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Monday 5 August 2013

Why are so many Catholics nasty?

Well, a young person said to me that she was not interested in becoming a Catholic, or a Christian, (she is not), because Catholics and other Christians were so mean to each other.

She has a point.

I have been thinking about this today in light of many problems in the Church in England and in Ireland, both very small islands with little space.

One cannot just "light out for the territories" as Huckleberry Finn did.

There is no West, which needs settling and where one can be a loner, with a small community, surrounded by prairie grass and cows. Neither, can we be falsely tolerant.

A few months ago in London, Michael Voris rightly and loudly told some ladies who were passing out heretical information at one of his talks to stop doing that. He was pointing out to all the danger of  The Warning. He was correct in his attempt to prevent people from losing their immortal souls by following a false seer.

No, the Church is a community. We are supposed to be working together. So, why is it so fragmented and why is this fragmentation getting worse daily? Some of the fragmentation is a result of some people having embraced a spirit of disobedience to Church teaching and doctrine. Some people defend heresy and sin. They become nasty. Some people defend sin. They become nasty.

Nastiness is sin. It involves maliciousness and spitefulness, serious sins. Period. My generation learned manners and appropriate behaviour. We have boundaries. 

We know that attacking a person is not on-is the fallacy of ad hominem and ends discussion.

Too many people hid behind their agendas or careers in the Church. If one has a platform, be he a priest, deacon, or RE director, or professor, one cannot hide in that authority, but must, absolutely, must, become holy

If one is not orthodox, one cannot become holy. 

This is the problem. People think that if they are a Eucharistic Minister, or a youth minister, or a headmaster of a Catholic school, that they have arrived in holiness and, therefore, have a right to be nasty, malicious.

Nastiness is simply pride.

One of the most talented and gifted saints we have had in our Church is St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Apparently, he was such a gentlemen and so good-looking, that some of his contemporaries worried about his celibate vocation. But, never was there a man who could articulate the Love of God as well as he has done for us.

This saint reveals that to be a saint, one must be a gentleman.

A gentle man.

Have we lost this sense of holiness which tempers the blood and makes one humble in the face of criticism, even hatred?

I get nasty comments in my com box. Some are from women and some are from men. The nastiness is not really directed at me, as I am merely the messenger. But, those who are rude and even boldly coarse, using very bad language, are those who have not learned how to engage in the mutual pursuit of truth and goodness.

We are here to help each other. Those who affirm me, affirm the Church, and make the Church stronger.

Those who hate me, hate the Church and her message. I pray for those who hate. Perhaps, they hate themselves. Perhaps, they are so wounded they cannot see beyond their pain.

But, I, too, was like that and truth brought me back to God.

Nastiness tries to drown the voice of truth. Nastiness reveals a selfish pettiness, which can be forgiven, but which is most unfortunate for those involved. Argumentation and debate are done in calmness, with reason and good, common sense.

Someone wrote on another blog last month that Padre Pio was an example of gentleness . Yes, with those who were truly repentant, he exhibited encouragement and love. But, he also loved in a harsh manner those who were not repentant. And, he told them so.

He was not nasty. He was not petty. He was honest for the sake of immortal souls.

A woman came to him asking for Confession. The room was like a doctor's waiting room, full of those who were seeking the Sacrament. Padre Pio saw the woman from a short distance and yelled across the room something like this and I paraphrase. "I shall not hear your Confession until you repent. Your son is in hell because of you."

Now, some people might call that nastiness. I call that witnessing to the truth. I hope this woman changed from whatever horrible sin she was committing.

One does not want to speculate. But, the saint was given knowledge from God to correct this poor woman caught in sin.

However, nastiness is not truth. It is merely the hitting back of a wounded soul, like a wounded animal trying to win one last battle. It does not further the pursuit of truth, but hinders it. One who is nasty is on the defensive, and we do not have to defend ourselves. We only have to defend the truth of our Faith.

There is a battle in the Church in England and Ireland and it is turning into a full-blown war. One must learn to deal with falsehood, lies, deceitful agendas, careerists who are both lay and clergy. One must learn how to deal with serious sin and heresy.  But, one does not need to fall into nastiness. We shall see out and out schism in our lifetimes, both here and in the States, because of heresy. Nastiness is not the way to combat evil.

Christ answered the Pharisees with truth and wit. He was not tolerant of sin. But, neither did He speak behind people's backs or ruin reputations with lies and innuendo. He called the Pharisees and Sadducees horrible names for the sake of their own souls-but he met with those who came to him for teaching and truth.

O generation of vipers, how can you speak good things, whereas you are evil? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Matthew 12:34.

Notice that Christ told them what their sin was clearly. He saw their evil hearts. He knew them. So many times we do not know people who are being nasty to us. Rarely do I even know where the person lives or in what parish. I hear nastiness from people I shall never meet. Women who have been nasty to me in parishes in the past never confronted me with any substantial information against me to my face. It was all done behind my back and because they could not bear the truth. Sadly, they never wanted to talk to me about why they were upset. They did not want to face the lies which had led them astray. All of them are involved in New Age religions and heresies. All of them have strayed farther and farther from the Church. It is so sad.

I pray for all of us-that we may seek the truth in the Church-that we may all learn, if we have not already, appropriate ways to discuss, argue, uphold the Faith without being rude or crude.

That young woman who walked away from the Church failed in one important thing. She forgot to look at the nastiness of her own soul, as we are all sinners before God. This is the secret to humility, knowing one's self. Patience and humility end nasty tendencies. To be a man or woman of God, one must become a gentleman or gentlewoman. The few prophets among us are clearly marked as such, like Michael Voris. But, he did not lash out against the women personally. He told them what they were supporting and promoting was serious error. That is not nastiness.

That is tough love. But, may I add that we have a generation or two of people who think anything said negatively is nastiness. That is not true. We have a thin-skinned group who want no correction, no criticism, not life-giving teaching which contradicts what they have come to believe.

This state of affairs creates tension. This hyper-sensitivity is actually a symptom of relativism.

Relativism needs tough love.

Problems in Gibraltar-Prayers Please

There is increasing harassment from the Spanish government on the citizens of Gibraltar. Cameron made a statement today. The Foreign Minister of Spain seems to be picking a fight.

PANORAMAdailyGIBRALTAR:• The Gibraltar Government issued the following statement late last night:
Her Majesty's Government of Gibraltar notes the publication of various belligerent and threatening news reports in the Spanish media over the weekend, culminating in an interview with the Foreign Secretary of the Kingdom of Spain, Jose Maria Margallo with Spanish newspaper ABC
.  and more there

EEIUU; Brave New World Burgers

What stem cells were used for this, btw? I hope just cow bits. Scary...

and good news I missed earlier

The Time of The Eucharist Part Two

In today's readings, we hear the story of the complaints of the Hebrews who wanted food. They got manna and for awhile they were fine. Of course, we see how they wanted meat as well as they complained about the manna. Moses had to pray to God, and he was wearied of his grumbling people. Murmuring against God and His Will is a huge sin. But, God listened to Moses and the people got meat.

from Numbers, we have this reading:

'Why do you treat your servant so badly? Why have I not found favour with you, so that you load on me the weight of all this nation? Was it I who conceived all this people, was it I who gave them birth, that you should say to me, "Carry them in your bosom, like a nurse with a baby at the breast, to the land that I swore to give their fathers"? Where am I to find meat to give to all this people, when they come worrying me so tearfully and say, "Give us meat to eat"? I am not able to carry this nation by myself alone; the weight is too much for me. If this is how you want to deal with me, I would rather you killed me! If only I had found favour in your eyes, and not lived to see such misery as this!'

from Matthew, we have this Gospel:

When evening came, the disciples went to him and said, 'This is a lonely place, and the time has slipped by; so send the people away, and they can go to the villages to buy themselves some food'. Jesus replied, 'There is no need for them to go: give them something to eat yourselves'. But they answered 'All we have with us is five loaves and two fish'. 'Bring them here to me' he said. He gave orders that the people were to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. And breaking the loaves handed them to his disciples who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected the scraps remaining; twelve baskets full. Those who ate numbered about five thousand men, to say nothing of women and children.
We have the Bread from Heaven, the Eucharist, and still we complain for more. Our desires, which mostly grow inordinate, hide the beauty of God in our lives.
Do not let the seeking for meat distract you from seeking Christ in the Eucharist. The time to do that is now.

For those who think John Kerry is a Christian-Americans take note

The Time of The Eucharist

St. Catherine of Siena had amazing visions at Mass. And, I am hearing of more and more people who have had visions of Christ when they attend Mass or Adoration.

This is the Time of the Eucharist.  Many can get to Mass not only on Sunday, but during the week. Many can attend Benediction. Some can sign up for Adoration.

The Time of the Eucharist is a time of peace and great blessing. But, this time will not last long.

The reality of the coming dire shortage of priests across Europe and America had not yet impacted the lives of most Catholics, but it will.

Again, from statistics gathered in 2010, the number of Catholics in the world is about 1.1 billion. The number of seminarians in all the major seminaries of the world is 118,990 approximately.

Do the maths. Today, you and I have the generosity of God Who has given us His Son in the Eucharist. Tomorrow, next week, next month, a year, two years, this may not be the case.

In England already, many parishes in certain areas do not have daily Mass. 

This is also true for some places in North America, both in Canada and in the States.

Too often those city-folks who have access to multiple Masses a day forget that a great number of Catholics in the world live outside of cities.

This is the Time of the Eucharist. Take advantage of the great love God gives us through the Body and Blood of His Son.

Well, free speech is being nibbled away by ....

As stated in this article, the majority of Twitter's users are outside the U.S. 

The good will suffer because of the evil....

One can block people for abuse, which is important in controlling discussion, and one can report abuse and child porn, for example, which is a great good. However, political enemies can report someone with whom they disagree as spam and the person would be suspended from twittering for other reasons, like tweeting too much, or using words deemed offensive. One's employer can stop one from twittering as well. One can get banned from twitter. This problem could spill over into religious discussions, say in Egypt, if Copts were twittering. Where does this end?

Of course, criminal abuse must be stopped. The recent problems in Britain created and still create fear in the women who experienced bomb and rape threats for supporting a woman on a ten-pound note, replacing Darwin, thank God. Sadly, these horrible threats must end. Again, the problem is one of barbarity and living in an age of violence and immorality, hatreds and prejudices.

Obviously, I am against trolls, who are sick people like on line stalkers, there with malice to disrupt.

Read this as well...

Day People vs. Night Hawks

When I am healthy and sleeping well, I like to go to bed early and get up early. This would mean a six a.m. rise and a ten p.m. beddy-bye time. When I lived in Malta for awhile years ago, I went to bed at nine and was up at four. Valletta, where I lived, was quiet at night and noisy in the early morning. Sometimes, I need only six hours of sleep. I use to go on five. I was hyper-active.

If I am doing a lot of physical labour, I need more rest. I need eight hours.

However, since I have moved to the big city of Dublin, I have had to change my habits.

The afternoon is drop-dead quiet, but starting at 10 p.m. or slightly later, noise starts. I live in a building of flats, and the noisiest part of the day is from 10 p.m. until 3 a.m.. It is half past midnight, and there are several young people in the hallway, talking, which happens daily. Someone is moving out of a flat below me. There are parties outside.  Cars and people go to and fro. Daily, a dog barks until his master comes home. Taxis drop people off, pick people up.

The city does not die down as one would expect, as there is an ebb and flow of noise. Someone told me before I came that Dublin rolls up at five in the late afternoon. That is not true of this neighbourhood, Also, almost daily, a large helicopter flies in and out of the down-town near my building. . It may be connected to the government, or a hospital. Sometimes, it makes many flights, back and forth about midnight.

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, 1942

But, even in the country, far away from here, in a tiny village where two of my friends live, the pubs stay open until 3 a.m. I have witnessed this, as I stayed with my friends for two weeks last year, and they live next to the pub. I can tell you that the most popular song in the teeny-tiny village is American Pie by Don McLean .

Maybe the Celts are night people. I am a day person. Apparently, night owls are smarter. Supertradson is a night owl.

Check out these studies 
and here  These two studies noted that night owls are more successful. One noted that poets are night owls. I am a day person poet.

However, the Madrid study noted that day people are happier. We do not have to go to the pub at night and sing sad songs about the past....

But, my habits have changed, and I am beginning to become a night person. This is a recent development.

I may have to take regular naps. I have never napped. Never. I do not come from napping genes. When my son was a baby, he never napped. My mother did not believe me until we visited my family when son was five months old. She was amazed. "Your son never naps," she said. I had told her that over the phone, but she had to witness this fact. I took the baby to the doctor. "He never naps," I said. The doctor replied, "Oh, you just have one like that. He is probably highly intelligent and does not want to miss out on anything."

My cats napped.

Actually, I miss the American Night Hawks which are evening and early night birds. They mark the beginning of summer. They eat nasty flying insects and make amazing calls as well as sounds with their wings.

Well, I may have to learn how to nap in the quiet afternoons on a daily basis.

UPDATE: People below are still moving out and it is 1:19 a.m.. Night-flight, perhaps?

Money Talk Picking a Beef

A quarter pounder with cheese meal in the Midwest is 5.49 USD.

A quarter pounder with cheese meal in Dublin is 6.99 Euros, which is 9.28 USD today. (Irish beef is really expensive.)

A quarter pounder with cheese meal in London is 4.79 pound sterling, which is 7.32 USD today.

A similar sized hamburger with Stilton cheese from Badass in St. Julian's, Malta, the Posh Burger, is 11 Euros, with salad and fries, no drink included, which is 14.60 USD today. I cannot remember how much the quarter pounder with cheese meal was in St. Julian's in January, and I do not have my receipt.  Much less expensive than the Posh Burger...

The WiFi is key.

The quarter pounder with cheese meal in New York City is 7.29 USD and minimum wage for Mac workers is currently 7.25 USD, four cents under the meal price. But, the minimum wage is going up in December to 8 USD. Some people just eat one full meal a day, btw.

McDonald's had revenues for  2012 of $27.6 Billion USD

On Rain

"The Line Storm," by John Steuart Curry

A person was writing to me about suffering recently and sadly, was comparing herself with others in the spiritual life.

Now, I would like to compare types of rain. Rain in Dublin is not the same as rain in London, is not the same as rain in Minneapolis, is not the same as rain in Mississippi.

Rain in Dublin stops and starts in strange intervals. It is rarely constant and is dirty, and I assume it is, as at this very moment, coming off the Atlantic. It is not regular here is Dublin, and it can be middling light to hard in the same hour.

Rain in London is constant when it comes, and it is more regular in consistency. It smells differently than Dublin rain and feels fresher. Of course, the movement of the Jet Stream directly affects London and Britain depending on whether it is coming from the north, or has moved south. It does not stop and start but lasts longer, imo, than in Dublin.

Rain in Minneapolis happens frequently at night, and, like other build-up of rains on the prairie and near the Mississippi River, the rain is fierce and comes with thunder showers and lightening. In the summer, as in other parts of the Midwest, the rain is a result of severe convection and even sheer winds, but Minneapolis is farther north than most of the severe thunderstorms, as one experiences in Davenport, Iowa, for example, when the rolling of the thunder is heard for miles away. Flooding is common in some areas as when it rains, it pours, but the skies and air feel fresh and clean afterwards. If the rain comes off the western prairies, it can be dirty. The Midwest has extreme weather, hot and cold.

Missisippi State rain comes in from the north and from the south, and there are cyclonic and anti-cyclonic winds, and subtropical ridges which affect rainfall. Rain falls in torrents.  Mississippi, unlike Ireland and England, which have temperate climates, has a subtropical climate. The rain, to me, does not seem to cool things down as in Iowa or Minneapolis.

Now, what is the point of this lay person's description of types of rain?

Suffering is the same. For some people, it is constant and one must learn to live in suffering. For some, suffering comes in light or middling manners, and for some, in torrents.

One lives in a certain climate and adapts. One must accept suffering and adapt not only in the body but in the soul. Adaptation means acceptance.

How silly it would be for me to want a continental American thunderstorm, which I miss, in Dublin, or a constant, almost soothing London rain in Mississippi. We do not chose our rain, and we most certainly do not chose the suffering God allows in our lives.

Now, and I have written on this before, suffering can be a consequence of our own sins, others sins against us, or Original Sin.

Some of the worst pain I ever suffered was from a root canal done improperly by a very expensive dentist. He had to re-do it and in the end, I lost the tooth anyway. 

Was he incompetent? Was it just that the tooth could not be saved anyway? Was it that he was actually negligent? The reason for the months of pain does not matter any more, but the suffering had to be endured, patiently.

The same with cancer. One must accept such suffering and deal with the consequences and not rail against God. After the initial shock, one must go into one's prayer corner and deal with the loss.

Some people suffer for years with cancer, and some for merely weeks. One woman who is related to someone I know, had no pain, went for a check-up for a tummy problem and died three weeks later of cancer. 

We must not compare the sufferings we are allowed to experience with the suffering of others. This is one of the answers to Job and Job's so-called friends, who were wrong, wrong, wrong.

Forgiveness of ourselves and others is the beginning of dealing with suffering. Without forgiveness we waste suffering. The real reason for suffering is purification of the senses and the soul. No one becomes perfect, becomes a saint without suffering-no one.

The pleasure and importance and the pain of rain can be lost on those who only want clear skies. 

Curry, "Tornado Over Kansas", 1929