May 232016


These Dominican nuns still rib the Cardinal about the time he mixed his zucchetto in their laundry.

Well actually these are Mary Queen of Heaven Missionaries based in the Archdiocese of Cebu in the Philippines, along with Cardinal Ricardo Vidal.

You can read about them here along with the source of this photo.

May 182016

Robyn Lee, a former Managing Editor of the CatholicMatch, posts her story about what led her to the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist

Now the jokes kind of write themselves. “When the dating scene is tough there is always Jesus”. Forget blind dates, Jesus cured the blind.

Still it does get me thinking about what people do when they discern a religious vocation and try to determine what charism of an order attracts them.

Really there should be a “Catholic Religious Order Match”. There is a lot of commonality between seeking a religious order and seeking a spouse via a dating site.

Filling out a questionnaire, an online, profile, etc. Both the aspirant and the religious order are looking for a good match. A “come and see” period to help discern compatibility. Whether it is concerning a vocation for marriage or the religious life there is the question “What is God calling you to”. With hundreds of religious orders out there having matching online profiles in one place could be useful.

May 152016

While it is well known that Pentecost is often referred to as the birthday of the Church. So the idea of a Pentecost Cake seems like a natural idea.

♫Happy Birthday Catholic Church, Happy Birthday to you♫

Online you can find pictures of attempts of a Pentecost Cake.

But I couldn’t find what I think would be the obvious example of the ultimate example of a Pentecost Cake.

Really there should be wax candles in the shape of the Apostles and disciples that you can light up on a Pentecost Cake.

Pentecost tongues of fire

Apr 252016

There has been a lot of virtual ink spilt over this one footnote in the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

I would also point out that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak”

This little footnote has become like a Rorschach test for Catholics who see what they want to see in it.

Still while the concept of the Eucharist as medicine is nothing new, it did get me thinking about all those medicine commercials with a list of side effects half the length of the commercial. So I came up with this:

Previously posted by Ed Peters.

Some seem upset that I agreed with Pope Francis that the Eucharist is “powerful medicine” for sinners, a figure of speech the pope used in Amoris laetitiae fn. 351 (see also his Evangelii gaudium 47). May I suggest that those objecting to the pope’s phrasing, and my agreement with it, need to familiarize themselves better with the Church’s rich understanding of the Eucharist. Doing so will, I think, enable them not only to see what is profoundly right about the pope’s choice of words, but help them to articulate what is profoundly missing from it.

The bounteous effects of the Eucharist, specifically in regard to forgiveness of and preservation from sin, are laid out in the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1393-1395, 1436, and 1846. These passages amply support the pope’s phrasing in fn 351. But missing from the pope’s commentary here is an acknowledgement that, as is true of a “powerful medicine”, taking the Eucharist improperly can be harmful, even spiritually deadly, to the recipient.

I don’t expect a footnote to contain every nuance of Church teaching or else a footnote would become another document with it’s own footnotes and on and one. So my prescription is to drink a glass of water and just read Church documents with the mind of the Church.

Mar 302016

At the end of his weekly general audience today, Pope Francis pointed to the sky and said Mother Angelica “is in heaven”.

The Holy Father gave his blessing and made the remark to members of EWTN’s Rome bureau as he greeted the faithful in St. Peter’s Square.

The staff had brought with them an image of EWTN’s founder as a sign of affection and remembrance for Mother Angelica after she passed away on Easter Sunday at the age of 92. National Catholic Register.

In response to the Pope’s action todays several noted theologians are divided on the theological significance of the Pope’s index finger point to Heaven with a statement referring to Mother Angelica.

Fr. Cyrus Winfield questioned the idea of whether the Pope’s digitus secundus pointing up exercised an infallible act. He noted the missing of words such as “formally declare or define” and the context regarding speaking to a group of faithful and not to the whole Church. He said “While this is certainly in the area of faith it is uncertain as to whether this must be held by the whole Church or locally such as in regards to beautifications.”

Lay theologian Irvin Brock, who entered the Church last year, had more definite ideas about this. “If the Pope had simply said she “is in Heaven” than this would be a simple case of him speaking off-the-cuff and would in no way have have invoked the charism of infallibility.“ He went on to say “Still that combined with the finger pointing in the traditional direction of Heaven makes this a totally different act. This could be papal sign language for “I define” we will just have to wait and see.

In the meantime Fr. Lombardi has not yet issued a statement regarding this.

Mar 212016

Once again my plans for a Holy Lent have been dashed by reality.

Sure I had a framework planned out involving more prayer and fasting. Most of that lasted the whole first week of Lent and then I started to find excuses to lighten up. Not that my initial plan was over the top or beyond my reach. Just that once again I tried to brute-force holiness by doing stuff and forgetting to invite God into this. A stoic at prayer.

Not that it was a total failure. I did manage to be very consistent in the course of spiritual reading I set out for each day. With the help of the Strides app I have also managed to pray the Rosary each day when before I was rather less consistent on weekends.

Still I notice the same awful tendencies I have and self-centeredness. Still Lent does help me to be more aware of this and even failing I see myself failing and resorting to prayer. I try to put the Jesus Prayer on continuous loop at these times. Lent can often be a good cure for spiritual pride as you find any spiritual pride to be rather ridiculous in face of the truth. I provide myself comic relief by laughing at myself.

Last night while thinking about my Lenten misadventure I remembered Lent wasn’t over yet.

So I am going to cram for Holy Week. Pick up that dropped framework and carry it out for the rest of Lent and the Triduum before Easter.

Like most crammers I have the expectation that I can make up my lack of progress the night before Easter. I will just pull a Lenten all-nighter figuratively. Yeah that’s the ticket. Besides Jesus paid those late workers in The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. So I’m holding him to that.

Mar 132016

Such a headline:

“Pope imposes financial oversight for saints after abuses”

You would think those saints in Heaven wouldn’t be such spendthrifts. I guess they get giddy with their mansions in our Father’s house.

Still I got to love phrases like:

Vatican’s multimillion-dollar saint-making machine

Although there was very good reason for reform as bureaucracies tend towards corruption. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints is not necessarily staffed by saints to say the least.

The books estimated the average cost for each beatification at around 500,000 euros ($550,000), with much of the proceeds going to a few lucky people with contracts to do the often time-consuming investigations into the candidates’ lives. The family of one well-known investigator, for example, also had the Vatican monopoly on printing the documentation for each saintly cause, studies that often amount to dozens of volumes.

While candidates who inspire wealthy donors would sprint ahead, those with less wealthy fans would languish. American saints often cost the most precisely because the most money was donated, and the postulator could spend it on the best researchers to get the cause through, according to the book “Avarice” by journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi.

This shows one reason why I am thinking ahead for my own canonization. I was thinking about running a GoFundMe campaign to make sure I have the necessary bucks to sustain the costs involved. Plus I just can’t rely on large crowds of people chanting “Santo Subito” after I die, especially the people that knew me.

Another phrase I liked in the article was “science-defying miracles” – take that science. That might be a common view of miracles, but an incorrect one. I like this explanation from Catholic Answers

A miracle may be defined as an event that occurs in nature but that has a cause lying outside nature, that is, a supernatural cause. Miracles are not violations of the laws of nature. The way we know if an event is a miracle is by seeing if it could have been caused by natural forces.

The language in this article cracks me up.

Martyrs, or people who were killed for their faith, get a free pass and can be beatified without a miracle.

Martyrs are encourage by that “free pass”, dying for their faith is such a shortcut.

Still it does remind me of that wonderful line in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Temple of the Holy Ghost”:

“She could never be a saint, but she thought she could be a martyr if they killed her quick.”

Still as awkward as this article was at times in how it was worded, it is at least one that tried to do the subject some justice. However clumsily that was.