Tuesday, July 29, 2008


American society is still built on a desire for truth. In most venues whether at home, work, business, play, or even in the functions of government, this is true. Despite this longing for truth and honesty in all areas of life, people still lie. I often pause in awe to realize that the American people are still appalled in 2008 when lies or vices are exposed.

Denying a cynical view, they even now look to truth and virtue as the standard and yearn for it.

Most recently as an example, people were surprised at the revelations of the national mortgage lender crisis involving the familiarly known entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The vice of greed most recently exposed the managers and executives of the lenders, because they received false generous bonuses due to pufferied income figures. From the most celebrated case, Enron, to Wall Street, from Congress to city hall, greed and lies continue to be exposed.

Its impact on the U.S. economy and on the international scale may unfold for years as investors and consumers loose confidence and trust in the American financial system--at one time the envy of the world.
The life of overconsumption and abuse of the material creation caused by greed and dishonesty has affected America. Of course, as the old biblical saying goes, the Truth shall set you free. All people hold onto affections, ideas, things, desires, hopes, and dreams that are yet be exposed to the light of truth, and when done so, if we are honest with ourselves, we tend to let those things go. After all, God wants us to be free. When we are truthful with ourselves, and with each other in charity, it is there that we are able as children to receive His grace and adore Him fully.

Yet, the impact of lies on our Nation is especially revealing today. The leading example is abortion (the legal prohibition of abortion was lifted in the 1970s). There are philosophical and religious institutions and profit-making industries devoted to one colossal lie and to the loss of one life at a time: that it is legitimate to spill the blood of a kid in the womb.

Another 1970s monstrosity changed modern American jurisprudence. It enables men and women by the thousands daily to lie with little or no effort in court. In the early 1970s, the legislatures across the United States passed laws that permitted divorce by a reprehensible claim of “irreconcilable differences.”

By simply testifying before a judge under the penalty of perjury, imprudent men and women tell a judge that he or she cannot cannot reconcile with their spouse. Christians and non-Christians alike. Catholics and non-Catholics alike. No statistical difference. Yet, these Christians and Catholics lie, stating proudly and unequivocally that they cannot get along with their soon-to-be former spouse. [Note here that this does not discount the spousal physical or sexual abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, or adultery, or other legitimate causes. These can be legitimate and right claims to escape the terror of real abuse].

Where the claim of irreconcilable differences are made in court, surely there are some differences between spouses that are insurmountable and irreconcilable. Yet, divorce? Have we become so desensitized that America--or should I say, Catholics--has forgotten the real tragedy called "divorce?"

By the grace of God, the effort to get along with one’s spouse is more than mere words, challenges, or claims. Has the husband been all he can be in Christ? Has the wife been the helper that she has been called to be? Most often, the failing answer is “No.” This is not an excuse for divorce. The classroom called marriage teaches us the real reason for the marital institution: to help us save our sinful souls. Men need to be men and use their testicles. Women need to be women and to stop looking at the extremes of feminism or other false ideas.

The real casualty of the courtroom lies is the children. Their limitless imaginations, playfulness, inquisitiveness, innocence, and love are shattered against the rock of selfish and impatient worldliness, and self-absorbed spouses known also as Dad and Mom. The social devastation and evil done to children in this generation and its progeny is immeasurable except by God Himself. Yet, we live with it today, with children who quickly become adults, well versed in the excuses and misgivings of adulthood long before their bodies reach maturity. They have learned the wiles of lying parents, maddened by separation, frustrated by lost and noble parental purposes and love, and haunted by a seemingly unrecoverable loss.

The world looks at this and says, “Get over it,” “Live with it,” or the old primers, “It must have been God’s will,” or "My spouse is not the same person I married," or with equal nonsense, “He (or she) was too immature, incapacitated, or childish to have entered marriage.” As arrogance is to pride, is denial of the impact of divorce on individuals and society. Another lie.

As friends, ministers, and counselors of these dissolved spouses, we church men and women at times rush to salve the guilt that dissolution brings, ready to deny the truth and the trajedy, to give excuse and comfort to every sigh and whim rather than encouraging the spouse to face, settle, and reconcile differences with his or her spouse. Are those who aid and abet such nonsense any less problematic or better said, any less sinful?

Christ came as a sign of contradiction. Too often, what we see on another person’s face is not what is inside. Defensiveness caulks up our willingness to expose our innards to our spouses and friends. Poor thinking and sinfulness further darkens our minds and weakens our wills that is so necessary for grace, the type of grace that encourages reconciliation and hope for a relationship, for ourselves, but most importantly for our children.
The one hope that can be expressed is that the American people born of freedom and personal responsibilty, still show an outward love of Truth. Yet as the human condition reveals we often tolerate lies that end up either killing people physcially or inside their souls. It is hopeful, that in an effort to right some of the wrongs of the last supercilious 20th Century, i.e., self-absorbed, permissiveness, feelings, sexual revolution, abortion, divorce, and excuses upon excuses, that we can reform some of the laws the permit an easy divorce, or an abortion that kills a kid.

Of course, a change in the law does not change hearts. The law is but a standard. The law will change most fully when we adapt our lives personally to Christ.

A just society can be measured by how it treats its families, treasures relationships, and secures those relationships to secure the institution called a family. In this way, the most innocent members of society which are our children, remain protected whether in the womb or in the bedroom. Trust of family, friends, and institutions will be remade, and our society reformed.

In the end, Catholic social justice demands that the family be protected, that abortion be ended, that the divorce laws are reformed, and that Catholics make their spouses and children their first priorty after God--not jobs, wealth, or things. Outside of Our Lord and the promise of Salvation if we but follow His commands, These are the most dear and lovely things in our personal possession.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Evangelization: a long way to go

If you want to leave the world for a bit of a get-away...
Hat tip to Fr. Obi-wan for this one:

The Time Cube (warning, extrememly, well, extreme reality disconnect)

To One of the Lady Priests I Wrote, and No Response to Date.

The following letter was written and forwarded Monday, July 21, 2008, via email to one of the women recently "ordained" in Boston:

Dear Ms. Carpeneto:

Having noted with interest, that three women were ordained as claimed as Roman Catholic priests, on your website, it states that the Roman Catholic Womenpriests reject the penalty of excommunication issued by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith on May 29, 2008 stating that the “women priests and the bishops who ordain them would be excommunicated latae sententiae.”

As an attorney in American civil law, I observe one cannot declare that the law does not apply to themselves. In other words, a person cannot declare a law not applicable to himself or herself just because they do not agree with the law. An obvious example is the criminal law that is applicable to all of society. Assuredly, there are those who would reject any law against use of illegal drugs as they may wish to use them, and I have seen and heard the protest of those who advocate against such laws.

Of course, a declarant that states a law has no effect upon him or her, does not truly change the law’s effect. It is the law. It seems oddly out of order to state that the women “reject the law” when that law is applicable to you. It does not void the law or its impact on you. In other words, if what the Catholic Church teaches is true, and that it speaks on behalf of St. Peter, who was granted law giving authority, then you are excommunicated. Period. No response from you is relevant except for repentance. The excommunication is a judgment on your soul regardless of your own words and the judgment is instantly executed until otherwise satisfied. Why risk the ultimate sanction of condemnation?

The alternative question is, if what the Catholic Church teaches is not true, why did you attempt ordination in the Catholic Church?

I don’t want to offend you, but it seems you have set up an untenable contradiction here and care for your soul should be of great concern.

Thanks kindly,

John Keenan, J.D.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

spiritual Alzheimer’s, hold the applause

Cardinal Ivan Dias
Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, Rome

Much is spoken today of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. By analogy, their symptoms can, at times, be found even in our own Christian communities. For example, when we live myopically in the fleeting present, oblivious of our past heritage and apostolic traditions, we could well be suffering from spiritual Alzheimer’s. And when we behave in a disorderly manner, going whimsically our own way without any co-ordination with the head or the other members of our community, it could be ecclesial Parkinson’s.

From Catholic Exchange
Hold the Applause: Confessions of a Conflicted Clapper
Mary Anne Moresco

Whenever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of the liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment.

The above words were penned by our Holy Father Pope Benedict the XVI, (then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) on p. 198 of his book entitled The Spirit of the Liturgy. I first read this book before our Holy Father became pope. The book did three things to me. First, it made me acutely aware that there was much about the meaning of the liturgy to which I was blind. Second, it deepened my love for the liturgy. Third, it put me in conflict with respect to how I needed to approach Mass. One area of conflict was in clapping at Mass.

Having read Cardinal Ratzinger’s words on clapping, I wondered how I could continue to clap at Mass in good conscience. As one who has been to Masses where there was clapping for just about everyone, from musicians, lectors, altar servers and church decorators to priests giving homilies and lay people giving testimonies, I began to wonder why we clap at Mass at all.

hat-tip for both items to Fr. Z at What does the Prayer Really Say. both are reading the full items.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Post-retreat post

These days, who talks about the "Malediction of Christ towards those who produce no fruit?" Well, St. Alphonsus Ligouri provided us with a spot of refreshingly direct consideration of our last end.

From St. Alphonsus Ligouri, "Preparation for Death," the text used in our retreat of last weekend...

Unhappy life of the Sinner: and Happy Life

of him who loves God.

"The goods of this earth," says St. Vincent Ferrer, "do not enter the soul. They are waters which do not penetrate where there is thirst." The sinner may wear embroidered robes and the riches jewels; he may indulge the palate as much as he pleases; but his poor soul will be full of thorns and gall, and therefore with all his riches, pleasures, and amusements, you will see him always unhappy and ready to fly into a rage at every contradiction. He who loves God resigns himself to the divine will in adversity, and enjoys peace; but he who lives in opposition to the divine will, cannot conform to it, and therefore he has no means of tranquillizing the soul. The miserable man serves the devil, he serves a tyrant who repays him with gall and bitterness. The word of God can never fail. Because thou didst not serve the Lord thy God with joy and gladness, thou shalt server the enemy in hunger, and thirst, and nakeness, and in want of all things. [Dt. 28:47-48] What do not the vindictive suffer after they have gratified their resentment? The unchaste, after they have attained their wicked object? What do not the ambitious, and the avaricious, endure? Oh, how many are there, who, if they suffer for God as much as they suffer to bring themselves to their own damnation, would become great saints?

Friday, July 18, 2008

7/7/7 - 7/7/8

A year ago on July 7, pope Benedict XVI issued the Apostolic Letter "Summorum Pontificum," issued Motu Proprio.

Interestingly, on July 7th of this year, Sandro Magister chose to post an intriguing article titled The Encyclical on Hope Commented by Two Non-believing Thinkers. Magister writes about two non-believers, prominent professors in their respective fields, who have had their commentary on the pope’s encyclical Spe Salve, printed on the front page of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.

Both of these men, who respect the pope and are respected by the pope, chose to comment on the pope's call in Spe Salvi for a "self-critique" of modernity, and a "self-critique" of the modern Church as well. The former, they point out, is well done in Spe-Salvi, the latter is left un-done, it is never mentioned again in Spe-Salvi after being introduced.

When I read the article, I had the impression that what these two men were suggesting was a critical self-examination by the Church of herself, in terms of the world. Perhaps that is to be expected. In even the world's terms, she fares well; no other entity provides as much for those in need. But perhaps something else is on Benedict XVI's mind, that this call from outside the Church would appear on the front page of L'Osservatore Romano. I say this, because it is a call I have also made. As an outsider who entered the Church after reading the documents of Vatican II (along with the Fathers and Doctors), I have observed that many in my new home seem to be unaware of Vatican II, and have gone after other lights which have made false pretensions of being Vatican II. Rather than a self-critique on the world's terms, a self-critique on Jesus' terms, the terms which are found explicitly in the total treasury of the teaching and governing Church; from Apostolic times through Vatican II, is rightly in order.

If we have abandoned the great commission n favor of contemporary political relevancy, and/or kick against the goad like a petulant child, maybe we need to hear the voice of Jesus, as Paul did, saying "Why are you persecuting Me?"

Perverse Prejudice and Bias

From Australia [honesty from the Press...refreshing]:
Catholic church easy target for bigots
by Andrew Bolt
July 18, 2008 12:00 a.m.
The reporter on the ABC's [Australia Broadcasting Company] 7.30 Report sounded sad. The Catholic Church couldn't find enough men keen to be priests, she sighed.
Gosh. Wondered why? Then check, say, the reports the ABC's Lateline ran to welcome the Pope and thousand of Catholic pilgrims to Sydney.
"Exclusive documents reveal church ignored abuse allegations", "New evidence in church abuse case", "Broken Rites president joins Lateline", "Demonstrators oppose Catholic Church policies", "Father of assault victims to visit Pope".
And so on.
Hmm. Now why aren't more Australians joining up to be vilified?
It hardly needs saying that I despise pedophiles and rapists. But even as a non-Christian, I smell bigotry.
In fact, it seems much of the Left-wing media has tried furiously to make sure when we think of Catholicism, in this week of celebration of the faith, that we think not Saviour but slime.
New laws against protesters that the church never asked for were portrayed as a symbol of church oppression. A newspaper ran a competition for the best anti-Catholic T-shirt. And an ABC host urged men to bait Catholics by going naked, but for a condom.
Meanwhile his colleagues looked for a story to hit the Catholics' most senior figure here, Cardinal George Pell. And Lateline found it in a man who said he'd been sexually assaulted by a stereotypical dirty priest.
How hard was it trying to find a stick? This victim, Anthony Jones, was 29 when he went swimming at night with a priest, who fondled him. He swam off, aroused, but returned to the priest's bedroom, dressed in a towel.
There a sexual encounter took place. In convicting the priest for a then-illegal act, a judge later found Jones could have left had he wanted.
And all this happened 26 long years ago. So why bring it up now? Because, Jones conceded, it might at this sensitive time make the church give him $3.5 million -- or $100,000, final offer. Let's not call this blackmail.
He deserved the door. He got instead the media limelight.
Another case long dealt with has also been revived, for much the same reason, by a media that tends to be hostile to any institution that acknowledges a higher authority than the musings of the journalistic pack.
I despise it all. Of the priests I've known, not one deserves this casual vilification as pedophiles, or their protectors. And when I check how their church touches even my life, I see one of its hospitals, in which my children were born. I see its churchmen tackling forces that rip up homes and make our streets unsafe. I see its intellectuals preaching values I recognise as essential for the defence of our weak. And I see a faith that exhorts its -- yes, fallible -- believers to goodness, integrity and public service.
Such a faith deserves respect. Instead, there's that hooting mob, brandishing cobwebbed skeletons to smash one of the few institutions still trying to civilise the barbarians.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Starting tomorrow with mass at noon, St. Huberts, Homedale. Adoration of the blessed Sacrament will be all night, drop in if you can!

The retreat schedule has been finalized as:

Friday, Saturday, July 19, 2008
  • 12:00pm………………………… Opening Mass at St. Hubert’s, Homedale

  • 12:30pm………………………… to 8am Saturday – Adoration

  • Saturday, July 19th
  • 7:00am………………………………… Office of Readings, Morning Prayer and Rosary

  • 8:00am………………………………… Exposition ends

  • 8:00am ……………………………… Breakfast at the Rectory

  • 9:30am – 9:45am………… Who is St Dominic and What is the Third Order of St Dominic?

  • 9:45to 12:00noon…………………Mark Gross, OPL, Retreat Master on St. Alphonsus de Liquori’s work on preparation for death by living a well ordered life.

  • 12:00 to 1:15pm…………………… Lunch

  • 1:30 to 2:30pm……………………… More from "Preparation for Death" as in the morning.

  • 2:40 to 3:30pm……………………… Rosary & Chaplet of Mercy

  • 3:30 to 5:00pm……………………… Confession at Our Lady of the Valley Church, 1155 Linden Road, Caldwell, Idaho. People from Homedale invited to attend Mass with Dominicans.

  • 5:00pm………………………………… Mass at Our Lady of the Valley Church, 1155 Linden Road, Caldwell, Idaho. People from Homedale invited to attend Mass with Dominicans.

  • 6:00pm………………………………… Dinner and Fellowship

  • 8:00pm………………………………… Dominican Chapter House for annual Wine and Star Gazing.

  • Sunday, July 20th, 2008
  • 9:30am………………………………… Mass at Our Lady of the Valley Church, 1155 Linden Road, Caldwell, Idaho. People from Homedale invited to attend Mass with Dominicans.

  • 10:30am………………………………………… Dominican Chapter House for breakfast.

    One body in Christ

    An interesting report from Sandro Magister at Chiesa, from which I've extracted a fragment:

    Pauline Year: The Ecumenical Dream of Pope Benedict

    Together with the patriarch of Constantinople, the successor of Peter has proclaimed a special jubilee year dedicated to another great apostle, Paul. The stated objective: "to create the unity of the 'catholica', of the Church formed from Jews and pagans, of the Church of all peoples"

    by Sandro Magister

    Who was Paul? And what is he saying to me today?
    by Benedict XVI

    In the search for the interior physiognomy of Saint Paul I would like, in the second place, to recall the words that the risen Christ addressed to him on the road to Damascus. First, the Lord asked him: "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" To the question, "Who are you, sir?" he was given the answer: "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting" (Acts 9:4 f.) By persecuting the Church, Paul is persecuting Jesus himself. "You are persecuting me." Jesus identifies himself with the Church, as a single subject.

    This exclamation of the Risen One, which transformed Saul's life, essentially contains the entire doctrine on the Church as Body of Christ. Christ did not withdraw to heaven, leaving on the earth a group of followers who carry forward "his cause." The Church is not an association that wants to promote a certain cause. In it there is no question of a cause. In it is the question of the person of Jesus Christ, who even as the Risen One has remained "flesh." He has "flesh and blood" (Lk. 24:39), as the Risen One affirms in Luke before the disciples who thought he was a ghost. He has a body. He is personally present in his Church, "Head and Body" form a single subject, as Augustine would say. "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?" Paul writes to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 6:15). And he adds: just as, according to the book of Genesis, man and woman become one flesh, so also Christ becomes one spirit with his followers, a single subject in the new world of the resurrection (cf. 1 Cor. 6:16 ff.).

    Through all of this appears the Eucharistic mystery, in which Christ continually gives his Body and makes us his Body: "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf" (1 Cor. 10:16 f.). With these words, it is not only Paul who is addressing us now, but the Lord himself: How could you have lacerated my body? Before the face of Christ, this word becomes at the same time an urgent request: Bring us back together again, from all our divisions. Make this a reality again today. There is only one bread, because we, although we are many, are only one body. For Paul, the description of the Church as Body of Christ is not just any kind of comparison. It goes far beyond a comparison. "Why do you persecute me?" Christ continually draws us within his Body, he builds up his Body starting from the Eucharistic center, which for Paul is the center of Christian existence, by virtue of which all, and everyone individually, can personally experience: He loved me and gave himself for me.

    Wednesday, July 16, 2008

    He Calls, he answers.

    From Goal.com:

    "New England Revolution defender [26 year old] Chase Hilgenbrinck has left the MLS[occer] club to pursue a career in the ministry. He will enter a Catholic seminary in Maryland. 'After years of discernment, I feel strongly that the Lord has called me to become a priest in the Catholic Church,' Hilgenbrinck said in a statement released by the team."

    "Playing professional soccer has been my passion for a long time and I feel blessed to have successfully lived out this dream. My passion now is to do the will of God, which is wanting only what He wants for me. Though I will miss the game of soccer, I know that I am moving on to something much greater."
    [Chase Hilgenbrinck will enter the orthodox seminary at Mount St Mary's Seminary at Mount St. Mary's University at Emmitsburg, Maryland].

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    A Faber Sonnet for the Pauline year


    Frederick William Faber (1814-1863)



    HE was a mild old man, and cherished much

    The weight dark Egypt on his spirit laid ;

    And with a sinuous eloquence would touch

    For ever at that haven of the dead.

    Single romantic words by him were thrown,

    As types, on men and places, with a power

    Like that of shifting sunlight after shower

    Kindling the cones of hills, and journeying on.

    He feared the gods and heroes, and spake low,

    That Echo might not hear in her light room :

    He was a dweller underground ; for gloom

    Fitted old heathen goodness more than glow ;

    And, where love was not, faith might gather mirth

    From ore that glistened in pale beds of earth.

    2 NICIAS.


    NURSLING of heathen fear ! thy woful being

    Was steeped in gentleness by long disease,

    Though round thine awestruck mind were ever fleeing

    Omens, and signs, and direful presages.

    One might believe in frames so gently stern

    Some Christian thoughts before their time did burn.

    Sadness was unto thee for love ; thy spirit

    Rose loftily like some hard-featured stone,

    Which summer sunbeam never makes its throne,

    E'en while it fills the skirts of vapour near it.

    One wert thou, Nicias ! of the few who urge
    Their stricken souls where far-seen Death doth hover

    In vision on them, nor may they diverge

    From the black line his chilling shadows cover.



    THOU, mighty Heathen, wert not so bereft

    Of heavenly helps to thy great-hearted deeds,
    That thou shouldst dig for truths in broken creeds,

    Mid the loose sands of four old empires left.
    Motions and shadows dimly glowing fell
    On thy broad soul from forms invisible.
    With its plain grandeur, simple, calm, and free,
    What wonder was it that thy life should merit
    Sparkles of grace, and angel ministry,
    With jealous glimpses of the world of spirit ?
    Greatest and best in this — that thy pure mind,
    Upon its saving mission all intent,
    Scorned the untruth of leaving books behind,
    To claim for thine what through thy lips was sent.

    4 SENECA.


    OFT in the crowd and crossings of old Rome
    The Christ-like shadow of the gifted Paul,
    As he looked forth betimes from his hired home,
    Might at this Gentile's hurrying footsteps fall,
    When, from his mornings in the Caesar's hall,
    Spurred by great thoughts, the troubled sage might come.
    Some balmy truths most surely did he borrow
    From the sweet neighbourhood of Christ, to bring
    The harsh, hard waters of his heathen spring
    In softening ducts o'er wastes of pagan sorrow.
    As slips of green from fertile confines shoot
    Into the tracts of sand, so heathen duty
    Caught from his guided pen a cold, bright beauty,
    Where flowers might all but blossom into fruit.

    Liberating liberation theology

    In a fascinating article by Sandro Magister, he looks at the disagreement over Liberation Theology between Boff brothers; Leonardo Boff, recently chastized by the Vatican CDF, sticking to the tired guns of the 60s, while Clodovis Boff, lifting up his heart to Christ, embracing the vision of Liberation offered there, and enunciated by last year's conference at Aparecida in Brazil, attended by Pope Benedict XVI.

    As there are many Dominicans profoundly stuck in the trendy 60s, this is a refreshing "conversion" to read about.

    Clodovis and Leonardo Boff, Separated Brethren

    In the first part of the essay, Clodovis Boff criticizes the foundation of liberation theology – not the theoretical version, but as it "really exists."

    In his judgment, the "fatal" error into which it falls is that of setting up the poor as the "first operative principle of theology," substituting them for God and Jesus Christ.

    And he explains:

    "Nothing but dismal effects can follow from this error of principle. [...] When the poor acquire the status of an epistemological 'primum', what happens to the faith and its doctrine on the theological and pastoral level? [...] The inevitable result is the politicization of the faith, its reduction to an instrument for social liberation."

    The consequences are also grave for the life of the Church:

    "The 'pastoral action of liberation' becomes one of the many branches of the 'popular movement'. The Church becomes like an NGO, and so also loses substance physically: it loses workers, militants, and faithful. Those 'on the outside' feel little attraction for a 'Church of liberation', because the militants already have NGO's, while for religious experience they need much more than simple social liberation. Moreover, because of the failure to perceive the social extent and relevance of the current spiritual malaise, liberation theology shows itself to be culturally myopic and historically anachronistic, or alienated from its time."

    In the second part of the essay, the author shows how liberation theology can "save itself" through its positive fruits only by returning to its original foundation. Which is found in the final document of the conference in Aparecida.

    This document - he writes - is a "clear demonstration" of how a correct connection can be made between faith and liberating action. Unlike liberation theology, which "begins with the poor and arrives at Christ," Aparecida "begins with Christ and arrives at the poor," clearly establishing that "the Christ-principle always includes the poor, but the poor-principle does not necessarily include Christ. [...] The original source of theology is nothing other than faith in Christ."

    A Beautiful Hymn

    Lord Jesus, once you spoke to men
    Upon the mountain, in the plain;
    O help us listen now, as then,
    And wonder at your words again.

    We all have secret fears to face,
    Our minds and motives to amend;
    We see your truth, we need your grace,
    Our living Lord and present Friend.

    The Gospel speaks, and we receive
    Your light, your love, your own command
    O help us live what we believe
    In daily work of heart and hand.

    Melody: Oh Jesus, mi culcissime
    Music: Clausener Gesangbuch, L.M. 1653
    Text: H.C.A. Gaunt (1902)

    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    To all our Idaho friends...

    Kathleen, or Chapter Treasurer, sent the following, which was good for a chuckle...


    If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you live in Idaho. [yes, even offered help]

    If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you live in Idaho [no, but my kids have]

    If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed the wrong number, you live in Idaho. [I'm surprised more people haven't discovered this little pleasure]

    If 'vacation' means going anywhere south of Salt Lake City for the weekend, you live in Idaho . [no, but I did go to Portland for a Thai dinner before there were any Thai restraunts in Boise]

    If you measure distance in hours, you live in Idaho . [Took me 9 hours today to make the 7 hour drive to Bend]

    If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you live in Idaho. [OK, thats a negatory, in so far as I know]

    If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' and back again in the same day, you live in Idaho. [Hey, did he bug my thermostat? I know the power company wants to...]

    If you install security lights on your house and garage but leave both unlocked, you live in Idaho. [What's a lock?]

    If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Idaho. [Yeah, Chrysler AWD has 7 computers in the transmission, and can stop in snow pack better than my old jeep crawling along at 25 ever could!]

    If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you live in Idaho. [hey, that's not funny. it's cold at 10PM in at the end of October!]

    If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph --you're going 80, and everyone is still passing you, you live in Idaho. [Mr Foxworthy must not have made these observations in Canyon County.]

    If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you live in Idaho. [potholes shotholes, move over Boston, you got nothing on the axel busters here!]

    If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, you live in Idaho . [hey, that's pretty good, but that is the other Idaho, north of Lewiston. They probably still think THEY are Idaho, but we stole the state seal and the seat of the state government, fair and square.]

    If you find 10 degrees 'a little chilly' you live in Idaho. [see above]

    If you actually understand these jokes and forward them to all your IDAHO friends, you live in Idaho. [It's what America used to be]

    Posted from the Bend, Oregon, Public library.

    Wednesday, July 09, 2008

    The Precious Blood

    Anita (V for Victory) called and suggested I post this excerpt from Father Fredrick William Faber’s “The Precious Blood or The Price of Our Salvation.” It’s a good section to guide a bit of self reflection upon my soul; thank you, Anita.

    In quiet times good men can love the Vicar of Christ, and look at him as their venerable father and monarch, ruling over all the best affections of their hearts, with a loyalty which the hereditary sovereigns of the earth can never obtain, and which is a far more heavenly thing than a patriot’s love of the land which gave him birth. But when the clouds gather round the Sacred City, when the pressure of self-seeking potentates again begins to crucify our Lord afresh in the person of his Vicar, when the coils of diplomacy twist themselves round Peter’s throne, when wellnigh all the world, schism, heresy, unbelief, ambition, injustice, and catholic states world-tainted, league together against the Lord’s Anointed, then to the saints the face of Christ’s Vicar becomes like the countenance of his Lord. It grows more majestic in abjection. The anguish on it is divine. It is more worshipful than ever, at the very moment when it is calling out our tenderest love and our keenest sympathies. This too is a time rife in victories to the Precious Blood. Rome is saved, and man has not saved it. They were bearing the papacy out to burial, and lo! A glorious resurrection! When deliverance was furthest off, then it came.

    But these great historical triumphs are not the only victories of the Precious Blood in evil days. It wins many in the secrets of hearts. The spirit of the age is forever tainting the minds and hearts of the elect. There are few who do not end by going with the multitude, few who are not imposed upon by the pompous elation of science, but the juvenile pronouncements of an improved literature, but the complacent self-glorifications of temporal prosperity, and by the pretension to an unparalleled grandeur which each generation makes as it struts out upon the stage of life. It is fine to innovate: it is refreshing to be audacious: it is a cheap victory to attack: it is comfortable to be on the same side with the loud-voiced world around us. Few men have clearly ascertained their own principles. They admit into their inconsequent minds wandering ideas of the times, without seeing that they are in reality hostile to the holy things which occupy the sanctuary of their hearts. Hence they get upon the wrong side, specially in middle life. It is not youth so much as middle life that falls in this way. While the generosity of youth makes early life to err in questions of degree, the same generosity keeps it incorrupt in questions of kind. It is the egotistical self-importance of middle life, which makes apostates, reformers, and malcontents. It is then that men get upon the wrong side. They fight under wrong banners. They frustrate the promise of their better years. They become out of harmony with the Church. From that hour their lives are failures. They grow querulous and contentious, peevish and captious, bitter and sour. Their old age is extremely solitary; and it is a great grace of God if the do not die on the wrong side, they who seem to have raised up to be the very foremost champions of the right. Now it is bad times which open men’s eyes. They see then how the spirit of the age has been nigh to deceiving them, how they mistook its loudness for wisdom, and how near they were to losing the simplicity of their devotion in the unhelpfulness of an intellectual demonstration, which has passed away, and has done as little, and is remembered as much, as the popular novel of a season. Many are the victories of disenchantment which the Precious Blood gains in times like those. Souls, that are won back to the old ways and the antique fashions, may yet be saints, whose promise of holiness must soon have withered, cankered, or dispersed in the vanity of modern attempts and innovations.

    Nay, though we may be unable to see it, we cannot doubt that there are triumphs of the Precious Blood in the spread of heresies, in the schism of kingdoms, and in similar catastrophes of the Church. Souls seem to perish, and it is hard to bear. But the life of the Church is very vast, and is ruled by immense laws; and when her Spouse comes at the end, the Precious Blood must needs present her to him “a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” [Eph 5:27] We must remember always, therefore, that the Church is the empire of the Precious Blood, and that that Blood will be the law of its life, and will govern it, not at all in the world’s way, not at all in the spirit of an age, but altogether after its own spirit and altogether in its own way. Souls soon lose themselves who chafe because the Church is not wise with a worldly wisdom.

    Fr Faber, known to most by his song "Faith of our Fathers", was an Anglican clergyman member of the Tractarians with John Henry Newman, and with him, entered the Church after study led him there. He eventually wound up in the London Oratory, a member of the Oratorians founded with Newman. Fr Faber wrote a series of spiritual books and a fair bit of poetry and music as well. (if I'm not getting this quite right... there's the comment box.

    Sunday, July 06, 2008

    Canada - euthanized conscience? NO!

    Arch-abortionist Henry Morgentaler has been named to the Order of
    Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. Worldwide, people of
    good will who embrace the Pro-Life ethic are outraged.

    Protests against this moral travesty are not limited to Canadians.
    The following links invite both Canadians and our Pro-Life allies
    throughout the world to sign the appropriate petition against this
    monumentally evil act. PLEASE make yourself count on the side of

    For Canadians:

    For Other Than Canadians:

    Saturday, July 05, 2008

    Retreat schedule!

    Magdalene Retreat Schedule: Retreat is planned for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, July 18, 19, 20, 2008. The retreat will differ from past retreats, in that it will take place at St. Hubert’s in Homedale and end at the Chapter House. The tentative schedule as follows:

    Friday, Saturday, July 19, 2008
  • 12:00pm………………………… Opening Mass at St. Hubert’s, Homedale

  • 12:30pm………………………… to 8am Saturday – Adoration

  • Saturday, July 19th
  • 7:00am………………………………… Office of Readings, Morning Prayer and Rosary

  • 8:00am………………………………… Exposition ends

  • 8:00am ……………………………… Breakfast at the Rectory

  • 9:30am – 9:45am………… Who is St Dominic and What is the Third Order of St Dominic?

  • 9:45to 12:00noon…………………Mark Gross, OPL, Retreat Master on St. Alphonsus de Liquori’s work on preparation for death by living a well ordered life.

  • 12:00 to 1:15pm…………………… Lunch

  • 1:30 to 2:30pm……………………… More from "Preparation for Death" as in the morning.

  • 2:40 to 3:30pm……………………… Rosary & Chaplet of Mercy – Break

  • 3:30 to 5:00pm……………………… Presentation to "The Christian Life" of the Liguori book

  • 5:00pm………………………………… Dinner and Fellowship

  • 8:00pm………………………………… Dominican Chapter House for annual Wine and Star Gazing.

  • Sunday, July 20th, 2008
  • 9:30am………………………………… Mass at Our Lady of the Valley Church, 1155 Linden Road, Caldwell, Idaho. People from Homedale invited to attend Mass with Dominicans.

  • 10:30am………………………………………… Dominican Chapter House for breakfast.

    We have an unexpected visitor today and tomorrow. Br Peter, a member of the Dominican Studentate at St. Albert's Priory, Province of the Holy Name of Jesus, joined us this morning for a brief visit and will be joining us for 9:30 mass at Our Lady of the Valley, and a brief visit to the Chapter House in Homedale. we are thrilled ot have him, and hope for more visits like this (and we continue to pray for holy Dominincan vocations, especially ones who could be assigned here!).

    Wednesday, July 02, 2008

    Restoration of right order

    And who said that the religious habit was not suitable for modern life?

    a hearty welcome back to the Transalpine Redemptorists, who returned to "Canonical good standing" on July 1.

    FOCUS.....on Christ.

    “Seek a convenient time to search your own conscience, meditating on the benefits of God. Restrain curiosity; read only those things that will move you to contrition rather than give you distraction.“If you will withdraw from unnecessary talk and useless running about and listening to the latest gossip, you will find time to occupy yourself in devout meditation. …”(Imitation of Christ, Book 1 Chapter 20)

    New blog for a new Dominican Chapter in formation!

    Julie is gathering interested people for the formation of a new Lay Dominican chapter in Minneapolis-St. Paul. She has started a blog (with a catchy title):

    Future Dominican Laity of Minnesota

    Julie will be looking for interested people in the Twin Cities area who are interested in this startup venture. If interested, email her at dominican3mn@gmail.com

    May all the Dominican saints interceed for this intention!

    Fourth annual Mary Magdalene retreat

    The Dominican Laity of the Order of Preachers in Idaho is holding its fourth annual MAGDALENE RETREAT this year in lieu of the monthly chapter meeting. This retreat will be at St. Hubert's in Homedale on Saturday July 19 (although as usual there will be those who come on Friday, and those who stay until Sunday). We will continue with St. Alphonsus Ligouri's work which was the basis of the Good Friday retreat. we will have contemplative prayer, go to mass, and share meals together.

    Please join us as we consider the life of St. Mary Magdalene and how we can follow her example in her true role in the life of Christ as Apostle to the Apostles, as well as honor our departed brethren, Gwen McGarvey OPL (2004), James Schuck OPL (2006), and Janet O'Leary OPL (2007), may God grant them eternal rest. De profundis

    The program is not firmed up yet, but last year's retreat and a map to the Chapterhouse are HERE. Please keep a watch here for further information.

    Also, do not forget that the next chapter meeting will be the August meeting at Our Lady of the Valley in Caldwell, Saturday Aug 17 at 11AM.