

A.R.R.R. …… (a structure for personal prayer) Acknowledge (thoughts, feelings & desires), Relate (to God), Receive (from God), Respond

Lectio Divina …… reflecting on daily readings, Pope and church documents, events of the day, etc.

Spiritual Senses …… the way we are aware of the invisible reality of the spiritual life.  Many times related in the language of poetry.

Repetition …… returning to a place of deep affective movement weather consolation or desolation to receive more.

Discernment of Spirits …… assisting of our interior movements, recognizing their origin — from God, ourselves, or the evil spirit.  Remembering our principle foundation is “I want to be as close to God as possible” so I cooperate with that which is from God and reject that not from God.

Colloquy …… personal conversation with God (may be written in journal), reflecting on today’s journey in receiving the continuous Liturgy

Natural Family Planning (NFP), Catholic birth-control

June 29, 2009 5 comments

090629-0820_IPF-Natural-Family-PlanningToday’s lecture was on Natural Family Planning.  The first hour was a presentation in Riggie Hall by couples that teach the program from The Couple to Couple League (CCL).  The second hour was back in the classroom for question-and-answer session with one of the couples.  A lot of great info and lots of great questions.  For the basics about the Catholic view on birth-control and contraception, check this out.

What is Natural Family Planning (NFP)? NFP is a way of following God’s plan for achieving and/or avoiding pregnancy. It consists of ways to achieve or to avoid pregnancy using the physical means that God has built into human nature.  Today’s NFP should not be confused with Calendar Rhythm Method taught in the 1930’s.

NFP-Umbert-the-Unborn-trendyNFP consists of two distinct forms:   Ecological breastfeeding is a form of child care that normally spaces babies about two years apart on the average. Systematic NFP is a system that uses a woman’s signs of fertility to determine the fertile and infertile times of her cycle.  Couples seeking to avoid pregnancy practice chaste abstinence during the fertile time of her cycle.

Systematic NFP consists of various “methods” or systems that seek to determine the fertile and infertile times of the cycle. The “Ovulation Method” focuses primarily on the mucus sign.  Other couples use a temperature-only form of NFP, and some use the cervix sign in combination with either the temperature sign or the mucus sign.  We were taught how to use a cross-checking system called the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM). It uses all the common signs of fertility in a cross-checking way.

A FREE 156 page manual is available on-line at NFP and more.org in PDF format called Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach by John and Sheila Kippley.  Basically, there is a chart (blank available in pdf format) that is used to track the changes in cervix, cervical mucus and temperature daily.  (In one hour, I think we learned more about the female anatomy than most married men do.)  Each variable has a code at the bottom of the chart to note:  (from chapter 2, pdf)

NFP-menstrualcycleTEMPERATURE (when a woman wakes up) is taken with a digital thermometer (oral, vaginal, or rectal).  Before ovulation, the waking temperature is lower than it is after ovulation. In the five or six days before ovulation, the higher levels of estrogen tend to depress or lower the waking temperatures slightly.  After ovulation, progesterone causes the waking temperatures to rise.

Before ovulation, the CERVIX undergoes four changes: (1) cervix rises slightly; (2) the mouth of the cervix (cervical os) opens slightly; (3) the tip of the cervix becomes softer; and (4) the cervix secretes a mucus discharge.  Around ovulation or usually right after ovulation, these changes in the cervix are reversed.

Before ovulation, the CERVICAL MUCUS first appears as a somewhat tacky substance and then becomes more fluid. It usually starts a few days after menstruation, but sometimes it can start toward the end of the period. As it becomes more fluid, the mucus becomes slippery and stretchy, and usually produces sensations of wetness on the outer lips of the vagina (the vulva).

Besides bombarding us with lots of science, they were proud to note that “We have no doubt that married couples who are properly instructed and motivated can practice the cross-checking Sympto-Thermal Method at the 99% level of effectiveness for avoiding pregnancy.”

NFP can also be used for couples who are trying to have a baby.  We also had the option to visit the Pope Paul VI Institute located in Omaha, NE that does extensive medical research dedicated to providing morally and professionally acceptable reproductive health services.  They include the CREIGHTON MODEL FertilityCare System and NaPro Technology that has helped women conceive children, while respecting the Catholic Church view against in-vitro fertilization.

NFP-HormonalForecaster-STM-chartThe Couple to Couple League (CCL) offer classes for couples and have computer software to help track all the variables into cool colored charts (I could definitely see guys getting into this … like me).  They said some couples have it on a laptop next to their bed (there’s something creepy about the sound of that … but I can see it happening).  The software they offer is CyclePRO, but I couldn’t find a screenshot of it.  I did find another popular ovulation & fertility software available called Hormonal Forecaster with many kinds of visual displays (the STM chart screenshot is shown here).

Besides all the technical info with science and the Catholic Church view on fertility, the idea of personal intimacy of a married couple started to get minimized.  The couples started sharing their own lives and the application of NFP in their marriages.  Through their own experiences, they recommend that the couple always do NFP together.  Even though the woman’s body is where all the signs come from, the husband should be the one to record the readings to actively be involved, pay attention to his wife’s needs more sensitively and find ways of intimacy outside of sexual union during their times of fertility.  They also posted a chart that concluded divorce is lowest in couples that practice NFP.  The chart showed a bar graph of “divorces per 100 marriages.” In 1960’s, it was 26 per 100.  In 1970’s, it was 32 per 100.  In 1980, it was 50 per 100.  For NPF users, it was LESS THAN 5 per 100 marriages.  (I’ve got some doubt about this research … a little too good to be true … no real source cited.)

Other questions about fertility and Catholic teaching can be found here.

Some personal testimonies of Catholic couples struggling with infertility.

graduate graces

December 4, 2008 Leave a comment

081204_pillsbury-cookiesNIGHT PRAYER — our seminary rector asked each class to have their own Night Prayer this week with group reflection on the graces that we’ve been blessed with. Tonight was the graduating class (Seniors + Pre-Theology year 2) in the McCarthy House Chapel. It wasn’t only great to express thanksgiving for graces I’ve noticed (especially in my 2nd year of formation), but to hear the graces that others have noticed helps me to recognize other graces that I’ve also received, but unable to “name” or appreciate. It was yet another grace-filled event in seminary.

Thank you, God bless you, and be holy!

DOTS — “Evangelicals” club @ World Religion class … graces of sacraments @ Pre-Theology seminary … gato y abuela @ dinner … freshly baked cookies afternoon + evening