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Wednesday 31 July 2013

Catholics in PSYWAR-Part Three-PSYOP and You

The goal of psychological warfare is to undermine the mental toughness of the opponent so that it is easier to mount a full-scale attack.

After weeks of heavy mental music, the army went in.  We know the story. Can you imagine being sleep-deprived and agitated to the point of not being at your best to fight a physical fight?

The concentration camps of both the Nazis and in the Gulag used psychological warfare.

Taking away identity by using numbers to identity instead of names..

Stripping all beauty and consolations in clothing, cells, surroundings to deprive people of rest...

Sleep deprivation and over-work..

Bad food, little food...

Rats, bugs, etc.

The random killing of prisoners and the killing of a number of prisoner after an escape...

Verbal abuse as well as physical abuse...

We do not have to be in a concentration camp to experience some of this now, and I mean, now.

Even some Catholic are waging psychological warfare against members of their own Church.

How? Calumny, slander, lack of forgiveness, nursing old hatreds, suspicion, creating divisions where there are none, and, most tragic, hatred of the EF. Some people are seriously not able to handle the fights. Some get weary. Some are ill and need help to fight.

Do not engage unless you must. Learn patience and use the prudence given to you in Confirmation. You have all the gifts you need so much now against this type of warfare. How do you get in touch with those gifts?

Intense prayer and fasting.

There is no other way.

It is not on what we do, but who we are that we shall be judged.

Help those who are mentally weaker, as the fight is now big time PSYOP

We are in PSYWAR-Universal and Absolute vs. Profanities Part Two

If you did not grow up with Struwwelpeter, I feel a bit sorry for you. This hilarious yet serious book was popular in the Victorian era as cautionary tales for children. But, some critics have seen it as propaganda for undermining male behaviour. I wonder...However, I refer to it as an example of the standards of  child-rearing in an age of child formation. A good or bad approach, perhaps debatable, but without such formation we have created a generation of those who have no boundaries. This is the age of those who create psychological warfare like a child holding their breath in order to manipulate the parents to give in....pure subjectivity results without a moral framework.

Dear Catholics, these are the kind of people we are up against-the amorals and the immorals.

Apparently, judging from some comments which I have not posted, as I shall not post four-letter words, there is a lack of understanding among some young people between subjective truth and objective truth. I am also getting nasties in anonymous comments, which are only meant to intimidate and not enlighten. Same with people posting under different names. Sorry, an old composition and literature instructor and well as a logic instructor can spot copying and same phrases as well as same consistent errors. If Mary was using Johnny's notes and I also graded Johnny's papers, come on...

Some young people judge most things by how they feel about something instead of parsing the meaning out of a paragraph or two. Some read too quickly and react, a fault among some older people as well. Some just cannot read. And, many have had no logic, no training in rational discourse.

To be a Catholic, one must be able to think, as I have written many times on this blog. One must be able to understand what is being read or said. Understanding is a gift of the Holy Spirit from Confirmation, but I assume that young or old people who are rude, use profanities and spew hatred may not have the advantage of this gift.

Why in writing and  speech so many young people rely on profanities is simply that they have not been trained in the art of debate. Profanities are temper tantrums. Some parents give in to toddler tantrums. Some do not. Supertradmum would not. However, reasoned debate is a good which most people have not had the opportunity to learn.

Now, one reason is that high schools, colleges and universities no longer have instructors who believe in universal and absolute truths. One cannot debate anything if there are only maybes, attacks on persons, subjective interpretations, and so on. The list of classical fallacies covers could be applied to many comments, article and blogs I have read in the past 24 hours.

I love engaging in critical thinking with those who want to learn and want to work out Truth in rational discourse. We in the Catholic Church have a long tradition of this. St. Thomas' Summa is based on question and answer, the Aristotelian, and Socratic Methods of coming to truth.

Sad, that critical thinking has been replaced by knee-jerk reactions. Perhaps we are so overwhelmed with data that we, and I mean those who are tying to come to understanding, are close to burn out. But, those who resort to low attacks, such as profanity, want us who refer to Christ, His Church, the Gospel to become burnt out.

Like playing heavy metal music day and night during Desert Storm to wear down the enemy, our enemies give us lots of noise to discourage us. No fear! Christ has overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. He won the war, we are just finishing up, cleaning up the pockets of resistance and trying to save souls.

Catholics in PSYWAR

Psychological Warfare Against Nazi Germany: The Sykewar Campaign, D-Day to VE-DayISBN 0-262-12045-3 or 0-262-62019-7 (1949). George W. Stewart, New York; Reprinted (1971) MIT Press.

Daniel Lerner in his book above, divides pychological warfare in to three categories. Lerner also wrote, 

Propaganda Technique In World War I (M.I.T. studies in comparative politics) which I have not read. There are many other authors on psychological warfare.

Yesterday, and today, we as Catholics are witnessing all three.

We need to get mentally tough.

The first type of psychological warfare is called White and involves omission in truth as well as emphases which are made on purpose to deceive, but the content is not wrong or deceitful. The source of information is acknowledged but may not, as I understand this category, cover all possibilities. Selection is the key. Did you not see this yesterday on line and in the main line media?[

The second category is Grey  which includes the above with racial, ethnic and what Lerner calls religios bias. This is the most common thing we see and we call it spin. Sadly, the sources are not identified at this point, but there is a lot of truth in the statements or propaganda.

The third category is labelled Black  and this has become so common, most readers or listeners no longer recognize the danger. All is lies, deceits, purposely written or said-the sins of Commission. And, the sources given are not the true sources. 


The trouble is that most Catholics are not prepared for this type of PSYOP. 

Catholics, you must learn to think, eat, walk, pray, react like Catholics. NOW.

See the tag for many posts on this....

The Irish Bishops as a group need to make a statement, but this is good

From a Reader

Catholics in A Time of Crisis and Living in Enemy Territory

Many Catholics are confused and upset today for good reasons. But, how one reacts to either upset in the Church or hatred in the world is something we must all deal with on a daily basis.

I wrote the perfection series because personal holiness is the only way to come to terms with chaos. It does not matter why and how, sometimes, chaos exists, it just does and this type of murkiness and bombastic anti-Catholicism will get worse.

Look at my posts on the stages of persecution.

But, we must learn Catholic ways of reacting to evil, whatever the source. My ancestors had to deal with Nazism and Soviet Communism. Some died. Some were brave journalists. Some were monks and nuns and prayed in monasteries. Some wrote books. Some worked on the world stage. One was a Knight of St. Gregory. One was a woman who edited a magazine under a man's name.

We all must decide daily how we deal with the obvious evil in the world,. And, people, where there is confusion, there is evil. Mostly this confusion comes from purposeful obfuscation from governments, groups with agendas, those choosing to live in sin and not repent, those who are undermining the Church.

Confusion is always,  always, always from Satan, a holy priest told me long ago.

How do we react?

One, in your homes, collect as many BOOKS which are orthodox as possible. If you are poor, get the basics.

Two, read the Scriptures daily for at leas one half hour, the Lectio Divina. letting the Holy Spirit speak to you. Use either the Douay Rheims or Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard. I always recommend the Navarre Bible.

Three, say the rosary daily.

Four, get to daily Mass as much as possible. Try and get to Adoration if you can find one scheduled.

Five, find an orthodox community parish and stay there. Leave parishes with liturgical abuses continuing.

Six, do not get involved in any charismatic prayers groups at this stage. All I have witnessed in recent times have been in infected with heresies and disobedience.

Seven, find a group of friends who love God first and are not compromising ANYWHERE.

Eight, wake up to the fact that too many Catholics working for the Church are careerists; do not trust someone who wants a career in the Church first, and holiness somewhere down on the list.

Nine, pray for those in places where there is no Latin Mass and pray for the protection of the EF.

Ten, fast, pray, give alms. Realize that you are now living in enemy territory. Be wise as serpents and guileless as doves.

Above all, do not compromise, in big things or little ones.

Blog Fairy Tale-Part Two

The empress was sitting in the sunshine in the secret garden of the secret palace, when a grey covering came over her eyes. She tried to wipe the grey away, but could not. Stumbling, the empress rose and leaning on the arms of two of her maidens, she reached her darkened and cool rooms. But, the grey mist turned to black and the empress cried aloud, "Call for the emperor and my children. I cannot see."

Immediately, the maidens ran to the throne room where dozens of holy men and counsellors were gathering for the conference. The emperor immediately left the audience room and rushed to his wife's chambers. In the cool, almost silent rooms, the empress was crying softly. Around her gathered all of her children. The emperor sent his eldest son out to attend the guests, but the other youth stroked their mother's hands and gown. The emperor quietly sat next to his beloved wife.

"Dear One," he said. "Thankfully, we have the wisest and holiest of men among us for advice. I shall stay with you until this passes, and grieve with you if it does not."

The empress held both of his hands. A knock at the door of the chamber, and an ancient wise man in a grey cloak with a staff, stood waiting. A maiden came and whispered to the emperor that the man requested to see the empress. The emperor stood up and gestured for the man to come in. As the old man hobbled over to the empress, the young princes and princesses made a way for him, standing in a crescent around their parents. They were silent.

The ancient man spoke, "Your empress will be healed when each one of your children gives to her the most precious things each has. For she gave them life, and hearing, and sight, and now, they must give back in honour of her sacrifices."

The emperor stood up and addressed the ancient man, "If this is so, and if she is healed, you will become one of my household and tutor my youngest children in wisdom."

The man bowed and left the chamber. Then, the youthful siblings crowded around their mother and cried, pledging all kinds of wonderful gifts. But, the emperor stood, looking at them silently. He spoke, finally, with firmness.

"I know the gifts you must bring your royal mother, and those are your favourite colours."

The youth settled into a heavy silence. Then, one by one the princes and princesses left. The maidens shut the doors.

The emperor sat, holding his wife's hands. Then, the door opened and it was the youngest, the green-eyed prince. He was wearing white and holding a basket in which he had three things. He placed the basket at the feet of his mother. "I give you my emerald, by parrot, and the seeds to all my plants. My favourite thing is green, but from now on, I shall only wear white, in honour of my mother empress."

The emperor took the basket and placed his hand on the boy's shoulder. "You are blessed, Fourth Son. Come sit here beside me."

The large metal doors opened again and it was the yellow-haired prince with a  larger basket, and he knelt before his mother. The emperor noted that he was dressed in grey.

"For my dear mother, my amber jewellery, and two of the yellow puppies from my dog. I shall never wear yellow again. I shall wear grey to honour my mother's dark eyes, and this dark day."

The emperor stood up and put his hand on the shoulder of this youth. Then he told him, "You are blessed, Third Son. Take a seat next to your brother."

Just then, the youngest princess rushed in all in white. Her red hair was hidden under a white veil.  She had a white flower in her belt, but she was crying. In her arms was a huge basket.

"Dearest Lady Empress, my mother, here are all my rubies, my red cat, and my red roses. From this day, in honour of your love, I shall only wear white and never red."

The emperor embraced his Second Daughter and told her to sit next to her mother. Just then, the Eldest Daughter and the Second Son rushed into the room with large baskets. Both were dressed in brown. The Eldest Daughter cried, "Lady, Mother, for you I give up my corals, my orange flowers, and the key to the stable of my orange pony. I have cut my orange hair and made a braid. For you, I shall wear brown all my life." And, the Second Son said, "For my dearest empress, I give my giant sapphire, my blue cat, and all my blue clothes, so that she may be healed. And, I, too, shall wear only brown in days to come."

The emperor blessed these two and told them to sit next to their mother, when suddenly, the Eldest Son and Heir came into the chamber. He was holding nothing. He stood in front of his parents and bowed.

"For my beloved empress, Mother, I give up my claim to the throne." And, he kissed her hands.

All in the room were silent. Tears came to all their eyes. Then, the emperor stood up. "You have given your inheritance, but I give it back to you. Stay, and be the most gracious emperor of all." In the distance, the old man nodded to the emperor, unseen by the others.

The empress stood up. Her hands went to her face, and she bowed her head for a moment. Then, she looked and saw as clearly, in fact, more clearly than she ever had before.

From her place, she saw the ancient man in the doorway, who had been waiting for them. "Come and take these gifts and use them for your own. Old Man", she said. The young ones cried and clapped their hands in joy.

The ancient one said, "I shall only take the jewels, and give them to the world." With that, he took the jewels and stepped out onto a small veranda. With a swish of his arm, he cast the jewels into the sky. A strange bow appeared and all the colours glistened in the air. The youth ran to the window and looked at the bow. The empress'  favourite colour had joined the jewels and violet was in the sky with red, orange, yellow, green, and blue.

The emperor understood that gifts were given to his family to heal and to bring joy for the entire kingdom. He knew that his children had changed in one day from being spoiled and indulged to becoming self-less and loving. Suddenly, hundreds of people began to gather below the palace and stare at the coloured bow in the sky. The youth rejoiced that their gifts had healed the empress, and had made the people glad for the beauty of the bow.

That very night, the emperor held a feast for three days for all the guests and all the people of the city. the rainbow lasted for three days and then disappeared, only coming out when it rained with the sun in the sky, honouring the tears of the empress. Her children never looked so beautiful in white, brown, and grey. The emperor and empress lived to see their grandchildren. When they died, in the same week, so much did they love each other, the Eldest Son was given the multicoloured crown and jewellery of his mother. These he gave to his wife, the new empress. The princesses and princes had all married, and moved far and wide across the Earth with their children by that time and their children were happy and not spoiled, but loved to wear all colours of the rainbow. All the sons and daughter of the emperor and empress, however, kept their promises not to wear their beloved colours, or have jewels, or pets in those colours. But, many years later, it was said, that the Eldest Daughter, now married to a king across the sea, sometimes wore a multicoloured rose in her hair.

Blog Fairy Tale Two-Part One

A long time ago, in a land in the East, there lived a handsome emperor and his loving wife. They ruled a large land well and were greatly loved by the people. Now, these royal parents had six royal children. The eldest was a son, who wore silver and golden robes with red trim, and red shoes. This heir to the empire learned many languages, horse-riding, military skills, and government. He was young, but wise. And, in all ways, he was quite normal, for a prince. When he was born, there had been peace in the realm, and his parents rejoiced in hope at his birth. He was called the Eldest Son.

However, the siblings of this prince had come into the world under strange circumstances. Before the next child was born, the empress became ill, and the royal physicians suggest that she go west to eat strange orange fruits, and salmon, and shrimp to heal her illness. This the empress did, travelling west to both southern and northern land, with her young son and retinue. The empress became well again eating the prescribed foods, but when her daughter was born, within a year, the empress and emperor noticed that the child would not eat anything unless it was orange. So, the child ate salmon, shrimp, apricots, oranges, mangoes, carrots (which were rare, indeed) and any manner of orange produce. She ate pumpkin, and squash and tangerines. The empire had to scour lands far away for such food. As the child grew older, she only wanted to wear orange slippers and orange gowns. She wanted orange decorations for her room, an orange cat and orange flowers for her hair. The princess desired an orange pony, and merchants were sent far and wide to find one. As the child grew older, she developed a strange colour of hair, like than of straw in Autumn, but she was beautiful. Her favourite gems were of coral and all her jewellery was made of this. She was called the Eldest Daughter.

And, she was a happy and not  a really spoiled child, but she did prefer orange. Her older brother remained baffled.

Then, the empress became ill with another child she was lovingly awaiting and the new physician, (as the emperor had banished the one who prescribed orange food), and the empress was asked to go north and south again, but as she could eat nothing but blue berries, she went north, and ate strange berries like blue blackberries, blue berries, blueish potatoes, the lovely star-flowers of the East and blue lobsters, found by the merchants sent all over the world. The queen became healthy again, but she had a odd idea that her new baby would only like blue things.

She was right, and when the baby boy became two, he only wanted blue food, blue clothes, a room of blue, blue toys and a blue cat. The young prince grew up handsome, with blue-black hair and blue eyes, very rare for his people. When he was older, he asked for a blue sapphire ring and was presented with it by his father. The boy was called the Second Son.

Well, the emperor was intrigued by his own, strange children, but he loved his wife and could only think that some odd magic was involved. He called his holy men together, who all wore yellow, by the way, and they tried to understand but could not, the odd colour preferences of the young, royal children.

The children were not exactly spoiled, but the Orange Princess, as she was called, and the Blue Prince did get what they wanted in their colour range.

A few years passed and the lovely empress was with child again, and she became very ill. The emperor grew anxious, as she could not eat anything, and only drank cherry juice. The royal physicians had her go East across the sea to a strange land, and there, she ate strawberries, and cherries, and lingonberries. She ate pomegranates, red beets, rhubarb, tomatoes, red pears, raspberries,  red cabbage, cranberries, watermelon, red grapes and other red foods. The empress never felt better, and even ate red meat.

The physicians guided her back in a sumptuous boat filled with red foods, and in no time, the baby came into the world, a beautiful strong girl. Of course, the emperor, who had received letters of what the empress was eating, had a room decorated in red ready for the royal child, a red pony, a red cat, and a red bird singing in a cage.The Red Princess, of course, loved to wear only red clothes and red shoes and wear red roses in her red hair. Of course, her favourite gem was the ruby, and all her jewellery held these precious stones. She was called the Second Daughter.

The emperor began to realize that he had strange but gifted children. However, as they grew and did not want other colours in their private chambers and private games or sport, the emperor was a bit concerned for their future.

However, he was busy with some wars, sadly, and did not think much on the issue, as his children were happy and prospering, learning many things and growing stronger and more handsome daily.

The empress and emperor had such love between them that another child was born quickly after the Red Princess, but again, the empress became ill. This time, the royal physicians asked the empress to go south and east, to stay in the sun, and to rest by the sea. This the empress did, and she was hungry only for yellow things. She ate yellow cheeses, yellow peppers of several types, bananas, maize, pineapples, and yellow squash. She drank lemonade and told her maidens who served her that she never felt better in her entire life.

When she returned to the empire and the palace for the birth of the baby, the emperor had filled a room full of yellow things and had a yellow dog waiting for his wife. Of course, the baby, who was a boy, grew up only wanting yellow things and eating yellow food. He was the handsomest of all the sons. And his hair was like bright gold. On his ring finger, he wore a large yellow amber ring from the far western lands, and had a necklace to match. This youth was called the Third Son.

By this time, the emperor had decided that there was nothing really wrong with his children, as they were happy and strong and intelligent, but, except for the eldest, very strange about colours.

A few years passed and once again the empress was with child. However, she was more ill than ever, and the physicians became very concerned about her health. The emperor looked at his thin wife, who could not eat anything. He decided that this time, if she had to leave, he would go with her and watch over her carefully.

Indeed, the physicians wanted the empress to go as far west across the sea, and  a far south as possible. The emperor gave the rule of his empire to his eldest son and left with his wife. They travelled a long time over land until they came to a warm country with high mountains ranges and clear rivers. Here, they found green things to eat, which is all the empress could eat.

The empress ate lettuce, green tomatoes, artichokes, limes and avocados. She ate green grapes and pistachios nuts, and honey dew melons. She ate kale, green onions, cucumbers and most of all, kiwis. The empress stated that she never felt better in her life, and the emperor was glad.

When the time for the baby to be born was near, the emperor sent messengers back to his son to prepare a green room with a parrot on a perch, and green fish in a green pond. He asked for green plants and trees to grace the large room, like a conservatory, with other green birds flying loose in the bright, windowed room.

And, so the last prince loved green. And his eyes were the colour of emeralds, his favourite stone, of course. And he wore green clothes and emeralds only. He was called the Fourth Son.

The empress grew too old for more children, but secretly she had hoped for a child who liked the colour violet best, as she loved elderberries, plums and purple grapes. She also loved violets and amethysts, and most of all purple dahlias. But, no more children came. The emperor loved her so much, he gave her a ring with an emerald, ruby, amber, coral, sapphire, and diamond, (representing the oldest son), set cleverly,  for their wedding anniversary. He also gave her a broach to match and a crown with the same stones which graced the empress's head like a rainbow.

However, the emperor was uneasy about his fine five children, and their strict preference for one colour and so he decided to call a conference of all the wise men in the empire to the holy city, the capital, and discuss why this strange phenomenon had happened, and what could be done, if anything, to broaden the spectrum of colours in the lives of the five youngest children. The eldest son was invited as well. But, before the conference, a terrible thing happened.

To be continued....copyright 2013; began in 1978.

Repeat Post and My Highlights

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Talk by Ex-Press Secretary to the Pope

Fr. Guillermo Marco, ex-press officer for eight years to the Pope, gave a talk at Tyburn Convent in London, and these are notes from that talk. This was on March 26th, 2013. I have tried to keep the exact vocabulary of Father Marco, who gave the talk mostly in English. Any editorial notes by me are in parentheses. I am merely reporting on this talk as exactly as I can. The text was approved by an associate of his. Some of this information is not new to readers of the Internet or news, but as news is restricted in the enclosure, much of this was new to the nuns at Tyburn.

The vocabulary reflects that of Fr. Marco. Most is a paraphrase or close to exact notes taken during the talk.

The Pope was born in Buenos Aires and studied science. He went to seminary in Buenos Aires, where the Jesuits were in charge and decided to be a Jesuit.

John Paul II made him bishop when he was a professor.

At 37, he was made superior on his congregation. He was very young and these were difficult years for the Church, after Vatican II. Priests were making political choices rather than religious choices.

An order from the General (of the Jesuits) in Rome indicated that he wanted priests who were religious not politicians. (This was a reaction against Liberation Theology.) The Pope loves working with the poor, but he is not political. The Argentinian government was not in support of the Catholic Church, but looking out for leftist priests and nuns to imprison.Two priests were working hard in the poor areas, and were moving to another area, and owing obedience to the religious, they did not want to so left the Jesuits.

"If you go out of the Jesuit Company, I cannot protect you", the superior said. They did, however. Two months later, the two priests were taken to an illegal jail; the Pope was looking for the priests, and then the two priests were made free. The Pope was not a collaborator of the territorial government, but did get these priests free. There is confusion on this in the media, who wants to show the Pope as a collaborator. 

There are lies that he was a collaborator.The photo shopped photo which is on line is not true, stated Fr. Marco. (I am not familiar with this photo.)

The Pope was novice master of the Jesuit order, and he spent two months in Germany. When he came back to Argentina, his superior put him in the interior of the country only saying Mass and hearing confessions—He became Provincial Superior in 1973. The Pope told his friends that he thought he would end his life in the remote area. Apparently, according to Fr. Marco, Jesuits have to say no if Pope asks them to be bishop; however, the Cardinal told him to be bishop, he was not consulted but told 1992, to be bishop of Buenos Aires.

It is a very big city, four million, with four more million coming in for work (eight million), and no one knew him,. There are six bishops in the diocese of Buenos AiresCardinal Antonio Quarracino, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, who consecrated Bergoglio Bishop, was very important in this story; the Cardinal asked the Pope to make Bergoglio to be his successor.

Cardinal Quarrancino planned this, stated Fr. Marco. Otherwise, he would have been in a smaller diocese, as most of the auxiliaries would have been on the appointment of a new Cardinal.

So, this was unusual. He had a meteoric rise in the Church. Fr. Marco said this was all in God's Plan.

When Cardinal Bergoglio came to Rome for the conclave, he came with a return ticket. He is 76, and he was ready to resign as bishop when he returned. He would have been retired on his return to Argentina. Someone who knew him said that his election as Pope has made him younger and more energetic, as if energized by the Holy Spirit.

This is important, said Fr. Marco. He went to Rome with a little bag. "And he will never go back to his little room. He will not see his family in their place…his entire life belongs to the Church."

"I first knew him when he became bishop. He always asked every person he met to pray for him."

Fr. Marco asked that we would pray for the Pope daily, here in the convent.

He needs prayer, said Fr Marco. However, the priest said that the Pope is a “prayer-man” in his interior life.

"He never goes out at night and goes to bed at nine and gets up at four or five to get up and pray. He has done this his entire life." Fr. Marco was very clear in his description of the Pope's dedication to prayer.

"He never decides anything unless he prays first. If he is going to decide something, he says that he needs to pray first. He refers all things to prayer. This is his heart."

Fr. Marco, who is not a Jesuit, added something interesting. "The other thing is that the Jesuits have very clever thinking, but they only say what appeals or refers to you. One never knows what they are really thinking." 

"My job with him, I always had a job with communications, and when he became Archbishop, he asked me, because he was nervous to meet with the media."

Fr. Marco described a Cardinal who worked with others in consultations. "His humility indicates that he states he does not know everything. He worked with a lot of persons in Buenos Aires because he is humble and wanted input."

As to the Pope's pastoral style, (which we have seen in the news), Fr. Marco noted that the Pope said as Cardinal, that  "we have to go and find the lost lamb and not stay inside the Church (building)."

Fr. Marco shared that he works in the public university, and he had to go to the world which does not believe in God.

"We have missionaries in the railway Stations, and in the city centres, in the plazas—" He added an interesting comment on the secular world. "The majority of the population does not ask the question of what is the essence of life. First, we have to motivate the questions of God. We have the answers, but the persons do not want to receive the answers, so we have to motivate them."

On the Pope's obviously different way of relating as Pope, Fr. Marco said this, "Pope Francis presents himself as the Bishop of Rome. He does not use the title Pope as he wants to relate to the people of Rome
He is very deliberate in his actions. He does not act on his feelings." 

"He thinks about what he does before acting." 

Fr. Marco indicated that the Pope wants our prayers, just as he did when he was Cardinal.

"He wants all the prayers of the Church, which is the job of the entire Church."

As to his name, the priest told the nuns what we have read in the news, "He said immediately when elected, 'Do not forget the poor.' He took the name Francis for this reason. He also took the name because of Francis being a man of peace; also because Francis is the patron saint of the environment." Fr. Marco was very clear on these points.

The ex-press secretary also noted that Francis was involved in the re-formation of the Church and that the Pope wanted Francis' name also for this reason. As to change in the Church, Fr. Marco noted this, "The Pope wants us to change first. He chooses simple things, such as a plain metal cross, because if one wears a gold cross in BA, it would be stolen immediately.He did not use his chauffeur and car", (as we know, he took the metro and bus). Fr. Marco stressed through-out his talk that the Pope has a preferential regard for the poor.

"He did not want to be separated from the people. He never made an apology to the rich for the poor. He is very near the poor."

"The poor," the Pope said, "are very near God."

The poor will teach us about God, added Fr. Marco.  The Pope has many short stories about the poor, which have influenced his life. Father shared a few of these.

Asked what the people of Argentina thought of the Pope, Fr. Marco responded, "The people of Argentina are being moved by what Pope Francis is saying in Rome. Two Jewish men were interviewed by the press who said they liked this Pope." The Argentinians ignored the Cardinal when he was in his country. Fr. Marco said, referring to the Scripture passage, that a prophet is not accepted in his own town. But, now that he is Pope, the people have changed and are now paying attention to him according to Fr. Marco. The Argentinians are following his actions in Rome.

Father Marco said we are entering in to a good time for the Church, and we need to pray a lot. He replied to another question regarding ecumenism that it was easier to be ecumenical in Argentina than in Europe.

Fr. Marco and the Pope were involved in an ecumenical group in Argentina, where it is easier to have these groups. So, the visit of the Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople  was an extension of this. The meetings in Argentina are not theological dialogues, but just getting to know each other, noted the priest. When the Patriarch was in Rome, the Pope said that he was glad “Andrew” was here, the brother of Peter. The Pope also was responsible for contacting the head rabbi of Rome, with a personal letter to him. "He is very kind," said Fr. Marco, "to all who come near him."

Fr. Marco said the Pope is not the same person but has changed since he has been elected Pope. (This is very interesting.) He said he is full of the Holy Spirit.

Mother General of Tyburn,  Mother Mary Xavier McMonagle, brought up the quotation of Blessed John Paul II that the future of the Church was in Latin America. She was referring to the Pueblo Conference. Fr. Marco noted that the Latin American experience is different as a new country. (Here is a link to that Conference.)

Fr. Marco said that the Pope is like a common priest. He is still in the conclave room and not in the Papal Apartments. He will want to stay there and he is near the door, said Fr. Marco. (Laughter).

Mother General brought up the Mass in the prison on Holy Thursday. Mother General wanted to know if there were going to be consequences of this decision. Fr. Marco had an interesting insight into this : "In Buenos Aries there are six bishops, and so there were enough bishops to have Mass in the Cathedral and the Pope then decided to have Mass in a prison. He did not want journalists there when he did that in Argentina."

He had to be told by his press secretary, (Fr. Marco), not to put his light under a bushel, and therefore, give good example. 

At one Holy Thursday Mass, the Pope, as bishop, washed the feet of all the new baby boys of the poor. And, this photo was published in a discussion against abortion in Argentina

The journalists in Argentina liked this. Fr. Marco said the Pope will do lots of things like this. Mother General pointed out that Blessed John Paul II also visited a prison, especially in the visit the man who shot him .  Mother also noted that Jesus spent the night in prison and was there during the night on Holy Thursday.

As Fr. Marco noted, we are in the age of the photo and the sound bite. So, the Pope uses little phrases of the Gospel in his talks as Pope. He is also aware of significant actions.

At the Mass at St. Peter, there was a representative of the people of the rubbish, the scavengers of Argentina, whom the Pope had visited when in Argentina.

As Cardinal, he was walking in his red robes and Fr. Marco wondered at this walking about in Rome before the conclave. Fr. Marco said Rome is the place where one can wear red without being noticed.

(Excuse any errors, as this was done on the spot.)

The Eucharist Is "Veiled Love"

"Heaven for me is hidden in a little Host Where Jesus, my Spouse, is veiled for love. I go to that Divine Furnace to draw out life, And there my Sweet Saviour listens to me night and day."
- Heaven For Me, St. Therese of Lisieux

And, I call Jesus in the Eucharist my Vulnerable, Hidden Love.

The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus

"The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life,"
- St. Thomas Aquinas

 "The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white Host."
- Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

St. Ignatius of Loyola's Retreat

If any of you readers have not done either the Thirty Day Ignatian Retreat or the various shorter version, (six day, ten day, fourteen day), I highly recommend you doing so. Saints Philip NeriCharles BorromeoFrancis de Sales, and Alphonsus Liguori all practised this spirituality.

The spirituality of today's saint cannot be underestimated for the lay person. I experienced my first Ignatian Retreat at twenty or so and then, again about three years later; again about twenty years later and again within the last two years.

The shortened versions are excellent and not to be missed, if one cannot take thirty days off of a busy schedule.

For those deciding on a vocation, the Thirty Day Retreat is a must, as it is all about discernment.

What I learned from those retreats was meditation and journalling the results of meditation.

St. Ignatius developed this form of retreat for his own seminarians, but he experience this mode of meditation himself first, learning the steps and which Scripure passages to use from the Holy Spirit.

That the saint was inspired is important. And, do not follow any New Age interpretations of this method, of which there are many on line. Sadly, and no offence, the ones on line from the Jesuits in the States are among the worst. There are also Anglican adaptations to avoid.

I recommend these books, and one must have a spiritual director.

CLARE, The Science of Spiritual Life according to the Spiritual Exercises (New York, 1896)

Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Translated and Edited by Louis J. Puhl

St. Ignatius, Louis J. Puhl

Published by Martino Publishing (2010-06-16)