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Saturday 23 February 2013

More from Vatican Insider....on undue influence from America and other places by false and misleading news; that is an understatment


In the U.S., 74% of Americans express a favourable view of the Pope’s work although this figure has dropped since April 2008 (83%) and is lower than the highest approval rating earned by John Paul II (93%). The most controversial issue is still the sex-abuse scandal in the Church: Only 33% of Americans judge the Pope’s efforts to combat this as good or excellent, while 63% said it was unsatisfactory. Peoples’ opinion of the Church’s relations with other religions, however, is more positive, with 55% saying “that Benedict has done a good or excellent job in promoting relations with other religions.”

And here......

The Holy See’s Secretariat of State has issued a statement condemning attempts to condition cardinals ahead of the Conclave, through the publication of “
news reports…which are often unverified or not verifiable, or even false, even subsequent damage to people and institutions. 

The statement issued by the Vatican Secretariat of State and published by Vatican Radio goes on to say: “The freedom of the College of Cardinals, which alone, under the law, is responsible for the election of the Roman Pontiff, - has always been strongly defended by the Holy See, as a guarantee of a choice based on evaluations solely for the good of the Church. 
“Over the centuries, - the text continues - the Cardinals have faced multiple forms of pressure exerted on the individual voters and the same College, with the aim of conditioning decisions, to bend them to a political or worldly logic. 
“If in the past it was the so-called superpowers, namely States, who sought to condition the election of the Pope in their favour, today – the statement reads - there is an attempt to apply the weight of public opinion, often on the basis of assessments that fail to capture the spiritual aspect of this moment in the life of the Church.

New Poll: well, we might as well join in

I have no knowledge of such things, but am interested in my readers' ideas. So, here is a new poll for you.

Have fun.


Some very interesting ones so take a look! And, if you vote other, make a comment, please...

Another Goodie from Whispers in the Loggia and Thanks

22. 02. 13. - 13:47GTT

Churchbells will ring for Benedict XVI

The "Pummerin" bell rings on rare events such as holidays, New Year’s Eve, the death and election of a pope, the archbishop of Vienna, the priest of St. Stephan’s Cathedral, the president of Austria or the mayor of Vienna.

The bell also rang at the requiem for Otto Habsburg, the son of the last emperor of Austria, who died in July 2011. When Pope Benedict XVI is going to resign on 28 February, the "Pummerin" will start ringing on 20.00 and finish after 15 minutes.

On the same day, Nuncio Peter Stephan Zurbriggen will hold a mass for the pope at 19.00. The ringing of the bell will be followed by an evening of prayers "for a good new pope".

From the moment of the pope’s resignation from office until the election of a new one, the pope is not mentioned in the Eucharistic prayers any more.

Would some nice reader get one of these for me, please?

Wisdom from Archbishop Chaput

Asking a Christian to keep his religion out of the public square is like asking a married man to act single in public—Abp Charles Chaput from Terrence Prendergast this morning......

About those rumours yesterday, one may as well read novels on the Jesuits sinking the Titanic


 Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 

The freedom of the College of Cardinals, which is responsible for providing, under the law, the election of the Roman Pontiff, has always been strongly defended by the Holy See, as a guarantee of a choice that was based on evaluations addressed solely to the good of the Church.Over the centuries, the Cardinals have faced multiple forms of pressure exerted on the individual voters and the same College, which had as its goal to influence decisions, bending logic of political or worldly.If in the past were the superpowers, namely the Member to seek to rely on his conditioning in the election of the Pope, now you try to put into play the weight of public opinion, often on the basis of assessments that do not capture the 'typically spiritual aspect of time that the Church is experiencing.It is regrettable that, with the approach of the time of the start and the Conclave Cardinal electors shall be bound in conscience and before God, to express freely their choice, multiply the dissemination of often unverified or not verifiable, or even false, even with severe damage to people and institutions.Never before in these moments, Catholics focus on what is essential: pray for Pope Benedict, pray that the Holy Spirit enlighten the College of Cardinals, the future Pope to pray, trusting that the fate of Peter's boat is in the hands of God

  • Love, Beauty and Art, Truth and Goodness, from the Pope

    The Pope's speech this morning from Vatican Radio:

    At the end of this very spiritually intense week, only one word remains: Thank you! Thank you for this community of prayerful listening, that has accompanied me. Thank you, above all, to your Eminence for these beautiful "walks," in the world of faith, the world of the Psalms. We were amazed by the richness, the depth, the beauty of this universe of faith and we are grateful for the Word of God that you have spoken to us in a new way, with new strength.

    "The art of believing, the art of praying" was the theme. I was reminded of the fact that the medieval theologians translated the word "Logos" not only as "Verbum", but also as "ars": "Verbum" and "ars" are interchangeable. For the medieval theologians, it was only with the two words together that the whole meaning of the word “Logos” appeared. The "Logos" is not just a mathematical reason: the "Logos" has a heart, the "Logos" is also love. The truth is beautiful and the true and beautiful go together: beauty is the seal of truth.

    And yet, starting from the Psalms and from our everyday experience, you have also strongly emphasized that the "very good" of the sixth day - expressed by the Creator - is permanently contradicted by the evil of this world, by suffering, by corruption. It’s almost as if wickedness wills permanently to spoil creation, to contradict God and make its truth and its beauty unrecognizable. In a world so marked even by evil, the "Logos," the eternal beauty and the eternal “art”, must appear as a “caput cruentatum.” The incarnate Son, the incarnate "Logos" is crowned with a crown of thorns and nevertheless is just that: in this suffering figure of the Son of God we begin to see the deepest beauty of our Creator and Redeemer; in the silence of the “dark night” we can, nevertheless, hear the Word. And believing is nothing other than, in the darkness of the world, touching the hand of God, and in this way, in silence, hearing the Word, seeing love.

    Your Eminence, thank you for everything and let us continue to "walk" even further in this mysterious world of faith, to be increasingly able to pray, to ask, to proclaim, to be witnesses to the truth, that is beauty, that is love.

    Finally, dear friends, I would like to thank you all, not only for this week, but for the past eight years, in which you have borne with me, with great skill, affection, love, faith, the weight of the Petrine ministry. This gratitude remains within me and even if this visible exterior communion is now ending - as Cardinal Ravasi has said - the spiritual closeness, a deep communion in prayer, remains. In this certainty let us go forward, confident in the victory of God, sure of the truth, of beauty, and of love. Thank you all.

    Video Here on the Proper Title for Benedict XVI

    The Fever of Blogging-Roman Fever

    Some of you may want to know why I am blogging so much. I know all the blogging days for faithful, traditional Catholics, those of us who write on the real teachings of the Church, are numbered.

    I am writing as much as I can while freedom reigns. The Pope may not be the only one who resigns "soon." Many of us will be worn down and tired. This seems inevitable for some. Some of us will be asked not to blog. Some of us will face legislature on blogging.

    Please copy some of my posts, as you can use these for home schooling or for reflection later. There are laws on paper ready to be passed that would restrict some topics on blogs and the Net. This laws are both in some of the States and in Europe. Missouri has had one introduced already. This is a fact, not rumour.

    I am not into conspiracy theories or anything but facts and research. I shall never be irresponsible in what I post.

    However, there many be things which will be disturbing and I shall only post what is for the readers' immediate needs.

    We are entering into new times for the persecution of the Church. There may be schisms-this is not a new idea and one which many of us who have lived in America has seen coming for decades. The heresy of Americanism, that is, that Rome does not understand the American experience, is alive and well among many bishops. But, the American situation is repeated in Europe and other continents.

    I grew up in this atmosphere of disobedience and cynicism in my diocese, which has one of the highest pay-outs for sexual abuse by priests. There is, of course, a connection, between disobedience in liturgy and disobedience in other areas, moral areas.

    Priest who do not teach certain moral truths which are part of the Teaching Magisterium will become more strident.

    If you disagree with the Teachings of the Church, repent, change, now. If you are attending banned prayer meetings, stop. Your immortal souls are in danger.

    If you are in groups which do not have a connection to dioceses or do not have chaplains appointed by dioceses, stop going. Your immortal souls are in danger.

    If you are reading private revelations already either condemned or cautioned by Rome, stop. Your immortal souls are in danger.

    Pay attention, pray and most importantly, get into an orthodox group of people or create one in your area asap. Do not be isolated. You will regret this isolation. If you are a younger family, adopt an older person to care for and watch over.

    You will need support in the days to come.

    Those who deny this are either absolutely naive, or do not care if this happens, or worse, on the wrong side of Truth.

    Sadly, families will be divided.

    We do not need private revelation to teach us the signs of the times. We only need to be rational and intelligent. We need to know the real teaching of the Church. We need to study and pray and reflect.

    Look to Rome and pay attention.

    St. Catherine of Siena and St. Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us.

    From today's Mass readings:

    Deuteronomy 26:16-19 

    Moses said to the people: ‘The Lord your God today commands you to observe these laws and customs; you must keep and observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
      ‘You have today made this declaration about the Lord: that he will be your God, but only if you follow his ways, keep his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and listen to his voice. And the Lord has today made this declaration about you: that you will be his very own people as he promised you, but only if you keep all his commandments; then for praise and renown and honour he will set you high above all the nations he has made, and you will be a people consecrated to the Lord, as he promised.’

    And why I am doing the perfection series...........

    Matthew 5:43-48 

    Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

    Part 50: DoC and Perfection: St Bernard: a review of the steps to perfection

    All the photos on this post are from Iowa

    Sometimes, seeking after perfection seems selfish to some. But, the only way you can really, truly minister to others is by becoming one with Christ and letting Him work through you.

    Anything else is worthless.

    Bernard teaches us that the first sign of God's love in us is that we love other people. This selfless love grows and grows, until like Christ, we embrace the Cross.

    The second sign of God's love in us is the absence of fear. Love casts out fear. Love replaces fear with confidence. The old selfish love of the slave who lives in fear is replaced by the unselfish love of a son or daughter. This I learn from Bernard and his many commentators.

    The third sign that God's love dwells in us is that we become totally absorbed by God. This absorption finds its fulfillment in heaven, in the final union of the glorified body being one with the glorified soul at the end of time. Bernard speaks of these things in his treatise On the Love of God IX, 26.

    He gives us the steps, the steps all the Doctors of the Church so far have given us, one by one.

    Meditation, on the Scriptures, our sins, in the purgative state. Spiritual reading may accompany this. Through this, our intellect is purged and cleansed of bad things. The imagination is purified. With this comes a clarity of intellect and a strengthening of the will.

    This is the first stage and cannot be skipped. Purification and Purgation involve the first dark night of the soul.

    Then, after the long time of purgation, slowly one learns obedience and God makes known His Will for us.
    Sometimes this is in an epiphany and sometimes little by little does He disclose this to each one of us. This is the Illuminative State when knowledge of God becomes infused and virtue flows out of one easily. One may still sin, but venially, and those venial sins begin to disappear, leaving one with the imperfections of character, which must be changed.

    Then, beyond self-interest, with no thoughts of the self, love of God is released in our empty hearts.

    Bernard says, just like many others, "To attain this degree of affection is to be deified." On the Love of God

    "The will is a rational impulse which rule the sense and the appetites,. Whenever the will is in control, it has reason as its helper and, to some degree, as its servant. Not that the will is in variably influenced by reason, but it can never act independently of it. Frequently it acts according to reason and at the same time against reason, that is to say with the help of reason, though disregarding the advice and conclusions offered by reason. The children of the world have the cunning to usurp to themselves the liberty to do evil, when they allow themselves to be guided by the wisdom of the flesh." This is from Of the Degrees of Humility and Pride I, 2.

    "....(the) natural affections seem, in some way, to melt into and become entirely transformed into the will of God." On the Love of God

    To be continued...

    Part 49: DoC: St. Bernard of Clairvaux and Perfection-This is the Most Important Post of All in the Series

    I was thinking of the Baltimore Catechism question and answer of "Why did God make you?"

    "God made me to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him forever in the next." (or in heaven, as some versions state)

    Knowing is first. This is how we differ from the other mammals and all the animal. Therefore, when I read St. Bernard of Clairvaux and some of his commentators, one of the things which comes across very clearly is that he understands the progress of holiness as explained in these few words. Know, love, serve...

    God made me to know the first part of the answer.

    All of Bernard's life is the seeking of the knowledge of God. He wants to know God and be know by Him.


    Then, one progresses to love. That St. Bernard experiences God's Love there is no doubt. He knows God, He loves God.  Then, the next step is to serve God.

    This is the reflection of the road to perfection.

    This is how Bernard taught his monks so long ago.

    We cannot merit perfection, but it must be sought.

    God said to Bernard, as he shared with his monks, "Those who find me will find me there, in their own hearts, for there is my dwelling."


    How amazing, and how simple. God is within, Bernard tells us over and over. In his famous sermon on Mary Magdalen, he says that when she was seeking for him, she was looking in the wrong place. All the time, Christ was in her heart.

    Here are his words, which I have on this blog on November 23rd as well.


    Here is the quotation from St. Bernard of Clairvaux, from a homily of his at Easter. In all of my words on perfection, this is the most important quotation I can give you, from the Doctor who knows Who Love is, a Person:

    "We look for God where He is not to be found, or rather, we do not look for Him where He is chiefly to be found; hence, all the confusion, all the delay, and a lot of marking time. Woman, why are you weeping? You possess Him , the One your are searching for, and you do not know it? You look for Him without, but you have Him within. You stand outside the tomb in tears. Why? Where am I. Why, within you. This is My resting place; I am not dead but alive for evermore. You yourself are My garden.  You did well to call me the Gardener. I, too, the Second Adam, am in charge of a garden, the Garden of Paradise. My task is to raise a crop of desires in this garden of your soul. What? You love Me, you possess Me within yourself  and you do not know Me? That is why you see Me outside. Well, here I am. I appeared to you outside so that I might bring you inside. It is there inside yourself that you will find Me...Ah, I am not absent. I am not far away as you think. I am close at hand. Tell Me what is nearer to anyone than his own heart? Those who find Me, find Me there in their hearts. That is where I live."


    Real, true love is simple, not complicated. One wants to be with the Beloved at all times. One waits for Him. One calls out for Him. One expects Him to answer. One lives in faith, in hope, in love. One wants to be like the Beloved. One wants to share with others the Beauty of the Beloved. Love never ends. It grows stronger and more pure by the day. Love longs to be all that one can be for the sake of the Other.

    That is what this perfection series is all about-sharing the Beauty of God so that all who read desire Him.

    To be continued.....

    Part 48: DoC: St. Bernard and Perfection

    This great doctor could say things in a few words. I am choosing a collection of his sayings for this post. He has asked himself, "Why did you come here Bernard?" And his answer would be to find love.

    " I do not regard any of the affairs of God as things in which I have no concern."

    "For who of our kinfolk or acquaintance takes care of us? Who ever asks of our health? Who, I ask, is I will not say, anxious, but even mindful of us in the world?"

    "We are become Forgot, as it were, a broken vessel to friends, relatives and neighbours. You alone cannot forget us."

    "God does shake the sons of His saints."

    On the wise and foolish virgins in the parable, "....if a foolish one, you need the convent; if a wise one, the convent needs you."

    "You ask me with what measure god is to be loved and I answer: Without measure."

    "My God, I will love Thee with al my strength. This is not as much as You deserve. I know; but it is as much as I can give."

    "My life is the giving of the widow's mite."

    "FLEE NOT. Flight is the sole cause of the loss of victory."

    "Nay, blessed are thou shouldst thou die fighting, for then thou wilt be crowned."

    And, his last words, but not the end of his parts in the series:

    "In the Name of Jesus Christ, I beg you to go on loving God as I have taught you..."

    And, his very, very last words,

    "I know not to which I ought to yield: the love of my children which urges me to stay, or the love of my God which draws me to Him. I will let God decide."

    To be continued...

    Litany of Married Saints for Us

    I made up this little litany, so it is not kosher.

    However, for those singles who are wanting God to answer their prayers for Catholic, traddy mates, here it is

    I omit the first, traditional part, so as not to confuse anyone, as it is merely my own litany...sorry, no indulgences, but maybe, must maybe, God will hear your prayers.

    Blessed Louis Martin, pray for us.

    Blessed Zelie Martin, pray for us.

    St. Anne, pray for us.

    St. Joachim, pray for us.

    Blessed Karl of Austria and Zita, pray for us.

    St. Gianna Mola, pray for us

    St. Bridget of Sweden, pray for us

    St, Margaret of Scotland, pray for us

    St. Jane Chantal, pray for us

    Blessed Bartolo Longo and Marianna de Fusco, pray for us

    Blesseds Aleth Mon-Bar and Tecelin of Fontaines, pray for us

    Blessed Humbeline, pray for us

    St. Francis Borgia, pray for us

    St. Thomas More, pray for us

    St. Monica, pray for us

    St. Philip Howard, pray for us

    St. Elizabeth Seton, pray for us

    St. Margaret Clitherow, pray for us

    St. Juan Diego, pray for us

    St. Louis IX of France, pray for us

    St. Rita of Cascia,pray for us

    And, here is a book, if you can find it, for more holy married saints

    Also, I add a bona fide prayer to St. Joachim, Grandfather of Jesus Christ, from the UCSSB website.

    O great and glorious Patriarch, Saint Joachim, what joy is mine when I consider that thou wast chosen among all God's holy ones to assist in the fulfillment of the mysteries of God, and to enrich our earth with the great Mother of God, Mary most holy! By this singular privilege, thou hast become most powerful with both the Mother and her Son, so as to be able to obtain for us the graces that are needful to us; with great confidence I have recourse to thy mighty protection and I commend to thee all my needs and those of my family, both spiritual and temporal; and especially do I entrust to thy keeping the particular favor that I desire and look for from thy fatherly intercession. And since thou wast a perfect pattern of the interior life, obtain for me the grace of interior recollection and a spirit of detachment from the transitory goods of this life, together with a lively and enduring love for Jesus and Mary. Obtain for me in like manner a sincere devotion and obedience to Holy Church and the sovereign pontiff who rules over her: to the end that I may live and die in faith and hope and perfect charity, ever invoking the holy names of Jesus and Mary, and may I thus be saved. Amen. Our FatherHail MaryGlory be three times

    And in case you missed my post on Humbeline, here it is again...

    Blessed Humbeline's Feast Day is February 12th. This is from her liturgy: 

    God our Father, You are the hope of everyone
    who feels truly widowed and alone. Through
    the intercession of Saint Humbeline, May we submit
    to you in sincere humility, And so pass through the
    good things of this world as not to lose the good
    things of the world to come.

    My Favourite Pope Benedict XVI Photo

    Pope Benedict and the Birmingham Oratory Cat