He will use Africa will chastise, purify the world

This morning’s front page of the Washington Post features a story on Africa’s incurable, often deadly monkeypox virus and how “scientists are racing to understand it before it goes global.”

Which got me thinking, God could be about to use Africa to purify the world and his Church.

The West is dying. It’s not having children. Its churches, convents, and monasteries are empty. It’s morally bankrupt, a new Sodom.

Africa is growing. Sub-Saharan African has some of the highest fertility rates on the planet. Holy Mother Church has gained tens of millions of new souls across the continent. The Church is in many ways going home. Holy men like Africa’s Robert Cardinal Sarah point us to the light of Truth amidst the fog of the West.

The West hasn’t seen a deadly epidemic since what, the Spanish Flu 100 years ago? Medical advances eradicated the threat of many deadly pathogens. But to paraphrase Jurassic Park, “Life finds a way.”

Perhaps it will be monkeypox. Perhaps another pathogen will evolve immunity to our antibiotics. But it would seem preeminently just that the Lord would choose his newest son to chastise and purify his oldest sons and daughters, wiping the slate clean as He’s done so many times throughout history.


Prayer to St. Joseph

Saint Joseph, Guardian of virgins and father, to whose faithful care Christ Jesus, innocence itself, and Mary, Virgin of virgins, were entrusted, I ask and beg of thee, through these two dearest pledges, Jesus and Mary, preserve me from all defilement, and make it always possible for me unsullied in mind, pure in heart, and chaste in body to give to Jesus and Mary my holiest service. Amen.

(I recently found this prayer in my missal and have been praying it after the Sacrifice of the Mass on Sundays.)

A poor Church, for the poor

Quite soon after his election to the Petrine throne, his Holiness Pope Francis I said he wants “a poor Church, for the poor.” Through martyrdoms white and red, he shall have it, if perhaps some time following his pontificate.

As the world turns against Holy Mother Church and her children, those children shall suffer persecution, even the glorious crown of martyrdom. Primarily middle or upper class in social status (for the poor, in their pride and lust for earthly pleasures shall reject the Bride who would “deny” them their “freedoms”), faithful Catholics shall suffer the loss of status, employment, housing, civil rights, family, friendships, even their very lives. Catholics shall be cast to the periphery of society. They shall become the poor Church, for the poor.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Thus She and her children shall evangelize, living the Gospel, converting the pagans. Upward, upward shall she rise, until she has swept up the whole into her arms and shepherds them forth, one nation, under God.

Prayer to St Joseph for purity

Found this buried in the “Thanksgiving after Mass” section of my missal. What a prayer for men, all men, but especially those of us suffering from inherently disordered inclinations:

Saint Joseph, Guardian of virgins and father, to whose faithful care Christ Jesus, innocence itself, and Mary, Virgin of virgins, were entrusted, I ask and beg of thee, through these two dearest pledges, Jesus and Mary, preserve me from all defilement, and make it always possible for me unsullied in mind, pure in heart, and chaste in body to give to Jesus and Mary my holiest service. Amen.

Coming under spiritual attack

Maintaining purity of mind and body isn’t easy, and sometimes I fall off the wagon. But I get back up and go to confession.

What I’ve noticed lately, however, is that when I have managed to “sustain” that purity for a while, I start getting attacked with hateful thoughts. They come out of nowhere. I’ll be doing dishes and suddenly start thinking about people who rubbed me the wrong way, perhaps just once, perhaps even many years ago. Before I know it, I’m imagining things I could have said to them, or even physical violence I could have perpetrated against them. Then I snap out of it, embarrassed and horrified.

This never used to happen to me. Or perhaps it was, but I was too sullied with sin to realize it as wrong.

Is this the devil, inciting these thoughts? Knowing I’ve conquered temptations to impurity, he seeks out other weaknesses in my character?


My struggle to keep the Sabbath holy

This year, I’m more fully committing myself to keeping the Sabbath holy beyond merely fulfilling my obligation to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

But one of the challenges I’m facing is squeezing everything I previously split into Saturday and Sunday into just Saturday. I’m single; I’m not sure whether that should lighten the burden or not. For example, I don’t have a girlfriend or wife to split duties with; I also don’t have children to transport to weekend soccer games or whatever. I try to complete all my shopping, housework, and so forth on Saturday.

Some weekends, such as this one, involved family obligations on Saturday. That took several hours. So I had to finish some shopping today, Sunday.

Generally though, I’m striving to avoid unnecessary labor on the Sabbath, or purchasing anything not of necessity. That includes no restaurants, because then I’m forcing others to labor on the Sabbath. Imagine if ALL the Catholics in the United States refused to work, shop, or eat out on Sunday!

May we all strive to rest on the Sabbath and offer thanksgiving, praise, and honor to the Holy Trinity for creating and redeeming us.

The wasted potential of a water-obsessed nun

Exxon Mobil shareholders will vote on eight shareholder proposals at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in May 2015. Two of those eight proposals come from religious orders.

The Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order in Milwaukee, it seems, have nothing better to do with their money, time, and energy than submit proposals that Exxon Mobil add a “climate expert” to its board of directors.

Meanwhile, the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell New Jersey drafted a highly-detailed eight paragraph proposal to establish greenhouse gas emissions goals. The earth will perish. The soul is eternal. But nowadays the Order of Preachers seemingly cares more about the salvation of the former than the latter.

As I noted on The Twitters, an order’s probably doomed when its vocation Web page photos show no one under age 70.

Once upon a time, perhaps, a zeal for serving and preaching the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost drew Suzanne Golas to discern a vocation to religious life in the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell.

Nowadays, Sr. Golas’ only zeal is for… water.

The Sisters’ webpage links to their YouTube channel, where I took a pass on viewing their 27 minute “Beatitudes, Christ and the Practice of Yoga” video (I’d just eaten) and instead sat through all 25 minutes and 44 seconds of Sr. Golas, “Water Spirit” video.

It had nine views since it was posted in November 2014.

Apparently Sr. Golas established a pro-water interest group some years ago, called Water Spirit. You can Google it. In her 25 minute YouTube discourse, replete with high definition video and professional lighting and editing, Sr. referred to water as “sacred” two or more times. I only heard her mention God twice. There were no mentions of Our Lady, the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, or his Sacred Heart that I picked up on. No attempts to link water conservation to divine creation.

Sr. is clearly very intelligent and a gifted presenter. She knows her water. She’s passionate about water and made a persuasive case about how precious it is, its value. I live in Chicago, on the shores of Lake Michigan, one of the largest bodies of fresh water on earth. As bad as our winters are, good luck convincing me to move to drought-addled California. I’ll take a pass on New Jersey and its hurricanes too.

To understand the mystery of life, to understand who we are in this magnificent creation, is to understand the importance and the fragility of this one water supply.

Can you imagine how much Sr. Golas could have accomplished for Christ had she applied her zeal towards the conversion and salvation of souls? Sister, it’s never too late for conversion. Christ, through the ministry of his priests, washes away the sins of the penitent in the sacrament of confession. May God be with you, Sister.

Heretic hairdresser priest lets dog chew on Bible

At the bottom of the Los Angeles Times on Friday, January 23, was a story on an aging hippie heretic priest who has left the One True Church to join a heretical ecclesial community called “Episcopalians.”

Let us pause for a moment and take note that Episcopalian Phillip Jenkins recently calculated that the last Episcopalian has been born. Basically, they’re SO loony left-wing that no one’s going to their services anymore and they’ll be extinct by the end of the century.

Perhaps a wave of septuagenarian conversions holds hope for them. LA Times reporter Kate Linthicum writes about how Father Richard Estrada just couldn’t take it anymore. The Catholic Church is just too mean and outdated and all that jibberjabber. She coos on and on about hwo Estrada is such an activist, such a man of the people, such a champion of immigrants and blah, blah, blah in vain attempt to whitewash Estrada’s heresy. He’s so concerned about everyone else, you see, such a model of self-denial. A paragon of absolute virtue.

But of course we all know that’s bullshit, and Estrada himself betrays the Potemkin Village with quotes like this:

“I saw a lot of people who were struggling,” he said. “I just felt like I don’t fit anymore. Maybe I’ve grown, or shrunk or whatever, but I just don’t fit. And I haven’t fit. So let’s be honest.”

It’s all about him!

And this:

“I should be retiring, not starting a new career,” he said, smiling as he puttered around the kitchen. “But I had to be true to myself. God is putting me places. He or She is in charge.”

He had to be true to himself, you catch that? Not conform oneself to Christ, or his Bride the Church, but himself. He is worshiping a false idol. Father Estrada worships himself.

One imagines Linthicum struggling to hold back laughter while typing this:

For all his bold activism, Estrada is a gentle presence, more comfortable listening to others than talking about himself.

Uh, yeah.

Thankfully the article doesn’t report any allegations of improprieties involving children, but there is this troubling revelation that calls into question Father’s sexuality:

Listening is a skill he acquired during his first career as a hairstylist in East L.A., where he would sometimes hear female clients recount stories of hardship and abuse.

Homosexuals have no business being in the priesthood. Pope Benedict XVI declared that, and I support it.

Pray for Father Estrada and for the conversion of all heretics, sinners (especially homosexuals), infidels, and non-believers.

Lastly, this gem of an observation was buried in the article, and I think it’s telling about how far Father’s fallen:

On a recent morning, his 2-year-old pit bull, Honey, was quietly gnawing on a Bible on the bed.

The shame of the sinner

You have committed a mortal sin. You knew it was wrong, and you did it anyways. Your soul is stained, filthy, stinking. There is no grace left. A person who dies with a mortal sin on their soul will go to hell. No get out of jail card, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Guilt is to the soul as pain is to the body, you once read, and tis true. Hang your head low. Beat yourself. Curse yourself. Come Sunday, stay in your pew. You are not worthy to approach. You are not worthy to let Him under your roof. Let all see your shame. Let them wonder why.

Go to confession, eventually. You know you must tell all your sins, be truly sorry, and have heartfelt intention not to sin again. But whatever shame you feel, whatever sorrow you feel, is it true repentance? Seeking absolution will not wash the filth from your soul as a shower does to the stinking body, if you have not turned your soul towards God.

God is love. His act of creation was an act of love. His endowing mankind with free will was an act of love. His gift of granting mankind participation in the act of creation, the creation of an immortal body to host an immortal soul– it should leave you speechless and groveling in humility. But you defile that act. Spouseless, selfish, you choose to partake not in an act of creation. You do choose love, oh yes. But you choose love of yourself, not of Him. You defy him. “Non serviam!” you cry out.

Do you not understand this? How many times must you fall? How many times must you approach the confessional? Aren’t you just “going through the motions” to make yourself feel better? Are you in fact doing it for love of Him, or love of self? It’s not therapy, and you risk sacrilege.

Wallow in your shame. Pray that you should be granted a sliver of grace to make a true act of contrition.

Hopeless causes at Chicago’s Shrine of St Jude?

Recently, I made a pilgimage to the National Shrine of St Jude in Chicago.

One hopes a shrine provides solace, quiet, and an atmosphere of prayer and quiet contemplation. One is therefore quite taken aback to find children running around, scantilly-clad women with exposed shoulders and thighs, and numerous outbreaks of applause.

The Shrine is housed in a parish, St Pius V, in a now-Mexican neighborhood, and I walked in on a mass baptism of children. The church building was erected for an Irish congregation in 1893, and has been wreckovated in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. There are no communion rails; the statue of Mary was squeezed in with St Joseph’s statue to the right of the altar; a small cube-shaped tabernacle takes Mary’s place left of the altar; the high altar itself is long gone, replaced by a baptismal font and several feet in front of it, a freestanding ironing board I mean altar table.

As an aside, I found it peculiar that a parish named in honor of Pius V does not offer the sacrifice of the mass in the extraordinary form! Yet their web side advertises plans to HONOR Catholic heretic (pro-abortion, pro-sodomite marriage, etc)  Democrat Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Placing the baptismal font at the center of the sanctuary worries me. I fear it opens up theological problems. I fear it sends a message that, as long as you’re baptized, you’re saved. The Eucharist, the sacrifice, is not the center. Another sacrament supersedes it –it may appear to some– and gives us free license to sin, to obey the magisterium of our consciences, to worship at the altar of man.

Neither of the two red tabernacle lamps appeared to be lit. A tablecloth from a Mexican restaurant, or perhaps a Mexican quilt (I’m not sure which) draped the tabernacle.

Repeatedly, I witnessed men, women, and children walk directly in front of the tabernacle without reverencing it with a bow or a genuflection.

At one point, I witnessed a photographer pose a small girl in a sequin gown with two adults (possibly her parents), a well-dressed man and a woman in a tight, short dress, directly in front of the tabernacle obscuring it and taking their picture.

The priest or deacon appeared to be performing an assembly line baptism, one baby after another, with no interaction from godparents. I lost track of how many times the audience oops congregation broke into applause. I’m not sure if they were applauding the children or themselves, but it certainly wasn’t our Savior.

At one point I could hear music coming from a cell phone on the other side of the church.

Meanwhile, the side altar / shrine to St Jude was ignored, save for a pre-teen boy before it, who kept toggling several elective votive “candles” on and off.

I suppose I should take heart that these parents and families saw fit to have their children baptized in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Were their children taken tonight, they would be assured of the beatific vision. Yet I worry. The lack of decorum, the lack of respect for the Real Presence, the applause; these brothers and sisters either received deficient catechesis or reject various truths of the faith. Will their children fare any better?

Is it not damning that this parish and shrine are operated by the Dominican Friars, and order of preachers? Is it not demonic that the Domincans brag on the parish’s Web site about their role in getting a local high school named after Freemason and persecutor of the Mexican Church, Benito Juarez?

There is one approved Marian apparition in the United States, and it is outside Green Bay, Wisconsin at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. Our Lady, it is believed, spoke to a young woman 140 years ago and instructed her to catechize the immigrant children of the area.

Let us pray to Our Lady of Good Help and St Jude, patron saint of hopeless causes, for the salvation of the souls of these new children of Christ; of their parents and families; and of the Dominican Friars entrusted to serve them.